Show and Tell: The Summer House

By | September 3, 2013

As Summer is officially over, I have to share our Summer House with you before the last of the sun!
Summer House Exterior All images by Adam Crohill

You may remember a while ago I created an Eastern style inspiration board for this space. Whilst some of these elements have been incorporated into the room, when it came down to it, I ended up being so influenced by the recent Nursery board I created that the Summer House theme altered slightly and became a much slicker pink, gold and white design.

Our old very worn sofa is the first thing you see on entering this room. It didn’t quite fit so one morning we ended up hacking off an arm resulting in a make-shift chaise longue! Piled on the sofa are various cushions; chevrons sourced from H&M, ikat style from an Uzbekistan eBay seller and a pom-pom fringed one from Homesense. I would have loved a Moroccan wedding blanket for this space but found a more purse pleasing gold and cream number in Homesense.
Sofa with Moroccan Pouffe and ikat cushion The pouffes were a purchase from Marrakesh, picked up by a friend who had to brave the EasyJet baggage weight restrictions to bring home both a pink and a gold version (Thanks Larissa!)
String Curtain The John Lewis string curtain creates a very soft barrier, separating the ‘lounge’ from the study/dining area. I edged it in a pink Sass and Belle pom-pom trim to break up the white and add a little detail.
The white tables originally started life as an oak nest of tables, but thanks to my friend who runs a paint shop, they are now a beautifully finished white.

Mr C has a severe dislike of Ikea but you have to hand it to them for chic and cheap storage solutions. The Ribba picture ledges are ideal for clustering together mini gallery installations. Gold White Pink Gallery on Ribba Shelves | Sarah & Bendrix | Jessica Illustration Here I’ve combined my beloved Sarah and Bendrix print with another Jessica Durrant creation. Dotted in between are a Chanel card (from Spitalfield Market), a few snaps, a gold lip print from Pearl and Earl and one of the photo booth strips from a trip to Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. The gold ‘X’ was found in Oliver Bonas last year when they decided to reduce all their Posh Graffiti offerings to 50p!

On the other side, we put up three high gloss white Lack shelves, again from ikea.
I’m still not convinced by the arrangement on these shelves but am happy to have found a suitable home for the Gold Skull Money Box from Urban Outfitters , as well as the gold champagne flutes discovered at a local vintage fair. Gold Skull

I learned from our previous house that a small space lends itself to a circular table (after years of squeezing into a tiny nook with a square table) and so we went for the inexpensive Docksta table, coupled with of Eames style chairs to create an area suitable for a spot of dining or a bit of blogging. Desk with Gold Accessories My sister bought me some absolutely smashing stationery from Blott to jazz up the desk. Erasers in the shape of various biscuits(!) plus gold pencils and a clear stapler and tape dispenser. I stashed them in a Matthew Williamson soap dish with some giant gold paper clips.
Keeping the pencils in order is a skull whiskey glass picked up last year from Zara. Finally I framed an Eiffel tower card given to me by a close friend and added a sumptuous smelling Voluspa candle to the mix.
Metallic String Garland I had long admired the strings of paper garlands that are adorning various weddings at the moment so commissioned the fabulous Pom Pom Studio to create one in custom colours. I strung this across the ikea curtains that are shielding various trashy novels, garden furniture and unsightly speakers from view!
The Summer House Ironically we think we’ll use this space more in Winter than Summer. thankfully the previous owners installed aircon and heating so it should be an ideal spot for hibernation on a Winter’s afternoon.

Hope you like!


Done and Dusted: The Master Bedroom Revealed

By | August 27, 2013

I’ve never got to grips with my own DSLR so recently when the situation arose to get some snazzy professional shots of the house, I jumped at the chance. master bedroom fireplace

Adam from Rock My Wedding is a dab hand with his camera. After a week of intense DIY, scrubbing, tidying and ‘editing,’ our cottage was ready for its close up. The result is a mighty fine set up of images courtesy of Mr Crohill.
I’m splitting the images up room by room so that I can devote a post to each room. First up, the Master Bedroom. Upholstered Headboard

I recently shared the inspiration behind this room; a wish to recreate the tranquility and elegance of a White Company brochure.

