Friday, 14 August 2015

DECORATING WITH CUSHIONS

The first product I ever designed and made for chocolate creative was a cushion. I did it out of need, I wanted some new cushions for my bedroom and living room, and it was an easy medium to try my first pattern designs. Cushions continue to be my favourite products to work on, despite what my mother once said a few years ago. On her first visit to a trade show in London, only after 10 minutes of stepping into the venue, she commented: "Marga, do you think the world needs another cushion" . This phrase has stayed with me ever since, and I often wonder if that is true?? Well, all I can say, is that YES the world needs more cushions, for as along as people continue to buy them, I will continue to make them!!

  

Updating the look of a room can be easily done on budget. Sometimes, all it needs is a new fresh coat of paint, and some new accessories: cushions, lamps, bed linen, wall art, curtains, etc… 

I hope these photos, (most of them of my house, apart from the one of veronica's home, and Liberty store in London), inspire you on how to update your home. My style is very eclectic, I like to mix vintage with new designs. I collect old paintings, and mix them with my own prints. The same goes with the furniture pieces. I tend to change the wall colours now and again. The main bedroom is currently painted in blue, the guest bedroom in white, as well as the rest of the house, with the exemption of the grey corridor and black wall in the living room.

English romantic collection: Red and Blue lake cushions £45 each. 

I recently got a prize from Atmine, it was the gorgeous bed linen from Loaf, that you see in the photos, so I decided to add some new cushions to go with the pink, white and grey bed linen set. I tried several combinations with different designs and patterns. You can see how different a room can look, depending on the wall colour, wall art and cushions you choose.

There is a lot of inspiration out there, in the form of interior magazines, blogs, pinterest, design events, shops, etc…I believe that living in a comfortable, and beautiful space can add quality to your life. Homes are very important, is where we rest and spend time with our families and friends, so why not to make the most of what we have?

There are millions of products and hundreds of shops/designers out there, from a very low budget to the most expensive gorgeous things money can buy, the range is vast, so start making your house a cosy HOME!

Photos by Piero Pierini | Styling by me

Thursday, 6 August 2015

CHOCOLATE CREATIVE WINNER OF THE #StyleAtMine COMPETITION AT ATMINE

A while ago I entered a competition over at atmine, for the launch of their new monthly styling challenge called #StyleAtMine. atmine is a social platform, where people like you and I, can share photos of our homes and interiors ideas – I invite you to explore atmine, and become a member.
chocolate creative shop online  | knit knit duvet Room 39 | Small town cushion Roddy & Ginger

In this occasion the theme was "bedroom" so I chose the photo above for my entry. Piero and I took this photo at my house. I live in a very simple and normal house, without any interesting features or nice wooden floors, etc…I have always treated the places where I have lived as a home, even when I was renting a room in a shared house, or even earlier when studying at Uni. My little rooms were always home to me, with small budgets I made them comfortable and cosy. So wining this prize makes me very happy, as it shows that you don't need a big expensive house and loads of money to create a personal and comfortable place where to live, entertain and be happy.
To my surprise I was notified last week that I was the winner of this competition, for someone who has hardly ever won anything, this came as a a very nice surprise, specially as it is my work that has been recognised and valued. Sara from the Me & Orla blog, was asked to pick up a winner, and the prize was a set of "lazy linen" from Loaf.
You can see more about the competition over at atmine blog, explore the inspiring world or Me & Orla and browse Loaf's beautiful range of products at their website.

Monday, 27 July 2015

THE NEW CRAFTSMEN SHOP IN MAYFAIR, LONDON

A few weeks ago I finally made to The New Craftsmen shop, a place I have been meaning to visit for a long time. What a beautiful and well curated space this is, dedicated to showcase high quality craft from British makers. They represent a network of makers, showing their work, skills and processes. I think it is very refreshing to see a place/gallery such as this, where people can appreciate and buy handmade sustainable products.

As a designer/maker myself I am tired of constantly being presented by high street brands with version/copies of our products being mass produced to target a much wider audience. I am not naive to think that everybody, (including myself) have the spare budget to purchase these gorgeous but rather expensive products; but I wish we all made a more conscious decision when purchasing things. The realisation that less is better, and that buying handmade products by independent designer/makers is more sustainable in a long term. I rather save and save to get a piece that I really love, and I know I will treasure for ever, than buying cheaper similar options.


The New Craftsmen shop is a gorgeous shop, well worth a visit. A very inspiring space, surely you will fall in love with many of the things on display. Here are some of my favorites pieces.
(Photos by thenewcraftsmen)

Monday, 13 July 2015

SEVEN SISTERS CLIFFS WALK AND A FITNESS CHALLENGE

Las Saturday I joined a nice group of people and headed to the East Sussex coast. The plan was to walk from Seaford to Eastbourne along the Seven Sisters cliffs. The total walk is 14 miles, and I must admit that I struggled a bit, specially some of the paths, going down the hills is not my favorite thing to do…but we all managed the walk well and arrived to Eastbourne, where a nice fish and chips was awaiting for us.
We took the train from Clapham Junction to Seaford, and then started to walk towards the cliffs. We first stopped at Exceat for lunch (there is a pub you can sit outside). and later on stopped at the Birling Gap (national Trust). A very nice place for resting, enjoying the beach/sun, and some nice cream tea. Oh yeah that break/stop was much needed, by them my legs were quite sore…You can also take a bus from there to Eastbourne, as there are around another 6 miles to finish the walk.
This was a tough walk (lots of up and down hills), but I am glad I went along, as the landscape is impressive and I really enjoyed the nature, scenery and fresh air very much –things you need when living in a big city, such as London. The weather was perfect, (very windy, but you actually appreciate it on a very sunny day), and the company was great! 

