Pick of the week #13

Ok, so this is going to be quite a short one today, because it is way too nice and sunny outside to be indoors typing away for hours! If you’re in the UK, I hope you are all enjoying this lovely weather, and if you’re further afield, I hope it’s nice where you are too!

So, this week’s pick of the week, widely, is the shop Oka, but more specifically, a lovely coffee table from them, amazingly called ‘Pompidou’;

Image result for oka pompidou coffee table

Pompidou coffee table, comes in two sizes, from £495.

I saw this coffee table in a rather lovely townhouse in Cardiff Bay, that I was lucky enough to visit for work. The homeowner had styled her living room fairly similarly to the room set from Oka’s website, above, but it was so easy, comfortable and homely, I didn’t mind! I was only there to measure up for some window dressings, but I could have quite easily felt right at home there!

On a broader note, if you’re not aware of Oka, you should be – especially if you like statement pieces, eye-catching lamps and gorgeous soft furnishings. Although Oka is a British company, with stores across the UK, I think they have quite a European aesthetic, with a touch of the exotic, which I love.

Here are some lovely ‘inspiration’ shots from their website…

Definitely a touch of Indian inspiration here.

In love with all of this ikat!

Beach setting, bleached tones, pop of yellow. I’m in heaven!

I hope you like all of this as much as I do? Have a lovely Sunday everyone!

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Fancy a drink?

It’s Friday, hooray! It is supposed to be hot hot hot this weekend, and with BBQ’s and cocktails in mind for tomorrow evening (I am at work tomorrow morning, boo!) its got me thinking about the current trend for drinks trolleys (isn’t it weird it’s not spelt ‘trollies’?! I did check – multiple sources – so now even ‘trolley’ doesn’t look like a real word anymore)…

Anyway, bar carts, drinks trolleys, hostess trolleys…whatever you call them, they are a big deal at the moment, and have been for a while.

As with most things, I like to think that I started the craze, and somehow a trendsetter of the highest degree saw me wheeling my charity shop find home through the streets of Cardiff a little over 3 years ago and thought, “Hey, I like her style” and so it all began…

In a more realistic world, even 3 years ago they were popping up from home magazines and into my subconscious without me even realising it.

What’s quite sad to admit is that my “It’s only a fiver, I’ll do it up when I have a minute and it’ll be awesome” purchase, probably started life as a tea-trolley (back in the day when that was a thing) and although extremely useful and sagging under the burden of our booze stock (and various other DIY essentials – WD40 anyone?!), it is still in its sad and sorry state that I bought it in. I’m just not sure what to do with it…

Apologies for the less than great images, this is quite a shady corner of the dining room…

As you can – kind of – see, it’s wooden and stained a nasty dark mahogany type colour which is the first problem, because a lot of my favourite designs are metal (remember my post on Brass having a comeback?!), so I’m not sure whether to spray paint it a metallic or crazy colour gloss to go all out glam-gin-palace. Or, maybe I should painstakingly sand it back to the nice-ish light wood underneath the stain and keep it quite boho-rustic looking. Maybe I should tile the tops of the shelves to inject some pattern and interest… I don’t know, so I just haven’t, basically.

I have, however, got myself a few booze related pictures which are on the wall above, to fully make use of the whole alcove as ‘the bar area’ but at the moment, it is them, not the cart which draws your eye…

The yellow one will make it onto the wall, as soon as I can locate the picture hanging strips I know I have somewhere…

Suggestions for what I should do are more than welcome, but for now, here’s some inspiration for us all…

 

Vertical bar carts

Photo cred – Ideal Home UK

This is another level of bar area all together – imagine dedicating a whole wall to your favourite tipple?! Unsurprisingly, I love this Mid-Century colour combo of blue, yellow and brass!

Image result for bennett lerner interiors bar carts

Photo cred – Erika Bierman Photography for Bennett Lerner Interiors

This trolley is actually made of a faux-malachite and the whole thing just glistens, looking like precious stone. I really like it against the white walls and how it highlights the turquoise in the painting above.

