Embracing Colour // Be Bold by Emily Henson

Before you think I’ve gone mad let me explain.  I know I am normally drawn to subtle greys and monochrome tones but if you scratch the surface you will find that I do love being bold.  My home may not be bright orange, pink and green like the cover of this fabulous book but I think I’ve made some bold choices, such as dark blue walls, funky patterned rugs and cushions and a black ceiling in my bathroom.  Being bold doesn’t necessarily mean bright and this book shows this off to perfection.

It is definitely a matter of perception, I absolutely love this book for its individuality of the homes featured, the home owners are not afraid of making a statement be it through vivid paint or boldness that lies in the details, patterned wall papers and creative layering of accessories.

Emily Henson is one of my favourite stylists and I do own a few of her previous books but I do think this one, along with Modern Rustic, is my favourite.   Be Bold is about embracing this free spirited look and shows us how to translate it to any home, you just have to take that leap of faith. Like the title implies interiors for the brave of heart.

The first section of the book goes into detail with easy ideas to recreate some of the looks in your own home, the second half discovers homes with adventurous, spirited styling that will inspire you to decorate with confidence.  These interiors are for those who love colour and pattern or for those who want to give it a go but are a little scared of the results.  These homes will definitely make you embrace the notion that the bright pink paint you love will make your hallway sing, or those tiles you have your eye on can not only go on the floor but up the wall too, break the rules and have fun!

Of course I am drawn to the homes featured that have more muted tones, the deep rich blues, the blacks and the greens with added accents of a geometric print or rug.  One of my favourites is interior designer Anne Geistdoerfer’s Parisian town house for its rich hues and clever designs.  Also the elegant apartment of Theo-Bert Pot and Jelle van de Schoor in the Hague, eclectic with a sophisticated mix of accessories.

It has opened my eyes again to the possibility that not everything has to be painted white, my next decorating project is my hallway and landing and my mind is a whir filled with colour, I’m taking inspiration from the pages of this book so watch this space!

Another perfect book to go on your Christmas list for sure, you can get a copy here from Ryland Peters & Small it will make a stunning addition to your interior book collection plus will never let you reach for the white paint again when inspiration has faded, its just the boost needed to get creative.

Jx

 

 

Ingenious Wallpaper

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jx

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Monochrome & Geometric

Some things I know I will never tire of, beautiful tiles, especially ones that are geometric and monochrome.  The trend continues and I don’t think it will fade any time soon, they are a classic and will add an air of luxury in any space big or small.  I am always drawn to the pared back muted tones of black and white and all the subtly beautiful hues of grey in between.  From the clothes that hang in my wardrobe to the décor in my home this colour palette is most definitely the one for me.

So when I came across these stunning tiles by Laura Ashley my heart skipped a beat.  The Heritage Collection is a collaboration with British Ceramics and they are simply perfect.   The ceramic feature floor tiles come in two unique patterns and colour ways, Wicker and Mr Jones, charcoal and dove grey in both.  This sophisticated geometric style would bring such a distinctive look to any room you chose to use them in be it a kitchen or bathroom floor.  Or if you are like me and don’t have the space to do a full tile refit with large tiles but can’t resist owning one or two because of their striking pattern you’ll come up with inventive ways to give these tiles a new purpose in your home.

Using a tile other than its purpose is fun and resourceful.  These large square tiles look amazing used as boards on your dining table, placing one or two (if you have a large table) down the centre as serving boards, or they would make the most stylish cheese platter.  They would look equally as effective as the centre piece to a well styled table setting filled with candles and greenery.   Place one by the side of your cooker to hold all the necessary utensils and condiments you need when cooking a meal.  You could also have a tile as a feature on your footstool or coffee table in the lounge, a perfect place to put your hot drinks or glasses of champagne and nibbles when having a party.  Of course, they work very well in a bathroom, as tiles on the floor or maybe placed as a splashback or a stylish way to display your favourite bathroom essentials.

If you are lucky enough to have to space to use them en mass in a room scheme let the monochrome patterns on these tiles speak for themselves, they don’t need fussy surroundings, by keeping other elements simple you will be rewarded with a very classic look.  Keeping the fabric and paint choices within the spectrum using linen fabrics and matt grey paints, mixing and matching to create different vignettes with each tile.   Laura Ashley’s choice of fabric and paint is always excellent, the ones I have matched the tiles with here are, Bacall charcoal and Dalton pale natural fabric, Dove Grey and Steel water based matt paint which bring the tonal variations of grey together cohesively.

An easy way to make sure you are going in the right direction is to look outside to nature.  The tonal elements between a stormy sky, sea and rock for instance or the patina of metal and weathered wood.

On that note I think it’s fair to say that my love affair with all things monochrome, geometric and ceramic will never fade.

Signature

With thanks to Laura Ashley for providing the materials for this post.