Time to Gucci your Garden Game

Botanical inspired prints have long been a favourite of mine, but I'm acutely aware of the danger for this trend to slip into twee territory. 

Trust Gucci then to provide me with a masterclass in modern botanicals as I flew past Harrods' window on Saturday, attempting to land my eldest son some new trainers. 

Unable to locate the elusive Office store via Google Maps, George and I were treated to a whistle stop tour of the amazing Gucci Garden window display not once, not twice, but FOUR times. Apologies are due to the many tourists, shoppers and residents around London's most iconic shopping destination, whose toes I stepped on, bags I knocked and heads I bumped as I raced along during our 20-minute shopping window, heavily distracted by Harrods' garden of cultivated couture.

Gucci Garden is designer Alessandro Michele's theme for the 2017 Cruise Collection, inspired by the enchanting Garden of Ninfa, near Rome.  Featuring vibrant florals, logos and symbols of the House, this is botanical beauty as we've never seen it before. Whilst the dreamy dresses aren't exactly something I could rock up wearing on the school run, I'm totally inspired to bring this outdoor theme indoors. My sources tell me a Gucci interiors range is set to launch in September (I KNOW!!!) but in case you can't wait for that or need to nab the look for less, here's some ideas to capture the Gucci Garden getup at home:

1) Creature discomforts

Flamingos and zebras are both animals you can imagine strolling round a Gucci Garden and of course I'm totally on board with that. But all is not rosy here, for this enchanted land has a proverbial sting in its tail. To nail the look, update your creature inspired accessories with venomous snakes, precious bees and vicious wild cats.

L to R: Garden of Eden cushion £164 Roberto Cavalli at Amara, Beautiful bird cushion £32 by May Rose Vintage on Etsy, Leopard lampshade £30 May Rose Vintage as before, Gold bumble bee cushion £35 Perch and Parrow

She is famed for her pets but now Abigail Ahern has added some pests to her latest accessories collection and basically folks, if she says ants are cool, I'm happy for a nest of 'em.  

Gold ants £45  Abigail Ahern

Gold ants £45 Abigail Ahern

2) Walls of wonder

If Gucci has the monopoly on vibrant florals in the fashion world, Designer's Guild has it for interiors. Here are just a few of my favourite bold botanicals that are totally in sync with Alessandro Michele's fashion thinking.

L to R Amrapali Peony, Jardin des Plantes, Canopy and Cristian Lacroix wallpapers, all Designers Guild.

3) Fantastical furniture

Timorous Beasties and Blackpop UK are brands to know for fabulous fabrics that transform traditional furniture into works of art that are anything but twee. It's worth knowing that their websites also have some ready made pieces that rock the Garden of Delights theme too. Look for butterfly and hummingbird motifs to be Gucci symbol savvy.

Random Ruskin Khaki Armchair Timorous Beasties

Random Ruskin Khaki Armchair Timorous Beasties

Vintage sofa by  Blackpop UK

Vintage sofa by Blackpop UK

So getting back to my wild goose chase in search of trainers for my son last Saturday... there was always a fear we'd get lost, being as we're such out of towners and all, but if I can recommend getting lost anywhere, I'd definitely say do it at Harrods ever changing window displays on Brompton Road. Be quick if, like me, your garden game needs Gucci-ing (Totally a thing, trust me).

OH BUT WAIT...

If you enjoyed this post and it provided you with any interior inspiration whatsoever, I would really appreciate your vote in the Amara Interior Blog Awards, please. I'm a bit like a Humming Bird swooping around the Garden of Ninfa in blogging terms come to think of it. I can be quite difficult to spot amongst the bigger species, but I'd like to think I bring something different, and a lot of decadence to the party. Please click here if you can spare one minute to vote for the small bird in the big, enchanting garden!

Many, many thanks.

Claire xx  

 

Six ways to work the Signature Stool

You know it already. House Candy can be anything from a beautiful vintage vase that cost peanuts in a charity shop, to a designer chandelier that swallowed a month's salary.

But can it really be something as simple as a stool?

The luxurious  Lune V stool  and a charity shop upcycled bureau.

The luxurious Lune V stool and a charity shop upcycled bureau.

The answer of course is hell YEAH.  But only if it's a Signature Stool like the stunning Lune V from Open Plan Living. Let my people in Paris explain...

"The signature item is a gift that a woman gives herself depending on her age, her taste and the size of her purse. It is a symbol of independence and freedom, which states, "I bought this for myself, I earned it and it makes me happy." P.31 How to be Parisian Wherever you Are.

