A Stylish White & Green Christmas

The countdown to Christmas has begun, so it’s time to set up your own show-stopping Christmas tree. Here are a few Christmas trees dressed with a selection of white, glass, silver and green decorations and baubles. I had great fun styling and setting up these shots for the Wyevale Garden Centre shoot, way back in May. We shot five different Christmas themes and below are some of my favourite shots from the day.

Wyevale garden centres real Christmas tree

 

Wyevale garden centres Christmas mini houses tea light holders

 

Wyevale garden centres Christmas tree, Frosted Mistletoe theme

 

Wyevale garden centres Christmas tree, Frosted Mistletoe theme, baubles on branch

 

Stylist: Theoda Solms Iles

Photographer: Nato Welton

Art Director: Mark Forsyth

Stylist Assistant: Charlotte Page

for Wyevale Garden Centres

Book signing & review – Happy Home Everyday Magic for the Family

Founder and owner of Rice,  Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, have just written another gorgeous book, “Happy Home Everyday Magic for the Family“,  this time including fabulous recipes and fun style ideas. I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of the book and met Charlotte there.

Anybody with a passion for colour and fun home accessories, will just love the Danish brand Rice, known for their colourful playful home wares. We are talking melamine, ceramics, glass, textiles, weaves like baskets, picnic ware and so much more. Rice is very much an ethical home ware brand with a heart, doing business responsibly. “Most of our products are made by workers in third world countries, and we make sure that all products are produced with high regards to human rights, healthy labor conditions and with no use of child labor.”

 

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

Welcome to the event! The book signing of “Happy Home Everyday Magic for the Family“, 6th book by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, founder of Rice, colourful and ethical Danish home ware range. Brilliantly hosted by Ottie and the Bea, purveyors of anything playful and creative, a cute independent store in Blackheath, London.

Below: The shop window to the event hosted by Ottie and the Bea.

Ottie and the Bea shopfront

Below: Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, founder of Rice, singing my copy of  “Happy Home Everyday Magic for the Family”.

Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau Happy Home book signing

Below: Drinks served in Rice party ware, recipe for super cool drinks from the new book, of course.

Happy Home book signing drinks event

Below: Chocolates served on Rice cake stand and Lemon and Poppy-seed cake, recipe featured in the book.

Happy Home book signing drinks event with cake

Below: Tempting Rice DK shopping inside Ottie and the Bea. It is fair to say my personal Rice collection grew even bigger!

Ottie and the Bea. Rice DK shopping

 

BOOK REVIEW – Happy Home Everyday Magic for the Family

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

 

Below: Cute ideas to do with your existing tumblers.

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

Below: So Sweet! Making coloured sugar cube gifts.

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

Below: Inspirational style ideas throughout the book.

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

Below: Recipe for a refreshing cool drink (gin optional, of course!)

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

Below: Milkshakes have never looked so stylish.

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

Below: Lemon and poppy-seed cake, delicious and gorgeous.

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

Below: Ideas for gathering and cooking together, then sharing the finished dish.

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

Below: Fun recipe and serving ideas for the whole family and every home.

Happy Home Everyday Magic for the family, by Charlotte Hedeman Guéniau, Book signing & review

 

Feature, styling & photos: Theoda Solms Iles 

Winter Metallics – Elemental by Voyage Maison

Tall, elegant and with a winter colour palette of whites, greys and metallics, the Khione vase in Frost, lends itself perfectly to the latest Autumn/Winter trends. Note the most unusual combination of a subtle shading of frosted white speckles that thins out before meeting the high gloss, almost liquid, gold finish that’s flaring off the base of the vases. Together with the decadent two-tone sequined cushions and throws from the Voyage Decoration collection, styled against a backdrop of wall art in Synnova, these pieces sit perfectly together and give us a glimpse into the upcoming colours for the next winter season.

 

Khione vase in Frost by Voyage Maison

 

Eucalyptus & Thistle

 

Khione vase in Frost and wall art Synnova Repeat all by Voyage Maison

 

Khione vase in Frost and wall art Synnova Repeat all by Voyage Maison

 

Khione vase in Frost, sequinned throw and cushions, all by Voyage Maison

 

Khione vase in Frost, sequinned throw and cushions, all by Voyage Maison

 

Khione vase in Frost, sequinned throw and cushions, all by Voyage Maison

 

 

 

 

Voyage is a fabric house known for gorgeous fabrics in prints, weaves and luxe textiles like velvets and stylish embroidered sequined designs. Their colour palate, always rich with deep, moody shades and designs, often reflecting nature. The Voyage Maison range is the home accessory part, boasting a desirable collection of rugs, lamps, more cushions you can dream of and now, most recently, statement glass vases worthy of an art gallery.

