Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Sideboard Lost & Found: Decisions, Decisions...

I've finally found it.  The perfect sideboard for my dining room.  I was gutted when I was outbid in the last 30 seconds for this one and have been searching for something I was equally excited about for weeks now.

My perfect sideboard had to meet some specific criteria:
  1. it needed to be antique;
  2. it had to have great bones with interesting details; 
  3. it needed to have both drawers and cupboards with sufficient storage;
  4. it needed to have legs that were long enough that you could see underneath it but not such long legs that it would reduce the amount of storage it contained;
  5. and it needed to be under £100.
Now you see why it's taken so long for me to find one.

Well, we won this fab 1930's Oak Barley Twist sideboard on eBay for £50.  Bingo.



We pick it up on Monday.  I think I'm going to leave it in it's current condition in terms of finish for a little while - this is because I'm not sure whether I want to paint it white to match the white doors, trim and fire surround in order to pop against the deep grey of the walls...

The dark grey in my dining room...

Like so...


 Or paint it black to blend better with the dark wall like so...


The Ikea Trollsta which I love but can't afford.  I'm digging the artwork as well 
because I think it distracts nicely from the television 
which is what I'm working on doing.

Stain it a deep colour similar to the dining room table...

A pretty good colour representation of my dining table as seen in W's old house...


Or...

Now, before ya think I've gone slightly mad, I'm not thinking of painting it pink, gorgeous as it is BUT...I'm absolutely in love with Dagny's painted credenza from Scandinavian Chic.  So I've been thinking...


...would it be really mad to paint it a gorgeous yellow?  How beautiful is that against the grey walls?


Hmmmm what do you think?

Image credits:  1 and 2. Ebay; 3 and 7. My own; 4. Centsational Girl; 5. Artisic Blend; 6. Scandinavian Chic; 8. Three Men and a Lady 

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Domino Effect: Old Sources for Fresh Ideas

Can you tell I'm on holiday?  Seriously, I'm spoiling you people with all these posts.

Anyway, I had to tell you about another gift I received from W for Christmas (thank you, baby!) that I've dived into headfirst.  It's a book that's been on my Must Have list for probably over year and a half...  Indeed, it's been in print for over 2 years.  What do you mean this is old news and you already have it?  Ok, ok, humour me anyway...


So yeah, I'm entirely aware that I'm way late in the game on this one, what with the magazine long out of print already.  See, this is one wee problem I have with being an American living in the UK - sensations such as Domino magazine practically came and went without my knowledge.  Indeed, I actually picked up on the Domino sensation when everyone was crying that it was closing down.  When we went to Reykjavik, Iceland in January 2010, I saw a back issue left on a table in a small bistro and immediately grabbed it to page through - wondering what all the fuss was about that I kept reading about on American blogs.  It's the only time I've ever had a physical copy of the magazine in my scrubby mitts.

Domino - The Book of Decorating immediately went on my Wish List on Amazon but I never actually pushed the 'purchase' button, I'm not even entirely sure why.  In the last few days, I have absolutely devoured the pages - there's so much inspiration and I've got renewed enthusiasm for all the work we have ahead.

Just a tiny example of some of the ideas it's given me, providing some renewed oomph to get off my arse and start going for it in my own home...

Lately, we've been considering upgrading to a 4 poster king-sized bed. This is because it's been cold at night and so we find ourselves sharing our bed with kitties, who despite SEEMINGLY small, take up an inordinate amount of space on our small double bed.

Exhibit A and B

Now, this is a fabulous DIY alternative to a 4 poster that takes advantage of the high ceilings.  Also, I'm loving the combination of soft metallics with grey, white and cream.


The picture below has given me some ideas for the make-shift 'drinks cart' I'm intending to have in the dining room.  Who needs a trolley when a table will work just as well?  This looks so elegant and I love pop of colour in the flowers.


I have a little glass topped wrought iron console table very similar in size to the one in the image below that I've had since 2001 and frankly, I'm a little tired of it.  

Here it is in the window of my old flat (circa 2007):


I love this idea for a tailored skirt in a soft linen-y fabric to give the table a bit of a facelift...


I could go on but you get the idea.  In fact, I'm not even going to do a proper review on this book because it's been done, many times over on a hundred different blogs over the last couple of years but the beautiful, timeless style speaks to me in so many ways.  It's eclectic and classic and fresh all at the same time.  Some commenters warned the images are mostly from previous issues of Domino magazine.  Well, as someone who was never able to see back issues due to being overseas, it's much like a 'best of', which suits me perfectly.

