Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Greener Pastures

For 2017, Pantone’s colour of the year is Greenery, and although we don’t always like to revert to the on-trends thing when it comes to designing interiors, it’s always fun to see how you can make colours work within your home. Since this years ‘It’ colour is kind of a tricky one, we thought we’d show you some great ways to include it into your home through some lovely accessories.

The key to incorporating on-trend colours within your home is to make sure that the products you buy still have a timeless element to them, whether it’s in their style, shape or function, so that they can go on being used and looking good when their colour is less fashionable.

‘Green and Beige Herringbone Throw’ from Not on the High Street

This throw from Not on the High Street has a classic herringbone pattern, which will always be a staple style, and the blend of beige against the green gives the throw a slightly muted, rustic tone, allowing the throw to work with a whole range of interior styles and colour schemes.

If you have a beautiful dark wood dining table and you’re looking to add a pop of colour, some green upholstered chairs might just do the trick. These velvet and studded chairs from Oka are a wonderful, timeless mossy green which will continue to look elegant throughout the years, and paired with a long wooden table and a dramatic colour on the walls, your dining room will look fit for a feast.

‘Stafford Velvet Dining Chair in Putting Green’ from Oka

Using saucer style pendants for kitchen lighting has been a key look since the return of the industrial style a few years ago, and mixing in a bit of colour is a great way to reinvent your kitchen without having to remodel. These ceramic shades from Graham & Green are the perfect way to add a little life to a tired looking light fixture.

‘Green Saucer Pendant Lampshade’ from Graham & Green

To complement your green lightshade, add an extra dash of the colour with this retro sixties style pea pod tea towel from Thornback & Peel. It’s always important to add a little fun into your interiors to keep everything flowing and light-hearted and though this print might be a little much on a sofa, it’s a fantastic print to give your kitchen a sense of playfulness.

‘Pea Pod Tea Towel’ from Thornback & Peel

When we think of smart contemporary style, we might be tempted to think monotone shades, but throwing in a colourful shade or two can really give your interiors an innovative look. This lacquered green side table from Houseology paired with a moody grey velvet sofa and a crisp white wall would create a fantastic, complete look.

‘Normann Copenhagen Stay Table’ from Houseology

Made by craftsmen in Morocco, these recycled glass tumblers from Rockett St George would make a great addition to any existing collection of glassware. Their overall style makes them smart enough for a formal dinner party, but the individual imperfections to each tumbler gives them a flair that will cut out the matchy-matchy nature of glassware. Not only will they look lovely laid out on a table, but they’ll just as nice as they glistening in the sunlight displayed in a cabinet or dresser.

‘Recycled Glass Tumbler in Green Small’ from Rockett St George

Stick to a natural aesthetic when choosing your green accessories with this interesting artificial moss spray from Graham & Green. A contemporary alternative to a bouquet of flowers, or an unusual addition to an arrangement using some moss in your interior can create a bold look. Adding some to a vase placed on the window sill in a pale coloured bathroom will add an exciting touch.

‘Faux Moss Spray’ from Graham & Green

Adding a few small touches is an easy way to get started on introducing a colour to your interior, especially if bright interiors are a little out of your comfort zone. Changing something small, like the doorknobs on your cabinet, drawer or dresser, can give a piece of furniture and the room it’s in a new look. This floral knob from Anthropologie is a sweet little touch and if you don’t want to overload on the green, you can always use a few of the pink design as well, creating a wonderful horticultural effect.

‘Floraculture Knobs’ from Anthropologie

Another small change you can make is with these exciting coasters, by their very nature each one of them is different, meaning you’re guaranteed originality with your set. You can use them by themselves for a bedside table for an interesting effect or grouped together on a coffee table to really create an impact.

‘Celestial Coasters’ from Anthropologie

Using a bold colour like green in your home can be a little daunting but there are a great deal of ways to not only have fun with the colour but invest in some wonderful pieces that will look amazing in your home for a long time to come. So choose rightly and you’ll have everyone green with envy.

