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

91 is reading... In Bloom

Clare Nolan is a very talented lady. Not only is she a stylist, writer and former lifestyle editor of YOU magazine, she is an author, a mentor, a teacher and a gardening whiz! She has brought all of these talents together in her newly published book In Bloom - Growing, harvesting and arranging flowers all year round.

In Bloom by Clare Nolan

The cover is beautiful - rich with colour and the detail of those sumptuous peonies and roses. Inside is full of stunning floral photography, all styled and shot by Clare herself, and her words convey the passion she has for growing her own flowers and the enjoyment gained from cutting those blooms to fill her home with.

In Bloom by Clare Nolan
In Bloom by Clare Nolan

The book itself is a chunky tome; one that will be referred to again and again as you navigate creating your own cutting garden and require Clare’s guidance or reassurance. She begins with how to get started - planning your garden as well as tools and where to source your seeds and plants. This is followed by sections on annuals and biennials, bulbs, perennials, shrubs & trees, foliage & fillers and finally how to harvest and arrange your homegrown blooms.

General advice is given initially for each type, before Clare focusses in on specific flowers - providing growing tips, her favourite varieties and how to harvest them. Her styling experience comes into play in the final section of the book with an array of ideas and inspiration for displaying your flowers to maximum effect.

In Bloom by Clare Nolan
In Bloom by Clare Nolan
In Bloom by Clare Nolan

I love a book that does more than just one thing, and this ticks all the boxes in terms of providing masses of practical advice but also bundles of visual inspiration. I dream of a garden that provides me with beautiful flowers all year round so I can curb my shop bought habit, so this book is going to be invaluable in leading me towards that goal! Thank you Clare for creating this bible for aspiring flower growers!

In Bloom is published by Kyle Books and is now available to purchase online or from all good bookshops.

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

91 is reading.... Natural Living Style

Being environmentally conscious is something I now find myself thinking about on a daily basis, whether it’s a smaller purchase such as a new pair of jeans or which washing powder to go for, through to larger items such as what type of car we should go for when we replace our current one. Much of the changes that we can make start within the home, and there is so much we can do in terms of consumerism, repurposing and recycling.

Selina Lake Natural Living Style book review

Natural Style Living is the latest book from stylist Selina Lake, and as always, is a book which is not only beautiful but also has purpose. Selina explores homes which have been created with materials in mind, where homeowners are thoughtful about the process of creating a beautiful home, while limiting their impact on the environment. Selina also gives advice on eco-friendly materials, repurposing, recycling and decorating with natural objects rather than man-made.

Make your home more sustainable with Natural Living Style

Selina always manages to find the most amazing homes to include in her books, and this collection is no exception. One that particularly caught my eye was the home of Susannah and David Le Mesurier, whose home has all the modern rustic charm you could ever wish for. The light walls and floors are warmed up with vintage furniture and rustic wood, with pieces from the likes of Baileys Home & Garden and I gigi.

One of the best ways of reducing your impact is simply by being considered in your purchases. Not being swept up by consumer marketing but being really thoughtful about what your home needs. Sticking to a neutral palette and natural materials means everything in Susannah and David’s home goes together effortlessly. You get the feeling that they only buy objects that they truly love and spend time sourcing those perfect vintage items.

Enjoy the little peek at this lovely space, and then do check out Selina’s book for more beautiful homes and tips for making your own home more sustainable without compromising on style.

modern rustic style interior - featured in Natural Living Style Selina Lake
vintage furniture for a sustainable home
Selina Lake's latest book Natural Living Style - book review
beautiful bsthroom of Susannah and David Le Mesurier
Amazing rustic vintage greenhouse featured in Natural Living Style by Selina Lake

Natural Living Style: Inspirational Ideas for a Beautiful & Sustainable Home by Selina Lake, Photography by Rachel Whiting. Published by Ryland Peters & Small 



91 is reading.... My Bedroom is an Office

Before I tell you more about this book, I should firstly tell you that I was actually part of it’s creation. I worked on it as their freelance picture editor, sourcing all the imagery to accompanying the words, which basically involves a LOT of research, followed by contacting the various photo agencies and photographers to negotiate costs, then finally gathering all the high res files and managing spreadsheets of file names, photo credits, pages numbers etc.

