My first six weeks living in London have flown by. It’s safe to say my good intentions for publishing new content haven’t been fulfilled as planned, but now feeling more settled, I’ve got lots of new inspiration and ideas to share. People keep asking me if I’ve found favourite new local hang-outs and brunch spots. But the truth is, there’s just so much to explore, I can’t say I have any favourites yet. I have, however, added another Beautiful Space to my list. Meet Decorum at Boxpark, Shoreditch.

Decorum

Boxpark mixes pop-up shops and a street-food communal eating atmosphere, constructed using re-purposed shipping containers. If you’ve ever been to the Time Out market in Lisbon, it feels a little like a smaller version of that. People sitting down on communal tables, chatting and tucking into some great food. Downstairs there is a row of pop-up boutiques and shops with everything from jewellery to clothes and fun gifts. It’s a clever idea to give independent brands a chance to showcase their products in London. One of the main reasons I headed down to Boxpark was to check out Decorum, an interiors brand created by Christina Karoulla. The main focus is on modern minimalist, industrialist and Scandinavian design and quality, long-lasting products. The palette is mostly greys and earthy or brassy tones, but together the collection creates a warm and inviting feel.

3 Things I Loved at Decorum

As I’m a big fan of grey home decor, it’s not difficult to see why I loved the collection at Decorum. The colour palette and materials used, like concrete, would also work really well as a contrast against indoor plants – something I’m buying in abundance at the moment. Here are some of my Decorum top picks:

#1 Concrete Clocks

Concrete Clocks at Decorum

#2 Circular Mirrors

Circular Mirrors at Decorum

#3 Industrial Lighting

Decorum Pop-Up at Boxpark Shoreditch

 

I really love the minimal, Scandinavian-chic feel of Decorum, it’s perfect for unique home decor pieces, whether that’s for the dining room or the living room. The smaller items and beautiful gift wrap (some from Katie Leamon, who I really like) make Decorum a great present pit-stop too.

Oh, and if you do fancy a trip to Boxpark via Old Street, there’s currently a cookie dough pop-up shop in the station. I am 100% going back for that!

with love, b.xo

Waking up to my first weekend as a Londoner was exciting, yet overwhelming. I had been so looking forward to having everything on my doorstep, with unlimited opportunities to explore. But faced with the decision “so, what shall we do this weekend?”, I didn’t really know where to begin. I’d heard that Petersham Nurseries is a wonderful mix of botanical inspiration, fantastic food and homewares, but was unwilling to make a rushed trip to Richmond on a whim. But luckily, I discovered that the Boglione family, the faces behind Petersham Nurseries, had recently opened up a new location in the heart of Covent Garden. And let’s just say, their botanical-infused interiors store did not disappoint.

Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden

Walking into Petersham Nurseries is like stepping into an unexpected green Eden, sandwiched between Covent Garden’s pristine boutiques. The shop is packed with plants, unique pieces of furniture and decorative tableware. In the process of decorating our new flat, I’m drawn to the botanical trend and can’t resist the shapes and curves of succulents and cacti. The knowledgeable staff chatted away to customers, while others wandered, admiring some of the most unusual and interesting flora and fauna to ever meet a terracotta pot. There was just so much to look at, including the beautiful,  windowed ceilings which further add to the impression that you’ve entered a giant, tropical greenhouse. When I do make it to the original nursery in Richmond, I’m setting aside a day – I think I’ll need it. Plus, the cafe is said to be well worth a visit.

Interiors Inspiration from Petersham Nurseries, Covent Garden

Succulents at Petersham Nurseries     Petersham Nurseries Shop in Covent Garden

Bringing the outside indoors

Plants. As you’d expect, plants are a big focus. Petersham creates a harmonious informality of contrasting shapes and sizes of plants in different textured pots. The colour schemes of the pots are mostly earthy, terracotta tones or neutral greys and beiges.

Textures. Another thing Petersham does well is blending textures. They mix rustic metal garden furniture,  grid-like mirrors that show signs of age and white-washed distressed wood. I also loved their seagrass baskets, using natural plant-based materials to add to the natural feel.

Home decor at Petersham Nurseries

If you haven’t got time to head to Richmond, take a breather from city life in Covent Garden. Enjoy the serenity of Petersham Nurseries and treat yourself to a plant (or two). I’m looking forward to sharing more beautiful spaces across London, that’s if I can decide where to visit next…

with love, b.xo

After a long time commuting, I’ve finally become a Londoner! Getting 3-4 hours of my day back means I can dedicate time to with love, b and re-position it to how it was always intended to be – a lifestyle and interiors blog. And of course, it helps to have my own flat and a new space to get creative with. There are definitely drawbacks to renting (no painting, obviously!) but luckily we’ve found somewhere that’s a pretty blank canvas with plenty of potential.

