Photo Shoot Flowers – Friday Flowers

Feast your eyes on these gorgeous fresh country-look flowers. All of these pretty stems, I bought at my local florist. I have literally just plonked them in a jug, inside a crate on the floor, all because they are ready to be taken on an interiors photo shoot that I’m styling. I just could to resist letting them leave my house without taking a quick snap of them.

Country flowers for my photo shoot

Country Flowers

Above: Selection of cows parsley, wax flower, delphinium, white lilac, viburnum and more.

Feature, Photos & Styling, Theoda Solms Iles

 

 

Interview with Sophie Conran & Her Latest Designs

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend the launch of new Spring Summer products of none other than the super talented, Sophie Conran. Not only am I a huge fan of Sophie’s work, but I see her as such an inspirational lady, somebody I admire so much. Not only does she design and create the most gorgeous homeware, (most of which I already own and I’m still adding), she can bake and cook and have a few books under her name, to mention just a few of her accomplishments. She is a working mother and seem to juggle all of these talents brilliantly. I have met Sophie a few times before over the years and I can honestly say, she is always so friendly, down to earth and approachable.

At this latest launch, I only expected to see a new range of china, her original white range being updated with a cobalt blue pattern. So you can image my delight at the new addition of hand blown glass bowls, colourful lampshades with bauble trims (gasp), woven baskets, and more. Just look at these striking blue patterns adorning our favourite white china. Just note the cute “# Sophie Conran” cookie stamps, on homemade biscuits of course. Here are the latest and newest products from Sophieconran.com.

Oh, and please do read my interview with Sophie, further below….

Brand new Sophie Blue china

Brand new Sophie Blue china

Sophie Blue china

Sophie Blue china

New Table linen, wooden boards and woven placemats and china in Pebble colourNew Table linen, wooden boards and woven placemats and china in Pebble colour

New Table linen, wooden boards and woven placemats and china in Pebble colour

Woven placemats and lamp shades

Woven placemats and lamp shades, all new additions to the collection.

 

INTERVIEW WITH SOPHIE CONRAN

Meet Sophie Conran, the woman behind out most loved home wares.

Sophie Conran

Sophie Conran

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I am interior designer, cookery writer and mother of two.

How would you describe your work to a stranger?

I work with lots of different companies, and their fantastic design teams, creating products for my online shop. My aim is to design practical homeware items that are a joy to use every day.

Wooden boards and White china teapot, by Sophie Conran

Wooden boards and White china teapot, by Sophie Conran

What or who inspires you?

My family does. My son Felix – with what he is doing and the energy that he applies to his work. He is incredibly positive. My daughter Coco, who is super organised and meticulous – working on some gorgeous things. Also my mother (on the opposite end of the spectrum!) who is in her 70’s. First and foremost, she is happy. She is busy gardening, cooking and writing her books, as well as doing beautiful paintings. She has an incredible creativity.

Where would you love to see your pretty pieces being used?

I would like them to be cherished in every household.

Candle and Table linen

Candle and Table linen

From your own designs, what is your favourite piece and why?

The dressing gown in my bed linen collection. It is comfortable and chic.

Red Dot bedding and Red Dot dressing gown, Sophie Conran

Red Dot bedding and Red Dot dressing gown, Sophie Conran

Which ceramic ranges (yours or other) do you use in your own home?

I use my own.

I love your White china range and it seems to be as popular as the day it was launched in 2006. The longevity of your products is just one reason that makes them so popular, what is your design secret with regards to this?

I think the products are familiar, tactile and they aren’t over-powering. They are super practical so they fit in to today’s hectic pace of life.

Sophie Conran White China

Sophie Conran White China

So far, what has been you career highlight or proudest moment?

When my son Felix was born. I couldn’t believe they were going to let me take him away from the hospital! I had always wanted to be a mum. In terms of my career, they are still coming thick and fast! I must say am thrilled with the incredible success of the Sophie Conran for Portmeirion range. I am proud that people love what we have created together.

I am also proud to be working with HP Sprout, with their ground-breaking new computer. It is my favourite new toy and it is brilliant for creating story boards for interior design projects. I have just received it, and the possibilities are endless. I am beginning to find out what it can do and it is incredible.

White saucepans, Sophie Conran

White saucepans, Sophie Conran

If you were not a designer (and excellent cook), what would you be in your next life?

A duck! Then I could fly and swim, and they have super cute babies.

I’m guessing your favourite colour is blue, am I right?

Today my favourite colour is yellow. It really depends on where I am and what the mood is. Today I am feeling sunny and positive!

Handblown Glass bowls and handing decorations

Handblown Glass bowls and handing decorations

Do you have a favourite flower, or what do you usually buy or pick for your home?

The tulips at the moment are unbelievable. I once flew over Schiphol airport and saw the tulip fields in bloom, which is definitely one of the wonders of the world.

Do you have a pet? 

I have a deerhound called Otis. He is the size of a small horse!

Glassware by Sophie Conran

Glassware by Sophie Conran

 

PS: Meeting up with Sophie in her home and having her personally showing me around and talking me though the ranges, definitely counts as the highlight of my month.

Sophie Conran and Theoda Solms Iles

Sophie Conran and Theoda Solms Iles

Feature, Interview and Photos of new products by Theoda Solms Iles.

Other Photos supplied by SophieConran.com

5 Minute Valentines Ideas – Friday Flowers

Call me unromantic and a total bore, but I just don’t get excited about Valentines day. Every year we try to do as little as possible and then at the eleventh hour, I try to concur something up. So if you are as rubbish as me at Valentine’s day gestures, here are two very easy and simple 5 Minute Ideas to with red roses, which seems to be available by the bucket load this time of year.

Small red roses for Valentine

Red roses are so expensive and to be honest, I find them a bit cheesy. So I went for the really small red roses, these buds are tiny, approximately the size of my thumb and I got them from my local supermarket.

 

 

5 Minute idea for Valentines day

USE WHAT YOU HAVE.  I happen to have this very cute tiny little jug with the word ‘Love’ embossed on it and the heart shape vase at the back, is actually a tea light holder. Together these two make for cute vases, perfect for a romantic table centre for two. I finished it off with a red ribbon and a silver beaded heart, part of my Christmas decorations.    Love mini jug, Keith Brymer Jones. Heart Tea light holder, Notonthehighstreet.com. Heart decoration, The White Company. Ribbon from Jane Means

 

5 Minute idea for Valentines dayUNDER WRAPS.  A glass lidded trinket box makes for a gorgeous vase. Pack as many roses together and balance the lid askew on top. The idea is to look like the roses are spilling out of the container. The small roses suit the size of this glass trinket box, but if you want to go bigger, a pretty hat box and large rose buds will look beautiful too.   Glass lidded trinket box, Dunelm.com. Glitter and beaded heart decorations, The White Company. Ribbon from Jane Means

Feature, Styling and Photos by Theoda Solms Iles

 

Switched On – Industrial Pendant Trend

Get switched on with these gorgeous pendant lights to lit your home. The latest trend in hanging lights, are rocking a bit of a hard edge and industrial look. Pretty crystals and rouched shades, make way for bare bulbs and industrial metal styles.

 

INDUSTRIAL CHIC

Hex pendant, £345, Davely-Lighting available from Lightingmatters.co.uk

Hex pendant, £345, Davely-Lighting available from Lightingmatters.co.uk

INDUSTRIAL CHIC.  Industrial style lighting are so trendy right now. The simple lines of the hard metal, combined with the fragile glass panels makes this light perfect for the modern home. They look great used as a set in a row above a dining table, kitchen counter or along a corridor. Or used singular, hang low over bedside tables or a side table.  Hex pendant, £345, Davey-lighting.co.uk available from Lightingmatters.co.uk
LIGHTBULB MOMENT
Plumen Light bulbs, £22.95 each, Edited.co.uk

Plumen Light bulbs, £22.95 each, Edited.co.uk

LIGHTBULB MOMENT.  Flex wires in an array of colours are now widely available making it ideal to work this trend yourself at home. And I never thought I’ll say, ‘look at these good-looking bulbs’, but seriously just feast your eyes on them, it’s literally re-inventing the light bulb. Bare bulb pendants are so cool and the great thing about them is they look great en-mass, so don’t be shy and multiply the numbers you what to suspend.  Plumen light bulbs, £22.95 each, Edited.co.uk
DE-LIGHT-FUL CHOICE
Garden Trading pendant selection from £40, Gardentrading.co.uk

Garden Trading pendant selection from £40, Gardentrading.co.uk

DE-LIGHT-FUL CHOICE.  Enamel and metal domes gets a revival. With so many styles, shapes and sizes around, they are such a popular choice and are suitable to most home styles, from country, modern to eclectic. I love the pressed glass ones, a slightly more delicate vintage look and the way the light filters though the glass.  Pendents from left to right: Toulon, £70.  Meriden, £90, Petit Paris, £40. Large Fishing, £100, Medium Fishing, £65. all Gardentrading.co.uk
AUTHENTIC SOURCED LIGHTING
Dutch Airfield Landing Lights, £504, Eastern Bloc Pendants, £384, Czech Opaline Pendants, £312, Early English Factory Shades by REVO, £192 , all from Skinflintdesign.co.uk

Dutch Airfield Landing Lights, £504, Eastern Bloc Pendants, £384, Czech Opaline Pendants, £312, Early English Factory Shades by REVO, £192 , all from Skinflintdesign.co.uk

AUTHENTIC SOURCED LIGHTING.   Invest in lights that have a story to tell , these vintage lights, mainly form the 1900’s – 1960’s,  have been sourced from around the UK and across Europe from unusual locations like schools, factories, hospitals and airfields. Saved and then restored to their former glory by talented craftspeople, these original fittings are brought to life and made safe for the modern home. Skinflint Design gives these true one-off pieces a second time to shine. Dutch Airfield Landing Lights, £504, Eastern Bloc Pendants, £384, Czech Opaline Pendants, £312, Early English Factory Shades by REVO, £192 , all from Skinflintdesign.co.uk
SHINE ON

