Filed In: Interior Decor

Urban Jungle Bloggers: The Plant Shelfie

I love taking shelfies! Which is just great as I never take selfies…it’s just not my thing. Lucky for me, the avid shelfie snapper, November’s Urban Jungle Bloggers focus is the ‘Plant Shelfie’. This couldn’t be more perfectly timed because my houseplant count has increased significantly over the past month as a result of two gifts and a few purchases. So what better way to show off  a few of them than with a few shelfies?

Of course, the perfect little green newcomers to the Mews deserve an equally perfect spot to thrive and stay healthy here, so I’ve been changing things around a bit, much to my own delight. My current favourite newcomer is this cutesy little terrarium I made two days ago at the Heal’s Store Christmas Party, under the supervision of Emma & Tom from London Terrariums. I think I did pretty well, considering it’s my first, and I made it after having a few glasses of Processo and Sipsmith Damson Vodka! Given my obsession with ribbons and bows, I’m sure it isn’t surprising that I’ve since dressed up the little gem with pink and green velvet ribbons and turned it into the first sign of Christmas in my living room.

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You may have noticed in the images I’ve shown of my living room previously, that the windows are in alcoves/recesses, and are also quite generous in size, making them the perfect little stage for shelfies of all sorts. The arrival of my new plants triggered some lovely ideas of how I could jazz-up my windows with a colourful display.

In the early summer of this year, I bought a few MT Casa products including a 200mm wide roll of pretty pink stripe Washi Tape without having a clue what I was going to use it for. Then 2 weeks ago I decided to use it as a backdrop for my window shelfie, which turned out to be quite a satisfying little styling session. I usually change things around at home very often but I’m thinking these shelves might stay this way for a while, at least until Christmas decor comes rushing in.

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This is my second Urban Jungle Bloggers submission (see my first here), and I thoroughly enjoyed styling and photographing my plants, even the ones that didn’t make the cut for this post. I hope you like my plant shelfies as much as I do, and be sure to look out for future posts with other fabulous shelfie ideas for your home.

 Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series run by Igor of Happy Interior Blog and Judith of JOELIX.com, with the aim of highlighting the beauty and benefits of houseplants and other greeneries in urban spaces. To find out more, visit the website or search #urbanjunglebloggers.

Houseplant Love

Remember the blog post in which I resolved to add some greenery to my home and care for them like a true green thumb? Well, I have some very good news for you! I am now the very proud owner of 6 potted plants, and they’re all thriving beautifully in my care. If you know me personally, you might be pretty shocked they’re all still alive. The truth is, I’d be shocked too if I maintained my previous mindset about plant care. As if by fate, just a few months after making my resolution, I met the lovely founders of Urban Jungle Bloggers, Igor and Judith at the 2015 Blogtacular conference. During a few brief and friendly conversations with them throughout the afternoon, Igor managed to convince me that “green-thumb is just a myth” and the bright and cheerful images of Judith’s plant filled home on her blog inspired me to banish the green thumb myth from my mind, and focus on caring for my plants in a similar manner to the way I take care of myself. That’s lovingly fed, watered, and beautifully groomed by the way. 😉

 

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Now, with living proof that I’m capable of caring for houseplants, I’m very keen on adding a small tree and perhaps a few other small plants to my collection. I’m currently in search of a middle sized Fiddle Leaf Fig tree, a small Hawaiian Palm, a Jasmine plant and perhaps a few additional ferns and miniature succulents. Yep, you can call me the crazy happy plant lady… Of course I’m okay with that! Had I known that caring for plants could have made me feel this relaxed and happy, I would have started a collection years ago. They truly add a different vibration to the atmosphere of my home and it feels so damn good! All this time I relied on fresh flowers for this feeling, whilst having no clue that living plants could truly magnify the experience. Of course I still buy fresh flowers (it’s just not something I can resist!), and in my opinion the blooms often look even more exquisite when displayed beside houseplants. What an awesome feeling, having the responsibility of nurturing something and having the opportunity to watch it grow beautifully day by day, right before your very eyes. If you could ever see how excited I get when I discover a delicate and shiny new shoot on Michiko, my Ficus Ginseng Bonsai. Oh, and let’s not even mention my reaction to the appearance of new fronds on my Asparagus Fern or this cutesy little hanging Kokedama I made using a Maidenhair Fern. The new fronds are a lovely lime green colour that commands your attention by instantly brightening the space around them.

 

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So what have I gained from keeping up with my first real New Year’s resolution? A happier home with a lighter and far more relaxing atmosphere. For some, keeping houseplants alive and healthy might be the norm, or even like second nature. However, given my track record, this is a huge achievement and definitely something to write home about! Hence the reason I’m writing about my houseplant love, and sharing these photos of my gorgeous green friends. Yes, I’m quite proud of myself, but my next step is to figure out how to prune my bonsai like a pro as I’m worried it’s at risk of becoming overgrown.

