All posts filed under: home + happiness

12 styled days of Christmas

Last minute Christmas gift ideas

I don’t know about you but I’m finding this part of the year especially manic, wrapping up blog posts and work, not to mention wrapping up presents! I’ve done a bit of Christmas shopping here and there but I still have a list of presents to buy for my loved ones. I always try not to, but I think I may be running around like a headless chicken trying to pick up last minute bits on Christmas Eve… But, if you’re like me and still have a few people to buy for, and maybe you haven’t been able to think of what to get them yet, I’ve created this little guide for last minute Christmas gifts. All the items here, handpicked from my favourite independent British shops, have their last deliveries on the 22nd December, so you can relax and know your gifts will be with you before the big day, phew! You can purchase these items right here on my blog, just click on each product for more information, add to cart and you’ll …

beating the january blues

Christmas gift guide for a homebody

I’m back with my second gift guide for Christmas (here was my first gift guide for design lovers if you didn’t catch it) – this time for those who like nothing better than to cosy up at home and nest to their heart’s content. It’s one of my absolute favourite pastimes – to throw a warm blanket across the sofa, light some softly scented candles, dig out a book or two and enjoy the simple pleasure of a steaming cup of tea. Ah, bliss! If you’re anything like me then, you’ll love these carefully handpicked homely products. There’s beautiful, handmade ceramics and coffee cups, cookbooks with hearty recipes and simple ideas to rustle up a meal, plus the odd gift set for those really hard to buy for… You can purchase these items right here on my blog, just click on each product for more information, add to cart and you’ll be led to the checkout. My shop is powered by Showroom, who do all the hard work and nitty gritty, so you can be …

#thesimpleeveryday - a hashtag on Instagram

#thesimpleeveryday round-up – October 2016

I’m very excited to say that I’m off to Australia for three weeks for a much-needed holiday and dose of vitamin D! There’ll still be a few posts going live on here while I’m away, but I thought I’d leave you with some of my favourite picks from #thesimpleeveryday hashtag on Instagram. The hashtag has now been going for two months (you can see my favourites from September here) and we’re nearly up to 500 images! I love checking the feed each day, being surprised and inspired by the delights it holds. I’ve discovered new accounts I didn’t follow before, gained new perspectives of everyday moments and got to see a little of the world through other people’s very imaginative eyes. This month, as the days have been getting colder and the evenings darker, there’s definitely been an autumnal feed to the images. Just looking at them makes me want to curl up on a cosy sheepskin rug, put the candles on and sip a steaming mug of hot coffee, gazing out at the wind …

John Pawson's Life House for Living Architecture - a holiday home designed for moments of calm and reflection

Travel: John Pawson’s Life House for Living Architecture

Back at the beginning of August, we escaped for three nights of peace and relaxation to the Life House – a simple, contemporary holiday home designed by the architect John Pawson for Living Architecture. It was unlike anywhere I had stayed before, a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, from which to rest, reinvigorate and restore, all in the stunning, picturesque setting of the Welsh countryside. Set up to promote modern architecture, Living Architecture commissions some of the best architects to design houses in some of the most beautiful locations in Britain, a winning formula right? You might have seen Grayson Perry and FAT’s jolly A House for Essex, or the precariously cantilevered Balancing Barn in Suffolk by MVRDV, or wondered what that peculiar looking boat is doing perched on top of the Southbank Centre. They’re all available to rent, making the perfect getaway whether you have an interest in architecture and an appreciation for meticulous design, would like to experience what it’s like to live, eat and sleep in a space designed by a top architectural practice …

#thesimpleeveryday - a new hashtag on instagram started by @catesthill

#thesimpleeveryday a round-up – September 2016

It’s been a month now since I started #thesimpleeveryday hashtag on Instagram, I’ve loved seeing you share your everyday calm, minimal moments, so I thought I’d do a little round-up of my favourite images that have been shared so far. As a reminder, #thesimpleeveryday is all about seeking a moment of calm in the mundane of the everyday – to take a moment out of our busy schedules to simply slow down and appreciate the little things. It’s finding a way to uplift our daily lives, whether it’s focusing more intently on everyday rituals, savouring a little quiet time to ourselves in a busy day, or simply being more aware of the spaces we’re inhabiting. Really, it’s about simply celebrating the everyday but also to trying to find simplicity every day. I’ve certainly found it’s helped me focus everyday, to clear some of the clutter in my brain and be more conscious of what I buy, where I go and what I do. For example, it’s trying not to flick through my phone when I’m having a cup of coffee but actually …

