Sharing passion and love
for linen fabric

21
Jul
2017
0

A Simple Path: with Dorian Bowen of The Welsh House

We are super excited to be joined on A Simple Path this week by Dorian Bowen of The Welsh House. You may already know Dorian from his gorgeous Instagram account, but if not, or if you’ve always wanted to know more about the man behind the pictures, read on.

You won’t feel quite as rested as if you had just woken up to a dewy morning on a Welsh hillside, but his words will bring solace and respite from the busyness of your day. Savour this one.

linen tea towel

  1. Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
I live in rural Carmarthenshire, having returned to Wales in 2010 after a career in London, hoping to slow down and simplify life. For the most part I run a holiday let company called The Welsh House specialising in slow living escapism in unique Welsh cottages.
Although I never considered myself to be a photographer or a writer, in 2015 I started posting a photo a day on Instagram. Since then it has evolved to become the foundation for my online work and a springboard for some of my biggest and wildest dreams. I’m passionate about wellbeing and reconnecting children with nature, because I know first-hand the huge and brilliant changes it can bring. My deepest passions are simplicity, self-improvement and inspiring others, so Instagram is where I can be most creative.
2. If you had one piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to your younger self, what would it be?
Trade your exception for appreciation and the world changes instantly. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement that my Instagram community has given me. I must confess that I do tend to share my thoughts a little more these days with internet strangers than real life people because sometimes we’re more our true self online. The community aspect of Instagram has played a great part in inspiring my love of nature and seeing it in a creative way.
linen throw
3. What is it about the simple life that you find appealing?
The benefit of a simple life is that it gives us an excuse to ignore our problems and the changes we need to make in life. Eliminate stress in your day. Create a morning routine that will influence the rest of your day in a positive manner. Complain less, because life goes faster than you think. Eliminate digital distractions and be more present with those you love. Increase communication and intimacy in your primary relationships.
Social media is amazing, and I’m as addicted to it as the next person, but social media is also making us all more disconnected than we’ve ever been before through the illusion of increased connection. Yes, we are able to communicate with thousands of people with ease, but with what depth? Social media is robbing way too many of us of real connections and real life experiences. Rather than looking at the world as we walk somewhere or walk with nature, we regress to what the digital world has to offer. If our addiction level stays the same, things could become really scary, and this doesn’t even take into account the potential repercussions of so much exposure to technology.
Learn to want less instead of wanting more: try to recognise when you have everything you need and live a more meaningful life. Fill your life with people you love and eliminate toxic relationships. Detach and surrender the relationships that aren’t working for you . Give time and space for healthier, more meaningful and loving relationships. We deserve all that life has to offer us, and it’s easier to achieve more fully when you eliminate what doesn’t work and replace it with what can and will work. This is probably why I’m drawn to handmade objects like primitive stick chairs, wooden spoons, rough linen cushions and bedding. It’s about using things that already have a story, things that are handmade, with all their imperfections. Being in the countryside also enables you to capture the moment much more easily: watching the setting sun is a ritual worth embracing. It doesn’t last long but it’s worth treasuring the moment.
4. How can we counter the pulls of content-sharing and curating images of our lives with the need for being in the moment? 
I think it has a lot to do with balance; constantly creating new content can be demanding.  I often plan what I want to create, but during the editing process I am frequently drawn to a photo that I would have least expected to feature. I have trained my eye to see Instagram-friendly shots, so I can really enjoy being in the moment without seeing it through the lens. But if you can put a sense of movement into your shots – even the ones that were pre-planned or a little more considered, then you can create work that has greater meaning and resonance with both ourselves and our wider audience. Having a structure really helps to focus your mind and to be creative, as we often need boundaries to work within. With the increase in less curated content, like Instagram stories, it’s getting less and less sustainable for people to keep up a facade. Being yourself openly and unapologetically means that people can connect with you on a more personal level, and therefore you don’t need to work as hard pretending to be someone you are not.
linen tea towel
5. Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by a number of creative people, both in real life and online. My online mentor has to be Sara from Me & Orla who always seems to be able to keep ahead of the game with such creative ideas. On Instagram I follow a lot of botanically-inspired, artistic, crafty people, along with an extensive list of bloggers who are mostly writing about slow living and lifestyle.
6. What are your essential homeware items/ things you couldn’t do without?
I adore linen bedclothes and have a weakness for linen tea towels, which always photograph well on a lifestyle shot. Whilst historically I collected stick back chairs, more recently I love collecting old wooden spoons – especially the ones with great patination. I’ve also become passionate about organic ceramics like the ones made by Sarah Jerath.
7. What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?
To be honest with you, I’m not entirely sure what I will be doing next year, so thinking about 10 years seems to sound like a lifetime. I would, however, like to grow my presence online and reach out to people who believe in slow living escapism. I’ve noticed an increasing trend towards ‘digital detox’ and I will be embracing the opportunities this gives me to switch off.
linen bedlinen
8. What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
I wouldn’t say that I was a particularly wild person, but having lived in London for 25years I’ve seen my fair share of wild things in my life!  Probably my wildest thing is leaving London and returning to the countryside and rediscovering nature once again. Oh, and in 2006 I built a house with a group of family and friends between sunset and sunrise then in 2010 I demolished it and rebuilt it from scratch! It’s where I currently live and is called Ty Unnos.
Thank you so much Dorian for these thoughtful and thought-provoking ideas, and for your stunning images. Happy digital detoxing! But don’t stop posting your beautiful images on Instagram, we would miss you too much.
Find the linen products featured in Dorian’s pictures above (including the mustard linen throw, stonewashed linen bedlinen and linen tea towel) at linenme.com. And if you like the sound of a slow living escape in the cottages pictured, nestled in the stunning Welsh countryside, check out thewelshhouse.com. We are already packing our bags….
For more in our A Simple Path series, go here and here.
11
Jul
2017
0

