Dare to go Bare: Neutral Shades Create the Perfect Summer Season Interior

Interior trends can be a fickle partner and veer from one extreme to another in the colour spectrum. Inky blues and monochrome themes with dominant dark navy and deep forest green has ruled the home colour scheme for some time now and continues but as the summer season is now upon us neutrals have come into their own.

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Soft nudes, neutrals and ‘barely there’ shades mixed with sandy earthy tones create a cool, light filled and inviting home. Add in tactile textures like linens, wools and hemp for a stunning stripped back Scandinavian style to evoke a welcoming interior that is sophisticated, cool and crisp.

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Pale pastel hues and nude shades like beige, taupe, ivory and soft greys may appear to be without any colour at first glance, but each will feature a wonderous variety of undertones which can be enticed out and highlighted with accessories – try honey toned Rattans and caramel coloured natural woods. 

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A beautiful neutral pallet can be easily accented; introduce elements of the ever popular Hygge with soft home loving throws, deep cushioned sofas and contemporary furniture made in an architectural timber for finishing off the perfect summer theme décor.

Jules R



Hampton Court Palace Flower Show


There is something special about Hampton Court Flower Show, it’s one of my favourite events of the year. I think the rather glorious weather made it even better this time! The gardens were amazing, with an incredible variety of themes and blooms featured. There were some show stopping stands also and the day was a hive of excitement and activity throughout the day.

Childhood stories were brought to life with fantastic statues of characters from Peter Rabbit. The detail in these creations had to be seen to be believed! Who wouldn’t want Benjamin Bunny and Mrs Tiggywinkle pottering about their garden? Just be sure to watch out for Mr Tod the fox!


One of the things I was most impressed by was the array of garden buildings and structures. From personal pods to vast safari style dining areas it was just incredible! Featured below are a few of my favourites:


Here are some of the highlights of the show this year:

What I love most of all about this show is the variety of styles it includes. From traditional roses to creations that defy gravity, they really do have it all! A particular favourite was this ‘spiderweb’ created by The Academy of Floristry, the smell as you passed by was glorious!


I was lucky enough to see Maxine Hunt of Big Black House Design Company creating her garden accessories on the stand. The benches she had on display were so eye catching and unique – a stunning product.


From beautiful blooms and award winning gardens to impressive garden structures and handcrafted accessories – Hampton Court provided yet another standout show. I’m already signed up for next year!

Natasha M-J

Amino makes major changes to benefit our clients


Tala Monks (pictured above collecting a Creative Circle award at the awards ceremony) who comes from a global agency background, and has created award winning advertising campaigns, takes the reins to lead Amino into an exciting new chapter.

Tala Monks, was Head of Creative Relations at Grey London where she was responsible for building fame and credibility for the agency and their work. She has been involved in famously effective PR campaigns helping them win numerous awards such as #jointheheard and Volvo LifePaint and is excited to bring her experience into Amino.

” I really can’t wait to get stuck in” says Tala. “To understand the clients, their products and most importantly what they want to achieve. Having come from a global agency I will be bringing in new ideas and using my experience to achieve what our clients need and more. I will be making some big changes to Amino which I’m really excited about so that we can offer our clients more creative ways to market themselves. This is the start of something fantastic. I would like to thank Julie for all that she has done for Amino and I look forward to taking Amino into the next phase.”

Take a look at some of Tala’s work:


Join The Herd


Hunted for their ivory, elephants are on the verge of extinction.

To save the herd, we had to create a human herd, and a PR idea powerful enough to stop the ivory trade in 2016. One global pressure group. One campaign. One agenda. One hashtag.

Volvo LifePaint


Volvo LifePaint


Volvo is famous for it’s leadership car safety. This also involves protecting the people outside their cars. On the roads cyclists and pedestrians are the most vulnerable. Hence we wanted to protect them.

Establish Volvo as not only the “thought leader” in Road safety, but the “doing leader”.

