Starting a Conversation with Your Home by Beth Shehata
My name is Beth Shehata (@bethshehata) and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to share with you something I’m passionate about on Nicola’s blog. I’m 27 and bought my first home in Newcastle just over two years ago; it was a magnolia new build with low ceilings, beige carpets and white glossy cabinets… I know what you’re thinking, that’s not what we usually see on Nicola’s blog, but bear with me.
Today I wanted to talk to you about starting a conversation with your home. When I first started Instagram I hit follow on a lot of new build, first time buyer accounts, all of which were filled with similar pieces from high-street stores like Next and Marks and Spencer’s (to be clear I’m not knocking them, if you follow my Instagram account you’ll know I’m a huge fan of these stores) and through chatting with people it became clear that we didn’t really know where to go other than the high-street, so we launched #myhometrend – a weekly styling competition that collaborated with independent interior brands to provide prizes and introduce new places to shop. Fast forward a year, with 35,000 entries on the tag and working with 40+ designers, buyers and store owners, I wanted to share with you my ten favourite places to shop that are guaranteed to add personality to your home, and start conversations with everyone who comes to visit. To keep the inspiration flowing, I’m using a mixture of my own home and some of my Instagram favourites.
1. Muck N Brass
Zoe Pocock (you can read all about her here) designs and creates beautiful pieces of art, whether that’s through taking pieces that may become landfill (like the poor mannequins) and giving them a new lease of life or upcycling pieces of unwanted furniture. The individuality of the pieces will add a statement to your home, whether that’s through incorporating neon, foil, some of the most coveted textile prints or controversial statements scrawled across upcycled pieces, there is something for everyone. Zoe also runs a series of workshops so you can head to the studio and make your own.
2. Will Make Things
Will Atkins is a freelance designer who based in Brighton. Each piece is available to order through his Etsy store (and is made to order) and he also takes bespoke orders if you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for. Each piece comes on amazing quality giclée print and museum grade inks finished with 24ct gold.
3. Ellie Tildesley Prints
Ellie creates beautiful statement prints in Devon that can be purchased in a series (as seen above) or as individual items. Ellie uses mark making techniques such ink blowing, scratching, smoothing, rolling and splashing to create the designs and uses a range of natural mediums in order to get the striking finish such as stones feather and twigs. Each piece is then converted into a Digi file and sent to be printed before making its way to its new home. Ellie also takes commissions to guarantee that the piece is created around the interior from understanding the home, your personality and the space it needs to go into.
4. Adrian Higgins
Adrian Higgins was my first art love, and my home is scattered with pieces from his ‘Another Place Another Time’ collection. Each print is limited to 250 copies and is created using digital imaging software. The images are a compilation of different pieces from photographs to wallpaper and Victorian ephemera that Adrian then layers. Each piece is designed to start a conversation or inject a layer of humour. The three featured (from left to right) are Dapper Wolf, Suited Raven and Are You Sitting Comfortably. The framed prints come signed and numbered on the mount.
5. Violet and Thistle
The owner of Violet and Thistle; Jane has always combined creativity and business, originally owning a company which supplied costume jewellery to high street retailers, Jane has spent time travelling Asia and USA. After growing her family Jane set up Violet and Thistle, an online homeware store that stocks affordable quirky pieces for your home – my favourites are definitely the collection of neon’s Violet and Thistle stocks!
The Loft and Us stores a fantastic range of prints (mainly typography) through to beautiful wallpapers that can be used to create features in your home, they are the epitome of modern, incorporating music and films. Each piece is created using a combination of digital design software and hand-drawn designs. Rebecca takes a lot of inspiration from nature carefully proportioning each piece for maximum impact. If you sign up to the newsletter you can also save 15% on your first order.
7. Acacia Home
I first found Acacia Home through Amazon when I first moved into my house, this piece always starts a conversation and I’ve seen so many wind up in homes since. Acacia has a great range of pieces, including reproduction antiques. They are a family run business which stocks vintage, chic and country style furniture mainly.
8. Coach House
Coach House is a trade supplier, so to purchase their products you either need to be a business or order them through another retailer however you can see all of their pieces on the website. The company was founded in Yorkshire by Diane Bovingdon and her father originally trading in antiques and bric-a-brac in a barn (known as the old Coach House) attached to a pub.
I first found Diedododa within the Royal Mile Market in Edinburgh city centre, the stall is included within a treasure trove and after trawling through so many beautiful pieces I managed to walk away with three prints. Created by artist Dodo Flugge creating off the cuff, witty and unexpected pieces that are designed to inject a level of humour into your home.
10. Home of Boho
Founded within the last 6 months, Home of Boho was set up by Louise Harris selling beautiful textiles in the form of cushion covers, rugs and poufs covers. The beautiful boho pieces often sell out quick (so pre-ordering and getting in whilst you can is recommended). Louise has a great eye for spotting trends in textiles, and selling them at an affordable price which is a breath of fresh air in this field!
The Girl with The Green Sofa