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Photo cred – Pinterest

There are quite a few rattan offerings around, and this one is full on tropical tiki bar style! I love it, just screams for Pina Coladas and drinks with umbrellas in!

Image result for julie ranee house bar cart

Photo cred – Julie Ranee

I really like how dainty this one looks, when combined with the chunky wood furniture; the bright colour makes it stand out even in quite a big room with a lot of other stuff going on.

Image result for derek shapton toronto life magazine

Photo cred – Derek Shapton

It’s strange how refreshing it feels to see some silver! I like the slightly more edgy, industrial feel about this one.

And if you’re in the market for one for yourself, here are my favourites around…

Mid Century Bar Cart, £349.00, West Elm

As a company, West Elm can do no wrong in my eyes. Such a fresh combination of modern and Mid Century styling make their pieces so timeless. This one is lovely, and maybe something like what I could achieve if I fixed mine up to have a nicer walnut stain and some polished brass fittings…

Luxe Round Bamboo Drinks Trolley

Gold Luxe Round Bamboo Drinks Trolley, £395, Oliver Bonas

Check this out!! This one would bring some serious wow-factor to your space, and I love it here paired with the pale walls and floors, it looks very elegant and feminine.

Image result for swoon edition sully bar cart

Sully bar trolley, £229, Swoon Editions

I know this picture isn’t entirely inspiring, but I really like this little guy. A bit of an industrial edge which I like, and the rails around the edges will stop anything falling off if you’re a bit too enthusiastic with your wheeling! I imagine it in a simple, Scandi (dare I say ‘Hugge’) monochrome scheme.

So there you have it, a round up of a trend which has been going for at least 4 years so far, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down or going anywhere. If you’re not wanting to spend too much on one, I’d suggest doing what I did and checking out charity shops and car boot sales… and then doing what I haven’t yet – a bit of up-cycling!

 

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The Garden – Part 2

I know you guys will have been itching to hear how work in the garden has progressed, considering Part 1 was posted a whole 3 months ago! To re-cap, we’d gone from a fairly open plan rubbish tip of a garden, to a larger, and flatter, field of mud during the first summer of living here;

 

When we moved in / Once we’d discovered the extent of the garden / End of Part 1

So, fun times up until then. We did lots of digging, lots of burning of stuff and lots of fencing!

In terms of where we’ve gone from here, it is miles better, but still not complete. Both of us loved the idea of pretty garden full of flowers, but in reality, we can’t seem to keep much alive…

Plants can be so pricey, and to fill a border is way out of budget at the moment, and definitely considered as ‘non essential’ in Husband’s book. Considering we know so little, and the combination we have of not a lot of sun and quite a clay type soil, the last thing we want to do is to spend hundreds on stuff that looks great for a week, then just peters out when it realises it doesn’t like where its been stuck.

So, instead, we have concentrated more on the landscaping side of things, so if we want to add more flora, we can, or when we move, the new owners don’t have to worry about the major stuff – they can just prettify the space to their liking. Last Summer, we got things where we wanted them.

We knew we wanted a patio at the end of the garden; as we’re East facing, this is where it’s sunniest for longest – on a good Summer day, we have sun on the patio until about 6pm which is lovely.

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Burning my shins in some after-work sunshine a couple of weeks ago!…

I also wanted to keep things fairly simple and geometric, to fit with the aesthetic inside the house, but also because it’s not a huge space and we didn’t want to complicate things. We built a small wall out of wooden sleepers to divide the lawn area from the patio, and to create a visual break. I painted the side fences a light grey, and the bottom fence a mid Greek style blue, so it feels like an extension from our interior, which is mostly blues and greys through the kitchen and utility room. It makes the garden feel even longer, but wider too. I had also thought that a pretty climbing plant like a clematis or honeysuckle would look great up against a blue fence, but we’ve not got quite there yet… In the meantime, the contrast between the blue fence and the bright green of the railway bank behind is seriously stunning on a sunny day, and a bit later on in the year big swathes of little yellow flowers blossom all over the bank which is even more gorgeous. Apparently it’s a weed, but whatever!

With that decided, we concentrated on the main dirty work – the side return and patio slabbing.

