The Autumn Fair

The Autumn Fair | Apartment Apothecary

I’ve already mentioned that I am looking forward to Autumn and that exciting ‘back to school’ feeling. It’s always a time for fresh starts and renewed inspiration, I find. For those of you who have a shop/gift/home business a good way to kick off the new season is a visit to the Autumn Fair, a gift and home trade show that takes place at Birmingham NEC from September 4th – 7th. Full of inspiration, a mix of contemporary and traditional products and a great line-up of experts to learn from, the fair is also the perfect place to help start you on a new venture if you have been thinking about starting a business – new season, new beginnings!

The Autumn Fair | Apartment Apothecary

Hübsch will be exhibiting their A/W16 collection.

There are 1,400 exhibitors to explore over the four day show with twelve different sectors, including The Light Show and The Summer House. Exhibitors range from small independents ready to be discovered to large well known brands so there is something for everyone.

The Autumn Fair | Apartment Apothecary

You can find lighting inspiration from companies such as VITA Copenhagen.

The Autumn Fair | Apartment Apothecary

Beautiful botanical accessories from Abigail Ahern.

If you want to know a bit about what to expect from the exhibitors, highlights include the cool, sleek lines of furniture by Danish company Hubsch, discover VITA Copenhagen – a place where beautiful Danish lighting design meets the Scandinavian feel, high-quality materials and a genuine care for the environment. You can also browse a selection of the stunning Abigail Ahern botanicals from the A/W16-17 collection. Ib Laursen is another designer to look out for, designing and selling home and garden decor, matching the Nordic design tradition and Le Creuset will be at the show launching their new Moorland Mist collection just in time for lots of lovely autumn and winter cooking. Plenty of gifts, gadgets, jewellery, stationery and children’s products will also feature.

The Autumn Fair | Apartment Apothecary

Nordic design from Ib Laursen.

The Autumn Fair | Apartment Apothecary

Le Creuset will be exhibiting their new ‘Moorland Mist’ collection.

The show isn’t just about unearthing new products for your business but it’s a great place to meet new people in the trade and learn from the brilliant line up of experts that are holding seminars and doing talks. Two of my favourite interiors bloggers, Kate Watson-Smyth of Mad About the House and Jen Stanbrook of Love Chic Living are speaking so make sure you check them out. You will also be treated to a seminar by the super successful Jo Malone who will be sharing her brand building story, full of invaluable insights, I’m sure. You can also book in for a one-on-one clinic with the Meet the Experts panel and discuss any issues your business is having from SEO to social media management.

So, whether you are looking for some ‘back to school’ inspiration for your existing business or you are searching out new beginnings this autumn by starting up a brand new venture, the Autumn Fair is a great place to start. Enjoy!

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with the Autumn Fair.


Vintage inspired sofas by G Plan

Is there anything better than choosing a new sofa? It is such an important purchase as a good one can completely transform a room – it’s as though it has magical powers. Without changing a single thing in a room if you add a new sofa the whole space feels shiny and new; a bit like new school shoes after the summer holidays (god, I used to love that feeling!).

All that being said, you need to get the choice right. The colour, style, shape, fabric and size of the sofa are all important considerations. Sofa buying can feel like a minefield; don’t panic and go for a safe, boring option that can drag a room down. Instead you need to be brave and bold, seek advice and go for something that will bring your room alive.

If you are currently looking for a new sofa, or can be tempted to consider one, I’m excited to introduce you to some fabulous options from G Plan. One of my favourite brands for vintage furniture (I used to have the most gorgeous 50’s G Plan sideboard) G Plan began in 1953 and is responsible for some of the most iconic furniture of the 20th century. The company has now gone on to create a stunning range of furniture inspired by their classic sofas and chairs of the 50’s and 60’s in collaboration with Hemingway Design. The G Plan Vintage collection has that elusive ‘magical power’ I referred to earlier.


Top: The Sixty Three Bottom left: The Fifty Five Bottom right: The Fifty Three

Turning yesterday’s classics into icons of tomorrow, each piece is handcrafted in Wiltshire from the finest materials, and each design is named after the mid-century original from the archive that inspired it.

The latest addition to the G Plan Vintage collection is the stunning Fifty Nine Corner Sofa – perfect for families or hosting and definitely makes a statement. Seen here in indigo blue velvet but the colour palette for this sofa includes shades of berry, topaz, flamingo, shell, teal, copper and emerald – tempting, hey?

G Plan contemporary collection of sofas inspired by vintage archives | Apartment Apothecary

Top: Fifty Nine Corner Sofa  Bottom left: The Sixty Seven Corner Bottom right: The Sixty Seven

You know when you go round to a friend’s house and as you walk into their living room there is always one chair that just calls to you to sit in it ? The latest launch from G Plan, the Edit collection, is calling me through my computer screen! This is a collection inspired by the boucle fabrics of one of Italy’s finest mills and the texture of these fabrics give these pieces the wow factor. I badly want the Bowie to be mine.

