Affordable Scandi style with Harley and Lola

I dream one day of living in a large, open space with tons of natural light and minimal furniture – living the Scandi dream, if you like. There are two teeny tiny problems with this dream: 1) How on earth does one find said space in London?  2) Scandi furniture can be insanely expensive so how can I have the space and the stylish look without being on Britain’s rich list?

Well, I have found a solution to the second problem in the form of Harley & Lola’s modern vintage collection that they’ve launched this season. The collection is full of really beautiful Scandinavian furniture that is surprisingly affordable but looks very, very expensive (and perfect for my dream home!). Gorgeous light grains, elegant legs – it is ALL about the legs, people! – simple design and neutral colours all combine to create a spacious, bright, modern look but one with character and style. Dreamy. The thing I love most about Scandi design is the way each piece is designed to make the most of the natural light; it can flow around the room under and through the pieces as nothing is too ‘blocky’, or has filled in sides or backs and everything has legs. This is what makes all the difference. Take a look at these beautiful pieces to see what I mean…

Scandi style interiors | Scandi furniture | Preparing for Autumn with Harley and Lola | Apartment Apothecary

Wycombe bed – this would look amazing in any room and even though it is a very large piece it would never dominate or feel heavy due to the light grain of the wood, simple base and beautifully designed headboard.

Scandi style interiors | Scandi furniture | Preparing for Autumn with Harley and Lola | Apartment Apothecary

Dining table and dining bench – I love dining benches as they are so much more versatile compared to dining chairs and the informality appeals to me.

Scandi style interiors | Scandi furniture | Preparing for Autumn with Harley and Lola | Apartment Apothecary

Stockholm sofa – vintage Danish sofas cost a fortune so this model is such a brilliant discovery as it has all the style but not the price tag of the originals. Obviously, you wouldn’t want this as your only sofa but as an additional seat it would work so, so well alongside a bigger, squishier sofa like this one. It would add extra seating to a living room as well as a dose of character. There is also a matching vintage style armchair that is just as gorgeous.

I think one of the problems people have when faced with this minimal look is that they feel it lacks warmth, colour and that cosy feeling of other styles, especially at this time of year as the weather gets colder, darker and wetter. However, there are lots of ways to remedy this so don’t be put off.

The neutral palette of these pieces is the perfect base for layering colours with textiles like cushion, throws, blankets and rugs. For example, the dining bench above would be wonderful with sheepskins on it, which would soften the hard wooden surface and make them so inviting. Similarly, adding extra throws to the bed and a wool rug, like this Moroccan rug, would instantly add warmth and don’t forget to change back to your winter duvet soon. Lots of different textures will work so well with the wooden furniture and help to create the perfect Autumnal haven at home and a sense of ‘Hygge’. Adding a knitted blanket, or a chunky knitted pouffe is the perfect way to transition from the summer months. Think of this furniture as the perfect neutrals that are waiting to be slotted into your home and made to feel as minimal or as cosy as you want them to be.

Decorative accessories like books, magazines, flowers and plants all help to fill a room with character. At this time of year dried flowers work really well as well as lots of baskets full of extra throws for evenings on the sofa or weekend lie-ins. Adding touches of black, whether in a lamp, mirror or picture frames also helps to add contrast with the light, bright nature of the Scandi style as well as helping to make a space feel more Autumnal. Candles and soft lighting are really important at this time of year, too, and will really help to create a mellow and welcoming tone in any room. I don’t think a home should be the same throughout the year so spend a bit of time preparing for the change of seasons.

Scandi style interiors | Scandi furniture | Preparing for Autumn with Harley and Lola | Apartment Apothecary

Wycombe coffee table – don’t make the mistake of getting a huge block of a coffee table just because it has loads of storage. This will stop the light flowing in your living room and make it feel heavy. Instead choose a table like this one that has lovely legs and a light surface and think about using the walls for storage.

