It’s been a long time – nearly a year! – since I shared a house update. We were dithering over whether to move for a while, but ended up doing a bit of building work earlier this year (taking down a wall in the hallway to the back door, opening up my spare/study/sewing/guest room into a bigger room) which has made the whole flat work a lot better. (Well, I have more space, so no longer have itchy feet.)
When John Lewis offers to send you vouchers to pick some homeware goodies to share their Copenhagen range, you say yes please! We haven’t really done anything to the flat lately… we are waiting for a builder to be available as we’re planning a bit of wall-knocking-down, which is quite exciting. But in the meantime it was nice to select a few new accent pieces to give the living room and bedroom a bit of a new look.
John Lewis created the Copenhagen edit to highlight products with that lovely Scandi mix of warmth and texture but with a clean and minimal finish. Modern monochrome sits alongside natural woods and calming neutrals. My whole flat is in this style already, so it was great to pick out some complementary pieces.
In the living room, I chose a new table lamp to replace a tired old Ikea one, which perfectly matches the greys of our sofa as well as echoing the tripod shape of the Tu floor lamp in the corner.
I’m keen to add a bit of graphic monochrome to sharpen up the look in here, so picked the Copenhagen cushion.
For the bedroom, I picked a new duvet set. It’s a lovely silky cotton, and two-sided so you can switch it up.
I also chose the Devon lamp, which throws lovely shapes across the room when lit and matches our tree wallpaper perfectly.
Here are some more of my favourite items from the collection. What would you pick?
Goods supplied by John Lewis for review.
Time for another little house update – quite a few things are new thanks to some lovely Christmas and birthday presents.
Some new mantel pottery: the white biscuit vase is (allegedly) Troika via eBay and the blue-dipped vases were a present from Josh.
I love this giant scallop-painted vase, also a Christmas present (from Habitat).
The art above the fireplace is new too, a Kai and Sunny screenprint.
Dying flowers, still pretty though
I made this footstool from an old duvet.
A new owl pal (from the Donna Wilson sample sale back in December) perched on top of the bookcase.
Gorgeous new kitchenware by Tom Butcher
Sewing notions are taking over! I can’t wait to get my own room back (my sister’s been staying with us for a while) and organise it into a proper sewing space with a home for everything.
We didn’t get a tree this year – even a baby one in the garden centre was £30 and we really don’t have the space. So instead I just bought a couple of large fir branches (£2.50 each), popped them on the fireplace and adorned them with lights and baubles. I think it looks just as pretty and festive as a whole tree!
I got the little horse and sausage dog from Jonathan Adler in the sale earlier this year – they are actually supposed to be Christmas tree ornaments but I keep them up all year.
Muji candles are my favourite: they cost like £3 each and smell gorgeous.
I found the berry twigs on the pavement after someone had cut their bushes – free decorations for the win.
I made my cards this year using my loaned Cricut machine (first blogged here). There are tons of pretty Christmassy designs available so I picked out these ones and simply stuck them onto decorative paper (leftover wrap and some Japanese washi paper). Super quick but effective.
A few updates from the house, garden, and furry ones…
We solved our kitchen storage dilemma with this lovely Lean Man console from And Then Design. I just love it – it’s perfect for the space, beautifully made, and I can finally fulfil my dream of having grains, pulses and sugar stored in twee vintage jars.
Of course, it stayed this pristinely tidy for approximately three days and is now covered with mail, pottery and other life miscellany. Minimalist I will never be.
Here’s the Clive Pearson pot I picked up in Clovelly – it matches my (similarly named but I think unrelated) Colin Pearson goblet very well.
The garden’s ticking along nicely, with the veg taking it in turns to give us tiny harvests – broccoli, broad beans, tomatoes and chillies.
Yoni is taking his first steps outside since his accident. Obviously I’m a wreck whenever he goes out of sight, but his leg has healed up marvellously and seeing how happy he is outdoors makes it feel OK about it.
Lila’s so happy whenever we’re outside with her!
What a gorgeous weekend! We took the chance to get out and finish off our little outside space. I’m really pleased with how it’s looking now. It’s like having an extra room when the sun shines, and the west-facing aspect means it’s especially nice in the evenings for a post-work drinky.
Here’s some before shots. We did most of the heavy lifting work last year, when we replaced the paving slabs, levelling the uneven ground in the process, removed tons of weeds and and rebuilt the beds with railway sleeper edging. We also painted the walls in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Mizzle’ and replaced the broken door.
This spring we’ve just been doing the finishing touches and fun stuff. We put up cheap bamboo screening across the ugly fences as a semi-temporary measure, but I quite like the effect it gives of a more enclosed room-like space. We’ve planted up the beds with a variety of things: hebes, Mexican orange blossom, ferns, alliums, cabbage trees and a baby magnolia.
The sunnier corner has lots of freestanding planters for the veggies, which seem to be thriving. We’ve got broad beans, mange tout, tomatoes, squashes, broccoli and strawberries – Josh even has a hop vine.
I’m so proud of how well the veg are doing. We enjoyed the first mini harvest of sprouting broccoli and mange tout with our dinner the other night.
The boring side: storage box for tools etc, attractive waste bin, odd bits of wood to get rid of. This side doesn’t get much sun so we don’t use it much.
We cooked a delicious pizza out on the firepit a couple of weeks ago, and I’m looking forward to hosting a ‘garden-warming’ barbecue soon.
