Langdon Hyde Design

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Category: Favourite things (page 1 of 5)

….. and breathe!

The festive season is more or less at an end for me and at last I can feel that I can breathe.

Don’t get me wrong, as there are many aspects of Christmas and New Year that I adore, especially spending precious time with friends and family.

Before I look to the year ahead I thought I would share some of my favourite memories from 2017….

The first half of the year saw my passion for painting come to the fore and I spent many a happy hour transforming some begged, borrowed and recused items.

Here are some of my favourites…..

Crackle finish candle holder

Distressed oval mirror (SOLD)

Crackle glaze occasional table and home grown hydrangeas

Painted and stencilled bureau (DISPLAY ITEM)

Painted bedside table, paper bunting, and decorative cushion

Joules inspired bathroom cabinet and mirror

Later in the year I turned my attention to handcrafting a selection of cushions. These were constructed from “free” linen shopping bags, off-cuts of fabrics, and mismatched buttons…..

Hand-crafted cushions

And when the sun shone I took the opportunity to nurture my garden, (and if I say so myself), with some very pleasing results…

Spring bulb “lasagne” (UNAVAILABLE)

Fresh herb planter

Summer patio planting (UNAVAILABLE)

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at some of my work from 2017 and if you are interested in acquiring any of the items shown  then please feel free to leave a comment on this website or to send an email.

In the meantime I am looking forward to being as creative and productive in 2018 and wish all my readers and supporters much joy and happiness.

Thank you. x

Packhouse, Tongham

In a ramshackle building in the tiny village of Tongham you will find Packhouse. I’m not sure how it’s name came about but it describes perfectly this “house” which is completely packed with stylish hand picked items. Even the outside yard is full to overflowing with decorative garden miscellany.

Packhouse Antiques Tongham

Venturing there on a Saturday afternoon my first port of call was Bears Restuarant which serves a variety of light meals and refreshments. Sitting in the alfresco dining area in the summer sunshine I enjoyed a freshly made salad before embarking on my shopping expedition.


The Packhouse is a series of rooms spread over three or four floors and each room appears to be the domain of an independent retailer. This arrangement provides an enormous selection of gifts, furnishings, and clothing, as well as genuine antiquities. It is the ideal venue to buy original and unusual items for the home and garden, or to procure the perfect present.

Colourful curiosities

My particular indulgence was a new lampshade to revamp an old table lamp and some faux flowers to add to an arrangement that fills a Laura Ashley jug that sits on a chest of drawers in my guest bedroom. Delighted with my purchases I made a note to self not leave it so long before my next visit.

For opening times and directions visit

Blue Sky Thinking

Walled garden at the Medicine Garden Cobham

I think I have Spring fever! This recent spell of unseasonably warm weather coupled with being outside in the garden led me to believe that spring, and possibly summer, were on the way. Inspired by the blue skies I wanted to spread the good vibes by sharing some of my favourite “blues”.

Spring bulbs

These lovely vintage flour pots planted with narcissi and muscari remind me of my mother’s garden where the grape hyacinths overflowed onto the pathways as the weather became warmer. I didn’t know then that they were called Muscari, but always remember being fascinated by these little blue flowers that resembled miniature bunches of blue grapes.

Curtains and blind

This pair of bedroom curtains and coordinating hand-tied rolled blind made from Laura Ashley cotton mix fabrics are perfect for bringing the colours of spring flowers indoors. Sadly, I no longer have them as they were sold with the house but I kept the matching Regatta cushions which are now in my guest bedroom.

Blue gingham

This blue gingham tablecloth, blue Ikea bowls, and delphiniums fresh from the garden, provide a casual country setting for an early summer al fresco lunch.

I love this collection of vintage milk jugs which were on display at an Arthur Swallow antique fair at Loseley Park.

