Celebrating Bosley’s First Year!

Bosley's First Year

This weekend is a special one because it marks Bosley’s first year of living with us (AKA his ‘gotcha day’)! It’s hard for me to believe that this time last year we were bringing him home because it kind of feels like he’s always been here.

I was looking through pictures of Bosley earlier and can’t believe how tiny he used to be! I used to be able to scoop him up in one hand and he was able to climb inside my handbags and hide. These days, it’s quite a different story. But he is still as curious as ever and he still tries to climb inside things, even if his big butt hangs out the back! Bosley also has an incredible RKF (resting kit face!) as, despite his grumpy expression, he is very affectionate and friendly. We even joke that he is part dog!

Bosley's First Year

A little while back, I wrote about how having a kitten has been a big learning curve in our house, and I’m still learning new things about Bosley as he gets bigger. Like how much he loves our daily routines (no matter how small they might be!) and how intuitive he is. Also, he makes us laugh constantly – the other day he reacted to a particularly dramatic part of a corny film and it (further) convinced me that he understands English purrfectly…

Earlier this week was International Cat Day which meant that, as well as my feed being filled with even more cute felines than usual, I had yet another excuse to post a picture and celebrate Bosley’s first year on Twitter and Instagram! The gang at RSPCA have even included him in their #MoreThanCat online gallery of kitties – you can check it out here.

Bosley's First Year

It’s amazing how quickly a little animal can become such a big part of your life and, in a short year, Bosley has become a major part of ours. I can’t wait to see what the next twelve months (and all the months and years after that!) bring.

Tell me all about your furry friends! Do you celebrate any pet birthdays/ anniversaries too?

 

Local Lovin’: Habiib

Habiib3 My Local Lovin’ series is a spotlight on designers / stores / creators of marvellous things (and anything else that catches my eye) – all based in Scotland. I believe that we should be supporting the amazing home-grown talent that we have so I decided to start Local Lovin’ as a regular feature. If you have an awesome project or create something that you think I might love please let me know! See my Contact page for details of how to get in touch…

Today, I’d love to introduce you guys to habiib, a Glasgow-based company who sell a curated collection of unique, mid-century and vintage furniture. Sourcing pieces in the UK and Europe, habiib make it easy to style beautiful, original furniture in a modern interior by sharing tips and tricks and keeping prices accessible. Shopping for vintage can often be tricky, but what habiib really aim to do is take the stress out of this process by only sourcing and selling pieces that get team habiib (that’s Laura and Ross!) all a-flutter and eager to share.

Less than a week ago, habiib opened their online store, which is bursting with clean lines, bold colours and retro shapes. With so much to celebrate, I grabbed the company’s own #girlboss Laura B Hewitt for a blether…

I’m so excited that habiib has launched online – can you tell me a bit about how you guys got started and what inspires you?

Me too! The reaction to it has been fantastic which is really exciting! I’m so happy that people like what we are putting out there. Habiib was started just under 6 months ago but I suppose it’s been a twinkle in my eye for a couple of years in one form or another. As you know, I co-founded Glad Rags Thrift a few years ago with The Glad Café, which I loved. It was such a great experience and reignited my passion for retail and gave me a chance to express my creative side.

When I moved into a new home last year it was really important that I made it feel like ‘me’. I wanted to put my personal stamp on it but also had a pretty tight budget to work with so started to gradually source vintage and second-hand furniture that I loved. It was time consuming and took a lot of effort, but it felt great to be building a home that wasn’t straight out of Ikea. The response from family and friends, as well as a good shove from my other half, led me to start Habiib focusing on mid-century and vintage interiors.

When it comes to interiors, everything is an inspiration! Without trying to sound like too much of a w*nker, it’s a pretty organic process. With habiib, we don’t want to copy what other vintage shops or antique dealers are doing, and we don’t want to follow trends. So we just try to find furniture that we love and that we think others will be into too.

