Tag Archives: Farrow & Ball

Nursery choices

Well, I’m fast approaching 32 weeks preggers and am quite sure I should be just sitting around. No? Of course, I’m not – we haven’t had a day or evening off for weeks despite taking time off work! We did at least make it to a Halloween party – the glamorous witch and his pregnant cat!

As you can tell, our impending parent status isn’t making us take life any more seriously! But the very grown-up job list is gradually getting a bit smaller and we are at least finally making progress including buying and selling a car and applying for a remortgage. And we’ve just had these exciting deliveries for our baby girl:

Cool huh? The highchair – which you can use from birth – looks fab in our dining room!

So, what of the nursery then? Well, being the tease I am it’s not quite finished so I can’t yet share pics. So, instead I thought I would share some choices.

First up, as revealed in a previous post, our choice of colour is Cornforth White, a lovely soft grey which we’ve paired with white woodwork and the same carpet we have in the spare room and master bedroom; Cormar Sensations in Coral White.

After much deliberating and budget breakdowns we opted for furniture from Mamas and Papas and we’re really pleased with the build quality. It’s officially ivory but it’s not a yellowy cream but instead is a pleasant off-white:

mamas-and-papas-harbour-ivory

And also in this space we have the most wonderfully comfy nursing chair – a bargain from a Kiddicare store that was closing down. Not the most attractive piece in our house but it’s damn comfy!

nursing chair

So, they’re the basics; now onto the more fun stuff! In the early days of pregnancy we lovingly referred to our baby as Panda  – read more here – so we wanted a reminder of this. We have the most thoughtful, lovely friend who offered to make our nursery curtains as a present. She’s truly one of life’s finest – always doing stuff for others and never asking for anything in return. Thanks to her kindness we could choose our fabric and so we opted for this:

Panda Star Jumps – Zest

Fab, isn’t it? It’s a Japanese print so when you look from a distance it just looks like a pattern (for a sense of scale, the panda is only about 1.5cm) it’s only when you get up close you see it’s little pandas doing star jumps! It’s from a website called Fabric Rehab who have some amazing fabrics and – as I found out – really great customer service, I would highly recommend them. We hung the curtains last week and are soooooo pleased with them – not just for the fabric but also for the love and kindness that went into every stitch.

Up next – our other favourite thing. This incredible wall sticker from Nubie:

nubie forest wall sticker

It came in 40 odd separate pieces and took us a few hours to master on our wall but we LOVE it! It goes over the cot and really makes the room for us.

To tie in with the wall stickers, this is our cot mobile by Skip Hop:

skiphop

 

We have some teal coloured gloss floating shelves from Ikea which house a collection of soft toys – including my own “beasts” from when I was little who have lived in every house I have – yes, including all my uni digs, they never left my side.

There’s a bear (Snow White Belinda), a hedgehog (Hedge), a frog (Uncle Froggie) and a lime green snake (Hiss). Given their age, none of them will be for playing with so they’re on a high shelf just keeping an eye. My bear – BooBoo – is also watching over the cot, happily perched on top of the wardrobe. The other critters currently include a badger, a lizard and a squirrel – along with my mum’s Hedwig owl. We’re hoping a fox and a raccoon will join the crew….they’re on our Amazon wishlist just waiting for a kindly donor to buy them (we’re out of cash!).  You’ll have to wait to meet all the critters in the reveal post.

So, when you have a sort of technicolor sort of woodland theme going on – what kind of light do you need? A dandelion clock of course! I’ve seen this Ikea light in quite a few Pinterest nurseries and, thanks to our high ceiling, we totally get away with it:

Ikea maskros

It’s a whopping 80cm diameter so makes quite an impression. We have it on a dimmer and it can cast the prettiest of patterns on the wall and ceiling.

Our other artwork is quite minimal – as too much would crowd the room. We have this amazing Shakespeare quote via Etsy as well as a beautiful hand painted banner from a talented friend of mine, also via Etsy

And, alongside this, we stumbled across this fab world map – as illustrated by animals. This is going above the changing dresser and may even help with my dismal geography!

original_animal-map-of-the-world-for-children

We also have a limited edition Little Miss Trouble print (you’ll get to see this on the future reveal post too!) which was given to us several months ago by one of our nearest and dearest friends. She had read the blog and knew we were going for bright colours so bought us presents accordingly including the print from a little art gallery in London. We’re so lucky with our friends, and so thankful for them.

