Friday, 27 January 2012

I So Wood: Decorative Logs (and Smoochie Thank Yous)

Firstly, I just wanted to say a massive thank you for all the lovely comments, Facebook messages, emails and Tweets I had regarding my new little business venture I spoke about on Wednesday.  Your support means the world to me and I mean that from the bottom of my little bursting heart :) So thank you.

Also, it was my birthday yesterday and I had lots of lovely messages wishing me a happy day - and it was, despite having to go to work! So thank you for such thoughtfulness there as well.  You guys rock my world.

Right.  Enough gushing.  On with today's post...


My home was built in 1906.  I imagine when it was built, it had lovely Edwardian fireplaces in the living room, dining room, master bedroom and guest bedroom.  Unfortunately, fast forward to June 2010 when we moved in and every trace of them had been removed.  Sigh.

via the little log company

It's such a shame because of anywhere in my house, I would love to have a fireplace in my living room.  Unfortunately, what we were  left with is a very strange awkward 'hole' where the fire place once was.  Yes, we could always reincorporate a fire place but well, that costs money and at the moment, we simply don't have it.

And so, over the past year and a half, I have tried my hardest to use it as some kind of 'shelf' or something and created various vignettes...  none of which I've been particularly fond of, if I'm honest.  It's not the items IN the hole, it's the hole itself.  It's just wrong.

When we finished the floors not long after moving in.

What it looks like now.


So one thing I've been considering is filling it with decorative logs.  I just love the natural texture it brings to a room.  Here are some inspiration pics to give you an idea of what I'm looking for...

via the log basket

via nibs

via automatism

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Pretty no?

I'll be honest, I can't see myself rockin' up in some woodland somewhere and choppin' myself a tree and cuttin' it up.*

Yeah, that's probably not going to happen.

The biggest reason for that?

Bugs.

Ewwww.

So therefore, I'll probably have to buy them from a company that 'specialises' in this sort of thing (they dry them out and sand them down and make them all pretty for you).  At nearly £100, it won't be cheap but it will be a lot cheaper than fitting a fireplace and a lot easier than dealing with spiders (shudder).

What do you think?  Is it worth spending the money for 'pretty' logs that will never be burned?  Or do you think it looks a bit silly in an obviously unused fireplace?  Have you ever used logs decoratively?

*I have no idea why I went all Southern American there.  My sincerest apologies.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

My Exciting Announcement: Introducing Swoon Worthy Homewares!!

Well, the time has come to spill my news... I'm still a few weeks away from launch but I thought I'd let you in all the craziness of the past couple months.



It's all baby steps at the moment so you'll have to forgive me for starting rather small!  However, I'm so excited by this new little venture!

COMING SOON IN FEBRUARY 2012...

Hopefully now, the changes to my blog make sense :)

Yep, I'm launching a new business selling gorgeous cushions!

But as you can hopefully see (and the Brits in my audience will recognise this before my American brethren) they are not just any cushions that you can get on the British High Street.

You've all heard me moan about the fact that finding the lovely fabrics so readily available in the States are nigh on impossible to find in the UK.  Believe me, I have tried.  It's part of the reason why I have no curtains in my lounge or in my dining room - because I just haven't been able to find what I want here.

I love the simplicity of a bold geometric pattern which I see over and over again in American design and while I can try and be satisified with the offerings we have here, I'm just not.  I've spent the past 5 years frustrated by this so I decided that if I am having these frustrations, there are probably others out there that have the same issue, right?

So, taking matters into my own hands, an idea was born.  I've imported a load of good quality, beautiful fabrics from the States and very soon, I'm going to be bringing those beautiful fabrics to you, my UK readers.

Excuse me while I squeel.

SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!

Thank you.

Here's a little preview...









It's a small, carefully curated collection for now but I'm hoping to add more fabulous patterns in time.  Launch will be in February with a wonderful giveaway in the works so stay tuned for more!

I have loads of ideas of where this could go and where I'd love to take Swoon Worthy Homewares in time but you'll just have to come along on the journey with me to find out how we get on.  In the meantime, I'm so excited by this new little adventure and I do hope the wait has been worth it!


Sunday, 22 January 2012

New Year, New Look: The Big Swoon Worthy Refresh

Well, if you are visiting me via anything other than Google Reader, you'll see that I've decided to do a bit of a revamp here at Swoon Worthy.



I was starting to get tired of looking at the same header (containing images that were well over a year old!) so I decided I wanted a fresh new look.  Part of the revamp is to do with a realignment of Swoon Worthy as a 'brand'...  "A brand of WHAT?" I hear you asking... well, I can't tell you that just yet but guess what?

I'm sharing my big news with you on Wednesday!!  

