All posts filed under: photography

Five tips for taking better iPhone photos

Five tips for taking better iPhone photos

They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and lately I’ve found myself sharing more and more on Instagram than any other social media network (find me @catesthill…) – sometimes an image just seems to say enough. It can portray emotion and feeling, it can capture a moment in time and can really inspire your creativity. I certainly don’t know what I did before mobile phones had cameras, how would I have snapped that pretty flower, that shadow falling nicely on that building or a coffee that I’m sure the whole world wants to see?! And although a lot of the photos on my blog are taken with a digital SLR (Nikon D40X), mobile phone cameras are so good nowadays that you can create lovely, clear images on-the-go. The other week mobile network Three kindly invited me on a #PicPerfectWithThree mobile photography masterclass to learn how to make the most of my smartphone camera. On the day we were lent an iPhone 6 to try out and received some top tips for taking better photos from the lovely photographer …


The Cutlery Project by valerie objects

Have you heard of new Antwerp-based design label valerie objects? Made up of Axel Van Den Bossche, Frank Lambert and art director Veerle Wenes, valerie objects shapes its collection by working with designers, architects and artists with the aim of translating the signature works of these creative minds into tangible objects. ‘Pride of place with always go to authentic thinkers, to pieces that have been carefully thought about, designed and fashioned by intelligent hands,’ they say. One such piece of work is the Cutlery Project, a collection of knives, spoons and forks designed by Netherlands-based Jinhjyun Jeon, Maarten Baas, Studio Simple and Studio Wieki Somers; Belgian designer Muller van Severen (above) and Japanese designer Koichi Futatsumata. The result is six quirky sets of cutlery that surprise and delight. Which is your favourite? Maarten Baas Koichi Futatsumata Studio Simple Jinhyun Jeon All images: Valerie Objects


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 …


A calm, neutral home by Studio Oink

I very recently wrote about German design duo Studio Oink (see it here), they’ve become a bit of an obsession of mine of late (just check out their instagram account and you’ll see why…). They’re a sort of three-in-one –or at least multiple-in-one – design practice; they do both interior design, styling and photography. This is another of their projects for German furniture brand Stattmann Neue Mobel, for which they did the art direction, location scouting, styling and photography in their characteristic style that balances poetry and function, simplicity and playfulness. The images look so calm and soft, perfectly complimenting the smooth rounded edges of the wooden tables and chairs. I can’t wait to see more from this design duo (pssst… don’t you just love the bunting?!). Imagery and styling by Studio Oink


Styling the Seasons: January

So, here’s my Styling the Seasons for January! It’s almost a bit late, I’ve been waiting for the light to be good enough to take good photos, it’s been so dark recently. This Styling the Seasons for me is all about light and cleanliness – after the warmth, cosiness and spectacle of Christmas, and with a fresh, new year ahead, I wanted to have a bit of a house detox. That means throwing away/taking to the charity shop any unwanted clutter, paring back the shelves and injecting lots of nature in the home – succulents, fragrant eucalyptus and especially recently I’ve been loving the smell of hyacinths, they bring a touch of Spring even when it’s cold outside. I’ve also tried to be a bit healthier this month, though I can’t quite bring myself to have a kale smoothie yet (does anyone actually enjoy them?!) I’ve been partaking in lots of green tea, water and even ballet classes.  I also want to take more time to read books, so I’ve added some of my favourites from Persephone …


An autumnal Sunday afternoon on Hampstead Heath

Often Sundays can pass by in a blink of an eye, you get up late, have a cooked breakfast that turns into a brunch, lunch, whatever, then end up whiling the afternoon away on the sofa. This weekend we decided to do things a bit differently and headed up to Hampstead Heath for a day of autumnal walking and pub grub. We meandered from Hampstead Heath station, admiring the wagging-tailed dogs and changing colours of the leaves, up to Kenwood House. In all my time in London, I’d never managed to visit before, but boy was it worth it. It’s recently been refurbished by English Heritage – it’s cream facade stands proudly in the gently rolling landscape and inside the newly painted library sings. Kenwood House was once the home of judge Lord Mansfield and his family, including his mixed-race niece Dido Belle (who was recently the subject of, in my opinion, a mediocre film, Belle). It was transformed by the great Scottish architect Robert Adam in the 1760s and 1770s into the fine neoclassical villa seen today. His work …


Recent Instagram discoveries

There has been a lot of summer inspiration going around Instagram, from melting ice creams to colourful blooms, so I thought I would share with you a few of my faves that I discovered recently. I previously wrote about my top four favourite instagrammers in March (cannellevanille, Alice Gao, Harlow & Sage, Olivia Rae James), which you can see here. Click on each name to see their Instagram profile and happy weekend! 1. Frederikke Waerens Frederikke lives in Copenhagen and has a fab Tumblr called Avec Moi (that’s her ice cream above!). 2. Coffee With Me April lives in Perth and has a Tumblr called Begin Simply. 3. Line Dahyernst Line lives in Copenhagen, she always posts delicious scenes from meals and simple interiors. 4. Le Weekend Wanderer Sally has a great blog, also called Weekend Wanderer, where she shares tips on ways to shake up the weekend routine and to make sure we’re living Saturdays and Sundays to the fullest. She sounds like my sort of gal! 5. Food Stories Nora and Laura are …


Travel: Fez, Morocco

Last week, we jetted off to Fez in Morocco for a whistle-stop tour and a traditional wedding ceremony. We stayed in a Moroccan riyad (for full details see bottom of post) right in the centre of the maze that is the Medina in the old town– all the rooms looked onto the stunning central courtyard and there was a sunny terrace for breakfast looking over the city. A lovely Moroccan couple looked after us, giving us tips on where to visit and made us delicious crepes and freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast. Although we only stayed for a couple of nights we managed to pack a lot in: a visit to the tanneries to see the vats of dye and the hundreds of skins laid out to dry on the rooftops, an unusual and brilliant sight; we got lost in the souks and picked up some glasses (after much bargaining!); ate tagines as well as the local delicacy pastilla, a pastry filled with meat and quite bizarrely topped with icing sugar; and also visited a traditional hammam. Our real reason …


Bank holiday Monday spent at Hatfield House

This week’s sunny bank holiday was, for me, spent at the grand Jacobean house of Hatfield and amongst its leafy grounds. Hatfield House, just 20 minutes from King’s Cross by train, is most famous for being the childhood home of Elizabeth I. It is however, the grander palace built by the 1st Earl of Salisbury in the early 1600s, after he deemed Elizabeth’s house old fashioned, that people visit today (one wing remains from Elizabeth’s era and is now called the Old Palace– it wasn’t until we had been around the whole house that we realised that what looked like a small out-building was in fact where she grew up!). The House is still splendidly decorated, with State Rooms rich in paintings, fine furniture and tapestries, the Grand Staircase with its fine carving and rare stained windows in the private chapel. It was the gardens, however, which were the highlight of the visit, being a bright day as it was on Monday. The gardens begin formally, with topiary, borders and a fountain, before extending to …