Tamara Stephenson Interior Design; root cellar designs, LLC

Tamara Stephenson Interior Design; root cellar designs, LLC
reach out to our team for an interior design consultation or to see our collection of wallpaper and fabric sold to the designer trade, rootcellardesigns@gmail.com

Sunday, October 9

all you need in life: art, flowers and bathtubs...Part III musings from London

While speeding through Blogtour 2011 during the London Design Festival, I stole away a few luxurious hours with Tim and Veronika (blogtour creators over at modenus.com)  On a sunny London morning we strolled through local, flower market on Columbia Road

a leisurely Sunday spent at the Columbia Road Flower District in London

 After attending many stylized shows with state of the art cutting-edge designs from Tent London, Origins, 100 percent Design and Decorex it was refreshing to sneak away for a couple hours to the Columbia Road Flower Mart and experience a typical Sunday morning activity in London. Behind the row of flower stands, there are many small clothing, art and antique shops dotting the cobblestone streets.

 Walking through the crowded square there were a barrage of smells, sights and sounds where the locals convene on Sunday mornings.  While we munched on our delicious egg and bacon sandwiches (served up fresh and English-style with thickly cut bacon, a fried egg and on a crusty roll with spicy mustard), a talented Irish band played in the square.  Scooping up flowers for a reasonably priced FIVE-a (that would be around 5 pounds, or about 8 American dollars) these Londoners love their flowers and it was mesmerizing to see the value they place on picking up a bunch of fresh hydrangea on their time off from work.  While many of our flower markets in the big cities in the States are geared for the trade this market is set up for the locals.  I love it! 
In typical English style Londoners enjoy a perfect balance of high end style with relaxed elegance. 

Cobble stone streets, ancient architecture, all mingle together flawlessly. 
Almost too good to be true (and no I didn't hire these two and they are not actors for this photograph --  they just magically appeared before me with flowers in hand) and were enroute to teach a local flower arranging class!

Thank you Tim and Veronika for this fun morning!

Later, we headed over to a hip and young neighborhood for a fun-filled dinner and look what we found hanging on the restaurant's entrance?
We think this is an original Banksy?!

and after we popped into a cozy outdoor restaurant (seems funny with the ominous weather In London, right?) for dinner.  Can you believe hanging on the wall entering this restaurant was an original Banksy graffitti art?  I had never seen a Banksy in person but my other blogger friends were quick to spot this beauty.  It was huge and took up an entire wall, which of course was covered in plexi-glass since Banksy art prices are now going through the roof.  In case you do not know about Banksy he is a well known graffiti artist in London who has never been seen.  This phantom artist appears at all hours to create his masterpieces, which seem to capture hypocrisy in life between comfort, luxury and dire situations.  They are quite moving. Here are a few of his famous designs:

other outdoor art pieces by Banksy

The next day,
 two of our generous sponsors hosted us in their showrooms over at the infamous

We sipped champagne and nibbled on treats at the Samuel Heath and Victoria + Albert showrooms set just across the row from each other in London's Design Center. Samuel Heath is an English staple for bath fixtures and accessories and the company dates back to 1852.  We oogled their products displayed throughout the showroom.   Victoria + Albert  offers an array of bath products that seem to combine the aesthetics of traditional english baths with modern twists.  The two companies have paired up to create some unique, luxurious and quite comfortable bathtubs (as you will see I gave the Toulouse a spin) which combines both modern and traditional sensibilities. 

So here I am ending a fun week in London
 in a bathub with champagne -
 not too shabby, huh?!

Speaking of art, I was completely taken with the stylized and fashionable art used in the Samuel Heath advertising campaign.  The images capture the essence of the company's motto of manufacturing high-end quality products but with a luxuriously, modern approach:  

Stop back next week for Part 4:
Musings from London and the end of this fun series.  I'll take you behind the scenes of a London interior and furniture designer plus peek into the the
Victoria & Albert Museum. 

  thanks for reading art, flowers and bathtubs -- the fun stuff in life that feeds our souls!
come back soon for new stories about  my Culinary Group's Mexican-food inspired dinner party, trends in design taken from the experts and more!


quintessence said...

Columbia Road looks like it was a great morning!! And of course just love you in the tub!!

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

You look so great in the tub photo T and I too, think the Samuel Heath advertising shots are great! Columbia Road must have been a treat!!

Anonymous said...

love those flowers and will have to make a note to go to Columbia Rd. when in London next time. Thank You Tamara

Anonymous said...

Those flowers are incredible and I would love to go to the flower market in New York with you over the holidays like we did a couple years back. xo Tina S.

Mae said...

Gorgeous shots! Sad I missed hitting The flower market w you guys -- for the flowers *and* the bacon sandwich! Looking forward to part four!

Decor Arts Now said...

So nice to meet you yesterday Tamara! London looks totally fab.
I loved learning who Bansky was and the splash adverts. are so artistic. Very cool. All best, Lynn from Decor Arts Now

Anonymous said...

so very nice to finally meet you and I enjoyed seeing the design festival through your eyes. I have never been to London but will save all these tips for our trip next summer. not sure if I'm leaving the comment in the correct spot but here goes. all the best, Laureen Walsh