Meet the Team . . .

Hello! It’s been a busy few weeks here, after the buying trips at the end of January, some gorgeous new stock has started to trickle into the shop and we are super excited to share it with you!  We are trying to get as much as we can online too, so we’ve been doing the pictures and the words behind the scenes.

It’s not just the stock that’s new, we have also got a fairly new team – and based on a recent poll on the ‘gram you lot want to meet them! So without further a-do . . . .

Liv – Director and Creative Genius

Liv and Betty

Liv is the Creative Director of the business, chief buyer and has a fabulous eye for trends. Originally from Bergen in Norway, her style influence can be seen throughout the shop. Liv designed our lovely website and provides creative guidance and strategy across all projects. Momma to Betty (our resident pooch) Liv loves all dogs, when she’s not in the office, she’s talking to everybody’s dog on the shop floor.

MC – Managing Director and Operations Mastermind

MC makings deliveries

Michael is Liv’s husband and co-founder of the business. He is the man who makes everything work from admin and payments to warehousing and security. With a background in construction, MC is the guy to turn to for big in-store builds, and his knowledge of furniture is unrivalled. You’ll have met MC if you’ve ever ordered furniture from us – he drives the van, delivers to customers homes (with a big smile) and constructs your furniture too! MC loves Paul Weller, football and thinks there is nothing worse than flat beer!

Kate – Store Manager and Styling Sensation

Kate at Paris Show finding new treasures

Kate is our Store Manager, who joined the team back in 2013 from a background in Visual Merchandising. Day to day, Kate can be found leading the team, up a ladder in the windows (her favourite place to be!) or on the shop floor merchandising like a ninja!  Championing customer service, and total team cheerleader, Kate works to keep a happy shop. When she’s not in store, or delivering furniture to customer’s homes, Kate also joins Liv and Michael on buying trips and works to bring fresh trends through to the shop floor. Kate loves cats, a chilly Sauvignon Blanc and British Country Music.

Gina – Assistant Manager and Construction Queen

Gina in her happy place

Gina is our no-nonsense, Northern powerhouse. She is originally from North Yorkshire, and after joining the team in 2014 now calls Birmingham her ‘home from home’. Gina’s background is in Theatre and Events Design, so is often the creative force behind big instore builds and installations. You’ll quite often find her up some ladders, with a selection of faux florals in one hand and a drill in the other, adding a splash of drama! If not in the shop Gina is likely to be with MC on delivery to customer’s homes and sourcing new materials for the next big exciting make-over. Gina loves making (and drinking) gin, hot yoga and travelling.

Beth – Superstar Supervisor

Beth is our lovely Supervisor who joined us before Christmas from a background in archeology and ancient history. Beth has the most beautiful handwriting and her gorgeous script is found throughout the shop.  Beth loves Fleetwood Mac, Mexican food and absent minded doodling.

Phoebe – Super Sales Assistant

Phoebe mood boarding like a pro

Phoebe is the newest member of the team, she joined us in January having just completed her MA in Literary Studies. Although new to the team, she’s a natural at merchandising and wonderful with words. Phoebe is an absolute bookworm and has an unrivaled collection of cactuses. Phoebe loves Italian food and is partial to a cheeky prosecco.

Amy – Content Creator and Paparazzo

Amy having short girl probs

Amy joined the team last year to ‘do the words and pictures’. Normally in the office, you’ll sometimes see Amy in a wafty skirt with a massive camera, taking pictures around the shop. With a background in marketing and photography she is rarely without a phone in her hand, always on the hunt for the next insta-opportunity! Approach with caution – she loves a chat and will probably chew your ear off! Amy loves Ibiza, her children (most of the time!) and scented candles.

Emma – Super Sales Assistant

Emma mapping out some ideas

Emma works with us on Sundays and is a proud and full time mum to her 2yr old daughter for the rest of the week. Emma’s background in retail feeds into her love of customer service. And having just moved in to her new home, she’s faced with countless style opportunities, finds inspiration in the shop, and has developed a love for storage solutions. Emma loves holidays, bad TV and a takeaway pizza.

Maisie – Super Sales Assistant

Maisie serving with a smile

Maisie works with us at the weekends, in between college where she is studying Health and Social Care, she dreams of becoming a midwife. Maisie is great with people, is a happy influence around the shop and she loves to see the new trends filter through. Maisie loves a gin a tonic, her cats, and a fluffy adornment to any item of clothing!


Betty – Shih-Poo and Top Dog

Betty has recently turned 2! She absolutely LOVES a fuss and walks to work with Liv quite regularly.

So there we have it . . .our little team! Make sure you come and say “Hi!” to us next time you’re in store!

Paris Show 2019

Here is Kate’s round up of what the gang got up to in Paris . . .

So. We’re back from Paris, bursting with ideas about how we’re going to style (and physically fit) all of our wonderful new collections in the shop! Here’s a little trip report, sneak peak at our new finds for 2019, and a forecast of interiors trends for 2019/20.

Leaving on a Jet Plane . . . 

We flew eye-wateringly early from Birmingham to Charles De Gaulle and dashed straight from the airport to Parc Des Expositions which is just 10 minutes by train. We soon arrived at Maison Et Objet.

A quick coffee later (and a swift one for the road for MC) we dived straight in and walked the halls marvelling and sniffing beautiful candles, soaps and fragrances.  

Dip Dip Hooray

Our first purchase was these stunning candles from Ester & Erik, who have been making candles in Denmark since 1987 using a centuries old method of dipping on a frame, ensuring the candles are of the highest quality.  We fell in love with these candles at first sight, and painstakingly narrowed their 100s of colours down to just 9 gorgeous seasonal shades to take home.

Bouji Boho

Over the following few days, we walked the halls taking in all the décor and styling inspiration, making purchases along the way; we re-visited one of our all-time favourite suppliers, Madam Stoltz, whose stand, every single year is like a bohemian beach house dream. The way she puts together her collections is inspirational, and this year soft earthy tones ruled. Velvets in pinks, rusts, ochres and monochromes, curated artfully with brass, coloured glass, bamboo and wicker.

 Crafts featured large this year; Macramé, weaving and basketwork adorn the walls, and botanicals hang from the ceiling

Liv on Madam Stoltz

It was simply gorgeous, and physical restraint was all I could muster to stop Liv moving in! … And consequently, lots of lovely new stock is on it’s way from Madam Stoltz.

A Few of our Favourite Things . . . 

Along the way, we also bought: some fabulous lighting from one of our favourite Dutch brands, velvet dining chairs in a selection of opulent jewel shades, and a deco inspired brass shelving unit. We found even more plant pots with faces on, vases that hang from the ceiling, and a collection of utilitarian water and wine glasses that are super on trend.

This years trends were clear to see, rich earthy hues and desert shades. Raw cottons juxtaposed with luxurious velvets, and oversize everything! Enormous vases, opulent chandeliers, Art Deco inspired lighting, and botanicals, botanicals botanicals! There seems to be a real authenticity among interiors trends at the moment, ceramics feel handmade and linens are raw and honest.

Kate – on 2019 trends

Music is the Answer

The music on all of the stands at the Exhibition is well curated, with a heavy pulsing beat which gives a sort of heartbeat to the experience as you wander the stands. I have created a playlist of the music we found along the way. We’ve been playing it in the shop too, so do listen out when you’re next in store.

Trend Forecast

My personal highlight of Maison Et Objet is the Future Trends arena, where trend forecasters showcase interiors trends for the coming year. Trends are forecast based on all sorts of influences from fashion to cultural and economic. (read more about Trend Forecasting here). In this years case it’s a historical milestone; 2019 marks 50 years since the moon landings, and we will see reference to this throughout trends in 2019/20.  Opulent iridescents, futuristic metallics, dark galactic shades and in the case of Seletti, a collection of solar system inspired tableware.

There is a clear African influence that is prevalent throughout almost every collection, translated in one way or another. Bold monochrome tribal prints, and brightly coloured basket work, intricate beading and handicrafts sit alongside naive ceramics. This is interpreted differently from stand to stand, there is colonial antique style furniture, and a travellers curiosity collection, sat alongside taxidermy and finds from around the world.  Collections feel like they are put together because each individual item is loved, and the authenticity is felt throughout the trends here too.

It is clear to see that opulence is here to stay. I think we will be enjoying velvets and brights for a good while yet. The feeling is very much More-is-More – And that’s absolutely fine by me!

So having bought what felt like the whole of Paris, we dashed off with our suitcases to the airport to catch a late flight home! Phew – What a weekend!

When in Paris . . .

I think it’s important to mention just a couple of the places we ate and drank at over the course of the weekend (because everybody likes to be in the know if there’s a hidden gem to be found – right?)

