It has been quite a week in the Malmo & Moss household. After nine happy years we have moved house, leaving our Edwardian semi behind and taking on a pebble dash dipped renovation project. It is fair to say that as I closed our front door for the last time on Monday I was about as composed as Gwyneth Paltrow upon discovering that her local Whole Foods had run out of tofu.
One of the things I will be saddest to leave behind is our kitchen extension and the relationship it allowed us to have with the garden. That sounds like we were embroiled in an unhealthy coupling with our hardy geraniums but what I mean is the way the design of the extension opened up the house to the garden allowing it to become like an extension of the house in the Summer.
Designing a kitchen extension for indoor/outdoor living
We were originally going to just have bifold doors going across the end but ended up going for a cantilevered corner. It was definitely more expensive ( I will probably still be paying for it when I am 79) but it created so much more wow factor. We loved having friends round for dinner and opening the doors up to enjoy all of the view of the garden from the table.
Another key part of the design was having a raised deck that wrapped around the extension and using concrete constructed planters to create a seating area. That little corner was the sunniest spot in the garden and I loved sitting out there with a cup of tea in the morning or with a glass of wine in the early evening (when the sun had gone down just enough for me to venture out without turning tomato red in twenty seconds).
Summer Styling with Marks & Spencer
Over the last few months as we have prepared for the move, I have been working with Marks and Spencer (as part of a paid partnership) to explore their Spring/Summer range and to get to know more about the brand I have loved since I was a little girl. With just days to go before we moved I enjoyed a final fling with my kitchen and garden styling them up to showcase some of the items I selected from the range and to inspire people to go alfresco Scandi Rustic style this Summer.
When I attended the launch for the Spring/Summer collection there were four items that really stood out for me and which I was dying to get my hands on. They were the small bulb vases, the Marlowe dinner set, the white washed wooden hurricane lanterns and candles from the calm range. I knew that all four would look great on my Summer table when mixed in with my existing tableware and vintage pieces.
The Marlowe dinner set is a lovely soft grey and has a great raised rim detail that I really liked. I set the table with a lovely natural linen table cloth, added the plates and bowls from the set and then lit candles to flicker in the evening sun in the hurricane lamps from the collection.
It is no exaggeration to say I love these hurricane lamps so much that they have appeared in literally every shot on my grid since I got them! The original ones have sold out online but there is a slightly different shape which is equally nice which is still online and linked here . To add some scent to my Summer table I lit two of the candles from the Calm range the style and price point of which I loved! A single candle is just £7.50 and has notes of cedar wood and clary sage.
I used a couple of pallets to create a low table and then for comfort, colour and seating used these great outdoor cushions which I have in both a mustard and navy stripe. Given that we have experienced #SiberiaInJune this year I can vouch for the weatherproof nature of them!
As somebody who is somewhere on the English Rose spectrum between Silas the Albino Monk from the Da Vinci Code and Casper the Friendly Ghost, early evening is actually my favourite time of day in the summer. I love the light at that time of day not to mention the festoon related Instagram opportunities
New Beginnings: Our New House
Whilst I alas could not take my cantilevered corner with me in the move (at least not without causing some serious conveyancing complications) I did bring all of my favourite Marks & Spencers items with me and I am now excited to share some sneak peeks of the new house and garden with you where, after a box unpacking rampage, I have settled in enough to do a little bit of styling!
A bigger garden for the boys was one of the drivers for our move (along with my desire for a utility room). The garden in our old house was no postage stamp but it was, like the house ( but alas not me) on the narrow side and we ideally wanted somewhere with a bigger wider lawn to see us through the next 15 years of back garden football fixtures.
This place instantly ticked that box. It is, like the house, wider and also longer. It has also been been cared for by someone who knows her Foxgloves from her Fingers so is really mature and fully of things that are thriving rather than barely surviving!.
However, the existing kitchen extension does not make the most of the possibilities of the garden and so we are excited to get to work with an architect to explore ways to better open the kitchen up to the garden and to reconfigure the internal layout (which is pretty higgedly piggledly but more of that another time). I will be sharing more about those plans as they take shape on the blog but I thought you might like a sneak preview of the kitchen for now so you can get a feel for the scale of the challenge!
#This Blog Post is part of my Paid Partnership with Marks & Spencer and the items that I feature were gifted to me as part of that partnership.#