Saturday, 30 June 2012

Love Light - Part One, The Ceiling Light

I can't stress the importance of a good lighting scheme enough.  It can create the right ambience in a room, and so many different looks.  Cosy, romantic, party, cheerful to name just a few.  Now I'm going to start my mini series of lighting blogs with my utmost favourite, the ceiling light...with lamps coming in a close second.  

I have made no secret in the past about my love affair with a chandelier - in any room from the bathroom, kitchen or cloakroom!  They give an elegance and glamour that is necessary in any room design in my opinion.  As long as you keep the rest of the room simple, otherwise you can create a very fussy look that is not typically Butterfly Lane.  

The interior is simple in the rooms below and the fabulous light features really create a stand out room with an amazing focal point.

Plain and simple dressing room with a fabulous light feature

As I have already said, I think chandeliers can work well in any room and below, I have found a collection of images where a chandelier looks just fabulous in a kitchen!

Myself and the boyfriend are currently designing our kitchen and we are carefully deigning our lighting concept with the electrician.  From lighting inside the cabinets, within shelves and surrounding the Aga, we want to create a multi functional scheme that will give our kitchen different 'vibes' on different occasions.  We have decided on a triple threat over the dining table, three beautiful lights hanging independently.  My inspirational images are below...

Stay tuned for more lighting blogs in the coming weeks...

Friday, 29 June 2012

Organically Thinking

I've been thinking a lot lately about the food I eat, where is comes from and what is put on it by farmers to keep it looking 'healthy' on supermarket shelves.  Erm, questionable to say the least.  To embrace country living to the utmost it is so lovely to have an allotment and grow your own produce, something I'm determined to have in the future.  Then you can control what you 'feed' your vegetables with.  However, if you are limited on time and/or space, most local farms deliver 'veg boxes' directly to your homes full of seasonal and fresh veg.  Just do a quick google search to find your local organic farm or farm shop.

So eating organically to me means lots of things, one being limiting the amount of toxins going in to my body, it supports local business and helps the environment, a big tick on every count I think!  I recently got talking to a nutritionist about my organic plan and she has kindly agreed to write a blog for Butterfly Lane full of helpful advice and a bit of background information about organic food.  I hope you all enjoy Rebecca Greenberg's organic outlook and please check out her Facebook page and twitter feed @beccanutrition for more nutritional tips and for information on her services.  Now, over to Rebecca...

Having so kindly been asked by Butterfly Lane to write an article on organic food; a mild surge of panic started to set in as I pondered where I should start; as the extent of what I could write could fill a whole blog in itself but as I contemplated so much came into my mind so I thought I would give you just a tiny insight into an organic life, and so I begin....

Firstly, what is organic? What does it mean? Well, according to the Soil Association ‘organic food is produced using environmentally and animal friendly farming methods’.

Although the organic food industry in the UK has grown dramatically within the past two decades and despite the fact I am a nutritionist; I couldn’t even tell you the amount of times I have gotten stick from family and friends when I announce ‘I only eat organic’ like it’s a ‘made up’ type of diet, oh so it’s ok for my friends to have a kosher or vegetarian diet but ‘organic’??!...they seem to think its crazy!

Since discovering  I had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) at the age of 19 I severely changed my diet to that of a less chemical, less toxic one (a.k.a organic) and I tell you, I completely cured myself and it totally changed my life and so this is where my fascination with food and nutrition began.

Ok, so organic produce may becoming more popular but do people generally see this as a fad?  Do people assume it’s fashionable or do the general public really know why they are buying into organic? Well, whether they see it as a fashionable statement or for health reasons here’s a lowdown on why we should be consuming organic produce...

  • ·      Organic foods have higher levels of many disease fighting antioxidants and essential vitamins including vitamin C
  • ·       No GM ingredients
  • ·       Safer for the environment
  • ·      Encouraging organic farming methods and gardening practices will allow organic soil to re-build and contribute healthy vitamins and minerals to feed crops and you
  • ·      Reduction and prevention of some allergies and diseases (certain chemicals used have been linked to serious diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s)
  • ·       Healthier environment
  • ·      Organic farming methods and practices beneficial to wildlife as the synthetic toxic chemicals used in commercial farming can be deadly to birds and other wild animals
  • ·       Fresher and tastier

People may argue that organic produce is expensive but is it? Or are foods you buy just really really cheap...and you may want to think about why?!  For me, I see organic food and healthy eating as my health insurance and who can put a price on your health?

