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

 

 

 

 

 

Hello... Buy, Buy - My New Year/All year Shopping List Sorted

It's the dregs of the sales. All that's left is stuff no-one loved enough to buy full price, no one really wanted (or fitted in) at half price and whose only hope of a nice home is a weak willed shopaholic hoarder... such as myself.

Me, choosing love over literally every sensible notion

Me, choosing love over literally every sensible notion

I have, in fact, been known to make some of my greatest ever purchases mid January. I can't bear the Boxing Day bun fight, I may have a quick scan through the rails in New Year, but mid Jan, when everything has been returned, bought and returned again, THAT is the time to bag the big win my friends. Last year's All Saints leather jacket being an excellent example. 

Anyway, this year I'm steering clear. Not of shops per se, because that would make me sad, but I am avoiding the usual shopping destinations in a bid to save my soul and quite possibly my marriage.

Instead I've drawn up a shopping list of things I am allowed to buy in January next to the list of things I'm not.  It goes like this:

I won't buy:

Wine

I will buy:

Flowers

They're prettier, they smell better, they are massively less fattening. They don't make you shout at your kids so much in the morning. Invest in a new vase to celebrate this lovelier new you. I like vintage ones. This ceramic patterned 80s number is a cheap imitation of my favourite retro Zambesi pottery design, but I will never hold that against it. Alternatively try Marks and Spencer's new vintage inspired glass vases in fresh Spring Summer 17 colours that can't fail to banish winter blues. 

I won't buy 

Cook Books

I will buy

Reading books

It's tempting to chuck a new healthy eating cook book in the trolley along with ridiculously green groceries, but this year I will not succumb. I already have a full set of Joe Wicks and still not progressed further than smashed avo on toast - it does the job and I see little point in attempting something substantially less rewarding. Meanwhile, this book idea has got me salivating: 

Library goals from Suzyhoodles.com on Pinterest

Library goals from Suzyhoodles.com on Pinterest

I got one book for Christmas. ONE BOOK!!! Of all the people that bought me presents, one person thought I would enjoy reading. This must be addressed. I love reading. I don't have much time to read, but when I do, I love it. I also love to flick. Book flicking is one of my all time favourite things to do, in fact I actually don't think there's a better way to spend a spare five minutes.

So I'm buying myself books this month and next month and every month for the rest of the year. By the end of the year I will have enough books to create a really cool library. Next year, EVERYONE will want to buy me books for Christmas and I will feel both cleansed and clever.

I won't buy:

Shoes

I will buy:

Slippers.

Like all sports, reading requires the right footwear. I like the idea that these Mahabis are billed as slippers for non slipper wearers because *whispers* I'm still trying to be more Parisian thanks to my favourite all time reference book and I'm not sure slippers go at all well with the vibe. This is possibly as close as it comes: 

Dual purpose  Mahabis

Dual purpose Mahabis

I also like the fact that Mahabis come with removable outdoor soles so that when you're pottering about indoors and suddenly have to dash out to the library to reserve that French first edition (see how seriously I'm taking this), well then it's just a case of slipping on some rubber um, sole thingys.

Sexy, no? Well sexier than fluffy pom pom boots anyway and that's progress.

I won't buy

paint

I will buy

Art

So here's where I lay my soul bare and tell you, I'm crap at decorating. I'm messy, I'm impatient, I'm far too indecisive. I find it much more fun to play about with accessories rather than change the actual walls themselves. Art is just the best way to dress a house and I actually cannot stop buying it. My latest purchases are prints by www.evermade.com and whilst I'm saving up to complete the full set of family portraits, for now it's just me and the Fox. 

I won't buy

The hype

I will buy

Time

I did what every successful blogger tells you not to do and switched off a bit at Christmas. I resisted the nagging urge to blog, I paid less attention to social media and I just had a really lovely time with my family and friends. It was the most fun I've had all year. It also helped me get my priorities in order for this year and assess where I'm at in this whole blogging malarkay.

I don't want to be a super blogger. There I've said it. I don't need millions of followers because, well, I'm not exactly sure where I'm going and I'd hate for you to blame me if we took a wrong turn. I'm a life long wanderer and this blog is no more than a collection of my wonderings in the field of homemaking. It allows me to exercise my inherent need to write, to be creative, meet new, inspiring people and share amazing new ideas and fresh designs. And that's cool with me.

So I'm refocusing a bit. I won't be burning the midnight oil to be the first to bring you the latest interior trends from Milan. Are you bothered?... I suspected as much. I won't be seeking out a multi million pound sponsorship collaboration 'cos I could never be trusted with that amount of cash anyway.