 

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Do you have houseplants? What are your favourite plants, and what do you enjoy most about your experience of caring for them?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. #houseplantlove

Thanks for stopping by!

Nova xo

6 Easy Ways To Style The Entryway To Your Home

We all know what they say about first impressions, right? Well, I do! This is why I find it rather disappointing when I’m greeted by the dull and neglected entryway of an otherwise beautifully styled home. I’ve had a few conversations about this recently and have arrived at the conclusion that, because we spend so little time in the hallway, naturally it gets the least attention when you think of decorating. However, being the first place everyone sees when they enter your home, your entryway should be just a beautifully styled as every other room in the house. To ensure you’ll always make a good first impression, follow these 6 easy ways to style the entryway to your home.

 

1. Create an eye-catching wall display that will engage your visitors immediately

Show off your personality with a beautifully curated gallery wall. Your display doesn’t have to be limited to framed artwork, it can include shadow boxes, mirrors, stylish hats, clocks or any other items you have collected over a period of time. 

Top tip: Use items with which you have a genuine connection. Draw on your hobbies, favourite holidays, artists you admire most or simply the colours you love. For example, if you are really into rowing, it would be nice to incorporate a few decorated oars or good quality printed images of some rowing action. If a gallery wall and collection displays are not your thing, simply invest in stylish wallpaper. The one pictured below is a bold and beautiful choice.

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2. Add a table and seating for a cosy and relaxed feel

If the space allows, add a table and a chair or bench. A console table is great for holding a pretty vignette consisting of flowers, home fragrances, small sculptures or other items of your choice. It’s also a good place to have a small catch-all basket for your keys and other useful small items you may need to grab on your way out the door. Chairs and benches make the perfect perch while getting your shoes on, and they’re an absolute winner if there’s storage below. 

Top tip: Pay close attention to scale when choosing furniture for your entryway. You don’t want to be tripping over and bumping into furniture in a small entryway, but by the same token, if your entryway is very spacious, smaller furniture might have little or no impact and can look rather awkward in the space.  

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3. Plants and flowers are always a good idea

Nothing breathes life into a space quite like plants do. While it’s commonplace to decorate your entryway with flowers, beautiful house plants are a great substitute and a less expensive option. You can get very creative with plants and flowers as there are so many types to choose from. Always have a play around with quantity and scale to get your desired effect. Will you go for an oversized bouquet/houseplant or a cluster of tiny ones? What works best in your entryway?

Top tip: Your choice of vase or plant pot could make or break your display, so whether you choose one big plant or a collection of  smaller ones, be sure to choose your plant pots wisely. Think colour, texture and size.

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4. Good lighting is everything

Good lighting is essential to setting the mood of any room in the house, and the entryway is no exception. Get creative with your choice of lighting, use fairy lights, table lamps, floor lamps, pendant lamps or a even a combination of these to set the tone. 

Top tip: Whatever your light source, it is important to choose your placement carefully to get the best glow. If you’re working with a small space, avoid using lamps with bulky bases as they can be a bit overwhelming, but feel free to scale up and make it make it magnificent if space is not a problem. Remember, a stunning lampshade can make quite a statement in your decor.

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5. Insert  stylish storage here

Entryways are quite often treated as ‘dead-space’ within a home, more like just a throughway to the nicer, more interesting spaces. With not much likely to take place there, entryways are ideal for using as additional storage space. It goes without saying, that for this location, ONLY stylish storage will do of course! Think chest of drawers with stylish knobs of handle pulls, beautifully crafted baskets and cleverly designed cupboards.

Top tip: It’s best to choose storage solutions with lids and doors as they’ll keep things looking tidy. As for coat racks and shoe stands, the trick to keep them from looking messy and overcrowded, is to store only a few items at a time, like perhaps the ones you’ll be wearing in that week.

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6. Don’t ignore the ceiling and floor

Of course it’s great to have the option of a gallery wall, cosy seating and gorgeous vignettes displayed on stylish tables, but not everyone has the space to accommodate all that lovely stuff. If that’s your dilemma, styling the ceiling and the floor is just the ticket! Paint the ceiling in a contrasting colour or pattern, use runner rugs in bold geometric colours or kitschy prints if that’s your thing, paint the floor boards, opt for decorated tiles, the possibilities are endless.

Top tip: This approach works equally well in large spaces. Paint is not your only rescue remedy, try drawing attention to the floor and ceiling with glamorous lighting fixtures too. Hey, even a simple collection of coloured glass bottles placed on the floor against the wall could spark the curiosity of your guests.

Are you happy with the current state of your entryway? What do you like or dislike most about the entryway to your home right now?

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All images: via Pinterest

©ALL CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG ARE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY ME, NOVA WILLIAMS OF 18 CHELSEA MEWS LTD, AND ARE MY PERSONAL OPINIONS AND VIEWS, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. 

