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:




And what she clearly forgot to add was:


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  



I fell in love with a circus freak

If you read yesterday's post (and if not why not) you'll know that all week I'm testing out Marilyn Monroe's theory that it's better to be ridiculous than to be boring.

So here's my second confession: I collect pot clowns. Well okay, I collected this vintage Italian pot clown from a second hand market recently and it's raised all kinds of eyebrows.

Maybe its the dusky pastel colours that make it OK? or the jaunty cross legged perch that strikes a chord? Or likely I was drawn to him through a shared incapacity for decent make-up application?

Whatever happened there at the market stall I still can't quite put my finger on, but the fact remains that a funny fella wearing pom poms on his shoes now lives in my bedroom. The husband has had to adjust to this, but like I told him, there's a chance (a slim one) that I could be ahead of a trend here. And if he loved me enough he'd find a way to wire my new friend up and stick a lampshade on his head. Any offers? 

Upcycle woes aside, I do actually believe that vintage circus memorabilia sits perfectly with the industrial & commercial interior styles that are huge right now. I'm thinking brick walls, neon signage, fairground lighting.... and if you can't quite come to terms with an ornamental clown, how about a poster version? This one framed up would work perfectly in my kitchen. And might even help to scare hungry kids away :)

Vintage American Circus Poster £150

Vintage American Circus Poster £150

So what are your thoughts on clowns? Still a bit scared? Completely ridiculous? Certainly not boring though, right? Please do let me know your thoughts in the comments section. I would be made up to hear from you.

There'll be more from me and my curious homewares show tomorrow. Until then, that's all folks. Cx