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A thriving little indoor jungle!

We’ve never been involved in #urbanjunglebloggers before but have long since loved the shot of green they instill into our social media feeds.

Each month you’re challenged to photograph your house plants in different ways to celebrate all that they bring to our home environments (mood-lifting colour, clean healthier air and a connection to the outdoors to name a few). This month it’s all about the urban jungle with some cheeky animal folk getting in on the act.

Despite the inevitable hilarity of these challenges its a great motivation to pot up some succulents, ferns, air plants or spider plants for your home. Studies suggest there are benefits aside from the aesthetic; lowering blood pressure and increasing concentration as per this recent article in the Guardian on how houseplants have charmed a new generation of gardeners.

Scroll down to see how we got on with bringing a little jungle to our children’s room!

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‘J’ is for Jungle! This fabric letter is from the brilliant Kitty McCall and sits against a spiky aloe vera plant potted up in a terracotta pot which we sprayed copper and let drip dry.

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The kids love playing amongst the pots with their dinosaurs, peg figures and a cheeky wooden Kay Bojesen bear with moveable arms and legs which can lead chase from behind the pots! The ‘J’ hanger is from Anthropologie with their wonderful letter products.

If you’d like to join in on the planty antics then sign up for the Urban Jungle Bloggers monthly newsletter or follow on the usual social media suspects including Instagram!

In the words of #urbanjunglebloggers: Rooooooooooaaaaarrr!

Blooming lovely!

With a spring in our steps we’re headed towards Valentine’s Day. Whether or not you’re ‘with’ someone it’s nice to reach out and show you care, and flowers can bring a bit of unexpected magic to this rather grey month.

We covered Bloom & Wild on our blog at Christmas with their amazing letterbox tree (this clever miniature system means our mini tree is now planted out in our garden for next year). We love following the growth of this British company which is bringing design and colour into our lives in a way which feels fresh and unique.

Founded in 2013, this innovative online florist has recently been included in the exciting Bloomberg Business Innovators 2016 list (really worth a gander), which assembles together ‘the people changing how the UK lives, works and thinks’. Quite a feat! For Bloom & Wild it’s all about moving with each month – bringing new colours, tones, scents and inspirations to grow throughout the year and providing opportunities to send flowers without the rigamarole of being ‘in’ to receive them.

For Valentine’s this year Bloom & Wild opted to offer an alternative to the red rose cliché with the ‘Lizzie’ which is inspired by Rose Quartz (a Pantone colour of 2016). Pantone characterise this as a colour with the ability to sooth:

‘As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent’.

pantone-13-1520-rose-quartz-1024x640This pastel shade is calming and quietly strong and this fits with the sense you get unravelling your ‘Lizzie’ blooms and glimpsing at what they will become. Blush roses are paired with cream lisianthus, pale pink alstroemerias and fragrant eucalyptus to provide you with a very note-worthy floral display… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves!…

IMG_7923The blooms arrive in a slimline box which fits neatly through a letterbox, wrapped beautifully with a gold ribbon, so it feels like a treat from the off. Each flower has a delicate net to protect it meaning unravelling these beauties feels like a calming and indulging ritual allowing you to appreciate each individual stem.

IMG_7954Over the next few days you can enjoy the arrangement filling out as the buds open out- this allows you to enjoy them in full flower for longer and we love that they provide you with a little note on tips on how to arrange and trim the different stems to get the best from your display.

IMG_7963So, if you want some floral fun in your life then we recommend following Bloom & Wild on Twitter or Instagram! On Instagram especially they have a monthly competition using the hashtag #letterboxflowers. Their favourite flower picture wins 3 months of flowers as well as often something very beautiful from a British company they really rate too (it’s essential oil natural Neom candles this month!). All good fun and gets you celebrating the good stuff – bringing colour and nature into your home!

The Lizzie flowers were complimentary but all words and thoughts are ours. 

UK Blog Awards

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Hello you wondrous people!

Please forgive the intrusion but if you get a tiny moment over the weekend please cast a vote for ecomodernstudios in the 2016 UK Blog Awards.

It’s the last 3 days of the public vote and we’re in 2 categories (Arts & Culture + Green & Eco) so if you’d like to vote please select the category (or both) that you’re voting for!

Vote here

There are so many diverse blogs up for awards this year so it’s a great whose-who of those active and enthusiastic in the UK with their blogging. Well worth a peek!

Thanks for your support

ecomodernstudios x

 

Silke Bonde; Celebrate the small things

Established in 2010, Chase & Sorensen are East London stockists of beautiful midcentury and contemporary Scandinavian modern design, their ever changing collection is sourced from Denmark every few weeks making it a treasure trove of unexpected delights.

