The Candy Files: Summer Black Out

What's hot, what's not and what's what at my place. 

This week:

House Candy = Black Ache

 New noir love www.contemporist.com

New noir love www.contemporist.com

I'm currently suffering from Black Ache. Key symptoms include mild heart palpitations upon sight of achingly chic black interiors.

As an all-white fanatic, unable to fully convert to the popular dark side, this situation has come as a curve ball. I'm even considering a black kitchen. *Feels faint and requires lie down*  

 Black done the Parisian way in this chic apartment featured on French by Design Blog.

Black done the Parisian way in this chic apartment featured on French by Design Blog.

 Black kitchen. Image from www.cocolapinedesign.com

Black kitchen. Image from www.cocolapinedesign.com

When did black become so, well, white? So French, so feminine, so darn summery? It's happened with fashion too. 

Black is officially summer appropriate as demonstrated this week by Natalie Portman who has clearly read the memo.

 Natalie Portman pictured for Telegraph Fashion at the premiere of her latest film Planetarium in Japan.

Natalie Portman pictured for Telegraph Fashion at the premiere of her latest film Planetarium in Japan.

An all black dress, with long sleeves... in the height of summer? It shouldn't work, but it DOES. This frock would look equally appropriate in October and yet the parasol says hot. And that's the thing that black can do better than white, which convinces me to take the plunge and invest in a black kitchen. It's the colour that simply can't be last season, the colour that never dates, that is eternally chic, forever French and the easiest colour to seasonally accessorise. New Noir? I'm IN.

 

Fine and Candy = Black Brows

I've been Microbladed and my brows are BLACK. In fact they're actually going through the scabby phase over the black brows which is even more scary, should you be considering the same.

The good news is, this phase doesn't last long and once it's over, (just a couple of days I promise) I'll be left with the ideal brush stroke brows, faded to a match-perfect natural shade that I've wanted all my grown up life.

Microblading is described as a permanent make up treatment (it lasts 18 months) which means it is essential that you find an expert therapist who knows their Caras from their Kendals.

I went to The Beauty Works in Mirfield, West Yorkshire where Jo insists on a lengthy colour and shape consultation prior to the actual appointment.  If you've battled with non-descript brow shape all your life and require some sexy definition (but you too are scared of the word tattoo) Microblading is the way to go. Go google!

 

Candy Pandy = Black Sheep

Oh Instafam, I love you, I do. But sometimes I feel like the black sheep of the flock - the one following the wrong bloody hashtag!

I mean, by the time I've figured our who to tag, who to follow and what theme we're on this week, the kids have missed their tea and I've missed the deadline. I'm the saddo still stressing over enviable entrance halls when everyone has moved on to fab fireplaces. Any chance I can pay someone to tip me off? There must be a black market for this sort of thing? Please message me if you know someone, who knows someone in the know! #help #hastaghell #latetotheparty

Happy weekend all, thanks for bearing with me through shockingly bad wi-fi issues here at the seaside. Normal service is due to resume next week with some exciting deliveries at House Candy HQ. Watch this space!

 Claire x

The boutique bedroom brief to brag about

"I'm picturing a hazy Ibiza sunrise when you haven't been to bed. Sex on the beach (cocktail form). A mediterranean breeze wafting through your Kenzo kaftan..."

  Eos  light shade by Vita  Chapelle Sunrise  wallpaper by Blackpop UK

Eos light shade by Vita Chapelle Sunrise wallpaper by Blackpop UK

I'd like to say this is how the scene setting went when I pitched a bedroom design to my very stylish friend. Truth be told, we were out on a run and she was tapping me up for ideas for wallpaper that was as nice (but not as pricey) as the one she'd just spent the weekend drooling over at a boutique health spa. 

"Blackpop" I said, without hesitation. Not to be mistaken for Blackpool of course, which is at the opposite end of this design brief spectrum.

