A gallery wall to hide the TV

Friday, August 29, 2014

I know I haven't shared pictures of my home yet but I need it to be a bit more put together to actually take the pictures, so please forgive me for taking my time (at least until the school starts next week !!). I'm just starting decorating because we moved in less than 4 months ago from France, so it took us a long time to unpack and to buy all the furniture we needed (and also because I just got back from a 5 week "pilgrimage" in France). Anyway, let the fun part begins now !

One of the things I prefer in our new house is this tiny room next to the kitchen that used to be a playroom. We immediately pictured a very cosy and intimate TV room in there. And it has been one of my favorite spots since ! I'll share more pictures of the room soon, but for now let me show you what I did to fill the awkward wall behind the TV.

I've always liked the idea of a gallery wall hiding the TV, like these :
So I decided to give a go. I used Command Strips because as much as I love me a good gallery wall, I'm not a fan of the nail commitment/"whole lotta holes in my rental walls" situation. And if you like to switch things up as often as I do, damage free hooks are your best friends. And your landlord's.

So, with the many frames I had on hand (looks like I'm a hoarder when it comes to frames ...), a few pictures / art / positive quote prints, here's what I came up with.
This is our view when we watch the TV. I wanted to achieve a cosy/"British den" kind of look, so I used with this beautiful painting we got as a wedding present (6 years ago tomorrow !) as a starting point - on the far right. It represents a very special place for me: the harbour where my parents' boat has been docked for the past twenty five years in Brittany.

Then I used a lot of gold, grey and black. I printed a few quotes / positive thoughts, the lyrics from our wedding song (The way you look tonight), family pictures of course, even a framed heart ornament. I also added a few postcards that used to be at my Grandma's and that I enlarged.
I love these Breton landscapes so much not only because they're great/free pieces of artwork, but also because they bring back so many memories from home and from summers at my Grandma's.

I'm pretty sure this room will get a fresh coat of paint soon, so this wall will probably look different then, but for now it's good enough to make this space feel home. Plus there are now interesting things to look at during the commercials (which happen SO often in England ...) !

Pssttt ... linking to : The Blissful Bee. Clean and Scentsible.

Easiest and healthiest ice-cream ever

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A few months ago, I stumbled across this strange recipe on Pinterest, and when I gave it a try, I was suprised by how good it was ... and how easy ! Basically, it's a banana ice-cream, with just bananas ! It can't get much easier than that ! And straight forward recipes are every busy mother's friends ...

So let's get started. And be careful, it's a very elaborate recipe ...

Take some bananas (say 3 for 2 servings).
Cut them into slices.
Put them in the freezer until frozen.
And mix them.
And they will magically turn into this most delicious sugar/additive-free ice-cream !
You could add honey, chocolate, peanut butter, whatever you want, and it will still be super healthy ! My kids are very picky eaters, and they love it ! Thanks Pinterest !

Zara Home fall collection and a gorgeous rug

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I was anxious to see Zara Home's Fall "collection". And I 've had a crush. On an "Aztec design" rug (which actually reminds me more of a Moroccan rug). So I took the liberty of putting together a fun selection of products around it.

Moroccan rugs have been very trendy lately. I love that they bring this exotic yet quite neutral feel to a room.

They also have this similar "Diamonds wool rug", at the same price : £299,99 (150x200cm).
PS. I haven't been paid by Zara to write this post. All opinions are mine only. I'm just a "e-shopping" kinda girl ...

Portfolio : a "feng-shui-ed" living-room, the reveal

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

As promised yesterday, here's the result of Christine's living-room renovation.
 Remember before ?
We changed most of the furniture and the layout. The sofa was turning its back to the window, so I moved it to closer to the window. It opened the whole lounge area and allowed more light in.
We chose a very simple TV unit from Ikea (Besta), thrifted a metal and glass coffee table for about £15, defined the area with a rug (also from Ikea), added new furnishings (linen curtains, new pillows, etc.). We also replaced the big chandelier by a more discreet one.

