The Granary

The mains of Taymouth Estate has been in the Menzies family for generations and the current owners, Robin and Irena are working really hard to make it work for the Twenty-first century. They have renovated all the old buildings on the estate into beautiful holiday properties…www.mainsoftaymouth.co.uk
The properties vary from small cottages and apartments to spacious converted barns, whichever is right for you, you can be assured of a wonderful welcome. Whether you are looking for a retreat at New Year or a great summer holiday you will find it here, there is a restaurant and quality shopping complex, beautifully designed, in a stunning setting on the edge of Loch Tay. It is a totally unique place.


Anyone feeling in the slightest bit ‘humbug’…or ‘fed up of Christmas already’ will be feeling like George Bailey, the James Stewart character at the end of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ after seeing ‘Sparky’, the Menzies family’s miniature pony in these pictures…
Have a lovely Christmas and a great New Year. Will post some piccies of the Gibb family celebrations, if they are presentable enough…..otherwise I will just start back in the New Year with lots of lovely, fresh, new material. xxx

Bodie & Fou

An intriguing design company run by two sisters – one lives in France, one lives in London – how cool is that?! The London based sister, Karine Kong, ‘Fou’, is on the back page of the current Living Etc…’my Interior Life’.

They sent me a press release about their 2012 COLLECTION – focusing on these Danish stools, barstools & tables by &Tradition

“Inspired by the contrasting surfaces of corroded wood ageing and industrial metal structures often found in docks or shipyards, Kasper Rønn and Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, the two Danish designers behind NORM Architects, have taken a modern Scandinavian approach to create unique pieces of furniture that combines simplistic purity with a discreetly aged look.”

Danish stool and table

“The sandblasted surface of the stool accentuates the structure of the wood, while the triple legs have the playful appearance of a living creature in motion.”

I love these pieces….the soft grain of the wood…but am I missing something here? Does this look like a ‘Living Creature in Motion’ to anyone else??

They go on to say that-

“The position of the legs allow for two seating positions, either with a single led forward or two. The flat seat also makes the stool equally useful as a side table.”

OK…useful….but I still don’t get that ‘living creature in motion’ feeling….

However, their end of season sale starts tomorrow…definitely worth a look…..with up to 50% OFF on selected items including 40% OFF the Milano Headboard by Cote Bastide, 15% OFF Bugatti sample toasters & kettles, 40% OFF roller blinds, 15% OFF selected Art prints including the Birds A to Z print, the Grow Height Chart and Gold Batgirl print, 15% OFF Lighting from Normann Copenhagen, 50% OFF Food and Kitchenware including 15% OFF EVA SOLO selected kitchenware and 20% OFF Jacqueline Morabito’s food range

Their icon is on the right hand column…..do have a look!

Their stuff is brilliant and they do a wonderful blog!

A Castle Cottage Christmas

In Scotland on Sunday today! Stuart and Carla Henderson’s lovely home in North Berwick!

Stuart and Carla own and run Castle Cottage, an Interior Design business that specialises in high quality upholstery www.castlecottage.net

Definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for beautiful Xmas gifts, bang on trend fabrics and wallpapers, Farrow & Ball and superb personal advice about any interiors project that they might be undertaking.

The Hendersons busily preparing for Christmas

The dining room - all set for Christmas lunch

….can we come too?

Cakes by CAKE

My favourite cafe in North Berwick – the lovely Cath supplies all the cakes for our shoots! http://www.cake-cafe.co.uk/

The Living room

The rich colours and textures are a wonderful advert for Carla’s work….

Stunning detail on mantelpiece – how gorgeous is that?!

A Christmas cardi….who in their right mind would want a Christmas card, when you could have a Christmas cardi??

Dieting – the Her Indoors way

I am only 5’ 4 and if I am honest, a bit chubby all over…my tummy is no bigger than my shoulders…nothing really ‘sticks out’…so I am not very motivated when it comes to dieting….I just slowly grow all over and then realise that none of my clothes fit any more….

Rather than go out and buy a whole new wardrobe I just try and ‘be good’: a sensible breakfast, a small mid morning snack, then a healthy lunch. Possibly a small snack at 4pm…then a healthy supper – yes I know – it really is that boring!!

Unfortunately I don’t lose any weight on this diet so then have to move on to the stricter ‘breakfast lunch and dinner – no snack diet’ – that really is hard…but it does work!

