Pick of the week #17

This week’s pick of the week is Loaf. I’m sure you’re all aware of the Interiors brand; its big news in the furniture world, and is becoming more accessible with an exclusive range of their home products now available to buy through the high street giant, John Lewis.

They do a huge range of all types of furniture, but I would say they’re probably most well-known for their sumptuous sofas and wow factor upholstered beds which are available in a plethora of striking colours.

Hugger winged back bed

The Hugger bed in Dusk vintage linen 

I’ve always been a fan of their sofas; their proportions are great, the colour options of their upholstery fabrics is fab (yes, there’s a bright yellow option or two!) and their designs are livable but just that bit different to the run of the mill option.

What I like too, is that all of their items are made in Great Britain, which is a claim hard to find these days. Just to prove it, there’s some fun pictures of their factory team, hard at work, on their website which is a really nice touch…

Having a cuppa in a KitKat mug. Can’t get more British than that!

What particularly caught my eye this week was the Oscar corner sofa, which was the main focus in a townhouse living room I visited on Friday;

Image result for loaf oscar corner sofa grey

Ok, so it doesn’t look much there, does it. Here’s a better picture of the chaise end option from the same range, but styled up a bit…

British made luxury Oscar Chaise corner sofa and Legsie footstool in shaker blue herringbone

The amazing, trans-formative effect of a scatter cushion or two…

Anyway, it’s seriously comfy, would easily fit both Husband and I on (which considering that at 6ft 1″, I am the smaller of the two of us is no mean feat) and most importantly of all, when I showed Husband a picture of it, he liked the way it looked too! The first time in all of history we have agreed on the look of a sofa. Hence why it’s worth a mention on here!

Needless to say that at the moment our pocket money won’t quite stretch to it (a little over £3k in my preferred indigo blue linen!) and our living room is not the right shape for a corner sofa at all, but watch this space people… we have our future sofa all lined up, ready for when we win the lottery and have moved to our dream palatial residence!

On a more realistic note, their website is definitely worth a gander if you’re looking for some rather lovely inspiration, mixing their super soft looking upholstery, with more industrial looking lighting and furniture to great effect.

Here’s what I mean, to whet your furniture-y appetite! Bon appetit…

Image result for loaf yellow sofa

The Dixie sofa in Bumblebee clever velvet. Obviously, I want this. Enough said.

Mimosa bed headboard has hand embroidered buttons in a luxury upholstered headboard

The Mimosa bed – the little patterned buttons are handmade in India, so every single one is individual. How lovely is that?!

 

Happy luxury luxury extra comfy British made Happy armchair

The Happy armchair in Cloud blue vintage linen. Considering how chuffed I’d be with this little purchase, I think the range name is very appropriate.

*All pictures for this post have been taken from loaf.com.

Hope you’re all having a nice weekend and thanks, as always, for reading!

 

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The Handmaid’s Tale – I know it’s not what I’m supposed to be thinking about, but…

Is anyone else watching The Handmaid’s Tale? I finally got on board at the weekend with a bit of a binge – I’m 4 episodes in, and I’m aware the finale has just aired in the UK, so I have quite a lot to catch up on! On the plus side, my being the last to the party means there won’t be any spoilers!

It’s really intriguing, but I’ve been having a moral dilemma over the last couple of days over publishing this post, and asking around the office as to whether it’s in bad taste…The general consensus seems to be that as long as I realise that the Interior Design of the set isn’t what I should be most interested in, then it makes it OK to discuss it. I hope you agree…

So, first things first, I truly do realise there’s a lot going on in the programme and the concept behind it is wholly awful.

But, with my mind being constantly switched on to ‘Interior Designer’ mode, I’m also really intrigued by the set design…

Image result for the commander's house handmaid's tale

This is the Commander’s House in real life (it’s never sunny in the show!) – Photo cred – onlocationvacations.com

If you don’t know what it’s about, it’s based on the book of the same name, written by Margaret Atwood in the ’80s. Here’s a very brief roundup of a very complex storyline…

It’s set in a place called Gilead, in “a dystopian near-future” under fundamentalist regime where females have become property of the state. It’s generally a pretty dire place as the result of multiple environmental and natural disasters. An untenably low birth rate has resulted in innocent fertile females being trapped and kept as ‘Handmaids’ to have offspring for their ‘Commander’ and his wife. Cue lots of awkward scenes you wish you hadn’t watched, and finding Joseph Fiennes completely unattractive for the first time ever. The show follows one main Handmaid, called Offred, and includes flashbacks to her life before the regime which shows how the ‘new world’ came to be.

