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Posts from the ‘Design’ Category

cre·ate krēˈāt/

  1. Bring something into existence
  2. Cause something to happen as a result of one’s actions

I’m often denying that I’m at all ‘crafty’.  Even though I’m a stylist, and am frequently recreating spaces and objects, restyling my home or even just displaying things.. . I strongly associate all things crafty with items such as wool, felt, pom poms, fabric glue and glitter.. many things I don’t own and very infrequently use. A ‘creative’ is a more apt and perhaps less humble description.

Deliver four chairs from Restoration Hardware to my apartment however and I can hardly wait to build a playhouse from them for my daughter. This may possibly be my very first ‘how to’ post.  Maybe it’s not so much of a step by step…. more a photo montage of a ‘look how clever I am’ and work out if you can do it yourself from the images…

If you do want any tips on furniture making from cardboard boxes though… please do holla at me.. I’m more than happy to help.

I don’t craft though.. I create.

AK xx

One Cardboard House

To begin.. boxes, box cutter, tapes, ruler and bunting

Two Cardboard House

Creating interior door, it’s a two room kind of home..

Three Cardboard House

Windows… for you know.. looking out of

Four Cardboard House

Home decorate..

Five Cardboard House

Cardboardhouse final Tara

Finally in all its glory… Photo credit Tara Striano

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up·state ˌəpˈstāt/ tivoli

An upstate area (of New York) 

Of, in, or to the northern part of a state

We’ve been visiting Tivoli for over two years now, ever since our now friends (then aquaintences) moved here. I love it. Each time I come up here my dear friends are always asking, why not move? Leave Brooklyn? It’s SO much cheaper? Life is SO much better. I think they still miss elements of NYC. I do love it upstate; with almost all of my heart… but if I’m honest, I’m not sure I’m quite ready to say goodbye to the high rent, small un-maintained spaces, smell of rubbish everywhere, chicken bones in all the flower beds.. sirens… it’s just too soon. I’m not quite done with that stuff. I enjoy cramming my weekly shopping into the bottom of a stroller and lugging up the hill.. half caff almond latte in hand.

However, after so long without a blog and too many work commitments of late, last week I went Tivoli once more. This time alone, on a solo prop hunting, head-hunting (my own ‘clear’ one) jaunt. I needed a break from the city craziness. My first mid week trip upstate. I was also extremely curious to try out the recently opened by Brice and Helen Marden, Hotel Tivoli. I’ve been admiring it from afar on our last few visits.

Found the perfect writing nook.. Hotel Tivoli

Found the perfect writing nook.. Hotel Tivoli

Hotel Tivoli is the newest kid on the block in the tiny and picturesque village of Tivoli. The village lies on the East of the Hudson River about 115 miles north of NYC.  With a population of only slightly over a thousand people, it feels quite the retreat from the bustling city. The vibrant hotel; joins other locals such as Tivoli Bread and Baking, whose sticky buns pretty ace, and Murray’s who make a delicious latte,  Santa Fe,.. for a tasty taco, (I’ve heard it’s great but why leave NYC for one night only and eat Mexican, right?), and the Traghaven Pub. Good old Irish eatery. (Drinkery). The village also offers tapas, japanese, pizza and is now home to a little general store.  What more could you want? My home away from home.

Home away from home at Hotel Tivoli

Home away from home at Hotel Tivoli

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Perfect morning wake up….

Every time we visit we have such a ball.. and are generally there for one of the annual events like the street painting, the yard sales or the pie contest. This time, I opted for a mid-week break. I wanted to see what it is really like upstate. On a normal day. A rainy grey Tuesday to be precise. To see how it made me feel.

One thing I learnt extremely quickly; is that if you want to visit this area and its surrounding towns for food, experience, shopping, exploring  – Tuesday is not the day to do it. Almost everything is closed. Everywhere. Lesson learnt. Do not visit areas of rural beauty and antique foraging, on a Tuesday in NY State. My journey took me to Red Hook, Hudson, Rhinebeck.. with a stopover in Tivoli. Quick squeeze and a cuddle with my pals, a bite at the pub and then back in the car for a mammonth journey East to Milford NY the next morning.

