Archive | September, 2012

Z is for Zinc

28 Sep

Wow, can you believe we actually made it! When I kicked off this series in September last year with A is for Aran we Pinterest fans were in the vanguard. Now it’s the third largest social network in the world and there are more than 20 million of us pinning and re-pinning like crazy people. I wonder how long it will be until ‘repin’ makes it into the Oxford English Dictionary!

So finally, ladies and gentlemen…

Z is for Zinc

{via Svenngården via my Pinterest boards}

{G-Style via my Pinterest boards}

{Salted & Styled via my Pinterest boards}

{via Grange de Charme via my Pinterest boards}

{Dreamy Whites via my Pinterest boards}

I’m going to miss this little Pinterest A-Z series and I hope you’ve enjoyed it and found some inspiration for your own Pinterest boards along the way – you can review the whole series here.

Thankfully my Pinterest obsession doesn’t stop here so why not follow Decorator’s Notebook’s boards for daily ideas, inspiration and visual loveliness?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Behind closed doors

26 Sep

I’m a real sucker for architectural salvage (I can spend hours on eBay scrolling through brass taps, Bakelite light switches, chipped marble fireplaces and rusted metal grilles) and love seeing innovative ways of turning functional cast-offs into decorative objects. I think that’s why the recent trend for using doors as wall art, headboards and cladding appeals.

{Amy Gilbert via Rue}

Isn’t this headboard lovely? Personally though, I’d choose a divan bed so the doors formed the headboard itself.

{via La Vie Des Anges}

Maybe using doors as wall cladding is more suitable for a cool hotel or restaurant than a home but I can see it working in a dining room maybe. Perhaps with a dark, gloomy grey on the other walls and a sparkling crystal chandelier? Yum!


Ah ha! Did someone say chandelier? I’ve had this lovely bedroom on my Pinterest board for a while and have only just noticed that it has those tin ceiling tiles I’ve been lusting after…

{via Design*Sponge}

I reckon that if you’re not lucky enough to have nice wooden floorboards this could be another way to add some warmth to your home. Or what about a patterned glass window or a peeling painted shutter instead?

Have you come up with any unusual or clever ways to add interest to your walls?

Shot in the dark

24 Sep

I love these deep, atmospheric images styled by Hans Blomquist – the watery light and inky blues set the perfect mood for autumn.

{Styling Hans Blomquist via Agent Bauer}

I’ve written before about my recent conversion to blue interiors – these just about seal the deal. Blue so often feels like a cool or fresh colour but these rich slate shades seem so soft and cosy to me.

Would you decorate with blue in your home?

Sawdust & Sparkle: Lee Broom’s Crystal Bulb Shop

21 Sep

When I read that Lee Broom was transforming his Shoreditch studio into an old general store, complete with mahogany panels, sawdust floor and 200 of his glittering crystal bulbs, it sounded like a very attractive combination indeed.

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

The glittering cut-glass bulbs looked so beautiful against the dark wood walls – I was really tempted to invest in one for le flat (I do live in Crystal Palace after all) but having seen them en masse I’d never be satisfied with just the one!

The Crystal Bulb Shop is at Lee Broom’s studio at 93 Rivington Street (a stone’s throw from Tent) until Sunday – if you’re in the area call in and check it out.

Join The Room Debate!

21 Sep

How are we all this morning? Anyone’s feet hurting from pounding the pavements of London Design Festival? What have been your highlights?

In the name of light relief, I’m happy to say it’s Room Debate time again! As always, it’s easy to take part. Just have a good look at the room photo below and leave a comment with your answers to these two questions:

One thing I like most about this room is…

One thing I like least about this room is…

{via Design Attractor}

So, it’s over to you… click on the comments tab below and share your favourite and least favourite element. Looking forward to hearing what you think!

Have a great weekend.

DN x

Or, life in the woods

19 Sep

I studied English Literature at university and one of the many books I read there was Walden by Henry David Thoreau. In America it’s pretty much a seminal work but it’s not widely read over here. If I’m honest, it’s a bit slow and preachy for me, but its core themes of a simple life, communing with nature and the beauty of solitude are all things I value enormously.

If Thoreau had happened to be Swedish rather than American, his cabin on Walden Pond would almost certainly have been this fisherman’s hut in Gotland!

{all Karin Björkquist for Lantliv}

The tiny timber hut is lit only by kerosene lamps and warmed through in autumn and winter by a traditional cast iron stove. I can just imagine snuggling up in a heavy sheepskin blanket with the smell of woodsmoke in my hair and only the lapping waves and forest creatures for company.

If you too love this simple style, click here for more rustic house tours.

Ethnic geometrics

17 Sep

After pottering around Renegade Craft Fair on Saturday I decided to take a wander along Cheshire Street on the way home. I love the small, independent shops to be discovered there, and Handmade Interiors is a new addition since I last visited. Their ethnic / retro fusion textile designs caught my eye so I thought I’d share them today.