Credits: Khione Medium and tall vases in Frost. Wall art Synnova Repeat. Stripe velvet cushion in Galatea Midnight. Two toned sequined cushions and two toned sequined throws, all by Voyage Maison.

Styling, Photos & Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

Pink Vases – Elemental by Voyage Maison

One word sprung to mind when I saw these vases; delicious! The pink and purple swirls, the pale blush marbling and together with the glossy finish, they both remind me of giant lollipops. So just imagine how gorgeous they would look, with or without flowers, in any home. Both these vases are from the Elemental collection by Voyage Maison.

The tall bottles shaped vase with delicate marbling in shades of blush pinks, is called  Alcyone tall vase in colour Oyster. The elegant shape of the slim neck is just wide enough for one stem, if any is needed at all. Where as the easy rounded shape of the Melusina vase in colour Tourmaline, lends itself perfectly to be filled with blooms. On their own they look gorgeous too and because of their size, they make a real show.

 

Voyage Pink vases, Alcyone tall vase in Oyster and Melusina round vase in Tourmaline, wall art, Simba in Watermelon

 

pink peonies

 

Alcyone tall vase in Oyster and Melusina round vase in Tourmaline, all by Voyage

 

Alcyone tall vase in Oyster and Melusina round vase in Tourmaline, fusion Shrabana Lotus all by Voyage

 

Alcyone tall vase in Oyster and Melusina round vase in Tourmaline, by Voyage

 

Alcyone tall vase in Oyster and Melusina round vase in Tourmaline, Shrabana Lotus cushion, by Voyage

 

Alcyone tall vase in Oyster and Melusina round vase in Tourmaline, by Voyage

 

Voyage is a fabric house known for gorgeous fabrics in prints, weaves and luxe textiles like velvets and stylish embroidered sequined designs. Their colour palate, always rich with deep, moody shades and designs, often reflecting nature. The Voyage Maison range is the home accessory part, boasting a desirable collection of rugs, lamps, more cushions you can dream of and now, most recently, statement glass vases worthy of an art gallery.

Credits:  Alcyone tall vase in Oyster colour, £53, Melusina round vase in Tourmaline, £50, Elemental range available from John Lewis. Wallpaper called wall art; pink and orange twig design, Simba Watermelon. Pink and purple feather design, Nada Lotus. Cushion in Shrabana Lotus.

 

Styling, Photos & Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

 

Blue Atargatis Vase – Elemental by Voyage Maison

When I saw the new glass vase collection called, Elemental from Voyage Maison, I immediately fell in love with the Atargatis hand cut vase and bowl in lapis blue. I adore the ombre´ shading and the tactile matte outer finish, contrasting with the glossy inside of the bowl. The curves and matte texture reminds me of ‘sea glass’, where old pieces of glass are weathered by the motion of the sea and salt water before being washed up on the beach. Both sea glass and vase having this matte, rounded and opaque appearance. So its also very aptly named, Atargatis, being a mermaid-like Syrian goddess.

I have mentioned before my love for coloured glass and so I was very excited to try these gorgeous vases in my own humble abode, hoping that they would fit in here too. Here is the first of three posts showing the gorgeous new vase collection by Voyage Maison.

Blue hydrangea, white hydrangea, blue delphinium

 

Atargatis hand cut vase & bowl in Lapis, from Voyage. Nebula wall art in Moon, Voyage

 

Atargatis hand cut vase & bowl in Lapis, from Voyage. Nebula wall art in Moon, Voyage

 

Atargatis hand cut vase & bowl in Lapis, from Voyage. Nebula wall art in Moon, Voyage

 

Atargatis hand cut vase & bowl in Lapis, from Voyage. Nebula wall art in Moon, Voyage

 

Atargatis hand cut vase & bowl in Lapis, from Voyage. Nebula wall art in Moon, Voyage

 

Voyage is a fabric house known for gorgeous fabrics in prints, weaves and luxe textiles like velvets and stylish embroidered sequined designs. Their colour palate, always rich with deep, moody shades and designs, often reflecting nature. The Voyage Maison range is the home accessory part, boasting a desirable collection of rugs, lamps, more cushions you can dream of and now, most recently, statement glass vases worthy of an art gallery.

Credits:    Atargatis hand cut vase, £80, and bowl, £56, in Lapis from the Elemental Artistic Glassware collection, available from John Lewis. Alchemy wall art in Nebula Moon. Textiles are from the Alchemy Lustre collection, the trees velvet cushion are Helios Midnight and the stripe velvet cushion is in Galatea Amethyst.

Photos, Styling & Feature by Theoda Solms Iles.

