If you want to experience a cross between a magical midsummer night’s dream whilst entering the secret walled garden of a genteel country house (one whose Victorian glass house has charmingly ‘seen better days’) – then Richmond’s Petersham Nurseries is the place for you!
My celebration of Indigo blues culminates with this summer’s Preppy take on Indigo. It is almost as if the fashion and interiors industries sat down and considered the colours of the The Leander Club in Henley for their summer collections! The Leander Club is one of the oldest rowing clubs in the world, has produced many of GB’s great rowing Olympians and its members sport a rather jaunty rowing blazer and cap in – you guessed it – pale pink (traditionally known as ‘cerise’) and Indigo. With the Royal Regatta imminent (Weds 28th June to Sunday 1st July) what better time to see how everyone from high street fashion to interior decorators, textile designers, restaurants and bars are embracing Preppy style.
If only it were as simple to change your interior decoration as it is your clothes. If it were, exploring the depths of Indigo blues would be high on my decorating agenda this summer. The trend for Indigo blues has been simmering away for a few years in the UK. For holiday homes in the Hamptons, Scandinavia and in parts of the Greek Islands, it never really disappears. Blues are sometimes accused of being cold, but there is nothing icy or ‘blue’ about Indigo. It is velvety warm at its deepest hue and can be as smart, boho or as classically pretty as you wish it to be.
When guests visit Helen and John Worton’s home for the first time, they sometimes find themselves left a little bit speechless! This is due to the fact that to all intents and purposes the terraced frontage of this 16th Century Cornish cottage is not at all what it appears from the village square. You might imagine that what lies behind are low-beamed ceilings with a conventional upstairs/downstairs floor plan and a country-style interior in a neutral Farrow & Ball palette.
It’s that time of year again, when many Scots and expats around the world celebrate Burns Night (Wednesday, 25th January). I just can’t help but revisit (please see my post from Scottish Style 2016) some traditional and also not quite so traditional Scottish Style interior design and fashion.
What is a stylist? I was struck this week by a throwaway comment by interior designer Kelly Hoppen on an episode of the Great British Interior Design Challenge (BBC Two) where she said that one of the contestants (who was a photographer) was a good designer and not ‘just’ a stylist. I think that the term interior stylist can be a confusing one so I thought it might be helpful to outline what I think an interior stylist does.
A very Happy New Year 2017. Rather than wait for the first daffodils of Spring to open, I thought I would slice through the grey gloom of January to present one of Spring/Summer ’17’s most joyful interior and fashion trends. ‘Mellow Yellow’ is all set to bring its mood enhancing properties to our lives and I for one can’t wait!
While friends in the North of England and Scotland have already had their first snowfall of the year, in Berkshire we awoke to the work of Jack Frost yesterday. The light had that twinkly, bluey tinge and every surface in the garden was covered with tiny white light reflecting crystals. I don’t know if it is the same for you, but this awakens all sorts of childhood images and fairy tales in my mind from the snow laden forests of the Snow Queen’s Palace in Narnia to the breathtaking scenes of Russia in David Lean’s film masterpiece, Dr Zhivago. The idea of the 17th – 19th Century Frost Fairs that took place on the frozen Thames in London has always captured my imagination too.
With just over a month until the Winter Solstice, when the days shorten and we are in much need of light, I am in the mood for some inspiring crisp white interiors. Some might instinctively wish to cosy up their homes with a pot of Farrow & Ball’s ‘Rectory Red’, a forest green or midnight blue, but I like to take inspiration from Swedish interiors who use plenty of white and light with a touch of evergreen foliage to decorate their homes.
Scandinavian simplicity was the inspiration for these panelled baby and toddler rooms I styled for Mothercare.
The trick with white is to layer up and combine different textures from quilting, to knit, faux fur and linen. Look no further than The White Company or in fact John Lewis’ Croft Range. Add in some neutral colours, such as greys and taupes, and finish off with lots of twinkly fairy lights, tealights in vintage French jam jars and plenty of evergreen foliage. Wooden furniture adds in another texture too.
On one of the hottest days this Summer, I styled some images for the sofa company Dfs. The theme was white decorating ideas for Christmas and we were featuring their new Marl Mid Century style sofa by French Connection. I used some vintage white leather skates and a bunch of fresh Eucalyptus (the scent and longevity of its freshness at Christmas is nice to have in the house) and hung fairy lights and paper stars from a fallen branch from my garden.
Sofa fit for a Snow Queen
Get your skates on
If you love the thrill of skating outdoors, the UK now proudly boasts some fantastic venues around the country. Check out the nearest one to you in this round-up by The Daily Telegraph.
Snow White interiors
For more snow white interiors, check out my Pinterest board here:
I have inherited a rather pronounced ‘hunter gathering’ gene which in plain English means that I like to shop – actually, really rather a lot! If you are a retail buyer or someone who frequents car boot sales or jumble sales or just generally enjoys this kind of ‘sport’ then you will know exactly where I am coming from …
At the beginning of the 1970s, a particularly ‘domestic’ revolution was taking place, this wasn’t the ‘Chuck Out Your Chintz’ advertising campaign (as extolled by Swedish furniture giant, IKEA) – that came later. Households up and down the country were, in fact, joyfully ditching blankets, eiderdowns and flat sheets – breaking free from the chains of endless bed making and the ironing that entailed…