Bohemian Style at Home

Extract from Bohemian Style at Home by Kate Young. Published by Thames and Hudson as part of their ‘At Home’ series which offers room-by-room guides for a simple, inspirational way to design your own home.

What is bohemian style?

Image: GAP Interiors/Douglas Gibb  A grand ornate mirror and large oil painting transform this living room into boho chic heaven.

Image: GAP Interiors/Douglas Gibb

A grand ornate mirror and large oil painting transform this living room into boho chic heaven.

The term ‘bohemian style’ is bandied about a lot and often applies to a decorating approach characterized by free-flowing fabrics, bright colours and a multitude of clashing patterns. Heavily inspired by the 1960s and 1970s freespirited way of life, it is one of the most versatile styles of decoration. Sometimes rule-breaking and always personal, it could best be described as a way to live in complete harmony with your surroundings. Forget about famous designers and carefully planned decorating schemes, boho is the antipode of trends.

Image: Copper and Cross; copperandcross.com  Plants are an inexpensive way to add colour to a room. Here they add a welcoming touch to the entryway.

Image: Copper and Cross; copperandcross.com

Plants are an inexpensive way to add colour to a room. Here they add a welcoming touch to the entryway.

While the ‘anything goes’ approach is meant to be liberating, the prospect of having no rules to abide by can be daunting when trying to recreate bohemian style for yourself. There are however a few key elements that define a true bohemian home:

Image: Stylist/Designer Jo of thewishingtrees.com

Image: Stylist/Designer Jo of thewishingtrees.com

Vintage

Vintage furniture and accessories is an essential component of bohemian design and will give your home that authentic look. Flea markets, charity shops and salvage yards are great places to start hunting for unique pieces.

Image: Fleamarket Fab/Chanell Harrison; instagram.com/fleamarketfab  To ramp up the tactile element of a bedroom, layer several rugs, choosing complementing hues or textures for a cohesive look.

Image: Fleamarket Fab/Chanell Harrison; instagram.com/fleamarketfab

To ramp up the tactile element of a bedroom, layer several rugs, choosing complementing hues or textures for a cohesive look.

Texture

We often think of bohemian design as a feast of colour, but texture features just as heavily in the scheme. In fact, it’s possible to achieve a bohemian look with very little colour as long as you pile on the textures.

Image: HK Living; HKLiving.com  Bring the outdoors in with a hammock and plenty of plants.

Image: HK Living; HKLiving.com

Bring the outdoors in with a hammock and plenty of plants.

Plants

In a bid to blur the boundaries between the inside and outside world and be completely at one with nature, the bohemian home is always crammed with plants.

Image: Fie Frøling; instagram.com/woodlandwhim  For an unusual display hang a beautiful item of clothing as if it were a piece of art.

Image: Fie Frøling; instagram.com/woodlandwhim

For an unusual display hang a beautiful item of clothing as if it were a piece of art.

Soulfulness and creativity

Boho style is about following your heart and guts. Infuse your personal taste into your decor and you will have a bohemian home as individual as you are.

Bohemian Style at Home by Kate Young. Published by Thames and Hudson.jpg

Bohemian Style at Home by Kate Young.

Published by Thames and Hudson

A Glamorous Parisian Home Filled With Souvenirs

Extract from Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators by My Little Paris (Flammarion, 2019)

Fanny’s Home

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Like her cats, Fanny can claim to have nine lives. The first she spent travelling between France and Dubai wearing the high heels of a marketing director. In her latest incarnation, she donned a director’s jacket to run The School of Life Paris. This life-skills institution, which originated in England, offers classes on all the stuff you don’t learn in school: how to find the job of your dreams, how to boost creativity, and so on.

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Fanny is surrounded by souvenirs from her numerous lives. Against one wall is a chest of drawers from Bali, discovered at a Greek antique dealer’s shop in Dubai (are you following?). Next to that, her great-grandfather’s card table. One day she stumbled upon a secret drawer; inside were the playing cards that had cost her ancestor his entire fortune. She smiles. Her own precious possessions are the old letters she keeps in her letter chest.

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“My ‘Her’ chair by Fabio Novembre. The cheeky nature of Italian design makes me want to hunt for vintage objects.”

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A Glamorous Parisian Home Filled With Souvenirs (6).jpg

“I buy my eggshell porcelain teacups at flea markets for next to nothing, though they’re actually worth a fortune. Because they’re extraordinarily fine they’re all slightly chipped. I find the little cracks touching.

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“One of my morning rituals is doing yoga on my balcony. I call it the ‘Salutation to the Sacre-Coeur’!”

Photos by Tomoko Yasuda

Creative Paris by My Little Paris. Published by Fammarion..jpg

Creative Paris: Urban Interiors, Inspiring Innovators by My Little Paris

(Flammarion, 2019)

Hardback, £25, Available on Amazon Here

Since it was founded in 2008, My Little Paris (@mylittleparis) has been the go-to source for the city’s best-kept lifestyle secrets. Covering the most exciting underground and up-and-coming trends, tips and addresses in the City of Light, My Little Paris has its finger on the pulse like no other, providing bright ideas and fresh lifestyle inspiration. Their team of writers, creatives, scouts, photographers, developers, videographers and illustrators share one common goal: to surprise. Today the brand reaches over four million subscribers through their Instagram posts, newsletters and subscription boxes.

Japanese Style At Home

Extract from Japanese Style at Home by Olivia Bays, Cathelijne Nuijsink, and Tony Seddon. Published by Thames and Hudson as part of their ‘At Home’ series which offers room-by-room guides for a simple, inspirational way to design your own home.

A kimono hung on the wall makes for an unusual and unique piece of artwork

A kimono hung on the wall makes for an unusual and unique piece of artwork

Understanding Japanese Style?

To understand Japanese style, you could do a lot worse than starting with one word: Zen. Brought from China to Japan in the 12th Century, Zen Buddhism’s guiding principles extend to all aspects of Japanese life, including design. Zen philosophy wets out seven elements for achieving wabi-sabi, the distinctly Japanese art of embracing the imperfect and impermanent. They include: asymmetry or irregularity (fukinsei); simplicity (kanso); naturalness without pretense (shizen); and a focus only on the essential (koko).

Japanese Style at Home by Olivia Bays, Cathelijne Nuijsink, and Tony Seddon.  Published by T (5).jpg

The roots of Japanese minimalism can be traced back to the mantra of zen, ‘vast emptiness, nothing holy’. The result is a mindful approach to design, involving disciplined editing and an awareness of the importance of space. Interiors are deliberately simple yet enriched by detail; craftsmanship is honoured but natural materials are emphasized over design. Japanese design epitomizes Mies van Rohe’s famous dictum, ‘Less is more’ - or, as architecture professor Michael Monninger puts it, ‘more with less’.

