The Beauty of Winter

To all my soul mates out there who hate being cold, it is that time of the year again, but where my usual response would be dread, this year I am amending my attitude and looking to discover the beauty of Winter.

I cannot deny that winter landscapes are beautiful, I just normally prefer to view them through a window from somewhere warm. The moody colours and raw textures of cloudy skies, bare trees and snow capped mountains are something else and I normally focus on using the inspiration to cosy up my inside spaces.

This year I am gonna be brave and venture outside…

The Beauty of Winter

Fires are Beautiful…

An outdoor fire is not only beautiful but provides warmth so is obviously a necessity.

Blankets are Beautiful…

A big basket of blankets should be on standby for bundling up. They should also be draped over chairs and other solid surfaces to make everything look and feel warm and cosy.

Hot Drinks are Beautiful…

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate or even hot cocktails with roasted nuts or toasted marshmallows is something there should be more of.

Snow Chalet Style Accessories are Beautiful…

Antlers, stacked fire wood, animal hide rugs and rustic vessels atop a mantle, side table or trolley add that special Winter look.

Candles are Beautiful…

Candles add magic and are completely necessary to provide that soft, warm, flickering glow on a cold, grey, miserable day.

Winter Beauty

All images via Pinterest

They tell me that changing your attitude changes your world so I’m giving it a red hot go. Each time I get down about the cold, I will concentrate on one of the above ideas and perhaps I will eventually find Winter beautiful…

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From Moodboard to Real Life Room

I am all about a moodboard as you well know. I nearly never work on a project for either myself, or a client, without one and I even offer the service of creating one on your behalf to guide you through your own decorating journey. Today I will attempt to explain exactly how to translate your inspirational pics into an actual room makeover…

So you have followed my advice and stock piled magazines tear sheets, spent hours online, pinned a tonne of inspirational pins, refined your selection and created an amazing moodboard. How then do you translate all your room ideas from said moodboard to real life room? Sometimes its really quite obvious and other times not so much. To begin with you need to study each individual image, break down each element and identify exactly what you love about the picture in the first place. Its all about making lists….

Step 1 – Drill into the Specifics

Is it the colours, patterns, texture or lighting? Is it the decor, the architecture or the vibe? Make yourself a written list of the visual ideas. For example, my current list would read: raw timber, stone, linen, faux fur, grey, blue and brown with black accents, geometric pattern, distressed paint, soft pools of light, textured ceramics, indoor plants, comfortable and cosy.

Moodboard for Me

Moodboard for Me

Step 2 – Decide How to Add your Inspiration

To incorporate my inspiration I then make a second list of ideas; timber wall panels, stone indoor garden pots, linen curtains, faux fur throw, grey wall paint, blue upholstery, geometric cushions, distressed painted side table, black floor and table lamps, textured ceramic vases or vessels and oversized, pillowy seating.

Step 3 – Execute your Plan

Make a third list to take shopping then roll up your sleeves, clean out, paint if required, rearrange, style, stand back and smile!!

The living room at my place is a work in progress...

The living room at my place is a work in progress…

Now its worth noting that things don’t always go to plan 🙁 You cant afford the side table you dreamed of, the oversized, pillowy sofa and artwork ate up all your budget and the vases and vessels will have to wait. Doesn’t matter! Paint something second hand, wait to add your ceramics and grab a fleece blanket to substitute for your faux throw in the short term. It will happen in time. Your moodboard ensures you stay within your boundaries and prevents you wasting money on things that don’t fit in with your dream design.

See! Don’t get overwhelmed, take it one step at a time and have fun! A little bit of hard work for a huge amount of satisfaction. You’ll be so proud of yourself I promise 😉

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Books are the Best!

The absolute best spaces tell the story of who resides there. Clever decor personalises a room and creates a unique vibe that can’t be replicated because it is individual to the people that call it home.

The very BEST decorating accessory to help achieve this is books. Why, you ask? Because;

Books are both beautiful and beneficial.

Books are one of the simplest and easiest items to incorporate into a room.

Books add personality and soul to a space.

Books work no matter what style you love.

Now I know not everybody reads, but I am yet to meet someone that does not love beautiful images, especially of things that interest them. You don’t need a library filled to the brim, but the strategic placement of a stack here or there can make an amazing difference, I promise!

There loads of different ways to use your favourite books to add volumes of style to your space…….

Perfect Harmony

An easy way to create a symmetrical coffee-table arrangement; Place a low stack of books in each corner, then add a few decorative objects, you know the drill. This creates an anchor for your display that’s both visually soothing and interesting. Using books that coordinate with the colors of the room creates harmony whilst the alternative can introduce an accent colour and inject interest into the display.

