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The spiralling popularity of succulents in the interiors and fashion world seems in part down to their sculptural appeal and in part down to the fact that they are hard to kill even for the blackest of thumbs.

Nevertheless without finger pointing [you know who you are] I can attest to the fact that there are some ‘charred thumbs’ out there that can do a lot of damage to even the toughest of plants! For those hapless customers I was excited to discover a new trend for extremely lifelike faux succulents that will always look perfect and are risk free!

Online home decor brand Nordic House‘s faux flower collection includes large succulent rosettes that can feature as striking table decorations or still life displays around your home.

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Berkshire based Beaux Faux gives new life to vintage books using them as planters for whimsical displays of artificial succulents. These would make such a beautiful gift!

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And Etsy has a plethora of succulent designs from felt succulents by Ordinary Mommy  and Miasole to artificial components to create your own elaborate and maintenance free displays.

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Whilst I sort through my piles of business cards and press packs from the London Design Festival to bring you my pick of design talent, here is some eye-candy from the week to whet your appetite.

Following an exciting online presence and two pop-up shops, The New Craftsmen, a hub for British craft finally moved its physical outfit into a 19th-century building in Mayfair earlier this year. Dedicated to working with Britain’s finest craft makers to showcase the materials, skills and craft products of the British Isle, the shop houses a retail space and atelier which hosted several events during this past week of design.

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Founded by Mark Henderson, Catherine Lock and Natalie Melton the trio have taken it upon themselves to preserve and champion Britain’s knowledge and expertise in crafts. The concept took root during product developer Catherine Lock’s road-trip around Britain exploring its indigenous craft skills.

Visiting everything from workshops left over from the Sheffield steel industry to basket makers in Orkney, Lock discovered that despite extraordinary expertise in crafts some of these artisans could barely make a living – inspiring the founders to come up with The New Craftsmen concept and work towards preserving the skills that are so much a part of Britain’s cultural heritage.

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The charming space boasts a carefully selected and styled range of products from hand dyed and woven textiles to handcrafted furniture, covetable ceramics and exquisite jewellery.

The atelier features a relaxed studio area and inspired pull out drawers dedicated to each maker, serving as a sensory portfolio of their skills - enabling customers, interior designers and architects to customise, commission and collaborate.

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The New Craftsmen
34 North Row
Mayfair, London
W1K 6DG

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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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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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