Saturday, 29 November 2014

How much more mustard can a house take? I hope you are reading Jonathan Adler....!

I'm starting to ask myself, " when is enough enough?"

I'm sure my family will start asking before too long.

The colour mustard seems to have taken over my very being! As if a wall and cushions weren't enough I'm now planning a bedroom scheme and will shoe horn some mustard in there if it kills me! I blame a good friend, whom, on a recent trip to New York, bought me
these gorgeous Michael Aram napkins. Not a great pic, but, trust me, they are beauties. Fuelled my mustard love affair!

As we are nearing the end of our own mammoth house make-over, give or take another 3 rooms (!!), I am slowly losing a little I am re-directing into guiding others through their own house make-overs...but more of that in posts to come.

For our own bedroom I have scaled down my early enthusiasm and have started off as George Clarke would, by slapping crisp, white paint on every wall. I rather like it. No doubt at a later stage I will add some colour, it'll be too hard to resist, but for now, the white stays and I'm turning to bedding as a way of introducing some bold design.

This, I am finding frustrating. Flicking through my trusted magazines, I pulled out a couple of schemes which immediately appealed.     


I am instantly drawn to geometric prints and chevron in design. It's very 'definite' and that, for me, works perfectly when looking at more contemporary styling. Layering colours, pattern and fabrics help to soften what, alone, can be too strong a statement.
So the backdrop to any soft furnishings are white walls and a very plain, straightforward navy blue roller blind at the window purchased from  I will post a photo in due course, but the room is currently in a state of chaos, with bed and wardrobe dumped in the centre of the room whilst we plough on with the emulsion.
I excitedly logged on to the computer having decided I would try and find a throw, blanket or bedspread in a nice, mustard tone and a second bedspread in navy and white chevron. Oh dear. My excitement was short lived. I quite like the Tweedmill fishbone blanket below, and reasonable at around £40-£50. Apparently BHS do a mustard throw but not only could I only copy this tiny image, as seen below, but infuriatingly, when I tried to get on to their site, a message popped up saying the site had crashed due to Black Friday...which seems to have morphed in to Black Saturday! The sooner the whole sorry business is over and done with, the better!
Then on to the zig zag or chevron idea. Even worse! The only one I found was a fleece blanket below from at £35. May well be ok for a pop of zig zag, but fleece was not really what I wanted. 
What I really hanker after is a Jonathan Adler Alpaca zig zag throw, but cant quite reach the £295 price tag....but if you are reading, Jonathan, you are one of my design heroes and I would love to have one of your beautiful throws draped across my bed! I'm not too proud to grovel!
In the meantime, if any readers can point me in the direction of a cost effective alternative, I would love to hear from you.



Saturday, 1 November 2014

A splash of colour courtesy of Henri Matisse and Harold e Maude!


So....finishing touches include a couple of framed posters to add a little colour and interest to a room.
I struck a deal with my husband that I would choose one and he the other. Once I had steered him away from The Exorcist promo posters and Star Wars he decided on Harold and Maude. Phew! My choice was the Henri Matisse print, chosen particularly for its bold injection of colour. Excuse the quality of the pictures. I used my phone as my camera lens has been (little fingers, me thinks..) struck down by a mysterious ailment. I need a new camera in short! 


Figuring out what kind of artwork you like can be difficult. I tend to go for more casual artwork....tourism posters from cities visited, gallery advertising posters that sort of thing. I like the fact that the subjects have some personal meaning but also they tend to be quite bold and structural in style which I like. I also like architectural prints that also satisfy my like of a more structured, sharp style. The third picture, sat on the desk, is from a little art shop somewhere in deepest Derbyshire and is, I think, based on a Rembrandt, but in actual fact, when I googled the original, it looks nothing like this one! The original would have been much nicer, but Rembrandt prices are just that bit too much of a stretch for us! Quite like it all the same.
If you change your d├ęcor regularly (as I do) then buy more cost effective pieces and theme them around the colour palette. The two posters you see in the above scheme are from All Posters and cost a few pounds so can easily be changed at any point should I desire! They have loads of choice and regularly offer price promotions.
Location can be the deciding factor. You may prefer more calming artwork in the bedroom, more dramatic in the dining room and more relaxed in the living room or you may feel rules are there to be broken!
I've tried to link the prints chosen to the scheme, picking out particular colours and sticking to a more modern feel. However, you might have a piece of valuable artwork that may be a family heirloom or a piece you have invested in that may require the scheme to work around it rather than the other way round. If so, try positioning the artwork on different walls or alter the wall colour or surrounding furniture in order to accommodate the art.
Plain and/or white walls tend to be the best backdrop for art and this applies in general to furniture and art too....the less is more principal, especially if the picture is quite detailed or busy. Make it the star of the show.
For positioning on the wall, with average ceiling heights, pictures look best at eye level and if more than one, grouped to balance the width and height of the wall. For a more relaxed, loft like look, lean pictures on the floor against a wall. This works particularly well in bedrooms I think.

Above all, the artwork in your home should make you smile, relax, remember or wonder.