TOP 5… Christmas Decor DIYs

The countdown is ON… 5 days to go until Christmas day! I’ve finally had a bit of time to sit back a bit more and focus on my own Christmas gift shopping and festive plans. Like every year does, it has crept up so fast hasn’t it?! Somehow I’m always caught out by it though, time’s running a little short for decorating the house now but if you perhaps have lots of guests coming on the big day it seems worth putting in the extra effort to add some handmade finishing touches to the house this week. I think half of the joy is in the making anyway, always gets me in the Christmas spirit of things! So here are my TOP 5 Christmas decor ideas all of which you can make yourself just in time for Christmas!

Gingerbread Decorations

1. Hanging Gingerbread Biscuits – Love this example in a Scandinavian kitchen where the biscuits have been strung onto a tree branch giving them an extra rustic twist. If you’re after a good gingerbread recipe, this one sounds like a winner to me.

Candle Holders

2. Candle Votives – Love the warm glow of a collection of tea-lights all clustered together like this. This display is extra festive with pinecones and reindeer scattered amongst them. There are some lovely glass votives available on Not On The High Street.

Handmade Paper Garlands

3. Paper Garlands – So simples and easy to do, I think decorations like these add a lovely extra cheer to the house hung across mantelpieces or doorways. The gold paper is ideal for Christmas and I love the idea of using mistletoe or moon shapes like these. You can actually buy the moon phases garland but I reckon it’d be super easy to make your own!

Handmade Christmas Crackers

4. Handmade Christmas Crackers – This one is a bit more hard work but if you’ve got some extra time off and want to include your own prizes inside than it’s a great little project. In this example they’ve used this gorgeous vintage pattern design and drawn on gold edges. Just beautiful!

Rosemary Wreath Place Cards

5. Wreath Place Cards – I love the natural, rustic style of these. If you’ve got lots of people coming over place names are probably needed so why not make a feature of them?! Really easy to do with this tutorial.

So that’s all 5 of my top Christmas DIY decor ideas for you! All things which can hopefully be done without too much fuss at the last minute. Thank you so much to each and every Sky Siouki customer that has bought a Christmas gift from me this year and I hope all of the recipients love what you’ve got them! A very Merry Christmas!! Love Sky x

 

INTERIORS INSPO – Keeping it Cosy

It feels like Winter is making it’s approach in full force this week. Definitely time to get the blankets, hot water bottles, big scarves and extra large mugs out! But at least it’s an excuse to give the house a little seasonal makeover to keep you cosy throughout the next few months so I thought I’d seek out a few of the best cosy living spaces I could find on good old Pinterest and share some ideas on how to give your home some rustic, homely vibes.

Modern Meets Rustic

Cosy Fireplace

WOOD: These homes have a wonderful modern rustic feel with their use of natural wooden floorboards, painted wood wall panels, indoor plants and antique fireplaces complete with vintage armchairs alongside. The addition of a few big logs in the fireplace or a basket full of kindling ready to get that fire roaring really completes the look. Love the ceiling high bookcases here too, somehow lots of books seem to make a home feel extra cosy, perhaps because they tell more of a story about the people who live there.

Velvet Sofa

VELVET: As far as I’m concerned, nothing feels quite as amazingly soft as velvet does. I’m such a sucker for velvet sofas and cushions. You can bet you’ll be comfortable on a sofa like this one plus it look so effortlessly glamourous.

Scandinavian Living Room

RUGS & THROWS: This Scandinavian style living space is made to feel cosy with it’s big high pile rug, sheepskin throws and candle collection on the coffee table. Candlelight in the evening always adds a wonderful warm glow to a room on a cold night and it really does add heat too. Even the deer skull on the wall here adds to the rustic Winter style perfectly.Earthy ColoursEARTHY COLOURS: Colour is so important to the mood of a room. Although I love the pure style of Scandinavian homes I do find it can be a little too much white sometimes. This home shows how more dusky and earthy colours can create warmth in a space and works especially well when paired with antique furniture and textiles. A nice big Persian rug is ideal to create this look. Even if you’d rather keep the walls light it’s easy to bring in a bit more earthy depth using cushions and painted furniture instead. My fave colour choices are dark mauve, rusty orange and dusky rose pink.

Happy decorating and stay warm! I’ll be launching my new product collection this Friday, Nov 11th, so keep your eyes peeled and read all about the making of in next week’s post!

TOP 5… Autumnal items your house needs!

I have to admit I don’t much enjoy the cold weather approaching when Autumn comes along but something I do love about the season is chunky knits and beautiful earthy colours. Nothing beats feeling cosy inside wrapping up with a hot cuppa when it’s all chilly and windy outside. So I’ve created a top five list of homewares in celebration of beautiful Autumnal colour and staying warm!

Jade Green Short Coffee Cup

1.  Jade Green Short Coffee Cup – Clearly you’re going to need a gorgeous mug like this hand-thrown terracotta one from Decorator’s Notebook for all those cups of hot cocoa. Absolutely love the aqua colour!