Yes MOST days open at 11..

I’d been given inside information about a barn of wonders. Wood Bull Antiques. Luckily, it IS open every day. And when I arrived at the three level (bursting at the seams) barn of antiques.. I knew my trip had been worth every moment alone in the car singing at the top of my voice.

A stylist’s heaven….I spent over four hours in there rummaging around. And came home with two more chairs that I don’t need, but absolutley do love.

Taking a road trip alone.. via a place I love… to look for things I love.. along roads unknown. There is something to be said for just getting in the car, blasting out your favourite music and driving through the sheets of grey rain and misty mountains.

It charged my dwindling batteries.

I’m back.

Chair.. welcome to your new life.. time for a re -vamp

Chair.. welcome to your new life.. time for a re -vamp

Channeling Liberty of London with beautiful florals..

Channeling Liberty of London with beautiful florals..

de·part·ment store

A large store stocking many varieties of goods in different departments

I love a department store. After all the posts I’ve written, each with a definition, somehow reading the above sentence makes my heart race more than previous ones. Words like ‘store’ and ‘goods’ do something for me.

I’m not sure if this passion for the department store is because I’m a stylist, or because I’m just getting old. Maybe it’s the perfect combination of both. Memories of growing up in the UK and my utter loathing of John Lewis, where my Mum used to buy just about everything; are flooding back to me. I considered the place extremely un-cool, especially when it came to clothes. I must admit I’m still not a fan of the John Lewis brand. Something about it seems very clinical, like a local pharmacy. But I am warming to the place in my old age. Especially the homes and interiors department –  commissioning the revival of the G Plan range was genuis. My friends in London bought their super stylish G Plan sofa from John Lewis, and I had quite a pang of living room envy when I stayed with there. Turning into my mother it seems. John Lewis, you never know, we may be reunited.

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 11.51.01 am

Sofa by G Plan. Baby by me.

During my formative years I was more of a House of Fraser girl, Debenhams on a bad week. If I still lived there, I’ve convinced myself my ‘go to’ place would be Harvey Nichols. For special occasions, I believe there is nowhere in the world like Liberty of London. Growing up, Liberty was always there, lingering, slightly out of my reach in all its Tudor glory in Soho. Fabric and fragrance heaven.

Now I live in America, all of these brands are often a fond memory and I must decide whether I’m a Macy’s, Bloomingdales or Saks girl. There are so many here.. maybe Lord & Taylor, who am I? Bergdorf Goodman is far too sombre for me.  It’s the kind of store I feel like I have to be very quiet in, and pretend I’m much richer than I really am. I think I am none of the above.

My heart lies truly with ABC home. It is a department store of it’s own breed and it’s also my nirvana, I have said it before and I say it again –  I want to live there. Although this week I stumbled across a $1200 pillow cover. Indian vintage. I’ve been to India, I’m sure I saw something just like it on a bench in a cheap hotel. Come on ABC, be reasonable. I could go on holiday to India and buy 10 pillows.

Flat pack mini tables and chairs. With a splash on neon.. ABC you total flirt.

Flat pack mini tables and chairs. With a splash on neon.. ABC you total flirt.

Recently, in my Brooklyn neighborhood; we aqcuired our very own department store. Or ‘tiny’ department store as the owner describes it. I fell upon the eponymously named, Jill Lindsey store one morning and couldn’t believe my eyes. Just what we need, a tiny department store! Luckily for me, I adore all the departments.. gifts, pottery, candles, vintage finds and fashion. Each of them miniscule. The store also has it’s own oyster and champagne situtaion going on out the back.. in a quiet and cute little garden. Like gold dust in Brooklyn.. a garden.. this will be my summer ‘go to’ I’m sure.