We chose Cotswold Stone style slabs from B&Q, mostly because they were a lot cheaper than anything else we could find, and we weren’t too picky by this point! We bought them in packs which included a variety of big and small rectangles, and medium size squares. It was quite a pain to lay the slabs – we had the 4x4m patio at the bottom of the garden, the side return and round the back of the utility to slab, which in total was about 26 sq m. Here’s why;

Around the side return, we’d had the builders lay a foundation of hardcore – a compressed layer of rubble – when they came to finish off the damp treatment, after our mammoth digging efforts – see “DAMP is a 4 letter word” if you don’t know what I’m talking about! So they’d done the prep work for us in this part.

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Could do with hiring a pressure washer this summer to get this looking a bit better…

However, when it came to the patio, and the slab laying, their quote was way out of our league, so it was down to us to do it ourselves. We had 2 tonne bags of hardcore tipped onto the road out front – again, cementing our position as everyone’s favourite neighbour! We managed to wheelbarrow this all through the house and onto the future-patio within an hour or two – with help from the Parents – and set about levelling it all off.

What took most of the time and energy was mixing the cement – by hand – as we decided to tackle all of this without a cement mixer (they’re pretty pricey to hire and we naively didn’t quite realise the size of the job ahead of us)! The tops of the slabs are wobbly too, to look natural I guess, but it caused some major headaches when trying to make sure the slabs sloped away and down from the house, to encourage the inevitable rainwater into the drain…

In total, it took most days off, and weekends, over a 4 month period to lay the slabs, do the pointing, and lay the path…

 

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Once we’d finished, we had excellent arm muscle definition, but the quote we’d had didn’t seem too shocking anymore. Hindsight’s a funny thing.

We ran a path down the length of the garden, on the left hand side, joining the side return and back door area with the patio. To break up the look of all of the slabs, the majority of the path is lighter stone chippings, with slab stepping-stones, so it doesn’t look quite so formal. We also thought that should we be overcome with an Alan Titchmarsh style green-fingered passion, we could just shift some of the chippings out of the way to plant some plants down the edge of the path, rather than being stuck with having slabs right up to the fence.

For the moment at least, we just have a few pots with Lavender and Rosemary in, mostly due to our never-ending war on the felines of Cardiff after Husband read somewhere that cats don’t like the smell of them.

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Still a few things to clear away off the patio, and the bbq needs a bit of attention!

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The view out of the Utility Room window

In the corner of the garden closest to the utility room, is the shed. This corner gets the least sunshine, so we didn’t mid using up the space for storage. Now I will admit, the shed was a complete impulse buy, but I fell in love with it…mainly because it’s just so cute! It looks like a little beach hut, and we all know by now that I am a big fan of anything remotely to do with the seaside! Husband liked the idea of not having to paint it every year (it’s plastic) so I got my way!

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Quite proud of how neat it looks!

We built a base for it from some of the old concrete slabs we found in the jungle part of the garden when we first moved in, and it turns out I’m a dab hand at brick and slab laying (seriously, I surprised even myself) so the shed proudly sits atop these, with a surround of the sleepers, to match the little wall at the far end of the lawn.

We also have the original stone walls of the house down the side return to the left and down the right hand side of the garden. They’re quite higgledy-piggledy, and you can tell they’ve been painted and left to peel a few times, but I think they add a bit of character and the moss, little succulents and weeds that grow on them are quite pretty!

To finish things off, we finally got round to laying the turf in October last year. I had a great tip from a keen gardener friend as to where to get the turf – a local company which has been awarded at Chelsea flower show!! – so arranged the delivery for a Saturday when I could rope in Dad and Sister as labourers in return for a Indian takeaway.

My Dad is a self-confessed lawn-obsessive, so I was pretty much doing what he told me. He said that Autumn is the best time to lay turf, so it has the wet winter to bed itself in, rather than laying it in the Summer, just for it to dry out and die before fully settling. Brilliant I thought. We’re good at wet Winters in Wales.

