Tuesday, 29 November 2011

from play room to pool room !

I am back in Surrey this week and still have no before and after shots yet. I'm painting fitted furniture, from green dragged and rag-rolled 80's style, to cream and antiqued and it seems to be taking quite a while ! So I thought I would show you something I did in June of this year.

This is the play room/tv room of a house that I painted about 8 years ago. I just did a very large fun check with colours we had used elsewhere in the house.

The clients had this furniture from a previous home so they just added gold silk curtains and new wall lights. Earlier this year they sold this house to a man who decided to use this room for his snooker table with a purple baize !  The snooker table also had a mottled effect wood trim in a sort of mock tortoishell !

After a bit of a discussion, he let me go ahead with my idea to make his 'big boys and their toys room' into a wacky purple tartan affair, with mottled gold paint to tie in with the curtains and light fitting !

Hopefully you can see the mottled edge of the snooker tabel which is why I did the same sort of effect on the walls.
Oddly the room actually looks bigger now, even though there is a massive snooker table in the middle. The client is really happy, and his inter-changeable multi-coloured spotlights apparently look great at night. (I told you it was a big boys toy room).

I think all his memorabilia looks pretty good against the dark background and he seems delighted that the room is a one-off and basically bespoke.
I have always felt that dining-rooms, cloakrooms and obviously play-rooms are the ones you can go to town on, and the larger your home the more individual a certain room can be. This definately wouldn't work in my house, but fits well into this large country home !

Sunday, 27 November 2011

hand-made christmas cards

I thought I'd better make a start on them. Got out my box of 'stamps'.

All of these came free with magasines, except the opera star which I used in a hallway over a colourwash !

So I chose these - although the 'word' stamp and 'tree cut out' are new.

Years ago I made cards every christmas, and even made THE PAPER one year. It was really time consuming but good fun. I thought I had kept samples of all of them (I am a bit of a horder) but only have the following. Stamps on black with silver outline pen. A section from another year and a sample from the year I did topiary trees. I simply cut a sponge in a circle, stamped green, and added outline pen, and copper leaf.

The  'Happy Christmas' is a stick on ! This year it's going to be much simpler.

A bit of practising first !

A square (I used the back of a stamp), on the inside, so that white shows underneath the cut out tree.

I use white paint so that the print is uneven.

I messed up the writing - just being too impatient.

A couple of tries and I think I am happy. I could easily add more colour or get out my outline pen, but I'm just going to leave it simple. Only another 45 or so to go !!!

Linking this up with


Friday, 25 November 2011

a mix of styles

I have been thinking about re-arranging these kitchen shelves for a few days, and when I got home tonight I just had to have a go. I really like the mix of blues, greens and whites but just wanted something a bit more basic.

These are the shelves as they were

And these are how they look now - I think I prefer the reduced colour palette, but as we STILL haven't finished the kitchen I feel sure there is yet more re-arranging to be done.

I do love this little corner though. The ceiling is lower here because of the stairs (they turn a corner just above this part of the kitchen). We could have moved the wall units into the corner but I wanted some open shelves, and knew this area would look really cute. Here it is on the night of our dinner party a few weeks ago.

I REALLY like the pink metal holder that is the perfect place for takeaway brochures but I am not really a pink girl, so the egg holder is either going to go, or be painted white - two pinks is just one pink too many for me !!!!!

Love this, when you look inside, you can actually see how the metal has been folded like an envelope !

Blogging has made me analyse my style continually, and really I can't put a label on it. It's not french, contemporary or shabby chic, and it's definately not classic or traditional like my oldest friend Pandy's house, but it has elements of all of these. This kitchen is one sort of style while our bedroom is more ornate, with gold mirrors and antique brass.

Hopefully in the not too distant future I will have some before and after shots, as the rooms get finished, but we seem to be working on everything at once (and at a rather slow pace).

My biggest dilemma will be the dining room. I have the round table and chair to paint, and the sideboard: and somehow I have to bring this all together with my old geezers guitars, a contemporary ikea pendant light and a huge poster of the Beetles on Abbey Road !
(Actually I think it's gonna be fun!!!)

Anyway, I'm now looking forward to a weekend of dog-walking, charity shops, good coffee and maybe some decorating !

Thursday, 24 November 2011

hallway inspiration !

How cute is this - can't decide which wallpaper to choose, just do a patchwork of wallpaper !

Love the green wallpaper - each little square is a pretty picture in itself !

What can I say - I love everything in this picture (except maybe the chest, would love it all on an old chipped and shabby console), it gives me so much inspiration. From the beautiful paper wreath to the framed hearts and even the simple battoning on the walls, it's all so gorgeous - I definately have a few more ideas for my home.

