A natural palette

Having said in my last post that I’m increasingly drawn to colour, I must also point out how very fond I am of naturals.

After falling head over heels in love with a beautifully styled shot on the Anthropologie website, I put together this little montage:

natural-palette

I love how stone, sand and foliage colours combine to create something very special – restful, yet not in the least bit boring.

Well, you can’t go wrong when you follow nature’s palette, can you?

Colour me softly

I’m finding myself increasingly drawn to colour. Not harsh, bright colours but soft watercolour shades that are friendly , relaxed and not too ‘in your face’.

I was sent a sample of this wallpaper today (designed by Stina Eldsten, it was one of four winners in this this year’s CAMAC Student Wallpaper competition), and was tempted to frame it and stick it on the wall by my computer so I could look at it all day:

I love how the stylist has combined this with an otherwise minimalist style

A Cabinet of Curiosities wallpaper £27/square metre, Mr Perswall

I think what I like about it is the texture and the lightness that comes from the different saturations of each hue:

You'll be surprised how many unusual colour combinations actually work really well

You’ll be surprised how many unusual colour combinations actually work really well

This set of cereal bowls achieves a similar effect by using the ombre technique, which fades the colours through decreasing saturations to white:

Set of four ombre cereal bowls £47, Jasmine Way

Set of four ombre cereal bowls £47, Jasmine Way

Varying the saturation introduces light into colours that could otherwise be heavy. In this collection of glasses, the combination of the frosted detail and the translucency of the glass has the same effect:

Set of six peony glasses £69, Graham & Green

Set of six peony glasses £69, Graham & Green

It’s all about softness, creating texture visually rather than through anything physical, as this cushion does so well:

Watercolour cushion £70, bluebellgray

Watercolour cushion £70, bluebellgray

And if you’re feeling very brave, you could go wild with this incredible digital mural from Photowall:

Colour drips wall mural  from £26/square meter, Photowall

Colour drips wall mural from £26/square meter, Photowall

So, what do you think – are you a colourful decorator, or do prefer to a more limited palette?

Glass Jar wedding

I know, I know, it’s been aaaaages since I last posted. But I’ve got a good excuse, honest – I got married this summer! So with all the planning and organising and then celebrating and honeymooning and settling into married life, you can see why blogging hasn’t been top priority.

Now, though, I’m really excited to share a few of the gorgeous handmade touches that made the day so special for me.

First, there was the invite and order of service – the arty stuff was all thanks to one of my talented bridesmaids, Pippa, and I did the computer design bits and bobs:

Our postcard style invite, styled and photographed by Pippa Joyce

Our postcard style invite, styled and photographed by Pippa Joyce

I used Pippa's invitation design to create the orders of service

I used Pippa’s invitation design to create the orders of service

I spent ages planning the reception decor, which included 70m of handmade bunting (thanks again to the incredible Pippa, as well as my good friend Lorri), vintage tables from Virginia’s Vintage Hire and lime washed chiavari chairs from Valley Furniture Hire:

I'm so pleased with how the bunting turned out

I’m so pleased with how the bunting turned out

The top table was piled with gorgeous homemade desserts on the day, thanks to so many kind friends

The dessert table was piled with gorgeous homemade cakes and puddings on the day, thanks to so many kind friends

For the tables flowers I chose simple gypsophila in glass jars (what else?!) decorated with burlap, ribbon and lace, and the paper cups, straws and napkins added to the ‘indoor picnic’ feel:

You can't beat paper plates and cups for easy clearing after a party!

You can’t beat paper plates and cups for easy clearing after a party!

I got lots of simple but effective ideas like this from Pinterest

I got lots of simple but effective ideas like this from Pinterest

It's so handy that my favourite soft drink comes in such pretty bottles

It’s so handy that my favourite soft drink comes in such pretty bottles

It took absolutely ages to make up the rosemary and lavender bags that decorated the chairs (thanks to Geoff, Zandra, Ingrid, mum and Ami for your help!) but they looked – and smelled – so good:

This was another Pinterest inspiration, and well worth the effort

This was another Pinterest inspiration, and well worth the effort

As well as the official photographer, I asked some of my talented friends to bring their cameras along, and was thrilled with the results, like these shots by Heather Stanley of my bouquet (courtesy Xanthe at Ivory Flowers) and the cake (thank you Sue!):

Believe it or not, under the simple looking icing is a lemon sponge with raspberry filling, a vanilla sponge with strawberry filling, and a rose sponge with rose filling! I was in actual heaven...

Under the simple looking icing is a lemon sponge with raspberry filling, a vanilla sponge with strawberry filling, and a rose sponge with rose and champagne filling!

