Friday faves

This week has felt properly Autumnal, hasn’t it? I have felt a chill at home for the first time whilst sitting at my desk and I’ve even reached for a cosy cardigan a couple of times. I’m now looking forward to getting my home ready for the new season; making subtle changes that will help make the space feel cosier, warmer and ready for evenings at home, more cooking and darker days. I found this dreamy, creamy pink image (top left) and it has really inspired me in terms of textures, colours and tones for how I would like my home to feel this Autumn.

Now my baby bump is getting pretty big my sleep has been suffering a lot. I seem to toss and turn, not able to sleep on my front as I always have done, and I never feel like I have fallen into a deep sleep. I have also got into an annoying habit of waking completely for an hour or two most nights. A couple of nights ago I resorted to a bit of internet browsing during the wee hours and I came across the most beautiful shop in the world and I need it all! Camomile London mainly sells a wonderful mixture of textiles, blending colours and hand embroidery to perfection (image above and top right). I filled up my middle-of-the-night-cart to the value of £600 – ha!

Friday faves | Apartment Apothecary

We spent the weekend in the countryside celebrating my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday. We bought her a couple of presents (that I totally wanted to keep for myself!) including one of the exclusive cups designed and made by Jono Smart for The Future Kept and a huge carboy terrarium beautifully planted by London Terrariums, whose workshop is just down the road from where we live. I’m really looking forward to going to The Simple Shape exhibition in south east London on Saturday to hear from Jono Smart and Luke Eastop about their work. You can find details of the exhibition here.

And lastly, this week has been all about clearing out my home office in preparation for turning it into a nursery. I have had a big clear out, sold loads of stuff through an instagram sale (thanks to everyone who bought something!) and we are almost ready to begin decorating/refreshing and adding some new furniture – eek! I think this is my favourite part of the decorating process as it feels so good to streamline, sort and organise. We’ve got a few busy weekends coming up so it’s a bit frustrating not to have a decent stretch of time to get stuck in to it but that’s all part of the fun.

Hope you’ve had a good week!

Katy x


Dean Street Cafe

I mentioned in last week’s Friday Faves that I had been to a gathering at the very inspiring Dean Street Cafe along with a group of design bloggers, as organised by the brilliant We Are Function and Form. The cafe, designed by Nina+Co, is a social enterprise from charity Centrepoint, providing jobs and skills to homeless young people. Nina designed this flexible space to accommodate the charity’s weekday functions and then they open their doors to the public at the weekend serving delicious coffee, pastries and food. It was great to hear from Nina about the detail of her design and I thought you’d like to see few images of the cafe’s interior for inspiration…

Dean Street Cafe | Apartment Apothecary

Dean Street Cafe | Apartment Apothecary

Dean Street Cafe | Apartment Apothecary

Dean Street Cafe | Apartment Apothecary

This wall of cupboards has been designed to store all of the cafe furniture so that the whole room can be completely cleared if needs be.

Dean Street Cafe | Apartment Apothecary

The pegboards provide space for shelves that can be easily removed during the week whilst the cafe is being used for charity events and training for the young people from Centrepoint.

Dean Street Cafe | Apartment Apothecary

Dean Street Cafe | Apartment Apothecary

The cafe kitchen can be closed off during the week by hanging the blackboards on the large black hooks.

Dean Street Cafe | Apartment Apothecary

Dean Street Cafe | Apartment Apothecary

If you are in the area you should definitely pop in one weekend and enjoy this lovely space supporting a brilliant cause.

Katy x

*All images by Anna Stathaki

*The cafe can be found at 54 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 6AE

Friday faves

Happy Friday all! Hope you’ve had a good week and have nice plans for the weekend. As I explained in this post I took last week off the blog to try to get ahead of myself a bit, finish off other pieces of work and have a bit of time to find some inspiration for the start of the new season. Well, it worked and I managed to have a really productive week and I’d love to tell you today about some of the things I do or search out when I feel a bit flat.

So, here are the sources of inspiration that have got me ready for the start of Autumn…

Friday faves | Apartment Apothecary

Last Saturday I spent the morning at the newly launched Dean Street Cafe (total pegboard crush!) with a fantastic group of design bloggers organised by We Are Function and Form. We were treated to breakfast and a talk about this brilliant social enterprise project run by Centrepoint charity. I came away inspired not only by the thoughtful and stylish design of the cafe but also by the project itself. You must visit for coffee on the weekends (it’s number 54 Dean Street).

I tried to do a couple of sewing projects last week as this is something that always helps me feel bit more creative, choosing the pattern and fabrics for a project. I love browsing the Purl Soho site for ideas and decided to make a blanket/play mat for a friend’s baby – I’ll try to pop it up on the blog next week.

I always turn to my favourite interiors instagram accounts and blogs when I need a bit of a shake up. My current faves are @saarmanche (middle image on the left) whose home and illustrations I adore and Avenue Lifestyle  – Holly’s interiors projects are just perfect (she’s inspired me with her latest home office makeover to make a bit more of my String Shelving).