Chastleton House

Back in September I took a trip to the Cotswolds, and during my visit I took a tour around the beautiful Chastleton House, a true Jacobean time capsule. The house was completed in 1612 and until 1991, when it was acquired by the National Trust, Chastleton House was owned by the same family for almost 400 years. Overtime the wealth of the family began to dwindle, which meant that the usual restoration and refurbishment could not be carried out, therefore the house stayed in almost in its exact original form.

Barbara Clutton-Brock, the last private owner of the stunning property has said, “poverty is a great preserver”, and she is exactly right. The house is captures the romantic essence of time-stood-still, everything perfectly in its place, and although some things are quietly cracking, pealing or slightly disintegrating, all the features of Chastleton House still manage to convey the same beauty and harmony today and they would have during its reign.

This wrought-iron chandelier would have been an original feature in the Great Hall at Chastleton House, along with these amazing carvings in the woodwork. The first is from the archway that leads you into the hall and the second is located on the border of the panelling around the room. Both have some interesting imagery in them, including the classical acanthus leaves as well as some mythological hybrids between man and animal.

In the same Great Hall is a rather interesting display, a mounted stag head with its body painted onto the wall. This is quite an unusual way to display hunting trophies so may have been something that was introduced to the room as a later point in time, however it makes for an eye-catching piece and certainly pulled everyone’s attention during the tour.

Moving along through the house you enter the Great Parlour, which is full of wonderful features. The house is filled with wonderful tapestries, including this rich scenic piece which is parallel to the length of the dining table.

Another stunning feature in the Great Parlour is the fireplace which is flanked by two panels of Delft tiles. The blue and white tiles are a well sought after design, with originals being worth a considerable amount of money, these tiles would have been a very fashionable item to have in home especially during the mid to late 17th century.

My absolute favourite part of the house was the plasterwork on the ceilings in the Great Parlour, Great Chamber and the Long Gallery. The decorative ceiling made a huge impact and were just marvellous piece of artwork. It is rare to see such a heavily embellished ceiling in today’s modern world so the ceilings at Chastleton were a real treat for the eyes.

The ceiling isn’t all there is to see in the Great Chamber room at Chastleton, the oak panelling on all four walls on the room is covered in ornate carvings as well as square portraits. The whole room is dramatic in its appearance and there is true admiration for the craftsmanship that went into the decorative vision.

During the Renaissance period staircases became another way to add decorative features into a house, and this is certainly apparent for the central staircase at Chastleton. With the ornamental string panelling and the pointed newels, this is another great show of craftsmanship.

Upstairs in the house are some wonderful bedrooms that are the epitome of faded grandeur; from the divinely carved bed frames, to the tapestries that still manage after all this time to keep the brightness of that powerful royal blue, to the crumpling wallpaper and even the intricately carved door where the nose of a man’s portrait has been rubbed off, everything is perfect in its dishevelled state.

Finally, the very top of the house is where the Long Gallery is located, and is in fact one of the largest surviving galleries from this time period. As overheard by one of the tour guides, this is where games of badminton were played and during conversation periods, a few shuttlecocks were found under the floorboards!

Chastleton House is truly quite a remarkable place, despite its size and status the house comes across in a rather modest way. Perhaps because it has been humbled over the years by its occupant’s money troubles, the house has embraced its fading magnificence, turning the house into a romantic forgotten land.

 

Chastleton House is reopens to the public in March 2017, for more information visit: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chastleton-house

As we hurtled towards Christmas and the end of the year it became clearer to me that whatever minute amount of organisation I had seemed to be dwindling fast, so between Christmas and the New Year I made a pact with myself that I would really try to be more organised this year in all aspects of my life! There is no better way to begin a journey of organisation then with the proper tools and equipment to make it that much easier. From big items to smaller pieces, getting your furniture and accessories in tune with your new organised self is a sure-fire way to start heading in the right direction, so I’ve pulled together some fabulous options to help inspire the inner neat-freak and organiser in each and every one of you.

If you live in a busy household, trying to separate everyone’s things, post, keys etc. is always a nightmare, so finding something that will help everyone keep track of their own stuff means half the battle is already won. This set of drawers from Cox & Cox is a great way to separate the post in a large household, with six individual drawers, everyone has their own place for their important letters and unopened mail.