I've been championing Blackpop UK since I set out blogging a couple of years ago. The brand was a bit of an inspiration in fact - possibly the first time I realised an artistic twist on classic design was what got my interior design heart a-ticking. I have rules when it comes to splashing the cash where interiors are concerned and Blackpop's luxury fabric and wallpaper passes my test for all the following reasons:

  • It's handmade by a small team of passionate artists.  
  • You won't find any trend led design cliche's amongst its pattern books, which means it will stand the test of time. 
  • Design wise, it rocks. Think Kate Moss kicking back in her Cotswolds country pile. Think Kate Middleton re-upholstering an antique chaise as a clever little anniversary gift for Wills. Think Kate Winslet taking a bit of Titanic inspired English grandeur to the Hollywood Hills. Think Katie Price.... um, no we're getting mixed up with Blackpool again. 

Blackpop is about faded grandeur, it's about art, heritage, elegance and quirk. It's about effervescent Britishness. Blackpop is sophistication, with a rock star edge and if you're one of those people who likes to namedrop, it's definitely one to know because this name has style kudos in celebrity circles (though I couldn't possibly reveal my sources).

So anyway, chatting Chatty Man wallpaper with my running pal turned into a trip to Redbrick Mill near Leeds, where the client (she'll love that) had her heart set on a beautiful Feather and Black bedroom set.

I'm a huge fan of rattan for all it's French-ness and boho beauty, so the Versailles bedstead and two matching bedside tables got a big thumbs up from me. Before you know it, this whole Chateaux Chic vibe begun to emerge and then we started adding all the fluffy stuff.

This is the Vita Eos shade which I also have above my bed. Not one the husband is likely to pick out though, hey?

To keep him happy we added extra edge with more masculine touches such as the Abigail Aherne Raven lamp for Debenhams. 

A freestanding vintage style record player for that rock star status and Loaf's laid back Lazy Linen bedding in boy-friendly grey.

With its classic bones and quirky touches, my friend's beautiful house perfectly suits the Blackpop aesthetic. In fact I'd go as far as to say, they need each other. 

 Limited Edition Oasis lyrics print £22 by  North6Graphic Design

Limited Edition Oasis lyrics print £22 by North6Graphic Design

If you also need wallpaper advice or help with a decor dilemma, I'd be happy to help and you don't even have to go on a run with me to get it. Just drop me a line at myhousecandy@gmail.com or get me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. 

In the meantime, I'd love your feedback on this little project. Please do get in touch with your comments.

Claire x

 

Boys Room Basics: The 4S formula that can't fail

We mothers of sons (MOS) are a formidable lot. We're allowed to be scathing about the mess and the mayhem we have to deal with on a daily basis, but just don't you diss our little Prince, okay? (insert Lioness emoji)

As mother of two Princes, I feel totally qualified to offer advice on interiors that bridge the sometimes cavernous style gap between mother and son. So imagine my delight when a couple of weeks ago I received a lovely email from a fellow MOS asking for my advice on this very subject. Well, specifically on the subject of bigger boy's rooms, since when they reach double figures they start having their own pesky interior design opinions don't they? And the problem is, they have a nasty habit of being different from ours.

I was therefore prompted to write a quick blog post to cover off everything I've learnt so far in my parenting/decorating journey. My aim is to give all my MOS sisters out there a quick reference guide for when they're dragging a reluctant tween or teenager round Ikea and could really do with keeping moaning down to a minimum. 

We're fresh from exam week here at House Candy HQ, which has inspired an unusually mathematical approach to this particular blog post, but I'm hoping you'll thank me for it's simplicity. I'm calling it the 4x(S) = Sorted technique. Don't panic it's not rocket science (it's not even interiors science) but it works and It goes like this:

 Start a revolution from his bed. Oasis print £6 + shipping by JoeOliver Design from  Etsy

Start a revolution from his bed. Oasis print £6 + shipping by JoeOliver Design from Etsy

S = STORAGE

The good news is, the clutter that comes with little boys reduces in adverse proportion to their height. The bad news is, the clutter gets uglier and smellier.

Where once there were train tracks to store, lego to contain, superheroes to control; now there are trainers to snapchat, caps to collect and school books to randomly scatter over bedroom floors. All of this needs managing and my go-to storage solutions are as follows:

1) Lockers

 Lockers Image from Aundraskinner Interiors. 

Lockers Image from Aundraskinner Interiors. 

