Archive for March 2014

scale and tate

March 30, 2014  in inspiring places, my london

Turbine Hall details at Tate Modern by Sania PellWindow in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern by Sania PellDetails at Tate Modern by Sania Pell

The Tate Modern gallery is one of my favourite places to visit. I am not alone in thinking this as it is the second most popular musuem attraction in the UK after the British Museum and the 4th most visited art museum in the world. Five million people visit it every year. Not only is the art it houses world class, its industrial architecture is stunning too. The galleries are housed in the former Bankside Power Station and the scale of the Turbine Hall is awe inspiring and the views from the sixth floor overlooking the Thames, St Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline are breathtaking.

Concrete floor detail at Tate Modern by Sania PellConcrete floor detail at Tate Modern by Sania PellTate Modern by Sania PellConcrete floor detail at Tate Modern by Sania Pell

The enormity of the building and the views from the upper floors looking downward to the Turbine Hall floor captured my imagination. I photographed the concrete to lose its sense of scale and confuse the eye, making the people below seem like ants at my feet. A fun photographic trip to Lilliput.

If you live close enough to make regular visits, annual Tate membership is brilliant value as you can access all the big name exhibitions for free, the members’ cafe and get discount at the great shop. We’re looking forward to returning soon for the Matisse Cut-outs show which opens on 17th April. Can’t wait!


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new book: decorate with flowers

March 13, 2014  in books, flowers

Decorate with flowers – Photo by Sania Pell

Today I’m featuring a new book written by friends Holly Becker and Leslie ShewringDecorate with Flowers – creative ideas for Flowers and containers around the home, as part of  the UK blog book tour.

Books started my friendship with Holly four years ago after she wrote the sweetest review of my first book The Homemade Home and I emailed to thank her. We kept in touch and met for a drink a few months later when she was in London. A year or so later I helped Holly with the London launch of her first book – Decorate. That is where I first met Leslie and we, and our respective husbands, had lots of fun for a few days in London – they are the ones who talked me into starting this blog! So as books have featured so importantly in connecting our lives it seems fitting to post about their lovely new book and congratulate Holly and Leslie on the fruits of their collaboration.

Decorate With Flowers book by Holly Becker and Leslie Shewring - photo by Sania Pell

Decorate With Flowers is packed with images, ideas and useful information and tips to keep your home full of life and scent with the addition of flowers. It really reflects Holly and Leslie’s personal styles and their love for flowers, craft and decorating – it is bright, light, fresh, colourful and pretty.

The book is divided into sections to suit different interior styles, such as happy brights, neutral pop and girly glam and has a craft section in each chapter showing you how to upcycle vessels for displaying flowers. There are pages showing you how to create large flower arrangements in easy-to-follow steps, so you too can create a large impressive centerpiece, but really what shows through is a love of flowers from both of them. They mix shop bought with sprigs snipped from the garden, showing you that you can bring flowers into any space with any budget.  

The book itself is also well designed on tactile, uncoated paper and there is always something new to grab your eye as you flick through.

Decorate with flowers book – Photo by Sania Pell

You can see lots of colourful photos and spreads from the book over on the Decorate With Flowers website.

The chapter that appeals most to my own interior design aesthetic and the way I live, is chapter 8 – Black & White. I photographed some of the pages to show here.

From Decorate With Flowers book - photo by Sania Pell

In this section Leslie and Holly present graphic and organic schemes influenced by Scandinavian style. Black and white interiors with flowers and foliage in whites and creams with greens and touches of yellow and deep purples.

Inside Decorate With Flowers book - photo by Sania Pell

Inside Decorate with flowers book -  Photo by Sania Pell

Inside Decorate with flowers book -  Photo by Sania Pell

Decorate with flowers – Photo by Sania Pell

One of my favourite projects is the graphic stamped bags, seen above.

After reading through the book I couldn’t help but nip outside to add a few cuttings from my own garden to my photos, all in the spirit of the book!

Photos by Sania Pell

My husband helped me film a little flick-through video to give you a peek inside, although by coincidence my friend Caroline posted one on Tuesday but I thought I would share this one too as we had already filmed it. Click the settings cog to HD for better quality.


A huge amount of time, thought, love, work and energy goes into creating a book like this with so many photographs, ideas, projects and information and my congratulations go to Holly and Leslie for producing a lovely book they can be really proud of.



Decorate With Flowers is available from March 21st. You can order now at Amazon or for more details on where else, when and how to purchase, click here.


See more floral posts here.


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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. 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.

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