The Lune V Stool by Portugese furniture brand Duistt and supplied by Open Plan Living makes me very happy. Nothing could qualify as a greater signature piece based on the above definition because (sorry boys) this one is ALL about me. I secretly saved up the pennies from my sideline copywriting job for this, my first bespoke piece of furniture that wasn't upcycled, and delighted in choosing the exact shade of luxury pink velvet and brushed brass finish. 

Now House Candy at either end of the price scale is likely to cause a stir, sparking such extreme reactions as:

When it's a junk shop find: "What do I want that piece of old crap in my house for?"

or equally...

When it's a designer gem such as this (and especially if one resides in Yorkshire): "Ow much?"

But if we fill our home only with items that avoid heated debate (or indeed a full on row), interior design wouldn't be nearly as much fun, would it? 

Seriously though, even I had some soul searching to do for this one. A sofa maybe, the iconic Egg chair I've been yearning for my entire adult life or a set of vintage Wishbone chairs, these items of course I would happily save up all my wages for. But a stool? FFS.

Here's a close up of it in hot pink (the colour of my cheeks when I was forced to divulge the price to the House Candy husband).

The  Lune V stool  from Open Plan Living

The Lune V stool from Open Plan Living

There are lots of people who wouldn't flinch at spending big on something as small as a signature stool and plenty of interior designers reading this who will have no problem justifying its price tag to discerning clients who demand the highest levels of quality and craftsmanship.

Open Plan Living works with a wealth of clients for whom only the very best will do and prides itself on delivering supreme customer service. But the firm also works with the likes of you and I, who have a much more realistic budget to stick to and yet understand how one or two high end details can transform the whole look of a scheme. For me, this way more European attitude to interior design exemplifies the beauty of the signature stool. 

My house if FULL of junk shop finds that cost peanuts. I wasn't always forced to buy cheap (and in many cases my husband would prefer it if I didn't) but I love their unique-ness and the character they bring to my interior mix. 

However, I am careful not to overdo it. Overdone anything is a bad thing and - just as I love a vintage dress but wouldn't go head to toe vintage - I was conscious my home was becoming too much like a vintage stage set. It needed some added luxe to get the balance back. 

The wonderful buzz you get from buying a designer item comes from knowing you've worked hard for it and in my experience, the designer item is likely to work equally hard for you. This is because you are keen to ensure it is worth its price tag.

My designer stool is working 6 times as hard as a regular stool for exactly this reason. Here's how:

Six ways the signature stool can work wonders

1) Dressing table

Dressing table.JPG

2) Bedroom perch

3) Desk Dolly

4) Extra Dinner Guest

5) Lady in waiting

6) Foot stool

I've come to the conclusion that this pretty pink perch is actually the supermodel of stools. It has the power to make anything look good and can therefore justify its high wages.

In all of the images above, the Lune V stool is teamed with charity shop finds which, you have to agree, notch up a style level once they've acquired some designer luxe. This mix and match approach to decorating means that you can afford to splash out on a seemingly ridiculous signature pieces from time to time because you've saved money elsewhere in the budget by buying second hand. It's the eclectic way and the Parisian way. And whilst it might not be everyone's way, it's most definitely the House Candy way. 

Have you got any signature House Candy? Designer or charity shop? I'd love to know what you think to mine. Please drop me a line in the comments section.

Happy weekend all. Why not treat yourself to a little luxury just for you, even if it's a £5 coffee at a coffee shop instead of the mediocre instant brew you'll make at home. Like I've told you before, you're worth it.

Claire x

 

 

The Candy Files: Summer Black Out

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

This week:

House Candy = Black Ache

New noir love www.contemporist.com

New noir love www.contemporist.com

I'm currently suffering from Black Ache. Key symptoms include mild heart palpitations upon sight of achingly chic black interiors.

As an all-white fanatic, unable to fully convert to the popular dark side, this situation has come as a curve ball. I'm even considering a black kitchen. *Feels faint and requires lie down*  

Black done the Parisian way in this chic apartment featured on French by Design Blog.

Black done the Parisian way in this chic apartment featured on French by Design Blog.

Black kitchen. Image from www.cocolapinedesign.com

Black kitchen. Image from www.cocolapinedesign.com

When did black become so, well, white? So French, so feminine, so darn summery? It's happened with fashion too. 

