27 June 2012

One man's junk . . .

This is the chest of drawers in Torin's room.

David's mum gave it to us when she was having a clear out and it's lived in most of the rooms in our house (and in my old room at my parents' room when we simply just didn't have room for it) since then. I was originally going to put it in Astrid's room, as the chest of drawers that I painted to go in Torin's old room was going to move in here with him (I've added a picture of the chest of drawers below as I don't think I've shown it to you before now). 

However, as you can see from the first picture, the space between his bed and the cupboard in this room is quite narrow, and the other piece of furniture just wouldn't fit.

So, Astrid now has the turquoise chest in her bedroom and Torin has this one. I don't know whether to paint it or leave it as it is. I rather like the duffed up nature of the wood, I may change the handles though - what do you think?

Also, the reason I called this post "One man's junk . . ." is because a while ago in LivingEtc, I saw a chest of drawers similar to this one and it was selling for about £650! I thought I'd cut out the picture, but I've searched high and low for it and it seems to have disappeared. If any of you know what I'm talking about, I'd love to know where it was from so I can compare them again.

21 June 2012

Torin's smart new blind.

The new blind for Torin's room arrived a couple of days ago and I put it up straight away - remember I mentioned he was having to make do with a blanket tied on to the window with hair ties?!

I'd ordered a blackout, spring-loaded roller blind from Keeleys Blinds. I'd never used them before, but they were a lot more reasonable than other places and as you'll know by now, we're on a very tight budget!

Anyway, the blind was delivered when they said it was going to be delivered, is very well made and was easy to install. I was also impressed with the company because I ordered the blind on my iPad and then, when I went on our desktop to write about what I'd done, there was a banner (that hadn't appeared on my iPad) on their website giving a further 11% off if you entered a code. I contacted them straightaway telling them that I'd just ordered a blind, had only just seen the offer and could they please please please give me the discount . . . and it was refunded to me the next day!

Torin is really pleased with the new blind - he likes the fact that you pull it to bring it down, and then you pull it to put it up!

As you can see, there is a huge amount of work still to do in this room (I got a bit trigger happy pulling off a tiny bit of wallpaper to see the state of the wall underneath!), but it was so important that Torin moved in here, as Astrid really needed to go into her own room - it seemed like even the turning of a page in a book was waking her up!

The light was so dingy here today as it bucketed down for most of the afternoon - so apologies for the rather drab picture. I realise that you also can't see the colour of the blind - it looks really dark, but it's actually a lovely fresh ivory. I think the blackout feature is going to work really well too - I certainly fell asleep well enough in there earlier while I was settling Torin into bed! Can you see also why I chose a sprung blind rather than a cord-operated one? Torin would have been able to reach the cord wherever we fixed it - I just felt it wasn't worth the potential danger, so although I've seen cheaper blackout cord-operated roller blinds around, I'm really pleased with my choice and feel that Torin is pretty safe in his room on his own.

Actually that leads me to the next "feature" - can you see the rather attractive (temporary!) "locks" I've put on the windows? Yep, they're elastic bands wound around the handles until I manage to find some suitable window locks - those windows open fully! Scary? I know! Anyway, they seem secure enough for now, and there's no way Torin can take the elastic bands off by himself.

Have any of you had the same issues? What solution did you come up with?

19 June 2012

Our pretty blue shed.

We've managed to be quite busy around the house while I've been away from this little blog, so I'll be preparing some posts in the next week or so to show you what we've been up to.

Thanks to my brother, our shed has finally been painted! I decided what colour I wanted to paint the shed a while ago, and finally managed to track it down in Homebase recently. I decided on Coastal Mist by Cuprinol as I thought the pale blue shade would bring some much needed colour into our garden and liven up the drizzly view we have out of our back door for much of the year!

As I said, despite the rainy weather, my lovely brother painted the shed for me while he was staying with us a few weeks ago - he even took Torin out with him so he could "help"! Thanks Ad! Don't they look sweet together!

This is what it looks like now - a little different!

I'm so pleased with it. It's lovely and sunny here today, but even in the rain it really does brighten up the garden.

I decided to paint the hinges white, mainly because I had some paint left over from when we painted the drainpipe on the front of our house (white drainpipes look so much better than faded grey when your house is newly painted white!) and I also thought that black would look too harsh against the blue. What do you think - do you like the white?

I hope it's sunny where you are today!

15 June 2012

Can't stop looking at . . .

Each week, I'll be sharing with you something that has caught my eye. It may be a picture, blog, product or website.

Gosh, it's been a while since I've done one of these posts! Think it's a good one this week though.

In my ongoing attempts to bring some organisation to the chaos of my house, I've been drawn this week to this simple but stunning, beautifully arranged storage in Belinda and Lewis Fulton's dining room.

Image from here.

When not in use, the shelves can be hidden behind cupboard doors, but aren't they tidy! I love the tall rectangular jars in the right hand alcove, and the monochrome colourscheme adds to the orderly feel of the room.

Hope you all have a great weekend, and that you and yours are happy.

14 June 2012

When is a pencil sharpener not a pencil sharpener?

I didn't manage to get the pic of Astrid's curtains today - sorry. I'll really try and take one tomorrow, though it may have Torin's cheesy grin in the middle of it as I don't seem to be able to pick up the camera at the moment without him leaping in front of it! 

