Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Interiors Inspiration: Bright Colours for Spring from H&M Home

Keeping with with the theme of Spring this week (it's 1st March tomorrow can you believe it?!), I wanted to share these fab images from H&M's Spring collection. As always from H&M they have a great selection of items at really affordable prices. This season includes plenty of bright colours to lift your mood, floral patterns, butterflies, gingham, stripes and polka dots. For more information on the range please go to the H&M Homes website.

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{Images via H&M}

Monday, 27 February 2012

Flowers: Snowdrops marking the Start of Spring



For the last few weeks there has been something peeping at me from the hedgerows and making me smile as I drive around the Dorset countryside in search of my next renovation project. The snowdrop is one of my favourite flowers and I love it even more for the fact that it bravely flowers in the winter; they bring a smile to my face not only because they are such beautiful little flowers, but also as they mark the beginning of Spring. Carpets of them are now in bloom across the country and whilst it's most lovely to see them in their wild habitat, they are also great to bring indoors to decorate your home, or even to incorporate into your wedding bouquet for a lovely seasonal countryside look. Next time you spot some snowdrops, delicately pick a few, bring them home and pop them in vintage bottles for a gorgeous rustic look or add a bunch to a small jug, like the picture above, for a more shabby chic feel. 


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All images via Pinterest



Friday, 24 February 2012

Your Home: Super Stylish 'Ikea Hack'





I can't believe it's Friday again...I really needed at least ten days this week as I haven't managed to dent my to-do-list at all. Just a quick post to share this amazing 'Ikea Hack' table upcycle - I think it's absolutely genius - simple to do and the finished product is so stylish!






The wood was joined simply with just a drill, so no need to be uber practical and have a whole host of tools - here is step by step of how to make the sides:


(1) Drill a hole
(2) Fill it with glue and stick a piece of dowel into it.
(3) Drill a hole in the other piece and fill it with glue or get the dowel all gluey (you can't use too much glue).
(4) Push it in flush and wipe up the glue overflow.




To assemble the desk, lay out all the wood strips on the floor and join them. Then drill holes all the way through the table legs and slide the whole side structure in. After the glue has dried fill the holes with wood filler and sand it smooth. You can then sand the whole table and paint whatever colour you choose! This is going to be my first 'Ikea Hack' and I can't wait!



Have a lovely weekend.


LMH

x
{Design and images by Matsutake}

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Homes Away From Home: Medieval Beauty in Croatia

This week’s stunning Home Away from Home is an early 18th Century stone house perched on a hillside in the scenic medieval village of Motovun, Croatia. South-facing and with a large terrace and loggia, the house has uninterrupted views across the valley and offers spacious luxury with a personal touch. For me, one of the main appeals of the property is that it has been lovingly restored over the last few years combining the best traditional and modern materials. From the Istrian limestone floors (equipped with under floor heating) to the custom-designed beds and cupboards built with reclaimed timer, the effort and attention to detail is clear throughout the house.

Arranged over three floors, the house accommodates six adults comfortably and is decorated with a balance of modern and antique furnishings. The terrace, which runs the length of the house, is perfect for entertaining with an el fresco dining table, barbecue and outdoor shower for those hot summer months. The house has just become available for private rental and prices start at an amazing €166 per person per week based on six people sharing. I’ve been wanting to plan a trip to Croatia for a while now and I’ve just found the perfect excuse!

For more information or to book please go to Villa Angelo's website. They are currently offering discounts for groups staying two weeks or longer as well as for groups of 4 or less guests.


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{All images via Villa Angela}

Monday, 20 February 2012

Product of the Week: Organise the Office in Style


Happy Monday morning! I hope you had a great weekend? This week’s product of the week has been inspired by my frustration at not having an office or even a desk! I currently have to work at the kitchen table as P has taken over the extra bedroom and turned it into his office. He does have a LOT more kit than me and it does look great as his photography den, but the main reason I'm being so relaxed about it as have a cunning plan to take over the conservatory as my painting studio, which he isn't aware of yet! In the meantime I have to be very organised and tidy so as to not have a chaotic kitchen/sitting room and these lovely stationary storage boxes by Harris & Jones and Nina Campbell are just what I’ve been looking for. Even better the range is named after one of my all time favourite places for inspiration and sourcing, Marrakech.



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Thursday, 16 February 2012

My Home: Kitchen Curtain Confusion...



Choosing the fabric for the blinds and curtains in our kitchen is still proving a struggle...P is being incredibly patient about the samples draped over every chair, cushion, table or surface that is vaguely horizontal around the room. I am usually so decisive that I am finding it quite perturbing that I can't make this one simple decision! One decision I am close to making however, is that the said fabric will be from the talented and inspiring designer Vanessa Arbuthnott. Her latest collection was created after a visit to a small, traditional block-printing workshop in India and is appropriately names 'Hand Printed'.

The collection is composed of three simple but effective designs: ‘Life and Eternity’: a traditional paisley fertility symbol ‘Butterfly Dance’: an enchanting butterfly motif ‘Simple Ticking’: a broad ticking stripe. The designs are hand screen‐printed and hand block‐printed on tactile and durable linen union, and the hand‐printing process affords them an uncontrived, individual appearance, which I adore. Now to choose which of the patterns will work best for our kitchen! 


