Over the last year I have had so many questions about the panelling that we put up in then hallway and front room, so thought a blog post was well overdue...
No matter what the space, panelling always seems to uplift a room adding that touch of luxury at the same time as character. It is so simple and easy to do, yet super effective, completely transforming rooms giving them that extra finished look. There are an array of different styles of panelling to choose from today, which means pretty much any home can house it, as there's a style for all. We went traditional with ours to suit our Victorian home.
It all started in our hallway about 3 years ago, my main intention was to add character back into the space which felt a bit flat and bland. It already had the dado rail in place. So we decided to just add panelling in a similar traditional style underneath. Unlike our purely decorative purpose for panelling, back in the day it was put in homes to prevent damp and drafts through stone walls. I can imagine our house having similar style in its victorian era, however by then it was already decorative.
A distinct lack of photos from back then sorry (I wasn't documenting as much). This project all started with an awful lot of measuring up. The best way to do this is using a laser measure, especially for up the stairs which is the most tricky part. The key is to constantly stick with the same height, however the width might need to change at times to fit into tricky areas. The templates were then drawn onto the walls using a ruler, spirit level and pencil. The scale was decided through the existing panels within our current door frame, we stuck to the same height as these and went a tad wider. There are a few tricky areas in the hallway where the walls are quite narrow, so the layout had to be adapted accordingly.
We went for solid pine beading that I found at The Victorian Emporium 32x14mm. It was then cut to size, using a mitre box which helps get the exact 45 degree angles for the square panels, for the stairs angles were adjusted to align to the stair fall. We then laid it out on the floor to ensure that the joins met nicely, glued on to the template of the walls using Soundal Turbo glue and a spirit level and finally secured with a nail gun. All the gaps and holes were filled with filler, once dry it was ready for the first lick of paint. We already had Farrow and Ball Strong White Emulsion on the top section of the walls, so went for a slightly different lighter tone at the bottom to give a bit of contrast. The colour chosen for this section is Wevet, again by Farrow and Ball and as the hallway is a heavy traffic area we went for an eggshell finish.
Before & After
The Front Lounge
Loving the effect in our hallway we decided to do similar in the front room on a much bigger scale covering all the walls, floor to ceiling. This room already had so much character with a beautiful original ceiling rose and fireplace, so a traditional style similar to the hallway felt appropriate. The layout all started using the fireplace as a focal point, we then worked around the room designing a template, adapting widths accordingly.
I went for the same beading to the hallway and sourced a similar style dado rail from Timber Mouldings, approx 32mm tall and 14mm, again in pine with no knots, avoid knots if possible, as they just mean more filling at the end.
The mounting was very similar to the hallway except for the fact we had no dado rail to work off, as it arrived a few weeks later. It is best to start with the dado rail and go from there, but we had to go by the template of the rail for a while.
After a lot of testing we went for Zoffany Chateau, a pale grey toned pink. Using the Intelligent emulsion which can also be used on wood, we painted all the woodwork including the skirtings, door and even the mirror, which was glued to the wall to create a constant seamless feel to the room. One thing to bear in mind with panelling is that it can look a bit scattered if there are lots of different colours, such as a contrasting skirting, the key is to keep it simple with the same colour scheme on the walls and woodwork.
Before & After
The areas that we have added panelling to in the house look completely different to how they were before. They feel grander, but strangely at the same time more cosy and inviting and have a ton more character to them. I am already planning my next room to panel, though the style in this one could potentially be a little different.
A few of the tool essentials:
Its now been 3 years and counting that this branch has been suspended above our dining table and each year at Christmas time I have the challenge to give it a little make over. Throughout the year it often has a new look for celebrations such as Easter, Halloween and Birthday parties, but its daily look is quite simple. Just the branch and little round glass tea light holders. The thing I love most about this branch is that I can go to town on the decorations, knowing that it is out of reach of little fingers and offers a gorgeous focal point to a dead ceiling space above the table.
The majority of glass baubles were removed to make way for some greenery! I decided to give the branch a bit more life and colour this year, so have added eucalyptus to its branches along with a few peacock feathers, to soften it up. The branch is suspended across two parallel beams that support the ceiling in this room, hung using strong twine string.
I was delighted when Laura Ashley asked me to collaborate and do a blog post on the branch's makeover this year, especially when I saw their stunning jewel toned decor. Just look at those colours, detail and sparkle!
The baubles I have used are all from the Peacock Feather range alongside the Jewel Tassel decoration. I also added three of the gorgeous Frosted Green Tree Candles and the Frankincense and Clementine candles to the table tray along with a few green baubles, for that extra festive touch.
