Dream Staircases

The kind of staircase I like is one that is elegant, falling from the ceiling like a ribbon cascading to the ground. Not clunky, asserting its presence – but brilliantly designed so you feel all the more lighter as you alight.

Like the flick of the brush this beautiful staircase makes the room.

statement staircase in flowing black lines

A pool of light is revealed as the curvaceous wooden staircase cuts out the floor. I love how it follows through underneath.

wooden curvy staircase

This feels very architectural, perhaps not elegant but certainly refined. The white steps stretch to the sides creating a perfect perching patch.

black and white stairs in slabs

A delightfully minimal hand rail flawlessly twists into the ground.

Black metal hand rail elegantly bent

Old school charm! Wonderfully wide for those gigantic skirts, this staircase transitions from wood to stone effortlessly. 

French feeling staircase in wood, metal and stone

A rhythmic staircase with a linear balustrade. There is something quite nautical about the black tripes. Perhaps it is their uniform nature, beautifully done.   

 Modern interior with beautifully elegant staircase

Black white and gold stair case with contemporary room divide in glass and black metal

We have an Egyptian feel next with these stone steps. Spacious and gently rising out of the ground, the smooth sides allow the light to bounce. 

white walls and stairs rise to an open space

A nod to Art Deco, these stairs create a pleasing zig-zag just stopping short of the floor.

wood and black metal with glass stairs

Striking putty pink stairs reveal a cut-out handrail as they swirl down the wall. 

smooth stairs in a pinky natural hue

Pleasing shapes are created with this simple black metal handrail. 

Pleasing shapes are made in this black metal handrail with steps cut from stone

Strong concrete stairs make their presence known as they twist from the ceiling. 

concrete grand staircase in public space

A slight but beautiful enclosed staircase. I like the blonde wood and vertical thin white-washed strips that follow the curve. 

wood and white stairs flanked by vertical wooden strips

Ending with a note of monochrome, a confident staircase that breaks away from the wall has a playful feel.   

black and white room with gloss black stairs that come from the wall

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The Details

As you may know I live in England and we have a wonderful thing called the National Trust. They basically look after our beautiful old buildings, preserving them for future generations, our coastline too. What it means is, nosey people like me can immerse themselves in amazing architecture, and imagine, what if… Near where I live in Cornwall we have Lanhydrock House, a gorgeous Victorian home that has a perfectly preserved upstairs-downstairs lifestyle.

You can get overwhelmed  by the amount of embellishment and grandeur, but I like looking at the details. We actually have a company locally, Bromleighs, who specialise in period fixtures and fittings. The door handles, light switches, letterboxes etc. that fit a specific period. They have even supplied the National Trust. I mean imagine a Downton Abbey parlour with white glaringly plastic light switches!! The shock.

In praise of period details, here a few elements that shouldn’t be missed, the unsung heroes that make a space authentic.

The real-life Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle

The Master in Downton Abby

Period details from Downton abby

Rich dark wood of the library in Downton Abby

Dramatic scene from Downton Abby

When you are restoring a period house some people strip everything away but the bones of the place, and then fill the interior in contrast with the ultra modern. Sometimes though I think the soul can be lost. I am zoning in today on the overlooked details that can preserve the integrity of a building.

Here we have a dove grey door with a silvered handle, complementing it perfectly.

Antique style door handles

As you may well know, I am a fan of mix and match. There is quite a lot going on in this bathroom, but I think it works. What I really like is the mirror and light fittings in this dark, brassy metal.

Old brass fittings in a contemporary space

I love these old radiators, especially in sunshine yellow!

Blue walls and yellow radiator

Beautifully finished, this kind of handle would look at home on a ruggedly knotted and aged door.

Brass ribbed door handle

The handles here, in my humble opinion, make this kitchen. Lovely rich dark blue units, marble counter tops and a touch of brass.

Kitchen units in navy blue with brass metal handles

I love this light, so solid, so certain. Bolted onto the wall like it really belongs there!

Wall light in brass and white glass

Back to blue again, it just works so well! And what a lovely leathery colour.

Bathroom door in dark blue with antique style handle and lock in brass

Of course it is important to look up too. Georgian houses especially had beautiful freezes of intricate plaster. This is actually taken from another National Trust property, Llanerchaeron in Ceredigion.

Plaster work detail from a National Trust house

Another great mix. I included this bathroom because of the peg hooks, a lovely detail, and because of the sage green and zesty orange combo!

Roll top bath, peg hooks and black wire storage in a contemporary twist on a modern bathroom

My final thought goes to lighting. You can’t go wrong with a chandelier, no really. Even this rustic space is made complete with an antique-style pendant.

