Pick of the week #10

Wow, up to #10 already! Time flies. This week has been busy; full of appointments, driving around in this bizarre May weather we’re having and enjoying the subsequent hideous hay-fever induced head-pounding snot-fest. Lush.

Aside from all of this, my favourite thing by far was a lovely little stone cottage – converted from a cattle barn in the 1990s – I visited yesterday, in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Llantrithyd Place

Llantrithyd Place. Image Cred – Mick Lobb.

The kitchen was truly the heart of the home, and central to it, is a Claret red Aga. It looked amazing! I’m not convinced I completely understand Agas and how they work, but they sure look pretty! The homeowner is having a complete overhaul of the whole place, starting with the kitchen, and everything – bar the Aga – is going.

Here’s how the scheme is coming together…

So, the red Aga will still be central to the scheme, with a new sage green kitchen working around it, with white/grey Carrara marble worktops. There will be a new Limestone tiled floor and the homeowner is searching for vintage Ercol – or similar Mid Century – round dining table and chairs. The walls will be a simple off-white to keep it looking fresh, and a Jim Lawrence antique brass Bloomsbury pendant light will hang over the dining table, with recesses spotlights in the kitchen area. To finish things off in a quirky fashion, and to exploit the fact that this little cottage is in the middle of nowhere, a countryside inspired embroidery will be the curtains for the dining area, and a roman blind in the kitchen – Voyage Fox and Hare.



P.S – If you’re in the market for an Aga, check out their new colour for 2017, Dartmouth Blue. It is to die for.

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Greek island dreaming

Was at a bit of a loose end last night, so I decided to start watching the first series of an ITV drama called “The Durrells”. It first was on TV last year I think; it’s set in the 1930s and is about a widow and her four children who get bored with life in Hampshire, and move to Corfu. Sounds a bit random, and it is quite, but it’s based on a true story and books by Gerald Durrell, and I like it.


Image result for the durrell's corfu house

Picture from Pinterest.

They wind up in this gorgeous dilapidated villa. Very idyllic indeed.

Greece holds a special place in mine and Husband’s hearts. We’ve visited Zante, Corfu, Crete and Rhodes, and we’ve loved it every time. The islands are beautiful, the colours are inspiring, the food is delicious and the wine even better! We got engaged on holiday in our favourite place – Alykes in Zante, which even further cemented it into our story.

Anyway, watching this programme has got me dealing with a serious case of wanderlust. Especially on such a grey day as today!

While the emphasis in Mediterranean homes can often be on the outside, thanks to the dreamy climate, I think we can take inspiration and move this style indoors…Maybe if I can’t actually live in a Mediterranean paradise, I could at least try to make my gloomy terrace in Wales feel a bit more exotic?!

In my mind, there’s a certain palette when thinking of Mediterranean and Greek design – a combination of warm, sunny, terracotta-y neutrals, highlighted by honey yellow, olive green, cobalt blue and aqua;

Image result for farrow and ball red earth  Image result for farrow and ball farrow's cream  Image result for farrow and ball yellow ground

Image result for farrow and ball lichen  Image result for farrow and ball pitch blue  Image result for farrow and ball blue ground

These are all Farrow and Ball colours. Top row; Red Earth, Farrow’s Cream, Yellow Ground. Bottom row; Lichen, Pitch Blue, Blue Ground.

Combined with plenty of wooden furniture, tiled floors, whitewashed walls, geometric patterns and lots of natural textures, it can be a dreamy end result…

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Image cred – Schippmann Design

I love the combination of the warm terracotta, with the mint green and brighter red accessories. Looks so luxurious!

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Image cred – Jauregui Architecture Interiors

This is quite an American take on Mediterranean style, but I love the warm tiled floor and abundance of pale walls and upholstery. The blue patterned plates are a lovely feature.

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Image cred – MRA Design

The classic Greek blue and white combo looks so fresh and modern in this bedroom scheme. It’s got a touch of a nautical leaning which I quite like and I would be pretty happy waking up in here!

Image result for gordon stein design hall

Image cred – Gordon Stein Design

This is such a gorgeous entrance. The white combined with the colourful, patterned tiles looks stunning. The intricate woodwork and plants add an exotic edge.

