Staunch Industries

We haven’t posted for a while – there’s been a lot going on! And one of the fun things* was that we discovered Staunch Industries.


Now you know with us it’s more about the great indoors than the great outdoors, right? These guys couldn’t be more different. Staunch Industries is a design-led lifestyle brand that’s all about celebrating the ruggedness of the North Sea and the wild places of Scotland.

As well as producing some amazing design work for their clients all over the world, they sell a variety of products through their website, including clothes, accessories and homewares. (There is also some amazing wallpaper coming soon). Here are some of our favourites:


‘Kelpie’ tea towel
‘Wilderness’ card and gift wrap
‘Salmon and Trout’ utility pouches
‘Sea-life candle’ scented with sea salt and coconut

You’ll have noticed that those last four photographs are too good to have been taken by us – you know us so well. All copyright belongs to Staunch Industries.

We love the designs – maybe it’s time to be more outdoorsy with the indoors!



*One of the other fun things is that last month we turned two years old!

New purchase for summer!

We’ve had to wait several weeks for them to come into stock, but our new purchase for the garden is finally here! It’s one of these:



It’s called a Lamzac Hangout and it’s a large, easily inflatable, outdoor seat. The idea was first presented on the Dutch version of The Dragons’ Den and is now made by a company from The Netherlands called Fatboy. Fatboy have been making innovative and hard-wearing products for the home,garden and general and outdoor living since 2002 – check out their website for other great ideas. Here is the promotional video for the Lamzac Hangout:


We thought that looked like a great idea and couldn’t wait for ours to arrive! To be honest, it was a bit harder than the video suggests to fill, but there’s probably just a knack to doing it so quickly. As you can see from the video, it’s the right size for one person to lay on but two or three can sit on it comfortably. It’s very comfortable when it is inflated and it’s very easy to deflate and pack into its carry bag.


It only weighs 1.2kilos, so is easily carried (we’re planning on taking ours to the beach when the weather gets a bit better).

Incidentally, there are a few copycats on the market but this is the original, and is made from harder wearing material, which is why it is more expensive. Thinner material is more likely to tear on uneven ground and turn out to be a false saving in the long run.

Now to get back to the lazing…


The art of a tea towel



You probably know that we have a weakness for a tea towel – so we were delighted when this extra-special one arrived in the mail! Why is it extra-special? Well…

First of all it was sold to raise money for the Save Norton Folgate campaign. We’ve posted about Norton Folgate in the past here and here. (The latest is that the former Mayor of London’s decision to overrule Tower Hamlets council and allow the British Land development to go ahead has gone to a judicial review and a decision will be made very soon).

Secondly, the design is by Adam Dant – who is sometimes called ‘the 21st century’s Hogarth’. He creates large, intricate drawings that record and often satirize contemporary life. (He was the official artist of the 2015 General Election.) And as a Shoreditch  resident himself, he has keen interest in what happens in the area. The tea towel features a print of his work ‘The Curse of Norton Folgate’ (created especially for the Save Norton Folgate campaign), in which the animals that died in the fire at the East London Aquarium, Menagerie and Waxwork Museum in  1884 stalk the streets of Shoreditch delivering elaborate, theatrical curses to those who wish to despoil the Liberty of Norton Folgate.


They are surrounded by vignettes of the history of the area and portraits of famous residents:




And the third reason it’s special? These tea towels were sold as a limited edition of 100 and are numbered and signed! So it’s not so much a tea towel as a bona fide piece of art, which means that we couldn’t possibly use it for drying dishes… and anything that means we don’t have to dry dishes is A Good Thing!



PS Sorry – they are sold out!

Super Supermarket find

You won’t believe where we found these cute mugs …

(OK so there’s a clue in the post title but you can let us be excited, right?)

They weren’t from some obscure specialist retailer of lovely household things – they were from Sainsbury’s! And they only cost £2.50 each! If that isn’t enough, you can include them in an on-line shop and have them delivered to your door with your groceries.

Now you can see why we were excited, maybe it’s time to have a cup of tea and calm down.

P.S. – Copyright in the photos belongs to Sainsburys!



A bright idea



A couple of weeks ago we came across a brilliant idea from William & Watson, who rather than being two people is actually a team of creative artists who have some great lighting ideas.


On their site you can find beautiful, handmade, vintage-style filament bulbs and some similarly styled LED bulbs that use 1/10 energy of a traditional light bulb but have a life expectancy approximately 10 times longer. They also sell lamps, bulb holders, ceiling roses and beautiful fabric and metallic cables in a range of colours. The bulbs are all compatible with dimmer switches (which William and Watson also sell) which gets round concerns about them begin too bright, or in the case of the filament bulbs, getting too hot.

So  that makes the bulbs beautiful and practical – hard to beat a combination like that – and even better, the site has a blog with some great lighting ideas. Well worth a look to inspire some lightbulb moments!

The bulbs look great hung in a group


Beautiful purple fabric cable (there are its of other colours too)


Tube shaped LED bulb

Many thanks to William & Watson who let us use their lovely photos!

An Interview with Rebecca from Georgia Victoria

Just before Christmas we went to a party and were lucky enough to meet Rebecca, the interior designer behind Georgia Victoria. Not only was it great to meet her but she agreed to do an interview with us – our first ever! So earlier this week we finally got together for a chat.

Because we are nosy, we had to ask Rebecca what her favourite decorative item in her house is and she told us all about this lovely rocking horse*.