This full-length window brings nature into the dining room, while the latticed porch outside casts shadows across the table – a significant element in Japanese aesthetics

This full-length window brings nature into the dining room, while the latticed porch outside casts shadows across the table – a significant element in Japanese aesthetics

Traditionally, Japanese houses tend to have a flexibility to them, to feel somehow light. Their floor plans are open and flowing, merging indoor and outdoor spaces. The contain minimal furniture and decoration that can be used for different things at different times. This evolved partly as a practical response to Japan’s geographical and historical context: as a country prone to earthquakes and with limited space and a large population, the Japanese have long been used to living agilely and compactly. It can also be seen as arising from Japan’s Buddhist roots and the sense hat life is transient and fleeting.

Japanese Style at Home by Olivia Bays, Cathelijne Nuijsink, and Tony Seddon.  Published by Tha (1).jpg

Contemporary Japanese interiors often display a balance between, or attempt to reconcile, the contrasting elements of the Japanese character: traditional and modern, East and West, playful and serious, loud and quiet. What unifies them above all else is the appreciation of and connection to nature, to the rhythm of the seasons and the passing of time.

Japanese Style at Home by Olivia Bays, Cathelijne Nuijsink, and Tony Seddon.  Published by T (3).jpg

Japanese Style at Home by Olivia Bays, Cathelijne Nuijsink, and Tony Seddon.

Published by Thames and Hudson

Foolproof Floristry Using Bottles, Jam Jars and Bud Vases

Extract from Living with Flowers: Blooms & Bouquets for the Home by Rowan Blossom, published by Laurence King. Available at www.laurenceking.com and at all good bookshops. RRP £19.99.

The beauty of arranging flowers in this way is that they will look informal, by the very nature of the vessels – washed-out old bottles and jam jars, with the odd pretty bud vase picked up along the way. I got most of mine from Golborne or Kempton markets or charity shops on my travels. I do find it hard to resist a rummage in a charity shop – you never know what treasures you might discover!

I love dotting these dinky arrangements around the flat, on the entrance table where I leave my keys, maybe one by the soap in the kitchen so there’s something pretty to look at when I’m doing the washing up, or clustered on the kitchen table for a casual centrepiece.

Living with Flowers Blooms & Bouquets for the Home by Rowan Blossom, published by Laurence King (3).jpg

The informality of this arrangement, and the fact that you don’t need loads of flowers, means that you could quickly rustle up a display with a couple of bunches from your local florist or supermarket, or, if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, snippets of homegrown blooms.

Ingredients:

Selection of bottles, jam jars and bud vases. I like having different heights, shapes and sizes, but work with what you have – old or new, as long as they can hold water they will do the job.

Foliage and Flowers:

Foliage – Eucalyptus, Hebe, Olive, Rosemary, Variegated Pittosporum

Flowers – Astrantia, Daffodil, Genista, Hellebore, Icelandic poppy, Lisianthus, Miranda rose (David Austin), Prunus blossom, sweet-pea flowers and tendrils

Instructions:

Living with Flowers Blooms & Bouquets for the Home by Rowan Blossom, published by Laurence King (4).jpg

1. Gather your bottles, jam jars and bud vases and fill them three-quarters with cold water. Start by adding a sprig or two of foliage to each vessel, varying the height and type.

Living with Flowers Blooms & Bouquets for the Home by Rowan Blossom, published by Laurence King (5).jpg

2. I always start by adding the tallest flowers. These will give a lightness to the arrangements, so keep the length where possible (even if it initially looks absurd). Next add the babes, the big-headed flowers. Keep some tall and cut some super-short so the heads just peep out.

Living with Flowers Blooms & Bouquets for the Home by Rowan Blossom, published by Laurence King (1).jpg

3. Now go in with your dainty, wispy flourishes. Here the twisty curlicues of sweet-pea tendrils give a relaxed feel to the assortment.

Photographs by James Stopforth.

Living with Flowers Blooms & Bouquets for the Home by Rowan Blossom, published by Laurence King (2).jpg

Living with Flowers: Blooms & Bouquets for the Home by Rowan Blossom

Published by Laurence King.

Available at www.laurenceking.com and at all good bookshops. RRP £19.99.


INTERIOR DESIGN RULES: Which to Follow and Which to Break

Extract from My Bedroom is an Office & Other Interior Design Dilemmas by Joanna Thornhill, published by Laurence King Publishing.

They say rules were made to be broken, but in order to do that, you must know them in the first place. Here are five common interior design truisms, and how to interpret them to make them work for you.

Liesbeth Disbergen, Sloppop Yeah

Liesbeth Disbergen, Sloppop Yeah

1. They say: Follow the 60/30/10 rule when choosing colours. Sixty per cent of the room should contain the dominant colour and thirty per cent the secondary colour, leaving ten per cent for accent pieces. We say: Loosely following this makes sense since going all-out colour crazy can result in a frenetic, disjointed feel, especially if you’re not sure what you’re doing – but don’t let it bog you down. Sometimes the most successful schemes are those that incorporate ‘a little bit of wrong’, which actually gives depth and soul to a space.

The Lovely Drawer

The Lovely Drawer

2. They say: Use symmetry to create a balanced space. We say: It’s true that our brains are programmed to find symmetry pleasing, even therapeutic. But too much of it in a small space can feel bland and dull, and possibly even overwhelming. Try using a symmetrical approach with key elements or focal points – a circular table directly in the centre of a square room, for example – but break it up with an off-centre sideboard or ornaments arranged together in odd numbers.

3. They say: Decorate with natural colours. We say: Mother Nature is not to be trifled with, and she certainly knows what she’s doing, though ‘natural’ certainly needn’t mean neutral. Look at the way she balances hues and proportions (in fact, we think she might be following the 60/30/10 rule), whether it’s in the sombre, muted tones of a stormy sky or the vibrant, unexpected contrasts of a bird of paradise.

Little Greene Paint Company

Little Greene Paint Company

4. They say: Choose furniture and flooring that are proportionate to the size of the room. We say: Common wisdom might dictate that the smaller the room, the more diminutive the objects you should put in it, but in fact this can create a cluttered, broken look. Think less, but bigger: go bold and choose a show-stopping L-shaped sofa over a two-seater and armchairs to act as a bold and inviting focal point, for example. The same rule can be applied to flooring, using largeformat tiles or wide planks.

Little Greene Paint Company

Little Greene Paint Company

5. They say: Stick to white or light tones in a small space. We say: While white seems an obvious choice – it reflects light and brightens dark corners – there’s also a danger that it will feel bland, and if there’s not enough to attract the eye the space will ultimately still look small (albeit pale). A vibrant hue might not be to everyone’s taste, but it can give a luxurious jewellery-box vibe, while dark tones add atmosphere and mood as well as highlighting interesting architectural details, creating an inviting sanctuary.

