Archive for May, 2012

Easy salvage

May 30, 2012

Once upon a time, salvage meant unwanted; a collection of unattractive items that people didn’t want in their homes. Skip forward to 2012 and it’s a trend to be reckoned with, with many of us looking for the ultimate in unique, quirky pieces to display. In fact, it seems there’s nothing cooler than to be able to reply, on being asked, ‘Oh that? I found it in a skip, gave it a quick sand and voila!’ I admit I’m somewhat envious of  those that can exhibit distressed furniture and unusual paraphernalia with style and flair – so here’s a few examples of how to get it right…

Reclaimed boards line the wall, while a vintage sideboard sits neatly in front. Two different woods and a selection of clutter yet it works beautifully.

An old distressed table takes centre stage in this minimal scheme, with two single lightbulbs dangling above.

Old signage has been propped under a rustic-style table for interest, with clusters of objects that just invite you to browse.

For expert advice on buying salvage, click here.


Feature wall with flair

May 28, 2012

When it comes to decor I’m simple-minded, if you get my meaning. I’m not one for fuss, but I still admire those who can put together lots of ideas and make it work as a whole. Take a look at this detail with its feature wall and oriental console table, around which there’s all manner of vintage accessories with a vase of understated flowers at its heart. Surely it shouldn’t work, but it does!

Seán O

Pretty as a picture…

Laid-back bathrooms

May 25, 2012

Desirable though they may look, big bathrooms with tubs stuck in the middle can’t be the most relaxing of places to spend half an hour (make that an hour). I prefer being closed in on three sides, and traditional bathrooms like this hit the spot for me. The encaustic wall tiles provide practicality while the tastefully painted tongue-and-groove adds cosiness. Even the shower curtain adds elegance! Now pass me the loofah…

Seán O


A suitably clean scheme…

Teenage schemes

May 23, 2012

You may not always understand your teenager, but one thing that is crystal clear is their need to put their own stamp on their bedroom. From skateboards and guitars to make-up chests and pink fluffy phones, why not find a way of displaying items and decorating their retreat in a quirky, creative way?

Hang hooks on the walls to display items, frame collections, posters and concert tickets, and use wall stickers – on cupboard doors and floors as well as the walls. You could try using blackboard paint on a wall for doodles, or, if your child is a budding artist, why not give them a wall to spray paint or grafitti themselves?

Here’s a few ideas…

Hang skateboards or other items on the wall for an eye-catching display

Wall stickers are a fun way of personalising a scheme – we love these Eiffel Tower designs

A map of the world makes an interesting backdrop, and the Smeg fridge is a super-cool addition. Plus the Union Jack theme is right on trend for 2012

Dramatic stripes and hits of black gives this young lady’s room an air of sophistication


Manly pursuits…

May 22, 2012

Certain things bring out the male in me – and it’s not always the things you’d expect. At the recent House of Fraser Autumn/Winter ’12 show I drooled at the rather masculine Kenneth Cole display with a black leather ‘Lincoln’ sofa at it’s heart. I’m not usually so man-ish in my tastes but in such a setting, this furniture is perfect. And when I see this picture I fantasise about having my own loft-style apartment at the core of the Big Apple. As a second home, you understand – just as a slight contrast to my ’70s pad in Tunbridge Wells…
Seán O

Rough edges and clean lines

Small space solutions!

May 16, 2012

Did you know that storage space is one of the 8 key features people look for when choosing a new home? That’s one of the findings of a new survey by RIBA (the Royal Institute of British Architects), which says some homes lack storage space for basic household items such as the vacuum cleaner.  They’re not wrong – since when did anyone claim to have more than enough cupboards or ample shelve space? Fret no more, check out House to Home’s guide on how to find storage space you never knew you had and you’ll soon find yourself with space to spare.

Seán O

I’ll be hanged if this isn’t clever!

Hard-edged kitchen – with a soft centre

May 14, 2012

We all like a kitchen diner that’s the heart of the home (well, don’t we?) and here at 25BH we’re seeing more and more, but it’s good to see a refreshing approach to this concept. This one has an industrial feel, complete with exposed metal RSJs (girders to me and you), but significant touches soften up the starkness: coloured chairs, wood-faced units and art on the wall. For more of the same, click on contemporary kitchens.
Seán O

Industrial feel that’s easy on the eye


Back in the habit(at)

May 11, 2012

I’m still mourning the closing down of our local Habitat store a few years back, but good news – this famous brand is going to have a presence in Homebase from mid-July. And judging by the furniture on display at last night’s Autumn/Winter ’12 press show, strong design is top of the list. Watch out for the mix-and-match wood modular units (seen in this snapshot).

Modular mix and match…

Drift away…

May 9, 2012

There are two things in interiors that I’ve heard a lot about the last few months. One is red, white and blue – all things British are big for 2012 as you may have already noticed. The second is coastal; think seaside, think shells, think driftwood.

So here I bring you a bedroom that I think blends these two themes perfectly. Courtesy of WorldStores, this scheme conjures images of life by the sea, with its mix of sun-bleached floorboards and frames teamed with splashes of jubilant nautical shades. Perfect – but what do you think?


Pastel splashes

May 4, 2012

Every day holds new surprises, and today is no different. After seeing pics of Catchpole & Rye’s new summer range of baths I realise I’m more in touch with my feminine side than I ever imagined! The Provence, for example, is pastel yellow – and it’s set against a pretty pink backdrop that would make most men run a mile. But I actually love it – apparently this roll-top design took its inspiration from an antique bath reclaimed from a chateau in France. Marvellous. Wonder what surprises tomorrow has in store?

Seán O

Shades of summer…