Friday, 26 June 2009


I'd love to have an old house, with stunning fireplaces and other period features. I've had to make do with shelves, above the TV, as a kind of fireplace-equivalent focus!

I particularly like these two mantelpieces, very different in style, but both tres stylish in their own way.

The first is from Martha Stewart, and the second is an image from Living Etc.

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Wednesday, 24 June 2009

More online art...

I don't know how I forget to mention this site ( in my last post... most remiss. The picture I got from here is hanging in my hallway, and gets many compliments. AND it was only a fiver. Bargain!

(Sorry for the slightly crooked picture...And I'm still trying to decide whether or not to fill this whole wall - which is over the stairs - with pictures, or leave it quite plain and simple.)

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Monday, 22 June 2009

Online art

Always on the search for nice pictures with which to decorate my home, I decided to look online. It can be overwhelming at first, because there are just soooo many places to look, but I found some great sites!

The Keep Calm Gallery ( has some very cool stuff. I’ve bought a fabulously retro “Keep Calm Carry On” poster from there. Annoyingly it was a bit of a strange size, and didn’t seem to fit any of the frames I saw in the shops. Framing things professionally can be a costly business, and if you haven’t paid much for a print it doesn’t always seem worth it. However, on this occasion I ended up buying a large ribba frame from Ikea and just getting the mount cut. It was still £22, but much better than the £70 odd they quoted me to frame the whole thing.

Also from the Keep Calm Gallery I bought a limited edition print of these Russian Dolls by Hazel Nicholls. I did splash out and get this professionally framed, and am thrilled with how it looks. It also ties in nicely with our little collection of green ornaments. is a saviour if you want to get a print and you know exactly what you want (otherwise the choice is rather too overwhelming for an indecisive person like me)! I bought a large poster of Picasso’s Don Quixote from this site, which with a tiny bit of trimming fitted into a great wooden frame that I found in a junk shop for next to nothing. It was my Dad’s favourite picture, and I too love it’s simplicity. It’s propped against the wall at the top of our stairs and I think looks great.

Some other online sites I’ve come across that it might be worth checking out:

At Canvas Etc they say ‘we don't mass produce our canvas art, in fact we don't even carry any of the canvas prints on this website in stock. Instead we individually print and lovingly hand craft each canvas to order in our own studio.’

Original artwork costs between £200 and £400 on this site, but there’s a huge range of cheaper printed canvases to choose from too.

Adorn your walls with a masterpiece from the Tate’s collection, a limited-edition print from a St Ives artist or an exhibition poster that one day might be a collector’s item.

You know I love my books, so I think this site is brilliant. Liha Okunniwa adores vintage book sleeves, so she sources her favourites and then scans them in and turns them into posters.

B&Q has launched Art on Demand, an online service that lets you choose a picture, decide if you want it as a framed print or canvas and then see how it looks on screen before you buy it. There are more than 140 images to choose from, in a range of sizes and frames.

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Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

A sure fire way of making a room seem bigger than it is, is to place mirrors strategically, so they reflect light around the rest of the room. I’ve also seen lots of pictures in magazines recently, of displays of vintage mirrors, and I think this always look really lovely. These ones are from Kim Johnson's house, from Desire to Inspire

One of my best purchases of recent times is this huge gold mirror (below). There are some guys who sell junk on a street corner near our house and every so often you can find something great. They seem to be missing a trick because they don’t tend to do the furniture up before selling it on, which means that it really is cheap. We got a dining room table there about three years ago for just £20. It’s currently used in the studio for lots of recording equipment, so we haven’t got around to doing it up either yet, but one day we will and it’ll look great! Anyway, they said this mirror was £50. I offered £40 and they accepted it, AND they delivered it for free. It really was a bargain. I have a friend who paid more than £500 for something quite similar (albeit twice the size) recently. The only place that the mirror really fitted was outside the bathroom in the downstairs hallway, but it’s perfect there, and a good last chance to check out your outfit before leaving the house!

We have a nice mirror in our lounge too, and as it is above the dining room table, I think it helps to distinguish between the dining and lounging part of the room!

I’m currently looking for a vintage style oval mirror on a chain, to hang in the small bedroom.

