Tag Archives: home

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}

Thoughts on love and home

14 Feb

Decorator's Notebook - always with love

{Decorator’s Notebook}

Homewares made with love make lovelier homes… the simple philosophy that makes Decorator’s Notebook what it is and all we hope it can become.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone xxx

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.

Meet the maker: Merrick Angle (aka Double Merrick)

23 Jan

It was a strange set of coincidences that first led me to discover the work of Merrick Angle, a British born illustrator living and working in a renovated farmhouse in France. Several years later, when Joe and I were choosing designers to work with on products for Decorator’s Notebook, I knew straight away that Merrick was the perfect person to create a screen print that would capture our nostalgic love of the great outdoors. And so our exclusive Campfire Screen Print was born!

We caught up with Merrick to find out more about his life in France, his passion for retro advertising and why one in ten of his designs stays shut in a drawer.

Merrick Angle

Campfire screen print from Decorator's Notebook

How did you come to be an Englishman living in France?

By accident really. I met my wife when she was studying in Paris. After a whirlwind courtship we got married, lived in Yorkshire for a bit, then Paris. Finally, we ended up in The Limousin because she was offered a job down here. Ten years and two kids later we are still here!

double merrick house in france

double merrick house france design sponge

Can you remember the moment you discovered illustration?

I think it has always been there. I’ve been lucky enough to grow up always surrounded by art and interesting things. I was always drawing and collecting as a kid.

Where did you learn your craft?

I’d like to say Art College, but I only really went there to meet girls. Everything useful I have ever learnt about the creative process came from my Mother, who is an abstract painter. The business side of things pretty much comes from one year I spent working for my Dad in the early noughties. My Dad is basically like Alexi Sayle crossed with Tony Soprano, but he is a sales genius. It was a crazy year, but everything I know about negotiation and running my own business can be traced back to that time.

Double Merrick kitchen design sponge

piano double merrick design sponge

How would you describe the Double Merrick look?

I usually say, scuzzy pop art. Something from an advertising hording that got propped up against a wall in a barn. It got forgotten about, all mildewed up, doesn’t really make sense in the way it was meant to anymore. Bam! You have the essence of Double Merrick.

Talk us through your design process when you work on something new…

Most of the time it starts with a ‘find’. I spend a good deal of time going round trocs and brocantes. Some things just strike a chord with you, most of the time you don’t know why, and the print is often the by-product of trying to work out “why”? I take it back home, scan it, mess around with it. When I finally get something I will put to one side for a few weeks until I can view it again with fresh eyes. This time spent “shut in a drawer” generally decides if something is worth putting out. Because my style is quite simple, it doesn’t really take me very long to complete something. Yet, I have to generate a lot of ideas to find the good stuff. For every ten pieces I do only one or two will get saved.

double merrick house in france detail

double merrick bathroom

How has living in France influenced your designs?

I was thinking about this the other day. Would it be the same if I lived anywhere else? I am not sure, really. I would still like the things that I like. Be inspired by the eras and objects that inspire me. Yet, there is something romantic and compelling about the French visual culture of the 20th century and a little of that seeps through into Double Merrick.

Describe your workspace…

My studio/office is the old dining room in our house. I was in what was the old toilet upstairs, but I ran out of space quite quickly, so I graduated to a proper office. In it there are a couple of desks (one for my computer, one for packaging up orders) an armchair for the dog, a bookshelf with all my finds on, and a notorious tin box in which I keep my stock.

What can we see from your window?

As views go, it isn’t bad. I look out over fields and a couple of cows.

Double Merrick workspace 1

Double merrick workspace 2

What’s the most satisfying part of your work?

There are loads of satisfying parts to what I do, but I’d have to say people parting with their hard earned cash to live with something I have designed. I thought it would be a feeling I would get used to, but I never have. I consider it to be the ultimate compliment… someone making the decision to make your work a part of their everyday lives.

Double_Merrick_screen_print_60_Decorator_s_Notebook_1024x1024

Merrick’s A2 Campfire Screen Print ‘Feux de Camp’ costs £60 and is exclusively available at Decorator’s Notebook.

{Room photographs ©Merrick Angle / Product photographs ©Decorator’s Notebook}

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?

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?

House Tour: a Welsh barn that toes the line between simple and sparse

11 Nov

I am a great lover of simple homes – what better way to get the most from much-loved home accessories than against an uncluttered backdrop – but how minimal can a home be and still feel homely? This new-build barn in West Wales is an interesting case to consider as the fabric of the building has been purposefully left as a shell by its architect owner. Could live comfortably here?

modern barn interior with woodburner - Decorator's Notebook blog via Remodelista

Dutch woodburner and pantry - Decorator's Notebook blog via Remodelista

dining table made from reclaimed floorboards - Decorator's Notebook blog via Remodelista

exposed plaster wall panels - Decorator's Notebook blog via Remodelista

plaster panelling left exposed in new build barn - Decorator's Notebook blog via Remodelista

bedroom in modern barn - Decorator's Notebook blog via Remodelista

bedroom in contemporary barn - Decorator's Notebook blog via Remodelista

{Mojo Photography via Remodelista}

Do you think you’d feel at home in a living space like this or does it feel too bare for you? What would you add to make the barn more your style? Please use the comments to share your thoughts and ideas.

If you’d like to learn more about the construction and design of the barn there’s lots more detail in Remodelista’s post.

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,553 other followers

%d bloggers like this: