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Inspiration post: Zen garden

On June 23rd, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Fun Stuff,Interiors and Ideas,Summer,Tips and Hints.

I spent a lot of my childhood in South East Asia and as a result I’ve always been a huge fan of oriental design. There’s nothing more exotic or tranquil than a beautiful zen garden, complete with waterfall, pebbles and Buddha.

These balmy summer nights are (almost) reminding me of the constant heat and humidity in Asia, so I’ve decided to try and inspire you with a few ways you can turn your whole garden or just a corner of it into a beautiful oriental retreat…

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Oriental lighting

A simple step to making your garden an oriental haven is to hang traditional lanterns from trees and bushes. A smaller set of tea lights does the job too.  Scatter a few cushions and throws around the place to make your own outdoor retreat.

Oriental lighting

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Japanese rock garden

A traditional Japanese rock garden is a beautiful feature in any garden and can take over as much space as you like. You can confine the look to one corner or have it spread throughout the space. I love the contrast of plants in this rockery and the mixture of wood and stone to create a relaxing environment.

Japanese rock garden

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 Water feature

You can’t have an oriental garden without including water or a water feature at some point or other. This beautiful example of a tranquil lake filled with coy is a stunning example of a zen retreat. Bridges are also a feature in oriental gardens, however you can buy some beautiful water fountains or even make them yourself.

Japanese water feature

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Chinese tea party

To spread the love why not create  a Chinese influenced dining area in your garden? Long benches and cushions are a great way to pay homage to the style, and add a few lanterns and traditional Chinese plants to complete the look.

Chinese dining

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White and wood

On June 17th, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Bathrooms,Colour schemes,Country kitchens,Fun Stuff,Interiors and Ideas.

I’ve been keeping one eye open for fresh, clean decor ideas in time for this unusually humid summer weather. One thing I’ve noticed time again is that wood and white go very well together. They’re a perfect match in a town house, apartment or in a loft, and the pairing always gives your space a fresh summer feel.

Here are a few ways you can take the look home…

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In the hallway

I love the gorgeous, long drapes that accompany this white/wood combo. The dark unfinished flooring gives the bright room more depth. Add texture to the space with a furry rug.

White wood

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In the bathroom

White tiles and a wooden floor are a great way to modernise your bathroom. I love the splash of black on the window pane to add a bit of edge and character to the space.

Bathroom wooden

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 In the living room

For a contemporary style in your living room, strip your wooden floor bare and add a few layers of varnish to make it darker. I love this modern, monochrome look.

Living room wood

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In the kitchen

If you don’t want to paint your entire room white, why not whitewash the wooden floor instead? It’ll make your room look instantly spacious and is a great idea if you want to add a splash of light to your kitchen.

White kitchen

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Grey inspiration

On June 9th, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Colour schemes,Curtain Accessories,Curtains,Cushions and Throws,Industry News,Interiors and Ideas.

Grey doesn’t have to be a reminder of cloudy, winter days, and decorating with grey won’t necessarily leave your home looking flat or boring. Grey is a super versatile hue and provides a fantastic backdrop for adding a splash of colour and vibrancy to your space, without going overboard on colour.

If you’re looking to add some contemporary style to your home this summer, here are a few ways you can use grey to your benefit…

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In the dining room…

Dark grey works well in a bright and breezy dining room. Keep the accessories simple to achieve the minimalist, Scandinavian touch. I love the bare lightbulb to add to the industrial feel.

Dining room grey

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In the living room

Grey is a great colour to use as a base to get your colourful accessories to pop. Grey and mustard are a match made in heaven, and this beautiful love seat from M&S looks gorgeous against a dark grey wall.

Mustard loveseat

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In the bathroom

Because grey can be quite subtle, it’s a good idea to layer up textures and hues to create depth to your space. This bathroom has grey tiles that look fabulous alongside the darker granite slabs and the painted wall. This makes the space look more layered and interesting.

Bathroom

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In the kitchen

Grey is at once contemporary and versatile, and is a great way of softening a modern kitchen. This kitchen is modern yet calming, and the clean lines add to a simple and minimal look. The perfect background to cook a Sunday roast.

Kitchen

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Accessory of the week: Maximalism

On June 5th, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Fabrics,Making your Own Curtains and Blinds,Tips and Hints,Useful Resources.

Maximalism is all about making lotsa noise and showing your personality – big patterns, big colours and all your favourite things bungled together in one place to create your own style haven. Watch and learn from these experts who are blazing the trail for my favourite interiors trend…

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 Justina Blakeney

Designer Justina Blakeney defines the New Bohemians as creative individuals; boutique owners, bloggers, entrepreneurs and ex-pats. Her unique style is at once homely and exotic and seamlessly merges colours and patterns to create an atmospheric and vibrant style. For more ideas take a look at her book, ‘New Bohemians’.

Justina Blakeney

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House of Hackney

House of Hackney is a hybrid of fabric, fashion, and furniture. Their store located on Shoreditch High Street is a haven for interior lovers and home owners. If you want to bring some instant fun and style into your home, look no further.

