Soul Food Studio


‘Love My Dress’' Blog Post

StylingAmanda Russell

The wonderful ‘Love My Dress’ has featured ‘A Beautiful Shoreline Wedding’ by stylist Nancy Straughan using some of the vintage Stoneware vases from my shop!


From the blog… ‘I stumbled upon some of these images on Nancy’s gorgeous Instagram account and knew that I had to share with all of you. Inspired by the colours of the shoreline and with subtle and elegant hints of the coast, these styling ideas are completely relatable and achievable for your own wedding.

“After deciding that I wanted to launch my styling company back in December 2017, I took to Instagram stories to see if anyone would like to be involved in a shoreline inspired styled shoot. I was blown away by the generous responses as I never really believed that anyone would be so kind to donate their time and skills to my project.” to read the full blog post click here!


If you like this post check out my post on Spring Flower Living Wall: Kokedama Inspiration

Wild, Romantic Shoreline Wedding Styled by Nancy Staughan

StylingAmanda Russell

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.


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.


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.



The Drapers Arms


The People

Stylist, Nancy Straughan

Stationery, Paper Knots

Photography, Caro Hutchins

Flowers, Hazel Gardiner

Cake, My Little Cake Tin

Props, Re-Found Objects

Extra crockery Limehouse


Stoneware bottles, Soulfoodstudio

Calligraphy and signage by Hannah Watt

Embroidery by very talented friend, Olivia


If you like this post check out my post on Constance Spry Vases for Everyone

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.


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.


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


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

Book Review, Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

With the recent upturn in the weather, once more it’s time to get back into the garden and embrace the wide-open spaces. With immaculate timing a review copy of the gorgeous Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by the talented stylist, Selina Lake, arrived in the studio. The garden has greened up, here I am falling in love with it all over again, ripe for any garden porn that comes my way.


 Lakes style is approachable and practical, full of beautifully styled shots it is a wonderful book to reach for when you are looking for new inspiration. Divided into chapters, each covers a different theme. Garden Inspirations is the opening chapter, here Lake shows us the spaces and plants she enjoys, as well as encouraging the reader to look for places to help develop their own individual style. I love the chapter name, Decorating Your Garden, it includes advice on choosing furniture, rounding up ways to display plants and also how to get essential decorative details like lighting into the space. Further chapters are about creating garden rooms as well as relaxing and eating outdoors and the one that presses my buttons, wont be any surprise to my readers, as it’s all about Bringing the Outside In, including details on foraging and very usefully tips to help you create your very own cutting garden. 


Lake envelopes us with the idea a garden is an extra space for escaping to, it’s your own other worldly corner. Peppered through out the text are useful style tips along with very doable, attractive projects, for instance, use small vintage bottles to hold posies to jazz up a picket fence. I suggest mixing up one of the recipes for botanical cocktails, settling down in a verdant corner to have a good read of this book, a beautiful and informative garden companion.


Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake  Photography: Rachael Whiting  Ryland Peters and Small £19.99

Garden Style: Inspirational Styling for Your Outside Space by Selina Lake

Photography: Rachael Whiting

Ryland Peters and Small £19.99

If you liked this book review then why not read my book review of Mad About the House by Kate Watson-Smyth

Book Review: WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler

Book ReviewsAmanda Russell

Foraging flowers and foliage, is now a thing, we all delight at coming home with a handful of hedgerow discoveries, but how to make the most of our collection?


I was sent a review copy of the book WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler. It gives a glimpse into the world of flower arrangers, Worm, packed with insider knowledge into how they achieve their original and contemporary approach to wreaths and flower installations. Exuberant and full of life, the can do flower company aims to bring the delight of natural foraged flowers to your home or venue.

With their characteristic enthusiasm they set out to demystify the art with a wealth of fresh new tips for constructing and building up original floral installations so they look their very best. Even if you are not into creating with flowers the book is a must for the beautiful images alone. Photographer Kristin Perers, creates serene moments of floral calm leaving us all wishing they were part of our lives.


Liberated from more formal arrangements this book reflects the recent move away from monoculture flower arrangements towards a more seasonal approach, as often as possible, using foraged and farmed British flowers and foliage. People who know me will be aware I am always looking for new ways to bring the outside in and I love the crazy, mad, romantic almost Midsummers Night Dream vibe of Worm designs.

The detailed recipe for Meadow Ball, makes the concept approachable, I’m itching to sling a hook in the ceiling and get on with it. Another design I am keen to try is the Late Summer Chandelier, which uses a gnarled, ropey clematis vine as a base. The smell from the Giant Pine Wreath promises to deliver an intoxicating perfume, so that’s a must when the time comes round. And for sheer vibrancy the Autumnal Wreath would be the star at a Harvest or Thanksgiving celebration.


Dip into the pages of this beautiful book, Wreaths, with its glorious images and all the tools and know how to develop your own instinctive floral style,  you will be ready to create a wreath to celebrate each seasonal event when it comes along. 

WREATHS: Fresh, Foraged & Dried Florals Arrangements by Katie Smyth & Terri Chandler (Quadrille, £14.99)

Photography: Kristin Perers

Worm London

Kristin Perers


If you liked this book review then why not read my book review of Modern Lettering: A Guide to Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering by Rebecca Cahill Roots

Styling Interiors with Plants

StylingAmanda Russell

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.

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

Create Your Own Gorgeous Vintage Letter

CraftsAmanda Russell

How often have you longed for a trendy battered statement vintage letter? I show you how to create your own for a fraction of the cost.

You will need:

  • White foam board
  • Pencil
  • Steel ruler
  • Glue gun
  • Paintbrush
  • Metallic emulsion
  • Cellulose sponge
  • Dulux Matt Emulsion Caribbean Coral
  • Craft knife
  1. This letter is 30cm high and 7cm deep, for an easy job be sure to choose a letter without curves! Draw up the letter on white foam board then cut out using the steel ruler and craft knife.
  2. To make the walls of the letter cut strips to the length of each side and 7 cm high. Glue in place with the glue gun.
  3. Paint all surfaces with emulsion, then leave to dry. Pour a couple of tablespoons of the metallic emulsion paint into a shallow dish. Stir in a few drops of water to thin paint to the thickness of pouring cream.
  4. Tear off a section of sponge, 8cm square and immerse in the paint, remove and wring out excess paint. Dab the sponge on all the surfaces of the letter, making sure you get into the corners. Leave it to dry, then even up the finish by going over with a second coat of paint.


  • Make this a really thrifty project and use paint left over from another project or buy a match pot of your chosen colour.

If you like this post make sure you check out my post on how to make your own cushion cove