When one thinks of country houses, it’s easy to picture a lot of tweed and Chesterfield arm-chairs (and if tweed is what you are looking for, then head straight to the Northumbrian Tweed Company’s website), but the look of a traditional country home isn’t confined to that. From the use of natural sandstone in the Chilterns, or red bricks in Yorkshire, every corner of the country has its own special touch. However, there are a few small ways to make any house feel more like a country home, whether it’s a cottage in a small village in Cumbria or a 10 minutes-walk away from East Croydon Station.
The answer is a resounding yes. When I talk to someone my age about antiques, the responses are usually something about it being an expensive hobby for elderly rich people. And it’s true, there are indeed luxury objects whose date of fabrication means they now have an even higher price tag than when they were bought new, but the factory-made china set a grandmother inherited from her grandmother is an antique too! Maybe you call it vintage, thinking that antiques really just refers to the expensive Georgian furniture you see on display at the V&A, and, as other Gen Y antiques enthusiasts pointed out before, you wouldn’t be to blame for that.
With the rise of working from home, whether as freelancer/solopreneur or as part of flexible work arrangements, home offices are becoming a common feature of our homes. It could be a dedicated room or part of an existing one, but when thinking about decorating a home office there are three interlinked things to keep in mind: functionality, décor of the space, and how it sits in the whole house.
Keeping the décor simple is an important aspect of functionality, as we want to be focused while working (although some of us can be distracted by a white wall!) For this reason, I encourage the use of statement pieces in a room that relies on colour, light and texture to stimulate the senses and awake our emotions. Simple doesn’t have to mean bare.
One of the conditions of modern life, especially in big cities, is the rise of the house-share. Just like a couple building a home together, these houses should be decorated in a way that makes everyone feel at home, and not like they are trespassing on someone else’s space all the time.Plants are the easy option to bring a bit of nature and freshness into the space. There are many plants that are low maintenance but still beautiful and stylish.
Yesterday (14th of May 2017) I’ve had the pleasure to attend Craft Central’s Made in Clerkenwell event. Designers opened their studios for the day, some of them working (I was able to observe for a few fascinating moments the work of violin makers Ruschil and Bailly, which is not a kind of craft you expect to see every day), but mostly it was a showcase of products with the ability to buy them, and most designers happy to have a chat about their work.
Twinings and Pantone have teamed up to create a colour that would give you an instant mood lift. As we near the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, we think it’s great to remind ourselves that even those who do not suffer from mental illnesses need to take care of their wellbeing (and at L&Y we are trying to be more intentional with our living), so we are really keen on this new colour. Also, blue is my own lifelong favourite colour, so I’m partial to it regardless. So, if you’re up for spending some money why don’t you take a look at our favourites for the home in this new colour (or close shades), and maybe donate something to a mental health charity while at that?
Women seem to prefer round shapes and more delicate colours, with roses being the most popular flower, followed by lilies, freesias and tulips (according to Serenata Flowers). From observation of my Instagram feed, Blair Waldorf’s favourite, peonies, are also a very well loved flower, and a quintessentially feminine one. As for plants, an absolute favourite of mine is fern: unlike tropical plants, which are tall and strong, ferns are soft and come in a variety of foliage, including some lovely exotic ones.
For men, the most well liked types of flowers are stronger shapes and bolder colours, like tropical flowers. Orchids, Rhizomes, Gingers, and Heliconias are all well known types of tropical (or exotic) flowers. Other flowers like the African Tulip, Annual Delphinium, Amazon Lily, or the Caladium are less well known. There are great flowers for every season, the Flower Expert has compiled a handy list. Plants are also a stylish choice, and, while they require more care than cut flowers, they have the upside of not needing to be put together into a flower arrangement (unless you like to keep it simple with just a bunch of the same flower into a vase), and they don’t need replacing as often. Artificial plants and flowers, which are very realistic, are also a good, low maintenance and sustainable alternative to fresh ones, with the only downside that they don’t act as humidifiers like some of the real ones do.