Five Fresh Ideas for Spring Flowers…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Flowers in Teacup

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc End of Summer

Jenny Blanc

A home filled with fresh flowers is one of life’s essentials – they’re the finishing touch that really bring a room to life and are so uplifting. One of the mistakes people often make though is thinking that they must always have an enormous bunch of blooms (more often than not accompanied by rather a lot of dark foliage) in the middle of the dining table and pay no attention to the rest of the house. Today I want to give you some ideas for some more creative and unusual ways to display flowers throughout your home that won’t cost the earth – in fact I absolutely forbid you to go out and buy a new vessel especially for the purpose but instead, look around your home with a fresh eye! Teacups, jugs, tureens and even shells make beautiful containers for flowers and require only a handful of blooms that more often than not, can be plucked straight from the garden. Happy picking!

Tiny buds and teacups…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Tiny Buds in Teacups

Jenny Blanc Blog - Tiny Buds and Teacups Jenny Blanc Blog - Teacup Flowers on Bedside Table

Teacups look very much at home on bedside tables – hinting at the promise of Sunday papers and a slow start to the day. Filled with flowers they create a fun and thoughtful finishing touch, especially for guest rooms. Delicate cups in unusual shapes work best – look for ones in pretty spring colours that you can match to the flowers. Above I have used a combination of Purple Lisianthus and sage for the green and purple tea cup and saucer. The sage leaves add an unexpected twist and the beautiful bloom of the leaves works perfectly in this bedroom with accents of duck egg blue. Earlier, I used Pink Elegance Lisianthus and Thlaspi in a pretty cup with a touch of pink for a really feminine bedside table. With both arrangements the key is to keep things loose – don’t try to pack too many flowers in, and offset the tight buds with some light and feathery foliage. The whispy Thlaspi and velvety sage leaves do the job perfectly here. Whilst these two arrangements might appear effortlessly put together, the secret (as is so often the case) is to start with good foundations. A small piece of oasis foam at the bottom of each cup will hold the flowers in place, allowing you to create space between each stem.

A single bloom in a shell…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Bloom in Shell Jenny Blanc Blog - Bloom in Shell Closeup

In Barbados, one of my favourite finishing touches for dinner parties is to dress each place setting with a beautiful polished shell filled with a fresh frangipani flower. Just imagine 24 of them all the way down the length of an outdoor dining table, lit with candles under the setting Caribbean sun! Over in the UK, an antique silver shell like the one pictured above works just as well – here I’ve filled it with a single camellia, freshly picked from my garden. The eglomise place mat that the shell rests on is one of my exclusive designs (inspired by this very camellia bush in fact!). There are six designs available from our UK showroom featuring a range of English garden flowers whilst over in Barbados the tropical versions are very popular!

An antique tureen makes the perfect planter…

Jenny blanc Blog - Teacup Planter

When looking for unusual vessels for your flowers the kitchen may seem like the logical place to start with glasses being an obvious choice, however, if you look at your tableware with a fresh eye you might find a serving dish, like this antique blue and white china tureen which could work perfectly! Larger and more robust than a teacup, a tureen is the perfect place to use a plant, rather than cut flowers to make a beautiful addition to a sideboard or as a centrepiece for outside dining. Here I’ve used a lavender plant but take a look at what’s in season – small spring bulbs like Grape Hyacinths and Narcissus work beautifully as well as pansies and some of the smaller varieties of nasturtiums and geraniums. The key here is to ask your florist for some fresh, green moss to cover all the soil around the base of the plant and add an inch or two of gravel to the bottom of the dish to help with drainage for a long lasting arrangement. If you don’t already have a china tureen, your local antique shop is the place to start looking as you won’t find a new one with half as much charm. Whichever one you choose make sure it comes complete with its matching saucer – its little touches like this that make all the difference.

A fresh idea from the tables of Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Silver Jug Planter Jenny Blanc Blog - Silver Jug Planter Closeup

When Raymond and I opened Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons over 30 years ago, I spent several weekends hunting in my favourite antiques shops and bought 35 silver jugs (one for every table). Each one was different and each one beautiful in its own way. Every day we picked fresh spray roses from the gorgeous kitchen garden to create a centrepiece for each table. Back in the 80’s this was a very unorthodox idea – especially for a Michelin stared restaurant! They caught everyone’s eye and always sparked a conversation – I loved them because they were a fun nod towards the culinary setting whilst making the most of the beautiful surroundings. Here I’ve used the same idea but added rosemary for its beautiful fragrance and deep green colour. Once again a small piece of oasis foam is your friend here and will mean that you don’t have to pack the flowers in tightly in order for them to stand up. Many of us have a silver jug like this lurking at the back of the sideboard cupboard waiting for the day the queen pops in for tea – this is the perfect excuse to give it a polish and enjoy it every day of the week!

