Tuesday, 28 June 2011

sofaking nice

A few sofas I love and why.

Purple reminds me of someone special and it would always make me smile

I love grey velvet, what is not to love

one piece chesterfields are divine

I love this sofa, I want to sit on it while drinking tea and eating a cup cake

 I would love this sofa in our sitting room, boyfriend take note

Simply because it would make me smile 

I simply must have a chestfield sofa....... or I just might die.

Pink chair

I love this chair......  enough said.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Good old Vic and Al

Who wants to buy me a gift?  You?  Thanks you are so nice.  I would like either of these, or both please.

Recommended to me by my iPad2 twin.  Thanks Anne.

Check out the new arrivals at the V&A Museum

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Stripe your stairs

How can anyone not love striped carpet on stairs?

I think stripes look amazing and when it comes to carpeting stairs, what else would look so good?

When looking for a carpet for our staircase and landing area, we simply found loads we loved, but none we could afford.  We had one quote for a divine hand-woven striped stair runner priced at just over four thousand pounds —yes I said £4000 for around 14 steps!

Until this point I had convinced my boyfriend stripes was the only way forward and he seemed to really like the idea.  When I told him about the quote, he went wobbly at the knees and nearly fell over, which was strange considering he was sitting at the time.

We just couldn't find a nice, affordable striped carpet and I honestly spent hours a day over six weeks browsing the internet.  I was definitely close to giving up.

Then, while driving one day, I noticed a small independent carpet shop not too far from our house. My first thought was, ‘We should look in there’.  My boyfriend sure enough rejected the idea of going in this shop on the basis it looked cheap and tacky.  In fairness to him, it really did.

We were browsing around the shop when I spotted it; it was a large roll of striped carpet.  My heart started pumping in my chest so loudly I could hear it.  With great anticipation and excitement we glided over to it.  We loved it instantly and from the price listed per square foot, we just knew we could afford it.  We practically ran to the counter like two puppies, full of excitement.

Within 30 minutes, we were at home measuring the stairs and hallway upstairs.  Figures in hand I called the shop, gave the measurements and stood looking at the bare stairs waiting in anticipation as he completed the quotation.  This was probably done in around 40 seconds, but it felt more like 40 minutes.  Then he said it: "That will be £225, plus fitting..."  I fainted.

We had the carpet fitted one week later and a year on, we still love it every bit as much as we did then.

One other thing to note: We get endless compliments about it, but weirdly enough mainly from the tradesmen who have completed work at the house.  They love it.  Most of them walk in and say (in a south-east London accent), “r like yaw carpet, that a Paul Smith number?”  Yes most tradesmen seem to think it looks like designer Paul Smith's famous striped pattern.

I learnt two lessons from this experience: Firstly, never give up on the things you want; secondly never judge a book by its cover — or in this story a carpet by its shop front.

Our staircase

Random stairs I'd like to share

My tan bag came out the closet

I love this tan bag, which I purchased from Absolute Vintage, located just off Brick Lane, around four years ago.

You may be thinking, what does this have to do with interior d├ęcor?  Let me explain.

I once stored this bag, hidden neatly away, inside my wardrobe and every time I opened the door it would make me smile.  I finally realised a few months back that this is more than just a beautiful bag, it is a great decorative item that needs to be seen.  It now resides pride of place in our guest room for all who come and stay to enjoy.

This leaves just one last thought.  How many other people when staying out overnight take their ornaments with them?

Abosulute Vintage

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Alcove shelving update

Now I know I sound crazy but last night I dreamt about dressing the completed alcove shelves with books and nik naks. Bear in mind when I went to bed last night, I had done no more than pencil-marked the walls for shelving positions. With the dream only slightly ahead of my own progress, it only made me want to start the ball rolling even more.

As soon as I arrived home from work tonight I went straight to the cupboard and out came the saw, spirit level, drill, hammer... and with a smile on my face I began.

Considering I have never done this before, within three hours I'd cut, measured and fitted the frames for four shelves. Now that may seem like a lot of time for not much achievement but that is far from how I feel right now. I'm chuffed with my progress so far.

I'm not going to post any pics yet, as I want to publish before and after photos when its finished.

So exciting!

Bird prints

I recently fell in love with a bird-print quilt from Graham and Green, which I just had to have – and it looks great on our bed!

Since then my love for bird prints has grown, but unfortunately my collection hasn’t.  This fact was mentioned in conversation with a new colleague of mine, who informed me of an exhibition I might like to go and see.  I was intrigued, and asked for more information.  She told me of the Collier Campbell exhibition currently showing at the National Theatre, which I have now looked into and decided I must go.

She also then dropped into the conversation that Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell are her mum and aunt.  At this point I’m really excited and must know more.  But I was shocked and saddened to hear that just six weeks ago on 7th May, Susan Collier, her dear mum passed away.  In my mind even more reason why I must go and see the exhibition.

She then told me that Collier Campbell currently has a range being sold at M&S. My ears twitched.  M&S?  ‘Sounds affordable,’ I thought – and it is!

The Collier Campbell range design for specifically M&S to celebrate 50 years of Collier Campbell takes the beautiful textile designs of sisters Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell, and uses them to create a range of crockery, linen, soft furnishing and even a note book.  They are beautiful.  I want the cup, the plate, the stunning pink cushion and the bedspread for our guest room.

My hands were twitching to reach for the laptop and the credit card last night to place an order, all I could think of was how lovely they were going to look. Then like a ton of bricks it hit me, I’m already in my overdraft.  So I managed unwillingly to contain myself for now.  How long this will last is anyone’s guess.  Pay day will not come fast enough.

