Mad About . . .

Monday Inspiration: Beautiful Rooms

14th December 2020
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Welcome to Monday – I hope it’s going well so far… and I appreciate with the C word (not that one) the B word and, in the US, the T word things might not be all that, so let this be your escape from it all. Let’s wander through today’s very (I mean really) beautiful rooms and think of nothing more stressful than where the next cup of coffee is coming from and have you got enough wrapping paper, the answers to which are the kettle, any minute now, and no, almost certainly not.

design via park and oak interiors

design via park and oak interiors

But at this moment we don’t care. Because we have this kitchen. Or, more precisely, this kitchen cupboard which literally stopped me in my tracks because, be honest, would you have thought to make the side glass? And yet doesn’t it make a huge difference? Leaving aside the proof positive that a bit of natural wood always works, actually enhances, any room, this is one of those simple, yet very clever ideas that makes me want to rip out my kitchen at start again.

Actually, I don’t need to rip out my kitchen, just replace my fridge with this cupboard. Who needs a fridge anyway? In an ideal world I’d have one of those under counter drawer fridges which means I’d have to lose four cupboards but the contents could go in here right? Not that I’ve thought about it or anything… Anyway, it’s clever – bookmark it if you’re doing your own kitchen.

stracciatella tiles from reed harris

stracciatella tiles from reed harris

Staying in the kitchen, or at least the diner, and this is one of my favourite colour combinations – well I would say that seeing as both my kitchen and sitting room are in shades of chocolate, soft pink and warm naturals. These tiles from Reed Harris are so pretty and are a great way to add pattern to a kitchen where a) there often isn’t much and b) if you want pattern but are worried about the effects of steam and splashing on wallpaper. Note, if you will, the bright orange cushion which adds the perfect disrupter note and stops these all being a matchy matchy sea of bland toning colours.

Moving from the kitchen to the dining room and this gorgeous room by Ben Pentreath has so many perfect details it’s hard to know where to start. Firstly, the walls; that’s an unusual colour for sure and yet, mixed with the vintage leather chairs, the natural wood floor and the natural linen lampshades it works perfectly.

I mentioned the slum of legs last week and with a relatively small table and four chairs you can see how this Tulip table (designed by Eero Saarinen to avoid just such a slum in the phrase he coined) stops the room feeling too crowded or bottom heavy. Imagine a classic round table with standard four legs or even a pedestal which starts as a post and often splays into a tripod or four feet, and you can see how this decision to use this table makes so much sense. Actually if you scroll back to the image above you can see how the table has two solid supports instead of four and the banquette also cleans up any potential tangle of legs.

the home of anna unwin vintage sourcing, image by michael sinclair

the home of anna unwin of vintage sourcing company aubespoke, image by michael sinclair

Still dining (still with a single table leg) and this time in the home of the vintage sourcer Anna Unwin, who runs aubespoke, which has featured on these pages before. This room is very neutral but it’s warm and there’s lots of texture from the panelled table leg, to the herringbone parquet and sheepskin chair pads. I often find I am drawn to peaceful calm spaces like this at this time of year as instagram turns into a sea of sparkling tinsel and sequinned baubles. But that said, that vase of pine branches on the table is just perfect.

soft pink bedroom from @elle_the_home_bird

soft pink bedroom from @elle_the_home_bird

Finally, in case you need a lie down, more of the soft pink and dark chocolate, this time on the floor, in this super pretty bedroom with its mantel wreath. Right the coffee has brewed and I’m off to check the stocks of wrapping paper.



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  • Lou 17th December 2020 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve never thought about the Leg Tangle before – now that’s all I can see! Clever designers and their magic tricks.
    And for me, the more natural timber/bamboo/rattan the better. Warm and soothing backdrop to any decor.

  • Jodie 14th December 2020 at 8:21 pm

    I got lost down a Pinterest rabbit hole after taking your advice and pinning that glass cupboard at the beginning! I am only just finishing my browse through these beautiful rooms now.

  • Susan Pietrzak 14th December 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Could you hazard a guess what that lovely shade on the walls of the Ben Pentreath dining room might possibly be please?

  • Allison 14th December 2020 at 3:11 pm

    I always love a Ben Pentreath room!

  • Karen C 14th December 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Love this, the ideas and love reading your blogs, so refreshing and useful! Thank you!

  • Elizabeth 14th December 2020 at 12:47 pm

    I second Karen.

  • Karen Kelly 14th December 2020 at 12:03 pm

    This was just what I needed today, especially the reminder to relax for a few moments. Thank you. Karen

  • Elaine Fraser 14th December 2020 at 11:07 am

    Adore the wooden kitchen cabinet. Have same colour base units and white/grey counter so I added wood in an antique candle box on wall and large wooden pestle and mortar on counter. Have modern chairs but with an antique ( recycling!) Spanish mahogany round pedestal breakfast table . Really glad to hear I’m not the only one who ruminates on slum of legs – its also because with a hairy dog& lots of legs difficult to hoover between. Another bug bear on the pet hair front and looks dept are the many unsightly cables/chargers now lying around since other half now working from home !!!!!

  • C Connolly 14th December 2020 at 7:45 am

    Beautiful! That kitchen cabinet, wow!

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