Christmas Joy

I’m not going to write gift guides or how to decorate your home this festive season.  What I am going to do however is wish you all a very Merry Christmas what ever way you decorate or what ever you buy I’m sure you will have a wonderful time no matter what.

I am looking forward to slowing down, spending precious time with my loved ones and having a thoroughly decadent few days.

Happy Holidays let the festivities begin

Jx

(Images via Pinterest)

One Dark Wall

I’m not going to tell you how to decorate with dark paint, just a simple post embracing the darker shades just because I love them.

I lean towards dark walls in my home, even to the point of painting wall and ceiling the same colour which gives a wonderful cocooning effect, if you have decent windows natural light bounces off the surfaces without making the room feel claustrophobic.

I think its a total myth that dark walls make a room feel small, it has the opposite effect in my house.  I’m not suggesting to paint every surface black by any means. A balance of light and shade is good, such as painting an entrance hall in a dark hue revealing a bright living space. It definitely draws the eye.

Places to get inspiration for going over to the dark side are Abigail Ahern and Rockett St George. They both use dark elements to amazing effect and show you how it can be done well.

Some of the best paint brands do exquisite dark tones, Cassandra Ellis new paint range is delicious with names like Bitter Chocolate and Ink.  My old favourites Farrow & Ball who I have used extensively throughout my home, the latest dark colour I have used is Blue Black which is deliciously inky.  Bauwerk Colour do some wonderfully rich shades with their unique limewash paint also I can’t forget Little Greene and their deep colour choices.

So my advice is if you are thinking about dark paint and are a little reluctant, don’t be; give it a go and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  Start small and maybe paint one wall at first but I know once you start you won’t be able to stop.   Another thing to remember is it’s only paint; if you really don’t like it then get the brushes out and change it.

If you need a little more inspiration come and follow my dark pinterest board, so many ideas all in one place.

Now what can I paint next, I’ve got my eye on Off Black and maybe some more dark tiles for our bathroom when we get around to changing it!

Jx

Images 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14

 

 

The Natural Way to Paint // Bauwerk Colour

When it comes to decorating I like to try out new ways of doing so, exploring new ideas and colours, mixing it up a little rather than playing safe.  I have been a huge admirer of Bauwerk Colour for a long time, first seeing them in Hans Blomquist’s book In the Mood for Colour so it has been a privilege to be able use their paint in a room in my house.  Being able to introduce new environmentally friendly products into my home is becoming increasingly important to me and if I can then pass on this knowledge to others then I’ll be overjoyed.

It was a little daunting using this paint as it is totally different to what I’m used to. When you open the tub the consistency is like water but if you follow the instructions carefully it’s not so scary after all, it’s rather easy and very therapeutic.  I found my rhythm and the walls were covered in no time.  It was strange painting walls with a large brush but sweeping strokes are needed to get the effect you want.  Because the paint is made with clay, minerals and natural pigments it dries quite quickly so you can’t got back and go over where you have been which took a while to get used to. You just keep going with your strokes, not worrying whether you’ve missed a bit, this will get covered on your next application.  As long as you don’t load your brush too much and make each application stretch as far as you can the process is rather simple. Also keep stirring the paint to stop the pigment settling, you just can tell when you need to do this.

Once I got used to the whole process three coats were applied quickly and the finished effect is rather fabulous.  Yes you can see the brush strokes but that is part of it’s charm, it gives your walls depth and texture and I absolutely love it.  A friend on instagram said once I use Bauwerk I will never look back and I think she is right!   It has totally transformed the room, watching it change colour with the light is quite magical. I find myself drawn to this space to sit for a while and take it in, it was a room I hardly noticed before.

The joy of Bauwerk is their vision and ethos being able to produce modern lime paint in harmony with nature, they source the finest pigments to develop the most beautiful colour palette in collaborations with superb stylists such as Hans Blomquist and Lynda Gardener.   Established in 2000 in Australia they now supply in Europe which is great for us.

The environmental benefits from using Bauwerk paints are exemplary, here is why.

“We make our paints, following our belief that buildings and homes should not be disconnected from the materials they are built from. To create paints that are natural, that work with and are part of a building or home.

Especially important to us, is our environment, our paints are beautiful, do not harm the environment in their manufacture and disposal, and most importantly do not harm our health.

Bauwerk lime paints are made from natural materials which is different from being a conventional low or zero VOC paint-which just means it is made from plastics but with one toxic part removed leaving all the rest.

Our paints work differently, working with nature we make them with clay, minerals and beautiful natural pigments. You can paint without fumes, wash-up and disposal is safe and non-polluting, we leave no toxic chemicals in the environment in the production of our paints.

We use 100% green power in our production.”

If we can make our homes more natural without causing harm to our environment but in turn creating beautiful places to live in then I highly recommend investing in wonderful companies like Bauwerk.

