Category Archives: home & garden

Desk Makeover featuring Laura ashley

 

My desk is my creative space, its where I do my freelance work from; where I write and where I edit my photographs, yet it’s never really been a space that I have paid much attention to in terms of its décor and styling. When Laura Ashley got in touch recently to ask if I would like to share a corner of my home and how I would style it for the colder months I decided it was the perfect opportunity to get round to giving my little desk a new lease of life and make it a cozy place to sit and work over the winter months.

The desk was a second-hand purchase online a few years ago. I stripped back the dark varnish to expose the natural wooden top and gave the drawers and legs a couple of coats of Laura Ashley furniture paint in dove grey; a beautifully milky shade that compliments the colour of the walls well. I am really thrilled with the way the desk has turned out, simply by giving it a coat of paint.

Next, I chose a few pieces from the Laura Ashley home accessories range to complete the look of my new workspace, selecting pieces which I feel compliments my home and interior style as well as being practical for the small space in which I work. I like to keep things fairly simple with a rustic feel and so decided the Kubu rattan storage organizer, with three separate compartments, was the perfect solution for keeping things neat and tidy. I particularly love it paired with my vintage stoneware pots and seed heads for a rustic look.

Lighting the desk space was quite important consideration since I do most of my work in the evening when my little ones are in bed. I wanted to choose a lamp that made the space feel as cozy and inviting as possible. The Tate lime washed lamp base with a neutral shade ticked all the boxes for me, it’s a small lamp that doesn’t take up too much room and most of all it sits nicely alongside the rest of the décor in the room. Like most corners of my home, you will always find a blanket in reach, I find comfort from the warmth of it draped over my shoulders whilst I work. I love the Henford cranberry chenille throw it is really soft and the colours are perfect for the season too.

The new desk space I have created, with the help of Laura Ashley, feels like a really lovely place to sit and work now. But before I go I just had to share what’s in my desk drawers with you, I think it may be my favourite bit …

Have you seen the Laura Ashley stationery range? I love stationery; being a designer I have a soft spot for beautifully designed notebook, diaries and pens. I love the Laura Ashley Garden Shop collection of stationery and gifts, it is illustrated simplistically with British flowers, berries and leaves in beautifully rich colours. The garden journal, in particular, is a real treat and has inspired me to gather together all the pictures we have taken of our garden over the year, all the seeds and seed heads we have collected and the flowers we have pressed and document the changes we have made along the way, my drawer currently feels like a floral treasure trove bursting with inspiration.

 

Breakfast with Laura Ashley

 

How do you like to start your day? Every morning, without fail, we gather around the table for breakfast, mix and match bowls, messy hair and sleepy conversation, it is one of our favourite times of the day together. During the week it is, more often than not, a rushed affair as we usually have something to get up and out of the house for, but at the weekend we take our time without the need to rush.

Breakfast here, this weekend was a real treat as we took our time, I pottered in the kitchen making our favourite granola recipe with our tiny boy sleeping in the sling whilst my husband and little boy played with lego. When the granola was in the oven I made a coffee and set the table with our new Laura Ashley china mugs and bowls. I love this mix and match set of blue and white china, it is an eclectic collection consisting of three different traditional designs each with a contemporary twist. Mixing and matching tableware is a great way of creating a relaxed look and to add a rustic touch I have also used the round Kubo woven baskets, great for holding bread or croissants. To keep us all cozy I added the herringbone striped throw to the backs of the chairs (you will always find a throw in arms reach here)

Oats and mixed nuts granola

A bowl of homemade granola is a great way to start any day, I have a simple recipe that can be made within about half an hour and tastes so delicious. I love making it as much as I love eating it, it gives me a real sense of warmth and comfort. I also love that I am providing my family with something homemade and wholesome to kick-start the day. Combined with fresh fruit and natural yoghurt it makes the perfect breakfast. Here’s how to make a tasty granola:

Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped mixed nuts
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
125ml maple syrupMethod: Combine all the ingredients and pop in the oven on a medium heat for about 20

Method: Combine all the ingredients and pop in the oven on a medium heat for about 20 minutes

SOURCEBOOK: Mugs | Bowls | Throw | Basket | Fabric | Book
This post was written in collaboration with Laura Ashley, thank you for supporting the brands that help make this space home.

After a long grey winter

It has been so long since I last popped over here to write, my energy levels have been low and my enthusiasm has been lost, a long and very grey winter has passed but thankfully tiny signs of spring are beginning to emerge and with it I have found my enthusiasm again.

We began this year with some sad and worrying news for our family, my dad has been diagnosed with cancer, it has knocked us all and has of cause been a worry for my dad who is dealing with it. He has recently received the best possible news that the cancer is small and slow-growing and so we are hoping and praying that with the help and care from the doctors he will make a full recovery.

I have also been caught in the middle of an emotional mix of anxiety and pure joy over the past few months – we are expecting a baby and utterly thrilled to be extending our little family later this summer. Pregnancy after loss is a tough journey to navigate, the fear of losing another child grips me so tight, leaving me feeling frightened and unable to trust my body to do something that should be so natural and so joyful. However, with that said, the weeks do seem to be flying by this time, with each day and each tiny movement that I feel I am trying my best to put the worry aside and enjoy the journey towards holding our littlest member of the family in my arms safe and well.

Despite this winter feeling like a long and hard slog, we have managed to make plenty of lovely memories along the way and have some good times to look back on, here are some of the things we have been enjoying:

  • Clearing the garden, collecting seeds ready for the year ahead and planting winter flowers to brighten up the grey days
  • seeing the bulbs we planted back in November emerge from the ground
  • Winter walks
  • Visiting National Trust gardens (look at these snowdrops!)
  • Hot chocolates a plenty
  • An impromptu trip to the Cotswolds (how very sweet is the blue shepherd hut I spied in the garden above)
  • Seeing the newest member of the family at our scan 12 and 20 week scan

A winters Tale #DifferenceMakesUs

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Gather up the season into your favourite basket, red and green, berries and fir, soft leafy twigs and all the things that smell as fresh as a winters morning. Sit a while and twist what you have into a simple wreath to hang on your door. This is one of the ways I love to welcome the festive season ahead.

A couple of weeks ago I got together with my sister to make our Christmas wreath, eat chocolate and listen to Christmas music – it has become a lovely little tradition over the last few years and one I look forward to with great joy. Do you like to make your own Christmas wreath?

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I also wanted to share my new dress with you, it is the most perfect shade of pink, gorgeously floaty and I love it so. Etsy, an online marketplace, asked if I would like to join them with their #DifferenceMakesUs campaign, celebrating our own individual style. I jumped at the chance and went straight to one of my favourite Etsy sellers, Son De Flor, to purchase this dress that I have lusted after for a long long time.

I love this smock dress, handmade from beautiful linen with its loose fit and timeless style. And, I also love what it represents too:

“Son de Flor is about slowing down. Coming back home. Sharing laughs around the dining table. It’s about feeling comfortable in our own skin. About not needing to be better nor faster. Son de Flor is about You, not fashion, not even style. It’s about a modest dress outstanding in the crowd with no need for explanation. No chase of the seasons, no new nor old trends. Time-less. Feminine. Charming. Subtle.” Son De Flor.

Doesn’t that sound perfect? Do pop over here to see their collection of beautiful dresses, you may also like to read their blog too.

Love Laura x