Coffee table books create an anchor for your display that’s both visually soothing and interesting.

An Ever-Changing Gallery

When a book’s cover is a work of art, flaunt it. Use narrow shelves to create a gallery. Facing your books outward on your shelf is equivalent to hanging a print or painting. It’s a no nails way to add wall art that is fast, easily changeable, and such an simple idea to brighten, soften or refresh the style of your space.

When a book’s cover is a work of art, flaunt it.

Create Balance

Books work great to fill the gaps in vignettes. Layered horizontally, books can help fill a large space whilst instantly creating an interesting, extra surface to decorate. Added vertically they introduce height and hard covers can become a pedestal for other decor creating visual weight. Do you have a collection of books? Group them all together in a wire basket or stand them alone with attractive bookends on a table, buffet or a night stand. Also keep in mind that when filling shelves you have the option to intersperse horizontal stacks of varying height among the vertical rows. Stack everything from ceramic vessels to family photos atop the shorter piles or in the space between titles to add interest and dimension.

Books work great to fill the gaps in vignettes.

In a Linear Lineup

Lay books or magazines out along a sofa table, stool or at the foot of the bed so at a glance you can you peruse your selection before curling up to read. Evenly spaced stacks look super stylish lined up along a bench and help exaggerate horizontal and vertical line by guiding the eye along.

Line books or magazines up along a sofa table, stool or at the foot of the bed.

Adding Colour

If you’re like me and own shelves full of stories, there is the option to organise your books by jacket colour to visually coordinate the spines. Sorting your covers from dark to through to light produces an gentle ombré effect. I’ve seen book titles disguised by covering to establish a more specific colour palette to a space. Newspaper, sheet music, paper or fabric can all be used effectively, or for an aged, vintagy, neutral vibe you could always remove the cover altogether……

Organise your books by jacket colour to visually coordinate the spines

Coax the Eye to a Comfy Corner

If you do love to read, create a reminder to stop and enjoy your books. I am guilty of getting super busy and forgetting to make time for reading, so lately I have pulled a few titles off the shelf and arranged them on a side table next to a comfy chair. Books placed in plain sight with a few flipped open to gorgeous pages, are sure to draw both you, your friends and your family in.

If you do love to read, create a reminder to stop and enjoy your books.

All images via Pinterest and Instagram

The invention of digital reading, whilst practical, makes me sad. One can no longer borrow or share their latest discovery and lost is the ability to glance at a friends bedside stash and sneak a peak at what they are currently reading. Books can provide a subconscious glimpse into a persons character, a tell tale sign of what they love, instant insight into their hopes and dreams and sometimes their hidden desires…. 😉

A home is not complete without books so please don’t keep them hidden, put them on display and instantly infuse soul into your space!

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Internal Glass Walls – Separation with Style

Lately I have found myself pondering the practicality of internal glass walls and am unsure if they are a passing trend or have been around forever and I’ve only just started noticing them? I find myself attracted to interiors that include them but, are they a good idea, or just more glass to clean? I can see some definite advantages aside from the fact that they look amazing…….

Imagine the extra light these glass walls allow through to small or dark rooms and the increased sense of visual space. Not to mention their ability to let natural light into an interior room or hallway that doesn’t have windows. I’m thinking glass walls are also a pretty clever solution for enabling adjoining rooms to be closed off for noise and heating reasons, whilst still extending the view……..

Framed in timber or steel, these dividing glass walls become an instant statement feature and bring a unique and slightly industrial feel to a space.  I just discovered an article from Elle Decoration, explaining this type of steel-framed glazing was made popular in the Art Deco houses, so definitely not new, but making a resurgence perhaps?

Internal glass walls allow natural light into hallways and dark rooms.

Curtains can provide privacy for a bedroom glass wall where necessary

A kitchen be seperate and open plan at the same time

Glass walls give a tantalising glimpse into the next room

All images via Pinterest

In my humble opinion, the best interiors are those that encourage you to wander through, curious to see what is not immediately visible. These dividing walls do a perfect job of giving a tantalising glimpse into the next room, welcoming you in and urging you onward.

The individual panels bring geometric pattern to a space, the steel frames introduce strength and the glass a smooth, light reflecting surface. All these small details are what help to bring a space to life, adding depth, interest and contrast.

I have seriously talked myself into it! Cleaning glass is not fun but the architectural detail, the glimpse into the next space and an abundance of natural light make these internal glass walls a brilliant idea. I am already imagining which walls I can knock down and replace………

What do you think, clever feature or impractical fad?

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