My Favourite Decor Books

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Lavender and vintage coffee cups

Hi everyone, have you heard the news?

Summer is finally on its way...
Down in the south of England, we've enjoyed wonderful weather lately and I've been taking full advantage and cycling almost daily .

You know I love Lavender and I love vintage crockery.  I'm really hopeless with gardens, and always claim I can't grow a weed, but I can grow Lavender (although I confess it pretty much grows on its own!) and I have a profusion right now, just outside my front door.  I use it to make Lavender heart biscuits, I also add  fresh Lavender to sponge cakes and I use it in the frosting too.... I have a bit of a thing for Lavender.  I lay bunches of it on window sills and when it gets warm, it gives off the most beautiful aroma.

A few weeks back I found this lovely little six piece coffee set in the small town of Emsworth.  Emsworth is a beautiful little seaside town and they have some lovely antique shops and quaint old fashioned pubs and they're usually crowded with locals and their dogs, so it's hard to get a seat!  The community centre were having a sale, and a beautiful lady of a certain age, sold me these cups for £2.  I couldn't quite believe it.  I thought she meant they were £2 for a cup and saucer!  

I love the specs of lilac in the cups, it's such an old fashioned pattern but I simply love it!

A little drizzly rain has come to visit this morning but hey, it's good for the plants!

Have a great day!


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Hi everyone, with summer in full swing and the temperature turned up a notch or two, I'm dreaming of somewhere to cool off, somewhere exotic to hide for a few weeks, preferably in a cool blue pool overlooking an expanse of ocean...

(2nd and 3rd image Lonnymag)

And I'm into white interiors, which gives me that cool feeling  - I always associate white interiors with beach living...think it's the sand thing...

I love how this room is so contemporary

but I'm equally drawn to this stunning rustic kitchen!

pure white bathroom to wash off all that sand

and I'll take the vintage bikini and the body!
(all images courtesy of Pinterest)

Alas, a simple bicycle ride down to my local beach is in order as soon as I've decorated a cake - strawberries and fresh cream (somehow it doesn't seem right to have this beautiful slender photo of Grace Kelly mentioned in the same breath as a strawberry cream cake!)

Happy holidays!


Monday, 23 July 2012


It's Monday, the sun is shining, the skies are clear and blue and there isn't even a breeze - heaven!

Yesterday was the Race for Life in over 240 areas within the UK - the biggest Cancer funding raising event!  No, I did not participate, but I did take a cycle ride to see them in all their pink glory!

(I tried to upload an instagram photo and it said I was out of space - anyone else have the same problem??)

Today is zingy green, a fresh approach to a new week!

(all pics courtesy of Pinterest)

Whatever you're doing, have a great week!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Thank you Silvia!

I'm always pleasantly surprised and somewhat taken aback when I receive blog awards - there are so many creative inspiring bloggers out there!

So imagine my surprise when I hopped over to a dear blogger friend, Silvia from  to find that she has nominated 10 blogs to receive the Kreativ Blogger award and I'm one of them - we share similar interior styles and she loves colour just like I do plus - she always leaves me such wonderful comments!'  Thank you dear Silvia!

One of the rules of accepting the award is to reveal 10 things that your readers don't know about you...

1.  I'm proudly British,  I would love to drive a Red Mini Cooper with the Union Jack flag on both side mirrors and the roof ! Overkill??

2.  My favourite colour is RED

(image from Pinterest)

3.  I spent my youth in the exotic country of South Africa.  These beautiful women who are wearing Ndebele colours and neckrings are a  familiar sight to me.  Each region has it's own tribe and these ladies are from the area I lived in.  I have wonderful memories of my time there.

 Ndebele women - proudly wearing neckrings that never get taken off - this is one of my earliest memories as a young girl in South Africa
(image from google)

4.  I love all things French - my ancestors were French - so the family story goes and throughout my youth it cultivated a love of all things French - not surprising really!

5.   I love so many different types of art, but one of my favourite artists is Gerhard Richter here  His 'blurred' images are really emotive and stopped me in my tracks when I first set eyes on them.

image from here

6.   I admire Zaha Hadid and her designs - especially her architecture here

7.   There are two books that have had a profound influence on me - the Bible and The Man Who Listens to Horses by Monty Roberts. 
8.  There is one lovely lady who is responsible for igniting my interest in antiques and collecting. Her name is Mrs Cooper.  I was 18 years old and she was my boyfriend's mother.  She was an avid collector of antiques and went to many auctions. She shared her passion with me.  Her home was dark and mysteriously exotic looking, having spent many years living in Singapore,  it was filled to the brim with beautiful ornate furniture and small eastern treasures.  I have many antiques which she gifted me during my youth and I will never part with them.