This was my job before I launched 91, at a newspaper, and then something I’ve done for book publishers in a freelance capacity for the last few years. It’s a role that can often get overlooked or undervalued these days, as everyone sees themselves as a photo editor, but it actually involves a lot of understanding of photography and image use - both technically and in terms of rights, as well as understanding how agencies work, not to mention the meticulous organisational skills that are needed. So, it is really nice to work with a publisher such as Laurence King who really value the picture editor on a project like this. It was a joy to work with them, along with stylist and author Joanna Thornhill, and I must say, it looks absolutely beautiful - filled with lovely images of course! :)

My Bedroom is an Office book review by 91 Magazine

I wrote a post last year about a new wave of interiors books, and how I’d noticed a shift in the interiors books that were being published. This is another example of that - with it’s smaller size (A5 roughly) and a very different format in terms of the content. The book is in Q&A format - the questions being common design dilemmas which Joanna then provides ideas, suggestions and advice to these problems.

My Bedroom is an Office book review
My Bedroom is an office book review

Examples of questions are ‘I live in a new build - how can I add character?’, ‘How do I tackle a north-facing room?’ and ‘What can I do with my unused fireplace?’ Joanna’s responses are practical and useful, while the images provide visual inspiration accompanied by captions that highlight why the space has worked well to combat the problem.

My Bedroom is an office book review

Interspersed throughout the book are spreads highlighting specific topics such as ‘when to invest and when to save’, ‘how to unleash your inner designer’ and ‘essential DIY staples’, where Joanna dives into more detail and shares her years of experience working in the interiors industry.

My Bedroom is an office book review
My Bedroom is an office book review

What’s lovely about this book is that is it easy to dip into now and again with it’s snippets of information and tips, but not only that, it feels accessible. The homes that are pictured feel attainable and real - even my own home is in there, and believe me that is very real and done on a tight budget! It’s the perfect read for anyone who is embarking on decorating their first home or if you are about to makeover a space but just don’t know where to start. It demonstrates that you don’t necessarily need big budgets to create a beautiful home - just a little insight from someone in the know, giving you that nudge to unleash your creativity!

The book published just this week and is priced at £14.99 - Preview further and buy here.

91 is reading... Live Green

As we all become more and more concerned about the damage humankind is causing to the planet, we are doing what we can to reduce our personal impact, but I think it’s fair to say many people can feel overwhelmed by the changes we need to employ to really make a difference. Jen Chillingsworth’s debut book Live Green: 52 steps for a more sustainable life is here to prove that it is easier than you think to become kinder to our environment, simply by adjusting our habits and becoming more mindful in the choices we make.

Live Green by Jen Chillingsworth - review by 91 Magazine

The book itself is a thing of beauty - small format, printed on responsibly sourced paper and featuring the most beautiful illustrations by Amelia Flower (great name!). It’s perfect for dipping in and out of when you need advice on certain areas of your life.

Live Green by Jen Chillingsworth - book review by 91 Magazine
Live Green by Jen Chillingsworth - book review by 91 Magazine
Live Green by Jen Chillingsworth - book review by 91 Magazine

The book is split into six sections - Green Home & Garden, Eco-Household, Eat Green, Slow Fashion, Natural Beauty and Simple Christmas - covering so much in terms of home life and consumerism. It’s full of great little snippets of advice on things you might not even have considered and includes some practical recipes and DIY ideas for things like natural cleaning products, homemade moth repellent and even how to wrap your Christmas gifts in fabric using the Japanese technique of furoshiki.

Jen describes how she made these changes to her daily life over the course of a year; it doesn’t have to happen overnight, and her approach proves that it is achievable. As Jen states in the book’s introduction: “small steps lead to big changes.” This is one book I know I will return to time and time again, and will recommend to friends who are keen to live more sustainably too.

Live Green by Jen Chillingsworth - book review by 91 Magazine

Live Green is published by Quadrille and will be available from 10th January 2019. Pre-order your copy here. Jen is the author of slow living blog Little Birdie.

91 is reading... books about glasshouses

There is a hashtag on Instagram called #ihavethisthingwithglasshouses which has over 4000 images highlighting the beauty of glasshouses, and rightly so. I personally find much serenity and peace when wandering around the paths of these botanical spaces in the shadow of towering tropical specimens or quietly examining an unusual cacti collection. There is something undeniably appealing about their opaque walls and ceilings and the atmosphere created by so much living and breathing beauty.

Glasshouse Greenhouse - Haarkon book & Botanical by Samuel Zeller
Botanical by Samuel Zeller

For those times you strive a calming influence but can’t quite justify a glasshouse visit, then turn to these beautiful new books, both exploring the uniqueness of greenhouses around the world.

Botanical by Samuel Zeller is essentially a photography book, featuring a foreword by journalist Rachel Segal Hamilton followed by a few words from the photographer, before showcasing the body of work Zeller has created on his journey visiting glasshouses across Europe. His focus is on capturing how the plants enclosed within are seen through the panes of glass, resulting in a beautiful collection of images, many which almost look like paintings.

