Reading and Lounging

I’ve noticed, of late, the incorporation of books into, let’s call it, ‘space-styling’. Shop window displays – whether selling perfume or interiors will use the carefully placed spines of novels stacked on top of each other as a sort of palette to illustrate their wares. They are stacked vertically or in the more traditional horizontal row. Books are being used to sell other products like a model typically would. And the appeal is obvious. Books come in many different sizes, of varying thickness and texture, and an array of colours. They can collectively add form and stylistically can convey a feeling, a sense of place, smell even. I’m an avid reader and enjoy books for the world building, story-telling, and social commentary that can be found between their pages but I also love the look of my bookshelves piled with them in all directions – the varying dimensions, some tall and solid, some small and bendy. Quickly running out of space, threatening to fall and hastily being reassembled until a new one comes along and space needs to somehow be found to accommodate it. My walls would be naked and look rather sad without the many books stacked against them.

Although I always tend to gravitate towards a particular style and aesthetic, my mood on a given day can also determine what I want to read, and book cover design is a large part of this too. My bibliophilic tendencies do not yet include the owning of the same book in many different editions with varying cover art; but I know that day soon will come. Especially given the type of reader that I am. I enjoy taking my time over a book; reading it over a drawn out period. I just like to have a particular book that I’m reading at a given time, and I like that same book to occupy space in my bag for a while. This coupled with the fact that my tastes are admittedly narrow and not at all that broad when it comes to genre; most definitely means that in order to keep up with my impulsive obsession with buying a new book, titles will have to start repeating themselves.

My preferred genres are Classics, Dystopian, Modern Classic (Black Authored), Darkly Comedic/Satirical.

Although that all seems rather heavy, I do love a nicely designed cover – some examples of what has caught my eye:

Pulp! the Classics have modern entertainers moonlighting as classic heros/antiheros on their covers along with tag lines that really sell the concept.

Vintage Minis utilise a smooth, clean, colour-block style palette to illustrate the neatness of excerpts taken from the tomes of great classic and modern authors communicating their ideas, philosophies, and social autopsies.

I’ve picked some cover examples of the following from books included on my digital book shelf

Sketch-style illustration I find these particularly fun and creative editions to any collection of books.

Typeface A striking typeface can be a big draw on the edition of the book that I choose to purchase. If its done in an interesting or quirky way, and the bolder the better then I am sold.

Photographic Whereby the appreciation of a well taken photo is what reels me in particularly when looking for a cook book, reference book, or travel guide.

The latter category of books are the type that I open while reclined in my POÄNG Armchair or in the mini-reading nook beside my terrace window. Funnily, I am at my most suggestible to colour saturation, the pull of far away places, and deceptively easy-looking recipes when I’m lounging very comfortably at home.

10 creative/quirky ways to style your flat on a shoestring budget

The thought of putting effort into styling and furnishing your flat can be anxiety-inducing. You consider the expense and time that needs to be invested. It’s doubly stressful if you rent and do not want to jeopardize your deposit by making holes in roles. However, furnishing does not have to be a massive undertaking; minimal flourishes can make a big impact and personalize your home. Following are 10 tips to do just this on a shoestring budget.

1.       WALLS – One of the biggest surfaces to play around with in your flat, and a great place to personalize your space cheaply. The potential of leaving holes and the expense of getting the right tools to make them in the first place can be a bit daunting. The shoestring solution to this dilemma in Velcro. It’s cheap, can be purchased for under five pounds, is easy to use and versatile in terms of what you can mount with it. Frame, posters, cork-boards. A cheap, simple, and non-messy way to adorn your walls.

2.       PLANTS – I feel like plants are grossly underused and I single-handedly want to change that. A space absent of plants is one of the first things I’ll notice and seek to rectify. It is, however, a good idea to some small research e.g. ensure that your chosen plant can survive indoors. But with the emergence of house plant specialized shops this is no task at all. A decent plant need not set you back more than ten pounds but can make an impressive addition to any room. What’s great about plants is that for minimal investment they have longevity and can grow to occupy different spaces within your flat. You can also accessorize with a decorative pot. Fake plants/branches are a low maintenance option that can look just as good as the real thing.  

3.       STATEMENT LIGHTING – A quirky table lamp or string lighting doesn’t have to break the bank but brings light and texture to any space.

4.       BOOKS – Now I may be biased but a shelf occupied with books is a thing of beauty. What’s even better is that books don’t have to be expensive. You can buy them second hand which in addition to being cheap add a bit more drama to that shelf or side table.

5.       REED DIFFUSERS – A bit of a strange one but bear with me. Diffusers are great because they last for months. They are relatively inexpensive and not only do they come in a variety of fragrances but the bottles are usually nicely labeled so they have form and function.

6.       GAMES – I love competition and trivia and if you’ve been in any major bookshop recently you’ll know that the gift section is riddled with any number of inexpensive boxed games. These are fun to display on shelves and cabinets and come in an array of colours and shapes. My favourites are word and trivia games.

