Archive for February, 2012

Bookcases – read all about ’em!

February 27, 2012

‘Always finish what you start’ is what they say. I don’t agree. Homemaking is the so-called work in progress, isn’t it. Always adding, removing or updating things to create your latest little triumph. Our latest addition is a good, solid Laura Ashley bookcase that’ll probably outlast us. A home’s not a home without books – they reveal as much about the owner as any decor does (in my case, that I’m a music nut). If you’re still unconvinced, look up the bookcase guide on House to Home. It’s a page turner…

Seán O

For stairs, read bookcase



Pretty in pink

February 24, 2012

It’s my birthday today. And although it comes as no surprise to me, there has been a definite theme amongst my loved ones for cards and presents…  PINK! As a girlie girl, I just can’t get enough, and so today’s blog is dedicated to my favourite shade. From fuchsia to baby pink, magenta to bubblegum, why not add a splash of colour to your home in time for summer? Mix sugary pastels with soft dove grey, stronger magenta with red and purple, or vivid pink against a neutral palette of white. If you’ve got a hint of pink in  your home, I’d love to hear how you’ve used it.

Loving these flamingo-pink bar stools.




Storage, storage, storage!

February 20, 2012

I’ve spent this weekend hung up on storage. But after two days of putting together wardrobes for a dressing room that’s been full of junk for three years, I have a massive sense of satisfaction. My wife even more so – she’s spent all weekend in readiness for the big event – like a mother hen on a mission. To be honest I started putting together these units together a week ago, but waking up this morning and not having to step over drawers (not those kind of drawers…) felt fantastic. I now appreciate what a difference it makes to have decent – and plentiful – storage. Ok, the units were only of the Swedish megastore variety but they’re perfect for the space and, most importantly, they fit. Like a glove! Coincidence then, that my first email of the morning is a press release about summer storage from Oficina Inglesa. All very tasteful, albeit a tad fancier than mine…

Seán O

Storage with style…

A groovy kinda look

February 16, 2012

Now I’ve  just received a press release from John Lewis pointing out that geometrics in homewares are big on the catwalk (tho’ I’ve never seen cushions strutting their stuff…). So even if the sun doesn’t come out, it looks like we’ll be needing dark glasses this Spring/Summer. But I do like this stuff – to me it’s reminiscent of the Sixties and harks back to a time when the world seemed brighter, England had won the World Cup and Sandie Shaw topped the Eurovision Song Contest (stop me, someone!). Fashionwise, it was all Op Art with those Mary Quant geometric numbers modelled by Twiggy  – now she was big on the catwalk…

Seán O

There's a pattern emerging...




Delightful dining

February 13, 2012

I love a large dining room, but it seems that having a separate space dedicated purely to eating and entertaining, is something of a luxury these days. With open-plan spaces and island units with breakfast bars on the rise, could it be that dining rooms will soon be extinct?

While we mull that over, here’s a few of my favourite dining designs…

A dramatic feature wall makes for a striking scheme



Set within a conservatory, this room benefits from lots of light


Bright, bold and modern, this vibrant design really makes a statement


A wow-factor light fitting and quirky accessories add interest. Oh, and have you noticed the wine store in the corner, conveniently to hand?

Which is your favourite?


Outside-inside living

February 9, 2012

The recent spell of snow (yippee!) has really made me appreciate having a kitchen-living space – particularly one with a double set of bifold doors. Waking up and trotting downstairs to make fresh coffee and toast, then relaxing on the sofa to enjoy the garden covered in a white blanket was sheer bliss. I must say, opting to create an outside-inside kitchen extension was the most life-improving decision we could have made. The fact that it’s big enough for all us to congregate and do our own thing makes it even better. Here’s a few more I could easily live with – each with a distinctive touch…

Spots of colour…

Open to the elements…

Chill-out area

Let there be light!

February 1, 2012

I love everything about this time of year. The cold (believe it or not), the lack of leaves (means I get a good unobstructed view from my bedroom window) and perhaps most of all, I love the light. Admittedly, with the shorter days there’s less of it, but the quality of it is amazing – so low in the sky. In March’s issue of 25BH there are a few homes that capture that special quality. The one that really makes me envious is the home of Pernille and Thomas Marqverson (p120). Ok, it’s in Denmark so we’re never going to enjoy the same natural light over here, but I do love the way the Scandinavians also emphasise it with pale interiors and even, as here, white floorboards. It can look slightly boring and characterless but in this house they’ve added interest by using lots of primary colours, monochromatic detailing (white rooms and black borders) and mixing new with old furniture.

Keeping it fresh…

with clean lines, too.