Spotted: Nkuku

A little while back a friend on Facebook shared the link to nkuku, a lovely online home store with lots of tempting home accessories and some salvage chic furniture. Funnily enough, when I was away in Wales 10 days ago I found lots of pretty things to buy in a house shop in Hay-on-Wye, and happened to notice that they were all from nkuku too. It must have been fate…

One of the biggest lessons I learned over the last few years whilst doing up the last house was that as lovely as it is to decorate, it’s the finishing touches that make a room look ‘done’. It’s my resolution to not scrimp on those details this time around so I’ll definitely be taking a look at nkuku.

What do you think readers? Up your street?


Found: Rowen and Wren

I’m still looking for the perfect finishing touches for my lounge and dining room and the search led me to Rowen and Wren. A treasure trove of incredibly understated style, the collection is beautifully presented and just the image sets alone are inspiring, so I thought I would share some of them here.

There are three collections with distinct styling, the most classic of which is the Timeless Living collection.

Discretely elegant but with a modern contemporary edge, everything in it has touch appeal.

Refined rural is different all together with a rustic country vibe, yet kept up to date again with salvaged touches and industrial metal hints.

Full of natural materials, it’s reminiscent of the perfect weekend bolt-hole.

Distant home has a global feel, full of treasures you could have picked up on your travels around the world. If you like an eclectic look there’s plenty here to blend in with your taste.

Have you heard of Rowen and Wren and are you joining me in the Rowen and Wren fan club? I’d love to hear which of their looks here is your favourite?


Spotted: New Ebury Home and Garden

I’m on a real interiors kick right now and so when Hannah sent me over a selection of new products she has just added to the Ebury Home and Garden collection, I fell in love with the tastefully chic selection of linens and bathroom additions. Remember Hannah – yes, she of the perfect home. It’s hard not to be envious right?

I can’t go any further without drawing your attention to my absolute favourite item, these cute little mustard pots, perfect for single blooms…

Just gorgeous – They make me want to speak in a french accent and spend long afternoons lazing over lunch with bread and cheese.

I think bathrooms get a little neglected when it comes to styling but I love the range Hannah has curated of delicate soaps, (perfect for guests or impromptu gifts,) and cleverly practical items like these bamboo toothbrushes (now that really would make you the prefect host, eco and all!) or the printed laundry bag.

If it’s your kitchen that needs a little rustic style then how about these artichoke candles as a table centrepiece, paired with natural linens and I am in love with the linen cushions too. It’s all beautifully subtle and perfect for that longed-for Indian summer.

Do head on over and check out the Ebury Home and Garden site, particularly if it’s new to you. Hannah has collected some really beautiful things.


Spotted: French Connection Home

This morning I have something new to share with you, hot off the press, the new French Connection Home range, launched yesterday.

With a distinctly global yet rustic feel, fans of the all-white look will be in seventh heaven perusing the whitewashed backdrops with carefully selected neutral textiles in shades of grey with blue highlights and creams mixed with hessian tones and textured linens or rugs.

Florence’s favourites? The safari chair, drift wood stool and tripod side table. All different, but all extremely covetable. Price points are at the upper end of high street and I fear this may be French Connection’s downfall after the initial hype subsides leading to heavily discounted sales akin to the clothing line. On the flip side, the majority of the larger pieces, lighting, the chairs, side tables etc are investment pieces with statement potential that you will have for years. The collection doesn’t give the impression of being disposable home ware. In the mean time, there are certainly pieces that I’ll be adding to my list of ‘wants’.

Do you like?


The Blues…

After my collection of inspiration last week featuring pink as an accent colour for my newly decorated grey rooms, I also wanted to explore blue. I already have a bit of blue, albeit subtle, in the aforementioned rooms and I find it a calming colour. I also love flashes of unexpectedly bold or bright turquoise, sea and peacock blues but find it can be a bit cold when used en masse.

It was hard to find images that weren’t of blue rooms or walls, (although a few have sneaked in here,) but where blue was the accent, be that with soft or hard furnishings, art work, flooring or accessories, but I’ve gathered a collection that I love and am slowly honing my vision for the two rooms.

Let us begin the tour…

I love this bright turquoise chair in an otherwise neutral room. And who doesn’t want one of these gorgeous SMEG retro fridges? I love the pop of blue against this elegantly rustic kitchen.

Clearly, most of us don’t have artfully distressed walls, but the subdued blue upholstered bed frame is easily reproducible, or perhaps you like your blues soft – perfect for a classic bedroom in duck egg and dove grey.

I’m looking for accents and am completely in love with this pair of lamps against the dark backdrop and warm natural woods. Or how about a vibrant silk cushion – super cheap and striking against this shades-of-grey high design living space

It’s all about the dining chairs again with these velvet upholstered numbers looking very elegant. I wish I had a dining room this chic…

How about accenting the walls like in this simple bathroom with grey-brown walls and a band of turquoise above picture rail level? And I love how the print in this image stands out against the walls of a similar shade.

I wish I had the confidence to use a rug with a pattern like this one, (or just be lucky enough to find one!) or maybe artwork is the answer like these graphic prints.

