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

 

February Styling the Seasons

I am calling this post chasing the light.   My intentions were good, everything planned; then time and circumstance seemed to plot against me.  The clouds rolled in before I could take any photos, never mind I thought there’s always tomorrow so a new plan was forged.   I woke to find the sun really wasn’t wanting to wear his hat, he had hidden himself away behind the persistent dark painted rain clouds and stayed put all day.   I set things up, left the room for a while, kept coming back in hourly intervals but the light didn’t want to play.

Change of tack I thought lets go moody with a grainy washed out texture, so lets see, how does February look for me?  Well most certainly a bit on the bleak side.   Art is not imitating life I hasten to add, this month seems to disappear in a flash, the weeks have been filled with celebrations: Valentines, pancakes and many a birthday party.  Now we are nearly at the end and we are to celebrate another special day in our house as Ruby turns 11 this coming Saturday.   A full week of fun has been had and the streamers are at the ready for her party at the weekend.

So light or no light I found these blossom twigs calming, with a nod to Spring and a sense of simplicity placed in one of my favourite spots at home.  To spend a few moments to be still and just be.  Me and the blossom before the excitement builds again.

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January ~ Styling the Seasons

It’s January and I’ve come full circle with Styling the Seasons.   Of course I’m going to carry on producing something for this inspiring concept, it really does make you stop and look as each month passes, taking stock and compiling images to represent how you feel at that moment in time.

As you are probably aware from my last post January and I are not the best of friends but I work with it and I’m much cheerier this week.  I have taken the time to really look at the beauty of this month as it seems to be passing with great speed.   I treated my self to this perfectly pale primrose, I don’t like using flowers out of season but my primroses have shown their bright yellow faces out in my garden reminding me that Spring really isn’t that far away.

The twigs definitely represent winter, my husband and I went for a brisk walk and of course I happened to have my trusty secateurs with me so I could bring home bows of twisted bare branches.  They are so sculptural creating wonderful shapes either as a backdrop or in a vase.  I find their simplicity calming.

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If you want to take part with Styling the Seasons this month remember to use the #StylingtheSeasons hashtag and tag  Katy and Charlotte.

 

Filament & Glass

DSC_0269I seem to be on a bit of roll with lighting on the blog at the moment but I do think it is a really important and quite often overlooked element to any interior design project.

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Choosing the right light fitting for the right space can sometimes be mind  boggling but a great place to start is with lighting specialists like Iconic Lights.  They have a myriad of lights to choose from each one perfect for every room in your home.

Here is what Iconic Lights are all about as I couldn’t say it any better.

“We are an online retailer capitalising on the technological demands of the 21st century consumer, we pride ourselves on being creative, stylish, vibrant and innovative and seek to create an interactive online community, keeping our customers excited, engaged and enticed whilst we continually deliver exceptional levels of customer service.

Our collection of reproduced Iconic, Stylish, Innovative, Classic & Cutting Edge High Quality Lighting Designs will enhance and transform any space; Our lights will not just transform the visual impact of a room but make an exciting and engaging statement whilst creating the rooms ambience.

We view ourselves as partners with our customers, our employees, our community and our environment. We aim to become an internationally recognised brand name, capitalising on the demand for truly Iconic & stylish lighting at affordable prices, so that anyone can be a part of our concept.”

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I have the great honour to be one of their blogging ambassadors so will be reviewing some of their super lights in the future including this Industrial style ‘Edgar’ dome pendant ceiling light.  I’m quite taken with glass shades at the moment teamed with a filament bulb creates a lovely effect especially if like me you have a dimmer switch.

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Putting the Edgar dome light up on our landing has really worked well, we don’t get much daylight due to there being no windows so the walls are painted white and mirrors placed on the walls to bounce the light around the space.  Having a glass shade and filament bulb works a treat, I’m rather taken with these wonderful bulbs at the moment so having another one to add to the collection couldn’t hurt!

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For more inspiring lighting design come and follow my ‘To Illuminate‘ pinterest board below.

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Lane ~ Twin Tone Fabulousness

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Bold bright and brilliant are words to describe Lane. I’ve had difficulty finding a lampshade for Ruby’s room that shouts fun but is not childish; a classic design that makes her room feel more grown up.  She hasn’t had a main light in her room for a very long time which in winter time can be a bit of a pain, fumbling around for the bedside lamp switch in the dark.

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Then when I came across Lane I had that light bulb moment excuse the pun!  Their twin tone shades are just superb,  streamlined, elegant, modern yet timeless design with that added bit of fun from the contrasting colour ways.  In collaboration with Little Greene Paint company, Lane carefully match colours from their extensive paint palette, screen printing the two sides to create a stylish product.

