Sunday 9 February 2014

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From the bottom of the stairs at about 10.30am today looking through to the study, sun shining in, just lovely

Today’s been a day for trying out some furniture in different places.  The hall is so spacious and airy I am determined to find the right thing on the wall that faces you when you first come in.  This little desk is far too small and the cupboard below is far too brown and solid.

Tried this piece in the hall, too brown.
Tried this piece in the hall, too brown.

The love seat by Ercol is what I have fancied for ages, I saw the blue graded version on the South Bank in London a while back and since then I have been smitten.  Sometimes I think the white would look amazing and other times it’s the natural one though John Lewis have a slightly different version that is also on the list which is pretty handsome too.

Ercol love seat
John Lewis Chiltern Bench

The only thing with these seats is I’d not be able to put flowers on it but I suppose there will always be a table or suchlike in the hall somewhere.  I needn’t worry too much, the benches don’t come cheap so it’s unlikely there will be one there for a while.  I’ll keep on trying random items that I already have for now.

Another part of the house that needs a bit of love is the front room.  The Morris & Co wallpaper is a bit tired and the matching, more colourful curtains have seen better days too.  There is a bit of a gold/beige/brown thing going on which would not be my choice.  So, the next major step is changing the walls, the curtains and hopefully changing the marble fire surround and gas fire to a wood burning stove.  The mantlepiece is original so it would probably stay though it is, of course, brown.  Lots of ideas are buzzing about what to go for on the walls, there’s the usual white, navy blue or maybe even a dark grey.  The dark colours would help zone in the brown furniture in there and make it really cosy, it gets plenty of light so I doubt it would be gloomy.  I have developed a bit of a Pinterest habit lately, you can see some of my ideas there.  I like the idea of the front room being a bit different to the rest of the house, more traditional and definitely cosy.  There is a bit of me that likes that it has not been done, whenever I go in there it feels like I am ‘going home’ that way you feel when you visit your parents’ house and it is reassuringly the same as ever.

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Corner in the front room, I moved the desk from the hall, not a big fan of the jug and bowl but it will be fine there for a while
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above the fireplace this caught my eye when I was taking the previous shot, the clock is staying in the front room for now

Sunday night, doing this post has helped alleviate the blues actually, thanks for reading, I’m glad you keep on popping in, have a good week, x

Think I’m going to change the theme again, watch this space…

26 September 2013

Glad you’re still here reading, I know it’s been a while.  Life seems to have been on fast mode lately, I’ve hardly had time to stop and smell the roses let alone take photos of them.

The Regeneration is very frustrating, all those little thing that need done are still there and now it is getting colder again they really need sorted.  The windows need handles and the heating has ‘issues’, the ensuite needs to be painted (that’s my job) and some flooring.  I just won’t mention the mess AGAIN or the doorbell that no longer rings…

Something that I am glad to show you is the legendary dresser, back in one piece after about 20 years, the men worked round it the whole build and it finally made its way down the stairs some time ago.  A paint job is needed, but I am seriously chuffed that I kept it much to everyone’s disdain, my sister excepted.

the dresser as one, not sure about the pelmet bit
the dresser as one, not sure about the pelmet bit

Another minor development is this little spot outside the garden room. Clearing all the weeds and sorting it all out took me ages the other weekend, I’ve not quite managed to sit there soaking up the Autumn sun with a cuppa and a cake yet but there’s still time.

bistro spot
bistro spot

Other Stuff

This fine specimen was spotted at the school where F does drama lessons at the weekend, the building is straight out of Harry Potter though it’s not the school that is reputed to have inspired Ms Rowling.  I couldn’t resist him.

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We’ve had a birthday in the bungalow and here’s the cake, it’s really not great but my ‘minecraft boy’ did the face himself and he loved it.  There was a lot of fuss about who got the precious black bits, eugh.

a creeper - apparently they go around saying sssssss
a creeper – apparently they go around saying sssssss

Since the discovery of Instagram,  my SLR has been rather redundant. I wonder if  the novelty will wear off once the light changes and winter is with us.  Do you still carry a camera and use your phone I wonder?  My October plan is to get my trusty old Canon out with the 50mm lens and get snapping.

Finally,  this came through the door today with Elle Decoration, I am reliably informed that it is only 90 days to go. That’s a thought…

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4 July 2013

Pots full of colour are a joy at the moment in my garden.  The ranuculus have turned out well, more pale pink ones are coming soon and the margarite were an orange sticker job from a while ago, they’ve got massive now.  The peonies are the best £4 I have spent for a long time, this is only half of the bunch, a bargain indeed.

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pretty  peonies

4 july 003

Gumtree vs Ikea

There is a constant dichotomy for me when  I am looking for furniture.  I love the clean lines and great prices at Ikea, the furniture is good looking, easy to get home and the whole experience is pretty good on a quiet day.  I also love the thrill of the chase and the individuality that you get by looking for furniture from Gumtree and second hand shops.  The two shopping methods can go hand in hand and result in a really interesting looking home.  I am betting most of you have at least the odd thing from Ikea, it is so hard to go there and come out with nothing!

Somehow I feel like I’ve failed a bit when I get something from Ikea.  Take the Malm chest of drawers, plain, simple, white and functional – the only thing is I swore I would not buy them again because they fell to bits last time after 9 years of hard labour.  The design has been improved since the last ones I had, they now have a bar under the base of each drawer to stop it dropping and I have to say that they really suit my bedroom.  I have that little bit of me that feels like I’ve sold out, given up the hunt for unique, and have joined the thousands of regular folk who have these drawers.

ikea malm chest of drawers. simple and unassuming
ikea malm chest of drawers. simple and unassuming

Gumtree is hard work. You might not be first to see the item if it is highly desirable, you need to carry it down lots of flights of tenement steps if you buy from a flat (not unusual here) and you don’t really know where the item has been – you have to use your gut to decide whether you can cope with that or not.  This chest of drawers is a great piece of furniture.  After agreeing to buy it, I realised it was actually falling apart a wee bit once it was moved, what do you do?  Say no thanks before you battle it down the stairs?  Well, I didn’t this time and C has repaired it a bit.  L has it in his new room now and he loves it.  So does his pal who saw the 3D despicable Me at the weekend hence the glasses.  It was a challenge to get it home but I feel like we are extending the life of an interesting item that comes with an unknown history.  The little shelf in H’s cupboard is from the same house and it fits perfectly.  Another triumph.

gumtree find, well made, character full and unique
gumtree find, well made (once upon a time) character full and unique

So, there you have it, my thoughts for today on furniture buying.  Where do you go for furniture? Have you got a favourite place to look?  Edinburgh is great for furniture shopping , from specialist mid-century modern items to your traditional antique shoppe.  Modern furniture and charity furniture warehouses are here too.

P.S.  Great programme on as I write about supermarkets, have a look on bbc  i-player, ‘Summer’s Supermarket Secrets’  – fascinating.  Boys are loving it.

Have a great weekend, nearly there x