Vintage ~ Handmade ~ Homes ~ Gardens

Monday, 31 October 2011

50 ways with taupe

Delighted as always to link up with Show Off Your  Cottage Monday at House in the Roses

Do you have a room where you've never quite got the colour right? My tiny sitting room has been every shade of yellow over the last 12 years or so - it's been painted more times than the Forth Bridge! My most recent attempt at getting the right shade resulted in this...

                                                            ... a little insipid 

                                     and just too .. well .. yellow

What I've been searching for is a medium neutral that has some warmth but doesn't overpower the reds and cream soft furnishings...

...and will complement my yellow fireplace tiles 

My son mentioned a meeting he was having recently with designer Kelly Hoppen. Hah, I remarked..."50 ways with taupe"... knowing Ms Hoppens predaliction for this neutral  shade.  Little did I expect him to repeat this to the the UKs number interior designer herself. I feel mortified just thinking of it. Worse he then want on to tell her about the cushions I make - jeez, talking about bigging up Mum! Fortunately, Kelly was extremely gracious and lovely. In fact I should thank her because it got me thinking about taupe as a potential neutral for my sitting room.

There are so many variations on taupe. Some of them were just too cold but umpteen test pots later the colour I have settled for is Farrow and Balls Cord - a warm mid neutral.

What a yummy colour it is. Cord is a delicious caramelly taupe that makes my walls looks soft in light daylight...

And a rich butterscotch in shadow...

It sets off pictures beautifully

And positively glows with warmth at night...

I'm chuffed with the result - I don't intend to paint this room for a long time now!

I flirt with many makes of paint but I always come back to Farrow and Ball. It's appropriate therefore that I'm linking this post to Sarah's F & B giveaway over at  Modern Country Living . Sarah offers loads of advice on using F&B Paints on her lovely blog - do go pay her a visit.

Friday, 21 October 2011


I think I first fell in love with chandeliers years ago on a visit to Waddesdon Manor, owned by the obscenly rich Rothschilds family.

The chateau in Hertfordshire is crammed with the most wonderfully opulent chandeliers - like these

I have a couple of modest chandeliers in my own 'chateau'

Here's some more I like

Wowza! This is so over the top - I love it!

My favourite

I'm planning a stay at home weekend. Having a bit of a clear out. Maybe dust my chandeliers...

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Nights draw in and thoughts turn to bathrooms

Is it just me or does anyone else out there dread the nights drawing in? Did you know dark nights get longer by 5 minutes per day after the summer solstice? Getting up in the dark, grey skies, battling the elements to do the daily London commute -  ugh. One way to overcome the winter blahs is to have a project on the go.

My first little project is done. I bought some lovely silk when I was in Hebden Bridge during the summer and I have finally got round to making them up into curtains for the sitting room. I think they look rather gorgeous even if I do say so myself!

Another project to cheer up the grey months ahead is to have a fitted cupboards made to hide all the TV/DVD gubbins by the sitting room fireplace. Progress admittedly is slow - but at least I sourced the perfect little cupboard door knob while in France!

But a much bigger project beckons. I'm dreaming bathrooms right now. Well, actually they occupy much of my waking thoughts too.  A year ago I was kitchen obsessing, and now my new kitchen is done, I'm transferring my fixation to finally getting shot of the hideous pink bathroom suite I inherited when I moved into my cottage 12 years ago.

Actually, many visitors to my bathroom comment on how pretty it is and I feel compelled to point out it's many than less than charming features (is it just me who does this sort of self depreciating thing?). 

In here lurks a pink bath - it's days are numbered...

I think this is a very dreamy bathroom don't you?

What about these?

So many decisions to be made (and money to save). I'll keep you posted on progress.

Finally, one project that will have to wait until spring .... a gift from my sons trip to Nashville. Cute huh?

Have a wonderful week xx

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Hebe emerald green

A change of season is a great excuse for a new look. I found these lovely little Hebe Emerald Greens in the garden centre this week. They are evergreen and I think they make an excellent alternative to box. I've put them in my window box for a simple elegant look.

... and by the front door

There's something very soothing about all green gardens

Although I couldn't resist adding a splash of red with these vibrant coloured cyclamen!

Meanwhile in the back garden. What a difference...

... a few weeks makes!

Sedums are unbeatable for autumn colour aren't they?

Have a great week xx

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Steve Jobs

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fall in love with Autumn red

I'm joining the lovely Sarah at Modern Country Style today for her Fall In Love Link Party!

When I gaze out of my London office window I can see a group of trees squeezed between the roof tops that are turning the most delicious shade of deep red.

And did you know that the vibrant shades of autumn red are so fashionable this year? Well, who could fail to be seduced by such gorgeousness? 

All the stars are wearing it

 Just like those red autumn leaves you can't help but stand out from the crowd in a red frock

Or when you wear a red coat on a grey autumn day

 Of course Bette new the power of a bright red slick of lipstick

While a splash of red brings glamour to a neutral bathroom

To celebrate autumn red in my own garden

... I've added a little touch of red gingham to the front door!

They say you can't improve on nature but you can take a (red) leaf out of its book!

It's definitely the colour of the season

Have you fallen in love with Autumn red?
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