The Recent Ones

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The Londoner | Ten ways to save money in London while being creative

London is an expensive city. A lonely city. A polluted city. Yet it's also vibrant, loving and full of life wherever you go. You have to have a certain personality to withstand the heat but once you've cracked it, it's not easy to ever let the Big Smoke go. I've been here 8 years now and I still can't manage to be away for too long.

Since starting blogging 18 months ago alongside taking a pretty hefty multiple grand pay-cut, I've learnt to save my money and make it go further than ever. Yet somehow my quality of life is better than it's ever been before, minus the expensive clothes and unnecessary stationery splurges. I've learnt to make the best out of any situation and find fun in the heart of the city. Rather than spending all my money on beer - which don't get me wrong, is also fun too - I instead embrace more sober nights and seize the day with plenty of walks and cultural expeditions. Want to know my story and some of my methods for watching those finances? Keep on readin' for those dollar saving tips.

Walk everywhere

Walking is good for the soul AND the bank balance. I've completely and utterly learnt to ignore my body's will to be lazy and instead taught it to enjoy using those little things we like to call legs. Why pay for a gym membership when you can get fit and actually see that beautiful city you like to call home? Amazing street art, inspiring architecture and the characters of London are all waiting to be found. These things can't normally be located via the tube. It's time to look up, get walking and try not to spend all your money on shoes instead. 

Pick the FREE exhibitions

While many of the paid exhibitions are absolutely incredible in London, they are quite often very pricey due to the size and investment that's gone into them. Of course we need to support the arts, but when you're on a budget it's not always possible. Don't fret, for their are SO many incredible galleries in London that offer free exhibitions with both upcoming and established artists alike. Try spaces like Jealous, Stolen Space Gallery, Protein Studios and Nahmad Projects, while of course the V&A and Saatchi galleries are also predominantly free of charge for your use. This is why I love London. 

Explore new areas

Going back to those walking vibes, London is a huge city and not many of us can say that we've been everywhere. There's nothing better to spark inspiration than a wander around a new place - who knows what you might find? Try and explore the outskirts. There's some places in Zone 3 and 4 that are reminiscent of villages and provide some much needed respite from the hustle and bustle of central. Here's looking at you Snaresbrook, Blackheath, Charlton...

Get on those mailing lists

Now, we all bloody hate a mailing list. So why am I recommending this? Well. Firstly. I'm not talking about those mass brand, sales, sales, sales emails. I'm talking about independent magazines, small London boutiques and the little art galleries. Quite often these places host events and guess what? Everyone on their mailing list gets invited. These normally provide free booze, a great exhibition or product launch and an endless room of networking opportunities. So what are you waiting for?  Get subscribing! 

Get some fresh air

Waking? Again? Really? Not exactly. This time I'm talking about Londons wonderful abundance of parks. From Regents Park to Greenwich's Royal Observatory Grounds, there's beautiful scenery to simply sit and take in. Better yet, grab your sketch book and whisk the afternoon away in solitude or with friends.

Offer your services

While you might think this isn't going to save you money, you better believe it will when you need it to. Think about your skills and how you can exchange these with someone who will be of use to you in exchange. For example, you're a kickass copywriter but you need help with your website. Ditch the excessive developer fees and find someone that needs the words to go in their own portfolio. Make an exchange. Enough said. 

Get networking

Following on from the above, it's literally all about networking. People inspire creativity and the more you meet, the more likely you are to potentially meet your future business partner or fellow collaborator. Again while this isn't technically a way to save money directly, the majority of these kinds of events are always free, sometimes offer beverages and food and will distract you from spending money elsewhere. Try the likes of Google Campus, General Assembly and Ace Hotel for regular creative talks programmes. 

Go sober

Okay, so I honestly don't mean to advise you to go completely sober, but booze is one of the main expenses for Londoners and is it really worth it? This year I've been making more of an effort to be engaged in my nights out and while I still definitely have a cheeky whisky on most soirees, I  definitely don't go overboard. I've saved a mass of money from doing this as well as got to laugh at a lot of drunk people and have a clear head in the morning. Being creative is all about being proactive remember? 

Work for free or really, really cheap.

This one won't apply to everyone, and I don't mean to literally work for someone else for free. However, if you're a freelancer or have a small business, don't whittle away your money on a fancy office space when there are plenty of areas in London that you can work for free and a crazy amount of office spaces where you can work from as little as £50 a month. I'm working on a post for the best places to work, so stay tuned!

