Posts Categorised: Design/Interiors

Three Ways to Serve your Christmas Punch this Year

fruit punch christmas ideas

Having been the person that doesn’t drink at many party occasions .. ( but not always )  I feel extra aware of the friends and family who can end up with a sparkling water or apple juice in their hand because the main focus is often put on just the booze and that’s understandable – it is a time to unwind after all. But it takes little than a few minutes to make something tasty for the non – drinkers – and you can always slip in your favourite tipple with these also so they’re not strictly non alcoholic.

I’m sharing three super simple combinations that you might find useful and it also gives me a chance to show off my new handmade glassware from LSA International. Presentation is key in making your guests feel special so very happy with these this year. Lots of shimmering candles around adds to the atmosphere and makes a lovely soft glow in the room. These beautiful Pleat Tea Light Holders are inspired by the draping and gathering of fabric as is the larger Pleat Storm Lantern.

tableware glassware christmas

For the ‘ mocktails ‘ recipes this Punch Bowl and Glass Ladle is definitely big enough to pour in the ingredients needed – it can hold over 6 litres to be precise and actually make a fab Christmas present don’t you think ? The Punch Cups come in a box of 4 and are a superb way to serve your guests with something a bit different.

As I mentioned earlier I have added some alcoholic  additions too if you fancy adding a drop of alcohol to any of them but they are primarily full of fruits.

Here are the 3 options for an alternative Punch.

3 cartons of unsweetened cranberry juice, 1 carton of fresh smooth orange juice and half a litre of good quality lemonade. Then slice some orange and add along with some fresh cranberries and ice ( although they can be quite sour so depends on your taste buds but they are super healthy and good for dressing the drink anyway ). A little sprig of rosemary on top of the glass for decoration finishes it nicely.

You could replace the lemonade with prosecco or vodka.

This one will give a nice kick.

3 cartons of cranberry juice, 3 mugs of orange juice and half a bottle of non – alcoholic ginger  beer. Again add some cranberries and orange slices. Ice is good to keep it cold.

Or another version using cranberries as your base flavour is:

3 cartons of cranberry juice. a carton of apple juice ( not from concentrate ) and a bottle of fresh pear juice. You could add some mulled pears, cinnamon sticks and oranges. This is making me thirsty !

Of course you could add a tipple of gin to make it alcoholic. Just warn your guests first :)

Let me know if you try these and like them. Do you have any favourite punch recipes? Would love to hear of some more – do leave me a comment under this post.

Lucy x

Thank you LSA International for my glassware gifts.

Holiday House London – Interior Design Heaven for Breast Cancer Research

holiday house london pink bed interior design beautiful mirror wardrobe

I had the absolute pleasure of visiting and dining at Holiday House, London on Wednesday as a guest of Farrow & Ball.

It took a good day or so after taking the tour of this quite incredible double residence to absorb the scale of designers featured throughout the building and what they have managed to achieve, with the main goal being to raise as much as possible for Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Let me tell you a little more about Holiday House. It was started by interior designer Iris Dankner in America after she discovered that she had breast cancer. Iris decided after having her treatments that she wanted to raise as much awareness as possible for anyone going through the same situation as hers. She decided to combine the two things she felt most passionate about  – helping to find a cure and also interior design and so developed Holiday House.

This is it’s premier year in London having been showcased always in the United States before so for the first time here, two huge neighbouring homes at 59 – 61 Hamilton Terrace, NW8 9RG, have been opened up from November 9th  – December 10th 2017 and in the process of visitors buying tickets to view the breathtaking rooms all designed by different designers, make lots for this charity.

What’s especially unique is that everything on show in each room is also for sale with a big percentage of each sale also going to Breast Cancer Research.

Being that there were around 26 rooms I’ve picked out some of my favourites although to be honest every single designer has created something really special. I was totally in awe and found it really inspiring for my own interiors work. So much so I got home and was immediately thinking about what I can do next here with different colours and textures. I really enjoyed studying the combinations of  Farrow & Ball paints used in many of the rooms.

pink bedroom interior design

I’m starting with this stunning room ( top picture and here’s another shot ) because it totally embodied everything I love about interior design. I think I’ve said before how much I love pink, green and gold. This room was put together by London based Amelia Carter.

