Friday 28 November 2014

Surrealist Garden: Las Pozas

Las Pozas is a surrealist garden created by Sir Edward James, a British poet and major supporter of the Surrealist art movement. In 1949 James chose the tropical jungles near Xilitla, San Luis Potosí in Mexico for his garden of Eden.

Want to know more....

Edward James built one of the biggest and least known artistic monuments of the 20th century known as Las Pozas. Over a 20 year period, over 36 surrealistic structures were built in concrete at this magnificent site.

Edward abandoned the intellectual, social and artistic circles of London, Paris, New York and Hollywood for the jungles of Mexico. He lived in Xilitla with his close companion Plutarco Gastelum, a Yaqui Indian, and his family. Plutarco would later become Edward's construction foreman at Las Pozas. El Castillo was built by Plutarco and became the home of his family. Edward also lived there when he wasn't staying at Las Pozas.

Before coming to Mexico to build Las Pozas in the early 1950's, he had already led an extraordinary life. His family owned a 300 room mansion and 6,000 acre estate in England, which Edward later converted into West Dean College, now an internationally recognized center for restoration arts.
Born to immense wealth and privilege in 1907, Edward's life imitated the surrealist art he loved and collected. He turned his back on the rigid aristocratic circles of Edwardian England that he was born into, and befriended and supported dozens of artists who would become household names in later years. The people in his life included Dali, Picasso, and Stravinsky. He wrote poetry all his life, however it was in his building of Las Pozas that he realized himself as an artist.

Still intrigued?..... Visit the official website of Las Pozas here

Thursday 27 November 2014

Indian Torans above the Bed

A beautiful hand made Indian Toran over the window in this Thai home

Indian Toran over a Cot in babies Nursery
Indian Toran above the bed in Echo Park
These Toran from India are great arent they? Each one is unique as they are hand-stitched. The ones I have seen usually feature Ganesh (mover of obstacles) at the center and then beautiful embroidered birds, animals and people.

Although they are tradionally door hangings they also look great above the bed or window....

Tuesday 25 November 2014

The home of... Tomas Colaco...

This beautiful traditional Portuguese tiled house is owned by University of Milan Professor Tomas Colaco. Tomas spends his time living between Lisbon and Tangiers and this is evident in his beautiful eclectic home, full of beautiful textiles and trinkets from his travels. What I really love about this home is its mildly shabby appearance mixed with beautiful pristine fabrics.

I came across this home when a reader sent me a full link for an image in my Suzani Post from last week. I  instantly recognized the home from magazine The World of Interiors.

To see more of this beautiful home and read more about Tomas visit his blog here

Saturday 22 November 2014

Suzani Bed Spreads...

Bohemian Bedroom: Suzani used as a throw

I love Suzani's. One day I will own one, but until that day comes I will just have to admire them from a far. As these photos show, it doesn't matter what style your bedroom is, a Suzani will look just great! There are loads of them on etsy, my favorite is this one from textile seller extraordinaire Fat Lama!!

Thursday 20 November 2014

Current Obsession: Jute Rugs

Jute Rug

Jute Rug: DIY
Large Handwoven Jute Rug from World Market

I love these handmade Jute rugs and am kicking myself about not buying one a couple of years ago from a local charity shop as my friend told me it looked like a door mat. Okay so it kind of does... but a glorious flower door mat !!

These beauties not only look great on the floor but as seen in image 1 they also look great as a headboard...

What do you think?

Monday 17 November 2014

Book Review: Kitchenalia by Vinny Lee

Kitchenalia: Furnishing and equipping your kitchen with flea market finds and period pieces By Vinny Lee | Out now in Hardback | £30.00 | Published by Jacqui Small
 Almost everything I prepare or cook in my kitchen involves a little bit of history and 
often a memory. Kitchenalia is all the things you acquire and accumulate to make
 your kitchen a useful and enjoyable place to be 

Written by Vinny Lee, author and interiors editor of The Times Magazine, Kitchenalia is a kitchen Interiors book for people who love cooking and for whom the kitchen is the heart of the home. If like me you can't resist another wooden spoon, copper jellymold, or a vintage Homepride Fred flour shaker this is the book for you.
It is not a book of fancy shiny modern inventions to make cooking easier and quicker it is a book of manual scales, of hand whisking and aprons... What I really like that about this book, is it makes me feel nostalgic about making gingerbread men with my Mum it also makes me look forward to cooking with my son.

Kitchenalia is really inspiring in many ways and full to the brim with beautiful images that leave you dreaming about your perfect kitchen. However unlike a lot of books Kitchenalia also offers small snippets of simple advice for every budget. Advice like: replacing handles and knobs of cupboards, mixing different styles of kitchen chairs, and storing cutlery in jam jars... finally a kitchen book that leaves you feeling inspired rather than depressed....

