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Q&A with Blogger and Stylist Lou Archell

We’ve partnered with design blogger and interiors stylist, Lou Archell from the blog, Little Green Shed to introduce the Modern Rustic trend.

Here we ask Lou about the trend, her home and inspirations.

1.What does Modern Rustic mean to you, and what do you love about it?

Modern Rustic is a pared-back look where natural woods mix with textured linens, chalky handmade ceramics and tarnished metals. It is a look that pairs old with new, rough with smooth and natural and the man made.What I love about it is the combination of utility and beauty. Function and form. Soulful interiors which have developed over time. As the Japanese love to call it ‘Wabi Sabi’ – the love of the imperfect, the raw, the natural. The Denby Studio Craft range fits in perfectly with this aesthetic, with its warm tones and textured glazes.


2.What advice would pass on for styling the trend for those without much space or budget?

Start small and pick out a few key pieces. Modern Rustic isn’t about expensive items from high end shops, it’s about embracing a natural, crafted way of life. Mix up your bowls or cutlery with some chosen pieces. Scour car boots for old silver cutlery and linen table cloths but also get inventive with what you have.I think it’s all about a considered home. Choosing to fill your home with items that you love, that have a history or are designed to enhance the way you live. Buying something once, buying it well doesn’t mean expensive. Make a considered decision on whether this item will go with what you already have. A neutral tableware collection like Natural Canvas from Denby will complement other tableware pieces and work alongside foraged finds or vintage pieces for the table. In a world of consumerism I think it’s an important decision to make. Items that have been handcrafted are honest, have a natural quality to them – and in turn that is wholly authentic.


3.How do you style Modern Rustic in your own home?

In nearly every room in the house there is something that has been handmade or is taken from nature. I am a big fan of white, and all of our rooms are painted in an off white shade. White works with everything, especially wood and natural tones. Our lounge has layers of sheepskin and wood, with hand dyed indigo cushions, old glass bottles from France, a collection of shells from beaches around the world, beautiful ceramics, a vase with dried seed pods. These items are all on the white, earthy and blue colour spectrum, where each item compliments the other, with no jarring colour pops. I’ve become a bit of a colour phobe!I have a bit of a ceramics addiction. Collecting the odd plate from here and there. I love to mix it up, never using the same bowls or plates when laying the table. I love how the Studio Craft range has four different colour glazes, so this idea is made easy. When laying the table I love to use natural linen napkins or even tea towels, if they are pretty enough, then why not!

4.What is your favourite piece from Denby’s collections?

Gosh this is so hard to choose, but I think it has to be the Studio Craft nesting bowls. Four shallow bowls of different sizes, each showcasing the beautiful colours and glazes. Perfect for styling and for serving – dual purpose, a must for the stylist in me. And the fact that they nest inside each other is great as I am always running out of space in my kitchen cupboards.


5. Where / who do you get your design inspiration from?

From all over the world! I am a keen traveller and have been inspired by markets, homes and hotels from my holidays. I’m also an Instagram addict and I love to see how people live their lives across the world. From the cool Scandinavian countries to North African deserts and in between. I’m a bit of a nomad, interiors addict and photography enthusiast, so all of these things really inspire me in my work and home life.

Also see our Modern Rustic film introducing the Studio Craft collection here.

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