Sorry Ive been away from the blog for a while, but Im back with some of my fave style trends and passions that are still rocking the interiors world in 2018. If you have ever viewed my own home on my instagram account You will know my tastes are varied and many. From the palest and the prettiest of decors to the darkest and quirkiest of styles, but the one thing I cant resist is a new trend, yup tend to like um all, just cant resist a bandwagon! Ill be jumping right on it, and adding it somewhere in my home. Whether its a colour or a thing, l’m usually right at the front of the queue to try it. Heres some of my favourites right now:
1 Critter chic
Adding unusual and exotic birds and animalia to your decor has been around for a little while now, but the trend is growing, and new animals are becoming must haves all the time. Yes it has extended beyond the flamingo (still love them) to include any creature from an octopus to a leopard, and the high street brands are well and truly on board now, so Its easy to pick up yourself a piece of cute or quirky that will challenge the high end brands offerings for on-trend style .
So whether its a wall mounted beast, a divine swan, or a table top mantis (yep I own one of those!) make like David Bellamy (if you are under 35, you will probably need to google this name!) and give the animal kingdom a whirl. Heres a few more of my favourites, reasonably priced pieces
2. The luxe look
And most especially all things gold and shiny and a little bit rock star! – Gold has taken a back seat to silvers and chromes since the 80s, when anyone who had a posh Nana , she would almost certainly have had gold taps, and it was practically compulsory to take all your friends to look at said taps to impress them. But no more, silver is being budged out, and gold is not just for the posh Nana’s! Im currently in the process of changing my silver kitchen door handles and taps to the gold side, and you don’t need to be midas to make this happen, handles from 3 quid on eBay, and full swan neck taps like this one from high street bathroom stores are priced the same as silver – amen to that I say.
And its not just the taps, even if you just want a piece of the gold stuff, try a pen pot or a mirror, or for all out luxe, the must-have bar cart. And it sits well with so may colours, perfect with pink and white as an undertone, or great against a strong dark colour to shout ‘wow’ at all who pass. So make like an 80’s Nana and give gold a go, I defy you not to fall in love.
3. Whopping Wallpapers
Yet another revival from the past I hear you cry, yep think 60’s and 70’s here though, for the current trend of flamboyant designs, so think oversized palms, or roses bigger than your head for a true 2018 look. If you are brave enough, do the whole room, trust me it works. Or maybe start with the loo, or the bathroom, as small rooms carry large and blousey prints so well. I have a moulin rouge style oversized print in my downstairs loo and coupled with a matching theatrical pelmet and gold accents, it looks the biz.
If you don’t want to tackle the whole room, but would love to give it a go, try lining the back of a bookcase, or framing a piece like a big picture on your wall. Heres a few of my current faves, and ones I find most inspiring. Yep, its go large or go home with these beauties, which ones your fave?
oh, and before i go, my aforementioned downstairs loo …..
I’m back next with part 2 of the top 2018 trends I love, as theres simply too many to cover in one go (eek!) so I hope to see you there!
In this current age, there are more fashion styles for homes than ever before, whilst I don’t have all of them in my home (and boy I have a few!) I admire most tastes in décor. One that has always fascinated me, but never made its way into my home however is art deco. That is all about to change however, as I’m planning a huge project in a room with a nod to this style at the forefront of my plans.
We all love a bit of olden days glamour, and the mystique of the early part of the last century, and most especially the roaring ‘20s and all that surrounded the underworld at that time was summed up in the tale of ‘The Great Gatsby’, the 1920’s novel by F.Scott Fitzgerald, more recently reinvigorated in the blockbuster film , by the great Director Baz Luhman (He who knows how to style a film!) in which this look was brought to life in full colour glory and embraced to the max. I love a good film, but I’m more likely to be hooked when they have a stunning backdrop! – This a time when anyone who was anyone wanted to shorten the length of their skirts, dance, drink alcohol, and live the American dream. Of course a lot of this was either illegal or immoral back then (thankfully not now, otherwise most of us, me included, would be well and truly in trouble!)
