Seek Inspire Create with Team 91 - August

Summer is in full swing here and in fact, most of our team are off on their holidays as we speak! But, we've been working hard on the next issue which will be available for pre order very soon! Lots of you have been enjoying our new Seek Inspire Create e-zine too, which is great! If you haven't seen it yet, then you simply need to register your email here and you will receive a link to download it. You can read what it's all about here in case it's went under you radar! 

Anyway, as well as being busy with all of that, our team always find time to do some lovely things for themselves or with family and friends, so here's what we've all been enjoying of late....

No Guts No Glory, Devon - Lucy Davidson (designer)

Recently I got the chance to pop into lovely lifestyle store No Guts No Glory, during a trip to Exeter in Devon. I’ve been dreaming of a little visit here for quite some time now, and thankfully it did not disappoint. Owners Nathan and Hayley are friendly and welcoming, giving the store a lovely atmosphere, and I couldn't leave without snapping up one of the wonderful pots from Studio Senji. And of course, it’s always a proud moment to spot 91 Magazine on the shelves of such a gorgeous shop too!

Happy Days Retro Vacations - Kath Webber (sub-editor) 

Happy Days Retro Vacations is a small family-friendly campsite, home to seven vintage trailers- this is camping at its coolest. Six polished silver Airstream trailers and a curvaceous vintage Avion trailer offer comfortable, vintage-style accommodation just a few miles from the coast on the edge of the market town of Saxmundham in Suffolk. The restored caravans are perfect family holidays homes, all styled with an American mid-century vibe. There's a play area for kids, fire pits for each trailer, and a red shed for partying when the campsite is rented exclusively. We stayed in Nettie, and enjoyed every minute- the kids made friends and ran wild in the safe campsite, while we enjoyed the great big skies and excellent local beers. Throughout the summer months, Wednesday night is pizza night with Pete and his wood-fired oven, cooking and delivering pizzas before your very eyes. Rent the entire site for a very special occasion or enjoy a weekend in my favourite county.

Osmology - Caroline Rowland (editor) 

I recently listened to the Style Matters podcast with Melia of Contemporary Life where she talked of her Swedish heritage and how the burning of candles is an every day occurrence in Swedish culture, not reserved solely for the winter months or special occasions. I really loved this idea, as why should we keep candles for 'good' or only light them when we have guests? Especially when there is such an abundance of delicious candle brands out there. On a recent trip to Bristol, I stumbled upon Osmology, a newly opened store on the Christmas Steps, who I'd heard mention of on social media only a few weeks previous. A small but perfectly formed little shop, filled with nose-tingling scents from brands such as Eastwick, P.F. Candle Co and Skandinavisk to name a few. If you are in Bristol, add it to your list of 'must visits' or peruse their website from the comfort of your candlelit living room. 

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Cotswold Lavender - Laura Pashby (deputy editor) 

Strolling through purple fields of fragrant lavender is the stuff of floral dreams (with plenty of Instagram opportunities to boot!) For the second summer, we took a trip to Cotswold Lavender where the lavender was in full bloom and buzzing with bees. Arriving early meant that the fields were quieter and the gentle morning light was better for photography (it's hard to resist snapping away when you're surrounded by beautiful blooms!) Afterwards, we took a trip to National Trust Snowshill, which is just a few miles away- an eccentric's manor house stuffed full of curiosities and treasures, with charming gardens, including the prettiest dovecote.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls - Catherine Binnie (marketing manager) 

This month my seven year old daughter and I have been reading Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. The book reinvents fairy tales, with inspirational women from across the ages as the heroines (you won't catch any of them hanging around for Prince Charming). From Marie Curie, to Frieda Kahlo, Maya Angelou to Elizabeth I - Good Night Stories is packed with fascinating women, their stories brilliantly told and beautifully illustrated (including work by Karolin Schnoor - the talented creator of our 91 Magazine prints!)

Liberty London's new Living Emporium - Melissa Burgess (designer) 

Liberty has long been a go-to destination for unique and unusual products and gifts. However, homeware is not what some may associate with Liberty. In fact, the Home department is a climb up the famous (and slightly wonky) wooden staircase to the third and fourth floors, that many have never even made! The department is undergoing massive changes and is returning to the stores roots and iconic reputation. The new Living Emporium on the third floor is one of my favourite spaces to just get lost in. You are immediately immersed in vivid and bold colour and texture. The collections are, as you would expect from this quirky store, slightly weird but ever so wonderful and eclectic. The Emporium has also become a temporary home to Conservatory Archives - the Hackney based plant specialists. As you stroll down their lusciously green alley, you are briefly taken out of busy city life and immersed in nature. This is my kind of shopping experience.

Lleweyln and Company - Olivia Williams (advertising and brand manager) 

Don’t you just love that feeling of stepping into a shop and having to force yourself to stop and breathe before you get too giddy?! I had to do just that when visiting Lleweyln and Company in Hay-On-Wye recently. This home store is filled with the most beautiful French and Scandi treasures, both old and new, which Anna and John seek out from across Europe. It is filled with home-making delights and curated so beautifully. Though nothing beats a browse around the store for inspiration, it’s wonderful that their online store means we can all enjoy the magic from further afield.  

We hope you've enjoyed this little round up of what we've been discovering and enjoying lately. Don't forget to share yours via our hashtag #seekinspirecreate on Instagram - you might just see your pics featured in the next edition of our Seek Inspire Create e-zine! ;) 

Using typography in interiors

If you were inspired by the home of illustrator and Little Carousel owner Colleen Larmour, which features in our current issue, then you are in for a little treat. Today, Colleen shares some extra insight into how she has incorporated typography into her interior, something which has become less of a passing trend and more of a decor staple....

