Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Colour update

We met Sue & Randy when we were sailing in Grenada and have stayed in touch since then. They continued to enjoy the cruising lifestyle for a few years after us but have now joined us landlubbers and have bought a restoration project in Nova Scotia. If it looks anything like their boat 'Nancy Dawson' then the finished house will look great. If anyone is looking for a great sailboat then click on her and have a look.
Anyway their sitting room, apparently still work in progress, looks great. The floor looks warm and picks up other red elements, I particularly like all the red books on the shelves. Possibily serendipity but it still looks good. There is an ecletic range of chairs, all inviting, just ready to be snuggled into. Randy calls it 'Funky Cottage' - works for me.

Having looked again at Nancy Dawson, seems like red's a favourite colour :-)

If you've got a great coloured room, let me know.

Until next time


Saturday, 19 November 2011

Kitchen progress

With the sitting room done, bar all the curtains and dressing, we've moved on to the kitchen. This is a major project and the first with a deadline - Christmas. Actually the weekend before as we have Andrew's brother and his wife to stay and it will be the first time they've seen the house.

I have to confess I'm getting desperate to cook properly. For me it's a way of relaxing which I can't do with just a microwave and a portable halogen oven (brilliant though that is). We can produce edible fuel but not much to dress the table and light the candles for.

While the kitchen was still intact Andrew installed new lighting and channelled out the walls for the sockets. The original lights were two striplights which, bizarrely, had been plastered up to so a lot of filling had to be done to smooth the ceiling.

Filling & lighting
More holes, more filling
Wall cupboards gone
We wanted to get the painting done before the floor went down, it just makes life easier. First we removed some of the old units, keeping the sink.  Andrew moved his desk upstairs so we could set up a kitchenette in the office.

Office kitchenette
Ceiling painted, we marked out where all the cupboards were going and set to with the paint. I wanted quite a strong colour and eventually chose Oak Fern, a Kevin McCloud colour by Fired Earth. I love these paints as they have a great texture, complex colours and change with the light.
First coat

Just the sink left

More holes, more filling

Next on the list is tiling the floor so

Until next time


Let's hear it for colour

There is a T.V. programme on Channel 4 (in the U.K) called The Renovation Game in which a team of three builders and a designer are sent to an ordinary family house. To varying degrees the house needs a bit of t.l.c and the team are given three days and £3000 to spend to increase its value by £15000. Before they start three estate agents come in to value and the same three return. If the price hasn't increased by said sum the team doesn't get paid.

It's quite an amusing programme, usually full of disasters, missed deadlines and some very dubious workmanship but it's the estate agents I'm beginning to want to slap. If I hear "I'd rather have seen a neutral decor" or "nice that they've used a neutral colour here" I will get violent.

Now I like using neutral shades & tones in designs, but the key is that they have to be designed, not a default position because an estate agent likes magnolia walls and a beige carpet. Do we all want a house like this?

Via Stagehouse
There's nothing wrong with it, just a bit safe and a bit, well bland. And certainly lacking personality. I for one want to live in a home not just a house.

Even adding a bit of colour can really lift a neutral scheme.

Via Carrie & Company

Via Butler Armsden Architects
But to me they work best when the designer has really thought about texture as here.

Via Beth Webb Interiors

Very similar shades & tones to the showhome but so much better.

If you're feeling a little bolder than add just one strong colour, this room oozes style. The rich chocolate walls make the room sing, and shows that a dark colour doesn't automatically lead to a dark room.

Via Beth Webb Interiors
But if you really want to break out, this is just a stunning combination.
Via Virginia MacDonald

Or serene.
Via Isabel Lopez Quesada

Via Maison et  Travaux

So now I've had my rant I'll go back to work. It would be great to hear what you think, just leave a comment.

Until next time


Tuesday, 8 November 2011


The sitting room is essentially finished. Walls are painted, the floor is varnished and the sofas are in. But. Big But, I've still got a lot to do to dress it and I'm being thwarted and feel a little stressy at the length of my 'to do' list. In fact I'm writing this blog at 3 a.m. just so I can tick it off aforementioned list. So the things still left  include:

Our Chilli light which should look like this
Looks like this:

Because somewhere in the workshop is a carefully wrapped package of the glass 'chillis'. Also in the workshop is a vintage ceiling light - but where? So we're left with a bare light bulb. I've finally sourced curtain poles that I like for the bay window which is great - but I've still got to make the two pairs of curtains.

Two garden chairs are sitting in front of the fire as the wing chairs I'm upholstering are far from finished.
Drinks cabinet hiding behind garden chairs
Hairy chair

The bookshelves that are to be built are way down the line as Andrew has moved on to the kitchen, which I agree is more of a priority, but it means I have things like this cowering in the corner.

The cabinet we refurbished for drinks is in the wrong place and I can't get to the oil lamps that I want to sit on it. And the longcase clock has been temporarily evicted from the kitchen into this room, taking up space reserved for a different clock.

The fabric for the sofa cushions is at the Post Office waiting to be collected. It's a gorgeous silk from here. But once I collect it then they will have to be made. Maybe I'll just leave it there for a while.
And the wall behind the sofa is a huge blank space waiting to look more like this

From Nesting Place

But it's so nice to have comfortable sofas, a log fire and my beautiful coffee table to rest a glass of wine on in the evenings, instead of spending down time on office chairs in the study. Progress. I feel much better now so I'm going back to bed. Goodnight.

Until next time