1 Blomma London: July 2014

Urban Flowers Co. - Crouch End

As you may or may not know I love flowers, plants, cacti and all things green - Blomma of course means flowers in Swedish in case you hadn't clocked. Therefore one of the things I am most looking forward to when planning my wedding is picking out the bouquets and table decorations. To get some inspiration I recently visited Urban Flowers in Crouch End for a snoop around.
















I would say the feel of the the shop is more rustic than urban, not that that is a bad thing by any means. The galvanised steel plant pots, old wooden crates and old furniture create a lovely country feel whilst still feeling quite modern. Reflecting the summer blooms, the shop was full of pinks and purples (the benches of lavender outside smell amazing) as well as the rich greens of eucalyptus and cacti.

What do you like here? Does a rustic, country style garden work in the city? Is it exactly what we need?

Hx




Weekend reshuffle - a sneak into my flat

This weekend I felt kind of home-y so I had a bit of a springclean - put some things on ebay, cleaned with the power of steam (my new favourite toy) and had a rearrange of the flat. I am constantly moving cushions, nick-nacks (spelling?!) etc around to freshen things up and I thought I would share the fruits of my labour with you this morning by showing you a few snaps of my flat...




  • Skull from a carboot sale (you see these things everywhere and there are loads on ebay)
  • Eucalyptus from Columbia Road Market - I wet dried them so they last forever and still keep their colour. To find out how to do this, have a read here
  • Wall colour is Pavilion Grey from Farrow and Ball
  • Vase from Habitat




One of my favorite things in the flat - a chair given to me by my mum which I reupholstered myself. The period of the chair isn't necessarily my style but its so old and intricately made that I had to keep it. The fabric is from Ikea and the ribbon around the edge is from John Lewis. It was easier than it looks to do so if you have something at home which needs a refresh just give it a go.



My mantle-place is the thing which gets moved around most in my flat. Probably because I sit on the sofa looking at it so much that I need to constantly change it - I am a fickle person, it's true.


  • Flowers were from a local florist in Crouch End and the cacti and pots were from Ikea
  • Photoframe was also from Ikea and the images I printed were done through Photobox - great value printing and so easy to use  
  • The mirror is an antique from a junk shop in Ampthill passed down from my mum
  • The canvases were done by me (pretty awful aren't they!?) but they complimented the flowers so I went with it. Painting canvases yourself is so much cheaper than buying prints so definitely have a go



  • The bureau is an heirloom of Peter's - I love the brass handles and the worn wood. Again not really my style but its so beautiful and has so many memories for Peter that it has to have pride of place
  • The velvet cushion is from Habitat and I made the other using fabric from the V&A shop
  • Throws are both from TK Maxx and the vase and eucalyptus is as above 
What do you think? x



Look of the Week

Hello! How gorgeous is this weather London has been experiencing for the past few weeks?`It just makes everything and everyone seem more cheery. As a result I have been inspired to focus this week's dream look on something a bit more colourful than usual...

I love the mix of rustic materials, iconic modern furniture and bright splashes of colour drawn out with the cushions and the lamp. What do you like about it? For me this is great inspiration for a garden, sun room or conservatory. Somewhere which is a real suntrap where you can sit with a cold glass of wine, a good magazine with the doors swung open to enjoy the fresh air.

Scroll down to see my finds on the highstreet to help you recreate the look at home.




Here are some highstreet finds which would help recreate this look at home...



Clockwise from top left...


  1. Yellow zig zag cushion - West Elm
  2. Selection of cacti - Homebase
  3. White dining chairs - Made.com
  4. Dining table with industrial legs - Chest Of Drawers
  5. Morkt Garden lantern - Ikea
  6. Fishs Eddy painted glass collection - available at Liberty
  7. Parrot cushion - Abigail Ahern at Debenhams
  8. Aztec cushion - Matthew Williamson at Debenhams


What do you think? Any other products out there which you think would work in this theme room?


Low-carb Cooking Part 2

So did anyone try the delicious squash recipe? I hope so! I have already planned to have it again this week - totally obsessed.

Anyway, here is Part 2 of my low-carb cooking series. Today it is a Thai inspired salad which will honestly blow your mind (I never use that phrase so it really must be good). I recently discovered Donal Skehan who is a blogger and foodie who creates the most amazing recipes. It is from his blog where I found this recipe for a Thai Beef and Mango Salad.

