A Few Days Away

Autumn holidays to be truthful I think are my favourite.  I’ve been counting down the days looking forward to our break in the Lakes.  At this time of year they are breathtakingly beautiful, as are the colours that nature brings which we reflect in our home for our well being.

So on that note, not really a full post this week but some Autumn inspired mood boards that conjure up the smell of wood smoke, warming hands on mugs of steaming hot chocolate, curling up under woollen blankets.  Bringing those warmer tones into your homes creating rich interiors for you to enjoy over the coming weeks.

See you all in a week, I hope you enjoy the end of this glorious month as much as I am going to.

Jx

All images via pinterest

 

Reflection // Time to Hibernate

Some weeks you just have to slow down.  The world that I work in can be full on if you let it, you don’t realise that you don’t take time out to have a break, even on weekends you are working.  So for the next few weeks I’m taking a little time to myself and not feeling at all guilty about it.

I’m going to finish some things around the house before Winter arrives, make our home cosy for Autumn.  Enjoy the half term holiday, taking the time to eat well and have lots of sleep.  I’m also going to indulge in reading, not just my usual interiors based magazines and publications but books, ones that I can escape into another world, ones that I can’t put down.

Time to switch off the phone and laptop and take care of me, to recharge those batteries and come back full of beans and inspiration to take on the run up to the Christmas break.  I have a few projects coming up in the next month that I’m very excited about and I’m looking forward to working with these wonderful brands Bauwerk, Mandarin Stone and Kovac.

But for now, the kettle is on, the book is open and the throw is waiting for me to curl up under, heaven.

Do you take time off to recharge the batteries, if so what things do you do to make you feel rested and rejuvenated?

Jx

Images 9, 10 & 11 the rest are my own

 

Dining Chairs with Conran

I have a confession, I rather like chairs and I’ve recently been moving mine around and adding new ones to my ever changing interior.  A well designed chair is like a piece of art and can bring a whole new perspective to a room.

Whether or not you need any new chairs at the moment I thought I would share some of my favourite designs with you that will bring a stylish contemporary edge to your dining table.

One of the best places to go to find such wonderful designs is The Conran Shop, one of the leading lifestyle retailers in the country, they have a diverse collection to choose from each one beautiful to look at, exquisite form and function from inspirational designers such as Eames, Vernon Panton and Arne Jacobsen.

Conran have recently released a favourite of mine exclusive and only available to them in store the Vitra DKW Schaudepot Café edition chair. Designed in 1951 by iconic duo Charles and Ray Eames, this exclusive edition of the DKW Wire Chair showcases a dark frame, ash base and Nero leather seat and back pads. An instantly recognisable design, the DKW Eames Chair using the signature ‘Eiffel’ base with a leather upholstered wire frame, re imagined here in an exclusive combination of finishes.

Of course this chair alone would lift your interior but here a few more that would enhance it also.  If you like wood then these options would suit, the Cherner classic crafted from walnut veneered moulded plywood this 1958 design an icon of mid century furniture design.  Then there’s the Arne Jacobsen Series 7 3107 chair with it’s beautifully simple silhouette and chrome legs.  Another lusted after piece of course is the CH24 Wishbone chair a classic indeed and one on my wish list.

To add a dash of elegance maybe a touch of upholstery wouldn’t go a miss such as the Series 403 Noise by Verner Panton such a simple design that doesn’t necessarily have to  be used only in the dining room.  A personal favourite is the velvet covered Beetle chair by GamFratesi such elegance inspired by the shape,  shell and structure of the insect.  How about some stylish leather with the Drop chair another Arne Jacobsen classic, the buttery leather of this well crafted piece adds another dimension to this design.

Then there’s your go to moulded plastic wonders,  you can have so much fun with mixing and matching creating a beautiful pastel hue around your table or just sticking to one solid block of colour but the Eames DSR known as the Eiffel referencing the steel frame of the legs and DSW range has the lot.

There are far more than this to choose from in the The Conran Shop but I think my list is a good start don’t you?

Jx

 

 

Simple Aesthetics with Murmur

I love it when I come across a brand that has all the right aesthetics that resonate with me and my style.  Let me introduce you to Murmur a lifestyle and interiors brand that I know you won’t be able to resist when you see their beautifully designed products.

