Move over Washington, you ain’t seen nothing ’til you’ve had a peek at the Christmas decorations at The White House in Reading … ho, ho, oh, no … ’tis the season when stylists have steam coming out of their ears. This year we are creaking open the advent door to reveal Christmas decorating in our house …
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:
If you are channelling your inner **Hygge this Autumn, you may wish to join me in worshipping some beautiful log stores from a maker I discovered on Instagram. These are veritable temples to the humble log, kindling and coal store. The photography features log stores installed in cute cottages to more sizeable Georgian properties on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border (but also supply nationwide).
It’s rare for me as a stylist to get the privilege of working directly with a designer on a shoot, I am normally working with the finished product. I absolutely relish every time I get the opportunity to collaborate with one of the UK’s most talented knitwear designers, Erika Knight. Before I show you the finished photography for these new designs, Erika has kindly agreed to an interview. Continue reading “British Design Edit: Behind the scenes with UK top knitwear designer Erika Knight”
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 …
Calling all Sleeping Beauties …
You may have read my latest post Sleeping Beautifully – How to style your bedroom this Autumn for the best night’s sleep ever zzzzzZZZZ and now a treat is in store as Counting Lambs have very kindly offered one lucky reader of the blog the opportunity to win a luxury silk eye mask with hand painted horse design which retails at £108 …
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…
Turn away now if your school uniform was bottle green and you swore that the colour wouldn’t darken your door again. Every which way you look, the mystical and glamorous combination of green and velvet is, to put it quite simply, ‘big’ for Autumn/Winter 2016 fashion and interiors. Although I put my neck out and made a prediction at the beginning of February with my post on the launch of Farrow and Ball’s Paint Colours 2016 that it might be, even I have been taken aback at the the groundswell of this new direction.
Well before the UK design community had reconsidered Moroccan pattern and encaustic tiles as desirable for the home, Karen Kennedy, owner of Indigo Rye had them up as the surround to her reception desk in her hairdressing salon. Hanging above the desk are a couple of punched metal Moroccan pendent lights from Liberty. Not only that, but Niki-Jones home cushions sit on window seats either side of the front door to the salon and literally scream ‘come inside’ to the passers by of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. At least they do to those of us sensitive to exquisite decorative home accessories … !
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!