• Archive for February, 2016

    Balancing Act

    by  • February 23, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    It may be a good few weeks since Pantone released its pairing of Rose Quartz and Serenity as the Colour(s) of 2016, but this week I’ve been honing in on those tones almost subconsciously. I have no issue with them picking more than one colour (really, why would I?) but now – looking at it properly – I think I ‘get’ it.

    The crisp, warm blue kissed with the optimistic glow of a powdery pink. Together, they’re like a soothing dusk sky. A place of balance between two states. Neither overly sweet/ romantic nor excessively cool and aloof. It’s neutral ground, but without being remotely bland!

    I love colour, am near-obsessed with texture (my Instagram feed bears witness to that) and do think that when it comes to décor a brilliant-white base is ideal. However, all-white rooms are not for me. A home always needs a burst of colour or a zhoozh of pattern to make it less clinical and more personal. With that in mind, I went on a little hunt for Pantone-acceptable homeware.

    Knowing that our friends at Livingetc are always on top of the trends, my first stop was their Edit at Clippings.com, where I happily discovered some beautiful pieces that loosely fit the brief for 2016 (and beyond).

    Painter Pink Navy

    These Painter Cushions by textile designer Kangan Arora have more than perfectly blended colours – their fluid, painterly pattern is infused with movement and energy. Perfect for perking up a living space.



    Admittedly not the most quartz-like of pinks or serene of blues, but the terracotta and grey tones do feature in the swatches of hues that complement the core Pantone colours.  I love the 3-D abstract feel of these Nick Fraser pendants .


    Cobra-Yellow & Light pink (3)

    Like a cross between a flamingo and a cheery duckling, this Cobra chair puts that perfect pink to great use. It’s making you smile, isn’t it?



    Statement flooring like this Jama Khan rug would act as a perfect foil to Serenity-coloured paintwork or soft furnishings. I feel optimistic just looking at it.

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    That Seventies Showcase

    by  • February 16, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    The Seventies: when flares had flair, shoes were as stacked as your shelving and no-one was scared of patterns so loud you could virtually hear them before you saw them.

    Like almost every trend going, Seventies style has ridden the rollercoaster downwards, and is now on the up-and-up again. And I, for one, am enjoying this revival.

    I’m not referring to the boho-macrame-peasant-crafts elements, more the glamour at the other end of the scale; the polished metal, wood-clad walls, soft leather and gleaming glass.

    Maybe it’s nostalgia (because I grew up in a Seventies-built house, with all its quirks and never-seen-elsewhere design features), or perhaps it’s the influence of TV shows and vintage magazines. Who knows. But I dare you to tell me that if you put these refurbished or pre-loved pieces from FurnitureEtc into the right space, they wouldn’t look truly incredible. Or, if you want to use Seventies terminology, totally rad.


    Beam me up

    Italian 70s glass chandelier

    This stalactite-esque chandelier with its oblong glass droplets originated in Italy, where style hit its stride in the Seventies. On sale for £875, think of it as a functional sculpture and make it a focal point of your living space.


    Divide and conquer 

    Avalon 1970s teak room divider

    This teak piece – known as the Avalon – is more than your average cabinet. It’s a room divider too. Ideal for the super-social dinner-party era it was constructed in, it should be right up the street of multi-tasking millennials.


    The lap of Luxury

    Mogensen style Danish leather sofa

    Something about this sofa reminds me off a well-worn, favoured leather jacket – it’s seriously comfortable and never goes out of style. It may have something to do with this Morgensen style seating being Danish, the nation that owns the idea of ‘understated luxury’.


    Totally bamboo(zled)

    Maison Bagues brass bamboo-effect tables

    With their smoked glass and bamboo-inspired brasswork (with an aged patina), these French Maison Bagues (attributed) side tables are the furniture equivalent of a pair of Farrah Fawcett’s sunglasses. The finishing touch to an iconic style.


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    Take the ‘Homeowner Challenge’

    by  • February 5, 2016 • Living • 0 Comments

    My Facebook newsfeed, probably like yours, has been filled recently with family photos posted for the ‘Motherhood Challenge’ – where mums are asked to post three pictures that make them proud to be a parent.

    I can’t get involved in this social media campaign, so I’m starting my own: The Homeowner Challenge.

    My home, a little Wendy House (as my mum lovingly calls it), is far from perfect. It’s pretty dinky, still has green radiators – despite my good intentions to sand and paint the last two over the Christmas break – and after several projects, of course isn’t finished.

    But it’s home. My home. I love waking up there and I love arriving home, but it has certainly been a labour of love with London property prices and a lilac kitchen (more on that later) to deal with.

    So, here are my Homeowner Challenge photos – the pictures that make me happy to call my tiny terrace ‘home’.

    Fancy sharing yours? Let us know in the comments and on our Facebook page.

    My new Shaker kitchen

    before    After

    Our house had a grotty lilac kitchen when we moved it. The units – evidently once baby blue – had been painted in sickly purple and were falling apart. The worktops had seen better days and the oven was in a ridiculous spot – slap bang in the middle of the surface, leaving little prep and serving space.

    It was ripped out and replaced with a gloss Shaker scheme, complete with wood-effect worktops and metro tiles. The room was our first big expense in the house, and the worry about the work was certainly in the air over the week the builders ripped out and rebuilt the room. But the result? I love it.

    My Power Shower

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    After a few months of recovering financially from replacing the kitchen, our next project was our bathroom. A bulky, dated room with green accents, we ripped out the tub and replaced it with a swanky hotel-style rain shower.

    It wasn’t without its problems (water damage on the living room ceiling, anyone?), but the result has been a game-changer for the room. The space feels so much better, it’s easier to keep clean and that first shower after two weeks without a bathroom was a feeling I’m never likely to have again.

    My raspberry feature wall


    The living room was white and dark green when we moved it. We quickly covered the green, but wanted a splash of colour – step forward Raspberry Bellini from Dulux, a vibrant treat on which my world map sits proudly.

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