Unlike the squash recipe, this is utter perfection so I haven't changed a thing about it. Therefore I have taken his exact instructions for you to follow below. You can also see the result of my attempt below but if you want to see how a pro does it you can view Donal's version here.

Please scroll down to see my Thai inspired cook and dinner-ware to help bring this wonderful dish to life!



Ingredients

2 x 200g (7oz) striploin steaks
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
Sunflower oil, for cooking
150g (5oz) bean sprouts
5 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced lengthways
2 baby gem lettuces, roughly torn A handful of chopped peanuts (about 40g/11/2oz) A handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Dressing:
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
1 red chilli, deseeded and and finely chopped
Method
In a bowl, toss the steaks in the sesame oil, soy sauce and finely chopped garlic.
Heat a drop of sunflower oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and just before it begins to smoke add the steaks and cook for 3–4 minutes on each side for medium rare or cook for an extra 2 minutes on each side for medium.
Remove the steaks from the pan, place on a plate and cover with foil.
While the steaks are resting, prepare the salad by whisking the soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic and chilli together in a large bowl. Add the bean sprouts, spring onions, mango and the torn lettuce and toss to combine.
Slice the beef as thinly as possible and serve the salad with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts, mint and coriander on top.

I served the salad in my favourite bowls which are wide and feel distinctly Asian. Here are some other products I found on the highstreet...


Clockwise from top left...
  1. Kikkomen (strictly Japenese but soy is massive in Thai cooking and I just love how this bottle looks on the table or kitchen shelf!) - available from all good supermarkets
  2. Chopsticks - Orientique
  3. Art Deco Asian inspired napkins - Etsy
  4. Thai elephant teapot (kind of tacky but I totally love) - Amazon
  5. Asian inspired dinnerware - John Lewis

What do you think? Give the recipe a try and let me know x

Low-carb cooking Part 1

This week I have been making a serious effort to eat well and also eat some different things. It's so easy to cook the same repertoire of meals week in week out because its easy and quick and you don't need to think about it. For me it's usually bolognese or chilli (aka a lot of mince and pasta/rice). So this week I tried to avoid all starchy carbs (pasta, rice, potatoes, bread etc) and minus a rogue burger on Tuesday, and a few chips on Friday, I did rather well...

Here is one of my favourite recipes from the week which honestly tastes incredible and is really easy and quick to do. I have also done a little round-up of my favourite kitchenware to compliment this recipe below - don't you know you eat with your eyes so having some coveted crockery and cookware is basically essential to eating and enjoying good food.

More recipes in follow in the coming days so check back in to take a look!

Roasted Squash Salad
*So technically squash is a carb but it's much better for you than potatoes so I'm leaving it in. It also tastes amazing...



This recipe came from Jamie Oliver's website originally and I have tweaked it a little. To view the original visit the website here.

For my version I ditched the coriander seeds and roasted the squash in cumin which just tastes amazing against the salty ham. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

Half a butternut squash cut into small chunks
Parma ham / proscuitto
Salad leaves with rocket
Percorino or parmesan
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp of dried chilli flakes
a good glug of olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Method:

Put the squash into a baking dish (I am obsessed with enamel at the moment so I used one of those) and cover with a good glug of olive oil, the cumin, the chilli and lots of salt and pepper.  Mix really well to ensure each piece of squash is well covered in the oil. Place into an oven at about 190C and leave for about 30/40 minutes until it is cooked and going slightly black on the edges (they are the best bits!).

About 5 minutes before the squash is ready drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the leaves. Then tear the parma ham/proscuitto into long thin strips and place delicately in little curls around the salad. Then, using a vegetable peeler, shave the parmesan/pecorino and set to one side. Now the squash is ready, add the squishy chucks to the salad and pour over the remaining olive oil which is spicy and deep in flavour from the cumin and chilli flakes. Finally cover the salad in the cheese shavings and enjoy!

So easy and honestly so delicious!

Some products I found which would make cooking and eating this dish particularly enjoyable...


Clockwise from top left...

