Award nomination

Absolutely delighted to be nominated for a lovely award – a major! Up against some very big names in the blogging world – so I am very nervous. Feel very cheeky asking you to vote for me, but, please, please do! Votes need to be in by April 18th.

As it is sponsored by a bathroom company, I thought I had better rustle up some beautiful, groovy bathrooms to inspire you to update your own – easily done with the good value products available from Bathrooms.com!

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This tiny jewel like bathroom has long been a favourite – a look that any of us could easily recreate with the simple, contemporary sanitary ware, the small mother of pearl mosaic tiles and the little pops of red – absolutely gorgeous.

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And the perfect finishing touch to any bathroom is a bottle of Beatitude Bath Oil

Joy Bath Oil

Developed by a friend of mine in Gullane, Rebecca O’Connor – it disperses in the water – so your skin is left wonderfully soft and nourished but there is no oily film left. Rebecca and I often swap notes on running our businesses and her New Years resolution for me was to tweet more and here I am nominated for a interiors twitter award.
Gosh – you reap what you sow!

Rebecca’s own home can be seen in this month’s Prima magazine – May 2014, in the shops now…

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Colour in!

Someone who would chime in very well with everything we learnt at the colour workshop is serial renovator Kirsten Simonsen Howells. When she bought her Edinburgh home it was a sea of tired magnolia…

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Kirsten describes herself as extremely colour-orientated. A subscriber to the Pantone and Colourhues websites, playing around for hours, enjoying them just for their own sake. She has gone on to make bold choices for her home, admitting that if she were to choose ‘safe’ colours she would not be being true to herself.’

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Colour moves through the house dynamically because, Kirsten has responded to the light in every room, individually. ‘The blue in the bathroom is the same as the blue in the kitchen for instance, but you don’t realise, because the light is completely different’ Kirsten explains, ‘I painted it yellow at first, but it was totally wrong, the blue is much better.’

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All the colours are bespoke mixes by Dulux. Kirsten almost always uses Dulux mixing service. ‘I find the more traditional paint companies colours far too subtle I am afraid!’

A strong believer in the importance of natural cosmetics, Kirsten works as a consultant for the botanically based and paraben free cosmetics company, Arbonne.

Find out more at kirstenhowells.myarbonne.co.uk

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Seaweed Bath anyone?

You all know me by now, my favourite hang out – Fletchers Spa – when I am not working away as Her Indoors or playing tennis, this is where you will find me – any excuse…

Bath Hut Busy!

It all started when I was invited to an ‘information evening’ at Fletchers, by my good friend, Rebecca O’Connor, owner of Beatitude an innovative range of aromatherapy oils, about the Sligo based, Seaweed cosmetic company Voya

We were both intrigued – I have to say I have seen a seaweed bath and did not want to rush to jump in. However, we were charmed and fascinated by the co-founder, Mark Walton (he does not look a day over 35 – honestly!)

He told us the wonderful story of how, for over a hundred years his family had literally been running in and out of the sea on the west coast of Ireland, harvesting seaweed, filling their, now, 14 baths, with seaweed for their 40,000 visitors a year to bathe in, and making creams and lotions out of the extract…

Have you ever wanted to feel completely rejuvenated and drenched in goodness? Well visit their page and find out more. At the end of the evening Becky and I both, immediately, booked ourselves a seaweed bath. The date was perfect – the end of a busy week in London for Becky and…errr…a completely normal week for me…oh well – no rest for the wicked!

Bath Hut Interior

What a welcome! The fire inside the bath hut was blazing…a wee pair of slippers beside it!

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If it all gets too much – you can just have a lie down!

Hazel curtain rod

Could not help noticing the curtain rod in the corner, made out of a stick of Hazel – that’s a good idea!

All you have to do is get in the bath…

Seaweed Baths

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OK!

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Total and utter bliss – honestly!!

You can read more about Beatitude and Fletchers in the current issue of local lifestyle magaizne, The Toun Cryer

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Star Sparkles

Why can’t I have a business selling sparkly converse trainers to the stars??

Probably because I lack the vision and creativity that Pauline Clifford has…It is just not fair…while I am slaving away replying to emails, confirming shoots, Pauline is customising shoes with gorgeous Swarovski crystals for people like Paris Hilton…Hmmm…

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www.starsparkles.com

Doug photographed her home recently, full of fun and vintage glamour:

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kitchen storage

Toby jug collection

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dressing table

Pauline & partner

She has recently opened an Etsy shop, called Dolly Polly, selling vintage jewellery…absolutely beautiful…do nab some…surely some of that Elizabeth Taylor lookalike glamour rubs off a bit??

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Sian Parry Jones

In my personal Christmas disaster list earlier, I forgot to mention the various ailments that everyone seems to succumb to at that time of year. I think I might have blanked them from my mind…Anyway with the result that January always raises the intention of a good old detox.

Don’t be too harsh on yourself though, while you are doing without calories and alcohol (until Burns Night at least) you can still treat yourself in other ways.

A morning or afternoon at Fletchers Cottage Spa at Archerfield is the perfect antidote to the winter Blues – you can just drink in the interior design.

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I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to interview the instigator of the project. The styling of the interior is down to the vision of London based designer, Sian Parry Jones. We met at Fletchers over a coffee.

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HI How did the project come about for you Sian?

SPJ I met the owner of Archerfield through mutual friends. He was keen to set up a spa in the complex, my original background is beauty and I have more recently project managed several property renovations, including my main family home, a converted barn in Somerset and a spa on stilts in a lagoon in Antigua. He liked my ideas and I was basically given a free reign to develop the building with a local building firm, Baseline Developments.

HI What was your inspiration for Fletchers?

SPJ Primarily old farm buildings, I was brought up on a smallholding and my brother owns a farm now. The surrounding East Lothian landscape was a major inspiration too and I wanted to use as many reclaimed, salvaged and natural materials as possible.

HI Tell us more about some of the materials you have used.

SPJ The corridors are lined with wooden potato crates from nearby farm, Luffness Mains. I was in a taxi to the airport and we passed a huge stack of them piled high. I asked the driver to stop right there and then and ran around, trying to get hold of the right person to speak to without missing my plane – quite a feat!

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The mirrors in the manicure area are framed with old metal windows from a building in Paris.

Manicure area

HI Did you train in design?

SPJ No, when I left school I trained as a beauty therapist. I set up a salon in Bristol, which I soon sold in order to jump on a plane to the USA. I got a job working for Estee Lauder, returning to the UK to work for Yves St Laurent. I was then Sales Director for Aveda for many years, which involved working with partners to build lots of spa’s. Aveda was one of the leading environmental brands in those days, it was very ahead of its time when it was launched. To cut a long story short, I ended up Head of Personal Shopping at Harrods, developing their Concierge Service. I found I was putting together whole houses for clients, right down to the last teaspoon and that was my training.

HI What have you been working on since Fletchers?

SPJ A beautiful private home overlooking the coast in Jersey and a Cocktail Bar in Soho, called, by a strange coincidence, Archer Street…!

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The ‘Piste Bar’, downstairs at Archer Street
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Upstairs at Archer Street

You can definitely see a theme going here…

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