Well we had a pretty intense weekend with a very long to-do list of house tasks: mostly involving cleaning, removing and assembling stuff. But there was definite light at the end of the tunnel by Sunday evening, and the best part was finally finishing off the bedroom. It’s been a long time coming… soon after moving in we wallpapered and painted the walls, bought some cheap curtains and put in a fitted wardrobe, but it was full of old mismatched furniture from our previous rentals and needed tying together. After this weekend – nearly three years after moving it – I’m calling it done! And I love the result. Let’s take a tour…
Here’s the view from the door. The bed is the Lansdowne from Made.com which I’ve been very pleased with – it’s super comfy and sturdily constructed and I love the padded headboard for reading. The reading spotlights were supposed to be wired in but our wall wasn’t suitable so we had them adapted to be plugged with a coloured flex. I got two sets of Orla Kiely stem-print bedding while it was on sale at Achica. The wallpaper is Cole & Sons ‘Trees’.
We were going to get a custom bookcase built to fit this annoying sticky-out bit of wall, but then found this John Lewis one that was the perfect width to fit. I built and installed it single-handed on Sunday morning, then tried – and got bored – colour-coding our books.
View from the far corner by the window. Like the living room we’ve got a lot of mid-century style wooden furniture in here. It took quite a long time to source each one and get a set that sort-of matches and suits our storage needs. The latest addition is this adorable sideboard from Hopper and Space.
Hello mirror-me! The dresser by the window serves as my vanity area and storage for more books.
This room’s a little lighter on the art and clutter than the rest of the flat – for now anyway. I’m not really sold on this wall config, but I love both my Kozyndan bunny prints and the vintage letterpress sketches, and it’s a big wall to fill. Maybe I’ll put all four bunnies along here and the letters above the bed.
There’s a touch of vintage pottery and indoor planting going on in here too. The pussywillow branches and aloe vera are from Columbia Road market – a treat on Sunday afternoon after the hard work. Pro tip: get there around 4pm as the traders are packing up and you’ll get a bargain.
Our coats and laundry are tucked away behind the door. We got the big fitted wardrobe built across the back wall a little while ago. It’s not exactly beautiful, but it stores a hell of a lot of stuff – all of our clothes, spare bed linen, suitcases etc. Debating switching the handles and maybe adding some kind of decal to the doors to make it a bit prettier.
I think this means it comes cat-approved. He pleasingly fits the colour scheme, too.
Wallpaper: Cole & Son ‘Trees’
Paint: Dulux ‘Egyptian Cotton’
Wardrobe: Sliderobes doors and custom-made frame
Bedding: Orla Kiely via Achica
Lights: Garden Trading, adapted to be plugged with Fabric Cable flex
Bookcase: John Lewis
Mirror, dresser, pictures, bedside table, vases, pots: secondhand/vintage
With holidays over, we’re planning a few tweaks and improvements round the house at the moment.
We’ve been planning to paint the chimney breast a darker shade of grey for ages, and I think we’ve found a good grey (Little Greene’s Lead). I think the Photoshop mockup shows it will look pretty cool, and draw even more attention to the pretty fireplace.
We also need some new curtains made, as the current ones are too flimsy and I don’t really like the pattern any more. I really love the grey arrows fabric above right (from Spoonflower) but just weeping over the expense at 9 yards of it plus insulating lining right now.
This space is really bugging me at the moment. We’ve got quite a narrow walk-through past the kitchen breakfast bar to get into the living room, and at the moment it’s basically a dumping ground for coats, the hoover, recycling bags and so on. I’d like to make better use of it, and it would be useful to have a ledge of some sort there for dumping keys and post, but it can’t stick out too far or it will get constantly knocked. There’s also an ugly radiator in the way! Thinking a kitchen island/trolley of some sort but haven’t found any thin enough (sub-40cm). Any ideas?
I also want to paint the bit of wall on the left as you walk in (behind the bin) in a chalkboard paint, but can’t decide whether to go right up to the ceiling or cut it off where doorway ends.
Finally, a quicker win. I found these adorable push pins in Paperchase so I want to decorate an old corkboard to match them. I’ll either just paint it or cover it in a cute fabric.
It feels quite strange to be done with all the ‘big’ house renovations, at least until the summer when we can finish off the garden. We just have a small list of tasks for the coming months: a bit of repainting, some built-in bookshelves in the bedroom and, less excitingly, to fix the mysterious patch of damp that’s appeared in the hallway. Right now I am just finding homes for all of my Christmas presents…
My mantelpiece aviary has grown and nestled amongst some vintage boxes
Cat and pots in the bedroom (the middle vase is from the Habitat sale, rest are vintage)
Kitchen updates: box from Josh (via Ebay), Lush Designs tray from my aunt and Lisa Stickley oven glove.
Josh is having a bit of a rearrange in his man den, with a new chest of drawers on the way.
Oh hello, another owl, guarded by the pussycat.
Finally, finally found the (nearly) perfect bedside table, after months of eBay saved searches and keeping eyes peeled at every vintage store and market. Simple, stylish, good storage, matches the other unit and the bed well. Welcome to the family.
I was asked to post an update about whether this gadget has changed our drinking habits – and look ma, no kettle. We get all our hot and cold water from the Virgin Pure now so it’s ben retired to the cupboard for the time being. I certainly drink more cold water from it rather than buy juice all the time, and the instant hot water for tea is starting to prove its worth at this time of year. Thumbs up.
Beer, beer, everywhere. Any tips for upright storage of beer? (Putting bottles on their side shakes up all the sediment, y’know.) Thinking an old soda crate maybe.