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Sometimes I like to settle down into a nice little daydream, and if the daydream is going particularly well, then we’ve moved to California (I don’t like being cold in my daydream) and I own a boutique hotel with my husband. My husband is integral to the daydream as I would require him to do all the clever manage-ey managerial stuff, I can’t be bothered with all that, I just want to be able to decorate umpteen rooms exactly how I want! You see, you can get away with so much more drama in a hotel, as guests aren’t going to be living with the decor day in day out, they’re just there fleetingly and actually might enjoy having their senses stimulated by something completely different from what they have at home. Sadly, I’ve never had the budget to stay at an amazingly decorated hotel, but if I did, there is one hotel, and one hotel room in particular, that I would love to call home for a night.

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palm beach credenza

Friday’s post What Is Palm Beach Chic? was a little prelude to today’s article, as I wanted to quickly explain what this style of decorating actually is (just in case you didn’t know) before I launched into a full-blown explanation of how I want our guest bedroom to be all Palm Beach-ified and you’re like, scratching your heads and muttering ‘what the hell’s she going on about’ under your breath. So, now that we’re all on the same page, singing from the same hymn sheet, and any other confusing corporate-ey phrase you want to add in, I can now begin to tell you about my scheme, and hopefully you’ll be able to see where the inspiration has come from.

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southern living

Having shared the beginnings of my interior design schemes for the study-cum-snug and the living room, tomorrow I want to share the ideas I have for the guest bedroom. This is the last room scheme that I’ll share with you for a while, because even though I know how I’d like to decorate the other rooms, I think decorating three rooms is quite enough for now! And you’ve probably had enough of me going on about schemes that I’ve not even started yet. I can’t help it, I get excited. But before I bang on about ‘Palm Beach’ this and ‘Palm Beach’ that, for those of you who haven’t got the foggiest what I’m talking about (and if you don’t, it’s no biggie, it’s a decorating style rarely used in this country), I thought it might be best to explain this colourful decor first, before moving on to how it’s influenced the design of my bedroom.

As an aside: I’m secretly hoping my husband will read this post. We used to identify this room as the ‘garage bedroom’ (it’s above the garage; we’re geniuses, I know), not to be confused with the ‘spare bedroom’, incredibly important when asked by the wife to take something upstairs. But recently I have requested him to call it the ‘Palm Beach bedroom’ and he just keeps exasperatedly exclaiming, “What the bloody hell is a Palm Beach bedroom???”. Read on hubster, read on.

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Having shared with you the beginnings of the scheme for our study-cum-snug, today I’d like to take you through my thoughts for decorating our main living room, where we spend most of our time, watching TV and loafing about. Unlike our study, where there’s a bit of a narrative around the concept, this room’s design is being dictated to purely by what’s already there, essentially a dark, country living room with a log burning stove. It would seem really incongruous to me if I were to start decorating it in a really modern style, or if I were to create a glamorous luxe pad or retro den, as the poor little wood burning stove with his old-fashioned wooden fire surround, would be sat there all on his own without any furniture mates to chat to about country life. I feel it would be much better to stick to the room’s roots, and keep it looking countrified. That way the house is happy; the stove is happy; and once I’ve put my own spin on things to spice it up, I’ll be happy.

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The Chesham Cabinet

Just as in fashion, the interior design world of textiles has a couple of seasons, where the new collections are launched and showed off at various industry events. It’s always very exciting to see the new products and when I had my shop, I was very lucky that the companies’ agents would visit me with all the new swatch books and show me their latest collections. It was one of my favourite parts of my job at the shop, and I would find it very hard not to buy every single book I was showed (yep, the fabric books cost a lot of money folks) as it’s easy to get very carried away and spend too much money.

So it was a good thing that I had my wonderful colleague Luise, who I instructed to play ‘bad cop’ to my over-enthusiastic cop, and discourage me from buying anything unless I absolutely loved it. She was very good in her role, but sometimes a new fabric or wallpaper would come along, which would make me so absolutely giddy with love and excitement that I would actually do my Happy Dance in front of the agent, and start squealing about it being My New Favourite. At that point Luise would know it was a lost cause and that a new book would be coming to live in the library. And the agents were always kind and pretended they didn’t mind the slightly embarrassing Happy Dance.