‘Wooden Set of Drawers’ from Cox & Cox

Equally, if you needed somewhere to keep things like gloves, hats and scarfs or larger items this sweet wall unit from Garden Trading could be a great buy. With six slots and five pegs it’ll make that morning rush all the more simple with everything in its rightful place.

‘Chedworth Wall Unit with Wooden Pegs in Charcoal’ from Garden Trading

When there’s not so many of you, you may not need something with as many slots and segments, but nonetheless having a designated shelf that will kept the clutter at bay, or at least off all the other surfaces, is a great way to create an organised routine when leaving and entering the house. If you want something a little alternative, these shelves with leather straps are particularly stylish, and perfect is there is just one or two of you in the home.

‘Wooden and Leather Shelves’ from Cox & Cox

Most people who work from home generally have a little space in their home already set up, but if you don’t or you feel like something just isn’t quite working, or if you don’t work from home but are in need to somewhere to properly plan and organize your life, finding the right furniture will really help to get you in that productive mind-set.  Having a desk that works perfectly in sync with both functional and style needs is almost a god-send, and this piece from Heal’s is quite a stunner! With an abundance of shelves and drawers to keep all necessary items in, it’ll provide a great foundation to keeping you organized throughout the year, and the dark walnut colour is a dreamy addition to any interior.

‘Navarra Desk with Top 3 Drawers in Walnut’ from Heal’s

Often a desk isn’t always just from working on your laptop or writing documents, especially when it’s located in your home, so if you find yourself needing a larger flat surface for a full range of activities, opting for a spacious desk with less frills may be right for you. I particularly like this piece from Ikea, it’s a simple way to create a clean and stress-free area in your home, while the legs give the whole look a little character.

‘Klimpen/ Nipen Table’ from Ikea

Maintaining a consistent level or organisation is best kept by staying ahead of things, and the more storage space you have the better, sure you might only need 4 drawers now, but sooner or later you’ll find yourself needing more and more, therefore finding pieces of furniture that can accommodate your present and future storage needs are a must! I love these antique style chest from Maisons du Monde, which have heaps of space and won’t spoil an existing design scheme by looking like they belong in an office.

‘Voyage Solid Wood Semainier Chest’ from Maisons du Monde

For something a little more contemporary, or if you want to add some organisation into a kid’s room, this multi-coloured chest is perfect for keeping a range of items in.

‘Dekale Wooden Vintage Semainier Chest’ from Maisons du Monde

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to be organised, I was constantly having a battle with the furniture in my bedroom about where exactly I could store my socks, and once I found a solution in the form of their own special storage box, everything felt as though it was going a lot smoother than before. Buying a few storage baskets or boxes are a great solution for sorting things that you didn’t even realise you needed to organise; that stack of magazines, a collection of clothes that always find themselves on the floor because there just isn’t space in your closet, or whatever it may be, a few decorative boxes and baskets around your home will not only look pretty but help clear up some of that mess you just can’t seem to banish. I love both of these options from Habitat.

 

‘Movell Woven Plastic Storage Baskets’ from Habitat

‘Idaho Bamboo Lidded Storage Trunks’ from Habitat

Whether you don’t have an airing cupboard in your home, or just have an overflowing one like my family, finding another space to accommodate your linens and separate them from the rest of your laundry and clothing is a great way to insight a bit of organisation in your home. I think this rustic style cabinet from Ikea is a fab solution for your linen storage.

‘Hurdal Linen Cabinet’ from Ikea

If you’re like me, there is never enough space in my closet to house the excessive collection of clothes I own, so finding an extra bit of storage that is still stylish is a good way to make sure that your storage solutions don’t feel too utilitarian. This wardrobe from Ikea is super stylish and won’t break the bank either, it’ll look great in a bedroom, or if you need some communal space to store coats etc. it’ll hold its own in a hallway as well.

‘Undredal Wardrobe’ from Ikea

There are plenty of fun and stylish ways to make sure that you have an organised home this year, and finding out what you need and what best works for you is the first step in creating the perfect, organised space.

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

From the Angel + Blume Team

The Crown is the latest original series from Netflix that has taken the world by storm. It’s a biopic telling the story of Elizabeth II’s early reign. The series reportedly cost £100 million to make, and it’s not hard to tell why. With an amazing cast, beautiful script and glorious cinematography, the whole show is head-to-toe style and grace, fit only for a Queen.