Globe Table Light

2. Globe Table Light – This stunning lamp from Holly’s House would fill any room with a lovely warm glow with it’s impressive orb like glass globe surrounding the lightbulb. Love the carved wooden base as well making the product feel natural and solid.

Mustard Yellow Digby Throw

3. Mustard Yellow Digby Throw – Nothing quite screams comfort like Lauren Aston‘s incredible super-sized knits. Knitted by hand using giant knitting needles this blanket is truly special and the merino wool in this stunning mustard yellow colour will surely keep you cosy on cold nights.

Grey Linen Bedding

4. Grey Linen Bedding – I’ve been allover linen bedding all year really if I’m honest but the soft natural feel brings extra comfort in the colder months and the faded natural colours available from Zara Home are absolutely perfect for that Autumn style.

Hand Tufted Trellis Rug

5. Hand-Tufted Trellis Rug – Alright, I know I probably feature Anthropologie in practically every TOP 5 feature but it’s just really really hard not to! This soft tufty rug with it’s gorgeous contrasts of ochre against navy and dusky pink is such a treat for the eyes and looks super comfy to roll about on to.

TOP 5… Botanical Fabrics

Since Spring is finally approaching, this month I’m featuring five plant themed prints for the home. I’ve gotten very into botanical studies of late and think there’s a lot to be admired in the beautiful variety of leaf shapes and sizes as well as just pretty florals. Botanical prints are really on trend right now and I’m enjoying the range of fabrics featuring delicately illustrated plants that’s about at the moment. I’ve featured interior fabrics since that’s my speciality but I have to say they are some gorgeous fashion prints about too. Here are my Top 5 leafy fabrics for the home…

1. Woodland Ferns by Sanderson

Love the drama of this colourway although if it’s a bit too dark for you it is also available in paler hues. The black really brings out all the intricate details of the leaves though and would look great used to furnish seats of dining table chairs or stools.

Sanderson

 

2. Foliage by Shelley Steer

I love this designer’s style. You should also check out the cactus print she did for Australian brand Sanctuary Boutique Linens – gorgeous! Palm prints are so big right now, especially love the mix of dark green over pale peach pink here too.

Shelley Steer

 

3. Jindai by Designers Guild

Quite similar to the Sanderson design but with a slightly more handprinted feel, I love the variety of shapes and textures used here. It is available in other colours but I think the monochrome has a lovely simplicity.

Designers Guild

 

4. Mathilda by Abigail Borg

A bit more of a quirky, graphic print in Abigail Borg’s classic illustrated style. I love her use of line and all the delicate detail within this print. The black and white over a bright colour creates a stunning contrast. This one also comes in other colours.

Abigail Borg

 

5. Topical Tropical by Timorous Beasties

This one is much more of a statement print but what an incredible burst of colour and energy. The amount of detail in Timorous Beasties’ prints never ceases to amaze me, I love the contrast of scale they’ve used in this design. The directional style would be ideal for long drapes.

Timorous Beasties

5 Exciting Twists on Fresh White Bedsheets

Spring is coming! I know it really doesn’t feel that way outside but I swear, it has to get here soon. I feel like giving my home a fresh update at the moment ready for the warmer months and so I’ve been drooling all over the thought of crisp new bedsheets. What with all the printed cushions and quirky home accessories I own I’ve found myself craving something unusually plain however… Which isn’t like me at all but it seems necessary to have some clean white bedsheets to balance out all the pattern and colour everywhere else. I couldn’t ever go full on plain white though because that’s clearly just way too boring so here is my little shortlist of favourite ways I’ve come across to have minimal white bedsheets with an exciting little twist.

1- Subtle Polka Dots

Probably my fave, I just can’t get enough of good ol’ polkas. Love the subtle use of them on these sheets in a pale neutral colour, organically dispersed and fairly small scale. Fun but classy polkas! These were from Urban Outfitters but I’m gutted they’re sold out. Closest I could find available to buy are these available in various colours from Australian brand Feliz. Check out Country Road too.

Gentle Polka Dots

 

2- Pleated

Things just got way classy. Who needs patterns when you can have texture? I have to admit a few years ago I think I would have hated the thought of pleated white bedsheets but styled with some complimentary prints and bird themed wall art this example makes a killer contender. Check out West Elm for some beautiful textural choices like these available in other colours too. These seersucker sheets from Debenhams are also a great option at a very reasonable price.

Pleated

 

3- Ethnic Borders

I love to mix in some cultural style influences in my home. This simplistic Indian inspired pattern works so well used minimally as a border instead of an allover print… and if you can find something embroidered even better. Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie are the masters in this department, like these printed ones for example.

Ethnic Border

 

4- Pom Poms

Much like polka dots, pom poms are a great way to add fun to anything in danger of becoming dull. This is another theme Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie excel at… can you tell I’m a fan? But I did find these very nice and simple pom pom edged covers from Marks & Spencers which come in pink, blue or lilac. Or… you could even make your own à la this amazing tutorial! (Tassels are also great.)

