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.
- All images via my Pinterest Boards
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!
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)
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.
We’ve had a wonderful Easter weekend but I’m lucky that the holidays are not quite over for me until next week. So I thought I’d have a little on-line break for a few days this week, I am escaping for the first time this year in our little caravan for some R&R, fresh air, sleep and no wifi!
Because I can’t bring myself to not post anything at all, I shall leave you with this small offering today and I’ll be back next week with a fabulous post featuring Radley London.
PS. I had the honour of featuring on the Linenbeauty blog this week, taking part in their A Simple Path series, talking about doing more with less, a perfect read for a slow weekend.
- Images via pinterest
I have been on the hunt for new bedside tables for a long while, I didn’t realise how difficult it could be narrowing down what I wanted from the look I had in my head to the reality of finding it in the big wide world. The choice is rather vast from the expensive designer versions right down to flat pack.
This year I’ve wanted to shake my style up a bit, obviously I don’t have the funds to change every piece of furniture in my home but I can make small changes that create a big impact. I am very much seduced by clean lines, sleek, pale and modern pieces that enhance and make a space feel bigger. So I’ve been throwing things out with gusto and boy does it feel good. Our old bedsides were the first things to go, I wanted white gloss, sounds strange maybe considering I have a French antique bed but I just knew it would work with the grey walls and simple bedding.
So I started to investigate, I first looked at the Componibili cabinet by Kartell but to be honest I found them a bit flimsy and with not enough storage for the price. Heals did a perfect version of what I was after but again the price was just out of my reach, so I turned to Ikea, yes I know Ikea! I have never bought any furniture from them before and I was pleasantly surprised. I found exactly the right bedside table in white gloss similar in style to the Heals version but at a fraction of the cost. Yes I know they are self build but if you take your time and construct them correctly are just fabulous. They are sleek and minimal with two large drawers to keep all my everyday bits and bobs in leaving the top free from clutter. I am now an Ikea convert, you will have to watch this space to see what I am doing in my lounge with Ikea sideboard carcasses and fixtures from a Swedish company called Superfront.
Anyhow I digress, whether you are after large and chunky, minimal and sleek there are so many variations of bedside table to suit your taste, needs and budget. I’ve picked out a few of my favourites for this post but you can also browse my Pinterest board for more inspiration.
Sometimes I feel a little lost, this is when I try very hard to not feel guilty for stopping for a while. Putting the phone down and turning it off, not going near the laptop and to tell myself it doesn’t matter that I’ve stepped away from the technology for a moment. I get a bit frustrated with myself that I can’t muster good ideas or create good images for instagram but I also get a bit scared that what if it never comes back; what if I’ve peaked.
I do try very hard to be mindful, working through some of the knots I’ve got my head into, I spend a lot of time reading indulging in my favourite magazines and interior books hoping that a spark will appear. Taking time away from the screens is good but I do let myself browse through Pinterest, a happy place where colour and images bring moments of joy. Putting together mood boards that reflect what I’m seeing and feeling helps too.
So today this post features some of these boards; calming images in colour palettes that I find inspiring at the moment helping me to work through my anxieties a little and hopefully a little spark will be reignited once more.
- All images from here
I have long been a huge admirer of the lifestyle brand TOAST, their clothes are modern and functional but thoughtful pieces for women and are always a part of my capsule wardrobe. Their ability to promote a more mindful way of living is expressed through their beautifully curated clothing and home wares, all with a considered stillness of style that I adore.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Harrogate store to take photographs of the art installation Circular Openings, 2016. Emulsion paint on canvas by Nic Pehkonen, that featured in the shop window throughout February. Each store had a different piece displayed for The Work of the Heart project, 11 artists were chosen to feature their work in each of the 11 stores across the country. It was wonderful seeing Nic’s piece so close, the detail and markings were remarkable and to have my images featured on TOAST Travels was equally as thrilling.
I couldn’t leave the store without having a good browse of the new SS17 Early Spring collection, so many versatile items to choose from all complimenting each other perfectly. This collection has “easy drawstring shapes and textural volume in yarn-dyed linens, ticking stripes and quiet checks. Slate blues, grey chambrays and parchment” a statement summing up my style, so of course I came away with a new dress that will take me through the season. A timeless stripe linen shirt dress that is now a firm favourite, comfortable yet versatile just the way I like to dress.
As I don’t get to visit the TOAST stores that often it’s always a ‘YAY’ kind of day when one of their delicious brochures arrives. I always make time to sit with a coffee and slowly go through them to read the thoughtful articles and look at the pared back styled images. It’s such a treat knowing that there is a brand out there that speaks for so many of us, bringing us that sense of belonging and style. Simple moments of thoughtfulness and a reflection of how we want to live our lives.