It’s so rich and opulent. Just look at that wallpaper by de Gournay. Amelia works all over the world and I can definitely see how it has influenced this room. Totally love that Stark carpet too.

interior design living room cosy

This was another space curated by Studio QD and Nicky Haslam that I instantly took a shine to. In fact it made me look at earthy shades from a whole different perspective. The clever addition of books painted in to the wall frames the painting nicely. They used Farrow & ball ‘ Mole’s Breath’ as a bar before a specialist paint finish.

Really liked the mixture of textiles used. A testament to mixing patterns.

disco room home interior design

Okay so this attic room in House 59 is something I am very inspired by. As we are a ‘ musical ‘ family here at home – I couldn’t help but fall in love with it.

Designer Philippe Maidenberg  of Maidenberg Architecture & Roche Bobois has created a luxurious and welcoming space to unwind. It has interactive technology by Playtronica to play with and walls of colourful sofas to chill out on. As it’s at the top of the building it feels separate which means making some noise without waking the rest of the house.

Personally, I think everyone needs somewhere like this in their home !

hazel collins interior designer wallpaper

Hazel Collins Designed much of the hallway and staircase of House 59 up the first floor and has called this project ‘ Healing Harmony ‘ using Farrow & Ball shade Peignoir. I was really taken with her use of stunning wallpaper ‘Birds in Chains ‘ by Kit Miles Studio. It contrasts with the marble so well.

striped bedroomAs you can see all the rooms are so different and that’s what makes the experience so interesting. Rosalind Wilson Design has curated ‘ Striped Night  ‘ here using Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball. I think it made a square shaped room really characterful and bold without making it feel small and dark with total solid colour.

Beth Clancy interior design

Everything about Beth Clancy’s room made me smile. Beth is senior designer at Rachel Laxer Interiors. Beth, like me, started in fashion and moved over to interiors.

This is called ‘ A Midsummers Dressing Room ‘ and it’s a dream ! Full of vintage pieces and as I mentioned earlier – everything is for sale so if you visit and see something you love you can buy it, as with everything in both the homes.

My eyes were drawn to the rug which is by Tiana Johnson Design. Gorgeous against the dark wood. The chandelier is by Porto Romana.

It’s a Grecian, Aegean Sea aesthetic here bright to life by award winning Laura Hammett. So calming and I thought the drapery over the bed was really effective. The wallpapered wardrobe is stunning. All those lovely textures together ! Love.

teenager bedroom design ideas pink

I couldn’t wait to show my daughters a picture this bedroom. Although Mae is more a blue fan – and Betsey is the pink lover – they both absolutely adore everything about it. By Studio Suss, it’s named ‘ Teenage Dream’.

Studio Suss are at the cutting edge of design and work in both the commercial world as well as for clients and their homes.

Everyone loves a neon light, right ? It’s from Bag & Bones. I am a fan of Penelope Hope so was pleased to see some of her cushions on the bed.

The wall print was painted on and the ceiling has splashed of gold. Oh to be a teenager again … but it never stops me using these strong shades nowadays anyway in my own rooms.

There are so many other amazing designers to see and I don’t want to completely spoil it for you if you’re planning a visit. Do go if you can. I think you’ll really enjoy it.

Tickets can be found here at www.holidayhouselondon.eventbrite.co.uk

Thank you so much to Rachel Laxer for showing us around and being so informative. As a fan of her work it was a real treat.

Also a huge thanks to Farrow & Ball for inviting me and for the tastiest supper. Such lovely company.

Lucy x

All images copyright Mel Yates Photography 2017

Our Cosy Family Traditions for Christmas Eve

As we hurtle towards the end of another year it makes me really take stock of my family and it’s quite astonishing how much my girls have grown up this year.

