Category: Classic

What’s real?

I think I would like to live in a log cabin by water with honest furnishings and the simple things in life.  But there’s always the nagging thought – does life just look greener on the other side? Are you taking for granted the bits of urban grime that really make your heart sing? Or is living in the big smoke an assumption we all buy into?

Money is an assumption.  It now has no actual value other than the fact we all believe in it.  Take this dress – except that’s an assumption too because it’s really a nightie.  Are you prepared to accept that without questioning?


(All pics Toast)

 

These could all be multi-functional, year long investment buys – nightwear in the winter, day wear in the summer.  The only barrier is what you’ve been told. Or not.

 

Laters, Kate x

Happy New Year!

What a difference a year makes! The renovation of the study and bathroom are finished.  It all came together just before Christmas but various things – like dropping the computer and full on festivities has put life on hold for a bit. No bad thing.

This is the best before photo – taken a little late, when the room has already been partially cleared, but it gives a sense of the layout.  On the left, slightly blocking the photo is a big, black glass fronted bookcase that held an enormous amount of precious crap.  The idea was to open up the room by moving it to the right hand corner by the desk, allowing in more light.  This meant that both the shelves had to move and we finally had to sort out the pipes and tiles left by the ghost of a sink: When we first bought the house, this room was our kitchen.  It’s next incarnation was nursery and finally study.  The sink was from the days of nappy changing and bloody useful it was too.  The carpet was the first we ever laid in the house – just a week before Bella was born to celebrate it’s transition to nursery.  Unfortunately when I went into labour and disappeared to hospital, Molly the dog had the raging squits all over it and it never quite recovered…in truth it was a joy to rip it up and take the room back to bare floorboards.  The fireplace surround, leaning against the wall was going to go where the bookcase was, with a mirror on top to bounce light..important as this room was going DARK!

The other problem in the room was this cupboard – the only original cupboard left from when we bought the house nearly 15 years ago.  Originally part of the kitchen (although you can still see the wardrobe rail from it’s days as part of a nursery)  We now use it as a present cupboard, to store printer inks, paper and the printer.  Except the the space is terrible for storage and printer didn’t fit so the door was permanently open…

First step of the renovation: pulling up carpet and fixing the new fireplace surround, bought for a very pocket pleasing 99p on Ebay.

To solve the problem of the cupboard we cut down the two main doors and filled the internal space with shelves.  To update them we had beading fitted on all the doors and drawers. Very simple, very effective.

The inspiration for the room was Victoriana meets Spitalfields, and whats more Victoriana than an ornate ceiling rose?

Over the other side of the room, the shelving was re-imagined.

And now for colour…shit brown with a hint of green! Interestingly it comes out more green in the photos.  I will confess it was scary painting it on for the first time, particularly with memories of this paint in mind – and it’s the first time I’ve painted a ceiling dark…terrifying…I really didn’t want to have to paint that white again!

More beading was added to the fireplace and above the pathetic skirting we had to create the optical illusion of more…this whole room is an optical illusion of more..

We also took the beading up to the ceiling, creating a rectangle around the lights and rose.

Then everything – and I mean everything, was painted.  Recognise the inlay on the fireplace? Came from the tiles on the wall from the ghost sink…all cunningly recycled.

Floors varnished and furniture moved back in.  Even the chair was given a new seat cover made from a bit of kilim.  The light was recycled from Bella’s room where she didn’t appreciate it’s vintage charm – she now has the boring Ikea one that was in here.  Looping it so it hangs over the desk makes a great visual statement.  The rug has made it back – there was thoughts of dying it but it’s just the wrong type of material and it compliments the room well.  Maybe when there’s some more dosh in the pot it will change to a battered kilim. The colour has been a revelation – it creates such a calm, centred environment that pulls you in – it’s an oasis of peace in a busy house.

The mirror was our Christmas present, bought on Ebay for a bit of a bargain and I love it.  The handles on the cupboards are just cheapy wooden ones painted to match.  Now I can sit in my chair and imagine I’m silk merchant from the eighteenth century.  The printer now sits happily and the storage in the cupboard works.

On the other side of the room, the shelving is much better positioned and the sofa bed is back in:  The blue sits very happily with the shit brown.  Not only is it a great place to read a book, it gives the room a double function if we ever have extra guests coming to stay.

And this one has been properly organised.

A great success was the window treatment.  Originally we had a striped roman blind that covered a portion of the window.  We’ve replaced it with a roller blind (approx £40 made to size) that’s been hidden in this specially made window box.  The wooden decoration was originally intended to go over a door as a pediment, but had never been fitted.  It now has a new life! Now the window is a true statement and is the first thing you see when you walk into the room.

When the blind is up, it’s invisible, when it is down, it’s a simple, tasteful white.