Botanical by Samuel Zeller - Hoxton Mini Press - review by 91 Magazine
Botanical by Samuel Zeller - Hoxton Mini Press - review by 91 Magazine

Samuel has documented moments within these spaces, like when the light is perfectly dappled, when structural plants have cast striking shadows or the moody, misty effect caused by condensation. This book has made me look at glasshouses from a different perspective - observing the beautiful shapes and patterns created by the combination of plants and their environment.

Glasshouse Greenhouse by Haarkon - review by 91 Magazine

Being a fan of the much loved, plant-filled Instagram feed of Haarkon, I was excited to see the launch of their first book - Glasshouse Greenhouse. With over 200 pages of greenery goodness, you will find architectural glasshouses through to cobbled together tiny greenhouses, from Oxford, UK to Adelaide, Australia.

Glasshouse Greenhouse by Haarkon
Glasshouse Greenhouse by Haarkon
Glasshouse Greenhouse by Haarkon

The variety throughout the book keeps you turning; I love the juxtaposition between the monumental spaces found in botanical gardens around the world with the small private collections owned by individuals. In the words of India and Magnus themselves: ‘You may find the odd factual snippet here, but it’s much more about capturing the sentiment of the places that we visited, the essence of the greenhouses and the passion with which they have been created.’ There is a real sense of going on this journey with the couple - almost like a travel book which just happens to discover some of the most beautiful glasshouses around the world.

Buy Botanical on Amazon

Buy Glasshouse Greenhouse on Amazon

91 is reading... non-fiction summer reads

We are big book fans here at 91, and of course summer (sometimes!) gives you a bit more time to relax with a good book. We've got five titles to share with you, not all of which will necessarily be suitable for tucking in your suitcase if you are heading away, but you could certainly spend a sunny evening in the garden gleaning inspiration for your home, life and travels. 

91 Magazine - summer reads 2018
Appetizer - new Interiors for Restaurants & Cafes
Appetizer - new Interiors for Restaurants & Cafes

Appetizer

When it comes to interior inspiration, we shouldn't restrict ourselves to only looking for ideas within other home environments. Shops, cafes and restaurants are full of great ideas too, and Appetizer is a hefty tome filled with some of the most stunning eateries around the world. From Beirut and Barcelona to Kuala Lumper and Kazakhstan, no corner of the world has been left unexplored in discovering the best in food establishment design. You may just find yourself planning a foodie-based round the world trip in your head, I know I am! :) 

Available to buy here

Little Big Rooms - New nurseries and Rooms to play in
Little Big Rooms - New nurseries and Rooms to play in
Little Big Rooms - New nurseries and Rooms to play in

Little Big Rooms

If you are in need of some inspiration for your kids' rooms or have a little one on the way, then Little Big Rooms is the book to help. Whether you want to create a play area that doesn't jar on your decor or a sweet nursery to welcome a new baby, there are so many lovely spaces in here that prove you do not have to compromise on style when it comes to interiors for little people. 

Available to buy here.

Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee

JOYFUL

This is one to be read gradually, as it's quite thick and wordy, but let's face it, we are all on a quest for happiness in our lives aren't we? In Joyful, Ingrid Fetell Lee aims to demonstrate how every day objects and the spaces around us are all we need to ignite joy in our day-to-day. As someone who loves design and aesthetics, I must admit I do find joy in inanimate objects or when entering a space than inspires me, but how do we harness those moments and bring more of that joy into our lives? I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this one and finding out more.

Pre-order here. Publishes on 6th Sept 

Urban Botanics by Maaike Koster and Emma Sibley
Urban Botanics by Maaike Koster and Emma Sibley

URBAN BOTANICS

I genuinely don't think you can ever have too many plants or too many plant books. Probably the more plants you have, the more books you might need, as I've found that they don't always feature every houseplant that you might own. When I've got a concern about a certain plant, or I've just brought a new one into my home, I love to flick through my mini plant book library to try and find the answer. Urban Botanics is a great addition to that library - with stunning illustrations by Maaike Koster and knowledge from London Terrariums founder Emma Sibley, mainly covering succulents, cacti, flowering plants and green foliage. 

Available to buy here

Travels through the French Riveria by Virginia Johnson
Travels through the French Riveria by Virginia Johnson

TRAVELS THROUGH THE FRENCH RIVIERA

If you've got a trip planned to the south of France anytime soon , then this book is sure to raise your anticipation ahead of your trip, or make a lovely companion while there. Written and illustrated by artist Virginia Johnson, the book is a poetic journey along the coastline - part guide, part watercolourist's sketchbook - she shares the best place for ice-cream in Antibes alongside notes on the diversity of Nice. A must for any travel book fan or Francophile. 