So, yeah, it’s pretty heavy. And like I said, I really know I should be thinking about the injustice and horror of it all – and I am to a certain extent – but I’m also wondering where the nice Mid Century dining chairs are from…

It’s kind of like when Husband makes me watch football on the telly, and I tell him all the fabrics the TV studio chairs are upholstered in. Seriously, I think Sky Sports has an account with Osborne & Little.

Anyway, this programme, however chilling, is very on trend in its Interior set design…

I assume it’s intentional; unsettling the viewer by making it seem like a believable and actually quite attractive place to live, if it weren’t for all the awfulness. It’s all very dark, which is a direct reflection of the life these poor women are living, but this too is especially popular in Interiors at the moment.

Here’s some stills to (hopefully) show you what I mean. Or make you think I’m a total weirdo…

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Picture cred – comingsoon.net

Nice wall colour, Joseph. Reminds me of Little Greene’s Marine Blue (95) if you’re in the market for some teal. Which lots of people are at the moment.

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Picture cred – comingsoon.net

Dark grey walls, cute button back chair, ornate brass lamp, green metal bedstead. Nice. It’s like a shopping list for a simple 2017 seasonal update.

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Picture cred – TVguide.com

Very nice shutters, very trendy exposed brickwork, lovely traditional style brass fittings. In all, quite a nice, aspirational looking kitchen. (P.S. 4 episodes in and we don’t mind this guy).

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Picture cred – businessinsider.com

Look at this for a set! Big Manhattan-style-loft glass and iron partition wall/doors, dark green walls, black painted Mid-Century dining chairs and a bunch of indoor plants. Take away the creepy lady and poor trapped Handmaid, and it’s an Instagrammers dream!

Image result for the handmaid's tale tv

Picture cred – mymbuzz.com

Another shot of my favourite room. You can see the nice chairs better here! They look like they might be Ercol. And a cool concrete floor – very industrial chic.

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Picture cred – Take Five/Hulu

Chinoiserie and chintz are having a bit of a moment in Interiors currently, and these curtains, ornate marble fireplace, figurine lamp base and decorative bird-cage create a really on trend and pretty scheme.

So there you go. What do you think? Am I mad – or had the same thoughts crossed your minds?! Definitely one to watch if you want to be challenged; it is a bit dark and horrible, but there’s some nice scenery to look at too…

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Pick of the week #16

This week has gone ridiculously quickly in a haze of torrential rain, motorway driving and finally getting the last of our holiday washing done!

My pick of the week, however, is slightly more interesting than any of that!

This week, I’m in love with mint green.

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This wall colour is Little Greene Cupboard Green and  I rather like it.

I think I have an over-enthusiasm for green in Interiors, because I don’t see it much. I, myself, have a green bathroom (I will get round to showing you all that at some point…) but I’ll always remember a training day I went on, almost 8 years ago when I was a fresh faced graduate learning about fabrics, when I was told that “Welsh people don’t like using green in their home.” At the time I thought these people (who were from fabric royalty – Harlequin) were just making it up – they also said that we wouldn’t sell much bird print fabric in Wales, but that didn’t seem like such a stretch – but I have since heard from several customers that they would never dream of having either in their home.

Image result for cole and son hummingbirds

Green and birds?! The horror! I love this Hummingbird wallpaper by Cole & Son

I think it’s a shame, considering how many lovely shades of green there are that these people are missing out on. Especially, remembering the old Interiors trick of ‘bringing the outdoors in’ – if your home has some nice countryside views or is looking out over a lovingly manicured garden, nothing will increase the feeling of openness, than a grassy shade on your upholstery, or a lively green pattern on your curtains, to draw the eye out into the world beyond. And thanks to this typical wet Welsh weather, there’s plenty of green fields to have your eye drawn to around here.

