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Archive for the ‘Favourite designers’ Category

As with all colours, there are hundreds of shades in the yellow family, and sometimes the thought of using the bolder, brighter shades can be intimidating due to their strong look. But if you’re looking for an alternative to the neutral, or darker palettes that are around these days, yellow may be the perfect colour for you, especially if you want to show off a strong, confident style in your interiors. Though the colour has always been popular in the design world, in recent years yellow interiors, furniture and accessories have been making quite an impact, especially in those brighter shades. There are lots of exciting ways to incorporate yellow into your home, that can really showcase a particular style; whether it’s contemporary, glamorous, bohemian, traditional, or a combination. Adding a dash of yellow could be the way to bring a refreshing, exciting look to your home.

Using a bright yellow on the walls of your home may be a touch overwhelming if you’re a yellow novice, but if you’re already a fan, it’s a fantastic way to create a statement. The trick is finding your perfect shade to suit your home, and choosing the right complementary accents to create a well-rounded, flawless look. To keep your wall looking fresh opt for a rich shade that won’t shy away into the background. For a contemporary look, I love the dramatic but playful nature of Farrow & Ball’s Babouche shade.

‘Babouche’ from Farrow & Ball

And if you’re in need of a more traditional shade, the Sudbury Yellow has an elegant and regal nature that will give a room a strong sense of character, without overshadowing any other wonderful features you may want to put in there.

‘Sudbury Yellow’ from Farrow & Ball

Another way to add yellow into the core foundations of the home’s design scheme is with some creative tiling. Fired Earth always have a strong collection of interesting colours and patterns, and some of their yellow tiles are to die for. For a bold, exciting look, these vibrant mustard coloured tiles are the perfect background against a crisp, white bathroom set. There’s a combination of luxuriousness and quirkiness about the colour that creates an overall refreshing look.

‘Carnival Oro’ from Fired Earth

If a solid block colour is a little too much for your taste, or your home, going for something a little sweeter and more minimal might do the trick. This Atlas design by Neisha Crosland for Fired Earth has a rustic, farmhouse vibe, but with a little exotic twist to keep things interesting. It’s an ideal design if you want to have a traditional looking kitchen, but with a touch artistic individuality to it.

‘Atlas by Neisha Crosland’ from Fired Earth

To make an interesting statement in your home, you don’t just have to save yellow for the larger features, in fact adding small accents of the colour to a room can give it some vitality, or reinvent an interior without changing too much. Contemporary interiors are often neutral walls with the inclusion of furniture pieces in modern wood types, and adding a dash of yellow into the mix can create an up-to-date look without taking away the original essence of the room. Margaret Howell created some fantastic designs for Anglepoise, and though I’d happily have any of the three colours in my home, the Yellow Ochre edition is stunning.

‘Type 75 Desk Lamp by Margret Howell in Yellow Ochre’ from Anglepoise

This chair with a yellow seat from Gubi is rather special, it’s an ultra-contemporary design that’ll look gracious and cool in a modern home. The design also comes with a white seat, so you could mix-match the two colours around the dining table, or save the yellow for the head of the table to give the whole look a pop of colour.

‘Mategot Nagasaki Chair’ from Gubi

A striking yellow rug can really transform a room in one fell swoop, to keep things feeling light and not making the room look too dense, a patterned rug is a great way to add some yellow without swamping the room. The Sellarsbrook design created by Suzanna Sharp for The Rug Company, has a sophisticated geometric pattern that adds a timeless depth to the rug.

‘Sellarsbrook in Yellow by Suzanne Sharp’ from The Rug Company

This rich, crisp yellow velvet sofa really packs a punch, that’ll give your living room some vivacious character. The chesterfield design is given an alternative look, creating a piece that can be mixed into both contemporary and traditional interiors.

‘Balmoral 2 Seater Sofa in Varese Velvet Alchemilla fabric’ from Heal’s

For a sweet touch to a traditional bedroom, these rustic, French style bedside tables in a dusty yellow could be a great way to frame a bed in a similar style. The piece from Out There Interiors has some fetching ironwork detailing, which will give a room some extra style in a simple way.

‘Two Drawer Beside in Yellow’ from Out There Interiors

These lemony plates and dishes from Habitat are a refreshing way to give your dining table an updated look, the ombre effect means that they aren’t too outlandish, and will gently show off the zesty colour. Place them on a blue tablecloth or next to some coloured glassware for a really stylish look.

