The Hard Working Dining Table

How many of us have a separate dining room and how often do you use it?

Our house only has two rooms downstairs or 3 at a push if you call the postage stamp of a hall a room.  One long kitchen and a living room the same length but not big enough to fit a dining table in so the obvious place to put a table is the kitchen.  So is it a kitchen table or a dining table, that is the question?  I think the former as our table works hard, its not just for show or the occasional sit down meal.  Our scrubbed pine table does everything, we work from it, do homework, have breakfast dinner and tea around it, we coffee and cake around it, we sit and chat with friends around it, its an all purpose well loved piece of furniture at the heart of the home.  Bringing me back to my initial question about separate dining spaces and how often you use them, I think the way we live our lives today has changed so much that we live more communally than ever before, having a dedicated room just for having a meal in is becoming a thing of the past but I suppose that is my own opinion and I’d love to know yours.

We bought our table with the intention of having it forever, we wanted the scrubbed top so we could make dents and have spills so that each mark became part of our history and after 15 years its still fabulous.  So I’m not about to change it any time soon, well I might paint the legs, I’ve been itching to do that for ages.  I do daydream sometimes about other tables for when the day comes for us to move or if we extend, so that I could fit in a bigger sleeker model in but it would still have the same daily jobs to contend with.

On the good value side IKEA do some fabulous tables like this one, then my mind wanders to the more desirable versions from HAY and Heal’s, my all time luxury item would be a Saarinen large oval by Knoll its dreamy.  For now though I shall stick to my trusty scrubbed pine sturdy table that is part of the fabric of our family, there to create more memories around for the foreseeable future.

I shall leave you with my ever increasing Pinterest board dedicated to the very subject of dining for pure inspirational purposes of course.


Images 1-6 my own ~ Image Source 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12


The Power of Paint

If you read my post last week you will already know I’ve been decorating and I’m pleased to say after hours and hours of painting I have now finished the job.  The hall, stairway and landing are now basking in mucky pink Tea Rose glory and I’m chuffed to bits with the end result.  It changes with the light from a deep pink to an almost nutty brown it is subtle and elegant and has won my heart.

I have been brave and painted everything in the same colour, woodwork, walls and ceiling.  I love the cocooning affect like being hugged in a cosy blanket, it has warmed the space wonderfully and I love the difference going from room to room into the deeply rich hallway, it has worked a treat and I’m very very happy with the result.

Tea Rose is only one of the 38 colour choices you have if you invest in Ateiler Ellis, I can now formally recommend this wonderful paint.  It applies beautifully and covers well, only two coats needed and it goes a long way, its one of the best paints I have used in a long time, rivalling other high end brands that I have tried.

The Ellis Paint collection is one to beat, with its beautiful tonal palette all working in harmony together creating a calming fusion that will work in any home.  Their ethos is simple and I couldn’t put it better myself.

Our paint is a carefully chosen palette of 38, calm luminous colours that offer a quiet, enveloping backdrop for you home.

Embracing our simple-useful-beautiful aesthetic, the colours are deeply rooted in the natural world, as well as personal memories, marks and fragments. Intensely pigmented, the colours are both familiar and comforting. We choose human, nature and art-based colours, rather than trend based palettes.

Inspired by the way we live in nature, in cities and society, the colours can soften a contemporary apartment, or infuse a traditional home with a new classicism.

All 38 colours work together in harmony, creating a generous choice of complete schemes.

Every colour is available in Matt Emulsion which is washable and scrubbable, Wood & Metal Paint in either a Matt or Eggshell finish; Floor Paint and Masonry Paint.

In keeping with our commitment to high-quality craftmanship and the best traditional and modern techniques, Ellis Paints are exclusively hand-mixed to order in London by the renowned paint makers Mylands”

No more words needed I think.  Cassandra has just released a new colour palette to add to the originals called Shadows & Light, creating 10 beautifully balanced deeply pigments Shadows.  Each one is an intensified version of it’s family hue, letting you create a soft connected palette for your home by layering, deepening or quietening each space by using different strengths of colour.  Crafting your home into a calm and relaxed place to live.

I whole heartedly approve of flow, having a colour palette that leads you from room to room making the spaces feel connected and the Ellis Paint palette definitely does just that.

So if you are thinking of a decorating project or a room refresh I highly recommend this sumptuous paint as a place to start.


Images my own & photos by Kalina Krawczyk for Atelier Ellis 


Finding the Perfect Pink

I never thought I would be saying this but I have been seduced by pink, it has subtly crept up on me and I’ve fallen for its charms, the interior world seems to rather like it too.  I’m not saying I’m ditching everything for a bright bubble gum shade, definitely not, what has turned my head are the smoky tones, the dusky shades with an added dollop of brown.