It makes me more keen than ever that they have many happy memories for their futures. One of  the things I know they will always remember will be our little Christmas traditions – maybe they will carry them on. Its funny isn’t it ? The small things but probably the moments that we will hold close the most. I’m not sure how many of our traditions started  – I think we’ve just taken inspiration from my own childhood and then added on some of our own new fun bits along the way.

We never forget to put up little trees in our own bedrooms as well as the main one. The girls decorate theirs every year with all sorts of things. We seem to accumulate different baubles along the way and they make some decs at school.

As it gets dark so early it’s a good opportunity to close all the curtains It really doesn’t feel like Christmas Eve until everything sparkling away. Lighting is key for our Christmas.

Marshmallows hot chocolate

It is impossible not to have a hot chocolate ladened with marshmallows while we crack open the mince pies for Father Christmas. I have some festive vinyl that I always put on. The classic songs are the best – White Christmas, Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. So we have a little dance and maybe scoff a pie or two along the way. Rude not to eh ?

It’s imperative that we are dressed in some cosy pyjamas to snuggle up and watch a classic film, usually something like The Sound of Music or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This year the girls have very cool festive ‘ Father Christmas riding a Unicorn ‘ pairs that come in sets of 2 and I have this very apt ‘ Do not Disturb ‘ set all from Marks and Spencers. Christmas Eve is one day of the year where I won’t be disturbed :) I love a party at this time of year but there’s usually too much to do for the the big day so chilling is just fine by us.

Unicorn M&S Pyjamas

We then make sure the stockings are all in their place, in the right place and then put a plate with a mince pie and some carrots for the reindeers.

There are always last minute gifts to wrap and the girls love helping with that. Then it’s bedtime for them and not soon after …. us too – always knackered by about 9pm !

I really, really love Christmas. It’s one of my favourite times of the year. I literally can’t wait …

What are your own traditions for this Christmas Eve ? I’d love to hear them. Do leave me a comment under the post.

You can find some more traditions of fellow bloggers on Instagram and Twitter if you search for #MyMarks  – this year’s campaign by Marks and Spencers.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Marks & Spencers. All opinions as ever are my own.

All images taken by me, Lucy, except image 6 which is by my awesome Daughter Mae.

 

Enhance the Season with the Artesano Nature Range

villeroy boch Artesano

There are several elements that make up the perfect ceramic for me and that is the quality, how they’re made, design and and how they will blend with my own kitchen palette.

I like the tableware to enhance the colour of the food and drink – making the whole experience of eating even more enjoyable. After all, that’s what dining is all about isn’t it ?

When I spotted Villeroy & Boch’s new for this year Artesano Nature Range recently I did a little jump for joy as it ticks all those boxes.

Colourful plates flatly dining table

I’m a fan of their company anyway so as it’s getting all Autumnal out there and this season is earthy and beautiful – it seems a good time to talk about this collection as it’s inspired by nature. I love it when a plan comes together !

pastel ceramic ranges villeroy boch villeroy Boch Plate set mugs

All hand painted and in three different natural hues that work perfectly well together as a trio – Vert, Bleu and Beige. It also works well with Villeroy & Boch’s original Artesano range which is pure white.

blue plate artesano nature villeroy & Boch tableware

A clever combination – it also would work well mixed up with patterns. The colours sit well in between neutrals and prints. The brushed swirl design is fresh and eye catching without being too dominating.

layered plates colourful ceramicsFor your starters through to the main meal, the colours can be layered like  this to create a feeling of luxury and a fab splash of colour maybe against a white or background ?

green plate season tableware christmasWith the Winter season on it’s way I also think it would really enhance the rich reds and greens of the season. A charming splash of colour at the table.

A roast using their dinner plates or a bowl full of festive soup. I like their pizza and bread plates too. Very party friendly.

It’s getting me all excited about that time of year … can I say it yet ?

artesano nature mugs

An early morning coffee in one of the mugs looks pretty delicious too. I think the designs evoke nature perfectly – the shades of the beige in this mug matches the wood tones.

Now, I know I’m a colour nerd but I hope you agree with me that this is a really lovely and versatile range by Villeroy & Boch ? They have been in production since 1748 so they sure know what they are doing.

