Interior design and lifestyle insights by Tamaryn White

Charles Clinkard Feature

I got approached by Charles Clinkard to answer some questions about setting up a mother’s day table. See here for the interview.

What are you going to do for your mother this Sunday? Get in touch, I’d love to hear your ideas.

Place setting via pinterest

Candle delights

Stop the press! Have I got a sweet little treat for you, dear friends. Let me start off by saying that I love macaroons. I mean, I literally love Laduree  with something that’s bordering on an obsession. Once, a dear friend bought me a jar of the Laduree salted caramel, probably in the hope that I’d make some macaroons (needless to say that didn’t happen, instead the jar become incrementally emptier after little teaspoons were dipped directly in and savoured guiltily every single time).

I digress.

In my mind there are only two houses that produce macaroons of any worth, and that’s obviously my beloved Laduree and the other is the macaroon maestro Pierre Herme.  Pierre Herme is the Phillipe Starke to the Laduree’s William Morris. Pierre Herme is slick, contemporary and very masculine, and his new range of candles follow in that same vein.

pierre herme

I’ve been told that far from being sickly sweet as you’d imagine, these are wonderfully grown up and balanced.   PH cleverly teamed up with famous perfumers to create these debut candles – Olivia Giacobetti for the smoky ‘Sucre de Bois'; and Jean-Michel Duriez for the ‘Herbe d’Amandes’.

Get them now from Pierre Herme, and starting from €20 they won’t break the bank either. Yes please!

Music Monday

Happy New Year friends! I hope you had a wonderful festive period with your family and loved ones and that you’ve eased yourself gently into work. I also hope you’re not doing a dreaded detox, this is the WORST time of the year to do one (not least because it’s yours truly’s birthday at the end of the month, thank you!).

I for one am excited about this year. There’s going to be a lot happening, so get ready for the ride. As an antidote to the grey weather and post Christmas bloat, let’s kick it with some old school hip hop. (Also, love how the set is fantastically, outrageously bad taste).

Top 10 Tips ~ Christmas Decorating

Ho-ho-ho! Merrrrrry Christmas!  Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that the festive spirit has kicked up a gear over the weekend and is now at full throttle? Christmas parties, work parties, drinks parties, lunch parties….it’s enough to make anyone feel exhausted. Your home needn’t be neglected though with all that socialising, so join me in these 10 top tips to making your home as sparkly as you are.

1. Keep To Your Own Personal Style: Don’t try to keep up with The Jones’s, otherwise you may find yourself in Tinsle-hell and no-one will be happy.

2. Make a unique wreath for your front door or a door architrave: This simple winter wreath will add charm and sophistication to any Christmas decorations. Just be careful if you use a real candle. Take one wire coat hanger, bend it into a circle (or get your handy DIY husband to do it, he’ll be grateful for a task that doesn’t involve glitter). Cut some holly/winter foliage from your garden and tie to the wire circle half way up (I would use a think metal twine bought from a good haberdashery). Fix a candle holder to the base of the circle, and hang with a flax string – et voila!



3. Use as many fairy lights as possible: But you don’t have to only string them out on the tree. Wrap them around your bannister or why not fill a hanging storm lantern and create your own unique display.



4. For a sophisticated Christmas tree, stick to one palette: Golds and silvers are classic and chic, but if you want a bit more colour don’t clash it up too much (otherwise you’ll end up looking like a child decorated your tree. If that is indeed the case, throw all designs rule out the window and get to the mulled wine whilst the little ankle biters eat the lowest hanging tree chocolates).



5. Decorations don’t only need to be on the tree: Create a festive atmosphere throughout by hanging baubles in windows on pieces of twine, fill large bell jars with different sized baubles and spray paint holly with white and use to decorate mantlepieces or shelves.

© Eloise de Fine


6. Set your table the night before: It’s always a mad rush on Christmas day, so when the house is quiet and everyone’s in bed stay up just that little bit later and set the table for Christmas lunch. That way, you can enjoy the day without taking even more time out to set the scene. Keep  your decorations at low level so that everyone can see each other (no conversation is a total mood killer) and co-0rdinate your decorations with your tree.

For the kiddie’s table, decorate with candy sleighs  – they’ll be much more popular and you won’t have to worry about little Johnny breaking any precious baubles.

7. Create ambiance with smells as well as sights: The smell of mulled wine, warm spices and crackling fires all evoke a cosy, Christmassy feeling.  Wrap a few pillar candles with sticks of cinnamon and have burning throughout the festive season.

 8. Welcome guests and make your garden festive: Fill one (or more!) of your shallow plant pots (or alternatively buy a few pewter ones from your local garden centre) with water, spray paint some cones and floating tea light holders and add, lighting the candles just before guests arrive.


9. Be creative with your festive present wrapping: I’ve always wrapped my presents in brown craft paper (it’s much more chic and better for the environment too), and wrap it with gold ribbon. I found this great tutorial to share how to do a fancy bow. 

You could also add these really cute glitter acorns to your wrapped present for something a little different



10. Remember to enjoy yourself! If it’s too much, forget all the ‘rules': We shouldn’t need one time of the year to come together and have appreciation for the blessings in our lives but Christmas is a special time and so remember that being with family and loved ones is the most important.

It’s OK if you run out of mint sauce.

It’s OK if you don’t have matching wine glasses.

It’s OK if you put on a DVD for the children so the adults can have a proper conversation.