I like the industrial look for boy's rooms. Nothing too shiny or too white because it's guaranteed not to stay that way for very long. Danny Zuko may be to blame, but for me American high school style lockers are the perfect way to trick your son into keeping his school books tidy. This full height set from Maison Du Monde is perfect.

 Metal locker storage £459  Maison Du Monde

Metal locker storage £459 Maison Du Monde

2) Shelves

I'm not sure boys ever grow out of their love of trophies do they? It's therefore worth investing in some cool shelves to put them on. Trophies are dust gatherers, for sure. They are also a b***ard when you accidentally knock one over and it falls on your big toe. My advice (if you can't keep them out of sight), is to keep them way out of reach on rustic style shelves. I haven't personally tried this old crate/shelf solution, but if I were a more able DIY-er, I totally would.  

 Shelves made from vintage crates or drawers. Image from Interieur.fr

Shelves made from vintage crates or drawers. Image from Interieur.fr

3) Solid Drawers

I have a problem with flat pack furniture. No matter how well it's put together the force with which my boys pull on handles (no pun intended) means that the front of the drawer will eventually come off. That's why I'd much rather buy an old, solid set of vintage drawers than a cheap modern flat pack kit. 

That said, sometimes, old drawers can be hassle too. The drawers need to run smoothly otherwise they will forever be hanging out. They also need to be a modern size and shape to fit with most bedrooms and sometimes, to get exactly what you want, you have to splash the cash. I love Loaf's bedroom furniture for it's combo of vintage style and practicality that both mother and son can get on board with. 

 Lumber Chest £645  Loaf

Lumber Chest £645 Loaf

This is the Lumber drawer unit which I teamed with Loaf's Lourdes wardrobe in my son George's room for a more relaxed, less super-styled look which suits him perfectly.

4) Under bed storage boxes

 Vardo under bed storage £25  Ikea

Vardo under bed storage £25 Ikea

Their hot dogs do nothing for me, but I have yet to leave Ikea without that sense of fulfilment that comes with loading one of their many storage boxes into my boot. These zipp-able, boxes on wheels are perfect for the mates' sleepover bedding, spare shoes, winter woolies etc that can be kept nicely out of sight, through closed season.

  S = STUDIES

Trust me, adore him as you do, you'll want your little Prince out of the way when he is doing his homework. All that huffing and puffing is draining, and when you finally snap and spill your late afternoon vodka on his French written exam you'll hate yourself for it. (Don't judge okay, I've been a stay at home mum a LONG time)

A decent desk and chair is a must for a teen room. I picked up a vintage leather swivel chair for £8 at my first every auction and I still can't believe my luck. I  teamed it with the cheapest (and chicest) white Ikea trestle, proving that you don't have to spend a fortune to get a hip, eclectic vibe going on.

If you've got a reasonable budget however, Made.com is the place to go for modern, stylish desks that will suit pupil and pocket. Try these for size:

 

S = SLEEP

When it comes to bedding, go plain, go non-iron, go frequent wash friendly. I've got a grey cotton jersey set in both boy's rooms and they absolutely love it for the comfort factor, although I do get concerned about the sweat situation in summer. Another look I love and one which works brilliantly well in older boy's rooms is washed linen. Don't try ironing it, that dishelved look is what we're aiming for here  - and in fact what we're likely to be embracing for the forseeable future. 

 Washed linen duvet set £79.99  H&M Home

Washed linen duvet set £79.99 H&M Home

A couple of cushions is still a nice way to dress the beds and here's a nice idea to make them personal to the child.

These two bad boys were made from my husband's vintage football jumpers, which is a super nifty way to ensure that:

a) You can acknowledge the football thing without totally compromising on taste

b) You can be sure your husband never, EVER wears a St George cross football jumper again.

S = SHIZZ

No, I haven't quite run out of S words, in fact this final one is probably the most important on my lad's room check list.  You see, Shizz (cap S) is what gives a room individuality and as our kids grow up with intense social media pressure to look and act a certain way, it's the MOS duty to totally celebrate their individuality.  