And here it is, branch 2019, looking all festive and feathery, with its beautiful Laura Ashely jewelled adornments. A magpie's dream! The eucalyptus foliage will dry in the lead up to Christmas, but retains it colour, so still looks good, it usually lasts well for about a month, then turns more brown. I can't wait to sit underneath it with all the family on Christmas day!
Disclaimer: This is a paid collaboration with https://www.lauraashley.com . I chose and styled the items mentioned and as always only ever work with products I love!
I purchased these little advent ginger bread house boxes over 3 years ago, thinking they would last just that one year, however 3 Years later, they are still going strong! The kids love them and they are the perfect size to fit fun toys in along with a little treat inside. Considering how rough the kids can be at times, these little houses are still in pretty good nick, though I have had to be very careful, putting each individual house away safely all of the 24 days, but its been worth it, as they are so fun, I love styling them up differently each year, plus what a great upcycle!
I kept it simple with two sweet little string cascades all in a row and some festive snowflake lighting. They were each filled with chocolate coins and fun party bag gifts. Which we later regretted. The chocolate coins were not a good idea! We couldn't light the stove for 24 days!
Inspired by the branch above our table, I decided to hang them all on a branch found in the garden alongside some paper snowflakes, minus the chocolates!
2019: and this is what I have rustled up this year...
It all started on a dog walk last weekend, with my son collecting sticks and inspiration from some vivid Pinterest memories. I decided it would be fun to make a stick tree so we all ended up on a collecting mission in the forest.
We initially dried out the sticks, the under floor heating helped, then we created the shape of a tree, cutting the sticks down to size. Then I tied it all together using twine to loop around each individual stick a couple of times, creating a triangle/tree like shape.
I entwined some little battery operated LED wire lights around the sticks and a fir branch to the bottom, that we also came across on the walk. The treats most of which were purchased at Flying Tiger (not impressed with all the packaging on these small items), were added to the little card houses, which were then hung on the sticks combined with a few subtle festive tree decorations, a mix I have collected over the years from The White Company, Layered Lounge and H&M home
Apart from the treats, this is such a cost effective way of doing advent and a lot of fun for all to take part in. No idea what I am going to do next year, but I had better get my thinking cap on!
Get the looks:
Tea is my go to for that instant moment of calm in a very busy house, as soon as I have my mug to hand I feel all tensions seem to melt way. I can totally relate to the whole 'Cha' tea ceremony in China and how special the ritual of tea is within history, creating that special moment in time to drink your tea. Perhaps this has all stemmed from that feeling of comfort you get taking that first sip!
With national Tea day just past, what better way to celebrate tea in collaboration with Laura Ashley and create a Tea Station, using the gorgeous items above. This station gives me easy access to my tea ritual with everything in one space, not only that, every time I walk past, it will remind me to have a quick peaceful moment in time and make a cup of tea. The kitchen Island is definitely the best spot for this, as I will never miss it, despite ours being slightly tucked in a corner, it is always the area that everyone gravitates to, so the perfect spot for a tea station.
The rustic Water Hyacinth Round Tray is the perfect container to hold my English Breakfast tea alongside the Sliver Effect Sugar Caddy and very pretty mugs from the Lisette Steel range, the natural weave adds a gorgeous warm texture to this setting. I also wanted to create a bit of height, so used a Glass cake stand to create this and then popped the small Glass Jar filled with fresh lemons on top, alongside the very elegant Jossette Cup and Saucers for that more indulgent tea and the Lissette Glass Tea Pot. The gorgeous aroma of the Lavender and Camomile candle helps create that warm inviting scene especially for guests.
Making up a little tea station has created an area not only helps me relax just looking at it, but also reminds me to make that cup of tea and gives me easy access to everything that I need, it also adds a lovely focal point to the island, which can look very bare at times and is a great area to catch up socially with friends over a cup of tea. With Autumn quickly drawing in and the days getting colder it is so nice having a little area dedicated to feel good ritual in the home.
Disclaimer: This is a paid collaboration with https://www.lauraashley.com . I chose and styled the items mentioned and as always only ever work with products I love!
The bath is my go to space for that rare moment to unwind and relax, so I love this space to have a spa like feel to it, a little haven of calm in a very busy house. It is also an area that I can't resist restyling now and then, especially in the different seasons. I tend to go for a more cosy look in the winter months and often lighten this up in the summer time. So I was delighted when Laura Ashley asked me to work with them to create my perfect bath with a slightly new look to it, what perfect timing!
A summer styled sanctuary. The key to a slightly indulgent spa look is having the majority of items that you actually use out on display within the look. These can include items such as towels and products, alongside pretty accessories like candles, baskets and bathmats. Using woven baskets as storage adds a gorgeous texture and beside the James and Ellington lanterns creates a perfect summer garden feel. I love bringing the outside in with interiors. There is no view from this room, so I find it even more important to inject a bit of greenery through adding plants and flowers to the space.
The wafting scent of Jasmine and Fresh linen from Scented Candle and Lotions add that all important tranquil relaxed feel, giving the whole look a sense of calm and serenity.
Using baskets as storage achieves three things, less clutter, a beautiful rustic look and a feature. Take the Apple Rattan Basket for example perfect for extra storage, but looks beautiful at the same time and the Kuba Rattan Storage basket , so handy for all those go to essentials, just within reach of the bath.
Leaving the towels and bath mats out, also gives the bath area that extra cosy spa feel and adds an element of luxury to the space. Ladders such as my bamboo one in the above image are a fantastic way to create this look and again great storage. Other key items that really help create this look are a bath shelf and little stools to add plants, lanterns, flowers, candles and products too. Now to fill the bath, light the candles, drop some essential oils in the water and relax!
Disclaimer: This is a paid collaboration with https://www.lauraashley.com . I chose and styled the items mentioned and as always only ever work with products I love!
Decorating eggs for Easter is something that I will always remember doing as a child. I'm not sure why, but for some reason I found it more exciting than Christmas back then, perhaps it was all the colours and the thought of all the yummy chocolates in store! So when I was approached by Hobby Craft to collaborate this easter and do some fun crafting with the kids, I was all over it. What perfect timing for some Easter holiday fun.
The super cute ceramic bunnies were the first items to catch my eye, perfect for characterful table decor. They are actually very pretty in their original white colour, ideal for table placements, that can be tailored and personalised to your hearts content, however it was all about adding some colour when presenting them to my daughter, so we went for it and colourful they are!
We used soft pastel shades of green, yellow and pink from the ready mixed paint range, which covered the ceramics beautifully, and then added pretty little Paper Flowers to the bunnies and a touch of Glitter Glue for that extra shimmer and sparkle. We left a couple in the white and just added some extra flowers to these.
Then on to the eggs, for the branch. This branch has become a permanent feature in our home. It has ever-changing looks that are tailored for all occasions such as Birthdays, Christmas etc, we have had it for over a year now and I love the challenge of decorating it differently for each celebration. Between occasions it has simple glass tea light holders hanging from it that gives it more of a light installation feel, but all the colour and fun comes out for festivities such as Easter.
These hanging wooden eggs were a lot of fun to decorate, and unbreakable too, which meant my son could join in the fun. We painted them in all the colours, finished some off with a dusting of the Bio glitter (biodegradable glitter) adding stripes, spots, you name it with the glitter glue!
Once dry the branch was ready to be decorated, with the most fun and colourful decorations it has had to date! It was so nice to have children involved in the process of putting it all together this time, they love a bit of arts a crafts especially my daughter (5) who can craft away for hours on end...
I used transparent string to hang the eggs at different heights to give a wave feel. Last year they were all the same length, however the more I decorate this branch I have realised that its much nicer having a few decorations hanging lower over the table.
The colourful rabbits found their friends along the centre of the the table alongside some seasonal potted plants that I got from a local garden centre and that's our Easter table sorted! Easter we are ready for you...
Wishing every one a wonderful Easter break!
Disclaimer: This is a paid collaboration with www.hobbycraft.co.uk . I chose and put together all the above decorations and as always only ever work with items I love!
With full intentions to get back to blogging after the Christmas break in January, my little break has ended up being a lot longer than planned, writers block! I have done quite a few bits around the house though and have plenty of things to talk about. So I thought I would ease myself back in slowly with the little kitchen revamp I spontaneously did the other month to my daughters toy kitchen.
We have had this kitchen since my daughter was a one year old, so with over four years of being bashed about, it was looking pretty sad and tired. Initially I was planning to paint it a nice navy blue colour to work for both my daughter and son, but as always the pink got the better of me and to be honest you can get away with this one, with its black pigments it isn't too feminine at all, I also had loads left over in the garage from a previous project, so it was meant to be!
The original kitchen was a pale blue design by Tidlo, I think you can still get it from shops such as John Lewis. Alongside the pink I wanted to add some brass tones to areas that were silver. I also had grand ideas on wallpapering the door panel in a fun print, but after giving this a go, it was swiftly removed and I decided to keep it simple, created a whole new look just using two different paints.
It had to be the pink... (Farrow & Ball Sulking Room Pink)
I had some primer ready to be used, but on doing a little patch test in Estate EggshellI found that it went on really well and didn't budge, so the primer wasn't needed. I simply gave the whole kitchen a good clean and once dried applied the paint directly on to it. It must have been due to this particular surface, as I have heard of other people trying this on different designs and needing primer, in normal cases I would definitely recommend the primer such as Zinsser if you have time, just in case.
