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Top Ten Rental Buys: My Curated Sale with Joss & Main


…Just popping in quickly (I’ve been busy with back-to-back festive shoots these past couple of months!) as I wanted to share this rather exciting collection with you. Joss and Main, the American flash-sales site, set up shop on our fair isle several months back now (with Germany and France to follow any day now), sharing their buys from throughout the globe and organising them as curated three-day themed sales (often with discounted prices). The team invited me to guest-curate my own sale and I’m happy to report it’s now live! The sale is themed around the idea of The Stylish Rental and includes clever ideas for both decorative and practical homewares, with the temporary home in mind (yes, I may have been a teensy bit inspired by my book, Home for Now). I pulled together a number of product and theme ideas and presented them to the team of in-house buyers, who then sourced a fantastically eclectic collection of over 90 products to fit the brief. I have mentally purchased most of them myself already, but in the interest of giving an edited selection, here are my favourite ten from the sale below:

Joss & Main Curated Sale by Joanna Thornhill picks 1-5

1. Chevron Tempaper removable wallpaper in teal : 2. 1000 Ships by Richard Peacock wall art : 3. Two-piece Octa glass planter set : 4. Riba storage box set : 5. Ridgeley Etagere

Joss & Main Curated Sale by Joanna Thornhill picks 6-10

6. Rainforest candle holder set : 7. Antiqua wall mirror : 8. Bobbin drawer knob : 9. Langton wire shelf : 10. Indigo pedestal table

To snap up any of these goodies for yourself, head over to the homepage and sign up using this link (disclaimer: if you use this actual link, I get a few credits in the bank, allowing me to buy some stuff of my own, so if you’re signing up anyway it’d be marvellous if you could use it!) The sale ends Thursday lunchtime (25th Sep) – now go forth and shop! And do let me know what you buy…

Oh and psst – there’s also an interview with me on their blog, Plume. Think of it as some bonus content.

{Images: All product images taken from Joss & Main. Image used in The Stylish Rental banner taken from my book, Home for Now (Cico Books 2014)


E17 Art Trail 2014 + Home for Now

Home for Now & E17 Art Trail as seen on Stylist's Own

I’ve waxed lyrical quite a few times over on Twitter about my love for my adopted little ‘hometown’, Walthamstow (a far-flung corner of north east London, yet so well connected – thank-you, Victoria Line – that you wouldn’t know it). Since moving here and not knowing a soul, I’ve been amazed at how many artists, designers, media folk and even interiors peeps like myself have also found themselves in this enclave, many of whom I now consider friends (but – shhh – the locals don’t like us talking about it, in case everyone else cottons on, though I fear if recent property price hikes are anything to go by, the cat may already be out of the bag). Anyway I digress: one of the many things I like about this area is the real sense of community – sadly hard to find in much of London Town – and the E17 Art Trail is a perfect case in point. Started in 2005 by two local artists, looking for a way to help motivate and strengthen the local artistic community, it has since turned into a behemoth, with over 3,500 artists and contributors involved in 2014’s three-week extravaganza. And this year, I’m going to be one of them!

Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill Launch Party Pic

Kiln Arts & Sonia Hunt at the E17 Art Trail as seen on Stylist's Own blog

I’ll be ‘popping up’ at the home of local ceramicist Steven Smith, aka Kiln Arts, who is kindly hosting both myself and fellow-local photographer Sonia Hunt within his maisonette (or hopefully in his stunning garden, weather permitting). I’ll be setting up a version of my ‘living book wall’ as featured at last month’s book launch (seen in the above pic) and selling signed copies of Home for Now at a special discounted rate of £15, as well as running a competition to win a goodie bag full of lovely loot (the same bounty as seen in this previous post. Thanks to all who entered that one and if you missed out, here’s your chance for another crack at the whip!) And of course, Steven and Sonia will be offering their own ceramic pieces and photography prints for sale, too, along with fending off my attempts at swapsies, no doubt. I have sort of promised to make flapjacks, but I’m not sure I’ve got time and, given that I once managed to nearly blow up a microwave whilst attempting to cook a jacket potato, I’ll let you judge whether that will be a good or bad thing. But beverages and snacks will be available, one way or another.

