Real Rooms: A Yellow Cow Parsley Attic Bedroom

This post is brought to you in association with The Secret Linen Store. Scroll down for an exclusive reader offer at the end of the post!

So… about that guest room I mentioned last week… here we are!

Let’s just take a moment to go back to how it was when we moved in… (I hate ruining good ‘after’ post’s with ‘before’ pictures, but it has to be done…)

We actually lived up here in this room, in this state, for 4 months from December to April this year, while our bedroom was being knocked through into the dressing room. Aside from the awful retro wardrobes and stale carpet, it’s a lovely room with high vaulted ceilings as it’s in the attic. The plan was to create a room for my mum to stay. It’s really a regular guest room right now, but when I go back to work, mum will be looking after Bea 2 days a week and I wanted her to have a proper retreat as she’s doing us such a big favour. The plan is to make a bit of a ‘suite’ with a sitting and TV area (as yet not complete,) along with the bed. The L-shaped room lends itself to being segregated like this but as when we started the project I was about 36 weeks pregnant, we focused on the bedroom side of things.

We stripped out all the fitted wardrobes and shelves, stripped the wallpaper (lovely wood chip and anaglypta,) moved a radiator and some plugs, fitted a new double glazed window and had it replastered. Then we decorated and recarpeted. We chose a white we have used in the past (Sail White by Crown) which is a very slightly warmer shade of white that just avoids looking stark. We use fit in our previous hallway where it was also paired with this Cole and Son Cow Parsley wallpaper. (Click the links in this paragraph for Instagram’s of our progress.)

We papered our old hallway down one side in this wallpaper and happened to have a roll left over. As it’s such a sunny light and bright room, it seemed obvious to use it up here, but unfortunately due to the height of the wall we chose to do we had to buy an extra roll. Still, I’m glad we did.

Furniture wise we were on a serious, totally-out-of-money-doing-up-the-kitchen budget and went to IKEA for the bed. The besides are our old ones (also IKEA but no longer available in this style, from the Hemnes range.) We also added an antique wardrobe that we bought from our house’s previous owners, which my sister and Pete lugged upstairs when I was heavily pregnant and no longer allowed to lift stuff – I’m so happy with it in this room. I think every room should have something old in it, in a house of this age it just makes things look more natural. I stacked my vintage globetrotters on top to finish it off.

The curtains are in Sanderson Home fabric, called Angel Ferns and were a bit of a steal from John Lewis – one of their display curtains I bought and took apart for the old house spare room, they have been re-made again for this room although they still need taking up a little more, as you can see here.

 Lets get back to the bed. You guys know how I like to style a bed and I think that’s really important in a guest room – to make it cosy and inviting. I try to do that by choosing complementary linens, piling the pillows high, making sure the linen is ironed and then adding cushions and throws. The Secret Linen Store came to my rescue here and dressed the bed in their Dotty coffee cream bedding set.

Paired with the tiny stripe coffee cream fitted sheet, it adds to the layered patterns and textures look I was going for. The bedding has a subtle soft sheen and a lovely weight to it and I particularly liked the contrast of the coffee dots on cream in the pillow and reversed pattern of cream on coffee for the duvet. With the 260 thread count, the whole set looks invitingly rich.

For finishing touches, I layered up a cushion made with scraps from the curtains and a textured yellow and linen John Lewis cushion. The lights are from our old room with Graham and Green shades; The drawer handles are Anthropologie, as are the two candles on the left hand bedside. I wanted to layer lots of textures and patterns in this room. It’s a tricky thing to do but I’m pretty pleased with how it has turned out.

Now onto that special offer! The Secret Linen Store are offering 12% off to Florence Finds readers until December 31st 2014. Simply use the offer code WELCOMEFF12 at check out!

I hope you like it readers. I’m really happy with how it has turned out, particularly as many of the items in the room were pulled together from other rooms and previous projects; The bedding just adds that finishing touch. I can certainly promise you won’t be disappointed if you treat yourself to some of their bed linen to finish off one of your projects.


Disclaimer: The Secret Linen Store provided the Dotty coffee cream bedding set and tiny stripe coffee cream fitted sheet for review. If we didn’t like it, you wouldn’t be hearing about it here!

Home Updates…

A little while back, my main decorating focus was the revamping of my open plan dining room and living room. When I shared them, they were a little sparse, having just been decorated and I was being rather fussy about putting all the tat I had cleared out back into the newly pristine rooms. As time has gone on, I’ve refined a few of my choices and finally have gotten around to doing some of the things I wanted to do, a mini room makeover.

