Summer Lazing with Layer Home


When Hannah from Layer Home first got in touch, I knew that I had met a kindred spirit – someone who had a love of interiors and old things and a lot of energy for a project she really believed in.

Layer Home is currently a website filled with articles about design, styling, and antiques. It is the brainchild of Hannah (a digital guru) and Denise (a property development and expert), a mother-daughter team (even more to love!). We can’t tell you too much, but there are exciting things afoot at Layer, so STAY TUNED!

We caught up with them (in Denise’s beautiful garden) and asked for the pair to share some of their thoughts on design, inspiration, and collecting.


Denise: These photos are taken in the garden of my house, which is an Arts and Crafts property in a pretty village called Englefield Green, Surrey. The house used to be the old doctor’s surgery, and the original shutters are still on the outside of the house now. I’ve lived here for seven years and still love it.

Where do you find inspiration?
Hannah: Everywhere! Instagram is a constant source of inspiration. Since we launched Layer on Instagram earlier this year, we have been consistently amazed and inspired by so many beautiful photos taken by talented bloggers and photographers within the interiors space.

But we also find inspiration from nature, fashion, shopfronts, people walking down the street – all over the place. Sometimes it’s nice to switch everything off and step away from the online world to give yourself the space to be creative.


How do you combine style and comfort?
Hannah: Thinking about how the space will actually work and be lived in is something that we believe in strongly. There’s just no point creating beautiful spaces that are uninhabitable or impractical for the people using them everyday (we agree!). We like to think carefully about where everything should sit from the word go – it’s not glamorous, but people forget how important putting plug sockets in the right place can be!

Which are your favourite places in your home?
<Denise: The garden lodge tucked away in a secluded spot at the end of the garden is definitely my favourite place. We built it from scratch a few years ago on a pretty tight budget – but it’s now my oasis of calm to take a cup of tea in the morning and practice some yoga.

Hannah: The courtyard in my house is definitely a triumph! It is very white and light, and when we pull back the full-length doors from the kitchen it really feels like one, really large room. The antique mirrors on the fence reflect back the light and make the space feel even bigger.

Describe the favourite pieces in your home and tell us the stories behind them.
Denise: My favourite painting is by Thomas McGregor who is an artist based in London and it’s an abstract piece called Trees on Park. It’s in a beautiful gold, gilt frame and the juxtaposition of traditional gilt frame and modern painting works fantastically. The blue, pink and green tones work beautifully in my dining room. I’ve just recently started buying artwork as I was quite intimidated by it before. Now I just buy pieces that I fall in love with! This painting was purchased from Mark at Ebury Trading.

Hannah: I visited Ardingly market last week and picked up the yellow and white 1960s woven plastic chair. I just can’t get enough of it! It’s outside in my courtyard now that the weather is nice and it just gives a great pop of colour to the white space. It’s very comfortable and feels quite ‘Mad Men’-esque!


Tell us about how you use your outside space? What do you love about it?

Hannah: The outside space was something that sold my house to me. In the summer, it literally gives us another room in the house and it’s where we eat breakfast and dinner, practice yoga and less glamourously, dry our washing! It’s also perfect for Friday evening drinks with friends – we open up the doors from the kitchen, light the tealights and get some cocktails going.

One tip for anyone looking to restyle their outdoor space.
 Don’t be afraid to bring ‘inside furniture’ outside. Some of our most favourite events have involved heavy lifting of sofas and chairs and rugs outside, even if only for a short period of time.

You can also buy special outside rugs which really make the space feel welcoming and cosy. They can stay outside in the summer and roll up into a shed for the dark, winter months. Throw some cushions down on them for a perfect spot to relax.


Best kept secret shops for interiors?
There are too many to name!
Most recently we discovered midcentury furniture dealers Hutch Interiors and House of Twenty. They both have beautiful stock and would certainly be our first point of call for a statement chair or sofa.

