Farrow & Ball - Decorating with colour


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Long time readers of this blog will know that I like to paint. Not watercolours or oils, but walls, doors and ceilings. I find it very relaxing to get my paintbrush out and freshen things up around my home. Usually this involves a quick coat of pure brilliant white but recently I've found myself drawn to a more muted palette of colours. 

Interior design books have played a big part in influencing my design choices at home. I find so much inspiration from them and useful tips too. I'm currently reading the latest title by Farrow and Ball called Decorating With Colour. Simply beautiful to look at, it's also full of advice on which of their colours to pair together and which finish to use in all areas of the home and garden. I have become a huge fan of F&B, it's seriously the nicest paint I've ever worked with and the finish is exquisite. In the last few months our front door has been painted in Downpipe and the frame and windowsills with All White. An upcycled shoe cabinet has been given a new look with Mole's Breath and my absolute favourite colour of the moment is Railings, which I painted my vintage chair with (see top image). But I was unsure of which colours I wanted on my walls for my living room and hallway and this is where the book has really inspired me.

The book is divided into three distinctive styles - classic, contemporary and country. Each featured home has detailed paint colours and wallpaper designs. There are tips for painting floors, furniture and a 'neutral groupings' section to help match colours. I found this helpful for combining a pale shade with darker accents. 

I was particularly taken with John Nicolson's house. Simple with a modern rustic feel, his home is a beautiful palette of greens, blues, greys and off-whites. Although it is much larger and a period property, there is still much to take from the colour scheme and transfer to my own home. I do like the combination of the walls painted in String and the woodwork panelling in Card Room Green. I've always stuck to the same colour of emulsion with eggshell, but I'm loving the idea of taking a different approach and bringing two shades together like this.

I also love the industrial vintage style of the home above with it's bare brick wall teamed with Shaded White, Eames DSW chairs and a huge refectory style table. It's stunning and in other pictures from this home, the radiators have been painted in my beloved Railings. They work so well together. And the second image is taken from the author's own home. It's a beautiful modern country dwelling with lots of blues and off whites, but I particularly liked this dresser painted in Mouse's Back and finished with the tomato red anglepoise lamp.

I'm also planning on updating our shed next spring. It's a lavender shade, which is pretty, but it needs redoing and I'm loving the idea of painting it with Railings like in the image above. The colours of the verbena bonariensis against that inky blue black background are stunning. So that's my goal for next year.

After reading the book and staring at the paint chart for quite some time, I have decided on the shade I like for my living room and hallway. I'm heading off to buy the paint this weekend. But I'll save that for another post..... x

Written in collaboration with Farrow and Ball. All words and opinions are my own. 

Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Well hello there! It's been quite a long time since I last wrote anything here. Not because I haven't wanted to, but more that I haven't had time or motivation to get off the sofa to do so. I think it's better to write like this (for me anyway) as it gives me space to do other things and then come back to this space refreshed. At least that's the theory!

It's half term here in our household and we shouldn't actually be in Yorkshire. We should be on holiday on the south coast of England but sadly family illness has meant that we were unable to go. However chins are up and we're looking on the bright side of things and enjoying some treats closer to home. Starting with a cracking day in Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay. 

The sun shone all day on Saturday and it was a beauty of a drive over the North York Moors to Whitby, home to the famous Abbey and setting of Dracula. We've been many times over the years and although I do still like it a lot, it feels like it has lost a lot of it's quirkiness and charm. I'm not entirely sure why this is although I suppose most places have to adapt to who visits and what they will want from a seaside town. It's also ridiculously busy. We did the usual tours around the winding streets and climbed the famous 199 Abbey steps. Chips were bought at lunchtime and scoffed in the sunshine whilst being pursued by a pesky seagull. Vintage stalls were perused and purchases made as well as some locally brewed ale. All good stuff. 

In the afternoon we headed off to Robin Hoods Bay, a small fishing village about 10 minutes drive away from Whitby. A walk down a very steep hill to the bottom where there is a beautiful sandy beach with rock pools for treasure seeking.  Little cottages with their bright red roofs line the winding streets and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. It's an enchanting village and I really didn't want to leave. 

Pubs were bustling with families enjoying lunches outside. Antique, books and gift shops were pleasant to browse in and we enjoyed an ice cream on the beach. We weren't brave enough for a paddle, but we did do a bit of rock pooling and fossil hunting. Sadly we found nothing! I also stopped in at Station Stores to buy some freshly roasted coffee from Baytown Coffee Company as I've been following them on Instagram for quite some time and their story is really interesting. I've not been disappointed and Albion Street makes an amazing cuppa. 

Sadly we had to make tracks back to Leeds and I wished we could have stayed a lot longer. We'll definitely be back to explore this area more as it's a very special place and I've fallen for it's charms. 

And finally I wanted to give a quick mention to a new project I'm involved with. The Yorkshire Bloggers are a group who are dedicated to sharing their favourite finds and places throughout the county. You'll find us over on our Facebook page. It is very much in it's infancy but we're hoping it will gradually build to being a great page and will include social gatherings and invitations to events. Please do pop over there and give us a Like! Not only are we linking our own blog posts to the page, we're also asking other bloggers to contribute to it. So if you are a blogger in Yorkshire and would like to share something with us please email me on jenlittlebirdie@yahoo.co.uk. Thanks muchly. x

Lovely Spaces


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Oh my word. I love this home. It belongs to Instagrammer Frida Schuler.

And what's not to love? Beautiful wall colours, exquisite art and textiles and those little details that make this space pretty much perfect to me. The vintage furniture is front and centre, with beautiful bentwood chairs, rustic tables and mirrors. I particularly like the top image with it's black pendant light, painted glass china cabinet and a touch of the indutrial with the clamp light. Wow.

This home has so many modern rustic touches and inspires me so much with my own design plans. I'm currently working on the other side of my bedroom and am trying to source a dressing table and I like the idea of using just a small table with mirror above.

Frida's  instagram feed is a joy to behold and I'm so happy to have found her on there. Go check it out as I'm pretty sure you will love it as much as I do.

All images by Frida Schuler and via Instagram. 

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