So, what was I doing today? We spent most of this afternoon in Chapter Arts Cinema celebrating our friend Mark's birthday, which was lovely. He's just converted his loft space into a spare room / office, so we bought him something to adorn the new desk he'll be putting in there. We have one of these on the desk in our dining room, and I think it's really cool, so we got one for Mark too. The sustainably harvested Rubberwood is lovely and smooth and it's also a great talking point. 

Image from here.

Luckily Mark really liked it.

I remember seeing this desk tidy in Living Etc a while ago, where it was described as a "design classic". We got ours from John Lewis, but it's widely available and is made by Suck UK. I'd never looked at their website until now, but they've got some really quirky products for sale. My favourite item is this ornate cork pinboard:

Image from here.

At £40, you may be better off finding an old picture frame and inserting your own piece of cork into it, but you have to admit, this one is more interesting than your average notice board.

13 June 2012

I hate to block out the sun, but . . .

We finally moved the furniture around in the childrens' rooms this weekend, so Astrid is in her own room at last! She's sleeping pretty well in the cot, but she's definitely a babe who's aware of when it's light - a trip to Dunelm Mill to buy blackout fabric was needed. As it worked out nearly the same price, in the end I actually bought these blackout curtains - they're designed to be slotted onto the same curtain pole as a pair of eyelet curtains, and they actually work really well.

Image from here.

Hopefully I'll post a picture of Astrid's curtains tomorrow - I didn't get a chance to take one earlier and REALLY don't want to disturb her now. I've swapped the blue curtains that were in the room already (because the room belonged to Torin), for one of the pairs of curtains that we had in our room - the plan is that we'll soon be getting blinds in our bedroom.

At the moment poor Torin is making do with a blanket tied over his window as a makeshift curtain. This is actually one of the reasons we hadn't moved the children around sooner - Torin's bed was going to go underneath the window in his new bedroom and hanging over the window (and therefore within his reach) was a rather useless see-through woven roller blind with a long cord attached to it. I really didn't feel comfortable with Torin being able to reach the cord, so was really hesitant to put him in the room until we had something else to put up at the window. 

I initially thought of cutting down the curtains that were in his current room to try and avoid spending more money, but the window is quite wide and short (the recess is 120x88cm) and I thought curtains wouldn't look quite right in the room. I wanted the clean lines of a blind, but without the danger of a long cord, so I investigated spring-loaded roller blinds. After a bit of internet-trawling, I finally settled on a blackout, spring-loaded roller blind from Keeley's Blinds. They seemed pretty reasonable and say they'll deliver my made-to-measure blind within a week. Colourwise, I decided to go for a cream as I still haven't decided on what colour I want to paint Torin's room and so I needed something that would go with any colour scheme and also a colour that he wouldn't outgrow.

Image from here.

What do you think - boring or practical?

11 June 2012

Put a lid on it!

My, it has been a long time since I've been around here hasn't it! Thank you to all of you who have continued to stop by (it's lovely to see my page views top 10000!) even though I haven't given you anything new to read for ages! We've had a lot going on at chez Mellor recently - a mixture of good and bad really, but things are now settling down and so hopefully I'll be able to find my way back to posting regularly again.

Just to keep you in the loop, some happy things that have happened since I posted last are:

  • Torin turned three! (details of his party will be up soon)
  • Astrid is now eating solids, can sit up on her own, and cut her first tooth today!
  • we have a new niece called Harriet and I'm very much looking forward to seeing her tomorrow!
  • my brother did fabulously in his degree - he got a 1st in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath!
It's Astrid eating solids that has lead to this post actually as I bought a very exciting (!) purchase today - a jug with a lid. I don't know about where you are, but here in the UK, the advice is that children under one should drink cooled boiled water in case the water passes through lead pipes. I'm pretty certain I stopped boiling water for Torin way before his first birthday, but I'm still trying to be good for Astrid. This is fine, but it's a real hassle trying to remember to boil the water in time for it to cool down in time for her to drink it with her meals. So, I decided it would be a good idea to get a jug with a lid that I can fill with boiling water in the morning and then give her water from it throughout the day.

Thinking about jugs with lids reminds me of a vivid image from my childhood - one of my parents' friends used to make squash in this tupperware jug and pour it for us straight from the fridge. This was a really novel idea to me as for some reason, we never did it at home. I love the fact that these jugs are now "vintage"! Actually, maybe that just means I'm getting old!

I ended up just getting this cheap purple plastic thing from The Range today. It's not particularly solid, in fact I'm surprised it survived Torin dropping it countless times as he trotted along in front of me as we searched through the shop! It'll do though. The black Soleil tag is actually a removable label.

Image from here.

I've had a little look and I think these are some of the best jugs around at the moment:

I really like the mid-century shape of this green jug from Bodum. It also comes in five other colours.

Image from here.

This sleek design by Georg Jensen is super cool!

Image from here.

I also really like the French simplicity of this fridge jug from The Orchard:

Image from here.

Honestly, one of these days I'll stop buying the first cheap thing I see in favour of one that I actually like and will keep forever!

Which jug do you prefer? Do you have your own favourite that you use for pouring cold summer drinks?
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