Archive for the ‘Local events’ Category

A few weeks ago, Kettle’s Yard reopened after years of renovation. On opening day the queue wrapped around the street corner, proving just how much Cambridge had missed the gallery and house. I choose to visit a few weeks later and it was great to see the new gallery space and interesting pieces being featured, but my heart still belongs to the house and it was a real treat to go back there again.

The house, was the former home of art curator and collector Jim Ede and his wife Helen Ede. The pair lived in the house from 1958 to 1973 and during this time the house was filled with some truly beautiful pieces of art, artefacts and furniture. The house has been kept as a time capsule and an insight into the couple’s life; filled with art from renowned names, such as Ben Nicholson and Alfred Wallis, who were also the couple’s friends, Jim and Helen Ede would open their home to Cambridge students making it the most intimate of art galleries. The home’s aesthetic is a cool, contemporary, almost minimalist style with the perfect dose of bohemian touches.

Dining nook in the Ground Floor of the cottage

This dining nook area is beautifully simplistic. The solid wood table and benches are rustic and strong, while the gold candlesticks and decorative plates add an understated air of glamour.

View of the fireplace in the Ground Floor of the Cottage

Close up of the ornaments displayed on the fireplace

The main fireplace as you walk into the house is unfussy and perfectly decorated with soot build up along with trinkets and ceramics. Jim and Helen Ede would hang some of their artwork at a lower level than expected so that they could be look at comfortably from an armchair.

Sitting area in the Ground Floor of the Cottage

The room is filled with interesting and meticulously placed artefacts and objects. A single lemon placed on a metal dish, a display of pebbles in an ombre effect and a handful of wispy feathers are just a few of the unusual items you’ll find.

An artistic display of a single lemon of a metal plate

An ombré pebble collection

An assortment of feather on display

A sculpture, a painting and a single book makes up this satisfying display next to Jim Ede’s bed. The exclusiveness of the display speaks for Ede’s admiration of the artists; his faith and love for these three simple objects, expresses more to an audience about the items and the feeling of the home than a whole row of items could ever, creating a strong and commanding statement.

A minimal display shelf featuring a sculpture, a painting and a single book

As you move through the house, up to the first floor of the cottage there is a lovely run through the house into the extension. The length of the house creates an interesting feel, delicate sections and areas are carved out of the main body, making sweet, intimate spots. My favourite is known as the “dancer’s room”, due to the beautiful sculpture that sits on the table, and when hit with sunlight creates a silhouette on the wall. The area is filled with gorgeous rugs and painting, giving you a never ending supply of things to look at.

A traditional rug laid over stairs

A look at the “Dancer’s Room”

A selection of paintings from the “Dancer’s Room”

Once in the extension of the house, there is a gallery up top and below a more open space, for hosting guests. This area feel much more contemporary then the previous space, with seventies characteristic. I love the proportions of this section of the lower floor. From the all-white plates to the black and white abstract art, to the beautifully made slate top and wood leg console table, it all works together to create a serene view, with everything in its place.

A side area in the Lower Level of the House

Whether you’re looking for something to do in Cambridge, or interior inspiration, or fancy a little vintage walk back through time, the house at Kettle’s Yard is truly a lovely way to spend an hour or two.


For more information: http://www.kettlesyard.co.uk/

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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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There are a very few places left for our summer term course on Interior Design your Home, and our Accessories course in the autumn is booking up too. More information on our courses website page. We hope to see you!

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The third stage of the Tour de France starts in the heart of Cambridge on 7th July and I, for one, am excited. Now you would have thought that this excitement would translate into the crucial work of having the Angel and Blume bicycle serviced and the flat tyre and wobbly seat sorted out, but instead my enthusiasm has manifested itself into finding the best bicycle related interiors products. Kingsway cycles we will be bringing the Angel and Blume bike to you any minute, for the rest of you, here are my discoveries so far:

Graham and Green cushion



Bicycle cushion 30cm x 50cm Graham and Green £55

You know how I love a cushion, and this one from Graham and Green is not only very classy but fun too.



David Sparshott poster




I love these prints from David Sparshott – they are beautifully detailed, absolutely charming and I suspect very accurate, although I am only guessing. The bike race support vehicles is my favourite – which is yours?


Ginger and French mugs











Bone china mug from Ginger and French £10 for 1 or £74 for 8

I personally think that commemorative mugs need to be used advisedly, so these mugs from Ginger and French are joyously low key whilst reminding you of the great occasion.

Graham and Green rug

Bicycle rug 120cm x 180cm £460 Graham and Green

Oh so beautiful – a little work of art for your floor! Find just the spot for this charming rug, either on the floor or on the wall.

Linwood On Yer Bike

Linwood wallpaper – On Yer Bike £79.90 per roll

Lovely wallpaper from Linwood, entitled ‘On Yer Bike’ put it in a child’s bedroom, a dressing room, in the back of a cupboard or wardrobe, or line your desk drawers with it. You will smile every time you see it.

Habitat door mat


Habitat door mat

45cm x 75cm £15

I’ve just ordered one of these – I couldn’t help myself




Apace duvet set


Aspace single duvet cover £45

And for your Tour de France obsessed children, a charming pillow and duvet cover set to ensure that they are wearing the yellow jersey in their dreams.


See you at the start line!

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The delightful Alice Ryan from Cambridge Magazine paid a visit recently for what seemed to me to be a chat and a cup of tea, so I was highly impressed when she said she had enough information for the article she was planning about my home above the Angel and Blume office. The magazine is now out and I have to say that she has got the measure of me – albeit the better side of me – so thank you Alice, it was lovely to meet you!

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Our new classes are starting on 13 May and this series of six talks covers everything you need to interior design your own home. Topics include how to find your own style, planning your layout, colour, lighting and how best to approach your project so that your own designs are implemented properly. Find out more at www.interiordesigntalks.com

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Don’t miss a great opportunity to hear Joa Studholme speak on how to use colour in your home (and that includes the perfect use of whites!). Tuesday 25th March 2014 at 6pm at the Lynne Strover Gallery in Fen Ditton, Cambridge. Tickets from http://www.interiordesigntalks.com – hope to see you there!farrowandball1



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