Tag Archives: homes

Should there be rules on the colour you can paint your house?

14 Aug

A little while back, this Devon cottage caused a bit of a kerfuffle round these parts…

pink house in devon{Mark Passmore via The Times}

Its owners have been ordered to tone down the shade they’ve chosen to paint their listed cottage on the basis that it was – well – ‘too pink’ to comply with planning regulations. It got me thinking about whether people should have the same freedom when choosing the colours for the outside of their home as they do for the inside. After all, in some areas a punchy paint job is celebrated and encouraged.

Take Tobermory for example…

Tobermory by Ken Gillies{Ken Gillies}

London’s Portobello Road…

brightly painted houses in notting hill gary pepper girl{Gary Pepper Girl}

Whitehead in Co. Antrim…

whitehead co antrim by John Maguire{John Maguire}

La Boca in Buenos Aires…

la boca buenos aires by Marissa Strniste{Marissa Strniste}

Seems to me, it’s all about gang mentality. If you can club together and get your neighbours to grab their brushes too, you can all be clashy and colourful together. But be the only one in the village and you’re likely to find yourself on the receiving end of disapproving glances and tutting in the local pub forevermore.

Personally, I was feeling all urban and liberal about the whole thing. Until, that is, I saw what they’d done with the pub in our local town which recently went from this…


To this…

the dolphin wellington mural{Decorator’s Notebook}



I must be getting old…

7 Feb

…but does this trendy new paint effect look a lot like rising damp to you?

yellow and grey painted walls in bedroom{Elle Decoration France}

Tonight I’m planning a quiet night in with an electric blanket and a sherry. You?

Join The Room Debate!

10 Aug

Happy Friday everyone – welcome to the Decorator’s Notebook Room Debate once again! I’ve picked a summery country dining room for us to consider today. I can’t wait to hear what you think.

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 House to Home}

So, what do you make of this one? Do you like the idea of a stencilled floor? What about those chairs and pendant lights?

I’ll kick things off in the comments section below – it would be lovely to see you there!

Have a wonderful weekend!

A whitewashed and woody Italian retreat

30 Jul

I’m suffering from a serious bout of Olympic fever here in London and am almost delirious with excitement, but if you’ve already had enough and are looking to escape I have the perfect spot for you.

This old mill belongs to Katrin Arens who designs and makes rustic furniture from reclaimed wood. It’s set in the Lombardy region of Italy, right in the north where it borders Switzerland. It’s not an area I knew anything about, but one look at this website and it’s now firmly on my ‘to go’ list – rolling hills, thermal waters and lowland rice fields producing the main ingredient for the region’s speciality saffron risotto… si grazie!

Given her job, it’s hardly surprising that Katrin made lots of the furniture in the house herself. If her style is your thing you should definitely check out her shop, where she sells lovely handcrafted, natural homewares.

I love the tiny flash of yellow in the picture on top of the wardrobe in this otherwise white/wood room. And I’m sure I’d sleep like a baby every night in the room below knowing I could throw open the window and start the morning with breakfast at the little table.

{via The Style Files}

You know what, this house might just have wrestled away the award of my dream home from this Cornish cottage – I can absolutely see myself living here. Forever!

Shop tour: Folklore

23 Jul

My discovery of Folklore in Islington took a rather convoluted route – five stops on the East London line via a post on an Australian blog! Anyway, once I’d worked this out, I decided to nip out during my lunch hour and see for myself.

Folklore was started as an online design store by Danielle and Rob Reid to sell products that fit with their ethos – that better living is possible through design. The shop itself is minimal with scrapwood walls, rope and plank shelving and tables made from reclaimed beams. It has a Japanese feel, with just a couple of each item on display.

Rob and Danielle have obviously put a lot of time and care into choosing their products. Each is displayed with a little label describing its origin, facts about its designer and how it was made. I especially loved Shan Valla’s ceramic vessels cast from vintage glass milk bottles (from £35) and the heavy unbleached cotton blankets made in one of America’s last remaining textile mills (sadly well out of my budget at £195).

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

If you’re in North London it’s well worth popping into Folklore (193 Upper Street) to have a look. If not, there’s a rather lovely webshop too.

Why not share your top independent interiors shops in the comments below?

Back to nature at Bivouac

16 Jul

Here’s another addition to my cavegirl travel list. Bivouac not only has a great name, it sounds like a great place to stay, eat and explore too.

Bivouac is a posh, eco-friendly holiday camp in the Yorkshire Dales, which aims to be ‘all things luxurious and rustic’ – my dream combination! I’d choose to stay in one of the charming Woodland Shacks (above) which are built with chestnut wood frames, sheep’s wool insulation and a private veranda with views through the trees. Inside, the furniture is a mixture of handmade and upcycled bits and pieces, and each shack comes complete with a traditional Windy Smithy stove for drying out your walking boots or cooking up a tasty stew. The only thing that’s missing is electricity!

Even if you’re not staying in one of the Woodland Shacks, Meadow Yurts or the Bunk Barn, you can still enjoy a taste of Bivouac life in the café. The interior is just gorgeous – I really like the warm blend of wood, combined with pastel-painted vintage chairs and bare industrial lightbulbs. It reminds me of a slightly more refined version of the Town Mill Bakery in Lyme Regis, which I visited last summer and can’t stop dreaming about!

{all Bivouac}

Staying at Bivouac costs from £18 per person per night for a bed in the Bunk Barn to £565 to rent a seven-bed Woodland Shack for four nights in summer. The Bivouac Café is open everyday and sometimes has special events like pottery painting, folk nights and wine tasting. Check out the website for all the details.

Join The Room Debate!

13 Jul

I’ve been saving this one for a sunny summer’s day. I’ve realised now I could be waiting a long time, so let’s just go for it shall we?

Welcome all! As always, it’s easy to take part in the debate. Just have a good look at the 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…

{James Merrell via Homes & Gardens}

Do you warm to the coastal charm of this room or does it leave you feeling colder than a Cornish surfer without a wetsuit? The comments section below is the place to share your thoughts… see you there ladies!

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for joining in.

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