It’s wonderful to see so many small an independent businesses popping up in Brooklyn, not only are they all after my own heart, it’s fabulous to feel a sense of community that we can support and enjoy. It’s another reason to keep me from the sweat box that is Manhattan…

Still, nothing will keep me permanently from my little fix of drifting the aisles of fabrics, pillows and nick nacks.. gliding up and down elevators with the aircon blowing in my hair… big department stores are still pretty cool too…….my age tells me so.

Jill Lindsey, mini deparment store Fort Greene.

Jill Lindsey, mini deparment store Fort Greene.

Jill Lindsey, mini department store Fort Greene

Jill Lindsey, mini department store Fort Greene

 

 

 

 

spring·time ˈspriNGˌtīm/

The season of spring 

Spring is here… and I hear spring showers are on the way this weekend. It is the very first opportunity this year that my little Brooklyn family and I are venturing out of the city for some rest and relaxation; to Upstate New York. We had better pack some games and a good few books if we are to be stuck inside for hours on end… and some wellies… for country adventures and a bit of splish sploshing.

Loft living has taken its toll over the past few months and urban grime has got me down.  Luckily the general disgustingness of being stuck inside through the NYC winter has passed, and what better way to celebrate than throwing together some custom made lights, adding a layer of divine textiles and popping in a dreamcatcher? Done.

In the light of spring being in the air,  and to also feed my desire for all things bright and beautiful, here are some pretty shots I put together with Tara Striano showcasing spring colours, textures and an all round summer is on the way feeling.

AK.

Bedroom_Springtime

Detail_Spring Breakfast

Additional props courtsey of Urban Chandy.

work·space ˈwərkˌspās/

A space in which to work

What a sweet, short and simple definition. Surely the shortest to date from Appleketchup?

Workspaces fascinate me, the ever more popular trend for collaborative workspaces, offices in lofts, warehouses, coffee shops turned networking hubs. In Brooklyn we are living in a melting pot of creativity, surrounded by writers, artists and designers. We appear to be attending the school of cool when it comes to new ideas.

Recently, I thought it would be fabulous to create an imaginary work space.. Making a pretty picture, with some cool stuff in it.. for fun… what a top day.

A more traditional idea of a florist.. but in a loft. How very Brooklyn.  With the added bonus of Urban Chandy’s captivating light fixture and Recycled Brooklyn’s uber cool industrial stool…  I put together a space I’d like to spend the day in; in my dreams…..

My actual workspace however, leaves a lot to be desired right now.. after weeks of back to back shooting.. it’s time to pretty up the real space I work in. But first, I need to plan for tomorrow; when one of my dreams does become a reality.. see you soon London town…

Photographed by Tara Striano. 

 

Flowers Chandy

 

Flower_Detail_005RT

 

Bouquet_010RT

 

 

day·dream ˈdāˌdrēm/

a series of pleasant thoughts that distract one’s attention from the present

I feel terrible for thinking of this as my AK definition of the day! I never realised the definition would actually describe not living in the present. This is a mantra we are all often told to do, live in the present… don’t live in past.. concentrate on the here and now. I’m sorry universe, but my here and now is another 10 inches of snow, on top of the already 25 we’ve had. Throw in a few polar vortex days… some icy sludge, and a biting wind.

Yes, sadly, I’m leaving my present in my mind today. I’m imagining London, in the summer, with a nice cold drink in hand and some fab company to go with.

Coming? One click… all it takes……

London town….. 

