Archive | September, 2011

Friday, I’m in love…

30 Sep

{Bart Brussee via 79 Ideas}

… with this reminder of why yellow and grey should get married and have babies (on second thoughts, would those babies be beige?)

… with carved wood acorns. Just because.

… with this super-simple idea to turn a basic frame into a pretty pincushion.

… with £20 off at Lombok in exchange for a snap of your purchase at home. Perhaps my lovely screen could be a nice little earner!

… with our Indian Summer. It’s here! It’s here!

Bon weekend!

Autumn preserve

29 Sep

In my opinion, Bonne Maman jars deserve to be hailed as a design icon and it seems Fiona Sami – whose lovely photos I found on Flickr – agrees. Here are a few of my favourites with an autumn-y theme.

{Fiona Sami / Sad Ferret via Flickr}

You can see the full collection of photos in this album. What do you do with your old Bonne Maman jars?

Can you tell what it is yet?

28 Sep

I’ve always been an arty sort of girl.

When I was growing up I’d bounce in from school with a new ‘masterpiece’ several times a week. My parents dutifully Blu-Tacked the latest offering to the kitchen wall where it would inevitably shed painted lentils and pasta shapes all over the lino to be hoovered up by the family dog or (I suspect) my little brother.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about this problem in my own home just yet, but I have plenty of friends with budding artists scampering about. So for them, I thought I’d share this tastefully curated family home.

I love this black lacquered floor and crisp white RAR rocker combo. The headless doll? Not so much.

I’ve never understood the trend for wishy washy pale blues and pinks for kid’s bedrooms. White + brights looks so much more fun!

By dedicating a special area to the kids’ latest crafts and drawings, Nancy and Laas have stopped them spilling into other areas. Hang a ribbon with a certain number of pegs and replace older things with the newer ones when the line gets full.

{Donna Griffith via Covet Garden}

I love how this home feels playful without being too childish. By presenting children’s artwork just as they would ‘the real thing’  Nancy and Laas have made it look special – without a dog-eared corner or stray pasta bow in sight.

There’s more of this colourful home here and if you have kids you should also visit this new vlog to follow one stylist’s quest to leave oh-so-tasteful grey behind and give her new family home a vibrant makeover.

Flowers in the window

26 Sep

It’s such a lovely day

And I’m glad you feel the same*

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

It’s not much I know, but welcome to my ‘garden’ readers!

Last weekend I potted up my window boxes for winter with crimson cyclamen, trailing ivy and some bulbs which seem to be poking up already even though they’re meant to be sleeping until spring.

I struggle a lot with the darkness of a British winter, but opening the blinds on those dark mornings and seeing a row of bright flowers really helps to lift my spirits. These delicate-looking plants will keep going through lashing rain and blankets of snow and although this has to be one of the smallest ‘gardens’ in London, on those days it means a lot to me.

* Travis, 2002, in case you’re wondering…

B is for Birdcages

23 Sep

You don’t put a bird on it… you put a bird in it.
Or at least you used to, until we all started putting flowers, mirrors, pretty old shoes and other vintage bits and bobs in them…

{Elle Decoration via Pinterest}

{An Angel At My Table, £15, via Pinterest}

{Style Me Pretty via Pinterest}

Don’t forget, you can follow my pins every day – click this link or hit the red button in the sidebar. See you there!

Bon weekend!

Ps: before you go, you must click the very first link in this post… it’s hilarious!

Explore an atmospheric factory conversion

21 Sep

I seem to have developed a bit of a taste for warehouse and factory conversions recently. There’s just something about those huge windows, concrete floors and bare brick walls that speaks to my inner hipster who (very occasionally) tries to get out. This Australian coat hanger factory is particularly lovely – it’s owned by painter Adriane Strampp who has given it a warm atmosphere without it feeling pretentious or losing the building’s rough and ready character.

Two sashes just weren’t enough for this building – has anyone seen triple sash windows in the UK? I can even forgive the ubiquitous Union Jack cushion in amongst this jumble of soft crumpled linen.

The house I grew up in had a cream Aga exactly like this and I’ll always be under their spell. On chilly mornings my brother and I would sit in front of it with our feet on oven door warming our toes!

Perhaps the bare plaster and exposed lightbulb is too minimal for some, but I actually think there’s something quite cosy about this bedroom. Perhaps its those layered linens again..?

Adriane’s painting studio is a short walk from the house. I love the creative chaos of artists’ studios, especially when they also have their own work at home. This ghostly landscape would look perfect above my sofa too.