I've been a blog girl for a good few years now, picking up on design trends and attempting to hone my style from the numerous beautiful blogs I read on a daily basis.  Before blogs, it was always magazines which I used to buy every single month without fail... but this has started me thinking that I'm missing a trick with books.

As such, I must turn to my readers... What books are a 'must read' from your point of view?  Any you would recommend?  Do tell in the comments.  I'm all ears.  Erm, eyes.  Yeah, you know what I mean.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Why My Boyfriend Rocks: Canon EOS 500D DSLR Camera

I hope your Christmas celebrations have given you many happy memories for years to come!  We spent a lovely day with W's family, ate way too much gorgeous food (if I do say so myself being the cook *ahem*) (oh, and much thanks to my mate Delia Smith), and watched his two nieces, aged 6 and 3, rip all the pretty parcels to bits until exhausted by the action of paper ripping and ignoring their masses of toys, asked for paper to colour.  Gotta love those kids.

Now, I'm not sure if I've mentioned how much my W rocks.  Because yeah, he totally does.

The most fabulous gift I received this Christmas was from my gorgeous W, a Canon 500D DSLR camera which looks the biz and intimidates me entirely.


It took me 20 minutes just to figure out how to attach the strap.  I'm not even joking.  I'm scared of this thing.  I'm clumsy, I drop things, I know this about myself.  Having such precious kit in these awkward hands is enough to send me into hyperventilation.

So yeah, I'm not holding out a lot of hope for mastering it quickly but I do hope that in the fullness of time, I'll be able to produce some quality images for ze dear blog.  The camera is amazing - or at least I think it will be amazing.  I haven't even fully figured out how to shoot on Auto yet, never mind understanding things like f-stops and ISO settings and so there will be much practice ahead.

I'm looking forward to really getting stuck into the manual once the fullness of Christmas dinner (and Boxing Day dinner) has passed.  I intend to read the manual, practice taking pictures like crazy, read the manual again.  And then watch the DVD that came with the camera.  And then take more pictures.  And then go online and do more research.  And then take more pictures.  And then possibly read the manual again.  And take more pictures.  And maybe read that manual once more.  Yeah, you get the idea.

By the end of 2011, I intend to have firstly, not dropped the camera and secondly, have at least a small clue on how to take a semi-decent picture.  Gotta aim high.

Image credits:  Amazon

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas from Swoon Worthy!

May your holidays be filled with love, laughter 
and swoon-worthy beauty.


Merry Christmas from Redlilocks, W, Pablo and Senna


Image found at the alternative wife

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Take Me Away: Hotel Telegraaf, Tallinn, Estonia

What do you mean it's too cold for Estonia in the dead of winter?

Ok, ok, a trip to the coldest regions of Northern Europe may not be on the top of your Christmas list right now but a quiet break far away in luxurious surroundings may be just what you need after the craziness of Christmas is past.

And even if you haven't felt your toes since about mid-October like me, the Hotel Telegraaf in the capital of Tallinn provides some fantastic eye candy.

It was the muted colour pallete of darkest greys, deep golds, creams and black along with a smattering of sparkle that spoke to me most.

Cobbled streets and fantastic architecture...

Sparkly lamps against deepest grey...

Starburst mirror and a roaring fire...

Antiquities in black and gold...

Black wrought iron against deep gold walls...

A four poster bed in dark wood with cozy linens...

Tufted grey and gold chairs...

A deep soak with rose petals and tealights...

Empty picture frames in gold and black and fantastic chandeliers...

Cozy seat to enjoy a glass or two...

It's almost enough to make me forget it's -5 degrees at the moment.  And ya know, feeling your toes is over-rated anyway. 

Image credits:  Hotel Telegraaf

Monday, 20 December 2010

Rockin' 'Round the Christmas Tree: Living Room Decs

For the second installment of Christmas decor in the Swoon Worthy household, I thought I'd show you my living room. It's the only room that's even marginally close to being completed after finishing the floors, painting, wallpapering and purchasing the sofa that I am still completely and utterly in love with.

In this instance I took both night time and day time pics.

As you can see, I carried the silver, lime green and cerise pink into the living room.  The colour scheme, funny enough, was partially W's suggestion.  Yeah, I know, I stopped breathing for a minute as well.  


The reason for this is when I initially did the tree, I only used the silver, whites and greens.  And on the tree, it just looked very MEH.  I think the green against the green just wasn't enough, it needed another colour to bring everything out.