Available to buy here

91 is reading.... Start up London

This book had me on the first page. The welcome note from the founders of Hoxton Mini Press inspire with their own story of starting up their publishing house with a Kickstarter campaign, and encourage readers with: 'Don't wait for certainty. Go out and learn as you do. Start up!'

Start Up London book review

Writer Christina Hopkinson and photographer Rick Pushinsky share the stories of 30 small businesses from across the capital making this an inspirational guide rather than a 'how to'. But to complement this, it does include a handy 'tips and advice' insert with some practical advice for entrepreneurs. 

I've picked out five of the businesses, all run by women, that I was thrilled to see featured in the book to highlight and give you some little snippets from their story.... 

Petalon - feature in Start Up London book

Petalon - flower delivery service run by Florence Kennedy

Florence's business delivers flowers around London by bike and when she first started she was getting up at 3:30am to go to the flower markets, and initially struggled with cash flow issues. Her next stumbling block turned out to be a blessing in disguise and business is now going from strength to strength: 

"A second crisis hit the business in 2016 in the shape of Brexit when Florence was pregnant with Clover. Overnight the cost of imported flowers rose dramatically. She was also wondering how she'd get to the market at dawn with a newborn. Then a cold call from a Dutch wholesale flower distributor came at just the right moment. He offered to deliver anything from his website at far lower costs. 'We went on his website and saw that a flower I'd paid £1.30 a stem for was selling for 90p. I really miss the market, but he saved my business.'"

Birdsong - featured in Start up London book

Birdsong - ethical fashion website run by Sophie Slater, Susanna Wen & Sarah Beckett

Birdsong is a clothing website selling products made by charities supporting women. The founders realised that many women's groups were making beautiful clothes but had nowhere to sell them at a fair price. Sophie and Sarah started the business in their early twenties and feel lucky that it is so easy to start your own business in the UK: 

"Along the way, they've discovered that London is a peculiarly fertile place to set up a business. Says Sarah, 'We sell a lot of our stuff in Berlin and talking to people there makes me realise how much easier it is to set up in the UK than elsewhere, in terms of bureaucracy. Here, £40 and half an hour is all it takes to register your own company. There's so much help for start-ups - we've been on both free and paid-for programs."

Riposte magazine - featured in Start Up London book

Riposte - independent magazine run by Danielle Pender

Similar to 91 Magazine, it was when Danielle could not find a women's magazine she wanted to read that she decided to start her own. She is a great example of someone who is not afraid to take risks and more often than not those risks pay off. With no journalism experience, she simply followed her nose along with creative director Shaz Madani, and now prints 10,000 copies of the magazine. 

"In November 2013, Riposte was launched with a striking cover that had no image, only text with the names of the women featured inside. Although having a cover so different from the norm made them nervous, it also made them excited and as novices they had nothing to lose. It turned out to be an inspired move, garnering them press coverage and visually emphasising their credentials as an alternative to mainstream women's magazines." 

Quill London - featured in Start Up London book

Quill London - stationery shop run by Lucy Edmonds

We featured Lucy's business way back in 2013 in the digital version of 91, and it's been lovely to see Quill flourish from an online store into a bricks and mortar destination for not only your stationery needs but a place to learn calligraphy. An advocate for a detailed business plan, Lucy had never envisaged calligraphy being part of her business but she explains why she went 'off plan'... 

"'I've always been able to spot trends just before they go mainstream. I wish I knew how, it's bizarre. I noticed on social media that calligraphy was becoming a big thing in the US but nobody was doing it over here.' At the same time, she noted the growing trend for one-day or evening workshops as consumers became increasingly interested in buying experiences and knowledge rather than 'stuff'. Melding the two, she decided to offer a one-off workshop to stationery customers taught by the calligrapher Imogen Owen. But demand was off the scale and the one-off soon became a regular offering, eventually leading to the lease of the Amwell Street shop, Lucy training to become a calligrapher herself and the commissioning of her book on modern calligraphy." 

London Terrariums - featured in Start Up London book

London Terrariums - plant shops and workshops run by Emma Sibley

Emma's business came from the desire for a garden while at university, leading to her experimenting with spider plants and kilner jars. Everyone's approach to starting up is different, and Emma is proof that a detailed business plan is not always necessary... 

