Holy Faux-liage - why I worship at the altar of artificial plants

I don't normally advocate faking it. Preserve what you've got is my motto. But try as I might, there are some things I fail to keep looking perky and pot plants are one of them.

Faux-liage is the answer to my green-fingered prayers. Hallelujia! then for Abigail Ahern the patron saint of succulents, who has blessed us with her fabulous faux florists, at Heals on the ground floor of Yorkshire interiors heaven Redbrick.

If ever there was a more beautiful display of plastic products, I'd like to see it. 

Abigail Ahern's faux flower shop at Heals in Redbrick, near Leeds.

Abigail Ahern's faux flower shop at Heals in Redbrick, near Leeds.

You might be fooled into thinking into thinking these stunning plants and flowers are real, but please don't be fooled into thinking AA fauxs are extortionately priced. OK, so a Hydreangea stem will set you back £12.50.

A pretty pale pink Rannuculous is £5.50

A simple burgundy cow parsley spray is £6

You're looking at around £40 for enough stems to make a statement vase, not cheap, I get that, but what you need to remember is that this is the bunch of flowers that keeps on giving. Week after week, month after month, year after year. Anniversary after anniversary... ahem, it's this week, love (winky face) 

Fauxs actually make excellent plant maths, so as one by one my disastrous attempts at home grown greenery depart this world, I am just going to replace them with perma-plants instead. I mean, I've got enough mouths to feed. I'm over it.

Goldenball cactus from £60

Goldenball cactus from £60

Large Yuha Cactus £145

Large Yuha Cactus £145

Staghorn plat £70

Staghorn plat £70

String of Pearls £50

String of Pearls £50

From lush trailing ferns, to the coolest kingsize cacti, these are the fakes to bring a room scheme to life. Ironic when you put it like that isn't it?

But hey, you can't just take my word for it. Like all the best fake jobs, you need to have a good look and see if they really do pass as the real thing first. Then go on, cop a feel. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Don't worry, Heals won't mind you fondling their foliage one little bit.

Here's where to get your hands on these fabulous fauxs, whilst also taking in the best interior design destination in the North of England, home to over 40 top brands and innovative retailers.

Redbrick  is situated in Batley, on the outskirts of Leeds.  Click here for directions.

Redbrick is situated in Batley, on the outskirts of Leeds. Click here for directions.

Happy Monday all. my advice to get you through the week? Go buy yourself flowers of course!

Please get in touch, I'd love to hear from you and will gladly accept any floral deliveries also (joke) Leave a comment below and stalk me on social media... stalks... flowers... get it? Sorry, I'll go now, before you tell me where to shove my Tule Cactus. 

Faux Tule Cactus £65  Abigail Ahern

Faux Tule Cactus £65 Abigail Ahern

Claire x

 

 

 

I woke up like this - The bang tidy, untidy bed update you need to nail

Hey, it's Humpday and we're all busy racing to get to the end of the week, so today I've got a timesaver for you.

Don't bother making the bed.

Seriously, it might upset your mum, but believe me it's far more "magazine" to leave your bed a bit dishelved these days. It's also a total winner because it gives you an extra 5 minutes actually in it.

I'm particularly loving this pretty unkept situation and wondering how I can pull it off ... and then pull it over me for the whole entire winter.

Gorgeous pink and yellow bedding goals from Design Love Fest on Pinterest

Gorgeous pink and yellow bedding goals from Design Love Fest on Pinterest

Here's what I found. You can keep your bedding all plain and white (fresh white sheets don't you just love 'em?) but you need to cover all that cleanliness up with a sweet as sugar bed throw and a couple of stylish cushions, okay?

As you know, I'm OBSESSED with pink *officially no longer a girls' colour btw* and the silky quilted throw above is giving me serious come to bed eyes. Whilst I haven't yet come across this exact one, I've found some similar options that would pretty much do the job.

Pale pink Rosha John Rosha throw, £100  Debenhams

Pale pink Rosha John Rosha throw, £100 Debenhams

Floral and diamond patterned cushion covers and throws £22.99 - £119  Zara Home

Floral and diamond patterned cushion covers and throws £22.99 - £119 Zara Home

Then for the cushions. Big squishy ones if poss. I'm mad for this sulphur yellow colour which looks amazing with baby pink and also makes the whole look nicely autumnal. Never a bad thing. 

