Sarah Moore & Friends Vintage Barn Sale


I love Sarah Moore’s vintage style, which often features colourful floral prints. Sarah Moore is an interior and homewares designer, and the winner of BBC2’s 1st Great Interior Design Challenge. She organised a barn sale at Hill Lands Farm,PO18 9JY, at the end of June, and I was gutted not to be able to attend. Look at what we missed out on! The sale was created/curated by Sarah Moore Vintage, Goose Home & Garden, Found Country Antiques, Primrose Lane, Sea Thrift Interiors, and Simply Country – it looked like such a fun day out in the countryside with scrummy tea+cake, and stacks gorgeous vintage fabrics and homewares!

Lucky for us, the wonderful Sacco & Sacco Photography were one location to document the day – and what beautiful photographs. If you are tempted, there is another barn sale on September 12 and 13 this year, which I have already blocked out in my diary. Cannot wait!

Images: Sacco & Sacco Phorography

(Please let me know if you were involved in the sale and you were not mentioned or  your website has not been linked.)


Pastel Stationery: Berinmade


Yup, it’s just about wedding season! My photographer friends are missing (“sorry hun, first free weekend end August?” – well, either they are working or trying to avoid me…), the New Covent Garden Flower Market is extra busy, Coast dresses are flying of the racks… We don’t have many weddings to go to this year, although we know someone who as about 7 in a row to go to. Yikes!

Parisian Love Menu

In that spirit, I thought we could spend some time being inspired by the gorgeous wedding stationery of the lovely Berinmade. Having just got back from rural Dordogne, I am very much in countryside, floral and greenery mode.

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Aren’t the pastels and shades of pink so refreshing? I hope you aren’t too bored of peonies yet, by the way – social media is undoubtedly filled with images of fluffy pink/white ones? In any case, the colour palette of the invitations above could be inspiring when choosing wedding outfits, if  like me, you have not gotten them yet… Alternatively, wouldn’t chalk or wall paint in those colours be great? Hmmm. I can feel some upcycling ideas coming up!

Watercolour Ombre Invite

Images: Lucy Davenport for Berinmade

Love & Roses When You Least Expect It


I’m really not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I have never celebrated it (except once in school when I was nominated Captain of the Lonely Hearts Club), and have never wanted to.

Today, however, my husband unexpectedly gave me a Valentine’s Card. And actually, it was really moving, and I nearly teared up (I won’t share the contents, quick sick-in-mouth inducing, I imagine!). So I think the thing about Valentine’s Day  is probably the contrived-ness of it all, and how forced it often feels – if it was spontaneous and heart-felt, and if the retailers would stop telling us we need to spend lots of money for it to be a special day, it might actually be a rather lovely affair after all.

Which reminds us of this cute video here which is another project by the Flower Council of Holland (the same guys behind the initiation that led to us getting a new yucca), of a sweet little Wall-E like drone dropping rose stalks randomly. So cute. The Flower Council kindly surprised us with some beautiful roses to style, as part of their Valentine’s Day Campaign (thank you!). We had fun playing with these gorgeous, deep red flowers – their thorny, woody stems are such a contrast to the soft velvety bloom of petals. I could definitely get used to receiving surprise cards and flowers all year round!

We hope wherever you are, and however you chose to celebrate February 14, 2015, you had a lovely time and managed to share some love and be loved.


Images and styling: Courage & Dash


Weekend Styling with Flowers

Last weekend, I finally managed to give up my Saturday lie-in (I’m usually at my desk by 6.30am during the week) for a wander to the New Covent Garden Flower Market in Vauxhall. I used to visit quite a lot a few years ago, travelling across London from Islington at the crack of dawn; it really baffles me why I can’t seem to make the effort nowadays, given that I live locally…IMG_7224

In case you haven’t heard of the market, it is a wholesale market that caters to the floristry industry. Wedding planners and most of the city’s florists get their supplies from the market, and because it’s also open to the general public, people like me also tend to find their way there, either to shop or just to look at the vast selection of flowers/plants. Beside the flower market is a fruit and vegetable market (I’ve never been) which is similar. The market is open from 4am to 10am, Mon to Sat. However, given that it is a wholesale market, most of the trade is complete by 4am… Anything after tends to be considered late! Don’t let the early hours put you off though – there are still plenty of stalls open at 8 or 9am on a Saturday.