If you’d like to check out the entire set including dipping bowls, espresso mugs and cups and saucers then you can find it all on their website here.

Leave me a comment under this post and let me know your thoughts …

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Villeroy & Boch. All opinions as ever are my own.

Totally Tropical Mood Board Inspiration

I get so much joy from receiving material swatches in the post – it makes me all fingers and thumbs when I open them. It’s ridiculous really but guess everyone has their thing.

Also it’s an opportunity to show you some of my favourite prints around at the moment and how they can work together for a tropical look which is what I’m working on for a room here.

The moodboard I’ve put together here is pretty upbeat. With neutral walls of white or grey and plenty of tactile textures here of bamboo, ceramics, wood and gold mixed with the bold hues used within cushion, sofa and blinds it will bring a room to life and add an element of the tropics, Which quite frankly is most welcome in my living room.

Textile Designer Sarah Hardaker fabric prints pretty colours

Let me just give a little shout out to the very talented textile designer Lara Gorlach of whom I’m a big fan. The green leafy print is hers. The soft pink stripes and Latika on the left of the photo are by Sarah Hardaker who I also reckon rocks. Aren’t they fab ? This isn’t a sponsored post or anything – I just love their designs.Fabric Textiles prints patterns colourful cheery colours

The blue spotty print is by Rapture and Wright again who do some pretty fabrics. The colourful little squares top and bottom are by James Hare and the yellow bold pattern is from F & P Interiors.

Putting together patterns colours and designs that you wouldn’t normally especially if you’re more a minimalist when it comes to your home, can be really uplifting and doesn’t have to dominate the whole house. If there is a particular area that you feel lacks character – why not add a little vibrancy ? I have a few rooms here that I think sometimes lack something. So an injection of fun helps hugely.

mood board sofa rug tropical bold room1. Bamboo mirror  – Trouva 2. Colourful rug – La Redoute 3. Green plant pot – White Mint 4. Faux Bamboo – Ikea 5. Gold shelving unit – Mia Fleur 6. Rattan coffee table – Maison Du Monde 7. Cushion – Made 8. Flamingo lamp – Out There Interiors 9. GPlan sofa – John Lewis 10. Blue trio vase – LSA International.

Inspired by the colours I have chosen some interior items that I love the look of together.

Adding lots of greenery with low maintenance succulents is an easy way of filling space and achieving the desired look. There are many faux plants out there that you would think were real. I’ve added a bamboo plant from Ikea but you can find them in lots of places currently. I really fancy the mirror too.

What are your thoughts on this collection ? Like or too much for you ? Do leave me a comment  – as always I love to hear your thoughts.

Lucy x

Five tips for finding your dream sofa

You’d think it would be a walk in the park choosing the right sofa for your living room ?

But there’s actually quite a lot to consider before making such a purchase and it’s one of the most important pieces of furniture in the home. You need to have a really clear idea of dynamics, colour schemes and style by the time you click on the ‘buy’ button so hopefully if you’re thinking about a new look living room sometime soon this post will be useful for you.

Here are my 5 steps to finding yourself a dream sofa …

L shaped sofa grey comfy large living room corner lazing restful

Size of the room.

If you have a large living room you may want to have a few different seating options but if you want a sofa to be the main focus then how about a big comfy centre piece with lots of character. You can use this as inspiration for the rest of the look. Or an L  – shaped settee / corner sofa is perfect for using up space ( and keeping kids and guests happy ) and generally works in most big rooms.

pink retro sofa chair tasteful trendy light classy stylish

For a more compact area think about what kind of feeling you want to achieve. Would you prefer the sofa to be the focal point ? If so a two seater in a bright hue to draw attention ( will talk about this more in a minute  )

love chair sofa living room space

You could instead have a couple of snuggler chairs that accommodate more than one and look super cute. These are a great alternative to full sized sofas if you’re happy to double up.

warm orange cosy crushed velvet

Colour scheme.

