Monday, 26 March 2018

My Easter Table With Colourful Folk Inspired Textiles by Julia Brendel!

I've never been one to pass up the opportunity to dress my table for a seasonal event, so when textile designer, Julia Brendel approached me and asked me whether I would like to style an Easter table using textiles from her collection of luxurious soft furnishings, I naturally jumped at the chance...

Julia's crisp and timeless pieces are based on traditional folk embroidery, quality and craftsmanship and her use of strong colour is just a vision of pure joy to my maximalist colour and pattern loving eyes!

Linen in both pure linen and cotton/linen composition give off the most beautiful sheen and are heavy, thick and reassuringly luxurious.  As I was styling an Easter table, I chose an egg yolk yellow tablecloth featuring the most incredibly detailed white contrasting embroidery, coupled with matching napkins in plain egg yolk linen.  Julia describes the tablecloth as being "an elegantly rustic Jacquard woven Hungarica tablecloth, with playful bird motifs in a Hungarian style incorporated into a  timeless design."  It sounds like something that one would wish to have as part of an old fashioned wedding troussau doesn't it - even more so when you realise that although Julia Brendel is a British based company, as with much of her fabric, this particular design is manufactured in Poland using historic looms - like something out of a fairytale!

As so much of the table was based around the colour yellow, and to inject some extra contrast, I chose to accessorise with Juia's raspberry cushions, with a pom pom trim.  I felt that the contrast of these two warm and sunshiny colours were a particularly joyful way to welcome in Spring after months of gloom and grey weather, and looked particularly fetching alongside - not only my new multicoloured carpet runner - but also sat upon my recently re-covered grain sack seat covers...(which I had tentatively attempted myself a few weeks previously...)

White dishes from Dibor were the perfect accompaniment to place against the yellow of the tablecloth, and with the addition of traditional Spring flowers such as daffodils, pink tulips and purple mascari, the entire setting was crisp, colourful and elegant.

My chunky French glasses from Catesby's, with their strong footed stems sat amongst the more feminine elements beautifully, and were in keeping with the rustic & folksy theme...

I always like to mix old elements with the new in all of my home styling, and so I used vintage aged brass napkin rings which worked beautifully against the stark white of the dinner plates - and whose metallic tone was a feature that was also picked up in the vintage candlesticks...

Alongside the traditional linen used for the tablecloth, there are also the softly lush  Hungarica throw made from a heavy wool/cotton mix  - seen here on the chair - and heavy damask velvet cushion covers which add a fabulous new texture and regal charm into the setting...This one is called the India Cushion in Peela/Gold.

I hope that you will agree the finished result with its beautiful colours, textures and rustic elegance was a treat for the senses and will be the prefect Easter table setting - Coco certainly thinks so!  

As a special treat, Julia is also offering readers of my blog a discount code that gives an incredibly generous 50% discount on all of her products (apart from fabric).   The Code is SPRINGFUN2018 and will be available to use on her website until the 7th April 2018.   Happy Easter All!

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

A Few Pre-Spring Discoveries in Time For Mother's Day!

As much as I absolutely adore a crisp, cool Autumn day, or even the cold and frosty brightness of an early Winter morning - it is the dreariness of the post New Year period between mid January and March that has me climbing the walls for signs of Spring to emerge!

However, it is these weather hardened early days of the year, where the ground is far too solid for garden work, and the lure of the log burner proves a tad too enticing, that provide the perfect backdrop for new discoveries made from the cosy comfort of ones own armchair.

The fact that this enforced period of home based discovery - also known as 'shopping' -  coincides with thoughts of Mother's Day gifts in the UK, is an extremely happy coincidence, and one that has ensured that my own dear Mother's gifts are not of the last minute variety (unlike the usual frantic panic buys at Christmas!)   So here are a few suggestions of things I have enjoyed over the past few weeks -  just in case you are in need a bit of inspiration.  After all, to quote Miguel de Cervantes (the 16th Century Spanish Novelist) - "To be Prepared is Half The Victory!" ...and shopping for gifts is a war worth winning!

