Art Amateur…

I love art. Despite that, many of the walls in our home are still blank, simply out of my inability to pull the plug and purchase something to decorate them with. I hope in future we will have some spare cash to invest in beautiful limited editions or even some original prints and that stops me spending money on lovely prints now sometimes, despite there being so many out there.


‘You are my Happiness’ – Yvonne Coomber

When we renovated the lounge we really had a mind-block about what to put on the walls. It’s not a casual room, although the curtains keep it a bit less formal, (as do the constantly scattered toys on the floor nowadays!) so my usual choice of fun prints wasn’t quite right and my go to for simpler rooms of photographic prints or black and white prints wasn’t right in a room with so much colour.

For my birthday Pete bought me this Yvonne Coomber Limited edition print and it’s absolutely perfect for the space. We discovered her work at the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall on our first anniversary and have many a time considered splashing out on an original. The prices have doubled since we started looking at them and realistically we’re not yet at the stage we should spend the money on one anyway, so I was thrilled with this. For all the reasons above, I never would have bought it myself, but it’s made me realise we should have done it sooner!

It made me wonder, have you ever spent a bit more on a piece of special art? Or if you haven’t is there something you always wish you had bought or would like to in future?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Renovation Ruminations: The Living Room

The longer we are in the house and the more I immerse myself in interiors inspiration, the more I’m finding the creative juices are flowing for our decoration plans. I’m really starting to gain a huge amount of respect for people who take on full house renovations as there is so much to think about beyond the paint colours. At the moment we’re just at the ‘getting quotes’ stage, to get a better idea of the funds we need in place for each room. As much as I would love to get on with the living room/lounge, we’re limited as it’s going to be another whopper of a room to do properly, as it needs amongst other things, new windows, the chimney breast knocking through so we can replace a salvaged fireplace, new flooring and potentially new furniture as the current sofa isn’t ideal for the space.


The perfect living space for me… but is ‘warm’ enough for winter?

Decoratively, my biggest concern and challenge is to make this room work both in summer and winter. I’ve been through two big phases of decor in the last house, initially going with an industrial ‘period’, (when I had red damask wallpaper in the cosy dining room and the vintage salvaged photos on the wall.) Then more recently I moved to wards lighter, brighter interiors. This time, I want some colour and some warmth that will lend itself towards long winter nights but I want that colour to work equally well with brighter colours for the summer.


Office space // Selina Lake // Formal living space

At the moment I’m hugely drawn towards moody blue interiors. Not anything as dark as navy but no coastal or country-ish lighter shades either. I’m looking for the perfect smokey blue, inspired by many of the Bluebellgray images I have seen online. (Fi the creator of Bluebellgray uses Pointer Blue from Farrow & Ball in her home.)


Bluebellgray via Bright Bazaar

I’ve also fallen in love with Bluebellgray‘s fabrics. Previously I thought they were a bit too floral for me, with such a summery vibe, but having seen the latest fabrics and some abstract patterns (Via Bright Bazaar,) I think they could work season-round with toning blue shades and splashes of my favourite yellows and pinks.


Fireplace // Light Fitting // Paint swatches, all Farrow & Ball // Sofa // Floral fabric Swatch and room set, BluebellGray via Bright Bazaar // Gold Table Nest, Zara Home // Gallery wall

We’re planning to source a salvaged Victorian white marble fireplace to restore into the room, which I’m hoping will really pop against the blue. Despite my infatuation with the blues, I’m going to try and balance it by only having it on one wall, and keeping the rest grey. Other ideas include a mix of furniture, something in the bay window like a window seat or pair of danish chairs, splashes of warm gold or brass and some way of including the TV amongst lots of art on a gallery wall so it doesn’t take over the room.

So what do you think readers? Have you got any ideas? I’m really enjoying sharing my plans here – it’s proving really useful to think through all the design elements before actually doing anything!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Triple Temptation: A Nest of Tables

Because we have a rather long sofa, I’ve noticed while we have had a stream of ‘new house viewing’ guests over in recent weeks that they can be lacking in somewhere to put a cup of tea. Rather than me having a heart attack over whether they’re going to kick over the tea at their feet onto the new carpet, I realised I’m in need of a nest of tables.

I always used to think that table nests were terribly old fashioned but there is so much vintage and retro influence in interiors at the moment that they feel very current and there are also lots of modern styles around.