{via Handmade Interiors}

The designs are influenced by both traditional designs from Turkey and bold geometric patterns from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. I’m a big fan of this charcoal / rust combo and think this exotic yellow and purple bedspread is beautiful.

Do you like them too?

If you’re in East London you’ll find Handmade Interiors at 10 Cheshire Street (off Brick Lane) or check out this list for a stockist near you.

Y is for Yellow

14 Sep

I love yellow. I wear it all the time and I often think of introducing a golden accent to my predominantly grey and white home. I think the penultimate Pinterest A-Z might be just the push I need to introduce some sunshine into my life!

Y is for Yellow

{West Elm via my Pinterest boards}

{via Left My Heart In Paris via my Pinterest boards}

{via Le Voyage Créatif via my Pinterest boards}

{via Decorno via my Pinterest boards}

I love how such a little colour can go such a long way. Do you have any yellow in your home?

If you’re visiting or exhibiting at Top Drawer I’ll be there this Sunday… send me a tweet via @DecoratorsNotes and say hello!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

Hot buttered Toast

12 Sep

I love autumn – the chill in the air, the clear sunshine and the anticipation of my annual pilgrimage to the Lake District. This week has been hectic, exciting, energising and exhausting in equal measure and has left me yearning for time cocooning at home. If only my weekend could look a little something like this…

Parchment floral duvet cover £99 / Ticking duvet cover, £79

Half glaze tableware from £14

Cushions £55 / £59

Socks from £25

Terracotta tableware from £22

I never had myself down as a patterned bedding kind of girl, but I think I might’ve just changed my mind! There’s so much more loveliness on the Toast website.

Hastings: 28 years later

10 Sep

I was born in Hastings but my family moved to the Westcountry when I was a toddler so I don’t remember much except the inside of our house and mixing paint at playgroup. 28 years later and living in London, I decided it was time I took a trip down memory lane.

I’ve heard so many good things about exciting new shops in the Old Town so armed with 91 Magazine‘s Vintage Lovers Guide to Hastings I hopped on the train and a couple of hours later I stepped blinking into the strong autumn sunshine.

My first stop was supposed to be Dyke & Dean but it turned out to be closed on Sundays (take note: it’s only open Thursday to Saturday). A little crestfallen and chastising myself for having become a presumptuous Londoner I pressed onto the Old Town where I hoped things would be a bit more lively!

Thankfully stop two – Butler’s Emporium (above)  – was well and truly open for business and inside I wasn’t disappointed. The walls are lined with tiny little drawers and the huge counter harks back to a bygone era when the shop was a hardware store. Unfortunately the lady behind it wouldn’t let me take any photos but I loved poking around the tableware, vintage prints, stationery and other lovely bits on offer.

A little further along George Street I stopped at Warp & Weft (above) a beautifully presented vintage clothes shop. You’ll find none of the usual ’70s kaftans and patterned polyester here – stylist Leida has selected chic and simple linen shirts, buttery leather boots and wafer-thin cotton undergarments that wouldn’t look out place thrown over a chair in Picasso’s studio.

Hendy’s Home Store (above) is the kind of shop that makes my heart beat faster. If you think Labour & Wait is good, then this – to be frank – is better. Over three rambling floors you’ll find Falcon enamel, Berylware, preserving jars (Kilner, Weck, Mason…), simple wooden scrubbing brushes, natural candles and all manner of other utilitarian and understatedly decorative goodies. Admittedly, the kind of stuff that looks amazing displayed all together and when you get it home – well – it’s just a vegetable brush – but that’s not the point. Oh, how I wanted it all!

After all the excitement I was in need of a dose of seaside air and a bite to eat to still my beating heart. Thankfully, Hastings seafront was right there with both. First, a fisherman’s roll from Tush and Pat’s up-ended boat at the bottom of East Hill lift.

A fisherman’s roll (in case you’re wondering) is a fluffy white bap stuffed with two pan-fried fillets of fish rescued from being tossed back into the ocean. Mine was dab which I’d never tried before – and it was delicious!

Onwards to the beach where I got a bit snap-happy with my camera. The light was so stark and strong the colours looked amazing.

Hastings doesn’t have the prettiest beach in the world but the tangled nets, scattered lobster pots, circling seagulls and other fishing paraphernalia are undeniably photogenic in a practical kind of way. I loved picking my way between the boats with the crash and drag of waves on pebbles in the background.

A very ordinary name for a fishing boat, but I thought Sandra’s vivid colours and peeling paint made her the prettiest of all.

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

This post is already much too long but I couldn’t resist finishing it with some of Hastings’ famous net huts. These tarred, weatherboarded buildings have been a feature of the shoreline for hundreds of years when they were built by the town’s fishermen to store and mend their nets and sails. In the 1930s the council limited the area allowed for each hut to eight square feet – in response the fisherman built upwards, giving them their distinctive tall, thin appearance.

Wearily I headed back up to the train station – sea air in my lungs and a windswept blush on my cheeks. I’m so pleased to have finally made the trip and discovered a new vintage-lovers haven.


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