There is no denying the trend for typography in home interiors. What may have started with the iconic Keep Calm and Carry On poster popularity some fifteen years ago has now transcended into a love for all things emblazoned with written expressions, words, phrases and slogans. A love that is perpetuated in no small part to the growth and exposure written expressions have on social media today.  

I have always loved written words and letters in all forms - stories, art and design, plus my husband is a graffiti writer - and when I look round our home, I realise we have incorporated typography into every room. There has always been this sense that no space is complete without words and letters on display somewhere. We all speak them, read them, write them every day, so to display them throughout our home has never felt contrived. Only natural and expected. 

Photo: Jemma Watts

Photo: Jemma Watts

We dot many of our favourite books around the house, face out and proud. So many book covers are works of art in themselves and their presence is familiar and comforting. My heart lies with children’s books. Having written and illustrated my own picture books and collected an ever expanding stash of them over the years, exaggerated wildly since my two daughters came along, I relished the chance to display these upon a wall in their bedroom. It is a living display that constantly changes dependant on reading moods, new favourites, exciting discoveries and seasonal choices. The words, images and colours always on the move.

Photo: Jemma Watts 

Photo: Jemma Watts 

The yellow ‘hello’ curtain in my studio came about through necessity - I needed to create some privacy at night when working at my sewing desk. The warm pop of yellow can be seen from the other end of the landing, so it seemed appropriate to paint the cheery greeting on it - it makes me smile each time I walk past.

Photo: Colleen Larmour

Photo: Colleen Larmour

Something that always grabs the attention of people visiting our home are the yellow wooden letters that my husband salvaged on a painting job. Made up from part of an old sign from a Belfast building, Glenn brought them home and cleaned them up. The bulk of them sit beneath an enlarged photo of a favourite graffiti writer’s work on a train that he quickly caught on camera when we visited Copenhagen two years ago. A lucky shot!

Photos: Jemma Watts

Photos: Jemma Watts

The letter ‘A’ rests above the living room fireplace alongside a postcard we picked up when we visited Amsterdam Zoo. I adore this little card for its combination of colour, image and text and the memories it gives me of a favourite holiday. Within the same room, we’ve displayed some of Glenn’s collection of graffiti books. Books and their covers, devoted to our love of letters.

Photo: Colleen Larmour

Photo: Colleen Larmour

I had fun decorating the two paper toy sacks in the girls room with a tongue-in-cheek message about how to play together. Above these, hangs one of my own alphabet prints and a wooden alphabet toy.  

Photo: Jemma Watts

Photo: Jemma Watts

In our bedroom - our sanctuary - where so much time is spent switching off from the world and cuddling with our girls, hangs a beautifully designed coat rack that reads ‘Love’.  It is simple, clean design at its best and gives an unused space in the room interest and zing.

Photo: Colleen Larmour

Photo: Colleen Larmour

Photo: Jemma Watts

Photo: Jemma Watts

Back downstairs in our living space, typography, and our very apparent obsession with yellow, is again demonstrated via a large print of the county name we live in, plus a monogrammed cushion with my two daughters initials on it. In the kitchen, the tin ‘chocolat' sign was bought on a holiday in France when I was pregnant for the first time and eating a tonne of the stuff!

Styled well in the home, typography can be beautiful and enchanting, even life-affirming and powerful. However, whichever way type is used, to really work there has to be some form of relevance and meaning to the individual. This meaning doesn’t have to be loud and explicit - sometimes subtle and quiet wins the day. I hope that is what we have achieved in our home - an authentic and seamless blend of words and letters, that if well read, tells our narrative, speaks of our passions and reflects who we are.

Thanks to Colleen for this inspiring commentary on her love for letters and words. We are off to rummage the vintage shops for signage and beautiful books! If you'd like to see more of Colleen's home, make sure you bag yourself a copy of our SS17 issue, there aren't many left folks! Plus, follow Colleen on Instagram and check out her kids toys and decor shop Little Carousel for colourful objects and prints for your little ones. 

Photos by Jemma Watts and Colleen Larmour

An Instagrammers guide to: Rye, East Sussex

In the next of our Instagrammer guides, 91 contributor Jeska Hearne visits Rye in East Sussex. This town, just near the south coast is a photographers dream with it's cute cobbled streets, pretty houses and numerous independent shops and cafes. After a day spent here it's likely your camera and wallet will be feeling a bit worn out! Over to Jeska to hear of her top spots...

Rye is the perfect destination for a day trip or even a long, lazy weekend with lots of visual delights to inspire you. Cobbled lanes like Mermaid Street are lined with medieval, half-timbered houses and the redbrick Lamb House was once owned by writer Henry James. The town is steeped in history, and has become home to a plethora of beautiful boutiques, cosy cafes and stylish pubs to explore for hours....

Eat in stylish surroundings - there are so many great eating spots in Rye. The Standard Inn, The George, Cobbles Tea room - I could go on - but you might want to hunt out this new favourite of mine. We love to fuel up for a day of wandering in the lovely Fig cafe - bistro chairs, old tables and bare bulbs twinkling, with a great brunch and daily menus on offer. Coffee for him, tea for me and homemade cake for all. 

IG: @thefigrye

Go on a wisteria walk - If you visit in May, you'll discover the houses and shops all around Rye are draped with stunning swathes of purple buds. All throughout the year is great for photos too though - autumn leaves are just as good as blooms! Favourites include houses on Hilders Cliff, East Street, Mermaid Street and the High Street.

The Tiny Book Store - this is a wee place piled high with vintage and antique books on all subjects. I love to pop in whenever I am in the town and grab something to read over the weekend. I always take a picture of the outside!

