Month: May 2015

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Styling a little botanical corner with Laura Ashley

The botanical trend is everywhere at the moment, and I love playing my own part each month with Urban Jungle Bloggers, a monthly series all about living with plants – in your home, in other interiors and in public spaces. Since joining in I’ve collected lots of different types of plants I would never have thought to buy before and it really does make the house feel alive. Now I have little pockets of green dotted around the flat, on windowsills, on bookshelves, in the bathroom and on the coffee table. They bring life and colour to my mainly white-walled surroundings, and also give me something to nurture and look after. I now get ridiculously excited when I see a new stalk or bud growing and buy a new plant whenever I pass the florist (which is probably quite a lot!).  So when the lovely people at Laura Ashley approached me and suggested styling a botanical corner, I couldn’t wait to give my plants some love, care and attention. Plants look great in clusters, their different shapes and sizes, colours and …

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Five steps to a better night’s sleep

The other week I was very kindly invited to a lovely blogger event hosted at the Artist Residence Hotel in London by Soak&Sleep, who talked us through the ultimate wind down. Soak&Sleep is a bed and bath product company, formally known as Duvet & Pillow Warehouse, based in my hometown of Guildford (yay!) in Surrey. Set up in 2006 by Charlie Hunt, they buy direct from trusted factories, cutting out the middleman and the expensive High Street shops, and instead, giving customers good quality products at affordable prices. The infectiously enthusiastic brand prides itself on its knowledge and experience of getting the best night’s sleep. Says Hunt: ‘We’re purely focus on bed and bath, we don’t want to be a home brand, and we want to introduce all the qualities of making the most of your moments of relaxation, so we really focus on having deep, deep knowledge of how you sleep, we advise our customers on the right sleeping positions, the right pillows to go with your sleeping positions, the right mattress to support you to sleep.’ …

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Stattmann Neue Moebel

I’ve featured the work of young German design brand Stattmann Neue Moebel before, when Studio Oink styled this lovely interior scene, but I wanted to share a few more of their beautiful products. Founded in 2011 by siblings Nicola and Oliver Stattmann, Stattmann Neue Moebel produces minimalist, solid wood furniture by an eclectic selection of young international designers including Belgian designers Sylvain Willenz and Marina Bautier as well as German designer Steffen Kehrle. From tables and chairs to shelves and modular furniture, functionality, clean lines, high quality craftsmanship, honest and long-lasting products are key values of the brand – elements I always look for in furniture (my boyfriend has put me on a chair ban though, apparently we have too many in the house!). Central to their approach is the sustainable production of furniture in the siblings’ ancestors’ mill and small workshops in Germany. All parts are manufactured by hand, aided by technology such as CNC milling machines. ‘The production in Ascheberg is state of the art and all components come from our region. We address people who care about where their furniture comes …

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Travel Guide: Bristol

As you might have guessed from my previous post and my instagram spam (!) I went to Bristol for the bank holiday weekend. Bristol, and the West Country in general, feels very close to home for me, my grandmother went to school in Bristol, then lived in Wells, and various cousins live in both Wells and Bath. Of all the cities in England apart from London, Bristol is the one place I can see myself living: it has beautiful Georgian architecture and character galore – a little bit edgier than its counterpart Bath – plus an arty crowd, picturesque quarters and lots of colour and greenery around every corner (in fact, it’s the 2015 European Green Capital and was the UK’s first cycling city in 2008).  We spent one night in Bristol, in the fabulous Number Thirty Eight Clifton (see the review here). The first day was a bit drizzly and grey, but it didn’t stop the city looking beautiful or us enjoying what it had to offer. Just two hours from London Paddington, we arrived, checked in and …

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Travel: Number Thirty Eight Clifton, Bristol

It was a bank holiday last week in the UK and the chance for a well-earned extra day of rest and relaxation. We escaped the big smoke and headed west to Bristol – just for a night, but it felt like a whole weekend. Our destinaton: Number Thirty Eight Clifton, a lovely, small boutique hotel in a refurbished Georgian merchant’s house at the top of the city. With stunning views down the hill to Clifton Village and the rest of the city further away, plus the leafy Clifton Downs behind, it was a perfectly peaceful getaway. It felt very much like a home away from home, a discreet frontage, no formal reception but a comfy lounge with bright bunches of fresh flowers. Our room was one of the ones looking down to the city, lying on the bed you could see the bumpy, craggy rooftops and slowly moving clouds – it almost felt like we were floating on one of those clouds themselves. And with Classic FM languidly humming from the retro Roberts Radio in the corner, we breathed a sigh of …

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GIVEAWAY: emerybloom scandinavian prints

Entries for this competition have now closed, thank you to everyone who entered. The winner is Hilary! Readers of the blog can, though, get 15% off emerybloom’s prints with code CATE15. Finding and sourcing affordable art for the home can be a nightmare – you want something unique, that no one else has, but not something that’s going to cost the earth. Emerybloom is a new discovery of mine: a company set up by Welsh graphic designer Gareth Emery and his Swedish wife, My, that creates beautiful Scandinavian art prints from Malmö, Sweden. Gareth graduated from Falmouth University’s graphic design course in 2007 and for the past few years has been working mostly with online digital media – emerybloom is his way of going back to his offline roots, working purely with print. Featuring graphic motifs, geometric shapes and circular maps, each piece is printed on 100% cotton paper, using eco-friendly inks and recycled packaging. My favourite is the jagged lines of the ‘Wilderness’ print (above) and of course, I would have to say, the minimal letter ‘C’. And at about £27 a pop (for an A4 …

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Snapshots of Paris

This week, as many of you will know if you follow me on Instagram, I hopped over the channel to Paris for the quickest of stopovers. I was there for work to see the new Le Corbusier exhibition, Measures of a Man, at the Pompidou, that celebrates the 50th anniversary since the great architects death. Between that and dashing to two other smaller exhibitions, also on Corbusier (well worth seeing), I managed to weave my way around the city, stopping every now and then to take a snap or two. Starting from the top floors of the Pompidou, with their views over the jagged rooftops, I made my way down to Saint Germain des Pres before heading back to the Marais later to have a well-earned tea and slice of cake at my favourite concept shop and cafe, Merci. It was strange being in the city without my Parisian boy, who usually leads me around and feeds me metro tickets – every now and then I’d stop at a corner and say ‘oh I’ve been here …