Monday on the beach

Monday, 6 July 2015

Some weeks its good to start the week off completely differently. Last Monday I took my deck chair, camera and flask of coffee down to the beach to shoot said deck chair, have a chat with a random lady and paddle in the sea. I haven't had such a productive week in ages, this week lets get out of our routines and do things differently...

And if you haven't voted for my Out There Interiors deck chair you can vote on Facebook and Instagram, voting closes Wednesday so be quick! Here are some behind the scenes snaps for you, have a super week x 

#PimpMyDeckie competition with Out There Interiors

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Every so often a really great opportunities come up that are just too fun to resist, like this #PimpMyDeckie competition that Out There Interiors asked me to take part in. The brief was simple - to pimp a deckchair anyway I wanted. The deckchair itself was lovely, all grey wood and natural linen so I decided to go for zesty lemons and greens to create a rather summery design (you can see my inspiration board below).  

There are seven bloggers taking part, you can see the full set here. I'd really love it if you would spare a second and vote for me - you can vote via Facebook or Instagram. Thanks so much x 
You can see more deckchair inspiration on my #PimpMyDeckie Pinterest board.

Images  - Lemon eyes/ Painterly print / Lemon Grove / Lady / Kate Spade

Styling The Seasons - July

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Was it me or did June go exceptionally fast? I can't believe we're now in July and onto a whole new month of Styling The Seasons. I've really enjoyed the (good) challenge of working with different companies to incorporate products and themes into our posts over the past few months (see Loaf, Bloom & Wild and Laura Ashley posts) so this month it felt both daunting and fun to have complete free reign over the months theme. Katy and I met up a few weeks ago to discuss and plan Styling The Seasons, naturally our conversation took random turns until we got onto the subject of blue and white - we both loved this post and wanted to get more of it into our lives (see Katy's post on Ardley Antiques Fair for proof!). I hosted a Fathers Day breakfast for my Dad and just knew it was the perfect opportunity to get my best blue and white china out and do a little late night making. 
I always wanted my dining room to have the flexibility to be changed for different occasions, this time its worked rather fabulously with my sea inspired table. It's very easy when you live by the sea to fall into a beach cliche but as my Dad is a man of the waves, I don't think he's missed a days sailing in 50 years, I wanted to create a sea inspired table in his honour.   

I gathered all my blue and white china and glasses (most from charity shop hauls) and enamelware (jug mine, urn borrowed from my sister) and painted a wave table runner to tie everything together. These table runners are my new favourite (see my hen party version), they are so simple to whip up, all you need is some watercolour paint and a roll of childrens craft paper and get creative with your theme, spots and stripes work well if you don't feel that inspired.
My sister and I used the extra paper to wrap his presents too. 

July will always be the month that summer really gets underway, its my absolute favourite time of year. It reminds me of the fizzy excitement of school finishing for six weeks, nights outs with friends that last well into the next day and the smell of the sea as I get off the train from a busy week in London on a Friday evening. This year as I head into my third trimester I'm starting to get excited about my upcoming arrival (fingers crossed all stays well) until this point anything baby has felt too daunting and I haven't wanted to jinx progress but I'm slowing feeling more ready to get into a baby place. I have a few more classes to teach and projects to wrap up and then a week off, I just hope the skies stay glorious and blue like they have been this past few days so I'm able to enjoy them.

To join our fabulous Styling The Seasons community all you need to do is upload a blog post or image across any social media channels using the hashtag #stylingtheseasons - style any surface in your home to reflect what the month means to you and your home. You can take part at anytime during the month and as many times as you want too! I'm really looking forward to seeing what the month means to you. x

Styling The Seasons - June Review

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Summer is well and truly upon us here in the UK, our #stylingtheseasons hashtag is full of holiday vibes and the most beautiful summer flowers. This month I've loved seeing how excited everyone is getting at  long warm days, just perfect for creating lasting memories. My favourites are a mixed bag - following this month Loaf Pearch Stool theme I've loved @HarryandFrank's simple stool and the many ways Jane at Tea With Ruby styled her perfectly worn version - I feel a new stool obsession coming on! 

