Lifestyle Edinburgh pop-up is an interiors brand that totally revolutionised the industry, working with talented furniture designers to create weekly collections of small-batch, limited edition products made sustainably to order. Design lovers like me, but with a tighter budget, rejoiced when finally released their new home accessories range, which includes the gorgeous vases, candles, crockery and cutlery in this picture. Also, Edinburgh folks rejoiced when announced a new pop up shop in Scotland’s capital, Made x Unboxed, which is running from now until the 5th February 2017, Open every day at 17 Dundas Street, a short walk from the Princes Street. 

I was lucky enough to attend a press dinner the night before the pop-up shop launched, where delicious food by Edinburgh foodie masters Dram & Smoke was served. We found out all about the concept, and chatted about great, affordable, accessible design over Hot Toddies and Haggis Bon Bons! Thank you for a fantastic event.
The main part of the pop-up shop is decorated like a living/dining room, with cosy armchairs, wall art and beautiful lamps, and through the back there’s a beautiful, luxurious bedroom. have totally transformed the space (which was previously Makers and Friends) into a stunning showroom; definitely worth popping along this month to browse!
This was my fab veggie menu on the night, served on beautiful teal dishes, modern glassware and gold cutlery. Vegetarian haggis bon bon on chestnut puree, crispy poached egg on pearl barley risotto, and Scottish cranachan/pannacota. Totally delicious!
All photos by Simon Williams
More information about the Edinburgh pop-up shop:

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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Mark Vice: Metamorphosis

Scottish artist Mark Vice is embarking on an innovative project that will allow 25 participants to turn a year of their life into a work of art.  To celebrate the launch of his ‘Metamorphosis’ collection, Mark has hand painted 25 diaries that are to be used by art-loving participants throughout the year. Once completed, the diaries will be exhibited alongside his other artwork at an exhibition in early 2018. The diaries, which feature a mix of butterfly and dragonfly paintings, represent the process of change and transformation, otherwise known as metamorphosis.

The 23-year-old visual artist said: “I’ve been planning this project for some time and I’m super excited to finally get it off the ground!”

“I’ve always wanted to involve others in my artistic process but I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to do so. It seems that 2016 was a rough year for many people, so this feels like the perfect time to do a project that is all about transformation and moving on.”

Mark went on to talk about his hopes for the project and why he thinks it’s important to look to nature for inspiration. 

He said, “I think this project is for people who really love art – essentially you are completing the artwork by filling in the missing details. I hope that it helps others to think more about their lives and I would love if the project was to inspire some positive changes in 2017.”

“The beauty of exploring nature through artwork is that it can teach us so much about ourselves – just like the caterpillar we are all capable of turning our lives around and making our world a more colourful and happy place. I’m really hopeful that the world can pull itself together in 2017 and move forward – it’s time to put these beautiful new wings to good use!”

Diaries are extremely limited and will be available until 1st February 2017. If you are interested in participating visit Mark’s website for full details:

A new contender on the British Pop Art scene, Mark Vice is a Scottish portrait artist with an eye for all things bold, sexy and downright fabulous! A fascination with pop culture inspires his vibrant drip art and splatter art portraits, which explore the themes of celebrity, commercialism and sex. Described as a cross between Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, Mark’s intuitive and expressive painting style is immediately recognisable across each of his eclectic painting series. As a contemporary Scottish portrait painter Mark combines his interests in fashion, celebrity culture and Scottish iconography to create artwork that is fresh, unique and outspoken. Whether it is an enchanting female nude or a Karl Lagerfeld painting from his celebrity pop art series, Mark’s work is never shy of daring. 

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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A Swedish Christmas: Top 10 Things to do in Stockholm

Yesterday I returned home for Christmas after a week away in Stockholm, and I thought its definitely worth a blog post, as it was truly one of my favourite ever travel experiences, and certainly the most chic and design-fuelled. Jack and I hopped over to Sweden via Amsterdam to visit his sister and explore a new city, with a proper white Christmas! Read on to find out my Top Ten things to do in Stockholm.

1. Have a Hygge time

On the plane I read The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking, and was totally engrossed in this newly fashionable but long-worshipped Scandinavian tradition of Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga). Its all about living in the moment, sharing special memories with loved ones, lighting candles and getting cosy by the fire after a day out in the cold.

2. Feast on Fica

Now this is my favourite Swedish pastime- fica means to take coffee and cake (usually a cinnamon or cardamon bun, or saffron bun at Christmas) at regular breaks throughout the day, even in the office at work! Every little cafe in the city serves fresh buns and super-strong coffee, its practically a necessity.

3. Explore the Nature

Whats really fab about Stockholm is that breathtaking natural landscapes are just minutes away from the bustling city. We visited a gorgeous nature reserve with a solid frozen lake, and a world heritage site cemetery full of the tallest trees I’ve ever seen. Plus, huge expanses of water are only ever round the corner, as the city actually consists of several little islands connected by beautiful bridges.

