raiding the vaults of ma & pa {& my favourite place in our home}…

ana_dining room_02

it’s virtually a given that whenever i venture back home my suitcase is going to be heavier on the return journey than it was going out…

after many years of travelling the globe i consider myself quite the accomplished packer…

i’ve learnt to be a little more realistic about what i’m actually going to wear on holidays & resolved to simply make do with less of everything else {toiletries, etc}…

but when it comes to paring back on my travel finds: well that can be another story entirely…

because shops & markets aside, i’ve tapped into a fantastic source of vintage homeware finds that never, never fails to impress: it’s called the vaults of ma & pa…

raiding the cupboards & back rooms of our parents’ houses have yielded some of my favourite ever homeware finds to date…

& not only do these pieces bring individuality & quirk to our home, but they’re positively laden with memories of moments that can never be replicated {& moments that were, until the unearthing of some of these pieces, forever consigned to history}…

my latest haul yielded this…

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that cheeky chap is none other than my boyfriend as a rambunctious two year old immortalised in bronze by his very talented cousin…

& i love it {all 11.5 kgs of it}!

i’ve coveted it for such a long time & since it had been relegated to a back room at his parents’ house i thought now was as good a time as any to ask if they’d mind my relieving them of it…

not only is it such a tactile, beautiful piece of art, but it represents a piece of my boyfriend’s history {a perspective sadly lacking in our home}…

other trips home have been equally fruitful: a painting by my mum, a second by my brother, some groovy old coffee jars repurposed as vases & some beautiful decorative ceramic plaques {seen below} mounted on wooden bases…

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these were salvaged from my dad’s childhood silver cross pram & gifted to me by my mum after he passed {though my dad never did display them in his home, i do so with immense pride}…

for the most part, a lot of these vintage pieces now hang out in what has quickly become my favourite place in our home: the dining nook

a nomadic abode

it’s a pretty modest set-up {& given we rent, we’re a little limited in what we can change}, but the impact of this room has been elevated by the recent acquisition of a glossy, slimline console table which provides a good-sized, prominent spot for me to display many of my favourite pieces {alongside some much-needed storage}…

filled with vintage finds that are, in turn, filled with memories, this nook makes me smile every time i happen upon it: without fail…

{this post is being submitted as an entry to the fashion for home: home love photo contest… if you’re a uk blogger & want your own chance to win £500 to spend on homewares from their website check out all the glorious details here: the contest closes today, 18 april 2013}

the art of display {jewellery}…

recently i was very generously gifted some jewellery for my birthday from a dear friend…

i love it & yet i’ll probably never wear it… strange, unappreciative, heartless? no, not at all…

like most ladies i know, i love me some bling {especially when it’s from someone who ‘gets’ my taste}… but, perhaps unlike the average recipient, i sometimes get as much joy from simply displaying my collection as i do wearing it…

this is not a slight on the jewellery itself in any way {indeed, some of my absolute favourite pieces have never actually left the house on my person}

sometimes it’s just a matter of what makes sense: i have an awkward shape & am not beyond admitting when i can’t do a piece justice, so when something looks better in my home than it does on my neck, wrist or finger, that’s where it stays…

& it just so happens that jewellery is one of my all-time favourite decorating devices: for me it’s akin to art…

it doesn’t matter if a piece costs a penny or a pound as the amount of pleasure derived is the same, but what does matter is the form of the piece & the sentiment behind it…

much of my collection i’ve picked up for myself on my travels {as souveniers go, there’s nothing better than a beautiful, lightweight, timeless reminder of your trip}, others pieces have been gifted & some even found discarded or lost on the street…

but regardless of their origin, if & when they’re not in use my baubles & beads invariably end up in the same place: hung from artwork, draped across mirrors & even festooned over a buddha head…

i’ve been known to turn brooches into corsages for my cushions, coil strands of beads in glass apothecary jars &, if i ever got my hands on one of these accoutrements, i’d even frame it…

when it comes to my trinkets i’m not overly precious & neither are they, in a monetary sense… but it goes without saying that even if i did possess pieces worthy of a bank vault i just don’t think i’d have the heart to do it…

afterall, what is the purpose of a glimmering jewel if not to fondly gaze upon it?

