Styling Flowers Through The Seasons

The flatlay that won me the competition

The flatlay that won me the competition

In September 2018 I entered The Flower Lounge’s competition to win six months of flowers. The competition was open to anyone local who could pop in to pick up some free flowers and take them home to style. I actually found out I had won on holiday in Crete where I had also just gotten engaged so September was a fabulous month for me! I thought I’d show you how I styled the bouquets through the seasons.

The Flower Lounge, Didsbury. Featuring board design from Indigo Impressions.

The Flower Lounge, Didsbury. Featuring board design from Indigo Impressions.

The Flower Lounge is a gorgeous award winning florist which is round the corner from my house. Ran by Siân and her wonderful team, I have bought various flowers from them in the past from my Dad’s funeral flowers to my upcoming wedding. They do regular workshops and sell other little trinkets such as vases, plants and candles so it’s the perfect “one stop shop” for presents. I love this little shop and was delighted when I won the competition. Who doesn’t like free flowers every month?

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October

Amaranthus

October is all about pumpkins, deep oranges and reds with pops of green. It’s my favourite month, and the month I will be saying “I do” this year.

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November

Ilex Berries

The long winter nights call for candlelight and hearty dinners. A bouquet on the table is my perfect centrepiece all year round whether we eat at the table or not.

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December

Ranunculus

Fairylights, candles and mini wreaths spell Christmas in our house. In the winter we retreat more into the lounge as it’s a smaller space and feels more cosy especially with the fire going. Bringing the bouquet into the space with us and curling up with blankets whilst the weather rages outside is my perfect way to hibernate.

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January

Alstromeria

Christmas is over and it’s a time for fresh starts. All the decorations have gone and the house feels a lot simpler. I never normally have flowers in the bedroom but they were lovely to wake up to each morning.

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February

Pussy Willow

The month of love! I love creating photos of flowers in the belfast sink. Something about the crisp white ceramic and the gorgeous colours of the bouquet make me imagine living in a gorgeous countryside property having foraged flowers from the my massive garden!

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So those were my take on styling flowers through the seasons. If you are local to Manchester or just passing through, I would highly recommend The Flower Lounge for all your floral needs.

This content was not sponsored in any way, all thoughts are my own although Siân helped me with the naming of the flowers!

36 Hours In Edinburgh with Novotel Hotels

Victoria Street, Edinburgh

Victoria Street, Edinburgh

Gifted stay with Novotel Hotels

I was very kindly invited by Novotel Hotels to stay at the recently renovated Edinburgh hotel right in the centre of the city. Having visited Edinburgh a good 6 years ago, I was keen to go back and explore again.

The hotel is situated perfectly for exploring Edinburgh - it is just a short walk from all the major tourist attractions. Rooms vary from standard rooms to suites. I was kindly upgraded to the Suite which was really spacious and had the pièce de résistance - a balcony with amazing views.

Novotel Edinburgh Suite Balcony - the views are gorgeous!

Novotel Edinburgh Suite Balcony - the views are gorgeous!

11pm

After dropping our bags and freshening up we immediately headed out for some cocktails - you know me, I can’t stay away from an espresso martini for too long. The Dome was recommended by one of my lovely instagram followers and it really is an impressive building - the perfect place for a sophisticated cocktail.

9am

There is an option for room service breakfast at the hotel for an extra £5, if you already have breakfast included in your room, which is really good value. I love nothing more than breakfast in bed at hotels - hiding away in your dressing gowns, watching tv. It feels like a real luxury. And it meant we got to relax in the room for longer and take advantage of the gorgeous sunny morning on the balcony.

Breakfast in bed, Novotel Edinburgh

Breakfast in bed, Novotel Edinburgh

Sunny morning coffee on the balcony, Novotel Edinburgh

Sunny morning coffee on the balcony, Novotel Edinburgh

11am

Victoria Street is a beautiful curved street with gorgeous colour facades each holding lovely little cafes and shops which is one of my lasting memories from the last time I was in Edinburgh. We stopped off at Hula and sat outside in the sunshine and sipped on juices before making our way across the city.