So I have taken a few snap shots of my new additions to share with you all, I hope you enjoy them!

First up, additional wildlife. I’ve been loving the animal head trend I’ve seen all over Living Etc and lately in Graham and Green and Rockett St George, (FYI ours was NOT this expensive!) but I really dislike buying for the home online. I like to see things and inevitably the price of delivery (and therefore returns) is so much more costly, that I kept hanging back. Then the other day we saw this deer head in Dwell. (It is available online too.) I love the white – like the wood in the room it stands out crisply against the grey walls and we got to test out that it was the right size for the space we had in mind.

That was the first addition to my little reading corner. Before you all get all incredulous and think ‘how does she get time to read,‘ I don’t! But the club chair we bought with our sofa has always appeared so inviting. In fact we call it ‘Tabbys’ chair’ as she commandeers it daily. However, I have long lusted after a picture shelf to display books or photos on, whatever the mood dictates. We have one in our hall that is wooden and a more streamlined version of this one, both are from Ikea. I resisted this one for literally years because I felt it was too chunky and eventually caved because I wanted the project complete and really, I’m just out of ideas for an alternative. In the end, I think it looks great. We got the bigger size and cut it down, sanding and touching up the edges.

Now all I need is to get rid of that union jack cushion. I’m so over the ‘Rule Britannia’ interiors trend!

Into the dining room, I finally put up the collection of letters we have picked up around our travels. They used to litter the 2 rooms but I think they look better as a collection and the wood mixed with wire and metal letters seem to pick up the slightly more salvage-chic look of this room. Well, the look I’m working towards anyway. 😉

Lastly, I bought a display dome, then couldn’t get to grips with what to put in it! Everything was too big or too small and being in a bit of a dark corner, I felt it needed to be something bright so as not to get lost. I had ideas about getting one of these vases and maybe attaching some brightly coloured birds like these, I still might, but for now, I grabbed this cute little white ceramic toadstool pair in the Selfridges sale for £3! I’m having a real thing about ceramics, especially the white again popping against the grey or wooden backdrops in the room.

So I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my home again and like my mini room makeover. I still have things in mind to buy and add, I’ll keep you posted. Have you got any mini-projects on the go?


PS. Want to see the whole rooms, before and after? Lounge and Dining room here.

How Florence found… Notting Hill

A couple of weekends ago, I headed to London for a weekend of investigating the areas I don’t normally visit as a tourist. One of my main missions was to visit Graham and Green, the interiors store that I obsess over but have never visited and I opted for the Notting Hill store thinking the area would be good for exploring too.

Being a complete novice to the area, we chose Saturday lunch time to head over from our base in Shoreditch, The Hoxton Hotel and emerged from the tube into the midst of the masses also heading towards Portobello Road and the market of the same name. In retrospect, I should have realised how busy it would be, but it probably wouldn’t have put me off despite my extreme dislike of being shoved around, which was totally inevitable.

We flowed along in the general direction of the crowd and eventually hit the market with what seemed like endless collections of almost anything you could possibly want, silver and lace being most popular. On the way we passed rows of pastel painted houses with brightly coloured front doors and pretty gardens, perfect for imagining who lives behind them…

The whole trip became a bit of a gastronomic walking tour and I was drawn into Arancina pizzeria with a classic orange Fiat 500 in the window, used to display long rectangular pizzas while they cooled. We bought a ball of risotto rice which in this case had cheese and ham in the middle and was covered in bread crumbs and went some way towards mopping up the hangover I was battling from the night before.

Before I knew it, we were upon the Hummingbird Bakery and tempted into buying a black bottomed cupcake which we shared as we carried on. My justification was that I’ve never made that particular recipe and it was worth every mouthful 🙂

When we finally got to Graham and Green I was a bit disappointed by the size of the shop although it was packed to the rafters with covetable items. Most annoyingly, my favourite items that I wanted to see up close before considering a purchase, (this desk, this mirror and erm, another desk in case you’re wondering,) weren’t on display. We could have headed to the other store but I decided I could live without seeing them for now. I left with a gift for Anna K, whose birthday party it was later, a single champagne flute and a ceramic tray, both for my dressing table.

