1 Blomma London: September 2015

A bijou Copenhagen apartment packed with style

Today I am really excited to launch a new section of the blog which showcases amazing real homes. I don't know about you, but perving on other people's interiors is something I spend way too much time doing and there is no better way to get inspired, and start to pull together ideas for your own home, than by looking at other people's.

Today's home is the most amazing apartment in Copenhagen, owned by the incredibly stylish Kristine...






 
 


 


Isn't it gorgeous? Some things I love include the yellow patterned wallpaper in the living room, the fabulous wishbone chairs in the dining room and the super useful, and beautiful open shelving in the kitchen. There definitely also needs to be a mention of the shoe rack in the bedroom, not to mention those gorgeous striped floor throughout.

I think the combination of traditional, almost French inspired pieces, are expertly mixed with modern Danish design - definitely some ideas here that I full intend to steel! It also shows how you can make a small space feel bright and packed full of style.

You can actually book to stay in this wonderful slice of Denmark if you are planning a trip soon. It's listed on AirBNB here.

What do you think? Which is your favourite room?

H x

Hero Product 29th September

Sometimes it's not about the great statement pieces in your home. Sometimes the devil absolutely is in the detail, which is why today's hero product is a toilet roll holder. That's right, a toilet roll holder.


This little gem costs just £30 (and it's about to hit the sale) at Urban Outfitters - just use the code FIRSTDIBS to get the discount. The gold details of this design adds a touch of luxury whilst the leather strap gives it a worldly, traveller vibe which would look great in a bathroom alongside some woven baskets and hamman towels.

Toilet roll holders, along with other bathroom accessories like towel rings, loo brushes and pedal bins often get neglected when it comes to style but it doesn't have to be that way - there are some really well designed alternatives out there if you look around. In fact I see another blog post coming on...

What do you think of it? Should we start a 'down with chrome' revolution?

H x

William Morris X House of Hackney

Some of you may remember reading about a wallpaper discovery I made a few weeks ago when striping out our lounge. If not you can read about it here. It got me thinking about wallpaper and how I can use it in our home, especially as we live in the same area that William Morris, socialist, artist and visionary, was from.

It seemed timely then, that one of my other favourite designers, House of Hackney, would collaborate with the William Morris Foundation to reinvent some of his most popular prints from the archive. A collection which I am totally in love with. But before I share my favourites with you here are some snaps I took from William Morris' home and gardens this weekend whilst enjoying the last of the summer. I can't urge you to visit more - you can truly understand his inspiration for many of his designs and the café does a mean ginger and pear chocolate cake.

The William Morris gallery in Walthamstow, London - where the artist grew up

The gardens are full of colour and wild arrangements
You can see the influence of structural flowers such as these in Morris' design

Just love how romantic these buds are
The House of Hackney touch will hopefully bring Morris' designs to a new audience. To me they still as fresh as they ever were, but I do love the colour treatments House of Hackney have brought to them thanks to the development of new printing techniques, not available to Morris. The range offers cushions, wallpaper, lamps and clothing in the new prints and rae reallt quite special. Here are my absolute favourite designs and colourways - although I must say it was hard to whittle them down..



Clockwise from top left...
  • Hyacinth in Dove Grey
  • Blackthorn in Teal
  • Artemis in Amaranth Pink
  • Peacock and Dragon in Green
You see the whole range here

What do you think? Would love to hear what you might do with these statement prints in your home

H x

Sunday Indulgence - Carrot Cleansing Butter

This morning I wanted to share a new beauty product which has quickly become one of my favourite items in the bathroom cabinet... The Organic Pharmacy's Carrot Butter Cleanse.


With fairly temperamental skin, I am constantly on the look out for products which help keep it fresh and clean whilst also reducing breakouts. But so many I have tried strip your skin to feel like a dry paper bag, and no amount of facial really replaces all of the oils you have scrubbed out in the shower. According to beauty blogger extraordinaire, Lisa Eldridge, this extreme cleansing is actually what causes breakouts in the first place as it unbalances the skin, so I went on the hunt for an alternative.

The Organic Pharmacy's Carrot Butter Cleanse gets a lot of love on several review sites and blogs so I wanted to give it a try. To say I am impressed is an understatement. It is a really thick butter-like texture but it easily melts into the skin and a little goes a long way. Thanks to the carrot, rosemary and lavender essential oils, it smells amazing and is gentle enough to use on your eyes to get rid of stubborn mascara and eye liner. After massaging it in and allowing a few minutes for it to dissolve the make-up and grime on the surface of the skin, simple massage off with a hot face cloth. Your skin feels wonderfully clean, but also really moisturised and indulged in nutrients.

At £40 a pop it's not cheap but I do think a pot will last a long while, as you only need a little smudge of butter each time you use it. Really can't recommend enough - invest now!

Now I am on the hunt for the perfect moisturiser for combination skin... any recommendations?

