Tag Archives: Wales

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.

On the Road: St Davids, Pembrokeshire

31 Jul

At Decorator’s Notebook we love visiting new places and we’ll be sharing our travel stories with you. But to kick off our ‘On the Road’ series we’re starting with an old favourite.

Every summer of our childhood, Bethan and I would go on family holidays to St Davids in Wales. We’d stay on the campsite that our Mum had gone to with her parents when she was a girl, overlooking Ramsey Island and the Celtic Sea.

DSC_25872 (700x460)Last week I got a chance to return to St Davids for the first time in nine years and had a fantastic week revisiting all of our old haunts in the glorious July sunshine.

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picmonkey-collage-700x700Going back to such a familiar place, I felt bound by our old annual traditions. Fig rolls on the beach,  crabbing from the lifeboat station, welsh cakes with a cup of tea and fishing from St John’s Point. Trying my hardest to stick with tradition, I did my best to lose as much tackle as possible without catching any fish, a feat which I’m glad to say was achieved!

DSC_2466 Stitch (700x271)DSC_2418 (467x700)Not for the faint-hearted (particularly with some of the lowest tides of the year), we also found time to visit the Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy. Though we didn’t quite match the efforts of the Red Bull cliff divers, it was certainly high enough to get the heart racing and the legs wobbling!

2{all Decorator’s Notebook}

What better way to calm the nerves than a trip up the hill behind the campsite to watch the beautiful sunset accompanied by a glass of something warming. Hopefully I won’t have to wait another nine years before my next visit.

House tour: cosy Welsh farmhouse

23 Nov

People who grow up near the coast often say they have the sea in their blood – wherever they live, they can always hear the waves calling them home. I grew up amongst hills on the edge of Exmoor and I feel the same way about rolling landscapes… the longer I spend in London, the stronger my yearning for the countryside gets. Perhaps that explains why knitwear designer Kathleen Holland, who was born in mountainous Peru, chose dramatic Snowdonia for her weekend retreat.

Kathleen’s passionate about her Peruvian roots and the colours of the country’s spectacular landscape are evident in her alpaca clothing designs. I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of months of my gap year in Peru and Kathleen’s colour palette inspired by purple-flowering desert cacti, the golden grasses of the altiplano and cloudless Andean skies brings back a flood of wonderful memories for me too.

Kathleen’s decorating choices for the farmhouse interior are equally inspired by the Snowdonian landscape. The beamed ceilings and slate flagstone floors act as a rustic backdrop for traditional wood furniture, including the much-loved Welsh dresser and heavy dark stained grain chest, which Kathleen inherited from her in-laws who previously owned the house. On top of it, handfuls of foxgloves and daisies spill out of an old milk churn.

{all Simon Brown Photography via Remodelista}

The bedrooms are decorated with just the right blend of simplicity and beauty. The wrought iron bedstead in the master was made by a local blacksmith and Kathleen has draped it with linen from reclaimed grain sacks to make a relaxed headboard.

Oh, how I would love to be snuggling down in one of the antique beds under a heap of Welsh wool blankets and vintage eiderdowns this weekend!

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