TOP DRAWER & HOME

I cannot believe it’s September and this is my first blog post of the year! All I can say is it was a crazy busy start to the year with lots of new and exciting opportunities for SOOuK. The summer didn’t quieten down either and now we are in September! I am in the studio this week working on my stand design and choosing pieces to take down south to Top Drawer. We will be exhibiting in the Home section at London Olympia this coming weekend. If you are heading there I would love to see some friendly faces so please come by and say hello. Our stand number is H-B2.

Soo

Set for celebration

I cannot believe it’s this time of year again, suddenly autumn is over, the dark cold nights are here to stay (till April!!) It’s time to start making plans for Christmas and more importantly the fun parts, decorating the house and styling the table! Over the last few weeks I have teamed up with Holly Brown to bring you some ideas for your festive tables. We have worked with a few different seasonal trends and even managed to work out how to get everyones favourite blush onto the Christmas table. Some beautiful modern rustic looks with foliage, candles, mix match crockery, goblets and twinkle lights. The perfect backdrops for your Christmas feasts.

Bare branches and ruskus are all essential for me at Christmas. There is nothing better than having the house full of evergreen foliage and it always looks amazing on the Christmas table, its the perfect opportunity to add in a bit of colour. If you are like me and only work in two tones (black and white or white and black) some forrest green branches,  brass T-lights or cutlery can be the perfect addition to achieve a beautiful seasonal simplicity to your table.

Other natural looks we created included placing crabapples down the middle of the table to create a warm welcoming centre piece. Dot cinnamon and spice candles alongside them, add linen napkins and team your plates with handmade place cards for a lovely personalised feel for your guests. Start foraging for pinecones now as they would also look amazing with these natural looks.

Create cozy winter glamour with delicate wire fairy lights, we used them with the blush pink crockery and black cutlery but they would work really well with any Christmas table setting. If not fairy lights dot candles all over the table they give out a more magical light striking backdrop for your Christmas celebration. I hope you like the settings we have created and get some good ideas for your own festive tables. Above all else keep it simple and enjoy time with your family and friends. We will be sharing some new wrapping ideas next week!

Soo

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Taste Makers – 15 Minutes with Dee Campling

The Taste Makers – 15 Minutes with Dee Campling

This weeks taste maker is Dee Campling an interior and event stylist AND another exciting Instagram find. I have been following Dee for a while now, her photographs are always ones I look forward to seeing on my feed. Images of bathtubs full of plants and strands of fairy lights strung over up-cycled mirrors or mantles. There is also so much humour and warmth in Dee’s captions, I regularly laugh at her use of emojis and the word ‘faffing’ to describe her pictures. This amazing lady’s stylish home has become insta famous with her 13K followers and I am not surprised why.  I thought it would be nice to find out a little more about Dee and who is behind these beautiful pictures. Thank you so much for taking part Dee!

1. What started you on this journey?
I’ve been obsessed with interiors from an early age. My father has a great eye for design and was always pointing out details to me. I decoupaged an entire bedroom wall aged 12 and I bought and completely gutted and redecorated my first house at 22. However, I ignored my passion for years, in order to ‘do the right thing’ and studied Business Studies. I have been involved in project management all of my working life, (part time for the last 15 years) but always with a creative thing going on the side! I studied part time for a Humanities degree with the OU when my children were tiny, as well as various short interior design courses. As my children got older, I set up a glamping accessories shop called Huddle, selling online and from a vintage caravan at street fairs and festivals. I enjoyed the shop styling so much, Huddle morphed into an interior and event styling service.

2. Who or what inspires you?
I’ve always loved Habitat and Terence Conran’s understated but modern designs. I adore the Scandinavian look – the clean lines, the light and the textures. I’m also hugely inspired by the whole outdoors / indoors thing. I love styling outdoor spaces as if they were rooms, and I love bringing outdoor things indoors – logs, trees, plants. This is why I love camping and why I bought and renovated a vintage caravan – I just love the idea of fusing indoor and outdoor living.

3. When you were little you wanted to grow up and…. ?
I wanted to be a farmer, have a safe, comfortable home and lots of animals!

4. What makes a home?
I think just letting your personality loose in the house makes it a home. Don’t follow trends, just buy what you love and mix it up – if you love it, it shows and it will work for you. Don’t be precious about anything – three children and a dog mean my house is rarely tidy despite what my IG account may look like!

5. Describe your ideal day off?
My ideal day would start with a run with my dog. I’d then happily spend the rest of the day faffing in the home and garden. Hanging new pictures, moving sofas and chairs around, swapping the cushions around is my idea of heaven. I would also tend to all my plants and move them around too. This all sounds a bit selfish but I’m so busy normally with children and work that a day on my own is bliss!
If it was a family day off, we’d be on the beach at Sennen Cove in Cornwall, camping in our bell tent.

6. What are you most proud of?
I think I’m most proud of finding the strength to finally listen to my instincts and throw myself into what I love relatively late in life! I’ve been tinkering around with it on the sidelines for too long. It’s a cliche but you have to grab it before it’s too late.

8. Whats your biggest weakness?
I can’t stop buying cushions! I would rather buy a cushion than a new piece of clothing!

9. Instagram is a very powerful tool has it changed the way you do business?
Instagram has been that making of me! Without it I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do what I’m doing now. The support and encouragement is brilliant and unexpected, as well as the inspiration and contacts. Myself, Lisa Dawson and Fiona Cameron (around_houses) have just started the first UK lead interiors hashtag called #myhomevibe which is creating lots more inspiration and camaraderie too.

10. What defines good design?
Good design is both functional and beautiful. It’s carefully curated and balanced but still looks effortless and cool. It respects the rules, but then ignores them!

11. Paris or Copenhagen?
I love love love Paris! I how the French make everything beautiful as a matter of course! I’ve never been to Copenhagen but I love the Scandinavian style too. I’m a Gemini, I can never commit to one thing – I love everything and everywhere!

12. What makes you laugh?
I am very childish and find humour in absolutely everything! I have a notoriously loud laugh which gets me into trouble. I love classic British self deprecating humour – Bill Bailey is my current favourite – but I love American humour too -Will Ferrell and Robin Williams make me laugh just looking at them.

You can find out more about Dee’s event styling at:  www.huddle-insideandout.co.uk

The Taste Makers -15 minutes with Stephanie Bateman Sweet

The Taste Makers – 15 minutes with Stephanie Bateman Sweet

I have been SO excited about sharing this weeks taste maker feature with you. I have never met Stephanie in person, but some people you just know you would get along with. I hope one day I will be able to share a Saturday cardamom bun from the Hoxton Bakehouse with her. I have followed Stephanie for quite a while now on Instagram and I am constantly inspired by her photography and styling but most of all tempted by all of the delicious looking cafes she visits. Stephanie works as a stylist, writer and blogger, and undertakes a wide variety of creative projects for clients. Having graduated with a degree in textile design, Stephanie opened her own bricks and mortar shop selling fashion and interior accessories. She then moved into the world of magazine publishing where she became an interior and prop stylist. Having worked both in-house and freelance, she is often found on photo-shoots for high street brands, creating imagery with the next season’s homewares for look-books, advertising, websites, POS and PR material. She also has a love for writing, which led her to start her blog, The Lifestyle Editor, back in 2012, and has subsequently renewed her passion for photography.

1. What started you on this journey?

I had just finished a maternity contract as the Deputy Editor on Grand Designs magazine, and was back in that category known as ‘freelancing’! When you are working in-house on a magazine you develop a close working relationship with so many PRs, and marketing departments, and I wanted to keep up those important connections. The trouble was they would invite me to fantastic launches, send me great books to review, and new products, but I had nowhere to put all this information. I felt I needed a platform…somewhere I could be my own Editor in a way, and thought maybe a blog might be the next move. Fast forward four years, and I am still creating content for it!

2. Who or what inspires you?

I am often inspired by people who have strength of character, and passion for what they love and believe in. As I have got older, I have realised that our careers can often go down many different roads, instead of staying on the same one until we retire! I admire people who have created and carved their own path, and their story inspires me to think a little out-of-the-box, and not be afraid to take risks in going out of my comfort zone, and maybe trying some other creative avenues.

3. When you were little you wanted to grow up and…?

…be an air stewardess! We lived abroad quite a lot when I was very young because my Father was a diver on oil rigs and we would often relocate. This was in the days when BOAC airlines existed, and my brothers and I would go and visit the pilots in the cockpit, and have our little logbooks signed! Security was so very different back then. I thought working for an airline would be a great career to enable me to travel…the irony is I am a bit of a nervous flyer, so would not have enjoyed that job at all!

4. What makes a home?

When I was young, I remember our family home was always filled with music, candles, freshly baked cakes, flowers, and friends and family popping in. A place where parties and celebrations were often held, guests staying for weekends, and just a lovely laid-back and relaxed feel to it. I have always hoped that now I have my own home, that I have created a space that is just as inviting and welcoming. That is not only a relaxing sanctuary for myself from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day living, but also a place where my own friends and family feel equally ‘at home’ in. I also love cats and dogs, but sadly lost the last of my four cats at the grand age of 21 this year…pets bring a very special level of love and joy to a home.

5. Describe your ideal day off?

It would involve a delicious brunch, a very wonderful spa with a good all over body massage treatment, and a facial too, followed by a relaxation session. A walk on a beach, plus a swim at some point, and finally finishing with dinner outside by candlelight, jazz in the background and a good movie! Oh, and great quality chocolate would definitely feature! But throughout the day, doing it with people I love being with, who make me laugh…that always makes a day perfect for me.

6. What is your favourite part of your job?

I think it has to be crossing paths with so many passionate people, tastemakers, designers, artisans, and all-round creative folk that I have been fortunate to meet, since starting my blog, and throughout my career. I also love the feeling that hopefully, in some small way, I am helping to share their brand, or book, or products with readers, and to help generate business for them. I am also an interior/prop stylist and have been doing this for many years, and I still get a buzz being on set with a photographic crew and creating visual content. Every shoot, every location, every client and every photographer are different to work with, and that is what thrills me the most I think, there is no routine! Being fortunate to work with people who trust you, and give you total creative control…that often makes for a dream job for me.

7. What are you most proud of?

With regards to my work, I think I would have to say the fact that despite a few set-backs, a couple of redundancies, and the constant questioning whether I am on the right career path, that I am still doing what I love! My blog is one area that I feel incredibly proud of, as it has been a total personal commitment, and created with 100% dedication and passion. It has motivated me at difficult times, and pushed me in the beginning to engage with social media, an area I had never got involved with before, and now love! Personally, I am most proud of the relationship I have with my nephew…he is the son I wish I had, and I couldn’t be more proud of the compassionate, loving and wonderful young man he has become.

