Saturday, 17 March 2012

Arne Jacobsen

Am feeling truly inspired by this amazing floor and staircase by Arne Jacobsen which is in Aarhus Town Hall. The floor is made of oak, set within white concrete, and accented with brass fittings.

Arne Jacobsen, Aarhus Town Hall, image by Seier+Seier

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Kitchen Confidential

More updates on the Dixies conversion ... drum roll... I am very excited to finally be able to share some pics of our new kitchen.

The actual kitchen was relatively easy to choose, but we got held up by the decision on the floor (it was more expensive than we'd budgeted for, but we found the money in the end!); we were delayed by a missed sink order; and we found ourselves in a spot of bother (about 10cms worth) when we discovered that the larder unit had been built too tall for the new kitchen ceiling - oops.

Things ironed themselves out in the end with an equal mix of panicking, rushed orders, and some very clever carpentry, and we are left with a gorgeous new kitchen.

The units are from Neptune, and are hand-made in solid Oak, with Ash-lined interiors. We went for a simple Shaker style that Neptune calls Suffolk, to match the pared-down style of the cottage.

The colour scheme includes muted, classic colours that are calming and easy to live with. The main units are painted in Neptune's Honed Slate, with accent cupboards such as the larder in a contrasting yellow called Clotted Cream. We also ordered some extra paint to transform a dresser bought on eBay: after much searching and many missed bids I managed to pick up a generous, Ducal dresser for a bargainous £170, which fits in perfectly with the country-kitchen feel.

The units are complemented by Farrow & Ball's Elephant's Breath on the actual walls of the kitchen.

To compensate for the low ceiling and to give the room a light, modern feel we chose a white and grey quartz for the surfaces. This works particularly well, bouncing light around the room, and making the kitchen area feel as spacious as possible.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

New Year Newness...

I'm feeling super-inspired by the new trends coming through this season - is it too soon to re-decorate when we've only just finished the extension?

Loving all the muted tones and accents of bright colour 'pops' - everything feels effortless,light and bright. There seems to be a move away from shabby chic, and sickly-sweet nostalgia, towards pared-back styles - I can't wait to pick out some new accessories for Dixies...

Mixed brights and neutrals

Trigo Coffee Table, in smoked grey and vibrant yellow, £69, 

Cwtchy greys for cosy winter days
KVADRAT Hild grey stripe throw, £79, Selfridges 

Mixing matt and gloss, and dark muted tones with bright splashes of colour

Jars Orange range, from £18, Selfridges 

Soft shades and textures

Outdoor wall light, Bell, Moose Grey, from Eleanor Home 

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Text and typography has been a big homes trend for the past 18 months or so. It can work well around the home, although I can't help but think it's starting to feel a little bit tired...

I do love the packaging typography examples I saw on the Green Dump blog though.  I've pasted some of my favourites below - and the original article is here.

Beautiful skincare packaging

Image from Graphic Dirt

Gorgeous Organic Farm products by Lindsay Perkins

Image from Packaging of the World

Tempting Chocolate Cut-outs from Niamh Richardson

(image from lovelypackage)

Sunday, 2 October 2011


For those of us who don't have the time to scour their local antiques market or junk shops, Pedlars is a dream. Set-up by Charles Gladstone and his partner, Pedlars features vintage finds sourced from all over the world by Gladstone - from reconditioned 1950s telephones, to 1960s globes, school signs, and original London bus blinds. With the vintage look going from strength to strength at the moment, Pedlars offers authentic pieces, at reasonable prices - and there's not a Keep Calm and Carry On to be found (phew)!

This gorgeous reclaimed French Industrial Cabinet which has been lovingly stripped and waxed by the Pedlars team - it would make a lovely side table.

Medium French Industrial Cabinet, Pedlars, £625

And there's a wide selection of globes on the site is - all individual and original - such as this American globe, set on a pressed steel base with hammered gold finish. A real treat for cartography enthusiasts, the collection of globes shows the changes in the world map over the past half century, with now defunct country names taking pride of place.

There's also a haul of Hovis tins from the original Hovis factory - perfect for adding a touch of kitsch into a modern or classic kitchen - for use as a planter, or for er baking bread...
Small Hovis Tin, Pedlars, £32.50

I love these old music stands - although I can't think of a practical use for them at the moment (and I'm not about to dust off my clarinet!) - will have to work on that one!

Vintage Music Stands, Pedlars

Previously available online and at Selfridges, John Lewis is also spreading the good word by stocking a selection of Pedlars goodies in its new Stratford City store.

