Thursday, 28 July 2011

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream!

Ok, so I'm sat at my PC, the sun is shining (blind is pulled down to stop temptation to go sunbathe!), I can hear children splashing in the sea in the distance and I'm writing about Autumn / Winter 2011 agh! 

To compensate for it I'm going to treat myself to some ice-cream but before I do here are some of the latest ice-cream/sorbet inspired homewares that have tickled my fancy for all things pastel pretty...


Hmm which flavour shall I have today? What's your favourite? 

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Before & After furniture restyle: small objects

I have a migraine today so this is a quick post to share with you my latest small item restyles.

First up is a 20's style black mirror, which I found at a car boot sale. I simply painted it with Annie Sloan Paris Grey paint, coated it with a thin layer of wax, distressed it slightly to let some black through and voila, a simple, modern mirror for the yet to be wallpapered downstairs cloakroom.

20's style car boot find mirror - before
20's style car boot find mirror - after  
Next up is a well loved old table, made by my mum's uncle who spent his working life as carpenter. This is one of the first pieces he ever made and although it's wonky I just love the fact it's still as useful as ever. So I lovingly coated it in Cream paint, then added a coat of Paris Grey, waxed & sanded it down to create a prettly little flower table.

Wonky old table - before
Wonky old table -after

Lastly today is a wicker mirror I bought years ago. I bought it in a rush just to fill a blank space on a wall in my guest bedroom before friends came to stay. I've always hated it and came across whilst rummaging around my garage last week. So rather than bin it, I thought I'd give it a rough lick of paint and use it to fill another blank wall space in my hallway. I'm pleased with the outcome, who'd have thought!

Wicker mirror - before
Wicker mirror -after
One last thing, I have to share with you is the joy of the Gladioli. I just adore their presence in the room when simply placed in a vase. The choice of colour always fills me with joy so I thought I'd share with you the bunch that is currently brightening up my living room.

Yellow Gladioli - enough to make my heart sing!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Before & After furniture restyle: vintage small chest of drawers

Ooh, I'm pleased with the outcome of this one, it's so pretty it's ever so tempting to keep it all for myself :)
Today's furniture restyle is a lovely distressed, painted 2 drawer wooden chest (h68 w62 d43cm) which has a pretty floral carving along the front of the unit underneath the top ledge. 


I have painted it with two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paints (carcass Old White, drawer fronts Duck Egg Blue) and also rubbed in two coats of wax. I have kept the original handles as they are so beautiful and finish off the unit perfectly. The drawers are currently unlined but I can line with pretty wallpaper if desired. This would sit beautifully in a guest bedroom or on a landing, but could be used in any room in the house, as long as it gets put somewhere it can be seen!

If you are interested in buying this item please leave a comment here or email me at

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Create your own interior style on a shoestring - part one

Love your home
Why is it that when flicking through a home interiors magazine or browsing in a shop that you find something that you fall in love with, only then to fall out of love with it when you see the price tag? Then the battle of head vs. heart ensues & whichever decision you make something is left empty, be it your wallet or your desire. Here is part one of Home Restyler's how to create your own interior style on a shoestring to help you win:win.

So many of us love the idea of a romantic, vintage style look for the home. If you are naturally drawn to the rustic, 'used' or distressed look, put this to your advantage and achieve it yourself. You don't have to spend a fortune to have a stylish home and it's often the small details that make it unique and personal to you.

Part One of Home Restyler's how to create your own interior style on a shoestring is a gentle nudge to encourage you to get out there and forage around for unloved items that you can bring back to life.

Tat or treasure...
Reuse & Recycle
Get yourself down to markets, car boot sales and charity shops. People are always donating or selling unwanted furniture and accessories in house clearances or just to make space in their homes. Look out for bargains that you can put a stamp on and make your own.  
Ask friends and family if they have unwanted belongings that you can take off their hands. What is one person's tat is another person's treasure!

Revive & Revamp
Once you have found items that you want to revamp, you will likely need paint to do so.