Habiib5

I love how passionate you are about the pieces that you stock – what is your process for curating such gorgeous furniture?

Haha, I’m too passionate! I always just want to keep what we find and I’ve been known to get quite emotional about some of our pieces.

I guess the number one rule is that we only ever pick items for habiib that we would have in our own home. We look for unique pieces of furniture that are of high quality and in good condition. We sell products that are as close to their original condition as possible so when sourcing furniture, we look for things that we can clean up and restore rather than go down an ‘up-cycling’ route.

We spend a lot of time and effort on sourcing the right products and take regular road trips across the UK to hunt out the best finds. I think a massive part of the sourcing experience is that Ross and I both really enjoy the process – it’s really exciting when you come across something special and you get to meet so many interesting people on the way.

Do you have / have you had any favourites so far?

I have a new favourite every time I source something! I could probably name everything and give a full explanation for why it’s my favourite!

I was in love with a pair of gold armchairs that I really wanted to keep but at the time I had three armchairs of my own so really didn’t need another two. I cheated a little and kept the matching sofa. I love walking into my living room and seeing it sitting there looking all beautiful. With all the grey days we’ve had recently in Glasgow, it’s my personal ray of sunshine! haha.

I guess the sideboards are my favourite items though – especially the G Plan high sideboard. I make a claim against every one I collect! I think my current favourites are the G Plan Tola ones we have for sale at the moment. They are sophisticated and sexy made from dark teak, with sleek, straight lines and brass handles and feet. Plus those concertina doors are really satisfying to open. I’m currently restoring a Guy Rogers Day Bed that may take the number one spot when it’s finished…

Ross’ favourite would definitely be the G Plan Fresco Desk. It has a floating desktop and secret drawer. Like the whole Fresco range, the grain in the teak really stands out and it has quite neat proportions so it fits well in any room. I keep promising we will keep one for him soon! It looks fantastic with his G Plan 6250 Wingback Armchair and matching 6251 footstool so it would be a shame not to.

In terms of customers’ favourites, it’s got to be the pink armchairs by NH Chapman of Newcastle! And I don’t blame them, they’re incredible!

Habiib2

Incredible is right – those pink chairs have me swooning! What can customers expect from a visit to habiib?

A small, but perfectly formed collection of mid-century and modern vintage interiors. So really anything from 1930s to 1970s with maybe a little more emphasis on the 1970s since that’s what I am into personally.

We’re really into block colours, clean lines and a minimalist feel. That’s what we love about so much mid-century modern furniture. It was creatively designed to be functional and beautiful. High quality, durable materials were also used which means that furniture made 50 or 60 years ago can be found in almost new condition and will last another 50 years.

In terms of customer experience from habiib, the goal is to present unique, beautiful furniture in an accessible way for customers – both in price and shopping experience. We also want to show how easily vintage and retro furniture can work in modern homes, offices or studios which is where our blog comes in as well as our Instagram pages. We’ll be sharing advice on how to care for modern vintage furniture and how to incorporate it into your own space, and our photoshoots give styling ideas and tips.

We have a passion and appreciation for the products we sell and I really hope that comes across to everyone who visits our website or follows us on social media.

Habiib1

Are there any other local businesses that you admire? Share the love and tell us who we should go check out!
One of my favourites has to be Botanica Home. Kirsty is constantly striving to create something new and master what she does. Plus she shares her talent and expertise by holding workshops and teaching others which is so inspiring.

Actually, keep an eye on our social media for an announcement coming soon as we are planning an event that will see our forces combine with our favourite independent businesses! It’s top secret at the moment but all will be revealed soon.

Ah, I love an exclusive!! And finally, what’s your plans for the coming months?

Well we’ve just launched the website which is an exciting milestone to reach. The focus for the coming months will be to raise our profile across the UK and get more people to know about us. Our customers and followers have been really supportive so we will be running a giveaway as a way to say thanks. That will launch in a couple of weeks.

