Archive | January, 2013

Eat. Sleep. Pin.

30 Jan

Just in case there’s anyone out there who’s missing out on the gorgeousness of Decorator’s Notebook’s Pinterest boards, here’s a quick reminder…

http://pinterest.com/DecoratorsNotes/

eat sleep pin {via Pinterest}

If you’re there too leave a comment with your username and we can all pin and party together!

Shake your tail feather

28 Jan

I find myself adding more and more natural touches to my rooms at the moment… a delicate seedhead here, a crispy-dried hydrangea head there. Next time I head back to Somerset I’m on the hunt for dramatic pheasant tail feathers to add to my hoard.

silver birch wallpaper taxidermy bird egs and feathers{via Home Beautiful}

autumn place setting with feathers fall{via Britta Nickel}

feathers tucked into picture frame{via Serin & Sorrel}

Sometimes mother nature comes up with the best prints and patterns!

15-minute make: twiggy plant markers

25 Jan

DIY herb makers made from twigs

Here’s a lemon squeezy little craft project for you to try out over the weekend. Spring is just around the corner so I’ll be adding a few green-fingered ideas over the coming months in celebration (anticipation).

Twig Plant Markers

Twigs about 20cm long and a little thicker than a pencil

Sharp craft knife and cutting mat

Alphabet stamps

Coloured ink pads or acrylic paint

1) Whittle one end of each stick into a point. At the other end, slice away the bark on one side of each twig, exposing about 6cm of the wood beneath.

2) Dab your alphabet stamps into the ink or paint being careful not to load the stamp too heavily. Stamp your chosen plant names onto the bare wood.

3) Leave to dry the pop into the pots. Standard craft ink isn’t waterproof so remove the markers before watering!

stick plant markers DIY

{both via Etsy}

House tour: tumbledown hall brimming with history

24 Jan

Amazing Welsh country houses are like buses round these parts – wait and age and then two come along at once! This C16th hall is rather more tumbledown than the Snowdonian farmhouse I posted a few weeks ago, but is utterly spectacular in its own very special way.

whitewashed stone farmhouse wales

old wood panelled room

16th century welsh farmhouse

The wood-panelled dining room has hardly been touched in nearly 500 years and you can almost feel the walls wearily breathing history. Just imagine the feasting and tragedies that have taken place in these rooms over the ages.

old sixteenth century farmhouse beams

antique grandfather clock

old  derelict country house

old antique wood panelled room

I’ve posted about my reservations about rough luxe before, but there’s nothing trendy about this peeling plaster – this is the real deal. Is it wrong to like that calamine pink??

country house library books

country house bedroom welsh blanket

vintage country bedroom

Why is this bed so high?! I’m only 5’1″ and there’s no way I’d get up onto that for my forty winks – weren’t people shorter back in the olden days? I’ve spent a lot of time pondering Welsh blankets recently and I love the one in the first bedroom. In a home with very little pattern the traditional geometric design is especially eye catching.

stone farmhouse with geese in Wales{all Light Locations}

The hall is one of the latest additions to Light Locations‘ books, so you’re sure to see it featured on glossy pages or the silver screen soon.

Beautiful boro textiles

21 Jan

I’m fascinated by folk crafts – wherever you go in the world you find art born out of necessity and hardship. It seems that it’s an innate human desire to beautify and embellish the things we have around us, however functional and humble their origins.

I recently stumbled across the tradition of Japanese Boro textiles and I think they’re as interesting as they are beautiful.

Japanese boro textiles

Japanese boro cloth

In the years before WWII many people in rural areas of Japan lived in extreme poverty. Boro means ‘tattered cloth’ and is the term given to heavily patched and repaired indigo cotton – mostly bedclothes, futon covers and fisherman’s jackets. Some have been repaired so many times that the original material is barely visible.

boro cloth fishermans vests

indigo Japanese boro textile fabric

Women would sit down to sew in the evenings when the men returned home, and the hands of the makers are traced all over each piece of cloth. This kind of running stitch is called sashiko and had both a practical and decorative purpose – as well as joining the scraps and adding simple embroidery, the fabric was also made stronger and warmer as the layers built up and up over the years.

Japanese boro cloth futon cover

Japanese patched boro cloth{all Siri Threads}

After the war, boro cloth became a sad reminder of the desperate times people wanted to leave behind, and using or wearing the fabrics was something to be ashamed of. More recently though, collectors have recognised their beauty and importance and original pieces now fetch hundreds of dollars.

