Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Garden Room

During our 'renting phase' as I like to call it we have now rented quite a few different types of house - Georgian, Victorian and uber contemporary. Before that we owned a starter home/new build and then a converted barn!

We've learned a LOT through this process, and as much as I still crave my own home I think it has been a great learning curve for two house-a-holics! And narrows down for me exactly what I want from my dream home. Not dream-win-the-lottery-home but dream forever home.

Although this dreamy room is an apartment in Madrid (see here for more), this image sums up my perfect day room. A room or even a space off of the kitchen with wall to wall glass doors with day bed, fresh modern moroccan features, lots of white, warm wooden floors and of course a hint of pink. What could be more perfect? Gorgeous!
L x

Bargain Buy #2 - Warehouse Yellow Lace Dress

There are so many early sales on right now! I've been searching for a nice dress to where to Henley Festival next week. It's black tie so some women wear floor length gowns but I'm not really feeling that so was looking for something sophisticated but something I could also wear again.

After trying on about 100 dresses this one came home with me. It's not what I will be wearing to the 'do' but I love it and it was down from £58 to £35 so it would have been rude not to!

Warehouse have some great dresses at the moment and I must say they are much better in real life than viewed on their website so definitely one to check out.

Tomorrow I'll post the dress I found for next weeks event - another bargain! L x

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Bargain Buy - Asos Leather Laser Cut Shoes

My bargain buy this week was these laser cut brogues from Asos.
They are leather and come in this natural tan or cream and are now half price at just £15!

As the weather here is unpredictable to say the least I needed something a bit more substantial than sandals, more lightweight than closed in flats and something than wasn't a ballerina pump (which I'm sick of).

I wasn't sure about these at first on the website but for £15 thought I'd give them a go. They are great! So comfortable and lightweight, I wear them instead of slippers!

The great thing about them too is that they go with anything from skinny jeans to summer dresses so are a great go to.

You'll find a link for them here.

L x

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Living Room Moodboard

I was asked to help out with the redecoration of a Victorian property's living room. Originally there was a small reception room with a dining room behind but the dividing wall had been knocked down to create a larger family space.

The young couple have two small boys and so wanted a practical but fun space. She wanted a squishy L shaped sofa (they currently have two dark brown leather sofas) and he is into photography so it would be nice to have some space to show that off too. They had already finished renovating their kitchen with glossy white units and light grey walls so kept that in mind as it's good if a home has a similar 'feel' from room to room.

I sent her a few inspiration ideas that I'd grouped together from pininterest. I think this is a great way of finding out what a client likes straight away, making it easier for us both to see their taste. Then we talked about the layout of the room, furniture placement and storage and display ideas.

At home I collated all I'd learnt - they love greys plus different shades of blues and turquoise as well as deep coral/ orange. I suggested greys and blues with warm tones as the room is north facing and could feel quite cold and flat. They also wanted to add some wallpaper and I suggested doing this down the dining end of the room, to give it some drama and definition.

I also suggested ditching the matching sofas and having one L shape in a neutral shade and one snuggle or love seat under the front bay window in a cheery shade or pattern.

It's been such a fun process - here is the moodboard as it stands now...(other than a few more cushions to add - in deep coral) What do you think?

Monday, 18 June 2012

Monday Brights

Bright enough for ya? This image is pepping up my gloomy Monday morning (summer, what summer?!)

I love the mix - turquoise + blue + coral + pink + gold = gorgeous!

I've been working on moodboards for a victorian property that has had a vast overall internally. I love victorian properties and their features. Looking forward to sharing more with you tomorrow!

L x

image via

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Thursday's Stop And Stare: Amanda Peet's Family Room

Things have been very up in the air the last few months but life should now be getting back into a routine, meaning I can blog more regularly again yey! So I'm going to start a series or two to get that routine in full swing.

Every Thursday I'm going to feature an interior that captures my attention and break down what it is that makes that space work. I found it a really invaluable tool when studying interior design as it helps you understand how thoughtful interior design works.

Today's Stop And Stare is Amanda Peet's amazing multi-tasking family room from her home in LA, as featured in US Vogue.

This is not a room that has sudden dramatic impact and jumps out of the screen at you shouting and screaming for attention but look again and you will see the quiet, happy perfectness of this space.

When studying interior design, two thing we're taught about that can be hard to grasp are Harmony and Balance.  They are not practical things you can measure or draw but they are what makes a room a place people enjoy without even thinking about it and both have been captured here. The white wash paint on the walls along with the white clad ceiling gives the home a beach house vibe while the glossy dark floorboards balance this out, adding grown up glamour.

The built in L shape sofa makes the room in my opinion. It juts out forming a perfect breakfast nook, while at the same time blocking off the other half of the room, turning that into a TV and reading area of it's own. This is a great way to use space in a largely open plan, family home - zoning out areas so the family can be together but each area has it's own use.

With the neutral basics in place, they could have gone in any direction with the decor. But soft and squidy stripe cushions are used on the bench of the sofa and a similar coloured berger rug is added to give a relaxed, lived in vibe to the room. The Vogue article also mentions that To help her interiors stay playful, she leans heavily on John Derian’s handcrafted aesthetic for inspiration, as well as the freshness and intimacy of Proven├žal style. You can see this in the choice of furniture.

The colours of the cushions, the rug and the cacophony of books warm up the room, making it feel welcoming and comfortable. The rustic wooden table also adds instant warmth, depth and the tactile quality that wooden furniture always brings.

“I see a lot of homes that are supercool,” the actress says, “and everything is very tasteful, but it’s not warm. I’m really scared of rooms that look too serious.” (from her Vogue interview)

Fun details such as her children's artwork taped to the wall make sure this place isn't serious and really add to that lived in family feel. Never overlook those magical creations that are given to you by sticky fingered little ones, they really are the priceless (sometimes abstract!) pieces in my opinion.

What do you think of the space? Could you sit here with a cup of tea, slice of cake and a book? I know I could!

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

{Translated: spaghetti with garlic, oil, and chili pepper flakes}

Found this Yum Sugar recipe on pinterest and as yesterday was that day of the week when the cupboard was looking pretty bare I decided it was the perfect day to go ahead and action it.

The great thing about this recipe is that the ingredients are so basic - pasta, garlic, oil and chilli pepper flakes - that even I had them to hand!

Sometimes these recipes just don't live up to the pretty photographs but I have to tell you it is gorgeous and a must try.  My husband looks forward to his dinner all day and when I tell him I'm trying a new recipe he groans! But luckily for him he loved it.

Extra tip - add some anchovies if you have some - plus some oil from the tin or jar the anchovies have been in, adds great flavour.

Find the recipe here

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