.....In fact I was so inspired by the section 'Small Storage' that last week I went out and brought myself a second hand Spice Rack. Finally my beautiful spice jars will make it out of the cupboard to a more prouder spot in my kitchen :)

The book is well laid out with a wide variety of images and styles of kitchens, from country eclectic to brushed steel sleek, including a great section entitled 'The Collectors Kitchen. There are beautiful colouful kitchens from the 1950's, serene white kitchens, and faboulous farmhouse kitchens, each with their own whimsical charm.

As you may have guessed I really like this book, it also passed the coffee table test and was cooed at by numerous visitors, including my Mum, who will be getting a copy for Christmas :)

Sunday 16 November 2014

Questions to the Moon... Macrame Window Hanging

SlowDown Productions: Macrame Window hanging

I get quite a few emails from people asking questions about where they can source pieces in photos I publish or asking what I would suggest in a certain room, I answer if I can and have spent hours looking for solutions and it just sprung to mind to make it a feature...

So..... Question 1 from Lacey a fellow Instagramer

" Gabi! I am still trying to nest in my new digs and it's been a frustrating situation! I'm not used to ground level apartments, and I like to be able to see outside and get as much natural light as possible- but now I feel like I live in a fishbowl! Have you run across any good curtain situations that could make this feel cozier? Everything you post is inspiration and right in line with how I decorate so I thought I'd turn to you! Thanks!!"

My first thoughts were Large plants in the window to create a screen, also I think people notice them rather than try to look deeper into the room.... and although this works very well I knew I could give a better answer.....

....then I remembered this beautiful Handmade Window hanging from Etsy shop SlowDown Productions, which I think is the perfect piece to solve Lacey's problem. Not only does it let the light in and stop people looking in but it looks great too... and can be hung over the bed.

I have been contact with the lovely Rachel over at Slowdown Productions to tell her about this post and she has kindly offered Moon to Moon readers 25% off with the coupon code (code-moontomoon) until Nov. 28th if you spend $74!!!

If you have a question you would like answering then please email me at and I will see if I can help

SlowDown Productions: Macrame Plant Holder

Thursday 13 November 2014

The Beautiful Tangiers Home of... Umberto Pasti

The novelist and horticulturist Umberto Pasti in his sitting room in Tangier, Morocco. Photo: Will Sanders.
Umberto Pasti in his study among old books, textiles and tiles in Tangier, Morocco
Umberto Pasti's rainy season house in Tangiers. World of Interiors, photo: Christopher Simon Sykes.

People talk about his house as if it were a mirage, a thing of perfumes and flowers and mountain vapors, one man’s paradise. In Tangier, you mention the name Umberto Pasti and people often say, “Have you been?” And what they’re referring to is the house and its gardens, standing in the hills not far from the center of the city. As we came outside one evening, the light was going. I could hear running water and the dog leapt up, just as the call to prayer came rolling over the secluded garden. “It used to be very different,” Pasti said, in a near whisper. “Tangier was a small town. It was physically very unspoiled and neglected. I arrived here by accident: I was escaping Marrakesh and social life. It was always very charming, this place, because you were dealing with people who are very used to foreigners.” And this is an idea I hang on to about the life of eccentrics in Tangier: The locals care for the comfort of strangers.

In a large old room smelling of narcissi, Pasti sat me down and smiled through cigarette smoke. The tables around us were filled with strange shells, bones and Neolithic pottery. I looked around as he spoke and you could almost breathe the beauty: a piece of an Islamic column from Spain, an Italian Renaissance stemma, many Berber pots, pine cones and marble busts. Past a big 17th-century German armoire was a fireplace of the same period. An 18th-century Venetian screen held back a little of the evening air, which came, nonetheless, rosemary-scented and chilled. Painted Moroccan chests and side tables were dotted everywhere — “I love patina,” he said — and around the walls was a multitude of astonishing tile panels, some from Seville and Portugal and fired 200 years before the birth of Shakespeare. Pasti writes novels and makes gardens. He is both intensely sociable and extremely private. Walking from room to room in his perfect house, he seemed somewhat like a man in a fairy tale, lost in beauty, hiding behind windows in a secret garden. But then he laughed and puffed on his cigarette and seemed quite normal again. Pasti started as a literary critic and then began collecting strange fragments and rare bulbs, which he would plant in his garden in the Moroccan countryside, and also in pots at his house in Tangier. His first novel is the story of a botanical obsession. “I started collecting wild bulbs more or less 15 years ago,” he said. He sometimes sleeps outside among the plants. In some ways he considers himself to be a kind of doctor to sick plants and sees his place in the country as a kind of botanical hospital.

“So, this is not a retreat?”

“I go to Milan to relax,” he said. “Life here is easy but you are always fighting against pressures, rich foreigners behaving like pigs, and what I find sad is that many are happy with their little drinks and their little pieces of silver on the table. Unless one is blind, one has to suffer a little about what is going on.” He spoke of the threat to “poor Moroccans” and the horrible new marina being built in Tangier. He is generally appalled by change, it seems. His whole life is about restoring and preserving and putting together. He is an obsessive. “This is what I like about interior decoration, the history,” he said. As we left one of the rooms, he pointed past a dozen curiously vibrant fabrics to a wall of grotesque photographs. “I’ve started a collection of Moroccan monsters,” he said. The wall was covered with images of people with genetic abnormalities. “You think I’m mad?” he asked, his bright eyes chuckling. He twisted the stem of his glasses and then let them bounce on his hand-printed Indian shirt.

