I’ve never been one to show you a picture and encourage you to scroll down to the end to see more but today I’m going to do just that. In addition to sharing the rooms and interiors that have caught my eye this week today is also the day that the cover of my next book is revealed. I can’t give you more than that at this stage which is why it’s being added to the end of this post rather than having a full post in its own right but I hope you will like what you see so far. I’m very excited about this one. It has been a mammoth job but I truly believe it’s beautiful, useful and innovative. It’s out on 27 April 2023 and you can either read through to the end to see or skip and I’ll wait…
Right back? Starting in the kitchen with this rustic and pretty room belonging to Jessie Cutts of Townley Terrace. The storage goes up to the ceiling but to prevent the room closing in and seeming smaller some of the cupboards are left open which adds depth and interest and allows the room to feel as large as it can. The jute rug adds texture, which is vital when you have a pared back colour scheme – which, as regular readers will know – is my default. It doesn’t mean no colour and it doesn’t mean grey or only pale colours, but if you prefer a palette of only two or three shades in varying different tones (taking you you up to about seven) then you need to bring in a variety of materials and textures to add interest.
Not forgetting those delicious olive green chairs which bring a splash of disruption. When recording the podcast the other day Sophie queried my choice of olive green as a disruption ( I plan to spray a burgundy lamp I’ve had for ages that no longer fits with the proposed scheme) but the point of a disrupter colour is that it is any colour you like as long as it’s a contrast on what is already there.
I was also drawn in by the tablecloth. Having finally tracked down the perfect pedestal table for the new kitchen – needed to be round, needed to have a pedestal leg it turns out the top (which is an aged metal finish) scratches quite a lot. So first up – any thoughts? It turns out had I read the instructions (“fragile; use plate mats and coasters”) I would have been aware of this, but I was so excited to find the shape and the material and the price that I ignored it. So now I need to dig my mats out of one of the 27 kitchen boxes we can’t unpack until the kitchen is done (February) and in the meantime either hide it with a tablecloth or find a way to cover the marks. Any good ideas please leave in the comments below. This is the table by the way – it’s lovely and solid and heavy and I love the shape but, you know, buy the coasters. I will be keeping it though as having spent six weeks searching nothing else has come close – most of the vintage ones I saw have very fancy pedestal legs which wasn’t right. The top, by the way, is quite a mottled gunmetal finish – it’s not flat black like a piece of garden furniture. I love it. I just need to find a way of repairing the scratches and then varnishing it.
I love everything in the home of thoughtful boutique owners Elleihome and this bathroom is no exception. It’s not a large room and I appreciate that not everyone will want a gramophone in theirs but sometimes it’s just about the styling of the photograph. What you can take away from this is the soft wall colour, the feature bath, the vintage table and the Persian rug. All elements which work in any room – don’t forget you can apply these styling principles to any room if you swap the bath for a bed or a sofa and the loo for a table or chair. It’s the bones and materials you are looking at.
Stopping by the gorgeous home of designer Hannah Pemberton of Wandalust, whose colour schemes are rich and warm and always inspiring. If ever there was a room to which I could apply my first ever decorating mantra this is it: Something new, something old, something black and something gold. Try it in any room where you think it might be missing something and see how it works. In this case the bedstead might not be old but it looks it. It also ties in with the black windows and even the pillowcases.
Another Persian rug, this time as a kitchen runner – they really are forgiving (answer the “old” part of the mantra – you can say vintage if you find it more pleasing) and their dark colour and deep pattern means they hide spills and stains really well. I’d love an old wooden reclaimed kitchen like this and if you would too then you just have to start the hunt and don’t stop till you find what you want. If the units are all freestanding you can unite them with a single slab of worktop and you will need a good joiner to bring it all together and sort out different levels but it can be done. Another of my mantras is that you can spend money or you can spend time – clearly you can do both as well – but if you have little money you must be prepared to spent time looking for what you want and if you have little time you will probably have to spend more money getting it in a hurry.
There are many reasons I love this room – not least the vintage metal table with its scallop legs (I’m definitely spending time looking for something like this) but also the vivid green velvet chair which wakes up this pink room and stops it blending into one. As much as I advocate tonal schemes for relaxing spaces you do need to give them a jolt everything now and then to wake it all up. Hence the value of the disrupter colour. Orange wouldn’t do it here as it’s too closely related to pink – cobalt blue would work, deep ochre and this emerald green.
Now – are you ready? I’m excited to share with you the reveal of my new book cover. I’ll tell you more about it in due course but, for now, here’s the cover and a link to story in The Bookseller magazine which tells you a little more about it. It’s taken a long time to put together and I’m so happy that Pavilion, my publisher, ran with my idea, which was not easy to put together. You can pre-order from today on either Amazon or Waterstones. In essence it’s three books in one but as all the subjects overlap the pages are split to allow you to create the book you need for the way you live.