The Drinks Trolley Re-invented

The revival of the drinks trolley happened somewhere in the last couple of years and whilst I always imagined it as a bit of a fussy piece of tacky furniture gathering dust living in a badly lit room in the 50’s, I now love the way in which it has been reinvented.  A stat just to show how popular it has become:   The number of bar cart ideas (if you don’t mind an Americanism) saved on Pinterest in the UK jumped 40 per cent in six months. Sales of bar carts were up 173 per cent from January to June 2016.

Some Drinks Trolley Trivia

(taken from http://www.thebarcartist.com/bar-cart-history/)

The bar cart actually got its start during the Victorian Era (1837-1901). However, at that time it was not associated with alcoholic beverages. The bar carts of the Victorian Era were actually tea trolleys!  It seems we have the Interbellum and Greatest Generations to thank for taking us from Tea Time to Party Time when they started using bar carts for cocktail parties during the end of Prohibition (1933). Though bar carts started being associated with cocktails after the repeal of prohibition, they did not become well known cocktail entertaining items until the 1950’s.

If your’e thinking of including a drinks cart/trolley as part of your decor at home here are a few do’s and don’ts.

Cart Style

Retro-style carts are particularly popular – think gold and glitzy with glass or marble shelving.  Marble with a very dark brassy metal would be my choice.  But look for contemporary details, such as oversized wheels and sleek lines, to stop things feeling too fussy. Two shelves is way better than one and three shelves is probably too many.  Purchasing the cart is probably the easiest part however.

Alcohol 

Its not about a purchase and then stocking it with a couple bottles of hardtack and some crystal glasses.  Of course not, in 2017 everything has to be styled!  The styling also includes the brand of alcohol you have on display.  I would personally pick two or three bottles of spirits, I think an over stocked trolley will look messy and cluttered.  Perhaps add a soft drink like an Elderflower cordial, a bottle of bitters and lots of sparkling water (San Pelligrino).  This is for the everyday display and then when you have guests you can add your wines, champagne etc. When you are picking your display bottles of spirits I can’t speak for Bourbon’s or Whiskey’s but a bottle of Gordins isn’t going to cut it on the Gin front, Hendricks, Bombay Sapphire or something on that level.  If residing in SA you may be up to speed with the gin re-awakening (well that’s a whole other topic altogether). Cape Town is one of the leaders of this world wide trend.  Talented and passionate locals are distilling gin using indigenous flora such as fynbos and rooibos to create gin that you’ll find nowhere else in the world. A few of the local names to look out for that would sit very prettily (and go down very happily) are Inverroche http://www.inverroche.co.za Hope on Hopkins http://hopeonhopkins.co.za Musgrave http://www.musgravegin.co.za Woodstock Gin Company http://www.woodstockginco.co.za to name a few.

Styling

Bringing in some artwork, plants, a lamp, jugs, candles, good crystal pieces or books are a few of the many different objects to look for.  Fruit is also a great idea, I would go with a bowl of lemons, limes or both and a pineapple or three.  Recently we have been drinking our gin with slices of pineapple and I can honestly say that Pineapple in gin should be part of the gin revolution.  Basically any of the above objects would add interest, texture, colour and style to your cart.  Again for me personally I would choose a few items and not make it too busy, ensuring every item has the ability to shine and be seen.

Inspiration

I have picked out what I believe to be beautifully styled trolleys.

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I’m still looking for my perfect drinks trolley, I imagine its living in an antiques market somewhere.  I look forward to sharing it with you here when its found.

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Interior Additions

Some beautiful pieces to lift a space that needs little change up without a complete overhaul.  Interiors are like wardrobes in that you have your staples (your larger pieces of furniture perhaps like your classic sofa’s, cabinets and sideboards in neutral tones) then you can move out coffee tables, side tables, rugs and scatters to either change your colour scheme ever so slightly or just bring in a new design element that you love.

