The Beautiful Geometry of The Aridi Series by Parable Designs

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The Aridi Series is an exquisite collection of candles made by British brand Parable Designs. You will remember this lovely company from my previous post a few weeks ago, in which I introduced you to them and showed you their range of stunning handmade candles in closer detail. And of course, you know that Parable candles are available in my online shop at Pomegranate.

Parable produce a couple of different collections of candles. The Wallpaper Collection is full of wonderful designs and patterns taken from their extensive range of vintage wallpaper rollers. And then there’s The Aridi Series, which is a collaboration with world-famous Lebanese-American designer and master calligrapher Marwan Aridi.

Marwan Aridi’s work includes tapestries, tableware, artwork and of course candles. His pieces can be found in various projects around the world and his designs feature incredibly intricate geometric patterns, ornate floral designs and complex calligraphy.

Coupled with Parable Designs’s extensive research into precision engineering and clever casting techniques for their candles, a collaboration seemed perfect, and The Aridi Series was born.

When I first saw the candles from The Aridi Series, I was amazed and totally mesmerized by the sheer intricacy of the designs and by the wonderful level of finish. These are not just candles – they are jewellery for the home. You’ll see what I mean…

THE ARIDI SERIES PATTERNS

Most of the Aridi collection is currently available in nine different, beautifully geometric or flowing patterns and in four colours & four fragrances. I’ve grouped them by colour for you here so you can easily see how the patterns look in each of them. 

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Left: Oasis with its delicate floral pattern reminiscent of Persian or Turkish designs. Top Right: Orient with its traditional Middle-Eastern star design. Bottom Right: Mirage with a more contemporary wavy pattern. All shown in the hand-painted white gold finish, which has a beautiful, mellow soft sheen.

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Right: Citadel with a beautiful stylised floral motif (maybe a modern acanthus leaf?). Top left: Inscription with an incredibly intricate pattern and medallion. Bottom left: Bazaar with a bold and fluid stylised floral motif. All shown here in the hand-painted bronze finish for a slightly more opulent look.

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Left: Paradise with a gorgeous Arabesque ornate design. Top right: Labyrith because well, it’s a very cool-looking maze!. Bottom right: Coral has a lovely interlocking design. All shown here in the copper hand-painted finish, with a more striking and stronger contrast.

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Clockwise: Coral, Inscription and Citadel are also available in a plain cream finish. I think you definitely lose some of the glamour and beauty of the candles in this more plain finish, but it could be perfect for a minimalist space.

THE ARIDI SERIES FRAGRANCES

The Aridi collection comes in a range of four unique and exclusive fragrances (well, actually it’s three fragrances, but you’ll see in a sec…). They are:

Indian Temple: An oriental amber perfume with jasmine and vetivert, cinnamon, patchouli, vanilla and frankincence. Perfect if you like a rich, heady, eastern scent.

Leather & Oak: A rich, woody, masculine fragrance with tones of leather, saffron and oakwood. Great for a space like a library or a more masculine area.

White Spice: Clove and cinnamon with jasmine and lily notes & a little ylang. A rich scent that makes you think of Christmas…

Unscented: The fourth ‘fragrance’ is actually an unscented one. You’re able to order your gorgeous Aridi Series (or any Parable candle actually) without a fragrance at all.  I think this is such a great option because, after all, not everyone likes a scented candle right? Perfect for a gift if you’re not sure what scent to choose and equally perfect if you want to light your candle at table or use it for a restaurant project. 

SOME PRACTICAL DETAILS

You might be wondering about some practical facts, like what the candles are made from, their burn time and how they are packaged, so I thought I’d include some of these details here as well (although of course you can find all the info you need in the shop!)

The candles are made from a natural creamy rapeseed wax and have a burn time of between 40-50 hours. At just 8.25 cms in diameter and 9.5 cms in height, they have a lovely scale and they’re a great size for putting at table over dinner. And, considering the amount of work involved in making and finishing these little jewels, their price is quite sensible at £30.

Oh and they come in a smart branded box, with detailed fragrance, care and safety info.

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The Aridi Series Candle Packaging.

OTHER ARIDI SERIES CANDLES

In addition to the ‘standard’ range I’ve just shown you, the Aridi Series also includes another pattern which is available in a larger size (and at a higher price as you can imagine!). I wanted to include it here though because it is absolutely stunning. It’s called Arabesque and it looks like this:

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Arabesque is available in several colours, but here it is in a Charcoal with White Gold finish (left) and in Fresh Linen with Graphite finish (right). Can you believe this is a candle?!

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Here is Arabesque as it starts to burn down. The lower the wick goes, the more stunning the candle becomes – the light dances through the pattern and brings it to life. Parable candles are beautiful whether they are lit or not…

I think you’ll agree that it was a pretty good idea for Marwan Aridi and Parable Designs to have collaborated together on this lovely collection right?! Feel free to visit my shop to see the range in full.

