The print with natural pulling power

There's a little bit of punk and a little bit of Pollock in my latest vintage upcycle. There's also a hint of my son's reception class art apron when it came home for its first term's wash.

The vibrant, paint splattered pattern of Earthed Fabric's Osmosis print is my favourite of the nature inspired Upperlands collection, mainly because it has unexpectedly pulled my eclectic interior decor scheme together. 

I needed a fabric to work hard for the sixties dining chairs that came to me en-route to the skip (above). They're not classics, but have sleek modernist shape. They are also light and amazingly comfy - perfect for moving from room to room as the need for extra seating is required. But choosing a fabric was proving difficult as I searched for a colour that would work in different rooms and for various situations.

Osmosis in Self Heal combines splashes of my favourite brights, yet combines sweeter blush tones on a rich purple background. It makes for a riotous mix, designed to invoke positivity, passion and wellbeing. 

So far (and they only arrived on Monday) those qualities have rocked my white dining room, complimented bold accent colours in my kitchen and nurtured a hip, artistic vibe throughout my whole interior aesthetic. 

The vintage chairs that had to work hard AND look nice!

The vintage chairs that had to work hard AND look nice!

For a pair of chairs that were heading for landfil, that makes for one impressive comeback. They not only look good, but the luxury Irish linen gives them a high quality, individual finish that feels super expensive and translates easily from a laid back to a formal setting.

The entire Upperlands collection reflects the rich and abundant mix of colours found in that one big paint splattered canvas we all call nature. If you're looking for a fabric to bring cohesion to your chaos, these are the prints with natural pulling power. Explore the full range here: http://earthedbywmclark.co.uk/collection/the-upperlands/

Bolster cushions made from Osmosis in Self Heal by Earthed Fabrics.

Bolster cushions made from Osmosis in Self Heal by Earthed Fabrics.

What do you think to my latest upholstery updates? Do you love pattern or shy away from prints? Are you good at sticking to one colour scheme or have things gone a bit, um, artistic of late? I would love to know your thoughts, please drop me a line in the comments section, it would be so cool to connect.

Claire x

The Candy Files: It's hip to be happy

What's hot, what's not and what's what at my place.

This Week:

House Candy = Happy Hues

Since I fell in love with this bright yellow SMEG fridge my white kitchen feels like a boiled egg without the yolk. 

Yellow SMEG refrigerator £993 John Lewis

Yellow SMEG refrigerator £993 John Lewis

Encounters with the fridge are rarely happy ones in my house. Unless I open the door to find someone has stocked the whole thing with Pino Grigio, its contents are unlikely to raise a smile. And as it's built into the plain white kitchen units, it's not that exciting on the outside either. 

This fridge will change all that. This fridge is sunshine on a rainy day, a bunch of daffs in the fist of a five year old, a slice of lemon in a G&T.  This fridge is a happy fridge, FACT. 

Fine and Candy = Happy Muse

Fearne Cotton: A model, a baker, a happiness maker

Fearne Cotton: A model, a baker, a happiness maker

Fearne Cotton is one happy lady. She's a happy mum, happy wife, happy cook, happy celebrity and all-round happy business woman. But before you happily bop her on her contented little nose, know this: Fearne has her down days too. In fact, Fearne had so many down days, all back to back in a well hidden period of anxiety and depression, that she has written a book about her experiences and those of her friends; encouraging us to let go of perfection and find happiness in the simplest of everyday situations.

As a big Fearne fan (girl crush aside, her Cook Happy, Cook Healthy book has totally changed my relationship with food) I bought her self-help book Happy out of curiosity more than anything else. And do you know what? I'm happy I did. 

Happy by Fearne Cotton £6.99 Amazon

Happy by Fearne Cotton £6.99 Amazon

 

Candy Pandy = Happy Ruse

The thing not to do is to pretend to be happy when you're really NOT.

If you're feeling like you need to permanently fake a smile and it's all getting too much, then Ruby Wax has a message for you. "It's OK not to be OK" is the strap-line to her brilliant Frazzled Cafe drop in centres, currently running in London and soon to be rolled out at selected locations throughout the UK.  If you think you will benefit from a safe, anonymous and non-judgemental place to talk, or just to meet other fellow frazzlers (4 in 4 of us feel overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life)* register your interest to attend a local talk-in centre here

Well that's my head straightened out. Last week's atrocities in London still make me sad to the core but we can't let them win now, can we? 