Wander the pretty streets - Just along the pathway from the Tiny Book Store, you’ll fine the ‘Pink House’ I think it was actually the rectory for St Mary’s church once, but now, it is forever known as the ‘Pink House’. Curved bay windows and pretty roses in summer, it can be viewed from the street or from high above the town if you climb the stairs and ladders up onto the church roof on a fair weather day. Blossom trees and hydrangeas in the churchyard opposite make for pretty spring and summer photos too. On your way from here toward Mermaid street, you might spot another one of my happy land marks - the ‘Black Swan’ sign swinging from a corner shop in West Street. Next the famous Mermaid street is a beauty in all seasons, quaint timber houses, haunted hotels and cobbles for days. If you want to capture it at a quiet time, head there for sunrise or sunset when everyone else is in the pub - and wear sensible shoes!

Pale and Interesting - At the bottom of Mermaid street at number 21, you’ll find the perfectly petite boutique Pale and Interesting, owned by husband and wife team, Atlanta Bartlett and Dave Coote. The store is inspired by their love of the functional, beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary. Their philosophy is all about mixing it up, teaming old with new, contrasting rough with smooth and pairing femininity with utility. Visit in all seasons for different offerings and shimmering window displays in December.

IG: @paleandinterestingstore

Vintage and antique shops - Just around the corner, you’ll see an imposing white clapper board building with green windows. Strand House has two shop rooms which are filled with unique and awe-inspiring antiques and one off collectable pieces. For vintage lovers, stroll down the Mint and on to the Strand Quay where Crock & Cosy has kitchen accessories from all eras. On the opposite side of the street is one of my favourite shops on the quay - Hunter Jones Vintage. They usually have a collection of beautiful styled crates and homewares outside, and inside - enamel lamp shades, beautiful rugs, vintage lassi cups, drawer pulls and more.

IG: @hunterjonesvntg

McCully and Crane - In McCully and Crane on Cinque Ports Street, you’ll find cleverly re-worked statement furniture amongst walls covered with emerging artists, daring lighting and fabulous one-off objet trouvé, all with a rough luxe aesthetic. The signage is lovely and their styled shop floor is always inspiring.

IG: @mccullyandcrane

Merchant and Mills - Continue along to Tower street and you’ll find the warehouse treasure trove of Merchant and Mills - reason alone to come to Rye! They supply patterns, fabrics and all the amazing tools that allow the creation of a desirable, functioning wardrobe. From fastenings to Japanese fabrics, this shop has it all, I never leave empty handed. If you are not much of a maker, they also sell ready to wear items from their collection now.

IG: @merchantandmills

A cosy pub - Slip around the corner from the Land Gate and over the railway bridge towards Military Road and you’ll spot a sign for the Globe Inn Marsh, a beautiful pub with great seasonal meals and inspiring coastal decor. Amongst the recycled timber, lobster pots and open fires, find a cosy table and snuggle in for an hour or three.

IG: @globeinnmarsh

Cafe Des Fleurs - My favourite place to buy flowers (and coffee!) is Cafe Des Fleurs - perfectly situated if you are travelling by train, as it is just outside the station. They have beautiful blooms, unusual stems and ready made bouquets - perfect for bringing some seasonal joy home with you! On cold days, grab a hot chocolate and a box of truffles for the journey too.

IG: @cafedesfleurs1

The Shop Next Door - If you still have time for one more shop, or are staying the night in the George Hotel - stock up on hotel chic with colourful dinner candles, joyful home accessories and even Farrow and Ball paint in The Shop Next Door.

IG: @thegeorgeinrye

This is just a small selection of the wonderful shops, pubs, cafes and galleries that the town has to offer. There is a handy map to get you started which you can pick up in most stores or online here.

Wow! So much to see! Thanks to Jeska for sharing her favourite Rye haunts. Check out our last Instagrammers guide if you missed it too - the beautiful Swedish city of Stockholm

Shopkeeper Spotlight: Nkuku

This month, we catch up with Alex and Ali Cooke, co-founders of ethical homeware brand, Nkuku, who sell to both consumers and trade, and run a beautiful store in Devon.

How would you describe the essence of Nkuku?

Nkuku is about creating beautiful handmade home and lifestyle products. We work with artisans throughout the world, combining timeless design with traditional skills and natural materials.  

Can you tell us some more about how Nkuku came about?

Nkuku came about from a round-the-world trip - leaving our jobs in corporate finance and interiors - we seized a chance to travel the world. A passion for culture and travel underpins the Nkuku brand, meeting artisans and learning about traditional skills specific to each country. We wanted to bring these skills to a wider audience whilst creating a sustainable business for ourselves. On our return we moved out of London to Devon and began working with artisans in India.

Initially, our office was in our bedroom, that later upgraded to a garage and finally an actual office space! We sold products at markets and county shows and finally attended trade fairs. All our products were stored in a hay loft, we picked and packed all our orders, often through the night to meet deadlines. We now have an amazing team with us, but our hands-on approach remains the same.

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You recently opened a lifestyle store and cafe – how did you find the space, and what was your approach to designing the interior?  

It was over three years ago that we first stumbled across a beautiful courtyard of stone barns, located just outside Totnes, Devon. The buildings were originally dedicated to farming and cattle and had been derelict for several years. Despite the exposure to the elements and neglect there was a certain magic to the space. Our first taste of the site was enough to inspire us and as we stood surrounded by decaying timber, rubble and a fair amount of cow muck we saw our first store coming to life.

We were keen to keep as many of the original features and stay true to the original building. In keeping with our Nkuku principles we wanted to restore rather than rebuild. This set about a number of research projects, searching for reclaimed materials and other suitable resources. There was also a fine balance to be found between look and practicalities. Maintaining these important details really make the building what it is today.

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Sofa Group Lifestyle (8).jpg

You have a strong ethical approach – how important is that to you and the business? How do you go about finding artisans to work with?

