House and garden tour: Polkadot Parsley

Are you the sort of house hunter who knows straight away whether it is ‘the one’ or not? This was very much the case for Jo Beavan who runs her successful online ceramic oven to tableware business Polkadot Parsley. Jo and her husband Simon who is a chartered civil engineer, have a long-standing love of France and of period homes. So when Jo spotted an Oxfordshire farmhouse for sale with a Georgian frontage and a French-style walled garden, the contracts were as good as signed. The only slight sticking point was that their own family house wasn’t on the market yet…

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Affordable interior design service

After the year we have had, does your home need a bit of a refurb? Our homes have nurtured us, been our school rooms, places of work and even our gyms. And just like us, are now perhaps in need of a little care and attention. Maybe you have decided to move house and are looking for some new ideas? For whatever your stage of life, Styling Box is my affordable bespoke interior design service (in person or remotely) that provides you with a bespoke interior design scheme with fabric, wallpaper and paint samples.

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Easter styling 2021

When the biophilic qualities of bringing nature into our homes are proven to have a positive effect on our well being, what better time than now to plan a spot of Easter styling. From hanging a spring wreath to new upholstery, tablescaping and baking, there is plenty of inspiration on hand from nature’s Spring palette. Even if you just fill a jam jar with some hyacinths, small details can often make the biggest difference to your environment.

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Dunrobin Castle attic sale

When a press release dropped into my inbox for a forthcoming attic sale at Dunrobin Castle in Sutherland, I think my jaw also dropped, just ever so slightly. Sales like this don’t happen very often. A recent decluttering of the attics and cellars at the Scottish castle revealed generations of long forgotten treasures of domestic life. Prior to the sale on 20 April 2021, Bonhams auctioneers in Edinburgh have curated a selection of some of the 450 lots with an evocative set of photos.

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Lockdown interior decorating ideas

Spring/Summer 21 interior designs offer more than a little playful joie de vivre for any lockdown decorating plans you might have. There are styling surprises at every turn from secret doors to extravagant country house style fabric canopies for both bed and bathrooms. No surface has been left untouched with decorative tromp l’oeil and room wrap-around wallpaper. There’s colour inspiration from artists and a final ingredient alongside all the frills is a spot of ‘matchy matchy’ styling.

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The Arrival of Spring 2021

The blog’s 2021 interiors predictions drop today with a particularly optimistic spring in their step. The only slight hiccup is which title to give the post. A descriptive ‘Interior Design Directions for Spring 2021’ could work, as could ‘Sea Change’ or ‘Reset’ but that has already been taken. What hits the blog spot nicely though is the title for David Hockney’s forthcoming exhibition at The Royal Academy in London. Here then is the blog’s Arrival of Spring 2021.

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Homemade Christmas decorating 2020

Are you ‘going early’ this year, are undecided or maybe waiting until the winter solstice to ‘deck the halls’? A neighbour put their front door wreath up on 16 November, which under normal circumstances might seem a little premature but then everything is different this year. In a bid for some much-needed festive cheer it seems our neighbour is not alone. Even though this Christmas is going to be tough for so many, people all over the UK are decorating earlier than usual. So when I got a commission to do the same, I didn’t hesitate.

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Christmas gift ideas 2020

This year is certainly going to be different in terms of how we celebrate Christmas but I hope that whatever size our celebrations are, they bring a welcome distraction and boost to everyone’s spirits. As a freelance shopping editor, I thought I would share with you a few Christmas gift ideas which have caught my eye this year. The humorous, handmade, repurposed and charitable are always top of the list.

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Garden design at The Newt, Somerset

If like me you are drawn to colour, pattern and texture in all its forms, I hope you might enjoy this snapshot of some inspirational garden design ideas from a recent visit to the gardens at The Newt in Somerset. The garden had been on my radar for a while so I was excited to be able to take the opportunity to make a flying visit.

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New Morris and Co x Ben Pentreath collection

It is the launch the interiors world has been waiting for ever since it was first rumoured that such creativity was afoot. I don’t think it would be overcooking it to say that The Queen Square Collection between Morris & Co and architectural design and interior Decorator Ben Pentreath is one of the most exciting interior brand collaborations in recent times. The collection of 18 recoloured William Morris wallpaper and 18 fabric designs has been styled and photographed at Ben’s beautiful and famously ‘grammed Dorset rectory.

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