Blue and white jugs

And last, but not least, are these wonderful photographs taken at Su Gologone in Sardinia. During our stay, in the latter half of May, we enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of this wonderful experience hotel. Whether we were relaxing by the spring-water pool , sipping cocktails in the Magico Tablao bar, or star gazing from the Terrace of Dreams, it was truly captivating and the perfect venue for an early summer escape.

Bar Tablao


Shabby chic entrance

Shrove Tuesday

I was reminded by a timely Facebook post that next Tuesday, February 28, is pancake day. Make a date in your diary and enjoy any number of ways of enjoying this traditional treat.

Espresso heart shaped pancakes

Picture Perfect – part 3

There are many ways of framing and hanging pictures and one method that I particularly like is grouping together similar works and displaying them as a collection. In the photograph below is a group of five watercolours which arrived with me from a number of sources. The common thread is the soft purple/blue colour palette of each painting.

The top two paintings were found in a loft in filthy dirty frames but once removed from their longterm storage these two original watercolours of the Falkland Islands were as good as new, and warranted being mounted and reframed. The painting on the bottom left is a watercolour of a mews. It was gifted to one of the residents after a complete refurbishments in the mid-nineties. It was later given to me as a present. The small print in the middle is a greetings card which is a reproduced watercolour of a viola and was sent to me by a friend. Lastly, the painting on the bottom right is a very old water colour of Shepperton which arrived unframed.

To bring these five paintings together as a cohesive group I chose similar colour mounts for each one prior to framing. The frames vary somewhat but are all fairly plain and therefore sit together quite happily.

To gauge how best to hang them on the wall I firstly laid them out on the floor in an arrangement that I was happy with.  Next step was to measure the overall area that would be needed to hang the pictures, and work out how this would be positioned on the wall, taking into account the heights and widths, as well as the wall lamp and radiator.

Layout decided I measured each picture and worked out its relationship with each of the others and positioned the picture hooks accordingly. I was immensely pleased with the end result and felt that grouping the pictures together as a whole was a success.

The current trend of staging pictures on shelves and mantlepieces rather than permanently hanging them on walls is much more relaxed. This appeals to me as it enables collections to be changed and rearranged much more easily and causes a lot less damage to walls. This may well be my next project!

It’s A Wrap


It’s A Wrap!

Some people love it and some people hate it but for me wrapping presents is a real pleasure.  Finding the time is not always easy but this year I have found it easier as some presents were despatched earlier than others and therefore wrapped in plenty of time.

I guess the other reason some people find it such a chore is due to the cost of the materials required. Having bought a gift it is often a financial burden to spend more money on the requisite wrapping paper, gift tags and ribbon.

Polka dot ribbon from random packaging

Polka dot ribbon from random packaging

This year I found that I had quite a lot of paper leftover from last Christmas so rather than buy new I decided to jazz it up a bit with a variety of bits and pieces that I picked up whilst in and out of shops and fairs.

One of the High Street shops that turned out to be particularly useful was Tiger. For very little money I bought a pack of six miniature brown carrier bags; three rolls of satin ribbon in red, blue and purple; and a pack of tiny wooden Christmas trees. I think each item was about £1 so for £5 I had plenty of choice when it came to jazzing up my parcels.

Last year's paper jazzed up with Waitrose tag & snowflake, and Tiger satin ribbon

Last year’s paper jazzed up with Waitrose tag & snowflake, and Tiger satin ribbon and wooden tree

Next stop Waitrose where I bought a pack of gift tags, ribbon, string, and tiny wooden snowflakes. These were a little more pricey but not outrageous. Lastly, I bought three packs of plain white gift labels and two rolls of embroidered ribbon from The Loseley Rural Crafts Christmas Fair that I had the pleasure of attending in November.

I always re-use the gorgeous gift and bottle bags that I am given as they are far too lovely to throw away. This year I did splash out and buy some new bottle bags from Tesco, purely because they appealed to me. I find gift bags are really handy as it so much easier to put pressies in these, especially if they are an awkward shape, and much less time consuming. I have also found that bottle bags are not just for bottles; they are ideal for wrapping packs of socks which are an absolute must for the man in your life!