I also randomly had some Liquid Leaf gold metallic paint in the garage that I had found on Amazon last year to use in my daughters room. This worked a treat on the handles, shelves and tap. You do however need to make sure the first layer is completely dry before touching up as it got very gloopy when layered. I found out the hard way and had to give up on the tricky oven knobs, they proved to be way too fiddly, so only one got painted and the rest are still silver. They do say mixing metals is now in... haha. The finish is amazing though, a really bright shimmering gold colour.
This pink and gold work beautifully together and the kitchen is fully transformed! Which has got me thinking wouldn't our kitchen look nice in this colour combination?!?
Get the look:
It was just over a year ago that we cut down this large branch at the back of the garden, I remember it being all wet and very large, so it needed a good dry off inside the dining room before we could hang it. The plan was that it would replace a Christmas tree in this room, as lasts years had died immediately due to the underfloor heating. I wanted to elevate it above our dining table in the conservatory, which has a lot of empty ceiling space and two very handy metal beams that make it easy to hang decor. It was a bit of a gamble on how this was going to look, as the branch looked quite unruly and rough around the edges... So I was pleasantly surprised when it fitted the space beautifully. We only needed some strong string to hang it from the beams either side et voila! If you don't have the beams, you can create the same look through using screw hooks in the ceiling.
December 2017: And here it is last Christmas fully decorated, I went for a very soft pink and white theme with the decor using paper snow flakes and transparent glass baubles from Cox & Cox, mixed with a few gold stars. The plan was to take the whole thing down in January, but along with a lot of protests about this on Instagram, I couldn't bring myself to do it either! So off came the decor and we were left with a bare branch, that I decided to decorate throughout the year for seasonal occasions and Birthdays.
First up Valentines day! A mix of heart garlands, honey comb balls added to the pink baubles that I popped back on the branch from Christmas. I also entwined some faux ivy on and preserved rose heads, which have become a permanent fixture.
Followed by a Peter Rabbit theme on my sons Birthday in March, it was a lot of fun putting this all together and finally having something back on the branch, which had been completely stripped after Valentines!
The carrots were taken out, but other than that I kept a lot of the decor used for my sons Birthday at Easter, just adding some pretty gold and light green/teal speckled eggs made it perfect for the occasion.
It was a bit bare for a couple of months while the conservatory had a little paint over. We changed the colour of the windows to a more dramatic dark grey/blue tone to get more of an industrial look. Then fully decorated it for my husbands 40th Birthday, with fun gold fans from Ginger Ray, I also added round glass tea light holders, which along with the ivy have also stayed as they look so pretty lit up at night, especially for dinner parties.
All the fun and colour was added for my daughter 5th Birthday party and what an amazing hot summers day it was too!
Things got a bit more dramatic for Halloween with spiders and webs that I found in Tiger, mixed with fun black honeycomb ball garlands. The kids loved it.
Ready for this years Christmas decor... and this is what the branch looks like on a regular day now, the ivy has stayed as have the round glass tea light holders.
One year later and the branch is still here and boy did we make use of it! This Christmas it has more of a dramatic look through using larger baubles and darker colours. I felt this would work well with the newly painted windows. I have also hung all the decor at different levels which looks great over the table especially when the tea lights are all lit up along with the little LED battery fairy lights I also added. It looks so pretty and sparkly at night.
The question is do I keep it up another year... Well I think I will, as I couldn't imagine the space without it now. It would have to take a pretty special light feature to take on the branch! Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year, Happy 2019!
Where to get the looks:
Its the busiest time of year and I have been decorating other peoples homes for Christmas this year too, a first for me and a lot of fun, but I have had to make a conscious effort to put some time aside to also decorate our own home, which I love doing. Over the years my style has changed from colourful to monochrome, bold to delicate and now I would say that the decor around our house is mix of all these things. I thought I would share a few of my favourite pics mostly from this year, but a few have crept in from the last 2 years too.
I made this garland a couple of years ago, using fresh pine and flowers mixed with baubles and pine cones. Every one loved it, the only problem, was that there wasn't space for food on the table, so we had to dish up everyones plate first. Its actually really easy to make a garland, all you need to do is create a nice full bunch of pine/foliage then another and wire them all together going forward in the same direction while you keep adding. I then place the flowers, baubles etc on top. Giving it a good mist of water everyday makes it last a while too, this one made all the way to NYE!