It wasn’t the most relaxing of weekends, so if you’re planning a weekend of turfing, here’s how not to do it;

  • Husband decides to go out on Friday night. He returns at 4am and makes it very clear he is very drunk, so I move myself down to the sofa, which I am physically longer than, to try to get some sleep
  • Don’t get sleep
  • Wake up Saturday and it’s tipping it down
  • Turf gets delivered at 8am on Saturday morning, and is unloaded onto the road at the front of our house. Really pissing people off by now, I’m sure
  • Dad and Sister are travelling from London, so are still at least 2 hours away
  • Within 5 mins of delivery, 2 dodgy looking blokes lurk around my turf
  • I decide I’m not going to have some dodgy blokes nick my fancy new award-winning turf before I’ve even got to lay it down, so don some overalls and heff it all through the house. 15 sq m of turf. On my own. (Husband is still asleep). The rolls are as wide as our narrow, Victorian hallway is, and they are super heavy because they are wet
  • Mud on walls
  • Dad and Sister arrive and comment on how the weather isn’t great for turf laying
  • Husband spends the entire day flopped on the sofa, threatening to puke at any minute (great when you have a puke-phobic Sister staying with you)
  • Dad, Sister and I (now with a dodgy back thanks to the turf heffing) begin raking the soil to level and improve the quality of the topsoil, ready for the little turf roots
  • After scuffing around soggy clay soil for a few hours, we decide it looks better and retreat inside, leaving the path, patio and side return covered in clomps of wet clay soil from our wellies
  • Drink beer. Eat curry (a highlight!)
  • Sunday begins and it’s not raining
  • Husband is feeling better, so joins in for the glory job of laying the turf
  • Turf is laid
  • Go to the Carvery for Sunday lunch (another highlight!)
  • Family leaves
  • Monday comes, it doesn’t rain
  • Tuesday comes, it doesn’t rain
  • Wednesday comes, it doesn’t rain
  • You get the idea…
  • In absence of a hose, I kid you not, I used a jug from the kitchen to sprinkle water over the now yellowing turf
  • This ridiculous sprinkling continues daily for a week, until Husband fits an outdoor tap/hose

It didn’t rain for 20 days after we laid the turf. In October. In Wales.

You couldn’t make this stuff up!

It doesn’t seem to have mattered too much though; the turf is going strong, a beautiful strong green colour (think Pantone’s colour of the year!) and growing way faster than we can keep up with…

garden9  jardin13

Everyone loves a before and after!

Although I like to think the transformation has been pretty impressive, this is all fairly boring stuff, so I think I’ll do another post at some point about all the pretty stuff you can buy for your garden – We bought a bog standard table, chairs and parasol patio set from Tescos the other week, so I’ll have a chat about how to jazz it up a bit and get your slice of outdoors looking fab!

Happy gardening everyone and thank you for reading the longest post I have ever written!! I hope you found it helpful/amusing…

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Pick of the week #12

This year, macrame is back big time. I absolutely love most things that have been done with it, and the little plant hangers you can get are definitely on my wish list of knick-knacks needed to give our place a bit more greenery and life.

But, I’ve found something slightly different, which definitely feels macrame inspired, but is actually made of wool, rather than macrame string. They’re classed as ‘tapestry’ or ‘wall hangings’ and I am completely in love…

Image result for fibres by filia

Although there are a few clever people around making similar style home accessories, the ones I’ve particularly fallen for are made by a lady called Filia in California and can be custom-made to fit your colour scheme.

She has an amazing profile on Instagram – designs.by.filia – and a lovely shop on Etsy of the same name, so be sure to check them out if you like what you see!

Custom Order * Farrah

Custom Order * Tigress

I love how they look so serene and effortless, although in reality they take hours of painstaking work. Each piece is made from 100% Peruvian wool yarn (rather than cord like traditional macrame decorations) and they are dip dyed to create these lovely layered landscapes and vibrant geometric displays.

Custom Order * Clover

Small Kids Tapestry * Stripes

They are so gorgeous and it must be a lovely thing to do with your days, so I’m pretty annoyed I didn’t think of doing it first (although I’m not sure I’d have the patience)!