House of Hackney

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Larnie Nicolson

Larnie Nicolson is a New Zealand based photographer. With a design background she photographs living spaces that are absolutely beautiful. If you need inspiration on how to bring a touch of maximalism into your home buy her book Rooms to Love which came out late 2014.

Larnie Nicolson Maximalism

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 Tony Duqette

Tony Duqette was an American artist who designed sets for film and theatre. His style was eclectic and vibrant, and he is known as a design legend. Take a look at his iconic work here, and gather some inspiration! His historic Tony Duquette Studio featured here was located at 824 North Robertson Blvd. in West Hollywood.

Tony Duqette

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My Bohemian Home

On May 26th, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Summer,Tips and Hints,Upcycling,Useful Resources.

I’ve always been a fan of the ‘organised chaos’ look, and adding a touch of bohemian style to your decor is a great way of adding a bit of madness to your home while giving you a great excuse to throw in whatever you want. From potpourri to tattered old rugs, this look let’s your imagination run wild.

Here are a few ideas you can use for inspiration in your own bohemian home…

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In the bedroom…

Rule number one of bohemia: cats are always welcome. This room looks gorgeous because of the mis-match of accessories – I love the owl drawing above the mirror and the beautiful hanging plant brings it all together.

Bohemian bedroom

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In the dining room…

If you fancy yourself a bit of boho dining, you don’t have to look too far. Mis-matching wood types is a great way of bringing the organised chaos look into your home. I love the oak table combined with the wicker chairs and bamboo lamp shade. As always, add a wild looking plant to complete the look.

Boho dining

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In the living room…

This is a great example of throwing everything in together to come out with a fantastic result. The reason this room works so well is because all the textures and tones are subtly coordinated, meaning it’s all easy on the eye and doesn’t feel too cluttered. Using wicker, brown and white and furry textures adds substance to the room.

Boho living room

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In the kitchen…

 The kitchen is a lovely place to add a bit of chaos, as there’s usually a lot of mess in there anyway. A boho kitchen also means less maintenance as you’re supposed to have mis-matched plates and cutlery. This is a great example – different fabrics on the chairs make the space bright and colourful and a rustic old table finishes off the look.

Boho kitchen

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Music room ideas

On May 18th, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Interiors and Ideas,Loft extension,Tips and Hints,Useful Resources,Vintage.

There’s nothing like being able to take some time out in a room of one’s own. Whether your musical haven is in your garage or in your dining room, it’s vital you keep it looking fresh and smart to ensure the Jimmy Hendrix in you continues to be inspired.

Here are a few ideas to keep things fresh and get you writing the next James Bond theme…

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Ornamental

Why not use your instruments to decorate your walls? This would work with anything from trumpets to banjos, but I particularly like this array of guitars.  Keep it colour-coded to match your interior for extra style points.

Guitar room

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Paint it

Is your piano sitting around like a piece of furniture that no one wants any more? I guarantee that painting your piano a lovely colour will encourage you to play again. The new look will make you notice it and it’ll become irresistable! And once you get used to the colour, just paint it again.

Pastel piano

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Vintage

There’s no better way to collect bits and pieces for your music room than to go to an old record fair and hunt around for vintage pieces. Whether you buy records or a record player, this is a great way to inspire you to start making music and will look fab too.

Vintage records

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Live it

Why not dcorate your music room so it transports you back to your favourite musical era? We all know the best album was Tommy by The Who, so make sure your space is real 70s (it was released in ’69 but shh…)

The Who music

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Moroccan style

On May 11th, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Tips and Hints,Upcycling,Useful Resources,Vintage.

As summer slowly wraps us up in its warm rays, I’ve been noticing more and more on my favourite blogs that designers are bringing a taste of Morocco into their home. I love this trend – it’s a great way of incorporating colour into your space and there are so many beautiful patterns and fabrics that go along with it.

Here are a few ideas of how to bring a piece of North Africa into your home…

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In the living room

Moroccan style is all about being laid-back and letting colours and patterns clash. That’s why it’s a great idea to bring the look into your living room. This is a place to relax, and I’d recommend upholstering your sofa in bright and beautiful Moroccan fabric. Add some beautiful cut out lamps for real atmosphere.

Morocco living room

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In the bathroom

I adore this beautiful patterned sink. You can source this from an antique shop or if you have time you can bring one back from a trip to Marrakech. This will really brighten up your morning while you brush your teeth.

Moroccan bathroom

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In the conservatory

Tiles are a huge trend for 2015, and this beautiful, almost mosaic style is Moroccan through and through. If you’re looking to brighten up your conservatory this summer, why not commit to this beautiful look? If not, just add tiles to one wall to create a feature focal point.

Moroccan conservatory

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In the garden

There’s no better place to relax in the summer than in your garden. Make it into a Moroccan haven with floor cushions. You can source gorgeous fabrics from all over the UK, going to fabric fairs and antique markets where you can find lamps to match. Quick, easy and you can always store away the cushions once winter hits.

