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January Blues

It may be that the January blues are catching up with you after all the Christmas excitement, but I say if you can’t beat them, join them… with some fabulous blue interiors! Whether you’re a fan of the dark and moody blues, or the bright and cheery, there’s something to suit everyone. Here are some fun ways to play around with blue this year.

Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball from RED Edition via Pinterest

Start off your blue interiors in a big way, with the wonderfully rich and deep Hague Blue; here it’s painted from top to toe of this room, giving a gentle hugging feeling. A great way to create an inviting space, especially for a study or cosy snug. If you want to go for a fresher, brighter blue, Light Blue from Farrow & Ball is also a great way to use blue as a neutral, but still keeping the room feeling colourful.

Light Blue by Farrow & Ball from SF Girl via Pinterest

You can also add in some textural big blue ideas into your interior. Some midnight blue curtains, like this Constantina design from Zoffany will help make a warm, but formal environment, a perfect solution for a dining room, where you want to create a sophisticated atmosphere but still make your guest feel at home.

Constantina by Zoffany

If you want keep up the light and contemporary feeling instead of the darker tones of blue, this Quill fabric from Designers Guild must surely make an appearance on your wish-list. The vibrant feathers on a simple background will add interest to a bedroom or living space, I love the additional sheer aqua blue added into the mix as well.

Quill in Duck Egg from Designers Guild

Once you’ve found your base tone of blue, you can build upon this with darker or lighter shades in your accessories. I love these sheepskin cushions from Oliver Bonas, in an indigo, light blue and pink; use a couple of either blue and add a pink one to balance them out.

Sheepskin Cushions from Oliver Bonas

It can be a good idea to contrast your lighting against your chosen wall colour, and really make a statement out of your centre pendant. This contemporary shade by Louis Poulsen in a baby blue shade would work wonderfully against a Hague Blue background.

Collage 450 Pendant Light by Louis Poulsen from Houseology

And if you want to dress up a lighter shade of blue, a dramatic dark pedant will really do the trick, like this Heathfield pedant, which is a match made in heaven for anyone who loves glamorous and luxe interiors, as the inner globes are an absolutely stunning feature.

Lexington 32″ from Heathfield

These tall ceramic vases from Oliver Bonas have a great ombre effect in a watercolour style. They’d make a great addition to a modern, mid-century style sideboard, or to brighten up a bare mantelpiece.

Isabella Tall Ceramic Vase from Oliver Bonas

If you’re looking for more of a pastel, powder blue accessory, this lovely little bowl comes from the Solstice collection at Anthropologie. It also comes in a striking indigo blue, but this light one is rather special, and the perfect addition to a light-hearted brunch table.

Solstice Bowl from Anthropologie

I would pair it with this little number from Anthropologie as well, the starry marble mixture is too good to pass up.

Night Sky Dessert Plate from Anthropologie

Dive straight into the blue, and find something big or small to make you feel a little better this January, and you’ll soon see that having the blues can be a good thing.

A few weeks ago I went on a trip to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. In the middle of Lloyd Park sits a beautiful a grand Georgian house, and is entirely dedicated to the celebration of the Arts and Crafts designer. The house, the work and the atmosphere all make it well worth a trip; here are some of my highlights.

Illustrated Book by William Morris

The gallery is filled with William’s best and brightest work, from the beginning and end of his life, and continuing after his death as his company Morris & Co. lived on, and still continues today. The tapestry below was a rather unique piece in the collection, and although it was made in 1885, it has a very medieval quality to it, and is an ode to Morris’s love of storytelling.

Tapestry by William Morris

Cray Block Printed Cotton by William Morris

This intricate, floral design was created using natural vegetable dyes and needed thirty-four different woodblocks to complete the finished look; showing the dedication that Morris and his team put into their work.

There are all sorts of different pieces on display at the gallery, including this fireplace surround, which is beautifully decorated with Longden tiles in a sunny yellow, which have been attributed to Philip Webb who worked closely alongside William throughout his career.

Longden Tiles by Philip Webb

If you know William Morris, you’re probably aware of his ideologies that contributed to his style of work, and his return to art forms prior to the Victorian era. Morris created his work in protest to the industrial revolution, and the way it treated the workers as well as the quality of the work that was produced. Here, Morris designed this chair for his lodgings in London, and its style reflects a medieval style with painted panels; which was an era that Morris much admired.

