Would You Gift Someone A Scrubbing Brush?

Ok so hear me out on this one. I know these aren’t immediately obvious things to buy as a gift but I do think this is worth at least considering.  The idea for this post was what would you be more than happy to receive as a small gift but would never actually buy for yourself? And so I happened upon the humble washing up brush. Frankly who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive a thoughtfully sourced collection of kitchen sink paraphernalia. Anything to make the gargantuanly boring task of washing up a more pleasurable experience is a winner in my book.

Think about giving it as a housewarming or even the good old dinner party gift.  It shows you’ve taken some time to think of something a bit beyond the norm (no you haven’t you just quickly read this but your host doesn’t need to know that).

I’m tempted to say this Valentine’s day sod the red roses and buy me a scrubbing brush but that’s got all sorts of bad feminist ’50s housewife undertones.  WHATEVER.  They’re nice ok and I want them.

The Good Times Homestore tea towel,  Iris Hantverk Dish BrushHay Dishwashing BrushSolwang Cotton Dish Cloths

Bar Stools

I asked you lot (good old readers) at the beginning of the year what you’d like advice on and Janine tasked me with this post – where to find a great bar stool.

So today things are simple. Here’s my pick of my favourite bar stools and where to find them. There’s the easy wins from John Lewis and Heal’s where no online bidding is neccessary. Then there’s the Etsy finds or vintage picks for something more unusual. Pinch make the Chanel handbags of stools. They are so comfy and well worth the investment if you have the pounds.

When choosing bar stools really think about elegance and clean lines. I’ve included some inspiration of some of my favourite kitchens. And in my own home (in the above picture) I like to mix and match them rather than buy one style in bulk. Let me know how you get on!

  1. Industry Valley Bar Stool
  2. Galvanised Tolix Style Bar Stool
  3. Pinch Bar Stool
  4. Pair of 1960’s French Bar Stools
  5. Ercol Bar Stool
  6. John Lewis Croft Bar Stool






Let's Talk About Pantone Greenery

So in December Pantone announced that ‘Greenery’ is their colour for 2017 saying that the shade is “illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate”. Essentially when the world looks like it’s going to pot, this is an optimistic “life affirming shade” say the Pantone bods. Well… That wasn’t my first reaction.

Instead I was a little bit sick in my mouth to be honest. Infact that should have been the name of the shade. That or ‘Bile’ would have done it. HOWEVER *eats a small slice of humble lime pie* having let the idea stew for a few weeks I am reconsidering. It’s been a bit of a slow burn but it’s really grown on me.

I am still not advocating for painting this colour on walls but think ‘in the mix’ as they say it can actually be a bit fabulous.  For me you need to pair it with a lot of off white and go sort of American veranda chic meets old school English floral madness. I really like the look of it in a bold floral fabric paired with a stripe. I’ve long held aspirations to cover a rattan day bed in House of Hackney’s Castanea linen and this may just be the year to do it.

Where’s Twig?  She’s lying in the summerhouse surrounded by lime green accessories oxyengating and reinvigorating.

1. House of Hackney Castanea Linen

2. Ian Mankin Devon Stripe

3. Pierre Frey Espallier

4. Designers Guild Recycled Glass Vase

5. Oka Cabbage side plates

6. Conran Shop Linen Napkins

7. Raj Tent Club White Metal Chair

The PERFECT summer plates

I’m straight out of the blocks with this one. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes when in my usual course of trawling the New Now section I spotted these from Marks & Spencer.

They’re like your absolute most favourite vintage blue and white china, beloved antique market find but come in a non-breakable wipe down MELAMINE form!

They went straight into my ‘basket’ and arrived this weekend. I can confirm they are a total winner.

Think summer picnics, sandy beach lunches, serious morning fry up glamping action, year round children’s suppers….heck use them as a frisbie if you must.  Just get them before they become that grey jumper with the ruffle statement sleeves or Alexa’s suede skirt and sell out.

Side plate, Dinner plate


Lisa Mehydene of edit58

Remember my current obsession with those kids baskets? Well I thought I’d let you into the world of the woman behind them…Lisa Mehydene is the founder of edit58, an online interiors site that specialises in homeware from around the globe – baskets from California, cushions and blankets from Africa and wall hangings from Nashville. And THE most incredible rugs from Morocco.

