Mad About . . .

10 Beautiful Rooms

17th December 2018
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So we’re still not quite there yet but it feels like the build-up has been going on for so long doesn’t it? Imagine what it feels like if you’re five. It must be unbearable. In that spirit I have decided not to show you 10 more beautiful Christmas rooms but to revisit some of my favourites from this year. It will be interesting to see if a theme develops….

So pull up a chair, pour yourself a small sherry – well it is Christmas – and let’s see what we’ve got. And I feel compelled to say from the start that this is not an exhaustive list but sort of the first ten that grabbed my eye. Having said that, I stand by them all as great rooms. But I could easily do another 10… and am already thinking of all the ones that I didn’t have room for. But time marches on and I have shopping to do and things to wrap.

shaker loft kitchen by devol

shaker loft kitchen by devol

Three kitchens for you first. And it’s clear that here I definitely have a preferred look. Let’s call it modern rustic. I firmly believe that every kitchen needs a bit of vintage furniture to bring character. It’s a place of straight lines and hard surfaces and it needs to be hygienic and streamlined, so adding a slightly wonky old table or bench provides a contrast to that.

green kitchen with woodburning stove by @marienichols

green kitchen with woodburning stove by @marienichols

The metal stools above provide contrast to the rustic farmhouse table, while the wooden clad walls make the whole space feel warm and cosy. Also this year was definitely the year of the plant as rooms started to feel naked without foliage so soften the edges.

green kitchen by plain english 

Sticking with green – it’s so strange there’s very little in my house. Oh wait, the Mad Husband announced yesterday that he has a plan…. I’ll let you know what that is when he lets me know.  Of course in that reverse psychology trick, on which many long-standing relationships thrive,  it’s as much about the Mad Husband thinking he’s come up with an idea which I subliminally planted in his head about three months ago….Only of course he thinks it’s exactly the opposite. Either way we are both claiming to be genius mind readers so everyone’s happy.

bed by soho home

Back to green and this wonderful bed by Soho Home which is so pretty with the pale pink accents. And the whole set up clearly needs to be in the house of Melanie Lissack, whose bathroom is below.  She has just painted the wooden panelling in Farrow & Ball’s new Treron green, a sort of greeny grey colour which I know will look amazing with the wallpaper. She hasn’t photographed it yet but as soon as she does I’ll be sure to show you. Or if you follow her on instagram you might find out sooner .

wallpaper bathroom by melanie lissack interiors

wallpaper bathroom by melanie lissack interiors

Staying with bathrooms and this black and gold extravaganza by Jess Hurrell certainly won Pinterest this year. Black is a bold choice for a bathroom but the large window helps balance that and the white bath and brass cabinets are both highly reflective surfaces which help to bounce the available light around. Once again, plants are a key part of this scheme while the patterned tiles soften the whole effect and bring character.

black and white and brass bathroom belonging to jess hurrell of gold is a neutral by jmcatphoto

black and white and brass bathroom belonging to jess hurrell of gold is a neutral by @jmphotocat

Talking of plants. I mean clearly this is a temporary situation but it looks great so it makes the cut. Also if you look at Amy’s instagram you will find more shots of the room and it works even when she isn’t storing plants in the shower.

black and white bathroom via @thistyle_rocks

black and white bathroom via @thistyle_rocks

This bathroom is a completely different style with its exposed bricks and micro cement walls but you can see how a room that might be completely industrial is made friendlier with a wooden vanity unit and plants. Also it may seem like a tiny detail but the fact that the mirrors are round makes a huge difference. Everything in this room is square or rectangle. The round mirrors echo the curve at the end of the bath and contrast with the straight lines.

And we’ll finish with one Christmas shot because it’s a bit different and I rather love it. This was knitted by the very talented Mizz Knits for Katie Woods of @comedowntothewoods fame and I think it’s really cool. Because here, it turns out, is my thinking. Real trees are brilliant. I would always want one. But if you can’t have a real tree, for whatever reason, then rather than going for something faux that is pretending to be the real thing why not go in a completely different direction?  Like this. Also – space saving. Massively. I think I’m going to commission one just like this for next year. Mind you I don’t know how fast Mizz Knits knits, as it were. Might not be too late…

So there you have it. Some of my favourite rooms from this year and a little respite from all the glitter elsewhere. I hope that helped.





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  • Sian 17th December 2018 at 8:55 am

    My husband and I have different decorating tastes and although we eventually manage to find common ground it can be a long and exhausting process. I’d love to know how you navigate this problem with the MH. We have recently moved and are part way through renovating and redecorating. How can I ensure that the end result will look as if strong decisions have been made rather than settling for some wishy-washy compromise?

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