Living Greens

‘Living Greens’, the name says it all. A combination of rustic woods, moss and lime greens, hints of sea green and the surprise introduction of pale coral and copper, brings life to this third homes range from M&S homeware. I like the flexibility of this collection, nothing is too strickly matchy-matchy, but rather mixed together for an authentic combination.

I loved putting together this flatlay mood board for this look, searching for the reindeer moss, lichen-covered sticks, vintage buttons from my mother-in-law’s cupboard and botanical pictures I’ve been itching to use. We wanted to show this range against two backgrounds, the rustic wooden cabin look, as well as the fresh white walls of a real home, showing how well this look will work just about anywhere.

Styling this look was so inspiring and I was lucky enough to be assisted by Mihaela Berbecar (who is a flash with steaming piles of bedding!) The gorgeous photography was captured by Jon Day , who is a pleasure to work with.

 

Living Greens flatly for M&S Homes

 

Living Greens Bedroom for M&S Homes

 

Living Greens Bedding for M&S Homes

 

Living Greens vases for M&S Homes

 

Living Greens Living room for M&S Homes

 

Living Greens Dining room for M&S Homes

 

Living Greens Armchair for M&S Homes

 

M&S Living Greens Homeware shopping

 

Styling, Direction, Production: Theoda Solms Iles

Photography: Jon Day

Stylist Assistant: Mihaela Berbecar

Set Builder: Gareth Johnson, from Tim Warren Set Building

for M&S Homes, Spring Summer 2018

 

Simply Natural

This calming natural palette incorporates highlights of white, warming wood and sophisticated metals, like chrome for a fresh update, just a few elements forming part of the new ‘Simply Natural’ range, the second homes trend by M&S. Look out for lovely bed linen with lace and stitching detail, modern Jacquard weaves, all in natural fabrics. Again, vases are my favourite for their simplicity and versatile uses, not forgetting rustic tableware and outdoor lanterns, perfect for summer evenings.

We shot these lovely shots in a fabulous location in South Norwood in late September last year. Gorgeous natural lighting captured by super interiors photographer, Jon Day and styling by me, Theoda Solms Iles, and of course assisted by the lovely Mihaela Berbecar.

Simply Natural Whites flatly for M&S Home

 

Simply Natural Whites Bedroom for M&S Home

 

Simply Natural Whites Lanterns for M&S Home

 

Simply Natural Whites Kitchen Shelf for M&S Home

 

Simply Natural Whites Vases for M&S Home

 

Simply Natural Whites Living Room for M&S Home

 

Simply Natural Whites Bedroom for M&S Home

 

Simply Natural Whites Towels for M&S Home

 

Simply Natural Whites Shopping for M&S Home

 

Styling, Direction, Production: Theoda Solms Iles

Photography: Jon Day

Stylist Assistant: Mihaela Berbecar

Set Builder: Gareth Johnson, from Tim Warren Set Building

for M&S Homes, Spring Summer 2018

 

Artisan Blues

M&S Homes have a new approach to their homeware for Spring/Summer’18 and I’m very excited to show it to you. Instead of having bold definite themes to their trends, the new look concentrates on three different colour looks and within, incorporating all areas of the home. Great upholstery in relaxed styles and quality textured weaves. Simple lined glassware verging on utilitarian becomes stylish in blues and greens. The idea is that customers buy the piece because they can imagine it in their own homes, adding to their existing scheme, rather than redesigning their whole look to fit a new trend.

For this new direction, I was fortunate enough to be the stylist on the shoot. Planning the whole shoot was super exciting and finding suitable locations to showcase the new looks. I even commissioned the build of a blue-concrete wall as a backdrop for some of the more contemporary shots (see below).  And as you’d imagine, the sourcing of gorgeous blooms to adorn the shots, was a certain highlight.

Artisan Blues flatlay for M&S Home

Now more about whats new for Spring/Summer 2018. The latest interiors collection from M&S includes three trends. Here we have the ‘Artisan Blues’ look, a very popular choice for all colour lovers, this look revolves around a tonal palette of soft and vibrant shades of blue adding hints of grey for a bit of sophistication and mood.