Helpfully, the guide this year (pick one up at one of the participating venues or view the PDF here) has been broken down into distinct trails, focusing on the various corners of the ‘Stow (we’re at Venue number 85 (here’s our group page) within the Markhouse Trail), letting you map out your route for the day with ease and allowing you to see at a glance what’s in your vicinity. But to break it all down, here’s the key info you need:

Dates/times: Sat 31st May/Sun 1st June and Sat 7th/Sun 8th June; 11am-6pm each day (note: I *should* be there the whole time but my stall will be manned even if I’m not, though if you did specifically want to see me in person then do tweet me or drop me an email just to make sure)

Venue: 112 Theydon Street, London E17 8EL

How to get there: TUBE: Blackhorse Road or Walthamstow Central (Victoria line) then about a 20-ish minute walk; TRAIN: St James Street or Walthamstow Central (15 minute walk from the former/20ish minutes the latter); BUS: 158 (from Blackhorse Road/St James Street), 58/48 (from Walthamstow Central) or 48/55/56 (from Hackney/Clapton way); CAR: free on-street parking (plenty of room for bikes in the garden, too).

Yes, I know, it’s possibly a little out of the way, but there’s more than enough to see to make a little daytrip out of it, and for the over-30’s, you can also regale your friends and family afterwards with tales of how you visited the hometown of everyone’s favourite 90’s boyband to boot. Aside from that, and visiting the other, um, 3,499 places involved in the Art Trail, might I recommend the following to while away the hours in East 17:

Five things to see and do in Walthamstow as seen on Stylist's Own blog

1. A visit to neon artist Chris Bracey’s masterpiece of a studio-cum-workshop-cum-neon-paradise, God’s Own Junkyard (his work has appeared in Hollywood movies and as a backdrop for dishy Idris Elba in the BBC’s Luther, don’tchaknow), followed by a locally brewed Jack of Clubs in the Wildcard Brewery yard outside.

2. Stroll round the picturesque conservation area that is Walthamstow Village, home to the 15th Century timber Ancient House and all manner of other character cottages which are quite the opposite of what one would expect to find in urban Zone Three; bijou little shops/pubs/cafes on Orford Road; a cat-friendly pub plus the world’s poshest Spar (stockists of infamous local delicacy, Bacon Jam. Get some. Seriously. In fact, get two and drop the other one round to mine, please, I’ve run out.)

3. Pop into the birthplace of none other than William Morris on Forest Road, recently renovated and now an award-winning (free) gallery dedicated to his work. If it’s open, the massive Salvation Army charity shop opposite is a must for vintage fiends.

4. Estate agents enjoy bragging about Walthamstow High Street being home to the longest street market in Britain (or Europe, depending on how hungry they are for your commission) – rumour has it, a certain Lord Sugar even learnt his trade here. Whilst on face value it’s not exactly the most inspiring of streets, there are lots of little gems tucked away along its one-mile route, such as the beautiful Grade II listed Manze’s pie ‘n’ mash shop, amazing (and amazingly cheap) naan bread from the Fresh Nan Bakery and a multitude of fab Indian fabric shops (great for cheap, colourful trimmings for the craft box).

5. Fancy a coffee? Get your caffeine fix from industrial-chic Cafe 56 (a handy ten-minute walk from my pop-up event venue), Scandi new kids Bygga Bo, where you can buy both Scandi home accessories and an amazing cinnamon bun in one hit, or local stalwarts (and the friendliest cafe owners you’ll ever meet) Arts & Crusts. Something stronger? Recently refurbished Victorian boozers The Bell or The Chequers should see you right, or for something a bit more classic, check out the Rose & Crown theatre pub, which often hosts comedy nights – look carefully and you can see big names for cheaps trying out new material, includind Stuart Lee and Alan Carr.

I look forward to seeing you Stow-side!