Pom Poms

 

5- Tonal Linen

Probably the most sophisticated of all. Linen and it’s beautiful organic feel will really make your bed look a million bucks. I think linen tends to look best in off whites and greys like this example to compliment it’s very natural aesthetic. The mix of tones here really is divine. Etsy shop, Linen Tales, from Lithuania has a stunning selection of shades on offer, or once again you could try West Elm or Anthropologie. Even H&M and Zara have some gorgeous options, clearly it’s a big trend right now.

Tonal Linen Stonewashed

 

Ok, now I’m seriously lost with which to choose. All of my money is about to be squandered on beautiful bedding. Hope you all enjoy these ideas and find the bedsheets of your dreams too. Sleep tight! x

TOP 5… Alternative Valentine’s Gifts

Only 9 days until Valentine’s Day already and the countdown is on to find a gift for that beautiful lady or man in your life! I think most of the Valentine’s gifts you see out in the shops tend to be pretty soppy and unoriginal so I thought I’d compile a little TOP 5 list of alternative gift ideas for girlfriends that are a bit more interesting than a box of chocolates or a giant teddy.
Speckled Wood_Seaflower

1. Sea Flower Artwork by Speckled Wood (available from Nineteen) £50 – This framed laser etched artwork is really beautiful, and very inexpensive for a piece of original art. I love the subtle variations of tone, this would make a wonderful present if you’re looking to spend a little more this year.
Mirdinara Kitchen_Red Horse Towel

2. Red Horse Tea Towel by Mirdinara Kitchen – $24 – This marvellous horse tea towel design has a suggested love theme with it’s use of red and floral patterns without being too lovey dovey.
Vase 3_Karen Blach Nielson

3. Vase 3 by Karin Blach Nielson (available from Stilleben) DKK. 650,00 – If you’re thinking of buying her flowers why not get her a vase to put them in – something that will last much longer and look beautiful even without flowers in it! This handmade stone vase is one of a kind but there’s a stunning selection of others on the Stilleben website.

iPhone Case_Pelham Goods

4. Litoral Central iPhone Case by Pelham Goods on Etsy £16.95 – Why not go for something a bit more modern and useful! This Etsy shop has a whole array of great phone case designs. I love these cute cacti with pinches of red and pink for a Valentinesy feel.

Rifle Paper Co._Notebooks

5. Everyday Gold Foil Set of Pocket Notebooks by Rifle Paper Co. (available from MoonKo) £8.75 – Or even more useful, there’s always something I could do with an extra notebook for and I’m sure I’m not the only girl that loves to use a notebook that looks pretty on the outside. These foil embossed mini books would make a lovely cute and simple gift for girls who like to keep organised!

TOP 5… Dinner Party Serveware

Only three days until Christmas and then the stuffing of bellies and getting merry can begin! I hope you’ve all got your Christmas shopping done and dusted and are just looking forward to delicious Christmas lunches and seeing family now. I thought that what with all the big dinners and parties that everyone will be having over the festive season that a TOP 5 post dedicated to dinner party serveware would be perfectly apt. I’m such a sucker for pretty dinnerware so was quite happy to have an excuse to ogle gorgeous glassware and ceramics. Plus I mean if you’re going to own lots of lovely kitchen things then what better time to show them off?!

Dinner Party ServewareDinner Party Serveware

From left to right, top to bottom:

1. Granada Juice Glass from Anthropologie, £6 – They may be called juice glasses but I imagine any beverage would look great in these beautiful rose-tinted tumblers be it water, wine or whiskey!

2. ‘Galaxy’ Chawan Bowl by Émilie Pedron from Neëst, €36 – I believe a chawan bowl is technically intended for serving Japanese tea but I love using beautiful small bowls like these to serve sauces or herbs for guests to help themselves from. These have such a wonderful handmade quality about them.

3. Taika Pitcher and Serving Plate by Klaus Haapaniemi from Iittala, €49,90/€89,90 – I’ve been a big Klaus Haapaniemi fan for a while and I honestly can’t imagine ever finding a more beautiful pitcher than this one. You could perhaps use it as a non-traditional gravy boat or for the custard to go on the mince-pies after dinner!

4. ‘Lux’ Chopping Board by Haidee Drew, £50 – This handmade bamboo board is too beautiful to be hidden away in the kitchen, I’d be using it at every given opportunity on the table under hot platters. Haidee has a whole range of designs and sizes available in her Etsy shop.

5. Castile Blue Vine Pattern Spoon Rest from Cats Paw Pottery, $16 – It was difficult choosing just one from all of the lovely variations and colours of these gorgeous Victorian style plates and bowls which are all handmade to order! I love the idea of having an intricate little dish like this for placing serving spoons on.

