Thursday, November 28, 2013

Styling a 'my first home' moodboard

Back in October I was invited to take part in a campaign with First Direct bank to create a 3D moodboard of ideas for decorating your first home. As someone who has bought their first home in the last few years, it was something close to my heart. When you buy your first home, you more often than not, are left with little or no money left over for actually decorating and make the house your home. That was certainly my experience anyway, and it meant getting creative in terms of sourcing furniture, doing a lot of DIY and finding interesting accessories for next to nothing.

So when I was asked to style a moodboard to inspire new homeowners, it was easy for me to use my own experience and share some of the ideas I incorporated into my own home through the scene I styled.

modern vintage style moodboard to inspire first time buyers
And these are the results! It was my first real attempt at styling, and it was so much fun! Basically what my moodboard is suggesting is that you can source lots of fantastic vintage pieces for next to nothing - for example the large trunk used as a table, I found in a charity shop for about £30. It's a coffee table as well as a storage solution. Keep your eyes peeled when you're abroad too - I bought the large botanical poster at a flea market in France for just €10... I had a big smile on my face that day! But to avoid everything in your house being old, I like to mix in some contemporary items and designs from independent designers and the high street. Wallpaper by Thornback and Peel, a cute bear print by Seventy Tree and a chevron rug from Urban Outfitters add modern touches. Save some pennies by making your own cushions covers too - I made the little floral one on the chair and the spotty one on the floor myself.

Vintage Anglepoise lamp and vintage tin contrasting with modern wallpaper
I think the biggest thing I've learnt from owning my own home is, don't expect it all to be finished in one weekend, or even the first few months. The most interesting homes evolve over time, as you live in them and get to know them. It's a constantly developing canvas and if you're patient and take your time, it will be much richer in style than if you splash out buying everything you think you need in one weekend.
handmade fabric embroidery hoops & vintage plate with decals
Caroline Rowland styling a modern vintage moodboard to inspire first time buyers
Mix second hand find with contemporary pieces for a modern vintage interior
On the day of the shoot there were two other bloggers creating moodboards, Carole King, also an online magazine editor like me, and Jenny Wood, who I was nominated alongside at the Cosmo Blog Awards. We all created completely different moodboards, each with their own really strong identity - you can check out the other inspiring boards on the First Direct Facebook page.

If you are hoping to buy your first home soon, then First Direct have some handy tips and advice - believe me, it's worth getting as much help as you can! That part can be scary and daunting, but once you're in your new home, the fun bit begins!

oh, and I'll be sharing some images of my own home next week so keep your eyes peeled for that! xxx

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

DIY: Liberty fabric Christmas decorations

What could be more classy than a Liberty Christmas right? I recently made this little set of fabric decorations from small pieces of Liberty fabric I picked up on eBay. I've shared the full tutorial for making these, including a free printable for the shapes, over on the AO at Home blog. And yes, I do have them hanging up already! They are just too pretty not to! :)

Make your own Liberty fabric Chirstmas decorations

Make your own Liberty fabric Chirstmas decorations

Make your own Liberty fabric Chirstmas decorations

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top 5 UK Christmas fairs 2013

Today I'm handing over the blog reigns to my editorial assistant Pippa Blenkinsop. She has been tracking down the best Christmas fairs happening around the UK in the next few weeks. Over to you Pippa!

Ok, so the Christmas TV ads are out and it’s less than a week until advent – I think it’s safe to mention Christmas now - well, shopping to be precise! Imagine this... It’s 3pm on Christmas Eve and you are still several presents down. Dad’s easy enough to please with the usual smelly cheese and liqueur chocolates from Waitrose but Mum’s a bit trickier. You’ve seen the perfect thing for her online which you wished you’d bought at the time, but stupidly delayed in the hope that something better might turn up – however now postage deadlines are long gone! So your only option is to face the glaring artificial lights and mayhem of the high street stores as hundreds swarm to get the early sale bargains and last minute gifts. You hastly grab a M&S jumper – and despite being in the wrong size you cling to the idea that it’s the thought that counts and that anything is better than returning empty handed! 

best christmas fairs to visit in the UK 2013 - vintage, handemade, craft fairs
 It really doesn't need to be this stressful, in fact it can be enjoyable with a little bit of planning! This year I’m determined to get organised and buy personal things that people really want. (though as yet I’ve still only bought two presents!) I’m also keen to support home grown, independent makers or even make my own presents. When it comes to getting your hands on some one-off gifts, or drawing inspiration for festive makes, there’s no better place than a top quality vintage, handmade or craft fair – of which here in the UK we have plenty to choose from! In my opinion markets and fairs are one of the best ways to tick off your present list but to also have a really enjoyable day out whilst doing it! Here are a few fairs that we think are worth a visit this festive season...
 