Artisan Blues dining room for M&S Home

 

Artisan Blues glass and ceramic vases for M&S Home

 

Artisan Blues Living Room for M&S Home

 

Artisan Blues Living Room for M&S Home

 

Artisan Blues Cushions for M&S Home

 

Artisan Blues Bedroom for M&S Home

 

Artisan Blues M&S Homes shopping

 

Styling, Direction, Production: Theoda Solms Iles

Photography: Jon Day

Stylist Assistant: Mihaela Berbecar

Set Builder: Gareth Johnson, from Tim Warren Set Building

for M&S Homes, Spring Summer 2018

Hydrangea en-mass

“What is this”, I hear you ask. Well, it is big hydrangea flower heads having a swim in the local ‘plaas dam’ (farm reservoir dam). Let me explain, this is my brother, Jan-Georg Solms‘, genius way of hydrating his hydrangea to keep them from wilting and therefore lasting much longer. But don’t they just look fabulous floating around in the deep, dark waters of the dam?

Hydrangea in a water bath

Jan-Georg Solms is the owner of guest farm Halfaampieskraal, situated just two hours drive south from Cape Town, South Africa. This is also incidentally the farm us five children grew up on. Being a huge flower lover himself, and as Jan-Georg have a constant stream of guests visiting from around the world, he ensures that there are always fresh flowers in the house. Hydrangea naturally bloom in the summer months and so also over Christmas time, giving them the local and Afrikaans name of “Krismis Rose”, translating to Christmas Roses. They are well suited to most South African gardens and grew to be majestic round bushes, sporting large round heads of coloured flowers.

Large Hydrangea heads in colour

 

Buckets full of Hydrange

Although Jan-Georg does have a few plants on the farm, when he needs them en-mass, he gets them from a local grower and such an outing is always super exciting and breathtaking in equal measures.

Below: local hydrangea grower

Growing Hydrangea

 

Growing Hydrangea

 

Growing Hydrangea

 

Below: Opal coloured varieties to charm any occasion.

Opal coloured Hydrangea

Below: Bucket and bucket loads!

Buckets full of Hydrangea

Opal coloured Hydrangea

Buckets full of Hydrange

Top Tips:

After cutting the flowers off the plant, cut the stems on the diagonal, allowing more surface for water absorption.

Dip these cut stems into boiling water for about 30 seconds and then put them into room temperature deep water. The boiling water washes away a sticky sap that occurs after cutting that prevents maximum water absorption.

When the individual flowers on the full head start to look a bit wilted, soak or submerge the whole flower head into water for a good while, about an hour. Their name is not Hydrangea for nothing! This will rescue and revitalise them, giving you a few extra days of blooming time.

Blue vs Pink = the rule is hydrangea grown in alkaline soil, the bloom colors are pinker. When grown in acidic soil, the bloom colors are bluer. This is true for the blues and pinks varieties. But of course to ensure that is very difficult but can be achieved if they are grown in pots so that the soil’s ph balance can be altered and controlled more easily.

Hydrangea in a water bath

 

Feature by: Theoda Solms Iles

Photos by: Jan-Georg Solms, Halfaampieskraal guest farm

 

Christmas trends 2017

Last week I showed you some outdoorsy Christmas shots I styled during the summer. Here are the latest Christmas trends by Wyevale Garden Centres. But before we get to the pretty shots, it’s worth mentioning that way back in May and June a team of us worked really hard to put together a Christmas lookbook for Wyevale Garden Centres. It started off with me searching for a suitable location, one that’s able to showcase 5 different Christmas looks, plus outdoor shots and Christmas lighting, no easy task. Finally a location was secured and the shooting took place over 4 days in June. I did the planning and drawing of the shots and also the styling on set,  I was assisted by the lovely Antonia McKenzie. The super talented photographer Nato Welton, which I’ve had the privilege to have worked with before on numerous occasions, shot these lovely images. In my opinion, Nato is the wizard of lighting!  

Here are a few of the trends we covered for Wyevale Garden Centres.

 

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

 

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

Christmas Decorations by Wyevale Garden Centres

Wyevale garden Centre food gifting

Stylist: Theoda Solms Iles

Stylist Assistant: Antonia McKenzie 

Photography: Nato Welton

Work done for Wyevale Garden Centres, commissioned by Four Rain Communications and Live and Breath Creative

 

Outdoorsy Christmas

 

Way back in June a team of us worked really hard to put together a Christmas lookbook for Wyevale Garden Centres.  We covered 5 interior trends, outdoor shots and also Christmas outdoor lighting. The very talented photographer Nato Welton captured these while I did the styling, assisted by Antonia McKenzie. This was Nato and my selves 4th project together for Wyevale Garden Centres.

The set below, showcase a few of the outdoor shots we did.

