© 2017 HAPEMAN HILL

HAPEMAN HILL

Curating spaces in your home with the right mix of furnishings, accessories, art and objects.

Hapeman Hill is an online interior design service for projects large and small, mixing high and low. Our focus is finding affordable, artisanal products that are unique and make a statement. We curate, design and give you the tools to execute your space efficently and within your budget.

Collaborating closely with our customers, we create uncluttered but distinctive rooms that are as beautiful as they are liveable. Our style is grounded in a neutral palette and organic textures which are enhanced with touches of subtle colour, resulting in chic, elegant spaces designed for real life.

 

The only thing that is more exciting than creating, is doing it in collaboration.We have vast experience in aesthetic decision making which allows us to guide our customers through each step of the creative process.

 

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July 20, 2017

My family has always been somewhat obsessed with interiors. I have plenty of memories of my parents planning and executing renovations, dreaming about and building new houses. Conversations about paint colors, transforming furniture, dreams and plans for each of our living spaces are common place in our family reunions.

For most of his life, my brother seemed to be the only one who was immune to this affliction.  He begged to be left out of antiquing excursions, and thanked us politely, and a bit blankly, when we offered  a gift to cozy up his home.

So I was somewhat shocked, and completely delighted, when he declared he wanted a new look for his loft in Brooklyn and asked me to help him achieve it.  We are executing the design  a bit at a time. Partly because we want to keep the cost down, so he is doing a lot of the work by himself. I am helping out as much as I can (The chair I was upholstering, and featured in last weeks post, was recently delivered to this space.

He wanted...

July 13, 2017

Chapter 1

De- upholstering

It starts with an old chair. One that might look worn and out of date. The layers are peeled off, one by one. Each tells a story. Of time, place, somebody's home.

This particular chair is remarkably heavy and well made. This means it is hard to de- upholster, even if there is only one layer of fabric. It is attached with a countless number of hand applied tacks, no staples in sight. The inside is horsehair and natural wool fiber- this is the first time it is getting re-upholstered.

Chapter 2

Sanding

This is not an easy piece to sand. Lots of curves and crevices. Details and more  details. Hard wood and hard varnish. How is it possible that a chair this intricate, this solid, cost only $125? So I tell myself  the hours of sanding are worth it. This chair should not be forgotten, it deserves new life. It is almost a shame to sand it too perfectly, it would be like erasing its previous life. Or at least, that is what I think as I struggle to get the hard varnish off...

June 26, 2017

Isamu Noguchi, The Japanese American artist and Landscape architect created the iconic Akari light sculptures after visiting Gifu City, about 270km west of Tokyo. GIfu Prefecture is known for its traditional crafts, among them, the making of paper lanterns.

The Mayor of Gifu City at the time asked Noguchi how to revive the traditional lantern making industry. Noguchi blended the simplicity of Japanese aesthetics with the principles of modernist  design and created the concept of "light sculpture" which he likened to "the light of the sun filtered through the paper of shoji". Paper and light. He did not intend the Akari lamps to be status symbols, only to "add to the quality of life and fill the world with light"*

Today Akari light sculptures are sold at the Noguchi museum, Vitra, the shop at MOMA and many other upmarket retailers. Prices range between $100.00 and $1,335.00. They are considered iconic mid century designs.

The story of Noguchi and the Akari lights i...

June 15, 2017

A few years ago my sister bought a striped, blue very large roll arm sofa. In doing her pre - buying online research she got so overwhelmed by the amount of mid century style sofas on the market, that in the end she decided to go for the complete opposite. I totally understand. And at the same time, I also see why there are so many square, simple modern sofas in the market. They are nice, look good with everything and don't overwhelm a room.

The same goes for gallery walls. It seems like everyone must have a wall covered in a multitude of photos, art and even a display three dimensional objects. And again, I get why everyone- including myself -  is fascinated with them. They are such a great tool for expression. Through them you can tell the story of who you are, were or want to be. What you want your home to say, what you want or need to be reminded of. Our history, our family,our future and our dreams can all be put in a frame and hang on the wall.