{all Sean Fennessey via The Design Files}

How do you feel about the industrial look?

Come dine with me…

19 Sep

On Saturday I donned my pinny, got some cheesy tunes on the iPod and spent a lovely day pottering around my kitchen cooking up some tasty treats for three blogging friends. Join us for pudding?

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

I love old fashioned Downton Abbey-esque puddings and the Lemon Posset was scrumptious, lemon squeezy to make and (I have to admit) a good excuse to give my vintage teacup collection a night out. I used this recipe but left out the zest because I thought it would be nicer with a silky smooth texture. I was a bit worried the cardamom shortbread might taste a bit odd but the flavour was really subtle and strangely good with the zingy lemon. Next time you’re entertaining and need a pudding, this one has full marks from me!

Friday, I’m in love…

16 Sep


… with this autumnal putty and damson bedroom scheme – get the look with this real linen bedding

… with The Help and fantasies of baking Minny’s caramel cake

… with this seasonal ‘thank you’ package being sent with orders from Present & Correct this week

… with the sentiment of this letterpress print

(I’ll drink to that)

Bon weekend!

Wish list: Cox & Cox

15 Sep

There are some shops that just make you go ahhhhh. For me, Cox & Cox is one of them and their lovely new autumn/winter range is no exception.

I think this industrial desk lamp has to be my top pick. This trend is all well and good, but if you’re not careful your home can end up looking more communist era Czech factory than cool warehouse loft. Add a little bleached wood into the mix and problem solved quicker than you can say bourgeoisie.

This colour has been citrine and sulphur in previous years… Cox & Cox are calling these bud vases golden olive and bungee. Golden olive I can live with, but kind of a colour is bungee?!

I love all things grey, so these rustic household candles have to be on my list. Pop over to the Cox & Cox website to compile yours.

Step back in time at 18 Folgate Street

13 Sep

I find myself bristling a little when people describe something as unique. Like surreal and eccentric it’s one of those words that seems so carelessly overused that it’s almost lost its true meaning.

So imagine my discomfort when the best word I can find to describe my visit to Dennis Severs’ house is (horror) unique. What’s more, it’s eccentric too and perhaps even a little surreal to boot. Shudder.

{Alan Williams via Dennis Severs House}

Dennis Severs’ house is located at 18 Folgate Street in E1, yards away from Liverpool Street station but a world away from pretty much everything else. You could walk past it a hundred times without knowing there was anything special going on inside. There’s no sign, no list of admission prices, no queue of visitors. You book your arrival time in advance, curator David Milne meets you at the door, briefly outlines the plot and gravely instructs you that once inside you must stay completely silent as you explore the rooms.

{Richard Bryant via Somerset House Images}

Ours was a twilight visit and the house was lit only by candles. Each room forms part of an untold story, crowded with artifacts apparently abandoned by residents who fled moments before you stepped inside.

{via London Insight}

{via Jacqueline at Home}

Occasionally you hear a whisper of voices, a clattering of hooves or a whistle of wind in the chimney. Each room is filled with a myriad of scents – real fires burning in the grates, oranges, cloves, sickly-sweet wine and the remains of a half eaten breakfast. Somewhere between the silence, the heady fragrance and the darkness the atmosphere grows heavy and absorbing. When a black cat on a chair blinked at me, I nearly jumped out of my skin!

{Mikiy}

{via London Insight}

{via London Insight}

Stepping into each room is like opening a cabinet of curiosities, with objects painstakingly arranged to play their part in telling the story. From the fresh cream rose petals in the wash bowl to the dried cotton boll dusted with face powder, everything is arranged with a sense of accident that only comes with absolute precision. Any interiors stylist will tell you that making something placed look natural is an art in itself. It must take hours each day and years of practice to get everything just so.

{Alan Williams via Dennis Severs House}

The curator describes the experience of visiting the house like ‘stepping into a baroque painting’. Notes left on scraps of paper dotted around the house describe it as a ‘still life drama’. One note from Dennis Severs himself exclaims:

“What! You’re still looking at ‘things’ instead of what ‘things’ are doing?”

I was left wondering which objects in my home have something to say about me. And what stories they have to tell from before they became mine…

{Richard Bryant via Somerset House Images}

Reading this post back, I’ve done a pretty poor job of describing what it’s like to visit 18 Folgate Street. I can only hope that you’ll be intrigued enough by the inadequacy of my writing to go and experience it for yourself!

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