All posts filed under: my abode

The new house: BEFORE

The new house: BEFORE

You’ve had a sneak peek of the outside of our new house in south London, this time I want to show you the inside, before we get to carried away with renovations and forget to share the before shots! I’ve been sharing a few sneak peeks on Instagram and Snapchat but here I want to show you the exciting plans we want to carry out. Our new home is an early 20th-century terraced house near Brixton that has been subjected to various – I would say naff – additions and decorative choices by previous owners that are not in keeping with the period of the property. Our plan is to restore it to its former glory, strip back the horrible, ugly Seventies and Eighties features and bring back a little bit of its character. I’ve been eagerly watching George Clarke’s Old House New Home on Channel 4, where he helps homeowners transform their tired old homes into modern interiors. Like the homes on the show, I want to tear out terrible taste and make the most of the home’s history, while …

Make an entrance: improving your home’s kerb appeal

When moving house and looking to buy a property, first impressions are everything. We’ve just moved into a new house near Brixton in leafy south London (very exciting!), a big change for us from a 2-bed flat in the hustle and bustle of King’s Cross. It wasn’t quite love at first site for us though – this house was let down by its poor kerb appeal. We were initially put off by its uPVC windows, flimsy plastic door and thickly textured grey facade (the rest on the row are brick), yuck, yuck, yuck – it was only when we went inside and visited a second time that we started to see its potential. Unlived-in for months and looking tired, it just needed a bit of love and care. As with many things, looks can be deceiving and with just a few small changes, I believe we can gradually begin to bring this house back to life and restore it to its former glory. When B&Q approached me for their ‘Make an Entrance’ appeal, encouraging people to get …

A light, summer workspace with Design Letters

A light summer workspace with Design Letters & Friends

One of the good things I’ve found about moving is it allows you get a little bit organised with all the ‘stuff’ in your home – declutter, reflect and start afresh. We’ve been packing boxes and the place is an absolute tip, but it meant that I could throw away all the piles of papers and rubbish in my home office; pens which weren’t haven’t worked for years, magazines I’ve never read and keep the things I really want. I’ve still had to work in all this chaos, so when Copenhagen-based Design Letters & Friends approached me to style a summer workspace, I knew it was the perfect breath of fresh air I needed to still keep a bit of sanity and beauty around the place! Founded in 2009 by former journalist Mette Thomsen, Design Letters & Friends is well known for its bold, minimal collection of objects, many based around typography hand drawn in 1937 by the famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen. Having studied architecture, I’m a huge fan of the modernist Jacobsen – he’s up there with my ultimate faves along with Alvar …

Beni Ourain moroccan rug

The Beni Ourain Moroccan rug of dreams

Beni Ourain Moroccan rugs seem to be everywhere at the moment, all the top high street and online brands seem to be doing versions of them and after seeing them in numerous beautiful homes, I’ve long wanted one of my own. But, I can’t exactly jet off to Morocco at the click of my fingers just for a rug, nor can I really be bothered with all that bartering. So I was super excited when Sukhi rugs got in touch, offering to send me the real deal – one of their signature Beni Ourain rugs handcrafted in Morocco. Beni Ourain rugs are traditionally made by nomadic Berber tribes deep in Morocco’s rugged Atlas Mountains using a specific breed of sheep renowned for its rich, high quality wool. Thick and warm, the wool creates a deep shaggy pile rug that’s 100% undyed. Signature dark brown lines and geometric shapes on the white or cream background tell stories from each weaver’s life or reference natural events, from birth and fertility to rural life. I chose the Naima rug with its …

Easy stylish Spring entertaining

Easy spring entertaining

Hurrah, the clocks have gone forward and we have an extra hour of sunlight! As soon as the sun comes out and the light evenings last a little longer, I always feel like it’s time to crack out a cold drink and gather some friends and loved-ones together. So, today I’m showing you how to style a lovely relaxed table for some Spring entertaining, using some smart Scandi accessories from Danish brand Lene Bjerre, available at Houseology. With an other half who is French, I’ve well and truly adopted the tradition of apéro, that time around 7pm when you can sit back, forget about work, open a bottle and enjoy some great food with great company. Taking inspiration then from the French, mixed in with some tapas-style dining from the Spanish, this look is really informal and laid-back. It’s more about bringing items to the table spontaneously in the moment, rather than neat, straight place settings that have a formal atmosphere. It’s about gathering over a platter of yumminess, everyone digging in and helping themselves, drinks in hand …

