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Home refresh with John Lewis

John Lewis home

When John Lewis offers to send you vouchers to pick some homeware goodies to share their Copenhagen range, you say yes please! We haven’t really done anything to the flat lately… we are waiting for a builder to be available as we’re planning a bit of wall-knocking-down, which is quite exciting. But in the meantime it was nice to select a few new accent pieces to give the living room and bedroom a bit of a new look.

copenhagen

John Lewis created the Copenhagen edit to highlight products with that lovely Scandi mix of warmth and texture but with a clean and minimal finish. Modern monochrome sits alongside natural woods and calming neutrals. My whole flat is in this style already, so it was great to pick out some complementary pieces.

John Lewis home

In the living room, I chose a new table lamp to replace a tired old Ikea one, which perfectly matches the greys of our sofa as well as echoing the tripod shape of the Tu floor lamp in the corner.

John Lewis home

I’m keen to add a bit of graphic monochrome to sharpen up the look in here, so picked the Copenhagen cushion.

John Lewis home

For the bedroom, I picked a new duvet set. It’s a lovely silky cotton, and two-sided so you can switch it up.

John Lewis home

I also chose the Devon lamp, which throws lovely shapes across the room when lit and matches our tree wallpaper perfectly.

copenhagen

Here are some more of my favourite items from the collection. What would you pick?

Goods supplied by John Lewis for review.

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Just Good Friday

justgood

1. I popped into the exhibition ‘At Home with the Days’ at twentytwentyone in Islington today, a display of furniture and objects from the late designers Robin and Lucienne Day. Everything’s up for online auction, and I may be having a hopeful flutter on a few items.
2. I went to cat-themed art show over the road from my house last weekend, it was pretty great,
3. I loved these little ceramics fellas, spotted at the LDF Hay popup shop in Selfridges.
4. Yes, this desk clock please.
5. I’ve had my eye on this Charley Harper knit fabric to make a frock for ages. Might have to invest soon.
6. A cute Kickstarter, sticky page markers which create a little city skyline through your book.

Design & Wonder at the V&A

V&A

I went to the V&A on Monday with my sister, ostensibly to check out some of the London Design Festival installations and exhibitions. But, box of wonders that it is, we ended up having a good root around some of its other corners – there’s always something new to find and admire.

V&A

My sister works at the V&A so it’s especially great to visit with her and be given a guided tour of some of the more hidden areas and her personal favourites.

V&A
V&A

I love Cornelia Parker’s work; ‘Breathless’, an arrangement of flattened brass instruments, sits in a double-height circular space allowing you to view it from above or below.

V&A

A 16th century ‘soundboard’ complete with a dazzling array of semi-precious stones.

V&A

Beautifully ornate floral chair

V&A

Canova’s Three Graces

V&A

A collection of puzzle jugs nestled in the ceramics galleries. I like how the V&A isn’t all priceless and important antiquities, there’s plenty of quirk in there too.

V&A
V&A
V&A
V&A
V&A
V&A

The contemporary ceramics gallery; many contenders here for my favourite game of ‘what would I take home with me given the choice’. I think today’s winner would be those gorgeous geometric vases or the perky pigeons.

Here’s some of the actual design festival stuff. I liked how it was dotted throughout the museum like a treasure hunt, with most pieces thoughtfully playing off the permanent exhibits nearby.

V&A

‘Ama’ by Michael Anastassiades, a tribute to Japanese pearl-diving women.

V&A

‘Double Space’ by designers Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, two huge reflective structures resembling plane wings which slowly rotate around the ceiling of the Raphael Gallery, reflecting the vast cartoons.

V&A

‘Candela’ by Felix de Pass, Michael Montgomery and Ian McIntyre; a hypnotic rotating disc with light projections set up in the dim tapestry gallery.

V&A

Zaha Hadid’s ‘Crest’ across the garden’s pool.

V&A

We spotted Paul Smith and Terence Conran posing outside ‘Paul’s Shed’ by Nathalie de Leval. Cate has some pics of the inside of the shed.

V&A
Patchwork dress

The marble staircase made a pretty backdrop for my newest handmade dress too!

The Design Festival runs until the 21st Sept, so there’s still time to get down there and have look at it all.

Picklin’ at Rita’s

Pickling

I had fun last week at a night-time pickling workshop, put on by Sarson’s vinegar and held at Rita’s Bar & Dining in London Fields. Our hosts were food historian Peter Ginn and Rita’s chef Gabriel Pryce.

Pickling

Peter gave us a lowdown on the history of pickling as a method of preserving fresh ingredients, and talked us through all of the ingredients that can be pickled: eggs and shallots are perhaps the most well known, but any fairly firm fruit or veg is a contender.

Pickling

The brine (the vinegar liquid that does the pickling) can be flavoured with any herb or spice you like – chilli, peppercorns and mustard seeds are common, but we could also pick from lemongrass, ginger, tarragon, fennel seeds and loads more. The process is really simple: you just heat up the pickling vinegar in a pan with your chosen flavourings (Sarson’s produce big jars of vinegar especially for pickling, which are pre-seasoned and at the correct acidity of 6%), pop the ingredients in a sealable jar and pour the vinegar over the top to cover the ingredients.

Pickling
Pickling

Pickling

After we’d stuffed and labelled our jars we sat down to a delicious meal put on by Rita’s – platters of fried chicken, amazing mac and cheese, sweet potato gnocchi, slaw and their own pickled hot sauce. Must come back here soon for a full meal because it was tasting gooood.

Pickling

Here’s my rather odd concoction – quail’s eggs, plums and mooli (Japanese radish) in a brine heavily spiked with chilli and mustard seeds. The proof is in the tasting, but it needs three weeks to do its thing first… I’ll report back.

Thanks to Rita’s and Sarson’s for a fab and informative night.

Just Good Friday

justgoodfriday

1. We’ve just booked to go to Mexico (DF and Oaxaca) for Josh’s 30th next month and I am SO. EXCITED. Reading my chef-crush Rene Redzepi‘s impressions of the food in the NYT only fuels it further.
2. My very favourite Soho fabric shop, Cloth House, is now selling online. Gulp goes my bank balance.
3. Love this marble-print bedding from H&M – and it’s on sale! But would I keep it for the bed or harvest the fabric to sew with, hmm.
4. I’ve fallen for this sweet collaged pigeon print by Pui.
5. I love Artemis of Junkaholique’s hand-woven textiles. I really don’t need yet *another* hobby, but now a tiny weaving loom is calling my name…