design & décor

a garden is not built in a day

October 24, 2014

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i’m not someone who naturally gravitates towards using plants in my home. don’t get me wrong, i really love the idea but my inability to keep another living thing alive more than five minutes means i don’t often think to bring foliage into my decorating scheme.

but the art of using plants to transform you home has become a real ‘thing’ of late. there are so many gorgeous images doing the rounds on the internet at the moment, making use of indoor plants, succulents, driftwood and dried, preserved or artificial flowers in the home that it becomes impossible not to want to recreate a little oasis of greenery in your home. enter garden stylist satoshi kawamoto‘s new book; a delightful guide to decorating your living space with a wide variety of plants.

using his own house as a studio the japanese stylist guides you around each room in his home, presenting many different ways of styling for people who have limited space and who lack the expertise required to grow their own plants (- err, me!). the beautifully illustrated examples are captivating and showcase wonderfully inspiring ways to bring plants into every corner of your home, from small corner spaces to more elaborate wall displays. there is also a section dedicated to using plants in party settings, from a casual supper party to a more dynamic holiday get-together.

just you try and fight the urge to adorn a stepladder with a trillion little succulents after reading this…!

decorating with plants: the art of using plants to transform your home by satoshi kawamoto, published by jacqui small

p.s. i’ve had a lot of fun playing with my new nikon 3200 lately, and honing my photography skills at a jessops academy masterclass. if you’re interested in brushing up on your own dslr skills jessops are very kindly offering fabric of my life readers a £40 discount on their photography level 1 & 2 courses (uk wide). you can book your place for just £79 (usual price £119) by calling 0344 800 4444 and quoting WBWSEPT14 before 31 dec 2014.

design & décor

telling stories

October 23, 2014

  • (C) alice clancy
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i just love hearing about the stories behind design brands and new online shop such & such feel exactly the same way.

their ethos is about showcasing the great designers and makers who produce the unique hand crafted items they stock, and in selecting their range they attach a huge importance to the way that product has been made and it’s impact upon the environment. as brother and sister team alistair & nikki searched for treasures to fill their virtual shelves they met many wonderful designer makers who had inspirational stories to tell, so they decided to dedicate a section of their site to sharing these tales and give their customers that extra special insight into the products they were buying.

from the touching father-daughter relationship behind the beautiful carved wooden wares of herriott grace, to the skilled wood workers in hokkaido producing the light and delicate kami mugs, to the candles made from recycled wine bottle by circle 21, there certainly are plenty of fascinating stories to make this page a welcome bookmark for essential weekend reading!

such & such also have a little east london pop-up shop running this weekend only, so be sure to check it out if you’re in the area: shop 12, old truman brewery, dray walk, e1. 

design & décor


October 21, 2014


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last saturday morning i was invited along to the west elm store on tottenham court road to take part in a little styling challenge organised by judith & igor of urban jungle bloggers and new interiors platform at{mine}.

my fellow bloggers and i were split into 6 styling pairs and each given a little area of the store to work our magic on. i was very happily paired with geraldine from little big bell, who shares my love of vibrant hues and geometric patterns, making it a match made in heaven! we naturally decided to give our plain little white bedroom corner a much needed injection of sunny yellow to banish the encroaching winter blues and went with a cosy breakfast in bed set-up as a nod to the weekend  lie-in we were missing as a result of being super-busy bloggers with no time at all for such indulgences ourselves (haha).

geraldine summed up our approach perfectly in a soundbite for west elm’s front + main blog: “we’ve balanced yellow with its perfect colour partner teal, and played with textures and layers such as that knitted throw to add the sense of cosy and warmth. we wanted to create a relaxed, lived in feel, hence the reality of crumpled sheets, ruffled bedspread and breakfast in bed (complete with croissant crumbs)! the pillow cases in a contrasting colour palette are a pleasant surprise of how polka dots and stripes can combine so well. as we love how west elm support local makers we added matt pugh’s wooden owls on our bedside table – we thought why buy one owl, when a pair make such cool bookends?”

like what you see? you can shop the products below & vote for us in the challenge by liking this photo on west elm’s instagram: 

 p.s. i bought the adorable egg cup on a trip to stockholm earlier this year – he’s by lucie kaas. the owl bookends are matt pugh

lust & covet

lust & covet | cosy comforts

October 17, 2014

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if you’re in the uk, you’ll know the weather has really turned in the past week and that brisk autumnal chill is making me covet a nice cosy sunday wrapped up warm in bed, feeding my tendency towards winter hibernation. i’ve plans to catch up on the new season of scandal then re-watch all my favourite films, while indulging in a few too many pots of alpro’s new yummy gingerbread dessert!

what are your weekend plans, my lovelies?