Selvedge Winter fair 2013

Selvedge Winter Fair
Fri 29th Nov 11am – 5pm, 6pm – 8pm / Sat 30th Nov 10am – 5pm

Chelsea Old Town Hall
Admission £7.50

Craft lovers can look forward to another expertly curated, magazine affiliated extravaganza this coming weekend in the form of Selvedge Winter Fair at Chelsea Old Town Hall. For those that have not heard of Selvedge Magazine it’s a stunning image led, bimonthly publication that “covers every facet of textiles” - at its annual Winter fair you can expect no less! The two day event brings together a handpicked mix of the highest quality textile based sellers with antique textile stalls, talented designer makers, unique fashion designers and vintage haberdasheries set against a spectacular historical backdrop complete with its own vintage style tea rooms. For those of you too busy to pop along in the daytime there is no need to miss out as there is also a reception on Friday evening!
www.selvedge.org/events/fairs/about/ 


Spiegeltent Christmas fair, Bristol, 2013

Magpie and I Spiegeltent Christmas Fair
Sat 30th Nov / Sun 1st Dec 11am – 4.30pm
Waterfront Square, Bristol
Admission Free 

I can’t think of a better place to hold a vintage and craft fair with seasonal sparkle than in a magical Speigeltent or ‘mirror tent’, as it is literally translated. Built in Holland in the early 20th century as travelling ballrooms, these purpose built entertainment venues exude 1920s glamour and are a real treat for any visitor. This Christmas, a fine example known as ‘The Crystal Palace’ will play host to a variety of Bristol’s finest vintage and handmade sellers. As well as catering for craft lovers, the event promises to entertain the whole family with Santa’s grotto, live music + dancing, fairground, bar and eateries! 
www.magpiesandi.com


Pretty Dandy Christmas Flea
Sat 30th Nov 10.30am - 5.30pm / Sun 1st Dec 11am - 4.30pm
The Old Vintage Warehouse Building, Hockley, Nottingham
Admission £1
 

Something for those of you a little further North! Pretty Dandy is an independent online interiors boutique that specialises in handmade and vintage homewares - originally based in Nottingham, but now run from Barcelona.  After a successful fair last year, owner Becky Knight is again marking the festive season by putting on the interiors focused Pretty Dandy Flea in a funky industrial warehouse venue. The event takes place over two days – the first being the classic fair - the “famous mix of art craft and fun”, and the second, a little more of a festive offering -“the usual wonderful range of goodies, with extra Christmas sparkle stirred in.” Alongside stalls there will be pop up cafe, gourmet food stalls and live DJs. What’s more, if you do fancy popping along both days you only have to pay once!
www.prettydandy.co.uk/events

The Original Vintage and Handmade Fiar - Christmas 2013
The Original Vintage and Handmade Fair
Sat 7th Dec 10am – 3pm

Chipping Sodbury Town Hall
Admission £1

Running since 2008, this long standing fair is a must to mark in any vintage lover’s calendar. It does exactly what is says on the tin and more. Yes it does vintage and yes there’s plenty of handmade pieces but what makes this fair special is that most sellers combine the two; they are talented crafters who don’t just collect antiques but cleverly incorporate their finds - whether it be vintage fabric, buttons or trinkets - into quirky creations that make beautiful unique gifts. This year the charming Cotswold venue of Chipping Sodbury town hall will play host to over 30 independent sellers including vintage inspired doll maker Nostalgia at the Stonehouse , ultra feminine ceramicist Claire Baker and all round beautiful thing maker Christine Nulmeyers of Tales From the Sea Garden to name but a few. Also on hand for that essential cake stop will be the vintage tea room offering delicious homemade treats on chintzy china.
www.vintageandhandmade.co.uk 


Crafty Fox market - Christmas 2013
Crafty Fox Market
7th - 8th Dec 11am - 5pm - Dogstar Brixton
14th Dec 12pm -
6pm - Bussey Building Peckham
Admission Free

Not fussed by vintage? Fed up of shabby chic? Then Crafty Fox Market is for you. Named “one of London’s best craft markets” by Timeout, the fair has been growing rapidly since 2010 and this year will showcase 120 of the UK’s freshest designer makers and emerging talents spanning interiors, fashion and jewellery – 50% of which are new this year courtesy of guest curators Lara Watson and Charlie Moorby of the Mollie Makes editorial team. Expect bright graphic and geometric print textiles from the likes of Kate Clarke, Ada and Flow, and Jonna x Kangan as well as the witty creations of quirky illustrators Jimbobart and Ella Masters with several locally inspired London based makers, including Lucy Loves This and Garudio Studiag, thrown in. Budding crafters can also participate in a number of workshops hosted by the likes of Lisa Levis (nee Stickley), Sew Pretty and Pom Pom Quarterly. The market spreads across three days and two locations with a completely new cast each day so I recommend you go to the website to plan your visit in advance or, if you’re as keen as me, go to all three! Organisers claim this isn’t your ordinary handmade market and take pride in “shaking up the traditional craft fair” indeed with trendy South London nightclub venues and live DJs throughout the day they sound like a far cry from the village hall WI.

