Ingenious Wallpaper

I  never thought I would be tempted by wallpaper but this may be about to change.  Technology and designs are improving at a very fast rate, there is so much choice out there it is quite mind boggling.   To create a space that is so striking and seamless that you can’t tell if its art work or wallpaper is quite remarkable.

When Walls Republic got in touch wondering if I would be interested in using some of their samples I jumped at the chance.  It gave me food for thought when it comes to decorating.  To add texture and pattern to a room through papering a wall is something I usually steer clear of but I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of these samples to the point if I were to have to choose I’d have great difficulty.

To be able to create an effect of say bare bricks, chipped wood panels or galvanised tiles into a room in your home rather than it being exclusive to modern rustic loft spaces or industrial warehouse.  Or a large mural that you probably would only see in a gallery space is quite revolutionary for interior design.

Alas I didn’t have enough of these stunning wallpapers to decorate a wall with but large samples do have there uses.  They make for wonderful backdrops for flat lay photography as the designs are so striking.  Also with these being large samples you can definitely get a feel for which design you would prefer to chose before investing in many rolls and not liking the end result.  Taping panels to the wall you want to paper and assessing is just the same as painting tester squares when choosing paint colours.  The same principles apply as to how the light changes in the room you want to paper,  which wall and how many do you want to cover and does the colours blend well with the current furniture and accessories.

Coming back to the designs on the samples I have had fun using them this week, I feel in love with the marble effect pieces, so rich and luxurious with an added dollop of glamour, the sample worked wonderfully well behind my bed.  Designed using tactile inks with its many natural tones and shades within the precious elements this collection allowed the freedom to add bold colour combinations, such as burnt orange and taupe which highlight the metallic and mica touches for greater depth and dimension.

So if you are thinking of having a shake up and adding some extra something to your home why not consider wallpaper, apparently it is the hottest trend for 2018 and who am I to disagree!

Jx

  • with thanks to Walls Republic for gifting the wallpaper samples.  All products are only available in the US and Canada.  Wallpaper Direct is a similar alternative for the UK, Europe and Australia

 

 

 

To Iluminate // Talking Lights

Lighting is such an important part of any interior and can sometimes get over looked until the last minute, especially where sockets and switches need to be positioned.  If I had the choice to redesign my home then these important items would be redressed first I can tell you.

I like a mixture of lighting to create ambiance in a space, there’s nothing worse than a bright ceiling light being the only option.  Central ceiling lights can become a rather attractive feature if you are clever and are able to use a dimmer switch to soften the intensity.  To distribute your lights around a room means you can use them as task lighting when you need them, such as a floor lamp placed next to the chair you read in or an unusual table lamp to stand on a sideboard to add a soft warm glow when curled up watching the television.

I’m quite into sleek modern lamps at the moment too, beautiful structures that look like pieces of art rather than a light, especially wall hung lights with adjustable arms, sleek and modern definite statement pieces. I do like a bare filament bulb too and most of my ceiling lights where I have them are bulbs hung from long lengths of cord.  The brilliance of this in my house is that none of the ceiling roses are central so I can hook the lights where I want them.

There are more and more lighting companies online now filled with amazing choices of any light you can imagine, especially focusing on LED and energy saving bulbs.  Lights.co.uk have some rather brilliant designer minimalist designs that really caught my eye like the Bullea white hanging light by Teamitalia a pair suspended over a dining table makes for a striking statement.

Whether you are a traditionalist when it  comes to lights or one to embrace the modern sleek minimalist look then I hope that I’ve inspired you a little enough to make a few changes in your own home.

Follow my pinterest board for more statement designs below.

Jx

Images 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10

 

Say it with Flowers // Wreaths

This beautiful book was kindly sent to me from Katie and Terri who are the duo behind WORM London.  This is their first publication and I hope not the last.  Filled with inspiration to create fresh, foraged and dried floral arrangements based on wreaths.

The simple steps guide you through the equipment you will need and the different wreath structures you can use.  All the projects in the book are relaxed and simply constructed and there are no rules, it is a base to have fun and create beautiful displays that reflect the seasons.  Within each chapter of  fresh, foraged, dried and festive there are many arrangements you can indulge in from wild spring wreaths to rustic wall hangings that will bring joy.

