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I have to admit I unashamedly stole this post’s inspiration from my friends at The Women’s Room Blog because I just love a party decor web-shop.

The Americans do party decor really well, with design doyennes like Martha Stewart and Grace Bonney making crafting and entertaining a national institution. Across the pond, the online landscape is filled with inspiring offers from the likes of BHLDN, department stores like Target and not to mention Etsy’s covetable craft shops.

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The UK on the other hand leaves a lot to be desired with creative shoppers left to cobble together their decorations from uninspiring resources like Ebay and Amazon.

Enter Pea Green Boat a beautifully executed online store founded by friends Tessa and Zoe based in North London.

Drawing on their backgrounds in interior design and film production, their decor collections are fresh, modern and on-trend. Divided into inspiring sections like Decorate, Lay The Table, Gifts, Accessories, Vintage and by curated Theme, covetable products like bunting, cake toppers, giant balloons and table decor are sourced from all over the world and where possible, made in the UK.

Now all I need is an excuse for a party…

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I have been reluctant to share much baby related inspiration on the blog till now as I have been nervous of jinxing events, but since I am having a baby shower this weekend and our new arrival is imminent I thought it was time to loosen up a little and just embrace being excited!

I thought I would begin by a little look into our soon to be nursery. We cleared our very cluttered spare room a few months ago and have slowly been decorating, again trying to keep the decor as pared back as possible until baby arrives. We repainted the room from a grungy blue to a bright chalky grey. Both working for ourselves we envision doing so often from home, and so for now the room doubles as a nursery/office.

Most of the furniture is from Ikea: RANARP reading lamp, STRANDMON armchair, GREGOR swivel chair, HEMNES chest of drawers, EXPEDIT shelving unit in white, BRANAS  and DRONAS baskets in white, geometric storage boxes from Limited Edition BRAKIG Collection. The work desk is also an old model from Ikea. Grey Cotton Cushion Cover and Yellow Velvet Cushion Cover H&M Home. DIY Star Garland made using fishing wire and Gold Iron on Stars and Polka Dot Decals from Polkadotwallstickers.com.

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I’m also waiting for these Glasbury Bee handles to arrive from Anthropologie to customise the chest of drawers with!

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The-Dean

Who amongst us hasn’t fantasised about the bookish glamour of elite American colleges and dorms characterised in Hollywood films and TV sitcoms? I know for me it’s the functional but homely interiors featured in these narratives that really set off my daydreaming – nestled in a quintessentially American university campus with green and sprawling lawns dotted with historic buildings designed to inspire learning – bliss!

If academic charm is your thing, then you will love the interiors of The Dean, a new boutique hotel in Providence, Rhode Island, home to renowned educational institutions such as Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design.

A 52-room hotel in the heart of the Providence’s Downcity historic district, room categories are named such - The Kin, The Classmates, The Patrons, The Mates, The Gang, The King, The Guardian Suite and The Heights - working their way up from dorm style bunk-beds, to elite connected rooms on the top floor of the hotel.

Each room is filled with custom furniture from the New England area – craftwork from local purveyors, bath products made with native plants and herbs and beds are dressed in luxurious, Massachusetts-based Matouk linens and blankets from Maine’s Brahms Mount. 

Not purely dedicated to academic study – the hotel has a number of stylish bars and eateries – German restaurant Faust’s Hofbrauhaus and hotel bar The Magdalenae Room are designed to keep guests sated and entertained, while local coffee roaster The Bolt has set up shop in the lobby. Here, you will also find Providence’s first and only karaoke lounge, The Boombox!

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All images courtesy of The Dean Hotel and Ash NYC

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I have written about London stylist Faye Toogood many times on my blog, I hugely admire her work and was lucky enough to have worked with her whilst I was an intern at The World Of Interiors many moons ago. She is also a lovely lady!

Over the years she has developed an amazing portfolio of projects designing interiors, retail spaces, installations and visual materials for brands like Comme des Garçons, Alexander McQueen, Opening Ceremony and Tom Dixon – she also designs her own mesmerising collections of furniture.  Faye has an ethereal style that is grounded in the past and the present, unusual materials and surprising emotive details – my favourite thing about her work is that none of her interiors are ever predictable.