Moroccan-Inspired Decor

I’ve always loved Moroccan interior design, but given that I’m an ardent lover of colourful interiors, it is a little surprising that my preferred Moroccan-inspired decor style is rather muted in comparison to the real deal. Picture a visually enchanting blend of Arabian, African and Mediterranean influences, balanced by the pared-back simplicity and tranquility of Scandinavian home styling… That suits me perfectly. Whatever your preference, genuinely knowing your likes and dislikes is the best starting point for achieving Moroccan-inspired decor that works perfectly in your own home.

 

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Morocco is an extremely diverse country with mostly Arab, indigenous Berber, European and sub-Saharan African residents. The rich history and cultural diversity of this North-African country is strongly reflected in their interior design style, which has become very popular in homes worldwide. Moroccan interior design has its origins in Moorish architecture which is commonly characterised by the arches, domes, courtyards, and decorative tile work still seen throughout the Arab regions of North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula today.

The classic Moroccan decor in all its splendour can be a bit overwhelming for some tastes, so it is not recommended for the faint at heart. To immerse yourself completely, you’ll need to add a generous dose of vibrant, contrasting colours and heavy patterns, alongside exquisite furnishings, ornate keyhole windows and lofty arches… and that is only the beginning.

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If you’re not the type to fully commit to this rich, exotic style, it is best to avoid the massive overhaul by carefully selecting a few key pieces, choosing your placement wisely, and voila… you’re golden!

Regardless of your budget, there are many ways to tastefully add a subtle touch of Moroccan charm to your well-loved current decor. Think bold accent hues, complex geometric patterns, colourful tiles, lantern style lighting fixtures, patchwork leather ottomans, intricately carved furniture, sparkly mirrored finishes, pom-pom adorned cushions, traditional Moroccan wedding blankets and luxurious tribal Beni Ourain rugs… the list is endless! A clever approach is to choose just one room and give it the Moroccan makeover, but if you’re on a really tight budget, try creating a beautifully styled Moroccan-themed table vignette instead. Go on, give it a go, you might be surprised at the huge impact this may have on your decor.

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Image Credits: 1 //2 //3 //4 //5 //6

 ©ALL CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG ARE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY ME, NOVA WILLIAMS OF 18 CHELSEA MEWS LTD, AND ARE MY PERSONAL OPINIONS AND VIEWS, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. 

Spring Green: My 10 Favourites from Designer’s Guild

As botanical prints make an appearance on many things this season, I find myself  falling in love with various shades of green. Being a truly loyal fan of lime green and chartreuse, it has come as a pleasant surprise that I’m rapidly gaining interest in a myriad of other greens, from the most subtle barely-there hints to the deepest, richest, more jewel toned versions of this lush and hopeful colour. Perfect timing I think, given the eclectic choices popping up in stores for Spring/Summer.

Summer Palace Designers Guild

Now I know there’s green stuff everywhere but in my opinion, no one does green (and blue too) quite like Designer’s Guild, so naturally they’re my first choice for featuring here. Lets have a look at my 10 spring green favourites from Designer’s Guild.

 

1. VARESE LEAF NO. 93 PAINT

Of all the greens I’ve ever met, none has had me swooning quite like Designer’s Guild Varese Leaf No. 93 paint has. “As joyful as the first leaves of spring”, is how they’ve described it, and they really couldn’t be more accurate even if they tried. This irresistible hue is every colour lover’s dream! It’s bold, it oozes confidence, and it’s versatility makes it suitable for full walls and accent features alike. This paint is available in four finishes – Perfect Matt Emulsion, Perfect Water-Based Eggshell, Perfect Oil-Based Eggshell, Perfect Floor Paint. Designer’s Guild paints are environmentally friendly and their Oil-Based Eggshell is made from a vegetable oil base. I bought a pot for an upcoming project which I can hardly wait to get started on.

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2. SOHO CHARTREUSE RUG

Remember a few months ago when I did this post about rugs while in search of a grassy green rug to spruce up my living room? Well, I’ve since found this gorgeously green rug in the Designer’s Guild Marylebone store, and have fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with it. So much so, that I literally had a roll around on it in-store! It’s exactly what my living room needs right now, so I’ve since called off the search. The Soho Chartreuse Rug is made from 100% New Zealand Wool, it’s a chunky rug with a sumptuous textural appearance and a surprisingly soft finish. For me, this rug is a must buy, and whilst I consider myself lucky enough to have found it in the exact shade of green I was looking for, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s also available in twenty-one(derful) signature Designer’s Guild hues. That’s more than enough to find one that suits your taste, and it also comes in two sizes. I’m super excited about getting this rug! Hhhmmm, I wonder if the lovely Tricia Guild will be so kind to sign the underside on mine?