8. What’s your biggest weakness?

If my friends answered this for me they would say being pampered! I love nothing more than enjoying a good massage treatment, reflexology, or a facial! I am quite a product fan, and will happily spend a long time trying out lotions and potions in the beauty departments! I also have a sweet tooth for any delicious patisseries, desserts or chocolates!

9. Instagram is a very powerful tool, has it changed the way you do business?

I absolutely love Instagram for many reasons, and most recently because it has reminded me how much I love to take photos. I use it as a research tool, and have found many brands, creatives, and companies around the world that I have featured on my blog. I find it visually inspiring as there are so many talented people doing beautiful work on it, and it has connected me too with so many like-minded souls, which I think is vital when you are freelance. I find myself advising people I meet who are not using it, to start engaging with it, as it provides a perfect visual platform to showcase your products, and interact with potential customers. Social media has brought me some lovely opportunities recently, and I have been asked to be the Instagram Editor for @catkinandpussywillow, a beautiful artisan florist. I am also a UK contributor to @the_shopkeepers, which profiles independent online, and bricks and mortar shops around the globe, it is a great website to be a part of. Instagram has made me realise that I would now love to buy a good camera!

10. Which designer would you like to meet and interview?

I would love to talk to Sir Terence Conran about his fascinating design career. He opened Habitat in London the year I was born, 1964, and then The Conran Shop in 1974, and has had a prolific career ever since spanning many facets of design. He also started Benchmark in 1984 with Sean Sutcliffe, based in the Berkshire countryside, with a dream of creating a craft based workshop designing affordable furniture with an environmental conscience. His ethos throughout his career seems to have been simple functionality and considered design…which I think is exactly what we need more of in our lives.

11. Paris or the South of France?

Oh no this is not fair…I love France, and love both places for so many different reasons! I have spent so many memorable and wonderful years holidaying in the South of France, that it will always hold a special place in my heart. There are some beautiful, and picturesque, hilltop villages just outside of the glitz and glamour of St Tropez, that are full of rustic charm. Plus you cannot beat swimming in the warm Mediterranean! Paris, on the other hand, I have been fortunate to call a second home for a short time, and I think it is one of the most beautiful cities. I also love travelling on Eurostar, and love the ease of leaving London on a train and stepping off at the Gare du Nord in the 10th arrondissement a couple of hours later! As much as I am a sunshine girl, I am also a city dweller at heart, so guess I’ll have to say Paris!

12. What makes you laugh?

Often situations whereby I am not meant to be laughing! But for me, it is often the general irony of life whereby I find myself saying, “you really couldn’t make it up” to unexpected situations. These can sometimes be made all the more better with a good dose of laughter, and think we need to do more of it! I am also blessed with very witty friends!

Thank you Stephanie! here are links to Stephanie’s blog, website and social media accounts – go and check them out right now.

Website: www.stephaniebatemansweet.com
Blog: www.thelifestyleeditor.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/lifestyleeditor
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thelifestyleeditor
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thelifestyleeditor
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/lifestyleeditor/

The Taste Makers – 15 minutes with Fiona Reid

The Taste Makers – 15 minutes with Fiona Reid

I am completely delighted to bring you this weeks taste maker, not only a beautiful writer and fantastic journalist but a great friend too. Fiona works as a freelance journalist specializing in interiors, property and architecture. She has been writing about design for eighteen years, working as a journalist for newspapers and magazines across the UK. It started as an interest, an opportunity at the time, and grew into a passion. She studied fashion design so interiors was a natural progression.

She began writing her first property blog, The Property Files, in early 2013, and the design blog Copperline later the same year. The time came to merge the two together, and so the new blog – Copperline was born last summer. Fiona and I have worked together on many, many interior features, she is the most beautiful writer, a talent that I am truly envious of.
1. What started you on this journey?
I’d like to have a glamorous sounding answer for this, but in all honesty, I started blogging through the frustrations I was feeling at losing lots of print work. Evolutions in technology, changes in the way we get our information, budget cuts… there’s a lot less work around as a journalist these days, and I missed writing about interiors in the way that I used to. Starting to blog back in 2013 was a natural evolution. I wanted to write and share content that I no longer had the opportunity to write for print publications. And that just grew and grew as I realized that I really enjoyed the creative freedom of blogging.

2. Who or what inspires you?
I’m constantly inspired by things I see online – by sites like Yellowtrace or Yatzer that are so full of amazing and diverse content. I’m inspired by Instagram on a daily basis. I need imagery for inspiration, so while there isn’t a direct correlation between watching movies and writing a design blog, I’ve always been most inspired visually by films. A great movie feeds your brain and your eyes.

3. When you were little you wanted to grow up and…. ?
… be a vet. I loved animals as a child – okay, all children love animals! But I wanted to work with animals. That’s all I could imagine doing. Clearly my ideas changed somewhere along the way as I went to art college instead! But animal welfare remains something that I feel very connected with, and this has informed the decisions I’ve made into adulthood.

4. What makes a home?
Isn’t it funny how your ideas about this change as you get older? The people in it make a home – and by ‘people’ I also mean dogs! Also, your home is your sanctuary. It isn’t so much about a specific aesthetic as a feeling, although clearly an aesthetic can help create that feeling. So for me it’s about a sense of calm and peace, which translates into lots of natural light and natural textures, and a lack of colour. Nothing to create a busy mind – as I have one of those already! But, fundamentally, being ‘home’ is being with my family.

5. Describe your ideal day off?
Woodland or beach. Or maybe woodland and beach. Getting in the car with my partner and Harris, our wirehaired dachshund, and either driving down the east coast to Tyninghame, or heading over to Fife and going to Tenstmuir or Cammo Estate. Walking through the woods with Harris, watching him explore, and taking way too many photos of trees, and having a flask of tea and some vegan choc chip shortbread waiting when we get back to the car. That’s my perfect day.

6. What is your favourite part of your job?
Interviewing people. From the start of becoming a journalist my work has always been interview based, and that’s the part I’ve loved most. Now with Copperline, I don’t get to meet people as often because of geography and a lot of interviews are by email, but I’ve always loved discovering the ideas behind an interior or a piece of design. Also, choosing things to write about. I love sourcing stories – I always have.

7. What are you most proud of?
Good question. In the context of work, I really have no idea. When I was younger I always thought that my work would make me most proud; that work would be the thing that gave me the greatest sense of achievement. But now, it’s about other things. It’s about being in my 40s and still doing something I love, which is no mean feat frankly. It’s about making a commitment 21 years ago to be healthy and fit, and sticking with that ever since – although now that means yoga more than hours in the gym.

Also, Harris. If you aren’t a dog parent that might not make any sense! But having a dog has changed our lives. He’s changed me completely. So that commitment is actually the thing I’m most proud of.

8. What’s your biggest weakness?
Montezuma’s dark vegan chocolate, particularly Sea Dog. I have no words for how good this is…

9. Instagram, Pinterest and Steller are very powerful tools – have they changed the way you do business?
Absolutely! They have changed… everything. I guess it started with Pinterest for me, as a way of sourcing content and finding inspiration. Whenever I’m having a mental block, I head to Pinterest to wake my brain up. Instagram also does this, but I have two accounts – one for my blog and one for myself – and both work in different ways. People can understand where I am in terms of design through the blog account, but people understand who I am through my own account, and I’ve made some amazing connections through Instagram. It’s a cliché really but it’s opened up my world.

And Steller was the thing that I was missing, although I didn’t realize I was missing it until it appeared. In 2014 I was fairly disillusioned with work and was considering a career change. Then I started producing content on Steller and it re-engaged me again. I love writing about design, but I also love photography and sharing stories and places and experiences. I was excited by it again and realized I couldn’t walk away, which is why I combined my previous blogs to create Copperline last year. Now when I’m thinking of the blog content, I always think about whether it will create a Steller story. Not everyone wants to follow or indeed read a blog post, but a lot of people will engage with a very visual story in an app.

10. Which designer would you like to meet and interview?
That’s a difficult one to answer! I have a list of film directors I’d love to meet and interview! But sticking to design… I’d love to travel to New Zealand and interview Jeff Fearon and Tim Hay of Fearon Hay Architects about their truly beautiful houses. And, you know, see New Zealand!

11. Which place to you long to visit the most?
I haven’t travelled much, which feels like a terrible thing to admit, but there you go… There are cities I still haven’t been to but feel that I should have seen by this stage in life, like Stockholm and Copenhagen, but I’d also like to go to Iceland for its incredible landscapes. Really, there are so many places. Instagram makes you realize all the places that you haven’t seen, but that you really should see.

12. What makes you laugh?
Trying to watch a tense movie, or maybe something slow and thoughtful and beautiful, while Harris is snoring loudly on my lap. Five years ago I’d have been watching that movie in The Filmhouse or Cameo – no talking, no popcorn, no distractions please! – but now I’m home, having this cinematic moment with a snoring dachshund. And not minding this at all. And I’m laughing as I realize how much life has changed.

Thank you SO much Fiona! here are the links to Fiona’s blog and social media accounts.

Copperline: http://www.copperline.co/

Steller: https://steller.co/copperline/

Fiona’s blog IG: https://www.instagram.com/copperlineco/

Fiona’s IG: https://www.instagram.com/coppernotes/

Harris (Fiona’s beautiful dog) : https://www.instagram.com/theworldaccordingtoharris/

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/copperlineco/

Thank you to the following for allowing use of their beautiful interior photography.

The Modern House: http://www.themodernhouse.com/

Domus Nova :http://www.domusnova.com/

Square Foot Media http://squarefootmedia.co.uk/.

Exposure : http:/www.photographyandfloorplans.co.uk

THE TASTE MAKERS – 15 minutes with Hege Morris

This week, I am so excited to bring you 15 minutes with Hege Morris from design blog ‘Hege in France’, and her beautiful shop S2 20. I am a HUGE fan of Hege’s work. For anyone not familiar with Hege, she is originally from Norway, moving to the UK almost 20 years ago now to study. After traveling around a bit she then moved to France where she and her husband renovated an old barn and designed a home of their own. This is where Hege started her blog ‘Hege in France’. Now back in the UK. Hege lives and breathes design. Her styling work is truly stunning, and her S2 20 shop is one of my favourite independent stores – a great place to find new artists. There are links below to both the blog and shop. Check them out!
T H E   T A S T E   M A K E R S
1. What started you on this journey?
I started my blog in 2011 when I was upcycling furniture. I started my blog as a kind of diary, like a lot of people.

2. Who or what inspires you?
Other bloggers, but also photos. I get a lot of my ideas from photos, so Instagram and Pinterest is a huge part of that.