Moroccan Garden

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Inspiration post: jungle trend

On May 4th, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Colour schemes,Curtain Accessories,Fabrics,Fun Stuff,Interiors and Ideas.

Afte an exhausting bank holiday weekend trawling through antiques markets, I couldn’t help but notice a growing trend. Leafy greens and tropical prints are everywhere, on curtains, in windows, upholstered onto stools or even as a table cloth.

The jungle trend is now firmly upon us and at a great time too – there’s nothing better than cooling off in the shade of a leafy garden while relaxing on a hot spring day.

Here are a few ideas to inspire you to incorporate the jungle trend into your home…

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In the living room…

It doesn’t take much to turn your space into a tropical retreat, and adding a few statement, leafy plants is a great way of incorporating it into your home without having to commit too much. I love the idea of adding touches of bright, tropical colours like the splashes of yellow in this space to add a sense of the exotic.

Jungle living room

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In a print…

This green jungle fabric is from Sanderson, Voyage of Discovery from their collection for Living Colour. I love it teamed up with this teal green feature wall and the gorgeous tropical painting rounds it all off. Add bamboo matting to finish off the look.

Sanderso junle print

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In the conservatory…

Filling your conservatory with tropical plants ia  lovely way of creating a jungle retreat in your home. This is an ideal look for summer as you can relax here with a cool glass of lemonade to escape from the heat outside. Team with this beautiful pink velvet fabric to add a sultry touch to the space.

Jungle conservatory

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On a feature wall…

Bethany Linz is an artist who was previously trained in fine art but who has turned her hand to textile design. I absolutely love her new British India textile collection, created in collaboration with Sparkk. The bright, leafy green designs are gorgeous and fresh and will bring a splash of the tropics into your home in no time.

Tropical wallpaper

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Bank Holiday Antique Fairs

On April 28th, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Fun Stuff,Industry News,Upcycling,Useful Resources,Vintage.

We finally have another bank holiday coming up (Easter feels forever ago). What better way to spend the spare day than by visiting an antique fair in the UK?

I love trawling through antique fairs, but never seem to have the time during a busy weekend. Bank holiday Monday is the perfect time to catch a train to somewhere you’ve never heard of and shop to your heart’s content.

From Deptford to Durham, I’ve done some research and dug up the most popular antique fairs out there in some of the UK’smost picturesque antique places…

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Durham Antiques, Vintage and Retro Fair

This antique fair in Durham has over 160 stands choc-a-bloc with home furnishings, jewellery, vintage clothes, watches and anything else you could possibly need (or want).  Not to mention Durham is a beautiful place to visit at this time of year.

Durham antique fair

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Norfolk’s Collectors Fair

Located in Cromer, right by the beach, this is a lovely way to spend a sunny bank holiday Monday. Based in the Parish Hall you can expect to find shabby chic, Art Deco furniture and dealers in ceramics. You absoulutely won’t leave this beautiful part of East Anglia empty handed.

Cromer

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Antique and Vintage Market, Maidstone

This cute antique fair is a great place to bring the family for the day. It’s easy to get to and there’s loads of coffee shops and caffe’s around for you to rest your legs. Expect to find everything from vintage clothes to collector’s teapots to stamp books. A beautiful place to spend the day.

Maidstone market

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Portobello Market, Notting Hill

Hmm perhaps this is cheating (it’s not in the countryside) but  Portobello Road Market feels like you’ve stepped into a bustling village. The atmosphere is fabulous, there are hundreds of different people, from locals to tourists, and so many different stalls to see, you’ll need more than a day just to get through it all. Not to mention the fantastic restaurants where you can have lunch or coffee.

Portobello road market

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Accessory of the week: Surfboards

On April 13th, 2015 Alice wrote on the subject of Summer,Tips and Hints,Useful Resources.

Ahh… Summer. Sun, sea, sand and a spot of surfing?

Hmm, I don’t think it’s for me either, but there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate some surfer scenery into your decor.

Surfboards are popping up in all sorts of places round the home these days. It’s a relaxed, laid-back sport so by association this is a great way of adding a bit of a chilled vibe to your home.

Here are a few ways you can start surfing in the comfort of your own home…

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In the living room

This is a great way of livening up your living room and bringing a bit of sea to the city. The world map complements the washed-out, relaxed hues on show here. The trinkets dotted around add a bit of mayhem to an otherwise relaxed space.

Surf board living room

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In the kitchen

This minimal kitchen is brought to life with a surfboard hanging over the cupboards. I love the consistent wooden tones dotted around the room, and the low-hanging lights are simple yet sophisticated. This is a great way of adding personality to your space.

kitchen surfboard

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In the spare room

If you need to add a bit of a charcter to an otherwise dull room (often the spare room), why not prop up an old surfboard against the wall? It adds instant quirk and will make your guest feel like they’re on holiday!

Spare room surf

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Kids bedroom

This is a great idea for a kids bedroom – whether boy girl, toddler or teenager. Surfing never goes out of style and a board would be a lovely addition to a fun and young space. Add hangers along the board for an extra place to hang coats.

 kids bedroom

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