Black is officially summer appropriate as demonstrated this week by Natalie Portman who has clearly read the memo.

Natalie Portman pictured for Telegraph Fashion at the premiere of her latest film Planetarium in Japan.

Natalie Portman pictured for Telegraph Fashion at the premiere of her latest film Planetarium in Japan.

An all black dress, with long sleeves... in the height of summer? It shouldn't work, but it DOES. This frock would look equally appropriate in October and yet the parasol says hot. And that's the thing that black can do better than white, which convinces me to take the plunge and invest in a black kitchen. It's the colour that simply can't be last season, the colour that never dates, that is eternally chic, forever French and the easiest colour to seasonally accessorise. New Noir? I'm IN.

 

Fine and Candy = Black Brows

I've been Microbladed and my brows are BLACK. In fact they're actually going through the scabby phase over the black brows which is even more scary, should you be considering the same.

The good news is, this phase doesn't last long and once it's over, (just a couple of days I promise) I'll be left with the ideal brush stroke brows, faded to a match-perfect natural shade that I've wanted all my grown up life.

Microblading is described as a permanent make up treatment (it lasts 18 months) which means it is essential that you find an expert therapist who knows their Caras from their Kendals.

I went to The Beauty Works in Mirfield, West Yorkshire where Jo insists on a lengthy colour and shape consultation prior to the actual appointment.  If you've battled with non-descript brow shape all your life and require some sexy definition (but you too are scared of the word tattoo) Microblading is the way to go. Go google!

 

Candy Pandy = Black Sheep

Oh Instafam, I love you, I do. But sometimes I feel like the black sheep of the flock - the one following the wrong bloody hashtag!

I mean, by the time I've figured our who to tag, who to follow and what theme we're on this week, the kids have missed their tea and I've missed the deadline. I'm the saddo still stressing over enviable entrance halls when everyone has moved on to fab fireplaces. Any chance I can pay someone to tip me off? There must be a black market for this sort of thing? Please message me if you know someone, who knows someone in the know! #help #hastaghell #latetotheparty

Happy weekend all, thanks for bearing with me through shockingly bad wi-fi issues here at the seaside. Normal service is due to resume next week with some exciting deliveries at House Candy HQ. Watch this space!

 Claire x

When Beer Drinking Got Beautiful (& the only thing your fella really wants for Father's Day)

Go on, admit it. The Paul Smith socks, the All Saints t-shirt, the retro vinyl... they're the kind of Father's day gifts you'd like your other half to have on his Father's Day gift list. Truth is, a lie in, a pub lunch (preferably one with a kid friendly beer garden) and a stash of rare craft beers.... THAT is the way to Pappa's heart people. And I think secretly, you know it.

The Vintage Beer sign that's heading for the soon to be fully stocked House Candy Man Cave

The Vintage Beer sign that's heading for the soon to be fully stocked House Candy Man Cave

One thing you might not know however, is the new movement afoot in the beer scene. Beer drinking is cool again. Of course I'm not talking about supping a four pack of Heineken from the corner shop on cards night. I'm talking about the Craft Beer Revolution that has seen the birth of passionate independent breweries, lovingly producing speciality ales in cool cans worth collecting. The Dad's (all of them) are mad for it.    

The Canny packaging that has made beer drinking cool again. Image from  Crafty Beer Cans

The Canny packaging that has made beer drinking cool again. Image from Crafty Beer Cans

Craft ale is about experimentation, exploration and education in that most basic of manly pleasures; beer drinking. It's not beer snobbery, oh no! These fellas enjoy an ice cold San Miguel with the best of 'em. But they've been there, done that and bought the stag do t-shirt. They're ready to broaden their beer drinking horizons and okay - they want to be able to hold their own in the current hot topic of barbecue season. 

If you're still finding it hard to understand, think of it this way; To most blokes, opening the fridge to a neatly stacked array of rare world beers, is akin to you browsing Sarah Jessica Parker's shoe cupboard. Choice is the ultimate luxury.

Father's Day #BeerGoals by  Crafty Beer Cans

Father's Day #BeerGoals by Crafty Beer Cans

So where do we start in fulfilling the desires of a new age craft beer connoisseur? To get it bang on, I advise specialist help in the form of brand new online craft ale supplier, Crafty Beer Cans.

Cans are the future you see. Bottles are a bit passe, wheras cans allow for better flavour, colder beer and cooler packaging.

