Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Luxury bed photo shoot - the end result

Back in July I received an email from Relyon, one of the UK's leading bed manufacturers, asking if I was available to style a photo shoot for the launch of their range of top-end, luxury beds. Timings were tight as the shoot was booked for three weeks time and the brief was to source everything including bedding, lighting, accessories and soft furnishings etc you name it, and be on location to style all six bed sets over the course of two days.

Was I available? By George, I made myself available, I couldn't wait to get prop sourcing!

Whilst sourcing all the necessary items, I met some fantastic suppliers who were extremely helpful as well as flexible. They provided me with an abundance of beautiful items to use for styling the photo shoot and not only was I able to grow my list of 'very useful contacts' but I genuinely made some friends along the way.

The shoot took place at Exeter Castle, which following nearly a thousand years of Crown occupation is now a stunning venue in the heart of Exeter city centre.

Today I would like to share with you the final photographs taken by Luke Hickman (great chap, fun and easy to work with) which are being used in Relyon's promotional brochure and on their website. Other shots of the Montacute bed, the most luxurious bed of all, which retails at about £15,000, will be featured in forthcoming glossy magazine adverts yet tbc.

Montacute bed with Bianca Lorenne bedding
This photo although it's great, could never do justice to the strokeability of this bed, seriously, luxurious soft petrol coloured velvet, made to be loving stroked. You can see from the number of pillows and cushions that it's a whopping kingsize, it was great fun to add layer after layer of beautiful Bianca Lorenne robins egg bedding plus the cameonne bedspread and novella comforter. I think the model enjoyed lounging about in this bed!

I kept this beautifully elegant, soft and light adding decorative touches with lamps and tables candles from Pink String and candles and votives from Inside Out. I have to mention the rug too. Oh the rug, yes, the Jessica Loop rug from Naken Interiors, barefoot pure delight, so soft, so perfect to pad across and treat your feet to first thing in the morning!

Cranleigh bed with Bianca Lorenne & Joshua's Dream bedding
With a grey and white patterned headboard I wanted this bed set to be modern monochrome but not too masculine. The bed was made up with simple crisp Joshuas Dream linen and dressed with the Bianca Lorenne crellini creased linen range and topped with two gorgeous Lene Bjerre bird cushions from Pink String. Original BTC Hector lamps supplied by Amos Lighting add a touch of traditional, unassuming elegance and the Louis Two bedside table and vases from Heals add curves to soften the look.

Cranleigh bed with Bianca Lorenne & Joshua's Dream bedding
This geometric headboard definitely needed to be dressed simply. The gorgeously deep raspberry Bianca Lorenne comforter and cushions were perfect to make this bed more sumptuous and inviting. I absolutely love the Kinsale lamp table from Amos. The lamp is integral to the table, so no knocking it over in the dark of night, it's legs are chunky solid wood and the table top is available in six different Farrow & Ball paint colours, which you can then co-ordinate your lampshade with - fab!

This room smelled amazing, can you see the diffuser reeds next to the jug of hydrangeas? They are True Grace Wild Lime reeds, which gently diffuse a citrus fragrance around the room that is stimulating but at the same time warm and comforting, perfect to complement the look and feel of the set.

Cranleigh bed with Bianca Lorenne bedding
If I had to choose one favourite set it would be this one. I think. Or would it? I don't know, but I was so excited when I sourced a set of three leather storage trunks from Pure Lana. I used two next to the bed as side table along with an antique brass task lamp from Amos, a Newgate alarm clock and some wonderful old books from Topsham Bookshop (if ever you want to escape from it all for a few hours this shop stocks mainly out-of-print and secondhand books, it has such a special charm to it you feel like you've stepped back in time - I love it there!).

Cranleigh bed with Bianca Lorenne bedding
Looking at this bed has just made me think of the bit in Along Came Polly, you know the film with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston, where Ben shows Jennifer how to take all of the decorative pillows off the bed and where to put them...she says what a waste of time it is and starts stabbing at one of the cushions...Ben joins in and they have a whale of a time ripping them to shreds and Ben works out that he spends about 2 days of his life each year putting cushions on and taking cushions off his bed. (You can watch the clip here if you haven't seen it, it's pretty funny).