If you’re just replacing the sofa and keeping the same colour palette then it’s an easy job and you’ll know exactly what to search for. But if it’s a makeover then a very good idea is a moodboard – Pinterest is a great place to start. Start a board pinning lots of finds and then whittle down to what will work with your sofa choices.

When it comes to choosing a colour then it is important to think about the overall impact this will have.

yellow bright spacious cosy restful

Strong reds through to most yellows are generally energetic and uplifting just like this Hollie Love Seat, and and will draw attention. Although pink is nurturing.  Greens and blues will offer calm and are also inviting. Neutrals will also give a sense of serenity and are timeless.

I’d always lean towards being a bit daring with colour ( of course ) but it has to work for you and be something you’re not going to grow out of anytime soon.

Let’s not forget that stronger colours and patterns will also cover a multitude of sins …

luscious deep green emerald velvet comfy tasteful

Textiles.

Do you want a tactile piece of furniture that you can recline on ? Durable fabric that will last for as long as possible ? It’s always good to have the opportunity to feel the fabric and maybe add it to a moodboard. If possible order some swatches and a good company will be happy to supply these.

olive green velvety stylish comfy classic

Lifestyle.

Well, this is fundamental. Because your style says so much about you. But also the style the sofa needs to fit your lifestyle and how it functions. Can you lie down easily and watch TV … or is it perfect for socialising with friends ? Can you fit all your kids on easily.

sofa bed leather living room cosy comfy tidy functional

If you need an extra bed in the house for guests then maybe try out a sofa bed. Like this Sloane 3 seater.

Brand.

With a sea of companies out there it can be difficult to know which will deliver it’s promises and most importantly present you with the sofa of your dreams without any stress ! All of these sofas and chairs are from Darlings of Chelsea who have a very good reputation for the quality of their hand crafted furniture and offer ‘ award winning customer service ‘ .. and 4 showrooms. You can find out more about them here.

Hopefully my ideas here will have made your next sofa adventure that bit easier …

So which is your favourite out of all the sofas and chairs here ? I am drawn to the Stirling sofa with deep buttons. Love the studs and opulent look.

Do leave me a comment under this post  – as always would love to hear from you.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Darlings of Chelsea  – all opinions as ever are my own.

All images copyright Darlings of Chelsea.

 

Why we Chose Wooden Flooring for our Guest Room

Wooden Flooring Bedroom light airy inviting welcoming inspiration

Fancy a little browse around our updated spare bedroom?

Not so long ago I showed you our main bedroom with the built in wardrobe that I designed. Well, we decided to strike while the iron was hot and get the guest room completed too.

Antique Chest of Drawers

I’m almost too embarrassed to show you this room before we did it up. Ugh. It was so drab and had been neglected a little to be honest. The carpet hadn’t been changed since we moved in and it just had zero character which is something I tend to bang on about here … adding character !

Before After Bedroom Inspiration

So, the obvious choice as we were so pleased with the main room and wanted continuity was to add the same engineered wood floor, which is by Quick-Step who also do vinyl and laminate flooring can see in the before and after how much changing to floorboards lifts the room without it even being finished.

Quick-Step Flooring

On our checklist it had to be durable, aesthetically pleasing and sympathetic to the style of our home was an important factor for both rooms I spent time looking through some of their samples and felt really confident by the time we had made our decision that it was perfect for us.

Laying Underlay Floor

Mark who I found on the Quick-Step website installed the flooring last time and did it again this time and it took less than a day to remove carpet and skirting board then put in the underlay,  put in the floorboards and replace the skirting boards so it was really convenient as well. No hanging around – job done.

Comfy Bedroom Guest Room Wooden FloorWooden Flooring Bedroom Tropical PlantSequin Basket Bag Wooden Floor

I am really chuffed with the room and it’s light and airy feel. It’s so much more homely and welcoming now. I love too that the floor is very easy to keep clean and it’s more hygienic than carpet too. Much easier all round. The floorboards also don’t creek like you might expect with wood.

Flamingo Print Wooden Floor Cosy bedroom White inspirationBedroom Warhol Print Inspiration King & McGaw

This post is a tad picture heavy but couldn’t stop snapping it and I wanted you to see if from many angles as possible. I also painted the chest of drawers a Farrow & Ball colour – Parma Gray . What do you think ?

