Let in the Light

It’s Summer and there is nothing nicer than throwing open the doors and windows to the garden letting in a warm breeze and dappled light.  I’m lucky that I have French doors but I don’t like their design, the frames are dark and PVC as are all my window frames.  The light reduction it causes due to heavy frames is quite remarkable.  We replaced both our entrance doors last year for bespoke alternatives and it has made a huge difference to the light in the hallway and kitchen.

We dream of self building one day, creating a contemporary light filled home with large floor to ceiling windows, open spaces leading from room to room letting in maximum light but with all the right green credentials making the house self sufficient when it comes to energy saving.

For now that is still a long way off so we are considering updating our nasty frames for better version to maximise the light and stop the heat escaping.  Maybe a side extension to create more precious space off the kitchen with skylights to focus the light over that specific area.  It’s remarkable what choice you have today when it comes to updating your windows, Roofwindows.co.uk are a super place to start with a huge range of innovative well priced windows by Solstro to choose from with an excellent advice service on hand so you make the correct decision.

Another great way of maximising light in a small dark space is internal glazing, replacing heavy wooden doors with glass ones, if privacy is an issue frosted window film is a great alternative than etched glass.  Painting your walls in paler colour tones helps lift the space,  placing mirrors opposite a window also bounces light perfectly.  Even down to choosing lightweight fabrics rather than heavy drapes when dressing your windows or maybe if you are lucky and not overlooked perhaps no curtains at all.

For now I shall keep saving to replace my brown PVC horrors and keep dreaming of my white, bright contemporary house with floor to ceiling windows!

Images 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13

  • This post was paid for by Roofwindows.co.uk

Bedside Tables // Finding the Right One

I have been on the hunt for new bedside tables for a long while, I didn’t realise how difficult it could be narrowing down what I wanted from the look I had in my head to the reality of finding it in the big wide world.  The choice is rather vast from the expensive designer versions right down to flat pack.

This year I’ve wanted to shake my style up a bit, obviously I don’t have the funds to change every piece of furniture in my home but I can make small changes that create a big impact.  I am very much seduced by clean lines, sleek, pale and modern pieces that enhance and make a space feel bigger.  So I’ve been throwing things out with gusto and boy does it feel good.   Our old bedsides were the first things to go,  I wanted white gloss, sounds strange maybe considering I have a French antique bed but I just knew it would work with the grey walls and simple bedding.

So I started to investigate, I first looked at the Componibili cabinet by Kartell but to be honest I found them a bit flimsy and with not enough storage for the price.  Heals did a perfect version of what I was after but again the price was just out of my reach, so I turned to Ikea, yes I know Ikea!    I have never bought any furniture from them before and I was pleasantly surprised.  I found exactly the right bedside table in white gloss similar in style to the Heals version but at a fraction of the cost.  Yes I know they are self build but if you take your time and construct them correctly are just fabulous.  They are sleek and minimal with two large drawers to keep all my everyday bits and bobs in leaving the top free from clutter.  I am now an Ikea convert, you will have to watch this space to see what I am doing in my lounge with Ikea sideboard carcasses and fixtures from a Swedish company called Superfront.

Anyhow I digress, whether you are after large and chunky, minimal and sleek there are so many variations of bedside table to suit your taste, needs and budget.  I’ve picked out a few of my favourites for this post but you can also browse my Pinterest board for more inspiration.

Images 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9

 

 

 

Ceramics

I have a confession, I’m a little bit obsessed with ceramics in all it’s guises.  I’ve had a good clear out of old crockery, mugs and bowls that are no longer used or serve any purpose, even most of the vintage china has gone.  Clearing out and starting again feels good and I’m starting a curated collection of beautiful ceramics and pottery.

I have a few pieces of old that have come back into the foreground but it was a Parkwood pottery mug by Lane that started me on this path and obviously my need to clear out and feel free from clutter.   I have recently invested in some new dinner plates from Minor Goods which have the most beautiful glaze.  I don’t want matching I want mix and match but all within the same hues of stone through to deep blue.

I am fascinated and in awe of those who use there hands to create objects that have been born from the ground and turned into useful, practical objects and art forms in their own right.

I love the tactile nature of ceramics, the different methods and stories applied to each piece that make that certain mark or colour.  There is nothing better than wrapping your hands around your favourite mug or bowl and the comfort it brings, like saying hello to an old friend.