The velvet topped stool.  I love this elegant looking stool, at first glance it’s quite sophisticated looking, but the lighter oak legs will ensure that this piece fits in with traditional or contemporary decor themes.  Shop the stool here

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Mix up your outdoor area and add this round day bed to a special corner for curling up in.  Its a very contemporary style but feels very luxurious at the same time.  It looks like a piece you would find on the deck of your private plunge pool at a lodge. Shop here

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Add texture to your walls with baskets, a different take on artwork or mirrors, I love the layers it adds to a space.  Choose from a range here

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Free up some space on your bedside table and attach lamps to your wall next to your bed.  I love these, they can be shopped here

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You probably know by now Im a sucker for baskets.  These could be used for anything from kids toys to bathing towel storage outdoors (undercover).  Shop baskets of varying sizes  here

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A plant sorts out any space when you don’t know what to do with it or if an area is lacking life. Why not put plants on your wall too.  I adore these wall hanging pot plants which can be ordered here

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Adding ceramics, wood, metal and wicker to your bookshelves is a great way to add interest to an area.  A home can never have too many bowls in different shapes, colours and sizes. Shop this striking yellow one here

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This bark mirror is so different and again doubles up as artwork, purchase three and place them on a wall beside one another.  Shop these at a bargain price here

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Incorporating Black

So you would have heard me banging on about my floors in one of my previous posts here, and I decided to go dark.  The actual colour used was Ebony, but it doesn’t come out pitch black, its more like a really really dark brown (perhaps one shade lighter than black…) Anyway the outcome is sensational (for me) Im so thrilled with them.  Ive left the rooms quite bare at the moment as Im trying to decide how Im going to fill them and what I want to do with the space.  Anyway now that Im obsessed with my floors it got me looking through other ideas of using black in the home.  Last year I decorated a guest house which you may also know about if you follow my Instagram page   There I decided to paint the kitchen cupboards black.  The owners didn’t want an entire kitchen renovation but rather update what was there, so I went with black and it made such a great impact on the rather vast, outdated and dull space that had existed beforehand.  I also brought in black chairs for the dining area (open plan) which carried the boldness through to balance the spaces out somewhat.  Now, I know black is no great shakes in terms of “newness”, it’s been trending in various ways for some time in the world of interiors.  We have been loving black steel door and window frames as well as cabinetry and bathroom tiles for a few years now, but there are certain ways to do it, for a better, bolder and slightly classier outcome.

Here are some ideas of how to incorporate black.

I just love this black backdrop for this bedroom, so simple and effective.

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Here we see it used in a far subtler way but that pop of darkness is so strong

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I think black floors are my new thing 😉 love that the rest of the woodwork has also been painted black.

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Loving the dark sinks

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So rich, the blues with black.  Im always a fan of mixing blues and black in dressing. (clearly Slim Aarons fans judging by the pictures)

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I almost feel like this black staircase replaces the necessity for too much artwork.

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I love a black exterior wall for a wooden house, it looks great in a lush leafy area as below or even on a beach house with the contrast of the white sandy surrounds.

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There will be pics up on the blog or instagram soon of my floors 😉

Happy Hump Day (or what’s left of it 😉

X

 

Spring into Gardening

After winter gardens really can look rather haggard and neglected, and its easy to say you will get started with it again when the sun comes out but actually that’s too late, you need to get your outdoor space into shape way before the weather turns to summery days so its ready to use (note to self).  I am by no means an avid or knowledgable gardner AT ALL.  But I am starting to take a keen interest and I want to get into it.  One thing I think I do know is what I like in a garden and ultimately what I would love an outdoor space to look like.  Sometimes I take pics of plants I like into the nursery and find my plants that way.  It’s also a great way to learn.  If you too are not experienced in this department, then not only pinterest, but also walking around a good plant nursery should give you heaps of inspiration and ideas.

Some beautiful garden inspiration for whatever type or size garden belongs to you.

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If you like a rustic garden, then pea gravel is a good idea, provided you don’t have toddlers 😉
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Use a mirror to create some glamour as well as giving the impression of a larger space.
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Garden furniture and benches can look hard and uncomfortable, use lots of cushions and throws to create a cosy and inviting spot for lounging.
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If your outside space is a balcony, I love this idea of really large pot plants which would provide privacy and a bit of shade.

