For us, and we should suspect for many of you too, the enjoyment of a meal comes not only from the food itself but from the setting in which we dine and the care that goes into preparing each delicious dish. Whether it’s a last minute, rustic picnic, or a spectacular Sunday roast with all the trimmings, each and every element of any considered repast benefits from a mindful approach to preparation, cooking and presentation.
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” – Thich Nhat Hanh”
In savouring, blissful moments present themselves that we wish never to curtail, and the seasons elongate as our senses become heightened to the subtle changes in our ingredients. Cooking and setting the table have become increasingly conscious practices and one of our greatest inspirations for each is the Our Food Stories blog.
The two talented women that write and run it, food stylist Laura Muthesius and photographer Nora Eisermann, combine their perfectly attuned skills to lure us into a world of unique recipes set against magical backdrops.
Their work combines an ever-present love of design with a powerful passion for food. Their revered recipes leave us wistfully pondering what we’re going to make for dinner tomorrow. And their tales from afar have us dreaming of where we should wander for our next adventure.
What we adore most is the fact that just as much thought, care and attention to detail goes into their table settings as into the food itself. There is a story to be told with each individual recipe and the considered styling helps bring that story to life for their guests.
Laura and Nora’s food-first storytelling goes beyond their own kitchen and follows them around the world to some beautiful destinations where they always “search for the most charming houses with a kitchen”. They say, “cooking with local ingredients is how we get to know the food in another country” – we can’t think of a better way to truly understand the individuality of a place.
Whether you’re looking for some dining table styling advice, food-first travel inspiration or you’re simply looking to spend more time in the kitchen experimenting with seasonal ingredients, we know you will feel taken care of by @ourfoodstories.
O glorious September.
We have always had a deep appreciation for the simple things in life – a freshly ground cup of coffee, the crackle of an open fire, the sound of the trees rustling in one of autumn’s gust. The pleasures to be had in the uncomplicated are often the most enriching.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realise they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
As summer fades into autumn – the colours in our peripheral vision a golden blur glinting as we go about our day to day – and the afternoons begin to shorten, take time to notice the subtleties in Mother Nature’s seasons. Whilst part of us still yearns for long summer evenings, the change in scenery brings us great joy, gently reminding us that each season has its own winsome characteristics.
On such a topic of simplicity and seasonality, it’s our pleasure to introduce you to a home from home that we discovered recently – Settle Norfolk. A private 30-acre parkland, stay awhile and camp in its beautiful bell tents, retreat for the week in a rustic cabin or spend the night in one of their charming railway carriages.
Tucked away on the outskirts of Norwich, the secluded parkland is a place to feel instantly at home. Each and every intricate detail has been carefully considered, from timber-clad interiors that emanate woodland character in keeping with its surroundings to the beautifully packaged weekend breakfast baskets that turn up on your doorstep. There is not a morsel left uncared.
Books on ‘How To Make Coffee’ accompany hand grinders and pour-over kettles, and the log fire patiently awaits tending. Settle Norfolk elegantly defines the art of slow, restorative living – putting patience and beauty back into the things our world tends to hurry…
A visit we know would be hard to return from.
Be sure to keep an eye out for the launch of its new website and, in the meantime, you can see more over on their glorious feed @settlenorfolk.
Imagery courtesy @haarkon.
As one season supplants another, nature’s subtle changes creep in stealthily. They gather momentum, gradually, all the while beneficently bequeathing their last gifts to the ensuing days. Just so, as late summer gives way to the russet-reds of autumn, the legacy of its hot sun bestows its gifts in the form of dried florals baked in the summer sun, later harvested to enjoy inside even as the mercury dips and drops.
Reuse and repurpose: the imperatives that once ran through the lives of our grandparents have now come full circle to our own and, as ever, from necessity is born beautiful invention. The Recycled Glass Bottle Lamp Base uses salvaged material to create a rustic, ambient light with a soft green-blue tint; dressed up with a lampshade (it is ideal with our Natural Cotton Drum Shade), or left unadorned without, it transforms any room by emitting a soft warm glow, while creating a rustic yet elegant accent.
