let's go to the Donna Wilson shop
search

Tag Archives: inspiration

Happy Living: The Japanese House at The Barbican

8 June 2017

All year round, the Barbican Centre hosts a diverse range of exhibitions within the fields of contemporary art, design, fashion and architecture. When I used to live in the Golden Lane estate I could easily pop over and be truly inspired by what was currently on display. Now I have 2 little boys and live further East, it’s a bit tricky to get the time to go as regularly. I managed to find some time to see The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 last month and it really did not disappoint.

When you arrive, the exhibition starts on the mezzanine which gives you a terrific bird’s eye view of the installation-scale models by some of Japan’s most iconic architects. My favourite was the fantastic wooden teahouse by Terunobu Fujimori that sits in a minimal garden of grassy mounds. You can climb inside, take a seat and people watch through the massive porthole window (pic above, right). I thought it would make the best tree house in my back garden  (you may have read my Tree House inspiration post earlier last month here) The shape of this tree carving (pic above, left) reminds me of my Giant House Cushion.

japanese house barbican

japanese house barbican

I loved the styling of the Moriyama House model (by SANAA’s Ryue Nishizawa, pic above right) which is a combination of 10 stark white-painted prefab units including fully -furnished rooms. In Tokyo, this is a real building which that is co-habited by Yasuo Moriyama and a community of  5 other tenants. The maze-like structure and gardens have such an unusual warmth when you walk through and you discover personal possessions in every corner. From piles of books, vinyl records, functional kitchen utensils and ambient lighting. When can I move in?

I also want to highlight Hideyuki Nakayama‘s series of childlike sketches (see pic above). All his buildings designs use these drawings as a starting point.  It’s the same approach I take when inventing new knitted creatures.  I think about the way that children draw things and how uninhibited it can be. Like drawing a cat with ten legs and three eyes or a bird with an exaggerated big head.

The exhibition is on until the 25th June. I hope you have time to visit and enjoy it as much I did! Make sure you visit The Conservatory too. It’s a bit of a hidden gem.

Make Your Own Fox Mask with Noodoll

5 June 2017

Our friends at Noodoll have some great creative ideas to get you making! Donna has shared how to make this super easy DIY Fox mask over at Noodoll’s blog. Looks a bit like Cyril Squirrel Fox! Find out how to make your own here. Take a look at Donna’s Pinterest board for more Mask inspiration.

You’ll also find more fantastic coverage of our MYO Magazine Launch Party from the other weekend. Thank you to the Noodoll team Yi Ying, Darcy and Dana for joining our fun!

Home Inspiration: Tree Houses

24 May 2017

Summer is here in London! Hooray!

We want to build a treehouse in the back garden for the boys. I’ve been filled with ideas looking at these summer tree homes and grand designs. There’s nothing like being surrounded by nature, amongst the peace and quiet.

My ultimate dream would be this Nendo Bird Apartment (pictured above) which can house up to 78 nesting birds which visitors can observe. It’s in the middle of a forest in Komoro City, Japan.

I love the shapes in these inventive prototype structures by Worapong Manupipatpong.

Tree hotel in Sweden is 7 individually designed contemporary lodges high up in the tall pine trees. These cabins are stylish and eco-friendly and have epic views of the surroundings. There’s even one called Bird’s Nest made of foraged branches.

Terunobu Fujimori and London-based, Japanese architect Takeshi Hayatsu have created an inhabitable charred-timber roofed treehouse (last pic on the right). It looks so beautiful in the spring, surrounded by cherry blossom trees. Charring the wood is a traditional technique that actually protects the wood against rain, rot, and insects for at least 80 years.

Practical interiors are something I’d definitely consider for my dream treehouse, decorated with a Donna Wilson Woolywood blanket and cushions (of course!).  I’ve been looking at rustic cabins and I love the utilitarian wooden interior of Inshriach Bothy in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland. It’s not a treehouse but a small cabin. Used for artist residencies with can be hired for a season.

#myDonnaWilson with Lea

22 May 2017

 

Here at Donna Wilson, we are so curious to find out how our customers furnish their homes. I’m sure you are too!

We’re so thrilled to find such creative people all over the world doing brilliant things and want to share them with you. As part of #myDonnaWilson on Instagram, we look at how our favourite people live with Donna Wilson products. To kick off the first in our interior inspiration series we asked superstar, superfan and cushion-addict Lea aka @donnerstagsonntag to share her stylish home in Aachen, Germany.