We popped in to see the lovely people at Lou Lou’s Diner, which is a gorgeous Australian style diner which serves delicious healthy food and even better cocktails. We discovered it last year as it’s stumbling distance from our little Parisian hotel, and is stylish, well priced and the vibe in there is super chilled.  If you like cocktails, you’ll LOVE Lou Lou’s ‘Roses are Pink’

Toasting a successful trip at LouLou

We were also lucky enough to get a table at the incredible Chez Fernand, which describes itself as ‘French Cuisine for Wine Lovers’. 

Tucked down a little back street behind Notre Dame,  it is a total Hidden Gem – there were customers queuing in the cold down the street waiting to be seated in the tiny authentic restaurant.

Kate – on Chez Fernand

We had such a lovely evening there –  you simply must check it out when you’re next in Paris, but do book ahead!

Kate x

No January Blues here – it’s all Coral!

Happy New Year (can we still say that?)! We hope you had a wonderful time over the festive season celebrating with friends and family. We literally ate our body weight in cheese, gorged on Christmas TV and now we are ready for an exciting 2019.

This Month We Are . . . 

WATCHING: ‘Luther’ (hello Idris!) (…from behind a cushion) and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (I read her first book, did (almost) everything she recommended and kept local charity shops in business for at least a year 😉 

READING: ‘Quiet’ by Fearne Cotton
LISTENING TO: ‘I Found You / Nilda’s Story’ by Benny Blanco, Calvin Harris and Miguel.

New Year, New Hue

The Pantone Institute have announced The Pantone of the Year 2019 as Living Coral chosen for its “animating and life-affirming” hue which “energizes and enlivens with a softer edge,” according to the official site.

To us, Living Coral feels like that fresh, vibrant shade that we’re all looking for to kick off the new year, especially when we’re trying to escape from the cold dreariness of winter. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it works well in your home, wardrobe and make-up bag!

Live with Living Coral

Take inspiration from Sweden’s Artilleriet Store and make coral cozy and luxe. Super snuggly.

Image Credit: @artillerietstore  


Or make it happy and bright like this coral dining room with it’s vintage finds.

Image Credit: www.thespruce.com

For the brave fashionistas how stunning are these colours and textures together?

Image Credit: Styling @sarahdebeaumont, Art Direction @thibautmathieuad for @ad_magazine

Love the textures and colours in this bakery. Who would have thought pink grout could be to die for?!

Image Credit: www.deezeen.com

If a large expanse of coral packs too much of a punch for you, take a more subtle approach by adding accents with accessories, or introduce colour via a picture wall like this gallery in the stunning home Tanja Gottharsden.

Image Credit: Home of Tanja Gotthardsen

Or take a tonal approach and use a stack of cushions in complementary shades.

Image Credit: Unknown. Sourced via Pinterest

This shade also works well mixed with other unexpected colour ways like this rich jewel emerald with just a pop of coral.

Image Credit: www.digsdigs.com

If you want something a little less committal and maybe at a more palatable price point, go crazy with florals, we love these colourful beautiful creations by @tulipinadesign

Or perhaps paint the inside of one of your internal doors for a happy little surprise.

Image Credit: Unknown, sourced via Pinterest

Have a wonderful January lovelies, here’s to keeping resolutions and embracing colour!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest board for more coral inspo xx

Feast Your Eyes on This

There’s nothing we love more than designing and styling a table here at Liv’s and with the Big Day fast approaching, we’ve come up with some inspo to help you plan your Christmas tablescape.

Image: Pinterest

ALL THE GREENERY

Image: Pinterest

Faux or real, foliage is such a simple way to add colour, texture and depth to your table. Eucalyptus is a firm favourite with us. If you opt for faux its universal enough to use all year round, but if you go for the real deal the smell will be sensational. Like in the image above, we like to use it as a centerpiece running down the middle of the table; it’s so easy, there’s no faffing required – the more wild and rustic the better. You can add more interest by introducing some pillar candles, we like plain white but feel free to match them up to a secondary colour in your scheme. Another nice touch if you’d prefer not to light candles at the table is a string of teeny tiny warm hued battery operated LED lights – so twinkly!

Image: M&L Florists

FLOATING FOLIAGE

If you want to add impact and drama, mirror what you’ve styled on the table above it too, or instead – for extra room to serve Christmas Dinner! In the past, we’ve used a large branch or twig salvaged from the garden, but a piece of dowling would work too. Use fishing wire to suspend from tiny hooks in the ceiling (command strips are great as they wont make holes in the paintwork), or from skylights. Then, using floristry wire, attach stems of eucalyptus (and maybe even some fir – you could use off cuts from your tree). We think it looks really nice if some of the stems overhang the ends of the branch or rod. Again, adding some battery powered LED lights would make this installation look really magical – just use floristry wire to wind the battery pack securely to the branch, and hide it with some strategically placed stems.

