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Category: Favourite High Street stores (Page 1 of 6)

Top Shops In Topsham

The Gallery Topsham
The Gallery Topsham

Have you discovered the top shops in Topsham?

If you like interior shops it is certainly worth a visit if you are in South Devon.

Strolling along the length of Fore Street you will find gem after gem of small independent boutiques and galleries.

Artenax stocks a fabulous range of original interior products. The shop is full of contemporary art, designer accessories, textiles, hand-painted lampshades by Sue Holman, furniture, and ceramics.

A little further along Cooks Aweigh sells a range of cookware, homeware, plants and gifts. The shop is deceptively large as it opens out into the back yard and links into a gift and plant room.

Carter Derrick Carpets
Carter Derrick Carpets

Long-established locally owned carpet shop, Carter-Derrick Carpets, specialises in quality wool carpets, natural flooring, and bespoke stair runners. They pride themselves on their courtesy, care, expertise, and on being eco-friendly.

This lovely little shop run by artist Charlotte Fleming stocks a wide selection of prints, stationery, and beautiful decorative products for the home or office.

Who can resist a lovely soft cushion and pastel coloured church candles? This is just a small selection of the gifts and homewares at Ebb and Flo in Topsham.

Nest Topsham
Nest Topsham

Nest Living’s window is full of French inspired homewares. Inside you will find many more plus a curated collection of pre-loved clothing.

And for all those artists amongst you a visit to Bargainarts is an absolute must. This store is a treasure trove of artists’ materials, some, as suggested by the name, at bargain prices. What’s not to like!

For more information about Topsham visit Love Topsham

Go West

At the weekend I had an excuse to go west and visit some very good friends who have chosen the good life away from the hustle and bustle of London.

Market Square Castle Cary
Market Square Castle Cary

This stylish couple have settled for a very stylish abode in rural Somerset. On route to their delightful home via the A303 I stopped in Castle Cary, a Fair Trade town, which lies on the edge of the rolling countryside halfway between the Mendip Hills and the Blackmore Vale.

Home Café Castle Cary
HOME Café Castle Cary

The HOME Café was my first stop. Here they served a delicious Crispy Duck Wrap and a scrummy Bakewell sponge cake followed.

Article Florist, Castle Cary
Article Florist, Castle Cary

Opposite the café I spied a florist and an art gallery housed in a beautiful old bank building. Here the large windows exhibited gorgeous bouquets of flowers and intriguing works of art.

Article Florist, Castle Cary
Article Florist, Castle Cary

One shop that I did make time to visit was The Shed located a few doors down from Home. The antiquities on display in their window caught my eye.

The Shed, Castle Cary
The Shed, Castle Cary

Inside there was a late summer room-set against a corrugated iron wall. It was a photograph opportunity waiting to happen.

Inside The Shed, Castle Cary
Inside The Shed, Castle Cary

A little further along the High Street at Number One was a very unusual butcher’s shop.

Rather than having a display of fresh meat in the window there was an array of colourful china, woven baskets, and delicate parasols.

Artisan butcher, Castle Cary
Artisan butcher, Castle Cary

Not far away was Needful Things Interiors. Here the team offer an unusual and eclectic range of ideas for the home.

The shop is also well known for its bespoke curtain and blind making service.

See below website links:

Vegetables Allotment

This week saw the delivery of my Vegetable Allotment lampshades. Two 20cm shades for the mantlepiece, and one 30cm for the sideboard.

Not only decorative but they provide a lovely soft light source for cosy nights in.

Having spotted these in the November edition of Country Living magazine I thought that they would be perfect for my sitting room.

They are manufactured in the UK by Cream Cornwall . Each shade features beautiful line drawings of vegetables paired with traditional Victorian garden tools.

To create the look I desired I bought two antique black Stork lamp bases from OKA for the smaller shades.

For the 30cm shade I sourced this gorgeous Shaftsbury base from Neptune in Weybridge.

Currently celebrating the launch of their new season’s colour, Saffron, it was a delight to attend this weekend’s event.

This joyous hue is the perfect antidote for the solemn times that are currently engulfing mankind.

Leaving the store with my new lamp base, a complimentary Saffron coloured shopper, and a bunch of daffs brightened my day.

The good news is that this Spring event now runs until April 14th.

Alresford, Hampshire

Alresford, home of the Watercress Steam Railway Line, is a small town which lies just north of Winchester in Hampshire.

In search of Susie Watson Designs I took a trip there after a morning spent in Farnham.

West Street

The shop is located at 16 West Street amidst a plethora of independent retailers much to my delight.

So many shops – so little time

The purpose of my visit was to buy some red and white hand painted candles to display in two brass holders which I had retrieved from our garage.

