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Wednesday 28 December 2011

A Lumberjack Holiday: The Cotswolds

Photography by Will Taylor
Hey folks! How are you? Hope you've had a good few days wherever you are in the world? I thought I'd drop in with a few snaps that from my Christmas break back at home in The Cotswolds. Returning to my childhood roots has been just the antidote to the fast pace daily life of London that I had been craving. I've shared a wonderful Christmas with my close family, cherishing those little moments that make life so special. From taking my Gran to church at midnight on Christmas eve, to walking through serene, misty countryside, I feel replenished and relaxed. I'll be back again soon but until then I'll leave you with these pictures I took from a walk I took on Boxing Day; the organic textures and colours of the woods and fields left me so inspired, I hope they'll let you escape your daily routine for a minute or two as well.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Wishing You A Merry & Bright Christmas!

Hus & Hem | Photography by Peter Carlsson
Thank you all for your support of Bright.Bazaar over the past year, it's been a delight engaging with many of you and being part of such a welcoming community where we can all share our daily inspirations. To readers new and old, have a very merry and bright Christmas! And to those who don't celebrate, thank you for your readership as well. I'm going to take a few days break to spend time with my family, so I'll leave you to scroll through my favourite 2011 links from some really wonderful blogs. Have a good one, folks!

Friday 23 December 2011

Quick & Easy Colourful Christmas Decor Ideas

Photography by Maree Homer | Styled by Mr Jason Grant
As I wind down on the approach to the Christmas break (hurrah!) I couldn't help but feel inspired by these simple and colourful ideas for adding last minute festive decor touches from Mr. Jason Grant. I love how festive a scrap of ribbon placed in a clear, glass jar can feel (not to mention how quick it is to do!)  and hanging baubles from ribbons is something I did in this Christmas shoot last year but I think they also look great when hung from a chandelier. My favourite idea is the pared back, brown paper crackers placed upon a striking red rimmed plate. Simple pieces accessorised sparingly with colourful brights makes for wonderful Christmas decor. Which idea is inspiring you, friends? Do you have any top tips for last minute holiday decor?

Thursday 22 December 2011

Mr. Bazaar Goes To Edinburgh!

Photography by Will Taylor
A few weeks ago I took a quick flight up to Edinburgh, Scotland from London for a couple of days. Armed with my camera, I snapped some of my inspirations during the trip and thought it would be fun to share them here with you today. On the first day, the light was just beautiful. The sun was low in the sky, it's rays casting a majestic light across the city. The skies were that kind of clear blue you only seem to get on crisp, cold winter days. By day I was inspired by the Gothic and Georgian architecture and by night the colourful blur of the Christmas lights. It felt so good to breath in the clean, cold air of this beautiful city, which couldn't have felt more festive if it tried. Have you been to Edinburgh? I've been numerous times but I can't help but go back. P.S. Aren't those strung bulbs divine?!

Wednesday 21 December 2011

IKEA'S Festive & Textural Living Room

Livet Hemma | Photography by Patric Johansson
Oh, be still, my beating heart! What a calm, cosy and refreshing living space this is from the folks over at IKEA. I'm inspired by their use of rugs as additional textiles for the sofa - such a great way to add extra layers of texture. The simple red runner used on the sofa lifts the pared-back scheme, as well as adding a dash of festivity. The reclaimed shipping palettes give the room an organic feel, echoed in the bud branch placed in a simple, glass jar - an ideal way to add gentle festivity to a space. What's inspiring you about this living room, folks?

Tuesday 20 December 2011

A Pastel Coloured Kitchen

Photography by Yvonne Eijkenduijn from Yvestown
This is the kitchen of Yvonne Eijkenduijn. She lives in an old gentleman's house from 1896 in Lommel, Belgium which is very close to the Dutch border, writes a knockout blog and is one seriously talented lady who knows how to rock colour. I'm particularly smitten with her use of pastel hues in the kitchen space, which is flooded with natural light and filled with generously sized furniture. Here you can see how the room has developed over the past year: the wooden island has been swapped out for a zinc topped unit (which is actually an old door covered in the metal - clever) and the right hand alcove has been wallpapered in a floral pattern (which you might remember from this post). Perhaps the reason I feel so drawn to this space is because it reminds me of the kitchen in my childhood home? That kitchen served me many a happy memory over the years: baking with my mum, doing puzzles at the kitchen table and sat on the sofa talking to my gran on the landline before I even knew mobile phones existed. My favourite elements of Yvonne's kitchen are pendant duo, the Smeg fridge (one day...!) and whole fireplace area - exposed bricks, wallpaper, plate wall, the lot! What do you like about this colourful kitchen?

Monday 19 December 2011

10 Things I Learned & Loved This Weekend

1. How lovely are these simple 'dot' mugs in the Little Fine Day store?
2. Celebrating my friend's return from Sydney with the super tacky banner I made to greet her with at the airport on Saturday!
3. I simply have to find time to try out these super colourful and fun DIY crackers.
4. Loved the blue hue on these alphabet trays from West Elm.
5. The gorgeous turquoise hue of this facade on Carnaby Street.
6. On a scale of one to ten, how lovely is the 2012 calendar from Simply Breakfast? Errrm, twenty! Love it!
7. I'm tempted to order one of these personalised holiday stamps.
8. This retro-inspired clock would be fun for my kitchen.
9. I'm loving this beautifully packaged set from Heyland and Whittle.
10. What could be better than one owl? Three!

