Month: February 2015

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Urban Jungle Bloggers: hanging planters

A day late but here is my Urban Jungle Bloggers post for this month, with the theme Hanging Planters. At first I was a bit stumped by the theme, I didn’t really have anywhere in the house to hang a planter (the curtain rail was one option but I didn’t want to take the risk of it falling down on me!) and I’m not really one for DIY. Give me a job like changing the lightbulb or doing some wallpapering and I’m fine; I’m a dab hand with polyfilla and I once took the bathroom door off it’s hinges, held it up against the bath and sawed the bottom off when it was sticking to the floor! But little, fiddly DIY projects nah. Thoughts did pop into my head, like yes, I’m going to weave my own hanging planter, but let’s face it that was never going to happen (although having seen Joelix’s post, there’s a use for fish-net tights I thought I would never see…). Instead I got two old glass yoghurt pots (these are …

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I wish I lived here: a pastel Scandinavian home

How pretty is this fresh, airy, pastel-shaded Scandinavian home in Sweden’s Gothenburg with its tall ceiling and large windows? It has just a hint of Spring –I love how there are little vases of blooms, tulips and crocuses dotted around the place. The gallery wall with that pale pink ‘un, deus, trois’ print and the cosy, inviting bed with the Alvar Aalto stool for a bedside table are perfect too. It’s styled by Emma Fisher, who has a lovely Instagram account. I would love to live here, wouldn’t you? Styling: Emma Fisher, Images: Stadshem

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Travel: Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxford

Sometimes getting out of the city for just one night makes the weekend seem so much longer. This weekend we did just that: took a trip to Oxford and spent an utterly spoilt night at Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons restaurant and hotel in the Oxfordshire countryside. It was a lovely birthday gift (six months ago in September!) and something we had booked far in advance and had been looking forward to for months and months. It was a real, real treat; a completely relaxing getaway with good food, good wine and good company. We first got the train from Paddington to Oxford, where we grabbed some lunch at Turl Street Kitchen (great homely, British food, the fish and chips were very yummy) and walked around the city soaking up with atmosphere and architecture. We went to Modern Art Oxford and saw Love is Enough, an exhibition curated by Jeremy Deller that brings together the work of William Morris and Andy Warhol, a slightly odd duo you would think, but they had more in common than first meets the eye. …

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#theeverydayspruce: The joys of vinyl + playlist

Vinyl is having a bit of a renaissance at the moment. There’s just something about pulling out your favourite record, admiring the cover, and taking the moment to put it on and actually listen, rather than multitasking with other things. It clarifies the mind and can be a really soothing antidote to a busy day. So often music is just on in the background, whilst we go about the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. It’s far more relaxing, and better for the soul, I think, to take a lazy morning with your favourite vinyl, a fresh pot of coffee on standby or have a group of your besties round for some cocktails and vintage tunes. In our house, we never really had a music station or a hi-fi at all, we would just use our laptop or phone, which looking back, just sounded a bit tinny and soulless. Or I would have my favourite Classic FM on an old Robert’s radio in the background. But, at Christmas I got the wonderful gift of …

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10 must-have Spring cushions for the home

It definitely feels like Spring is just around the corner, the sun’s beginning to show it’s face, it’s getting lighter in the evenings and Spring bulbs are starting to crop up everywhere. During the winter months, the balcony of my flat might as well not exist, but after a little trip to Columbia Road flower market at the weekend, a cluster of hyacinths and daffodil sprouts are quietly making their home there. If you’re anything like me, you’ll like a Spring clean inside too. One of the easiest, commitment-free (compared to an entire wall of wallpaper for example) and sometimes cheapest ways to spruce up a home, in my opinion, is with a good old cushion. Here are ten lovely, Spring-like cushions to get you in the mood for sunshine and fresh breezes; my favourites are the cool blue tones of Marimekko’s Meriheinä cushion (3) and Nautical objects cushion by Rosie Moss for Heal’s (8). Inspired by mid-century textiles and British vernacular art, the cushion mixes maritime motifs in a charming print (who doesn’t like a Breton …