Here are some lovely, easy options to pick up to add some holiday inspired, Mediterranean style to your home…

Chair in blueImage Ocrul Wool Rug La Redoute Interieurs

    Woven Ombre Cushion (48cm x 48cm)      Buy John Lewis Croft Collection Recycled Glass Jug Online at johnlewis.com

Top: Tradition chair in Blue, £94.49, Maisons Du Monde. Orcul wool rug, ecru/yellow, from £199, La Redoute.

Bottom: Woven Ombre cushion, £8, Matalan. Croft Collection recycled glassware range, from £5, John Lewis.

I hope this has got you all inspired. I don’t know about you, but I might spend the rest of this evening booking a holiday…

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So, a while ago, I wrote a piece on White interiors. Now it the time for the other end of the scale.

Black interiors are definitely something which has become mainstream over the last couple of years, now with a variety of black paint colours available on the high street.

I follow quite a few Instagram accounts and bloggers whose homes contain a large amount of black. Or, at least, very dark blue or grey, and it makes a damn good photo!

Image result for thisstyle_rocks

An image from one of my favourite Instagrammers – thisstyle_rocks. So brave to paint the walls, floors, woodwork and fireplace all such dark tones, and of course, it is styled to perfection!

However, my natural instincts just say “No!” and when I just asked Husband the question, “Would you ever let me paint a room black?” and his answer was laughter. Then a shake of the head.

…But it still, it makes me wonder whether I would ever take the plunge…

I know that dark colours can make a room seem bigger (the opposite of what you – and Husband – might initially assume) and very dark blue can actually be quite a warm colour, creating a cosy feeling room, but naturally I would always associate myself and my home, with light, bright, airy colours.

I wonder, when we have a bigger place where I can have a whole room (rather than a lap) to call my “home office”, whether I might experiment with a darker tone. I’d probably be more drawn to an inky indigo blue, or stormy grey, rather than a full on black, but if it were a space Husband would rarely frequent, and maybe a room I would want to make me focus and concentrate on work, rather than the world around me, a dark environment could be what I need.

Here’s some inspiration, for you – and me!

Some various rooms in dark tones;

Round Mirror

Photo cred – Ideal Home

A bathroom or cloakroom could be a great place to experiment with black and I really like this traditional style bathroom. The striking contrast between the white porcelain and black walls is stunning. The addition of the large mirror, various brass finishes and beautiful pink flowers soften the effect and make it warmer.

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Photo cred – Domus Nova, London

This library is stunning. The black walls make the artwork and books stand out, and in conjunction with the pale rug and white kitchen further through the house, doesn’t actually look too dark!

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Photo cred – Jane Goetz Interior Design, Georgia

This vaulted room has a wow factor moment thanks to those dark walls. The monochrome styling keeps the room feeling airy and spacious, and makes the architectural features even more impressive.

Image result for philip nimmo design bedroom

Photo cred – Hans Fonk, for Philip Nimmo Design, California

This black painted bedroom certainly makes the most of its Californian sunshine, and the huge doors and big windows break up the expanse of the walls, making the ceiling even more dramatic!

Some dark home office spaces;

Image result for daniel jason cordova home office

Photo cred – Dominique Vorillon, for Daniel Jason Cordova 

I love this scheme; the walnut desk and brass accents really add warmth to the scheme. The large pale rug is also a great touch to bounce the light from the window back up into the room. Imagine having this much space!

Image result for terracotta design build wilton whole home renovation

Photo cred – Jeff Herr, for Terracotta Design Build

Another stunning example of a black study. The Moroccan style light fitting and shaggy Afghan style rug gives the room an exotic feel – it would inspire me to keep working towards my next holiday!

Image result for dale street chiswick home office

Photo cred – JLB Property Developments, London

This home office is in a pod at the end of the garden, which in itself I love the idea of, but I also love the cosy, Scandinavian style. The trestle table keeps things looking casual and the shallow shelves gives room to display some inspirational pieces, without taking up too much space.

Image result for john donkin architect contemporary home office

Photo cred – Justin van Leeuwen, for John Donkin Architect Inc.

I think this photo is probably more in line with what I might achieve in terms of space, and using the dark wall colour as an accent, rather than an entire room. The chalkboard paint is a great way of having a built-in memo board for behind your workspace, and the floating shelves leave the desk space free of clutter.

So, definitely some food for thought – and ammunition to keep hold of in case of future dream home possibilities! I think I would use black on the walls, but probably not the ceiling too – this might be a stretch too far.

