Thursday, October 19, 2017

Eltham Palace: Medieval Meets Art Deco

🇬🇧 Great British Design Inspiration 
London: A Visit to Eltham Palace and Gardens 

Entrance Hall (1936). Elegant glazed dome bathes room in light.

Medieval masterpiece 
Eltham Palace is located a few miles from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The land was first settled in 1086 and became a Royal residence in 1307. Jousting tournaments and lavish banquets were held here, and the property was occupied by the Crown into the 16th century. Edward IV, who frequented Eltham more than any other monarch, oversaw the construction of the Great Hall in the 1470s. But Henry VIII, who spent his childhood here, preferred Hampton Court and its proximity to the Thames. Charles I was the last king to visit Eltham in the mid-1600s. Then the property began a sad decline, eventually falling into ruin.

Fast-forward to the 20th century
In 1933, Virginia and Stephen Courtauld leased the former Royal estate from the Crown and built a fashionable Art Deco house adjacent to the medieval Great Hall, which they restored as a music room.

Eltham Palace and Gardens is now an English Heritage property open to the public. Our friend David Thomas suggested a visit and graciously served as guide. Thank you, David!

Once inside, we heard a docent-led talk in the Great Hall, then wandered through the two-story house on a self-guided tour. Stepping into the light-filled Entrance Hall (1936), with period furnishings and details, and the vast Great Hall, are worth a visit alone.

From the outside, you'd never guess the house features Scandinavian modern and Art Deco design throughout. Room after room of stylish, elegant fittings and artwork, much like an opulent ocean liner of the 1930s. Outside, acres of mature trees and plants surround the property, with various flowers in bloom on this warm, spring day (26 May 2017). Garden walls, moat and bridges from Eltham's royal past remain, with spectacular views at every turn.

English Heritage's website contains a detailed history of Eltham here.

We always seek out classic architecture, gardens and design when traveling — inspiration for our creative work. Take a look at a few of our photos of Eltham Palace and Gardens below.


Emilie Pallos Graphic Design

Print Design / Corporate Communications
Website Design & Development
Corporate Identity

Good design is good business.

Call Emilie at 1-818-242-9055, or send us a note.


Photos by Emilie Pallos and Vic Pallos

• Desktop / laptop view: Click any photo in this blog for a complete slide show •

E L T H A M   P A L A C E   A N D   G A R D E N S:

I N   P I C T U R E S

Great Hall (1470s), originally part of the Medieval palace.
Minstrels' Gallery overlooking the Great Hall. With David Thomas.
The Great Hall's hammerbeam oak ceiling was once partly gilded.
David has sung the role of Polifemo in Handel's "Acis and Galatea" here.
House: Sleek Art Deco fireplace in dining room.
House: Leather map features the Woolwich Coat of Arms.
A nod to a former Palace resident.
House: View of the motor court from the first floor.
"Jonggy," Virginia Courtauld's pet lemur, in his own climate-controlled suite in the house.
Stuffed toy for sale in Eltham gift shop!
Mrs. Courtauld's exquisite bath (1936). No expense spared for the lady of the house.
South Lawn. 15th century south moat wall still stands.
Black Tudor bricks in an "X" pattern indicate a Royal residence.
More Tudor bricks, smaller than modern bricks.
Edward IV's 15th century moat bridge.
Rock garden.
Lime tree planted by the Courtaulds. Great Hall on far right.
Left: 15th century Great Hall (constructed of Kentish ragstone) blends harmoniously with 1936 addition.
Vesta, Roman goddess of hearth, greets visitors to the house.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Chelsea Flower Show: California-style gardens and sunshine!

The Morgan Stanley Garden, my favorite from the 2017 show. Southern California-style design.

Chelsea Royal Hospital. Architecture by Sir Christopher Wren. Of course!

Chelsea morning — 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

As an avid amateur gardener and artist/designer, I've had the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on my radar for many years. This show is spectacular in person, worth braving the crowds and heat. 80 degrees this year! It felt just like Los Angeles where I am from... The show takes place on the grounds of the Chelsea Royal Hospital, just north of the Thames in West London. You will surely see a resident Pensioner or two dressed in ubiquitous red coats.

