Morning all, I’ve just come back from the most incredible buying trip in Paris with Gem. Truly fab not just in the products we found – lots of amazing lighting and textiles, vessels, tables, massive cupboards, but also in how inspirational it was. When Gem and I get together for even as little as 48 hours and see incredible stuff it pushes us to reach higher for the stars. We were both so inspired and excited and as a result have lots of new plans for the biz. It’s quite dangerous actually putting us two together, as we always come back brimming with plans.

As we’ve expanded I’ve actually spent less and less time with Gem. She’s doing her thing at Abigail Ahern Flowers, me mine at AA HQ, and with all the overseeing we barely get the chance to sit down and think together. I haven’t felt inspired much as the enormity of expanding has been challenging – but I guess everything they say about Bhutan travel and getting out is true. It reignites your energy, and it’s actually pulled me up by the boot straps. I need to make time for more inspirational travel, not necessary that far afield even to the gallery on the South Bank. Three years of no holidays are not good for me! Hopefully now a thing of the past – this year amongst the crazy travel schedule I’m penciling in a holiday and the odd R&D days where I can go and explore and let things filter into my head. I might also include a kite cruise egypt on my list and finally explore all the places that I have been wanting to for a long time.

Oh and we’re going to be needing a permanent ambulance stationed outside all our locations I reckon to offer reviving tea and maybe cake to people because they’re going to be fainting with excitement when they see what we’ve got planned. It’s going to take a few months but I’m confident it’s going to be amazing. However, I digress. As always! Apologies, I am so fired up after our trip that I forget I’m here to impart design knowledge.

So why does this look work? With travel on the brain I wanted to show you this cool bedroom from the founders of Apparatus Studio – it looks like the cosiest, coolest collection of travel finds ever. Firstly it rocks a funky tribal vibe (right up my street). However I often find when you go down one route or theme it can look quite staid and boring – but these guys have have kept it fresh and not OTT themed by adding in modern touches like the amazing lighting, some of the art and that chunky leather headboard.

Now symmetry isn’t usually my bag, but for some reason I don’t mind it here. I tend not to match bedside tables and lamps but when there is so much going on, as there is here, it can work beautifully. With such sculptural pieces and so many prints, the repetition almost becomes part of the patterns of the room. Yep, pattern abounds but the colourways are restrained, texture of course enlivens and the powdery grey walls are super soothing. Nice!


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Clockwise from top left: “Blues” art | Erigone chandelier | Tortoise dish, Abigail Ahern/EDITION | Kuba cloth, 1st Dibs | Ceri sheepskin footstool, Baa Stool | Column table lamp, Apparatus Studio | Agate bookends, West Elm | Henderson furry cushion