Jx

Brown Black // Black Brown

Brown black or black brown sounds like a mascara but stay with me!  These are the accent colours that fit me, my colour palette, enhancing my love of greys and dark blues.   My tastes are changing and so my home is evolving also.  I’d like nothing more than to live in a contemporary new build with concrete floors, lots of glass and white walls but alas this isn’t the case.  So for now I shall continue to make small changes to the spaces I do live in and creating that warm cocooning atmosphere we call home.

So I digress back to brown black or black brown, I find myself drawn to these colour combinations, they don’t have to make your space dark and uninviting if used well either in combination together as or individual palettes.  I find them rather intoxicating and have specific pinterest boards for each.

It doesn’t have to be the walls that are these colour palettes, accessories work equally well bringing warmth to a contemporary space.  Such as a white walled bedroom with taupe bedding and natural linen drapes or black kitchen units with a rustic timber ceiling beams.

A few of my favourite go to places for inspiration when it comes to these colour combinations are books by Hans Blomquist, also Kate Watson-Smyth and her book Shades of Grey which eloquently guides you to make the right decisions when taking the plunge with darker colours.  LinenMe do the best selection of linen bedding that fit this look perfectly, also Bauwerk for their lime wash natural paint range that compliment the nature of these hues with a selection of soft sumptuous colours.

Also this week Dulux named their colour of the year 2018, Heart Wood a warm pinky mauve tone with a hint of taupe that is part of a lager collection to suit different styles but I think it works perfectly with my colour palette of choice.

As the seasons start to shift maybe you’ll introduce a little of these colours into your own homes, making them warm and inviting.  Do let me know if you are of the same persuasion as me.

Jx

Images 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 other images my own

 

 

 

Dining in Black // Also Home

When dining goes dark, I have fallen head over heals for dark ceramic dinner plates they just make your culinary efforts sing.  Also Home recently got in touch with me to see if I could coordinate some of their dining range with flowers.  My eye was instantly caught by their matt black glazed  Kuro Scandanese (Scandinavian & Japanese) inspired ceramics.  They are the perfect blend of simplicity and natural design that is often found in  Scandinavia and Japan.   The very nature of the way these ceramics are made is the very ethos behind Also Home and all their products. Every item is beautifully made in natural and tactile materials, the pared back Kuro collection focuses on shape and form to create these simple hand-crafted style ceramics.

The soft matt black glaze of these tactile plates work beautifully placed on soft slubby linen, surrounded by pale Summer stems.  I’m not one for brights as you all well know but I am quite partial to pale pastel seasonal blooms.  I don’t think any table setting is complete without a floral display be it in a big full vase or jam jars dotted down the centre of the table.  I felt that the plates needed to do the talking so gently laid a few simple selected stems with an easy knotted napkin.  The rest of the flowers I placed in different sized vintage bottles to soften the look.

To make the setting complete I used a unique pressed bamboo lacquerware bowl in matt black, the contrast of the lacquered outside to the smooth pale pressed bamboo inside is stunning.  I don’t think any salad could look bad in one of these artisan made bowls.

Also Home are a wonderful brand who believe in uniqueness, quality and individuality.  Every item is designed and sourced to support talented artisans across the world.  The unique nature of each piece has real beauty in its simplicity, every home needs a little bit of their simple well crafted style to create an truly inspiring interior.

  • With thanks to Also Home for the plates and bowl that are featured in this post

Monochrome & Geometric

Some things I know I will never tire of, beautiful tiles, especially ones that are geometric and monochrome.  The trend continues and I don’t think it will fade any time soon, they are a classic and will add an air of luxury in any space big or small.  I am always drawn to the pared back muted tones of black and white and all the subtly beautiful hues of grey in between.  From the clothes that hang in my wardrobe to the décor in my home this colour palette is most definitely the one for me.

So when I came across these stunning tiles by Laura Ashley my heart skipped a beat.  The Heritage Collection is a collaboration with British Ceramics and they are simply perfect.   The ceramic feature floor tiles come in two unique patterns and colour ways, Wicker and Mr Jones, charcoal and dove grey in both.  This sophisticated geometric style would bring such a distinctive look to any room you chose to use them in be it a kitchen or bathroom floor.  Or if you are like me and don’t have the space to do a full tile refit with large tiles but can’t resist owning one or two because of their striking pattern you’ll come up with inventive ways to give these tiles a new purpose in your home.

Using a tile other than its purpose is fun and resourceful.  These large square tiles look amazing used as boards on your dining table, placing one or two (if you have a large table) down the centre as serving boards, or they would make the most stylish cheese platter.  They would look equally as effective as the centre piece to a well styled table setting filled with candles and greenery.   Place one by the side of your cooker to hold all the necessary utensils and condiments you need when cooking a meal.  You could also have a tile as a feature on your footstool or coffee table in the lounge, a perfect place to put your hot drinks or glasses of champagne and nibbles when having a party.  Of course, they work very well in a bathroom, as tiles on the floor or maybe placed as a splashback or a stylish way to display your favourite bathroom essentials.

