SUMMER IN ‘THE WILD’

ellie tennant vintage camping bell tentAfter a very hectic few months work-wise, we’ve finally escaped London to live in our tent for a bit. We stayed on some peaceful farms and now we’re camping in a forest beside a beautiful river. With decent local wine at just 2 Euros a bottle and a nearby lake for refreshing (aka cold!) swims, it’s going to be hard to return to the city…

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camping vintage ellie tennant

Filed in: OOT AND ABOOT

WHEN NATURE CALLS

Just spotted a quirky little feature I did in the new issue of The Simple Things magazine, about a very beautiful vintage garden ‘lav’, filled with rustic accessories. Is ‘toilet envy’ a (simple) thing? It is now…!

vintage toilet ellie tennant

vintage toilet

Filed in: INNIT, THOUGH, LA BROCANTE (AKA VINTAGE TAT), OOT AND ABOOT

BOWLED OVER

ellie tennant beautiful bowlsTop left: salt and pepper pinch pots in pale grey, West Elm and vintage studio pottery salt pot, Ardingly; Top right: Andalucia porridge bowl, Habitat; Bottom right: A trio of tiny bowls (top left is by Icelandic ceramicist Anna Mikaelsdottir – inspired by lava, it contains ashes from Eyjafjallajokull volcano, right is a paper-thin gold-edged bowl by London ceramicist Fliff Carr via Roost Living, bottom left is a small Thai stoneware bowl from Boon Choo Ceramic, Koh Samui); Bottom left: a stoneware bowl in ‘MW’ glaze from Winchcombe Pottery in the Cotswolds.

Filed in: LA BROCANTE (AKA VINTAGE TAT), SHOPPING: HIGH END
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TILES, TIDES AND TIME FOR TEA

Ellie Tennant Welbeck Tiles Rock Pool CafeTalented ceramicist Brenda Bates, of Welbeck Tiles, has opened a beautiful new seaside café in Mousehole, near Penzance, Cornwall. The ‘Rock Pool‘ – which is perched on a cliff above a natural rock pool – is filled with her impressive collection of vintage Swan teapots as well as her chic tiles. I loved styling it and writing about it for Homes & Antiques magazine (July issue – out now). On sunny days like today, I really wish I was taking a dip in Cornwall rather than sitting at a desk in London!

swan teapots brenda batesBrenda’s collection of vintage ephemera and treasures was a pleasure to plunder – like being in a prop hire warehouse! She has some amazing old Cornish postcards, maps and tourist guides, which have inspired her tile designs over the years.

vintage seaside drinking glassesRifling through Brenda’s boxes of coastal-themed ephemera was a real treat and, just when I thought we’d seen the lot, she produced yet another collection – this time of 1950s toiletries in fabulously patterned gift boxes. I couldn’t resist using one of the prettiest paper-wrapped soaps as a prop…

turquoise basin vintage soap

Filed in: INNIT, THOUGH, OOT AND ABOOT

MAY TREATS

ellie-tennant-interiorsClockwise from top left: My ‘new’ vintage stool, from Lovely & Co; Vintage Welsh Caernafon blanket – made in the Derw Mill and found on eBay. (Check out these beautiful cushions by Sparrow & Co. too, which are made from the same vintage blankets); Oak roller towel rail and striped towel for the recently-renovated kitchen from Towels-R-Us (!);  A pleasing old wooden chopping board from a charity shop, picked up as a prop but now very much at home.

Filed in: LA BROCANTE (AKA VINTAGE TAT), SHOPPING: ONLINE
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WILD GARLIC PESTO #FORAGINGFAIL

Skipping through the verdant Surrey woodland recently, we gathered fresh wild garlic leaves. I picked happily, the husband, less so. He was: ‘very concerned about the possibility of dog wee’ and ‘suspicious’ that we were: ‘actually picking poisonous-and-very-similar-looking Lily of the Valley leaves.’  Anyway, risk assessment completed, we filled a massive basket and later that day I merrily made a vat of Wild Garlic pesto, using this excellent River Cottage recipe.

wild garlic pesto river cottage recipeSadly, I forgot to blanch the leaves first and, as the plants had flowered, the resulting pesto is more than a just little bit bitter. It has been branded, since, by various pesto-pasta-eating experts as: ‘grassy’, ‘unpleasant’ and ‘inedible’. So I’m delighted I made four massive Kilner jars of the stuff. Still, it looks nice enough in a photo.

