STYLE

Fashion, design, art and culture are part of the fabric of life and are what inspire us. Read stylish articles featuring top fashion picks, innovative new designs and artistic expression. 

Colour Me Happy with a Pink Kitchen Makeover

Baby it’s Cold Outside but it’s Positively Pink In Here!

The Beast from the East is currently stomping, spitting and throwing itself all over the UK like an angry toddler that hasn’t had a nap. Seriously, Beast, you can take a break if you want? With weather like this people have been forced to stay indoors, and I have spent the day working from home when I should have been at a client’s office. However I also got the pleasure of spending the working day sat at my new kitchen table in my new pink kitchen. 

Decorating the Kitchen

Telling people you are redecorating your kitchen tends to spark interest, but when you follow this with, ‘yes I’m painting it pink!’ – you can cue a change of subject, startled duck expression, or the good old fail safe, ‘oh, that’s different!’

We had planned on a very standard and traditional look with mocha coloured walls and rustic clocks and artwork. We also very quickly realised how bored we were with this idea about as quickly as we came up with it – not so quickly I hadn’t already bought the mahoosive tin of flippin’ mocha paint, of course. Something much more fun was in order, and this lead us to think pink! After trying two different shades of pink, working through several days of painting and spending a fair whack on endless tins of paint and painting accessories, we finally found our perfect pink in the heart of the home.  

It’s on days like today when I really appreciate just how happy, rosy and cosy our kitchen is – a stark contrast to the icey blue hues peering through the windows currently. So I thought I’d proudly share our pink kitchen makeover, because I feel confident that almost everyone will appreciate this warm and unmistakably happy colour, when all we’ve seen is white, black and blue outside the haven that is the home. 

Pink Kitchen Makeover – The Before

kitchen makeover

We realised we no longer wanted a party kitchen, and that meant it was time to get rid of the bar, blackboard and get in some proper furniture. 

Pink Kitchen Makeover – The After

pink kitchen

We got our tiles are from Tile Mountain, our table and chairs from Made.com and the giant map of the world canvas is from Ikea. The pink is Dainty Demure from Valspar’s Cosmetic Collection – inspired by the beauty industry! 

The Beast from the East – The Outdoors

beast from the east

These pictures were taken at a very rare and eerily quiet moment of the day – the twilight hour, just after the very few cars that made it out today also made it back safely (ish)! (My husband managed a 360 downhill spin in his car on his return home this evening). I’ve popped one picture in below, which captured what the rest of the day looked like – far less artistic or bluesy!

The Beast from the East

The Beast from the East in action. 

work from home

My work view this afternoon.

Life is Colourful

Did you make it to work today? We still have tomorrow to contend with – hopefully I can make it in to the office. If not, I’ll be happy and safe in my pretty pink kitchen for one more day. 

Garden Life: Outdoor Styling to put a Spring in your Step

Outdoor Accessories for a Stylish Spring

As Brits we are renowned for premature BBQs, flip flops and even public displays of shirtless torsos on a sunny day. But so what? We don’t have the best weather in the world, so when the sun does shine we make sure we max out the outdoor lifestyle. 

The sun has already shown it’s big bright face a few times this spring, and so far I have:

  • Sunbathed milk bottle legs in denim shorts once.
  • Had two BBQs.
  • Worked outdoors with squinty eyes and a laptop on a few occasions.

AND I AM LOVING IT. One thing we don’t do as well as other cultures is styling our outdoor spaces. In Scandinavia they live and style by the concept of hygge, Asian living has given us the balanced zen styling and in the UK we are just starting to catch on. With all these popular styling trends, an idealistic way of living is the driving force behind it. It’s not about tshirt tans and burnt sausages, but a much more holistic lifestyle that sees the outdoors as another space in the home that should be used regularly.

Here I’ve picked out a few outdoor accessories that will make the outdoor lifestyle even more appealing, come rain or shine. Because whatever the British weather we should all be reaping the benefits of a bit of fresh air and nature from time to time. 

Dial up the Decor with Garden Accessories

Edward and Erica the Elephant Planters – Next – £70 (Erica) and £40 (Edward)

Planting flowers in elephant shaped pots just seems a lot more fun than regular plant pots. Plus, Next have named theirs, which somehow makes them even more desirable. I now have the urge to create a miniature herd at the end of the garden…

outdoor accessories

Light it Up with Outdoor Lanterns

Orb Hurricane Lantern – London Garden Trading Co. – £59.95

With the right lighting you can party all night long outside. Just don’t disturb the neighbours, unless of course it’s a block party! This lava-like lantern looks a burning ball of fire, which is both awesome and practical. 

outdoor accessories

Heaters, because, you know, England.

