paint it black

October 29, 2012  in inspiring places

Fisherman's hut in Hastings by Sania Pell

We visited the charming seaside town of Hastings on a day trip from Hawthbush Farm where we stayed a couple of weeks ago. It is a favourite place of my fathers and we have friends here too so have visited a few times in the past. It is a working fishing town, with tall, imposing shiplap huts lining one end of the sea front. These towering wooden structures, where the fishermen hang their nets to dry, have the most beautiful, functional hand-drawn graphics painted on them and it was this that I captured with my camera.

Fisherman's hut in Hastings by Sania Pell

Photos by Sania Pell

Sania Pell

Photos by Sania Pell

Among the net huts were smaller sheds and shacks where fishermen would unload or fix machinery and some were selling fresh fish and seafood where we stocked up on cockles and winkles, pints of prawns and dressed crab for our tea. I love the buildings’ ‘no frills’ simplicity and utilitarian quality.

Hastings by Sania Pell

Photo by Sania Pell

Hastings fishing huts by Sania Pell

Fishing net drying shacks by Sania Pell

The new Jerwood Gallery has just opened in a stunning contemporary building clad in gloss black tiles, mirroring the black shiplap huts next door. As we were wandering with the children on the beach and around the old town we ran out of time to go inside, but my parents went in and loved it. It made us want to return soon.

Jerwood Gallery in Hastings by Sania Pell

Photo by Sania Pell

Hastings old town is quaint with narrow streets, independent and interesting shops, cafés and a great selection of secondhand and antique shops. Some of the best ones I popped into included Made in Hastings selling handmade goods, Alastair Hendy‘s gorgeous Home Store and also Butlers Emporium. All are worth hunting out if you visit.

There was also a wonderful old sweet shop selling all the types of sweets I had when I was little. The children’s eyes grew huge at the sight and we all left happy with liquorice sherbert dips, planning our return trip to Hastings.


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  1. There’s a wooden clad house down the road from us that is painted black and each time I drive past I think how much it looks like a little Swedish country cottage. In other words: a complete dream! 🙂

  2. Igor says:

    I love the urban effect of black walls with white typography. It is bold, it is visually striking and great for a feature wall! Cool shots, Sania!

  3. allesistgut says:

    I love the different textures of the houses and the white typography. Great effect. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Marjory says:

    Gorgeous. Love the pictures and your compositions. Such an elegant color palette and the last picture is divine!

  5. Cathy Pyle says:

    I love your focus on colour palettes … wonderful inspiration as ever, thank you!

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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