Category: Choices

Burn baby burn!

Saw this on a Pinterest board and loved it: Well crafted, obvious quality with a quirky sense of humour.  Shame the price point was in the couple of hundreds.  But it did remind me, there is an alternative to burning candles and that the plus point with incense is the choice of burners.

 

(I did have a quick google dive to see if I could find a similar cat.  This one from Etsy was a tenth of the price.  But I suspect you know that already…)

 

And then there’s this type, with backflow incense, which turns the whole thing into a living, moving sculpture.  (From what I have read though, you have to be careful about the quality of the incense, otherwise you get mucho smoke, bad smell and residue.  Another alternative is to make your own backflow cones – you tube has some videos…)

(All pics Pinterest)

Too much?  The tacky side of tacky?? I just can’t decide!…

Laters, Kate x

90%

Buy less but buy better is a mantra that both speaks volumes and resonates with my innards.  Which is probably why the company Ninety Percent ticks so many boxes: Producing luxury basics for every day with classic, well cut pieces that are detail driven, made to last and respond to age. But even more impressive, Ninety Percent is a sustainable label, based in London that shares 90% of it’s distributed profits between charitable causes.

(All pics Ninety Percent and Pinterest)

High f****** five to a kinder, more caring fashion movement that really delivers.

Laters, Kate x

Silver Lining x

 

I remember at Christmas being drawn to coloured fairy lights over the classic, style leading, Scandi simplistic white and that pull to colour is still strong:  In the opening episode of Tales of the City on Netflix, there’s an outdoor party in San Fransisco festooned with every kind of light, shape, size and colour and it was an eclectic, mad, happy joy to see.  When the weather is grey, the politics greyer and the country feels like it’s going to the dogs, we need colour….and the bigger, the brighter, the more ebullient, the better.

(All pics Pinterest)

Simple pleasures.

Laters, Kate x

Design Hero 1

Those true, authentic, all singing, all dancing design heroes – the things that not only work well, look good, but also punch high above their weight in terms of financial outlay and usability.  And for us, this £12 Nisse Ikea chair has to be up there at the top…we bought 6 of them for the garden four years ago, more as a stop-gap than anything else, but they’ve proved their weight in gold: They spend their lives outside, except when we have dinner parties or Christmas or birthday, then they get wiped down and in they come, still looking as good as the day we bought them. They’re light, flexible, sturdy and generally a brucie bargain – it helps that their light is shining more brightly at the moment as our ‘proper’ dining room chairs have gone to be re-woven, re-caned, re-woke…

(This is a pic of one of the less trashed seats…one was so bad it could be used as a commode.  That’s baaaaaad.)

But you’d never know these were the ugly sister.

(All pics Ikea)

 

Tres chic and tres cheap.

Laters, Kate x

Angle Poise x

The plans for the office pod are rumbling on, but there’s also talk of making use of the builder when they’re here and turning the other far corner of the garden for a pergola-slash-gazebo.  The thinking goes that in small London gardens we veer away from structures in the garden for fear they make a small garden look smaller, but the problem is in leaving a garden horizontal we rarely venture into it, preferring to gaze into from afar.  So the aim is to build a private, roofed area that will still be useable in summer London drizzle to while away precious hours, whilst still keeping a sense of space and lightness of touch.

(All pics pinterest)

So not much to choose from then…

Laters, Kate x

A project x

There’s a project gaining traction, think space and do-ability: An office pod in the garden.  It’s been mooted before – it almost happened last year, but the husband was between jobs so it wasn’t the right time.  But the green light is now on to start thinking, planning and budgeting because I’ve worked out over the years, the more time you give to these three, the less it all costs because you work out whats important.  And what’s not.

The pod will need to be heated and although I love the romance of a proper stove, I believe in London, with concerns over air pollution and consideration to our neighbours, a cunning side step to an electric copy, like we did in the cellar will be the way to go: It will provide the visual representation, the heat, but none of the negatives.

