Transitional wreath for our indian summer

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

We are having a wonderful start of fall here, almost no rain, warm temperatures, and beautiful colours everywhere.  I like autumn: the comfort food, crisp mornings, putting all the lights on a little earlier in the house, and the perspective of Christmas doesn't hurt either. I am a bit of a Christmas freak, you see. Anyway.

So it was about time I switch our summer wreath on the front door for a more appropriate one. Using a basic wreath from TKMaxx and artificial flowers from Dunelm, I just "braided" each stem inside it. Pretty easy project, say about 3 min. I call it my Indian Summer wreath. I hope the neighbours like it too !
And the good news is: since none of the stems are attached to the wreath, it'll be very easy to turn it into a more rustic/fall one in a few weeks time. Here are some examples that inspire me.
Have a great day !

Stylish designer: urban grace interiors

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ever since I discovered Erika Mcpherson Powell from Urban Grace Interiors a few years ago, I've been smitten with each project she and her team work on ... I absolutely adore her style, and how elegant her portfolio is.

"Her hands-on design approach is uncanny, working closely with all parties to ensure the vision for each project is executed seamlessly." I'm sure you'll love her too when you visit her website.

Kids' bathroom progress: a curtain and a blind

Friday, September 26, 2014

Remember when I told you about the cute shower curtain I'd found for the kids' bathroom ? Well, there it is:
Pretty cool for a boyish bathroom, isn't it ? It brings some much personality, and also a nice English country feel, to a rather boring room ... It's such a show stopper, and the kids love it ! Next step was to update the blinds.
These were paper/cheap blue rolling blinds that came with the house. All I had to do was to replace the paper with some leftover fabric from our living-room Ikea curtains. I also added some black ribbon to coordinate with the curtain. Virtual cost: £0.
And here's the bathroom today:
I still need to install the built-in shelves and to add a few more accessories to really consider this room done. But it's already better than when we first moved in. Let's journey back, shall we?
Now (in progress):
Have a great week-end !

Ambercup squash soup with pancetta

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's officially fall here as I launched the cold season since yesterday, and I feel terrible. So what's better than a good soup when you're sick ? I got a beautiful squash yesterday in our Abel&Cole box, so I immediately craved a very tasty and comforting soup for lunch. I decided to add an apple and some ginger, known to be quite effective for fighting cold. And some pancetta to balance the overall sweetness of the soup. Well, pancetta tastes great with everything ...

- 1 squash, cut into cubes
- 1 apple, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- Chicken or vegetable stock
- Ginger (I used powder)
- Maple syrup

Place the squash on a roasting tray and sprinkle with olive oil, pepper and salt. Roast in the oven for 20 min to bring out the sweetness, at 200 °C.

In the meantime, saute the chopped onion until translucent and add a bit of ginger and maple syrup. Add the carrot and apple and let it cook for 5-10 min. Add the roasted squash, cover with stock, and let it simmer for 20 more min. Bonus: enjoy the delicious smell in the kitchen ... well, if you actually benefit from a functioning nose ...

Mix until smooth and creamy. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Top the soup with the sautéed pancetta and a dash of olive oil. Add a slightly toasted bread slice on the side, and serve with a hot tea and an aspirin (optional).
 Note: you could also replace the pancetta with some feta cheese, and it'll still taste pretty good.
Enjoy !!

Kids' Bathroom plan and progress

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Busy, busy, busy ... I wish there were 30 hours in a day !! I'm tackling like 5 projects at a time, which I know isn't ideal, but that's the way it is. I've been updating Arthur's room, Violette's room, the TV room, my office/guest room, and the kids' bathroom. All at the same time. So yes, I'm pretty tired. Anyway ...

Today I want to share my plans and the first steps in the kids/husband's bathroom. Laurent prefers this bathroom to our en-suite because the shower is much bigger, which also means that I get to enjoy a bathroom all by myself, which is lovely. So, the big picture. Nice light, a shower, a bathtub, a toilet and no storage whatsoever. I even had to install this tiny mirror cabinet above the sink because there wasn't even a mirror.
Dated vinyl floors, cheap blue blinds and an Ikea shower curtain that I bought first thing we when moved in.
I already gave it a fresh coat of paint, in a very very light beige, before we moved in. My plan was to change the floors, to add built-in storage in this alcove and to accessorize in order to create a more elegant/masculine room. 

So I've changed the floors with those good-value-for-money-cause-we're-renters-vinyl-tiles. Had we owned the house, I would have put real wood tiles, but this was a more affordable, quick and easy alternative. And I like it ! The room looks so much more welcoming and cosy already !
The whole process took me about 6 hours, but I've never done anything like this before, so I guess it can be a quicker project if you are more experienced. Next step : furnishings ! I have found the most darling shower curtains at John Lewis, stay tuned !

Stylish Designer : Renee Gaddis Interiors

Monday, September 22, 2014

Renee Gaddis is a very talented designer based in Naples, Florida. Her portfolio is a gold mine full of highly sophisticated interiors, some very contemporary, others more traditional. I especially like her love for symmetry, the way she incorporates different tones of wood in her designs, the bold or more muted colours.

Her philosophy is: "Whether it is a formal residence or a small cottage, my goal is to design sophisticated spaces that my clients can fully embrace." So go and feast your eyes on more gorgeous homes on her website.

Animal portraits and watercolors ...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

You might have noticed that Charlotte Montrose's animal prints have been a huge hit these past few years, especially in nurseries.
I love the look and when I recently came across these beautiful watercolour prints from "An open sketchbook", I thought they would look fab paired together.

Aren't they adorable ? Let's see what they'd look like in a gallery wall ...
Well, it can't get much cuter than that ! Have a great day !

Living-Room: the current state of things

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ok, this is not an "After" post. I don't consider our living-room done yet, far from it. But it's already pretty comfortable and as we love entertaining and having people over, I wanted it to be functional as quickly as possible. So here it is.
A couple of things will change soon, at least the frames above the sofa. It was a temporary fix (the scale and height is so wrong, but there are some holes to be taken care of behind, from the previous tenants). Plus I used two Ikea Tarnby rugs to create a large area one on the cheap, but I still need to sew them together to eliminate the gap between them. The cowhide is a great way to add warmth and style, and it's very kid-friendly as it's almost stain proof. The side table came from our local Furniture Project center, and I made the linen skirt this summer.
We bought our sofa (Long Island) and the armchairs (Grosvenor) at Multiyork. I would love to have a white couch, but with two kids under 5, it didn't seem like the way to go, somehow. The great thing about this sofa (and the chairs as a matter of fact) is that you can change the cover when you get tired of it, and I found it nice to be able to update the upholstery in a few years time. Plus we have a stainguard garantee which basically covers any damage on each chair, which is good for my nerves.
I hung one of my husband's guitars on the wall because: 1/ it's a drop dead gorgeous Gibson 2/ it's out of reach of little hands 3/ Laurent can play way more often that way.

The 2 bamboo side tables were found last week on Gumtree, and came with another smaller table, as a 3 piece set, but it seemed too busy. I intended to paint them, but they look good just as they are. I changed the white table on this side of the sofa and replaced it with a transparent one on the console, but I'm not it'll stay. At least not with that lampshade. This lamp was once again found at TKMaxx (I bet you think that I spend all my time in that store now ...).
The curtains are from Ikea and I'll show you soon a little trick to make them appear custom made. That's it from now, and it's just the beginning. This room will evolve for sure as we live in it.

And just for fun, here's a real before photo, that is from the listing.

Pretty different already, isn't it ?

Psssttt, linking up there : A place of my taste. Savvy Southern Style