Last month I travelled to Bergen in Norway for what was my third time in the country but first to the city which is known as the ‘Gateway to the Fjords’. I totally lucked out with the weather: the city encounters more rainfall annually than the UK but the three days of my visit offered up clear blue skies, crisp cold, snowy weather and bright winter sunshine. I first fell in love with Norway’s breathtaking nature on my visit to Oslo last year, so it was a treat to see another slice of this country’s outstanding natural beauty.
Bergen is a small city surrounded on one side by snow-capped mountains laden with dense forest, and calm-as-a-millpond waters on the other – it’s a combination that makes for a soothing experience, to say the least. The town itself is a quaint series of cobbled streets, pastel painted houses and wooden clad buildings. I enjoyed very tasty lunches at both Bastant Stølegaten and Da Stefanos, but as I rented an incredibly stylish and comfortable Air BnB apartment (full home tour coming soon!) I decided to enjoy taking time to cook and eat at the apartment in the evenings. One of my favourite things to do was hike up Mount Fløyen to take in amazing views over the city, as well as to take long walks through the forest and around beautiful ice-covered lakes – this really is a great city if you like a main course of countryside with a side order of city! The golden hour I experienced one afternoon in the forest was like nothing I have seen before – it was nothing short of magical. If you’re not keen on hiking up the mountain, you can also ride the Funicular up and down, too. Have you ever been to Bergen, Norway? What inspires you about these pictures?
// Photography by Will Taylor
It’s always exciting when IKEA bring out a new PS collection, but it’s even more exciting when the kind folks at IKEA Towers let us take a sneak peek at the new collection before it launches. The good news is that’s exactly what we get to do today – feast your eyes on the brand new PS 2014 collection, which IKEA are calling ‘On The Move’ and launches on April 1st. IKEA created the new PS collection for a home that is always in motion, one that will be ready for new situations and needs. They hope it this new collection of designs will inspire people to live more simply and do more with the space they have in their homes – ‘young-in-mind urban people living “in the moment” in a small space’ was who they had in mind when creating the new PS 2014 collection. From a narrow colour block bench (ideal for making the process of taking shoes on and off easier in tiny hallways) to a mini indoor herb garden greenhouse (which clearly taps into the now established trend for indoor plants and having something to nurture in our homes), the new range delivers a suite of products with the modern home in mind.
Around 18 months ago I bought the PS Pendle clock shelf for my living room (seen on the UK edition of my book) because it was not only practical and stylish but it also reminded me of staying at my gran’s house as a child because she had a huge grandfather clock in her entrance hall. And nothing beats a product that resonates with you personally, does it? It’s my belief that whether a product is from a global brand like IKEA or an in independent designer, as long as the pieces tell a story personal to you, that’s all that matters. Which of these new PS 2014 collection designs are catching your eye?
// Photography by IKEA
1. Enjoying a morning coffee from my Story Hotel ceramic mug that I brought home from my recent trip to Stockholm.
2. Crazy about this navy and pink colour combination I spotted in London on Saturday.
3. I had a colour crush moment at the Liberty London flower shop.
4. It felt great to go on a long walk through the English countryside on Sunday afternoon to enjoy the beautiful spring weather.
5. I was excited to see my interview about the Bright.Bazaar book (UK edition / USA edition) on the back page of Good Homes magazine.
6. How beautiful are these pink roses?
7. Enjoyed an amazing sunday lunch of pan-spiced cod with sweet potato, chickpeas and a mint and citrus dressing.
8. I wish I had space for the Everett Loveseat in my apartment – super cute (and comfy!).
9. The industrial yellow pendants on Skinflint caught my colour-loving eye.
10. As a lover of all things nautical (for example, just check out the temporary tattoo I wore for my friend’s 30th birthday party celebrations on Saturday!) I couldn’t resist these Hello Sailor greetings cards.