Tag Archives: decorating ideas

House tour: mix dark wood and white for a crisp industrial vibe

7 Apr

I shared one photo from this apartment on Twitter last week and the response was an immediate ‘wow’, so I thought you’d like to see the rest!

The owners of this one-bed apartment have achieve the renovation holy trinity: bigger, lighter and on a budget. Have a browse and soak up the cool mix of whitewashed brick, tile and dark reclaimed wood. Then check out the ‘befores’ to appreciate just how impressive this makeover really is!

industrial vintage city apartment tour

whitewashed brick feature wall

white painted brick wall

The apartment belongs to New York prop stylist Anthony D’Argenzio who did most of the work himself. Once the previous owner’s frilly pink pelmets and plastic-covered sofa had been banished he began by hacking the plasterboard from the walls to reveal the brick underneath. Whitewashing the rough brick and outlining the windows with a deep surround of stained reclaimed wood gives the apartment a warehouse-like feel.

house plant on window sil

white vintage kitchen with reclaimed wood

This kitchen is just a dream for me… the patterned tile floor, white marble worktop, subway tiles, industrial lighting and all that rough-hewn reclaimed wood. Perfect proof of how a tiny kitchen can still be big on style.

vintage map wall art

gallery wall

white vintage bedroom

[Photographs Emily Johnstone for Lonny]

Another thing I really admire about how this place has been styled is the juxtaposition of the industrial backdrop with quite glamourous accessories and furniture. The ornate gilded mirror in the living room, chandeliers and slightly rubbish society portraits all give an unexpected hint of faded grandeur that stops the coolness feeling too try-hard.

If you like this home you won’t want to leave the blog without looking around this apartment too… there are some lovely similarities between the two in both size and style. And don’t forget to check out the ‘befores’ too… you won’t believe your eyes!

The new yellow and grey?

4 Mar

Could it be?

green and grey textiles

{via Skona Hem}

grey and green interior

{via Design Sponge}

green industrial light in grey bedroom

{via The Design Files}

House Tour: New York apartment with natural elements

28 Jan

I love bringing little touches of nature into my home… a dried seedhead here, a pheasant feather there… they help to soften up a minimal room and bring a tiny bit of the outdoors in.

This small New York apartment belongs to prop stylist Rebecca Bartoshesky and I really admire her style. She has just the right amount of artistic clutter and some really nice ideas for using found objects in a decorative yet simple way.

living room with muted colours

Apple crate storage

House plants

Look closely and you’ll see little natural touches in evey single corner of this home. Not so much that it looks like a museum (remember this Victorian collector’s cottage?) but just enough to bring in the subtle earthy tones and rustic textures that only real shells, plants and feathers can add.

linen blind

collection box of feathers

small kitchen with vintage style

kitchen shelf detail

If you like this look, choose natural fibre fabrics as Rebecca has – raw linen or material coloured with vegetable dyes are ideal as their muted tones are just right for adding colour in a way that doesn’t jar. Dyeworks specialises in selling naturally-dyed fabrics, or Sania Pell wrote this lovely post explaining how to make your own fabric dyes from berries, vegetables and spices.

vintage metal bedstead

tie dye bedspread

{Photographs Pippa Drummond / Styling Rebecca Bartoshesky for Sight Unseen}

For those of us that remember 1990s ‘bohemian chic’ the idea of tie dying is a little bit scary, but there’s no denying it’s making a come-back. If proper tie-dye like Rebecca’s bedspread sends you running for cover, dip dying is just as easy and is less likely to make your home look like a hippy hangout. I went to a trend forecasting presentation last week and ombre is going to be sticking around for at least another two seasons, so there’s still time if you haven’t yet succumbed!

This beautiful apartment was origianally featured on the lovely Sight Unseen blog where you’ll find lots more photos and pretty details of Rebecca’s home – find the post here.

The Room Mixer: global farmhouse

16 Jan

Here’s a new post idea I’m playing with. Five rooms that could be in the same home, but aren’t, in an attempt to create the perfect blend!

I’d start in this hallway, with its red brick floor and painted tongue and groove…

Rustic hallway

{via Terrain}

…it would lead to this cosy living room with its lovely kilim on the floor…

living room with kilim and stove

{via Design Sponge}

…I’d cook my supper here…

rustic kitchen with reclaimed wood

{via Names Agency}

…and later, relax in a nice hot bath in here…

country style bathroom blue wall slipper tub

{via Inks and Thread}

…and finally snuggle up in this big, warm bed.

ethnic bedroom

{via The Gifts of Life}

Let me know if you’ve seen a room you love and I might just create the perfect home just for you!

Wait! 5 ways to decorate with fairy lights all year round

6 Jan

As soon as the decorations come down on Twelfth Night it always seems to me that a previously homely house looks suddenly bare. It’s just too depressing! So whilst I don’t suggest we become strange Christmas people who never take down their tree and eat turkey 365 days of the year, I am going to wriggle free from the grip of superstition just a little by offering a few mildly rebellious ideas to enjoy the magical twinkle of fairy lights in your home, whatever the season. Will you join me?

