Windows to the World // Understated Glazing

I wrote a post about windows over a year ago with no notion that I would be writing again about the same subject but with brand spanking new ones in my own home.  A year ago I was dreaming of new windows but fate took over and here we are.   All my sentiments and reckoning in my other post still stand true today but finally I have got rid of the nasty nasty brown light sucking pvc nightmares that leaked heat.  All the glass panes had blown so we couldn’t see out of them and I couldn’t bear thinking about another winter with these dodgy monstrosities.   Waking up on cold mornings having to mop up water from the window sills was an arduous task and one that I didn’t want to have to endure any more.

A chance encounter gave us the impetus to start, not having a clue of price ranges and which companies were cowboys or not we took the plunge and had a few sales reps around (that’s the hard part) to give us quotes so we could make an informed decision.  All scary stuff as to who to trust, it is never as easy as it looks on Grand Designs but then again its always the glazing that goes awry!

Our budget wasn’t massive so we knew high end bespoke Critall windows were way out of our price bracket but what if we could get something similar we wondered?  I had set my heart on aluminium frames and not pvc, I didn’t want white or brown I wanted grey to compliment our interiors, also less frame and more glass and I found them.  Big picture windows to our specification and not an inch of plastic, we are over the moon with the service and installation (minus a fitting date hiccup) from Anglian Windows a reputable firm with high standards and who now also come with a recommendation from me.

The joy of knowing that my home is secure, energy efficient and warm is a weight off my mind.  The light that the new frames has brought to each room is utterly amazing, we knew there would be a difference but are astounded by how much.  Light plays a big part in our homes and when you are lacking it you really can tell, being able to watch the sky from bed on a morning is such a pleasure.  Not having to turn lights on in the middle of the day is another huge bonus and hopefully will reflect in our green energy bills.

I think windows with less frame and more glass are far more appealing, framing a view, no obscuring bars or added nonsense that just gets in the way and makes an ugly statement.   I like to look out of a window and to be able to while away a few hours curled up by a picture window is bliss.  Here are a few pictures of lovely spaces that inspired me to choose the frames for our house.

I know this may not be our forever house but for now the small improvements we keep making are adding value to our lives, our house is a rather homely place to be but we will keep dreaming of the modern new build that one day we will achieve and who knows Anglian may be fitting the windows.

Jx

Images 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13

  • This post is written as a personal review not in conjunction with any company, I have received no payment or discount, purely my own words and opinions

 

 

 

 

Natural Wellbeing with Essence + Alchemy

When the days start getting shorter and the evenings close in
bringing with it a sense of hibernation and rejuvenation after the heady days of summer;  I like nothing more than to unwind and relax by lighting scented candles or incense sticks to bring peace and tranquillity to my surroundings.  A big mug of tea or glass of wine curled up under a soft throw with a good book, you simply can’t beat these moments.
One of my favourite places to go to treat myself to botanical scented goodness is Essence + Alchemy, from their divine packaging to the heavenly scent of each of the goods, it truly is sublime with an added touch of magic. Lesley really is an alchemist,  bringing to the fore the four elements, fire, water, air and earth the inspiration behind each of her goods.  Everything is handmade in small batches with pure essential oils and packaged in an ethical way, everything has been sourced and produced to have as little impact on the environment as possible, the brands ethos behind what they do  and why is rather wonderful you can read more here.
We all seem to be living more increasingly busy lives but I try very hard to stop on an evening, the phone goes away along with the laptop what doesn’t get done today can wait until tomorrow.  We need time to restore and recharge, learn to breath, slow down our thought patterns and relax.  I find scent be it candles, aroma mists or incense help me focus and do all of the above.  Essence + Alchemy aroma mists and incense are subtle not overpowering but have delicate tones that help aid sleep.  I use the aroma mist before I go to sleep the scent helps me fall asleep quickly and brings with it a restful nights rest.   I am also a huge fan to incense sticks, I find the process of lighting and releasing the smoke into the room has such a powerful effect, the scent lingers for a long while after the stick has gone bringing with it a soothing calmness that helps with my overall well being.
I asked Lesley the founder of Essence + Alchemy became what it is today and how she sees it growing in the future, this is what she said.
“I started out as an Environmental Scientist and after experimenting for many years with botanicals and essential oils for their well-being properties, I decided that this was a true passion and it was time to launch a new venture. I started creating natural candles in my kitchen and then hatched the idea for Essence + Alchemy, which brings together the natural scent and energy of plants (essence) with my scientific and environmental background (alchemy). 
Candle making came about because it was a happy distraction from house renovations and then slowly became an obsession into making the best candles I could with quality materials.  I started E+A alongside my career as a self-employed environmental consultant which was hard work because I was often travelling and away overnight.
Moving into the garden lab earlier this year, I’m still investing a lot of time and resources into that.  I enjoy growing slowly.  I think E+A will always be small-batch, it’s very personal to me and rooted from an idea of sustainability and creating less.  Candles and products are all about wellbeing and aromatherapy so if it was mass production behind the scenes, it really wouldn’t fit with this.
I’ve just launched candle club which is a way of reusing candle beakers so that customers can receive a refill every month in their favourite scents without having to worry about a growing container collection.
Earth products, which is a new apothecary line, is launching end of the month/early October, starting off with bath salts.  I’m a massive bath lover and it’s always been a dream to make my own range.
Continuing to collaborate, I really love working with other makers or businesses on projects, it’s always something a bit different from what I’m usually doing. I’ve got a few exciting collaborations  coming up this year.
For the future, I’d really like one day to have a small space or a travelling space because I have a retro caravan to renovate – a small sanctuary where people can come and breathe in aromas. Maybe next year!”
I can’t image not having the joy that bontanical scent brings to me and my home, to my overall well being, it nourishes my mind and brings calm to my surroundings.  The world would be an altogether sadder place without it.
Jx