Medieval Style Chair by William Morris

The gallery also featured a segment from William Morris’s first wallpaper design, Trellis, which also reflected his love for medieval art once again, and was based on a medieval style walled garden he had created at his home, Red house.

Trellis Wallpaper Design by William Morris

This Flowerpot embroidery, was an affordable design which proved very popular, and was made by May Morris, Morris’s very talented daughter; the design looks like it was perfectly made for a feature cushion.

Flowerpot Embroidery by William Morris

Another wallpaper design that really caught my eye was the Lily and Pomegranate design. It’s meticulous detail shows the craftsmanship that went into each and every piece; the background is made up of dots, which is intricate work and Morris is quoted as saying on the design “after taking all the trouble to draw it, do you think I’d be such a fool as not to do the dots?”

Lily and Pomegranate Wallpaper design by William Morris

May Morris, William’s daughter also had her own career as a designer and an embroiderer; and had an exhibition at the gallery as well. Her work was absolutely glorious, full of light and elegance.

Work by May Morris

This piece is absolutely luminous; there’s a delicacy it is and softness that is different to her father’s work.

Work by May Morris

This design was by far my favourite thing in the whole gallery. Intricate embroidery on a sheer silk background, shows off not only style but skill. The golden thread still shimmers today, holding all of its life even after all this time; it’s a truly breath-taking piece.

Detailing of Work by May Morris

Written on the wall in May Morris’ exhibition is a quote by her in her later life saying “I’m a remarkable woman – always was, though none of you seemed to think so”, which I thought was rather brilliant. Under the shadow of her father and his company, May Morris shined, although not in her own name, but today she get the celebration she deserves, and she truly does deserve it.

 

For more information on the William Morris Gallery visit their website www.wmgallery.org.uk/

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year, from all of us Angel + Blume!

Dear Santa

If you’re looking for a few extra presents for a loved one this Christmas, or in fact you’re still collected ideas for your own list, there are some really fun and interesting homeware pieces that’ll make wonderful presents. Whether you’re looking for a few stocking fillers, or that special something, take a look at these last minute Christmas ideas.

Lustre Curve Vase from West Elm

Lustre Curve Vase from West Elm

These painted, hand-blown glass vases from West Elm are the perfect dazzling Christmas present for someone with a glamorous style. The rich blue and bronze mixture of colour will stand out from the crowd and make a beautiful centrepiece.

Sticking to the rich midnight blue theme, this inky coloured whale from Rockett St George is a triple threat, it’s stylish, practical and makes for a great present; perfect for displaying a few favourites on the windowsill or on a sideboard.

Cast Iron Whale Bookends from Rockett St George

Cast Iron Whale Bookends from Rockett St George

Christmas is mainly about two things; presents and family, but mainly the presents, so combine the two with a beautiful picture frame that you can keep a treasured photo in. These faux shagreen photo frames from Oka will add extra style to a contemporary setting. Equally, these duck leg frames from Graham & Green are a fun way to add some style and show off a beloved memory.

Faux Shagreen Photo Frames with Curved Edges from Oka

Faux Shagreen Photo Frames with Curved Edges from Oka

Duck Feet Frames from Graham & Green

Duck Feet Frames from Graham & Green

If you want to continue the fun, these ceramic planters from West Elm will put a smile on anyone’s face. The different animals can be used to match personality and taste, I think I’d go for the llama design myself! Keep them up on a dresser or add to a windowsill display.

Ceramic Animal Planters from West Elm

Ceramic Animal Planters from West Elm

For someone will more glam taste, this gold embellished vases from The Estate Yard will make a great collection to display and show off single stem flowers.

Gold Vases from The Estate Yard

Gold Vases from The Estate Yard

Or if you want to help someone house a slightly larger botanical friend, this graphic pot also from The Estate Yard is a fun, modern way to keep a plant.

Graphic Plant Pot from The Estate Yard

Graphic Plant Pot from The Estate Yard

This little cactus is super cute, and works as a jewellery box, which would make a sweet addition to someone’s dressing table.

