Showing posts with label colour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label colour. Show all posts

Look of the Week: Styling a teal sofa

Today’s Look of the Week is inspired by a new retailer I have just discovered which makes me want to buy about 10 new sofas and armchairs (ahem, not exactly practical in a pokey London terrace). They are The Lounge Company and create lovely pieces in a ridiculous selection of fabrics, colours shapes and sizes. Basically, if like me, you have a very clear idea of what you want in a sofa but haven’t found it yet, chances are these guys have something for you. Each of the 24 piece range is handmade in Britain so you know the quality is right up there.

As you know, I have been a slight colourphobe in the past (I blame those monochrome Scandinavian schemes which dominate my Pinterest feed) but I have been trying really hard to branch out. The Summer helps and my visit to Mexico recently completely inspired me (more about that here) so I am trying to inject some more colour at home and in my wardrobe (we’ll ignore the fact I’m wearing black and grey as I type).

Therefore, this week’s Look is all about adding a pop of colour at home. As much as I love my grey sofas, I do occasionally wish I had gone for a bright colour to add a bit of drama to the room. I had thought that choosing a coloured sofa would lock me into a scheme which wouldn’t be easily changed (sofas are an investment after all and last years). But the jewel coloured options out there are fresh and modern whilst also kinda traditional, and the fun really stars when you experiment with accent colours. Accent colours are where it is at and mean that you can switch up your scheme easily and relatively cheaply whilst your beautiful sofa sits proud. I hate wanky design terms but maybe jewel-coloured sofas could actually be a ‘new-neutral’.

This Poppy sofa is one of my favourites from The Lounge Company’s collection comes in the most amazing teal colour as shown here. The pink and lime accents work perfectly but here are a few of styling options which I had a play around with which could also work…

Clockwise from top right...

Scheme 1:

Scheme 2:
Throw – Ferm Living
Drinks cabinet – Swoon Editions
Lighting – Etsy
Cushion – Orla Keily

Scheme 3:
Sheepskin – Ikea
Lamp – Holly’s House
Brass magazine rack – John Lewis
Cushions – H&M Home

Scheme 4:
Lamp – Ikea
Rug – Ikea
Wallpaper – House of Hackney
Cushion – H&M Home
Yucca – Homebase
Mirrors – La Redoute 

What do you think? Any favourites? I love playing around with moodboards like this, especially ahead of a big purchase like a sofa. At The Lounge Company’s website there are loads of interactive tools to help you make a decision and there are also 21 stores across the country – it’s always good to have a jump and lounge moment on a sofa in real life if you can, but then you can buy online easily and with no fuss. Best of both worlds!


This post was done in collaboration with The Lounge Company but as always, all views and opinions are my own.

Blomma's Best: Berber Rugs

Berber rugs are all over the place right now. Super shaggy, soft and delicious underfoot, they make a wonderful statement, adding a touch of the luxurious world traveller vibe to your home. Whether you are looking for adding some bohemian charm to a neutral bedroom, or a pop of colour to a tired bedroom, a Berber rug could be the perfect addition. I already have three in my house so my love is getting slightly out of hand, particularly when so many great high-street options keep cropping up.

To help wade through the wonderful world of the Berber, here are my picks for the best out there right now...

  1. This unique, one of a kind rug is currently being sold at Urban Outfitters for £790. It is handmade in 100% wool and measures 9x5ft so is a really decent size. I love the colours which would make an amazing statement in any room, especially if you are going for that bohemian Californian vibe which, I mean, why wouldn't you
  2. This Berber style rug is great value and from a brand which is really upping it's home accessories at the moment; La Redoute. Prizes start at £59 but the biggest is still under £200 so really quite reasonable. It isn't wool, but it is stain resistant because of that which means it is going to be hardy in a high traffic area
  3. This colourful number is from West Elm who do have a great selection of rugs available. They are a it more pricey than some of the other high-street options but the quality is great and they often have sales/offers on so its worth keeping an eye on the website. This one is £499 and is fairly small. It is 100% wool though and the colours are just beautiful.
  4. One of my favourite small retailers who is bringing amazingly designed, great quality rugs over from Morocco; Ella Jones from The Rug Trade. All ethically sourced and handmade by true craftsmen. This is my favourite at the minute - that pink colour against the black. wow. This one is £390 so really quite competitive when you compare against the high-street and you are really getting something very special and unique.
  5. Finally, if you are looking for rug which brings a touch of colour, but which isn't quite as shouty as the super colourful options out there, then this is a real winner. It is from independent rug retailer the Rug Merchant. It's a really affordable option as it isn't wool, with prices starting at £134.
Tempted? I literally want them all.

H x

Travel Guide: Tulum

Despite it being unseasonably warm in London this week, I can't help having a few twinges of the holiday blues since getting back from an amazing trip to Tulum in Mexico. Tulum is unlike anywhere I have been before; the perfect combination of white sandy beaches, untamed jungle and delicious food with some ancient Mayan ruins thrown in for good measure. The laid back hippy vibe is infectious and I felt totally at home and 'zen' as soon as we arrived.

