Andrew – “Yes but I want a bigger one and there is that new OLED technology which…”
I stopped listening at that point. When you are married you have to pick and choose your battles, right? So we got a new BIG TV. Which means that I was left to decorate around a giant black rectangle taking centre stage in our living-room.
The thing with TVs is that often, when decorating, people treat them as an after-thought or, at the other hand of the spectrum, make it THE statement in the room. I wanted none of that. I don’t find TV to be nice to look at when they are off, so I wanted it to merge into the aesthetic of the room, while yet keeping it noticeable and enjoyable when on. The easiest way to do it for wall art hoarder like me? A gallery wall!
This gallery wall was a challenge though as our TV sits in a corner of the living-room, so not only did I have to plan around a TV but also across two walls! So before to start nailing things on the wall I looked for inspiration on my trusty Pinterest, and below are my top four sources of inspirations! All have the lightness and aesthetics I wanted to achieve. Come back very soon to see the results!
I have always had an interest in interior design, as far as I can remember, I always enjoyed looking at a space and thinking of its layout and all the pretty things that could live in it. As a child I loved going tiles/wardrobe/lamp shopping with my parents, I loved looking at shapes, touching the different textures and fantasising about what my bedroom could look like. It is also good to mention that my parents both love design and our house was always filled with ELLE Decoration and new homeware items (that’s their latest purchase which I think is pretty cool!).
In my teens, I used to spend hours drawing plans of what my future house (***cough***mansion***cough***) would look like. I also considered studying architecture, but I had other passions at the time that drove me to another direction.
Fast forward to university, and I discovered a new world of inspiration the Internet! Pinterest, interior blogs, sources of inspiration where booming and endless, and made me even more excited to get a house I could try all those new ideas in.
I started fantasising again as I entered the workplace, “one day I will able to afford a beautiful Diptyque candle for my coffee table”, “one day I will paint some walls in black“, and slowly but surely as the years went by I made those things happened. I think as I grew older I also started to develop my own interior personality and parted ways with my parents’s very contemporary tastes and aimed for something a little softer and a bit more eclectic (mid-century-modern-bohemian-Scandinavian anyone?). In the process I also became more faithful to some blogs as they really reflected what I wanted my spaces to feel and look like.
And because sharing is caring here are my top four favourite interior blogs at the moment (I say that because, who knows, in 3 years I may be really into shabby-chic?).
If you like a good house tour, this is the place to go! Lavish apartments in New York, cute trendy houses in LA, influencers’ offices – Homepolish’s magazine is your online source for interior envy.
Homepolish is actually an interior design company which provides designers services for private clients and companies, but their magazine/blog is a fantastic source of inspiration. They also share advice to help people like us make the right interior decisions.
Not only is Shea McGee a very talented interior designer, but her career is a real inspiration. She built her company in few years and is an Instagram phenomenon. If you want home and career inspiration, look no further!
Her company’s blog is a great source of interior tips, and make sure to visit their Youtube channel too for even more guides to make your coffee table super Instagramable!
A change in my career means that I will in the new year use our home office a lot more. At the moment it is a bit of a pit, or in nicer words, a ‘storage room’.
For this room, which is a single bedroom, I want to be bold. Small rooms do that to me! I always had something for navy blue walls and therefore thought that the office would be a good place to try it. What is the worse that can happen? I will just have to repaint it all.
The space being compact I have to keep it simple with the furniture, I know we need bookshelves, a bit of storage and a desk area. Limiting the furniture items means that the space will feel bigger. That also means that it can easily be turned back into a single bedroom if we ever need it.
For the style, I want to keep it simple and modern as the walls will be the statement. To create a nice contrast and bring a bit of light in the room most of the furniture will be white.
Finally, in order not to make it too bicolour with the navy and white, I will introduce pops of colours with art work and the bookshelves styling.
Below are the pictures from Pinterest I used as inspiration and, hopefully early in the new year, I will be able to give you a little tour!
Beautiful spaces make for creative ideas right? Now let’s hope that works!
I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for inspiration on other blogs and Youtube to find THE most thoughtful gift for my dearest ones (no pressure!). Following my gift guide for travelers, today I put together a gift guide for people like me who are obsessed love interior design.
I like anything design related, and nothing makes me more happy than receiving a book or a new decorative item for my house. Note that the selection below is to my contemporary/mid-century modern taste, I even actually own a few of the items listed and love them very much!
