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

 

Lighting the Way with Kovac Family

My passion for simple design is growing constantly along with sourcing brands that hold sustainability within their hands to create wonderful products that move forward with technology but keeping their integrity and ethos focused on the environment around them.

I can’t deny that I have been an admirer of Kovac Family for a very long time, such simple elegance in everything that they do.  The Sweden based multidisciplinary company is run by Camilla and Christopher Kovac, designing and running their business as environmentally friendly as they possibly can.  All their products are made in Sweden using sustainable materials and sold exclusively in their showroom and online store.

Their ambition is to create products that have the smallest impact possible on the environment by sourcing the materials needed and producing them locally.  The challenge was to be able to create something using a minimum amount of certified environmentally friendly materials as possible and also have the capacity to be easily recycled.

Their collection is simply called Numbers, each product named after the number of parts used to construct each form, yes as simple as that!   The inspiration behind it all comes from nature itself, the question asked is, how can we make this better in all aspects to improve the every day life and our environment, a question we should find ourselves asking every single day.

The versatility of these stunning lights is wonderful, the shape mimicking that of a shell can be placed anywhere, as well as hung creating a focal point where ever it is positioned.  They come with either 3 or 5 metres of cord giving you plenty of options to drape and hang to perfection.  I had great fun placing this stunning Ebonized Oak 25Lamp around my home, I think it’s final resting place with be hanging low over my kitchen table creating a delicate pool of light and added wow factor.

14Lamp is the new design, smaller than the 25Lamp but perfectly formed and still as striking, they would look fabulous hung low as bedside lights, hmmm now there’s an idea!

Each light be it oak, ash, waxed, striped, dip dyed, freckled or whitened comes delivered flat packed in a box smaller than one you would get a pizza in!   You ingeniously fold out the pieces to create the iconic shape, total genius.  Such simplicity in it’s beauty, bringing sustainability to our homes with clever design is something we should all strive for.

Jx

  • with many thanks to Kovac Family for the Ebonised Oak 25Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Natural Way to Paint // Bauwerk Colour

When it comes to decorating I like to try out new ways of doing so, exploring new ideas and colours, mixing it up a little rather than playing safe.  I have been a huge admirer of Bauwerk Colour for a long time, first seeing them in Hans Blomquist’s book In the Mood for Colour so it has been a privilege to be able use their paint in a room in my house.  Being able to introduce new environmentally friendly products into my home is becoming increasingly important to me and if I can then pass on this knowledge to others then I’ll be overjoyed.

It was a little daunting using this paint as it is totally different to what I’m used to. When you open the tub the consistency is like water but if you follow the instructions carefully it’s not so scary after all, it’s rather easy and very therapeutic.  I found my rhythm and the walls were covered in no time.  It was strange painting walls with a large brush but sweeping strokes are needed to get the effect you want.  Because the paint is made with clay, minerals and natural pigments it dries quite quickly so you can’t got back and go over where you have been which took a while to get used to. You just keep going with your strokes, not worrying whether you’ve missed a bit, this will get covered on your next application.  As long as you don’t load your brush too much and make each application stretch as far as you can the process is rather simple. Also keep stirring the paint to stop the pigment settling, you just can tell when you need to do this.

Once I got used to the whole process three coats were applied quickly and the finished effect is rather fabulous.  Yes you can see the brush strokes but that is part of it’s charm, it gives your walls depth and texture and I absolutely love it.  A friend on instagram said once I use Bauwerk I will never look back and I think she is right!   It has totally transformed the room, watching it change colour with the light is quite magical. I find myself drawn to this space to sit for a while and take it in, it was a room I hardly noticed before.

The joy of Bauwerk is their vision and ethos being able to produce modern lime paint in harmony with nature, they source the finest pigments to develop the most beautiful colour palette in collaborations with superb stylists such as Hans Blomquist and Lynda Gardener.   Established in 2000 in Australia they now supply in Europe which is great for us.

The environmental benefits from using Bauwerk paints are exemplary, here is why.

“We make our paints, following our belief that buildings and homes should not be disconnected from the materials they are built from. To create paints that are natural, that work with and are part of a building or home.