I am so pleased with our Christmas tree this year, its definitely up there as a favourite, we went for a large 9ft Nordmann pine, which has barely dropped a needle! I was however slightly concerned I didn't have enough decor for it, but some trusty small honeycomb balls came to the rescue and filled the void, I also love the texture and colour they bring to a tree I discovered this last year when in a similar situation. This years colour scheme is gold, copper and green, I found some beautiful copper sparkly baubles at Amara Living and somehow thats how the theme evolved.
I made this wreath on a willow base for the front door, using fresh foliage and flowers, this base doesn't retain the water as much as a moss one, but knowing how much hydrangeas love water, I thought this style would look good dried too. 3 weeks on it has dried up quite a bit now, but still looks beautiful. And the peacock feathers still give a fresh colourful feel.
Inspired by last years branch that kept on giving... (It will be getting its very own blog post) A few more branches have popped up around the house. The kids love the advent calendar that I have hung on a branch from the garden in their playroom. I just added little numbered box houses that we used last year from Not on the High and put treats for both the kids inside, its a fun way to make sure they are getting something nice each day. The hallway is looking pretty with its very own branch display too.
And here it is, the branch we have had in our house for one whole year now. Its been so much fun decorating it differently throughout the seasons and family events. This year it has a bit more of a dramatic look in comparison to how it was decorated last year (below). I have hung very large drop baubles in various lengths above the table giving it a wave effect. It looks so pretty at night when the tree lights are lit up and the little fairy lights are on.
Last years branch had a much softer feel, with glass baubles soft pinks golds and pretty paper snowflakes that gave it a very delicate feel.
The garland around the banisters was a lot more structured last year, I went for some bold green honeycomb balls in mixed sizes to break it up a bit. This year I have created more of a sweeping look using faux eucalyptus, little LED fairy lights and paper snowflakes that I have re-used from the branch.
This little garland is a fab way to add some colour to a dresser or door, I made it using preserved eucalyptus and hydrangeas, it so easy to do, all you need is a wooden hoop, which you then simply wire you foliage and flowers onto. Don't you find you lose bits every year, I like to think that I have been organised in my packing up, but there's always something missing such as these fun LED lights, I had them spread all around the house last year and they would be out again if I could find them.
We had friends over for lunch at weekend, so I gave the Christmas table set up a little test... A lot of brass and green on this table, I might just add a table cloth but other than that I'm ready to go on the decor front, just a whole load of presents and food to still sort out...
MERRY CHRISTMAS! xxx
Get the look
Despite being a little dark in the winter this room has such a calm feel to it. The transformation has been very gradual and my main aim was to add a bit of warmth and depth to it, which all started when we ripped out the carpet to reveal some beautiful originally floor boards that were surprisingly in pretty good nick!
They needed a good sand down, a bit of filler in places and all the carpet nails removed. We then primed using Dulux pure white undercoat and painted the floor boards with two coats of Eico Antique white floor paint, a slight off white with hints of grey. We have since used Eico on all the windows in the house, as its durability has been very impressive!
Removing the carpet revealed a fireplace hearth, which we painted white at the time, I didn't think much of it until I finally decided to fully revamp the room last month, which had cracks everywhere, it was high time for a good lick of paint. I got a bit carried away on the patch test front as wanted to introduce some colour, but found all the ones I tested were too cool for this north facing room. Going to the Farrow and Ball new colour launch, got me obsessed with the gorgeous new Sulking Room pink colour, but again the tone was not right on the walls. In the end we decided on Little Green Slaked Lime Deep (Intelligent Matt Emulsion). It has a gorgeous earthy tone to it I would describe the colour as a moss like grey/green colour that gives off a really warm feel and works beautifully with blacks and sulking room pink, which I was determined to use as a colour pop somewhere in the room.
On removing the mirror where the hearth is, I found the wall was crying out for a focal point and that's when I started searching online for Victorian cast iron fireplaces, after a little hunt I found one on Gumtree £40, it was beautiful and close to home, I couldn't believe my luck! It arrived a little rusty and broken in some places, but other than that in a very good condition. Knocking the initial a hole in the wall was a tad nail biting, but luckily after the first layer of bricks a hole was revealed and it fitted like a glove. It wont be a working fireplace it is purely decorative to bring back some of the rooms initial character. To add a bit of contrast I decided to paint it in the colour we used downstairs on our conservatory windows. This is basically a mix I created using the Ash and Midnight blue of Fusion Mineral Paints in equal parts, it creates a beautiful blue toned dark grey colour, similar to the Farrow and Ball Railings. This paint doesn't need much prep, just a quick sand down on the wood/metal surface and it can be applied very easily, once dry it has a beautiful matt finish.