However, I’m not here to judge there (or your) levels of skill or depravity on the dance floor and drinking scene! I’m here to talk about the décor of the time, and whoa, did they know how to do glam!
You only have to look at programs like Downtown Abbey or the Films based around this era, to see they did rich, opulent and lots of shape and form. Colours were dark and rich, and strong and glitzy. Think velvet, feathers, brass, mirrors, tassels, with bold gold, silver, and black and sumptuous pinks, coppers and whites, and the great news is, we can all put a taste of all or any of those in small or large doses into our home décor.
Black and Gold
These 2 colours combined, say wow , striking, lush, warm and rich – try to find angled shapes, in particular fan shapes, heres some great pieces that will add small dashes of the bygone era.
What about this stunning wallpaper from graham and brown, absolutely right for the these, and in case you don’t want to go too bold, use of the paneled cream bottom to the wall, keeps it elegant , but equally, just adding the paper to one wall, of even lining the back of a bookcase will bring a flash of the stunning look to your home.
These 2 colours combined, say wow , striking, lush, warm and rich – try to find angled shapes, in particular fan shapes, heres some great pieces that will add small dashes of the bygone era. These lamps and wings from Melody Maison, and the tables from Windsor browne certainly hit the colour trend.
And what about floor coverings, well a pale cream ultra deep n thick carpet would suit this scheme perfectly, but if you have pets or children (or a penchant for red wine!) perhaps a dark colour would be more forgiving. This black and gold rug is just perfect from irugs.co.uk, and at £159, it aint gonna get no-one in trouble with the mob! (please only read this last line in a thick New York accent, otherwise, you will just assume Ive gone mad!)
So what about if black just isn’t your bag, no worries, cream, teal, off white, gold , silver, amber and powder pink are just the ticket
Look at this gorgeous pink and gold rug from Amara.com , so beautiful
And these velvet rounded back sofas are just perfect for this look, room for you and Mr Gatsby!
and what about these gorgeous cushions from zara home cushions to top it off
Other perfect pieces of furniture to finish this look are Metal and Mirrored furniture pieces, silver and gold furniture and of course mirrors themselves are a must, think luxurious, think angled edges. Look at this gold edges side table with foxed glass , and the geometric surround mirror is just screaming 20’s
Alexandra Mirror Range – Two Drawer Bedside Table Melody Maison
Large Silver Sunburst Art Deco Wall Mirror 61cm x 61cm Melody Maison
Small Silver Round Side Table – Melody Maison
But no Gatsby style look would be complete without a hint of what made it the most fascinating of eras, the cocktails! So if you do one thing, grab yourself a gold drinks trolley This little lovely from Atkin and Thyme is all the rage right now, but equally second hand ones are all over ebay for as little as £40. No room for that? go for a mirrored gold drinks tray, gold/mirrored preferably, and some 20s styles drinks accessories and go a bit mad
5A Fifth Avenue Pack of 4 Gold Ombre Martini Glasses – From Dunelm
Manhattan Cocktail Shaker – From M&S
Ice Bucket & Tongs – From M&S
Mirrored Tray From Melody Maison
Or for the truly decadent statement glasses, designed by Germany glass company Ritzenhoff and available in this country from dark decor specialists rockett st George. At £19.50 each, they are investment pieces, but how beautiful (picture me groaning ever so slightly at the beauty of these!) I Have these on my Christmas wish list (not sure anyone’s listening mind!!?)
The Roaring 20s Christmas!
Well its nearly that time of year, so how can I resist dropping in a bit of Crimbly chat!
This look is s easy to work for Christmas decor and Table decor, think feather and pearls, and mirrored glass. I am having a Gatsby themed Christmas table this year, ( I am also making all my guests dress up (they don’t know this yet, so Im going have to get onto that bombshell this weekend!) We tend to do glamorous attire anyway, but never had an actual dress theme, so Im getting my own back for all the years Ive hosted Christmas Day, and styled Christmas lunch for 25plus people, they now have to BE part of the theme! so Ill let you know how that’s going nearer the time)
In the meantime, heres some my pinterest inspiration that Im basing my table on , all of these are easy to recreate, and you can use a lot of things you already own, just add some glitter, diamontes, pearls or feathers to anything and dashes of the key Gatsby colours and you’re away!
