Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Interview with Robin Philip Guest of 'Haus of Taylor-Guest'

I asked an Interior Designer that i admire, Robin Philip Guest of 'Haus of Taylor Guest' if i could interview him the other day as I hoped that you would be interested, as i surely am, to hear things from a designer's perspective. So, grab a coffee and hope you enjoy!

My first question to Robin was "Why did you become an Interior Designer?"

Robin: "I'm not sure really. It's always been a thing I've had in the back of my mind. When I was younger, my family moved around a lot, which meant a lot of houses. I guess from there I've always had a thing for it. It became a real thing last year, when I decided that I was tired of hospitality and wanted to make a change. I had just moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend and we decided together that we wanted a perfect home. Something stylish and beautiful. So I began work that way. Soon after I found a course with the National Design Academy and started my diploma. The rest is history, as they say!".
Hilda by Design : " Who/What are you influences/Inspirations? "
Robin: "I have a few. I love, love, love Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen! He's a real idol of mine. Along with Julien Macdonald and Barbara Hulanicki. They helped to shape my style and I loved their work so that's who I tend to look to for ideas. Oddly, my first inspiration was Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas! It was dark and moody but effortlessly elegant and classic. It had everything we loved all in a little roomI use a lot of history in my work. I love rococo and art deco. It's all beautiful and I'd love to see it more"
HBD: Describe the style/ethos of 'Haus of Taylor-Guest
Robin: I guess it's a hard one to explain. I like to think it's quite unique? You'll find a mix of everything but it all works so well together. You'll find historical elements mixed with modern touches. I love using a variety of materials from glass to velvet to silk and cotton. I guess what I try to make is something you want get anywhere else. Your home is a place where you should be able to relax and live in perfect harmony. I design my work to give people a home which is an escape from their world. They walk in and they could be anywhere in the world, anywhere they want to be. They can forget about work and forget about whats troubling them and be able to just disappear in luxury.
HBD: What's Hot/On Trend in Interiors right now?
Robin: Design changes ever so quickly, even i can struggle to keep up! Brass is having a very good year, as is cut glass. Florals are back with watercolor designs and there a touch of nautical. It's a good year for interesting designs! I tend to step back from whats on trend however. I feel that, by following too closely to whats hot now, you'll have an outdated home within a year, and who want's that? So my advice, stick to what you know, stick to what has been proven time and time again to be a great piece. If you want to go on trend, by all means go for it, but make sure it's something you can easily change out when it loses it's edge.
HBD: Looking forward to the next 12 months, What does success look like?
Robin: As you know, I have a very busy personal year ahead, with a wedding to plan! But with work, I'm feeling good about where I am at the moment. I'm still studying which is keeping me busy. I'll be moving to a new home in June so we have a whole new place to work on (which i'm beyond excited about!). I just want to keep working, practicing the trade I'm still growing in and finding amazing people who do the same. It's a great time to be in this market so I'm going to enjoy every minute of it!

Many Thanks to Robin for his time and I wish him every success for the future! The link to his website is below:

Friday, 18 April 2014

Visit to the Japanese Gardens and National Stud,Co. Kildare, Ireland

Anyone who knows me well, will know about my love for Japan and pretty much all things Asian! But particularly Japanese Design, Art and Customs interest me. I have never been but it is most definitely a country on my wish list! Yesterday was a family day and we decided to bring the kids to the Japanese Gardens and National Stud in Co. Kildare, Ireland. I think that I can trace back the love for Japan to when I was brought there as a kid but this trip, although it was most definitely a family trip, was also made with my 'design hat' on! Even the simple entrance had me sighing: with it's simple circular handles and red doors. Just inside at the reception, some pretty botanicals caught my eye: simple roman blinds, a green sofa, some cute cushions and a beautiful map on the wall. St. Fiachra's Monastic cell could have done with a bit of a revamp! Hee! The beautiful wooden sculptures of animals that were dotted around the stud may be made from driftwood? And that leads me to the Japanese gardens themselves: They chronicle the life of man and you are greeted at first with signs, asking you which path you would like to take. I took the Path of Life of course! The Bridge of life is striking in the middle of the garden, but the Tea House was always my favourite. I really hope to take part in a Japanese Tea Ceremony someday. I love the simplicity of design, don't you? As the blossoms are in full bloom at the moment, the view towards the Ancient Sunken Oak Forest in the Lake was really beautiful, and it's there I'll leave you this morning. Hope you enjoyed a little taste of Japan from Ireland xx

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

1st attempt at Chalk Paint!

Well, after an epic fail to get a blog post up yesterday, I thought I'd give it another shot with my first experience of using Chalk Paint! When I started the Facebook page, Hilda by Design, I brought along a nondescript mug tree to one of my favourite Interior Stores nearby: Haven Interiors, Raheny, Dublin. I also brought along one of my favourite Orla Kiely mugs as there were plenty of colours to choose from, to try and 'match it up'. The lovely Michelle helped me look through their beautiful range of Spanish company Autentico's range and we chose 'Nautique'. Not an exact match for the more duck egg blue that was on the mug, but, in hindsight, I'm happy it doesn't match. So, 'Helpful Hints' sheet in hand, put together by Michelle, I was ready. Well, almost. I bought Sugar Soap wipes at my local Crown Paints store and Varnish at Homebase. Actually, the SECOND tin of Varnish was bought there as I wasn't happy with the possible finish that a Satin varnish may give me so I went for a Clear Matt instead. The idea being that I didn't loose the lovely texture of the chalk paint. I did loose some. I gave the mug tree 2 coats, using the Autentico brush I had bought from Michelle and saved a cheaper brush for the Varnish. Her hints were great: things like, leaving the tin of paint upside down for at least 20 minutes beforehand and wrapping up the brush in cling film to keep it wet. I varnished a few days later, simply 'cos I couldn't do it before then but i was really pleased with the results! I love the colourful mugs with the now, much less boring, mug tree! So, now I'm hooked. I salvaged an old garden chair the other evening so that's the next project! Catch you soon, I hope. In the meantime, you can follow me at 'Hilda by Design' if all things Interiors are your thing xx