Like many right now, I’m a big fan of #jungalowstyle and filling my flat with plant babies and fresh oxygen. My latest is a beautiful calathea with pink brushstrokes on the leaves (very in-keeping with Pinterest predicting patterned leaves to be a big trend in 2018.) While my parents are great gardeners, I don’t seem to have yet inherited their green fingers. A small, centrally-heated flat is apparently not optimum conditions for actually-quite-demanding tropical plants.  I’ve been known to over-water (very bad idea) and have since invested in a plastic spray bottle to replace my mini watering can and limit the urge to flood my pots. Let’s just say, I’m still learning…

Calathea in a belly basket

Terrariums have been a big part of the botanical trend and are a great way to bring the outdoors in. After coveting various terrariums for months, this Christmas I was gifted a beautiful one from Oliver Bonas. So, naturally, it was time to give it a go. The guides and tips for building your own terrarium online seemed simple enough. Or, so I thought. As I’ve said, I’m a succulent and cacti fan who has no idea what she’s doing. So, instead of sharing the steps to follow, I’m sharing five lighthearted tips you need to know when building a terrarium, especially if you’ve also still got your L plates on at gardening school.

5 Tips for Building a Terrarium

#1 Cacti are not easy to maneuver

Duh, I hear you say. These spiky friends require gloves or a lot of kitchen roll to be moved – I’m convinced trying to position them with a tablespoon has traumatised them. Trying to pack in the soil around them and not get pricked was equally entertaining.

#2 It’s a messy job

I filled the base with pebbles and started piling on the compost. I then tried to fit my plants in through the small opening, cue their swift removal and my excavation of the compost so they’d actually fit in. My tip would be to think about the heights of your plants and where to position them inside. Don’t just go for it, trust me.

#3 Don’t cook your plants

Terrariums are effectively mini greenhouses. Sit them in direct sunlight and you risk them over-heating and your plants burning up. An open terrarium with some air flow is preferred for cacti and succulents.

#4 Remember to add a drainage layer

Forever wary of my over-watering tendencies, I took this step quite seriously. Add in plenty of pebbles or rocks to collect water at the bottom of the terrarium to give your plants a fighting chance.

#5 Mist, don’t flood

If I’ve learnt anything, it’s that cacti and succulents do not cope well with a drenching. Find yourself a misting bottle and use it, sparingly.

Tips for building a terrarium

Despite the mess, I’m pretty chuffed with my terrarium, although I’m not overly optimistic for its life expectancy. I’d love to see how yours turned out!

with love, b.xo

Lots of us are lucky enough to be off work between Christmas and New Year – it’s a great time to properly unwind and breathe before celebrating again on the 31st and starting a fresh year. Plus, there’s always so many leftovers to tuck into (please, no more turkey!) and more family to catch up with. Yet, I bet most, like me, can’t help but think about the upcoming year and make plans. There are 365 new possibilities waiting for us – how can that not be exciting? And one thing I’m definitely looking forward to is seeing how 2018’s interiors trends play out.

Interiors Trends 2018 - with love, b flatlay

Pinterest Predicts: Mixed Metallics, Sage and More

2017 has been a year of copper, millennial pink and bringing the outdoors in. 80’s houseplants, cacti and succulents popped up in everyone’s living rooms, while we also fell for natural textures in baskets, fringed cushions and other accessories. What does 2018 have in store for us? Instead of making some vague-ish guesses, let’s turn to the Pinterest 100 – Pinterest’s list of 100 trends that are set to be big for 2018, based on what we’ve been pinning during the past year. It covers all of the big categories you’d expect and among them ‘Home’. It’s a cheat sheet for the ‘next big thing’, informed by their millions of users. Last year, they predicted indoor vines, or climbing plants, would be popular in home decor and they were pretty spot on!

Interiors Trends for 2018 according to Pinterest

  • The colour sage
  • Mixing metal finishes – copper is no longer on top
  • Colourful doors
  • Ceilings that make a statement
  • Herringbone tiling
  • Patterned plants
  • Interiors inspired by resorts (especially bathrooms)
  • Terrazzo
  • Statement wall art
  • Bone inlay

Which of these are you most looking forward to? After marble’s popularity in recent years, a shift towards terrazzo, patterned with chunks of marble chips, makes sense. I’ve already noticed copper subsiding for gold again, too. And Dulux’s Colour of the Year for 2018 is Heart Wood, a warm pink tone. Is this a sign we’ll be moving away from millennial pink too in our accessories? I’m looking forward to 2018 to put the spotlight on some of these future trends. What do you think will be big? And what are you happy to leave in 2o17?

Happy New Year!

with love, b.xo



Whether you love it or hate it, gift wrapping in December can’t be avoided. I find it’s a lot more fun when you do it sat by the Christmas tree watching a cheesy festive film. Just as I’m not a fan of tinsel and prefer more subtle, matchy matchy Christmas trees, I also love to have a theme when wrapping. It normally starts with brown kraft paper, although for stockings, it’s all about the colour. In the past, I’ve used everything from mini jingle bells and toadstools to pom poms and garden twine to decorate the brown parcels. This year’s theme was especially easy, but looks quite effective, so I thought I’d share some Christmas gift wrapping ideas for 2017.

Easy  Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas for 2017

Easy Gift Wrapping Ideas

This year’s theme is all about textures and monochrome colours. I chose two types of ‘accent’ wrapping papers to tear by hand. The marbled paper was from Katie Leamon, bought at Decorum, and the spotted, inkblot paper from Paperchase. I used a range of different textured ribbons to layer or tie, including velvet, satin and grosgrain.

(The below was more of a present to myself… A delicious salted caramel cupcake from Peggy Porschen. Cupcakes make wrapping more fun too, by the way.)

Christmas Gift Wrapping Ideas and Peggy Porschen Cupcake

Present topper ideas for your kraft paper gifts

You can add nearly anything to your brown paper presents, here are just a few ideas:

  • jingle bells
  • real holly
  • homemade pom poms
  • homemade clay tags
  • branches of Christmas tree
  • glitter dipped pine cones
  • mini toadstools
  • mini baubles
  • Scrabble letters
  • handmade paper snowflakes
  • candy canes
  • wool
  • garden twine
  • wooden snowflakes
  • wooden initial letters
  • handmade festive stamps
  • initial stamps
  • festive mini pegs
  • wool tassels
  • homemade gingerbread
  • handmade mini wreaths
  • mini paper honeycomb decorations
  • handmade felt trees, holly leaves etc.

I could probably go on for a long time, but you get the idea – nearly anything festive goes! How will you be decorating your gifts this year?

Happy wrapping.

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