Utility Chic

I Gigi in Hove provided the inspiration for the downstairs loo/utility room. Think earthy tones, piled linens, natural materials, wicker and bleached wood and novel ways to display the most mundane of household essentials. Door to Utility Room

Images by Adam Crohill

This room started life with some rather vibrant green tiles so first job was to replace them with my favourite classic metro tiles. Ideally we would have replaced the work top with a real wood version but for the time being the imitation wood one does the job. The walls are painted with Little Greene Paint Company’s Slaked Lime which is a very soft sludgy neutral.

We found Sugden and Daughters at a recent vintage fair and quickly snapped up a mirror made from antique tennis racquets! Just in case of a severe power cut I took a large bundle of candles and stuffed them under a TK Maxx bell jar. I finished off the little collection with  an H&M candle (am in love with the utilitarian label).
Shelves from ikea were brought over from our first house and then stacked with storage. The wicker baskets hold all the essentials such as washing powder and the like.
The main mirror was an old one that has seen better days but I quite like its distressed nature and how it’s size is a little large to the space. We don’t currently have a tumble dryer so my mum made us a little old school curtain to hide some of the clutter.Neutral Utility Room with Natural ElementsWe spent one afternoon creating the roman blind in this room from the left over John Lewis fabric. The idea was to create an easy no-sew blind from a tutorial. My advice would be to just go and buy one! It took forever and tempers may have frayed as well as the fabric!
I like to make sure that there’s fresh flowers all over the house, even in the loo and the ginger beer bottle (picked up inexpensively from another vintage market) is perfect for adding a stem or two. For a larger arrangement I love to use the large bottle vase that was a bargain purchase from Kempton Market.
To finish off the room I adapted a strip of photo frames given to me by my sister in law and painted them the same neutral colour as the walls. I bought a book of old maps from eBay and framed the locations that Mr C had met, married and mini-mooned.Met Married Mooned
 The cluster of brushes in a porcelain beaker is a final reminder of just how much work we’ve done recently to get the house in tip-top condition!
Before and After Natural Utility Room
 How have you decorated the smallest room in your house?
L x

Mostly Monochrome

You could be forgiven for thinking that the inspiration boards I create never really come to fruition (the spare room had now come full circle and we’re back to the industrial age). However, I’m pleased to say that the blush and monochrome bedroom is half way to completion!Black and White Bedroom with Polka Dot Wallpaper

All images by Adam Crohill

A few months ago I shared the progress shots of this room, as well as my plan to create more of a boudoir feel to the space.

The room is still not finished but the addition of the spot wallpaper from John Lewis has made a dramatic difference to the room. Add in the black fireplace (a massive departure from the white one I had planned) and the space is barely recognisable!

In the progress shots of this room I realised I didn’t show the hidden gem to this room; the walk in wardrobe. The wallpaper adorning this room is covered in crowns and coronets (from Graham and Brown) which perfectly offsets the crown hooks I picked up from Within Reason several years ago. The rest of the space is an adaptation of a previous dresser type concoction built by the previous owner combined with Ikea’s finest wire unit.Walk in Wardrobe and Wedding Dress

Believe it or not, the bed was an Argos find! I’ve finished it with a Hobbs duvet cover and Ikea fabric cushions (made with that genius invention, wonderweb and a trusty iron). The super cute telephone cushion was a gift from my mum from John Lewis.

The two beside tables were a gift from my parents picked up from Sheffield Antiques Centre. My Dad painted them in Farrow and Ball’s Middleton Pink to add a blush tone that is girlie yet not too sweet.Blush Pink Side Tables and Monochrome Bedding

The other dressing table was an eBay find and the other chest was given to us my friends.

I made the ‘Cherish’ picture from lexicon cards and an old frame I had and I think it has a perfect home above the bed.
Elsewhere the walls are adorned with a circular mirror – a find at a local car boot sale and several propped frames that are yet to be hung…Monochrome Bedroom

Storage for my stash of jewels was paramount in putting together this room! I’ve hidden some in drawers but my favourite collection is out in display on a Ralph Lauren plate and vintage cake stands. The three numbered hooks were a housewarming gift from a generous friend and are perfect for keeping my numerous necklaces in order.Jewellery Storage

There are a few jobs left to do; I still haven’t found a chandelier, tiled the hearth or changed the curtains, or prettied up the bed. These elements will really help with the Faire Frou Frou style I have in mind for this room. However this space has come a long way and I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out.Wide Shot Monochrome Bedroom

Excuse me while I trawl eBay once again for the perfect light fitting! I cannot wait to add a healthy dose of femininity to this room.

