Tag Archives: baskets

Five Ways To Create An Outdoor Space

It looks as if it is going to be a scorcher this weekend so today’s post is about how to create an outdoor space, somewhere you can sit, relax and enjoy the sunshine.  It’s easy to do and as you will see from the images below, it’s possible to convert even the smallest balcony into an outdoor living space.

 

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Five ways to create an outdoor space

Image Source: 1 and 2 DigsDigs.com, 3. Smittenstudioonline.com  4. Liza Bruce’s home Elle Decor

 

How To Create Your Own Outdoor Space

 

five ways to create an outdoor space

 

 

The five key ingredients to create an outdoor space are from top left:

 

Plants, planting and planters are key.  You don’t need a garden, you can create an exotic look on a balcony, roof terrace or yard with creative planting.  I’ve chosen the image of the entrance to a New York roof terrace, owned by Gray Davis and his partner and featured in Vogue Australia, to show how by planting large ferns and a mix of palms in planters you can transform a space and create a tropical look.

 

If you have a balcony choose plants that can go outside during summer months like this architectural cactus, top right, and mix the planters so that you have different styles and sizes. For interesting planters, which don’t cost a fortune, try your local antiques market.

 

Cushions, cushions and more cushions are essential for lounging and to add colour and texture to a space.  I like a mix of scatter cushions and floor cushions but prefer a limited colour palette to avoid things looking too busy.  Have a look at our collection, we have everything from exotic Moroccan prints and kilims, to hand-woven contemporary Mayan stripes, to vintage Kutch embroidery and bright and bold African prints, many of which are in our summer sale.

 

Rugs work well too with large floor cushions for lounging.  They add texture and delineate the space.  Just be prepared to roll them up quickly if the weather changes.

 

For seating, if you have space you could build a bench like Sarah Sherman Samuel and her partner from Smitten Studio (lifestyle photo 3).  If not, there are lots of wicker chairs around.  Ikea has some tropical rattan chairs similar to those in the second lifestyle image.

 

Baskets as platters or for reading matter will add additional texture and don’t take up too much space.  See our selection of handcrafted baskets here.

 

Lighting  – I like the idea of overhead festoon style lights and there are lots of choices available.  Solar powered fairly lights look magical too and our copper tea-lights, now in the sale, will add an extra sparkle.

 

Finally, if you don’t have an outside space, bundle up a blanket, our Moroccan Pom Pom  blankets make great picnic rugs and some cushions and head to the nearest park or beach.

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Baking bread in the Medina

 

Communal Bread Ovens in the Medina, Marrakech

 

Moroccan bread or Khobz, is an important part of the country’s cuisine.  It’s a flatbread, made with white or wholewheat flour with a thick crust and it’s served at every meal.   It is used like a utensil to scoop food and  to soak up the delicious tajine sauces.  Not all families within the Marrakech Medina (and other cities in Morocco) have ovens so if you wander through the streets in the morning you may see women, or sometimes children, carrying metal trays of dough, biscuits or tajines to the communal bread oven.   Every district or neighbourhood has a communal bread oven, a hammam (one male and one female) often alongside the oven to share the heat source, and a mosque. The locals drop off the dough with the baker and for a few dirhams he bakes their bread or biscuits or tajines.

 

I like to stay in the Medina when I am visiting Marrakech so that I can explore the narrow streets and get a glimpse of local life.  These shots are from the communal bread oven near Riad 72 (more about this wonderful Riad in a later post) in Bab Doukkala in the Medina.

 

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Wajid, the baker, with Khobz dough ready for baking.

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Making room for more bread.

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 Flatbread cooling on the tiles and on the racks waiting for collection.  Typical Moroccan biscuits ready for collection far right.

 

Traditionally Moroccans have used exotic, brightly coloured, lidded baskets called tbiqa to store the bread.  These hand-woven baskets are made from palm leaf, which is covered in wool in a variety of colour combinations and patterns.  You can see our selection of these quirky  baskets here.

