Category Archives: Design

Home Love: My Favourite Space

I poked my head into blogland today and heard about the Home Love contest at Fashion for Home (thanks Kimberly!) where you show your favourite spot in your home and the prize of £500 to spend at their online store is very tantalizing indeed, so thought I’d enter (nothing to lose!).

For the contest, I am submitting my dining room, which has been a real labour of love in every sense of the phrase. Lots of labour and lots of love (and a teensy budget). Now that the labour part is over, there is just lots of love for the room.


My favourite room!

This room connects to the living room, the kitchen and the stairs, so it is pretty much the central hub of the home. For me, it is buzzing with creative energy while also perfectly fitting into the happy, relaxed and eclectic style that personifies my hubby and me. A mix of old and new, everything has been acquired over time from different places including an antiques saleroom, a local art and craft fair, even a flea market in Amsterdam, with a few items from retail stores.

The painting sitting behind the Dutch vases on the bookcase (below) is a reproduction of Edward Hopper’s Capron House (1933). I painted it just to see if I had any talent with a paintbrush. 🙂

My proudest creative endeavour is making over the vintage pine farmhouse table and chairs set which came from an auction house, complete with knocks and dents. I love how deep the table is – it makes it very social and we can fit up to 8 people around it at a squeeze. The original finish wasn’t quite our style though, so I got to work on it, staining the table dark and painting the chairs a lovely pale stone colour.


Yup, that’s me getting down and dirty.

When we put the room together, it was just for me and hubby. Now we have a little boy and he seems to be enjoying the room as much as the grownups do! And no childproofing required for the solid old furniture – any knocks he (inevitably) adds will simply add to the character and memories. 🙂

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What is your favourite spot or room in your home?

 

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11 Comments

Filed under Design, Dining rooms, DIY

Leather sofas: what’s hot and what’s not

I generally tend to prefer fabric sofas over leather ones but recently I have come across a few vintage leather beauties that I have really wanted to take home with me.


Lovely worn leather, classic design, timeless style

 

Before we carry on with beautiful leather sofas, can we just very quickly touch on the vast number of hideous leather sofas in the market? Why are such things even being made?? I get that leather sofas are generally bought for their practicality, but why not add in a bit of style to the list of criteria for such a significant piece of furniture? Please can people stop fuelling any further demand for fugly ones like these:


Bleurgh! Definitely NOT hot!

 

Enough of the nasties. Now we can relax with some inspirational pretties which not only marry durability with incredible style, but would also be investment pieces as they are sure to be loved forever.


via Desire to Inspire

 


Hard to go wrong with a chesterfield! This one is from Anthropologie but you could probably find a similar vintage one at a good price if you looked around.

 


via The Brick House

 


Lovely pale turquoise leather; via Design*Sponge

 


The style of this lovely warm grey leather sofa from West Elm is rather like a modern take on a chesterfield.

 

Which one of these would you pick if you could take it home with you?

 

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In other news, I am about ready to pop so I’ll say ciao for now to the blogging world.

I’ll be back after the event, when I feel I have regained some of my wits about me!

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Comments

Filed under Design, Living rooms

Living in the pages of a catalogue

Have you ever leafed through a catalogue or a feature in a home magazine and wondered if anyone’s home is ever really styled like some of the photos you see?

Catalog Living (which I discovered recently via Domestic Sluttery and lost a fair few hours to) is a hoot of a website created by Molly Erdman who pretends that a couple called Gary and Elaine do in fact live in the pages of such catalogues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
This one below is my favourite (no prizes for guessing why!) –

 

On the success of Catalog Living, Molly also brings similar humour to a feature on curbed.com called Magazine Living

Self-Absorbed

 

Hunting for Serenity

 

Game for Anything

 

These funnies are just a taster. Check out Catalog Living and Magazine Living on Curbed for lots more (hours of amusement). There is even a book for those of us who like a bit of light-hearted wit mixed in with pretty styling in the books on our coffee table!


Available on Amazon.
Is it going on your wishlist?

 

All images are linked to their original sources on Catalog Living and Curbed.

7 Comments

Filed under Design, Miscellaneous

Seeing potential

I hope you’ll forgive my lack of presence in blogland lately. I could list my excuses but they generally point to my big belly slowing me down (in the third trimester now!).

I have finally started thinking about the baby things I need to get and this weekend, amidst watching the Olympics and sniggering at Tory MP Aidan Burley for showing the nation what a complete tool he is*, I finished working on baby’s first piece of furniture. On hindsight, (electric) sanding, priming and painting are best not done when 6 months pregnant, but I really didn’t have the time before now plus I needed some decent weather to do the sanding outside. I got there in the end.