I love Juniqe website, it has so many prints on offer you can spend hours just scrolling through them like you would wander in a museum. The great things with Juniqe is that it makes wall art very affordable too! All you have to do is to choose the print, the size and the (optional) frame. I have my eyes on this print ‘Waves’ by Elisabeth Fredriksson, maybe a little Christmas treat to myself!
A great book for both home owners and tenants! If you know someone moving soon or in the process of decorating their home, make sure to get them this book as a Christmas gift or a house-warming present! I have even more options of interior design books here if you are a bit of a bookworm.
I am ALWAYS cold! So much so that my husband call me ‘the lizard’ as I only warm up in the sun or by the heater. That is why I would love to have this velvet water bottle from Oliver Bonas, it is functional AND stylish!
All interior design aficionados love to get a little designer piece every now and then. These vases by House Doctor are very pretty and not too expensive, I have both the blue and pink version on display in my living-room and they make the perfect pair!
You know someone who likes interior design and has green fingers, then this terrarium is for them! I have it in my living-room and it is home to a tall succulent. Plus the black version is on sale at the moment so hurry!
I absolutely love geometrical interior items! I talked about my quest for an hexagonal mirror before and I a few geometric items in my kitchen. This vase from Zara Home is therefore right up my street and the white colour means it will fit in most interiors.
Diptyque candles are a real treat and my go-to gift for house warming. They are beautiful to look at, smell divine and can be recycled into the most exquisite make-up brush holders or plant pots. I may do a post on which scents are my favourite, but whenever in doubt Figuier and Baies are safe bets.
I genuinely spend hours on the web and in shops just looking for THE item I am missing in my current house or, often, the item I cannot fit in my current house but really want anyway. #interioraddictproblems
We have made great progress in our current house, and slowly but surely I am finishing most rooms. However, I am still missing bits an bobs that I listed below. Some I know I will buy, some I am contemplating or saving for.
Once I will have all the below, the house will be officially finished! Well, apart from re-tiling the bathroom, removing the carpet and painting the stairs, and… Ok, let me rephrase, after that I will either need to find a new hobby or we will have to buy a new house…
So here is my home wish list for this winter!
A new desk
We need a new desk for our study. At the moment we have a little table from Ikea which we bought as a desk in our previous place as it perfectly fitted between bookshelves. The study in the new house is different so we now have the space for a real desk.
I painted the room in Crown Midnight Navy so, in order to contrast with the walls and bright up the space, I want to get a white desk. It will also match the Ikea Billy bookcases we already have.
For the style, I am looking for a touch a mid-century modern without overdoing it. This is why I love both the West Elm and the La Redoute desks you can see above and below. I have a preference for the West Elm one but I have more of La Redoute budget so the choice is made really…
A Moroccan pouf
Next on my list is a foot stool for our living-room. I am considering getting a Moroccan leather pouf as I love the bohemian touch it would bring to our room. It would also double as an additional seat very easily when we have guests.
A big art piece
I am a little bit of a wall art hoarder, so people who know me well will laugh reading this. “Claire, you reeeeeaaally don’t need more wall art.” Well, “au contraire, mon cher!”. I agree I already have A LOT of things hanging on my walls, but I am looking for something very specific this time.
We have an empty wall above our loveseat in the living-room and I really want to dress it with something big. I am looking for a black and white statement piece as it will be one of the first things people will see when entering the space. The challenge with art is that you cannot rush and buy what will do ‘for now’. It is an investment and something you should truly love looking at in the long term. At the moment I am eyeing that horses print by Sandra Millar but I still need a bit more time before I am ready to fully commit.
A new coffee table
The last item for the living-room is a new coffee table! Currently we have the Ikea Vejmon oval coffee table which is perfectly fine; however after 5 years together it is starting to show signs of ageing so an upgrade will be due at some point in 2018.
This time I want to get away from the oval shape and toward a more industrial look. I also love the idea of a coffee table where we can display nice books. My current favourite two options are a West Elm number and a Swoon Editions one.
A colourful art piece
Finally for our bedroom, we are desperately looking for a colourful abstract painting. I say desperately as we have been looking for a year now, and nothing so far has struck us as being THE one. So much so that I don’t even have an image of what I want to share with you. There are worse problems to have though and we will get there!
Now all I need is a bit more time, a lot more money and there will be a lot of room reveals coming this way!
