Friday, September 28, 2012

Ombre Heaven

If you're not aware of the latest trend for dip-dye, where on earth have you been?! From the catwalk to homewares, even hairstyles and fingernails are rocking the ombre look, and now you can have it on your walls courtesy of Rockett St George!

It looks so effective, and the colours are gorgeous. You could just go for one small area like in the 2nd image here, or dip dye your whole room, including curtains like the 3rd shot!

Check out Rockett St George for details and pricing, and also all their other fantastically quirky wallpapers!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Top design spot - Anglepoise

I don't often enter competitions. Mainly cos I don't count myself as particularly lucky. But hey, perhaps that's why I never win anything cos I never give myself a chance! So when Little Greene asked me if I'd like to enter their competition, I thought, why not?! Plus seeing as the entry requirement was to blog about my favourite 20th century design which sounded fun, and the prize is an Eames DSW Chair, which I have always wanted but could never afford! :( 

So, what is my favourite piece of 20th century design? there are so many timeless, classic items out there, but for me there was only one item that really stood out, and that is the Anglepoise lamp. To me this is a piece of design that will never date, and never looks out of place in any setting. As these pictures show, it can work in a lounge, office, bedroom, hallway or even the kitchen.  It has utilitarian style in bundles. Form. simplicity and function are all attributed - perfect for those times when you struggle to thread a needle in your craft room, or are just enjoying a good book on an winters evening. Constantly being copied & reworked, you are sure to find a colour, size and style to suit you, and who couldn't love the giant Anglepoise as in our last pic here?!

If you are interested in the history of the orginial Anglepoise, pop over to the website here.

This is my entry into Little Greene's 20th Century Design competition. Find out more at: 

Good luck to me! xxx 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Light filled Brooklyn Apartment

Why can't all Real Estate developers be like the Brooklyn Home Company? I recently came across them when working on something for my day job, and loved how they are creating truly stunning homes, rather than just the bland boring units that we see from many developers these days.

This particular home in their portfolio makes me just want to up-sticks and move to Brooklyn! Huge windows flood the space with light, and the white floors and walls give it that added airiness. But then touches of natural wood, leather chairs and earthy fabrics create homeliness and comfort.

I could definitely see myself swanning around in some cashmere lounge-wear in this place! couldn't you?!

All photos by Emily Gilbert

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Today I'm loving...

my love for pastel shades is no secret, so I was instantly drawn to this tableware range spotted over at Rigby and Mac.... 

and don't these patterned bowls mix and match perfectly with them? we may be coming into Autumn/Winter but there is still definitely reason to keep pastels in your life!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A vintage Christmas workshop

Yes, you read that right; Christmas! I have definitely noticed a bit of a Christmas vibe sneaking in the last few weeks - mince pies are already popping up in the supermarkets, I'm getting lots of orders for these mini xmas pegs and the Christmas press emails are starting to flood in. So I wasn't too surprised when I spotted this over on one of my new favourite blogs Pearl Lowe's Vintage Home...
Pearl is holding a workshop on how to style your home or shop for the festive season, from dressing your table, to gift wrapping to making your own decorations.

The workshop is being held on Nov 20th at Babington House - which looks beautiful.  It costs £195 to take the one day course, but it includes a goodie bag, 3 course lunch & all your materials - it sounds like the perfect girly day out to me!

All photos by Emma Case

Friday, September 14, 2012

French Fancies: Minakani wallpaper

If you fancy something different and a little bit dramatic for your wall coverings, then what about these from French design duo Cécile Figuette & Frédéric Bonnin....? Do u like? I think they are quite fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Save the Dates

As I have previously said on here, I am not going to bore you with wedding related posts when you are here for interior style tips and ideas, BUT, if you are interested in my wedding plans, you can pop over to Poppy in Pearls where I will be writing regular posts for Sarah's 'Real Bride' series.
This week is the first of my posts, about the proposal and our initial plans and also I've shared my Save the Date cards which were designed by the wonderful Charlotte Love.

Charlotte created the illustration for us, and then I did all the printing, cutting, and packaging myself!
So wedding fiends, head over to Poppy in Pearls and read my first post! I weirdly feel slightly embarrassed talking about this relationship stuff, but hopefully you'll think its a nice story! xxx

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

91 Magazine - Issue 4 now online

As promised, I have just published the 4th issue of 91 Magazine this morning! Its a little bit of milestone for me, as it is our anniversary issue - we first launched the magazine in Autumn 2011 - I can't believe its been a year already!