I suppose they would be classed as ‘boho’ but I think they could easily sit in a more polished setting to create a bit of whimsy, and I love how they sit alongside the super-on-trend more global/fusion style accessories like the wicker furniture and woven baskets.

They are quite pricey, so you’d definitely have to put some thought into what colours you’d want to go for, and what space you want it hanging in, so you get the sizing bang-on. I particularly love the top image, and I think the mauve-y greys, blue and yellow ochre would look so fab in my living room on the wall opposite our fireplace…

*Disclaimer – all pictures have been taken from Filia’s Etsy shop, but this post is in no way sponsored – I just really, really, really, really like these! I hope you do too?

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Pick of the week #11

So I gave myself an impromptu week off from this last weekend (read, went away for the weekend and forgot laptop!) so today I’m back with #11.

This week it’s a fabric collection which I’m getting all inspired by; Harlequin’s Anthozoa. The collection is new this year, and although there’s a couple of dodgy ones (I’m not sure how I feel about sea shells on my curtains) the majority are delish.

Here’s some lifestyle pics of the collection from their website;

Image result for harlequin anthozoa fabrics

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Image result for harlequin anthozoa fabrics

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Harlequin is a great all-rounder if you’re looking for contemporary fabric. They do it all; great quality plains, patterns, prints and embroideries, stripes, florals, silk, voiles. Everything. They did have a wobbly moment, in my eyes, about 3 years ago where they went a bit retro and it all looked a bit childish, but I’m happy to see that the last few collections have been super.

I particularly like this collection, for its airy base cloths, compact colour story – think grey and black with muted blues, greens and purples for the most part. In Harlequin’s words;

Vivacious and energetic, Anthozoa is bursting with glamorous botanicals, exotic sea plants, inky landscapes and corals

Sounds good.

These two are my favourite fabrics of the whole collection;

Postelia 120597

I’m actually considering buying a metre of this and simply pinning it to the wall behind our bed to act as a decorative backdrop to our plain white wooden bedstead. It has a whopping 137cm pattern repeat, so it’s more like a work of art or wall hanging, than curtain fabric!

Image result for harlequin anthozoa molokai

Molokai 132290

The picture doesn’t really do this fabric justice. It’s a gorgeous lightweight linen; the light comes through, so it doesn’t look as heavy as it does here. The tie dye design is supposed to be reminiscent of fossils, but whatever it reminds you of, I bet it’s not a bad thing! I’m definitely keeping it in my memory bank for when I have my beachfront home with whitewashed walls…

What do you think? Would love to know your thoughts!

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Things are looking up for Brass

via Daily Prompt: Brassy

So, for a while Brass finishes have been strictly reserved for 1980s faux-luxe window handles (think mahogany wood effect PVC) and Granny’s favourite chandelier, but it is truly having a resurgence into the world of cool, modern, eclectic interiors.

Image result for brass handles in dark kitchen

Photo cred – deVOL kitchen, Pinterest

At the moment, as in the photo above, it’s often seen in accessories pared with dark walls or furniture to provide a much needed warmth, and in many decorative accessories to add a glamorous, quirky, or unexpected metallic finish.

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Brass Cactus Objects, West Elm, from £16

In general, looking at up-to-date examples, I think words I’d associate with brass tones are luxurious, romantic, classic, sometimes industrial (if more of a shabby antique finish opposed to high-shine) and expensive.

In our place, we do have brass finish handles and Yale lock parts on our front doors (we have an outer PVC front door, and an inner wooden front door) and back door in the dining room, but these have stayed mainly because we didn’t have the money to change the doors as they’re in fairly good nick, and didn’t want to be faffing about – and potentially breaking – the handle/lock mechanisms by changing them out – not even sure if this is a thing?!

They’re not offensive, but I have purposefully chosen brushed or chrome silver finishes for all of the new fittings we have chosen, mainly in the kitchen and bathroom, as that fits better with the overall light, cool, contemporary style we’ve adopted. I do like the look of brass, but I’m not sure it’s for me. It seems somewhat bizarre to me to swap things over to a brass finish again, after always associating brass with the aforementioned, less than aspirational, dated, finishing touches.