Interview sourced from THE AESTHETES

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Turquoise Kitchens

Mexican Kitchen: Turquoise with plenty of Pots
turquoise kitchen 
Turquoise kitchen
Turquoise kitchen
Tabby Booth's House Boat
 What a week! I have had complete Bloggers Block. After the shock of winning the award and then having a wisdom tooth out, combined with a grizzly teething baby I have not had any inspirational thoughts... that is until today when my new bargain eBay purchase turned up... an old spice rack shelf unit kinda thing. It is currently varnished a really naff brown but I have decided to spruce it up with a lick of Turquoise paint.

This shelf unit is seriously going to revolutionize my kitchen, I have been in desperate need of some storage to fit onto a very small wall for ages. Very exciting :)

Sunday 9 November 2014

Best Design Inspiration Blog at the Amara Awards

I am really pleased to announce that Moon to Moon won the Best Design Inspiration Award at the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2014!!

I have to say I was genuinely surprised to have won as I was up against some really fabulous Interior blogs. Sadly I couldn't make the awards ceremony as it wasn't really a suitable event for a 5 month old breast fed baby, I was even more upset when I saw all the photos on Instagram and Twitter, looks like everyone had such a great evening.... although as you might have guessed from the lack of photos/information about me on Moon to Moon, I am a little Shy so my acceptance would have been very cringey.... So....

...I would like to say a massive thank you to Amara and the Judges for the award and to Mariska Meijers for sponsoring the category...... But most importantly I would like to thank all my readers, not just those that voted, but those who have made Moon to Moon a really enjoyable project for me over the years. I am really humbled that people out there read it..

So thank you

xx Gabi xx

A Winter Retreat...

The Reveal...
I can finally reveal the 'secret project' that I have been working on with eBay as part of their 'Shop the World' campaign. My brief from eBay was to choose a seasonal image and create a collection of items from eBay inspired by the Image. I am a massive eBay addict so an excuse to spend even more time looking for pretty things guilt free has been a real luxury, although I ended up buying a couple of items before they made it to the final edit.... whoops!

The Image...
The image above is probably my favorite of the year so far. I featured it a few weeks ago, but at the time had no idea where this beautiful room was. After plenty of reader feedback I established it is a Bed and Breakfast called The White Nyle in Antwerp. This beautiful b&b is decorated head to toe in stunning finds from across the African Continent and is the perfect place for a winter retreat. I can just imagine snuggling up on the beautiful Kilim seating, sipping warming peppermint tea and reading the Ranulph Fiennes book I have been meaning to read for ages.... bliss!

The Collection...

The items I have chosen are all inspired by The White Nile and can be found on my Winter Retreat collections board. Above is a small selection of what I have chosen.. these are ...

Kilim Carpet: This beautiful bright Kilim carpet is handmade using beautiful natural dyes and would look awesome in a modern or period property...

Sunburst Mirror: For those months when the summer sunshine seems like it is a million months away.

Moroccan Pouffe: The perfect bohemian accessory. Put your feet up or add a Berber tray to turn it into a perfect table for your Turkish Coffee pot

Globe:  Plan those winter breaks into the sunshine

Antique Middle Eastern Coffee Table:This beautiful wooden framed table has a beautiful Brass tray , perfect for resting your peppermint tea

Wednesday 5 November 2014

The Colourful Eclectic Home of... Josh and Caro

 This beautiful eclectic home in the heart of Dorset, England is the perfect balance of Quintessential English country and Marvelous Mexican. The owners Caro and Josh, of Corita Rose, brought the dilapidated former brewery 21 years ago and have spent the last two decades turning the property into the beautiful eccentric home that they share with their three children Blue, Tiger and Kit.

 My Style: The house has evolved over a long period of time. Everything is personal and has a story behind it. We had no money when we moved in so pretty much everything is second hand from junk shops or auctions or donated by friends and family. 

Inspiration: I am inspired by folklore, heraldry, traditional stories from other cultures and countries from Medici Florence to the Rabari tribe to the Navajo. I love how the bold bright colors of one culture seep through into another. 

Favorite Element: I love the ground floor. It is the heart of the home. The layout is in a loop and there are always people there playing music by the fire or chatting at the kitchen table. 

Biggest Challenge: When we moved in, the building was derelict. Originally it was a brewery and the pub it served is still next door, but later it became a pottery. When we moved in there were still kilns on the ground floor. There was only very basic electricity and no hot water. We made the upstairs habitable and moved in there. As the children came along and we needed more space we worked our way downwards very very slowly. It took us about 20 years to get to the ground floor.

To view the full interview and more beautiful images of the home visit Apartment therapy's archives here