Slow Fashion // What’s in your Wardrobe?

How do you shop?  Do you buy seasonally or spontaneously? Do you think about what you are buying or just binge buy?  I used to to be the latter, couldn’t resist the next thing had a wardrobe full of clothes and still didn’t have anything to wear.  You can easily succumb to this way of living because there is always something new and shiny being presented to you.   Now I am the complete opposite and goodness has it taken some time to get here but I am happier and more content than I have ever been about myself, the clothes I wear and who I buy from.

I have streamlined everything, from my wardrobe to how we live in general. It was a concious decision, I wasn’t following any self help fads it just felt like the right time to do it, everything fell into alignment at the same time.  When it came to clothes I decided that rather than shaming myself and emptying the wardrobe I’d start with a simple rule: if I bought something new then two things had to go out to the charity.  It has made such a difference I can see what I own, what I like to wear and now if anything needs replacing then that goes out and something new takes its place.  Using this method I now shop seasonally,  I like treating myself to a new outfit each season and Autumn is definitely one of my favourite times of year to update what I have.  I tend to wear a lot of dresses, ones that can be dressed up and down for any occasion and that can take you through the seasons by adding knitwear or a slim long sleeved top, versatility is key.

I also shop from a small pool, quite often on line these days, I research quite a lot but know my favourite places to go for the perfect garment.   I like quality, sustainability and integrity, well made thoughtful designs that stand the test of time and last more than one season.  Clothes made from natural materials that are modern classics that also make me feel good when I wear them.  The same goes for what goes under my clothes, underwear is so important.  So I thought I’d share a few of my favourite brands that I’m rather fond of.

TOAST

I have shopped at Toast for many years, they suit me and my style down to the ground, beautifully made garments with a genuine passion behind every piece made, they are a joy to wear.  I have my eye on this dress for the coming seasons to add a little colour to my monochrome palette.

PLUMO

I buy all my jumper dresses from Plumo, they are almost a uniform; my comfort blanket clothes, they wash don’t bobble and look good with everything, need I say more.  Plumo work with artisans and designers to create original beautifully crafted designs that are a little more unusual to the high street. Simply perfect for me.

EASTBYEASTWEST

I have followed EastbyEastWest for some time now and I own a beautiful dark blue linen dress that I adore, it is a functional dress that I can wear on any occasion or season and it just works and I love it.   Their new Autumn collection this year is beautiful and I have my eye on one of their knitted dresses in a soft mocha tone, just exquisite.   This is definitely a brand that you invest in, timeless classic pieces that will enhance your wardrobe for years to come.   Owner Sunu designs all the collections herself using natural materials which are not only comfortable but beautiful and can be worn year on year.   They kindly sent me the seed necklace I am wearing with their blue linen dress I bought a few seasons ago.  I love chunky jewellery and this is perfect to pair with my Autumnal knits and dresses, made using coconut seeds all individually hand strung onto cotton ribbon, it is very lightweight but beautifully tactile.

