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As a young child I was lucky enough to grow up in a gorgeous country house that had a large formal living room with an inglenook open fireplace. The room, complete with exposed beams and old bread oven built into the wall(!), really came alive during the festive season. Getting our tree as a family, and subsequently decorating it, was an event we all looked forward to each year. As an adult this is something I’ve always been keen to continue, so my heart mate and I look forward to bringing the festive magic of the season into our home each Christmas. As we’re currently living in a 17th Century cottage it feels even closer to the memories of those early childhood days at this time of year.LSA-christmas-gifts-2
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Naturally, when LSA International invited me to style up their gorgeous limited edition Christmas packaging in my own home I jumped at the chance to get festive ahead of December. For one day the fire was lit, the decorations came out from the loft and I hit play on Michael Bublé (natch) in the iPod – festive bliss! I’ve tried out a variety of bright, bold and colourful Christmas schemes in the past but there’s something so instantly comforting and, well, festive about a classic red and white theme, don’t you think?LSA-christmas-gifts-4
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As part of the decorating fun I invited some friends over and cracked open a bottle of bubbles. For me, decorating for Christmas has always felt like a social experience that is even more enjoyable when shared with others. Normally I don’t like drinking champagne from coupes (I’m far too clumsy!), but these champagne saucers have a small lip on them that makes it so easy (and feel oh-so-glam!) to drink from. I also like the modern and gently scandinavian feel to the Paddle nibble dishes.LSA-christmas-gifts-6
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The best thing about LSA International’s festive offering is the ease of ‘instant gifting’. True, I like a good wrapping session while watching Love Actually, but there are times when the hectic festive season takes over and I need to save time. That’s when I know I’m going to make use of these slip on, pre-made and tied gift boxes. I think they would be great to have in reserve for last minute Christmas gifts or to take as a hostess present. From everyday to stylishly wrapped in seconds – I love it! Plus, they look gorgeous as festive touches around the home. I styled up the Bon Bon jar with a series of super charming London themed baubles and it’s become a decoration I’ll now bring out year after year. What are your favourite christmas gifting and decorating ideas?LSA-christmas-gifts-10