Scandi style interiors | Scandi furniture | Preparing for Autumn with Harley and Lola | Apartment Apothecary

Open display shelving unit – a display unit like this one is the perfect way to add character to a room as it allows you to show off your favourite things, which will make it a point of interest in the room and help to soften the minimalist look if that scares you a bit!

There are lots more lovely pieces over at Harley & Lola so do check them out and I hope some of these tips are helpful and that you like my best picks! Enjoy getting cosy this Autumn and maybe picking a few new additions for your home.

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with Harley & Lola.


Technology that you don’t have to hide

Cables, wires, big black screens, enormous TV’s – the stuff of nightmares. Ugly technology just spoils a room: it looks horrible, takes up huge amounts of space, not to mention the miles of cables that seem to snake around the place in a menacing way. But we can’t do without it, right? Most people, in fact, want their whole living room to be designed around the placement of the TV.

The exciting news is that tech is changing and products are becoming smaller, wireless and designed with form in mind, not just function. Hurrah! Finally a tech revolution that I can get behind. At this year’s London Design Festival, Sony launched two such pieces and I’d like to tell you a bit about them as I’ve been trying out one of them at home and I saw the other in action at Design Junction last week.


I have told you before about the ongoing argument Jules and I have had since we moved in together based on the fact that he thinks it’s acceptable to have four foot high laminate wooden speakers that are basically the same size as two young children and because you have to place them in different parts of the room there are cables trailing all over the shop. Not ok, Jules, not ok. After six years I have finally won the war and the speakers have left the building and I am delighted to have replaced them with Sony’s new glass sound speaker. It is portable and wireless to connect from my smart phone very easily using Bluetooth, it is very small and sleek and made of organic glass that gives it great sound quality.

The speaker can follow us around the house as and when we need it and doesn’t look out of place whether in my living room, on the kitchen shelves or on my bedside table. It feels like I’ve been released from cables and it’s so nice to be able to listen to music with great sound quality in any room of the house, not just the living room.


The speaker has a soft glowing light that you can turn on or off.

The second product launched by Sony is their portable ultra short throw projector. I haven’t been lucky enough to try this in my own home but I did see it in full action at Design Junction and it is UH-mazing! I honestly would get rid of our big ugly TV and replace it with this projector if I had my own.

Sony portable ultra short throw projector | Beautiful technology for the home | Apartment Apothecary

The projector is portable, wireless, teeny tiny and it can display anything you like, wherever you like. The most amazing thing about this design is it’s ultra short throw; it can be positioned right next to the surface you want to project on to so none of the faffing around with clearing a direct line of sight to the surface or mounting it from the ceiling etc. It can project a 22 to 80 inch image onto walls, tables or even a pad of paper and the image can be anything from a clock to one of your favourite views, a moving image, a TV show or a movie. The possibilities are endless. I WANT ONE!

Sony portable ultra short throw projector | Beautiful technology for the home | Apartment Apothecary

Design Junction 2016 | Sony glass sound speaker and ultra short throw projector | Beautiful technology for the home | Apartment Apothecary

It’s rare that technology can launch at a design show and not stick out like a sore thumb but Sony have struck the perfect balance between form and function and I hope this marks the beginning of more beautifully designed products that I won’t need to hide. Let’s hope the six year long argument with Jules about ugly tech is our last.

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with Sony.

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.

Heart of House aw16 inspiration

Controversial, I know, but is it ok to admit that *whispers* I’m looking forward to Autumn already? I know, I know, but Autumn is my absolute fave season; I love the contrast to summer and fall walks in the park are the best. Another thing I look forward to is being able to snuggle again and adding extra layers at home (as well as getting back in my beloved tights and boots) – love it!

That being said, I am already getting excited about new Autumn/Winter furniture collections because there is always space to add a few new touches at the start of a new season. I’d like to show you my top picks from the Heart of House A/W16 range, which will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration and ideas for your own home in the next few months. There are four new collections based on current interior trends…

Scandi Retreat

I’d love a Scandi Retreat of my own so I was instantly drawn to this trend of furniture and home accessories, defined by its neutral colour scheme and simple design with lots of natural wood, ceramics and textiles (take a look at this gorgeous wool rug).

