Lucite, Perspex – A Rose by Any Other Name is Still Amazing Acrylic!

I adore acrylic furniture. Call it Lucite, or Perspex — that transparent material in a coffee table table can transform a traditional room into something with Wow factor. Trend-setting Sixties designer David Hicks pioneered this look, and it’s one I’ve cheerfully stolen for my interiors. An acrylic coffee table opens up space in a room — it’s see-through isn’t it? And what better way to set off a beautiful rug or carpet?

Here’s a fun Sixties room by David Hicks (notice how he’s updated the vintage French chairs with funky fabric and by painting them white?):

Groovilicious designer Jonathan Adler uses the same see-through coffee table idea in this living room:

Acrylic furniture doesn’t stop at coffee tables. On no, the only limits are your the boundaries of your imagination. I’ve designed console tables, side tables, display cases for watches….. and I love the great space expanding trick of placing an acrylic console table with a lamp on it against a mirrored wall — just watch the room double it’s visual space! Like magic.

American designer Geoffrey Bradfield ( is an uber master of acrylic furniture design. Just look at some of these amazing rooms:

I love the shape of this vintage mid-century coffee table in this living room by Leslie Klotz:

And speaking of vintage acrylic furniture — don’t forget to have a trawl through 20th century vintage furniture shops for some fabulous finds. Here are some great pieces from Talisman Antiques in London (

I love this “invisible” 1970s desk and chair.

I can’t wait to use this skyscaper side table with a mirrored base (didn’t I say I loved mirrors?) in one of my design jobs.

A 1960s tubular acrylic coffee table. I want!

Brass and acrylic – a marriage made in heaven.

You can find acrylic in modern furniture pieces too. I’ve just bought two of these stools for a client (available through me!):

And I love this take on an antique Chinese chair by San Francisco designer Samuel F. Lewis of InStudio (

My favourite coffee table, courtesy of Carew Jones London ( This looks great in both contemporary and traditional interiors.

So, how about thinking clearly (pun definitely intended) when you’re next considering a furniture purchase? Add an unexpected twist with some acrylic furniture. Call it Lucite or Perspex — it’s a designer’s secret weapon for Wow interiors.

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Maroc Mod in the Mountains

I have a confession to make.  I am mad about combining funky vintage furniture with exotic finds from the souks of Morocco and the Middle East, with a splash of Indian and Chinese treasures.  It’s my favourite look – a glorious bohemian mix of much-loved treasures.  I have a dream to build a wonderful home/hotel in Morocco where I can putter about bare foot, caftan floating in the breeze, adding to my motley collection of vintage finds thrifted from the souks, hand-thrown pottery, colourful antique posters, embroideries showing the skills of nimble fingers, handira wedding blankets with their thousand silver sequins, and thick creamy Beni Ourain rugs with their ancient Berber markings — zigzags, x’s and diamonds — each marking illustrating the Berber woman’s journey through life.  I dream of organising retreats in the Atlas Mountains, and working with Berber women on rug designs and textiles are our own looms, selling from my own shops in Marrakech, London and on-line, and putting back the profits into the community.  It would be a place to hike in the gorgeous countryside, paint, take photos, do yoga, read, write, cook, learn.  It would be a place to get away from it all — and find it all.  A place to lose yourself and find yourself.

So I’m putting it out there.  This is what I want.  Universe, are you listening?

Tangerine and pink with bright white looks funky and fresh in this Moroccan living room. (Photo courtesy of )

Lenny Kravitz’s Moroccan dining room – a song in white.

I love this wall of pictures in simple black frames combined with the Berber rugs and Mid-Century Modern Eiffel chair. (Photo courtesy of )

A simple Moroccan kitchen with modern accents. (Photo courtesy of )

A roof with a view. (Photo courtesy of Elle Decor.)

