Tuesday, 13 October 2009

vivienne westwood for walls

Cole & Son has teamed up with the very eccentric British designer to release a wonderful collection of wallpaper! The familiar prints are here, from the squiggle synonymous with her pirate collection to the iconic VW bleached union jack. My personal favourite is Magnolia (shown at the bottom).

Prices are around £55 a roll ... now to find an empty wall!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

one year in

The 26th September was our first wedding anniversary. I can't believe how quickly the year has gone, it feels like it was only a few weeks ago that I was excitedly getting ready to walk down the isle to say 'I do' to Mark (activities this year were slightly different as we awaited the arrival of our new sofas, more to come soon).

He really set the standards for anniversaries ahead by secretively arranging for our wedding florist to deliver an arrangement just like my bouquet. Major bonus points!

Mark, thank you for the past year, it has really been amazing and I look forward to many more to come.

Monday, 14 September 2009

on the way ...

Decision made on the sofa ... we have just ordered this vienna sofa in mulberry. I love the styling of it, a slight nod to Florence Knoll just like the leather karlstad that we looked at. We decided on fabric as it is slightly more resilient to cat claws!I love the contrast with green, and as we will be redecorating the living room I am now on the hunt for a lovely green wallpaper to go with it ...

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


Two posts in one day ... I love this original artwork by jennysbakeshop via Etsy. Having a cupcake sounds much better than carrying on!


There is a distinct chill in the air ... and our heating has broken. Our brief summer has ended and autumn is here! I love autumn, the beautiful colours make up for the fact that the days are getting much shorter. With the lack of heat in mind I have added this welsh blanket by Jane Beck to my wishlist (which seems to grow longer and longer by the week). This would look fantastic in our bedroom don't you think?

And finally, we have made a decision about the sofa and should be able to give an update with lovely pics very soon! For now I'll get back to waiting patiently for the engineer who promises to fix our boiler ...

Friday, 14 August 2009


I absolutely love the perfect match pendant by YellowGoat. I'm obsessing about it so much that I thought I would share it with you!
Have a great weekend.

Monday, 10 August 2009


Still awaiting repair is our sad sad kitchen. Mainly because of the insurance company but also because of my indecisiveness. But here it is, my favourite kitchen inspiration picture and the look that I think we will be going for.

I've seen the pictures of Emily Walker's bungalow from Canadian house and home quite a few times not but the kitchen is the room that stands out the most for me, a lovely mix of traditional and modern, a beautiful shade of grey on the walls and most of all the fantastic yellow that brings it to life. I really like the mix of fitted base units and the open shelving (with very carefully chosen items on them).

So that is it decided, white base units, cup handles and of course some lack shelves from ikea are on our shopping list for the kitchen. And maybe some yellow accessories? Or maybe red?

I love this 90th anniversary edition kitchenaid artisan mixer. I already have a kitchenaid so this would be just pure greed.

Far less greedy would be this salong vase from ikea. Now for the perfect grey. Any suggestions?

Saturday, 8 August 2009

house envy

I love this house that is featured in the current issue of LivingEtc. The mix of white walls and bright coloured soft furnishings and artwork add lots of fun and personality to the family home. Maybe I'm not ready to live in an all white home but this I could certainly do!

The shocking pink stair runner is amazing, adding humour to a very traditional entrance. The couple say that their next home is going to have a tomato red runner but I'm lusting after turquoise!

Even the most functional room of the house is bursting with colour ... and practicality with the concrete worktop.

I love the crux throw in the master bedroom.

And of course a beautiful tulip table. What a brilliant family home.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

birthday presents

My lovely Mark bought me my birthday presents (a little early) this weekend. I have called them Bill and Ted ... they are Roborovski dwarf hamsters. I have always loved hamsters (and all other rodents), they are so inquisitive and entertaining! They have a beautiful apartment with 360 degree views, open plan living/dining and a mezzanine level bedroom.

This isn't actually them. They are the smallest and fastest hamsters that you can get and I can't get them to stay still for a second, let alone take a picture. I'm sure there is more to come about these two when they settle in!