It’s the vintage, pink and orange sploshed berber style rugs that first piqued my interest. Then seeing them displayed in her London home, that she shares with her husband and twins, she had me hooked.

I asked Lisa to share how she builds a space and for more details on the task of choosing a rug – something I am seriously picky about!

What draws you to the rugs that you source?

I don’t purchase any rug that doesn’t make my heart sing. It’s an immediate response upon seeing a rug. I know instantly if I want it for edit58. If I have to catch my breath. It has to be mine! It’s really hard to put into words what makes a rug special but I suppose it’s a combination of the colours (i’m a sucker for some pink) the pattern and the overall feel. I’m particularly drawn to those rugs that manage to combine a traditional design with a contemporary twist.

The hardest part of sourcing vintage rugs is that each is a one-off. I find it difficult to part with them as I know I’ll never see them again and they each have a piece of my heart. But it’s also what I love most about sourcing vintage rugs – that a customer has a unique item that no one else in the world has. In an age of mass production that’s something special.

What’s your top tip when buying rugs for your home?

If you choose well, a rug can be in your home forever. Based on that, try and transcend trends and select a rug that really makes your heart skip a beat. Rugs are basically art for your floors. You’ll look at it everyday, it can enhance your mood, change the feel of a space, move with you from home to home. Don’t overthink the decision.

You’ve recently started selling candles can you tell us a bit more about them?

I hold my hands up – I’m a candle addict. It’s an evening ritual to light candles and so it’s become an expensive habit. I had to launch my own brand! In fact, myself and Jon Harvey had been waxing lyrical (sorry!) about doing it for a while, and then mid last year we just decided to bite the bullet and get on with it and ‘atelier58’ was born.

It’s been such an exciting experience. We worked together with a UK scent house to develop our launch scents (Charcoal, Ochre and Blush) and Jon (with my bossy interruptions) developed the branding and packaging all based around a colour palette. We’re so excited to be also launching two new scents/colours for Spring 2017.

What’s your decorating philosophy?

I’m a firm believer in mixing high street, vintage and designer pieces – exactly as I do with my wardrobe. By sticking to this philosophy I feel you end up with a home/space that has texture, history, interest and warmth.

I like to walk into a space and have my eye travel. Based on that, I’m not a minimalist. I surround myself with things picked up on our travels, from special occasions, letters/cards from loved ones etc. I like to look at things and have a memory come to mind. It makes the space personal to me and my family and is what (to me) creates a home.

Again, much like dressing, a room needs layers – so I take into account the space, what the room will be used for and by whom. Furniture can be kept simple, but I like vintage pieces mainly as I like that they have a story to tell. I then like to add texture with rugs, cushions, blankets, wall-hangings and art.

Most recent favourite purchase/ purchases?

The new bed (‘The Beaumont’ from The White Company) is most certainly up there. We had wanted a new bed for years but just couldn’t agree on the one. I had my heart set on a rattan one by Anthropologie, but it sold out and in hindsight I think I would have regretted it in a few years. So when I spotted this one last year (and for literally half the price of similar designs) it ticked all the boxes. I wanted it to be a statement bed, but simple in its lines.

I used the January sales to take the plunge on some Merci linen pillowcases I had had my eye on (with 40% discount).  They’re a lovely quality, and the perfect old pink/grey check, that perfectly matches (mismatches?!) with our La Redoute tassel linen bedding in dusty pink, and our edit58 extra extra long cushion. I really like to mix up the prints on our bedding as I feel it gives a nicer feeling overall. We end up with about 6 layers on our bed (duvet, blankets, eiderdowns, cushions etc) and my husband moans – but I’m the bed maker so I feel I have the right to dress it up as I please!

We are very excited to announce our first giveaway. One lucky reader will be selected at random to win an atelier58 Ochre scented candle.  All you have to do is like the instagram picture on @minford_journal and tag two friends who don’t follow Minford but should.  The winner will be announced next Monday and we’ll be in touch to arrange posting the candel to your home. This competition is open to international readers too. Good luck!