Happy Home – Friday Flowers

There is something about Sunflowers, they somehow have the ability to inspire a smile and evoke a feeling of happiness. Maybe it is their sunny yellow colour or their heavy nodding heads, or the dark centres that are so out of proportion with the leaves, you can’t help it but take notice of them. I feel like they just draw me in and because of their size and weight, they almost feel like living creatures in my home, a welcome guest that is staying and delighting me every time I lay eyes on them. These vibrant sunflowers was sent to me by my good friends, Ben & Emma, they know that I have recently been feeling a bit sad and I could not have asked for a better pick-me-up than a sunny bunch of these beauties. They just instantly make me smile.

Sunflowers in green glass jug

Sunflowers in green glass jug

 

Sunflowers on my dining table

Sunflowers on my dining table

 

Sunflower head up close

Sunflower head up close

Photos, Styling & feature by Theoda Solms Iles

Full-on Colour from Gudrun Sjödén

The Gudrun Sjödén look is quite recognisable and if you are a lover of colour, then this range will inspire you. In a nutshell, this brand Gudrun Sjödén, creates colourful clothing and home textiles in natural materials. The pattern, style and designs are very much Scandinavian, and that brings a new freshness and modernity to this look.

Here are few of my favourite home items of the current season.

Botanik table cloth, £55, Herbarium rug, £280, Gudrun Sjödén

Botanik table cloth, £55, Herbarium rug, £280, Gudrun Sjödén

Tuskaft dish towels used as napkins, £22 for 3, Tuskaft runner, £22,  Gudrun Sjödén

Tuskaft dish towels used as napkins, £22 for 3, Tuskaft runner, £22, Gudrun Sjödén

Botanik dishcloth 2-pack, £9, Gudrun Sjödén

Botanik dishcloth 2-pack, £9, Gudrun Sjödén

Botanik tablecloth, £55, Tuskaft placemat, £10 for two, Gudrun Sjödén

Botanik tablecloth, £55, Tuskaft placemat, £10 for two, Gudrun Sjödén

Fikadags tea towel, £9, Gudrun Sjödén

Fikadags tea towel, £9, Gudrun Sjödén

I am absolutely in love with these rugs and the fabulous location they were photographed in. Utterly beautiful shots to inspire.

Red Stripe wool mats, from £115, Gudrun Sjödén

Red Stripe wool mats, from £115, Gudrun Sjödén

Herbarium patchwork wool rug, £450, Gudrun Sjödén

Herbarium patchwork wool rug, £450, Gudrun Sjödén

 

Images supplied by Gudrun Sjödén

Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

Fruits of the Forest – Friday Flowers

Enjoy what is currently in season and explore your countryside, parks and gardens. These lovely fruits and berries are adorning our trees and shrubs right now here in England. I picked a few branches with fruits on, to decorate my kitchen. I put them in cream ceramic jugs, the one with the silver edging, I bought years ago when visiting a good friend in Malta. The other jug with the black labrador on is a Fenella Smith creation, it was a leaving present from some of my work friends. They made such a pretty show in my kitchen window and I was surprised to see the fruit ripen on the branches.

Fruits of the Forest, blackberry, damson plums, elder berry and wild apples

Fruits of the Forest, blackberry, damson plums, elder berry and wild apples

Wild produce

Wild produce

 

Blackberries, not quite ripe yet.

Blackberries, not quite ripe yet.

 

Elder berries

Elder berries

 

Damson plum

Damson plum

 

Wild Apple, Damson plum and Elder berries in Fenella Smith Jug

Wild Apple, Damson plum and Elder berries in Fenella Smith Jug

 

Blackberries ready to eat

Blackberries ready to eat

 

Photos, Styling and Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

Trendsetting Garden Buys

Prolong the summer and indulge your garden with an unusual garden accessory to two. Here are a few quirky and fun items that will definitely turn heads, beware, you might just have your neighbour enviously peeping over the fence.