Volvo “LifePaint” launched in the sweet-spot of our desired target audience. Partnering with 6 of the most influential bike shops around the cycling hubs of London with an initial supply of 2000 free cans and a website for catching peoples interest.

After just a few days she has already introduced some changes.
She adds “Im hugely excited to be able to tell you all of the launch of Amino Digital- this will be the digital arm of Amino helping our clients with a breadth of digital advertising solutions across all budgets to target their audience. The great thing about digital is that it’s all measurable and with a team of digital experts working for us you can really understand what will work for them.”
Tala is currently shadowing Julie to ensure a smooth transition and looks forward to introducing herself and Amino’s new offering to all clients in the next few weeks!

For further information please contact Tala Monks at


Amino Ltd
Tel: 020 7084 6212



Polish Adventures with Jotul


Last week I had the pleasure of joining some of the top UK Jøtul dealers on a four-day trip to Gdansk, Poland. The purpose of the visit was to thank the dealers for their continued support of both Jøtul and Scan brands, to visit a Jotul dedicated showroom and to spend time in the Eastern Europe Jøtul headquarters.
The first day involved an early start for many so a big thank you to the dealers who had some considerable distance to travel as well as plane hopping and train swapping. Our arrival in the hotel located in the centre of Gdansk was welcomed by Jøtul Management team who then hosted a wonderful lunch followed by a walking tour of the historic Old Gdansk; a wonderful insight into the architecture and past of this charming and inviting city. Dinner followed in a microbrewery where the food was simply out of this world and we happily tasted the local brew which as the evening progressed to a tasting of some very fine vodka (rude not too).

Wednesday saw us all at the Jøtul headquarters (which houses some amazing Jøtul museum pieces) for presentations on new products launches this Autumn, new innovations and the latest introductions from the head of Jøtul R&D as well as the introduction to Lasse Jonassen Jøtul’s Export Director. A good look around at the new models was followed by a trip back into town to a Jøtul dedicated showroom with fabulous displays of Jøtul and Scan stove families. Wall to wall the displays showed customers at a glance the wide variants in each stove series and the wonderful variety of finishes and options offered. It was a showroom to be reckoned with and highly praised by the UK dealers; ideas were gathered, display opportunities shared and our Polish hosts so very hospitable.


To round the day off we then had the very humbling experience of visiting the WWll museum which was harrowing, thought provoking, insightful and educational to say the least. Sited in a stunning architectural building of glass and red brick the outside was as dramatic as the contents it housed. Needless to say, after this sobering afternoon I’m not sure many of us were quite the same in the evening.
Thursday brought us back to the Jøtul HQ (eventually and sometime after the allotted start time due to our very lost coach driver), where we settled into a round of presentations detailing a new Jøtul Augmented Reality innovation, a history of Jøtul Poland and a quiz.
The beach at Sopot was our lunch destination with a beautiful restaurant at the end of the pier – splendid food as ever and afterwards a visit to the European Solidarity Museum and Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers rounded off our wonderful tour.

The Jøtul team are dedicated to the wonderful heritage of their stunning products; that pride in quality and service continues through each and every person I am fortunate to meet connected to the woodburning stove business.
Thrilled to have been part of such a special trip.
Jules R.



What to sow and grow in May


It’s always around this time of year that I start to get green fingered. I think it must be something to do with the weather. As soon as it starts to warm up I always come up with grand plans of what I’m going to do with the garden, of what I’ll be planting and of how many varieties of fruit and vegetables I’ll be sowing and growing! The trouble is where do you start? Let’s start with some veggies!

May is probably the last month for sowing Brussels sprouts if you want them ready by the end of the year. The same goes for cauliflowers and cabbages (except for next spring’s early varieties). Sow them all indoors or out, depending on the weather. Some can be sown in a temporary seedbed and transplanted later in the year when space becomes available. Although leafy vegetables like kale and spinach can all be sown outdoors now but do prepare to cover them on cold nights. Runner beans, salad leaves in spring onions can all be sown outside now too.

