Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

I’ve just returned from Irish Whiskey maker METHOD AND MADNESS‘ Gin launch party in Cork, Ireland. It was a lovely diversion from my normal routine.

I’ve always wanted to see a distillery.

These buildings are part of Jameson’s distillery in Midleton. So here it is! METHOD AND MADNESS’ first Gin.

You may wonder where the name METHOD AND MADNESS came from.

It was actually inspired by the Shakespearean quote, ‘Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.’

The “METHOD” represented the tradition and expertise grounded in the generations at the Midleton Distillery and “MADNESS” reflected the curiosity and intrigue of the next generation. Meet Mickey’s Belly, Ireland’s oldest gin still, and where the gin was being made. The new bottle and label were designed by the talented duo Matthew Bolger and Emelie Lidström of M&E design in Sweden.

I had the pleasure of meeting and dining with them during this trip.  I was told the stripes in the label represented METHOD and signified the continuity and consistency of the master distillers, whilst the marble art represented MADNESS, an analogy to the apprentice’s experimentation and innovation. We even got to do our own marble painting at the event.

Here’s my creation. What do you think? The yellow of the bottle label reflected the Irish gorse flower in the gin, whilst the black represented the black lemons.

The black lemons are in fact sun dried limes. ( as seen in the photo)

Emelie told me that the teal was a leafy, earthy tone, that has been amplified from nature.

There were raised patterns on the sides of the bottle too, giving it a fun texture to handle. I’m sure you’re wondering what the gin tasted like right?

Well, it’s an eclectic fusion of 16 botanicals led by black lemon and Irish gorse flower – imparting notes of citrus and spice with subtle earthy undertones.

It was absolutely delicious when paired with Poacher’s tonic water, large ice cubes and finished off with a twist of lemon rind. During this press trip, we stayed at the beautiful Castle Martyr resort.

Check out the beautiful grounds. Here’s what my bedroom looked like. I hear this hotel was once a boarding school. It must  be wonderful to be surrounded by the countryside. METHOD AND MADNESS Gin should be available in Ireland now, and at most airport retail shops from July 2019.

Finally, If you have a chance, do give it a try. It’s absolutely delightful.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Have a lovely day.

Bathroom renovation project in a London Victorian house.

Do you have a room or rooms in your house that you would not reveal on social media?

I’m guessing YES right? Well, I certainly have many rooms in my home that I don’t reveal for various reasons.

First up are my bathrooms. I have 2 main bathrooms in my house and a guest toilet.

My bathrooms have been the thorn in my side for many years, as they have not been updated since we moved into this Victorian house more than 10 years ago.

There is such a pressure nowadays on social media to show how beautiful your home is, and I do admit that I am at times guilty of that too.

So, this time I’ve plucked up the courage to show you my original unmodernised bathroom before it’s gutted out and transformed.

I am excited to be working with Ripples bathrooms on this bathroom renovation project, and I will show you the process of our partnership in another blog post soon. So here it is.

Totally unmodernised and very vanilla brown in colour.

I’ve tried my best to cheer up the room with a few decor touches.

I’ve used my favourite Pappelina plastic rugs on the floor to add colour. I’ve also styled the room with Aesop skincare products.

Can you tell I’m a fan of Aesop products? Here’s the other side of my bathroom.

As you can see, my bathroom is not terribly large.

If you look hard enough, then you will see water stains on the wall and ceiling at the top left hand corner, all from external blocked gutters.

I’m pleased to say that the gutter situation has now been remedied.

Hardly an instagram worthy room right? bathroom renovation This is what the bathroom renovation project looks like now.

As you can see, Samuel Mead, my builder/architect for this project has done the initial ripping out to check the pipework. Tomorrow, he will be removing all the tiles. Samuel has revealed some unsightly protruding pipes that the previous owners had just boxed in.

I’m really hoping that he can bury the pipes back into the wall. A bespoke shelving unit will have to occupy that space soon.

