Lanterns and loveliness

Joyful Living has been a regular stopping point for ogling interior loveliness when we’re in Norfolk, but it’s been a while and I was long overdue a visit. That was something remedied on our recent visit to Norfolk and it was reassuring to discover that while the stock has changed, the quality and ethos hadn’t. On this visit it was the lanterns that caught my eye, and the succulents of course but that goes without saying doesn’t it?

patterned lanterns

The intricate patterns and weathered finish are great aren’t they, and would work as well indoors or out, with a candle or without. The round shape makes a change too, as often lanterns are the more traditional square shape. But if more traditional is your thing, then there’s also those as well. I love the finish of both, and would happily have them indoors, but only if I could be certain that MOH wouldn’t set about polishing them, which could take quite some negotiation.

weathered lanterns with candles

But there’s plenty more than lanterns here, and it wasn’t long before I found myself drawn to the yellow pouffe and blankets. The pouffe, especially, was a favourite. I’m on a mission to get more yellow in our house, but I wasn’t quite sure about this one just now.

Textured blankets and pouffes

It’s just as well I hadn’t seen these cushions though when we were on cushion-hunt. A couple of these might have ended up on our grey sofas as the constants. And I think that would have given our living room a very different look, possibly a more grown up and sophisticated look, but there’s still time to grow into that I’m sure.

classic striped cushions and woven baskets

Had I seen this star in the run up to Christmas I’d have left with as many as I could get my hands on. I’ve a plan, that may or may not actually come to fruition, to make some of these giant stars myself from wire we have left over from our gabion baskets - yes I know that’s quite random - but I think they could look really good. I’m still working out the lights, but we’ll see how far we get with this before worrying about that just yet.

A twinkling star.jpg

It’s also the type of place that manages to make bowls of shells look effortlessly stylish. Maybe it works because it’s on the North Norfolk coast, and that’s more authentic than a South London dwelling, who knows.

patterned shells
mother of pearl shells

And as ever, there’s always room for some sequins. And more stars.

there's always room for a sequinned cushion

What I’m seeing more and more of is macrame-type holders for jars and plants. These have that feel to them too, but expect to see much more macrame around. Even in the Facebook craft groups and craft magazines it’s making an appearance and reminds me of growing up in the 70s - I’m sure we had a spider plant, with many many babies hanging in a window complete with louvre openings at some point. Our 70s house rocked.

Glass jars hung in twine

Ah yes, more succulents. Aren’t these little pots lovely? I was quickly ushered out of the shop at this point, but look at the shelf too - it’s a scaffold board painted white. Something that would work equally well in a home setting too.

succulents in green pots

So lanterns and more loveliness as usual, I won’t be leaving it so long for my next visit either.

Galvanised pots and bits and bobs

I’ve been a fan of the interiors shop at Creake Abbey in Norfolk for a while now, and many Norfolk visits are punctuated with trips there for some interior, and garden inspiration. But what’s peculiar is that I can’t find a previous visit here on my blog; it could be that I’m not looking properly, because it’s attached to something else, or it could be that I have, up until now, just kept their wonders to myself. Who knows.

If it’s the latter though, then today I’m about to spoil that. Home by Annie Lambert is my must-visit shop on each visit, once I’ve stopped off at the deli and the cafe that is. It’s the sort of place that has things that if they weren’t here together I’d most likely wander straight past them - Joyful Living is another place like that, and I’ve managed a stop there on this trip too, so look out for photos from there soon.

My attention - and imagination - is always captured right outside the shop with these galvanised pots of almost every shape and size. Frequently the dogs also look pitiful at me and encourage me to take them home, but so far I’ve resisted (although I’m sure my resolve won’t last forever). The sensible me wonders how on earth we’d get them home, the devious me wonders if they’d be ok on top or underneath MOH’s bike, or even instead of his bike, but then I sense him realising that’s what I could be plotting and he looks worried…

He doesn’t have to worry, quite just yet though. These are a one-day-right-property kind of purchase, and if we were to take a dog home now, I’m not sure what the foxes, or next door’s cat would make of it at all.