This is the eBay listing photo. I forgot to take a ‘Before’ photo myself.

I scored this solid pine chest of drawers for a bargain on eBay, in perfect condition, just the size I was looking for and the ‘tray’ around the top allows it to become a very useful changing station. But I wasn’t going to subject baby to the orangey-pine varnish… bleurgh!

You may have gleaned my love of sunshine yellow in kids' rooms from my nurseries post. Little Greene’s Mister David paint colour could not have been more perfect! It really is like sunshine in the room, even on a grey day.

Now I just need to get a changing mat… and all the other baby paraphernalia… and get busy with my sewing machine to craft a few special things for baby.

Anyway, back to the subject of seeing potential in an old piece of furniture. A few weeks ago, this vintage bedroom chair sold for just £10 at my local auction house.

Old bedroom chair seeking new life

Besides looking a bit tatty, its frame was in pretty decent condition. My hands were itching at that price, I almost bid for it, but I made myself stay still. As much as I would have loved to have given it new life, I don’t have the resources right now (time or money) to be running around fabric houses and upholsterers. But just think of what it could’ve been! One rather snazzy example below –


Bedroom chair potential! Image via House to Home

 

If you found a couple of bedraggled antique chairs, what would you do with them? I love the modern twist given to these chairs –


via 508 (click on image to enlarge)

 

This card-cabinet-turned-console-table below is my favourite makeover to date. I love that they had the vision to see so much potential in an old humdrum card cabinet and turn it into a rather fabulous and useful console.


via Design*Sponge (click on image to enlarge)

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* That’s it for the subject of the post. But you may have noticed a little asterisk near the start. I don’t talk politics in this blog, because well, that’s not why you read it, but I feel compelled to say how utterly flabbergasted I am at the comments made about the Olympics opening ceremony by prize idiot MP Aidan Burley who called it “leftie multi-cultural crap”. Even after his comments caused a flurry of criticism, he continued to dig a deeper hole for himself.
  It would have been easy to produce a robotic bonanza of a show but Danny Boyle’s creative genius made the ceremony joyous and bonkers, charming, moving, humorous yet earnest, and human. It showcased revolutions that changed the way of life not just in this country, but the whole world. It rejoiced in what makes Britain great and in its people. It was a spectacle that evoked a heart-swelling pride at being British, certainly in myself and probably in most of the nation. And I wasn’t even born here. If anyone is interested, comedian Paul Sinha does a rather brilliant job of putting Burley out with the trash in his blog article “Aidan Burley MP. Hello, from a fellow Brit.”

Perhaps I should have titled this post “Seeing potential… and a touch of politics”. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to make politics a habit on this blog!
 

11 Comments

Filed under DIY

Furniture makeovers

If you’ve been reading my little blog for a while, you’ll know I am a fan of furniture makeovers.

Good looking storage is hard to come by without a hefty price tag so if you’re up for a bit of DIY, an old or humdrum piece of furniture can be made into something rather spectacular. If you don’t have a vintage piece that’s crying out for a makeover, have a look at IKEA’s untreated wood products which encourage you to get creative with the finish you want – paint, stain, wax, decoupage…

The RAST and TARVA chests of drawers are particularly popular as they are inexpensive and can be adapted to just about any setting. How cute would these two below be for kids?

 


Livet Hemma

 


Livet Hemma

 
Some more RAST and TARVA makeovers for ideas –
 


Images: Design*Sponge, Crafty Sisters, House to Home, Nothing but Bonfires

 


Images: Lucy Jane, Breadbox, Honey & Fitz

 
Have you seen or done any cool furniture makeovers lately?
 

5 Comments

Filed under DIY

The chair in the corner

When you want a little quiet time to snuggle into a favourite old chair with a book, which of these would you choose?


via Lonny


Emily Henderson


via Pinterest


via Pinterest


via Pinterest


via House to Home

Do you have a corner with a comfy chair that you love?

 

12 Comments

Filed under Design, Living rooms

Arty rooms

I have such a thing for arty rooms, and the bigger the art, the better. Remember my magic Photoshop trick here? (visit the link for more arty spaces)

Images from my Pinterest

Darlings, I am taking a break from blogging for a couple of weeks as work and life are hectic right now and there are 17,398 things that I must attend to before I can resume normal-ish service here. Fret not though, as I will continue to pin lovely inspiration that I come across so there will be plenty for you to browse through on my Pinterest boards. I’ll also continue to post interesting finds on my Facebook page so be sure to join me there!

Lots of love to you all and catch you when I’m back! xxx

 

9 Comments

Filed under Art, Dining rooms, Living rooms