Monday, 28 April 2014

On Modern Country Style today...


Willow Crossley's Home: House Tour

Situated in a tiny Cotswold village, author Willow Crossley's home is a mixture of Manor House and cottage, whilst the palette of understated muted colours she has chosen make my Modern Country heart beat a little faster.... Shall we take a house tour?

Come with me through this beautiful beamed porch, taking note of the hydrangea wreath on the front door...

Wreath on door of Willow Crossley's home

At first glance, this room looks small and cosy but look again...see how teeny-tiny the sofas look in comparison to the fireplace. Willow Crossley has done a fantastic job at toning down the imposing double height ceiling, and creating a warm cottage-y vibe. The living room is painted in Farrow and Ball Pigeon.

Drawing room in Willow Crossley's home

The kitchen, with its bottle green Aga has units painted in Farrow and Ball's Elephant's Breath, and Willow has used Sanderson's Swallows wallpaper. 

Willow Crossley's Cotswolds home

The family room leads off the kitchen (also decorated with Farrow and Ball Elephant's Breath paint)...can you spot the Cabbages and Roses cushions?

The living room in Willow Crossley's Cotswolds home

 and into the conservatory, strung with simple fairy lights...and a hot air balloon!

The conservatory in Willow Crossley's home

More cushions from Cabbages and Roses fill the sofa in the bedroom...

Master bedroom at Willow Crossley's Cotswolds home

Hand-painted walls in a paisley design create a snug attic-chic space...

The spareroom in Willow Crossley's Cotswold home

Willow Crossley's office is lined with Cabbage and Roses Hatley wallpaper...

Willow Crossley's office in her Cotswolds home

The gardens contains enormous yew topiary, and parterre, with an ancient well.

Willow Crossley's cotswolds cottage exterior

The mellow stone and rolling surrounding countryside remind me why I love living in the Cotswolds...

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Easter Workshop

As I mentioned in my last post, the week before Easter, I did a third workshop with Anthropologie.   This time it was in their flagship store on Regent Street.  Like the last couple of times, I was teaching my lovely guests how to make floral wired napkin rings.  And also just like the times before, I was sure no-one would turn up; luckily the turnout was great - even the Queen of Flowers, Nikki Tibbles came. Just in case I wasn't nervous enough.  

I arrived at the crack of dawn to set up my Easter woodland;  a purple sea of muscari, hyacinths, violas, forget-me-nots and tulips - like the last couple of times too - they were arranged in a mossy, log filled woodland. I left the cabbages at home this time and chose to keep things quite tonal using Anthropologie's heavenly gold and blue pottery made by Jardin des Plantes instead.  I used their vases  teapots, sugar bowls and tea cups as containers. There were also some divine little porcelain bunny candlesticks on the shop floor which I pinched to house the quails eggs.  
It was Easter after all... 

Mossy carpet

my tools

Setting up shop

My pupils.  The wondrous Nikki in pink.

The Easter Bunny holding his hollowed out quails egg with spotty quail feathers inside.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

If it's good enough for Nikki...

I did a workshop at the Regent's Street Anthropologie store just before Easter and nearly passed out when the Queen of Flowers, Nikki Tibbles, asked if she could come along and join in the class.  No pressure then.  I'll post about the workshop later but wanted to share her review of the morning that I've just been sent.

"I was lucky enough to attend a fabulous workshop last week with Willow Crossley, a florist and passionate creative.  The workshop was to also celebrate the launch of her new book, Inspire: The Art of Living With Nature, which embraces and inspires everything that’s magical outside, on the inside.
Willow combines her knowledge and passion by showing us how to use flowers, beachcombing bounty, home-grown harvests and hedgerow finds to decorate your home.
The fabulous book is divided into five chapters: Woodland, Flora, Fauna, Edibles and Beach. Ideas range from hellebores displayed in test tubes to a garland made from hydrangeas. Spring narcissi planted in wooden wine boxes and a table display incorporating gilded apples and pears.  Displays of pebbles, coral and shells, and sea urchins fashioned into napkin rings.  Hollowed-out red cabbages used as vases, a colourful posy of chillies and a stylish wall display of antlers.
I chatted to Willow as she showed the class how to make hand-crafted, decorative and beautiful napkin rings. It was wonderful to meet someone as passionate and caring about the world we live in; nature is simply beautiful"


Friday, 11 April 2014

Win a copy of Inspire!!


