May 18, 2011 in vintage finds
I’ve always been a fan of objects with history that have been well used and well loved, I think it gives them character and soul. I love antique fairs and junk shops and always stop in if I pass a jumble sale sign outside a village hall. Above all though, I LOVE car boot sales and for the last year I’ve been posting photos of my car boot booty every month on my Homemade Home Facebook page.
Here is a selection of my favourite recent secondhand finds, all bought for just a few pounds and even pence in some cases. Have a look on Facebook for more images.
You can always find all sorts of things that can be upcycled and given a new lease of life, or just displayed in an interesting way. And the great thing is that it’s unlikely anyone else will have something quite the same in their home and you won’t see them on every high street shop shelf.
I am usually on the look out for things to incorporate into projects, re-vamp, use as props in photo shoots or just to display. Things like old board games and playing cards, wooden boxes, signs, buttons, fabrics, tools, vintage toys, keys, paintings and embroideries. Anything that catches my eye.
For anyone outside the UK, a car boot (or ‘trunk’ in the US I think) sale is like a giant flea market or swap meet, usually in a field or school playground, where people drive in and sell their old unwanted things from the back of their cars at cheap prices.
I am very lucky as my local one is brilliant and gets antique dealers selling old stock as well as householders. I think I’m addicted – I must be to jump out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning to get there before the crowds start to arrive!
I will be posting photos of my vintage finds each month and later on today I’ll share a little idea for a gift that was inspired by a flea market find, so do pop back.
May 17, 2011 in news
Wow, what an amazing start to my new blog! I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone for joining me from the very beginning here, as well as those on Facebook and Twitter, and for all your wonderful messages of support and for making me feel so welcome.
It’s funny, as I was reading Holly’s posts last night she had described all the Liberty projects as perfect ideas to make when you throw a party. Well, starting this blog felt a bit like throwing a party. I put lots of effort in, styled it all up and wrote and photographed some posts ready for my guests. I then invited a few friends over and hoped they’d turn up. I was nervous, do you ever feel like that? What if no one comes?!
And, of course, then the doorbell rings and everyone starts arriving and you have a wonderful time! This morning it feels as if I have just had that party, danced all night, had a wonderful time and made lots of new friends. Thank you all so much.
An especially big thank you goes to my lovely friend Holly Becker. I had no idea she was going to post so much of our Liberty makes yesterday and it was such a lovely surprise. I woke up with a big smile on my face this morning. It is all SO exciting. Thank you Holly xo
I’m going to do my best to post a few times each week, as I juggle being a mum of two little ones and working too. I’m sure a lot of you know what that is like and how busy life can be.
Thank you all again and do pop by tomorrow for a couple of new posts!
PS I took this photo for you this morning in the kitchen, while my children were having breakfast. Flea market playing cards, a flower from the garden and my holy grail of beach combing – a heart shaped pebble. As I write in my book “become a magpie” and you will always have lots of lovely things to be creative with. See you soon for more creativity.
Here is a quick and simple idea to glamourise an ordinary clear glass vase.
My daughter and I had picked some flowers from the garden and I was looking for a vase to display them in. I had this old circular glass vase in the cupboard (I think it’s Ikea) and thought it would be perfect for this idea I had.
I simply tipped a bag of silver plastic sequins into the empty vase using a funnel and then topped the vase up with water. Some sequins floated and some sank and then I just popped in a bright red rose and voila, instant glam! If you want a more delicate look simply choose an appropriate bloom.
I was inspired by a couple of vintage mirror balls I bought from a flea market which, when the sun shines in to the room at a certain time of day, reflect little sparkles all around. If you try this idea at home, see if you can position it so that the sunlight can reflect off the sequins for an added sparkly effect.
Once the flower has faded you can use a sieve to catch the sequins when you tip the water away. Give them a rinse and leave to dry and you can use them again.
It’s a very simple idea that has a bit of eye-catching wow factor. So which way would you go – glamorous or delicate?
What a glorious wedding day, it makes me proud to be a Londoner on days like this. It was a day to remember and I’m glad I shared it with family and friends.
I loved the dress and the exquisite embroidery, loved the trees in the Abbey, loved the Spring flowers. Simple, classic and elegant. I loved the getaway car too though I think Prince Harry may have over-accessorised it a little!
We’ll be seeing the styling influences of the wedding winding their way into fashion and trends for a while I think.
Liberty has been trading since 1875 and, as a textiles, craft and interiors girl, it is one of my most favourite shops in the world. I’ve been a regular visitor since I was a teenager and living in London means I find any excuse to pop in there regularly!
So imagine my excitement when I was asked by my lovely friend Holly Becker to be part of a styling demo for the launch of her new book Decorate… at Liberty! You can read the highlights of how Holly, Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint and I went a little Liberty crazy over at Decor8.
When we started brainstorming ideas for this dining table setting, one of things I said to Holly and Leslie was that we needed to “think catwalk”. We didn’t need to think about it being a realistic, practical table setting as it was a styling demo – it needed to be eye catching, creative and inspiring.
Liberty has a very British design aesthetic. It is classic with a twist, elegant and a little bit eccentric. So we wanted our table to be a bit quirky too, a little bit bonkers – but in a good way. It needed to be Decor8 x Liberty. I think we achieved it, do you?
We knew we wouldn’t be able to have a working bulb so we used a little mirror ball!
We made each place setting unique!
It was so much fun to collaborate with Holly and Leslie (they are both as lovely as they come across on their blogs) and the Liberty team were brilliant too. I met so many great people that afternoon (and well into the evening!). If you came along I do hope you enjoyed the demo!
I wish Holly and Joanna Copestick the very best success for Decorate!
P.S. Thank you to my wonderful assistant Polly Ord for helping make and to set up the table and to my husband for taking these photos while I was busy chatting away!!
May 16, 2011 in news
This is my very first blog post!
The response to my book over the last twelve months has been much greater than I had ever thought possible. I had been so caught up in writing, making and shooting it that I honestly hadn’t realised how the internet would mean I would be able to see everyone’s responses so immediately, and from all over the world too. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all those who have bought it, reviewed it and supported me along the way and made this year so special.
This blog is where I will share what I’m working on, my styling ideas, making projects and give you a window into my home. I will be posting regularly so do pop by to see what’s new.
If there is anything you would like to see or hear about do let me know! I would love to hear your comments.
Thank you for visiting and happy making.
Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 18 years, and is known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for top architecture practices and property development companies. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.
To enquire about commissioning Sania for commercial or editorial projects, please use the contact form.