While I am very very close now, I thought it was time to share a little project I've been working on for the past couple of months and I couldn't continue to keep you in suspense.  That's just cruel.  So make sure you check back here on Wednesday, 25th January which just happens to be the day before my birthday!

In the meantime, back to the revamp!

If we look back in time... here's what my header looked like when I first started blogging back in July 2010...


 And then the one I did early last year which you are probably the most familiar with now...



And now... for 2012.... A new look and a new strapline:



Whilst 'Getting it Pretty One Floorboard At A Time' really reflects the amount of time it takes to revamp an entire house, I like to think this blog o' mine is a little more than just a step-by-step journey of our home's evolution.  It's really about what drives the changes, where the inspiration comes from and how it's possible to get the look you love without having endless pots of cash (as nice as that might sound).

So, 'Inspiration, DIY and the Quest for Pretty on the Cheap' is our new motto around here.

I also created a new button if you wanted to grab it from the right side over there...


What do you think of the new look? I do hope you like it but if you have any suggestions to make Swoon Worthy even better, please don't hesitate to let me know in the comments!  And make sure you stop back on Wednesday for the big announcement!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Friday Free For All: Gotye - Someone That I Used to Know

While I would love to have time to do 5 full gorgeously detailed posts every week, I know that with working full time, trying to get on with various projects, maintaining a good relationship with my other half and attempting some semblance of a social life, it's just unrealistic. 

At times, however, it's nice to share something short and sweet and interesting and so I decided that on Fridays, I'm going to start a new feature called 'Friday Free For All' in which I'll post about something random.  It might be a room that I love that I've come across somewhere online, a tutorial for fabulous eye makeup, some gorgeous event, a Hollywood star's wardrobe, a random weird thing that made me laugh or something entirely different.  Anything Goes.

Today, I wanted to share a song that I'm pretty much obsessed with at the moment.  Ya know when you just can't stop listening to something?  I'll probably listen to it until I can't bear to hear it one more time.  Music Gluttony I call it.

The song is by Gotye and features Kimbra.  He's Australian and apparently, he's had loads of other stuff out which I was unaware of but I'm eager to catch up on his back catalogue.

It reminds me very much of the Police and that chilled vibe... Anyway, I hope you like the new feature and enjoy the song!


Happy Friday my lovelies!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Guest Posting at White Laquer Today!

Hello my gorgeous chicas!  I'm visiting with the very lovely Patience today over at her blog White Laquer.

Patience is creating a beautiful vintage-inspired home with a glamorous edge over on her blog and you'd be silly not to go and have a look at what she's done.

Just as a taster - check out this glossy number with a LEOPARD PRINT CHAIR.  I'm dying, are you dying?  Cuz yeah, dying.


Also?  Her bed makes me weep, it's such a beautiful thing.


Anyway, go over and have a look at her beautiful blog because it very often makes me smile and I'm sure it will you as well!

What am I doing over there?  Well, I'm sharing my 'Things I Wants' today which, lets be honest, is pretty much a running list of about 100 different things (sorry, I'm part of Generation X, we have immediate gratification issues) so narrowing it down was a challenge to say the least.

Just as a teaser?  One of the things on my list...


via conversation pieces

Go on over to White Laquer and check it out!  And thank you Patience for having me!!  Mwah!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

All that Glitters: Dreamy Gold and Pink Inspiration

As you probably know by now, I'm sort of obsessed with gold.  Which, even for me, sounds absolutely crazy as I'd quite happily ridden on the chrome, then the satin stainless steel and finally the nickel bandwagon for pretty much the last ten or 15 years (showing my age there).  I worked very hard to make sure I'd gotten rid of every piece of terribly tacky brass from my home and then this happens...

I start to see gold in a whole new light.  And then I start to love it.  And then... well, then I become obsessed.

And so, I thought I'd share the lastest colour combination that's filling me with absolute glee - pink and gold. 

To be perfectly honest, I don't know where in my home I'd incorporate this colour combination - it's unapologetically feminine for sure and I've tried to ensure my colour schemes at home suit the male contingent of the household... but that doesn't mean I can't dream...

The artwork in this image is just to die for.  I love it, like totally and completely love it.

via the peak of tres chic

I love how this next image screams vintage but in an up-to-date glamorous way.  I remember when I was a kid, I totally wanted a phone like that.

via bijou and boheme

I've become more and more keen on beautiful table settings.  I so love my gold cutlery and would love to try a combination of colours like this for my next girlie dinner party.*

*Not that I've ever had a girlie dinner party but if I had place settings like this, I so would.  You are all invited.  Bring cupcakes.  And vodka.


via icing designs

Another example of gorgeous pink art.  I love the movement in this image between the art and the wallpaper and that sexy sexy sculptural table lamp.  I don't even know what all the chotchkies are on the table but I love them just the same.