So W and I headed out to the local shops to see if we could find another colour to make our scheme pop.  I initially suggested turquoise but after that was 'vetoed', the next colour up was the cerise pink.  W expressed that was the colour we should go for.  And so it was.


The 'hole' in my living room became a display area for my collection of 'trees'...






And now for the daytime pics to see the detail and colours on the tree...


Excuse the girl in her tartan pj bottoms taking the pics... *ahem*




I finally got a few packages wrapped as well!  With Christmas still being a few days away, I'm actually feeling pretty on top of things finally.  Ok, so I ran out of cellotape part way through wrapping but hey, progress people!

How are you getting on with your Christmas decorating/planning/shopping and general spirit?

Friday, 17 December 2010

Velvet Dreams: A Letter to Graham and Greene

My dearest Graham and Greene,

Why do you tease me so?  Why do you showcase the most glorious quilt in rich velvet, the perfect grey, on sale and with free delivery when I am so very very broke?

Why do you send me emails promising beautiful things for discounted rates when my gorgeous W has already spent much too much money on me for Christmas and when he's already booked a glorious holiday away for my birthday in January and so I darent even ask?

Why, when I am ready to pull out the credit card because I know for sure I will never see another quilt this utterly beautiful within my greedy sweaty grasp, do you remove this beauty from your website?  How could you not save just one wee quilt for me?


I thought we were mates, all three of us, enjoying each others' company over a hot cup of tea and a biscuit whilst I am in my pajamas, lazily longing over the beauty of your website on my laptop.  How dare you give me a tease such as this and then pry it away from my grip when I can practically feel the softness against my bare cheek?

How could you.  How dare you.

We're gonna fall out we are.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Jingalingalinga Ding Dong Dining Room!

Ok, I think that sounded better in my head.

Nevermind, at last it's starting to look like Christmas in the Swoon Worthy household...

Unfortunately, my camera is not too happy with evening shots so I did my best but please forgive the quality of the photos... I just didn't think it'd be right not to share.  See how giving I am.  It's all about the giving with me.

You'll notice a new addition in the very first shot.  Yep, I know they are everywhere but I love them.  My very own white staghead.  Ain't he a beaut?


The colour scheme, hard as it is to tell from these shots, is white, silver, lime green and pops of cerise pink.  As much as I absolutely adore the beautiful natural colour schemes that I keep seeing, I had to be sensible when it came to spending and as I had purchased a number of things last year around a lime green and silver theme, I couldn't very well start replacing everything already.  I know I'm fickle like most of us who are mad about interiors but even I know my finances need a break every once in a while and buying Christmas presents rather than decorations have had to take priority.  (Maybe next year... heh)


Most of what you see here is last years' purchases.  The only thing I bought for my table is the Christmas crackers from House of Frasier and the little glass tealights from Homebase.  The tealight holders are a lovely soft grey colour and caught my eye almost immediately whilst in the queue buying fairy lights.  I bought two of them, broke one of them before I even got home and had to go back and get another.  Oh well, good thing they were only £1.99 and that Homebase is within walking distance from my house.


The little reindeer tealights were from Sainsbury's that I bought last year as well.  They are silver and surprisingly heavy.  I looked to see if they had them this year but I only saw them in gold or else I would have bought another two.  The beaded pear ornaments were purchased last year from TK Maxx.  They have a lovely sparkle in candle light.


I finally had a mantle to decorate!  I tried to get a decent shot of the garland purchased last year from Next but my camera wasn't playing nicely.  They look a bit like eucalyptus that's been sprayed with lime green glitter.  Oooh sparkly!  I just added a set of fairy lights behind it to play off the glitteriness.


One of the only new purchases this year is two gorgeously soft faux fur stockings from Graham and Greene.  They were a bit pricey at £24 each (reduced from £30) but beautiful and I know I'll love them for years to come.  They are also enormous but that just means more pressies to fill them up!


Baubles hung from the light shade add a bit of whimsy.  They also pull the colour scheme together with baubles strung from silver ribbon.


Another shot of those lovely big fat furry stockings.


And one more shot using the flash to show off my handsome stag.  He looks so fetching with the baubles, I'm tempted to leave them all year round.  Ok, not really.



Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that little tour around my dining room.  A few things some of my eagle eyed readers may have noticed... 

  1. No, I haven't yet decided on window dressings for the dining room window.
  2. You can't see the wall where the television is because there is currently a sofa still sat against that wall as I STILL have not found a sideboard that I'm in love with for under £100.
  3. My kitchen cabinets are still wood coloured.  We haven't started that particular project yet.

Next up... the living room!  Stay tuned.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...