Murmur is more than just a home ware brand they want to capture a renewed desire for hand crafted simply designed pieces, bringing with it a fresh approach and attitude to how we live today.  Their ethos is simple based on one that is influenced by Scandinavian and Japanese design; elegant natural materials are paired together with geometric patterns inspired by batik style dyeing techniques.  Texture and colour palettes marry together perfectly but by then adding in a simple stripe or pattern, layering each piece becomes effortless.   The combinations simply work beautifully creating a coherent home.

Each product has been designed in house at their Northern Irish studio space.  Pieces have been sourced and hand crafted by the talented design team who have travelled from India to Scandinavia to gather inspiration bringing together this collection, making sure each piece can be mixed and matched to create harmony for your interiors.

From soft cotton bedding in soothing tones to beautiful cushions and throws.  Adding texture through cotton, linen and wool layering in a mixture of scale, pattern and colour palette to create a haven of comfort.  Their ceramics collection of Portuguese stoneware will add that artisan twist to your dining table.  Organic shapes with hand finished details coming in three complimentary shades are designed to be mix and matched creating a unique look.

I have a selection of their stunning towels, so soft and lightweight make bathing a great pleasure.  They bring a little bit extra to my bathroom, the deep geometric pattern of the Japanese floral towel contrasting with the small print of Hama towel adding texture and tone to my all white room.

I can’t stress highly enough that you should pay Murmur a visit to bring a little of that pared back style into your own home.

Jx

  •  with thanks to Murmur for gifting the towels in this post

 

 

 

 

Autumnal Shift // Wallpaper

I don’t have a single wall that has been covered in wallpaper and I’m not sure why!  Well actually maybe it’s because I get bored very quickly or that I’m a bit addicted to paint, or maybe that I like to add pattern through accessories I really don’t know.

When Farrow & Ball release their new range of wallpaper I swoon every time, this time being no exception.  The three new botanical patterns, Atacama,  Hegemone and Helleborus have been designed to create a calming escape within our homes, making the space restful a retreat to feel inspired.

The tropical Atacama is based on a swatch found in an old fabric mill.  Farrow and Ball wallpapers add texture and tactility to your walls creating a three dimensional finish by using a roller block printing method with their own paint combinations.  Striking colour palettes of Stiffkey Blue and Silver to soothing Purbeck Stone and Ammonite both working equally well when added with soft crumpled linens and worn woods.

Hegemone is definitely less rigid than classic floral patterns. Its free and organic blooms flow, bringing your walls to life.  Taking it’s name from the Greek goddess of fruit and flowers this vibrant design comes in seven colourways rejuvenating any room in your house.

Last but definitely not least the maximalism design of Helleborus large and bold but fluid. It is one of the largest designs of the collection and I think my favourite especially in the Peignoir and Calamine combination.  A soft neutral palette where you can use eclectic pieces to add brighter accents, making your space warm and inviting.

So if you feel like a little refresh before the darker days befall us, then why not spruce up a wall with one of these exciting new wallpapers bringing that Autumnal twist to your home.

Jx

 

Images 1, 2, & 5 my own the rest via Farrow & Ball

Brown Black // Black Brown

Brown black or black brown sounds like a mascara but stay with me!  These are the accent colours that fit me, my colour palette, enhancing my love of greys and dark blues.   My tastes are changing and so my home is evolving also.  I’d like nothing more than to live in a contemporary new build with concrete floors, lots of glass and white walls but alas this isn’t the case.  So for now I shall continue to make small changes to the spaces I do live in and creating that warm cocooning atmosphere we call home.

So I digress back to brown black or black brown, I find myself drawn to these colour combinations, they don’t have to make your space dark and uninviting if used well either in combination together as or individual palettes.  I find them rather intoxicating and have specific pinterest boards for each.

It doesn’t have to be the walls that are these colour palettes, accessories work equally well bringing warmth to a contemporary space.  Such as a white walled bedroom with taupe bedding and natural linen drapes or black kitchen units with a rustic timber ceiling beams.

A few of my favourite go to places for inspiration when it comes to these colour combinations are books by Hans Blomquist, also Kate Watson-Smyth and her book Shades of Grey which eloquently guides you to make the right decisions when taking the plunge with darker colours.  LinenMe do the best selection of linen bedding that fit this look perfectly, also Bauwerk for their lime wash natural paint range that compliment the nature of these hues with a selection of soft sumptuous colours.

Also this week Dulux named their colour of the year 2018, Heart Wood a warm pinky mauve tone with a hint of taupe that is part of a lager collection to suit different styles but I think it works perfectly with my colour palette of choice.