You know by now Im a self certified collector (some call it hoarder, I prefer collector!)
From the charity shop finds, to the beautiful bits I acquire whilst sourcing product for Melody Maison and WindsorBrowne , my house is fairly full to the brim, so what do I do with them?
Well, i love ‘arranging’ – so filling a surface with a collection, and arranging them, just like flowers, only with objects. My taste is vast. From the ever-so-pretty to the downright quirky (and everything in between)
So how do you start arranging , and what should you do to stop it looking like a jumble sale stall! Heres my top tips, from how to begin your hoard (I mean collection!) where to buy, and to how to assemble it
My Number 1 tip is :
Mix it up! – By all means pick a style, or a colour palette, but don’t shop for everything in one place. Visit car boot sales, eBay, charity shops (some of my most amazing finds are from these sort of places, and you get a double glow from owning something wonderful, but that only cost a few pounds , sometimes pence!) Then visit the vintage fairs, antiques markets and your favourite On-line and high street retailers as well as unusual boutique home wares shops so your collections are diverse and an interesting talking point ( I love telling stories of my nik-nak finds to anyone who will listen, from the beautiful mirror I found in a skip, to the jug I paid a £1 for that was worth £50!
Tip number 2 :
Always buy with your heart, choose things that speak to you – usually with the words “if you don’t buy me today I wont be here tomorrow, and then you will be sad!” Never buy just because you think the shape or colour is the missing thing, rather than just loving it yourself. I have bought plenty like this, and now I’ve learned to stop and think, ‘can I look at this every day for years and still love it?’ if the answer is Yes, great, you know what to do!
Tip number 3
Don’t be frightened of mixing colours and styles. If you are choosing with your heart then it will usually work. And if it doesn’t , start a new collection elsewhere! Interior design rules typically says choose no more than 3 colours, and stage things in groups of descending sizes….blah, blah, blah. When choosing colour, I say pick 3, pick 7, pick 9, as long as they all speak to each other, or reference something else in the room, like a flower in a rug, or a design on a cushion, go for it . This is not show home arranging this is maximalism!
Tip number 4
So you’ve got past the colour thing, now what about themes. Themes are great for this sort of arranging, but don’t get carried away, a shelf with 42 teapots, or 64 cat ornaments may seem cute, but also might may make you look a bit crazy! so don’t go all one thing in one space (animal clutter is great btw, big fan, just remember to break it up around the house!) So for instance at the moment Ive got a thing for ornamental rocking and wooden horses, yes I have 3 mixed in with this arrangement, but the other 5 I own are scattered on other surfaces .
Tip number 4
Don’t do too much symmetry. I too can appreciate the show home look with a candelabra at either end, and 2 of everything all symmetrically arranged in descending sizes in between, but the maximalism look requires mashing it up. Put 2 of the same thing at either end, it works, but equally it may look just as good right next to each other
Tip number 5
Now , what to pick? Don’t be frightened to break ‘rules’ Pictures and mirrors aren’t just for walls, they look great lent up at the back of an arrangement. And vases aren’t just for flowers, fill them with feathers, or fairy lights or smaller collectables if its see-through. Yes throw away that rule book!
Tip number 6:
I like to move it, move it….and move it again! Once you are happy with the positioning or say 2 or 3 larger or important pieces, work all the other items around those, but it may take time. I sometimes move a surface around at least 5 or 6 times…and then I do it again! sometimes on a weekly basis till I’m happy or to allow a new treasure to be inserted somewhere (and to be totally honest, I am a professional ‘faffer’ so I’m never going to be entirely happy , so one day every few months I will probably move it all around again!)
Tip number 7:
Finally, tip 7 is the maximalist big one – Invest in an ostrich feather duster! Sadly (i think tragically) the reason most people are averse to ‘ornamenting’ is the dust. I get it, it drives you crazy, but not only are ostrich feathers super delicate and light, so you can swish and poke them everywhere without risking breaking everything, they are also statically charged, so they will take the dust away with them , not just move it around.