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3. LARIO GRASS NAPKINS

I’ve bought many a Lario Grass Napkins from Designer’s Guild. Why? You may ask. Because, not only do I use them for dinner settings, but I’ve also given them as gifts and even used them as gift wraps on a few occasions. I was pleased to see that the people who received a gift wrapped in these last Christmas, later bought their very own set for use at dinner. Looks like I made them buy it! Ha-ha! I can’t remember a time when I’ve used them for dinner and not had to write the name of this product for at least one guest! These square napkins measure 45x45cm, they’re made from soft 100% pure linen and are available in a wide selection of vibrant colours. Designer’s Guild recommends pairing these napkins with their Lario Lemon Placemats for a bright and fresh look. I couldn’t agree more! Here’s one all wrapped up in a nifty little package I gave as a gift last Christmas.

Lario Grass Napkins - Designers Guild

 

4. ORCIA APPLE TOWELS

Aside from the delicate apple green colour of these pure honeycomb linen towels, I love that they are textured yet still so soft… I took a few of the face towels with me on holiday recently and was really impressed with how very little space they took up in my luggage. If, like me, you don’t like using hotel towels on your face, these are the perfect face care travel buddies for you – they’re light and easy to pack, they’re super absorbent and dry very quickly. They’re soft on your skin, and the subtle textured finish makes them look rather stylish.

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5. SARAILLE GRASS WALLPAPER & FABRIC

I’ve always loved the Saraille range from Designer’s Guild, but of all the beautiful colours available (8 for wallpaper & 14 for fabric), Saraille in grass in a long standing favourite. This is an extraordinarily simple yet beautiful design. It starts with an intensely rich shading at the bottom, which gradually fades to white at the top (or vice versa, depending on how you choose to hang it). This washable wallpaper is available in standard 3m drops, but can also be custom ordered as 4m or 5m if required.

The good news is, you don’t have to miss out if wallpaper is a no-go zone for you! The versatile tonal  design is also available in a 100% linen fabric with a tumbled finish and it looks amazing hanging as curtains.

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6. SAVINE JADE & SAVINE  GRASS FABRIC

The sophisticated bohemian feel of this abstract tie-dye design is oh so dreamy. For me, it evokes a sentimental longing and wistful affection for my younger years, when my mommy and I would while away our warm summer days crafting beautiful items from our very own freshly tie-dyed fabrics. The understated pale jade would undoubtedly be her pick, while I’m totally going bonkers for the acid sharp grass green hue. Designer’s Guild Savine fabric is available in 7 colours.

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7. LIGHT GREEN BAMBOLA VASE

Make a bold statement with this small light green hand-blown vase. This sculptural vase is beautifully textured, and has such a striking appearance on it’s own, it doesn’t even need flowers to stand out.

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8. SUSSEX CHARTREUSE WALLPAPER

Designer’s Guild describes the Sussex Wallpaper perfectly, as an elegant small scale geometric motif, reminiscent of wooden marquetry, in a range of resplendent colours. Printed on a high quality ‘easy to hang’ non-woven ground. I absolutely love this detailed repeat pattern in all 10 lovely colours but I’m totally smitten by this wallpaper in chartreuse.

SUSSEX CHARTREUSE WALLPAPER DESIGNERS GUILD

 

9. BRERA LINO STITCHED TRIM CUSHIONS

The gorgeous Brera washed linen cushion is the perfect spring/summer living room staple. The complimentary stitched edges set them apart stylishly from the other plain linen cushions I’ve seen on the market this season. The lime and grass, pictured here, compliment each other very well, but for those of you who like the more understated shades, jade and celadon might be more appealing. The cushion dimensions are 50x50cm and they’re available in 12 lovely colours.

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10. NABUCCO MOSS WALLPAPER

The Nabucco Wallpaper is an exquisite all-over alligator skin pattern printed on high quality, non-woven ground. Although I’m not the biggest fan of skin patterns, this wallpaper really appeals to me in moss green. The size of the pattern and it’s subtlety makes it a rather glamorous and sophisticated way of introducing skin patterns to your home decor. This washable wallpaper is available in 12 colours on 10m rolls.

nabucco moss wallpaper - designers guild

Lario Grass Napkin giftwrap image is my own. All other images are from the Designer’s Guild website.

©ALL CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG ARE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY ME, NOVA WILLIAMS OF 18 CHELSEA MEWS LTD, AND ARE MY PERSONAL OPINIONS AND VIEWS, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. 

18 Chelsea Mews Loves… The Rug Collection at Heal’s

It’s a beautiful sunny day in London! I’m so over Winter now and can hardly wait for Spring, but I’m well aware that there’s still some time to go before the cold and dark days are all gone. I’m longing for a change in my home decor but as Winter persists, I’m thinking it’s still a little early for the light and colourful linen voile curtains I dream of. A new rug in a popping colour perhaps? That should do the trick!

