Month: January 2016

Heart of House

Heart of House spring collection 2016

Last year when I took part in the Transform Your Room challenge with Argos (three bloggers including myself were challenged to style a blank room completely from scratch for a video…) I was really intrigued to discover its Heart of House range. From striped armchairs and knitted footstools, to chunky wooden dining tables and functional storage solutions, their affordable collection of furniture and accessories proves that even with a tight budget, you don’t have to compromise on style. With a few savvy choices, you can get that clean, modern, understated Scandi look without breaking the bank. Heart of House’s new Spring/Summer collection for 2016, as with many of their lines, designed in-house and made in the UK, is just the ticket. They’ve picked out four key trends for the home – Simple Living, Rustic Charm, Floral Meadow and Global Paradise. Can you guess which one’s ticking all the boxes for me? Yep, straight away, it’s got to be Simple Living, that ‘encapsulates Scandi-inspired, linear design for a more modern minimalist approach’. Yes please to soft greys, warm natural woods …

Kristina Dam day bed

Interior trend: best of day beds

I’m seeing day beds everywhere at the moment, in magazines, in interiors shops and in almost every Scandi brand’s beautifully styled lookbook. It’s not particularly a new trend, classic modernist designers Mies van der Rohe and Eileen Gray both set the bar high with their 20th century designs. Eileen Gray, for example, designed her day bed for her modernist masterpiece, the E-1027 house in the Cote d’Azur (you can read an article I wrote about it in more depth here). Advocating versatile furniture with multiple functions, Gray believed that furniture should ‘lose its individuality and merge into the architectural whole!’. During the day the discrete and movable piece of furniture could be used as a relaxing spot to sit and read and a bed for guests at night. Today the day bed is still popular and I think it’s precisely because of its versatility. As living, dining and eating spaces merge into one, so the functions of our furniture need to be adaptable. A day bed could be used as a soft welcome in the hallway, for an extra place …

Styling a picture shelf

home tips: styling a picture ledge

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what to put above a bed, do you choose a piece of art, a feature wall of patterned wallpaper or a fitted light for reading? What if you have a big bedhead that takes up all the space? Well if you’re a little undecided like me, and don’t want to commit to one piece of art, then a picture ledge is a great way to add a focal point without over dominating this sacred sanctuary of your home. Minimal and discrete, the slimline shelf fits neatly above the bed, providing a handy surface for pictures, books, plants and pretty trinkets. For me, it’s also a constantly changing canvas to switch up every now and then if you get bored, without breaking the bank and going out shopping again! Tired of that print you got last year? Want a little refresh? Simply, move things around and start again to give a completely new feel to the room. For ages in our bedroom, we didn’t have anything above the bed, we don’t even have a bedhead either, and I …

modernism reimagined: MENU spring 2016

Modernism Reimagined: MENU Spring 2016

It’s the start of the annual design and furniture fairs – northmodern, IMM cologne, Maison & Objet Paris and Stockholm Furniture Fair should be on your radar – which means all the top brands are revealing their latest designs. One of my Scandi favourites is MENU (which I’ve written about before here) whose ethos I greatly admire. Their philosophy is simple: they’re (like me) obsessed with clever solutions for modern living and want to make beautiful objects for everyday use. Collaborating with super-talented designers, their crisp, carefully considered, minimalist furniture is designed to last and fill the home with functional but ultimately beautiful little touches. ‘We want to make the world better, less complicated, a little bit nicer to wake up to,’ they say. This is their Spring 2016 lookbook entitled Modernism Imagined (with the title alone, I already like it…). As always, the styling is immaculate. The images have got a lovely retro mid-century vibe, with moody lighting and a backdrop of speckled marble and Mad Men-era, dark wooden panelling. You can just imagine someone casually dropping onto the daybed above, stiff …

Your Home Needs This: bentwood chair

Your Home Needs This #05: Thonet’s bentwood chairs

I’m welcoming in another week in January with another ‘Your Home Needs This’ post, where I profile a must-have design object that is on my wishlist or in my own home. You know, pieces of furniture that are beautiful, but functional and timeless too, that you keep seeing popping up in all those swoon worthy Pinterest and magazine shots. This time it’s the turn of Thonet’s classic bentwood chair – the king of chairs, if you like. This iconic coffee house chair was developed and perfected by German-Austrian cabinet maker Michael Thonet when he started experimenting with bending solid wood in the 1850s. Thonet’s technique made use of solid rods of beech that were less prone to splitting than other species such as oak or birch. The rods were placed in a pressure vessel, where steam would be applied until the resin surrounding the timber fibres became pliable. The wood could then be bent around the form and left to cure, forming the sculptural curve of the bentwood chair. The chair’s clean lines and economical use of material (comprising just six parts) …

