So finally the longest month ever has come to an end. Here in London February is somewhat hard to put a hashtag on. It can be winter for sure like today. But it’s also a month when the first signs of spring pops up. Like what the snowdrops are literally doing right now. So this week I’m going all in on fresh new finds and re-starters with a mindset focusing a head on warmer and brighter days.

1.Pale and dull late winter skin – I’m looking at you. So it was a nice little find, this gel mask from Sanctuary. It promise to bring some well-needed face glow and the formula comes with a “trio of vitamin C super fruits”. For all of us that don’t want long procedures in our daily skin regime this is perfect. Just put a thin layer on dry, clean skin before jumping into the shower. One minute later rinse off.

It’s not gonna turn your face into your best post-holiday one after the first try. But it adds some kind of freshness and after using it on a regular basis for a couple of weeks it has given me some of the most sought after beauty goals right now – GLOW. And with that price tag, it’s a no brainer.

Sanctuary Spa 1 Minute Daily Glow Vitamin C Radiance Face Mask, £9.29, Amazon.

2. I’m right now re-decorating our micro sized study to better suit my work needs. (More on that soon!) And when you have your own new vintage design web store of course some of the favourites stays in the house. So for now this find, a design classic from Swedish high-quality manufacturer Ateljé Lyktan, is not going any way.

It was designed by Anders Pehrson, who is more known for his Bumling lamps. The so called Simris was made for the Olympic Village at the games in München back in 1972.

I was a little bit surprised that they opted for a Swedish brand instead of a German one. But I guess things like that happen from time to time. Like now when Japanese high-street brand Uniqlo, not Swedish H&M, is designing the Swedish Olympic teams clothes for the games in Tokyo 2020.

But back to the lamp. It has a nice padded leather foot and chromed steel stand. It’s big for being a work desk lamp, so it’s quite a statement on a small table in a small room. But I’m keeping everything else quite simple to have more of a clean slate-space when working with different projects.

Recently Ateljé Lyktan re-issued the lamp both, the desk and the floor version. So if you can’t find a vintage one you can go for a new instead. It also comes in white. Just don’t get why they put a red cord on it. But you can probably exchange that.

Simris lamp by Atelje Lyktan, from £294, Scandinavian Design Center.

3. Adding some flowers, branches and plants is always a quick way to bring some spring freshness into the house. And this week I found (via) a lovely new collection of small ceramic vases from Swedish Lindform.

I already have a couple of their designs and one from the new collection would make a great addition. The family-runned company has a sustainable approach and says it’s producers in Portugal and Thailand has good working conditions and ECO-production.

The Spring catalogue has photos styled by Daniella Witte. Over the recent years she has turned into one of Swedens most sought after and influential stylists. No wonder since Daniella is really talented and her style is both contemporary and timeless at the same time.

Lindform vases, from £17 at Trouva. Photos by Daniella Witte

4. Living in London of course comes with some perks. On of the best being the abundance of excellent restaurants and cafées. When it comes to eating out small bistros serving well-made modern food in inspiring, low-key settings are what I appreciate the most.

A little gem that ticks all those boxes is Jolene that opened last year. Situated in Newington Green in northern London it’s a little bit of the beaten track. But it’s sure worth a detour as the famous Rubber Man would put it. It’s the perfect place for a couple of lazy Sunday hours on a grey winter day.

The interiors are minimalist but with a warm, inviting feeling. The walls are painted in chalk colours or just exposing the raw concrete. Add to that simple, wood furniture. The food and the wine list follows that similarly “stripped-back approach.”

Jolene that also has it’s own in-house- bakery makes everything from scratch each day, including milling grains into flours which will be used in breads, pastries and fresh pastas. The daily changing menu will be written on the bakery’s blackboard.

The duo behind Jolene, restaurateur Jeremie Cometto-Lingenheim and chef David Gingell said in a statement when opening:

“We have decided to open a bakery restaurant that revolves around and relies on the grains rather than it just being another ingredient.”

What more can a serious bread lover like me wish for? Not much.

Jolene, 21 Newington Green, London, N16 9PU. 

5. I’ve been on a hunt for a pair of loose, mannish, slouchy fitting camel or dark beige coloured trousers for so long I cant even remember for just how long. This week though I spotted what could be THE ONE’s .

They’re from Jil Sander, the now classic minimalist brand. I remember back in the 90s when their factory store was a mandatory stop on every summer road trip we did from Sweden via autobahn in Germany to southern Europe. The store outside Ellerau, in North Germany was a fashionist dream come true. This was before big, fancy outlet villages became big business in Europe.

This was the real stuff. A store in a warehouse at a factory in the outskirts of a small town. If visiting on a weekday you could see women sitting by the sew machines in the factory.

Fast forward two decades later, Jil Sander is long gone from her brand. But the brand has gotten a fresh restart with Lucie and Luke Meier, the husband-and-wife creative duo. And their collections are making waves.

There’s only one problem: You need a BIG budget to get access to their take on minimalist luxury. So right now I have not decided if this will be a major investment or remain just a dream.

But sometimes dreams do come through. Like they did in Ellerau twenty years ago.

To be continued.

Tailored straight leg pants by Jil Sander, £595 at LN-CC.

Enjoy your weekend!

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