Category Archives: Kitchens

Home tour: mixing old and new in a country setting

This is a sort of second installment to the previous post where we ogled over designer Jimmy Stanton’s urban condo in Atlanta.

He and his partner also have a beautiful home in the Georgia countryside so there is even more of their gorgeous style to feast your eyes on.

Warm khaki-grey walls, harmonious blend of old and new, different shapes and textures… there are so many interesting things to look at, yet the overall feel is SO comfortable and homely.

The grouping of pressed botanicals set against black paper is fabulous and I love that the seat is not centered to the art wall… rebellious!

LOVE the old submarine ceiling lights!

They really have thought of everything in this beautiful home… there are even speakers wired into the tree trunks! *cue soft music in the air*

So if it was a choice between the condo in the previous post or this country home, which one would you pick?


Images from Atlanta Homes




Filed under Bathrooms, Bedrooms, Design, Dining rooms, Home tours, Kitchens, Living rooms

Cute kitchens

House Beautiful

Milk & Honey

Johanna Ekmark

Modern Country Style

Ann Sacks Tile & Stone

Micasa Revista

For me, a charming space with personality will win hands down over marbled palatial grandness any day. All these kitchens of different styles have clearly been thoughtfully and lovingly designed, and feel very real (achievable), not to mention how very cute they look! Who’d have thought that even a mostly monochrome kitchen (last image) could look so darling?

Any favourites?



Filed under Design, Kitchens

Spot the IKEA

Real rooms… beautiful rooms… rooms that are friends with IKEA…

Being in the business of affordable interior design, I am friends with IKEA so my IKEA-radar rarely fails to spot an IKEA item. Too much IKEA in one sentence? Sorry.

These cute rooms are from Stadshem, a Swedish real estate website. Browsing the site was the most delightful procrastination I have ever done, ogling at so much lovely Scandinavian design was utter joy and my IKEA-radar was totally tickled.

Can you spot the IKEA in these rooms?

These two kitchens are adorable, I would squeeze them if I could.

My projects vary vastly in budget (shoestring to gold nugget) and in style. The traditional period sitting room where I am working on dressing a window that is 180 inches wide x 108 inches high will not be getting any IKEA, but for more eclectic/contemporary homes, a little IKEA something is often the perfect fit – either for the wallet or the style or both. But let’s not liken IKEA to cheap… I mean, some of their rugs are priced at £1,329. Each. Uh huh.

I am also currently designing a sweet bijou apartment on a modest budget. My clients are all about the modern and the sleek, no frills. I am presently working up the chic-and-cosy bedroom scheme and IKEA has come to the rescue with their extensive choices and sizes for bedroom storage which rival bespoke fitted (expensive) options, and which look great too. Clients like me when I save them £££s.

just a work-in-progress, please don’t dissect it

If there is anyone who doesn’t love the phenomenon that is IKEA, please come and see me.


Filed under Bedrooms, Design, Kitchens, Living rooms

Rugs in kitchens – pretty vs practical

High Gloss – Feb/Mar 2011

There is no debate whatsoever about how gorgeous oriental rugs or kilims look in a kitchen (or in any space, for that matter).

Every time I come across such an image, I delight in the beauty of the look but the practical voice in my head wonders if anyone actually cooks in that kitchen. Is the rug there everyday or just for the photoshoot?

High Gloss – Feb/Mar 2011

It goes without saying that only very flat rugs are even in question here (no trip hazards) and they should be sourced cheaply (an expensive rug in a working kitchen wouldn’t be very clever, imo).

I’ll let the images do all the pretty talking in this debate and you are free to ignore my ramblings on mess and practicalities if you so wish.

Elle Decor

Colin and I love to cook (I cook with intuition and Colin cooks like the scientist that he is – we are a perfect culinary team). Usually there is music playing which results in a bit of hip-wiggling as the flavours are thrown together in the heat. Sometimes there is even a glass of wine in our hands when we’re working on a simmering dish.

All this means that there is mess. Fun mess that is easily cleaned off hard surfaces, but mess that I wouldn’t want to see on a lovely rug.


When it comes to cleaning the kitchen floor/rug, dry crumbs are no problem, they can be swept or hoovered away easily. But what about a splotch of tamarind sauce or a smear of toasted sesame oil on a lovely kilim??

Some might say the stains would blend in with the pattern on the rug, but I would know the stain is there and it would bother me. A lot.