So much so I have started a new decorating project, one that I have put off for many years as its a beast of a space, the hall way, stairs and landing.  Now I can’t say we live in a big house its rather modest and small but the stairwell is all corners and doorways so not any easy task.  Especially when you decide that you want to paint everything in the same colour.  So this week is going to be a shorter post than most as I am elbow deep in paint and want to finish the job as fast as possible so that I can bask in all its beautiful Tea Rose beauty.

I have been inspired by Pinterest of course, creating a dedicated pink board but I found the perfect paint colour via Instagram from Atelier Ellis, its exactly the right shade and so far is looking rather lovely.   I also came across the most fabulous company that supply the most sleekest of light fittings, sockets and handles, if you are going to do a job well why stop at the smaller details.  Dowsing & Reynolds come highly recommended and the new leather handle for the airing cupboard is exactly what I wanted and works perfectly with the colour palette.

So I shall leave you with some rather inspiring images all of the pink persuasion, maybe you’ll get the bug like me and want to get your paint brushes out, wish me luck that I get it all finished by the end of the weekend and I’ll be able to show you the results next week.


Images 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9



Ryan’s Daughter a Stylist’s Dream

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

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

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

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

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


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


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.


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






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.

Happy + Co

I think you are all well aware by now that I like to champion independent brands that not only supply stylish well made products for your home but also ones that have huge ethical clout.  So this week I would like to introduce you to Happy + Co.

Their philosophy is that happiness starts at home, this transfers into everything they do and into each design that they produce.

“All our products are designed to be noticed but, above all, to be loved”

I couldn’t put it better myself,  I have kindly been sent two Happy + Co cushions that blend wonderfully on my grey wool sofa. Who doesn’t love a good cushion? They finish a room, making a seat inviting and a bed that you want to curl up on.  These large steel grey pebble cushions are made from 100% recycled cotton, the texture is fabulous, so tactile but soft to the touch and they come with a feather cushion pad too. Many more designs caught my eye, the midnight  black Bondi and Palm Beach designs are so fresh with a hint of Scandinavian chic all of which would add a playful touch to a monochrome scheme.

Happy + Co design their homeware products to be different, bringing a splash of happiness to the room they reside in.  A lot of time and effort is put into getting to know each and every single one of their suppliers.  To make sure that the products and designs are of the highest quality they visit the suppliers regularly to guarantee that everyone is happy.

Little things make a big difference and that is exactly what this innovative brand achieve, for each product that they sell 10% of the profit is invested in their Farm in Cambodia.  This investment provides employment for young men and women, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables for the whole community.

Happy + Co have a perfect and simple collection of products, cushions, table linen, bedding and the most super stylish furniture covered in their distinctive fabric.  A little bit of something for everyone, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t love them as much as I, so lets spread a little bit of happiness with this outstanding brand.

  • With thanks to Happy + Co for the cushions featured in this post.


Pinterest = Happiness

Hello my name is Jane and I am a Pinterest addict and quite proud of it too.  It’s my happy place, my staple go-to to glean inspiration, aspiration, current moods and trends.  Somewhere where all my daydreams are placed as a visual reminder, all categorised in the right place so at a click of a button I’m transported into the kitchen of my dreams, the recipe I want to try or the fashion store that has the perfect dress.


I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to how my feed looks, I like it to be fresh with a touch of cool simplicity to each board so when you look at it on a whole it just flows, a tad OCD but I don’t care as I said earlier it’s my happy place.


I like to take a few moments on a morning with a cup of coffee and pin, along with my daily swim it’s a routine I like, it brings calm to my day creating visual mood boards that I can look at at any point.


I was over the moon when I was invited to a PinterestUK evening of ideas event in London.  So I hopped on a train and rocked up to be involved in a unique inspirational moment with like minded souls.  I felt a connection with the talk that Alastair Cotteral, Pinterest Head of Creative gave, the emphasis for expression, visually arresting images and the inspiring content that we can create by using this wonderful tool can lead to making  contact with some pretty cool folk.


I came away with a head full of ideas, small improvements to be made and new additions to be added to take my feed to the next level.  For now though I am happy collating my ideas, hopes and darn right lovely interiors as my everyday aspirations.


Come and follow me here and say hi.


Mood boards created using images from specific boards on Pinterest 1, 2, 34 & 5

Industrial to Scandinavian Chic

Sometimes you really don’t want to trawl around salvage fairs and reclamation yards to find that perfect piece of furniture.  You may also be time poor, working long hours so are unable to part with those precious down time days reinventing and recycling.  There is a solution however, you can still get that little something different, out of the ordinary, cool.

