On the road with Coldplay starting with Chicago

coldplay tour bus travel USA experience boden dress cool music

Now that we’ve been back for a good few days and the jet lag has subsided I’ve had a chance to sort through some of my photos of our road trip with Coldplay. We visited Chicago, Cleveland and then over to Toronto in Canada all in the space of a week. I managed to take a lot of images as I’m never without my camera for inspiration so I’ve broken the rip down in to no less than 4 posts !

But, hopefully you’ll find them interesting especially if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like travelling and living on a tour bus or if you fancy seeing Niagara Falls at sunrise. I’m still scraping myself off the ceiling over that view. All to come over the next few weeks. I’ve also written about some cool places to visit in Downtown Toronto the next time you visit.

So, you may wonder why we were on the road, over the pond with Coldplay ? Well, they very kindly organised a family tour bus for their team over the holidays. I mean, this is quite unusual in the music business but highly appreciated. In fact, really kind I thought.

chicago skyline image USA big city lake michigan

If you follow me on instagram you will have seen our shenanigans that kicked off in Chicago, the windy city.

I have always loved the USA but it was the girl’s first time there so you can image the levels of anticipation. High !

silver bean chicago travel USAChicago images navy pier travel inspiration

To wake ourselves up on the first day after a HUGE breakfast at 15th Avenue Diner ( recommend by the way ) passing this colourful wall  en route … and with only a day to soak up the atmosphere in Chicago before the gig and onwards, we popped in to some stores, checked out the ‘ Silver Bean ‘ and then went on a speed boat ride just off the Navy Pier on Lake Michigan. I’m not joking – I couldn’t breathe we were going so fast much to the amusement of the girls. It was pretty funny in hindsight.

boden tour bus kaftan outfit canada stylish

So if you have ever wondered what it’s like to travel on tour  – I can confirm it’s pretty bl**dy amazing. These particular buses are also known as ‘ star buses ‘ as they are usually used by artists for instance Dolly Parton loves to travel this way apparently.

They have a living space with TV’s, well stocked kitchen area and a loo and then a door that leads to bunk bed areas for 4 and a shower room  – and then at the back a main bedroom with wardrobe, ( super comfy ) double bed and another TV. The whole bus is air conditioned really well which was a bonus as all places were very hot. I did make a little video which I will probably pop on to YouTube soon.

Lee our driver was possible one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. We were really lucky.

I got the giggles on the bus because the experience was surreal and the feeling of travelling on an American Highway on a double bed in my PJ’s was pretty immense.

touring trucks USA transport chicago concert coldplay

All in all, I can see why touring is quite addictive. The buzz, the people and the places. Although I have toured with theatre productions in the past – it has always been in the UK so it was kind if realising a dream doing real a road trip.

The first concert in Chicago was fantastic and the girls were totally ready for the next venue.

Another post soon to tell you about Cleveland and show you our early morning stop at Niagara Falls.

Lucy x

Cleo Kaftan, Mayfair Skinny Jeans, Rose Gold Elsie Flats,Sunglasses, Summer Hotchpotch Dress, Holiday Sandals, Denim Shirt Dress cat pumps all c / o Boden.

Inspire Me – with Love Your Garden’s Katie Rushworth

kite rushworh gardener presenter tv gardening tips advice

If you are a fan of ITV’s Love Your Garden like me ( many happy tears have been shed watching the transformations ) then I’m guessing you will be inspired by my chat with resident presenter and garden designer on the show – Katie Rushworth.

Wanting some advice on what to plant this Autumn or how to prepare for next year ?

Look no further …

Which are your own personal favourite colourful Summer flowers and plants ?

Oh gosh this is so hard, I love so many and all for different reasons. It’s like asking someone what their favourite song is. Today I am loving my Nepeta govaniana is has a lovely natural look and delicate lemon flowers. I’m also excited to see my Molinia ‘Transparent’ sending up its wonderful flower spikes, and I have a new love for the shrub Styrax japonicus – it is just so damn pretty !!

