Spotted: Made.com x Living Etc

Imagine my excitement when Made.com joined up with my favourite interiors magazine to design a collection of design pieces with that extra modern edge? This summer’s isn’t the first collection but it’s the first that has been right up my street in terms of my own home’s decor and I’ve got my eye on quite a few pieces. Our master bedroom after being initially finished (i.e. no longer a building site) has languished at the back of the queue in terms of finishing touches and we’re on a renewed drive of enthusiasm towards getting the house more ‘finished’. And that includes those finishing touches. You can see our bedroom here.

As you can see, I was going for a grey and pink theme but really struggled to get the right shade of pink for what I wanted. We were still looking for a rug, cushions and throw, which I might have found in one go with this collection.

You can view all of the current Made.com x Living Etc collection here (including the pieces I have featured;) – Let me know what you think!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS More of My House Here:
The Attic bedroom
The formal Lounge
The Kitchen

What to Wear… Aztec

Recently, I’ve seen a real trend for Aztec prints and patterns on the high street and I really love it. You all know I’m a sucker for a print, but I also love a drapey knit to cocoon myself in and so when I saw this Aztec Cape I was sold.


Aztec Cape, Warehouse – £30

When I read all the feedback on Friday about fashion posts, a few of you mentioned missing seeing what various items look like on me, a real person, not a model. I haven’t done an outfit post for a while for various reasons, but it made me think it was time to bite the bullet and get them going again. I wanted to wear this as soon as I bought it so immediately dragged Pete into the garden to snap it and share with you all.



Aztec Cape, Warehouse // Jersey Top, M&S (old) // Skinny Jeans, New Look // Belt, GAP (old) // Boots, Office (old)

It’s an absolute steal at £30 and perfect for layering on in colder weather over a jersey top as I’m wearing it here or a blouse or shirt. I even think a heavier polo neck (making a comeback this year) would work in colder weather. I also think it’s a great transitional piece if you’re pregnant or post-baby and wanting something to wrap around a bump or tummy.


I hope you like it readers, and enjoy the return of What to Wear 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Found: Winter Cushions

Just recently, I’ve been thinking about switching our usual sofa cushions for some more seasonally appropriate textiles. There are so many graphic prints and luxurious textures around to nod to the colder weather approaching that it’s really hard not to be tempted, so I thought I’d do a little round up of my favourites.

In an effort to stay stylish and keep away from a Christmas theme, I’ve stayed away from reds, choosing natural tones, rustic knits and plush velvets or fur and a bit of the seasons interiors colour, moody blues.

  • Reindeer, Fox and Grey/White Argyle knit, Marks and Spencer.
  • Grey velvet and Linen cushion, Cox and Cox
  • Kissing Stags, Anorak at John Lewis
  • Teal watercolour, Bluebellgray
  • Donna Wilson Tree cloud cushion, Heals
  • Pale Velvet with black design, and Black Thistle on white background, Timorous Beasties forJohn Lewis
  • Reindeer stitch, Nordic House
  • Bambi print cushion, Graham and Green
  • Fur cushion, John Lewis

Will you be changing your decor for winter at all?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Monday Must-Have: Foxy Knitwear

What’s this we have here? It’s a new post series that’s what! Allow me to fill you in.

Just like Friday Frock but without the restriction of it being a dress, every week Monday Must-Have is me sharing the single item that I’m lusting over and your week simply is not complete without. Like today, it might be a fashion item, or a lust-worthy pair of shoes, a pretty make-up palette, a book, a cushion, something for the kitchen… you’re going to have to pop along and find out. Its a short and sweet post so you can read it without missing a beat whilst getting up to speed with those Monday morning situations at work or if you feel particularly naughty you can click on through and distract yourself for a little longer. 😉

This afternoon I’ll be talking more about some changes that are happening at FF HQ, but for now, here’s my must have.

Now it’s finally September, I’m allowed to start talking about it right? Autumn looming, the leaves are already falling and I am obsessing over knitwear, earthy tones and crisp days for walks followed by pub lunches. And when I’m doing all of the above, I want to be wearing the jumper below.


Aubin and Wills Portland Jumper £125

Aubin and Wills is a recent dot on my radar and I think their style really lends itself to Autumn. Sophie Dahl is modelling for Aubin and Wills this season and it’s worth hopping over to the site just to see the stunning images of her wearing the collection. I’m going to struggle to keep this to my only purchase this season.


