What is Art (Part 2 - Investment In the art world)

From a time when art was only available to the wealthiest of royals to the modern art world where art is available to all. It can be really difficult to understand how the world of art works. Read on to understand what makes some art worth investing in.

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What is Art? (Part 1)

What is Art? (Part 1)

It is a complex topic that I am super passionate about, so I have split this into a two part series. The first installment talks about art and how it plays a part in your health and well being. Sustainable interiors are ones where you will feel comfortable in for years to come without feeling bored, and this is one way you can do it!

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Frida Kahlo Making Herself Up

 Stunning photograph by Nickolas Murray, one of Kahlo's lovers and best friends

Stunning photograph by Nickolas Murray, one of Kahlo's lovers and best friends

Before I go to any show or exhibition I try not to read any reviews or information about it, to enable me to form a completely unbiased opinion of what I see and feel. Going a few weeks after the launch of the exhibition meant that I had to work hard to keep my ears and eyes closed! 

Frida Kahlo is well known as an artist with a difficult past, one filled with pain and deep despair and anguish. What I had not prepared myself for, was that the exhibition laid out her life story with all her pain and agony for all to see.

It was really tough, I wont lie, to be able to hold the tears back on witnessing some of the items on show. The corsets gave me the biggest lump in my throat. 

Frida Kahlo corset.jpg

I read a review by the Guardian on the exhibition (click here for the full article) In it the writer Jonathan Jones states "This exhibition overwhelms Kahlo’s living legacy with its excessive adoration of a dead woman’s stuff." Now I am not often one for controversy, but I immensely disagree with this comment. The simple fact it, each piece of art is created by an artist, expressing their life, experiences and opinions with a canvas and the medium they choose. Without the artist what value does the art have? The V&A as an establishment focus on the form, the materials, the techniques and the story behind each piece that they display. Surely it would be a dishonour to give Frida Kahlo the same respect? 

As an artist Frida Kahlo expressed her feelings through her art. The reason she focused on self portraits was that she was bed bound for a lot of time and had "no company but herself". Even when she was unable to stand, was braced in a position unable to move at all, she used a mirror to paint her corset. Art was her escape from her pain. Without knowing her story, I personally don't believe anyone is able to appreciate her work in the same way. In fact this goes for every artist. The main reason I launched the Blue Feather Design Art Platform, was to enable my clients to understand and know the artist they were buying from. Relate to their background, their story and then fall in love with their work. If you haven't already please do take a look at the amazing artists I have on board here.

frida-kahlo quote.jpg

Her endurance, gratitude and sheer strength, despite all that she faced during her life is a huge inspiration to me and for so many other women I am sure. This most talked about exhibition is on at the V&A until 4th November 2018. If you have not been yet I would urge you to make time to see it. 

How do you know which contractor to use? Part 3 - Interior Designer

As part of the “Choose a Contractor Series” this edition looks at Interior Designers. Why would you choose one? How do you choose the right one? What should you expect to pay an interior designer? Read on to find out everything you need to know!

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How do you know which Contractor to choose - Part 2 Structural Engineer

Structural engineers need to understand and calculate the stability, strength and rigidity of buildings. Where an Architect would devise the best design possible for a space, the structural engineer will work out how to construct it from a technical point of view.

For this reason, it is very common to find architects and structural engineers working together closely. No point in an architect coming up with a hugely creative design if it is not structurally viable!

Architects tend to work alone for straight forward structures such as a block of flats or a simple extension to  house. However for more complex structures a structural engineer will be required to define what design elements are possible.

The structural design for a building must ensure that the building is able to stand up safely, able to function without excessive deflections or movements which may cause fatigue of structural elements, cracking or failure of fixtures, fittings or partitions, or discomfort for occupants. It must account for movements and forces due to temperature, creep, cracking and imposed loads.

For example, a client I am working with at the moment has designed a magnificent glass atrium for a residential build. The structural engineer was contracted to ascertain the beam work required to support the weight of a glass roof. His considerations included weather resistance to wind and snow, the length of the beam and support work required to ensure it did not have to withstand excessive pressures that would lead to deflections or movements. Obviously when working with large glass structures, safety and security are paramount!

It must also ensure that the design can be constructed within acceptable manufacturing tolerances of the materials. It must allow the architecture to work, and the building services to fit within the building and function (air conditioning, ventilation, smoke extract, electrics, lighting etc.). The structural design of a modern building can be extremely complex, and often requires a large team to complete.

FUN FACT!!