Image: Home and Garden

BAUBLES

If green foliage is too simplistic, you can add a secondary colour to your scheme and weave that throughout, using bunches of glitter picks. Perhaps use some feathered or bronze crackle glazed baubles in mixed sizes and shapes hanging  them from your floating instalment; or one on the place setting for each guest with their name attached (we love a Dymo Label Maker – type out the name or initials of each guest and stick it to the bauble).

Image: Christian Brun

FEATHERS

Or to keep things rustic add some feathers – nestle them into the greenery and add them to a cutlery bundle with a napkin and some twine like the one below.

Image: Livs.co.uk

TEXTURE

As well as adding texture through foliage and greenery, layering up your tableware will add extra interest, contrast and dimension. Try using some beaded placemats and coasters, topped with either a charger plate that tonally matches up to the colour of your dinnerware, or a dinner plate and a starter plate or bowl on top. Next add a napkin/cutlery and a name card and or sprig of foliage or embellishment to compliment your theme. We love the tones used in the image below – midnight blue and matte gold really zing with teal and greens from the foliage.

Image: Unknown

Above all, don’t worry too much about symmetry, formality of where the cutlery goes – enjoy the company of friends and family over good food and drink.

Happy tablescaping lovelies!

How To: Create an Everlasting Wreath

Faux Christmas Wreath with fruit foliage and glitter embellishments
The finished article . . . 

You will need:

  • A  wreath base –  I like to use faux fir for  density because I just love a full bushy wreath, but wire or wicker will both work fine. In fact wire left exposed can give quite a stylish Scandinavian aesthetic.
  • Faux Foliage stems of your choice – as much as you like, and more the merrier. I like to use a contrasting shaped leaf to the fir for variation, in this case eucalyptus. I’ve used a burgundy autumnal shade alongside classic green.
  • Decorative Stems – red berries, snow berries, mistletoe, frosted blueberries… here is where you can start to really get creative with the colour scheme of your wreath.
  • Decorative Adornments – Glitter leaf picks, Clip on birds, Dried Fruit, Cones, Cinnamon sticks, feathers, dried leaves. Be it gorgeous glam or understated natural, it’s time to accentuate your Christmas vibe.
  • Battery operated LED Fairy Lights – add a little bit of twinkle to your masterpiece.
  • Tools – florists wire, wire snips, scissors, ribbon to hang (optional)
Layout of all the tools and items you need to make a faux Christmas Wreath
Tool Kit

“I think the key to good wreath making is having lots of fun with it, be bold!” 

Kate, Store Manager

Step 1. Pick the wreath base of your choice, and foliage stems that will give you the look you want for your wreath.

Naked Faux Fir Wreath

For the wreath featured here I used 2 x Eucalyptus Bush (and snipped off the individual stems to use separately) and 3 x Burgundy Eucalyptus stem.

Step 2. Fluff-up your wreath base so it’s looking it’s best, and then wire the foliage stems into the wreath, working your way around the wreath, with all the stems pointing in the same direction. Secure the stems in place by twisting a length of wire around the base of each stem, and securing to the base as you go. Pull branches of the base wreath through to give a little more depth. You should now have a wonderfully wild natural wreath.

Faux Christmas Wreath with Burgundy and Green Eucalyptus
Burgundy and Green Eucalyptus

Step 3. Get going with the decorative stems, weave the berries through the wreath, still working in the same direction, securing in the same way as you did with the eucalyptus.

Faux Christmas Wreath with Berries and Dried Fruits
Fruit and Berries

Step 4. Now is a good time to add battery operated fairy lights if you would like to add a bit of festive twinkle to your wreath.

Faux Christmas Wreath with LED Battery Powered Fairy Lights
Twinkly Lights

Step 5. Once your wreath is twinkling, it’s time to start styling it with your decorative adornments. I love dried fruit, and florists wire is perfect for poking through the body of the fruit to enable you to secure it to the wreath base. I arranged the fruit in little clusters and added glittered acorns and leaf picks to complete the look.  For a more natural wreath aesthetic,  pheasant and guinea fowl feathers look understated and gorgeous. Wire these into place as you have done previously.