Our ethical approach is a key part of Nkuku. It’s the reason we decided to set up the business. Discovering beautiful products and working with artisans is core to Nkuku.  We think ethical business is good business. Initially the artisans we met were people we met whilst travelling, this then caused a chain of introductions to other artisans and manufacturers. We are always on the lookout for new NGO’s, social projects and enterprising businesses. We now visit trade shows worldwide. Last year we took our family travelling around South East Asia and met some astounding potters. Wherever we go we are always looking, even our children can’t help but get involved.

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How do you approach the buying process?

We have key suppliers that we have worked with many years, and we enjoy developing products working with the materials we know they are experts in. We spend a lot of time planning and developing our collections with emails flying back and forth and trips out to India to confirm. It’s very rare that we find a product that we just want to stock, there is always a design change or what we hope an enhancement that makes the product better.

Can you tell us a bit more about the wholesale side of things - how do you go about finding stockists? Do you like to find people who share your ethical approach?

We have a great selection of stockists some of whom ordered with us at our very first trade show over 10 years ago. It’s always great when a stockist shares the Nkuku ethos. We hope, first and foremost, that they love the product, and then when they discover the story behind each piece it adds to the value and makes each item not a mass market item but an individual piece.  The world is a much smaller place and we believe that our customers want to know how things are made and where they originate. At the end of the day our stockist want a product that sells well and gives pleasure to their customers, and that it was we are aiming for.

What are your current bestsellers, and do you have any personal favourites?

Our Kiko frames continue to be a bestseller, along with our collections of handmade tableware. We are all excited about the new autumn collection in particular the new Satara hand painted metal, Datia tableware and Ozari glassware.

To what extent are you influenced by trends in terms of your products?

We are not a fashion led brand and this is an important part of our ethos. We try to keep an independent and individual style that will stand the test of time. Good design, good quality and beautiful materials are our focus.

What are the challenges, and best parts of running Nkuku?

All businesses have challenges but we are lucky to have a great team and Devon is a wonderful place to live and work.

The handmade nature of products can throw up challenges, small kilns mean that only small batches of products can be completed at a time so we need to plan around this. The weather can throw a few curve balls too, the monsoon makes it particularly hard to dry products so we have to find ways to work collaboratively and find solutions. Finally, getting the pieces from A to B is a challenge in itself, often camel carts and brightly painted trucks are involved, not to mention the shipping and finally delivery to the customer.

Ali and Alex Cooke - Founders.jpg

What are the key elements to running a successful interiors business?

Ultimately, I think it is a real love of the brand. We live, breath and sleep it. Sometimes it can be a negative too as you never step away because you care so much. We have a real love for interiors and creating products that bring pleasure to everyday life. Working with the right team is key, we have a really positive, ‘can-do’ team of people who care about the brand, our products and our customers.

Any advice for anyone aspiring to run their own business?

It’s a cliché but hard work really does pay off. You just have to believe in your own business. Don’t worry too much about what anyone else is doing and just stay true to your own ideas. Try and offer something unique in what you do and don’t be afraid to fail.

Teaching children the origins of food

It sometimes might not look or feel like it, but summer is in full swing here in the UK, as are the school holidays. It’s the perfect time to spend your free hours outdoors with the kids, (when the weather permits!) so, why not use this opportunity to teach them all about the origins of food?

It’s essential that our children value the importance of knowing about what we’re eating, where it comes from and the benefits of organically grown produce, as well as acquiring it locally or growing it themselves.

Veerle Evens shares a few tips on the best ways to introduce your children to the joys of growing your own, buying locally and learning about food in the most fulfilling way…

Buying Local
I can remember when I was six or seven, one of my primary school classmates was convinced chocolate milk came from brown cows.  Many kids today are growing up in cities and larger towns, where we do all our shopping in large commercial supermarkets. It’s very convenient, but it also means the younger generation aren’t discovering the origins of our food - picking strawberries, visiting the local farmer to pick up eggs and veggies, hearing the chickens in their coop and smelling the cows.

When I was growing up, I loved joining Mum’s weekly trip to the local farm shop. It was always a surprise to see what was available, depending on the season and how the weather / harvest had been. No strawberries in January here! It made me realise how hard the farmers work to put food on our plates, and that they deserve our local support. It’s so unnecessary for our food to travel thousands of miles before reaching our plates, adding to pollution and damaging of our environment. In order to cut that out, we need to accept that we can’t have every product we wish, on demand, all of the time.

Being close to the source makes this so much easier. Seeing the excitement of the local farmer about his new harvest makes you want to taste it! Of course, you may be thinking, 'I live in a city, visiting a farmer is not an option', but in fact, there are many great local farmers markets on every week all over the country, in cities, towns and villages. To find your local farmers market or farm shop, check out:

If you are in the capital, here are a few of my regular haunts in the North / North East part of the city:
Alexandra Palace Farmers Market (every Sunday, 10 AM – 3 PM)
Parliament Hill Farmers Market (every Saturday, 10 AM – 2PM)
Broadway Market (every Saturday 9 AM – 5 PM)
Find more on the London Farmers Markets website.

Nurture & Harvest: Easy plants to grow
If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space that can be used for growing plants (or even just a balcony), there are many vegetables and herbs that are easy to grow and maintain, and that the children can help you out with planting and nurturing. Your meals will taste even better after you’ve just been out to your growing space to gather the ingredients and the kids will be more likely to eat them as they’ve had a role in their growth. Plus, as you only pick what you need, there’s no waste (of food and money). Herbs are a great starting point for kids - bay, thyme, rosemary and mint are very hardy, and don’t need much attention. Just make sure you plant your mint in a separate pot away from others, as its roots take over the entire pot and will kill other plants!

