texture and tone

March 6, 2012  in interior styling, vintage finds

display with woodblock by sania pell

Whilst waiting for some guests to arrive last week I had a quick play around with a display in my kitchen and took a few photos. This little recess had been empty as my husband and I redecorated the room a couple of weeks ago and had painted it in the same dark grey as the kitchen table, which is similar to the riven slate floor. I wanted a change as it used to be white and filled with dozens of my children’s little drawings blue tacked to the wall which had made it grubby. It makes a perfect frame to display within.

display with woodblock by sania pell

My starting point was this old woodblock, a recent gift from a lovely family friend who I have known since I was a little girl. It is believed to be a vintage Liberty print block.

primula by sania pell

I then placed a pretty primula in an old pot from The Conran Shop, adding a bright, graphic splash of colour against the grey, followed by a selection of my collected treasures.

display with woodblock by sania pell

A gift, some flea market finds and new items in complementary tones and tactile textures, set with a natural floral pop of contrasting colour. A few little things displayed at home that make me happy.

My children’s drawings will undoubtedly start to build up again as they stick them to the wall, but that will just add to the charm.


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  1. allesistgut says:

    Gorgeous decoration. And the primula is extraordinary! 🙂

  2. I’ve actually designed these kind of little recesses into house when I’ve had the chance – I had a Japanesse friend tell me ‘Oh, you’ve designed a Tokonoma’….a little place in a Japanesse home where they put precious things and also something seasonal (a flower, a twig, depending on the time of year). Looks like you have just designed a ‘Tokonoma’ too! It’s a good word too don’t you think?

  3. elisa says:

    tokonoma! so great. i love a good nook for arranging things in. this one is highly dramatic with the deep shades! the liberty matrix is glorious x

  4. Such a lovely shade of grey the one you have chosen! The black and yellow primulas do look amazing against that colour. I really like your sense of color and composition 🙂

  5. So love your blog & images…thank you

  6. Toni says:

    I’m a great lover of the colour grey, and as you mention that your kitchen table is similar to the grey colour of your slate floor I would now really like to see that as well! – Please Toni x

  7. Sophie says:

    The vintage liberty print block is stunning – what a fascinating item to be able to display in your home!
    I think grey is such a brilliant backdrop – i worked in an art gallery previously where the walls were grey as opposed to white and most work looked amazing against it.
    Sophie x

  8. Sania Pell says:

    Thank you everyone.

    @Cari-jane “tokonama” What a great word, trust the Japanese to have a word for it. The styling does have a slight oriental feel and Japan is one of my favourite places. We had the recess built when we remodelled our kitchen and it is a perfect nook for displaying things.

    @Toni It’s Farrow & Ball Downpipe grey and looks quite different on the table compared to the wall due to the way the light falls. I’ll put a snap on my to-do list! 😉

    @ Sophie I imagine the gallery with dark grey walls had drama!


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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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