7.       CUSHIONS – Keep an eye out for sales on these as its a good idea to get a few in different patterns.  If you have plain white bedding, then an oversized colourful, textured, patterned cushion is a nice way to inject some fun. In the case of cushions, a little goes a long way. Go for a statement print, a bold colour, or both.

8.       RUG – Another item that should be picked up when a good sale is going on. Rugs can be expensive but if you take your time to search and compare they can be the best deal you score. Decide the room you want to adorn with a rug, take measurements and do some online browsing. As this can be a more costly item, keep an eye out for retailers offering discounts for email subscriptions. These are usually only for online orders so you’ll want to see for yourself in person but then purchase online. 

9.       STORAGE – This seems obvious right, who doesn’t need storage? Choose wisely and that practical purchase could also serve as a little something to spice up that space. Think less plain white plastic boxes and more colourful steel trucks, woven baskets, and fabric or wood footstools or storage side tables. This way you get the best of both worlds - a sensible storage solution and something that’s easy on the eyes and adds to your interior styling. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also plug my LOOA Home Storage Sleeve here as a nice-to-look at storage option.

10.   GLASS BOTTLES – Another quirky addition that might have you scratching your head. Glass bottles are surprisingly versatile even if the first image to come to mind is a transparent, tall, slim object. Think coloured glass or varying shapes and uses, a carafe for water or wine and you’ll soon get the picture. A glass bottle is a lovely silhouette to centre your kitchen table and is useful to have when guests are over. They are inexpensive and durable too.

Take a look, have an browse, and keep an eye out for those discount-with-subscription offers online. 

Take a look, have an browse, and keep an eye out for those discount-with-subscription offers online. 

A lovely home to pop-in to

On the last day of January I attended the HOUZZ of 2018 event; a soho townhouse curated by HOUZZ.  This was my first invite to an exclusively interiors event and just so happened to be on the same night as another invitation - the type I am more accustomed to, that being small business owner/entrepreneur forum type gatherings. As a first event of the New Year there was no competition in terms of which one I would go to. I am looking forward to a new year filled with interiors, things to excite me and what better way to start then in a styled out pop up house.

Chock full of interiors large to small, the rooms were dressed naturally with no contrivance of theme, which I thoroughly enjoyed. There was a living room, bedroom, bathroom, children's room all styled with products from houzz vendors and I was amazed at just how much could be comfortably placed within the confines of a narrow, centrally-located, city house. I also loved the flourish of books being placed about the house in the various different rooms. The bookseller even got a mention.

Despite the popularity, and therefore crowded nature of the event, I managed to get some photos. As my photography skills are reliably bad, trust me when I say that the following photos do no justice at all to the absolute cosy warmth and deliciousness of the rooms and objects in them. Although I mentioned detecting no overarching in-your-face themes I will say that the interior styling fit a home set-up for comfort in the dark winter months. Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the huge glorious bed and related accessories. I would have dived in were it not for the aforementioned throngs of fellow event attendees. The standing room only atmosphere was also the reason for my low photo count but it was a great way to kick off the year. 

https://houzzof2018.com/

https://www.houzz.co.uk/

All the world's a Stool

Another embarrassing pun-ny blog title, another week, another piece of furniture on my mind. And; as you probably have guessed, this week it is the stool that has captured my attention. Why, you ask? Because I recently acquired one in a raffle. I didn't need or particularly want it but I've been in the throes of a manic shopping period lately, whereby I no longer attempt to justify the unjustifiable home wares purchases I've made in shockingly small amount of time. I'll recount them all in blogs to come. With this one focusing on a raffle won bar stool that is now housed in my bedroom simply because it is black and matches that room's decor. I can imagine the head scratching at that last sentence and if I add that my kitchen does not have a bar and has no need or space for a bar stool this additional information will only serve to perplex you even more. I did already acknowledge the unjustifiably of this acquisition. So, despite the oddity who knew that a bar stool would fit so well in my bedroom. It has proven useful for a number of  things, including: 

 

  • a 'temporary' holding cell for laundered clothing awaiting folding and putting away
  • a handy perch for dry-shaving my legs 
  • likewise for moisturizing them 
  • as it is high and next to the window, something my bathroom doesn't have, it is a great spot for tweezing my eyebrows in natural light
  • it's also next to my wardrobe and matches it so very well 

So the real quote is something along the lines of

'All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts'  - William Shakespeare 

And my stool does have that quality of a stage. Bear with me; the stool is an object both humble and glamorous - talk about poetry. And depending on what state I'm in, it accommodates me be I goddess lit in gorgeous natural light of day (hardly), or hunchbacked Ogress bargaining with a stubborn patch of hair on the hardest-to-reach section of my legs - in either role I'm not out of place sat atop that stool. 

Take a look at the stool in various different guises and think about just how versatile a piece of furniture it actually is. 

Find them here: 

http://www.dwr.com/

http://www.habitat.co.uk

https://www.miliboo.co.uk/

https://www.maisonsdumonde.com/UK/

http://www.westelm.co.uk/