The Hallway Hangover Part II - Light Therapy

As far as I can tell, a Polar Vortex is good for one thing and one thing only. Downtime. House Candy Andy is snowed in, which means he's not shouting for me every ten minutes to decide where I want a radiator pipe, how high I want a skirting, which particular style coving I had in mind and, whilst I'm choosing the en-suite, can I be quick with the cuppa. Tea, half a sugar in case you want to join his waiting list.

So yay for The Beast from The East and the opportunity (wifi permitting) to update you on the hallway situation, which I know you've been worried about, as have I.

stairs and landing.JPG

It's fine. The panelling is still very raw and a bit masculine for my liking, but now that the paper is off and the new plaster dried, I can see that it's going to be great. In fact I've even agreed to just a weeny bit more woodwork. I know, I know, I was all about overkill last week, but I've figured out an opportunity for extra accessorising and in my book, that's never a bad thing. In this instance, I wanted somewhere on the stairwell to flaunt my love of flowers... and then I remembered Rule No 3 of my (yet to be published) laws of decorating: No one ever regrets an extra shelf. See below for details. 

panelled shelf.jpg

I'm going light guys. Sorry for all you dark divas out there. I get that it's cool and all, but it's not me. Not here anyway (though I may reveal a dark side to my character elsewhere in this renovation).

However daring I start out colourwise, I finish the day French. Light, airy, nonchalantly elegant and above all CHIC. The decorator is with me next week so I'll have definitive colour choices then, but expect pale and interesting, rather than dark and dramatic. Okay? I can sense disappointment, don't panic. I will style this one out, you see if I don't. 

I've been in my absolute element choosing lighting and mirrors. I don't want to spoil the big reveal, but suffice to say, here's where I'm balancing out all the hard edges of the panelling with some signature boho glam. I've chosen the main three lights from my fave online interiors store www.ohwhatsthis.com and they will soon be added to my style picks (which means you get a 10% discount on them too).

Bronze Ballroom Chandelier £585  www.ohwatsthis.com

Bronze Ballroom Chandelier £585 www.ohwatsthis.com

I'm looking for a classic, timeless feel to the hallway, which, as it joins up all the rooms, feels like the main artery of the house. Timeless is key because of course, I AINT EVER dramatically changing this space again. Just thought I'd be clear on that point. We can change it up accessory-wise as the fancy takes us, but this is the last major overhaul for this space under our care. FACT.

I plan to add interest with art, mirrors and of course a few vintage accessories, but I doubt I'll be going overboard in my new found appreciation of SPACE.

I've really enjoyed the clarity that has come from starting with a blank canvas. I'm loving unpacking boxes and only putting back what I love. This phase may pass, (although my husband hopes not) but for now I want to appreciate each piece of the jigsaw that pulls the final look together. Space, I have discovered, helps with that. 

Whilst on the subject of my new, holistic approach to decorating, I should warn you that I've had a bit of an epiphany of late. Along with the Polar Vortex, these Easterly winds seem to have swept in another Beast;  Me, on a mission. 

I could go on for hours about how this whole renovation process has changed my style, but it's also stirred something deep inside. No, not a hernia - although I am haemorrhaging pound notes right now - what I mean is, it's brought about a more considered approach to interiors and a more mindful me. Expect BIG changes here on the blog in the coming weeks and months as I pull the rest of the decor together and reveal the positive steps I've taken to nurture the soul of my home through interior design.

Sound smug and a bit annoying? I really hope not because that's the last thing I want to be, but I do feel there are basics of creating amazing living spaces that are not really discussed on interior blogs and yet hold the key to truly fulfilling homes. In other words, there's more to this decorating lark than creating gorgeously Instagrammable rooms and I would love to share with you some of the things I've learned. Change is afoot and I could not be more excited. But first, can someone tell the Beast from the East to do one, I've got a house renovation to be getting on with and the best my builder can build is a snowman.

Hope you like my ideas so far? The boot room is also coming along nicely. You might even have seen the brick chimney breast on my Instagram stories? For those of you that missed it, here it is:

brick wall.JPG

This will house a fire grate to defrost footballer's frozen toes and also provide a handy log store for the house. The new front door arrives next week and the floor has been chosen already so I'll look forward to sharing more photos with you in my next post.

Happy snow day(s) and more importantly, I'd be a very bad Pricey if I didn't wish you all a Happy St Davids Day.

Claire x

 

 

 

 

 

How to handle the candle situation

I do enjoy a candle.

Vintage giant candlestick  www.theotherduckling.co.uk

Vintage giant candlestick www.theotherduckling.co.uk

I like the romantic ambience they create, the forgiving light they project, the luxurious smell they (can) produce. Candles of course are not just for Christmas, but for making any occasion instantly special. Like kebab night for example, which in our house is always a candle-lit occassion.     

But when it comes to candles, things can go spectacularly wrong. If you’ve ever made the mistake of going to a high-pressure-purchase candle party you’ll know the kind of thing I’m talking about. I have only one piece of advice when it comes to buying candles and it is this: Like a cheesy Christmas song; the old ones are the best.

Some candles can cause naffness on a grand scale. Others add class and sophistication to an experience. The easiest mistake to make is thinking that the best candles are the expensive, designer branded variety. I mean, I am totally guilty of falling into the trap of scented candle snobbery (Diptyque being a particularly swoon-worthy example) But in fact my favourite candle-lit scenes - and the one I’m staging for my family Christmas dinner - cost just a few quid to create. I’m talking about these: 

Vintage cut glass jars create pretty tea light holders for a party table

Vintage cut glass jars create pretty tea light holders for a party table

I buy old cut glass jars whenever I see them. Why? Because they can be got from charity shops for pennies and a prettier tea light holder I am yet to find. Tall, short, fat, thin - the more mis-matched the better as far as I’m concerned. I don't even mind if they’re a bit chipped.  I just love getting them home and giving them a boiling hot wash in fairy liquid. My Christmas dinner table will be loaded with these lovelies next week, no light bulbs allowed.

On the mantlepiece I’m lighting up a variety of vintage candlesticks of all shapes and sizes. Mostly glass with the odd bit of brass works for me. All of these were picked up for peanuts at market stalls, charity shops or car boot sales. 

Like the look but no time for rummaging? I’ve got just the website for you. www.theotherduckling.co.uk know how to switch on the vintage glamour alright. Their ever changing selection of unique and vintage candlesticks currently includes this tall glass number which pretty much nails the vibe don't you think?

Glass candlestick £14.95  www.theotherduckling.co.uk

Glass candlestick £14.95 www.theotherduckling.co.uk

All this talk of romantic room settings has got me feeling all emosh. In fact, whilst the lights are down and you can’t see me blushing, I’d like to tell you how amazing you all are and thank you hugely for your support this year. My first 12 months as a bonafide blogger been so much fun and yet not without its frustrations. To all of you who have read, liked and shared or commented, please know that you keep me going.

May your homes be filled with love, happiness and house candy this Christmas.

Claire

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