Sunday, 9 June 2019

Brit Decor: Achieve your goals

















Did you know you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down? 

It’s easy to think you know what your goals are, but consider your latest new year’s resolutions – how long did they last? If you’re anything like me, not long! Writing your goals down gives you focus. Having them written down and looking at them regularly helps to make them happen.

Setting goals is something that has become particularly important to me in recent years and I love nothing more than to set aside some time for blue-sky thinking sessions. I always try to write down the resulting goals from these sessions too, so that I don’t lose sight of the bigger picture in the day to day chaos of life.

Couple this approach to goal setting with my ongoing stationery crush and you can see why I love these stylish Daily Goal Setter planners from Mål Paper.
















With a faux leather hardback cover the Daily Goal Setter is tactile as well as aesthetically pleasing. The pages have been designed to help us identify goals on a daily basis and structure our days in a way that helps us focus on the positives and become more mindful through daily affirmations. 

From a styling perspective, stationery is a great decorative filler for any desktop or shelf, satisfying a love of aesthetics with a need to be organised. These stylish planners from Mål Paper fulfil all the requirements to make a great addition to any home or work space.

The word Mål, pronounced 'mo-l', means goal in Swedish. Taking inspiration from the Scandinavian clean and clutter-free way of living, Mål Paper designs and produces stylish, simplistic and effective stationery that helps focus the mind and improve productivity.

If you want to check out this stunning range of stationery from this exciting new company, take a look at their website or follow them on Instagram @malpaper











Text / Helen Savage / Images / Mike Ahern

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Brit Decor: Better Together











'Better Together' has a certain ring to it in these tumultuous times, doesn't it? Away from the noise and chaos I recently stumbled over a harmonious gathering of creative minds in the form of Italian ceramicist Federica Bubani and fellow Italian, flower artist Andrea Merendi. Sounds like perfection already!

Each tactile vase is lovingly sculpted from refractory terracotta (refractory because it is resistant to heat, pressure, and chemicals) and then paired with intricately hand-crafted crepe paper flowers. I quite like the notion of two juxtaposed materials coming together in one beautiful composition, it has a certain poetry to it.

Available in a selection of trending hues, this collaborative offering is sure to bring a little more togetherness to any home. 

All of these vases & flowers are available from online homeware store NISI click here.





























(This is not a sponsored post, just me sharing inspiring objects for our homes).

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Brit Decor: Merits of a good Shelfie















With all of our favourite social media platforms well and truly bedded-in for the duration, for better or for worse (today I'm honing in on the 'better'), it seems that everyone and their dog, literally, and even the odd guinea pig, is now the curator of their own window to the world. I can't complain though, as both of my cats are a regular feature on my feeds - gotta love 'em!

It's exciting, right? You've just created your very own cute corner piecing together some of your favourite homewares and props, and you want to release it into the world. Post and wait for the feedback!

The 'Shelfie' might be a relatively new phenomenon but it's basically another version of what proud homeowners have been doing for hundreds of years: showing off. Putting together a composition on a shelf is also one of the easiest styling tricks in the book for adding an extra layer of background detail to a room, or it can make a strong standalone feature. Personally I'm a fan of both the 'less is more' and the 'maximalist' approaches to interior styling, (cautionary note): just be mindful of overcrowding with the latter 'look'. 

Having completed our home renovations indoors and with just the front garden remaining, I've increasingly found myself in the indulgent position of now being able to add layers of decor detail to newly decorated rooms, and a simple shelfie is definitely the way to go for me.

Our largest guest bedroom also doubles as a workspace (we didn't want to give over an entire room for work) and whilst Farrow & Ball's Dix Blue adds a nice mid-depth of colour, I wanted to elevate the room with additional details. IKEA's Mosslanda picture ledge came to the rescue by offering a crisp white contrast to the wall colour and helping to zone this part of the room into a study area.

However, I've ditched the opportunity to use these two ledges for practical reasons and opted for a more aesthetic curation of objects, plants and artwork instead. The Creative in me couldn't resist working-in corresponding greens and blues with a pop of trending yellow but I know that in an instant I can switch things around and have a brand new shelfie - it's as easy as that!

























All Images / Mike Ahern












Sunday, 20 January 2019

Brit Decor: Colour-icious / W.A.Green Colour Report 2019









If like me, you are looking for more colour to fill your 2019 with a more up-beat vibe, then founder of the Shoreditch based 'maximalist' lifestyle store W.A.Green, may just be able to inspire you...

Zoe Anderson has lovingly pieced together a fun collection of fun luxe-living products for the home, which are intended to inject some happy hues into her customers lives. W.A.Green, named after Zoe's grandfather, won Best Boutique at the Independent Retailer awards in 2018, so Zoe know's a thing or two about curating an on-point and highly covetable collection.