Sulphur plain velvet cushion, £25 John Lewis

Sulphur plain velvet cushion, £25 John Lewis

And that's it. Looks as good first thing in the morning as it does all done up. Isn't that worth lusting after on a wet Wednesday?

What do you think? Can you leave your bed messy on a morning or is that concept simply messing with your OCD? Let me know in the comments section.

Happy half week all, how are you getting over the hump?

Claire x

Why my Bake Off dresser is the icing on the cake

There are three things that the latest series of The Great British Bake Off has influenced:

1) My choice in lipstick

2) My view on men wearing aprons

3) My latest upcycle

It was a subconscious decision to paint a knackered old pine dresser bright sky blue, but when it stood in place - like a giant, fondant covered cupcake ready for a baby shower - I knew there was more than a bit of the Bake-Offs about it. 

It was inevitable for a weak willed interior junkie such as me, that all this BBC candy coloured cabinetry would get me in the end. (It was either going to be that or the predictable Paul Hollywood crush and frankly it's just better this way).

Now as we are all well aware, baking is sexy again. Everyone's at it. Bun wars are rife, flaky pastry envy is a Thing and bread consumption is very much back in vogue. But all this comes at a cost and, to my husband's dismay, in our case, it came at the expense of a clean white minimalist kitchen.

You see, there comes a point in your baking journey when packets of chia seeds and fat juicy dates start hogging your cupboard space and you realise that a kitchen dresser could come in very handy. 

Now, the kitchen dresser situation can go two ways and I was keen for mine to be more of a Candice than a Mary Berry if you know what I mean?

The difference is ALL in the styling. 

My bright blue painted dresser

My bright blue painted dresser

Here's my recipe for creating a show-stopping piece of kitchen house candy, whilst avoiding all notions of middle aged twinset and pearls.

1) Be brash about your colour choice

Go as bold as you dare. Remember last week when Candice went all 'nude' on us? Oh the disappointment. Followed by the stark realisation that; if this is what a colour pop of lipstick can do to a face, what can an in-yer-face piece of painted furniture do to a room?

Sky blue has always been on my fave colour spectrum. In fact, this old stoneware tea pot kicked off my first ever vintage collection of Poole Pottery, also in this sweet 'n' tasty shade.

Vintage teapot from my collection of all things sky blue (Did someone say hoarder?)

Vintage teapot from my collection of all things sky blue (Did someone say hoarder?)

So, when the spray paint guy, desperate to get the damn dresser out of his workshop, pushed me to make a colour choice, I finally ripped off a sky blue corner of a copy of the Evening Standard magazine and waved it in his face.

"This will go with everything", I said... Well think of it this way, when has a bright blue sky ever looked out of place?

2) Use the top of the dresser to prop up pictures. 

If room height allows, go up a bit to knock out the safe proportions of the unit. A propped up picture is an easy way to achieve this and also an opportunity for you to display your favourite pieces of art. Better still, add a few framed prints and overlap them slightly... I don't know why, but it works.

3) Add greenery.

I know you know about shelfies and Ivy plants etc. but me not mentioning the importance of greens here would be like forgetting to prove during bread week. Doh!

4) Jars

Get de-cant happy and enjoy the added texture and subtle interest brought to your newly geeked up kitchen by nuts, seeds, grains etc all in different shaped jars.

Try Wilko, for airtight Kilner jars with clip lids and be sure to raid the charity shops for some retro styles as well.

5) Vintage vinyl

Eh?

OK so it's confession time. The real reason I HAD to have a kitchen dresser was because I needed somewhere to put a Crosleys record player.

Crosleys record player £160  Urban Outfitters

Crosleys record player £160 Urban Outfitters

Oh, but have you seen the selection on offer from Urban Outfitters? A million swoons and then some. 

I went for the cream leather gold trimmed carry case and it works a treat with the bright blue backdrop. But imagine it sat on top of a blush pink sideboard too... I mean, pass me the cupcakes, it deserves a baby shower all of its own.  

Don't tell him, but I'm treating the House Candy Husband to 16 vinyl records (one from every year of marriage) to mark our wedding anniversary this month. Too cute, I know.

