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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

Freight

If you’ve ever visited the East Sussex town of Lewes you’ll know that it hosts many stylish independent stores, ones that you won’t find on every high street.  I love the diversity that Lewes has, it is a beautiful place to visit.
One of these stores is Freight,  a favourite of mine not only because the products that they sell are exceptional and work perfectly with my pared back style, but the atmosphere created is one of calm, like spending time in a friends home.  Also I never leave empty handed, the well curated house-hold goods are exquisite and I really can’t resist having them in my own home.  They have an on line store too, perfect for when you are wanting that unique item that only Freight can deliver.
I had a chat with owner Helene who runs the store with her daughter Adele about how Freight came to be.
Helen previously had a shop in Lewes called ADAMCZEWSKI that she opened in 1999.  With similar principals to those Freight has now, the shop was all about finding useful things for the home that weren’t so easy to find pre-internet days. She sold products such as string, brushes and ceramics; anything that worked with the shops ethos with it’s own classic style. This chapter closed in 2010 to explore greener pastures.
 Fate took a guiding hand and in 2014 the shop which Helene still owned   became unexpectedly vacant again just before the Christmas period.  Helene’s daughter Adele thought it would be wrong to just leave it empty and sad looking due to it’s prominent position on the high street.  An opportunity not to be missed they quickly put together a temporary store naming it POPINSKI,  partly in homage to the old shop that had previously been there and the fact it definitely was a pop up.
 Having worked so hard to set up the temporary store full of new products they found themselves discussing and analysing the nature of shop keeping. They came to the conclusion that just filling shops from trade fairs was a bit boring and that the more interesting and challenging route to take would be to design and commission their own products by working with makers and manufacturers. They wanted a collection that would stand the test of time and that would be an ongoing response to how they wanted the collection to grow.  Recently they have added a knitwear collection which couldn’t have been further from the original concept but after meeting with some knitters and really liking  the Shetland yarn they used, they were inspired to trial it.   A decision well made as the knitwear has proven to be rather popular and Freight are now in the process of adding to the current collection. 
  It’s also so important to this dynamic Mother and daughter team that they are not designing for design’s sake. Freight products have to be functional, durable and of a very high quality.  They follow no one else’s rules, don’t follow trends or the latests fad fashions and subsequently their stock change is of a slower nature.  
This is why I love them, you know what you are investing in when you buy anything from Freight. I cherish the items I have, all of which enhance my home enormously. Simple earthenware storage jars made in Stoke on Trent, Spanish boxwood carbon steel knives that are sharpened by hand using artisanal techniques established by the original founders, a deliciously scented soy wax candle with scents from narratives drafted and worked on with a perfumer, making them unique to Freight.
 I can’t recommend this beautiful store to you highly enough, if you get the chance to pay a visit and experience it yourself then all the better but for now do drop in on line to see their wonderful products, I know your shopping basket won’t stay empty for long.
 *  with thanks to Freight for letting me put this post together. Product photography by Susan Bell and Benedict Stenning

Wanderlust

A short but stylish post this week.  I’m having a little break away, taking off in our caravan for a few days to big open spaces,  wandering familiar paths and exploring new places not yet discovered.

Wanderlust takes hold in these heady days of late Spring, early Summer, adventures being planned, new experiences excitedly being looked forward to.  Life is certainly for living in these crazy times we are party to.

I want to live a slower life, take time to embrace what I have and to enjoy my future.  Relish the time it takes me to make my morning coffee, curl up in freshly pressed sheets, make food for my family with the finest of ingredients,  read the books I’ve always intended to, go on journeys that scare me a little.  Happiness is there for the taking and wanderlust is definitely the word I am going to hang on to through all of it.

Have a beautiful week, see you when I get back with a delightful post about one of my favourite stores Freight who are the epitome of cool.

Got to Go Green

Green, it’s definitely the time of year to be celebrating this versatile colour, the hedgerows and gardens are bursting with it and boy does it make you feel fresh and alive.

I know you are normally used to me promoting the more monochrome of colour palettes but I do have a soft spot for green as does the interior world too at the moment, the botanical trend doesn’t seem to be on the wane at all.

Whether you go all out with wild wallpapers and clashing junglesque soft furnishings or introduce a softer olive toned paint to refresh a wall, Farrow and Ball and Little Greene are good places to go, or cover your sofa in an emerald green velvet it’s totally up to you.

The answer may not be in decoration at all but bringing the outside in, filling a space with plants of varying shades and sizes.  Creating a little green haven all of your own in pots and containers rather than paints and fabrics.  If you aren’t too successful in keeping these green babies alive then take a look at Rose & Grey faux botanical range, you’d be hard pressed to kill any of these.  There are also some rather good books currently out to help you achieve this look.