We also regularly make the journey to Sunbury Antiques Market and Ardingly Antiques Market (Josie: Take me with you!). They can be hit or miss, but if you pick a sunny day when all of the traders have made the trip over from Europe, there is such a buzz. Get there for when the doors open before everything gets snapped up!


Thank you so much, Denise and Hannah, for spending time with us and showing us your beautiful garden! Stay tuned for more coming from these talented women at Layer Home!

For more, visit

(Images by Layer Home)


Rambles through the Dordogne


Before this summer week-long break in the Dordogne, I had never been to France outside Paris. I love Paris; absolutely adore it. Plenty of fond memories of general larking in hazy sunshine and getting sticky faces and hands from melting ice cream meant that I was always drawn back to the city. This time, however, I was invited along to a family holiday in Calviac, so off I went.


First things first, I was desperate to go to plenty of vide-greniers + brocantes. I had spent some time researching events in the area during my stay there, but alas and alack, most of the fairs/markets were held on Sunday, and I was only there late Sunday to Saturday! In addition, I didn’t have a car, so travelling anywhere without begging for a lift from the parents-in-law was out of the question. Whilst the holiday was very relaxing and utterly blissful, I did not get my fill of flea-marketing, so um, sorry, husband, but I guess I’ll be heading back out to Paris before too long?


In any case, I would highly recommend a visit to the Dordogne region for the pretty French villages and delicious food. DELICIOUS. On my last day in the valley, we went to the weekly Saturday market in Sarlat and every trestle table lining the cobblestone paths of the town was groaning under the weight of all kinds of cheese, olives, sausage, oils… and I managed to buy 3 small bottles of truffle oil and vinaigrette for EUR10! I’ll be back soon with a little guide to some of my favourite villages (and a couple of fun vintage shops!).



Images: Courage & Dash

Off to Rome!

We are off to Rome for a nice long weekend. Can’t wait! Preliminary research and the comments of friends have been encouraging – it looks like such a great city with a real mish-mash of ancient and contemporary in one walkable, diverting city. Here are some of the things we are looking forward to, from blogs on Rome. Enjoy, and we’ll check in soon!


From Top:
A Dusty Green Olive
Kayture: Gelato
Rome Daily Photo
Kayture: Vintage

Styling with Flowers

Hello there! What a lovely weekend – have you been out enjoying yourselves, watching the football, tennis, cycling?


Last time we got to take a look at Katy Barraclough’s fun kitchen and clever styling ideas. This week, it was our turn to pop over to her blog, Folly & Bloom, to share some of our ideas for styling with flowers. Hop on over here to have a look!


Thanks for having us, Katy!

Images: Courage & Dash

DIY Appliqué Cushion Tutorial

Making home in a place that isn’t yours (or a place that is yours but brand new) is incredibly fun, although it can be frustrating at times if you don’t have the luxury of an endless Kimye wedding-style budget (we discovered the cost of their wedding here, it’s unbelievable!). You can definitely still have the home of your dreams while being budget-savvy; often, crafting and DIY can go a long way.

Risen HomeHome of Teri Muncey (The Lovely Drawer) via Apartment Therapy

KissKiss-Final3DIY tutorial by Tiffany Grant-Riley of Curate and Display for Love My Dress

Today, Clare and Daria of Less Grafting More Crafting are sharing a fantastic DIY tutorial on sprucing up a cushion with appliqué. We’ve been holding to this one for a while, until their new website was up – and it’s now ready! The duo spend their time running craft workshops and making things; we love the idea of learning new skills, so we asked Clare & Daria to get busy and come up with a doable and fun DIY with a great end product. Enjoy!


Less Grafting More Crafting – Appliqué cushion tutorial


We’re so excited to be sharing our applique cushion tutorial with you today! This project incorporates several of our favourite trends – geometric prints, neon colours and teal – and is something that you could complete on a weekend or over a few nights during the week. With just a few simple materials you can create a gorgeous cushion for your home or for a gift.