These are currently drying out in my airing cupboard, but I'm so glad I have this great picture of how they looked on the day

These are currently drying out in my airing cupboard, but I’m so glad I have this great picture of how they looked on the day

There are a gazillion more thank you’s to say – to friends, to family (especially my mum for her generosity), and to the talented folks who contributed their various skills.

Most of all, thank you to my gorgeous bridesmaid – Ingrid, Kat and Pippa – and to my new husband and two gorgeous step daughters. Thank you all for making my dream day come true.

From left to right: Kat, me, Ingrid and Pippa

From left to right: Kat, me, Ingrid and Pippa

My new family

My new family

Meet the maker: Tom Raffield

Today it’s the turn of lighting and furniture designer Tom Raffield to take over Glass Jars & Photographs. Here’s what this talented man does with wood and steam:

Large flock light from £795, Tom Raffield

Large Flock light from £795, Tom Raffield

You can see why I absolutely love Tom’s work, right? I’ll hand over to him to tell you all about it…

Tom Raffield

Tom Raffield

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I’m Tom Raffield and I shape intricate wooden lighting and furniture using a technique called steam bending. This literally involves using steam to make wood more malleable, allowing it to be bent it into different curves and loops. I originally started doing this at Falmouth University and graduated in 2005, after which three of us set up design company Sixixis. We did a lot of experimenting and then in 2008 I broke out on my own and in 2011 I won the Lighting Design Association Lighting Design Award.

Coat loop £35, Tom Raffield

Coat loop £35, Tom Raffield

What does your work life look like?

My life and work are based in such a fabulous location now – since Christmas we’ve been in the brand new woodland workshop which we built in the woods behind our house in Cornwall. Much of it has been built from trees on the site. A typical day involves working with and managing our two apprentices to make items from the range on tomraffield.com as well as bespoke pieces.

Cage light £295, Tom Raffield

Cage light £295, Tom Raffield

Where do you get your inspiration?

A lot of my lights are inspired by nature – the Flock Light from birds in flight and the Butterfly Pendant from the delicate form of a butterfly – so it’s wonderful to be surrounded by the woods and be a stone’s throw from a walk on a windswept beach. I grew up in the country and was always playing in the woods so I suppose really not much has changed!

White light £184.99, Tom Raffield

White light £184.99, Tom Raffield

What does your own home look like?

It’s a beautiful Grade 2 listed gamekeepers cottage in the former Trevarno Estate near Helston. It was built in 1882 and when my wife Danie and I bought it a few years ago it was in a dreadful state of disrepair. We’re slowly bringing it back to life. It’s an ongoing project but we’re hoping to secure planning permission for a grass roof extension and transform the house and the site around it in a sustainable way, re-using as many of the materials as possible.

What would your ultimate home buy be?

I tend to have things I would like to make rather than to buy. I really want to create a huge steam bent four poster bed. I just need to find the time!

For more information, visit Tom’s website, or have a look at is blog.

Vases

I love fresh flowers. One of my favourite things on my wedding ‘to do’ list was meeting with the florist to discuss my bouquet and the rest of the flowers for the day.

We’re planning on doing the table flowers incredibly simply – just lots and lots of frothy gypsophila in groups of mismatched, clear glass jars. Well, you already know I love glass jars, right?

At home though, I am partial to other flower receptacles like jugs and vases. And I’ve spotted some beauties in the shops recently.

These choker vases are beautifully simple and would work just as well with a full bouquet as with these individual blooms:

Choker vases £50 each, Jo Davies London

Choker vases £50 each, Jo Davies London

I do love the nostalgia of milk bottles, but it’s the great colour pairing and vintage font on this one that really drew me:

GreenGate ceramic milk bottle £21, Occa Home

GreenGate ceramic milk bottle £21, Occa Home

I don’t quite understand how anyone could justify spending so much money on an accessory, but I do love Venini’s range of simple, elegant vases:

Venini vases from £897, Yoox

Venini vases from £897, Yoox

These ceramic bottles aren’t strictly meant for flowers, but I think they would look gorgeous with some lush green ferns curling out of the top:

White and blue ceramic bottles from £12.95, Nordic House

White and blue ceramic bottles from £12.95, Nordic House

Pictures on vases can be a distraction from the main event – ie the flowers – but in this case, I think the simple motif would work really well:

Flight of Fancy vase by Fliff £25, Roost Living

Flight of Fancy vase by Fliff £25, Roost Living

I’ve already featured a couple of Rowen & Wren’s vases in this post last year, but they have a new range in that I just adore:

Larkin bubble bottle from £48, Rowen & Wren

Larkin bubble bottle from £48, Rowen & Wren

So, what’s your favourite way to display flowers? I always love reading your comments, so do feel free to leave one!