Floral Escape

I secretly long for an all white house with pretty feminine touches so the Floral Escape trend really appeals to me. Light, bright and airy interiors make me feel uplifted so I think this collection is my favourite of the four.


Perfect for Winter snuggling when the light is low and the weather cold, incorporate some Grandeur into your home with darker colours and settle in for the evening with a well stocked drinks trolley or a glam dinner party.

Forest Lodge

Oooo, wouldn’t a Forest Lodge getaway be lovely in the winter months? This trend is based on lots of wooden furniture and an earthy colour scheme.

So, let’s all enjoy the rest of summer but in between picnics and seaside trips I will be dreaming of Autumn interiors and the change of season.

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with Heart of House.

A cooking challenge with Robert Welch

When I decluttered my kitchen the first thing I got rid of were the duplicates (why did I have three colanders, two tin openers and four different graters?), ALL the mugs, useless gadgets (they are the worst!) and my blunt knives. Having now lived with less than half the kitchen stuff I had before I realise just how important it is to have quality over quantity and this rule applies to kitchen knives more than anything. Therefore, I was thrilled to help Robert Welch celebrate the millionth sale of their iconic Signature knife range and try out their wondrous knife block at home.

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

I joined the Robert Welch team last week to do a bit of cooking led by chef Georgina Davies where we got to try out the knives for ourselves. Georgina showed us how to make a delicious summer salad of fennel, radish, fig and noodle with salsa verde dressing – yum.

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

We were then challenged to recreate the salad at our own cooking stations. No pressure then!

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

A good tip that Georgina shared with us is to use lemon juice to keep salad vegetables fresh and to stop them going brown. The last time I worked with Robert Welch I learnt the BEST way to cut up a lemon so that you’ll never need a lemon squeezer again – another thing you can chuck out of your kitchen cupboard.

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

1. Cut the right ‘cheek’ off the lemon. 2. Cut the left cheek off the lemon. 3. Place the lemon on its cut side and remove another cheek. 4. Take the last cheek from the there side of the lemon so that you are left with five perfectly squeezable pieces of lemon. Honestly, you need to try this technique, it works so well.

Once we had sliced all our vegetables with ridiculous ease (good knives make cooking so much more pleasurable and so much quicker) we made a delicious salsa verde dressing. I’m always a bit lazy with dressings and end up just sloshing on balsamic vinegar and olive oil so this was a great reminder to make a bit more effort as it makes such a difference.

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

The Signature Cook’s Knife is perfect for chopping herbs as it enables a brilliant rocking motion.

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

Combining different herbs works so well for a salsa verde dressing. Rolling the herbs up and then cutting them up roughly before using the rocking motion to chop them more finely.

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

Adding garlic to the salsa verde was a delicious addition. Another trick I learnt was to cut up a clove of garlic roughly and then sprinkle with flakes of salt and use the back of the knife to crush the garlic. The garlic crusher can go too!

The brilliant thing about the knife block is the inbuilt knife sharpener. We were advised by the Robert Welch team to sharpen the knives little and often so after every use sweeping it through the sharpener a couple of times. Because it is on my worktop and so easily accessible this is no longer a chore.

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

Signature knife block (see the end of this post for a chance to win your own)

Another quick trick that Georgina taught us on the day is to use the serrated Signature Utility Knife from the knife block for cutting tomatoes and onions, which makes it so much easier. I think this is one of my favourite knives from the set.

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

So, here is the finished salad…

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

Georgina then decided which one looked best (it wasn’t mine but it tasted delish!).

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

Robert Welch knives | Apartment Apothecary

Six amazingly sharp knives that can change the whole cooking experience saving time and make chopping a pleasure rather than a chore: the perfect addition to my kitchen. If you would like to win your own, enter to WIN here. Good luck!

Katy x

*This post was written in collaboration with Robert Welch.