Monday, 27 April 2015

B r i t D e c o r: Blossoms

All images 'above' / Mike Ahern

Lately I have been lapping up the array of Spring blossom photos which have been blooming all over Instagram in what I can only describe as a celebration of pastel palette perfection. Like many cityscapes, my home city of Bath is no exception when it comes to this seasonal floral feast. So camera in hand, I recently took a leisurely stroll around the city and its Royal Victoria Park, to soak up the sights and smells of this blossom bonanza!

These images also evoke happy memories of a much younger 'me' stood underneath the cherry blossom tree in my Grandparent's garden, my mischievous young hands firmly grasped around the smooth tree trunk ready to shake that big old tree until I found myself in the midst of a frenzied confetti storm. Looking back, perhaps this was some kind of weird wedding fantasy? But in any case it's a lasting memory that I cherish.

Back to the here and now - whilst there is so much natural beauty bursting into bloom outside, it can be difficult not to feel a little out-done back in the home, but this is easily remedied by bringing a touch of the outdoors in. For example, tall swathes of blossoming twigs can look so elegant in a simple glass or stoneware vase. 

If you are a seasonal interiors lover, try complimenting the blossom-look by throwing in some accent colours to match your petal palette, such as cushions, for the ultimate Spring-inspired makeover. Speaking of colour, cool pastel pinks are actually rather hot right now and using blossom for colour inspiration is a win-win method of choosing a paint colour.

Fresh flowers at the dinner table? Yes please! Just a light handful of these statuesque sprigs are perfect for creating a centrepiece, and the often subtle scent of blossom means that delicious meals won't be overpowered by intense florals. For a simple but stylish table setting, try adding a natural linen runner or napkins to compliment the organic theme.

See the images 'below' for more examples on how to successfully showcase the blossom-look in your home.

There's a lot of inspiration outside folks, wouldn't you agree?

Images  (clockwise from left)  1/ The Design Files 2/ Design Troll 3/ At Home in Love 4/ Lotta Agaton

Friday, 17 April 2015

B r i t D e c o r : Outdoor Living/ Simple

Here in the UK many of us have been well and truly awakening from the slumbers of Winter to embrace what is becoming an exceptionally mild Spring. My friends in the capital (London) and the Southeast corner are typically the first to feel the benefits of warmer temperatures as Spring fever takes hold and everyone, or at least most of us, heads outdoors - it's our prerogative as human beings, right? 

Talking of natural instincts, the gardeners amongst us will already have been hard at work preparing and tending to their very own gardens of Eden, however big or small. In tandem with this very practical side to outdoor life,  for the style-conscious amongst us, there's also the uber-important issue of aesthetics as we look ahead to those Al Fresco moments and the indulgence of affording the time for a moment (or two) of lounging in the sun. 

For those of us who have access to outdoor space at home, whether it's a balcony, courtyard or full-on estate, now is the perfect time to re-assess how this area will be used over the Summer months. The  first question to ask is what will the primary focus of my outdoor experience be? For some, it's all about horticulture and creating an oasis of style through planting, whilst for others there may need to be a more practical focus with, for example, a child friendly scheme. And then there's outdoor entertaining which will often require some kind of seating and a table. 

Once you are clear about your needs, it's much easier to decide upon and deliver the style-factor. In the first part of a series of features on Brit Decor, I will be focussing on some of the latest style-trends for outdoor living this Summer, beginning with today's 'Simple Style' for that raw natural look - with an edge!

Graphic copyright of Mike Ahern

1. Shower towel £12.99 H&M Home
2. Terracotta plant pot £22 House of Hackney 
3. Concrete tea-light holder £15 An Artful Life
4. Cotton cushion cover £12.99 H&M Home
5. Natural fibre lanter £39.99 Zara Home
6. Dark grey plastic pitcher £6.99 H&M Home
7. John Vogel teak lounger $1019 West Elm (coming to UK soon!)
8. 14s wall/ceiling light £396 (pair) twentytwentyone

Monday, 13 April 2015

B r i t D e c o r : Photojournal / Bath

All images copyright of Mike Ahern

Yes it's been a while since my last post and I really have missed you! Why so quiet? I took some time out over the Easter break to work, rest and play, which included redecorating my lounge at the cottage (more to come on that at a later date) and restoring a salvaged Victorian fire surround. 

Once again, taking time out from the 'normal' routine showed me that I still have some way to go in order to stop working quite so hard, and to know when to slow things down - a lot! When I'm at home I am at my most relaxed, however, it is during these times of relaxation that I begin to compile a mental to-do list which reads like a novel. 

But wait, there's hope! I find that creating my own distractions can offer the perfect antidote to this sometimes frenzied workaholism, so with this in mind I recently set off into Bath with @simonwatsonpt, camera in-hand, and with a spring in our step. 

Because I have spent much of my life living in or around this World Heritage city, I do sometimes take both its Georgian grandeur and rich history for granted by assuming that everyone else has seen it too. So over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of the sights with you, yes YOU, through my eyes so we can explore Bath together.

So here's to us all finding new and exciting distractions...

Friday, 3 April 2015

B r i t D e c o r : Lumea Home

All images / Mike Ahern

I realise that a typical Easter feature should probably be all about  fluffy chicks, cute hopping bunnies and copious amounts of chocolate, but there is also the subject of giving and receiving.

This week I was lucky enough to receive a gift from Lumea Home, which literally lit up my day. The gift in question was their sleek and rather sexy Eternity long lamp. The glossy mirrored glass reflects the candle flames to create a multi-flame effect and this really does pack a strong visual punch. The lamp also comes with four liquid wax candles, which burn for up to 18 hours and without any messy wax spillages!

For now, my Eternity lamp is sitting on the the coffee table because I love the warm and sparkling ambience it brings to the space on an evening, but it would also look great in the bathroom for those relaxing bath times.

In the spirit of gifting, I would like to give Brit Decor readers an exclusive 15% off your first order with Lumea Home. It's easy - just use the discount code BD15 at the store's online checkout.

Happy Easter!

* This is not a sponsored post
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