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A Bloggers’ Evening At HomeSense

Flossie & bowls 1

Ok, so I know I’m meant to be telling you all about another scheme for our house, following Wednesday’s little journey through my plans for the study, but I just wanted to catch you up on a lovely little shopping trip I had this week. I was kindly invited by Anna over at Don’t Cramp My Style, in her new role as ambassador to HomeSense at the Trafford Centre, to a bloggers event held at the store last night. I’ve never been asked to anything like this before, so I was a little trepidatious as to what to expect, but with the promise of not only drinks and nibbles, but a gift card to spend in one of my favourite stores, I just couldn’t resist! And I’m pleased to tell you that despite my nerves (yes, I know it’s silly, but I’m extremely shy around people I don’t know), I can report that nobody ate me, hit me or even hounded me out of the store. Instead I had a lovely couple of hours drinking elderflower juice (I need a chauffeur), meeting some lovely fellow bloggers (I’ll introduce you at the end of the article) and doing what I love the best, and that’s shopping for beautiful stuff for the home.

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study vignette

So, last week I promised to start sharing with you the beginnings of my schemes for our home. I keep ensuring I say the word ‘beginnings’ so as not to get your hopes up, as I literally just have the starting point for some of the rooms. What I’d really love is not only to show you the entire scheme of a room, but also to present it in a really fancy-schmancy digital Photoshop-swizzy moodboard so you can see exactly where I’m going. But alas, I am neither the sort of designer who has the entire room planned out at the start, nor a blogger who can do fancy Photoshop tricks yet. I can barely take a photo with my camera off Auto for Gods sakes, gimme a break. But I will try my best to explain the concept for each room, and explain my train of thought, so you can understand the little design journey I’m going on.

COMPLETE RANDOM ASIDE: are you watching The Great Interior Design Challenge on BBC2??! And if not, why not? You absolutely need to if you want your life to be complete. It’s my favouritist programme ever and I’ve been waiting on tenterhooks all winter for series 3 to start. And it did. On Monday night. For the last two nights I’ve been in heaven for an hour watching novice interior designers battle it out with only a £1000 to completely transform a room. You simply must join in if you haven’t already. Expect to be amused, frustrated, flabbergasted, impressed and completely entertained, while you slowly become addicted to the point where you’re devastated when it’s over. It’s true! Despite how much you shout at the telly.

Anyway, enough of all that. Onto the scheme for our little study-cum-snug front room.

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Not a house we'd normally be attracted to, but a good rental in a lovely location

Not a house we’d normally be attracted to, but a good rental in a lovely location

We’ve been in our rental house for a year now, which means that I have now spent twelve whole months living in my own personal decorating hell: a house of magnolia! I’m surrounded by the colour. Every single room is magnolia. And as if that isn’t bad enough for a colour fiend like me, the entire house is carpeted in beige. I completely understand why my lovely landlady has furnished it this way, to keep things neutral for future tenants, but I just don’t want to live with it myself if possible. Sadly I don’t think we can do anything about the carpet just yet, so I’m going to have to just turn a blind eye. But the walls on the other hand are a different matter, and I think it’s jolly well time I started livening them up with some colour and pattern.

Luckily the Lovely Landlady (her official name) gave us permission to decorate when we first moved in, so it’s just been a case of saving some pennies and waiting for my schemes for each room to come together. It’s these schemes, or the beginnings of them anyway, that I’d like to share with you over the next week or two, so that you can join me in my journey as I slowly decorate this house and put our own stamp on it.

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Suzie Stanford

I’m obviously in craft mode, because pretty soon after I finished gilding my copper candelabra, I decided I’d crack on with my vintage needlepoint kits. I think it’s because I haven’t actually made anything in ages. There was a time when I used to take myself off to college once a week for four years, so I could learn upholstery. And when that didn’t interest me any longer, I went on a course to learn how to make lampshades by hand. So I suppose that making stuff is sort of in my blood; it’s just that after years of being an interior designer, and running my shop and clients’ projects, I’ve lost the knack of making time for being creative in a more hands on way. So I thought it was about time to delve into my dusty old ‘craft drawer’, sift through all my unfinished projects, and root out the vintage needlepoint kits I bought a while back when I was inspired by some funky tapestry chairs I’d seen on Pinterest!

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Christmas copper candelabra

Yesterday, I explained why on earth I came to be covering my candelabra in copper leaf in the first place, and showed you a few inspirational projects, in the hope that you might want to join me in having a go at this easy-peasy craft. And today, if you do want to have a go, I’m going to be guiding you through the four easy steps you need to take in order to achieve this easy upcycle.

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