As the seasons start to shift maybe you’ll introduce a little of these colours into your own homes, making them warm and inviting.  Do let me know if you are of the same persuasion as me.

Jx

Images 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 other images my own

 

 

 

AW17 // Early Autumn with TOAST

I’m never quite ready to let go of Summer but alas I must but there with an ever helpful hand are TOAST, gently guiding me into quite frankly one of my favourite seasons.  Once I have embraced the shift I like nothing more than adding new pieces to my capsule wardrobe keeping it fresh but seasonal.

When the TOAST brochure lands on my door mat I always know that I’m in for a treat and yes I want everything, from the dresses right down to the pillowcases.  It is sheer bliss taking a moment to savour each page, read the beautiful articulate articles scattered between images that make you feel calm and restful.  Making a simple choice to add to your collection is worth every second.  If I had to choose just one shop to purchase from and no other then TOAST would be it.

I’m very much a layer up kind of girl, I’m most comfortable in dresses but ones that I can put soft long sleeved tops underneath when the days get chillier.  Two of my favourites for this season are the diamond dot print dress, such an elegant piece that makes you feel all floaty and the denim twill tunic dress in all it’s indigo dyed glory the perfect everyday never want to take off dress.

If you are lucky enough to live near a TOAST store I highly recommend a visit, their serene spaces and wonderful staff make a shopping trip an easy one.  Each store has it’s own unique twist like visiting some ones home you come away feeling relaxed, not at all stressed.  I visited the Oxford store a few weeks ago to see the new Early Autumn collection, I especially loved the upstairs house & home section that just drew you in with subtle a subtle colour palette and textures.  Of course I couldn’t resist the Pip Hartle pottery and treated myself to a pencil pot that has found a new home on my bedside table.

I think I would be quite lost if I didn’t have TOAST, it’s like an old friend that greets you with open arms even if you haven’t seen them for a while.  Their ability to create and curate simple, functional, beautiful product and content fills me with joy and make everything all right in the world, I hope you agree?

J x

  • with thanks to TOAST for providing the diamond dot dress and images from the AW17 collection

 

 

 

Design Classics with Fenwick

I find in today’s world we are so used to browsing and shopping on the internet that we forget to go into stores to really look at products in the flesh, to touch and feel something before making a purchase.  I am very guilty of doing this for ease and time saving but sometimes you are reminded and surprised by what you can get on the high street.

I had the opportunity recently to work with the department store Fenwick in Newcastle.  To my shame I don’t go to the city very often and I really should as it’s only half an hour away!   I shall also confess I’m not normally a department store kind of girl either but this is definitely about to change.  Visiting Fenwick opened my eyes to what this elegant store has to offer in the interiors market, walking around slightly opened mouthed spotting brand after brand that I covet. I had been totally oblivious that it was all there under one roof.  It was like visiting the directory of Elle Decoration!

From chic Italian designs to Scandinavian and Danish classics I was mightily impressed.  Did you know that BoConcept have an interior design service in house, you can come away with Eames and Vitra chairs and Natuzzi Italia sofas.  Hay has a capsule collection in store including their iconic paper porcelain range.  There is also the trend setting Danish design brand house Stelton, their Emma kettle being big on my wish list.  I even spotted Georg Jensen stainless steel pitchers.

I came away buzzing with excitement, knowing I was going to create some work for them using some of these innovative brands both in my own home and on a shoot to be featured in an in house magazine which you can browse through below.

So if you are looking to add some new pieces of furniture or accessories to your home I highly recommend a visit to Fenwick there are some amazing offers taking place in store with their Autumn home event up until 10th September.  Seek out good design that will enrich your home for the better, contemporary innovative pieces for sustainable modern living.

 

  • With thanks to Fenwick for gifting the items in this piece.  Other images as follows  1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by the Sea

 Influenced by the sea to create beautiful textiles that resonate with the ever changing big skies and sandy shore lines must be a joy but for Camilla Thomas that is exactly what she does. Tidal Sands is Camilla’s first collection, the designs of each piece have been woven inspired by the light, movement and structure of the unique coast of the beautiful island of Anglesey in North Wales.  The aim was to capture the essence of what it feels like to be part of the very fibres of each piece.

Camilla has always enjoyed being creative from being small, free hand knitting, stitching and making projects, it was only when she decided to turn that hobby into a working practise did she realise that she had to narrow the field down and focus on one discipline that she was passionate about.  It was while at university that weaving came to the fore, the realisation that making a fabric from the starting point of yarn and loom was fascinating and totally immersing.  The slow intricate nature of the weaving process with the added element of experimentation can bring surprising results even after careful planning.  Using a hand operated loom brings Camilla a sense of connection to each piece she creates and a constant reminder of the historic routes that this craft has.