‘Atkinson 12 Piece Yellow Dinnerware Set’ from Habitat

Lastly, this gorgeous glass pendant from Rockett St George is an absolute beauty! The moody yellow shade combined with the irregular shape gives the whole look an understated, glamourous feel. This pendant would be the perfect addition to a dark, moody room, giving it that hint of colour it needs to keep it from looking drab and dingy.

‘Hand Blown Glass Pendant Lighting in Yellow Ochre by Curiousa & Curiousa’ from Rockett St George

Though it can be quite a daring and brave decision to add a bold shade of yellow into your interior (and may take a little more persuading for some), it’s a decision that will result in some fabulous and sophisticated homes! Whether you’re already in love with colour, or prefer your interiors more neutral, you’ll see how diverse a colour like yellow can be and how easily it will suit all kinds of styles.

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Since today is Valentine’s Day, whether you’re celebrating or not, it always gets you just thinking about romance, and if you’re an interior designer, romantic interiors. I tend to have quite a soft spot for romantic interiors, there’s just something about them that is warm and welcoming, and since there are so many ways to incorporate the theme of romance into a room, it doesn’t just have to be your typical stuff. Alternative romantic interiors can offer you a liveable style, one with underlying tones of romance, one that serenades you in a softer tone, instead of outspoken and outlandish stylings. I’ve pulled together some ideas that will enable you to get the ball rolling if you want to turn your home into a laidback, romantic dreamland.

When it comes to decorating your walls in a romantic style, as with any style theme there are different directions you can choose to take. You may want to keep your walls neutral, to make way for other eye-catching pieces in the room, but if you’re feeling the more is more vibe for your romantic interior, a wallpaper with a pattern may be the way to go. A new collection from Harlequin, Standing Ovation, has some wonderful floral and nature designs that are perfect for creating your alternative romantic interior. The painterly style of the Floreale design and its overgrown and slightly wild floral pattern that gives it a little individuality against some other floral wallpapers out there. The bold colourways and the mixture of peonies foxgloves will give your walls a lease of life.

‘Floreale wallpaper’ from Harlequin

If your room can’t quite handle a print this big, or you’re drawn to a pattern that’s more subtle, the Persico design from the same collection is a rather sweet option. The sporadic arrangement of the British birds gives the design a distinctive character that avoids repetitive nature of patterned wallpaper. This is the perfect style to choose if you want something to transition comfortably between a neutral and a pattern, it’ll look graceful on your walls and allow for other big character items in the room.

‘Persico wallpaper’ from Harlequin

There’s no piece of furniture that fits better for a romantic interior than a big, comfy loveseat, I mean it’s even in the name! Loaf have some amazing loveseats in their collection at the moment, all in different styles to suit your taste, a particular favourite of mine is the Butterbump design. Its structure is fairly traditional, with its deep buttoned back and overall style, but you can still confidently put it into a contemporary setting by choosing a modern colour to upholster it in, like this Winter Sky in a soft velvet. It’ll keep the loveseat looking fresh and allow it to complement a magnitude of accent colours.

‘Butterbump Loveseat in Winter Sky clever velvet’ from Loaf

While some people might dream of a big diamond ring on Valentine’s Day, I’d be rather satisfied with a few of these cushions from Lime Lace. The diamond print is an alternative way to add some glamour to an interior and can also be used to toughen up a feminine sofa, or bring a sense of modernity to a more traditional piece. They are also a prime example of how a romantic interior needn’t follow the bohemian or traditional guidelines and if you love a modern, contemporary interior there are all sorts of way to add a little romantic and fun to the scheme.

‘Manhattan Chase Cushions by Camine Lake’ from Lime Lace

Another charming find from Lime Lace is this rather innovative pendant light. A chandelier instinctively feels romantic, but whether you don’t have the space (or the budget) to accommodate one, or it’s not really your style there’s always an alternative option, like this fab pendant, which features a little chandelier on the inside. They will make a great addition to an interior if you’re looking for that individual boost, or fun talking point, and perfectly incorporate the old with the new. A group arranged at slightly varying heights to create a central lighting piece will look fantastic, possibly better than having an actual chandelier!

