I wonder if you have noticed but the blog has a new look!

The Beat That My Heart Skipped has come a long way since its amateur but much loved WordPress incarnation which started over here in 2007, highly un-designed but I think quite evocative as is often the case with unaffected beginnings. We are still working on a few tweaks with this new design, but I hope you will find it simpler both to look at and use. There will also be some other changes upcoming in the summer so watch this space!

New

Beklina

As well as becoming obsessed with conceptual ceramics, I have found myself becoming almost fanatic about highly wearable and bright [!] avant-garde jewellery. Especially these almost edible beautifully crafted offerings from Californian boutique Beklina. 

From juicy bangles made of marbled resin to gorgeous tasselled brass bangles and enamelled lockets in candy hues, I. Want. Them. All.

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Beklina

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I have written about London stylist Faye Toogood many times on my blog, I hugely admire her work and was lucky enough to have worked with her whilst I was an intern at The World Of Interiors many moons ago. She is also a lovely lady!

Over the years she has developed an amazing portfolio of projects designing interiors, retail spaces, installations and visual materials for brands like Comme des Garçons, Alexander McQueen, Opening Ceremony and Tom Dixon – she also designs her own mesmerising collections of furniture.  Faye has an ethereal style that is grounded in the past and the present, unusual materials and surprising emotive details – my favourite thing about her work is that none of her interiors are ever predictable.

And so for years I have been dying to see what her own home is like and I cannot believe I missed its appearance in the NY Times T-Magazine late last year!

Faye and her husband bought a Georgian townhouse in Islington five years ago and transformed it – in my opinion into something magical and evocative straight out of her most iconic editorial styled pages, although she describes the finished effect as “just a series of objects not purposefully put together”!

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I love the luminous Vermeer blue colours that have become her signature style, and the perfect juxtaposition of the old and super sleek new designs  which sit strikingly side by side – her compositions so effortless and always rimmed with surprise.

I love the details in her bedroom, a velvet salmon pink bolster cushion and an oversized cased glass pendant light instantly transforming a simple space. Cleverly, giant-like wooden coat hooks are used for handles in her Ikea kitchen cabinets, large expanses of mirrors fill walls in her sitting room and bedroom, a simple idea to open up a space but lending to the appearance of many wonders that may flit past the ordinary eye. Not to mention her colour coded collections of marvellous objects scattered about the place like a modern-day explorer.

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You can read the NY Times article ‘The Well-Composed Life of Faye Toogood’ here and excitingly you can also see a video tour of her home filmed in nothing short of Toogood’s irreverent style. A great read and a mesmerising watch to transport you away for a few minutes of your day.

All images courtesy of NY Times T-Magazine.

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Each season when I dive into a new trend forecast I am overtaken with a new design obsession, this season I’m all about the conceptual ceramics…

I love Los Angeles based ceramicist Ben Medansky’s sculptural pieces. Working with terracotta, Medansky’s highly usable tableware is irreverently detailed with architectural features like clay spring handles and rhythmic spike protrusions. Imperfections in glazes and a delightful half and half dip reveals slivers of tan terracotta underneath.

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Californian ceramist Giselle Hicks‘ vessels remind me of the kind found in Vermeer paintings, generous in size, beautifully crude and in darkly luminous shades. Made using a ‘coil and pinch’ technique, the mottled textures on each surface are finger prints left from the pinched forming process which is then softened by the thick, opaque glazes applied to the surface. I never thought I would be drawn to a red vase, but the one below is just perfection!

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I am obsessed with Michele Quan’s ever changing series of stoneware bells which hang from beautiful hemp rope and have knockers made from reclaimed walnut. The new ones are decorated with slick hand-painted graphic stripe patterns – how stunning are the  burnt umber coloured set?!

She has also updated her collection of surreal eye plates with irises filled with stars…

Michel-Quan

Lastly I have had my eye on the playful mugs of Recreation Centre for ages. I love the contrast of the graphic squiggle and dot patterns against the traditional glazes and pottery work. Beauties!

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You may have heard me mention that we are expecting our first baby in May. From what I gather from others in the know, it is inevitable that our lives will be turned upside down from that day and not return to anywhere far from chaos for at least 20 years! With this in mind I have spent all of January in a whirlwind of activity, tying up loose ends, getting paperwork in order and doing two years of accumulated spring cleaning in our flat.

I know that what we all love most is a good before and after project of organisation. I know I do – even to look at another person’s space going from mild chaos to organised on my computer screen leaves me with a satisfied feeling. So with that in mind I am totally going to put my shameful cupboard insides out there for the world to see and show you how excited I am that they are fully transformed.

I had two spaces at home that were totally stressing me out – our hallway cupboard which since we moved in two years ago was a haphazard dumping ground for duvets, bed-linens, table linens and medicines, toiletries and odd bits of hardware. It broke my heart that i had so many beautiful linens which were never organised properly and we could never find any medicines we wanted because they are all piled up on top of each other in impractical plastic boxes.

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The second area was my bedroom cupboard, when we cleared out the spare room for the nursery all of my overspill which had been in there was hastily dumped in the bottom of my cupboards. I also knew I had to simplify my wardrobe – get rid of a lot of clothes and shoes and just make the most of what i had and access it really easily. It turned out that all of my life’s organisation solutions came in the form of the PP Storage System from Muji.

Muji

The storage system is an elegant and functional collection of frosted Polypropylene boxes and drawers that can be stacked in any arrangement. I ended up using the PP A4 3 Drawer Unit for both of my cupboards – stacked and arranged side by side.

Oh to organise and I have the means to organise with is indescribable! Our hallway cupboard was transformed! No more scrambling around in the dark, things falling onto you while you are searching for something else. Medicines, candles, table linens and miscellany all arranged in easy to reach pull out drawers! Larger items like towels now have room to breath and stay neatly stacked and I used some lovely Cotton Linen Underbed Storage to zip up unsightly stored duvets inside. Yay! I love my hall cupboard now!

Hallway

The wardrobe – all my luggage, fancy purses and rarely used items have to date been piled on the top shelf and two rails held many clothes in the main area [the image above shows clothes after a substantial reduction]` and the bottom of the wardrobe was storage for my many shoes which I had at one time organised in see through show boxes but weren’t really functional as they weren’t particularly stackable, all had lids and it was an effort to get to a pair that might have been at the bottom of the pile. The rest was debris from the clear out of the spare room!

Now, just using the 3 drawer units, my shoes all fit in easy pull out drawers [this depends on what size shoes you have of course but I have managed to squeeze my husbands large shoes in the same boxes in the cupboard next door] my purses and scarfs that were piled on the top shelf also pull out and make is SO easy to put an outfit together. Yay! A tidy home really is a tidy mind and has put me in good stead to face whatever the rest of the year may bring!

Wardrobe

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