ZaraHome

I never knew Zara Home had a clothing section did you? On the hunt for nightwear that will take me through a balmy Christmas spent in India and a cold New Year in the UK, I stumbled upon Zara Home’s ‘Loungewear’ section.

Beautiful basics at affordable prices, the collection is made up of a mix of luxury items like denim quilted kimonos at £109.99, seamless wool dressing gowns £79.99 and pretty basics – printed cotton and lace shorts, £25.99, Broderie Anglais nightdresses in pale hues £29.99 and silky camisole vests.

The entire collection has a bit of a Toast feel to it with artisanal touches and Eastern silhouettes but much kinder to your credit card. The collection is made additionally covetable by being displayed in attractive colour groups – nudes, peaches, greys and indigos – it’s hard not to convince yourself you need them all in your life.

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Nothing signals the beginning of Christmas in London more than a sparkly new store opening – last year excitement was at its peak with US Homeware brand West Elm which filled a lonely corner of Tottenham Court road with joy and American charm.

This year a new Anthropologie joins its Regent Street and Kings Road counterparts on charming Marylebone High Street. In my opinion there can’t be enough Anthropologies in London… as always an intoxicating and unique retail experience the new Marylebone offering didn’t disappoint. The store combines two beautiful historical spaces on the high street and maintains many of the original features which contributes to the store’s artisanal atmosphere.

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Cosy yet expansive, the store is spread over two floors and comprises of the brand’s signature beautifully styled vignettes and treasure troves of glistening tableware, trinkets and unusual offerings – with this December being all the more resplendent like some Dickensian fantasy.

Last nights opening also featured a workshop by up-cycling ceramist Lou Rota – who guided participants to adorn vintage plates with her signature flora and fauna, jewellery making by luxury jeweller Catherine Zoraida and topped off with delicious festive cocktails by Sipsmith. Wheeee! Joyeux Noel!

Anthropologie
33-34 Marylebone High Street
London, W1U 4PT

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FailKeyring

My obsession with hardware has always made me think of hinges, doorhandles and hooks as jewellery for the home – which makes this new collection by Austin, Texas-based jewellery designer Christine Fail pretty perfect in my eyes.

Using the same techniques of hand-cutting and hammering brass as her line of handcrafted jewellery, Fail has created a delicate collection of keyrings, letter openers, wall hooks and ornaments to adorn your home.

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Christmas season is swiftly approaching, bringing with it not only the big day but catch up drinks, festive soirees and office parties – all tied up with the excitement of the obligatory Secret Santa, gift exchanges with friends and hastily wrapped last minute buys to add to the pile under the tree.

We all want to treat our friends and family, but the treats sure do add up. Our 2014 gift guide celebrates creative and beautiful gifts which I hope will fit all your gifting needs – all available to buy online for under £20.

Happy shopping! x

GIFTS FOR HIM

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Paperclip Letter Holder £10, Anthropologie. Multi Spot Hankerchief £5 each, Labour and Wait. Retro Enamel Mugs, £5.95 each, Rose and Grey. Full English Biscuits £10, Not On The High Street.

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This beautifully crafted Rope Key Ring £12, from Labour and Wait is based on a ‘Monkey’s Fist’ knot, which was traditionally used to throw the mooring rope from ship to shore. Adding a touch of nautical charm to everyday items it is individually crafted by a knotting enthusiast in Suffolk.

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For the intrepid traveller or dreamer in your life, this super cool Scratch Off World Map £15.95, features a gold foil top layer which means that once a country has been visited, the globe trotter gets to scratch it off to reveal beautifully vibrant details and amazing facts about the world beneath.

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Men’s Lunch Tin £15, Rose and Grey. Bicycle Tool and Puncture Repair Kit £18.95, Lilac Coast. Pocket Fountain Pen £20, Labour and Wait. Initial iPhone Case £10, Alphabet Bags.

