Soul Food Studio

Styling

Wild, Romantic Shoreline Wedding Styled by Nancy Staughan

StylingAmanda Russell
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When talented stylist Nancy Straughan puts her mind to a project you know it’s going to look stunning. With wedding season in full swing Nancy used her wealth of styling know how to create a beautiful otherworldly experience peppered with unexpected twists. Thinking outside the box stylist Nancy designed her take on the elegant romance of the Lady of the Lake combined with the raw passion of Wuthering Heights.

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The first floor assembly room of The Drapers Arms a beautiful Georgian Islington pub is the ideal location for an intimate wedding venue. Here natural light streams in through the tall elegant sash windows, lighting up the duck egg blue room with its painted checkerboard floor, period fireplaces and dark bistro style chairs.

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Elemental, the theme draws on a rich combination of bleached and watery tones combining them with a comprehensive collection of textures, from silks to twigs and coral, to fresh and dried flowers. To make her spell binding vision a reality she drew a group of skilled artisans around her, do check them out to see more beautiful work by them, details below.

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Location

The Drapers Arms http://www.thedrapersarms.com

 

The People

Stylist, Nancy Straughan http://www.nancy-straughan.com

Stationery, Paper Knots http://www.paperknots.co.uk/

Photography, Caro Hutchins http://carohutchings.com/

Flowers, Hazel Gardiner https://www.hazelgardinerdesign.com/

Cake, My Little Cake Tin https://www.instagram.com/mylittlecaketin/

Props, Re-Found Objects https://www.re-foundobjects.com/

Extra crockery Limehouse

Ceramics http://www.limehouseceramics.com/

Stoneware bottles, Soulfoodstudio https://www.soulfoodstudio.com/shop/

Calligraphy and signage by Hannah Watt https://www.instagram.com/hannahlwatt/

Embroidery by very talented friend, Olivia

 

Going Backwards to go Forwards: Rediscovering the Joy of Writing with a Fountain Pen

Crafts, Interior, StylingAmanda Russell
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With their generous flow of ink and near instant drying, my addiction to gel pens stretches back over many years. But, I miss using a fountain pen, the right nib brings the feeling it’s possible to write for miles. On a few occasions I have seriously tried to get back into using them, however I felt replacing empty gel pens for cartridges in landfill was neither sustainable nor tackling the root of the problem.

As an interior stylist, the constant flow of ‘bits’ through my life swiftly leads to an ugly build up and an urgent need to declutter. While tacking my accumulations of clutter in the studio, I inevitably uncovered my stash of old fountain pens. The question of what to do with them skated across my mind, closing the box and running away seemed attractive. A jumble of different makes, brings the inconvenient headache of both sourcing and storing a broad selection of refill cartridges, making fountain pens a complicated option to adopt.

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Lining up my cache of pens reminded me of the joy I have using them. Rather than ditching them I felt tackling the problem of keeping them charged with ink was worth one more shot. A recently invaluable discovery is Cult Pens, who stock a wide range of writing supplies and deliver speedily. I had a buzz of excitement as I ordered ink and reservoirs for the pens, a small change was about to become a reality on my journey towards a more sustainable life.

Making the swap back to using a fountain pen feels like a big win. There’s the aesthetic pleasure of holding a pen coupled with the delight of welcoming back an old friend, Waterman’s turquoise ink, in its design icon, quirky shaped bottle, that’s tip able for easy fill. A moment of peaceful reflection is brought to Sunday evening as I round up my pens, ready to fill for the week ahead. And incase of emergencies there’s always a few cartridges in a tin ready waiting in my bag.

 

Constance Spry Vases for Everyone

StylingAmanda Russell

With her innovative approach society florist Constance Spry brought bohemian vision
to floristry from the 30s beyond the 50s into the 60s. A visionary, her books on flower
arranging and cooking influenced a generation of 50s housewives. Much copied,
mantle vases in her style became a must have for every 50s homemaker hungry for
her look.

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Their cool and classic designs are perfect for making a bold statement, adding style
to any interior. The vases often come in a family of sizes, a different one to cater for
all your floral needs, short or long stemmed.

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Follow the 30’s society florist example and add more than just flowers. Extend a
bunch of market or garden flowers and make them altogether more interesting by
mixing in gnarly twigs for height, vine trails for waft, infill with garden foliage then add
flowers.

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Or generously plant up with a cushion of moss studded through with spring bulbs, or
fill to overflowing with fresh fruit, with bunches of grapes and summer stoned fruit.
Ring the changes by displaying it empty, as a stand alone sculptural piece. Your
imagination is the only limit to how you choose to style your vase.

When you’re looking for these vintage pieces expect signs of wear. More often than
not the surface of the glaze will have slight crazing and there will be scattered iron
spots on the interior, which add to the character of ceramics of this age.

If you are interested in seeing more, go have a look in my shop, where theres a big
selection.

Styling Interiors with Plants

StylingAmanda Russell
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Take your time and have fun styling with plants, here are a few tips to set you on your way.

  • Move plants around and give them a new spot so they don't  look samey and static. Move them around and style up with a variety of  hero objects, you might have a collection of pots, a favourite beach find or a treasure picked up on an adventure

 

  • Before you get cracking with the styling, first tidy up and clear your space. Remember beautiful styled images are about what's in front of the camera. You maybe very aware of the cluttered corner behind you, but so long as the view in the shot is clear, nobody else needs to be any the wiser. Tidying completed, gather together the pieces you have chosen to work with in one place.