Brown interior with dark wood and an antique style chandelier

The Writing’s on the Wall

When I was little a had a lovely bedroom, with an engaging freeze of alphabet letters all around my tiny room. For some reason I started reminiscing about my little room of peach and grey with Laura Ashly floral wallpaper, and it got me thinking, what alphabet options do we have for nurseries today? Oh and there really are some beauties! Take a look at my favourites…

I love this idea, alphabet cards pegged on a line! Fun colours too.

Illustrated alphabet cards hung in a children's room

I would love to illustrate my own!

Colourful abc pegged up in children's room

Make it monochrome with black and white wallpaper and lovely doodles.

Blackboard style wallpaper with illustrations and alphabet

You can’t go wrong with squidge, grey crocheted letters that are huggably good.

ideal for a nursery, grey crochet alphabet

Anything with an embroidery hoop I love, these appliqué letters are no exception.

Embroidery hoop framed abc

For a more neutral take, I love the white letters acting as a freeze.

Rain drop vinyl, hot air baloon, loly pop art and alphabet white wooden letter freeze in children's room

Or perhaps something like this, a white chest of draws up-cycled to be tactile fun.

Up-cycled draws with white letters

Not technically decor, but aren’t these brilliant? Wooden alphabet blocks with letters and sign language.

wooden blocks with sign language and letters

What a great idea, a giant magnetic letter wall!

Children's letter wall with magnetic letters

Or these lovely draws which have a deep richness with chunky wooden letters varying in size.

Wooden draws with alphabet letters

Creative ways with the alphabet! Nurseries can be such fun.

Kitchen Storage Thats oh so Pleasing

There is something so satisfying about a storage canister, sure call me crazy but they are just so snug, tactile and useful! I have a bizarre mixture at home, orange shiny ones that were my mums, an Orla Kiely ceramic and wood brown one from my sister, cut glass with stoppers and speckled pottery all sit together. Here are a few other kitchen storage jars that I wouldn’t mind clustered on my counter…

These trio are very pleasing, the tactile white ceramic pot is finished nicely with wood and leather lids.

Textured white and wood kitchen containers

For more strokable texture, below are storage pots that came from the Summertime range by Hornsea Pottery,  made between 1962 and 1964.

Retro 60s pottery ribbed white ceramic with navy blue and teal accent colours

These smoky objects are by Belgian architect Vincent Van Duysen. The oak lidded bowls come in ceramic, clear and smoky glass. Quite beautiful.

Smoky glass storage jars with glass wooden lids

Lovely and simple, and labelled so no confusion! The minimal text and glossy white vessels works really well. I believe they come in black too, for that gothic kitchen vibe.

Minimal and traditional white ceramic vessels with titles in black

The endlessly pleasing triangle motif wraps around these storage pots. Light wooded lids fit just so.

Light wooden lids with triangle designed rounded pots

A quirky shape and those great 80s colours of grey, yellow and black. I like the cork lids too!

Cork lidded grey, yellow and black storage pots with a funnel shape

Jolly patterned, again with a cork lid, these storage jars look substantial.

African style prints with cork lids

Mango wood lids, a hint of colour through the glaze and twirly knobs! A nod to Arts and Crafts, they would make a happy edition to the home.

Textured pots with wooden lids and mteal knobs

What a pleasing collection! Geometric black lines carve up the white space, all wonderfully different but all working so well together.

Geometirc patterned storage jars

An finally a little neon to brighten the day. That retro Nordic feel sits together with a grounding of grey.

Miss-matched wooden lidded storage pots for the kitchen

Just another opportunity to add some personality to the kitchen!

Oh So Plush Velvet Sofas

What could be more luxurious than velvet. Recently I’m hankering after a velveteen sofa that I could sink into, but what colour? From jeweled hues that dazzle to the perfectly pale – I love them all.

Where to start! This show-stopping blue sofa brings a little pizzazz to an antiqued interior

Antique round mirrors, lapis blue velvet sofa and smokey walls

Another moody room, this time matt blue walls and floor are perfectly complimented by a golden velvet coach placed at an angle

Blue walls and floor, yellow velvet sofa and dog

A cosy cat in a peachy velvet chair, could we get any more hipster!