AK xx

London blog 1

London Blog 2

space /spās/

1. A continuous area or expanse that is free, available or unoccupied

2. The dimension of height, depth and width in which all things exist and move

When we moved to New York a couple of years ago; fresh from Sydney shores all sun kissed and dreamy, newly married and searching for the epitome of NY living, we moved into a two floor brownstone.  I remember writing about what it felt like to finally settle in and be at home somewhere, and also to belong. Our home was equipped with stunning hardwood floors, period shutters, fireplaces, claw foot tubs and the most incredible afternoon sunlight. I don’t know if I will ever find such a luxury again. Although the place was bursting at the seams with character, I still couldn’t wait to get my sticky stylist mitts on it and change the wall colours, carpets, light fittings and so on.. until it was mine. It took almost the full two years of living there to get it how I really liked it. And then…..we moved. Leaving our mark. old house

Two years on, we find ourselves in a space that is the polar opposite of a brownstone with all its exquisite detail and homeliness. Now, we find ourselves in a space that doesn’t even have a simple set of walls, or even the odd door. An open industrial loft. Sure, a few eyebrows were raised when I told people… open loft, dog, 6 month old baby, both work from home.. yeah NO problem!

And now I’m sitting here, five weeks after the event with no interior walls, doors, storage and wondering where on earth to begin and what on earth I was thinking? My husband, a childhood fan of the film, Big, loves it in all its lofty glory. But then he doesn’t have to make it a home. I do. I’m going to start at the beginning.  Im going to create a wonderful, stylish, urban home.. in a huge empty space. For the first time in my life I have a completely blank canvas. Modern kitchen, modern bathroom… and 3 white walls.   Wish me luck.

wall of windows spaceunpacking
entryway

nurs·er·y ˈnərs(ə)rē/

A room in a house for the special use of young children

I feel like I am constantly apologising for my lack of frequent blogging… ‘life kind of gets in the way’ excuses spring to mind.. busy NY stylist.. blah blah.. had a baby, moved house… All pretty good reasons not to be sitting at my computer, but NO excuse is good enough.. It’s time to make this arrangement a little more frequent. So we will keep this short, sweet and visual.

The glorious brownstone is no longer and we are onto different things. As a final hurrah to a space where we shot many a beautiful image, I thought it would be so nice to show a small space not yet revealed. A space for the newest addition to our family, now rapidly growing and crawling all over the place. Her space. My taste. Her room. My baby.

Shot with with the talented and beautiful Tara Striano in Brooklyn, NY. 2013.

TS_Nursery

 

No longer in her own room now as we tackle open plan living with a small child. I will create something for her in the coming weeks. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on Appleketchup as I post an interior vignette each week throughout the winter months.

an·nu·al/ˈanyo͞oəl/

Occurring Once Every Year

Summer is here… once a year… in most places. This month is has been so terribly humid, I’ve had to break a life long habit of having fresh flowers in the house, for fear that they will just wilt and die and the first opportunity.

Today, for the first time in a LONG time… a little style snippet from Appleketchup HQ.

How to make your home look pretty, with things that you can get your mitts on …… ALL year round. 

Whilst perusing the local farmers market last Saturday with my darling husband, dear little dog.. and newest member of our family, my shopping trolley bag, I decided to grab a big bunch of dried French lavender. At the time I though it would be a great prop for an up and coming shoot and I could also artfully place it around our home to make it smell nice. Today it’s Friday. Almost a week since the lovely bunch of lavender arrived, and unfortunately it has been there un-openend, all useless and feeling sad; until today, when I had a brainwave.

Year round, I thought, you can pick up beautiful dried flowers, mix them with fresh or dried herbs, grab yourself a few jam jars, glass bottles, and throw in a couple of shells…… Done!

Vignettes of sun and sea….. ALL year round.

Enjoy!

Sea urchins with bunches of dried lavender, rosemary.

Recycled vintage milk bottles, french lavender

An old candle votive, turned vase… with fresh rosemary and dried lavender. Makes your bathroom smell delicious!

Shells and herbs, herbs and shells…. utterly non seasonal!

Some old faves of mine… remind me of my wonderful Bondi days and Caravan Interiors…..

Dried lavender from the farmers markets coupled with a bit of old broken barnacle. Barnacle pieces can double up as a vase… or a toothbrush holder!

When my friends arrive later for a champers and a ‘Go on Great Britain’ for the 2012 Opening Ceremony, I expect they will be blown away by how fresh and beachy our home feels, despite the Brooklyn humidity!