Your 2018 Christmas gift guide

Back by popular demand is the blog’s Christmas gift guide. B-Y  J-I-N-G-L-E   B-E-L-L-S – I hear you cry! The blog’s very own Christmas Fairy has flown from the top of the tree to make light of your Christmas shopping. Dangerous, I grant you, with Panda our beardy mini schnauzer on patrol amongst the presents…

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How to make a foraged Christmas wreath

What style Christmas wreath will you be choosing for your front door this year? With so many to choose from, it can be a little daunting but I find myself with the foragers on this one …

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Turning a shed into a home office

Rachel, a busy management consultant, asked me to convert her garden shed into a home office at the end of her Oxfordshire cottage garden. It needed to be a work space that Rachel really wanted to be in but also one she could separate from home at the end of the day. I have had some experience of shed conversions. I once turned our wooden summer house into a home office for a Marie Claire 101 ideas magazine interiors feature. There is something quite magical about creating outdoor rooms and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one!
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Is 80s interior decorating back?

A perfect storm of social and political events took place in the early 1980s that completely changed the way people lived and dressed. It was the era that waved goodbye to Mid Century to 1970s furniture and beckoned in a national love affair with traditional Country House style. Peter York and Ann Barr wrote the Sloane Ranger’s Handbook and Min Hogg was the launch editor in November 1981 of The World of Interiors magazine. Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, Brideshead Revisited was on the telly.
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How to achieve style cool in a heatwave

As the temperature is again set to soar above 30 degrees in London and the South East, it’s high time the blog shared some practical style strategies on how to stay cool in Saharan Britain. Especially if you find yourself wishing to hang out in the refrigerated isles of your local supermarket for more time than is strictly necessary! Here then, to save you from such grocery ignominy, are 7 ideas for keeping your style cool high and your temperature low: 

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What’s the secret of Howe’s interior design recipe?

Have you noticed how the idea of a ‘soiree‘ or ‘salon‘ has been emerging as a way of bringing together like-minded people in the worlds of art and interiors? Talks by specialists, dinners with gorgeous ‘grammable’ tablescapes all put together with small groups of people who are, of course, networking – albeit in a much more subtle way. I have to say I didn’t hesitate when PR Georgie Pridden invited me along to meet a group of extremely interesting guests for a Midsummer Night’s supper in June. As a special one-off for Georgie, the venue for the evening was Howe’s achingly stylish showroom in London.

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Best in Show at the House and Garden Festival 2018 London

London is packed with inspirational art and interior design exhibitions at this time of year.  You really have to put on your jogging shoes to keep up with them all but there are a few I really don’t like to miss and The House and Garden Festival  (incorporating The Art & Antiques Fair) is one of them. This year’s show didn’t disappoint. It was full of bright summery colour and design – much of the best was from a few ‘stylish hunter gatherers’ who make it their business to bring international style to our shores.  Here’s my choice of Best in Show: Continue reading “Best in Show at the House and Garden Festival 2018 London”

RHS Chelsea Flower Show inspires artist Flora Roberts

If you aren’t one of her followers on Instagram, then there is every chance that you won’t have heard of artist and decorative painter,  Flora Roberts. For fans of surface pattern, Flora is the artist behind many highly successful floral wallpaper and fabric designs for companies such as Lewis & Wood.

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Monochrome Interiors

If you are unsure about decorating with Monochrome in your home, frightened perhaps that it could look too stark or too gloomy, remember it’s really just about getting the colour percentages right and adding a little texture. Think about the success of Chanel, Jo Malone and The White Company branding and you can’t go too far wrong. You may remember that I wrote about Monochrome last Summer –  Style It Dark For Summer – but my love of it has recently been stoked again.
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Coldharbour Lights

During these late January days when daylight is still in short supply, it seems more than a little appropriate to share a great lighting idea.  Coldharbour Lights‘ theatrical feathered bicycle wheel chandeliers are where Art Deco design meets Baz Luhrmann with just a dash of Boho chic. The perfect concoction perhaps to spice up the darker days of midwinter?

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