"As her enthusiasm grew, so did the idea for a business, although becoming an entrepreneur had never been something she'd imagined for herself: 'I never thought I'd become this person - juggling an employee, premises and accounts.' Instead the whole process has been spontaneous and guided by circumstances. 'I've never written a business plan - it's been a hobby then turned into more than a hobby and now a job." 

What an inspiring bunch of ladies! And the book of course has many male entrepreneurs too, with businesses ranging from a London distillery to knife makers to sports nutrition. If you'd like to read more of these stories and the other 25 in the book then head over to Hoxton Mini Press (support indie publishers!) to order a copy and check out their full range of beautifully crafted books. 

The new wave of interiors books

Since I published my own interiors book The Shopkeepers Home back in 2015, I have noticed a gradual shift in interiors book publishing. What I've noticed is the books being published in 2017/2018 are less focused on purely providing inspiration and a nosy inside the homes of others but rather are honing in on the practicality of living. By this I mean: how to simplify your home, how to declutter, be more organised, how to live sustainably or more mindfully. I guess this is a response to a few factors - firstly, the internet and how easy is it to find visual inspiration online and secondly, the growing trend for mindfulness and living less frivolously. 

the new wave of interiors books

These books, rather than encouraging us to go out and spend, spend, spend on new things for our homes to replicate a style or aesthetic, they are instead teaching readers to streamline their belongings, to work with what you've got and, when you need to, how to shop consciously. We've looked at four books, published within the last year, which offer this kind of advice and guidance, to see what they are all about. 

This is Home - The Art of Simple Living by Natalie Walton

This is Home: the art of simple living - by Natalie Walton

The opening lines of Natalie Walton's This is Home almost exemplifies this new movement in interiors: 'This is a love story about the home. It celebrates what we have. And reminds us to nurture the space that helps make our lives possible.' Natalie has travelled far and wide to gather a selection of homes that have a strong sense of identity and authenticity; where the homeowners have created spaces that reflect them as people and nurture the family within. The book is split into three sections - Create, Live and Nurture - allowing the viewer to delve into the process of creating the space and how they live and enjoy it on a daily basis. It is not about big budgets, fancy furniture or flashy design, but about a simple approach to crafting a home with consideration and simplicity. 

{ Published by Hardie Grant - Order here }

Mad about the House by Kate Watson-Smyth

Mad About the House: How to decorate your home with style - by Kate Watson-Smyth

Kate's latest book, named after her award-winning blog, is a practical guide to understanding and implementing good interior design. Surprisingly, there are a very limited number of photographs of interiors within the pages, opting for a series of stylistic illustrations instead. Again, this highlights the change in how interiors books are structured and presented, with the emphasis being on useful knowledge and advice that readers can put into practice. The book starts off addressing how to find your style and examining the importance of colour, before going into detail about each room in the house, and how to execute things like getting lighting right and planning the perfect bathroom. Kate's fun and humourous style of writing and personal anecdotes keep the book light-hearted and engaging, making it less of an educational guide and more like learning from old friend who happens to hold all the style tips! 

{Published by Pavilion - Order here }

New Minimalism by Cary Telander Fortin + Kyle Louise Quilici

New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable Intentional Living - by Cary Telander Fortin & Kyle Louise Quilici

With a website of the same name, professional 'declutterers' Cary and Kyle's book shares their experience and knowledge in how to achieve that elusive minimal home with soul. They offer practical advice on how to change your mindset on the topic of decluttering and material goods, how to tackle it effectively and then how to put it back together beautifully. They promote the need for function and style and inform on how to shop with intention. It is very much a practical guide to making a change in how you live and includes recipes for natural cleaning products and 'take action' sections with tips on how to follow through on their advice. 

{Published by Sasquatch Books - Order here }

Remodelista: The Organized Home

Remodelista - The Organized Home: Simple, stylish storage ideas for all over the house - by Julie Carlson & Margot Guralnick

A small format book, Remodelista's latest tome again demonstrates the clear demand for interiors books that help us live more simply. Tips and tricks are delivered in bite-sized segments, making this an easy book to dip in and out of. Packed with storage solutions for anything from your hairdryer to your kitchen roll, as well as how to implement a plastic free pantry and an all-in-one laundry cupboard. The images alone are enough to have me itching to tidy and sort! It'll have your home impeccably organised in no time! 