Cactus Jewellery Box from Maison du Monde

Cactus Jewellery Box from Maison du Monde

Our little cactus friend would go extra nicely with someone of these bamboo trinket boxes from Rockett St George.

Bamboo Trinket Boxes from Rockett St George

Finally, if you know someone who just loves throws, these little ones from West Elm have a dappled pattern and come in five different colourways, a lovely thing to snuggle into after all that Christmas lunch.

Cosiest Space-Dyed Throws from West Elm

Cosiest Space-Dyed Throws from West Elm

If you find yourself a little stuck for ideas, or know someone in need of some homeware inspiration, send them a few thoughtful pieces that’ll make them smile this Christmas.

Another year, another Christmas that’s crept up upon us, or at least me. I love writing an annual Christmas decoration blog, as it gives me the chance to have a good look at what’s new. This year I decided to move away from the glitz and glam ornaments and have a little look at the more rustic decorations; which can be a really interesting and low key way to dress up your home this season. If you enjoy a more laid-back, farmhouse or minimal style take a look at some of these Christmas treats.

For a little Nordic style, this wooden Christmas tree from Amara is perfect for a relaxed Scandinavian interior. It’ll sit nicely as a special addition on the other side of a fireplace, opposite a log basket. Or a small Christmas reminder in your bedroom.

Wooden Christmas Tree Ornament from Amara

A smaller rustic Christmas tree can be found at Rockett St George. This set of six look great as a collection, or could be spread out amongst other decorations. They’ll keep the festive charm, but the neutral colours will stop things from going over the top.

Set of 6 Neutral Christmas Trees from Rockett St George

I love a good star decoration, it’s great for the festive season, and can also be used permanently as well. This wooden star from Amara has a gorgeous rustic charm; use all year round lying flat on a coffee table, and lean against a wall with some small fairy lights wrapped around for Christmas.

Wooden Star Decoration from Amara

These distressed iron stars from Rockett St George are a lovely design too, they’ll make a great wall display or could be hung from the ceiling in the hallway.

Distressed Hanging Iron Stars from Rockett St George

For a few irregular guests to the Christmas party, these owls from Abigail Ahern and these flying pigs from Baileys will add a little humour and character to your Christmas décor.

Orla Owl Sculpture from Abigail Ahern

Flying Pigs Decoration from Baileys

If you like a minimal style, there’s no need to compromise at Christmas, you can still get into the spirit and keep your look. These baubles from Anthropologie are made from chipboard, they’re relaxed and cool with a little hint of retro style.

Merry and Bright Ornaments from Anthropologie

Sara Candle in Ash from Heals

Add a few off these Sara candles from Heals in a few different sizes around a table or sitting area to create a minimal, romantic Christmas environment. If you’re not into the traditional style of wreath, or want to try something new this year, this minimal wreath from Trouva is a stylish alternative.

Walter and co Boxwood Wreath from Trouva

Add a touch of nature to your fairy lights with these pinecone and star ensemble from The White Company. They’ll look pretty draped around a mirror or door frame.

Pinecone Fairy Lights from The White Company

A festive Christmas doesn’t mean having to be a big, bright one, create your own little haven this season with some sensational rustic Christmas charm.

Kitchen Character

Just like any other room in a house, creating the perfect kitchen is all about making sure that the final details are in place to make it feel like home and full of style. A few final kitchen accessories that are both pretty and practical, and will help give your kitchen that individuality it may be missing, giving your kitchen that all important character.

Tansui Glass Bottles from Nkuku

These beautifully shaped glass bottles from Nkuku are perfect for storing your olive oil or balsamic vinegar and they make a lovely companion for a rustic or country style kitchen.

I came across these ceramic spice spoons and instantly fell in love, what sweet little designs! Hang them in a row above you cooker, so that they’re in a handy spot but also become an interesting but simple design feature.

Ceramic Spice Spoons from The Future Kept

If you want to give your spices and herbs even more individuality, empty them from the store jars and into some fun like a vintage jar; there are loads of Etsy, both in sets and single items. I love this emerald green pot, which would like great on the counter, and could be even be used for other kinds of storage.

