The brown bowls that you'll love more than bell bottoms

I didn't think the new Studio Craft range from Denby Pottery was for me. The hipsters? definitely. The skandis? for sure. But pretty vintage tea plate loving me? Not so much.

The artisinal beauty of Denby Pottery's  Studio Craft  range 

The artisinal beauty of Denby Pottery's Studio Craft range 

I was wrong.

Since living with a selection of stackable Studio Craft bowls for oooh, all of a month, I've become totally and utterly nuts for them. And I'm talking all of the nuts - brazil, pecan, cashew, coco. Colourwise, there's a real natural nuttiness to the whole range that will have you collecting different co-ordinating pieces like a squirrel in September.

Mix and Match Studio Craft bowls by Denby Pottery

Mix and Match Studio Craft bowls by Denby Pottery

Trust me, I did not see this coming but there it is, the full Studio Craft set, pinned and poised on my new kitchen mood board, along with a pair of sky blue corduroys and some Portuguese cowboy boots. Go figure!

My kitchen mood board flares

My kitchen mood board flares

So how did this little brown swerve ball come so blatantly out of the blue? Well I blame my sideboard. Despite my spray painted kitchen dresser being bang-on-trend baby blue, it was beginning to give me a headache. Then, one by one, as I unpacked the taster set of stackable Studio Craft bowls so very kindly sent to me in varying shades of seventies beige, something soothing happened. I can only aliken it to the feeling hippies get when they slip on a pair of sensible Birkenstocks with their crazy demin flares. I think you call it peace, man. 

Denby's  brown bowls I'm now nuts for

Denby's brown bowls I'm now nuts for

Brown, it seems, is the earthy, grounding neutral that my beloved sweet shades need. I've noticed this with the brown furniture I keep acquiring and the same is true for pottery. Like a battered brown leather vintage sofa, there's a wholesomeness to Denby's Studio Craft range that takes the sweetness off my beloved pastel colours and gives them a far more palatable retro vibe. 

A set of four co-ordinating stacking bowls from the Studio Craft range by Denby

A set of four co-ordinating stacking bowls from the Studio Craft range by Denby

Now I know what you're thinking. Last week I was banging on about vibrant, Mexican inspired tableware and less than seven days later, I've gone Geography teacher brown on you. Well I'm a fickle fashion follower, I'll give you that, but this one is far more of a keeper.  See, much as I love Sainsbury's South American set for all its playfulness, I happily handed it over to my 18-year-old niece in return for her doing the washing up. The same cannot be said for the studio craft set and I dare say she won't be a bit bothered. Brown and teenagers tend not to mix.

Bright and playful is perfect for summer, for parties, for brightening up dingy student kitchens and I'm all for that. But when you've got a lot of colour and pattern going on elsewhere in the house, as I have, it's important not to overdo it - especially with your everyday homewares. And that's what this range excels at. It's the perfect base for toning down, for sobering up, for getting your sensible head on - Geography teacher style (you know - the kind that you secretly fancy). The mottled glaze has a woody, artisinal purity about it that allows me to play with sweeter colours in a far more grown up - and infinitely cooler - way.  Introducing the elements to my new kitchen will, I feel, ground it and encourage that fickle fashionista in me to think beyond next season.

The mix of earthy vintage browns and bright modern blues that is my current retro style crush. Image via  e_manciu on Instagram

The mix of earthy vintage browns and bright modern blues that is my current retro style crush. Image via e_manciu on Instagram

The combination of earthy browns and bright modern blues creates an unmistakeable retro vibe, that I'm mad for. Call it hippy, hipster or just plain hip, I'm ready to fill my platform boots (and my dresser) with Denby Studio Craft and nobody could be more surprised by that style development than me. Give it a try, it's a marmite set for sure, but I think it may surprise you. See the full set here.

Claire 

Set In Stone : The Candy Files, wedding anniversary special!

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

House Candy = Stoneware

Denby's  best selling  Natural Canvas  stoneware. 

Denby's best selling Natural Canvas stoneware. 

I'm getting all nostalgic today because it's my wedding anniversary and 16 years since I said "I do."

These two little words have a lot to answer for when I think of all the trouble they've got me and the House Candy husband into over the years. For example:

Him: "Do you want to tell me about this stuff on the visa bill?..."

Me: (Lying) "I do".

Me: "Do you want another baby, even though the other one doesn't sleep?"

Him: (Drunk) "I do".

Both: "Do you want to buy that big, old house that we can't afford to furnish?"

One louder than the other: "I do".

I don't actually remember the happy event of going hand in hand around a department store picking things for our wedding list, but at some point, someone older and wiser than me said, "What you really need is a classic Denby dinner set that you can add to throughout your married life."

And I - being all about the autumn theme and spotting one with a leaf on the bottom, said "I do".

The Energy dish by  Denby  that fulfilled my Autumn theme criteria!

The Energy dish by Denby that fulfilled my Autumn theme criteria!

So 16 years today I became the proud owner of an 'Energy' dinner service by Denby. And whilst I'm saving all the ins and outs of why Denby still rocks for a rainier day, I wanted to use today, my wedding anniversary, to say thank you to this particular stoneware for putting up with:

  • 16 years of sub-standard meals
  • The rigours of two clumsy little boys
  • The extra large size mugs that fuelled endless 5am appointments with my insomniac eldest son. 

Now that we've been married long enough for our dinner service to go out of production, I wouldn't mind starting up a new collection. With its mellow chevron detail and misty autumn day hues, the latest Natural Canvas range is still a perfect fit with my theme. 

Do I want another cuppa? "I do". 

Natural Canvas  mugs by Denby

Natural Canvas mugs by Denby

 

Fine and Candy = The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses £11.99  HMV

The Stone Roses £11.99 HMV

The secret to a happy marriage is admitting when you are wrong  and husband, I hold my hands up and say I was foolish to insist we throw out all the vinyl back when we waved goodbye to your beloved 5 storey Panasonic sound system.

The Stone Roses is the soundtrack to our life together and now that I've fallen out of love with soul-less CDs and banished mobile phones for playing music, I'm slowly having to replace all the vinyl I took on secret trips to the charity shop. This album is one very apologetic anniversary present.

Happily, my love for the new Crosleys turntable in the kitchen is easing the financial pain I'm going through in HMV as I re-buy all our old songs on vinyl. For the Stone Roses fans out there, THIS piece of equipment wants to be adored.

Crosleys record player £160  Urban OUtfitters

Crosleys record player £160 Urban OUtfitters

Candy Pandy = Precious Stones

Despite 16 years of love and devotion, I appear to be missing the precious stones that are traditionally given to mark this milestone. 

Vivienne Westwood gold Topaz ear bling

Vivienne Westwood gold Topaz ear bling

Depending on which website you look at, my loyal lobes should be rocking Golden Topaz today. And what a pity, because just LOOK what fortunes they bestow upon their wearer:

"Topaz conjures up thoughts of opulence and luxury, influence and generosity, vibrancy and strength. To possess one brings true love and fidelity, friendship, and a gentle nature, bestowing the gifts of courage and wisdom, and success in all endeavors. Its energy, harnessed from the sun, transcends both time and space, and is one of the most loving, beneficial crystals one can gift."

Happy Anniversary anyway my love. Here's to many more years together (because dammit I've come this far I may as well hold out for an Emerald).

Claire x