I love chatting all things cosy with my customers and one of my favourite things is seeing Bramble & Fox goodies in their new homes. Steph is one of my customers and she has a real talent for styling.
Her cosy country dresser delights my magpie eyes and it inspired me to try out a new blog series - Your Hygge Homes.
I want to celebrate your hygge homes and cosy corners and learn more about the stories behind them. You can find more details about this below, but for now, let’s find out more about Steph’s dresser…
First of all, what’s the story of your dresser – how did you come to own it? I always love to hear the stories of how our favourite things came to live in our homes.
My parents had a huge dresser, filled with pottery and fine china which I’d always loved and I was pretty much raised watching The Good Life and the ‘Tom & Barbara’ kitchen aesthetic speaks to me very deeply.
When I moved home to the Staffordshire Moorlands and swapped my tiny London flat for a Victorian terrace, I was determined to find a dresser for my new home. My budget was very tight however back in 1999 so I searched the classified ads in the local paper and my dad came with me to collect it. Thank goodness he did because we encountered the elderly seller in a bit of a state as two previous interested purchasers had nearly come to blows over it! We were very glad to get it home.
Do you have a set way of building up an overall look? E.g. Do you have certain key pieces that you place first and build around them? Could you briefly talk me through your process?
I don’t have any sort of process at all beyond adding what I really like. My dresser has evolved over time and has tended to reflect the different phases of my life. Originally, I kept the stained pine and displayed my treasured possessions, then when my boys were small in the mid-2000s I was very into the vintage/1940s/Cath Kidston look - a pre-runner of cottagecore I guess – I painted it white and displayed primary coloured kitchenallia and finds from flea markets and vintage fairs.
Over time my original 70s, folky, homespun interiors vibe surged back and the dresser has been painted in Farrow Ball’s London Stone for around seven years and the wicker and speckled studio pottery has totally taken over. Some of my favourite recent finds were from you – thank you!
The overlook reflects what I love at the time and pieces make an appearance, get retired and then re-emerge years later depending on what else I’ve found to complement it. An eclectic mix is what appeals to me, so I don’t tend to start with a blank canvas and style the dresser in one go, special things just find their own way there.
What do you think are the ingredients that make a dresser look complete, without looking too ‘dressed’?
Mixing up sizes, colours and textures are what work for me and stops the dresser looking too organised I think. The everyday stuff makes it look very real too – the mugs and jugs are full of house keys, beach pebbles, random screws, tiny light bulbs, drawing pins etc, etc…cards, school reports, vet records and gift vouchers are squashed onto the ends of the shelves and the drawers and cupboards are bursting with candles, photo albums and the pottery I bring out for Christmas. My dresser is an immensely useful piece of furniture and not a display cabinet and I think that all helps to make it feel at home.
How do you like to style your dresser for different seasons?
I’m adore autumn and winter and love to add a jug of chrysanthemums, fill the bowls with conkers, brightly coloured leaves and mini pumpkins and I might add an autumn garland. Spring and summer are all about being outside really, so I don’t really add anything seasonal until the calendar ticks over to September and things get inspiring again.
In particular, how do you like to style your dresser for Christmas?
Dressing the dresser for Christmas is my favourite part of festive decorating – maybe even more than the tree! I swap out some of the mugs for Christmas patterned pottery (lots from Emma Bridgewater where I work) and add screen printed cards and tiny decorations picked up in charity shops over the years.
The stars of the show are two little pipe cleaner Christmas trees which cost me 25p each but are priceless in my eyes as my grandparents had one just the same which disappeared so in my head, I’ve found it again which means everything.
My favourite new decorations are some beautiful honeycomb decorations in muted colours from a little gallery in North Berwick near Edinburgh. And greenery is very important too – holly and ivy draped across the top of the dresser with some tiny fairy lights is Christmas to me.
Are there key pieces that always make an appearance? If so, what are they and why do they have a permanent place?
My wicker shopping baskets will always be there! When I was small all the older ladies who came into the little shop near our house had them and I enjoyed spotting the different coloured handles - some plain, some striped, the yellow or white ones were never my favourites. I’ll admit to having a serious wicker addiction (“stay away from the wicker Steph” my sister always says haha!), I just love the warm, textured feel and the three on top of my dresser are my absolute treasures.
Any general hints/tips?
Displaying things that mean something to you is always special I think and mixing up textures breaks things up and adds interest. Using the vessels on display to show off other things works well; I collect pretty feathers on my walks and they look lovely in the tiny glass bottles on my shelves.
Thanks so much to Steph for sharing her hygge home and her dresser styling tips with us. If you’d like to feature your hygge home or a cosy corner of it with us, then pop a message over to Bex here.