Home Bunch

As much as I love the look of a kilim in a kitchen, I don’t want to spend any more time with marigolds and cleaning products than I currently do, and I don’t want to spoil my cooking fun with wariness about ruining a rug. But that’s just me. Maybe I’m messier than the rest of you.

Would you have a rug in your kitchen? (Please feel free to say yes so I know I have not ruined this for you!)

If you already have one, do let me know how you handle the practicalities. 🙂



Filed under Design, Kitchens

Can exposed stone walls take your breath away?

I am completely besotted with this home in Southern France.

Once an old mill, this place was rebuilt into an absolutely gorgeous home.

I am going gaga over the breathtaking architecture: the stunning windows, high ceilings, exposed beams, and most of all, the beautiful stone walls.

I am lost for proper words… just love this home with the most beautiful stone walls I have ever come across.

The decor is also divine. I adore the combination of rustic charm with stunning sophistication.

Dark greys = très chic!

This is SO my kind of dream home.


Source: Nuevo Estilo


P.S. Apologies for my lack of posts recently. Life is rather busy at present, and when do I get a break, I am trying to make the most of the sunshine and glorious long evenings (can you tell I am a sunbird?).



Filed under Bedrooms, Design, Hallways & stairs, Home tours, Kitchens, Living rooms

Colour in the contemporary kitchen

A kitchen remodel is disruptive and expensive; you wouldn’t want to do it more than once (at least not in the same house), so how do you work out a style which is uplifting, personal to you and will stand the test of time?

Remember all those kitchen catalogues a few years ago displaying high gloss red/orange/lime/purple units? That was a fad. There is nothing timeless about a fad. So a fail-proof way is to keep the main units and worktop neutral (neutral spans quite a range – white, cream, brown, charcoal, greige, steel – you’re not short of choices) then add pizazz through splashbacks, tiles, seating, wall colour etc. In the unlikely event that you tire of your once-favourite colour in some years’ time, then just revamp your kitchen by painting/re-tiling/installing a new glass splashback/changing the seats.

Here are some contemporary kitchens which I think have lasting appeal, and are also lively and fun.


I am not a fan of light wood veneer, but the tiles are STUNNING (love that they’ve been put up vertically rather than conventionally horizontally) and totally save this kitchen from blandness.


Add some Moroccan-inspired touches to a stainless steel kitchen and voilà, it’s a fun vibrant space. The mix of the cool sky blue glass splashback with warm red, orange and pink accents is delightful.


Industrial polished concrete mixed with lovely sunny yellow… swoon!! The art is fabulous and that lamp is so unexpected and cute! Adorable stools too.


The floor-to-ceiling teal glass doors make this light, bright neutral kitchen utterly amazing.


This family kitchen is just darling! Using different doors and worktop on the island, lovely task lighting and different coloured chairs give this such a laid-back yet vibrant atmosphere.


I have had this in my picture library for years, and it still makes me stop and stare. White walls, white floor and sleek white kitchen make a perfect backdrop to the teal accent wall (how cool is the large bird sticker/painting?!), cute flowery rug, poptastic upholstered seating cubes, gorgeous chair cushion fabric and that ceiling light… all bloomin’ GORGEOUS!


Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6



Filed under Blue, Design, Kitchens, Yellow

A world of grey

We’ve had beige and brown for a long time, and it’s time for change. Enter grey, the sophisticated new neutral.

Although grey has been replacing brown over the past few years, I still find some people are averse to decorating with grey, thinking of it as a gloomy or boring colour. This perception probably comes from grey days (without sun) or thinking that grey is a mixture of just black and white. While that is not technically incorrect, in interiors or fashion that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the world of grey.

You simply can’t group all grey into one category, because to start with, there are 4 other types of grey – green-grey, blue-grey, purple-grey and brown-grey (taupe, greige). And within each of these realms lies a world of different shades and tones.

The key is understanding how these various shades and tones of grey work in different settings and with other colours. (If you’re not sure, call a designer :-)). Once you understand “grey”, you realise how incredibly versatile, elegant, sophisticated, glamorous, and utterly fabulous it is… what’s not to love about it?

Create drama with dark shades of grey…

Team with poptastic colours to liven up a space…

Or combine with more subdued colours to create calm luxurious spaces…

If you’re a die-hard fan of brown, try the two neutrals together!

The possibilities are endless! Do you have a favourite shade of grey?
Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13


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Filed under Bedrooms, Design, Grey, Kitchens, Living rooms