Sunday 18 December 2011

Sunday's Bright Links No. 64: Black Stripes

1 | 2
My latest post for Laura Ashley: Bright.Bazaar in the country!
Christmas sights in Amsterdam.
How wonderfully festive is this free desktop background and these free printable holiday cards?
Oh, and these free gift tag printables from Camilla Engman are lovely as well!
The new issue of Mowiekay magazine went live.
I love this DIY holiday card by Sweet Paul.
So excited to see the brilliant new Sycamore Street Press website.
DIY chalkboard mug.
Inspiring ideas for decorating a black Christmas tree.
Loved these photographs of Tokyo.
Great tips for taking pictures in snowy environments.

Last weekend I enjoyed a little crafting, arranging festive ornaments, mourned my favourite pair of polka dot socks and much more!
Paintings of Paris.
Join me on a weekend jaunt around a very festive Munich.
Tablescape 101: A Graphic-Plaid Christmas Party
Tour the studio of Scouts Honor Co. and get 10% off all their stationery and prints.
Happy Weekend: Three Last Minute Decor Ideas.

Saturday 17 December 2011

Happy Weekend: 3 Last Minute Decor Ideas!

As much as I try to be organised, the last weekend before Christmas is always a busy one for me and this weekend's agenda is pretty full. I'm heading to the airport to pick up my friend who is flying back into London from Sydney at 5am on Saturday (and trust me, no-one wants to see Mr. Bazaar at that time of the morning, so let's hope it's quiet!). Then after a quick freshen up back at our place we'll be heading out for brunch and some festive fun times. I also need to get all my cards written and finish my wrapping, oh and try and squeeze in a little seasonal baking. Phew! What are your plans, folks? If you're looking to add a few little last minute Christmas decor, why not use some seasonal foliage or a wreath to add interest to your entryway or front door? Or, perhaps you're keen to get crafting? If so, use up leftover baubles or pick up a value pack from the store and use a hot glue gun to fix them to a wooden panel in the shape of a tree - a great space saver for small apartments, too. I love the colourful feel to the one I've shown here. If, like me, you're strapped for time, a simple row of pine cones and glowing votives down the centre of your dining table, or along a sideboard is a sure fire way to festive cheer in under five minutes! Have a good one, friends.

Friday 16 December 2011

Scouts Honor Co. Studio & Shop Discount

Wahooo! We made it to Friday, folks! And if the forthcoming weekend wasn't enough to be excited about the lovely Anne Marie from Scouts Honor Co. is kindly offering all Bright.Bazaar readers 10% off her entire stationery and print shop. Just enter the code 'WILLUK' at the checkout and you're good to go! As well as a peek at some of the paper supplies in her store (hello, that lantern card needs to come home with me!) I've also shared a peek inside the studio where the products are created. It's refreshing to see a workspace that's real and not contrived. Rather, there's a feeling of stylish practicality to how the products and supplies are stored in old trunks and printer's trays that gives the space a functional yet welcoming feel. I also like how gentle additions of colour are added through quirky accessories and soft textiles such as flags and scarves. Be sure to check out Anne Marie's illustration, hand type, and custom design work and why buy a few last minute holiday cards, or stock up for next year while you can take 10% off! Which card do you like best?

Thursday 15 December 2011

Tablescape 101: Graphic-Plaid Christmas Party

Styling & photography by Manvi Drona-Hidalgo | Stationery | Calligraphy | Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
I'm excited to bring you the third instalment of Manvi's Tablescape 101 column here on Bright.Bazaar. With Christmas day a little over a week away, her inspiration for throwing a festive dinner party couldn't be more perfectly timed. I'll be heading home to my Mum's for Christmas so I'll be keeping Manvi's bold, graphic and stylish ideas in mind when I help her lay the Christmas table. Over to you, Manvi...

Seasons greetings, everyone! For this month's look, I created a festive Christmas tablescape that complimented a gift and beverage station. I wanted to keep the feel modern, using colours such as fuscia, and magenta with mauve and pink hues, which lifted the traditional and masculine plaid tablecloth. I made the tablecloth out of woollen fabric; the medium weight of the woollen fabric works really well to add padding for stemware and dinner plates, which in turn helps to create a more tactile experience for guests. To bring a little formality to the occasion, I asked stationery designer Claudia of Fig2Design to help me with invitations, menu and place cards, with the calligraphy by Michele of Meant to be Calligraphy. I especially love how the place cards turned out!

As well as the tabletop, I styled a gift and drinks station using wreaths, ornaments filled with mini pine cones and mercury glass ornaments. The second wreath is handmade which helps to personalise the look. To make the paper wreath, I bought vintage plaid gift wrap, crafted cone shapes and stuck them on a round cardboard template with a hot glue gun. To finish, I added a little star that I cut out and then lined with white sequins in the centre. I made mini versions of this wreath to use as gift tags, to tie the wreath in with the gifts below. - Manvi
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