Tuesday, 27 September 2016

FEATURED IN MODERN GARDENS MAGAZINE





I'm so excited that I've been featured in a second print magazine this month. This time in the UK, in the Modern Gardens Magazine. The October issue is out in the shops now and it's full of inspiring garden ideas and DIY projects, so don't forget to grab a copy!

I did a little Q&A with the UK gardening magazine which has really made me rethink what I want from our garden in the future. You may remember that it is not quite finished yet. Our garden make-over massively improved our outdoor living space but there is still a lot of work to be done. My goal is to focus on the borders next and maybe add some cool tropical plants into the mix. I'm a little sad that summer is over and I will lose my second living room for quite a few months soon. I'll probably need to find ways how to make most of it during the winter months, tips anyone?





Here are my Q&A answers!

My garden is... south-east facing, so we get a lot of sunlight during the day. It's 12.2 m x 9.14 (40ft x 30ft) and it feels private and secluded thanks to the surrounding trees. When we bought our house 5 years ago, the only thing I liked about the garden was the apple tree which gives us delicious treats every autumn. We got some landscapers in and they installed timber decking which has transformed our lives. I wanted that area to feel like a second living room - contemporary, chic and a place to entertain.

I share my garden with... my husband Andy and our daughters Ella and Cara.

My inspiration is... Californian beach houses. I love the laid back style that's achievable even if you don't live next to the beach - light floors, clever contrasts, rattan furniture, classic stripes  and lots of tropical plants.

Best garden moments... barbeques with family and friends. I love entertaining and what's better than drinks on the decking? I love evenings when the kids have gone to bed and it’s just me and my husband sitting outside chatting.

Favourite area... our new decking. It feels like part of the house and we have breakfast, lunch and dinner there. I've made sure there are rugs, cushions and glamorous accessories dotted around so it feels as welcoming as the rest of the house.

My current obsession... metal wire planters. I'm going for an industrial look and these are the perfect addition. I even got wire side tables to match them from La Redoute! Contemporary décor is the perfect complement to a leafy, natural looking garden.

Best buy... our rattan dining set. It's from Alexander Francis and seats up to 8 people. It's such a durable material and you don't have to worry about putting it away for the winter.

Favourite plant... succulents. They're the only ones I haven't managed to kill so far! I also like alpines, especially white ones, that look very delicate on the decking. I also like growing chillies, I love spicy food.

Top tip... it's important that the garden flows nicely with the rest of the house. I tend to stick to the same monochrome theme to keep things consistent. If you want to go for a totally different look in the garden, use some of the same materials and fabrics that you use indoors to tie things together nicely.

Latest project... my entire garden is a work in progress. I've been so excited decorating our decking that I have neglected the rest of the garden a little bit. I'd love to add some tropical palm trees at the bottom to give it a holiday feel all year round.

For more information visit www.moderngardensmagazine.co.uk.
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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

AUTUMN DINNER PARTY

 




Summer has been the perfect time to entertain friends and family outside but I do love throwing a more formal dinner party as well. I enjoy barbeques but indoors dining is just more convenient and easier to plan in the autumn. I actually think dinner parties are more my cup of tea. I love planning them and coming up with the theme/colour scheme. I try to prepare some of the courses in advance so that I can mingle with the guests as much as possible. I usually stick to a 3 course dinner with some canapé and matching wines and I never skip the dessert wine - it's my favourite part!

We had some friends over few weeks ago and I loved our table setting so much I thought why not share it on the blog too? Grey is one of my favourite colours right now.  Light grey is very versatile and it's the perfect colour to transition your décor from summer to autumn mode. I pretty much styled our tablescape around this table cloth from H&M Home. Luckily they also had matching napkins to complete the look. Since grey is such an elegant and understated colour, I felt gold accents will bring a bit of glamour to our table setting. I think they work particularly well together in this case because they are two contrasting colours. In my book when you are decorating your table with gold tableware or accessories, it's a good idea to mix it up with greys, whites or any other neutral colour that you fancy. If all the accessories are gold it might just look a tad tacky, unless you are going for that 'bling' New Year's look of course.

You might know by now that I am a big fan of Finnish design brand Iittala. I have been collecting their black and white Taika range for a while now and just adore the quirky design. These plates always get loads of complements from my female guests. They are perfectly suited for a modern, minimalist table setting although I could imagine they would look great in a more traditional dinner table as well, especially in other colours.