However, if you are tempted to adopt the ‘New Brass’ trend, here’s some inspiration to swoon over…

black bathroom

Photo cred – IdealHomeUK

You might remember this beauty from my post about Black interiors a few weeks ago, but I am absolutely in love with it, so excuse me for using it again! It is just so pretty; I think the combination of traditional furniture and contemporary styling (wall colour, mirror and accessories) fits in the brass perfectly.

Image result for minhnuyet interiors

Photo cred – Mali Azima for Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors

Teal and brass is a classic colour combo to create a luxurious feeling space; here, mixed with the more mid-century furniture, it looks pretty cool. Using yellow on the soft furnishing softens the tone of all the different brass objects.

Image result for abaca interiors raquel langworthy

Photo cred – Raquel Langworthy photography, for Abaca Interiors

I’m pretty much in love with this entire bedroom scheme. From the white walls, pretty wallpaper and romantic 4-poster, down to those chevron lamp bases (we all know I love a zigzag)! If you imagine this scheme with a silver or black bed, rather than the brass, it totally loses it’s warm, luxurious feeling.

Photo cred – Simplythenest.com

One of my favourite profiles I follow on Instagram. This kitchen is a dream. Here, she mixes the dark blue units with chunky brass handles to great effect; it looks classic but modern at the same time, and the rustic floor tiles add a whimsical flair that I love.

Image result for high fashion home fall 2014

Photo cred – High Fashion Homes, Houston

This is super on-trend, with the killer combination of pink and grey (with touches of green). The brass finish makes the furniture look even more ornate and glamorous in this pretty and feminine setting.

Image result for boswell construction brentwood modern farmhouse

Photo cred – Boswell Construction

Proving that brass works well with a light backdrop too. Here, it acts more as the accent colour, than finishing touch, highlighting the dove grey units beautifully. Those globe lights are stunning.

However pretty, what all of this does show, is how quickly trends change, and how it’s best to just go for what you like, rather than what everyone else is doing – just think, for the last couple of years, it’s been copper everywhere and already, brass is kicking that particular trend to the kerb… It’s hard to keep up!

In writing this, I’ve realised that one of my favourite things, the hexagon mirror in our hall, is actually framed in black and brass! It’s funny I hadn’t really thought of it before, I was just drawn to it as an individual item. Again, I think this shows the best idea of just choosing stuff you like and not worrying too much about coordination or trend following…

If you’re in the market for new homewares, or planning to update a room, keeping your eyes peeled 24/7 is the key – you never know where inspiration will strike!

What do you think about brass? Are you a lover or a sceptic? Planning a brassy overhaul? Let me know…

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The Guest Bedroom

So, I realised this week that it’s been absolute donkey’s years since I’ve written a post about my actual home – what I had started this blog with the primary focus of! I seem to have been drawn down a bit of a tangent with all the beautiful stuff out there! Easily done…

So, it’s the turn of the Guest Bedroom – I’m trying to write stuff in chronological order, however late in the day I am. The work in this room was started as soon as we got the keys, June 2015, and we finished up with the carpet just before Christmas 2016!

This story starts with a question. A question of naivety; one that only first time old-home buyers will ask. A question, which you find the answer to pretty quickly…

“I wonder why they decided to use this thick anaglypta wallpaper, just in this one room?”

Major lols.

Answer: Cracks.

We, in our excited naivety, stripped this bedroom of its anaglypta before we’d even moved into the house in a frenzied weekend of DIY (when we also stripped the feature wallpaper in the master bedroom, which had gone fine). What we uncovered, were bizarre bumpy walls of all different colours, parts which had been relatively recently re-plastered (why?!), and cracks. A big crack down the left hand side of the chimney breast where it meets the main wall, and one a bit smaller down the corner opposite.

The smaller crack in the corner, in the grand scheme of cracks, was OK. A bit of expanding foam and you’d never have known it was there. The result of a house being over 100 years old.

The big one, however, was a bit scarier – when you pressed it, the whole side of the chimney breast moved in and out. We put it on the ever-increasing list of things to get the builders to look at.