At the time I also took pictures of our guest bathroom as it used to be, and, of course, I then accidentally deleted these, which means I have no ‘before’ photographs to show you. So imagine that it was completely white and very plain.
Our guest bathroom is small (like most guest toilets), got fairly high ceilings and therefore was feeling rather clinical and soulless. My objective was to create a cosier and bolder space where people would actually enjoy spending time (I leave it there).
So how does it looks like now?
As you can see I went for a dark colour on one of the walls to make a bit of a statement but also warm up the space. In this case, I picked Dulux Teal Tension, which, even though is a very dark teal colour, is also quite a warm colour.
For the decor and art, I went for a brass and gold theme as it works very well with teal and really warm up the space.
On the wall I have a scratching map my parents got me for Christmas a few years back, which I yet have to scratch because I find it too pretty all in gold.
Finally, I left leaned against the wall a little bit of entertainment for our guest with an original cover of The Saturday Evening Post, from March 1948, found in a flea market in the US and with the famous The Gossips drawing by Norman Rockwell.
Around the toilet you will find the necessary toilet rolls stand, brush and bin from Ikea.
The heated towel rail couldn’t be more conventional and on it I usually have this towel bought in Berlin.
Finally, on the other side of the room, you will find the teeny tiny sink and mirror cabinet.
On the sink I have have one of my favourite Petit Marseillais hand soap. I love its traditional soap smell and recommend you get one if you are in France anytime soon!
Finally, above the sink is a small mirror cabinet bought at Argos and on top of it a big candle from Bath and BodyWorks with the perfect ‘clean bathroom’ scent. Unfortunately. they don’t seem to have the candle anymore but they still do have the plug-in scent version.
Aaaaaand, that’s it! A guest bathroom is a small space so be creative and have fun!
Our house being a new build, we luckily had very little work to do in the kitchen. The style the developer fitted is modern and white, which I don’t love but don’t mind either. It is bright and not too much of a statement in our open plan living space.
We however had a few challenges to address, 1) the lack of storage, 2) creating an informal dining area where Andrew and I can casually have our meals without having to set our big dining table, and 3) keeping the kitchen area contained in a fully open plan space.
You will see below that when we moved in, all we had was that kitchen corner. Not bad, but knowing that one of the cabinets is the dish-washer and an other one is the boiler, we ended up with a lot less storage than it first seems.
So how did we styled the kitchen to add extra storage and a sitting area? Ready for a kitchen tour? Let’s go!
One of the first thing we bought for the kitchen was an island unit. It fits perfectly in the middle of the kitchen, it helps balance the area and extends the kitchen away from the corner while maximising and optimising the space we have.
The island is the Stenstorp from Ikea, and probably one of the best things we have ever bought for this house! Not only does it provides us with a dining area, but it also offers plenty of storage hidden away at the back, this is where all our pots and pans live without being a sore for the eyes.
I got the metallic industrial stools from Lakeland Furniture, in the medium-height size (unfortunately they are not available anymore but you can find similar ones here). It is good to note that the Ikea island is fairly low, so you need medium-height sits as the regular bar stools’ height doesn’t leave space for your legs to fit under the counter top.
On the right of the island we have some additional kitchen cupboards. We got those installed as we were lacking closed storage and this area was just a wasted space. We could have installed a small sideboard, but making the investment and having real cabinets fitted gave us a pantry and baking tools storage, while tying the space together with uniform design.
On top of those additional cupboards we have some basic ingredients such as sugar and coffee, stored in jars from Flying Tiger. I also left on display my old Bialetti coffee maker from my student-years and my French press from Bodum. Being a coffee addict I find those aesthetically pleasing enough to use them as decoration.
Now let’s turn around and have a look at the kitchen that was fitted in the first place. We made sure to match the island and the new cupboards with the white cabinets and wood counter top that were already there, so from afar you would never be able to tell what was there when we moved in and what wasn’t.
On the left we have our sink, and dishwasher, with light bulbs pendant lights. We were very lucky the developer had decent taste and fitted these! There are definitely lights I would have picked myself.
This is also where our De’Longhi kettle and toaster live. I love the vintage style, the texture and colour of these. Unfortunately this is an old collection, but De’Longhi has an other similar kettle and toaster.
I also purchased a fancy looking hand soap from the Galeries Lafayette in France, the smell is absolutely divine so make sure you grab one next time you visit ‘douce France’!