{Images: 1. Time Out, 2. my Instagram feed, 3.  Friends of the William Morris Gallery (and yes, that is Laurence Llewelyn Bowen lurking on the far left at the grand opening), 4. The Guardian, 5. my Instagram feed again, showing the interior of Cafe 56}

Competition: Home for Now Book + Goodie Bag

Competition board Home for Now Joanna Thornhill

As promised earlier in the week, I’m popping back in to talk about a rather exciting little competition I have up my sleeve! At my book launch event, I held an on-the-night competition to win a signed copy of Home for Now, plus a goodie bag dripping with home-for-now inspired bounty, by my fabulous event sponsors. I asked all those who attended (well, I say asked, it was written in the corner but luckily most people seemed to see it!) to write down their best home-for-now, landlord-friendly decorating or styling tip and pin it to my special board. Said special board was, in fact, an old shed door I ‘inherited’ with my house – inspired by the decorative door featured in book contributor Carole Poirot’s London flat (the original image can just be seen stuck to my door in the top left picture – Carole uses hers as a decorative background) I painted mine up and now plan to turn it into a jewellery holder (will share pics if/when I get round to that). But I digress – so for the night, I tied some twine (thanks, REfound objects) around it, wrote up ‘Competition’ with some washi tape (and in my pre-launch excitement initially managed to spell it wrong), and fixed on some mini pegs from Hobbycraft, to provide a sort of real-life Pinterest for guests to pin their answers to. It worked rather well!

So now, I’m turning back to the virtual, and asking, who would like to…

Home for Now prize giveaway by Joanna Thornhill

You do? Well then, here’s the official blurb and details of how to do it!

Competition blog graphic Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

And below is a little more info on what else you’ll be getting in the goodie bag, with massive thanks to my amazing sponsors Dulux, Rockett St George, Tala, Thornback & Peel, Rose & Grey, Command and Hobbycraft, along with a little write-up of how you could use them to improve your own home-for-now. Competition is open from now until midday Friday 23rd May, so spread the word and send in your entry!

Goodie Bag Bounty Home for Now Joanna Thornhill pt1

Goodie Bag Bounty Home for Now Joanna Thornhill pt2

Goodie Bag Bounty Home for Now Joanna Thornhill pt3

So to surmise:

1. Think up your best home-for-now decorating or styling tip – it can be something you’ve tried yourself, something you’ve seen and would like to have a go at, or even a photograph of a proud achievement from your own home-for-now .

2. Share it – email it to me at jo @ or tweet me @joannathornhill. You could also pop it on my Facebook page, or if it’s a visual, tag me into your Instagram @joannthornhillstylist

3. Excitedly tell your friends about the book whilst waiting to see if you’re the winner…

{Image credits} Top right and left ‘competition board’ board photos by Daniel Nelson and bottom one by Zoe Brewer; WIN! photo by Joanna Thornhill,


Home for Now London Launch

1. Launch Party Opening Shots Home for Now book by Joanna Thornhill, as seen on Stylist's Own blog

Last week (well, a little longer than that now – where did that time go?!) saw the culmination of a year’s blood, sweat and tears, as I wet my book-baby’s head at my very own launch party! As mentioned in my last post, I held it at the gorgeous Thornback & Peel shop, in a tucked-away corner of charming Bloomsbury. I was blown away by the great turnout and reception it received – it’s impossible to be objective about a project you’re so close to, but the reaction (and sales) have left me assured that I’ve created something that will hopefully help inspire many home-for-now’ers throughout the land! For those who couldn’t attend, here’s how it all went down:

I wanted to bring elements of the book to life for the launch; in particular the back wall, where I was keen to create a ‘living book cover’. I opted to paint the back wall of the shop in a hue that matched the book cover itself, to create a focal point, eventually settling on Dulux‘s Amazon Beat 3. A gorgeous light blue/grey, it changes its tone with the light and perfectly represented my cover photography. The cardboard and rusty metal letters spelling out the book title, all from REfound Objects, speak for themselves, and the rest of the wall was decorated using elements that also feature within the book (more on that further down).