via ritzy bee

I can't wait for the peonies in my garden to come into bloom again.  And honestly, is there anyone out there that DOESN'T love these flowers?  I wish I could see the whole coffee table (and room) here because what I can see, I love.

via belle maison

Here's a lovely blush pink... don't you just want to curl up on that lovely sofa for a midday nap?

via bijou and boheme

And quite possibly the best for last...  Pink and gold macaroons.  They are honestly just too beautiful to eat.

via icing designs

Have you been inspired?  Would you or are you already rocking this colour combo in your own home?  Or perhaps just on your person?  (Sexy or WHAT.)

via lingerie love

Now if I can distract you from the leggy blonde, you will be very happy to know that I've recently come across a fantastic gold spray paint!  I have tried a number of different types and have never gotten the finish I was hoping for but this stuff is just unbelievable.  The spray is superfine and so you get such a good finish from it.  Even W, who is a professional sprayer, was very impressed by this stuff!

And best part?  It's cheap!  And no, I'm not even getting paid to say this.  I'll share with you soon!  At the moment, I'm off to paint gold anything that's not nailed down.  The cats are frightened (as well they should be).  Will be back soon with some of my gold projects!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Adventures in Sewing: Geometric Print Table Runner

So I've been doing a lot of sewing lately.  Like, A LOT of sewing lately... and that's part of my exciting little announcement that I'm DYING to share with you all but you'll just have to wait that little tiny bit longer... I know, I'm such a tease.  Soon, my lovelies, soon.

In the meantime, with a bit of excess fabric that I had leftover, I decided to create a table runner for the dining table.  I swear I am messing with the dining room every other week but I love that the room is so easily changed up.  And as I have the attention span of a 4 year old, that suits me fine.


It's quite an easy design and I kind of winged it really but I think it came out pretty well.  I sort of screwed up the edges at the end but it's not something anyone would really notice unless you were a fellow 'sewer' (is that a word?  Should I have said 'seamstress'?  I don't know what the sewing etiquette is).


The colour sits somewhere between a strawberry red and a coral peach.  I almost wish it were spring because it just sort of gives the room a freshness that makes me smile when I walk in here.


I rarely find cute table runners in the shops - they always seem either too plain, too traditional or too modern for my tastes.  But this one ticks all the boxes for me.


Done any simple sewing lately?  Are you completely fed up of looking at my bloody dining room?  Do you have a room at home that you are constantly changing up?   Do share in the comments so I don't feel like a weirdo posting the same room every week.  I promise I'll get to other rooms soon! ;)

Sharing here...


The DIY Show Off
******************************

Oh I also wanted to mention just in case you haven't noticed - I refreshed my "Essential Reading" list over there on the right hand side and along with my long-time favourites, have added in a goodly number of recently-discovered blogs that are unmissable (as well as a little preview image so you can see what loveliness you are in for!).  If you aren't already reading them, then I highly recommend you get lost for a few hours in the interwebs and check them out.  You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Room Lust: Gorgeously Grey Living Room

I'm kind of in love with this room.

The dark grey of the walls, the height of the ceiling, the black and white detailing of the ceiling.  And yes, I know it's been done to death but I love the deer head too.  There, I said it.

I wish I had the source of this image and could give some credit but I'm not sure of it!  Gorgeous though, isn't it?


Monday, 9 January 2012

On the Tiles: Bathroom Inspiration

The following post is sponsored by Bathrooms.com.

If you are awaiting the next update on the kitchen, I hate to disappoint but I haven't got one.  After the slate flooring went in, we were a bit DIY'd out so took a little break and then by that time, we were looking at Christmas and shopping and colder weather and shorter days and less money.  And replacing a counter top in those circumstances seemed a bit silly.

So we are going to wait for a bit before we continue with that particular project.  Granted, we thought we'd have finished the whole project by now but hey, real life sometimes takes longer than dreams.

Despite this, I'm hoping that our bathroom will be on 2012's agenda.  For as much as I'm happy with the little pick-me-up the peacock blue paint job provided, it does desperately need a full refurbish.


So I can't help but dream a bit when I see some beautiful bathrooms and I thought I'd share some of my inspiration images with you.

Replacing entire bathroom suites can get expensive and to be fair, there’s nothing particularly wrong with the toilet, the sink or the bathtub in our bathroom.  Mind you, none of them are in perfect condition but probably don’t need replacement any time soon.  I’ll have to see how much money we have in the budget and make a decision on what we can replace purely for aesthetic reasons! 

One thing I'm especially keen on replacing is the sink because I'm kind of in love with free-standing bathroom furniture like these repurposed vanities...