Anyway, I digress…

Mint Green, I would describe as a funny type of colour which is both bright and pale. It’s got more zing in it than sage, but is lighter than aqua. Maybe it’s the ‘duck egg blue’ of the green world? Kind of like the colour of that recycled glassware you can get (or the colour of the sea in Zante *sob*). It’s fresh and modern if paired with hot pink or teal or grey, or teamed up with some chintz-y fabrics and a Persian rug and it’s conjuring up all kinds of country, period home vibes.

I was very happy then, when I entered my customer’s 1990-ish built, townhouse home on the Swansea seafront on Friday morning, and was shown into a freshly painted, gorgeously bright and airy feeling mint green master bedroom.

There were pale grey built-in wardrobes, which potentially aren’t the most inspiring to look at, but a saviour if you’re the type to keep those 100 dresses, just in case (definitely not speaking from experience…) and a white wooden bedstead. Aside from this, the room was bare as it’s only just entering the final stages of a whole home renovation, but it already had a lovely feel…

As you’ll have guessed it, I was there to sort out some window dressings, and we settled on the taupe, white and navy number above, and I suggested that despite my earlier wobbles, brass certainly seems to be back for the foreseeable future, so to invest in some brass handles for the wardrobes, and some fun bedside lamps to warm the scheme up a bit – the pineapple-y ones above are from John Lewis…

Nice.

There are quite a lot of mint green accessories and bits and pieces around at the moment. So, if you’re liking what you’re seeing, I’d check out H&M’s Washed Linen bedding in Dusky Green (below left) and John Lewis’s Puritan Mint tableware range (below right).

 

PS – while doing some research for this little post, I have come across what I’d like my next kitchen to look like…

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How gorgeous is this design in Interior Stylist Emma Persson Lagerberg’s home?! Photgraphed by Petra Bindel 

Mint green units, white walls and marble worktops and upstands? I need a pay rise.

Thanks for reading guys, I hope you’re having a lovely weekend!

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Pick of the week #15

Hi everyone! Yet again, it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted. We had a lovely week away in Zante, and then last weekend (when I was due to be back on here) I was struck down by some yucky lurgy thanks to some pasty teenager coughing all over me on the flight home. It wasn’t the best way to end a week off!

Anyway, here we are with my latest pick of the week for my dream home…

Obviously, inspired by a cute little bar we frequented on our getaway, I’ve been looking at rattan garden furniture. In particular, La Redoute’s rattan garden furniture. Have a look at this;

Other Image “Swan” Child’s Natural Rattan Core Chair KOK

Kok rattan furniture

So stylish; there’s a lovely, light feel to this outdoor furniture. There’s even a little child’s size chair in the range which is rather cute…

Other Image Marcel-Bridge - KOK Garden Chair KOK

‘Swan’ natural rattan children’s chair

I really love rattan furniture; used in interiors, it instantly adds a Summery, laid back feel and a few pieces in the garden can transform a simple space into an exotic hideaway.

I would say the only downside is that sometimes it’s not overly comfortable (although this can be made into a positive through the need of some pretty cushions!), and with our unpredictable ‘Summer’ weather – it is currently tipping it down outside my window – it can need a bit of looking after to make sure it doesn’t just get ratty and fall apart.

If rattan seating isn’t your bag, there are lots of other pieces of furniture and accessories to get your interior in the holiday spirit. Here are my top picks (all from La Redoute)…

Image Set of 2 Abida Plant-Holder Tables La Redoute Interieurs

Adiba plant tables, set of 2 for £119.20

House plants are a big deal in interior design at the moment which I think is lovely, and these plant stands are stand out pieces in my eyes. Really unusual and eye-catching, you could even use them to display ornaments or as side tables if you’re not feeling overly green-fingered!

Image Tio Rattan Headboard La Redoute Interieurs

Tio rattan headboard, £279

This is fab! Majorly peacock-y, but if you paired it with simple white bedding and maybe some mango wood furniture, it could make for a really stunning bedroom scheme and not too over the top! Maybe a great choice for a little girls room – not too twee but fun and interesting.

