Rowen and Wren: Elegant and Distinctive Homewares

Retail-crushes-rowen-and-wren

Rowen and Wren have one of the most beautifully photographed homeware collections of any online shop.  The covetable vintage accessories; the backdrops of deep slate blue paint and whitewashed walls; I would happily move in to their online world if it existed.

As you’d expect from such a carefully crafted visual style, the collection itself is exquisitely tasteful, and it’s one of those shops where you can’t really go wrong if you’re looking for a gift.  Anyone with any sense would be happy to welcome something from Rowan and wren into their home.

Their collections do span a range price-wise, and some items are outside my personal budget, but there are also some really affordable gems, and it’s also a great place to look for well crafted antique-style hardware (think burnished brass, copper and nickel).

Liz has picked some of her favourite bits and pieces below….

Rowen and Wren homewares mason cocktail shaker recipe book

The Mason Shaker Cocktail book £18.

My other half bought me a Mason Shaker for last years Birthday but I fear my bottom of the bottle, back of the cupboard concoctions may not pass muster. I am buying this. If I remember I will let you know how I get on…

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A Snoop Around Our Favourite Rooms

Have you seen the Habitat Voyeur ad?  It’s a touch racy, but we’re loving all the sumptuous red and copper 70’s style, and envying the very hip pads of the creative folk featured on the site (and coveting their outfits).

Peeking into our houses isn’t quite as thrill inducing, but everyone enjoys a nosey now and then (and some people make a full time hobby of it), so here’s a little tour of our own habitats, and our respective picks from the Habitat collection…

Kath's-place

Kath's-house-dining

My art wall is mainly sourced from Etsy, but I found these two little weird creatures in a wall in Barcelona (they have friends in Liz’s house). The milk bottle is from my grandad’s farm and makes a perfect specimin vase for the flowers I accidentally break in my garden (I’m more clumsy-fingered than green-fingered).

Kath's-house-mantle

Now that my garden is taking shape, I try to make use of the free outisde flower supply when I can – this blossom on the living room mantle is from our quince tree.

Kath's-house-dresser

I love ceramics and vintage curios, so I’m forever rearranging the bits and pieces on this dresser. I was going to replace the images in the photoframes, but I’ve become rather attached to the stern looking chap and the winsome ladies.

Kath's-house-shoes

I have a soft spot for antique mahogany furniture – I love the warm tones of the wood, and the shoe ladder was my inspired idea to make efficient use of space in my bedroom (I’ve colonised 80% of it so far…)

Kath's-house-globe

The globe lives in our spare room, so our visitors can plot their travels. Our desk is framed by washing lines of art postcards – I pick them up every time I visit a gallery. I affixed them with some twine and mini pegs so I can switch them out whenever I want to change the view.

Kath's-habitat-picks

1. Mickey Natural – Rattan dining chair £60   2. Peeta – white metal and wood desk lamp £28   3. Hop – grey hare patterend cushion £12   4. Trunk – small grey metal storage trunk £35   5. Flap – small analogue wall clock £60   6. Marne – small yellow jug £5  7. Marteau – copper coated brass ceiling light £150

Liz's-pad

Liz's-house-study

My room. My stuff. I love my office. The shelving and wireframe storage mean everything is lifted off the desk, giving me more space to work – or to make a mess…

Liz's-house-sweden

I’m obsessed with Sweden and here lies my shrine. Dalahest (Dala Horse) is my fave, rescued from Stockholms Stadsmission. Clearly he’s had a tough life but it was his broken nose that appealed to me.

Liz's-house-objetcs

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.’ — William Morris.

I have a lot of random objects in my house, and quite a few are animal themed. They’re not in any way useful but I, at least, believe them to be beautiful.

Liz's-house-bathroom

The smallest room in the house – my bathroom. Note the animal detail continues…

Liz's-habitat-picks

1. Ginnie – orange office chair £70  2. Tommy – yellow metal desk lamp £18  3. Sushi – cat patterned cushion £12  4. Pollo – grey metal wire chicken object £25  5. Durrie – red/white patterned floor cushion £95  6. Durdle – blue patterned small vase £18  7. Hatch Yellow – metal yellow bin £20

 

This post was created in collaboration with Habitat

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Rad Studio: Funky Homeware & Gifts In Saltaire, Yorkshire

Retail-crushes-radstudio

Liz and I are longtime fans of the village of Saltaire in West Yorkshire.  Not only is the UNESCO World Heritage Site home to Salts Mill and host to our beloved Bradford Beer Festival, but it’s also boasts a great range of independent shops, making it a hotspot for design and vintage lovers.

Rad Studio on the Saltaire main street is a riot of colour and fantastic spot for picking up design-friendly homewares and gifts that suit a range of budgets.

I stop in every time I’m in the village and find it very difficult to leave empty handed – I’ve picked up cards, jewellery, an iphone case, gifts and some pretty little copper and ceramic bowls which I use to house my earrings and bracelets.

earrings in small green and copper bowls

It’s got a great laid-back vibe, which I love, as my pet hate is high-design concept shops that make you feel intimidated or under pressure to buy. It’s lovely owner Ali is on twitter over at @radstudiouk, so you can follow her there for updates on special offers and new items in store.