Crafty Beer Cans specialise in carefully selected mixed cases, put together by a small team of beer obsessives whose dream it is to fill finer fridges. Here you can be guaranteed of the latest launches and coolest cans to put a twinkle in daddy's eye come next Sunday (or any Sunday come to think of it). What's more they offer free, speedy delivery with each case, a special Father's Day 12 can selection pack and a £5 off offer code* until midnight on Wednesday 14th June. 

Father's Day 12 pack £34.95  Crafty Beer Cans

Father's Day 12 pack £34.95 Crafty Beer Cans

And if you really want to earn your perfect partner stripes, why not enrol the man in your life in Can Club, where he'll be among the first to learn about new beers, new breweries and inside recommendations.

Girls, we need to embrace this movement. The boys have taken off their beer goggles, and got themselves #BeerGoals. This is progress for their species  - and about as much sophistication as I can hope for since my other half announced he was turning the cellar into a man cave. Sigh.

So put your glamorous Gin drinking on hold (at least until next Sunday) It's time to get the beers in.

Cheers! 

Claire x

Roll out the Barrel

Click these links to join the craft beer revolution and follow the the Crafty Beer Cans journey on Instagram Twitter and Facebook

*Enter the code FATHERSDAY5 at checkout to receive £5 off before this Wednesday 14th June.

One chic coffee table, three canny style tools

A well styled coffee table can be a game changer. I recently took delivery of the Athena* coffee table from Swoon Editions which, let's face it, doesn't need much help to look its best. What with its white circular marble top and modernist black metal legs, Athena has got all its beauty bases covered. 

88athena_coffee_desktop.jpg

But not all coffee tables are this blessed. In fact, until now I've mostly got mine from charity shops and flea markets and they have required a little more help in the looks department.  

Over the years I've learnt to employ a couple of basic styling techniques which can really up the ante of a coffee table. With these inexpensive style tools in your accessories arsenal, you'll have everything you need to take a coffee table from functional to fabulous - whether its a Swoon Editions stunner, or a junk store gem.

tabletop.JPG

1) Vintage vases

Today I noticed the flowers were on their way out. I always spare a few quid for supermarket flowers with each weekly shop, but they have to work hard for their dollar. They may start off as a lush full bunch in a nice vase (you know my faves if you follow my Instagram account; the pink bubble glass one, the fake Zambesi one)... but as the week wears on and things start to droop a little, the flowers get split up and chopped down.

Here's where having a couple of smaller vintage vases comes in useful. You can cut the stems short and let whatever is left of the blooms have one last hurrah. You get at least another couple of days out of your flowers and a fresh new look for your coffee table.

I also have a ton of cheap-as-chips stem vases in my flower vessel armoury. Many are old glass bottles with pretty decorative patterns, which I often team with a smaller vase, but can be simply lovely all on their own.

2) Book club

We know books aren't just for reading don't we? I mean, enjoy them by all means, but just promise not to let the fun end with the afterword. After they've enriched your soul, it's time for them to enrich your coffee table.

Even just a couple of books to stack on top of one another is a way cooler way of displaying flowers, an ornament, or a candle even, than just plonking that item on the table itself. Honestly, once you're into this vibe, stuff placed directly onto a table top will really start to bug you. 

You'll need all shapes and sizes of books to fulfil your different stacking and styling needs. Strip them of their paper cover if it's a bit naff and get down to the naked spine. Battered vintage books are a great look of course, but I tend to use whatever is lying around. Too many times we've lost a school library book, only for it to be found under a vase of freesias a week and a book fine later. 

Your coffee table will thank you for this small book of photographs by Martin Parr, which is just brilliant with our without the addition of flowers. 

Martin Parr  photography book £8.95 Amazon

Martin Parr photography book £8.95 Amazon

3) Kudos Coasters

The one thing you DON'T want on your coffee table is a mug stain. But truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of coasters either. In fact I'm a bit of a coaster snob. I have vintage silver ones that come in their own little stacking holder. They're always knocking about in charity shops and flea markets and they do the practical/ pretty job really quite well.

That said, if I was getting married again and putting a gift list together... or just feeling flush, there are some pretty lush coasters around that make serious coffee table eye candy.  Amara has this game covered of course. Head straight to their website for coasters with a ton of extra style kudos. There's a few of my faves from their collection below. All www.amaraliving.com

So what's on your coffee table? A half eaten Snickers, last season's Next catalogue and a broken phone charger? Maybe it's time you got your kit together? Let me know your thoughts.