Here's what romantic gesture he's bought me in return...

Wilko  alphabet letter mugs £1 ... Because everyone loves a geek, right?

Wilko alphabet letter mugs £1 ... Because everyone loves a geek, right?

Happy Monday all (Now there's a vinyl I need to buy) Pucker up and let me know how you have been inspired this week, Bake Off or otherwise. I'd love to know your news.

Claire x

 

 

 

 

 

Flamboyance rules at London Design Festival

Question) What do you call a group of flamingos?

Answer) A Flamboyance

It's hands down the coolest fact I know and one that may come in handy if my recent trip to London Design Festival is anything to go by.

See, flamboyance is big news. Huge in fact. Flamboyance - whether it be a group of flamingos hiding in the foliage...

Flamingos a go-go at  Hoxton Grill

Flamingos a go-go at Hoxton Grill

... A bunch of cheeky monkeys busting out of banana leaves...

New monkey print wallpaper by Clarke and Clarke at Decorex

New monkey print wallpaper by Clarke and Clarke at Decorex

... Or an over indulgent, brightly coloured, Liberty print carpet...

Alternative Flooring Co 's Liberty print carpets at Decorex 

Alternative Flooring Co's Liberty print carpets at Decorex 

Flamboyance is where it's at.

Shrinking violets take note. This is not a look you can pull off easily. Kindly stick to geometrics and/or graffiti inspired fashion statements if you will - another equally hip (but possibly longer term) design trend which I will cover to in a later post.

Today however, I'm still going OTT about the over the top vibe currently dominating the interiors scene. My head is actually hurting with the volume of extravagant patterns that I crammed into it my small brain on my whistle stop tour of London this week. It's either that or the naughty school night out at the Hoxton Grill on Tuesday to see the Rockett St George pop up tropical paradise. You can see how it inspires a bit of excess though can't you?

Neon pink flamingo £195  Rockett St George

Neon pink flamingo £195 Rockett St George

It's been a crazy week here as I've tried to cram in three away days on top of my normal workload and the usual stresses of family life. Amazing though, isn't it, how you think it's going to be impossible and then ta-da you get to Friday and it's done. (It's a big Fri-yay from me)

I'm looking forward to documenting all the exciting stuff I've been up to here on the blog, so please stay tuned and drop me a line if you see anything that floats your boat design wise. Remember to use the #myhousecandy on twitter or instagram if you've also got some fabulous decor wins to share. I'd love you to get in touch!

Meanwhile, I've got tired children, a neglected hound and two overworked grandparents to appease so I must keep this post short and tend to my flock. Which reminds me... I picked up this pinny at the Denby Pottery factory shop yesterday on my so very exciting bloggers trip to learn all about their impressive design credentials (details coming soon).

Flamingo pinny £8.99 from  Denby Pottery Factory shop

Flamingo pinny £8.99 from Denby Pottery Factory shop

It's exactly what I need for my Macmillan Coffee Morning next Friday. If you are in the area, you must pop by, but do be prepared for a bit of flamboyance with your fondant fancies, won't you?

coffe morning 2.jpg

Happy weekend all,

Claire x

Plush cushion crush at Asda

My crush on all things plush knows no bounds. Velvet is, and always will be, the best way to luxe up a look, whether it be to sit on ...

My fave plum velvet sofa and a couple of velvet cushions

My fave plum velvet sofa and a couple of velvet cushions

... or to strut in.

The dreamiest velvet platforms from  Miu Miu

The dreamiest velvet platforms from Miu Miu

Velvet rocks.

But when I popped to Asda on Friday night to cobble together something cheap and chic for tea, the last thing I expected to do was feed my current fashion passion for a measly seven pounds.

Velvet scatter cushion £7 from  Asda

Velvet scatter cushion £7 from Asda

This scatter cushion is the perfect little Autumn/Winter update  - and a pretty cool sending off gift for any students setting up their new digs, don't you think?

It looks so lovely on the stripey vintage chair my mum up-cycled that I'm struggling to decide which room deserves it most. Here it is bringing all the glamour to my guest bedroom.

