Just a small round-up to suit all budgets for our green fingered friends.

Gifts for the Gardener

Where to buy: 1. The Royal Bouquet Gardeners Set, £8.50, House of Fraser 2. Rusty Bird String and Scissors, £16, John Lewis, 3. Tool Trug, £28.50, Garden Trading 4. Filled Terrarium, £75, The Balcony Gardener 5. Rusty Star, £50, Cox and Cox 6, Wooden Herb Tray, £16, Bloomsbury Store 7. Tall Topiary Tree Pot Plants, £45, John Lewis 8. Rustic Plant Stand, £75, An Angel at my Table 9. Tool Set, £12, Tesco Direct 10. White Flowering Garden Planter, £30, Marks and Spencer.

And so, December is here and the hunt for the perfect gift begins in earnest.

Maybe you have a little princess at home?

Or just someone who acts like one!

Gift Guide for the Little Princess

Where to buy: 1. Sparkle fairy dress up set, £17, Monsoon 2. Ballerina canvas, £45, Next 3. Pink fluffy feather fairy lights, £16, NOTHS 4. Ballerina print duvet set, £65, Cox and Cox 5. Butterfly rose fragrance spray, £5, Monsoon 6. Sheepskin fur gilet, Florence and Fred 7. Vintage corona candlestands, £12.50, An Angel at my Table 8.Girls Lilley Sparkle Silver Buckle Glitter Heel, £12.99, Shoezone 9. Personalised Polka Dot Clock, £24.99, Getting Personal

This Christmas will be our first in the new house and I’ve been giving a lot of thought this weekend about how to decorate for the festive season. Downsizing has thrown up lot’s of limitations, not least of which is where to put the blinking Christmas tree!  On top of which, I no longer have a mantelpiece, a large hall or a separate dining room. So we’ll be eating in the kitchen and I’ve decided to keep things casual with some carefully chosen products from the Heart of House range available at Argos that has more than 1100 practical and stylish home products.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [8]

As a departure from the usual red, gold and greens I’ve taken inspiration from the dried hydrangea heads that I cut and brought in from the garden at the end of the summer. I love the soft purple and brown colours with just a tint of pink. I’d also collected some pine cones earlier this year and together they formed the basis of a soft organic scheme.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [5]

Piled into a large glass hurricane lamp with some fairy lights they make a lovely table centre. The kitchen is flooded with light from the french windows, but no doubt by the end of the meal it will be dark and the lights will twinkle more. To add even more atmosphere I’ve included two large pillar candlesticks of different heights.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [7]

You can’t go wrong with a crisp white tablecloth and I’ve chosen plates with a lovely earthy taupe glaze. They have a turned up lip revealing the white undersides and I think they look really effective with the white cloth and grey slate tablemats. The crackers and scattered gold stars provide just enough festive decoration to remind us that it’s not just any old lunch.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [6]

As do the reindeer napkin rings. Aren’t they cute? I love the cut-thread edging on the napkins too.

Festive Table Styling via Dear Designer's Blog [9]

All that was left to add was silver edged wine glasses and silver cutlery.

Used: White tablecloth and napkins, slate placemats, 12 piece dinner set in neutral, Savoy wineglasses, Stella cutlery, Clara carved candlesticks.

All from the Heart of House range at Argos.

Now this is one colour trend I can wholeheartedly buy into. Copper Blush is the 2015 colour of the year from Dulux and I love it.

Forget sugary pinks, or yesteryear’s bright fuchsias, this shade is for grownups.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2015 - Copper Blush

I have to say this is my preferred use of the colour. Paired with copper and other metallics, retro accessories and real wood.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2015 - Copper Blush [1]

But it does go surprisingly well with other, bolder pinks. Just remember to add some grey, as on this window-ledge otherwise it looks more nursery than boudoir.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2015 - Copper Blush [2]

And Marianne Shillingford, Design Director of Dulux advocates the use of yellow as an accent to give the room a surprising twist.

Dulux Colour of the Year 2015 - Copper Blush [3]

Do you like it?

Blog Envy – Only Deco Love

November 25th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (2 Comments)

Another new (to me) blog that had me captivated at first glance.

Katerina Dima grew up in Greece where she studied Architecture but she now lives permanently in Norway. Only Deco Love is her blog. Her first love is obviously interior design and her photographs of her own home are simply beautiful. She was mean’t to live in Scandinavia. So much Nordic good taste. So much to love.

From Only Deco Love Blog [1]

From Only Deco Love Blog [2]

From Only Deco Love Blog [3]

From Only Deco Love Blog [4]

From Only Deco Love Blog [5]

Incidentally the calenders in image 1 are free printable’s designed by Katerina and you can download them here.

Only Deco Love

I never thought I’d see the day but I’m warming to the idea of using concrete inside the house.

I won’t be getting out the cement mixer just yet but I can now appreciate the raw beauty of a polished concrete floor. The cool smoothness of anything, in this most utilitarian of  surfaces is beginning to filter into my consciousness. And one day, I will be craving a concrete bathtub or a concrete work surface. One day.

Concrete Kitchen via Elle Deco

Floor, wall, and kitchen island. All in polished concrete. It should look hard and cold but that’s not the case. The use of solid black cupboards, shelves and fridge manage to save it from grey drabness. The coordinating pendant lights and stools take it up a notch too to ultra cool. I like it.

Concrete in the Bathroom via boligliv.dk

Who wouldn’t like a bathroom this cool? The clinical white walls and concrete sink are the epitome of  minimalist living but the basket of towels also make it inviting and comfortable. Note the concrete light fitting too. Is there no end of this materials usefulness?