 

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If you’re the lucky owner of a very large garden creating various seating areas and different pockets around the garden will create so much interest and cosiness to the outdoor space.  This is exquisite but looks like you would need an army to keep it in tip top condition
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Don’t have time or green fingers? This succulent courtyard is stunning and low maintenance
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I love black in a garden, it is so striking against the greenery.  It feels very sophisticated.
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The ground of this garden doesn’t look picnic friendly, should you be on water restrictions in the midst of a drought and have grass that looks like this, cover it up with furniture.  What a beautiful spot this is to dine alfresco under the trees and the dry ground really suits this set up perfectly.

Here’s to the imminent arrival of Spring and to happy gardeners in the making.

x

Pics: Pinterest

 

The most useful object for any abode

I have come to the conclusion that the ottoman is probably the most versatile and useful object for any area.  If there’s a space that needs filling or a room that needs lifting.  I love ottomans covered in elaborate, bright, velvet and funky fabrics to brighten a neutral palette.  Uses: end of bed, coffee table, extra seating, decorative, storage…..I think one of my reason’s I love them most is it’s an opportunity to introduce your favourite fabric that is too out there for a chair or sofa but cushions would be too inconspicuous.  They’re easy to reupholster.  Buy inexpensive ottomans from Ikea or Coricraft, choose a fabric and get it covered.  Drape sheepskins or throws over them for extra texture and layers.

Last year I purchased this pouff (below) and I almost wish I had bought two.  Although it’s not an ottoman it has brought such joy to me visually, I absolutely love the fabric and I love how it has introduced colour into my lounge and it has brought endless hours of fun for the boys too, who love to dive on it …..hmmmm

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Ottoman inspiration

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Gift Wishlist (Men take note)

If you are like the majority of the population out there you most probably have not finished your Christmas shopping, or even started it for that matter.  I find most publications get their christmas lists out way too early, because people read them, think they are great and then totally forget about what they had seen and have to start the search again….alone! So here is another wishlist that I have put together, this one is for the men to take note of for their ladies, mums, sisters etc…As it’s a little closer to the shopping dash madness hopefully you will bear these ideas in mind when running around like a headless chicken, or better yet, shop them directly from here by clicking on the links below.

It really does pay off to be organised, I must say I like nothing more than giving a gift that I have put thought into and that I am almost 100% certain the receiver is going to LOVE and I despise giving a gift that I have grabbed just for the sake of it and am almost embarrassed to give because no thought has been put into it and I find that is when you end up throwing more money at the situation.

From Red and Green to Metallic and Greys, there’s a colour scheme below to suit anyone out there.

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Faux Fur jacket //  Photo Frame // Pom Pom Basket // Earrings // Toiletry Bag // Matches in a jar

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Velvet Lace-up shoes // Leather cross body bag // Velvet slippers //  Cocktail Ring // Sequin bomber jacket

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Earrings // Nail polish  // Sweater with floral detail // Velvet Bodysuit // Beaded clutch // Chair

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Red Dress // Non wired bra // Toiletry bag // Personalised Christmas socks // Lip Pencil

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Velvet shoes // Silk Top // Monogramed Mug // Leather bag

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Antlers on a shield // Salad servers // Blanket scarf // Pomegranate bath marbles // Copper light with turquoise cord

Slide7PJ Bottoms //   Personalised bracelet // Knitting needle case // Candle holder // Cashmere gloves // Passport Holder

Slide8Bobbi Brown Face Highlighter // Suede Gilet // Metallic Leather Skirt // Leather shopper // Earrings

Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas to all you wonderful readers!

XXX

Black Friday

Don’t miss out, get your goods in the basket so you are ready to go.  There is nothing that annoys me more than trawling websites, and pages of clothing, boots, chairs, lighting, whatever it may be, and then not able to decide on anything so you give up and loose out.  Make a habit out of jotting down things that you know you need or want, when you have tried on 10 different pairs of ankle boots or 5 different navy coats, made moodboards for your lounge until you are sure about the exact coffee table that you are after then you can go about making your purchases happily, knowing you are not wasting your money or the discounts on stuff you don’t actually need and isn’t exactly right. Some of my finds that will have a mark down applied to them 😉

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Wool Coat 

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Statement Sequin Top

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Emilie Bed Linen

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Necklace

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Kids Tee

Happy Black Friday!

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