Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Kitchen Inspiration: Swoon Worthy Open Shelving

Hello my lovelies, how has everyone been this week?  Apologies for all the quiet here on Swoon Worthy, work has been a bit of a mad one and my brain has turned slightly vegetative the last few days!  However I did want to check in and firstly, say a huge HELLO to my new followers!  Big smoochie kisses to you and welcome.  And if big smoochie kisses aren't enough, I'm gonna share some inspiration pics - yes, I know I spoil you.  And we all like inspiration pictures right?  Well, hell, I know I do.  So let's get started.

Now, the next step in our kitchen remodel is going to be the shelving.  I'm sure you're aware there is some amazing inspiration in blogland on open shelving in the kitchen.  It looks stunning and just adds such a homely, personal touch to kitchens, don't you think?

I must have looked at a million inspirational images since planning our own open shelving.

There are a few different routes that can be taken with open shelving and here, we'll cover three main types.

The first are the clean lines of beautiful floating shelves...

Then of course, there are shelves with brackets which give it a more country-chic vibe...

And finally, there are what I've decided to call 'closed' open shelving. An oxymoron perhaps but they are only closed on three sides and open at the front!  I think normally this look is achieved when people have chosen to remove the doors from their existing cupboards.  Other times, the units are custom built.

Admittedly, most of my saved inspiration pics are of this kind of shelving.  I quite like the idea of units which  look a bit more substantial and possibly cut down on dust.  Of course, that may be wishful thinking.  If you have this kind of open shelving, maybe you can weigh in and let me know.

The sort of shelving units you see in these images are similar to what we are looking at for our own kitchen remodel.   However, the one thing we intend to do to take the 'edge' of their modern good looks is to add a bit of crown moulding to them kind of like this... 

Lovely, no?

Here, in my own kitchen, you can see where we intend for them to go with the use of rather sexy blue painters' tape:  Forgive the manky walls, this is before we added the splash back, tiled and painted...

Once the extractor fan was put up, we realised the unit on the left would need to shift slightly but the general position and size is there.

Buying the wood to build these beauties has been a whole other trial in and of itself.  Stay tuned for more on that ultra-amazing crock of fun-ness.

So, looking at all these fabulous pics, what kind of shelving do you like best?  Do you prefer floating shelves?  Gorgeous country-style brackets?  What I have strangely nicknamed "closed" shelving?  Or do you prefer glass fronted cabinets (which I would love to have but alas, our budget is a bit stretched)?  A combination of each?  Rather all your bits and bobs were safely stashed behind closed doors?  Go on, share and share alike.

Image credits:  (1), (2 - unknown), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8 - unknown), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13 - my own)

Friday, 24 June 2011

Progress Report: Why I Already Love My Kitchen

Sarah of Modern Country Style, being the ever-so-clever girl that she is, has decided on a fabulous theme for her linky party.  It's all about what we love about our kitchens.

As you are probably pretty well aware if you have been a regular reader of my blog (and if you are, I would totally brush your hair and take you shopping and tell you that you're pretty if you were here) you will know that we are no where near done yet on our kitchen remodel.

However, I did want to show you the latest pictures because we've finally painted this weekend so the walls are looking rather fresh and lovely and white.  And I also wanted to explain what I love so far.

When we first moved in, the kitchen had a false ceiling and so while the rest of the house appreciated nice healthy 9 foot ceiling heights, the kitchen felt a bit small and cramped.  The spot lights felt like they were crouching up there, ready to spring on your head any minute.

Here's what it looked like before:

Rather squished, no?

With the removal of the ceiling and a nice smooth plaster finish thanks to my rather handy W and the addition of some lovely fisherman's pendant lights,  the room suddenly can breathe.

It feels good now being in my kitchen.  Despite the fact that it's no where near done, the feeling is one of lightness and space.

And when the sun shines in, I can forgive the ugly countertops and the ugly cupboard doors and the windows that need some proper cleaning...

I can forgive the sad, warped laminate flooring and the cheap tap and stained sink.

I can forgive all the in-progress imperfections because it has potential.  And it's already ours.  It's already starting to reflect us.

And it's all been done by our own hands on a small budget.

And that's what I love the most about my kitchen.

If you want to see what everyone else loves about their kitchen, then mosey on over to Sarah's blog or click on that linky button to your right.

