Wednesday, 27 February 2013

This week's top 5...Statement Vases

1. Qubus factory vase - £105,
2. Spike vase - Porta Romana (similar available from dwell)
3. Rainbow vase - £10.95, Graham & Green
4. Coral vase white - £95, Dutch by Design at
5. Concrete effect vase - £12.95, House Doctor at

Monday, 25 February 2013

Makeover Project - desk

Having rescued this little beauty from the scrap heap, as much as I love the character and history from it's life as a science lab desk, I decided to go for a sleek, modern look. My Sunday was spent braving the cold and tackling the snow to bring the desk back to life.

5 hours later...

Step 1 - Thoroughly sand down all surfaces (remove any old varnish, lumps & bumps)
Step 2 - Primer & Undercoat (you can get a combined solution to speed things up)
Step 3 - Paint with your desired colour/finish (repeat until the finish is perfect)

The tools:

Pure White Quick dry primer & undercoat - Homebase

Sanctuary charcoal grey - Homebase

Now just a couple of finishing touches...

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A Q&A with Dovetail-Living...

The vigilant of you with good memories will remember my previous mention of lifestyle and interiors brand Dovetail-Living a few weeks ago within my top pick of Bicycle print products (here) - now to get to know the brains behind the fabulous brand - Samantha Mureau.

London-born Samantha has been Buying and Trend Forecasting for the Fashion and Interiors Industry for over 15 years. Just six months ago she set up her own on-line Lifestyle and Interiors Boutique, - now here's what she has to say...

When did you have your first interiors moment & what was it?

I've always had a keen eye for print, pattern, colour, form and detail and since the age of 9, and pulling together mood boards, I've wanted to work in fashion, whilst endlessly rearranging my bedroom around and restyling it. I guess this was the start of where my fashion and interiors career commenced.

You were working in fashion first and then interiors, do you think that the two are interconnected?

After buying for Topshop, fashion forecasting and seeking out the new and emerging trends for large International Fashion and Lifestyle Brands, yes I can see that there are so many influences that start off in fashion and then trickle over to the interiors world, in fact more and more so. Just take all of these incredible geometric patterns that are coming through now in fashion and you see them there too in interiors. 

Round blue side table - £239, Dovetail-Living

Do you think that we should be changing our interiors as much as we do our clothes then if interiors is so fashion-led?

I think what is so important about making your home your own is that you pick and choose what you love, what you feel an emotion for, what puts a smile on your face whether it is fashionable or not. You can't keep on changing your house around to follow every trend but you can acknowledge the trends and pick up on pieces that you know that you can live with for a long time. 

Take, for example, the colour trend right now for blue in both fashion and interiors; It doesn't mean that everything in your house suddenly has to be blue, it would look very cold for starters but you may just see our hand-painted blue floral cushion by Bluebellgray and have the perfect spot for it in your home now and for a long time ahead as it's a timeless classic.

What's the Idea Behind Dovetail-Living?

Ever since I was sourcing new brands and labels at Topshop, bringing Designers to the High Street for the first time and working with them to build their own ranges I knew that this was something that I wanted to come back to in my career. I loved the connection that I was building with the designers, finding out their inspirations, their ideas and seeing how these were all brought together and how this reflected in their products. 

This is key for me now, creating a House of Independent Designers - Designers whom have a passion, a drive and a story behind each of the incredible products that they are designing and making. This really comes across for the client whom then is not just buying a tray but a tray with the most beautiful design upon, a tray from an incredible and talented individual or up and coming label and one that has been designed in London or Amsterdam and then made with the finest woods in Scandinavia. 

Dovetail-Living is about bringing to the client a very edited selection of beautiful pieces for their home that they love too and that are of a high quality and that will last combined with ideas and styling tips of how to put the items into their homes. We offer home styling services too for our clients so are ultimately a one-stop shop.

A huge thank you to Samantha!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Industrial Loving - Inspiration

image - HousetoHome

image -

image -

image - Pinterest

Whether you already have an industrial-looking home, with beautiful exposed brickwork, worn wooden floorboards and huge, heavy doors or you have a modern home that you want to add a bit of personal character and charm to, the essence of factory-chic living is recycle, reuse, re-think - the whole appeal stems from the ability to create fantastic items on a shoe-string budget. 