This will most probably be my last post before Christmas so I hope you have beautifully set dinner tables full of serveware as stunning as the selection here, and a very Merry Christmas too of course! X

6 of the Best DIY Christmas Garlands

We’re well into December already so it’s probably about time to get some pretty bits of festive sparkle up around the house. When it comes to Christmas decorations I personally think natural and understated is the best way to go. Obviously a bit of glitz is always necessary to still create some festive cheer but glitter can certainly still be classy! I love making my own decorations, as you can imagine what with being a creative and all, but there’s also something very fulfilling about making them yourself – I think it’s all part of getting into the Christmas spirit. So I’ve narrowed down some of my favourite nice and simple DIY ideas for Christmas garlands… with a little help from Pinterest. All of these ideas are really quick and easy and won’t cost much at all to make so why not have a go and make your own this season?!

 
Glitter Leaves Garland1. Glitter Leaves Garland – So easy to do but looks super pretty! This tutorial says to use artificial leaves but you could always just collect some fallen autumn leaves from your garden or a nearby park to make it cheaper although they probably wouldn’t last until next year that way.

 

Giant Wooden Star

2. Giant Star with Lights – I love the rustic feel of this one but it makes a great bold statement too. This tutorial explains how you can make one just using some scrap wooden laths from your local garden centre or perhaps the waste recycling centre.

 

Gingerbread Men Chain

3. Gingerbread Man Chain – Think this might be my favourite, nothing to do with it tasting good too of course! However you may end up having to remake them a few times if you’ve got lots of hungry mouths around, but it’s so simple to do anyway and you could try a different shape each time. Why not try angels, hearts or reindeer too!?

 

Sparkly Pine Cones

4. Sparkly Pine Cones – This one could even work just as an autumnal decoration as well as for winter. In this example you can see how to embellish your pine cones with gold leaf but you could alternatively use glitter or even just white paint to create the appearance of snow for an extra Christmassy look.

 

Paper Cut-Out Scene

5. Paper Cut-out Scenes – This one admittedly is a little more complex and requires someone who’s handy with a craft-knife but you can of course make the design as basic or as intricate as you like, and as personal as you like too. I originally saw this idea used as window decal stickers available to buy readymade from Cox & Cox in white which I actually prefer but it’s not exactly DIY. I’m sure you could easily make your own like this though by just getting a white sheet of vinyl decal to cut out from.

 

Paper Snowflakes

6. Super Snowflakes – Last but not least paper cut-out snowflakes are such a timeless classic that when done well can look really chic like these ones pictured. This tutorial shows you such an easy way to make your snowflakes look intricate and 3D. Why not go really big or thread together large and small snowflakes to make them ultra three dimensional?

Happy making and I hope these tips help to make your home look extra festive and cosy this season!

TOP 5… Wildlife Inspired Gifts

Christmas is approaching and there’s nothing I love more than a beautiful wildlife based design so I’ve brought you my five favourites of the moment all available to buy online now! Happy gift hunting and remember you can buy animal themed gifts from Sky Siouki too!

Wildlife Inspired Gifts

1.Birds Night Out Lampshade by Mountain & Molehill £55-£105 – Really love the playful mix of traditional Victorian illustrations with humorous pun names telling a little tale behind each of Mountain & Molehill’s designs.

 

2.Circus Elephant Pocket Pillow by Coral & Tusk $124 – These embroidered cushions are really something special. All of the designs tell an animal based story, lots of which have a novel edge to them such as this circus elephant design with a little pocket for the baby nelly! Cute!

 

3.Wild Masquerade Canape Plate by Florence Balducci for Anthropologie £10 – This hare design is so adorable and so elegant too with it’s monotone palette and delicate fluted edge.

 

4. Colourful Butterfly Leather Keychain by Tovi Sorga £15.58 – There’s something so irresistible about printed leather. This butterfly keyring is really beautiful and would make such a unique gift. I’d definitely recommend checking out Tovi Sorga‘s other products too.

 

5. Badger Pouffe by Orwell and Goode £115 – Love this cute but clever badger design using badger faces to create a pattern. Even the pattern around the edge is inspired by badger markings!

8 Independent Stores for Online Christmas Shopping

It’s mid November and I am beginning to realise I can’t go on ignoring Christmas shopping much longer! I’ve been so focused on making Christmas gifts for other people to buy that I’ve barely thought about buying any myself. I think I’ll be relying on a lot of online shopping this Christmas, but that by no means you can’t still shop independent. I love that the ‘Shop Independent This Christmas’ slogan has become so popular and it’s certainly one I’m backing so I thought I’d compile a list of some of the best online stores I could find to buy beautiful, handcrafted and ethically made gifts. Not only because I’m an independent designer myself, but because you get something so much better quality and more unique when you shop indie.

  1. The Other Duckling – Discovered this one only today via the brilliant Homegirl London blog and love nearly everything they have to offer! They mainly stock vintage things, which is great as it makes it so much easier to find what you’re after than in an actual vintage shop. Hard to choose a favourite, but love this quirky china dog lamp! So kitsch but somehow charming too.

China Dog Lamp

 

2. The Lost Lanes – Admittedly, one of my stockists, but I loved this site before they became a stockist hence why I wanted to sell on there! They’ve recently made it a big part of their ethos to only sell ethically made products by independent UK designers and give details of how each product is made to be ethical with easy to understand symbols. This eco soy candle sounds divine!