I also bought a beech and ivory fan edge trimming which had been reduced by 50%. It will provide a luxurious finish to a Neptune Emma Sage linen that I have for making some scatter cushions.

Broad Street

Just around the corner in Broad Street I came across another parade of specialist interior and gift shops.

The Alresford Linen Company housed an array of fashionable clothing and jewellery, interior accessories, and gifts, including a colourful selection of candles.

A couple of doors down Lavenders has an eclectic mix of greetings cards, gift wrap, and miscellany.

Having achieved my aim, and a lot more besides, I decided it was time to leave this gorgeous Georgian town for a tad more exploring…

The Long Barn

Having arrived at Alresford on the B3047 I had passed The Long Barn at The Old Sheep Fair, Bishops Sutton Road.

Curious to find out more I pulled off the road and into the extensive car park. With fairy lights twinkling in the late afternoon light I was immediately smitten.

To a newby it is an extremely glamorous garden centre with integral café and shopping. That said, the quality of the merchandise is of the highest standard and the café was absolutely buzzing.

The garden store itself is modest in size but has an interesting selection of trees, plants, shrubs, and rusted metalwork. There is even a little shop that sells vintage finds.

I have to own up to not realising at the time of my visit that lavender is grown on this site and that it is used to create the Long Barn’s own goods from its annual crop.

I was so pleased that I chose to drop by and would certainly recommend a visit to this favoured destination.

India Jane Opens New Store

Family run lifestyle business, India Jane, has opened a new store in Guildford. Located in what was until recently, the Steamer Trading Company, the new shop is conveniently located at 168 High Street.

Spread over four floors in this super modern building it has an enormous range of home furnishings and accessories.

Here you can find luxurious sofas, elegant dining, well appointed studies, and beautiful bedrooms.

The arrival of India Jane to Guildford has added another good quality lifestyle store to those already in this market town. With Neptune just across the road, OKA and Loaf in the Tunsgate Centre, and Sofa.Com and Neville Johnson a short walk away, everything is close at hand.

Whether you are looking to buy a new piece of furniture or searching for a quality Christmas gift these stores have it covered.

Whilst browsing I took the opportunity to sign up to the India Jane Club so that I would hear about new products, in-store events, and exclusive member offers.

Come To Bed

Who doesn’t adore the feeling of snuggling down into freshly laundered bedding?

Now that the nights are drawing in, and the oh so recent sweltering temperatures are being replaced with a distinct autumnal chill, hunkering down in a cosy bed is a real treat.

A recent trip to Ikea had me splashing out on two new sets of bedding just for the pure joy of revamping bedrooms for the new season.

Relatively inexpensive, and failingly good quality, I embraced these two sets with a view to mixing and matching with each other, and with existing sets.

Ikea Bergpalm

The subtle green and white stripes of Bergpalm, (also available in pale pink/white and soft grey/white), is incredibly versatile; a bedroom staple.

In the room below it is layered with a green/cream woollen throw from Habitat, and teamed with a small gingham check green/white LangdonHyde cushion (reversed), and two deep aubergine Next linen cushions (reversed).

The finishing touch, a small aubergine coloured faux Auricula in a terracotta pot, bought in a charity shop for £2.70p!

Bergpalm, green stripe

Ikea Vattenmynta

Less subtle, but no less versatile, this blue/white Vattenmynta bedding set adds a vintage feel to the guest room below.

Again, teamed with scatter cushions and a super-soft Ikea Trattviva bedspread, a cosy, layered, “come to bed” feeling is created.

In this room two cream/duck-egg blue floral cushions, and two blue/cream check cushions from Laura Ashley, and a LangdonHyde “House” cushion, demonstrate how different patterns can be used side by side to great effect.

Vattenmynta, blue/white

As well as good looks, comfort is key to creating the ultimate bedtime experience.

Underpinning these looks are fitted, easy care, white cotton sheets from M&S, and feather and down pillows, also from M&S, along with luxurious mattress toppers from The White Company

To ensure a perfect fit for the Ikea bedding I invested in Grusblad King size duvets (240 x 220 cm) 7.5 tog quilt at a cost of £19 each.

LangdonHyde hacks

  • don’t be afraid to use the reverse side of patterned cushions to tie in with your scheme
  • tumble dry fitted sheets and put onto mattress whilst still warm to smooth out creases

One word of warning – Ikea sizes differ ever so slightly from conventional UK sizing.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Searching for the light

Searching for a table lamp to brighten a gloomy hall has been quite a challenge.

A recent visit to the newly opened shop at RHS Garden Wisley provided the perfect solution.

Here on display was this lovely 100% recycled glass bottle lamp with its orange flex and Cherry Blossom shade.

