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



We need this gorgeous online shop in the UK…!

We’d heard of Chairish before, so when they asked us to choose a chair and design a moodboard around it, we were delighted! It did take far longer than we hoped it would (sorry!), but work, life, and far too much browsing got in the way.

Chairish is a site that facilitates peer-to-peer buying and selling of vintage furniture, decor, jewellery and accessories. The best part is that Chairish only features curator-approved items and provides a safe environment to make those sale/purchases. It’s great! It’s like eBay or Preloved, only a million times better.


We chose the blue French chair (below the colour swatches) because we love the blue colour and the curves on its frame. We also wanted to make sure that we included some bright colours since spring is definitely on its way!

Image credit clockwise from top-right:

Floral cushion (Decorpad)
Industrial pulley floor lamp (Pottery Barn)
Grey throw  (Bottle Green Homes, Not On the High Street)
Peonies Wallpaper (Rifle Paper Co.)
French vintage chair (Chairish)

Thank you for including us in your moodboard round-up, Chairish; we need you to come to the UK!


For more Chairish fun, visit

Travel Edit: Via Guilia, Rome

Hello there! How was your weekend? It felt like all the best fairs and shows were taking place this last week+weekend: 100% Design at the London Design Festival, Kirstie Alsopp’s Handmade Fair, Decorex, The London Foodie Wedding Fair… We wish we could’ve been to all of them but there aren’t enough days in a weekend!! 😦 We did make it to a couple though, which were fun and energising, and we’ll post about them here soon!

Meanwhile, we’ve been wanting to feature posts to draw inspiration/ideas from beyond the UK, so we have invited the lovely Rossella Di Bidino (author of Ma che ti sei mangiatoto share with us some of her favourite spots and buildings in her city, Rome. First up, Via Giulia. Take it away, Rossella!


Via Giulia. A never ending story.

I have the honour and the pleasure of walking along Via Giulia almost every day. It’s an endless love affair; she, Giulia is a female name in Italian, is always gentle, noble, and able to hide her age.

More than 500 years ago, Via Giulia was just an idea in Pope Julius II’s mind. Via, or Strada, Giulia was one of the first experiments of urban planning. The aim was to guarantee a direct and easier connection between the Vatican, Palazzo Farnese and major institutional buildings of 16th century in Rome. The Farnese Arch was expected to connect Palazzo Farnese with Villa Farnesina on the other side of Tiber. Pope Julius II commissioned the project to the famous Italian architect, Donato Bramante, who worked with other well-known designers: Raffaello lived and worked in Strada Giulia, while Michelangelo worked on the project of Farnese Arch.

Via Giulia_view

Some history about the place:

Once upon a time, one could find bears, acrobats, concerts all along the Via Giulia. At the beginning of the ‘80s, the Friends of Via Giulia Association decided to make her a central part of Roman life, and received the support of Renato Nicolini, an important figure in Rome’s cultural life.

In May and June, free classical concerts were organized in Via Giulia’s hidden courtyards and churches. In the same years for some days the street was animated with jugglers, clowns and acrobats. In Piazza Farnese you could face a bear on a ring. Unbelievable! During the Christmas season, in windows of antique shops cribs from all over the world arrived. Those years were crucial for the current “fama” (reputation) of Via Giulia.

via Giulia_2Via Giulia courtyard.jpg

Now, in the 21st century, Via Giulia is a straight, one kilometer street. Alas the bridge that connect it with Vatican was lost a long time ago. You can, however, still admire the Farnese Arch, even thought it no longer reaches the other bank of the River Tiber.

Hungarian Academy Via Giulia

When you do visit the Strada Giulia, you will probably take the same walk that I do every day!

Look out for:

  1. Hungarian Academy at no. 1. The enormous white building pretty closed to the Arch was made on a project signed by Borromini;
  2. Not less elegant, but on the other end of Via Giulia, S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini Church hosts Borromini’s grave, which was mentioned in Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons”;
  3. Take a look at Raffaello’s place, Palazzo Sacchetti, which has changed many times over the centuries;
  4. If you need an aperitivo or just a quick drink, stay on Via Giulia. You can choose between a roof garden at Hotel Indigo or a quick stop at Da Alfredo Caffè;
  5. Finally, try to peer inside buildings and archways, and imagine a piano playing inside the now silent courtyards.

