A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

It’s not quite a thousand miles (at least I don’t think it is…?!!) but today, in a very spur-of-the-moment moment, I signed myself up for a four day, 15-17 hour, ‘challenging’, charity trek through the Sahara Desert at the start of November.

I have to thank the Young Women’s Trust’s social media team, whose tweet announcing their new partnership with Global Adventure Challenges, I happened to open straight up rushing between meetings.

So being a slightly impulsive mood, I jumped straight in! Plus volunteering / helping a charity was one of the top ‘self-care’ tips in yesterday’s Women’s Health spread so perhaps the other push to take the plunge was already there in my subconscious.

This is my first trek and my first real fundraising adventure, but it’s something I’ve been musing over trying for a while. 2018 is proving to be a bit of a ‘throw everything at the wall, try new things and see what sticks’ year but now I’ve committed this one is definitely not coming off, or coming off, depending on your point of view.

Continue reading

Magnificent Majeka Hotel, Stellenbosch 

It was summed up it perfectly when, as I commented on yet another thing at Majeka House that I wanted for my house, the reply was ‘you want lots of things here for your home!’

Perhaps a few less pigs (the owner Karine apparently has loved pigs since she was a child and has filled the hotel with an assortment of pigs of all shapes and sizes). I like a pig, but I’m personally an elephant woman through and through, as my growing collection attests to. But apart from that, yes, I did basically want everything about the interior design at the stunning Majeka House hotel in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

From Kartell Louis Ghost chairs to the bright electric blue garden furniture, it’s no wonder that Majeka House was crowned Best Design Hotel, Africa and the Middle East, in the Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence 2017. I only left yesterday and I’m already missing its beauty.

Continue reading

A Different Kind of Design Inspiration from Malaysian Travels…. Part Two

I was lucky enough to spend New Year’s in Malaysia, and came back with a whole host of photographs to inspire me with decorating my new home. I won’t recount all the reasons why I loved Malaysia, and Asia more generally; you can read that on the Malaysian Travels Design Inspiration Pt One.

But the other day I was going through the rest of my pictures to find some more for a second blog when a package arrived from Malaysia containing a photographic print I’d ordered whilst I was out there from an art studio in Penang called Studio Howard. As it already feels like the trip was a lifetime ago, I’d slightly forgotten exactly what it was that I’d bought. But opening the package to find this vibrant shot of a Georgetown entrance, with its vivid yellows, pinks, greens and blues, took me right back to why I’d fallen so in love with this shot on first sight.

Georgetown, Penang - Studio Howard

Georgetown, Penang – Studio Howard

Continue reading

Design Inspiration from Malaysian Travels….Part One

I’m just coming to the end of a wonderful holiday in Malaysia and with my mind full of interior design, I feel especially lucky to have been surrounded by such beautiful, and colourful, sources of inspiration. Plus the free time away from the office has been absolutely brilliant for a whole host of online shopping! Wallpaper samples and design books galore await me on the return. I may be getting just a little carried away… (Which I think will be a common theme of my new house).

I always try to bring things back from the countries I visit and as such I’ve bought a number of things for my new house (as well as being full of beautiful things, it’s also incredibly cheap here). I’ll post those up separately once I am back and they are unwrapped, but here are a few pictures I’ve taken while visiting Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and Penang which I’ve found especially inspiring for my home (pt one)

This is my first time visiting Malaysia and the mix of cultures here, particularly Indian and Chinese, has been such fun to explore, and can be seen in the mixture of photos. Each is an explosion of different colours, heavily featuring red and gold in the run up to Chinese New Year, and I will never ever tire of visiting Asian temples, which are just the most glorious things to behold. There is something about the colours, statues and structures, that I could look at for hours. Despite not personally being religious, I’ve always loved visiting religious buildings. As well as being incredibly calming, the art is usually breathtaking – I am particularly partial to a mural or two – and I am always captivated by the intricate stone carvings and woodwork. The colour of Buddhist temples is obviously a world apart from English churches and I remember the first time I saw one in the flesh being a little shocked by how bright they were!

Now though I’m wondering if recreating my own in the heart of Bermondsey might just be a little too OTT or whether I could pull it off…. Continue reading