This week I'm on the hunt for more touchy feely home fashion with a trip to London Design Festival and Decorex International. Keep following on Instagram where I will be sharing all the latest lush interior inspos. 

Have a great new week all, please let me know if you bag any cool cushions with your cornflakes too won't you? 

Claire x

 

 

Get your glasses ON! How to train your eye to hunt out House Candy

They call me Hawk Eye. Be it a market stall, a charity shop or someone's kitchen, I can home in on House Candy at 20 paces. Why? because I'm programmed that way.

Recent vintage House Candy hoard

Recent vintage House Candy hoard

I devour interior magazines, drink up the free catalogues that clog up my letter box and snort Pinterest or Instagram images like they are crack cocaine.

Like my all time favourite vintage pop record, I Just Can't Get Enough. So much so, that I have become a professional House Candy Hunter (HCH). Stuff jumps out at me from a crowded market stall. I get a kind of tingly sensation when I sense House Candy is on my radar. Seriously, I'm weird.

If you like the vintage vibe and also like a bargain, but have not yet had the tingly feels, maybe you need to channel your vision? 

Here's my top 3 tips on what to look out for and the gorgeous, vintage style brands providing the current inspos for all you HCH's out there:

1) Coloured glass

Emerald green decanter and pretty coloured shot glasses proved an insta-hit this week

Emerald green decanter and pretty coloured shot glasses proved an insta-hit this week

I spotted this retro glass decanter peeking out from a market stall full of meh! and quickly realised, this is the power of coloured glass. Look out for jewel hues to add a gem-like beauty to the place and don't let no-stoppers be show-stoppers (see what I did there?). Even without their lids they can make a super cool stem vase. 

Bottles grouped together make a bit of a statement and give you that extra height too (the extra half inch we all aspire to).

Graham and Green know the score when it comes to vintage style accessorising and their new range is bursting with lush greens, emeralds and turquoises. They also have some cool decanter type bottles in their Autumn/Winter offering so if you don't take my word for it, take theirs.

Vintage style green bottle with stopper  www.grahamandgreen.co.uk

Vintage style green bottle with stopper www.grahamandgreen.co.uk

2) Candlesticks

Officially obsessed. Glass ones, wood ones and currently brass whimsical ones. They just DO something to a mantlepiece; y'know? I'm not massively romantic, which may surprise you, but I do love candlelight at dinner parties and Christmases. Oh and Wednesdays actually.

Brass candlesticks to light up my life 

Brass candlesticks to light up my life 

Brass accessories are enjoying a comeback so if you spot one of these cherubs looking for a new mummy, or a lovely leafy number (anything palm inspired is HOT) just hand over the cash, you could have the new Pineapple on your hands, you hear me?

Alternatively, purchase Plumo's fabulous monkey candlestick and swing from actual trees at the beauty of them.

Not so much cool as Brass monkeys inside thanks to  www.plumo.com

Not so much cool as Brass monkeys inside thanks to www.plumo.com

3) Mirrors

My fave vintage mirror and a stash of second hand market House Candy

My fave vintage mirror and a stash of second hand market House Candy

I've always collected vintage mirrors and can never pass up a bevel edged beauty to add to my collection. Some people are put off by imperfect patina. Not me. These are not for applying make-up, they ARE the make up, if you see what I mean. They use daylight to their advantage and make everything look prettier.

Everything Rockett St George sells is nailed on House Candy so take inspiration from their lovely mirror range, featuring antique styles or metallic details. Just LUSH.

Gold leaf effect mirror  www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk

Gold leaf effect mirror www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk

Hey, now I've given you all my secrets, maybe you could do me a favour too? If you are on Instagram please tag me in on any junk shop treasures you find and if you're posting a pic of your own eclectic home style please use #myhousecandy so we can all share in your smug HCH glory!

Happy House Candy Hunting, team.

Claire

 

Temporary business blip as I hoard all the neon pink stock.

Stick to writing Claire, the business world is not for you.

Neon pink sideboard, designed by ME!

Neon pink sideboard, designed by ME!

I may be forced to admit the critics were right if I continue to keep all the furniture stock for My House Candy Store!

