Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Inspire: The Art Of Living With Nature By Willow Crossley: Book Review

And now, my cherubs, after a fantastically heart-warming family Easter, let us move onto the second book review....

Willow Crossley has her second book out! Inspire: The Art Of Living With Nature by Willow Crossley, published by CICO books, is available from It includes fifty lovely projects on how to bring the outside in.

And, when I say lovely, I really do mean lovely!

I have to say that Willow's first book wasn't reviewed on Modern Country Style because I didn't think it made the grade but Inspire is a gigantic step up, and most definitely worthy of a place in the Modern Country Good Books Hall Of Fame.

With its rustic-inspired stitched spine, and simple-but-stunning front cover, Inspire is gorgeous from the get-go. 

The ideas are divided into five sections: Woodland, Flora, Fauna, Beach and Edibles; each filled to bursting with crafty deliciousness that you just know you could whip up in an afternoon.

I'm talking about sea urchin candle holders, personalised pebbled, and teapots filled with strawberry plants. Love, love, LOVE!

Inspire by Willow Crossley has been seeing us merrily crafting throughout the Easter break..beautiful projects and stunning photography. Can I tempt you to click on the link and buy? You'll be in Modern Country Garden heaven.

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Outdoor Living by Selina Lake: Book Review

Looking at Leopoldina Haynes' lovely garden leads us very nicely onto sharing not one but two fantastic new books about bringing your outdoors in and your indoors out.

You must have heard of Selina Lake, stylist extraordinaire? In her new book, Selina turns her hand to making the very most of outdoor space. Outdoor Livingby Selina Lake (photography by Debi Treloar - always a good thing...) is published by Ryland Peters and Small and is available from Let the book review begin!

Outdoor Living is not only jam-packed full of styled-to-exquisite-perfection photos but is also roly-poly full of gems and nuggets that are easy-peasy to put into practice. Not just one or two tips but page, after page, after Eden-like page...

Selina says, "You don't have to be an expert gardener to achieve my style outside, you just need lots of colourful and pretty accessories, and to look at what you have in a different light."

The lanterns arranged with soft symmetry on the stairs below is one such example of Selina's Country style-with-a-twist. Don't you adore the addition of the hydrangeas? I'm having a bit of a design-crush on white an green hydrangeas at the moment....

Outdoor Living includes instructions aplenty for many of the projects, such as this lovely tepee...

And, truly, have you ever seen such a gorgeous garden swing? On one hand, yes, it's just lilacs and a doily...but, on the other? Oh my! Anyone sitting on this would be transported into princess-mode in the twinkling of an eye. And that's got to be worth the few extra minutes this would take to set up, no?

From lighting to seating to hideaways to parties....Outdoor Living will give you so much inspiration that you'll find it hard to stay inside this summer!

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Kate Forman's 8 Favourite Farrow and Ball paints

I've got lots of lovely posts lined up for you, inspired by Leopoldina Haynes' beautiful house and garden tour. Let's start with the faric-designer Kate Forman's eight favourite paints. You'll see from these beautiful images that Kate Forman's fabrics epitomise the Swedish/French style that Leopoldina demonstrated so exquisitely in her home.

1) Farrow and Ball Slipper Satin.
Kate Forman says, 'This is the softest off white of my favourites, this pale chalky white is stunning in big light rooms such as this wonderful London studio where I have used minimal furniture, feminine pinks and natural linens to offset the simplicity of such a great space.'

Kate Forman Vintage Fabrics

2) Farrow and Ball Light Grey 
Kate Forman says, 'This is  a very National Trust colour, one that I have used inside and out. It’s great on exterior woodwork particularly, or as seen here  on panelling in this beautifully proportioned Queen Ann town house. Our Red Ticking gives this room the warmth it needs and the Roses covered sofa compliments both the wall colour with a hint of the green/grey in the background and the raspberry of the curtains giving an overall impression of smart yet cosy. This is a colour which would work well in a study or a dark dining room also.'

Kate Forman Vintage Fabrics Red Ticking

3) Farrow and Ball Stony Ground
Kate Forman says, 'I think I must have used this colour in almost every house I have worked on! Our showroom is also painted in it as it’s one of those colours that seems to go with just about everything. Certainly all of our designs sit with this perfect soft stone grey colour. Here I have used it in this adorable  bedroom with our Pink Sophia for the curtains and the bed making the scheme more sophisticated and less ‘girlie’ in its feel. You simply cannot go wrong with this versatile colour!'

Kate Forman Vintage Fabrics Pink Sophia

4) Farrow and Ball Lamp Room Gray
Kate Forman says, 'This is one of the colours we are asked about frequently as it works beautifully with our best sellers as seen here ‘Blue Roses’ and ‘Cameo and Ribbons’ . I would describe this blue as the smartest of all the blues I ‘ve come across. It gives real impact to any room. Possibly better used in a light room, although I once did a dining room in this colour which looked great at night in candle light!'
{See Modern Country Style's Colour Study on Farrow and Ball Lamp Room Gray}

Kate Forman Vintage Fabrics Blue Roses Cameo and Ribbons

5) Farrow and Ball Shaded White 
Kate Forman says, 'This is perfect for those who love the grey palette. A lovely chalky warm and neutral colour which works with either old  or contemporary. This is really one of my most tried and tested and just can’t go wrong with colours! I've used it here with our ‘Daphne’ design for a beautiful calm and restful atmosphere. I love mirrors just leaning against the wall as in this photograph.'

Kate Forman Vintage Fabrics Daphne

6) Farrow and Ball Smoked Trout 
Kate Forman says, 'This heavenly mushroom pink has a lovely old feel to it so works perfectly with gilt frames and antiques such as this pretty little black table I found from a local antique dealer along with the beautiful button back sofa covered in our Ophelia linen. The curtains are in our ‘Pink Sophia’ which look soft and subtle against the gentle pink of the Smoked Trout.'

Kate Forman Vintage Fabrics Pink Sophia

7) Farrow and Ball Setting Plaster
Kate Forman says, 'This is another very pretty pink I have used for bedrooms such as this one and also in bathrooms. Here it looks so delicate with the faded ‘Kitty’ design hanging from the corona above the bed. This colour is particularly good in cold north facing rooms which need warmth but equally looks divine in light sunny rooms.'

Kate Forman Vintage Fabrics Kitty

8) Farrow and Ball Joa’s White
Kate Forman says, 'This is probably the closest to natural linen of all off white/creams I use. This colour works really well with our entire collection and has the most lovely warmth to it due to the subtle undertones of brown it has in it.  This photograph shows it with our ‘Matilda’ design in this very elegant bedroom with wonderfully high ceilings and windows.'

Kate Forman Vintage Fabrics Matilda

Aren't they gorgeous?

Images via Kate Forman

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Monday, 7 April 2014

Leopoldina Haynes' Small Garden

If you thought things couldn't get any better after that delicious Modern Country house tour of Leopoldina Haynes' home, you'd be wrong, wrong, wrong! Come on outside into the very small but perfectly formed garden, reached through the back of the kitchen double doors, and see what I mean.

Leopoldina Haynes Garden

Leopoldina Haynes' tiny garden has that heavenly mix of topiary and soft planting, which makes it utterly eye-catching and utterly, utterly Modern Country.

Leopoldina Haynes Garden

Designed in conjunction with Claire Mee Designs, the garden walls are lined with shutterboard cladding, painted in Dulux Chalky Downs 3, a delicious, chalky taupe shade. 

Leopoldina Haynes garden, photographed by Yasunori Shimomura for Modern Living Japan, September 2013.

This is the predominant paint colour (in all its forms) used inside Leopoldina's house so brings a sense of continuity between the two spaces, as well as introducing a light and airy feeling, which seems to  enlarge the small space.

Leopoldina Haynes garden, photographed by Yasunori Shimomura for Modern Living Japan, September 2013.

Leopoldina Haynes' garden has a limited but beautiful selection of plants, with a strong Mediterranean theme, in a tight palette of green and white, with the odd hint of colour

Leopoldina Haynes Garden: outdoor dining

....namely: white hydrangeas...

Leopoldina Haynes Garden: topiary and fig tree


Leopoldina Haynes Garden

myrtle.... {make sure you clock that vintage garden fork and spade!}

Leopoldina Haynes Garden, design by Claire Mee

English roses...

Leopoldina Haynes garden, photographed by Yasunori Shimomura for Modern Living Japan, September 2013.

fig trees....

Leopoldina Haynes Garden, basket planters

olive trees...

Leopoldina Haynes Garden: olive trees and dining outdoor


Leopoldina Haynes Garden

and lavender, in a decorative concrete planter....

Leopoldina Haynes garden, photographed by Yasunori Shimomura for Modern Living Japan, September 2013.

...placed lovingly beneath a vintage French mirror.

Leopoldina Haynes Garden

The table and chairs are from high-end Dutch company Free Line.

Leopoldina Haynes garden

The floor material is river stone and the raised section is York stone.

Leopoldina Haynes Garden, Designed by Claire Mee

Leopoldina Haynes has used a variety of cushions to make the seating more comfortable, in palest mushroom checks and stripes.

Leopoldina Haynes garden, photographed by Yasunori Shimomura for Modern Living Japan, September 2013.

I love the idea of using baskets in soft-grey rattan for planting. These have been simply lined with plastic bin bags, with their bottoms  pierced for drainage. 

Leopoldina Haynes Garden

The hydrangeas look especially beautiful with this treatment - Modern and Country all at the same time. Yummy!

Leopoldina Haynes Garden: plants in baskets

Be still, my beating heart!

Leopoldina Haynes Garden

And the topiary? Oh, the topiary...

Leopoldina Haynes Garden: dining table, olive trees and cladding

Some box balls (buxus) are placed methodically between each of the five olive trees...

Leopoldina Haynes Garden

and others given the same divine grey rattan basket treatment...

Leopoldina Haynes' garden, roses, topiary, hydrangeas and Poppy the pug

Looking back into the house, Leopoldina Haynes has used a darker shade of Dulux Chalky Downs on the window frames, which has been echoed in the colour of the wooden planters...

Leopoldina Haynes' garden, grey window

This garden, though teeny-tiny small, has almost magically inviting properties, enticing you out on a summer's evening....

Leopoldina Haynes Garden: white cyclamins and storm lantern

Modern Country garden heaven, no?

Images via: Leopoldina Haynes and Claire Mee on Pinterest

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