91 is reading... The Foraged Home

We love shopping for our homes, we really do, but more and more we are feeling unsettled about constantly purchasing ‘new’ as the plight of our planet looms over us. We believe the way forward is to shop more considerately, buying only the items you truly need or love, and finding out about it’s story - where was it made, by whom and with what. To compliment these special items, decorating with finds from the natural world is the perfect way to create a home with soul.

This recent book - The Foraged Home - authored by Oliver Maclennan and photographed by Joanna Maclennan, is full of beautiful examples of foragers - people who have used their ingenuity, creativity and passion for nature and adventure to decorate their spaces.

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Foraging for your home does not just mean wandering in the woods picking up sticks - although this is part of it! So, we are sharing five ideas gathered from the book to inspire you to become a home decor forager yourself….

The Foraged Home - book review on 91 Magazine
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  1. Get out in nature - go walking in the woods and keep your eyes peeled for branches that could be turned into a curtain pole or a clothes rail. Plus, all year round you can find foliage that can be used in vases for a rustic display - cow parsley, gorse, seed heads all look wonderful, for example.

  2. Forage online - Foraging doesn’t even have to mean going outside! You can scour websites like Freecycle from the comfort of your sofa. Look out for great pieces of furniture that people are getting rid of. But only take them if you really need or want them.

  3. Scour skips and bins (!) - Often people put objects in skips or by their bin that are in perfectly good condition, so keep your eyes peeled when you are out and about. Ideally, if you see something interesting it is best to ask if you can take it first, unless they have left a sign on it to say ‘take me’!

ideas to decorate your home by foraging
Decorate your home with forage finds

4. Look out for discarded timber - old palettes and discarded pieces of wood can easily be transformed into pieces of furniture with a little bit of work. You can ask shops if they have any palettes going spare or even at your local recycling centre.

5. Beach combing - the beach is a great place for foraging - from beautiful pieces of driftwood to pebbles and shells to items washed up by the tide. While you are there, why not do a mini beach clean and pick up any rubbish you find too.

Five ideas for decorating your home with foraged finds

For lots more ideas and to see more of the homes of these inspirational foragers check out this lovely book, published by Thames and Hudson and available here.

All images: Joanna Maclennan

Top 6 lifestyle books for summer 2019

This time of year always sees the release of lots of new lifestyle books with all the hottest trends represented. This year, houseplants are still going strong, traditional crafts with a modern twist are proving a popular topic and of course sustainability, living green and recycling are recurring themes. With so many great new titles out there, I’ve gathered together a collection of six of my favourites for a coffee table reading list that will keep you going all summer and beyond. You can also catch up on a few previous posts about recent releases, such as Selina Lake’s Natural Living Style, My Bedroom is an Office by Joanna Thornhill, and Live Green by Jen Chillingsworth.

top 6 lifestyle books - Spring 2019 releases

Decorating with Plants by Baylor Chapman

I have been dipping in and out of this book ever since it arrived. It is written by San Francisco-based Baylor Chapman, who runs Lila B. Design, a plant design studio. The first part of the book focuses in on 28 different plants - mainly easy-to-care for species such as succulents, pileas and rubber plants. There is a good chunk of info on each as well as easy-to-reference care instructions.

The second section looks at various areas of the home and how to decorate them with greenery. If I’m completely honest, the interior styling isn’t always to my taste here, but there are still loads of lovely ideas, like how to use plants to frame your windows or TV, and plants for small spaces or kids rooms. As I said, I’ve been reaching for this book lots in my quest to improve my horticultural knowledge, and have found it a welcome addition to my plant book collection.

Decorating with Plants by Baylor Chapman (Artisan). Copyright © 2019. Photographs by Aubrie Pick. Publishes 1st May 2019.

Decorating with Plants by Baylor Chapman
Monstera (cheese plant) in a hanging planter
Bedroom decorated with lots of houseplants
houseplants for the bathroom

Baskets by Tabara N’Diaye

Tabara is co-proprietor of La Basketry, an online store selling the most beautiful hand-woven baskets crafted by Senegalese women. She is passionate about the ancient craft of basket weaving, and only two years since launching the shop, Tabara has written her first book, sharing projects and techniques to try out yourself. I love the cover of this book, and inside it is filled with beautiful photography by Penny Wincer.

First, you can discover a little about the history and culture of basket-making, as well as the tools and materials needed, before diving in to the 16 projects to try - which are of varying levels - from a simple drinks coaster to a large laundry basket. It is split into four sections - Grass, Cane, Rope and Twine, and is interspersed with nice styling ideas and clever tips on things like dying cane, for example. This book is a beauty and gives you the chance to teach yourself a completely new skill.