Banana Nut Bread Soy Candle

 

3. Decorator’s Notebook – Another one with a strong focus on ethically made products with a beautiful selection of boho style products for the home. I’m so in love with the Indian Kantha quilts they stock, all made using recycled saris by a fairtrade company that helps women who were victims of sex trafficking.

Kantha Quilt

 

4. Eclect Design – Ok, I realise this feature is getting a bit homeware fanatical but I mean what more would you expect from me? There are yet more gorgeous homewares on this website. I LOVE this mug, and anyone who knows me will know it’s because I love deer. May just have to ask Santa for this one myself this year.

Menagerie Deer Mug

 

5. Wolf & Badger – Also with two real-life stores based in London but for those of us who don’t live in London or just prefer to shop from the comfort of our sofas, you can also shop online! They sell a brilliant mix of clothing, accessories and homeware all by independent designers. Just to prove I do like things beyond interiors, check out this gorgeous cork skin handbag from their site!

Pelcor Cayenne Cork Handbag

 

6. In Spaces – Another of my stockists with an extensive collection of interior products. Just came across possibly the coolest clock ever on there and had to share it. It’s a mechanimated weather clock that detects the current atmospheric pressure and responds by displaying the appropriate weather art. Amazing!

Traditional Mechanimated Weather Clock

 

7. Here Today Here Tomorrow – This store is all about sustainable, ethical fashion – something I feel there needs to be a lot more of in this world. Have to admit I always say buying someone clothes is a little risky, unless of course they’ve put something specific on a certain wish-list… These stylish handmade trousers have been woven using a traditional Nepalese technique.

Fairtrade Dhaka Trousers

 

8. The Shop Floor Project – Full of quirky UK artist made products. How lovely is the idea for this cushion collection… each features a collage of the home of a famous British writer. Of course I had to choose Beatrix Potter as my favourite.

 

Beatrix Potter House Cushion

If you’ve got anymore suggestions drop me a comment below! Think I need all the help I can get this year. And of course you can buy gifts from Sky Siouki too, my online shop is right here!

TOP 5… Fruity Furnishing Fabrics

Time for another TOP 5 feature! Apologies I have to admit I’ve been a little slack with blogging this month whilst trying to get lots of drawing work done (and maybe having a sneaky bit of time off too). But doing these Top 5 lists has fast become my favourite blog topic so I couldn’t miss it before the month is out. This month it’s fruity furnishing fabrics as one last hurrah for the (pretty non-existent) British Summer! I’m a big fruit fan in every sense – I like to eat it, draw it and look at it too, so what better way to celebrate that than to decorate with it. So without further a do here are my favourite five printed fruit designs that I have found…

Fruit Fabrics

  1. Patterned Fruits designs by Hannah Rampley for Candid Fabrics – These colourful, quirky designs are quite bold and graphic featuring stylised pomegranates and pineapples. A great way to add a splash of colour to a muted living space.
  2. Fruit by William Morris – Going from the most contemporary to the most traditional of my selection, this famous William Morris wallpaper is a classic, featuring beautifully illustrated pomegranates. I believe it’s still available to buy, including as fabric curtains from Linen Fields here.
  3. Pineapples by Dark Dog Studio – I really love this modern monochrome pineapple design by Hannah Galvin-Horne of Dark Dog Studio, especially used on this vintage chair. I’ve come across the print a lot on Pinterest and it seems to be a big hit but I think the designer is currently still developing an online shop. Find out more about her here.
  4. Beatrix by Romo – One of my favourite Romo designs, inspired by vintage illustrations but using bright contemporary colour I think this floral design featuring pink berries strikes the perfect balance of traditional vs. modern.
  5.  Pears by Thornback & Peel – There’s not much Thornback and Peel do that I don’t like. Although their rabbits are probably my favourite this pear design has a lovely simplicity and would look stunning upholstered on a chair. The linen it’s printed on has a lovely texture to it as well.

See more of my favourite designs and patterns on my Pinterest and discover my own designs too by visiting the Sky Siouki shop.

TREND SPOT! Pineapple Interiors

Pineapples are right on trend at the moment and in my opinion it’s trend that can never really go out of style.. because who doesn’t love pineapples all of the time?! Their textural tessellated skin and unruly leaves have a wonderful quirky aesthetic that works so well on so many designs. Below I’ve picked out some of my favourite pineapple interior products for you all to admire…

Pineapple Interior Products

Top left to bottom: Pineapple Wall Sconce from Caravan – £99, Double Old Fashioned Pineapple Glasses from Drake General Store – $12, Golden Pineapple Bookends from Graham & Green – £48

Top centre to bottom: Pineapple Linen Napkins by Bonnie & Neil (available from Holly’s House – £14.50 each), The Ananas Cushion Cover Small from Oka – £55, Piña Sola Wallpaper by Aimée Wilder – $165 per roll

Top right to bottom: The Pale Pink Pineapple Limited Edition Print by Jessica Russell Flint – £50, Pineapple Silk Cushion by Silken Favours – £125

TOP 5… Picnic Accessories

It’s time for my Top 5 feature once again… this month picnic accessories! Perhaps a little optimistic on such miserable rainy day but no doubt the sun will be shining again soon and there’ll be plenty more picnics and outdoor pursuits to be had this summer.

