I had the pleasure of being asked to style this month’s Style Steal for Elle Decoration magazine as part of their 25 year anniversary celebration. My brief was to scour the major brands from the British high street for the best 100 finds under £100 and to celebrate accessible, affordable and stylish products for our homes in a unified photo story. We all need a fix of newness in our home every now and again and most of the time practicality calls, but sometimes a new piece of beautiful crockery, some storage, a cushion or new light can give our home a lift especially when they don’t break the bank.
I shot with the talented Danish interiors photographer Heidi Lerkenfeldt who flew over to shoot the story especially for Elle Deco.
I divided the story into, shelving, kitchen/dining, living/study, bedroom and bathroom over 9 pages and found lots of great products that belie their super value.
I am excited to tell you that the baubles I designed last Christmas are available to buy exclusively at Not On The High Street.com. Made by The Letteroom, they are available in neon pink and neon yellow/green with sequins or snowflakes inside and you can have the message customised to something personal to you, or give them as a gift to a friend or loved ones with their name added. It’s up to you. And if you choose the right message I think these would look perfect hanging up all year round!
As seen on TV! The baubles also appear in the fab NOTHS Christmas TV advertising campaigns too, which was a lovely surprise, as well as on the cover of their Christmas catalogue. There’s a twinkle in the air and everything’s more interesting…
If you prefer a more traditional Christmas colour scheme I also designed the red and white version below. These are also available at Not On The High Street as well as directly from The Letteroom (whose Christmas catalogue I styled). This one is filled with paper snowflakes and you can choose personalised tape or a written tag with your very own unique message.
We will be putting up our Christmas decorations this weekend, something the whole family gets involved with. My children love pulling the baubles and lights out of the storage box and hanging them on the tree and we all smile as the lights get switched on for the first time.
Christmas is coming and I hope you have a wonderful time. x
After Chelsea flower show last week and all the floral fringe events that have been happening in London, I wanted to show you the six page story I shot with photographer Uli Schade for the June issue Elle Decoration magazine which is out now. We shot my flower-themed interior story early this year at Julia Bostock‘s beautiful new skyrooms location in Sussex. The room sets were simple, with what I call a Japanavian or Scandanese feel – I know, I made the words up! But I love how these two wonderful design aesthetics can be visually combined.
This issue preview video gives a peak into the magazine:
Japanese and Scandinavian are two of my favourite design styles. I think I am naturally drawn to this style of furniture, beautifully made in natural and tactile materials, light, classic and simple furniture accessorised with graphic, hand-crafted ceramics.
There are so many people involved in a shoot like this and to mention just a few; textile artist Debbie Smyth made a beautiful, threaded floral picture especially for the shoot, Libby from local Ipswich florist Myrtle & Mint came along and helped me with the flowers, Polly Ord who assisted me and of course all the shops and designers that lent me their products. They are all listed in the magazine but if you would like to know about any specific items do leave a comment on this post and I’ll add their details.
I wanted to add some unique and handmade touches that readers can make themselves at home. These included silk flowers dipped into plaster of Paris, Cole & Son wallpaper cut out and reconfigured on the walls, floral canvases and spraying hydrangeas with yellow fluorescent paint plus a favourite of mine: wrapping vases with fabric and leather.
I will be adding these photos to my folio gallery soon but you can pick up a copy in newsagents now before the July issue comes out.
I can’t quite believe my blog is two years old today. Like a child, its personality is developing and growing and I still feel like a toddler amongst the blogging community.
Thank you to all of you who stop by and read my posts and for the wonderful support I have been given. I have met some really lovely people through blogging in the last couple of years, online and then in person, and for that I am truly grateful.
We have been planning and looking forward to this family adventure for well over a year. When good friends told us that they was moving to Sydney from London, rather than being sad that we were losing them to the other side of the world, we decided to embrace the fact and plan a visit to see them. The time is fast approaching and we will be there soon. I visited Sydney many years ago and love its cafe and beach lifestyle. I am excited by the art, craft and interiors scene in Australia and hope to be able to explore the city and visit some of the places I have been viewing from afar. We will also be exploring up the eastern coast and stopping in Singapore on the way home for some more cultural inspiration. I am sure I will take lots of photos to share when I return.
If you have any recommendations of places to see and things to do please leave a comment!