So, apart from various knick knacks we already had – that’s about it and we’re officially pretty much out of space for anything else! We have practical unpacking to do in there and a good tidy-up and clean and then I promise to share pics of the final result.

In the meantime, what do you think? We haven’t tried to be super stylish, we’ve stuck to things we love but we’re really pleased with how it’s all turned out. And so long as our beloved Tiny T loves it, that’s all that matters.

For now, we keep opening the door with happy goofy smiles on our faces and closing it again before Humph claims it as his own. He’s already staking a claim in other rooms…..

NaughtyHumph

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Utility room reveal

DroolSome time ago I published this post revealing our plans for the utility. And then it happened and Oh. My. God. It may just be the sexiest utility room you have ever clapped eyes on.

No, seriously. You’ll be drooling – get something to wipe that up before you click any links below. The Matthew Williamson wallpaper is incredible.

The sexy was added to thanks to the exceedingly kind folks at Samsung and ao.com who kindly bestowed a top-of-the-range Ecobubble washing machine and dryer upon us.

I’m honestly not just saying this but we LOVE everything about the appliances and are especially looking forward to how much use they’ll be getting when our daughter arrives in a few months. I suspect their super large capacity may come in handy…

We gladly offered our formal reviews for the machines and even more gladly welcomed Samsung and AO into our home to take pics. You can read the resulting blog piece here which also features some amazing pics of our kitchen and the cake I made for our visitors. Before we all devoured it – let it be known that I make a damn fine sponge.

So, once you’re done reading all that, head on over to my ‘after’ page and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments section!

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It’s a girl, but the nursery ain’t pink

It’s been a while since I posted – apologies, but I’m busy being preggers dont’cha know!

There’s still stuff I want to show you from our home and I promise to do it in the coming weeks – including the reveal of our amazing over-the-top utility room. But for now, how’s this for a different type of reveal. A gender reveal.

Apparently gender reveal parties are all the rage Stateside and, never one to pass by an opportunity for a party that features cake, we held our own. A small select gathering assembled to scoff the cakes – made by my own fair hand. Boy predictors took the  blue cakes and girl predictors took the pink….thankfully, we had an even split of opinion.

Baby gender cakes

We then ceremoniously bit into the cakes to reveal the  pink cream and the secret was out! It was a lot of fun and there was much squealing. Well, as much as possible with mouthfuls of cake.

baby gender reveal cupcake

We’re over the moon to be having a daughter and very shocked, given Oly’s family history is all male for several generations (and apparently its the male genes that decide). So, she’s the one who broke the mould – I suspect that may become a recurring theme in her life!

It also feels kind of fitting for me to have a daughter, linking the bond I had with my beloved mum – and, in recognition of this, her middle name will be Mary, which was my mum’s name. We do have a first name in mind but, for now, she is Tiny T (T being the first letter of our surname).

And I’m pleased(?!) to report she’s a stubborn little so-and-so. Two recent scans have both required long breaks, jumping around, cola drinking and much prodding to get the little bugger to turn around. The sonographer also got particularly excited by this shot:

nosepicker

She’s apparently picking her nose. That’s my girl!!

So, anyway, now we know the flavour of our baby it’s easier to plan other things as well as bond with her instead of referring to ‘it’.

But no, the nursery will not now be pink. Nope. No chance. We’re really not into that. Pink is a tricky colour – there’s so many lovely shades of it and yet so many awful candy, sugary, bleurrghh shades. We’ve painted it one of our favourite neutrals instead – Cornforth White – the same as our kitchen diner walls.

I’m proud to say I did much of the painting of the nursery though my back suffered a bit the next day. But as F&B paint is water based I didn’t need to worry about toxic fumes so had no excuse really! I keep telling Oly ‘I’m pregnant, not ill’. He, inevitably, uses this phrase against me!

White nursery furniture (if we can ever find any at a decent price) will look great against this shade along with bright colourful accessories so we’re very happy with it. There’s currently no curtains and a scrutty old carpet – so I’ll share pics when there’s more to see.

Of course, we’re well aware that a future decision to paint it candy pink may not be our choice….!

