Monday, 24 October 2016

Favorite Things 10-24-16

Style //
Love these earrings I just bought for myself, from the cutest little home/gift shop in Islington.

Finds //
A rattan radio!
Lexon Hybrid Radio on (US) or Made In Design (UK)
This pouffe sports the same white & natural weave combo, and I love the tribal print.

Tech //
I'm on a mission to slowly replace all the things in my house that aren't both beautiful and functional. There's no reason not to have both, right? I discovered Native Union's range of charging cables and accessories at Design Junction, and they definitely fit that brief.

Inspiring Spaces //
London-based designers Turner Pocock had a house featured in last month's Home & Garden magazine, and it was so pretty. I've since discovered more of their work, and I love it all. This dining room is one of theirs:
And so is this industrial dining/kitchen space. Those windows are killer.

Travel //
These painted houses are part of an extraordinary village in Burkina Fasa, West Africa, which you can read more about here.
Photos by Rita Willaert

Thursday, 20 October 2016

One Room Challenge Week 3: Master Bedroom Progress

One Room Challenge Posts: Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3 (here!) / Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6

We're basically half way through the One Room Challenge, and frustratingly, I still don't have much to show. Everything on order is taking ages to arrive.

What I did do, though, is clear out the room properly and clean it top to bottom. Yes, there's still a little pile of stuff, but it's all stuff that is (probably) staying, and just needs to be installed/styled. Please ignore the duvet cover - I've just pinched it from the guest bed while ours is in the wash.
It's looking like I might just be able to pull off the live (waney) edge desk, which will straddle those built-in cabinets below the window. I found somewhere to buy the wood, although I still have to get it home and into the house somehow. It'll probably involve hoisting it up the side of the house and through the window. J thinks I'm insane for even considering it, but I'm hoping the end result will persuade him that it was worth it!

Until that's installed, I can't really hang the mirror because I'm not exactly sure where it'll sit. In the meantime, I've marked out where I think it'll go with painter's tape, along with the art that'll balance it on the other side of the bed.
Spot the new bedside cabinet! (Spoiler: it's the one on the right.) I found a pair of them on Etsy, and they'll be getting a little paint job. Before you say anything, they're particle board, and although they're very pretty as-is, they're quite orange. If I didn't already have a load of other wood tones in here, I'd probably keep them as they came, but my vision was always white (or possibly grey), so that's what's happening.
You can see the pretty chair a little better now the room's not full of clutter. I found it at Graham & Green's warehouse. One of the pieces of cane is broken, so it was a 50% off score.

You can also see the awkward mirror that's stuck to the wall and I'm not allowed to move (because we're renting), but I marked out where my new painting will sit with tape. I snapped these photos before it arrived, but I did post a couple on Instagram with the painting in place. I'm still faffing around with the styling but I'm already loving how it's coming together.
The one major bit of progress that has occurred in here is that the rug is down! I bought it in Morocco over summer, and it's been sitting rolled up until now. It was quite a feat getting it under the bed - it took three of us and a couple of hours, because I had to basically dismantle most of the bed before we could lift it. It's looking mighty fine and the room is almost beginning not to smell like the souk.
You can check out the One Room Challenge featured designer's week three progress posts here, and the guest participants updates here.

Monday, 17 October 2016

#LDF16: Design Junction Discoveries

Design Junction might just have been my favourite part of London Design Week last month. Just like Decorex, there was a lot of good stuff, but this was a little more down-to-Earth and attainable, especially all the pop-up shops.