It was a special moment three weeks ago when my son came to me with his birthday money and a screen shot of an art print he'd sourced on Etsy. Whatever he'd have gone for, I would have tried to embrace, in the hope that his involvement with creating his personal space might eventually encourage him to keep it tidy.* Anyway, the fact that George chose a cartoon style image of the Gallagher brothers in their 90s heydey, well let's just say I may have shed a proud tear or two.

  Liam and Noel print  £6 + shipping Joe Oliver design on Etsy

Liam and Noel print £6 + shipping Joe Oliver design on Etsy

If you've seen my Instagram feed recently you'll know that I've also treated myself to an Oasis inspired artwork, this super cool Patti Robbin's Don't Look back in Anger print.  

What was once the theme tune to my student days, has since became the antidote anthem to the Manchester terror attack and 100% sales of this print, available from www.nickiekelly.com goes to support the victims. It's therefore the most supersonic artwork money can buy and - I'm biting my tongue but I just can't stop it - your son's love for you will surely Live Forever if you click here to order yours. Sorry Liam, I'm cooler than that, honest.

George's collection of baseball caps, most of which he doesn't wear but can't possibly part with causes me beef. But hey, I've decided to roll with it (really?) and have installed a long row of hooks for him to display them on, similar to the one below which is shown alongside another brilliant storage/artform solution for trainers. 

Of course your son/s will have their own particular Shizz and thinking of a tasteful way to control it, let alone a solution beginning with the letter S may be sending your stress levels soaring. If that's the case, drop me a line and I'll do my best to help. See, we may be neurotic and slightly aggressive, in a don't-mess-with-my-cubs kind of way, but we MOS sisters understand one another, right? That's why I'm totally here for you, to lend a compassionate ear and a supersized bottle of Fabreeze. 

Yours in sisterhood,

Claire X

*This theory has yet to be proven

 

Share a shot of your home to win £1,000

Anglian Homes is giving you the chance to bag yourself £1,000 in an online interior styling competition, which in my book is the perfect excuse to faff around at home taking pictures.  

To enter, all you have to do is take a photo of somewhere in your home that you have styled yourself and post it to their website, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook feed using the hashtag #STLEDBYME  

It could be a piece of up-cycled furniture that you particularly proud of, a whole new kitchen update that you have undertaken or just a cute vignette from your home that demonstrates your unique styling prowess.

Here's my first entry (and you can expect a lot more since there's no limit to entries right up until 18th June). This is a vintage display cabinet that is now home to my favourite shoe collection. I had some mirrored glass fixed onto the back to give it some extra glamour and used a couple of my tried and tested styling props to make it insta-worthy.

If you need a helping hand, try these top tips for styling up a sideboard or cabinet:

1) Use a colour pop to attract attention (this yellow bag is a winner)

2) Prop pictures or mirrors up against the wall rather than having a big space between the furniture and a wall hanging.

3) Get the right mix of old and new so it doesn't look too dated, twee or catalogue perfect.

4) If in doubt, add a plant.

5) Employ the old book stacking trick to get varying heights going on. 

Don't forget to addd your location to your post because there is also a regional prize of £500 up for grabs which would come in really handy for the ultimate weapon in your styling armour ...

 Leopard print sandals  Gianvito Rossi from Net-A-Porter

Leopard print sandals Gianvito Rossi from Net-A-Porter

Click here for more details of the competition.

Happy styling!

Claire

 

Can we please talk Parquet Porn?

I know your type, you're a Parquet Perv aren't you? You've got whole entire Pinterest boards devoted to the stuff. You want it so bad you catch yourself thinking about walking all over it in 6 inch stiletto heels, then you have to splash yourself with tap water and tell yourself it's okay, it was just a bad dream; in your house everyone will be made to wear slippers.

 Take me to bed Chevron parquet in Bedroom 16 Montagu Square, By D-Raw

Take me to bed Chevron parquet in Bedroom 16 Montagu Square, By D-Raw

I get you, because I'm a Parquet Perv too. I have been for over ten years, since I took possession of my house keys, raced over the threshold, heart pounding as I ripped back the flea ridden burgundy Axminster to find... some b***ards had ripped out a full Victorian dining room of the stuff and flogged the lot on Ebay. Cue heartbreak.