COLOUR HIT. Brighten a dark corner or light up a tree with retro inspired string lights, they are so trendy right now and these are the best looking ones on the market. Rice DK Colourful String Lights, £59.95, Fig1.co.uk

Rice DK Colourful String Lights

Rice DK Colourful String Lights, Fig1

 

COVER UP. Bring life to your garden by creating an outdoor room with a garden rug. Made from recycled materials, this rug will brighten any dull decking or boring paving. Cancun Turquoise Outdoor Rug, from £49.95, Cuckooland.com

Cancun Turquoise Outdoor Rug, Cuckooland.com

Cancun Turquoise Outdoor Rug, Cuckooland.com

 

GO FOR GOLD. Blow the budget on this fabulous garden hose and holder, watering the plants have just become über glamorous!  Garden Glory, Golden Hose, £119.95, Golden Reindeer Hose Mount, £249.95, Amara.com

Garden Glory Golden Hose & Golden Reindeer Hose Mount, Amara.com

Garden Glory Golden Hose & Golden Reindeer Hose Mount, Amara.com

 

PUSH THE BOAT OUT. Splash out on investing in a hot tub, yes they are back in fashion. This one is totally portable and wood fired, you can even take it on holiday with you! Weltevree Dutchtub, from £2950, Bigfire.co.uk

Weltevree Dutchtub, Bigfire.co.uk

Weltevree Dutchtub, Bigfire.co.uk

 

All images supplied by companies mentioned.

Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

Go Wild – Friday Flowers

There is only one tree in my garden, a Crab Apple that has the most beautiful blossoms in late spring. So in summer I miss my blooming tree and that inspired me to make a plan. I made very simple hanging vases from jam jars. I fill them with flowers currently blooming in my garden or from meadow flowers, or weeds as others might call them. These pretty wild flowers I picked on my regular dog walk, yellow dandelions, blue borage, small purple thistles, tiny yellow daisy-like flowers and more, make for a colourful tree.

Meadow flowers in jam jars hanging from Crab Apple tree

Meadow flowers in jam jars hanging from Crab Apple tree

 

Meadow flowers and jam jars

Meadow flowers and jam jars

Use thin florist wire and wrap it around the jam jar, securing it just below the ridges of the jar. Then take a second piece of wire and make a handle to hang the jar from. Hide the wire around the jam jar with a pretty ribbon.

Meadow flowers and jam jars

Meadow flowers and jam jars

 

Meadow flowers in jam jars hanging from Crab Apple tree

Meadow flowers in jam jars hanging from Crab Apple tree

 

Photos, Styling and Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

Bedroom Bliss

Three things to love about this bedroom:

1. The floral upholstered bed, instead of the usual safe neutrals or greys, is just so refreshing to see. It also shows that colour and pattern doesn’t have to be scary. The key is to choose a fabric you really adore. Make double sure by getting a fabric sample cutting and pinning it up in your home in the final location. Live with it there for a couple of weeks to see if you still love it. If you still do, take the plunge and buy into colour! This way you can still keep your favourite white bed linen.

2. The cobalt blue panelled wall, makes for a huge feature. The panelling ads character to an otherwise plain wall. A plain painted wall would have still look striking in this blue and will still work if you want to copy it at home, but the added panelling is a great detail that also adds texture. The bonus is the small shelf the panelling provides, creating a platform to display trinkets that compliment this look.

3. The injection of yellow updates the ‘blue and white’ colour scheme we have seen for the past three seasons, giving it a boost and making it a more modern and interesting interior. The yellow angle-poise lamp and the scatter cushion are key pieces, adding a touch of fun and making the room pop.

Sophie Bed in Design Lab Occipinti Wisteria White and Purple

Sophie Bed in Design Lab Occipinti Wisteria White and Purple

Colour Chart

Colour Chart

The Sophie bed from Sofa.com, comprises of headboard and bed frame. Here it’s upholstered in an exclusive design by fabric brand, Occipinti, for  Sofa.com.  This gorgeous wisteria fabric, comes in two colour ways, purple and white (seen here) and also a darker version, purple and indigo. These designs can be used on any Sofa.com piece like armchair, footstool, blanket box or upholstered bed.