How about you – any monochrome going on in any if your rooms? x

Show and Tell: The Summer House

As Summer is officially over, I have to share our Summer House with you before the last of the sun!
Summer House ExteriorAll images by Adam Crohill

You may remember a while ago I created an Eastern style inspiration board for this space. Whilst some of these elements have been incorporated into the room, when it came down to it, I ended up being so influenced by the recent Nursery board I created that the Summer House theme altered slightly and became a much slicker pink, gold and white design.

Our old very worn sofa is the first thing you see on entering this room. It didn’t quite fit so one morning we ended up hacking off an arm resulting in a make-shift chaise longue! Piled on the sofa are various cushions; chevrons sourced from H&M, ikat style from an Uzbekistan eBay seller and a pom-pom fringed one from Homesense. I would have loved a Moroccan wedding blanket for this space but found a more purse pleasing gold and cream number in Homesense.
Sofa with Moroccan Pouffe and ikat cushion The pouffes were a purchase from Marrakesh, picked up by a friend who had to brave the EasyJet baggage weight restrictions to bring home both a pink and a gold version (Thanks Larissa!)
String CurtainThe John Lewis string curtain creates a very soft barrier, separating the ‘lounge’ from the study/dining area. I edged it in a pink Sass and Belle pom-pom trim to break up the white and add a little detail.
The white tables originally started life as an oak nest of tables, but thanks to my friend who runs a paint shop, they are now a beautifully finished white.

Mr C has a severe dislike of Ikea but you have to hand it to them for chic and cheap storage solutions. The Ribba picture ledges are ideal for clustering together mini gallery installations. Gold White Pink Gallery on Ribba Shelves | Sarah & Bendrix | Jessica IllustrationHere I’ve combined my beloved Sarah and Bendrix print with another Jessica Durrant creation. Dotted in between are a Chanel card (from Spitalfield Market), a few snaps, a gold lip print from Pearl and Earl and one of the photo booth strips from a trip to Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. The gold ‘X’ was found in Oliver Bonas last year when they decided to reduce all their Posh Graffiti offerings to 50p!

On the other side, we put up three high gloss white Lack shelves, again from ikea.
I’m still not convinced by the arrangement on these shelves but am happy to have found a suitable home for the Gold Skull Money Box from Urban Outfitters , as well as the gold champagne flutes discovered at a local vintage fair. Gold Skull

I learned from our previous house that a small space lends itself to a circular table (after years of squeezing into a tiny nook with a square table) and so we went for the inexpensive Docksta table, coupled with of Eames style chairs to create an area suitable for a spot of dining or a bit of blogging. Desk with Gold AccessoriesMy sister bought me some absolutely smashing stationery from Blott to jazz up the desk. Erasers in the shape of various biscuits(!) plus gold pencils and a clear stapler and tape dispenser. I stashed them in a Matthew Williamson soap dish with some giant gold paper clips.
Keeping the pencils in order is a skull whiskey glass picked up last year from Zara. Finally I framed an Eiffel tower card given to me by a close friend and added a sumptuous smelling Voluspa candle to the mix.
Metallic String Garland I had long admired the strings of paper garlands that are adorning various weddings at the moment so commissioned the fabulous Pom Pom Studio to create one in custom colours. I strung this across the ikea curtains that are shielding various trashy novels, garden furniture and unsightly speakers from view!
The Summer HouseIronically we think we’ll use this space more in Winter than Summer. thankfully the previous owners installed aircon and heating so it should be an ideal spot for hibernation on a Winter’s afternoon.

Hope you like!


Done and Dusted: The Master Bedroom Revealed

I’ve never got to grips with my own DSLR so recently when the situation arose to get some snazzy professional shots of the house, I jumped at the chance.master bedroom fireplace

Adam from Rock My Wedding is a dab hand with his camera. After a week of intense DIY, scrubbing, tidying and ‘editing,’ our cottage was ready for its close up. The result is a mighty fine set up of images courtesy of Mr Crohill.
I’m splitting the images up room by room so that I can devote a post to each room. First up, the Master Bedroom. Upholstered Headboard

I recently shared the inspiration behind this room; a wish to recreate the tranquility and elegance of a White Company brochure.

