I am away from Delovely HQ for the next couple of weeks, visiting my BFF in London. When people hear my accent and ask where I am from, the next question they ask me is, “What do you have planned while you are here?” I know they are expecting me to tell them I’m off to Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace or to take a spin on the Eye, but I have done all those things before and, while they are all great and I am glad to have done them, I’m not really here to be a tourist. Well, not that sort of tourist, at least not the entire time I’m here.
I am here because, in addition to needing some BFF-time, I needed a fix of London. I needed the sights, smells and sounds of this enormous, gorgeous, vibrant city that is so steeped in history that you feel yourself moving through the layers upon layers of it with each step you take. London feeds my creative soul. I love the aesthetic, the cutting edge of design that is omnipresent here; fashion, decor, art, performance are all beautifully innovative and perfectly executed here, from street style to interiors to flower shops to specialty food shops. There is here an effortless ability to mix and mingle the very old and the contemporary. And all of that is what I am here to see. I am here for the inspiration, for the vibe, for the feel of this amazing place. Somehow, in these days of global mass-market homogeneity, London manages to be simultaneously timeless and entirely vibrant, ever-new. London is, in a word, cool.
Today, I wandered out and down to Shoreditch and Spitalfields Market. The latter was disappointing, but on my slow, meandering way, I stumbled upon the brick-and-mortar shop of one of my favourite online design discoveries, the enchanting House of Hackney. I nearly fainted from the gorgeousness overload! The young woman who greeted me was amazing– friendly and helpful and willing to find any answer I needed.
I’m not normally a fan of the “more is more” school of design, but I admire the all-out gutsiness of layering this cheeky pattern. It works, somehow.
When I saw this “Hackney Empire” wallpaper in person, I felt a stab of regret at not having chosen it for my dressing room. With its oversized scale, it is So Much Better in person than it looked online.
Who doesn’t love a coquettish otter with a fan? An eye-patch-wearing badger with a mojito? A frog in tophat? A sloth smoking a hookah? A tequila-swilling raccoon? (oh, wait, that’s just a regular ol’ Toronto raccoon…)
Is that an accordion-playing lemur on that lampshade? Don’t mind if I do!
To bring myself home a wee souvenir in the form of a metre of this fabric so that I can whip up a cushion from it.
(And to somehow convince my Mr. that we need Hackney Empire as a headboard-style feature in our bedroom….)