The Portland Jumper is also a much friendlier way of ticking of the statement knit trend that I posted about a while back now, no scary sequins, just modern british design.

Beautiful, no?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Real Rooms: Bex’s Study ‘refresh’

This afternoon it’s an office make-over for a newly married couple, which cleverly combines the colour of the moment grey, with holiday ‘finds’ and subtle splashes of orange. I love how it has all come together and I’m looking forward to hearing what you all think of it!

Take it away Bex!

This room was a bit of a dumping ground for a long time since moving in here three years ago, even more so with all of the ‘wedding stuff’ we had to store (boxed vases being the bulkiest items). We never really used this room to its full potential, especially given its good size. It had always had a daybed for extra guests, (useful when both sets of parents came to stay) and a desk for Nik’s computer, bookcases for all his textbooks and notes while he was still a student and a wardrobe which contained overflow from my own, oops, and some fancy dress items! The room was then added to with coats, wellies, boxes of things waiting to be sorted, a very underused exercise bike (aren’t they all!) and all the other bits and bobs we unceremoniously shoved in there whenever we had to tidy up the rest of the flat if guests were coming. It also housed my collection of framed prints that I used to sell at craft & design fairs around Scotland but have recently had little time for. (These have been re-homed for sale in a local cafe.)

All of the above resulted in this ‘before’ monstrosity…


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

Surprisingly, the plan to tackle this room was something I decided on honeymoon, where I was inspired to re-decorate using some of our African souvenirs as a starting point. This spurred me on through the boring sorting and organising of all that stuff as I started to think of how we could make the room useful and look nice, somewhere we would actually like spending time. It actually became the perfect project to keep me busy after all the wedding frenzy of the months before!

We had a few items from our honeymoon which gave me the basis of what kind of style we wanted, including framing some of my own pictures taken on safari, so I started a Pinterest board for ideas and colour schemes (which inspired the grey walls/white furniture plan). We decided we wanted a modern room with white furniture to match the existing Hemnes Daybed and to set if all off against grey walls. We didn’t want to go too dark on the walls as the window is tucked into a corner and we didn’t want it to end up ‘dingy’. Moving the mirrored wardrobe helped to reflect some of the light back into the room rather than being wasted in the corner. We decided on a Valspar colour, Windswept, from B&Q. Since the room has been finished, I have also made a Pinterest board detailing some of the items in it and where they were from if you like the look of anything.

So here is the ‘after’ with our stripped back room…


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

I tried not to go for green accents again, as in most of our other rooms, so we decided to mix it up a bit more and we had a multi-coloured painting from the Masai market in Nairobi. We also purchased a Masai beaded necklace so I thought I would incorporate more orange into the room with some sunset pictures.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

Luckily the orange colour worked well as most of the African safari pictures had an orange tint to them anyway. I really liked the thought of having them all black and white but decided to make it a bit different by leaving three of them in colour.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The frames were Neilson frames from Hobbycraft and were £17.99 each so it was pretty pricey all together but I’m really pleased with the overall result! Mounting and printing them ourselves saved money so it was approx £174 in total. I love the fact they look good but also remind us of our amazing time on safari on honeymoon.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The cushions were from M&S, The White Company (15% off thanks to FF!) and Slumber Slumber. Nik sold most of his old books and recycled his notes so we could downsize in the bookcase department. We replaced 3 bookcases just one from Ikea and filled the bottom shelves with cupboards to try to make it look less square and boxy, and to hide some of the uglier books. I took the old lime green file boxes my Mum had donated when she moved and painted them grey with left over wall paint.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

The unusual string balls were bought by the side of the road in Nairobi and were the main inspiration for re-doing the room. Nik’s conditions when agreeing to buy three was that we had to know where we would put them and I convinced him on my ‘African honeymoon study’ idea. They’re supposed to be light-shades but I just removed the metal hangings from inside as I liked the way they were hung from the trees in bunches like this in Kenya.


All images courtesy of Bex Photo

I finally got round to framing our degrees and diplomas to keep them safe and out of the way. We didn’t want them to be too ‘in your face’ so we hung them high up along the ceiling. In retrospect I wish we had stuck the map a little lower but it’s difficult to judge when one of you is holding up a huge sheet of plastic to the wall.

The amazing map of the world wall sticker is also from notonthehighstreet.com and came with coloured dots to mark the places we’ve been. We now want to try and go to more places in the middle of the big black areas to make the dots more obvious and spread out – probably not the usual way to choose places to travel to but it could be fun! We’ve mostly stuck to the coast before due to our love of scuba diving but would love to try travelling in more different places in the future.