Although I believe there are so many benefits to eating organic I still think there is a long way to go yet before the masses (including my delightful friends....I love you all really) are convinced, generally the public believe that there is someone out there i.e. the Government that is looking after our health when in fact there is not, it is down to you to educate yourself and be pro-active but I say, anything that I put into my body that has reduced chemicals, fertilisers and pesticides can only be positive and who wants toxic disease causing chemicals in their body anyway?!

Visit Rebecca Greenberg's Facebook page and Twitter feed for further information of her services.  

Thursday, 28 June 2012

It's A Stag Thing

The stag has been the animal du jour for some time now, appearing in various forms within interior design circles.  From ceramic heads perched on walls to hooks and candle holders, this strong creature adds a powerful and quirky presence to any room.

Stag candle holder, hook and wall feature

I have just completed the Butterfly Lane autumn/winter buy and I am pleased to tell you that stags are going nowhere fast, they were still found in abundance.  I bought some great tea light holders and dare I mention the 'C' word in June, but, I also bought some stunning Christmas decorations, that I know you will just love.  

Thornback and Peel do stag prints so well, and here are some of Butterfly Lane's favourites from the collection.  

Stag cushion, tea towel and napkins by Thornback & Peel

Here at Butterfly Lane we are not trend driven, we like classic and timeless interiors, however, small elements of trends can keep your home looking fresh and will add that all so important design edge.  I love to add in quirky accessories that really make a house a home, and create individuality to a space, and I really think a little stag 'something' will do just the trick.  With this in mind I have just bought these fabulous bookends that will look great in my study...

Stag Bookends

This candle, come wine bottle, holder will be available to buy at Butterfly Lane soon, so please contact us on to be added to our waiting list.  

Stag candle/wine bottle holder, £20 Butterfly Lane
Why not add a little bit of animal magic in to your home and invest in a stag!  Let us know what you buy...

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Travel Guide: Salcombe, Devon

I have just returned from a rather lovely break in Salcombe, Devon.  It was a complete wash out with lots of rainy days which prompted many a log fire burning in our barn in the chilly evenings!  Not what you really expect in June, but hey ho, we made the most of it.  Therefore, I cannot give you a run down of all the stunning beaches as I only managed to visit a mere few!

North Sands, Salcombe

North Sands is a rustic cove with a small beach which was full of surfers when I visited.  It has a great beach front cafe called The Winking Prawn, this casual eatery is a must if you like a good quality summer BBQ.  

Blackpool Sands was by far my most favourite of beaches in the area.  With the countryside literally rolling in to the sea, and thatched cottages along the coast line (one was painted in pink and was the most stunning beach retreat imaginable), it was idyllic to say the least.  It was cold, drizzling and windy when I stood on this pebbly beach at dusk, yet it was still breathtakingly gorgeous and peaceful.  I just wanted to stumble back to one of the cottages all windswept to light a fire.   
Blackpool Sands, Devon.  In the sunshine!

It in intermittent dry spells, we managed to do a bit of shopping in Salcombe, where there are some great home ware shops and lots of interesting boutiques.  The Salcombe Trading Company has some great finds if you like a nautical look in your home.  Also, Jack Wills first ever shop was, and still is, in Salcombe along with lots of other boaty brands like Crew, Musto and Henry Lloyd.  The array of shops certainly kept myself, and my credit card, occupied for many hours, and was a great distraction from the rain! 

We also went on a few boat rides, which are a must in Salcombe to get you from place to place to avoid an extremely long-winded car journey.  I was completely surprised that my little westie Maggie loved the sea air and being on board - she is known as being a complete wimp, so you could imagine our surprise!

Dartmouth, Devon
Of course lots of eating was carried out...cream teas, hot chocolates and crab sandwiches.  When in Rome and all that! 