On Sunday I got a good dose of home envy – which is always good for stirring up interiors ideas – when I went to the home of Melia and Henrik to shoot it with Katharine Peachey for 91 Magazine. Botanical heaven, I tell you.

And last, but not least, getting out of London for the day and exploring a new part of the countryside with Otto is always a winner to help me feel refreshed. We discovered Lullingstone Park in Kent, which is completely perfect for dog walking, has a lake for swimming, a good cafe and children’s playground. Plus, we did the kids’ nature trail that involved brass rubbings and all sorts – such a nice way to spend the day and only a 45 mixture drive from Bermondsey (also, it’s made me want to live in one of the surrounding villages; so many pretty houses!).

All in all a week well spent and a to-do list all checked off – hurrah!

Katy x

P.S. Don’t forget there is a mountain load of inspirational events and installations happening around the capital next week for London Design Festival. See my top picks here.


London Design Festival preview

With the arrival of Autumn, the London Design Festival rolls into town each year. Furniture design has traditionally been at the centre of the festival but that is just the beginning. Made up of over 400 events and exhibitions within several different design districts across the city from 17th-25th September, there is so much to see and do – in fact, there is too much so it’s good to spend a bit of time planning your visit.


Having been born in London it is all too easy to take living here for granted and even easier to stick to the areas and places that I know and am familiar with. Therefore, I love LDF as an opportunity to explore and see new and exciting things, as well as seeing areas I know well with new eyes. This year I have put together a preview of things I would love to see and do over the next few days and I hope you find it a useful starting point if you want to pop along at any point.

Must see…


Furniture: Another Country  I absolutely love the contemporary design of Another Country’s furniture and accessories but I have never actually visited their shop so I definitely want to take this opportunity to do so. As an added bonus this year they will be showcasing a selection of sofas from Danish manufacturer Søren Lund and lighting from Brooklyn-based Workstead so I’m hoping for lots of interiors inspiration.

Exhibition: Simple Shape  One of my favourite possessions is a beautiful ceramic cup designed by Elliott Ceramics sold by Simple Shape. Therefore, I am very excited about a local to me trail through the creative streets and studios of South East London. The trail includes a Simple Shape ceramics exhibition – I can’t wait.

Art work: Brixton street gallery  I grew up just down the road from Brixton and I know the street that will be used for this outdoor installation well. There will be wall art, planters and skateboarding furniture (there is a big skatepark – that I was never brave enough to go to as a child – at the top of the street) and it will be great to see a street I’ve walked down a million times completely transformed.

Must experience…

London Design Festival 2016 preview | Apartment Apothecary

Workshop: London Terrariums I’m a big fan of London Terrariums, having just bought one for a birthday present, and their workshops sound brilliant. Having plants in my home brings the place to life and if you find keeping plants alive tough work a closed terrarium is perfect as they just look after themselves pretty much – give it a try!

Technology: Sony One of the things I wrangle with most about interiors is striking a good balance between function and form and Jules all too often accuses me of not getting that balance right when it comes to technology and electronics (anything with lots of cables and big black screens make me nervous!). Therefore, I’m looking forward to seeing Sony’s installation at design junction at King’s Cross. Sony have created a room where technology blends into the decor; a space that adapts to us, instead of the other way around. I’m desperate to avoid planning a whole room around where the TV can plug in (!) so I can’t wait to see this installation.

Food and drink: Rockett St George There are loads of great places to eat across LDF but the fact that Rockett St George have partnered with The Hoxton, Shoreditch to redesign their courtyard space inspired by balmy Indian Summer evenings really caught my attention. They will unveil ‘A Rockett St George Tropical Paradise’ so you get both food and interiors inspiration for the price of one.

Must hear…

London Design Festival 2016 preview | Apartment Apothecary

Talk: Houzz  Granary Square will be transformed by twelve bespoke red houses (they look a bit like monopoly houses), which will play home to installations. Houzz, the leading platform for home design and renovation (you can see my home featured here), will be hosting a series of totally free design clinics with industry professionals from their custom coloured ‘Houzz green house’ – definitely worth a visit if you need a bit of design advice.

Concept: Bare Minimum You all know by now how much I love a bit of minimalism and trying to live with as little as possible (you’re probably very bored of hearing about my constant decluttering efforts – another one has just begun by the way!). Therefore, I would really enjoy hearing more about this fresh perspective on minimalism in furniture and lighting design. In particular, I want to see the installation illustrating and discussing micro living in just 13 square metres; my first flat was a 30 square metre studio flat so this is right up my street.

Tour: V&A It seems a shame not to pop into the V&A during LDF so I like the idea of joining the free late night tour on 23rd September of the specially-commissioned design installations around the building and enjoying the Festival atmosphere.