We love her colourful aesthetic. Just look at how many of our face plates she has collected over the years! She must have every single one. Be inspired by her colour palette and how she mixes our soft cushions along with bold furniture and independent illustrators:

 

myDonnaWilson lea patch

“I am an interior designer from Germany, mother of two boys, part time Lego assistant and night working crafter. I am addicted to good coffee, home-baked bread and magazines. I am over the moon when it comes to happy, playful and colourful designs like these Donna Wilson embroidered patches for my youngest son’s schoolbag. You can sew them to anything.”

 

“Finally it is warm and sunny again with Donna Wilson’s City Vase.” The print on the wall is Lieke van der Vorst.

myDonnaWilson lea vase

“I love the b/w pattern combined with vibrant colours of the flower bouquet”
myDonnaWilson lea shelf

Shelf Life “I belong to those people who love to use a specific cup for a specific purpose like one for coffee, tea, hot chocolate… I even have a favourite cup for my weekend coffee. Any like-minded people out there?”

#mydonnawilson lea robin

We love this quiet corner with an Eames RAR rocking chair, a soft sheepskin and Donna Wilson Robin cushion 

myDonnaWilson lea acorn fox

“What a busy week (on Instagram, at work, with my boys…) – I loved every single day. This is Donna Wilson’s new acorn cushion that fits right at home. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts everyone. Lots of love Lea”

Pictured is Donna Wilson Acorn cushion, Fox cushion and Menagerie Bedding Set.

Thank you so much to Lea @donnerstagsonntag for making our first #mydonnawilson Instagram Takeover so good!

Home Inspiration: Bedrooms

5 April 2017

In my recent interview with Molly from Secret Linen Store we discussed bedrooms, lie-ins and ideal midnight feasts! It got me inspired to look at beautiful bedrooms and how to balance restfulness and still add your personality.  In my own home I like to mix natural materials and lots of colour!

Have at look at my Pinterest board For Home for more.

Natural Wood I love natural materials and there is something so warming about exposed wood grain in particular. Plywood is such versatile material and so strong you could even build a little hideaway like this Brooklyn loft!
Photos L-R: Concealed nook for a restful sleep (photo by Sean Fennessy),  A Cabin in a Loft, raw wood bedframe (photo by Mark Tuckey)

Pattern clash and mixing colours I’m inspired by patterns I find in my travels and  use lots of colour in my work. I really think there’s no rules when it come to mixing and matching. There’s something so special about the combinations of colours in a patchwork quilt.
Photos L-R: (photo by Laure Joliet). A room with a spectacular view Fogo Island Inn room designed by Isle Crawford, featuring our very own Bertha Chair. My signature cushions Dotty CushionForest Woven Cushion, Robin Cushion.

Peaceful Pinks Photos L-R: a shelf with personal possessions (photo via Nuevo Estilo). Delicate lighting Akari 1AG (photo by Alexandra Angle) Dreamy pink cushions and patterned wall (photo by Studio rar)

Exclusive Collection for the Fogo Island Inn

18 November 2015

You may remember, a few years ago Donna was asked to be part of the design team led by Ilse Crawford working on the interiors of the Fogo Island Inn on Fogo, a remote island off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.

The island had around 2,000 inhabitants, and the population was dwindling. An amazing woman called Zita Cobb was born there, and after a successful career in Canada, she had decided to set up a foundation to create employment and to try to give local young people a reason to stay. She decided to create the Inn and everything from the building work to the materials, right down to the sheets on the beds had to be sourced and made on the island with the skills they had.

The Fogo Island Inn now a multi-award winning property built on the principles of sustainability and respect for nature and culture, as well as a social enterprise. All surpluses from the operation are reinvested by Shorefast Foundation for the benefit of the local community. What a great place, don’t you think? And it is just breathtaking. Take a look!

Donna is very proud to have been a part of this amazing project. Donna collaborated with the Winds and Waves Artisans Guild to create quilted cushion covers where the shingle outlines are the stitching patterns for the 100% lambswool covered cushions. Pictured below are the Bertha Chair and Pouffe in a guest room.

More recently, the Fogo Island Shop commissioned Donna to create a collection of three whimsical scarves and a luxurious limited-edition blanket. The scarves and blanket feature the now iconic shingle motif designed by Donna in 2011.

The shingle motif was inspired by the wooden cladding of the Brett House in the town of Joe Batt’s Arm on Fogo Island. The unique cladding is characterized by the imperfect and slightly wonky angles of hand-carved, repeated geometric shapes.

The scarves are available at the Fogo Island Shop, and on our website. The limited edition blanket is only available at the Fogo Island Shop.

The Fogo Island Shop is an initiative of Shorefast Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to improving the social, cultural and economic conditions on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. All surpluses from the Shop are reinvested by the Foundation for the benefit of the local community.

For more information about the exclusive collection at the Fogo Island Inn, please visit the Fogo Island Shop website or their Facebook page.