A lot of the furniture we already had in the room looked pretty worn down and tired, but was still perfectly functional, so I decided to up-cycle as much as possible, whilst making it more in keeping with the new colour scheme. This was my queue to finally use a bit of Sulking Room Pink (Estate Eggshell) of which the two side tables had the pleasure, I also added new brass handles. I was on a roll and also decided to up-cycle the chest and mirror in the black/grey and a little end of bed bench we were using in another room. With new handles and a fresh coat of paint these pieces now look completely different! I got the handles for the chest at Dowsing and Reynolds and the small ones on the side table from Amazon Home.
The divan bed was transformed through adding a headboard (Tikamoon), the whole room has a bit of 1930's feel to it with the new colour scheme, so I went for a rattan style and painted the wood surround in my little paint mix.
I am aware that I might be repeating myself here, but it really is amazing how a lick of paint can transform a room especially if you are on a budget. This room is now so cosy and inviting, just changing the colour palate adding a pops of pink and some cosy soft furnishing has given it so much more character and the main vocal point the fireplace, looks like it was always meant to be!
Find The Style
Walking into my home a few years was a very different experience to now, the walls were bare, bar the very odd piece of art. Family photos and pictures were only seen on shelves, picture rails and consoles, however over the last two years I have discovered a love for wall hangings and gallery walls, which are now ever expanding across the entire house.
The most recent area was the hallway, which is still in progress. I have had a lot of questions on how I planned this wall, which actually came about quite organically. I initially picked a few family pictures I wanted up on the walls ordered up some frames to fit these from Made.com and started hanging them. I placed 3 on the landing and then worked all the rest around these. I didn't want it to look too structured so mixed the sizes and added the odd white frame and random splash of colour. I have gradually filled it further with a few more prints and love mixing text among pictures. I think the key is not to rush, take your time building it up, so you see what you love on the walls as you walk past and not just something that fills a gap. As you can see mine isn't finished yet, there are still a few gaps...
The most recent picture I hung was actually spontaneously placed, new for me, as most of my hangings are more grouped or structured. I love this effect of randomly filling a space without worrying about measurements or symmetry, this really works if you have something with graduated heights below, the chest and chair really frame the picture making it blend in seamlessly with the rest of the room.
Unlike the hallway the gallery wall in our lounge took a lot more time to put up, endless measuring was involved to create a grid like wall. But the actual planning was easier as all the frames are the same size and style framing pictures of the family. We created this with a view that it would eventually extend across the whole width of the wall, with further images being added over the years as the family grows up. I got these frames from The White Company and all my photos are printed at Sim Lab.
You can't go wrong with a group of 3! They look great above a bed or fireplace drawing your attention to a focal point in the room and adding more interest. Its always nice mixing these up a bit whether it be colour or a varied theme.
I love layering on shelves/ledges and picture rails are a great way to pop and update family photos. I like mixing up the frames on these, different sizes and styles some layered in front of each other. Some people are very strict about mixing colour with black and white, but I actually like mixing the two, it makes the colours pop out and the black and white look more striking.
Though sometimes you just cant beat a large single picture on its very own wall to give that instant statement.
Where I like to get frames: Ikea, The White Company, GLTC, One.World, Made.com, Brissi and John Lewis
Imagery: a mix of family photos and prints
What I hang with: Usually using picture nails and hooks and sometimes I use command strips for smaller frames.
Where I like to get prints: Cherylrawlings, Junie Poonie, The Little Jones, Will Makes Things, Daisy & Bump, Belle and Boo, Desenio and Slaymyprint,
I had a few little patch tests on these window panes for at least 2 months before I decided to take the plunge and go dark. The conservatory in our house is such a beautiful feature, however the white paint was very tired and needed some serious TLC, so it was a choice between a fresh coat of white, a pale grey tone or a significant leap to black where the change would be difficult to reverse. I have always loved the more industrial look of Crittall windows and as this space is very traditional, I felt going dark would give it a more up-to-date feel while simultaneously accentuating the classic design of the doors.
The dark won my heart in the end. I wanted the finish to be as matt as possible - to get that Crittall window feel – so the paint choice was extremely important. A friend of mine had recently been raving about Fusion Mineral Paint as it doesn't mark up and is easy to clean (unusual for a matt finish), however the colours were either too dark or or very blue. Eventually, I did a little tester using sample pots of the Navy and Ash Black and mixing them up in equal measures. This created a beautiful dark blue/grey tone, very similar to Farrow and Ball railings, just a tad darker. I found the perfect colour!
- The paint colours mixed together equal measures - Before
The window frames were all sanded down then painted with 3 coats of the Fusion mix, no primer or sealer were needed, this paint is amazingly smooth to apply and a little goes a long way, I had bought a total of 12 paint pots, as they look small and I only ended up using 6 of them. The instant change in this room was unbelievable, it immediately framed the garden drawing the greenery inside and creating a sense of fluidity.