The most successful schemes seem to combine black with lighter floor coverings and plenty of decorative accessories – especially in warm tones like brass, pink and yellow – which I could definitely get on board with!

Would you ever go dark with your interiors, or have you taken the plunge and loved it? I’d love to know your thoughts…

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Pick of the week #9

So, this week has been a bit thin on the ground in terms of real life inspiration – been a bit of a beige week at work – so instead, my pick of the week this week is something I’ve been seeing lots of online.

And that is Neon signs…

Image result for lisa dawson instagram

Photo credit – Lisa Dawson, from her amazing Instagram account!

What a cool way to incorporate your favourite song lyric or motto into your home.

Here are some really cool options, ready to buy online;

Lightbulb neon sign, £25, by ShopPrettyUtopian on Etsy

This is a great shop with loads of little neon designs that could brighten up any boring shelf or corner, at really great prices too!

Image result for neoncreations love sign

Love sign, £552, neoncreations

Ok, so a bit of an investment piece but it would look so cool in our bedroom. Nothing says “love” like a big neon sign, right?!…

Cactus neon light, £25, Gypsy Warrior

If you’re not the most green-fingered of sorts, but want to jump on the houseplant bandwagon, why not get one of these! You could even put the base in a plant pot for a cheeky twist.

So, that’s all for this week, hope you’re having a lovely sunny Sunday. We’re just heading off to a Christening, and I’m  getting the legs out for the first time this Spring sans tights (eek!) so lets hope the rain stays away!

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Pink in 2017

via Daily Prompt: Pink

Pink is big this Spring.

Along with yellow and blue, pink is a favourite of mine for my interiors. My Master Bedroom was based around my desire for pink walls. I think it worked out pretty well;

We decorated this room in 2015, when this pink had just started out and was relatively hard to come by. I like to think that either I started the trend or can see into the future, because at the moment, this “Millenial Pink” is everywhere.

It’s quite a hard colour to completely nail down, but it’s in the kind of family that you might describe as grapefruity, slightly salmony, kind of like old school blancmange…

Image result for pale grapefruit   Image result for poached salmon  Image result for blancmange

Potentially the strangest picture montage you’ll find on an interior design blog, but it serves the purpose.

Here are some actual paint colours you can use to achieve the look;

 Rose Mallow Image result for little greene angie fb (2)

Left to right – Fired Earth Rose Mallow / Little Greene Angie 185 / Farrow and Ball Pink Ground wall and Setting Plaster skirting

In addition to these, Dulux has a few colours to get mixed to order, or you could use Valspar’s colour matching service (like I did) to copy a more expensive colour at a lesser price, but still get a great quality paint.

Although you can also find a lot of other pinks around this season – think neon, peach and magenta tones – I think this little family of colours, call it what you like, it’s here to stay and I love it!

Apparently it’s been hailed as ‘the new neutral’ but there are still a lot of grey fans out there who might disagree!

Here are some of my absolute fave designs, to inspire you to dig out your feminine side and paint it pink!..

Image result for domus nova pink lounge

Photo cred – Brendan Cox for Domus Nova, London

I literally have an ache in my heart that this isn’t my home. The pink wall, the amazing light, the tree slice coffee table and my all time fave Eames chairs!!! Swoon.

Image result for villeroy and boch artis pink sink

Photo cred – Villeroy and Boch UK

I love how this sink is the only pink highlight in this dreamy bathroom, but with the inclusion of brass fitting – which are also having a huge resurgence – and warm toned floor tiles, it all looks seamless and cohesive as an overall scheme. Bathrooms are usually something you don’t replace very often, so it might be worth not over-doing the pink in this room – unless you are a steadfast blancmange fan!

Image result for jeanette lunde

Photo cred – Jeanette Lunde

The pink in this scheme is minimal, but it makes an impact alongside the copper/orange of the inside of the light. The combination of green and pink is huge at the moment too, and here you can see what a great contrast the colours have with the inclusion of house plants.

Photo cred – byHelen Design, Surrey

I love how the black highlights add depth and drama to this feminine bedroom scheme.

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Photo cred – Mikhail Riches, London

This is potentially for the braver among us, but this Scandinavian / mid century scheme has a wow factor. I love that the wood tone and flooring are so close to the wall colour it makes the space seem even bigger, and the stronger colours really sing against the pale backdrop.