A rug is a timeless home accessory that can easily be the perfect solution to your interior design problems. Chosen wisely, a rug is perfect for adding warmth, colour and texture to a room. It’s great for dividing spaces, protecting surfaces and cohesively bringing the other design elements together in living spaces.

grey rug laid

I’ve been browsing the internet to find a grass green rug for my living room to replace the black and white one I now have. Don’t get me wrong, I still like everything about my Stockholm rug, but I think a lovely hit of green is what’s needed in here to  fast-forward my home to Spring, my favourite season of the year. During my online search, I found the most impressive, ‘to die for’, designer rug collection at Heal’s! Although they’re not quite what I’m looking for at the moment, I couldn’t resist sharing my 10 favourites here. Perhaps you’ll find something you’re looking for, or some much needed inspiration at the very least. Be sure to let me know your favourites and why.

 

1. DON’T BE SUCH A SQUARE?

The Gandia Blasco Mangas Plait Yellow Rug is handmade using very fine pure wool, designed by Spanish Architect Patricia Urquiola. The design fuses neutral and strong colours to create a warm space for a variety of interiors.

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2. MASTERING VERSATILTY

The Gandia Blasco Bandas Turquoise Rug was designed by the renowned designer Patricia Urquiola. The four intricate Hand stitched panels are made from fine quality New Zealand wool, with a Velcro reverse which can be easily reconfigured to update any interior setting.

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3. INDIGO LOVE

Designers Guild Savine Indigo Rug. Hand woven using pure wool, the Savine Indigo rug features a spectacular tie dyed design – creating a uniquely distinctive focal point for your home.

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indigo details

 

4. LEATHER UP

Linie Design Jasmine Grey Rug Carefully crafted by artisans using the finest genuine leather, the Jasmine Grey rug, by designer Helene Stenkjaer Iversen lends the interior a touch of luxury. Its simple design draws the eye and captures the attention – a contemporary focal point accessory for the home.

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5. GO GEOMETRIC

A Heal’s exclusive, the Loha Blue & White Rug By Kangan Arora has a bold geometric pattern. Crafted from 100% wool, this hand-woven Kelim was designed to reflect the welded metal structures that criss-cross the back of trucks that weave through the Indian Highways. Available in two colour ways, Indigo and Chartreuse.

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6. IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS

The Gandia Blasco Fenix Ginger Rug features an intricate flowing pattern made from 100% wool. Made using the traditional Chain Stitch technique, a style of embroidery in which a series of looped stiches form a chain like pattern.

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gandia detail

 

7. CRAZY FOR COBALT?

Designers Guild Eberson Cobalt Rug. This luxury woven rug fades through shades of cobalt from light to dark. The yarn is woven on a broadloom and dried in the sun to give it an intense lustre.

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8. PRETTY PASTEL RUNNER

Linie Designs Pulvis Pink Runner. A luxury striped runner featuring a fusion of bright and neutral colours. A contemporary runner that adds a colourful focal point to any hallway.

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9. GREY LOOKS GREAT ON YOU

Asko Light Grey/Natural Wool Rug. The design of this 100% wool, handwoven rug is inspired of the shape of honeycombs.

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10. A LOVELY SHADE OF BLUE

Plantation Rug Company Hampton Petrol Blue Rug. A unique blue and white pattern and close attention to detail epitomises the crafstmanship and immense attention to detail that has gone into making this contemporary rug. Intricately hand-loomed from bamboo silk and viscose to the highest quality – it makes for a worthy centrepiece in any home.

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IMAGES & ITEM DESCRIPTIONS FROM HEALS.CO.UK

My Merry & Bright Christmas Dinner Party In Pictures

In early autumn this year, I sent ‘Save the Date Christmas Dinner Party’ calendar invitations to my closest friends in the UK on whim. At the time, my sole intention was to save us from the debate about where to go and the imminent struggle of finding a table for 6 at a good restaurant – given our usual last minute decision-making. Needless to say, the ‘super excited let’s make everything pretty and girlie’ party planner within me totally took over the idea. A few weeks and plenty of pretty colourful decorations later, we all had such a lovely evening together, that I suggested doing it again during Spring/Summer next year. With a few nods to the idea so far, this could very well be the start of a lovely tradition among friends! Given the numerous party ideas buzzing around in my mind pretty much all day long, every day, our at home dinner parties can only get better in the future!

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While I’m keeping the shenanigans of the party between my friends and I, I’m delighted to share a few photos of the decor with you as it’s all very much what 18 Chelsea Mews blog is about. Yep, you got it… All things bright & beautiful! See also my handmade invitations here if you missed that DIY post.

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BEHIND THE SCENES

Not only was the party tons of fun but I had an awesome time with the planning and preparation too. From the planning of the menu to the designing and making of the invitations, and every little other design detail was a great deal of fun for me to work on. Who knew pom-pom making and ribbon shopping could be so much fun?!