Chase & Sorensen have a new collection from Silke Bonde to share with us which act as a calming anecdote to any #BlueMonday feelings…

Silke Bonde is a Dutch designer and artist based in Copenhagen. Her playful and informal inky style incorporates nature and clean lines which resonate with a Scandinavian aesthetic.

“Forrest floor” art print by Silke Bonde 70x50cm

These painterly prints invite the outside in and this sense is reinforced by their titles of ‘Forrest Floor’ and ‘Leaf Lines’.

“Leaf lines (blue)” art print by Silke Bonde 70x50cm

‘Leaf Lines’ was inspired by the ‘skeleton’ you can discover in a leaf if you look hard enough. The miracle that these lines are unique and variable forming their own natural expression; like tiny pieces of art in your hand.

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If you would like to find out more about this collection of prints new to Chase & Sorensen for 2016 then follow them on Twitter & Instagram (and Silk Bonde on Instagram is definitely worth following too!) .

Hope today is a good one.

ecomodernstudios x

Lemonaid. Honest drink. Happy Head.

Here’s a company we can identify with: ‘when you’ve finished your drink, you can show off your DIY Skills’.

If you’ve not heard of Lemonaid its a nifty company with a moral compass. Every bottle of their organic ChariTea and Lemonaid range actively supports social initiatives in the farming regions in Asia, Africa and South America where the raw ingredients for the drinks are grown.

So far more than £560,000 has been given to social, economic and cultural projects in these regions as part of their ‘help people to help themselves’ approach on top of the Fair-trade premium pay they receive. The idea is that ’empowered people hold the key to overcoming many of the world’s problems’. How great is that? Especially in what seemed like very dark days in 2015…

So perhaps get Lemonaid on your radar and then try out your own crafty ‘upcycle’ project. Here’s a few ideas to get your creative thinking going. Some simple and some requiring a little more DIY prowess!

By attaching pourers and pumps (which can be easily bought online) you can turn bottles into oil & Vinegar or Sugar or soap dispensers. Or if you want to go big what about a cluster of lights – any qualified electrician can help with this:

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Or a set of variable height stools with the crates? We could see these in a playroom to help with fortress making…

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Or a spice rack for those who cook and want proper storage sizes!

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Or lastly (but not least) the ultimate outdoor ‘chandelier’ light. Perfect if you love hosting bbqs or mini-festivals in your garden. Simply insert an LED light into the middle to give a beautiful glow at night.

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If you try any of these upcycles then do send us an image. We would love to see them (or any of your creations!).

Have a great weekend and look differently at those objects around you! It’s often the most satisfying and fun process…

ecomodernstudios x

To read more about the positive changes coming about through this company visit here.

A New Year and a fresh outlook!

2015 was a ‘head down’ sort of year with the planning and build beginning and a big checklist of things to get done. 2016 will (hopefully) see us complete the build (which is currently windowless and wet) and enable us play with the interiors (on a limited budget) shaping them into what we hope will be a colourful, family-friendly and fun space to share with the kids. It’s exciting and daunting all at once but we’ll enjoy sharing the journey.

Yipee! It's 2016 (1) copyA New Year inevitably brings new resolutions but whatever you’re up to in 2016 make sure you’re kind to yourself. This year the Danish concept of hygge, (a kind of cosiness and contentment said to make homes nicer and people happier) was endlessly explored by the news and blogs, including this nice article by the BBC which explored if it was exportable(!). The term doesn’t seem to have a direct translation in English which perhaps indicates we should work a little harder to create our own definition of it in 2016… it’s certainly a goal for our home but it’s tricky to create from scratch because it’s creating soul, a hub and a connection that transcends belongings or paint charts. Watch this space!…

Happy New Year!

love, ecomodernstudios x

 

 

I’ve just entered the #UKBA16

It’s late, I’m looking to the end of another year, and starting to dream of what 2016 might be.

In a late-night spur of the moment decision I’ve entered the blog into the #UKBA16 awards. It seems a little grandiose to enter my blog but you’ve got to dream big right?

Take that leap for 2016 with me!

ecomodernstudios x

I've just entered the UK Blog Awards #UKBA16

Reclaiming British Ceramics: Volpe & Volpe

Great British heritage…

Volpe and Volpe was born from founder Trish Scorgie’s passion for ceramics and Britain’s golden age of manufacturing. She started a collection of vintage ceramic swan vases from trawling second hand shops and felt she could update them in more contemporary colours using British manufacturing – most notably in the traditional heartland of British ceramics, Stoke on Trent.

