My obsession with Linen!

If you follow me over on INSTAGRAM you would have seen and heard me raving on and on about linen lately.
No, I am not sponsored by the Linen industry, is that even a thing?
I just truly, madly, deeply love it!
My bedroom is layered with linen sheets, linen quilts and linen throws …

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I can see you rolling your eyes out there, like I’m all a bit crazy about this linen stuff. This is what I say to you – Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. I challenge you to sleep in it for a few weeks and not love it!

I swear I sleep better!
I find it cooler in winter but still warm enough to keep me comfortable when hubby blasts the air-con so cold we are all shivering.
I love the way it drapes over your body with a gentle weight and super soft texture.
And the best part, I have embraced the crumpled look, it looks luxurious and inviting and I can’t wait to jump into my  bed every night. Apparently, neither can the rest of my family who are frequently found hanging out in there too!

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I wasn’t sure whether the linen was laced with magic unicorn dust that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy or if there is an actual reason why they are so good, so I asked the gorgeous Julie from Bed Tonic to give me all the info. Here’s what she had to say …

Why is linen considered by many to be the ultimate fabric for bedding?
Linen is a 100% sustainable fabric grown from the flax plant. It requires very few pesticides and fertilisers during its growth cycle compared to cotton and uses a fraction of the water in comparison, making it much kinder to our planet. It’s incredibly buttery soft to sleep in and is a natural thermo regulator.

Linen is cool in summer and warm in winter, why?
Linen’s fibres are hollow grass like straws compared to cottons dense fibres. This allows air to flow naturally around your body in the heat and yet cosy warm under layers in the cooler months!

I’ve read that linen is good for people with skin conditions or allergies, is this true?
Because linen uses few pesticides, fertilisers and toxic chemicals to harvest, it is low allergenic making it kind to our skin.

How long should our linen sheets last?
Although our linen is still grown, harvested, spun and woven in much the same ways as earlier days, it is now put through an extra process called soft washing where the linen is washed with pumice stones after the garments and bedding have been made. This is similar to stonewashed jeans whereby it softens the fibres making it buttery soft from your first sleep.

However this process does shorten the life of the fabric somewhat as you don’t have to wash it for years to soften it anymore like in the olden days.
It also depends on how many sets of sheets you rotate on your bed. We have many customers who love their linen sheets so much they wash and dry them and put them straight back on the bed so obviously these would wear out quicker but you should still expect to get a solid 5 years plus from your linen.

Do they require special care?
Linen is not as fussy as it seems. It is pre washed before you sleep in it to avoid shrinkage. Warm machine wash and line drying is preferable but if you use a dryer keep the temp to warm or your linen will get very crinkled.

Occasionally I get a customer who says their linen has got stiff. This is caused by a build up of soap powder and a water only wash will strip the build up and make your linen soft again. Fabric softener is also ok.
If ironing is necessary (defeats the purpose of linen in our opinion), iron with a medium to hot steam iron. 

So there you have it, there is actual reasons why it’s so good!

If you want to try some for yourself, here’s what I can recommend as I have them in my own home, on my own bed …

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Navy Ticking Pure Linen sheet set from Bed Tonic here.

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Belgian Flax Linen sheet set from West Elm here.

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Belgian Flax Linen Diamond Quilt and Pillowcases from Pottery Barn here.

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Isle Linen Ruffled Throw from Her Shed here.
I also have the Capri Linen White & Natural Reversible Quilt from Her Shed which I am looking forward to using when the weather cools down, you can see it here.

I’m sure I’ll add to my collection and I’ll be sure to let you know what I think in the future.

Do you have linen? Are you as obsessed as me?
Tell me everything!

And Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

Seacova

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I recently heard somebody say that they couldn’t have coastal style in their home because they didn’t live by the ocean. I pondered this for quite some time, why … why if you love the ocean can’t you surround yourself with its treasures in your home? I don’t know what the fancy interior designers would say, but I say – go for it!
We live in Australia, we are surrounded by ocean, so adorn your home in shells and coral, splash the colours of the ocean on your walls and check out these gorgeous cushions …

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I have been dying to share these with you, it has killed me to keep them under wraps while we waited for all the stock to arrive!
I have a few in my own home and every single person who steps foot in my house has loved them, I even had one friend trying to smuggle some out in her handbag! You know who you are!

Introducing Seacova and the lovely face behind the brand, Clare.

