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

Easter Flowers & Chocolates

Easter is my favourite time of year. The abundance of chocolate and colourful flowers might have something to do with it.

Get creative with spring flowers and bulbs and plant a flower arrangement for the Easter weekend. Below is just such an arrangement I made using a wide mouthed urn. The cut flowers are drinking from water filled jars that’s hidden by moss and planted primulas. I added bulb plants like hyacinths for fragrances and that spring feeling. Blossom branches adds texture and a bit of drama. If you don’t have an urn, a shallow bowl or tray will work too.

Spring urn flowers for Easter

Spring urn flowers for Easter

After playing around with this flower garden, I think it’s ok to over indulge in some Easter chocolate. I could not resist adding the very new Gin & Elderflower tipple into the mix.

Easter chocolate are not just for kids, right? See my selection of the best Easter chocolates with the grown-up’s in mind:

 

Easter Chocolate Aldi, Hotel Chocolat, Betty's, Warner Edwards Harrington Elderflower Gin

 

Now for the more colourful and fun-loving choices:

Easter Chocolate, Prestat, Waitrose, M&S, Sainsbury's

 

Shopping Credits:

Specially Selected Exquisite Easter Egg, £7.99, Aldi

Extra thick egg with choc  selection, £27, Hotel Chocolat

Medium milk chocolate spring flowers egg, £27.50, Betty’s

Warner Edwards Harrington Elderflower Gin, £33, Amazon

Hazelnut Chocolate Truffle in a Real Eggshell, £4.95,  Prestat

Fiona Cairns  cupcakes, from £1.25 each, Waitrose

Beau Bunny, £2.50, M&S
Hen House eggs, £15, M&S

Easter Bunny pack, £2.50, Sainsbury’s

 

Feature and Flower photos: Theoda Solms Iles

Mother’s day Flowers with Joanna Lumley

It is not everyday a mere mortal like myself gets to meet celeb-royalty, like Joanna Lumley. So forgive me if I’m kind of lost for word on this post. It’s kind of good to let the colourful flowers from M&S do the talking on this occasion.

Below is a video of Joanna Lumley introducing the event, speaking so beautifully with a soothing velvety voice, I could listen to her all evening long, check it out for yourself.

VIDEO – Joanna Lumley hosting M&S Mother’s Day flowers class

 

Joanna Lumley M&S flowers Mother's day Theoda stylist

 

 

Joanna Lumley M&S flowers Mother's day Theoda stylist

 

Joanna Lumley M&S flowers Mother's day Theoda stylist

Mother’s day shopping ideas

Joanna Lumley M&S flowers Mother's day Theoda stylist

 

Feature & photos: Theoda Solms Iles

 

Grey Walls, the reveal.

Repainting two of my living room walls, from pure white to charcoal grey, was just the boost my home and myself needed.  So, what have I learned from painting my walls?

1. I should have done it earlier when I had the idea about a year ago! I wait way too long before I do something in my own house. Part of that reason is that I get bored quite easily so I feel that I really need to be in love with the new look before I commit to it – but don’t we all feel like that?

2. I share my home with a husband (fortunately, he leaves all interior choices up to me!), a five-year old daughter (that has quite an opinion on ‘pretty things’) and a dog, better known as demolition-dog (a 16 month old very bold pup).

3. The interior choices I make, needs to be hardworking and wearing – no white floors, fluffy rugs or Kartell Ghost furniture for me, thank you very much!

As with many things in life, now that I’ve painted the living room walls, I wish I’d done it sooner. It has also become apparent how badly the rest of the house needs a re-paint, next job on the DIY list, so watch this space.

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

BELOW, The ‘Before’ Walls:

Although I’ve always liked the white walls with my aubergine velvet sofas and colourful gallery of paintings, I felt this room needed a change. There was only ever one wall colour in the running – charcoal grey, but finding the right tone of grey, took a lot longer. Until I came across the Valpar ‘Wetbar R1E’, charcoal grey paint.  This shade of grey matched the rest of the room perfectly. Other greys that I’ve considered, tended to show up either too mauvey-purple or too blue, but this tone worked perfectly in this room.

Top-Tip: It is so important to test your paint swatches in the room you are planning to paint. The colour might look perfect on the card or in the tin but appear totally different on the walls in the chosen room because of light reflections and the existing furniture and accessories.

Before; white walls

 

BELOW, The ‘After’ Walls:

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

SORTING THE COLLAGE, Below:

Vintage, Antique and special paintings

I knew that re-arranging the paintings would be quite a job. Before I painted, I filled in the holes and prepped the walls to get a good finish as I knew I needed to re-arrange my ‘gallery’. If there was ever a fire, apart from grabbing the living creatures in my house, some of these paintings would be the first on the list. Not because they are valuable, but priceless in terms of sentiment. Some are vintage finds from here and abroad, an antique one my parents gave to me, and a few lovingly painted by my sister Nelia. My favourite has to be beautiful big dahlia one in the middle that I got on holiday in France, I adore it so much.

Knowing that I wanted the big one in the middle, I started to lay them out on a flat surface. Once happy with the configuration, I took a photo of the layout and started to replicate the layout on the wall. Starting with the big one in the middle and flanking it with two on wither side, completing the bottom row and working my way up. I didn’t measure the gaps as I don’t mind that the don’t all line up perfectly, as they all differ in shapes and size anyway. This might drive some people mad, so it’s up to you how perfect you want them. Measuring is a good idea if you do a collage creating a perfectly symmetrical pattern. In my case, as they differ so much, I just wanted them to look balanced and loosely symmetrical – and besides, I like a bit of imperfections!

By the way; if the idea of hanging pictures in a collage style seems a bit too daunting, fear not, Ikea have this super cool system where you buy a template called Matteby (£2.50) with four different collage options. All you do is stick this template on the wall, it shows you where to mark for the nails. Then hang your frames to this guideline template. As it’s by Ikea, they cleverly suggest which of their frames to use too, making it a perfect pairing – but I’m sure you can just improvise by using your own pictures – genius! Why have no one thought of this before?

 

Charcoal Grey Living room walls painted in Valspar 'Wetbar R1E'

 

Feature, Styling & Photos: Theoda Solms Iles

 

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