25 October 2012

The Vintage Wall

Have any of you seen The Vintage Wall? I stumbled upon it last night while I was searching for part of Astrid's birthday present - I've decided to look for decorative letters spelling out her initials. I don't want to buy the letters from only one place - in my mind different styles would be put together, producing the kind of effect shown by the word Lula here. So, in my search for vintage letters, up popped The Vintage Wall, which proved to be a treasure trove of all things vintage and beautiful.

The website has an interface quite different from others like it. You flick through the website, looking at the different "walls" that are actually pictures of delightfully arranged products showing off the company's wares. If you see something you like in a particular picture, you click on the item and you are taken to a new page where you can read more details about the product. Many of the items I clicked on were unfortunately labelled as "sold", but apparently new stock is added regularly.

Here are some of my favourite "walls".

These old filing cabinets are wonderful. I also really like the combination of the dark blue and the brown chips on the rims of the storage cannisters. 

This picture has just reminded me that David is meant to be tracking down an old printer's tray as a late part of my birthday present! There's something deeply satisfying, I think anyway, about arranging things in little compartments! 

The contrast of the magenta, blue, brown and white makes for a great arrangement in this picture. I think the chemical bottle would make a sweet little bud vase, although you'd better make sure all the ammonium hydroxide had been washed out thoroughly first!

All images from here.

Which is your favourite thing in these pictures?

24 October 2012

An indulgent evening.

Once a week I have the house to myself (after the children are in bed of course), as David goes to our friends' house to play games. Usually I take advantage of having the space to myself sans children and tidy stuff, or at least spend a fair amount of time looking around the ground floor of my house mentally tidying, re-arranging and decorating. Last night I did none of those things as a teething baby and a tetchy (nursery is tiring him out) toddler makes for a tired mummy. So, armed with a bar of Dairy Milk and the remote control, I turned to Channel 4 for an interiors TV fix. I was not disappointed.

At 8pm, and just in the nick of time, I found that George Clarke had a new series called Amazing Spaces where he tours around the country in search of innovative uses of small spaces. 

Image from here.

My favourite build was a conversion of some old underground public toilets in London's Crystal Palace. Architect Laura Jane Clark had picked up the old amenities from the council for a pittance and converted it into a light-filled, tastefully furnished studio apartment complete with guitar den and outside space! 

Image from here.

Image from here.

She had even used the original wall tiles as the splashback in her kitchen! These looked great, but caused George Clarke to nearly throw up at the thought. I assume she'd had the tiles chemically treated and sealed before cooking anything in there! If you're interested, Clark documented the entire project on her blog, Crystal Palace Underground Toilets Renovations.

Image from here.

Other ideas included transforming an old bus into a plush holiday let, and the first step in George's own renovation - re-doing an old 60s static caravan into something an architect would want to be seen relaxing in with his family.

Then at 9pm, I indulged myself even more after seeing an advert for Sarah Beeny's Selling Houses! Good old Channel 4 - it rarely fails me! 

Image from here.

In the second of the series, Beeny took on three vendors who were having trouble selling their properties - one bed flats in Clapham, London on the market between £305k and £350k. Yep, property does seem to be that expensive there! The vendors were allowed to have a snoop around each others flats to see how their own flats shaped up against the competition. Each seller was then given £1000 to make changes to their property in the hope of clinching a sale. Towards the end of the programme, Sarah Beeny showed a prospective around all three properties in the hope that a deal could be done. Simple TV, perfect for someone who enjoys nosing around other people's houses.

By the end of the evening I was super relaxed and took to bed with my iPad to gather inspiration for Astrid's upcoming birthday (I know, I can't believe she's nearly one either). I was soon forced out of my reveries by Torin who was then up for the next few hours with a temperature and then, once finally creeping into bed at 1ish, woken by Astrid at 5.40am who was not at all interested in going back to sleep. Fingers crossed for more sleep tonight!

22 October 2012

Seventies style in Mog the Forgetful Cat.

I'm so lucky that our local library doesn't charge late fees for children's books - I'd be bankrupt! I've just looked, and Torin's latest books were due back two weeks ago! Perhaps if I knew I'd have to pay though, I'd keep on top of it a little more.

One of the books we borrowed this time was "Mog the Forgetful Cat" by Judith Kerr. 

Image from here.

Not only is it an old'un (1975), it's a good'un too. If you don't know it, Mog is a loveable but troublesome pet cat, belonging to the Thomas family. He gets up to all sorts of mischief, but of course the books normally end with him saving the day somehow. 

There is also something wonderfully nostalgic about the books. If you had to guess the date of the books, the names of the Thomas family children may give the era away (Debbie and Nicky (boy)), but so does the furniture and decoration in their house!

The furniture, with its tapered legs and simple lines is reminiscent of Ercol. In fact, just the other day I was looking at a rather lovely Conran table in Marks and Spencer that was very similar to this!

Image from here.

Look, there's even the little three legged stool!

Image from here.

Although I do pay attention to the illustrations in my children's books, noticing how the pictures in this particular book illustrate the time it was published so well, I think I'll be looking at several of Torin's books with fresh eyes to see if I've missed anything elsewhere!

15 October 2012

Clumsiness in the bedroom.

I can't believe a whole month has gone by since my last post. It seems that tiredness, having two children and a slightly more than mild addiction to Fringe has meant that I really haven't found much time to write. I really will try to find more time from now on!

Our bedside table lamp broke yesterday - bits just fell off the mechanism that holds the light bulb in place. Lucky it only cost a few pounds from IKEA quite a few years ago (actually, thinking about it, perhaps that's why it broke)! I've no idea how it got like that, although I suppose it's probably been knocked over at some point. Being just inside our bedroom door and at toddler head height, it is in a somewhat vulnerable position! I can't really blame Torin though - I have to confess that there have been several times when I've had my hair wrapped in a towel and knocked it over while bending down to plug in my hairdryer. I also have to confess that this is how the bottom two butterflies in this arrangement, met their doom (they used to hang above the bedside table. Clumsy me.

We had a spare table lamp just sitting around - it used to be in our living room in our old house and it just hasn't found a natural place in any of the rooms in this house. I rather liked the height of the lampshade we were using in our bedroom, so I put the existing lampshade onto the base of the spare lamp and this is how it looks.

I think I actually prefer the new look - I like the mid-century shape.

I really will try to get back here before the week is out!
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