Some colleagues of mine recently – completely by accident, funnily enough, and much to my embarrassment – discovered Take Courage. As she scrolled through my posts for the first time, my lovely office-mate exclaimed, “your flat is like a magazine!”. Despite the embarrassment, I was also flattered, because ever since we moved into our flat last July, we’ve worked hard to turn it from grotty rental into a comfortable home, and I’ve really enjoyed the process. I’ve felt more inspired and excited about my little rented corner of the world than ever before, and it has really spurred me on to get saving so I can eventually decorate my own house, rather than my landlord’s.
Needless to say, then, when Ekornes offered me the chance to visit the Ideal Home Show, I jumped at the chance! I’d never been to Kensington Olympia before, but what a place – it’s hard to believe but they managed to fit three full-size show homes and six (I think?) gardens in that glass-topped building. The show homes were really fun to see, although having just arrived back from Japan, I couldn’t help but wonder what the Japanese would think of the designs. It seems that British design is very much focused on show-stopping pieces – oversized mid-century inspired table lamps, decorative candlestick holders, huge sofas that you can sink into, a swimming pool in your back garden (which seems crazy when you’re used to 250 square feet living!) – whereas Japanese design (or at least what I saw of it) is much more focused on craftsmanship; simple, organic pieces made to the highest quality. It was an interesting contrast.
When I was in Japan, I was surprised by how much the Japanese aesthetic had in common with Scandinavian style (which I have always loved, ever since discovering the Chez Larsson blog years ago). Ekornes is a Norwegian company, and its provenance really shows through in its designs – they make functional, yet stylishly slick chairs and sofas which I can attest to being so comfy that you’re liable to never get up again! My favourite was a turquoise leather recliner which I think every law firm office should have – we’d all be much more relaxed and less achy for it…
To spread the interiors love, Ekornes is kindly offering you lovely lot the chance to win a £100 Cloudberry Living voucher! Cloudberry Living have some gorgeous homewares (including Marimekko, another Scandinavian favourite!) so it’s a no brainer really – leave a comment with your contact details (blog address, email address, Twitter...) and I’ll pick a winner randomly next Tuesday, 21 April!
What I’m wearing | Dress and necklace: c/o Joules | Brogues: Clarks | Bag: Charles & Keith | Jacket: Zara | Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington – and it must be Christmas because Daniel Wellington are also offering you lovely lot 15% off their gorgeous watches with the code takecourageblog – valid until 30 April!