My Dining Room Furniture Makeover

My Dining Room Furniture Makeover with Valspar paint

My dining room has been begging for a makeover. As in most houses, rooms evolve and so has this dining room. We bought the table about 9 years ago and I was adamant to get a big table plus additional extending leaves to make the table bigger when needed, well we used the extension leaves twice! Too much hassle if you ask me. I also have a problem with natural wood – I just don’t like brown, interesting if you work in interiors…  Up until now, I’ve always covered the table-top either with a fancy oilcloth on regular days or with linens when we entertain. The chairs started off well, plain Ikea white ones that was perfect at the time, but as time passed, I would see lovely chairs along the way and wish they were mine. So one day the temptation was too big, these two dark wooden tapestry chairs shouted out from my local charity shop to be snapped up for £5 each and obviously I couldn’t resist! For ages they just stood around as they didn’t fit in anywhere and we had no space for them. I even put them on e-bay to sell, but with no buyers, they eventually ended up in the garage to be stored. Then one day Peter came back from the rubbish dump with two more chairs, or rather, chair frames. This was a clear sign that now is the time to start my dining room furniture makeover.

Below: The “before” furniture.

Valspar painted dining table & chairs, Valspar 'Sugar leaves' R144E & 'Mountain Ridge' R282B

 

Below: Valspar colour swatches to match up with antique tapestry and vintage Sanderson fabric

Choosing paint and vintage fabrics, Valspar 'Sugar leaves' R144E & 'Mountain Ridge' R282B

Above: Choosing paint to match vintage fabrics, Valspar paints;  ‘Sugar leaves’ R144E (sulphur)  and  ‘Mountain Ridge’ R282B (grey)

 

Choosing a paint range was easy, I’ve had my eye on the new Valspar range that B&Q stocks. I love the vast colour collection and cute colour cards, yes, I’m easily swayed by pretty colours! I knew that I wanted the table legs grey with a whitewashed top ( Table top: Valspar Interior Wood varnish, colour ‘Silver Fox’) but choosing the chair frame colours was a bit more tricky. Grey had to be in the mix, the sulphur yellow came naturally and I was desperate to include turquoise too. I narrowed it down to a deeper grey and a punchy sulphur yellow, the turquoise had to wait for now. I had a few old fabric cuttings that I could easily use to make simple seat pads for the two chair frames (foam glued onto mdf-board and stretching the fabric over, securing by stapling the fabric to the back). In the end, I decided to use a very special vintage Sanderson fabric that were the cute little curtains in the kitchen when we moved here 10 years ago. I always kept the curtain fabric in the hope of using it one day, and here they are, the perfect match with the other two embroidered seats. Now I love my new dining room furniture, the table with white washed top never needs to be covered again and the eclectic mix of chairs adds so much more personality to this room and of course the vintage Sanderson has a great story to tell.

 

Choosing paint and vintage fabrics, Valspar 'Sugar leaves' R144E & 'Mountain Ridge' R282B

 

Choosing paint and vintage fabrics, Valspar 'Sugar leaves' R144E & 'Mountain Ridge' R282B

 

 

Choosing paint and vintage fabrics, Valspar 'Sugar leaves' R144E & 'Mountain Ridge' R282B

 

Choosing paint and vintage fabrics, Valspar 'Sugar leaves' R144E & 'Mountain Ridge' R282B

 

Choosing paint and vintage fabrics, Valspar 'Sugar leaves' R144E & 'Mountain Ridge' R282B

 

Choosing paint and vintage fabrics, Valspar 'Sugar leaves' R144E & 'Mountain Ridge' R282B

 

Styling, feature & photos by Theoda Solms Iles

Flowers at Halfaampieskraal – Friday Flowers

So there’s this small little place in the world that is the curve of my heart. Halfaampieskraal is the farm in South Africa where I grew up, spending very happy and carefree days with my 3 sisters and 1 brother. Before my dad retired, he farmed this little bit of golden land tucked away in the Overberg region, to be precise the Ruens. My very talented brother, Jan-Georg Solms, took over the farming just over 20 years ago and in this time also transformed some of the outbuildings into accommodation and an old barn serves as a venue for events. The manor house has changed just a bit and now acts as the leisure area for guests where they can curl up around the fire drinking local wines in winter or spend endless summer hours on the enormous stoep (veranda), admiring the view to the Riviersonderend mountains. Inside this house the interiors are quite dramatic. During my childhood this was also the case (we often joked that we grew up in a museum) but now my brother, Jan-Georg, has amplified this drama, (giving my parents a go in the ‘dramatic interiors’ stakes) adding lots of eclectic elements, gorgeous items collected from his world wide travels and heirloom pieces that all have a story to tell.

To cut a long and passionate story short, Jan has also inherited my parents’ love for beautiful things and flowers, he knows exactly how to take them to the next level, go big or go home! Here are a few examples of the flower moments that you will find any day of the week at Halfaampieskraal.

Hydrangea and apple branches in urn

Jan-Georg doesn’t do ‘small’, here the dining room table gets a full-on showstopper made up of hydrangea, love-lies-bleeding and small apple branches. The urn standing ontop of a stone plinth, gives this oversize number even more height, filling the room, while still keeping the table surface clear.