Filed in: INNIT, THOUGH, OOT AND ABOOT

LADY IN RED

I went to the excellent Littleton Auction a few weeks ago, intending to bid on a pair of rather delicious vintage Danish teak and leather armchairs. Sadly, there was a savvy dealer there who had also spotted them and they went for way more than my (meagre) budget in the end, but I didn’t leave empty handed as I spotted this 1960s oil painting of a lady in red by an artist called Bill Sly…

bill sly artistThere’s something about her expression that intrigues me. She looks a bit narked – as if she’s had to sit and pose for hours on end and she’s getting fed up of it. She’s found a new home in our living room and, even though those bloody gorgeous Danish chairs still haunt me, she’s a pretty good consolation prize.

Filed in: LA BROCANTE (AKA VINTAGE TAT), OOT AND ABOOT
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STYLING WORKSHOPS AT BLOGTACULAR

Ellie Tennant STYLING KITI was delighted to be invited to run two practical styling workshops at the London Blogtacular conference last weekend, held at the Royal Institution. All the bloggers at the event were so enthusiastic and friendly – their energy was really infectious! After my talk, we did a fun, practical session styling mini vignettes with pretty props from the likes of Paperchase, Jane Means, West Elm and The Hambledon

ellie tennant styling workshop

14169294555_2f1c97c9f2_oSince the event, I’ve loved seeing all the tweets and Instagram pics from the sessions and reading all the positive feedback in blog posts has been heart-warming, too. Here are a few of my favourite reviews: Diary of an Interior NoviceThe Lovely DrawerHydrangea Girl.

styling workshop london

Filed in: OOT AND ABOOT
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A PARTY AT BRIXTON EAST

Last week was a particularly busy one, as we held the launch party for Design Bloggers at Home - a book I worked on with the very talented Rachel Whiting for Ryland Peters & Small

sign on wallThe bash was at Brixton East – a former furniture factory in Brixton, South London – lovingly renovated by Interior Designer, Andy Luckett. We sipped delicious prosecco and elderflower drinks (thanks to our fabulous refreshment sponsors, Sainsbury’s and Bottle Green), listened to some relaxing background guitar music (courtesy of a pair of very talented musicians), enjoyed the scent of fresh lilac (thanks to my parents-in-law kindly stripping the shrubs in their garden) and ate a vast quantity of cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy. The rusty letters on the wall are from one of my favourite shops, RE.

design bloggers at home launch party 1I was thrilled that so many people braved the London Underground strikes to come – many of my favourite magazines popped along, including Homes & Antiques, Ideal Home, House and Garden, Good Homes, The Simple Things and LivingEtc, not to mention a great many designers, bloggers, PRs, friends and family members…

design bloggers at home party 2The ‘before’ and ‘after’ cheese shots below say it all, really! Thanks so much to everybody who came for making it such a fun event.

design bloggers at home party 3

Filed in: ON THE BOOK SHELF, OOT AND ABOOT
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DESIGN BLOGGERS AT HOME – OUT TODAY

So, DESIGN BLOGGERS AT HOME - the book about bloggers’ homes that I wrote and styled for Ryland Peters & Small working with the very talented photographer Rachel Whiting is officially published today…

ellie tennant design bloggers at home bookIt’s a tour around 12 stunning homes belonging to top design bloggers and it was a real adventure to make. Fuelled by Diet Coke, Rachel and I travelled the globe, shooting homes as diverse as a Cornish cottage, a Scandinavian town house, a glamorous Hollywood apartment and a Californian ranch with a vintage French flavour. Here are some snaps I took as we worked:

Design Bloggers At Home Ellie TennantThe bloggers in the book were all so generous and welcoming, which made our job a lot more enjoyable!

design bloggers at homeRyland Peters & Small has kindly put together a Pinterest board with some teaser images from the book. You can read more about the bloggers’ own experiences and see some very lovely previews online via the featured blogs: Bodie and Fou, Vosges Paris, My Scandinavian Home, Futurustic, Dreamy Whites, IDA Interior Lifestyle, All The Luck In The World, My Friend’s House, Oh Joy, SF Girl By Bay, Happy Mundane, Justina Blakeney Est. 1979.

Inspired? There’s a ‘HOW TO’ chapter at the end, with advice from the experts on setting up your own blog.

The book has received a lot of attention in the press and has so far been featured in:

Elle Decoration * Marie Claire * Stella * Grazia * The Guardian * You * Country Homes and Interiors * Country Living USA * Homes & Antiques * The New York Times * Redbook * Good Homes * Mollie Makes

DESIGN BLOGGERS AT HOME is available now via Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com, as well as via many other distributors worldwide.

ellie tennant design bloggers at home book

Filed in: ON THE BOOK SHELF, OOT AND ABOOT
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