Here Elizabeth, played by Claire Foy, is shown in Buckingham Palace and we begin to get a glimpse of the inside of the famous building. The room is filled with oversized bouquets, while the walls are decorated with gold gilding and crimson red curtains. The style is rather typical of what we might imagine the inside of Buckingham Palace might look like.

 

While the interiors are dripping in luxuriousness and elegance, there is almost something understated about them. Though you can tell that there are countless priceless possessions, just casually placed in the corner of shots, the interiors come across in a simple, delicate way that isn’t about showing off. I think the shot above is rather wonderful, whilst taking no attention away from Matt Smith, who is playing the young Duke of Edinburgh, we can catch a glimpse of three grand chandeliers decorating the room in the background.

We get a look into the more personal rooms of the Royals as well, the dressing room of King George IV shows off the elegant but understated style. The room holds many beautiful antiques, I especially love the standing mirror and the traditional style rug.

There are of course lots of grand interiors to be seen, a shot follows the King as he makes his way down the palace’s staircase on Elizabeth’s wedding day, showing off beautiful ironwork, marble columns and balustrading as onlookers stop and watch from the gallery.

Buckingham Palace isn’t the only famous and wonderful location depicted in The Crown, here Cambridgeshire’s very own Ely Cathedral takes on the role of Westminster Abbey for Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding, and makes for a spectacular view.

I found this scene of the wedding party posing for their photos rather lovely, with the changing of the backdrops and the grand columns framing them, the scene has been shot fantastically. Here you get a look at Elizabeth’s wedding dress, which was an exact replica of the original, which the costume department reportedly took seven weeks to create and cost £30,000, and you can see just a glimpse of the detail of the train as it glides over the stairs in front of the bride and groom.

In the same episode we take a ride into the future, a few years on, in Malta. Here you can see some wonderful interior architecture in the form of columns, cornices and pediments, which frame the room wonderfully and against have an understated sense of sophistication about them.

Another from the Malta villa is this study, where the bookcase well and truly steals the show. The hint of the red damask embossed wallpaper peeping in from either side of the shot is a rather lovely feature as well.

One of my favourite shots from episode one, for its theatrical element, is the scene in which King George undergoes surgery. The operating theatre is lit by some amazing glass chandeliers, I find the juxtaposition of the clinical procedure and the grand, romantic nature of the chandeliers a rather charming concept, and it makes me wonder whether this is in fact a factual depiction of what really happened, or whether the scene has had a dose of artistic licence added to it. Either way it creates a beautiful, but chilling scene.

The whole series is shot through a dusty, romantic lens, which not only gives the whole film a romantic edge but it also gives the series a vintage and elegant feel, that is perfect for  its subject matter.

Here you get a look into King George’s office, which again is beautifully decorated in a classic style, and in the back you can see some lovely looking trim, which we’re always a fan of here at Angel + Blume.

The Crown is a marvellous series, there are so many reasons to watch it and the stunning interiors are just one of them!

 

The Crown is available now on Netflix

 

Festive Fancies

If you’re entertaining over the holidays, whether it’s a big party or an intimate dinner, hosting can be made a hundred times simpler with some wonderful tableware pieces that are ready to wow your guests. Whether you’re into the glitz and glam of Christmas or prefer a more low-key or humorous affair there’s always something for everyone. Here are just a few wonderful products that can help turn a party into an amazing evening.

‘Golden Hour Table Runner’ from Anthropologie

Working from the bottom up, an easy way to lay some foundations for a great looking table is with a runner. Gold for a special occasion, this runner from Anthropologie is a great way to give your table an extra little vamp to get into the holiday spirit.

Smoke glasses are all the rage right now, but equally have a classic, timeless look. This decanter from Holly’s House is rather elegant, its lovely shape will look just a pretty filled with water or red wine.

‘Smoke Glass Decanter’ from Holly’s House

If you want your glassware to look in sync with one another but not too matchy-matchy, using pieces that follow the same kind of style but with different characteristics will do the trick nicely. Pairing this decanter with these fabulous champagne flutes from Anthropologie will make the perfect match. You could stick to just one colour for the flutes or make your table a little more colourful by mixing it up.

