Christmas copper candelabra

I’d like to share with you today a little project I did over the Christmas holidays, my Christmas copper candelabra (I love a bit of an alliteration I do). It came about because I organised a dinner party in December for some friends, and then invited some family for Christmas dinner. After being rather rash with my invitations, I then went into a bit of a mild panic as I realised that I was completely ill equipped to entertain people in my home. Unless I expected them to eat food off their lap, or drink straight from the wine bottle (they can do that later on), my chipped plates and clouded up glasses needed replacing. So I went on a bit of mad-dash shopping spree and bought everything I needed to serve food and drink. And much to my husband’s confusion, some other stuff to make the table look pretty…oh, don’t look at me like that, it was Christmas!

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Flossie modelling her festive Christmas scarf

Flossie modelling her festive Christmas scarf

I don’t think this is the sort of thing that people mean when they say make your blog title catchy, and I’m pretty sure Google’s mighty SEO thingy-me-jiggy will just swat this aside like an irritating fly, so I’m already ignoring all the lovely blogging advice I’ve been reading recently, but I didn’t really know what else to call this little article. Because it’s not really an article as such. I just didn’t want to enter the second week of January without me saying hi, and wishing you all a very Happy New Year. I mean, for someone whose New Year’s resolution is to really carve out some time for blogging this year, then it’s quite frankly embarrassing that I’m not actually posting until the 11th January! I’d understand if you can’t quite look at me for a moment or two.

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graduate collection

With today being Hallowe’en and the dark nights drawing in, I thought it would be the perfect time for me to celebrate my love for darkly decorated rooms, by sharing my favourite inky coloured wallpapers with you. A lot of people veer away from decorating with darker colours, fearing that it will close the room in too much, or it will appear dull and dingy. But I actually love the drama that it creates, and with the right lighting, it can make a room feel incredibly comfortable and cosy, and create a space where you’re happy to light a fire, draw your legs up onto the sofa and seclude yourself away from a cold, winter’s night. Choosing a gorgeously rich paint colour is often enough, but why stop there, when you can choose from so many beautifully patterned wallpapers (asks the maximalist)? There are so many fabulous papers I could show you, but I’ve tried to narrow it down to a select ‘few’ favourites.

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dressing room

I’m continuing my house tour of the flat we lived in above the shop, with a little look at the tiny box room that became my dressing room. By now, if you’ve read the articles on my other rooms, you’ll realise that I don’t always alight on the most normal of briefs for decorating a room: the bedroom was to be a midnight garden full of animals, my kitchen a tropical shack; and it’s no different with my dressing room. I wanted it to be all French and boudoir-ey (real word), but with a bit of an edge, a punked up version, with nothing too grown up and serious. And here is how I did it, in 9 easy-ish steps:

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Tilly at door

To any of you who have been kind enough to show an interest in this new blog of mine and follow my posts, I would like to apologise for not really posting anything for the last month or so, and for going a bit AWOL. Six weeks ago our beautiful dog Tilly was diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer when she broke her leg running. We were advised that with an amputation and chemotherapy, we could potentially give her a good quality of life for a further 6-18 months, but to err on the side of caution and to expect the 6 rather than the 18 months. Sadly, our beautiful brave girl didn’t even make that. A week and a half ago, Tilly lost her battle and we lost the most beautifully natured, loving dog you could know. Since the diagnosis, I have been unable to concentrate on writing, I just wanted to spend every spare moment I had cuddling her and caring for her during her amputation and recovery. And since losing her, I have not been in any frame of mind to really attend to this blog like I should. And I am really sorry about that. I will endeavour to rectify that over the next couple of weeks, I still have so much design stuff to share with you, and one day, when I’m ready, I’ll tell you all about Tilly and how amazing she was. You’ll fall in love with her like we did, and everyone who met her did.

Rest in peace our beautiful girl, you will be in our hearts forever xx


…all packed into one blog post!