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Sunday, 14 June 2009

Kitten time

The most exciting thing to happen in our home in the last week (or ever, in fact) is the addition of our gorgeous little kitten! We're completely smitten... even if she is gradually ripping the sofa to bits!

Alas, this little furry ball of cuteness does mean no more lilies for me - the vet told us yesterday, when we took her to get her first set of injections, that the pollen from lilies causes liver failure in cats. Who knew?! It also means that the place is covered in cat toys and bits of shredded tissue, but no matter, we adore her. She is a very stylish, and thoroughly loveable, addition to our home! Her Selfridges cat bed is quite cute too! (Slightly obscured in this picture by a rather horrible old cushion cover that she seems to quite like)

We've had a steady stream of visitors all weekend coming to play with the newest, and most entertaining, member of our family!

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Thursday, 11 June 2009

More pictures...This time graffiti

I always like looking out for cool graffiti, and actually at the moment I keep trying to remember to take my camera with me when I go to work because every day on the way to the tube I pass a stencil of a pigeon on a white wall that looks very funky. What I have taken a photo of is this rather cute ‘love’ image that's on a wall in a park near our house. We’ve got it on a canvas, I’ve recently got a black and white one printed and put it in a black frame for a friend’s anniversary present and I’ve also made a couple of wedding cards out of the same image. I wonder who the artist is!!

One of he most famous graffiti artists is of course Banksy, and I love this copy that I bought from a stall in Spitalfields Market - It came in this cool frame, which I think looks great alongside our arco style lamp. And, a mere £25. Bargain.

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Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Transforming some drawers...

I was looking at meggetscrafty earlier today and I was mightily impressed by Meg's AMAZING transformation of a chest of drawers. Who'd have thought that something from Ikea or Argos could look so thoroughly stylish and fabulous?! A perfect example of breathing new life into an old piece of furniture, and being very creative about it. I was amazed that Meg managed to hand paint the swallows too, but I'm sure that for the less steady-handed amongst us you could use a stencil or even bird stickers (there are some great ones at

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Sunday, 7 June 2009

Crafty, crafty - making a picture

I love pictures, but I surprised myself by finding them the hardest thing to buy when we moved into our flat. To me pictures should be personal, they should mean something, and if not, they should be especially stylish and amazing to make up for it! I intend to run through lots of the pictures in our house at some point, but thought I'd start with credit-crunch-crafty-pictures! The ones you can make yourself. Again forgive my complete lack of practical artistic ability...

If, like me, you’re not a dab hand with a paint brush or a pencil, then don’t despair, you can cheat. I love the effect achieved here, and it really was very, very simple. I just bought a sheet of this cool Penguin books wrapping paper (for £1.50!), and cut it to fit a simple Ikea ribba frame. As you’ve probably gathered I do love my books, so this seemed appropriate. And hopefully not too many people will have the same thing.

You could frame lots of things like this - a nice piece of wallpaper, a scrap of fabric, a funky tea towel…

My boyfriend has a recording studio in our flat (sadly we don’t have soundproofing…) and we’ve made some great pictures for the walls, again using Ikea Ribba frames. You can buy ones that have CD sized mounts, and so we’ve framed artwork from his singles and album to make very personal (and quite professional looking) images. His musician friends are always envious. We also took a few pictures of the precious recording equipment, and framed them too. They look really cool, and are personal too!

Crafty ideas from the Guardian

I quite enjoyed reading this in the Guardian Weekend magazine yesterday. I was a bit unsettled when they said the frame they were showing was £150 from the Conran Shop (!), but then I read it properly and saw that they were actually encouraging you to go to charity shops and pick up old frames and create a similar look. Much better!

I love the cushion idea too... must try that!

Monday, 1 June 2009

I wish I could hide away with a good book!

Isn't this just the nicest little nook? (Although I think I'd have added some different coloured cushions!) I found this picture on the Living Etc site, and I imagine that it looks out over a pretty garden. Aah. Annoying day at work today and I'm wishing that I could have curled up on this nice green cushion and read a good book, cup of tea in hand!
No matter, tomorrow is a new day!