Monday again and we seem to be having a bit of a summer moment. And while I have been inclined to complain* (*mention in passing) that the kitchen is dark compared with the last one as it has no skylight, I have to say that at the back of the house with a stone floor and no direct sunlight coming in it’s turning into quite the refuge from the heat. But on the basis that we’re all melting everywhere else, here are four rooms that might inspire you for the week ahead. Some cool some warm but all equally lovely.
Now this caught my eye for two reasons. The first is that it’s just lovely. The second is that the house in Italy has a room with windows just like this and we have been debating the colour scheme. Two of the windows have been replaced with uPVC and there is no budget to replace them. The rest are wood and not in a brilliant state but we think they can be repaired – at least for now.
I had been thinking about painting the window frames and reveals in green to frame the view. But the decorator felt that a) this might make the window seem smaller and reduce the view (not sure I agree with that) and b) that it might draw attention to the two windows which are plastic. I do possibly agree with that. But I’m not sure I care. So it’s a question. The Mad Husband (by the way) is leaning towards the decorator but then again he hasn’t seen this picture.
The other question – which is perhaps the main question for me – is not about reducing the view, there’s enough of it to go around, but will it draw attention to the fact that the windows don’t match? Now that is potentially something I mind. In the end I am leaning towards painting the wooden/plastic frame and leaving the stone reveals the same colour as the walls. What do you think?
This carpet, by the way, has been laid over a thin layer of concrete which, in turn, sits over a floor of lovely hexagonal terracotta tiles. Can’t be saved. “Sobs”. We are currently looking at the budget to see if we lay some reclaimed terracotta or paint a new thin layer of concrete and cover it with rugs. Yes I know which we’d all prefer but windows people windows.
The alternative, which is where I was when we visited last week (but now I’m swinging back to windows) is to leave the room painted pale/off-white and – forgetting about the floor for now – painting the ceiling in a soft green. This room is on the second floor and looks over a valley from the plastic windows so it’s green all year round. The other windows look over the garden where there is a large copper beech (deciduous) so in winter a green ceiling would keep the nature feeling.
Painting a ceiling is a great way to bring in colour if you don’t want to swathe the whole room as you can keep the walls light and bright. Be careful if you have a low ceiling and use a dark colour as that will bring the whole thing down which, if you have a high ceiling you can afford to do.
The green wouldn’t be as olive as this but would be a match to the green doors found throughout the house (see previous posts on The House In Italy) and it might be lovely. Or, let’s be honest, it’s a big room – we could do both. Which, now I’ve written it down feels like the solution. Now to tell The Mad Husband…
These last two rooms use essentially the same colour palette in different ways. A warm terracotta on the walls with blue and white in either checks or stripes (make your choice) and the pale blue turns into rather a disrupter colour as it’s such a contrast to the rich pinky red. A more tonal blue would probably be navy or cobalt. Now I’m aware that might sound odd – what I mean is that if this terracotta were blue it would be tonally much stronger than the pale blue that has been used. That would be a more intense cosy winter feel where as the unexpected contrast of the pale blue brings a lighter more summery feel to the space.
I was drawn to the room above, not just for the colours, but because the house in Italy has a similar cupboard (across a corner) in what will mostly be the 22yo’s room. He wanted the cupboard removed. The builders wanted an insane amount of money to do so plus it’s good storage. So it’s staying. I haven’t told him yet. And besides the room is big enough to take it. So I have plans to paint it. Now I was pretty sure he wouldn’t go for stripes on the outside (because he told me so when I asked) but I haven’t suggested the inside. So that is what we shall do. Here is a picture of the room as it is now. That minty green is going. The 22yp fancies a strong blue on the windows and I’m thinking maybe the ceiling. And now – the inside of that cupboard…
And finally, here the terracotta marries beautifully with that rich wallpaper and wooden cupboard and so the floor is an unexpected joy. It’s not what you would expect at all and it brings a modern witty touch to what might otherwise be a classic look. I’m not sure I would have thought of this but now that I’ve seen it I’m definitely going to be paying more attention to thinking of unexpected details. What do you think?
Right I must be off. Lots of things bubbling along in the background which I will be able to share with you in the autumn as well as wrangling Italian builders. I’m off to Lisbon on Wednesday to visit a cork tree farm so be sure to follow along on instagram to visit with me.