It has been a busy time here with work and family. Following a couple of shoots for Waitrose recently, I have been prepping for next week’s shoot for Karen Gilbert’s new perfume book with CICO Books (I styled Karen’s last book which you can see here) as well as planning other upcoming projects. I have also been working on updating my portfolio and this website and have started a photography evening course to improve my technical ability, which is really fun and the technical aspects are falling into place. We also have a big, exciting family holiday adventure coming up soon, so lots of organising involved with that too!
I thought I would share some pictures I took of my home for a post on Holly Becker’s Decor8 blog. Holly is interviewing some of the homeowners that feature in her new book Decorate Workshop in a series called ‘Snapshots of home’ and I was happy Holly asked me. If you’ve not seen it head over to read the full interview on Decor8 here. Holly’s new book is a great resource for tips and techniques to decorate you home. It is packed full of exciting visual reference to inspire anyone who needs a point in the right direction. It is also practical with guidance and advice to help the reader through every step of a decorating project. Holly explains all about her book here.
If you want to know more about these photos and where they are taken in my home, I talk about them in the Decor8 post.
We’ve started planning our own re-decorating project too. After seven years with small children our family home needs a refresh so I’ve been looking at paint colours, floor finishes, sofas, coffee tables, fabrics… the list goes on!
I hope Spring has sprung in your part of the world. We are still waiting for its arrival in a rather chilly, blustery England… though at least the sun has appeared after what seems like weeks of grey skies.
I was recently interviewed by journalist Jennifer Gaskin for the new February issue of Making magazine as part of their ‘Meet the makers’ series. Jennifer popped over to my home one chilly winter’s day and, over a cup of coffee and biscuits at my kitchen table, asked me a series of questions. She made me feel very comfortable and the article is really lovely – thank you Jennifer!
I had the pleasure of being asked by Grazia magazine’s Rachel Loos to be part of their Christmas special, in a feature on their favourite bloggers’ crafty Christmas ideas. I was asked if I could come up with and create a bauble idea and, as is my way, I created lots of variations of the same idea for the photo shoot and thought I would share them with you. I worked with photographer Chris Tubbs on the shoot for the magazine but I also I took a few snaps at home that you can see below, they are so easy to make why not give them a go yourself?
As it was Grazia, I wanted to break away from the traditional Christmas colours and give my baubles a fashion edge as well as a seasonal feel. Using basic plain glass baubles as my starting point I combined disco sparkle in the form of glitter and sequins in silvers and greys, with Pop-inspired fluorescent neon paint and ribbon made from strips of some of my favourite fashion fabrics by Liberty. In others I tipped tiny beads topped by ribbon from VV Rouleaux and applied embossed black and white messages giving them a kind of disco/80s/punky feel.
The Dymo message tape and labelmakers can be bought from places like WH Smiths and is a fun way of encorporating messages on all sorts of things like labels for jam jars of collected treasures or name tags on gifts.
I was quoted in Grazia saying “I like taking something plain and giving it a twist” and that is really my approach to making and creating as well as for interiors and styling.
The great thing about making your own decorations is you can choose colour combinations that work with your Christmas theme and interior style, and change things around each year if you wish. With plain glass baubles you can use whatever beads, sequins and ribbons you have to create unique and personal decorations that will catch your guests’ eyes when they visit over the festive holidays.
I had the pleasure of having photographer Akemi Kurosaka and writer Miyuki Sakamoto from Madame Figaro magazine in Japan pop over one day a couple of months ago to interview me and photograph the house. Along with another team they were photographing homes in London and Paris for this special issue.
It was a pleasure having them here and as always, it is interesting to see what they pick up and photograph in the house. This time my collection of rulers were spotted along my studio window sill and different views of the rooms were shot. And although I can’t understand any of the writing (I will ask a Japanese-speaking friend to translate!) it is really interesting seeing another country’s visual view on fashion, food (sushi is one of my favourites) and the photographic style and illustrations.
Madame Figaro is a high-circulation Japanese glossy lifestyle magazine with sections on fashion, interiors and food. It’s an international edition of the French Madame Figaro magazine.
I love to look at foreign magazines and buy them whenever I’m abroad and I came back with a copy of this magazine several years ago when I visited Japan for work. So it was with joy that I opened the package that fell through the letter box with a copy enclosed featuring my home and I.
