Mad About . . .

Monday Inspiration: Calm and Bright

6th December 2021
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Keeping it quiet here today as there is a riot of tinsel and trees over on instagram and some of us aren’t ready yet or you might just want a space where you can come in, shut the door and take a deep breath. Everything seems to have been thrown up in the air again so come an join me over here in the quiet cupboard and we can do some deep breathing and drop those shoulders.

First up is this gorgeous corner by Atelier Ellis painted in her Sadhika, which she describes as where yellow becomes golden. I have been looking at this picture all week and I love its simplicity. It is, for me, a very restful picture.

Below we’re going to ramp it up a little by intensifying both colours so the pink is pinker and the yellow more vibrant but I’m still enjoying the strong lines and colour blocking. The dark bannister rail takes the eye to the picture on the wall and the colours contrast perfectly. There is an understandable tendency to choose artwork to go with the decor when it should, ideally, be the other way round (pick the art you love and decorate to enhance it) but this also shows the power of contrast.

the home of sella concept

the home of sella concept

Keeping the pink and replacing the yellow with green and this is another room I can drink in, apart from the fact that I’m desperate to reach in and shut the door to make it even calmer. My instinct would have been to paint the ceiling in the darker red from the floor to bring out the pale pink of the walls but I always admire a contrast when I see it and this soft olivey green is lovely. Am wondering if 2022 is the year I paint all my ceilings….

colour inspiration via paolo abate

colour inspiration via paolo abate

Diving over to the dark side now and this is a shop but, again, it takes some of the colours from the image above and deepens and darkens them. The chocolate brown walls are like my own sitting room and the pink lamp brings warmth and tonal contrast to the space. Every room loves a stripe and even the primary splash of the candles and the blue cushions wakes the whole thing up. If you are going to decorate tonally, as I usually, you will need a dash of a contrasting colour to wake the whole room up a little. Think of it as the squeeze of lemon over the dish. Fine, even very good without, but on a whole new level with.

Finally, pantries are the new en suites – where once we in the UK aspired to a second bathroom and even and en suite this has now become more commonplace and it’s all about pantries. I’d love to see the floorplan to see how this was added given that it has a window and a door to the garden – I suspect not many houses could copy this layout but the colour scheme,  the gingham curtains and the open shelves are just gorgeous. The Husband would issue the Marital Veto quicker than I can type cupboard curtains but we can dream…

pantry design via nicola harding

pantry design via nicola harding

And, even if you are’t ready for Christmas, this time of year is all about the dreaming.


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  • Jennifer Russell 31st December 2021 at 12:43 am

    Please, please, please DO share the colour of the red brown wall in the Pentreath and Hall Shop shot!

  • SUSAN Halpern 7th December 2021 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Kate!
    That pantry!! Too gorgeous. And I’ve persuaded my mad husband that we can convert our Arden room into something very like your pic. So thank you so much!!

  • Liz 7th December 2021 at 12:21 am

    I’ve just had an interesting google of the difference between a larder and a pantry and I think historically this could have been described as a pantry 🙂 Maybe cool larders will be the next big thing?

    Years back I’d have sworn ‘never!’ to the cupboard curtains but now they’re strangely appealing, likewise gathered lampshades which I hated with a passion. Both subject to marital veto in this home too, but I do keep trying to get a Pooky lampshade. He still maintains they look like knickers!

  • Erin 6th December 2021 at 8:15 pm

    I once swore I’d never wear wide-legged jeans, then skinny jeans. I also swore I’d never get married and hated anything brass. Or yellow – I really hated yellow. As I write from my yellow room with brass accents in my flared jeans (having recently foresaken skinnies), while thinking that my wedding ring could use a good clean, I’m now old enough to avoid speaking in absolutes. Ever. People, including myself, are fickle creatures.

    • Pia 7th December 2021 at 12:08 pm

      Erin! You remind me of me 🙂
      Hated blue wall, loathed vintage and would never marry or have kids.
      Well… we all are fickle creatures…

  • Lenore Taylor 6th December 2021 at 5:49 pm

    I agree with The Husband on the gingham curtains, too frou frou for me. But it’s high time we considered adding pantries in our Canadian houses. Cheers from Canada!

  • Helena McCann 6th December 2021 at 3:16 pm

    Ever since Kate mentioned her dislike of yellow and my agreement, bloody yellow has crept into the house, a kettle, a light shade and plans for a lamp or even two, is that an age thing?

  • Anna 6th December 2021 at 11:41 am

    To comfort you Kate. All those windows are more an annex rather than a pantry. A pantry must be a cool place to store food stuffs. Only a small window up high would be allowed. The “Cupboard” show is mere foldirole which makes an attractive photo and uses up some unwanted gingham.

  • Claire Fox 6th December 2021 at 10:52 am

    The door and windows aren’t into the garden, they’re into the kitchen/dining room. (The last pic is or berdoulat owners house)

  • Silvia 6th December 2021 at 8:39 am

    I was wondering about colours the other day. About a time, as a teenager, I almost shouted a definite NEVER WITH ME to my mother when she said our taste for colour changes along our lifetime. And then, when you least expect, there you are, buying clothes or considering paint swatches of that same ‘never with me’ colour! This was triggered again by the opening photos on this post, as you usually highlights your dislike for yellow. Yes, you also say it’s all in the shade, but it’s a funny thing how much we change overtime, isn’t it? Thank goodness! I disliked yellow very much too, but am now craving a bit of it, particularly with so much winter darkness. We’ve recently insulated the external walls of our house and rendered it black. Now I’m planning to paint the porch ceiling mustard yellow, or maybe that Sadhika yellow from Atelier Ellis. A bit of sunshine to our dark side!

    • Kathleen Pinkham Edwards 6th December 2021 at 12:51 pm

      I hated ‘Terracotta’ including the beautiful tiles I had inherited in my last house. Now I’m older I’ve just painted my bath in Little Greene’s Drummond, which I absolutely love 🙂

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