Mad About . . .

Monday Inspiration: Beautiful Spaces

15th June 2020
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Starting with a glorious riot of wallpaper this week. De Gournay handpainted papers are so pretty and this bright green can’t fail to lift the spirits. This was chosen by Matthew Williamson for his flagship London store (although I confess I don’t know if it’s still there as that was several years ago).  I could happily sit for hours in a room wallpapered like this – especially as so many of us have’t been able to be outside much in recent months. Just gazing at it makes me feel better.

wallpaper by de Gournay image by @mariepierremorel

wallpaper by de Gournay image by @mariepierremorel

Talking of rooms I could sit in for hours, worrabout this fabulous bathroom complete with window seat, fireplace and armchair. It was styled by Marcia Morgan, @stylingalifelessordinary, and now I want a chair in my bathroom. And no I’m not having a conversation about practicalities today. I want beauty and inspiration so we’ll start with expensive handpainted paper and move onto velvet chairs in bathrooms and see if we don’t all feel a little better by the end of it. You can see more of this house in the current (July) issue of The English Home by the way. I’m an absolute magazine junkie and will definitely be picking up a copy of this.

styling by @stylingalifelessordinary for The English Home

styling by @stylingalifelessordinary for The English Home

Staying with the colour of the chair for a moment. I have written before about the importance of a disrupter colour and this is a good example. The soft red of the chair works in both the blue bathroom and the soft stone coloured sitting room belonging to Sarah Griggs, a photographer @peas.in.my.pod. Someone contacted me this week to say they were painting their kitchen in an olive green with an off-white and wondered if they should add another colour. I suggested a door painted in a deep orange or soft pink to zip it all up a bit and this chair does the same thing here bringing a punch of vibrancy.

photographed by @peas.in.my.pod

photographed by @peas.in.my.pod 

A couple of weeks ago I showcased a house on the regular Househunter post that had a yellow painted window frame and here, for the current issue of House & Garden, is the kitchen window belonging to the queen of colour herself Joa Studholme, colour curator at Farrow & Ball, who told me about three years ago that yellow was coming and I was disbelieving. That’s how long it can take a trend to come through. Now I appreciate she has a stunning window to highlight but any window would do. It’s the joy and feel of sunshine it brings that’s the key. This is in the current issue of the magazine so do go and buy if you want to see more – I know I do (there’s currently a trial offer of three issues for £1).

yellow window frame at the home of Joa Studholme for house and garden photo by andreas von einsiedel

yellow window frame at the home of Joa Studholme for house & garden magazine photo by andreas von einsiedel

So let’s finish with these glorious tiles from Mandarin Stone. Just as I will probably never paper a room in vibrant green floral paper, I am unlikely to create a yellow bathroom (although…. ) but both images provide me with sense of vital visual stimulation and open my heart to new ideas and possibilities. And who isn’t up for a bit of that at the moment?


image via mandarin stone

image via mandarin stone


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  • Joanna 15th June 2020 at 8:49 pm

    What colour is the stone in the sitting room? It’s gorgeous

  • Tara Kaufmann 15th June 2020 at 3:49 pm

    I’ll take it all, thanks!

  • monique cox 15th June 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Thank you for the posts, I am in the US and your post is the first thing I read and always starts my day in lovely manner. What caught my eye about the yellow framed window today is that it because of the depth of the window it looks more like sunshine than a painted window frame.

  • Ellen Reed 15th June 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Every bit- beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to find fun, inspiring images.

  • Marie 15th June 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Great uplifting post today Kate. Badly needed 😌 You’ll be going absolutely mad soon, De Gournay wallpaper!! Sophie will be chuffed!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 15th June 2020 at 1:03 pm

      She can pay for it then!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. It’s always lovely to hear x

    • Elena 15th June 2020 at 5:17 pm

      Hahaha 😂😂
      Yes, Kate, first it was dirty yellow walls, then emerald green pants, and now vibrant floral green! What’s next? Sophie going into neutrals? 😅

      • Kate Watson-Smyth 16th June 2020 at 9:35 am

        That might be a step too far but I will raise it with her!!

  • Becca 15th June 2020 at 12:32 pm

    I know I’m turning into my mother when my first reaction to Joa’s kitchen was ‘how gorgeous – but how do you dust the cobwebs with the ceilings that high?!’
    Great curated inspiration as always, Kate.

  • Susan McCabe 15th June 2020 at 12:31 pm

    I agree with Laura- your posts brighten my day! I read the post, look at the photos and then read again in more detail, looking specifically what you point out and love learning to see how you do. Red threads, disrupter colours, I love it! Also when I see these things in other houses I get a buzz when I recognise these things. I am beginning to understand why things do and dont work and even better, corrective actions that can be taken. And I agree with Kate, sometimes looking at beauty for beauty sake is good. Thank you Kate!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 15th June 2020 at 1:03 pm

      This comment is just wonderful to read. Thank you so much. x

  • Rach with an E 15th June 2020 at 11:30 am

    The wallpaper is stunning. I’ve very recently done the yellow window frame, but will never do a yellow bathroom – I’d look severely jaundiced. I love the idea but in a soft pink perhaps.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 15th June 2020 at 1:04 pm

      I never thought of that!! If you look closely there is a pink ceiling….

  • Longdenlife 15th June 2020 at 11:12 am

    Amazing images – could you perhaps do a podcast with Joa please?!

  • Laura 15th June 2020 at 10:19 am

    I have been a silent reader for some time, but I thought I would say: Kate, your posts never disappoint! I always look forward to your new blogs, thank you so much for giving us more to look forward to at home in these trying times x

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 15th June 2020 at 10:51 am

      Thank you so much, that means a lot to hear and your support and readership is appreciated more than I can say x

  • Melanie 15th June 2020 at 7:58 am

    Fabulous images today! Just my sort of thing. That wall paper…….

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