2. The Windows opener Launch Party Opening Shots Home for Now book by Joanna Thornhill, as seen on Stylist's Own blog

Thornback & Peel kindly let me take over their windows as well as their back wall (well, and their entire shop, really). I wanted to use this as another platform to showcase three ideas that feature in the book (plus shove up a gazebo and bunting for extra prettiness/to provide shelter from the threatened rain, which luckily never showed). This is what happened in each window…

3. The Windows Suitcase Stact Launch Party Opening Shots Home for Now book by Joanna Thornhill, as seen on Stylist's Own blog

Suitcase Stack – inspired by several shots in the book that show the virtues of using vintage suitcases as storage (including this gorgeous snap above right, used for our launch event invite), I stacked up three cases from my own stash and added my own little tin teapot (which I usually use as garden decor) to house some pretty blooms. Each window had a custom-made caption, offering styling or DIY advice, in the same way that it appears throughout the book.

4. Decoupage Cabinet Launch Party Opening Shots Home for Now book by Joanna Thornhill, as seen on Stylist's Own blog

Decoupage Cabinet – a real-life example of home-for-now’ing: Thornback & Peel let me use one of their old display cabinets in the window, which I wanted to decorate in a home-for-now-friendly manner, without doing anything irreversible to it as it wasn’t my own piece. The solution? I took several sheets of Thornback & Peel giftwrap, chopped them into various sizes and created a patchwork pattern on the top and sides, held on with double-sided tape, making it easy to remove again afterwards. This is a technique I discuss in the book, which works equally well with leftover wallpaper samples.

5. Wallpaper Drop Launch Party Opening Shots Home for Now book by Joanna Thornhill, as seen on Stylist's Own blog

Wallpaper Drop – another technique discussed in the book: if you’re not able to wallpaper, as you’re renting or simply don’t want the commitment, try hanging a single drop from a smart trouser hanger for a hit of pattern. The image on the right (taken from the book) was recreated in the third window using one of Thornback & Peel’s stunning designs.

6. Details1 Launch Party Opening Shots Home for Now book by Joanna Thornhill, as seen on Stylist's Own blog

Never one to turn down an opportunity to add in a bit of styling, the decor throughout was peppered with home-for-now related details. Here’s a few of the things I did:

1. My Kusmi tea tin makes a perfect (and free!) plant pot holder, and this little spider plant was actually given to me as a cutting from contributor Anna Alicia (you can see its ‘Mummy’ on p49 of the book). It usually sits in pride of place in my office.

2. I couldn’t resist getting some extra business cards printed (by Moo) featuring some of my favourite images from the book.

3. This barber board (kindly loaned by Rose & Grey) recreates the one featured in the tiny studio flat of Clare Nicolson, and also made the perfect spot to spell out my social media accounts on the night! The newspaper stars (REfound Objects) and washi tape stripes (extra-wide MT Casa tape and thinner stripe, from a selection at Molly Meg) were both used as bedroom decor at Hannah Ricci’s rented flat – the washi tape adds a flash of pattern and can be removed without a trace, and the paper stars are lightweight enough to act as fun ceiling decor without causing damage.

4. This ribbon-wrapped light fitting is perfect for getting a vintage-fabric-cord look without requiring an electrician – simply wrap it round a wire shade (this one is from Rockett St George, with the ribbon from REfound Objects) and continue all the way along the flex. This project originally appeared in the bedroom of Saija Starr.

5. My faithful vintage crate was used in the book as a makeshift bedside table at Dion Salvador Lloyd‘s flat, though crates feature throughout the book as a handy home-for-now freestanding storage item in many of the homes we photographed. Here, it was put to good use housing my books for the night. The three bottles on top were a little nod to Karin Lindroos‘s coffee table, where she displays single flowers in old lab bottles for an inexpensive yet striking display (the one on the left was actually used to prop Maria Meder‘s dining table in Finland and was such a cool design, I snuck it all the way home with me in my suitcase!)

7. Details2 Launch Party Opening Shots Home for Now book by Joanna Thornhill, as seen on Stylist's Own blog

6. My vintage drawer display shelves, as featured in the book as one of the step-by-step illustrated projects. These now live in my study at home and offer really handy storage for all the little trinkets I am obsessed with collecting (I think it’s in a stylist’s DNA). I stuck some printouts of the relevant book pages on the side, using my trusty washi tape.

