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My blogging view (out with the old, in with the new)

15 Apr

Times are changing. My flat is getting a new owner. I hope she will like it here but it will be hard to say goodbye to this little place of mine. I always sit and write my blog in the same spot on the sofa and this is what I see. I will miss this view. It always looks so pretty in the early evening light.

tulip table with flowers

daffodils and hydrangeas

daffodils and hydrangeas{all Decorator’s Notebook}

These dried hydrangeas (liberated from the council flats around the corner) mixed with eucalyptus and pussy willow have served me well all winter. But the daffodils are finally blooming now and it’s time to embrace freshness and newness again. Even when there is brightness on the horizon, leaving the safe and familiar things can still be hard to do.

Just realised how badly the first photo is on the piss. Must get over my annoyance at putting up my tripod :-)

Saturday morning

27 Aug

time to myself

breakfast in bed

a postcard from Provence

remembering my travels

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

How to hang a display of vintage mirrors

13 Aug

At last, the forest green walls in my bathroom have been transformed into a nice cool grey. Time to finally hang the 1930s mirror collection I’ve had in the cupboard under the stairs for the last five years! Creating a frameless mirror display is harder than it looks so I thought I’d put together a little ‘how to’ with some tips and tricks.

Boring before…

Beautiful after…

How to hang a display of frameless vintage mirrors


  • Mirrors
  • Roll of parcel paper or large offcuts of wallpaper
  • Pencil
  • Masking tape
  • Heavy duty picture hooks with at least two screw holes
  • Screws and rawlplugs suitable for your wall type
  • Tape measure / ruler
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver

1) Check the fixings on the back of each mirror are secure (frameless mirrors can be very heavy) and tighten them if necessary. I thought my display would look neater if the chains were hidden so I shortened some of them by adjusting the positions of the fixings and clipping off the excess chain with wire cutters.

2) Trace around each mirror on the parcel paper and cut out to make a template. Sketch on the position of any patterns and mark the top/bottom if necessary.

3) Lay all the templates out on the floor and move them around the create an arrangement you like. Take a photo to act as a reference.

4) Use masking tape to fix the templates onto the wall in the same positions, tweaking the arrangement if necessary. I  swapped the bottom right-hand and left-hand mirrors over as I could see that would fit better once I had the templates up on the wall.

5) Start with the mirror that will hang in the bottom centre position. Lay it face down on the floor and loop your hook under the chain. Pull the chain taught and measure how far down the lower screw hole is from the top of the mirror.

6) Place the hook on top of the corresponding paper template, measure the same distance from the top and mark the position of the screw hole on the wall. You should be able mark through the paper with the template still in place. Then mark the position of the other screw hole, using the hook as your guide.

7) Remove the template and drill holes in the marked positions. Tap in rawlplugs and securely screw in the hook. The easiest way to do this is to start the screw off with a manual screwdriver then finish it off tightly with an electric screwdriver if you have one.

8) Repeat for all the mirrors making any small adjustments to the positions as you go along. Stand back and admire your handiwork!

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

I’m really happy with how it’s turned out and my bathroom looks so much lighter and more spacious now.

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Tin ceiling tiles: the answer to my living room dilemma?

3 Jul

So, the dilemma of what to hang above my sofa continues and eight months after I wrote this post the wall in question is exactly the same.

Until now. Well, perhaps.

{Pale & Interesting}

{Gigi & Flo}

I’ve seen a few rooms decorated with these lovely embossed panels on Pinterest but have only recently found out what they are and, therefore, how to search for them. They’re tin ceiling tiles that were used in grand old houses in the American south.

{via Lavender & Ash}

Needless to say, they’re rather too blingy for me when used as intended, but search out rusty painted ones, divide them up and beautiful, subtle wall art is born.

{via Dishfuntional Designs}

Some people have thought of clever alternative uses for them – they look gorgeous as cladding for these kitchen units in photographer Debi Treloar’s home and left shiny they make an unusual glam headboard.