Baskets by Tabara N’Diaye (Quadrille, £14.99) Photography © Penny Wincer. Publishes 2nd May 2019.

Baskets by Tabara N'Diaye
Make your own woven laundry basket
Make your own woven placemats
DIY rope basket plant pots

Pallet Style by Nikkita Palmer & Billy Barker

With the world becoming more and more aware of climate change and the damage we are doing to our beautiful planet, the need to reuse and recycle is now more a necessity than a style choice. Thankfully, you don’t need to compromise on style when you have Nikkita and Billy’s lovely book to show you the way! The pair make and sell furniture and accessories made from reclaimed materials and in their debut book they share a number of projects for making your own, from a dining table right down to a simple food tray.

A shocking statistic in the intro of the book states “it is estimated that there are over 10 billion pallets in use at any one time, with the majority of these sent directly to landfill after use.” That is staggering, especially when the wood can easily be reused. This book shows you how in the most stylish way possible, and I’m pretty sure you will be hanging around industrial estates eyeing up discarded pallets soon!

Pallet Style by Nikkita Palmer is published by Kyle Books, £20. Photography by Brent Darby. Out now.

Pallet Style by Nikkita Palmer and Billy Barker
Make your own dining table from wooden pallets
DIY project Triangular shelving
Make a bed base from wooden pallets

Punch Needle by Arounna Khounnoraj

91 recently attended a punch needle workshop, confirming our suspicions that this is the latest craft to be reinvented for modern day makers. So when this book by Canadian artist and maker Arounna Khounnoraj landed, we knew we were going to love it. The book’s modern design and beautiful photography (taken by 91 contributor Catherine Frawley) demonstrates how this textile craft is right on-trend with it’s geometric and botanical designs and contemporary colour combinations.

A few favourite projects include the gorgeous bench cushion and storage bag pictured below. You can start off simple with a round trivet for example, then once you’ve gained confidence you can progress to a cushion or a floor rug. Be warned, I’ve heard this can be an addictive art form! But, don’t let that hold you back - imagine all of those stunning textural pieces you could be churning out!

Punch Needle by Arounna Khounnoraj (Quadrille, £14.99) Photography © Catherine Frawley. Publishes on 30th May 2019.

Punch Needle book by Arounna Khounnoraj
DIY punch needle bench cushion
Punch needle trivet or coaster - make your own
make your own punch needle storage basket

Wild at Home by Hilton Carter

You definitely can’t have enough plant books, especially when they are combined with gorgeous interiors! Wild at Home by Hilton Carter is another dreamy greenery-filled tome which not only gives you an insight into Hilton’s own jungle-like apartment, but also a range of other plant lover’s homes and of course there is all important care advice, from where to position your plants in your home to finding the right pot.

Interior stylist Hilton has a huge following on Instagram - not surprisingly really, as his feed is filled with a mix of gorgeous interiors and plants, which has translated beautifully to his book also. It’s endearing that Hilton started like many of us do, with little knowledge of plants, but over the years he has learnt through trial and error and his impressive collection of plants is testament enough to take his advice on your own journey into plant parenthood. I for one will be studying this in great detail, as that is one impressive fiddle leaf fig!

Wild at Home by Hilton Carter, published by CICO Books (£14.99) Photography © Hilton Carter. Out now.

Wild at Home by Hilton Carter
Hilton Carter's urban jungle and giant fiddle leaf fig
Hilton Carter's plant filled home
Fiddle Leaf Fig

Crafted by Sally Coulthard

Last but not least is a book with a bit of a different format to the others reviewed here. Described as a ‘compendium’, seasoned author Sally’s latest book compiles a vast catalogue of crafts - over 70 in fact - in which Sally explores the history, materials and techniques of each individually. The book is a real celebration of the handmade movement in the 21st century - highlighting timeless crafts and noting how they’ve been reinvented for the modern world.

The book is beautifully illustrated by Louise Lockhart (who we recently featured), again bringing a contemporary slant on age-old processes. It’s not just the obvious crafts that are given the spotlight here, many potentially forgotten, yet interesting forms of making are mentioned - wheelwrighting, knife making and globe making, for example. This is a lovely book to have on the coffee table to dip into now and again and learn a little about the wonderful world of crafting.

Crafted by Sally Coulthard (Quadrille, £20) Illustrations © Louise Lockhart. Out now.

Crafted by Sally Coulthard
pottery studio illustration by Louise Lockhart for Crafted book
embroidery illustration by Louise Lockhart for Crafted book
thatch scene illustration by Louise Lockhart for Crafted book

I hope you might have found a book or two here that tickles your fancy! I’d love to hear which ones you’ll be adding to your reading list this summer. Find more book reviews here.

91 Magazine's top 6 craft, interiors and lifestyle books for summer 2019