My Favourite Decor Books

Monday, 30 January 2012

Easy French style

It's the beginning of a new week, and I can't believe January is  over...seems like the weeks are just flying for decor inspiration this week I'm posting my version of easy French Style.

There are certain elements that seem to epitomize the casual but carefully put together French look and it doesn't need to be all white either.  This look is more town than country.

The worn velvet sofa, the distressed chest of drawers, the elegant light fitting, the muted colour palette in soft grays and blues are calming and sophisticated but doesn't look too contrived.

This is my mood board for a modern French interior.

Enjoy your week!



Saturday, 28 January 2012

Comfort food

The temperatures are dropping and this means I''ll be making my favourite soup to warm us all up! It's super easy to make and delicious and you'll never buy store soup again once you've enjoyed your own home made soup.  Nothing beats homegrown tomatoes, but store bought tomatoes are fine as long as they are good quality and of course Farmers market tomatoes make delicious soups...

You'll need approx 1-2 kg of tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic
a bunch of basil
2 carrots
2 sweet red peppers
salt and black cracked pepper
a drizzle of olive oil

half the tomatoes and place in a fairly large baking dish
(I do mine in my convection/microwave oven to half the cooking time but you can roast this in your oven if you prefer)
peel the garlic, and keep whole, tear off the basil and add
2 sweet peppers, deseeded and cut into fairly large pieces
2 carrots unpeeled and cut into 3-4 pieces.
sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Roast in oven until carrots are tender enough to put in the blender, or microwave all in a covered microwave dish for about 20-25 minutes.

Once cooked, blitz in your food processor until smooth and creamy.
If the consistency is too thick to your liking, add some vegetable stock.


How are you warming up today?


Friday, 27 January 2012

Beauty all around us

Sometimes I take a walk and I just don't see...and other times my eyes are wide open and I 'see' as if for the first time ...

A 'gnarly' old fisherman lives here, in this tiny cottage overlooking the sea ...he keeps himself to himself...locking everyone out as well as he can

There's not a single window in this cottage, but a small air vent at the back, and a tiny chimney, which puffs out smoke in winter...and yes he does live there, I've seen him come and go...stooped down low with a sailor's bowed leg swagger...

Four bird feeders hang full of seed and ready for visiting birds to feast on...even when he's not at home.

Sometimes we forget how blessed we are ...

Hope you are enjoying your day!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

New life

 Although winter has it's own beauty, I for one cannot wait for warmer's a while before spring but even so, there are fragrant blossoms everywhere ...

And the sun is out after a quick downpour!

Wishing you all a fragrant day!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Vintage finds

Our trip to Ardingly was a lovely day out and not entirely unsuccessful,  I came back with a few finds.   I wasn't really looking for anything in particular except the chandeliers. 

I spotted this little tea set as soon as I arrived.  (Honestly I don't really need anymore teasets, but I was wooed over with this little one!) It consists of six cups and saucers and six side plates. It has SNOW DROPS on it, which I thought were very unusual, and although not entirely vintage looking I liked plain but pretty look of when I got home, can you see what I saw?

A new painting? No, this one I bought from Ebay long time ago, by artist AR Kendall, it was done sometime in the 1950s and is an original, I love it...but can you see the SNOWDROPS in her hand...

I'm not sure about you, but when I go to an antiques fair, the urge is to buy anything that catches my eye and more.  I was pretty restrained this time!

I bought this little glass cake stand - a girl can never have enough!  There's theme going on here isn't there - something to do with tea party maybe!

I was looking for a pretty tablecloth to use as an overlay for a large table cloth especially for afternoon teas.  This one was perfect.  It has a deep crocheted trim and is 112cm square.  

These lovely cushions made from vintage French fabric are by Michele Antiques and her website is

I love the bobble trim!

Towards the end of the day, after walking around for hours, it was finally time to go home.  We took one last look around just in case I might have missed something spectacular and I spotted this mirror and couldn't resist!  So my large painting came down and this was put up in it's place!

Can you ever get enough of antique fairs?  I know I can't!

Hope you're having a great day whatever you're doing...


Saturday, 21 January 2012

When it's grey outside

When it's grey outside, there's nothing more comforting than knowing your home is warm and inviting... small injections of colour make such a difference to our mood.  Colours evoke certain feelings in each of us... 

(all images from

Now doesn't that make you smile?

So wherever you are in the world, here's to colour brightening up our day!


Wednesday, 18 January 2012


DECORATE by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick is the latest addition to my ever growing collection of interior books.  It's full of interesting design ideas and great photographs.
Interior books like DECORATE give me palpitations!
I usually just skim through the pages, devouring all the interesting photographs and then I go back and page through more leisurely, usually with a good cup of tea in a comfortable armchair.

 ideas for storage

Without saying A WORD, our homes say EVERYTHING - do you collect like a magpie, prefer minimalism and everything in it's own place, ultra modern, country.....

loving the 'patchwork' chair!
The book is full of practical advice for decorating individual rooms and  beautiful photographs as well as floor plan sketches.

The book covers lighting, mirrors and accessories, key elements to any successful design scheme.

'Your surroundings and what you do with
 them are a vital part of living' - Shannon Fricke, stylist

 Hope you're having a great day!

Monday, 16 January 2012

More Vintage

 I promised you more of Ardingly ...this was the Biggie Best stall and they sell shabby chic as well as a few vintage things

I love the zinc plant holders

Vintage Jewellery

Victorian shoes anyone?

Antique lace and fabric - some of you have asked me where this is available, I have business cards, but most of these traders do not have websites -  this trader does though - Lizzie also sells vintage French fabric

This trader sells vintage hats, beaded bags and fur coats

Lots of interesting finds on this table

A sea of silverware

Hope you are all enjoying your day!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

A beach walk

The sun was shining on our early morning walk but sadly the sun soon faded and was replaced with cloud...

I love our Victorian Lampposts which curve along the promenade