{Debi Treloar}

{via Dishfunctional Designs}

So, what do you think? Would a collection of these look really great here? And if you agree, do you think I should go for a regular grid or a more haphazard display of different sized tiles above my sofa?

{Decorator’s Notebook}

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.

Light’s up, light’s up

30 Apr

I’ve lived in my little flat for two years now. For the first six months the living room was lit by a bare bulb in the middle of the room. When I couldn’t stand that anymore, I invested a whole £6.75 in a string drum shade from Wilkinson. Needless to say, this was not quite the look I was going for…

I’m lucky to have lovely high Victorian ceilings so wanted a light that would be big and beautiful – a statement light, if you don’t mind the term. However, as with pretty much everything in my home, I had trouble finding a design I liked enough to commit. And so the £6.75 lampshade stayed. And stayed. And stayed.

Until… after much internal deliberation, I finally took the plunge and bought this punched metal pendant light last week. Apologies for the drunken photo angle – I was balancing on the back of my sofa:

It’s called the Shian pendant light and is from BHS. I’d been watching it for a while online – it was reduced from £190 to £152 and then when I spotted a voucher for another 25% off on Twitter, I decided to go for it. It set me back £114 in the end.

I like how it ties in with the other Moroccan elements of my living room (this carved screen and this embossed bowl) and how the detailing is intricate but still quite geometric. It’s not too fussy or ‘pretty’.

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

A friend suggested I get a light bulb with a silver bottom which was a great tip as it means you don’t have that horrid exposed bulb thing when you look up and it also bounces the light upwards which casts a beautiful pattern on the ceiling.

So what do you think? Do you like it? Do you think it’s a bit too wrecking ball-esque?

Flowers from a friend

25 Apr

The very lovely Girl About Tech gave me these very lovely coral orange roses at the weekend. The colour looked beautiful against my pale grey living room walls and with the strong Sunday sunlight shining through the petals.

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

What flowers do you have in your house at the moment?


You might also like these posts:

Glorious gladioli

The first daffs of spring

Decorator’s Notebook on Flickr

20 Mar

Just a quick stop by to let you know I’m now on Flickr – if you’re interested I’ve uploaded some ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of Le Flat that you might not have seen before… plus a few extras I found while going through my laptop, like my living room moodboard.

{Decorator’s Notebook}

Are you on Flickr too? If you are let me know as I’m a bit lonely over there at the moment! Come and find me here.

Colours for my bathroom: sensible vs mental

5 Mar

I’ve spoken about my bathroom dilemmas before. I think that inheriting a room that’s ‘fine’ but not quite to your particular taste makes decorating a real challenge, especially in bathrooms because changing the main components of the room is expensive and hard to justify if not strictly necessary. When I first viewed the flat the puffed-up estate agent proudly threw open the door and announced I was about to step into a “dream bathroom”. Needless to say, I do not agree!

At the moment the room is a lichen green colour with white/grey/black mosaic tiles, grey floor tiles, a plastic (?!) roll-top bath, corner shower cubicle and a vanity unit with built-in basin and loo.

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

As this is my first flat I need to keep my property developer head on in relation to any changes so it’s only really the paint and accessories I’ve got to play with as I’m unlikely to make my money back when I sell if I spend a lot on it. I have a bit of a head/heart dilemma going on…

Head: white walls and outside of the bath painted dark grey

{via Photobucket / Holly Jolliffe / Interior Alchemy / Pinterest / West Elm}

Heart: dark grey walls and outside of bath painted bright coral

{via The Pursuit Aesthetic / Shelter / The Inspired Room / Decor Chick}

So, what do you think? Which of these colour schemes do you think I should go for or do you think something else might work better? Do you think the more adventurous colours would put people off when I come to sell my flat? As you can see from the photos it’s not a particularly light room so I don’t know whether to fight it by painting it white or embrace it with dark walls.

I’m in a quandary so I’d love your help!

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Spring has sprung!

30 Jan

Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but the first vase of daffodils of the year is always a special moment!

{Decorator’s Notebook}

Three bunches of sunshine for a pound – you can’t say fairer than that!

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