Sara Mellone was a stand-out for me. I love her minimalist brass coat racks so much.
Brass Coat Rack: 1 Circle - £22 / 5 Circles - £48 / 16 Circles - £180
Her leather hangers were perfection too. I commented on how much I liked the designer's earrings at the show, and she'd made those too (check out her jewelry here).
Leather & Brass Hanger - £52
Photo Source
I'm equally enamored with the lighting at Frontal Factory. I'm pretty sure I need that one on the right in my life.
Form Follows Material Lighting
Nick Fraser's geometric terracotta lighting and vases were great, and his copper pipe candle holders were fun.
Copper Pipe Candle Sticks - £28
Small Plant Pots - £34 // Small Vases - £38
Small Pendants - £40 each // Large Pendants - £105
I was rather looking forward to checking out Geo Fleur's stand, having followed them on Instagram for ages, and they didn't disappoint. I bought a few bits from them - I'll share those at the end of the post.
Geo Fleur
Concrete is definitely having a moment, and I am so on board. Room 9 had a host of gorgeousness on that front.
Groove Clock - £65 // Jar Pendant - £140
Hurricane Light - £360 // Mulberry Bowl "A" - £86
Delicate marbled porcelain at Abalon held tea lights and pretty cactus.
Bottom Shelf: Candles from £27
Stunning LED bulbs were paired with minimalist light fixtures in warm wood and brass at Tala.
Gaia Bulbs - £39
Behan Gray's work was amazing: hand-stained wood with brass overlays (on the backdrop) and shell inlays (on the table) in striking colour palettes.
Console Table - £2250 // Inlay Back Drop available as Nizwa Cabinet - £7000
I snapped this minimalist vignette at Allermuir, although it looks like a few of the accessories were borrowed from other brands, including Future & Found.
Plant Mister - £15 // A4 Lightbox - £45
I liked this pretty velvet chair at Icons of Denmark a lot.
Twist Coffee Table - £578 // Bowl Table Lamp - £310 // Chair - not online
Design House Stockholm's tactile knot cushions were so much fun.
Knot Cushions: Green /Taupe -unavailable/Yellow/Grey/Pink - £77 each
 I also loved the brass and stone bowl at Ethnicraft's stand, although I can't find it online.
Finally, I thought Vita Copenhagen's little trailer full of sculptural pendants was too cute not to share. 
Lora XL Shade (bottom left) - €129 // Large Feather Light (top left) - €249
Silvia Brushed Brass Shade (middle) - €89
Like I said, I did buy a few things, all from Geo Fleur. First, a pretty string of hearts (not available online), which is now sitting on the bookshelves in the living room. I'm pretty sure it'll want more light evenutally, although it's doing well so far.
I also bought a big air plant to fit in a terrarium I found at a fair in the summer. The terrarium is blown glass over a natural wood base, and it's so pretty that I didn't really want to cover it up, so this is perfect. Of course, I needed a pretty brass mister for its weekly watering. I will note, though, that the mister is really awkward to fill - so pretty but not terribly well designed.
Brass Plant Mister - £15 // Large Xerographica Air Plant - £20
I do have one more roundup from London Design Week - I spent another day exploring Islington Design District, which was also great, and bought a few bits there too - watch out for that post soon.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

One Room Challenge Week 2: Art and A Mirror for our Master

One Room Challenge Posts: Week 1 / Week 2 (here!) / Week 3 / Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6

So far, I've not made a huge amount of progress in our bedroom makeover for the One Room Challenge. I have, however, done plenty of ordering, and listed a good chunk of clutter on eBay.

In case you missed last week's post, here's my plan:
I've been enamored with a stunning large-scale cloud print by JR Goodwin for ages, but at £930, it was never going to happen. Then I stumbled on a similar - but much more affordable - print at Society 6. The dimensions are different, but actually better for my space, and it's just as pretty. Although it's a US site, Society 6 offers free world-wide shipping, so it seemed like a no-brainer. That's the one on the mood board.
Cloud Play // I'm A Cloud Stealer
I was this close to ordering it - it was in my cart but I ran out of time before I had to go pick the kids up. Before I got back to actually buy it, I saw this:
Total game changer. I still like the cloud print a lot, but I love this painting on a whole other level. It's oils, ink and acrylic on paper, and it's pretty big - it would fit perfectly to hide the awkward mirror that's attached to the wall behind the dresser, half poking out like a weirdo (there are pictures of that in week one's post).