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I’m also a huge fan of the whole ethos behind Lane and the values of the company.  All the paper used in making the pendant lampshades is entirely recyclable,  biodegradable and FSC accredited.  Made in England with a speciality paper maker in the Lake District.   The lampshades are then manufactured by artisan finishers in Nottingham and not an ounce of plastic is used in the production.

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I choose Brighton & Mr David which fits with Ruby’s room scheme to perfection.  When lit it’s like having the sun shining on the ceiling, it makes me smile every time I walk in.   I also like colourful flex at the moment too so I decided to pair it with a bright yellow one from Olive & The Fox for another  added element of fun.

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The only fly in the ointment with having such a fabulous lampshade in Ruby’s room is that I didn’t take into consideration taking photographs.  It’s a rather small room that isn’t minimal by any stretch of the imagination so apologies for no big sweeping shots.

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(This post is in collaboration with Lane who kindly gifted the twin tone lampshade)

The Humble Door

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I always notice a good door, one of the first things that I did when we bought our house was to save enough of our pennies to change all the internal doors.   I live in a modern 80’s build but I wanted my little house to be a haven with a country cottage feel, I’m getting there and if you squint hard enough you don’t notice all our neighbours.   I sourced some wonderful Victorian stripped pine doors and my husband, bless him, fitted every single one.  The difference a door makes is remarkable even down to the handles, and boy do I love my door handles; turned ebonised Victorian beauties that they are.

I find myself taking photographs of doors too especially when visiting National Trust properties.  The sheer architecture of say a Georgian door is quite exquisite.  Most of us are not as lucky to live in such splendid properties but to change a door in ones home can make all the difference.   If you have quite a dark hall way and your main door leads straight into this space adding a door with glazed panels will bring in so  much light and there’s nothing nicer than being greeted by a sunlit hallway on a morning. Doors-005

Even better if you have the luxury of a side door leading from the garden into an occasional room that you use at certain times of the day when the light is good; for instance having your morning coffee and a read of your book or a making room in the afternoon when the sun is on that side of the house.  A doorway that means you can pop out to tend to your plants just when you feel like it or relax on the sheltered terrace in mid summer.

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Doors are rather versatile you can doctor them to how you want to use them, sometimes privacy is needed so a curtain may be hung or when the weather turns chill a heavy drape to keep those wintry draughts at bay.

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I’m quite partial to a painted door depending on how you paint it and with the right medium be it flat matt or high sheen gloss gives a completely different effect.   Using the same paint on the walls and doors is a favourite of mine, it creates a cohesive seamless feel which I find rather dramatic be it a deep rich colour if you are brave enough or all white bringing colour into the room with soft furnishing and carefully selected pieces of furniture.

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Some of us just like plain, a beautiful piece of wood, tactile and lovely, I just like to look at mine, ponder over their history, who made them and wonder what  the house was like it lived in when first crafted.

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You can also have some fun with using doors in different ways such as room dividers instead of a boring old wall,  they also look amazing if you have the space as headboards for your bed, it’s amazing what one can do with a little imagination.   The best part of being creative is to upcycle the humble door to give it a new life as something that it wasn’t intended to be.

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There’s one thing that I seem to be able to do to all my doors in the house, hang things from them be it pretty things on door handles or wreaths at certain times of the year, dressing gowns and wash-bags in the bathroom, tools and utensils in the shed or many a time new dresses that I can’t bear to hide away in the wardrobe just yet.

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So I think we all need to just take time to stop and look at our lovely doors and if you find that yours really aren’t up to scratch or you find an urge to get creative then I would maybe start here to begin finding the right door for you.

 

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Darker Matters

The light takes on a different hue at this time of the year, this September seems to have jumped straight in whole hog into Autumn more than a long Indian summer.   Once immersed in this season I’m quite happy but it takes a while for me to adjust especially the battle of wills on whether we can put the heating on or not!

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I do however revel in the colours that Autumn brings, I have had the pleasure of foraging for elderberries and blackberries on evening walks with the family all of which seem to be abundant in equal measures.   Being able to make cordials and crumbles from free hedgerow finds is good for one’s soul.

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The deep richness of the berries make the summer seem so far away which then makes you want to bring in the warmer tonal elements into your own home, a chunky throw or a deeper coloured cushion, candles are lit and the lights when on give an altogether different glow.

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Images ~ My own and here

Right I’m going now to wrap myself up in the  warmest  blanket I can find, have a lovely weekend everyone.

Jane x

That Light ….

I’m sitting all cosy and warm as I type this watching the snow fall, as it does so the light in the house is rather splendid and calm – if light can be calm.

So as my train of thoughts meander, I find myself collating images of pale beautiful things that capture how I see the ethereal luminescence.   Strange as it seems, I adore the kaleidoscope of white but my home is decorated in a myriad or rich tones; so I get my fix in other ways …..

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Wash Day

Wintery Windowsill

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Image ~ Becky Mitchell Photography

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Jane x