Claire x

*Sadly the circular Athena table is no longer available. Click here for the rectangular version or visit www.swooneditions.com to shop more marble top lovelies

 

 

The Candy Files - Slogan or Slo-gone?

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

House Candy = Pillow Talk

Cushion £14.20  www.redbubble.com

Cushion £14.20 www.redbubble.com

Let's be frank, overtly smug messaging on homewares can grate a little, but overall, I'm a fan.

In fact, my latest attempt to wear my heart on my cushion has transformed my very grown up sofa situ into something a little more light hearted. 

Good Vibes cushion £35  www.urbanoutfitters.com

Good Vibes cushion £35 www.urbanoutfitters.com

"Good Vibes" -  So chilled, so roll-with-it, so Urban Outfitters as it happens; a brand which I've never known to be anything other than thoroughly on-trend. So it stunned me slightly to find that this month Elle Decoration declared the war with words officially over via its style barometer. 

Good Vibes are not the only vibes I've been flaunting around my gaff either. I've also been keen to remind my beloved fellow housemates to:

Love...

Honour...

and Obey...

So does Elle Decoration spell silence for the sofas? Should we wave bye-bye to wisdom on our walls? And heaven forbid no more subliminal notes in neon? I for one will fight for freedom of interior speech with my last breath. And maybe with one last cushion:

Cushion £14  www.redbubble.com

Cushion £14 www.redbubble.com

Fine & Candy = Fashion Statement 

Good Mood T Shirt Zadig et Voltaire

Good Mood T Shirt Zadig et Voltaire

This week I did my first #OOTD on Instagram and this t-shirt is to blame. Yep, not content with sharing my considered opinion in blog form, here I am preaching to the world via the bourgeoise medium of designer t-shirt. So troll me! You're right after all, it's only one snooty step away from declaring the end of the world is nigh via a sandwich board outside HSBC, but y'know... all in the name of fashion...

Candy Pandy = Tongue on Cheek

Peachy tattoo via http://www.pinterest.com/slufoot/

Peachy tattoo via http://www.pinterest.com/slufoot/

Don't get me wrong, I totally would if I could. Fact is, the dimples may detract from the sentiment and I hate for a pertinent message to um, sag. Don't you? 

Keep spreading the word people. Whatever medium you choose, say it loud, say it proud and (for max respect), say it stylishly. Please share this post if you too are a bit gobby in your gaff. 

Claire xx

IF the teenagers come to tea

Yesterday I became a Teen Mom (as in a mom of a teenager). I'm using the American spelling because that seems to be the preferred tongue these days. Examples:

Following a sudden rise in my temper, "Things sure do get heated 'round here."

Following everything the younger brother ever says, "Shattap."

For me, hardcore parenting starts here. I now realise everything else was just a warm up. Yesterday I rolled up my sleeves for the nitty gritty, hands dirty, stinky, sweaty, armpit of the job. But I'm prepared. I'm armed with two classic pieces of literature that teach me and my son everything we need to know about the turbulent years ahead. 

The first is my favourite poem IF by Rudyard Kipling, which we all know and love, don't we? And which, framed and arranged in such a teenage friendly manner makes a very stylish dig at their dwindling morals. It's also a great feel-good gift to give, right after he's unwrapped the latest edition of Grand Theft Auto. 

IF Print £12  Not On The Highstreet

IF Print £12 Not On The Highstreet

The second piece of prose I will be referencing regularly throughout the next five years, was wrapped and sent to me by my son's Godmother; my best friend from school who is also a mother of sons and herself fast approaching the third trimester of parenting. (Following baby phase and fun phase in case you were wondering).

The teenager who came to tea  £7.99 Amazon

The teenager who came to tea £7.99 Amazon

The Teenager who came to Tea, a parody of course of the classic Tiger who came to Tea is our survival guide Teen Moms.

We must roll with the hormonal surges. We must make sarcasm our friend. We must spare a thought for the vulnerable younger siblings and we MUST stock up on frozen chips. 

In fact, I loved this book so much I feel inspired to leave you with my own parody following a successful first multi-teen sleepover last night. It goes like this...

IF you can fill the fridge within 60 seconds of coke gone,

Yours is the Earth, and everything that's in it

And what is more, you'll make a great TEEN MOM. 

Are you a Teen Mom? Can you offer me any pearls of wisdom? I'm all ears, please get in touch via the comments section. What's that... it's hell you say? "Shattapp".

Claire xx 

 

 

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

 

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