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18 Chelsea Mews - 2014 Christmas Dinner Party Invitation.9

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Of course no well planned event goes off without a hitch, and my lovely little party was no exception. Thankfully, there were no real problems, just a few little annoying struggles. Like when I found these gorgeous glittery letters in Marks & Spencer and decided, at the last minute, to use them instead of name plates for my guests as we all have a different first initial. Lo and behold, I couldn’t find the letter A in gold. It was also sold out in silver, and bronze (as if that really mattered)… it was only available in red. RED, the one colour that had absolutely no place in my Christmas table decor. Gee thanks! This kind of thing annoy and excite me in equal measures. Annoyed for obvious reasons, but then I really enjoy the challenge of solving problems like these with little time to spare.

18chelseamews.behindthescenes.christmas2014Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Nova xo

Merry & Bright: Dining With Debenhams This Christmas

Hello lovelies! I hope you’ve had a great week. I sure did with all this prepping for the fun and fabulous Christmas dinner party I’ll be hosting for a few of my friends here in London.

So, what have I got planned for our Christmas dinner party? Well, it would be rather un-cool to spill the beans before the date, but what I will say is bordering on pretty obvious… I’m not your average ‘red, green and white Christmas with bells on’ kind of girl so my Christmas dinner table features the more alternative festive colours like pink, turquoise, lime and yellow. The advantage is, it’s never too difficult to put together a table setting with a mix of these beautiful colours as they feature throughout my home in various shades all year round. So there’s none of that ‘I’m buying this for use only at Christmas’ or worse, ‘Let’s put this away until next Christmas’ happening around here. There just isn’t enough storage space for that kind of thing. The tree, the baubles, miniature Rudolph, Dasher, Prancer, Vixen, Blitzen and the gang are the only exceptions, of course!

This week, I was delighted to see that Jen Stanbrook over at Love Chic Living blog is hosting the ‘I’m Dreaming of Debenhams Dinnerware’ Competition in association with Debenhams. As I’ve accumulated quite a few colourful and well loved pieces from Matthew Williamson’s Butterfly Home range at Debenhams over the years, I was immediately reeled in by this. Of course I wouldn’t want to pass up the opportunity to buy myself more of that colourful goodness…and have you seen the gorgeous Abigail Ahern lamps they now have in stock? The Grey Hare and the Green Parrot are my absolute favourites! Swoon! Anyway, I digress. Let’s take a seat at my dream Christmas dinner table, shall we?

THE INSPIRATION: Owing to my legacy of growing up in Jamaica, my dream Christmas dinner table is set on a cool and relaxing, evening by the beach. It features glassy turquoise and pinks, with hints of yellow and lime upon a pristine white linen table cloth that shimmers in the early evening light. There’s a lively play of colour, reminiscent of the blushed pink bougainvillea’s rhythmic dance to the cool evening breeze, with the sprawling beauty of the Caribbean Sea as it’s backdrop.

christmastable

THE MOODBOARD: I’ve styled my moodboard with my favourite decorative jar from the Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson range at Debenhams. I often use it as a vase (it looks amazing with the big pink fluffy hydrangeas hanging over the edges), but it looks just as gorgeous with lemons and clementines, bringing a refreshing brightness to my table, reminiscent of the sunshine Christmases I used to have back home in Jamaica. The multi-coloured baubles and luxury Christmas crackers are the perfect combination of colours! Borrowing a bit of sparkle to reflect the season here in the UK, my second home, I’ve added the most gorgeous metal snowflake table confetti I recently bought from Debenhams. These are such an excellent buy as you can use them again in the future as many times as you wish, without the constant sighting of stray paper confetti around your home for days after use! I simply had to include the Aynsley Belvedere 12-piece fine bone china set; I’ve had my eyes on it for some time now. Have you noticed the champagne flutes with the decorative snowflake clip-on wine charms? These are available in 6 colours pretty metallic colours. What could be more charming? I love these J by Jasper Conran Burlington Champagne flutes the most because the stems are longer than average, giving them added elegance, and of course more room for the festive snowflake stainless steel clip on wine glass charms. I welcome every opportunity to use these flutes; they’re made from good quality glass that make a very merry crystal-like chime…CHEERS!

NOW LET’S EAT!: So the table is beautifully laid and we’re all seated, now let’s enjoy one of my favourite Christmas dishes. I’m a pescetarian so my Christmas dinner seems more like the traditional Southern Italian Christmas Eve Feast of Seven Fishes. My favourite Christmas meal is Pan-seared Maple Bourbon Glazed Salmon with Sweet Cranberry Chutney. Tieghan over at Half Baked Harvest blog recently shared an excellent and easy-to-follow recipe for this and she’s served it with  Salt Roast Potatoes. Give it a try! Maple bourbon glazed salmon is quite delicious on its own, but coupled with Cranberry Chutney, it’s divine! The complex combination of flavours and the beautiful colours make this the perfect Christmas meal. BON APPETIT!