9.  My philosophy is 'life is an adventure' - it's a journey to be experienced - if my husband came home and announced we were moving to Finland, I'd start packing already - I told you I'm a bit of a nomad!
(image from Pinterest)

10.  I'm on my biggest journey yet -I've started a new business; but guess what - life is an adventure and I'm not finished with mine yet.  

Okay, enough of the BIG REVEAL ...

I now have to pass this onto 10 other creative bloggers.  I follow quite a few bloggers and it's tough choosing just 10 but here we are:

1.  The Beach Hut Cook - for creative ways of cooking in a beach hut - here

2.  Shingle Cottage - K's creativity in building and furnishing her beautiful cottage is unending - you inspire me! here

3.  Kazzy at Country Rabbit here

4.  The lovely American/Irish lady Tia, from Cottage by the Sea - here

5.  Jill at Nice day at Rosies - here

6.  The lovely Lesley from Riddler's Cottage - here

7.  Minerva from Mrs Black's This and That  - here

8.  Carola from Boxwood Cottage - here

9.  Regina from the beautiful blog Casa del Retalhos -here

10.  Essie from Pingere Antiques - here

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Telling a story

Hi everyone, I haven't been posting my usual beautiful interiors posts lately, so forgive me.  I'm back on track and looking at beautiful interiors to inspire and share with you all.

Anything goes in interiors nowadays and there is so much inspiration around.  On one of my weekend cycle rides recently I found a great retro inspired cafe called Pie and Vinyl, and I just had to go in.

  With only four tables, it has a real 70s feel, with brown furniture, fringed lamp shades and dark green walls - but guess what - it really works.  From the vintage sugar bowls to the barley twist chairs.  It's all about putting the individual pieces together to create a harmonising whole.  There's added visual interest with the addition of vinyl covers and posters on the wall.  They are a vivid and welcome addition to an otherwise bland retro look.

(photos 1 and 2 by me)

When you're looking to create a specific look,  look for pieces of furniture and accessories that have a similar theme and throw in the odd whimsical element for added interest.

So whatever look you are trying to achieve, ensure that you have individual pieces that when put together in one space, tell your story.

This green interior reminds me of a's the light flooding into the space, the orchids and the collection of earth globes.  In the background there is a microscope and peacock feathers in a vase.  A few landscape paintings and the scene is set...

(last 2 photos from Pinterest)

Have a great day!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Olympic weekend

It's a British year - a year of celebrations starting with the Queen's Jubilee and continuing with the Olympics.  Our cities, towns and villages are flying high with red white and blue bunting as the Olympic torch travels from one town to another.

Yesterday the Olympic torch arrived in the historical city of Portsmouth, known as England's only Island City.  Home to the world's oldest dry dock still in use, and home to the ships HMS Warrior and Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Victory.

An aerial view of Old Portsmouth
 (photo courtesy Google)

Spinnaker Tower was built as part of the Rennaissance of Portsmouth Harbour Project and can be seen 23 miles away.  More information on the architecture can be found here

The torch arrives...

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Weekend contemplation

It's weekend and I have an empty house - which is most unusual!

With three children, two of whom still live with us, our home is usually like a train station, with their friends popping by for a visit, an overnight stay or an impromptu meal.  There is never a dull moment and I love it!

But right now, it's just hubby and I, and the quietness is like a visitor itself.

A cycle ride down to our local food market and getting in the much needed exercise is what is on the cards.

These times are so precious because
we get to do exactly what we want to do without having to play taxi and cook dinner!
Weekends like this are just for spoiling ourselves.  A leisurely lunch spent people watching, a casual walk, hand in hand, and browsing the food market for homebaked goodies....

A dear friend is going through a dilemma, her oldest daughter is leaving home to work quite far away.  What shall I do with my time she asks...I miss her already...

It's a reminder that our children will eventually move out, and get a life...
which is exactly what they should be doing.

All the more reason 
to spend time with your loved one,
the one who was there...

before 'they' came along

We need to live our lives alongside our children...not through them.

And not lose our identity along the glorious pathway of childrearing.

To all of you out there...

Have a beautiful weekend