Friday, 31 July 2009

tulips from sweden

Despite my post about the planned update for the dining area, the update never took place. What I mean is, we never got round to replacing the chairs etc. I think it was somewhere between the plumbing intervention and sanding the bedroom floors! Maybe that was a good thing though because the more inspiration images I collect, the more I notice that they have a certain thing in common ... the Saarinen tulip table. It is completely out of our budget but I love it all the same. This image is my favourite set up, the tulip table with Eames DCM chairs.

Enter ikea with their glorious erm ... knock off, the docksta. This table is smaller in size than the tulip, and much smaller in price (at £109). Our current table seats 8 and the docksta would be tight for 6 but realistically we only really have up to 5, and the majority of the time we have 4 at the table ... you can tell that I am deep into convincing myself mode and here is why:

I love these images, and the simplicity of the table is beautiful. Personally, I think that it works best with white chairs as in the third image from skona hem. I also love the aqua and orange combination of the last image from _tris_'s photostream.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

bedroom update ... the details

Finally! Our bedroom update is complete and I thought that I would take the chance to show you some of the details of the room. I have to say that we absolutely love it. It is our little cool, calm retreat after a very busy day at work!

Mark worked so hard sanding the floor and the numerous coats of primer and paint are absolutely worth it. Our house is old so the floor has taken some wear and tear over the years, as has the rest of the house, so we didn't want to paint completely over the history and we left some of the rather rustic details in the floor. I think that the result is brilliant and has a nice homely effect rather than being too pristine and clinical. We also unearthed the solid hearth for the bedroom fireplace which we painted black, this looks great against the white flooring and of course I am on the lookout for a lovely cast iron fire surround to finish it off.

We replaced the light fitting with the medium leran pendant light from ikea. It looks lovely in the day and gives a really soft light at night time. It was really easy to install, Mark did it in no time.

We are really pleased with the wallpaper, it is beautiful. We couldn't take it across the chimney breast as originally planned because the wall there is not great and the paper was so heavy that we couldn't manipulate it to go round the curve. However, I'm really pleased about this because it means that when I find the perfect fire surround it will have centre stage on the wall. Speaking of centre stage, this is our bargain find for the room. A theatre style light for just £20! It adds a bit of fun to the room ... and to the daily routine of getting ready for work.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

colour madness

We are still in the middle of our bedroom makeover, these things certainly take more time than anticipated. I think amongst the white walls, woodwork and floors I am craving colour, thank you LivingEtc gallery for these vibrant shots!

The floor in the bedroom is nearly finished, once dry we can hang the wallpaper and move our furniture, and ourselves back in. The kitchen on the other hand is another matter, thanks to the insurance company this is going to be a long process. Oh well, one more colourful shot by Stefan Thurnmann, just because I'm greedy!

Friday, 3 July 2009

summer holiday ... sort of

I have been forced to take a bit of an impromptu break from blogging due to a very unexpected leak in the kitchen. Our plumbing under the kitchen sink decided to turn itself into a bit of a water feature, soaking everything in its path. Base units, plinths and floor have all suffered the wrath! As such, kitchen improvement plans have had to step up a gear. We have had some very helpful tradesmen and a very unhelpful insurance company and despite that I'm still a little confused about what exactly it is that I want!

Along with this we were making really good progress in the bedroom. All the walls are prepared for painting and while I was on a hen weekend to London poor Mark painstakingly sanded all of the floorboards. I'm amazed how good they look considering the layers of soot and dirt that had to be removed to reveal that they are, as expected, wood. While doing the room we removed all of our (large) furniture from this room and have rehomed it in our two spare rooms which means that we have one big empty room and two smaller rooms full to the brim.

With most of the rooms in the house currently out of action my kind mum has taken in our little family while we work on finishing the bedroom and getting things sorted for the kitchen. More blogs to come soon about the bedroom update and of course what I actually decide to do with the kitchen!

Monday, 8 June 2009


Thanks to freecycle, Mark and myself are now the proud owners of an Ercol Windsor lounge set. We have been given two armchairs and a two seater sofa for absolutely nothing. The frames are in excellent condition and still have the Ercol seal, the cushions are original and in need of some TLC. I'm thinking of covering them in this Lumimarja fabric by Marimekko.