{ Published by Artisan Books - Order here }

the new wave of interiors books

What do you think of this new angle on interiors books? Is this what you want from a home decor book these days or do you prefer pure interior eye candy? I'd would personally love to publish more books in the future, and would love to know what it is that readers are keen to gain when they purchase a book about interiors. Or perhaps you don't even bother buying these kinds of books anymore?! I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

91 is reading... Garden Style by Selina Lake

Selina Lake's books and styling work have been an inspiration to me from way back - at the very beginning of my blogging and publishing career. Her eye for interiors has always been delicate and feminine but with a contemporary edge that makes it fun and unexpected. Now Selina is adding gardening to her repertoire with her latest book (number 8!) Garden Style, and today we indulge in a little peek inside - a taster of this perfect springtime read....

Photo: Caroline Rowland

Photo: Caroline Rowland

There are trillions of gardening books out there that are practical and functional in terms of how to grow, how to plant and how to design your outdoor space, but this has got to be one of the first on how to STYLE it. With our gardens becoming almost like an extra 'room' it's equally as important to add character to it, the same as you would in every other room in your home. 

Selina Lake Garden Style book review
Selina Lake Garden Style book review

In the book, Selina demonstrates how to create stylish seating areas as well as how to decorate your garden as a whole. With anything from quirky containers to clever lighting to vintage decorative details - perfect for adding interest to your outdoor area. It doesn't matter whether you have a tiny patio or a huge expansive space, there are tips and ideas to glean for all types of garden. 

Selina Lake Garden Style book review

There is a section on garden rooms, greenhouses and sheds which highlights some inspiring examples of the perfect garden retreat including the above one owned by 91 Magazine photographer Cathy Pyle. (we've been envious of this for a while so can see why Selina picked it!). She also shares lots of little projects throughout the book such as 'make your own seed packets' and 'floral stained napkins', plus there are style tips peppered throughout the pages. 

Selina Lake Garden Style book review
Selina Lake Garden Style book review

Not only is garden styling covered but Selina shares some of her favourite gardens to visit, flowers shows, garden centres and nurseries as well as favourite flowers, plants and veg to grow. The section on 'Bringing the Outdoors in' discusses ways of utilising your homegrown flowers and foliage within your home too. 

If you are planning to transform your outdoor space this year, then this is a must-read - you will be guaranteed inspiration to help you create the perfect little patch for summer long enjoyment! 

You can read some further reviews and see more from inside the book on the blogs of 91 friends Lobster and Swan and Little Green Shed. Selina will also be sharing her thoughts on it this week too, so pop to her new website for more. 

All images are copyright of Ryland Peters & Small unless otherwise stated. Garden Style by Selina Lake is published by Ryland Peters & Small. All photography by Rachel Whiting. Order your copy of the book here.

91 is reading... The Kinfolk Entrepreneur

There's nothing that gets my creative juices flowing and my determination peeking than reading other creative peoples' stories. Whether that's an indie maker just starting out on their journey or a powerhouse of a businessperson whose creative goals have surpassed themselves - it's all thought provoking and inspiring stuff that makes you remember where you've come from and where you want to be. 

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur - review

So when I heard of Kinfolk's latest book offering I was bursting to dive in and discover the collection of people they had curated and of course soak up the ever-enchanting photography that accompanies all that Kinfolk do. It is a chunky tome - 368 pages in fact - and I'll admit I haven't quite managed to get through it all yet - but split up into individual stories from over 40 entrepreneurs, it is easy to dip in and out and read snippets as and when. 

Photo: Lasse Fløde

Photo: Lasse Fløde

There are passages and quotes that jumped out at me - such as the lyrics from a Talking Heads track that is significant to creative director Damir Doma - "Never for the money, always for love" - something which resonates deeply with me also. I left a relatively well paid job to pursue my passion for 91 Magazine, and yes, I'm much less well off financially, but I LOVE what I do, and the fulfilment from that is so much more important. Of course, if your passion can pay well then all the better, but it's clear from the people within this book that their businesses began with a dream, and the drive to make something special grow from nothing. 

Photo Jacopo Moschin

Photo Jacopo Moschin

Photo: Jacopo Moschin

Photo: Jacopo Moschin

Fashion designer Azéde Jean-Pierre comments "It's not a brand unless you create desire. People must want to buy into it," while graphic designer Pum Lefebure explains how starting out feels: "You have to create a vision of exactly what you want. Of course you don't know how the hell you're going to get there, but you dream. You figure it out." Not only do we have to follow our dream and discover how to make it happen, but we also have to remember why we are doing it - who is it for? Will people want it? Will they part with their hard earned cash to have a slice of your dream? 