What I love about this book is the imagery: so fresh, vibrant, simple and inspiring it is a wonderful addition to have in my collection and will be read over and over.

Wreaths is now available to buy from all good bookshops and online.   It is a must buy if, like me, your home feels empty without flowers.

Jx

 

 

 

 

Hello Easter

Hello Easter you are a welcomed sight.  Taking a few days out to spend with my family and to enjoy these precious days, sleeping, laughing and eating buckets of chocolate, as you do.

Hope you all have a good Easter, it really is a magical celebration and for me the true signal that Spring is with us and warmer days are ahead.

Jx

Bathing in Style with Rowen & Wren

Every once in a while a company that you love launch a new product range and oh my Rowen & Wren have stylishly excelled with their new bathroom collection.   From hand crafted bathroom furniture, soft waffle towels and textiles, stripped back utilitarian fittings all designed in a rustic but restrained palette that will bringing a calm and restorative feel to your bathing experience.  The range of finishes and hues will fit in any setting from classic to contemporary interiors.

I simply love the linen waffle towels the colour palette of pale grey, shingle grey and tea rose compliment the collection perfectly and the sheer crumpled softness of the bath and hand towels is heavenly.  They work wonderfully in my monochrome paired back home, there is nothing nicer than wrapping yourself up after a lovely soak in linen, its a wonderful indulgence.  To make that soak in the tub that little bit special being able to use A S Apothecary products tops it all off.  I’m very much a believer in hand made naturally produced skin care products as you well know and these are beautiful for healing and rejuvenating without using nasty chemicals or plastics.  The mint and charcoal soap not only smells divine but sits stylishly in the Bilton soap dish a perfect match.

What I find most appealing about Rowen &  Wren is their eye for thoughtful design effortlessly bringing products together that sit well in every environment be it classic or modern.  Each piece has a grace about it, beautiful and distinctive and well crafted in muted colours that I find calming and peaceful.   A life more beautifully lived, their ethos behind each collection shines through.  Each piece individually chosen to tell a story in your home, an effortless combination of classic and modern meaning everything will sit comfortably be it in a country retreat or a city pad.

For me its the tones of each piece that make it all sit so well together from their soft natural bed linen to the clean contemporary lines of the furniture to the simple table ware, everything flows and has a purpose.

Everyone needs a touch of Rowen & Wren in their homes, they have kindly given me a 10% discount code TEAWITHRUBY for all my readers which is valid for a month.  Just enter the code at checkout to bring that added touch of effortless calm and sophistication to your interiors.

Jx
* with thanks to Rowen & Wren who gifted the bathroom products for the purpose of this post.

Healing Wonder // Magic Organic Apothecary

This post is a dream for me to write, hand on heart I use a MOA product every single day be it the magic of green balm or the soothing qualities of the fortifying green bath soak.   I don’t know why I haven’t written about this wonderful brand before as it’s been in my bathroom cabinet for quite a few years now.  I definitely need to be shouting rather loudly about it as I most certainly couldn’t be without it and I think if you don’t already know about MOA then you most certainly should.

It all starts with the humble herb yarrow or it’s Latin name Achillea Millefolium, I grow it in my garden but it can be found up and down the land growing in hedgerows all across the country.  This simple but beautiful plant holds amazing properties for healing and repair that go back centuries   It is steeped in history and folklore for it’s healing powers but has been slightly over looked in modern day skin care, until now.

I talked to Charlie the owner of MOA about how it all started and what plans she has for the future.

It all began after my first child Jemima was born, she suffered with horrible eczema as a toddler and so I started to look into the petrochemicals being prescribed and began to realise the scary long term effects of using these creams on a daily basis. Although I was lucky enough to have been brought up with home cooked meals, becoming a mum had opened my eyes to a more healthy plant based diet and I was more conscious about what we put in, and on our bodies and what to avoid!

