My Cup of Tea

I have my sister home for the holidays, which is so lovely. She is a real tea drinker, but the mug is what really makes it. Her favourite mug appears to have wondered off and that got me thinking. For her the perfect cup needs to be chunky, something her hands can encase, and handmade. I have compiled a few mugs which I think she might love, and hopefully you will too!

What a happy cascade, peachy browns unevenly glazed with inky blues. The watery greens are lovely too. Made by Arrow and Sage, though its a previous collection.

earthy coloured mugs in inky hues

Studio Arhoj have created these delightful cups. Pastel dipped with a white base, calm and serene.  

Blues and oink white bottomed cups

What joy, speckled mugs with a Jackson Pollock feel.

Pottery cups with speckled glaze

Julia Smith makes these in her rural Inverness studio on the banks of the Moray Firth, Scotland. I like the lack of handles and the carved lines.

Cream being poured into a coffee cup, hand made blue ceramics

This is perhaps too bright for my subtle and stylish sister, I, though, love the intense blue and shallow cup. Milk and honey would be the perfect warming drink.

vibrant blue ceramic cups

Three little trees huddle together against a background of mottled, moody glaze.

Earthy coloured mug with painted trees

Perfectly precise, these three cups sit neatly together. The grey-green palette I find very restful.

3 green grey ceramic cups

You can almost smell the sea! These aqua and grey striped mugs are in such pleasing hues.

Aqua and grey gazed mugs

A similar design, hand made in Portland, this stripy mug mixes glazes in a really pleasing palette. Barely blue lies next to bubbly white with a little bit of peach clay still visible.

Smooth and rough glaze on this handmade mug

And finally, something a little darker. Matt black pottery hides a bronze glazed interior, perfect for a luxurious hot chocolate.

Black mug with bronze interior

 

Oh So Plush Velvet Sofas

What could be more luxurious than velvet. Recently I’m hankering after a velveteen sofa that I could sink into, but what colour? From jeweled hues that dazzle to the perfectly pale – I love them all.

Where to start! This show-stopping blue sofa brings a little pizzazz to an antiqued interior

Antique round mirrors, lapis blue velvet sofa and smokey walls

Another moody room, this time matt blue walls and floor are perfectly complimented by a golden velvet coach placed at an angle

Blue walls and floor, yellow velvet sofa and dog

A cosy cat in a peachy velvet chair, could we get any more hipster!

Armchair in a dusky pink velvet with a curled up cat

This curved Chesterfield is a breath of fresh air in an icy greyed blue

Pure icy blue velvet sofa

Opulent gold looks so lavish with on a laid back sofa

opulent gold velvet sofa

Taupe shades are layered together with this deep, velvety sofa

Built in large velvet sofa in taupe

You can never have too much blue, cushions cascade to a waterfall effect

blue velvet sofa and cushions

The perfect combination of rustic wood, a woodland view and a verdant green tufted corner sofa

Light and airy modern room with wood, glass, abstract art and a green velvet sofa

A gentleman’s dressing room is set off by a dark wooden sofa upholstered in a deep luxe grey

A dark wooden dressing room with grey velvet sofa

Effortlessly elegant, this room boasts a blush pink sofa coupled with tufted rug and layered golden frames

tufted rug with layered artwork and a peachy pink velvet sofa

Oh my, black walls, tropical prints and a green velvet sofa that glows like an emerald stone

Black walls and an exotic green sofa

It may be little, but worth including in this velvet collection I think, tufted blue velvet is incased in an angular metal frame

Marbled floor, metal frame and tufted blue velvet upholstery

And finally, a orange-gold velveted chair that would be just like sinking into a sunbeam

Golden orange velvet sofar

Are you sold on velvet? I think I am.

Screening Style

With so much of our living now in open plan spaces, ‘zoning’ is a thing. I think we naturally want to feel that we know what a space is for, its purpose. A way to create this room within a room is with screens or a dividers. What these are however, can be as varied as your imagination!

What comes to mind for me are either thick dark ebony carved partitions or elegant oriental wafer thin screens (with these I need to suppress the desire to punch a hole like in a 60s bond movie. Juvenile I know).

