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    Interior Chatter

    Come and see us at 'Ally Pally'!

    Come and see us at 'Ally Pally'!

    We are exhibiting again at the country living show in the iconic Alexandra Palace this Spring (26th-29th April to be precise) and we simply love this show! Why? Not only because we get to meet some many of our lovely customers, but it is just full of inspiration! 

    It is a true celebration of small business, and great low cost ideas to decorate your home. This year we are determined to meet Annie Sloan who is demonstrating - she is a british legend! As always it will be a full on and exhausting few days but we wouldn't miss it for the world!

    What’s In, What's Out - Decor Scores for 2018

    What’s In, What's Out - Decor Scores for 2018

    THE DARKER THE BETTER

    ultraviolet, decor inspiration

    Winter is (still) here and it's all about staying warm & cosy. Pantone is right on board, making ultraviolet their colour of the year. It's an energising colour, one that mixes well with emerald greens and sapphire blues. If the intensity of these colours it too much for your personal style, tone it down with charcoals, pale violets and natural greens. You'll see this trend extending beyond the living rooms and bedrooms, into shabby chic kitchens and dining rooms as well. Expect to see more warm green and navy blue cabinetry, sinks and accessories. 

    THE BRASS SECTION

    We've been loving brass for a while now, so we're not surprised to see it trending big in 2018. From light fixtures, mirrors and cabinets, to furniture and silverware, you'll be in a brass wonderland all year long. We adore the vintage, shabby chic feel of the metal and love how it pairs with the trending darker colours of the year. 

    FIND THE IMPERFECTION

    There is character and beauty in imperfection. Kintsukuroi - the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold - is a wonderful example. By adding gold leaf to the cracks, you make the pottery new again. A unique piece, even more special than before. From fabrics and natural textiles, like linen and burlap, to hand-painted pottery and furniture - it’s In the imperfect that you’ll find your perfect decor style this year. Shabby chic is still in - it’s just getting a face lift. Get creative, use pieces that have special meaning to you and your family, and truly make your space your own! 

    FLORALS, FLORALS, FLORALS

    In tune with Pantone's colour of the year, ultraviolet, - and our love of shabby chic floral prints - go for bold and colourful flowers this year. Mixing and matching florals with organic textures and neutral palettes is definitely cultivating a new kind of attention, and if full size furniture or walls are a bit too much for your personal taste, try going for smaller decor items - such as pillows, bedding or lamps. 

    What's catching your eye this year? We would love to know - and are always on the look out for new inspiration and collaboration opportunities! Shoot us a quick email with your thoughts and subscribe to our mailing list for more regular updates! 

    xx O&F 

     

    5 Ways To Create A Farmhouse Christmas On A Budget

    5 Ways To Create A Farmhouse Christmas On A Budget

    Each year when the holiday season rolls around we find ourselves in the typical Pinterest black hole (we all know so well). In constant search of new and original festive decor. 

    To make it a little easier this year we've gathered our top 5 ideas for creating the perfect farmhouse Christmas, even when you don't have much to spare after gift shopping. 

    1. USE WHAT YOU HAVE

    Have a pair of ice skates in the garage? Or perhaps an old lantern in storage? These can both be easily repurposed as winter decor items. A quick clean up and a fresh coat of red paint later and all you need to find is the right setting to create a vintage, country style holiday space. And the best part is you didn't spend a dime. 

    vintage farmhouse, vintage christmas, holiday decor, farmhouse christmas

    2. BURLAP, BURLAP AND MORE BURLAP

    Burlap fabric can be found for excellent prices online and in stores. And it's one of our favorite go-to's when decorating a cottage farmhouse style home. Add it to wreaths, banisters, mantles, trees, you name it - burlap can make it a little festive. 

    burlap christmas decor, burlap, farmhouse christmas, farmhouse style, burlap decor

    3. ALWAYS ADD A TOUCH OF GREEN

    Boxwood wreaths are the perfect touch of rustic charm to any farmhouse space, especially during the holiday season. It's fun to play around with different ribbons and uses, from table centrepieces and chair decor, to the more traditional doors and walls - the wreaths will last you all year long (making them an economical choice) and add a classic touch of christmas spirit to any room.  

    boxwood wreath, boxwood, christmas wreath, farmhouse style

    4. DIY YOUR HEART OUT

    Pinterest is also heaven for any DIY fans. And when you're working with a tight budget, what better time of year to get your craft on? A few of our favorite DIY festive ideas include adding paint and glitter to pine cones (simple, but stunning) and wall art including lyrics to your favorite christmas carol. Go to town, and use what you already have in the house - paper, markers and glue still go a long way. 

    merry christmas, diy christmas decor, farmhouse style

    5. DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE RED

    Literally any red item you have in the house, use it. Your kid has a red toy truck or old red wagon, clean them up and find a spot for them. Red Flyer wagon's are a great place to stack gifts next to the tree, and a toy truck can make a perfect little vintage touch to the mantle. Ribbons, wrapping paper, ornaments - all of these items can all be used to add the perfect finishing touch of red. 