ORGANIC BASICS

I have become increasingly aware of throw away underwear, why wear something shoddy and ill fitting underneath beautifully sourced clothes.  I have not worn under-wired bras for quite a few years now but I have found it quite difficult finding ones that I like and don’t make me feel older than my years!   Thankfully I found Organic Basics, their ethos stands well with how I want to see the fashion industry go.  ‘Basically better made, consciously created, designed to last’ sustainable organic underwear that looks good. The packing is paper and recyclable, not an inch of plastic to be seen!   If like me you want to give organic underwear a go I highly recommend Organic Basics and as an incentive I have a 15% discount code TEAWITHRUBYXOB15 to offer my readers pretty cool right?

Last but not least I have just invested in a new pair of sneakers, I live in them right through to spring and wanted a new pair to take the strain off my old ones.  I’ve heard many a good thing about Veja so thought I’d try a pair out. Mixing minimalist aesthetics and innovative technologies, Veja are sneakers that are made differently. Fabricated using organic or recycled, fair-trade cotton for the canvas and wild, fair-trade rubber for the soles, what’s not to like.  I bought mine from Second Store a female only online sneaker store focusing on interesting and emerging brands who are totally all about girl power.

There are other places I shop for essentials such as Cos and Hush but that is about it, simple effective brands that don’t undermine the consumer.  It truly is a great to feel good in your own skin and the clothes you have made a conscious decision to wear for their integrity and design.

Jx

 

Stepping into September

As we gently drift into the month of September I feel at ease with myself.  The last few weeks of August I always get a little melancholic and at odds with saying goodbye to warmer days and not quite ready for what’s to come with the changing seasons.  Then September arrives and the calmness arrives with it, I’m not one for the back to school thing, I don’t have it as kind of a substitute for New Year.  I like to slowly embrace this beautiful month’s qualities and really look at my surroundings not rush headlong into Autumn and have it all done and dusted within a matter of weeks and onto dare I say it Christmas.

Before I became a Mum I can honestly say September was my favourite month, we always holidayed at this time of year and we knew that it was definitely the perfect month for us to marry (15 years on the 27th if you are interested) now as the years pass it has changed a little what with true ‘back to school’ feelings but now that has passed we can take stock and relish in the weeks to come and all it has to offer.

Cooler mornings but still with a little warmth to stand outside in the garden warming your hands on a cup of coffee in the soft light of sunrise looking at the dew dropped spider webs and the rich warm colours of the flower beds.  It’s also the time of year that the garden starts really giving back the fruits of your labour, ripe plums, juicy apples and seed heads to decorate your home.  Foraging for blackberries, sloes and elderberries to make delicious jams and cordials and of course crumbles, September just wouldn’t be right with out blackberry and apple crumble.

Nature has a wonderful way of finding itself in our homes, Autumn is a season where we add softer elements to our interiors, warmer knits and chunky throws in rich, deep colours that replicate what we see when we look out of the window.  I simply love slowly adding these layers to our home, bringing in other touches such as scented earthy toned candles for when the nights draw in.  Snugly blankets to cuddle up in after a long hot soak in the tub.  You think of handmade tactile ceramics and textiles far more at this time of year and I couldn’t be happier.

So here I am welcoming early Autumn with open arms, I’m ready for you and all your splendour.

Jx

Images 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 all others my own

 

Dreaming In French

Holidays are precious things.  Time to be with the ones you love without any distraction other than being with each other.  As a family we enjoy our holidays and are lucky enough to squeeze a few in now that we have a caravan, we can hitch up and go.  This post is a little ode to our recent break away in France, it’s not a travel guide, I didn’t receive anything for free, it’s not full of trendy Scandi style eateries or homeware stores just a simple post about the most beautiful eclectic, idyllic unspoilt corner of the world that we called home for two weeks.