My First Suggestion are these absolutely darling books from the Macmillan Collector's Library - a series of reissues of over 206 classic book titles, that are petite, beautiful, gold edge and hard backed editions which are perfect for collection and display.

As a prolific reader myself, these have been the perfect addition to my ever growing book collection - owing to the fact that their tiny size is completely justifiable to squeeze into even the smallest of libraries - or large ones where there are limited shelves left to house more books!

Me Pretending To Be An Able Game Show Hostess!
As an added bonus, booksellers, WATERSTONES are offering an exclusive on-line discount of £2 off any title in the Macmillan Collectors Library range until 11th March 2018.  The offer code is LIBRARY and you can find the collection to buy HERE.

Staying on the subject of books, I also recently received the lastest  book in Ros Byam Shaw's 'Perfect English' series of coffee table books.  This latest gorgeous offering is entitled "Perfect English Townhouse', and the description reads that it 'examines the timeless English style of decoration in a variety of Georgian, Victorian and contemporary townhouses.' Which sums it up perfectly.  However, what I particularly love about Ros's choice of houses is that they always come across as truly and honestly  'lived in' and loved.  In fact, it's rare that I see a house in her carefully edited series of Perfect English books that I couldn't imagine myself actually living in - which is a testament to her eye for what make a house...well - as it says in the title - 'Perfect'!  You can purchase a copy of this particular title HERE.

Ros Byam Shaw's Latest book in her 'Perfect English' interiors collection.

Coco Enjoying The Coffee Table Book Collection Including Ros Byam Shaw's 'Perfect English Townhouse'
Moving on from books, getting organised is always something that is at the very top of my list for a New Year, and there is no pursuit that gives me greater pleasure than the purchasing of a crisp new, multi faceted diary on which to scribble down those well thought out, and world changing plans and intentions.  Yes, yes, forget the fact that it may be a few months into the year, but it is better to be late than never, as someone possibly great once said - Perhaps it was the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland?  Well, whoever it was, it's quite true, and I shall add to that that the act of purchasing and using a diary three months into the year, completely negates the first 11 weeks of disorganisation and all you will remember at the end of the year, are the remaining nine months of pure, unadulterated logistical excellence and time management...(Here's hoping..)

Well, that is what I believe my new 'Hello Day Planner' will give me.  I'll let you know how that goes in December...but in the mean time, behold the sophistication and beauty of this glamorous organiser.
You can purchase one HERE.

The Beautiful 'Carrara' Version
A Few Wise Words of Encouragement from the Hello Day Planner!

So, now that our planner has us organised, we shall be able to remember everybody's birthdays, anniversary's and all other important dates...  We shall also be able to remember to write those often forgotten 'Thank You' letters that seem to get caught up in the quick burst of an e-mail or 'tweet' these days.  Remember, when the receipt of a (non brown) envelope though the post was a heady and joyfully regular occurrence?  I remember during my childhood, that all direct correspondence from Aunts, Grandmothers and kindly retired teachers came via hand written letter or card - usually along with an oversized and well handled one pound note (this WAS the 1970's...).  Well, thanks to incredibly talented artists and designers like Isla Simpson, who has started her own 'Letter Writing Campaign', we can start hand writing meaningful and traditional correspondence on beautiful hand printed envelopes and cards - reinvigorating (as Isla herself says) the 18th & 19th Century tradition for illustrated envelopes.  You can see more HERE.

Isla Simpson's beautifully Illustrated Envelopes based on an 18th & 19th Century tradition.

Well, I hope that you've enjoyed these little snippets of Mother's Day inspiration.  Like William Morris, I endeavour to only have in my home what I truly believe to be beautiful and know to be useful, and I am sure you will agree that this little round up falls happily into both categories at once!

Until Next Time!

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