Claire xx

*That'll be all of us then. Stat from www.frazzledcafe.org

 

The hot pink chair you can't wait 'til its warm for

"Oh Henry isn't it horrid when you're hot and in a hurry and you have to hold your hat on with your hand."
Henry Holland's second interiors range for Habitat is pure bounce-on-the-bed happiness

Henry Holland's second interiors range for Habitat is pure bounce-on-the-bed happiness

You better get practicing your aitches because there's a hot new homewares range to get your hands on thanks to Henry Holland's latest hook up with Habitat.

If the ads for the latest House of Holland x Habitat collection are anything to go by, Henry is the burst of vibrant energy we all need in our lives on a wet and windy Monday. Thankfully he seems to have translated his sense of fun and adventure into a bright, summer homewares collection that has the power to instantly lift your interior mood, whatever the weather.

Funky florals fire up the tempo of kitsch black and white gingham in a banging range inspired by the colourful world of Romany travellers.  

Beautiful bedding will instantly update a room in the same way that a high street fashion splurge can have you feeling fresh and young again. There's a matching rug that can't fail to fire up any failing floor situation and who doesn't love a statement cushion for a cheap and cheery transformation? But there's one piece from the collection that I think is less of a seasonal pick-me-up and more of a future classic. 

Henry has waved his happy wand over Habitat's Misty armchair and it is now available in limited edition hot pink velvet with contrast navy blue piping.

Misty's splayed black legs and curvaceous seat give it mid century class, whilst the navy piping curbs just enough of the hot pink girliness to give it rock star edge.

As you will know from my Instagram feed (and click HERE if you don't) I'm a huge fan of bright neon colour pops however traditional the contrast may be. Brights are a basic for me. I need them to supercharge the atmosphere with fun and happiness and if I'm bored with how a room looks, the first thing I do is add a Splat or a Zing or a Let's-'Ave-It of bright banging colour. If I'm in need of a super quick fix, a bunch of neon pink roses usually does the trick, but for long term perkiness, this eye poppingly perfect statement chair is hard to beat.

You can try before you buy by visiting the ingenious Henry Holland x Habitat suite at The Hoxton which is decked out in full on triple H happy vibes. But HURRY, it's only on until the end of March, which means there really is only one word to finish off this post.

HELP!

Be free to roam the Henry Holland x Habitat suite at London's Hoxton Hotel

Be free to roam the Henry Holland x Habitat suite at London's Hoxton Hotel

What do you think of the Henry Holland x Habitat range? I'd be so happy to hear from you HERE ;-)

Claire x

Perk up your poky hall with £31 pounds

I'm in limbo. I hate my poky entrance hallway (again) and yet I've been told it's likely to be next year until the builders can fit me in for my big renovation plan. I need a cheap solution to perk things up and see me through just one more summer.

It's a big ask for a small carpet and yet I've convinced myself that a super colourful hall runner is the answer to my prayers. 

Pink to make the hall wink. Image from RugPal.com

Pink to make the hall wink. Image from RugPal.com

As this is a temporary measure, I'm on a particularly tight budget. In fact, it needs to cost less than the pair of blush pink leather brogues I've been eyeing up to bridge that other annoying time lapse until the warmer weather arrives. 

Knox nude flatform brogues £110 Kurt Geiger

Knox nude flatform brogues £110 Kurt Geiger

I know, I know and thank you for your concern. It's a sad day when a woman must forfeit her footwear for her floor. But sometimes we homeowners have to take one for the team, don't we? Unless of course, we can find exactly what we are looking for, for such an bargainous sum that there are still plenty of pennies left in the shoe fund. Now that would be clever.

Oh Hello Petal

Stina runner. £31.50 Urban Outfitters

Stina runner. £31.50 Urban Outfitters

This Stina floral runner is a measley £31.50 now that Urban Outfitters have been kind enough to slash the price. Faded out florals give it a lovely vintagey look that is so feminine it might just detract from the aroma of sweaty trainers wafting from the shoe cupboard. It is lightweight and cotton which means I'll chance it on a cool wash once in a while and ... wait a second... blow me if it doesn't go perfectly with those blush pink brogues. 'Cos we all match our shoes to our hall runners, right?

In my book there's nothing like a dash of pink to pretty things up a little. Call back soon to see if it does the trick.

Happy Monday all. If I can help perk up your week and address any niggly interior woes, please drop me a line in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.