Neon pink music chest currently making its presence felt in my lounge

Neon pink music chest currently making its presence felt in my lounge

Oh, I'm sorry but this neon pink lacquered vintage furniture is just SO amazing that if I sell it to you, I'm going to have to visit you every day for the rest of my life so that I can still get my fix. It's not an ideal condition of sale for either of us, no matter how friendly I am. 

But look, let's just call these pieces prototypes and hope and pray that I find a warehouse to store the next delivery of funky up-cycled furniture, because let's face it, if it gets through my front door it's not coming out. 

Please bear with me during this unforseen blip on my journey to international business mogul*. I am sure Kelly Hoppen also encountered this problem, right Dame? Follow me on Instagram for more examples of lovely one-off House Candy that may or may not make it to market!

Have a neon bright week all, let me know what furniture you've accidentally hoarded in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.

Claire x 

*Business advisor/general life coach applications welcome.

Get a room - Why it was love at first sit at The Lounge Co.

Swipe right, swipe right, swipe right… SWIPE LEFT. OMG I’m in love. 

Phoebe Sofa and George Armchair from  The Lounge Co.

Phoebe Sofa and George Armchair from The Lounge Co.

If only choosing a sofa was as simple as choosing a date. 

I mean, a date is just a date. We might be looking for Mr Perfect, but if it takes a couple of nights out with Mr Smoking Hot to get there well, y'know, so be it. 

Sofa shopping is different. There's pressure to make a long term commitment without any of the experimental phase. With sofas, there's no taking it home to meet the kids and then realising, 'lovely as you are, this is never going to work'. Unless there's something seriously wrong, you know you're kind of stuck with each other for at least the next few years.

As big house purchases go, the sofa is up there with beds and flooring - one of those investment buys that you should take time to get right or live with the consequences. Those of us who've been there, bought the sofa and had a love/hate relationship with it ever since, will be pleased to meet a fresh new player to the market.

So hello, The Lounge Co.

Here's a company that gets the emotional impact of buying a sofa. A new face on the furniture scene, yet with impressive 'previous', these guys are all about helping you find the kind of furniture you want to settle down with. They know a thing or two about ticking boxes. In fact, I'd like to think of them as kind of furniture matchmakers. Why? Because within their new and totally gorgeous range of 12 sofas, 6 armchairs and 6 footstools, there's a very good chance you will snare The One.

Here's how I got on finding the forever furniture to fit the new living room layout I'm currently working on. Like so many of you, my standards are high, but my checklist is refreshingly simple: 

1. Beauty

What? I'm just saying what you are all thinking. Good looks are top priority when it comes to some things in life and the dream sofa is one of them. No problem for The Lounge Co. who has a whole host of honeys on its books, including these head turners:

Mallory

Mallory sofa in rabbit's foot from  The Lounge Co.

Mallory sofa in rabbit's foot from The Lounge Co.

Great for that Scandinavian phase we're all going through, the Mallory sofa is cool, calm and collected.

Likes: Geometrics, faux flowers, shelfies. Dislikes: Donner Kebabs

Poppy

Poppy Sofa and George armchair from  The Lounge Co.

Poppy Sofa and George armchair from The Lounge Co.

Quirky, colourful, always well dressed, Poppy is one of those sofas you dream about spending a Sunday afternoon with. 

Likes: Eclectic accessories, crushed velvet, Netflicks and chill. Dislikes: muddy pups.

Florence

Florence sofa and Floyd armchair  from The Lounge Co.

Florence is all about retro shapes and vintage vibes. She's so hip it hurts.

Likes: Iconic design, travel inspired textiles, collectible art and ceramics. Dislikes: Plastic flamingos.

2) Personality

I'm not totally shallow. Good looks are one thing but I need the personality to match. At The Lounge Co. there are over 100 fabric options, with varying price bands to suit your budget. This means you can mix and match furniture pieces and fabric choices to create a combination that totally matches your individual style and personality.

In my case, I'm looking for a colourful corner sofa fit for family life. Something that looks chic, but not too precious. I want a statement armchair in contrasting fabric - both fashionable and timeless. I could also use a patterned footstool or two to throw in a bit of extra texture

You know when something between you just clicks? 

Let the sofa see the cushions!  Holly corner chaise from The Lounge Co.

Let the sofa see the cushions! Holly corner chaise from The Lounge Co.

