The French Country House

The uncontested kingdom of the shabby chic effect is (everywhere that wishes it was) Provence. The style which we most commonly associate to the French country home is first and foremost the rustic simplicity of the Provençal style. Coloured furniture in light or bright colours like aquamarine (Annie Sloan has a shade that is called, aptly, Provence) or lavender takes the centre stage, in particular in the kitchen. Wood and cast iron are common materials, but rattan chairs and woven baskets are what really sets the French atmosphere apart from other countries’ country homes.

The Italian Country House

From North to South, every region of Italy has a kind of traditional country house. Whether they were purely residential or a working farm, they share many characteristics. The rich history of the Italian peninsula is also reflected in the architectural influences in each area.

The British Country Home

When one thinks of country houses, it’s easy to picture a lot of tweed and Chesterfield arm-chairs (and if tweed is what you are looking for, then head straight to the Northumbrian Tweed Company’s website), but the look of a traditional country home isn’t confined to that. From the use of natural sandstone in the Chilterns, or red bricks in Yorkshire, every corner of the country has its own special touch. However, there are a few small ways to make any house feel more like a country home, whether it’s a cottage in a small village in Cumbria or a 10 minutes-walk away from East Croydon Station.

Our favourite highlights from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show

May’s theme was flowers, so what better way to round it up than with an overview of the flower event of the year, the Chelsea Flower Show? One of the big events of the London social calendar (which took place between 23 and the 27th), it’s also the best known of the Royal Horticultural Society many shows, some of which will take place with the backdrop of some of the country’s finest estates over the summer. Here’s our top 5 gardens from the recent show, in no particular order.
 

Should millennials buy antiques?

The answer is a resounding yes. When I talk to someone my age about antiques, the responses are usually something about it being an expensive hobby for elderly rich people. And it’s true, there are indeed luxury objects whose date of fabrication means they now have an even higher price tag than when they were bought new, but the factory-made china set a grandmother inherited from her grandmother is an antique too! Maybe you call it vintage, thinking that antiques really just refers to the expensive Georgian furniture you see on display at the V&A, and, as other Gen Y antiques enthusiasts pointed out before, you wouldn’t be to blame for that.

5 Trends in Victorian Interiors

Queen Victoria, born on this day in 1819, has reigned over Britain and its empire for over 63 years. The most interesting feature about the time is that, unlike the period that precedes it, there is no such thing as a Victorian style. It was a period vibrant with experimentation, embracing new cultures and reviving historical styles (most famously gothic, but also rococo).

How to decorate a home office

With the rise of working from home, whether as freelancer/solopreneur or as part of flexible work arrangements, home offices are becoming a common feature of our homes. It could be a dedicated room or part of an existing one, but when thinking about decorating a home office there are three interlinked things to keep in mind: functionality, décor of the space, and how it sits in the whole house.
Keeping the décor simple is an important aspect of functionality, as we want to be focused while working (although some of us can be distracted by a white wall!) For this reason, I encourage the use of statement pieces in a room that relies on colour, light and texture to stimulate the senses and awake our emotions. Simple doesn’t have to mean bare.

Flowers and plants for the home, for him and her

One of the conditions of modern life, especially in big cities, is the rise of the house-share. Just like a couple building a home together, these houses should be decorated in a way that makes everyone feel at home, and not like they are trespassing on someone else’s space all the time.Plants are the easy option to bring a bit of nature and freshness into the space. There are many plants that are low maintenance but still beautiful and stylish.