Category: Renovations

Angle Poise x

The plans for the office pod are rumbling on, but there’s also talk of making use of the builder when they’re here and turning the other far corner of the garden for a pergola-slash-gazebo.  The thinking goes that in small London gardens we veer away from structures in the garden for fear they make a small garden look smaller, but the problem is in leaving a garden horizontal we rarely venture into it, preferring to gaze into from afar.  So the aim is to build a private, roofed area that will still be useable in summer London drizzle to while away precious hours, whilst still keeping a sense of space and lightness of touch.

(All pics pinterest)

So not much to choose from then…

Laters, Kate x

Bella’s Room x

The makeover of Bella’s bedroom is limping to it’s conclusion – there’s stuff to be hung on the walls and I still haven’t ordered the blinds, but most stuff is out of boxes. We’re also waiting for a delivery of this sofabed from Made – such a relief not to be blowing up airbeds any more.  At £299 in green velvet with its midcentury styling it feels a bit of a bargain..

Of course there was the usual disagreement on colour – Bella wanted yellow.  I put my foot down and said she’d thank me in five years time.

I also have my eye on this bed in a box for Charlie’s room because that would mean no more airbeds. Ever.

Surprisingly it’s more expensive at £399 so it’s going to have to wait.

Laters, Kate x

Exterior x

It was my birthday yesterday – Yippeee me! Meet my presents – Alfie and Bear, the two best dogs ever who now bookend the front door in regal fashion, the finishing touch to the newly painted exterior which finally can get it’s unveiling.

We also have new window boxes, made to size from a great company on Etsy so they sit properly within the window frame.  The black of the boxes contrasts the graphite of the paintwork.

The boxes have been planted with ivy to soften and tumble over edges, heucheras for their colour and cyclamen as they were the only white plant readily available at this time of year.  At some point trailing white geraniums will be added. It will be a pleasure to see the living wave of colour and white expanding and flowing out over the window sill.  I’m even thinking about adding them to the first floor.

 

The painted graphite on the outside of the house has been dramatic.  It has given the whole house a presence, made it feel bigger, added a modern gloss without compromising its history.

 

Very happy.

Laters, Kate x

 

 

Bella’s room x

 


Bella’s bedroom has been painted, but that’s about it.  It means it’s at an ugly transition stage when it’s a hybrid of essential bits from the past and colours from the present are all colliding to create a visual clash of cultures.  There are still big decisions to be made: colours for the blinds, what colour to paint the bed, rugs to source, a new wardrobe.  But in the frantic hell that is the start of the September term, the pull for peace is outweighing all of this…this weekend we’re just going to paint some art for her room.  Together, with music and large cups of tea.  Nothing complicated, but hopefully bold and aiming for beautiful…these are our inspirations.

 

The idea is to hang them over the half wall line: There’s something so appealing when art hangs over a paint line.

No idea why.  But somethings in life you don’t need to question. Like tea and creating.

Laters, Kate x

The dark side x

The exterior of the house has been undergoing it’s dramatic transformation to the dark side…the scaffolding is now down but there’s a still few bits to go before the grand reveal: The front step is being taken back to stone, the letter box is changing to brass and I’ve ordered shiny black window boxes for the ground floor bay to act as a contrast to the dark grey…they’ll work a bit like the new black drainpipe does, drawing the line between black and not – without them I think the eye will register only black.  I’m after bright green trailing foliage and white flowers to balance the drama. Finally all the stone in the front garden needs a good blast to bring out it’s colour…it’s interesting times…

 

Laters, Kate x

 

 

 

Front Garden..

Heading to the DIY shop today for wire brushes, sand paper, fillers and primers whilst imagining the perfect front garden:  I have this quiet obsession developing for a statue of a dog to stand sentinel by the door – I’ve already caught myself searching on Ebay so I know it’s serious. It can’t be an expensive one as I’ll never persuade The Husband (hmmmmmmm – mind at work – present for Father’s Day?!, ‘Here Husband, have the concrete dog you’ve always wanted but never knew you did..you love it, don’t you?!’) Besides the chances are it’ll get nicked, but there’s a persuasive voice in my head saying ‘get a faux concrete one and paint it with yoghurt, the resulting green algae will soften, age and add character’…will it be enough to blur the line between kitsch and statement? It’s a risk..

But I can see him there already, proud, endearing, ever present…with a party hat on for birthdays, skeleton mask for halloween and baubles for Christmas: Fun, joy and no poos to clear up.  Win win.

The search for the perfect Fido has meant other garden art has also popped up, some of it sublime.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Think I’ll need a bigger garden..

Laters, Kate x

Exterior..

Molly the dog will be fifteen next week and we still haven’t made any progress on the front of the house..except try out multiple tester pots..

And cobble below the bay window.

Not great progress in a year. At least the decision has been made on colour…we’re going DARK..

Rad, bad..and let’s hope not sad..Work starts Monday

Laters, Kate x

Handling it..

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The designing of the kitchen actually started on Friday – Alleluia! Naturellement it’s not a new kitchen per se but a hotch potch of the old kitchen units (we like recycling) and new additions that somehow all need to be brought together, but this picture represents the inspiration (I only wish I could have that island unit…but sadly it’s the only space for the sink/dishwasher/bin/cutlery so the carcasses need to hit the floor..maybe in another life..) But we’ve been working on how to line up the sight lines, even up the variety of widths and unify the look.

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Which is never easy..go for industrial raw edge?

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Or embrace industrial engineering with these beauties from Buster & Punch?…

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(There’s something very tactile about that surface..)

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The potential fly in the soup is the mixing in of an old french glazed bookcase  (a bit like this one) I have to hold my crockery. The thinking goes that to pull them together by using that same handles on at least some of the other units.

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It helps I like a variety of handles.

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But it’s still a matter of balance..too many would just be wrong – so which ones to choose?….lovely brass handles?

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Delicious little catches?..

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(All pictures Pinterest)

Or just subtle, understated cup handles and little brass knobs?

The thinking cap is on.

Laters, Kate x

Outside x

Small, brave signs of spring are appearing: delicate snowdrops, sturdy crocuses and longer days. Which is maybe why thoughts are turning to the outside and in particular window boxes: Such a simple way to mix lush colour with urban grime.

The decision of which colour to paint the exterior woodwork of the house is also edging ever closer:  Soon the weather won’t be an excuse. Go dark?

Or go neutral?

Put the two decisions together and it’s an interesting conundrum: Which combination looks better zinc, black or terracotta for the window box against the neutral?

Or the grey?

Why is it so hard? Damn.

Laters, Kate x

Bella’s room x

There’s a promise I need to keep and that’s redecorating Bella’s room:  Never an easy thing when they want identity and you’re spending the hard cash.  So in the knowledge of generational divide and the spirit of finding the grey area she’s been pinning her inspiration.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

I don’t think I need to worry. Hashtag my girl is growing up. Fast.

Laters, Kate x