I won't settle in this house until parquet is back where it belongs and at last I have found the perfect opportunity, with some exciting new build plans in the offing at House Candy HQ. This all calls for extra Parquet Porn as I research the styles and options available. Want to see? Oh I bet you do, you filthy ....

Parquet Particulars

 Parquet Porn pinched from www.lovingit.pl 

Parquet Porn pinched from www.lovingit.pl 

Parquet is made of small, loose blocks of either solid or engineered wood and is characterised by a repeating, geometric laying pattern. This style of floor has been around for centuries and can be found anywhere; from country homes, to grand public buildings and retro school halls. Technically speaking, parquet has all the advantages of solid wood, but is designed to make a style statement.

The Herringbone pattern is highly en vogue right now and looks elegant and sophisticated in both light...

and dark colourways.

 More Parquet porn on  PInterest

More Parquet porn on PInterest

Most wood parquet is made from oak, pine, ash and walnut, but you can find exotic species available at equally exotic prices if you're looking for something a little different. 

Reclaimed or engineered?

Personally I like the idea of a true Victorian parquet to replicate what would have been in my dining room originally (of course I'd like it even better if the original hadn't been ripped up, but there we go... move on Claire).

Reclaimed parquet offers unbeatable authenticity and character, but before you go bid happy on Ebay and bag yourself a chunk of the old Town Hall, be sure to know what exactly you are buying and the work involved in the sale.

For example, a stunning ex-school parquet floor, up for a bargain quick sale, may actually involve you taking the blocks up yourself. Even if there is a tempting picture of the blocks all neatly stacked on a pallet, bear in mind that they may need sanding down (yes all 6 surfaces) and bitumen removing before they can be treated and re-laid. That's a lot of elbow grease and a LOT of mess. Totally worth the bragging rights if you've got the time and skills to do the job properly, but if not, look out for firms like aptly named Parquet Flooring who will supply required quantities of ready-to-lay reclaimed parquet blocks for a nominal extra charge.

 Premium oak parquet by  Parquet Flooring

Premium oak parquet by Parquet Flooring

If it's a super slick finish you're after and something a lot less labour intensive, you're probably better opting for engineered wood.

This large scale light oak is £47 per square metre and the increasingly popular Chevron laying pattern offers a clean, modern take on the traditional parquet floor.

 Luxury Engineered Prime Chevron parquet Oak £47  Timber Trade Direct

Luxury Engineered Prime Chevron parquet Oak £47 Timber Trade Direct

 Perfect Chevron Parquet in dreamy dark stain. See my  Parquet Pinterest board  for more where this came from

Perfect Chevron Parquet in dreamy dark stain. See my Parquet Pinterest board for more where this came from

What if you move in a house and discover you have got parquet under the old carpet (yay) but it's in the more old fashioned pattern of basketweave (boo). 

Imagination is required, and maybe a bit of professional help, but with luck on your side it can still look amazing, in a retro kind of way.

basketweave lounge.jpg

Cheat or Chic?

Now if I say the word laminate you're going to go all funny on me aren't you? Don't panic, I won't go there. But I will talk about click together parquet planks that no one would ever know was not the real thing. Richmond Engineered Herringbone Click Parquet Oak may sound like a bit of a mouthful, but is so simple to lay it means you can have a roomful down in a day. 

 Click together herringbone parquet £45 per sqm  Timber Trade Direct

Click together herringbone parquet £45 per sqm Timber Trade Direct

And finally, there's this. Waterproof parquet (aka posh vinyl floor tiles).

 Blonde Oak parquet floor, £45.50 per sqm  Karndean

Blonde Oak parquet floor, £45.50 per sqm Karndean

I  know, I know, it's not wood....it costs the same as the real stuff... why would you? Because you're a Parquet Perv, that's why. And it's a practical option for a lavish bathroom or a chic kitchen and if you/I can't have 50 SqM of stunning real wood reclaimed parquet anywhere else in the house, then for God's sakes let us have a few square metres of looky-likely parquet to enjoy whilst we're on the loo. Deal?