I have recently come across PIB Home a simple, smart one stop store online, this sleak site is based in France and focuses on high end design with a twist.  PIB categorises in three distinct styles, industrial, Scandinavian and Boho Shabby Chic, each section showcasing these looks perfectly.  No need to trawl through pages and pages of chairs or tables to find the one you are looking for, if you want industrial seating or a pared back classic Nordic  side table then you simply click on that specific category and browse a capsule collection.

I was very taken with the industrial lighting and the Sensilä bench both would work wonderfully well in a modern setting.  Why not mix and match you’d be surprised how much Industrial and Scandinavian design compliment each other if done well.  The contrast is good between both genres.  For instance, take the cool concrete of an industrial loft floor and add a metal chair covered with a warm wool or a sheepskin throw.  A well placed ceramic vase on a glazed surface to rusty metal placed next to bare unpolished wood.  Choose the right textures but don’t over do it, too many different surfaces may overwhelm the space and create clutter. Remember a balance of a few selected pieces and you can’t go far wrong.

I have a love of both looks and one day I will be able to use more of each design ethos in my own home but for now I will collate and sort each style into mood boards for reference and inspiration.

Image 1~5 from here, images 6~9 from here



The Sun Shone on Ripley

Ripley is a small country village on the outskirts of Harrogate in Yorkshire but to me Ripley means Arthur Swallows Decorative Home and Salvage Show.  I love it when May comes around, the anticipation of walking through the gates, colourful flags and bunting swaying in the breeze, canvas arcades packed to the rafters with beautifully styled wares.  The excitement builds, wondering who I will see and what treasure I will find and last weekend was no exception.

The traders were of a very high standard this year, businesses that hone their craft superbly well, whose stands are a pleasure to browse around and to forge new friendships with.  Chris Holmes is always a joy to visit such a knowledgeable man, if only I had the space for an antique wooden fairground unicorn!

When it comes to buying I have an eye for certain items, a certain look that I know when I’ve found the perfect piece. Once home it blends into my interior perfectly, so I make a bee line for specific traders I know will have those items on my required list.  Lucy from Lucy Vintage Lifestyle has the best brocante stock around, P.C. Pirates specialise in reclaimed vintage and industrial furniture, Millington & Hope well I just wanted everything.  I made friends with new traders this year especially Monkey and Bird, their display was exquisite with a touch of quirky that I love so very much. It was also wonderful to find that Gaille Skinner came to Ripley, her linen is out of this world, my last purchase from her has now been fashioned into a Roman blind in my newly decorated kitchen.

Along with sumptuous linen, a perfectly chippy foxed glazed French mirror was sourced and an antique dough trough (I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect sized one for years) so the finishing touches to my space are now complete.

If you missed this fair not to worry for the first time this year Arthur Swallows will be holding another Decorative Home and Salvage fair at Ripley this coming September from the 9th ~11th one to definitely add to the must do list.



Perfect Pastel Musings

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I’m having a little break of sorts as it’s the Easter holidays and everyone needs a bit of down time right?

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I love creating colour inspired mood boards, you really see the seasons in the them as I put together one every Friday, my musings as I like to call them.   Inspirational pieces from flowers, interiors, furniture, fashion all in a similar hue.   Going back through the archive makes me smile and also gives me the belief that I am good at what I do on those days when self doubt decides to hang around.

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So I hope you enjoy these pastel inspired collages as much as I did putting them together.


A Spring Shelfie with Wayfair

Last month I wrote a post for Wayfair, their brief was to create a Spring Shelfie but of course I took it that little bit further.

At home I don’t really have a desk, I work at the kitchen table through the winter months as it’s warm snuggled near to the radiator and not far from the coffee machine.  As the months change from those darker days into the light filled days of Spring I thought I would create myself a makeshift work space in the front bedroom.  Everything I need to hand for a productive days work but all of the items dual purpose and dismantle-able for when the colder days come and I retreat back to the kitchen table and warming radiator.

The basic elements of my moveable desk space are a metal camping table and a chair that I already have in my bedroom, the shelving created by re purposing an old stool and metal pigeon holes so everything is at hand.

I like to be comfortable when sitting for hours on end working on projects so a good back support is needed, rather than just a cushion I have used a pillow with a contrasting grey pillow case, stylish enough when at my desk but equally lovely on my bed paired with soft pink linen bedsheets.

