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Tara Germain
Interests: travel, film, food, art, books., fashion, sculpture, country living, family, interiors
Recent Activity
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I am obsessed with monochromatic squiggle paintings at the moment. Hoping to replicate the look by painting over a canvas I'm not keen on. Pot of white paint and a sample pot of Farrow & Ball's 'Railings' at the ready, just have to wait for it to stop bloody raining! Image 1 Malene Birger, image 2 Kate Spade, image 4 The Selby for Zara Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2012 at Natural History's blog
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Embarrassingly, I know nothing about art. E H Gombrich's The Story of Art is still winking at me from the shelf where I left it 4 years ago. And yet. As a lover of texture, colour and pattern, I know what I like when I see it. Here are a few of my favourites. Image 1 by Val Pitchford, image 2 by Cy Twombly, image 3 by Gerhard Richter, image 4 by Kelly Washbourne Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2012 at Natural History's blog
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My sister got engaged last week. Hurrah. Cut to hours of over excited pondering on venue, dress, theme, table dressing, first dance etc. And that was just me. Here are a few pics from the inspiration scrapbook I put together for her. Image 2 via JCrew blog, image 3 via Vogue Paris Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2012 at Natural History's blog
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So I am clearly not an early adopter when it comes to the antler trend. To be honest, I’ve been a bit sniffy about them in the past. I thought them gimmicky outside of a Highland hunting lodge and was never keen on wall mounting something that was once beautiful before it was cut down for sport. But it seems I am overcoming my squeamishness. Antlers keep cropping up in images I love. I think what appeals to me is the scale; they look amazing when they are huge. It also helps that these images were shot by Martyn Thompson,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2012 at Natural History's blog
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Is there anything more annoying than a cheerful person in January? (Other than a cheerful person in February.) Short days, miserable weather, Christmas come down, gym guilt and general skint-ness make the next few months some of the grimmest. And yet. For some reason, I am that annoying cheerful person. I am remarkably chipper. It could be that there are lots of exciting things happening at Natural History this year, that I love a clean sheet and a fresh start and that I don’t join the detox boot-camp that many embark on now. (MADNESS!!!). Whatever the reasons, I am determined... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2012 at Natural History's blog
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Oh My Godfathers there’s a lot to do before Christmas. Here’s my checklist so far: Order turkey/meats, order booze, order food remembering to get extra condiments for Boxing Day, plus cheese, buy crackers, buy paper and butchers twine for wrapping, buy Christmas cards, ensure enough nibbles bowls, and nibbles, buy and wrap presents, keep watering Amaryllis plants in vain hope they blossom in time, put up decorations, decorate tree, buy Radio Times and plan routes to midnight, attend children’s Nativity Play and try not to weep. Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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I’ve had a thing about diaries ever since my great grandmother gave me her copy of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (above). I love the idea of an aide memoire and a private place in which to keep wish lists, quotes, sketches, to do lists and thoughts. Come November I’m usually itching to order my new one for 2012. The best diaries on offer are from Smythson, Hermes and Aspinal of London. But my very favourite, the one I have bought for the past 3 years, is the Moleskine weekly notebook: bright red hard cover, week-to-view on one... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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And so. I’ve taken my Ebay earnings and splashed out on a long-coveted Eames DSW chair with maple legs for my office nook. She’s beautiful, no? Despite the blurry night time i-phone pic - apologies. And comfortable too. A stable mate, if you will, for my Eames rocker (below). I have to confess, I knew very little about Charles and his wife Ray - America’s most famous design duo – before I Wiki’d them. Turns out they were not only successful furniture designers but also photographers, film makers and architects too. What strikes me most is that the pair were... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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The more I learn about styling, the more I realise how similar to still life art it is. There's a strange alchemy to it; the combination of tension between objects, arrangement and balance, the play of light, texture and hue. It's impossible to define but it's beautiful when you get it right. Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) is the master of still life. I love the quiet, meditative quality of his work which depicts unremarkable jugs and vessels from different angles, with different light, in wonderful muted tones. In fact, we love him so much here at Natural History the still life... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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Meet my new Beni Ouarain rug (below). He arrived in the post from My Marrakesh (thank you Maryam!) this week and I love him. These shaggy pile rugs in abstract geometric patterns of soft blacks or browns against ivory backgrounds are hand woven by the Beni Ouarain, a Berber tribe in the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco. I first became aware of them when I noticed how designer Ilse Crawford favoured them and how – with their muted tones and simple design - they seemed to work in any room, be it modern or traditional. My one is soft and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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I'd heard good things about The Ace Hotel so did a bit of digging to see what Roman and Williams, the designers behind it, were like. Turns out they are GENIUS. Please go and make a cup of tea, sit back and watch this beautiful little film about them here on The Scout. And here are some images of their offices. It's enough to make you pack your bags, leave the kids next door and catch the next flight to New York. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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I snuck off to see the new Jane Eyre film the other day. It was beautifully atmospheric, with a great Yorkshire accent by Mia Wasikowska and a rather good beard sported by Mr Rotchester at the denouement. But, where was the emotional maelstrom of the book? Why wasn’t mad Bertha Mason creeping around Jane’s bedroom in the dead of night trying on her bridal wear? Why was the catastrophe surrounding Jane and Rotchester’s marriage skipped over in thirty seconds? The film, as adaptations tend to do, unless they are Capote or The Hours, fell spectacularly short of the book. I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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I’m having a Mrs Dalloway moment. Having said for years that I’m not really a party person (I have no mingling skills) for some reason I now really want to throw a big one. I’m forty soon (well, in three years, but these things take a lot of planning) so I figure I’ve got an excuse to throw a full-on, rip-roaring, drunken-dancing, hoot of a shindig. I’m thinking: stunning outdoor venue, fantastic lighting, delicious food, great wine, good music, a killer outfit, lovely friends. Have I forgotten anything? Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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As work continues apace on our spring range here at Natural History HQ, it's great to see what the fashion folk are offering for that season. JCrew is my favourite collection so far for its use of colour, classic tailoring and mixing it up. Next up, Paris! All images via style.com Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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At last! Autumn is finally here! We can all stop pretending and put the heating and our socks back on. I love everything about this season: puddles, pumpkins, blackberrying, log fires, red wine, casseroles, mushrooming, apple pie, the scrunch of russet leaves underfoot and Strictly Come Dancing. Not only do we now get to dress properly, in chunky sweaters, boots and coats (farewell bikini fear), and have the likes of Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas to look forward to, but, most importantly, we get to nest! Here's my autumn to do list: Put summer clothes away Sort the mess in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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Maybe it’s because it’s raining, the heating is on and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is nearly upon us. Maybe it’s our recession-hit, riot-plundered times. But right now I’m in need of some home comfort. I want to snuggle down pyjama-clad amongst piles of soft blankets and squishy cushions with a cup of tea, a pile of magazines and a good book. Phone off, telly on, my children around me: the easy intimacy and reassurance of home. I don’t want white, sleek and minimal, I want natural materials, sludgy colours, jewel tones, patina, texture, candlelight, hearty food and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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First up, apologies if this post is slightly shorter and more picture-led than usual. It’s week three of the holidays, it’s raining outside and the children are turning. I’m sure you understand. Should I win the lottery I’m going to invest in the following: an avenue of pleached limes, a fire pit, a boot room, a utility room, an ensuite bathroom and, most importantly of all, my very own dressing room. Seriously, I spent a good half an hour yesterday standing in my daughter’s bedroom, which is next to ours, wondering where I’d put the connecting door and built-in shelving.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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One of the best holidays I ever had was in Devon when I was 15. My mum and godmother rented a cottage in Salcombe and my sister and I brought our best friends along. We spent seven blissful, lager-soaked days playing frisbee on the white sand, getting off with boys called Harry from Eton and listening to Primal Scream. Needless to say, my trips to Devon these days are a little more grown up and a little more stylish, by which I mean the lager has been replaced with rose'. Seriously, it is such a beautiful place. If rolling countryside... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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I miss working in an office. I do. Some of the bestest, hardest laughs I’ve had were the ones during my formative working years at a frenetic PR agency in London. I literally laughed all day, every day. I miss the camaraderie, the drinks after work, the gossip, and the visceral relief when Friday comes around. I can’t say I miss the commute, meetings about meetings, 360-degree reviews, hangover naps in the Ladies, dealing with drunken team members with axes to grind at Christmas parties and the mortification of an office rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. But still. Since having kids... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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Is it just me, or is old school scrapbooking deemed a bit uncool? Even my husband, also a very visual person, is baffled by my obsession with ‘sticking random pictures in books’ when I have the whizz-bang computer software to do it in seconds, and without the glue making bobbly bits. But give me a quiet half hour and I can think of nothing better than getting out my glue stick and scissors and pasting images into my scrapbook. I enjoy the craft aspect and it feels a bit more creative than the online version. I lost my first scrapbook,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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Frivolous and superficial fashion may be, but then so am I. And honestly, if I had to pick the top inanimate loves of my life, fashion would be up there somewhere between (although hopefully not covered in) curry and red wine. And possibly cheese. And interiors. Nothing inspires me as much as fashion. I don’t think I’ve created a concept board yet that doesn’t contain a fashion image (see above). Yes, the size zero thing is disgusting and yes, it may well be an industry run by very silly people wearing tranny shoes and too many accessories (although all the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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The older I get, the more I appreciate certain things; fine bed linen, the odd glass (bottle) of red wine, Tupperware and a wall of great art. The key word here is wall. I’m not hugely fussed about what the art actually is (I KNOW, I have A LOT to learn about art); I’m more interested in the sum of its parts. Floor to ceiling, crammed in, clashing borders and frames; a wall of art creates a talking point and adds colour, pattern and glamour. And yet. There is a knack to hanging a whole wall of art. And maaan,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2011 at Natural History's blog
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The words ‘joy’ and ‘storage’ may sound uneasy bedfellows but there IS pleasure to be had in storage, I can assure you. Who doesn’t wish they had the time (or the housekeeper) to store their shoes in boxes and take photos to stick on the outside. So clever! So accessible! So slightly anal! Oh to be able to immediately identify a pair of shoes without scrabbling around in the murky jumble of my wardrobe. Particularly when said wardrobe is SHARED with a husband with a trainer fetish. And oh to not have to step, fall, climb over the clutter of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2011 at Natural History's blog