I inherited a love of gardening and plants from my Father and Grandmother and had become really interested in herbology and was introduced to a humble herb named yarrow (Achillea Millefollium), this powerful, ancient healing herb has so many properties and I was astonished to find that very few skincare products contained this miraculous ingredient, despite being a favourite amongst many herbalists.  I was also particularly charmed and inspired by the wealth of magical folklore surrounding our plants and flowers. I draw all the illustrations and design the packaging and have always been fascinated by myths and magic and so these old tales have become an important part of the MOA brand. I am constantly inspired by nature and I love being outdoors appreciating the shifts in seasons and all the different flora and fauna that emerge throughout the year.

Our original product, The Green Balm harnesses the powers of our hero herb yarrow – Achillea Millefolium, it takes its Latin name from Greek hero Achilles, who legend has it, used it to heal his soldiers wounds after battle.  With its simple nourishing base and tea tree, nature’s powerful antiseptic, it creates a powerful healing synergy and can be applied to soothe a lengthy list of skin complaints from eczema, psoriasis, insect bites, bruises, minor burns and it also makes a wonderfully balancing facial cleanser, ideal for acne and problematic skin.  My whole family use it for everything at home, we have pots all around the house!  In the beginning I worked alongside a herbalist to create our organic Green Balm, but now I have gained more experience, I start the initial formulations at home and bounce ideas off my small team and my family.  The yarrow is grown at an organic farm in Somerset, which is where I grew up, I try and get down there to sow the seeds as I love the creative process of making a product from start to finish.

We already have new ideas in development for 2018, I am impatient to get them out there, but the process is so long and we are all so busy juggling the rest of the business, so it takes time.  All our newer products are all vegan and we are also looking at ways of becoming more eco, using less plastic and recycling our bottles somehow. So looking forward to revealing our next product launching this April”

I like to take care of my skin and my evening routine involves MOA, to relax and de stress I always take a bath using either the fortifying green bath potion or the dreamy mineral soak.  When I need to focus on my breath and relax my limbs then green bath potion is my preferred choice.  The heady scent of peppermint and detoxifying fennel help enormously, this revitalising herbal blend makes your skin tingle and is also brilliant if you are feeling a little under the weather.   If I’m wanting to wind down ready for a good nights sleep then the therapeutic qualities of a salt bath using the mineral soak is perfect.  The scent of lavender oil eases your mind and the antiseptic lemon peel gently brightens the skin.

 

I finish off treating myself to Hello Sunshine an energising zesty body oil hydrating and purifying my skin, the citrus sweet notes of antibacterial lemongrass and marjoram essential oils awaken the senses, kick-starting circulation providing essential minerals, antioxidants and vitamins to protect and tone.  It truly is sunshine in a bottle and makes me feel fabulous.

Of course green balm gets used for everything especially on a daily basis for keeping my hands and feet soft and subtle.  Ruby my daughter uses it as facial cleanser which helps enormously with her teenage skin.  I’m also starting to use Aphrodite facial oil to help ward off premature ageing especially my neck and to smooth fine lines around my eye giving my skin a radiant glow.

So yes I would be totally lost without my MOA products they make my skin feel alive.  Plus the added gravitas of the products being cruelty free by carefully selecting organic and botanical ingredients that improve overall well being.  Also creating mindful and conscious packaging using recycled board and vegetable inks for printing, everything that I hold dear in my every day life.

If you love MOA as much as I do or want to give it a try Charlie has generously given me a discount code for my readers to use to get 25% off all products until 30th April using TEA25 at checkout.  Let’s start the green balm revolution together!

Jx

  • With thanks to MOA for gifting products for the purpose of this post.

 

One Dark Wall

I’m not going to tell you how to decorate with dark paint, just a simple post embracing the darker shades just because I love them.

I lean towards dark walls in my home, even to the point of painting wall and ceiling the same colour which gives a wonderful cocooning effect, if you have decent windows natural light bounces off the surfaces without making the room feel claustrophobic.

I think its a total myth that dark walls make a room feel small, it has the opposite effect in my house.  I’m not suggesting to paint every surface black by any means. A balance of light and shade is good, such as painting an entrance hall in a dark hue revealing a bright living space. It definitely draws the eye.

Places to get inspiration for going over to the dark side are Abigail Ahern and Rockett St George. They both use dark elements to amazing effect and show you how it can be done well.

