Saturday, July 23, 2011

Recent Finds | An old camera, 50s mags & a sludgy lamp

A selection of recent finds. More tat for the shelves as my Mum would say...

Top left: A St Clement pot stand in sludgy 50s colours, a mint green flan dish, and a selection of home magazines. I'm thinking the mags would look fantastic framed in a row on the kitchen wall, although they have fabulous pictures inside so it would be a shame to cut them up. From the fabulous "Paris Accent", a store in nearby Maidstone where the stock comes from Parisian markets and auctions.

Top right: A Hornsea style lamp from eBay. £15. Score! I need to find a suitable shade though.

Bottom left: G bought these the other day from the market. A fabulous old 35mm camera and a cute little brown pot...both for £3!

Bottom right: My planters from Habitat. I lusted after them ever since seeing them on Obsessilicious and I bought them on a recent visit with Katie from Mayfield. I've planted them up with roses and spiky plants and they look fabulous.

Next week: kitchen gets plastered! G is also buying materials to make our new front door. To quote a line from Muriel's Wedding, you can't fight progress.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Taking Control of the Kitchen

Before we bought the house, the owners had decided to replace the kitchen and so took a trip to MFI (now defunct) where they purchased new oak doors. They are most definitely not my style, but in the interests of saving money (& the environment), we are going to keep them.

I am also in love with the worktop, which they had made specially out of formica and has a handy little lip around the edge to stop any liquids spilling. I think most visitors think it's hideous and I can see them biting their lip when I tell them it's my favourite thing about the kitchen. It's pretty naff, but there you go. What can I say? I pretend to love polished concrete worktops but really, I'm just a formica girl.

I can't WAIT to do something with the kitchen. It has carpet, it has artex, it has brown 70s tiles with fruit on them, it has unfinished walls...It definitely needs some love.

We took the archway out as planned, but unfortunately couldn't get rid of the wall completely because a) it's the old exterior wall and is therefore supporting, and b) the left side of the wall houses the waste pipe. So we made the best of it and it has let in a little more light into the breakfast room area (the longer room at the back). The kitchen is about 20 ft long. It's pretty insane, plus everything is spread out all over the place. No handy cooker-fridge-sink triangle
here. (My nephew calculated it takes approx 30 steps to make a cup of tea...)

And yet, I love the space. The light is amazing. I keep saying that I want to get rid of the tiles and replaster the room in one hit. One day this summer we will do it. The downstairs is virtually finished and it's just that room that's letting the side down.

I'm not a pink girl at all, but I love the 50s vibe of this kitchen.

Words can't express how much I love this.

And right at the very end of the breakfast room, at the end of that 20ft stretch, I want this:

A booth of my own.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Out & About

After a little hiatus, I'm back. The poor blog got neglected as we attacked the house with gusto, but it does mean that things actually got done. More to come.

Right now, I am all about the garden. It's sunny and warm here right now, and in England, we get maybe 2 or 3 months of that, so I'm working furiously to get the garden into shape.

This is what I have to work with (and I didn't bother tidying it up for its close-up):

Not exactly Palm Springs, right? The front and side gardens are mainly lawn and plants, but out the back it's a little courtyard garden. This is what held me back from buying the house at first. After growing up somewhere with a couple of acres outside space, I couldn't imagine the thought of having kids and not owning a couple of trees for them to climb. But hey ho. I decided that instead of worrying about things that might never happen, I could relish the fact that it's virtually maintenance-free and can just be for entertaining.

And that odd silver building in the corner? That's an observatory. The previous owners had an amazing telescope and would star-gaze - the room slides back and revolves...the whole she-bang. Unfortunately, the poor building is being used as a shed. Not quite what it's used to. Still, I love the fifties words "atomic" and "sputnik", so it's not entirely lost on me.

Bought some plants this week...

A little too much red? I had to buy the purple hydrangea and some yellow plants to even things up a bit. The colour is stunning. My mum is coming over this week to show me what to do with them. I'm not very green-fingered just yet.

This is what I would like to aspire to one day.

I'll just keep on dreaming...