Vintage Poole Pottery Spice Jar from Annascupoftea on Etsy

To accompany your jars, a handy utensils pot won’t go amiss, this one from Garden Trading is made from raw marble and looks fantastic; a great option if you want a minimal look. Your utensil holder will be the perfect place to store these beautiful gold serving spoons, they’ll look good on the table and in the kitchen when not in use.

Utensil Holder from Garden Trading

Brushed Gold Serving Spoons from Not on the High Street

I love this silky looking sugar bowl from Holly’s House, the pearl-like coating and cute gold button handle make it great for everyday use and pretty enough for those special occasions. It also has a matching pot and milk jug if you want to complete the look.

Powder Sugar Bowl from Holly’s House

Who could resist this little dotted pepper grinder from Anthropologie, the gold dots give it a playful nature against the cool marble.

Gold Dotted Marble Pepper Grinder from Anthropologie

Tea towels are made for practical reasons, but sometimes you just need a very pretty one to look at, like this adorably designed Clarke dish towel from Anthropologie.

Clarke Dish Towel from Anthropologie

Finally, for when you need to keep your cool whilst trying out a new recipe, or preparing a meal with all your family surrounding you, keep your cookbook firm in place with this gold wire stand from Rockett St George.

Gold Wire Cookbook Stand from Rockett St George

From big decisions to small accessories, making your kitchen special is all about finding its personality and presenting it to the world and yourself; as well as making it a fun, stylish place to be in.

Whenever I used to leave my old home, I would cycle or drive down Huntingdon Road into town, and on my way I would pass a warm, Tuscan yellow house which would always catch my eye. So when I saw a for sale sign up next to it, I knew I needed to find the property and take an ever-so nosy peek inside thanks to the help of online listings; and it’s fair to say that I wasn’t the least bit disappointed in what I found.

The Front Exterior

The house is owned by John Sutcliffe, a decorative painter who was once the curator of the National Trust, and it’s clear that this home is one of his great masterpieces. The interior is filled with rooms that have had the utmost consideration and care taken over them, with intricate murals, paintings and decoration all over the walls.

The Library

Here we see the library at the rear of the house, the room is furnished with fine antiques, fit for a king; by the window sit two curule stools, an ode to the Ancient Romans. The house almost feels like a time capsule of style, with treats and treasures from every era.

The Sitting Room

The adjoining sitting room to the library is another wild collection of ornaments and artefacts; rugs overlaying other rugs, wall lights situated above table lamps, paintings and room dividers, and just a peek of a ceiling mural, it all really shows a certainty of style and over the top madness that makes this home so magnificent.

The dusty red of the hallway and landing shows off the gold ornate picture frames and the blue and white china hung elegantly on the wall. The graceful chaotic-ness of the hallway makes it feel like a film set, or a grand National Trust property with rope everywhere to stop a priceless plate being knocked and smashed. It’s an extremely brave interior that receives much admiration from me as I hardly go a day without crashing into furniture or accidentally flinging something across a room.

The Hallway

The Landing

The kitchen is full of delicate and charming original features as well as a few modern essentials. Pretty tiles and plates have a inviting effect; as does the fact that it’s wallpapered, which is rare these days. Located in the basement of the home, the low ceiling gives it a cottage feeling rather than a townhouse.

The Kitchen

The Downstairs Loo

This sink area is possibly my favourite part of the house; a wooden surrounding area to the sink, an impractical but beautiful touch, next to the swirly blue and white marbled basin and the Delftware-style tiled splashback, it makes for a gorgeous little corner of the home.

The master bedroom looks like something straight out of World of Interiors; the patterns, frills and embellishments are enough to make an insomniac go mad, but it is as equally elegant as it is excessive, giving it a thoughtfulness and style that either comes together naturally or not at all; replicating something like this and having it look as effortless is almost an impossible mission.

The Master Bedroom

There’s something about this charming home, that’s designed and finished to perfection in its own individual way, that makes it so magnificent. In a row of beautiful but simple homes, this time capsule of extravagance and luxuriousness that has almost no sign of 21st century life. The thought of it being bought and turned into an contemporary, regular home fills me was sadness, and I hope that whoever buys this charming abode keeps it just the way it is, allowing its grandeur to reign forever.

 

12 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0HH is available to buy from Savills, for more information visit www.savills.co.uk or call 01223 347000.