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Seacova Coastal Interiors is the result of Clare’s love for the Australian coastline and the charm of American seaside cottages. It is a luxurious brand celebrating coastal living with a stunning range of cushions and furniture. These pieces are perfect for Australian living, with their coastal motifs and stunning colours straight from the depths of the ocean.

I absolutely fell in love with this range as soon as I saw it and knew it would be perfect for my new day bed. When it arrived I was even more excited, these cushions are even prettier in person. They are embroidered on 100% cotton, and piped in coordinating fabrics.

The Cape Cod collection in duck egg blue and sky blue is timeless, sophisticated and beautiful. Perfect for those of you who prefer a more gentle colour palette.

Cape Cod Collection.
Cape Cod Collection.

The Florida Keys collection is all about palm trees, sail boats and sea creatures in a crisp navy and white. It is classic coastal style and really makes a statement.

Florida Keys Collection.
Florida Keys Collection.

Also, don’t miss the outdoor collection of a faux bamboo sofa and chairs, they are powder coated aluminium and ideal for an Australian summer outdoors.

Alboo Bella seating.

 I was lucky enough to steal 1/2 an hour of Clare’s busy day to dig a little deeper and learn some more about Seacova …

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I strapped my travelling boots on after college to explore Asia and Europe. My sister and I finished up living in London where we bunked on the floor of my aunt’s trendy Islington apartment for two whole years! I am grateful for the travel experience as it was character-building and opened up my mind up diversity.

Since then I have always lived close to the Australian seaside where I met my husband twelve years ago after re-locating to Brisbane. In the Spring of 2011 we were married on a tropical island in Fiji and now have two young children. Life is busy to say the least – our 7-month old girl and 3-year old boy certainly keep us on our toes!

 Is your background in something creative or is this a new venture for you?

 In 2010 I completed a degree in marketing at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. From there I worked as a production manager in a graphic design studio followed by a management position at a boutique advertising agency in West End. Because we were part of a small team I was able to participate in developing strategies and brainstorming sessions with the qualified creative team members. I absolutely loved working with my colleagues: creative people are a hoot to be around.

 I was always passionate about interior decorating on the home front, and it was the coastal style that initially grabbed my attention. On weekends I spent hours looking through coffee-table books, shuffling various items around the house and scouting stores for new accessories. Eventually, my hubby actually banned me from buying any more shells or coral!

 As my passion for interiors continued to grow, I decided to take the leap and merge my work with that passion. Seacova became my creative outlet whereby I could develop coastal style interiors from the designing to the sourcing, managing suppliers, building websites and accounting. I could not have become a one-girl show without my previous job experiences and background.

It is clear the inspiration for your beautiful coastal-style cushion range comes from the ocean and seaside, was there something in particular that prompted the designs?  Do you design them all yourself?

I have been infatuated with American seaside cottages for as long as I can remember: front porches, white picket fences, french doors and light, bright rooms filled with shaker cabinetry…they stop my heart.

 My inspiration for the collection came largely from these coastal dwellings. I tried to picture complementary interiors that would create a soothing, relaxing space whilst using a colour palette inspired by the clear blue waters of the Australian coastline. In addition, some of the designs were derived from old ancient engravings I came across in my readings. The designs were created using Illustrator software, and then digitized for embroidery.

Embroidery detail of the Palm Tree cushion.
Embroidery detail of the Palm Tree cushion.

 The colour palette for your 2016/17 range is fresh and relaxed with soft blues, navy and white, then you have an unexpected pop of coral pink, where did this come from? 

 When it comes to colour, I am blue and white all the way, so naturally that dominated the collection. But there is definitely something to be said for a pop of colour. The seaside is largely blue and white on the surface, but underneath the water is a vibrant community of brightly coloured fish, plants and coral. The coral pink represents a hint of this vibrant underwater life. I was not sure about it in the beginning, now it is one of my favourites!

Pink Herringbone cushion.
Pink Herringbone cushion.

 Your collections are named after the famous seaside destinations of Cape Cod and Florida Keys. Have you been there or are they on the travel bucket list?

 I daydream about being there quite often, but have not travelled there as yet; it is definitely on the bucket list. When the children are a little older our plan is to hire an RV and drive all the way up the coast from Florida Keys to the Hamptons, Cape Cod and Nantucket.

Tell us about your own home and decor style? 

