Archive | May, 2012

Giving and receiving

31 May

They say, it’s better to give than receive.

I say, it depends what you get.

Yesterday, this beautifully wrapped package dropped through my letterbox…

… inside, a gorgeous set of tea knives from Three Jelly Moulds and a Wardrobe, given to me by Elizabeth from Rosalilium in her birthday giveaway.

They go with my cake forks from Rye like, well, tea and cake…

{Decorator’s Notebook}

And the giving? Well, Laura from High Street Home received this from my giveaway and sent this cute photo via Twitter.

{High Street Home via Instagram}

So on balance, if this week is anything to go by, I’d say that giving and receiving can be just as lovely as each other!

Inside a home without statements or accents (and why I like it)

30 May

I love looking at eclectic, quirky interiors – homes that make you think; rooms with layer upon layer of collected treasures; houses with fascinations at every turn. But there’s definitely a place in my heart for understated, unchallenging houses too. With all things considered, I want my own home to be my sanctuary – a place that’s simple, relaxing and beautiful in a quiet way.

I think that’s what appeals to me about Ylva Mazetti’s home.

{all Petra Bindel for Elle Interior}

I love the chalky white backdrop prettied-up with soft pastel colours and just enough black to stop it feeling wishy-washy. And although there are a few collected vintage bits, everything fits in comfortably… there’s no statement piece or accent colour asking for attention, and I really like that. It feels refreshing somehow.

Local tourist: Sydenham Wells Park

28 May

When I moved to my little patch of SE26 I managed – not entirely on purpose – to choose one of the best spots for parks in the whole of South East London. Being opposite Crystal Palace Park was a dig draw, but it wasn’t until several months later that I discovered the other verdant gem on my doorstep… Sydenham Wells Park.

I think there are still lots of locals who don’t even know it’s there and to be honest, I’d love it to stay that way because it’s probably the prettiest and most tranquil green space in the area. But of course, I’ll share it with you!

The park gets its name from the medicinal springs that were discovered here during the seventeenth century, when Sydenham was still a village in Kent. Apparently even King George III (the mad one) came to take the waters here. My favourite hideout is under the weeping willows next to the stream – my ‘English Rose’ complexion makes me a shade seeker rather than a sun lover and the trees make little rooms of dappled sunlight where I can settle down and read a book without a soul around.

This weekend I started reading Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day – a birthday present from My Friends House. It’s a beautiful Persephone Books edition with the original illustrations. The story follows a drab middle-aged spinster who turns up to take a job as a governess only to find herself thrust into the midst of the glamourous and scandalous party scene of 1930s London… I’m loving it!

After a while I braved the incredible sunshine to take a wander around the more formal bit of the park. For the locals amongst you, this signpost should give you a sense of where Sydenham Wells Park is. Shame about the toilet part but I suppose not all signs can be designed for photogenic purposes! This neatly clipped tree on the other hand was just crying out for some retro polaroid treatment.

I know they’re invasive and all that, but I do like the sight of a bank of rhododendron bushes covered in hot pink, purple and white flowers. For the kiddiewinks there’s a pond with ducks and stuff too. These two pigeons were either kissing or attacking each other – it was hard to tell.

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

Do you know of any ‘secret’ spots in London or where you live?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

More posts exploring South London:

Take a tour around Crystal Palace Park

A weekend trip to Brixton Village

Foraging for mushrooms on Wimbledon Common

Join The Room Debate!

25 May

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet… so I thought we’d go a little bit summery for today’s Room Debate? Does this room say ‘luxury retreat’ to you? Or is the nautical theme too much for your tastes? Whatever you think, this is the place to share your views with the group!

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 Habitually Chic}

If you need a better look, this picture will open up nice and big if you click it. As always I’ll kick things off in the comments below – see you there and looking forward to hearing what you think!

Have a lovely weekend!

Ps – if you’re new to The Room Debate and want to check out some of the rooms we’ve chatted about in the past click here for The Room Debate archive

Lace top + brown belt + skirt = love

24 May

Clearly, this ain’t no fashion blog, but there’s one look I just can’t get out of my head at the moment.

{Sunday Crossbow}

{Style Me Pretty}

{via Pinterest}

In my fantasy world, I would be heading for summer looking like this… but to start with, does anyone know where I can find a nice lace blouse?

Free printable placemats for a vintage Jubilee table

23 May

I think these vintage printable placemats were probably designed with weddings in mind, but how perfect (and cheap) would they be for a Diamond Jubilee street party table?

Lucky No. 9 via The Pretty Blog}

All three designs are free to download here and can be printed straight onto standard white paper. I think tracing paper or brown kraft paper would look great too.

PS: thanks for all your lovely comments about the whole stripey carpet issue… I feel much better now and will of course share a photo with you as soon as it’s fitted!

The one where I impulse-buy a stripey carpet

21 May

Having a job that involves looking at beautiful houses with amazing interiors every day turns a person into the most annoying kind of decorator. The kind who spends hours boring their friends with their hunt for the perfect shade of grey paint. The kind who blogs and tweets about grand plans for their living room wall / bathroom / bedroom and does naff all about it. The kind who takes months, nay years, to choose anything.

In short, I am not an impulse buyer.  Never have been. So why, this Sunday, did I walk into a shop, pick out and pay for a carpet for my hallway in TEN MINUTES FLAT?

And not only that. Oh no, dear reader. Said carpet is bloody well STRIPEY!!!

{Crucial Trading}

It’s not even the one in the picture from a reputable supplier, but a random remnant my local carpet shop (down a grubby side road in Penge) found somewhere in Belgium.

I mean, Belgium…?

I think I need to go and have a lie down while you tell me if I’ve made a horrid mistake. Tell it to me straight… I deserve it.

And the winner is…

20 May

Thank you to everyone who entered my Cornishware giveaway. There were approx 200ml of entries but only one lucky winner could be drawn from the jug…

{both Decorator’s Notebook}

Congratulations Laura!

I hope you enjoy making lots of tasty treats using your prize :-)

Q is for the Queen

18 May

I wouldn’t say I’m a monarchist, BUT…

  • I love pomp and ceremony
  • I love the Queen

…so perhaps you’d disagree!

Don’t worry though, despite the title this post is a strictly Jubilee, Union Jack and corgi free zone. I present to you simply, the Queen, at her regal, stylish, beautiful best.

Q is for the Queen

{Cecil Beaton via Pinterest}

{via BBC Schools via Pinterest}

{via Tumblr via Pinterest}

{Cecil Beaton via Pinterest}

{via Telegraph Fashion via Pinterest}

{Cecil Beaton via Pinterest}

{via Design Sensibility via Pinterest}

{Annie Leibovitz via Pinterest}

Will you be celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this summer? Why? Why not?

Cornishware giveaway: closed

17 May

UPDATE: this giveaway has now closed.

{Decorator’s Notebook}

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