1. Monocle nest of tables with mirror top – Zara Home £119 // 2. Content by Conran at John Lewis metallic circles nest £250 // 3. Glass Nest of tables, Zara Home £119

My preference is towards the glamour of gilded and mirrored styles or this round set from Content by Conran at John Lewis, which have been on my wishlist for a long time. The bonus has to be that you can style up your top table with a lamp and books etc and not have to move anything when you pull out one of the tables beneath for guests.

What do you think readers?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

New House Tour: Part 1

The truth is, I don’t know where to start with this post. There’s so much to show and so much to tell that it’s hard to know where to begin. I’ve decided to divide the house into 2 halves and then I’m going to do a few room specific posts with mood boards and tell you about our plans. I can’t count the number of people who have said ‘You’ve got mood boards right?’ and in all honesty, I haven’t! Ok, I have vague overall ideas and themes in mind but the detail is only just becoming clearer in my mind. It’s amazing how living in a house changes your ideas and plans and in the mere week that we’ve been in so much has changed in my mind already.

*Please bear with the photo’s – I can’t find my camera cable yet and these were all taken on my iPhone the weekend we moved in.

So, lets get the basics out there. The house is old, a true Victorian house, built in 1898. Super old. And it’s big. Remember my dream house post a few weeks back? Well one of the things we wanted in the new house was space for people to stay – namely our families. Neither of our families are local and we’d like a chance at hosting Christmas without people driving one year, and the ability to have both sets of grandparents at once for example when we have a family. The new house has 3 floors, 4 if you count the cellars, and hence a few bedrooms. It has Pete’s stipulations of a drive and a garage (a monstrosity of a double one actually, soon to meet the sledge hammer.)

It doesn’t have everything though, and I’ll talk you through that as we go around, but we’re very happy already – it almost feels like we have always been here. We’re planning on being here for 10ish years – right now the only thing we can see making us move is schooling decisions, as the secondary schools locally are currently not great, but I’m not a fan of the idea of private schooling, so we’ll see.

Let’s start with the ground floor…

There’s a lovely wide hall and the original stained glass door, after the open porch. The hall is an L-shape, turning 90 degrees to the left when you walk further in. That left turn takes you up the stairs or alongside them towards the kitchen, but we’ll get there in a second.

At the front of the house, there are 2 equal sized rooms off the hall. We’ve chosen one as the living room, with a big bay window and what they call an ‘oriel window’ with more stained glass to the side. It looks pretty murky from outside, but inside it reveals it’s true colours, all sorts of gorgeous pastel shades. So pretty.


The other front room is going to be the dining room. The window is different here, with 2 large flat windows in a kind of slight rectangular bay. it juts out a bit but is flat with no side windows if that makes sense.

Sadly neither room has any original fireplaces, but the cornice, picture rails, skirtings and doors are all original, as is the stained glass. Both the rooms are fairly recently carpeted and neutrally decorated, so whilst the cream is driving me mad, it’s also a lot less offensive than it potentially could be. Over-all the house is all very well kept and we’re fortunate in that everything that has been done, has been done properly. As you can see we were also lucky in that the previous owners left the curtains and light fittings, so we’re not dealing with bare bulbs or scrambling for ‘in the mean time’ curtains.

Also off the hall is the downstairs toilet (I know, how exciting is that?) which is lovely. There’s room for coats (behind the door) in built-in frosted glass floor to ceiling cupboards, a new toilet and sink and the walls are half clad in tongue and groove wood, with cream damask wallpaper above. On a practical level, it’s great to have somewhere to hide away the cats litter tray too!

Lastly, we have the kitchen – source of much angst in the exchange process and hampered by our monster pipe. Because of the awkward layout, the previous owners described the tiny back room as the kitchen and it’s where the oven, hob, half size dishwasher and sink are all squeezed into.

The larger space is billed as ‘the breakfast room’ and has a run of units, some original built in cupboards and the fridge/freezer is concealed under the worktops here. All the appliances and the lack of cupboards makes for a serious lack of storage and we were quite lucky in the old house having a galley kitchen lined with cupboards both sides top and bottom. There’s also a lack of worktop space, or maybe we just have too many gadgets?

We bought a little dresser from the previous owners, (amongst other things) which we’re using for extra storage and I intend to paint and pretty up. The windows look out the the garden and there’s a back door (which is a stable door) and I actually quite love, plus it’s handy for keeping the cats in whilst getting some air in.

So that’s one quarter of the house, and another whole quarter is below ground in the cellars. I’ve never been a fan of cellars or coveted them, although a lot of people seem quite in love with the idea (men particularly.)

Ours match the entire footprint of the house so there are two empty chambers at the front, space where the hall would be, a workshop beneath the downstairs loo and another empty chamber under the kitchen. To the far rear in the area beneath our strange tiny kitchen, there’s plumbing for the washer (and a dryer which we don’t currently have,) as a pseudo utility room. And under the hall, shelving makes for an extension of the kitchen in a dry store come pantry area.

I don’t have any cellar pictures as yet. What I will say is that it’s fab to have space to store things that isn’t a dusty loft and there will be plenty of space to do diy projects in winter without messing up the house.

I’ll leave it there for now and come back next week with the first and second floors, it’s a warren up there! I hope you like it 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Triple Temptation: Statement Standards

Of course since I knew where we were moving, my mind has been all about interiors. In our old house we had pretty much filled everywhere we could and couldn’t justify a single extra item, but now we have several extra rooms to fill and I’m in my element.


Navy Tripod lamp £99 Alfred tripod lamp £149 // Chicago floor lamp £179

One of the pieces I love most that we brought with us (and that gets a lot of comments) is the film light that we had in the dining room – it’s gone into the new dining room too. It was bought from Home Sense, one of my favourite shops, but their online presence is terrible so when I found these statement standard lamps at Made.com, I had to share them.

Each of these has a different style and feel, and they are all well priced considering the impact they will have in a room.

I’ll write more about Made.com soon, but in the mean time, have you purchased anything from there?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS Apologies for the late post – truth is, I intended to write about the house, but I can’t find my camera cable to download the photo’s! Bear with me!

Spotted: Piles of Pillows

Right now, I’m in the process of re-vamping 3 different spaces in my home. The sofa, the garden and the spare room. Integral to all three are the cushions I’m choosing and as a result I’ve been like an eagle eyed hawk, searching in home stores and online for the pick of the bunch.

In the living room, we have spent 6 years now with the cushions that came with our sofa. I love them, but to my astonishment they are starting to show the wear they have had and are going threadbare at the corners. Cue my final push towards creating a more eclectic look for the sofa with a mismatched collection of patterns and prints. To keep it cohesive I’m sticking to a main colour palette of blues, with a strong lean towards a global feel, plus the ongoing search for my favourite ikat print. Here are my picks:


Ombre dye and ikat print, Matalan £6 each // Fringed Javadi Pillow, Anthropologie £88 // Both striped and embroidered cushion, John Lewis, £25-35

Aside from my Matalan bargain finds are a wealth of ikat cushions on Etsy.com. One piece of advice if you want to avoid high import duties is to find a UK supplier selling on Etsy and there are several offering ikat designs.


Cushions from: IkatSuzanicom, CoupleHome, and Yastik on Etsy.

The second area I’m looking at is the garden. We have a tiny garden but I’m really keen to make it more of an ‘outdoor room’, with comfort and style taking precedence, (perhaps over practicality.) We have a beautiful garden bench that was a wedding gift from my mum which has been relocated and I want to add some garden cushions for comfort. As it’a brick walled garden and the bench is iron, I’m going for a french theme and these are my favourite cushions for the space.


French burlap, JolieMarche on Etsy £23 // Paris Cushion, Next £14 // Linen sacking prints, £7-13, Paisley Velvet £10, both H&M // French print linen cushion, NOTHS.com £22

Lastly, when it comes to getting that eclectic, ‘artfully arranged’ look, you can end up with more of a mess than a mismatch, so I highly recommend watching this video by Emily Henderson. Emily is an interior designer and TV stylist and the video shows how to combine patterns and prints successfully.

It is super useful if you’re a bit pattern shy 🙂

Happy Monday readers – have you spotted any great cuschions recently?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS. IF you want to see more of my cushion and curtain finds and favourites, follow my Cushions and Curtains Pinterest board!

Decor Updates

After spending a not inconsiderable amount of time just over a year ago painting our lounge and dining room in a sophisticated grey and white scheme, I’ve been fighting the urge to put a ton of colour back into the rooms. Over the last year I’ve just about come to terms with the fact that in actual fact, I just prefer colour and have come full circle again, having previously erased it from several areas of our house, save for the odd subtle splash.

When I last shared the living room, I had made a couple of updates since the renovation, but was holding out for the perfect accessories and I don’t believe you can buy those things in bulk, so it was still looking a little empty. We also still had a couple of accents from the old scheme; a union jack cushion that I was more than a little tired of and a red spot throw – both previously used to tie the lounge to the red wallpaper in the adjoining dining room, pre-renovation.

Since then I’ve slowly been acquiring new additions. The first item to be added ended up forming the backbone of the scheme – a huge pink flamingo watercolour that I fell in love with on Etsy. One installed over the mantelpiece I was a little un-nerved by the beady eye staring back at me, but now I love the almost Palm Springs vibe it offers. That along with a salvaged yellow ceramic bird, cemented the bright scheme I was going for.

I’m loving ikat prints right now and had my heart set on an ikat print cushion but despite them being ubiquitous on the American blogs they don’t seem to have filtered over here as yet, then I stumbled on this ikat inspired cushion in the John Lewis sale at Christmas.

I wanted an ikat or geometric blue blanket to replace the old red spot one too, but again searched high and low without success. This Frome wool blanket was the closest thing I could find to what I had in mind but was rather expensive, then in a local shop I spotted a block colour checked blanket in fuchsia pink, grey and purple. Although unsure about the purple, I went well with our room and was a bit of a snip at £40 so I snapped it up.

My final and most recent purchase was a chance finding a couple of weekends ago in Lincoln on a hen do, where I spotted a Russian Doll shop. Full of bright and colourful little dolls lined up I felt they made the perfect addition to my mantle and now it’s feeling much more finished.

I’m so happy with how the room is evolving. All that remains is to replace the vintage/salvage prints behind the sofa with a collection of more tonal artworks, which I have already started with a photographic print of surfers by Ian Baguskas from 20×200. I plan to finally get some photos printed from a couple of shoots we have had done along with some Etsy prints.

Let me know what you think readers! I do hope you like it 🙂

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS.
Before/Afters: Our living room renovation and the dining room.

Snapshots…

This afternoon I’m taking time out to prepare for the second Dream. Find. Do. workshop – this time we are heading to London and being hosted by the super cool Hoxton Hotel. I can’t wait to meet our students and share all my blogging finds from over the last 3 years. I can hardly believe I’ve been blogging that long! (For those of you who want to know more, Sam from A Little London Wedding has just posted her review of the first workshop in Manchester and it’s great read.)

This afternoon I’m sharing some snapshots of the little things that I’m loving right now but I’m also getting discount codes through left, right and centre for the next few days so I have also included a little list of them for any of you who want to get ahead with your Christmas shopping – take advantage and get a bargain! Scroll down after the photo’s for the list.

The new flamingo joining us on my living room mantlepiece (from here)

My Dad’s old Canon SLR (that I learnt to take photo’s with) adding to the interiors books on my picture shelf.

A cute Christmas decoration from my sister that I’m making all-year-round pretty on my wardrobe door handle.

Unpacking the Alphabet bags for the Dream. Find. Do. goodie bags this weekend.

American treats we brought back from Florida…

My favourite new necklace – A ram (because I’m an Aries) from J.Crew.

Happy Shopping!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

PS!

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

Found: How to mix patterns

One of the things that is hardest to do (I find) in interiors, is to get that eclectic mix of items and style them all together without it looking like a jumble sale. When items that you love just work together then that’s great, but when you’re trying to achieve that look from scratch it can be frustrating for you and disastrous for your design project if you’re just not progressing with it.

So, when I stumbled across this video last week, I thought you might all enjoy watching it and learning from Emily, who I later found out started out as a props stylist, then won a TV design competition and now hosts her own design show on HGTV. Maybe you already know her? Either way, I found the advice was fantastic, clearly presented and Emily even goes so far as to show the mistakes you can make when only applying one design theory.


How to mix patterns, Styling 101 by Emily Henderson.

Do let me know if you found this interesting and useful and make sure you check out Emily’s blog, Style by Emily Henderson.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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