The summer is almost over and it’s that quiet time between the madness of a season rife with big changes and new projects and the halcyon days spent on vacation enjoying fun in the sun. Rather that view this period of limbo with a side of doom and gloom, I thought it best to sweep that sense of foreboding to one side and make August into a golden opportunity. My theme for this month? Staycations AKA making your home more like a holiday
I’ve rounded up some lovely bits to make your house a bit more like that dream hotel and listed a few treats and favourite essentials by amazing makers and brands that you certainly won’t want to be without. So whether you’re planning an afternoon on a British beach, a day trip elsewhere, long weekend at home or perhaps a whole stint of exploring what the UK has to offer, try looking to these jazzy picks for inspiration.
1. Type & Story is a brand new purveyor of beautiful prints and paper goods inspired by creative stories and disciplines. A little design-led shop jam-packed with good-looking items, like this Monogram Print, T&S is a new favourite of mine. Its inaugural collection is inspired by the traditional art of sign writing so naturally the notebooks, which come in little personalised trios specially made for wedmin, baby journaling or bucket listing, are just beautiful. Plus, they make for a brilliant way to while away the hours on a lazy August afternoon.
I’d adorn any space with these brilliantly crisp and colourful designs. So, grab a notebook bundle to breathe new life into your workspace, whip up a personal gift for somebody you love or opt for a range of letter prints to spell out something original. The rest is up to you…
2. If you know me, you’ll know we love Jenni Sparks’ cartographic illustrations, especially her detailed maps of London. Imagine my joy in discovering that the clever folks at Evermade had teamed up with the excellent illustrator to create a new range of tongue-in-cheek pins and keychains that celebrate hometown glory. Whether you want to celebrate your love for a sunny, and probably windy, weekend in Brighton, or simply give brilliant Bristol a nod, these little pins taken directly from the illustrated icons on Jenni’s maps, are the perfect way to do it. Don one of these babies and wear a Peckham three-wheeler or a Brixton Red Stripe can with pride.
3. I’m going to make a confession now and listen up because it’s a good one. For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying something new on the ol’ underarms and honestly, it’s the bees’ knees. Allow me to introduce The Natural Deo Co, a UK-based company with a frankly very impressive knowledge of natural beauty and how to make it work for you. Fed up of the summer sweat I’ve been enduring, I prepared for the onset of August by trying out a range of all-natural, vegan and cruelty-free deodorants and I shall never look back.
I advise being kind to your pits and the planet in sweaty weather with a gentle moisturising cream packed with nourishing ingredients. Perfect for sensitive skin, these little pots come in many wonderful natural scents and strengths so you can wear them for your nights out, average days, workouts and hot holidays too. My personal favourites? Vanilla and Manuka and of course, Tangerine.
4. Just like being sweaty on a warm day, there’s nothing worse than uncomfortable summer shoes when you’re planning to do some serious traipsing around. In fact, there’s nothing worse than uncomfortable or too-hot shoes full stop. I love these Superga flatform trainers, for their fancy espadrille detailing, breathable canvas uppers and undeniably summery vibes. Finally, sensible shoes that also look god damned amazing. Thank you Superga, I mean it. I’ll be wearing mine on all my staycation adventures and my trips abroad too.
5. The Future Kept is one of my favourite indie stores. Packed with beautiful things handmade by talented artisans, it’s where I go when I’m looking for a treat. Now, with languorous August days on the horizon, it seems only right that I should recommend something that will make you feel either like you’re on holiday with bags of time to spare or at least that you’re enjoying something in the best way possible. This ceramic coffee dripper encourages serious downtime. A hand-thrown piece made using British clay in Scotland, this special accessory is for brewing coffee manually, giving you complete control over brewing time and temperature. Make your coffee exactly how you like it and take it slow.
6. Now, if coffee isn’t your thing, I have another brilliant suggestion. On a hot day, what could be better than a bottle of something cold, fizzy and refreshing? Nothing, is the answer to that frankly ridiculous question. Karma Cola is my go-to when I fancy a bit of fizz and it’s no exaggeration to say that I a well and truly in love with this brand, so you can expect to be seeing a lot more of them on the blog from here on out. This indie company was founded on the belief that what goes around comes around and that’s why they’re totally fair trade, organic, kind to the planet and kind to the people that farm the delicious ingredients in every bottle.
If that’s not enough great news to sate you, Karma Cola has just launched a brand new drink. It’s a sugar-free version of their tasty cola with absolutely none of the zero-cal diet-drink nasties you’ll usually find in sugar free drinks. Take it from me, it tastes like heaven. Plus, proceeds from each bottle go straight back to cola farmers in Sierra Leone, whom you can meet and learn more about on the company’s website or in their amazing zines. Join the kinder, karmic revolution on Instagram online or check out Karma Cola’s UK stockists here.
7. Have a little extra time on your hands this month? Before you start feeling bored, aimless, or heaven forbid, overwhelmed by the possibilities of all the things you could, might and should be doing, consider how enriching and wonderful it can be to get lost in a good book. I have plenty of recommendations up my proverbial sleeve and they all come by way of the School of Life, a unique organisation that offers classes, therapies, films, articles and wonderful things to help we funny creative types learn, develop and master the art of living well. This particular book, which makes a great staycation read encouraging some serious rumination, explores the ins and outs of an essential but oft forgotten quality. To be nice is to be a champ despite all the crap going on in your head and that, friends, is a real achievement.
8. Making at least one room in your house look like a Hawaiian beach hut makes pretending you’re on holiday 24/7 pretty easy by my standards. Just whip up a cocktail and open a few windows and envision yourself on a sun-drenched shoreline. For this challenge, I love this Julien MacDonald Honolulu Wallpaper from UK DIY and home improvement store Taskers; it’s blue, glittery and covered with a jazzy palm print so boxes for all requirements of wallpaper in a perfect world are well and truly ticked. Part of Julien MacDonald’s Glitterati Collection, a roll or two of this will transform your pad into a tropical wonderland to rival any fancy hotel abroad. Just make sure you line up that beautiful print perfectly, no one likes a wonky palm tree.
Words: Emily Beeson | @boogiemargaret