Monday, 31 August 2009

Cushions - and a resolution

As I've said before I'm not great at DIY (and neither is the boy) and so I love the fact that it can be so easy to update a room quickly and cheaply by adding some new cushions and other accessories.

Cushions are a fantastic way of adding a bit of colour to a room, or character to an old couch, or interest to a bed. I’ve bought lots of our cushions online - there’s a lady in Cornwall who makes cushions with popular fabrics and so I have cushions to match the Summer Palace wallpaper in the small bedroom and also the Erin wallpaper in the larger room.

I think that my favourite cushions are these Designer’s Guild style ones that adorn our Barcelona chair.

And just visible in the corner here is my cushion with russian dolls - it adds some fun to our sofa.

Here are the summer palace fabric cushions...

And the erin fabric one...

Here are a couple of cushions that are on my wish list (from Grey Loves Pink and Karen Elton design) -

It would of course be fairly easy, I'm sure, to make your own cushions. And this is where the resoultion part of this post comes in! There's somewhere in Islington called The Make Lounge and they run day courses in various crafts - you can make cushions and many other things. There's lots more information on their website. They say - For the price of a night out or less, we’ll teach you to sew, make jewellery, work with leather, crochet or embroider, create your own bath and body products and much more.

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Thursday, 27 August 2009

Cox & Cox Birds - thank you!

Thanks so much to Huma at who ran a competition to win a few pairs of friendship birds from Cox & Cox. How cute are they?

I've got one in our bedroom, and I intend to give one to my mum whose birthday is in a couple of weeks.

Whilst we're on the subject of birds I finally snapped this cool pigeon that I'd been looking at every morning on my way to work! Maybe I'll print it out and frame it.

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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

To do list, post 3 - the kitchen


*Paint kitchen cupboards . Sadly we can’t justify getting a new kitchen, but I would like to get the cupboards painted. I hate this dated pine look, and instead would like a shabby chic distressed white finished. I’d also like a new work surface. This kitchen has been here since the our home was built, about 10 years ago.

Here's the far corner of the kitchen, as you're looking from the door.

And the other side - as you come in the door on the right hand side, next to the fridge freezer.

Our lovely tea and coffee caddies, and cake stand / fruit bowl (minus either at the moment!)

The view out of the kitchen window to our little garden.

*Paint the walls pink. The boy thinks this is plain silly – but I saw a picture of Sophie Conran’s bright pink kitchen in a magazine once and fell in love. Our kitchen might be too small to pull off such a strong colour, but I’d like to give it a go. Although it would mean changing our pictures, which are there to bring out the blue of the current kitchen.

Here's Sophie Conran's kitchen (in a photo from Red magazine) - isn't it gorgeous!

And another pic I found on the Living Etc site that I loved!

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Thursday, 20 August 2009

A small bedroom digression - I want, I want some yellow art

Have just been browsing around blogland and have come across

How would this rather wonderful yellow print look on the wall to the left of the bed? So, as you look at the bed in the previous post, the white wall you can just see. It's the wall with the window on it.

I think the typography of this print would be in strong contrast to the prettiness of the wallpaper, but maybe that doesn't matter... Opinions welcomed! x

To do list, post 2

Small bedroom

I do love this room, especially since the introduction of the ‘LOVE’ pillow cases, but we could do with a few more things.

*curtains - at the moment we have the cheap, rough cotton curtains we got when we moved in, as a quick solution to privacy. I would like something much prettier, and floatier. No inspiration pics yet, but I will look for some soon.

*vintage mirror on a chain - I think this would add interest to the wall opposite the bed, the one that also contains our bird pictures. It would also reflect the lovely bird wallpaper. I love this collection of mirrors.

And here is our little bird gallery.

*a bedside lamp - to sit atop our little 40p-spray-painted-blue bedside table. Isn't this vintage number cute? (via flikr)

And here's the table it would sit on.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

My 'to do' list, post 1

Today I’ve decided to share my ‘to do’ list. Or part of it at least, otherwise I think the post might become far too long.

I’ve always been a list-maker, so the little moleskin notebook that I carry around in my handbag is always full of lists of some description – shopping lists, present lists, card lists and, the biggest list of all, ‘things to do to the house’. The list is broken down by room, and some of the tasks seem rather big for the un-DIY couple that we are, and so I think that that they are, sadly, destined to stay on the list for quite some time. However, I’m going to try and ensure that’s not the case. At the moment the list is something like this –

Large bedroom
I’m not sure if you remember, that although this should really be the ‘master bedroom’ in our three bed maisonette, we prefer to sleep in our tiny little room, and so this room is a guest room, and our ‘dressing room’.

*Buy a new wardrobe (this is the most important thing in the world…just look how terrible the situation is at the moment. I considered getting something built in, but I think that the credit-crunch-savvy option is a trip to IKEA for a PAX wardrobe. You can get ones in an l-shape, so hopefully we’ll be able to hugely increase our storage. I’d also like to get an old fashioned, tall, wooden chest of drawers – to counteract the modernity of the wardrobe)

I'm embarrassed by this - look how awful it is...