Take Away Chips and Thai Fish Cakes 

The Salcombe Sands Boutique Hotel has just had a refurb and is in the tranquil setting of South Sands, which is just a short boat trip to the buzz of Salcombe town.  It has a great restaurant and afternoon tea selection.  I highly recommend a visit and a sit on these fabulous Lloyd Loom chairs...and what a view from the restaurant!  When the sun shines you could easily feel like you are on the Cotes d'Azur. 

The Crabshell Inn, Kingsbridge, Devon. 

My favourite restaurant that we visited on my trip was The Crabshell Inn in Kingsbridge.  I fabulously relaxed quayside bar, come restaurant, with incredible views.  Unfortunately for us it was (of course) raining so we couldn't take advantage of the outdoor restaurant, but instead managed second best with a table by the window with amazing views over the water.  I was in a complete daydream with the idyllic setting, imagining living in the perfect water front house which was just in my line of sight.  It was a nautical themed white and blue cottage, and rather dreamily had a matching white and blue boat moored on the bank.  Bliss!  

View from the restaurant - the perfect water front house with nautical blue and white theme

Matching boats

Now, to the food!  The menu had a vast array of seafood dishes as you would expect, but also accommodated the non fish lovers too.  I opted for the mussels in a white wine sauce, which were divine, with crusty warm bread and of course an obligatory side order of very thin fries!   

Mussels at The Crabshell Inn
The interior is simple, wooden tables, minimal accessories, definitely beach shack chic!  The music was a fantastic mix, and really complemented the evening perfectly. 

I definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area.  

If you have any recommendations of things to see, places to go, restaurants to visit in the Salcombe area please let us know, as I'm sure I'll be going back soon for more south coast adventures.  

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Dining Room Decadence

The dining room is a room that, lets face it, is used pretty infrequently if you have a kitchen/diner.  However, it always adds a sense of occasion when you use this room, as it is earmarked for special occasions - Christmas, dinner parties and birthday's.  I always remember my mother's dining room, shut off from everyday use, with cabinets full of her best china and crystal, with the walnut table glossed to an inch of its life, the smell of polish overwhelming!  However, I think dining room's should be embraced as an everyday room and I have been inspired by some absolutely gorgeous images.  The images below still have an air of formality and celebration but are absolutely liveable...

So, the table is very important.  At the moment I love the idea of a large round table, they add a point of difference compared to your usual rectangular option but are also a lot more sociable, as a table full of guests can interact with each other a lot easier.  

Gorgeous chandelier hanging over the round table
Sometimes a dining room can conjure up images of dark, serious rooms.  However, here at Butterfly Lane we are about light and airy spaces, sophisticated but completely liveable.  By using beautiful accessories, like sparkling chandeliers, glassware, candle holders and fresh flowers it will individualise the room and create a space that is liveable and welcoming but with will still have that important design twist.  

Great lights add interest to a simple table

Perfectly set for a dinner party with ample of fresh flowers

A simple room with minimal accessories
This dining room has a little more 'quirk' to it and the lights that hang over the table are such a statement.  The green tone add warmth and welcome, and the contrasting fabric on the two carver chairs adds an individual twist on the otherwise simple room.  

Make your dining room an everyday space and try not to lock it away waiting for a special occasion.  

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Wimbledon Whites

Wimbledon fortnight is here again and we are all hoping that the sun will shine on the most prestigious of the year's championships.  

A rainy, yet oh so stylish tennis court

We are big tennis fans in my family, my brother is a tennis coach and we have been playing (well, on and off on my part) for years.  There is something very special about Wimbledon, it is all so terribly British, full of lots of pomp and ceremony!  But let's embrace the occasion, don our finest whites and devour strawberries and cream, and definitely get the Pimms flowing (any excuse).  Here is the perfect table setting for a Wimbledon party...

Tennis Tea Party

In honour of the Wimbledon Championships here are Butterfly Lane's top picks of 'all white' interiors.  

Luxe White Bedroom
White Dining Room

White Bathroom

White Table Setting

White Nursery

White Entrance Hall

Good luck to all the competitors this year...maybe Murray might just do it!  And to all us spectators, enjoy the strawberries and cream!  

