So next week I’m off to Barcelona for a couple of days and I don’t know if you’re anything like me but, when it’s your first summer trip of the year, do you always think you’ve got some suitable foot wear that you wore last year only to find that when you drag the things out of the wardrobe you remember that

a) they either rubbed your feet all summer long that you never really felt comfortable with them or

b) they were so damned comfortable that they are wrecked!

Well that my friends is the situation I find myself in as I write this blog post. So I’ve been avidly looking online, through fashion mags and in the High Street stores to try and find out what the most fashionable feet are wearing this summer and I thought I’d share my findings with you, should you be in a dilemma like moi?

Slides are every where this summer and although my daughter assures me fur topped ones are the only slides you need in your life, I rather like these more formal half shoe versions for myself?

These are from Cos £99

Espadrilles have made a come back again although a bit flatter than the usual wedge offering, which are perfect for wandering around on a city break?

This on trend blush pink version are just £19.99 from H&M

Metallics are still every where possibly as they look so good on tanned legs? These are by Molly Goddard X at Topshop

If you love the Morrocan influence that is everywhere from embroidered kaftan tops to ethnic pompom fringed bags and jackets, you’ll love these shoes, as much as I do?

From Next £32.00

Continuing with the Moroccan influence, I already have a soft black pair of these Babouche style shoes from Zara(now sold out) that I have been wearing all Spring and they are the most comfortable shoes I own. I’ve got my eye on this gold pair from Topshop to up the glam stakes for the evening.

Finally if comfort is always the over riding factor it’s a relief to know that the Arizonas by Birkenstock are still very much a fashionista’s staple item!

 

 

 

I love a good root around an antique fair or boot sale and there is nothing better, as far as I am concerned, than spending a day in the middle of the beautiful Cheshire countryside picking my way through some of the finest antiques and vintage treasures, sourced from the UK and Europe.

If like me, this is your idea of heaven, then The Decorative Home & Salvage Show is an event not to be missed. It is such a treasure trove of beautiful decorative pieces for the home and garden, with something for every taste. From French Shabby chic, to rustic country and industrial reclaimed and salvage. You will find furniture, fabrics, bric a brac, lighting and clothes.

The event runs for three days, Friday through to Sunday and there is literally something there for all the family to do such as fairground rides for the children and plenty of good food and beverages available on site, it’s a great day out.

Copious cups of tea and cake to keep you fortified while you shop.

As an interior designer and stylist and complete salvage hunter obcessive, I know there will always be something to catch my eye. From the perfect rug that I’ve been looking for to must have props such as beautiful textiles, linen covered books and tiny wee vintage shoes, perfect for styling a children’s shoot, everything is there and as is often the case when you go vintage shopping, there’ll be that one item that you weren’t looking for, but that you suddenly can’t live without.

Today was no exception and I came away armed with beautiful crockery and glass ware, something a stylist can never have too much of? Some of my favourite traders were there, displaying their stalls like true visual merchandisers. I’m always impressed by the amount of effort that goes into the displays, you really do feel like you’re walking into your favourite shop.

Nicky at Homeward has a great eye for colour and mid century design. You can also find her at The Treacle Market Macclesfield and here.

Paul & Lucy Vintage specialise in industrial salvage and have some really wonderful pieces for display and props.

Smug Fox had one of the loveliest stalls that caught my eye for it’s mix of vintage furniture and beautiful homewares. These little pink ladders came home with us for our daughters bedroom, which i’ll use to display fairy lights to add a scandi look to her bedroom.

Antique Ideology have a great mix of painted furniture, mid century designs and industrial salvage and you can also find them here.

The event is at Cheshire show ground and entry for the weekend is only £5 per day.The best of the three day event is that if you live relatively closely, as I do, you can always go back again tomorrow and do it all again.

For further details of future events organised by Arthur Swallow go here.

 

 

There is currently a definite 1970’s revival in design, not just in fashion but in homewares. Our love of everything hand crafted and homegrown, such as house plants and macrame are just a few of the trends that show no signs of going away. We are definitely having a bit of a “Good Life” moment and so I was delighted when Denby Pottery sent me some of their new Studio Craft range of  glazed table ware to style. My first thoughts were this is so Tom and Barbara and I instantly loved that feeling of nostalgia that it gave me.

The four natural tonal shades of browns and creams and speckled surfaces, take me straight back to my child hood. Those days of well made British design that was built to last. Brands that our parents always invested in such as Ercol, G Plan & Denby were good solid house hold names that were bought to endure the years, not like some of the throw away design that comes and goes, almost faster than the paint can dry in our newly updated schemes today?

The Studio Craft collection of Denby pottery is tactile and robust and perfect for everyday use. I was always told buy best and buy once and there is no better or more ecological way to invest in pieces that become part of our families daily life and eventually part of our family history.

All words, thoughts and opinions as well as photography are my own. This is not a sponsored blog post.

 

 

 

There was a time when the very mention of the word fake flowers or plants, sent a shiver down any serious interior lovers spine. Fake flowers and plants were nasty and very cheap looking and could only ever be used, god forbid, in desperate situations, such as out of focus in the background of a styled shot or surrounded by real foliage to disguise the fact the said flowers were indeed faking it.

Fast forward to now and with the help of maverick designers such as Abigail Ahern, who has championed the use of fake while also elevating their purpose in the home with her superior selection of plants and flowers, we are flooded with amazing, “are they, aren’t they real?” There is an explosion of blooms and foliage, succulents and cacti, now available from High Street stores, leading online retailers such as Cox and Cox and Rockett St George and even supermarkets.

 

A selection of faux plants from Abigail Ahern

Some of the best that I’ve seen and indeed invested in for props and Barlow towers are as cheap as £6 a pop. The quality of the faux plant or flower, is no longer represented by the sky high price tag.

 

 

These two are from ParLane which I bought at Barnshaw Smithy in Cheshire. They are such amazing quality and only around £10 per stem. When you think that you can easily pay that for one house plant or small bouquet of flowers, which if you’re anything like me, will only last for a couple of weeks, they seem cheap in comparision.

This all year round ever green branch was bought from Moth in Didsbury Manchester.

 

Spot the difference. Two of these plants are fakes and were bought for just £6 each from Sainsbury’s.

So what do you think about faking it? Are you convinced by these faux favourites of mine or not?

You know I always love to hear from you x

 

 

 

Can you successfully wear gingham after a certain age, I ask myself, without looking like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz? It’s a serious question as the rails of every High Street store are chock a block with the stuff. Gingham is the fabric Du Jour.

I”ve tried and tested a few key pieces which I think work, for me, anyway. Paired down with a white or grey accent colour and minimal accessories, I’d quite happily step out in these and have my Doris Day moment!

Side Button Skirt by Madewell

Bow Gingham Blouse – Mango

Double Cuff Shirt – Topshop

Gingham shirt dress – Zara

Gingham Cropped Trousers – Asos

What’s your take on it? Loving it or too cutesy? It’s always good to hear your thoughts?