With this in mind, Zoe has been sharing some of her top tips for successfully applying colour to our home decor this year, and has pulled together some key 'looks' from the W.A.Green product collection (see the graphics below). 

When it comes to introducing orange into our home's colour palette, Zoe recommends limiting this zingy hue's application as an accent colour only, "Think about using it on an alcove or inside a shelf. It's the perfect colour for a child's bedroom as you can be really playful with it."

Zoe admits that she's looking forward to experimenting with more pink in 2019 (I'm with her on this!) and is currently craving a yellow and pink combination for an extra spark. "We've seen Millennial Pink sweep Instagram over 2018 and I'm now expecting to see it used in more playful ways". Zoe also suggests pairing pink with super-dark colours for a high-contrast result.

Given the huge proportion of home rentals in London and beyond right now, Zoe also offers up some great advice on how to update a rented space, "Create your own large painted canvas to hang from the walls; the bigger the better. Gallery walls have become overdone so instead concentrate on creating an abstract piece that covers one of the walls and plays with colour. This is a cheap update that pretty much anyone can do without much time or expense".

I've included some of Zoe's colour blocking 'picks' below but you can also check out the full range of homeware goodies via the W.A.Green online shop, and you can also follow the store via their Insta account.

  















1/ Aria paint from £18 2/ Carafe £135 3/ Faux Hydrangea £10 4/ Neolit bowls from £195
5/ Abbesses dinnerware from £9 6/ Face mobile £145 7/ Chouchou stool £435
8/ Dinner candles £3 9/ Full dose trinket box £68 10/ Octopussy cushion £95
















1/ Orlando paint from £18 2/ Perry throw £245 3/ Play pot £95 4/ Larhe jug £89 
5/ Mrs Hoffman vase £42 6/ Blash shelf £85 7/ Arlequim vase £180 8/ Ellsworth cushion £95
9/ Smiley trivet £30
















1/ Kamila paint from £18 2/ April throw £245 3/ Moroccan ceramics from £7 4/ Faux tropical 
leaf stem £24 5/ Muruno cocktail glass £70 6/ Retro emerald green planter £12
 7/ Lacquer backgammon set £395 8/ Green palm girl planter £65
9/ Eye of the Leopard cushion £95 10/ Two colour coffee mugs £14
























1/ Ida paint from £18 2/ Ceramics from £45 3/ Mila tables from £1325 4/ Top knot vase £110 
5/ Miss Meyer vase £42 6/ Mouth plate £25 7/ Secret ingredient dish towel £12
8/ Merino wool face cushion 9/ Luxury feel real faux stem £55 10/ Ernesto candle £78












1/ Reggie paint from £18 2/ Spicy red canister £240 3/ Faux Bird of Paradise flower £45
4/ Ceramic diffuser £99 5/ Chubby planters £550 6/ Retro vases from £18
7/ Two handled vases from £25 8/ Orange & opal glass jug £135 9/ LSD jar £88
10/ Stacking coffee cups £100 11/ Crystal candlestick holder £75










Thanks for reading,
Mike





Sunday, 6 January 2019

Brit Decor: Memory Lane Makeover













Until about a week before Christmas I had been basking in the glorious knowledge that after almost exactly two years in the making, our home was complete - no more renovations, no more upheaval, no more furniture changes (at least for a while)...that was until I received a phone call from a close relative to say that her beautiful Wiltshire cottage was in need of a de-clutter (we've all been there, right?).

The moral sticking point in my Aunt's early Spring clean was a particular sideboard which had belonged to my great-grandparents, but this needed to be gone, to clear some much needed space. Had I not been able to recall the sideboard in question, in-situ in my great-grandfolk's home, I may not have given it another thought, but when the question was put to me if I'd like to take on this heirloom, my sentimental side well and truly kicked into play.

Almost without thinking, my reply was 'yes'! You see, I'm a firm believer in making things work, even against the odds. Prior to my Aunt's offer, apart from a couple of mid-century pieces (it is a 1960's built home after all) - our home didn't contain any antique / vintage pieces, and I was concerned about how an early 1900's sideboard would sit within in such a contemporary context.

Thankfully, as soon as the sideboard was welcomed in through the front door, it seemed to change the whole dynamic and rather than sit at odds with everything, it actually enriches our home with character - the sort you just can't buy at IKEA! 

Apart from the vintage teal/brown speckle jug, which also belonged to my great grandparents, I've embellished the sideboard with contemporary accessories, including a newly purchased notebook from HAY, which helps to give this cherished piece of furniture a context in the 'now' and not just the past. In short, I love it!



