Our napkin holders required a bit of diy. I'm delighted with the outcome but they did not look like this when I first bought them. They were silver-plated and badly stained. I got them from a second hand shop and loved the style so much I couldn't leave them behind. I really wasn't a fan of the antique look so I decided to spray paint them. Gold is my favourite accent colour at the moment so I decided it was the way to go. I used Rust-Oleum Bright Gold spray paint and I absolutely love the finish. Even though the spray paint cost me more than what I had paid for the napkins rings, it was so worth it.


Although our wine cabinet is full of different wine glasses, I prefer to use our Iittala Essence range when entertaining. We've got the red, white and dessert wine glasses to keep up with the theme. I do find them very practical as the stem is not too tall. The design is modern and minimalist which looks quite discrete and subtle in a glamorous table setting like this. The marble coasters are from Rocket St George.





I've been adding more gold accessories to our dinner table this year and I really don't see myself getting bored of them anytime soon. The squirrel plate is a recent find from TKMaxx and if I remember correctly, they had more accessories to match this range. The gold napkin holder is from H&M Home. I always make sure that there are extra napkins on the dinner table and it actually looks very decorative which is ideal for this table setting.





I couldn't imagine a dinner party without fresh flowers. I prefer elegant roses but it all depends on the style you are going for. The most important thing to remember is to make sure that your flower arrangement isn't too high as it will block the view with your guests. I cut the stems pretty short and use my shortest vase possible. I wrap a string around the bouquet few times and pull out probably 1/3 of the leaves and use them to hide the string in a see through vase like this. The other option is to use 3 small vases (you can use anything really, I like to use old candle jars) and just place a flower in each and you'll have a striking centre piece that will brighten up your dinner table.



I always add a scented candle into the mix as well. Go for a subtle scent like Diptyque Roses because you might find that some people cannot stand strong scents. Since our kitchen in open plan and connected to the dining room, I always light a candle there too so the cooking smells don't travel to the dinner table.


I'm pretty obsessed with macarons at the moment. Somehow I've gotten my husband into them as well! My top tip is to serve them before the dinner, even though most people would probably have them as part of the dessert. I always find myself too full towards the end and feel that you really appreciate them more as part of your canapé. Serve them with a glass of bubbly or a rich buttery white wine. Trust me, it's a match made in heaven!


Now that Halloween is just around the corner, it might be the perfect time to start planning a Halloween themed dinner party for your friends and family. If you want to keep it classy, check out some pretty autumn themed dinner party ideas here.

Happy entertaining!

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Tuesday, 6 September 2016

FEATURED ON KOTIBLOGIT MAGAZINE


I'm so thrilled and honoured that Finnish Home & Interiors Magazine Kotiblogit asked me to collaborate with them for their September issue. This is especially exciting for me because it's the first piece that I have written and published for a print magazine. The September issue is out today in the shops but unfortunately it is only available in Finland. So Finnish readers, don't forget to grab a copy!

I love the concept of the magazine by the way. Many of us read blogs on a regular basis and they really have become a great source of inspiration. I guess the only trouble is that there are so many blogs out there these days, so how do you find the ones that really speak to you? That's exactly why Kotiblogit magazine was launched. It lists the latest and the hottest home and interior blogs so you can just browse through the pages and pick your favourites. You'd be surprised how many inspiring blogs are out there that are yet to be discovered!




It feels a little strange that it's already September. In a way, I don't really mind. I love getting the house ready for autumn and bringing out the seasonal accessories. I was asked to write about autumn interior trends and to take some pictures featuring my favourite new season accessories. Luckily this is all I can think about at the moment! I've started the transition from summer to autumn which means darker colours, thicker textiles and even more metallics. I'm absolutely in love with grey at the moment and let's not forget about marble which is still very much on trend this season.

I thought I'd share few of my favourite photos on the blog just to give you a better idea what kind of style I was going for. You can see that our décor is looking very monochrome inspired with hints of gold. I like to call it Modern Chic (or maybe 'monochrome glam' is more appropriate!). It certainly seems to be the style that I'm going for at the moment and you will be seeing a lot of gold and brass in the shops this autumn too. Perhaps more than ever before! I think it's all about making a statement and making your home décor festive at all times. Dark moody interiors look very interesting and dramatic with gold accessories and patterned rugs in my opinion.













So are you ready for autumn, or are you still longing for those warm summer days? We have had a great summer this year and it seems that the hot weather isn't going anywhere for another week or so. But, I'm definitely ready for the next season! I'm looking forward to lighting up candles in the evenings and for those long relaxing baths. Also, there is nothing quite as nice as curling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and my favourite magazine or book in my hand when the kids have gone to bed. I also feel that autumn is full of hope, new ideas and new starts which makes me feel very positive about the upcoming months. There are definitely some perks to each season.

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