The area is becoming more and more touristy, and you can't help notice the big plots of jungle advertised for sale. Therefore I imagine more and more hotels will soon start popping up which will eventually take something of the rustic charm away from the place, so I would urge anyone who is thinking about going, to go soon.

Here is my guide on some highlights from our stay and where to stay, eat and visit whilst you are there.

Nest Tulum

We stayed at a new guest house which only opened in December, so its still a bit of a secret (taxi drivers were mostly dumb founded) and it was absolutely gorgeous. The décor was stunning and we had an amazing view straight out into the ocean. It only has eight rooms so it feels really intimate and definitely has the nicest, quietest spot on the beach. Breakfast was simple and delicious, with fresh fruit, granola and eggs and the staff were amazing.

Next door, a short walk along the beach is Be Tulum which is great for lunch, as Nest itself doesn't have a restaurant. The downside from being at the quieter end of the beach is that the hub of restaurants is about a 10/15 minute walk away and you are about a 40 minute cycle to the Mayan runs and the town. This suited us fine - taxis are easily available and cheap and the hotel had bikes you could use whenever you needed them.

Happy hour at Nest Tulum

Eating and drinking

As it is so hot, we mostly stayed on the beach side of the Boca Paila during the day and then in the evening enjoyed the restaurants and bars on the jungle side (mosquito spray a serious must have!).

A lot of people rave about Hartwood, a restaurant which was recently given a killer review in the New York Times. This has meant that to get a table you need to queue at 3pm the evening you wish to dine, with no guarantee you'll get in. We decided not to bother (who can honestly be arsed when they're on holiday to queue when there are so many great places to eat) but in the end, we happened to be passing after an afternoon mosey around the shops and only had to wait five minutes. I have to say for the hype, it was a bit disappointing. The food was good, but not stand-out compared to other places we hade eaten. I had the octopus which was really salty and the ribs (their signature dish) was pretty average. I would say that the atmosphere there is amazing and the staff were super friendly and helpful so it was a lovely evening, but if you miss out for the queues I really wouldn't sweat it.

The two places which stood out food-wise were definitely Be Tulum and Casa Banana. Both served amazing food in a lovely setting. At Be Tulum, have the ceviche, crispy shrimp and chicken tacos. Oh and the smoothies and fresh coconuts are exceptional - watching a guy with a machete chop up a coconut ready for you to drink is pretty special #skills. At Casa Banana try the shrimp skewers and the steak, all cooked on a roaring fire.

When it comes to drinks, you have to get down with some Mezcal cocktails and there aint no better than the ones at Gitano. Lovely atmosphere and spicy cocktails make for a good night but avoid the food, it wasn't great and Peter got food poisoning after snacking on their pulled pork tacos.

Be Tulum


Things to do

We got horrendously sunburnt on our first day so decided that we NEEDED to get a spa treatment at Coqui Coqui to ease our tight skin. We has the most amazing coconut scrub, Aloe Vera wrap and full body massage over looking the sea from their treatment room - a seriously magical experience. They literally squeezed aloe vera gel straight from the plant, all over us which felt incredible. They use their own oils as part of the treatments which you can purchase in their shop, all of which smell amazing but my favourites were Tobacco and Manderas.

Talking a cycle along the beach road to the Mayan Ruins was amazing and you should definitely see them whilst you are there if you can. On the ride, you will cycle past the open sea where you can watch pelicans fishing, through thick, humid jungle and then finally onto the historical site which is truly impressive. My favourite part was the amount of lizards and iguanas at the site, all languishing in the sun and on the monuments like they had been there for thousands of years. It is quite touristy, as you would expect, and super hot so go early to beat the crowds and the heat. Also, make sure you take small denominations of money - the entrance fee is low and the ticket office won't give change so you need to exact amount.

Finally, you should visit a cenote - a natural pool which is filled with incredible wildlife. There was one just a five minute cycle from Nest and we went for a wander round. People go swimming and kayaking on the cenote but the 'swim at your own risk' sign, featuring a crocodile was enough to put me off that idea. It is beautiful though, and really untamed so if you are braver than I, you should check it out and go snorkling. There are jaguars in the jungle which you can often see on the edge of the water and amazing fish and birds around the area.

Coqui Coqui

Mayan Ruins


Shopping on the beach road is pretty varied. Lots of boutiques have popped up, selling leather sandals, linen clothing and beachwear at high prices. They were nice to mosey round, but I was more interested in the Mexican artisans which are selling some lovely textiles and handmade home accessories such as hand-woven baskets and dream catchers. The best spot was just beyond Gitano and Hartwood so if you are going to queue for the restaurant, mixing in a shopping trip makes it a little less of a slog.

Also nearby is a great shop selling craft and speciality Mexican spirits, including lots of Mexcal and Tequila in intricate bottles. We went a bit crazy in there - especially after sampling five shots of vintage mescal - sneaky sales tactic.