Little Maldod's beautifully styled coat hook, is like summer in waiting. It also prompted me to finally purchase a coat hook for my hallyway. I loved Cate's peonies mixed with a few holiday memento's it made me feel so calm and (almost) like I had been on holiday too. 

I always look forward to seeing Emma from A Quiet Style's posts - this month was full of the most beautiful flowers, look at those perfectly peach foxgloves. 

I haven't forgotten about our winner for the £50 Loaf voucher - Katy and I absolutely loved @flojoro123 's entry. It's so beautifully curated and styled - I have been really inspired by the beautiful summer wreath.  Congratulations! 

As always a huge thanks to everyone who took part in this months competition and to those of you that blogged, all posts are below. 

If you want to join Katy and I in July then all you need to do is upload a blog post or image across any social media channels using the hashtag #stylingtheseasons - style any surface in your home to reflect what the month means to you and your home. 

A Quiet Style / KT Robbins Ceramics / The Vintage Good Life / Tea with Ruby / Humphrey and Grace / Suzie Homemaker / Geoffrey and Grace / Borrowed Light / Afkes / Beautiful Simplicity / The Lovely Drawer / Camellia Rose / The Villa on Mount Pleasant / The Vintage House That Could / Little Maldod / Little Green Shed / Lobster and Swan / Cate St. Hill / Janice Issitt Life Style  / Under The Plum Blossom Tree / SpruntingApartment Apothecary / Lotts and Lots 

Home - Bathroom, before and after

Thursday, 25 June 2015

I'm so excited to share this house makeover with you today - my bathroom has to be my favourite room in the house, its simple, clutter free and most importantly completely finished. I can close the door from the chaos on the landing, splash around in the bath, light a candle and all is well. Of course it didn't start off like this, it was a terrifying place full of dark 1970's kitchen cupboards, leaks from the room above dripping through the electrics, a boggy non-ironic avocado toilet and general grimness - until we started to work on the room I refused to go in there alone as I was too scared! Looking past all the dark wood the were a few glimpses of light, south and west facing windows which meant we get the best sunsets and more than enough space for my roll-top bath found on Ebay for £50 (including delivery!)

Lets start with the serious stuff. Due to a magic combination of electrics, gas and water we got our builders to rip out the kitchen and completely strip the room back to the brick wall, this was the only way that we could see the space. Next to the kitchen (as it was then) there was a tiny bathroom and individual toilet room. We decided to go large and knock the toilet wall through to make the bathroom huge and extend the doorway out into the small corridor! We did think about moving everything to a smaller box room but because of the size of the house we could afford to keep the large bathroom and personally, I think it's added way more value - everyone that comes to visit loves the bathroom the most. Sadly we had to lose what was left of the original coving as it had been so damaged and was really dangerous, I hated having to lose original features but with the long list of other things we needed to do we had to go for the most cost efficient option. We then got the room plastered, re-wired and plumbed. I've really simplified the process for this post I think it took about three months to get to this stage and there were dark times when we couldn't find the source of numerous leaks that we could see and hear but couldn't find - it wasn't the best but feels worth it now - ahh hindsight!