Moving on to vegetables, an easy growing plant is chillies. Buy an organic chilli from a market or store, and keep some seeds to plant. Once they sprout and have grown a bit, they only like being watered every so often, so easy for kids to care for. You can let the soil dry out, and they love it. Just put them in a nice sunny spot in the windowsill or outside. Other easy growing vegetables are lettuce, salad leaves, potatoes, tomatoes, beans and peas.


How to: Learn it local
Another fun way to combine learning about produce and spending time outdoors is to visit a pick your own farm, or join a local community garden or city farm that offers volunteering or educational programs. There are many community gardens around the country, where you can learn actively about growing your own vegetables, fruits and herbs. Most of them don’t have a minimum age, so the whole family can get involved with growing your own food.

For community gardens and farm gardens in and around London view this map of the city.

If you have caught the growing / gardening bug, The Royal Horticultural Society hosts the RHS Harvest Festival Show in London on the 3rd & 4th October 2017, with lots of information on growing, harvesting, using garden produce, competitions and tastings! More details here

Veerle has been working with stylist Lauren Becker on a project visiting community gardens around London, photographing the beautiful produce that grows there, then cooking up a dish from the harvested produce. They recently visited the Urban Growth project in Camden and cooked up a delicious recipe with fresh courgettes and nettles, which you will find in the first edition of Seek Inspire Create by 91 Magazine - our new free quarterly e-zine which is out very soon! To receive the e-zine, simply register your email here.

91 is pinning.... vignette styling

Whether it's a sideboard, a mantelpiece, shelving or a bed side table, all of these surfaces need some level of styling to make them look good, and they can often be the trickiest of spots to get right. When you scroll through Pinterest, a great vignette usually looks effortless, hence lulling you into a false sense of security that it will be simple, only to discover it's not as easy as you thought! So, we thought we'd unpick some of these Pinterest-perfect vignettes and find out exactly what it is that makes them work so well....

If in doubt, use plants. Nearly ever vignette on the whole of Pinterest has at least one house plant in it! And some have lots. If you go with a selection, then opt for plants of different heights, and make sure to put them in complimenting pots. 

Photo: Cathy Pyle for 91 Magazine

Photo: Cathy Pyle for 91 Magazine

Books are essential. This is why books will never die out. As well as the fact that reading something in print is much more superior, they are also an essential item for styling! Whether you use a few of your favourite lifestyle books or some of those gorgeous classics with the pretty covers, they are great for adding height to a display. Furthermore, dependent on the books, there's the potential for injecting colour and pattern into the vignette too. 

Photo via SF Girl by Bay

Photo via SF Girl by Bay

Scale is of utmost importance. On a small bedside shelf like this, it cries out for small decorative items to adorn it. There is still a variation in scale here, but overall everything is quite petite. Trying to squeeze a large framed print, or a big plant pot on here would look hugely unbalanced. 

Photo: Holly Marder

Consider the colour palette. A great colour palette is the secret to any great interior, let alone a great vignette! Keep this in mind when selecting the items you are going to display together. These natural earthy tones all work so well and also contrast with the sleeker green unit. But of course, have fun with it too, and feel free to throw in a pop of neon like in the bedroom shelf image above. 

Use artwork as a backdrop. Your vignette will look a bit flat without giving it a bit of depth, and one way to do this is by casually leaning a framed print or photograph against the wall, or hanging it (or them) just above. Mirrors are also a good option, or you can simply tape a few favourite postcards or pictures to the wall, and change them around as and when. 

Photo via It's a House

Photo via It's a House

Trial and error is key. The best thing about creating vignettes is nothing is permanent. It's not a big decision like paint colours or choosing furniture, so just have fun with it and try different things. Play with scale, vary height, test out colour combinations, add things, take things away.... Try taking photos of different arrangements and then compare to see which works best visually. 

TOP TIP: A more minimal display will be much easier and less time consuming to clean than a overly cluttered surface! ;) 

For more inspiration for your vignette styling, pop over to the 91 Magazine Pinterest page

A creative day with Weekend: IN

Olivia Tripp set up her brand, Weekend:IN to bring together quality influencers and independent design-led businesses in an authentic, creative way. 91 contributor Amanda Russell attended her most recent event set in the beautiful Somerset countryside to find out what it was all about…

Photo: Amanda Russell

Photo: Amanda Russell

Leaving the clatter of city life behind, I drove through the countryside along winding steep banked lanes. The quiet of rural Somerset enveloped me and green fields stretched out ahead. I was travelling to the Weekend:IN Summer of Colour event at The Shed (@theshedsomerset), a beautiful converted barn, set amidst a blanket of patchwork fields.

Photo: Sophie Carefull

Photo: Sophie Carefull

Walking through the large glass doors into the stunning, open plan space, I was immediately immersed in the laid back, relaxed vibe. The reclaimed wood walls and comfy sofas, grouped around the wood burning stove, added to the cosy and inviting feel of the space. It was the perfect place for a large gathering, as in the middle, was a huge slate-topped antique table, with zesty coloured chairs surrounding it. To finish off the décor, there was a stunning floral installation along one wall, created by Wilderness Flowers (@wilderness_flowers) - it seemed like a serious statement of intent for the day ahead.

Photo: Sophie Carefull

Photo: Sophie Carefull

I was greeted in the huge kitchen by a lively crowd of can-do, sassy, independent-minded women, exchanging stories about their creative lives. As we took in views across the countryside, we enjoyed mugs of tea and delicious bites for nibbling and grazing. I immediately relaxed into the friendly, supportive and inclusive group that was forming.