Image Nogu - KOK Rattan Magazine Rack La Redoute Interieurs

Nogu Kok rattan magazine rack, £48.80

Love this little guy. Practical and stylish – surely what every home accessory should aim to be?! I have always wanted a magazine rack like this, but never found quite the right one…until now…

Image Nihové Rattan Console Table La Redoute Interieurs

Nihove rattan console table, £205

I love the use of black painted and natural rattan in this piece, it gives it a more substantial, solid look, whilst retaining a casual appearance, thanks to the woven shelf tops. I can imagine it on a spacious landing, with pale walls – a real stand alone piece.

Image Set of 2 Lidded Rattan Baskets La Redoute Interieurs

Set of 2 lidded rattan baskets, £99

What kind of crazy person would I be if I talked a bunch about rattan and interiors, and didn’t include some form of basket?! Really like these striped numbers (they’d look great in our bathroom!) but could be really handy in a family room for toys too.

So, there you have it. A round-up of ways to incorporate Summer’s top material – rattan – in your interior or garden design, all courtesy of La Redoute.

*As you’ll know by now, these posts aren’t endorsed or sponsored by anyone, it’s just me getting obsessed by pretty things and wanting to share… Thanks for reading!

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Pick of the week #14

I’ve dropped the ball a bit with this over the last few weeks – my sincere apologies! Several time consuming things have come up in our personal and professional lives recently which have taken their toll in my blogging activity – and I must make a confession that we’re off on holiday this coming week, so there won’t be one of these next weekend either! I am rubbish! Blame Summer!

Anyway, this week’s pick of the week is India Jane! Heard of them? If not, where have you been?!!

They make some truly delightful furniture and home wares, and in particular this week, it’s their V&A collection lamp bases that have got me all hot under the collar.

These are my top picks – check them out;

Image result for india jane V&A lampsImage result for india jane V&A lamps

Image result for india jane V&A lampsImage result for india jane V&A lamps

Top l-r : Tree of Life, £99.50, Green Parrot, £99.00

Bottom l-r :Butterflies, £99.50, Yellow Chinoiserie Temple Jar, £149.00

I understand they won’t be to everyone’s taste – they’re certainly not on Husband’s wish list – but I just think they’re great. A real investment piece you could pass down the family generations.

These items, along with others in the V&A range take inspiration from the huge archives at the Victoria and Albert museum, London, to create real stand-out pieces.

In my mind, I have a light, open hallway space painted white with light wood floors and a mango wood console table which will evoke a slightly exotic feel. A pair of these lamps flank a bold, black framed mirror and things are finished off with a Persian style runner.

India Jane lamps available at John Lewis. All other pics from Pinterest.

What do you think? Are you a fan of these lovely, colourful lamp bases? I hope you think they’re as fab as I do!

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Pick of the week #13

Ok, so this is going to be quite a short one today, because it is way too nice and sunny outside to be indoors typing away for hours! If you’re in the UK, I hope you are all enjoying this lovely weather, and if you’re further afield, I hope it’s nice where you are too!

So, this week’s pick of the week, widely, is the shop Oka, but more specifically, a lovely coffee table from them, amazingly called ‘Pompidou’;

Image result for oka pompidou coffee table

Pompidou coffee table, comes in two sizes, from £495.

I saw this coffee table in a rather lovely townhouse in Cardiff Bay, that I was lucky enough to visit for work. The homeowner had styled her living room fairly similarly to the room set from Oka’s website, above, but it was so easy, comfortable and homely, I didn’t mind! I was only there to measure up for some window dressings, but I could have quite easily felt right at home there!

On a broader note, if you’re not aware of Oka, you should be – especially if you like statement pieces, eye-catching lamps and gorgeous soft furnishings. Although Oka is a British company, with stores across the UK, I think they have quite a European aesthetic, with a touch of the exotic, which I love.

Here are some lovely ‘inspiration’ shots from their website…

Definitely a touch of Indian inspiration here.

In love with all of this ikat!

Beach setting, bleached tones, pop of yellow. I’m in heaven!

I hope you like all of this as much as I do? Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

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Fancy a drink?

It’s Friday, hooray! It is supposed to be hot hot hot this weekend, and with BBQ’s and cocktails in mind for tomorrow evening (I am at work tomorrow morning, boo!) its got me thinking about the current trend for drinks trolleys (isn’t it weird it’s not spelt ‘trollies’?! I did check – multiple sources – so now even ‘trolley’ doesn’t look like a real word anymore)…

Anyway, bar carts, drinks trolleys, hostess trolleys…whatever you call them, they are a big deal at the moment, and have been for a while.

