Home decor enjoys taking a walk on the wild side a lot of the time, but this year, au natural is the king of the castle.
When we think natural, we think artisan furniture – handmade with a raw edge. This aesthetic is by no means a perfectionist when it comes to looks and personality but, ironically, therein lies its perfection.
Synonymous with wicker, rattan and earthy tones, an artisan aesthetic takes on a playful vibe through its incorporation of marble, scandi-style accents, mixed metals and heavy embellishments. Homes are brimming full of these bohemian treasures – think macramé in everything from cushion to wall hangings.
From refined rustic to modern chic, artisan furniture often plays to sustainability principles reclaiming materials and supporting the time-honoured skill of true craftsmanship. Buying artisan homewares can be a great way to shop local and support the talent in your midst. Farmers and antique stores teem with possibilities.
Frankly, why ‘woodn’t’ you?
Simple living is easier said than done. Not dissimilar to the skill involved with writing a concise, compelling letter, the art of creating a minimalist space that makes an impact takes creative courage and a sense of conviction that less truly is more. It’s a challenge not for the faint hearted.
If you’re a minimalist at heart and hold sustainability in high regard but find yourself giving in to overdressing your environment for fear of it looking bland, we have some top tips to help you on your way to pared-back perfection.
Space out your pieces: Minimalist spaces benefit from an uncluttered aesthetic. A living room, for example, may only have the essentials, including a few key furniture pieces with adequate space between them and clear surfaces – few, if any, knicknacks; smart storage solutions to hide anything superfluous to requirement. Quality over quantity is the aim of this style game.
Limited colour palette: A calming, easy environment will always downplay its colour. That’s not to say you have to stick to plain white, but a gentle approach to colouring your home life is key. Muted tones like soft greys, creams, greige (beige and grey) are all great companions to a minimalist space. Laid back luxury is only ever just one lick of paint away.
Worry about the small things: Sounds ironic doesn’t it? But really, attention to detail is absolutely everything when you are taking a step away from a relaxed, layered vibe, to an intentionally barer look. Take time to consider any additions to the space, and don’t be afraid to remove things. Less is always more with this aesthetic.
Whether you’ve got fantastic rhythm, or two left feet, we’re going to help you find your groove. Balboat, ballet, ballroom and other traditional forms of toe-tapping fitness have received a major facelift with a new generation of dance taking the world by storm.
We’ve got the rundown on the moves you need to make your own with some fabulous dance fusions.
Bollywood Kathak Fusion Dance: Pioneered in New Plymouth, this new flavour of Indian dance sees traditional Indian choreography paired with contemporary, upbeat tunes with a good dose of Bollywood thrown into the mix for eclectic measure. It involves plenty of over the top animated movements and works everything from the face to the feet.
Lyrical Dance: This is all about expressing yourself. Resembling ballet and honouring the technical elements of classical ballet, it loses its conservative streak by paying homage to the fluid and freedom focused aspects of jazz, comtemporary and modern dance. It’s based on choregraphy as well as self-interpretation of a musical beat with emotion leading the way.
Zumba: Perhaps one of the most famous exports of the 90s, Zumba blends hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. It remains a viral fitness programme with approximately 15 million people taking classes across the world every week. Capable of helping participants burn up to 600 calories per session, it targets the abs, thighs, arms and muscles throughout the body.
Clubbing collectives: Inspired by the nightclub scene, people throughout the world are taking their cues from sweaty dance parties to meet their fitness needs. Live DJs and disco lights inspire you to dip a little lower and bring those knees just that little bit higher for those who want to seriously let loose without having to stay out quite so late on a school night.
Hula hoop dancing: A total body workout that offers a great level of fitness, hula hooping is as much fun as it is a recreational option. Set to music, hula hooping is a complete core workout (cue the killer abs!), activating some 30 muscles in and around your body’s core, but the best part about this is the fun factor, with hooping classes offered at many gyms and dance fitness studios.
Wedding vows: they’ve commanded a lot of attention over the years. They’ve made us laugh, they’ve made us cry and sometimes, for those of us who have had to scribe these wedding days words, they’ve really intimidated us.
There’s debate over who actually said it, but we’ll take a gamble on the fact it was Churchill: “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one”.
It’s an enduring conundrum: how to say something compelling, quickly.
If you’re getting tongue tied ahead of tying the knot, here are our top tips for those ever-elusive wedding vow ideas:
Set the tone: Just as you’d want to coordinate the style of your invites with your decorations; your gown with your shoes; your hair with your makeup, you need to agree a tone for your vows with your significant other. Before embarking on your literary journeys, get your heads together to determine the mood you want to create. If one of you writes a romantic declaration while the other resorts to gimmicks or cliches, it could dampen the matrimonial mood.