The options are of course endless, here are a few that have captured my imagination, welcome to the world of the screen..

A mammoth piece of furniture which feels like it would be at home alongside a palm tree and a silk dress.

Ornate dark wooden screen

The effect of this screen is rather lovely, the natural fabric is layered producing perhaps more art than furniture.

layers of textiles creating a screen

My eye is always drawn to line, I love the precision of these metallic lines, bringing some sophistication to an open space.

Rigid lines of metal create a screen

Bang on trend, bring nature in with this versatile hipster divide (it’s got geometric shapes and everything)

Hanging baskets in metal frame

I love the classic calm that rattan gives. With rounded corners this screen adds a lightness to a home.

Three panneled rattan screen

Outside spaces can benefit from a bit of screening. I love these skeleton leaf-inspired structures, and the rusty colours on this an Autumn day feel apt.

Outdoor leaf screens in rusty brown

The simplicity of a squared screen, welcome in the roasting heat.

Square screen for outdoors

More linear cool with this narrow but noticeable room divider.

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Or bring nature in with a rather woody room divide.

Actual tree branches used as room screen

And for that nod to Bohemia I love this wooden carved screen in a rich sea-green

bedroom screen with ornate wood painted green

A geometric wooden slither sits happily in a serene and classic interior.

Wooden screen with geometric squares

And finally, a rustic and basic but beautiful living screen. Adding a bit of green to an urban space.

Wooden plant holder screen on coasters

What Do I Do With All Those Books?

So it isn’t Spring, but I am yearning for a sort out. One thing I have in abundance is books, and so many still unread. Rather than passing some of them on (I do very much believe in sharing what I have) I would like to store them in a better way than they are currently – which is everywhere!

Like many people my house is small, but if you can get creative there really is no end to how you can display these windows to another world. I am a dangerous combination of eclectic and sentimental. I have books where I just like the cover, books that have been recommended, books I read as a child and books that just smell and feel plain great.

I have compiled some rather tempting home libraries that help me feel justified in keeping my growing hord, see what you think…

Lets start with the dream – if you could you know you would, my childhood self would just adore a tree-filled library.

Tree lined dark living room with book shelves

The hidden room – I love the colour of these shelves, the perfect backdrop to all those vibrant spines.

Secret library door in a bookcase

If space is tight then I love the idea of shelves-come seats, and with a view like this I might be torn for where to look, out the window or the pages of my book.

Sea view and a space to read a good book

Over the years I have wondered around many an English country house with libraries worthy of a novel. This room is elegant, well proportioned and the books look old enough to have seen a thing or two.

Traditional sitting room with ancient books

Now this is a room my mum would covet, she is most definitely a colour coordinator. She loves ordering items by colour of the room – yellow for the yellow room etc. These white shelves house a rainbow that is really pleasing to the eye. The furniture is fun too!

Rainbow coloured books in white shelves

I am always wooed by green, and this little reading nook just looks so inviting.

Bookshelves form a little alcove to read in

For some calming white I do like these shelves. It would be guess work what book to pick but I love the varying horizontals of the pages.

The many shades of white - books around a door

Or alternatively, for a little space, these shelves work perfectly tuck away under the stairs. They create a calming piece of personal space.

Bookshelves and seat under the stairs

Granted there are very little books in these shelves but I love the indulgence of the rich dark colours. Painting the inside of your shelves can add another layer to the room. The darkness makes me want to curl up with a book and say goodbye world, just for a little while.

Rich dark interior with fireplace, chair and shelves

Everything is better in the round, ask Shakespeare. Though this wood is a little too orange for me, but painted in a powder blue or and chalky white this space would sing. You can see the craftsmanship and detail, a truly lovely space.

Round room with library and balcony

Such a well balanced space. The orange and blue work so well together, bold but in my book, beautiful.

Blue panneled walls with built in bookshelves

 

An Occasional Table

This little piece of furniture has me at the title! It sounds so casual and yet so desirable. Occasional tables conjuring up images of the nesting dark wooden four legged pieces that sat quietly in the corner of my Grandparent’s house.