As with most things, I like to think that I started the craze, and somehow a trendsetter of the highest degree saw me wheeling my charity shop find home through the streets of Cardiff a little over 3 years ago and thought, “Hey, I like her style” and so it all began…

In a more realistic world, even 3 years ago they were popping up from home magazines and into my subconscious without me even realising it.

What’s quite sad to admit is that my “It’s only a fiver, I’ll do it up when I have a minute and it’ll be awesome” purchase, probably started life as a tea-trolley (back in the day when that was a thing) and although extremely useful and sagging under the burden of our booze stock (and various other DIY essentials – WD40 anyone?!), it is still in its sad and sorry state that I bought it in. I’m just not sure what to do with it…

Apologies for the less than great images, this is quite a shady corner of the dining room…

As you can – kind of – see, it’s wooden and stained a nasty dark mahogany type colour which is the first problem, because a lot of my favourite designs are metal (remember my post on Brass having a comeback?!), so I’m not sure whether to spray paint it a metallic or crazy colour gloss to go all out glam-gin-palace. Or, maybe I should painstakingly sand it back to the nice-ish light wood underneath the stain and keep it quite boho-rustic looking. Maybe I should tile the tops of the shelves to inject some pattern and interest… I don’t know, so I just haven’t, basically.

I have, however, got myself a few booze related pictures which are on the wall above, to fully make use of the whole alcove as ‘the bar area’ but at the moment, it is them, not the cart which draws your eye…

The yellow one will make it onto the wall, as soon as I can locate the picture hanging strips I know I have somewhere…

Suggestions for what I should do are more than welcome, but for now, here’s some inspiration for us all…

 

Vertical bar carts

Photo cred – Ideal Home UK

This is another level of bar area all together – imagine dedicating a whole wall to your favourite tipple?! Unsurprisingly, I love this Mid-Century colour combo of blue, yellow and brass!

Image result for bennett lerner interiors bar carts

Photo cred – Erika Bierman Photography for Bennett Lerner Interiors

This trolley is actually made of a faux-malachite and the whole thing just glistens, looking like precious stone. I really like it against the white walls and how it highlights the turquoise in the painting above.

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Photo cred – Pinterest

There are quite a few rattan offerings around, and this one is full on tropical tiki bar style! I love it, just screams for Pina Coladas and drinks with umbrellas in!

Image result for julie ranee house bar cart

Photo cred – Julie Ranee

I really like how dainty this one looks, when combined with the chunky wood furniture; the bright colour makes it stand out even in quite a big room with a lot of other stuff going on.

Image result for derek shapton toronto life magazine

Photo cred – Derek Shapton

It’s strange how refreshing it feels to see some silver! I like the slightly more edgy, industrial feel about this one.

And if you’re in the market for one for yourself, here are my favourites around…

Mid Century Bar Cart, £349.00, West Elm

As a company, West Elm can do no wrong in my eyes. Such a fresh combination of modern and Mid Century styling make their pieces so timeless. This one is lovely, and maybe something like what I could achieve if I fixed mine up to have a nicer walnut stain and some polished brass fittings…

Luxe Round Bamboo Drinks Trolley

Gold Luxe Round Bamboo Drinks Trolley, £395, Oliver Bonas

Check this out!! This one would bring some serious wow-factor to your space, and I love it here paired with the pale walls and floors, it looks very elegant and feminine.

Image result for swoon edition sully bar cart

Sully bar trolley, £229, Swoon Editions

I know this picture isn’t entirely inspiring, but I really like this little guy. A bit of an industrial edge which I like, and the rails around the edges will stop anything falling off if you’re a bit too enthusiastic with your wheeling! I imagine it in a simple, Scandi (dare I say ‘Hugge’) monochrome scheme.

So there you have it, a round up of a trend which has been going for at least 4 years so far, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down or going anywhere. If you’re not wanting to spend too much on one, I’d suggest doing what I did and checking out charity shops and car boot sales… and then doing what I haven’t yet – a bit of up-cycling!

 

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