I’ve so many ideas that I have to force myself to slow down a little. It’s all been a bit crazy. To give you some hints though on what’s next for habiib, we are already collaborating with a local product designer to bring something really special to the table, have plans for another fashion shoot with a London based designer and obviously the event which should take place late Spring.

Habiib4

With an army of interiors addicts already flocking to habiib, and an Instagram feed to die for, I can’t wait to see what the coming months hold for this awesome new company. As a huge fan of mid-century modern style, I’ll be keeping an eye on their blog for more dreamy photos and maybe even the perfect side table…

With love, atomic legs and sleek velvet…

Signature

 

Photography credit: Photo 1 by Tony Webster, all other images by habiib 

 

Sharing Your Snapshots: My Top Tips for Instagram

Instagram 1

Of all of the social media platforms, Instagram is probably my favourite. Its beauty, I think, lies in its simplicity – snapshots into people’s lives and getting glimpses into each other’s daily routines, holidays, adventures, outfits and other little details. I love the idea of a picture telling a story, and being able to snap one on my phone and share it in seconds is pretty awesome!

Last week, I went along to a Smartphone Photography event held by photographer Dan Rubin at Glasgow’s Hotel Indigo. It was interesting to see how much Instagram has been embraced, and that it isn’t simply seen as an excuse for posting selfies and lunch plates (though I do like to use it for both of those things – and more!). It got me thinking about how I use the app myself, how I take photos on my iPhone and how this has evolved over the last few years.

Image

With this in mind, I wanted to share some of my top tips for Instagram! Here are a few tips to take, edit and share photos…

When creating your Instagram profile, ask yourself what you want to use it for.

What do you want to share? Is it a personal account or are you promoting your business? Or perhaps something else entirely? Personally, I use Instagram for a combination of things which I guess can be summed up as capturing my life – moments of fun, inspiration, little details and more. I like to post snapshots of what I’m up to, what I’ve seen while out gallivanting, and share blog updates that I think you guys might enjoy checking out.

Be creative…but it’s OK to keep it simple too.

I like to experiment with my content, shooting anything that puts a smile on my face. But sometimes the most simple images are the ones that have the biggest impact, and can say a lot without the need to write much in the description box underneath. For example, when Gary and I go on a coffee date, I might snap and post a photo of our coffee cups side by side to have a fun reminder of a relaxing afternoon together.

IMG_4198
Don’t be afraid to experiment with apps!

Instagram itself has a lot of built-in filters that can give your photos everything from a vintage vibe to a sleek and sharp effect – but sometimes I like to use a few other apps to make my photos pop. From cropping out things I don’t want in a shot (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, LITTER!), to brightening things up when the light just won’t play ball – there are loads of apps available to play with. A couple of my current favourites are Aillis (formally Line Camera), A Beautiful Mess and InstaEditor.

Take a few photos until you are happy with your snaps.

Having your phone handy to catch those spontaneous moments is a huge part of why smartphones are so appealing. But when your photo doesn’t have such a sense of urgency, you can take your time, and try a few angles until you think you’ve nailed it. I often take about 3 or 4 photos of something until I’ve captured one that I’m ready to share on Instagram, what about you?

IMG_4197

Use the features built into your phone’s camera to your advantage.

This is something that I have been making use of a lot, lately! The ‘burst’ mode on my iPhone is great for capturing moving objects that might come out blurry otherwise, shooting 10 photos per second. I’ve also discovered the timer function – I’m a little late to the party with this one but I don’t mind! I use the timer mainly for taking selfies with friends – saving me the infamous ‘arm shake’ when I try to press the button (gah!)!

Over on my Instagram page you’ll find me posting regular updates and everyday details. Be sure to come and say hi!

What are your top tips for Instagram? How often do you share photos from your day-to-day obsessions and mini adventures?

With a click and a snap,

Signature

 

PS: Did you know that you can share a photo of your #Neighbourhood with Hotel Indigo to win your photograph exhibited at the World Photography Exhibition 2016? You can find out more here!