Owning one of these would feel like owning a little piece of someone else’s history and I’d love to feel I had a little of this sad and inspiring story woven into the fabric of my home.

Join The Room Debate!

18 Jan

Morning all – welcome to The Room Debate!

I have a rather vintage candidate for your delectation today – judging by the single bed I’m guessing this is a child’s room or maybe a guest room. I’ll leave that for you to decide…

As always, it’s easy to get involved. 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…

vintage bedroom ideas{via Down and Out Chic}

I guess the question is, would you have liked this to be your bedroom growing up, or would you like to stay in it while visiting a friend?

Looking forward to hearing what you think! Have a lovely weekend.

DN xx

Decorating dilemma: sheepskins on dining chairs

16 Jan

sheepskin dining chairs{via Uncovet / Rickshaw Design / Simply GroveLine Klein}

For the record, I’m generally against decorating with dead stuff. I abhor those cow hide rugs (the curling edges turn my stomach) and I can’t be doing with taxidermy since I saw a stuffed stoat with fleas. So there’s a strong possibility I’ve completely lost the plot with this one…

I really disliked these when I first saw them, but somehow sheepskin-covered dining chairs are starting to look rather appealing to me.

What do you think?

Have the plunging temperatures done something to my mind or is this yet another symptom of my softening tastes?

Answers on a postcard…

House tour: vintage and global Melbourne home

14 Jan

eclectic vintage living room

Paula Mills is one well-travelled lady. She grew up in Cape Town where she studied commercial art before moving to London to work as an art director. After eight years she left Britain to travel the world, have children and eventually settled in Melbourne, where she now lives and works as an illustrator.

vintage religious images

Paula’s home is filled with collections old, new and far-flung. The nicely distressed fireplace was thrifted from the roadside and the mantle is the perfect spot to display an assortment of silver sports trophies. By coincidence, Paula stumbled across one inscribed with “Woman’s Netball Association won by P. Mills 1950” at a local flea market! I’m strangely drawn to religious imagery and really like the various postcards and posters scattered across the walls in this house.

wall of pictures and retro dining table

Pink 1950s melamine table. Yum.

white kitchen design

I love the mix of shiny white gloss and rough wood in the kitchen, and the little splash of red is a hit with me.

vintage decorating ideas

workspace home office

One day I’ll get sick of exposed bulb lights… but not yet! This home office is where Paula works on illustrations for her shop, Sweet William.

white bedroom with bunting

vintage kids bedroom{Photographs Sharyn Cairns for Homelife}

The fresh white backdrop shows of Paula’s Vintage bits beautifully, with just one blue painted wall in the living room to cosy things up a bit. Blue interiors have really been growing on me recently, and this home illustrates the lovely warmth it can add to a room. Check out Paula’s living room before she painted the wall here and compare…

15-minute make: pebble photo holder

11 Jan

pebble photo holder DIY craft idea{Danny Seo / Miki Duisterhof via Country Living}

When I was a child I was a bit of a magpie and my coat pockets were permanently filled with treasures I’d picked up and squirreled away… a grey feather, a scrap of ribbon, a patterned pebble or a shard of sea-smoothed glass. This simple craft idea takes moments and is one way to get part of your collection out on display.

Pebble Photo Holder

Nice smooth pebbles

Paper covered floristry wire

Pliers

1) Take a 20cm length of wire and wrap one end around the pebble. Twist to secure it tightly at the base.

2) Stand the remaining wire upright then twist the other end into a flattened spiral – the easiest way to do this is grip the end of the wire with pliers then wrap the next 3-4cm of wire tightly around them. Press with your fingers to flatten.

3) Pop a postcard, photo or polaroid into the top and voila! Experiment with different sized pebbles and lengths of wire to make a pleasing group.

Have a lovely weekend – wrap up warm!

The art (and politics) of laundry

9 Jan

I’ve used Flickr a lot less since Pinterest came along, but it’s worth remembering that in addition to photos, Flickr is home to some incredible archives. I recently came across the Boston Public Library photostream which contains scans of the most amazing historical artwork, ephemera, advertising posters and photography.

You can spend hours getting lost in the collection but I picked out this little selection of nineteenth century laundry adverts. Feminists are advised to look away now!

vintage advertising poster laundry

vintage laundry advert

nineteenth century advertising poster

nineteenth century advertising

{all Boston Public Library}

Dare I ask who does the laundry in your house?!

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