Picnic Accessories

  1. Tanager Melamine Plate from The Mad Platters, £14.56 – This Etsy shop has a whole host of beautiful antique designs printed onto melamine plates available… Perfect for mad hatter style tea parties.
  2. V&A Roses Flask from Bloomsbury, £16.95 – Your tea couldn’t be much more stylish in this lovely floral printed flask taken from a 1960s furnishing fabric.
  3. Nkuku Fleur Floral Cup from Fashion Conscience, £6.50 – I love the subtle contrasts of grey in this design, also available on enamel bowls and jugs for truly sophisticated picnicking.
  4. Handpainted Tiffin Carrier from The New Domestic, £48 – I instantly fell for the pretty handprinted florals on this tiffin. Such a great way to keep your veg, grains and sauces separate for those who are serious about outdoor eating. This one also comes in blue and pink or Nkuku also sell a variety of designs if you want to order from the UK.

  5. Recycled Wool Picnic Blanket from BEG, £59.50 – It wouldn’t be a picnic without a check blanket to sit back on! Love that these use recycled wool leftover from other blankets meaning each one is unique.

So now all we have to do is keep our fingers crossed for sun this weekend so we can show off all our nice and fancy picnic wares!

6 Ways to Give an Old Chair a New Life

I love a good DIY makeover especially when it involves interiors. Since I’m still renting at the moment I’m itching to one day be able to paint walls, strip carpets and fit shelving but for now I can at least make do with rejuvenating furniture. I recently repainted a pair of dowdy looking wooden chairs for our dining table with a fresh lick of minty pastel green and they now bring a lovely pop of colour to the room. But it got me thinking about what else can be done with a set of ordinary old chairs to breath a new life into them so below you can find my favourite six ideas.

Painted Chairs1. Paint – Perhaps the most obvious choice is to paint your chairs in beautiful bright hues like I did, however why not get a little more creative and just paint the legs or the top of the chair to create an edgy contrast. This colour combo from HeartHandmade UK works brilliantly.

Decoupage Chair2. Decoupage – I tend to find decoupage a bit unimpressive as I think it’s often overdone and looks somewhat tacky but this minimalist example featured on The Graphics Fairy works beautifully. The delicate lavender imagery is placed perfectly as if just naturally growing around the chair and the colours are really well balanced against the distressed white.

Folding Chair3. Paint and Recover Folding Chairs – This DIY tutorial using cheap folding chairs is ideal if you need some extra chairs for the garden or perhaps party guests. Read the blog post from My Fabuless Life to discover how to spray paint and recover the seats with spangly new fabric. I never thought a folding chair could look so good!

Seat Cushion

4. Seat Cushions – Perhaps you’ve already painted some chairs but you’re looking to add a little pattern to them or added comfort even. All it takes is some pretty fabric and these seat pads by Makezine are super easy to make so long as you’ve got some basic sewing skills. I love the use of contrasting ribbon to tie it to the chair.

Dip Dye Legs Chair5. Dip Dye Legs – Another take on painting your chairs, why not go ombre like these examples from Apartment Apothecary? Perhaps you really like the natural wood or the aged appearance of your chairs as they are already but just want to do something small to jazz them up. This is a perfect way to add a simple modern twist to your chairs using a subtle pinch of colour.

Reupholstered Chair

6. Reupholster – Last but definitely not least, if you’re up for a bigger challenge a reupholstered piece of vintage furniture can look really impressive when done well. This example from OhhSit! especially caught my eye as the upholsterer has used vintage photos of her mother and grandmother printed onto fabric making it really special and personal to her. The idea of using new technology to digitally print old photographs for an antique chair is something I love too and it works so well.

I hope you’re now bursting with ideas to makeover any old boring chairs in your house. If you liked that last one you might also like some of my cushion designs using old photographs, especially The May Queen. Check out more of my favourite DIY ideas on my DIY Pinterest board.

TOP 5… Floral Interior Products

In the spirit of Summer and spending more time outdoors, this week I’m featuring floral printed homewares! Flower designs mix so well with all sorts of interior styles and make a fantastic way to add a pop of colour and energy to a living space. So below are my favourite five floral items for the home that are available this season.Floral Interior Products

  1. Autumn Tea Towel by Whitney Elizabeth – Although technically Autumn themed I think the flower illustrations on this tea towel have enough colour and spirit to keep your kitchen feeling fresh all year round.
  2. Laburnum Cushion by Abigail Borg – I love Abigail Borg’s graphic design style and use of vibrant colour contrasted against muted tones. This floral cushion would sit well in a modern or a traditionally styled home.