Take It Slow, the Wild Swimming Way

With the ever-increasing pace of modern life, many of us are turning to the outdoors as a way of slowing down and enjoying simpler pleasures. Wild swimming is becoming an increasingly popular way to connect with Nature and enjoy a different way of being outside. We thought we’d see what all the fuss is about.

wild swimming lake

What is wild swimming?

The loose definition of wild swimming is any open water swimming, whether a lido or an ocean, but different people have different takes on the precise requisite for a stretch of water to be classed as ‘wild’. Basically, if you are under the sky, not a roof, you are wild swimming.

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22
Jun
2017
0

A Simple Path: with Julia Smith from Humphrey & Grace

We are so pleased to be joined for our A Simple Path series by Julia Smith, creator of Humphrey & Grace and taker of stunning photographs over on Instagram as @humphreyandgrace. Julia has an eye for beautiful, natural wildscapes and sumptuous florals, all with a gentle aesthetic and underlying belief in cherishing the simple moments in life. She works with brands to create photographic content and on social media strategies, and is an all-round Instagram superstar, so we are very grateful to her for sharing her wisdom and thoughts here.

Julia has great advice for connecting with each other and disconnecting with our screens, on teaching children to be compassionate and measured about their online time, on how to manage Instagram, and on carving out time for simple pleasures amidst the hurly-burly of everyday life. Her website is a treasure trove of creative inspiration, practical photography and social media advice, and inspiring conversations.

Read on, this is a true treat.

julia smith grasses

  1. Thanks so much for joining us Julia, we are beyond excited to have you. Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?

I am a photographer and Instagrammer. For the most part I create content for social media both for myself and for brands, sometimes I share this content in my gallery and sometimes it is simply work for my clients. Either way it is a job I adore.

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12
Jun
2017
0

Linen Clothes to Love This Summer

In the summer you want easy-to-wear, comfortable clothes that work with lots of things in your wardrobe and that don’t need lots of special care. Simple, unfussy, hard-wearing items that you can throw on for a trip to the beach or a picnic, or just for pottering around the house. Linen really comes into its own in the warmer summer months. It’s lightweight, cool (it regulates your body temperature so you stay comfortable all day), easy to pack for vacations, easy to care for and looks great on its own or layered on chilly evenings.

If you are looking to add some linen garments to your capsule wardrobe, or need some beautiful linen clothes for an upcoming holiday, here’s our edit of essential things you will love this summer.