    christmas decor, red flyer wagon, red decor, farmhouse style

    What's The Difference? Farmhouse vs. Shabby Chic

    What's The Difference? Farmhouse vs. Shabby Chic

    You hear the words "Shabby Chic" and you think soft cottage style with distressed, vintage items. This can also include new items made to look old, or reused materials turned into something different (such as using old doors or shutters as a headboard). 

    shabby chic, headboard, shabby chic decor

    You hear the words 'Farmhouse Style" and you picture a rustic, country look with earth tones and natural textures (such as wood and greenery). This includes other organic items like burlap and twine, as well as cottage style items like mason jars and linen

    farmhouse style, farmhouse decor

    When you start hunting for either style, you begin to see the line between the two blurs. Shabby chic is a term that was created in the early Eighties by a British designer in an interview with the American 'The World of Interiors' magazine. But it was Rachel Ashwell that created the movement.

    She used shabby chic as well when she described her style in the early Eighties. It then became so popular that she trademarked the term in 1989. She started the shabby chic, french country chic on the west coast and it spread like wildfire.

    rachel ashwell, shabby chic, shabby chic decor, linen bedding

    More recently, you see the words "Farmhouse Style" being used to describe what looks like, in many ways (to us), shabby chic style. With the immense popularity of Joanna and Chip Gaines, the "Fixer Upper" style took over in the past few years, creating a new way of looking at both shabby chic and farmhouse style. 

    Joanna loves to use shiplap, rustic wreaths and greenery, as well as linen and burlap and industrial farmhouse items. It's almost as if shabby chic has evolved into farmhouse style. Or perhaps farmhouse style took what it liked from shabby chic and added it's own twist? farmhouse style, joanna gaines, fixer upper

    We don't know exactly how to pinpoint it, but either way you look at it -  farmhouse style can be shabby chic, but not all shabby chic interiors are farmhouse style. Just a little interior chatter this week as we search for our own interior inspiration. What do you lean towards when designing your interiors? Farmhouse or Shabby Chic? 

    Xx, 

    O&F 

    5 Tips For Sustainable Interior Design

    5 Tips For Sustainable Interior Design

    It makes no difference if your renovating, redecorating or creating a new space from scratch, all interior design starts with a vision. And when it comes to sustainability and renewable resources, interior design is one of the fastest growing industries incorporating and focusing on "green"interiors. 

    From the use of rain water to offset water waste, to choosing sustainable and ethically sourced materials like linen, bamboo, cork and recycled glass, the options are endless when using your imagination and creativity.

    We believe sustainability should be a part of everyone's interior design approach, in order to help reduce environmental impact and create a healthy home environment.  

    1. Use energy-wise and efficient design materials 

    natural light, sustainable interior, interior design, shabby chic kitchen, shabby chic decor

    From windows and doors, to flooring and panelling, choose energy efficient materials for your home. Rapidly renewable resources like bamboo are perfect for flooring, and properly sealed, large windows are perfect for using natural light - reducing your electricity needs and helping to create dynamic in design. 

    2. Decorate with products that are created in a socially responsible and sustainable manner.

    linen pillowcase, linens, fresh linens, summer linens, interior design, linen

    We, of course, can't rave enough about choosing sustainable decor. Linen is our textile of choice and for good reason. The fabric is one of the most biodegradable and stylish fabrics. With its strong, naturally moth resistant make up, the material made from flax plant fibres is fully biodegradable when untreated. Not to mention, it helps maintain body temperatures and lasts forever. 

    3. Reclaim old items and use recycled decor

    shabby chic, decor, reused, recycled decor, shabby chic decor

    Vintage, antique and recycled DIY decor is more popular than ever before...and we are NOT complaining. The interior trend is right up our alley and offers a fun, creative way to keep your home sustainable and eco-friendly. Re-purpose old dressers, frames and jars with shabby chic chalk-finish paint, or look in your storage for unused items like old windows, doors and lighting fixtures. Chances are good there's more than enough to work with to create new, stunning interior accessories. 

    4. Use non-toxic and non-polluting products and materials

    hypoallergenic paint, sustainable interior, interior design, natural light

    It's important for interior designers to know their products. This means understanding what paint and materials are used throughout the home. To truly create a sustainable, healthy environment be sure you are using hypoallergenic paint and wood that have not been treated with pesticides or dangerous chemicals. And always look to what's already in the space. Exposed brick walls and reused shiplap are both stunning and sustainable options. 

    5. Add greenery anywhere and everywhere 

    house plants, sustainable interior, greenery, green design

    The more greens, the better green design! Add indoor greenery and plants wherever you can. Not only will this bring a touch of the outdoors inside, offering a natural and rustic charm, but many plants actually help to keep the air clean for you and your family (like palms and peace lilies). You can also choose to keep plants like aloe and agave, which also offer different uses in the home, or even keep an ongoing slew of natural herbs growing indoors for  use in the kitchen, not just aesthetics.