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:
Before you throw another log on the fire (I jest – as I am hoping the weather is now firmly Summer-bound!) the worlds of UK interior design and publishing have everything you need to bring the turquoise shores and warmth of Mediterranean sun into your home. No passport required, no need to practise your Brexit queuing techniques at immigration…
*Orange, often associated with 70s style interiors, is taking on an altogether sophisticated warmth this Autumn in a perfectly balanced partnership with cool slate greys. From linens to wallpapers to lighting and paint there are some really refreshing new interior designs. It is a colour combination which will ensure that your room is as cosy as you wish it to be in winter and has all the necessary vibrancy and light for summer living too.
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.
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:
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…
You may think that the hottest ticket in town this Summer is a ticket for the main stage at the Reading Festival – but that’s maybe where you are wrong. It is, in fact, a parking place for a visit to Reading’s long awaited and newly opened IKEA store. Oh yes … If you are lucky enough to bag that parking place and make it through the entrance hall and up to the restaurant, if I am honest, securing a table next to an ‘A lister’ at The Ivy would be more achievable right now than enjoying your plate of meatballs at Reading IKEA. It is super busy!