Currently viewing the category: "Inspiration"

Well, here we are–at the end of this week long experiment of taking one topic, British Influence, and looking at some of its various facets, from notable designers to icons to film and retail. What do you think? It’s a ton more work for me, but it’s satisfying in a new kind of way to wade hip-deep into one idea. And this final post looks at Sherlock Holmes and his more recent media incarnations–and, more specifically, the representations of his abode in those shows. I originally thought I’d include the Guy Richie led films in this post, but, honestly, I’m much more interested in the modernized Holmeses, Sherlock from BBC/PBS and CBS’s Elementary, so those shows will be my focus today.

Sherlock

Sherlock as imagined by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss for BBC. | japanesetrash.com

Is there anyone who has seen Benedict Cumberbatch’s embodiment of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s interpretation of Sherlock Holmes and not instantly been captured by it? This seems to be one of those shows that cuts across all boundaries and, because it’s so smart and engaging, has created fans from all walks of life. When it comes to interiors, the default feeling is moody mixed with creative–a spray-paint smiley face on flocked wallpaper; a 3D art piece–which provides a ton of visual interest while keeping an appropriate level of tension. Here is the central image from the set:

The most well-known wall on the Sherlock set. | japanesetrash.com

On the right edge of the above shot, you can see “Mr Blue Skull”, an original piece by British artist John Pinkerton who describes it here:

The piece itself is actually two skulls, a black one painted onto a blue marbled background on cut plywood and a silver one (silver leaf) on cut perspex placed slightly above. Four bolts separate the two sections making it a bugger to clean!

He produced a limited (221-piece) edition that quickly sold out; here’s what that looked like:

"Mr Blue Skull" by John Pinkerton. | japanesetrash.com

Elementary

Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Holmes and Watson. | japanesetrash.com

Relocated to NYC and starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu as Holmes and Watson, Elementary is CBS’s take on Sherlock Holmes as a Brit in the US. Strangely enough, it works–which I think is primarily due to the good work and interesting chemistry between the two leads. Their primary set is a brownstone that serves as both home and office, and it contains a mix of both off-the-curb found pieces and mid-century modern classics like this Womb Chair:

A shooting target & a Womb Chair on the Elementary set. | japanesetrash.com

Along with Tolomeo Lamps, various Eames chairs, and at least one Saarinen Executive Armchair, the set contains a Strut table and Mouille lamp:

A Mouille lamp and the Strut table share the spotlight on Elementary. | japanesetrash.com

I’m pretty sure Abigail Ahern never succumbed to the Keep Calm and Carry On craze back in the day. (Edit: Okay, I’m partially right; you’ll see her unique version of “Keep Calm” in the images below.) Instead, she is the British interior designer who conquered the world–or at least the internet design world–with her dark rooms, bright touches, and a wire chandelier. Earlier this year, The Telegraph listed Ahern as one of the 10 most influential female British interior designers (along with international design stars like Tricia Guild and Kelly Hoppen). Taking a look at her portfolio, it’s easy to see how she landed on that list:

Too Much is Great

Abigail Ahern House Tour on Japanese Trash | japanesetrash.com

Abigail Ahern House Tour on Japanese Trash | japanesetrash.com

Abigail Ahern House Tour on Japanese Trash | japanesetrash.com

Abigail Ahern House Tour on Japanese Trash | japanesetrash.com

Abigail Ahern House Tour on Japanese Trash | japanesetrash.com

Abigail Ahern House Tour on Japanese Trash | japanesetrash.com

Abigail Ahern House Tour on Japanese Trash | japanesetrash.com

Abigail Ahern House Tour on Japanese Trash | japanesetrash.com

As these pictures–all by her husband, photographer Graham Atkins-Hughes, taken from their book, Decorating with Style–show, Ahern seems to go by the philosophy “if a lot is good, too much is great.” She has said she advocates having three focal points in each space so the eye will continually move and find something new. She clearly practices what she preaches. Dark walls, rich colors, tons of stuff–and it all works. I’d ditch the (artificial–she sells them in her shop) flowers and thin the herd of accessories, but the overall aesthetic is terrific.

Hot Pink

Portfolio: Abigail Ahern | japanesetrash.com

Portfolio: Abigail Ahern | japanesetrash.com

Portfolio: Abigail Ahern | japanesetrash.com

Portfolio: Abigail Ahern | japanesetrash.com

Portfolio: Abigail Ahern | japanesetrash.com

Portfolio: Abigail Ahern | japanesetrash.com

Let it first be known that “hot pink” is something I never thought I’d be typing on Japanese Trash.

Ahern’s previous book, A Girl’s Guide to Decorating, featured her sister Gemma’s home; that’s where these photos–again by Abigail’s husband, Graham Atkins-Hughes–come from. They show her signature dark paint treatments and use of hot pink accents. One of her design tips is to paint shelves the same color as the surrounding walls, and you can see she’s done that in these rooms. I really like the kitchen with those deep blues.

Keep Calm…

Abigail Ahern's take on "Keep Calm". | japanesetrash.com

And here it is… By the way, if you like this style, you should follow Abigail Ahern on Pinterest.

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