Teamed with a ceramic jug and bowl from Toast and scented candle from Neptune the entrance hall has become a very welcoming space.

The finishing detail, a handful of freshly cut terracotta pom-pom dahlias from Sarah Raven.

Flowers by Design

OKA flower arrangement

Have you ever wondered how OKA create their fabulous faux floral displays?

OKA in-house flower shop

I was lucky enough to be invited to an in-store event hosted by Bunched by OKA which revealed some of their trade secrets.

Resident florist, Natalie, demonstrated how she creates these statement arrangements.

Using easy to follow steps she described how to achieve a flower based arrangement.

Tips

Here are some simple tips which she shared with the entranced audience:

  • Choose an odd number of stems; say 1, 3 or 5
  • Choose a foliage with a similar colour leaf to the flowers
  • Shake out foliage to separate leaves
  • Open up flower heads and bend forward
  • Bend stems for correct height; rule of thumb is 1.5 times the height of the vase
  • If the stems are too short then use paper or towels to pack the bottom of the vase
  • Build the height by creating “rings”

In the is example Natalie used Eucalyptus, Peonies, Roses, and Paniculatas, alternating them to create the first ring

  • For the second ring measure height of stems and bend to correct length before adding
  • Form triangles by adding a single stem between two of the same variety in the first ring
  • Spin the vase as you work rather than walk around it

The second and third rings add height to the display

  • Finally create the third ring by repeating the process
  • A single stem in the centre of the arrangement may be used to complete the process

The end result

  • Update faux arrangements with seasonal blooms (fresh of faux) to remain current
  • Add a scented reed stick to further add to the illusion

Inspired by OKA

Inspired by the realistic quality of OKA’s faux flower arrangement I couldn’t resist an investment of my own.

A Bank Holiday trip to Ikea opened my eyes to the variety of faux flowers that they stock.

I tend to have Eucalyptus in the house during the winter season as I love its aroma. Seeing a realistic faux version I realised that I could have it year round.

Another of my favourite plants is the Lupin which I grow in my herbaceous border. Again, seeing a silk version on sale inspired me to make a further purchase.

Once home I retrieved a favourite vase and set to work.

Following the general rule-of-thumb I used 5 eucalyptus stems and 3 lupins. I shook them out and teased the leaves and flowers until they looked more natural.

I then placed the foliage in the vase before alternating the flowers in a triangular shape.

Ikea lupins and eucalyptus

I’m the first to admit that it’s not quite OKA standard but in our cottage, I think, a simple, yet effective, arrangement is more in keeping.

“D” is for Mirror

M&S 50% off sale

I’m loving these alphabet cushions which are now half price in the Marks & Spencer sale; reduced from £12 to £6.

Alphabet cushion from M&S

Unable to resist a bargain, and imagining how the trio of colours would co-ordinate with my newly stylised room, I decided to buy “D” for Dining. Tenuous, I know, but as I said, “irresistible”!

Newly stylised dining room

Happy with my new purchase I positioned it on the seat of a single chair along with a plain pistachio velvet cushion.

It was only at this time that I realised by turning it through a 90 degree turn the “D” became an arc which beautifully echoed the profile of the mirror.

A little thing, but pleasing none the less.

Dash Of Orange

Step into spring with a flamboyant dash of orange.

My recent venture into town really demonstrated a massive head on collision between fashion and interiors.

This was particularly noticeable in Anthropologie where their footware and furnishings sat side by side.

Unable to resist a bright and cheerful colour I was seduced into trying on this wonderful selection of  tops and sweaters in Mint Velvet.

London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour didn’t miss a trick either as many of the showrooms were brought to life with this lovely colour in lively prints.

Even the horticulture followed the theme.

A more mystical Morrocan theme was on show in this particular window with its gorgeous bronze coloured wallpaper and lighting.

Loaf, in the newly opened Tunsgate Quarter in Guildford, had its fair share of paprika coloured cushions and couches.

Meanwhile this Clarins advert used the colour of the season to great effect to promote its bronze-lidded peach-coloured jars of exotic face creams.

Neptune also adopted a subtle tone in their range of home accessories. 

Candles, throws and artwork incorporated a pinky hue which worked beautifully with these light and dark greys.

A similar matching was found in this rug in Sofa.com.

And if grey isn’t to your liking then navy is a very smart alternative. The combination seen here at Sofa.com demonstrates how they have worked this season’s trend by teaming a navy sofa with orange scatter cushions and footstool.

Another collision between fashion and interiors was evident in Jigsaw where orange and navy clothes, shoes and bags, were displayed together in perfect harmony.

So whether your preference is for bright or subtle, home or fashion, there appears to be something for everyone in this season’s colour.

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