’till next time…

Image Credits: All photos by Parable Designs

Presenting the New 2016 Zenza Pendant Lights

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Today, we’re taking a look at some of the latest Zenza pendant lights launched earlier this year. Zenza is one of our most popular and successful brands at Pomegranate and I simply love their wonderful contemporary interpretation of what is otherwise a relatively traditional skill.

As you probably know by now, everything I choose to present at Pomegranate is handmade by skilled artisans and craftsmen. I love traditional skills and crafts being cleverly re-interpreted for a more modern consumer and interior and I really enjoy getting to know my suppliers and finding out the stories behind their brands.

I know you really like the range of Zenza pendant lights and you can read their story in this post I wrote a while ago. Theirs is a nice (and rather romantic!) story. But for today’s post, let’s focus on some of their newest pendant lights. I’m curious to know what you think!

THE GRACE PENDANT LIGHT

The Grace pendant light has a really elegant and graceful shape (it’s in the name right!), with its elongated silhouette, bulbous waist and long tassle. I think it would look amazing hung in a pair, at varying heights and quite low over a side table or console or in a long cluster down the length of a stairwell.

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Doesn’t this arrangement look like it belongs in a scene from Aladdin?? I’m not saying this would work for most of us, but it’s quite a magical display of the Grace pendant light!

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This is the Grace Moorish pendant light, with an ornate lattice design that throws amazing shadows on its surrounding walls and ceiling. In case you’re thinking it looks quite large, it’s actually available in four sizes – small, medium, large and extra large. This is the large.

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Grace is also available with a simpler, less dramatic pattern called Sky, which is basically a series of little holes punched through the metal. This creates a more uniform, less patterned effect, but I think it’s incredibly elegant and lovely for a more modern space.

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Here you can see Grace Moorish and Sky in a couple of different sizes, hung quite low over this heavily cushioned seating area.

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Grace Moorish in two sizes, hung quite low over a little seating corner. Look at the patterns created on the walls!

THE DOME PENDANT LIGHT

Reminiscent of a classic cloche or bell shape, the Dome is quite different from most of the other Zenza pendant lights. It’s simple and modern and, although I must admit it’s not a personal favourite, I can see it being used quite successfully in a commercial environment, like a bar or restaurant. 

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The Dome is also available with two designs. This is the Sky with the more regular pattern…

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And this is the Moorish, with the more ornate and elaborate pattern.

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The Dome looks nice in a little cluster like this as well. It is available in three sizes as you can see here; small, medium and large.

THE BUDDAH PENDANT LIGHT

The Buddah is a lovely pendant light with a gorgeous rounded shape and bags of character. The pattern here is totally different from those in the rest of the Zenza pendant light range and is quite beautiful. With a definite Asian feel, this light would look amazing over a dining table or hung low over a coffee table. Far East meets Middle East is quite a winning design combo here!

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See what I mean about the pattern? Just look at that effect! The Buddah is available in three sizes; small, medium and large.

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The Buddah hung low over a dining table looks so effective. What do you think of this piece??

THE OVAL PENDANT LIGHT

Ok, so the Oval isn’t technically that new, but I’ve never shown it before so I thought I’d include it here. It’s actually from last year’s collection. I think it’s a nice simple design and, because it’s oval, it would work really well over a long oval or rectangular dining table. 

It’s also interesting as it’s available in the standard silver finish, but also in a black oxide finish which would look amazing in a black and white scheme or a dark interior.

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The Oval is actually quite a classic shape but made a bit unusual by the Moorish pattern. It comes in three sizes; small, large and extra large.

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Here you can see the Oval in the black oxide finish. The design is really lovely and somehow stands out differently with the black finish.

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The Oval in situ, creating lovely patterns on those walls.

What do you think of the new 2016 Zenza pendant lights? Do you have a favourite? I think mine is the Grace with the Buddha coming a close second.

If you’d like more details on any of the new styles from Zenza, then please just get in touch. You can see the models currently available at Pomegranate here, but don’t forget that you can order any lamp you like, even if it’s not shown in the Pomegranate boutique. Just drop me a message and I’ll be happy to help!

’till next time…

All images by Zenza.

Meet Helen Edwards, Florist & Founder of The Velvet Daisy

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Today, I’d like to introduce you to a lovely lady called Helen Edwards and her fantastic florist business, The Velvet Daisy. Don’t you just love that name? I think it’s the sweetest name for a florist!

I first met Helen at a DecorCafe Network event a couple of years ago and was immediately impressed with her passion and enthusiasm for her business as well as by her skill, talent and knowledge. Helen really knows her stuff and is a super talented florist with years of experience under her belt and a flourishing business in both London and Devon.

Meet Helen of The Velvet Daisy

Meet Helen of The Velvet Daisy

Helen set up The Velvet Daisy a few years ago, having worked for one of London’s leading florists for years, and deciding it was time to branch out on her own (not before working on some of the 4,800 bouquets made for the medal winners at the 2012 London Olympics though!).

She has a unique and what I would call abundant and generous style of working with her flowers. Whether it’s a bouquet for a wedding, a table setting for an event or an installation for a project, each of Helen’s arrangements is like an explosion of flowers and foliage, thoughtfully designed and beautifully assembled.

