Stairway to heaven

I was talking ‘interiors’ recently with a good friend who is in the process of redecorating her hall and stairway, and we got to discussing the challenges of dressing such a large expanse of wall.

Staircases are funny spaces; when decorating or planning our interiors, they can easily be overlooked in favour of living rooms, kitchens and other more high profile, clearly defined areas. But actually, in the day to day comings and goings of family life, we probably spend as much time running up and down the stairs as we do sitting and relaxing in other areas of our houses. They take a serious amount of wear and tear, and are often one of the first things that visitors to our houses see.

(Unless of course you live in a bungalow. In which case I’m pleased and slightly surprised you’ve stuck with me this far).

For all those with stairways in need of some care and attention, here are a few ideas for how to create a space with a bit of character, style and flair…

1) Photo Collage
Slightly ubiquitous now, but still a great way of adding interest to a stair wall:


2) Frames
An updated, slightly more quirky version of the photo collage:


3) Other objects
Mirrors, plates, maps, picture shelves; anything goes…:


4) Plain and simple
Of course, there’s nothing to say you need to put anything on your wall. A strong colour, crisp finish and striking light fitting can be enough to make a great first impression…


Whatever style you choose, just make sure that you care about your stair…


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Bedroom Bliss

I’ve recently been a little unwell, and have therefore spent an unusual amount of time in my bed. Much more than I’d prefer, to be honest, and what was once a sanctuary turned into a pit of misery and self-pity, with drifts of tissues piling up on the floor and the whiff of cough medicine in the air.

But after a bout of antibiotics I’m finally on the mend, and so I thought I’d pull together a quick post featuring some beautiful bedroom inspiration, in order to remind us that although the room where we sleep is probably the least public of our rooms, it’s still worth making sure that the place where we rest, recuperate, and rejuvenate is somewhere beautiful, restful, calming and serene.

Images from top:,,,,

And my little piece of bedroom bliss? Here’s a sneak peek before the tissues and Night Nurse took over…


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Best of the Rest – Scandi Perfection

The existence of so many wonderful design and interiors blogs means that inspiration is never more than a click away. Idle browsing can result in the happy discovery of a blog where you can while away hours of your time clicking from one amazing home to another.

And so I’ve decided that whenever I come across a site that brings me joy, delight or even just food for thought, I shall share it for your delectation in a new, occasional series, Best of the Rest. A kind of online interiors show and tell, if you like…

Today’s discovery is the absolutely gorgeous My Scandinavian Home, a veritable smorgasbord of clean, crisp Scandi style. It’s a wonderful escape as I sit at the heart of my cluttered home, packed with the detritus of everyday life (at the time of writing, the view from my kitchen table includes the following random objects: a hot glue gun, an empty Starbucks coffee cup, a pile of books waiting to go back to the library, three laptops, an extremely large roll of A3 card, a bottle of wood glue and a tube of Pritt Stick. I’m not sure what the prevalence of adhesives says about us as a family…).

And so if you’re anything like me, I’d highly recommend a brief but blissful trip to the uncluttered, peaceful homes showcased by My Scandinavian Home. Trust me; I’ve looked, and there’s not a single pot of glue to be seen.

All images via My Scandinavian Home

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Spring Dreams

Today the sky is a bold, beautiful blue. It’s fresh and crisp and bright out there; the kind of day that has you longing for Spring and the opportunity to get outside and feel the sun on your face. Which got me thinking about our garden, and how utterly sorry for itself it’s looking. Okay, that’s partly due to the time of year, and the wintry months of cold and neglect it’s endured.

But it’s also because for the last couple of years, we’ve given it over to our boys, allowing it to become a football pitch rather than a garden. My husband did some excellent work on it last summer replacing the rotten decking, but the shattered fence panel (which has done a sterling job as a goal for many years) and the patchy grass is going to need a bit more TLC before it can once again become my dream retreat.

And so I bring you a very different Before and After revelation – one where the Before pictures are way, way better than the After:

Before (10 years ago):



After (don’t judge me…):

2015-02-23 10.20.00

It’s embarrassing and quite depressing; so much so, in fact, that we should probably move swiftly on to some beautiful urban gardens to serve as inspiration for us all:


Well, we can all dream, can’t we?