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Music room reveal – but first, a few details

This room has been done (like the rest of the house!) for yonks…..I’ve just not been able to keep the blog up to date!

Anyway, after our exciting baby news, this room has had a little tweaking. Originally it was just the music room/second spare room but now it also had to incorporate stuff from the study, to make room for a nursery. It’s not massively changed the room really, just needed some sorting, adding the computer etc.

Before the reveal, I wanted to explain a few things in this room.

Firstly, my prized possessions:

Show posters

When I was at uni I produced several shows and, as was tradition, at the end of the production you would be presented with a poster signed by all the cast.

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Lost In Music was the first show I produced/directed and I also co-wrote – in the second term of my second year. I say ‘wrote’ very loosely, it was basically a review show threaded together with a tenuous plot involving a time machine (yep, really) that meant musical characters got ‘lost’ in music. Hey, the audience LOVED it – as did I and it started my passion for putting on shows.

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Next came the well-known Hair – an amazing show – that I was privileged to produce in the first term of my final year. We had such an incredible array of talent at uni  – both the 70 strong cast on stage and the back stage crew and band – that this really was a very professional production and sold out every night. And, yes, the famous nude scene happened, tastefully staged with blinding back lighting to preserve dignities.

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Spotlight was the final show, right before my degree finals, which I once again directed and co-wrote. It was, again, a review show but this time threaded together with  stronger plot. Well, slightly stronger anyway. And thanks to a mutual friend who was my Musical Director, Oly played sax in this show though we didn’t know each other then. 9 years later the same Musical Director provided the band at our wedding.

The shows were the highlight of my time at Uni, so many amazing memories and lovely people, some of whom remain my very best friends. If I’m feeling glum or like I can’t achieve anything I will go and read a few of the comments. Instant tonic.

So, these were always destined for the music room and, in part, inspired the colour scheme of cool greys – to provide the perfect backdrop for these.

Next up in this room, the Goose Chest:

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Both my grandfather and great-grandfather were stockbrokers – and in their spare time took up carpentry. I’m not sure which of them made the Goose Chest but we have great affection for it. It was made to, quite literally, house the big sacks of goose feed!! It now houses Oly’s music bits and bobs:

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It’s not great quality wood but we love it’s history and shabbiness, which is why we’ve never wanted to paint it. It apparently lived near a backdoor and doubled as somewhere to sit down and put on your wellies. In our house, Humph just adores lying on it.

On the walls in this room we also have a Mayan hieroglyphic of our wedding date – we had this made at Chichen Itza:

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As well as this amazing Song Map which I bought as a present for Oly:

Song Map by Dorothy

This is a must-have for music fans – get your own here. Dorothy do a load of other cool stuff, so it’s worth checking out.

Anyway, wanna see how all this fits into our music room/spare room/study? Head here.

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Master bedroom reveal

For our master bedroom we have turned to the dark side. We dithered about it for a long time but finally bit the bullet and can’t imagine it any other way now.

Here’s how we looked before:

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Bland colours and hideous artex

And now:

Farrow and Ball Hague Blue bedroom

Dramatic boudoir loveliness!

Farrow and Ball Hague Blue bedroom with cabbage White ceiling colour

Light pours in from the massive windows

We know this won’t be to everybody’s taste but – like most things – we don’t care. We absolutely adore it and knew this room could carry it off. The colour is Farrow and Ball’s Hague Blue – in strong daylight quite a true dark blue and at night a dark dark petrol blue verging on black in dark corners.

Farrow and Ball Hague Blue bedroom

Sunburst mirror was an Ebay bargain

Woodwork is in All White for a crisp contrast – same as the cornicing and ceiling rooms.

Farrow and Ball Hague Blue

Door to ensuite

As with everywhere else in the house we wanted to maintain a focus on the original cornicing and feared we would ‘lose’ it if it was also white – so we went with Cabbage White on the ceiling. It’s enough of a contrast with the cornicing without being ‘wow, your ceiling is blue’.

Farrow and Ball Hague Blue Cabbage White ceiling

Light fitting is from Laura Ashley

We agonised over wardrobes and drawers and for a long time thought we’d go with white/ivory furniture. But we realised there would be too much of it and therefore too stark a contrast with the paint.