Bluebell Gray Print Cushion Hennes White Comfy BedBedroom Design Inspiration White Cosy Pink Throw

Hope you’ve enjoyed a peek at our new room ? I can’t wait to have guests over to stay.

Do leave me a comment under this post with your  thoughts or just to say hi !

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Quick-Step. All opinions as always are my own.

15 Ideas for Making your Own Indoor Festival

Festival indoor interior home ideas colourful inspiration music
  1. Cacoon – Cacoon World 2. Chocolate Pizza  – Gournet Pizza Company 3. Bunting – Selfridges 4. Colourful tea light holders – Dotcomgiftshop 5. Heart Cushion – Sweetpea & Willow 6. Gold trunk table  – Graham and Green 7. Fondue Set – John Lewis 8. Dream Catcher – Meri Meri 9. Aztec Yellow Rug – John Lewis 10. Pom Pom bag – Bohemia Design 11. Festival Candle – Bath and Unwind 12. Stackable Glasses – John Lewis 13. Drink Dispenser – Clas Ohlsen 14. Cushion – Maison Du Monde 15. Cacti String Lights – Amara

If you’re choosing this year to enjoy the music festival season at home I have a little festi – colour inspiration post for you today.

Ironically although my husband works in music I am not often tempted to attend the festivals. Call me a little bit OCD if you like but the thought of relying on wet wipes to stay clean for a whole 4 days is not for me ! So instead I prefer to enjoy the highlights relaxing on the sofa. No doubt in years to come when the girls are a little older we will be donning the wellies and getting muddy with everyone else.

But in the meantime it doesn’t mean though that we don’t do the ‘festi feels’ and you can have some real fun doing up your living room or garden for the weekend or whole Summer. I’ve picked out some colourful items to make a house feel ready.

Think eclectic .. mixing it all up. Bold, brights and bohemian.

The Cacoon is great for inside and out the home. Although not an impulse buy kind of item – it would be a fabulous addition to the home. I love the orange colour but they do come in quite a few other shades.

Chocolate pizza or a fondue while on the sofa watching your favourite bands on tv. Yes please thank you.

Over the Summer holiday the girls and I will be making something inspired by this that we can’t wait to show you ..

What do you think of my picks ? Fancy a festival this weekend ?

Lucy x

Making Guests Cosy with our Sleepbear Mattress

Sleepbear mattress review

What would be your top 3 things for a good and serene night’s sleep in a guest room ?

For me it would be the temperature being nice and cool, the palette of the room being soothing – certain hues such as reds or some yellows and loud wallpapers are a stimulant so a nice calm shade of white to keep your mind clear or think blues, greys and deep greens to relax.

But most importantly it would be the comfort of the bed. So I gave this quite a bit of thought when updating our spare room recently because obviously we want our visitors to feel really welcome. We spend 1/ 3 of our lives sleeping so it’s got to be right ?

Sleppbear mattress foam bedFoam mattress review

I did quite some research in to mattresses and found Sleepbear who ticked on all of my ‘ initial interest ‘ boxes on paper being that they offer a trial period of 100 days trial meaning you can avoid wandering around shops lying on mattresses in front of strangers ( unless that’s your thang of course ), very quick delivery, a 10 year guarantee.

SleepBear Mattress Review Guest roomSleepbeqr Mattress

All of Sleepbear’s mattresses are hand made in the UK by their family run business right through the process.. There’s a little video on the website showing you it all which I found pretty interesting. The mattresses have 3 layers. For this double mattress for our guest bed the top layer is 4cm thickness of a very perforated high quality pure latex that naturally regulates your body temperature and offers extreme comfort , then 6cm of memory foam that moulds and adapts your to your sleeping movements and then a 16cm super dense base which is the firm foundation and offers the support needed.

Memory Foam Mattress Review

What is really cool about Sleepbear ( and my daughter’s were extra impressed by this bit ) is that they have teamed up with Polar Bears International and give a percentage of proceeds each year to the organisation.