I found peace in the little town called Le Pouldu, it usually takes me a few days to settle somewhere new and even more after a long journey like ours but within hours of setting up our mobile abode I felt a sense of ease which was rather refreshing.  This small town in Southern Brittany is unpretentious, it isn’t full of tourism or lots of Brits, no big hotels or camp sites that are all inclusive.  You have to fit in with the local French folk who live there and that is exactly what we did, it was so liberating.

We hardly went anywhere in the car, only if we needed a supermarket run for supplies we couldn’t get from the local grocery store.  We walked everywhere and explored a new corner every day discovering the coastal paths, through the streets and fields to the port, short cuts to the beach, back up the main street to window shop in the unique artisan stores.  The houses were dreamy and we talked of owning one to live in forever, especially the ones with sea views.

The proximity to the sea from our little camp site was just perfect, you could hear the waves as you woke on a morning calling to you.  I swam everyday in the Atlantic, floating, cloud watching trying to savour every moment to the memory bank for those winter days to come.   The beaches in small coves weren’t full of tourists just locals enjoying the sunshine, I felt part of something bigger, laying in the sunshine toes in the sand, catching up on many books I have been stockpiling.

Everything goes at a different pace over there, it was restorative to be part of it even if it were for only a short while. Breakfasting later with fresh croissants and coffee bought that morning,  even later lunches of crusty baguette and goats cheese with a glass of local cider to the sound of boules being played on our camp site.  Afternoons lazing on the sand, swimming, laughing, reading being with each other.  Evenings wandering markets, watching firework displays, drinking muscadet by the port, walking the paths of the town to watch the sunset over the horizon or enjoying a meal out learning more French and being treated by the waiters to after dinner rum.

I always like bringing home with  me a few things to remind me of places we have visited and this holiday has been no different.  We invested in a new piece of art, small and simple but by a wonderful artists called Marie-Laure David who has a gallery in Pont Aven the town of artists.  I treated myself to some exquiste ceramics in a cool store in Le Pouldu  La Station by ceramist Anne Huet Rapeaud and of course the obligatory wicker basket and a couple of monochrome hammam towels from the local market.

Whilst away I truly switched off, I didn’t think about anything apart from what I was doing that day.  I didn’t plan or work, I hardly posted anything I was just living in the moment which was refreshingly wonderful.  On my return it has made me think a little, wondering in what direction I want to go with when it comes to Tea with Ruby, I suppose I’m not quite sure, I’m not one for chasing the bright lights, scrambling for the next big thing or shouting about it constantly, maybe I’m getting left behind but hey c’est la vie.  What it has taught me is to live every moment in the now, I’m sure something will come along to engage me once again in this funny old world we live in.

Jx

 

 

August Days & A Small Apology

Apologies in advance for my lack of post today.  Time kind of got away with me after returning from France yesterday so what I hoped to write about today has to go on the back burner until next week.

No cause for alarm mind you, it’s just I’m still in holiday mode; craving to be back in France and living a slower pace of life so I threw caution to the wind and decided not to rush.

If you look closely there are snippets in the collage above of what’s to come next week, hopefully I’ll be all geared up to embrace the end of Summer and moving forward as the sun starts to fade slowly into Autumn with that back to school feeling.

Hopefully I’ll be raring to go, see you all next week with my holiday adventures.  Have a wonderful bank holiday weekend, may it be filled with lots of fun and laughter.

Jx

Outside Living

Well what a Summer we are having, endless sunshine, warm balmy days and nights and a total urge to be outdoors as much as possible.  I can honestly say hand on heart I don’t think I have spent as much time outside in our garden relaxing, working, enjoying a meal as much as I have the last couple of months.  Neighbours aside it has been rather joyful.

We used to keep chickens and had a huge part of our garden taken over by their run but sadly we had to re house our last girl as she was too noisy bless her.  Sad as it was saying goodbye to 9 years of hen keeping it was lovely to regain a piece of the garden to turn into a gravelled seating area that is shady.