The verdict was that the original plaster was completely blown in this corner and was crumbling due to the chimney being leaky for years. In hindsight, I think we were pretty lucky that this was the only bit of damage. As we were having the chimney repaired, we were assured that it wasn’t a major issue, it didn’t mean the whole house was going to fall down, and certainly wouldn’t get any worse. Phew.

By this point, we knew we were going to have to have the whole room re-plastered, so we set ‘The Fear’ to one side, and just lived with it for a bit. To be fair, we didn’t actually use this room as a bedroom for about 9 months. When we first moved in, it was where all of our stuff was put, and acted as the kitchen and the dining room for about 2 months!

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spare-room-1

Quite a feat for a room a little over 3.5 x 2.5 m in size!

As far as a spare room goes, it’s not a bad size. We were gifted a second-hand double sofa bed, which is actually really comfy as both a sofa and a bed, so this was the starting point for the layout of the room. Aside from this, we decided we didn’t really want to put much else in here, to keep it as quite a multi-functional room. It’s where Husband keeps some of his guitars, and his amp, so he can best piss off our wall-sharing neighbour. It’s where we keep the weights, yoga mats and other exercise paraphernalia that take up space and are ugly to look at. Occasionally, it is actually used as a guest bedroom.

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When I was about 9, we moved home and I was allowed to pick my own scheme for my new room, so I decided to have it painted yellow. Quite a bright canary yellow, which I wouldn’t be able to live with now, but I loved how sunny and bright and happy it felt in there, so now I’m a proper grown-up (when we have guests it still completely freaks me out!) I wanted to replicate that feeling in this room for our guests…

spare2

In terms of the design, it’s pretty much been cobbled together, although the main colourscheme of yellow and grey is one that I am a fan of. It’s quite sweet, but don’t worry, I am aware it’s not going to blow anyone’s socks off. Another example of how I’ve played it safe to not alienate potential buyers and kept budget really low, based on the understanding we won’t be living here for long.

The walls are a pale yellow – Dulux Daffodil White – and I decided on a vaguely coastal theme, based on a lighthouse painting we’d bought on a holiday to Devon years ago, and had never found a home for. I managed to find some really cute readymade curtains in a pale grey linen with white line drawings of a townscape – including lighthouses – from John Lewis and hung them from a white-painted pole.

The one part I did have some fun with, was some shelves in the previously-crack-tastic alcove. The shelves themselves were from Ikea and cost about £10, and fit excellently above the £20 Ikea chest of drawers to the left of the chimney breast. Aside from the price, I am actually really pleased with our choices – I’ve got a major crush on unfinished pine at the moment.

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Anyway, I thought this would be a great place to display some of the random crap (for want of a better description) we’d accumulated over the years to brighten up the room a bit and make it more interesting. Bongos, paper-mache pig, sword, lanterns,  holiday photos, ukulele, left over wedding decorations… You know, the usual.

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This alcove is opposite the doorway, so it’s a fun view to have as you walk past, or enter the room.

Finishing touches, were the same carpet as the master bedroom – a grey-ish-beige polypropylene twist from John Lewis, a pale blue/grey framed oval mirror on the chimney breast, and a little paper lantern style light fitting.

I am aware the room still looks pretty bare, so sometime in the near future, I’d quite like to create a gallery on the wall above the radiator; every trip or holiday we take, we make sure to take a picture of the sunset – like the little beauty below from our Fijian honeymoon. I’ve got a couple in random frames already, but I’d love to get them all together and in white frames on this wall as I think the generic sunset colours of yellows, pinks, reds, oranges and the darker foregrounds would look great against the yellow walls.

To finish things off, I would like to add some fun cushions to the sofa bed, and a grey painted wood Venetian blind in the recess of the window, to complete the aforementioned “vaguely coastal” theme I’m going for, but I might have to severely twist Husband’s arm to convince it’s worth it!

Cushions – a selection from my favourite shop of the moment, H&M. Venetian bind – from John Lewis.

So, that’s all for now. If I get my backside into gear and get cracking on these finishing touches, I will post some updates along the way… But for now, I hope it’s a pretty, happy, cosy little space for our occasional guests!

 

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