Archive | October, 2011

Just because you can crochet…

31 Oct

… it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.


Tee hee hee

or should that be


Do you like a bit of rough?

31 Oct

Does anyone remember the TV show Ruth Watson did a few years ago where she helped wannabe hoteliers do up their establishments? It was kind of The Hotel Inspector (which I love) meets Grand Designs (which I don’t).

Anyway, one of the stories she followed was that of The Reading Rooms in Margate, which the owners hoped to transform from a batch of scummy bedsits into a boutique hotel, drawing on the ‘rough luxe’ decorating concept. In fact, The Reading Rooms needed such extensive renovation that a lot of the rough had to be smoothed to stop the whole place falling down, although the finished result is very lovely all the same.

{Clive Sax via The Reading Rooms}

In principle, there’s something I really love about the rough luxe idea. There’s a certain sense of nostalgia in making a feature of the paint and wallpaper choices of residents that have gone before – wearing away the layers to show how materials and tastes have changed – adding your own influences here and there.

The question is, I suppose, is could you really live in a house that was decorated like this? The Rough Luxe Hotel in London is pretty well known now, but I think it’s still worth mentioning as an interesting test of the principle.

{Rough Luxe Hotel}

Yep, I love the faded wallpapers and peeling paints and my mind’s telling me I should be head-over-heels for this hotel. But there’s something about it that leaves me cold. Perhaps it’s because the website declares so proudly that the scheme was masterminded by designer Rabih Hage and knowing that, the whole thing suddenly feels a bit contrived. Like buying distressed French furniture from Argos or torn jeans from Topshop.

I don’t know. I just feel a bit weird about it.

Anyway, leaving my personal dilemmas aside, how about we revel in some gorgeous rough luxe interiors from Inspace Locations?

{via Inspace Locations}

The beauty of location houses is that often they’re not lived in on a full-time basis, so every imaginable impractical decorating choice, from a gloss white hall floor at one end of the spectrum to a dangerously decrepit staircase at the other, is all fine and dandy. So long as you have a watertight liability insurance policy in your back pocket, of course.

{Inspace Locations}

So, what do you reckon?

Am I torturing myself because I’m slightly OCD and the thought of open lathe and plaster collecting dust and spiders strikes fear into my heart? Or am I being unfair on the likes of the Rough Luxe Hotel for ‘getting a man in’ to help them realise their vision?

Ultimately, is there a right time to start renovating and is there a right time to stop?

D is for Dominoes

28 Oct

I have a handful of lovely vintage dominoes bought on a weekend visit to my friend‘s flat in Margate* last summer. They’re sitting in a box in the top of my wardrobe waiting for me to come up with a clever styling idea for them. Here are a few snippets of inspiration from my travels around the Pinnersphere

{Elodie Rambaud via Pinterest}

{Etsy via Pinterest}

{Me & Alice via Pinterest}

* talking of Margate, I ordered Strangeland by Tracey Emin this week – anyone read it?

Note to self…

26 Oct

… paint something mint!

{Woodsy Bond via Frolic}

Make a street-sweeper smile…

24 Oct

…get crafting with autumn leaves!


This is such a simple idea – cut and hem some cheap cotton squares, coat the underside of some shapely leaves with fabric paint and print (some paints need a quick iron to make them washable). I think the bunting is really cute but a tablecloth and napkins would be lovely too. A nice Christmas pressie perhaps?


I was endlessly collecting and pressing leaves and flowers when I was little to make into birthday cards… and I haven’t changed much! This is another slightly more grown-up project from the beautiful Sinnenrausch. I’d adapt it slightly and watercolour my own paint swatches and have a go at naming the colours myself, à la Sibella Court I think.

{via Design Sponge}

The step-by-step tutorial makes these maple leaf roses look easy, although I’m not quite convinced! I’d love to give it a try nonetheless and think a bunch of these would look great in my chunky rustic jug, or even strung together to make a garland.

I’m collecting my favourite craft ideas over on this Pinterest board – are you following yet?

Friday, I’m in love…

21 Oct

… with these lovely table ideas for a woody supper setting

… with this photographic journey through the Dordogne (with delicious treats along the way)

… with bags printed like notepaper. Stationery lovers, need I say more?

… with this Pea Green campervan named Lewes

… with red bobbled wrist worms for keeping toasty whilst typing

Bon weekend!

If I knew you were comin’

20 Oct

{Decorator’s Notebook}

Have you made anything scrummy during National Baking Week?

Toast + mustard

19 Oct

+ cheese = tasty Welsh rarebit

+ wool = tasty Welsh homewares

Whatever your choice, feast your eyes on these gorgeous homespun goodies…

My favourite thing to do on a cold evening is to build a nest from blankets, don my slippers, make a mug of steaming hot chocolate with a cheeky pinch of chilli and snuggle up in front of some cheesy telly. Oh, how I’d love to be wrapping up in these beauties this year!

Aldwyn organic flannel bedlinen, from £17; Hand crochet throw, £175; Hand thrown mug, £17.50; Fair Isle slippers, £39; Crochet cushion, £49 all Toast

Sloe progress

17 Oct

Having bought up a few gallons of too-cheap-to-drink gin, I was a bit concerned about my failed expedition to pick sloes last weekend. What a difference a week makes…

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

It’s been so lovely and mild there’s hasn’t been a frost yet so the berries are bagged up and in the freezer. I have so many I think I’m going to need to buy some more gin. It’s a hard life ; )

Friday, I’m in love…

14 Oct

… with the Scandinavian loveliness to be had at sparkling new webshop, Nordic Bliss. These beautiful cushions have whizzed straight to the top of my wish list

… this ice cool milk packaging

… with ingredient shopping for National Baking Week – I’ll be honouring my Welsh roots by making this Bara Brith to take with me to The Lake District

… this washi tape baby bunting

(however, I am definitely NOT in love with breaking one of my lovely French jars after just one use *sobs*)

Bon weekend!


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