Glass Dome lighting selection from Lumadirect.com

SHINE ON.  I just couldn’t resist showing you these glass dome lights – pendants and table lamps. We all know how fashionable glass domes and cloches are at the moment but these take that trend to the next level.  I love their subtle colour shades of bottle green, ochre and blue. The dimpled ones really do look like vintage glass. The biggest problem here being which one to choose. Selection of Glass Dome lighting, pendants and table lamps, from Lumadirec.com

Feature by Theoda Solms Iles

Photos supplied by companies mentioned.

True Blue Blooms – Friday Flowers

True Blue Blooms to make you smile on this first Friday in February. Purple anemone, blue agapanthus and thistle, gets a highlight of paperwhite narcissi and one giant snowball chrysanthemum, to make the dark hues pop. Don’t you just love the vintage desk and stool, both with a very authentic and rustic paint job, just the way it should be.

True Blue Blooms, purple anemone, blue agapanthus, purple thistle, paperwhite narcissi, snowball chrysanthemum on vintage furniture

True Blue Blooms, purple anemone, blue agapanthus, purple thistle, paperwhite narcissi, snowball chrysanthemum on vintage furniture

True Blue Blooms, purple anemone, blue agapanthus, purple thistle, paperwhite narcissi, snowball chrysanthemum on vintage furniture

Photos and Feature, Theoda Solms Iles

Colour and Style in store at Jonathan Adler

American designer and hottest name in interiors, Jonathan Adler, recently opened his 2nd store in the UK. I first came to know his work though decorative pottery and ceramic pieces. Quirky objects like half peeled bananas, naive styled lions and rather stylish muse-like ladies appearing on vases. Suddenly menagerie became fashionable and brought to the masses by being stocked at places like John Lewis. Just a few years later, and this American Interiors Hero, opens his first store on Sloane Avenue, and with that, creating a real buzz with everyone in the know, gushing about his fabulous style and flair for fun and colourful design. His latest interiors boutique is situated in trendy Notting Hill, west London. Last week I paid this hot spot a visit to see what’s in store at the moment.

Jonathan Adler Notting Hill store

Lover of bold colours, Mr Adler made it ok to add splashes of bold hues throughout the home, start small with colourful accessories. Photo frames and geometric print cushions jazzes up this cream Rutledge sofa. I have always got the feeling that turquoise might be his favourite colour? I’m just guessing here…

 

Jonathan Adler Notting Hill store, canisters on turquoise side table

Don’t you also just love the turquoise upholstered Rococo side table? Never one to shy away from fun, these canisters have become a bit of a trademark, and probably one of the most featured pieces. These ones seen above, are the more PG rated ones, the rest of the collection include holders for all your ‘ingredients’ like Gunja, Poppers, Uppers, Dolls, Prozac and more….

 

Jonathan Adler Notting Hill store

Ice-blue velvet adorn this stylish Lampert sofa, complete with bolsters, buttoned back and seat, I have feeling that this sofa could become my soul mate.

 

Jonathan Adler Notting Hill store

The Rider lounge chair takes inspiration from mid-century California style, the turquoise velvet softens the hard metal elements and makes this the perfect occasional chair.

 

Jonathan Adler Notting Hill store, gold accessories

Jonathan Adler Notting Hill store, gold accessories

Jonathan Adler never seem to shine away from injecting a bit of glam with the use of golden highlights. Here he goes full-on gilded with vases, cushions, side tables and metal lighting, all being treated to the Midas touch.

 

Jonathan Adler Mrs Godfrey chair

More gorgeous accessories to fall in love with. Cushions in neutral tones don’t have to be boring, by sporting a classic Greek-key design and a bright trim, they bring a sophisticated fun factor. The Mrs Godfrey armchair in Brighton clay is lovely and will suit most interior schemes.

 

Jonathan Adler vases and animal objects - dogs and lionThese matt white (and black) decorative objects above, were my first introduction to the Jonathan Adler brand.

 

Jonathan Adler Notting Hill store, sofa, coffee table, cushions, rug, accessories

Mid-century inspired vases and objects; grey pottery comes to life with focal areas in colourful glaze. With this love of two-tone geometric patterns, this rug and throw are key to his style and brings the pale Malibu sofa to life. I love the Scalinatella coffee table, a white marble top held aloft by super sexy golden curves.

 

Jonathan Adler Notting Hill store, sofa, coloured glass bottles

Brand new colourful bottles, delicate and decorative.

 

Jonathan Adler Notting Hill store, sofa, coloured glass bottles

The storefront of Jonathan Adler in Notting Hill, West London.

 

Feature and Photos, Theoda Solms Iles