I like the look of this light, airy clothes storage solution (via Desire to Inspire)

Realistically, I think this is what I'm aiming for (although slightly smaller, and I think with glossy white doors)

*Sand bedroom wall – and repaint sanded area (before we got a glass shower screen in our bathroom we had a bit of an issue with leaking water, and it managed to get onto our adjoining bedroom wall and has bubbled the paintwork. This task just requires borrowing / buying / hiring a sander, and will probably only take 5 minutes)

*Repaint (as I’ve said before I’m not happy with this room, and think that unfortunately it might be the white paintwork in the East facing lower-ground floor room that is the problem. Am still undecided as to what colour to paint.)

Here are three rooms that I love (via Ideal Homes magazine and Desire to Inspire)

*Shorten curtains (I love that they sweep the floor, but still need a good few inches taking off them. This is, I think, a job for my Mum next time she comes to visit)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

A kitten update

I thought it was high time I shared a couple more pics of our little kitten, who isn't nearly so little anymore. We're still completely smitten and spend far too much time talking about the cat and her wellbeing! Isn't she gorgeous though?!

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Tuesday, 11 August 2009

My new pillowcases!

How could I forget?! Here, proudly displayed on our bed, are my new pillowcases. The boy really couldn't believe that I spent £32 (from Cox & Cox)on pillowcases, but I think they're worth every penny. The pink of the 'LOVE' nicely sets off the pink of the birds on the wallpaper... The boy, rather unromantically I thought, suggested we could also switch them around and have 'VELO' if we preferred!

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A couple more things to add to my wish list...

Do you ever get days at work where you work flat our for a bit and then need to reward yourself with a diet coke from the canteen and a little rest? This was me this afternoon, so after putting the world to rights with my colleague I spent a happy little ten minutes or so browsing the Graham & Green website. I do love their stuff, even though some of it is quite pricey. I'd like to add these two little things to yesterday's wish list -

These lovely, lovely mirrored butterflies - so cute.

And also one of these pouffes. We really need to sort out extra seating in our lounge. With a three seater sofa and a one chair as soon as we have more than one guest we're either sitting in a row (not conducive to great chats) or otherwise someone is sitting rather awkwardly on one of our wooden dining room chairs. One of these pouffes would mean that an extra (albeit small) person could be accommodated!

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Sunday, 9 August 2009

I want, I want

Alongside the long 'to do' list of things I'd like to do to our home, I have a list of things I'd really love. Of course none are urgent or necessary, just things that I like very much! Here's a selection...

Charles Eames RAR Rocking Chair
If I didn’t have my Barcelona chair, I would buy a white eames rocker and have it in the same space. I’d also like one in our spare bedroom, to offset the beautiful white build-in wardrobe, that exists in my head - but sadly not in reality yet. I'd probably buy a white one, but I think this yellow one is just lovely too.

Portmeirion love and peace crockery
Because it is very lovely. I think I would smile every time I sat down to my dinner, or my cup of tea.

A starburst mirror
I haven’t really got space for another mirror, but these are sooo lovely. I always see this one from Next in magazines, and every time I vow to pop down to Tottenham Court Road and take a look in the shop.

A car
Living in London I can't really justify getting a car, but sometimes I do miss the flexibility it can give you.

I’m a bit over the Figaro and the modern Beatle, which I used to covet, but I’ll never tire of the cute-as-a-button Fiat cinquecento. The old ones of course, not the new one, which I don’t think has the heart and soul of the original. I also like Morris Minors. However, for someone who has never changed oil or a wheel ( the most practical thing I’ve done with regards to car maintenance is adding petrol, and once I checked the tire pressure) a vintage car wouldn’t be a sensible choice and sadly I just can’t get excited about modern alternatives.

Papilio ulysses telegonus Butterfly Print from Rockett St George
I will get one of these prints soon, and put it in a white frame and hang it in our bedroom. I love butterflies and think that these are just stunning.

A window seat
A less achievable (for now at least) thing on my wish list... I'd love a window seat overlooking a lovely garden, covered in beautiful cushions, with space to place a cup of tea. This picture is via Apartment Therapy

Monday, 3 August 2009

A collection of birds

Sorry for the long absence! We had a lovely holiday, and were then away this weekend as well, and as a result I'm very behind with lots of chores, and also haven't written a blog post for far too long!

We've had people staying in our home recently, to look after Millie the kitten (who's not so much of a kitten any more), and it's always interesting what people notice. A friend commented that we had quite a lot of birds cropping up throughout our home, which made me have a good look around at everything, and I realised that she's definitely right!

I don't know why I sound surprised, it's definitely me (and not the boy) who has sourced and placed all these little creatures around and about the place. I decided that to complement our fabulous Laura Ashley Summer Palace wallpaper (my boyfriend was incredulous that we had to share our bedroom with an entire flock of pink birds) we should have a gallery of bird images. I bought a few cards gradually, and then just framed them in Ikea‘s ribba frames. Lovely, cheap and yet very attractive art work I think. I’ve tried to hang the pictures in a casual-yet-perfectly-spaced way!

I liked the effect so much, that I did something similar in the bigger bedroom. I might change these though, as I think the pictures are a little lost on the larger wall.

We've also got a few little bird ornaments cropping up about the place...

Finding a bit of a theme (and creating your own pictures of course) can be a good, budget way of getting continuity throughout your home, and accessorising whilst you're at it!