For something a little sweeter then you can opt for rhubarb, melon (you may need a cloche if it’s still chilly), or strawberries – just don’t forget the cream!

Natasha M-J

Curve Appeal


Kitchens that feature sweeping lines and gentle arcs are gathering momentum and becoming an increasingly desired design style. Curved kitchen units provide an unusual focal point in a kitchen and a tactile appeal that invites you to touch and feel its smooth design.  Sleek and curvy units are also a fantastically ergonomic solution to designing a kitchen that feels inviting and comfortable to manoeuvre for every member of the family.


Curved kitchens are particularly well suited to open plan or broken plan living spaces as their soft appearance evokes a relaxed atmosphere and an uninterrupted flow which helps to blend the different ‘zones’ in an open home.


Islands that embrace the curve appeal can bring a real WOW factor to your kitchen. It may be a dramatic and expansive arc or simply a rectangular unit with rounded edges at one or both side that subtly introduces the curved look.

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Images from Woodstock Furniture.

Julie R

Gorgeous gardens in an unforgettable setting – RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show


You’d have been forgiven last week for thinking that someone had forgotten to tell the powers that be that it was actually Spring! I am a fan of British weather and have learnt to always be prepared (by carrying sunglasses AND an umbrella!). I have to say though it’s wonderful that the sun is set to make a comeback this week. As the warmer weather kicks in my thoughts always turn to summer. Summer plans, Summer shows, Summer holidays – with maybe a Pimm’s or two along the way!


Talking of Summer shows, one of my favourites has to be RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. For gorgeous gardens, fabulous florals & fantastic shopping in an unforgettable setting, Hampton Court it has to be! The show is open from 10AM – 730PM from Tuesday 3rd July – Saturday 8th July and 10AM – 530PM  Sunday 9th July. A special preview evening is taking place on Tuesday 2nd July from 5PM – 10.30PM where you can be among the first to enjoy the stunning show gardens alongside live music and fireworks! There is a preview video of the preview evening  below to give you an idea of what will be taking place :


RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show is more than just a flower show. It brings together some of the greatest garden designers and innovators whose creations are things of beauty we can all enjoy in a truly magnificent setting.


I for one can’t wait!

Natasha M-J



Tetrad – Anything else is just a sofa!

Empire Sofa & Empire Stool

Tetrad are the designers and creators of beautifully hand crafted upholstered furniture. They have produced the finest quality sofas, chairs and stools for over 45 years in both fabric and hide from their Lancashire base and factory. Famous for its exceptional quality washable loose cover models and fixed cover pieces, the Tetrad collections offer endless choice and the perfect combination of style and fine craftsmanship to suit any interior. Their expert craftsmanship and the pride they take in their beautifully hand-crafted furniture, have elevated them to an industry leading position.

Tetrad’s collaboration with Ralph Lauren  is a perfect celebratory partnership which explores the fusion between classic British design and the epitome of the American dream represented by Ralph Lauren. Pictured above is the award winning Gatsby sofa featured in Ralph Lauren Signature fabrics. These statement sofas are sure to provide a focal point in any room that they adorn!


All Tetrad sofas, chairs and stools are made to a terrifically high standard with hardwood frames which are built to last, coupled with a variety of suspension options and covered in high quality fabric or hide thus giving you both choice and fine quality. Tetrad understand that your furniture is not just functional but also very much a central feature of your home, their team of designers work tirelessly to develop new designs and ranges which will suit all tastes and fit any home!

Natasha M-J


Clean Burning Wood Stoves Cut Health Costs


As a leading manufacturer of wood stoves and fireplaces, Jøtul has pioneered the development of clean burning wood stoves since the early 90’s. For as many years, the company has worked actively towards governments, environmental and branch organizations nationally and abroad, in order to spread the importance of clean-burn.

Today many municipalities in Norway, but also abroad, fund replacements of older woodstoves with new clean burning stoves.