Coming very soon to Rowen & Wren, the Autumn Winter 2019 Collection…
It’s often said that the way we begin our day will determine what the rest of that day will look like. For us, mornings grant us time for quiet reflection, considered preparation and little, uninterrupted moments of soft, dappled light before the world awakens.
Our collection of elegantly framed looking glasses – whether hanging or lean-to window mirrors, are a beautiful addition to the home and perfect for adding a little extra light to an interior space.
The glorious weather we’ve had of late has had us spending more time outdoors than we could ordinarily only wish for during a British summer–everything around us seems to have sprung to life in way of appreciation. And, as we do during most seasons, we’re feeling creatively inspired by the array of delicate hues and intricate patterns we spy all around us.
The natural world has always been something that’s inspired us at Rowen & Wren, its ability to transcend seasons, styles and trends we feel demands our respect and admiration.
“In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous.” – Aristotle
Many of our decisions are guided by the natural shift in colour from season to season as we remind ourselves that nature is not just something we witness from afar, it’s something we are intrinsically part of.
When it comes to interior design, nature often plays a bigger part in our decisions than we realise. Most elements of a room, from the colours we choose to paint with to the texture of our chosen furniture, have been inspired by the natural world in one way or another.
Just recently, our entwined love of nature, florals and interior design lead us to the distinctive work of aptly named painter and designer Flora Roberts. Flora is the artist behind many wonderful floral wallpaper and fabric designs for companies such as Lewis & Wood. Her ability to capture nature’s unique and unrepeatable colour palette is inspiring.
We’ve always been intrigued by the marrying of old and new–the way design can bring eras together whilst other creations possess the ability to transcend time completely–which is why we felt such a strong connection to Flora’s work. She says, “I would describe my style as treading a line between traditional and modern. I’m very inspired by historical houses and like to imagine how their atmospheric decorative schemes would work in a contemporary setting”. Flora’s work goes far beyond that of a traditional painter. The realistic quality of her paintings brings them to life and her wall murals are truly astounding. She also produces hand-painted wallpaper for companies such as Sandersons, Zoffany, Mulberry Home & GP & J Baker and is currently working on a wallpaper collection of her own. In 2010, Flora was elected as a member of the prestigious Art Workers’ Guild of London, among those founding members was textile designer William Morris.
When we think about bringing nature indoors, our minds flock to house plants or flowers but Flora’s work extends beyond simply bringing aspects of nature into the home–the realistic quality of her work translates not only the visual aspect but also the calming attributes of nature into a space as well.
The season of bare feet meeting well-watered lawns, of children gadding freely like butterflies, and of lulling choruses of crickets as the sun goes down: summer brings the sun and, with it, easy sun-kissed informality. And just as we gladly dispense with all notions of wintry reserve, there can be few happier sights than that of an al fresco table, laid for lunch and expectantly awaiting its guests.
As French artist, Paul Cezanne said, “Art is a harmony parallel with nature”. We see some artists take the beauty of nature and transpose it into new mediums while others create directly from nature itself. Either way, the seasons are always profoundly influential and we find ourselves harbouring a deep appreciation for the way in which individual creators are able to convey the subtle changes in nature from season to season.
We frequently find ourselves irresistibly drawn to the distinctive rhythm of the summer season and this year we’ve been most taken with all things floral. Most recently, we stumbled upon the enchanting botanical artistry of Bex Partridge. Bex is known on Instagram as @botanical_tales and her beautifully curated feed feels warm, slow and inviting from the moment you arrive.
Bex combines her love of gardening and nature with her experience and creativity to bring us her unique and inspiring story of embarking on a slow and steady creative journey.
“Every season is one of becoming, but not always one of blooming. Be gracious with your ever-evolving self” — B.OAKMAN
As a floral artist, Bex follows the ebb and flow of the seasons and aspires to help people bring nature into their homes in a creative and achievable way. Her creativity, passion and honest, heartfelt captions have had us lost in a world of slowed down, botanical wonderment; dreaming of handmade wreaths and floral crowns.
