Delicate desk

31 Mar 2010

[Image: Living Etc]

I'm trying to convince my husband that laptops are the way forward. I'd like a desk like this one but the whole look would be spoiled by our ugly Dell monitor and huge silver tower.

It's clever how the bottom strips of blind have been painted to add a pop of colour to the room.

Daily Wear: Coral Cardi

30 Mar 2010

T-shirt: Topshop, originally teal then hand dyed blue
Cardigan: Joseph A, Thrifted
Skirt: Uniqlo
Tights: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Crocs Lily Winter

I've literally been looking for something in this colour for years and was over the moon when I picked up this cardigan in a Charity Shop last week! Pink doesn't usually suit me, but this coral/blush colour is perfect. I know it'll be my favourite for Spring.

Dutch elegance

29 Mar 2010

[Images credits: Bloesem]

Bloesem has been one of my favourite blogs for a long time, and I really look forward to the Let's Get Personal house tours. This week's house seemed to jump out at me more that usual, so I just had to make a note of it here I don't forget about it! It is the home of Dutch artist/designer Jurianne Matter. I love every detail and there are many more beautiful photos on Bloesem.

PS. I had a play with the new blogger template features today and created a menu under the header.. It's too much fun! I need to concentrate on my uni project. My Easter break is one month long: must work, not play!!

Window love

This is the roller blind that I'd picked out for the kitchen in the flat that just wasn't meant to be. It's from John Lewis and I love the combination of colours. I'd dreamt up the whole decor to complement this blind! I'm sure it will work fine in any other kitchen, so all is not lost. (I can't install it in my current kitchen because there is no window, which one of the many reasons we have decided to move.) I just hope this blind is still available if/when we finally move!

The smell of Spring

27 Mar 2010

My darling Honey has been sniffing around these daffodils all week. She just can't resist them. But she knows she's not allowed to touch: just a glance from me sends her scampering off the table with a little whimper.* When I say "No", she responds with a little meow. Sometimes it's a silent meow but I can see her little mouth open. I often feel guilty. My mum says I'm too firm. My husband just laughs when she reacts to "No" used mid-sentence.

I needed some cute photos of Honey to use on greetings cards (my family must be sick of us!), so we had a little photo shoot and for one afternoon only I allowed her near the flowers. I know, I send her mixed messages...

* I do have a good reason for banning her from the daff's as they are poisonous to animals. Maybe I shouldn't have them inside at all!

Kitchen nook

26 Mar 2010

[Image: Apartment Therapy]

I've still got kitchens on the brain. This is the sweetest kitchen nook and it doubles as a craft area. I need one. With big windows, just like this one.

Time for new pans

[Image: Flickr]

Last night I stocked up the freezer with leek and potato soup made from my granny's home grown leeks. The fresh, crisp leeks tasted delicious raw. I felt sad cooking them but I knew I'd get better use out of them in soup. When I use store-bought leeks, the soup ends up a pale creamy colour with a slight green hue, but yesterday the soup was a vibrant pea green! I was quite worried my husband wouldn't eat it as it looked so unusual. It just goes to show that home grown vegetables have concentrated goodness in them.

One day, if/when I have a bigger kitchen, I'd love a whole collection of nice pots and pans. I think it would make cooking much more fun.

Colourful garden furniture

25 Mar 2010

I rediscovered last year's Fermob catalogue and scanned in some of my favourite pages. I don't have a garden or balcony but I wouldn't mind a set of pretty chairs to use at my dining table!

Daily Wear: Turquoise & Blue

24 Mar 2010

T-shirt: Uniqlo
Jacket: Thrifted H&M
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Shoes: Lily Winter Crocs
Tights: Sainsburys
Necklace & Bracelet: Gifts

Three things...

1. Does Photobucket have a sensor that checks if photos are acceptable to upload?? The image above just would not upload, so I ended up taking a screen shot and pasting back into a blank Photoshop file and it worked fine. Crazy!

2. Still no developments on the moving-home front. Our flat will be remarketed with a new agent next Tuesday so hopefully things will start happening soon. We have kind of lost the flat we fell in love with, but no one else has bought it yet so if we find another buyer it could still be ours, but there is no guarantee. We'll have to let Destiny decide.

3. I booked tickets to see Boyzone on tour in March 2011! I wanted to buy tickets in the fan presale but there was a fiasco with the website not showing seat numbers. There is always some degree of ticket stress but this time was the worst. So this afternoon I prepared telephone numbers and seating plans for the mad ticket rush tomorrow morning. As crazy as it sounds I started dialing through the numbers so I could write down the options I needed to select to quickly get to the front of the telephone queue in the morning, and out of pure chance one venue had released tickets on the telephone the day before general sale! I managed to get 3rd row tickets at the centre of the stage! I have seat 33 in row 3. My favourite number is 3 so what is the chance of that? My ever-so-lucky husband will be sitting in seat 34. He just doesn't know it yet. Now I can relax and forget about buying tickets and get on with my uni project...

