Christmas 2017 – House tour

It is time to deck the halls!

I shared with you a few weeks back my inspiration for Christmas home decoration. A mixture of traditional, rustic and Scandinavian was my objective, so I thought I would give you peak so you can see what I have done to give our home a little Christmas hygge.

I did a little Christmas house tour video and keep scrolling to find all the details of my Christmas decorations.

I concentrated most effort in our living space as it is all open plan, starting with this Christmas banner from Next above our sofa. I love the colours and the traditional touches of tartan.

Next Christmas banner

In our kitchen area, I make sure to have a seasonal floral arrangement on our island through the whole of December. I am also obsessed with the M&S Christmas candle, the scent of cinnamon, spices and mandarin is just so Christmassy. I also have a festive cookie jar on display, in case of emergency cravings.

Kitchen Christmas decoration

A tradition I discovered when moving to the UK and that I absolutely love, is the Christmas card exchange! I love the fact that all your close ones give you cards and at the same time provide another great source of Christmas decorations. I line up the cards I receive in our living-room and love the festive vibe they give to our bookshelf. I love getting my cards from Paperchase or TK Maxx, they always have a tasteful selection!

Christmas cardsChristmas cards

On our sideboard, I have our advent calendar on display. This year we recycled the Liberty advent calendar Andrew got me last year and we filled it with little sweet treats for each other!

Liberty advent calendar

I also used one of the extra fairy light garlands I have to make a light feature out of our Ikea sideboard. For Christmas lights, I always go for ‘warm white’ as it gives a soft, cosy glow to the room. I once made the mistake to get the cool white lights and felt like I was living in a nightclub or laboratory for a month. And in case you are wondering, I got that white deer head years ago from Debenhams.

Ikea sideboard warm white Christmas lights

Finally, the most important Christmas decor item, the tree!

Let’s start from the bottom, to hide our Christmas tree stand I simply wrap all the gifts I have already and gather them around the tree. I personally much prefer this to some of the stand covers you can find.

Christmas giftsChristmas gifts

I get all my gift wrapping paper from M&S and Paperchase, my favourite this year is the Paddington bear paper!

Christmas wrapping paper M&S and Paperchase

The colours for the tree this year, as in most years, are red, white and grey. I like the simplicity and think a tree should be playful and fit to be part of the family life, not a precious piece of decoration no one can touch.

Christmas tree

Most of the baubles I have are from either M&S (again, I know but they often do a 3 for 2 deal so it is hard to resist), Paperchase (yes, I love that shop) and Ikea (unbreakable decorations!). Below are a few of my favourites.

This little porcelain gnome from M&S.

M&S porcelain gnome Christmas tree decoration

These giant baubles from M&S as well.

M&S Christmas baubles

Those little fabric gingerbread men from Flying Tiger (best shop for secret Santa gifts!).

Flying Tiger gingerbread men Christmas decoration

And these villages baubles from B&Q.

B&Q Christmas bauble

My favourite moment of the day in December is when I come home and after a long day at work and commuting, I finally turn on the Christmas tree light. Deep inside, my 7-years old self is jumping with joy.

Christmas tree lights

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Colourful tree

I love how trees in Thailand were colourful scarves.

Bangkok – 2014


White lanterns

All electric cables and poles should be decorated like this! Make them so much more pleasant to look at!

Chiang Mai – 2014


Kitchen gallery wall – Reveal

As I mentioned the other day, I am a wall art hoarder! And with an open-space and therefore limited amount of walls in the house, I have to be creative when decorating the space.

In the kitchen, I opted for a small gallery wall between the two french windows, and lined up with our kitchen island.

Kitchen gallery wall

I  wanted to set the stage by sticking to a kitchen/food theme on this wall. Luckily, I already had most items and only had to curate one piece in order to balance the layout.

Kitchen gallery wall

I will do a post about the entire kitchen but for now I will just go into the details of the wall itself.

We made the shelf ourselves with simple wood cut to exact dimensions, brackets and white glossy paint, all found at B&Q.

Kitchen gallery wall

The succulents are from Columbia Road Flower Market and their pots are old jam and candles pots. I got the mint and rosemary at Marks & Spencer and the planter is from Ikea.

Kitchen gallery wall

The pig print comes from a butcher shop in Italy, and the frame is from Habitat. Also, please make sure you go to Antica Marcelleria Falorni, in Greve in Chianti, if you are visiting Tuscany, all their products are delicious!