Now onto decorating, we decided on everything for this room in about 3 days. The bath I had found on Ebay and the sink the builders gave me for free. For the shower cubical and unit, towel rail and toilet, we used a local company called Helpful Bathrooms. I spent a day running around bathroom shops and this place had everything we needed for just over £800. Like all other rooms our budget was tight and timescale short, this place could deliver everything in a few days which was what we needed at the time. I went for classic pieces as there is some really over designed hideous pieces out there. The wall tiles were one of the best decisions we made - despite being exhausted and grumpy when choosing them I'm so glad we took the plunge. The are from a great company called Walls and Floors which was recommended to us by our tiler, again they could deliver in a few days and are really great value. We ordered all our flooring and kitchen tiles from them too and got some brilliant discounts - just make sure you have someone to help unload them off the van (long story). Dan's friend did the tiling for us and also ended up project managing this stage as he worked with a plumber and builder that we used for fitting the kitchen, bathroom and doing other building work, I don't know what we would have done without him as there were so many little things to think about that he took care of. I spent a large part of my Mondays at the house during this time and the rest we managed at weekends, I won't lie it was hard going and very exhausting.

When we moved in the room still had a few snagging issues, like no skirting boards or a door. I can't remember when we got these completed - I think it was around the end of last summer. I found these niggly bits take the longest to sort out as no-one wants to do them. Anyway, they were done and I spent this April adding the finishing touches. I made sheer muslin curtains for the windows (tutorial coming soon), recycled a cabinet for toiletries, added a shelf with a few bits and pieces (including a rescued part of the original coving) and a sweet botanical print. 

There are a few 'issues' that I feel like I should confess too, our one extravagance, heated flooring is yet to work properly as we had some seriously awful electricians and the turkish towel hangs over the control panel to hide it. For the life of me I don't know why they put it in the middle of the room but I figure if this is my biggest problem then I'm incredibly lucky.   
I really hope you've enjoyed this post, I have another planned to talk about my inspiration as there was quite a lot to cover in one post but if you have any questions then please drop me a note. We were completely clueless when we first started our house and have learnt so much along the way, if I can help then I will. I have put all the details of where I bought everything below, the tiles drive Instagram wild so now know you can get them for yourself!

Bathroom Suite - Helpful Bathrooms
Porcelain floor tiles - Picerno, Walls and Floors 
Table - Antique Shop, Yoxford, Suffolk

DIY - silk and seed bead bracelet

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Summer wouldn't be summer without a few new bracelets - I've made a new set of bracelets every year since I was about eight years old. I have decided to keep this years summer friendship bracelet really simple, its the sort of thing you can make whilst out and about as there are only four materials required. I used silk cord to give them a luxe touch, the colours of these silk cords are so pretty you really don't need much else to make them look lovely.
Materials - Silk cord No.5, tiger-tail, crimps, a selection of seed beads

Step 1. Cut a length of tiger tail approx 10cm long. Tread on a crimp and fold the end of the tiger tail back through the crimp to make a small loop (you want this to be as small as you can). Squeeze the crimp flat to secure.

Step 2, Thread on your seed beads, I decided on just one colour per bracelet as it looked less fussy. I used about 14 beads per bracelet which was approx. 4cm long. Once happy with your length thread on a crimp and repeat the process in step one. 

Step 3. Tie a knot at the end of your cord and thread on three seed beads and a crimp. The very first bead will form a decoration at the end of the cord and the next two are to create a fastening. I chose to use different colours but you don't have too. 

Step 4. Thread the silk thread through one of the loops of the beaded section and back through the crimp. Make a very small loop and squeeze the crimp closed. You need the bracelet to be able to fit over your hand, my wrists are weirdly small so each length of thread was 10 - 12 cm, you might want to add a few extra centimeters to this measurement - its much easier cut away extra length than it is to add back on. 

Step 5. Tie a knot at the end of your cord and thread on a seed bead, use the same colour as bead one in step 3. Thread this cord through your two fastening beads in the opposite direction to the first thread. 

Thread a crimp onto the silk cord and thread through the loop of the beaded section. Thread the cord back through the crimp, like step 3, and squeeze closed. Cut off any extra cord. Test the length of the bracelets, if they are looking a bit on the long side just cut them a bit shorter. 

