London! The Source for Design Inspiration

There's nothing like a little travel to motivate our inner designer. Whilst away on holiday, I had the chance to see London in all of its holiday glory. Come along for a private peek into some of the sites and sounds I came across on my travels...

Since we stayed on the west side of town, our first stop was Liberty, an institution in the UK. Each level was filled with beautiful objects, inspiring and inciting, expertly layered to delight the senses with scale and sparkle. True to form, the Brits do style with just a hint of humor.

Our next stop was Kate Spade. I love the kelly green desk chair and the gallery wall in the office display. Another huge hit was the large floral wallpaper in the stairwell. Almost every pub we came across showed botanical prints- whether juxtaposed with traditional chandeliers, or modernized with bronze glowing Kenneth Weingard'esk starburst lights, it's hard to go wrong when adding this dramatic statement.

The folks in Graham & Green couldn't have been nicer! Their vintage- inspired shop was stocked with lovely little gems. Metal and Mirrors and ivory-inlay furniture mixed with linen displayed their eclectic, timeless style.

We hit Portobello Road for some shopping (oops!) and to check out the local art scene. A little like the Mission in SF, Portobello had loads of antiques, local shops, galleries, great restaraunts and colorful graffiti. We especially loved the gallery Graffik, hawking urban graffiti for the discerning connoisseur. We were equally inspired by Atom Rooms' beautiful photographs lining the street. When you're ready to eat, head over to Soho Houses' Pizza East. The interior design is effortless and the food is exceptional.

Last but certainly not least, we really came to London to meet up with some of our friends. They graciously took us in providing us with not only shelter but additional design inspiration. My friend Angela's shabby-chic flat provided endless design possibilities and showed once again, that it doesn't take a lot to make a big impact. Her vintage mirrored chest and crystal chandelier- show both panache and restraint.

Not known for its sun, Londoners seek access to light & nature and bring the outside in however they can. Our friends Katy and Robbie extended their house by enclosing their dining area in glass. This well-insulated atrium warms the soul, regardless of the weather outside. Their open plan takes a page from industrial kitchens with its racks for pots & pans and utensils. I love how the color-break with this subway tile elongates the space. It reflects a style that is both fresh and timeless, just like Katy and Robbie.

Filled to the brim with ideas, and happy to have returned to some sun of my own, I celebrate the newness that comes with this season of growth. -Here's to reigning in the new year with beauty and delight, gathering inspiration from all around. Three Cheers to London, for showing us a roaring good time and Three Cheers to good design, for keeping the creative juices flowing! Drink deeply my friends, drink.