Monday, 10 September 2012

If in a new scarf!

I had the day to myself today so I ventured into town to have another look at bedding for my little boy's room.

Here's what I spied. I'm still very undecided. I like them all!

Little White Company 'Howdy Partner' from £55

Laura Ashley 'Treasure Island' from £55

Laura Ashley 'On the Sea' from £55

Laura Ashley 'Treasure Island' wallpaper

White Stuff 'Flights of Fancy' scarf £19.95

As I couldn't make my mind up, and as I was walking past, I had a little look in White Stuff and spotted this lovely scarf instead! Apologies for the photo. Being in the house alone meant that I had to get creative with the photography! I've been after a scarf in a corally pink (more pink) for ages and I found one! On returning home, I also went online and ordered a jumper from White Stuff and was pleasantly surprised to find that if you ring the store and say that you want to avoid delivery charges, that they will give you a free delivery and returns code! I expect this is old news to most of you!

Don't look too closely at the state of the playroom....or the slightly scary papier mache Bog Baby on the edge of the mirror....a hangover from Year 1 homework!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Clint Eastwood and a funky dining chair.

Aaaahhhh. Both children back at school. Sebastian went back yesterday and by this morning was walking with a very unusual gait due to new school shoes! Rather like Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars.....if he were acting the part now, as an 82 year old! My daughter was dressed and ready for school by one minute to seven this morning. Unheard of! It can't last.

Before I mop the kitchen floor (ooh....the glamour!), I have to answer a request from a friend. She is undergoing a kitchen re-vamp and wanted some advice on dining chairs. Her remit was that she wanted something modern and funky but inexpensive and durable.

Her kitchen is quite traditional. Shaker units, light oak dining table. It is quite a large, open plan space with plenty of natural light. Why, might you be asking, is this relevant? Well. Had the room been smaller or the dining area have been separate, I would have probably suggested that she look at something in a more similar style to the dining table rather than something more modern and distinctive. Your eye would be less drawn to the size of the room because of the uniformity between table and chairs. Statement pieces tend to work better where there is more light and space, in my view.

Right. Onto the chairs. I had a good look around and ended up back at my old faithful, John Lewis.

I posted some while back about these chairs, but since, JL have introduced a couple more options.

Now, I have to admit, there is nothing too new or original about these chairs. Having said that, I for one, never tire of seeing schemes using these designs. I love the shape and the colours. I have sat on the more expensive versions and they are very comfortable. I have yet to road test all of these cheaper versions and suspect that there may be a little variation...but then, they are a fraction of the price.

To be a little more daring, choose one of the assortment of bright colours. The Jasper chair comes in 10 shades. Plenty of choice. This chair reviews pretty well on JL website. The Walnut Grable chair is a classic design. Probably better with a glass top table or a white table as contrast to the wood.

I love the shape of the Marilyn chair at £49. The reviews are a little mixed. Probably one that requires a really good road test, inspection and prod! Some reviewers comment that it scratched easily. As for the value chair at £19...well....great value for money! I'm going to go in and have a good look at it, but on the face of it, it looks like a really good buy. Great shape and in white, would look fab against a light oak table. The reviews are all positive for this chair. If you really are on a tight budget but want something modern, then this is the one.

For budget busters, my favourites are still the Panton S chair available in a variety of colours. This chair is so comfortable and such a design classic. My other choice is the ever popular Philippe Starck for Kartell Ghost chair. Again, you will see this on every other page of every interiors magazine, but I still love it. The Verner Panton chair retails at £200 plus and the Ghost chair from £165.

 The good news is, if you are not bothered about an original, then check out Cult Here you will find classic designs reproduced and available for a fraction of the price. The Panton style chair is available for £49 plus delivery for example! A reproduction Ghost chair is £79. Only a trained eye could probably tell the difference. The quality may be questionable, but I might order something and see.


Grable chair Walnut £49

Marilyn chair £49 in 4 colours

Value curve white chair £19
Philippe Starck for Kartell Ghost chair £165

Panton S chair £200

Monday, 3 September 2012

Elegant styling courtesy of Reese Witherspoon...

Phew. A busy morning. By 10am I had fed and clothed the kids, done a supermarket dash and given the downstairs cloak a coat of paint!

The children have friends over today and are making the most of the last couple of days of school holiday. Whilst I enjoy the time the children are at home....the days we are free to get up, in theory, a little later than normal (but as we parents all know.....this strangely rarely happens until the children are well into their teens!), I am always quite relieved when school begins again and some semblance of routine returns to our lives.

The house is a tip. The floors need a proper clean as do the windows. Nothing life threatening....but jobs I am actually quite looking forward to attacking next week.

Yesterday, we spent a lovely day with friends at their home in Harborne. The weather was great so the kids played in the paddling pool. I always look forward to meeting up with this particular friend who happens to be my oldest (in terms of years we have known each other!) and dearest friend. She is also a successful fashion stylist and therefore our visit is always preceded with a certain amount of agonising on what I should wear! (My friend will laugh at this!) She, unlike me, is a snappy dresser, has an eye for what looks good and has fab hair just to top it all off!

Whilst I agonise about an outfit, Beth sends me texts apologising in advance for the state of her house! I find this comforting! It helps me to relax about my outfit!! We did laugh. At one point, Beth insisted that I go upstairs and witness the terrible state of her teenage daughter's bedroom. One not too chuffed daughter in tow, I took a quick look and, yes, it perhaps needed a little tidy! All of a sudden I didn't feel my legs looked quite so tree trunky in white jeans!

Anyway. I wonder if celebrities suffer the same anxieties as we mere mortals?! I doubt it because they employ celebrity stylists to decorate their homes and tell them what to wear and clear up their mess!

I took a sneaky peek into Reese Witherspoon's newly styled Californian home and I really like her style. There are elements in the design that could easily be employed on a 'normal' budget without the celebrity interior designer. I particularly like the mix of textures and fabrics....leather and wood...and the mix of modern alongside more traditional furnishings. Quite European infact...a touch of English, a touch of Scandinavian. 

Here are some pics.

son's room

daughter's room