// Photography by Will Taylor | Posted in partnership with LSA; all views my own

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A few weeks ago I took a weekend city break… in my own city! It was the first time I’ve collaborated with a hotel in London to see what it felt like to be an out of town visitor staying in the British capital for a weekend. My base for two days was The Savoy Hotel on the Strand. Upon entering the hotel’s Front Hall (I quickly learned that it’s never referred to as ‘the lobby’!) I was immediately struck by the grandeur and Art Deco detailing of the space.The-savoy-hotel-london-2
With a practical and beautiful location on the banks of the River Thames in the heart of London, The Savoy makes the perfect base to explore the city. Reopened in 2010 after extensive renovations, the Art Deco and Edwardian styles of its 125-year history has been lovingly restored and refreshed for a memorable 21st century stay. A stone’s throw from the vibrant Southbank, a short cab ride from the eclectic West End shopping district, and just steps from Theatreland, you can reach many of the city’s star attractions on foot – the best way, in my opinion, to take in London’s spectacular views and architecture.The-savoy-hotel-london-3
The hotel itself offers a handful of the most distinguished restaurants and bars in London. Whether it’s the theatrically themed Beaufort Bar complete with monthly burlesque performances, or the charming, classic American Bar, you can have a drink in a variety of exquisitely designed environments. I also enjoyed a light breakfast of yogurt, fruit and an egg white omelet in the stunning Thames Foyer, an area flooded with natural light thanks to a gorgeous glass atrium at the centre.The-savoy-hotel-london-4
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The restoration is most apparent in the guest rooms, which feel clean, fresh, and good quality despite the age of the antique furniture. Split into various wings, you can either stay in an Edwardian or Art Deco style suite. While I enjoyed the occasional bright and playful touches, as well as the light-flooded bathrooms, the décor was definitely more traditional than I was used to from a hotel. That said, it was invigorating and inspiring to stay in a completely unique environment.The-savoy-hotel-london-6
The history and tradition of the hotel are apparent at every turn and in the one-bedroom suites, you even have your own personal butler (mine was named Francis and he was incredibly attentive and helpful!) to assist with any requests you may have during your stay. In fact, Francis very kindly ironed my shirt before heading down to dinner at the hotel’s own seafood bar and grill, Kaspar’s. Normally while traveling, I am frantically trying to get the wrinkles out of my outfit on a wonky ironing board before dashing out the door to an event, so this was a total treat!The-savoy-hotel-london-7
The restaurant is decorated and furnished in an intricate Art Deco style, which was inspired by the decadence of the twenties and thirties. Details such as cut-glass mirroring, a stunning silver leaf ceiling, a glossy chequer-board marble floor, and pendant glass light fixtures help set the scene. It felt luxurious yet relaxed and informal all at once – an ideal place to indulge and treat oneself. Alongside the delicious food led by head chef James Pare – the pan roasted fish cakes and wiener schnitzel are both outstandingly good – there’s also stunning views of the River Thames and some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, all of which can be taken in from the comfort of your table.The-savoy-hotel-london-9
While staying at the hotel, I was lucky enough to take a class in flower arrangements, led by The Savoy’s Head Floral Designer, Belinda Bowles. Her friendly and knowledgeable style put me instantly at ease and I enjoyed learning how to make everything from beautiful corsages and buttonholes, to seasonal centerpieces and hand tied single rose gifts. The-savoy-hotel-london-10
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I rounded out my visit to London with a magical and enchanting ride on the London Eye. It was the perfect way to see my city all alight, the mass of buildings glittering and sparkling against the midnight blue sky. It was genuinely inspiring to see London in a way I had never done before – through the eyes of a visitor. The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben all lit up at night was worth the trip alone – wow!The-savoy-hotel-london-12
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I often tell my overseas pals that London’s size is almost equivalent to its charm, but that it shouldn’t deter them from feeling like they can really get to know the city in just a few days. I pulled together a little two day travel guide for anyone who is looking to eat, visit and shop their way through my favourite Central and West London places. Have you ever stayed at The Savoy? What inspires you to see your city from a new perspective versus visiting a completely new-to-you city?The-savoy-hotel-london-14

// Photography by Will Taylor

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I’ve long been a fan of the classic blue and white colour combination so it’s been the staple palette of my bedroom for some time.The whites make it feel effortlessly fresh, while the the array of shades offered by the blue colour family make it rich and inviting. The headboard of my Luna bed is upholstered in a vintage indigo linen that invites an air of drama and intimacy into the scheme. Meanwhile, the linen striped azure blue curtains from Bemz keep things feeling light, airy and gently graphic.bright-bazaar-bedroom-2
Isn’t the Campaign bedside table such a treat?! The design was inspired by a vintage 1940s sideboard found at a Parisian flea market and it’s become one of my favourite pieces at home now! I love the mix materials used and how the legs splay out and the wooden top is wonderfully tactile – ideal for a bedroom space.bright-bazaar-bedroom-3
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In fact, in an all-white space such as this it’s important to introduce plenty of texture to prevent the scheme from feeling too clinical or cold. The bed is dressed in layers of soft, cosy linen bedding, while rag rugs lie underfoot for a tactile touch. I also added texture through bare wooden furniture, such as my Nutkin chest of drawers. I think it pairs perfectly with the nautical vibe of my Brilliantly Bright Buoys photographic print, too. Every morning I see this print and it reminds me of a wonderful few days spent exploring the Hampton’s – a total #makeyousmilestyle element of my bedroom.bright-bazaar-bedroom-5
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I’m thrilled with how serene and stylish this space turned out. Paring the vintage linen upholstery on the bed with the vintage feel of the nightstand, and with the gently graphic touches in the striped curtains, lamp and bedding, resulted in a scheme I simply love! What do you like about my bedroom design updates? How do you decorate in your bedroom to make it feel relaxing?bright-bazaar-bedroom-8

SHOP MY BEDROOM LOOK: LAMP / BEDSIDE TABLE / BED / BEDDING / PRINT / WATERCOLOUR CUSHION / CURTAINS / CHEST OF DRAWERS

* // Photography by Will Taylor