Saturday, 26 September 2015

Beauty in the Bedroom

This post has been a long time coming. So much so that I've had to rewrite it, due in part to coming down with a very bad case of bronchitis and feeling totally floored and unable to do anything at all. The phrase ‘man down’ really sums up how I've been feeling this last week.

I'm trying to blog more regularly, at least three posts a month but sometimes I just don’t make it.  I haven’t cycled as much as I would have liked because our summer was quite frankly, a bit of a wash out, which means I need to get out and do a lot more walking in order to keep fit and healthy. Anyone else feel like that?  But I am looking forward to my favourite season, autumn.  I do love a lie in on a Saturday morning especially in autumn, snuggling under warm feather filled duvets and fur throws, reading a good book, toast in one hand, and tea in the other.  Which is why having loveliness in the bedroom is just an absolute must. We spend so much time there and the reason why I keep on blogging about the benefits of bedroom loveliness and also why I love prettying up bedroom spaces like this one here

  and this one here

So to give you a little back history; my previous bed was an antique oak bed, it had hand carved flowers in the middle of the head above slatted oak panels.  The foot end was the same. I absolutely fell in love with it when we shopped for our first double bed when we got married, despite the fact that it had an original spring base which squeaked at the slightest turn (we changed that soon enough!) It had a rather old world Dutch feel to it. It suited the original 100 year bare wooden flooring and the simple white damask bedspread. Pared back and simple.  (Wish I had photos but nobody was taking snaps of their interiors way back then!) I LOVED IT SO MUCH that when we moved here even though it didn't fit my new king-size divan, I couldn't part with it, in fact I still have it in storage!  But I'm finally over the love affair with my old bed and ready move on to something a bit more modern.

It’s taken me months to decide, remember this post  Actually if I’m completely honest I’d confess and say I want a few headboards, in different colour ways and different fabric. Because I tend to change my mind. A lot.  I touched, sniffed, picked, pulled and rubbed plenty of samples that came through my post box. I fell in love with the organic quirkiness of the Squiggle headboard from which is so deep and squishy and appealed to my more bohemian spirit and love of vintage linen and soft velvets.  Their colours are exquisite. I really loved how deep the actual headboard was, but somehow I couldn't quite make a commitment.  The more I searched the more confused I became. Then I hopped on over to and fell for the more glamorous look of the fully tufted chesterfield.  I trawled through all their colours, but couldn't find the colour in the fabric I was looking for.  It was just all too much. In a moment of girly frivolity, I decided I would buy my own fabric in a heavenly pink  reminiscent of the David Austin Scepter’d Isle Rose in a plush velvet…because I do love a touch of pink…but husband who wears pink Polo shirts, said no… Eventually I peeled off the 10 or so samples from the wallpaper above the bed stuck on with Washi tape in little rows and put them all away.  It made no difference. I was still undecided. It seemed the more choices I had the less decisive I became. What I really wanted was one of each in my favourite fabrics and colour ways…but hubby was having none of it!

My choice of colour and pattern was limited to my very busy but beautiful-to-me wallpaper from Laura Ashley, which I had already decided I wasn't changing because I still love it even after five years!

But here she is…smooth, soft, elegant, feminine, young and sexy. She goes with anything. With any colour. And she appeals to my love white, especially in the bedroom. 

Oh, and in the end I chose White Naples from which I'm a little bit in love with.

This is not a sponsored post, but any gifts of lovely tufted deliciously tactile headboards would be most welcome. Because I like variety. A Lot.

Hope you enjoy the weekend, the sun is out, but I am still not feeling well, so indoors it is for me with a pile of interior books to keep me company!

And thank you all for your lovely comments on previous posts.


Thursday, 10 September 2015

A book review - Absolutely Beautiful Things

A few days ago, something kind of special was dropped through my post box. A special gift to myself for which I had been waiting almost a year…an absolutely beautiful book by designer Anna Spiro.

I found Anna’s blog a few years back and fell in love with her style. Her use of colour and pattern seemed so fresh and spontaneous I instantly felt an affinity with her styling and use of beautiful antiques mixed with more modern pieces. I realised this Aussie blogger was also from way down south, not quite where I come from, but way down in the southern hemisphere. The light in Aussie reminds me of South Africa, and her home ‘an old Queenslander’ as she put it, reminds me of one of our homes in South Africa with the same zinc roof and wraparound veranda… if any of you have lived in a home with a corrugated iron roof, you’ll know they create the most magical sound when it rains!  

Anna’s style incorporates antiques, art, fabulous colourful fabrics with a hint of quirky just for fun all rolled into one lovely pleasing welcoming style. I just love it! Her style is refreshing, bold yet easy on the eye, with interesting antiques and décor items sourced from around the world. Her style is not about recreating a particular era, but about blending different pieces from all different eras, mixing them up with fabulous colour and fabrics and a great sense of style and it works!

As a designer and a writer, Anna comes across supremely modest and humble without the slightest bit of lofty superiority that one sometimes finds in so many interior design books. She attributes her success to her mother and grandmothers and her own sheer hard work and a little bit of serendipity!
The photos are wonderful, full of exquisite vignettes, all of them colourful and beautifully styled. I spent the entire afternoon and the evening reading the book from cover to cover and I could hear Anna’s voice between the lines, unpretentious, ever so grateful, gracious and kind, yet quietly confident in her own ability.

She talks about her beginnings, putting together a design, colours, fabric and starting collections as well as so much more. When I finished reading last night, I closed the book and said out loud, ‘now that’s a beautiful design book’. It took me on a journey, gave me insight into the woman behind the colourful interiors and has made me want to hop on a plane and go visit her store down under for some of those fabulous cushions!

Some of you might be a little hesitant about using such bold colour, especially in England where with smaller rooms and different light, people seem to think if they stick to beige it will make the rooms look larger but a little colour can add a tremendously upbeat atmosphere to any home whether you live here or in Australia. Anna’s book Absolutely Beautiful things is available  from Amazon here

So are you an all-white/all beige kind of girl or 
do you love mixing it all up with a bit of colour?
Do tell!