Or for a bit of rustic chic, if that’s more your thing, I love the pop of this bright blue shelf laden with finds, or the coloured glass of these old blue bottles filled with toning blooms.

Now it’s time to hear your thoughts. Is blue a better accent for you?


Found: Baileys Home and Garden

Last week, I wrote about my trip to The Drawing Room in Wales and promised you guys a peek into what we did whilst we were there. It’s such a beautiful area and there’s plenty to fill a weekend, depending on whether you are as lazy as we were, but that’s all coming at a later date. Today, I give you Baileys.

Baileys Home and Garden is an interiors store hidden away, near to Hereford and just outside Ross-on-Wye. Although I’ve known about it for several years (first spotted in Living Etc I think) I’ve never been in that part of the world. After traffic stopped us popping in last year on route to a wedding, I was absolutely desperate to pop in during our trip to Wales and we decided to make it our Sunday trip on the way home. (It’s actually about 1.5hrs south of The Drawing Room but closer to the motorway, so despite the detour, was quicker getting home from there than coming down originally.)

You can reach Baileys and purchase a selection of their stock online, however, I knew there was a much greater variety of things on offer in the store and was curious to see how it was all curated. Sally and Mark Bailey have written 3 books on styling your home and their salvaged, repurposed and rustic style is right up my street, so I was quite literally in seventh heaven.

Housed in Whitecross barn there are several large buildings which display their wares. You can find quite literally everything here from vegetable peelers, kitchen goods, ceramics and scented candles to sofas, antiques and 1930’s bathroom suites. The displays are quite overwhelming and I have to admit I actually went around twice, with a trip to the Tabernacle Tearoom in between, where we feasted on delicious sandwiches, heavenly cakes and washed it all down with old fashioned lemonade.

I left with a vegetable scrubber, tiny measuring cup for small amounts of fluids – (you know, those recipes that call for 20mls of milk etc,) 2 vintage milk bottles for displaying flowers and some galvanised trays for my office, but with plans to go back for more! I also loved the lighting selection. My only frustration was that so many of the salvaged items used to display their stock weren’t for sale!

So, have you visited Baileys, bought anything from there, or have I introduced you to somewhere new? I know so many of you reading will love their aesthetic!


PS Head on over to Florence’s Amazon store to see the books…

Florence’s Florals: A DIY Christmas Berry Wreath

Good afternoon readers!

This afternoon we have part 2 of Florence’s Festive Florals with Becky from Blossom. It’s the second of her 2 wreath tutorials, this one is still rustic but more traditional and includes living elements, hence us deciding to post it closer to Christmas – it will last through the holidays if made this weekend. Enjoy!

Hello again, and welcome to version 2 of the festive wreath tutorial. If you haven’t already seen the rustic winter owl wreath, pop over and have a look, as the principles for making them both are identical. I’ve used fresh materials in this version which will look good for a couple of weeks if you keep it somewhere cool. Please don’t be put off by the amount of text below, once you’ve mastered how to wire each piece, it really is very easy. And once again, please remember that there is no right or wrong addition to a wreath. You can add as little or as much as you want, of whatever takes your fancy.

What I used:

  • Large ready made willow wreath
  • Fresh ivy trails
  • 2 x stems Ilex verticillata ‘Winter Gold’ – this is also available in bright red from all good florists
  • 8 x natural pine cones
  • 3 x whole dried oranges
  • 6 – 9 x dried orange slices
  • 9 x cinnamon sticks
  • Natural raffia
  • Medium – thick gauge florist stub wires

What to do:
1. Wrap pieces of trailing ivy around and through the wreath. Secure it by tucking into the gaps in the wreath frame.

2. Wire each item that you want to attach to your wreath. You may find it easier to wire everything first and attach the pieces to the wreath afterwards.

  • To wire the Ilex: Cut each piece of Ilex down to approximately 2 cm below the lowest branch of berries. Fold a piece of wire in half to form a hair pin shape and hold it against the base of the piece of Ilex. Wrap one half of the wire around the base of the stem and the other end of the wire to secure.
  • To wire the pine cones & whole oranges: Take a single piece of stub wire and dig the middle part of the wire in between the scales at the base of the cone (the fatter end), pull each end of the wire down, and twist them together as close to the bottom of the cone as possible. Pull each end of the wire back together and straighten. In floristry terms this is called a ‘double leg mount’ – the two stems of the wire are known as ‘legs’.

Use the same principle to wire the whole dried oranges, piercing the base of the fruit with the wire.

  • To wire the orange slices: Group 2 or 3 dried orange slices together, overlapping them so that you can see the segments of each slice. Pierce through both of the slices at the base, pull each end of the wire down and twist the wires together to secure the slices.
  • To wire the cinnamon: Make 3 bundles of cinnamon sticks by wrapping a wire around the middle of 3 sticks and twisting the wires together. Don’t worry if the wire feels quite loose, you can secure the cinnamon by using a piece of raffia to wrap over and around the wire. It not only secures the bundle, it also hides the wire in your display. Tie the raffia in a bow or knot on the top of the bundle (the opposite side to the twisted wire).