APRIL 10, 2014
Willow Crossely comp
Earlier on this week, we posted some Easter table inspiration from blogger and interiors expert Willow Crossley. Read our interview with her here.  To celebrate the launch of her new book Inspire, we are giving you the chance to win a copy along with a £50 voucher to spend on homeware at AlexandAlexa!
All about bringing nature into your home, Willow’s new book shows you how to decorate the eco chic way, using “hedgerow finds, beachcombing bounty, and home-grown harvests”.
To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is follow us on Instagram or Pinterest and regram or repin our Willow Crossley competition post, with the caption @AlexandAlexacom.
MORE ABOUT THE PRIZEWillow Crossley’s second book, Inspire, is divided into five chapters on Woodland, Flora, Fauna, Beach and Edibles. Containing more than 50 innovative projects, the blogger and interiors expert shows you the easy way to bring the outside world indoors.
Inspire The Art of Living With Nature by Willow Crossley is published by CICO Books and is available from You will also receive a £50 voucher to spend on full price items in our home category at AlexandAlexa.

Willow Crossley
Inspire The Art of Living With Nature by Willow Crossley
Willow Crossley
Inspire The Art of Living With Nature by Willow Crossley

Click here for more info 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

New Anthropologie Workshop Date

I'm very excited to be doing another workshop with Anthropologie next week.  This one is in the Regents Street store and there are some tickets left so if you are interested, please do get in touch.  Really hope to see you there! x

Monday, 7 April 2014

Easter Styling with Alex and Alexa


APRIL 6, 2014
Willow Crossely
Blogger and interiors expert Willow Crossley lives in Oxfordshire with her husband Chaz and their two small cubs Rafferty and Wolf. With a background in design and a degree in fashion journalism at the London University of the Arts, she worked on magazines before moving to the south of France to live on a vineyard. She says “I’d left my job behind and so stared my online business and blog Willow Rose boutique from there.” To celebrate the launch of her new book ‘Inspire’, which is all about bringing nature into your home, we asked her to style an Easter table with our Hop & Peck Oak Bunny Ears Egg Cup.
We will be giving away a copy of Willow’s book, so watch the blog for more info. Scroll down to read our interview with her below and see her beautiful shoot.
Willow Crossely
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR EASTER TABLE SHOOT?The Hop & Peck wooden egg cups were my starting point and then I wanted to use my favourite blue and white speckled plates.  Keeping it tonal and seasonal I added a jug of hyacinths and pussy willow from the garden.  I’ve recently started drying hellebores heads instead of throwing them out when they’ve come to the end of their life and have scattered them all over the table.  They take a few days to dry and just look so beautiful.
Everywhere really.  I’m constantly on the look out.  Taking Wolf to school, in the supermarket, walking the dog, shopping, out to dinner.  I don’t limit myself to topics with my blog – If I think it’s interesting/beautiful/delicious and want to share it with people – I’ll post something about it.
It was always a dream.  Both my mother and maternal Granny are/were writers so it felt almost like my path in life.  My lovely agent Clare saw my blog when I was living in France and said to my Mother that she could see a book out of it.  She obviously passed that on to me; we met, I went off and wrote a proposal, she took it to various publishers and then it went from there.
Not in a painting/drawing kind of way.  I’m more creative than artistic I think.  I’m obsessed with the way things look and am very particular – I spent my childhood rearranging my bedroom, making my brothers swap rooms with me so I could re-decorate theirs too.  I can vividly remember making a very detailed housing complex for some flies in my room one summer in an ice cream tub.  Lots of little compartments for their bedrooms, sitting rooms, bathrooms…
I love the idea of it but in reality they don’t have a lot of patience for it yet.  They prefer to play with the piles of glue rather than doing anything with it.  Although they love coming out hunting for feathers and stones with me and are always running in from the garden with treasures “for your work Mummy”.
Willow Crossely
An Easter egg hunt.  I still completely love them and get so excited seeing a glimpse of a crème egg peeking out from underneath a bush somewhere! And a huge Sunday lunch at home.  The table will have a warren of baby gold Lindtt bunnies scattered all over it as always.
I’m afraid I’m not great on floral trends – I know what I do and don’t like and go from there really.  I’m very anti tight, formal bunches of flowers and much prefer the loose, relaxed, wild feel.  Saying that, launching my new book in Anthropologie I created a woodland scene using plants potted in cabbages.  I took red, white and savoy cabbages and planted a mix of cowslips, pansies, violas and muscari in them.  They were then nestled in among big branches I’d found in the woods and buckets of moss.  So maybe using vegetables and flowers together could be my new trend!?
With thanks to Willow Crossley, visit her blog Willow Rose boutique.
Inspire The Art of Living With Nature by Willow Crossley is published by CICO Books and is available from

Friday, 4 April 2014

Magical String Gardens

I am completely and utterly obsessed with my new find.  Originally from Japan where they are called Kokedamas, they're more commonly known here as string gardens - basically giant hanging floral, moss covered pompoms.

They are much easier to make than they look and I've found a great DIY on Design Sponge which shows you how to make them, step by step.    

That's this weekend's activities taken care of...