Some of the best paint brands do exquisite dark tones, Cassandra Ellis new paint range is delicious with names like Bitter Chocolate and Ink.  My old favourites Farrow & Ball who I have used extensively throughout my home, the latest dark colour I have used is Blue Black which is deliciously inky.  Bauwerk Colour do some wonderfully rich shades with their unique limewash paint also I can’t forget Little Greene and their deep colour choices.

So my advice is if you are thinking about dark paint and are a little reluctant, don’t be; give it a go and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  Start small and maybe paint one wall at first but I know once you start you won’t be able to stop.   Another thing to remember is it’s only paint; if you really don’t like it then get the brushes out and change it.

If you need a little more inspiration come and follow my dark pinterest board, so many ideas all in one place.

Now what can I paint next, I’ve got my eye on Off Black and maybe some more dark tiles for our bathroom when we get around to changing it!

Jx

Images 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14

 

 

Snow Stops Play

Well not exactly, shall I say snow stopped work plans but how often do you get chance to have time off with your daughter when you work from home!

So my planned post for this week went out of the window sidelined for cuddles on the sofa, watching movies, drinking hot chocolate and being entranced by the snow swirl outside the window.

Normal services will resume next week, well that is if the weather behaves itself.

Jx

 

 

Let The Light In // Curtains & Blinds

Curtains and blinds are quite an investment when it comes to dressing each window of your home but worth the thought and effort put into getting it just right.  I would love to be able to have a large expanse of windows where I could leave them bare with an out reaching view of fields and hills but unfortunately I don’t have that, I have small windows and neighbours who may not appreciate seeing into our house when taking a bath!

I’m not one for fussy colourful curtains, although they may create a cosy feel, I find them a little restrictive. I like soft linen draping beautifully, Roman blinds and muslin to screen but let in the light. All my window dressings are there to mask the windows as well as being practical for the space. A clever trick to make a room look bigger is to keep the colour palette of walls and window dressing similar, soft calming colours and simple clean lines work to perfection.

If curtains are too bulky but you still need to keep the heat in or distribution of light to diffuse bright glare then blinds are the perfect option, we all love sunshine streaming into our homes but don’t like the consequences of furniture fading and perishing.  There are a myriad of options out there, the technology is rather mind boggling.  Did you know that you can get remote control blinds that you can set to rise and fall according to the daily sunrise and sunset.  Also to be able to remotely control the blinds via your mobile or tablet so great when you are away from home.  These blinds would work brilliantly on windows that are high up that you can’t reach to draw manually.

It depends on how much light you like to disperse into a room throughout the day, I like waking with the sun so have chosen to have fine linen curtains in the bedroom to let in that dappled glow but I know that black out linings are rather popular for those who struggle to sleep or work shifts.

 

When it comes to bathrooms it’s more about privacy that controlling the light.  Sheer fine muslin or a simple blind works brilliantly, keeping the space clean and bright with minimal fuss, especially with this being a highly humid environment you need something that is easy to keep clean.

Kitchens are similar to bathrooms,  you need that extra bit of privacy but over  fussy curtains don’t work especially near sinks or cookers, they hold cooking smells and can get grimy very quickly.  Cafe shutters are a good option but  simple adjustable blinds are equally viable.

There are many minimal styles to choose from but I’m sure the right one is out there for you.  I hope that these tips and looks have inspired and will help if you are quibbling about how to dress your windows at home, well it may have reduced the choice just a little bit!

Jx

Images 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 131415 & 16

 

 

A Winter Weekend Break in Oxford

I think I’m going to let the images do the talking in this post.  I have no words to describe how much I adore Oxford, so our fleeting visit wasn’t long enough I needed more time, days, weeks, years!!

We treated ourselves and stayed in a pretty cool pub for the two days of our whistle stop visit, I would highly recommend The Head of the River perfectly placed beside the Thames and walking distance into the city.  The rooms are designed well with all the extra touches to make your stay feel like home.  The bar and food are superb too, I can’t fault the attention to detail and didn’t want to leave.

