interiors

A bedroom tour and a giveaway - win a Nest & Burrow wall hanging!

I'm very excited to share this with you today - both because it's taken ages to finally finish off our bedroom - and because the prize on offer is absolutely gorgeous!

A little while ago I stumbled across the beautiful work of Suzanne of Nest & Burrow (funnily enough through the #mybeautifulsimplicity hashtag I curate on Instagram, as Suzanne had tagged a photo of one of her wall hangings) and I knew immediately that they would be perfect for our bedroom. I'd been hunting for something soft and tactile to hang in the space above our bed. I wanted some gentle muted colours that reminded me of nature and the coast I love so much - of pebbles, sand and shells... And something that would work well with the pink, grey and white that was already there.... So I set my alarm for Suzanne's last shop update and added these two beauties (above and below) from her "beauty in simplicity" collection to my shopping basket very rapidly! I'm thrilled to bits with them. 

#MYNESTANDBURROW giveaway

Suzanne and I have been chatting since then (isn't Instagram wonderful for connecting with like-minded souls?) and thought it would be lovely to do a little collaboration. So I'm thrilled to help Suzanne launch her new Instagram hashtag #mynestandburrow.

I asked Suzanne to tell us a bit more about it: 

#mynestandburrow is about the way you lovingly create spaces in your home {nesting} and the resulting magic that provides a nourishing environment for you and your family’s wellbeing.
It’s about being inspired by nature, bringing the outdoors in, light, natural materials, as well as a strong interior design ethic that says You!

Use the tag to share your favourite spaces and pockets of your home. The cherished places where you entertain, spend time with family and friends, meditate, create, cook, sleep....or simply just be.

And as we are working up to the longest day of the year with the summer solstice this month (or the shortest day and winter solstice for you lovely people in the Southern Hemisphere), I thought it would be lovely to focus on the effect of light in our homes and how it makes us feel. Adding an extension has made so much difference to the light in our home which means all the difference to me......it literally feeds my soul.

Suzanne goes on to explain "I love the natural environment and spending time outdoors helps me thrive and provides immense inspiration. I also have a passion for natural materials, aesthetics and modern interior design. These elements combined have inspired me to design simple yet stylish luxury pieces to help people decorate their homes and create a cosy, nurturing environment - a nest if you like."

Suzanne is very generously offering a wall hanging from her new collection (not released yet) as a prize for one of the images tagged to #mynestandburrow. And I get to choose my favourite image! I'm absolutely delighted to be the guest judge. You have until 06 July to share your images, so get tagging! 

How to enter the giveaway

  1. Follow @nestandburrowuk and @zoepower on Instagram.
  2. Tag photos of your favourite, cherished spaces at home {your nest} that have been inspired by nature and natural materials with #mynestandburrow on Instagram by 06 July 2017. If you can, try and capture the magic of light in your home and what that means to you.
  3. I will choose my favourite image and Suzanne will announce the winner on her Instagram account.
  4. The giveaway is open worldwide.

If you'd like to read a bit more about Suzanne, her work, materials, inspiration and her home, there's a lovely interview over on the Alice in Scandiland blog (Alice has another one of Suzanne's wall hangings and an absolutely beautiful home - do take a look around!).

You can find Suzanne / Nest & Burrow on Etsy | Instagram | Facebook |  and you can sign up to her mailing list to receive an instant 20% discount code and regular updates and offers on her collections.

Now back to my bedroom...read on to find out how I have cosied up my favourite space with inspiration from nature.

My bedroom update

My bedroom update has been a long time coming. In the two and a half years we've been here, the space has evolved from something very colourful and packed with bold vintage prints (see what it looked like before - but you might need sunglasses!), to the calm white oasis you see today. I'd been craving a calmer, gentler space filled with light and free from clutter, with soft muted colours.... a space that better reflected the beautiful coastal environment we now live in. A space with room to breathe and reflect, that encouraged a good night's sleep.

We painted the walls white about a year and a half ago and replaced the carpet with some white laminate flooring at the same time. One set of curtains also got replaced with plain white ones, although I couldn't bear to part with the vintage linen ones you see below as they are just too precious and the room needed a *little* pattern :)

It's a sunny, dual aspect room and the light just bounces around now - I love it!

The pile of blankets in the corner is a bed for our little dog Misty

The pile of blankets in the corner is a bed for our little dog Misty

We have a giant wardrobe from IKEA with sliding doors that keeps everything hidden away and it's absolutely brilliant (we customised the insides to suit our requirements - so much fun!). Initially, I had a second wardrobe in the space you see the mirror above - but we felt it imposed on the room too much and after a big old sort out (thank you Marie Kondo!) I didn't need it anymore. We kept the mirrored door, though. I had planned to put a small chest of drawers in its place to use as a sort of dressing table, but then decided that I loved the clean simple uncluttered look with nothing on display (and less to dust!). So now I have my "dressing table" inside my wardrobe and it works pretty well - except when my husband and I both need to slide our doors at the same time.....

