Category: Art

7 Hammersmith Terrace

There’s a new place ripe to visit: No. 7 Hammersmith Terrace, once the home of  printer Emery Walker has just been re-opened to the pubic and proudly boasts the most complete and authentic Arts & Crafts interiors in the UK. Delights include hand blocked Morris & Co Wallpaper, a  veritable smorgasbord of textiles and authentic Philip Webb furniture. Deep sigh..few houses in the world have original Morris & Co wallpaper on every floor in nearly every room…but this one does.

 

Walker was a key member of many of the organisations that embraced the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement and as such was a close friend and mentor to William Morris.

His house has just undergone an eighteen month renovation – during the process all sorts of delicious discoveries were made like letters from Rudyard Kipling used as book marks and spectacles belonging to Morris with cuttings of his hair in a desk drawer.  It is a living and breathing time capsule.

Could be my new favourite place in London…

 

Laters, Kate x

Smallest Room Part 2

The wallpaper we made over the holidays? 

Despite just using the basics: Lining paper, leftover emulsion paint and cut up sponges – has worked a treat.

(Even though it meant embracing chaos)

This was the before state of the downstairs toilet. A mini dumping ground of DIY and general clutter.

First step was a deep clean of the tiles.  Vinegar, though powerful on the nostrils did the job.  A little bit of re-grouting was needed – and then I was going to dye the grout a dark grey, but I was concerned the new grout was of a different consistency –  less chalky, more rubbery so would they dye the same colour? It was an easier decision to not risk it. Besides the new pristine white of the tiles was impressive. Finally, paint – white on the ceiling and the Little Greene Paint Company’s French Grey Dark on the woodwork which is a soft, pinky grey that seems to blend with any thing.  A continual stream of Radio 4 plays on the ipad helped the process along..

The wallpaper went up easily: The lining paper was one of the thickest available and was aided by both pasting the wall and paper, and leaving the paper for a few minutes to fully soak up the wallpaper paste.

The randomness of the print meant there was no problem on the join – second piece went up where it went up.  Bliss.

The finished job.

Except there’s always one thing left to do…a fitted mirror over the sink. Sigh.

Better get ordering.

Laters, Kate x

Midgley Green x

Midgley Green is the sort of shop you want to collect in a jam jar, taking it out regularly to smell and gently spread on life.

It was set up by husband and wife team Katherine Midgley and Seamus Green in Clevedon, North Somerset to celebrate crafts and creators.  With an eye for detail and quality it pulls together the stuff you need, want and will last..

Take this brass hair clip: Simple, effective and fulfils the ultimate design brief: both beautiful and functional.

And breathe.

Laters, Kate x

The Smallest Room x

We’ve been printing.

Very simply with Sainsbury’s basic sponges bought for 20p a packet, onto lining paper and using left over paint from the kitchen renovations. Cheap as chips.

This is all part of the great downstairs toilet upgrade project, which after 10 years of abuse is sorely needed.

The idea is to paint the woodwork a mid-grey, homemade wallpaper above the dado (why not?!) and dye the grout (more on that in another post) between the metro tiles a charcoal grey.

(A bit like this)

The marbling was part of the experimenting plan for diy wallpaper for the toilet..except the problem was we could only make it in small sizes which gave a patchwork effect.  With printing we can make the runs as long as we need.  Brucie bonus to control within the chaos.

The inspiration for the print came from the above picture…

And the general sense of informal uniformity from pictures like these.

Embracing the idea that symmetry can just be too damn predictable.

What is working so well is the straight lines versus the diagonal against the curves of fingertips pushing the sponge into the paper.  I think I’m in love.

 Shame the next few days will be spent doing all the boring bits like filling and sanding.

But watch this space.

Laters, Kate x

First Craft x

Monday madness, first day of the hols and the sun was shining…we spent it in the garden with lovely friends marbling everything we could find.

We used these marbling inks from Brian Clegg for £9.50, ordered from Ebay..

(Plus the metallic set of 10 for the same price…they added a certain sparkle)

They couldn’t have been easier to use – drop on to water, mix with a skewer if you fancy, lay paper on top then peel off and dry..

The results were impressive.

This could be the wallpaper for the downstairs toilet..

So easy, so joyful!

Laters, Kate x

Easters Hols..

This is the last full day of term. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Time for books to be put aside and real life to start.  These are a few of the projects on the list…

(All details Pinterest)

Now we play!

Laters, Kate x

Brickwork x

So I’ve found this App called ‘Paint my place’ – it’s not the most intuitive app and there’s no point in going for the free version, it’s £2.99 or nothing.  But it has allowed me to take a picture of the front of our house and play around with different colours on the brick work.

This is off-black from Farrow and Ball. Probably a bit too gothic..

Pic no.2  – I was curious to see what a really dark blue would look like as an exterior paint. Not my favourite. What I learnt is not to go for the colours you know, but choose via the sample square on the app, that way you can see if you like the potential colour rather than the specific colour.

The version using Farrow and Ball downpipe. The softer dark is better.

Neutrals – this is Skimming Stone by Farrow and Ball – which probably proves the point of colour distortion: Don’t rely on what it says if you’re going to buy paint based on this app.

And finally – Elephant’s breath, Farrow and Ball.

It’s been interesting and fun to to have a genuine chance to experiment. I think it has proved previous posts conclusions: Downpipe is an easy choice because it will work.  To find the right neutral will be much harder, but I’m surprised how much I like the neutrals.

My admiration for Hockney and his skill with ipad art has now shot sky high.

Laters, Kate x

Front door x

After 14 years of council-style reinforced glass the front door finally got it’s makeover on Friday.

The before picture! Complete with piece of paper stuck on with door number scribbled on it.  Attractive.

The finished design by Nikki  (click for her details) was beautifully based on the doors we have between the kitchen/diner and the sitting room.

 

The result is a delight, especially when the sun pours through and creates rainbows on the walls.

Above we’ve gone for simplicity of plain glass and the number to let in as much light as possible.

The added bonus was that Keith-the-amazing-stained-glass-man turned up in his pre-war Singer car! How supper cool?

A charming success in every way!

Laters, Kate x

Outside Story x

This summer it will be fourteen years since the outside of house was painted.  I know the date exactly because it was the year we got Molly the dog.  Which means everythings getting a bit old.  But at least the outside can be re-painted..although I’d prefer not to paint it white..at one point I thought a beige putty colour would be the way to go..but finding the right putty colour has proved very hard as so many have too much green in their base.  Now I’m thinking it’s the chance of a lifetime to go rad, be bad..and go dark..

Particularly when you see photos like this: It’s hard to standout against such beautiful period houses but this modern number effortlessly makes its mark.

Ours is a Victorian redbrick house not dissimilar to this one.  Whilst the colours compliment, on a personal level I think an off-black would work better…

Maybe more like this. But is that just opting out??

I think I might takes some pictures of our facade and start colouring in…there must be some technology out there now to help make the decision? Watch this space.

 

Laters, Kate x