Jeans for your floors …

I love denim, my #mumlife uniform all year round is jeans, ranging from shorts, to 3/4 length, to long depending on the season.
Recently I was looking for a rug for my living room and someone suggested a recycled denim rug, I decided this was something I definitely needed to investigate further!

I popped over to Sugarcane Trading Co and was instantly sold on the Nalini rug. It’s crafted from a range of gorgeous blue colours, and herringbone design had me at ‘hello’!

When my rug arrived I was surprised at how thick yet soft it was, it feels like it will be durable and hardwearing which is important to me, but it is also soft enough to feel cosy in the cooler months.

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The rugs are handwoven from textile waste and offcuts from the textile and garment manufacturing industries in India. This means there is less impact on the environment from waste going into landfill or being burnt.
Mine is made from 100% cotton offcuts from jeans. The shades of blue range from indigo to a light chambray blue and work perfectly with my colour palette.

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Sugarcane Trading Co have 3 beautiful designs available in the denim collection ranging in size from 90 x 150cm to 200 x 300cm, and a little birdy told me they will have some bigger sizes available soon.

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So, what do you think? Do you love it as much as I do?
It’s quite amazing how much a rug pulls a room together, gives the space it’s own identity and makes it feel cosy.
Don’t you think?

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You can check out the rest of the Sugarcane Trading Co range here, including some colourful options and some fabulous floor cushions.

Happy Shopping!

Hayley

Souk and Co

I have always loved the vibrant colours that you often see in peoples travel photos from Morocco, I have never been there myself but it is definitely on my bucket list. I want to take a camel ride in the Sahara Dessert and shop in the souks of Marrakech, but until then, I am bringing a little bit of Morocco into my home with some beautiful berber bowls.

Berber baskets in my home.
Berber baskets in my home.

I got mine from Souk and Co. and I have to say the service, delivery, packaging and products have all exceeded my expectations. I am loving them so much I just had to share all the details with y’all!

Meet Sally Callahan, the well travelled, adventurous and seriously lovely face behind Souk and Co. …

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Tell us a little bit about yourself ?

Home for me is on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, with my husband, three teenage daughters and our rescue dog, Buddy. Having had a fabulous childhood in country NSW, I’m loving life by the beach in our seaside village. It’s a great mix of city, country-style community and the coast !

Following uni, with my love for exploring it was no surprise that I was drawn to the travel industry, which resulted in many great trips. The arrival of children grounded me for some time, and I changed my focus to my other love for design, which lead me to 3 creative years of study at ISCD in Sydney.

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Tell us about your online marketplace, Souk & Co.?

Souk & Co. is an exciting venture for me, melding my passion for travel and design. It was during my third trip to Morocco, fuelled by the breathtaking inspiration all around me, that the concept for Souk & Co. emerged.

 Souk & Co. is a ‘marketplace’ that offers personally sourced authentic handmade products from the artisans and ancient souks of Morocco.

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 I also host a couple of intimate sized bespoke trips to Morocco each year, through our company Solve Travel. These trips are truly amazing… travelling with our Moroccan travel partner we immerse ourselves in the wonders of this magical country, from the ancient medieval alleyways of Fes, the vibrantly blue washed mountain village of Chefchaouen, the vivacious, frenetic energy and spectacle of Marrakech and the expansive stillness and beauty of the Sahara from our boutique luxe tented camp. It is perfect for families, couples or independent travellers, and exceptional for the ultimate girls getaway…. So much fun !

Your range of Moroccan handmade wares is absolutely divine, everything from the Moroccan rugs to the Tea trays. Do you have a favourite piece or range ?

 Definitely the Handiras (Moroccan wedding blankets). For a decade before my first trip to Morocco I had been on a quest to find an authentic wedding blanket. On my first trip, deep in the desert, I sourced two handiras …. They were so amazing I shed a tear ! Now, when I’m sourcing for Souk & Co. they still take my breath away, and will always be incredibly special to me.

But then there are the tea trays, which look amazing as a table illuminated with tea light candles, and the intricately woven rugs….. it’s very hard to have favourites !

Tea Trays from Souk and Co.
Tea Trays from Souk and Co.

The majority of your Berber baskets are vintage pieces which makes them unique and special. Do you Source them all yourself?

 The vintage Berber bread baskets are stunning…. It amazes me that a basic item, such as a bread basket, is so carefully handcrafted and embellished with colour and design – and sometimes even finished with pom poms! Being hand made each one is truly unique – it’s own story! I love each one for their uniqueness, but particularly love several baskets clustered on a wall.

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Because of their uniqueness, and also as they’re vintage pieces, I always personally source each basket, (as I do for every Souk & Co. piece.) I love the process of sourcing – it’s an investment in time, as you can literally spend hours, with copious amounts of mint tea and sweets, talking to the artisan or merchant, as you slowly wade through piles of amazing wares….

A few of the beautiful berber baskets available from Souk and Co. | Shop here.
Berber bread baskets from Souk and Co.
Tall Berber baskets from Souk and Co.
Tall Berber baskets from Souk and Co.