It belonged to her grandmother who bought it in the 1920s, although it probably wasn’t new then. It lived in a huge attic with a billiard table, a table tennis table and other toys for the grandchildren to play with and the rocking horse became a place to wait for a turn with the most popular toys. In due course he was renovated and Rebecca eventually inherited him from her grandmother. He now lives in her hallway and although he definitely counts as a decorative object, children – both Rebecca’s own and visiting ones – are encouraged to play on him. So what makes him special? “There are stories to tell about it – stories and memories”.

This is a key point for Rebecca’s work. She has a key piece of advice for anyone starting a design project: “have talking points to enrich the interior for you and your guests”. Rebecca thinks many interiors are ‘safe’ rather than a reflection of the people who live there and she takes pride in working with great upholsters, furniture makers and other craftsmen to create bespoke items. She recommends having confidence – chose things you love rather than things you think will work. (A case in point is that picture of the rocking horse – it’s placed next to an antique settle but look how well they work with the modern painting on the wall!) If you pick things you love then there will always be a common theme that links them and objects you love will stop an interior being bland. A house is to be lived in and should look lived in rather than permanently styled as if for a photoshoot.

Following on from that, Rebecca believes it’s important to be flexible because interior design is an organic process. For example ‘you might plan a new carpet and then find beautiful floor boards under the old one – don’t be afraid to polish the boards, buy a rug and change the plan!” There is a great example of this on the Georgia Victoria website – a client renovating a Victorian bathroom grew to love their original figured rolled glass window par and decided to keep it rather than replace it with modern frosted glass.



Rebecca herself loves Victorian interiors, because there is always something to look at, and one dream project would be to renovate a complete Victorian townhouse from top to bottom for a client who wants an interior ‘full of silk and drama”. But what about her own dream? A bothy! It would be a retreat away from modern city life and electricity; a calm, serene space to connect with nature. And it’s not surprising that she dreams of something simple – the last year has been very busy for Georgia Victoria. The client list is growing (both private and corporate clients) and exciting projects for the future include fitting out a horse-drawn carriage!

So what interior design trends should we all be looking out for in the coming year? The three Ps – pastels, patterns and plants. Rebecca thinks that all the grey interiors that were so popular a few years ago will now need a refresh and that pastels are the perfect way to achieve this. In a similar vein, as we get bored with blocks of colour we will turn towards bold, patterned fabrics (check out the Georgia Victoria Facebook page for ‘Fabric of the Week’ recommendations). And plants, because as Rebecca says “Everybody needs more plants!”

If you have a design project you would like Rebecca to help with, you will find contact details on her web page.



*You’ll have guessed we didn’t take these photos, right? Copyright in all photos owned by Georgia Victoria.

A seasonal use for the coffee machine

Did you have a lovely Thanksgiving? Us too, thanks – and we tried some new recipes which went down really well with our guests, so that was a relief. And now that Thanksgiving is over we are officially in the run up to Christmas! (Although if you are Scottish you might be thinking about St Andrew’s Day, which is November 30, first.)

So here we would like to unveil a seasonal and rather clever use for a coffee machine. Because that’s not coffee in the picture below… oh no. It’s mulled wine. Just make the mulled wine as normal and pour it into the  jug of the machine to keep warm! Two pieces of advice, though. First of all, unlike coffee, don’t actually make the mulled wine in the machine because that’s likely to ruin it. Secondly, and again unlike coffee, it’s probably not a great idea to make a big pot to have on the go all morning.


You can’t do that with one of those fancy capsule-type machines.

So now suitably fortified, it’s time to venture to the back of the cupboard to get out the decorations. It’s only 27 sleeps now, people!


Happy Winter Day!

We’ve already said that it’s too early for Christmas. It’s not even December yet. 35 sleeps is a long time. So we were delighted to see this gorgeous tin full of panettone which doesn’t mention Christmas at all and so could be bought and enjoyed in a totally seasonally appropriate manner. Just look!




Love the style and the colours and the skating girl, although she doesn’t look like she has much time for ‘delicious desserts’. Hhmmmm. The panettone in the tin really is delicious but maybe we’d better stick to just the one slice then.

The Winter Day tin is available from Tickled Fig.

What could possibly go wrong?

Yay – it’s Bonfire Night! A night when people in the UK celebrate that in 1605, parliament was not blown up by Guy Fawkes. Traditionally, people light a bonfire, sometimes burning an effigy of Guy on the top (although his old school refuse to do so), and let off fireworks. Some historians think that Guy Fawkes and his fellow ‘conspirators’ were actually set up but there’s no need to let historical accuracy stand in the way of a party!

It’s quite bizarre that the way to celebrate something not being blown up is just to go down to the grocery shop or the newsagents and buy explosives (fireworks are category 2 and 3 explosives which anyone can buy as long as they are over 18). These days organised firework displays are becoming more popular because they are safer and better value. Which is probably a good thing, right? Because, you know, people buying actual explosives and then let them off  in their back garden … (And sadly, there are injuries every year.  About 500 people each year have required hospital treatment for firework injuries which happened at family or private parties.) And professionals are allowed to buy bigger and more spectacular fireworks which are not available to the public – let’s be honest, the average back garden firework display is just a tiny bit lame in comparison!

And letting off fireworks is not the craziest thing that happens – at the celebrations held at Ottery St Mary in Devon, where people carry  burning tar-soaked barrels through the town. Again, what could possibly go wrong?

But (and you know we don’t usually like to get political) democracy is always a good thing to celebrate and hey, it’s been nearly a week since Halloween and the last chance for a party, so Bonfire Party On!

Safely, though. Just stand back a bit there…

Yay – ir’s Bonfire Night!