Curvy Chick(en-yellow lamp)

Bold colours seem to be finding their way in to most peoples homes, lives and hearts at the moment. For some time now, I have been developing an obsession. Nothing dangerous, nothing scary, but an obsession none the less. My obsession is the colour yellow. Now, I’ve done quite well in restraining myself so far, and only allowed this obsession of mine into our home in the form of two chicken yellow Tolix bar stools for our breakfast bar – but my scrap books are full of yellow wallpaper samples and magazine cuttings… There’s just something so happy about yellow, don’t you think? I’ve wanted to pick up the yellow in my bar stools elsewhere in the diningroom, and thought a chunky lamp would do the trick, but despite serious research (and I mean s-e-r-i-o-u-s) I’ve not been able to find one. And that only means one thing: I’d have to make one.

I picked up this lamp base at a carboot sale about 5 minutes walk from our house. We got there late and it was the hottest day of the summer. I’m amazed that there were still stalls there, and even more amazed we managed to make it around the market! The lamp was £2.50. For that price the lady also included the pink horrific shade with tassles. Jeez, thanks… I think?

LampPost1

Anyway, after a bit o’ magic – aka one can of spray primer…

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…and one can of bright chicken yellow  spray paint later, the base of the lamp looked like this:

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Check out the yellow on that thing!!! Waaaaah – to die for! Oh, be still my little heart…

As I had the shade on hand, I decided to see if I could strip it and recover it.

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Underneath the stained, faded and smelly pink fabric, this beautiful frame was hiding.

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I’m not sure I’ll keep it like this – I’m struggling to find lightbulbs weak enough to not need a shade – but for now, I quite like the industrial feel of this lamp. It’s like our very own happy, industrial chicken!

LampPost5Budget break-down:

Lamp (base + brothel style shade): £2.50

Spray paint + primer: £3.99 (special offer) and £4.99 – £8.98

Total: £11.48

 

Further dining room thoughts…

In my recent trawling on the internet (I may or may not have obsessively been trying to find white Wishbone chairs at bargain prices. Who needs sleep, anyway?), I’ve come across images of dining room sets that combine chairs and benches around the same table. I’ve always really liked benches – they say ‘family’ to me – but have felt trapped in the choice of either or. Either benches or chairs. And then people say benches are so uncomfortable to sit on for long. So I’ve been put off. But look at these examples:

ChairBench2See, if that table had been surrounded by chairs, it would have looked so much more cluttered, and would have limited the visual flow through the room. And even if you could squeeeeeeze 3 chairs in in place of one of those benches, you could easily fit 4-5 kids on a bench, as opposed to 3… 1-0 to benches.

ChairBench3Are words even necessary here? I mean look at this set up… If this had been our house, it would only look like this for about 10 seconds – 5 seconds from when I finish setting it up and getting the camera ready, 3 seconds while I snap a pic or two, and another 2 seconds to enjoy the view. But it would be 10 seconds of bliss, I tell you. Tulips should always look like that.

ChairBench4Again – four kids on this side vs. two adults on the opposite side. 2-0 to benches.

ChairBench5Ooooh, benches. Beeeeeeeencheeeeeees!

ChairBench6Our current dining chairs are very similar to these, in style. They are white, but have the same spindly chrome legs, and bent wood seat/back. It’s nice to see this type of chair paired with a bench – maybe I could simply just replace the chairs with a bench on one side of the table and leave the other side as is.

ChairBench1OMG – now we’re talking!! Note the layered rugs, people – we are bang on trend here! But instead of those Eames chairs with sheepskins, imagine they were Wishbone chairs. With sheepskins. I’m Swedish – sheepskins are more than welcome at my table!

WishboneSheepIt would have to be the inexpensive, washable fake ones from IKEA, but I’m fine with that. And then a couple of cushion and another sheepskin on the bench… Can you picture it? I think I can. I think I like. I think I want! :)

I’m home alone this weekend so I’m planning a few little projects and tweaks at home. Big and small, you know I’ll post all about it on here :)

Is this a crazy idea?

As in not ‘wild and crazy’ (although, that it probably is), but more ‘insane and should not be realised’ kind of crazy…

Let me start from the beginning. We have a radiator in our kitchen. When we installed our new cabinets about 4 years ago, we left the radiator in place, with the intention of moving it into the conservatory/dining room in the near future. Yeah, you’ve guessed it – the radiator is still in the kitchen. We even left a gap for it between the tall kitchen cabinets and the wall. Way before we started on the kitchen renovation, we removed all (two) internal doors on the ground floor of our house – our house is small and the doors seemed to be in the way more than anything else. Now, after a fairly cold winter with lots of cooking (= warm kitchen + cold conservatory) I’m really keen on getting this radiator moved. Yes, this will leave us with a gap, which is about 15cm wide, where the radiator is now. Originally the idea was to install a sliding door there, to keep the noise of the Bean’s American tween programs out (they may or may not make my skin crawl) when I’m cooking or otherwise hanging in the kitchen. We were thinking something like this:

SlidingDoorNice, right? But then I stumbled upon this over at Apartment Therapy (I mean, where else?), and just fell in love!