Annie Sloan paint has to be THE best chalk paint for painting furniture ever. You don't have to prime or prepare surfaces before painting, you can use it on any surface (interior and exterior), you can dilute it to show wood-grain, you can mix it, you can leave the lid of to thicken it (as an impasto), you don't even have to wash your paint brush as soon as you finish the job... it is truly incredible. Don't just take my word for it, take a look at her website to read more about those who love her paint. She even runs courses so you can  learn how to achieve the look of old French and Swedish painted furniture. 

You may also need fabric to give an item a new lease of life. Look out for old curtains you can chop up, collect small sample pieces of material that you can use for small projects and old blankets and thows can be cleaned and re-used to put on chairs or beds.

If you like the shabby chic look you really can create a beautiful, stylish interior look for your home on a budget. Over the next few weeks and months I will be writing blogs to help you achieve a look that works for you. I will also provide you with links for further ideas and inspiration and if you have any questions of queries please do get in touch as I'd love to help you bring your home to life.

What's more, if you do put in some time and effort to reclaim, revamp and restore, you will love your home even more than if you just buy everything off the shelf. It will take patience though ;)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Celebrating local vintage and handmade producing folks in Exeter

Hmm I've got the afternoon to myself this Saturday, no daughter or husband in tow...I was going to have an afternoon sunworshipping but instead I thought I'd be more productive. So I'm going to go and meet a group of lovely talented crafting people, bringing their very best in the way of vintage and handmade items to Exeter at the Exeter Vintage and Handmade Fair. I am told it is going to be superb and it's ever so exciting as it's a totally new event for Exeter. It is being held at the Thistle Hotel between 11am - 4pm. 
Exeter Vintage & Handmade Fair

I can't wait to wander and see what fabulous vintage delights the 45 stalls have to offer and nor can I wait to sip some Pimms at the Pimms Lounge and taste some yummy cakes made by Kiss and Bake Up (god, I LOVE cake!) all served on vintage china from The English Tea Party. On sale will be jewellery, cards, candles, felt items, fabric items, homewares, vintage clothing...Plus entry is free!

They will be holding a tombola, of which all the profits will go to The Exeter Leukaemia Fund to help them continue the fantastic work that they do and the Southwest Lindy Hoppers will be present to entertain all with their lindy hop routines!

Ooh my Saturday afternoon is looking delightful!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Mustard on your plate

Some plates were made to eat off, others were made to just admire and these are certainly the latter. In very on-trend yellow and the same colour as the mustard tones in my living room, I am certainly a fan of Mini Moderns 'Festival' tableware, which is imminently due to launch on In conjunction with homeware brand Magpie, Mini Moderns has created a collection of mix and match tableware in celebration of the Festival of Britain's 60th anniversary.

This range is an extension of the already popular 'Festival' wallpaper, the design of which features highlights from the 1951 Festival of Britain exhibition. Geometric shapes are the backdrop to abstract representations of the iconic buildings such as the Royal Festival Hall, Skylon and the Dome of Discovery.

The range includes mugs, plates, cups and saucers and prices start at £7.50 for a mug. I think I may have to have a few of the plates to hang on the wall, maybe I'll have a mug too so I can sit back with a cuppa and admire them!

Mix up the yellow & grey palette

The iconic 'Festival' wallpaper in concrete

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Make your own...curtain tie-backs

Amidst lots of excitement in the world of home restyler (more about new developments to follow soon...) I have been thinking about curtain tie-backs. 

I often find that there is a relatively limited choice of individual designs out there, which has inspired me to think about creating your very own that you can co-ordinate with your curtains and room decor. Not only does it allow for perfect matching but also affords you the chance to make something that is entirely personal to you and makes a simple, affordable yet unique one-off piece that will be a talking point in any of your rooms. 

All you need to do is colour match some beads, which could be glass, felt, metal, plastic or fabric (keep it simple with either a string of one type of bead or mix it up with various shapes and sizes) and find some ribbon, wire or string and get threading them on. Tra la!

how perfect would these be as tie-backs?!

Ooh felt balls...not just for tie-backs but a multitude of crafty projects!
Beautiful green double velvet ribbon

So cute, so on-trend yellow polka dot ribbon

There are so many different kinds of beads and balls, strings and ribbons. Some ribbon is best left plain others are calling out to be adorned. Check out the likes of Etsy and Folksy for more inspiration. And a plus for all you craftaphobics out there, this idea needs no sewing kit at all ;)