Recent Flickr Favourites

23 Mar 2010

1. The Red Door
2. .4046
3. Good morning
4. Arrangement

[Sources are linked]

Warm tones

22 Mar 2010

[Photo credit: Apartment Therapy]

I'm craving some fun colour for my home ready for the spring and summer!

My dream kitchen

19 Mar 2010

[Photograph by Patric Johansson. Found via Design is Mine]

I'd like a kitchen like this one that's a simple blank canvas allowing me to change the style every so often. With a new table cloth and different items on display it would have a whole new look. I long for a fresh, white kitchen...

Ron Arad

18 Mar 2010

[All exhibition photos by me]

I visited the Ron Arad exhibition at the Barbican on Monday. The exhibition is called Restless and there is an underlying theme of movement. Chairs have mechanisms causing them to spontaneously rock back and forth, and there are bouncing and sliding bookcases. The pieces of sculpture are really beautiful and he used so many exciting materials: wicker covered in resin, steel, woven mesh, found objects. It was so frustrating not being allowed to touch anything!

A bit of background about Ron Arad: He was born in Tel Aviv, he moved to London in the 1970s to study architecture and made his name in the early 1980s as a self-taught designer-maker of sculptural furniture. He now works across both design and architecture.

Although we weren't allowed to test these particular chairs, some looked really comfortable and I can see that he's studied the contours of human body. But other pieces were clearly just experimental art and would have been quite painful to perch on!

I think the following chair is so elegant. I love the way the seat flows into a carpet...

In the piece below, the end of the rails lift up then lower causing the round bookcase to slide across the rails. I was expecting it to roll the whole length like a giant wheel, but it only moves a small distance. It's still impressive though.

This is a light sculpture that projects squiggly lines across every surface of the room. One of my friends lightly pushed the dome and and it caused the squiggles to go crazy and move around the room. It looked like the walls were moving and felt quite disorientating!

At the end of the exhibition there is an area where visitors are able to test out some pieces of furniture, which was fun. Some of the pieces looked really funky but were really uncomfortable or dangerous to sit on. But maybe we were swinging on the rocking chairs too violently! Here are a couple of my favourites:

[Image from Bonluxat]

Daily Wear: Twirly denim and sunny tights

17 Mar 2010

T-shirt: Gap
Skirt: Thrifted, Oasis
Tights: Uniqlo
Shoes: Crocs
Necklace: Accessorize

Yesterday felt like the right time to debut these yellow tights. It's been warm and sunny these past few days and the colour didn't seem too shocking now that Spring is really in the air.

I bought this skirt at the weekend from Oxfam for only £3.99 - it must have cost over £30 in Oasis, and it seems new, so I was chuffed with my bargain! But the waist band needed a bit of tweaking as it was originally much deeper and sat on my ribs - ouch! I felt quite constricted, so I simply cut off two inches of the waistband so it now falls lower on my waist. I left a bit of extra length on the zip and folded down the sides of the zip and stitched in place. You see, I need to be able to run around and do star jumps in my clothes, and now it's oh so comfortable. I'm not sure if I'll be able to wear the skirt without tights or leggings in the Summer as it's often windy and I don't want any embarrassing moments!

White with warm timber

16 Mar 2010

[East Village Studio by JPDA Architects. Found Via Apartment Therapy]

This studio is very small but the consistent use of timber makes it feel warm and welcoming. And I like the reflective storage wall in the first photo as it visually expands the space, as does the long mirror between the two windows.

For the scrapbook

15 Mar 2010

[Image credits: Elle Decoration, April 2010]

However much I try, I can never bring myself to tear pages from magazines. In the past I've photocopied pages and stuck them into various scrapbooks, but it's time consuming and looks messy so I've never kept it up. From now on, I vow to scan in my favourite images each month as I'm much more likely to refer back to them in electronic format than rifling through a giant stack of magazines!

* * *

Thanks so much for the comments on my last post; I was truly touched by each one, and found comfort in reading about your personal experiences.

Our buying/selling situation hasn't changed much over the last few days. Our estate agent is trying to get us another buyer quickly so we can keep the next property, but so far it's not going well. Over the weekend we discovered that they've been saying different things potential buyers regarding the price we're looking for, and we just don't trust the agent anymore.

In the UK, estate agents have a bad reputation. I'd always kept an open mind as I hadn't had many dealings with them, but I'm saddened to say that they have lived up to this terrible reputation. We asked them why they didn't get proof that our buyer could actually pay for the property before taking it off the market, and they just ignored us and answered a totally different question.

If they don't find us a buyer over the next day or two and we lose the next property, then we will simply change to a more professional agent. After thinking about it over the weekend, I have a feeling that it might be for the best. The flat we have fallen in love with needs a lot of work: new boiler, central heating, double glazing, new kitchen. Even though we are prepared to do these things over a number of years, and it is a really lovely flat, maybe there is something else wrong with it that we can't see right now that would cost us a lot of money. Maybe someone is trying to protect us, and things will ultimately work out for the best...