We have managed to create 3 separate seating areas in our tiny garden which is quite something, one on the patio that gets the morning sun that is perfect for having breakfast or morning coffee, I treated myself to some Ypperlig chairs from Ikea that work wonderfully here.  The second being a little area in the main garden but big enough for a little deck to fit a double seat on that I love from John Lewis and thirdly the new gravelled addition that houses a couple of wooden chairs, plenty of shade loving plants in vintage containers and the all important fire pit that comes in very handy when the sun goes down, basking in its warmth and being able to toast marshmallows is the biggest treat of all.  The trusty fire pit takes you right through into the Autumn months, wrapping up in blankets and warming your hands by the fire or around mugs filled with hot chocolate.  This beauty is from The Wood House and comes in different sizes depending on the area you need to fill.  One other essential thing needed when outside especially in the evening is candles, ones that keep the bugs away from biting your ankles, I highly recommend the Bug Off candle from Essence + Alchemy.  Not only does it give off a warming glow but it is infused with a sweet, citrus and minty insect repelling combination of citronella, eucalyptus, lavender and cedarwood essential oils.  I will be taking this away with me in the caravan too for our evenings relaxing in our caravan awning.

Each section has a different feel so you can move around the spaces to suit your mood or the part of the day that you want sun or shade.  Just a little bit of time spent on the garden to make the surroundings pleasant to sit in and then all you need to do is add the accessories to bring the inside out.  Outdoor living is good for the soul when the sun shines but making it a haven for peace and tranquillity with homely pieces such as blankets and throws and an odd cushion or two make it all the better.  When enjoying a meal outside why not dress the table too, it makes for a convivial display and you are more likely to stay outside longer because of it.

So whatever your space be in a balcony or a tiny yard breathe a little life into it by adding those simple touches to make it a space to be outside.

Jx

Images 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12

With thanks to The Wood House for the fire pit and Essence + Alchemy for the Bug Off candle

 

How to Live with a Small Bathroom // Monochrome Dreaming

Confession time, I dislike my bathroom but neither have the funds or the space to do anything about it at the moment.  The thought of being bathroomless fills me with more dread than living with the one I have currently got.  I would simply adore my home to be glossy magazine worthy but that just isn’t going to happen with my dodgy 80’s taps and strange wooden dado rail that grace my walls!  We have ripped up nasty laminate and painted everything in hard wearing blackened by Farrow & Ball which blurs the lines to this tiny tiny 2 m² space.  The saving grace is the suite is white we’ll just ignore the acrylic bath with old lady grab handles.

I have added little touches that make it a nicer space to be in and I do love having a long soak.  We have a super slimline cupboard from Ikea that hides all the bathroom essentials and keeps the surfaces clear.  With the shower being over the bath we replaced the shower head and attachments to a simple stainless rose, pipe and control panel so no extra fuss. We have just added a sleak new shower screen from the new Elle Decoration Noir range for Bathstore that has stopped the leaks and is perfect for what we need.  All other touches give it a cohesive look that makes you ignore the crappy tiles and dodgy dado. A beautiful oak loo seat from Baileys if you can call a loo seat beautiful and an oak loo roll holder from Workshop Living , soft linen towels by Rowen & Wren, and a super Hunter & Jones Berber style cotton bath mat that is sumptuous to step onto after a lovely soak. The next small change is happening late Summer as we have bitten the bullet and are replacing all the windows for grey aluminium ones, more window less frame so should make a huge difference to the quality of light.

So you don’t really need that glossy magazine bathroom, you can make little changes and add thoughtful accessories to make your bathroom into a relaxing place to spend quality moments for that all important bath to rejuvenate and collect your thoughts.

I know exactly how I would transform this space if I could, monochrome would be the colour scheme, I find it works so well in a bathroom especially one as small as mine. I gather inspirational images all the time but always come back to the same look.  Streamlined fixtures, clean lines, no fuss and I’d definitely fit in a feature tile somewhere by Mandarin Stone, I have one leaning up behind my sink to help me visualise how it could be, one day.

So for now I shall live with my little tired space but shall dream big via my Pinterest board.

Jx

Images 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16

 

Days Out // New Year Goals

Back at the beginning of January I stated that I wanted to get outside more this year.  Not a New Years resolution just a goal for myself to achieve slowly.  We as a family seem to be doing quite well, organising our time so that weekends are freer for exploring together.  Choosing to go out and find somewhere to visit in our area has been fun and has made weekends feel longer than they are.  It is so easy to get stuck by the time Saturday comes around, energy levels can be low and all you want to do is sit on the sofa, I know how easy this is as I’ve felt like it all week. A mid year slump maybe but holiday season is soon to be upon us and I’m certainly on the count down to our long break away to France in a few weeks time.  Long lazy days in the Breton sunshine, relishing in a different pace and way of life amongst the  beautiful beaches and market towns of Brittany.