www.craftyfoxmarket.co.uk


Thanks for ths fab round up Pippa! I will definitely have to pop by some of these events!

xxx

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bloomingville at Debenhams

I must admit I don't shop at Debenhams much, but I might just be popping my head in their homewares department now that they are stocking Danish brand Bloomingville. If you're a fan of Scandi style you are probably already well acquainted with this brand, but if not, it's definitely worth a little browse. Their simple designs mix really well with vintage finds, and bring a bit of a contemporary edge without being naff or try-hard.

The styling for their catalogue is also gorgeous, making you just want to own everything in the pics! It is only a selection of items from their range that are available at Debenhams, but at the bottom here, you'll find my fave picks from Debenhams collection....

Bloomingville homewares range

Bloomingville homewares range

Bloomingville homewares range

Bloomingville homewares range

Bloomingville homewares range

Danish homewares brand Blomingville at Debenhams
Rattan chair - £149 / Copper pendant light - £86 / Seven light bulbs lamp - £219 /  set of 6 cereal bowls - £35 / set of 4 egg cups - £18 / Display house - £38 / Ridged vase - £38 /  tea break framed print - £13

What do you think? Will you be popping your head in your local Debenhams?! xxx

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tweet and Meet / Leigh Metcalf

You may remember back in May I said I was starting a new series called Tweet and Meet?! The first in the series was with Lisa Butler of Paperknots. It seems I am not very good at following through on blog series, so apologies for that! But I've finally got a similar one of these posts today, although it is a slight adaption on the original theme. Firstly my host, Leigh Metcalf, is not someone I met on Twitter and also I'm not featuring her creative space here! BUT she is a wonderfully creative person, and she showed me around her local London neighbourhoods of East Dulwich and Peckham, neither of which I'd visited before....

Leigh writes a blog I've followed for years called Found Now Home, where she writes about her love for flea markets, crafting, photography and home life. While she's not a Twitter user, you can follow her on Instagram for regular updates.

 So last week I met Leigh in Peckham Rye and we set off along Bellenden Road. With not a Tesco's in sight, I was pleasantly surprised by the cute, independent shops to be found here. There was the lovely General Store with lots of autumnal fare outside and possibly the most stylish butchers I've ever seen, Flock and Herd, with a beautifully vibrant red bicycle outside....

General Store Peckham
General Store Peckham
General Store Peckham
General Store Peckham
General Store Peckham
Flock and Herd butchers in Peckham, South London
Flock and Herd butchers in Peckham, South London
We popped our heads in the vintage clothing store Threads, stocking not only women's and men's vintage attire, but also some cute vintage items for children...

Threads vintage clothing store in Peckham, South London
Threads vintage clothing store in Peckham, South London
Threads vintage clothing store in Peckham, South London
There is also second hand emporium, Worn and Torn which is worth a peek if you're looking for furniture or homewares. I was quite keen on that pale green towel rack in the left hand pic!

Worn not Torrn second hand shop in Peckham, South London
From there, we walked through some lovely residential streets to East Dulwich. First stop was the Ed Warehouse. What a great find! A huge space packed with all sorts; from vintage fashion and homewares, to haberdashery items, to gifts and lovely toiletries... A proper treasure trove!
 Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Ed Warehouse in east dulwich, south London
Next was possibly my favourite stop on my East Dulwich tour - the small but perfectly formed, The Fresh Flower Company shop. Such a wonderful array of unusual flowers, beautifully displayed with a small selection of carefully chosen giftware items, such as candles and vases.

The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
The Fresh Flower Company in east dulwich, south London
Our last shopping stop was the delightful confectioners, Hope and Greenwood. Even at the age of 32, it's hard not to still get that 'kid in a sweet shop' feeling! And even if you don't have a sweet tooth, they have some lovely gifts and homewares to browse too.

Hope and Greenwood confectioners in east dulwich, south London
Hope and Greenwood confectioners in east dulwich, south London
Hope and Greenwood confectioners in east dulwich, south London
Hope and Greenwood confectioners in east dulwich, south London
Our lovely morning was finished off with lunch in La Chandelier, although I forgot to take any photos in here as I was too busy stuffing my face with a Croque Monsieur! But Leigh has some gorgeous photos and a blog post about it here, a truly lovely spot for lunch or afternoon tea!

Thanks Leigh for showing me round! I hope you've enjoyed a little peek in some of Peckham & East Dulwich's top spots and I'd love to hear if you have any other great places in this area we've missed too!

xxx
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