this week i’m coveting: 1. nina kullberg 2. limited edition cork keep cup  3. toast 4. 5. neom organics 6. selfridges 7. the future kept 8. boden

design & décor

perfect shades of grey

October 16, 2014

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i spotted a few of these beautifuly sun-drenched snaps of an berlin apartment over on stylist sarah’s instagram feed a few week ago, and had been waiting with baited breath for her to post the full set of shots over on her blog, cocolapine.

as a long time fan of her blog (and having met her at a vipp styling event earlier this year), i knew sarah’s keen eye for clean, contemporary designs with quirky accents would mean these images could not disappoint – and boy, was i right!

pulling together simple minimalist designs with contrasting curves and tactile texture, sarah has combined pieces from bolia, normann copenhagen, &tradition and muuto to create a space right out of my dreams. i really love the contrast between the vintage dining chairs and muuto visu chair, juxtaposed with the single frama bulb hanging above the table.

that vintage erika typewriter on the desk is also spot on, don’t you agree?

food & travel


October 13, 2014

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waaay back in august i was whisked away for a wonderful weekend in ghent by the lovely folk at alpro, to experience the final night of their month-long residency at a fab little pop-up restaurant in the city.

along with fellow ambassadors coralie and carole, we begun our alpro adventures getting a little more closely acquainted with the city that houses their headquarters, taking to the water to view the city in the most traditional way; by boat. located in the flemish region of belgium, ghent grew up on the confluence of the rivers scheldt and leie and was one of the largest and richest cities in northern europe during the middle ages. as the graslei is one of the most scenic places in ghent’s old city centre our tour of the waterways started there, in the most comedic of fashions.

from the brilliant blue skies overhead as we stepped aboard our vessel, to a sudden torrential downpour that ended almost as soon as it begun, to another out-of-the-literally clear blue skies deluge which had us clinging to shelter under a little footbridge, we certainly had an amusing and eventful  introduction to the city!

Continue Reading…

design & décor

more pipe dreams

October 8, 2014

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i really must stop browsing gothenberg estate agent stadshem’s website. all it ever does is fill me with grandiose ideas of what i’d like my future flat to be, when in reality such wonderful visions could never be realised whilst i remain living in london. take this stunning little light & airy one-bed. complete with a little corner perfect for setting up a workspace and a subway-tiled corner kitchen that would inspire the chef in me to come out to play more it is an absolute dream, but finding a little space like this to call home in my city is wildly out of my budget unfortunately.

still, there is plenty of interiors inspiration to be taken from it regardless. that lovely work area is reaffirming my love of string shelving, while the shaggy sheepskin rugs and striped monochrome blanket on the bed are helping to ease me into the winter months with their cosiness. i’m also loving the addition of a few choice mid-century modern touches, such as that imposing sideboard in the lounge cluttered with a stylish disarray of curated props, and the duo of walnut lounge chairs that help break up the white colour to prevent it being too wishy-washy.

what do you think, would you like to live in a flat like this?

design & décor

my smug shelf

October 6, 2014

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yesterday i was invited along by lovely blogger/stylist tiffany of curate & display to a blogger brunch and styling session at my favourite islington haunt, smug. being greeted with a cup of steaming black coffee and told that i have free rein to run amok and style up a storm in such a treasure trove of quirky delights is my kind of sunday morning activity (when i’m not nursing a hangover from the night before – then i’m all about the pancakes in bed). so, like a kid in a candy store, i set about pulling together the most citrus-hued products i could find to style up my very own #smugshelfie (see what they did there? hehe)

if you’ve ever visited lizzie evan’s lifestyle emporium on camden passage you’ll know how difficult a task it is to pull together just two shelves of goodies to style, but in the 30 minutes of allotted style time i was able to create the little vignette above, which i’m pretty darn happy with. what do you guys think; is it worth the self-awarded certificate of awesome i’ve included?

on my smug shelf: rifle paper co. journals, ruled letter opener by izola, lemons to lemonade print,  vintage steel scissors, ballpoint pens, green moss candle by izola, scholten & baijings ceramics, long john vase by lenneke wispelwey, card wallet by charlotte filshie, le cahier notebook & certificate of awesome notecard.

SMUG, 13 camden passage, islington, n1 

design & décor

demanding simplicity

October 2, 2014

created by ronan and erwan bouroullec, the new ruutu vase for iittala might be simple in shape but each one is a simplified masterpiece, taking seven craftsmen 24 hours to produce in the glass factory – wow!

meaning diamond or square in finnish, ruuto is a collection of 10 vases in differing sizes and colourways which when displayed as a collection, allow both the strength and delicate nature of glass to come  to life. “it is fascinating to struggle with a living material,” says glass blower tapani viljamaa. “glass is a material that does not forget if you do not treat it well. it has a memory.”

“we were seeking to express the purity of glass-blowing in this simple diamond shape,” explain the bouroullec brothers. “glass is a material that likes round shapes. when hot it flows like honey and does not like to be pulled into a very precise geometric shape. by developing the strict shape we are reaching the limits of the material, and using the highest level of the iittala glass-blowing expertise.”