This weekend has been both colourful and busy.
A few weeks ago, I was asked by both the The Joy of plants, part of the Flower Council of Holland and Red Magazine to style a kitchen in an event to showcase the Happy Life Trend.
The event was designed to show consumers how inspirational and versatile houseplants can look in the home.
The Happy Life trend is all about taking a lighter approach to life and let go of the old world with all its rules and expectations.
I spent the weekend before the event painting egg cups in the Happy Life palette, to use for the kitchen table that I was due to style.
Here is the table. The Happy Life is a room that is cheery and colourful, where everyone is welcome, and where the sun always seem to shine.
Shapes are unexpected, childlike in their simplicity, reminiscent of a box of building blocks. Soft pastels are combined with bright accent colours, preventing sharp geometric shapes from appearing cool and impassive.
The room is decorated such that a party could spontaneously break out at any moment. Smooth ceramics and glass are intertwined with playful patterns. Polka dots and confetti like cake or candy.
Sugary pastels are mixed with burnt caramel browns, like cookies and chocolate.
Those mint green linen placemats are from Designer’s Guild.
Mismatched wooden chairs were upcycled with a coat of chalk paint.
These were created by my friend Louisa Blackmore of West Egg interiors.
Absolutely adore this candy pink chair against that caramel brown rose – the Happy Life palette.
What do you think? Does this table with its wave of colour, patterns and shapes reflect the joy and optimism of the brief?
As well as painting egg cups in the required palette, I decided to decorate some wooden utensils and pots for the bright botanicals that are due to be displayed.
These were easy to create, just use washi or masking tape to section off and paint with acrylics, peel off tape, then seal with decopatch glue.
Here is the Happy Life kitchen cabinet that I styled. Forget rules and expectations, why should cabinet doors be closed when hiding behind them are colourful rays of sunshine?
Why limit kitchen cabinets and surfaces to plates and mugs, decorate with books and accessories. If you have a cabinet that gets the sun, place your potted brights in there too.
Here I have decorated with Narcissus, Gerberas, Sunflowers and Kalanchoe.
Other beautiful Happy Life flowers you can use are Hibiscus and Guzmanias.
The painted egg cups were filled with Asparagus plant shoots and peppered throughout the table that I styled. That orange striped Prism cushion is by Kangan Arora and can be bought from Future and Found.
As part of my mood board, I decided to have Ikea step stools upcycled in the trend’s colour palette. The stools were created for me by my talented friend Klara of So Klara.
The perfect stepping stools for the kitchen with their individual decorative styles, with the added bonus of being able to be used as plant display stands.
Klara spray painted the stools in white, three coats I was told. She then painted them in acrylics. I am so loving the hints of chocolate mixed with pastels and brights.
As well as styling the kitchen, I ran DIY workshops for 2 days at the event. I decided to upcycle pots with decorative effects. Here were some that I have created.
You can start by spray painting old terracotta pots in bright hues.
I then painted the pots in contrasting bands of colour, using acrylics followed by sealant.
I also demonstrated the technique of gold foiling at the workshop. Making simple geometric shapes on pots that instantly lifted the look. The gold foil shapes look great contrasted with the colour banded pots.
The Gold leaf technique is simple. Use washi tape to make your triangle, apply gilding paste, making sure you overlap paste over part of the tape edges and base of the pot. Leave to set for 15 mins, then apply the gold leaf sheet. Smooth over creases using a soft but broad brush and then tear out the tape. To protect, you can apply a thin layer of the gilding paste on top.
The purple houseplant above is Campanula, also part of the Happy Life trend.
Here are more images of what others have created. There was also a spray painting workshop on bottles at the event.
As well as using sheets of gold foil leaf to decorate, gold foil paint can also be used to create your own desired patterns.
Hope you’ve enjoyed viewing how I have pulled together the Happy Life trend for the kitchen, playing with colours, shapes and happy botanicals.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead.