Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Floored!

With the wet weather these past few weeks, I've had my mind on my carpets which are taking a beating with young adults up and down and in and out.  It's a constant battle to keep carpets clean...so I'm on the look out for alternatives.

So today I'm talking flooring, once again it's all down to personal choice and how you like to live.  There are so many choices out there we don't just have to choose wall to wall fitted carpets anymore.

In climates where you don't have so much rain, it's much easier to keep carpets clean.  In rainy, muddy England, however, where it rains on average 109 days out of 365, having a fitted carpet in your entrance hall seems impractical.

And if you have children and dogs, the necessity for practical flooring is even more important.

Some older homes tend to have original wooden floor boards, which is lovely and tactile but can be a little bit cold underfoot.   I'd still choose bare wood floors over a fitted carpet any day of the week, but I would cozy it up with a rug under the bed or dotted around the room for extra warmth!  Bedrooms are after all, about getting cozy and intimate.

I sort of have my own rule about carpets - anything above the stairs can be carpeted ie. bedrooms/studies etc. but below stairs (sounds like Downton Abbey) should be practical and easy to clean, so for me that means rubber, ceramic tiles or wooden flooring or you might be lucky enough to have original limestone flooring.   I love the feel of sisal or coir flooring, which is both practical and great looking.  Unfortunately you can't use these natural products on staircases as they give off a natural oil which makes the steps slippery.   Carpets in bathrooms are a no-no, stick to wooden flooring, rubber or tiles.  

So I'm leaning towards bare wooden staircases as well.  They are easy to clean when you only have to wipe them down.  You can paint them crazy colours, add wallpaper, add some fun script, there is so much you can do.

Think about the traffic that comes across your front door.  Most entrances, hallways and kitchens see more foot work than any other space in the home, so it makes perfect sense to lay practical flooring. Rubber flooring is another option and comes in a variety of designs.  Ceramic tiles are cold in winter, so perhaps you want to think about installing underfloor heating.  Wooden floors are much more tactile and warmer in winter, but keep a space cool in summer, so you have the best of both worlds.  If you don't have the option of laying underfloor heating, you can always add runners and rugs to the ceramic tiles to soften up the look and give the space the cozy factor.  Any spills and drips can always be rubbed out with a little elbow grease.









The possibilities are endless.  It's about choosing the right flooring for your family circumstances.
Think outside the box, wall to wall carpets aren't the only option available.


Until next time!
Sharon
xxx



Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Window warmth



Hope you're all having a great week.
Thank you for your lovely comments about my daughter's bedroom post.  I've been sanding down and painting dressing tables this last week and I'm finally finished.  

A few weeks ago a friend brought me some of her plums from her tree...I'm not much of a plum fan, but I searched google for recipes and made this delicious plum cake!
photo by me


Talking about drapes/curtains and blinds, they are tricky to get right.  Do you choose the fabric for the curtains first and then plan the rest of the room or do you decorate the room and leave the drapes till last?  I must admit I always have a dilemma with curtaining and I end up leaving it till last (unless I've seen the finished picture in my mind's eye and know exactly what I want).  I often can't find what I am looking for in the stores, or even online fabric houses without spending an absolute fortune, so I often end up buying fabric on eBay, usually remnants of antique french fabric and make them up myself! 

So if you're not adventurous when it comes to buying fabric for curtains, then my advice is to stick to plain, something that will blend in and disappear in the background unless of course you want them to be noticed, in which case they need to be amazingly beautiful curtains!

Off the shelf blinds seem to be fairly basic without much embellishment, rather plain and sad looking, and I've heard people say you can stick your favourite fabric to the existing blind and viola you have a stunning blind!  What they often forget to say is you need to hem the piece of fabric first so that you don't have raw edges sticking out and it looks neat enough to stick onto the existing blind.  Personally I have never tried this.  Having blinds made up are often the best option if you're not handy with a sewing machine.  Blinds are less forgiving than curtains are, as they lay straight and any flaws are readily seen when the blind is pulled down.

When I was searching for photos of curtains and blinds, I was amazed at how many rooms didn't have any curtaining up and left the windows bare.



Very structured and formal in approach with drapes just touching the floor.


I like this approach best, there's enough stimulation in the room to create interest and the drapes are quietly hanging in the background.


Rattan blinds, picking up the natural elements in the flooring and the colour of the cushions

blinds and curtains which match the monochrome scheme
(all photos via pinterest)

I was going to tackle flooring as well, but I think I'll leave this for another post.

Enjoy the weekend!
Sharon
xxx



Monday, 14 October 2013

Bedrooms

I'm loving this time of year when the leaves fall and the chestnuts open, they are so beautiful and the colours are so vibrant!  I'm ready to get walking in the woods and scuffing my heels in those leaves!  

It seems like ages since I've posted about interiors, so here we are...

I've been thinking about making the most of our bedrooms and how to go about creating a cozy private place we really enjoy.  Most of us start off with a bed and a bedside table and a lamp if we're lucky. That’s sort of the basic.  But what we do with the rest of the room is up to us.  And that’s the fun part.

I've been in too many homes with blank white walls, just crying out to be covered in either wallpaper or a stunning paint colour.  This can really elevate a bland wall if you don't have the luxury of a headboard and another great way to add interest is a few framed pictures on the walls grouped above the bed that form a sort of visual headboard.

My daughter's bedroom in her pale walled rental needed visual interest, and not being able to afford a covered headboard or wanting to paint the walls, we added framed pictures instead. Just by adding a few pics it has totally changed the look of the room.  We still need to add the super large square pillows at the back of the blue pillows for added plumpness and the look of luxury, but already the pictures have created a stimulating gallery of art when you enter the room.  And the best part is, they didn't cost a fortune!

The gold PARIS print was bought from Etsy, the LOVE print is a vintage French magazine cover, the other two floral framed prints come from TK Maxx in the bargain dept and the larger of the floral paintings is an original painting on canvas also bought on Etsy, and finally the last little canvas painting was done by me.

So now we've created the wall of art, let's take a look at bedlinen - personally, I favour plain white crisp 100% cotton or linen but we all have our own ideas about what is beautiful.  In this instance, my daughter wanted a floral duvet she had seen online, but I wanted to show her how incorporate other floral cushions which she already had. The key to mixing pattern on pattern is colour and similar themed cushions.   The pink birdcage cushions, together with the fleur de lis cushion and the iconic Union Jack in all it's sequined glory, really do blend in well with each other.







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 Next time we'll look at drapes, carpets and storage.
    Have a great week everyone!

Sharon
xxx

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Thursday musings

I caught the gardening bug during summer and I'm still picking the last of the wild flowers, especially cosmos and cornflowers.  Finally my sweetpeas came into flower but only one at a time and I've had huge success growing dill from seed and they look so pretty. 

I'm typing to the patter of raindrops which I love...  So on this beautiful wet Thursday morning, I give you flowers...  The teacup and side plate is one of a pair I found recently.  I love the peppermint green and the gold, so pretty and delicate.  I've put bottles filled with flowers all around the house, including the WC!










(all photos mine, please do not use without permission)


Here's to a lovely weekend ahead!
Sharon
xxx