“It’s important for us to inform not only the governments and organisations of the importance of clean burning wood stoves, but also the consumer. That new clean burning wood stoves reduce particulate emission with up to 90% and use over 40% less wood due to higher efficiency, helps the consumer make an economic, healthy and environmentally friendly choice”, say René Christensen.

Jøtul supports the recently released independent report “Cleaner wood burning cuts health costs”, written by Sintef and Norwegian Energy for the Norwegian Directorate of Environment.

Faster replacement of old stoves, better maintenance and several other measures can provide a climate benefit while reducing health costs from wood burning with several billions a year. These are the estimates of the recently published report Norwegian Energy and SINTEF made for the Directorate of Environment.

In conjunction with the Directorate of Environment’s work with short-lived climate forcers, ie emissions that for a limited period contributes to warming or cooling of the atmosphere and air pollution, we have studied measures for cleaner fuelwood.

Six initiatives were assessed

The report examines six different wood burning initiatives and how they by 2050, can reduce emissions of short-lived climate forcers.

  1. Forced replacement of older stoves (sold before 1998) to newer stoves.
  2. Forced replacement of older stoves to newer and the best wood and pellet stoves.
  3. Improved combustion technology for those with newer woodstoves.
  4. Maintenance and repair of newer wood stoves.
  5. Electrostatic particle purification of newer wood stoves.
  6. Improved regulation of draught with fluegasfan for newer wood stoves.

Climate and health

Woodburning emit components such as methane, carbon dioxide (CO2), volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, sulfur and particulate matter (particles). Particulate matter consists of black carbon, which has warming effect, and organic carbon, which has cooling effect. All emissions affect the climate, and several of them, especially particulate matter, have health effects. The report was primarily made to calculate the reduction in emissions, which can be achieved by implementing the six initiatives. In addition, the authors estimated socio-economic profitability including measures the health effect.

Climate in the short term

The initiatives reduce the climate impact of Norwegian emissions in a 10-year perspective. This is equivalent to about 2 percent of the warming from Norwegian CO2 emissions. Yet, longterm the climate effect is limited. The reason is that short-lived climate forcers only stay a short time in the atmosphere, and CO2 emissions from wood are considered climate-neutral.

The health benefits can be significant

The report also shows that the initiatives have big health-related impact. Woodburning accounts for about half the emissions of particulate matter in Norway.  In addition to road traffic, woodburning is one of the main sources of bad air in cities and towns on cold winter days. By implementing the initiative “Forced replacement of old stoves to newer and the best wood and pellet stoves”, health costs can be reduced by over a billion kroner in 2025.

Based on calculations health-related benefits for all initiatives will increase until 2050, under the assumption that the extent of initiatives increase. According to the estimates all initiatives will be socio-economic profitable.

Estimates, not precise estimates

The authors of the report have used established valuation factors, ie health benefits specified in kroner per kilo aerosol emissions, to calculate the value of the health effects of these measures. It is not possible to conclude on how much and how consumers will heat with wood in the future. Whether how considerable reductions in emissions the initiatives will give, nor the value of health-damage. Such assessments can therefore never be completely precise, and are only estimates based on the best available knowledge.

Greater health benefits in the big cities

The calculations above are for towns with up to 100,000 inhabitants. If the initiatives are implemented solely in locations with more than 100 000 inhabitants (Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, Drammen, Fredrikstad), estimated health benefits per kilogram aerosol emissions, are estimated to be more than seven times higher.

Municipalities have several instruments

The report describes some existing instruments to reduce emissions from wood burning. Funding to replace old stoves found in individual municipalities and these can the report be expanded and strengthened. In addition, support is provided to implement measures to improve maintenance, electrostatic particle purification and improved restriction. The municipality may regulate emissions from wood-burning if there is a risk of violating pollution regulations minimum particulate matter. The report notes that the prohibition of the use of older stoves can be considered either permanently or intermittently and / or areas with high particulate matter levels.

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