7. Moth wall stickers, as featured in Tom Chalet‘s kitchen and balcony – these are by designer Lou Rota but are sadly being discontinued, though luckily similar designs still adorn her quirky ceramics. This cute bunting washi tape is from another of my event sponsors, Hobbycraft (the pic it’s holding up shows how the stickers were used to add a touch of personality to Tom’s white kitchen units in the book).

8. With a product range that’s SO perfect for both renters and anyone not wishing to put holes in their walls, I was lucky enough to get Command onboard as an event sponsor, too. We used several items from their range of picture and poster hanging strips plus some of their hooks (these are their clear utensil hooks holding up the ‘for’), which worked perfectly as we didn’t want to damage Thornback & Peels’ walls either!

9. Using an offcut from an old map I had at home (I had previously used the bulk of it to cover my filing cabinet, which you can see here), I copied this cute mini bunting that originally hung in Karin Lindroos’s dining room, using the Make Your Own instructions I’d written up for it in the book. It was great to practice what I preach and make a project from the book for fun- there are still several other projects in there I want to make for myself, too.

Joanna Thornhill at Home for Now Book Launch as featured on Stylist's Own blog

So there we have it. One happy author, and another big tick off the bucket list. I didn’t actually get round to making any speeches on the night, and I won’t go all Oscars on you, but I’d just like to take the opportunity to thank my publishers, Cico Books, for having the faith in me to publish this book and for their generous supply of fizzy plonk on the night, all of the amazing home-for-now’ers who let us shoot their properties and share their amazing homes with the world, my photographers, Emma Mitchell and James Gardiner and everyone else who helped with the production, Thornback & Peel for being such gracious hosts, everyone who has supported the book through sales, blog posts, press coverage and tweets (believe me, it all helps!), and my wonderful friends, family and ever-loyal partner Paul for all the encouragement this past year.

And as a special thank-you to my blog readers, I’m going to be offering a goodie bag with a signed copy of the book, plus a selection of fantastic gifts from my launch sponsors – the competition opens this Friday so do come back then for details of what’s on offer and how to enter. And now, quite aptly, I’m off to Ikea-hack my new Billy bookcase…

{Can’t wait for the competition? Buy the book now – click here for stockist details worldwide}

{Image credits: I must confess to nicking a few Instagrams of the night to intersperse in with my own snaps, so big thanks to Amy Silvester (top left opening crowd shot, decoupage cabinet detail shots and details 1-3), Laura Markwardt (right hand opening crowd shot and gazebo shot on left), Natalie Blenford (bottom opening crowd shot), Vicky Harrison (gazebo shot on right) and Kate Baxter for taking the only shot of me where I don’t look dishevelled}


Home for Now + Thornback & Peel Launch Party!

Home for Now & Thornback & Peel Launch Event

I’m delighted to announce that, to celebrate the launch of my book, Home for Now, I will be holding an exclusive launch event in the super-lovely Thornback & Peel! Having been big fans of the brand since their early days, first discovering them at a Cockpit Arts Open Studios event, it’s been lovely seeing them go from strength to strength and make the move from online to bricks and mortar retail. Famed for their quirky graphic prints, showcasing classic British motifs in striking colourways on crisp white backgrounds, their first retail store, in the particularly charming area of Bloomsbury, London, is as quintessentially British as they are. When I first started thinking about what I’d like for my launch (quirky shop selling handmade British goods that I could slope into the corner of, centrally located but nowhere too hustly-bustly, intimate yet enough room to swing a cat/book) it soon became apparent they were the perfect fit. And luckily, they agreed!

Inside Thornback & Peel

So on Thursday 24th April I’ll be playing shop for the day. We are turning the back wall into a ‘living’ version of the book cover, and decorating the space and windows throughout with some of the styling ideas showcased in the book. Signed copies will be sold on the night for a discounted price of £15, and there will also be a prize drawer to win a copy including a goodie bag packed with home-for-now-friendly treats for your home (psst – this competition will also be duplicated online on Mon 28th April, so come back then for more info!)