Kitchen gallery wall

Staying with the Italian theme, we bought this cat sign on the Amalfi Coast, where ceramic art is a speciality. It is also good to note that our cat’s food bowl is right by this wall, so it all ties together! 🙂

Kitchen gallery wall

The cutlery print I didn’t have originally. I found it on King & McGaw a great site if you are looking for wall art! This is Row of Cutlery by Bridget Davies and it was framed by King & McGaw.

Kitchen gallery wall

The clock is a finding from my husband, it’s by Karlsson and we just loved how simple yet different it was with the copper accent and the black face.

Kitchen gallery wall

Finally, the Cafe du Bresil print was a gift from my parents a few Christmas ago. I am not sure where they got it from but it is a real vintage print. The frame is from Habitat.

Hope you like this little corner of my kitchen!

Room inspiration – Kitchen gallery wall

I have to come clear… I have an addiction… I cannot stop buying wall art…

Prints, paintings, posters, etc. It’s becoming an issue and some of my friends make fun of me saying that I could open a gallery if I wanted.

I just cannot help it, I love curating bits and bobs for walls I don’t have. A very expensive hobby? Only if you make it expensive! I personally prefer to shop in little markets and local galleries where the biggest and most expensive piece is around 200 pounds. I am also lucky to have a very talented grand-mother and painter.

In our new house, and with the living-space being completely open plan, I am limited to four walls for about 20 items and three spaces (kitchen, living room, dining room). The solution? Gallery walls!

This is the only way to be able to display most of what I own in an aesthetically and pleasing way. The risk with a gallery wall though is that it can easily become too much and create unbalance. I therefore limited myself to two spaces, the wall behind our TV (not complete yet) and the wall in the kitchen (complete and coming up soon on the blog!).

But before you see the results in the kitchen, I wanted to share some sources of inspiration.

Gallery wall interior design inspiration
Gallery wall interior design inspiration
Gallery wall interior design inspiration
Gallery wall interior design inspiration

Black Wall – Reveal

As I mentioned a few weeks back, I developed an obsession for black walls! So I took my courage in both hands and I went on the quest for the perfect hue of black as soon as I got the keys of the house.

Black wall interior design

What you need to avoid with black paint is black paint. Huh? Bear with me here!

Pitch black is a very harsh colour which, at times, and depending on lighting, can take some weird shades of maroon – not the look I am going for.

I, therefore, looked for a very very dark grey with a hint of blue, a little less committal but still a dramatic effect, with more softness. I settled on Railing by Farrow and Ball and couldn’t be more happy with it!

As described by the brand it is “…a softer alternative to black […]The fact that it is definitely more blue than black makes it soft enough to use in interiors, to create dramatic enveloping spaces”Railing by Farrow and Ball

I then styled the wall with one of my grand-mother paintings (she is talented isn’t she?). The bright colours really pop against the wall to create even more drama!

Black wall interior design

I also used the letter lights I bought for my wedding as I love the effect of the light bulbs against the black wall.

Black wall interior designBlack wall interior design

Another decision I am very happy with is to have painted the frame of the window at the top. It makes it more subtle as I am not a huge fan of it. At night you don’t even see it anymore!

Black wall interior design

Overall I am very happy with the resuly! I am still considering getting a console as well but I find the current staging very satisfying. The best compliment I get is that most of our guests don’t even notice that there is a black wall. It fits so well in the space that no one is shocked by it. This for me is the sign of a good interior design!

Black wall interior design

Italian tiles

Not sure I would use this as an inspiration for redecorating my bathroom… There is something fishy about those tiles.

Amalfi Coast – 2013


Room inspiration – Black wall

Fact, I spend way too much time on Pinterest.

After hours, browsing on there I became slightly obsessed with black walls (read extremely obsessed with black walls!). So much so that I decided I would have at least one black wall in my new place. And I did it!

The final result is here, but first let me share with you the pictures I used as inspiration.

black wall interior inspiration
black wall interior inspiration
black wall interior inspiration
black wall interior inspiration

Reading nook – Reveal

As I mentioned a little while ago, British new builds have so little storage that you need to be very creative and make the most of any negative space available. In my case, I had the space you can see below that just had an armchair and decorative cases. I really wanted to 1) give that corner of our living more character (mid-century-modern anyone?) and 2)have more storage to be used as a bar/wine cellar.

reading nook before

So did I succeeded creating a cosy space with decent storage? Well you tell me! 🙂

My first priority was to balance the proportions of this corner as one side has a double-height wall and the other is a half-height wall. I therefore looked for a piece of art that would look big enough on the tallest wall and colour-coordinate with the furniture against the second wall.