Grey interior design details

New adventures

I’m excited to share new stories about making a rented space a home, my addiction to upcycling furniture, pom poms and all-grey-everything . So, if, like me, you spend your spare time pinning dream homes on Pinterest, I hope you find some inspiration here! I’m going to be sharing my thoughts in three new categories:

Interiors Inspiration – Home decorating ideas and inspiration from own little slice of London. Sharing my favourite finds and upcycling projects.

Beautiful Spaces – Follow my adventures around the capital, exploring the decor of London’s secret spots and design-led interiors – from cafes and shops to exhibitions. I’ll probably find some inspiration from further afield, too.

Creative Thoughts – Everything else. Lifestyle ideas with a sprinkle of creative writing.

Inspiration from ELLE decor

I decorate, therefore I am

Some say you need a niche when it comes to blogging, others say post whatever you feel like. There shouldn’t be any rules, but after a few months experimenting, I’m happy to have re-organised with love, b to focus on what I really enjoy. They say write about what you love, right?

with love, b.xo

 

 

 

July Favourites

I can’t quite believe it’s almost August! Where is the year going? After a busy few weeks, I’ve been enjoying a relaxed weekend and reflecting on the last month. It’s been a pretty good one. I spent a week in my favourite place in the world on a staycation, extended my staycation to Dorset and went glamping, watched the first of my school friends walk down the aisle and got published! I’m sharing three of my favourite things I’ve discovered this July which are loosely related (kind-of) to these new memories.

Review of Flow Magazine

#1 Flow Magazine

I’ve always loved magazines. I love the feel of the paper and tearing pages out to keep for a later date. Yep, I’m a paper hoarder. During my staycation I came across Flow Magazine for the first time. And now I’m wondering where it’s been all my life. This is a magazine for paper lovers; packed full of quotes, inspiring photos, different textures of paper, illustrations, perforated pages that are ready to tear, not to mention great articles on the lifestyle themes I love to read and write about myself. I don’t think I’ve found a magazine that’s more ‘me’, however strange that sounds. It’s an independent Dutch magazine, but they make a few English editions throughout the year. Flow describes its aim as “celebrating creativity, imperfection and life’s little pleasures”. Just visit their website and you’ll see how they absolutely nail this. Writing for Flow is my new aspiration. It’s just perfect. Or perfectly imperfect.

 

Falling in love with Flow magazine

Photos in Flow Magazine, English edition

#2 Soulshine Cafe

Where do you find such cool independent magazines? Places that call themselves Soulshine, that’s where. Now it’s technically not true that I found Soulshine Cafe this July, as I have been once before, but it’s not until now that I’ve really ‘discovered’ it, if you like. I even went two days in a row. Soulshine calls Bridport, Dorset home. It’s a sleepy town on the Jurassic coast, making this quirky cafe pretty pioneering. They like to use local produce, make tasty juices served in jam jars and sell great cake. Their decor is sunny and fun, even the bathroom’s well-worth visiting. After lots of heavy pub food during my seaside staycations, Soulshine was the perfect place to shake things up. I tried their vegetarian chilli which was great. If you’re ever in the area, get some Soulshine in your life. You won’t regret it.

#3 All striped everything

I’ve always liked stripes. And I’ve always had a thing for blue clothes. But I’ve recently bought this over-sized striped shirt and its quickly become a favourite. I love the embroidered animals. I’m the kind of person that discovers they like something and goes out and buys more similar things. Safe to say I’m having a shirt moment, sorry bank account. I love these shoes too, but they don’t seem to like me much. My. Poor. Feet. I’m definitely no fashion blogger, but these have cheered me up during my post-staycation blues so they’re worthy of the list!

July Lookbook - Kurt Geiger loafers and striped shirts

What have you enjoyed about July? I hope you’ve discovered some equally great things!

with love, b.xo

 

 

 

Beth Crane - ELLE Talent Competition Winner 2017
It feels completely surreal to type those words. A few months ago I entered ELLE magazine’s annual talent competition with absolutely no expectation to hear from them. The competition asked entrants to write a memoir on the topic ‘The Outfit I Will Never Wear Again’. My idea was a little out-of-the-box. I doubted that my spin on the title was relevant enough to enter. But it was very relevant to me, so I took the plunge. Focusing on my mother’s impending retirement, it’s a tribute to how she has inspired me, to quell her nerves on walking away from the working world which has defined her for the last 40 years.

I am absolutely honoured to have won this and be featured in the August 2017 edition. It was such a huge buzz to open the magazine and see my name in print for the first time. Fingers crossed that it will be the first of many. I’m also so pleased the competition gave me the opportunity to write this for my mother and say ‘thanks’ for making me an ambitious, hard-working young woman. I’ll never forget the first time she read it.

Where to find the article

If you’d like to read my piece, it’s on p.97 of the ELLE UK August edition and also online here. I hope you enjoy it and I’d love to know what you think.

with love, b.xo