Battersea is about to be awesome: Hello Loaf Shack!

There were these images of very tasty-looking+brightly-coloured biscuits in the shape of a house, floating around social media, which got us at Courage & Dash very curious indeed – who was sending round these yummy treats and what was this #LoafShack business??

Before too long, we realised what was happening, and we could not have been more excited: Loaf was setting up a show-house in Battersea, filled to the brim with their gorgeous furniture/furnishings, to make something of a ‘home’ which you could enjoy. Excited too?

Loaf - Atticus sofa from £1,195 high res

If you don’t yet know Loaf (and for our international readers!), the company is an interiors brand which sells colourful, laid back, and cosy furniture/furnishings. This autumn, the brand will be opening its first ‘Loaf Shack’ showroom, which is basically 7,500sq ft worth of pieces for every room of the home (including signature beds and sofas). Unlike most showrooms, at Loaf Shack, you will be encouraged to get comfy and experience the furniture in action.

Loaf - Dixie sofa from £1,395 high resLoaf - Footstools from £395 high res

In fact, there will be an ice cream parlour in the showroom, and even a mattress-testing area! Perfect for that much-needed midday snooze (lucky if you live/work nearby). Whilst the Shack isn’t open until Autumn, Loaf’s latest mid-season collection is available now – check out some our favourites (we love those colours and plush seats!).

Loaf - Shortbread bed from £795 high-resLoaf - Scatter cushions from £25 high-resLoaf - Happy sofa from £1,395 high resLoaf - Orson sofa with removable cover from £1,195 high res1Loaf - Pudding sofa from £1,195 high res3

Stay tuned for the opening of #LoafShack!

For more inspiration, visit Loaf at http://loaf.com, or tweet/Facebook/instagram@LoafHome.

Images: Loaf

The Curious Shop: Love French markets? Meet Maison Brocante

We’ve been meaning to post all kinds of goodies, from our trip through time in Rome to our weekend salvage-hunting in Lille. And more moodboards. And interviews. And real homes. Ahhh! However, time is zooming by and work is manic, and 24 hours is not enough, so we APOLOGISE for not being able to post as often as we would like to 😦 The aim is still to write interesting, relevant and helpful posts, however. Bear with us!

Today, we bring you one of our favourite Curious Shops, Maison Brocante, an online homewares store featuring French vintage. If you have a thing for French markets, but like me, can’t take the time to travel to the deep south of France where the best ones are (if I didn’t work, I think I’d be gone every week), this could be the answer!

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Beautiful images by Ellen Tobin

As the name suggests, Maison Brocante features French vintage/flea market finds. The lovely Nicole Milligan spends her time scouring all corners of France for the best in kitchenalia, furnishings, homewares. So eye-catching are the items she stocks, that Homes & Antiques has featured the shop!

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“It was an easy decision to create Maison Brocante,” Nicole tells us. ” I have always loved French markets and I have a passion for beautiful interiors (who doesn’t?!) so it made perfect sense to put the two together.”

“French Brocantes are pretty amazing – there, they are a part of daily life there and quite often an exciting annual event – like a massive treasure hunt where you never know what you are going to get!”

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“When you find that special something, it makes all the walking and early starts worth it!”

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“French vintage is perfect for injecting a bit of character and personality into the home – I love the quality of an original piece of French enamelware or the stunning look of an original porcelain or ironstone tureen – the variation is endless making these markets pretty addictive,” says Nicole.

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Nicole founded Maison Brocante in 2012, with the mission to bring unique and beautiful homeware at affordable prices. Her love of antiques and “old stuff!”, combined with her appreciation for new trends have led to a range that is current, fresh, and filled with that have enduring appeal.

“I just found an amazing French Faience plate with a picture of an old man’s face on it – it’s big and bold and I just love the blue and white colours,” shares Nicole. “Very on trend and very French!”

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Maison Brocante will soon be stocking a range of French fabrics, after Nicole returns from sourcing French Linen, Hemp and French Ticking from Provence.

“I am also launching the Maison Brocante blog, whichwill follow my trips to the Brocantes and my latest treasures and projects. I hope it will be an interesting read to those who love all things French or are intrigued by these amazing markets.”

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Last we spoke to Nicole, she was about to head back off to the continent on another shopping trip – best job, or what? Do visit the store and let us know what your favourite items are. We would love a whole set of enamel pots and pile of linen, we think!

To keep up with Nicole’s adventures, or to visit the shop, go to Maison Brocante at http://www.maisonbrocante.co.uk.