And do you remember the fireplace situation?
The mirror made a huge difference there. The fireplace is way less obvious now. It also adds a little glamour to that area.
We added a console behing the sofa, with two lamps and made-to-measure lampshades (that I created with some light blue fabric). The room was in big need of storage so we went for the very classic but budget-efficient Billy bookcases from Ikea. 
We moved the dining area closer to the kitchen, and once again turned to our local Ikea to find a modern table. Before :
I "hacked" an Expedit bookcase to create a banquette (and thumbs up for hidden storage), and made a cushion with some outdoor turquoise fabric (from Fabric.com). Plus it's removable, so Christine's family won't have to worry about spills or stains. We painted two of her kitchen chairs with a custom color that matches the opposite banquette. And we created a gallery wall with family pictures and inspirational quotes.
The entrance before :
After :
My friend is really happy with her new interior, and that means the world to me. After all, that's the whole point of interior decorating : improving people's life by improving their home !

So, what do you think ? Nailed it ? Thanks for reading !

Portfolio : a "Feng Shui-ed" living-room (1/2)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Some of you already know that I was about to launch a small decorating business back in France before we heard about our upcoming move to England (last December). I'd already done a few projects to start a portfolio.

But when my friend Christine asked me to help her redecorating her living-room, she didn't expect a whole "from floor to ceiling" renovation ! She initially asked me if I could paint some of her furniture and move a few frames ... Since she'd hired a Feng-Shui specialist a few months before that to study her house, it became quickly obvious that the makeover would be much bigger than she thought. So I answered with a complete redesign plan that led to this radical transformation.

Please, allow me to spread this post over two days, because I have A LOT of pictures to share! So first thing first, here's how her living-room looked before :
Dark walls, dark floors, poor lighting, heavy furniture and the layout wasn't ideal. The whole room was a bit sad and not at all representative of my "client's" bright and happy personality.  
So a lot of potential, but also a lot of work.

But first, we needed a blank state to create a more modern and elegant interior and basically: light, light, light !! She was ok to sell most of the furniture, but the sofa and the armchairs had to stay. Then our priority was to remove the dated (and very colorful) wallpaper.
And to replace it with a very light, slightly shimmery, grey one. We also gave the ceiling a fresh coat of paint.
The fireplace's tranformation played a great role in the project. It was quite a heavy and obvious element, but not in an interesting way, and Christine asked me to find a way to minimize its impact in the room. So I had a mirror cut to size and it virtually made it disappear ! It was a good solution to bring in more light as well. I also decided to paint the bricks in a black/grey combo.
She will probably get hardwood floors in the future but they weren't quite fitting the budget at the time, so I suggested painting the tiles ... and I had some stripes in mind, like in this gorgeous living-room:
When I first told my vision to my friend, she was a bit sceptical, but she got on board eventually. She agreed that it would give a lot of personality to the room. We used a paint designed especially for tiles, and just in case you were wondering, after a few months it is still holding great.
It was a small budget project so we did all the work ourselves. I am not a painter, nor a wallpaper profesionnal, and let me tell you : it's been quite an adventure! Thankfully, our hard work has often been rewarded at the end of the day with great wine and good food, and since the kids were away during the works, it felt like a vacation... (a special thanks to my in-laws for that and to my husband who gave us a hand !)
We changed most of the furniture and the layout as well. It took us about a month to get everything done and we both loved those few weeks. More importantly, she's now thrilled with her brighter and more inviting living-room. Reveal to come tomorrow !

Stylish designer : Tillman Long Interiors

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tillman Long Interiors is an Atlanta based firm lead by Judy Long and her daughter Natalie.

"The team approaches each project with a conscious consideration for three elements that are most important in any setting: practicality, comfort and of course, beauty. Judy believes that the best design not only looks beautiful but it must function well and be practical for the client".

I couldn't agree more ! Take a look at their work here, and feast your eyes on those gorgeous homes !

welcome !

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hi ! My name is Marianne, welcome to The Stylish Interior.

I'm deeply passionate, if not obsessed, with beautiful interiors and stylish lifestyle. I am a French mom of two living in Newbury, England since 2014 (insert happy dance here !) on a mission to create an elegant yet functional home for my family.

I'm hoping to turn my passion into a living soon. The Stylish Interior will allow me to share my projects and inspirations with relatives and new friends, potential clients and partners.

I hope you'll enjoy your visit(s) !