How wonderful is this idea?  Talk about "up-cycling"!  (Geddit? HA!)  I love how the basket holds towels.

via shierley dot com

This bathroom is so crazy and OTT but for some reason, I love it!  Check out the fabulous glossy chest of drawers turned vanity.  Lush.

via houzz

We sadly don't have room for two sinks but my goodness, the symmetry in this bathroom appeals to my OCD side...

via lovely clusters

I'm all about gorgeously dark interiors and this amazing black bathroom is no exception.  The natural elements like wood, wicker and wainscotting look rather wonderful and the white contrasts work well!  (How's that for alliteration?)  It manages to look modern and traditional at the same time.

via sacramento street

The amazing geometric patterned wallpaper somehow works in a small space.  I love this bathroom - the sink and the mirror are perfect for a small space - I'm taking note of this one.

Niche Interiors via cocozy

Speaking of amazing pattern, wallpaper really does work fabulously  in contemporary bathrooms, giving it just that little extra ooomph as shown in this gorgeous coral and pink example.  Yummy!


Can you see I'm really thinking about bold patterns?  I am so in love with the navy and gold combination in this bathroom.  It's just stunning.  And how about that tap installed IN the mirror?  Kind of awe-inspiring no?  Oh and don't even get me started on the cupboard handles.  Ok, I know I need to get out more.

via decorpad

This bathroom is so lovely and simple and the black and white tile is the perfect foil to the pale greeny blue.

via the long and short of it

And if I'm gonna dream, well, I might as well dream big.  Truly truly swoon worthy, no?

via coco + kelley

When I finally start planning, I may have to come back down to earth.  In the meantime, my head is full of a million different ideas!  What does your dream bathroom look like?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Tracking Trends: Tangerine Tango

Well unless you have been living in a cave, you've probably heard the news that Pantone has announced it's 2012 colour of the year as Tangerine Tango, a luscious tomatoe-y reddy orange which is warm and rich and bright.


No matter how you feel about Pantone's choice or whether or not you would adopt it into your own decor, there's not much doubt that we'll be seeing it in homewares and fashion much more over the next year or two.

Whilst it was never a conscious decision, implementing a bit of orangey-red into my dining room just seemed to happen naturally and organically.  As the gallery wall grew, this was the colour that seemed to 'pop' out more than the others and I've sort of gone with it.


The one thing I love about the gallery wall is how it keeps changing every time I add a new piece.  Over Christmas, I was able to purchase a print for W which reflected his interests but kept to my colour scheme!  Well, can't argue with that, can you?


The print is a limited edition by Etsy seller The Handmade Cyclist and depicts a stylistic view of L'Alpe d'Huez... the most legendary of all Tour De France climbs, with twenty-one hairpin bends snaking their agonising way to the summit.  At each of it's hairpin bends, a champion's name who mastered the climb.



If you aren't a fan of the Tour de France, this is probably meaningless but to my relief, W, who is a massive fan (with this part being his absolute favourite, even taking holidays from work to watch it live), loved it.  Yay!


As you can see from the picture above, the reddy orange colour is also reflected in the Martini & Rossi and Cadbury's Cocoa antique signs and in my little matches holder near the door as well as the fresh flowers that I try to always keep in the room (a little gift to myself!).

So now that you've seen how I'm using my version of Tangerine Tango in my own home, how about we look at some other examples of ways to incorporate the latest big colour trend?

This bedroom uses it to fantastic effect, playing off the navy blue, black and white.  It's been in my inspiration files for ages and ages!

Domino via Pinterest

How beautifully do these curtains play up the height of the room?  And that chandelier!  Oh my god, I love it.  Sophisticated and yet the bright colours says it doesn't take itself too seriously.

via the peak of tres chic

The other side of the spectrum and gearing more towards the orange family rather than the red is this fantastically over the top living room in tangerine, turquoise (Pantone's 2010 Colour of the Year if you recall), white and gold.  Oh if this room was a pool of Jello, I would so jump in.

via Coco + Kelley

 And just one more because I am in love with this door...

via Say Yes to Hoboken

I have to say, one of the the nicest thing about using this colour in the dining room is that it's all in the accessories and changing it up would be fairly easy.  And really, that's where trends are best adapted I think - in small doses.  Unless of course, you absolutely love it, in which case, who cares what the trends say - just go for it.  Which is kinda what I did in the dining room so I'm not going to be changing it anytime soon!

Here's a few accessories that might dress up your abode in the same colour scheme...

The Girl By Jules Canvas Print is from Rockett St George is mesmerising...  There's just something quietly unsettling about her that I love.


Also from Rockett St George is this antiqued wood sign - it would look fabulous in a kitchen (or bedroom oooh la la)!


From Aria, this amazing lampshade is just all kinds of wonderful.


Check out this console table as well - I have no idea where you might buy one but is it not absolutely fabulous with the pale turquoise and white stripes and that amazing inlay mirror?


So what do you think?  Will you be using Tangerine Tango in your home?
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