BUT that aside, this bed DOES look gorgeous, it has to be said. I admit I spend a fair bit of time decorating my bed with cushions but hey I love doing it and the bed looks all the better for it. So if you're like me then you'll like this too. The modern floral Bianca Lorenne eden ocean bedding in shades of green, ochre, cinnamon and blush make this bed one that you want to dive into. I accessorised with the Neptune Larsson side table and neutral glass bobble lamp from Temptation Living along with a tray of delights from True Grace; Moroccan Rose hand cream, room spray and small bowl candle. If computer had scratch and sniff capability, right now you would be smelling floral notes and woody base tones. This set smelled gorgeous!

Cranleigh bed with Bianca Lorenne bedding & Ebury cushions
Actually maybe this is my favourite. I like the messed up look I chose to go with for this set. I wanted to create a romantic, casual and relaxed feel that makes you want to snuggle up with a good book and a hot chocolate whilst the wind and rain rattle and crash against the window, see where I'm going with this?!

The big cushions are 100% linen with mother-of-pearl buttons and are from Ebury and the cutest ever little cushion right at the front of the bed is the Bianca Lorenne sorbet cushion which is adorned with tiny hand crafted silk flowers, of so pretty.

How fab is the tarnished mirrored side table? I borrowed this from Nest Interiors, a delightful shop selling mostly french furniture and accessories and the lamp is from there too.

And after all of that here are a few behind the scene shots just for nosiness' sake!

Props, props everywhere

Luke in action setting up his photo gear

Jo and Liz from Relyon doing the very important job of ironing!

I would like to thank everyone involved on this shoot, it was a delight to work on and the two days were long and intense but also great fun and rewarding.

I hope you've enjoyed looking through the photos, I'd love to hear you thoughts on the shoot  *smile*

List of suppliers
Bianca Lorenne 01425 626147 www.biancalorenne.co.uk
Naken Interiors 01986 788128 www.naken.co.uk
Nest Interiors 01392 204305 www.nestinteriors.com
Pink String 01392 876978
Temptation Living 01395 514851 www.temptationliving.co.uk
Amos Lighting 01392 677030 www.amoslighting.co.uk
Heals London 020 7896 7547 www.heals.co.uk
Ebury 020 88591777 www.eburyhomeandgarden.com
Pure Lana 01491 526206 www.purelana.com
Neptune 01793 427427 www.neptune.com
True Grace 01985 210893 www.truegrace.co.uk
Joshua's Dream 0844 800 9435 www.joshuasdream.com


Thursday, 18 October 2012

So, are you hiding any dirty little secrets?

These days our lives seem to be so busy, we are forever chasing deadlines at work, running around after kids, going out having fun and generally trying to stay on top of things that we naturally let some things slip. Boring bills and paperwork gets pushed to the side, piles of ironing start mounting up and cleaning, well that seems to be the least of our priorities, according to a interesting little piece of research I've just read. Have a read for yourself and see what you think?

Are you one of the 30% of Brits who'd be ashamed if your friends knew how little you really clean?

Have you covered up a stain with a piece of furniture to disguise it rather than clean it?

BISSELL Britain's Dirty Little secrets report

Come on admit it, we all have a few dirty little secrets, right?! Even though I'm an absolute tidy freak, cleaning can be such a drag and although I'd never admit to having done any of the above, the invention of antibacterial cleaning wipes are a godsend. My tip - keep a pack in the bathroom so when you have a spare mo, give the surfaces, loo, bath and sink a quick wipe over and Bob's your uncle, the room looks and smells clean and fresh in minutes. Yay! *cheeky smile*

So, got anything YOU want to confess?!


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Final touch to the yellow, grey & white scheme

Following a restless night due to my pure delight and excitement that my daughter turns four today (I really am like a big kid!) I am fulfilling my promise to post photos of my new living room blinds.

When I found the fabric I immediately fell in love with it. My perfect colour combination - yellow, grey & white in a funky slightly retro feeling rosehip design by scion. Now the nights are drawing in I have the perfect excuse to put the blinds down at about six o'clock and watching television later in the evening with them hanging so smartly behind it, I find my self sitting on the sofa with a big grin on my face.

Framing the window above the television

Found fab yellow cushions, bargain from B&Q!

