Regular readers of our blog will know that we took on a very overgrown allotment just over a month ago. We’ve been down there at least once a week, digging & weeding, pruning shrubs and sewing seeds. We have an idea in mind of how we’d like it to look this time next year. We want it to be a place of refuge and relaxation, somewhere to while away the hours on long summer days. Before that can happen though we’ve got a lot more hard graft ahead of us!
- 7′ x 7′ (2.10 x 2.09m) Windsor corner shed: from £369.95, Shedstore
- Burgon & Ball tool & tuck box – petrol blue: £19.95, Ocado
- Pure Raindrop water butt & watering can: £199.99, Crocus
- Traditional Sussex trug: £54.95, Harrod Horticultural
- Oil drum charcoal BBQ: £44.99, Argos
- Wooden seedling tray: £10, Garden Trading
- Joseph Bentley plant labels: £2.39, Lead the Good Life
- WBC bee hive with gabled roof: £175, Amazon
- Seed saver envelopes by Memo Illustration: £7.50, Notonthehighstreet
- Lamboro garden wheelbarrow: £35.29, Wayfair
- Green ‘Verdi’ outdoor folding table & chairs set: £252, Debenhams
- Vintage flower seed packet country garden bunting flags: £14, Etsy
Concrete – you either love it or loathe it. Brutalist, cold, ugly, boring? We don’t think so! Like Jonathan Meades, who lives in an apartment in the Le Corbusier-designed Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles, we think it can be beautiful, warm and exciting.
We might not be able to afford a flat in London’s Trellick Tower or (Adelle’s favourite building) Brighton’s Embassy Court, but concrete furniture and homewares are much more attainable and within our price range. There are lots of ingenious (not to mention cheap to make) DIY home & garden ware concrete projects freely available on the internet. From lamps moulded in plastic drink bottles, to letters moulded in ice cube trays to a jewellery display moulded in a Marigold glove!
If you’re interested in watching Meades’ recent 2-part BBC documentary, “Bunkers, Brutalism, Bloodymindedness: Concrete Poetry”, we’ve embedded them below.
- Concrete wallpaper CON-06 by Piet Boon: £198.99, Bodie and Fou
- Swing rocking chair: £3,325, Milkster
- Empty spice set tubes with concrete base: £36.41, Etsy
- Gray Concrete font: €70, HandmadeFont
- Concrete at Home: Innovative Forms and Finishes by Fu-Tung Cheng: from £11.38, Amazon
- Tema Home Petra side table: £154.47, Wayfair
- Urban floor lamp, black: £99, made.com
- Stool with fly motif: £86, Notonthehighstreet
- Magis Chair One: £415, Nest.co.uk
They say that a tidy desk equals a tidy mind. A well-designed, practical home office would be Nirvana to me. I like everything just so and in its rightful place. Chance would be a fine thing! To wrongly quote a well-known song, “Wherever I lay my laptop…”. I like to sit in the warmest, sunniest, quietest room in the house – and that room can vary from day to day, sometimes hour to hour.
If we did ever get a proper home office, these are some of the things we’d like in it. Bright colours, a peg board (you wouldn’t believe how hard to get hold of they are!) for keeping everything up & off the desk and STORAGE, STORAGE, STORAGE!
- SNILLE visitor’s chair, green: £12, IKEA
- Pegboard – essential storage organiser: £30.84, Etsy
- Morton trestle table, oak: £299, MADE
- Anglepoise 1228 floor lamp, daffodil: £230, John Lewis
- A4 aluminium clipboard: £8.95, Muji
- Me coffee cup, small: £22, Lovethesign
- Woodland ditsy magazine file: £7, Paperchase
- Bisley desktop cabinet 5 drawer steel orange: £51.99, Ryman
- Tutti Frutti waste paper bin: £110, Andrea Stemmer
- Brennenstuhl 4-way extension socket with 2m cable – green: £11.41, Amazon
You don’t have to be an incredibly brave or extroverted person to use animal print in your home. As with most things in interior decoration, it should be used sparingly or you could end up with an over the top, safari theme going on! It can soften a room and add a bit of humour or decadence. I’m vegetarian so faux fur/skin for me, is the way to go.
- Zebra print shower curtain: £7.99, Dunelm
- Soft faux-fur throw, lynx print: £99, Oka
- Leopard print chair: £265, by Out There Interiors, Notonthehighstreet
- Cube animal print storage box, cheetah: £190, eBay
- Cow skin cube pouf: £250, Amara
- Felted appliquéd zebra rug: £295, Graham and Green
- Star by Julien Macdonald Natural ‘Desert’ animal print bedding set: £18.00-£28.80, Debenhams
A monochrome interior need not be boring. What it lacks in colour, it can more than make up for with pattern, texture, tactility… and humour.
- Vitra Utensilo black: £177.00 – £219.00, Heal’s
- Mima Le Chat print: £42, Amazon
- KLIPPAN two-seat sofa, Storlien black/white: £175, IKEA
- Bobby desk lamp: £12.60, Habitat
- Vintage ivory 10kg weighing scales, black & white gingham scales: £3.26, Etsy
- Smeg A4-BL-8 dual fuel range cooker, gloss black: £2,669, John Lewis
- Marimekko Siirtolapuutarha Dots espresso cup & plate: £26, Heal’s
What is it about tartan that makes us feel Christmas-y? Think tartan, think roaring fires indoors, snowy blizzards outside; hot toddies and wee drams of whisky!
Tartan is often made of wool and tweed – thick, warming and water resistant – ideal outerwear materials to combat the ‘dreich‘ Scottish weather. The pattern & material is often brought indoors and used for blankets and throws, seating upholstery and curtains. Tartans are strong patterns and often vibrant colours – great for adding flashes of interest, but don’t overdo it – unless of course, you happen to live in a Scottish baronial castle!
- Lois 2-seater sofa and armchair Highland tartan, wool – £749 and £499, Made
- British Isles hand-crafted fabric map – £399 to £449, Mappliqué
- Cardboard cake stand – £8, Paperchase
- Barbour stainless steel hip flask, brown – £26.36, John Lewis
- Hamish McPlaid cheeky chicken doorstop – £12, Etsy
- Turnberry fabric lampshade by BeauVamp – £175, Notonthehighstreet
- John Hanly pink & green lambswool throw – £110, Liberty