You can of course find an abundance of items on the high street at the moment, with the likes of Next and offering fantastic furniture to help create the look but why not give it a go yourself - think of the satisfaction from creating something simple yet stunning such as the photo frame above...easy!

For more inspiration and a couple of high street buys why not check out the Hubsch look - click here

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Do the look...We Are Handsome

1. By Nord Eagle cushion - £85, Scandivis
2. Fox cushion - £85, Nordic Elements
3. By Nord driftwood tea towel - £14.50, Occa-Home
4. Bald Eagle fine art - £24 (approx.), Etsy
5. 'Nordic' charger plate - £19.50, Debenhams

Main image - 'The Enchanted' dress from We Are Handsome

Friday, 15 February 2013

Something for the weekend...COOK Shop

Today is the boyfriend's birthday and we'll be celebrating tomorrow with a dinner party. With my typically bad planning I've left absolutely no time to cook (drinks tonight and brunch tomorrow, followed by a sophisticated (*boozy) afternoon at Vinopolis - not the ideal cooking conditions!) so have opted for the cheat's option - COOK Shop!

If you're new to COOK - it's a fabulous store offering frozen, home-cooked meals...genius! You can choose the honest route and 'fess up (after all, the hosting is just as important as the cooking, right?!) or, like me, you can pop it into your own cookware and lie through your teeth to say it's all made by your own fair hands.

We've chosen the following...(I've stretched to making the bruschetta and all cocktails myself - Nigella eat your heart out!)

This weekend you can find me pleasantly tipsy, possibly in a food coma...shall update on the actual food once I recover.

Have a fab weekend everyone!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Brand watch...Gas & Air Studios

Introducing Gas & Air Studios - a design duo from London on a mission to revive unloved, abandoned pallets.

Upcycling old, scruffy pallets may not be a new idea, many a hands-on home lover has tried their hand at breathing new life into something otherwise fairly dull, but Gas & Air's creations are by far the best I've seen so far. The furniture is foldable for easy storage and available in absolutely any colour your heart desires; adding on top the recycling factor, these really are the ideal addition to your garden (or your home for that matter!) - why not opt for this year's Emerald Green Pantone hue for an on-trend, outdoorsy addition?!

Gas & Air studios is a new brand and are currently asking for your help - if you like the products then head on over to KickStarter and help them become a fully-fledged brand with their own studio - if they raise enough money by 28th February they will get the backing they need...recycling and supporting young, British design talent, definitely a talking point to boast about whilst admiring your fab new table and chairs: go on, you know you want to - Give a pallet a home!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

This week's top 5...His & Hers neon

1. Anglepoise type 1228 desk lamp - £159,
2. Pink allia delphine chair - £695, Designers Guild at Artisanti
3. 'Our Adventure' cushion - Rob Ryan,
4. Bulb table lamp - £49, dwell
5. 'Where to Darlin'?' screen print - £95, Dan Innes at ArtRepublic

In celebration of Valentine's Day - it may seem a bit unromantic and kill-joy-ish but why waste your money on something so limited to one day a year when you can build your home together instead...surely a much more heart-felt, permanent sign of love, is it not?!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Do the look...Carolina Herrera-Baez

1. 3D butterfly wall art - £39 (approx.),
2. Large convex sunburst mirror - £190, Exclusive Mirrors
3. Small drinks tray - £14, Nom Living
4. Cream velvet Louis chair - £195, Out There Interiors
5. Serene Lyon day bed frame - £199.99, Archer's Sleepcentre

Main image from Elle Decor

Monday, 11 February 2013

Brand watch...Goodwin & Goodwin

You may already be aware of the fabulous bookends, or perhaps the brilliant passport cushions, or the fun ampersand lamp, with over 30 UK stockists including the likes of Rockett St. George and Not On The High Street these fun-loving beauties have been all over the place, and it's no wonder at it either, I mean LOOK at them(!) - but now to introduce the brand behind the products...