You’ve created some amazing spaces with the Love Your Garden team  – which has been the most challenging so far ?

They are all difficult in some way or another, every garden has its foibles – the thing that can make an easy or a tough build is really the weather. Trying to do any hard landscaping in the rain is almost impossible and the site turning into a mud bath isn’t helpful. Luckily we don’t have too many off these to overcome but when we do it’s a race to the finish line and we’re always exhausted.

Which flowers and plants combined would make the perfect British colourful Summer Garden ?

That’s a tough one too as it totally depends on your taste. You could have something harmonious with pale pinks, blues and purples – or something vibrant and dynamic using purple orange and red. I often encourage people to buy what they love and not forget the importance of attractive foliage, it’s around for much longer than the flowers of a plant. A good mix of shrubs, perennials and one or two colourful annuals should give you a diverse pretty border with form and a long period of interest.

What are the best plants to encourage bees and other wildlife in to your garden ?

Cotoneaster horizontalis and Ivy are excellent for pollinators as are Lavender, Monarda, Verbena bonariensis, Foxgloves, Echinops, Buddleja, Scabious, Crab apples and Eryngium.

mediterranean plants design garden

If someone wanted to create a Mediterranean or Moroccan look with our unpredictable UK weather  – could it work and which plants would you recommend ? 

Yes it could absolutely work – Things like Olives tress, Canna lillies, Astelias, Callistemon, Actinidia,  Passiflora caerulea and various palms would create just that look. In the north of the UK however some exotics will not like the cold so always check the label to see how frost hardy the variety is that you choose. Plants that won’t tolerate frost can be moved into a green house or conservatory over the Winter if you have one.

garden design flowers pretty

How would you describe your garden ? 

A bit of a hotchpotch if honest, I just stick stuff in when I have the time and it kind of has to look after itself. It’s full of plants and flowers and generally looks pretty but I don’t really have the time to dedicate to it at the moment – if I’m not away filming with work I’m at home being a mum as well as running my business so I’m pretty ruthless with it; if something doesn’t perform well it gets whipped out and replaced.

katie rushworth garden chairs pretty english

Is your home inspired by the outdoors?

Absolutely ! I love anything that has a link to the natural world. I think bringing the garden into your home and the home into the garden is a boundary that should be blurred – when the two are connected whether by plants, materials, patterns or colours it leads to a more cohesive, holistic and I find a more creative environment.

flowers plants advice pretty colours mediterranean

Where does a complete gardening novice begin? It seems overwhelming ! 

Find out what kind of soil you have and how much sun your garden gets; these two nuggets of information will save you time and effort when buying plants. For example, if you know you have lots of sun and free draining soil then Lavender will do brilliantly !

Could you offer a few crucial do’s and don’ts to keep the garden alive right through to Autumn ?

Autumn is a great time to plant new plants, and access the skeleton of your garden. Have a good tidy up, by cutting back, sweeping leaves and get rid of things that haven’t done so well. You can also divide herbaceous perennials at this time of year giving you lots of new plants for free. Lawns don’t enjoy being walked on a great deal in the cold and wet and any Spring flowering shrubs need to be left alone if you want them to flower the following year. ( if they need pruning do it immediately after they have flowered in the Spring ) And finally – plant tulips in pots LOTS of them ! When they are coming up in Spring move the pot so you can see it when you’re in the house – it will never fail to make you smile !

Katie rushworth gardening book advice tips gardening

You have written a book called ‘ Plants, Beds and Borders ’ how long did it take to put together ?

It took about between 9 and 12 months all together including photography and editing. It was hard work – but I’m really proud of it.

Thank you so much, Katie for the advice and tour around your own garden. I’m going to give the Autumnal tips a go this year.

You can find out more info on Katie’s book here.

I’d love to hear from my readers whether they are keen gardeners or novices like myself ? Leave me a comment with your thoughts under this post or just to say hi !

