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Spring Home Updates (Simple as you like)

Much as I love to be cosy at home, it feels good to throw open the French doors to the garden and let the air in. (And to dry my washing outside. Brief pause to appreciate the lovely Instagrammers who share my obsession. Honestly, when it’s warm-ish and sunny I start prowling the house for things to wash.) Whilst I am unlikely (in the near future anyway, with small children and work to contend with) to find time for a good old-fashioned Spring clean, I do think it’s worth casting a critical eye over your home and seeing where you can add some seasonal tweaks. I do love a so-easy-it’s-almost-cheating Spring home update.…

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How to Ace Mother’s Day

You know we’re big fans of mamas. Our own. Our friends who are mamas. All the mothers out there, in fact. It’s a tough job, but we love it. And we love our mothers. So the wonderful Ruth from All for Love London (who, last week, made me the most beautiful bouquet for my wedding anniversary) has shared her top tips for ensuring you send (or, ahem, receive) the best flowers ever……

Decorating tipsHomeShopping for the Home

Easy Decor Tweak

I’m spending a lot of time hanging out at home at the moment for one reason (baby) or another. It has made me realise two things about my house. Firstly, that I needed more storage for the children’s toys and “arts and crafts” (my daughter’s current obsession) paraphernalia (I made a beeline for Great Little Trading and bought another cupboard unit from their fab Northcote range, which sits unobtrusively in my kitchen). Secondly, that flowers really do transform a space. (Thanks to the kindness of friends and family who recently showered me with flowers.) However, you (like us) might not have a surfeit of time to pop to the florist and then painstakingly arrange your blooms – and a vase of decaying flowers is the opposite of cheering. So, I’m all for a cheat……

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Something (Pink) for the Weekend

I’m a little bit obsessed with this shoot. I love Sophia Coppola. I love the mood. I love this dress (the cover shoot was styled by Little Spree’s Sarah Clark. Why, yes, I do have a style crush on her…). I think it’s because I am feeling in the mood for pink.…

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Weekend Wishlist

Now, it might not feel a great deal like Spring outside. (*Checks weather. Ascertains it is currently 5 degrees outside, with the threat of rain looming large.*) But you can fake it (inside, with the heating on) – as of now is, in my view, one of the best times of the year for flowers. Tulips, ranunculus, daffodils (available for £1 a bunch in pretty much every supermarket – I have them piled into jugs and vases all over the house), snowdrops bravely peeping their pretty little heads above bare soil, hyacinths… Head to Poppy & Peonies and Miss Pickering for styling inspiration.…

Decorating tipsHomeShopping for the Home

The Autumn Switchover

Returning from a last dose of summer, I am now fired up and all about embracing autumn. So I am readying my home for its seasonal switchover. This is less dramatic than it sounds (as, like 99% of people i know, I have neither the time nor the free-flowing cash to facilitate a programme of redecoration). I confine myself to the little things. To wit:…

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Weekend Wishlist

Oh joy. The weekend is So Very Nearly Here. Here’s what mine would contain, were I the Queen. Or even K-Mid. Peonies. Armfuls and armfuls of peonies (until I look exactly like this girl from the Vogue archives). Or just a bouquet of palest pink, white and cream ones. They are summer in a blowsy, overblown, gorgeous flower. I love peony season. (I also love these pictures, from Trouvais.) You can buy them from everywhere – on offer at M&S (I have deep pink peonies – reduced to £5), your local flower stall, or a fancy florist (this is a wow bouquet). Susan Ibrahim for & Other Stories The name Susan Ibrahim is new to me, but she’s a Paris-based Swedish designer who has worked with & Other Stories on a niche collection which does not – hurrah – cost the earth. The red dress, for instance (also available in black), comes in at £65; and this terribly ladylike leather handbag at £79. Big Birdies…  For this is what these delightful cushions (£20) are called. Yet, I know I am obsessed with cushions – but a couple of these marching across C’s bed? What could be nicer? They’re by the clever Clare Nicolson, fashioned from…

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How to…design a small garden

I would love to have a big garden. Somewhere to lounge outside, surrounded by trees and flowers where the boys can play football and I can drink wine/tea/fizzy elderflower (oh yes, I’m a wild one) whilst basking in the sun. Unfortunately, this dream isn’t quite reality, just yet. But, no need to reach for the world’s smallest violin, I am lucky enough to have a small, urban garden which was transformed from basically a dodgy old side return and patch of patio into something really quite gorgeous by the lovely and very talented Dani Nash of Pollinate Garden Designs. Dani is basically your garden design dream come true. She knows her onions (or to be more accurate alliums), listens to exactly what you want as you explain it very badly and comes back with ideas that are really quite wonderful. An expert on gardens of any size, Dani is just the person to talk to if, like me, your garden is teeny-postage-stamp-tiny. If you have been inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show (on until Saturday), then here’s some tips on how to turn your little outside corner into a patch of heaven.…

HomeOutdoor Living

Whatever takes your floral fancy

It must be the sunshine – which has been glorious (sorry if it’s been less than glorious where you are) – but both my garden and I are coming over all floral abundance this week. I’ve also discovered that there are some seriously talented girls out there, setting out on their own flowery path. Bookmark (or just book) them NOW before demand goes crazy. I have to start with my ridiculously talented friend, Sarah Cooper-White (check out her work – above and below). A beauty journalist by day, she’s a floral genius by evening and at the weekend. I’d get married all over again just to have her do the flowers for the wedding. (Look out for more from her at a later date on W&W.) Contact her via her blog, Poppy & Peonies (Poppy is her lovely little girl).…

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Spring (garden) shopping by Joanna Archer

The wonderful garden designer Joanna Archer turned our flowerless urban oasis into a little pice of the countryside in the city – and we love it (even though I am still very much the novice gardener…’Um, is this a weed or what?’). So when C and I met her and her little boy at Kew gardens (not, alas, for a stroll through the greenery, but for babyccinos and gingerbread men followed by frenetic play at Climbers and Creepers) – I pretty much twisted her arm into giving W&W the lowdown on giving your garden a spring makeover. “It’s a daily ritual now. Nipping outside and peering at the ground longing for SPRING to appear. If you’re an impatient gardener, like me, you might just want some instant ways to bring much needed cheer to your plot. Here are some ideas for your shopping list: 1. Spring flowering plants Ranunculus sp. [ABOVE] are joyful lollipops of colour, flowering from now to early Summer. Happy in full sun or part shade they look pretty in a pot or at the front of well drained border. I’m obsessed with pink as you will see but they are equally lovely in white, red, orange……