Saturday, 11 April 2015

Ideal Home Show Discoveries

I went to the Ideal Home Show last weekend, and I made a few new discoveries.

There are three furnished show homes in the middle of the exhibition, and wandering around, there were quite a few pretty things that caught my eye. When I looked each one up on the source list, almost all of them were from French Connection. I had no idea French Connection even had a homeware line. Having since perused their website, I'm even more smitten, and the price points are reasonable too. Very exciting. Here are a few of my picks:
Clockwise from top left:

The show homes were steel-framed modular construction, which can be erected and rendered, ready to move into, within ten days of arriving at a site. I love this idea, and I am really drawn to this floor plan, from House Beautiful Homes, which I think cost around £170K (plus land, obviously):

I love the equal-sized kids bedrooms, and the fact that you could make that downstairs bedroom a little studio flat and let it out. I imagine it would be near impossible to find land to build on around where we live, but I'm definitely going to look into it. It's got a lot more appeal than renovating an old place and all the stress that would incur.

Here are a few other companies/shops I came across that stood out:

Penelope Taylor (mainly cushions)

Kirath Ghundoo (wallpapers)

Finally, there were a few convertible desk/beds on display, but I wasn't keen on the aesthetics of the ones at the show. It's a great space-saving idea though, and I like this simple design that I've since found from John Strand (which is £1620, in case you were curious):

Friday, 27 February 2015

The Floor Plan

I drew up a floor plan for this house before we'd even moved in, because I wanted to get an idea of how (and if) everything would fit. Here's what we're working with...
It's always a little enlightening to figure out what the exact square footage is...just a little under 900, which is even smaller than I thought (the listing said 1000). Gotta love London!

I do think it's plenty big enough for our family of four though, as long as we keep it organised and efficient. So far that's involved building a lot of Pax wardrobes! It took a few months to figure out the layout, but this is the gist of how we're living so far:
I've tweaked the living room here so it looks like I want it to when it's finished. I'll share my mood boards for that soon (there's a navy Chesterfield involved, but I'm having a hard time convincing the Mr so far).

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Neutral Master Bedroom Reveal

Welcome to the one room I decorated in our old house. We were only there for ten months, so I wasn't planning on doing much, but we needed all new bedroom furniture after we sold our rather large American furniture before moving to the UK.
The room was a weird shape, because the back wall was angled, and it was pretty small, but it had a lot of natural light and, although I probably wouldn't have picked the wallpaper myself, I liked it. I'd been after a neutral master bedroom for a while, as I mentioned regarding this design board back in 2011.
I wanted a storage bed, because I was going for small space efficiency. The one I picked (from John Lewis) has two deep drawers at the foot of the bed, and another one in each side, which meant we could get away without a dresser. (There wasn't really space for one anyway.) It also has pull-out side tables, which I don't like, so we just keep them tucked away and use real side tables instead.
The bed can be bought with a head board, but it was a bit too "contemporary" for me, so I nixed it in favor of an upholstered one with a soft arch and nail head trim. I love this head board!
The Ikea bedside cabinets came with the house, and they were neutral enough that it made sense to use them until we found something we really liked.
I love the brass lamp bases too. I was planning to keep our old ones and rewire them, but one of them broke in the move (sniff) and they would have been too big here anyway. I'll probably replace the shades eventually but they work for now.
Flanking the bed are two prints from Catalina Island, which is where we honeymooned. They were in our loft bedroom too.
We also kept the bedding we had in the States, which I've raved about before and have no plans to ever change. It's gorgeous and requires no ironing, which suits me perfectly.
One more close up of the swoon worthy headboard. It's much better than I could DIY, so I was quite happy to spend a little on it.
I'm definitely sold on neutral bedrooms now!
Lamp bases - Laura Ashley (sold out) // Lamp shades // Bedding - West Elm (sold out) // Pillow // Storage Bed // Head Board // Wallpaper

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Design Board & Plans for Eleanor's Bedroom

I have a plan! Here's what I'm going for in Eleanor's new bedroom...
Desk lamp // Mermaid print // Brass lamp base - vintage // Lamp shade
Rug // Bin - no longer available (similar) // Vase // Bookcase (image source)

I originally had a different design in mind (see my last post), but it was being driven too much by trying to be cheap and keep what we already had, and I wasn't really loving how it was coming together. Then I found this fabric for the curtains, and it became my inspiration for a whole new room design:
It's still got the coral, lilac and aqua in that I was going to use anyway, but now there's citrine in the mix too. I love Chinoiserie and had been wanting to add more of it to our home. Eleanor's little bedroom has a big window, and it will make a big statement in there.

I want to reupholster a basic bed frame in a solid coral fabric, and I've already got the bedding. It's hard to see the detail here, but it's pretty gray stars.
The Kallax and the tallboy dresser (bought on eBay) replaced her old furniture because they fit the room's layout much better. Speaking of which, here it is:
There needed to be space for toys, books and clothes. Because there's no wardrobe/closet, I'm going to hack the Kallax and add a rail for hanging princess dresses (she has a lot). And there are more gold dots, but they're different to the ones she had in her nursery. We put them up a few days ago, and they're like an explosion in the corner over the bed head. Eleanor loves them. I'll share the progress so far if I ever get around to dusting off my camera and taking some photos. Exciting stuff.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Design Board: A Bright Big Girl Bedroom

I drafted a design board for Eleanor's bedroom a few months ago, when we were still living in our temporary rental. I'm going in a different direction now, but the board was fun and cheery so I'm sharing it anyway.
Lilac Lamp Shade // Lamp Base - vintage // Side Table // Bed
Aqua Lamp Shade // Lamp Base // Bins - no longer available // Bookcase

I had plans to DIY both the bed and side table, and hack the dresser. A few bits were recycled from her nursery, and I was sticking with cheap and cheerful for the new bits. But then I fell in love with some totally gorgeous fabric in a different colour way and now everything's changed. I'll share soon - it's already coming together!