Originally I was going to paint the pillars dark too, but then decided in order to compliment the glass ceiling they needed to be light, so opted for Farrow and Ball ‘Wevet’ instead, along with the rest of the wood work and walls in this room. The dark paint did mark up a little initially with dust and a few tiny chips in some places, which at first was a concern, but a paint specialist confirmed that unlike other paints it takes a few weeks to harden and once it does will be stronger than normal paints. Four months later and this appears to be correct.
This colour change is even possible on uPVC as discovered by my instagram pal Jess, thehoppyhome.co.uk. When Jess saw the finished result on my page, she did a similar paint over in her uPVC conservatory. Firstly, she primed all the frames with two coats of ‘Zinsser Bulls Eye 1.2.3 Primer-Sealer' then followed with a coat of 'Johnstone’s Trade Eggshell' colour matched to the Farrow & Ball Railings for a similar effect. The result was amazing!
I am a great believer that a lick of paint can completely enhance a space and this room says it all. At night, it does feel a little vast, absorbing into the dark with no defined colour to differentiate the two. However, during the day it emphasises the greenery beyond, beautifully framing the garden while seamlessly blending in with the greens. Unexpectedly, the effect is a lot more subtle than the white, yet still offers a gorgeous contrast between the inside and outside of the house. The transformation is dramatic and I love it, proving it sometimes pays dividends to take a risk and experiment.
With a house full of pets and children, a question friends often ask me, is how despite the inevitable bits lying here and there and everywhere, can a room look stylish? Firstly, I try to avoid anything too bright/plastic and garish for the kids at home, obviously we have a few items of this very description, but when not being played with they tend to be hidden away in the most subtle baskets/toy storage I can find. I love a challenge and to think outside the box in regard to the way I style the clutter in our home. Whether it's about accessorising, storage solutions, a splash of colour or up-cycling , I try and maximise every existing item that is visible to the eye so the house looks its very best. This is achieved through clutter being styled or completely hidden!
I love the above baskets with pom poms for the children's areas in the house. They add an instant splash of colour, hide all the toys when not being played with and look stylish at the same time, I found these on Etsy who have lots of different colour options. I used fruit storage units below these from Cox & Cox, they are great to store all the little bits such as lego, wood blocks and puzzles. Wall stickers are amazing at making a dead space instantly look more characterful, I got this rabbit from Bell & Boo. Little details such as flowers, ball lights and neon lighting also add an element of fun to a space and I love having picture rails along the walls in family areas with family pics, though I have to admit I am very behind on updating these as the kids get older...
Storageboxes are a decluttering must, stacked neatly along with book racks and sectioned magazine storage. Canvas baskets are ideal for throwing the soft toys in at the end of the day and the above (along with the Teepee) are from Wildire Teepees. I usually keep the walls quite neutral in these areas, so the fun colours and patterns can speak for themselves. Chalk paint on certain walls is great to avoid writing anywhere else, these two areas are painted in Eico Chalk Paint, they have loads of colours to choose from, this is a lovely blue toned grey that the kids can draw on to their hearts content.
The more stylish clutter, a mixture of sentimental items, plants, books, candles and photos, are arranged on shelves around the house (the above two photos were featured in a Rockmystyle blog). This provides a homely and lived in feel, however, keeping them contained to specific areas allows other spaces to beclutter free creating a sense of equilibrium.
It’s not just the kids’ areas that have baskets, they are literally everywhere around the house. Whether containing umbrellas by the door, loo rolls in the bathroom or dirty laundry, there is always a basket to hide a multitude of clutter creators. Plants look wonderful when popped in them too - John Lewis, Cox & Cox, TK Max and OlliElla always have a great selection to pick from.
A splash of colour on the inside of doors not only adds a fun focal point to any room but also distracts from the clutter. Hooks on the inside are always a useful way to hang special items that would usually be discarded into a basket or on the floor. Decorating the walls with pretty shelves and toys also helps avoid too much chaos on the floor and I love stacking suitcases on top of each other as they’re ideal for storing puzzles, books and Lego.
The above doors are painted in Farrow and Ball Nancy Blushes (pink) and Babouche (yellow)
Desk storage has suddenly become a necessity for my 5-year-old daughter. I made this desk using an Ikea work top cut down to size along with two of the Eket range units either side, adding pretty handles for a colour splash. The vibrant shelves are again Ikea spice racks that I painted. I always keep nice simple gift boxes such as those from The White Company, JoJo Maman, Bebe and Jo Malone as they’re great for storing little bits.