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Menu SS 2015 collection

While I was at Stockholm Furniture Fair the other week, the new Spring 2015 collection by Danish design brand MENU caught my eye (you might have seen me instagramming these beautiful wire chairs by Studio WM…). In a fair packed to the rafters with every imaginable furniture design in all shapes and sizes, MENU’s pared-back style, clean lines and soft muted colours provided a calming respite. The furniture isn’t just pretty to look at either, all the pieces are carefully considered and designed for function and built to last. As they say: ‘You won’t find anything crazy-coloured or hyper trendy that will ware out tomorrow. Out products and designs are meant to last and to stay classy for generations to come’. The Stick System for example is a versatile shelving system designed by Czech designers Jan Plecháč & Henry Wielgus made of wooden sticks and joints of steel. It can be easily transformed into a clothing rack and work table too. ‘We wanted to create a clever and aesthetically beautiful design solution for a modern …

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Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this week

I hope you’re all looking forward to a lovely, happy, romantic weekend. Of course, it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow but whether you’re all-for-it or anti-it, here’s three things to enjoy this weekend, a great new exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery – a chance to sneak a look at the collections of artists – a flower workshop in east London and a fab sample sale if you have any pennies left! STOP What: Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector Where: Barbican Art Gallery, London When: Until May 25 While may exhibitions have focused on the work of artists, this is one of the first exhibitions in the UK to look behind-the-scenes at the fascinating collections of artists themselves. Ranging from mass-produced memorabilia and popular collectibles to one-of-a-kind curiosities, rare artefacts and specimens, these collections provide insight into the inspirations, influences, motives and obsessions of artists, from Peter Blake and Edmund de Waal (you can the hare with the amber eyes) to Damien Hirst and Andy Warhol. Image: © Peter MacDiarmid / Getty Images LOOK What: Columbia Creative Valentine’s Pop-up Where: Boxpark, London When: 11-15 February Learn how …

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Styling the Seasons: February

I feel like this Styling the Seasons, and perhaps a touch of Spring, has come around super fast, probably because I was a bit late with January’s. The light is slowly getting better for taking pictures and we’re heading into one of the most romantic months… This Styling the Seasons post is a little different, not only have I been a bit braver with my styling (I never thought when I started doing styling posts for the blog that I’d be sticking flowers to a roll of wallpaper but there you go…) but this time 12 bloggers who regularly take part in Styling the Seasons have teamed up with Laura Ashley to style a few pieces from their SS15 collection. This week, Laura Ashley will be inviting readers of their blog to choose their favourite styling, with the chance of winning two £50 vouchers up for grabs! I couldn’t do a Styling the Seasons post for February without somehow hinting at Valentine’s Day. I didn’t want to get too gooey and doe-eyed, with pink love hearts everywhere, but I wanted …

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Travel Guide: Stockholm

So here’s my (winter) travel guide to Stockholm – a sort of alternative guide to the city, off the tourist-trail – featuring design shops, art galleries, independent boutiques and of course, some of the best coffee shops in the city. We went last weekend, myself for the Stockholm Furniture Fair, and O joined in for the ride. It snowed relentlessly for the whole weekend, but that didn’t stop us enjoying ourselves and exploring the city. The last time I went to Stockholm was in the summer, about five years ago, when the sun was shining and the sky was blue. This time it couldn’t have been more different, but the city was still as beautiful as ever, with snow-topped roofs and softly glowing candles in all the shops and cafes. Below I’ve listed Places to See, Places to Shop and Places to Eat, all highlighted on a handy map made with Jauntful. See the printable, pocket-sized map here. PLACES TO SEE The little red houses, Master Pers Grand, Sodermalm. We trekked a little past all the shops and cafes to …

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I wish I lived here: a remodelled Victorian flat in London

Often when I have a spare moment, I like to flick through The Modern House website and fantacise about the architect-designed home that will one day be mine. As much as I love modern homes with their clean lines and floor-to-ceiling windows, for me, there’s nothing prettier than the Victorian and Georgian terraces that line the streets of London. What I want is the best of both worlds, with the traditional details such as sash windows as well as the modern luxuries of new homes. With that in mind, I came across this plywood dream. Set over the ground and lower ground floors of a semi-detached Victorian mansion, this two-bedroom flat has been remodelled by the architect Carl Trenfield. The upper floor is arranged as a single open-plan living space, with a sitting area at the front, a dining space in the middle and a tightly-packed kitchen at the rear. A large Victorian sash window with built-in window seat can still be seen, but there is clever strip of plywood that wraps around the space …