There are many artists out their that I admire greatly who turn, sculpt and manipulate wonderful pieces using their hands, Sue Prkye, Pip Wilcox, Sarah Jerath and Jono Smart to name but a few.

Follow my ceramics board for more inspiration.

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Image 1, 2 and 3 my own 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 sources highlighted.

 

Relax with Plum & Ashby

There’s nothing nicer than after a long day to run a bath filled with the scent of summer to sooth away those knotty thoughts in your mind and body. I adore having a soak in the tub a simple pleasure and recently made even better by Plum & Ashby and their contemporary bath & body range.

Not only does their range smell delicious but it comes in the most stylish packaging with a nod to old apothecary bottles.  Deep amber toned glass and screw topped clear vessels which when not in use will make your bathroom shelf evoke that of a stylish store.

The heady scent of lavender is one of my favourites especially at this time of year, I have lavender hedges that line my garden paths and doorways, when you brush past the air is filled with it’s aroma and I simply love it.  So of course I couldn’t resist the temptation of the Green Fig and Lavender hand and body wash and Lavender bath essence.

My new bathroom companion Green Fig and Lavender wash is being used daily, made with natural essential oils it cleanses and moisturises without over dying my skin, a mini pamper every day is good for ones soul.  For those bathing moments I described at the beginning of the post you really can’t surpass this wonderful moisturising bath essence.  With the calming lavender notes and soothing tones of marigold helping relaxation, pour a small amount to running water when drawing a bath and completely unwind. The essence is also made with all natural ingredients including coconut and lavender oil.  I find that taking a bath in the evening helps me sleep better too especially with these subtle scents that calm the senses.

Not only do Plum & Ashby provide you with the complete bathing experience they also supply super wash bags for you to store their products in too so you can take them on weekends away and holidays so you always have that little bit of luxury where ever you go.

I’m having a few days away with the girls this weekend and guess what will be coming with me in my over night bag!

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Form & Function

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Form and Function is most certainly what my post is about today.  When Form Studio got in touch with me showcasing this wonderful sinuous building I couldn’t help be intrigued.  I am fascinated at the moment with clean lines and modern functional builds, I have a specific pinterest board dedicated to the subject here.  Building up a portfolio of inspiring images and architecture for the day we finally take the plunge and dive into the world of self building.

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The Flatiron House in London has been described as a staircase with rooms attached and you can totally see why. Occupying a small triangular footprint means that there is only one room occupying each floor, five in total that brings you out onto a stunning roof terrace.  The signature staircase with it’s white acrylic balustrade is the star of the show, giving a sense of space and unity falling through the floors like a ribbon from the glass roof to the basement.

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The Flatiron is an inspirational piece of modern design in the current world we live in where space is at a premium.  That is what intrigues my husband and I about self building, being able to create a contemporary open plan home that is efficient to run, beautiful to look at and have the right amount of space and light for our family to live healthily and happily.

Another great feature in the Flatiron house is the brightness of the white staircase and rooms with the added touch of softness throughout represented in the honed wooden flooring and walls which unifies the space perfectly.  I’m a tactile person and I know living in a white box isn’t for everyone but if you add texture with elements such as polished concrete and  plywood boards it makes the space far more warm and inviting.  You just need a little imagination to think outside the box and I wish with all my heart that the volume house building industry took a little risk and looked at some of the superb ecological and diverse architecture available to create better homes rather than boring unimaginative wasteful houses that seem to go up at a rate of knots.

Now to carry on dreaming of the day we find the perfect plot so I too can have a staircase like the one in the Flatiron.

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Image 1 – 6 provided by Form Studio.  Links to all other inspirational images 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15.

To Illuminate

I think you all know by now that I have a thing for bare bulbs.  I am slowly going around the house changing my light fittings.   I really love the simplicity of a bulb at the end of a simple cord rather than anything over the top.  They bring a dash of contemporary to a scheme and work in every room.

This superb silicone pendant from Iconic Lights is perfect, it comes in many colour ways but I chose grey to blend in perfectly with the decor in my lounge.   We hardly used the main room light before but now things have changed.  The ambient glow from the cage bulb is very subtle and as it hangs lower over a foot stool it creates a perfect atmosphere, rather than the stark light we had previously.

These versatile light fittings would look perfect as bedside lights instead of lamps, hanging low either side of the bed would bring a sleek look to your sleeping space.   They would create a super feature over a dining table or in an eating space in the kitchen too.

I simply can’t get enough, now which room will get the bare bulb treatment I wonder!

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