Living room reading nook interior design

The poster is from King & McGaw, it is a quote from Andy Warhol – “I never read, I just look at pictures.”. I went for the 3 cm black satin flat frame. This online art shop is absolutely fantastic and I have since order a few other pieces from them. The quality of the print and frame is great and the delivery super fast!

For the furniture I have been faithful to my love for affordable mid-century modern.

Living room reading nook interior design

The bookcase and the armchair are both from Ikea.

In order to not come across as alcoholics, I styled the shelves with a mixture of wine bottles, books and spirits.

Living room reading nook interior design

I got the the wine racks add-ons from Ikea as well.

Living room reading nook interior design

I styled the top of the bookcase with little figurines I got over the years in different countries. The horse is from Sweden, the turkey from Brazil and the elephant from Thailand. I also added some of my favourite coffee books and a Moroccan inspired candle.

Living room reading nook interior design

Living room reading nook interior design

For the table lamp, I wanted height and texture, so it would overlap with the height of the wall and pop against the grey wall. I fairly quickly figured out that concrete was the texture I wanted, and found this little gem at Oliver Bonas. The shade has a hint of green in it which at first I wasn’t too sure about, but I learned to love it.

SLiving room reading nook interior designSLiving room reading nook interior design

I completed the space with a side table. I think this is what really bring the cosiness and make it into a well-definedspace. These two little marble and copper tables are from Oliver Bonas too! (I could live in that shop…)

Living room reading nook interior designLiving room reading nook interior design

I styled them with a couple of books and the only plant I cannot kill. The pot is from Oliver Bonas too (old collection)!!! Do you think there is such a thing as Oliver Bonas addiction?

Living room reading nook interior designLiving room reading nook interior design

Finally, I left on the armchair a sheepskin from Ikea and a cushion bought in Debenhams (old collection).

Living room reading nook interior design

So what do you think of my reading corner/liquor store?


Dining Room – Reveal

Time to show you the updated dining area! As I mentioned in my previous post I wanted to create something contemporary and fresh with a rustic twist.

Overall, I would describe my style as contemporary mid-century modern, which hopefully I translated successfully in this space. Now let’s go into the details, my little designer assistant cannot wait to show you the results!

Dining room cat

So first thing first, here is a little reminder of how the dining area looked like originally.

dining room beforedining room before

The wall colour is perfectly fine being a very neutral pale grey. I didn’t need to do any painting here, which my right arm thanked me for. However, I went for something very different with the furniture. Oranges and warm browns are not my colours.

For the table I wanted something almost rustic, a very simple big solid wood table. You have no idea how complicated it was to fine this table! When looking at wood tables, either the finish wasn’t natural enough, the legs too thin/fancy, or the designer tried to add some unnecessary finishing touches.

dining room after interior design

We eventually found the perfect natural light wood  table at Furniture Village. I never in a million years thought I would find anything I would like there, but here it was, waiting for us in the entrance hall!

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find it on their website. So if you are interested in it show them the picture and ask if they still carry this exact model. Also note that you can pick a different finish (lighter and darker) and legs width. Almost bespoke furniture! 🙂

dining room after interior design

Now that I had my rustic table, I needed to bring the contemporary touch with the chairs.

The first one I chose is a little bit of a mid-century modern cliche, you see it in all the interior books, on all the blogs, and it pretty much owns Pinterest interior section… Yes, I went for Eames inspired Eiffel wooden legs chairs. So predictable, I know, but soooo good looking!

dining room after interior design

The originals go for around 250 dollars a pop, out of budget for us. We therefore went for lookalikes (cough *** replicas *** cough) from Dwell. I picked white for the four as I wanted to achieve a miss-match look with another design rather than a colour.

For the two other chairs, I wanted a modern look with a classic silhouette. The Parisienne model from Calligaris is exactly that! The design is inspired by the chairs you find in cafes in France, yet the polycarbonate material makes it very modern.

dining room after interior design

For the colour we went for ‘Smoked Grey’ rather than completely clear. The material is transparent so the hint of colour makes the chairs pop a little more, and the grey matches the rest of our living-space colour code. I am so pleased with these!

Now for the final touches. I am very fortunate to have a talented artist in my family – my grand-mother. The painting I aligned with the table is a gift I received when I was born. The scene of the little girls having tea around a table perfectly matches a dining room setting, and the bright colours help make it the real statement piece in that space.

dining room after interior design

Finally, I added some vases matching the colour and style of the space. One is an old bottle, one an old home-sense container and the last one I found in a little pound shop.

dining room after interior design

For the flowers, I usually prefer to use foliage in this space, such as eucalyptus, so it matches the simple contemporary theme.

dining room after interior design

That’s it peeps, this is my new dining-room! I hope you like the final result!