Fairy lights over bed curtains

{via we Heart It}

four poster bed with fairy lights

{Photograph: Leela Cyd}

photographs clipped onto fairy lights

{via PB Teen}

Single string of fairy lights

{Photograph: Jeska Hearne}

workspace office with fairylights

{Photograph: Michelle Halford}

I’m also considering rebranding my Christmas wreath as “winter wreath” to avoid taking it down… or perhaps that’s a step to far?

DIY: air drying clay Christmas tree decorations

13 Dec

I just love DAS clay… a couple of years ago I used it to make these simple clay tree decorations and this week we had a go at some more using different rubber stamps to create an embossed effect.

DAS clay Christmas tree decoration DIY LR

Air drying clay Christmas decorations LR

DAS clay snowflake Christmas tree decoration LR

{Decorator’s Notebook}

For those who haven’t used it before, DAS air-drying clay can be rolled and moulded like salt dough but dries to an off white ceramic finish. A big 1kg block costs under £5 from Amazon or local craft shops. We used about a third of  packet to make about 25 decorations.

Air Drying Clay Christmas Tree Decorations

1) Slice off about one third of a 1kg block of DAS air drying clay. Seal the remainder quickly in the packet as it soon dries out.

2) Roll out the clay to about 1.5mm thick on a smooth surface. Cut out shapes using a range of biscuit cutters – we chose snowflakes and hearts but anything festive will do… play around with the different ones you have cutting positive and negative shapes and various sizes.

3) Working quickly before the clay dries, emboss the decorations using rubber stamps or found materials like lace and hessian. Anything you can find with a pretty textures surface will work nicely.

4) Use the plastic casing of a biro to cut a small hanging hole in the top of each shape for hanging.

5) Leave until the clay is leather hard, then gently lift the decorations from your worksurface and transfer to a warm dry place to dry out. These are thin so will only take a few hours. They’ll harden up and lighten in colour when they’re dry.

6) Thread with twine or ribbon and they’re ready to hang on the tree!

These are really simple and certainly easy enough to try with the kids this weekend. Don’t forget to share the results with us on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest @DecoratorsNotes or on our Facebook page.

Mini makeover: bedroom nook

25 Nov

Since leaving London in the Summer and moving back to Somerset to launch the shop, I’ve been working at this thrown-together deskspace in the corner of my bedroom.

workspace makeover before

Now, the thing I didn’t realise for a while is that having your desk in your bedroom actually sends you a bit… well… nutty. This ugly corner of technology and wires is the first thing I see when I wake up, what I look at all day and the last thing I see when I go to bed. For the first couple of months I clung determindly onto my lovely vintage chapel chair, but finally all those work station posture assessments from my office days came back to haunt me and I was forced to buy this hulking swivelling monstrosity to save my back.

Something had to change.

So this weekend saw the first stage of operation ‘bedroom reclaim’. I finally rehomed my desk to the guest room and set about making this corner into somewhere pretty to sit and relax again.

2 Bedroom makeover AFTER

What a difference a day makes!

I set myself the task of working only with things I already had, with the single addition of my lovely new Milly chair, courtesy of Swoon Editions.

The French grammar poster was a find from La Braderie a few years ago and I ran up the envelope cushion using a scrap of Laura Ashley fabric I had left over from making a tablecloth for my old flat. The enamel pitcher was a car boot bargain, while the green glass bottle vase and dipped terracotta mug are from our shop. The textured recycled denim rug is one we’re thinking of stocking after Christmas (let me know if you like it) and the pine trunks were being used as bedside tables in the guest room.

Finally, I hung up a string of Joe’s photos which he put together for our tutorial showing how you can print any photo as a polaroid – they’re simply fixed with a piece of washi tape to the ribbon on the back.

How to print a photo as a polaroid at home

bedroom makeover details

3 bedroom makeover close up

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

What do you think? I’m feel so much more relaxed already now my workspace is separate and my whole bedroom looks so much nicer. Now I just need to tackle my new desk area… any ideas for how I might be able to improve the look of that awful black chair?

Sorry Rudolph, I might be warming to this reindeer rug trend

19 Nov

reindeer rug decorating trend

reindeer skin throw on bench

reindeer skin rug

{via Reindeer Facts / Johanna Pilfalk / Koko Classics / Cox & Cox}

What do you think?

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…

House tour: artist’s home with a bohemian twist

11 Oct

This stylishly comfortable house reminds me of this Sydney home I featured a while back… they both work for all the same reasons. A crisp white canvas filled with unusual, casually-arranged finds from around the world.

Ethnic Dutch home via The Style Files

dining room with industrial light VT wonen

display of global treasures

close up of woven rug

relaxed ethnic home via VT Wonen

Dutch home with mezzanine VT Wonen

{James Stokes for VT Wonen via The Style Files}

I can just imagine feeling really welcome and comfortable in this home… although it also makes me want to travel again! If you like what you see too, there are a few more pictures over at The Style Files.

Have a lovely weekend!

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