‘Hearken Flutes’ from Anthropologie

Staying on the glamorous party theme, these metallic glassware serving dishes from Anthropologie are sure to be a crowd pleaser. The lace-like metallic effect goes hand-in-hand with the Christmas spirit but will also work exceptionally well on any other day of the year, they’ll give you table setting that extra added touch of magic.

‘Metallic Lace Dinnerware’ from Anthropologie

If you like to add a little humour to your table, but still want to maintain a wonderful style you can do so with a few little, fun pieces will work wonders with your guests. I love these flamingo salt and pepper shakers from Rockett St George, they are so charming and a great, playful addition to mix among your plates and glasses.

‘Flamingo Salt and Pepper Shaker’ from Rockett St George

Another equally sweet, and also animal themed, product for your table is this wonderful whale bottle opener from Graham & Green. He looks almost like an ornament, but with a secret hidden feature to help you out. Both of these little additions will looks brilliant on a table, but would also make lovely little gifts this Christmas!

‘Moby Dick Bottle Opener’ from Graham & Green

If you want to add little rustic charm to your table, these napkin holders from Neptune are a great idea. Made from rattan, they’re a great way to accessorize a table if you want keep things a little understated, and will look great paired with some linen napkins in a neutral colour.

‘Ashcroft Napkin Holders’ from Neptune

Presenting your food well is half the battle when it comes to pulling off a dinner party, therefore beautiful serving bowls and dishes are a must, and even if you’re not having a fancy dinner, they can really make something simple look like something from a photoshoot. I love this black and white dish from Rockett St George, the pattern is humble yet so effective and will give your dish an extra flair.

‘Dipped Black and White Oven Dish’ from Rockett St George

If you are having a larger amount of guests, you may need a stylish platter to serve your nibbles on, this charger from The White Company is sure to do the trick.

‘Rectangular Mirror Charger’ from The White Company

Even if you’re having more of a low-key style party, having a pretty serving dish can make all the difference. These indigo bowls from Holly’s House have a great, relaxed vibe about them, making them perfect for an informal gathering.

‘Indigo Rain Serving Set’ from Holly’s House

Finally, for a little ambience, a candle or two on the table will make the world of difference. You’re probably more than likely to already own a whole range of candle holders and have them dotted around your home, but for a dining room table you can’t go wrong with a lovely long stem holder. This King of Hearts candlestick holder from Jonathan Adler is fantastic, its reversible design shows off both a king and a queen and is both a stylish and fun piece to have at your table.

‘Utopia Reversible King of Heart Candle Holder’ from Jonathan Adler

A festive party is a great way to have some fun over the holidays, and with so many amazing ways to decorate your table, you’ll want to have a party everyday!

One of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit in Cambridge is to go for a stroll around the centre of town when the lights have been put up and everything is just feeling a bit more Christmassy. We’re lucky to have some lovely independent shops in Cambridge selling some great homeware finds, take a walk down some of the quieter streets and you’re sure to find sweet little shops full of trinkets and treasures.

Buying your Christmas presents can be a little bit traumatic, especially if you’ve got a big list to work with, and sometimes it’s all too easy to do your shopping online from the comfort of your sofa, but if you’re looking for something a little bit special, for a few lucky loved ones, there’s nothing better than gifting them something unique that they wouldn’t be able to find themselves. I spent the day going around some fantastic independent shops in Cambridge, and found some wonderful gift ideas to inspire you.

If you nip past the market and over to Peas Hill there lies Ark, whose tag line is ‘gifts for interesting people’, and they sure did hit the nail on the head. The shop is full of beautiful colours and textures, it’s like falling into the middle of a treasure chest, with all sorts of goodies to explore. The first thing that caught my eye was a beautiful display of carrot tree ornaments. If you’re not into the usual Christmas motifs, having your Christmas tree sport a few festive veggies may be just want you need!

And spotted on the other side of the store, where these fabulous glittery snail ornaments, which are perfect if you like your Christmas decorations with a sense of humour.

There is all sorts in Ark that would make wonderful gift ideas, as well as some light-hearted stocking fillers. These mugs have some unusual designs on them, so if you know someone who loves a cup of tea, but isn’t really into the whole cutesy vibe, then a few of these might be a great gift this Christmas.

