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Make a pretty floral wreath from wallpaper scraps

31 Mar

I loved creating my flower crown from garden blooms and blossoms last week but was a little sad to find it didn’t last more than a few hours. Today I came across this beautifully simple craft project by The House That Lars Built and thought my fellow floral craft fans might be keen to try it too!

It’s a great way to use up offcuts of wallpaper, which I always feel bad about throwing away. If you don’t have any that are right though, wallpaper shops will usually provide free samples – ask them to give you a piece large enough to show the whole repeat and it will probably be big enough to make this. The wallpaper used here is from Laura Ashley.

wreath-made-from-greenery-and-wallpaper

how to make a wreath from floral wallpaper scraps

make-a-wallpaper-wreath-with-laura-ashley

{Photographs Trisha Zemp | Project The House That Lars Built}

 

This simple paper wreath would look so pretty on a door or hanging above the bed in a guest bedroom. Find full instructions for how to make it at The House That Lars Built.

House Tour: Soviet chic in a Moscow

7 Nov

I always enjoy featuring international house tours on Decorator’s Notebook, especially those in more unusual locations. Over the years I’ve shared beautiful homes in Croatia, Canada, Switzerland, Finland and Australia to name but a few. I’d never come across anything in Russia though that inspired me… until today that is!

Industrial style kitchen in Russian apartment

reclaimed kitchen sink

Unlike in Europe and Scandinavia where the whole midcentury thing has skyrocketed, Soviet era design reminds many Russians of austerity, poverty and a lack of autonomy and they’d rather forget. It’s pretty uncommon for anyone to decorate their homes with vintage accessories or furniture out of choice rather than necessity.

soviet era furniture reclaimed in apartment

white vintage kitchen with reclaimed cupboards

The owners of this small apartment in Moscow are unusual in their tastes and have gathered a collection of 1950s Danish design and discarded Soviet pieces to create a utilitarian look I absolutely love. They picked up those gorgeous kitchen cabinets and aluminium stools for next to nothing from a Moscow hospital that was throwing them out! The industrial trend clearly hasn’t caught on in Russian either.

Russian apartment with Soviet antiques

bricks as wall art in Moscow home

It’s not just the stuff in this apartment that makes it stylish however – the owners have made some great design decisions too. As a fan of exposed brick walls I love the idea of fixing old reclaimed bricks face-up on the wall to create a similar but less commital effect.

midcentury style workspace in Moscow

Soviet era design in Russian apartment

{via Architectural Digest}

In fact, the vintage wonderment of this apartment almost makes me want to pack my suitcase and head over to Moscow right away. Although on second thoughts, I might just wait until winter’s passed!

For more fascinating international houses and apartments to explore, check out the House Tours archive.

Wallpaper wars: is ephemera the new scrapwood?

16 Oct

My feeling is that we’re all over scrapwood wallpapers by now (?) but already the next big trend is peeping over the horizon. Linwood’s new range of Ephemera wallpapers are printed with vintage ticket stubs, matchbox labels, playbills and photographs to create a striking all-over collage effect.

Ephemera wallpaper by Linwood Back in the USSR

Ephemera wallpaper by Linwood Harrys Journey

Ephemera wallpaper by Linwood Mental Bloc

Ephemera wallpaper by Linwood Honeychurch

Ephemera wallpaper by Linwood Off Peak

Ephemera wallpaper by Linwood Skills to Pay the Bills

{Ephemera wallpapers, £79.90/roll, Linwood}

No doubt these wallpapers will soon be arriving at a trendy coffee shop near you, but would you go for one of these designs in your own home?

Answers on a (vintage) postcard…

If I was a cool kid…

13 Aug

In my youth my bedroom walls were plastered in posters of the Backstreet Boys painstakingly extracted from Smash Hits magazine.

I was not a cool kid.

If I was, I might have had these…

avett brothers poster status serigraph

band of horses poster status serigraph

flaming lips band poster status serigraph

avett brothers band poster status serigraph

Cincy_Phish poster status serigraph{Justin Helton / Status Serigraph}

They’re all designed by Justin Helton, a graphic designer based in Knoxville, Tennessee who blends illustration and typography to create these hand printed poster designs. You can see lots more (and buy one) at Status Serigraph.

Oh, and please feel free to share any embarassing teenage fanclub stories below… we’re all friends here ;-)

House tour: officially my new Favourite Home Of All Time

29 Jul

There are few things that please my inner decorator more than a crisp new Farrow & Ball colour chart. The thick concertina of cardboard fanning open to reveal subtley shaded chips of painty gorgeousness inside. Such a treat!