When we adopted our little dog Misty (above) we discovered she LOVES to sit on the window sill and watch the world go by (or snooze!) and that she is very adept at climbing up steps to get there! So I cleared off the window sill to avoid any damage and make space for her :)

I also finally got round to making some cushions the other week. I'd bought the pink Japanese fabric with half moon shapes well over a year ago with the bedroom in mind. Getting my wall hangings up was the push I needed to get my sewing machine out and finish the room off! I'd made the light grey cushions a while back and thought they'd make the perfect companions for the pink half moons.

I absolutely love my birch wall shelf below (the round dorm by Ferm Living) and enjoy changing the displays regularly to suit the season and my mood. It's usually full of treasures I have found on my travels - I'm such a magpie when it comes to pebbles and shells! (although I must confess most of the shells below have come from the Philippines via the shell shop in St. Ives). I fell in love with the shape and it sat on my wishlist for a loooong time. I'm so glad I finally decided to go for it. These days any purchases I make are well considered - I've done some major sorting and decluttering over the last couple of years and anything new has to earn its place.

You get a lovely view of the shelf as you walk past and enter the room (see below).

I've also introduced a bit of greenery into the room to help it feel calm - this sunny windowsill is perfect as it gets the morning light and there is no radiator underneath to dry the plants out.

And a few more details as I love this wool so much....

So there you have it - our bedroom is finally finished (well, for now at least)! Let me know if you've got any questions....and don't forget to enter Suzanne's amazing giveaway - I look forward to seeing all your beautiful images and cosy nests tagged to #mynestandburrow.


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: 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!

Sneaky peek of my home: part 1

Well hello there! I'm very happy to say that the sun is still shining as I type this. All the lovely light today made me grab my camera to capture a few shots of our new home. We moved here in December and are still busy nesting and sorting - there seems to be an endless list of things to do! But it really is starting to feel like home. So, first up, are a few shots of our lovely dual-aspect bedroom:

The embroidery hoops are a super simple make and such a lovely way of displaying vintage fabric - I just cut my fabric roughly to size, insert, tighten, pull and trim. I don't stick the fabric, so I can change it all round when I feel like it :) The gorgeous owl wall hanging was made by Jodijoretro - doesn't it go perfectly? The bedspread was a lucky eBay find for £2.70! And I made the cushions. All very aqua, but it makes me happy!

The owl shelf existed in my last house too, but I loved it so much it came with us. I made some curtains for the side window from a gorgeous new fabric by Robert Kaufman from the Mod Tex collection. It comes in a pink colourway too, which is just as divine. Please excuse the walls - the house has been painted in various shades of beige, which I hate - it will be changed, but not yet - we want to get out and explore first!

I made a little display on the side of my wardrobe from some beautiful illustrations that came with Flow Magazine, a spotty paper from an old issue of Mollie Makes and the beautiful Love Lives Here print in the centre is by Field Trip. I love using washi tape to pop up some prints - it feels very informal and I love changing things around quite often, so it works well for me. Right now, I wanted something a bit springy and I'm loving the blush colour palette - definitely going to paint one of our walls in that!

The gorgeous vintage linen curtains were sourced for me by the lovely Rainbow Vintage Home - she finds the most amazing things. They make me smile so much - such a fabulous print - perhaps of Scandinavian origin?

And now, onto the kitchen. I'm so excited to be able to have a little display shelf in our new kitchen, and room for cookery books. Our last kitchen was a galley one - it had amazing storage, but was very small. This time we have a kitchen/diner and I much prefer it. It is also dual aspect with some lovely double doors leading onto our decking, so it gets lots of light. I spend a lot of time here, so wanted to make it a happy space.

I have quite a collection of tea towels and got fed up of staring at the side of the fridge every day, so thought I'd try a tea towel with some magnets - and voila, instant art display. I love simple, instant solutions!

I'll leave you with a little iphone snap of the display cubes in our sitting room. They are from IKEA - I just covered the backs in vintage wallpaper. I'm really pleased with how they've turned out - they sit above the TV and balance the space out nicely. We've still got loads to do in the sitting room, so I'll save those photos for another day. Getting there, slowly!

Fancy a FREE digital copy of Mollie Makes 36 this weekend?

You may remember that I was super excited back in January when my home was featured in Mollie Makes issue 36, alongside the lovely Candy Pop. If you never got a chance to read the feature, then today is your lucky day! The lovely people at Mollie Makes are offering my readers a chance to download a digital copy of issue 36 for FREE. But you must hurry as this is for a limited time only - the offer expires at 9am on Monday 3 March 2014.

Here's what you need to do to get your free copy:

  • Go to the Apple newsstand app and download/open the Mollie Makes app
  • On your iPad when in the MM app, tap on the Voucher tab
  • On your iPhone when in the MM app > Tap 'Help' then tap 'Voucher'
  • Enter voucher code: MADNESS14
  • That's it!
  • Offer expires on Monday 3 March 2014 at 9am

I have to say I've really enjoyed having a play with the digital edition. Although I'm a print subscriber, it's really nice to have some issues to read on my iPad and I really like that you can read the pages in either portrait or landscape format and everything looks really crisp and sharp!

I thought it would be nice to share a few more pictures from the shoot that didn't make it into the feature. These were taken back in August/September, so there have been quite a few changes since then. I like to have a good faff and rearrange quite often :) So, we start with my dining room:

Then we move into the open plan living room:

And upstairs to my craft room / study, where I am lucky enough to have a desk for my sewing machine and craft stuff. I no longer have my jolly little red machine, though - this got replaced by a rather lovely Janome CXL301, which I am totally in love with :)

A little bit obsessed by crocheted blankets

I guess my obsession with crocheted blankets will not come as a surprise to many of you ;) Those of you who follow along on Instagram will see them pretty regularly - you can't go far in my home without bumping into one! I think it's that magic combination of colour, pattern and texture that does it for me :)

So today I thought I'd share some of my collection with you. It's been a gorgeous sunny day here in blighty so it was the perfect day for a spot of photography :)

First up is my "happy blanket" which is home to my happy, sunshiney Little Tea Wagon owls - the perfect combination don't you think? The blanket was a charity shop find when out thrifting with my sister in Barnstaple - and I may have let out a squeal :)

The other super colourful blanket was found at the Oxford vintage market which is held every Thursday in Gloucester Green. In the summer it hangs at the end of my bed to provide a lovely pop of colour (sausage dog is made by Alice Apple).

Of course, crochet isn't just for blankets and I was rather pleased with this find at Spitalfields market in London. I love the lining too :)

I just adore this huge granny blanket I bought for our bed. It is just so warm and cosy in winter - I never want to get up in the mornings! This one came from a lovely shop called Winifred's Daughter in Hawkhurst, Kent. The blankets are made locally by a lady in the village and are just beautiful. I have another one for the sofa, too.

The next few blankets are all thrifted. The first one has clearly enjoyed some happy times in its life and has that lived in vibe - but it's perfect for summer picnics on the lawn (oh how I wish....).

And last, but most definitely not least, we come to the living room, which is home to four lovely blankets - they make it such a happy, cosy space.

The arm chair has seen better days and really needs reupholstering - but a crochet blanket and a cluster of cushions brighten it up for now (the fabulous two cushions at the front were made by Modflowers, the rest I made). It's one of those fabulous roomy chairs that you can sit cross legged in and is perfect for reading.

We've also used blankets to cover up some now rather grotty Ikea foot stools - pretty and comfy. They do get a bit of a beating - but I'm a firm believer in using things you love, rather than having them tucked away keeping perfect. You get so much more enjoyment that way.

So there you have it. A little bit obsessed! Have a lovely week everyone. xxx

My home is in Mollie Makes!

I'm super excited that my little home has been featured in this month's issue (36) of Mollie Makes, alongside the lovely Candy Pop's beautiful home. I'm a huge fan of Mollie Makes, and have followed its journey right from the beginning and feel extremely honoured to have been included. Huge thanks to the lovely Natasha for planting the seed for the idea all those months ago, and for all her interiors inspiration - her home is absolutely stunning and never fails to give me a lift whenever I pop round :)

Mollie Makes issue 36 is on sale TODAY (Friday 17 January) from all good newsagents :)

It is a fantastic issue this month, packed with much loveliness and lots of things to make, including an interview and a hoop art tutorial with Hollie Harris, a lace statement necklace tutorial by Jeska Hearne of Lobster and Swan, some pretty clutch bags, a patchwork picnic blanket, love heart brooch, and the fabulous birds on the cover.

Natasha and I took the photographs for the feature (apart from the photos of us, which our other halves kindly helped with) and I have to say there really is nothing quite like the incentive of your home appearing in a magazine to bring on a fit of cleaning and tidying! It's not until you start zooming in and editing that you notice the ugly pile of cables or cobwebs that you missed!! It's lovely to have some photos of an extra clean and tidy house :) Here are a few pics that didn't make it into the magazine - if you want to see more, you will need to go and buy it!!

A (very stylish) home from home

Over the years, Al and I have learnt a lot about what we like and don't like when it comes to holiday accommodation. We are definitely creatures of comfort and love the space to potter about, rather than being crammed into a room. Essential for me as a coeliac is having a kitchen so we can self-cater, otherwise it's a nightmare trying to find places to eat out all the time (and expensive!). A bath is a bonus and wifi is an absolute must!

Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca

We are huge fans of Airbnb - if you haven't come across Airbnb before it's basically a website/service where people rent out their apartments/homes/rooms all over the world and the prices are usually much cheaper than hotels, and the hosts often provide fantastic really helpful advice about the area you are staying in, etc. It works on a review based system, so both the hosts/homes and the guests get reviewed - I've found the reviews really helpful in deciding where to stay (it definitely pays to do your research). So for our big USA trip this year we decided to Airbnb it all the way and I'm pleased to report we had a fantastic experience!

First up, I thought I'd share our New York apartment in Tribeca.

Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca
Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca

The owner (host) is an art dealer, so the apartment was filled with cool, quirky art pieces. I can't say they were my taste, but they worked well in the apartment:

Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca
Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca
Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca
Our New York Airbnb apartment in Tribeca

The main living space was one big open plan area which worked really well and provided a great space to socialise in. We shared the apartment with some friends, which helped make it a bit more affordable.

We then moved on to Vermont, via a beautiful train journey to Albany, where we rented a car. We stayed in the most amazing modern Lake House, which literally was on the edge of Lake Bomoseen. It was simply stunning and such a treat.

Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont

The house had enormous windows overlooking the lake. We spent many an hour, with a cup of tea or glass of wine in hand, just staring out the window and watching the leaves gently float by. The view was simply stunning and constantly changing with the weather and the light. The house had been designed around the view and the bedroom had windows which looked through the main living space onto the lake. It was such a treat to wake up to that view.

Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont

The living area was open plan and I loved the feeling of space, and the wooden floors. The kitchen was great too and we made good use of it - we couldn't bear to leave the house when it got dark and we had got all cosy, so we cooked for ourselves every evening! The bedrooms had super comfy lovely bedding and I just adored the vintage chair in the living room - made a good home for my Blythes :)

Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont
Our gorgeous Airbnb Lake House in Vermont

We stayed in a third place too - on Mount Desert Island in Maine - but I'll save that for another post or this will never end!

A peek inside my home

Vintage friends

I've been meaning to do an interiors post for ages. Faffing around with my displays happens on a fairly regular basis here, so I wanted to show you some current favourite bits and bobs. We've still (7 years on!) got lots of painting to do, so please excuse some of the grotty walls.

First up is the living room and my vintage "lady tat" shelves as my other half likes to call them :) You might notice a bit of an obsession with Alice Apple's fabulous sausage dogs - I adore them! I'm thinking of painting the wall behind the shelves different chalky pastel shades - maybe a job for my staycation.....

An Alice Apple obsession
Eclectic
Bunting makes me smile

Next up is the dining room. Quite a while ago now, I ditched the books I never read and replaced them with some eye candy. I stand and stare at this every morning while I do my yoga practice and it makes me smile every day :)

I ditched the books for these...
Owls rule

So now we head into the bedroom. We painted it aqua a little while ago and I adore the colour. The decor here is rather dominated by owls (I have a very accommodating and lovely husband). I challenge anyone not to smile when you walk in and are greeted by such a fabulous shelf of aqua owls! And there is an owl wall too. And some embroidery hoops above the bed to balance out the owls. They are such a great way to display favourite bits of fabric - and cheap too.

My owl shelf <3
My owl wall
Embroidery hoops update

And last but by no means least, we head into my study - I am very lucky to have a room of my own. It's still very much a work in progress and desperately needs a coat of paint - but I love it just as it is. I'm a big fan of colour and these shelves of happy make me smile, even on grotty dark days. The shelves are picture rails from Ikea and are fabulous as I can swap things around to my hearts content without having to drill holes into the walls all the time :)

My happy shelf #1
My happy shelf #2
My cat shelf

Crocheted blanket love

Well, Happy New Year folks!

I thought I would start the new year by sharing about a recent new obsession of mine: crocheted blankets! We regularly make the trip to a small village called Hawkhurst in Cranbrook, Kent to visit my Grandmother-in-law. Imagine my surprise to stumble upon an amazing little shop called Winifred's Daughter selling handmade and vintage loveliness! Every time I visited, though, this sweet little shop was closed. I tried again on Christmas Eve, and this time rang the mobile number posted on the door and the lovely owner popped down and opened up!

She had the most amazing selection of crocheted blankets in 3 sizes, that were made locally by a lady in the village (I'd been eyeing these up for several months!). Plus an amazing collection of other handmade items such as the fox and the owl on the sofa below made by a Danish designer, cushion covers in vintage fabrics, and an amazing hand-picked selection of vintage ornaments, pictures, kitchenware....Suffice to say I did not leave empty handed!!!

Below are a few photos of the two blankets that came home with me (one perfect for our bed, the other perfect for the sofa) and of course Mr. Fox and Mrs. Owl perched on the sofa :)

Bedroom
Bedroom
The sofa's had a makeover :)