Image supplied by Sofa.com

Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

 

Heavenly Hydrangea

In recent years the Hydrangea have moved up in the flower-fashion stakes and it is easy to see why. With their full blooming pom-pom heads, they bring an instant colour-hit, and this with only one stem required. Hydrangea grow happily in most gardens and their flowers can change colour, depending on soil conditions. The plants can also grow to be very old and still be a reliable flowering plant, giving many gorgeous blooms throughout summer. I saw these beauties blooming in the front garden of a house en-route to the station. So one day, baby in pushchair and dog on lead, I knocked on the door and asked the lady if she would mind if I picked 5 stems. She was delighted that others noticed their beauty too and told me that some of the bushes (the more opal coloured ones) are very old, as they were already in the garden when she moved into the house 45 years ago.

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns

I especially love the opal purple-blue ones and how the colour shades and vary from one side of the flower to the other side. I used my old vintage Wedgwood urns to arrange them in and added the small lacecap hydrangea from my garden in the mini urn. They lasted for 2 whole weeks on my bedroom drawer unit, seen here.

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads

Hydrangea always reminds me of summer time in South Africa. Of course summer in SA is during the months of November to February. Over there, we also refer to them as “Krismisrose”, translating to “Christmas Roses”, as they are at their best over the Christmas period and you see them in many gardens and in houses during the festive season.

 

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns on stairs

Purple & Pink hydrangea heads in vintage Wedgwood urns on stairs

While carrying the vases to the first floor, I put them on the stairs to carry them upstairs one-by-one, and I noticed how pretty they looked just there at a glance. Totally bazaar putting flowers on a stairs, especially if you share your house with a husband, 3-year old and a dog.  So I had to move them quickly but not before I snapped this photo.

 

Photos, Styling and Words by Theoda Solms Iles

Inspirational Luxe Cushions

Have you ever wondered what inspired a certain designer to create such beautiful items? Well, designers find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, which is evident in these gorgeous luxury silk cushions by Alexandra D Foster. With a 100% silk front and back, they are printed and hand sewn in one of Italy’s most sought after mills in Lake Como, then finished off with specially sourced border trims. Each of the designs are directly inspired by Alexandra’s travels and it is very clear to see from the pictures below, where exactly she got her inspiration from.

Amalfi Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

Amalfi Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

Scalloped and geometric shapes, Alexandra found her inspiration from the roof tiles on one of the iconic domes along the Amalfi coast.

 

Marrakech Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

Marrakech Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

To Alexandra her visit to Morocco was a sensory overload, from her recent trip there, these beauties were born.

 

London Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

London Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

London she calls home and these ones were inspired by an intricate front door to a restaurant in her neighbourhood.

 

Johara Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

Johara Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

Alexandra’s fascination with the patterns and colours created when light hits broken glass, was the start of this cushion.

 

Paris Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

Paris Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

Directly translated from a photo she took of a wrought iron gate found on the right bank of the Seine in magical Paris.

 

St Barth's Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

St Barth’s Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

Bring your holiday home, this St Barth’s cushions is such a close copy of the real thing, that you will be forgiven for thinking you are lounging in the Caribbean, instead of at home.

 

Roma Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

Roma Cushions by Alexandra D Foster

An elaborate Roman doorknocker on an old door near the parliament buildings in Rome, one of the many beautiful sculptures that makes Rome so special.

 

Images and info supplied by Alexandra D Foster

Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

 

Simple Combinations – Friday Flowers

Simple flowers in simple vases are sometimes all that is required to make an ordinary area extraordinary. With their misty, milky colours in shades of greens and blues, these vases from Berry Red are just stunning and any flower combination would look great in them.

Veronika vase in opal green from Berry Red

Veronika vase in opal green from Berry Red

I love the simple mix of traditional red geranium and the white floribunda garden rose, put together in a vintage look green vase. Simple but with an unpretentious feel to it, the way flowers should be.

 

Opal vases from Berry Red

Selection of Opal vases from Berry Red

Here the mix of garden blooms, including a rose, cow’s parsley, campanula, and a poppy, makes for a charming display housed in a selection of blue and green opal vases.

 

Both images supplied by Berryred.co.uk

Feature by Theoda Solms Iles