Tesco bottle bag

Tesco bottle bag

My final tips, which I’m sure you’ve heard before is to keep ribbon from any random packaging you receive and to use greetings card to make into gift tags. Chocolate boxes often come tied with a ribbon and many boutique carrier bags have ribbon handles. By using the picture, or part of the picture, from last year’s Christmas cards to make gift tags you will not only save a pile of money but give gifts that are truly individual and help save the planet into the bargain! What more could you ask for.

Happy wrapping x

Despite the sunny days and mild temperature there’s no denying that autumn is in the air as the clocks go back this weekend. The afternoons will be shorter and the evenings longer as sunset is brought forward by an hour. Don’t despair as this is a wonderful time to put the garden to bed and enjoy the cosiness of being indoors.

I have stripped the beds of their summer-weight quilts and aired them in the autumn sunshine before packing them away for the next few months. Winter blankets have been removed from trunks and spread around the house to use as we snuggle up in front of the telly.img_8217

The shorter days needn’t be dreary as I’ve dusted down my favourite lanterns and votives and put in brand new tealights to add a glow to the mantlepiece.img_8209The last of the summer blooms have been cut and brought indoors to add seasonal colour and fragrance. img_8206

I’ve taken great pleasure in editing my wardrobe. A handful of summer items have been kept to one side just in case I manage to get away for a sunshine break this month but on the whole winter woolies have replaced summer t-shirts and my favourite boots are taking centre stage as they have been pulled forward from the depths of the cupboard; reheeled, revived, and ready to go.

I don’t celebrate Halloween in my house but what a magnificent excuse to decorate with spooky cobwebs, oversized spiders, and gloriously carved pumpkins. I know a lot of people will be celebrating this festival this weekend and will enjoy the spectacle that will besiege local homes and businesses.

All in all I love hunkering down for the onslaught of winter and look forward to the start of the preparation for Christmas and making plans for New Year’s Eve celebrations (already!).

This coming month there are a multitude of Christmas fairs offering unusual gifts that are often hard to find on the High Street. Amongst my favourites are The Spirit of Christmas at Olympia, The Christmas Fair at Ascot Race Course, The Medicine Garden Christmas Shopping Evening in Cobham, and The Rural Crafts Association “Crafts For Christmas” at Loseley Park.

For more details visit:


Sea, Sunflowers & Bunting

img_8097With my invitation in hand I made my way to The Mall Galleries in SW1 to the opening of the Royal Society of Marine Artists’ annual exhibition in London.img_8093Over 400 works of art are on display, ranging from the most fabulous photo montage images, to the most stunning paintings. Bright red sails; children in rock pools; crashing waves; colourful hulls; and lots, lots more seascapes to prolong the feeling of summer.img_8118

My particular favourite was The Fisherman’s Hut by Haidee-Jo Summers. Unlike the majority of works on show it depicted an interior setting with a view of the sea through the window. Contemporary in style, with sunflowers in a vase and union jack bunting in the alcove, it really caught my eye.


It would seem I wasn’t its only admirer as it has been awarded the Mall Galleries bookshop greetings card award 2016. As such, it has been reproduced as a greetings card to promote the Royal Society of Marine Artists and is available to buy in the gallery’s bookshop.img_8113

President of the RSMA, Elizabeth Smith introduced Elizabeth Meek MBE to officially open the exhibition on Tuesday afternoon. It runs from then until October 8 and is open every day between 10am and 5pm. Painting demonstrations and hands-on workshops tutored by Society Members will be taking place during the exhibition. Full details can be found at

Long Hot Summer


Dappled shade

Lying in my hammock under the shade of the old apple tree, swaying gently in the soft breeze, I’ve been inspired to share some of my favourite garden photographs with you. They range from pictures of the poshest furniture to images of the most makeshift. Whether it’s sunshine or shade you’re seeking there’s something for everyone, from small children and animals, to grown men.