All Images / Mike Ahern




Sunday, 23 December 2018

Brit Decor: Five pink bathrooms to make you think








Despite the bleakness of Winter, the Festive period is brimming with colour - from Christmas decorations cards & wrapping, cheery knits, to sparkling lights, and maybe some rich festive drinks too...it's all there in technicolour realness. 

However, many of our homes are now telling a different story, with increasingly less colour & depth, maybe even 'soul' if I wanted to get spiritual about it, and I'm not just talking about Christmas time.

A dear friend recently reminded me of the importance of simply looking around ourselves for inspiration, and to do this every single day - Amen to that! With a fair few driving miles under my belt this week I've taken a lot of inspiration from the stormy December skies, with watery grey clouds filtering rationed glimmers of sunlight to create a whole array of pinks - there were also a couple of awesome rainbows too!

Whilst there's no doubt that a neutral home is both on-trend and promotes calm, pink is a great choice for dipping your toe into the colour spectrum. Here, I've given things a little twist by moving the interiors chat to the bathroom with five deliciously pink Bathroom designs to inspire, including Subtle Luxe / Muted Minimal / Deco Detail / Softly Softly & Punctuated.

I've also included my own curated collection of goodies to recreate the 'look', with some pretty affordable pieces - perfect for a pink makeover!



























Images (from top) 1/ Realestate.comAU 2/ Fill your home with love 
3/ edebiyyat.info 4/ Behance 5/ visiteiffel 6/ Behance








1/ Futurism tile / Fired Earth £0.92 2/ Sleek Edison wall light / Industville £29
3/ Dorchester Pink Deep emulsion / Little Greene from £48.50
4/ Joss pedal bin / Made.com £14 5/ Jo Malone London limited edition 
Michael Angove red roses soap / John Lewis £15 6/ Ted Baker 
Stepped Up wall & floor tile / Bathstore £50 7/ Blomus large Fig scented 
candle / Trouva £20 8/ Pink marble soap dish / Amara £35 9/ 2 pack guest towels
 / H&M home £4.99

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Brit Decor: On Form with










Those cosy candlelit evenings wouldn't be complete without some tactile textiles to complete the whole Hygge experience, well, maybe some indulgent chocolate too...and some mulled wine?? Cue my latest #cushioncrush via the lovingly crafted wares of London-based textile designer and weaver, Charlotte Wakefield, who founded Woven Form back in 2016.

As an avid photographer, Charlotte draws inspiration from the buildings she photographs around the capital, focussing on their many textures and patterns, and she then combines this with a rich palette of colour to create these striking hand-woven cushions and scarves via her two looms.

Simply beautiful don't you think?


























Saturday, 1 December 2018

Brit Decor: Festive Focals/ How to streamline your festive decor










There's no looking back now, we've taken what seems to be a hurried step into December, don't you think? For those of you who have already prepped for the big day, I take my hat off and bow to your unwavering commitment to Christmas. I always seem to find myself playing catch-up with the hunt for those elusive gifts and this year it feels like I'm going to struggle to earn my Santa stripes before the 25th December!

Whilst I can almost smell oven-baked mince pies, taste the heartwarming spices of mulled wine, and smell fresh Nordic pine scents, I am not one for 'maximal' festive frills when it comes to decorating my home for the holidays, perhaps more so this year after a manic past few month, I'm looking for a slower Season.

Instead I prefer to adopt an easier pace during this period, where our home remains a sanctuary whilst gently nodding to the spirit of Christmas with some subtle decs, but with a bigger focus on friends and family and, crucially, chill-axing with my beau. 

If like me, you are yearning for a Christmas style that is a little 'slower' this year, then you have come to the right place today. Join me on a leisurely stroll through some pared down festive decor ideas, with an emphasis on a considered style where less is more.

I've also perused some of the more natural and Scandinavian inspired Christmas decor available this year to curate my top 'picks' for pared down purchases (see below) including shop-able links.

I don't think it's too early to wish you all a very special 'slow' Christmas...









































Festive Focals1 Nuance dark bauble £5.80 Design Vintage / 2 Peace cushion cover £3.99 H&M /
3 Tindra black star £32 ALSO Home / 4 Sno scented candle £29 Osmology / 
5 Grey felt Christmas tree decoration £5.70 Trouva / 6 Pine cone garland £11.99 Maisons Du Monde /
7 Mini dressed Nordic star £12 The White Company 8 Ferm Living Winterland tree £22 Connox /
9 Ferm Living marble trees £45 Nunido

Images (from top) 1/ Lykkefryd 2/ Pinterest UK 3/ NordicDesign
4/ Elisabeth Heier 5/ Miimman 6/ H&M 7/ Scandinavianhome.ee


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