Saturday, 28 June 2014

Now you see it, now you don't...

I promised photos of the chandelier, but unfortunately I didn't take my camera along with me today so instead I'm showing you pictures of a little something we did at the little house project this weekend.

Have any of you used Purl Frost before?  I came across this wonderful window film a few years ago but never had the need to buy it so I could try it out. When I was doing the dining room makeover for my client I was thinking of installing a blind, but I didn't want to block out the natural light. The dining room overlooks a residential street full of cars.  The idea that you sit and have a meal whilst looking out onto a busy road really niggled me.  I wanted to create a tranquil space for my clients to enjoy and I didn't want their dining experience to be invaded literally by the sight of cars pulling in and out.  That’s when I remembered Purl Frost window coverings! 

You can order as little as 0.5 metre and it has a width of 1.22cm.   We opted for the plain frosting and decided to go for the 70% transparency film and left a few centimetres border around the edges.  We left the top window alone and only used Purl Frost on the large window.  It’s AMAZING how installing this film has made the space much calmer and prettier now that you can’t see the traffic outside.  You can just about make out movement directly outside the window, but the comings and goings of traffic have totally disappeared giving my clients total privacy!  No one can see into the room so the sheer curtains can remain open even at night.  From outside in the daylight you can’t see inside at all, which is exactly what I had in mind.  By far the best decision I've made during this little makeover!

Apologies for the really bad photos which I took with my iphone.

So what do you think?  Big improvement yes?
Cup of tea and feet up after all that work!

Till next time!


(this is not a sponsored post but my own opinions only)

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Holiday living

I can't believe we've been so fortunate with the weather lately. Lots of cycling along the beach and quality time spent with my eldest daughter Angelgirl.  Yesterday we took a train trip to Brighton to celebrate her 25th birthday, have lunch and enjoy some retail therapy.  

Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth

The chandelier is finally up and I'll be sharing a post with you as soon as I've taken some photos. In the meantime this post is all about furnishing a holiday apartment that isn't all about white washed distressed furniture and follows on my last post.

With the warmer weather and sunnier skies I am thinking of holiday living.  Picture an apartment with sea views and an ocean breeze, somewhere a bit further south of here.  Shorts, kaftans, bikini bottomed bods and cocktails on the deck.  The kind of relaxed space you want to spend time in.  Where you can shake off your flip flops and brush the sand from your toes and not bat an eyelid about the sand left on the tiled floor.  Where barefoot is the norm and heels get shoved in the back of the cupboard strictly for nights in the city.

The kind of apartment that requires little maintenance but looks cool at the same time.  So how do you go about putting all that into open plan living?  Forget white washed distressed furnishings here.  This apartment is laid back but elegant, relaxed and informal all rolled into one great space.  Take one large sofa.  Add a couple of leather statement chairs.  Pop down a groovy floor lamp for some holiday reading when it’s drizzling outside and you’re too sunburned to go out.  Create a gallery wall with a few pieces of great art, or one large statement piece, perhaps by a local artist.  And you’ll need a coffee table for those endless cocktails and snacks.   Add a good looking sideboard for hiding all the CDs, DVDs and TV remotes and use it to stand your TV on.  Throw down a few textured throws for snuggling under for when you’re still in shorts but the breeze off the sea gives you goose bumps.  Next some plump feather cushions for propping up and getting cosy.  Invest in a few faux plants, large ones, so you don’t have to worry you’ll come back to a dead delicious monster in a few months’ time.  They add instant atmosphere.  Plonk a few seagrass pouffes or a couple of large floor pillows down for extra cosiness.

Even if you have a veranda with great sea views, sometimes you’ll want to eat indoors.  You don’t want fabric chairs here. Sooner or later you’ll have little people climbing up those chairs with sticky chocolate fingers…you want to live stress free…its holiday time.  You want it to look good.  All the time.

Comfy yet? Now sink into that large squishy sofa and take a peek at that view…aren’t you the lucky one?

modern space in neutrals

modern industrial look in white

And my take on a modern apartment which is clutter free but good looking at the same time. 