It’s OK if that one person that you see once a year is still annoying.

It’s OK if at the end of the day of eating and entertaining all you want to do is collapse on the sofa with a mint tea and NOT play a game of charades with Auntie Ethel.

~ ~ ~

Here’s to all of us and a prosperous festive season! x


Wish List

I’m constantly thinking about accessories – both for the home and for the body – and I’ve just seen this  ‘Choker Vase’ from Vessel (£375). SERIOUSLY lusting after it. It would make for a perfect Christmas present for that special someone, or an indulgent gift to yourself after all that hard work preparing to plan for Christmas…..I have a rule that I don’t indulge in ‘the festive spirit’ until December 1st (basically that means restricting from eating mince pies, indulging in Christmas songs and switching over the TV when a Christmas ad comes on – this gets progressively more difficult in the last week in November, but it’s SO worth it!); but seeings as today is the last day of November I can sneak the ‘C’ word in….mince pies here I come!

Hot List

Chris Duffy is a recent find, and I just love his whimsical pieces that are a mix of innovative design and tongue in cheek humour. Unlike many designers that try to pull off this difficult balance, a piece from Duffy London can still slot easily into a grown up, sophisticated room.

The ‘Up’ coffee table is one of my favourites. Chris says: “Working with the illusion of levitation, floatation and buoyancy, the UP coffee table is a playful trompe l’oeil, giving the impression that a piece of glass is being suspended by small helium balloons.”

“Growing old is compulsory; growing UP is optional” –  too right, Bob Monkhouse!

Music Mondays

Wow – this is turning into a music blog. I don’t mean it to, I’m just super busy at the design stage of a project off High Street Kensington. I’ll be posting some before and after photos for it, so keep your eyes peeled over the next few months and into the summer next year…

Happy Monday!

Music Monday

Carrying on the theme of jumping late onto the band bandwagon (ha) from last week, I’ve never been a fan of Muse.  However, their new album The 2nd Law has really caught my attention.  Apparently they are astounding live, and now I can believe it.  I’ve come around to the Muse love.  Only 10 years later…

Their exclusive session for Radio 1 is also worth listening/watching:

Visions of the Future

We all love to reminisce about the past, and fantasize about the future (which unfortunately gets us stuck in living the if only/what if guessy land, but that’s for another day…)

Back in 1993, American company AT&T produced this video fantasizing about the future of technology:

It’s hilarious to watch this dated video now, however they weren’t completely wrong in their guesstimations – there is a tablet that is very similar to what we now all love and use – the iPad. What else can you spot that has translated into reality?

Microsoft undertook the same exercise in 2011, predicting what our world will look like in the future.

Whilst there’s a lot of plinky plonky music and a few lingering stares out of windows, I love the ideas they present. Whilst it’s terrifying that we might be so dependent on technology in the future, on the plus side it’s exciting to think of all the possibilities that will make life better for us all (so long as we have the right consciousness of course).



In terms of practical applications for the home, I think we can group them into 3 categories.


Sustainability has been on our radars (and rightly so) for many years, and it’s going to become increasingly important as we strive to find newer and better ways to save energy and use our resources more intelligently.  Our houses may become more responsive and efficient, interacting with our environment as ‘biomimicry’ becomes more prevalent in our architecture.

Inspiration will be drawn from nature, as we harness and mimic our environment as buildings will be built to adapt to their surroundings and climate. Onsite weather systems and dynamic external skins will become integral to building design, allowing flexibility to moderate and control our internal climate by allowing the house to ‘breathe’ and regulating the amount of light by automatically repositioning itself depending on the time of day.


Our homes will become much more interactive and flexible than ever before. Rooms will be re-configurable at a touch of a button, electronic equipment will become wireless (so no more unsightly power cables clogging up space, a designers foe *ugh*), and far more of our surfaces will incorporate interactive touch technology.

Walls, tables, ceilings, work surfaces and more will be transformed into  touch screens that will allow us to do all the things we would normally do on a computer or mobile tablet. The next step to this is that our walls will become interactive, allowing us to change our interior decoration with every season (or change of mood!), and even our views of the outside scenery. If you’ve seen the Hunger Games, you’ll know what I’m talking about (sorry, couldn’t find a clip to share).


As part of streamlining our lives with our homes, and our homes with our wallets, we will be able to remotely control our homes and appliances. The technology that is being developed will allow us to program our homes to communicate with the electrical grid, enabling our homes to automatically adjust our power usage according to price and availability.  It will also allow our appliances to communicate back to us ~ it is conceivable that we’ll get a message on our mobile device that a light has been left on and we’ll be able to remotely switch it off.


Most excitingly, technology will become so intuitive that it will learn our living patterns and thereby adjust and regulate the temperature and lighting  to suit our movements.


How exciting and bright does our future look?? Or does the fast paced changes that are coming leave you feeling cold? If you feel intimidated you can always stay retro with the good old fashioned dimmer switch.

(taken in 2008 on a trip to India)

Music Monday

Hello on a miserable Monday! Top pick of the week to get us all going a bit in this rainy weather is the incredible new track by The Killers. I remember when they first came out, just before they got really big, my friend Chris (who is so painfully in the know about new and exciting music that as soon as a band makes it big he’s over them and onto the next thing) said I’d love them. Usually he’s spot on for both music and movie recommendations for me, however I thought this time he got it wrong. 11 years later, he’s been proved right….again. Isn’t that annoying?!

Rock this week, people!