If you are lucky enough to have to space to use them en mass in a room scheme let the monochrome patterns on these tiles speak for themselves, they don’t need fussy surroundings, by keeping other elements simple you will be rewarded with a very classic look.  Keeping the fabric and paint choices within the spectrum using linen fabrics and matt grey paints, mixing and matching to create different vignettes with each tile.   Laura Ashley’s choice of fabric and paint is always excellent, the ones I have matched the tiles with here are, Bacall charcoal and Dalton pale natural fabric, Dove Grey and Steel water based matt paint which bring the tonal variations of grey together cohesively.

An easy way to make sure you are going in the right direction is to look outside to nature.  The tonal elements between a stormy sky, sea and rock for instance or the patina of metal and weathered wood.

On that note I think it’s fair to say that my love affair with all things monochrome, geometric and ceramic will never fade.

Signature

With thanks to Laura Ashley for providing the materials for this post.

 

Inside / Outside

If you are like me, you’ll like nothing better than being outdoors. Be it in a grand garden that you are visiting or just in your own little plot.  I try very hard not to get bogged down with the daily routine and take a few moments to step out of the patio door with a coffee, take stock and go through my mental task list for the day.  I find that sitting on my bench, surrounded by the scent of my plants, really does help me stay focused on the day ahead.

I think seating in any outdoor space is key to bringing your garden scheme together.  When wandering around any large garden you will notice little pockets where seats are placed, perfectly positioned in the right spot for maximum effect to enjoy the vistas.  You will normally find that the seaing in these public spaces is usually beautifully honed wooden benches that have silvered over time; or if you get to visit somewhere like the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Somerset the Piet Oudolf garden has the most exquisite contemporary designed metal chairs that fit the surroundings of modern design to a tee and are also exceedingly comfortable.

Getting the right balance is key, if you are a modernist at heart your garden will reflect your sway to contemporary design through it’s planting and what furniture you choose to place in it.  The same will go with those of us who like a cottage garden, wild and abandoned foliage mixed with fruit trees and vegetables.  You will most certainly find an old vintage bench or folding chair placed next to galvanised potting benches and possibly a French café table.

Blending your interior style to that of your outside space is relatively simple too, using your garden as an extra room especially in the summer months and into autumn is a bonus.  Create an area close to the house where you will spend the most time, position a seating area that can be shaded if need be, add an additional table so that meals can be eaten outside too.   A communal area that can take your right from your first coffee in the morning to enjoying a glass of wine in the evening.

I also like to mix things up a little in my interior style too.  If you choose correctly, garden furniture makes for a quirky look inside so why restrict it solely to outdoor use.  I love the mix of industrial style café chairs and benches around a dining table.  I myself have folding wooden garden chairs mixed with chapel chairs around the chunky farmhouse table in my kitchen.

Deckchairs in a large open plan modern living room would work well as extra seating. Metal stools can be used in bathrooms to place your towel when you are having a soak.  Wooden garden benches look fabulous in hallways with shoes neatly lined up underneath.  Why not throw away conventional thinking and shake things up a bit, creating a space where the outside comes inside and vice versa.  Blending the two spaces makes for a perfect interior that flows.

A great source of inspiration for me is my outside board showing you ways of creating a well designed room outside using the correct garden furniture for the right space.

Signature

  • This post was written in conjunction with Homebase.  Images 1, 2, 4 ,6, 7 & 8 are my own, the collaged images are all from here

 

Curate & Display

I have just redecorated my kitchen.  It was the perfect time to make a few changes as over the years your tastes do change.  I’ve amassed rather a lot of stuff in the last decade and I’m now coming through the other side and decluttering (a lot!)  I’m not a minimalist but I wanted things to be neater and more streamlined to compliment the stunning colour by Farrow & Ball that we chose to adorn the walls and ceiling.

I do like displaying items that are useful and get used on a daily basis, I thought that these wire pigeon holes fitted the bill perfectly.  They aren’t too heavy but compliment the wall colour but let light flow through them so don’t restrict the space.  I’ve had them stashed in my garage for a year now knowing that I would find a good home for them one day.  I bought them from the ever so wonderful Millington & Hope I can never resist a purchase or two when I see them at Ripley (which is taking place this weekend).

I think storage is essential in any home especially the kitchen but why hide it all away, it’s nice to see your every day pieces displayed on open shelves.  It’s also good to think beyond the normal bog standard fitted kitchen set up, be imaginative with materials to create a unique not from the high street look to make your space truly individual.

From apple crates to old railway carriage shelves, scaffolding planks to armoires the world is your oyster as they say. Don’t go for the conventional, think outside the box and enjoy the space you live in. If you need more inspiration go take a look at my pinboard that focuses on individual ideas.

Signature

Image 1 & 2 my own, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12