My Bedroom is an Office & Other Interior Design Dilemmas by Joanna Thornhill, published by Laurence King Publishing (1).jpg

My Bedroom is an Office & Other Interior Design Dilemmas

by Joanna Thornhill,

published by Laurence King.

Available at www.laurenceking.com, RRP £14.99.

Jungle of Love - Extract from Wonder Plants 2

Extract from Wonder Plants 2 - Your Urban Jungle Interior, by Irene Schampaert and Judith Baehner. Published by Lannoo.

In the greener part of the city of Baltimore, near the Hampden district along the banks of the Jones Falls River, an old cotton factory from 1870 was transformed into a luxury apartment complex. Today, it is more commonly known as Cotton Mill N°1. Hilton Carter, filmmaker, producer, and an interior decorator and plant specialist in his own right, found his dream loft there.

Jungle of Love from Wonder Plants 2 - copyright Hilton Carter (2).jpg

Though it may look like a jungle, he did not place any of these plants at random. “I see a plant in the house as a design element,” Hilton continues, “and especially with bigger specimens, you can set the tone and make a room even more warm and inviting. But place a Ficus lyrata (fiddle-leaf fig) between a Monstera deliciosa (swiss cheese plant) and a Strelitzia (bird-of-paradise), for instance, and you can see something almost magical happen. That process of discovering and unravelling is something that I thoroughly enjoy spending time on.”

Jungle of Love from Wonder Plants 2 - copyright Hilton Carter (1).jpg

And, to be sure, spending time successfully, as it resulted in beautiful arrangements throughout the apartment. The test-tubes wall is just one of the many eye-catchers. That’s precisely where all the new plants come to life: a solution for cutting plants that is as original as it is decorative. It’s another one of Hilton’s hobbies that has widely spread its roots.

Jungle of Love from Wonder Plants 2 - copyright Hilton Carter (3).jpg

If you ask him about his favourite, there is no hesitation in his answer. “The fiddle-leaf fig was my first big acquisition; she’s been going strong for more than four years now. Together, we have navigated through lots of adventures,” he says with a fond smile. “My biggest concern is keeping her in tip-top condition.”

Jungle of Love from Wonder Plants 2 - copyright Hilton Carter (5).jpg

That the Carter home abides by a tight schedule to care for the nearly 150 plants – yes, they have indeed been counted - should not come as a surprise. “A basic knowledge of the different plants is vital,” Hilton says. “Each plant comes with its own needs and its own specific treatment. I set my alarm so I know precisely when to water which plants.” And then it is just a matter of following your gut instincts. You can get quite far with tender loving care. Rest assured, even I lose the occasional soldier,” he jokes. It happens to the best of us.

Wonderplants 2.jpg

Wonder Plants 2: Your Urban Jungle Interior

by Irene Schampaert and Judith Baehner

Available on Amazon

The Power of Styling from Homes with Soul

This is an extract from Homes with Soul: Designing with Heart by Orly Roninzon, published by Images Publishing.

In recent years, awareness that the power of design affects our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing has notably surged. Design has become an integral part of life's basic needs, even aspirations. These days, people all over the world are mindful of the power design has via social networks, from the flow of images bursting from apps, websites, magazines, and books into the mobile phones in the palms of our hands.

Bring nature home, and natural sunlight gently washes the interiors, softens, and in streams a pleasant breeze. The natural appearance is honest and heartfelt.

Bring nature home, and natural sunlight gently washes the interiors, softens, and in streams a pleasant breeze. The natural appearance is honest and heartfelt.

This influx is tremendous and inspiring, and calls us to action. People wish to live a more aesthetic life, whether it is relating to fashion or home design. I believe in the power of styling and appreciate its merits. I see how using a lightweight carpet, some pillows, and curtains on a very reasonable budget completely transforms a room's appearance. How, by simply organising and cleaning the house, using a fragrant floor detergent, one can enhance its look and feel. The homey smell of laundry, cooking or baking, and fresh flowers never fails to create a pleasant ambiance at home. 

Anything is possible and we are all encouraged to enter the world of affordable design. I refer to things you can do on your own on a small budget: updating and painting furniture pieces, creating personal art, showcasing collections, displaying family photographs, expressing your creativity, and believing that, just like getting fit, the beginning requires effort, but once we are fit, we feel great.

The power of home dressing is potent. It is choosing the dark tone of the armchair, the one that household members particularly love, the compels them to curl up, feel wrapped and protected.

The power of home dressing is potent. It is choosing the dark tone of the armchair, the one that household members particularly love, the compels them to curl up, feel wrapped and protected.

So it is also the case with design. The more open your eyes, mind, and heart are, the more aware you will become of the decorative aspects of your home, the more opportunities will reveal themselves to you. 

Is there such a thing as a bed that is too indulgent? We need a good, deep, and blessed sleep.

Is there such a thing as a bed that is too indulgent? We need a good, deep, and blessed sleep.

The power of styling: remember to use it.

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Homes with Soul: Designing with Heart

by Orly Roninzon

photographs by Gilad Radat

published by Images Publishing.

Shelfie Secrets - How to Curate a Shelfie

The following is an extract from Shelfie by Martha Roberts. Published by Mitchell Beazley, £12.99 

It’s one thing to wantonly collect and accumulate (which most of us manage with very little effort) but it’s another to curate. Curating is conscious collecting – selecting and acquiring objects with intent. The elements may be chosen because they are a particular brand or type of object (vintage tea caddies, for example) or a specific shape or colour, or because they help to convey the story you’re trying to tell through your shelfie. When it comes to curating for shelfies, here’s how I do it. These guidelines should help to clarify your mind so you don’t end up with heaps of random objects that make you say to yourself, “What was I thinking?!”

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Create a “capsule wardrobe” of styling items

Fashion experts often talk about the aspirational capsule wardrobe. Why not a capsule shelfie wardrobe, too? It gives you a go-to collection for all your shelfie requirements. If you’ve collated objects you love, you should find that they work together harmoniously – a bit like a melodious choir. Of course, you will no doubt add to these as time goes by – with ad hoc additions such as children’s artwork or a birthday gift – but the shelfie capsule wardrobe should give you years of good service.

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This shelfie (above) in my home contains my entire “capsule shelfie wardrobe”, including vases, candlesticks, heirlooms, books, baubles, ribbons and braid, as well as a memory box. The colours are set off by cut-out artwork by Antonia Woodgate and my favourite multicoloured “Happy Happy” canvas by artist Dan Baldwin, which helps the shelfie arrangement to “sing”.

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Mix things up

My style guru is the inimitable Iris Apfel, nonagenarian interior designer and fashion icon. I love how she mixes colour, pattern and texture with unabashed confidence. As quoted in the Telegraph in 2011: “I mix everything up. A museum curator once said to me that there is a great jazz component to the way I do things because good jazz is improvisation and draws elements from all different cultures”. Curating doesn’t mean buying everything that matches. In fact, it often means having the confidence to buy something because it doesn’t. Mix it up like Iris does.

