So hello again. It’s been a while. Of all the things that I imagined might draw me back here to blog again, a global pandemic wasn’t one of them. But look at how much our lives have changed in a few short weeks. Short weeks that feel so much longer. Two weekends back we were in Fife visiting Cambo Estate; having a bite of lunch in their café and walking in the walled garden; visiting the glasshouses before winding through the woodland with its carpet of snowdrops. We walked along Kingsbarns beach in the low, late afternoon light, enjoying the peace and emptiness of the scene. Two weeks ago, we couldn’t even have imagined the rules of social distancing; friends losing all their work and closing the doors to their businesses, unsure of when they might open again. A country in lockdown with all the restrictions this brings. A world in crisis.
Well hello, and yes, it feels like it’s been forever. Which it has been considering that my last post here was back in May 2019 when I decided to take a few months break from blogging (as I wasn’t feeling inspired) and then I just didn’t come back. And in all honesty, I didn’t think that I was coming back. I was planning a different blog, a more personal one, and I had a new domain (with a name I love), and was thinking about a new design (always exciting), and then I had a convo with my amazing designer Odysseas of 286Blue, who created this blog back in 2015, and he pointed out (not for the first time) that any blog can evolve. I’ve said it myself, I know, but I was itching for something new. A fresh start. But Odysseas suggested that I simply change things up a little. Add new content if I felt like it. But don’t throw away everything that’s already been created here.
How do you build a house on an unspoilt natural site without destroying the very nature that makes that site so special? This was the question faced by the owners of Villa Åkerman when they came to this plot in Värmdö, which sits in the middle of the Stockholm Archipelago, back in 2013. Albert and Amanda Åkerman wanted to create a family home that would embrace the nature surrounding it while also respecting the site. As Albert says in an interview published in Swedish Elle Decoration in June 2016, even if the house isn’t here in 100 years, the couple wanted the rock that it sits upon to be intact.
I couldn’t resist this new wallpaper collection from Mineheart when it popped up as I was scrolling through products for the weekly interior news page I compile for a newspaper. At a glance, this ‘Back To Nature‘ design by Australian illustrator Courtney Brims feels like a classic flowers and fauna design, but then hang on, is that a snake I see…?
I have a confession to make, and I can’t quite believe that I’m writing this but…. I’ve never been a big fan of house plants. Okay, before you throw your hands up in horror, I’m blaming my childhood for this (of course). Growing up, our home was filled with plants. We had macrame hanging baskets with plants. Spider plants everywhere. And mother-in-law’s tongues looking spiky and defiant alongside the fireplace. I grew up surrounded by plants, and rather than making me appreciate and enjoy all this natural greenery, as soon as I had my own place I made sure that it was a plant-free zone. Too busy, too leafy, too spiky, too green. There was no space in my home for plants.