 

Wreath, Orange Chocolate Wreath, Wyevale Garden Centre

 

Below: A warm welcome for Christmas.

Christmas Front Door dressed Wyevale Garden Centres

 

Below: Winter gardening with a Festive feel.

Outdoor Christmas Wyevale Garden Centres

 

Below: Get ready to wrap.

Christmas Gift Wrapping Wyevale Garden Centres

 

Below: Gifts for gardeners.

Outdoor Christmas Gifting Wyevale Garden Centres

 

Stylist: Theoda Solms Iles

Stylist Assistant: Antonia McKenzie 

Photography: Nato Welton

Work done for Wyevale Garden Centres, commissioned by Four Rain Communications and Live and Breath Creative

Seen at the Chelsea’17 Flower Show

Just seen at the Chelsea’17 Flower Show.

Colourful cutting flowers.

 

My favourite find was the discovery of the Seedlip garden and the hidden gin bar on-top of the hill – total bliss…

 

Lovely oversize traditional terracotta planters with olive trees, so chic.

 

Interesting insect homes, encouraging wildlife into your garden.

 

Camouflage your bins.

 

Mediterranean colours and planting.

 

Greenhouse envy!

 

Colourful trendy succulents and cacti.

 

A life-size horse sculpture made from horseshoes.

 

Inspiring Artisan gardens.

 

Inspiring Artisan gardens.

 

The show-grounds.

 

Succulents are still on trend.

 

Heritage brand, Wedgwood, launching a contemporary planter range with a nod to their famous ‘Jasper’ collection.

 

The totally striking floral fountain in the Mediterranean themed garden by the M&S.

A selfie through the selfie window of the M&S flower stand.

 

iPhone photos and feature: Theoda Solms Iles

Chelsea Flower Show 2017 – Show gardens

Here are a few of this years favourite Show Gardens from the Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

 

Silk Road garden, Chengdu, China. Designed by Laurie Chetwood & Patrick Collins

Silk Road garden, Chengdu, China. Designed by Laurie Chetwood & Patrick Collins

Silk Road garden, Chengdu, China. Designed by Laurie Chetwood & Patrick Collins

 

Linklaters garden for Maggie’s. Designed by Darren Hawkes

Linklaters garden for Maggie's. Designed by Darren Hawkes

 

Breaking Ground. Designed by Andrew Wilson & Gavin McWilliam

Breaking Ground. Designed by Andrew Wilson & Gavin McWilliam

 

Morgan Stanley garden. Designed by Chris Beardshaw.

Morgan Stanley garden. Designed by Chris Beardshaw.

 

500 Years of Covent Garden The Sir Milton Foundation garden in partnership with Capo. Designed by Lee Bestall.

500 Years of Covent Garden The Sir Milton Foundation garden in partnership with Capo. Designed by Lee Bestall.

 

RHS Greenings Grey Britain garden. Designed by Nigel Dunnett.

RHS Greenings Grey Britain garden. Designed by Nigel Dunnett.

RHS Greenings Grey Britain garden. Designed by Nigel Dunnett.

RHS Greenings Grey Britain garden. Designed by Nigel Dunnett.

 

Royal Bank of Canada. Designed by Charlotte Bank.

Royal Bank of Canada. Designed by Charlotte Bank.

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Anneka Rice Colour Cutting garden. Designed by Sarah Raven.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Anneka Rice Colour Cutting garden. Designed by Sarah Raven.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Anneka Rice Colour Cutting garden. Designed by Sarah Raven.

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Chris Evans Taste Garden. Designed by Jon Wheatley

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Chris Evans Taste Garden. Designed by Jon Wheatley

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Jeremy Vine Texture garden. Designed by Matt Keightley.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Jeremy Vine Texture garden. Designed by Matt Keightley.

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Zoe Ball Listening garden. Designed by James Alexander-Sinclair.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Zoe Ball Listening garden. Designed by James Alexander-Sinclair.

 

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Jo Whiley Scent Garden. Designed by Tamara Bridge & Kate Savill.

BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens: Jo Whiley Scent Garden. Designed by Tamara Bridge & Kate Savill.

 

Breast Cancer Now garden. Through the Microscope. Designed by Ruth Willmott.

Breast Cancer Now garden. Through the Microscope. Designed by Ruth Willmott.

Inland Homes: Beneath a Mexican Sky. Designed by Manoj Malde.

Inland Homes: Beneath a Mexican Sky. Designed by Manoj Malde.

 

 

 
iPhone photos and feature by Theoda Solms Iles