Photo: Jacopo Moschin

Photo: Jacopo Moschin

Instinctively, I was drawn to the story of Kevin Ma - publisher of Hype Beast - a print magazine and digital platform based in Hong Kong. His beginnings similar to my own - starting a blog via Blogger, making small amounts of money alongside another job, but Kevin's brand has exploded, now with 124 employees working for him. It's an awe-inspiring publishing success story, yet Kevin comes across as incredibly humble and realistic, pointing out that his success is probably just down to 'good timing' - and that he hit the blogging world just before digital media became hugely saturated. Perhaps, but I get the feeling it's mostly due to pure grit, determination and intense passion for what he does. 

Photo: Jacopo Moschin

Photo: Jacopo Moschin

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur encompasses a wide range of people from designers and hoteliers to publishers and bakers to restauranteurs and retailers - sharing stories, advice, and more than anything - a love for what they create. I've never been one to read classic business books - they don't tend to induce excitement or enthusiasm - but Kinfolk has created something in this book that not only provides practical advice, but that provokes you to dream big, take that leap and find true meaning in work. 

The Kinfolk Entrepreneur by Nathan Williams (Artisan Books) publishes in the UK on the 17th October, retailing for £28.

Pre-order on Amazon now.

91 is reading... The Creative Shopkeeper

It's no secret that we love independent shops here at 91, (I even wrote a book about them!) so when The Creative Shopkeeper by Lucy Johnston arrived, we knew it was going to be right up our street. 

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While the book is a practical resource for shop owners, both existing and aspiring, it does not exclude those of us who simply have an interest in independent shops and creative retail design. For me, there is a strong resemblance in the retail world to the publishing world; as high street stores and mainstream magazines struggle, independent stores and magazines are rising up and offering something new and exciting to the high street and the newsstand. 

Gekaapt in Amsterdam

Gekaapt in Amsterdam

Lila B, San Francisco

Lila B, San Francisco

The book highlights 60 stores from around the world, and categorises them into chapters such as 'navigation and choice', 'edit and abundance' and 'staging and scenery'. Author Lucy offers interesting comment on the psychology of shopping and the shift in how we now experience the activity. Some of the stores in the book that particularly grabbed my attention were under the 'journey and discovery' section, and highlight how shopkeepers have to work harder to give the consumer more, creating an environment that harnesses those elements of journey and discovery. AG Hendy in Hastings on the British south coast and Le Comptoir General in Paris are two case studies which demonstrate how a store can become a destination in it's own right. 

AG Hendy , Hastings / Photo: Alastair Hendy

AG Hendy, Hastings / Photo: Alastair Hendy

Le Comptoir Général, Paris  / Photo: Walt Agency

Le Comptoir Général, Paris / Photo: Walt Agency

Whether you are working in retail, interested in design or simply enjoy discovering new shops wherever you go, this book is a great addition to your bookshelf. 

The Creative Shopkeeper by Lucy Johnston is published by Thames and Hudson and will be released on Friday 14th Sept, pre-order on Amazon now

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 / www.skygarden.london / Monument or Cannon Street tube.

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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 / www.bac.org.uk / 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 / www.bearandwolfcafe.com / 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 / www.coramsfields.org / Russell Square tube

Biscuiteers

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 / www.biscuiteers.com / 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

91 is reading... Macramé

If you haven't noticed that macramé is the craft du jour, then you must have been under a rock for the past few months! The textile based craft was popular in the 1970s and is officially back and popping up everywhere. It seems to marry particularly well with our other favourite trend - houseplants - and one person who seems to know a lot about both is Fanny Zedenius, whose latest book Macramé: The Craft of Creative Knotting for your Home we are currently poring over and we itching to get our knots on!

Fanny is Swedish, so it's no surprise that her book is super stylish and proves exactly how macramé has been brought up to date for the modern crafter. When talking about discovering the craft, she says: 'This craft was different to all the others I had explored and moved on from - macramé was addictive in a whole new way.'

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She cites the act of knotting as being the most mediative of all crafts - although I imagine that is only the case once you have mastered the techniques! She also highlights the fact that it requires minimal tools and materials, making it an affordable way to create something beautiful for your home. 

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Pictured are a few of our favourite projects from the book - they truly add a touch of boho to your home, and we love how with a simple bit of dip dyeing you can give your piece a modern twist with a pop of colour. If you've been wanting to give macramé a try, then this book is well worth a look, great projects and comprehensive patterns to make learning as easy as possible.

Macrame by Fanny Zedenius is published on 15th June by Quadrille and is priced at £12.99. It is available to pre-order now.