Claire xx

 

 

The Candy Files: International Women's Day Wisdom

What's hot, what's not and what's what at my place.  

This week

House Candy = International Women's Day Wooping

Woop Woop. My blog just got saved by a friend. A fellow female blogger on the other side of the world (one I'm desperate to meet and scheme out an awesome new business idea with) caught me as I was falling. She stood me back on my feet and without even knowing it, she sent me back out here to spank my #Girlboss goals. Jill, of the beautiful Needs More Cushions blog, I am forever in your debt.

Girls, today we've got some celebrating to do. As a squad we are smashing through every glass ceiling on the planet. In this country alone the top 5 jobs are held by women. In case you didn't already know it, we women kick ass.

Today people are taking to their platforms to pat each other on the back and I want to join in the party, all be it a rushed attempt between school runs and football practice. But I know you'll understand. So...

Happy International Women's Day to every awesome, inspiring, multi-talented, high-achieving, smug faced (did I say that?) sass-on-legs lady I know. And also those I don't. 

And if you are not feeling any of those Woop-Woop-For-Being-A-Woman vibes today then babe, you need to read on.

Fine and Candy = International Women's Day Wobble

Thank you @Zeenews for showing us how to have a breakdown and still look #bae.

Thank you @Zeenews for showing us how to have a breakdown and still look #bae.

Trust me to choose International Women's Day to have a meltdown. It's so typical that on the very day when I'm supposed to feel empowered and fearless I go and let life push me over. It's nothing major, I'm being dramatic, I know (another thing we women boss at) but for an hour or so today all the plates I was spinning got dropped, all the goals seemed impossible, even the ironing basket got me down and trust me when I tell you, I'm not one to let a 3ft pile of laundry get in the way of a good day.

I couldn't even blame all the men in my life for my problems, hard as I tried. It wasn't their fault they were so lazy/disorganised/needy/selfish and therefore eating into my precious time. My youngest son's dodgy kidney wasn't helping the situation, but lots of stronger mothers have dealt with much worse. 

And yet I was ready to chuck in the towel. This despite the barrage of empowering International Women's Day messages I was receiving on socials (thank you gang) and the ironic standard fist pumps I was handing out in return.

Today I experienced what I now recognise as a classic International Women's Day Wobble. (IWDW) And ladies it's fine. It's part of the deal we signed up to when we agreed to be female and awesome. Some days we doubt ourselves beyond belief. Some days we compare ourselves to others and decide we're not good enough. Some days we just need Gin. Wobbles are okay ladies, but as my new fitness Whatsapp group tells me several million times a day, muscle is better. 

Candy Pandy = International Women's Day Weakness

Image (but not attitude) property of Queen Beyonce Knowles

Image (but not attitude) property of Queen Beyonce Knowles

"Okay ladies let's get in formation."

I bet even Beyonce needs reminding she's awesome once in a while. She has fat arse days like the rest of us doesn't she? The difference is she's got a 60million strong girl squad (including Adele) ready to catch her when she falls. 

Girls... mothers... fellow bloggers... interior obsessives... I want us to be there for each other too. Let's connect and build a stronger community that can seriously kick ass. Let's help each other to achieve our dreams. Let's big up each other's strengths so that when all we see is our own weaknesses, we're not tempted to throw in the towel. 

All that I ask is that you share this post with another woman today. Pass on a fist pump from me (a genuine one) and remind them that they are pretty f**king amazing in their own unique way. 

Happy International Women's Day. You bad bitches rock and don't you forget it. 

Claire xx

Why nature is your best neutral

I know you love palm prints and pineapples, so do I. I'll never tire of leopard print and I'm still saving up for a giant cactus in the hall. But guys, I live in suburban West Yorkshire. The nearest I've been to the jungle is the tropical butterfly house at Roundhay Park... in fact I'm thinking of taking the kids there after school, just so we can get warm. 

When it comes to decorating, why is it that we're obsessed with exotic representations of the living world and not what's on our doorstep? I wonder if anyone reading this in Chile could tell me... are you into our English wood pigeons the way that we dig your flamingos?  

It comforts me that there's a new interiors trend emerging that feels a lot closer to home. Nature is always in fashion, obviously, but the new colours and prints of the season show a migration towards the Northern hemisphere, where a love affair with our temperate climate is finally blossoming. Subtle colours and gentle patterns have the ability to blend into an existing scheme without overpowering it. They are neutral, but not as we know it.

My "Trad meets Rad" Parker Knoll x Upperlands makeover.