Whilst you do get better value for money buying your flowers at the Flower Market, the downside is that you do have to buy them in larger than average sizes, so be prepared – they can get quite heavy! For £10, I got a massive bouquet of tulips, about 6 large bunches in total (I filled quite a few vases and jars!), which I thought was great. You can also bargain if you fancy it – I didn’t as I wasn’t buying that much. Also, it might help to have an idea of the arrangements you are making beforehand, especially if you are like me and love flowers generally and have very little self-control. Once, I left the market laden with enough blooms for a mini wedding (I exaggerate, but you get the picture) – it ended up costing more than I would have wanted and I had to make up so many bouquets/vases.


The tulips I purchased were the most beautiful tulips I have ever had. They were so blousy and bright, with crinkly petals that looked so different to the usual ones (they reminded me of peonies). They were also very easy to style and dot around the flat to inject some colour into the space.

I really do love flowers and don’t have them around the house as much as I would like to. Of course, one doesn’t have to go to the flower market just for some fresh flowers – there’s always your nearest supermarket or florist. If you like learning about different plants and discovering new blooms, the Flower Market is the place to visit – naturally, the colour scheme and scent of the place evolves season to season, which is great.

New Covent Garden Market, London, SW8 5BH |
Opening hours: Mon – Sat, 4am to 10am
Nearest Station: Vauxhall Tube Station/Vauxhall mainline (South-west Trains)


Images: Courage & Dash


Decorating with Rifle Paper Co.

If there was one thing we wished we spent more time on in school, it would have been art class. I blame a poorly designed curriculum obsessed with teaching art in a solely classical form with little emphasis on beauty, creativity, possibility, delivered in the most mind-numbing form. Because, really, what else could you want* more than to be able to draw and paint and design like Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. does? (Check out her impromptu Sharpie pen makeshift wallpaper for a tradeshow here.) Given our lack of innate artistic abilities, we have just had to settle for appreciating Anna’s works. Most recently, her wallpaper collection has caught our attention – the wallpapers feature Rifle Paper’s signature whimsical, modern takes on traditional floral patterns. rifle-paper-co-wallpaper We love the gold patterns laid on on gem-hued backgrounds, the bright and intricate motifs on pale, neutral shades. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea to have such busy and detailed wallpaper (and most certainly not recommended for every wall in a room, unless the energising feel/look is what you are going for!), but how classy and stylish on a feature wall, or panel, or back of a cabinet or bookcase? peonies-copper-wallpaper-03_1safari-hunter-wallpaper-03_1rosa-indigo-wallpaper-03queenanne-ebony-wallpaper-03pineapple-indigo-wallpaper-03citiestoile-ebony-wallpaper-03 On a slightly separate point, the attractive styling of the catalogue shots got us curious about the Rifle Paper store across the Atlantic, so we thought we would share a peek into the store… Definitely not disappointed! foyerfrontwindowmeetingroomstorefront So inspiring! Look at those giant scissor-shears, the use of fresh flowers, and display mix of accessories with the stationery. LOVE. Also helps that we are partial to gold and coppery tones… Please come to London! Are you a Rifle Paper Co. fan? Do you have any stationery crushes? How do you display your paper collections? Visit Rifle Paper Co. at   * Of course there are plenty of other things/skills to want (and perhaps to want more) but you have to indulge our love of Rifle Paper Co. and Anna Bond’s playful creations! Images: Anna Bond, @annariflebond, Rifle Paper Co.