I applaud you TOAST.
- with thanks to TOAST for providing some of the images for use in this post
I think sometimes we all crave a weekend away. I love spending time with my family no matter where we are but making a little trip every now and then lifts the spirits, so that is exactly what we did. It is a bit of a rare occurrence that we ever stay in a hotel as we normally spend time away from home in our lovely caravan but this weekend was a bit different.
We rose very early and drove for hours to get to Ruby’s birthday treat, a surprise we’ve had to keep under our hats for months. Our daughter is a big Harry Potter fan so there was no question that we had to visit Warner Bros studios sooner or later, not only did she love it I did too. For any film fan it is a must, the level of detail had me in awe all the way round, we spent hours and hours pouring over every little nuance, if any of you are thinking of making the trip I would whole heartedly urge you to go.
Then it was my turn to be treated, I have heard of The Crown Inn Amersham for a while now off the back of its high standard of accommodation and stunning paired back interior. Another reason being I am a great admirer of Ilse Crawford who redesigned the look of the rooms, so I was intrigued to see and stay in these beautiful welcoming lodgings. With Amersham only being a half hour drive from Watford it made perfect sense to drive into the sumptuous Buckinghamshire countryside to elongate our getaway.
Our room was just perfect, the little details made it feel like home from home, a sheepskin covered Ercol chair, soft linens, Jacob’s wool blanket and large cushions to relax on. The little touches of a bright red Robert’s radio and telephone lifted the perfectly wonderful muted interior and having a standard lamp to light the space was just lovely.
The food in both the well designed restaurant and breakfast room were impeccable, we really couldn’t have asked for more, it felt like staying more at a large family home than a hotel. Each space is designed to perfection in a modern rustic style that I favour very much and I really didn’t want to leave.
We were very lucky that the weather decided to behave and gave us some long over due sunshine whilst we were away. Crisp mornings with no-coat-wearing temperatures which was a huge bonus as I hate packing too much when only away for one night. I like to layer my outfits I’m not a big coat wearer to be honest but I always have scarves to hand, I find they finish off an outfit to perfection especially one that is transitional through the seasons. I was so pleased I chose to wear my airy cashmere shawl from Nihao Planet. I seem to not be without it at the moment. This beautifully soft lightweight shawl compliments everything in my wardrobe. It is so luxuriously delicate you almost forget you are wearing it but keeps you warm as well as looking good. To be honest this delicious shawl didn’t stray that far from my side the whole time we were away. I draped it around myself curled up in the chair to read a while before our evening meal and the same again in the morning whilst I enjoyed a pour over coffee from the comfort of the soft bed. I wore it whilst talking a stroll around Amersham high street enjoying the warmth of the sun and on the long journey home.
I was slightly sad that our adventure had come to an end as I had been looking forward to it so very much but I am now determined to make an effort to have more weekends away from home like this one. To enjoy a little bit of luxury and home comforts in simple surroundings. Experiences appreciated together as a family are definitely what it’s all about. These moments in time that enrich our lives for the better and of course not forgetting to take my cashmere shawl with me was indeed a gift!
- With thanks to Nihao Planet for pursuing the passion for designer quality, versatile and affordable lifestyle products, creating a simple style for day to day life.
I haven’t worn a watch in a long time and to be honest with you I don’t really know why. I think it’s maybe due to being at home most of the time with clocks all around and of course these days permanently near my mobile phone. These reasons why are rather weak and I have just got used to not having one but this is now going to change. Let me introduce you to Frankie, the most beautifully crafted, tactile, textured time piece I have ever seen. It’s not only a watch but a piece of nature that you can wear, an added part of my collection that I will wear and wear, not only because it tells the time but for it’s aesthetic rustic beauty. I think I would be rather lost without it now.
Within our busy lives we don’t often take the time to stop and enjoy the little things, I think you are all aware by now of my love of the seasons, paring back and taking things slower trying to create peaceful moments in my life. Having things around me that are not only pleasing but useful, not mass produced and wasteful. Owning one of these exceptional wood watches from JORD fits perfectly with the way I want to live.
“The value of a watch is not in being able to tell how much time has passed, but in being aware of the need to make that time count. Moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time.”
Simple words that make so much sense to me, so it is a joy to be able to pair Frankie with my chunky winter knits that make me feel cosy and warm, the deep graining of the zebrawood and its navy blue minimalist face work so well with my capsule wardrobe of greys and black. A timeless classic not a passing phase.
So if you too would like to own such a watch that is not only sustainable, efficient and damn right good looking JORD are offering you a unique giveaway, all you need to do to enter is click here. One person will win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site but everyone will receive a consolation code worth $25.00. (This giveaway will close on the 19th Feb 2017 at 11:59pm both codes will expire on the 30th April 2017).