Coloured glassware and a single bloom…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Bloom in Coloured Glassware

Coloured glassware can add a fun, unexpected twist to an otherwise simple arrangement – here I have used a majestic ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony alongside one of my antique cranberry jugs to create an elegant arrangement perfect for a small side table, dressing table, writing desk or even a kitchen window ledge! When it comes to the more expensive flowers such as peonies or roses, choosing just one, single bloom is a great way to keep the cost down – which of course means that you can treat yourself to a fresh one every week!

I hope you have enjoyed my ideas for creating floral arrangements in some smaller and more unusual containers – next time we’ll be pulling out all the stops with some ideas for floral arrangements at the other end of the scale! If you feel inspired to try any of my ideas at home do share a picture on Facebook or Twitter – use the hashtag #JennyBlancStyle so I can see what you’ve created!

Rise and shine! A French breakfast with a tropical twist…

Jenny Blanc Blog - Fine Porcelain Set

Did you know that in France coffee, tea and hot chocolate are drunk not from mugs or cups but bowls? It’s a custom which often takes visitors by surprise but really makes perfect sense – after all what could be nicer than warming your hands around a bowl of hot chocolate on a cold afternoon or dunking a freshly baked croissant into your coffee on Sunday morning?

Jenny Blanc Blog - Fine Porcelain Bowl

Elsewhere around the world, French coffee bowls have become something of a collector’s item for those in the know. The beautiful bowl and plate set pictured above are made in France by luxury fine porcelain manufacturers Gien. The design is called ‘Cacao’ and features the ripe fruit of the cacao tree along with tropical wildlife including parrots and flamingos. Also available in the range is a mug and rectangular plate – perfect for petit four or biscuits! They’re the perfect way to add a dash of tropical fun to your breakfast or tea table whilst still keeping things sophisticated with their delicate, painterly design.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Fine Porcelain Crockery

Jenny Blanc Blog - Fine Porcelain Plate

This stunning range of china is available to order online via our Trouva boutique (with free worldwide shipping when you spend over £50!) and in store at our London showroom. Both our London and Barbados showrooms have a wonderful selection of placemats, napkins, glasses and other tableware to help you create the perfect al-fresco breakfast now that the days are getting warmer – pop in to see us and let us inspire you!

Dreams do come true… celebrating our 20th Anniversary in style!

Jenny Blanc Blog - 20 Years Floral Arrangement

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc End of Summer

Jenny Blanc

This Wednesday marks 20 years to the day that Chrissie Marshall and I opened the doors to our beautiful showroom here in West London. Help us celebrate and join us for a glass of bubbly at our London or Barbados showrooms for the rest of this month! Enjoy some party nibbles and take 20% off the price of everything in store – our treat to say thank you for all your support over the last 20 years.

When I look at how far we have come I can’t quite believe it! Our vision back then was to be a source of beautiful, original furnishings, accessories and interiors expertise where people could shop in an environment that felt like a home from home.

Jenny Blanc's Beautiful Storefront Teddington

After we opened our Teddington showroom we very quickly found ourselves designing homes for a very loyal, local client base. When those clients outgrew their West London town houses and moved out to the country, they brought us with them to create the perfect family home for this new phase of their lives.

Having Barbadian Design Director Sue Thomas-Richardson on board from the outset proved invaluable as our reputation gradually grew by word of mouth and we started designing tropical holiday homes for our clients in Barbados and other islands. With our Caribbean client base growing and Sue’s unparalleled understanding of the island, it was an easy decision to open our showroom in Barbados – a dream which came true in 2011! My inspiration was always to create the best Interior Design showroom on the island and this is certainly something we have achieved – my daughter Emma Blanc is now firmly rooted on the island and as Caribbean Director, is perfectly placed to run the showroom as well as providing a very personal link for our design clients on the island.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Barbados Showroom

Today, with five International Property Awards under our belt (including the much coveted ‘World’s Best Interior Design, Private Residence’ in 2012), two stunning lifestyle showrooms, an exclusive range of Barbados made furniture as well as our own range of home accessories, I couldn’t be happier – or busier!