Concrete shelves via Design Milk

Now you might think that concrete shelves and glass and china is a disaster waiting to happen. It might be the case but it does look amazing. I’d love a kitchen, or better yet a larder, where everything is to hand.

Concrete walls via Architectural Digest

Concrete and wood is a match made in heaven. Eminently suitable as a fire surround, the concrete also looks kind of decorative framed by wood. The extra texture in the chairs and rug also make this room warm to look at and dare I say, even cosy.

Concrete walls in the bedroom via boconcept

Even in the bedroom, an industrial looking wall can be juxtaposed with a leather headboard, a knitted throw and a shaggy rug to look inviting and modern all at the same time.

What do you think of concrete in interiors?


Gift Boxes from Mia Fleur

November 21st, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Christmas - (0 Comments)

I wouldn’t normally even consider buying a gift box for a friend or a family member. They somehow give the impression that you didn’t have enough time to go out and choose something yourself or even worse, couldn’t be bothered.

That is, until I saw the carefully curated gift boxes at Mia Fleur.

Founder Holly, has such impeccable taste and stocks such beautiful things that I think anyone would be happy to be on the receiving end. Even me.

Mia Fleur Gift Boxes - For your loved one.This box contains a personalised handmade linen tea-towel, a set of heart spoons and a stunning cup and saucer. £54.95.

Mia Fleur Gift Boxes - For the gardener

This box contains a pair of handmade linen and leather gardening gloves, a pretty packet of chive seeds and a pot. £49.95.

Mia Fleur Gift Boxes - For the vintage lover

This box contains a bird bud vase, a spray of faux roses and a vintage inspired photo frame. £41.85.

Mia Fleur Gift Boxes - For the super stylish

This one’s mine, and it contains a black and white mug, a set of insect votives and a gorgeous feathers graphic art print. £47.90.

Each collections is packaged in a black box with a grey ribbon.

Available from Mia Fleur.

Tori Murphy in the Kitchen

November 20th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

You already know how much I love rustic elements in the kitchen. Was it only last week I wrote about it? Well, it’s often difficult to find modern accessories that suit this kind of look so I was delighted to see the new range of kitchen textiles from British designer Tori Murphy.

Tori Murphy - Kitchen Textiles 1

The collection consists of a pared-back palette of taupe, soft mushroom and black and looks perfectly at home with worn wood and rustic elements as much as it would look perfectly at home in a contemporary kitchen.

Tori Murphy - Kitchen Textiles

In case you don’t already know, Tori Murphy is an up and coming lifestyle and homeware brand specializing in woven fabric. Tori is dedicated to crafted products with character and integrity and is proud of manufacturing 100% in England.

Tori Murphy - Kitchen Textiles 3

After graduating in 2012 from The Royal College of Arts, Tori worked in Milan designing textiles for a range of clients including DKNY, Fendi, and Christian Dior and it’s here she developed a deep understanding of textile production. Returning home, she began forming a collection inspired by the beautiful fabrics she had been surrounded by in Italy, and today, her textiles speak of an understated luxury.

Tori Murphy - Kitchen Textiles 2

Stockists include Harrods, Selfridges, Heal’s, Daylesford Organic and Lane Crawford.

Unashamedly feminine, these two new prints at Wonderwall can jump into my Christmas stocking right now!

They are the work of Stina Persson who fuses the traditional with a downright edgy look that is appreciated by the likes of Louis Vuitton, Absolut Vodka, Sony Music and Nike among other clients. She also illustrates for Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Elle and her work has been exhibited in several shows in New York, Stockholm and Tokyo.
After 15 years spent in Japan, Italy and New York, she is now happily based in Stockholm, with her three sons, journalist husband and cat.

Stina Persson - LeKid

Le Kid

Stina Persson - YSL-kopia


Stina Persson - Le Kid

Both are 890 SEK (which is about £77) and can be shipped worldwide.

But hurry, they are both limited editions and when they are sold out, they are sold out forever.

Introducing Atkin and Thyme

November 17th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (1 Comments)

New furniture and home accessories brand Atkin and Thyme launched last month with a 120-piece strong collection which features an eclectic mix of both classic and contemporary pieces which will suit both modern and traditional interiors. They are all made in limited, low volume batches and handcrafted by skilled artisans ensuring each piece is exclusive to the collection.

The founders, Nick and Victoria Atkin were inspired by a shared love of travel and by design styles from across the globe. India is a key influencer; many of the designs are based on pieces the couple have seen during trips to the country and reclaimed materials from India such as teak, mango wood and steel, feature in many of the designs.

I think you’ll like them.

Atkin and Thyme Pimlico Armchair in Velvet

Clad in sumptuous jewel-toned medieval blue cotton velvet, the Pimlico armchair (£395) features elegant buttoning and distinguished turned legs for a luxurious and exclusive feel.

Barcelona Dining Table in Grey, Atkin and Thyme

The Barcelona dining table is a concrete moulded table with metal-topped mango wood legs. £498. Shown in grey, it is also available in cream.

Cuboid Bone Inlay Console Table , Atkin and Thyme

The Cuboid Bone Inlay console table (595) has a very smart, monochrome, dog tooth effect inlay which gives a striking three-dimensional look. The black legs look like stockings beneath a business suit. I love this.

Milligan Desk, Atkin and Thyme

The Milligan desk (£379) is hand-crafted from mango and will appeal to all you retro lovers our there.

Didn’t I say you’d like them?

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