Petersham Nursery Garden Bench

Garden bench at Petersham Nursery

 Petersham Nursery is a must for anyone who loves a traditional walled garden and quirky antiques. Set amidst the water meadows of Richmond and Kew it is a stone’s throw from the Thames’ towpath and a great place to treat yourself to a delicious slice of cake and delicate teas.

Luxury Swing Seat

Luxury Swing Seat

If your preference is to stay at home and enjoy the peace and tranquility of your own surroundings what better way to relax than in this gorgeous swing seat. Available in many different colour combinations and styles visit for details.

Herman's Bay, SA

Hermanus Bay, SA

Sometimes staying at home isn’t enough and the temperate climate of a foreign continent beckons. These chairs in a garden overlooking Hermanus Bay are the perfect place to sit and whale watch in the South African springtime.

Makeshift hammock

Makeshift hammock

Closer to home these small children have found happiness in this makeshift hammock. I’m not sure if it is attached to the washing line but looking at the shadows in the background I think it very likely.

Hot Dog

Hot Dog

Some animals are plain spoilt, whilst others have to fend for themselves and find a shady spot under the table.

Pimm's and pusssycat

Pimms and pussycat

It always gives me great pleasure to dress a table for meal time, even more so when it is the garden. In the photograph above hand-painted china plates and bowls sit amidst fresh flower posies and decorative napkins.

Bistro, Director, and Steamer chairs

Bistro, Director, and Steamer chairs

Nowadays, it is very fashionable to mix and match dining chairs, whereas it used to be out of necessity. I am particularly fond of these bistro chairs which have been reinvented many times over with a fresh coat of paint.


Lastly, I love these bronze statues sitting on this old wooden bench on the Isle of Wight. I wonder what they’re talking about and whether they are enjoying a rare moment of relaxation….

Are You Going To Albury Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…

I couldn’t help but think of the opening lyrics of the famous Simon & Garfunkel ballad, Are You Going To Scarborough Fair?, as I wandered around Albury Heath yesterday afternoon on what seems to have been the first proper day of summer this year.  It’s not the first time I’ve visited the Albury Produce Show and on each occasion I have been really impressed. Held on the Cricket Ground in the middle of July each year it has something for everyone.



Children were entertained on the roller coaster which consisted of a child’s slide, welded metal pipes, and a plastic tray on wheels manually operated by two conscientious gentlemen who ensured each participant had a safe but exhilarating joy ride.

There was terrier racing for dogs of all breeds and sizes. They chased a mock “hare” that  raced back and forth along the course. Mayhem ensued as the dogs leapt back and forth trying to catch the toy.

Vintage cowboy

Vintage cowboy spectator


Booty bag



An array of stalls sold plants and produce, bric-a-brac and vintage wares.



In the show tent there were flower arrangements, and vegetable competitions, alongside beautifully crafted exhibits and photographic artworks.

Knitted wedding cake

Knitted wedding cake

Knitted Gardener

Knitted Gardener



Photograhic competition

Photograhic competition

There was tombola and hoopla, football and egg throwing, and an array of other challenges to keep the young and old amused.

Catering stalls offered hotdogs and burgers, tea and cakes, ice-cream and candy floss as well as Pimms by the glass.

In the background a hog was being roasted on a spit in anticipation of the evening barn dance which would be followed on Sunday by the Albury music festival.

Not wishing to come home empty handed I couldn’t resist a framed papier maché dung beetle made by a local artist. With its gorgeous pearlescent body and bright yellow eyes the Ignotus Scarabeus will sit proudly on my mantlepiece. Despite there being a full complement of parsley, sage rosemary, and thyme, I was only tempted by a catering size tomato tin that was home to a rosemary plant which now looks very much an integral part of my kitchen garden.

Papier maché beetle

Papier maché beetle












Save the date for next year’s show. You won’t be disappointed!


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