A splash of colour in the kitchen

And some gorgeous little pale yellow blooms

I hope you like them!

I need to take a quick break from working now and bake a cake for Heidi's family birthday tea this afternoon. She has requested victoria sponge with blackcurrant jam bless and I think I'll add lashings of whipped double cream to that too *smile*


Thursday, 11 October 2012


At this precise moment in time I am entirely obsessed with all things rainbow (my daughter's 4th birthday party is looming & I've promised a rainbow magic theme...) and ok, whilst my posts are never normally food related, today's gosh darn it well is. I HAD to share these incredible creations with you. Aren't they just amazing.

This is my no.1. I just want to sink my teeth straight into it.

This, well words kind of fail me. Incredulous.

Now, we are getting more real. This kind of thing could be achievable.

I like but I can hardly cut a straight line with a pair of scissors, let alone line up straight rows on smarties on a shaped cake! It does tick my OCD tendency box tho *smile*

I mean, seriously how is a bunch of fairy cakes in rainbow coloured cases ever going to compare?!

Hmmm...I'll see what I manage to come up with and let you know, after a big glass of wine once the party's over that is... 18 four year olds...Maybe I will stick to rainbow cupcake cases after all, they are reaaaally cute!


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Made By Yourself? Yup, here's how to....

Ah I just LOVE getting my hands on a crisp, never before opened new book. The smell of the print, the anticipation of what discoveries will be made on the turn of each page, the creative juices that will start flowing from the inspiration from new ideas...

And I especially love new books like this one 'Made By Yourself' by Peter Fehrentz. It was only available in shops in Germany last week and thanks to my fab mum being on holiday out there and tracking it down for me, I am already the proud owner of it yay!

COLOUR LOVE - the cover is in my favourite colour yellow, along with grey and white = my enduring favourite colour combo.

IDEA LOVE - the book is packed full of 48 individual, step-by-step, make-it-yourself design objects and furniture.

MATERIAL LOVE - there are projects using such a variety of materials; glass, ceramics, wood, leather, paper, cardboard, fabric, metal, stone and plastic.

CREATIVE LOVE - each idea is unique, creative and impactful. From simple leather flowers, which you can stick to almost anything to industrial concrete shelves, the ideas are really out there and individual.

SUITABILITY LOVE - you may think this is all looking a bit tricky or design oriented but each project is graded by level of ease, tells you how long it should take and gives you a specific list of all the items you will need. You honestly will be able to make a few of these without too much effort and importantly expense - hooray!

STYLING LOVE - this is Peter's first book and what a delight (even just as a coffee table book) it is. Based in Hamburg he is a stylist, product & set designer as well as photographer and he has given this book a gorgeous style that makes me want to just keep flipping through it.

The only downside for those of you who don't speak German is that the book is currently only available in Peter's mother tongue and there are no plans to translate it as yet. However if this post has inspired you to want to get your hands on it, check it out on Amazon and if you do buy it, let me know, I can always translate any projects you want to do yourself for you *smile*.


Thursday, 4 October 2012

Nature's gifts - free decorative objects for the home

The air is definitely feeling fresher and as I was walking along the coast path the other day I saw one of my favourite decorative nature's gifts... the trusted old pine cone. So simple, natural and rustic. For me it signifies the time to change deco arrangements at home and start thinking about cosying up for autumn. So I spent a while last night changing things around and thinking about creative ideas for how to use them within the house. I haven't yet gathered enough cones to create all the things I want to make, so I'll have to go out for a few more walks first but in the meantime I thought I'd share this idea below.

Quick and easy to make. You could use any shape, size or colour frame. Just hang one cone for impact or more like the one featured here. Use ribbons that co-ordinate with your decor. Why not suspend them with clear fishing wire so they look like they are suspended in mid-air. Oh the options are endless! For how to recreate the design above click here.

I'll share my makes soon but in the meantime I'll keep gathering... 

Oh and if you're starting to think about decorating for Christmas why not check out my Pinterest boards Christmas Decor and Christmas Makes which is where I'm pulling together all sorts of inspiring looks to help create a stuning, simple, Scandi look festive home. AND for even more ideas I'm in the process of writing a guide to decorating for Christmas for Devon Life magazine, which will be on shelf late November...watch this space *smile*