Especially important to us, is our environment, our paints are beautiful, do not harm the environment in their manufacture and disposal, and most importantly do not harm our health.

Bauwerk lime paints are made from natural materials which is different from being a conventional low or zero VOC paint-which just means it is made from plastics but with one toxic part removed leaving all the rest.

Our paints work differently, working with nature we make them with clay, minerals and beautiful natural pigments. You can paint without fumes, wash-up and disposal is safe and non-polluting, we leave no toxic chemicals in the environment in the production of our paints.

We use 100% green power in our production.”

If we can make our homes more natural without causing harm to our environment but in turn creating beautiful places to live in then I highly recommend investing in wonderful companies like Bauwerk.

Jx

The Joy of Tiles with Mandarin Stone

I have a thing for tiles, I simply love them, all their textures, patterns and shapes.  I have a collection of tiles that I just keep and display because I think they are beautiful.  One of the leading companies in the country to supply every tile option you can possibly imagine is Mandarin Stone.  These guys definitely know a thing or two about this fabulous medium and I am lucky enough to be writing about them today and I got to play with a diverse selection of their stock to create mood boards in my favourite colour palette for this post.

Mandarin Stone have just this week launched their new website making it even easier to browse and select the right tile for your particular need.  I know when I next carry out a big job in my home (the bathroom) they will certainly be the ones I will entrust to guiding me through the process, helping me choose the correct tile without making any costly mistakes.The attention to detail that Mandarin Stone go to to constantly bring the best range of tile to their customers is outstanding.  The extensive nature of their range and the versatility that is on offer leaves me quite speechless, always striving for new and innovative designs and sourcing the very best in interior design, constantly on trend.

A great pride runs throughout the company with the comprehensive knowledge and experience that they offer to ensure the right material is used for the right project be it linking your interior with your exterior using outdoor stone for a seamless finish, to tiny mosaics for the down-stairs loo.   Big slabs of marble for a sleek bathroom experience, or the perfect geometric monochrome decorative porcelain tile for the kitchen.  You can get wood effect, concrete look, stone effect and glazed, you name it they have it and virtually the entire range is in stock at their Monmouth warehouse (or should I say large industrial estate!).  This means that the majority of the stock can delivered within the week as you’d be surprised at how ordering tiles is one the things people forget to do and then need them in a hurry!

What I love most about Mandarin Stone other than their aesthetics in interior design and their ethos is that they are a family run business with their headquarters still in the rolling hills of Monmouthshire, Wales.  Here is a little bit more about how it all came to be.

“I never dreamt that selling a few slate tiles out the back of my estate car 29 years ago would lead to the Mandarin Stone we see today. In the early years we supplied predominantly tile shops and distributors until we opened our first showroom in Bath back in 2000. Nearly 20 years later, we now have 10 inspirational showrooms throughout the UK.  Alma Small, Founder & Managing Director

“Our over-riding passion for natural stone stands firm and there is little that we don’t know about this undeniably beautiful material. Our collection has grown considerably over the years, from tried & tested favourites, to brand new discoveries, meaning our selection of natural stone is unrivalled. Never ones to stand still, it has been our introduction of man-made porcelain tiles in more recent years that has allowed us to be at the very forefront of interior design, presenting the most innovative and exciting wall and floor surfaces to the UK market.”

So I shall keep planning for my bathroom revamp but it may take me sometime to choose as the selection is mind boggling, like a child in a sweet shop.  Will it be Carrara C Honed Marble or Cemento White Polished Porcelain, maybe with a quirky patterned and decorative tile as a basin splash back, who knows the world is my oyster with Mandarin Stone.

Jx

  • With thanks to Mandarin Stone for supplying the tiles for use in the mood board images

 

The Sofa Dilemma

The sofa is one of the comfiest places to relax other than under the duvet so you have to get it right, it’s a big financial cost too, so any wrong choices can be a bit of a disaster.  All that being said it’s one of the pieces of furniture that I struggle with when choosing, it took me a very long time to pick or current sofa and I worried that I’d made the wrong choice for weeks on end.  Luckily for me it works for us and it’s comfort and elegance works in my current scheme.