So that's where I'm at. Still perving, still pinning, still pining for a parquet floor to grace my new entrance hall and kitchen/diner.  Where are you on the parquet porn scale? Fancy it too, or does it bring back too many memories of school dinners? I'd love to know your thoughts on the subject. Please do drop me a line in the comments section or connect via any of the social media links below. 

Oh and if anyone is completely turned OFF by their original parquet and will be glad to see the back of it, please drop me a message, like NOW!

Claire x

The Candy Files - Slogan or Slo-gone?

What's hot, what's not and what's what at my place. This week:

House Candy = Pillow Talk

 Cushion £14.20  www.redbubble.com

Cushion £14.20 www.redbubble.com

Let's be frank, overtly smug messaging on homewares can grate a little, but overall, I'm a fan.

In fact, my latest attempt to wear my heart on my cushion has transformed my very grown up sofa situ into something a little more light hearted. 

 Good Vibes cushion £35  www.urbanoutfitters.com

Good Vibes cushion £35 www.urbanoutfitters.com

"Good Vibes" -  So chilled, so roll-with-it, so Urban Outfitters as it happens; a brand which I've never known to be anything other than thoroughly on-trend. So it stunned me slightly to find that this month Elle Decoration declared the war with words officially over via its style barometer. 

Good Vibes are not the only vibes I've been flaunting around my gaff either. I've also been keen to remind my beloved fellow housemates to:

Love...

Honour...

and Obey...

So does Elle Decoration spell silence for the sofas? Should we wave bye-bye to wisdom on our walls? And heaven forbid no more subliminal notes in neon? I for one will fight for freedom of interior speech with my last breath. And maybe with one last cushion:

 Cushion £14  www.redbubble.com

Cushion £14 www.redbubble.com

Fine & Candy = Fashion Statement 

 Good Mood T Shirt Zadig et Voltaire

Good Mood T Shirt Zadig et Voltaire

This week I did my first #OOTD on Instagram and this t-shirt is to blame. Yep, not content with sharing my considered opinion in blog form, here I am preaching to the world via the bourgeoise medium of designer t-shirt. So troll me! You're right after all, it's only one snooty step away from declaring the end of the world is nigh via a sandwich board outside HSBC, but y'know... all in the name of fashion...

Candy Pandy = Tongue on Cheek

 Peachy tattoo via http://www.pinterest.com/slufoot/

Peachy tattoo via http://www.pinterest.com/slufoot/

Don't get me wrong, I totally would if I could. Fact is, the dimples may detract from the sentiment and I hate for a pertinent message to um, sag. Don't you? 

Keep spreading the word people. Whatever medium you choose, say it loud, say it proud and (for max respect), say it stylishly. Please share this post if you too are a bit gobby in your gaff. 

Claire xx

Perk up your poky hall with £31 pounds

I'm in limbo. I hate my poky entrance hallway (again) and yet I've been told it's likely to be next year until the builders can fit me in for my big renovation plan. I need a cheap solution to perk things up and see me through just one more summer.

It's a big ask for a small carpet and yet I've convinced myself that a super colourful hall runner is the answer to my prayers. 

 Pink to make the hall wink. Image from RugPal.com

Pink to make the hall wink. Image from RugPal.com

As this is a temporary measure, I'm on a particularly tight budget. In fact, it needs to cost less than the pair of blush pink leather brogues I've been eyeing up to bridge that other annoying time lapse until the warmer weather arrives. 

 Knox nude flatform brogues £110  Kurt Geiger

Knox nude flatform brogues £110 Kurt Geiger

I know, I know and thank you for your concern. It's a sad day when a woman must forfeit her footwear for her floor. But sometimes we homeowners have to take one for the team, don't we? Unless of course, we can find exactly what we are looking for, for such an bargainous sum that there are still plenty of pennies left in the shoe fund. Now that would be clever.

Oh Hello Petal

 Stina runner. £31.50  Urban Outfitters

Stina runner. £31.50 Urban Outfitters

This Stina floral runner is a measley £31.50 now that Urban Outfitters have been kind enough to slash the price. Faded out florals give it a lovely vintagey look that is so feminine it might just detract from the aroma of sweaty trainers wafting from the shoe cupboard. It is lightweight and cotton which means I'll chance it on a cool wash once in a while and ... wait a second... blow me if it doesn't go perfectly with those blush pink brogues. 'Cos we all match our shoes to our hall runners, right?

