Free Winter Botanical Phone Wallpapers • Ranunculus and Anemone collection

Let's start the week with something pretty!

I adore putting together these downloadable wallpapers, firstly because I feel it totally justifies my visits to my favourite local florist and secondly because it's one way I can say thank you for finding and following my blog!

I'm going to spend a little time over the next 2 weeks updating a couple of posts that are getting all the love at the moment, with a new set of glitter wallpapers and a long overdue #BacktoBasics photography post. 

I feel like I need a spring clean. Polish up a few posts, get up to date on blog admin and update my sidebar with new exciting things. Ooh if you use Bloglovin' you can follow me over there, finally claimed my own blog! 

These bad boys are right up there on my list of favourite florals, the Anemone's demand to be laid flat once they have opened fully and the blowsy Ranunculus heads make you want to fan them like you are racing through a picture flick book. (I must show Sammy how to make one of those - I remember making them at school, making a person dance across the pages!)

So download one or them all, just click on an image and it will take you to the original for you to save in your camera roll.

Happy downloading, let me know which one is your favourite. Are you for the bold and bright or are you a more muted colour palette lover?

Top of my floral favourites list are Peonies but we are going to have to wait a little for that wallpaper collection. Hurry up summer! 

If you share a photo of your screen I'd love to see!

You can find all my FREE wallpapers here. 

#HouseGoals • Country Garden Inspiration

If you've read the story about finding our forever house you'll know what had me at hello. 

We were actually en route to another house viewing having sort of ruled out this quintessential English country house on account of being listed. 

Having always loved living in new build-ish houses after our uni days the thought of taking on the responsibility of a listed property felt so enormous we had kept scrolling through the house listings even though in every other way it was the perfect house, albeit needing more than a little modernisation. 

We drove through the village tentatively, a surreal feeling of warmth swept over us and by the time we got to the house itself we both had the “this could be the one” feeling.

The garden got me. The huge peony bushes at the rickety garden gate, the creeping roses over the stone window frames and the view.

Some days, when a cupboard almost falls off it's hinges, or another tap starts leaking, it can feel like we haven't made much progress at all, but really we have done so much to make it feel our own and I want to share these changes in a new series of posts called #housegoals charting our inspiration and before and after transformations!

We love the garden it as it is, no wait we adore the garden as it is, but there are corners that have so much more potential. Trees begging for rope swings, a home made tree house for boys to climb in and fruit trees that drop the most amazing amount of apples, plums, pears and damsons, that I have to confess don't get collected and made into jam like they used to by the previous owners. My father in law does a good job pottering off to the bottom of the garden and coming back with the bottom of his jumper filled with apples like a carrier bag!

So now we have bigger still stripy boys running a muck, barefoot in summer and winter, I chase them down the garden path begging them to put on wellies or shoes, who love to hide under the low branches, and pretend to go camping in the long grass. 

There's two areas I would love to makeover for the summer. Last year we were away more weekends than we were at home and I could only count on one hand the number of times we ate at the garden table on the patio. Not for lack of good weather and balmy evenings but because we were racing around so much.

This year we've promised ourselves we are going to have an open house policy for the holidays and invite lots of friends and family to us! I want to make the most of the pergola and plant up some big containers on the patio to act as road cones and slow down the scooting that makes me gasp with fear when I see two boys head towards a flight of stone steps.

I am always searching the internet for inspiring garden ideas. Patio designs, beautifully symmetrical vegetable planters and lusting over those huge hanging egg shaped seats.

We went on a night away to Tetbury last year and spend hours going in and out of all the vintage and antique shops. Every one we went into was bursting with ideas for our country garden. 

I have this dream of collections of galvanised pots and old dolly tubs brimming with flowers, and a long metal table that can stay out all year, with metal folding chairs that I can make comfortable with squishy padded cushions in every colour of the rainbow.

country garden ideas (8).jpg

And lastly on my wish list is a quiet, tucked away greenhouse just like my neighbours.

Quite frankly I want to move into hers. Shelves for rows of old jugs, trays full of succulents, everywhere you look there is something so curious and intriguing. 

Whilst I may not be anywhere near as green fingered I really want to make the garden feel as much like us as the house does. We've planted a few extra bulbs, some more peonies at the back and the first of the new pom pom Dahlia bulbs we inherited from another generous neighbour flowered last summer. 

Oh and these beauties that grow at a local walled garden that I discovered last summer. I need them in my life!

It's a much bigger project, a garden rather than a room, but the results are everlasting. You don't want to change the colour of the turf as trends change!

What would you have on your garden wish list?

A collaboration with Homify

#CapturingColour January • Rose and Grey Winner

Well what a miserable month of weather in January in the UK. Grey skies, drizzle and days that seemed to get dark as soon as they had begun. My frame of mind is dreadfully affected by the weather. Even just a hint of sunshine makes me more cheerful. Which is why I am so thankful for every single almost 30,000 of you who have linked up to the #capturingcolour gallery on Instagram.

It is just amazing!