Here’s what my shelfie capsule wardrobe contains:

  • Books
  • Pitchers, vases and glasses
  • Shells, rocks, crystals and pebbles
  • Ribbons, braid, patches, badges, swatches of fabric
  • Baubles and decorations
  • Plants and flowers
  • Heirlooms and hand-medowns
  • Picture frames
  • Candlesticks, candles, tea light/votive holders
Shelfie by Martha Roberts (3).JPG

Know where to look

  • Thrift shops: Get managers on your side. They have an overview of what’s come in and have the discretion to let you know about it.
  • Auction and craft websites: Search these for original artwork and objects.
  • Specialist shops: Plunder everything from button shops to a fly-fishing shop for neon floats.
  • Vacations and day trips: Whether it’s a shell or a bracelet, holiday finds can add both visual excitement and emotional connection.
Shelfie by Martha Roberts (1).jpg

Shelfie by Martha Roberts.

Published by Mitchell Beazley, £12.99. 

Photographs by Nick Pope.

Mixing and Matching Vintage and New

Extract from Get it Together - An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life by Orlando Soria. Published by Prestel Publishing.

A space doesn’t seem quite right when it’s filled only with brand-new furnishings. For me a home doesn’t feel done until there are some vintage items present. Why? I think it’s because vintage furniture and accessories bring a history and age with them that is impossible to replicate, even with the best faux finishing on earth.  

from Get it Together - An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life by Orlando Soria. Published by Prestel Publishing (3).jpg

Objects and furniture have the same type of inexplicable powers of attraction. Vintage pieces, much like vintage homes, give off a historic presence that gives your home a warmth and complexity that new objects cannot. I like to balance vintage pieces with newer items to make sure the space feels full of character but also fresh. But many people find vintage shopping to be totally daunting and overwhelming. Below are my tips for finding the best vintage pieces.

Look Low, Look High (But Mostly Low)

There are a lot of gorgeous showrooms that sell only the best vintage treasures. If I could afford to shop only in those places, I would. But for someone getting started in the vintage game, I’d stick to thrift shops and flea markets. There’s a Goodwill down the street from me that I go in almost every time I pass it. Eight out of ten times I find nothing, but occasionally I find something amazing. It’s a constant search. I still love going into high-end vintage and antique dealers, both for inspiration and on the off chance I can afford something in there. The more you spend on something, the more of a commitment it is. So dipping your feet in the thrift store/flea market pool is an unintimidating way to get started collecting vintage. 

from Get it Together - An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life by Orlando Soria. Published by Prestel Publishing (4).jpg

Follow Your Instincts

When shopping, sometimes you don’t know if you love something until hours later. But if it’s a flea market that may mean it’s too late. I tend to think that if you find yourself attracted to something, you should follow your instincts. I’ve had so many traumatic experiences at flea markets where I second-guessed myself only to realize later I passed up something awesome I totally should have snatched up. Usually your first impression of something is correct. 

Determine Your Quirk Quotient

The tough part about vintage is there’s a thin line between things that are awesome and things that are just tacky and gross. The easiest way to figure out if a vintage object is cool or disgusting is to imagine it styled on a bookcase with a stylish combination of new and old items. If it seems like something that will look great next to a bunch of other pieces, it’s probably awesome. If it looks like it’s gonna stick out like a sore thumb, it’s probably not a good buy. Take, for example, this little wooden duck bowl (above). It’s definitely weird, but when placed on a stack of books, on an elegant dresser, its quirkiness creates the perfect contrast to the sophisticated things surrounding it.

from Get it Together - An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life by Orlando Soria. Published by Prestel Publishing (2).jpg

Look for Handmade

While art from galleries and high-end boutiques can be very expensive, sourcing vintage art from thrift stores is a great way to grow your collection. While you might not be buying art by megafamous artists, this is a great way to find beautiful, handmade items that add personality to your home.

If It’s Awesome, It’s Worth Restoring

When I found this wooden bird candelabra (previous spread) at a thrift store, his beak had broken off and he was sad and all alone. So I paid the $4.99 he cost, took him home, and made a new nose for him (by filing a wooden dowel down using a pencil sharpener). If something is amazing and unique, it’s worth a little effort to restore it.

from Get it Together - An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life by Orlando Soria. Published by Prestel Publishing (5).jpg

Search for Items that Work Well Together

My ex-boyfriend and I found these two different busts (above) at a flea market and I knew immediately that they were meant to be together. I was so committed to their pairing that I gave them to him when I moved out because I couldn’t bear to see them separated. When planning what pieces you want to pair, think about mixing materials and making sure they are different heights (when grouping things it’s usually a good idea to make sure objects are different heights). 

Going Vintage Can Be a Great Way to Save on Foundational Items

Pieces like dressers, side tables, coffee tables, and other non-upholstered items can be found at flea markets and thrift stores at great prices. I exclude upholstered items here because they often need to be reupholstered, which can add significantly to their cost. Most of the dressers I’ve ever bought have been vintage. If they’re made out of quality wood and have been well taken care of, they’ll last forever. 

from Get it Together - An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life by Orlando Soria. Published by Prestel Publishing (1).jpg

Framing Vintage Art Makes It Look Way Important

Adding a frame to a painting on panel (such as the portrait featured above) is a great way to step it up. Many inexpensive artworks come on flat canvas panels or wood, which can look junky unframed. A frame with some heft adds to their visual presence and makes them look like a million bucks! 

Get it Together - An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life by Orlando Soria. Published by Prestel Publishing..jpg

Get it Together - An Interior Designer's Guide to Creating Your Best Life

by Orlando Soria.

Photographs by ©️ Zeke Ruelas.

Published by Prestel Publishing.

Brown Butter, Almond & Rose Mini Bundts

Extract from the brand new Brick Lane Cookbook by Dina Begum, with contributions from street food traders and restaurants including Beigel Shop, Blanchette, Chez Elles, St Sugar of London, Cafe 1001 and Moo Cantina, Brick Lane Cookbook is a culinary map of the East End’s tastiest street and a snapshot of London at its multifaceted, chaotic, crazy best.

I first discovered brown butter on holiday in France when I made it to add to a cake. I was so delighted with the results that I rushed to show my friend excitedly. ‘Look! Butter has almost turned into caramel!’ Who knew such alchemy? Back in London I decided to experiment further with brown butter, adding it to biscuits and tart shells – I was convinced browning butter was absolutely the best way to eat it. I decided to make mini bundt cakes using my mum’s old tin and, of course, brown butter had to feature in the recipe. The colour of these little cakes reminded me of the golden flakes of baklava pastry, so I’ve added a Middle Eastern twist with a rose-scented icing.