Barker and Stonehouse furniture

Barker and Stonehouse furniture

Dark wood  – like mahogany – wouldn’t work and we were struggling to find antiques we liked and that would, importantly, fit in the alcoves. And then we found this wonderful warm mango wood, beautifully built and a perfect fit.  (As we ended our long furniture search Oly informed the rather embarrassed saleswoman at Barker and Stonehouse that he had “stroked a lot of wood”.)

Curtains and pole are from the wonderful folks at David James Interiors in Leeds and are such amazing quality they give the room a boutique hotel feel!

Curtains open

Curtains open

Floor length curtains would have been even more dramatic but practicality won out given the positioning of the radiators, which we weren’t really up for moving!

Curtains closed

Curtains closed

And as for the headboard, what can I say? I fell in love with this fabric (Sanderson swallows) when we first started looking for curtains/blinds – albeit in a different colourway. I couldn’t find the right place for it in the house and then suddenly realised it could take a starring role as our headboard – in lime.

Sanderson swallows headboard

Sanderson swallows headboard

Oly was (gently) persuaded this may have been my best idea yet. And it meant we didn’t need to agonise over artwork choice for above the bed.  Ain’t she a stunner?

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No, I don’t iron my bedding. Don’t judge me, it’s super king – gimme a break! And, yes, we need new bedding.

We’ve tried not to clutter the room (quite a feat for me) and also tried not to over style it; it’s a practical, liveable space after all. You’ll notice the total lack of dressing on the bed…..Oly point blank refuses to have cushions/throws etc. I gave up the fight – as I was quite happy once I got my headboard!

Bedside touch lamps are from John Lewis

Bedside touch lamps are from John Lewis

Now, to some of the objects. The dressing table tray was my mum’s, she always kept her hairbrushes on it:

Mitsouko was one of mum's favourites, I'm eeking it out...

Mitsouko was one of mum’s favourites, I’m eeking it out…

And the brass candle stick holder was hers as a child, back when you actually went to bed with a candle.

I love the build up of wax from over the years

I love the build up of wax from over the years

I gave Winne the Pooh to my mum years ago, so he came back to us and went into an antique frame.

Sad, why should I be sad?

Sad, why should I be sad?

Below it the wire art is from Etsy. Since the early days of Oly and I whenever he said ‘I love you’ my retort was always ‘Forever?’. Turns out it is.

The brass knocker was….yep, you guessed it, my mum’s! Most of our interesting objects came from her! She always had this on her bedroom door and it now lives on the door to our ensuite.

Knock knock

Knock knock

It contains the Isle of Man’s motto which translates  as “whichever way you throw me, I will stand.”

Quocunque Jeceris Stabit

Quocunque Jeceris Stabit

We have absolutely no connection to the Isle of Man but mum had to learn to be incredibly resilient, so she bought this for herself and took the motto also.

Here’s some more details from around the room:

We adore this room, we love it in the day and then feel totally cocooned in it at night.

Farrow and Ball Hague Blue bedroom

The dark walls help make a large, tall room feel cosy at night

Night night

Night night

So, be honest, what do you think? Is this for you or would you hate living with the darkness?

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Back bedroom – reveal

The main guest room is the second smallest bedroom at the back of the house – peaceful and quiet. When we moved in it had been a little girl’s bedroom, hence the pink in our before photo:

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We realise how privileged we are to have a space that truly is a guest room and doesn’t need to double for anything else so we wanted to create something calming and tranquil yet fittingly elegant.  And we think we’ve pulled it off:

Elephant's Breath bedroom Dimity Slipper Satin

 

farrow and ball bedroom

Elephant's breath bedroom with dimity

There was never really much doubt what colour we were going to paint this room – we fell in love with Farrow and Ball’s Elephant’s Breath as soon as we tried the tester pot (and Oly stopped laughing at the name). Yes, it’s the colour everyone goes on about, but really – there’s a reason for that. In some lights it’s grey, in others taupe, in others a hint of mauve. A very pleasant chameleon and a perfect backdrop to the various objects in the room.

We chose to bring out the mauve undertones of Elephant’s Breath with the ready made metallic damask curtains, which are a decent weight for the price, and are from Next.