I’m so excited to announce that I’ve been nominated for the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015 #IBA15, as Best Newcomer, and I still can’t quite believe that my new little blog has received an actual real-life, genuine nomination to these amazing awards (no husbands or mothers were involved, I promise!). But I now need your help, because to be short-listed to the final top five, I need votes, and lots of them, so if you like my blog and have enjoyed what I’ve shared so far, I ask you, I beg you, I shamelessly plead with you to PLEASE PLEASE vote for me. It literally takes up 60 seconds of your day, and it would mean such a lot to me if you were able to take the time out to do this. What’s more, if you vote, you are automatically entered into a competition to win a trip for two to the beautiful Amalfi coast, so not only would you be helping me, but you’d also have the chance to win a free holiday to Italy! How good is that?

To vote, please click HERE or click on the little badge on my home page sidebar. It only takes a jiffy.

To read more about Amara, their Interior Blog Awards, the trip to Italy, the amazing venue of the awards, and Amara’s luxury online magazine The Amara LuxPad (including their feature article on my Knutsford Apartment), click below:

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Parrots & Palm Trees – My Tropical Home (Part 2)

Main living room photo

Welcome back to my little tour of the open-plan kitchen and living areas of the flat that we used to live in, the one above my shop in Knutsford that we moved out of in January this year. Having already shared my Enchanted Garden bedroom from the flat, and shown you how I created my bathroom on a budget in Part 1 & Part 2, last week I concentrated on the main part of the flat where we spent most of our time; two open plan rooms that provided us with a T.V. living room, a kitchen and dining area, and an extra seating area for relaxing and socialising. I explained a little bit about how I wanted to treat each room with vastly contrasting colours but maintain a cohesive style of decorating, and went on to describe the decorating stages and decisions that went into creating the light, bright and airy kitchen/dining/socialising space. This week I’m going to show you how I went about decorating the smaller, dark, cosy living room where my husband and I, and the animals, would snuggle up in every evening to watch TV.

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Parrots & Palm Trees – My Tropical Home ( Part 1 )

kitchen living area

As I’ve already mentioned, now that I’m living in a rental that’s entirely magnolia, I often find myself wistfully thinking about the flat we lived in above the shop in Knutsford, whose beautifully colourful surroundings we had to leave in January for pastures new; more specifically, magnolia pastures new. I’ve already shared with you my Enchanted Garden bedroom, and shown you how I created my bathroom on a budget in Part 1 & Part 2, so I thought today’s grand tour could be of our open-plan kitchen and living areas.

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Aunty Mabel’s Seat

French armchair covered in fabrics from Andrew Martin. Sitting in front of a curtain made with Mulberry's flying ducks

French armchair covered in fabrics from Andrew Martin. Sitting in front of a curtain made with Mulberry’s flying ducks

If you’ve read some of my earlier blogs, you might have noticed me referring to my ‘shop’; and I got to thinking that I might have mentioned it so many times now, that it probably deserves it’s own little post, so that you can all stop wondering what the hell I’m going on about. You see, up until the beginning of this year, I had a lovely little shop in Knutsford called Aunty Mabel’s Seat. Back in January 2010, with heady excitement, I signed on the dotted line of a commercial retail lease and began a very exhilarating, and sometimes scary, five year journey realising my dream of having my very own interior design shop. The next few months were spent completely renovating the property from its days as a hair-dressing salon, getting all my interior displays designed and made up, and finalising the branding. By the time we opened the doors to our oodles of new customers (these were mainly friends bribed by wine) in April, I was both exhausted and completely giddy! The shop I’d dreamed of for so long was finally open.

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San Francisco – The Rainbow City

San Francisco purple, pink, aqua and lime houseIt’s become a bit of a tradition for me to announce, at the end of every holiday, that I want to live wherever I happen to be at that particular time. These grand announcements tend to only take place in lovely hot places by the sea, you certainly wouldn’t find me making such a bold statement if I was visiting anywhere north of Watford. I’m nesh you see (nesh is a lovely northern word meaning unusually susceptible to cold weather, just in case you didn’t know) and I spend most of my time in England trying to get warm.

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