It has been refreshing this week to just write about nothing much, a personal post full of images that bring me joy and memories created with my family.  So I hope that that my goal of being outside more keeps going right through into the Winter months which will make me most proud.

Did you make any resolutions or goals in January that you’ve achieved or have they gone by the wayside?

Jx

 

Relaxed Coastal Style // Sally Denning // BlackshoreStyle

Every once in a while a book comes along that fills you with emotion, ones that conjure up a sense of calm and tranquillity, each page turned is a delight, drawing you deeper into the homes featured plus the inspiration of the coastal elements applied from colour palettes and textures, weathered wood and bleached linens.  I have a deep pull towards the sea, I don’t quite live right next to it more’s the pity but I am very lucky that I am a short drive away from it and get my fix as often as I can.  Now, where ever I am I can be transported to the shore when I relax and read Relaxed Coastal Style by Sally Denning.
This beautiful book will definitely be coming on my holiday with me to be read and re read whilst away in France, lucky for me I will be by the sea so its perfect.  I love the way the book is laid out in parts throughout, Coastal Elements guides you through how you can create a coastal interior picking up on simple design techniques and colour palettes that would suit your home. From weathered and bleached to dark and moody all of which can be found by the seashore, pale sandy beaches to inky stormy skies the palettes can be replicated through decor and accessories.   Then we get introduced to the Coastal hideaways, the homes that are situated right by the big blue ocean, from a Norfolk beach shack to a Coastguards house in Kent to a Mallorcan hideaway and a cottage on Cape Cod filled with vintage charm.  I don’t think I can choose a favourite as each one has a certain element that I adore but will most certainly be picking up little design influences to use in my own home.
I can wax lyrical about the book for ever but I am lucky enough to know the author Sally through being friends on instagram for quite some time.  I am in awe of her work, style, her eye for detail and she also has the most fabulous instagram feed BlackshoreStyle.  I asked Sally how the book came to fruition and this is what she said :

 

“I have been an interiors stylist for over 20 years and for a major part of that, styling and writing for interiors magazines in London. Now freelance, I have  always wanted to do an interiors book but if the truth be told, getting a Book proposal together had always been put on the back burner because normal work and life seemed to take over! One day, I was sitting in my car (the glamour!) working as the wifi had gone down at home as usual (!), and an email popped into my inbox from London publisher Ryland, Peters and Small asking me if I would be interested in styling and writing a coastal book for them. I didn’t realise that they followed my Blackshore Style account on Instagram, but this was one of the reasons that they gave me the commission as they seemed to like my style. Of course, I jumped at the chance, so thrilled that they believed in me, and chuffed to bits that they approached me to do it.

 

There was quite a bit of travelling involved to capture the images and a solid three weeks of shooting. Myself and the photographer, Ben Edwards travelled to the East Coast of America, Mallorca, mainland Spain, Cornwall and Norfolk to shoot the book with long days shooting, but in fantastic places by the sea. Dreamy actually and the sun shone too – we were so lucky! After all the images were taken, I started to write the book. I wrote it last Autumn, and each day lit the woodburner and sat at my laptop typing away – a process I really enjoyed as I haven’t done much writing since my magazine days. Then layouts and proofs started to come through earlier this year. I worked very closely with the publishers Art director and designer, working on every single page to make sure it looked as good as it could to fit their house style. I hope I’ve done the book justice and thank each and every person who has spent their hard earned cash on a copy. I’m forever grateful and honoured to have been able to create an actual, real life book!”
So if you don’t own a copy of Relaxed Coastal Style then where have you been, every coffee table in the land needs a copy so you too can be transported to the shore and be inspired to create that effortless simplicity that life by the sea brings.

 

Jx

 

* with thanks the Sally for letting me use her images alongside my own in this post.  You can get a copy of the book here.

 

Ryan’s Daughter a Stylist’s Dream

Many moons ago before Tea with Ruby was even a seed of a thought I poured over interior books and magazines and still do to this day.  I’ve always loved the laid back French style, muted colours, slubby linens, soft buttery ceramics weathered and worn wood.  One of my well thumbed books from this time was Essentially French by Josephine Ryan.  Never in a million years did I ever think I would get to visit her beautiful shop let alone call her a friend.

