I came across this house the other day (it is a locations house which is why it is so pared down and there’s no ‘stuff’) and it stopped me in my tracks. I daydream on a regular basis about what my dream home would look like but I never ever see my idea of ‘perfect’ in real life. However, I can quite safely say that the kitchen diner in this house is my idea of complete perfection. The combination of styles, mix of materials, the kitchen island, the space, light, a few characterful pieces, the lighting, dining table and doors open directly to the garden – I want all of it! Every single bit of it – I would not change a thing.
I do like the sitting room a lot but it’s not quite ideal for me although it has given me inspiration for some potential changes to my own room – I love the colour on the walls and the sophisticated, simple styling.
I hope this has given you a bit of inspiration for the weekend. What does your dream home look like?
*All images from Light Locations
One of the most common questions I get asked is where do I find interiors inspiration and my answer is always the same: real homes, styled interiors and shops. Last winter I visited a homewares shop that I had admired on social media for a while and I found it so inspiring that I came home and completely restyled my whole kitchen that same evening! There are so many ideas to take away from beautifully styled shops that can translate to a home; a constant source of great inspiration.
When I found out about lovely Caroline Rowland‘s first book, I knew immediately that I was in for a treat. Along with a whole host of interesting lifestyle shop interiors, The Shopkeeper’s Home also gives us a peek into the real homes of their owners – being the nosiest person in the world and loving nothing more than a good house tour, it doesn’t get better than this. Except it does, because Caroline also pulls together practical ideas that we can all take away from some of the beautiful lifestyle stores featured in the book.
I’m thrilled to be part of The Shopkeeper’s Home blog tour this week (see Holly’s post here, Yvonne’s post here and Jeska’s post here) because I know you will enjoy perusing this book as much as I have; there is so much to look at and so many wonderful details to discover. I immediately honed in on The Hambledon, which is the most gorgeous shop in Winchester. I have long cooed over the perfect styling of the shop (featured on the front cover of the book) and how they use the beautiful building as the stunning backdrop for their much coveted stock. The simplicity of the shop’s interior and styling really appeals to me and even their shelving has provided inspiration for my own plans to install open shelving in my kitchen. I was very excited to discover more about the owner of The Hambledon, Victoria Suffield, and take a look inside her home, which is perfectly curated. Caroline also explores the connection between the shopkeepers’ personal and professional spaces, which is really interesting.
Home of Victoria Suffield, owner of The Hambledon.
Home of Victoria Suffield, owner of The Hambledon.
So, if you want practical tips taken from beautiful lifestyle shops on how to use lighting, displays, colour and textiles as well as finding out more about the shopkeeper at work and at home, this is the perfect book for you. It is also a great directory for amazing shops to visit and I know that many are going on my list of places to go. Congratulations, Caroline – I loved every page!
The Shopkeeper’s Home by Caroline Rowland, published by Jacqui Small.
P.S. Watch out for more sneak peeks of the book on the blog tour…
It wouldn’t be the start of a new season if I wasn’t embarking on yet another room makeover in my home. I did a kitchen re-style in the spring, which made me happier with how my kitchen feels, but I have always known that it was only a matter of time before I had to make more drastic changes as the current workshop and units are just not to my taste, although perfectly inoffensive and only five years old. I just want my kitchen to feel more ‘me’ and less generic.
The main obstacle with this makeover is going to be the fact that I won’t be able to do everything myself (namely fitting a new worktop), unlike the other rooms I have transformed, and it is going to cost a lot more. Therefore, it may take longer as I won’t have complete control and be able to blitz it over a weekend.
I want to give you a taste of what I am hoping for from the makeover…
I want to keep the room very neutral: white, greys, wood, marble, ceramics. I want it to be a modern kitchen but soften the hard edges with lots of wooden chopping boards, handmade ceramics, linens, a few vintage pieces and different textures. I’m going to remove our current door handles and try my hand at making some DIY leather handles (top right image) and we are going to replace our laminate worktop with a real wooden one. I want more space to display my ceramics collection and new additions to the kitchen like the gorgeous Le Creuset collection in ‘Cotton’, so I am going to remove some overhead cupboards and add open shelving (more on that in another post).
Lots to do and lots of persuading Jules to give up a weekend or two, which is why it may take some time. What do you think about a neutral colour scheme? Do you prefer loads of colour in your kitchen?
P.S. Don’t forget you can buy some of my favourite products from my favourite shops directly from my blog (see the full collection here). Here’s a selection that you might well see in my new kitchen…
*Written in collaboration with Kitchens Plus.
I am so pleased to share Simple Shape with you today; the best of British and Irish crafted products for the home. You know you have found something special when everything is either woven, knitted, plaited, sewn, thrown or shaped by established craftspeople and emerging makers. As Helen Ogersby, who founded Simple Shape just a few weeks ago, says: “This first collection is conceived to live alongside the things you already own, they are things with integrity that stand the test of time, heirloom pieces that will age gracefully, wear in, not wear out, and that will be passed to children and grandchildren.”
Just take a look for yourselves…
Elliott Ceramics collection made from porcelain. Stain is worked into the body of the clay and thrown on the wheel generating a marbling pattern unique to each vessel.
Baskets woven by Jenny Pearce using willow grown in her garden in Herefordshire.
Irish Linen Tea Towel. 31 Chapel Lane specialise in the finest Irish cloth and source all raw material from a handful of Irish Linen Guild approved mills.
Hand carved spoons. Roanna Wells began by learning the basics of greenwood carving and has adapted these skills to produce hand carved simple, functional spoons.
There is so much more to see and appreciate over on the Simple Shape site so do take a look (and you could even treat yourselves!).
I have always had a thing for tongue and groove wall panelling. I love the texture, the warmth and how much character it brings to a room. Having lived in new build flats since I bought my first flat at the age of 25, ten years down the line I am craving period features. Therefore, I am more and more drawn to this simple way of injecting character into any room. All that being said I am definitely not about to knock up some wall panelling in my flat as it would look totally ridiculous in such modern surroundings but it would be one of the first things I would do when moving somewhere new.
Not only do I like the way tongue and groove panelling looks but it is also a very practical way of covering up bad plasterwork and it can be a wipe clean hardy surface to withstand a lot of wear and tear. Have a look at these examples of where it has been used for a bit of inspiration…
Whether you create a splash back or panel a whole wall I love how much more personal this panelling makes a kitchen feel.
Laying the panelling horizontally gives it a completely different feel.
Panelling half way up the wall is a very practical way of protecting the bottom half of a wall from scuffing – especially useful when you have chair being pulled out against a wall on a regular basis.
Painting the panelling a bold colour that ties in with the rest of the woodwork is a good way of bringing colour into a room.
A very practical way of protecting walls in your hallway is using tongue and groove panelling. Adding shaker peg hooks along the top of the panelling looks great, too.
Panel whole walls in a living space to add character and texture.
I love how the panelling can look so quant and traditional at the same as working with more modern elements like the light fixture.
One of the easiest places to start with tongue and groove is in the bathroom. Maybe a bath panel would be something I could add to my home…
What do you think? Love it or hate it?