3. You can now attach each individual piece to your wreath by pushing the wires through the gaps in the wreath and twisting them together at the back of the wreath to secure. Tuck the excess ends of wire back into the back of the wreath so they don’t scratch your front door.

4. Tie a big bow using the raffia and pierce through the back of the bow with a wire. With the bow at the centre of the wire, pull the two ends of wire together and twist together. Use the wire legs to attach the bow to your wreath in the same way you’ve attached everything else.

5. If you need to create a hook to hang your wreath from, you can use a piece of raffia or a piece of wire.

I’ll be on hand later to answer any questions. Just leave a comment below 🙂

Thank you Becky!

Did you have a go at last week’s wreath, or will you be attempting this one – perhaps this is more up your ‘Christmas Street’?

Do leave a comment if you love it, or if you have any questions as Becky said – Becky will be back in the New Year with more Florence’s Florals!


Florence’s Florals: A DIY Christmas wreath from Blossom

This morning I’m super excited as I get to introduce another regular columnist… My good friend Becky Hay from Blossom, florist extraordinaire and lovely lady. I’ve also been dying to share this DIY Becky created for Florence Finds last Thursday… I had a lovely day in the shop with mince pies and Michael Buble in the background so I really hope this inspires some of you to get creative and make your own DIY Christmas wreath.

While we’re at it, I’d like to congratulate Becky, Aisling and the team at Blossom as they have just won an award for the Best North West florist in the Wedding Industry awards! Of course I know that already. 😉

Image Credit: Rebecca Norris for Florence Finds

Today’s wreath is absolutely gorgeous… A rustic take on Christmas decor, complete with wildlife and a hint of snow white glitz, I’m considering ditching my regular wreath for a DIY effort. I wanted to inspire those of you looking for something different as it’s a DIY and it’s also a keeper… With no living parts, you can pack this one away and bring it out year after year.

Take it away Becky!

Hi everyone, I’m very honoured to have been invited to contribute to Florence’s Florals. This is the first of two festive wreath tutorials, both are made using a shop bought willow wreath base which are quite easy to come by and have been created to inspire you rather than dictate to you. When it comes to door wreaths, literally anything goes, so go and collect whatever you can lay your hands on and get creative.

Pre made wreaths are available in all sorts of shapes and materials. The principle described below can be used to attach extra items to any wreath you fancy as long as you can push a wire through the main body of the wreath.

What we used:

  • Ready made white washed willow wreath (try saying that after a night out!)
  • Contorted willow
  • Birch twigs
  • White pine cones (Natural cones will do the job just as well or you can spray them white using a can of spray paint)

Image Credit: Rebecca Norris for Florence Finds

  • Larch cones still on the branch
  • Medium – thick gauge florist stub wire (available from all good Florists and Garden Centres)
  • White owl decoration
  • Organza ribbon

What to do:
1. Cut small pieces of willow and birch twigs and poke through the gaps in the wreath until they feel secure.
(If your wreath has large gaps, you may need to use more twigs or a wire to hold sections of twig in place.)
Keep adding more twigs until you get the fullness you want.

Image Credit: Rebecca Norris for Florence Finds

2. Wiring the large cones: Take a single piece of stub wire and dig the middle part of the wire in between the scales at the base of the cone (the fatter end), pull each end of the wire down, and twist them together as close to the bottom of the cone as possible. Pull each end of the wire back together and straighten. In floristry terms this is called a ‘double leg mount’ – the two stems of the wire are known as ‘legs’. Attach the cone to your wreath by placing each ‘leg’ of wire through a gap in your wreath and twisting them together at the back of the wreath to secure. Tuck the excess ends of wire back into the back of the wreath so they don’t scratch your front door.

Image Credit: Rebecca Norris for Florence Finds

This principle can be used to attach absolutely anything to your wreath – bunches of foliage, feathers, dried flowers, fresh flowers, berries, and anything else you can find in your garden or while out for a walk.

3. Next, take the sections of Larch branch and arrange amongst the large cones. I secured my two bits in place by using a single wire, folded into a hairpin shape, pinning the larch in place and twisting each ‘leg’ of the haipin wire together at the back of the wreath and pushing the ends back into the wreath as you did for the cones.

Image Credit: Rebecca Norris for Florence Finds

4. The owl decoration I used already had a clip on it but you can use any decoration as long as you can manage to secure a wire through the base of it to then secure it to your wreath.

Image Credit: Rebecca Norris for Florence Finds

5. Finally, I made a 6 loop bow using the organza ribbon. There’s a detailed tutorial on one of those here. I used a stub wire to gather the centre of my bow which I then used to push through the wreath and secure at the back of the wreath, as decribed for attaching the cones. Use a separate piece of ribbon looped through the back of the wreath to hang it from.

Image Credit: Rebecca Norris for Florence Finds

If you have any questions, just leave a comment below and I’ll try to get back to you asap.

Gorgeous no?

I love the winter wonderland feel complete with feathered friend, it just looks magical. I usually entwine a set of battery powered lights into my wreath and I think they would look great in this one too.

Next week, Becky will be doing a completely different wreath, closer to Christmas because it includes living elements and you’re all going to love it! Thank you Becky!

See you then,

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