Mad About . . .

10 Beautiful Rooms: Wales

5th March 2018

And so we come to Wales in our tour of the country. And it’s true that styles seem to change a little as we go round. The North, according to Instagram at least, was all about dark and dramatic tones. When we go to the South West, there was still some dark but you were bored by then and wanted something new. When we hit the Midlands, there were complaints from some of you that you were too on trend – blush pink still being a strong colour. So much so that I was compelled to write a post about it last week. Others messaged me privately to say how thrilled they were to be fashionable. Nothing truer that that saying you can’t win ’em all. Damned for being on trend, damned for not being. So what will we find in Wales? Well let’s find out.

image by Reena from @hygge_for_home

image by Reena from @hygge_for_home

First up Reena, from Cardiff, whose images regularly garner thousands of likes; this one of her kitchen was over 9,000. There are many reasons why I love this kitchen – not least the patterned floor. A punchy move but one that elevates from a sea of well-bred grey tiles and really brings in the personality. Also won’t show the dirt and as the mother of three daughters I’m guessing that has turned out to be a bonus.

muted colours from @harpcottage

muted colours from @harpcottage 

Staying with muted colours (and no I don’t think we can say it’s a Welsh thing) is this kitchen at Harp Cottage on the Welsh borders. It’s available to rent by the way so do have a look around if you fancy it. Sticking with natural and neutral is the Cardiff home of Beth from Cardiff and I love her modern rustic kitchen.

modern rustic kitchen via Beth at @bradburysattic

modern rustic kitchen via Beth at @bradburysattic

Moving to a mix of light and dark with the home of Cissy at House Penlan. I love images that allow glimpses of other rooms but also you can see how a dark landing or hall immediately draws the eye to the room beyond and will make it seem lighter.

dark walls by House Penlan

dark walls by @House_Penlan 

Now dark walls but with a splash of unexpected colour. These cobalt blue chairs from Libby are a surprise choice and they look almost sculptural against the dark walls. The joy of these scheme is that the walls could stay the same and the chairs could change as often as she can be bothered. Although on balance might be easier to paint walls than chairs. The point is – be brave. In small doses. Don’t be afraid of using a colour – you can always paint over it if it turns out to be not what you expected.

cobalt blue chairs and navy walls by @libbyfitter

blue chairs and navy walls by @libbyfitter

Sticking with navy blue, it’s really having a moment but will be here for a while. Two years ago those that know started talking about the demise of grey and the rise of the dark neutral. Grey, while now a classic, they said was just part of the design lexicon and while it will always be there – waxing and waning in all 500 shades, it has given us the courage to try other colours on our walls. Navy, green, plum and brown. It has taken a little while but it’s definitely true. So we haven’t seen the end of dark walls but from now on they won’t always be grey. Experiment with some of the others.

navy blue cupboards by Tamsin Leech @no.8project

navy blue cupboards by Tamsin Leech @no.8project

And so it is with this clever bathroom with its tiles by Marrakech Design and its navy blue sliding doors behind which is a laundry room complete with wall hung radiator, drying rail and extractor. I’m guessing Railings for the colour by the way. And also – sliding doors – brilliant in small spaces or narrow entrances – as long as you’ve got somewhere to slide it too. Just bear them in mind next time you have a project, they can make a huge difference and I don’t think we remember to think of them enough.

dark garden goals by Pati Robins

dark garden goals by @PatiRobins

Over to Pati’s house and I wanted to include her garden because a) it’s always lovely to see some outside space at this time of year and b) it’s been snowing all week and the garden has become a distant memory and c) just look at that green and black combination. It’s just heavenly.

grey and yellow mountain children's room by @gorwelmon

grey and yellow mountain children’s room by @gorwelmon

I don’t often feature children’s rooms. They so polarising and often in blue and pink shades that don’t really work for me but, having said that, if you like this (and I love it)  and would like me to do more children’s stuff then let me know. I totally can.