So where do you start when contemplating that large investment piece, does the decor dictate the style and fabric choice?  Are you restricted with space or budget or does the sofa itself make you decide on everything else around it?

Only you can be the one that answers any of these questions but personally I found a lot of research helped me with my decision.  My one piece of advice is don’t buy straight off the internet, visit a showroom have a good sit on the one sofa that catches your eye, take the family and have you all sit on it as if you were at home.  Also invest in a piece that will last, don’t cut corners, try and buy one at the top of your budget because it will hopefully be made to last quite a few years.

There are so  many styles on the market but my favourites are the less in your face pieces, I like muted tones, wool fabrics that you can layer up with cushions and throws, clean lined but comfortable.   I wish I had the space for a modular model where we could all lay out but alas my living space isn’t so big.  I had to go compact in style but fabric choice was definitely no other than my own. I’ve always wanted a plain wool sofa and so that’s what I have.  I was ever so tempted by velvet but was scared that in every day use it would get a little worn far too quickly. The jewel toned velvets that are available are stunningly beautiful, maybe one day I will have a space for an occasional sofa that doesn’t suffer the rigour of everyday use.

Another hard wearing fabric choice would be leather, these fabulous leather sofa designs by the unique online store PIB are superb with a touch of a vintage vibe.  Buttery leather tones that will wear well with age.  I have a leather chair that we bought many moons ago for this very reason, an investment that will last a life time.

If money were no object a bespoke piece would be a dream, handmade to perfection to your specifications, I shall carry on dreaming about that one, or maybe one from here, my favourite designers.

So if you are currently looking to make that switch from old and tired to brand spanking new, hopefully some of these styles might take your fancy, happy sofa shopping.

Jx

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

 

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

 

Dining Chairs with Conran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jx

 

 

Simple Aesthetics with Murmur

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jx

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

 

 

 

 

Autumnal Shift // Wallpaper

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jx

 

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

Brown Black // Black Brown

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jx

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

 

 

 

Design Classics with Fenwick

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by the Sea

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

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

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

Let in the Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dining in Black // Also Home

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

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

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

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

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

Iconic Lights // Lighting the Scandinavian Way

Lighting can be a tricky to get right and the costs can add up if you don’t get it first time.  So it’s great when you come across brands like Iconic Lights who not only have cutting edge designs featured on line but they come at the fraction of the cost of the designer alternatives.  Don’t think because the price is lower the quality is as well; far from it.  I have many lights at home by them and I’m utterly impressed.

I’ve been having a shake up at home, paring back and changing elements to make it more streamlined so the next thing on the list was the lighting in our spare room/dressing room/everything else space.  I’m very much into Scandinavian design, the choice from Iconic Lights is just superb, I chose the adjustable Roscoe floor lamp and as it is exactly right for my room.  I like the fact that I can move it about without having to have a surface to place it on, also the lamp head is adjustable so you can have it positioned just where you need the light to be.  Not only is it practical it is rather stylish too,  the simple design is perfect, compact and I’m super pleased with it.

With any Scandinavian design you will find quality, style and simplicity everything the Scandinavians are renowned for.   The range by Iconic Lights include their own in house designs of which the Roscoe is one along with reproductions of iconic designs by leading Scandinavian designers such as Verner Pantan, Poul Henningsen, Poul Christiansen and Holger Strom.

Not only do Iconic Lights have an amazing range of lights they also source the very best in bulbs with the latest energy efficient technologies.  Their range is constantly developing and expanding making it easier to find the right bulb for the right lamp.  The MiniSun range is brilliant, you can get an array of  filament bulb styles but using the latest LED technology.  Not only can you incorporate a unique design into your home it’s also cost effective, eco friendly and reduces your carbon footprint significantly.

To give you some lighting inspiration I have a Pinterest board dedicated to just that, find the style and then go take a look at Iconic Lights I’m sure you’ll find what you are looking for and have a healthier bank balance at the end too.

  • With thanks to Iconic Lights for supplying the Roscoe Floor Lamp for the purpose of this post.