Photos: Sophie Carefull

Photos: Sophie Carefull

There was a packed schedule lined up, with the day structured around a series of creative workshops. These were run by young, inspiring businesses, all with interesting stories to tell. The first of our workshops, run by Seven Boot Lane (@sevenbootlane), Hammam Havlu (@hammamhavlu) and Beija London (@beijalondon), was hosted in the pool house! There, we got busy with a summer photo styling challenge - using props supplied by the brands - shoes, swimwear, hammam towels and sunglasses. As we tuned into the creative process and set about the task of styling, the groups' mood became quiet and thoughtful, as we all went about interpreting the brief in own individual way.

Photo: Sophie Carefull

Photo: Sophie Carefull

Meanwhile, the kitchen island was laden with a tempting buffet lunch, ready for us to tuck in. We mingled and chatted under the shelter of the pool house roof, alongside a traditional pink rendered wall which felt very Mediterranean.

Photos: Sophie Carefull

Photos: Sophie Carefull

Team Ollie Quinn (@oqstories) treated us to our next workshop. The central table was piled high with brightly-coloured wool and accessories, ready for a pom-pom headdress party. After a little guidance, we got stuck into the making process, and the air was filled with chatter about wool colours and trim options. The final results revealed a mix of dramatic and eye popping designs, while others opted for a more understated, muted aesthetic. We then had fun modelling our creations with our Ollie Quinn sunglasses!

Photo: Amanda Russell

Photo: Amanda Russell

Photos: Sophie Carefull

Photos: Sophie Carefull

The afternoon ambled gently into the final activity - learning the art of relaxation with Yawn (@yawnlondon). Wearing our gifted pyjamas - cups of tea in hand - we snuggled down on the sofas around the stove to talk about our favourite ways to relax and wind down. The pyjamas have several unique details - my favourite being a message discretely hidden inside the sleeve - a gentle reminder to switch off at bedtime. Our mini ‘sleepover party’ then descended into good-humoured banter and lots of laughter as we played team party games.

Photos: Sophie Carefull

Photos: Sophie Carefull

Thank you Olivia - mistress of organisation! I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn new skills while making new connections with an authentic and inspiring bunch of creatives, all set against a stunning backdrop.

Check out the Weekend:IN website for more info or follow them on Instagram: /

Photos by Sophie Carefull and Amanda Russell

From the cutting room floor - S/S 17 issue

Here at 91 HQ we are so thrilled that our S/S 17 issue has been doing so well. We are not too far from being sold out here, and from what we hear from our stockists, it's been popular with their customers too! Thank you SO much to everyone who has bought it, we do hope it's brought lots of inspiration and enjoyable reading. if you haven't got it - QUICK! order now

There's always a few images that we wish we could have squeezed in, but just ran out of pages, so here we are with a those gems from the cutting room floor to brighten your Friday! 

The Swedish home of Arne Wetterholm is our cover story shot by Klara Markbage - a light, bright Scandinavian space, punctuated with pops of yellow and blue. It's making us want to start painting all our furniture in primary colours! 

There were SO many gorgeous images from Cathy Pyle's shoot of Lisa Mehedyne's home - they seem to just invite you to discover more and more beautiful details - the kitchen storage, those sweet portrait paintings and the fireplace tiles for example! dreamy. 

Our Creative Spaces feature was a little different this issue - it took us to the walled garden and florist studio of Polly Nicholson, who runs Bayntun Flowers. Photographer Silkie Lloyd shot some stunning floral portraits and scenes from the glasshouses.

We were super chuffed to work with IKEA on our Room Refresh feature, and I love both of these repurposed notice board ideas created by stylists Laura Sawyer and Tiffany Grant Riley respectively, using a black trellis and this gorgeous Ash tray. Oh, and today is the last day you can enter our giveaway to win £250 to spend at IKEA! Get your #ikearoomrefresh entry in ASAP! Find out how here

Finally, the home of shop owners Britt and Sander made us swoon so bad! It has a sense of total simplicity but with so much warmth and and atmosphere. Holly Marder captured it beautifully. 

Thanks again to all our wonderful contributors, we think you are ace. We are already well under way with the A/W 17 issue and hope to start taking pre-orders in the next 5-6 weeks, but in the meantime, if you haven't got the S/S 17 issue, then don't delay, you can order here. While you wait on the next issue, we will also have our first free e-zine available next month - simply sign up here to receive this direct to your inbox. More info on that can be found here - it's gonna be an extra slice of beauty in between our print issues! :) 

91 loves... patterned rugs

We are big fans of white floors, stripped back wooden boards and beautiful parquet here at 91, but more often than not those hard floors need something to give them a little bit of warmth and texture. A statement rug is the perfect thing for creating this as well as making a focal point in your room and we've got a little bit of inspiration today along with our top ten websites to start your rug shopping search... 

Photo: Holly Marder for 91 Magazine

Photo: Holly Marder for 91 Magazine

Photo: via Bolig

Photo: via Bolig

Photo: Cathy Pyle for 91 Magazine

Photo: Cathy Pyle for 91 Magazine

Photo: Jemma Watts for 91 Magazine

Photo: Jemma Watts for 91 Magazine

Photo: via Rafa Kids

Photo: via Rafa Kids

Rugs can really vary on cost, so below we've gathered a selection of ten sources to find beautiful rugs whatever your budget.... 

Happy rug shopping! :) 

Free e-zine: Seek Inspire Create by 91 Magazine - SIGN UP!

Today we have some exciting news to share as we announce a new project from 91 Magazine! We are always thinking of new ways to provide inspiration to our readers, and we know a lot of you are often impatient waiting for the next print issue! So, coming soon, is a quarterly free e-zine called Seek Inspire Create by 91 Magazine. 