4. Use Public Transport

A seemingly boring one, but for around £30 you get a weeks worth of seamless bus, train, subway and tram travel loaded onto an easy access card, and that’ll take you to every corner of Stockholm. The added bonus is, each metro station has some kind of art installation to keep commuters entertained, its a really nice touch.

5. Enjoy the Architecture

Some recommendations for you if you’re an architecture nerd like me: The city hall and the royal palace; simply stunning and totally instagram-ready. Many of the buildings are super-sleek and modern, while in contrast residential homes are adorable like little dolls houses, and in the old town Gamla Stan, its like going back in a time machine!

6. Indulge in Minimalist Design

Wearing my fluffy leopard print coat the whole wee with my bright blue hair, I totally stood out amongst the immaculately well-dressed minimalist locals. Check out the chic street style in SoFo and shop at Weekday, Monki and Acne.
7. Play in the Snow

Nuff said! Bring out your inner child 🙂
8. Learn the Language

I’ve become totally obsessed with the free mobile app Duolingo, which is a great resource for beginners wanting to learn any language. Swedish is pretty hard to pick up on but if you learn the basics everything starts to make sense! I like that ‘tack’ is both please and thank you!

9. Visit the Museums

If I’d had more time I would have visited all of the wonderful museums in Stockholm, clearly a design-led city, but only had time for two. I would definitely recommend ArkDes at the Modern Museet, with reliant exhibitions about architecture and contemporary design, and The Swedish History Museum, which is totally mind-blowing; I learnt so much that I didn’t know about the past of this really fascinating nation.

10. Make a Gingerbread house

Speaking of the modern museum, while we were there a gingerbread house, or ‘Pepparkakshus’ making competition took place, with insane creations made from all things edible. Totally inspired me to get home and get baking, although I know my attempts would never match up to these wonders! If you have any good recipes/instructions for gingerbread houses, do let me know in the comments! Have a wonderful Christmas!
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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Interiors Wishlist

Jack and I have started flat hunting for next summer and its got me all excited about interiors. I was never so bothered by homewares until I got my own place this year and now I just love looking for new decor inspiration, whether on Instagram and Pinterest or window shopping around Edinburgh. A couple of my favourite shops for homeware are Oliver Bonas and Lifestory; read on to see my wish lists for each room in the home. My inspirations? Geometry, marble, pastels, distressed wood and metallics.



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Ultimate Edinburgh Christmas Shopping Guide

Welcome to my ultimate guide to Christmas Shopping in Edinburgh, from independent retailers! Theres been a quote floating around the web lately that I adore:“When you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance!” I’m so passionate about shopping local that I’ve attempted to get most of my Christmas shopping done from independent brands this year, and I think you should too. Many people, including myself in previous years, just stick to Princes Street and the likes, but don’t consider the small fries, that often depend on the festive period to tide them over for the slower spring.  Not only are you contributing to a more circular economy and closed loop, but your gifts will be more individual, special and unique too! 

For clothing and accessories, there is a plethora of indie shops popping up around Edinburgh. If it’s a gal pal you’re buying for, I recommend Ladyboss Collective, an eclectic little nail salon that also stocks designs from emerging Scottish fashion brands like Yellow Bubble and Dreamland, as well as cool cosmetics and gifts. 

One of my regular shopping stops is Godiva Boutique, and at the moment they have a fabulous selection of products from independent designers (and vintage gems) that are perfect for Christmas, like gorgeous Karen Mabon scarves and hand-knitted mittens for big kids and little kids by Eka.

If art and other goodies are more your thing, definitely check out Flamingosaurus Rex, a quirky gallery, studio and store stocking local design-led products, and The Scottish Design Exchange for over 120 Scotland-based artists and makers across fashion, fine art, interiors, product design, jewellery, books and music. 

Got a Secret Santa you don’t know too well? I find that  chocolate is always a good go-to. This year, avoid the big confectionary brands and head to artisan chocolatier Coco for ethically produced, fair-trade, organic chocolate treats. The Chocolate Tree is another great little shop producing authentically delicious handmade chocolates .
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More of an online shopping kinda elf? I don’t blame you, what with the huge Christmas crowds in the city this month. There are tonnes of independent Scottish online stores too that have a great selection of gifts! For guys, head to Ryan James Studio, a beautifully curated collection of contemporary menswear, or Catherine Aitken, who creates quality gent’s accessories from bags to scarves. 

For girls, my ultimate fave is Little Lies, a mecca of boho fashion and rock n roll chic, also stocking a huge range of adorable homewares and gifts. I’m also loving the new collection from Nu Blvck designed by Hannah Louise Baxter, which is now available on their website 

So, what are you waiting for? #ShopLocal this Christmas!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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