The weather was a bit brisk but we wrapped up warm and crammed in as many of the sights we possibly could muster.  We spent twilight listening to a choir singing in Christ Church Cathedral, wandered around Balliol College, went up the tower of St Mary’s to take in the aerial view of the dreaming spires and spent a couple of hours indulging in art and history in the Ashmolean.  We wandered through Jericho and visited Illyria Pottery  it was also joy to finally meet Katie the owner who let me go down to look at where the pottery magic happens in her studio below the store.  It’s a must visit if you are ever in Oxford.  Of course I indulged in a little retail therapy, a beautiful bowl from Illyria and a few purchases from Object of Use, the unique independent store that is a must visit. Also I couldn’t leave without a browse in Toast and treated myself to a new early Spring dress.

You are never very far away from some rather cool independent coffee shops and restaurants, the best coffee to be had at Society Cafe and the most delicious sourdough pizza at Franco Manca.

Apart from all of that there is still so much to see and do, we didn’t even scratch the surface but one thing you do get to see everywhere you go is the stunning rich warm tones of the sandstone architecture which takes your breath away.

I didn’t want to come home but alas I had to but until next time, Oxford you were a blast.

Jx

 

Can You Have Too Many Bags? // Village England

The answer to the above is absolutely not!!  Especially if you own a Village England variety, you really do want them all.  I like a bag that is big enough to cope with all my stuff but one that is equally stylish but will stand the test of time.  Nothing too faddy or in your face but with a touch of quirkiness that compliments my personality, if that makes sense.   It can be a tricky business choosing the right bag especially a very well made one that isn’t cheap and nasty.

Village England are quite unique, their core values are ones of sustainability, striving for better in this age of consumerism and mass production.  They use the most amazing full grain natural leather, luxuriously tactile and buttery but exceedingly hard wearing.  Simple designs that are quite timeless and effortless to wear, all expertly crafted to the highest standard.  Also clever touches such as pockets on the inside and beautiful heavyweight cotton sateen lining, details like this make all the difference.

What is most important to them is not just the bags but the people behind the brand through the design to the leatherworkers who craft the final product, all manufactured in impeccably ethical surroundings by partners who share their core values.  The vision is to be able to trace every bag to the farm it came from, which is an ongoing process that I am sure will be met along with the commitment to improving the health of the UK leatherworking industry too.

Along with their wonderful ethics Village England bags are rather beautiful, yes I definitely agree that a bag can be beautiful, I have a Belthorn and it makes me smile every time I leave the house and has courted quite a few compliments whilst out and about with me too.  It’s the finer details that I love about these bags, from the subtle clasps and fastenings to the small detailed difference throughout each design.  The capsule collections work very well so you can choose a bag the suits you and the purpose it is intended for rather easily.  The colour ways of the leather are stunning too obviously my go to black has a wonderful sheen right through to sumptuous reds and vivid royal blues.

Last year saw Village England launch new categories such as a fine selection of jewellery, purses, pouches and interchangeable straps to work alongside the leather goods.  Also the introduction of a canvas tote bag that is a collaboration with the women’s charity ABC Nepal.  Each bag is made by a woman who has been a victim of trafficking and exploitation who are now vocationally trained in sewing and fabric work by the marvellous team at ABC.  All profits from the sale of each tote goes to ABC Nepal, you will also find the name of the bags maker written on a card attached to the bag.   All these things add up to making a big difference.

So next time you are thinking of investing in a new bag please do take a look at Village England, they come highly recommended by myself on so many levels.  It’s good to know a bag isn’t just a fashion accessory it is so much more.

Jx

  • with thanks to Village England for gifting the Belthorn for the purpose of this post

The Perfect Night Sleep with Leesa

I think you all know by now that I love my bed. I like being asleep, I like sitting with a cup of coffee first thing in the morning waking up slowly, and on a weekend spend hours sat there watching the clouds out of the window or reading books.  So yes I really really do love my bed.

