Apr 12

A city townhouse high on style

One of the things that caught my eye earlier in the year was this house that was featured in UK House & Garden. My mum had bought the issue and had stuck a post-it with my name on it on this spread- she knew I’d love it! I call it a town house because I picture it being a tall and narrow terrace house- the perfect city pad.

Symmetry reigns here (above), and these are my colours- greys and blues, with lots of natural textures thrown in. I love the dark grey walls, the nickel wall lamps, the books, the casual chunky sisal rug. I’m even partial to the display of a bit of taxidermy, animal horns and skulls, but this is something that should be practiced in moderation people!

The other side of the room shows the hit of yellow and the modern abstract artworks. My boys would love it if I used framed pictures of Lego figures as artwork!

A very modern Scandinavian-style dining area in the open-plan kitchen at the back of the house. You can only just see it, but the stairwell coming down into this space is also the office and is lined with Hicks hexagonal wallpaper. The thing I really like about this house is though it’s small, it has colour and pattern used in every space, which can sometimes look as though someone has tried to use every single fabric and colour they like in a space that’s too small to house them all. Here it makes every corner interesting and homely as well as stylish.

Look at all the pattern in the red and grey master bedroom- and the wall of mismatched artworks – it’s fun, warm and cosy.

The twin bedroom above and below made me stop because it’s basically the same scheme I had been planning for one of my boy’s bedrooms in our next house- I’d even bought the same fabrics! The bedhead fabric is one I had used in a recent job and loved it so much I needed to use it at home too. I love, love the dark grey/blue walls. Notice how in the magazine photo above they placed a mirror in between the beds to reflect the green greyhound painting opposite, but it’s absent from the room normally (below).

I’m hoping to get to at least one open house tomorrow, hope you all have a great weekend!

Naomi xx

Oct 26

A few changes..

I’ve decided to make a few changes around my house. This is partly because I’m always thinking of the next thing I can change and because I get bored so quickly, but mainly because of the state of the real estate market: it’s a good time to buy but not a great time to sell! And so I’ve realised I should probably make some changes that make me happier to stay in my current house for longer, rather than continuing to drive my husband nuts with house-hunting (for now at least)..

These are the things that I plan to work on: the exterior is a biggie. I’ve let it slide while I concentrated on the inside, and because I didn’t want to waste money if we were going to build a garage where the garden is etc. But I’ve decided it’s worth spending a little to get that happy feeling every time you drive up the driveway. So this morning we (me plus two little ones) went shopping for tiles for the currently painted-concrete front porch. I also plan to finish painting the fences, work on the garden, re-concrete the driveway and repaint the exterior. Phew! Lots of jobs for me, but I’ll also have to hire some professionals for the hard stuff.

 

I’ve been driving around looking at houses for colour ideas and I really like the idea of a grey or taupe or even green-grey with crisp white for the windows and trim of our californian bungalow. At the moment our windows are darker than the main part of the house and although  this is more traditional for our style of house, I want it to look a bit fresher and I like (love) the idea of windows and French doors that are white on the outside and black on the inside – weird I know.

I’m also making some changes inside, not to improve function, but just to keep myself interested! In our bedroom I’m going to do what I’ve always wanted to and paint the walls a dark blue-grey. It will go well with the neutrals, crisp white of the plantation shutters and linens, charcoals of a lot of our cushions.

I toyed with the idea of doing the main wall in wallpaper to match the pillows (above), but I think I’ll actually love some plain, dark walls.

The dining room is a room I have never been happy with. I’ve never liked the window pelmets we inherited and I have never been able to settle on a table or chairs that I’ll love forever. Once upon a time (when I must have been going through a slightly scandi, no-colour phase) it looked like this:

Then I got sick of that, sold everything except the painting (a 30th birthday present from my parents, I’ll never sell that one!), and turned it into a more colourful library room, which I didn’t photograph but which you can glimpse here:

I had never intended to hold onto my Ikea expedit bookcase for so long, and the time finally came when I had to make a change. I still desperately need book storage, but wanted to have a surface low enough to hold some lamps, plus I wanted something a little industrial and a little masculine, a little like this only lower:

And after a little searching I am replacing the white expedit with this:

I’m pairing the shelf with a new rustic dining table I found on ebay (sorry no pic of this yet!) with a new zebra skin rug:

and I’m thinking some lamps, though this decision will depend on whether I paint the walls and what sort of chairs I decide on..at the moment I’m tossing up between finding new chairs or using the sofa I bought the other day on one side and some faux bamboo chairs I already have on the other side. I do like to mix it up! But I like both of these:

Then there’s the wall colour and curtains to consider…! But I do find a few changes around the house keep life interesting, don’t you think? I’ll be sure to keep you updated on progress!

xx

 

 

Aug 15

Cozy dark neutrals

I am a big fan of dark-walled rooms. Especially for tv rooms and studies. And bedrooms. I think dark walls can help to make white or light coloured furniture and architectural details look so much better. Don’t these rooms give you that feeling of being enveloped?

 

White is usually the preferred wall colour in open-plan kitchen/living rooms just because there are so many walls to cover, and if you don’t like the darker colour it’s a hard mistake to reverse. But I love this room (above)! The dark grey/brown walls combined with the lighting, tall windows with sheers curtains, dark floors and accents of chrome make it really glamorous and sophisticated.

 

Darker textured wallpaper can have a similar effect (above). I think the white sofa and black side tables look so much better against the darker seagrass wallpaper than they would against plain white. It also helps to tie the cushions and the artwork together, creating a sort of textured, natural theme.

 

This moody dark brown is perfect for an elegant formal living room (above).

There is nothing more appealing in a house in my book than internal views through rooms to spaces beyond. The dark grey bookshelves in the distance make a beautiful focal point at the end of this hallway (above).

I’ve had this dining room saved for quite awhile- the style might be a little too ‘country’ for my tastes, but I just love the wall colour paired with linen upholstery and the timbers in this room. And I love round dining tables – so much friendlier than rectangular ones!

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