Victoria Street, Edinburgh

Victoria Street, Edinburgh

Victoria street is just off the Royal Mile which is a must see if it’s your first or millionth time visiting Edinburgh. It is a hub of souvenir shops, cathedrals and bagpipes all leading to the stunning castle on the hill.

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

1pm

After wandering through the old town and into the new town, we stopped off at Badger & Co to warm up with coffee and cocktails. I can highly recommend the blood orange mimosa!

2pm

Circus Lane is an Instagram favourite so of course I had to go check it out. That’s the beauty of visiting a city the second time round, you can forget the tourist must sees and start heading to the outskirts to explore places you might not necessarily see on the first visit.

Circus Lane, Edinburgh

Circus Lane, Edinburgh

3pm

The Scran & Scallie, Edinburgh

The Scran & Scallie, Edinburgh

We had booked a table at The Scran and Scallie in Stockbridge - a gorgeous gastro pub run by two of Scotland’s top chefs, Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack. I would say booking is a must as the pub was packed. We had an amazing meal here and some delicious champagne too.

Stockbridge is a wonderful little area, bustling with boutiques, bars and restaurants. It reminded me a lot of Burton Road in Didsbury and I could definitely see myself living here!

5pm

Back to the hotel to freshen up. The decor here is really relaxed and welcoming which was a nice surprise for me. Neon lights, lounge chairs and plants make the reception a place you actually wouldn’t mind chilling out in which is something most big brand hotels fail at in my opinion.

Novotel Edinburgh Reception

Novotel Edinburgh Reception

Novotel Edinburgh restaurant

Novotel Edinburgh restaurant

Novotel Edinburgh Bar

Novotel Edinburgh Bar

8pm

It took us a a few minutes to find Bramble Bar - a hidden underground space on Queen Street in the new town area. It’s a really cool cosy bar serving up fabulous gin cocktails if you like gin - which apparently everyone in the world does except me! There are also regular djs and the tunes were amazing!

Ready for a night out in Edinburgh

Ready for a night out in Edinburgh

9pm

Dinner at The Honours was beautiful. It’s a fine dining kind of setting with a more relaxed price list which appealed to us. The scallops were incredible, and although we were too full for dessert they looked and sounded amazing.

Just up the street from The Honours is Copper Blossom which is a cute cocktail bar with lots of lovely decor and foliage which of course I was a like a moth to the flame.

Copper Blossom, Edinburgh

Copper Blossom, Edinburgh

8am

Sunday morning chilling in bed with the balcony doors open and the sun streaming through was perfect. We really lucked out with the weather this weekend, although cold, it was mainly dry and sunny. And the weather made the suite even more special.

Suite view, Novotel Hotel, Edinburgh

Suite view, Novotel Hotel, Edinburgh

Brushing my teeth with a view, Novotel hotel Edinburgh

Brushing my teeth with a view, Novotel hotel Edinburgh

11am

Coffee before the train, back where we started on Victoria Street. La Barantine is a cute little bakery with lots of Parisian patisseries and great coffee. And it’s also just a 10 minute walk from Waverley station.

La Baratine, Victoria street, Edinburgh

La Baratine, Victoria street, Edinburgh

I would highly recommend visiting Edinburgh if you’ve never been before, or if you are thinking of going back soon. The Novotel Edinbrugh Centre is the perfect central location and a really good hotel, deserving of it’s 4 star status. Comfy beds, gorgeous rooms and delicious breakfasts make it the perfect city break base camp.

Novotel Hotel, Edinburgh - the perfect city break base camp

Novotel Hotel, Edinburgh - the perfect city break base camp

*This was a gifted stay provided by Novotel in exchange for some images and blog post. All words are my own and I would never recommend somewhere I didn’t enjoy.

Tile Giant's Victoria Bath Collection

Paid Collaboration with Tile Giant

Tile Giant Victoria Baths Collection

Tile Giant Victoria Baths Collection

I was recently asked to design moodboards for Tile Giant’s new collection that has been inspired by Manchester’s Victoria Baths. This is an institution in Manchester and I was keen to get involved with the fabulous new range. All tiles are Edwardian in style with traditional undertones but the vibrant colours make them ideal for any modern day home.

