Category: styled by nature

Simple summer decoration

The best thing with this time of the year is how the gardens are overflowing with flowers. Branches weigh heavy of elderflowers and the roses that are bursting of petals that ripple into a soft carpet on the pavements. Not to forget the seducing scent of summer that awakes you from winter, as it was the first time you’ve seen a summer.

I like to make most of the blossoms right now by bringing them into my home and enjoying them indoors too. Best thing is that most flowers dry beautifully so with little efforts you create memories that last for a long time.

We should always decorate with the sense of season in mind, whether it’s to celebrate the season we’re in or to simply (and affordably) decorate for gatherings or to fill a white space. Whatever is the reason, this idea takes the garden into your home.

Go out and pick your favourite bouquet, organise the flowers colour wise and prepare them by stripping some of the leaves off and cutting them into the right length. Mix the sizes and colour combination for a harmonious impression. Use many flower, different colours for a punchy expression or use ivy in muted colours for a subtle minimal style.


Photography: Michael Sinclair for IKEA FAMILY Live

Anything with flowers always makes me think of this quote and how something mundane, something you’ve done so many times suddenly feels different. When you have that feeling that nothing will be the same again, because it’s different somehow.

“Mrs Dalloway said she was going to buy the flowers herself.”

– Virginia Wolf

Conservatory archieves

More people than ever live in cities and the pressure of urban living doesn’t seem to decrease any time soon. Despite the less positive consequences of living in smaller spaces and increasingly higher cost for living, there are also positive movements emerging from this change. The ‘Nature inspired home’ trend seem to be everywhere at the moment and we don’t seem to get enough of reconnecting with nature in our urban space.

We see examples of this from the Urban jungle bloggers inspiring to ‘pool parties’ (putting your plants in the tub and giving them a shower). I’ve noticed communities and local neighbourhoods coming together to do gardening together such as Dalston Eastern Curve garden. Asif Khan, British architect, gave the Londoners’ a simple and achievable idea of breathing spaces amongst the concrete of East London with his installation Mini living in London design week this year.

My feeling is that we’re just in the beginning of seeing concept shops that specialise in a botanical life style, like the Conservatory Archives in Hackney. Beautiful shop, definitely worth a visit in itself and an example of the times we live in.

Walking into dream land. 

unnamed-3More is more, is definitely the way to go about decorating with plants. 

unnamed-6Rough and unpolished walls together with plants create a nice contrast and is quite quintessential for an urban botanical style. 

unnamed-2Trend section of the shop – cactus, succulents…

unnamed-1..and of course I couldn’t leave without getting a couple of new editions to my house plant family. 

Showroom
Conservatory Archives
493-495 Hackney Road
London E2 9ED

conservatoryarchives.co.uk

Seasonal

The topic “seasonal” is very close to my heart. For me it starts with a wellbeing aspect.  I want to feel in tuned with nature. It doesn’t feel in sync to me to have bright coloured cushions when the leaves are turning into yellows, and brown. I prefer to follow the same rhythm and let nature take the lead.

When autumn approaches, I make apple pie and preserve foraged blackberries, light some candles, bring out the rugs, have a comfy quilt and read books while drinking red wine. In wintertime I want to prepare for Christmas, compensate for the few hours of day light with fairy lights and layer up to stay warm despite the cold outside.

When spring is here I get all those planting ideas started and I go picking my first spring flowers to give life back into the home. As summer approaches I try keeping things as simple as possible to have time to enjoy those long days.

Seasonality can also be a very practical matter. When we lived in Sweden we had plenty of storage.  I think we had nearly the same amount of storage as living space, which made life very organised but at the same time we kept things that we neither needed nor used. Living in London you always struggle for space so one of the big differences I’ve noticed that I’ve made was to have a wardrobe that doesn’t differ all that much from one season to another. The climate is slightly milder here so you don’t quite need all of those woollen cardigans I had, however the most noticeable differences are the colours and materials of the clothes I wear. As I have no space to store my winter wardrobe during summer, these two needed to come together, so I need to make sure they could be used almost all year around.

This might be slightly contractive to talking about seasonality but really seasonality shouldn’t be about following trends, always bringing in new items into your home. Instead it is about listening to how nature inspires you and by adding those elements to your home.

What does seasonality mean to you and how do you bring them to life?

House plants

I love surrounding myself with plants, they help me release stress and stay grounded. The green colour has proven to have many health benefits. Studies have proven that when people have been in distress, going through grieve or illness they have seen positive effects from walking in a forest and surrounding themselves in a room painted green. I have a friend who has studied interior design in relation to psychology and health, and this is quite an exciting area that addresses many of these aspects.

Flowers are not just decorative, though a single plant can lift a whole room, looking more vibrant and fresh. As a tribute to my dear house plants, keeping us company in our home I’ve collated them all for somewhat of a family photo.

monstera


Monstera deliciosa

A grand, simple plant to care for. It doesn’t require much, just a little bit water now and then. It prefers a quite warm and humid environment, but who doesn’t? Mine seems finding it’s way in the British climate too.

medinilla dolce vita


Medinilla dolce vita

This is the diva of my houseplants, with its bright colour and extraordinary flowers it wins the attention of anything in it’s surrounding. The flowers remind me of the inside of a pomegranate. I have two now, it’s a long story but in short a lesson made is that the stems easily break and transporting these can be difficult. Especially if your taking them from Sweden to the UK, which I’m sure my lovely mother in law would agree after helping me with this.

geranium


Scented Geranium
This one has been with me for many years, originally given as a baby plant from a friend and I now have two. It has worked really well when I’ve given away cuttings from my plants to others. I think this is such a thoughtful present and I love the idea that you can have plants in your home that are connected to plants in your friends homes.

medinilla dolce vita

So there is quite a lot to say about our dear houseplants and the lovely atmosphere they create for us. It’s nice to have them to care for and it brings us back to nature and in connection with deeply rooted needs and feelings.

I’m curious to hear what houseplants you have in your home? How do you care for them and most importantly how do they make you feel?