Comfy mattress reviewSleepbear Mattress Review

What better way to actually review the Sleepbear Mattress than to ask the girls to try it out and make a rare appearance on the blog. Then I tried it out the second night… y’know just to be totally sure…

Here’s the girls’ review of their night’s sleep in 5 words …

Relaxing, soft, bouncy, comfy and delightful !

I found my night on the mattress really good. I don’t always manage to sleep through the night but I did and felt well supported. So much so I didn’t actually want to get up in the morning to be honest.

So we are looking forward to our first guest staying now that we know it’ll keep them comfy.

What factors are important to you when you have friends or family staying over ? Leave a comment – as ever I love to hear from you :)

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Sleepbear. All opinions as always are my own. 

Inspire Me with Jackson and Levine on their Debut Habitat Collection.

Linen tableware Eclectic dinner party

There’s no stopping Laura Jackson and Alice Levine. Not only do they have their own very successful careers broadcasting on television and Radio 1 respectively. They also run the the very cool London ‘ Supper Club ‘, have written a book to inspire the perfect dinner party and now have their debut collection for Habitat.

I love the Habitat designs and so had several questions for Laura and Alice about their journey together and how they manage it all …

Striped linen tableware retro

Where did you originally meet and how did you decide to work together ? 

It’s a romantic story. We met at a jumble sale about 5 years ago when we had stalls next to each other. We pretty much talked about food non-stop the whole time and became friends following – going to new restaurant openings together and also trying out new recipes on each other. We then decided it would be fun to take on the challenge of setting up our own supper club together – hosting evenings in our apartments that would bring together strangers over food, drink and music. We both work in TV and Radio and this is a great change from what we do day – to – day and is a real passion project. Held every 2 months in a warehouse in Haggerston, we seat 16 people around our communal table and serve up seasonal treats from our kitchen. In the past we’ve made ricotta filled ravioli with deep fried sage, hare ragu and lemon posset amongst other things. We always try and source ingredients locally or celebrate the great produce around us by using neighbourhood bakers and wine merchants.

How did your famous Supper Club evolve in to working on a range with Habitat ?

When we started our supper club, we got a bit carried away on guest numbers for our first event meaning that we didn’t actually have enough crockery ! So we basically approached Habitat with a bit of a love letter email to ask if they would be up for potentially giving us some spare dinnerware that we could use at the supper clubs. We didn’t actually expect them to come back however they did and sent us some beautiful hand-glazed tableware which was a bit of a result ! As the supper clubs have grown in popularity over the last few years, Habitat has helped us out with a few different events and we both love the focus that Polly Dickens, Habitat’s Creative Director, has put back onto hand-crafted textiles and ceramics in the collection. This hand-crafted look has always been a key visual element of our supper clubs and last year we got discussing a potential product collaboration with Polly – and the rest is history !

Supper club essentials relaxed dinner party

What reaction have you had so far to your new Habitat range ? 

We have been thrilled with the reaction to the range – it’s become one of Habitat’s fastest selling kitchen linen collections so we are genuinely delighted! When we started the project, Polly suggested working with a khadi based fabric from India, made using traditional skills that are becoming less commonplace due to mechanisation. This means that each piece is entirely individual – not machine uniformity – and the cloth has a wonderful loose quality that gives a relaxed, informal feeling to it. You can see that human hands have worked on these products and we think this is what people are really liking about the collection.

Did a particular era inspire the range and why ? 

We tend to bring a lot of different ideas to each supper club that we produce – we like to make each one entirely individual so we don’t necessarily have a house ‘ style ’ that defines us – so the whole process began with us producing a mood board that included design inspiration from ornate Chinese wallpapers, delicate 1900’s embroidery and French fashion illustrations to botanical prints and floral sketches. Working with Habitat – especially their Pattern Designer Martha Coates – we started to narrow these conceptual ideas down to focus more on botanicals as we both felt it appropriate as it gives a nod to the foraged herbs we use in our cooking and table decorating.

