A mix of old, new and just plain quirky this week. Ready to come on the tour with me and see what you think? First up this is Grade II listed village house on the market with Strutt & Parker for £1,650,000 in a village near Woking, in Surrey. This is the back view with the huge garden, the front is white render, which was done to hide the bricks and make it look smarter and hide the building materials but they didn't bother with the back as passers-by wouldn't see it. [ 909 more words ]
This is a post about how to get pendant lighting right. It came to me following a visit to a client's house the other day - the first of the year for my interior styling business Mad About Your House. She has recently downsized from a large Victorian town house to a purpose-built three bedroom flat where she lives with her husband, a professional musician. [ 1,295 more word ]
It might sound obvious, but these days you can have any colour sofa you want. And before you start saying that was always the case, I bet you would have hesitated before choosing a pale sofa if you have small children. Or are partial to a glass of red wine and a cup of black coffee. Only a few years ago our interiors decisions were mainly governed by practical choices. [ 678 more words ]
I should probably apologise in advance for this post as it may be something of an enabler. I have just discovered that one of my favourite interior designers, Cassandra Ellis, has launched a range of paint. There are 18 gorgeous colours based around a neutral palette of soft whites, faded pinks, pale greys and a few deep, dark ones to finish. [ 759 more words ]
Morning everyone and welcome to this week's edition of 10 Beautiful Rooms. As usual there's no overriding theme, just a collection of spaces that have caught my eye and which I thought you might enjoy and which might spark inspiration for your own homes. Take this, for example, it's an Art Deco waterfront bar in Copenhagen, refurbished by Conran + Partners… [ 674 more words ]
Now that we’re all back at work *sigh* it feels like the best way to cheer ourselves up is to start planning the next holiday. Remember I was working with @bookingcom to ask if any of you with gorgeous homes fancied signing up to the site via this link https://goo.gl/LYNpnW. If I didn’t have a pair of stroppy teenagers who won’t even let me into their rooms, never mind guests, I would consider renting out The Mad House. For those who are late you can always visit join.booking.com for more information.
Right we're going to focus on the small flats this week as someone asked me a few months ago to try and include something that was, in theory, at least, more affordable. So first up is this one bedroom flat in Milner Square, Islington which is on for £575,000 via The Modern House. It was extensively renovated in 2013 and all the boring bits - plumbing and electrics and new wooden floors were taken care of. [ 487 more words ]
I don't hold with fancy fad diets, especially in January, but I'm always happy to try and eat a little more healthily, so when @quakeroatsuk (#ad) challenged me to come up with a recipe I was delighted. Here is my honey roasted seasonal fruits with flaked almonds and walnuts or pistachios.
The joy of this is that you can use whatever fruits you can easily find at the time of year. I’ve used pears, plums and figs, but you can use apricots, apples and blackberries if you prefer. I often start with whatever is in the house - fruit that the children haven't eaten and which might be going a little soft - and buy a few extras to top up. Then I store it in the fridge and help myself over the next few days.
Send a picture of your favourite porridge recipe using the #showusyouroats. You could win £10,000 from @QuakerOatsUK. Enter here: http://bit.ly/2Dy8E1M T&Cs apply: http://bit.ly/2z9UHDD
1 x 27g Quaker Oat so Simple Original Sachet, 1 medium pear, 1 medium plum, 1 medium fig (optional), 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil, 1 teaspoon honey, 6 pistachios or walnuts, 6 almonds, flaked.
For the porridge:
180ml semi skimmed milk 27g OATS SO SIMPLE sachet or 300ml semi skimmed milk with 40g oats (or: made up as instructions on pack)
Lay the fruit in a roasting tray in halves for plums and figs and chunks for pears (or apples). Dab a few knobs of butter and drizzle some raw honey over the top. Roast at 200 degrees for 20 minutes or until beginning to soften and caramelise. Scatter over flaked almonds and cook for a further ten minutes.
Spoon ¼ of the mix over your porridge and put the rest in the fridge for next time. Scatter over a few pistachio nuts and dig in.