One of these is never enough so double up the recipe if you’re a greedy sort like me.- Dina Begum.

Makes 12

Makes 12

FOR THE CAKES:

  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 40g ground almonds
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 110g self-raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk

FOR THE ROSE ICING & TOPPING:

  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2 drops pink food colouring (optional)
  • 2–3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons rosewater
  • 50g flaked almonds, toasted
  • 12 ring mini bundt tin

Method:

  • Place the butter in a stainless steel pan on medium heat (you need to be able to monitor the colour of the butter so you don’t burn it).
  • The butter will begin to foam after about 30 seconds. Cook for a further three or four minutes until it starts to smell nutty, almost caramel-like. You will begin to see small particles of milk solid at the bottom on the pan. Once done, take the pan off the heat and leave to cool for about ten minutes. Now preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan). Generously grease your bundt tins, dust with flour and shake off the excess.
  • When the butter has cooled, transfer to a mixing bowl and cream together with the sugar, salt, ground almonds and vanilla and almond extracts. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. Pour in half the flour and mix thoroughly, then add the milk and remaining flour. Mix until you have a smooth, thick batter.
  • Divide the batter between the bundt rings, filling them to about a centimetre from the top. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until lightly risen and pale gold. If you’re anything like me you’ll find the scent of freshly baked cake irresistible and will want to dig right in but don’t, unless you want broken halves of warm sponge in your hand!
  • Let the cakes cool completely in the tin for about an hour, then run a thin butter knife around the edge of each cake and ease them out.
  • Place the cakes on a baking rack or a flat dish and prepare the icing.
  • Put the icing sugar in a small bowl and add the pink food colouring, two tablespoons of milk and the rosewater. Mix together to make a pretty pink icing, runny enough to drizzle – if it looks too thick add another tablespoon of milk. Top each cake with a teaspoon or so of the icing, gently coaxing drips down the sides.
  • Top with some flaked almonds and serve with a fragrant cup of masala tea.
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Brick Lane Cookbook by Dina Begum is published in hardback by Kitchen Press, priced at £20.

Available on Amazon

Recipe of the Week - Tortilla

Extract from the brand new Brick Lane Cookbook by Dina Begum, with contributions from street food traders and restaurants including Beigel Shop, Blanchette, Chez Elles, St Sugar of London, Cafe 1001 and Moo Cantina, Brick Lane Cookbook is a culinary map of the East End’s tastiest street and a snapshot of London at its multifaceted, chaotic, crazy best.

Tortilla is an easy Mediterranean favourite and a popular dish on the Café 1001 menu. This baked version of the classic Spanish potato omelette is flavoured with rosemary and gently caramelised sweet onions and I love it. Make sure to cool your potatoes before adding to the egg mix; otherwise you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. - Dina Begum.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500g cypress potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary,
  • finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 500ml vegetable oil, to deep fry

Method:

  • First make your sweet onions. Pour the olive oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the sliced onion and bay leaf and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have reduced and are completely soft and lightly browned. You’ll end up with about four heaped tablespoons of sweet, caramelised onions. Set aside to cool.
  • Throw the potatoes into a bowl and mix with the salt. Set aside for ten minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan over a high heat (140C) – test it’s hot enough by dropping in a piece of potato which should start sizzling immediately. Deep fry the potatoes for 12 minutes or until golden and tender, then drain and leave to cool for at least 15 minutes. At this point preheat your oven to 180ÅãC (160C fan).
  • Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl and add the cooled sweet onion mixture, rosemary and black pepper. Throw in the fried potato pieces and mix well. Line a deep baking dish and pour in the mixture.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tortilla is golden brown on top and cooked in the middle. Test it’s done by inserting a small knife or skewer in the centre – if it comes out clean your tortilla is ready. Cool for ten minutes before serving.
cover.jpg

Brick Lane Cookbook by Dina Begum is published in hardback by Kitchen Press, priced at £20.

Available on Amazon

Recipe of the Week - Chai Malai Cake

Extract from the brand new Brick Lane Cookbook by Dina Begum, with contributions from street food traders and restaurants including Beigel Shop, Blanchette, Chez Elles, St Sugar of London, Cafe 1001 and Moo Cantina, Brick Lane Cookbook is a culinary map of the East End’s tastiest street and a snapshot of London at its multifaceted, chaotic, crazy best.

I’ve seen people’s eyes light up after a single bite of this cake and even those who don’t normally eat cake are usually converted. Of everything I cook, this is the thing most requested by family and friends. I first created it for a Bengali-inspired afternoon tea and wanted to share the recipe for this book as it’s such a wonderful way of showcasing spices in a dessert. The cake layers are reminiscent of fragrant masala chai and the frosting is inspired by rasmalai, the famous Bengali milkbased sweet, flavoured with rosewater and cardamom. Make it as an extra-special birthday cake, decorated with vibrant pink rose petals and pistachios, or as a perfect finish to your next dinner party. For best results, you need a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer to make the cake, but you can do it with a whisk and some elbow grease. - Dina Begum.

Serves 10–12

Serves 10–12

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 2 tea bags
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 100ml whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium egg whites

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 100g unsalted butter, at room
  • temperature
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 180g full-fat cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • 250g icing sugar

TO DECORATE:

  • 1 tablespoon dried rose petals
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pistachios
  • 2 x 20cm springform cake tins
  • 2 x 20cm springform cake tins

Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease and line the cake tins.

  • Steep the tea bags in 100ml boiling water, stirring for a minute to extract as much of the flavour as possible. Discard the teabags. Add the ground cardamom to the tea and stir thoroughly, then set aside to let it infuse – this gives you a really fragrant batter.
  • Make your buttermilk next: pour the milk into a glass and stir in the vinegar. Let this sit while you start on the cake batter.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla with a handheld mixer until light and fluffy – this will take at least two minutes. If you’re using a non-electric whisk you’ll need to beat the mixture for longer.
  • Add the cinnamon, ginger and yoghurt and beat for a further minute, then slowly beat in the tea and buttermilk.
  • Put the flour in a separate bowl with the baking powder and salt and quickly mix with a whisk. Add the flour to the buttermilk, butter and sugar mixture in two or three additions, then whisk for about 30 seconds until everything is well combined. Make sure not to overmix at this point or you’ll lose the lightness in the cake.
  • Put the egg whites into a clean mixing bowl. Beat with a clean whisk until they form stiff peaks – five minutes or so (longer, if non-electric).
  • Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter until evenly combined and pour it into the prepared tins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool completely in the tins on a wire rack.
  • When you are ready to make the frosting, beat the butter with the ground cardamom until pale and fluffy.
  • Mix in the cream cheese, vanilla extract and rosewater, then slowly add the icing sugar and whisk together until you have a smooth, glossy frosting.
  • Put one of the cake layers on a large, pretty plate. Using a palette knife, spread with a third of the frosting, then turn the second cake layer upside down and place on top, very gently pressing together to sandwich.
  • Then take the remaining frosting and pile it on top of the second layer.
  • Gently coax some of the frosting down to cover the sides, turning as you go, and smooth the rest in a good thick layer over the top.
  • Finish the cake with two concentric circles of vibrant pink dried rose petals and crushed pistachios and dot a couple of rose petals in the centre.
Chai-malai-cake-2.jpg

This cake is a stunner! It tastes best after resting in the fridge for a couple of hours, as this helps the flavours meld together and makes the cake easier to cut.