 My husband and I recently designed and built the family home. Yes, you guessed, the design was influenced by American architecture but also the attractive ‘Queenslander’. It is a hybrid of all the features we adore: a weatherboard construction with a front porch, exposed eves, french windows and shaker cabinetry. I would describe the style as classic coastal. As we had a limited budget, a lot of thought went into the design and how we could maximise our investment. Luckily, we had a fantastic builder who appreciated the character-build and was on-board with our vision. We are still finishing off a few elements. My husband, who loves to strap on the tool belt on weekends, has built a shed to match the house and is currently working on the white picket fence!

Clare's House!
Clare’s House!

 What does the future hold for Seacova?

 I hope to expand Seacova by developing more design elements and bringing more collections to the market. The internet certainly helps small businesses achieve that these days. I have also been working on some custom statement pieces. Here’s a sneak peek at the Hampton’s wing-back chair and matching ottoman that has just been introduced to the market.

Hamptons chair and ottoman.
Hamptons wingback chair and ottoman.

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I know you’re all itching to grab your credit card and start shopping, but before you go I just want to show you how gorgeous the cushions look in my home. Sometimes you see these beautifully styled images and wonder what they actually look like, just hanging out, like cushions do, in an everyday persons home.
They are so good!

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Aren’t they gorgeous!

Happy Shopping! #sorry #notsorry

Hayley x

Square Fox

 

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If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you would have seen me gushing over my gorgeous new cushions. You would also know they are from Square Fox. What you might not know is that the face behind Square Fox is a lovely Brisbane gal who started it all from her home with children at her feet.

Square Fox was established in 2014 and has grown a steady following of customers who come back for more due to the outstanding quality and unique designs.
The latest indoor collection – Any Given Sunday is not only beautiful but soft and luxurious making it perfect for everyday use in your living or sleeping areas.

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Sarah recently contacted me and asked if I would like to trial a few of her new designs in my home, of course I jumped at the chance, because as we all know – cushions are my weakness. Now, I have a few cushions, ok … I have lots of cushions so I think I can give you my opinion and we can be safe in the knowledge that I know what I’m talking about, which doesn’t happen all that often, but if there is one thing I know, it’s cushions!

Sarah has hunted down the softest Belgian linen in the most gorgeous colours, you know when the colour is just not quite right, trust me, these are spot on from the palest baby pink to the rich navy blue, I love them all.
Then there is the tan leather sourced from ethical NZ tanneries, which is backed with a gorgeous charcoal linen and stuffed with a duck feather inner, so luxuruious!
Let’s not forget the denim stripe, I mean it’s blue and white and it’s striped, it doesn’t get any better, right?

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Yes, it does get better!
You can design your own cushions by choosing your own button colours. Put the same colour on both sides or mix it up for a different look at the flip of the cushion. The buttons are available in 9 delicious colours and textiles, and even better you can order spare buttons and change them up whenever you like.

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If you love a bit of pattern, Sarah has chosen a stunning linen/cotton in a botanical print which is available in shades of blue and green or warmer reds and browns.

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The entire Any Given Sunday range is coordinated and looks perfect together no matter what combination you choose, you can’t go wrong.

I have met Sarah on a few occasions at Insta-meets and she is so fun, friendly and bubbly, I wanted you all to meet her too.

Meet Sarah …

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You are one busy gal Sarah, tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am married to an Irishman, who I met when I was living in London. We have two children, a 6yr old daughter and a 4yr old son. I qualified as a vascular sonographer (specialist radiographer) and have been fortunate to work clinically in Australia, the UK & US. I still work one day/week in a hospital – just can’t completely give it up! I really enjoy working with my colleagues and the patients. And I relish the variety between my medical and design lives!

Tell us why you established SquareFox back in 2014?

Establishing SquareFox in early 2014 was the culmination of many years searching for a viable creative outlet. My work in the hospital is generally “non-creative”, so for a long time I have spent my downtime doing creative activities. I attended many photography courses, completed a graphic design degree and spent a lot of time sewing. Maternity leave from the hospital offered me even more time (well, apart from the baby thing!) and Etsy seemed like a great place to start. So, I enrolled in (yet another) short course, called “Setting up an Etsy shop” (run by Jess Van Den) and by its completion, I had launched. To be honest, I didn’t anticipate it would be so successful – but it has kept me very busy ever since!