3) Experience

Willow sofa  from The Lounge Co.

Willow sofa from The Lounge Co.

Youth is one thing, but experience is quite another. The Lounge Co. may be a brand new firm, but its founders hail from G Plan and Parker Knoll - two of the most iconic British brands in furniture making history. A passion for traditional British furniture making is therefore at the heart of the business, ensuring each carefully crafted piece feels every bit as good as it looks.

'Love at first sit' is The Lounge Co.'s most excellent strap line. And I am well and truly smitten.  

Where shall we meet?

The Lounge Co. furniture range launched on 1st September and is available to drool over at 22 UK galleries throughout the UK. Use the online Store Locator to find your nearest retailer.

That's me happily settled down for the winter, how about you? Let me know if you find The One too. You know how much I love a happy ending.

Happy September all. Remember there's only a few days left to vote in the Interior Blog Awards and it would put actual hearts in my eyes to make the shortlist. I'm in the Best Design Inspiration category, which is a super tough group, so if you have seen anything that inspires you here on My House Candy please, please do take a couple of minutes to click here and register your vote. There are absolutely no strings attached ;)

Yours truly,

Claire x 

Why I'm still in a flap over exotic bird wallpaper

What is it with me and brightly coloured birds with big beaks? I somehow find myself gravitating towards them. Like, there I was on my first night on holiday here in Portugal. I'm just finding my way around, when suddenly a wrong turn has me treading a path paved with a giant flamingo. What are the chances?

And then when I tried out the gym over here and, on my first sit up, noticed the ceiling was one huge mural depicting a sky of exotic flying birds, swooping at my imagination. An intense set of cloud gazing was all I could manage thereafter. (Okay, so it doesn't take much).

Regular readers will know I have this thing with flamingos and I was alarmed when recently, somebody asked me if they were passe? I laughed, obviously.

Sure, they've been a round a while, but I still don't think I'm late to the party. More like I refuse to leave the party. Especially the one hosted by King of maximalism Matthew Williamson whose wallpapers, lamps and side tables all err on the side of exotic.

Matthew Williamson Flamingo Club wallpaper from  Amara.com

Matthew Williamson Flamingo Club wallpaper from Amara.com

Exotic birds are great for adding a bit of unexpected interest. I particularly like to find them in downstairs loos, dressing rooms, utilities.... anywhere in fact that's not an obvious place for showing off.

But if you are concerned that flamingos are too, um, 5 years ago, here's a few other birds of wallpaper paradise that might still fit the bill.*

Hummingbird Wallpaper by  Cole and Son

Hummingbird Wallpaper by Cole and Son

Swans wallpaper by Nina Campbell available from  Rockett St George

Swans wallpaper by Nina Campbell available from Rockett St George

Bird print wallpaper by  Julia Rothman

Bird print wallpaper by Julia Rothman

Happy bank holiday all. Hope your feet help you seek out some inspiration too!

Love Claire xx

*It's 30 degrees in the shade and I got off my blow up pool flamingo to bring you this post. Allow me one little holiday pun won't you?

Coveting the Cook Book Look

It wasn't so much the Quinoa Nori Rolls, as the white washed brick walls and mismatched pastel stoneware that got me into new age healthy eating.

Ok the shiny hair helped. And the ironic slogan T? This I can work with. What I'm saying is, for a terrible cook - a mum that only this week discovered you can add frozen peas and sweetcorn to a pan of boiling rice and increase your kids' vitamin consumption by 50% ... for me, there needed to be more inspiration for clean eating than just the food. 

So thank you beautiful, healthy, Ella Woodward a.k.a Deliciously Ella. Thank you for your glowing skin and your well stocked Kilner Jars, displayed artfully on rustic open shelves. Thank you for your Buddha Bowl, Your Creamy Sweet Potato Risotto and your excellent taste in vintage style crockery and glassware. 

Thanks to you, I too have a new found spring in my step that, yes, may have a lot to do with the youth enhancing properties of avocado, but also coincides with a wholly satisfying healthy kitchen update too. 

Here's my recipe for coveting the delicious, nutritious, clean eating Cook Book Look at home. 

Bon Apetit.