The gallery is bursting with inspiration from bright and bold candy pop colours to moody hues and everything in between. 

It is almost impossible to choose a grid to feature each month, I love them all, and I scroll through on my laptop and right click those that pop out at me, opening them in new tabs. Some weeks I seem to be mesmerised by florals, other weeks with people and places.

These have all made my January brighter. They've given me a boost of spring cheer in one of the darkest winter months. I look at them and feel happier, thinking about the moment they stopped to snap the photo, the holidays they were on, the errands. Each one tells a story and I make up the next bit in my head.

Go find them and check out their accounts for some colour inspiration.

I was lucky to collaborate in January with a wonderful online home ware company Rose and Grey, to giveaway a £100 voucher to our followers and highlight their range of affordable and stylish home accessories.

If you love the Scandi/Industrial style with a hint of femininity then this is the site for you.

Well done to Jody who is our winner.

Her beautiful still life felt like it was straight out a Rose and Grey shoot. Not a requirement to win obviously but it naturally caught our eye!

We loved the bold captures, the soulful sun streaked images but this one was so striking it just had to be the winner.

Delicate with layers of loveliness.

Find and follow her for gorgeous floral styling and country living. 

Thank you to everyone who joined in.

Now come and join in this colour loving community. I decided to stop the weekly themes last year to make the gallery as inclusive as possible and perhaps save them for special occasions.

So whether you favour bright and beautiful, monochrome or muted colour schemes join in by tagging #capturingcolour.

And here are some other fab hashtags to join in with too.

I love:

  • #colorcolourlovers - there's a new colour each week for the next few weeks - this week is pink!
  • #DScolor
  • #InspirationIsColour
  • #ColourMyJoy
  • #BBColourful
  • #ABMlifeiscolorful
  • #acolorstory - a must have new app from Elsie Larson founder of A Beautiful Mess. It's #acolorweek on Instagram this week so head to the hashtag to find the daily prompts. Make your whites white and your colours pop! I haven't stopped using it since I downloaded it on the day of release!

Any I am missing out on? Let me know.

Happy colour hunting everyone :)

New Farrow & Ball Paint Colours 2016

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of whizzing up to the most beautiful London apartment to hear the incredibly talented, self confessed colour addict and International Colour Consultant Joa Studholme speak about the new Farrow & Ball range of colours

Joa spoke so passionately about their determination to develop life giving colours that lift your experience with sophistication, but that would stay true to the deep roots of the Farrow & Ball brand. They could see that there were gaps in the iconic colour card, missing links between shades of white, grey and stronger brights. 

They've produced nine new colours that will take you from a "safe pair of hands" in Shadow White that sits between a less yellow and a more cool grey, a new grey in Drop Cloth to compliment the popular range, less red than Oxford Stone, less green than Old White. Subtle but significant new colours that could transform a room, giving it a different feeling entirely.

Due to popular demand they have added to the range a grey filler called Worsted which you could use with confidence in every room of the house a warmth to its cool undertone.

There's a romantic shade in Peignoir, traditional but for a modern market and not just bound for our bedrooms. 

Joa spoke about the desire to bring forward colours that make your shoulders relax as you walk in a room. Salon Drab that conjures that sense of being plucked from a "drunken gathering of intellectuals" in a traditional snug. She told us about the enduring popularity of greens, colours that encompass the fabric of British life, the drama of the Scottish Highlands to striking bold statement colours that ease people into the dark side of home decorating.

This new range isn't designed to break the magic, essentially the success of this three year journey will be the test of whether the old card looks the same as the new card. That the nine new additions sit completely comfortably next to their peers. Like they were always there.

The full range comprises 9 new colours that were individually and painstakingly crafted by a small team at Farrow & Ball. These colours are three years in the making and you could hear in Joa's voice the sense of pride and achievement in finally being able to reveal their hard work. 

These nine replace an existing set of colours on the famous palette of 132 paint colours. There's an overwhelming feeling of the classic heritage of the brand in the new whites and muted colours. Each one has it's own unique naming story and in true Farrow & Ball style, they defy convention and have chosen, distinctive names, with a couple relatively tricky to pronounce and spell!

But that's what gives them an air of opulence balanced perfectly with understated confidence. Age old production methods combined with contemporary updates to existing colour families within the instantly recognisable colour card. 

I loved hearing the honesty in her voice when Joa talked about their appreciation that there were certain colours that were ready to be retired. That don't suit more contemporary homes and decor in 2016, but it was good to know that all the colours are available from their archives. So if you have an older colour on one of your walls, you can still get a new tin made up!

 

The thing I love about Farrow and Ball is that although they are very serious about colour and craftsmanship, but they don't take themselves too seriously! There's so much humour and humility in this video - you can't help but smile.

And you can enter to win 5 litres of one of the new colours in either Estate Emulsion or Modern Emulsion by joining in with their fab competition.