A go-to summer dress

0750950

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12
May
2017
0

A Simple Path: Asapoth’s Amanda Saurin distils her wisdom in our latest interview

Amanda Saurin has been on our radar for a while now. Not just because her beautiful flagship store is in our hometown, but also because of her joyful and inspirational approach to her business, A.S APOTHECARY – and indeed to life. Infused with Amanda’s love of plants, her organic skincare products are exquisite concoctions aimed at promoting not just beauty but wellbeing. Her range is carefully curated and each plant is hand selected to ensure only the highest quality ingredients find their way into a product. We caught up with Amanda between a trip to Cyprus sourcing plants for her skincare range and installing her new Alembic Still (a mighty-looking copper contraption for distilling), and picked her brains about what she does and why she loves it.

as apothecary store

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2
May
2017
0

5 Spring Cleaning Essentials to Make Your Home Sparkle, Naturally

If you’ve been gripped by the energy of renewal that Spring brings, you may be turning to your home and tackling those areas that are in need of some TLC. Brighter, sunnier days can show up smeary windows that have been curtained off throughout the Winter. Bulky woollies might need to be stored away, leaving space for fresh, lighter clothes. Now that you can throw open the windows those tired corners can get a lick of paint, and heavy drapes can be replaced by lightweight summer curtains. Spring cleaning needed be a massive task – just focussing for 15 minutes on each room can bring some Springtime sparkle into your house, and even the busiest of us can find this small amount of time for some sprucing. To get you inspired, here are 5 Spring cleaning essentials to put the fun back into housework and the beauty back into your cleaning cupboard.

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15
Apr
2017
1

A Simple Path Interview No. 3: Jane Day’s sumptuous style

Ah friends, have we got a treat for you. This is the third instalment of our interview series, A Simple Path, in which we talk to inspiring creatives who are doing more with less. This week we are joined by the lovely Jane Day from teawithruby.co.uk. Sometimes you come across a blog that is inspiring yet authentic, beautiful yet simple. Tea with Ruby is just that. Jane is an interiors blogger, stylist, writer and photographer whose gorgeous blog always offers new ways to style your home using simple, sustainable, beautiful things. She is a master of light, taking pictures that have depth, texture and an incredible stillness. There is an authenticity to Jane’s work – you know she really lives what she writes. And she’s a huge fan of linen, which makes us very happy. We love her work and had to find out more about what she does, and why she does it.

Grab yourself a coffee and savour this post – it will inspire you, and get you thinking about small changes you could make to slow your life down and be properly in the moment.

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24
Mar
2017
2

Interview No.2 in A Simple Path: Erica Lee

Woohoo! Here’s the second instalment of our interview series, A Simple Path, which explores how inspiring, creative people are doing more with less.

This month we had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Erica Lee, @thehyggewife on Instagram and creator of thehyggewife.com. We are huge fans of Erica’s stunning photography and admire her commitment to living a simpler, more intentional life. Sit back and enjoy – we think you are going to love this one.

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13
Mar
2017
0

7 Ways to Celebrate the Coming of Spring

There’s been a definite spring-like smell in the air these past few days. The evenings are stretching a bit longer, the hens are laying more, wild birds are chorusing, bulbs are pushing stems gleefully up through the earth. It’s a time to celebrate renewal and rebirth, so we thought we’d give you 7 simple ways to herald in the new season. So sit back, pour yourself a cup of tea, open a window and drink in the beautiful spring.

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24
Feb
2017
1

Introducing Our Fabulous New Blog Series: A Simple Path

We are so excited to announce the launch of a new monthly series of interviews with creatives and people who share our love for simple, sustainable living and beautiful interiors! A Simple Path is intended to be a place of inspiration, inquiry and insight into the lives and lifestyles of people who are doing more, with less. From photographers to stylists, B&B owners to apothecaries, we will bring you a smorgasbord of loveliness and fascinating ideas on how we can live life better.
Our first guest, Camilla Jorvad from the stunning Danish island of Aeroe, is special not just because she is the first in the series, but also due to her incredibly thoughtful answers and inspiring outlook on life. We sent Camilla some questions, and here’s what she replied. We think you are going to love her story (and her images). We are already packing our bags for a trip to Sigridsminde now…

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