Lovely Spaces


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Oh my word. I love this home. It belongs to Instagrammer Frida Schuler.

And what's not to love? Beautiful wall colours, exquisite art and textiles and those little details that make this space pretty much perfect to me. The vintage furniture is front and centre, with beautiful bentwood chairs, rustic tables and mirrors. I particularly like the top image with it's black pendant light, painted glass china cabinet and a touch of the indutrial with the clamp light. Wow.

This home has so many modern rustic touches and inspires me so much with my own design plans. I'm currently working on the other side of my bedroom and am trying to source a dressing table and I like the idea of using just a small table with mirror above.

Frida's  instagram feed is a joy to behold and I'm so happy to have found her on there. Go check it out as I'm pretty sure you will love it as much as I do.

All images by Frida Schuler and via Instagram. 

A Walk in Yorkshire #TurtleTrek


Monday, 6 October 2014

On Saturday the weather forecast looked ominous. Dark clouds were gathering and I thought to myself, do I really want to do this? Do I want to spend a day soaking wet and miserable walking around Bingley in West Yorkshire with some people I've never met before? I'd been excited when I'd first been asked but as I considered the weather prospect I must admit that I did think about backing out. But I psyched myself up to go, put on a raincoat, my walking boots and backpack and decided that I must turn up as I'd promised!

I'd very kindly been invited by Turtle Mat for a walk with several other bloggers to explore a part of Yorkshire I wasn't really familiar with. A pub lunch was promised at the end and that always entices me out the door! The walk was being led by Bingley local blogger, Cedric, a regular walker and a Frenchman who has made his home in Yorkshire. Arriving at the railway station, I was delighted to meet Anna who writes one of my favourite blogs, Angel in the North and fellow Leeds resident and vegetarian food blogger Nat of the The Tofu Diaries. Also joining the group were two Yorkshire bloggers I didn't know, but whose blogs now are firm favourites - Fran who writes fashion blog Style Creative and Tilly who writes Yorkshire lifestyle blog Paper Crowned. Together we set off, cameras in hand and led by Cedric, made our way to the St Ives estate and country park, via the local market as Cedric wanted to introduce us to his local cheesemonger and his excellent range of regional and of course French cheeses!

The walk gave us all ample opportunity to chat and find out more about each other. And plenty of time to stop and take photographs. I'd never heard of the St Ives estate and was struck by what a beautiful place it was and how I wished I'd known about it when Harry was younger. There is a superb adventure playground, a natural play area,  a sculpture trail, wildflower meadow, cafe and the Coppice Pond where we were taken aback at the proximity of a heron. It let us all take a picture before flying gracefully to the other end of the pond. According to a couple of older gents walking their dogs, the heron has taken up residence in the pond over the last few weeks and can be seen most days.

The walk takes around two hours to complete, taking in some amazing views over the Aire valley. There are winding paths, some quite steep and rocky. But it was a highly enjoyable trip on what turned out to be a really fantastic Autumnal day with only one very light rain shower and sunny outbreaks.  Leaves were turning golden and falling at our feet and after looking out towards Ilkley Moor we headed down the hill for lunch in the Brown Cow Pub.

All of us were tired and in need of sustenance and there was some great food on offer for lunch. There was a wide selection of vegetarian options too all of which sounded good and it was difficult deciding what to order. In the end I plumped for the Mushroom Risotto and then Lemon Posset to follow. And they were really, really good. My fellow bloggers all enjoyed their meals too, and we were all super impressed with the presentation of the bubble and squeak cakes with watercress sauce which came served in a tiny milk bottle. The cameras came out for that one!

Not only was the food great, but it was the company that really made the meal special. All of us are bloggers who write about our love of Yorkshire but in different ways. It was an opportunity to chat about the ups and downs of blogging and how we fit writing into our own busy lives. There was a lot of laughter around the table and we're definitely all going to meet again. If you ever get the opportunity to get together with some fellow bloggers, do go, it's an absolute pleasure.

At the end of the meal we were each presented with our very own Turtle Mat. I was thrilled to get one the new Autumnal range of mats in Chevron as I had been eyeing up the design on their website! If you aren't aware of the company, Turtle Mats are specialists in cotton doormats and they can be chucked in the washing machine. Perfect for people who have muddy boots as they are built to last and won't need replacing for years.

Many thanks to Natalie for organising this fantastic trip and to our wonderful guide Cedric. And of course many thanks to Turtle Mat for providing us with this day out, superb pub lunch and a new doormat.

If you want to see more of our walk, then check out the hashtag #TurtleTrek over on Instagram and Twitter.

All photographs taken by me except for the one of me taking the picture of the leaf. This image was used with kind permission by Natalie. x

Country Living - Modern Rustic


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Hello! I found this wonderful read from Country Living the other day in my local newsagent and bought it on the spot. Modern Rustic is more of a luxury design book than magazine, featuring home tours from around the world, including Mark and Sally Bailey's home. The magazine also features great interviews with British craftspeople and artisans - Toast, Pinch Design, Original BTC, to name just a few. Modern Rustic is a style that I'm hugely drawn to - the simple textures of natural materials combined with those industrial elements. It's also about more muted shades - greys, blues and neutrals but with little details bursting with brighter colours through textiles, flowers and art. I've found myself sadly bored with the high street - everyone seems to possess the same things. And although I'm still a lover of pattern and Scandi design, I like the idea of toning it down.  I'm charmed by the individuality that is expressed in this style - taking a piece and making it your own. So it's about finding junk shop treasures and flea market items and giving them a new lease of life.

So I've been trawling the car boots and the junk shops recently and I'm pretty happy at my finds. There's a slightly bonkers shop near my home that sells ornamental giant gorillas and sheep for your garden (each to their own eh?) and outside there was this rather beautiful, yet tired sixties wooden chair. I managed to score it for under a tenner. A couple of coats of Farrow and Ball's Railings and it's just stunning. It's also my new favourite colour and I'm fighting the urge to paint everything in it.  I also found this rather charming oil painting of violas and pansies for £1 at the car boot. In a vintage shop in Leeds I found this lovely picture of flowers in a white wooden frame and I think it looks great against the dark navy walls. I'm now on the hunt for a coffee table and a wardrobe.  So it's lots of junk shop hunting in the next few weeks.

There's lots more inspiration for modern rustic style on my Pinterest board. x

Follow Jen @littlebirdieblog's board Modern Rustic on Pinterest.

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