Worth an entry don’t you think?
- With thanks to JORD for gifting the Frankie watch without which this post would not be possible
It’s mid January, not a month I particularly cherish once the Christmas holiday glow subsides I find it hard to get motivated but I’m also not one to start mentioning Spring right now either. I want to find peace with the darkest days of Winter before looking toward the light and warmth that Spring brings.
I try and find ways to embrace the grey skies and bleak corners, making moments of magic and enjoyment when I can. Warming food that nurtures and drinks that warm your belly. Setting the table for evening meals with lovely cutlery and special ceramics to beat the Winter blues. Layer the sofa and your bed with throws, blankets, sheepskins to keep you warm and cosy. Fill your wardrobe with tactile knits and scarves, chunky socks and boots to keep you as snug as your home.
Match your interior palette with that of nature, subtle hues of greys, deep blues and off whites making for a perfect winter home. Immerse yourself in good books, interior books being my weakness, make plans for the coming months through the dark evenings. Most importantly use this time to sleep, I find it the most therapeutic thing to do, I go to bed early in the Winter a slight hibernation of sorts as if I’m recharging, catching up, letting myself just be.
A simple style New Year is filling my thoughts. Well planned escapes, working with cool clients and ambitions to strive for. Beautiful simple moments to be enjoyed and cherished with those I love.
For now though I shall immerse myself in the last day of fairy lights and tinsel, champagne and naughty treats.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year may it be all that your heart wishes it to be.
- Images via ~ Pinterest
The winter solstice has just passed, time to embrace these darker days, enjoy the quiet moments that they bring and to reflect on the year that has passed. Slow mornings spent curled under the duvet just a little bit longer, coffee in hand. Preparing treats and planning for the big feast on Christmas Day. Lingering longer at the table lit by candle light, all these precious simple things fill me with joy.
Now it’s time for me to wish you all a Merry Christmas I hope that your’s will be filled with the simplicity and thoughtfulness that this wondrous season brings.
You don’t have to look very far to find wonderful independent makers and creators. I am very lucky that in my line of work I come across many folk who do just that and I’m honoured that I can call many of them friends. Jette is one of these creatives and she has recently launched a beautiful on line store Created & Found. Jette is a food stylist based in Dublin her passion lies in the kitchen as her first collection testifies. I asked Jette to tell me the story of starting Created & Found and the ethos behind it.
“Created & Found is a home ware range that encapsulates slow living, functionality and aesthetics, focusing ruthlessly on creating incredible products that encourage memories and experiences around food. Created & Found is based on honesty and authenticity and we believe in community not competition and working in collaboration with Irish makers has helped to build a community for the long term. Within the collection are ceramics, wood products, linens and beeswax items and they have all be created with a vision to make everyday living a little more special.
Each piece is lovingly made by hand, taking into account environmental and traditional practices. The range is completely unique in that we have created only 50 pieces of each item in a bid to create a range that is so special and in keeping with our slow living, maker focused ethics. In our ceramics we have a dinner plate, bowl and beaker, we have 5 sizes of chopping boards, aprons, tea towels and napkins, two styles of wooden spoons; serving and cooking and beeswax candles. The items available range from €8 to €52.”
The current collection makes my heart skip a beat, linen, ceramics, wood; what’s not to like? From the rustic rough edged oak chopping boards, to soft Irish linen aprons and napkins , ceramics hand turned in Kilkenny using natural dyes to create the stunning one off pieces that you will treasure for a long time.
With it being the end of Autumn I had an abundance of home grown apples and pears to use up, so I got creative in the kitchen and baked a delicious apple and almond cake and our family favourite apple and pear crumble. It is so quick and easy I’ll share the recipe, just in case you want to give it a go!
700g apple (cookers)
225g dessert apples (such as cox or russets)
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
140g golden caster sugar
140g plain flour
2 tsp cinnamon
140g unsalted butter
140g rolled oats
First pre heat the oven to 200°c. Peel, core and cut the apples and pears into large chunks. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the apple and pear chunks and cook over a high heat for a couple of minutes, turning all the time. Sprinkle over the caster sugar and keep turning until slightly soft and caramelised. Spoon the fruit mixture into a baking dish.
To make the topping, place the butter (cubed), caster sugar, flour, cinnamon in a large bowl and rub between your finger tips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Mix in the oats and scatter the mixture over the fruit, pushing it firmly down.
Bake for 25 mins until the topping is golden, serve with anything you wish.
There’s nothing better than baking and serving your handmade goodness to the family especially on beautiful ceramics.
Everything featured on Created & Found would make perfect gifts for the artisan cook in your life. I have my eye on the chopping boards *wink*
- With thanks to Created & Found for gifting the plate and napkins for this post