Images from Thornback & Peel

The display will remain up in-store until Friday 2nd May, so if you’re in the area whilst it’s on, do pop in and take a gander – the shop is stunning as are its surroundings, next door to fabulous homewares emporium Ben Pentreath and just off from the olde-worlde cobbled Lamb’s Conduit Street, home to a number of fascinating independent shops including Darkroom, Persephone Books and Folk. Find Thornback & Peel at 7 Rugby Street, London WC1N 3QT; nearest tube Russell Square and also walkable-in-flats from King’s Cross or Holborn.

If you’re a member of the press or an interiors blogger and would like to attend the launch, please email or for a place on the guest list.

Home for Now is currently being sold in countries worldwide – to find out how to order a copy, click here

{Images: all courtesy of Thornback & Peel, aside from the book cover}

Launch day: Home for Now is officially On Sale!

Home for Now book with Hyacinths by Joanna Thornhill

It seems simultaneously like five minutes and a lifetime ago that I sat at my desk and received an email from Cico Books saying (not in these exact words) that they were willing to take a punt on little ol’ me and my slightly rambling idea for a book aimed at renters and first-time buyers. Today, that book is here (well, OK, Amazon has been selling it for about a week and someone tweeted me to say it was in Waterstones in Thurrock on the weekend) but it’s all properly official now – I’m an author! A rather almighty tick off the bucket-list there…

I wrote at length in this post about the reasons I wanted to write the book, and to highlight the amazing contributors’ homes featured within it, so I shall try not to repeat myself – instead, I thought I’d explain a little more about its contents, showing one of my favourite images from each chapter:

1. Living Spaces:

Tom Chalet's Living Room, as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

Broken down into Seating Areas, Wall & Display, Storage Solutions and Open-plan Living, this is the chunkiest chapter in the book. Detailing everything from styling ideas for less-than-lovely hand-me-down sofas to turning an old wardrobe into stylish living room storage, it explains how to make the most of your communal space, whether you live in a shared rental or have it all to yourself. It also contains step-by step illustrated projects for creating your own no-sew upholstery chair, turning an old drawer into a printer’s-tray-inspired set of mini display shelves and making over a chest of drawers with wallpaper, for when you can’t add pattern to your walls.

{image: the living room of Tom Chalet, where he has cleverly added character to his newbuild flat by cladding the walls himself in old scaffolding planks, cut to length by hand on his balcony. Get a smaller-scale version of the look in a rental by simply leaning some old wood against a wall to add character and texture}

2. Kitchens and Dining Areas:

Hannah Ricci's kitchen dining room, as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

Often considered a no-go room for making changes in unless you are able to rip the space apart and start again, this chapter shows that there are plenty of workaround ideas – from hiding a landlord’s ugly tiles with removable tile stickers to removing cupboard doors to create an open-shelving effect (stashing the doors behind the sofa ready to reattach when required!) It also details practical elements, such as how to add extra storage without building anything in, plus introducing impactful design ideas to help the space feel less functional, as showcased with this ingenious removable wall mural from Surface View.

{image: the rented kitchen/dining room of Hannah Ricci, personalised with a giant wall mural to add character to the otherwise featureless space. Note the old drinks crate – upturned to provide handy storage for herbs and spices – and the vintage table used as a makeshift island unit, which visually divides the kitchen and dining areas}

3. Bedrooms and Bathrooms:

Karin Lindroos' bed nook, as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

From the tiniest nook to a multi-purpose corner of a studio apartment and even a section on children’s room ideas, the Bedrooms section covers off everything from clever uses of furniture and all-important storage ideas, to how to decorate this intimate room for added – and temporary – interest. And like kitchens, although the bathroom is often considered an unchangeable space (especially for renters) this section details clever ideas to make the best of this space without undertaking dramatic or costly changes, from reversible flooring ideas to more decorative touches, all designed to create a sanctuary out of even the most uninspiring of rooms.

{image: the tiny bedroom of Karin Lindroos, situated inside an old porch, shows that you needn’t shy away of colour in a small space – rather, it can help create a cosy sanctuary. A bit of creative thinking, such as using an old wall-mounted telephone table for bedside storage and hanging pouches on the wall to hold sunglasses and phone chargers – makes the most of its diminutive proportions}

4. Creative Workspaces:

Clare Nicolson's craft:work:dining table in her studio flat, as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

Whether you work from home and are lucky enough to have a dedicated workspace, or simply like to keep a corner of another room free for catching up on crafts and paperwork, this section is packed with ideas for both home offices and craft areas, and focuses on ways to keep organised without compromising on aesthetic, particularly when said space is a part of another room. From ways to create a ‘hidden’ workspace to tips on organising paperwork or craft supplies stylishly, there are also full instructions to create your own cute wall-mounted hanging storage rack.

