Patience is a Virtue

By | June 13, 2013

I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t make any decision about a room’s purpose or décor until you’ve lived with it for a while and really get a feel for how you’ll use the space. If like me, you’re a little impatient, this can prove to be infuriating. However in the case of one of the rooms we inherited, this proved to be a good idea. summerhouse_before

Attached to our house, but accessed only via the Garden is a long thin room that was used as an office by the previous owners. If we had gone with our initial idea that every single guest who visited us in the first month came up with, this room would now be a Bar. As much as I like the idea of a gorgeous gold gilt bar cart, glass jars filled with limes and a wine fridge filled with vino (one of those fancy ones that keep your white wine cool and your red wine at room temperature), it seemed to be a bit of a waste of the space to devote it to a drinking hole for the one sunny weekend we have a year. bar cart Image Source:: Bess Friday for Style Me Pretty Living

As much as we love our dual aspect lounge because its windows face both east and west (so we get both morning and evening sun), at the height of midday it can be a bit dark. Our ‘Summer House’ has the luxury of facing south and so we wanted to take advantage of the extra light and carve out a little living space. However, if it was just dedicated to being a lounge area you would be waving at your guests 20 odd feet away as it’s only wide enough for one sofa. Depending on your choice of guest this isn’t really ideal… So, given two summers of afternoon studying, working, lunching, napping and film watching up in the Summer House, we’ve decided to split the space into two areas - one for work and one for play using a billowy curtain to divide the space.

In terms of style I’m going for a slight Moroccan feel with plenty of ikat pillows, lots of leather pouffes and lashings of gold.

moroccan_moodboard Image sources:: Low Sofa | Uzbek Cushion | Glitter Ball | Gold Frames | Pouffe Stack | Tray on Pouffe | Skull Glass | String Curtain | Gold Trellis Pattern | Moroccan Wedding Blanket Cushions | Doksta Table and Mismatched Chairs

As always I hope to reveal soon but there might be a bit of a delay as I hunt down the finishing touches to complete the room.

Have you got any spaces that you lived with for a while before taking the decorating plunge, or any stories about regrets of jumping in early with the paint brush?

Lauren x

Show and Tell: Bathroom

By | May 21, 2013

Last year I shared the ‘befores’ from our very bold bathroom. I’m very happy that this room is now all done and without further ado, here’s the ‘afters’. Clawfoot tub

We kept the claw foot tub and rest of the suite but everything else in the room had a big make-over.

The walls were accidentally painted in Crown’s Milk White. (I had meant to pick up Sail White but must have got distracted). It has a very slight green tinge that complements the Laura Ashley Eau de Nil that we used to paint the bath.

The floor was sanded back and then painted with several coats of Ronseal Diamond Floor Paint in Brilliant White. So far, it’s holding up fairly well but I’m not sure how it would fare if it was used in a high traffic room and it was to be walked on in anything other than bare feet or slippers.

With all the white, the room did feel a bit stark to start with and so I added a faux sheepskin rug instead of a bath mat. (We hardly use the bath as we have a power shower).

shelf and floor I would have loved an old school train luggage rack to use as a shelf at the end of the bath, but couldn’t find one that was anywhere near my budget. In the end I went for an Ikea shelf that wobbles quite a lot but is fine for the moment! The hot bath sign is from one my all time favourite shops, The Nest at No 9.

I adore a bit of sparkle and so couldn’t resist hanging one of my glitter balls from the shelf. Depending on the time of the day, you get a lovely light effect across the wall. glitter ball_dressing gown

I would still like to add a few more prints to the wall but at the moment I just have a beautiful glass frame with a Washi taped polaroid postcard from my trip to Barcelona. side bath

Other additions are two mirrors; one from eBay and one I picked up from the local tip. They were both spray painted grey to complement the bathroom palette. The lanterns were bought originally as wedding decor (suspended from the ceiling in our barn venue) but now have a home on the bathroom floor. Also making its way from our wedding is the three arm candelabra that sits proudly on the top of the loo! mirror

I have always wanted a chandelier in the bathroom, but electrically speaking they can be a bit of a safety nightmare. I found the Grace Pendant on sale in Homebase for next to nothing. As it was a pendant, it didn’t need to be hard wired and thankfully the previous light fitting had been pendant style so there was minimal work required to get it in place. chandelier_heart_sink

With this glamorous feature, I then opted for a faceted curtain pole, shower pull and cupboard handle to add a little elegance to the room. To top it all off I wanted to add a little bit of lace to soften the room. The H&M lace panels fitted the bill perfectly.

On the shower front we ummed and ahhed about how to tackle the blue tiles that were in place. Even after a lot of research that suggested tiling over previous tiles wasn’t advisable, we still went ahead anyway! We chose subway tiles and applied directly to the previous ones rather than risk removing them and the whole shower enclosure fall to bits!

The final change to the room was made a few weeks ago when Mr C replaced the old rusty radiator with a column style version.

So to finish, here’s the before shots from the week we moved in.
Bath_before I hope you agree it looks a bit better now. It’s only now when I look back at befores that I realise quite how blue that back wall was!

Hope you like.

Lauren x

P.S. You can take a look at the bathroom progress and the moodboard in previous posts

Tying up April’s loose ends

By | April 30, 2013

To sum up April – it’s been MENTAL! I’ve had a crazy busy month but it’s been terrific. I apologise for being a bit linktastic in this post but there’s a lot to share.

