Wednesday, 19 June 2013
However, I did snap some pics in the garden just before I got ill and so I figured I'd share those with you! I got a new table cloth and some outdoor cushions from - believe it or not - Very's Tex Mix collection which I just fell in love with. Because it's barely rained here the last 2 weeks or so (which for Manchester is fairly shocking) I've been able to enjoy having them out!
My last post about the patio was just as Spring was breaking and so nothing had really grown too much - now the garden has sprung to life, the ivy is green and full and my flowers are going strong.
I also got the matching cushions on my little deck that leads out from the kitchen.
And added another set of solar lights just to cheer up the space a bit...
This deck has been looked at in disgust for quite a long time but adding some more pots of flowers, the bay tree that I'm trying to nurse back to health and the cushions has improved it a bit, even if we probably won't get around to extending it this year and getting new furniture (on the list for 2014!).
I would love to put an outdoor rug out here if I can find one in the UK that I like (seriously envious of you guys in the US - the selection here is just grim), get a new cute side table and some nice lounging chairs, add some trellis to the white brick wall and hang some herbs... but it's all in good time! Have you been zhushing up your outdoor space lately?
Sunday, 16 June 2013
The tiles were my first port of call and trying to find the right combination of tiles that wouldn't absolutely blow the socks off my budget was a task and a half. While there are a million and one tiles available on the UK market, the ones within my budget were all rather boring and bland or incredibly contemporary - looks I wasn't really going for. The ones I really liked were like £47 PER TILE. Erm, while I share a first name with a Kardashian, I don't share a bank account with her so that wasn't going to happen either.
Full disclosure: I actually designed an entire bathroom around a single tile that I kind of liked and when I got to the end of it, realised that it was nothing like my 'dream bathroom.' I sighed and scrapped the whole thing.
Finally, pulling on my big girl knickers, I checked out Fired Earth. They have an amazing selection and some incredibly beautiful designs but I had assumed they would be far too expensive for my little bathroom. However, I noticed they had a sale on, so I took a few trepidatious steps into their site. While a lot of the things that took my breath away were far above my price bracket, I was pleasantly surprised to find a few styles that didn't break the bank, worked well together as a set and most importantly, gave me the look I was after.
The design started to come together slowly and then sort of snowballed and finally all came together this weekend. And I couldn't be more excited so figured I'd share my plans with you.
As an aside, I'm really privileged to be working with two fantastic companies on this project (and no Fired Earth is not one of them) so I'll be introducing you to them soon because they are helping to make this little bathroom remodel happen on a shoestring budget. We'll still be doing all the work on this one of course but sourcing products online from companies that you can trust is always a little scary so perhaps my introductions can help you if you're considering your own bathroom remodel.
Anyway, on to the design reveal... I hope you like it.
You may be pretty surprised I have kept to a neutral palette of black, white and grey on this design. The reasons for this are three-fold:
- First, I quite like the idea of a bathroom being a quiet sanctuary and a place to relax.
- Second, I do actually love neutrals (no really!) as long as there is a lot of interest created in texture and pattern.
- Lastly, and this is purely practical - I'm aware we will not be here forever and in terms of resale value, more permanent elements like bathrooms and kitchens are probably best kept fairly neutral (I don't feel this way about non-permanent things like paint or even wallpaper as they are not that difficult to change - tiles on the other hand are a different matter).
You'll noticed that my "signature" eclecticism is still there - mixing Victorian tiles with Moroccan elements and a dash of contemporary as well? That's not a combination you'll probably see too often. And of course, there's got to be an element of brass/gold as well, right? I mean, it wouldn't be my bathroom without that ;) The tiles are also more in keeping with the age of the house - the mirror and pendant can be changed out without much hassle at all if I want to try a different look in the future.
So there's the design. Whether I stick with this 100% or I veer a little off the beaten track remains to be seen. What I do know is that the bathroom remodel is happening pretty soon and as we only have one bathroom in the house, it's gonna have to be done lightning quick! Ooooh I can't wait to get started!
Are you as excited as I am? Ok, probably not. But ready to come with me on the ride?
Friday, 14 June 2013
Honestly, if I ever whinge about my legs being too short or my thighs being too fat or that they are too pasty or whatever - you have permission to smack me right in the face and tell me YES BUT THEY WORK. And that, my friends, is something that is way too easy to take advantage of - cuz when one of them doesn't? I promise you'll notice.