Photo cred – John Lewis of Hungerford

It would be quite a commitment to go for a pink painted kitchen, but with this colour being touted as the ‘new neutral’ you could be happy – and on trend – for years to come! It looks great against the marble tops, no?!

Image result for armelle habib

Photo cred – Armelle Habib

I love the boho feel of this bedroom – the geometric rug and plant pot, along with the abstract art give it an edge, so it doesn’t become too girly.

I really think this colour can suit all types of rooms; whether your home is modern or traditional, your rooms small and dark or huge and light filled, so there’s really no reason not to give it a go!

For living rooms and bedrooms, I would use the colour on all walls to create a cosy, restful atmosphere. For kitchens and bathrooms, as with most trends, I would probably keep the pink on accessories or smaller portions – you don’t want to be stuck with it for too long if it suddenly goes back out of favour, and look back at it in years to come like we do the dreaded ’80s Avocado bathroom suite!

 I hope this collection of lovely stuff gives you some more incentive to use this gorgeous colour in your own home!

Or if not inside your home, maybe outside?!…

Photo cred – Julie, londonispink (check out her Instagram for more)!

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My Dream Living Room

Following on from my earlier post The Living Room, which is the practical tale of our lounge so far, I thought I’d traumatise myself by showing you guys the inspiration behind my choices so far, the eventual ‘look’ I would like to create in this room and the things I would like to buy to get us there, should money be no object!

It’s always a dangerous game, but I hope you like what I’m thinking…

In general, I would probably class my aesthetic as ‘Scandi’ which in my eyes means light, airy spaces, with texture and an eclectic mix of wood furniture and industrial finishing touches.

Old meets new

Photo cred – James French, for Ideal Home

Although I’m not a huge fan of turquoise, I really like this cosy period living room, which is quite similar in size and layout to ours. These guys were lucky enough that their original floorboards were in good nick, but I’m relatively happy with our laminate compromise!

Image result for studio morton living room

Photo cred – Emma Lewis, for Studio Morton

Clearly, I love the accents of yellow in this grey scheme, but I also like the touches of black, the mid-century furniture and wood floor/ white skirtings / grey walls combo.

Photo cred – Town House Interiors

Clearly my living room is nowhere near the same kind of scale as this, I love the mix of textures, tones of grey and patterns. I also really like this modern square sofa style.

Image result for john lewis mid century living room

Photo Cred – John Lewis

I adore this armchair – the turned wood legs and arms and squidgy looking cushions – and it was this that really caught my eye (something which I’ve tried to replicate on a tiny budget with my Gumtree chair!) I just really like everything – it’s light and airy, slightly coastal, with a hint of tradition with the fireplace.

Image result for nathalie priem photography

Photo cred – Nathalie Priem Photography

I really want  blue sofas if/when we decide to go the full monty and purchase some proper furniture! I love this colour and how it sits in an otherwise pale and simple scheme.

So, a fairly similar aesthetic throughout these images, with a mix of modern and mid-century furniture, the fireplace and bay window being the focal points, a mix of grey neutrals, made slightly more industrial looking with a few black elements, and spruced up with blue and yellow accents. Simple!

Here’s a few things I’ve got my eye on to finish things off…

Coast sofa, from £998 in Denim, DFS

Jamieson white ceiling light, £150, John Lewis

Mid-Century small media unit, £699, West Elm

Visca ecru rug, ecru/black, £148.50, Maisons Du Monde

Industrial task floor lamp, black/brass, £199, West Elm

Nottingham parquet top coffee table, £249, La Redoute.

So, it’s not likely to happen soon, but I hope this shows you what I am trying to move the room towards! Do you like my plans? Any suggestions?

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Pick of the week #8

It’s another fabric this week, from one of my long-standing favourites – in real life and on this blog – Designers Guild!

Image result for designers guild plum blossom fabric

Plum Blossom FDG2293/03 Linen

I’m using it in a guest bedroom for a pair of pencil pleat curtains, which should give the fabric enough fullness to create a really cosy, casual feel. It does contain 49% linen, so a naturally inherent creased texture is to be expected, which I think will enhance the flowy, romantic feel of the fabric. It has lovely little pops of a sagey green and quite bright coral pink which are really subtle but gorgeous and a totally on trend colour combo at the moment.

Here are some more pics of it in action, from the Designers Guild website;

Image result for designers guild plum blossom fabric        Related image

Hope you like it and you are enjoying your Sunday!

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