I hope you’ll agree it was quite a transformation! We now spend so much more time in there, I particularly love my new snug corner on the daybed where I can curl up under my knitted throw with a good book while Nik’s working on his computer.

I have been dying to share this with the Florence Findettes because I need a little help. We have decided to keep and display our large apothecary jars we used at our wedding but have no idea what, if anything, to put in them. Please help!

Great job Bex – I particularly love how you have managed to make all this things I always want to buy on holiday that then look out of place in cold grey england work so well together, particularly the safari photos and cohesive splashes of orange. The map is a great way to nod to the travel theme in a chic way and I love your certificates placed so high like that – genius idea!

Do leave Bex a comment if there’s something you like or if you want to ask her anything, I’m sure she’ll be around to help you out!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS You can find Bex at her blog The Olive Dragonfly and on twitter @OliveDragonfly. You can also see more of Bex’s stunning photography on her photography website: Bex Photo.

What to Wear: Spring Pastels

This weekend, after the hectic dash I made to London for the Florence Finds meet up (more on that later), Sunday was about being a day of rest. We headed to the allotment in the morning then I spent the afternoon blogging, tidying, and just enjoying being at home. Come the early evening it was still balmy and light so we headed off to the local pub for a drink outside.

These pictures were as much about my outfit as the backdrop, the Magnolia trees being out on my local streets literally stop me in my tracks every day, just to stare at the shell pink flowers and the cherry blossom is out in full-on fluffy force too.

One of the nicest things about the weather getting warmer is peeling back the layers or getting to wear lighter ones after the winter, so it was lovely to be able to step out in just my lightweight French Connection pale pink jacket. (Also seen here and here.) I teamed it with a new t-shirt, possibly a future ‘find’ from Zara – a lovely soft grey in organic cotton that isn’t ridiculously see through.


Neutral accessories were the order of the day and I wore my nude ballet flats with my jeans and for the first time, swapped one of my winter bags for this cream Marc by Marc Jacobs tote. I’ve had it for probably 5 years now and it still looks great. Perfect for warmer weather.

The thing that tied it all together though? I think it was the scarf. Another old item, it had all the pastels in that I was wearing on a cream backdrop but with the blue, just tied in my jeans nicely 🙂 I love it when an outfit comes together!

So what were you wearing in the sun this weekend?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Shades of Grey: Part Two

A little delayed by lots of awesome stuff I had to share last week, today I’m sharing my dining room, the other half of my decorating make over. (See the lounge and Part 1 here.)

Just as a reminder, here’s the before… and after.

It doesn’t take much persuasion for me to toot my trumpet and say I am more proud of this room than any other. It’s nothing ground breaking in terms of decor or design but it’s exactly what I set out to achieve. I wanted to make the room warmer, (thank you cow hide rug and Ikea curtains) and to look more ‘cohesive’ than it did. Warm and kind of salvage-rustic with a glamorous edge. The reason I am so pleased with it is that I walk though it every single day and don’t fail to enjoy it, and at the end of the day, what else is your home for?

Last week, I talked about the addition of the picture rail and architrave around the knocked through rooms. I’m ashamed to admit we had been in our house almost 5 years from knocking the two rooms together, without finishing off the woodwork and now I look at it and am so pleased that we finally did. The room looks so much more ‘finished’ and the white woodwork looks so crisp against the grey.

In the same way we had to work with the soft furnishings in the lounge, there were items we wanted to keep in the dining room, most notably the Habitat grey smoked mirror which shifted the colour scheme to a moodier palette of grey with smokey blue and dark wood (the table and floor,) accents.

Said floorboards are on the ridiculous side of freezing and there was little previously in the way of soft furnishings to warm to room up. First off we needed a rug and it was the perfect opportunity to purchase my favourite, a cow hide rug. We initially ordered a Graham and Green one but it arrived with a rather shaggy long coat and was sent back. Then we stumbled upon a much shorter one in Homesense for a bargain £199.

Our other Homesense bargain was this film lamp. Well, not exactly a bargain, but definitely worth every penny. I think it adds major impact to an otherwise unused corner of the room. We rearranged things slightly here, moving an old print that previously hung in the lounge and adding 2 curtains in a dark grey coarse linen from Ikea, instead of the single one that was there previously, to the window in the corner.