The sterling silver monkey bowl pictured above is our own unique design and is one of the pieces I’m the most proud of. Using natural coconut shells, each bowl is hand made by a skilled artisan – stylish, unusual and also versatile, it represents everything we stand for.

Before we dive headfirst into the next 20 years, here’s a little look at some of my favourite moments from the journey so far!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Photo Collage

The perfect gift for Mother’s Day and beyond…

Jenny Blanc Blog - A Claude Monet Quote

Jenny Blanc Blog - Orchid Arrangement on Wrought Iron Console

Above: A classic white orchid arrangement on top of a bespoke wrought iron console table designed by Jenny Blanc.

Finding the perfect gift for Mother’s Day couldn’t be simpler – either call our Barbados showroom on +1 (246) 432 0989, email showroombarbados@jennyblanc.com or pop in to see us and let us help you choose the perfect floral arrangement.

Jenny Blanc, Frangipani, Sunset Crest, Holetown, St. James, Barbados.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Selection of Flower Arrangements

Real orchids are timelessly elegant, unquestionably beautiful and unfortunately, very tricky to look after! Much better to choose a deceptively lifelike, faux version instead. Our hand assembled orchids and other flowers are the absolute pick of the bunch – we know because we have sourced them from around the world, especially for our Barbados showroom in St. James.

As part of our 20th Anniversary celebrations we’re currently offering 20% off the marked price of everything in our London and Barbados showrooms – including the fabulous floral arrangements pictured above! We also have a fantastic selection of Mother’s Day cards and other gifts, all at 20% off for a limited time only. It’s our gift to you and the perfect excuse to spoil your Mum this Mother’s Day.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Orchid Arrangement

For those with homes on the island, a beautiful floral arrangement can really breathe life into a room. Our larger plants look perfect on console tables, coffee tables and even outside on terraces (where they can stand up to the strongest island breezes!). Smaller plants are perfect for adding a dash of colour to a quiet corner or smaller room. Our Phalaenopsis orchid centrepiece is very popular at our Barbados showroom – just add twinkling candles to set the mood for a fabulous dinner party! Best of all, the orchids can be easily removed from their containers making them incredibly versatile.

The print featured above is ‘Maringa Tropical’ by Kai. All prices are in Barbados dollars.

A Unique Wedding List Service by Jenny Blanc!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Wedding Gifts

Compiling a wedding list is without a doubt one of the most exciting times in any couples life. Making plans for the future and visualising your life together in the run up to the big day should fill you both with a wonderful sense of anticipation for all that is to come. At Jenny Blanc we pride ourselves on our tailor-made Wedding List Service, designed to help you enjoy making your selection, simplify the present buying process for your guests and use our interior design expertise to select beautiful gifts for your home.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Picture Frame

Both the UK and Barbados showrooms are the perfect environment to relax with a glass of bubbles while we get to know you and your lifestyle before the process of selecting presents begins! We offer a wonderful selection of unique pieces at every price level, hand-picked from around the world.  In addition, we can of course supply essentials like china, glass and cutlery of your choice.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Glass Candle Holder with CandleWe also supply gift vouchers, split purchasing between two or three guests and finally, all presents will arrive beautifully wrapped and labelled at a time to suit you.

For more information or to book an appointment, please call Chrissie Marshall at our UK showroom on +44 (0)20 8943 4440/4144 or Emma Blanc at the Barbados showroom on + 1 (246) 432 0989 alternatively email us at connect@jennyblanc.com.

From the Caribbean to Surrey – A Jenny Blanc Pool Party!

Jenny Blanc Blog - Sunset Looking Through Glass

Above: Grab a glass and read all about Jenny’s essential ingredients for the perfect pool!

With the days getting longer and brighter thoughts naturally turn towards summer and the chance to entertain by the poolside once more. Just like any room in the house, a pool comes with its own set of considerations. A well designed pool goes far beyond sunbathing and swimming – each poolside that I design always includes a BBQ area when possible and a bar for serving drinks day or night as well as comfortable seating areas for relaxed lounging. If outdoors, gazeebos for show stopping pool side dinner parties are absolutely essential! Whether the property is in the UK or the tropics, furniture must be practical as well as beautiful. For houses in the Caribbean, all materials must be suitable for a tropic marine environment as the salty air will rust anything less, not to mention the scorching heat, humidity, heavy rainfall and strong winds! Our Jenny Blanc hurricane lanterns were designed with these conditions in mind and are made from marine grade stainless steel making them well suited to the tropics! Those in the UK often want indoor pools that can be used all year round yet still retain the feeling of poolside living that is enjoyed in warmer climates. Our challenge here is to create a space that is a warm and luxurious cocoon, away from the wind and rain that may be raging outside! Today I’m very excited to share my designs for three very different poolside areas which I hope will provide some ideas and inspiration!