I’m quite lucky when it comes to sleep simply because I can get to sleep very quickly and stay asleep most of the night for at least 7-8 hours; annoying right?   I do think that routine is a big factor. I stop work at 6pm, eat a healthy home cooked meal most evenings, relax and unwind in a warm bath, ignore all technology in the evenings and often read a while before sleep, usually I’ll be in bed before 10pm and never have mobiles or laptops in the room.  Simple things really that are conducive to switching off and relaxing before bed.   I’m also a stickler for preparing for the next day, clothes ready and everything tidy so there is no running around like a crazy thing in the morning!

All this aside you can do all of the above and still not get a good night sleep if your mattress is wrong, get that bit right too and slumber is guaranteed.  Our old mattress was getting up to its recommended change date of 8 years (it was still in good condition so we donated it to the British Heart Foundation rather than put it in landfill).   I have heard many good things about the Leesa mattress not only on the comfort front but their environmental credentials too, so was rather excited to give it a whirl to see if it makes any difference to my sleeping.

Firstly can I tell you when the box arrived I was quite astounded that something that will go on your bed can possibly fit into it.  It’s a lot easier carrying a box up stairs than negotiating every corner and trying not to cause any damage to the house or yourself in the process.  Positioning the compressed roll is quick and easy then it’s the fun bit, slicing open the packaging and watching the Leesa mattress appear before your eyes, truly amazing.  I made a little video for you to see how darn easy it really is.

Now for the techy bit which is also rather fascinating. The Leesa mattress was designed to help you get a better night’s sleep, what makes it different from others on the market is the top layer of Avena foam.  It is a responsive material that allows airflow through the mattress for a cooler night’s sleep and provides just the right amount of bounce for freedom of movement.  There are two more layers in the unique combination of foam that make up these mattresses. Joining the Avena are memory foam and support foam which adapts to your body providing optimum support and comfort.  All the mattresses are also made in the UK and not shipped in from abroad.

The next important factor and another reason I wanted to get involved with Leesa is their ethical programme.  If you are not happy with your purchase the mattress can be returned within a 100 day period and will be donated to a local charity.  Their One-Ten programme also donates one mattress from every 10 sold and the One Earth programme sees a tree planted for every mattress sold to help off set their carbon footprint.   All of this is exceptionally close to my heart and highly commended.

So after all that information the big question, did I sleep well?   The answer is a rather resounding yes.  I can’t tell you how comfortable it is, you feel like you are lying on a cloud that supports every curve, not an ache anywhere when I woke in the morning.  The down side is that you really don’t want to get up when the alarm goes off its simply too good!

Jx

  • with thanks to Leesa for providing the mattress for the purpose of this post

 

Unique & Handmade

I think you are all aware now that I like to find those special one of kind companies to shout about, ones that hold dear to what I believe in, how I like to shop and that I love to recommend to the similarly minded folk who are my readers.

I have recently been introduced to Emma & Louise. This on line store is exactly what I have just been talking about. Bringing an inspirational collection of carefully selected hand crafted objects for the home and selected fashion accessories, all made in the UK by talented female designers and craftswomen.  From jewellery to storage, throws to handbags, tableware to stationery, every item loving created to bring an extra dimension for you and your home to cherish.

This wonderfully unique store is based on creativity, the creativity of women who’s beautiful hand crafted original pieces fill the site offering distinctive gifts that should enrich your homes.  Each craftswoman has her own unique identity but each one supportive of the other, together in one authentic marketplace.

Emma & Louise is passionate about creating a true community of talented artisans.  Each product you will find in the store has a story, the details behind the maker and the inspiration behind the items crafted, making each piece unique and personal, not something mass marketed and soul-less.  I love the thought, when I reach for my mug to make coffee first thing in the morning, of the hands that have sculpted this wonderful piece of clay into the vessel I cherish drinking from each day, or the candle that I light on an evening giving off its distinctive scent and who loving poured the wax into each glass jar.

The beautiful pieces featured in my post today conjured up winter for me.  The simple pleasures of these colder months to make a pot of tea, serve it in a hand made ceramic mug, place it all on a serving board, light the heavenly scented candle and curl up with a book whiling away a happy hour in sheer contentment.  Taking the time to appreciate each piece, the tactile nature of the cup in your hand, the smoothness of the wood and the intoxicating aroma of the candle.  All simple pleasures that need to be enjoyed.