Stylephiles: 3 Tips for Displaying Your Books

We had a terrible case of the Monday Blues today 😦 But what really cheered us up were these beautiful photos by Merve Bayar of @bibliophie90. We found Merve as we were featuring Emily Quinton’s home, and thought we’d share our top tips on displaying your book collection, and get Merve to show you  what it looks like in practice. You can use these tips on a coffee table or your desk or wherever you have piles of books…


If your home is anything like Courage & Dash HQ, it will feature stacks upon book shelves upon stacks of books. There’s very little better than the smell and feel of a good old book (we love the Kindle too, but the book… ahhhh…)!

So, Tip 1) While it might make sense to alphabetise or use the Dewey Decimal System for organising your books, when displaying them, you might want to group them according to colour. Do you have a colour of the moment? Or some flowers that you already have on show? Those are good starting points to get your first group of books going. Merve had some lovely pink roses, and she thought a minty green would be perfect with the roses.


Tip 2) Think of clever ways to blend the books with the flowers – rose bookmark? Why not! Book stack with flowers interspersed? Sure! Feel free to use individual stems, or clusters of flowers. You can go for a casual yet elegant look by pairing blooms with your favourite texts. Pair colours or go for a myriad of shades. It will look like you’ve been out reading under a tree and picked some flowers on the way in!


Tip 3) Add stems in containers – use jam jars, bud vases, tea cups, etc. – glass tends to add a touch of glamour. Steer yourself away from the comfort of the vase – if you want some inspiration, take a look at a guest post we did here where we shared some ideas on styling flowers with everyday containers.



There you have it, a stylishly arranged desk or coffee table, showing off pretty colours and flowers that will brighten up your room!

Thanks Merve – for more of her beautiful pictures, visit her on instagram @bibliophile90.


Images: Merve Bayar

Sunday Style: Styling Ideas with Divinely Vintage

Hello! Did everyone enjoy the glorious sunshine? We went to bed on Friday evening think that we were going to wake up to a tropical thunderstorm on Saturday, but no! After a brief (torrential) shower, the sun came out and shone in all its glory all weekend.

vintage fabric workroomVintage workroom (from Pinterest, no source)

On Thursday, we hopped over to Newark for the IACF Antiques & Collectors fair. It was our first time, but it was a fantastic time. There are some photos on Instagram, but we decided to keep our cameras away while wandering around the hundreds and hundreds of stalls. Got some fantastic buys, but that’s not what today’s post is about. On the subject of old treasures, we’ve brought you some great ideas about styling with old fabrics, from Divinely Vintage.

homelifeBeautiful vintage floral prints from Home Life

liberty vintage fabricVintage Liberty fabrics from Gold on My Shoulders

Divinely Vintage sources and sells curtains and fabrics from bygone eras, when florals and detailed patterns featured heavily. These vintage fabrics are like hanging pieces of artwork, and not only can they be used as curtains but as furnishing fabrics too! Sue from Divinely Vintage kindly took some time to show us how you can use these fabulous fabrics to add a rustic charm to your home. Nadine from Spinney Cottage Flowers styled these beautiful images for your enjoyment! Take a look…

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Sue’s outdoor day bed in her garden – doesn’t that look so comfy? What a cosy place to retire to with a book. Even if you don’t have an outdoor space, these pillows and cushions can bring the outdoors in…

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A closer look at this beautiful, colourful, oriental style fabric, perfect for the outside with all its floral goodness. The fabric has been cleverly turned into a French bolster; it can also be used on cushions and seating pads…

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Take the bolsters and pillows inside to brighten up your bedroom…

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Divinely Vintage is always on the look out for curtains and fabrics to add to their collection. They have recently started stocking their curtains in various shops, and are possibly coming to us in London! Hurrah!

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You can also use these colourful and bright textiles as throws for your sofas (Yes! No more dull, rental furniture, instant cottage feel).

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2nd Blog 5Sue and Nadine of Spinney Cottage Flowers who styled these photos

Feeling inspired yet? If you don’t have any vintage or floral fabrics, visit the Vintage Fashion & Accessories Fair at Hammersmith Town Hall this Sunday, 15th June, from 10am.

Thank you so much, Sue and Nadine!

Images from Divinely Vintage