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We knew we wanted a black iron framed bed – to tie in with the fireplace – but, given this is just the spare room after all, we couldn’t justify spending a fortune on it and so we picked up a total £99 bargain from Dreams – surprisingly sturdy and well built!

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The mirror is from Achica. It sets the room off beautifully and really emphasises the height of the ceiling. It has an antique feel to it and yet manages to avoid the Shabby Shit look that we’re really not keen on.

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The little chair was my mum’s. It was always her bedroom chair – I’m not really sure where it came from originally, whether it was an heirloom or was made by grandfather for her, but I’ve always known it. We had it restored and reupholstered a couple of years ago – in a colour that perfectly compliments this room. It’s almost as if we knew!

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Furniture is actually cheap pine Argos furniture, painted up and with new knobs. And a great solution for some shoe storage (yes, there are more shoes in other rooms…)

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The fireplace was already painted and, after the mammoth effort of restoring the one in the sitting room we just decided to just repaint this one, and very smart it looks too.

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Chipping off the paint from the tiles revealed a pretty design that works well with the room – highly doubtful they’re originals but very pretty.

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And our beautiful chandelier was from Laura Ashley. The crack in the newly plastered and painted ceiling came courtesy of the loft insulation chap!

P1040150And finally, if, like me, you’re a paint geek then you’ll want to know that – alongside the Estate Emulsion Elephant’s Breath walls – woodwork is painted Dimity eggshell, ceiling is Slipper Satin and the coving and ceiling rose are All White. Furniture is painted in Off White eggshell.

Farrow and ball bedroom colour scheme

So would you be happy to stay in this room if you were our guest? We’ve certainly had no complaints thus far!

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As if we were ever going to have a boring utility room…

Apologies for such a long radio silence, it’s not been a good few weeks due to never-ending lurgy and the sad loss of a good friend, so blogging has slipped down the list of priorities. But, hello – how are you doing?

I haven’t forgotten I promised more info on items in the sitting room or that I still have room reveals to do. They will come eventually, I promise.

Meanwhile we have been turning our attention – amongst other things – to what will be the utility room. It was the old kitchen:

Old Kitchen

It is now currently a dumping ground that is too disgraceful right now to share pics of. It’s a pretty good size for a utility room and, honestly, we’ve struggled a bit with ideas of what to do with it. Home gym? Bar? Games room? Sauna? But in the end, what we want and need is a utility room/storage so that’s what it shall be. It is also where The Humph will reside at night and is home to the cat tunnel.

But who said utility rooms have to be dull? Admittedly we need to keep the costs down so are turning to good old Ikea for plain white units and worktops and we’ve also selected a wood effect laminate instead of real wood floor. That’s allowed me to squeeze the budget enough to go slightly crazy with other things!

So, how about Farrow and Ball’s Pelt for a wall paint colour – a deliciously dark purple which will look great contrasted with the white units, no?

Farrow and Ball Pelt

Farrow and Ball Pelt

And the feature wall (yes, that’s right, our utility room will have a feature wall, obviously) will be this stunning beauty which is SunBird by Matthew Williamson. We only need a couple of rolls, so totally justifiable, right?

Matthew Williamson Sunbird wallpaper

Matthew Williamson Sunbird wallpaper – stunning copper background

Whilst I’ve reluctantly accepted we will just have plain white Ikea units (and Oly even won the common sense/financial argument against high gloss) we did want something a little more ‘us’ than an Ikea handle so I finally found these bad boys:

Chinese style handles

Chinese style handles

And all that coppery brassy goodness is just crying out for light fittings that I’ve been eyeing up for a long time and am delighted to finally find a home for. Hello Plumen gorgeousness!

Plumen Drop Cap in Copper

Plumen Drop Cap in Copper

And to top off all this excitement, we’re getting a new stunning top-of-the range washing machine and dryer from my new and totally bestest friends at Samsung. Who knew a washing machine could be sexy? But yeah, I know, isn’t it? And it has it’s own app. Yep.

Samsung ecobubble washing machine

Samsung ecobubble washing machine

So, we’re off to Ikea tomorrow to order the units and our favourite tradesman is due to start in a couple of weeks. We have until then to sort all the crap, decant and paint the walls.

Do you like our choices? Too crazy for a utility room – or would you expect nothing less?!

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