On the to do list was the creating of an office space at the back of my lounge. Big tick there as this was all done earlier on in the month. Office

One thing I didn’t end up posting about what the DIY for the rather fabulous ampersand marquee style light. Mr C and lovely friend Matt took guidance from the Oh, Hello Friend Tutorial to create this super cute light using Hobbycraft paper mache characters and fairy lights. ampersand

I also posted about my blank wall dilemma and in the end have opted for a gallery wall using various sizes of the same frame. It’s going to take a while to collect all the pictures together for this one but as I have a pet hate of empty photo frames I got download happy on the Graphics Fairy site. I also used some beautiful Irene Suchocki prints (a gift from a friend) and even attempted by own stencil watercolour using a very quick tutorial from PS:Heart. Am not too convinced by the final result but it will definitely do until I hunt down another print.

gallery wall

The third job was to find some industrial style stools from the kitchen that weren’t going to break the bank. Last week I finally ordered a couple from Interior Addict. They take 10-12 weeks to deliver (seems a little excessive to me) so it’ll be July before they make an appearance.

Half way through April I got a call that made me giddy with excitement. I can’t share too much right now but hope to be able to fill you in next month. A few things I can say is that it involved a whole heap of pretty, the largest wedding blog in the UK and spending the day with a smashing group of people. brighton_london

In between all that there’s been trips to Brighton and to London, visiting wedding venues with a very dear friend (and all the hen do planning that comes with it ;) and the most recent project has been all the prep for the upcoming circus party. circus_partyprep I am so excited for May – this signals the start of the wedding season, birthdays galore and cold glasses of Pinot in the garden. Fingers crossed for a warm one!

How did your April shape up? Lauren x

P.S Excuse the odd timing of this post – it was meant to go live yesterday but wordpress had other plans!

Revealed: The Office

By | April 16, 2013

Thanks for the love over the weekend when I shared some office sneeky-peeks on Instagram however I’m still very nervous about revealing the finished result of the office make-over. Here goes! office reveal

Revealing the sources!

The vintage bureau was an eBay find for about £20 (complete with key) and is painted in Light Rain from B&Q, finished with some eBay cup handles. The surprisingly comfortable Philippe Starck reproduction Ghost chair was a very special gift from my Parents. office_jpg

From the top shelf down; the colourful boxes were a gift from a friend and now contain a rather large selection of stamps and punches. The jars filled with raffia and pegs are bargain finds from the 99p shop!

office2

On the bottom shelf the pink bowl is from Ikea and I’ve collected the washi tape from all over the place . My vintage style bobbins arrived from eBay and were a lot smaller than I’d hoped but actually look really cute under the little bell jar (originally from HomeSense around 3 years ago).

On the top of the bureau, the super snazzy mini marquee light was made for me by Mr C and a lovely friend of mine.

The kraft clipboard was snapped up from RE last year. I don’t think they sell them anymore but I’ve seen similar on eBay. The monogram mug was from Anthropologie and the little box of pins was picked up from Merchant & Mills. All the other items were gifts from gorgeous friends.

As you can see from the before and after shot (taken just after we moved in back in May 2011) there’s been a few changes to this little area at the back of the lounge.

Before&After

Finally, I’m going to try my luck in the Home Love contest on the Fashion for Home website and submit one of the images from this post. The competition is all about sharing a little bit of home love by sending along a snap of the favourite space in your home and giving a mention on your blog. I have to say my most favourite part of this little office is the mini marquee light as I had wanted one for absolutely forever – I nearly parted with a significant sum of money for one recently! It wasn’t a quick DIY to create but the result is smashing. (I will share details in a post soon).

Hope you like and let me know if you’re going to enter too!

Lauren x

Makeover on Make-up

By | February 22, 2013

Recently I was inspired by this image from the Domestic Goddess that is Martha Stewart to have a little spruce up of my dressing table drawers. martha stewart drawer Whilst I would never dream of leaving the house bare-faced, I don’t have a huge selection of make-up. I cleaned out make-up bags full of the stuff that had only been used a couple of times when we moved house (seafoam eye liner anyone?) Since then I’ve vowed to keep the collection to a minimum but that hasn’t stopped it getting extremely messy. Make-up_Organisation_before A few weeks ago I decided enough was enough. I chucked a few congealed lipsicks and dry mascaras and got to work with the pencil sharpener. Make-up_Organisation_clean The most satisying part had to be cleaning my make-up brushes. Using a cheeky olive oil and hand soap mixture method found via Beauty Book Love, it only took minutes to clean through the brushes. I then rubbed down all tubes and handles with an antibacterial wipe. Make-up_Organisatio_group It just so happens that one of my slate floor tiles is a similar size to the inside of my dressing table drawer, and so I laid out everything in to tidy piles on the floor. Make-up_Organisation_line As I lined each of the drawers with fancy wrapping paper, Mr C used offcuts of wood to section off compartments. I then painted them the same shade of antique white as the rest of the dressing table using satin paint from B&Q. Make-up_after As always, excuse the quality of the iPhone pics. Here’s the final result, all neat and tidy and easy to find and does not make me highly strung in any way.

How do you like to store your make-up?

Lauren x