18 chelsea mews. merry and bright christmas with debenhams

get the goods at debenhams-18 chelsea mews

GET THE GOODS: So here are the 18 top picks from yours truly at number 18. HAPPY SHOPPING!

1.RJR John Rocha Orr Polished 16 Piece Cutlery Set 2.Royal Doulton Set of Four Porcelain ‘1815’ Dinner Plates 3.J by Jasper Conran Set of Four Burlington Champagne Flutes 4.Salt & Pepper Metal Snowflake Bottle Stopper 5. Butterfly Home by Matthew Williamson Designer Pink Optic Glass Jar with Lid (also available in blue6.Debenhams Pack of Twelve Luxury Teal Mistletoe Christmas Crackers 7. Sagaform Set of Two Pink ‘Spectra’ Dessert Bowls (also available in blue) 8.Royal Doulton Set of Eight ‘1815’ coloured olive trays 9.Dartington Crystal Aqua ‘H2O’ Carafe and Tumbler Set 10.Salt & Pepper Metal Snowflake Table Confetti 11.Guzzino Pair of Green Espresso Cups and Saucers 12. Debenhams Set of Six Multi-coloured Christmas Baubles 13.Royal Doulton ‘Pop in for Drinks’ Stainless Wine Cooler with Pink Interior  14.Debenhams Cream Set of 4 LED Tea Lights  15.Debenhams White Medium Damask Tablecloth and set of 8 Napkins 16.RJR. John Rocha Designer Aqua Glass Tea Light Holder 17.Salt & Pepper Set of Four Silver Snowflake Napkin Rings 18.Debenhams Silver Glittery Reindeer Christmas Ornament

MOODBOARD IMAGE CREDITS: – baubles, plates and Christmas crackers all from Debenhams (see links above), centre image of baubles under bell cloche, all other images are my own.

GET THE GOODS IMAGE CREDITS: All images numbered in the ‘Get the Goods’ shopping section are from Debenhams (see links above)

This post has been submitted to the ‘I’m Dreaming of Debenhams Dinnerware’ Competition hosted by Love Chic Living in association with Debenhams.

UPDATE: This post was chosen as the winning entry for the ‘I’m Dreaming of Debenhams Dinnerware’ Competition! Thanks to Jen Stanbrook & Debenhams.

5 Ways to Create a Cosy Living Room

Have you ever walked into a living room that was decorated in a way that felt too cold and impersonal for comfort? I have, and instead of paying attention to the real reason for being there, I spend 80% of my time giving the room a mental makeover, making it cosy, welcoming and alive with personality with just a few changes. Oh, if the host/hostess was ever a mind-reader! Think your living room would trigger one of my mental-makeovers? To keep yourself and your house guests happy, follow these 5 useful tips to create a cosy living room within your home.

1. Be Colour Confident! – Choose colours that work well together. This may seem like the obvious but surprisingly some people still get it wrong.  As a life-long colour lover, I can testify that most colours will work well together as long as you choose the right shades and intensities. Not surprisingly, it’s those same factors that could make or break your overall decor. If you’re like me and require a carnival of colours to make your place feel more like home, perhaps take some time to re-familiarise yourself with the colour wheel, gather swatches of fabrics and paints in various shades and textures, and make yourself a mood board. This exercise is just as important if your colour scheme is monochromatic.

Living Room.18cm

2. Experiment With A Mix Of Textures and Finishes – Add dimension to your living room with actual and implied texture. For actual texture, choose knitted, woven, crocheted or quilted items like throws, poufs, rugs, wall hangings or even a statement tufted sofa and ottoman like the legendary Chesterfield design. Use varying sizes and styles of knits to keep things interesting, especially if you’re sticking to a monochromatic colour scheme. For example, the visual feel of white on white with a blend of various textures can make an otherwise flat and boring space look rather storied and luxurious.

living room with texture

Implied texture refers to the surface quality of an item; it’s texture that can be seen but not felt. Patterned fabrics, two dimensional wall art and trompe l’oeil style wallpaper are just a few good examples of implied texture for home decor.

Go the extra mile by picking your finishes wisely. Remember, a smooth surface area will most definitely vary in appearance or character based on its finish. So smooth surface areas that have been varnished, lacquered, glazed or flocked will each have a different visual feel of their own. Include items that appeal to you personally, like objects you’ve brought home from your favourite holidays, framed photos of your family/friends or your impressive collection of vintage cameras for example. These can be great conversation pieces for your guests and they give more of an insight into your personality.

Your choice of plants and fresh flowers are also a great way to add texture and personalise your space, which takes us to the next point.

3. Add Life To The Room, Literally – House plants in the living room is always a good idea. There’s more to them than just their pretty looks; they’re good air purifiers. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen; the increased oxygen level refreshes the air and, by extension, refreshes you too. Yes, cosy is not just about an outward appearance, it is very much about feeling too! Some plants are much better at this job than others, and thanks to the internet, you can find the best ones to suit your specific needs with just the click of a button.