‘King Edison Chandelier Pendant by Young and Battagalia’ from Lime Lace

Hanging things from your ceiling, not only frees up some floor space, but also gives the illusion of a lofty, dreamy area with floating accessories that draw your eye to different levels in the room, creating a fuller, more bountiful interior. These birdcage plant holders from Angel & Boho are wonderful. Make it the home for a viney, flowing plant and you’ll create your own little tropical rainforest in the corner of your room as your plants become romantically overgrown and intertwined with the bars of the cage.

‘Hanging Birdcage Plant Holders’ from Angel & Boho

For some lighter, smaller touches to your room to give it a romantic atmosphere, adding some trusted home accessories will always do the trick. A romantic interior will only ever be enhanced by the addition of candles and candleholders. These ombre candle from Lime Lace in an assortment of colours will stand out against the typical white candles, they add a sense of modernity to the traditional romantic interior and can either be used to tone down or up their holders. Below they are paired with some antiqued holders, and the contrasting blend creates an interesting effect.

‘Set of 4 Dip Dyed Candles’ from Lime Lace

Using metallic materials in your interior can help to make a romantic atmosphere, light will bounce off the surfaces giving a room a warm and inviting feeling. Having an arrangement of vases and pots for flowers, real or faux, will also make for a romantic setup in your home. I really like the combination of these gold and copper vases from The Estate Yard, their coarse geometric patterns give them a modern edge, while their metallic colours lets them settle into the romantic scheme.

‘Mixture of Copper and Gold Vases’ from The Estate Yard

If you’re keen for something a little darker and moodier, these black forest vases from Abigail Ahern will bring all the romantic drama you need. Pair them with rich golds and bronzes for a glamourous, romantic effect and with a pop of green from a few plants to really finish off the look.

‘Black Forest Vases’ from Abigail Ahern

There’s something about romantic interiors, be it traditional, feminine, contemporary, bohemian or a beautiful combination, which always seems to grab my attention. A romantic interior allows you to create your very own dreamland, a place to escape the ordinary and the mundane, making it your perfect Valentine’s Day location.

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Over the past few years velvet has featured heavily in the interior design world, and we love it! A great way to give a house, room, sofa, bed or anything a new spring of life is with the addition of something velvety. What’s more there are some great ways to get creative with the material, so if you think you might have a little soft spot for velvet here are some great ways to dress up your house in the stuff!

For some, velvet can be initially a little overwhelming, by its very nature it’s quite a dramatic fabric, especially compared to a linen or cotton. But this drama can either be played up or down depending on your preference, and mixing the fabric with a variety of designs or colours means you can integrate the texture with other factors in a room scheme easily and smoothly. If you want to start off slowly, you can never go wrong with a few velvet cushions to brighten up a sofa, armchair or bed. For a little bit of subtly, opt for a neutral colour, like these mink coloured cushions from Cox & Cox, play around with the different sizes and eventually add in some more complementary colours to go with them.

‘Velvet and Linen Cushions in Mink’ from Cox & Cox

Next add in this delicious creation from Timorous Beasties via Houseology, the bee motif is an iconic Timorous Beasties design and gold contrasted against its dark velvet background offers a dramatic spin on a comfy cushion. It’ll look wonderful popping out against a crisp white sofa, or enhance a romantic atmosphere mixed in with some dark and moody colours.

‘Napoleon Bee Cushion by Timorous Beasties’ from Houseology

If you’re looking for the perfect snuggly material for the remaining winter months, and probably the-not-so-warm spring ones, a velvet throw will turn an average bed into one fit for royalty. This pin-tucked throw from Cox & Cox is gorgeous and comes in this dreamy, timeless sage colour.

‘Velvet and Linen Pin-Tucked Quilt in Sage’ from Cox & Cox

Velvet is a great fabric to add to a traditional style interior, and the glamour can help a room look a hundred times more sophisticated. This button quilted Enya chair from Graham & Green is all about old school Hollywood style, and can transform a room, giving it that lift it’s been in need of, the velvet will catch the light in a wonderful way, giving it extra vibrancy, especially against more muted tones and fabrics.

‘Enya Relaxing Chair’ from Graham & Green

Velvet doesn’t just go with traditional style rooms and furniture, in fact incorporating a modern design with velvet is a great way to balance out the fabric’s dramatic nature. This velvet dining chair has a distinct Nordic style it and the combination of the plush velvet with the modern legs gives an interesting vibe that would give your dining room an individual look.

