Mad About . . .

Monday Inspiration Chalky Blues and Greens

20th September 2021
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After last Monday’s unexpected (for me at least) look at incorporating yellow accents into the home, followed by its inclusion on the list of trends last week’s podcast, I thought I’d stay with colour this week for our weekly wander through some beautiful rooms in search of inspiration for our own. Before we start though I feel it’s only fair to warn you that I have been conducting a small (dirty) yellow experiment of my own, the results of which you will see in a few weeks…

green kitchen by my tiny estate painted in fenwick & tilbrooke

kitchen by my tiny estate painted in fenwick & tilbrook tiny estate green

But moving on, today’s images come from the saved folder on my instagram page and while I only save things I really like it’s often not until the end of the week when I glance at a page of thumbnails that I realise there has been a subconscious theme. This, by the way, is the first rule of Pinterest. Pin away – fast and furious – and then go back and look at your last 30 pins, there will usually be some sort of theme either of colour or style and that will give you a starting point if you haven’t been sure where to begin.

Above the wonderful kitchen of Dean and Borja of My Tiny Estate. If you don’t already follow along on instagram then it’s really worth having a look. They bought a pretty derelict house, complete with outbuildings and servants cottages and have been gradually doing it up themselves. It’s all fabulous and this is the kitchen. It’s painted in their signature shade of Tiny Estate Green  – matched to an old piece of painted wood from the original house by Fenwick & Tilbrook, whose paint is made fresh to order, has a wipeable and smooth chalky finish and lots of pigment to ensure good coverage.

the old rectory via inigo

the old rectory via inigo

Staying with green I then found this house for sale via Inigo and while I love the juxtaposition of the rather baroque wallpaper and the practical flagstones, I also thought the alcove was a clever touch. Of course you could wallpaper the back of it to match the rest (and even the shelves if you were feeling handy) but taking one of the colours from the paper and using it all round makes a real feature of the shelves and what is on them – in this case what looks like a collection of old bottles which may well have been dug up from the garden.

Once again it’s about reversing the expected – you would more commonly see painted walls and papered accents. This is the other way round and bearing in mind that paint can be expensive and wallpaper can be cheap it doesn’t have to be an economic decision. But, if you are planning a room and thinking of the conventional way of using materials, it’s always worth taking a moment to see if turning things on their head might work better – that’s how we get to wallpaper ceilings and painted woodwork that isn’t white as well as more individual and characterful homes.

mint green kitchen units via @gisbertpoeppler in Berlin

mint green kitchen units via @gisbertpoeppler in Berlin

Now this is a kitchen isn’t it? I have to say it’s probably one for the fantasy Pinterest (read my definitive guide to how to use Pinterest here which is part of the first Mad About The House book and also included in my online course) rather than any actual kitchens we might be lucky enough to have. I mean leaving aside the impossibly high kitchen, who can afford to have just one – albeit – fabulous storage cupboard, which may actually be too high for many of us to access.

But it’s Monday and if you can’t dream dreams on a Monday when can you ( well on a Tuesday clearly if that is when you are reading this). But you can take the mint green, and the black island (tied to the green cupboards by the black kickboard) and you could add more vintage cupboards, or open shelving to create your own interpretation of this look. I could be tempted to just throw out all my plates and eat in restaurants for ever more….

blue bathroom and checkered floor via @kismet_house

blue bathroom and checkered floor via @kismet_house

Finishing with two chalky blue bathroom which is what I came in for but I was distracted en route. Above, a painted checkerboard floor (that fantasy is going nowhere and I’ve now moved from from the idea of re-tiling the kitchen floor to painting it although I’m not sure it would stand up to heavy traffic). But that soft blue (is it a bit Dulux Bright Skies) loves a bit of dark wood and every bathroom loves a bit of vintage and while brass maybe everywhere it warms up a bathroom a treat. So, while this may appear to be a box-ticking bathroom, it is also completely individual thanks to the aforementioned vintage, the painted floor and the gloss panelling on the wall. Well it ticks my box anyway…

And below a similar shade (more of a green blue mix like this post) Aquatic by Edward Bulmer, which will appear more blue or green depending on the light. But what’s clever here is in the detail – the wooden panelling stripes are echoed in the Ottoline Devries Madame Ziggle wallpaper both of which will work together to lengthen the walls and raise the ceiling. The bath is painted in brick and, depending on the height of said ceiling you could paint that in either the blue/green, the brick or the warm cream background which is picked up in the wall lights from Pooky. And if you still think wall lights are mostly ugly and old fashioned (as they were ten years ago when I started this blog) then I urge you to visit as there are so many gorgeous examples I could quite happily start my lighting all over again. Try the Flora ceramic shade in aran with a brass fitting for the look below.

Edward Bulmer Aquatic with Ottoline Devries wallpaper in the home of @1890shouse

Edward Bulmer Aquatic with Ottoline Devries wallpaper in the home of @the1890shouse 

There we leave it for today. I hope that has helped and inspired you with ideas for your own places and spaces.

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  • Kay 21st September 2021 at 9:25 pm

    Hi, what as the website for Sharon who did the upholstery for you and on the last podcast please?



  • Gill Bull 20th September 2021 at 9:58 am

    Hi Kate

    What happened to the perfect clay colour? I am looking for something like that in a Dulux colour for doors.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 20th September 2021 at 3:52 pm

      I haven’t found it yet!

      • Jilly 21st September 2021 at 10:51 am

        Have you had a glance at Bauwerk’s colours… am a fan. Their ‘earth’ palette might hold the clay-key…?

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