You will need:

You will need

• A cushion cover (we’ve used this Brakig 2014 cover from IKEA in a neon lime, which is 50x50cm/20×20”)

• Some contrasting fabric (we’ve used Wobbly Check in Teal from the John Lewis 150 Years collection – a fat

quarter will be more than enough)

• The ‘Oh Happy Day’ template, enlarged to fit A3 size paper

• Sharp scissors

• Pins and a needle

• Some fabric glue

• Embroidery thread (we’ve used Anchor thread No. 169 to match our teal fabric)

• An iron

Step 1


Carefully cut out the letters (don’t use your fabric scissors to do this!) and then pin them onto your fabric. Then cut out around each letter – you might need to fold some of them to do this, especially when cutting out the middles of the letters.

Step 2


Once all of the letters are cut out, iron them on a cool iron to remove any creases. You might need to iron the cushion cover too!

Step 3


Now you need to position the letters on the cushion cover. It’s easiest if you start with the middle ‘p’ of ‘happy’ because this letter should be in the middle of the cushion. You could measure it if you want to be really precise, but we just did it by eye! Make sure that the cushion label on the inside is at the back of the cushion.

Step 4


Once positioned, glue the letters into place. You don’t need to use loads of glue here – the idea is just to keep them where they need to be without having to use loads of pins.

Step 5


Now it’s time to get sewing! Thread your needle with three strands of the embroidery thread and tie the end securely. From the inside of the cushion, thread your needle up through the letter ‘d’ a little way in from the edge, and then thread through the cushion to make the stitch as close as you can to the letter.

Instead of bringing the needle all the way through the fabric, poke it a little way along the letter fabric where you want your next stitch to be and then pull through (see photo – top right corner). This means that you don’t have to keep moving inside and out of the cover, which will make the process much quicker!

Repeat with the other letters, moving up from the word ‘day’ to ‘oh’.


Ta-dah! That’s it – you’re ready to display your cushion. There are so many possibilities with this project; you could mix and match so many colours and patterns!

If you make this project, we’d love to see your creations! Share your photos on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram (@lessgraftingmorecrafting). Pop over to our website for more craft tutorials and inspiration!


Thanks ladies, visit them below…

Less Crafting More Grafting


Exquisite Wallpapers + Fabrics from Neisha Crosland

We’ve been thinking about wallpaper a lot recently – ways of decorating with small offcuts, brightening up bookshelves and wardrobes… So I was incredibly excited when I stumbled across Neisha Crosland, a fabric and wallpaper designer, whose work was most recently in Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ (if you haven’t seen the film, do see it! It had mixed reviews but Mr Lurhmann’s twist on the classic was invigorating. It’s also a great, great novel. We love).

Neisha Crosland Rosa, Strata Stripe, Flamenco Fabrics & D.B.Stripe Rug - Residential

Neisha trained in textiles at Camberwell School of Art where she developed her drawing style. She specialised in print at the Royal College of Art in London, and it was there that she experimented with print technique.


Weave Cushions - Mixture 3Pepper Trail

Neisha is a woman of many talents: she has sold her designs to Marc Jacobs and Lacroix, designed a collection of rugs in collaboration with the Rug Company, a range of tiles with De Ferranti, vinyl flooring with Harvey Maria, a collection of hand embroidered fabrics with Chelsea Textiles, and hand crafted stationery through Harris and Jones. What a list!

Neisha Joakim 2011 # 1 High Res

“I suppose I am a bit like a biologist who collects specimens,” Neisha says.

“I collect ideas and motifs and classify them in to designs. I love the way nature organises itself.”

Centipede Stripe - Angel Pink Low

India Mahdavi Monte Carlo Beach Hotel 2

Caterpillar Leaf Black & Cream Hotel Cortiina Munich 1Parterre

Neisha add: “I love the way that colour dictates a mood, and how repeat conducts the rhythm in a pattern. I love relocating motifs and putting them into a new context.”

