Posts tagged books
7 Easy Ways To Create Botanical Style At Home

Hello everyone! I'm so glad that you've visited today because plants and flowers are such a big trend in home decor and today we have a special guest with us, British Author and Stylist , who is giving us 7 tips for decorating at home to create a style she's called . In fact, you can see this style in her beautiful new book under the same title published by . I've photographed some spreads at the end of this post -- each page is one beautiful example after another of how to live with plants and flowers and it's as intoxicating as it is informative and idea-packed. Would you like to see some of my favorite rooms from the book and hear some of Selina's decor advice especially for cattledogs readers today? Good!  All 7 tips below are based on the photos directly above them, each tip is from Selina and the styling in the photo is also her own work. Let's see what she has in store to inspire all of us today, shall we?

RPS1833_SELINA_SITROOM_05_lowres 1. Bring the plants to the mantel I’ve styled my marble mantlepiece using some key accessories to create the botanical mood. Vintage botanical prints are a great starting point, here I used a Marcus Ward & Co plant print by F.Edward Hulme, which I bought from a vintage fair to hang in the centre of the chimney breast wall. A great tip for hanging old prints is to use wooden trouser hangers, I buy mine online.

To add some pattern I have placed a large round tray adorning a Fennel & Dill design from adjacent to the print. I love scented candles so I always have a couple ready to burn on my mantel, my favorites are and Moroccan Rose by .

Finally I add the botany, a Fittonia plant sits happily in its own microclimate under a glass dome. A lofty penstemon with coral pink flowers that I will plant out in my garden after a few days sits alongside lacy delta maidenhair ferns, with a faux tropical leaf stem from and fresh cuttings from my garden arranged in jam jars.


2. Don't paint over the shabby and worn There’s something really romantic about the bringing together something old with chipping paint or peeling vintage wallpaper and combining with beautiful botanical blooms. Here an amazing wall in a charming Swedish Farmhouse has been left with layers of old wallpaper visible in patches.

When restoring old buildings its tempting to rip out everything and start again but to save the vintage appeal and character of a space theres a fine balance between modernizing and making a space livable while still maintaining the glorious patina and charm. I’ve used cool blue hydrangeas along with flowering horse mint and displayed the stems in a array go simple glass vases.

RPS1833_FRAN_WORKSHOP_01_lowres 3. Plants work great in an Industrial space  This fabulous plant shop is part of in East Dulwich, London and doubles as a workshop space were floral and plant demonstrations and botanical crafting take place. The rough brick walls of the former industrial space make the perfect backdrop for all the leafy plants, succulents and cactus that are for sale.

To recreate a full on industrial botanical display at home, your need an old piece of furniture which was once used in a factory, school, shop or a place of work. Think old wooden display cabinets, metal trollies and rough wooden tables with metal legs, then start collecting a variety of plants and use the surface of your industrial piece of furniture to create the display. Use concrete and metal pots to house the plants to keep the industrial theme coherent throughout.


4. Be dramatic The trend for all things dark and floral has migrated from the fashion catwalks into our homes. In the living room of this London townhouse owned by Florist Nikki Tibbles, ‘Dark Floral’ wallpaper by makes a dramatic statement. The large-scale floral is inspired by the still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, Its majestic with its rose and peony cascade and showy background. There’s no need for blousy, fresh flower arrangements in this room as the walls do the talking. The modern copper table lamps establishes a modern feel while pops of color ensures the room isn’t gloomy with the botanical green cushions and colorful tapestry pouffe by . RPS1833_CAROLE_SITROOM_03_lowres

5. Create a natural look that is still well-planned This multi functional living space in London apartment has been carefully divided into zones that are united by houseplants, poppy seed heads and foliage. The low white display cabinet on the right separates the dining areas from this end of the room, where a daybed loaded with cushions and throws provides a cosy spot for relaxation. The book cabinet and desk on the left make a compact home office area. Unite your own open plan space with botanicals by choosing a selection of houseplants which suit your furniture pieces. Use trailing plants up high on the top of tall cupboards or bookcases and gather small pot plants together in another area maybe on a coffee or side table.


6. Cover Your Headboard (and footboard) Botanicals make an appearance in this glam London bedroom on the bed! It’s been upholstered in a digital print floral fabric. To try something similar in your own room, recover a padded headboard with a bold floral fabric or choose a full on floral quilt. The cushions have a luxury feel and are made from vintage silk scarves. Placing fresh flowers next to your bed is always a good idea, especially if they are scented like these roses.


7. As a Bold Pattern In a White Room I love this Castanea wallpaper by which I have on one wall of our otherwise white bedroom. My tip here was I positioned our bed against the wall so it sill felt like a calm sleep space, while keeping a fun element. I’m normally not one for the ‘matchy matchy’ look but I’m such a fan of this particular design I needed the matching linen cushions to complete the look. A simple filament bulb with black flex makes a great bedside light and there's always a suitable corner for a potted palm.

Wow, thanks Selina for those tips... So readers, here are some shots of the book from my personal copy so you can get a sense of what it looks like inside...





Thank you so much for visiting us today on cattledogs Selina with your great tips for bringing to our homes. It was such a pleasure having you and I've loved looking at your book so far, it's gorgeous and I wish you all the best with it!