There you have it, perfectly summery bracelets that can be left on and taken off in the autumn. All we need now is a few hot days to go with - happy making! x

Home - simple budget friendly bedroom updates

Friday, 19 June 2015

It's been a while but I'm back to show you the final details and DIY's I have added to my bedroom to give it some sense of completion. I'm still not totally happy with it but need to remember that the objective of this room was to make it clean and habitable, which we've done. Unlike some of the other rooms in the house it lacks a focal point which means everything feels a bit floaty (if that makes sense!). I'd love to add picture rails and ceiling roses like the downstairs rooms and also restore the fireplace but this won't be for a few years as there are still sensible jobs we need to do. I haven't paid more than £30 for any of the updates so I hope if you're on a budget like me you might get a few idea's along the way to help save a few pennies.
The room is large so anything too subtle gets easily lost - I added really bright colourful cushions to the bed, this is probably the easiest and quickest update. These are from a mix of Ikea (pink velvet), TK maxx (turquoise) and H&M (small pink). None were over £10 and really make the bed area feel much more full. For those that live with a boy, don't ask them if they like pink or want pink cushions - I think they are hardwired to reject one of the most versatile colours based on childhood experiences. Just casually add to the room and they won't notice, Dan's favourite cushion is the big pink one but Ikea do have it in a nice grey if there is too much of a fuss. 

I bought the bedspread whilst in India for about £20 but would love to add one of these kantha quilts at some point. The print I bought from Etsy, the colours are great and reflect all the other colours in the room - one day I'd like to get a real painting but for now this is perfect. I framed using a large Ribba frame from Ikea.
As rugs are such an expense I was really happy to find this one in TK maxx for £30, it ties in perfectly with the picture and fills the large expanse of nothing by the bed. Its definitely worth looking in TK Maxx if you're after a bargain, they always seem to have a great choice if you're not looking for anything specific (just make sure you know what measurements you need). 

As I enthused about in this months Styling The Seasons post the stool from Loaf is a perfect addition to the room. I love how simple it and practical it is and makes the whole area feel much calmer than the chair that I had in its place previously. So far I've managed to keep it clutter free and tame some of my magazines and books.
The ribbon 'chandelier' is one of my favourite additions. The light came with the room and was originally heavy black metal, I removed the glass shades and spray painted with a couple of coats of white paint. I then added colourful silk ribbons from VV Rouleux and vintage chandelier drops, purchased in various flea markets around the world. It might seem extravagant to use silk ribbon but the depth of colours they come in are so much nicer than standard polyester ribbons and silk is much easier to thread through tiny holes. If you can't find silk ribbon try vintage or using colourful cords instead and search for chandelier drops on Ebay if you not going to a flea market anytime soon.
My driftwood shelf has been an internet favourite, you can see the original tutorial here. As it currently stands I have a framed vintage flamingo decal and beaded flamingo both presents from my sister, the combo makes me smile every time I look at it. 
I love this framed hanky, found in a local antique shop. I framed using the same method as I did in my dining room - mounted onto a piece of mount board and added to a frame from Ikea. Framing fabric is one of my favourite ways to add colour and texture to a room, prints are great but I really l enjoy having something 3D to look at. Large pieces of fabric are often much cheaper than prints or paintings and if you search markets and charity shops on a regular basis you can find some real gems - I found really kitsch map of Greece when I was in Paris that I can't wait to put somewhere. 

I've been reading The New Bohemians and am really inspired to keep mixing and adding to the room. I added these metal hearts Dan gave me for Christmas they're originally from Mexico but were bought in Kitsch Kitchen in Amsterdam.

In total I've spent £150 on furniture (two wardrobes, one chest of drawers, one side table and a chair) and around the same on furnishings and accessories. Whilst its not my absolute dream room I do have the time to start looking for pieces of furniture that I love and want to keep forever - sometimes you have to accept things for what they are. I'm not moving for a very long time so looking forward to the room developing over time, finding treasures as I go. Have a super weekend. x

PS - You can see the before photo's of the bedroom here and the whole house here
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