Were you both involved in the design process?

Yes – it was a really fascinating process working alongside Habitat. We wanted a range of products that would be classic, chic and timeless – products that would appeal to everyone and that were genuinely useful. We wanted the linen to be washing machine friendly, so it could be washed hundreds of times and still retain its shape and beauty. We knew we wanted to have a print – which we worked on with Martha – but in terms of colour, we wanted a cool, neutral base and a stripe to underpin the whole collection – allowing you to layer colour on your table on top. The apron was also a massive triumph for us as we spend most days in the kitchen wearing aprons but we’ve never struck on the perfect design that is simple, stylish and practical. If you’re spending a lot of time lovingly preparing something, then we think you should you have something equally lovely to wear and hopefully we’ve achieved that !

With radio and tv presenting – how do you find the time for designing this gorgeous Habitat collection and running Supper Club ?

Haha – the secret ? A lot of our Rocket Fuel cocktail to keep us going ! It’s been quite a whirlwind year – we’ve just launched our first recipe book  – Round To Ours – too alongside the collection with Habitat so it’s been a lot of hard work but a lot of fun as we’ve done it all together. We both really enjoy the spontaneity of ‘what’s next’ and love being busy – never say no and always say ‘ why not give it a go ? ’

Blue plate for dinner party

If you were holding a Supper Club for colour lovers which pieces from your range would you use and what menu to accompany it ? 

The printed napkins look amazing with coloured glass or a glazed plate in a punchy pigment. The radish, radicchio and sweet pecan salad we created for Habitat is almost too pretty to eat – a total pin up of a plate with all the pinks.

What are your tips for creating the perfect atmosphere when hosting a Supper Party ? 

  • Making the table look striking doesn’t have to cost a fortune – sprigs of herbs as place settings are a lovely touch and make the table smell wonderful. Flowers and houseplants can make a huge impact on a room – we have hung giant alliums from the ceiling, had a regimented row of dusty pink hydrangeas in pots and pressed auburn Autumn leaves to scatter on the table. For something inexpensive – separate out a bunch of flowers into individual stems and place in glass jars or just use foliage on the table for a fresh green look.
  • Ambiance is very important – you want everyone to feel welcome and relaxed. No one ever felt that way by sitting under a 100w central light! Soften the room with table lamps and lots of candles. Music can also make or break the night – if you’ve run out of time to curate the perfect party playlist, stream one of your favourite movie soundtracks or check out the ‘ Mood ’ sections of Spotify.
  • If we’re cooking a menu for friends we’ll always ask what their favourite ingredients are and work up a menu around those. It’s a really nice touch to do this – it shows you care and have made an effort and means they don’t have pretend to love tripe! The same goes for drinks. Find out their favourite cocktail and as soon as guests arrive, make sure they have a drink in hand. In the summer, we make up large jugs of gin, elderflower cordial and prosecco with lots of ice. It’s much better than fussing with making individual cocktails.
  • Don’t get bogged down with the food being perfect – rough and rustic is perfect for a dinner party. Try sharing platters rather than plating up everyone’s portions individually as it really creates a more intimate, shared experience that will make everyone feel part of the dinner. Everyone likes seconds so make more than you think you need.
  • Try not to be chained to the oven – the best way to do this is to have some elements that can be made in advance or that just require compilation. We find serving a cold starter and cold dessert makes life a lot easier. Timing food for big numbers can also be daunting – so try cooking a large cut low and slow. Lamb shoulder or silverside of beef are great ones for a crowd and they just get better and better, so even if guests are little late they will have a melt in the mouth meal.

Can you both describe your style in 5 words ? 

It changes all the time.

Dinner party inspiration food book retro textiles habitat

Will there be any more collections for Habitat ?

Stay tuned! We both loved the process of designing a range with Habitat so hopefully there is more to come next year !

Big thanks to Laura and Alice. It’s made me hungry !

What do you think of the Jackson and Levine Habitat Collection ? Has it inspired you to run your own Supper Club ? It has me.

Do leave me a comment under this post. Would love to hear from you.

Lucy x