3. When you were little you wanted to grow up and…. ?
Become a carpenter. 🙂

4. What makes a home?
A personal style. I think a home should be adapted to your needs, as well as reflect your personality.

5. Describe your ideal day off?
A day at the beach or just being outside. I love nature.

6. What is your favourite part of your job?
The fact that what I do is varied and I don’t have to spend all day at my desk.

7. What are you most proud of?
My son.

8. What’s your biggest weakness?
I can’t say no… I often take on too much and work really long hours.

9. Instagram and Pinterest are very powerful tools – have they changed the way you do business?
Yes, for sure. I like to connect with friends on Instagram and I love finding inspiration and things to blog about on Pinterest.
Pinterest is also great for sharing blog content and new items from my shop.

10. What defines good design?
I think good design is something that doesn’t just look good, but is also practical.

11. Paris or Copenhagen?
Copenhagen

12. What makes you laugh?
Again, my son and a good comedy.
Thanks so much Hege!   –  Here is a link to Hege’s shop and blog- stwotwenty.com  hegeinfrance.com

The taste makers – 15 minutes with Hayley Southwood

Over the next few weeks and months I will be sharing our new taste makers feature, 15 minutes with some of the most inspiring woman in creative businesses across the UK and many found through the amazing instagram community. A place I am using more and more in my own business to connect with other artists and businesses. It has been such an honour to speak to these woman and find out what inspires them. This week Hayley from the AMAZING Southwood Stores talks us through her journey, what she thinks defines good design and how Instagram has helped build her business. Thank you so much Hayley.
1. What started you on this journey?

I am an accidental entrepreneur! I lost my mum to cancer when I was very young and in a moment of madness bought an ice cream van from eBay. My plan was ambitious, the intention being to create a bubble of happiness, to escape  the sadness I was facing in day to day life. I had intended to just potter about the local villages selling homemade artisan ice cream and old fashioned sweets but it soon became apparent that weddings and parties were the way forward. Over an 18- month period Mrs Scoops and her vintage ice cream van were featured in over 100 publications including YOU magazine and Country Homes. Vintage Scoops was my second business I had launched, the first was a specialist boutique Nursery School in East Northants called Little Stars which is still thriving today.

I was fitting work in around bringing up My two boys (now teenagers) owning and running Vintage Scoops for 3 years I felt better about life and wanted my weekends back. With a large following on Social Media I launched a blog along with a photographer I had met through the wedding industry. ‘Breathe Happiness’ it was an instant success. Whilst blogging I was racking my brains trying to come up with another business idea that could draw on the experience and knowledge. I had a passion for styling and a love of the creative world so I decided to curate a collection of quirky home-wares and clothing that you couldn’t find on the high street. Southwood stores was launched in 2013.

2. Who or what inspires you?

Strong women who are living the dream inspire me! Women who have overcome struggles, I have never been one for following celebrities, I am always more influenced by the real women kicking ass. Single mums or the girl that is sticking her two fingers up to cancer inspires me more!

I also love to surround myself with positive happy people that are determined and dream chasers.

3. When you were little you wanted to grow up and…. ?

When i was little I always dreamed of having my own family, I wanted a family more than anything else. I craved a happy family home. I also used to doodle what I would call my shop from the age of about 6/7. I used to set up shop on the street pavement selling potatoes to the neighbours for a penny each.

4. What makes a home?

To me a ‘home’ is wherever my husband and boys are….. end of!!!

5. Describe your ideal day off?

I don’t really ever do days off but if I do it is spent with my family, usually sitting in the garden sipping a gin or two!

6. What is your favourite part of your job?

I love my job! I really love every single aspect as I have created my ideal job. I love being my own boss and cannot ever imagine working for someone else!

7. What are you most proud of?

I am proud of my boys, that goes without saying! But I am really proud of my business. It feels like my 3rd baby if I am honest. I have started quite a few businesses over the years but Southwood Stores feels so good in so many ways. I feel like I am helping other women with the social hub and I love supporting makers and artists.

8. Whats your biggest weakness?

My biggest weakness is trying to remember everything in my head! NOTE TO SELF It doesn’t work and I continue to try and work in this way! I need to remember to write more down.

9. Instagram is a very powerful tool has it changed the way you do business?

INSTAGRAM is HUGE for me, It has enabled me to launch and grow my business. I love being part of such an amazing community. I now teach other women what I have learnt over the years and give them tips and advice on how to market themselves online.

10. What defines good design?

Good design for me is quality, good design is honesty in a product, an eco friendly element also screams good design to me.

11. New York or Copenhagen?

Funny you should ask this question as I went to New York in January for the first time and CPH in March, first time too. Copenhagen won hands down for me!!! I am already planning my return visit for this summer.

12) What makes you laugh?

My blogging partner cracks me up. Shaneen has an amazing sense of humour. She is also my reality check!

 

To find out more about Hayley’s workshops or to visit the GORGEOUS shop please click here www.southwoodstores.co.uk

LESS IS MORE

Clean lines, soft white light shines in, and stunning minimal design throughout what’s not to love about this beautiful 1930’s top floor flat right in the centre of Edinburgh? Owned by Artist and Writer Sylvie Docherty. She lives there with her husband Sylvian and their two (GORGEOUS) daughters. The house is an amazing lesson in how to scale back and live with less. The white floors and white walls bring a real sense of calm to this families home. Sylvie uses pops of colour to bring warmth, especially in the girls bedroom. With multi coloured bunting and a really cool contemporary mobile it’s the perfect space for the girls to play. The master bedroom is the real winner for me, the high ceilings, enormous windows looking out over Edinburgh’s skyline and shades of soft grey used on the furnishings make it the perfect chill out room. Abstract art adorns the walls in most rooms. Art painted by Sylvie’s Artist father and other works collected from friends are propped up on sideboards and mantles, leaving the walls free and stark white, making the flat appear spacious and beaming with light.

To say this house reflects my own personal style would be an understatement. I also love to live minimally, having a big clear out and paring back on possessions makes me less distracted, less cluttered and truly able to relax in my home. The phrase knick knacks actually makes me shudder!! although a small disclaimer here – This can be challenging with two small boys, a giant boy and Ruby! But the simple life is very appealing to me. Minimalism is essentially the art of being able to comfortably live with less. While this may look easy in reality, it is a lot easier said than done. A beautiful, functional home with a minimal look can be the hardest to design and takes a lot of discipline. Especially for those among us that bring home pretty much anything and everything! (or have daily amazon deliveries HB?!!)

I love Sylvie’s home she has created a beautiful simplicity by living with less. A simpler and more meaningful life? maybe the message is, Be more with less.

 

THE RIGHT NOTE

Hello! Can you believe it’s the first of April today? Where has this year gone? It has been a brilliant and busy year at SOOuK so far. We have been shipping prints all over the world and have had a gorgeous feature in March’s edition of House Beautiful. I have been so excited to share this one with you, it is such an interesting home owned by very talented musician Laura Tippehaur from Berlin. The beautiful terrace in Edinburgh is tucked away behind a large hedge in a very sunny spot in Leith. But what makes this feature so special is Laura’s amazing talent for finding interesting pieces of furniture from junk shops and flea markets and up cycling them. She some how manages to make other peoples cast offs fit perfectly with her calm and serene style, ending up with a very chic and expensive look for pennies. The whole house has a neutral backdrop of chalky Whites and Calamine Pinks which Laura has added interesting textures. Lace and crochet have been used for throws and cushions and really soften the greys and the monochrome. The walls are hung with Paintings by her mother and one is a gift from her collage professor from her art collage. Others prints have been picked up over the years and are hung in vintage frames found in charity shops surrounding Laura with individual pieces that really mean something to her. I absolutely loved Laura’s home, so full of character and style. Nice to see truly unique style in House Beautiful this month. I thought this one really stood out.

WE’VE GOT THIS UNDER WRAPS

A gift wrapping guide from SOOuk and Holly Brown Designs. The crazy gift buying is almost over, it’s time to start the huge task of getting it all wrapped up and put under the tree. The gorgeous Holly from Holly Brown Designs popped over to show me some amazing cool and modern ideas to add the finishing touches to my own christmas gifts. Elegant design gifts call for a little more than nice paper and a bit of ribbon and it doesn’t need to be expensive either. By looking round your home and garden for extra bits of foliage or by making paper ornaments you will find you have all you need to add the extra sparkle this festive season.

Whether your style is natural, neon, traditional or minimal, our beautiful wrap designs will make sure your presents look the part beneath the tree.

Go bold with monochrome, simple white paper and chunky black ribbon (or vice versa) is classic. I absolutely love this elegant look. The ribbon is from Sainsburys on offer just now 3 for 2 and the paper is white art paper.

Modern metallics are still the hight of fashion and are set to carry through in to next year. I have been obsessing over copper for a LONG time now and I am delighted to see it available this year in gorgeous wrap. You can get similar paper from Paper Chase but go natural with the ribbon. I think this white works perfectly and prevents it looking too ‘blingy’

Brown paper packages tied up with string… still look great but this year try going all out and snip some berry’s or branches to flourish the top. Rosemary or eucalyptus work beautifully or if you are going to use christmas tree branches leave it till the last minuet to avoid the needles falling off (as I found out last year!)

Feathers are huge right now, they have become the perfect styling prop for all skandi lovers – move over succulents there’s a new guy in town… which is quite good because even I would struggle to get a succulent on top of a gift box. Holly brought these GORGEOUS navy ones over to the studio and I love them (I might of actually nicked them sorry Holly!) They are quite simple to make (I’m told) just a bit of snipping to some quality paper and I think the navy is the perfect contrast for the white wrap. You could try adding some gold pen to the edges to add the ultimate christmas sparkle.

The only problem you might have is if all this wrapping is more exciting than the gifts inside! Stay warm, enjoy the chocolates, don’t argue too much with your family and most of all have a wonderful festive time. Soo x

Deck the halls (and the rest of the house too) A design Lovers gift guide

It really is the most wonderful time of the year, can you believe it’s here already? I am delighted to be bringing you another gift guide after the success of last years and boy are there some beauties in this list.

LIGHT BULB MOMENT £99.00

I can’t think of a better place to start than here, these gorgeous lights are hand etched by [Vinegar and brown Paper] and I have fallen in love with their Kookie observations of life etched on to glass. I have already done a large part of my christmas shopping in their online store. I’d highly recommend a visit.  I have picked out this gorgeous industrial style light for my gift guide. I bought this for HB and loved it so much I gave it to him as soon as it arrived, a complete fail on my part but I just couldn’t wait till christmas. The bulb is individually etched with “your next idea will be arriving shortly” and is a vintage style filament bulb with industrial lamp base by grey moose designs, you can even choose from a selection of coloured cords. I just love it!