Cook’s tip – you can bake the cake layers in advance. Just completely cool, wrap in cling film and put in the fridge overnight. The cake will stay fresh and moist.

cover.jpg

Brick Lane Cookbook by Dina Begum is published in hardback by Kitchen Press, priced at £20.

Available on Amazon

A Perfect English Townhouse

Extract from Perfect English Townhouse by Ros Byam Shaw, published by Ryland Peters & Small.

Seaside Inspiration - The home of Melanie Molesworth

'We saw the particulars for this house a long time before we decided to view it,' says Melanie. 'It had been hanging around for ages, was more than we wanted to spend, and enormous. A friend who loved Lyme Regis persuaded us that we should have a look at it, and when we did, it was obvious it had potential. We asked another friend, architect Ed Howell, for ideas and he came up with a plan for dividing it so that we could have a rental property, and an income.' They took the plunge, sold their house, ditched the idea of a London flat, and moved in. 'It was 2011, and I was very hot and cold about it, very nervous. But actually, it's been amazing.'

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A new staircase, leading from one of the two front doors, arrives at a small landing where this door with its glazed surround opens into the huge 18 metre living room and kitchen. Framed in a glass-fronted cabinet on the wall are fragments of china and pottery found by Melanie on the beach.

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Melanie and Martin inherited a fitted kitchen that was already in place, but have given it a facelift by painting it Farrow & Ball Mole's Breath and replacing the handles. New white brick tiling, open shelving, and a wall-mounted metal saucepan rack completed the transformation. A sofa covered in navy linen, just seen to the left, marks the division between the kitchen and the sitting room.

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To the left of the big, arched window that lights the kitchen, a table holds a framed pressed seaweed by Molesworth & Bird propped against an old seed tray, another find from Bridport Market. To its right is a painted Swedish sofa. A broken piece of brick, deliberately placed, takes on the status of a small sculpture. Lou-Lou the cat watches proceedings from under the table.

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The huge sofa, big enough to seat six, came with the house, and has been re-covered in a dark grey linen. A white IKEA table stands between the two armchairs, one covered in a floral fabric by Paul Smith for Mulberry. The window overlooks the culvert for the River Lym, which runs beneath part of the house.

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The main bedroom is one of the rooms directly above the River Lym, which runs in a deep culvert down through the town and into the sea. The Victorian chair is covered in vintage William Morris fabric, and the table beneath the window has one set of legs propped on blocks of wood to compensate for the slope of the old floorboards. 

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Perfect English Townhouse

by Ros Byam Shaw

Published by Ryland Peters & Small

Available on Amazon, £20.40

Book Extract from Decorate - Colour Tricks

This is an extract from Decorate - 1,000 inspirational design ideas for every room in you house, by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick. Published by Jacqui Small.

Colour is one of the most powerful of decorators’ tools. Relatively economical to use, fun to choose but also easy to get wrong, so some experimentation is a good idea.

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‘Wallpaper or paint the interiors of your bookshelves and, if you can afford to, the ceiling or an accent wall.’ Celerie Kemble, designer
Pale pink linen walls in Christine d’Ornano’s London home are subtle but hugely warming. Some colours will change character according to how they are used. A gloss grey will be colder than a chalky paint, while blue can bear to be shiny as well as matt.

Pale pink linen walls in Christine d’Ornano’s London home are subtle but hugely warming. Some colours will change character according to how they are used. A gloss grey will be colder than a chalky paint, while blue can bear to be shiny as well as matt.

  • For instant impact paint one wall in a living room or bedroom in a bold, vivid colour. Choose the wall that will make the most dramatic statement.
  • In a large room where you want to enhance a sense of enclosure and seclusion, opposing walls can be painted the same colour.
Combining a range of tones in one colourway makes a sophisticated statement. Minky, mole-like browns and soft cappuccinos on a range of fabrics and textures in a bedroom presents an enticing picture.

Combining a range of tones in one colourway makes a sophisticated statement. Minky, mole-like browns and soft cappuccinos on a range of fabrics and textures in a bedroom presents an enticing picture.

  • You can add highly patterned wallpaper to one wall to create a feature in a room where there is no natural focal point.
  • In a room dominated by neutral colours add in vivid contrast colour as accents on upholstery, cushions or artwork. Strong tones such as orange, citrus lime or red work well as vivid jolts of colour in this way.
Small sky blue mosaic tiles give a mother-of-pearl shimmer as they catch the light above a simple fireplace. Tiling is a good way of adding colour to kitchens, living room and bedroom fireplaces and bathrooms.

Small sky blue mosaic tiles give a mother-of-pearl shimmer as they catch the light above a simple fireplace. Tiling is a good way of adding colour to kitchens, living room and bedroom fireplaces and bathrooms.

  • Infusing a room with bold colour is one of the best decorating tools to create an instant mood or a certain style. Think warm blues, hot pinks or sunshine yellows. They will all create a cosy space in a small room and detract from the room’s natural dimensions.
  • Remember that red will always warm and enclose while white will always expand and lighten a space. When choosing paint colours, always opt for a shade or two lighter than what you are naturally drawn to. Paint chips often deceive.
Apply bold colours midway up a wall to lessen their impact but provide a visual feast when moving from one room to another. Use paint or wallpaper to create the colour and add in complementary tones for punctuation.

Apply bold colours midway up a wall to lessen their impact but provide a visual feast when moving from one room to another. Use paint or wallpaper to create the colour and add in complementary tones for punctuation.

  • Steer away from brilliant white paint. It contains a blue caste that will make northern rooms dull and grey. Instead, opt for a standard white that includes a hint of pink pigment for maximum ‘whiteness’ on the finished wall.
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Decorate (Reissue) by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick.

Photographs by Debi Treloar

Published by Jacqui Small

Out now.

Secret Gardens of East Anglia

Extract from Secret Gardens of East Anglia by Barbara Segall, published by Frances Lincoln, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

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The whole of East Anglia is a rather secret, unsung place, off most people’s beaten track. I have come to know it well since I moved here in 1986, not least because my garden-writing life has taken me to gardens great and small, private and public, across the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. I fell instantly under the spell of this magical region and its idyllic landscapes, the spirit of which is captured so remarkably in the paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) and John Constable (1776-1837). 