 

Images: Ellen Tobin (via Nicole Milligan)

Real Studios: Lobster and Swan

Welcome to August, it’s finally here! Properly summer, things are starting to slow down… (although there’s another hectic week to get through first (i.e. work) before all that…)

We are so excited to take you on a little tour of the gorgeous work space of Jeska Hearne, creative mind behind Lobster & Swan, stylist, entrepreneur, wife, cat-owner, curator for a collection on Joss & Main… the list goes on! Lobster & Swan is on our Blog Loves list (we literally check in every day), and today’s studio visit will probably explain why… Take a look!

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Lobster & Swan is one of the UK’s original design blogs, and a culmination of Jeska’s long-cultivated love for interior styling and aged items – items full of story and history (Jeska cites her great grandmother’s old make up, and a moth eaten tutu as some of her dearest belongings, growing up). Jeska studied Graphic Design and Design Communication, which is where her love for aesthetics started to take root.

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“The layout was decided by us needing a huge shared desk and placing it against the wall that gets the most light in a chilly north facing room,” Jeska shared, when asked about the inspiration for the room. “We also wanted as much storage as possible for all my craft materials.

“Some days I wish I was just into knitting, then I would only need a basket for my wool and needles!” Ah, we definitely empathise!

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The walls of the room were originally going to have wallpaper, but Jeska found it difficult deciding on just one pattern. “We have plain white walls, but these are best for the amount of inspirational paraphernalia we have hanging about!” she explains. “The black painted floor was chosen to mark out a work zone from the rest of the house.”

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There were so many things in Jeska’s creative space that we adored, so we had to ask which her favourite items were. Jeska’s favourite pieces are the vintage wooden trolley, a bargain at only £25 from a charity shop and her striking hot pink lamp. “(The trolley) gets wheeled about all the time with my printer or typewriter on top when I need an extra work surface. My other favourite in the room is the hot pink silk shade on the heron table lamp, it is a total over the top extravagance but makes me smile every time turn around and see it!”

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Her secret resource is digging around in charity and junk shops, Jeska shares. But, she says, it is getting harder to find true bargains these days. That’s surely a testament to the tastes of the times, where the ‘make do and mend’, upcycling and vintiquing culture has taken off.

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“Be brave,” advises Jeska, when asked about her best decorating tip. “Make a decision on some inspiring wallpaper if you really love pattern, don’t be a baby like me,” she says.

“I promise to choose some soon – watch this space!”

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We could stay all day in that colourful, light-filled and interesting-objects-filled room! Thanks for having us, Jeska!

For more of Jeska’s crafty, styling musings, and beautiful images, visit http://www.lobsterandswan.com.

Images: Jeska Hearne

Trend Thursday: Reading Nooks We Love

nookUnusual book storage and reading area ideas at Homedit

Hands up who loves a comfy laze with a good book? We most certainly do! A cup of tea, some warm sunlight streaming through, preferably with biscuits or cake nearby, please! We love the Homedit nook because it combines five main elements of what makes it a great place to relax:

1. Interesting colour palette

We love how this room mixes dark browns with bright pinks and reds! The room looks light and airy despite quite a few of deep brown features. The use of pale nudes and pops of orange add some variety to what could otherwise be quite a dull room.

2. Plenty of natural light

Ahhh. Ok, is there much else better than natural light? Especially if you are reading, you want lots of it. Try setting up your nook near a large window, or your terrace doors if you are lucky enough to have one. Otherwise, check out those wall lights on either side of the nook. Use lamps if you can’t have fitted lights.

3. Eye-catching elements
Look at those shapely vases, that fun retro tub chair, the modern lamp pendant! So much colour, and so easy. Our favourite is that bright red/coral vase on the top shelf.

4. Cosy furnishings!
Eek, gold silk cushions! LIKE. An upholstered wall back and a plump seat create the perfect relaxing area for you to settle into that book. Soft furnishings and cosy throws are such an easy way of adding warmth and homeliness to a room.

5. House plants
Bring the outdoors in with a house plant. Or with many. If, like us at Courage & Dash HQ, you don’t have a balcony, terrace, or French windows, it’s a lovely way of refreshing the place. Also, with the unpredictable weather, plants can help you feel like you are reading outside, under the shade of a leafy tree… all in the comfort of your home.

Check out some more of our favourite reading areas below. Enjoy!

Image2. Reading nook design idea by Interior Holic

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3. 10 Favourite built in reading nooks by Remodelista

Image4. Gorgeous reading nook (our favourite) by Decoratrix via The Cottage of Vinnord

Image5. Window envy at From Moon to Moon