8 May 2013

It's Orla tidied up.

I managed to snatch a few minutes the other day to peruse around John Lewis. I was very excited to see the new raised stem collection from Orla Kiely. I loved these cake tins - absolutely made me wish I a) was the type of woman who baked frequently, and b) had more room in my kitchen to display them (I could therefore store items other than cake in them!). Sadly, neither is the truth, so I will have to just stroke them like a loon (they're very tactile!) every time I see them.

I also really liked the raised stem storage canisters. Didn't I get a set of Orla Kiely storage canisters for Christmas? Yes, I did - and I'm putting them to great use. However, these are quite special and as usual, I love the colours, so I may have to sneak some into my house somehow. I'm currently trying to think of what I could store in the grey one in my bathroom.

Image from here.

7 May 2013

A quick fix in the kitchen.

When we moved in to our house nearly six years ago, certain aspects like the kitchen and the bathroom weren't quite to our taste, but were too new to change. Fine - it meant that we moved in to a house with a modern kitchen and bathroom. However, our house was clearly modernised for sale, and modernised by a bit of a bodger.

For example, the kitchen cupboards were left incomplete - there were no end boards. Around the extractor hood looked like this:

The missing panels made what was already a budget kitchen, look even cheaper. Annoyingly, there wasn't enough room between the extractor and the cupboards to even fit on any end boards. I had to come up with another solution.

The answer came with sticky backed plastic! I found a roll of wood effect lino, cut it to size, and stuck it on.

After about an hour, after a lot of fiddling and huffing, my cupboards looked like this. Tons better don't you think? The lino helps to create the illusion that the cupboards are actually made of solid wood!

A quick fix that has made quite an impact, and all for about £6!

8 April 2013

A little piece of Velcovsky in my bathroom.

So you know the old story - grandmother dies, and the old picture she had hanging over her dingy gas fire turns out to be an original Monet. Well something, admittedly not quite so dramatic as that, has happened in my house recently!

I've been making my way through Veronika's archives over at A Few Things From My Life (which I highly recommend by the way), and I learned from this post, that I've been using a piece of classic Czech design to house our toothbrushes!

This quirky porcelain cup was given to us several years ago by my uncle and his Czech wife (who live near Prague). At the time, I thought it was quite cool - the attention to detail is pretty impressive - it really is a good replica of a polystyrene cup. However, not realising its true status, it sat on our desk, occasionally containing the odd biro. When Torin accidentally broke the white ceramic cup that should sit in the chrome holder above (I think he knocked it out while swinging his toothbrush around his head (!)), I realised that porcelain cup sitting on our desk would be a great replacement.

Thanks to Veronika's post, I learned that the "Pure cup" as it's known, was designed by renowned Czech designer Maxim Velcovsky, who is known for his porcelain work, and also for redesigning the interiors of public buildings.

I have to admit that before I read Veronika's post, the barcode was turned around to face the wall so the cup was white against the pale walls of our bathroom. Now I know where it has come from, the barcode faces forward as it should, and funnily, suddenly I don't mind it so much!

13 March 2013

Printer's tray on the landing.

On Sunday I grabbed a few minutes to hang up my new printer's tray. The very kind gift from David's father and stepmother, has been propped up against the wall for a while now, even though I've known where it was going to live since it entered my house! It's hanging on the wall at the top of our stairs, right outside Torin's bedroom.

So far I've only added a few little items to it, but I'm looking forward to adding more as time goes by.

On there at the moment is:

The name tag that I made for our room when we got married (I made one for every room in the house that we hired). I was so pleased with them when I made them nearly six years ago, and still am really (though I really wish now that I had used a type writer or stamp to write the names).

One of the snowflakes I used as a decoration for Astrid's birthday party (I know, I'm so rubbish - I still haven't posted all of the pictures from that!).

My plan for the hallway and landing is to re-paint the walls in a darker shade - probably something like this and then I'm going to hang wallpaper on the wall behind the tray (I want to use some up that we bought yonks ago to go on the chimney breast in the living room). I think I'll probably eventually paint the tray - probably in a neutral colour like this. I think it will make the objects on it stand out, and make the whole area feel more streamlined.

In other printer's tray news . . . have you seen this project from Vintage Sheet Adict? I think it looks great. I'd certainly attempt it myself if I hadn't already decided to hang wallpaper up behind mine.

Image from here.

6 March 2013

An IKEA induced nostalgia.

I popped to IKEA with the children yesterday. I was in search of a picture frame, but I also thought the small adventure playground that they have outside our local branch would absorb some of Torin's excess energy! 

It was a successful trip - I picked up an ÖDBY frame for the wonderful Eloise Renouf print my brother gave me for my birthday back in the summer (I know, things move slowly around here!). I'm really pleased with it actually - I'll post some pictures when it eventually makes it onto the wall above our bed!

While I was in the frame section, my eye was drawn to the NORRLIDA frame. I'm not sure if it is a new product, but I hadn't seen it before. The display model contained a fabric collage showing two owls and some bunting - I thought this was quite creative for IKEA and it set my mind wondering about what use I could find for one. Described as "the perfect frame to make collages with your pictures and other keepsakes", it reminded me so much of the frames my great-grandmother used to frame her wonderful cross-stitch creations. I can clearly picture a white frame, with a cross-stitch design inside it depicting rolling green hills and fields of lilac heather. I think it's hanging on the wall in my grandmother's cottage now, so I'll try and grab a picture of it next time we're back in Kent and share it with you.

I was quite drawn to the unusual shape of the frame - if I can think of a good project involving one, I'll get it and share my thoughts with you. In the meantime, here are some pictures of how others have put their NORRLIDA frames to good use:

Image from here.

Image from here.
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