In my book there's nothing like a dash of pink to pretty things up a little. Call back soon to see if it does the trick.

Happy Monday all. If I can help perk up your week and address any niggly interior woes, please drop me a line in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.

Claire xx

 

 

Original WAG = Serious SWAG: My Tina and Bobby crush crescendos

I haven't experienced WAG envy on this scale since Victoria Beckham's Team Baden-Baden taught the world a lesson in girl squad manners back in 2006.

Michelle Keegan's portrayal of Tina Moore (wife of World Cup '66 hero Bobby) in the ITV series Tina and Bobby has stirred something inside. Not just Inside my heart, not even limited to inside my wardrobe, but inside my entire home. I want a bit of that late sixties/early seventies WAG (SWAG as it now needs to be known) at House Candy HQ and I'm turning to the celebrated retro-glam interior designer David Hicks for inspo. 

 A classic David Hicks designed living space

A classic David Hicks designed living space

Contrasting textures define Hicks' style, with deep shag pile carpets balancing out the shiny surfaces and angular shapes of furniture typical of this era. Orangey browns and rusty red leathers that remind me (in a good way) of Starsky and Hutch are punctuated with pops of glossy turquoise. Leafy house plants, low hung, slightly random wall art and patterned curtains rock a retro vibe that my sources tell me is set to make a significant comeback this year. 

And it is this kind of SWAG - a retro & therefore infinitely cooler version of today's luxed up footballer's wife style, that we were invited to swoon over in Tina and Bobby.  In particular, it was their last marital home, the dream 70s open plan new build that made me long for life back when there were only 3 TV channels, telephones were attached to curly wires and it was the done thing to barbeque in 6 inch platform knee boots. 

Here's some ideas I'm considering to help me bring a bit of retro-glam SWAG to my pad:

1) Cladding

 Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

I'm thinking of putting the flooring up the wall when/if the kitchen extension ever happens (unlike Tina and Bobby, we're having to save up see). The ceilings will be lower there and the modern contrast will create a cool kind of cosiness in an otherwise featureless new-build area.

2) Contrast Piping

 Image from Elizabeth Horlemann

Image from Elizabeth Horlemann

I've been hunting for the perfect low, boxy sofa for some time and having failed to find it, I've decided instead to get my 11 year old Habitat Sydney sofa recovered in velvet and add some contrast piping. Tina and Bobby had a similar look in the TV series, complete with fringing which I'm also absolutely mad for, but am saving for another project. See below.

3) Fringing

I fancy a day bed. Welllllll, it's the perfect place for a SWAG to get her pedicure done and with this fringing no one will ever know that I'm way too posh to hoover under the furniture.

3) Kitchen Hatch

OK so this probably won't happen, but I SO like the idea of decanting my M&S ready meals in the privacy of the kitchen then serving them to an adoring dinner party without them ever needing to know the secret behind my Chicken Chasseur.

4) Flos IC lighting

 Flos IC Ceiling light in Brass £364  www.amara.com

Flos IC Ceiling light in Brass £364 www.amara.com

If Flos IC lighting were a celebrity, I'd be its stalker. Ball shaped pendant lights were big in the 70s but can somebody tell me in what era these simple, elegant yet not at all ostentatious beauties would look out of place, because I can't think of any. 

Here Flos look stunning in a period panelled setting, an image I've been staring at for far too long already today. These babies are earmarked for my hallway and that's a fact. 

So Tina, you can keep the diamond rings. I'm not fussed for the fancy cars and as for the wealthy, good looking football hero of a husband... pah! what a let down he turned out to be. But I do like your retro WAGishness lady. I love your bo-ho dresses and since adopting your beehive, my fine hair has a whole new lease of life. I love your SWAG Tina Moore (or at least I love Michelle Keegan's version of your SWAG) And I'd LOVE for you to bob round to my place for Babychams so we can talk the Dralon and tassles off each other.

Claire x

Unless stated, images are pinched from Pinterest where incidentally I'm collecting 70s interiors images like WAGS collect collagen. Follow me here for inspo.