PullOutPantryLike I said, our house is small, and so our kitchen is small – we can always use more storage. I told Mr Man that this is what I’d like to do once the radiator comes out. He was less impressed, as he very much had his heart set on a sliding door. So I gave up on the idea. But then today I thought to myself – couldn’t the two be combined? I mean, look at that pull out slim larder in the picture above. Couldn’t the back piece of that be a door? And as long as the inside of the larder was made pretty and kept tidy (and hello, it’s my house we’re talking about here!), would it really be so bad it if was on display every time the door was pulled close? Is this crazy? Or am I a genius who has just had The Idea of Her Life Time? I need to sketch on this idea… I’m sure I could make it work…

Diningroom dreaming…

… on such a winter’s DAAAAAAAAAYYYY!!!

As you may have guessed already, I never got an opportunity to photograph our living room last week, bet there is hope for the weekend so stay tuned! Instead I’ve been dedicating a bit of brain-time to our dining room. The notion of focussing on one room until it’s finished is just not for me.

Our dining room is an on-going project (as is, I suppose, the rest of the house). The last time we visited the dining room, it looked like this:

PaintingRugFinished

Which is definitely a significant improvement to how it once was. But still, there is a lot more cosiness to be wished for in here. Personally, I blame that white panelled wall. It lends the entire room a kind of caravan feel, and somehow screams ‘temporary’ at me every time I look in that direction. I can’t explain it any better than that, but it bothers me. The reason those panels are there is simply because it was a less expensive solution when we built the conservatory, than brick would have been. And there is only about 30cm (if that) between that wall and the neighbours fence, so not a particularly nice view, sure enough not worth the extra cost of glass panels anyway. So, we ended up with PVC. Phwoar – not. Mr Man and I have discussed our options, and considering this room is exposed to a lot of light (glass roof, hello!) and in the summer also silly heat (glass roof, hello again!) we are a little bit limited to what we can do in here. We could board the panels out, to make a smooth wall and wallpaper it, but I worry that the wallpaper might fade and/or curl and peel. Then I saw this over at Kara Paslay’s blog, and I got twinkles in my eyes!

WoodWall

 Isn’t that little nook cute? Make me want to curl up in it with a good book when it’s raining outside… But that’s not what we are looking at. See the wall behind the bench seat? The plank wall? Here’s a bigger picture picture.

PlankWall2

Gorgeous, right? May I also point out the exquisitely well chosen black and white stripey rug that is under the table in that last picture. Remind you of anything? Meant to be I’m telling you! Anyhow, the wall. I thought of potentially carrying on the wooden floors up and onto the wall, like in this very realistic and professional Photoshop mock-up I created to try and convince Mr Man:

PlankWall

But he wasn’t sure. So I looked around Tha Internet some more, and spotted this:

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 Ooooooh – yum! More:

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 It’s basically wood panelling, that has been rough and tumbled with. Close up:

WhiteWoodPanel1

This last picture is probably the tidiest of them all, and most likely the effect we will get if we bought planks of wood from Homebase or B&Q. I don’t mind the look at all, but I think Mr Man preferred the slightly more weathered look. So, we’re looking into how to achieve this . I’ll get back to you with our findings.

I am also considering replacing our dining chairs. When we bought the ones we have I was over the moon, but now… They feel a bit space-age-y. Cold. I want something warmer, maybe a bit more classic. Something like this:

wishbonewhite1Oooh, they are soooooo beautiful!!! But they are like £200 a pop, and I don’t know… I can’t really justify it. Not right now anyway. But if I win the lottery, you know these babies will be the first thing I’ll invest in! :)

Moroccan Summer

I’m going to leave you for the weekend with some bright colours of a window display I did for the charity shop late summer last year.

What I love the most about dressing the windows at the charity shop is that I never know what I’ll get to work with. I turn up and have to come up with something on the spot. One week last summer I turned up and somebody had donated a full set of gold cutlery. It was most likely not real gold, but either  way, it was sort of mesmerising. I had to use the set in my display.

WindowMoroccanSummer3

I displayed the cutlery along any other gold coloured item I could find. Add the bright colours, and there is something Moroccan about it all!