I’ve also tried to refine our accessories. Again, it’s a little empty at present, (some might say tidy,) but I prefer a more eclectic collection of ‘finds’ to make a home look lived in and illustrate its owners personalities. While we look for the right accent pieces, I’ve used some Sipsmith Gin bottles to decorate the mantelpiece and splashed out on a display dome although I’ve not yet decided what to put in it!

We also have a collection of letters to put up on the wall and my new globe is adding an eclectic feel. I edited the collection of frames we have to silver and mother of pearl ones with black and white images, giving a more cohesive look to the corner. The small wooden chest is a Tansu, a Japanese antique that Phil, my Mums partner gave me, that would have been used for storage.

My last ‘find’ was the lighting. Replacing the old tin Moroccan shade that I purchased in a Marrakech souk several years back, Pete and I had been unable to agree on a new dining light for several years, generally favouring design classics that required significant financial investment – which is hard to do when you haven’t seen the piece up close. BHS lighting department saved the day with these smoked glass shades in grey-blue in the dining room and then repeated in the living room in the smoked golden-brown version of the same. I think they were around £90 each and we hung them lower than usual to give a more atmospheric feel to the room.

And that’s it. We still have some accessories to add but I’m refusing to be hurried on those right now. I want to make sure they’re the right pieces and already, some of the bits I had chosen are feeling wintery while I’m looking forward to welcoming back in some colour. There might be more changes afoot. As ever, I’ll keep you posted.

Do let me know what you think of the ‘new look’ dining room…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

What to Wear: Pink and Navy

Ok, so, in all my enthusiasm last week (for pink, obvs,) I kinda forgot that it was February. Cold, wet, windy and all-around miserable February. After last week’s Fash Flash, I headed straight out and purchased the H&M pink trousers (£14.99) and congratulated myself with Sushi – stuff that cheap never fits me properly. Then I got it home and promptly wore them on the couch. As you do.

Not satisfied with the couch alone, I wanted to wear them at the weekend and found myself thinking, hang on a minute, how am I going to wear these without looking like an idiot in February? Tricky. My couch ensemble was perfect for a summer day, not the back end of winter. It’s not even March yet people!

But then I thought, wait a second, I think you guys must be having exactly the same problems. Victoria mentioned trans-seasonal outerwear dilemmas on Facebook and it’s London Fashion Week. That means the whole of the fashion-world-at-large rocking this season’s trends on the streets of London, despite the weather and (hopefully) avoiding the season in-appropriate fash-victim look.

So here’s how I did pink trousers in February…

Surely the easiest way to do brights is teamed with neutrals. In my book, navy counts as a neutral and it’s also a blinder of a colour teamed with pink, so on went the cozy. My striped top was a nod (or perhaps encouragement) to spring and then of course my trusty GAP parka in (another neutral in my book,) khaki. Topped with a sludgy blue scarf, I was wrapped up and ready to go.

My other reason for wanting to bring the trousers out? I really wanted to wear my new Belle Sigerson Morrison boots. I looked high and low all of last year for spring/summer grey boots and finally found the perfect pair a few weeks back from The Outnet. They were no where near as bargainous as the H&M trousers, although that depends on whether you look at the final price or the discount, but I worship at their dove grey uppers.

A couple of other new bits I’m particularly loving right now? A chunky gold link bracelet I found in Banana Republic last week in the sale – a bargain and something I can see myself wearing again and again, layered up or on its own. The nail polish was my final uber-bargain. One of a set of four from H&M for £2.99 – this one is a pale pistachio green, and the pink on my toes also came in the packet along with a lemon yellow and lilac. Perfect for SS12’s pastel trends.

So what do you think guys? How are you making your new spring purchases work while the weather stays grim? Look out for a bit more fashion and beauty this week on Florence Finds – we’re giving a nod to #LFW with some related posts and then some serious anti-fashion for good measure!

Pop back later for this month’s Book Club,

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Shades of Grey…

As you read this post, hopefully, somewhere warm and dry with your bum on a comfortable seat, I will be decorating. That is, I will be up a ladder, standing on a dust sheeted table, or wielding a paint roller with the dulcet tones of an electrician in the background, hacking a channel out of our plaster work to relocate a light switch. Because that’s what you do when you’re in search of perfection, no?!