Do you remember the first piece you sold and what was it?

Yes, I remember many of my very early customers, as many have re-ordered from me since. However, it was my 6th customer who was most memorable. He wanted to purchase the “Green Palm” pouf in the Tommy Bahama fabric in a ‘custom’ large size. I would later offer this 80cm diameter ottoman as a standard product in the shop…. and it continues to be one of my best-sellers. He also introduced me to Instagram. And for this, I will be forever grateful! It has been both an effective market tool and a wonderful way of meeting new ‘likeminded’ friends. 

The ottoman in situ at @jourdans682 home.
The ottoman in situ at @jourdans682 home.

How do you feel when you see your cushions featured in other people’s homes on social media and magazines?

I am flattered when I see my products in magazines; sometimes I know they will be there; sometimes not. I was in Bali on a holiday recently; sitting in a salon, having a pedicure. At the same time, I was flicking through an old (2014) issue of Marie Claire Aust. magazine…..and spotted one of my ottomans. Had no idea it had been published. Those kind of times are quite surreal! But, mostly I really love it when my customers send or post photos of my products in their homes. It is really important to me that my customer is happy with their purchase – and am very chuffed when it brings a little smile to their face!

The new ‘Any Given Sunday’ range is incredible. The tan leather and soft linens are beautiful. What inspired this range?

Oh, easy question!….. I wanted to produce cushions which were closer to my personal style. And the inspiration came from one image! The photo of the kitchen/dining space in Foreshore House. Designed by Justine Hugh-Jones, it was a finalist in the 2015 Coco Republic Design awards. The tan leather bench seat & the large linen cushions in organic colours…..I just love it! And it is exactly my style. 

Justine Hugh-Jones Design
Justine Hugh-Jones Design

Your button cushions are pure genius, being able to switch out the buttons to create a new look is fun and practical. Where did this concept come from?

Haha! Thank you….however, the idea to offer interchangeable buttons came as a by-product of the design process! I still make all the samples for each cushion collection. (I then have a little team of machinists, who go on to make the production range). It was during the initial sample-making process that I discovered how time-consuming and physically difficult it was to hand-sew the buttons to each cushion. I had done this with previous custom work, but it needed a little ‘re-think’ for larger quantities. So, together with my Dad, we devised a way to make the buttons “clip on” a wire hook. I imported some large format buttons from the United States and ‘ta-da’, we can now offer interchangeable buttons! You also have a fabulous floor cushion and outdoor range of cushions. It is clear you consider our Australian lifestyle when designing new ranges.

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Is function equally as important as aesthetics for you?

To be honest, I believe that function may be more important to me! I appreciate great design, but I am also the mother to young children and am a “realist” when it comes to living spaces. I understand how important it is for the look you see in a magazine to translate to the everyday. Tell us about your own home and interiors style? Well, my current design style/state is “Wabi Sabi” (nothing is perfect; nothing is finished – japanese), as we are completing the renovation of our inner-city Queenslander. However, I think my preferred design style hovers somewhere in the minimal, industrial, mid-century modern space. I like natural, organic materials and finishes and we have just put in polished concrete floors and sisal carpet. Generally, I prefer a neutral colour scheme, with the occasional pop of colour (not always in the form of lego!!).

What is on your current home decor wish list?

Oh, this is always a long list! After recently investing so much in the structural design of our home, I am looking forward to furnishing the space. I love the Barnaby Lane collection. Also want a few of Green Cathedral’s Babanees plant stands – going to try to incorporate more greenery into our space! And finally, I am about to purchase some bar-stools which I have been hunting down for almost a year. They are designed by the Danish owner of “JungleFish Bali” (which is where I originally spotted them!) and I have now discovered where I can purchase them in Oz!

What’s next for SquareFox?

I would like to include an ottoman or floor cushion to complement the current range. And personally, I am trying to restructure the business slightly, so I spend less time working on the weekends! I very recently employed a wonderful lady to help with my social media and marketing. I find it incredibly difficult to “market my own work” and she has made my life so much easier.

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 I am personally in love with the new range.
They fit with my aesthetic perfectly and they look like they were made to go in my family room. That’s the thing with using natural textiles like leather and linen, they identify with so many different decor styles and are very versatile. Classic textiles are hard to beat when it comes to standing the test of time also, I think these will look just as stylish in 5-10 years as they do today.

