WELCOME TO MINFORD
I’ve noticed a little trend emerging. Let’s call it a mini trend for the moment. Certain members of the fashion crowd and various members of the interiors world seem to be going mad for shells right now. Not in a themed house by the seaside way, instead they’re dotted about as ornaments on coffee tables or serving as soap dishes. Granted this treads a tight rope between cool and seriously naff. The trick to styling this one is to steer well clear of any further nautical themed accessories. View them as ‘objects’ to style with your other ceramics or collections. I love a brass shell on a coffee table or a place to store a few pieces of jewellery, and of course there’s the endlessly pleasing option of using a real shell as a soap dish.
If you’re feeling brave, add one little wall sconce next to the bed. Then there are those who really want to invest – for that you have Soane Britain’s incredible Venus chairs in velvet or rattan which to me is the absolute dream piece.
This shell thing isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I’ll wager we haven’t seen the last of this idea yet.
Shell style chairs in Sketch, London
Rose Uniacke’s London home is the perfect showroom to demonstrate just why she’s one of the most sought after Interior Designers in the industry today. And why I am such a fan. Of course her sanctuary-like space, minimalistic but never cold, feels nothing like a ‘showroom’. But it’s here that she best displays her near perfect, never puts a foot wrong taste. Her spaces are pared-back, and calm, giving room for the choice pieces of old and new designers to be seen in their full glory.
Rose has spent her career training her eye to spot beautiful antiques and understand the buildings she places them in. And in 2013 she won the Andrew Martin Interior Designer of the Year Award.
Raised in Oxford, Rose took an apprenticeship and trained as a gilder and restorer, before joining her mother Hilary Batstone in the antiques trade. She earned herself a reputation as a brilliant dealer in her own right and in 2009 opened her own London antiques shop. Her shop now also houses her bespoke design work – furniture and lighting that she created when she couldn’t find what she was looking for elsewhere. But it’s her interiors that make her the go-to woman for the Beckhams, Jo Malone and countless others when decorating their homes.
Getting the Rose Uniacke look in your own home means a major decluttering and serious attention to detail. Every room has a statement light. She pairs soft woods with harder textures such as marble and metal. And there’s a hit of colour in a neutral setting, creating uber elegant rooms that frankly make me feel a little bit giddy.
Watch Rose discussing her London home here.
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.
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!
- Industry Valley Bar Stool
- Galvanised Tolix Style Bar Stool
- Pinch Bar Stool
- Pair of 1960’s French Bar Stools
- Ercol Bar Stool
- 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.