FORNASETTI CANDLE – £115.00

Silenzio scented candle in ceramic vase designed Fornasetti. I saw these candles years ago in a very cute home store in London and I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure about them at all. I found the designs interesting but they didn’t feel right for my home. However… I came across them again on a shoot recently and I can’t get this one out of my head. I am having a new fireplace put in (just for christmas obvs) and I think this would look AMAZING sitting on the stone mantle with a few other bits of styling. I am going to tell you that it is a unique blend of ethereal ingredients and incense which I am sure would smell amazing, but i’ll be honest for £115.00 I am never going to burn this little beauty.

MOON CUTLERY – £290.00 (for a 24 piece set)

Designed by Cutipol. Theses pieces seem like styling heaven to me, This sleek matt gold cutlery will look stunning on the christmas table (and for every other special occasion for the rest of your life) Made from 18/10 stainless steel with a gold finish. I absolutely adore the moon shaped spoons. You can collect pieces individually or mix and match with other sets to create your own unique table setting. These would look amazing teamed with the stunning Moon plates from Diesel Living with Seletti.

SECOND SKIN BOWL – £25.00 

From S2|20 have you had a look at Hege in France’s new design store? it’s possibly my favourite online shop. It’s minimal skandi lovers heaven. I have been obsessing over the Second Skin Bowl for a while. especially the Charcoal one. It’s designed by the talented July Adrichem a product stylist from the Netherlands. The dark matte black bowl has a beautiful powdery texture and the handmade uniqueness of this bowl really adds to it’s charm. Far too pretty to actually use.

TWO THOUSAND AND SIXTEEN DIARY – £25.00

This Stunning modern weekly planner and diary designed by Marjolein Delhaas has a silver foil embossed 3D stamped cover with ‘two thousand sixteen’ and this IS the perfect gift for those typographical geeks amongst us, not naming any names… The book is A6 and has 160 pages with an over view planner 2016/17 at the back. Get it and you can have a cool and contemporary place write your new years resolutions.

SILENT WOOD PRINT – £65.00 from SOOuK

One of our very own art prints made it on to the list! I think this print from our recent Alpine collection if the perfect print to evoke a wintery feel while sticking with beautiful soft monochrome tones. It feels really good to be under the tree canopies from the comfort of home. Box Frame it in white for a striking 3D look.

NO.15 CRANBERRY + FRANKICENSE  SOY CANDLE –£18.00

For a moment of Christmas calm, try gorgeous EAST WICK Candles. It’s definitely time to get cosy and how perfect will this sent be for the festive period?  A mix of sweet cranberry and warm frankincense, blended with bergamot, orange and a hint of spiced apple… I say YES PLEASE! and as if that gorgeous aroma is not enough the packaging is perfectly minimal and monochrome so they look really pretty too (No.15 is a limited edition scent and will only be available through winter)

EYE BRACELET FROM MIRTA – (around) £100.00

I can’t actually deal with how beautiful these pieces are, I just LOVE their minimal simplicity. One of a kind and limited edition pieces with raw uncut stones from the Rock collection are hand crafted by Croatian designer Andrea Simic. Handmade with oxidised silver and diamonds. If santa leaves one of these for me on christmas morning i’ll know I’ve been a very good girl this year.

I hope I’ve given you some great ideas for your loved ones / design lovers. Happy shopping everyone and remember spread a little comfort and joy this year by supporting our amazing independent designers. Without them the world would be a really dull place.

AN INTERIOR MOTIVE

Please excuse my silence on here lately, I have been taking some necessary time out to recover from bad health. I am feeling loads better now and really excited about all that is going on right now, our new print launch with Not on the High Street and we also have two features out just now, One in House Beautiful and One Christmas feature in Your Home magazine. Christmas has crept up on me a little and now feels literally round the corner. How did that happen?? I have started work on this years gift list and it’s a beauty! so check back here over the next few weeks to see this years amazing selection of design goodies.

This post is one I have been thinking about for a long time – The small housing movement. It is big news right now. I was surprised and amazed at the amount of incredible forward thinking architects I came across while researching this post. At first small living seemed to be contained to secluded woodland cabins as a way to pare down to the bare living essentials and switch off from the rest of the modern world. But now it is being taken up by city dwellers too and said to be a possible solution for our property crisis and also a way of creating affordable living.

Small space living has really interested me for a long time now, gone are my desires to have a giant 5  bedroom Georgian home. It simply does not interest me. What does interest me are well thought-out loft spaces, compact and functional kitchens maximizing space as every square metre counts. You can adopt strategies to make spaces feel and look larger with colours, textures, lighting and furniture. Pocket sized spaces can be both inclusive and flexible, which is perfectly in tune with the relaxed and informal way we want to live now. It can also enhance our lives in surprising ways as ‘Professor Dumpster’ found out while conducting a social experiment living in a 33-square-foot dumpster on his university Campus in Austin for 1 year. As well as spending lot less money spent on rent and unnecessary possessions he discovered that reducing noise  – not the audible kind but the kind of noise that arrives in the form of endless e-mails, tasks and responsibilities resulted in a digital detox massively reducing stress.

But it certainly doesn’t need to be a dumpster or any old home, you can create an amazing home carefully decked out and beautifully designed. The Ecocapsule is designed as a self-contained system which is able to sustain long periods of time without external resources. Something in terms of a Swiss-army knife –It packs in everything you need. Designed by the Slovakian architectural studio Nice Architects. The possibilities for the Ecocapsule are almost endless.  It can be used as an urban dwelling for singles in high-rent, high-income areas like London or NYC where it can be put on the rooftop or in a vacant car park. The capsule can also quickly be shipped. The round shape makes it easier to collect rain water and series of membrane filters makes it possible to use water from any natural water source. Bio waste is collected in the composting toilet. The produced energy is stored in the batteries to power all onboard systems.

On looking a little further in to these types of build everyone seems to be getting in on the act. Muji have unveiled a trio of really cool affordable tiny houses and also Kasita homes have been created off the back of the dumpster project. They have been designed from the inside out. Kasita have created the ideal compact urban home through a completely new approach anchored in industrial design. The 208 square ft (19.3m2) space has been carefully crafted down to the last cubic inch with a focus on elegance, 
comfort and function – from the smart home technology embedded in its walls to the intelligent mattress to the cantilevered glass cube. I have to say these designs blew me away – That fire place?!! [image3]

Give me a tiny cleverly thought through, cantilevered glass cube, bright, uncluttered design in Scandinavian style any day. Yes please! I may even go as far as surrendering my worldly possessions.

[Images from Kasita, Muji and ecocapsule]

 

GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK

It’s official plants are invading our homes. I can’t remember the last time I styled a shot without popping a little bit of green in. A succulent or a few eucalyptus branches, I love them. Plants are taking over my home with every stack of  coffee table books there is a pot with something lush in it that I am trying desperately to keep alive. I think plants have become as much a part of our homes as our furniture and carpets. They make us feel happier bringing a little bit of clean air and nature inside. Plants look amazing teamed with minimal modern design. Clean lines with a splash of green add the perfect simplicity to any interior scheme. Plants used to be an after thought with most homes having a dusty old Yucca plant in the corner now people are using them as botanical art whether it be the main focus of a room or to compliment other pieces.

With Summer (almost) over I have noticed the darker forrest greens being a huge fashion trend for Autumn and as usually happens this has flowed down in to interiors too. Graham and Green have a beautiful wingback chair in Emerald green which would look amazing teamed with a metallic pendant and some green Skandium glass. I have also recently become aware of a company called Navet who make really cool dark green plant trays that clamp on to shelves or surfaces. I actually need one (or two) of these in my life. I love their industrial look, they might be a good reason to stock up with some more plants! Maybe summer being over is not going to be so bad after all.

THE BOOK OF PALMS

To say I found this book inspiring would be an understatement. I absolutely LOVE it. My husband bought it for me for christmas, although I think he also loved it so much that he couldn’t wait and gave it to me the week before. The Book of Palms by Taschen has now been published in a mini edition and we have been lucky enough to get a few copies for the shop. Where should I start? This is a very unique art book as well as a book of information to learn about trees from paradise. There are 240 beautiful illustrations of tropical palms and antique reproduction drawings that are stunning. All the images would look amazing as framed prints for the wall.

The Author H. Walter Lack is the Director at the Botanic Garden and Botanic Museum Berlin-Dahlem and Professor at the Free University of Berlin. A leading expert in the history of botany. The illustrations of the palm family included in the book depict microscopic plant anatomy, geographical maps and graphs depicting growth etc.The book was based on Martius’ expeditions through Brazil and Peru. From 1817 to 1820, he traveled over 2,250 km, (1,400 miles), through the Amazon basin to investigate natural history and native tribes with zoologist Johann Baptist von Spix. The result was this amazing catalog of all known genera of the palm family.

Am I starting to sound a bit nerdy yet? I do love my botanicals! Those of you who follow me on my other social media accounts will already know of my passion, (obsession?), for palms and this book is where it all began. It has been the inspiration for much of my photography and print making over the last year. The Palm for me truly depicts paradise and who wouldn’t want to be reminded of that everyday.

The Book of Palms by Taschen (mini edition) and our monochrome palm prints are available in the SOOuK shop.

DREAM BIG

Its been a fantastic and incredibly busy summer over here, its so nice to finally be able to share some of our projects here on the blog. We were pleased to be featured in Augusts edition of House Beautiful with the bedroom re-design James and I did for Doran. What started as a little bed deck to make an interesting space for him turned into a slightly bigger project… more of a mezzanine in the end. It was a compact bedroom to start with, the bed taking up most of the floor area leaving little room to play or store toys. We were lucky to have a beautiful apex ceiling which gave us plenty of height and space to create an L shape sleeping deck and small play area. I was keen to keep the room as light and airy as possible and by adding the toughened glass sides this has worked well to make the upper deck light as well as being a nice design feature. It looks sharp and modern. To say Doran is delighted is an understatement. He and his buddy’s love to play up there.

Choosing the decoration was really a natural continuation of the rest of the house, Stark white walls keep the small space bright and spacious and a few colour pops with the ladder and accessories soften the monochrome. I also think the black framed art work looks really striking against the white. My favourite item in the room has to be the ‘Dream Big’ banner that hangs over his desk, I love that its a personalised just for him. It’s made by Ailsa Graham at Flamingo Fair, check out her website flamingofair.com for more bunting and banner ideas. As for art work I absolutely love everything Joanna Ham makes and this was a brilliant excuse to put up some of her work. I chose “Super Hero Bunny”. I also chose a print by One Must Dash, added a few Alphabet prints that I’d made and framed some of Doran’s art work. He is incredibly creative so adding the wall mounted desk is brilliant for him to be able to sit and draw at. Also keeping all the floor space free from chunky table legs. The drawers are really useful for storing paper and other art supplies. I decided it would be nice to add the sofa bed so that we could easily have cousins and friends to sleep over hassle free. It’s been well used so I am really glad I did it. It is also lovely to be able to sit in there and read bedtime stories. I really feel that we have managed to turn a dull small room in to a fun and adventurous place for him to grow.