  3. Flower Market Colander by MacKenzie Childs – Pretty and useful! This floral colander deserves to be given pride of place hung from a kitchen cabinet for everyone to see.

  4. Sissinghurst Castle Dinnerware by Anthropologie – You can always be sure to find lots of beautifully patterned pieces of crockery in Anthropologie. This collection of flowery tableware is my favourite from their current range, but it was hard to choose!

  5. Botanical Coaster Set by Rifle Paper Co. – These stylised floral illustrations by Anna Bond have a very pretty, summery appeal and would be the perfect way to add some pops of colour to your dining table layout.

That’s all for now, but keep up with my blog to see more of my Top 5 features every month. You can find more of my favourite interior products on my Pinterest board NICE THINGS. and shop for my own Summer themed products in my online shop here.

10 Ways to Bring the Garden Indoors

It’s the 1st of June although unfortunately it’s not so Summery outside today. I’m sure there will be plenty of good weather for gardening coming soon enough but in the meantime here are some ways to bring some outdoor greenery inside for the rainier days and for those without gardens.

1. Plant Succulents in Teacups – A very cute and easy way to display small plants in a girly vintage style, perfect for cacti and succulents. Here’s a guide on how to do it.

Succulents in Teacups

2. Frame Dried Plants – This idea would work wonderfully using Nkuku Kiko glass frames. Love how they look like museum specimens. Get more tips for using dried plants here.

Frame Dried Plants

3. Make A Terrarium – A little more time consuming but the results can be stunning. There are some beautiful vessels about, such as these from Love Glass Lenka on Etsy, and here’s a great guide on how to make one.

Make A Terrarium

4. Display Flowers in Tins – Why not go for something alternative to a vase to put your flowers in and use a vintage tin, or perhaps a jar or jug as shown in this blog post from Vintage Whites.

Flowers in Tin

5. Hang Vintage Botanical Prints on the Walls – I love the fine detail of these old fashioned illustrations. Available to download free from Poppytalk, these prints would look great framed or even just taped to the wall.

Vintage Botanical Prints

6. Display Dried Twigs in Vases – Even just a collection of interesting branches or twigs clustered together in a beautiful glass vessel can make a great statement.

Dried Twigs in Vase

7. Cover a Wall with a Garden Scene – If you want to go all out with bringing the garden indoors this is the way to do it. If you don’t fancy painting a mural yourself Ananbo sell stunning panoramic wallpapers in classical landscape designs, or try this Olaf Hajek design for something more contemporary.

Garden Mural Wallpaper

8. Upholster Your Furniture in Florals – If covering an entire wall in garden patterns seems a bit much, how about keeping the walls white and giving your sofa a floral makeover. Try Liberty or Abigail Borg for gorgeous floral fabrics.

Floral Fabric

9. Hang Framed Taxidermy Insects on the Walls – Plants and florals aren’t the only things lurking in the garden. Framed insects can make fascinating decorative props, especially effective displayed as a collection.

Taxidermy Butterflies

10. Cluster Exotic Fruits in Bowls – Never underestimate the humble fruit bowl. Use an interesting vintage bowl as a centrepiece and put a collection of exciting fruits like pineapples or lemons in it. Looks best if you use lots of the same fruit.

Pineapples in Bowl

That’s it! Here’s to outdoor greenery indoors! Find more interior inspiration on my Pinterest and if you’re looking for more nature themed interior accessories be sure to check out my online shop too.

TOP 5… Exciting Wallpapers for the Bathroom

Something I often come across when browsing through my favourite interior magazines and blogs is the use of bold and eccentric design in bathrooms, especially well suited to a downstairs loo. Using a small space that you spend less time in than the rest of the house gives you the opportunity to go a little decor mad without having to spend loads or worry about over busying a calm spacious room. Below are my favourite five examples of beautiful and exciting wallpapers perfect for an off the wall bathroom!

Designer Wallcoverings

1. The Original Martinique Wallpaper by Beverly Hills Wallpaper. This infamous classic banana leaf print has had a big resurgence in popularity lately. Very bold and very green, I don’t think I could handle a whole living room filled with the leafy design but it works perfectly for a small bathroom. I love how it’s been paired with a jungle themed print in the example above.

Timorous Beasties

2. London Toile by Timorous Beasties. Another famed wallpaper by my all-time favourites, Timorous Beasties, who’s London Toile looks pretty from afar but up close subverts the classical design style by depicting gritty and violent city scenes. This design is a little more subtle in terms of colour use but is certainly the most cutting edge of my selection.

Scalamandré3. Zebras by Scalamandré. You may well recognise this one from Margot’s bedroom in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums. Until now I had always thought that bedroom was a one of a kind wonder hand painted especially for the film so you can imagine my excitement when I discovered it is in fact a wallpaper available to all and in many different colourways too! It looks especially spectacular teamed with a majestic gilded mirror and gold accessories in this particular bathroom, although I personally prefer the blue version.