GIFTS FOR HER

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Half Moon Leather Coin Purse £17, & Other Stories. Swimming Swans Trinket Dish £12, Anthropologie. Shibori Journal £16, Anthropologie. Silver Stars Earring Studs £12, Not On The High Street.

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These beautiful Pink Ombre Tealights £4.95, from Lime Lace are made from fine ceramic and are finished with an on trend dip dye effect creating a beautiful and gentle glow when lit. They look fantastic grouped together in the center of a table or placed along a window-sill.
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This sweet and elegant A3 French Love Print £9.95, from the Old English Co is the perfect romantic gift to add a touch of monochrome whimsy to a bedroom.

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Lovely Large Canvas Pouch £18, Alphabet Bags. Copper and Glass Sectioned Box £16, Rockett St George. Brass Ring £17 & Other Stories. Initial Pocket Mirror £13, Alphabet Bags.

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As winter steadily approaches here in the UK, it’s nice to have a glimpse of summer in the form of a Beachcomber inspired DIY guest post from a very clever and creative friend of mine Harriet Cox trend analyst and go-to crafter for hair brained social gatherings.

This guest post follows several queries into this beautiful mobile gifted to me for my baby’s nursery [below]. The method which we are calling ‘Things on Strings’ can translate easily into a way of making use of holiday souvenirs, family mementos or even collections… warning this DIY may become addictive! Over to Harriet…

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I have always been somewhat of a beach comber/ shell hoarder/ driftwood magpie. Quite often, after a trip to the beach I return home to find my pockets full of beachy flora and fauna, things unconsciously selected on account of their colour, lustre, shape or resemblance to some other object. Usually these items kick about my house in small still life arrangements gathering dust until I can no longer remember the day or the place where they were found.

But after a recent 4 month trip of epic proportions driving across Australia and New Zealand I had not only filled my pockets but a large portion of my backpack with mementos of many a day well spent by the sea. This time on my return home I was determined to put some of my most beautiful finds to good use.

To display these treasures I have made a simple wall hanging using bits of driftwood for the structure and brightly coloured twine to hold each object in place, a lasting reminder of a life changing trip.

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To recreate this with your own collections all you need is: 

– Some gnarly bits of drift wood or cane to form the cross supporting sections.
– Twine or string
– I have used silk embroidery threads in bright colours, you could also use scavenged rope if you were lucky enough to find any on your travels!
– Scissors
– Your things to hang on strings!

To construct:

- First lay out your objects on a flat surface to get your design, play with composition and height and when it feels right just go with it.

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– Don’t worry too much about making holes in your finds, you don’t want to damage them. Instead use what is naturally there to secure the knot or try wrapping them in the twine which also adds a contrasting block of colour. Always over compensate on the string as this will allow you to make adjustments when you coming to hanging.

– Get the top support sorted first- a strong piece of drift wood secured at both ends with a piece of string works best.

– I find it easier to build whilst the top support is hanging up. This will help you to get the balance right by adjusting the strings as you go and it will let you fit the piece to the space where you want to display it. Tie securely enough to hold in place and then adjust any objects that aren’t sitting at the right height. Once your happy with your composition tie tightly in place and trim off your excess string- or you could add more colour by wrapping the excess string round the driftwood creating random colour blocking.

– Add a second tier if you want to add more length and things on strings- just make sure your top support is strong enough to bare the extra weight.

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My Things To Hang on Strings

One beach visited in Australia was covered in the tiny broken skeletons of the Mutton bird. When I asked a local why there were so many dead I was told that after their long migration the weak birds cannot make it the final stretch up the coast and simply give up. Their delicate little skeletons are washed up, bleached clean by the sea.

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On our first night in New Zealand we were welcomed by an incoming cyclone! Feeling nervous we settled into our campsite by the coast for a sleepless night battered by severe winds and rain. Next morning calm was restored, the sun was out and the beach was littered with the washed up remains of a king tide- a beach combers delight!

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Another coastal walk was littered with Påua Shells, home to a giant edible sea snail, whose shells are a valued Maori treasure used in native decorative arts and crafts.

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