If you would like details of stockists please contact me.

GROWING UP

 

For those of you following this blog you will already know that I quite spent some time re-building my own house. I have a gorgeous outlook over beautiful fields and uninterrupted views. However… I have this very annoying wall. It’s to the right of the gorgeous 5 metres of glass I had installed to make the most of the view, which makes the state of this wall even more annoying! There is a large drain pipe that runs down the front of the wall and as if that doesn’t look bad enough there are two baby pipes coming out of either side of the big one, (insert annoyed face here). The builder told me that was the “only option” I didn’t believe him then and I still don’t believe him now. Anyway moving on I have been thinking about trying to plant a green wall to cover up the ugly pipe work. Vertical gardens are a hot subject right now. While impressively beautiful they also make it possible to have lots of greenery with out loosing garden space. Making them perfect for narrow urban houses with smaller back garden’s. For me it would be more of an artistic statement, like a nice sculpture adding a new dimension to our deck. But also functional by hiding the pipes. I have been doing a little research for my living wall and there are some stunning examples out there. Lots of them have been constructed in public spaces to improve air quality and help people connect with nature. The crisp, lush green walls are not only good for the environment they can be used to protect building facades, reduce noise by adding a layer of insulation, create wildlife habitats and to top it off extremely pleasing to the eye.

After doing a little research for our wall I came across Sempergreen’s website. It is packed full of information with lots of design scope to help bring out side inside. You can pretty much buy a whole wall in one go using sedum tray’s, plant mats or the stunning flexipanel system. They also sell plug plants and moving hedges for an instant garden, what’s not to love?  All I have left to do now is persuade HB that I can keep t alive!

All images from: Green Architecture Now – Taschen (available from soo-uk.com) Elle Decor and Pinterest.

 

 

 

LIVING GREEN

I have been working my way through the gorgeous box of Taschen books that arrived last month, this week I have been reading Green Architecture Now volume 2. This book is incredibly inspiring, not only is it packed full of breath taking architecture but it also shows how sustainability has become essential in our modern world and can be quite chic too!  This is a guided tour of Green architecture around the world including work from architects in Korea, Vietnam, Los Angeles, Berlin and many more places.

I have a new found love for the work of the author of this book Philip Jodidio. I have just finished Taschen’s ‘Cabins’, (also on this blog), and I am currently working my way through ‘Tree Houses’. Jodidio is renowned as one of the most popular writers on architecture and I can see why, talk about dream job!!

The whole book is a design lovers dream. Firstly to mention a building that I have come across before, but still never fails to amaze is Harads tree hotel. The mirror cube is incredible, set in the North of Sweden the natural tree top setting with full mirrored sides reflects the surrounding forrest perfectly. The structure is designed by Tham and Videgard and is truly eco inspiration. It has 360 degree views of its stunning forest landscape. It is accessed by a rope ladder which surely makes it the perfect secret escape?

I also have to mention the Squish Studio, located on the Eastern end of Fogo island. Designed by Todd Saunders it’s stark white angled structure sits on the rocky shore beside the beautiful blue coastline. To make the most of its aspect it has a triangulated shaped deck and a north terrace that over looks the ocean. The interior is clean and minimal as you would expect from the exterior of the building. The empty bright spaces allow artists freedom to be as creative as they wish. The images of this Studio are, in their own right, outstanding.

My list of wonderful buildings in this book is endless, this is definitely one for the coffee table and truly inspiring to know that these structures are building a beautiful future for our planet.

 

 

Modern Morocco

The last few weeks have utterly flown by!  I have been working on lots of new stuff including a Moroccan inspired house in Edinburgh accompanied by my glamorous new assistant Elise (who was a god send helping me up and down 4 floors with the kit!). I am always amazed by these incredible old buildings – this one included. The stunning sweeping staircase, painted in deep Moroccan Red left me speechless. The owners have collected pieces of striking art, lighting and furniture from their travels. Mixing global finds with the traditional elements of the Georgian building. There is a relaxed bohemian feel to the home. Nothing is too polished and although grand still a cozy, comfortable place to live. I am still working away on these but here are a few pictures from the shoot to give you a sneaky preview.

 

CABIN IN THE WOODS

It’s a good day when a giant box of Taschen books arrive at the studio! The one I have been most excited about reading is Cabins. I became aware of this book last November when I was researching the christmas gift guide and have been desperate to get hold of it ever since… and now I have it in my hand! It’s a beautiful big hard back book with a really cool contemporary illustration on the cover by Marie-Laure Cruschi. There are lots of her striking illustrations throughout the book and really it’s worth buying just to see those.

This new Taschen title is full of creative cabin architecture and mind-blowing photography from all corners of the planet. It includes some of the most incredible, innovative buildings I have ever seen and explores architecture’s creative thinking, the ideas of a refuge appealing to the modern busy lives that we lead. For me being isolated for a while and alone with the elements really appeals. The rustic raw materials of the structures mirroring the surrounding nature would be the perfect sanctuary.

The book discusses and array of briefs, clients and their situations. One that really caught my eye was the Franke- Marzipan Bunkhouse originally built as a presentation booth for the Cottage Life Trade Show now a permanent cabin on Drag Lake, Hailburton. It has a flat square roof which is cantilevered over the structure with large deck doors. The interior is just stunning, finished with the walls covered in Douglas fir. The plan is square sitting on four concrete piers with terraces on two sides that look out over a beautiful woodland.

Other amazing structures to look out for is firstly the container guest house – I absolutely love this one, built from an old shipping container and painted deep marine blue is set with in an oasis of tropical planting, including a cacti roof garden… what’s not to love! At the other end of the spectrum the Four Cornered Villa in Finland is pictured with a bright white snowy out look reflecting the all white interior. It would be so peaceful and calm with its minimal skandi decor. The four cornered design was inspired by the island situation of the house, the architects sought out 4 different views towards the lakes and forrest. Its just an incredible building. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. A Life in the woods would be a very nice life indeed.

 

Cabins by Taschen is available from soo-uk.com/cabins

THE DEEP BLUE

The South of France is still on my mind since our trip there earlier this month. I just can’t get the beautiful deep inky blues of the stunning Cote d’Azure landscapes out of my head and unsurprisingly it’s been flowing in to my work. I have hunted down some gorgeous interior pieces that really depict the feeling of the ocean and the invigorating sense of escape.

Firstly a piece that has been on my mind for quite some time, The Oilva Saapaivakirja plate designed by iconic Finnish design house Marimekko, with a striking blue watercolour design reminiscent of rippling water. I adore this piece it completely takes me straight back to the water every time I see it. Marimekko’s simple signature prints and bold use of colour keeps them at the forefront of design every season. This beautiful plate is available from amara.com

Another piece that has caught my eye this week is a striking painting by contemporary artist Tommy Fitchet of Saorsa Art. I could happily get lost in this painting with all it’s vibrant aquatic hues. Tommy paints directly on to glass to achieve this amazing depth of tone and colour giving his work a radiant energy. Tommy’s work is mainly inspired by Scottish landscape, sea scape and the changing light of the seasons. You can see more of his amazing work at saorsa-art.com

Stelton have a new moody blue range out this spring called Stockholm Aquatic it is a collection of vases and bowls inspired by ‘the full pallet of blue nuances reflected in the Baltic sea’. The pattern is of waves breaking over the shore. I love the deep midnight blues set against the stark white porcelain. This whole collection is stunning. You can see more at stelton.com.

‘The Blue View Cushion’ is inspired by ink blot prints and mirrored landscapes. This cushion invokes thoughts of the Rocky Mountains and is painted in gorgeous watery blues. I couldn’t find  any information about this designer but I wanted to include it as it’s so unique and completely on trend for spring summer. It is Available from rockettstgeorge.co.uk

‘Out of the blue’  is a print designed by Crisp Sheets of Amsterdam you should take a look at there whole collection of stunning botanical art prints and inky bedding. There are several pieces I would like to of included in this feature. The print is made with aquarelle and printed on high quality 300 gram matte, bright white bamboo paper. It would be perfect displayed with a collection of framed prints.

Hopefully some of these beautiful accessories will of wet your appetite, they certainly transport me back to the freedom of being out on the water. A few of these pieces will help me hang on to the Cote d’azure for a little bit longer, my life aquatic.

THE PERFECT ESCAPE – ONE GREAT THING

Sharp inhale… How amazing is this bag? I am in love. This beautiful bag is designed by Forrest Bound in their Massachusetts studio and ties in perfectly with the industrial/raw materials obsession I am having right now. It would be perfect for a weekend adventure. The design is based on a vintage bag found at a flea market some years previously and has been reinvented in gorgeous sturdy canvas. It also features split leather handles with buckle straps. Its the text on the side that does it for me. Bold, black typography…what’s not to love? You can get the Escape bag from Southwood stores in the UK or from Forest Bound in the US. #NEED

THIS IS A DAMN GOOD DAY FOR DISCO!

I am soooo excited about these lovely new products we have arriving in the shop next week, I just had to share a few pictures with you. These little One Must Dash – ‘This is a damn good day for disco’ totes are perfect for fashionable trips to the shops and are only £18 (bargain!) plastic bags be gone. We also have a new print arriving from One Must Dash which I have been lusting after for a very long time ‘This is not a bloody hotel’ which just makes me smile every time see it, hopefully some one will take note when I hang it up in our house. We have also been continuing to expand our own SOOuK range of botanical prints with all this spring feeling in the air, these sunny day’s have been inspiring. We have two very beautiful Eucalyptus giclee art prints arriving to the shop, the perfect seasonal additions to our existing collection. Enjoy the sun lovely people and long may it continue!

TOTALLY TROPICAL

Last week instead of heading straight to the studio I sneaked in to Edinburgh with HB. We went to the botanics to have a look inside the tropical palm houses. Its well over a year now since my palm tree obsession started and it still seems to be going full swing, along with many other botanical obsessions which I have added on! There was a definite feeling of spring in the air as the sun was streaming through the enormous pre-victorian windows. It was just a beautiful visual escape and so nice to feel warm after a long Scottish winter. I have noticed that it hasn’t taken long for the sizzling palm trend to be picked up by the interiors market (us included). Lots of designers have developed palm print ranges for 2015. I am particularly liking House of Hackney, they have a wonderful collection of interior pieces with a real 1930’s feel to them. They have embraced bold prints and bright emerald greens, although the tropical trend is not all about wild colours and statement walls it can be done in a more minimal way too, with a subtle pop of pattern that can be seamlessly introduced to your current home decor to create your own paradise. Our range of palm leaf prints are about bold graphic pattern and texture rather than bright busy colours. Showing that there are many ways to make sure you don’t get left in the shade this season.