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A sense of place, a sense of peace

It’s been quite some time – almost three years in fact, since I last posted on this blog. Would I even be able to remember my WordPress password?

But I’m back, and planning whenever I can to spill my thoughts, opinions and general nonsense into the blogosphere, specifically in the area of interiors, design and home décor.

So why have I decided to start again? The answer to that links back to another question – why did I stop? Simple really – a distinct lack of time. I had a pretty busy job. I was also volunteering on a committee that took up all my spare time (and some that wasn’t spare). Preparing, researching and writing blog posts became a chore – something I dreaded, rather than the joy they had originally been.

And so I stopped. Recently however, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes me tick. What gives me joy. What fulfills me and gives me a sense of satisfaction. And the answer to that is two-fold – writing, and enjoying beautiful design. So I decided to get back into doing both of those things.

A couple of questions preyed on my mind in the midst of all this pondering. Is it extremely shallow to enjoy interior design; superficial to find happiness in the appreciation of a beautifully presented room? Am I succumbing to consumerism and greed when I look at images of a mid-century chair and wish I could own one? Contributing to the ‘more, more, more’ nature of modern life when I write about objects I’d like to be able to buy?

I’ve decided though that it’s okay. The environment you live in has a huge impact on your general well-being. For me, seeing a space that is beautiful and stylish, filled with cleverly designed furniture and inspiring art, satisfies my creative side. I love the idea of creating a home that is comfortable, beautiful, stylish.  Not only is it pleasing to the eye, it’s soothing to the soul.

Our homes are our nests, our places of safety and comfort. They’re where we retreat to, where we relax, prepare ourselves for re-entry into the wider world. They can also be an extension of our personalities; a way of saying this is who I am, what I’m into, what I’m all about.

It’s well known that the main contributing factors to our mental well-being relate to sensory stimulation – that is, what we can see, touch, smell, hear. Our sense of safety and contentedness is affected by the quality of the environment around us. So why not place importance on ensuring that our environment is beautiful, well-designed, calming, colourful, minimalist – or whatever floats your interiors boat.

Anyway, that’s just a long-winded way of saying I’m going to carry on writing about chairs, and rugs, and paint colours, and kitchens, and vases, and probably some more chairs (I have a thing about chairs). Call me shallow, call me trivial – I’ll just retreat into my nest and enjoy the view.

Let’s kick off the new era with something simple; some rooms that delight and inspire me, and will hopefully do the same for you:

Photos from top:

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Friday Favourites – Kitchen Perfection

As some of you may be aware, I’m a little focused on kitchens at the moment. Desperately wanting to sort out my own kitchen/diner (but not able to due to finances and the need to replace our boiler first – boo!), I’ve been gazing longingly online and in interior magazines at some beautiful kitchens recently.

And so my Friday Favourite this week is an image which to me is complete and utter kitchen perfection.

Image: Design Sponge

It’s almost embarrassing how much I love this – the pure white of the kitchen units, the stunning wooden dining table, the glorious mix and match Eames chairs. It’s bright, welcoming, uncontrived, stylish, individual, functional, spacious; I could go on.

But instead I’m going to stop before I make a complete fool of myself…


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Monochrome magic

I’m not sure what’s happening to me in my old age (apart from the wrinkles, the creaking bones and the occasional bout of memory loss). No, what I mean is that more and more I seem to be drawn to monochrome interiors.

I used to be all about bright, bold bursts of colour, but there’s something so restful about a black and white interior – especially when it’s warmed up with wood. My latest purchase fits in with my monochrome mood – the really rather beautiful Falmouth rug from John Lewis which has found a home in my living room.

So here’s a little bit of monochrome magic for a variety of different rooms:

Living Room:




Images from top:
Emma’s Blogg; House and Home; Riazzoli Blogspot; La Maison d’Anna G

I’ve come across so many beautiful images of mainly monochromatic rooms that I might come back and do a part two on this topic. But for now, I’m off to hunt me down some houndstooth cushions…


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