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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Friday Favourites

Here’s one to blow your mind – Queensland artist Yayoi Kusama created an installation recently by painting a domestic interior totally white – floors, walls, furniture, piano, everything. Then over the course of two weeks, kids were given thousands of stickers to decorate the room any which way they wanted.

And here’s the result….

Absolutely jaw-dropping – see the image above, plus the full transformation of the room from white and serene to a colourful explosion at the This Is Colossal blog.

The title of the installation? The Obliteration Room. A name that seems somehow strangely appropriate for my own childrens’ room (see the post Complete Carnage for evidence) – just without the artistic justification.

xx

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Friday Favourites

One of my favourite presents this Christmas (apart from the package that opened up to reveal a pair of slipper socks and two packets of pork scratchings – genius) was an amazing book, Just My Type by Simon Garfield. Engrossing, fascinating and endlessly interesting – even to those who might be slightly less typeface-obsessive than me – the inside cover featured a brilliant Periodic Table of Typefaces.

And so here’s my Friday Favourite this week – created by Squidspot design agency, who offer the option for you to print your own version. It’s also available in a number of formats from US company Scribble On Everything.

This is officially one of my favourite things ever.

Personal favourites, I hear you ask? Pretty keen on Gotham (Go), partial to Frutiger (Fr), and also strangely drawn to Rockwell (Ro).

xx

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Pretty vs Practical

I’ve got a decorating dilemma, and it goes a little something like this. There’s a possibility that we might be able to remodel our kitchen – something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. We’ve lived with the layout and units for about seven years, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re not making the best use of the space (I know, it takes me a while, but I get there in the end).

There’s a bay window in the first half of the room, which is where our dining table currently resides. Problem is, the oven and most of the useable workspace is directly opposite this, so this end of the room is fairly crowded. The other end has loads of room, with units and shelving along the walls, and lots of floor space in front of the french doors onto the garden.

I’ve worked out a way to re-use all of the existing units, and change things around so the kitchen itself (cupboards, oven, sink, appliances etc) is at one end, and the other (by the doors onto the garden) becomes the dining area. All our existing units fit perfectly into the new design – I used squared graph paper and everything to work it out!

But here’s the dilemma bit – our boiler is totally and utterly decrepit. Taking a shower is an interesting affair, with the water temperature veering with an almost metronomic regularity between unpleasantly chilly and scalding hot. Back and forth it goes as you try to wash your hair – oooh, cold; ow, hot… and so on.

So the question is – do I act all sensible and replace the boiler (which would mean no funds for redoing the kitchen), or do I go with  my heart and get the kitchen I really want?

It’s a tough one, and I’m not sure which option is going to win the day.

So whilst my heart and head battle it out, here are some lust-worthy kitchen images for you to chew on…

Images from top:  Desire to Inspire, A Punch of Colour Design, Apartment Therapy, Sognisorrisi Blogspot, House to Home

All of these are very different, but there’s something about each of them that I love. Not really helping with the decision, though….

xx

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Friday Favourites

Here’s a new one for you – Friday Favourites, a brand new category where every Friday (unsurprisingly!) I’ll post just a single image which I find beautiful, interesting, or inspiring.

Whether its a stunning interior I’ve come across on another blog, a beautiful piece of art or just a snap I’ve got lucky with that week, here goes with the first…

I can’t tell you how much I love this interior – simple, calming, and so, so beautiful.

xx

Image: Design*Sponge

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