So why not have a go, start by bringing a few of your favourite things together, and see what transpires. And if you are including any Melody Maison Or Windsor Browne gems in there, don’t forget to email me at customer services with pics, as we love to include customer pics on our inspiration pages
As you have no doubt gathered, when I fall, I fall deep. It’s addiction, but bordering on obsessional. For some girls it’s a man but for me it’s …. Ceramics! Yes my George Clooney is a teacup and my Benedict Cumberbatch is a side plate (OK I’m not saying I’d choose a side plate over Benedict but I’m less likely to find him gathering dust on a shelf in a charity shop!)
I have some beautiful pieces I have collected over the years, some floral and vintage and some that favour my current passion which is for the darker side of interiors.
This stunning vase I came upon at my beloved Hemswell antique centre for just £28. It’s the most amazing deep peacock blue and it had me at hello! (Benedict would have had me before hello incidentally!)
I frequently move stuff around rooms, depending on my mood, as sitting in a cupboard behind glass is all very well to keep dust at bay, but some things need to be admired in close range. I do have some very delicate bits in a velvet lined sitting room cabinet, mainly some very Downton Abbey-esque Noritake Ive been collecting for years, so pretty, I never get bored of looking at these.
Now, I’m not the sort of person who lives in perpetual state of tidiness and I don’t normally have my dining table laid for a dinner party I’m not going to have, but on fishing some china plates out of a dark cupboard recently, I felt the need to stage this just for a few weeks so I can remind myself of the loveliness that is vintage china, none of this was more than a few pounds a piece. Some from charity shops, some from vintage shops.
This gorgeous bowl and matching plate with the scalloped edge was from a lovely local vintage shop not far from our own shop, Melody Maison, in Harworth, Near Doncaster (see below for both shops directions ) and is perfect for a Christmas dinner table for the obligatory Cranberry sauce offering.
Like all good china nuts, I do own a ‘full matching set’ that would make your Nana proud, and allow me to offer tea to HM The Queen (should she drop in!) and I have used this at Christmas before, but with a family of 20-26 to feed for most of our family Christmas lunch’s , it doesn’t stretch that far so, I did pull together every mismatched floral china plate I own to do a vintage style Christmas table (not sure the male relatives appreciated the daintiness of the plates but it looked lovely!)
Ceramics are not just for the dining table or sitting room cabinet though, my bathroom pretties have appeared in my blog before,. A beautiful lined pine vintage wall cupboard, also from Hemswell Antiques Centre, is now crammed with all manner of vintage ceramic plates, pots, vases and figures and, I can sit looking at them all from the bath!
I can’t go without showing you some splendid china from House of Fraser Ive been admiring. This is the quirky ‘n’ vintage versus the pretty ‘n’ vintage sides of me battling as per usual. Peacocks and roses are up there in my top 5 list of things I adore right now (this list also includes Mr Cumberbatch!) and depending on the day of the week, I cant choose my fave. I love greens and pinks equally too.
And here’s just some of the lush ceramic pieces we currently have in the Melody Maison shop.
If you are ever near Doncaster, Tickhill or Bawtry do come and visit, we’re ever such a nice bunch and we have oodles of gorgeous things like this to coo over ( be quick though cos Im pretty sure those goregeous green urns are going to find their way to my house if they catch my eye line one more time!)
Don’t worry, this isn’t another make-up contouring blog, I was just pondering the fact that at Melody Maison, we sell as many mirrors, as we do all our other products added together!
Wow – Vanity? Or just home styling, So I decided to investigate…
I discovered from reading multiple articles that the average UK woman spends 55 minutes a day in front of the mirror. At first I couldn’t quite believe that’s the ‘average’ (so many must be spending a lot more!) but when I thought about it, I myself, whilst I might only do 20-30 minutes in front of my dressing table mirror a day (depending on whether its hair wash day or not!) how many other times during the day, do I ‘glance’ in the mirror. Its hard to keep count, but I think I clocked up an additional 14 times in one day!
Seems a lot doesn’t it, but I’m not vain, so I’m guessing I am the ‘average ‘ woman .