{image: the versatile craft/work desk-cum-dining-table in the studio flat of textiles designer and stylist Clare Nicolson – its fold-down sides means it can be stowed against the wall when not needed for entertaining guests}

5. Plants and Outdoor Living

Ninete Bahne's garden, as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill

With plants so important both inside and outside the home for adding life to any space (there is proper research to show they can both lift your mood as well as purifying the air around them), this chapter includes some basics for first-time indoor or outdoor gardeners, as well as ideas for adding greenery to your home even if space is limited, such as making macrame hanging baskets (with instructions provided) as well as ways to style simple garden flowers indoors. And for those who do have a garden but are perhaps reluctant to do much to it if it’s not your forever home, there are lots of styling tips and tricks to help transform the space without spending much money, leaving it ready to simply take away with you when you move on.

{image: a corner of Ninette Bahne’s garden, featuring a simple picnic bench painted fresh white, topped with a homemade hanging decoration, created from fabric scraps}

The book has already been doing brilliantly in pre-sales so a big thank-you to anyone who has already snapped up a copy, and for those who haven’t, the Amazon UK link is here. For any non-UK readers, check out my dedicated page on my website, which details other countries selling the book, including shop links where available. This page also details all the press coverage the book has been receiving – and as well as features in Elle Decoration, Good Homes, Homes & Property and Your Home, there’s been some fantastic online coverage from the likes of Mad About the House, Nothin’ but the Rent and Chalky Paint. If you’ve got a copy of the book and have tried out any of the ideas in it, do get in touch and share your creations!

{Image Credits: Top image taken by Joanna Thornhill. All other images taken from Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill (Cico Books); with photography by Emma Mitchell (shots 1, 2 & 4) and James Gardiner (shots 3 & 5)

Introducing… Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill!

Finally. I have been wanting to write this post for SO long, yet various dull reasons have prevented me. But here it is…

Front Cover Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill for Cico Books

I’ve only gone and done a book!!! It’s currently on a ship heading back from the printers in China – I like to think that it’s currently enjoying a mild climate off an exotic shore as it slowly ambles its way to Blighty. But it’s currently available to pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon USA, and will be physically available in all fine bookshops throughout various corners of the globe from mid April! Nevertheless, I am going to share a few sneaky peeks of what to expect here with you, via the medium of the PDF.

Regular readers will know that I’ve been something of a serial renter throughout my adult life – living 12 landlord-owned abodes no less – and I have always enjoyed trying to make each of them feel as homely as possible, rental restrictions permitting. Then, when I finally scraped enough pennies together to buy my first home in May 2012, I excitedly envisaged gutting the place, converting the loft and doing an obligatory bi-fold kitchen doors glass box extension, before promptly realising that I had about, ooh, £45 to do the entire renovation and really, as it’s not my ‘forever’ home, was it really wise to invest such serious money in it? Even if I had it. Which I didn’t. Hmm…

P118-119 Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill for Cico Books

Increasingly, I found myself reverting to my ‘renter’s’ mindset when making decisions regarding refurbishing my home (which is still very much an ongoing work in progress) – could I track down a cheap, second-hand cupboard for that awkward gap next to the bath, rather than pay to get something built in? (answer: yes, after about 60 man-hours trawling eBay daily for six months, but for £30 I’ll take that on the chin.) How about if I created an artwork gallery wall on a giant pinboard, to save puncturing my newly-acquired walls with holes? Or decorated my furniture with bright colours and wallpaper, making it easier to update than if I applied the same design or tone directly to my walls? I quickly realised that many similarities were shared between us home-for-now’ers, whether renting or teetering delicately on that first rung of the property ladder. And I was also pretty certain that the media weren’t really offering us much help.