I also realise that I was supposed to announce a winner in my book giveaway of A Place Called Home. Apologies that I'm late on that one.
There were 10 entries (where is everyone? you all outside playing in the sunshine without me or something?) and the lovely Random.Org deemed the winner to be....
Keep an eye out for an email from me so we can get your book to you :) And thank you to everyone that entered! I think we can all agree that there is something so wonderfully casual and natural about Australian style. If you do like the book and you haven't won, why not add it to your collection by purchasing it here.
Now of course, I have a backlog of posts for you here but Wayne said he can tell I'm feeling better because this morning before he left for work, I asked him if he could get me the tape measure. Always a sign things are looking up. It's cuz I need to start making some decisions on this...
Happy Weekend lovelies.
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
So I'm not dying and I don't have to have anything amputated so ya know, I'm counting my blessings. But I'm bed-ridden which is boring and I'm pretty ouchie so that's not too fun. Plus I'm posting from bed on my mobile cuz my laptop is downstairs and I can't get downstairs without considerable assistance. Whinge whine moan etc...
Once I'm feeling a bit better normal posts shall resume.
My sickbed isn't this much fun so I thought I would share this one instead.
Be back soon my lovelies.
Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Jason Grant is an acclaimed Australian stylist who's worked with pretty much everyone on his fair sunny shores as well as ones further afield; from House and Garden to Vogue Living, Elle Decoration and Livingetc. This is a man who knows a thing or two about gorgeous styling. His book has been a long-awaited occasion in Australia and it's finally been released here in the UK!
The book is a lovely, heavy tome which celebrates the gorgeous laid back beauty of Australian interiors - both natural and rustic as well as bright and beautiful, and it's the photography of James Geer that really sets this book apart from what you may already have on your shelves. Jason peppers each page with tidbits of wisdom and common sense advice.
Each photograph beautifully illustrates his points, allowing the reader to interpret how to utilise his advice in their own way. I found the brevity refreshing - after all, we live in a world that's becoming more visual every day - we only need to look at the rise of sites like Pinterest and Instagram to see this. So the book can be devoured on a lazy afternoon.
For those of you looking for concrete step-by-step instructions on how exactly to achieve a look, you may find yourself needing a bit more. However, that shouldn't stop you from picking up the book and letting it inspire you to find your own decorative voice, using Jason's tips along the way.
The style is quintessentially Australian and transports the readers to a way of life that takes place as much outdoors as in. This is evident in how Jason uses his own surroundings of the beach and sunshine and the natural beauty that surrounds him to inspire the beautiful interiors showcased within.
I had the chance to ask Jason a few questions about his book and inspiration and here's what he had to say:
Your book is very “Australian” in style - How have your own surroundings influenced your aesthetic?
I live close to the beach and I am always inspired by nature. I love living in Bondi and I'm sure my relaxed, casual style is influenced by where I live.
What was your biggest challenge in creating the book?
Picture editing - there were so many shots I wanted to include! It was a big project but I loved every minute.
You used a more visual approach in your book rather than one with lots of text – what made you decide to take this approach?
I definitely am a picture maker more than a writer. I think the restraint was effective - a picture tells a 1000 stories. I wanted to inspire readers with images where possible.
How do you envision people using your book to create a more natural, beautifully lived-in style in their own homes?
I hope people are inspired to have a go and find their own style. It's all about a little bit of confidence!
If there’s one bit of advice in the book that you’d like people to take away from A Place Called Home, what would it be?
Buy what you love and love where you live - it's all about finding your own way.
A must for anyone who loves their interiors with a natural, casual approach and who believe the beauty in interiors lies in imperfection. Jason believes (and I concur whole-heartedly) a home should be a reflection of the people that reside within instead of the "styled-within-an-inch-of-its-life" interiors that we're all probably a little bit tired of. Make some room for this one on your coffee table, you'll find yourself happily flipping through it again and again, if for no other reason than to bring a little bit of Australia to our shores.
The gracious folks at Hardie Grant have been kind enough to provide me not just with a book myself but one for my readers as well! So I'm doing a little giveaway - all you have to do is comment and tell me what you love about Australian style and a winner will be chosen at random at midday next Wednesday, 12th June. Please be sure to include an email address if you comment Anonymously or if you are a 'no-reply' blogger so I can contact you if you've won. Unfortunately, this is open to UK readers only (sorry guys).
Of, if you simply can't wait, the book is available for purchase now on Amazon.co.uk.
My copy was provided to me by Hardie Grant but all opinions are my own.