Galvanised pots of all shapes and sizes at Creake Abbey
So many pots to choose from at Home by Annie Lambert

I told you there were all shapes and sizes, and now you can see why getting them home could be such a problem. And that’s even without getting to the dogs…



Actually looking at the dogs again, I fear the foxes would have them as playthings, and that can’t happen. The quote on the sundial’s pretty good too isn’t it? We haven’t even got inside the shop yet, and I can sense MOH twitching. I wonder if it’s the how-will-we-get-them-home plan, but then realise it’s more likely because I’ve commandeered his phone after leaving home unintentionally without mine. He’s realised though that there’s no point me giving the phone back until we’re out of the shop, and he’s fine with that, I think he just wants to know if he’s expected to receive it in between shots or not!




Finally we’re inside the shop and my attention is immediately drawn to the globe, I’m not sure why as we already have one. The unit to its left with the jug and candles to match the paintwork are my eyes next stop. My magpie self doesn’t quite know where to flit to next.

enamel jugs and pistachio coloured candles

And then I spy the crockery. Piles of gilt edged plates and saucers. Flowers and pretty patterns, but below them fish. Clearly worn and clearly used, and for me that’s what makes them great. MOH is a new and pristine kind of person when it comes to homewares, but over the years he’s getting to know my style and gradually we’re blending our styles to create our own.

stacks of crockery, edged with gold
crockery decorated with fish

There’s shelves and shelves of inspiration in the shop, and it’s here that I spied the Lettres a Picots, which I posted earlier in the week. I didn’t go back and get them, and I still kind of wish I did even though I’ve no use for them. If the feeling remains strong then I know I can phone to find out if they’re still there, and if they’re not then it wasn’t meant to be.

Shelves of inspiration at Home by Jane lambert
pictures piled up on a chair

It’s the kind of shop that the more you look, the more you realise there is to see. Which I know sounds daft but I could always spend much longer here than I do, I think MOH knows that and that’s why his role is chief-chivvyier-along. Which to be fair, in places like this, is just as well.

I mean, this is just asking to be looked through isn’t it?

bits and bobs just asking to be sorted through

Yes, another visit is needed. One which coincides with a bike ride for MOH if I’m lucky…

Lettres a picots

We’ve been in Norfolk for a few days and have spent some time exploring some of North Norfolk’s villages, trying to get a feel for them in the name of research. We spent some time in Wells, and visited their new arts centre, looking at a painting exhibition and voting for our favourites which of course, couldn’t have been more different. I didn’t like the one MOH chose at all, and I’m sure he wasn’t that taken with the one I chose either, so that was quite a reminder of how difficult we find to agree on artwork, which is why it took us so long to decide on one for our living room.

Thankfully though, this was just for a competition so agreement wasn’t necessary, which is good because I don’t think we’d have agreed on either. But it was thirsty - or rather hungry work - so our next stop was the shops at Creake Abbey, a long time favourite. Coffee and walnut cake for him and chocolate cake with peanut butter for me, it was better than it sounds and more adventurous than a Victoria Sponge.

Coffeed and caked, next up was a stroll around the shops. Home by Annie Lambert has the best selection of tin pots, tubs, receptacles I know of - and I’ve photos to share, but not today.

Today it’s all about the box.

It wasn’t what caught my magpie eye either, that was the shells and coral next to it. But as I looked my eyes wandered right.

shells, coral and a box that just needed to be opened

Lettres Kis-Pic A Picots?


Well of course I opened the box. Look what was inside:

Inside were letters and numbers

These vintage letters for a noticeboard along with a black velvet board. I was quite tempted, but there was still so much else to see in the shop. And there does seem to be an extraordinary amount of Es!

Now I wish I’d bought them. I have no use for them, but aren’t they lovely?

…Maybe a trip back there is needed…