10 Beautiful Rooms

black crittal windows by architects EAT
black crittal windows in the Fitzroy Loft in Melbourne by architects EAT

Hello and Happy Monday to you all. I hope you all passed splendid weekends. Mine was largely spent painting the bedroom. For the gazillionth weekend in a row. You that thing where you say: “No, no I’m not paying a professional to paint this room it’s far too expensive and it’s only four walls and a floor how long can it take?”

And then you realise that it’s a ceiling and a floor and four walls,  two door frames and two window frames and a bunch of shelves. And then you do the ceiling the wrong colour and have to go over it. And then you notice the skirting board and the picture rail. And then it takes THREE COATS. THREE COATS. And that, people, has been my weekends of late.

marble kitchen island and panelled walls by blakes london
marble kitchen island and panelled walls by blakes london

Even with the Mad Husband helping it seems to have been going on for ever. Partly because we were interrupted by Christmas and flu but finally the end is in sight. One more coat on the shelves and the floor and we are DONE. And then the photography can begin.

marble island and parquet floor by blakes london
marble island and parquet floor by blakes london

So it’s always a relief to wander round some beautiful rooms which are so much more restful on the eye the one I am currently looking with piles of clothes and shoes all over the floor.

We did manage to go out for lunch on Saturday though and sat at the back of a Spanish restaurant with dark grey panelling on the wall and that is now my current fantasy for our kitchen. Assuming I can get the Mad Husband to agree to this new plan the only thing that is certain is that I won’t be painting it myself.

navy blue and marble kitchen by blakes london
navy blue and marble kitchen by blakes london 

Anyway, these kitchens with their lofty ceilings and marble worktops, their parquet floors and panelled cupboards were all singing to me this weekend and if I ever manage to fill in a winning lottery ticket then this is the sort of thing I will be spending the winnings on.

internal crittal window and parquet floor by blakes london
internal crittal window and parquet floor by blakes london

This room below is the perfect setting for the classic furniture that fills it. Soft grey walls (try Pavilion by Farrow & Ball) show off the leather Swan chair and Wishbone dining chairs perfectly. Grey and wood is the most perfect combination don’t you think? Add in a little black for definition and a couple of plants for living greenery and you’re done.

the grey walls show off the design classics to perfection image by @kronfoto
the grey walls show off the design classics to perfection image by @kronfoto

Mind you I included this room below because, in theory, it breaks all those rules. The ceiling has been painted dark, which looks great but then the skirting board has been painted a different shade of dark and the walls left pale. I confess I’m baffled by this one although I like it. I think perhaps it works because the colours all tone but I’m not sure it’s a scheme I would have come up with myself. What do you think?

dark grey ceiling by @kronfoto
dark grey ceiling by @kronfoto 

Moving on to this wonderful bathroom which could have been the inspiration for the one we have just finished renovating. I know I have been promising you pictures but it’s just so dark at this time of year it’s impossible. There are a couple of shots on my instagram  where you will see what I mean  (if you do instagram do go and follow me there as there are regular house updates) but it just hasn’t been light enough to take pictures for the blog.

freestanding bathtub via style and create, styling by lotte agaton, image by Mikkel Rahr Mortensen
freestanding bathtub via style and create, styling by Lotta Agaton, image by Mikkel Rahr Mortensen

Sticking with bathrooms, you could just tile the whole thing in marble like this one below. These are very similar to the Cararra marble tiles sold by Mandarin Stone, which we have used for the shower. The dark ceiling really brings the marble to life and the plants add that all important warmth – as does the wooden window frame.

marble bathroom via real estate agency Alexander White Styling by Stylingbolaget | Photo by Henrik Nero
marble bathroom via real estate agency Alexander White Styling by Stylingbolaget  Photo by Henrik Nero 

Finally, you can’t beat a battered leather armchair for bringing warmth and comfort to a room. This space, which could be very sterile and cold is warmed by the faded wooden floorboards and comfortable chairs by the fire. It looks great as it is but if you wanted to bring in a little colour then a vintage rug or a picture on the wall would do the job perfectly.

white room with vintage brown leather armchairs
white room with vintage brown leather armchairs by alirossdesign image by martina gemmola

So there you are – 10 Beautiful Rooms for a Monday, I hope they have been a feast for the eyes or given you some ideas for your own places and spaces. Do drop in tomorrow where we shall be welcoming the first EVER Guest Poster to the Mad House

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Cant wait to see your new bedroom – we love bedroom inspiration here at Bedtonic … oh and I love the kitchen with the navy drawers and dark panelling!
    We live in a little old long ago renovated workers cottage in Western Australia and I see this as an extension out the back with lots of glass to let the light in from the north.

  2. Did you opt for the pink that you mentioned last year? Can’t wait for your photos.
    We had the professionals in to redecorate all our downstairs area in 2015. Husband has just redecorated our bedroom in the weeks before Christmas but not too large a room. He did a great job and the Hannah Nunn paper that we chose looks the biz.
    So……… I need the hall, stairs, landing and kitchen re decorating.
    As I type I am trapped in a small area of our bedroom as we are having all the house recarpeted, except for our room which is full of furniture and ornaments. Roll on getting it done. Lol.

    1. We went back and forth – I wanted pink, he didn’t. We tried the pink. I hated it. He liked it. We have settled on Pavilion Grey which is the most gorgeous mid grey but it has so much depth to it – I am speaking of a south-facing room in particular. It’s delicious!

  3. Always get the Professionals in if possible. They will have all the right kit, years of experience, skills etc. And they will only be there for a relatively short time. Which is a godsend when you think about the dust and overall chaos that decorating makes.

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