It's by Alice Neave, who also painted the abstract oil in our living room. I don't think I've shared photos of that one in this house, but here it is in our old living room, as part of a gallery wall:
It's my absolute favourite piece of art that I own, and I'm so excited to add another one of Alice's paintings to our bedroom.

I've also been on the hunt for a floor mirror. I had my eye on one at Cox & Cox - a full length one with a simple black iron frame. There are two issues with it: one is that is £260 shipped, which on it's own might be do-able, but there are a lot of other things I'm forking out for here, so it's definitely pushing it. The second is that it's on back-order - it initially estimated mid-October, but now their website is showing late-October, and I'm not sure I can take the chance that it might be pushed back even later.

Instead, I found one at Ikea that has a similar black frame (albeit in fiberboard, not lovely iron). It's a little wider and a chunk shorter, but if I hang it rather than lean it, it'll still be tall enough.
Cox & Cox Aria Full Length Mirror // Ikea Nissedal Mirror
Maybe down the road, I'll upgrade to the Cox & Cox one, but for now, I'd rather save £225 and settle for the Look for Less version.

So that's where I'm at this week. You can check out the One Room Challenge featured designers' progress posts via this page, and the other guest participants' here.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

My New Chesterfield Sofa Bed from Love Your Home

If you've been around here for any length of time, you will have heard me harping on about my dream sofa...a navy velvet Chesterfield. Well, I shall no longer be banging on about how much I want/covet/need one...because I finally have one. In my actual house. That I am sitting on right now!
A lot of time went into selecting "the one." I decided on one from Love Your Home over a year ago because they're solid, great quality, and well priced. I was torn between two models, though - the more traditional, chunky Churchill or the curvier, more feminine Clementine. I even posted about my conundrum on Instagram.
I went to check out both sofas in person twice before I finally decided on the Clementine. It wasn't the one I'd used in my original mood board for the room, but the Clementine's arms curve down from the back, which makes it visually look smaller compared to the Churchill's traditional Chesterfield shape, although they actually have very similar dimensions. Considering how narrow our living room is, less visual space seemed the better choice.
I still had concerns that it would dominate the room, and it definitely commands attention, but I don't think it's taken over. 
I've had to rearrange things a bit - there's an annoying radiator near the patio doors, and we can't move the sofa up that way any further without having it stick out too far into the middle of the room. That meant switching the side tables around, so the chest is nestled by the bookcase now. I'm liking that little corner rather a lot, but the brass table that's now up the other end definitely isn't big enough.

I also want to reupholster or switch out the pouffes. I'm not sure with what yet - I've been looking at options, again from Love Your Home (they also do bespoke sizing & fabric on a variety of ottomans), and I'm rather drawn to their mid-century-inspired Bertie footstools, which would play nicely with the mid-century cabinet that houses our TV.
Our old sofa was microfiber and it was great - after six years of abuse from kids, dogs and clumsy adults, it still looked new. So it was a no-brainer that this one had to be microfiber as well, although Love Your Home calls it "stain resistant velvet," which sounds much nicer. Ours is the Atlantis colourway. The kids have already spilled yogurt on it, and it wipes right off.
Everything about Love Your Home's sofas can be customised, but we stuck to the standard dimensions for their biggest size (more on why so big in a sec). I picked dark oak bun feet, which play nicely with the other dark elements in the room.
The sofa is crazy comfortable - firmer than it looks, and deep, which is perfect for curling up on to read (or blog).  I snapped this photo of my little bookworm before we'd layered the new Moroccan rug on top of the jute one.
I love how the Chesterfield looks with the woven wall hanging above it. The cushions might change - I fell for an amazing one at Decorex - but they're good for now.
But you know what? It gets better...
It's a sofa bed too! (You can read about my tips for creating a temporary guest space here.)
That's why we went with the biggest size - it hides a proper, standard-size double bed. We upgraded the mattress to one with pocket springs and a memory foam top. I've tested it out myself and it's genuinely really comfy.

I'm seriously so happy with my new Chesterfield sofa bed - it was definitely worth waiting for!