Q&A: Caroline Taylor

Caroline Taylor

Caroline Taylor

I love finding out more about the creative people I meet, so I thought I’d start a regular Q&A slot. This month, I’m speaking to Caroline Taylor, editor of 91 magazine (which I blogged about last year) and winner of the Women in Publishing ‘New Venture’ award.

Hi Caroline, thanks for joining us. Can you tell us a bit about who you are you and what you do?

The SS13 issue is out now

The SS13 issue is out now

I am the founder and owner of Patchwork Harmony, a creative hub for all things interiors, vintage and crafts. This includes the blog I have written since 2008 and the online magazine I launched in 2011; 91 Magazine. I am the editor and art director on the magazine, which focuses on featuring unique homes which have been created on a budget using thrifty finds and handmade items. We also run articles on independent sellers and craftspeople as well as sharing ideas to create a stylish home on a budget yourself. As well as these projects, I also offer editorial services; from writing, picture research, design and consultancy.

Where do you live, and what’s your home like?

I live in Kingston Upon Thames with my fiancé Simon and our cat Claude. Our house is a ground floor Edwardian maisonette, with two bedrooms (one of which is my office), two reception rooms and a small garden. We’ve done a little bit of decorating since we bought it, although we are saving to do some renovations after our wedding this year. It has wooden floors throughout and mainly a pale colour scheme with lots of vintage and thrifty finds scattered around!

If you could buy three things for your home today, what would they be?

A Smeg fridge…

via Citrus & Orange

via Citrus & Orange

…a reindeer hide rug…

Natural hide rug £175, Cox & Cox

Natural hide rug £175, Cox & Cox

…and a vintage leather chair…

Vintage leather club chair £750, Rose & Grey

Vintage leather club chair £750, Rose & Grey

What interiors / design shop could you not live without?

Well I generally shop at markets and vintage fairs, but I also love TK Maxx! You can pick up some great finds for the home there – from Le Crueset kettles, to great storage solutions, like the vintage style wire basket I picked up last week.

What is your top decorating tip?

Don’t try to ‘match’ your interior too much. The most interesting homes are those that are eclectic and full of objects that the owner clearly loves. But to avoid it looking like a jumble sale, select an item or colour in a room and build the rest of your items around it. Colours should complement each other, but don’t be afraid to experiment and change things around often to keep it fresh.

Keep in touch with Caroline…

Twitter: @91magazine / @patchworkhrmy

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/patchworkhrmy/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/patchworkharmony

Website: www.91magazine.co.uk / www.patchworkharmony.co.uk

Meet the maker: Suzanne King

Today, I’m handing over to my very talented friend Suzanne, the creator of such beautiful porcelain and clay products as this…

Porcelain stripy handleless jugs £36, Suzanne's Pottery

Porcelain stripy handleless jugs £36, Suzanne’s Pottery

Aren’t they gorgeous? Read on to find out what inspires Suzanne and what’s on her home interiors shopping list…

Hi Suzanne, welcome to Glass Jars & Photographs. Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

suzanneHi, my name is Suzanne King and I make pottery at my husbands farm in Stratton on the Fosse which is close to Bath. I hand throw pots on the wheel in red clay and white porcelain. I have been doing this since I was 20 years old, and learned in America. My work is designed to use. I have visions of lots of family and friends making memories with my pottery, living with them.

What does your work life look like?

I am self employed and I only work one day a week on my pottery and lots of evenings and weekends. I have been running my business off and on for 15 years and love the freedom of making things I love. I do kids parties and teach sometimes too. The rest of the time I work with the homeless as an outreach worker in Mendip, based in Wells.

White large porcelain matte bottle £30, Suzanne's pottery

White large porcelain matte bottle £30, Suzanne’s Pottery

Where do you get your inspiration?

I love making things that people like using or putting in their home. I am also a fine artist and paint and make sculpture, but for pots it’s a very intuitive thing. Pots are made very physically and I love this – I used to be a dancer so I think a lot of my inspiration comes from letting the clay tell it’s own story.

Retro terracotta mug with cream and brown stripes £12.50, Suzanne's pottery

Retro terracotta mug with cream and brown stripes £12.50, Suzanne’s Pottery

What does your own home look like?

My home is quite functional. I don’t think my creativity is best displayed there! I realise that most of my creativity goes into making things and I find it harder to make my home one of these places. It’s funny, but it makes me nervous! My home is more of a collective of many different styles. I like it, but it’s definitly not my best work!

What would your ultimate home buy be?

A big slab coffee table in raw wood, or a huge kitchen with a massive table in the centre.

For more information, visit Suzanne’s website, or have a look at her online shop on Etsy.