On trend: patterned floors (and knackered bathrooms)

One of the first spaces in the new house to command our attention is the main family bathroom; quite simply because a) we don’t currently have a working shower, which is a real pain in the posterior and b) because it looks like this:

Officially the most knackered room in the whole house.

So the search for the perfect new replacement bathroom has been on.  Those of you that have followed my posts avidly might remember that I have a special fondness for navy. A quick trawl through Pinterest would have you believe that finding bathroom furniture in navy is a doddle.  But that’s only if you live in the US unfortunately (where it would seem finding all the different kinds of furniture I like would be a doddle).  In the UK, not so much.  So the visits to bathroom showrooms began in ernest.  I was delighted to stumble upon the Burford fitted furniture range from Roper Rhodes in this chic new slate grey colour, which I think in real life can pass for a very dark blue, especially with the right choice of floor.Burford-slate-grey-fitted-furniture-v011-470x470

Talking of flooring, and wanting to inject more colour and pattern into the new house, I started looking at patterned floor tiles. Perfectly on trend in home deco this year, they work well in even a small floor space, such as ours.

Something like this navy blue medallion floor tile from Amethyst Artisan would work really well alongside the furniture.

amethyst artisan traditional-wall-and-floor-tile

Unfortunately their products are not easily available in the UK, so here are some good alternatives when it comes to finding a patterned bathroom floor.

These souk sapphire tiles give a fantastic Moroccan-inspired feel and are from Tons of Tiles.  They come as part of a wider range of both patterned and plain tiles, which could be mixed in.

souk sapphire tiles

These Henley Ice tiles from Topps Tiles can be used on either floors or walls, and come with border and corner options too.  They also come in a ‘warm’ colour palate which would look great in the hallway of a Victorian house.henley ice tiles toppsMy personal favourite is these vinyl floor tiles from Neisha Crosland which come in a wide range of colours and are available from Harvey Maria.  I’m a total vinyl convert for bathrooms after using it in our last house – it’s quick to lay, easy to keep clean, forgiving of uneven floors and much warmer and less slippy underfoot.  A total no brainer for me.

neisha crossland floor tiles

The current plan is to finish off the bathroom with accents of copper or gold, but watch this space, anything could happen between now and installation. Last time round, there was only one brief for the bathrooms – nothing modern.  We ended up with…you got it…modern x 2. Gotta love those design curve balls.

 

 

6 of the best: January bargains

As we move into the second half of January, there are still some fantastic home bargains out there to be had.  Here are 6 of the best offers, discounted at 50% or more.  Buy them now while you still can!Slide1

Clockwise from top left:

Lacy white pendant, Cox and Cox, £20

Linea, set of four diffusers, House of Fraser, £15

Gold pleat vase, Oliver Bonas, £10

Harry cushion, Laura Ashley, £9

KILO leaf green metal side table, Habitat, £12

Criss-cross lanterns, Nordic House, from £65

The gift of art

Artwork is such an integral part of making a house a unique home.  But what happens when you don’t have an eye for choosing art?  In the past I’ve often relied upon using photos to adorn my home, in place of being confident about picking any kind of art that is both striking and meaningful. And photos are great for evoking happy memories, but as your home grows with you and there is more space to fill, I’ve started to notice that a certain something is lacking along with the lack of artwork throughout the house.

But what is it that makes art meaningful?  Clearly, it’s a very individual thing and there is no one answer to this question for everyone.  But there is an answer for me; in fact there are two.  Firstly I place great value in art that we have collected on our travels; probably for the same reason as photos, in that it brings back happy memories of brilliant trips, something of which you can never get tired.  They needn’t be expensive pieces; it’s just lovely to have a little smile to yourself as you go about your everyday life and catch a glimpse of a picture that momentarily transports you back to a warm sunny day on a Californian beach, or the twinkling, bustling Christmas markets at Grand Central station in New York.

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This is the picture that we bought in New York, and I just love its neon kitschness and simple but exuberant message.

Secondly, I realised after many years, I still enjoyed looking at the piece of artwork that has hung in our living room for almost a decade now.  It was a piece given to us by a family friend as a wedding present. The picture formed a part of her degree exhibition at the time (she has since gone on to become a renowned and successful artist) and it was beautifully personalised by being discreetly inscribed with our names and wedding date.  It’s always given me pleasure to look at it and recently I’ve tried to work out why, fickle as I am with most things around the house.  But after quite a lot of thought, I realised that the reason I love this picture so much is that it was given with thought, meaning and love.

Recently we’ve been very lucky to receive two new pieces of art as gifts, which I can’t wait to display in our new house.  The first is a really stylish print of St Paul’s Cathedral in London (which Mr HH and I happened to visit last year, so it’s especially meaningful). It’s by Jamie B. Edwards and is part of a collection at http://www.urbancolours.co.uk. The football fans among you will really love his football ground prints, which would make great gifts.

The second is by a family member of a work colleague of Mr HH’s and was very kindly given to us as a housewarming gift when we moved into our ‘white house’ a few months ago.  I utterly adore the soft colours and general tranquility of this piece, a limited edition print from the studio of James Wheeler (find him at http://studioofjameswheeler.moonfruit.com/).  I can see us adding to this with another piece from his very serene collection in the future.  In fact there’s one called The White House, so perhaps it’s just meant to be!

Unfortunately, with a huge renovation project ahead of us, it will be a while before these new artworks find their rightful place but when they do, I know they will give me many years of pleasure as they become part of our home.

Finally, I can’t close this piece without a mention of my two most favourite artists in the whole world.  They’re 6 and 8 years old, and their artwork never fails to bring me joy.  I’ve framed some of their works in these lovely shiny frames; perhaps they will be worth millions one day 🙂

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Monochromes and brights

I’ve always been quite partial to the classic appeal of black and white (especially stripes), but with an added burst of colour to liven things up, as demonstrated in this photo I found of myself from last year.

bw colour
Don’t ask me why I took a faceless selfie in a tube station, I honestly can’t remember.

Until recently, I hadn’t really thought of using black in the home as I thought it might be a little too stark and too cold.  But after coming across this picture online, it made me think again.  Despite the abundant use of black, the space is much lighter and brighter than I’d have imagined it would be and the green pieces really stand out, without being garish and overwhelming.

Living Room looking into the dining room
Source: http://www.designsponge.com

So here’s my guide to a few stylish B&W home wares, with some ideas for throwing in a good splash of colour.

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Brights, clockwise from top left:

Red York pendant £108 Frandsen Lighting

Orange picture frame £8 Habitat

Fuschia felt magazine storage bag £25 The Contemporary Home

Abigail Ahern purple antlers £40 Debenhams

Royal blue velvet cushions £38.63 Cushions and More, Etsy

Turquoise Ball Mason jar £4.99 Uberstar

Bright green Charles Eames style chair £59 Ideal Home Show Shop

Primrose armchair £445 Oliver Bonas

Black & whites, clockwise from top left:

Black & white zigzag cushion £13.99 Amazon

Black wool blanket £44 Rural Urban

Black & white stripe cushion £22.95 Zazzle

Black tripod lamp £99 Fusion Living

Aldwych warm black console table £460 Neptune

Amber noir candle £8 Shearer Candles