Hence, as they say, the lightbulb moment: what if there was a book that specifically focused on people like me (both in my previous renter incarnation and current grown-up-home-owner guise), which was full of styling, craft and DIY ideas, aimed at real people with real (ly small) budgets, who wanted to make the most of their temporary living spaces, whether simply renting a room for a few months or in a long-term yet not ‘forever’ home? And you could actually copy the ideas featured in it, regardless of your funds or circumstances? Maybe it could even feature the homes of canny renters and first-time-owners who had done just this themselves, to show it really can be done? Would anyone be interested in that?

P174-175 Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill for Cico Books

Well luckily, my ever-patient and supportive publishers, Cico Books (part of Ryland, Peters & Small) thought so, and commissioned me to style and write the book back in April last year. And I’ve been beavering away on it ever since, handing in my final copy shortly before Christmas (finally relieving the boyf of almost a year’s washing-up duty whilst I struggled to fit it all in between other work commitments). I’d been keeping it quiet to preserve the idea and thought it best to wait until there was something to show before posting about it, but now I think it’s safe to say the time has come. Above are two example layouts from the book, as well as the cover – and as an extra-juicy sneak peek, here are a few pics from the various blogs and social networks of the amazing, inspirational and generous homeowners whose lovely interiors feature throughout the book:

Contributor's Snapshots p1 as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill for Cico Books and blogged on Stylist's Own

1. The shared-ownership London flat of jewellery and homeware designer, Anna Alicia2. The rented London studio flat of textiles designer and interior stylist, Clare Nicolson3. The rented London flat of lifestyle blogger and interiors stylist, Carole Poirot of Mademoiselle Poirot

Contributor's Snapshots p2 as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill for Cico Books and blogged on Stylist's Own

4. The first-time-owned Brighton, UK flat of artist Dion Salvador Lloyd5. The first-time-owned home of Interiors blogger Maria Meder of Diagnoosi Sisustusmania (try saying that after a few bevvies – or in English, Diagnosis: Interior Design Mania) in Järvenpää, Finland; 6. The family-owned home in Tammisarri, Finland of of interiors stylist, writer and photographer Karin Lindroos

Contributor's Snapshots p3 as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill for Cico Books and blogged on Stylist's Own

7. The first-time-owned newbuild London flat of Tom Chalet8. The home of housewife and blogger Ninette Bahne at Tedags hos Tant Ninette (Teatime at Aunt Ninette’s), Pargas, Finland; 9. The rented flat of Hannah Ricci and Gavin Kettle, furniture makers and restorers at Ruby Rhino in Staffordshire, UK

Contributor's Snapshots p4 as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill for Cico Books and blogged on Stylist's Own

10. The Manchester, UK home of interiors blogger Kimberley Hughes of Swoon Worthy11. The rented London open-plan studio space of illustrators Holly Wales and Stephen Smith12. The first-time-owned ex-council London flat of costume designer Jane Petrie

Contributor's Snapshots p5 as featured in Home for Now by Joanna Thornhill for Cico Books and blogged on Stylist's Own

13. The Brighton, UK home of artist Phillipa Stanton (check out her insanely popular Instagram feed, via her alter-ego 5ftinf – 277,000 followers and counting!); 14. The rented London flat of Becky Nolan and Barney Read, aka vintage shop owners The Peanut Vendor15. The rented apartment of visual artist Saija Starr, Helsinki, Finland

I’m not 100% sure how it all works yet, but the book will be sold in its current English-language edition in the following countries, with foreign-language editions to follow in due course: Australia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Slovakia, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, UK and the USA. This certainly isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from me on this subject (though I’ll try not to bore) but for now I’ll leave you to *ahem* go and get your credit cards and place an Amazon pre-order via the links at the top of this post.

(that was subtle right?!)

Pssst – for any journalists or bloggers reading who might be interested in featuring Home for Now on their platforms, please contact for further information

{Image credits} Book jacket design and layout pages copyright Joanna Thornhill/Cico Books. Images of each contributor’s homes, copyright the respective homeowners, excluding 1. and 4. which were taken by me, and 12. which was shot by Rachael Smith and styled by Emily Blunden (who kindly tipped me off about this amazing apartment) for The Guardian