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!

New Stockists for April

Just a quick little update on the most recent happenings here at Sky Siouki HQ. Most exciting of all the new Flight collection cushions and coasters are now available through two new UK stockists as of this week! The Golden Hare Gallery (top image) in Ampthill, Bedford and Jane McIntyre Design (bottom image) in Winchester. They’re both beautifully curated spaces that I feel very proud to have my products within. Hopefully Sky Siouki will be gradually spreading it’s wings further and further throughout the country so that you all can find a stockist near to you soon enough.

Golden Hare Gallery

Jane McIntyre Design

In other news I have been keeping up with my 100 opportunities challenge for 2016 and have now reached number 30 now so I’m making good progress! Might even reach 100 before the year is out at this rate. It’s been an excellent way to encourage myself to make more contacts and do more things that scare me.

I’m itching to get some more designs out in the form of giclée prints and perhaps even some original artwork and printed fabrics by the metre eventually. I’ve been a little preoccupied with getting orders out this past month so it’s been hard to find the time to get creative what with being a one woman act and all. Keep your eyes on my Instagram for updates and rest assured soon enough the designs will come. I’ve already received some lovely comments on a couple of the designs I’ve revealed a sneak preview of though so I’m very excited to get them listed in the shop.

PRESS! Featured in Period Living

My Kitten Tales large velvet cushion has been featured in Period Living magazine this month! It’s the March 2016 issue on page 15 amongst a lovely selection of other designer cushions all featuring portraits in a feature called ‘Face to face’. Special thanks to Pippa for choosing to include my design!

Period Living Feature

Period Living Magazine

PAPER ARTS ‘Young Creatives’ Exhibition

My work is going to be part of a collaborative exhibition called ‘Young Creatives’ at Paper Arts in Bristol city centre this January! I’m part of a group called Mentoring Club in which myself and a few other young creatives can get advice and guidance on our practice from an organisation called Paper Arts, and next week we’re doing an exhibition together. This is the first exhibition I’ve been a part of since showing my work at New Designers after graduating so I’m excited to see how it will go and to learn from the experience. There’s going to be a real diverse mix of work including poetry, sculpture and even interactive mandalas so there should be something for everyone to enjoy.

Young Creatives Exhibition Poster

It’s on January 14th-27th at Paper Arts which is right in the centre of Broadmead, 51-53 Merchant St, Bristol and the gallery will be open 10am-6pm Mon-Sat and 11am-5pm Sun. If you’re in Bristol pop along and by all means tell me what you think!

Cosy January Cushion Sale

Hello and a very happy new year to you all! Can’t believe 2016 has hit already, 2015 went unbelievably fast for me. Just writing a short post today to tell you that I’m offering 25% off all of my cushions throughout January! I’m calling it my Cosy January Sale because once Christmas is over but it’s still very wintery out I think we all need a little bit of cosiness to get us through to Spring, and a touch of retail therapy doesn’t go amiss either. So if someone owes you a late gift or you’ve been given some spending money to buy yourself the present of your dreams, take your chance now to get a luxury Sky Siouki cushion at an amazing price. Now you just have to choose linen, silk or velvet, unicorns, jackals or birds?

Barn Owl     Deer Dream

To get the 25% discount simply enter the code COSYJANSALE when asked for a promo code at the checkout in my online shop here. Offer ends Jan 31st. Plush cushions not included.

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!

The New Sky Siouki Collection – ‘Flight’

This week was very exciting for me as I finally got to launch my brand new collection of designs after a long time coming! I’ve spent many weeks articulately drawing birds of prey and botanicals and spraying lashings of oil and acrylic paint to canvas boards and so it feels amazing to have now produced some final products just in time for Christmas. The new designs are currently available as linen cushions, A3 giclée prints and stone coasters although there may be more to come in the new year.

Cushions

I can’t believe I started planning this collection all the way back in June. There have been a few obstacles along the way as there tend to be in life but I’m so pleased to have got there in the end. The process really made me realise how limiting the project deadlines at university were and although I would never take back anything I did during my degree, I never could have produced a collection like this at uni because of the high expectations for quantity of work. I feel so much better about having four strong designs that I put my all into and didn’t rush than if I’d produced 20 quick and easy designs that meant little to me. These designs seemed to come together so much more naturally than ever before and I’m not sure if this was because I wasn’t under pressure to tick all the boxes on the marking scheme or perhaps just because it’s been so long since I created something new that all of my enthusiasm just fuelled me forwards.

Jackal Buzzard Cushion

After much deliberation I’ve named the collection ‘Flight’ highlighting the central focus on birds of prey but I also really liked that this word seems to suggest ideas of feeling uplifted and weightless. The collection has quite a natural, fresh look and the paintings used are very expressive and dynamic all of which I felt the word Flight emulated well as it relates to nature and movement. It is simple but creates impact, as does the composition of the designs.

Coasters

When I set out to design this collection I made a conscious decision to move away from the look of my previous work and create something more subdued in colour, less kitsch and more elegant. I didn’t originally intend to only draw birds of prey but once I’d drawn one, the rest sort of just followed. I’ve always loved birds and birds of prey in particular make me feel incredibly awed and empowered so I decided since it was working to just go with it.

Since I started Sky Siouki my tastes have changed a fair bit which I think this collection reflects very truthfully. I hope that it still sits well alongside the Curious Kingdom collection since my style of drawing tends to be quite recognisable but I also would be encouraged to know if customers can distinguish the change in direction I have taken. Anyway, this has been quite a wordy post but hopefully an interesting insight into my design process and the journey designing ‘Flight’ has taken me on. I hope the journey isn’t over yet!

You can have a proper look at my new products available in my online shop and I post little insights into my working day everyday on Instagram too.

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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

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… 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.