Art Deco Inspired Bathroom Moodboard

Art Deco Inspired Bathroom Moodboard

First up I chose the Crackle Bevel Vintage Green tile because I felt it was the most iconic representation of Victoria Baths. The vivid green tiles cover the changing rooms and the stairways in the 1906 building, making them the perfect tile for a bathroom moodboard.

Victoria Baths, picture via Trip Advisor

Victoria Baths, picture via Trip Advisor

Inspired by this Divine Savages image below, I went with a nod towards Art Deco with the Crackle Bevel Vintage Green metro tile. Combining with a statement wallpaper like this Gatsby Gold Geometric Metallic Wallpaper from B&Q and adding accents of brass accessories that pop against the deep greens, it would look perfect in a small bathroom or cloakroom.

Divine Savages  - Deco Martini 'Arsenic'

Divine Savages - Deco Martini 'Arsenic'

The tile would also work equally well as a kitchen backsplash as seen here in this gorgeous Devol Kitchen showroom. That is why I added in Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink to my moodboard because the pink instantly gives a fresher feel to the scheme.

Image Via  Devol  kitchens

Image Via Devol kitchens

Don’t forget the bee print which is symbolic of Manchester history, past and present!

Bathroom flatlay using Crackle Bevel Vintage Green tile

Bathroom flatlay using Crackle Bevel Vintage Green tile

Next up I chose the Crackle Bevel Mustard tile because of my love of all things linked to the current New Neutral trend. You can read all about the trend here in my previous blog post. I decided to use this in a kitchen environment with lots of rich wood tones and hand painted ceramics. Think warm and spicy colours - this colour palette is definitely enjoying a moment in the spotlight this year and I am fully embracing it.

New Neutrals inspired flatlay

New Neutrals inspired flatlay

Victoria Baths, Manchester. Photo via INews

Victoria Baths, Manchester. Photo via INews

Close up detail

Close up detail

Lastly I chose to style the Victoria Baths Terrazzo Floor tile in line with the Maximalist trend of 2019. This is all about embracing your personality and clashing prints and colours. I picked up a lot of wallpaper samples on my travels whilst prop shopping and was pleasantly surprised at how well this Trellis Navy Metallic Wallpaper went with the terrazzo. Picking up on the terracotta tones of the tile, adding in pots and candles bring the scheme to life. Farrow & Ball’s Preference Red also adds another dimension to the moodboard and can be used in small doses to create that “purposeful clash”.

Maximalist inspired moodboard

Maximalist inspired moodboard

I also added in a Lowry postcard which I think works perfectly here as another nod to the Manchester heritage.

Close up details

Close up details

I hope this has inspired you to go and check out the collection at Tile Giant - there are loads more gorgeous colours and designs in this range.

New Trend Alert : Spiced Amber

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2019 has started with the most loveliest of colour palettes in the interior world. The Amber, Umber & Ginger tones remind me of spices and earthly vibes which can keep us grounded in times of uncertainty. Inspired by the new look Homes & Gardens magazine, I thought I’d share with you some inspiring images I have found along the way as well as ideas to bring this trend into your own homes.

Spiced campaign with Gousto Cooking.

Spiced campaign with Gousto Cooking.

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First up, can we talk about Spiced Honey?

Image via Dulux

Image via Dulux

When Dulux first released their colour of the year, I’ll be honest I was extremely nervous. I thought we’d all be suddenly thrown into a world of beige and clients would be forever requesting beige kitchens and bathrooms. But the more I see imagery of this colour, the more I have fallen in love with it. It’s the “New Neutral”. More interesting that white and warmer than grey, Spiced Honey creates a real Earthly colour palette especially when combined with auburns and oranges.

Dulux says “Spiced Honey is a warm amber tone, inspired by the beauty and versatility of honey itself. Spiced Honey can be soothing or calming, cosy or vibrant, depending on the palette you pair it with.”