These pictures all from www.housetohome.co.uk

Also thought I should let you know that we obviously have etsy and folksy in the UK but we also have www.notonthehighstreet.com which is a fantastic online shop, and where some of the items in the last photo came from.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

the garden of England

I grew up in Kent, which is often called ' the garden of England'. I have travelled extensively, lived in London, then East Sussex and now I live in West Sussex, but always love returning to Kent.
Yesterday I took a day off from work to take my brother to hospital (he's ok - it was a check up). The journey from Pandy's house to Sevenoaks runs through quite a few picturesque villages, and we couldn't help but grab a coffee and a couple of hours to visit Westerham, on our way to see him !!!
Although it was a bit of a grey day the shops were bright and full of Christmas cheer and we managed to see everything we wanted to in the short time we had.

There is a little green in the middle with loads of period houses all around.

 Look at this gorgeous little house with the standards and white shutters.

Three shops to remember - Beverley Deen Interiors
Annie's Attic
and my favourite - The Vintage Home Company

Sunday, 20 November 2011

10. another weekend gone


Another weekend has disappeared and it's back to Surrey tomorrow. At least I managed to walk my dog on the beach - we still have unbelievably warm weather here, considering it's November !

I just love it when the tides out. I get my wellies on so that I can wade through the shallows and my little dog runs around like a mad thing,  half-heartedly chasing birds and rolling in smelly seaweed ! (he had a bath when we got back).
I usually go to this cafe on the beach to get my shot of proper caffeine for the day. I really miss freshly ground espresso coffee in a large latte since we sold our own coffee shop !

Yesterday we went to a couple of charity shops looking for furniture. Pandy is looking for a chiffonier for her dining room. Although it's pretty full already, she just needs more storage ! (my best mate, sure has alot of stuff !)

She has some amazing antique furniture as well as some reproduction pieces. Her taste is much more classical than mine but I do love the lamp on the sideboard and the amazing candle sconces on the table.

Yes, you are right, they wouldn't exactly fit in my little house any way. But I did find an Edwardian dresser and we bought it for £90, so next week we will try it out and if it doesn't look any good then we will paint it and sell it on !

In the second charity shop we went in we found a great table and THREE chairs. My old geezer had been considering buying a similar one in Ikea but didn't like the price at £180, and that's NOT including the chairs. Anyway, we found this. It's round, but pulls out to an oval with the extra piece being hidden away inside. I have four chairs already that are pretty similar, so I am going to paint them all white and distress them a bit.  AND, it only cost £60 - including the chairs !

We are also changing the laminate floor for a darker one with a more 'woody' effect. You can't tell in this photo but the current floor is really chipped and damaged, and the new one will look great with white painted furniture.

This is the new laminate in the (still unfinished) kitchen. I love that fact that each piece looks like one plank, not divided into strips like the original beech effect - which just has too many joints, fake ones AND real ones. And in the dining room I also want to replace the 'red' ikea shelving units with built in white shelving. You can't see MY bookshelf on the right hand side, but the shelves are all bowed because of the amount of books on them.

So lastly I just thought I would show you the room I sleep in when I stay with Pandy. It's SO different to my bedroom, but extremely pretty and cosy. AND I get an ensuite which is shear luxury for me !

YES - toile de jouy wallpaper, toile de jouy curtains and a toile de jouy blind ! We painted the ceiling pink to create warmth and actually did the wallpapering ourselves with the help of her husband - though none of us had ever done it before ! There is a metal canopy above the bed which is going to have a voile with bobble fringe and there is still a small curtain to be put up in the ensuite !

As there is a built in wardrobe on one side of the room the bed cannot sit in the centre of the wall, but I love the way it is offset with a very large chest of drawers and a gorgeous little bedside table with marble top.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Nine things I love

Two tea-light holders. Love the mix of simple wire, galvanised base and mercury glass.

My wall mounted china cabinet - had it for years.

The Noritake coffee service that my grandmother left me.

A miniature tureen that Pandy gave me. I love the mix of ceramic and metal. The handle is a couple of pomegranates.

I have three of these hooks, and again it's the mix of ceramic and metal that I love.

An amazing mirror - my best find ever. It cost £35 in a charity shop. I was walking past on the way to visiting a friend to do some painting for her and just couldn't resist. The moulding is incredible and one day I will paint it white because it's painted, not gilded. I have no idea if this will devalue it, but I'm not phased, because I'll never try to sell it. I just love it, love it, love it.

Four beautiful still life prints. I got these in Spain when I was with Pandy and her mother. The paintings are beautiful - I wish I had done them myself. I bought the frames and painted them blue and then white and did alot of distressing.

I love the simple flat frames and the colour picks out the ceramic pieces in the prints.

I put these in my last post, but just love them so much. And for £3.00 they are simply amazing. I have an oriental lamp in my bedroom which they would go with, and together they inspire me to paint my bedroom furniture.

And lastly, my newest aquisition. I couldn't resist. I have a couple of other green things in the kitchen and it just fits perfectly !