If you follow us on Instagram you may be aware of our hashtag #seekinspirecreate. It's clear lots of you enjoy using the tag to share your discoveries, inspirations and creations, with over 18,000 images now in the gallery! So, this is exactly what has inspired our new project. The bite-sized e-zine will drop into your inbox every few months filled with things to seek, inspire and create, put together by the 91 team and our talented contributors. Beautiful photography, places to visit, creative people, things to make and much more, condensed into 12 pages - a quick and easy read - yet packed with lots of 91 goodness!

Simply sign up to our mailing list to make sure you don't miss this little beauty!

Meet the Maker: Kathy Hutton

This month we chat to artist and printmaker Kathy Hutton about the delights of her 'inky world'

‘It was a big moment,’ laughs artist Kathy Hutton, describing her first experience of printmaking, at the ripe old age of 9. ‘I’d gone with my family to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and we took part in a family screen-printing workshop. I clearly remember the magic of seeing my own image beneath the screen. That feeling of sheer wonder has stayed with me ever since.’

Kathy’s path to printmaking was set, and she went on to study Art at school and to take a degree in Printed Textiles at Dundee University. On graduation Kathy won the prestigious Habitat UK New Designers Award, which led to design placements with big industry names. ‘I mainly worked as a surface pattern designer, creating designs that would be reproduced on all sorts of products, from bed linen to ceramics and paper.’

Hornbeam one of my favourite leaves.JPG

Freelance life was challenging however, ‘I was so young and really lacking in self-confidence, and so I found freelancing very difficult,' she says. 'In the end I took a job in buying and product development for homewares, and that was that for a long while. I didn’t print at all during that time, but it was always on my mind, and I knew one day I would come back to it.’

That day came after a move from London to Wiltshire, starting a family, and signing up for an evening class in printmaking at a local college. ‘It gave me the confidence and freedom to start creating prints again. The move to our current house - which had space for a studio - is when I seriously started thinking about building up a small business.’

The small business has gone from strength to strength, with Kathy’s delicate, minimalist work gaining lots of fans. In addition to running her Etsy shop and working on specific commissions, Kathy also runs workshops in printmaking. How does she find being her own boss? ‘It can be difficult,' she says, 'the reality of working for yourself involves being the designer, creator, maker, admin, marketing and finance person all rolled into one. That takes discipline! At times I feel like it’s a constant juggle. Having said that, it’s wonderful to be able to follow my inspiration in whatever direction it wants to take me in.’

hand printing cards.JPG

Do ideas and inspiration come easily? ‘I’m not sure about easily,’ Kathy laughs, ‘they certainly seem to wait until I’m in the middle of a big project, and then I’ll have too many, right at the point when I’m too busy. The result being many, scribbled in and over-filled notebooks.’

This scribbling away in notebooks takes place in Kathy’s home studio, a light filled space, tucked away in a corner of her home. ‘My children are still young so it’s perfect – because it has access to the house I can nip in to do something quickly, or they can pop in and see me. I think even if it was just down the garden I wouldn’t be able to use it as much. I love spending time in here, each of the three windows overlook the garden and fields beyond, so there’s inspiration every time I look out of the window.’

working out ideas for a large scale print.JPG
Wild garlic inspired a repeat pappern.JPG

Pride of place in the studio is a large, antique table which Kathy salvaged from the shed in the garden, which, with the addition of a sheet of glass on top, is perfect for rolling out large areas of ink for Kathy’s mono-print work. Surprisingly, Kathy doesn’t own any professional printing presses;  ‘It works for me. I do love to be able to show anyone who comes to my studio that you can do so much with printmaking on a shoestring.’

Kathy uses a range of techniques to create her work, but mono-printing is a firm favourite. ‘The process of mono-printing is completely magical every single time. It’s unlike a lot of printing processes in that it’s a direct and immediate way of printing so I feel very connected as I’m creating the print,' she explains. 'Using nothing more than a roller to lay down the ink surface and a pencil to draw with, I love the unique image that can be created. Even after years of working with this technique, it’s not possible to completely control it so there’s always that moment of anticipation as you lift up the print, it gets me every time.

With young children at home, Kathy currently works on her printmaking for two days a week, which can be tricky, ‘It’s difficult trying to fit it all in,' she says, 'a lot of my work is done in time grabbed during naps or in the evening. I do find it frustrating at times, but know I’ll get more time in a few years when she’s at school, so it’s a waiting game really.’ She makes most of the daylight hours for her creative work, catching up with admin in the evenings.

The variety of Kathy’s work means time on each can vary hugely. ‘A multi-layered stacking bowl print can take many days to complete from its initial sketch,' she says, 'It takes time to create the screens and slowly layer up each colour allowing inks to fully dry between each. Whereas a simpler print can take just a couple of hours to complete.’

botanical inspired prints.JPG

Botanicals and nature feature heavily in Kathy’s calm and delicate work, it’s safe to assume nature is a source of inspiration? ‘Being outside is almost always where my inspiration will come from. Often it may be something that I’ve passed by and each day and thought nothing of it, then one day when the timings right, I’ll just see it in a new light. I find inspiration in nature-writing too, I love the descriptive and poetic imagery of Kathleen Jamie, John Lister-Kaye and John Lewis-Stempel.’ 

Kathy recently set herself a challenge of creating 100 different botanical prints, creating and sharing one a day - a treat for her Instagram followers, but has it been a useful project for her? ‘When I started I was worried I would run out of options really quickly, but it was the opposite – lots of ideas and not enough time to get them all down on to paper. I’ve relaxed the rules slightly, I’m no longer forcing myself to do one a day, but giving myself a bit more space to create the work and the ideas simmer away for a bit.’