Image via Dulux

Image via Dulux

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Bringing it into the bedroom

Textiles are a really easy way to incorporate the colours in the bedroom. Bedding, cushions and throws can all mix well together.

H&M - Washed linen duvet cover set - Light Brown

H&M - Washed linen duvet cover set - Light Brown

The Future Kept - British Made Herringbone Throw Ochre

The Future Kept - British Made Herringbone Throw Ochre

Kitchen Styling Ideas

Wooden kitchens are massive right now but if you can’t afford a brand new Nordiska Kök kitchen, maybe one day - a girl can keep dreaming, here are some accessories which can do just the trick incorporating all the spiced tones into your space.

Sue Pryke - Terracotta Teapot

Sue Pryke - Terracotta Teapot

H&M - Wooden chopping board

H&M - Wooden chopping board

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Little Touches

For the ultimate shelfie styling, accessories are key. Mix and match vases, candles and jar to add in the Spiced Amber tones.

LSA International Utility Vase, Amber

LSA International Utility Vase, Amber

Amber Brown Glass Apothecary Jars from Kuishi Home

Amber Brown Glass Apothecary Jars from Kuishi Home

PF Candle Company - Amber & Moss Soy Candle

PF Candle Company - Amber & Moss Soy Candle

I hope you love this trend just as much as I do and I can’t wait to see more of it as the year progresses.

Disclaimer: Not of these links are sponsored, gifted or affiliated. Just products that I love or lust after!

2018 Year In Review

January

January was a tough old month for me. Starting 2018 with a funeral to organise whilst everyone else was talking about their new diets and resolutions was really hard. It was a whirlwind of grief which would end up lasting a lot longer than one month but it was a month that taught me a lot about myself. I am actually stronger than I thought.

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February

I had my first major collaboration with Daniel Wellington watches which was scary but exciting at the same time. It was also a break away from interiors but I really enjoyed the challenge of product photography whilst still making it fit my feed.

Daniel Wellington Watch

Daniel Wellington Watch

March

The Beast from the East turned up and it snowed - A LOT! Manchester never looked so pretty!

Canal street, Manchester in the snow.

Canal street, Manchester in the snow.

April

I joined in with Sas Patherick’s Courage and Spice campaign and put myself in front of the camera on my feed. The social enterprise project was designed to support organisations that work with children and young people to build self-belief. By purchasing a t shirt, 100% of profits are shared between the Self-esteem Team in the UK, and the Graeme Dingle Foundation in New Zealand.

#mycourageousselfie

#mycourageousselfie

Freddies Flowers got in touch for a collaboration in exchange for free flowers - I can never say no to flowers and I loved creating shots with them. This is one of my favourites, inspired by Pinterest.

Freddies Flower Collaboration

Freddies Flower Collaboration

We took a trip to North Yorkshire for a couple of days and it was a really healing trip. I spent most of my childhood at caravan parks up in Scarborough - Blue Dolphin anyone?! Reliving some of my childhood memories was lovely and the gorgeous April weather also helped too!

Whitby Cathedral

Whitby Cathedral

May

May was a month of travelling based around my friends hen party and wedding. We partied hard in Budapest and I fell in love with Northern Ireland. I feel like I didn’t scratch the surface in Budapest and would love to go back again to dig deeper into the history and the culture. I soaked up every inch of Northern Ireland and even wrote a blog post about it. If you’re interested you can read it here.

Budapest

Budapest

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

June

I took the plunge and bought myself a Olympus Pen camera, meaning I could get better quality photos and start introducing myself into my feed more without having to ask Ben to take my picture! I love seeing people behind the Instagram accounts so I felt like it was time to put myself out there more.

Casual in front of the camera

Casual in front of the camera

I also managed to visit Pollen Bakery for the first time which was VERY exciting. This place is legendary in Manchester and has some of the best pastries ever!

Pollen Bakery, Manchester

Pollen Bakery, Manchester

July

We took advantage of Ben’s work benefits and stayed at the holiday apartment in Spain. Malaga was so enchanting and you can read about here.