If you’re looking for something to display across a window sill, mantelpiece, or perhaps you need a few adorable stocking fillers, Ark have some lovely pewter animal figurines in stock. They’re a fun little present and a great way to *almost* follow through on your child’s wish for a pet for Christmas.

After Peas Hill if you nip round the corner you’ll find yourself on Bene’t Street, where you can find two terrific shops, Podarok and Cambridge Contemporary Crafts. Podarok, which has a sister shop in Oxford, is full to the brim of quirky and exciting homewares, accessories and jewellery. Something I spotted in the corner of the store was a warm and welcoming lantern display. The lanterns would make great bedside table lamps, and with a range of different designs you’ll be sure to find the perfect lantern for someone.

Just by the lanterns was this little fella just waiting to be bought. The smoke glass effect gives the quirky design a sophisticated edge. It would make a great gift for someone with a cheeky sense of humour when it comes to their home.

Likewise are these rather wacky lampshades, their colourful designs make them hard to miss, they’d be the perfect finishing touch to a kid’s bedroom (or a playful adult!) The shade in the top left-hand corner is absolutely stunning, the wintery landscape would make an excellent Christmas gift.

Just across the street from Podarok is the wonderful Cambridge Contemporary Crafts, with a huge collection of handmade crafts that are perfect gifts if you need something really special and unique. Made by artists all over the UK there is a wonderfully eclectic range of styles and pieces, from big to small. I first thing that I spotted in the window from the outside were these little dainty vases with gold heart shaped rims. They’d make such a sweet gift for anyone really, a partner, sister, daughter, or even yourself, if you simply can’t resist.

In the back of the shop are some beautiful plates by the artist Clare Nichols. The bird designs are truly a unique look, the detail shows how much thought and time has gone into these pieces, and the gold rim is the perfect finishing touch. If you’re in need of a gift that is equally as special as the person you’re giving it to then one of these plates may be just the thing.

Neil Tregear is another artist featured in the gallery, he specialises in hand thrown stoneware, and uses the landscapes of the Isle of Wight as his design influence. These flying bird vases are the ideal piece to accompany a beautiful bouquet of flowers, or some Pussy Willow for a wintery look.

If you stroll down King’s Parade, you become rather spoiled, with a breath-taking view of King’s College on one side and a lovely collection of shops and cafes on the other it’s a real treat. About half way down is Nomads, bursting at the seams with gorgeous items from the Middle East and Asia. The ceilings are littered with these wonderful paper lanterns, but this embossed, nine point star steals the show.

Just a little further down King’s Parade is the ever wonderful Byard Art. From exciting paintings and sculptures to smaller intricate items that were made for gift giving, there is a whole range of items to get enthralled by at Byard Art. I love these little leafy paper bowls, that come in either small or large.

Green Street is a little walk away but once you’re there, you’re in the company of some wonderful shops. Catesby’s is a really favourite here at Angel + Blume. The shop is filled with gorgeous, sophisticated items that are almost too tempting. These paired bowls are so sweet, in fact I walked away with my own set!

This pestle and mortar they have in the back room, is a perfect gift for anyone with has a flair for style and a love for cooking, when not in use the kitchenware looks almost like a piece of art.

There are all sorts of wonderful pieces of ceramics in the shop, it’s almost hard to pick a favourite!

A few shops down from Catesby’s is Homestuff with History, which does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s almost like rooting through a car boot sale, except someone has already done the hard work for you and picked out the most interesting pieces. Their cabinet of little glass bottles is not only full of great things to buy, but styling inspiration at the same time! In fact I couldn’t resist grabbing myself a few little bottles for a shelving unit.

Upstairs, is another load of treasures, including this impressive collection of tins, a perfect gift for someone who loves a bit a vintage gem.

Over on one of the shelving display was this cheeky jester statue, which would look great mixed into a few other ornaments in a display cabinets, or perhaps peeping out of the bushes in your garden.

Cambridge is full of exciting, sweet shops that have all you need to get the ones you love something special this season, now all you need to do is resist the urge to keep all the goodies for yourself!