H x


Hero Product 15th September

Today I wanted to kick start a regular feature I am going to start running where I pick one product a week which really stands out amongst the many things on my wish lists. There are so many amazing products out there that I want to tell you about (and buy for my house!) so I am hoping this is going to be a good way for me to start editing and focusing on the things I really love.

So to kick off today, I have picked this gorgeous cowhide pouffe from Graham & Green...

£145 from Graham & Green
I am particularly partial to a cowhide, gold detailing and chevrons so this is somewhat of an miraculous discovery. I haven't seen anything quite like it on the high street but it feels very right now, whilst also being totally flexible and timeless thanks to the natural material and shape.

I can see this adding a touch of glamour in a scandi inspired living room against soft whites and brass accessories, but I could also see it in a LA inspired, uber lux home alongside deep blue velvet sofas and statement lighting.

At £145 it's a really reasonable price and I for one am already plotting a home for it.

Let me know what you think in the comments section!

Hx

Bathroom progress report - nearly there!

Hello! So today I wanted to share with you a little update on my bathroom renovation... it's not 100% finished but I can't wait any longer and it's just a few little touches left to do, so I will be sure to update this post at a later date (hopefully not too much later, ahem builders...) so you can see. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram too for updates as they happen.

For regular readers, you may have seen my inspiration post about my plans for the bathroom (here if you missed it). I wanted to go pretty monochrome with some statement floor tiles and touches of pale wood to warm things up a little. I am really pleased with how things are shaping up and I can't wait to start pulling it together with some great accessories like succulents and pretty ceramics.



All of the functional sanitary ware was from Victoria Plumb as they offered the best price, and we really couldn't tell the difference with the quality compared to other places, for almost three times the cost. We went for the mixed shower head for flexibility and the frameless shower to create a feeling of space. Simple metro tiles line the shower - with the floor tiles being such a statement pattern, I wanted the wall tiles to chill out and disappear into the wall. Although I love dark grout with white metro tiles, I do worry they will date soon too.

The towel rail was from Victorian Plumbing. Finding a black towel rail was surprisingly tricky but I'm really pleased with this one. I haven't tried it yet - just waiting for the electrician to connect it to the thermostat but can't wait for some toasty towels.

The hamman towel was from a Turkish seller on Etsy. I just bought one to see how it sat in the room and I love it so am planning to buy a stack more. They are just so much more interesting than normal towels, although come winter I might start craving a cuddly cotton version... we'll see.

The basket was from a little shop in Brighton, but there are loads around. These ones from Homebase are great value.


The sink unit was from Ikea and it is such a great little addition to the room.  Alongside all of the storage space, Ikea has specially designed organisers which fit neatly inside so I have all of my make-up professionally laid out so it is really accessible and easy to find. Honestly a life changer! I can't recommend getting a storage unit like this for your bathroom and Ikea absolutely had the best range on the market when it came to style, but also when it comes to cost.



The mirror was bought from Rose & Grey and sits perfectly over the sink. Love that I can pop a couple of my mini succulents on the mirror's tray too. We are waiting for a lamp to be fitted above the mirror to give some extra light which I think will finish it off nicely. It is also black and should give a nice glow to the room when you don't want the main spotlights on.

The succulent and concrete plant pot were bought from House of Hackney a while ago.

Finally a word on the tiles... when I posted a picture of the tiles on Instagram a week or so ago, lots of you wanted to know where they were from. Just gorgeous aren't they! I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. So striking and really make the room a little special. They were from Tons of Tiles who I just stumbled across on Google. The savings I made on using them versus a high street chain was really significant and the quality is great. Delivery was a little delayed but otherwise, really happy with the product.

So there you have it - where we are so far. The freestanding bath is still to be plumbed in and some little finishing touches need to be made here and there as I say, but it's really shaping up. What do you think?

H x

My top picks: Gray & Willow

Good morning all! Today I wanted to share a new brand which I discovered this weekend... Gray & Willow. The brand has been launched by House of Fraser, whose homeware range has always been a little hit and miss for me if I am totally honest.

This new range though is really quite lovely... a very consciously Scandinavian aesthetic so expect lots of soft greys, natural materials and monochrome detailing. Things that you know I'm a total sucker for so it was always going to be a winner from me, and the prices are really reasonable.

Aside from homeware, the Gray & Willow range also extends to fashion so do check that out too if you like muted colours and high quality basics with a twist. But here are my tops picks from the homeware range...