If you want to follow our progress, you can click the 'Follow' button in the sidebar or follow via Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Bed Lust: Tufted Sleigh Bed from Sweetpea & Willow

I am dying a sweet, sweet death over this amazing bed from Sweetpea & Willow.  It's not too grandious or too feminine like a lot of french beds are (even though I lust over them as well), it's just perfectly stunning.  Sensual even. 

At £2,245 (and no, that doesn't include the mattress), I will just have to admire from afar.

But god, isn't she gorgeous?


Monday, 20 June 2011

Filtered Light: Bedroom Curtains from Anthropologie

I have been looking for new curtains for the bedroom for like ever.

My initial plan was to make them myself until I started to realise that getting the fabric I actually really liked would be well beyond my budget due to the size and length of the windows.  Buying them off the shelf was another option but the cost of ready made curtains at that size wasn't really in my budget either.

So this is the monstrosity that I've been looking at every morning when I wake up and every evening when I went to bed FOR THE LAST YEAR:

Yeah, seriously.  Curtains from my last bedroom in plumb-lilac that went with absolutely nothing in our yellow, grey and olive bedroom colour scheme.  Plus, they were so ridiculously short, I'm sure all the other curtains on the street were laughing at them behind their backs.  Poor sad curtains.  They really deserved better.  As did the windows.

Enter Anthropologie.  Wait, no, scratch that.

Enter Anthropologie CLEARANCE.

Oh that's more like it.

At £118 per panel, they were well beyond my budget at the original price.  But thanks to their sale, I got them at £60 per panel.  Mind you, £180 all in is nothing to sniff at.  But they are rather pretty, I have to admit.

They filter the light quite lovely - the whole room has a soft buttery yellow glow now that was near on impossible to pick up with my rather amateaur photography attempts.

So you'll just have to take my word for it.

The panels themselves are a cotton-bamboo mix but they actually feel and look like linen.

And the soft maize colour looks rather lovely with the bedding.  Oh and yes, that's another new cushion from Kas via Achica.

I'll probably replace the tiebacks at some point and get rid of the redundant one here.

Didn't take Pablo very long before he decided he had a new spot for looking out.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Contrasts: Embroidery and Tufting, Black and White

I doubt there's a room out there that can't do with a dose of black and white.  In this post, I talked about how nearly every other room that Domino - God rest it's soul - featured, contained some dose of this magical monochrome wonder.  So I figured my living room - whilst having small doses of it, could do with a dollop of contrasty action.

I purchased these rather fabulous cushions on Achica's website but they are from Kas, where they retail for £35*.  However, thanks to Achica's generous discounts, I got them for a mere £11 each.  That's a savings of £48 - Bargain!

I wasn't entirely sure if they'd work with the wallpaper and the olive velvet of the couch but they've provided the eclectic ethnic-y punch I was looking for in the room.

I also like the fact that what you see is not a print but is entirely embroidered.  It's not something I could duplicate on my own so I think it's really good value considering.

I also purchased a white throw - just perfect for the weather lately in England's great North West.  We haven't had the warmest June so far (strangely, April was a lot more summer-like) so in the evenings, when the temperature dips a bit, it's nice to have something to wrap around me whilst I cuddle up to W, who seems to always run about 10 degrees warmer than I do.

Excuse the fact that I need to get some pillar candles for my rather sad candlesticks.
And, yes I know, that corner is DYING for a piece of furniture.

Slung over the black chair, the contrasty monochrome ying and yang continues...

For some reason, in this room, this is always my favourite view...

Have you added any black and white to your abode lately?

*The cushions are currently on sale on their website so you can enjoy some bargain black & whites as well!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Random Decor: French Manga Wallpaper, Whiskey Bottles and Doorknobs

I came across this bizarre wallpaper at B&Q.  It's by French designer Lutece Jean-Charles De Castelbajac and depicts a manga comic strip where the characters are speaking in French.

I told you it was bizarre.

They allow you to take free samples at B&Q being the rather generous folk that they are, so I took as much as I could get away, with thinking maybe I'd use it for something in the future.  Looking at the blank frames on my gallery wall, I figured I'd use it there.

I'm quite happy with how it fills in the missing spaces...

Here's how it looked before...

 And what it looks like now...

Subtle but I think it balances the white a bit better on the wall.

And I do like me a bit of random.

I also added a whiskey canister to the mantle and used a couple of glass door knobs just for a little refresh.

Have you used anything a bit random in your decorating lately?  If so, do tell in the comments so I don't feel like such a weirdo.

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