Firstly we painted the walls in a slick shade of Dulux Trade Super Matt White (not the brilliant white stuff). The result is a flat bright finish without any hint of blue. It looks fab any time of day but especially in the evening sun. Thanks very much to Doris from Diary of an Interior Novice for her suggestion. white walls

Next I layered up the bed with crisp white sheets from BHS and a textured natural throw from TK Maxx. The waffle cushions are from Wilko ( always worth a look – they have some gems) and the beautiful dandelion cushion was handmade by Thread and Ink. The cherry on the top was the bargain headboard from eBay which despite the price is really good quality .Neutral Bedside Table Mis-matched bedside tables flank the bed; one from a shop in Hove and the other inherited when we bought the house. The vintage sconces from Uppingham Antiques add a dash of glamour to the room.
I framed Lexicon cards (picked up from eBay) in inexpensive frames, just in case we forget whose side is whose…
On my side the pretty star dish was picked up from Le Petit Atelier de Paris (a must visit shop if you’re in the Marais area). You can read more about Mr C’s side here. Lexicon card and ring dish We’re lucky not to need wardrobes in this room so furniture is kept to a minimum. I found the little linen cupboard in Homesense and my beautiful Love Tub was a present from Mr C from Oliver Bonas. Even though it’s probably only been sat on about five times it’s one of my absolute favourite possessions! The smashing sparkly sequinned cushion was a gift from my Mum.
Love Tub As you may have noticed, the chimney breast is a little unusual and so wall hangings were a bit of a challenge for this space. Rather than go for anything rectangular I opted for a circular sunburst mirror from Angel at My Table.side view of master bedroom

In the fireplace sit two painted candlesticks, picked up on an early morning jaunt to Battersea Car Boot Sale a few years ago. A very good friend sprayed them white after their previous black gloss incarnation jarred with the room. The mantelpiece is painted very simply with Dulux White Satinwood and I’ve kept it really minimal; framing a hand typed extract from our wedding readings (Union by Robert Fulgham), one of the Eiffel Tower trinkets that adorned our wedding tables and some gorgeous roses in a mason jar.Union Robert Fulgham with Eiffel Tower

Clustered on the linen cupboard is a striking framed love print and a custom Em Dash Paper Co print featuring a few lines from our wedding vows. My Dipytique Baies candle was a very generous present from my in-laws and it smells divine!
I’ve used an Anthropologie hook as an impromptu wardrobe to nonchalantly hang up a linen nightdress.linen cupboard corner with Baies candle

Finally a few wedding photos and framed anniversary cards are dotted around the room too, as well as the stunning Jessica Durrant print, ‘Evening Rapture’. roses and rapture

I love a ‘before and after’ so here’s a before shot (estate agent photo) of how the room looked before we moved in. It was sweet enough but I’m really pleased with the calm and serene sanctuary we’ve created.before and after master bedroom

I’m even more pleased with how the images have worked out! I’m looking forward to sharing more with you very soon x

For more of Adam’s work, be sure to visit the Adam Crohill website.

A Cosy Cacoon

For those of you who are regular readers, you’ll remember that both of our spare rooms are currently undergoing a bit of redecoration. With a spare weekend under our belts you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’d spend it clearing up the chaos that we’d created. Well it would appear not. You see I had the bright idea that perhaps we should start on the Master Bedroom too. Master Bedroom inspirationImage source:: The White Company

There was some method to my madness; A few months ago I found myself in an Antique Shop after a celebratory lunch with  a gorgeous bride-to-be and one of my dearest friends. It’s fair to say I got a bit carried away and left the shop with two vintage sconces that I had absolutely no need for. Since then they’ve sat bundled in a corner waiting for the perfect home.

Also, in my bid to make the room cosy yet chic, I have been on the hunt for a decent priced Upholstered Linen Headboard for a little while now. Last week I found a ridiculously cheap eBay seller and the rather large box was cluttering up the Dining Room. The greyish brown material looked pretty drab against the old ‘greige’ walls, so out came some of Dulux’s finest and down came the curtains and by Sunday evening the room looked a bit like this:

Progress_Master Bedroom

I’m hoping that you’re seeing a bit of The White Company inspiration coming through here; crisp (though still to be ironed) white bed linen, white walls and linen cushions as well as the squidgy headboard. Their stores always have some form of smashing chandelier in there too so the little sconces hopefully don’t look too out of place.

Full reveal coming soon once I’ve tracked down a few more little gems.

Did you do any decorating over the weekend?

Lauren x

P.S. Hello if you’ve found Fairly Light from today’s post on my Rock my Wedding! It’s lovely to have you here xxx