Malaga, Spain

Malaga, Spain

July also saw Beautiful Homes in The North come to shoot my house for Christmas to publish in Home Style Magazine! Christmas in July is a term I’m very much familiar with having worked in retail for many years but having to pose in front of the camera was a little less natural!

Photo by Beautiful Homes in the North

Photo by Beautiful Homes in the North

August

August was about exploring local places such as Wine and Wallop in Knutsford. The roof terrace here is beautiful and the wine list was never ending.

Wine and Wallap, Knutsford

Wine and Wallap, Knutsford

August saw me win the Flower Lounge styling competition meaning I have been receiving a bunch of flowers every month. It’s nearly up and I don’t know what I’m going to do without the beautiful blooms in my house! Luckily Sian and co are doing the flowers for my upcoming wedding (spoiler alert) so I won’t have to wait too long!

Flower Lounge styling competition

Flower Lounge styling competition

September

Nothing much to note here - joke! We got ENGAGED! In the absolutely stunning Chania in Crete which was beyond perfect! After everything that happened in the beginning of 2018, this was such a happy moment and I actually became excited about the future again!

We’re Engaged!

We’re Engaged!

September was also a good month for collaborations and I got to work with King and McGaw who I’d admired for ages. I finally got my hands on THE Andy Warhol print and I love it.

I also secured my first paid collaboration which was a huge moment for me. All the hard work was finally paying off and it meant I was able to think about doing this professionally rather than just a hobby. I loved my shots from the Catherine Lansfield bedding and the stag print is perfect for winter.

Catherine Lansfield Collab

Catherine Lansfield Collab

King and McGaw Collaboration

King and McGaw Collaboration

October

Robert Welch got in touch and asked me to collaborate with their new cookware. Making a frying pan look sexy was a tough challenge but I always love creating these top down food flatlays.

Robert Welch Collab

Robert Welch Collab

I conquered one of my fears and took part in a live Q&A session at Arighi Bianchi in Macclesfield. I was terrified but everything was made better once I arrived and met some fabulous women who were also taking part. It was a real adrenaline rush and we were all on cloud 9 afterwards!

Arighi Bianchi magazine feature

Arighi Bianchi magazine feature

We set a date and celebrated with all our friends!

We set a date!

We set a date!

November

I headed to Hebden Bridge to meet the wondering Kathryn from Kos Home in real life! Kathryn and I have been talking on Instagram for years and it was great to actual meet in person and have a really good conversation. I’m hoping to head down to London soon to do it again!

Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge

I secured my biggest paid collaboration to date with Gousto cooking which required actual cooking and lots of scheduling. I loved creating this shot below, taking a pinterest image and making it my own was really fun.

Gousto Cooking Collaboration

Gousto Cooking Collaboration

I found the dress! I actually loved trying on wedding dresses despite being apprehensive about it in the beginning. Big thanks to the ladies at Cheshire Bridal Wear for helping me find THE ONE! I’m so excited to wear it!

Cheshire Bridal Wear, Goose Green, Altrincham

Cheshire Bridal Wear, Goose Green, Altrincham

I got published! Home Style Magazine came out in the shops and it was lovely to see the photos in print! Autographed copies available on request!!!

Home Style Magazine feature

Home Style Magazine feature

December

I headed to Bulgaria with work for a weekend of adventure. It was my second time in Bulgaria and I think it’s such a beautiful country. It was lovely to see it in the snow too.

Beautiful Bulgaria

Beautiful Bulgaria

As a family we took ourselves away to Anglesey for Christmas. Last Christmas was so heartbreaking so it was lovely to do something out of the ordinary. Anglesey has a special place in our hearts so it was the best place to go and escape. Who knew Christmas on the beach could be amazing? I would highly recommend it to anyone struggling with that time of year. It was a great healer.

Our home for a week in Anglesey

Our home for a week in Anglesey

2018 started so badly that 2019 feels full of hope and I am looking forward to what it will bring! There’s lots of exciting adventures planned - number one being getting married to my love and starting a new chapter together! Bring it 2019! (inset flexed bicep emoji here!)

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