Better Sleep with a Leesa mattress

Better Sleep with a Leesa mattress

I’ve written about my quest for a good night’s sleep before but I’ve always focused on the routine of bedtime – meditation techniques, relaxing scents and calming baths, I’ve tried it all – not the actual apparatus. With deadlines, juggling too many things at once and being constantly switched on, I’ve become used to the occasional, horrible sleepless night with a mind endlessly whirring. So, in search of the perfect night’s sleep, I’m willing to give anything a go, and where better to start than with what you sleep on. If you get the foundations right, the rest will follow right? That’s where Leesa, a US mattress brand recently expanded to the UK, steps in. On a mission to help people sleep better, Leesa creates foam mattresses that can be bought online and delivered straight to your door in one compact box, without you having to move a muscle (except maybe a few clicks of a button). Set up by David Wolfe after years of trouble sleeping and awkward experiences in mattress showrooms, Leesa offers a very different kind of …

Home is better with U, making a house a home with Urbanara

Home is better with U, with Urbanara

What makes a house a home? I’ve often found myself wondering over this question during the course of writing my blog. For me, an interior is more than just a statement or pretty display frozen in time, they’re places that should be designed around how we live not just how we want it to look. In my mind, to make a house a home you need to concentrate on how a space feels to be in. A home is a space full of life in all its mess, full of things that tell your story and people to share it with. I recently saw an exhibition on the American designer Alexander Girard at the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, he designed interiors as stage sets for everyday living; he saw them as constantly changing works in progress that could adapt and grow over time. Unusually for a designer, he would keep in touch with clients for 10, 20, 30 years after a project, advising them on small changes and even helping to swap round the colour of the cushions every season. …

Finding the perfect rug

Finding the perfect rug

I’ve talked about my new found love of dark colours and moving away from my safe space of white walls (here and here) but we’re moving house soon, so as much as I’d like to get my hands on a new decorating project, I’ll just have to wait. That hasn’t stopped me putting a little TLC into our home and ‘nesting’ as I like to call it; creating a warm, cosy space until we find a new place to live and I can get out the paint brushes. I’m also making small, little changes to tidy up our home and make it more inviting to potential buyers. So welcome to my new addition, this dreamy, deep, dark grey and navy blue rug by Esprit from Modern Rugs. It’s my nod to the trend at the moment for dark walls and moody colours. It somehow grounds the sofa area, picking up on the dark shades of the cushions and the dusky blue of the art print, to create a cosy nook of thick textures. From the soft linen of the …

Nina+Co Breakfast Collection

Q&A with ceramic and interior designer Nina+Co

I’ve been developing quite a thing for ceramics recently. I could now easily serve tea or coffee to near on 40 people with the amount of cups and vessels we have in our kitchen (my boyfriend would call it clutter I’m sure…). But I just added again to the collection, with some beautiful new favourites – a pair of espresso cups by London and Amsterdam-based design studio Nina+Co. With a background in interior design, Nina Woodcroft founded Nina+Co in 2014. Focusing on sustainability and natural materials, Nina+Co believe in the duty of designers to reduce environmental impact and promote the notion of wellbeing. As well as currently designing a cafe for homelessness charity Centrepoint in Soho and a bakery which offers opportunities for vulnerable women in East London, Nina also creates small-scale batch produced ceramics, as seen here. Her debut tableware collection, The Breakfast Collection, made in collaboration with London-based consultancy The Ceramicists, comprises a plate, bowl, mug, butter dish and these little espresso cups that handily double up as egg cups. They’re all made of responsibly sourced materials and batch-produced to …

Urban Jungle Bloggers: Jungle Animals

Urban Jungle Bloggers: Jungle Animals

I’ve been a very bad Urban Jungle Blogger! Not only have I not posted a plant-based blog post in a while, quite a few of my plants have died a slow death this winter… Slap on the wrist for me. But, with the theme this month of Jungle Animals, and a certain cheeky chappy coming to stay, it was the perfect opportunity to snap some new plant additions in a corner of my home. Meet Harry, a little miniature dachshund who is sure to melt hearts. I look after him every so often when I work from home. I really, really, really want a dachshund of my own, but until then, this is my borrowed jungle animal… With his expressive little eyes and tiny paws, he’s an absolute cutie. He likes to sit on my lap when I work on my computer and is always after attention. But, it seems not when the camera’s on! It took some persuasion to get him to sit still and stop wriggling about, I’m sure in the picture above …