Voysey

4. Apothecary’s Garden by Voysey. This classical Voysey design from c.1926 has a very Liberty print feel about it. If you’d prefer to give your space a more vintage style then I’d definitely recommend looking at Voysey’s other wallpaper designs too, amazingly all still available from Trustworth Studios. Whilst they are very traditional many of his designs feature birds and animals creating a fun and quirky mood still.

De Gournay

5. Deco Monkeys by De Gournay. This art deco style design has quite a chic look about it but the monkeys maintain a vibrant, playful theme perfect for a wild and eccentric bathroom. Available in a few different colourways, I think I like the decadent gold version with it’s pink highlighted berries best.

So there you have it – my top five wallpapers for exciting bathrooms whether you’re looking for a classic, contemporary, whimsical, vintage or chic design. Believe me it was very hard whittling it down to just five. If you’re still on the hunt for a wallpaper for your own bathroom or small space I’d recommend checking out more of Timorous Beasties, House of Hackney, Julia Rothman and Louise Body too.

Follow me on Pinterest here to see more of my favourite prints and interiors.

In love with… Shilo Engelbrecht Textiles

Since I’ve been researching abstract painting and ideas for a new collection of painterly designs, the work of a favourite textile designer of mine recurrently comes to mind… Shilo Engelbrecht. Shilo’s collection is branded Älv Textiles featuring a stunning range of digitally printed table linen, cushions, bags and scarves as well as fabric by the metre for furnishings. The designs are taken from Shilo’s vibrant, expressive oil paintings and printed onto linen and silk. The fabric accentuates every bold brushstroke and colour contrast fantastically showing off the beautiful texture within her work in an explosion of colour.

Alv Textiles by Shilo EngelbrechtShilo Engelbrecht Table Linen

Expressive painterly textile prints seem to be hugely popular at the moment and looking at Shilo’s work it’s easy to see why. I find looking at her textiles so invigorating and inspirational – each piece just injects so much energy into a space, they really are a must have. To see more of my favourite textiles designs you can follow my Patterned Wares Pinterest board and if you’re also an Älv Textiles fan I’d definitely recommend following Shilo’s Instagram too.

Shilo Engelbrecht Paintings

TOP 5… Spring Inspired Prints

Springtime is now in full swing and so in light of all the lovely weather we’ve been having, this month’s Top 5 feature is on Spring inspired prints! All the prints I’ve picked are for interiors either on furnishing fabrics, wallpapers or interior accessories.

Spring Inspired Prints

  1. Lotus Pink Cushion by Bonnie & Neil £75 – Love the vibrancy of this pink botanical print by Australian brand Bonnie & Neil, contrasted nicely with a fun black trim.
  2. Bashful Bunnies Silk Cushion by Silken Favours £95 – I’m a huge Silken Favours fan and a major rabbit lover too so when this new silk bunny design came out it was bound to be an instant hit with me.

  3. PowderPuff Rose Fabric by Abigail Ryan £89 per metre – Abigail Ryan’s graphic florals and bold colours create a really strong Spring vibe full of warmth and joy.

  4. Harrys Garden Fabric by Louise Body £55 per metre – This design is a little more subdued but the sweet little garden birds inject some Springtime life into the delicately illustrated design.

  5. Harvest Hare Wallpaper in Corn by Mark Hearld £60 per roll – Mark Hearld’s linocut designs have a beautiful timeless quality. This wallpaper would make any room feel warm and happy even when it’s not Spring.

Keep up with more of my Top 5 features on the Shopping section of my blog.

TOP 5… Alternative Easter Gifts

Springtime is fast approaching and Easter is only a week away! If you don’t fancy filling up on chocolate eggs this Easter though I’ve put together a lovely little selection of alternative Easter gifts to tickle your fancy. I’ve had a rather indulgent March myself having just been away in Portugal (blog post to follow soon!) and with Summer ahead I’m trying my hardest to stave off chocolate for now. If you’re feeling the same as me or perhaps have children who have gotten a little too old for eggs why not go for a rabbit gift this year instead?!

Rabbit Gifts

1. Bunny Rabbit Necklace by Love Hearts and Crosses  £29
This rabbit necklace is absolutely adorable and his pink bow gives an extra Easter touch. Perfect for a teenage daughter.
2. Rabbit & Cabbage iPhone Case by Thornback & Peel  £19.95
I’ve been a big fan of Thornback & Peel since they first emerged and now they’ve even starting doing phone covers!
3. Rabbit & Sun Print by Jen Rowland  £20
This screen-printed vintage rabbit illustration looks stunning set off against a golden sun.

Rabbit Gifts 2

  1. Baby Bunny Night Light from DotComGiftShop  £3.95
    This cheap and cheerful bunny night light is so cute. At only £3.95 I may just have to get one of these for myself.
  2. Rabbit Shaped Plush Cushion by Sky Siouki  £33
    Couldn’t resist including my own rabbit cushion in the mix. Printed onto soft cotton and backed with black velvet this one is nice and cuddly!

Keep up with more of my Top 5 features on the Shopping section of my blog.