I’ve been a fan of Join for some time, made in small batches in a garden studio in East London.  Pebble is an intoxicating candle a blend of bergamot and black pepper, inspired by childhood memories of skimming stones on a Cornish beach.  I simply love the masculine aroma it exudes, my favourite kind.

I am so pleased I found Pottery West on Emma & Louise, ceramics being a weakness of mine. These guys make the most exquisite pieces, small batch and wheel thrown with an emphasis on simple, ergonomic form and tactile functional glazes.  Their sheer earthiness is stunning, the Brut pourer and large Brut mug are now used every day and bring a smile of joy.

One can never have too many wooden boards, they are eternally useful for many things, this walnut serving board is no exception.  Made from a single piece of walnut hand carved by Rosie Brewer in Devon.  Each board is different, carved and sized by hand making it even more special when placed as a centre piece on your table.

I do hope that you can find the time to explore this truly unique store, helping you find that perfect gift or treat for yourself and to find out a little bit behind the women who make these simply authentic hand made pieces for you and your home.

Jx

  • With thanks to Emma & Louise who provided the items for this post

 

Cabin Escapes

Winter mood, makes me turn to all my wonderful interior books that are filled with homes that encapsulate the cabin vibe, Scandinavian style at its cosiest.  This time of year makes me want to disappear into the woods to my fictional cabin and weather out these darker months before Spring returns in a cocooned state of happiness.

I wonder if like me you feel exactly the same, piling up the blankets and throws, snuggling up in your chunky knit jumpers and warmest slippers creating that little bit of cabin style in your own home.  So settle yourself down and dream with me. Bring on all the wood, texture, sheepskins, blankets, tactile concrete, picture windows with cushion-strewn seats and the obligatory log burner with neatly stacked log pile.

Simple pleasures of a layered bed to sleep in, a warm inviting bathroom to thaw out in after being outside in the forest, the squishiest sofa to curl up in with a warming mug of hot chocolate to indulge in and more wood, more and more!

The best publications to give you that cabin high and ones that I turn to at this time of year are Elle Decoration Country and The Scandinavian Home by Niki Brantmark,  let’s escape together.

Jx

Images ~ 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11

 

January Skies

 

Well here we are January and I’m sat typing this still in holiday mode watching the rain pouring down outside and I have the lights on in the middle of the morning!    That said I quite like the feeling of hunkering down, laying low for a while gathering my thoughts not running head long into the year at a fast pace with a list as long as my arm of things I know I couldn’t possibly achieve.  I am a go slow kind of person, always have been but I get there in the end.  So no resolutions for me just keeping up with what I have been doing and improving on that.  Now that the Christmas decorations are packed away for another year I like the feeling of space and will take the time to stop and look around to fully appreciate all the wonderful things I have in my life and have achieved over the last year.

I find this month one of true reflection and self care.  I have planned to get outside more than ever this year, it truly helps clear ones head along with my morning swim.  I do pretty well on looking after myself, I make time on an evening to have a soak in the bath but this year I am definitely going to invest more in invigorating potions to add to the water, one of my favourite places to go is Magic Organic Apothecary, these guys really know how to self care the natural way.  Once out of the steamy bath I like nothing more than to wrap myself up in a luxurious gown and  Toast do the best ones around, one of my gifts this year was a Kimono style gown that I could honestly live in!  I adore anything from Aesop and have gradually over time added most of their products to my bathroom cabinet, a soothing face mask rejuvenates the skin especially at this time of year when you can feel a little sluggish.

Another great thing about the darker days is being able to curl up with a good book, wrapped up in blankets to lose yourself for a while.  Take the time to enjoy that pot of tea rather than drinking it on the go, things can wait. Nothing is more important than looking after yourself and one of the most beneficial things we can do is sleep, so after lingering over that cup of tea, taking a soak in the tub and wrapping yourself up in your linen gown, climb under the duvet and let your body rest, no phone, no laptop just pure sleep.  What are these darker days for if we can’t take time out to properly look after ourselves when the sun goes down.

I do hope that you are taking time out too to slow down and enjoy these winter days, simple and still is most certainly the way to do it.

Jx