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Group-buying sites such as Living Social or Group On may be de rigeur at the moment, but how many bikini waxes, falconry days, or pilates courses can a girl really use? Although I feel compelled to keep looking at the offers emails that come through each day, I've never actually taken the plunge to purchase.

How refreshing then, to find Achica. This members-only discount site revolves around all-things-home, featuring designer names, boutique shops, and iconic design - all at a meaty discount of up to 70%, with the deals lasting a couple of days at a time. I've been signed up for just over a month, and reading the email has become a daily morning ritual, with rarely a day going by without something that tempts me to reach for my credit card.

Brands featured on the site have included Jan Constantine, Innermost, Anglepoise, and Tefal, amongst others.

A recent purchase from the site for Dixies was some lovely vintage-inspired lighting from Garden Trading. I've been looking for some contemporary wall lights to replace the pair currently in our hallway since we moved in, but finding wall lights that don't look like something your Gran would choose has proven quite difficult, so as soon as I saw the Asthall Lamps, discounted from £60 to £39, I snapped them up. Also perfect timing for Dixies was the Belfast Lamp, discounted from £75 to £49.

Asthall Lamp - Clay

Asthall Lamp - Clay, Garden Trading

Belfast Lamp - Clay
Belfast Lamp - Clay, Garden Trading

Thursday, 8 September 2011


Everywhere I look at the moment I'm seeing lavender. I think it must be harvesting season at the moment, but all the magazines I'm reading and shops I'm going to seem to be featuring it in abundance. I've always loved it - the colour, the way it moves in the breeze, but most of all the smell - and the irresistible way its flower stems call out to be crushed into your hand to reveal their scent as you walk past.

Lavender Fields, taken at Young Living Lavender Farms in Mona, Utah, courtesy of Tom Kelly 

I've seen it used formally and informally in gardens, and I'm hankering after some for the front garden at Dixies for next year. I'd love to line a few plants along the front path to frame the walkway, and add their perfume to the air as people pass by.

Basket of Lavender, courtesy of Scot2342

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Gallery Bobbin

The perfect way to support up-and-coming contemporary artists, and find more unusual home accessories,  Gallery Bobbin features a wide array of art, accessories, and textiles with a contemporary feel. The site specialises in sourcing new artists to showcase their personal work and make it easier to available to purchase.

The site and products on it have a home-spun, authentic feel, without being too Etsy, and although the overall feel is re-worked mid-century, there's something to suit all tastes. 

I love the Emerald Whale Cushion, by Maria Hatling; quirky, colourful, and playful.
Emerald Whale Cushion
Emerald Whale Cushion, £55, Gallery Bobbin

I've also got the perfect place at Dixies for these three prints - each a limited edition run of 300 - also by artist Maria Hatling - firmly added to my 'to buy' list!

The Way I See The World, Maria Hatling, £125
Paper Clips, Maria Hatling, £125
Swan, Maria Hatling, £125

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Home is where the hearth is

The most exciting development this week has got to be the arrival of our lovely new fireplace.

After painstakingly working out the measurements and calculations based on the stove size and fire regulations, my (very) rough drawing of a fireplace has miraculously been turned into reality.

The colours and textures of the materials fit perfectly with the planned look and feel for the house, and they've all been up-cycled from the old house so we have a lovely juxtaposition of old with new. Bricks from the old conservatory have been used to construct the lower half of the fireplace, with the lintel made from a sawn-down beam that used to be in the kitchen.

We may have to wait a little while to get the fire to go inside, but for the moment it looks great just the way it is!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Top tiles

Day 70
Well the builders are keeping busy, moving swiftly along in the new bathroom this week - my latest obsession with the house...

The tiles have been chosen for a natural, rustic look, and I love the way the textures and colours work together. Even though we've used a dark slate for the shower tiles, the slight luminescence of the white textured floor tiles helps to reflect the light from the velux window around the room.

The tiles actually proved a bit of a nightmare for both us and the builder, with a combined total of around 8 hours spent in various different local B&Qs searching and buying the correct tiles. I think it's been worth it (although I'm not sure our builder would agree!).

Wall tiles

Floor tiles

Shower tiles, showing main wall tiles and
inset tiles

Now we just need to find some lights, shelves, and decide on the paint colour.
Tiles include: Shower - Porcelain wall and floor tiles in Energy Black from AG Ceramics, inset with square Natural Stone 100mm tiles from B&Q's natural tile selection; Wall - Natural Slate in Oyster; Floor - Ceramic Metallic floor tiles in White Field (both B&Q).