We have a little bit of a stationery theme with an article on the effect the digital age has had on the stationery industry, as well as some beautiful items for you to covet! This issue’s Style Notes comes from a garden shed and we show you how to mix this seasons hottest colour trends - neon and pastels!  Plus one of our favourite bloggers shares her tips and tricks for getting the most of your local car boot sale and bagging some bargains!

I hope you have a min to pop by and take a look at the latest issue! And don’t forget you can now download 91 Magazine to read on your iPad! Just visit our website to find out how!

Follow the magazine on Twitter too! @91magazine

TiYK interview - extended

This post is the continuation of an interview from our latest issue of 91 Magazine. Ladies Online is a regular feature where we meet inspiring women who are making a living from online business.

In issue 4 we meet co-founder of This is your Kingdom, Hannah Needham. As I couldn't fit the entire interview into the magazine, I thought I would continue it here on the blog, so you don't miss any of Hannah's great tips for running a business online, plus some of her favourite spots in the UK.

Photo by Rosie Bray

What gave you the idea  for This is your Kingdom and what research did you do before starting up?

Prior to founding TiYK in 2010, Rebecca and I would spend many hours discussing our latest finds - a lovely café for breakfast, a shop full of beautiful handmade keepsakes, our favourite place to picnic or a secret spot for supper. It was during one of these many inspiring chats that we stumbled upon the idea for TiYK - somewhere people like us could go to celebrate, share and discover only the loveliest things to see and do in the UK.
We quickly set about researching the concept, investing a great deal of time finding the right team to design and illustrate the site – something we felt was key to the success and appeal of TiYK. Following six months of hard work, the site was launched in April 2010 and quickly gained a loyal following of dedicated readers.

How would you sum up the business ethos of TiYK?

The TiYK website is a feel good place to be, something that is reflected in both our aesthetic and our content. By inviting contributors to share their ‘favourite things’ our content celebrates great delights, simple pleasures and happy occasions. We want our readers to feel like they could be sat listening to a good friend getting excited about the most wonderful place or thing they just discovered.
We have an incredibly loyal audience by virtue of the fact that we place our readers at the heart of every decision we make. Our long-term business goal is to work with similar minded brands by incorporating beautifully designed, bespoke advertising campaigns on the site and in our newsletters that will add value to our readers experience.

What have been the biggest benefit so far and the biggest downfall?

We have been hugely privileged to take part in the first year of School for Creative Startups - a fantastic course spear-headed by ex-dragon Doug Richard. This year-long programme has been vital to our business success offering a series of workshops and boot-camps on everything from identifying channels to market, building a budget, pricing services and creating a brand.

As part of the programme, we have been mentored by Tony Elliott, founder of Time Out and one of the nicest, wisest most helpful chaps we have had the privilege to meet on our journey so far. This has had a huge impact on our business success and an amazing catalyst to making TiYK a viable business.

The biggest downfall is undoubtedly lack of time. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to complete my never ending to-do list. This is hugely frustrating and I’ve had to learn not to beat myself too much about not achieving what seems to be the impossible!

Do you personally visit all the places you recommend? Which is your favourite?

Sadly we do not have the time to visit all the places we recommend. However, we’ve put a great deal of time and effort into building a fantastic team of similar minded contributors who help us ensure that every place we feature gets the full TiYK stamp of approval.

My favourite discovery through TiYK is the Ardingly Antiques Fair in East Sussex.
I love nothing more than spending the day rummaging through antiques and collectibles and Ardingly (held just six times a year) is a fabulous place to do just that. Thank you to Hannah Lohan for sharing!

If you had to move to another part of the UK, which would it be?

I dream of one day returning to Devon to live near my family with my husband James in a sprawling old farmhouse full of chickens and children and surrounding by rolling green hills. As well as the gorgeous towns, villages and cosy country pubs, the landscape is hugely diverse with stunning coastline (surf in the North and calm sailing waters in the South). There are also acres of rugged moorland - perfect for horse riding and top down rides in Lloyd, my husband’s vintage MGB.

Which bit of local knowledge have you found the most surprising / interesting?

Our readers love to hear about places that are a bit of a secret, quirky, unusual or unexpected. Ideas that fuel their imagination and encourage them to explore places they might not usually consider. We recently held a competition with Dorset Cereals where we asked them to share their favourite ‘simple pleasure’. This produced some lovely entries including:

Cloud Watching on the River Teme, Worcestershire (with a picnic of Jaffa Cakes and champagne!)

