A new light that's right at home

Recently I took MOH along to a blogging event at Habitat to celebrate their new lighting range, which is definitely worth a look. I'm a big Habitat fan, and remember spending my teenage Saturdays mooning over their items. Back then I suspect my focus was on smaller items, but over the years, it's a shop I continue to go back to regularly.

The event, complete with its own hashtag #HabitatLightClub, was a great night out and it's not every day you can say you went to a club in the basement, in the light department of a Tottenham Court Road shop, now is it?  Well we did, and ssshh don't tell anyone we don't do clubs very often now, but we had a great night, and look out for a post next week on some of the light range and more from the store.

But before that let me show you the light we left with.  And yes, that was the other reason for taking MOH along as his parcel carrying skills are second to none.  Which was handy as the Bobby Metal floor lamp is made of sturdy stuff, it was easy to carry home but after I'd trekked him to Charing Cross apparently he was starting to feel it.

But you need some weight in a floor lamp, don't you?  

The  multi-coloured Bobby light from Habitat

This weekend MOH realised his other job, and that was to assemble it. It was relatively easy, but I took one look at the picture instructions and tactically retreated to do something, anything - me and picture instructions really don't get on.  But he did a fab job, and with a lightbulb sourced more quickly than I expected it wasn't long before we were in business.

What I hadn't realised when I'd selected the light was how well it fits into our colour scheme. The grey, the almost brown red and the yellow, I know it sounds horrendous doesn't it, but look at the picture below and you'll see just what I mean.

Adjusting my multicoloured Bobby light by Habitat

And yes, that throw is an earlier Habitat item, which still is very much in use.

Here's a closer look at the weighted base, and I'm loving the knobbly shadow that's formed around four o'clock.  And to show it's not just the throw that's full of colour, the rug is too!

A closer look at the base of my Bobby light

So with my lamp raring to go, there was only one thing for it. 

Settling down to some crochet lit by the Bobby light from Habitat

Yes, to get comfortable and stuck into my crochet again!  I'm not sure if I've followed the pattern for this square exactly right, but I'm liking the effect so it's staying, and will be part of the yellow Granny Square blanket that's underway.

What do you think?

* This is a collaborative post with Habitat, but all views and opinions are my own.

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Choosing a quirky apartment, instead of a hotel in Porto

Usually our holidays tend to be cottage-based rather than in a hotel, and that's how we like them. And so when we were in Portugal I was keen for part of our trip to follow our preferred approach. I struck lucky in Porto finding the Apartment Bomfim 234, and as you can see from the photos it positively shines.

Unbelievably I booked it on Expedia.  I know, that surprised me too.  From the outside though you'd never have known what was inside. This was the view that met us as we opened the door.

mid century modern furniture in our porto apartment

I wouldn't call myself a natural fan of mid-century modern furniture, it's a style of furniture that while I admire, I skip over when choosing items for our home. I'm not sure if that is due to growing up in a sea of teak and G-plan furniture in the seventies or because I'm pre-disposed to other styles, but in this apartment I started to see what I was missing out on.

A classic and stylish lamp in the quirky Porto apartment

This cabinet was the winner for me, not that we had the TV on (that's a rarity on our holidays too), and I think it's the added colour that won me over. For me, that takes this style of furniture to another level and I've found myself admiring similar projects since I've been home. It moves it away from those seventies memories, and into something more up to date, don't you think?

mid century modern furniture - I'm not usually a fan - but it really worked here

 

But there was more to the apartment than the furniture. There was the layout. On the mezzanine level there was the bedroom, on the ground floor the sitting area and a half floor below housed the kitchen and bathroom.  

Upstairs to the bedroom and downstairs to the kitchen

All were accessed by open staircases, which were the feature. These above, which lead to the bedroom do have a look of "shelves" about them, and were much easier to navigate than perhaps you'd expect.  

Upstairs the bedroom area, although snug, was just as stylish.  

Just enough space for a bed in the quirky Porto apartment
Stacks of cushions on a comfy bed in the quirky Porto apartment

When I say snug, there was just room for a bed, and just about enough room to get in it. Just, it was a bit of a squeeze, but I forgave it; its stylishness one me over. 

And, oh... the bedside lights.  A feature we both liked and a design element we're storing for the future.

bedside lights with a design touch

Heading downstairs to the kitchen area felt in some ways more precarious, but no less stylish. MOH kept marvelling at the building regs and such like that made this possible, ever the practical one...

heading downstairs to the kitchen area

Standing at the kitchen table gave a great view up to the living area and full length windows, complete with shutters.

More great lights in the kitchen in the quirky apartment in Porto's Bomfim

Now you might be thinking Porto, fabulous tiles and wondering where they are in this apartment. Well it didn't disappoint there either. They were saved for a full wall of pattern in the bathroom. 

patterned tiles in the bathroom, what else would you expect in Porto?