11 Mar 2010

About an hour ago I was bright and chirpy, because as far as I knew we were going to be moving in about 6 weeks. We had an offer on our home last week and had fallen in love with a lovely little flat, but then I received a phone call and it feels like my whole world has come crashing down. I'd had my suspicions about our buyers but everyone else (including the estate agents) told me to stop worrying unnecessarily. Sometimes I'm neurotic and worry too much, but I am a very good judge of character. I just didn't feel comfortable with the people who put the offer on our flat, and it turns out that I was right... They were just messing us around.

At the moment I feel in total limbo. I'd already (foolishly) decided how to organise our furniture, made a list of all the work we would need to do on the new place and had quotes from tradesmen, worked out how many months we would need to save up, chosen the blinds for the kitchen... Never mind. What will be, will be. My mum always tells me that things work out OK in the end. Right now it doesn't feel that way, but I hope she's right.

I feel this moving business must be a lot like announcing a pregnancy. I was so excited about moving but my husband told me not to tell people as nothing was certain. We kept our fingers crossed that everything would work out OK in the early stages, then we could reveal our exciting news. Now my eyes are red and puffy as I've been weeping over our bad luck. But it's not the end of the world, I keep telling myself. There are much more important things in life. This is NOTHING; just a minor hiccup. Right?

Now I'm off to do some spring cleaning in the hope that someone will want to view our home and buy it. The trouble is, I've already mentally detached myself from our flat and have fallen in love with a south facing living room with a Juliette balcony where I was planning on growing tomatoes and strawberries in hanging baskets... I need to fall back in love with my home so I can talk about it positively and sell it to someone. People say March is the best time to sell property... Let's see.

Soft and natural

10 Mar 2010

[Image credits: Ethanollie's Flickr]

I love the relaxed yet elegant look of these spaces and shelves.

Light and dark

9 Mar 2010

[Image credits: Marie Claire Maison]

I could happily move into this compact apartment. The long windows really help make the living room feel more spacious, and this effect is accentuated by the mirror at the end of the room -- it feels like the space contines. I really like the dark sofa because it acts as a neutral backdrop for all the other pieces. In a white room, it's great to introduce darker pieces to add depth. I must remember to do this in my own home!


8 Mar 2010

[Photos by me!]

I went to the Brighton Centre to see Ronan Keating on Saturday evening. I could have booked tickets for the Royal Albert Hall, but I prefer smaller venues as there's more of a chance that I might meet him. (My mum said I'm too old for this lark...) I didn't get to meet Ronan, but I TOUCHED HIS ARM! He was shaking people's hands as he walked along the first row, and I was 8 rows back so I RAN to the front and squeezed past security and managed to touch him. For the record, his arm was very soft. I spent a lot of the time running backwards and forwards between my seat and the front, while my husband lovingly recorded the concert for me. When I look at the photos I can't quite believe how close I was to Ronan!!

It was an incredible show. His voice is *beautiful*. It was emotional as Ronan performed In This Life which was the song he sang at fellow Boyzone bandmate Stephen Gately's funeral last year... He performed a lot of his more recent songs, then threw in some old favourites towards the end. I really wanted it to last forever. I was expecting him to disappear in a puff of smoke or through a trap door (the way Boyzone concerts end) but he did a very civilised encore and bowed with all the musicians.

I must sound slightly hysterical. I admit it, I'm obsessed (and have been for the last 13 years...)


5 Mar 2010

[Image credits: Bente Miltenburg's Flickr]

Bente Miltenburg is a Dutch artist who creates collages and murals, often based on perspective views of rooms. I particularly like these two murals as they look so unusual and would really add depth to the space. The first one creates the illusion of the space extending beyond the wall. I love the vibrant use of colour.

Light and bright

4 Mar 2010

[Photography by Paul Barbera. Found via Deco Fabulous]

This is my kind of space - I would love to live there! The long unit under the window with the desk at the end is perfect. It's amazing how the yellow draws your eye into the room. I'm sure the bunch of bananas was added to exaggerate this effect in the photo, but I do love the yellow partition, lamp and chair.

Daily Wear: Indigo and Violet

2 Mar 2010

T-shirt: Gap
Ruffle cardigan: Urban Outfitters
Jersey skirt: Uniqlo
Charcoal tights: Sainsbury's
Black velvet flats: Crocs
Light turquoise necklace: Thrifted

The weather was so warm and sunny today, with a real hint of summer in the air! This bright violet skirt made me feel so fresh and happy all day. In London, lots of people discarded their winter coats, but I didn't want to tempt fate so I wore mine. Even though it's lovely in the sun, it's still very chilly in the shade. I hope the sun stays with us until the weekend as I'm visiting Brighton for the day to see Ronan Keating in concert!

Space of the week: 1950s warm and stylish

[Image credits: M.Bibelot's flickr stream, found via Here's Lookin at me Kid]

Looking at this recently renovated home is just like taking a step back in time. The spaces are elegant and the timber creates real warmth. My favourite room is the sunny kitchen as the turquoise window frames look so fresh and the outside is really welcomed in through those large windows.