See if these checks you do too:
When you leave the loo (the skirt tucked in pants check) when you clean your teeth (the spinach check) Just before you walk out the front door (the ‘is it too warm for a jacket’ check) or at the pub ( the ‘did all my lipstick really come off from just eating some chips’ check)
So this explained why mirrors sell so well, small mirrors costing less than £10, we sell hundreds (teeth checker mirror?)
but the current big hit is the BIG mirror. The top to top, shoe to hair , I want to see the whole picture, mirror!
I walked round my house and counted no less than 32 mirrors! Sound strange, I also counted how many I use on at least a daily/weekly basis……9!
So Mirrors are clearly a decorative purchase for me, just like a picture, or an ornament , but with a practical use , even if it is occasionally!
Here’s some of my mirrors. As you may know by now I have eclectic taste, so whilst some of my house is pretty, vintage and shabby chic, some is elegant and heritage antique style, and some is dark, moody and quirky and this reflects (sorry, no pun intended!) in my mirror choices.
And which one do I use the most, well I narrowed it down to 1st , 2nd and third place
In Third place, the leaving the house mirror. This is a antique mantel mirror that hangs above the hall table (above top left) An eBay purchase, several years ago, I loved it because it was less than perfect – classy n’ shabby in equal measure. So the glass has foxed in many places, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve glued bits of frame back on!
In second place, is my ‘getting dressed’ mirror. Gold and glamorous, on my landing just outside my dressing room, it’s the perfect proportion for a full-length check (I also love it because, like all good friends, it tells me I’m thinner than I actually am! Some glass does seem to do that, not sure why, but who am I to argue!)
Of course in top place is the faithful dressing table mirror – My dressing table is a shameful mess most of the time, hence the very small image on the top right above, if you look closely you will see it physically sigh from the pressure of relentlessly trying it’s best to make me look presentable! My dressing room, is a full on girly sanctuary, and my dressing table and mirror , a 60’s vintage classic, gets most of my attention. I use it for getting ready 7 days a week. The cute make up gets to live on the top – Charlotte Tilbury is my current favourite, her make up is fabulous, but it mainly drew me to it because the packaging with rose gold highlights is just divine.
If you are looking for a dressing table mirror, large floor mirror, or a dinky ‘hows the smile’ mirror, of course Melody Maison is a market leader, but here’s another fabulous one I’m hankering after (mirror number 33??) This gold triple dressing table from Laura Ashley. I’m thinking as its not too tall, this will be perfect for placing on top of a high chest of drawers or in my bathroom window
Just before I go, How much time do you spend in front of the mirror? There is no fit bit for measuring that, but if there was , would you be as surprised? Go on, log your ‘mirror’ day, and as you look in one, dare you to say ….Darling you look fabulous!!
Floral decor is a gorgeous trend that I personally am a massive fan of, in fact I didn’t realise quite how much, until I started to look to take pictures of my floral belongings and decor, and there was too much to include, I think Ive managed to settle on my favourites, and as you’ll see, I am a eclectic girl, from vintage blues , pinks and peaches, to dark and glamorous black and purple flora.
The oversized flower rug was a fairly recent purchase from Modern Rugs that i intended for my office at work, but looked too good in my spare bedroom, it never made it into work! And my love of vintage shown here clearly extends to all things flora, as these other purchases show.
One trend that seems to come and go in interiors, but is currently back with a vengeance is floral wallpaper. In particular the bold and the brave oversized prints and dark coloured backgrounds.
Heres my personal favourite wallpaper. This one is a great use of an oversized print on a dark background, from ellie cashman designs – what an impact it makes in a small space like a cloakroom, especially with gold ostentatious taps and accessories.
My own floral wallpaper in my dressing room is not as bold, but as I come to write this Im thinking the black and bold one would look fabulous in there. I will need to tire of this one first though. I inherited some matching shot silk curtains 7 years go in the same shade of peach, and although sadly the curtains deteriorated in the sun so much, i had to bin them last year, the pelmet (and the paper) are still going strong!