WindowMoroccanSummer6

 

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I don’t know why these images appealed to me right now. Maybe it’s because the sun is actually shining while I’m writing this. Or maybe it’s because last night when I left work, it wasn’t dark outside. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because spring is in the air… :)

Next week I’ll have a few days at home. If I’m lucky enough to have a sunny day then, I’ll try and photograph the living room in it’s new sultry greige colour. It looks great at all times, but especially when it’s sunny!

Have a lovely weekend!

Raising the bar question.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve become increasingly curious about alcoholic drink storage at home. At the moment we have one of those kitchen wall unit bottle racks that we got when we bought the kitchen 3 years ago, one like this:

perfekt-wine-shelf__81969_PE207248_S4

However – I detest it. I want to remove it, tile the wall behind it and put up open oak shelves, with one rounded corner. Hmmm, I think that would look great! I do have open shelf-plans for another part of the kitchen too – but that’s a different post…

When the bottle rack comes down, I need to have a plan for the bottles that are in there now, but my idea stream is running dry. I had a look on Apartment Therapy (I practically live on that site), and spotted a few different solutions.

BarCart

Having a bar cart seems to be a very popular solution on this American site. Bear in mind though that American homes are larger (and clearly grander!) than British homes. Also, I’m not sure I would like to have our entire drinks collection out on display like this, never mind where I’d find the room to keep a trolley if I had one! Moving on…

BarShelves

Now, I quite like this. I think it’s smart, it blends in more with other items in the home and doesn’t scream ‘WE HAVE LOTS OF ALCOHOL AT HOME AT ALL TIMES BECAUSE THAT IS HOW WE GET TRHOUGH THE DAY!’ the same way a bar cart does. It would only be the nice bottles that make the cut though, which leaves me with the task of finding the less attractive ones a home elsewhere.

BarSideboardSee, THIS really appeals to the OCD designer in me: Decanters. Oh, decanters. Decanters, decanters, decanters. I’d have the house full of them if I could. This would be an option. I just need to get enough decanters together, which, to be fair, shouldn’t be difficult – the charity shops are full of them. How well do spirits hold in decanter though? And the only good place to keep the beloved decanters would be on the sideboard in the conservatory where they will bathe in light all year around, and then in ridiculous heat in the summer. Would that affect them at all? Hmm.

BarDrawer

Call me boring and Swedish if you like (at least one of them will be true – HAH!) but I think this, or an Anna-fied (that IS a word) version of this, will be the winner for us. I think by the end of the day, I do prefer the bottles tucked away and out of sight. Not because we have a self-control problem (not with alcohol anyway – yummy baked goods is a different story), but because it’s just neater. And I don’t know, child-friendly? At this rate the kitchen will be going through a major overhaul very soon. Mr Man will love it. NOT!

Ps. All images in this post were sourced from this post over at apartmenttherapy.com – http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/one-two-three-four-weve-got-ba-132871

Colourful fun

I’ve been going through old picture on my computer, and I found these! It’s a window display I did for the charity shop at the end of summer. I just love the popping colours!

WindowColourfulFun1

As somebody with an obsession with yellow, those cushions… Yum.

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Catch-up post.

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

Thank God January is over!

Aaaaaand that brings us up to about now, right? Maybe not entirely, I do have a few pictures from this Christmas I’d like to share (but not loads as I cooked my hiney off this Christmas and it’s hard to hold a camera, a whisk and a spatula at the same time), but first a more pressing matter: booze. I don’t know about you guys, but over Christmas and New Years we have accumulated a rediculous amout of booze – wine, whiskey, vodka, more wine and maybe some more whiskey. Multiple bottles of each. Now, some of them we bought as we had people around on Christmas eve, but a lot of it was given to us by friends, neighbours and guests (thank you, guys!). The only problem is – I don’t know what to do with it all now! The obvious answer would be ‘drink it!’, but both Mr Man and myself drank out own bodyweight in alcohol over the holidays, so we’re taking a bit of a break. I need somewhere to keep all these bottles. Which leads me to this question: how do people store their booze at home nowadays? On a nice tray on the sideboard in the diningroom? In a glass cabinet? A specific bar cabinet? Like, do people have those anymore? I sense a future post on this theme…

Now, here is our Christmas in fast-forward.

Christmas tree (VERY important):

ChristmasTree

Our most recent addition to the Christmas family:

Rudolf

Christmas presents:

Present

Swedish Christmas baking (because I wasn’t busy enough in the weeks leading up to the big day):

Baking

Christmas table center piece (although, one would have thought I’d take the time to light the candles before taking this picture. Seriously, poor, Anna, that’s just poor):

CentrePiece

And my very own angel. I kinda wish he’d been naked, but for the angel wings, in this picture… :)

Angel

January was a busy month, but I still managed to squeeze in a little bit of planning, and a window dressing or two. February will be the month that I play catch-up. Just you watch me.