A Beni Ourain carpet, turquoise Moroccan pottery and objets trouve are combined with finesse by Maryam Montague at Peacock Pavilions. ( )

The living room at Peacock Pavilions in Marrakech combines all the eclectic elements of Maroc Mod. ( )

Why not learn Maroc Mod from a master?  You can buy Maryam Montague’s book Marrakech by Design on .  I’ve got my copy on my bedside table!

And how about this for something exciting?  I’m planning a design retreat at Peacock Pavilions in Marrakech next year where we can learn how to create that Maroc Mod look.  If you’d like more information, just drop me an email at .

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A Unique Perspective

I came across some unusual art this week which really made me stop in my tracks.  That doesn’t happen often.  My email inbox overflows with offerings from artists and galleries, and, frankly, most of the time they just float past my eyes without eliciting a flicker of excitement.  But the work by British artist Mark Lupo, well, this is something completely different.


It’s spectacularly weird and wonderful.  A bit fantasy, a bit altered reality and beautifully executed.





It’s like a Surrealist soup consisting of a dash of Dali, a taste of Breugel with a pop of Yellow Submarine.

Why not have a look at Mark’s website?

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For the Love of Gardens

I’m a flower fanatic.  I blame my father.  He was a busy executive by day and a gardener extraordinare by night and weekend.  I remember him staking out flower beds in his khaki beige trousers and shirt, placing a stake in the middle of the grass with a long piece of string attached and marking out perfect circles and triangles in which to plant his beloved painted daisies, gladioli, delphiniums and begonias.  The month of May was spent driving back and forth to a farmer’s nursery in the countryside where Dad would spend a fortune on plants every year, and then kneeling in the wet earth as we planted up rows and rows of flowers into drifts of colour.  I was his shadow — I loved planting the flowers and seeing them grow into a magical mix of riotous colours — deep blues, bright pinks, hot oranges, and sunny yellows all had a place in my father’s garden.  It’s definitely where my love of colour comes from.  A garden is joy.

Here are some pictures of a romantic English garden I designed and planted (yes with my own fair hands over a rainy May weekend three years ago!) for some clients who live in a cottage in the English countryside.  I love the blue, white and pink colour scheme and the way the flowers fall over the borders with scant regard for order and decorum.  Glorious anarchy!

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A Peek Inside My Flat

Just had a few photos taken in my current flat by fab photographer Cecile Mairat (, so I thought I’d give you a peek. My flat is full of flea market finds and treasures lugged back in my suitcase from trips abroad. It’s a tad mid-century modern, with a dash of Art Deco, a smidgen of Chinese, and a sprinkle of Moroccan, all thrown together into a delicious eclectic concoction that’s totally me.

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Some Grenada Gold

I’ve been working on the designs for 21 contemporary budget holiday flats in Grenada for the past year with the wonderful owners Lucille and Anthony Sylvester, and their lovely children Lily and Coby. I’ve been over there several times, and spent a fun and frantic week with Lucille in Miami in November buying kitchens and furniture. It’s all coming together now, with a few pictures still to be hung, and the Grenada Gold Apartments are ready for you! Lucille and Anthony also run a car rental agency so they can pick you up in your rental car from the airport and drop you off at your comfortable, contemporary self-catering apartment, just minutes away from the beach. To book your fabulous, wallet-friendly holiday at the Grenada Gold Apartments call Lucille on 001 473 437 4653.  Have a look at their website on . I know I’ll be heading out there as often as I can!

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Marrakech Inspirations

I was in Marrakech over New Year’s and spent some lovely days mooching about the city, visiting the Museum of Marrakech which is located in an old koran school, and checking out the artisans workshops deep inside the medina far away from the tourist crowds (you’ll need someone to show you where these are,  because, trust me, you’ll NEVER find them on your own). Morocco is a country which bursts at the seams with colour, texture, art, craft, the scents of roses and spices… I always find it inspirational. Hope you do too!  Oh, and how many chameleons do you see in the lettuce picture?  There are two.


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