I’ve spent a lot of time recently moving trinket-y objects around the house, partly because I’m trying to style the house properly for photo shoots (which I’m sure will be re-styled on the day!) and partly just to shake things up a bit, finding new homes for old favourites (I think this is known as ‘shopping’ your home!) and making space for a few new items (has anyone else noticed how amazing H&M Homeis this season?). We’ve been in this house for a little over a year now and I really feel I could have got my styling game on a bit better here. Each time I clean I’ve been trying out new ways to style things and paying more attention to the ‘rules’ of styling more readily. Actually I think if you’d been watching me over the last few months you might have found something quite comical in all of this, a vase moves downstairs one week to its new home, is rejected and moved upstairs during cleaning a week later, and so repeat. I definitely don’t consider myself an expert in this but I do spend a lot of time faffing around with surfaces so I thought that today I’d share some of the things that work for me. If you are looking for an in depth deconstruction of all things home styling related I thoroughly recommend Emily Henderson’s Styled, or the very similarly named beautiful coffee table bookLife Unstyled by Emily Henson, if you’re looking for shortcuts, read on.
As I sit typing this, it is the very first time I have had a completed study to write in. We have allocated a room for books and writing each time we’ve moved, but they have always existed somewhere between dream space and student hovel if I’m entirely honest. Whether it be hideous inherited blue carpets thought about but never replaced due to sound proofing issues for the flat downstairs or plans for organisation and tranquility that quickly turned to dumping ground for all the things we couldn’t think where to home, this my friends, finally, is my dream office space. A few weeks ago we sanded and sealed the floors. This has got to be our most hated d.i.y task, Dan because it’s such back breaking work, me because I’m more than a little scared of the machine you use to sand the floors with! But, it’s also one of the most rewarding and transformative tasks. We used a dark oak stain varnish from Ronsealwhich I really love, though I wasn’t sure it was dark enough after the first coat and was very heartened to find Swoonworthy’s beautiful floor in the same finish during a Google search halfway through.
Cabinet detail with Ikea Ranarp lamp re-positioned from it’s home in the bedroom whilst I decide where it truly belongs.
I think wall art has got to be one of the hardest things to get right in a home, it’s a constant dilemma for me, it can be hard to find just exactly what you want, especially on a budget, and most of us don’t want to wait 15 years till we’ve acquired pieces with meaning before we can cheer up a hallway or a blank wall area. Small collections and items grouped within a theme work well in small areas to add interest, and once you know what you want are fairly easy to complete. But how do you approach a great big space like a hallway wall to add personality? Some people fill these walls with family pictures which is a nice way of personalising a space. But I always want something a bit more abstract than my own family (sorry guys!). There are places that you can get cheap wall art but where you also know your purchase won’t feel unique to you – I think we all know a particular and rather brilliant Swedish furniture company I’m aiming at here, they do many things very, very well but when it comes to artwork I don’t want to find my latest purchase in the living room of someone from Eastenders! (not that there’s anything wrong with soap interiors, per se, it’s just that my childhood self has never quite got over sharing my wallpaper choice with Ron & Bev from Brookside!). Well to my mind you can’t really go wrong with a collection of posters online from Desenio.
One week into 2017 and it’s been quite a big one for me, the house is set to appear on both Apartment Therapy & Style Mutt soon, The Frugality sent interest in my bathroom stratospheric over the weekend, I’ve got some new commissions, and my son spent much of the weekend telling anyone who’d listen (mainly me and Dan) that he is the baby Jesus, little late with the Christmas imagination, I know, but at just two I admire the delusions of grandeur (for the record, we have definitely told him that he’s not the baby Jesus!), plus it’s my birthday at the end of the week and Dan has some time off so we are going uptown on adventures.
Image: Design Soda
One of the things I love most about the start of a new year is the opportunity clearing out decorations gives you to re-assess the space around you, it focuses the mind to sort out things that don’t work but you’ve been living with absent minded-ly for ages. For me a new year means a fresh set of eyes around the home and a narrowing down of tasks (I know it should mean resolutions, but I’m not really a resolutions kinda gal) this year we have flooring to sought out, some wallpapering in Teds room, the eternal hunt for the right sized period front door and on the more fun side I want more colour and more vintage in the home. The floors in the bedroom and study still need sanding and staining, as such, I don’t have a whole reveal for you today but as we are only missing the floor (OK, I accept this is quite a big thing) I thought I’d share it with you and hope that it gives me the final impetus to hire that sander again!