Notebook’s- House of Hackney.

Wallpaper – Amara.

Mugs, prints and cards – SOOuK.

IT’S A CHEMICAL REACTION

The copper and metallic trend is well and truly here to stay. Finally having hit the high street with light fittings, culinary equipment and picture frames all proving popular. Metallic started filtering through for fashion and interiors at the end of 2013 with copper firmly in the lead as the first choice for designers such as Tom Dixon and more lately Tom Pigeon. I was immediately in love, but with many other fashion’s thought it was going to be a passing phase and limited my purchase’s to one or two accessories. Two years on I am still in love! I’m completely drawn to its warm metallic glow. I particularly like it when paired with reclaimed woods for a more industrial edge. It can also look ultra sophisticated in a highly polished and shiny state. If you are just looking for a small luxurious accent like a Vase or candle holder try Habitat or Bloomingville, they have some lovely smaller accessories. But for me the dream would be a giant copper Tom Dixon pendant hung in an all white room. I have picked out a few GORGEOUS copper pieces for you to lust over… Enjoy! [1. Tom Pigeon copper tape 2. copper plant pots (image via pinterest) for similar try Bloomingville 3. Habitat copper vase 4. Anthropology copper cutlery 5. Tom Dixon copper pendant light]

 

 

MODERN MAMA

With Mother’s day this weekend I feel a new modern girls gift guide is in order. Really just a fabulous excuse to get all my current obsessions together in one place. Boys… I hope you are listening!

1. Fashioned By Planters – A set of 3 beautiful porcelain and leather planters designed by Fashioned by. These beauties don’t need any explanation. Gorgeous white ceramic and natural leather planters for ferns would be heaven hung in my studio. Hugely on trend right now, living with plants and I know I work better when there are live greens around! For around £80.00 you can get these from Houzz.com

2. Fern Mug – Our very own SOOuK Fern mug had to appear in this guide as I think it would make the perfect Mother’s day gift. Beautiful modern monochrome Fern design and Its a great price too at £10.00, team it up with some nice choc’s and your mum will be delighted. soo-uk.com

3. Botanical Floral Scarf – im in love with this striking modern botanical print is so pretty and would look great over everything the perfect start to your spring wardrobe. £45.00 whistles.com

4. I Love You Mum – This is the cutest idea from Biscuiteers, Beautifully packaged delicious biscuits, in hand illustrated gift boxes. You can show your mama exactly how you feel with delivery straight to her door! £9.00 from www.biscuiteers.com

5. – ‘& – What?’ –  Pendant from the amazing Coco’s Liberty a new discovery of mine. I would highly recommend a visit to this site, it’s full of gorgeous modern jewellery that really stands out. I am slightly obsessed with this Ampersand necklace it is the perfect gift for those typography geeks amongst us…  and I can think of many! a great everyday necklace made from 18ct gold (also available in silver and rose gold) £105.00 from cocosrevenge.com

Most importantly have a great day with all your lovely mum’s. It’s the best excuse ever to get together, eat cake and tell them how much we appreciate them.

 

 

15 GREAT THINGS – DESIGNER Q&A

I thought for this week’s post I would include a little designers Q and A feature I had in the Scotland on Sunday yesterday. Thank you very much to the Editor Lynne and her team. I was really honoured (if not a tiny bit embarrassed) to been included.

1 How did you end up doing what you do?

I have worked as a commercial photographer since finishing studying photography 15 years ago, working for many UK based interior magazines, shooting interiors, architecture and styling, so it was a natural progression to add to my existing career. SOOuK was born from a love for all things interior. I am very passionate about supporting British design and do this as much as possible in the shop.

2 Who or what inspires you?

I am so lucky that my studio is surrounded by beautiful fields; I have this vast ever-changing sky and landscape to look at and feel inspired everyday. I couldn’t imagine my life without that view now. It keeps me focused. I also like to keep lists, scrapbooks and photographs of inspiring typography, signage and nature.

3 What is your starting point for any new project?

All projects are different and I don’t have a set path that I follow. Each project is approached differently, I am never short of new ideas and the start of a project is always an exciting time followed by doubt then excitement then doubt again!

4 What designers/makers do you admire?

So many… Hans Wegner, HAY, Julius Shulman, Claire Gaudion, Tori Murphy, Joanna Ham to name a few.. I have just returned from Top Drawer and Home London, the amount of amazingly talented designers out there is incredible.

5 Were you involved in craft from an early age?

Yes absolutely. I bought my first darkroom at 13 with some money my grandfather left me when he died. I cannot imagine a life without photography.

6 What makes a home?

The people in it! We were lucky enough to be able to build our home, and the icing on the cake is all of the memories we are making living in the house of our dreams. I am delighted to be bringing my children up here (and of course a HAY dining table helps!)

7 Is there any object you desire?

‘Cabin In The Woods’ by Taschen or if I was really lucky CH07 chair by Wagner (in black please!).

8 What is your idea of a great escape?

I have a desire to visit a timber house on Skye, preferably one by Rural Designs. I dream of the open views and seascapes. Although I love city adventures too. I spent some time in Copenhagen last year and I absolutely loved it. I cannot find fault with that city. The people are so friendly, the food is amazing and there is incredible design everywhere you look.

9 Do you prefer to camp under the stars or hotel comforts?

Stars from the hotel balcony? I tried camping with my boys last year… Lets just say it’s not for me, we were home before breakfast the next day.

10 Big screen movie or TV drama?

This is a hard one. Big screen movie, as there is nothing like being completely absorbed by a brilliant film. I love anything by Wes Anderson – The Life Aquatic and The Grand Budapest Hotel are two of my favourite films. I am also a big fan of watching a box set from start to finish.

11 What book would you recommend to a friend?

My husband bought me the most beautiful book for Christmas called “The Book Of Palms” from Taschen. It’s a magnificent work on all varieties of palm trees, full of paintings and beautiful cross-section illustrations. I absolutely treasure it.

12 Best music to work to?

I have 6 Music on in the studio everyday; it’s great company when I am in there on my own. I am also having a moment with Fame by David Bowie after seeing his V and A documentary last year. The last music I downloaded was Stay Gold from First Aid Kit – it’s just lovely.

13 What are your top tips for 24 hours in Edinburgh?

I don’t spend much time in the city these days, so it’s really exciting when I do venture in. I am obsessed with the palm trees so the Victorian palm houses in the Botanic Gardens would be a must, and after that a wander up to the restaurant Roman Nose in Eyre Place, I have only been a few times but I love the atmosphere, vintage decor, lovely food and friendly service. It would be a perfect day.

14 What are you working on at the moment?

Along with some existing photography projects I have been designing a new range of botanical Giclee Art Prints for the shop. It’s a project I have been working on for a while and am really excited about.

15 What makes you laugh

My dad’s terrible jokes. I used to feel sorry for him… sadly now I must be turning into him.

ROCK THE SHACK

It was my Birthday yesterday, a baltic Scottish February day. HB and I took the day off to wonder round the glass palm houses at The Royal Botanical Garden’s and dream of sunnier climates…they were closed due to ridiculously high winds. So instead we popped up to the National Portrait Gallery to have a look at the BP Portrait awards. There were some wonderful paintings included in this years selection and if you are in Edinburgh I would highly recommend a visit. Some of the works are phenomenal.

I spent a very lazy afternoon (with cake) looking through a book that HB bought me for my Birthday called “Rock the Shack”  it’s about the architecture of cabins, cocoons and hide-outs (edited by Sven Ehmann and Sofia Borges and printed by Gestalten) This book is heaven. I am not sure if it is actually healthy to get this excited about buildings?!

The book features gorgeous photography of an amazing collection of secluded cabins and stunning wood clad interiors to die for. Rock the Shack takes you to the places you can only dream about. The book opens with a statistic that ‘for the first time in the history of humankind, more people live in cities than in the country’  Yet more and more and more of us are desperate for a more peaceful existence, an escape from the manic pace of modern life. The idea of being out of reach and getting back to basics. Well this all sounds absolutely wonderful… as long as there is wifi. Get the book it really is fantastic. Thanks HB you know me well.

 

HILL SIDE HAVEN

We have another feature out this week, this time the Scotland On Sunday featured a beautiful house we shot last year in Edinburgh. I have been excited to share this really quirky ground floor flat set at the foot of Calton hill in. The property had wonderful detailing and great proportions when the owner Tobiaz Brunning bought it 5 years ago, but it had an awkward layout and needed a bit of life put back in to it after a developer had neutralised the whole house, it was a bit bland! Now the house has had a whole new look, subway tiles and brick effect wallpaper in the kitchen give the room a New York loft style. Tobiaz has a real passion for vintage furniture and accessories and the house is now filled with wonderful unique pieces in every room. I fell in love with the old leather trunks stacked up beside the bed to make perfect bedside tables. Tobiaz’ flat also had a typical Edinburgh flat box room which benefited from victorian celling hight. He has cleverly installed a double bed deck for when guests come to stay, leaving all the floor space for a desk and extra wardrobe storage. The bathroom was also an awkward space, but through clever thought and reconfiguration Tobiaz managed to fit a bath in and continue the decoration with the subway tiles. I absolutely love the Mathew Williamson wall paper that greets you on arrival, the bright orange and pink pattern paper is on all walls of the vestibule and is teamed with a beautiful old bureau. The over all look and style of his home is really eclectic, one of a kind. This home really has been transformed in to the perfect hill side haven.

 

PERFECT PAIR

I am delighted to see another of our features in House Beautiful this month. The stunning property’s are designed by two architect friends Ryan and Sandy from Arka Architects. They joined forces to design two contemporary homes and are now living right next door to each other! Both homes boast beautiful large open plan living spaces with clean unfussy lines that carry through to the decor choices too. I absolutely love the bespoke American Ash  slatted screen that Sandy had commissioned, it’s perfect for dividing the space with out installing a chunky door. I also LOVE the cut out aperture’s in Ryan’s house they add really beautiful detail, everywhere you look there is a perfectly framed view. Both homes show that planning to perfection, considering each other as well as design and layout creates stunning contemporary living. You can have a look at more gorgeous work from Arka here. These two really are the perfect pair!

You can read more about their story in Februarys addition of House Beautiful as always beautiful words by Fiona at the property files.