 The wedding blankets are stunning pieces of art that we use to adorn our beds, but they have a special purpose in a Moroccan girls life. Tell us about the traditional meaning of the Handira?

 Steeped in Amazigh (Berber) tradition the tale of the Handira is incredibly special. These textured, creamy textiles are hand made from undyed wool by the female members of a family, and gifted to the bride for warmth as she travels to her marital home. These lavish blankets are embellished by hand with metal sequins, tufted fringing, and sometimes silk threads, symbolising prosperity and to ward off evil. The months that it takes for these blankets to be crafted are a cherished time, with wise words, tales and knowledge being bestowed upon the bride in preparation for her marriage.

 Each vintage piece is an incredible artwork, a unique and prized treasure.

Handira's from Souk and Co.
Handira’s from Souk and Co.

It is quite clear that you find inspiration in Morocco. What is it that excites you about Morocco?

Imagine an exotic, eclectic destination, where cultures and traditions have crossed for centuries, and sit comfortably together. Where colour is embraced, lavished, celebrated, and design, architecture and artisanal traditions are splayed out at every turn as you wander the ancient paved alleyways of the souks. The warmth of the people, who invite you to sit and sip mint tea, and the local merchants who relish in the theatre of a sale, all with a smile, a laugh and a joke. The long, long coastlines, the high, rustic mountains, and the magical stillness and serenity of the Sahara…. There’s honestly nothing like the warm sand beneath your toes, or lying on Berber carpets looking into the endless blanket of stars under the balmy skies of the desert.

Everything about Morocco, for me, is sensory overload, but the true essence is the people…. Their genuine warmth, pride and hospitality.

It is captivating, invigorating and brings you to life. It’s one of those very special places that you continue to discover for months and years after you’ve experienced it.

I am pleased you practise ethical sourcing of your pieces. It must be heartwarming to know that your business is benefitting so many artisans and their families in Morocco?

One of the things I love about Morocco is the abundance of ancestral skills – it is truly mind blowing! Working closely with my Moroccan colleague I’m so privileged to meet an array of amazing artisans. And over mint tea and lots of laughs you learn their stories, come to know their families, their dreams and the pride that they place in their particular art.

 These skills are phenomenal, and the resulting wares are unique and come with a story.

 I will forever be in awe of the beautiful, authentic handmade products that are made with true artisanal craftsmanship and pride. It’s a privilege to work with them, and support their craft and their wellbeing.

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How would you describe your own interior design style ?

We’re in the process of rebuilding our house, which has given me an opportunity to really explore my style, both from a structural point of view, and in time with the interiors.

Our house will be essentially Australian coastal, but will have eclectic elements. I’m a huge fan of white walls, bringing in colour and textures against the neutral backdrop. And yes, there’ll be some Moroccan features, such as the double Berber doors that I’ve had custom built, as well as some screens for privacy. I’ve had my two original handiras prepped to be hung on walls, and I’ve already picked some favourite Berber bread baskets to scatter as art. I’m also working with my ceramic craftsman in Fes to have feature tiles made for areas throughout the house.

What’s on your current wishlist ?

A shopping trip to Marrakech, to source things for our house !

What does the future hold for Souk & Co.?

I’d love to eventually have an evolving range of designs produced by the artisans in Morocco. In the meantime I love importing unique wares and creating experiences of a lifetime in the bespoke trips that we put together and host.

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If your inspired to travel to Morocco and experience it all for yourself, Sally is hosting a trip in May this year. She likes to keep it to an intimate group of between 5 to 10 people to allow for spontaneous decisions when opportunities arise. The May trip is filling up fast with a lovely group of gals in their early 40’s, but there are a couple of spaces left if your quick.

Or maybe you have a group of girlfriends you’d love to travel with? Or a hosted family trip? Whatever your after, Sally can tailor a vacation specifically to your group and your requirements.

Everything is run through their licensed travel company, Solve Travel and their Moroccan business partner is a fully licensed tour leader with 25 years experience who opens doors in Morocco that others don’t even know exist.

You can find out more details here or here.

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The Souk and Co. marketplace stock a great range of Moroccan homewares that your going to love. From the hand woven Berber baskets to the Handira’s, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect piece to bring a touch of Morocco to your own home.

Are you all ready for the super exciting part?

SALLY HAS OFFERED MY READERS A 15% DISCOUNT ON ANY HOMEWARES!!!

Use the code MUMLITTLELOVES15 at checkout until the end of February.

I know, yay! But you’d better be quick, most pieces are vintage or one of a kind beauties, you don’t want to miss out, go now! You can shop here.

You can also find Sally on Instagram – @soukandco

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

Winton House

Do you have kids, a messy pet, or maybe a partner that can’t seem to remember to take his work boots off? I do, and I find myself constantly making compromises between style and practicality when it comes to decorating my home. Especially with floor coverings!