Finally, I’m looking forward to sharing with you this bathroom renovation project over the next few weeks, and I hope you will follow me on this journey.

Have a lovely day.

wood burning stoves Top tips on wood burning stoves to create a cosy and stylish space.

It’s still officially Winter right?

How are you coping with that lingering chill in the air?

I don’t think I’m doing very well with it. 

I’ve just recovered from the Flu.

For days like those, I wished I had a warm cosy spot to huddle at.

Have you, like I, been feeling Instagram envy when seeing all those wood burning stoves in other people’s homes?

When I was asked to peruse Arada’s gorgeous collection of wood and multi fuel stoves, I was more than happy to indulge. I must admit, I was transported to dreamland when I browsed their collection, imagining how I would style each stove in my home.

Obviously, it’s not just the practicality of heat provision and the feeling of cosy that got me hooked.

I was drawn to it for the impact it made as a design statement, and even better, it could add value to my home. There are so many styles to pick from. I love the freestanding ones ( image above).

They look great in an open space, juxtaposed against a statement coloured wall and neutral tone floor.

I think its simple and elegant design enables it to fit into any style of home.

It would look equally good in a pared back Scandi room, as it would in an industrial style loft apartment, or the inglenook fireplace of a more traditional home. I can visualise the stove in a boho theme room too, complete with greenery and textured Moroccan rugs.

Can you visualise it too? If you have an empty hearth at home, then you could inset an Arada stove into that space.

Above is one of their timeless classic collection stoves called Ecoburn Plus.

It has a large viewing glass with a special airwash system that prevents soot from settling, so you get a constant clear view of those dancing flames. That’s a lovely sight to have right? I think many people, including myself, want to, but may feel uncertain about installing wood burning stoves at home.

The common questions raised are : will it be easy to install, will it heat well and does it affect the environment? After sifting through the information provided, I now feel totally at ease. Here are the answers to some of those questions:

1. Will it be easy to install?

You’ll be relieved to know that you don’t need to install it yourself, and probably shouldn’t unless you are a registered installer of wood burning stoves. You can call upon a specialist installer, part of the registered competent person scheme, to safely install the stove. They will be able to educate you on how to use your appliance too.

To keep the stove functioning well, Arada advises getting your chimney swept at least once a year and have your stove regularly serviced.

I’m also reassured by the fact that these stoves have a ‘built to last’ guarantee, some with a lifetime guarantee too.

2. Will it heat well?

I found out that Arada stoves are 3 times more energy efficient than an open fire. That’s great to know, because energy efficiency means reduced fuel costs.

It’s a win-win situation right?

3. Does it affect the environment?

Arada has a choice of wood burning and multi fuel stoves. They offer Ecodesign Ready options with reduced emissions and also stoves that are suitable for UK Smoke Control areas.

Picking the right type of wood is important for energy efficiency. Naturally air dried firewood with a moisture content below 20% is best. As wood is a renewable fuel, it is kinder to the environment. It’s advisable to look for sustainably sourced wood.

There are also cleaner burning smokeless fuels that can be used nowadays with these modern day stoves.

Arada has a patented Flexifuel system too that ensures the wood or solid fuel burns efficiently. Talking about wood and fuel, the storage of wood is a decor feature on its own.

I love how the Arada wood burning stoves come with dedicated log stores and stands for stylish display.

The stove above is part of Arada’s contemporary collection called the i600 Slimline Freestanding. I can’t believe I left my favourite topic “Colour” till last. Arada stoves come in a range of colours to suit all tastes. I believe there are 7 available colours.

This is one of the more popular Arada stove models, called the Farringdon, which also boasts an impressive clean burning credential, exceeding the new 2022 European regulations and meeting the stricter North American EPA low emission levels.

So, what do you think? Would you be investing in a wood burning stove? After writing this post, I’m now seriously tempted to replace my open fire place with a stove.

Finally, wishing you a warm and cosy February.

( This is a paid partnership post with Arada Stoves. Arada provided me with the photography. All opinions stated in this post are my own).

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