 

  • To construct the narrative, choose plants of different heights, leaf shape and colour. Start to layer up the plants along with the hero object. The rich texture of green on green gives the hero a backdrop shine out from. Alternitively choose just one plant or a frond or leaf and display alone in a vintage ceramic vessel with a couple of shapely pieces. With space around, you will be able to observe the design and beauty of the plant and leaf construction. 

 

  • Remember, be generous at all times. Try a variety of groupings, taking images as you go along a clear space where your hero sings in glorious isolation can have as much impact as a large curated collection. 

 

  • Be brave, remember rules are there for breaking. Try a variety of groupings taking images as you go along. When you look back over them note how very slight changes to the styled arrangement can make a world of difference. 

Styling your Dartmouth Flower Urns

Interior, StylingAmanda Russell
   
  
   
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    Pedestal vases were inspired by the 30s to the 50s ceramics designs of the international household name, high society florist, Constance Spry. The most popular designs were copied and reproduced in the 50s for the thousands of housewives who read her books. To style an interior treat as a stand alone gorgeous sculptural statement piece, or fill with grasses, flowers, trails and twiggery.

Pedestal vases were inspired by the 30s to the 50s ceramics designs of the international household name, high society florist, Constance Spry. The most popular designs were copied and reproduced in the 50s for the thousands of housewives who read her books. To style an interior treat as a stand alone gorgeous sculptural statement piece, or fill with grasses, flowers, trails and twiggery.

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If you enjoyed reading this blog post, why not read my post on How to style your home using Sylvac Urns

Get the Wood Aesthetic

StylingAmanda Russell

Natural untreated wood, bang on trend for interiors. There’s lots of about at the moment, but how do you piggy back the natural woody aesthetic without making a huge investment in furniture or flooring?

A few simple styling tricks will help you get the look. When it comes to styling, grouping speaks volumes. There’s so much natural beauty in honest simple everyday items made from wood, curate and style a beautiful contemporary collection of vintage or new well choose well designed, wood utility tools. With their clean lines wooden spoons come carved in a variety of curvy shapes. Groupings bring out their differences, it shows the grain of the different woods and the rich patina built up from years of use.

Arranging gives them the space to talk, stop and take in the beauty. Out on the hunt for wood pieces look no further than the high street and check out craft markets. 

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If you like this post make sure you check out my post on making a 'Super Easy Picture Shelf' 

Pantone Green with Pink: How to Work Contemporary with Vintage

Styling, InteriorAmanda Russell

A ladder of fresh green fern. Yes please, fresh lively pantone green with pink. What kind of pink? Rose, gold, plaster, copper, combine with lustre, splash with the swoosh of a brush. Styling interiors there’s colour in my blood pumping though my veins, combine colours how does it make you feel?

In the world of interiors and styling colour fashions come and go, how wonderful when a passion collides with the outside world. Pink splatter lustreware yes please! Colour referencing can give vintage and antique a contemporary edge. I always loved my grandfathers collection of Sunderland bowls lined up along his mirrored dresser. The severity of the graphic black steel engraved type against the anarchic abandonment of the splatter and swish of pink.

Kids in tow, oggling Sunderland bowls like his through the window of a bijou Georgian Hexham antique shop, thinking when will I ever have one and when I do, might it get destroyed? Recently I found this vintage mug, I don’t know where, I know nothing about it, I have no idea how old it is, not very. The utility of the shape and the pink lustre eases my need for those bowls. With the pink and green it's spot on for an eclectic contemporary interior.

If you liked this post make sure you check out my post on How to style your home using Sylvac Urns

Look No Further for Affordable Design Icons: Design icons, something to aspire to, often out of reach for the ordinary person

Interior, StylingAmanda Russell

Design icons, something to aspire to, often out of reach for the ordinary person. Good news! Not so with antique stoneware bottles. Sometime domestic ceramics, hardwearing, functional, they were the ultimate peoples product, now they come with their own unique history, I am a big fan.

Bottles like these have always featured in my life. As a child we dug them out of the pond in the spiny, the collection was organic, it grew then shrank, given away when moving on, new ones turning up, to start the cycle again.

The range of whites, like wines, describe with carefully picked words, mellow, creamy, blue, grey, mineral, earthy, stone, muddy, heritage. How do you describe your white?

Easy on the eye with simple utilitarian good looks, lyrical shapes, a curved shoulder, timeless classics they sit happily in both contemporary and classic interiors.

Why not take a minute to hop on over to the shop and take a look at the contemporary vintage ceramic collection on offer.

If you like this post check out my post on Kokedama Moss Ball Plants

Spring Flower Living Wall: Kokedama Inspiration

Interior, Crafts, StylingAmanda Russell
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Can't wait to get out and see what's growing in the garden but feeling a bit cold? Bring outside into the house with moss wrapped bulbs. When I'm styling I'm always trying new ways to bring life, colour and texture to the home.  These moss wrapped hanging Kokedama bulbs are great to bring a fresh twist.  Suspend them to  make a stunning interior living wall, move them around to create a  lush planty corner. Everyday beauty, mixing plants with vintage crockery and contemporary ideas. 

Lots of vintage contemporary ceramic finds for your home over at the shop, take a look. Happy hunting!

If you liked this post check out my post on working with contemporary and vintage