Roll on a few years and here I am writing about Josephine and her new venture Ryans Daughter. Opening the shop again to the public after a few years away seemed the right thing to do, serendipity as you will as this was the original premises of her first shop.   Times have changed but Josephine’s effortless style and eye for detail is ever present, bringing in new stock such as mid century modern pieces to sit elegantly alongside the pared back French antiques.  As the shop evolves supper clubs will be held on an evening bringing new life to this magical place.

Complimenting the home wares and antiques curated by Josephine, floristy and plants are being expertly designed by Sascha Rothing bringing another layer to the surroundings.  The entrance to the shop was exquisite, the floral displays drew you in and made you want to explore.  Once you enter it truly is a feast for the eyes every where you look you find another wonderful object that you never knew you needed!

Working with stylist, designers and bespoke clients Josephine brings her knowledge of the business to elevate the interiors and homes of many a lucky home owner.  Along side the shop she owns a property in France that has graced the pages of many interiors magazines and books, its surroundings in the French country side lend itself for retreats and workshops a like.  Taking time out to find peace and tranquillity amongst the most beautifully furnished home must be such an experience.

Visiting Ryans Daughter was a rather special moment for me and I sincerely hope that you all make a trip to Abbeville Road in Clapham to see it for yourself too.  Situated on the prettiest street not far from the common I couldn’t think of a better way of spending an afternoon amongst the splendour of this true gem of a shop.  Follow Josephine and the shop on instagram for all their updates.

Jx

  • All images my own of the shop, Josephine’s house in France found here and the dining room image here

 

Concrete Chic with Ross & Brown

I do have a confession to make I absolutely love concrete in all its shapes and forms, the minimal urban interior is something I covet, if you follow me on Pinterest you will already have figured that one out!  My dream would be to have cast concrete worktops in my kitchen and a polished concrete floor throughout the downstairs of my house.   For now though this isn’t a reality but I can add touches of it through accessories in my home.
Ross & Brown have just launched a new selection of home wares from LIKEconcrete to give folk like me that little slice of minimal chic to our interiors.  The brand has combined Danish style with refined industrial design using innovative technology to mould concrete in unique ways to create a silk like texture.  All created with organic, sustainable materials to reduce their carbon footprint.  Each of the products has been given an ancient Nordic name.
The Karin tray meaning clean and tidy is perfectly named.   These stunning trays are not only beautifully formed and tactile but are very useful around the home.  I like keeping certain items out on display, things that get used on a daily basis but don’t want to let them scatter all over creating a mess, feeling cluttered.  Having a stylish tray to place things on when not in use is very handy indeed, not only will things not go missing but you can create little vignettes with your things.   They come in three different sizes and colours all in my favourite monochrome tones.
This simple white concrete tray will become one of my favourite new additions, it looks great on the bedside table, keeping your essentials to hand like jewellery, hand cream and reading glasses.  It works equally well keeping all your bathroom lotions and potions essentials together, everything is in one place so you don’t have to go hunting for that precious face mask when needed.   Then again it doesn’t have to be just for storing your bits and bobs, it works equally well grouping your favourite ceramics and house plants on, creating a pleasing display.   Or even as a morning coffee tray, making every day that little bit more enjoyable and oh so stylish.
Along with the LIKEconcrete collection Ross & Brown stock some of the finest designer home wares, selecting brands such as Norman Copenhagen, Bloomingville and House Doctor DK.   The owners Peter Ross and Gary Brown started in the interior design and architecture world. Through their love of sourcing products for specific projects they began exploring the idea of setting up an on line store as a destination from which interior designers and home owners would visit to find new and interesting products.  The store has a minimal Scandinavian feel, filled with beautiful products for the home that make me very envious.  What I like most about Ross & Brown is that Peter and Gary have to love a product before they list it on the site, everything they stock they would have in their homes, as Peter puts it ‘we are essentially designers doing retail, not the other way around’.
So if you are like me and are after something a little different with a contemporary Scandinavian design edge then please do visit Ross & Brown you will certainly not be disappointed.
Jx
*  with thanks to Ross & Brown for gifting the Karin Tray for the purpose of this post