I do like a deep green especially when used well for instance in a kitchen, pair it with a hint of warm copper or gold. Be sure you like strong schemes though, you may tire of this quickly, maybe, maybe not.  Rich deep hues bring a sense of grown-upness to a room don’t you think?

Adding a pale green tile to a bright bathroom works equally well, or paint to base of the bath in a vibrant verdigris, which is easily updated without huge expense  when you fancy a change.

Then again it may just come down to a new chair and a plus green cushion or  a fresh linen duvet set to transform your space, I dare say once you start adding these little touches you’ll get hooked and that paint brush won’t be far away from getting in on the action too.

Of course I have dedicated green inspired boards on pinterest, who doesn’t!

Images ~ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14

 

 

Art = Emotion

An artist, her studio, old acquaintances and new friendships forged, a day to remember, one that brought happiness, joy and a moment of feeling I belonged.

Art to me is an emotion in many of its raw states and that is exactly what Jessica Zoob captures in her extraordinary pieces.  I have been an admirer of her work for many a year so to be able to see the collections so close was a huge highlight and worth my trip to Sussex.  The connections I make doing what I do take me down new paths.  I never quite know what corner I am going to turn next and it’s very exhilarating, just like one of Jessica’s paintings.

Talking to Jessica about her new work was fascinating, the largest to date that spans 7 canvasses and 14 metres in length.  It portrays pure happiness, the fluid lines, the luminosity of the colour palette made me think of sunshine and warmth, a moment in life where euphoria exists.  As with all her works, you as a viewer capture elements of your own imagination: an emotion felt, a loved landscape that grounds you, the sea or city where you are, and find them within the painting to transport you to that place.  Exactly what I feel art should do, it should make you question, ponder a thought, come to your own conclusion.

I know that not many of us can afford large pieces of original art work but Jessica’s pieces cross over into the interior world perfectly.  She is working on screen printing her work onto metals such as steel and copper which I found fascinating.   Art works within their own right but lend themselves perfectly as splash backs in a kitchen or bathroom or installations in a contemporary setting.  She also has collaborated with fabric company Romo to produce the Black Edition Jessica Zoob ‘Desire’ collection of fabrics. The transition from canvas to fabric, works so very well, digitally printed onto linens, velvets and wall coverings.

Being able to wander freely in this wonderful light filled studio, chatting with friends, glass of champagne in one hand, camera in the other was an experience I will treasure for many years to come.

(Keep a look out over on my instagram account for a give away of one of Jessica’s prints that you can win in the next couple of weeks)

  • Jessica is opening her studio this weekend 6+7 May and again on the 20+21 May 11-5pm so you too can view her latest collection and take in the beauty of the pieces in the most tranquil of settings in East Sussex (Banff Farm, Upper Clayhill, BN8 5RR)

 

 

 

Spring Blossom with Radley

I do love it when Spring finally comes around and you can start introducing new items to your capsule wardrobe, start packing away the bigger bulkier jumpers and boots to  make way for new pieces.

I’m not one for having lots and lots of handbags or shoes for that matter but I do like a considered collection that will take me from season to season.  My new addition this Spring is this fabulously buttery leather large zip top Hobo bag by Radley.  It is simply the perfect choice to take me into Summer.

Monochrome is definitely my thing as I think you are all aware so the natural colour of the leather works very well for me and compliments my wardrobe brilliantly, the pudding lane bag’s slouchy style simply goes with everything.   Not to big or too small, it fits all my daily essentials in with room to spare but the handy zip around base means you can make it bigger or smaller depending on how you want to use it.  Another super feature that I always find handy is an internal zipped pocket and two slip pockets, perfect for your mobile so it doesn’t get lost and scratched at the bottom of your bag.  It also has a nifty slip pocket on the front too, great for access to things you may need to get to in a hurry rather than having to unzip the top and scrabble around for them.

Needless to say this beautiful bag has been everywhere with me over the Easter break, days out visiting National Trust properties and a short break away in our caravan.   It is so very simple and stylish, the laid back style is certainly my look and it is  excellently made.   The padded strap is just the right length, there is nothing worse than a strap that is either too short that you can’t wear it on your shoulder or too long that you can’t carry it by your side.  The latter option is normally the way after a while because everyone else seems to give me things to carry as I’m always the one with the bag!  I’m sure one of my arms is longer than the other.

So if you are at the point of updating your wardrobe from Autumn/Winter to Spring/Summer then I think this would be a perfect choice for you to check out.  I know mine will be going everywhere with me.

  • With thanks to Radley for gifting this Hobo Bag for the purpose of this post