 Like me Camilla believes in simple living, investing in pieces for your home that you can cherish, handmade not mass produced, products that you can touch and feel a connection with.  To have a beautiful throw that you can curl up in when the day is ending is one of life’s simple pleasures especially when the seasons start to slowly change from Summer into Autumn.
The capsule collection of Tidal Sands are made using natural fibres, particularly Merino lambswool which add that luxurious softness, lightness of touch but with warmth.  Samples are hand woven by Camilla but are turned into the finished throws and cushions at a family mill in Lancashire that has been weaving for over a hundred years.  Each piece is unique with wonderful titles such as Sea Fret, Sea Front and Sea Glass, the colour palettes flow from subtle greys to pale blues with a contrasting burnt orange band at the bottom edge connecting sea with sand.  Slight difference in the patterns  mimic the impressions left behind on the soft sand as the tide goes out or the tracks left behind by a tractor after it’s pulled the boats to shore.
My favourite piece from the collections is the Penmon, with it’s bold black stripes inspired by the lighthouse after which it’s named.  Camilla created this throw to raise money for the Air Sea Rescue services on the island of Anglesey, following their rescue of one of her closest friends from a fall on the rocks at Penmon Point. This throw has a special price point and all proceeds will go to the charity.
If you want to see the stunning collection for yourself Camilla will be exhibiting at all three Handmade in Britain fares this Autumn (Kew, Edinburgh and Chelsea) find the dates below. If like me that’s too long to wait then the collection is available here.  I highly recommend that you do, each piece is a future heirloom that will bring something extra to your interior.
As the nights are starting to draw in I can’t wait to have a soak in the tub, pour a glass of wine and snuggle under my throw with a good book, sheer bliss.
*  With thanks to Camilla Thomas Textiles for gifting the pieces for the purpose of this post.  Here are the dates for the Handmade in Britain fairs, links above.
Contemporary Craft Fair Kew / 12th – 15th October 2017
Contemporary Craft Fair Edinburgh / 27th – 29th October 2017
The Contemporary Crafts & Design Fair Chelsea / 10th – 12th November 2017
 
 

Summer Moments

From Lake side decks and country houses to golden wheat fields and city exploring I think we managed to squeeze in rather a lot of amazing things in the three weeks we have been away.   I can’t say it was all plain sailing what with the pesky weather playing it’s part in dampening our spirits a little and a rather nasty tummy bug that caught me by surprise.  All that said it was our Summer holiday adventure and with all it’s ups and down we thoroughly enjoyed it and want to do it all again with a little more sunshine and no sick!

Our first leg was to our spiritual home the Lake District with it’s moody mountains and deep waters, we love it so very much. One of the many highlights this year was to swim and canoe in and on Ullswater both exhilarating in their own way.  Moments of peace at Allan Bank in Grasmere a unique National Trust property that seems to go under the radar a little.   An evening of moules frites and a Shakespeare play in the Theatre by the Lake, frequenting a few cool cafes and stores (Chesters by the River, Lingholme Kitchen, Homeground Coffee + Kitchen) to keep me happy amongst the majestic scenery that surrounded us.

We then travelled south to Wiltshire a spot we go to every year to spend a happy family filled weekend in a field.  Nothing glamorous no mod cons but lots of laughter and a few cheeky drinks.  The golden light on the wheat field this year was rather breathtaking, the kids run amok it’s so freeing, we even drove tractors this year which was an eye opener!   I got my ceramic fix in Lacock pottery, can’t help myself.

Finally our last jaunt was onto the quaint village of Charlbury in the Cotswolds.  Be still my beating heart, it’s damn pretty there and the sun came out to greet us.  I finally got to visit Hidcote or should I say make a pilgrimage. What a delight these gardens are to wander.  The rooms, each one different to the next, such a joy.  Then finally, on our last day Oxford happened. Goodness me I fell in love all over again and can’t quite for the life of me remember why it has taken us so long to make a return visit.  An odd purchase in Objects of Use and Toast couldn’t be helped but hey I was on holiday.  A wander around New College, a museum dash and a Jane Austen exhibition and it was time to bid our farewells and return home.

It is lovely being home, it feels like we’ve been away for a very long time so getting acquainted with my things again is rather nice, waking up in our bed and finding new homes for our holiday purchases is always the fun part.