Here is a lovely photo from Kokor Hekkus' flikr photostream to keep me going, plain purple looks good too ...

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

orla kiely madness

I love this picture from LivingEtc, the chair is amazing and I need to find myself a bright yellow light. Maybe I'm not destined to live in a white house.

Also the striped petal wallpaper is fantastic ... I think if the cats stayed still long enough in this house they would get wallpapered too.

Monday, 1 June 2009

sofa quest 2009

Our M&S sofas that we got when we moved in to the house are looking quite sad and tired now, especially with all the work that is going on around them in the house. As such, the search for new seating has begun, or as I like to call it sofa quest 2009 (we had so much trouble choosing our first ones that we are dreading doing it all again). Thankfully we have settled in to the house and we know how we are using the space, unlike choosing sofas days before exchange on our first house together. My obsession with white continues, as does Mark's with ease to care for so despite having cats (with claws) we are exploring the possibility of leather.

There are so many fantastic sofas out there, I find myself in another confusing situation, similar to that with the kitchen (update coming soon) its so hard to settle on what I really want. Here are some of my favourites so far.

This is the cube sofa from
Heals, it has lovely simple lines and a great button detail on the side. I really like it and thought that the shape reminds me of something ... then it came to me klippan (with a bit more detail!).
Oh habitat, it is reasons like the days forum sofa why I cannot allow myself to pass through your doors too often. I love the walnut sides of the sofa, they are fantastic.

This has to be my favourite, the tufted white leather karlstad from ikea. I think this one will be hard to beat for price and I love the quilted chesterfield like back.

... And then I go full circle and ponder whether staying with washable covers would be the best option for us, I hate it when I get into practicalities. What about you? What are your thoughts on white furniture with pets?

Just for fun here are some lovely sofas from urban outfitters, unfortunately you can only get them in North America, otherwise I would be running round the house trying to find a spot for at least one of them.

(Antoinette Fainting Sofa and Mid Century Sofa both Urban Outfitters)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Paul Massey's latest project

This renovation is in the current issue of LivingEtc, or as it has now been renamed by me the bible. I love these images, light and airy and lovely white floors, what's not to like? Head to LivingEtc to see the full 30 images, including some with his lovely dog.

Also, while I am on the topic of LivingEtc, they are currently running a competition where the lucky winner can paint their entire house in LivingEtc paint for free. Needless to say I have entered!

weekend off

What a lovely weekend it was here, we made the most of the bank holiday weekend and downed paintbrushes for a well earned rest. On Saturday we went to Beamish Museum, a brilliant outdoor museum which depicts typical life in the north east in 1825 and 1913. It was great because we got to see what our typical miners cottage would have looked like at the time and I got to indulge my obsession with fireplaces, I am desperate to reinstate the cast iron range which would have been at the heart of our home, I got to see plenty of them in action at Beamish. This is the Edwardian town at Beamish, the sun had gone and the clouds had gathered by the time I took this photo but it was still a lovely day.

On Sunday, Mark went to the final football match of the season and thankfully, as a Sunderland supporter, the results went the right way for the team and they remain in the Premier League. I on the other hand spent the day with my Mum and we took the opportunity to enjoy the sun and relaxed in her beautiful garden. I wish ours was half as nice, tho only thing that we can successfully grow is weeds, its official.

Finally, on Monday I had some bridesmaid duties to attend to and met one of the girls in Durham to do some preparations for the forthcoming hen weekend in London. After this my lovely husband took me for lunch. Durham is a really beautiful city.

Back to reality now and we have started getting organised in advance of tackling the bedroom makeover, why do I have so many clothes?

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


The colour of the year, or so I hear!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

global durhamites

Image via Design*Sponge

I came across this city guide for Durham, North Carolina in Design Sponge. I think this is a place that I will have to add to my must visit destinations!

lovely light

Oh ikea ps maskros, how I need you in my life.

Friday, 15 May 2009


The weather today has not been great, but had it been I would now like to be relaxing in one of ikea's roxo easy chairs in green.

With solig lanterns twinkling around me.

We took a day off today and have spent it under house arrest because of the torrential rain.