Styling the Seasons

Styling the Seasons: September

It feels like no time at all since I was writing my August post - and yet everything feels different. The nights draw in so quickly in September. It's the month to get cosy - to dig out the blankets and the hot water bottles. To nest, and start planning all those things you wanted to do over the summer but never had time for as you were too busy outdoors enjoying the light and sunshine.

This month I've styled up a little corner of my craft room / office. Since my July Styling the Seasons post, I've moved my room around and made space for an armchair. I can't tell you how happy this has made me! I've wanted somewhere comfy to sit and read for so long, and somewhere to rest when my chronic fatigue kicks in.

I've been hunting for an armchair for a while now, on a very small budget. Having looked around lots of vintage/antique shops, I concluded that the classic IKEA Poäng was my best bet. Whilst I would have adored a beautifully refurbished vintage number, they were all very much outside my budget. And the Poäng is SO comfy, which is really important to me. And I think it looks lovely in the Isunda Grey cover.

I've dug out some favourite crocheted blankets, to snuggle under as I read/snooze, and teamed it with one of my favourite vintage fabric cushions. My chair is tucked into the corner, right next to the radiator, for maximum warmth (although the heating is banned until October in this house, so I've yet to try it out!). Oh and please excuse the state of the walls - they will be painted a crisp bright white when I have some strength.

I'm watched over by a shelf of Jane Foster softies, made from some beautiful vintage fabrics - as you can probably tell, I adore vintage fabrics from the 60s and 70s.

I've been spending a lot of time in my chair this month, flicking through gardening magazines looking for inspiration for my planting plan. Now that we've had our rotten, collapsed fence replaced and ivy pulled out, we are in the process of having some raised sleeper beds put in the back garden, and I have the fun task of deciding what we are going to put in them! So when the weather has allowed, I've been out in the garden, digging and preparing. Nothing finer than September sunshine, especially when it is followed by heavy grey skies, downpours and chilly days, like today. September really is a month of extremes - a transitional month, as we let go of summer's warmth and ease ourselves into autumn.

I must confess that rather a lot of tea drinking goes on when the temperature drops - something so comforting about a nice hot mug of tea...

So that's it from me this month, my cosy edition of Styling the Seasons for September.

Styling the Seasons is a monthly styling challenge run by Katy from Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte from Lotts and Lotts that anyone can join in. The idea is to style a surface of your home according to what that month means to you, and to share some photographs on your blog or Instagram/Facebook/Twitter with the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons.

Vintage Jumble & Prop Sale - 4 Oct 2015

The theme for Styling the Seasons this month is vintage, in honour of the vintage jumble and prop sale that Katy has organised with a group of other bloggers.

It will be held on Sunday 4 October 1.30-4.30pm in Lindfield, West Sussex, in the King Edward Hall

I'm happy to say that I am going to be a part of it and will have a stall, selling some of my vintage china (pictured below), vintage bedspreads and crocheted blankets, handmade vintage fabric bags, a few owls, some russian dolls, china dogs, sheepskin rugs and more...

Will you come? It would be lovely to see you. Please do spread the word - more information about the day and the other sellers can be found on Katy's blog post: Vintage jumble and prop sale. x

Styling the Seasons: August

Well, August, I'm not sure what to make of you this year. We've had torrential downpours, a little chill in the air and falling leaves, mixed up with bright blue sunny skies and baking hot days.

For my styling the seasons post this month, I was originally going to do an outdoor shoot on the decking. But the rain rather put a stop to that. And the fact that my garden currently resembles a demolition site as our old rotten fence is ripped out in preparation for a new one. No matter, on with plan B.

The surface I've styled this month is the mantelpiece in our living room. Here's the complete ensemble for context, then I'll get onto the details.

August to me is about being outdoors - in the garden and by the sea - and generally making the most of the light and the warmth and the colours before it all starts to fade.  

August is all about change too - the nights are drawing in, the colours are changing in the garden and in the landscape - everything is starting to look a little more golden.

Appropriately enough, the sun was in and out, in and out, as I was taking these photos. I rather liked the shadows it produced. 

I've gone for a very natural colour palette this month, to reflect the colours of the seaside, and to evoke a feeling of calm and quiet. I find August so busy and full of crowds - I always seek out the quieter, out of the way places. It's a time to rest and take things a little more slowly. A time to retreat.

The oatmeal coloured jugs are from the beautiful interiors shop in Hove called igigi. The canvas print is one of my photographs of Saunton Sands in Devon - a firm favourite, even though I've stared at it for years. The Scabious were from my garden - about the only thing that survived the recent rain battering. The beautiful Agapanthus came from my local florist, Church Lane Flowers. They remind me of summers in Jersey, where I grew up - there were Agapanthus everywhere - they flourished beside the sea. And the beautiful pebbles with wonderful textures and grain are from Westward Ho! in Devon and Sandymouth in Cornwall. Nothing quite like holding a warm pebble in your hands on a summer's day to help you relax :)

And just one last shot of those beautiful shadows, because I can't decide which version I prefer. I'm afraid you don't get to see any more of the fireplace - there's currently a rather horrid electric fire in place, which we want to replace with a wood burning stove when we have some pennies.

So there you have it - my August Styling the Seasons post, with just a few days to spare.

Styling the Seasons is a monthly styling challenge run by Katy from Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte from Lotts and Lotts that anyone can join in. The idea is to style a surface of your home according to what that month means to you, and to share some photographs on your blog or Instagram/Facebook/Twitter with the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons.

See you next month!

Styling the Seasons: July

I was hoping for some sunshine to take these photos, but July seems to be rather lacking in that department, so thought I'd just get on with it. In fact, It's lashing down with rain as I type this and my washing's getting soaked. Ah, well!

I'm sharing a small part of my craft room / office this month, before it all changes. I'm not happy with the space at the moment, both practically and aesthetically. I have my desk and computer next to some lovely french doors as I thought it would be lovely to stare out the windows at the garden...... However, the reality is that I'm baking hot when the sun shines, and have to shut the curtains so I can see my screen. And in the winter I'm really cold as it's quite draughty. So it's time for a big move around when I can summon the strength.

I'm also feeling the need to tone things down a little. I love colour and pattern (especially bold vintage florals from the 60s and 70s), but I also want to feel calm and create a feeling of space. It feels more like a nursery than a creative room of a 40-something right now. Still not quite sure how I'm going to reconcile it all - I'll let you know how I get on!

Anyway, back to July.... July always makes me think of Hydrangeas. They are one of my most favourite flowers and I love to see them burst into bloom and continue to delight for weeks and weeks. I was sad to leave lots behind in my old garden and have big plans to plant lots here come the autumn. This beauty was kindly donated by my neighbours. I'm lucky that they have some huge plants that wave in front of our lounge window - very pleasing indeed :)

July also means lots of walks on the beach. I love pottering along slowly hunting for pebbles and shells and other pretty things. I found this beautiful piece of driftwood on the beach at Westward Ho! in Devon, on our holidays earlier this month. I just adore it's tones. I'm forever squirrelling things away in my bags and pockets - bit of a lucky dip when you go rummaging around ;) 

The shells above have been found locally in East Sussex, accompanied by many squeals of delight! The pebbles below mostly came from the tiny island of Sark many years ago. Such a beautiful tranquil place with no cars - perfect for a "get away from it all" kind of break.

I have a bit of a thing with spirals of pebbles, ever since I first saw them at Kettle's Yard in Cambridge as a student, a couple of decades ago (!). If you've never been, I highly recommend it - you can read a bit more about why I find it inspirational and see some photos in my Kettle's Yard, Cambridge: Pure Magic post.

So that's it from me this month. Hopefully, I'll be getting my sewing machine out soon and sewing up a few more vintage tote bags like the ones in the photo (because clearly I don't have enough!). I might even get round to re-opening my Etsy shop to sell a few - you never know!

Styling the Seasons is a monthly styling challenge run by Katy from Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte from Lotts and Lotts that anyone can join in. The idea is to style a surface of your home according to what that month means to you, and to share some photographs on your blog or Instagram/Facebook/Twitter with the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons.

By the way, I do hope these images look OK. I've had to send off my beloved iMac to have its hard drive replaced, so I'm using a teeny tiny laptop lent to me by my very kind husband and everything looks so different. You probably won't see me back on here until I'm properly up and running again. Finger's crossed my back-ups have worked OK!

Styling the Seasons: June

I thought I would join in with Styling the Seasons this month for the first time, as I've been inspired by all the beautiful images popping up in my blog and Instagram feeds. Plus, my styling could use some practice!

For those who aren't familiar,  Styling the Seasons is a monthly styling challenge run by Katy from Apartment Apothecary and Charlotte from Lotts and Lotts. The idea is to style a surface of your home according to what that month means to you, and to share some photographs on your blog or Instagram/Facebook/Twitter with the hashtag #StylingTheSeasons. There's also a chance to win a £50 voucher from @loafhome this month if you tag them too.

In true Zoë style, I've probably chosen the most difficult area of my house to start with - the hallway! It doesn't get a huge amount of natural light and I could only stand a few centimetres away from the surface I was trying to photograph, so it was near impossible to get some good angles..... But I was determined to do it, as I have just finished painting my new-old bookcase and transforming the hallway from dumping ground to pretty space.

June always makes me think about light floaty pastels and beautiful blooms, especially peonies, so this was the inspiration for this month. The peony is from my garden :)

It took me forever to choose the paint colour for the bookcase. I couldn't decide between shades of peppermint or blush and ended up going with something entirely different based on my gut! I used Candyfloss from the Homebase range. It *almost* matches my new blog. I'm still not convinced it's right, but I've painted 4 coats so it's going to stay a while!

I love the bookcase, though. It was rescued from my husband's Uncle. It had been outside their house with a "free to a good home" sign on it and can you believe no one claimed it? It got blown over and damaged so they bought it inside to mend it, when we happened to stop by. It was obviously meant to be! It's the perfect fit for our hallway.

I've also displayed a couple of tote bags I made from some vintage fabric (formerly french bolster pillow covers) - perfect for summer outings.

I'm so pleased to finally have my new oak peg rack from Workshop Living up on the wall - the wood is so beautiful.

The stunning embroidery was a gift from our old neighbours when we moved house - isn't it amazing? I popped it in an embroidery hoop and it makes me smile every time I come home.

So that's it, my Styling the Seasons for June. I'll choose an easier surface next month!