Start writing

While I'd never advise starting a blog for money or other related perks, I'd certainly advise writing one to make you have a strong focus and genuinely keep you occupied for a lot of hours. If you're truly passionate about something, write about it and who knows what will come from it. I've seen blogging have a massively positive impact on my quality of life, from the people that surround me to the amazing opportunities that present those who put a lot of effort and passion in. 

What are your top tips for saving money in a major city? I'd like to know. Go on, leave us a comment, you know you want to...

Saturday, 1 April 2017

The EJP Abode | The Bedroom Edit

It's only one week until we move into the new abode and while I'm well and truly pumped to have an amazing new space, I'm also dreading the week ahead. We officially get the new keys to our pad on Monday but what with Milan Design Week we won't actually be moving ourselves in until the 8th. You know when something you're excited about gets in the way with something you're even more excited about? Looks like I'm going to be needing a bed imminently...

On that note it's probably time to kick of the interior takeover around here and get started on sharing some of my inspiration and the products I'm lusting after. While we've touched base on my love of homeware before, I've never really focused on it too much - mainly due to the those little perks of renting a.k.a magnolia walls and brown carpets. Thankfully someone in the property world took pity on us (anyone ever tried renting with a pooch?) and decided to let us rent their beautiful home, complete with roll top bath, huge windows and wooden flooring. It was literally my dream home when I found it, so I can't quite believe we managed to out-do all the other interested parties, and it's now going to be somewhere to call home. I hope that you're ready for a few changes around here - who knows where it's gonna lead? 

The need for immediate zzz's has got me thinking about the haven of sleep and I know this will be the first room to be ready. For the last two and a half years my bedroom has essentially acted as my office, dining room and lounge so I can't even tell you how excited I am to design a space exclusively for sleep - no laptops allowed. 

Linen bedsheets, wood detailing and industrial vibes will all be prevalent in my new boudoir. I want texture galore with a little bit of graphic input from carefully selected cushions and rugs. I've explained previously that my colourful aesthetic doesn't come across too much in my home but with the bedroom already painted in a Petrol Blue shade, there's going to be a pretty bold colour choice on the wall and room for a lot of greenery too. Shop some of my shortlist below and don't forget to pop back for the big reveal!

The Bed


1 // Bohemian Birch Bed | IKEA | £195.  2 // Simple slatted Bedframe | Ikea | £109.  
3 // Brushed Brass Bed | | £399.  4 // Industrial Reclaimed Wood Bed | West Elm | £999  5 // Woven Platfrom Bed | Urban Outfitters | £850

The Side Table

1 // Graphic Black and White Pouffe | Maisons du Monde | £86.29.  2 // Hammered Metal Side Table | Urban Outfitters | £65.  3 // Graphic Wire Side Table | Maisons du Monde | £35.99.  
4 // Industrial Geometric Side Table | Swoon Editions | £129.  5 // Rose Gold Hammered Side Table | Habitat | £130.

The Lighting

1 // Tubular Industrial Floor Lamp by Heals | Amara | £185.  2 // Black & Brass Task Lamp | West Elm | £199
3 // Muted Grey and Brass Tripod Lamp | | £199. 
4 // Copper Floor Lamp | Habitat | £195.  5 // The Original Task Lamp | Anglepoise | £200

The Storage Solutions

1 // Blue Seagrass Laundry Basket | Habitat | £100.  2 // Heavy Duty Wire Rack Storage | Loaf | £95.   3 // Copper Valet Stand | | £299.  
4 // Distressed Industrial Chest of Drawers | Dunelm | £275.  5 // Distressed French Neoclassical Drawers | | £279

So there we have it. Not everything has been purchased just yet so please do offer me feedback - all opinions welcome. Like what you see? Why not come and visit my Pinterest for more interior inspiration? Of course you're also welcome back here anytime.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Milan Edit | Milan Design Week 2017 Preview

With Milan Design Week fast approaching and a ton of preparation to be done on my end, I'm skilfully mapping out my destinations via a tiny little preview post - for both my own sanity and perhaps to help a few others plan out their own week too. The press releases have been scoured, the invites have been researched and the world wide web has been searched. All that's left to do is head to Bar Basso and get the hell on it with trend spotting and designer hunting. You can join me too via my Instagram or by coming back after all the fun for a full update. Grazie!

Apartamento Eley Kishimoto for Kirkby Design

London print and fashion studio Eley Kishimoto have joined forces with interiors brand Kirkby Design (remember that iconic designjunction sofa?) to explore their shared passion for pattern and make all my dreams come true. This coalition of geometric lovers will result in a five room apartment in Brera covered in a collaborative collection of fabrics and wall coverings that will be sure to hurt your eyes. When two of your favourite brands collide - all I can say is - yes, yes, yes! 