My first thought was wow, they're busy, but that quickly turned to wow, they're beautiful. Beautiful close up and from more of a distance, and they certainly made an impact. With another idea for the future banked, and another style feature I'd usually shy away from I was having quite an epiphany, and we'd only just arrived in Porto!

As we headed out of the apartment to explore Porto some more I noticed the first of many more walls of tiles. These were in the hallway, which somehow I'd completely overlooked as we arrived. 

Tiles in the lobby area outside were a little more traditional

Geometrics are big in the shops here at the moment aren't they, but it seems in some places they've never gone away.

A knockout of a pinny from Bespoke Binny

When Bespoke Binny got in touch about trying out their homewares, after looking at their site I settled on an apron. With the promise of more outdoor cooking on the cards, and with no pinny of my own it seemed meant to be. The designs all have vibrant colours and West African prints, and well you know me and colour, so you'll not be surprised to learn my apron had some yellow in it!

It arrived, beautifully packaged, on the Saturday morning of our 110th party, so arriving with great timing for me to put it to the test. By the time this photo was taken I'd half changed for the party, but I was still unsure what top I'd wear (as I was reconsidering my chosen outfit given the heat!). And why is it that my hair flicks out, instead of under in the heat - it's fixable of course, but only with the addition of even more heat.

CHEAT'S PANACOTTA, ME AND MY BESPOKE BINNY APRON

CHEAT'S PANACOTTA, ME AND MY BESPOKE BINNY APRON

I hadn't really thought my outfit through alongside the apron. The Black and yellow check pattern, which I loved, was stylish and different enough to stand out, but not so much that I felt overly conspicuous, but with orange cropped trousers, that was colourful!

Never let it be said that I like a bit of colour!

Never mind, there was still work to be done.

And much to MOH's dismay that included arranging (or plonking) some flowers into water. He thought it was a non-essential job (ahem, less so than cleaning the inside of the bathroom cabinet I'd say), but having bought yellow and coral carnations I was determined to use them as I'd planned.  And as I was snipping their stems and placing them into our small gravy and cream jug I realised that yellow and orange weren't that much of clash after all. It can't be can it, as it's one of nature's colour schemes.

Who said yellow and orange don't go? My carnations were that exact colour combination, the same as my party outfit and apron from Bespoke Binny - I must have known!

The apron is lined with cotton twill and I think after washing will be less stiff, as it'd just arrived that morning I didn't have time for that, but that didn't mean it wasn't comfortable. The neck strap was a little long for me, but I expected that, as at five foot two things are often a little long. A quick knot in the neck strap and it was easily adjusted. 

My next job that was captured on camera was hanging some bunting in the gazebo, not usually the kind of job that requires an apron but by now I'd forgotten I had it on and when I remembered I was so sure I'd spill something down my trousers that I was happy to leave the apron on until the party started.

Hanging bunting doesn't usually call for an apron, but with plenty of jobs to do and if I'm honest i forgot I had it on

I think part of the reason I haven't had a pinny of my own until now is I've not found one that isn't a bit too twee and frilly, or one that I'd wear. Strangely MOH now has two aprons (not pinnies obviously) but I think that's because he's most likely to wear them cooking outdoors, whether that's the barbecue or the pizza oven. And I'm happy for him to continue leading on the outdoor cooking - it's a man thing, I know - but now if and when I'm called into help I'll be well equipped with my own pinny.  

Actually I think I'll be donning my apron for bread making, as I invariably end up with flour down the front of me at some point, especially if I'm kneading bread. There's a large contrasting pocket on the front, just where you'd expect and I'm sure in weeks to come I'll store something there and forget about it. For me, I think there's a small improvement that could be made to the apron, and that's to have longer ties so that it could be tied at the front, rather than just at the back. A small thing, but I naturally crossed the ties over at the back, to tie at the front, but they weren't quite long enough. Of course, that's not going to stop me wearing this, or enjoying it - I mean anything that helps me be less messy, or making my clothes less messy, is good by me. 

My apron from Bespoke Binny, it certainly added some colour to my day
 
HANGING OVER THE DOOR TO SHOW OFF ITS FULL DESIGN

HANGING OVER THE DOOR TO SHOW OFF ITS FULL DESIGN

As well as aprons and matching oven gloves, there's also cushions and lampshades too and I think any of which would make a unique and stylish gift. What's even better is the designs are, I think, suitable for anyone, male or female and that makes them a great find in my book. There's plenty of designs to choose from and I'm sure you'll find one for whoever you have in mind.

An African print pinny from Bespoke Binny

What do you think?  I love the colours of mine, and I think it's very me - the fact that it matches a third of my dining chairs just underlines that really doesn't it?!

 

* This is a collaborative post, but all views and opinions are my own.