Hope you are enjoying the sunshine where you live.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Apartment living

It’s been a busy week, but finally our Honeybee left for the USA on Friday for three months volunteering at a summer camp.  We’re hugely proud of her.  With three years of uni behind her, the dissertation marked and passed, she can now get on with doing what she does best, having fun! We’ve been enjoying the warm sunshine down south and have had many cycle rides along the beachfront but I haven’t done much in the way of finishing up the house project though.

A lot of my purchases I buy off eBay especially if I am looking for something special and I can’t get it locally and also because you can get lucky if you've got time to wait for the right thing to come up on auction.  However lately I’d had some really bad luck on items I’ve bought on eBay and it seems to take the edge of the excitement of winning something for a great price especially when it arrives damaged.  Even though the suppler replaces pieces, it’s just not the same.  So currently I am waiting for a glass piece to replace the broken sconce on a chandelier…I’m not very good with waiting…

Anyway a few days ago, a good friend and I were having a conversation about her newly renovated apartment and how to go about furnishing it.  For some this is an easy task but for most people it’s like having to build a computer but not having the slightest idea how to start or what components one needs to assemble it.

So let’s take a look and see what elements we need to look at in order to simply the process of furnishing it.

How will you use the space - Is this a holiday home or a permanent base?  And yes it does make a difference.  You need more space when it’s your permanent home, but you get to be more creative with a holiday home especially if you’re not renting it out.

Flooring plays a MAJOR factor in any space.  It can dictate how the space feels and can give or take away character from a room.  Does it have original wooden flooring, wall to wall carpeting or more modern ceramic tiles? What colour is the wood or the tiles, is it dark or light? You might need some rugs to cozy it up or create different zones.

Light - How much light do the windows allow into the rooms?  Are the windows small and pokey or floor to ceiling?

Wall colour - fortunately whatever the colour is in any room, this can be changed in an instant.   Paint is the easiest way to transform any room.  What colour you go for will depend on how you want the room to feel.  You can also go horribly wrong if you choose the wrong paint colour.  I’m so over seeing Magnolia everywhere…especially when there are so many exciting paint ranges on the market and a vast array of the most interesting colours we’ve ever had….so be creative, take a step outside of your comfort zone and try a new paint colour even if you only paint one wall!  Having said that, a white canvas can be just what the space needs.  It’s all about the mood you want to create.

Floor plan – open plan or traditional - the idea is that there is an even flow from one room to the next. This is more difficult to achieve with an open plan space where the kitchen, dining room and lounge all merge into one large space.  The elements that make up an open plan space need to TALK TO EACH OTHER.  You can mix pieces of furniture from different eras but you need to be careful what you’re mixing with what.  Eclectic interiors are not easy if you don’t know how to achieve the look.

Colour – don’t bring in too many colours – three to four colours at the very most.  Think about the colours you love.

Furniture – if you’re starting from scratch, this is literally a head scratching moment.  Think outside the box.  Try to stay away from everything matching.  For me it all boils down to how I want the space to feel.  Whether I’m decorating a bedroom or a dining room.  Mostly I visualise how it will look.  I make a list of what items I want to see in the room and then I start looking for them.  I never purchase everything from the same place.  This is a HUGE no no.  Putting together an interesting space takes time.  You can’t do it in a day.  It might take you a couple of months or longer.  You get the bones right, and then you start adding some cool art, a few great décor items, a couple of your favourite books, some cushions and throws etc…and suddenly it starts to take on character…your personality. This is when a space is successful, when it echoes the personality of the people who live in it.  When someone comes in and says ‘oh this is so you’…then you know you’ve done a great job. Oh and one last thing, don’t buy anything you don’t absolutely LOVE. 

Here are a few of my go to places for Art, décor items etc. 

  • All
  • Rockett St George
  • Abigail
  • TKMaxx
  • And don’t forget to trawl your local antique shops, charity shops and high street shops looking for one off pieces.

It's my birthday today and it's Father's day, so double cause for celebration.  We're off for lunch in the great British countryside.