Photography by Kim Lightbody

91 is reading.... Studio

If you are a creative person, then the chances are you have a creative space in some shape or form. Whether it's a corner of your spare room, a garden retreat, or a huge loft room studio, it's your space; a space to make, write, paint, design and it's likely you have expressed your creativity in the decor of the area you work in. A brand new book by Sally Coulthard delves in to the creative spaces of a wide range of makers, designers and crafters. Studio gives us a peek into their working lives and how they have chosen to build their surroundings in order to offer practicality as well as daily inspiration.

Photo: Caroline Rowland

Photo: Caroline Rowland

I was lucky enough to be part of the team that helped put this book together. I worked alongside Sally to source the imagery for the book, and it was a joy to research and collate a beautiful collection of studio spaces from creative people whose work I admire or have discovered through the project. We, of course, love a studio tour here at 91, so it was a bit of a dream freelance job to work on alongside my work on the magazine! 

Nathalie Lete's studio - Photo: Joanna Maclennan

Nathalie Lete's studio - Photo: Joanna Maclennan

Catherine Derksema's studio - Photo: Rachel Kara

Catherine Derksema's studio - Photo: Rachel Kara

The first part of the book categorises different looks - bright, mono, natural, industrial and collected. Each section features case studies which have perfected these styles, such as Claire Basler's stunning painting studio in a French chateau, where she has brought the outdoors in to inspire her nature focussed work. Designer Natahalie Lete's studio (above top), featured in the 'collected' section, is a treasure trove of quirkiness, and is completely idiosyncratic of her fairytale inspired work. I loved exploring Australian textile designer Cath Derksema's industrial space (above) - her colourful work brings a happy, playful vibe to the warehouse's raw materials and large expanse. Each section also includes a 'Get the Look' spread, with some ideas for creating a similar space yourself. 

Lise Meunier's studio - Photo: Joanna Maclennan

Lise Meunier's studio - Photo: Joanna Maclennan

The book goes on to look at the various types of work that takes place in these creative studios - from ceramics and woodwork to fine art and illustration to blogging and photography. Sally talks a little bit about the considerations of each type of working environment before highlighting a collection of real studios spaces. She has gathered together some really notable creative people, from artist Lisa Congdon, to woodworker Ariele Alasko to ceramist Lise Meunier (above).

Lisa Congdon's studio - Photo: Janis Nicolay

Lisa Congdon's studio - Photo: Janis Nicolay

Sally Taylor's studio - Photo: Victoria Harley

Sally Taylor's studio - Photo: Victoria Harley

What is particuarly lovely about this book is the vast variation on types of studios featured. While I seem to have selected images which are all quite feminine and colourful here (!), the book does not ignore darker colour palettes, masculine spaces, and those that are less about style and more about the creative process. While you will find it in the Interiors section of your book shop, and it is indeed filled with images of interiors, I find it is much more than just an interiors book. It is about the people that inhabit these spaces, their creativity and the work that is produced within their walls. 

STUDIO: Creative Spaces for Creative People by Sally Coulthard is published by Jacqui Small LLP and is available for pre-order. Release date: 16th March 2017. 

91 is reading... Life Unstyled

Yes, of course we LOVE a bit of styling here at 91, but the homes that inspire us the most are the ones that are 'lived in', that have real personality, not ones that have been polished and preened within an inch of their lives for the purpose of a magazine shoot. No, we much prefer homes that are filled with creativity and imperfection, and we hope this is evident through what we choose to feature on our pages. 

That is why Emily Henson's latest book Life Unstyled really resonates with us. Emily demonstrates 'how to embrace imperfection and create a home you love'. Her ethos is so similar to our own; beautiful homes ooze personality and are rooted in reality - there are stacks of books and newspapers by the bed, there are kids toys sprouting from every orifice, and there are ALWAYS unfinished jobs, but that doesn't mean your home cannot be stylish, creative and inspiring. 

The first section of the book is compact, but eloquently explains Emily's theory of 'embracing imperfection'; focusing on working with what you've got, and how it's always a good idea to break the rules! She reminds us to use our creativity rather than just simply consuming. 

The main bulk of the book is then freed up to explore some of the fabulous homes Emily has discovered. Spaces that epitomise the Life Unstyled look. We find out more about the interesting people behind the interiors and Emily highlights particularly clever ideas to steal, and I especially liked her 'Every Home Should Have...' notes.

So if you've ever felt disillusioned by an interiors mag (not 91 of course!) or have just wanted the reassurance that everyone else does have clutter, then Life Unstyled will give you the belief that your home can be interior-book-worthy AND lived in! It's a book full of character and life and one we will be delving into regularly.

Life Unstyled by Emily Henson (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99) Photography by Debi Treloar © Ryland Peters & Small

Order your copy now.