‘Velvet Button Dining Chair in Blue’ from Out There Interiors

The same goes for these fantastic revived Mid-Century designs distributed by Rose & Grey, and made by 366 Concepts. This rocking chair design takes its inspiration from Jozef Chierowski’s original Easy Chair, with the modern edition of the rocking feature. The Mid-Century wooden frame mixed together with the velvet upholstery creates an exciting, dynamic look.

‘Jozef Chierowski 366 Rocking Chair Velvet’ from Rose & Grey

Another wonderful design from the Rose & Grey and 366 Concept is this occasional chair originally designed by Teofil Halas in 1963. The smoky grey colour gleams in the sunlight and pairs perfectly with the tones of the wood frame. It brings about a balance between low-key elegance and distinctive design can will really set your interiors apart from the rest.

‘Velvet Halas Dining Chair’ from Rose & Grey

Heals have a wonderful sofa bed in stock at the moment, which reinvents the concept of a Chesterfield sofa. The Chesterfield is a classic design that can be worked into all sorts of interior schemes, the gorgeous sofa bed offers the same style in a contemporary way, it’s available in leather but I think the velvet version is the way to go. Shown below, its styled perfectly with some vibrant yellows and some extra velvet cushions if you just can’t get enough.

’40 Winks Sofa Bed’ from Heal’s

Speaking of yellow, I think I may have fallen in love with the colour of this super footstool from Swoon Editions. The velvet looks divine in its honey mustard colour, and would make a bold statement against some more neutral, contemporary surroundings, or even add a little spice mixed into a traditional setting. If you like the idea of velvet furnishing, but aren’t ready to invest in one of the larger pieces just yet, getting something smaller like a footstool is a great way to test the velvet waters.

‘Tivoli Footstool in Honey’ from Swoon Editions

A velvet effect rug will not only look luxurious but feel it too, a real treat for your eyes and your feet! This rug from Designers Guild is utterly beautiful. The interlocking patterns create an amazing textural effect giving depth and tone to the look of the rug. It’s the ideal solution when you want a simple rug that isn’t flat in appearance.

‘Roxburgh Rug in Moleskin’ from Designers Guild

For a little Art Nouveau touch to your velvet and your interiors, this golden flamingo lamp with a royal blue velvet shade will add a pinch of over the top frippery that all rooms need a little sprinkling of from time to time.

‘Metal Flamingo Table Lamp’ from Rockett St George

From beds to sofas to floors, adding a touch of velvet to an interior will give a scheme some wholehearted dramatic flair, which will not only make your home look fabulous but feel soft, plush and beautiful!

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Sometimes the window sill can go a little neglected, sure we adorn the window with a lovely pair of curtains or a suitable blind, but then what? In my house, window sills are often the place where things get put because we haven’t decided a location for them yet; a passport that needs to be put in a safe place, a mirror that needs to be hung, or more often than not a plant on its last legs that we’re hoping a few more rays of sunshine might save, these are all the things that are currently on my window sills at home. Actually, a window sill is the ideal place to get a little creative, it is in itself the perfect canvas to display beautiful objects, it’s a framed area that can avoid the hustle and bustle of daily life and just be there to help create more interesting surroundings.

For starters, you may want to consider the colour of your window frames and sills. We often keep our windows a simple white, or off-white colour but you can always get a little creative. You often see a lot of exterior window frames painted in jazzy colours, particularly if you stroll through the quieter streets of Cambridge, many of the sweet terraced houses are given their own sense of individuality with a bold door and window colour. This can be taken inside as well, after all you spend more time on the inside of your home rather than the outside. Whether you want to go bright or dark, painting your frames a colour that contrasts or stands out against you walls will really make your windows feel like a conscious design factor.

‘Painted window frames’ taken from Pinterest

I love this bright yellow frame found on Pinterest, it adds a bit of life to the interior, and no matter how lousy the weather is outside, it’ll always look a little brighter when looking out this window, and if your view is less than desirable, a brightly painted frame will cheer it up in no time. I also love this electric blue number, again found on Pinterest. The blue has been perfectly match to the blue in the tiling, and given an extra boost by a few blue accessories, really completing the look.