 

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 Moroccan bread baskets

 

 

Gift Ideas For The Home

Black And White Gift Ideas For The Home With A Dash Of Pink

Handcrafted gifts to cherish which will add a global touch to interiors.

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Gift Ideas For The Home clockwise from top right:

1.  Berber Bread Basket Black Purple Red £45  |  2. Bonakele Black and Natural Block Weave Baskets £34 – £80  |  3. Small Sea Urchin Vase White £25  |  4. Patchwork Cushion Black Pink White £85  |  5.  Open Ribbed Basket Gogo Christina Black £112  6.  Black and White Zig Zag Runner  £380  |  7.  Moroccan Pom Pom Blanket Natural Black Stripe £149 – £183  |  8. Patchwork Cushion Pink Black White £85

Gift Ideas For Students

The Student Gift Edit

 

Stuck for a gift for the student in your family?  I’ve picked a bright selection of our handcrafted global  interior accessories which will bring colour and warmth to spartan student bedsits.  Choose from a selection of unique, one-of-a-kind silk screened cushions and floor cushions, super warm Berber pom pom blankets designed to withstand the cold of the High Atlas mountains and  quirky storage solutions.

 

 

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Gift ideas for students clockwise from top left:

1.  Large Storage Basket Bonakele £180  |  2. Trinket Box £22  |  3.Pom Pom Blanket Multicolour Stripe £149 – £183  |  4. Small Spiky Sea Urchin Vase White £25  |  5. Haimi Vintage Embroidered Floor Cushion Cover £110  |  6. Farida Berber Cushion Cover Orange Green £85  |  7. Nejma Berber Cushion Cover Orange £85   |  8. Berber Basket Green Orange £55  |  9. Namibian collection cushions and floor cushions £65 – £87

 

Gift Ideas For Him

Gift Inspiration For Him

If you, like me, are only just beginning to think about Christmas presents and haven’t bought a single gift yet then our edit of handcrafted global accessories for him, below might help:

 

 

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Gift ideas for him clockwise from top left:

1. Berber Bread Basket £45  |  2. Storage Jars from £33  | 3. Moroccan Pom Pom Blanket Natural Black from £149  |  4. Sea Urchin Vase Green Medium £45  | 5.  Selection of Cushions from our Chiapas Collection £75 each | 6. Black and Natural Block Weave Baskets Bonakele from £34  | 7. Copper Tea Light Candle Holder Seed Pod Large £28  |  8. Table Runner Yox £110

 

 

 

Meet our Suppliers – Gone Rural baskets

Happy New Year!

 

I hope 2014 is a happy, healthy and prosperous one for you all.

 

To kick off the new year I thought I would start with a blog post on one of our new suppliers, Gone Rural, a social enterprise based in Swaziland producing beautiful baskets.  Our Gone Rural baskets were  inspired by one of the families working with Gone Rural.  Gogo (grandmother) Christina, her daughter Siphiwe and her granddaughter Bonakele all work with traditional materials and techniques passed down from generation to generation to support their families.  Gone Rural has taken an age-old craft, handed down from mother to daughter over generations and introduced innovative new weaving techniques, new materials and colours to create eye-catching, intricately constructed, modern baskets.   From the Gogo Christina open and large ribbed baskets, to the two tone block weave Bonakele baskets and the tactile black fabric and copper wire trays, all of which can be seen here, each handcrafted piece is visually stunning, providing versatile, contemporary storage solutions for the home and a sustainable income for Swazi women.

 

Gone Rural is a social enterprise, founded in the 1970s, which works with over 800 women artisans in 13 groups across Swaziland, from young women to gogos.  The women are self-employed and are provided with home-based work, enabling them to earn a sustainable income whilst still allowing them to carry out traditional duties and care for their families.

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All materials used to create the baskets are renewable, with the signature lutindzi grass (which is indigenous to Swaziland) sustainably harvested. Waste material from local textile mills is also used in some designs, such as the black and copper trays below, with the fabric strips wrapped around the grass to add another texture and interest to the baskets.

 

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Purchases help support Gone Rural boMake (meaning women) a not-for-profit organisation providing health, education and empowerment programmes in Swaziland.