Next we decided it was time for lunch and headed to Electric, as recommended by Rachel where the chicken, bacon and avocado salad was lovely and pete had a Croque Monsieur. We sat outside and watched the bustle from the market but the decor inside was right up my street, all oversized industrial lights, metro tiles and reused wood.

Although we were recommended Ottolengis, we decided we had had enough of the area and headed back to East London to make some headway on our epic to-do list over there.

I’d love to hear if you have any Notting Hill area recommendations that I’ve missed, be they shopping or food destinations… Do share them and help the travel section become useful as a resource for other readers planning weekend or needing a Notting Hill guide, particularly if you have lived or worked in the area. 🙂


East London Calling…

This afternoon I’m hoping my readers will help me out, but not only me. Often when I write a post about something you guys chip in with brilliant suggestions and recommendations and today I’m relying on that. On this occasion it is purely selfish, as this weekend I’m heading off to London town for a weekend with Pete. We’ve been meaning to go for a while and I’m excited to be in London for once and not on business. Exciting though that often is, I never get to see the things I’ve earmarked, the shops I like or try the cool cafes and restaurants I rush past in a hurry. This weekend there will be serious lingering in coffee shops, mooching in boutiques, rummaging in markets and testing of cocktails. All in the name of research you understand.)

Image Credit: Andre Beato

And this is where you guys come in. I really need your help. I’ve got my hotel sorted (The Hoxton in Shoreditch, more on that coming soon) and now I need some places to go. My only must-do whilst in the big smoke is to visit Graham and Green, one of my favourite interiors destinations online and I’ve been desperate to see the actual shop for some years now. That will take us to either Regents Park or Notting Hill (I’m leaning towards the latter as I have always wanted to go,) but otherwise we’re pretty free to wander and explore.

The other reason I hope you’ll help out with your recommendations is that posts like this become a valuable resource for other readers, either searching for travel tips and stylish hang outs or inspiring trips away. The UK was one of the most popular destinations when you gave me your feedback on travel favourites here at Florence Finds and I’m hoping we can build that section up in the coming months.

So, spill the beans about your must visit areas or streets, foodie destinations, fascinating shops and favourite bars in the Shoreditch area, or around Graham and Green in Notting Hill.

Thanks guys! I’ll love you forever 🙂


Shed some Light on it…

Well good afternoon! After all the excitement of this morning’s launch, lets settle down to some of the fabulous finds you can expect on a regular basis. We’re getting straight to the good stuff (or some of my favourites at least!) …Interiors.

I enjoy lighting so much that instead of over indulging and having rather too many lamps and statement lights, I am caught in a quandry of indecisiveness. Our dining room has been the subject of much ‘lighting’ discussion, many a walk around a lighting department and 5 years on, we are still with the same pendant shade. ( – a tin punched lantern bought in the souks of Marrakesh but now slightly rusty. Nice.)

Today, I thought I’d do a round up of task lighting, inspired by this stunning salvage look creation (Teak and Brushed Aluminium desk lamp) from Cox and Cox. You might have seen it adorning the front of their Autumn catalogue. As I searched I found quite a few, including a bargain from Laura Ashley with a similar look and some very utilitarian clamping lights from Plumo

*Teak and Brushed Aluminium desk lampCox and Cox, Cream enamel and wood lamp – Laura Ashley, Utilitarian Clamp light – Plumo.

Of course, no round up of task lighting is complete without the design classic that is the Anglepoise. The 1227 is the one I’m referring to, but I love equally the slightly retro, jewel bright glass shaded 1228. It’s inspired many a reproduction and you can even get a similar look from stores like Ikea.

*Blue Work Lamp – Ikea, Anglepoise 1227 in Cream – John Lewis, Anglepoise 1228 (with blue shade) – John Lewis.

I do rather like a bit of a retro feel to a desk lamp, and the blue one below has an air of late fifties design about it. Traditional lamps don’t look out of place even on a modern desk (Ikea coming up trumps here again) and this white lamp would be just as at home in a sleek all-white scheme as a rustic home office in the garden shed.

*Penelope Task Lamp in Slate – John Lewis, Hector Table lamp – Baileys, Nickel work Lamp – Ikea.

King of Quirk, Graham and Green make a couple of bobby dazzlers if you want something really different.

*Teacup desk lamp and Reclaimed Tap lamp

Not given your desk lamp a second thought? Or have you got a special piece to share? Drop a comment in the box and do let us know!


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