But if you dont want to go this bold, try a few cushions or a throw, and you don’t have to look for far for floral inspiration, this bedroom shot by Ideal Home on pintrest is a stunning neutral room, with just a few noticeable, but subtle pops of floral.
take a peek at Kate Forman for stunning subtle florals, expensive but forever fabrics, or if you want to spend wisely, Dunelm is perfect for floral cushions starting at just £18.
I paid slightly more for these gorgeous teal & pink velvet ones from there Dorma collection, but they look and feel very high end (my doggies love them too, had to forcibly remove them to get this picture!)
And as always, Melody Maison is a great source of all things floral, here’s just a small selection of my favourites, from pretty flora jugs to just add a bit of summer to a room scheme, to Mirrors and furnishings, hopefully you can see how bringing the outdoors inside, just got easier.
So, here’s hoping your flora ambitions are heightened after reading this, be it bold and dark, or pretty in pink, give bit of flower power to your interior design
As a director of a busy home interiors and furniture company, sometimes its hard to find time to go to the places you love as much as you would like, but sometimes, I will make time somehow, for what is ‘my guilty pleasure’
Truth be told, it is actually my second favourite place on earth, but my favourite place is my bed, and that wouldn’t make an interesting article at all – Stories of falling asleep aren’t what top selling novels are made of after all!
So my favourite place (when I’m awake) is, not surprisingly for a female who happens to be an interiors buyer, a Furniture and interiors shopping destination – Hemswell Antiques Centres in Lincolnshire , which is apparently the largest antiques centre in Europe, yet just 45 minutes from my home.
I can easily spend a full week there, after all it is vintage heaven, but I try and limit it to a few hours to show I do have willpower!
My Home is Edwardian, so antique and vintage items are perfect for it. Don’t get me wrong, I love repro vintage just as much. I couldn’t do what I do for a living if I didn’t, and some things just need to be clean and new don’t they, but my true passion is real vintage. Never expensive though, as I tire of things sometimes a little too easily to be handing over hundreds of pounds, so you are more likely to see me buying mid-century kitsch, and quirky industrial style stuff or inexpensive pretty mirrors and accessories than a mega bucks work of art, albeit I have to stop and ogle those too.
Now I do love a small independent vintage shop, an antiques market or a charity shop (or even looking in the odd skip!) any day of the week, in fact passing a charity shop without going in is an ability I do not possess, but well, Hemswell, has all of this. They have at least 7 different old aircraft buildings; some will offer low priced vintage bric-a-brac, with several ‘priced too cheaply’ golden nuggets hidden amongst them if you are prepared to look closely (I should not be telling you this!)
And some offer High priced antiques, but still worth a visit as they will have beautiful reasonably priced bits and pieces hidden amongst the expensive stuff. I saw this stunning window mirror on a recent visit, but I think I will have to love this and walk away again, as sadly my walls are full to capacity
However over the years, I have amassed lots of vintage items from here, and here’s both some I have recently bought, and some I’ve owned and loved for years
Alongside (and on top of) the mirror collection, my new purchase this week (I said I do buy new too) is this gorgeous enamel finish flora jug from M & S & the artificial flower arrangement is from a selection from Melody Maison
My favourite recent vintage purchase though, and one I think you could easily put in a London boutique for 4 times the price is this gorgeous Pineapple, whose leaves are actual olive forks, This was £9! I do eat olives, but this one just took up residency in my dining room, looking pretty here with other items of loveliness I own.
And in my downstairs loo, an ornate mid century gold wall mirror, as you can see from the wallpaper, the theme in here is ostentatious , so a very showy mirror is what was required here.
I also love elegant vintage glassware. I own way too much for one small family. This beautiful little selection of cut glasses cost £3 each and looks lovely against the dark background and a silver tray
and here’s some ‘now where have I got an spare inch of room this might go’ checklist So I come home, and generally don’t find said space, but kick myself for not buying it , and generally it wont be there next time I go anyway
these stunning hand embroidered exotic Birds, probably from the 60s/70s , are so on trend at the moment, sadly wall space dictated another walk away, although as I type this, Im planning a re-visit, they may still be there……….