 

red amaranthus, love-lies-bleeding

Love Lies Bleeding or Amaranthus grows wildly in the the farm garden and looks fabulous on its own against the beautifully hand painted botanical wall art, done by Nelia Solms du Toit (my other sister).

 

opal coloured hydrangea

Giant hydrangea heads in opal colours adorning an extra large pale blue vase.

 

quince

An abundance of farm grown quince fruit, nothing more needed…  For me this fruit brings back such happy and nostalgic childhood memories with my dad on this farm. Driving in the bakkie (pick-up truck) with him, dad taking giant bites out of the hard fruit and passing it onto me.

 

All flowers by Jan-Georg Solms on location at Halfaampieskraal, holiday guest farm & venue.

Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

A Home Filled with Flowers – Friday Flowers

My Flower journey through South Africa continues and my next stop is visiting my eldest sister, Hanli Smuts. Hanli & Anton lives on a gorgeous wine and fruit farm in the fertile Robertson valley, right on the banks of the Breede River. Their garden is absolutely gorgeous and Hanli grows the most beautiful cut flowers. Sometimes, she has so many flowers and foliage, she has to cut bunches and supply to florists, just to spread the wealth and prevent them from going to waste. I stayed with Hanli for 3 days and just about every corner of her home was dressed with beautiful flower moments, just as you’d expect.

Grey foliage and dahlias

A subtle and romantic grey theme for the guest bathroom. Grey foliage of the dusty millar and a hit of pink and purple dahlias adorning glass bud vases.

 

flower arrangements of dahlias, hydrangea, roses, & red amaranths

A few of the flower arrangements through her home; pink dahlias, roses, red and green amaranths, pink and green hydrangea and a prized deep red cockscomb, all being showed off in a selection of vintage vases.

 

flowers paintings by Nelia Du Toit

An eclectic picture gallery with the obligatory floral paining or more! The two Iris paintings (top left and middle) as well as the white tulip painting (top right), are all by my other sister, the artist Nelia Solms du Toit (yes, I have 3 sisters and a brother!)

 

flower arrangements of dahlias, hydrangea, roses, & red amaranths

 

vintage wall scones filled with fresh herbs and dahlias

Even Hanli’s kitchen sink area allows for a beautiful flower display. Antique wall scones are filled with herbs Hanli uses for cooking daily. By just adding the odd dahlia for colour, this practical solutions becomes a beautiful statement.

Feature & Photos by Theoda Solms Iles

Flowers grown and displayed by Hanli Smuts, Robertson, South Africa

 

The Herb Garden by Jo Malone London – Friday Flowers

Every time the prestigious fragrance house, Jo Malone London, launches a new fragrance, I think; how can it possibly be more special than the previous one? And every time I’m totally bowled over, and this being no exception (secretly I think this is my ultimate favourite!). As a lover of the colour green and green scents, this collection ticks all the boxes for me. I love that there are 5 different fragrances in 30ml bottles so that you can add to your collection and layer the scents. Just look at the fabulous collection below and as they have just launched in stores, tell me what is your favourite.

Jo Malone London Herb Garden launch

The Herb Garden consists of five 30ml colognes; Wild Strawberry & Parsley, Sorrel & Lemon Thyme, Nasturtium & Clover, Carrot Blossom & Fennel, Lavender & Coriander

Jo Malone London Herb Garden launch

 

Jo Malone London Herb Garden launch. Sorrel & Lemon Thyme, Wild Strawberry & Parsley, Nasturtium & Clover, Carrot Blossom & Fennel, Lavender & Coriander

Smelling the colognes on tester cards right next to the fresh growing herb plants, was such an exciting and captivating experience.

Jo Malone London Herb Garden launch. Sorrel & Lemon Thyme, Wild Strawberry & Parsley, Nasturtium & Clover, Carrot Blossom & Fennel, Lavender & Coriander

The Jo Malone London townhouse was totally transformed into a herb garden. A stone gravel garden path that’s planted on both sides with fragrant herbs and foliage, led us through to the potted room, that reminded me of an orangery. Here old rustic pots that have been planted up are forming part of an aromatic potted wall structure, showcasing all the herbs involved to create this delectable collection.

Jo Malone London Herb Garden launch. Sorrel & Lemon Thyme, Wild Strawberry & Parsley, Nasturtium & Clover, Carrot Blossom & Fennel, Lavender & Coriander

Jo Malone London Herb Garden launch. Sorrel & Lemon Thyme, Wild Strawberry & Parsley, Nasturtium & Clover, Carrot Blossom & Fennel, Lavender & Coriander

 

feature by Theoda Solms Iles

photos by Theoda Solms Iles & Jo Malone London