Archive for the ‘Decorating envy’ Category

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…

Zing into spring!

March 6, 2012

Spring has almost sprung and the new shoots are coming through (so they tell me), so what better time to turn over a new leaf and spruce up your interior. When I saw this vibrant new collection, it seemed the perfect starting point. It’s by Scion – the name means young shoot – and true to its word, it has produced the Melinki range of prints, weaves and wallcoverings that looks fresh as a daisy.  With wallpaper, it’s sometimes hard to find a trendy (yuk) look without suspecting that its freshness will wilt before the paste is dry, but this stuff feels edgy and original. Melinki is inspired by mid-century archive designs and modern Scandinavia and but it’s good to hear that its fabrics and wallcoverings are made in the UK. While you’re at it, why not check out how to the House to Home bring spring inside…  feature.

Seán O

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.




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.

Clocked it!

November 7, 2011

I’ve only just awoken to the idea that clocks aren’t just for telling time. We’ve got a double-back staircase, which means we have a big wall to fill as you walk up the stairs. Ever since we moved in we’ve scratched our heads to know what to fill it with. Of course I’ve seen loads of pictures that would look great there but you’re talking an arm and a leg for even a decent print (treble it if the artist has signed and numbered it!). But after browsing House to Home, I’ve realised that a clock can be practical, stylish and a definite design statement. Check out this page  on weird and wonderful clocks. Go on, then – time waits for no man…

What big hands you've got!

Off-the-wall wall clock


How about this for laid-back?

Colour clash!

October 24, 2011

It’s that time again. We’ve got the paint swatches out in readiness for a living room makeover and there’s bad feeling in the air. The room’s desperately in need of a facelift and frankly, anything would be an improvement. But my wife’s insisting on coordinating it to the max – which basically seems to mean play safe and go for subtle shades. Whereas I say be brave and choose a paint colour or wallpaper design in the same way we do a piece of furniture, because we love it for itself. Be loud, be proud! Check out these pics and tell me which way you lean.

Incredibly cool or downright colourless?

Good impression or tasteless tat?

On second thoughts, maybe my wife has a point…

Seán O

Mad as a hatter!

September 26, 2011

I’m off to Decorex tomorrow and I’m expecting to hear that for 2012 we’re going to love all things British – and eccentric. Which doesn’t have to involve union jacks placed everywhere (though it’s still a cool look…) as these pics prove. They show the home of Lulu Guinness – all very Alice in Wonderland (and you can’t get more British than that) and awash with wild colours, wacky shapes and wonderful textures.   Yep, I know she’s probably got more dosh than most of us have to splash out on all these eccentric accessories. Or maybe she’s produced a lot of them herself – that’s her line, after all. Nevertheless, this room with the postage-stamp artwork is amazing – who’d be brave enough to put all this stuff together and expect it to work. I suppose it’s back to the motto: ‘Fill a room with things you love, and you’ll love the way it looks.’

How to put your stamp on a dining room

Totally British (in a French kind of way!)

Seán O

Hang it!

September 2, 2011

Does anybody out there have problems choosing wallpaper? Once you’ve got over the ‘shall I paint or paper it?’ dilemma, you’ve then got a minefield of choices to find that perfect look. I like a good wallpaper – a trendy paint colour’s all very well but it doesn’t expressive your individuality to the same extent. It can also reinforce that modern or traditional look you’re after. Here’s a sneak preview of the Johnson house in December’s 25BH  issue to illustrate how tastefully (and cleverly) it can be used. Bit flowery for me though…



Go crazy for colour

July 8, 2011

Much as most of us love a colourful room, it’s usually only the brave that will truly go all out, while the rest of us inject a splash here and there with an accessory or two and feel quite courageous with our efforts. That said, if you can experiment, colour can really help bring your home to life. The Jolly family’s home, featured in the August issue of 25 Beautiful Homes, is a vibrant example of how colour can transform a room.

Perfect pastels

Check out the pretty pastel stripes above the Aga and the hand-painted chairs – easy to do and oh-so-pretty.

Pretty in pink

Not for the faint-hearted, this bright fuchsia bedroom looks spectacular teamed with fresh white.

Fabulous flamingos

Those that know me will appreciate how much I love this room – I’m such a fan of flamingos and this bathroom, with its small hits of bright colour, makes me want to experiment with wall stickers as Alice Jolly has done here.

Bathed in blue

It just goes to show that a bathroom need never be boring again – and it’s not just tiles that can be used to create a colourful effect. Painting the bath and in-frame cupboard doors in the same shade of powdery blue really works well, and it’s easy to get matching accessories (think tiles, rugs and again, a wall sticker).

A jolly house for the Jolly family – we love it!


A touch of drama: bedroom magic

July 1, 2011

I’ve recently transformed my bedroom from what was a stuck-in-the-dark-ages floral nightmare (the previous owner’s have a lot to answer for!) to an oasis of calm – think white, silvers and soft greys. However, I think I may have been too tame.

The bedroom is a place where you can really go all out, making it as lavish and over-the-top as you want. Why be boring – after all, a bedroom is usually for your eyes only! On that note, I just have to show you this bedroom from Crazy Bear’s Beaconsfield hotel. If its French-style bed doesn’t score highly enough on the grandeau scale, then surely the copper roll-top bath, mirrored ceiling (ool la la!) and plush mock-croc floor will? Swathes of opulent fabric create a feeling of richness, from the gorgeously indulgent curtains to the upholstered chairs and sofa rife with plump cushions.

Then there’s the colour scheme… Dramatic black certainly makes a statement.

Okay, so my bedroom certainly isn’t large enough for a bed, bath, sofa and chairs, but that’s certainly not going to stop me adding some more accessories and ‘glamming it up’ a bit.

So, do you think you’d like this bedroom in your own home? I’d love to know if you think this room hits the spot when it comes to bedroom magic…