Trish took the leap and in 2012 Volpe and Volpe won Best Newcomer at the East London Design Show 2012  leading to the swans being stocked by influential boutique stores, from super-stylist Emily Chalmers’ shop Caravan to Britain’s most famous collector, Paul Smith and cult online homewares emporium Rockett St George. This list goes on to include Florists Scarlet & VioletRebel Rebel and Wild at Hearts Nikki Tibbles dressing the swans for the Cover of Living Etc.

We’re big fan of animals in England and of products made with personality, heart and using our homegrown talent. Through Trish’s research and collaborations each new product is based around her collectors eye for quality, provenance and craftmanship and the new range entitled ‘The Last Series’ does just this. It’s a collaboration with renowned ceramic artist Robert Dawson and comprises of six preservation plates featuring 6 animals , 3 under conservations (bat, cuckoo, hedgehog) and 3 earmarked for Rewilding (wolf, beaver and Lynx).

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Rewilding has been gathering momentum for some time now but it was the appearance of Beavers in the River Otter and the campaign to allow them to stay that bought things into the spotlight, Wolves and the Lynx are being considered for rewilding within the next 25 years.

Combining  florals and natural history prints the plates make a beautiful gift for animal lovers and fans of conservation or rewilding AND each plate donates 5% to the respective Charity. So whilst you’re eating Christmas dinner you could be helping our green and pleasant land recover some of what makes it so special whilst also helping to preserve our UK manufacturing industries!

Or keep up to date with this British brand on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Enjoy!

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Christmas Wishlist 2015 #5

Old Harry: Jumpers as they should be

Old Harry is named after the rock stack which stands at the end of Studland Bay in Poole. The rocks are the namesake of an infamous local pirate called Harry Paye who was famous for adventure and plunder on the high-seas.

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The ethos of this brand is ‘We are big believers in doing one thing and doing it right’ and this British knitwear brand talks the talk with 100% high-quality cotton designed in Britain which includes the coordinates of Old Harry’s namesake featured on the nape! It’s nice to support British companies inspired by the sea… and surely we should be being an island?

These soft unisex jumpers come in six different sizes in cream, navy, black, grey and dark grey with the five-guage fisherman’s knit so they’re perfect if you want to gift it to your boyfriend and then reclaim back (it’s always better that way isn’t it!).

So, this isn’t a call to ditch those Christmas jumpers (they are still as hilarious as they’ve ever been) but maybe to gift one with longevity in mind. One that’ll get better with age and warm your loved one as they do that painful stagger across the beach from a brave but chilly swim or on one of those days you wrap up and brave the weather for a blustery cliff top walk. A good jumper is worth it’s weight in salt! (sea salt that is)…

For every jumper sold the brand donates £1 to the National Trust who help protect the Jurassic Coast where Old Harry sits: www.oldharry.com

 

Design Christmas Wishlist #4

Roxwell Press is a British stationery company with spirit and soul. Started just one short year ago it’s had a busy year expanding the range which includes cards, prints and a bespoke wedding stationery service! With a bright and bushy Tropical range already out and a new cosy Home range planned for the start of 2016 there’s lots more to see but its the Christmas cards and tags that speak of nature and calmness which feature at #4 on our Christmas Design wishlist.

We started working with Michelle from Roxwell Press a few months ago and love the ethos behind it. As Michelle explains ‘Sending a card is an expression of someone’s love, friendship and connection to other human beings. The hand written correspondence is still an important part of our lives, a meaningful gesture and art form that I would like to help preserve through my stationery range’. This sentiment rings true – an unexpected card through the post or a postcard from someone’s adventurous travels are special and remind us of our friends and family we don’t see as often as we’d like.

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Furthermore the detailed beautiful designs on the cards themselves can act as decorations too. There was a lovely feature by Patchwork Harmony recently which explored the art of displaying some of our great UK designers Christmas cards as part of our Christmas decorations which included Roxwell Press designs.

Whilst the news is busy telling us we only connect online these days the  #Justacard campaign aims to highlight how just small purchases can help to keep our independent creatives at work brightening up our homegrown design scene here in the UK and it’s a valid point. So go on- sit down, slow down, pick up that pen and write to your friends and family. Send them a piece of beautifully crafted card art personalised by your thoughts, news and well-wishes and spread the warm hygge feeling this season!

Roxwell Press designs are printed in England on environmentally friendly paper, made using wind power. You can buy the Christmas cards individually to make up your own collection or buy designs in boxes of 5. These come packaged with envelopes in beautiful clear perspex boxes.

If you want to connect with Roxwell Press then their Instagram account is full of beautiful images and lots of creative ideas can be found on Twitter and Pinterest. Enjoy!

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