French Chic For Less

Restored french chair

I’ve moved on from phase one of our renovation now and am taking a little ‘building’ sabbatical pending phase 2.

Of course, that means engaging in the more enjoyable pastime of ‘dressing’, or finishing, our home.

It’s only the very lucky who get a clean sweep at this, buying everything new for their second, third or, in our case, umpteenth home. Actually most people have to make do with existing furniture and we’re no exception.

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Let the Sun Shine In

The summer is almost with us once again. Its time to get the garden in shape, clean the barbecue and put a bottle of sparkling wine on ice.

We may be trying to spend as much of the summer enjoying the sunshine as we can, but cant we reflect our cheery outlook with the inside of our homes? Here we will skim through some options to get your house summer ready, with tips about getting the best from a sunny make over.


After you have given the windows a good clean, it is time to change the curtains. Take down the warming browns and amber tones to be replaced with vivid yellows and pastel pinks. I recommend a floral pattern match your blooming flower beds, the other side of the glass.

Cushions and throws

Try livening up your lounge with new cushions. The more different the better. Guests will be flocking round for diner and drinks this summer, and you will want some new touches to impress and inspire. Colourful and bright throws will inject live into your lounge and cover that slightly faded sofa you haven’t got around to replacing.

Bed covers and mattress

It is a must to invest in a low Tog rated duvet to avoid sweaty summer nights. A thin duck feather is always a good option that well last many summers as long as it is stored well over the winter months. This is also an ideal time to replace your mattress. A super comfortable and hypo-allergenic memory foam mattress will complement your new duvet in keeping you cool on the warm summer nights.

Alfresco dinning

While the barbecue is flaming away ready for the lamb kebabs and sirloin steak, the salads, bread rolls, condiments and side dishes need to be prepared and presented. Why not add a touch of class to proceedings with a new set of salad servers with matching bowl, a small touch with a big impact. The party would also have a cool new style if you used fresh white linen and lace table runners.

Fresh Flowers

Why should the garden flower beds have all the fun, we can have fresh cut flowers in beautiful vases all over the home. Bring the colours and aromas of summer inside, and complete your June make over with a natural flourish that isn’t too hard on the bank account.

Wishing you all a sunny and happy June!

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What Did The Romans Ever Do For US?

Kitchen Before

Kitchen After

Exhausted by my recent endeavors with the ceilings (see my previous blog) my builder forced me to turn my attentions to the next looming problem – the kitchen floor.

Not lucky enough to have acquired a house with a lovely original floor I began to consider my options. Of course the disgusting lino had long since been removed and revealed floorboards. Not your lovely aged and rutted wooden planks but thin, uneven, untreated and frankly quite forlorn looking boards.

A tad disappointed, but not deterred, I naively suggested I’d attack these myself, hiring a machine to strip them and then staining to get the colour I wanted. Geoff the builder looked bemused and I’m sure I observed a slight twitch above my other half’s right eye. They too remembered the ceiling saga.

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Chalking Up Lessons In Decorating

Bedroom and Ensuite Before

Ensuite After

This month I have been mainly painting.

I can assure you that this phase of a renovation project is not to be underestimated.  Of course, I’ve painted many a room given my profession, so did not feel daunted by assuring my builder that we’d take care of the decoration.

This was my first mistake.

It’s by no means a big house and indeed, many of the walls are stone and therefore didn’t count. But, and it’s a big but, all ceilings and all new stud walls needed tackling.

So, lets discuss my new nemesis… ceilings.  I’m sure my fellow style romantics would agree, the dropped false ceilings in two bedrooms needed to come down to expose the beams I knew would be above.

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Can We Bounce Some Great Recycled-Rubber Ideas Off You?

Recycled Rubber Chaise - Pinterest

No need to bemoan that spare tyre. Old rubber is getting a guilt-free second life as flooring, pavers, sinks and even furniture

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Want a Clear Decorating Conscience? Try Recycled Glass

Mosaic Tiles

Recycled Glass Tiles - Pinterest

Choose recycled glass for counters, backsplashes, accessories and more — this material is as durable as it is ecofriendly

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Hemp: Out of the Haze, Into Your House

Vintage Hemp

Vintage Hemp - Pinterest

Its hippie days behind it, hemp could be the practical, durable, ecofriendly fabric you’ve been searching for

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Discover the Unstoppable Advantages of Cork for the Home

cork for the home

Cork Wall From Pinterest

Look beyond wine stoppers to see cork’s eco-friendliness, durability, fire resistance and antimicrobial nature for all kinds of home products

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Bamboo Products — Earth Friend or Foe?

Interioir design with bamboo

From Pinterest

The eco-friendliness of this grass for flooring, wall coverings and furniture isn’t cut and dried. Get the facts here.

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Warm Up to White All Around the House

Vintage lace bedroom

From Pinterest

Explore the many ways to design a white kitchen, bathroom, dining room or bedroom that’s far from stark and sterile

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