Image: Design Soda
I’m a little nervous of sharing it, as firstly it’s not finished and I’m not entirely happy with some areas, but also, for someone who loves colour and pattern so much, it’s a bit plain Jane, dare I say even Scandi minimalist? Shh! Pretend I didn’t say that. Truth is I’ve been living with this room for a year and I absolutely love its white-ness. I could never have my whole house like this, it would bore me to tears with what feel like tones of anti-motivation but upstairs I have definitely been persuaded by the slightly Nordic. In my last bedroom there was a fair amount of Scandi white with pastel colour pops so this bedroom reveal is slightly redux if you’ve been reading my blog for a while but there’s definitely some new-ness too, if I don’t mention a product, you will likely find it on this old bedroom post here.
Having emerged from the other side of a dreadful winter flu that struck the house down last week (thank goodness these germs don’t stick around long) I’ve started with the autumnal clean and clear. I love editing and organising for the first twenty seconds and the final result, but get so bored and regretful in the middle, is that just me? I’ve also started compiling my Christmas wish list (I know, but the early bird directs the other half to the best worms or something!) some of which are only affordable in my dreams but look out for Fridays Design Crushpost as I’ve found a cabinet that is truly dream worthy. Today’s post however, is about happiness already attained, namely our hallway makeover which is now at the half way point. We have spruced it up from the mushroom coloured blandness we inherited into a bright, fun and inviting space on little budget past paint and trinkets. The next part will be finding a new front door and finally pulling down the ugly porch which bugs me no end, but today is all about the positives!
As the cold starts to draw in and the days get shorter, first mists and frosts begin to stir and nature starts to have a stillness and solemnity to it, you probably find this period the one where small indulgences become an utmost necessity. Read More
As our upstairs bathroom has just been featured in a national interiors mag (slightly exciting!) I thought that today I would share some small vignettes of our downstairs loo which we did up a few months ago.Read More
Yippee, another month and another room becomes complete in the house (I’m loving this part of renovation when you get to add the personal touches that pull a room together). This time it’s the dining room which I am decadently referring to as our cocktail room since its the main purpose of the space. I guess this would traditionally be a room for family time, but with a toddler running riot throughout the rest of the house and as we aren’t really formal enough as a family to do dinner anywhere other than round the kitchen table (if that!) I don’t believe in creating a dead space simply out of convention so cocktail room it is! Read More
If you have eyes and ears I’m sure you’ve noticed tropical palm and banana leaf prints are a massive trend in homes and fashion at the moment, all over the catwalk (sometimes head to toe outfits, I’m looking at you Dolce and Gabanna!), homewares, fabrics, paper and I’m totally seduced by them. I think our new obsession with leaves in the home started with our acceptance en masse of succulents and cacti into our homes a few years back followed by the adoption of larger house plants, last year was definitely the year of the cheese plant, looks like this year may be the fiddle leaf tree, both of which are beautiful but utterly toxic to cats. We have one very shady border in our garden so I’ve been looking at all of the beautiful different leaf patterns Mother Nature has created in quite a lot of detail over the last few months and all of these leaf prints make my heart sing.Read More
It’s the first day of August and right now Mother Nature is putting on quite a show in our garden, flowers are everywhere in abundance. We’ve been celebrating each new bloom by bringing them into the home throughout July and I’ve been watching what thrives best and looks well within our interior style. I’m over the moon to have a garden to grow flowers in, not only are they much cheaper than florists and fresher too but there’s something really pleasing about watching your blooms come from shoots and blossom on top of which I love the smell and they are great for your wellbeing in a space. I’ve been reading Holly Becker’s Decorate with Flowers this month (which I highly recommend) and last week I was at a brilliant workshop put together by bloomon on modern flower arrangements so I thought I’d put together some of the top tips I’ve learned and some styling ideas for if you fancy growing a cutting garden but don’t know where to start. I’ve had window boxes and front garden pots for years so I have some tried and trusted faves along with new additions that I’m now able to grow in our outdoor space and work really well indoors.Read More