Above is a little glimpse of what’s coming up in next weeks post, how could I resist a beautifully made throw.

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Mood //Green to Blue

Normal services will resume next week I promise, hopefully I will be refreshed and rejuvenated and raring to go.  Who knows what work I will be taking on come September but for now I will leave you with my final holiday mood post.  This week I felt a fresher note would appeal, that of fresh green merging into a soft linen-like blue.

* All images taken from my Pinterest boards

 

 

Holiday Mood // Sun Bleached

I’m signing off for  few weeks, making a decision to take time for myself and not worry if I haven’t posted, instagrammed or answered emails.  Why should we put so much pressure on ourselves to stay connected.  Brave or not I am choosing to live in the moment with my family for a few weeks touring around in our caravan.

So for the next few weeks there will be a post but a short and sweet one, filled with an inspirational Summer colour palette, this week being pale and sun bleached.   I do hope you understand but even us freelancers need time out when the Summer holidays come knocking.

See you mid August, hope you all have a wonderful break too and the sun shines where ever you are.

  •  All images taken from my Pinterest boards

 

Let in the Light

It’s Summer and there is nothing nicer than throwing open the doors and windows to the garden letting in a warm breeze and dappled light.  I’m lucky that I have French doors but I don’t like their design, the frames are dark and PVC as are all my window frames.  The light reduction it causes due to heavy frames is quite remarkable.  We replaced both our entrance doors last year for bespoke alternatives and it has made a huge difference to the light in the hallway and kitchen.

We dream of self building one day, creating a contemporary light filled home with large floor to ceiling windows, open spaces leading from room to room letting in maximum light but with all the right green credentials making the house self sufficient when it comes to energy saving.

For now that is still a long way off so we are considering updating our nasty frames for better version to maximise the light and stop the heat escaping.  Maybe a side extension to create more precious space off the kitchen with skylights to focus the light over that specific area.  It’s remarkable what choice you have today when it comes to updating your windows, Roofwindows.co.uk are a super place to start with a huge range of innovative well priced windows by Solstro to choose from with an excellent advice service on hand so you make the correct decision.

Another great way of maximising light in a small dark space is internal glazing, replacing heavy wooden doors with glass ones, if privacy is an issue frosted window film is a great alternative than etched glass.  Painting your walls in paler colour tones helps lift the space,  placing mirrors opposite a window also bounces light perfectly.  Even down to choosing lightweight fabrics rather than heavy drapes when dressing your windows or maybe if you are lucky and not overlooked perhaps no curtains at all.

For now I shall keep saving to replace my brown PVC horrors and keep dreaming of my white, bright contemporary house with floor to ceiling windows!

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13

  • This post was paid for by Roofwindows.co.uk

Dining in Black // Also Home

When dining goes dark, I have fallen head over heals for dark ceramic dinner plates they just make your culinary efforts sing.  Also Home recently got in touch with me to see if I could coordinate some of their dining range with flowers.  My eye was instantly caught by their matt black glazed  Kuro Scandanese (Scandinavian & Japanese) inspired ceramics.  They are the perfect blend of simplicity and natural design that is often found in  Scandinavia and Japan.   The very nature of the way these ceramics are made is the very ethos behind Also Home and all their products. Every item is beautifully made in natural and tactile materials, the pared back Kuro collection focuses on shape and form to create these simple hand-crafted style ceramics.

The soft matt black glaze of these tactile plates work beautifully placed on soft slubby linen, surrounded by pale Summer stems.  I’m not one for brights as you all well know but I am quite partial to pale pastel seasonal blooms.  I don’t think any table setting is complete without a floral display be it in a big full vase or jam jars dotted down the centre of the table.  I felt that the plates needed to do the talking so gently laid a few simple selected stems with an easy knotted napkin.  The rest of the flowers I placed in different sized vintage bottles to soften the look.

To make the setting complete I used a unique pressed bamboo lacquerware bowl in matt black, the contrast of the lacquered outside to the smooth pale pressed bamboo inside is stunning.  I don’t think any salad could look bad in one of these artisan made bowls.

Also Home are a wonderful brand who believe in uniqueness, quality and individuality.  Every item is designed and sourced to support talented artisans across the world.  The unique nature of each piece has real beauty in its simplicity, every home needs a little bit of their simple well crafted style to create an truly inspiring interior.

  • With thanks to Also Home for the plates and bowl that are featured in this post