 

All in all, it couldn’t have been more successful!

Laters, Kate x

Jamb x

If money were no object and unicorns were real, the choice of light for the study wouldn’t be which light, but which light from Jamb.

There’s a meticulous attention to detail that sums up the English historic aesthetic.

All these lights are reproductions. Except you wouldn’t know it, from looks or price.

(All pics Jamb)

Sigh. Dream. Lust.

 

At least it’s the first of December and Christmas can finally be mentioned. Now where did I put those pesky elves?

 

Laters, Kate x

Update x

Interesting fact: Six different tiles have been used in the making. It adds a certain charm. The marble tiles were from Topps tiles and were cursed for being of different thicknesses – it’s taken longer to get them up and they are darker than they look on the website, but as they actually match well with the wallpaper it’s been a win. And the price point – £49.93 precisely a sqm made them the obvious choice: A compromise on pushing the budget on a smaller area where the hit is less but the effect is more.  Now work is starting on the floor.

The study has moved from this……

To this: The beading is nearly up in the study and is fab – These cupboards are actually the only thing that remains of the house from the time that we bought it 14 years ago when this study was originally a kitchen. During it’s following incarnation the room was a nursery for Bella then Charlie and this cupboard became their wardrobe. Now the wardrobe rail has finally gone, the space filled with shelving and the doors have now been trimmed down to accommodate our printer which was too big for the doors to close –   I think the cupboard deserves and is loving its makeover.


The 99p fireplace from Ebay is being given a bit of love: a box of beading is going to be added to the middle section to balance out the proportions, also Victorian style tiles recycled from the bathroom are going to line the inside: waste not want not.

As the room is going to be painted darker, the window is having a subtle treatment – the blind is going upstairs to replace the one in Bella’s room and being replaced with a cream rollerblind (approx £46) which will be hidden in a pelmet box above the window, freeing up all the glass to maximum light. It means we will still be able to use the room as an extra spare room as and when, but the emphasis will be on the window and light rather than fussy dressings.

Work has also started on the floorboards in the upstairs hall: I love our original floorboards, but they did have big gaps and a few dodgy bits.  No longer. new life is being breathed into them.

 

It’s happening.

Laters, Kate x

Recycled wood x

I love books.

(All pics Pinterest)

But I hate the back-to-front book thing. Though it works sparklingly well as a visual metaphor for everything that is tragic about our modern culture.

 

And breathe.

Laters, Kate x

Natural Harmony x

Choosing a colour for the study is a bit like tweaking a tiger’s tail – dangerous but thrilling, mainly because The Husband is going to hate it.  Until the room is finished that is, and then naturally I’m banking on the opposite reaction.

I want to find a very specific brown..it’s chocolate with a bit of green swamp. To be really brutal it’s probably closest to the colour of a newborn babies poo when they’re transitioning from black tar to yellow.  Which is partly why The Husband will look at me with unreserved horror.

It’s hard to put into words why I’m pulled to it – there’s a strange, earthy beauty and a nod to the seventies and early eighties (my parents had a brown bedroom..complete with geometric gold frieze and black leather egg chair)

But there is a serenity and a richness and a sense of calm focus.  Attributes needed for waking up the brain cells.

(All pics Pinterest)

I think this colour is pretty close: The truth is you get a feeling in your gut and when that happens, nothing else will do.  And you sort of know, if that happens, just go with the flow, even if it is shit brown.

 

A sort of reflection on life really.

Laters, Kate x

Rixo x-o-x-o

Christmas season maybe fast approaching but even the sighting of that behemoth shouldn’t turn all thoughts to party clothes.  Why? Because life needs to be lived and party clothes should be a reflection of every day.  Such is the philosophy of Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McClosky, the founders of fashion label Rixo.

Their vision was to create vintage-inspired pieces for the modern woman to wear with confident style and effortless grace.

For the quality of the material – silk,  the timeless nature of the clothes and the plus point of individuality,  the price point sits happy on the purse.

(All pics Rixo)

These pieces sing dressing up is for daytime, floor length can be casual and style always transcends season.

 

I, for one, am in.

Laters, Kate x

Cordite x

Pipped to rise back into fashion and with good reason: Cords, the seventies classic are back the spotlight with a modern day twist. Combine that with their rich, deep colour and you know they’re going to be a hit.

The company leading the charge in the corduroy revolution is Cords, catering for both men and women, tops and bottoms their cut is second to none.

With a Roman feast of sumptuous options..

And colours that truly work.

(All pics Cords)

How to choose? May be lucky dip! You can’t really go wrong.

Laters, Kate x

Lace it up..

When one treasured item can make all the difference: That mercurial mix of old and new.

There’s genuine.

And there’s inspired.  Each has their place.

(All pics from Pinterest)

The choice is yours.

Laters, Kate x