(Photography: © Ryland Peters & Small - Book spreads photographed by Holly Becker for cattledogs)

DIY Wallpaper Your Stairs

is a big trend in home decorating, from Boho to Country, to Minimalist and Clean, everyone wants to bring in more plants and flowers at the moment - real, faux and through prints and patterns. Some want a ton, some like only a few. Have you thought to bring in floral and plant patterns though? For instance, through wallpaper? And in this case, add it to your staircase? Yes, wallpaper the stairs. RPS1833_STROMMA_HALLWAY_01_lowres

Why not? It really works in an old farmhouse or country home, but if you go with a more modern pattern, you can apply this look in a more modern city townhouse too. Author Selina Lake visited me this morning in celebration of her latest book, with a great tip shown in new book, , published by  I'll share more photos from the book and Selina will be back with more tips later this week but for now, here's a great project outlined by Selina that you can try at home.

Selina says, "Wallpapering the stairs is a wonderful way to bring vintage botanical pattern to a plain staircase. Rip out any old carpet and remove any tacks or nails, then sand the stairs and paint them with floor paint (I used Farrow and Ball wood primer & undercoat followed by ‘All White’ Floor paint) Gather up a collection of wallpaper offcuts or rolls of the same print for a more uniform look. Measure the top stair and cut out to size using desired paper. Attach using PVA glue or wallpaper paste, starting at the top means you can work your way down while leaving it alone so the glue will set."

That's it! Flowers on the stairs! Done! And if you want to see more, you can buy her .

(Photography by Rachel Whiting © Ryland Peters & Small)

10 Styling + Photography Tips For Decor + Food

Hi readers, I can't wait to share the words and photos in this post today because I've got the fabulous  stopping in to teach us her tips and tricks on styling and photographing decor and food at parties. Are you ready to hear her 10 tips? Take it away, Leela! 168_Spiced Strawberry Balsamic Lassi

Hi cattledogs readers, Leela here. The most important thing hosting a fete, be it for 2 or 20 people, is to remember that it's just really all about the company you keep -- not the perfection of the food or styling, so relax a little, embrace imperfections and make time just to enjoy the conversation and connection. So here are my tips for styling a party and photographing food! For all of these and more ideas on styling, pulling together your table to already create beautiful food moments, 85 easy recipes that celebrate friendship and fun, please check out my book -- .

036_Setting the TAble

For Your Decor/Tablescape:

1) Decide On a Palette. You can unify a bunch of mis-matched linens and plates if there is a tonal relationship. An easy way to do this is to pick whites or greys and go for a monochromatic look of different items. It really shows off the food this way. An alternate, opposite approach, is to not worry at all about a palette -- because if nothing goes together, everything goes together! This wonky look is quite adorable too.

2) Create Place Settings. This is kinda old-school but a fun way to add a bit of flair to the table -- you can choose a chocolate, special little treat or even tiny bouquet along with a note card with your friend's name scribbled across, and that guest feels extra special and gets to take home a little treat (if she doesn't immediately pop it her mouth!)

3) Use Found Objects as Center Pieces. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to have a chic table -- I often clip little blossoms from my neighborhood or gather driftwood from the beach. Wherever you are, take a look around you, what are the natural items you could bring into your table for a pretty table addition. Often it takes absolutely no money, just a little care in gathering some pretty sea glass, pine cones, shells, branches, etc to festoon your table.

4) Flowers add a lot of beauty. By purchasing one grocery store bouquet and breaking it into many small jars, you can create a festive mood. Trim the ends short and fill up several small bottles or jars with just 1 or a few blossoms in each. Add a few bits of greenery from the garden and the effect will create a fresh, floral feeling at your gathering (again, spending very little money!)

5) Style the Plate. Often, I like to use smaller plates in general, this keeps portions looking abundant and allows guests to refill a few times - prolonging the meal and the company. I think of a plate of food as a painting, making sure there are some large shapes in lovely colors -- such as grains dotted with cheese and herbs, a big salad moment with shaved carrots or radishes, then smaller dollops of dips and pickley things, finally garnishing the entirety with a scattering of small herbs, cracked pepper and a delicious, fruity olive oil. Messy is ok!


001_Think Pink Faloodas-1

Photographing Your Food and Party

6) Your food will only ever be as beautiful as your ingredients. Choose high quality, pretty foods to photograph -- this means shopping and preparing food that is as seasonal as possible. Think of the difference between jewel-like farm-stand strawberries and the gigantic, barely red strawberries sold at Costco.

7) Natural light is your best friend. When creating a food spread you'd like to shoot, consider a brunch or lunch party rather than the darkness of dinner. It will be so much more appealing to shoot with indirect window light than the ambient light bulb light that comes on as the sun goes down. 8) Breathe Life into a scene with a person. To really activate your image of food, show a person interacting in some way with the food -- it can be just a tiny suggestion of a person, or it can be clearly of hands engaging in the act of eating or cooking -- either way, it's a sure-fire bet to give that food a story and a 'moment in time' feeling, making the image more relatable and emotional.

9) Look at the food in terms of color, texture, shape and scale. Think like a painter and ask yourself, is there enough variety of plates and glasses (shapes), a good mix of textiles and napkins (texture), is there a pop of vibrancy from the food or another prop somewhere (color) and are there differences in size to keep the viewers' eyes moving around the composition (scale)?

10) Add other interest to the scene. I love to show crumbs, the saucy bits at the bottom of the bowl, a few bites taken out of food, the crumbling sides of a pot on the stove. It's these little actions that help the food look loose, enjoyed and real, instead of staged.

Rhubarb Rose Floats1U9C9242

0001_Green Pea Soup with Chive Blossoms, Yogurt and Nigella

Triple Coconut Lamingtons_1U9C9710


For more tips along with lovely food and recipes, purchase today! Thank you so much Leela for these wonderful tips and photographs, we love your book here at cattledogs and are currently reading it and in love! Thank you again and best wishes on your lovely work.

(Photography, Styling, Text: Leela Cyd.)