Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Garden Trading Missprint Enamel Ware

The weather at the moment in the UK is amazing and it has been officially declared the driest September since records began, so taking advantage of the unseasonably balmy weather, we joined our friends last week for a camping weekend in Conwy wales.

We would usually have taken to the road in our VW camper, but as this year has been a special birthday for me, we have had lots of different breaks abroad booked, so our camper van has had the summer off and remained without road tax. Instead we got back under canvas for the first time in years and relied on our friends to provide the cooking facilities.

I have, however, recently been sent these lovely images of some enamel cookware which has been designed by Missprint in collaboration with Garden Trading and they will be my first purchase for our future camping trips. The muted colours and mid twentieth century design inspiration will be the perfect partners for our 1976 Westfalia and enamel is the ideal,
 hardwearing, unbreakable material, always associated with outdoor camping expeditions. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

2015 Home Interior Trends

As an interiors stylist much of my work involves styling products for large commercial retail companies.  The buyers always have to be ahead of the game as far as trends go, so that they buy into the ones that are going to be the most popular with the public.

Trend forecasting companies work a couple of years ahead of the buyers to put the emerging trends into categories to make their choices easier. These trends are not just picked from thin air,as I used to think before I was a stylist, but often derive from a general mood that is driven by world politics, economics or events.

One of the main trends that appears to be emerging for 2015 is a sense of human empathy. One of the large retail companies I work for are calling it Gathering which translates roughly to a meeting of minds and sharing the joy of life. In essence it's all about shared times with loved ones, cooking and eating with family and friends, human communication, restoring trust and faith in relationships.

As a recent newcomer to Instagram, I see this as a perfect tool for sharing with like minded people whether that be crafters, cooks, designers, photographers or other parents sharing moments with their families. For me instagram has the human touch which other social networking sites are lacking and it seems a very positive community, sharing appreciative comments and likes that always bring a smile to my face.

So for 2015 I'm looking forward to more sharing and caring with my family and friends old and new and my "never met, but know I would really like" friends on Instagram. This is one trend I'm definitely buying into!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Alternative Flooring - Quirky B Carpets

As somebody who is no stranger to pattern and colour you can imagine my excitement when I first saw the new collection of carpets by Alternative Flooring. The Quirky B Collection developed by some of the Uk's most innovative surface print designers, Margo Selby and Ashley Hicks, is not for the faint hearted but, for anybody who is not afraid to make a style statement in their homes, your pulse will race when you see the collection.

Available in broadloom, wool mix fibres, the carpets and runners come in a variety of beautiful colour combinations and the full Quirky B collection includes 5 other designs.

Although I love our  Cath Kidston runner, which is now unfortunately discontinued, I now have an exciting alternative (no pun intended) to replace it when the time comes.
Our old faithful Cath Kidston Runner.
You can read Design Sponge's best of patterned floors here.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

A/W '14 Trends - Trousers

I love this time of year when all the fashion magazines start showcasing the best of what the High Street have to offer for the season.

It looks as though trousers feature heavily in most collections and I for one am thrilled and delighted, as they are a great alternative to jeans and just that little bit smarter for those days when it matters but you still want to feel like you! Trousers can be really flattering if they are cut well, but still look stylish and trendy and as I gravitate to tom boy dressing for most days, my selection below, fit the brief perfectly.

What do you think. Can you see yourself adding a pair or two to your A/W wardrobe? I'd love to hear from you x


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Cilla Black TV Drama Series

Last night was the first in the 3 part biopic of Cilla Black who found fame in 1960's Liverpool.
I've been waiting for this ITV drama series to start for months, partly because I'm fascinated by 1960's Liverpool and it's music scene and partly because it was filmed in and around The North West, where I live. Media City, where ITV are based, is literally 10 minutes up the road from my home and many of the props were bought from a shop local to my town of Urmston, Mrs M Vintage, so it has been really exciting hearing all about it.

The first part of the series didn't disappoint in any way, from the brilliant casting of Sheridan Smith as Cilla and Aneurin Barnard, as her future husband Bobby Willis. Aneurin played David Bailey in a drama about the photographer and his then beau, the model Jean Shrimpton and Sheridan was excellent as Ronnie Biggs wife in a previous Media City production.

It was brilliant to see the scenes in The Cavern where Cilla and her bezzies danced to the early music of their mates The Beatles. Having been there several times myself, its always a thrill when you recognise a venue or location.
The set designers and the props and costume teams were spot on with their styling, with everything looking suitably down at heel and dirty, as it would have in a post war working class city such as Liverpool.

If you were inspired by the clothes in the 60's scenes, Boden have given a nod to the era with some of their current collection, shown here.

Roll on next Monday night, it was FAB!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Market House - Altrincham

Altrincham market in Cheshire has always been a well used and loved part of the community but in recent years, this heritage market place also become a specialist market at the weekends, with various Sundays in the month dedicated to Vintage, Artisan, Crafts and farmers & food markets.

Those markets have been the seedlings that have now grown into Market House, which opened it's doors last weekend. The brainchild of Nick Johnson, the former marketing manager of Urban Splash, who were instrumental in changing our Urban landscapes and inner city living, Nick has re-designed the original indoor market at Altrincham into a food court, providing a permanent home for many of the artisan food specialists that have been putting Altrincham back on the culinary map, with the pop up markets.
The regeneration of the former market hall, is a perfect marriage of original Victorian features such as the wrought iron vaulted ceiling and 21st Century design with the use of recycled materials and industrial lighting. The range of mini restaurants and bars, which are housed around the perimeter of the market, are all specialists in their field, using the best of local produce and finest ingredients and the whole place has become a social hub, with plenty of seating in the centre, live music and even a dedicated childrens area for crafts and entertainment.

My photos, which were taken yesterday on a very busy Saturday afternoon, don't really do the market justice. The food on offer, was a great variety and although I didn't eat as I was just passing through, I will definitely be going back. The ones that caught my eye were, The Ginger Kid, who specialises in savoury and sweet tarts, with fresh seasonal salads and dressings, Honest Crust, who have a purpose built, wood burning Pizza oven and promise to bring a taste of Napoli to Altrincham and BlackJack micro brewery and bar.

It looks as though Nick Johnson and his wife, who was Nick's partner in the rebirth of the market, have brought a little bit of London living to Cheshire. The market reminds me very much of Borough Market and I think it's going to be just as successful!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Bloggers Home-91 Magazine

I've just received my copy of 91 magazine, which is a digital interior magazine and is full to bursting with sneak peaks of creative spaces, ideas for crafting and the latest trends to buy for your home.

In this seasons issue, one of my favourite features is the home of Norwegian blogger Inger Lill Skagen, who writes Kasparas Regnbue. I love the way, the mainly monochromatic palette of her home, is softened with accents of soft pinks and bright hits of colour such as coral and neon pink and I really like the repetition of numbers that recurs throughout the interior. A beautiful and inspiring space. If you want see the full shoot you can subscribe to the magazine here.