Leonardo Da Vinci is an artist well known for his painting "Mona Lisa". But did you know he was highly valued as an engineer in his lifetime? One of his original designs formed the basis of the design of a bridge in Norway,

 Vebjørn Sand Da Vinci Project Norway

Vebjørn Sand Da Vinci Project Norway

Coordinating a number of different contractors is time consuming and sometimes complex. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand which contractors to use for a given project. This series, aims to demystify this for you. If you feel you may benefit from project management services, I would be happy to discuss this with you! Feel free to connect with me through the contact form.

Decking - What do you need to know? (Advertorial)

With summer around the corner, us brits love nothing more than to plan a BBQ in the sunshine! If you have a lawn or a garden at home, it is a great place to relax in the afternoons and take in some sun. The one issue I hear people repeat over and over? My garden is too embarrassing to invite people over! Look I get it, if you follow me on social media you will have seen my hashtag #plantkiller. So no one understands you more than me, I mean who has the time to maintain a well kept garden??

Outdoor Decking – An ideal solution

Creating outdoor decking and decorating it with some artificial outdoor plants can offer the perfect solution and a setting for you to enjoy the warmth of the summer. The positioning of an outdoor deck can serve as an ideal and beautiful bridge between the indoor and outdoor sections of the house. With a bifold going up in almost every house renovation I see, this is a vital consideration!

Outdoor decks can boost your outdoor living area

Apart from allowing you to enjoy the sun during the summer months, an outdoor deck also allows you to provide a significant boost to your outdoor living space. There are plenty of ideas along with loads of decorative items and furniture to utilize your indoor space efficiently. However, there are very few things that you can do in order to utilize your outdoor space. An outdoor deck allows you the liberty to make use of the available space to make your life more comfortable and cozy.

Enhancing the appearance of your house

A beautifully organised and decorated garden decking can go a long way in making your house look way more beautiful than usual. Just imagine an artificial plant wall behind you while you ease down on a cozy recliner chair. Ah gorgeous isn't it? Well, the simple backdrop of such a wall can make your house exuberate an appearance that is sure to draw plenty of compliments!

My garden is too small!!

I hear you, London homes are tight on space. However you can customise your decking so it does not require oddles of space. You can simply make one according to the amount of space available, and use quality outdoor artificial trees or even real trees to make it look attractive and beautiful. You can also use all kinds of other decorations and outdoor furniture to develop the deck as per your needs and desires.

Is decking an affordable investment?

The maintenance of such decks is also low cost as most of the surface area is covered by wood or similar materials. You can reduce the cost further by using artificial landscaping around the deck. These faux plants and trees do not require any pruning or maintenance apart from a wash every now-and-then to keep them clean. This will make the installation and maintenance of your backyard deck even cheaper and affordable for you. Also, if possess the expertise and skill-sets to take care of the installation by yourself, you can reduce your expenses even further. You can easily get tree stumps for sale online or at a nearby store, and decorate the place yourself.

Important aspects to consider before installing an outdoor deck

There are a few critical aspects that you must consider before you proceed to install the outdoor deck. After all, it involves much more than simply fixing a few wooden planks in place and surrounding them with outdoor artificial plants. So, it is important to make these considerations before getting to the job as it will help you get the job done properly.

Some of these important considerations include:

·        Selection of the location: This is the first (and probably one of the most important) thing to do when installing an outdoor deck at your home. After all, your outdoor deck will become a hotspot in your house. Hence, it is important that you set aside a popular space in your house for the purpose. Moreover, it must also be accessed easily from the inside of your house, most importantly the living room or the family room. This will allow your whole family to use the deck to rest and relax without getting in the way of each other.

·        The size of the deck: You will need to consider the size of the deck you wish to install in your backyard. You might want to make it large in order to accommodate every member of your family at the same time. However, you might also have to consider the size of your backyard for this. If you do not have a particularly large backyard, a huge deck might completely cover your entire backyard.

At the same time, you do not want it to be so small as to lose its prominence in your backyard. It should just be of the perfect size to stand out against the backdrop of your house.

Alternative furniture ideas: Instead of the usual (and sometimes boring) furniture and decorations, try to use alternative and exciting decorations and furniture to spice up the appearance of the place. You could use a fake tree trunk simply for decoration or use it as a stool to sit on. The use of such ideas will make the place look creative and beautiful while not allowing the furniture and decorations to cramp up space.

There are plenty of ideas that you can use to create and decorate an outdoor deck for your use. The ideal thing to do would be to get professional help with the installation. However, if you possess DIY skills, you could well get the job done on your own. So, go ahead and install one in your backyard to bathe in the sun this summer.

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Beds for the future? Exciting News!

Are you a Landlord with one or more properties? Are you responsible for staging the property for potential buyers? Do you need to provide furnished properties? If you are looking to make eco-friendly decisions on your furniture, you need to read this!

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