 

A traditional plantation style house for a busy, happy Family in Barbados

Jenny Blanc Blog - Perfect Outdoor Entertaining with Several Areas

Above: The pool area at this grand plantation style house.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Outdoor Wooden Dining Table and Coral Stone Console Designed by Jenny Blanc

Above: A covered outdoor dining gazeebo is the perfect place to host poolside dinner parties. The wooden dining table and coral stone console table are designed and made exclusively by Jenny Blanc and can be supplied in a range of sizes and finishes to suit your requirements. To the right are two sun loungers by Kettal.

This grand plantation style house is owned by a large, bustling family and required plenty of areas for outdoor entertaining in this more traditional poolside environment. In addition to several outdoor dining areas we used chose sun loungers by Kettal to create areas for comfortable relaxation. The powdered wrought iron frames echo the use of this traditional material throughout the rest of the property and along with natural stone and brick floor coverings, suit the style of this traditional house perfectly. Ambient lighting throughout the pool area creates the perfect romantic poolside environment at night for relaxing, dining and entertaining!

 

A luxurious indoor pool at a private residence in Surrey

Jenny Blanc Blog - Illuminated Wall of Pebbles Set in Resin Creating Waterfall Effect

Above: A wall of illuminated smooth, white pebbles set into resin creates a waterfall effect in the seating area at this luxurious indoor pool in Surrey, England.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Illuminated Glass Art Set into Niches Along the Pool

Above: The view towards the Jacuzzi with illuminated glass art set into niches along the pool.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Poolside Loungers with Steps Featuring White Pebbles and Shell Shaped Wall Lights

Above clockwise from left to right: Poolside loungers by Cane-Line, steps featuring natural white pebbles inlaid in resin  lead the way to the pool and spa, shell shaped wall lamps by Porta Romana.

Here we created the perfect indoor pool as part of a complete renovation project. Our client wanted it to feel like a luxurious spa but also retain the sense of water and light that outdoor pools in warmer climates benefit from. An indoor pool environment is very different to the outdoor way of life in the Caribbean – here we used coloured ambient lighting to create atmosphere at night alongside large French windows which can be opened to allow plenty of fresh air and natural light in during the day. We designed bespoke decorative glass panels set into niches along the far wall which were illuminated for maximum effect. Porta Romana shell wall lamps add a classic touch to an otherwise contemporary pool area. Furniture by Cane-Line complements the contemporary feel – the clean lines have a feeling of elegance and the padded cushions ensure comfort. The palette of neutral creams and soft aqua looks bright and fresh in natural light and under the atmospheric glow of the coloured pool lighting, helping to retain that waterside feeling.

 

A fabulous holiday home decorated in traditional Caribbean style

Jenny Blanc Blog - Inviting Pool with Sweeping View Down to the Sea

Above: A sweeping view from Polo Ridge on the West Coast of Barbados down to the sea makes the pool look wonderfully inviting at this traditional property.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Clam Shell with Teak Sun Loungers

Above: ‘An umbrella by Tuuci, teak sun loungers by Triconfort and a Jenny Blanc clam shell complete with pink beach towels.

The image above from one of our more traditional properties shows the Jenny Blanc clam shell in action once more! As we design so many pools in the Caribbean it seemed a natural step to develop our own range of towels. Available in turquoise, orange and lime green from both our Barbados and UK showrooms, the Jenny Blanc beach or pool towels are wonderfully and the bright, fresh colours can really help transform the look of an outdoor space. My clients often choose a signature colour – like the pink towels pictured above which look stunning against the lush green foliage of the garden.

Jenny Blanc Blog - Jenny Blanc Picture

Jenny Blanc

I hope you have enjoyed today’s delicious dose of poolside inspiration. If you’re thinking of refreshing your pool area but are not ready to embark on a full renovation project our Just Rooms service will be able to help you choose the perfect furniture and accessories. For more information please call Caribbean Director Emma Blanc at our Barbados showroom on (246) 432 0989 or UK showroom on 020 8943 4440.