Firstly we painted the walls in a slick shade of Dulux Trade Super Matt White (not the brilliant white stuff). The result is a flat bright finish without any hint of blue. It looks fab any time of day but especially in the evening sun. Thanks very much to Doris from Diary of an Interior Novice for her suggestion. white walls

Next I layered up the bed with crisp white sheets from BHS and a textured natural throw from TK Maxx. The waffle cushions are from Wilko ( always worth a look – they have some gems) and the beautiful dandelion cushion was handmade by Thread and Ink. The cherry on the top was the bargain headboard from eBay which despite the price is really good quality . Neutral Bedside Table Mis-matched bedside tables flank the bed; one from a shop in Hove and the other inherited when we bought the house. The vintage sconces from Uppingham Antiques add a dash of glamour to the room.
I framed Lexicon cards (picked up from eBay) in inexpensive frames, just in case we forget whose side is whose…
On my side the pretty star dish was picked up from Le Petit Atelier de Paris (a must visit shop if you’re in the Marais area). You can read more about Mr C’s side here. Lexicon card and ring dish We’re lucky not to need wardrobes in this room so furniture is kept to a minimum. I found the little linen cupboard in Homesense and my beautiful Love Tub was a present from Mr C from Oliver Bonas. Even though it’s probably only been sat on about five times it’s one of my absolute favourite possessions! The smashing sparkly sequinned cushion was a gift from my Mum.
Love Tub As you may have noticed, the chimney breast is a little unusual and so wall hangings were a bit of a challenge for this space. Rather than go for anything rectangular I opted for a circular sunburst mirror from Angel at My Table. side view of master bedroom

In the fireplace sit two painted candlesticks, picked up on an early morning jaunt to Battersea Car Boot Sale a few years ago. A very good friend sprayed them white after their previous black gloss incarnation jarred with the room. The mantelpiece is painted very simply with Dulux White Satinwood and I’ve kept it really minimal; framing a hand typed extract from our wedding readings (Union by Robert Fulgham), one of the Eiffel Tower trinkets that adorned our wedding tables and some gorgeous roses in a mason jar. Union Robert Fulgham with Eiffel Tower

Clustered on the linen cupboard is a striking framed love print and a custom Em Dash Paper Co print featuring a few lines from our wedding vows. My Dipytique Baies candle was a very generous present from my in-laws and it smells divine!
I’ve used an Anthropologie hook as an impromptu wardrobe to nonchalantly hang up a linen nightdress. linen cupboard corner with Baies candle

Finally a few wedding photos and framed anniversary cards are dotted around the room too, as well as the stunning Jessica Durrant print, ‘Evening Rapture’. roses and rapture

I love a ‘before and after’ so here’s a before shot (estate agent photo) of how the room looked before we moved in. It was sweet enough but I’m really pleased with the calm and serene sanctuary we’ve created. before and after master bedroom

I’m even more pleased with how the images have worked out! I’m looking forward to sharing more with you very soon x

For more of Adam’s work, be sure to visit the Adam Crohill website.

A Cosy Cacoon

By | June 25, 2013

For those of you who are regular readers, you’ll remember that both of our spare rooms are currently undergoing a bit of redecoration. With a spare weekend under our belts you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’d spend it clearing up the chaos that we’d created. Well it would appear not. You see I had the bright idea that perhaps we should start on the Master Bedroom too. Master Bedroom inspiration Image source:: The White Company

There was some method to my madness; A few months ago I found myself in an Antique Shop after a celebratory lunch with  a gorgeous bride-to-be and one of my dearest friends. It’s fair to say I got a bit carried away and left the shop with two vintage sconces that I had absolutely no need for. Since then they’ve sat bundled in a corner waiting for the perfect home.

Also, in my bid to make the room cosy yet chic, I have been on the hunt for a decent priced Upholstered Linen Headboard for a little while now. Last week I found a ridiculously cheap eBay seller and the rather large box was cluttering up the Dining Room. The greyish brown material looked pretty drab against the old ‘greige’ walls, so out came some of Dulux’s finest and down came the curtains and by Sunday evening the room looked a bit like this:

Progress_Master Bedroom

I’m hoping that you’re seeing a bit of The White Company inspiration coming through here; crisp (though still to be ironed) white bed linen, white walls and linen cushions as well as the squidgy headboard. Their stores always have some form of smashing chandelier in there too so the little sconces hopefully don’t look too out of place.

Full reveal coming soon once I’ve tracked down a few more little gems.

Did you do any decorating over the weekend?

Lauren x

P.S. Hello if you’ve found Fairly Light from today’s post on my Rock my Wedding! It’s lovely to have you here xxx

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