Get outside and explore the world, discover new places and do things you really like and enjoy. Life is more than just paying the bills! Thanks Lynne for inviting me along, where do we go next?
Photos by me

Monday, 6 July 2015

Black and White children's room decor inspiration | NEW chocolate creative's products

It has been a while since I last posted in here, back in April. I have been a bit slow in coming up with new designs and updating the website, marketing etc…but now that I have gained some more energy, I am hoping to get back on track and push my little business with the same passion and commitment that I used to have.

A few weeks ago, Piero (the photographer) and I got together to shoot some photos of the new products. I was hoping to work on a location space, but as it turned out, we did it at my house, meaning, reduced space, a good decent floor, (my house has an ugly laminated floor), and other lack of resources.
 
As a small independent designer I can only work/launch a small number of products per season. If I only told you how much work, resources and money are involved in doing so…you will understand. 

So the NEW products are all hand-made in Spain, by a small team of two brothers Gassy and Artemi. I design and work closely with Gassy on developing my ideas that later on they will produce and ship to London and all over the world. The result is a small production that is sustainable and quite unique. The NEW wall shelves, paper clip magnets and wall hooks are now available in my shop online. For the gorgeous knit knit grey duvet cover, please head over to Room 39 website, as well as for the small town cushion from Roddy & Ginger for prices and stock.



Wooden pencil holder £32 | Landscape lampshade £65 | Knit Knit duvet by Room 39 from £24 
Moon wall hook £16 | Small town cushion by Roddy & Ginger £35 
Cat paper clip magnet £18 | Wall shelves £22 | Wall hooks £15/£16

I styled a Black & White theme for this children’s room idea. You can create this eclectic look by mixing different patterns, and furniture pieces, like the ercol side table with the more vintage children’s chair. You can unify the style by reducing the colour palette to the same tones, in this case neutrals and the use of wood to add some warmth to an otherwise rather cold and minimalist look.

When it comes to my home, I follow my heart, I don’t do rules, only what feels right for me and my space, the above are only suggestions based on my personal taste. I believe that there is not right or wrong when it comes to decorating your own personal space!!
Photos by Piero Pierini | Styling Margarita Lorenzo | Props Roddy & Ginger

Thursday, 23 April 2015

CHOCOLATE CREATIVE WALL HOOKS – NOCHINTZ

At chocolate creative, we work alongside some very nice architect and design/interior firms. Over the years, we have created some bespoke orders for various nurseries, schools, hotels, and have worked closely with clients to make on demand colours and sizes wooden knobs for their kitchens.
We will be soon launching a wider bespoke service. I am developing together with Gassy some very nice big format wooden handles and knobs, to be used in wardrobes, fitted cabinets, etc…One of my favourites firms to work with is the creative studio, Nochintz, up in Manchester. They have been using our wooden wall hooks and knobs for different projects. I like their approach to design, using and supporting UK based independent designers/makers and keeping their interiors fresh, contemporary and functional.
Their portfolio is diverse and impressive, here are some images of the work they did for the Natural retreats company and a recent Hotel exhibition in London, on both you can see chocolate creative wall hooks being used in a very practical and creative way.
Photos supplied by NoChintz

Monday, 20 April 2015

BACK TO BASICS – LA CASA EN RUINAS

Lanzarote is the land of wind, sun and volcanos, rough, simple, peaceful and incredibly beautiful. Yesterday I was browsing AD online, and I came across this house "Esta casa es una ruina" (this is house is in ruins), and I immediately thought it was in Lanzarote, but no, its in the Azores islands, not far from us (Canary islands) though. I was so taken by its simplicity and beauty, what an amazing restoration job the architects and owners have done to this ruined forgotten house. It has always been a dream of mine to retire to my islands and get involved in a similar project. New buildings do not interest me as much as these old houses build to last and using local materials, still standing proudly after so many years…
Images above from Revista AD online, project renovations by SAMI Arquitectos



Terrarium by London Terrariums
Photos of Cesar Manrique House and Foundation in Lanzarote

DECORATING WITH CUSHIONS

CHOCOLATE CREATIVE WINNER OF THE #StyleAtMine COMPETITION AT ATMINE

THE NEW CRAFTSMEN SHOP IN MAYFAIR, LONDON

SEVEN SISTERS CLIFFS WALK AND A FITNESS CHALLENGE

Black and White children's room decor inspiration | NEW chocolate creative's products

CHOCOLATE CREATIVE WALL HOOKS – NOCHINTZ

BACK TO BASICS – LA CASA EN RUINAS

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