Now that’s the end of Wales so to finish off, we will still get to 10 Beautiful Rooms but we will have one from Ireland and one from Scotland. Seems fair. So this is from Ireland – a classic combination of dark walls, natural wood and leather and lots of plants.

plants and natural leather chair by @ruby.aimee

plants and natural leather chair by @ruby.aimee

And this, one of my favourite rooms – not least because it’s very similar to my new favourite colour for a sitting room is Scotland and the home of Fiona Cameron. It’s actually Farrow & Ball London Clay if you were thinking of having a repaint but I would advise you order a tester because it doesn’t look that appetising on their website. Like many of their paints it’s one you need to see in real life before you choose.

dark shutters by Fiona at @around_houses

dark shutters by Fiona at @around_houses

And those coffee tables are from La Redoute, if you’re wondering. Good aren’t they – especially in a dark room as you can see through them and they counteract the dark walls.

Right that’s round the edges done. Add comments below and remember these are real pictures taken by real people living in real houses.

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  • Lauri 6th March 2018 at 7:30 am

    Hi. Love your posts. May I politely (and hopefully helpfully!) let you know that when reading your blog on an iPad (mine happens to be a Pro), the left margin is nonexistent and often cuts off letters. This means that I often have to pull the whole page over a wee bit to see the first letter of the word on the left. I know this isn’t a massive deal but us quite distracting when reading a whole piece.

    Happy to take a screen shot for you if required. 🙂

    Keep doing the excellent stuff! Not sure what we’d do without you! 🙂

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 6th March 2018 at 10:13 am

      Hmm – I’m not sure what do do about that. I will mention it to my very clever tech person, who also happens to make great pop art and see what he thinks Art and Hue

  • Julie 6th March 2018 at 6:41 am

    Yes please for more children’s rooms.

  • Chloe 5th March 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Your blog is such an inspiration… Making me want to own a house a little more everyday! Georgous rooms, and pictures, the composition of this article is so eye pleasing. I only wish you could add more writtne content, you have such an inspiring way to write. Keep it up!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 6th March 2018 at 10:15 am

      Thank you! I can’t write any more. I thought I wrote a lot!

  • Nicky Wright 5th March 2018 at 11:55 am

    Really beautiful rooms. Yes more kids rooms of this style – always looking for inspiration – thanks.

  • Emma 1FiveOne 5th March 2018 at 11:40 am

    Yey! What a delight to see fellow Welshies in the spotlight. What gorgeous houses, each and every one of them. Keep up the great work!

  • nvrm 5th March 2018 at 10:53 am

    Love the kitchen with the patterned floors. Have you come across this type of wooden worktops in practice – I mean, how the sink borders are actually hidden underneath? I know it’s said that wood can be treated so that it’s resistant, but I’m a bit doubtful, even though love the look.

  • Kate 5th March 2018 at 10:07 am

    Seconded – more on interesting, children’s design please!

  • Jane 5th March 2018 at 9:23 am

    Sorry – me again, but having another look at the super photos I would love to see the Blah poster at Penlan House replaced by a painting with some gold in it to echo the bed cover in the lovely putty coloured room beyond.

  • Jane 5th March 2018 at 9:12 am

    Thank you Kate, this is a very nice set of rooms – not only for the variety of styles, but also a couple of fabulous vignettes – the lovely browns of Harp Cottage and that perfect blue chair. Of course in both cases the photographer has set up a lovely arty arrangement, but the basic concepts – totally different – are super. And this is why I couldn’t manage one of the basic guidelines of interior design and have just one theme flowing through the house; I want it all!

  • Juan Sandiego 5th March 2018 at 8:55 am

    Ah, I love this series. Great to see Wales-based instagrammers featured. Small country, big character.

  • Justine 5th March 2018 at 7:53 am

    Thank you x

  • Emily Baird 5th March 2018 at 7:30 am

    Another yes please for children’s rooms. Thanks

  • Elle 5th March 2018 at 7:15 am

    More kids room please! Always looking for inspiration x

  • Sam 5th March 2018 at 7:07 am

    Yes please, to featuring children’s rooms!

  • Boyce A Billingsley 5th March 2018 at 7:07 am

    I need an orgaic sight to renovate entire Colorado towhnhome very minimal but cosy and warm and no old just organic inspired furniture

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