Via Giulia_1Via Giulia_archWindow on Via GiuliaUntitled1Untitled2

Places to Stay

To experience the magic of Via Giulia all day, you can stay at the Maison Giulia or Relais Giulia. For 5 star lovers at Hotel Indigo and the newest DOM may host you. Welcome to Via Giulia!


Thank you for showing us round your favourite street! We loved Rome so much the last time we were there, can’t wait to go back!

For more of Rosella’s adventures, visit her here: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GooglePlus

Images: Rosella Di Bidino

Real Homes: We think you might love this home…

This morning was far too dark… does anyone else think so? I woke up and thought “oh yes, it’s mid-September, alright.” Summer is too soon gone… but we are excited about the broodiness of autumn, and the wind of hope that the crisp air brings. New beginnings, we’ve said to each other.

In keeping with that spirit, it’s time for another inspiring round, as we swing by the home of Brandy Schuman. Brandy runs A Sensible Habit – lifestyle, interiors, stationery, all-round pretty store. She hand paints linen, designs, quirky rubber stamps, and comes up with great supplies for your party. Amazing. If you like pretty, colours, DIY, homewares, you have to drop by A Sensible Habit. And tell us what you think! Let’s see what her home is like now…


Brandy: “Our home is colorful and very FULL. I’m envious of homes that are more minimalist, but I’m accepting the fact that I’m a hoarder who loves color and pattern.

“There is a mix of old and new and lots of little things that don’t look like much, but are a memory trigger for me. A blue ball jar that belonged to my grandfather, a kitchen utensil that belonged to my grandmother, or a jar of sea glass from Italy.

“I like having little things around that remind me of certain place or time.”


“I recently invested in linen bedding from AREA and I’m in love. The bedroom has been the last room to come together and I really wanted to have a bed that I looked forward to crawling into. We still need a few pieces like a bedside table, but the crispy white linen sheets are my favorite.”


I want a lived-in, comfy home, where everything is out of place, but also right where it belongs. Our home was built in 1940 so with an older home the house dictates the flow and some decor. There are quirky layouts and small spaces that you have to work around.”



“I think about a relaxed environment for entertaining friends when decorating the house. Music is also very important. We have a vintage record player in the living room (shown under my painting near the front door).

“Apparently, I love chairs! We have several vintage chairs and everytime I thrift I usually see a chair that I want. I need a bigger home for all of my chairs. My boyfriend showed up the other day with 3 vintage metal chairs (pink, blue, and an orange one) and they are my new favorite. We recently put in a patio out back, and they are the perfect pop of color. He earned some major points.”


“Everyday life (inspires me), I suppose. There is color and pattern everywhere we look. I like to take a blanket to the park or go for for a hike. I love boating with my dad… Anything where my brain gets a chance to stop racing.

“Travel is always good for a recharge. As far as what inspires me in decorating the home… I guess I would have to say entertaining with friends, and the slew of gorgeous homes on pinterest. I like vintage shopping and finding colorful unique items. Bright Copco pans, vintage platters and glasses.”


“I like a lot of Midcentury modern, but also a kind of southern cozy home… big quilts, relaxed and inviting linen fabrics or a little floral pattern.”

“The wood bowls hanging in my dining room from Montes Doggett. They have display hooks on the back so I can store them up out of the way and take them down when needed. I also just got a new wood serving board from Star Provisions at a great price. I like that these items are functional and also work on display.”


“Glasses and bar accessories are (other) items I hoard. I could never have too many vintage glasses or specialty cocktail glasses!

“We also (have) a custom stereo cabinet that was built locally by South of Urban – it houses a record player, stereo, and cassette tape player. It’s definitely a favorite item in the house.”


Styling tips? “Vintage thrifted finds are a must. We have a few little shops here in Atlanta that are my go to spots. West Elm‘s recent midcentury collection was a great way to find a bed frame and rugs that work well with the look of our vintage pieces.

“Oh, and treat yourself with fresh flowers around the house!”

We think so too! Thanks so much for that gorgeous tour, Brandy!


For more of Brandy’s vintage-modern blend style, visit A Sensible Habit at


Images: Brandy Schuman