I have grandiose plans for my gallery...

June 5, 2017

I love fire. 
 

There is something primal, alive and pure about staring into a flame. In the house upstate, we start using the fireplace as soon as it gets cold and even though we are well into June, a couple of weekend ago  we lit a fire- because it was raining a little.

All of last summer I obsessed about how to have a similar fire experience during warmer months, and googled outdoor fire pits endlessly. It was, somehow, never a completely satisfying experience.

I found some modern gas versions too slick and hotel like ( and by hotel, I don't mean a chic, boutique-y kind of place.  I once stayed at a Hampton Inn near the airport in Columbus, Ohio that had a slick seating area centered around a fire pit.)

Then there was the semi - traditional stylized ones that seemed inauthentic and some concrete stone kits that were just OK. The only ones I loved cost much more money than I was willing to spend. Also, a lot of them were...

June 1, 2017

A friend of mine used to have a theory. He said people with curly hair were less structured, a little more absent minded and more likely to lean towards organic shapes than people with straight hair- or those who straightened theirs. He professed  Justin Timberlake was the ultimate proof of his theory. According to him, the singer only became a sex symbol after leaving NSYNC and getting rid of his curls.

I think he might have had a point and often wonder how my life and style might have been different if I had straight hair. I am drawn to minimalist interiors, but inclined by nature to break them up with some warmth and texture. Is it because of the curls?

Recently another friend gave me the opportunity to re- design her living room. She prefers a clean, minimal look and has a head full of gorgeous curls. Hmmmmm....does that blow the curly hair theory out of the water?

The edit is critical in every design but even more obviously so in a more minimal design. Every piece has to be just righ...

May 30, 2017

The lilacs are blooming, so spring is officially here. Four years ago we cut ours back aggressively. They were too tall, and stringy, and were collapsing onto the second floor bedroom window. They immediately started looking healthier. But then they didn't flower. So we googled: " Lilacs cut back, not flowering"... and found out that it would take a year or two for them to flower again.

By year three, when all we got was a couple of buds, we started to get worried. But this year they are Back. Full of lovely, heavy, scented blooms. They are perfect, and give me the vague feeling that our lawn belongs to someone else - an adult who loves gardening and knows how to do it.

For me, spring means the season of cut flowers and the opportunity to arrange them. My love of cut flowers is inherited from my Mum. Her house is never without them. In fact, whenever we traveled as a family, one of the first things she would do is buy flowers and place them in our temporary abode- whether it was a hotel...

May 25, 2017

There are some people you just click with. You have so much in common with them. They often share your point of view. They just get you. And you get them.

My community in the world of photography, style and interiors are just like that. Except they are not my friends yet. They don't even know I exist. I follow their careers, opinions work and and lives online, via social media and through their companies websites.

So in this blog I will feature my nearest and dearest imaginary friends. The ones I admire the most. They inspire and encourage, like good friends should. Maybe one day I'll get to meet them.

LOCAL MILK

All Photographs in this post by Elizabeth Kirby.

Today's imaginary friend is Elizabeth Kirby. She is a photographer, stylist, creative consultant and blogger. In her website she speaks about being inspired by the imperfect (see? She gets me!) and the mundane, wanderlust, the art of slow living and light. She also speaks about her love of farmers m...

May 22, 2017

Imperfect is beautiful. I love that line. It reminds me of the slightly puffy eyes that my son inherited from my husband, who hates them and every so often overcomes his inherent British male-ness and asks me if I have some eye cream that can minimize them. I love them. I especially love them in my son. When he smiles, they puff up just a little bit more, making him look both wise and impish. They are one of the many unique, delicious, sweet things that make him.....him.

I believe that whilst we may admire perfection, and even yearn for it, we don't love people, or things, because they are perfect. We love them because they are who or what they are. So when we started building the Hapeman Hill website, we wrote it down. One of the first phrases on the home page, central to our design philosophy :

" We believe imperfect is beautiful"

It proved to be unexpectedly polarizing. "Why would I buy into something that bills itself as imperfect?"..."Love it - that's exactly it..." ...."what do y...

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