  1. Love this Elska range of dinnerware. Very reminiscent of Marimekko prints, but at a fraction of the price with pieces starting from £6
  2. For regular readers, you will know how much I am crushing on marble at the moment (have a read here if you missed it) and this rolling pin is probably my favourite thing from the range. A great design piece for any Scandi inspired kitchen. It's a little pricey at £40 but a definite future heirloom
  3. I can't get enough of pretty vases and these would look gorgeous on any window ledge with a fresh sprig of eucalyptus in situ. The small vase is £25 and the larger, is priced at £35
  4. Useful and lovely to look at - I could find a use from these storage boxes in almost every room in my house. Three for £30? Yes please.
  5. Not technically a homeware pick but I just like the idea of lounging around the house in this jumper with some slouchy lux joggers whilst reading the paper, or browsing Pinterest. Mmmm
  6. Another fab kitchen gadget I almost certainly don't need and it's marble... I'm starting to get worried I may be heading toward marble overload #help
  7. And of course, a lovely wooden chopping board - you literally can't have too many. At £45 it is on the pricey end of the scale but it is pretty big and will last for many years
What do you think of the new range? Any favourites?

H x

How to... stay sane whilst living in your renovation project

Our kitchen as it currently stands... *gulp*

We are currently entering week four of our #StowRenovation and so much has happened since we started, and thankfully so much progress has been made thus far, although there is still a very, very long way to go.

When planning the project, it was clear that we would need to live at the house during the work, mostly due to financial restraints, but also to keep an eye on things. This has proved invaluable so far, as things change drastically from day to day and being there to ensure every small detail is how we want it has been so important.

But living on site has also been a real rollercoaster and staying sane and upbeat can be challenging, especially when you are without a kitchen and a clean bathroom for weeks on end, builders are traipsing in and out all day and your cat is more freaked out than you about the dust. So today I wanted to share some tips on how we have managed to keep going whilst living on a building site...

  1. Think about your pets. This was a fairly big oversight from us when we moved in, as we thought that if we could endure the mess and disruption, our cat could too. But it soon became apparent that the noise, mess and strange people in the house were too much for her and despite us creating 'comfort zones' with blankets and clean areas to sleep, it just wasn't enough. Worrying about her was almost more stressful than everything going on with the house. Therefore if you are in the fortunate position, as we are, to leave any furry family members with friends or family for a few weeks then I strongly recommend it.
  2. Enjoy the progress. Since the project started, Peter and I have arranged to meet from work and make the journey home together. This way we both arrive at the house at the same time to explore and talk through the progress made each day. It has actually made coming home (to the considerable mess) a pleasure rather than a chore and it helps deal with the mess because each day you see you're a step closer to the end.
  3. Cover EVERYTHING or put it in storage. One thing that so many people warned us about was the dust. There will be dust everywhere, we were told. And we took heed, ish, putting things in boxes, closing doors to rooms with our things in etc. But my god, I can't tell you how much dust there is and how it manages to get into every single crevice of the house. That has been the hardest thing for us, as you can't escape it. It gets on all of your clothes, your towels and even your hair and skin feel clogged up but worse than that, some of my favourite pieces of furniture are being affected and it is a real concern. Self storage experts, Shurgard opened a store near us recently (they have 25 locations in all) and in hindsight I 100% should have used a storage company to keep things safe and clean whilst the work is underway. I am hoping nothing will be damaged beyond repair and recovery but to have them kept safely off sight would have been a real weight off my mind and I would definitely recommend considering this option if undertaking a big renovation.
  4. Tell your builders. Ensure every workman/woman onsite understands your situation and are mindful or your living situation when planning the order of works. We made it clear that we needed the new bathroom up and running and in a good condition before the original bathroom was taken out and because of that, not a single day went by without us having the facilities we need. We also ensured they understood that the bedroom was our 'clean zone' and any work in there was to be limited and as undisruptive as possible to ensure we always had a space to retreat.
  5. Stay on top of things. Although you are living in chaos, if you can stay on top of the work and the budget from a project management point of view, things won't start to feel too much. We have been keeping a very nerdy Excel spread sheet of our outgoings throughout the project, and when things seem overwhelming, looking over that really helps. It puts things in order in your mind and reminds you that things are happening and you are in control, even if it doesn't feel like you are sometimes.
  6. Get inspired. When things have been looking particularly bleak, retreating into other interiors blogs, magazines and Pinterest boards has been so helpful. It just reminds you of the end goal and you can busy your mind away from mouldy ceiling tiles, broken floorboards and dangerous electrics and think about gorgeous paint colours, cushions and rugs. A small thing, but it has helped me so much.
  7. Reward yourself. Eating out every night is not practical from a financial point of view, but on particular down days do not feel bad about it. It is easy to think that all of your money should be ploughed into the house, and luxuries like meals out make you feel guilty but microwaveable meals for days on end will make living in the build all the more awful. It is important to get out and feel like yourself again, at least once a week.
So there are a few things that have been helping me get through the renovation, but it is still very much on-going and I would love to hear any other tips you have to help us reach the end without divorcing, burning the place down or having a mental breakdown. If anyone is going through the same thing at the moment let me know too - would love to share war stories!

H x




This was a collaborative post.