How to make a simple foraged festive wreath

Hanging a wreath made with seasonal foliage is a very traditional Christmas way to decorate our homes and to say welcome to visitors over the festive season, but they can be expensive to buy from a professional florists.

Making your own using a few basic tools and some foraged seasonal foliage, is simple and cost effective. For this one I made below, I used a mixture of seeded and silver eucalyptus and snow berries. I’ve made it in a contemporary minimal Scandinavian style, but for a more rustic look you could use a bark or willow wreath and add in garden herbs, such as rosemary or bay leaves, which will also have the added advantage of scenting your home.

You will need:

  1. 1 metal floristry ring
  2. metal floristry wire
  3. sharp scissors
  4. Selection of seasonal foliage

Start be selecting various foliage and tying bundles together tightly at the base with the floristry wire.

Lay the first bundle on top of the metal ring on an angle, starting on one side of the ring and secure using floristry wire. Trim the excess stems so that they are as close to the ring as possible.

Make another bundle of foliage, in the same way and lay the sprigs of the foliage over the wire on the base of the first bundle, to hide it, then secure the second bundle again at the base with the wire. Continue in this way all the way around until you come to a point that you would like to stop.

If there are any bits of wire showing, you can cut smaller pieces of foliage and secure them by threading them through the wire.

To secure you can hang the wreath directly onto the wall or add some decorative twine or ribbon onto the top of the wire ring for hanging.

For a video of how I made this, go to @sofology on Instagram

This wreath was made using a bark ring from Sostrene Grene. As well as foraged ivy and pine branches, I added some wax flowers and thistles bought from the florists. If you wanted something more festive, you could add winter red berries, mistletoe or even pheasant feathers.

Trend Alert – Neo Mint colour of 2020

The leading trend forecaster WGSN has predicted that the colour trend for 2020 will be Neo Mint, a fresh, bright, optimistic green and don’t we all need a little optimism right now? To find out more about the science behind how a colour is chosen as the next trend, the report by WGSN makes really interesting reading.

Image Little Greene Paint Company

The colour harmonises perfectly with and is a natural progression for the pastel trend that started with Millennial pink, swiftly followed by coral and lilac.

It makes perfect sense in these times of restrain witnessed by the High Street recently, and our increasing awareness for sustainability, that a colour has been chosen that will seamlessly fit into our homes without the need for any major renovation or re decoration.

This is a mood board a put together for a client shoot, earlier this year, using pastels demonstrating how mint green works with lilac and soft greys.


Mint green with coral or millennial pink instantly fits into the current trend for modern Art Deco, giving a Palm Springs freshness to a scheme. Think of the art deco hotels lining the ocean front in Miami and you will instantly recognise this colour palette.

Neo mint with soft lilac is a perfect pairing for more romantic country inspired interiors.

This is a shot I styled for a client using a palette of fresh light greens on the wall.

If you’re drawn to the dark side and love black and dark moody interiors, a touch of neo mint will provide a bold splash of colour and again is very reminiscent of the Art Deco Era.


Neo mint is such a versatile colour for any room in the house, but works extremely well in kitchens, bathrooms or bedrooms as a soft restful and fresh colour and looks beautiful with brass as a warm accent colour.

As with every colour trend, it won’t be for everyone but I always surprise myself that no matter how adamant a colour isn’t for me when it first emerges, I inevitably find accents of it creeping into our home eventually. With this in mind, I’ve found a selection of objects for the home, some small, some statement pieces, in this new shade and put together a shopping list below.

What are your first impressions? Can you see yourself using this colour in your own home?




Line Drawing Trend and The Matisse affect

In 2014 Tate Modern in London held a retrospective of the work of Henri Matisse concentrating primarily on his paper cuts which marked the final chapter of his career. I was lucky enough to attend the exhibition which was a chance to see so many of his works in one place.

The Cut Outs exhibition at Tate Modern 2014. You can tell how much phone cameras have developed since then!

The work was simple but big and bold, made up of often repeated shapes, using colour palettes which were a combination of deep vibrant colours and soft pastels, Matisse was known as the art worlds greatest colourist, and since the exhibition the design world has been heavily influenced by this period of work by the French modern artists such as Matisse, Picasso and Jean Cocteau.


One of Matisse’s blue nudes that has clearly had a big influence on the design world over the last few years.

With the imminent 150th Anniversary of Matisse’s birthday in December this year, there are so many new products featuring this stylised type of drawing, in honour of this important and influential design period.
Some are exquisitely hand crafted by modern day artisans, such as the designs produced in Morocco for Lrnce, who use sustainable materials and local crafts people to produce the clothes and interior accessories for their two stores.

A beautiful framed tapestry by LRNCE

There are a few select stockists of their products in the UK, including The Conran Shop and we are very lucky to have A Hare In The Forest ,based in Manchester, as an official stockist, selling these beautiful modern designs, along with original lithographs from the artists producing in France during that important period of art history, through a series of pop ups and exhibitions. The next Exhibition is due to take place in Manchester City Centre in November and it is definitely worth following their instagram account to find out more about future events.

Luckily for those of us with smaller budgets, there are lots of more affordable designs available through small independents and some High Street retailers. Here is a small selection of some of my favourite designs I’ve sourced and collated a shopping list below for you.


I found this vase in Homesense a few weeks ago for just a few pounds.
You might remember this shot that I styled for a client, using the cushion on the mood board available at Rose & grey Interiors and a print by Loulou Avenue, with the one on brown card quickly painted for me by super stylist Tara Royston.

If you like the idea of surrounding yourself with some Matisse style art here are a few more wallpaper designs that have recently been launched by WallpaperMurals.