TIPS: Book a couple of months in advance and plan to be there by 9 a.m. on the first day of the public days. Or, join the Royal Horticultural Society and attend during member days. RHS Chelsea sells out every year. Tickets are reasonable, only about $80 per person for a day of inspiration and beauty. 

Mediterranean gardens were in abundance this year, with California poppies incorporated beautifully into several of the silver- and gold medal-winning gardens, including the Morgan Stanley Garden, a spectacular entry for 2017. This California designer visits the Chelsea Show and is delighted to see so many familiar plants from home!

New client design project inspired by 2017 Show:

Invitation design for September Serenade party

Our studio recently designed a printed invitation package for client Adventist Health Glendale’s Foundation and Dr. Marguerite Marsh. Marguerite is a longtime member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, and is hosting a party at her Pasadena home in September to raise funds for the hospital's Cancer Center.

The artwork illustrating the invitation is a photo Emilie took at Chelsea. (We hope the good people at David Austin Roses don't mind.) The horticulture company is a household name in Britain, and grows a spectacular selection of roses in memorable, rich colors. This photo was perfect.

The A7-size invitation and related materials were printed by Chromatic Lithographers in Glendale, CA. Kudos to Mike Sevigny and his team for guiding this project to completion on a tight timeframe.

Dr. Marsh was thrilled with the finished invitations. Elegant typography and fine printing help this piece shine. Modern, yet classic.


Web Design & Development
Corporate Identity
Print Design

For a wide range of creative, custom design solutions in print and online, contact Emilie at (818) 242-9055, or send us a note via e-mail.

Good design is good business.

To book your tickets for the 2018 Chelsea Show (22-26 May 2018), visit the official site HERE.

2017 RHS Chelsea Show photos by Emilie Pallos and Vic Pallos

Desktop / laptop view: Click any photo in this blog to see a complete slide show of images.

Some images of the 2017 show

California poppies, tulips and roses in every color, English lavender, Mediterranean gardens, Pimm's, wellies, seed packets, summerhouses, the BBC broadcast centre, ice cream…

The BBC was broadcasting daily from Chelsea.

One of the summer houses on display. An oasis for any garden.

Malvern — the perfect home studio for an artist or architect. British modern. Love it!

This garden features drought-tolerant plants and is a nod to Southwestern and Mexican design.

The Hillier Garden. Spectacular and award-winning entry. Lovely array of blooms and textures.

David Austin Roses — Floribundas are so impressive in an array of colors.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sebastian Carter: Design Superhero

🇬🇧 Great British Design Inspiration
A visit with esteemed book and type designer Sebastian Carter
Cambridge, England • 27 May 2017

Sebastian Carter is internationally known as designer / proprietor of the Rampant Lions Press, one of the world's leading letterpress workshops. Sebastian's father Will Carter founded the Press while still a schoolboy in 1924. The press began as a full-time commercial enterprise in 1949 and produced exceptionally beautiful books on a range of subjects until 2008.

Sebastian, an alumnus of King's College, Cambridge, currently serves as editor of Parenthesis magazine, a twice-yearly publication from the Fine Press Book Association. More info on the magazine is here. Sebastian has written extensively on typography and type design, and his book "Twentieth Century Type Designers" is a must-have resource. We certainly share a love of letterforms!

Museum Quality
Rampant Lions Press titles feature fine typography and printing, luxe papers and expert finishing. The Press has an extraordinary library of work. I had the privilege to view some titles in person. All feature hand-set type, elegant, creative design and exquisite workmanship.

Please visit the company's website here for a list of fine art and literary titles still available for purchase.

Gracious, relaxed hospitality made our day extra special. Thank you, Penny and Sebastian for a truly memorable visit to Cambridge.


Custom website design, print design, identity... Contact creative director Emilie Pallos at (818) 242-9055 or send an e-mail HERE. Visit our website HERE. What sets our studio apart? A total commitment to high-quality, creative design, and to helping your company or organization succeed.
• Print communications: annual reports, publications, brochures, collateral
• Website art direction, design and development
• Corporate identity & branding
• Photography & copywriting

Good design is good business