Get to the point: It’s hard to imagine that on the most important day of your life, people’s attention may wander away from you – you are the centre of attention, after all! Be that as it may, keeping your vows clear and concise, and no more than a couple of minutes in length, will make for an endearing and engaging exchange.
Plagiarism encouraged: This may seem like we are going against all our journalistic ethics, and it is, but if you’re really struggling to wax lyrical about your loved one, then by all means, let Google be your inspiration. Sometimes a blank canvas can be really overwhelming and all it takes is a few reference points to help you on your way.
Consult your officiant: This is often an afterthought, but it’s actually important, particularly if you are marrying in a church or observe a religion and there are some mandatory inclusions.
Practice makes perfect: While most don’t commit their vows to memory – and fair enough too, there’s enough to remember on the day as it is – repetition is your best friend when it comes to your vows. Say them out loud as many times as you can in the lead up to the big day so you can get acquainted and comfortable in the language without tripping over your words or letting nerves undermine your delivery.
While we’ve never needed an excuse to keep the style party going long after the curtain has fallen on our big day, the honeymoon presents such a significant opportunity to introduce some chic newbies to our wardrobes that we couldn’t let the opportunity go by without making a fashionable fuss.
If your wedding falls in 2018, and you’re planning on jetting off somewhere where the sun never sets, then we’ve got you covered from top to toe with our honeymoon must haves.
Resortwear: Ok, the name is potentially misleading; you don’t actually have to be at a resort to wear it. It could be a beach in the Bahamas or a promenade in Portugal. The aim of this style game is to provide you with sophisticated but practical options for your romantic getaway. Brands like Seafolly, Zimmerman and Marc Jacobs have the style goods.
The ‘It’ bag: Whether it’s an oversized tote or a tiny clutch, having a bag for your personal items is mandatory. There’s not a one-size-fits all accessory for everyone but we play favourites with totes thanks to their versatility. Scale their use up or down at will; whether you just want to pack your daytime essentials, or throw in your entire wardrobe for your honeymoon so you can travel light, then this is your answer.
Make a splash: A chic bathing suit fits into the fundamentals category when you’re flocking to summer fun on your honeymoon. We’ve selected a tongue-in-cheek option, but opt for whatever you feel most comfortable in – it’s absolutely key.
The night and day dress: Having a go-to dress that can transition with ease from day to night means you’re covered when you’re having one of those ‘I’ve got nothing to wear’ moments. We love the styles that are chic enough to escort you to a dinner, but casual enough you can throw it over your ‘kini when you head down to the beach.
Glowing skin: Your honeymoon is the adventure of a lifetime, but it’s also the perfect time to give your skin some R&R time, so be sure to have makeup free days and get back to basics with some great cleansing.
It’s the underdog. Never a narcissist about what it has to offer. It gets on well with its counterparts. And it’s the colour of chocolate, a great form of escapism. Quite frankly, there’s little to frown about when it comes to brown.
It may have born the brunt of some misguided criticism at times; heckled for being boring, chastised for being too conservative, overshadowed by more ostentatious shades. But come what may, brown has always stood its ground, and with good reason.
From beige and burnt umber to chestnut and cocoa brown, this composite colour was a favoured colour choice in the seventies and in late 2017 it made headlines as the ‘new neutral’ thanks to retail giant Net-a-Porter singing its praises.
Touted as a counterpoint to other beautiful autumnal shades like forest green, teal and deep red, shades of brown marched with their head held high down the runways of designers like Simone Rocha and Victoria Beckham’s autumn collections.
Brown has, in fact, knocked navy blue off its perch and has been unified with black in holy sartorial matrimony. Black and brown are one of the ‘it’ colour couples of the season with white accents and other natural shades the perfect complement.
A power dressing shade, brown has become synonymous with empowerment, authority and equally, being grounded; an interesting combination of qualities.
In the spirit of celebrating this once controversial hue, we’ve put together a moodboard of wardrobe must-haves. Go on, take a big bite out of this new aesthetic, it’s sweet like chocolate!
Whether you want a winter wonderland or a spring soiree, every season can play to its strengths; it just comes down to which of the weather gods you want to work their magic on your big day.
While we don’t like to deal in cliches, we are keen advocates of what each season is synonymous with when it comes to creating a beautiful vibe, so here’s what you can expect or strive for if you’ve got a certain season in mind for your matrimonial celebrations.
