My pots

I do like a nice bit of storage. I think it’s because I’m a bit of a hoarder and keeping the stickers I got when I was 12, the Really-Important-Pebble-from-that-lovely-beach-that-I can’t-quite-remember-where-it-was-but-it-definitely-can’t-go-in-the-bin and all my other bits and bobs hidden away in a selection of jars and pots make me feel like I am holding some semblance of order over my home.

Mixing old and new jars and canisters is a good way to avoid ending up with a Magnet Showroom style kitchen and reusing food containers with pretty packaging is a nice recycling touch; granted my friends do look at me funny when I transport (clean) used yoghurt pots home in my suitcase from holidays in France, but the design is so good.

Anyway my latest addition to my kitchen is the blue lidded jar in the center of the picture above.  Ages ago I saw these cute little spice jars in Anthropologie selling for around £10, which are beautiful and I love the ornate detail around the chalkboard.

anthropologie chalkboard_jars3

But then I saw these in Matalan and they’re bigger and cheaper at 18cm high and only £5 each. Hurrah.

MATALAN STORAGE

Shame you don’t get a stick of chalk with them … Where do you buy chalk these days?

Also on my shopping list are these little beauties

Nice storage jars
From left; Bloomingville Carla Storage Jars, £12 Flittybird.co.uk
Sagaform Keep Storage Jar, £15.66 wayfair.co.uk
Jonathan Adler Candy Storage Jar £138 uk.jonathanadler.com
Cream Crackers by Wayne Hemmingway £12 utilitydesign.co.uk

spareoom

Hurrah. I’ve finally done it … I have finished one room in The New House. It’s only taken me … ooh about four months. I started so well; painting, carpeting and getting the bed delivered and built all within a couple of weeks of moving in but then there seemed to be a lull when life and work took over.

When I first saw the house it looked like this.

Before

But I didn’t need bunk beds or more wardrobes, just a nice space that could be an office or a spare room. I chose this room to decorate first because it was small and manageable with no wallpaper to remove, just a quick paint job, new carpet and a few little bits and bobs and it’d be good to go.

Regular visitors to the blog will notice the odd cushion or bin that are now in their final resting places, other pieces came from Ikea or were recycled, reclaimed or customised. I painted the walls in Potters Clay by Dulux from Homebase and polka dotted the two shorter ones with white vinyl that I got from the local hardware shop.

TOP TIP hand cut wall murals are easy to make using vinyls that are often found on the high street (maybe more commonly known as sticky backed plastic, well, it is if Blue Peter was your crafting Mecca when you were younger (click here if you want to know how to make a Blakes7 bracelet)). I drew round the inside of a masking tape roll for my polka dots and cut them out with scissors. If you are going for a more elaborate design don’t forget to draw your design in reverse on the back of the vinyl so it is the right way round when you stick it up. Oh and something I’ve learned the hard way… Don’t put the mural up on freshly painted walls. It’s best to wait two or three weeks for the paint to dry fully otherwise when you want to remove the mural the paint will come with it. (One way or another my walls will now always be spotted.)

Here are some more facts.

bedknob

BED I didn’t want my spare room to be filled with a double bed for the odd occasion when someone would be sleeping in it and I knew I’d need lots of storage so this Hemnes Day Bed from Ikea was perfect. It had three massive drawers in its base that are now filled with my fabric collection and pulls out to be a huge comfortable double bed. The bed cost £260 and the two mattresses were £80 each. I changed the original knobs on the drawers for ones bought from Tiger and the Orla Kiely bedlinen is from TK Maxx.

Huxley

CUSHIONS TK Maxx on the left and Matalan on the right. Couldn’t say if the TK Maxx one is still in store but you can still buy the Matalan one for £8 here. The carved wooden angel wings were a gift from my sister and were £35 from CoxandCox

Chair

CHAIR I found this chair in a charity shop in Sydenham when I was on my way to a friends for coffee. It wasn’t super fun getting it home on the train but I did have somewhere to sit. One day soon I will do a tutorial on how to upholster chairs like this.

window

CURTAINS I’ve decided that it’s best to try and only have two things from Ikea in any one room, that way your home will retain some individuality. I’m not saying I’m going to stick to that rule but I’m going to try! These curtains were just £25 from Ikea. They were ridiculously long when I put them up, so I had to cut about 50cm off the bottom. I made these tiebacks with the spare fabric and trimmed them with £2 a meter pom pom trim from my local fabric shop. The old owners of the house left all their curtain poles so rather than changing this one I simply painted it white.

desk

DESK Here is the bin that was a blog post a little while ago and here is a chair that I found in the street. It has lived in my garden for about three years but even though its been rained, snowed and hailed upon it’s still remarkably sturdy. All it took was a little bit of filling, a lot of sanding and a nice coat of paint and it’s as good as new. The pinboard I made for a shoot and I’m going to show you how in the next couple of weeks.

I love this room. It gives me hope that one day the rest of the house will be as nice.

I would like some chevron fabric. It’s not much to ask is it?

Well, apparently it is. Though some (me) would say that chevrons are The New Stripe and the thing to be decorating your house with this season others – meaning every UK manufacturer and distributor of fabric – seem to disagree and I can’t find any for love or money … Some may say I’m backing the wrong horse but across the pond in the good old U.S. of A it’s chevrons a-go-go, (though I have just been out there for two weeks and still couldn’t find any)  hmmm has my stylee sense got it wrong this time?

I don’t think so … The chair above is amazing and from popular high street store Urban Outfitters. The American branches anyway ($349 if you’re interested (click on the picture to go buy)).

I guess I could go down the DIY route like this natty little number

taken from Pinterest, click for original

Or Etsy is awash with cushions

1. £10 SewGracious click here to buy
2. £22 Dekowe click here to buy
3. £20 MissyMackCreations click here to buy

But really all I want is a couple of meters of grey chevron stripe material to cover the padded top of an old wooden chest I have. Anyone have any ideas?

Charley Harper Darwins Finches £50

My new house (I’ve moved don’t you know) has walls, lots of walls. My old house only had room for one large picture but now everywhere I look there is a wall crying out for a poster, a print or a photograph.

I have a problem buying art. A lot of the things I like I think I could either A: Do myself if I had the time. Or (more often) B: Get so jealous that I couldn’t do it myself that though I love it I feel ever so slightly depressed when ever I look at it.

But today I have found a brilliant website that has so many prints I like that I could probably do the whole house in one go. It all started when I was looking online for a Charley Harper print  (no, not a picture of Charlie Sheen’s character in Two and A Half Men, that is this  Charlie Harper), I love his graphic style and bold colours, I love the fact that he illustrated Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two Cookbook in the 50’s, I love it all really.

From Betty Crocker’s Cookbook

So I’m very excited that I’ve found Elphicks an online shop (and actual shop in Columbia Road, London) that has so many prints I want to own. Right. Now.

Wayne Pate £65

Wayne Pate £65

Marcus Walters £50

James Brown £20

Blanca Gomez £35

Blanca Gomez £35

Claire Hartigan £20

Ingela P Arrenius £18

The prints range from small to large, cheap to a bit spenny. There are Limited Edition Prints, Signed Prints, Litho, Lino, and Screen prints, Giclee prints and Tiny prints (lots are sold as more purse friendly greetings cards).

To see the rest of Elphicks collection head over there now  (or click on one of the above prints)

I still think the Charley Harper will be the first purchase though.