 

A LOOK INSIDE TOP DRAWER

 

The only good thing to come out of January – Top Drawer and Home London have been on (woo hoo!). I flew down first thing on Sunday with the lovely Holly (aka Holly Brown designs) and what a day we had. Olympia was the new venue for the design show this year, a much better venue in my opinion. The stands were well laid out and there was a great feeling of space with the spectacular domed ceilings. I was excited to look for some new talent for the SOOuK shop and I was not disappointed. Over 700 hand selected Iconic designers and manufacturers of lifestyle and fashion products, many new and exclusive to Top Drawer. One of my new favourites includes Above and Beyond founded in 2011 by Claudia Pape. A Graphic Designer by trade, she has a simple monochrome pallet throughout, (are you surprised I like it?!), prints, plates and bedding – all gorgeous. She creates ideas and concepts that go beyond simply applying a graphic or pattern to an item. Whether it is to connect two pillow cases to form a unit, or turn two plates into a set telling the time, there is always a reason behind what she does, her stand really stood out above (and beyond) the rest.

Another stand that I was completely blown away by was Skagerk. The styling on this stand was phenomenal with modern white tiles grouted in black, succulents and brass accessories made this one a clear winner for me. Is it natural to get this excited about furniture? This Danish company famous for many pieces, but more recently Skagerak’s prizewinning Georg series. I fell madly in love with Christina Liljenberg Halstrom’s console table and stool a while back. It was quite a moment being able to see and touch it. This season Skagerak has extended the series with three new items in untreated oak. But it’s the black one for me.

International had a very striking lighting display again this year – I went looking for it as it was a real highlight last time! I actually NEED their industrial apollo white lights in my life. So beautiful and I love the idea of mixing and matching to get a different effect, just a brilliant design.

We spent 5 hours walking round, meeting companies and seeing all of their new ideas. I would highly recommend any design lover a visit to Top Drawer and Home London when it next comes round in September. I am over whelmed by the wealth of design talent at top drawer this year. A little look in side the best Top Drawer ever.

VIEW FROM THE TOP

As featured in February’s addition of 25 Beautiful Homes. This is a gorgeous house that we shot last summer in Glasgow’s fashionable west end. This Stunning top floor flat over looking the royal botanical gardens belongs to Graphic designer Stuart and photo editor Catherine. They completely transformed this space in just 6 months with every structural hiccup you could imagine. The result is this stylish and contemporary home filled with wonderful vintage finds. The bright white walls are the perfect base for adding punchy wall art and muted furniture tones. Cat and Stuart are regular visitors to Glasgow’s ‘Love Salvage’ it’s a great place to pick up reclaimed items and other interesting architectural salvage. Items to steal… well where would you start? I’d be better just packing a suitcase and moving in. I LOVE this flat. The old school desk would be a must, all the prints from society 6 – yes please! my list could go on…

 

MERRY EVERYTHING – A DESIGN LOVERS GIFT GUIDE

The perfect post for design lovers. I have been very excited about researching this post and have been planning it for a while now… really this just involved drooling over beautiful design and making a mental list for Santa. I have painstakingly managed to narrow this down to my 10 absolute must haves.

1. CABIN IN THE WOODS: This new TASCHEN title, combining insightful text, stunning photography and bright, contemporary illustrations by Marie-Laure Cruschi, some of the most inventive and forward-looking contemporary architecture I have seen. For me books like this are my favourite kind of gifts. I would be beyond excited if this was waiting under my tree. Available from taschen.com (£45.00)

2. MONOCHROME KNIT CUSHION with orange piping. Brand new from Sandy and Lynn Davidson’s Harbour Interiors shop in Anstruther (£12.95) move over Seven Gauge Studios these are absolutely gorgeous! Ill take two please. For more beautiful finds check out there new shop on Shore street in Fife or Facebook.com/harbourinteriors

3. CINEMA TYPE ALPHABET SET from Tom Pigeon (hands down one of my favourite designers right now) Cinematype is an original sans-serif, geometric typeface designed by Tom Pigeon and inspired by the typography of early 20th Century film. There is a post card style back making them perfect for sending your christmas thank you notes! (£20.00) I also had to take a moment to mention the beautiful and perfectly on trend copper tape (£4.50) that you can also get from Tom Pigeon to wrap all of these goodies up. I can tell you that I have mine already and it does not disappoint. tompigeon.com

4. AMPERSAND TABLE LAMP. If you are obsessed with fonts just like me then you will love this white powder coated ampersand lamp with bright tomato red cable (£125.00) Perfect as bedside lamp or on a stack of  books. Designed by Goodwin and Godwin available in our shop. soo-uk.com

5. SKI JUMPING RABBIT MUG from HAM Made (£12.50) Perfect present for the little design lovers amongst us. I have featured products from Joanna Ham before and I am still in love with her designs. Her fine bone china mugs are made entirely in Stoke-On-Trent by one of the few remaining English potteries. Each is hand decorated, and comes in a HAM gift box. hammade.com

6. LA COUPEE SCARF from the ridiculously talented Claire Gaudion. This scarf is STUNNING. The monochrome fine wool scarf was inspired by geometric sea scapes from the rocky coastline of Guernsey. (£108.00) and if stationary is your thing, the good news is you can get your favourite prints on note books too. Note to self… start taking notes. Available from our shop soo-uk.com

7. WELCOME TO PARADISE BXXLGHT LIGHT BOX. What ever your mood change the text on your light box? AMAZING! founded by Daniela Upmark  Bxxlght is a design company based in Stockholm specialising in simple light box lamps that can be wall mounted or free standing, You can choose from a variety of slogans or make up your own! (£400.00) bxxlght.com

8. HANNAH MARTIN’s Spur black ring takes on a fierce edge. I am loving the lines on this. The designer’s hand-crafted black coated brass statement ring  can be stacked or worn as a standalone piece. (£90.00) selfridges.com

9. LSA BELL JAR. The whole year has really been about bell jars… I have so many now that actually these probably shouldn’t be on the list. But I thought I should share my favourite one with you. Hands down it’s this beauty. Designed by british brand LSA well known for their international glassware. These beautiful bell jars, recessed in oak bases with leather loop handles. The perfect place to keep Cake! (or in my case small succulent plants) (£45.00) lsa-international.com

10. CHo7 CHAIR  by Danish architect and designer Hans J Wegner, is Sculptural perfection. perhaps a little pricier than the rest of the selection but this one is for HB. He absolutely loves this chair. We recently saw it in an exhibition on Wegner whilst in Copenhagen this year and tried many of his chairs out and I can tell you this chair as well as being incredibly beautiful is so comfortable! (£1700.00) stardust.com

Happy Shopping!

PICTURE THIS

It’s been a busy few week’s over here, lots of editing to be done for recent magazine shoots – more on that soon. I thought I would quickly share a few images of our first samples from our new print range. I am absolutely delighted with them, They are beautifully printed thick soft art paper, almost velvety.  The whole range is printed in punchy black and white, striking text or pattern. I am especially proud of the new botanical range and already have plans to add to this. I really hope you like them too.

MAD ABOUT MARBLE

This week I am mostly obsessing about marble. It started with a beautiful necklase I saw on & other stories and it been spiralling out of control ever since, those of you who follow me on Pinterest I’m sure will of noticed! Layers of beautiful white, black and grey stone every piece completely unique, sleek and smooth, I need to marbalize! I have noticed the trend filtering though to interiors too. Top of my list is Ferm livings brand new range of marble candle holders, they are stunning, I also adore their marble coffee tables which were brought to my attention only this evening by the lovely ‘property files’ I have attached some gorgeous pictures of Ferm’s new range and an image of  an apple computer with a marble cover. AMAZING. I found this image on Pinterest and must find out more… perhaps a little christmas pressi (HB hope your listening) Ive also included some other accessorise from this seasons coolest trend.

 

 

 

OH LA LA!

 

Autumn has well and truly arrived this week.. or maybe been skipped and we have gone straight into winter? I have been enjoying perusing all of the new season’s interior collections. Cerise sur le gateau kindly sent me their beautiful new catalogue and I thought I would share some of my favourite pieces from the collection here. It is much more traditional and masculine than the previous season, with Gaston checks at the forefront and the neon taking slightly more of a back seat – although still enough to keep my neon obsession at bay. There is also an addition to the parisian gang with Perette and Ginette (sure to be friends with an old favourite of mine Olga!) they look quite striking on cushions and kitchen linen. But my favourite pieces of the collection have to be the old school/graph paper feel fabrics and the indigo/gold line cushion is just gorgeous.

 

 

 

WELCOME TO PARADISE

It’s all been go go go at SOOuK head quarters the past few weeks. My head has been crammed pack full of things to do! I have been organising new lines for the shop (more on that coming soon!) and also working on our new collection. The first art prints arrived today and I am SO excited about them I had to share them with you.  I have spent the summer obsessing over palm trees and just generally being outside as much as I can. Living in Scotland you have to seize these opportunities! I have two Palm trees in my studio (they would never survive outside) they’re my own little bit of paradise to keep me calm on the dark winter days. When the bright sunlight floods in they cast the most incredible shadows on my white floor and white walls. This has been the inspiration behind the collection. The Palms are printed on the most beautiful soft, bright white art paper. The contrasty black palm leaves look so punchy set against black frames and white walls. We are taking pre-orders for these now please email [email protected] Have a great weekend!

Soo

 

NO STRANGERS

Thought I would write a quick post to tell you about a great exhibition I went to see today called ‘No Strangers’ it’s on in Edinburgh at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The exhibition is collection of photographs taken by lots different photographers from round the world focusing on indigenous people, the way different cultures live and how we express a shared humanity. Some of the images are absolutely breathtaking. I took a few snaps on my phone to share with you here so you can get a flavour, but I would really recommend that if you are in Edinburgh (trying to avoid the referendum!) you should head a long. The exhibition space it’s self is worth seeing. It’s on till the 21st of September so get there quick!

JUST ONE GOOD CHAIR

Following on from my last post about our visit to Copenhagen I thought I would mention a fantastic exhibition we went to see on Hans J Wegner at the design museum.  Wegner is already a big favourite of  mine and I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see and in some cases touch these amazing original designs. The exhibition is a journey through Wegners life (1914-2007) celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth. I learned that he created over 500 chairs in his life time paving the way for other danish design to break through internationally, making him one of the most prolific designers the world has ever seen. Wegner was an incredibly skilled carpenter, he produced all of his own prototypes in his workshop, exploring the potentials of wood and creating new organic shapes.

Walking round the exhibition it was really exciting to see all of the famous chair designs that I have knowen and loved for so many years. The highlight of the exhibition for me was the ‘Tripartite’ shell chair which I have never seen before, It was absolutely stunning and apparently never put in to production! There are even a few chairs that you are aloud to try out and we definitely took our time doing that! I was surprised at how comfortable the shell chair was, I always thought it looked quite hard and an uncomfortable angle, all be it’s simplicity beautiful. It was SO comfortable.