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Monday, 18 June 2012

How Accessories And Design Details Can Maximise A Room

I’ve always been pedantic about detailing, maybe it's my fashion background, maybe it's just instilled within me from birth, who knows!  When getting dressed I make sure that the roll on my sleeve is such so, that my jewellery selection lifts an outfit just enough and that my handbag suits my days activities...crazy behaviour!  So it goes without saying that I am exactly the same (if not a tad worse) when it comes to interior design and accessorising mine, and other people’s homes.

I love classic looks, simple interiors but with quirky and individual pieces of design, that stand out from the crowd.  Whether this is in an amazing painting, great fabric or accessory, it is what differentiates our homes from one another.  It can take years of looking for the perfect accessories to make your house a home, but it is so fun looking isn’t it? 

These personal accessories on this bed side table really adds character to this room
This simple jug with flowers gives an elegant edge to this plain work surface 
This room is full of great, yet simple accessories which really lift the room
This sideboard houses lots of accessories
Lovely accessories against a simple colour palette and simple furniture really gives this image the wow factor
An unusual accessory can really transform a simple space or sideboard.  I am a magpie, and am instantly attracted to pretty things, so I love scouring high and low to find the most perfect, adaptable and versatile accessories to fit your home.  The collection of my finds will be available to buy at the Butterfly Lane online boutique soon.  Sign up at the bottom of this post  for updates and remember to verify your email address.

Here are my top five accessories so far to add that je ne sais pas to your home.  All available at Butterfly Lane very soon.  Email us on for further information.  

Gorgeous bird bowl

Distressed wooden candle holder
The prettiest glass trinket box 
Pot jar
Striking picture frame

Let us know what your favourite home accessories are... 

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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Maritime Fun - Add A Coastal Air To Your Home

I'm off to a not so sunny Salcombe in Devon on Friday for a mini break with my family.  We are all heading down in convoy, lots of adults, two under 5's and a crazy Westie called Maggie, who can't wait to play in the sea.  

Salcombe is England's destination for the 'boaty' crowd, so I'm thinking that the sailing course I took when I was eleven might come in handy!  Although, I don't think that sailing will be a factor, instead, as per usual, I'm thinking about food and eating lots of fresh fish and super fresh oysters, and of course playing in the rock pools with my adorable nephews.  However, as Butterfly Lane has a distinctive coastal vibe at the moment, I've been looking in to lots of nautical looks to create the perfect beach house.  Or if you don't have a beach house, like the majority of us, I have found some gorgeous maritime accessories to add elements of summer, beachy fun in to your home.  

Nautical chic with classic navy and white combination

Now, I admit it, I am keen on a maritime look or two, not only for homeware but also in fashion too.  Who says you need to own a yacht to dress nautical!  I until recently worked for Sir Paul Smith HQ and was often ridiculed by colleagues about my 'admirals' outfits (as they fondly called them), that appeared in late spring, year in, year out.  However, I think navy and white, especially in a stripe, is such a clean, crisp and timeless combination for summer time dressing and living, and don't forget to throw in the odd anchor emblem for good measure!  Every year the catwalk collections showcase some variation on the trend, which reiterates my point of its timeless charm. 

YSL showing nautical chic
Back to interiors...

The classic blue and white colour combination screams nautical, and looks so clean and fresh.  Adding elements of this style in to your home is easy, and it works best with a neutral backdrop, especially with white walls and furniture, then adding accents of blue.  The blue panelling on the walls below, breaks up the crisp whiteness and adds warmth.

Alternatively, smaller statements can be just as effective.  Keep the decor white and add design features such as white washed furniture, lanterns and a navy and white striped rug or throw.

Helen Turkington 'Life's A Beach' Image

For an all out nautical look I couldn't resist including this image of a bedroom for lots of guests.  It is so fun and so perfect for any beach retreat. 

I have fallen in love with these gorgeous tasselled cushions by The White Company.  They are perfect for inside or outside.  Also, this wooden white deck chair is so stunning for your outside space, whether it's on the beach or not!  And remember lanterns give a great coastal vibe and are so versatile, use on your dining/kitchen table as a feature, on a side board or outside in your garden.  I recommend that you invest!

I hope you are inspired for some maritime fun...

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