1) White walls

White walls and colour pops are  Deliciously Ella's  trademark style  

White walls and colour pops are Deliciously Ella's trademark style  

White paintwork gives a subliminal message in most of the clean eating cook books currently en-vogue.  It also works wonders in helping all these amazing rainbow coloured foods that you are about to discover stand out.

I'd like to think I was all over the white kitchen vibe way before Ella. My kitchen is big, but not super sized and whilst I've experimented with brights and shades over the years, I always come back to white.

You could go Coconut Milk white if you like, but not Semi - Skimmed white which is too, y'know, dairy. 

2) Open Shelves

Deliciously Ella's deliciously cool shelf situation

Deliciously Ella's deliciously cool shelf situation

You need open shelves to nail this look. Rustic wooden ones are ideal but if, like me, you're stuck with a couple of lengths of white MDF, worry not. Overcome this with a neat stack of serving dishes - mismatched is best. Shelves should be beautiful, but functional and with all the little side dishes and dips you are going to produce, it's good to have a collection of suitable bowls and plates within easy reach. 

Flowers on shelves is a new discovery for me and OMG. What a difference a few stems of fuscia can make in pulling this whole I-just-found-this-in-the-garden-and-made-a-side-dish-with-it look together. 

3) Chopping boards

A sample of my growing chopping board collection!

A sample of my growing chopping board collection!

A LOT of chopping is involved with actual start-from-scratch cooking. But that's cool because chopping boards have become my new favourite kitchen accessory. Not only do they look nice leaning against the wall on the work top, but they hide ugly plug sockets and annoyingly placed switches too. At last count I had 5 chopping boards on the go. Anyone with 5 chopping boards can rustle up a good dinner, right? 

4) Statement dresser

Pinspiration for my dream kitchen dresser

Pinspiration for my dream kitchen dresser

If you've got room for one, get one. A brightly coloured painted dresser with glass doors at the top is on my dream kitchen wish list.

In it, I will stack more of that gorgeous vintage crockery I can't hold back from buying and some cool linen table cloths for when I really want to show off. On it, a big jug of random cooking utensils will sit on a pile of the latest clean eating cook books and there will be a healthy green plant tumbling off the top. Chef chic? I got this.

5) Blackboard

My homemade blackboard 

My homemade blackboard 

Great for letting your guests know which particular culinary delight you are treating their tastebuds to today and also useful for noting down the name of those elusive Buckwheat Groats you need to locate at the health food store.  

I LOVE my blackboard and as you may have seen on Instagram, am not afraid of chalking out a motivational saying or two. In fact it's a great way to pass the time whilst you are waiting for your lentils to boil. I made mine from an old mirror and it was super simple. See my post archive for a quick and easy weekend makeover project. 

6) Storage Jars

Storage jars make even the boring ingredients look pretty

Storage jars make even the boring ingredients look pretty

I've become a bit obsessed with jars. You will find this happens when you start buying different dry ingredients that otherwise leak out of soggy paper packets and become welded to your kitchen cupboard. I pick up all different types of jars from market stalls and charity shops, making sure that they have a perfectly airtight lid. It's a good idea to put them through the dishwasher a couple of times on a high heat setting to kill any odours.

If you prefer to buy new, you can't go far wrong with traditional clip top Kilner jars. 

Kilner Jars from  Amazon

Kilner Jars from Amazon

 

7) Pretty plate presentation

It never fails to amaze me how people are prepared to part with pretty plates. They chuck out their chintzy glass trifle bowls, their fluted edge platters and their painted floral soup bowls. And they replace them with a white Wilko dinner service without a thought for the lost #instafood styling opportunities. You need to know that this look is as much about the presentation as it is about the veg consumption. We are buying into a lifestyle here foodie friends. Do. Pay. Attention.

Which reminds me of the parting quote Ella leaves us with at the back of her beautiful book. It says:

LOVE YOUR LIFE

LOVE YOUR FOOD

LOVE YOUR SELF

And what she clearly forgot to add was:

LOVE YOUR HOUSE CANDY

If you're on board with this concept, please do show your love by voting for me HERE in the Interior Blog Awards, hosted by Amara. Voting takes just seconds - which is way less time than preparing Cauliflower Pizza but with ALL of the happiness inducing effects.

Thank you and happy weekend all,

Claire x