Lucy x

All images are copyright Katie Rushworth 2017.

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

How to Make a Summery Seaside Teepee

Tutorial Seaside DIY tent stripes happy fabric kidsSo we are in the full swing of Summer Holiday here which can mean only one thing. Time to make a Teepee for the beach. I have meant to do this for years but finally we have achieved it.

I’ve written up a little tutorial for you in case you fancy trying one out for yourself. It’s teesy peesy …. sorry, I know …

You can use my measurements or adjust to work for you and your fabric, hopefully my instructions will make it easy to do either.

Teepee tutorial seaside tent diy

What you will need:

4 metres of fabric – 150cm width ( Less if you are not wanting to pattern match )

5 sticks diameter 2.5cm at least. I used broom handles from a local DIY store measuring 155 cm in length.

3 metres of string or thin rope.

2 metres of large pom pom fringe ( optional )

sewing machine, scissors, tape measure, pins and an iron.

teepee southwold hut striped pom pom kids fun

Instructions:

Assemble the 5 sticks so that you have 2 at the front, 2 at the side and one pointing backwards. the 5th one adds extra space in the teepee but you could live without if necessary and it would mean using slightly less fabric. Bind the sticks together with string / rope like your life depends on it. Or just do it tightly .. :)

Before I start on fabric – please make sure you add 1cm for each seam. So add it to every measurement I have given here if using my pattern. I’ve added the odd reminder but do it every time. I haven’t added it to my instructions in case you are using a variation on size.

So here we go …

Measure at the base between each stick. The distance between the two front sticks and the 2 behind them should be equal on both sides – for this teepee it is 92 cm. Then measure round for the back panel from one side stick to the other including the 5th back stick which will be sticking out a bit hence being a larger panel of fabric needed – for this you will need 146 cm.

The front panel will be split in to 2 pieces for your ‘ door ‘ so measure between the front 2 sticks. So for this teepee -140 cm that will be cut down the middle and not forgetting seams on either sides of both panels.

Now measure up to where you would like the top of the teepee to start, making sure you allow room for sticks to meet and cross at the top. In this instance the length needs to be 127 cm plus your seam allowance each end. Work out desired top lengths for each panel. For this it is 14 cm for all 3 panels and seam allowances.

Next – draw out your panels on your fabric. Incidentally my fabric here is from The Stripes Company ( perfect for the beach and home ! ) I found it quite helpful with the perfect stripes as it helped indicate exact measurement. The two side panels are the same so you can cut one out and then lay it on top of the fabric, pin it and cut out the second. The third will be slightly larger as mentioned before. For the front panel, fold it in half long ways and then cut in half along the fold.

Pin then sew all of your panels together with seams facing inwards. Then press open all of the seams with your iron. Press the 2 front split panel seams and sew down 10cm and back stitch it. Then press down seams at the top and bottom, press and then stitch down.

Pom Pom teepee pink pretty fringe sewing diy

At this point you can add pom pom fringe  – again this gorgeous pink ones are from the Stripes Company. I just measured out amount needed and attached it inside with pom poms facing outwards, sewing carefully as it’s a tad fiddly but worth the effort.

Teepee sticks diy tutorial seaside fabric

Then all you need to do is slip the teepee over the sticks and you have your very own little hut to keep the kids happy and un – windswept and entertained for at least a week. Am I being optimistic here ?

 

seaside teepee tutorial stripes pom poms

But anyway, we took it to Southwold as you can see and although it was windy ( spot the stones weighing down the bottoms ) we sat very snug and cosy in the marshes. We felt like something from an Enid Blyton book watching kids run past with buckets and spades and we sat and ate our ice creams without wind blowing everything over.

We have put it at home in the toy room and its brightened up the space. So well worth the time making it.

If you’d like to get hold of some of this ‘ Baseball ‘ fabric or trim or see the entire fabulous range then have a look at the shop here. If you remember I used their deckchair canvas in my DIY Beach hut post.

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.