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The four counties have their individual charms, yet are sometimes dismissed as flat and therefore possibly a little dull. In fact, the wide horizons and huge skies, the light, the sea, the farmlands and gently undulating countryside combine to provide a rich background for garden-making. Visitors to the region can find every sort of garden inspiration here, be it bravura herbaceous borders, tongue-in-cheek topiary, sensitively sited artworks, ornamental kitchen gardens, romantic wildflower meadows or lovingly crafted detailing.

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East Anglia has a great tradition of creative horticulturists, whose skill and artistry in planting their own gardens resonates in many others in the region. These influential figures include the painter and iris enthusiast Sir Cedric Morris, who made a garden at Benton End, in Suffolk, after settling there in 1938; legendary nurseryman, the late Alan Bloom (founder of Blooms of Bressingham, Norfolk) and his son Adrian Bloom; and, of course, plantswoman Beth Chatto, who has shown us how to use plants that do well in particular environments.

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In East Anglian counties this includes summer droughts, windswept locations, dry sandy soils, or, just as problematic, clay soils that crack in summer then become muddy impasses in winter. Each garden in this book is an example not only of how to meet the physical challenges a site presents, but how to turn them to advantage. In these pages you will also find the ingenious ways in which garden owners have responded to various design challenges, ranging from tiny domestic spaces to grand, historic settings. Some have created a garden from scratch. Several have started small, then been driven by their gardening ambitions to expand into the surrounding land.

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Secret Gardens of East Anglia by Barbara Segall

Photography by Marcus Harpur.

Published by Frances Lincoln, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Out Now

How to Make an Apartment Instantly ‘Copenhagen’

Extract taken from Nørth: How to Live Scandinavian by Brontë Aurell. Published by Aurum Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

When you first go to Copenhagen and you visit someone’s apartment, you usually end up
in awe … ‘Are they interior designers?’ you ask yourself. ‘What style!’ you exclaim, tearing
up your insides as you try to forget about your own bedsit hovel with magnolia coloured
walls. Then you visit someone else, and you think ‘Oh, this place looks quite like Søren and
Sofie’s’. Third time around, you know: there is a ‘style’.

Image ©Anna Jacobsen

Image ©Anna Jacobsen

Ten ways to make your apartment instantly ‘Copenhagen’


1. Rip up all carpets and sand your floors. Then paint them white.


2. Paint all your walls white. Yes, all of them, white. If there is a shade of white called
‘Scandinavian white’ or ‘Ringsted white’ or ‘Vesterbro white’, go for that.

Image ©Anna Jacobsen

Image ©Anna Jacobsen


3. Paint all your skirting boards and doors white.


4. Remove all curtains and traces of curtains, because you no longer need them. If you
can’t live without window coverings, add some white, stylish blinds, but make sure that,
when they are up, you can’t see them.


5. Get one colourful statement chair, ideally by a designer from Denmark. Anything with the
word Jacobsen or Wegner is good. Buy a woolly sheepskin from a remote farm in Sweden
and add this to said statement chair.


6. Have one normal chair next to your sofa where you add a stack of books or magazines
with pictures of bearded men. Leave them there.

Image ©Anna Jacobsen

Image ©Anna Jacobsen


7. Put just one green plant in the window.


8. Your sofa must be a tasteful colour or stick to black. It must also be simple – none of this
‘all the way to the floor’ business. Legs – and nothing underneath. Thou shalt not add too
many cushions.

Image ©Anna Jacobsen

Image ©Anna Jacobsen


9. Add all or some of the following: one rug (can be colourful), one or two designer posters
of designer things (drawings of chairs or statues). One standing lamp (tasteful, sleek). The
coffee table must be in front of the sofa and it must have thin legs. Two candle holders (the
metal kind, from Illums Bolighus). The bookshelf is allowed to be from IKEA, but must be
‘Is it really from IKEA or not?’


10. Hide your TV, or, don’t have one.

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How to Live Scandinavian by Brontë Aurell.

Published by Aurum Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Available to buy here.

At Home With Plants - Mantles and Fireplaces

Extract from At Home with Plants by Ian Drummond and Kara O’Reilly. Published by Mitchell Beazley.

Even if a fireplace isn't used for its original purpose, in most living rooms it will still be the main focal point. It is also really easy to style up with plants. It it is still in use, choose heat-tolerant plants such as succulents, cacti and Tillandsia (air plants), and avoid trailing plants.

Individual plants in separate pots allow you to rearrange the display at will, while a trough of complementary plants creates a simple, stylish statement. Symmetrical mantel displays can work well, as can repetitive designs, or divide the space into a series of small vignettes, introducing plants alongside ornaments. A mantle can also take one bold plant, such as Anthurium scherzerianum (flamingo flower), Zantedeschia aethiopica (calla lilly), a Dendrobium orchid or Medinilla magnifica (rose grape).

Placing single plants in separate pots makes it easy to rearrange a display.

Placing single plants in separate pots makes it easy to rearrange a display.

Houseplants are interspersed with favourite ornaments for a more personal display.

Houseplants are interspersed with favourite ornaments for a more personal display.

Even a narrow mantle can be used as a display surface, provided you choose small varieties of plants.

Even a narrow mantle can be used as a display surface, provided you choose small varieties of plants.

For the hearth, gather together posts of tall and squat plants, such as Zamioculas zamiifolia (fern arum), Calathea makoyana (peacock plant) and Epipremnum aureum (devil's ivy). For the grate, try Zamioculcas zammiifolia as the backbone, Rhipsalis baccifera (mistletoe cactus) for trailing, plus Aglaonema 'Silver Queen' (Chinese evergreen) for foliage colour.

The texture of this basket complements the plants growing inside.

The texture of this basket complements the plants growing inside.

Recipe: Easy-Care Mantel Display

2 Begonia rex (fan plant)

1 Beaucarnea recurvata (elephant's foot)

1 Peperomia caperata (emerald ripple)

2 Echeveria setosa (Mexican firecracker)

At Home With Plants by Ian Drummond and Kara O’Reilly

Published by Mitchell Beazley

Price £20

Garden Project - Upcycled Tin Can Display

Extracted from Urban Flowers by Carolyn Dunster, published by Frances Lincoln, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

An inexpensive way to display plants, tin cans provide good homes for annuals, which do not have large roots systems.

The stars of this project are the annual lime green tobaccco plants (Nicotiana), which I grew from seed in early spring and combined with cosmos and coneflowers to produce this pretty yet inexpensive display in upcycled tin cans.

