This post has been a long time coming! As you know, we had Arthur 14 months ago now and when he was about 4 months old we decided to ‘baby proof’ the sitting room before he started moving as we knew that it would be safer to hide things behind cupboards than leave them on show.
So, we decided to have a carpenter build these cupboard bespoke to have doors on the front. It isn’t common to see cupboard doors on shelves in the sitting room- doors are more of a bedroom cupboard thing but I wanted to be able to hide our books/CD’s and DVD’s behind doors so the house looked less cluttered.
And, here is the result! [All photos taken by the talented Georgia Gold]
We decided to paint the cupboards in Kigali oil eggshell paint from Paint and Paper Library. What an investment!! It really paid off.
The painters said they always prefer to paint in oil if they have the choice as the paint lasts longer and has a better finish in the end. The only draw back was that we had to move out for a few nights as the smell was overpowering and was too much for Arthur at that age. That is standard when it comes to oil paints- they smell to high heaven!
One of the amazing things about Paint and Paper Library is that they will supply you with an undercoat in the same colour as the top coat! So, we didn’t have to paint the undercoat in the standard white like you normally do. This helps in achieving that really rich colour for the top coat.
In the picture above you can see what out cupboards look like behind the doors! (Yes, we still own about 10 VHS tapes…) Don’t judge!
At the same time we decided to install a multi-fuel stove (or ‘pot-bellied’ stove for those of you in Australia). We chose the 1412 stove from Morso and we bloody love it!! It’s perfect for a compact space. We had the whole thing done- a new hearth and they inserted black stone trim on the inside of our existing fireplace surround- this is for fire safety purposes but I think it finishes it off beautifully anyway. When the fire is on we don’t need to have the radiators on which is lovely.
Some of the lovely books on our shelves.
The two paintings above on the left were a wedding present from my parents. They wanted us to buy a piece of art that we loved which I thought was so thoughtful and perfect for a wedding gift! We went to the Affordable Art Fair and ended up making a deal with the artist and bought two instead. I couldn’t buy one without the other.
The piece on the right is a limited edition print from one of my all time favourite artists, Ken Done. He is an amazing Australian artist who many millions love and admire. If you ever get the chance to travel to Sydney then you must visit his gallery in The Rocks!
Why we decided to paint the hallway when Arthur was born I don’t know (!!) as his favourite thing to do now is scrape his toys along the wall…. but oh, well, that is life! We had a dado rail put in from our front door all the way upstairs to the end of the hallway. This has really helped to connect all spaces in the house and make the whole space feel so much more cohesive.
We would have loved to have embarked on a full house renovation/redecoration when we got together 8 years ago but obviously everything comes down to having (or not having) cash £££ and we have never had enough to do the whole thing at once so we have done one room a year. Naturally this means that each room is slightly different to the next. But, re-decorating our hallway in this two-tone effect has really helped to bring it all together and make it feel like a well designed space.
As well as painting the hallway (lower half in Night Jewels 1 and top half in Rock Salt from Dulux) we replaced our battered old radiators with these stunning classic rads from Bisque. We chose Anthracite Grey for the colour (FYI Anthracite is cheaper than picking a fancy colour and is usually in stock, which is one of the reasons I chose this finish!)
Our bedroom is styled pretty simply, really. We have continued the two-tone effect on the walls and hung a gorgeous oriental canvas print from Surface View over the bedhead. Our linen duvet set is from H&M– they have a range of brilliant colours to choose from!
The copper-toned print on the top left of our wall is a limited edition HAM print that was made for the charity Maggies. It was a gift from the founder and illustrator at HAM- Joanna Ham- in incredibly inspiring woman and one of the nicest people you will ever come across. The radio is from Tivoli and I absolutely love the walnut finish! We found the old trunk at a second hand store in Rye and brought it home with us. The rug is from Ikea.
We have had built-in cupboards installed into every alcove in the house as we needed extra storage and it was only way to achieve that while trying to be as minimal as possible. We chose shaker-style doors on all of them and it was money well spent!
The candle (above) is from a company called Urban Reivers and they make these incredible smelling candles that are meant to remind you of Scotland. The scent is almost like the smell of a campfire – like a burnt earth smell and it’s just heavenly. (especially in it’s earthenware pot!)
My wife and I both work from home so, naturally, you need an office! This is our shared space and we just love working in it. We bought a kitchen work top from Ikea and five legs (also from Ikea, for about £2 each) and made an office desk out of it. It’s more streamline than having two separate desks and it’s quite narrow (as kitchen bench tops usually are) so it’s perfect for a small-ish room! The blue wall is Sapphire Salute from Dulux.
On the left of this picture is our prized Ladderax unit. It was given to us by a good friend and it’s one of our most treasured possessions. (In fact, it’s one of those ‘I would take it with me in a fire’ kind of pieces…if it was able to be removed quickly!) I hope our friend knows how much it means that she gave it to us.
The Ladderax system was designed by Robert Heal in 1964 for Staples in London. It’s the perfect example for good Mid-Century design. There are no screws or fixings required. It is basically all kept together with small hooks and relies on gravity to keep it weighted and grounded. You can easily pick one up on eBay or even from a reclaimed vintage store. They are not uncommon but they are quite pricey.
This is a small detail that I wanted to share with you as it really has helped so much with freeing up desk space with my Mac Air. It’s called a Henge Dock and it very simply docks your Mac vertically to de-clutter your desk. It’s awesome! Oh, and my stapler was a birthday gift from a wonderful friend a few years back and came from Anthropologie. We call her Helena. (the stapler, that is…)
Please get in touch if there is anything you would like to know about any products or design in this post – I’ll be happy to share any info!
Lastly, I have been nominated for the Best Interior Designer/Stylist Blog in the Amara Blog awards and would really appreciate your vote, if you have two seconds to help me out! I would owe you one.