Next up, Kathy it taking part in the Peacock Arts Trail a week long open studio event. ‘It’s really exciting, I love having an open studio, I always have some form of printing set up for people to try for themselves, it’s a great way to introduce people to my inky world!’

one of my botanical workshop.JPG

She is also in increasing demand as a tutor – does she enjoy teaching others? ‘Going back to that magical first time that I lifted the screen and I saw my own image printed is something that I relive each and every time I make a print.  To be able to share that magic with other people is something I relish.’

‘I’m always closely watching the faces of my students as they lift up the screen or pull back the paper. The sheer delight and wonder is clear to see, and that’s the thing about printmaking – the delight it produces – is simply priceless.’

Quickfire Questions

Describe your work in three words: 

Simple, minimal & characterful.

What are your making rituals?

Fresh cup of tea in hand, radio on (usually tuned to Radio 5), sharpen pencils…

Tea or Coffee? 

Always tea, strong with a dash of milk.

Mountains or Sea? 

That’s a tricky one, I love both. There’s a sense of freedom, calmness and adventure in both environments, being surrounded by nature.

Night Owl or Early Bird? 

I’m an early bird, I love to be in my studio listening to the birds foraging for their breakfast.

I wish someone had told me...

Keep sharing your work. Let others see it, put it out into the world.

91 is reading... Family London

The school summer holidays are just on the horizon, and for many parents it's time to start thinking about activites and outings to keep the kids entertained. It's often hard to spend time researching places to visit when you are busy working parents. But if you are based in the London area, or planning a trip to London with the kids this summer, then this little handbook will likely become your best friend!

Family London lists fun days out across the capital that both kids and adults will enjoy - from museums and galleries to outdoor adventures to the best eateries to take the kids. There's even a section to inspire even the moodiest of teenagers! 91 has picked five of our favourites to share with you, just a snippet of what the book has to offer.... 

Sky Garden

Dubbed the Walkie Talkie (and, for a period, the ‘Walkie Scorchie’ thanks to a since-rectified habit of heating the streets below on sunny days), 20 Fenchurch Street has recovered from its difficult birth to earn its place on the London skyline. How? With its innovative, vertiginous public oasis.

Free to enter (although tickets must be booked in advance online) and surprisingly child friendly (expect to see little tykes pushing the squishy log-shaped seats around), it’s a truly transcendent space with banked planters of eucalyptus, sage, towering palm trees and more sheltering hidden benches, a restaurant, a café and unmatched panoramas of the ever-changing cityscape – just as impressive in the evenings as on a clear summer’s day. Food and drink prices are suitably sky high, but there are few better places to spend an awestruck afternoon.

Philpot Lane, EC3M 8AF / 0333 772 0020 / / Monument or Cannon Street tube.

Bees Knees.jpg

The Bees Knees at Battersea Arts Centre

South-West London has its very own phoenix in the form of the Battersea Arts Centre. Partially burnt down in 2015, it is rising once more (with a rebuilt version of its Grand Hall) thanks to donations from a public campaign that raised more than £50,000. One innovation that survived the flames is this inspired, popular indoor play space of rolling hills covered in felt grass, scattered toys and cosy cushions. Cheap to enter and designed with toddlers in mind, it’s all the better for being hand painted and completely bespoke. It also has a café across the foyer – complete with hulking almond croissants – which adds the appealing proposition of a warm place for parents to cradle a well-earned cup of coffee.

Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN / 020 7223 2223 / / Clapham Junction rail and Overground

Bear and Wolf

Macbook-tapping freelancers and harried childcarers somehow coexist at this lively Tufnell Park spot. Similar in format to Berlin’s chic kindercafés, it was a longtime passion project for local dad Matthew Neel and there are all manner of thoughtful touches for toddler-wranglers in particular (a buggy parking area, space-saving clamp-on high chairs, a bottomless cereal bowl on the kids menu) balanced with a pleasingly cool space. The biggest parental draw here, however, is the Cubroom: a huge, orderly play area crammed with toys, vehicles and books. There’s a pocket garden out back and the brunch-themed all day menu -  with everything-but-the-kitchen-sink breakfast rolls and shepherds pie for grown-ups and little ones – is dynamite.

153 Fortress Road, NW5 2HR / 020 3601 1900 / / Tufnell Park tube

Coram's Field

There was a time when this Bloomsbury park and playground – unexpectedly positioned smack bang in the centre of London – was a hushed secret among in-the-know parents. Survey the queue of kids waiting for a turn on its popular zip-line in the school holidays and you will sensibly assume that word has got out. But Coram’s Fields (London’s first public children’s playground, on the site of a former eighteenth-century home for unwanted babies) is still very much one to have in your parental arsenal for any West End excursions.

(You may also be happy to hear of their after-school playscheme.) A giant sandpit, paddling pool, sprawling play space, small city farm and café are among the myriad delights. And, for extra peace of mind, no adult can enter the park without a child.

93 Guilford Street, WC1N 1DN / 020 7837 6138 / / Russell Square tube


Any kid who gets a kick out of the icing-based peril on The Great British Bake Off will lap up a visit to one of Biscuiteers’ handsome boutiques in the suitably chic pockets of Notting Hill and Battersea. Firstly, there’s the shop and café area, with brimming shelves of hand baked and iced luxury biscuits in all manner of creative shapes and seasonal varieties (edible high heels, anyone?), as well as aproned staff primed to send coffees, cakes and even milkshakes your way. The real draw here is the drop-in decorating area, though. For £15 kids are let loose with a box of freshly baked biccies and piping bottles brimming with colourful icings to create their own gift box of goodies or, inevitably, something to devour on the way home.

194 Kensington Park Road, W11 2ES / 020 7727 8096 / / Ladbroke Grove tube / Alternative branch: Battersea SW11 1NG

Happy school holiday planning! 

Family London by Jimi Famurewa is published by Frances Lincoln, and is £9.99.

Order your copy now