  1. Enamel roasting dish - West Elm 
  2. Olive oil drizzler - LegendCookshop.co.uk
  3. Salad servers - Georg Jenson at John Lewis
  4. Linen print dinner set - West Elm 
  5. Sal and pepper pinch pots - Tom Butcher Ceramics at Not On The Highstreet

Try the recipe and let me know what you think! x

Bathroom Blitz - inside my make-up bag

As you know I am on holiday this week, staycation-ing in the lovely London town. Although we have some typically tourist-y things planned (when you live somewhere you never actually do those things) I am also planning to have a bit of a clear out.

The first place that needs a little attention is my bathroom and my make up bag. It's full of half used products, broken pencils and years old lipsticks. So I have been brutal. I have thrown out more than half of the bathroom's contents and created a capsule make-up bag which I am going to share with you today. Also below are a few storage ideas for your bathroom. Enjoy!


Decleor Aroma Cleanse
I have been on the hunt for the perfect cleanser for honestly years. I suffer from breakouts but also dry skin and none that I have tried have helped either issue. However, I was introduced to Decleor's Aroma Cleanse and it has been a complete revelation. It foams into a silky lather and doesn't leave my skin feeling tight at all. I have also noticed a reduction in spots and generally a more even skin tone - a big recommendation from me

Decleor Hydra Floral
Another Decleor wonder product. After cleansing its really important to moisturise in order to replace any oils which have been taken away during the cleaning process. This product is so light and silky it is the perfect base for make-up in the morning. Not at all greasy but really refreshing and my favourite part of the morning - it smells amazing and just feels wonderful on your skin

Chanel Vitlumiere Aqua
Again I am constantly looking for the perfect foundation and since I have started using this one from Chanel I think the search may be over (until some new products I just HAVE to try come out). Its water based so not at all oily which is so important when you need a foundation which lasts all day, particularly in the summer. Its light so has that 'barely there' feel but you can get as much coverage as you like just by building it up. I use my fingers to apply it as I found that using a brush for my foundation was causing breakouts

Bobby Brown Bronzer
I love this bronzer because it doesn't have any glitter in it at all. The biggest problem with the majority of bronzers out there is that so many have glittery fragments which just don't work for an everyday look. It can look a little crazy in the daylight and you can't achieve the same naturally sun-kissed look as you can with a matte powder. Because of the matte finish this product also works really well for contouring if you are after a more dramatic look on an evening. In the morning though I just apply to my cheeks, temples and down the centre of my nose

Mac Powder Blush in Pinch Me
I often switch between a cream and a powder blush but when it comes to powder I love Mac's Pinch Me. The colour is vibrant enough to be interesting but subtle enough to look natural for work. I build it up when I am going out but generally I just dust a light coating on the apples of my cheeks

Eco Tools Brusher Brush
To apply both my blusher and bronzer I use this chunky blusher brush from Eco Tools. Not only are the bristles the softest I have found (which feels amazing on your face!) but all of their brushes are completely eco friendly and made with sustainable materials

Benefit High Beam
With the bronzer and the powder there is a danger of looking a little chalky so this high-lighter just ensures the skin looks dewy in ll the right places. I apply to the bridges of my eyebrows and on the very top of my cheekbone to catch the light

MaxFactor 2000 Calorie Mascara
I haven't ever been able to tell the difference between the high-end mascaras and the more affordable ranges from the like of Maybelline and Revlon. Therefore I am pretty fickle when it comes to mascara and I try a new brand each time I buy a new one. At the moment I am using this one from Maxfactor. I would say it is a really good day mascara as it achieves good coverage and lasts all day without smudging or running. However it is difficult to build up layers with it so creating a more dramatic look is difficult without things getting a bit clumpy

Rimmel Glam Eyes
I love a smear of liquid eyeliner across my eye lids whatever the occasion, day or night.  Getting the 60s style flick does take practice and I have tried many eyeliners to help me achieve the perfect shape and this is by far the best. The colour is dark dark black and does last all day without moving. The thin brush also helps keep things precise and its not too smudgy if you do make a mistake



So you've seen what's in my make-up bag, now take a peak at the storage solutions I am coveting at the moment to help me sort the rest of my bathroom cupboard...


Clockwise from top left...

  1. Make-up pouch - Comme de Garcons at Net-a-porter
  2. Glass storage container - Laura Ashley
  3. Asker container (great for toothbrushes or flannels etc) - Ikea
  4. Storage unit - Loaf
  5. Cotton pad dispenser - Lakeland
  6. Storage boxes - Next
What do you think?