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 And just as stylish in the bedroom. This look is definitely going to be on high rotation. So fun!

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 So what are you waiting for?
Go and get yourself some cushions, I highly recommend getting some extra buttons too, such a fun way to change the look in an instant!

You can shop at www.squarefox.com.au
O
r find Square Fox on Instagram or Facebook.

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

* Photo’s from the Square Fox website used with permission.

Loomology

I have always loved textiles, beautiful fabrics with stories to tell. When I came across these pieces of art from Loomology I knew I had to share them with you.

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Loom’ – an apparatus for making fabric by weaving yarn or thread
‘ol·o·gy’ – a branch of knowledge; the study of

Loomology frames textiles to showcase the colours and textures of the fabric. Their unique frames display the textiles in a way that honours the skills of working the loom, or the various techniques used by the artisan. Hand made textiles are pieces of art and Loomology proves that with their incredible feature frames.

Meet Steph, the gorgeous gal behind Loomology …

Tell us a little bit about yourself?  

I have recently relocated back to Sydney with my husband of 2 years and our super cute Puggle (Pug x Beagle) after living on the sunny Gold Coast for the past 9 years. We are moving to the Northern Beaches next month and are very much looking forward to living back on the coast! I have completed a bachelor and Masters degree. As well as running Loomology, I manage my husbands civil construction company. I love to travel, do yoga and eat delicious foods!

Tell us about Loomology

Loomology was stitched together from a love of travel, interior design and the hand made object. Loomology offers framed authentic, handcrafted textiles from around the world. Loomology’s vision is to supply accessible, unique and timeless art for our customer’s interior spaces. We aim to educate and promote to our customers the traditional techniques and customs from various cultures through the eye of the needle. Through framing the textile we showcase the colour, material and skill that have gone into their creation. 

Handira
Handira

 You obviously have a passion for beautiful textiles, where did that passion come from?

 Textiles showcase the beautiful diversity and skill that exists in our world. They are an expression of culture, art, family and religion and I believe they deserve to be embraced and admired. I studied textiles in high school, and thoroughly enjoyed the subject. Travelling to many countries, both as a child and adult exposed me to the history, traditional dress and handicrafts of various cultures. Seeing men and women making textiles first hand cultivated a deeper appreciation for them and a passion for the hand made object.

Indigo Batik
Indigo Batik

You find some stunning fabrics, from block printed cotton, to indigo batik to moroccan handira. Do you source them all yourself?

The textiles are sourced through a variety of avenues; some are hand sourced from their country of origin, and others are through local connections. (At this stage I am not able to travel to every country I source the textiles from, however that is the dream! Another factor which limits hand sourcing, is the inaccessibility of some countries due to their political climate).

Jaipur
Jaipur

Do you have a favourite textile?

While I can appreciate each textile for its beauty and skill that has gone into its creation, I go a little gah-gah over naturally dyed indigo textiles. Whether the textiles are shibori, batiks or block prints, indigo dyeing is truly fascinating. I love learning about the various properties of the plant and the techniques and processes used by different cultures around the world. Loomology’s logo was in fact inspired by a drop of indigo dye!

Sublime Indigo
Sublime Indigo

 I understand that you give back to the community by supporting ‘Good Return’ which is a charity that empowers people to break the poverty cycle by supporting them financially and by developing their skills. Is it important to you to support little business?

I am a strong advocate for small business and entrepreneurship. I believe great things can be achieved from a simple idea or skill. I also believe that no matter where someone comes from they should have the opportunity to develop their business. That is why Loomology has chosen to support Good Return.

Double Diamond
Double Diamond

 What is your personal decor style in your own home?

Modern global with a hint of coastal chic. Think natural materials, vignettes of worldly finds and a mix of textiles. I like to have neutral interiors as a base and inject interest through texture, pattern or pops of colour.

What is on your current wish list?

I have my eye on The Lisa Sofa from Urban Couture for when we move into our new place.

The Lisa Sofa | Urban Couture
The Lisa Sofa | Urban Couture

What does the future hold for Loomology?

We are currently organising with some boutiques to stock Loomology products, which will allow our customers to appreciate our unique art in person before bringing them home.

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What do you think? Are you a textile lover too?

If you want some Loomology in your home you can shop here.

AND

If you want to save 15% use the code MUMLITTLELOVES until Friday (26/02/16)

You can also find Loomology on Instagram at @loomology_

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x