beating the january blues

home + happiness: 7 tips for beating the January blues

I’ve never been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) but there’s some elements of the disorder, sometimes known as “winter depression”, that clouds my winter months. A slightly low mood, wanting to stay in bed longer, craving stodgy comfort food and longing for the sunnier Spring months – I think it’s something we all suffer from to an extent in cold, dark January. It’s my least favourite month of them all. So I’ve gathered all my tried-and-tested tips and tricks for beating the January blues – to help us all get through the grey days and dark evenings. 1. Mind over matter Mindfulness is all about slowing down, re-focusing and de-stressing. At first it may seem like a bit of a fad, or some hippy concept, but by simply concentrating on your breathing and being aware of what’s going on around you, you can let go of those little everyday stresses. It might be that you take 10-15 minutes to do some meditation (I love the headspace app, it has different packs focusing on everything from self-esteem to relationships, creativity and generosity) or …

modern meets vintage + houseology giveaway

Thank you for all your entries, this giveaway is now closed and the winner has been announced. Congratulations Nix Glover! I love mixing old with new: a sleek black table with a display of vintage glass bottles, a modern table with a brass chandelier overhead, a lovingly worn armchair with a monochrome geometric cushion for example. It’s modern meets vintage; each quirky, slightly mismatched item complimenting the other to create a seamless whole. It gives you freedom to express yourself, to showcase trinkets picked up on travels, or designer buys with flea market finds. Here I’ve picked some modern rooms that are beautifully bohemian. They all have white walls, but use statement pieces to do the talking – perhaps a strong industrial light fitting here, a group of odd chairs there, bold flashes of moody black accessories and accents of brass bling. It’s all in the little details. I’ve also teamed up with online interior design store Houseology to give you a chance to recreate this look for yourselves, more on that after the pictures…   One of Houseology.com’s most popular brands Eichholtz …

catesthill-25

My home on Apartment Therapy

I’m very excited. Late last year lovely photographer Cathy Pyle came to photograph my humble abode and now you can see the full tour around my ‘serene and bright Bloomsbury apartment’ on interiors website Apartment Therapy! It was a cold, bright November day and the sun was streaming in, Cathy did such a beautiful job capturing the sunny living room and bedrooms while making the most of the dark kitchen and bathroom at the back of the house that I never photograph myself. It’s made me reassess what I like (the light grey and white walls, in fact all the grey!) and don’t like (the boring, bog standard bathroom.. shudder) about my home. Always one for a redecoration project (you can hear how I single handedly took down the bathroom door, fixed it and then put it up again…), I can’t wait to get started on my next project. For me a home is a constant project, I’m always wanting to change little bits, refresh and renew. In the meantime, I’ll leave the photos to do the talking, …

healthy eating: overnight oats and chia seeds recipe

At the start of the New Year, after feeling a bit sluggish over Christmas with all those mince pies and roast dinners, I decided to have a bit of a health-kick and go dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free. I was inspired by some of my favourite food bloggers, Deliciously Ella, Madeleine Shaw and Tess Ward, who all advocate clean eating and cooking simple, wholesome meals with fresh ingredients from scratch. Their way of eating isn’t about counting calories or being overly restrictive, but eating well to energise and restore the mind and body. I was already dairy-free and had already been advised a low GI diet due to insulin resistance, so it was a no-brainer, I just needed a New Year push to get going… Now, I’ve swapped chocolate bars for raw cacao, starchy white rice and pasta for whole grains, crisps for nuts, and have even invested in NutriBullet for a daily smoothie. This January, Robert Welch is launching its #eatwell campaign, encouraging us all to make a few small positive changes: to enjoy eating well, preparing fresh food and taking …

favourite instagrammers to follow

My top 9 favourite Instagrammers to follow

In need of some inspiration at the start of the new year? I’ve gathered together nine of my favourite Instagrammers whose beautiful composed and styled images I’ve been lusting over for some time. From mouthwatering bakes and recipes, through pretty street corners, to bunches of bright blooms, this lot have creativity and style in abundance. Simply click on each image to be lead to their profile! @littlelottieloves Why: her super-cute captions and lovely British style What: yummy cakes, Swedish fika, the best coffee shops in London, and pretty streets @maevdkrogt Why: for the charm of Amsterdam What: charmingly crooked Amsterdam doorways, coffee haunts, brunch spots and perfectly propped up bicycles @jasminetartine Why: for that little Parisian je ne sais quoi and her inspiring quotes What: croissants, bustling Parisian cafes, views over the Seine, and windowsills of flowers @stylonylon Why: her laid-back but super-cool style and top Olympus Pen tips What: outfit posts, covetable wears, chunky knits, coffee and east London haunts @abbie_melle Why: her beautiful compositions and lightness of touch What: wild, foraged blooms, the pinkest roses, sweet delights and homely table …