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Monday, 13 February 2012

Interiors Inspiration: Embracing Shabby Chic


However much I try to branch away from it and try different styles with interiors, I just can't seem to help returning to shabby chic. I just love the mixture of textures and patterns; the floral, the vintage, the exposed wood and the rustic finishes. This house is combines perfectly all the elements I adore, the pale backdrop scattered with unique bits and pieces, no doubt collected from markets, auctions and bric a brac shops, each with their own history and own story to tell. Heaven!

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{Images by David Merewether via Wealdon Times}

Friday, 10 February 2012

Product of the Week: Portable Hammock from Etsy


I can't believe it's Friday already - this week has simply flown by and my good intentions of completing the to do list before the weekend have faile! Two of my favourite websites for finding unique, creative and good value products are Etsy and Not on the Hight Street. Supporting independent small business is something that I am totally in favour of and the creation of these two fab sites makes doing this simple. To try and combat this current chilly spell I have been daydreaming about lazy summer days, lounging in the garden with a good book or the latest issue of Red magazine, and this hammock is the perfect place to lounge. 
The Hammy is an outdoor hammock stand with integrated bench, flower planter and platform for storage. Made from white oak (which has been treated so that it's decay and insect resistant), I think it's genius. With only one available you better snap it up quick! 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Your Home: A Classic Valentine's Gift



With Valentine’s Day only a week away, I guess it’s time I start thinking of a few ideas for presents – generally we’re not that keen on celebrating it, but likelihood is if I follow the no present policy that was created last year I will again be red faced when P surprises me with something thoughtful, beautiful and useful...

So this year I'm determined not to be caught out and have been researching for a gesture gift that it classic rather than commercial. I just can’t bear wading through the sea of pink and red trying to find something unique and sophisticated, but this year I've spotted the perfect present from the gorgeous Ebury Home & Garden. Their ‘Always Kiss me Goodnight’ paperweight is not only useful, but will also make a lovely long-term keepsake and their new hand stamped LOVE cards make the perfect accompaniment.

For more information and to browse lots of other lovely gifts check out the Ebury Home & Garden website.





Friday, 3 February 2012

Please Help Save Bridport's Vintage Quarter!



Today's blog is a cry for help....

There is a plan to redevelop the part of Bridport that is so central to its charm, character and soul and today is the last chance for locals {and visitors who are also fond of the town and it's vintage quarter} to submit complaints to the council. The plan is to bulldoze the vintage arts quarter and build more housing.

The vintage quarter is home to a number of businesses, artists and antique sellers - the vibe down there is magical and remnant of a french brocante, especially during the outdoor vintage markets that are held once a month from March through to October.









If you are able and have the time to submit something then please do and help us save this incredibly unique and special part of our community. It was one of the real pulls when we were selecting where in Dorset {or even the UK} to settle when we moved back from Mallorca last summer.

Here is an extract from an incredibly eloquent submission, written by a local writer Maddie, who has been a resident in this charming town for longer than we have.

"I've known Bridport for thirty years and St Michael's trading estate has always been a thriving place for creative enterprise. The look of it hasn’t changed much in that time either.








Back then there were auction rooms, car repairers, award winning drag racing cars made as a hobby by Number One Son's father and a salon set up by my hairdresser. It was shabby but it was useful. And some lovely, lovely buildings that are part of the town's industrial heritage.

And still the estate is shabby. But it’s chic. It has a thriving art quarter. The area attracts a huge deal of interest and visitors. It’s become a sort of fingerless glove attached to one of Bridport’s hands.



Developing the so-called ‘south west quadrant’ has been talked about for years and the plans have been a long time coming. And now they’re here.

Bridport is quirky, arty, bohemian and the art quarter fits, alongside small businesses that have been on the estate for years.

What doesn’t fit is a massive housing development, the tidying up and gentrification of Bridport which will lead to an influx of people who will gaze at the Looking Back page of the local newspaper in years to come and say ‘oh, so that’s what it used to be like’.




As a former editor of that paper, I have seen how Bridport has changed over the years. Not necessarily all for the better, but what is evident now is there is a new vibrancy, a new creative energy, that has emerged in recent years. You can see it in the independent shops, you can see it in the arts centre, the Electric Palace and the newly-revamped town hall. It’s the Spirit of Bridport shining through and so typified by the St Michael’s artistic quarter. It’s Bridport’s Monmartre!

Fra Newbery was one of the town’s best known artists who painted the beautiful Spirit of Bridport. He strove ‘to make art more readily available to a wider public, attempting to relate it to their daily lives and to celebrate the traditions of the specific localities in which the works were sited’. (And, ironically, on the day I write this, the Fra Newbery website is just about to be taken down for a lack of funding).

Heritage is worth saving. It really is."
 

Please submit your comment now as today is the deadline....click here and fill out the form, which will only take a minute or two of your time and for more information about the campaign go to the group's Facebook page.






Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Your Home: Keep it Pale and Interesting

Pale and Interesting, one of my favourite online boutiques and creation of husband and wife team Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote, has recently opened its first shop in Rye, East Sussex. To celebrate the opening I wanted to share some of their stunning images – a lot of the items are available to buy online, I just adore their style and taste. The super talented couple have each successfully worked in magazine, photography and design industries for the past 20 years , producing books, interiors, furniture, products, sets...the list goes on! I’m thrilled that they now have a shop selling some of their unique finds and designs and hope to visit next time I’m in the area.





{All images via Pale and Interesting}

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