I’ve selected some of my favourites below (under the cut), from their website, but if you’re in the area it’s definitely worth stopping in for a mooch around as they have an even bigger range in store…

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Our Favourite: Floor Lamps

Now that the nights are long and dark, I’ve been looking out for a standing lamp to live behind my little easy chair in our office in anticipation of chilly nights spent huddled up with a book.

These are on my shortlist:

Our-favourite-floor-lamps

1. Arche Floor Lamp in black £99, 2. Harvey Fabric & Metal Foot Switch Floor Lamp £62, 3. Copper Angled Floor Lamp £170, 4. Cross wooden floor lamp £140, 5. Caged Bird Floorlight £85, 6. Floor Lamp Black £20, 7. Marta floor lamp £140

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In Search Of A Hallway Light

glass pendant light

Taste in light fittings is sadly not something we shared with the previous owners of our house.

The hall light was the most extreme case in point. It was a chandelier with ivy leaf and butterfly detailing, which we inherited as they were emigrating to Oz (sadly I have no pics of the original but it was similar to this).

It was a quality Laura Ashley-esque pendant, but jarred with the simple, traditional feel we were trying to create. And replacing it became an increasing priority, as more and more visitors to our home assumed it was our own newly-purchased style statement (“wow, I love your light, is it new?” “Er, no, we’re getting rid of it.” “what, why? It’s gorgeous.” “um, it’s not that we don’t like it, it just doesn’t really fit with the rustic vintagey style of the other furniture we’ve bought”… “that second hand stuff?” *awkward silence*)

But who knew the search for a hall light would prove so hard? I spent over a month scouring UK websites with not one respectable candidate. Success came as we extended our search to the US and came across a glass bell pendant from Pottery Barn.

The simple design is exactly what we were looking for – something that wouldn’t jar with our Victorian house, but isn’t overly traditional and twee. It’s rather susceptible to dust, but worth the effort as it part of the first impression to visitors, and the first thing you see when you come home every evening. We also managed to sell the butterfly light on Gumtree to a delighted buyer who drove all the way from Chester to Leeds to pick it up, so it too found a an enthusiastic owner and loving home – happy endings all round.

We bundled the bell pendant in with shipping for a rug – to buy alone with tax and shipping currently comes to around £100. Of course, as soon as we bought it I started to see similar classic glass pendants everywhere (sod’s law!). So if you like the style, I’d recommend UK retailer Fritz Fryer which has one of the best selections of classic glass pendants.

 

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Our Favourite: Kitchen Lighting

Today’s round up comes out of necessity as my kitchen light went on the blink recently, which has made cooking at night interesting / experimental as you can barely see what you’re making and had to rely on the palrty light from the cooker hood.

Under threat of replacement, it flickered back into action, but I don’t trust it to hold out (or be particularly safe), and to be honest I’m quite keen to get rid of the clunky silver spotlights.  As we have a small galley kitchen, with only one little window, I’ve been looking at glass and metal pendants to bring brightness to the small area, and also at billiard table pendants (with 2 to 3 lights in a row) for added wattage.

Here’s the shortlist I’m mulling over, and you can see the long-list on our kitchen lighting Pinterest board.

Our-favourite-kitchen-lighting

1. Copper pendant light £92 (free p&p) 2. Cloche light £98 / £110 (£8.50 p&p) 3. Unfold Pendant £119 (free delivery) 4. Industrial brass hanging lamp £94.80 (£13 p&p) 5. Fluted Glass Duo Pendant Light 7. Chrome pendant ceiling shade £74.95 (£7.50 p&p) 8. Nea Double Arm Pendant Light £199 (£5.95 p&p)

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Our Favourite: Table Lamps

After redecorating our living room, and buying a little cupboard for corner storage, I decided we needed a simple but traditional table lamp to go on top to brighten up the corner.

Fustratingly, what I found when I started to look at high street ranges, was that styles tended to veer between chintz and super-modern.  There was a huge gulf between the two with little /no middle ground, and all were generally eye-wateringly expensive.

Having searched high and low I finally found a reasonably priced brass lamp from a small independent online shop called The Original Table Lamp Company.  It was a little higher than my budget, but I managed to request as a Christmas present from my parents (not quite in the Sindy Dream House league, but a lovely gift all the same).

The only problem is that having bought this lamp, retailers seem to have finally cottoned on to my dilemma and I now keep seeing lovely, tasteful lamps at reasonable high street prices. Rather than feel bitter about this, I will magnanimously share them with the fair readers of Hello Walls:

Our favourite table lamps

1.  Not On The Highstreet | Hunkydory Home Handmade Autumn Oak Lamp £95 (+£4.95 p&p) 2. Loaf | Stokey ceramic table lamps £95 (+£4.95 p&p) 3. John Lewis | Molly Glass Table Lamp £40 (+£3 p&p) 4. Etsy | Waney Wood Birch Table Lamp with Polished Brass Fitting £39.99 (+£8 p&p) 5. Anthropologie | Ring Of Light Lamp (base only) £218 (£5 p&p) 6. Etsy | Winter Smoon Bell Bottom Ceramic Table Lamp in Grey with Nasturtium Fabric Shade £134 (+£7.50 p&p) 7. Made.com | Branson table lamp in black and cream £59 (£5.95p&p)

See more on our table lamps Pinterest board.

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