Before I kick start the day today I just wanted to mention we have put up another wreath making class on line. The last one sold out instantly so we’ve added one more slot into Gem’s crazy diary, you can see all the details here.

With life full on crazy right now I dream of going off grid constantly. Don’t tell anyone, but I subscribe to this real estate agency in Italy where all these amazing old crumbling Italian houses drop into my inbox. The most recent one was for €16,000! I start dreaming of weekending in Italy in some crumbling old building with only candlelight and fires and then coming back to London during the week. I tend to romanticise everything so I will admit I have my ‘rose tinted glasses’ fully turned up to magenta on this. The joy of actually living in a crumbling building would probably last about 5 seconds, but it’s fun to dream.

Having said that everyone needs a little ‘me time’ and whilse many of us don’t have cabins tucked into the woods or nestled on a mountainside, we can totally create a cosy nest that makes us feel as if we’re living on the edge of a pine scented forest. Here’s how:

Photo: Yvonne Wilhelmsen, KK Living

Embrace cosy

To have a cosy pad you’ll need layers. Anyone who has been to one of my design masterclasses will know how integral layers are to a scheme. The more things you have in your space the better, the fluffier and woollier you go the cooler it gets!

Dark hues

Dark colours exude warmth they wrap you up in the squishiest of blankets and tantalise and intrigue – if you’re a converter to the dark side you will know this instantly. If you’re not now is the time to experiment, no?

Photo: wetooktothewoods.com

Evoke a mood with scent

I’m obsessed with the South Carolina based brand We Took To the Woods (or WTTTWs, as we call them at HQ). Their hand poured 100% soy wax candles are a subtle fusion of all things forest which makes you want to snuggle up in a chair, light a fire and chill. Sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, musk, fig and bergamot are a few of the scents that predominate. Oh and recently I came across a cranberry cinnamon stovetop potpourri recipe. Not sure what it’s like but I’m giving it a go.

Reading inspiration

I have the Cabin Porn book on my coffee table and constantly dip in and out of the beautiful imagery and inspiring stories by people who’ve created their dream home. Another fab read is Forest Feast Gatherings by Erin Gleeson. Gleeson left NYC to live in a cabin in the woods of northern California, started a blog to document her veggie-centric seasonal approach to cooking and has never looked back.

Rustic vibes
Plump for furniture pieces that add great texture to a room – wooden furniture, knotted rope chandeliers, textural hides and rustic vases. A rich patina contributes to that cosy charm… perfect for decorating your own rustic hideaway.

Round it all of with some some blues and folk music (I’m thinking Dylan), and sip a spiced poached pear and rosemary cocktail. Yum.


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