Besides there’s always the joy of what goes round the stove..a small area to tile means flex in choice!

At present is a toss up between the modern approach of concrete tiles with large, dramatic patterns.

Or – and I was reminded of this option after seeing this picture of Alexandra Tolstoy’s cottage and splashback – a blue and white delft option.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could create your own? Pictures of coded memories??

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Decisions, decisions…

Laters, Kate x

Dear Santa..

The great thing about the triumphant march of technology is that it reminds you of the simple pleasures you once took for granted like writing, pens and ink.

Because now a great script stands out instantly.

Even more so if the ink is coloured. I went through years at secondary school writing in either green or purple ink but now that doesn’t only seem a life time ago, it is a lifetime ago. But a fountain pen with green ink is top of my Christmas list this year. A new trend? Probably.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

My ink of choice would be Akkerman, a Dutch company who’ve been making inks for over a hundred years.  Their unique bottle originating from the 1930’s  is poetry in motion – tilt the closed ink bottle and the neck fills itself up with ink.  Placed the bottle on a flat surface again and the marble falls back in the neck to trap the ink creating a perfect reservoir – even when the pot is almost empty.

 

Pure magic.

Laters, Kate x

Potty..

Is it a surprise that things are going green? That the tentacles of change are even reaching inside? Plants, once the scurge of the minimalist-matchy-matchy with too much resonance to hippies and patchouli are becoming the statement pieces of choice:  Not only are they living pieces of art but they help the living too, cleaning the air and quite frankly, bringing joy.

With the advance of plants comes the prospect of their pots and there are some quirky gems out there…All three pics above come from Westelm ..these Llamas are shouting out for a large, multi shouldered cactus..

These three delights come from Anthropologie.  Their size put them in the perfect Christmas present range.  Am I too early??…but when they’re gone, they’re gone.

Or there’s the independent handmade option – definitely worth unearthing – these beauties come from Atelier Stella ceramics based in Brighton.

 

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Who’s so good, she probably deserves a post all of her own…

Laters, Kate x

Bella’s room x

 


Bella’s bedroom has been painted, but that’s about it.  It means it’s at an ugly transition stage when it’s a hybrid of essential bits from the past and colours from the present are all colliding to create a visual clash of cultures.  There are still big decisions to be made: colours for the blinds, what colour to paint the bed, rugs to source, a new wardrobe.  But in the frantic hell that is the start of the September term, the pull for peace is outweighing all of this…this weekend we’re just going to paint some art for her room.  Together, with music and large cups of tea.  Nothing complicated, but hopefully bold and aiming for beautiful…these are our inspirations.

 

The idea is to hang them over the half wall line: There’s something so appealing when art hangs over a paint line.

No idea why.  But somethings in life you don’t need to question. Like tea and creating.

Laters, Kate x

Mother Dirt x

A little post on a big subject..cleanliness and how much of our identity is tied up with how we smell. Or not.

We’ve long believed that bacteria on the skin are harmful. Except as we’ve got cleaner, we’ve had more problems with our skin.  The idea behind Mother Dirt is to embrace the skin for the living eco system it is and help it to reconnect with the balanced state it once had: Yes, this is cleaning with bacteria…it takes a bit to get one’s head around it, but there are people who’ve found these products so effective, one has not showered for 12 years…

(All pics Mother Dirt)

I have deeply held issues with our materialistic societies cavalier attitude in exploiting fears to bring in the money with the multibillion pound cosmetic industry smilingly leading the charge.  The pervasive message is we can always be improved, which implies we’re not meant to be happy with ourselves in the first place.  Something that women have been conditioned to think for far too long.  So is this another beautifully engineered bottle of snake oil designed to further separate us from reality and our hard earned cash?

 

Or does it actually fly in the face of conventional thinking with the offer of a level playing field and genuine control..Maybe it’s even telling us it’s OK to be us..that we need to be us..

 

This could be revolution in a bottle..

Laters, Kate x