Monday, 27 July 2015

THE NEW CRAFTSMEN SHOP IN MAYFAIR, LONDON

A few weeks ago I finally made to The New Craftsmen shop, a place I have been meaning to visit for a long time. What a beautiful and well curated space this is, dedicated to showcase high quality craft from British makers. They represent a network of makers, showing their work, skills and processes. I think it is very refreshing to see a place/gallery such as this, where people can appreciate and buy handmade sustainable products.

As a designer/maker myself I am tired of constantly being presented by high street brands with version/copies of our products being mass produced to target a much wider audience. I am not naive to think that everybody, (including myself) have the spare budget to purchase these gorgeous but rather expensive products; but I wish we all made a more conscious decision when purchasing things. The realisation that less is better, and that buying handmade products by independent designer/makers is more sustainable in a long term. I rather save and save to get a piece that I really love, and I know I will treasure for ever, than buying cheaper similar options.


The New Craftsmen shop is a gorgeous shop, well worth a visit. A very inspiring space, surely you will fall in love with many of the things on display. Here are some of my favorites pieces.
(Photos by thenewcraftsmen)

Monday, 13 July 2015

SEVEN SISTERS CLIFFS WALK AND A FITNESS CHALLENGE

Las Saturday I joined a nice group of people and headed to the East Sussex coast. The plan was to walk from Seaford to Eastbourne along the Seven Sisters cliffs. The total walk is 14 miles, and I must admit that I struggled a bit, specially some of the paths, going down the hills is not my favorite thing to do…but we all managed the walk well and arrived to Eastbourne, where a nice fish and chips was awaiting for us.
We took the train from Clapham Junction to Seaford, and then started to walk towards the cliffs. We first stopped at Exceat for lunch (there is a pub you can sit outside). and later on stopped at the Birling Gap (national Trust). A very nice place for resting, enjoying the beach/sun, and some nice cream tea. Oh yeah that break/stop was much needed, by them my legs were quite sore…You can also take a bus from there to Eastbourne, as there are around another 6 miles to finish the walk.
This was a tough walk (lots of up and down hills), but I am glad I went along, as the landscape is impressive and I really enjoyed the nature, scenery and fresh air very much –things you need when living in a big city, such as London. The weather was perfect, (very windy, but you actually appreciate it on a very sunny day), and the company was great! 

Get outside and explore the world, discover new places and do things you really like and enjoy. Life is more than just paying the bills! Thanks Lynne for inviting me along, where do we go next?
Photos by me

Monday, 6 July 2015

Black and White children's room decor inspiration | NEW chocolate creative's products

It has been a while since I last posted in here, back in April. I have been a bit slow in coming up with new designs and updating the website, marketing etc…but now that I have gained some more energy, I am hoping to get back on track and push my little business with the same passion and commitment that I used to have.

A few weeks ago, Piero (the photographer) and I got together to shoot some photos of the new products. I was hoping to work on a location space, but as it turned out, we did it at my house, meaning, reduced space, a good decent floor, (my house has an ugly laminated floor), and other lack of resources.
 
As a small independent designer I can only work/launch a small number of products per season. If I only told you how much work, resources and money are involved in doing so…you will understand. 

So the NEW products are all hand-made in Spain, by a small team of two brothers Gassy and Artemi. I design and work closely with Gassy on developing my ideas that later on they will produce and ship to London and all over the world. The result is a small production that is sustainable and quite unique. The NEW wall shelves, paper clip magnets and wall hooks are now available in my shop online. For the gorgeous knit knit grey duvet cover, please head over to Room 39 website, as well as for the small town cushion from Roddy & Ginger for prices and stock.



Wooden pencil holder £32 | Landscape lampshade £65 | Knit Knit duvet by Room 39 from £24 
Moon wall hook £16 | Small town cushion by Roddy & Ginger £35 
Cat paper clip magnet £18 | Wall shelves £22 | Wall hooks £15/£16

I styled a Black & White theme for this children’s room idea. You can create this eclectic look by mixing different patterns, and furniture pieces, like the ercol side table with the more vintage children’s chair. You can unify the style by reducing the colour palette to the same tones, in this case neutrals and the use of wood to add some warmth to an otherwise rather cold and minimalist look.

When it comes to my home, I follow my heart, I don’t do rules, only what feels right for me and my space, the above are only suggestions based on my personal taste. I believe that there is not right or wrong when it comes to decorating your own personal space!!
Photos by Piero Pierini | Styling Margarita Lorenzo | Props Roddy & Ginger

Thursday, 23 April 2015

CHOCOLATE CREATIVE WALL HOOKS – NOCHINTZ

At chocolate creative, we work alongside some very nice architect and design/interior firms. Over the years, we have created some bespoke orders for various nurseries, schools, hotels, and have worked closely with clients to make on demand colours and sizes wooden knobs for their kitchens.
We will be soon launching a wider bespoke service. I am developing together with Gassy some very nice big format wooden handles and knobs, to be used in wardrobes, fitted cabinets, etc…One of my favourites firms to work with is the creative studio, Nochintz, up in Manchester. They have been using our wooden wall hooks and knobs for different projects. I like their approach to design, using and supporting UK based independent designers/makers and keeping their interiors fresh, contemporary and functional.
Their portfolio is diverse and impressive, here are some images of the work they did for the Natural retreats company and a recent Hotel exhibition in London, on both you can see chocolate creative wall hooks being used in a very practical and creative way.
Photos supplied by NoChintz