Via Palermo 1 | Planta 2 | 20121 Milan

Ten years of Lee Broom

It wouldn't be a design festival without Mr Broom making an appearance and MDW marks ten years of the award-winning British furniture and lighting designer. To celebrate, Broom will be taking over a vault in historic Milano Centrale train station, unveiling his landmark tenth anniversary collection entitled ‘TIME MACHINE’. The installation will feature an edit of furniture, lighting and accessories from Broom’s ten-year career, all re-imagined in a completely white colour palette to bring about a sense of uniformity and purity. You never know fully what to expect from a Lee Broom installation but this one looks to delve even further into conceptual design and I'm sure we can expect a completely immersive and jaw-dropping experience.

Ventura Centrale | Via Ferrante Aporti 17 | 20125 Milano

A multi-sensory experience with Cos + Swine Studio

Cos installations are continually inspiring and imaginative and this year looks set to be no different with the fashion brand collaborating with interdisciplinary designers, Swine Studio. Set at the cinema arti, an inactive 1930s theatre built by Italian architect Mario Cereghini, the installation aims to reflect optimism and renewal for the new year. Entitled ‘new spring’, we can hope to see a sensory exhibition, challenging current cultural issues, while bringing positive and joyful thoughts and memories. From the imagery above, it also looks like we can expect to see the incredible play on light and dark from previous Cos exhibitions - hooray!

Cinema Arti | Via Pietro Mascagni 8 | 20122 Milano | Italy 

Everything is Connected

I was in awe of Norway's 'Structure' exhibition last year and I still have the A1 poster proudly framed to prove it. Returning to Milan, Norway presents 'Everything is Connected', a craft and design showcase that will present 30 of the most exciting designers the country has to offer via their prototypes, new concepts and designs from furniture to textiles to lighting, ceramics and glassware. Curated by Katrin Greiling, Everything is Connected aims to paint a creative portrait of a country, telling the story of craft and design from concept to creation, and exploring how geography, education, material resources and production networks all play their part in shaping the products a designer or craftsperson conceives. The beautiful matchbox from Sara Polmar (above) giving just a small indication of the craftsmanship you can expect.

6 Via Ventura | Ventura Lambrate | Milan

Mystical Solace by de Allegri and Fogale

Designed by De Allegri and Fogale, 'Mystical Solace' has been created in collaboration with Casone in the spaces of Dome Interior Milano — the atelier dedicated to interior design and architecture. The installation, completely contained within a triangle structure, gathers forms and symbols and allows visitors to cross a threshold into heart of commercial Milan. Of course I was immediately struck by the geometric nature of the installation and from the tagline of 'finding comfort in the metaphysical during times of great distress', I'm sure theres something even more magical to it in person.

Dome Interior Milano | via San Marco 1 | Milano

IKEA Let´s make room for life Festival in Lambrate

Lambrate is by far my favourite of the design districts thanks to how it champions young designers and manages to look effortlessly cool all at the same time. With IKEA now focused on upping their involvement in the design world it seems like the perfect area for them to make a temporary home. In a warehouse in the heart of the young and vibrant district, the Scandinavian brand will show some of their ongoing and new collaborations, six new collections alongside an energetic mix of workshops, installations, interviews, music, live prototyping and happenings. Be sure to check out their collaboration with Tom Dixon too!

Officina Ventura 14 | Lambrate | Milan 

Refin Ceramiche x Studio Pepe

If you're knocking around Brera then be sure to pay a visit to Refin Stufio, the recently discovered prestigious spaces designed by Studio Sottsass in the early 90s, which Refin Ceramiche have taken over. Launching their new Twist collection, patterns and geometries are the centre of attention (yes please!) and the collection and staging were designed by Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara di Pinto, creative directors of the incredible Studiopepe. From taking a look at early imagery, this looks set to be one for the abstract lovers and those that like a pit of pattern in more of a muted colour palette.

REFIN STUDIO | Via Melone 2, | Milano

Nomadic design from Natalia Geci

It will be my first time heading to the fair in Milan and while I'm certainly under the impression I'm going to be somewhat overwhelmed, I'm looking forward to scouting out trends. One of the emerging designers I'll most certainly be keeping an eye on is Natalia Geci whom has just launched a nomadic desk that users can dismantle and pop straight into a bag for travelling, moving home or just going on a creative adventure. Keep your eyes peeled for her Marie Kondo-inspired structures popping up at the Argentinian stand. 

Hall 8, Stand E41 | Salone Internazionale del Mobile

Got something you want me to see? Drop me an email. All imagery courtesy of respective brands or PRs.
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