La Hacienda Moda Lime Firepit – Homebase – £79.99

Being realistic it only stays warm outside in British springtime whilst the sun is out, and even then it’s hit or miss. This stylish firepit looks great, keeps you warm and gives you purpose – you can make a fire, gather round it and heat up marshmallows on sticks. Best. Day. Ever.

outdoor accessories

 

Grow your Own with Herb Planters

Multi Herb Wall Planter – Urban Outfitters – £50

If you don’t have much space outdoors you can make the most of wall space with a wall mounted herb planter. If you have no outdoor space at all (then this post is probably a tad annoying) then you can even use this herb planter indoors – bring a touch of the plant life inside. It’s not just a feature either – get cooking with your freshly grown produce.

outdoor accessories

Outdoor Comfies with a Giant Waterproof Bean Bag

Leda Tribal Transform – BeanBagBazaar – £149.99

Bean bags are not just for kids. This unique bean bag floor cushion can be used indoors and outdoors making it great for lounging away on for perfect lazy, sunny sunday. Caution: you may forget to get up again and lose hours of time. 

outdoor accessories

 

Three Benefits to Being Outdoors

Don’t wait until summer to get outside, it’s too good for your health to pass up the chance of some time spent in the Great Outdoors. 

  1. Vitamin D: it’s essential for a healthy immune system with serious supplies coming directly from the sun. Just keep it safe with factor 30 or higher.
  2. Fresh air: indoor pollutants are far worse than outdoor pollutants. Plus, if you are living in the countryside you are already winning by avoiding the inner city smog. 
  3. Eye sight: artificial light from electronic devices and staring at screens all day is bad for your eye sight and health. Get outdoors and look around occasionally, feed your eyes some natural light.

 

January Gym Style – A Monochrome Wish List

Happy New Year! January is the time to get fit, healthy and make some changes for the better. So starting with getting fit, it’s always good to have a new gym outfit to motivate you to make that first step into the sweaty place of doom. 

January Gym Style

I love wearing black (anywhere and everywhere) so I’ve picked a monochrome gym wear wish list, which I feel is a suitable first step towards getting back into a gym frame of mind – getting back into an actual gym will come in good time. Don’t rush me. 

Gym Wear Wish List

puma sports bra

Puma

The latest women’s sportswear range from Puma has helped put the brand back on the map. Their ‘Do You’ campaign focused on inspiring ‘confidence in women everywhere’ with powerful images of brand ambassador Cara Delevingne. This simple black Puma Pwrshape Forever Bra (£20) is designed for everyday running and training. I like this because often high impact bras are just plain ugly. This one however is definitely stylish. 

gym shark leggings

Gym Shark

My biggest gym clothing bug bear? Leggings. I am forever looking for good quality gym leggings at an affordable price. However I am starting to think that these two factors cannot coexist for some unfathomable reason. Having tried every high street retailer (don’t bother) and several sports brands (expensive), the next brand I am going to try is Gym Shark’s Dry Sculpture Leggings. This is a fitness brand that was started by a group of teenagers in 2012. Gym Shark says it’s leggings are designed for running, squatting and lunging. OK, sounds promising so far. I would need to see these in real life to check how thick they are, (you do not want to discover they go see-through mid-squat – that’s too late) but they certainly look good and worth checking out at £36. Watch this space. 

nike white tank top

Nike at ASOS

Nike always does stylish tops and I like this Nike International Women’s Sleeveless Top especially because you could wear it in the gym or out and about. ASOS currently has the white version on sale for £21 – one of the rare reasons to love January; the sales. 

nike womens lunarcharge

Nike at size?

Finally, where would we be without a decent pair of trainers? Not in gym, that’s for sure! Nike’s Lunarcharge launched in December 2016 and this monochrome style is lush. I found these on size? for Women, which is a store I love and their editorial and social media is also worth following. Check out #ladiesthatlace for decent footwear inspiration on Instagram. 

All the Gear, No Idea?

If you feel ready to face the actual gym now and are looking for workout inspiration, then Instagram is perfect for finding new ideas. Doing the same workout again and again is counterproductive and just plain boring. Irish model Vogue Williams (@voguewilliams), who is soon to be appearing on Channel4’s The Jump (let us pray for those celebrities) works out wherever she goes and regularly shares short video clips. Watch a few videos, pull on your new gym gear and then GO TO THE GYM. (Tells self).