My "Trad meets Rad" Parker Knoll x Upperlands makeover.

Dusky Florals, Spring Greens and Ocean Sprays are just three of Elle Decoration's 7 Big Decorating trends in its April issue out this week, proving that Nature is King where cool interiors are concerned. Prints are also big news, as is a renewed appreciation of artisanal products, hand made using traditional methods and created out of love.

Having taken note of all these tick boxes since the Spring/Summer 17 interior trends emerged, it struck me that Earthed Fabric's new Upperlands collection, ordered for a recent chair upcycle, was more than just a fab new range of pretty patterns.

Upperlands is a range of Irish linens inspired by the water that has served the William Clark fabric house for over three centuries and naturally evolved its landscape. The designs explore how early pioneers of technology at Clark’s harnessed water to drive their industry. The patterns, which include the industrial connotations of Revolution, turbulent Osmosis and the vibrant Torrent designs (see the full range below) are all available in colour palettes specially designed to evoke positive emotions, for what the company calls a contemporary twist on traditional Irish linen. 

There's a lot for me to love here. As you know I've been banging on about colour chakras for some time (Honestly, I'm actually writing this whilst fiddling with my magic blue and yellow crystals). I'm ALL about the power of positivity and will indulge in it in any form I can; be it food, art, literature and yes, even furniture.

"It was fine before she painted the bloody legs yellow." Vintage Parker Knoll upholstered in Faded Grandeur from the Upperlands collection by Earthed. Legs in Farrow and Ball Yellow Cake.

"It was fine before she painted the bloody legs yellow."

Vintage Parker Knoll upholstered in Faded Grandeur from the Upperlands collection by Earthed. Legs in Farrow and Ball Yellow Cake.

I salvaged this old Parker Knoll from a house clearance with only a modest layer of 50+ year old foam covering its bones. It makes me so happy to see it now looking majestic in Faded Grandeur from the high quality Upperlands linen range and rocking those funky Farrow and Ball Yellow Cake legs like a proper little groover. It's a combo I named 'Trad meets Rad' over on Instagram - and one that certainly matches Earthed's vision for a contemporary twist on tradition.

So I love the feel good factor of this range and the holistic element to its beautiful colourways. I love the reference to nature and the artistic edge that sets these designs apart from more graphic prints on the market. The traditionalist in me loves that the William Clark artisans have been producing linen more or less the same way for 300 years; linen that has no doubt covered countless Parker Knolls... And the fashionable interior nut in me loves the fact that due to the random style of the print, my re-loved Parker Knoll is not only totally and utterly unique but bang on trend too. 

So yes to palm prints and flamingos, pineapples and parrots. Why the hell not I say. But I'm giddy as an English garden sparrow on the first day of Spring that nature as we know it is currently the coolest neutral known to man and beast. (Well at least for this season anyway). Click here to get the luck of the Irish waters flowing through your home so that you too can wallow in:

a) The incredible and highly infectious power of natural positivity

and

b) The knowledge that you are one hell of an on-trend home maker. 

So what do you think? Can you embrace nature in your curtains or will you be taking more of a scatter cushion approach? What do you think of my upcycle? It's not everyone's cup of tea but there's been a whole lot of love for it on the socials. I'd absolutely love for you to drop me a comment here if you can. I've got another couple of vintage chair transformations in the pipeline that are totally worth looking out for. Please do pop back for a nosey.

Have a great weekend all.

Claire

xx

Why I'm checking in at Hotel House Candy

If the girl can't go to the swanky hotel, the swanky hotel must go to the girl. 

I love a hotel break. I love the whole checking in bit and counting down the door numbers to find my room. I love cocktails in the hotel bar and night caps from the mini bar. I love the free shampoos and the pillow menus (yes, I'm that posh). I love room service and breakfast on a tray with a side order of crisp newspaper. I love the fresh sheets, the fluffy towels and the manly robes. I love people watching and guessing whose having an affair with the hunky night porter. No way does that only happen on telly.

I totally get why Marilyn Monroe took a suite at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel instead of fending for herself and reckon if I was a millionaire spinster I'd do the same.

Thing is, I'm not.

In fact, I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that most days it feels like I'm the one running the B&B. More of a Fawlty Towers experience I admit, but with evening meal, laundry service and personal chauffeur thrown into the FREE room rate, I've yet to receive a formal complaint.