‘Painted window frame’ taken from Pinterest

Another idea you might want to think about is an alternative to the typical curtains or blinds, using shutters as an alternative, or as an addition can give you windows are extra bit of style and character. You may want to put some up in your kitchen, perhaps café style for an extra bit of privacy, or just like below, use in a bedroom to create a diverse look. Here, the bed frame and décor are distinctly romantic and gothic in their style, but using some shutters instead of heavy drapery whole room looks dramatic without being over the top, and is given a clean cut without being too clinical. All together the look runs seamlessly, while also working with every day, modern life.

‘Tier on tier’ from The New England Shutter Company

Once you have the foundations of your windows sorted, you can start to think about how you want to embellish them. Depending on your tastes, you can really play around with the way you dress your window sills. Unlike other surfaces, which may constantly need to be arranged or moved in order to make way for other things that come up in day-to-day life, a window sill arrangement can be somewhat left in a permanent state. Other than opening a window, or some gentle dusting, window sills often get left alone, so you can make a wonderful arrangement to suit your home and your tastes.  An easy way to start the process is with a few simple decorative pieces, such as candles. If you like your contemporary interiors, these ombre candle holders from Bonnie & Bell would make a nice, simple addition to a window sill. Once lit they’ll make for good atmospheric lighting, and will continue to look the part even when they’re not in use, you could opt for a row of one colour or mix and match with a selection of the four different choices.

‘Cement Glass Ombre Candle Holder’ from Bonnie & Bell

Another interesting candle set, this time from Holly’s House, are these candle mouldings that incorporate the shape of the candle holder for a really interesting effect. The candles come in either coral, lilac or grey, which again could be combined for a colourful look, or you can use one of the colours to create an attractive accent in a room.

‘Tallow Candle Holder’ from Holly’s House

A great way to decorate your window sill is with a beautiful bouquet flowers, but first you’ll need something to put them in. Picking out some vases that have a permanent place in the home, whether they are full of flowers of not, is a good idea as it will help to create a coherent look in a room and you won’t end up buying a piece that doesn’t fit or work in your house. While clear glass vases will look elegant placed on a table, by the window sill you may find them getting a little lost in all of the surrounding window’s glass. Choosing something with a little colour to it will give your windows some life and character, and will keep the whole area looking fluid and collected. This purple glass vase from Out There Interiors will look wonderfully with the sunlight glistening through it. Equally, this Olivia vase from LSA International will do the exact same. Both are great options and can accommodate different ranges and types of flowers and plants.

‘Ring Bottle or Vase in Purple’ from Out There Interiors

‘Olivia Vase’ from LSA International

If real plants aren’t you thing, finding some faux greenery will look wonderful in your windows, and allow you to live a life where you aren’t worrying about the amount of sunlight or water your plant should be getting. They’ll especially perk up your windows if you don’t the nicest of views. I think these little trees are quite sweet, their rough stone container gives them a bit of an edge that contrasts nicely with the well pruned tree itself.

‘Angel Vine Pleached Tree’ from Oka

And if you really can’t handle plants, real or faux, these ceramic cactus and succulent pairing might just do the trick, particularly if you like to add a bit of quirk and humour to your interiors. Collect a few and dot them around your window sill in between other items, or even to bookcase real plants!

‘Bloomingville Deco Cactus and Shining Succulent’ from Out There Interiors

A window can be a great place to hang something of importance to your, or just something you think is beautiful. These glass frames from Not on the High Street are an interesting way to frame items without blocking out the light. Filled them with an interesting print, or postcards like below, or something different altogether; I bought a glass frame from my mum, who filled it with pretty feathers she’d collected on walks, which worked rather effectively. If you have window that stares out onto a blank wall, this might be a good way to give yourself something interesting to look at as you pass by, but if you want to keep the view, you may want to opt for one of the smaller versions.

‘Glass Hanging Frame’ from Not on the High Street

There are hundreds of ways to get creative with your window sill, soon you’ll be looking less at the view and more are the wonderful way you’ve decorative your frames!

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Although it may not feel like it with all this icy weather, the warm weather is just a few months away, and the spring collections are beginning to roll in. The new collection from Travers, ‘Love Letters’ is a wonderful array of fresh and light patterns and colours, and couldn’t be more perfect for spring.

The collection as a whole pays homage to original Travers brand and style, as well as classic American design. The bright and snappy colours are met with elegance to create a truly wonderful assortment to fill your home with.

