Turning Over A New (Design) Leaf


While The Library blog is temporarily undergoing a tidy-up and quick refit (and The Librarian is finishing writing her books), I thought I'd post a little story to tide readers over until things get back to normal in a week or so. Also, if you've enjoyed The Library these past few months, then please consider listing it as part of your blogroll. It would be lovely to be included, and it would also really help me The Librarian know if it's worthwhile to continue devoting time to this site. I do hope you will support The Library – and of course do let The Library Assistant (pictured left) know if there's something you don't like. Unfortunately, she can't understand anything apart from "walk", "bone", "home" and "no", but that doesn't mean she won't try and listen to your complaints...


2012 may just be the year we all turn over a new leaf. Small leaves. Big leaves. Even grand, luscious, tropical palm leaves. The leaf motif has been in design fashion for almost a year now, with names such as Prada, Designers Guild, John Derian and Henry Holland taking it to new horticultural heights. But it's now set to become an even bigger trend – palm leaf big, in fact – as more and more of us fall in love with the glamorous, Hollywood-meets-Miami look of creating a statement piece with a gorgeously grand palm or fern.  Like most things, it started with fashion, when the tropical leaf motif was spotted in several collections last year, and it is now swiftly being adapted for interior design, architecture, books and even paper weights, as John Derian's exquisite designs illustrate. And of course it's still big in landscapes. Think of the gardens of Beverly Hills (including the Beverly Hills Hotel), Palm Springs and West Palm Beach. It's a classic, spectacular and sings of summer. Coming soon to a living room, courtyard, frock, cushion or handbag near you. Just add the chaise lounge, the cocktail and a coolly glam white caftan {Top image via Rob Ryan – www.misterrob.co.uk} 

Leaves of class: A page from Living etc magazine, August 201.

Rock Paper Palm: A delightful paper weight from John Derian.

Palming it off (oh, I wish I'd bought one on sale!): Kate Spade's chic Verandah Place handbag.

Leaf loveliness: Vintage Moschino handbag. {Via Slim Paley's beautiful blog}

The Island of Palms: Lord Howe Island, Australia. The citizens of this tiny island have became extremely wealthy by exporting kentia palms to the rest of the world. Pictured above is the sublime hideaway, Capella Lodge, one of the most beautiful hotels in Australia, with one of the most beautiful views. {Via Capella Lodge}

The Book of Palms: Taschen's palm-weight tome. Coming in at a staggering 5 kilos, this spectacular book (I loved it so much I bought a copy in New York and dragged it back in my hand luggage) chronicles the research work of Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794-1868), professor of Botany at the University of Munich and director of the Royal Botanic Garden, who was a world specialist on palm trees. His life was so linked to palms that he was carried to his grave in a coffin covered with fresh palm leaves. It's been described as an "unrivalled landmark in botanic illustration and taxonomy". A fabulous read.

Palm luxe: The Mooring Village hotel in the Florida Keys, 2010.

Palms in profile: Lord Howe Island, 2008.

Drama in a dining room: Monochromatic glamour from Ralph Lauren's Bel Air collection. {Via Ralph Lauren}

Out of Africa in LA: More colonial loveliness from Ralph Lauren Home.

Stylish symmetry in the tropics: The Viceroy Anguilla hotel. {Via Viceroy}

Baroque bathing: The sheer perfection of the pool at The Raleigh hotel, Miami. {Via Raleigh}

Musical palms: Frank Sinatra's former home, Twin Palms in Palm Springs. The piano-shaped pool (look at how the walkway was designed to create shadows that then became the piano keys) saw a lot of good times while Frank was here. {Via Beau Monde Villas and sinatrahouse.com}

Love in LA: Beverly Hills, 2011.

Horticultural Extraordinariness: The Victorian Palm House at Kew Gardens in London. {Via greatarchitecture.com and the lovely blog tillandsias.wordpress.com}

 Garden glamour: Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay photographed at Kew Garden's Palms House by Jason Bell for the August 2011 issue of Vogue UK . {Via Vogue and Style Court}

Superior planting scheme: The Palm Courtyard of Raffles Hotel, Singapore.

Palm prettiness: India Hicks and David Flint Wood's home in the Bahamas. {Via India Hicks' blog}

Palm print: Palm tree-print fabric by Lisa Fine textiles.

Sweet as a coconut: Cute cushions by Escape to Paradise Sanctuary.

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