#paidpartnership #ad #breakfast #mybreakfast #healthybreakfast #healthyeating #porridge #mytable #breakfasttable #butfirstcoffee
Now that we’re all back at work *sighs* it feels like the best way to cheer ourselves up is to start planning the next holiday. Remember I was working with @bookingcom to spread a word about listing your home or apartment on the site? Click this link https://goo.gl/S4mYbh and that way your house can earn the money while you are away spending it! If I didn’t have a pair of stroppy teenagers who won’t even let me into their rooms never mind guests I would seriously consider renting out The Mad House. #sponsored
Starting as I mean to go on with the first renovation project of the year already done. Actually it was started last year and it was a rather accidental refurbishment if I'm honest. When we moved in we painted tiny (and I mean tiny - I've got friends who can't fit in here) everything in blackboard paint and let friends and family draw what they wanted. [ 826 more words ]
It started, as it so often does, on Instagram. A couple of people - Sian Astley and Alex Steadman of The Frugality to be precise - included these tiles on their instastories and, as a long-time fan of patterned tiles, I was immediately keen to know where they came from. I was also intrigued to see more people adopting pattern in their tiles. [ 375 more words ]
Now listen carefully because this is one of those Objects of Design that is so of the moment that it's practically hitting you with its tail as you read. So where to start. Let's keep this simple: 1 The flamingo is dead, long live the peacock which makes this a cool way to buy into a trend because it's less obvious than buying a cushion with a peacock on it… [ 309 more words ]
Welcome to the first 10 Beautiful Rooms of the year and I hope it finds you well. First week of work done, kids back at s school so routine re-established and perhaps a little peace and quiet and five minutes to yourself. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and let's have a wander round shall we. First up is this dark kitchen. [ 649 more words ]
Welcome back to the first Househunter of the year. Are you ready? Sandwiches packed? Tape measures in hand? Comfy shoes on? Right, let's see what we can find to start off 2018. First up we're going to Hampstead to have a look at this beauty on Flask Walk. It's on with Goldschmidt & Howland (via Zoopla) for £2,599,950 but as regular readers will know, we don't pay attention to a little thing like price on here. [ 1,090 more word ]
Now that we’re all back at work *sigh* it feels like the best way to cheer ourselves up is to start planning the next holiday. Remember I was working with @bookingcom to ask if any of you with gorgeous homes fancied signing up to the site? The link is back in my bio and that way your house can earn the money while you are away spending it. If I didn’t have a pair of stroppy teenagers who won’t even let me into their rooms, never mind guests, I would consider renting out The Mad House.
#paidpartnership #collab #bookingyeah #hometorent #myhome #victorianhouse #styleitdark #howivintage #greycat #britishblue #cats_of_instagram #enidcat #londonhouse #holidayrental #interiordesign #interiorinspiration #interiorinspo #homes #apartments #rent #sponsored #list #house #entrepreneur
Remember when you were in your teens and early twenties and you used to treat yourself to a new thing on payday. Or sometimes on a Friday to wear out on a Saturday night. Perhaps you still do it now. I do. Although there comes a point when you seem to stop buying things for you to wear and start being irresistably drawn to things that your house can wear instead. [ 297 more words ]
Don't panic but I think it's coming for us this year. I have been pondering the redecoration of the sitting room for some time now. But I can't think of a colour I love more than Down Pipe. I know it might be a bit ubiquitous and I know that the room has been this colour for five years now (although the furniture has changed in that time) but I still love it. [ 505 more words ]
Now I don't know about you but these days I find it hard to operate without a list. I like the making of the list as much of the doing of the list and am one of those people who write things on the list that they have already done simply for the pleasure of being able to cross something off straight away. [ 358 more words ]
Now I'm not necessarily one for New Year's Resolutions - mainly because I don't like being told what to do. Or perhaps telling myself what to do but there's no doubt that I like to take a few minutes on New Year's Eve to get things in order mentally and think about how to start of the New Year as I mean to do on. [ 1,025 more word ]
Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2018
Well it's here. Actually that's not true, it's at the printers but I can today, exclusively, reveal, the cover and you can, today, PRE-ORDER IF IT YOU WANT. OK I'll stop shouting. You don't have to. Well not until you've finished finding out a little more about from this post if you like. So where to start? Well it's out on 22 March 2018 and if that feels like a long time away, think of it from my point of view - I finished writing it in July. [ 651 more words ]
Fancy a bit of a read? It's reached that stage where a well-crafted turkey sandwich and ten minutes piece and quiet is looking rather attractive isn't it? Well make yourselves comfy and I shall take you on a tour of the Vitra Campus. Yes it's a factory. A factory which produces some of the most iconic (and I don't use that word lightly) furniture designs in the world. [ 1,250 more word ]
Wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas and thank you all so much for your support over the past year. It means so much that you would take the time to drop in, read and comment as much to me as to each other. I love this community we have created and am thrilled that you want to be part of it.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas. Thank you all so much for your support throughout the year. It wouldn't happen without you. XK
Ready then? It's reached that stage of the proceedings where every other sentence seems to be punctuated by: "Oh well I don't mind if I do. It's Christmas after all...." So with that in mind, Christmas gift guides done (I can't help it if you haven't read them) decluttering and storage discussed, all that's left is to have a drink. So with that in mind here are some of the best champagne flutes/coupes/glasses around at the moment. [ 180 more words ]
Following on from yesterday's post on the secrets to an organised home and the need - all right my need - to declutter before the end of the year, I thought we would focus on good storage today. Also - good to have a break from the relentless tinsel-tinted coverage everywhere else no? So first up is my larder with its row of Shaker pegs and you can see how useful they are for storing everything from bags of bags, to feather dusters and aprons. [ 773 more words ]
I don't know about you, but I have never really got involved with the great Spring Clean. Spring comes, Spring goes, my windows remain the same - unless the window cleaner drops by. Life carries on as normal with no sofas being moved or mattresses being turned. December, however, it's another story... December is, for me, the month when no pile of clutter goes unmoved. [ 773 more words ]
Once again we're doing 10 Beautiful Rooms with a difference for the Christmas season. So far this month we have looked at trends versus reality and how some of the best UK interiors bloggers decorate their homes for the festive season. This week we're looking at 10 beautiful rooms that are listed on Booking.com and are available to rent. I was invited by the company to show some of these great rentals to you with a view to seeing if any of you wanted to rent out your own space - possibly to other design lovers. [ 822 more words ]
And so we come to the final Househunter of the year. I have twice moved in December and I read a quote from an estate agent recently saying that December can be a good time to sell as you tend to receive (and see) only serious buyers as the timewasters are busying doing their Christmas shopping and annoying shop assistants rather than housesellers. [ 619 more words ]
So we come to the sitting room. Perhaps the easiest room to buy for as it's the room that is for relaxing and entertainment and fun. Leaving aside furniture, although you can, of course, buy a new reading or relaxing chair for the love of your life, we can start with the smaller items based around the things that go on in here. [ 581 more words ]
The next part of this series on Christmas Gift Guides is the home office. Now I know not everyone has, or needs, one of these but there's no reason why we can't look at a few gorgeous gadgets and luxurious stationery which we can use in any part of the house is there? Personally I'm a total sucker for all that stuff and nothing makes me happier than an amazing stapler or set of gorgeous notebooks - both of which you will see here. [ 757 more words ]
As you may have realised this year, we are taking a slightly more lateral approach to gift guides, choosing things based on the recipient's favourite room or just choosing our presents for the spaces they will go in rather than trying to shoehorn people into categories they don't want to be in. Choosing presents based on a room and its activities is a good way to start. [ 636 more words ]
For one of the last issues of Beautiful Rooms before Christmas I thought I would show you 10 very different trees by 10 very different bloggers and maybe you will be inspired for next year or maybe you can just have a scroll while sipping eggnog or something. There are real and faux and kitsch and Christmassy, come with me... [ 1,373 more word ]
Now this house is a beauty. It's a proper Victorian doer-upper that is practically intact and is full of such charming period details that I hope whoever buys it really tries to preserve it and just updates the heating and electricity and adds a lick of paint. Come with me and have a look: The classic knock through sitting room gives no hint of the treasures that are to be found in this six bedroom house in Tottenham, north London. [ 623 more words ]
I don't know about you but I rather love shopping for stocking fillers. The only problem is running out of control and spending far too much money. As you will have gathered by now I take a sort of stocking approach to most of my presents preferring to build up a little theme around a group of small items. When it comes to stockings there are, of course, a couple of hard and fast rules - there must be a satsuma, there must be chocolate money although this year - don't tell the 14yo - I am going to mess with his head and make it chocolate sprouts - and there must be books and stationery. [ 756 more words ]