One of the things we adore most about Bex is the way she encourages her community to spend more time outdoors, connecting with nature and settling into the rhythm of the seasons. We’ve dreamt about our own allotment many times. A little patch of nature to call our own. A place to feel at one with the land. And, when we read, “My favourite place to be in the world is in my greenhouse, garden or down the plot”, we knew we’d found someone who shares our values.
Bex effortlessly brings together the intricate details of nature with the simplicity of slow living and aids us into a place of calm and peaceful being. We also couldn’t agree with her more on this: “The meditative benefits of making daisy chains is definitely something that should be studied further!”.
With the days, months and years seemingly passing us by so fast, we are learning to take more time to appreciate the now and be mindful of the beautiful world in which we live. Bex’s work is encouraging us to get creative and appreciate we have. Nature is an endless artist’s palette, as well as a place of restoration and renewal.
Whether you’d like to learn more about botanical artistry or you’re simply looking for some slow, seasonal inspiration – Bex is the one to follow.
When it comes to upholstery, we believe in two things: keeping it simple and finishing it beautifully. Adhering to our signature palette of natural hues, we insist on provenance, using only wools, velvets and fabrics that were crafted using traditional methods.
The generously proportioned Wilford Linen Armchair is inspired by the furniture of Napoleon III’s 19th-century court, its relaxed and textured earthy grey linen would see it at home in a light and breezy French coastal beach house, miles from the formality of Paris, without sacrificing any of the elegance that the design exudes.
Whether your celebrating, Pops, Pa, Dad, or in our case, Bampa – we’d like to send well wishes to you all this Father’s Day.
Earthy, cool and solid: three words that encapsulate all the best paterfamiliases. And in homage, our Father’s Day gifts reflect these resoundingly dad-like qualities. Handmade drip-glazed terracotta tumblers are rustic enough for knocking back glasses of cool water on summer days and red wine by fireside in the winter, while the Bruna Serving Board, a great slab hewn from the sustainable mango wood, is gratifyingly hefty for presenting hunks of bread and cheese: two simple but perfect accompaniments for eating and drinking to mark a celebratory day for our inimitable brilliant dads.
As spring steadily meanders into summer, we are gently reminded of the simple pleasures the warmer season brings. The botanical freshness that fills the air lures us out into the garden to witness the early morning sun, and we can almost feel the house taking a deep breath as a gentle summer breeze flows through an open window. Time leisurely passes by as we take joy in tending our gardens, while away candle lit, al fresco evenings and escape to the seaside for relaxing long weekends surrounded by nature.
With the change in season we also feel ourselves adapting to a slower pace of life. We find ourselves sinking into a restful rhythm and taking time to appreciate nature’s idiosyncrasies. And with a slower pace of life comes a slightly more minimal sense of style—we’re drawn to natural, earthy tones and ‘less is more’ design, from bathroom basics to outdoor lighting.
In celebration of our love for simple, summer living we wanted to share with you the beautifully calming work of Tessa and Sanne Hop—we’ve always admired the way the pair turn the simplest, day to day activities into effortless scenes of happiness. The warm simplicity and calming tones that fill their feeds reflect well their passion for natural style and peaceful approach to family living.
Both inspiring women have a natural eye for interior design and engaging storytelling which is why we love their feeds so much. We feel connected to their work, their families and their lifestyle in a way that is rare through social media these days. They help us to appreciate the little things in life, to slow down our days and take mindful moments with our families, and to take pride in our unique and personal styles.
While social media can have its unfavourable side, we believe that there is a positive side to sharing your favourite moments with others. Your Instagram feed is what you make it and we strongly believe in only filling your feed with inspiring individuals that lift you up and motivate you to live the life you want to live. And whether you’re on the lookout for nature-inspired home ideas or you’re simply looking for a summer style inspiration, we highly recommend visiting the feeds of @sannehop and @tessahop.