#thesimpleeveryday

New Instagram hashtag – #thesimpleeveryday

I’ve been wanting to start a new hashtag on Instagram for ages, but could never think of the right one. But, then you know when you have those brilliant ideas in the shower? Well, I’ve come up with one which I think everyone can relate to. Let me introduce you to #thesimpleeveryday. It’s what I’ve been striving for and moving further towards both on my blog and on Instagram (find me here) – finding a way to uplift and celebrate the everyday. #thesimpleeveryday is all about seeking a moment of calm in the mundane of the everyday – to take a moment out of our busy schedules to simply slow down and appreciate the little things, whether it’s a quiet coffee in the morning (one of my favourite times of the day), or the light streaming through the window in the evening, reading the papers on a Sunday morning or appreciating a fresh vase of blooms that make you smile. It might be a beautiful, minimal design object sitting on a nice clean shelf, fresh crisp …

A week on my feet

A week on my feet

If you’re on Instagram I’m sure you’re all aware of the patterned wonders of instagram account @ihavethisthingwithfloors, ‘where feet meet nice floors’. Inspired by this trend for the ‘selfeet’ or ‘shoefie’, Luxury Flooring got in touch and challenged me to look down and tell the story of my own week through the floors, patterns and textures I might encounter on the ground. It was a great week to get snapping, documenting everything from sunny park trips and early morning coffees to a visit to one of my favourite cities, Copenhagen. All in all, I walked nearly 90km across the whole week – across London pavements, along train stations, through airports, around furniture fairs, up spiral staircases and rooftops, into Copenhagen coffee shops and through flower markets. So let’s see what I got up to… Monday It’s a busy day in the Blueprint office for my day job as an architecture and design journalist. My beni ourain Moroccan rug is probably the prettiest thing I’m going to see under my feet today. Time for a quick coffee before it’s out the door and on to the train into central London… …

Flower design with M&S

Beautiful blooms with M&S

For me, there is nothing better than a big vase of fresh flowers in the house. I love picking up a bunch with the sunday papers and kicking back to admire them with the feeling that the house, like me after a weekend, is once again revived. I love the fragrant smell they carry, the element of nature they bring inside, and the way they make a house feel like a home. Definitely for me, a home is not complete without a bunch of flowers, they’re as comforting as a warm cup of tea or a burning fire, as indulgent as a favourite magazine or good bar of chocolate to curl up with, as beautiful as any piece of wall art or styled display of objects. As Claude Monet once said, ‘I must have flowers, always and always’. A little while ago I spent a lovely evening flower arranging with Marks and Spencer in a lofty warehouse-like events space in Stoke Newington, north London. Certainly not a bad way to while away an evening, chatting away to other like-minded bloggers and playing around until our hearts content …

Soak&Sleep - Cranbrook plain wood bed from £525, 600TC Egyptian Cotton bed linen from £20.90

Soak&Sleep A/W 2016 collection

Last week I got a sneak peek of Soak&Sleep’s new Autumn/Winter 2016 collection. With the slogan ‘Rediscover Every Night’, their aim is to provide all the ingredients for the ultimate good night’s sleep, each night, every night. From the softest French linen and the most luxurious Egyptian cotton to the fluffiest towels and the sweetest smelling candles to drift you off into relaxation, Soak&Sleep believe that going to bed shouldn’t just be a habit or a necessity at the end of the day, but something to look forward to and be celebrated. I’m all for uplifting those everyday moments, and if it means I can sneak in a little nap in the middle of the day and not feel guilty, I’m in! Soak&Sleep have curated a new collection that aims to suit all manner of tastes and needs, whether you want to bring a touch of hotel elegance at home or simply want to update your bedroom with a new throw or blanket. A good night’s sleep isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula, and nor does everyone …

Best of portable speakers: six stylish speakers that will fit right into your home

Best of… Portable speakers

Today I’m going all techy on you and talking about portable speakers. Gone are the days when you might buy a hefty, ugly sound system that would take up a corner of the living room and never move. Today, consumers want to be able to play music that seamlessly moves from room to room and doesn’t take up a whole lot of space. And for most of us, ideally without splurging out on a high-tech surround sound system and breaking the bank. That’s where portable speakers come in: they’re neat, compact and stylish, without compromising on style or sound. In our house, I listen to a lot of Classic FM (yep, I’m 28, no sniggers please) as I work in the spare room or go about my morning routine, while my boyfriend Olivier might want to play something on Spotify in the kitchen or living room. We have a UE Boom bluetooth speaker, which is so light and easy to carry around up and down the stairs, and produces sound at the click of a button. We’ve taken it away with …