Part II of the Room by Room Christmas Gift Guide today. As yesterday I have included lots of suggestions and links and these are all things that I love but hopefully the tips here will give you some ideas so that you can tailor the ideas to your own requirements. The point is that individually, and beautifully wrapping, a collection of small things in a gorgeous box or bag is just as exciting as the hard-to-find one big thing. [ 500 more words ]
Now I don't know you about but I often end up getting irritated with Christmas Gift Guides. I don't want to be classed as the "foodie" or the "gardener" or the "best friend over 40" or the "mad woman with the cat"... actually that .... And the Mad Husband has never yet wanted anything from a must give gifts for the man in your life list. [ 814 more words ]
This week I thought we'd do 10 Beautiful Rooms in a slightly different way. Essentially chosen by you or people like you. A few days ago I went to the annual trends dinner at Houzz where we ate delicious food and talked about our trend predictions for next year. It's all very well to talk about the future but the fact of the matter is that we can pontificate all we like (and we do) but trends can take a long time to filter into the mainstream - I reckon we spend at least two years talking about them before anyone actually does them and then by the time it's the norm, the trendsetters have moved on and are having a completely new conversation. [ 782 more words ]
And just like that it was the first day of the last month. So are you still up for a little fantasy house-hunting? The market dies down a little at this time of year although I have twice moved house on 10 December so there are people who are still looking either through desperation or desire. First up let's go to Buckinghamshire to this sweet three bedroom cottage on a quiet road in the Chiltern Hills, which is only a ten minute drive to tube at Chesham. [ 595 more words ]
Right we've made it to the end of the month, pour yourself a drink because it's about to be Christmas everywhere you look. I try to keep it to a minimum but even I have succumbed this year and will be publishing some gift guides next week so I hope you'll drop in for those. In the meantime, these glasses are gorgeous. [ 75 more words ]
Continuing our loose series on sort of getting the house ready for Christmas but also taking the opportunity to look at areas that need fixing or remedying I thought we'd take a turn down the high street today and have a look at bedding. There's lots of really pretty stuff out there and if you have guests coming or fancy something new for yourself then there are some good deals to be had too. [ 391 more words ]
As if there wasn’t enough to do at this time of year when planning for Christmas, what with present-buying, parties and planning, there is one other, really important, thing that you should make time for if you want everything to run smoothly. Last week we looked at simple ways to create the perfect guest room and now it's time to look at getting your kitchen ready for the big day. [ 792 more words ]
Cold then isn't it? That'll be November for you, so this week we're going warm and cosy to banish the winter blues. These first images are from the Tine K catalogue. This Danish designer inspired me to use leather handles on my kitchen cupboards after I saw in a magazine that she had done the same thing using old leather belts. [ 798 more words ]
Three for you this week, all quite different in look and feel so hopefully a bit of something for everyone. First up is this converted piano factory in Camden, north London. Fancy coming in....? There will be 10 flats (the most expensive is over eight million quid - I know!) but the cheapest (I'm using the term loosely - let's call it the least expensive) is £3.35m. [ 756 more words ]
It's one of those things that seemed as if it might be fad, hung around long enough to classify as a trend and is now so firmly back on the interiors radar that it's pitching to be a new classic. Yes it's the drinks trolley. Suddenly no well-dressed home is without one and every client I visit asks me where to source one and where they should put it when I've found it. [ 362 more words ]
Now I have to confess that at this time of year my inner kitsch comes out. I rarely allow the Christmas tree into the house before 20 December and it's out by 27th. There's no tinsel and I would much rather have armfuls of natural green foliage and fairy lights than anything else. But... but.... I do like to change the decor a little bit. [ 290 more words ]
Good Morning and welcome to the last of my collaborations with Brintons Carpets. I have already written a detailed guide on buying the right sort of carpet for the right room and now we are going to focus a little on the colour. Specifically the right shade of grey. As many of you will know, it was my guide to choosing the… [ 781 more words ]
Monday Morning and time for a new set of 10 Beautiful Rooms. This week we are sticking firmly in the monochrome palette. This is partly because it makes a great basis for any scheme. I don't necessarily mean black and white as that can be stark and very modern soften it slightly to charcoal and ivory, for example and you have a completely different look. [ 900 more words ]
Starting off our house tour this week with a trip to Hampstead, always pretty in an idealised Richard Curtis London sort of way. For many years it was known as the home to academics, writers and media types it has, of course the massive Heath with swimming ponds and city views. And now that you have sorted of guessed the kind of prices we are talking about you can come on in.... [ 549 more words ]