G Plan contemporary collection of sofas inspired by vintage archives | Apartment Apothecary

Top: Bowie Bottom left: Hepburn Bottom right: Hockney

Have I convinced you? Don’t go for the boring sofa option, be bold and add a bit of vintage inspired magic to your living room.

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with G Plan.

Friday faves

I have to admit I have been a bit baby obsessed this week. We’re into week 21 now and it suddenly feels all very real with baby kicking away and we found out the gender a couple of days ago, which was almost like finding out I was pregnant all over again. Even though there were only ever going to be two options, so I thought it wouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, I was so shocked and blown away when we found out; I guess it’s finally convinced me that this is actually happening! We both kind of thought it would be a boy but we were wrong…a little girl is on its way. So exciting.

Anyhoo, the result of all this excitement has been me going on a bit of a spending spree – I couldn’t help myself! I have been thinking about making plans for the nursery so we can get that all done before the start of December as baby is due in January and I don’t want to have to worry about it over Christmas so I’ve been on the hunt for some bits and pieces for that room. I have found a few lovely independent shops that I’d love to tell you about because I have been so impressed by their products and service.

Friday faves | Nursery inspiration | Apartment Apothecary

Wallpaper: Gable BP 5406 – € 133.00 per 10m roll. Available from: Farrow & Ball 01202 876141

I want the nursery to blend in well with the rest of our flat and not stick out like a bright sore thumb so I like the idea of incorporating dusty blues, greys, greens, pinks and lots of white (the pinks would have been there if it had been a boy, believe!). I found lots of lovely things from The Modern Nursery, including the hot air balloon light, and from The Tipi, including the changing basket. I like the contrast of natural baskets against soft, pale colours. I also discovered some beautifully made organic cotton and bamboo baby clothes from Baby Mori – they are soooo soft! A much more extravagant purchase that I have put on my ‘baby wishlist’ is the Sebra Kili cot (image via woonblog), which would be perfect for our flat as we don’t have much space and I just love the Danish design. I doubt there will be enough pennies for it but I can dream…

This week I was treated to a sneak peek of Farrow & Ball’s new range of wallpapers due to launch next month. I am now very torn between leaving the nursery white with painted Light Blue woodwork or using this new wallpaper, which is called Gable. I love the 1940’s inspired rural scene and the one thing I remember most from my own room as a child was the wallpaper and the stories it inspired based on the characters in the design. So, I’ll be wrangling over that decision for who knows how long – what would you do?

Hope you’ve all had a great week!

Katy x

A first time buyer’s guide to kitting out a bedroom

I’ve been working with a client recently to help them furnish their very first home and it has reminded me of what a minefield it can be trying to figure out what you need, what to prioritise and where you can get away with cutting back.

Therefore, I have decided to put together a ‘first time buyer’s guide’ for those of you struggling with the same issues. When you move to a new home there are two pieces of furniture that you can’t really be without – a bed and a sofa. I have decided to focus on the bedroom today with a little help from Happy Beds because it’s a good idea to priortise this room as you can’t get by without proper sleep.

So, here are my tips for kitting out your first bedroom…

1. Don’t buy everything at once

I think it’s really important not to buy every single item you will need for the room before you move in. Rooms that grow organically over time feel and look better so as long as you have the basics, the decorative accessories can come later.

First time buyer's guide to kitting out a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Image via The D Pages

2. Bedroom essentials

This is a list of essentials that every good bedroom needs:

Bed frame, mattress, bedding, bedlinen, bedside light, bedside table, clothes storage, full length mirror. All the rest can wait until you are ready to complete the room.

First time buyer's guide to kitting out a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Image via Style Pages

3. Know your room’s dimensions

When you shop for your room it is really important that you always have the exact dimensions of the room on hand so that you can make informed choices as and when you need to. This will speed up the process and give you piece of mind that everything you order will fit.

4. Go Kingsize

If space allows going kingsize from the start will save you money in the long run, even if you really don’t need such a big bed. If you think there may be the chance of starting a relationship or having kids in the future I promise you you will want a king size bed. If you only start off with a double, making the transition to a king size will cost so much more than just a new bed frame as you will need to replace the mattress and the bedding too.

5. Choosing the right mattress

Quality mattresses are incredibly important as they can be the biggest factor on how well you sleep. Buying your first mattress can be tricky as there are different options and it’s difficult to decipher what is what. To put it in basic terms, open sprung mattresses are most affordable as the springs are made of one long piece of metal. They are very light but they can be less responsive to your body. However, I have found that adding a memory foam mattress topper to an open sprung mattress makes it a great affordable option. Pocket sprung mattresses are more luxurious with thousands of individual springs housed in their own fabric pockets. This makes them more responsive, which can be better for couples sharing a bed. Memory foam mattresses are generally more expensive than open sprung ones but can be less than pocket spring mattresses. They mould to the shape of your body taking pressure off joints but that feeling of ‘closeness’ isn’t for everyone. Whichever mattress you go for remember that it will need to be replaced after about eight years. Here’s a more detailed mattress buying guide.