If the paint roller had been the least of it, I would not be complaining – with a week off from work, we decided now would be the time to re-decorate. But in my infinite wisdom and as our lounge and dining room are open plan, it seemed only sensible to decorate both of them at once. I reasoned that if I did one or the other, the other would potentially get paint splattered or dusty anyway. What I didn’t consider was that I was basically unleashing chaos on the heart of our home. At the present time I have not put my bum on a seat, (including our sofa that I am practically having hallucinations about collapsing onto,) for five days. Five whole days of being stood up, climbing ladders, sanding (read: destroying my nails) painting, (read: getting paint in my hair) and now I’m fast approaching complete knackered-ness. All of our downstairs living area is in disarray – either covered in dust sheets, covered in plastic bin bags, (as are the fireplaces) or covered in piles of paint tins and wood offcuts.

Then there is the dust. The dreaded dust from sanding back Edwardian skirting boards and replacing the picture rails. We’ve also been finishing off the arch created when we knocked through from the front to the middle room 5 years ago. Yes, for 5 years it has been a bare rectangle of painted plaster which we were ‘going to finish off soon.’  And now I look at it finished I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner.

It’s been a slog through. As I write, my Mum and her partner Phil have just left. He’s a bit of a handy man with a saw and he and Pete saved us about £500 on employing a joiner, by installing the picture rail and architrave (decorative wood around a door frame) themselves. It’s taken the best part of 2 days but I’m so proud of them and grateful we had the help. Mum has been cleaning around us all like a demon, painting, hoovering up, keeping the troops fed and watered, and generally being fab. Thanks Mum!

So today’s post is dedicated to what we’re halfway through achieving, the perfect grey room. I wanted something contemporary but elegant and in keeping with the period features of our home. We already have a neutral sofa and blue/brown 2-tone arm chair, plus some hessian-look roman blinds with a blue/brown edge that I’m undecided whether to keep or not. I wanted a true grey, neither so pale as to be mistaken for off-white, nor so dark that it looked like cement. Chic but not cold looking and the existing colour (Dulux Egyptian Cotton) was a pale taupe that already looked grey in some lights, so it had to be different to that.

Let me tell you, it is seriously hard to find the right grey. We started off at Farrow and Ball, (which we considered still an economy as we tend to lean towards wallpaper usually, which would have cost much more) determined that spending money would yield the perfect shade. How wrong we were. For all its great press for fabulous neutrals, the greys were all slightly green, too beige, cool blues. Our preferred shades were splitting hairs when compared with the existing paint so F&B, however luxe and lovely, was out.


Top row, all Farrow and Ball, bottom row as labelled.

Disheartened, we headed to B&Q and bought them out of tester pots in everything resembling grey. I’ve never been a paint snob and true to form it was here we found our chosen shade. I wonder if you can guess which one?

So today, I’d like you all to make me feel a little better! Let’s hear if you’re decorating – have been wiped out by a project like this, or if you have got the perfect shade of grey paint in your home?

Oh, and ten Florence Finds points for any of you who can guess which shade I chose 😉

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. Did I mention we have new carpets coming tomorrow? Eeeek! Which means we need to be finished by then. Double eeek!

PPS. Please excuse the rubbish iPhone pictures. I promise there will be a full, beautifully photographed before and after soon, but for now an iPhone is all I can muster!

Friday Frock O’Clock

We’re going full on glamour this week, with this stonkingly sexy dress from the geniuses over at Reiss.

I feel it’s a little out of keeping with the season… October and November, what with Halloween and Bonfire Night, are kind of snuggly jumper months with boots and the like, but I’m hoping to have a very fancy party to attend shortly and as such will need a fancy dress. This has got fancy written all over it, don’t you think?

Reiss Cecille Halter Dress
*Reiss Cecille Grey Halter – £225

Thigh splits seem to be all the rage at the moment and there’s not much call for them day to day but if you’ve got it flaunt it I say – this would look fabulous with a toned pair of pins. 🙂

I’m also in awe of the 70’s vibe and the print – it’s described as a ‘smudged moth print’ but I think it’s got more than a hint of the snakeskin look to it and (now that we’ve done leopard love) that’s my new favourite print crush. Very Bond-tastic.

Ok, so now it’s your turn. As will be customary, the point of Friday Frock O’Clock is that you all post a frock that you’re seriously coveting. As it’s the first week, I might widen the net a little to any lust-after fashion item. Or maybe you’d like to share something you’re actually wearing this weekend, then we all get to while away the last couple of hours of the working week doing a little dress perving instead.

You know you want to…

Love,
Rebecca.
xo

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