My weakness is, of course, going out – wine and nibbles….I would be so much thinner if I didn’t have any friends!
We all have friends who are very thin and still seem to drink buckets of wine and truckloads of nibbles – these people are very annoying – they are a bit like girls who are married to zillionaires and have pregnancies with no morning sickness – very annoying – but they can still make very good friends actually – so try not to punish them too harshly!!
Christmas, of course is a big danger time for dieting – be warned! Crisps, dips, chocolate, office parties and family get togethers go well with dieting – a bit like clothes shopping with a baby in a sling, a toddler in a buggy and five year old, just running around the shop freely…NOT!

Maybe I should return to this subject in January?

Free P&P

Ooh! Free Standard UK Delivery on all orders over £30 with Cath Kidston as a Christmas incentive!

Cath Kidston

Absolutely thrilled to have the Cath Kidston banner on my site…forgive me for being corny or cliched, but cannot get past phrases like ‘a feast for the eyes’….! When you click on her site….you just cannot help thinking ‘mmmmm’……So many of my friends houses have been turned into homes by the addition of one of her oilcloths on the table….Her oven gloves, aprons and children’s fabrics are modern classics now, collectable really…And her bags – so right – so affordable!

Lynne Curran and David Swift

A glimpse into the world of Lynne Curran and David Swift will stay with you for years…..industrious, creative and painstaking right through to the bone….their home is a world away from the TV and laptop bound planet that most of us are inhabiting. The atmosphere engages you immediately: the riotous colours and witty details, that are the main ingredients of both of their work: Lynne’s as a tapestry artist and David’s as a toymaker.

They have moved to Italy now, where they are renovating a medieval building in Tuscany as their home and studio…you can just imagine the magic they are weaving there…..Edinburgh is a lesser place without them.

They moved to Italy with the intention of running courses in their new home…contact them and find out if there is anything coming up…swiftcurran@hotmail.com

Let’s get shopping!

This sounds fun!

Coffee, Cake and Cava….like it! Miriam, owner of Gulp, really knows her business (basically, ‘How To Party’….she has many years of experience!)

Anyone who can’t make it along to the Shopping Event can shop from home, 24/7, using Voucher Code : XMAS11 until the end of the day on 22nd to get the 12% off.

When checking out you either go for the ‘Pick up from’ Option and collect from Miriam’s house or ‘Delivery’ in which case she or one of her treasured ‘Gulp!’ helpers will deliver it to your door at a time and day that works for you – it sounds like a scene from the flm ‘Elf!’ – showing at Gullane Village Hall this Sunday by the way!!

Twice

Reading a wonderful book at the moment ‘The Virgin Gardener’ by Laetitia Maklouf, full of inspiring and purposeful gardening tips…..She suggests planting lavender as an easy herb – you can use it in baking, decorating an outside table for summer dining….and for a Christmas party: sprinkling it all over the hall floor for guests to tread on as they arrive emitting a heavenly fragrance!! A wonderful idea – it just makes you want to text twenty friends and get them round for drinks now!!

You can buy dried lavender at this time of year, in bulk, at short notice from my friend Caroline Hoyer Millar.

I met Caroline at a Country Living Fair…one of my favourite duties as ‘Her Indoors’ is that I get to go to lots of lovely craft and design fairs to meet the talented and creative people with gorgeous homes that Douglas photographs. Caroline owns the amazing vintage home ware mail order company, Twice, www.twice.co a wonderful source of beautiful, handmade, rustic homeware. She very kindly let us do a shoot at her small stately home in Perthshire, that her husband, James, inherited from his grandfather. The Hoyer-Millars are a lovely family and work very hard to maintain their home. It is absolutely amazing what they have achieved.

Caroline very kindly provides us with super props from Twice, which we use on shoots all the time, to help houses achieve that lovely country, cosy, lived in feel. Make sure you check out her website and do your own home a similar favour!

Caroline in the basement of her home: ‘Twice HQ’

Vintage fabrics are the mainstay of the Twice ethos ‘maintaining tradition’
Twice, www.twice.co

Laetitia Maklouf, The Virgin Gardener

A Christmas adventure anyone?

Friends of ours who own an amazing rental property on the West Coast….Mansefield House…..an absolutely beautiful spot at the top of Loch Long…have had a nightmare last minute cancellation for the Christmas week….!

If you know anyone at all who might like to spend a snug family Christmas in the Arrochar Alps, do please pass this link on.

http://www.mansefieldhouse.com

They have dropped the standard rate from £2200 to a mesmerisingly once in a life time £1200!

The owners, the Butchers, are a lovely family, you will feel very well looked after…they live in the grounds and run a fantastic ceramics studio there….

Visit Mansefield Studios pottery and craft gallery:
www.mansefieldstudios.com

Buy Tom Butcher Ceramics online:
www.tombutcherceramics.com

Beautiful….do invest!