I get quite a few emails from brands asking me to take part in various projects and I don’t say yes to very many, but every now and then something really interesting pops into my inbox. One such invitation recently arrived from Luxury Flooring, which sells a huge range of affordable floor materials. Inspired by the famous Instagram account @ihavethisthingwithfloors, which is dedicated entirely to showcasing beautiful floors around the world, they challenged me to depict a week in my life through what I see on the ground beneath my feet.
I do love a good ‘selfeet’ (selfie + feet), so I couldn’t resist having a go…
Like all good holidays, our trip to Berlin involved a fair amount of eating and drinking, and the incredible array of restaurants and cafés meant we were spoilt for choice. For my final instalment from the city, here’s a round-up of our favourite foodie discoveries…
I have another installment from our recent trip to Berlin today (if you missed last week’s post about our wonderful B&B, Linnen, you can see it here).
It’s safe to say that the edgy, eclectic German capital captured our hearts from the moment we arrived. It isn’t exactly pretty – it’s shabby in places, with plenty of sprawling Soviet-era apartment blocks – but it buzzes with life and creativity. It’s also full of character, and every neighbourhood has its own personality, from down-to-earth Prenzlauer Berg (where we were staying) to vibrant, multicultural Kreuzberg (home to a large Turkish community).
You might remember that a few months ago I wrote about our plans for transforming our guest rooms. It’s taken a while as a boiler replacement and water leaks disrupted our schedule, but I’m finally ready to share the results of the first makeover.
This is the smaller of our two spare bedrooms – it’s little more than a box, really – and it’s also home to the boiler cupboard. That means there’s little room for furniture, but we were still determined to turn it into a welcoming, stylish space where visitors can unwind. As with the rest of our house, we looked to Scandinavian design for inspiration and set about creating a calm yet cosy scheme.
It’s time for another home tour and, as I have all things Berlin on my mind at the moment, this beautiful houseboat in the German capital seemed like the obvious choice.
Moored on Lake Rummelsburg (a serene inlet of the River Spree), this contemporary home makes a wonderful retreat from the city hubbub. It’s owned by Chris Laugsch and his brother Oliver (the duo behind holiday rental company Welcome Beyond), who stumbled across it by accident and instantly saw its potential.
A few weeks ago Chris and I hopped over to Berlin to celebrate / commiserate his 40th birthday. I’ll post some of our city discoveries next week, but first I want to share a peek inside Linnen, the lovely B&B which became our home for a few days.
In fact, ‘home’ is the perfect word to describe this place: it’s relaxed, stylish and oh-so comfortable. It occupies the first two floors of a 19th-century altbau (apartment block) in the buzzing neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg in the former East Berlin, and we loved it from the moment we arrived.
Last week I was lucky enough to be among a group of bloggers invited to a summer flower-arranging workshop hosted by British brand Dartington Crystal and Jo Wood of Bath-based florist Flowers by Passion.
The workshop took place at Flowers by Passion HQ, which sits in a rustic stone barn surrounded by banks of lavender and cow parsley. After a stressful couple of months (and a very tumultuous time here in the UK), I relished having the opportunity to lose myself in a sea of scented seasonal blooms for a few hours. (In fact, at the start of the event the lovely people from Dartington shared some research which found that people who have flowers in their home tend to be happier and less anxious then those who don’t – something which I can fully understand).
I have another fantastic online shop to introduce to you today: India May Home.
If you’ve ever read the ‘About Me’ section of this blog, you might have noticed that I describe my own interiors style as Nordic minimalism with a dash of bohemia, so the ‘Scandi Boho’ collection at India May Home is right up my street. The site was founded by Karen Birchenough, who was inspired by years of travel to put together a carefully curated selection of artisan furniture and home accessories from India and Morocco. I love the way her range combines exotic influences with a sleek palette of greys, whites and blacks – perfect for those of us who want to incorporate a touch of global style into our homes without overpowering a muted scheme.
Over to Karen herself for more…
Just a quick post today to let you know that I’ve added a raft of lovely new products to my shop.
They include some of my favourite new discoveries: soaps, bath salts and candles from Plum & Ashby, beautiful wood and marble chopping boards from Decorator’s Notebook, a variety of brass and concrete planters, minimal ceramics by Jono Smart, and more. You’ll also find the latest volume of Oak – The Nordic Journal (pictured above), which is packed with Scandinavian lifestyle, travel and design inspiration and which now comes as a snazzy-looking hard-back tome.
I love chorizo. In fact, it’s what put an end to a 13-year stint as a vegetarian when I was living in Spain as a student (many former veggies cave when faced with the smell of sizzling bacon; for me, it was a delicious-looking bowl of chorizo en sidra in a Barcelona tapas bar). So, when I saw that it’s the key ingredient in this month’s recipe from Kym Grimshaw of fabulous Bristol food blog On the Plate, my mouth started watering immediately.
This dish is a wonderfully light, summery take on chorizo, and its spicy paprika taste adds the perfect kick to seasonal peas and broad beans. It works brilliantly as an accompaniment to a barbecue or an alfresco lunch, or as part of a tapas spread; I’d also prepare it as a simple yet tasty dinner, served up with crusty bread and a glass or two of vino.
Over to Kym for the details…