Parterre Saffron Chair with Cushion Mix and Cocteau Length LowNeisha_Annabel's031006_011Pot Pourri - Curry Yellow Low

Just look at Neisha’s bold, vibrant patterns and energetic colours. Although a small property might do better with plenty of white (or pale) walls and reflective surfaces, a feature wall or corner with these luscious prints could really lift the feel of the place and inject some life to the space. You could even try decorating part of your wall with her fabric.

Gentleman's Cap - Meadow Yellow LowPollen - Emerald LowDomino

Neisha and her team have been having an excitingly busy time colour trialling their new wallpaper collection, so there will be plenty more of this beautiful stuff coming your way soon! Her designs aren’t for the faint of heart, but for a real pop and an easy way of introducing yourself to pattern and colour (especially if you are a little scared of vivid shades!), strips of wallpaper or colourful fabrics in the shape of cushions, used on upholstery, or even framed and hung, work like magic.

Pollen, Rosa and ParterreJacobs TreeLantern

Thanks for sharing your work and inspiration with us, Neisha! We can’t wait for your new collection.

Images courtesy of Neisha Crosland.

Outdoor Living: Decorating Outside Spaces

Hello there! Biggest apologies for the silence – it’s been a hectic time with lots of changes going on… but we are back! Thursday and Friday were boiling hot in London – if you were here, wasn’t that a pleasant surprise? It got us very excited about summer sunshine, days larking in the park with Pimms and strawberries+cream, and all that is coming up in the summer season. Sadly, we don’t have a balcony, but if you do, lucky you! We’ve got some ideas for how you can make your balcony feel a little more like a garden, a little more spacious, and a whole lot more loungey, especially for when the nights come in.

via pinterest no source Jessiny KiraFFE Magazine via Pinterest

1) Use colourful pouffs, beanbags, floor cushions for plenty of lounging space. We love the hanging plants from the wall, and along the edge of the balcony which really creates a roof garden feel, even if you are living in an urban jungle, high above busy roads. A sideboard is handy as a surface for snacks, drinks, or for resting your laptop for watching the World Cup and Wimbledon!

pinterestvia Pinterest, no source.

2) Colours, everywhere! Floor cushions and low dining surfaces let you have a picnic in the comfort of your own home. Using a rug outside can make the outside space feel like another room of your home. Flowers, bold prints, add a festivity to the table, making for a cosy gathering. You can do this even if you don’t have an outside space, if you are near large windows – clear the space, pull out a rug, your (large) coffee table (or plenty of ideas with wooden pallets as dining surfaces), and lots of cushions will bring the outside in – which will probably be a real blessing when Wimbledon inevitably brings summer rain!

lolalinacomImage by Irideeën, via Lolalina

3) Making the most of a small outside space – we love the clever use of the corner sofa, and the soft, light colours to make the space feel wider. Also love that gorgeous grey rug! Really loving the use of rugs outdoors…


kevin_terrace - design spongeKevin O’Shea via Design*Sponge

4) Another very clever way of maximising small spaces – stools, small tables, wicker arm chairs, and plenty of plants create a secret garden feel where you can disappear away to with a good book, or with a friend for drinks and a natter. Lots of colours add to the spring time feel.

5759395221_98566fa96c_oImage from Cepaynasi

5) You can tell that floor cushions and rugs are a real winner with us! If you have loads of space outdoors, this is a stunner! Love the use of the curtains and the raised platform for the cushy sofas and pillows, separating the shaded reading, resting area from the decked sunbathing area that is less sheltered. Be swept away to sunny, mediterranean climes with the eye-catching colours, Moroccan accents, and leafy greens.

How do you set up your outdoor space? Have you found clever ways of bringing the outside in?

Images as cited, copyrightz belong to owners.