images via: french by design, shelternessmy lovely lifeglamarella junk

the art of display {all boxed up}…

i’m not sure if there’s a name for my particular breed of ailment, but it generally seems to be that if there’s a conventional way to do something, particularly interiors-wise, then i take issue with it…

you’ve heard me go on about bedside tables before here, and now you can add shelving to my burgeoning list of bugbears…

with a few exceptions {which i’ll save for another post entirely} i find the bulk of shelving options are nothing more than a bit of a dull & often poorly-executed space filler… sorry, but a few ikea specials plonked on a wall in an orderly formation generally speaking do not excite me {and please don’t get me started on exposed brackets}

no surprise then that when i do see something just the teeny tiniest bit out of the ordinary, i’m drawn like the proverbial moth to a flame…

& here it is, my current obsession {no. 2,563}: box displays…

first up is what i like to refer to as “the one that got away”… i kicked myself {& occasionally still do} that i didn’t make these little corrugated lovelies mine… antique wooden cheese molds from pale & interesting make a sweet & novel shelving option for small treasures…

a step-up in size are these upcycled crate display boxes… & the more dings & dents & proprietory stamps emblazoned across the sides the better i say! perfectly charming in a craft room for displaying supplies…

& then there’s this: moving on up a notch in the glamour stakes are these lined lovelies… amazing how a bit of patterned paper or fabric can take a little ol’ crate from cheap to extremely chic… and this deepest, darkest blue backdrop makes everything inside pop!

old sh*t not your thing? {there you go laura, that one was for you!}

ferm living has a pretty modern option which will double-up duties by adding a wash of pastel colours to your walls… & these would be a particularly great option in a kid’s room as a sliding plexi-glass panel protects your displays from inquisitive little hands…

& finally, what i affectionately refer to as the grand poobah of box shelving, are these screenprinted lengths of recycled oak which have been lovingly reconfigured into shadow boxes by australian-based design duo bonnie & neil {watch out for my style-loving post on this couple coming soon}

all of this goes to prove that sometimes in order to think outside the box, you need to use the box itself!

images via: pale & interestingfrench by designdesign spongeferm livingbonnie & neil

thinking outside the vase {three ways with fauxs}…

happy spring-like saturday to you all!

fabulous weather outside… wondering why i’m not out there getting some sun on my face instead of tap.tap.tapping away on a keyboard, but i just wanted to drop by quickly and share some more loveliness with you cheeky chappies… so, here ’tis…

with so many quality faux blooms about {which i’ve happily banged on about before here and here}, i had to share these ideas for putting a creative spin on them {no vases were hurt utilised in the making of this post, uh uh!}…

first up… this really pretty idea from viv at ish and chi {check out her post here}… how sensational would this look in a little {or a grown-up} girl’s room… or swap out the colours {i’m imagining blooms in varying shades of lilac & mauve & deep purple hues with glossy green foliage & some strips of tan leather to bind} & set against a bare brick or concrete wall to bring an edge of femininity to an otherwise raw & masculine space…

or check out these little beauties from the jil sander 2012 collection in milan… forget the fashion {though it was breathtakingly beautiful}, these floral ‘exhibits’ caught my eye… i particularly love the display at the back where it looks like the flower heads have just been plucked off their stalks and layered haphazardly one atop another…

& it would be so easy to work this museum-esque vibe into your own home {or wedding reception… ooooooh}… all you need are some beautiful blooms & something to display them in like a glass cloche, perspex box or and old museum display case… {basically anything other than a vase!}

and finally, inspiration picked fresh from the portfolio of photographer kari herer

ever since i first clocked eyes on kari’s photographs i’ve wanted to bring these artworks to life so that i can physically reach out and touch those flouncy florals… {sometimes a photo just isn’t enough for me}

so, whilst i suspect kari used real blooms to create this look, you could certainly get away with swapping those out for the artificial variety… then just attach them to your background of choice {personally, i’d stick with the wildlife theme as it works so well} and set the whole piece off in a deep box frame {with or without glass}…

i’m so sorely tempted to try out each & every one of these looks in my own home… so watch this space as i’ll be sure to share if i do!

images via: ish and chidesign spongefashion is great

a versatile bunch…

flowers are, without a doubt, my drug…
it seriously gives me a high just walking past a florist, all those billowy blooms & bundles of foliage… {heaven on earth}

and, quite simply, they complete the sense of home for me…

fresh flowers are my weekly indulgence, but fortunately you don’t have to spend a fortune to make an impact… just a little pop of colour can go a long, long way, as these versatile fuchsia-coloured anemone prove…

thrown together with similarly-hued remnants of last week’s bunch, this vignette enlivens my windowsill…

the bright pink petals really pop against the neutral backdrop…

even when layered with lacy porcelain and tarnished silvers these sweet blooms hold their own…

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