Be rest assured, there are many variations available that don’t have to fit this mould. This type of table is all about flexibility. These days our homes are open plan, our kids run free and our gatherings are casual – an occasional table allows flexible living for the stylish home. Lets take a look…

An original 1950s circular table has hidden storage for ease. Simple and practical – pure Mid Century style.

round occasional table

Take the traditional nest and go ombre – the greyscale look updates a classic.

Grey stacked tables

For elegance and convenience I love these marbled topped and black metal framed occasional tables, very on tend.

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For something a little different, how about metal mesh nest tables?

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Marble again but this time in the round. I love the unique patterns and colours – instant class.

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Something about these ombre tables makes me think of toadstools!

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Overlapping transparencies add interest with these irregular shaped tables.

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What space saving genius – A mirror and table all in one, great for the space-challenged home.

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This table has to be one of the best I have seen. The separate elements are sculpture-like in day glow yellow, white and black. Together a succinct cube is formed.

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For a natural nod I love these two tables that become one fashioned in honest wood.

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Elegant gold frames these glass tables, the semicircle shape is actually quite handy.

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And finally – super space saving and visually satisfying – this wooden nest of tables slide perfectly inside one another and would fit comfortably in most homes.

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As ever, just click on the pictures to find the link and if you have any comments, thoughts or anything else just let me know!

Modern Showers to Inspire

The bathing ritual in the morning has become something of an art. You can step into a shower seamlessly from your bathroom -feel like you are standing in a monsoon, a waterfall or a massage – and be ready to face the day.

I like the current trend for large glass boxes that rise out of the floor so elegantly, like a piece of art. I have collated together a few showers that have caught my eye, they have me sizing up my little space and thinking bring on the rainforest.

 

A minimal shower has a real feel of calm. A delicate plant softens the tiles. I can see this working well in a modern or traditional home.

Elegant built in shower

Well this is pretty perfect! Even the plant pot adds to the angular sparse space. The wood softens the look and I love the steps and projecting tub.

Perfect modern bathroom

A more modest space, I like how the shape of the roof has maximised the tiny room. The little window helps to bring in the light – hopefully the neighbours aren’t to close by!

Showers for small spaces

I think I am drawn to this shower because of that beautiful shade of sea blue. The glassy tiles give a watery feel, if this was part of my morning routine I could not help but smile.

Pale blue tiled shower

What an incredibly classy shower. My eye is drawn to the black framed glass, I love the touch of the bath-overlap. Very chic.

Black framed glass shower with marble backdrop

Such understated charm, I love the wood and white – a real good use of space.

Contemporary shower built in the eaves

Here the wood continues throughout the floor and over the side of this bathroom. I also love the radiator that wraps around. Wood brings a warmth and Scandinavian feel that I think can make shower rooms more welcoming. A welcoming bathroom is just what I need – it takes a  lot to get me out of bed in the morning!

Wooden floored shower

Hanging Bedside Lights

A trend which is one I quite love at the moment are hanging bedside lights. As long as there is no risk of me banging my head as I fall out of bed in the morning, they sound great to me!

Suspended lights add a real modern edge to a room. That laid back ‘oh I just threw it all together’ thing that looks so appealing. Here are a few that have captured my attention…

A beautiful bulb simply done.

Suspended light bulb by the bed

I am in love with this stunning shade – geometric and metallic and with a red cord!

Bedside lamp suspended with metal shade

Ideal where space is tight, the single black line of the cord curves the white wall up perfectly.

Suspended light bulb in the bedroom

Granted there is quite a lot going on in this room, but I do like the wire cage lights.

Bedside lamps suspended with wire shade

The beauty with these lights is you can make them yourself, adding your personal flare. This copper piping suspended light does feel like you could have a rummage in the garden shed and hey presto!

Suspended bedside light with pipe

What a great idea – a pulley to alter the height of your bedside light. I think this would look even better if the shade was a paper globe!

Suspended lamp on pully by the bed

And finally this adorable matching pair started life a candle holders. I love the copper frame. All they need now is some smooth circular bulbs to glow inside.

Copper wire pendant lights for the bedroom

What do you think – a trend that is here to stay?