‘Beaumont Indienne’ for the Blind and Tablecloth and ‘Sausalito’ for the Chairs

This vivacious Beaumont Indienne fabric is the definition of an eye-catcher. The vivid colours and lines give a modern twist on an iconic style, which make the fabric ideal if you like to add a little of the old and the new to an interior. Here it is matched with the fantastic Sausalito pattern, which is used as a more neutral canvas to house the punchy Beaumont Indienne design, but its mid-scale pattern still manages to hold its own, without the whole look being too overdone.

‘Emperor’s Seal’ for the Armchair and Ottoman and ‘Temple Lattice’ for the Curtains

The nature of Emperor’s Seal reminds me of the laid-back, open plan room decorated in a low-key, comfy minimalist style that you  might have seen in a design magazine from the nineties. The Chinese calligraphy, just a few shades darker than their background, are an interesting touch to neutral fabric, and is the sort of detail that adds a distinct sense of luxury. Paired perfectly with the Temple Lattice curtains, the burnt orange gives the whole look a sophisticated pop of colour.

‘St. Croix’ for the Headboard and the Armchair, ‘Catalina Stripe’ for the Curtains, ‘Sausalito’ for the Cushion and Footstool, and ‘Mason Diamond’ for the Throw

The glorious St. Croix fabric adorns this headboard to create a bold, feminine look in a bedroom, the birds and florals bursts out against the pink, and with a little additional piping the whole ensemble is really superb. A hint of texture is provided by the Mason Diamond fabric used for the throw and the crisp white teamed up with the array of pinks give the room a sweet and charming look.

‘Vermicelli Velvet’ for the Chair and ‘Belle Meade Stripe’ for the Curtains

The rich and textural Vermicelli fabric has a wonderful mixture of both contemporary and traditional aspects. The pattern is modern way of presenting a regal style, and the velvet and interesting colourways means that the fabric can be used in a contemporary setting, or used to update a traditional piece of furniture like the chair above. You may think using an intricate design like the Vermicelli with another pattern may make the fabric lose a touch of its elegance, but the royal stripe of the Belle Meade creates a perfectly curated look.

‘Lamour’ for the Curtains and ‘Astor Velvet’ for the Chair

The snappy green colourways from this photograph show how to do classic styles in an unexpected shade. The textural Astor Velvet used on the seat of this antique chair gives an idea of how to keep a harmonious look throughout a room whilst still including antique pieces. There’s an Art Deco touch to the Lamour curtains, the sultry gold intertwines wonderfully with the mossy green, making a glamourous display, proving that you needn’t just use dark hues to create a rich and romantic interior.

‘Beverly Velvet’ for the Sofa

The Beverley Velvet has a touch of retro style to it, the wavy pattern almost melts onto the sofa,  giving it a laid-back seventies vibe, which is perfect for adding some relaxed but smart style into a room. This fabric is perfect for giving a little flavour into a modern, contemporary space.

‘Cloisonné Embroidery’ for the Curtains

Another absolutely charming design from the collection is this rich but sweet pattern, Cloisonné Embroidery. It’s a rather special deign and if you like to go bold with your interior choices, this should certainly be up for consideration. The vibrant pattern maintains a feminine and soothing tone about it, which means the large pattern isn’t too overbearing for a room and instead will settle into a scheme in a natural fashion.

Next up is a playful take on traditional Chinoiserie, Happy Dragons is a fantastic pattern if you want to have a little fun with your style. The design has the perfect combination of whimsy and elegance, and mixed together with some fabulous colourways, the design is a must-have for contemporary schemes, or traditional ones that are in need of a bit of an edge.

‘Happy Dragons’ for the Blind, and ‘Temple Lattice’ for the Cushions

Finally, for hint of vintage Miami, this look is fabulous. From the limey greens of the Catalina Stripe to the limber paisley style of the Balboa Paisley, which could almost be mistaken for palm leaves, everything about these fabrics gives off a laid-back American coastal feeling.

‘Catalina Stripe’ for the Sofa, ‘Sausalito’ for the Chair and ‘Balboa Paisley’ for the Curtains and Cushions

Everything about this collection is calm, cool and collected glamour, in this vibrant array of designs there’s something for everyone, the only problem you’ll have is choosing your favourite!

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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.

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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!

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