Most of us would not have had the pleasure of knowing Susan Collier, but what a wonderful feeling it must be to her family to know she will live on in so many daily lives through the Collier Campbell art.  I will spare this thought every time I use the cup and saucer set I plan to purchase.

Check out the exhibition and the M&S range at the links below.

M&S - Collier Campbell range

Exhibition - National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX

Graham and Green - paradise quilt

Obituaries of Susan Collier




Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Alcove shelves

Alcove shelves: I love them, our bedroom needs them.

Our books have been packed away in boxes for around three years now and quite frankly I miss them....... or at least that was the way I introduced the conversation to my boyfriend, which was quicky, without a breath, followed by "we need alcove shelves".  Silence.  But he did make eye contact so I took it as he agreed.

The problem is paying someone to do it means saving and waiting, and neither of those entertain me; I'm a need that now kind of guy.  Therefore, I have decided to do it myself.  Of course I'm not expecting this is going to be easy or happen over night, but I feel really excited about the challenge, so excited I popped to the local DIY shop this evening and bought the wood.

I will of course take pics of my progress and post before and after shots once completed.

Wish me luck.

Here goes.

I'm using these pics for inspiration, oh and I love the chandelier in the first pic, I'll have that too.

chest of drawers

I wanted a chest you wouldn’t find in every household, but I didn’t want to pay the price an independent designer would sell for. So I thought, ‘I can do it myself.’

Last weekend I decided I should finally get around to sanding, filling and repainting the stag chest of drawers I bought from a charity furniture shop back in February.

I wanted a piece that added some much need colour to our bedroom; even though I love grey walls it felt a little too dull and masculine.  I decided jade green was the way forward.  I have no idea why, it simply felt right.

£55.00 - chest of drawers (which was overpriced, seen the same cheaper since)
£10.99  - Dulux eggshell paint
£27.50 - 11 handles, a bargain at £2.50 each.

Total price - £93.49

All in all I spent nine hours turning it from an unwanted chest into a piece I absolutely love and am very proud of.  Oh and it definitely brightens up the corner.

Picture quality is not the greatest as the pics was taken on my phone.  This also means the colour on some is a little bright.

Chest of draws

Handles - Lily Cut Crystal Glass Cabinet - Brass Finish

Paint – Jade Cluster 4

Picture quality is not the greatest as the photos was taken on my phone.  This also means the colour on some is a little bright.  The colour is represented best in the last 2 pictures.

Monday, 20 June 2011

My ever first blog

OK granted, so I'm a little behind the times, but I've finally arrived.  The thought of starting a blog hit me today when I was sat there at my desk daydreaming and meant to be working.  Right there I decided that I spend so many moments dreaming about the interior and exterior decoration of our home - and even the homes of others - that I realised I must do something about it.

Our home being a humble house where my beautiful boyfriend and I live in Beckenham.  My boyfriend has great interest in the architectural element of buildings, their design and the way we live in them, but very little interest in the decor unless it is something he really dislikes. He usually responds to my wants, or as I like to call them needs, with a ‘mmm yeah’ or ‘nice’ or ‘sounds good’, all while never making eye contact.  I often wonder if he thinks making eye contact with me when I talk about spending money on such wonders is in his mind like signing a written agreement.

Me however, I'm always mentally redesigning our house and yes, dare I say it, the house of many others I know.  I regularly visit a friend, or a family member and think, 'I wonder if they did this, or moved that there and bought a lovely piece to go there, what would it look like?'  I even take it upon myself to move their furniture around while they pop to the shops or reposition a table or chair while they make coffee, I just can not help it.  Oh and weirdly enough no one ever seems to mind, they seem to love the new layout and wonder why they had never thought of it before.

Our Home

We moved in to our house 15 months ago, and even though we have done a huge amount of renovation, it always seems like there is something else to do.  So far, we have opened up rooms and had endless joinery work carried out in the form of doors, skirting board, door frames, and cupboards and so on.  We have turned small study and tiny bathroom in a luxury family bathroom, had every room re-plastered, a new boiler and heating system installed, new flooring, new carpets, a new fireplace fitted, new fascia boards to the roof front, and every room decorated, some more basically than others.  Ok deep breath; now I’ve actually started to list some of the things we have done, I’m starting to understand why the boyfriend cannot cope.  Well, when I say understand, I meant the thought ran through my mind, lasted about 30 seconds, and gone.

Each room slightly changes every month or so, with the gradual growth of extras, things such as pictures, lamps, and furniture and general decorative items.  This is mainly because I’m constantly wondering how we could improve our home and the hundred ways we could extended on what we have.

When I say extend, yes I even mean my ever growing plans to extend our kitchen into a side return, or the conversion of our cellar.

I seem to be able to spend hour upon hour lost in visual heaven of what could and will be, and I love it.  I cannot imagine what it would be like not to have the ability of visualisation, yet the more I go on about things to friends and family, the more it seems most of us don't have it.  I however have it in abundance - I can sit and stare at a place and mentally see it change and improve in so many ways.  My visualisation of things is so strong, I can feel what the room feels like, the atmosphere, the sense of pride of owning it, the achievement of gaining it and freakishly, I can even visualise what it feels like to open a door and see the garden, small plants blah blah blah.  You catch the drift, I get lost in thought and as I said I love it.

On top of this I'm forever trawling the internet for ideas, inspiration and collecting images of things I like, so I decided I would finally share them with other like-minded people as well as those who are looking for ideas and inspiration for their own home.  I will be blogging the images of the progress of our house and random things I need, want, dream of and simply must have.

Here goes.....