6. Think about how you use your bed

When choosing your first bed frame you need to think about how you will use it. Are you the type of person who lounges around in bed on weekends? Do you enjoy sitting up in bed to read at night or in the mornings? Think about the way you use your bed as this will dictate the type of headboard you should go for, for example, a solid upholstered headboard is perfect for those of us who enjoy sitting up in bed (I like this upholstered bed, don’t you?). I know vintage wrought iron bed frames look beautiful but have you ever tried sitting up against one? Also, if you toss and turn at night a rickety old bed frame isn’t a great option as it can make a lot of noise. Quality beds will last longer and give you a better night’s sleep.

First time buyer's guide to kitting out a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Image via Ciao Bella!

If your bed is positioned in front of an uneven wall or a window then you should probably avoid a divan base with no headboard. Leaning up against a radiator like below wouldn’ be too comfy…

First time buyer's guide to kitting out a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Image via The Cozy Space

7. Consider storage when choosing a bed

When choosing the style of bed frame you want consider whether you will need extra storage. If so, go for a divan base with inbuilt drawers or a bed that lifts up to reveal hidden storage. If you know you can cope without this extra storage always try to go with a bed with feet as this will allow the light to travel around the room and will make the room feel brighter and bigger.

8. Bedding

There are many areas you can scrimp on around the home and you’ll never be worse off for it. However, bedding is not one of those things! You need to invest in at least two sets of really good quality bedlinen (one to go on the bed whilst the other is being washed) in either 100% cotton or linen. Good quality bedlinen will last, look better and most importantly feel better so splash out. Poor quality bedlinen is a false economy as you will need to replace it so regularly. The same goes for the quality of your duvet and pillows.

9. Invest in window treatments

Another area not to scrimp on is the window treatments in your bedroom. The amount of light that comes into a bedroom can drastically affect the quality of your sleep so you need to make sure that your windows are properly covered and you have well fitted blinds, curtains or shutters. Make sure you order these before you move in so that they can go up at the windows immediately so your first night of sleep isn’t ruined.

First time buyer's guide to kitting out a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Image via est living

10. Go neutral

When it comes to decor my advice would be to go neutral to start off with. It is much easier to build on a neutral room scheme in the long term once you have settled into your home and have more time to pay attention to the details.

First time buyer's guide to kitting out a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Image via A Quiet Style

If you are about to move in to your first home I hope this is helpful and enjoy – it is such an exciting time!

First time buyer's guide to kitting out a bedroom | Apartment Apothecary

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with Happy Beds.


£150 Houseology lighting giveaway

Wall mounted Angle Poise | Houseology lighting giveaway | Apartment Apothecary

I always say that carefully planned lighting can make a room (and bad lighting can definitely break a room – the flat opposite us with just one naked bulb hanging from the ceiling, if you are reading this, pleeeease sort it out!) so when I did my living room makeover earlier this year lighting was a priority. One of the best additions I made to the room is my wall mounted Anglepoise from Houseology. Not only do I love the design but the flexibility of this light makes it invaluable to creating the right atmosphere and it provides task lighting.

Wall mounted Angle Poise | Houseology lighting giveaway | Apartment Apothecary

In the evenings I can rotate the head of the lamp to make it an uplighter, which gives a lovely soft, even light in this part of the room or I can pull it down if I am reading. At other times I can use it to highlight the shelves above the sofa (see image at top of post). The best thing about this light is you do not need to wire it into the wall and it just plugs in and it’s great for a smaller room as it takes up no floor space or the space a table lamp would.

Wall mounted Angle Poise | Houseology lighting giveaway | Apartment Apothecary

I am so pleased to be teaming up with Houseology this month to offer you a chance of winning £150 to spend in their lighting category. If you are not lucky enough to win this giveaway but you’ve seen something  you fancy do pop back here as you can use the promo code APARTMENT10, which will entitle my readers to 10% off lighting (this code is valid on products within the lighting collection; cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or sale; Code is valid for one use only; Valid until 30th September 2016).

To enter this fab giveaway all you need to do is complete the form below and a winner will be selected at random and announced here on Tuesday 23rd August. Good luck!

Katy x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms – Giveaway open to UK residents only; Closes at midnight on Monday 22nd August; This voucher code is valid on items within the Lighting category only; This prize is non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for monetary value; No cash alternatives to the stated prize will be offered; Valid until 31st August 2017.