Tag Archives: heritage

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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Gallery wall

(Apologies for the terrible photo quality in this post, this is what happens when you take pictures through glass!)

Just when we thought we couldn’t love our Disco Loo more than we already do we’ve gone and added a wall full of happiness.

Disco loo gallery wall with Dulux Proud Peacock

Gallery wall (background colour is Dulux Proud Peacock)

We’ve long had this plan for the main wall in the downstairs loo but have been kind of busy doing the bigger, more important, things in the house – like actually getting it habitable in time for Christmas.

So, as soon as we had the chance we were wading through old cards and photos and trekking off to Ikea for frames. Good old Ikea, what would we do without the humble Ribba frame? Affordable, simple design which – en masse – looks pretty good.

What did we decide to include on the wall? Well, first we went through photos and pulled out ones that make us smile – either for a memory or – more often – for the sheer stupidity. There are photos of my best mate and her gorgeous family, a pair of tiny sandy feet belong to our ‘charge’ (we’re his legal guardians) and there are some that maybe need a little more explanation, for example:

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We helped a friend who was compiling a recipe book by testing out recipes and taking pics. Someone decided to sneak into shot – it’s always made us laugh.

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We got married at Hazlewood and our surname is Tipper. You can imagine the hilarity – in fact, this image was our ‘thank you’ cards. It’s now a family favourite.

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Oly and his bro at our wedding playing ‘horse lips’. Never tried it? Blow a raspberry and take a pic…..

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See? Horse Lips is always fun!

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A few years ago I found this photo at my mum’s. My darling, skint, ill, only just about getting by mum. Turned out she had saved up and bought a water pump for a village in India. She just kind of didn’t tell anyone. Sums her up perfectly.

After we’d decided on photos we looked back at a stash of cards; many of which Oly and I originally gave to my mum over the years. She kept nearly everything we gave her so, when clearing out her house, I came across them stashed in books and drawers. They still make us smile and we like the fact they have kind of gone full circle.

And then there’s this:

Far Side cartoon

Far Side cartoon

This was from a Far Side wall calendar from, probably, about 25years ago. It was cut out and put in a clipframe and hung in my mum’s loo  – Oly has always loved it and the sheer inanity of putting cartoons in unexpected places. So, now it is hung in our unexpected place!

Also, in need of a little explanation is the needlepoint hunting picture.

We couldn’t find a place for this in the main house and – honestly – we’re not too keen on the subject matter yet can appreciate the craftmanship. However, it was given to my grandfather by his mother (made by her) so we wanted it to have a place somewhere. Is it wrong to hang a family heirloom in the loo?!

So, forgive my dodgy photography skills and take a look at what else is included:

To figure out the gallery wall layout we measured the wall space and mapped it out on the floor with tinsel (errrrr, obviously, doesn’t everyone?).   We then created an arrangement we were happy with (with Humph’s help, of course) and took a photo to work to.

We then just transferred the whole lot onto the wall – which took HOURS!! We started with each corner, then along the line until we had the outline, before filling in the middle. We weren’t patient or anal enough to measure and calculate distances between frames, so it definitely has a homespun feel to it and is all the better for it. Well, that’s our excuse and we’re sticking to it.

It’s almost impossible to get a good shot of the full wall, given the tiny room and space to manoeuvre, but here’s my best shot(s) at it.

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So now this creation makes us smile and hopefully it will amuse our guests too – it’s very “us”.

The Disco Loo is now complete. Well, until I manage to convince Oly that we really do need that revolving glitter ball from Ikea.

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Scandinavian kitchen soul

Edwardian shooting party

My great grandfather is head of the far end of table, this was taken in 1907.

The family name of my grandfather, Schweder, loosely translates as Swedish, in German.

(Here’s a lovely link I found about my great-grandfather  and the “Smelly Nuisance Case” at Courtlands – which was the childhood home of my grandfather, but that’s another story……)

Anyway, the reason for mentioning the Scandinavian connection is that our kitchen diner is now home to a few mid century bits and bobs that echo this ancestry.

Despite the Swedish genealogy it was Norway that stole my grandfather’s heart on several visits – and so it was that my mum had a few Norwegian items that have now passed into our possession.

Nowegian ceramic plaque back

The back of one of the ceramic plaques

They are objects I have grown up with so they feel very familiar and immediately make a new space feel like home for me. They include:

Glass tankards – I never knew these to get used, instead they lived in a Welsh Dresser my grandfather made. I saw them whenever I went to get out the banana split dishes (which were used a lot!). As a child I never appreciated the design, I am making up for it now.

A handpainted Figgjo Saga jug –  it lived on mum’s bookshelves, so now it lives on ours.

Norwegian ceramic plaques – there were some more that I grew up with but my brother had these as we decided to split the collection since he also knew them so well. The plaque of the cook that always hung in our kitchen was a present to mum from her father – he said it always reminded him of her.  I’m afraid I fought my brother quite fiercely for this one, since I was the household cook from the age of 10!!

Cathrineholm pans – I cannot describe how many times these have been used. Growing up they were a firm focus of the kitchen as my mum taught me to cook – “just bung it in the Norwegian casserole”. The Christmas pudd was always flamed in one, the gammon always simmered in the same. It was only recently I spotted one on Etsy and learnt its name and the fact they’re collectable! You can tell from the pics they have had good use and will for many more years to come.  (FYI – Cathrineholm isn’t a  person;  it’s the name of a factory outside Halden, Norway. )

I love these pieces; cherish them alongside my sparkly new stuff. They have the history of my grandfather bringing them back from Norway and then my mum loving and using them.

I love the link to my Scandinavian ancestry (as if the pasty skin wasn’t enough to remind me daily) and it’s all these things that give them soul.

Kitchen island pendant lightI freely admit to a ridiculous, almost over-bearing at times, sentimental attachment to objects and love to find tenuous links.

It’s no wonder then that the lights that hang over our kitchen island are from Sweden. I knew they were right when I spotted them but the thought of a little link to my Scandinavian past, quite literally, hanging around, clinched the deal.

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