I had the same warm glow of delight when I found this beautiful Swiss chalet. The designers seem to have skipped that oh-so-familiar stage of painting a hundred swatches on the walls and agonising for months over the perfect shade to use. Instead, they’ve used nearly all of them – forty colours in fact – to create this beautiful canvas of chalky hues.

decorating with tonal colours

decorating with grey paint

grey and yellow dining room

blue painted workspace

If you’ve been reading this blog a while, you’ll know that in the past I’ve been a bit of a colourphobe. Recently though I’ve found myself embracing colour more and more, and this house completely sums up my decorating tastes right now. The paint palette still packs and punch and each room has serious impact, but the overall mood remains soft and relaxed. I love also how these shades bring out the beauty of the wood in this home – it’s historically sensitive and contemporary all at once. And oh, this mint!

period paint colours in traditional home

tonal bedroom decorating scheme

decorating with soft paint colours{design and photographs all Bergdorf Agency}

Now, I don’t take these things at all lightly, but I actually think this house might just have unseated this Cornish cottage as my Favourite Home Of All Time!

What do you say to that?

Apple crates as kitchen shelves. Nice.

17 Jun

Even though I love the rustic look, kitchens made entirely from reclaimed wood are too much for me, so I am very much appreciating this best-of-both combo.

white kitchen with open shelves made from crates{via Style at Home}

Also very much appreciating the use of cactus and stuffed ferret.

Fresh new colour combination: sage and gorse

1 May

How’s this for a lovely new colour combination? Softest sage with an unexpected splash of gorse yellow in the fireplace.

yellow fireplace tiles{sorry, unknown}

I’ve blogged loads in the past about my love of yellow and grey, but I feel like I’ve been getting a little sick of that combo recently and this seems a much more sophisticated, grown-up twist. Prettier somehow.

Also, I’ve looked everywhere for the source of this image to no avail – if you know whose home this is please let me know via the comments or email. I would love to make sure the owner of this home is credited for their fabulous eye for colour!

Time for the picture round… a quiz!

4 Mar

I have a reputation amongst my friends and family for being the least competitive individual on the planet. They’re nearly right, except I love a quiz!

So I’m kicking off the week with a little treat for you (well ok, me). Litographs make lovely posters where the design is made up from the complete text of the book it depicts.

But can you work out which books these are?

Book poster made from words Litographs1

Poster made from words of book2

Image made from words of book3

Book poster made from words by Litographs4

Balloon picture made from words of book5

Answers in the comments – or cheat and buy one of these for yourself by visiting the Litographs website.

How to add warmth and softness to a monochrome bedroom

25 Feb

I’m not big on bright colours – so much in my life is super hectic that when I come home I want to close the door and feel I’ve entered a calming sanctuary. The problem with black, white and grey rooms though is that they can feel a bit hard or cold. I spotted this bedroom and thought I’d share it to show my fellow monochrome fans it doesn’t need to be that way!

grey and white bedroom with natural details{Carina Olander via 79 Ideas}

When you look closely, there’s subtle texture in almost every area of this room. The wood panelled ceiling, raised wallpaper, rough headboard and embroidered textiles all work together to take the hard edge off the white and grey colour scheme.

Then there are all the wooden elements – painted, waxed and raw which add warmth too. If you chose vintage furniture then that’s even better – like a good wine, wood mellows with age and by adding antique bits and pieces the mellowing effect will transfer to your room too.

Lastly, it helps to have a few different lighting options in every room, especially a bedroom where you want strong natural light for doing your make-up, a directional light for reading and something a bit more romantic too. Although this photo was taken in bright daylight (with no curtains!) you can easily imagine how warm and cosy it would look at night time as well.

Have you got any other good tips for adding softness and warmth to a room?

Paint effects: they’re back and this time they’re on a roll!

20 Feb

I am a child of the paint effect generation and my Mum’s passion for rag rolling and scumble glazing was what sparked my passion for interiors in the first place. So when photographer Clare Bosanquet dropped me an email about her traditional Romanian paint pattern rollers, I was intrigued.

patterned paint rollers for walls

patterned paint roller

Clare stumbled across these patterned rollers in a Romanian market, where they’ve been used as a traditional alternative to wallpapers for around 150 years. She’s updated the patterns to suit modern tastes and adapted the roller designs for use on fabric or walls.

traditional home office in period home

wall with paint effect roller pattern

I really love this design with its little deer family. Clare’s decorated her whole Welsh cottage using her product and it looks great – and at £15 for each roller design they’re a bargain compared to designer wallpaper… although like wallpapering I bet there’s a knack to getting it right!

period home with patterned walls

Interesting, don’t you think? Pop over to The Painted House for more ideas and tips or if you’re ready to have a go yourself, visit Clare’s Etsy shop.

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