Must visit…

London Design Festival 2016 preview | Apartment Apothecary

Shop: Labour and Wait One of my absolute favourite London shops is this year taking part in LDF – not that I need an excuse to visit – so it would be nice to drop in to see their collaboration with Blackhorse Lane Ateliers to produce a limited edition apron in 12oz denim. No doubt I will leave with a basket full of goodies.

Open studio: Vitra workspace I love a good nose around other people’s workspaces so I’ll take any chance to check out an open studio.

Sculpture: The Smile And last, but not least, architect Alison Brooks’ landmark project for the London Design Festival is definitely worth checking out. A 3 metre upside down arc set in the grounds of the Chelsea College of Arts offers visitors the chance to take in the views of the city from the two viewing platforms at either end of The Smile.

So, I hope to get to some of these installations and events over the next week and I will be back to give you a review of what I saw and did. Hopefully, see some of you there – is there anything you are particularly looking forward to?

Katy x


*This post was written in collaboration with Sony.

A bathroom refresh: tips for painting furniture

Have you ever seen a photograph of my bathroom? No, I didn’t think so. It’s the one room in our flat that I never let anyone photograph because it is dull as dishwater and worse it is now becoming quite rough round the edges after living here for six years. The bath panel and skirting boards have begun to swell with water, the white walls are scuffed and marked and there isn’t anything ‘nice’ in there – you know, no fancy bottles, candles, plants or fluffy towels. It needs a bit of a refresh, nothing major as we don’t have the time or money for that right now, but a few quick additions/changes that I can make with relatively little effort.

The first thing I have decided to do is paint a little cabinet I have on the wall in the bathroom. I’ll be honest with you that I pretty much hate painting furniture as it can be a real faff but I have discovered a great chalk paint from Ronseal that solves this issue. No primer is needed, just two coats of paint and no wax is necessary either and it is super quick drying too (that is very important for me as I am SO impatient when it comes to painting – you’ll often find me hanging shelves or shifting drawers back into place even though the paint is still wet!). The paint also resists knocks and scuffs, which is perfect for my bathroom cabinet as it gets a lot of wear and tear. I chose the duck egg blue to help add a bit of subtle colour to the room.

So, here are my tips for painting wooden furniture and I will be back another time with pics of my bathroom ‘refresh’ if I feel brave enough 😉

Tips for painting wooden furniture |Vintage bathroom cabinet | Apartment Apothecary

Cabinet painted in Ronseal’s Chalky Furniture Paint in duck egg blue.

Tips for painting wooden furniture |Vintage bathroom cabinet | Apartment Apothecary

I’ll show you what it looks like when it is back in the bathroom when I have made a few more changes to that room.

Tips for painting furniture

The cabinet is quite old (I bought it ten years ago from an antiques shop) but the pine isn’t a lovely aged colour, it is actually quite bright orange and it kind of stands out like a sore thumb in the bathroom. Therefore, I decided it would be an ideal candidate for a bit of an update. The wood is in a good condition with a few dents and knots here and there but I don’t want to make it look like new so I don’t bother with filling any of them. I give it a really light sand and then hoover it well so there is no dust or dirt and then I am ready to paint…

Tips for painting wooden furniture | Apartment Apothecary

1 – Spend time taping off where you do and don’t want to paint

I like to use blue decorators’ tape as it adheres really well compared to normal masking tape. For this particular piece I spent time taping off the mirror so that I could get a really crisp finish and it saved me loads of time as I didn’t have to faff around trying not to get paint on the mirror.

2 – Only paint the outside

I never paint inside a piece of furniture. The main reason for this is that a couple of layers of paint can mess up how well a cupboard door closes or a drawer slides in and out – often the paint can make these things ‘stick’. Therefore, I only paint a couple of inches of the inside of a drawer, just so you don’t see any raw wood from the outside (see the outcome of this in the finished photograph above).

3 – Use the right sized brush for the job

I am famous for using a massive brush on the teeniest tiniest project or vice versa just because I’ve used the first brush I find. However, if you choose the right sized brush it will save you so much time and have a really noticeable effect on the finish.

Ronseal’s Chalky Furniture Paint is really easy to apply as it’s water based and it only requires just two coats – no primer or wax. It also drys really quickly and has no smell so it’s a great product to use at home for a quick project.

4 – Apply thin layers of paint

The first layer of paint (as you can see above) should be thin and you should still be able to see the grain of the wood. Don’t lather on huge amounts of paint as it will pool and drip – have faith that the second coat of paint will provide all the coverage you will need.

5 – Work with the grain

Try to apply the paint in the same direction, working with the grain of the wood. This will help create a good finish.

6 – Be patient

Make sure you follow the paint instructions and let the paint dry thoroughly between layers. Also, don’t remove the tape until the next day if you have the patience (I took mine off after a couple of hours though – I can’t help myself!).

What do you think? I hope you agree the cabinet looks better painted than it did before. Back soon with a few more bathroom updates.

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with Ronseal.