I tend to put pin boards up on hidden walls that we walk past regularly but are not a focal point in the house, such as outside the downstairs loo. These are great to pin memories, things to do and reminders. Cute hooks on the children's walls are also very handy to hang pretty outfits that are usually hidden away in the wardrobe.
I hope this helps give a little insight on how I style the clutter. The bottom line is that certain clutter can work if presented correctly, you don't have to be minimal to have a clutter free home, it’s about the right storage and making it appealing to the eye. There’s so much more to share so I can’t wait to post my next blog for you!
We were very lucky to inherit a beautiful master bathroom with the house. It has a dreamy roll-top bath, which had been on my wish list for many years and the layout is brilliant, however floor to ceiling was literally the same off white tone making it look pretty bland despite the nice features. There was no depth and all the character seemed lost within the sea of beige. If I had the budget I would have put down new patterned tiles and replaced the sink unit for something more characterful, but this wasn't the case, so I decided to revamp it through a dramatic colour change.
I started by giving the bath a good rub down and then painting it in Farrow and Ball Black & Blue (Estate Eggshell, 3 coats) to tie in with the sink unit, all the walls had a good lick of F&B Oval Room Blue (Estate Emulsion), which instantly refreshed the room with it's beautiful cool blue/green tones. I have found this particular blue really compliments dark colours such as black. As extra storage I have an Ikea Hemnes single cabinet to the side of the shower, I also painted this in FB Black & Blue and switched the handle, it now looks like a completely different unit!
The spot lights above the sink were replaced with hanging lights from Cox and Cox (placed within IP regulations) to soften the unit and I have also added a few plants to this room, they always seem to thrive in bathrooms due to the water/steam. This is now one of my favourite rooms in the house, a little sanctuary to retreat for a peaceful bath in the evenings, I no longer dream of patterned tiles, as it works just the way it is, and it just goes to show what a transformation simply picking up the paint brush can make.
Welcome to her ever so girly haven...
When moving into our house 3 years ago, this room was mainly just used for sleeping as my daughter was still in her cot at the time, so initially it had a quick lick of white paint, balloon wallpaper put on a feature wall with fitted shelves over it, alongside a new floor and radiators, which were also updated throughout the house. Other than that I left it pretty neutral and dressed it with fun pretty accessories and toys.
This is what it was like for a while before the recent updates
However this year my daughter has started use the room a lot more. She loves going to her room to read, draw and play, so I decided to update it a bit to suit her age, by adding a fun bunk bed alongside a new desk. I created a wall to wall desk space under the shelves using Ikea units and adding a cut to size white worktop, making it look more interesting with some fun colourful handles. I used some spice racks as shelves behind this and painted them up in bright colours using old sample pots. The new bed is a fun house frame bunk bed that I have painted pink, I have created a cosy snug area full of cushions at the bottom and the top is where she sleeps. The whole room has also had a refresh with a lick of paint in Little Greene French Grey and I have added some pretty metallic gold stars to the wall by her bed.
I found the bed on Etsy, its sold by a seller called SilverElk. We are really happy with it, its a very sturdy wood frame. The idea is that she will sleep at the top and the bottom area with be a fun snug area she can read and hang out it which will double up for sleep overs in a few years time. We painted it up in Farrow and Ball Nancy Blushes to match the inside of her door which is also that pink.
After a lot of patch testing we settled on Little Greene French Grey Mid for the walls as it goes so well with the Nancy Blushes Pink and I added some beautiful metallic wall stickers stars to the walls beside her bedside by Nutmeg Wallart Stickers and some garland of coloured lights by Cotton Ball Lights. I also found a gorgeous selection of cushions from H&M Home which I added to ones we already had for a fun snug area at the bottom.
The desk area: To create this I used a plain white Ikea work top cut down to size and two of the Ikea Eket range cabinets on which I then fixed the work top. The reason I chose the Eket cabinets is the they are only 35cm deep which worked perfectly for this set which I didn't want to stick out too much.
I found some really cute handles to pop on one of the Eket cabinets these were also an Etsy find sold by The Leather Handle Company and painted up three spice wracks from Ikea using old sample pots to go above the desk. The colours used were Little Greene Yellow: Mister David Green: Aquamarine Deep and Pink: Little Piggy by Fusion mineral paints.
And here it is all finished... Ooh and I also painted the chair, another Ikea purchase, using some remaining Farrow and Ball Babouche Yellow paint.
The pink door has stayed and this wall has had a few fun items which were originally above her bed added to it alongside these colourful GLTC wall houses. I must update that number 4, haha...
She is so delighted with her new room and loves hanging out in it a lot more now, especially when she has friends over.
Style the Clutter
Interiors By Leoma Harper
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