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
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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

Found: Glam Gold Foil

I’m all about the gold at the moment. It may have taken me a while to move over from decorating with silver accents, but now I can’t get enough of the stuff.
The Summer House is nearly finished but I’m still looking for the finishing touches. Please your hands together to welcome a few gold foil prints that I’ve found on my search, guaranteed to add pizazz to any room. Gold Foil Etsy Prints 1Sources:: You Are My Sunshine Print – Mira Dosan £7.79| Small Gold Love Print – Made By Girl £12.95 |  Jet Set Gold Print – The Smitten Collection £13.64 | Gold Foil Anything, Not Everything Print – Charm and Gumption £6.49

Most of the prints are from outside of the UK. After I was recently stung by a rather large customs charge when buying from the US, I’ve tried to hunt down prints that are all under £15.
Gold Foil Etsy Prints 2

Sources:: Je Vouse Aime Print – By Luciana $12 | Amazing Grace Inspirational Gold Foil Print – B is for Bonny £12.99 | Love Screen Print – Don’t Blame Betty £8.47 | Bellisima Print – Second Home Print Shop £5.18 | Gold & Silver Foil XOXO Handmade Art Print – Miss Poppy Design £9.65 | Hello Gorgeous Print – The Digital Studio £5.19 | Gold Foil Heart – Kardz Kouture £14.46

I love the opulent look you can achieve from adding a splash of metallic gold to your walls. On their own, the finish is enough to be a really striking piece, but they also look fabulous scattered amongst a gallery wall. I’ll be adding mine to a plain white wall (when I decide which one to go for) but metallic prints can look especially spectacular on a moody dark backdrop.

Which one’s your favourite?

Lauren x

Eventful: An Autumn Brunch

The mornings are chillier, the evenings are rolling in and chunky knits have hit the shops. Yep, that’s right we’re most definitely in Autumn. Autumn Leaves Heart Image via The Berry

I have a lot of love for Autumn, though sadly it all too quickly turns to Winter. To embrace the start of the season I’m planning a little brunch next week with the family. Brunch is just an excuse to have a lie in and have breakfast a bit later in the morning, but I’m all for it!Autumn Brunch Inspiration Board Image sources: Apples and Cutlery | Maple Pancakes | Granola in Champagne Flutes | Baked French Toast | Leaf with Heart | Autumn Tablescape | Eggs in Teacups

On the menu is a stack of pancakes, baked eggs and perhaps a mimosa or two…
I’ll be grabbing a load of apples too, garden foliage and maybe some pine cones to knock up a rustic tablescape with hints of burnished bronze and russet.

How are you celebrating the start of a new season?

Lauren 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!

Lauren