Lazy days.

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Lazy Sundays are what life should be about. Ok, obviously life is more than that, but sleeping in? So good! So underrated! Most days I am up by 5.30am and out of the door by 6am for work, so you can imagine that my morning routine is far from relaxing and in any way ideal!

When I have time, though, I love slow starts. In fact, most weekends, I am in my pyjamas for about half the day (haha!), unless I’m running out of the door to a market or antiques fair! Eventually, when I can be bothered, I jump into the bath (a real treat as I’m usually a shower person!), and then maybe laze around with a book. So good.

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The beautiful silk nightshirt I am wearing is from Derek Rose. I discovered them on Instagram and instantly wanted one of their nightshirts. The 100% silk night shirt features the ‘Toile de Jouy’ print, which is inspired by the dreamscapes of Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Young King’, about a Prince wandering through enchanted woods as he sleeps. Do check out their other beautiful kimonos and pyjamas, at https://www.derek-rose.com.

 

Images: Courage & Dash (not a sponsored post!)

 

 

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Styling Your Bedside Table: 5 Tips

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A year and a half ago, I married the love of my life. We are so different, which is great because we balance each other out, but sometimes, as one would expect, those opposites can lead to tension!

One of the things I anticipated before our marriage was a clash in decorating choices. Mr M is more of the Scandinavian, minimalist school of thought, while I am more of the quirky, cosy (cluttered?) school. I remember asking (worriedly) before we got married if he expected to have much creative direction at home, to which his answer (worryingly) was yes. Thankfully, because we are renters, we haven’t had much freedom to redecorate, so many of our design differences have been avoided! And credit where it’s due, Mr. M has been rather indulgent of my styling ideas.

One weekend, while Mr M was out, I took it upon myself to style his (sparse) bedside table. It is usually bare, save his radio clock and cufflink box, so I gathered some props from around the flat to style his table with. I also wanted to give him a cute elephant letterpress card which I had found + framed – bit soppy, but it says “Grow old along with me – The best is yet to be.” What better way to give that than a styled bedside table? Also, as renters, styling is often the only (if not, main) way of expressing our creative tastes and preferences.

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I really wanted to incorporate bright colours in the vignette, but with hindsight I’m not sure a pot of cacti is the smartest thing to put on a bedside table. It was within unsafe distance of the flailing about in the dark for the alarm clock or bottle of water zone! Here are my top 5 tips for styling your table:

1. Use items of varying heights – this helps draw your eye around the scene and gives the setup different points of interest. You can stack items at different levels if all your props are the same height.

2. Don’t be scared of colour – It’s difficult to go wrong with colour especially if you are starting with a white base. If you are starting with dark wood (e.g. mahogany) then choose lighter colours, or go monochrome. If you are using a yellower wood (e.g. maple or pine) then choose bright colours with more blue(ish) tones in them.

3. Pick a few things to focus on otherwise it can get cluttered – I wanted the table to look casual yet stylish, so I had to choose what I wanted on it, rather than include all the props I had gathered. It’s always a battle to know when to say enough, but my rough rule of thumb is that I need to have enough clear surface for an iPhone 6 and a glass of water.

4. Include a couple of quirky items – My little deer antler is probably one of my favourite things; I bought it off a retired search & rescue airman who makes walking sticks out of old antlers. Interesting items (even small ones) add a bit of fun and personality to the vignette.

5. You can’t go wrong with books – especially pretty books. If you are stuck for ideas, use books to add colour, height, focal points… The books can be in varying sizes and be a range of coffee table picture books or actual novels you are reading. A stack of books always looks trendy and makes you look learned 😉

Do share images of your styled bedside table/bedroom surfaces with us on Instagram, @courageanddash!

Styling/Images: Courage & Dash

Maker Thursday: Colourful, hand-printed fabrics inspired by global travel…

We bring you another maker/designer from across the Atlantic to love: Graymarket, the creation of Hallie Gray. Graymarket is the answer to all your linen (bedding, bath, and table) needs, made from beautiful fabrics designed by Hallie. The textiles feature colours and patterns that echo traditions from her travels all over the world.

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After completing degrees in International Relations and Textile Design, Hallie Gray found herself with a love for simple, scaled-back design and an immense respect for the textile traditions of artisans around the world she’d encountered on her travels. She became intrigued with the idea of combining these two elements to create fresh, modern textiles and accessories, and luckily she managed to find some workshops that were up for the collaboration.

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And thus was born Graymarket Design, through this network of many skilled, loving craftspeople.

Graymarket features individual pieces created through direct collaboration with the workshops – the textiles are designed in California (like your iDevice!), and the textiles are produced in small batches by the artisans. Block-printers, weavers and embroiderers… all traditional disciplines and all features in Graymarket textiles…

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“I have a deep respect and appreciation for traditional textile techniques, and feel very committed to helping create a market that can help support and preserve these practices,” Hallie says. “I also prefer the aesthetics of fabrics that have been hand printed or woven- I find a lot beauty in imperfections and irregularities, which are inherent in any textile made with human hands.”

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When she’s not designing and making, Hallie spends her time outside as much as possible. “I love being outside, and recharge by hiking, rock climbing and doing yoga,” she says. Her environment is pretty energising. Up in West Berkeley, CA, she is surrounded by factories and warehouses, intermingled with small wineries, studios and an active railroad.

“I find it a really authentic and inspiring environment where it’s easy to be productive and creative. I started Graymarket Design about a year ago, and it’s been an exhilarating (and humbling) journey so far!”

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“Getting the chance to work with and learn from different artisans and create a space where different textile traditions come together has been really amazing,” Hallie shares.

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Look at those colours! I am adoring the mix of print and pattern, as well as the wide range of tones. Something for every season, and every occasion. Want some of those herringbone patterned, pink napkins above…

For more of Hallie’s creative work, visit http://www.graymarketdesigns.com.

Images: Kara Brodgesell