Armchair in a dusky pink velvet with a curled up cat

This curved Chesterfield is a breath of fresh air in an icy greyed blue

Pure icy blue velvet sofa

Opulent gold looks so lavish with on a laid back sofa

opulent gold velvet sofa

Taupe shades are layered together with this deep, velvety sofa

Built in large velvet sofa in taupe

You can never have too much blue, cushions cascade to a waterfall effect

blue velvet sofa and cushions

The perfect combination of rustic wood, a woodland view and a verdant green tufted corner sofa

Light and airy modern room with wood, glass, abstract art and a green velvet sofa

A gentleman’s dressing room is set off by a dark wooden sofa upholstered in a deep luxe grey

A dark wooden dressing room with grey velvet sofa

Effortlessly elegant, this room boasts a blush pink sofa coupled with tufted rug and layered golden frames

tufted rug with layered artwork and a peachy pink velvet sofa

Oh my, black walls, tropical prints and a green velvet sofa that glows like an emerald stone

Black walls and an exotic green sofa

It may be little, but worth including in this velvet collection I think, tufted blue velvet is incased in an angular metal frame

Marbled floor, metal frame and tufted blue velvet upholstery

And finally, a orange-gold velveted chair that would be just like sinking into a sunbeam

Golden orange velvet sofar

Are you sold on velvet? I think I am.

Defining ‘Hygge’

The latest Scandinavian craze to be picked up by the world of interiors is the concept of ‘Hygge’. Hard to define,“HUE-gah” doesn’t quite fit an exact English word translation, but has been likened to graciousness, contentment, good feelings or perhaps a warm glow.

The Danes’ Hygge is thought to be the inspiration for our word ‘hug’, ah. So to bring some of that comfort to our homes – because lets face it January can be bleak – here are some interiors that nail it.

Think über comfy with blankets upon blankets, a crackling fire and sinkable sofas

Fireplace, blankets, and candles interior

Danish happiness also includes hot chocolate, no really

Hot chocolate in rustic blue cups with macaroons and marshmellows

Dogs like hygge too. Hunker down with soft natural textiles

Grey and neutral room with low bed and fire

Bring nature indoors with wooden touches, these birch candles are just perfect

Candles in tree trunks

Conjure that wood cabin feel, chunky pottery and a view that’s pine-filled. Just breath it in

Two cups on a terrace overlooking a forest

Chunky knits just say ‘ahhhh’ to me

White chunky knitted blanket

Hygge can be translated as ‘well-being’, and for me a hot bath with a calming view and flickering candles is well on the way to aiding mine

Greenery and candles in a bathroom with a view

Soft under foot and really warm, think flooring so good you’ll want to snub the chair and curl up right there and then

Sheepskin rug in super soft grey

Finally, its friends, loved ones and those that count. Just add easy comfort food that brings a smile and a warm glow as you share stories the Danish way

Hygge style food wth friends

This is what hygge means to me, hope you enjoyed our cosy round up! Happy weekend.

What Do I Do With All Those Books?

So it isn’t Spring, but I am yearning for a sort out. One thing I have in abundance is books, and so many still unread. Rather than passing some of them on (I do very much believe in sharing what I have) I would like to store them in a better way than they are currently – which is everywhere!

Like many people my house is small, but if you can get creative there really is no end to how you can display these windows to another world. I am a dangerous combination of eclectic and sentimental. I have books where I just like the cover, books that have been recommended, books I read as a child and books that just smell and feel plain great.

I have compiled some rather tempting home libraries that help me feel justified in keeping my growing hord, see what you think…

Lets start with the dream – if you could you know you would, my childhood self would just adore a tree-filled library.

Tree lined dark living room with book shelves

The hidden room – I love the colour of these shelves, the perfect backdrop to all those vibrant spines.

Secret library door in a bookcase

If space is tight then I love the idea of shelves-come seats, and with a view like this I might be torn for where to look, out the window or the pages of my book.

Sea view and a space to read a good book

Over the years I have wondered around many an English country house with libraries worthy of a novel. This room is elegant, well proportioned and the books look old enough to have seen a thing or two.

Traditional sitting room with ancient books

Now this is a room my mum would covet, she is most definitely a colour coordinator. She loves ordering items by colour of the room – yellow for the yellow room etc. These white shelves house a rainbow that is really pleasing to the eye. The furniture is fun too!

Rainbow coloured books in white shelves

I am always wooed by green, and this little reading nook just looks so inviting.

Bookshelves form a little alcove to read in

For some calming white I do like these shelves. It would be guess work what book to pick but I love the varying horizontals of the pages.

The many shades of white - books around a door

Or alternatively, for a little space, these shelves work perfectly tuck away under the stairs. They create a calming piece of personal space.

Bookshelves and seat under the stairs

Granted there are very little books in these shelves but I love the indulgence of the rich dark colours. Painting the inside of your shelves can add another layer to the room. The darkness makes me want to curl up with a book and say goodbye world, just for a little while.

Rich dark interior with fireplace, chair and shelves

Everything is better in the round, ask Shakespeare. Though this wood is a little too orange for me, but painted in a powder blue or and chalky white this space would sing. You can see the craftsmanship and detail, a truly lovely space.

Round room with library and balcony

Such a well balanced space. The orange and blue work so well together, bold but in my book, beautiful.

Blue panneled walls with built in bookshelves