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  1. Hello December and welcome back to my blog.  It’s my last one for 2019 (where has the time gone?)

    As we draw the year to a close, I decided that I would finish by sharing with you 10 Instagram Home accounts that I have find to be great sources of inspiration throughout the year. 

    Enjoy!

     

    @peartreecottagelife

    Pear Tree Cottage

    The lovely Catherine owns the most beautiful & cosy English home called Pear Tree Cottage.  With a cute name like that you know you are in for treat before even going through the front door. 

    Her interior is based on simple country living using gently muted tones of white and grey teamed up with warm wooden furniture and wicker hearts.   Her photo styling of quality home accessories and passion for home baking makes for an enviable Instagram feed.

     

    @daffodils_and_gin

    Daffodils and gin

    An interior Instagram account featuring Janet’s lifestyle in her stunning Edwardian terrace house. 

    Janet has done a superb job of making a comfortable yet modern home whilst retaining the character of her period home.  Check out the white fireplace in her bedroom – it’s so lush! 

    Also, she is a wonderful advocate for small home ware businesses which is why we love her!

     

    @ourremarkablehouse

    Our remarkable home

    If, like me, you are fan of home interior TV programmes, you may have seen this house featured on the BBC 2 show Your Home Made Perfect.

    From a 90’s new build with a poor and sorry layout to the most amazing transformation, all perfectly remodelled for modern family living.  The architect absolutely made the best of the awkward space and what they did with the staircase (or rather creating a new one out of the garage space) was nothing short of brilliance. 

     

    @annelii01

    Annelii01

    This Swedish Instagram account has a massive following and it’s not hard to see why.  I love the modern Scandinavian style of this home and the way it flows.  The use of white tones and the textures of the carefully selected décor accessories really do capture the essence of ‘Hygge’ life. 

    Take a look at her hallway entrance photographs.  They are a favourite inspiration of mine

     

    @thecaveat63

    The cave at 63

    This is the 150 year old Victorian home of a lovely couple and their Frenchie dog, Nigel.  This Instagram account was inspired by the hugely popular Instagram feed of @mrshinchhome .  With period feature wooden floor boards throughout the downstairs and elegant shutters in the big bay window (I’m so jealous) this style is right up my street.

    Check out the feature wall in the dining room.  I love their use of a moody dark colour on the back wall.

     

    @the_lemonpipers

    The Lemonpipers

    Be sure to check out the orangery style dining room overlooking the stunning walled garden with raised sleeper flower beds and decking.  Imagine having breakfast at this table whilst watching the seasons change. 

    The exterior is particularly stunning with double height barn shutter doors adorning the façade. 

    Such a unique home!

     

     

    @kajastef

    Kajastef

    This minimalist Scandinavian home is exactly what I would aspire for my home.

    Although the owner uses a lot of white throughout her interior, it never looks clinical or cold.  The carefully curated home décor captures that fine balance between modern pared back chic and that cosy homely feel.  There are also hints of monochrome to add interest to the rooms.

     

    @mystylemia

    My style mia

    Another Swedish account for you to explore. 

    This lady is a marvel when it comes to accessorising with candles.  The welcoming warmly lit photographs really want to make you step into her home, put your feet up and relax.  Her styling and feed looks like it belongs in high class interiors magazine.

     

    @thehousethatbrynbuilt

    The house that Bryn built

    Anyone who knows me knows I love a bit of green foliage in the home and in my product photographs.  What this lady has done with a hula hoop and some faux ivy to create a feature chandelier is inspired!!!  She is genius in my opinion!

    Plus, her pets are very cute too!

     

    @eetukannel

    Eetu Hannel

    Okay, so this isn’t a home account but it is worthy of a mention on my blog because I thoroughly enjoy his photos popping up on my feed.  This young man is a wildlife photographer based in Finland.  What I love about this Instagram account is the way he captures the unique character of each wild animal he photographs. 

    Scroll through the feed and look out for the cute raccoon peeking over a log.  Your heart will melt.

     

    Have a great Christmas and a very happy new year folks

    Helen xx

     

  2. White Bone china mug Home is where your story beginsIn my younger years I never understood why some people would only drink their tea out of a bone china cup.  To be honest I used to think that they were being blooming awkward.  That opinion changed when I started developing the Wildfox Home Signature range. 

    I spent weeks looking into what type of giftware mugs were available on the market.  What were my competitors selling, what was the price point and what do customers want out of a ceramic based gift?  I assumed that most people didn’t care or didn’t even know about the type of mug they are using for their beverages.  However, quite quickly it became evident that bone china was the preferred choice of ceramic when it came to gifting drink vessels.

    Naturally, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about so I set about ordering some samples to conduct my research.  Lots of tea (with milk and 1 sugar) was consumed all in the name of product exploration!

     

    Well……. I am a woman transformed! I was astounded to discover that drinking out of bone china is a rather pleasant experience and that there is some truth to the myth of why tea tastes better out of a bone china cup / mug. 

    But why? 

    Now, I am the sort of person who likes to know how things work.  So for your benefit, as well as satisfying my own curiosity, I have extensively researched this very topic and complied my findings into my latest blog.

    A bit of background information for you first…

    Bone China is classed as a high grade porcelain.  However, some would say that bone china is the English version of porcelain. 

    You can tell when a cup or mug is made from bone china as it has a high level of whiteness and it lighter than other ceramics.  Even though it is lightweight it is considered one of the strongest types of porcelain.  It is highly wear resistant and an absolute doddle to clean.  Have you ever had to scrub or bleach the tea stains out of a bone china mug?  No! Neither have I.

    Here’s another fun fact for you.  Bone china becomes translucent when you shine a torch through it.  Honestly it does!  I popped a torch inside one of our “Home is where your story begins” mugs and it was quite mesmerising.  The bone china took on a warm white glow and the illustration of the houses really stood out.  It would make a wonderful tea-light holder don’t you think?


    All these quality features of the porcelain are great but why does your tea taste better? 

    Apparently, it’s all down to the smooth surface of the inside of the mug. 

    A smooth surface keeps the natural tannins in your tea from sticking to the inside of your mug. 

    If a mug is porous, it will absorb and retain aromas and flavours of your previous drinks.  This tends to be the case with a lot of cheaper earthenware mugs.
    If the inside of the mug is not porous then the flavours remain in the tea itself and the aromas will escape from the top of the mug, thus tantalising your senses whilst you drink.  When I started drinking tea out of bone china, I noticed that each brew was that little bit more fresh & crisp.

    Also, due to the lightweight and thinness of bone china, the rim of the mug is slim which allows the tea to glide gently onto your tongue and giving your tea maximum exposure over your taste buds.  And that is why tea tastes better drinking out of bone china. 

     

    Yes, bone china is more expensive than your cheap supermarket ceramics but you really do get what you pay for when it comes to quality drinkware. So next time you are thinking of gifting a mug, think about investing just that little bit more in a quality bone china piece.  Your recipient will no doubt enjoy many years of tea drinking happiness and thank you for it.