Not any more! You won’t believe the durability and performance of this indoor/outdoor rug range I’ve discovered. To be quite honest, I didn’t believe it until I tested them myself. They are scrubbable and bleachable, yes I said bleachable!

So, next time your red wine drinking friend that talks with his/her hands, splashes half their glass onto your beloved rug, you can literally pour bleach on it and scrub it off! I know right, this changes everything!

No more choosing the dark rug with a busy pattern to hide all the marks, now you can choose a white stripe or a pale blue pattern, and there’s no need to compromise on style.

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Dash and Albert was founded in 2003 by Annie Selke. They offer a beautiful selection of cotton, wool and blended rugs suitable for indoor use or indoor/outdoor use.

Winton House is our very own proud representative of The Dash & Albert Rug Company in Australia.

Winton House was started by the lovely Sarah Price in the summer of 2009 after returning to Australia. She had been living in the USA for nearly 10 years with her family. Sarah found her passion for architecture and interior design while living in Texas and Colorado, USA. She was inspired by the beautiful, traditional world of American fabrics, textiles and homewares. One of her most exciting discoveries was The Dash & Albert Rug Company and she quickly adorned her own floors with their gorgeous rugs.

Upon returning, she wanted to bring some classic American style to Australia with beautiful, quality products. She knew Dash & Albert was the perfect fit for our Australian lifestyle and so, Winton House was born.

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Now, earlier I was babbling on about how amazingly durable these rugs are, and let me tell you, we have put ours to the test already! Thanks to Holly jumping on the table and pulling Orly’s leftover dinner onto the rug, EEK! Naturally I panicked, but remembered I had seen a ‘Care and Maintenance’ tab on the Winton House site when I was deciding on my rug. I urge you to wash the video here, this is really how easy it is to clean these rugs, like truly!

Without getting all technical on you, the Dash & Albert Indoor Outdoor rugs are made from 100% polypropylene. Although you might see other rugs made from the same thing, it is the manufacturing process that makes theses rugs so superior. The recycled fibres are produced by spinning and twisting techniques to form a yarn, which is then woven into a rug. They compare this process to that of thread counts in sheets, the higher the thread count, the softer and stronger the sheets, and we all know how good sleeping under 1000 thread count sheets are, so luxurious!

My gorgeous rug – Elizabeth Blue and my cheeky doggy – Holly.

If you think you will have a limited selection of these amazing indoor outdoor rugs, you are very wrong. They have so many styles and colours, you will have no problems finding the perfect rug. The only problem you will have is deciding on one!

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If you would prefer a woollen rug, Dash and Albert have you covered there too. They have a heart stopping range in brilliant colours and pretty patterns. You can choose from hooked, micro hooked, woven hand knotted, tufted and tufted and carved designs. They are durable and long lasting. There is a style to suit any home. Here’s a few of my favourites.

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Or maybe you’d like a cotton rug? Crafted from 100% cotton, these hand loomed and flat weaved rugs are lightweight, affordable and reversible. I had one of these in my daughters room in our last house, it was there for a couple of years and I loved the pop of colour it added. I’m currently on the hunt for a new spot because I love it!

My rug and my #selfeet
My rug and my #selfeet

Here’s a few more that I think would add some personality to any room.

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And lastly, we all love a jute rug. Dash & Alberts range is made from eco friendly, all natural jute. Winton House stocks the classic, natural jute rug, but they also have jute with a twist. Isn’t this Marco Juniper a fun variation of a plain jute rug!

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And here’s the most exciting bit, are you ready ….

Firstly, Sarah and Winton House are giving you all a 10% discount on any rug purchased between now and midnight on the 6th September. Just use the code MLL10 when checking out. RUN, Don’t walk! 

Secondly, Sarah is giving 3 of you lucky readers an indoor outdoor rug of your very own, I know right, so exciting!!!

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First prize – 1 x Trimaran Sprout in the 182 x 274cm size, valued at $815

Second prize – 1 x Trimaran Denim in the 121 x 182cm size, valued at $375

Third prize – 1 x Trimaran Light Blue in the 60 x 90 size, valued at $110

Here’s what you need to do – Pop over to the Winton House website and have a look around, choose your favourite rug, come back here and leave a comment telling me which one you love and why. Alternatively, you can take a screen shot of your favourite rug from the Winton House website and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #mumlittleloveswintonhouse also telling us why it’s your favourite.

Entries close at 5pm on Sunday the 6th September and the winner will be chosen thereafter.

Good Luck!

Hayley

*This promotion isn’t sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram. You must be following both @wintonhouse and @mumlittleloves on Instagram. If you account is private, please DM me a screen shot of your entry. 

*Competition begins 6am, 28/08/2015 and ends 5pm, 06/09/2015. Winner will be announced on Instagram and this blog. Competition is open to Australian residents only. Competition is a game of skill and the most creative entries will be deemed the winners. Winners must contact Sarah at Winton House by e-mail on sales@wintonhouse.com.au to claim their prize within 7 days of competition draw. Prize is not redeemable for cash.

* My beautiful Elizabeth Blue rug was a generous gift from Winton House.