Other notes about the Design Museum would be it’s wonderful cafe, shop (I love a gallery shop!) and pretty court yard garden. We sat outside in the sunshine and I ate the best piece of carrot cake I have ever tasted! A brilliant day all round. The exhibition runs till the 2nd of November.

‘If only you could design just one good chair in your life… but you simply cannot!” 1952 Hans J Wegner.

 

STAY COPENHAGEN

 

We are just back from a fantastic long weekend in Copenhagen. It was my first time visiting the city and it was truly a design lovers paradise. I am going to share a few different posts about our trip but firstly here are some pictures of the very cool apartment we stayed in. The STAY Copenhagen is a block of 12 different apartments set on the waterfront. The apartments are incredibly light and spacious with floor to celling windows in all of the rooms. All of the interior spaces have been designed by HAY keeping a simple pallet of only black and white which was heaven for me! no clutter just clean and extremely minimal. We were lucky on arrival to be told that ours had been upgraded to a 3 bedroom apartment with balcony which was enormous. There was an organic store on the ground level which had pretty much anything you could need for your trip. The hotel also has its own danish bakery stacked with delicious pastries and fresh artisan breads.What more could you ask for!

MAKE DO AND MEND

I am SO excited to tell you about a shoot I am currently working on in Glasgow. It a very cool top floor flat with stunning views of the botanics owned by Catherine and Stuart a graphic designer and a photo editor. This place is beyond cool! Beautiful, original pieces of furniture and art have been sourced specifically for  the flat and have been lovingly restored and upcycled to create an eclectic mix of old and new. There are old school desks used as their dinner table and  gorgeous shop signage for wall art. I have taken a few snaps on my phone to share with you and keep you going until I have completed the shoot. Enjoy!

ZERO TO FIFTY

I was very lucky to be invited to the latest exhibition by Scottish artist Kate Downie last week – Zero to Fifty is an exhibition celebrating 50 years of the Forth Road Bridge. It is currently being shown in the spectacular setting of Hopetoun House (image above). The Forth Road Bridge is a vast structure with incredible engineering, it spans 2.5km across the Firth of Forth. Kate was appointed artist in residence for the bridges 50th Year celebration by the Fourth Estuary Transport Authority. Kate had a temporary studio space directly under the side tower of the bridge where she fully immersed her self in the project, meeting bridge staff, climbing to the top of the bridge and fully exploring and experiencing all aspects of the structure. Kate brings a huge wealth of knowledge in creating bridge inspired work including her previous residency at the Forth Bridge – which is the world famous Rail bridge that sits along side the road bridge.

I absolutely fell in love with her large scale drawings, dark, smudgy, bold and paintings of the bridge. Here are some of images from the exhibition and some of her other work. I would definitely recommend checking out her work at www.katedownie.com. The exhibition runs till September the 13th.

PAINT IT BLACK

As I said in my ‘fun and fabulous’ post (20.07.14) I have been revisiting house features from last year. This is another of my favourites from 25 Beautiful Homes last year. It is the stunning home of Jack Irvine also known as Brave Little Note, a musician from Edinburgh. Her gorgeous victorian double upper was featured in the Januarys edition. Beautiful high ceilings allow light to flood through the house, the enormous floor to ceiling victorian windows all have original shutters leaving the windows free of imposing curtains. I love the brave paint and wall paper choices in this house, the black living room is a bold statement and works amazingly well with the furniture in particular the Charles Eames basket chair which Jack found on ebay. She chose more delicate tones for the sleeping spaces, with a soft blue for Amelie’s room and a striking feature wall paper with birds for her own room. Jack completely redesigned the kitchen maximising space by having high units which sit comfortably with the high ceilings and leave plenty of space for a large dining table for friends and family. I love the kooky handles Jack sourced for her units they add a huge amount of character as well as style. There are so many lovely parts of her home, again it would be hard to choose a favourite… the colour coded book case is a must and obviously the Eames chair, Its amazing!

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER

A slight side step away from my usual interior obsession, I thought I would tell you about a brilliant film I went to see last week called ‘Finding Vivian Maier’.

For those of you unfamiliar with her and her work Vivian’s story is an intriguing one. The Documentary traces her life, a mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photographs. She hid them in storage lockers which were never seen by anyone until her death in 2007. A young Chicago historian named John Maloof discovered a box of her undeveloped negatives at an auction. He immediately became interested in her street photography and set out to piece together the rest of her story, including obtaining her storage locker and vast amounts of undeveloped film and negatives. The images were 1000’s of photographs taken on the streets of New York and Chicago from the 1950’s till the end of her life. The film was a journey through Maier’s life and John Maloof’s quest to find out more about the completely unknown artist. He spoke to children and families that Maier had worked for, trying to get an idea of who the woman behind the images was and from all accounts she was a very private but extremely interesting person.

Having never been aware of her photography before I was completely mesmerised. Her images are outstanding. I am already a huge fan of Willian Klien and I would put Vivian Maier’s work right up there with his. What an incredible undiscovered talent. Hopefully Vivian would be proud of seeing her work so greatly received.

GREY DREAM

Grey dreaming…. something I find my self doing on a regular basis! Grey interiors have been having a major moment of late, some associate grey with industrial environments or maybe colour that is depicting the nations mood? depressing?. Not me I LOVE grey. All shades.

Soft, pale, calm shades for light, open, airy spaces adding texture for a decorative soft edge. These are perfect for bedrooms, studios or rooms with high ceilings to promote quiet relaxation.

Deeper, darker, richer hues for snugs, smaller rooms and to make a bolder statement add ascents of neon or burnt orange. I actually need to stop painting grey walls in my home, it’s getting out of hand! We have a large sliding grey wall separating our living room/sung and another grey feature wall in the sung (which  is a very small room) with a bright yellow sofa in front of it. The two contrast brilliantly and make for a really inspirational space to read and chill out in away from the kids.

These pictures are some of my favourite ‘Grey Dreaming’ pictures found on pinterest.

FUN AND FABULOUS

I thought I would share a few of my favourite Magazine features from shoots we did last year. Starting with this gorgeous victorian house in Edinburgh shot for House Beautiful UK. Owned by Juliet and Justin Moletta (of Moletta Munro). The 3 story house with all of it’s original features intact is a beautiful blend of period and contemporary styles. I shot and styled this house over two days last summer and everywhere I looked there were amazing styling props to be found! It was quite a job lugging kit up and down the large staircases but such a treat to work in such a beautifully light space.

There were retro and iconic vintage furniture styles combined for a strong architectural look. Purple Muuto socket lamps, Eames chairs, bright moroccan pouffes and Neon Hay throws all put together against a soft grey walls and the over all look is fun and fabulous!

There are just too many beautiful pieces of furniture and art dotted all over the house for me to pick a favourite, but on my list of bits to steal would be the bright moroccan pouffes and lets’ be honest pretty much anything by Hay!

SHOW YOUR COLOURS

The day has finally arrived… The new season Claire Gaudion delivery is here! I have been SO excited about sharing these geometric beauties with you. For those of you not familiar with the amazingly talented Claire she is a British born textile artist. Her patterns are inspired from the kaleidoscopic landscape of her beloved island Guernsey. I just can’t get enough of her bright, bold and graphic patterns. We already stock her gorgeous scarves in our store, but you all know my heart lies with interiors so the homeware addition to her collection is just too much!. These cushions and new stationary lines are now available to buy on our website. I hope you love them as much as me!

 

 

 

PRINTS CHARMING

 

Punchy typographical, black and white art prints have been around for a while now, but I still just can’t get enough of them! I have quite a sizeable collection around my own home and the quirky phrases really make me smile. Some of my current  favourite artists include Anthony Burrill, the first piece of art we bought for our house when we had finished the build, ” I like it what is it”, makes me laugh out loud everyday. One must dash’s, “small talk”, is one of my all time favourite pictures and I am seriously lusting after, “this is not a bloody hotel”. I love Anki and Anneli’s hilarious out look on life, it really come across in their work. Ham is a new discovery and I first became aware of them at a design show in London. Established in 2011 by Jo Robinson her designs are based on her own childhood nostalgia, keeping all of the designs  minimal, punchy, black and white. The superhero rabbit is a personal favourite but I found it hard just to pick one. Kristina Dam’s (based in Denmark) stunning 3d and embossed illustrations are also on my list of current obsessions. I will run out of wall space if I keep this up! All of these artists are completely amazing and I would highly recommend checking out their work.

|www.onemustdash.comwww.kristinadam.dk| www.hammade.comwww.anthonyburril.com| other prints from SOOuK

ONLY CONNECT

I thought I would share a few pictures from my trip to Jupiter Artland today. For those of you not familiar with Jupiter it is a stunningly beautiful garden set in a 100 acre site, with works by many of todays leading artists, sculptors and land artists who have been commissioned to create works in situ. This beautiful sculpture park was the creation of Robert and Nicky Wilson who bought Bonnington house in 1999 the estate seemed to be the perfect location for Nicky’s ambition to create the park. You will see work from many many amazing artists including Andy Goldsworthy, Charles Jencks, Henry Castle and Antony Gormley just to name a few! We had a brilliant time today wondering through the forests, climbing the landforms and just being completely inspired by all of the wonderful art that we are lucky to have right on our door step.

PERFECTLY COMPOSED

I wrote about this house a while back but I thought I would let you know that its out this month featured in House Beautiful. It’s also an excuse for me to share a few more photos from the shoot with you. The House, owned by Corinne and Simon Rawlins, is a 5 bedroom A listed Georgian town house in Edinburgh’s beautiful New Town. Jenny (lovely stylist) and I had a brilliant time shooting. Corinne’s home is a treasure trove of all things aesthetically wonderful! She has collected pieces of art and furniture from her native France. The house has a neutral palette throughout with an uncluttered and simple french style in all the rooms. What more can I say… when can I move in?

WHITE AND BRIGHT

I’m really excited to be featured in June’s edition of House Beautiful. It’s a lovely spread written by the very talented Fiona Reid on how we built our studio. Reading it brings back great memories of the build and all the hard work that went into the planning. The studio was designed by Arka architects at the same time our farm house was being redesigned. I am not a very patient person and this process took AGES! Planning permission, building warrants and worst of all motivating builders! I had very definite ideas on how the building should look externally and feel on the inside. These things have absolutely been achieved. The white walls and flooring create a calm and relaxing work environment, they are practical for my work too. I look forward to going to work and even though the studio is just at the bottom of the garden it separates work and home life. It was well worth the wait.