I’m no green thumb, but I’m working on it! If you struggle to keep plants alive and well looked after, perhaps it’s best to opt for lovely succulents and air plants and leave the other types to people who are better at it.

plants

4. Create An Alluring Ambience – Lighting is key in any living space. Choosing the right lighting for your living room is more than just about functionality; it’s also about creating ambience. Your living room is probably the one room in your home that requires various types of lighting; as it’s the central hub where many different activities take place. It is important to have a good source of overhead light which can be further supplemented by floor, table or task lamps as the need arises. Use accent lights such as uplighters  and warm spotlights to illuminate dark corners or draw attention to wall art or plant life. To get your living room into relaxation mode, consider adding dimmer switches or trusty old candlelight for an atmospheric glow.

cosylighting

5. Celebrate Your Other Senses – It’s all good seeing the light and enjoying the feeling of amazing textures, but one thing that wins me over every time is a great smelling home.  The nerves involved with our sense of smell is linked to the emotional centre of our brain, so smells are rarely neutral. In most cases, we either like or dislike particular smells. Smells tend to leave a long lasting impression and are strongly linked to our memories; that’s a good enough reason to keep your home smelling great, don’t you think?

A good starting point is knowing what fragrances make you tick. Envelope your home in your favourite fragrance using scented candles, oil diffusers, dried potpourri or your favourite simmer pot recipe of whatever herbs, fruits, and spices suit your fancy.

home fragrance

I’m naturally drawn to complex oriental fragrances with a floral or a spicy edge; they’re warm, rich, honey-like, mysterious and spicy all at once.  I love harmonising notes such as amber, orchid, jasmine, tuberose, cloves and cinnamon to name a few. Oh how I wish we could smell things on the internet! Ah well, for now just think Tom Ford’s Black Orchid and Frapin’s 1697 for the body or Jo Malone’s Pomegranate Noir and Tom Dixon’s Orientalist Diffusers for the home and you’ll get my point. Pomegranate Noir is my all time favourite go-to home fragrance. What’s your favourite home fragrance? What are your favourite scents?

Happy decorating!

Nova

IMAGE SOURCE: 1//2//3//the remaining images were gathered from Pinterest

©ALL CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG ARE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY ME, NOVA WILLIAMS OF 18 CHELSEA MEWS LTD, AND ARE MY PERSONAL OPINIONS AND VIEWS, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. 

Colour Story 101 Pink+Yellow+Grey

Hello lovelies! I hope you’re having a great weekend. Mine is progressing very well thus far, so no complaints here.

This is the very first post in my new weekly column titled Colour Story, which I’m very excited to share. Colour Story consists of one mood board featuring a combination of colours, followed by Get The Goods, a few of my favourite picks that may inspire you to create your own version of this colour story at home.

COLOUR STORY | WEEK 1: PINK, YELLOW AND GREY

I’m well known for being a lover of colour, but not just any colour, I love very bright colours. Pink and yellow is one of my favourite colour combinations and I love pairing these two at high intensities. This colour combination will work beautifully in any room when you add light to medium shades of grey to the mix for a measured sense of calm and sobriety.

hotpink.mellowyellow

I’ve had a lifelong obsession with mellow yellow; discovering this Dulux Cornfield in a silk finish years ago was a moment of sheer bliss. I’ve always got a tin of the stuff, and it takes a significant amount of willpower to stop myself from using it on every piece of furniture that enters my apartment…my bookshelves and side tables did not escape! As for hot pink, well, if you’ve ever met me, you’ll know it’s my all time favourite nail colour. My manicurist knows to always have the prized little pot of Royal Highness in her kit when she comes over to do my nails.

I understand that some people shy away from using these colours together in their homes because they fear it will be too overwhelming, but if you pick the right pieces with the right level of intensities you’re likely to achieve excellent results. Here are a few tips/ideas.

1. Start off in neutral, white walls are perfect when you’re going for bright colour combinations, it keeps things fresh and luminous and it makes your colours pop.

2. Go for bold designs and statement pieces, like this mellow yellow Jonah 3-seater sofa from MADE.com which would look oh so glamorous when accessorised with this gorgeous silk pink cushion from Heal’s. Can’t live with a yellow sofa? Then bring a dormant dining room to life by adding a collection of bright pink dining chairs like the one pictured below.

3. Now introduce light/medium shades of grey to help you achieve balance and the required element of sobriety in your space.

Voila! You’re bound to feel a surge of happiness whenever you step into that room!

18chelseamews.pink.yellow.grey

18chelseamews.pink.grey.yellow

18chelseamews.pinkyellowgrey

GET THE GOODS: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11

IMAGES IN MOOD BOARD WERE GATHERED FROM: PINTEREST