When I went on maternity, I decided to take on a new project other than my son. I decided to redecorate the entire flat. I live in a converted Victorian House, on the ground floor with a big garden. I am lucky enough to live in a nice part of London Town. In fact, a Bloomberg report stated that the borough I live in has the highest rise in house prices from 2013. It is a family oriented area - a lot of young families in the middle class Crouch End area; there is plenty of entertainment in the Tottenham area; Finsbury Park is great for walking/jogging or just feeding ducks; Wood Green offers high street shopping from H&M, Nike and TK Maxx; Alexandra Palace hosts concerts and summer fetes in their extensive gardens; Muswell Hill has a lot of trendy cafes and restaurants and 2 miles away is the rather expensive Highgate area with its renowned Bishops Avenue (aka Billionares Road). Basically, I can see why this area is the most sought after location and I feel very fortunate.
My mother loves glassware. She collects colourful glassware but she especially loves Swarovski. For years, I never understood why she would shriek with joy when given a Swarovski rabbit for Christmas. However as the years have gone by, I have started to understand the beauty in glass. I visited a glassmaking factory in London last week and I was really impressed with how a glass vase is made, never mind the complex glass with different colours and patterns. It is an art and a skill. I have been collecting some vintage glassware, or at least vintage-looking glassware.
I have written a post about a few places that you can take your mother for some afternoon tea. But I then thought about what you could do whilst waiting for your afternoon tea appointment... the obvious choice - SHOPPING! The only thing better than shopping is someone else taking you shopping. So with that said, I have selected a few designer samples around London town over the weekend and next week which allow you to get some of the best British merchandise at the lowest rate, including Liberty London's first sample sale. This is not to be missed. It really doesn't get better than this.
Summer is approaching and I have noticed that wicker or straw basket bags are popping up everywhere on Instagram. I love these bags because they are currently following my theme for African travel inspiration. Check my previous post on African-inspired home decor. The bags have been seen on IT-girl, Alexa Chung and Hollywood actress/entrepreneur, Jessica Alba. Here is a collection of some of the best bags.
It might not surprise you that when I travel, I like to bring home souvenirs to remind me of where I have visited. It is not unusual for travellers to do this. The tourism industry thrives on selling trinkets for tourists to take home, such as Big Ben fridge magnets or wooden toy Russian dolls. I collect art so when I travel I tend to buy paintings by local artists of places such as Lapa in Rio de Janeiro and Mekong River in Ho Chi Minh City. I have now found that it is better to decorate my home with stand out pieces from abroad, rather than trinkets that get out on a shelf and are rarely looked at.
Africa is in my blood so it should not surprise you that I have found ways to bring Africa to my lovely garden flat in London. That is not to say that my home is filled with Zebra rugs and ivory clocks. No, I have found ways to decorate modestly and inexpensively.