Spring: Nothing can beat the blossoms and sweet smells of spring, from the delicious produce to the romantic blooms. All things bright and beautiful come with dependable spring, which also provides a gorgeous backdrop for photos.
Summer: It’s the most wonderful time of the year when guests have great energy; the weather is usually quite consistent; you can enjoy your gown without having to cover up; there are more options for an outdoor event. What’s not to love?
Autumn: Who wouldn’t gush over this seasonal showstopper? It’s arguably the most picturesque of the seasons with its rich colours – yellows, golds, chocolate brown. The perks of an autumn wedding are multitudinous. The chance of rain isn’t as high; it’s harvest time so there’s an abundance of delicious foods; costs are still reasonably affordable.
Winter: Think roaring fire; mulled wine; amaryllis, orchid, greenery and berry bouquets; furs (faux, to be kind) and snow if you win the wedding weather lottery. This glorious season has many benefits – potential increases in vendor availability in the ‘off-season’; a honeymoon in the sun to escape the grey skies; the divine details – wreaths, candles, a cosy ambience.
In the past, yellow has suffered from a bit of an image problem. But it seems interior designers have launched a full-blown PR campaign advocating for its acceptance into the colour hall of fame and public perception of this sunny shade is looking up.
Once treated as somewhat of an enigma, it’s now embraced as energetic but equally relaxing; an ally to homes that want to generate an authentic aura of warmth. The more dulcet tones perfectly offset a dependable grey or if you want to turn up the volume on yellow, even a spritely purple will make an impact when paired with this hue. Of course green, cream, white and black also make the cut as faithful companions to the colour.
Capable of lifting the spirits, the challenge with yellow lies in striking the right balance. If it is too heavily concentrated in one area, it can dominate and overwhelm the space. If you want to take a conservative approach to introducing this aesthetic, start with the accents in your space – curtains, lighting, cushions, throws and even rugs. A colour block feature wall is also an option but more of a commitment.
Trawl Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and take advantage of online tools that let you digitally experiment with your space so you can try yellow on for size before you make any final decisions.
The sentiment and commitment of any wedding day are, of course, the most important statements, but let’s be honest, the piece de resistance – the moment that leaves guests waiting with bated breath – is the entrance of the bride in her chosen attire, most traditionally, a gown.
If you are planning your big moment and looking for some guidance on your gown, then look no further. We’re delivering a beautiful overview of the must have looks for 2018.
Chic capes: Solange Knowles is perhaps one of the most famous examples of brides who donned a cape or capelet on their wedding day. Hers was the perfect conclusion to an already-edgy jumpsuit that she donned while making her big entrance on a vintage bicycle. A firm favourite with designers during Bridal Fashion Week, the cape is for the bride that wants to contemporise tradition and become a caped crusader in lieu of wearing a veil.
Off the shoulder: A modest amount of glowing skin can play peek-a-boo in gowns with detached sleeves. Designers like Monique Lhuillier are giving us the cold shoulder in 2018, but in the best possible way. We are seeing a lot of off-the-shoulder styles, some even with puff sleeves in the mix. It might sound like the eighties are planning a comeback, but we can assure you there is nothing retro about this aesthetic, just pure romance written all over the look.
Mid-length: A floor-skimming gown has its foot firmly in traditional bridal territory, but hems are coming up for 2018 – to a very respectable mid-length. Modest and modern; this style pays homage to 1950’s style stars like Marilyn Monroe. This is the perfect compromise for the bride who still wants the glamour that a gown affords, but the comfort and practicality of a dress that can transition from the ‘I Do’s’ to the dance floor.
Bohemian decor can’t help but be a stand-out style in any room. Bohemian is too hip to be square; it’s a welcome digression away from the conversative; proudly eclectic. Whoever partners with this concept must appreciate an adventurous aesthetic.
A free-spirit, bohemian decor embraces culture, colour and carefree style – from compelling patterns and fiery orange, saturated purple, terracotta and metallic shades, to ornate boxes, mismatched china, vintage finds, and striking tapestries, every feature in your bohemian space should tell a story.
The best part about bohemian decor is that it can be done on a budget with repurposed and reclaimed items offering a cost-effective way forward. And when it comes to dressing your bedroom in this down-to-earth decor, it’s not hard to uncover some charming features and accents that will see you resting your head in boho heaven.
Rugs, curtains, duvets, lighting and accent pillows can all play their part in creating the ultimate boho style story. Trinkets like lanterns, antique candelabras, shabby chic throws and mystical artwork will add to the ambience.
Pinterest is a great place let your imagination run wild before you bring your ideas to fruition.