The lime green hue of this variety of tobacco plant is quite stunning. It looks great in a display all by itself but to highlight its beauty I have displayed it with a tin of pale yellow cosmos and lime green coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea ‘Green Jewel’), together with cut sprigs of Bupleurum, to complete the lime zest picture.

You will need:
tobacco plant seeds
seed tray
seed compost
a variety of large fruit or vegetable cans
hammer and nail
multi-purpose compost
cosmos and coneflower seedlings(optional)
small watering can

  1. Look out for large tin cans – catering sizes are ideal and you may be able to pick them up free from a local café or restaurant. Make drainage holes in the bottom of each tin with a hammer and nail.

  2. Fill a large can almost to the top with multi-purpose compost. Gently transplant four or five seedlings into the can using a teaspoon to scoop out the roots. To avoid any damage, handle the seedlings with care.

  3. As the seedlings become established, take out all but the strongest healthiest plant to give it space to flourish and flower. If the others are growing well too, pop them in their own tin can filled with compost.

  4. It took five months from sowing to flowering, so patience is the name of the game. Water the tins every day or two, and remove faded looms to encourage more to form. You can also harvest the seed in autumn.

Visit Carolyn Dunster's website Urban Flowers.

Photographs by Jason Ingram

Urban Flowers by Carolyn Dunster.

£20. Out Today

Published by Frances Lincoln, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Tiny House - A 1940's Cottage

Extract from ‘Renovate Innovate: Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes’ by Antonia Edwards, published by Prestel.

Tiny House by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.

Tall, high-efficiency windows come right down to sofa level, letting in maximum light.

Tall, high-efficiency windows come right down to sofa level, letting in maximum light.

Jessica Helgerson is a Portland-based designer of residential and commercial interiors. With a long-standing interest in green building and sustainability, she has sat on a number of boards devoted to environmental preservation. In 2008, Helgerson and her husband bought a 540-square-foot cottage on five acres of farmland on Sauvie Island, an agricultural landmass on the Columbia River just north of Portland. The cottage was first built in the early 1940's as part of Vanport Village, a development constructed to house shipyard workers from Vancouver in Washington and Portland. When Vanport Village flooded in 1948, the small structure floated down the river to Sauvie Island, where it became the goose check station (a place where hunters would showcase the geese they had shot). Years later, it was remodeled and became a rental property.

One addition to the 1940s Tiny House was a green roof, which was planted with moss and ferns gathered from the Columbia River gorge.

One addition to the 1940s Tiny House was a green roof, which was planted with moss and ferns gathered from the Columbia River gorge.

Helgerson’s redesign was the fourth time the house had been renovated. As with most of her projects, her goal was to ensure the fundamental design and materials were classic and long-lasting, as well as being appropriate for the build- ing and its period. Rather then extending the property, they chose to work with its existing size. Retaining only the exterior walls, the windows, doors, roof and interior were replaced almost entirely with reclaimed materials, a decision based on a combination of what looked right for the property and what was immedi- ately on hand. ‘Mostly we were trying to do something beautiful and economical that felt right for the place,’ says Helgerson. ‘We love to work on old buildings because it really makes us respond in fresh ways to the existing conditions. I think when designing only new buildings, it’s easy to get formulaic. I hate to see great old buildings get torn down and replaced with ugly new ones. It seems so sad, and a waste.’

The walls were insulated, then faced in reclaimed wood siding from a barn that had been deconstructed onsite.

The walls were insulated, then faced in reclaimed wood siding from a barn that had been deconstructed onsite.

Given its small footprint, Helgerson redesigned the interior of Tiny House for maximum efficiency, creating one open-plan room that comprises the dining room, living room and kitchen. This room also contains built-in sofas that double as twin beds for guests, and hidden storage underneath provides an ideal place for children’s toys. The ceiling of the main living area was opened up to give a feeling of space, but lowered over the bathroom and bedroom to make a lofted sleeping area for adults accessed via a walnut ladder. A wall of shelving provides plenty of room for books and large, low-set windows bring ample light into the interior.

One wall contains the kitchen, maximizing the available space.

One wall contains the kitchen, maximizing the available space.

The parents’ bedroom is located on the mezzanine level of the main room, which is lined with vintage Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs and accessed via a walnut ladder. In addition to a separate kids’ bedroom, the built-in sofas double up as beds for guests.

The parents’ bedroom is located on the mezzanine level of the main room, which is lined with vintage Moroccan Beni Ourain rugs and accessed via a walnut ladder. In addition to a separate kids’ bedroom, the built-in sofas double up as beds for guests.

The family spent four years living in the cottage. Raising chickens, turkeys and bees, they have worked towards self-sufficiency, with nearly everything they eat grown at home. A 1,200-square-foot greenhouse on the site houses vegetable gardens and fruit trees, and they’re even able to make cheese from a neighbour’s goats and cows. They now live in a larger house on the same property, making the cottage the perfect place for relatives and friends to stay.

You can find more about the author Antonia on her Upcyclist blog www.upcyclist.co.uk

Renovate Innovate - Reclaimed and Upcycled Homes

By Antonia Edwards

Published by Prestel

Books - Studio by Sally Coulthard

Extract from Studio by Sally Coulthard, published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group. Out 16th March

CRAFT CORNER
Lise Meunier, ceramic artist, France

Hunting around fleamarkets is like prospecting for gold. Ceramic artist and stylist, Lise Meunier, has become adept at sieving her way through brocantes for precious pieces to smuggle back to her studio. It’s a gorgeous space. Part studio, part home, it’s a light, white apartment with large windows that open to the sky and a flower-filled balcony. ‘Maybe one day I will put colour on the walls,’ she muses. ‘But white is neutral, enlarges the space and catches the light. And as the room is already full, I find white more visually relaxing.’

Around the studio, vintage pieces of furniture set the stage for her work – large wooden canteen table and kitchen table provide ample work surfaces, while a small wardrobe ‘bonnetière’ and cooking cupboard keep her equipment in order. ‘I also have lots of small drawers, lockers and doll furniture – very practical for storing small things. I also like using old boxes for storage – biscuit boxes, sewing boxes, tool boxes. There are toys, textiles, decorative items – it’s an accumulation of objects of all kinds but they often have some connection to children and nature. These objects create the universe in my studio, give me inspiration and make me feel good.’

CREATIVE REINCARNATION
Lise describes herself as someone who gives ‘a second life to objects’. Her studio, a room off the main living space, is filled with toys, textiles and other decorative items, creating a ‘personal universe’ which informs her work. Most people would make it look like clutter; with Lise’s expert eye, she makes it look like art.

TABLESCAPES
Shiny new furniture just wouldn’t fit with Lise’s work or visual aesthetic; her studio is filled with old furniture, donated by friends, bought in brocantes or found on the street, including an old canteen trestle and a rustic kitchen table.

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Studio by Sally Coulthard

Published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Out 16th March.

Pre-order here.