Home refresh with John Lewis

John Lewis home

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.

copenhagen

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.

John Lewis home

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.

John Lewis home

I’m keen to add a bit of graphic monochrome to sharpen up the look in here, so picked the Copenhagen cushion.

John Lewis home

For the bedroom, I picked a new duvet set. It’s a lovely silky cotton, and two-sided so you can switch it up.

John Lewis home

I also chose the Devon lamp, which throws lovely shapes across the room when lit and matches our tree wallpaper perfectly.

copenhagen

Here are some more of my favourite items from the collection. What would you pick?

Goods supplied by John Lewis for review.

About the house 6

About the house

Time for another little house update – quite a few things are new thanks to some lovely Christmas and birthday presents.

About the house
About the house

Some new mantel pottery: the white biscuit vase is (allegedly) Troika via eBay and the blue-dipped vases were a present from Josh.

About the house

I love this giant scallop-painted vase, also a Christmas present (from Habitat).

About the house
About the house

The art above the fireplace is new too, a Kai and Sunny screenprint.

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Dying flowers, still pretty though

DIY footstool

I made this footstool from an old duvet.

About the house

A new owl pal (from the Donna Wilson sample sale back in December) perched on top of the bookcase.

About the house
About the house

Gorgeous new kitchenware by Tom Butcher

About the house

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.

DIY Christmas mantel and cards

Christmas mantel

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!

Christmas mantel

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.

Christmas mantel

Muji candles are my favourite: they cost like £3 each and smell gorgeous.

Christmas mantel

I found the berry twigs on the pavement after someone had cut their bushes – free decorations for the win.

Christmas mantel
Christmas mantel
The cotton and pussywillow are there year-round but I stuck some baubles on them too.

Christmas mantel
Christmas mantel
Christmas mantel

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.

About the house 5

A few updates from the house, garden, and furry ones…

About the house
About the house
About the house

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.

About the house

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.

About the house
About the house

My brilliant mum made us some new curtains for the living room from this fabric. They’re thermally lined so will be cosy come the winter. They match the Roddy & Ginger print perfectly!

About the house

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.

Garden
Garden
Garden

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
Yoni

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
Lila

Lila’s so happy whenever we’re outside with her!

Blooming garden

Garden
Garden

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.

gardenbefore

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.

Garden
Garden
Garden

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.

Garden

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.

Garden
Garden
Garden
Garden
Garden
Garden
Garden

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.

Garden

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.

Garden pizza
Garden pizza

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.

Room tour: bedroom

Bedroom

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…

Bedroom

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’.

Bedroom

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.

Bedroom
Bedroom

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.

Bedroom
Bedroom

Hello mirror-me! The dresser by the window serves as my vanity area and storage for more books.

Bedroom
Bedroom

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.

Bedroom
Bedroom

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.

Bedroom

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.

Bedroom
Bedroom

I think this means it comes cat-approved. He pleasingly fits the colour scheme, too.

Stockists

Wallpaper: Cole & Son ‘Trees’
Paint: Dulux ‘Egyptian Cotton’
Wardrobe: Sliderobes doors and custom-made frame
Bed: Made.com
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

Plots & plans

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With holidays over, we’re planning a few tweaks and improvements round the house at the moment.

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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.

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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.

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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.

About the house 4

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…

About the house

My mantelpiece aviary has grown and nestled amongst some vintage boxes

About the house

Cat and pots in the bedroom (the middle vase is from the Habitat sale, rest are vintage)

About the house
About the house

Kitchen updates: box from Josh (via Ebay), Lush Designs tray from my aunt and Lisa Stickley oven glove.

About the house

Josh is having a bit of a rearrange in his man den, with a new chest of drawers on the way.

Owl & pussycat

Oh hello, another owl, guarded by the pussycat.

About the house 3

About the house
About the house

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.

About the house

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.

About the house
About the house

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.

About the house

Vintage map of Japan

About the house
About the house

Cosy living room ready for winter

Hot and cold, on tap

Okay, I don’t take many blog freebies but I couldn’t resist this one since it’s a house-y luxury I would have loved to buy but couldn’t afford when we were doing up the kitchen. The Virgin Pure is a new worktop ‘water bar’ that purifies your tap water and provides instant boiling or cool water on tap – as it were. The machine connects into your mains water supply so it never runs out or needs refilling – installation is quick and tidy.

The machine’s got some nifty features: you can set a daily wake-up timer, fix your glass and mug size to dispense just the right amount, and set your preferred hot and cold water temperatures. It has a built-in replaceable filter plus bacteria-killing UV lamp to make the water it dispenses super pure and tasty. Plus it looks kind of pretty too: it comes in loads of colours. I picked silver to blend into our grey tiles.

Virgin’s aim with this product is to get people drinking more pure water at home without having to buy bottled. This machine really does make tap water taste better, and I love that it’s perfectly chilled without needing ice, especially in this lovely late summer weather. The hot water function makes a lovely cuppa without any scum or limescale flakes, and makes boiling water for cooking super quick. Plus the homebrewing boyfriend is looking forward to trying to make a beer with filtered water becuse apparently it makes a superior brew *shrug*.

My only initial concern is its energy usage, but it does have standby and shut-down modes to save power, and only takes a few minutes to re-heat and cool when turned back on. I’ll update in a month or so with whether I’m drinking more water (and/or spending more on energy bills) as a result, but I love the Pure so far. Would you buy one?

Product supplied for review