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):

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After (don’t judge me…):

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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:

Images: belderbos.co.uk, shelterness.com, remodelista.com, desiretoinspire.net

Well, we can all dream, can’t we?

xx

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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:

www.homelife.com.au

seventeendoors.blogspot.co.uk/

myscandinavianhome.blogspot.co.uk/

studiokarin.blogspot.no/

seventeendoors.blogspot.co.uk/

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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…

xx

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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:

Kitchen:

Bathroom:

Bedroom:

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…

xx

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Friday Favourites – stunning Stourhead

I know – it’s been a while, but life seems to have got a little busy recently.

So just time for a very quick Friday Favourite today – a pic taken last weekend at one of my favourite places on earth, Stourhead. A National Trust house and garden in Wiltshire, it really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. A Palladian mansion stuffed full of gorgeous art and Chippendale furniture, set in 2,600 acres of magnificently landscaped gardens dotted with classically styled follies, it’s a little piece of heaven on earth.

The boys and hubby were looking out over one of the lakes from inside a dark grotto, and I couldn’t resist the chance to take a snap of such a magical scene.

xx

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Friday Favourites – Shadow Play

Whilst its been almost unbearably cold for the last few days, one of the most beautiful things about this time of year can be the quality of light.

On a bright, crisp day, with the sun low in the sky, some of the shadows cast can be exquisitely beautiful. I couldn’t resist taking a picture of those created by the sun streaming through the slatted blinds in my living room onto the mantelpiece:

A lovely interplay of light and dark, captured one bright sunny afternoon.

xx

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Roller Coaster

I haven’t bought anything new for the house for a while, so I allowed myself a little splurge the other day on some beautiful drinks coasters.

They’re the Geo coasters, designed by the very wonderful Ella Doran for SCP. I love the geometric 3D pattern, whilst the muted concrete-grey tones are perfect in my grey-walled living room. I’ve met Ella a few times, and I can confirm that not only is she an amazing designer with a fantastic eye for colour and pattern, she’s also a really lovely lady.

Moving on from that terrible bit of name-dropping, here’s my pick of some more must-have coasters out there…

 

Images (clockwise from top left): Rockett St George, Not on the High Street, Etsy

Functional yet decorative, there’s a coaster out there for everyone.

xx

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