So I'm not quite sure whether it was the wannabe hollywood movie star in me, or the frustrated housekeeper that could not resist these burnished gold, mirrored letters at the flea market this week. They still have some LED strip lighting in them and I'm hoping to resurrect them to make a full on light-up sign. The question is for where?... The penthouse suite? The Lobby? The private members bar? A swish new bathroom complete with chandelier over the bath? 

I'm open to suggestions. Please do let me know what you think in the comments section. Meanwhile, there's the toilet paper corners to fold so I must dash.  

Claire xx

PS If you enjoyed your visit please help spread the love by giving this post a quick share on any of the socials whilst I get happy hour started in the bar. Nuts are complimentary :)

Original WAG = Serious SWAG: My Tina and Bobby crush crescendos

I haven't experienced WAG envy on this scale since Victoria Beckham's Team Baden-Baden taught the world a lesson in girl squad manners back in 2006.

Michelle Keegan's portrayal of Tina Moore (wife of World Cup '66 hero Bobby) in the ITV series Tina and Bobby has stirred something inside. Not just Inside my heart, not even limited to inside my wardrobe, but inside my entire home. I want a bit of that late sixties/early seventies WAG (SWAG as it now needs to be known) at House Candy HQ and I'm turning to the celebrated retro-glam interior designer David Hicks for inspo. 

A classic David Hicks designed living space

A classic David Hicks designed living space

Contrasting textures define Hicks' style, with deep shag pile carpets balancing out the shiny surfaces and angular shapes of furniture typical of this era. Orangey browns and rusty red leathers that remind me (in a good way) of Starsky and Hutch are punctuated with pops of glossy turquoise. Leafy house plants, low hung, slightly random wall art and patterned curtains rock a retro vibe that my sources tell me is set to make a significant comeback this year. 

And it is this kind of SWAG - a retro & therefore infinitely cooler version of today's luxed up footballer's wife style, that we were invited to swoon over in Tina and Bobby.  In particular, it was their last marital home, the dream 70s open plan new build that made me long for life back when there were only 3 TV channels, telephones were attached to curly wires and it was the done thing to barbeque in 6 inch platform knee boots. 

Here's some ideas I'm considering to help me bring a bit of retro-glam SWAG to my pad:

1) Cladding

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

I'm thinking of putting the flooring up the wall when/if the kitchen extension ever happens (unlike Tina and Bobby, we're having to save up see). The ceilings will be lower there and the modern contrast will create a cool kind of cosiness in an otherwise featureless new-build area.

2) Contrast Piping

Image from Elizabeth Horlemann

Image from Elizabeth Horlemann

I've been hunting for the perfect low, boxy sofa for some time and having failed to find it, I've decided instead to get my 11 year old Habitat Sydney sofa recovered in velvet and add some contrast piping. Tina and Bobby had a similar look in the TV series, complete with fringing which I'm also absolutely mad for, but am saving for another project. See below.

3) Fringing

I fancy a day bed. Welllllll, it's the perfect place for a SWAG to get her pedicure done and with this fringing no one will ever know that I'm way too posh to hoover under the furniture.

3) Kitchen Hatch

OK so this probably won't happen, but I SO like the idea of decanting my M&S ready meals in the privacy of the kitchen then serving them to an adoring dinner party without them ever needing to know the secret behind my Chicken Chasseur.

4) Flos IC lighting

Flos IC Ceiling light in Brass £364 www.amara.com

Flos IC Ceiling light in Brass £364 www.amara.com

If Flos IC lighting were a celebrity, I'd be its stalker. Ball shaped pendant lights were big in the 70s but can somebody tell me in what era these simple, elegant yet not at all ostentatious beauties would look out of place, because I can't think of any. 

Here Flos look stunning in a period panelled setting, an image I've been staring at for far too long already today. These babies are earmarked for my hallway and that's a fact. 

So Tina, you can keep the diamond rings. I'm not fussed for the fancy cars and as for the wealthy, good looking football hero of a husband... pah! what a let down he turned out to be. But I do like your retro WAGishness lady. I love your bo-ho dresses and since adopting your beehive, my fine hair has a whole new lease of life. I love your SWAG Tina Moore (or at least I love Michelle Keegan's version of your SWAG) And I'd LOVE for you to bob round to my place for Babychams so we can talk the Dralon and tassles off each other.

Claire x

Unless stated, images are pinched from Pinterest where incidentally I'm collecting 70s interiors images like WAGS collect collagen. Follow me here for inspo.