Copper Collective

A big interiors trend which shows no sign of slowing is copper accessories. From bulbous lampshades to traditional copper pots, there is something glamorous and yet industrial about this material which is incredibly appealing. There are also some great products on the highstreet which make creating this look at home really easy.

The beauty of copper is that it only takes a little to go a long way so a nod to this trend in your home doesn't have to cost a fortune. After all we may be totally obsessed with zinc next month...

Here are some examples of how you can introduce some copper into your home along with my top picks on the highstreet. Enjoy!

One of my favourite ways to use copper is with pink and crisp whites as displayed in this room. Not only does it feel warm and modern but it also feels incredibly luxurious and seriously cool
I love copper against dark moody colours as demonstrated here with a rich blue
Use copper to add warmth to scandi white interiors


Probably the simplest and most common way to introduce copper into a interiors, but the copper lamp certainly has impact

Copper is all over the highstreet at the moment. Here are some of my top picks...



Clockwise from top left.. 
Copper pots -  Sainsburys.co.uk
Hexagon table - Notonthehighstreet
Barefoot table lamp - Dwell
Copper kettle - Morphy Richards
Vase- Habitat
Copper candle holder - Itsy


Will you be trying it? x

Look of the week

This week I have chosen this look because there is so much I love about it. Particular love for the dramatic use of colour in the largely white space - a great way to create a warm environment which can be switched up so easily e.g. a new rug, new stools etc. Great if you are as fickle as me.

I am also totally obsessed with copper accessories at the moment and the lampshade is gorgeous. Any interiors shots which feature cats are also high on my love list.




Here are some products I have found around the high street which could help you recreate the look at home...



Green stools - CultFurniture.com
Print of Ziggy Stardust album cover - VandAshop.com
Copper lamp - Tom Dixon at Heals.co.uk
Rug - JohnLewis.com
Vases - Ikea

What do you think? Any inspiration here for you? x





Wallpaper Wonders

Hi all! Sorry for the rather large gap between posts this week - I have had the lucky fortune in being in Paris for the past few days for one of our clients. All work and no play sadly - you can take a look at what we got up to on my Instagram. BUT I have next week off work for a little staycation and it has got me thinking about what I can do around the flat...

It needs to be cheap but impactful so I got thinking about wallpaper. I'm not really a fan of the 'statement wall' so I'm going to need to be a bit more creative. After a little browse on Pintrest here are some ideas which have got me thinking...
If you are lucky enough to have old doors which feature panels, adding wallpaper to them is a really nice way to add interest to a room. It would be easy to update too if you get bored of the pattern
Probably only good if you have high ceilings but I had never considered wallpapering them before

Ever the fan of making crappy furniture look better. This could be a nifty way to do that. I actually have an Ikea chest of drawers which my cat has destroyed so this could be an idea...

If only I had space for a study/work area sigh... but if I did I like the idea of using wallpaper scraps to create pin-boards. Online wallpaper sites will send you samples for free - easy and cheap!

Maybe not one for this weekend but did you know you can personalise wallpaper with your own pictures? Could be a great gift. I'm thinking a great option for a downstairs toilet...


Love this! And if I had stairs it would definitely be something I would look into. Hallways can be stuffy so I always think they should be light and airy but details such as this add interest

What do you think? Have you tried anything interesting with wallpaper recently?

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Look of the week


Every week I am going to pick an interior which I find particularly interesting or inspiring. This week I came across the image below on Pintrest and I am obsessed with the chalky pastels and the rustic finishes. It's quite a bold look with lots of different colours all working in harmony - not an easy thing to do!


If you are tempted to reinvent some wooden furniture or paint those scuffed floorboards, you really can't go wrong with Farrow & Ball. I painted my entire flat in Pavilion Grey over 3 years ago and still love it and if my floors weren't nasty laminate then I would definitely be painting them a pale grey/white.

Here are some colours I love for recreating the look above:

All of these are available at Farrow & Ball

If you fancy shopping the look here are some gems I have found...



Lamp - John Lewis
Armchair - Swoon Editions
Throw - Heals
Display boxes - Cloudberry Living

What do you think? Will you be trying at home or is this palette a little too sickly for you?

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