Then we have the hob area which is very conventional. Our appliances are all from Bosch and they work just fine. Our backsplash is made of pastel teal subway tiles.
On the right we have our WMF knife block. I absolutely love WMF for kitchen stuff! All our pots are from there too, and everything they do is excellent quality. It is pricey but it will last you a good while! We also have our basic condiments next to the hob, nothing special here, just the regular olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Finally, the most used, and the most important area of the kitchen, the cat dining space. Even for his area I didn’t want to compromise on style, so his food is stored in a fancy Orla Kiely canister. His food bowls and his feeding mat are simple, grey and from Pets At Home.
That’s it folks! The kitchen tour is over! I hope you like what I have done with the space and if you made it here, well done! That was one long post, but I wanted to make sure I covered everything. Until next time!
We have an unnecessary amount of toilets in our new place. For two adults and one cat we have a total of three toilets. We literally could go to the bathroom all at the same time!
It is however very convenient when we are hosting! I have to say that a guest toilet gives me the luxury not to have to worry about tidying the bathroom we use daily, which is nice when there is another ten things to prepare before our guests arrive.
Our guest toilet is under the stair case, the space is compact and the decor very ‘beige’. I always think of the guest toilets as a place where you can get a little wild with interior decoration. It is such a small space that if you think you made a mistake with the colour on the wall you can always fix it pretty quickly!
One thing I new straight away is that I wanted to go for a dark and rich colour. Below are a few sources of inspiration I selected on Pinterest to jazz up our guest toilet and make it a short but nice experience for our guests!
Coming soon, the results of a couple of hours of painting! Which colour do you think I went for?
You would think that decorating a hall wouldn’t take that long, right? Coat hanger, shoes storage, boom, done! Well, I wish it would have been the case. We had made very good progress back in January after I completed our black wall. We had furniture, the room was painted, and then… We spent MONTHS looking for the right mirror. Yep, we have been delayed by a bloody mirror…
But not any mirror, an hexagonal mirror. I developed an obsession for a six-sided piece after watching Kate La Vie dreamy house tour. This West Elm mirror was EVERYTHING. I needed it in my life ASAP. And because I am a very lucky person West Elm decided to discontinue it in the UK just when I was about to place my order. Great. Guess what though, it then came back on their website at a significantly higher price… How could I justified paying north of £200 for it? Well I couldn’t, so I went on a six-months hunt to find a cheaper yet as good looking alternative, which I finally did!
Enough talking about first world problems though, and welcome to the first room you will see when entering our house!
I really wanted a Nordic vibe for this room. It rains a lot in London and temperatures are never really high, so I want to feel like I am entering a warm cocoon when I go through the door.
When you first pass the door, you will find this beautiful Heal’s storage bench where all our shoes live. It is pricey but we wanted something organic yet modern which we could also sit on.
Our house has close to no storage so we needed something big to fit all our footwear, and only something like a blanket box could do. I styled it with an Ikea sheepskin to bring that Nordic cosy vibe to the room. It’s all about the hygge people!
On the right you will find an Ikea black board, where all our mess, such as vouchers and Japan cheesy pictures, live. The magnetic pen pot is from Flying Tiger.
Move forward into the space and here it is! The (not hexagonal but octagonal) MIRROR! Isn’t it beautiful? It lives on a black-brown Ikea chest of drawers with so much storage that even my pyjamas are in there!
I found this mirror at Maison du Monde, it isn’t brass like the West Elm one, but it is a lot cheaper! Plus, I can always sand the wood frame and paint it brass if I fancy it.
I have a bad news though… Maison du Monde seems to have now discontinued it too! It’s a geometry curse!
I kept the accessorises on the chest of drawer to a minimal as I want to make sure we always have space to drop a bag or some groceries on it with knocking something over.
The weather in London really hasn’t been great lately, so instead of spending our time outside picnicking, as one should in summer, we have been busy inside with interior decorating.
Our corridor/entrance hall is almost ready for its big reveal so now is a good time to share with you my sources of inspiration to make that dark and narrow space as pleasant as it can be. You will see in the picture below that I am aiming to make it a bright, nordic-inspired, functional space with a couple of big statements.
As always I am relying on the good old Pinterest for interior design inspiration and I keep my boards up to date so feel free to have a little look there for even more #inspo!