Instead I will be having the best time rummaging around market stalls and charity shops, finding furniture to reinvent with dreamy new fabrics and delicious new wallpapers. I will just adore finding quirky home accessories that I may be forced to part with on the all new House Candy Store.  I will be stoked to tell you about some high street scoops that look way more expensive than they are, and, most exciting of all, I will be seeking out new creative talent and telling the stories of people who really do deserve to make mega bucks for the House Candy they bring to the world in a brand new page I'm calling Candy Floss!

So, sorry it's taken me a while to bring you my first post of 2017, but it feels like it was totally the right time to pause, refocus and write myself a mental shopping list.

I am so excited to see what this year brings and what interior gems we will uncover along the way. Please do let me know about what you're up to housey-wise (or other wise) and if you're an actual creator of actual House Candy ... well then we really should talk.

Hope your New Year has got off to a flier but if not, stick your slippers on, look at some art, buy some flowers and read a book. After that you will be SO ready to rock and roll, of this I can promise you.

Come back soon,

Claire xx

 

Beg, Borrow, Steal: Plates

I like the idea that walls have ears. My walls are 150 years old and I bet they could tell me some right gossip. So when I saw this gorgeous display of plates bearing curious Alice-in-Wonderland bunny ears at Decorex International, I knew the rumours were true: Plates are big news for wall decorations this year.

Walls have ears display by  Petit Friture  at Decorex International 

Walls have ears display by Petit Friture at Decorex International 

Beg, Borrow and Steal is my new feature about working an interiors trend at all levels of budget. Bored of canvas prints and black frames? Well here’s how you can serve up some serious style points using plates.

Beg:

Fornasetti plates From £125  www.selfridges.co.uk

Fornasetti plates From £125 www.selfridges.co.uk

I was wowed by a wall of eery looking Fornasetti portrait plates on a recent stay at The Lowry hotel in Manchester. Eating your dinner with 36 pairs of porcelain eyes fixed on you can be a tad off putting. But if you’re looking for a feature wall to make you stare, these are the plates to start collecting.

Fornasetti wall plate £225  Liberty of London

Fornasetti wall plate £225 Liberty of London

At £225 each, these gold detailed ones are going to require some serious begging. But I’m putting it to The Purse Strings that he may want to consider buying me one plate each for my birthday, Christmas, wedding anniversary and Valentines Day throughout the course of next year. By the time I’ve got enough to call it a collection, their value may well have doubled. Free financial advice? ... you are most welcome.

Fornasetti Gold tone ceramic wall plate no 37  www.liberty.co.uk

Fornasetti Gold tone ceramic wall plate no 37 www.liberty.co.uk

Borrow 

This is the bit where I ‘borrow' from another era to show you how a bit of savvy salvage shopping can save you a fortune. Retro designs always do it for me and I picked up these 50s style dinner plates from an independent vintage homewares and gift shop a few years ago. These are actually modern Kimono plates by quirky design team freckle designs and though a full set would make the coolest dinner service, this twosome in my dining room will have to do for now. 

IMG_0578.JPG

OK I hear you. This is way too safe to qualify for the Quirky Plates on Walls award so I’ve been on the hunt for something a bit more out there. How’s this?

Prince Primate is so darn cool he’s nailing three trends in one. I’ve told you before that monkeys are the new flamingos, right?. Art alternation is also scoring big points in the interiors world with the likes of Abigail Ahern (yes her again) coveting a range of graffitid portraits in her sell out accessory collections. Well this is the same thing in plate format. Genius Etsy artists Beat Up Creations give vintage plates an uber- cool update. This Plates + Primates + Art Alteration = one hell of an interior fashion hat-trick in my book. 

Look away if you’re in my fashion obsessed #girlsquad as Taylor Swift would say. Santa is going to need a whole load of bubble wrap to deliver this year’s Christmas shopping...

BFFs Lucinda and Hazel by Beat Up Creations £33.08  www.etsy.co.uk

BFFs Lucinda and Hazel by Beat Up Creations £33.08 www.etsy.co.uk

Steal

And finally, this is the section where I show you a high street steal - Or an on-trend bargain that’s not on the high street, as the case may be.

You can have your pick of super cute messages spelt out on these ceramic plates for only £14.95 by A Piece Of Art at www.notonthehighstreet.co.uk … which means that with the plates trend, walls can have ears, eyes and a big mouth too :) 

Fornasetti plate £125  www.selfridges.co.uk

Fornasetti plate £125 www.selfridges.co.uk

Have a great week all. Want to spread some interior rumours of your own? If you could drop me a line that would be smashing.