My hoard of souvenirs

Hand woven cushions, throws and home accessories.

These are just a few ideas, I would love to hear any other things people would recommend as I will definitely be going back. Beautiful beautiful place - can't recommend it enough. Book immediately.

H x

How to create a mood board

I am very happy to report that our renovation is really starting to take shape now and we should be set to start decorating the bedroom within the next week or so. Making the first paint decision is really tough when you are starting any room renovation so the first thing I do is dump colours and furnishings into a mood board and start working it out. I switch in and out images, colours and accessories until I find a look I love.

Lots of people have asked me for more info on how I pull these together and the answer is so low-tech and unfancy, and it's a program most people already have on their computer. And that is Powerpoint. I have tried various design software packages, free tools online and lovely, crafty, 3D mood boards but I always come back to Powerpoint. It is simple and easy to use and really helps me visualize a room.

So here is my step by step guide to designing a space using a mood board in the context of my own current bedroom planning...

  • Think about the existing furniture and accessories you have which will play a part in your new space. For me and my bedroom I have a pine chest of drawers which isn't my dream piece of furniture but it also isn't enough of an issue to change it just yet. Grab images of it in the flesh or online if you can and pop it into your Powerpoint slide
  • Now have a think about the new things that you have your eye on which are achievable in your new room. When I say 'achievable' I mean pick things which are in your price range which you could afford to splash out on once the room is decorated. Inspiration boards are great things, but if you are just about to get started on a room, this mood board is about bringing to life what will become the final scheme. In my mood boards for example, I have picked rugs and accessories which have been on my wishlist for a while from high-street retails such as H&M home, Zara Home etc
  • Once you have picked the key pieces in the room, play around with the layout. I like to set it up to represent the positioning of the room as best I can but it's totally up to you. I also like to remove the white edges from images pulled from the internet to give it a clean look. If you don't know how, here it is - select the image, go to 'format' and 'remove background'. It doesn't always give a clean removal so play with the 'select areas to keep' and 'select areas to remove' functions which will help you get it right
  • Once you have the layout,  play with the background images to represent the flooring and the wall colour. This is what I find the most useful as finding the perfect backdrop to the furniture and accessories in the room is what I find the hardest, especially as I am a bit of a colour-phobe
  • Once you have your layout and your first design, simply 'duplicate' the slide and start a different configuration, throw in a different rug or background colour and just have fun with it
  • And that's it - really simple and so so useful. Here is where I am at with my bedroom mood board at the moment, using this same technique...

As you can see, I have popped in the chest of drawers and armchair which I already have. The Ikea bench, wall light and H&M linen bedding are all things on my wish list for the room and the other bits, such as the rugs and cushions, are just me trying to see what colour schemes work and which don't.

I think I am leaning toward number 3 and maybe bringing in some more coral colours to pick out the details in the rug, Hmm i'm not sure though... more mood-boarding it is! Which do you like best?

H x

Painted woodwork in a stylish Swedish home

Today's real home comes from Sweden and features some serious paint-spiration. As someone who wants to go for the all white, Scandinavian vibe at home but also feels drawn to the warmth of colour, this home has really given me food for thought.

Take a look and see what you think... keep an eye out for the painted woodwork, gorgeous floors and strategic pops of colour.

What do you think?  I love the use of the minty grey on the woodwork which seamlessly flows onto  the walls in the bedroom - makes the space really cohesive but adds interest and a subtle change from room to room. When you have such great details such as intricate door frames and skirting boards, painting them is a great way to make them shine. Farrow & Ball's Parma Grey or Calluna would work really well if you are looking to recreate the look at home.

The bright rugs, armchairs and art look amazing and add personality.

A final word goes for that amazing fireplace - why can't you get those in the UK!?


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

Must Visit: God's Own Junkyard

As a fairly new resident of Walthamstow, one of the first things I wanted to do was visit the legendary God's Own Junkyard, an amazing collection of neon signs.

Chris Bracey made signs for film sets, Soho clubs and circus rides becoming a leading expert in the field. Along with making the signs, he also collected abandoned signs and began selling them in his incredible shop, God's Own Junkyard, just a few minutes walk from Walthamstow Village. The shop is more of a museum than a shop and a truly amazing place to explore...

Just next to God's Own is Mother's Ruin gin distillery and Wild Card brewery so you can enjoy a freshly brewed pint or a G&T after gawping at the neon magnificence.

The site when you first walk in is incredible, neon signs filling every crevice from floor to ceiling, wall to wall.

Prices vary, but I have been advised that they range from £200 upwards but most of the ones that caught my eye were around the £650 mark. For an original piece of art though, its fairly reasonable and I am certainly about the start saving... surely a prerequisite for any well respected Walthamstonian to have an original Chris Bracey non? That's my excuse anyway. And for anyone wondering which one I would pick, it's got to be this one, perfectly placed over my drinks trolley...

Can't recommend stopping by enough! Could you see one of these neon signs gracing your home?
H x