Simply share a photo on social media telling them the name or showing them a picture of something with the colour of your favourite new shade on. Have a peek at their website, pick your favourite photo or grab a new colour chart in a DIY store near you. You can enter through any of the methods below:

For nine weeks Farrow & Ball will be selecting nine entries at random to each win their favourite new colour in either Estate Emulsion or Modern Emulsion. Full terms and conditions here

In an age when mass production is often moved out of the UK to the Far East and beyond, it's refreshing to know that all their products are made right here in the Uk from their factory in Dorset, which I hope to visit in the near future.

So which is your favourite?! Mine just has to be the beautiful Yeabridge Green. Discovered in the kitchen of the Georgian farmhouse in Somerset where it gets it's name. It was hidden behind an original gun cupboard and I think it could look quite something in the kitchen of this Somerset farmhouse. 

A project for next month perhaps?!

Pop along to one of their Milk Float tours, coming to a high street near you! 

Real Life vs Insta Life • January

Around this time last year I wrote this post alluding to the concept of a perfect "Insta" life. And it's been one of my most popular posts, even to this day.

So I decided that it should become a monthly feature, a celebration of behind the scenes!

It's waaaaay too easy to believe what you see is really what you get. The family photos with no family stuff. No hooks on doors straining under the weight of 15 coats, plastic boxes bursting with broken toys, Lego in tuppaware boxes, yikes, not in Pinterest perfect colour sorted trays with Instagram ready hand made labels. 

I'm not saying it's all a lie but I've learnt to take a lot of photos with a pinch of salt.

Yes they are the houses that those people live in, yes that's where they go on holiday, but most often they are showing us the absolute best bits of that moment. It's a little slice, not the whole picture. And when you embrace that you don't feel any sense of envy or negativity. I look at Instagram as this amazing, never ending source of inspiration.

Not a place that makes me feel bad that I don't have incredible natural light in our house, or spend our weekends battling with the boys, wrestling the iPad out of their hands, instead of soulful walks in the wild.

Because we do take them out and we do have lazy days, where the house is a bomb site, the sink is full of dishes from the night before and the dogs are filthy from rolling in mud in the garden, but I just don't share that photo. 

It's been a bit of a special month for me on Instagram. I watched my follower numbers tick over 25,000 and I almost fell off my seat! If you follow me you have made me cool to my 17 year old nephew. Thank you!

I'd like to take a minute to get a few things off my chest.

Firstly - it is a.ok. to edit your photos. Take them on your "big" camera, your point and shoot, your dslr, anything but your phone camera and spend time editing and preparing your best photos. In fact, I would encourage it! If you love shooting with your phone fantastic! But never ever feel guilty or feel like you have to justify or hide the fact that you share photos from your more fancy camera. It is not cheating.

Secondly - it is absolutely good sense to have a few images ready to use. A little bank of imagery that you can call on if you don't have a spontaneous photographic friendly moment. The weather has been DIRE this January, constant grey wet days in England and I tend to take advantage of the natural light whenever I can in the week and over the weekend to set up some mini shoots ready for the week ahead.

I try not to flood my feed with all the images from one set up, so I will spread them out, share a really detailed shot one day then maybe 4 days later share another. 

Thirdly - I think Instagram is the most supportive and encouraging platform. It's a way to join in and be part of a community and the more you put in the more you get out. By commenting, liking, interacting. Join in hashtags, totally indulge in the evening, sat scrolling through your feed. 

So here is a peek behind my photos. I hope they make you smile!

Yep, that's a fake piece of tongue and groove that I bought from Homebase for £9.99 and painted white, a piece of wrapping paper as the table and a dog strolling in thinking what on earth is going on?!

Here we have the newly wallpapered hallway, and the box of Christmas decorations that STILL haven't been put back up in the loft and the new stove that is so heavy that it's stayed in the hallway, in the way, for a week before it was fitted. 

Ah the glorious yellowly light that bathes our houses during winter. So what do I do? Edit that puppy with the help of white balance correction! Oh and rearrange the cushions. 

I had the pleasure of collaborating with HomeSense this month, sharing a week of images on their Instagram feed and this was one of the outtakes. My potting bench was in fact my small painted sideboard (an old HomeSense purchase!) next to the boys desk, which you can't actually get to for all the craft boxes full of pens, pencils, paints and left over stickers!

This was a photo I put together for the lovely Rose and Grey interiors and don't you just love the Christmas trees (yes plural) again STILL waiting to be rehomed in the loft. Aaaaah!

I had no idea when I posted this photo of the fruit in the bowl that it would sky rocket. A couple of weeks after I posted it, it still gets new likes and comments and I do a double take when I check the number of people who have taken the time to press that heart button. Just wow. The funny thing is it is exactly what I hope you can expect from my feed. Colourful, fun, not too perfect, but pretty. Does that make any sense at all?! 

And this last one will feature tomorrow! I'm not quite sure which one I love more to be honest. Check my feed tomorrow and see which one I went with! 

Here's to a February full of photography inspiration. Let's all fall a little bit more in love with Instagram together.

Linking up with The Ordinary Moments