Tea Like It Used to Be at Hove Museum, East Sussex (complete with tea from vintage china, fresh scones and perfectly cut sandwiches) 

A Very Fine Summer Picnic Spot, Regent’s Park London (a vintage BSA bicycle basket laden with cheese from La Fromagerie and The Ginger Pig’s infamous pork pie) 

What effects have you seen the Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics have on your online community?

The last six months has been a truly fantastic celebration of Great Britain at its most glorious. We’ve seen readership soar and TiYK firmly establish itself as a trusted guide for those seeking out unique and lovely things to see and do across the UK as well as evoking a strong sense of patriotism.

We’ve also been lucky enough to benefit from some fantastic support with lovely pieces in Red magazine, the Guardian, the Independent and the Telegraph and were even selected by The Good Web Guide as one of their top 60 sites.

Illustrations by Jess Linares
How do you promote TiYK, what is the most effective form of social media for you?
(If Twitter, which hash tags / tips would you recommend?)

We rely on word-of-mouth and are lucky to have a wonderful audience of loyal readers who regularly share the unique places they discover through TiYK with their friends and wider network.

Our favourite social media tool has to be Instagram. Perfect for capturing the essence of every unique discovery made during day-to-day life. We’re busy working on a redesign of the site and are on the hunt for gorgeous images of your secret spots across the UK to share with the rest of the TiYK community in the ‘I Spy..’ section of our home page. All you need to do is tag your photo #TiYK - include a what, where and why and we’ll pop you up on the new site once it’s live!

We are also very active on Twitter @tiykingdom – a place to share content, make friends and discover wonderful going’s on (and the occasional celebrity scandal of course..); developed a *mild* obsession with Pinterest and use Facebook in place of a blog to share behind the scenes news, announce competitions and find out what our readers are up to. 

What advice would you give to other potential online businesses?

Visibility is KEY. Starting up online is a viable option for many startups due to its fairly low barrier to entry however what people often overlook is how customers will then find them once their site is live. You may have developed the most magical, life changing, mind boggling product ever to grace the earth but if nobody knows about it there is little point in its existence.  A well thought out, well executed marketing plan is absolutely key to your success.

Thanks Hannah! Lovely to meet you! If you haven't already, read the rest of this interview in the latest issue of 91 Magazine - click here.

Fab Followings: Lovely and Company

I've always got my eye out for shops that sell good quality vintage furniture and this week came across Lovely and Company who stock a range of furniture, lighting and accessories - mixing anything from mid-century chairs to rustic wooden crates. Below are a few of my fave picks they've got on offer at the moment...
Metal milk crate - £49
Ercol nest of table - £375
Table with bench - £159
Haberdashery unit - £899
 Check out there full range here and follow them on Twitter too!

Monday, September 10, 2012

New website is live!

If you are a regular reader you will have heard about my decision earlier this year to close my online shop.  The launch of 91 Magazine plus various other personal commitments (getting married for one!) has taken over a little bit, and I felt I could no longer dedicate the time that was needed to the shop.  Also I wanted to focus my energies on the magazine and on this blog too which was getting severely neglected!

So, today is the day I finally say goodbye to the online shop, and while I am a little sad, I am also excited about the next chapter for Patchwork Harmony! I am proud to unveil the newly designed and rebranded website! Ta da!

 As well as being a centralised hub for the blog, and magazine, the new Creative Services section outlines the new services I am offering. Writing, guest blogging, picture research & design are all skills I hope I can provide to others.  With my background in publishing, picture editing & design, I felt it was time I focus on these aspects of my career, and I hope to build on my previous experience of writing and blogging, so if you are interested in collaborating get in touch!

Not only that, also for small business owners I am extending the offer of informal one-to-one advice sessions - meeting with you and answering your questions and concerns about setting up your creative business, which can cover anything from doing your own PR to networking. Drop me a line to find out if I can help!

You may have noticed there is still a shop link on the website.  At the moment, I am still selling the last of my stock on - where there are a few things from our range still left. The future plans for this are still unconfirmed, but I may well hold the occasional online pop up shop for vintage items only! So look out for that.

So there you have it... the next chapter for Patchwork Harmony! I hope you will check out the new website, and I'd love to hear what you think, and if you have any suggestions on anything! And don't forget the next issue of 91 Magazine is out TOMORROW!

Caroline xxx

PS. Thanks to Katie of What Katie Does for the fantastic new website design! x
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