Monday, 20 April 2015

BACK TO BASICS – LA CASA EN RUINAS

Lanzarote is the land of wind, sun and volcanos, rough, simple, peaceful and incredibly beautiful. Yesterday I was browsing AD online, and I came across this house "Esta casa es una ruina" (this is house is in ruins), and I immediately thought it was in Lanzarote, but no, its in the Azores islands, not far from us (Canary islands) though. I was so taken by its simplicity and beauty, what an amazing restoration job the architects and owners have done to this ruined forgotten house. It has always been a dream of mine to retire to my islands and get involved in a similar project. New buildings do not interest me as much as these old houses build to last and using local materials, still standing proudly after so many years…
Images above from Revista AD online, project renovations by SAMI Arquitectos



Terrarium by London Terrariums
Photos of Cesar Manrique House and Foundation in Lanzarote

Thursday, 16 April 2015

DECORATING A BEACH HUT

SUN is out, and all I can think of is spending some time by the beach, either here in England or back home in Gran Canaria. I fancy the idea of having a beach hut, somewhere not far from London, with an easy commute, of course this is not going to happen any time soon, but since I am free to dream, I have put together some mood boards for my future beach hut.


I find the colourful beach huts of the English coastline very charming, (we don't have them in Canary islands), they are like a miniature house, with very little space, so you have to be very creative to create a cosy and comfortable mini home. I like the idea of translating the outside colours into the indoors theme, using the faded pastels or sometimes bright reds, blues and yellows as the colour palette to decorate the inside space. In my beach hut, I would part away from the most obvious coastal look, and I will try some bold, pretty and colourful homewares, I will find practical solutions, like modern plastic chairs for the outdoor, plenty of wall hooks for hanging towels, kitchen-ware, clothes, etc…cosy blankets, cushions, and small and functional furniture, with plenty of storage. Do you own a beach hut? if so, where about?



Hand dyed linens by Hazel Stark 

Photos by me 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

A YEAR OF SEW MUCH FUN – SELF PUBLISHING

My background is in graphics, so as well as running chocolate creative I do work on a freelance basis for some customers. Last year I had the opportunity to work on a very nice project, a book about sewing for entrepreneur Roz Davies. She wanted to self-published her first publication. She had a very clear idea about what she wanted to achieve in terms of content and projects/ideas, but in order to make the book happen she needed to gather a small group of professionals, in this case, Roz herself was incharge of the content/drawings, Emily Ross-Joannou was the editor, Piero Pierini took the photos and myself did all the styling, design/production of the book.
I am thrilled with the final result, a gorgeous book, filled with practical and easy to follow instructions about different sewing projects, suitable for all ages. The projects run across the 12 months of the year, going from Winter/Autumn to Spring/summer themes. You can find Roz, teaching her many classes from her shop at Primrose Hill’s Chalcot Road, or at the Lake District new shop/workshop space. 

Here are some snaps of the cover and inside spreads. Styling the photos was a great fun, and designing the book a great pleasure, specially working with such a good team of professionals, which I am very grateful to for making my job easier…

We are available for work, so if you need an editor, photographer and designer, we are around!!
Photos by Piero Pierini | Images and book copyright Roz Davies | Editorial by Emily Ross-Johannou
Design and styling by Margarita Lorenzo (ME)

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Here are some snaps of my recent trip to Rye, very short and indeed cold visit to this little town in East Sussex. I love the English countryside, and discovering all these little towns and villages, they are very pretty and still maintain much of the character of the period when they were created. Rye is famous for its antiques shops, Tudor architecture and Nature reserve. I enjoyed the short visit, but I wish the weather would have been warmer and sunnier and that we had a few more days to explore the area. I liked getting lost in the narrow streets, admiring the old houses and little shops.
The highlight was the very windy and chilly walk in Rye harbour, and see this little pink and black shed in the middle of nowhere.
I am planning my next escape to the countryside…A good piece of advice, research well the trains, it took us a good 3 hours to get there from London, best way is to jump on the fast train from St Pancras, or travel from Victoria Station, oh, and don't forget your scarf, hat, gloves and rain coat, you can never predict the English weather…
Photos by me | Rye

THE NEW CRAFTSMEN SHOP IN MAYFAIR, LONDON

SEVEN SISTERS CLIFFS WALK AND A FITNESS CHALLENGE

Black and White children's room decor inspiration | NEW chocolate creative's products

CHOCOLATE CREATIVE WALL HOOKS – NOCHINTZ

BACK TO BASICS – LA CASA EN RUINAS

DECORATING A BEACH HUT

A YEAR OF SEW MUCH FUN – SELF PUBLISHING

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