It’s great to use every day items such as cork trivets as pin boards, simple but so effective and when not in use can be put back on the kitchen table for placing a hot pan of delicious food for your evening meal. Glass tumblers are also great for storage, keeping all those little things together like paper clips, washi tape pens and pencils, this lovely chunky glass ware will get used on our holidays in the summer months filled with refreshing beverages when we go travelling in the caravan.

One of the things I love to do is create tear sheets, I go through my interior magazines when the piles get too high and cut out my favourite spaces or styled interiors to keep as a reference, a simple way to create a visual board is by using a glass frame which you can update and change when you feel like it.  These frames are also very versatile they look wonderful displaying botanical prints to pressed flowers.

I can never be without a vase of fresh flowers, be it a jam jar filled with herbs or a big display full of blooms.  I’m rather obsessed with ceramics at the moment so this super two toned pot hits the spot, it can be used as a vase for a beautiful spring display or planted up with a stunning house plant.  It would also make a statement empty; grouped with other ceramics of different shapes but in similar colour ways.

I think I’m going to be quite happy and hopefully productive at my makeshift desk and will enjoy my bright and breezy space until the days shorten and I’ll retreat back to my warm kitchen table spot.








New Inspirational Palette

I was most excited when the new Farrow & Ball colour card landed on my doormat.  As I poured over the brochure, taking in each beautifully styled room bringing the colours alive, I couldn’t help be impressed with the level of detail that goes into the choice of colours.  They blend so well with the existing colours it’s hard to tell that they haven’t always been there.

Farrow & Ball are my go to company when I redecorate a room in my home. Their subtlety of shades from the soft neutrals to strong rich tones work in both a modern and traditional setting.   There most certainly is a colour for everyone and I can’t wait to use one of the 9 new shades available.

Please let me introduce each colour to you now. I’m sure you won’t be able to resist when you get lost in their stories….

Shadow White takes its name from the soft tone that you get when white is used in a shady area.

Drop Cloth is what it says on the tin, a traditional name used for the dust sheet that every decorator uses to protect floors and furniture.

Salon Drab, salon being a small outer room off a drawing room and drab meaning a colour lacking in brightness.

Worsted the flat woven fabric used for gentleman’s suits which was named after the village in Norfolk where the yarn was originally produced.

Cromarty a term used daily in The Shipping Forecast for the sea mist that rolls and swirls in the Cromarty Firth estuary.

Peignor a softly romantic grey pink taking it’s inspiration from days gone by when ladies wore chiffon gowns.

Yeabridge Green this fresh colour was originally found in a 18th century Georgian Hamstone farmhouse in Yeabridge, Somerset, behind a gun cupboard still shining bright like fresh grass.

Vardo takes it names from the traditional horse drawn gypsy wagons that would have originally been painted this tone of teal with bright vibrant reds.

Inchyra Blue this traditional colour was first used in Scotland on the barn doors at Inchyra House a classic Georgian property which sits at the bottom of a grey and imposing hill so the barn doors needed to make an impact within their surroundings.

I know last week I claimed Ammonite was the colour of choice for my kitchen revamp but I can now officially declare I have changed my allegiance: Worsted is now the colour, so fickle!










Winter Mood

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The light and mood of the beginning of the year always seems bleak and a bit dark, I find myself struggling with it, always have.  I’ve found it rather hard to get going this week, an empty diary a birthday passed and the death of two geniuses filling my thoughts.  I’ve not had the notion, inspiration or light to be able to take any images.  To be honest maybe I need a few weeks of being kind to myself and not trying to strive for something I’m not even quite sure I know what is to be truthfully honest.

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All moodboard images via my pinterest boards

So on that note I thought I would immerse myself in mood boards I have created over the last couple of months to centre myself.  I find great pleasure in collating colour, interior, fashion and lifestyle images together making a cohesive story.  The above boards are most definitely my favourites at the moment the pallette reflect my mood.



The Hook & Shelf

IMG_0063-001I have a set of hooks in my guest bedroom that I use for styling things over and over again.  I recently painted them to fit better with the room’s colour scheme and I think they look great.

Everyone needs a super set of hooks or a stylish shelf some where in their home; not necessarily the cheap looking flat packed versions, but more inventive ways of creating a storage space that blends elegantly and becomes a focal point in the room.

Instead of hiding my clothes airer away in a cupboard I decided to jazz up an empty wall by hanging it up using two old school hooks so in the summer months it looks like a piece of wall art to be enjoyed.

Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9

Above are a few of my favourite picks of how to curate a well dressed set of hooks and super inventive shelves.   Follow my pinboard here to get more inspiration.