Rough Plaster paint effect walls and products to achieve the look

We’ve been doing a lot of thinking and talking here at Barlow Towers, about redecorating our bedroom, for what feels like almost a year.

The fitted cupboards that Mr B made, using reclaimed french doors, from The Vintage Rooms Matlock, have been finished for months but we’ve not been able to pin the rest of the design of the room down, mainly because of the lack of head space, due to family ill health and other commitments.

This thinking time, has been valuable in many ways though, as it has given me the certainty to know that I definitely want to achieve a rough luxe look, using some lime paint. The constant images of distressed and time worn style, plastered walls that keep popping up on my instagram and Pinterest feeds, has confirmed that the calming, almost monastic quality of this look is just what I crave in my bedroom, my sanctuary, the only room, it seems I can get any peace and tranquility at the moment.

I first considered this look after using some Bauwerk paint on a set, last year. Bauwerk were the only brand that I knew who made this type of paint at the time and although I bought their recommended wide bristled brush to apply the paint with, the set builder struggled to achieve the exact look I wanted. I now realise from watching tutorials on instagram, which weren’t available then, that the only way to achieve the time worn textured look, is to apply multiple coats of paint, at least 5 and I don’t think we went quite far enough.

This is the set that I used the paint on which looks more mottled than distressed but we were pleased with it in the end?

The influencer Kyla Magrath has used Bauwerk, much more successfully in her lounge and has a fantastic tutorial which she has saved as a highlight on her Instagram profile, which is well worth a watch if you are thinking of using it? This paint is expensive so you don’t want to make any mistakes and Kyla’s tutorial gives a very detailed explanation of just how to achieve the look she has.

The lovely textural wall created by Kyla in her home using Bauwerk paint.

Other brands have now emerged which give varying degrees of the look from the very subtle by Kalklitir seen here in the beautiful home of photographer Karine Kong, Casa Pyla. Karine tells me that the paint is available on Amazon and is incredibly easy to use. I’m actually quite drawn to this more subtle look and I think I’d be less likely to tire of it than a more dramatic distressed look, but that’s only because I’m quite lazy when it comes to redecorating our own house and therefore, I need things to stand the test time.

The Kitchen at casa Pyla home of the photographer Karine Kong.

If The more antique distressed Venetian Palazzo is more your style, then you will love the effect created by Interior Designer, Dee Campling, in her home, using Autentico paint. Again Dee has uploaded a very helpful, informative tutorial on her instagram profile page as a Highlight.

The lovely finish achieved in Dee’s home using Autentico

Another brand of lime paint that I really love for the simplicity of its application alone, is Pure & Original. There are no fancy techniques employed with the application of this paint, just a coat of their primer onto the wall first and then once that has dried, you simply apply the lime paint and wait for it to do it’s magic. The uneven texture and light and shade created, is completely natural to the way this paint dries.

I first saw it in the Airbnb created by the beautiful lifestyle store Igigi and they are in fact one of this countries limited suppliers.

I would recommend that you buy a colour card before using any of these paints to achieve the exact colour you desire. Most of them come at a cost as they are hand painted cards, but due to the high cost of this paint, it’s money well spent to my mind.

Back to Beige – The New Neutral


After over a decade of grey dominating our homes and interiors as the neutral of choice, it’s so refreshing to see a move away from these cooler tones and a return to warmer neutrals. With an ever increasing interest in sustainable and ethical design and materials, it’s no surprise as these shades of stone, clay and bisque work as a perfect backdrop for natural materials.

It all started when Dulux announced their colour of 2019 “Spiced Honey” a warm caramel tone, to somewhat mixed reactions. I know when I did a poll, on my instagram stories, asking what my followers thought of the colour, the immediate response was a thumbs down. But after Joa Studholme, colour consultant for Farrow and Ball, revealed the nine new shades from the paint company back in September 2018, with not a grey in sight and predicted we would “be moving away from grey” it appears that we have been convinced? Beige, it appears is anything but boring.

In fact what at first to be a rather bland choice, looks fresh and contemporary when mixed with crisp whites and darker accents of black and navy to anchor it and by adding layers of texture such as rattan, cork and wood the whole scheme suddenly looks very appealing. These shades are versatile and work equally well with a traditional or contemporary interior.

Image from The Poster Club

Image @linneasalmen

Image @ingredientsldn

Michelle Ogundehin, former Editor in Chief of Elle Decoration, has renamed the introduction of these softer colours, used together with natural textures, as “soft Scandi” and it is certainly a warmer, more homely and perhaps more versatile take on the stark white and monochrome palettes we’ve become familiar with as the Scandi look.

Image @casapyla

I’ve definitely been won over by the warmer tones and am thinking of using this palette in our bedroom, with added texture to the walls perhaps in the form of cladding or a textured chalk or lime paint finish and have been busily pinning and saving shots from Instagram for inspiration.

Image @interiorglobe

Image @bauwerkcolour

I’ve put together a mood board of some of the High Street buys and lovely hand made products from smaller independents that would pull this look together.

  1. Throw – HK Living
  2.  Noah Cushion – Ren London 
  3. Table Lamp – Nove Lighting
  4. Washed Linen bedding – H&M
  5. Palm leaf Wall Hanging – Rose & Grey
  6. Wall Art – The Poster Club
  7. Woven Chair – Also Home
  8. Brown Star Tiles – Porcelain Super Store
  9. Rug – Zara Home
  10. Pottery – Hannah Bould

What are your thoughts on the new neutrals? Do you agree with Michelle that the Soft Scandi look is perhaps more suited to our climate here in the UK or are you yet to be convinced to move away from the grey palette?