It just reminds me I would love to visit Japan again soon, I’ll have to start saving my pennies.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be on summer holiday with my husband and children in Croatia, in our family’s little holiday home by the sea. It is a special place that I love and have been to since I was a child. We have spent the last couple of years putting our stamp on it with a lick of paint and a few small home improvements and it is now a joy to visit (you can see and read about it on a previous post here). I am looking forward to the sea, beautiful weather (fingers crossed), delicious food, reading books and relaxing with my family. There is minimal phone reception and no internet connection at the house so checking email means a half day trip to the ice cream parlour in the town, so I will switch off and relax. I’m sure things will inspire me while I am away, as they always do, which I will share with you on my return.
I hope the sun is shining where you are too. Happy holidays.
Phew, it’s been busy! Work seems to have taken over my life over the past few months so I thought I would share a little update of what I have been up to. It has been a case of head down, work hard and any free time spent with my family. I feel my blog, emails, twitter and facebook have all had to take a back seat as there just aren’t enough hours in the day. My apologies to those of you I haven’t responded to, it has been on my conscience. The children are now on their school holidays though and so am I! I made a decision not to take on commercial shoots during school holidays while they are young so we can enjoy being a family.
So what has been keeping me busy? Prepping and styling for lots of projects and new clients. Being a stylist means preparation is key – sourcing, selecting, calling in, location finding, drafting image layouts and making bespoke elements which I like to do to add a personal touch, can take much more time than the shoot days themselves. It all began in February when I went in to see the Elle Decoration team to come up with a new six page story for the magazine. We shot it in March and last week I saw the draft page layouts which look wonderful. I’ll be able to share this with you in September when the October issue hits the stores.
At the same time I worked with an award-winning architectural practice as an interior styling and design consultant on a large member’s club and spa in a very smart part of London, sourcing and selecting furniture choices and putting together the overall colour schemes and fabric choices for this exciting project. It is due to open at the end of the Summer and I hope we will have some images to share.
I have also worked on several different shoots for the lovely team at not on the high street.com, including their father’s day catalogue, and also an eight day shoot for Waitrose, styling the images for their autumn/winter flower and plant range which was a joy to work on. I slipped in the little shoot at home with Remodelista and recently took Decor8‘s Blogging Your Way 2.0 online course which had great tutorials and advice, although with everything else going on I wasn’t able to participate like I would have liked (I will have to do the next one too!)
The biggest project has been working with interiors mail order company Cox & Cox, where between us we have come up with a new look for the imagery in the autumn/winter catalogue. This was three weeks of shooting spread out over three months including the last eight days away on location, and involved a large amount of preparation and making for the shoots and then styling with the photographer and art director to help give it its new look. We have lots of gorgeous images which I will share when they are released.
I almost forgot that amongst all of these projects my new book was released, I held the launch event at Liberty, which was such a special day, and made a video of how to make the floral headband with the Liberty team. Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy so far and those who have reviewed and blogged about it, it is really appreciated. A big thank you also goes to Mollie Makes magazine who featured the fish bowl mobile project from my new book in issue 15.
It has been so busy and I am always appreciative of the wonderful creative work that I am involved with, but for now I am loving seeing my children properly again, catching up online and am really looking forward to my annual summer trip to Croatia next month. I can’t wait.
I have a few blog posts planned before I go away which I am looking forward to sharing with you. Thank you for stopping by.
It has been so busy lately with work that this almost slipped me by: it was one year ago yesterday that I posted my first blog post! It seems an eternity ago and like it was only yesterday all at the same time! It was my friends Holly and Leslie who talked me into starting a blog while we were working on the Decorate book launch and I really didn’t think I would get such an amazing response to my little ramblings nor that quite so many people would pop by to spend a few minutes at my corner of the inter web. Almost 100 posts later and it’s one year on already, it has flown by so fast. I took these quick snaps of the number one on one of my vintage surveyors’ staffs this evening before the light disappeared.
I will be able to share some of the styling projects I have been working on as and when they are published over the next few months but, with the book launch too, I haven’t had much free-time for a while. I have lots of blog posts planned and photos taken and stored up and will get back to posting more often as soon as I can.
It has been an amazing, crazy, fun, hectic and creatively rewarding twelve months. A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who has visited my blog over the last year, especially to those who have commented on my posts (they really mean a lot!), said hi on my Facebook page and on Twitter and to those who have bought my new book. Thank you.
This is a little place to share my work and the things that I love: interior styling and flea market finds; homemade and handmade; celebrating the old and embracing the new; creativity, family and fun.
These are the things I believe make your house a home.
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This blog is only my personal opinion. I try to be as accurate as I can but if you do try any projects, tips or ideas from this blog at home I can't be held responsible for the outcome I'm afraid!