And so for years I have been dying to see what her own home is like and I cannot believe I missed its appearance in the NY Times T-Magazine late last year!

Faye and her husband bought a Georgian townhouse in Islington five years ago and transformed it – in my opinion into something magical and evocative straight out of her most iconic editorial styled pages, although she describes the finished effect as “just a series no teletrack payday loans of objects not purposefully put together”!

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I love the luminous Vermeer blue colours that have become her signature style, and the perfect juxtaposition of the old and super sleek new designs  which sit strikingly side by side – her compositions so effortless and always rimmed with surprise.

I love the details in her bedroom, a velvet salmon pink bolster cushion and an oversized cased glass pendant light instantly transforming a simple space. Cleverly, giant-like wooden coat hooks are used for handles in her Ikea kitchen cabinets, large expanses of mirrors fill walls in her sitting room and bedroom, a simple idea to open up a space but lending to the appearance of many wonders that may flit past the ordinary eye. Not to mention her colour coded collections of marvellous objects scattered about the place like a modern-day explorer.

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You can read the NY Times article ‘The Well-Composed Life of Faye Toogood’ here and excitingly you can also see a video tour of her home filmed in nothing short of Toogood’s irreverent style. A great read and a mesmerising watch to transport you away for a few minutes of your day.

All images courtesy of NY Times T-Magazine.

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You may have heard me mention that we are expecting our first baby in May. From what I gather from others in the know, it is inevitable that our lives will be turned upside down from that day and not return to anywhere far from chaos for at least 20 years! With this in mind I have spent all of January in a whirlwind of activity, tying up loose ends, getting paperwork in order and doing two years of accumulated spring cleaning in our flat.

I know that what we all love most is a good before and after project of organisation. I know I do – even to look at another person’s space going from mild chaos to organised on my computer screen leaves me with a satisfied feeling. So with that in mind I am totally going to put my shameful cupboard insides out there for the world to see and show you how excited I am that they are fully transformed.

I had two spaces at home that were totally stressing me out – our hallway cupboard which since we moved in two years ago was a haphazard dumping ground for duvets, bed-linens, table linens and medicines, toiletries and odd bits of hardware. It broke my heart that i had so many beautiful linens which were never organised properly and we could never find any medicines we wanted because they are all piled up on top of each other in impractical plastic boxes.

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The second area was my bedroom cupboard, when we cleared out the spare room for the nursery all of my overspill which had been in there was hastily dumped in the bottom of my cupboards. I also knew I had to simplify my wardrobe – get rid of a lot of clothes and shoes and just make the most of what i had and access it really easily. It turned out that all of my life’s organisation solutions came in the form of the PP Storage System from Muji.

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The storage system is an elegant and functional collection of frosted Polypropylene boxes and drawers that can be stacked in any arrangement. I ended up using the PP A4 3 Drawer Unit for both of my cupboards – stacked and arranged side by side.

Oh to organise and I have the means to organise with is indescribable! Our hallway cupboard was transformed! No more scrambling around in the dark, things falling onto you while you are searching for something else. Medicines, candles, table linens and miscellany all arranged in easy to reach pull out drawers! Larger items like towels now have room to breath and stay neatly stacked and I used some lovely Cotton Linen Underbed Storage to zip up unsightly stored duvets inside. Yay! I love my hall cupboard now!

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The wardrobe – all my luggage, fancy purses and rarely used items have to date been piled on the top shelf and two rails held many clothes in the main area [the image above shows clothes after a substantial reduction]` and the bottom of the wardrobe was storage for my many shoes which I had at one time organised in see through show boxes but weren’t really functional as they weren’t particularly stackable, all had lids and it was an effort to get to a pair that might have been at the bottom of the pile. The rest was debris from the clear out of the spare room!

Now, just using the 3 drawer units, my shoes all fit in easy pull out drawers [this depends on what size shoes you have of course but I have managed to squeeze my husbands large shoes in the same boxes in the cupboard next door] my purses and scarfs that were piled on the top shelf also pull out and make is SO easy to put an outfit together. Yay! A tidy home really is a tidy mind and has put me in good stead to face whatever the rest of the year may bring!

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