Step 6. Time to fluff up all the layers of your wreath to add extra depth, and splay the edges of the foliage for extra wilderness vibes. Now you can add any finishing touches. I nestled a tiny glitter bird in the foliage to add a touch of life.

Embellished Faux Christmas Wreath
Glitter Bird Embellishments

Step 7. You’re done! Hang your wreath proudly on your door (attaching gorgeous ribbon if you choose), pour yourself something sparkly and congratulate yourself on your excellent wreath making skills. Put your feet up and admire your handiwork!

To shop some of the beautiful embellishments you could add to your wreath, check out our Christmas line

The Christmas Count Down is on . . .

Six Weeks to go!

Well we are firmly into the countdown to Christmas now with less than six weeks to go! Whilst most people may have just started getting through their festive ‘to-do’ lists we have been busy preparing here at Liv’s HQ for the last couple of months!

Shop Transformation

You may have noticed that our very clever team have transformed the shop into a magical winter wonderland, using our gazebo to showcase all the amazing Christmas decorations and ornaments Liv, Kate and Gina sourced way back in January of this year!

Window Shopping

We have also recently re-dressed the windows, Kate has styled a beautiful nordic Christmas Tree and dining table perfect for a hygge gathering.

Sensational Scent

And in the last week Gina and MC have installed a huge fir backdrop behind the till which has filled the store with the beautiful scent of pine . . .that mixed with the gorgeous pollyfields scented dried fruits is just insane – if Christmas were a smell then this would be it!

Dream Team

At the beginning of the week the team limbered up and flexed their muscles to unload a huge container of exciting and new stock which we can’t wait to fill the store with!!

Shop ’til you Drop

And that is all just in time for our exclusive Christmas Shopping Event, this Thursday 23rd November at 17:30. There are just a few tickets left now, so if you’re lucky you can get your hands on them here. We will be treating you to some festive refreshments, goodie bags and discounts . . .we can’t wait to see you there. We might even brave blasting the Christmas Spotify playlist (it’s not too early is it?!).

A Little Something I Made Myself

Finally, if you want to impress your friends and family as you welcome them into your home this season, why not join us for our first ever ‘Everlasting Wreath’ Workshop?! You’ll learn how to create a bespoke faux foliage wreath and we will provide nibbles, cheer and all the kit you need to build your creation. As those compliments come rolling in about how magnificent your door wreath is from visitors you can nonchalantly remark “Oh, you like my wreath?!” “No, no you can’t buy it from (insert preferred luxury department store), I made it.” <casual hair flick>. Get your tickets here.

Happy Christmas Shopping lovelies. Tra la la la la, la la la laaaa x

Behind the scenes – it’s photoshoot time!

If you follow us on social media, you may have seen that we had a little photoshoot with all of our lovely stock recently!!! Over two days, we took over a lovely old house in the Coleshill countryside and filled it with everything Liv’s!

Our manager Kate, assistant manager Gina, in-house photographer Lou, business owners Liv & MC and of course Betty the Shih-poo all went along to build, style and photograph lots of furniture and accessories for our website.

Take a look below for a little inside look at how things happened over the two days – go team!

Continue reading “Behind the scenes – it’s photoshoot time!”

Liv’s meets Heather from Feather & Flourish!

As some of you might know, we have been holding a series of creative workshops here at Liv’s over the past few months. It’s been great to see our little shop space being transformed in the evenings and used for creative events – there’s a really different atmosphere once we shut the front doors!

One of our most popular workshops so far has been the chance to learn Modern Calligraphy with the wonderful Heather Martin from Feather & Flourish. If you haven’t already met Heather, we thought you might like to find out a little bit more about her… take a look below for some questions we put to Heather about how she started her business and her inspirations!

Continue reading “Liv’s meets Heather from Feather & Flourish!”

Win an Nkuku frame!

… just share your favourite vintage family photograph with us for the chance to win!

This week we have had great fun looking through old photos here at Liv’s HQ. We are currently working on creating a meet the team page for our website and we have asked the team to each bring in their favourite photo from when they were young.

It’s been so funny looking through all of our old photos that we thought how good it would be to see some of your old photos too!

Continue reading “Win an Nkuku frame!”

We’ve added some more dates to the workshop diary…

We are happy to announce that we have 3 further workshop dates booked in for over the summer months! Our first two calligraphy workshops and our first macramé workshop all completely sold out and we are so happy! We had a great time hosting these creative events and got the chance to meet a few of our customers out of hours too.

Continue reading “We’ve added some more dates to the workshop diary…”