She uses colours deliberately so they either match or contrast, yet always remain balanced and she’s brilliant at playing with texture and scale to add interest and depth to her designs. 

I asked Helen how she came up with the name for her business ‘The Velvet Daisy’ and she explained that it was a combination of her favourite flower – the daisy – and her love of texture, and of velvet in particular. I guess this explains her clever use of texture! Some of her arrangements look kind of velvety as you’ll see in the pictures below, but I assure you everything’s real!

In fact, Helen spends many a (very early!!) morning carefully selecting and buying flowers from her chosen wholesalers at New Covent Garden, as well as from English flower growers in Devon and the South West of England (read this post to see what her early mornings look like at New Covent Garden!).

She chooses seasonal flowers and foliage and creates bespoke designs for her clients, which make the most of what each season has to offer. 

Let’s take a look at some of The Velvet Daisy’s projects and then Helen will share some simple top tips for prolonging the vase life of your cut flowers.

THE VELVET DAISY BOUQUETS

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I love the colours in this bouquet as well as all the different textures used.

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The subtle colours in this bouquet are gorgeous don’t you think? And the little bits of white coming through are sweet and help keep the tone calm and add texture.

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The gorgeous flowers in this bouquet are flirty and romantic with just enough green to add a bit of contrast.

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This super structured bouquet is super vibrant! But the contrast works beautifully!

INSTALLATIONS BY THE VELVET DAISY

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This grand installation over a gorgeous arch is incredibly rich and lush isn’t it?? Do you see what I mean by abundant?! I’m sure the clients who commissioned this were impressed with these results!

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Taking a closer look at the arch installation above…lovely colours

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This rather wild autumnal display over a country fireplace is impressive and would look great with a nice autumn fire going (just make sure none of those long twigs fall in though!)..

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No your eyes are not playing tricks on you and you’re not looking at this upside down! This is a hanging arrangement Helen created for a commercial project. There’s more below :)

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This is what the hanging arrangement looks like – there’s so much movement and life in it!

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A close up of some of the flowers and foliage in the hanging arrangement. It’s a lovely colour scheme.

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I thought this was a rather unusual installation. It’s a little garden around a Birch tree in a large marquee installed for a 50th anniversary mid-summer event. It must have looked superb!

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This wild display is full of movement and character.

This grand arrangement was created by Helen in partnership with an amazing wedding cake designer - that cake is 1.2 metres tall and Helen's design really helps frame it.

This grand arrangement was created by Helen in partnership with an amazing wedding cake designer – that cake is 1.2 metres tall and Helen’s design really helps frame it.

THE VELVET DAISY TABLE ARRANGEMENTS

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This impressive table display was designed by Helen for an event at The Bluebird Cafe in London. I love the colours and richness in these arrangements!

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A delicate, soft and elegant display for a wedding table. I like the clever use of scale in this arrangement.

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Even in this small display using an assortment of vases and pots, Helen is super generous with the flowers and foliage she includes. They may be small, but they are full and rich – and it looks like they have an amazing scent as well…

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What a beautiful arrangement of simple little jam jars and milk bottles! And I do believe there are some daisies in this one too :)

WEDDINGS WITH THE VELVET DAISY

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Weddings are a big part of Helen’s business and I think you’ll agree, she is a great choice! This couple certainly looks happy.

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Helen works closely with her clients to ensure every detail is addressed.

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Beautiful floral gift bags.

I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Helen and getting to know The Velvet Daisy. If you’d like to get in touch with her for any of your projects, then you can reach here. Before I wrap up for today, I did mention some tips earlier, which Helen was kind enough to share with us – and here they are:

HELEN’S 8 TIPS TO PROLONG THE LIFE OF YOUR CUT FLOWERS

1. It may seem obvious, but buy your flowers as fresh as possible, not when the flowers are fully open or the petals are spotted or going brown. The stems need to be firm and able to support the neck of the flower heads with no signs of wilting.

2. Always cut off about 2 – 2.5 cms from the bottom of the stem and at an angle. This applies when you first put your flowers in a vase and whenever you change the water. The stems of the flowers will start forming a seal within a minute, which stops water being absorbed.

3. You can use the flower food supplied, but if you are placing a mixed bunch in a vase you may find the food is suitable for some flowers but not for others. I would always recommend popping 1/2 a chlorine tablet or a splash of bleach in the water to reduce bacterial build up.

4. Always remove any leaves that are likely to be placed below the water line. They rapidly increase bacterial growth and reduce flower freshness.

5. Keep flowers away from direct sunlight.

6. Keep flowers as cool as possible, even taking them into a cool area in the evenings.

7. Try misting your flowers, especially orchids.

8. Remember, most English garden flowers are not likely to have a long ‘shelf life’ so don’t be too disappointed if they don’t last for ages! Enjoy them while they’re fresh! 

Couldn't resist adding this picture :)

Couldn’t resist adding this picture :)

’till next time…

Image Credits: All images by Helen Edwards & The Velvet Daisy, used with permission.