It’s officially under three weeks until Christmas (!) so I think we’re OK to talk about it now, right? I’ve just started all my present shopping: unusually I’m doing most of it online this year but I think a little trip to Westfield or Selfridges for the final bits is due soon.
I have of course managed to get together a little wishlist of all the things I’d like to find under the tree too. It makes me look a bit sad really – textbooks, magazines, a wash bag and vegetable brush? Must be getting old.
I’m pleased to see that Urban Outfitters UK is taking a leaf out of the US’s book and adding more homewares to its range. Much of it is online only, but there’s a great selection of rugs, bedding, storage and knick-knacks. And isn’t the photo styling nice and enticing?
Rugs starting at just £12. I fancy a bright floral one to give some colour to my study.
Storage and shelving. How cute is that heart-shaped curio shelf and little retro record stand (which I nearly bought as a bedside table)? I hope they get more of the US furniture stock in because they have some great sideboards, coffee tables and sofas on there.
I really, really don’t need more cushions (I had to retire some the other day to actually fit myself on the sofa) but omg, kittens and foxes.
We took a lovely long North London walk in the sun on Saturday. Here’s a little map of where we went, and Instagrammed-guide below.
Kicked off with a hugenormous doorstop sourdough sandwich and tasty Nude flat white at the darling Maison D’Etre on Highbury Corner. From there we walked up Holloway Road, stopping at Ooh La La vintage shop on the way. Lots of furniture and curios to be found for reasonable prices.
We dodged the football crowds streaming out of Arsenal and cut back towards York Way, admiring the pretty houses with gorgeous front gardens – it’s always remarkable to me how many beautiful leafy streets London has tucked away. We made a special trip over here because Josh wanted to stock up on beers at Kris Wines. They didn’t disappoint, with a huge range of bottles from American rarities to Danish Mikkeller and local heroes like The Kernel all well catered for.
Right next door is a fabulous vintage store I’d never even heard of before called Paul’s Emporium. Piled high with ephemera, statues, furniture, lighting and signage, it’s a real gem. I’ll be back soon for another rummage for sure.
We then meandered down the quite unlovely and industrial York Way back to Kings Cross, stopping for a cider and coffee-infused IPA at the new Caravan (the food here is fantastic too, by the way). It’s good to see this area regenerating – with the pretty Regents Canal basin and new St Martins campus, it’s getting quite lovely and improvement works are still going on.
Final stop was a quick duck into the Relic Antiques Warehouse behind the station, which I’ve been meaning to go into forever. It’s pretty small with a rather quirky range of stuff – giant beaded peacock head anyone?
I hope there’s chances for a few more London walks before the cold sets in. Anyone else got a favourite neighbourhood for a weekend wander?
Wow – I just found this wonderful new website via the Rockett St George newsletter and had to share…
Sous Chef is an online megamart for the serious home or professional chef – it neatly brings together hard to find products, tools and ingredients into one delightful site. Founded only two months ago by Nicola Lando, a home-turned-professional chef frustrated at not being able to source the kit she wanted, the site is a dream to browse if you’re remotely into food or cooking. Nicola has done a remarkable job at curation – the site’s got absolutely everything, from sous vide cookers obscure Korean chilli pastes. I just spent an entire lunch break drooling over all the sections and trying to decide what to shove into my cart first.
One of the smartest product ideas are these kits with all the ingredients you need to get started with certain cuisines or recipes, like Japanese sushi rice or middle-Eastern spices for Ottolenghi recipes. Once you have the basic stuff in your storecupboard, it’s so easy to rustle up quick, authentic food.
They have a particularly great range of Japanese and Korean stoneware, reminding me of some of the lovely ceramics we picked up in Japan. I really want to try cooking some Korean stone-pot rice so might have to pick one of these bad boys up.
Loads of top cookbooks from cult restaurants and chefs, alongside some classics (I highly recommend Japanese Cooking – A Simple Art, just as a wonderful bedside read. Yes, I read cookbooks in bed. What?)
Plus the site has loads of mouthwatering recipes to give you inspiration for what to cook next.
I’m really quite bowled over at the selection and delightful browsing experience of the well-designed site, and am filling my cart with goodies: a pot of Mexican bittersweet smoked paprika, a ravioli stamp, some shaoxing rice wine…
All product pics c/o Sous Chef (and this isn’t a sponsored post by the way, I just love the site).
There’s some great mid-century modern inspired furniture pieces to be found at Berlin-based Fashion For Home. The site is new to the UK and focuses on innovative and stylish home furniture from an international team of designers. They manage to keep the prices low without sacrificing quality and workmanship by avoiding middlemen along the supply process, and are environmentally conscious.
I’m mentally re-dressing my home with these pieces…
Amara got in touch recently, asking if I’d like to review one of their products. I hadn’t heard of the site before, but was happy to find it’s a very well-curated online home store, with brands such as Missoni, Orla Kiely, Emma Bridgewater and Rob Ryan amongst lots of others.
I was particularly excited to see Jonathan Adler listed, an American designer known for his elegant animal ceramics and cheerful patterns. I fell in love with his store in San Francisco so I’m pleased you can buy it over here now too. (He also has a store in London, but it’s way over in Kensington so I haven’t trundled across town to it yet.)
I couldn’t resist this gorgeous birdie spoon rest: beautiful yet functional!
She looks equally at home with my owls on the mantlepiece, non? Here’s some of my other Jonathan Adler favourites from Amara’s site:
I’m quite excited to be able to show off the beginnings of a project I’ve been working away on for the last few months. LLUSTRE.com is a brand new site for finding and purchasing beautifully designed products for your home, and I’ve been working with them since December as design director. Their USP is to promote new designers, find exclusive and limited-edition products, and deliver them at a great price to the customer. It’s been so much fun working on the site and getting glimpses into all the wonderful products that will be up for sale come April…
A teaser of some of the brands lined up to sell in the first few weeks of events: Ella Doran, Thornback & Peel, Plumen, Normann Copenhagen, Falcon enamelware, Reiko Kaneko and Thorody.. reads like interiors heaven, non?
We’ve just launched the first phase of the site where you can sign up for founder member status, getting yourself an instant £10 credit to spend and the ability to invite friends and earn even more credit (up to £100!). And there’s loads more (secret) exciting stuff being added very soon…
LLUSTRE also has a fabulous in-house Journal to give a taster into the kind of aesthetic and edtorial slant you’ll soon be able to find on the full site. The busy team also tweet, Tumbl and Pin – phew!
There’s only 10,000 LLUSTRE founder memberships up for grabs so get signing up now to be first in the queue when the sales start, and invite your friends to earn credit!
Pssst! – if you’re a blogger and would like to share the LLOVE on your blog too, just drop me a comment or email and they’ll send you a lovely press kit with all our photographs and launch brands, as well as info on other bloggy events that we’re running.