Created and run by husband and wife team Paul and Viviane, Goodwin & Goodwin is a fun, design-led brand. Award-winning designer Paul has over 12 years experience in the graphic design field - no surprise then that the collection is sleek, creative simplicity at it's best, with a strong typographic lead; what may be more of a pleasant surprise however is the usability and approachability of the products - all of which would look fabulous in my dream house (one day!)

With the typographic display boards a particular must-have this is definitely a go-to brand for all things decorative yet useful for the modern home.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Something for the weekend...

Last night saw lifestyle store Wolf & Badger celebrate their 3rd birthday with a party at their Ledbury Road store...

The store was bustling, the drinks were flowing and the music was pumping - to top it off the store was full of absolutely stunning items. From a mixed range of delicate, fun, bold, flamoyant jewellery to fun home accessories, I could have absolutely purchased everything in sight. One aspect that was so brilliant that I just have to share with you though is the beautiful variety of prints available - everything from clothing to slippers to silk scarves, pattern and colour inspiration was everywhere... 

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Do the look...Louis Vuitton

1. Jonah armchair - £449,
2. Canterbury clear glass table lamp - £490, Black Orchid at House of Fraser
3. Eivor throw - £15, Ikea
4. Congo floor cushion - £55, John Lewis
5. Elixir classic candle - £32, Penhaligon's
6. Eiffel side table yellow - £50,

How to recreate the Louis Vuitton look for your home - a strong, punchy yellow and black combination will create impact and elegance whilst remaining uncluttered.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Brand watch...Chase and Wonder

One of my favourite brands at the moment, Chase and Wonder offer a fantastic range of fun accessories for the home. From brilliantly eclectic tea towels to stunning washbags and pencil cases; all products are graced with an oh-so-British eccentric design - whether that be a top hat-wearing flamingo or a penny-farthing bicycle.

Chase and Wonder is the brainchild of Faye Pearce and David Aspinall, who founded the brand in 2010 after gathering fantastic experience at the likes of Anthropologie; with the desire to collaborate and work on their own brand, Chase and Wonder was born.

With my wish list continuously growing (and apparently consisting of every item I see on the website!) I'll be starting with the Sophisticated Animal Napkin Set - the ideal accessory for the other half's birthday dinner this month!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Emma Bridgewater for Comic Relief

It's almost that time again - every March we see school children take to the streets in their pj's, celebrities do fun and crazy things a little out of the ordinary, and of course, little red noses popping up everywhere we look; from Greg James and co. tackling the Zambezi River to Jessie J shaving her head, it's a time for everyone to take part, have fun and do a bit for charity to boot!

This year British designer Emma Bridgewater has come to the rescue - be gone ugly-yet-money-raising goodies, this March even the most house-proud fundraiser can sigh with (comic!) relief as the fantastic range of Red Nose Day 2013 goodies are unveiled - exclusively sold at HomeSense and TK Maxx stores nationwide.

Featuring the distinctive black text and fun slogans the range is the ideal buy for those wishing to help a good cause as much as those who simply love Emma Bridgewater's iconic designs - with mugs from £9.99 (at least £4 goes to charity) and teatowels for just £4.99 (£2 goes to charity). 

Here's what Emma has to say...

“I was delighted to be asked to design a series of mugs and textiles to support Red Nose Day 2013. Matthew and I had great fun creating the range and we hope the products will carry the Comic Relief message into tens of thousands of kitchens and help change countless lives both here on your doorstep in the UK and in Africa. It’s also fantastic that Comic Relief supports a project in Stoke-On-Trent, centre of the Staffordshire potteries where all of the Comic Relief mugs have been made.”

Items available:
- Mugs (6 designs) - £9.99 (£4 donated)
- Tea towels - £4.99 (£2 donated)
- Double oven glove - £7.99 (£4 donated)
- Apron (worn above) - £12.99 (£6.50 donated)
- Bag for life - £9.99 (£4 donated)

Buy at - HomeSense or TK Maxx

Friday, 1 February 2013

Something for the weekend...

I've recently been introduced to Camera+ - an iPhone app that, you guessed it, is a camera and then some!

A little like Instagram (without the legal issues), Camera+ allows you to take photos and edit them to your heart's content - with different scenes, lighting, special effects and borders to choose from, there's no limit to the different looks and combinations you can create - not too shabby for just 69p. Here are a couple I tried earlier...

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