I attended Nancy Straughan’s interior styling workshop recently which was so good for many reasons – the chance to learn from one of the best, meet like-minded creatives and indulge that side of me that I never really gave too much serious thought and consideration to until fairly recently. I would never have previously described myself as creative – I assumed because I’m not very artistic that the label creative didn’t apply to me. But one thing I’ve learnt over the past couple of years is how much I love to create – whether that’s baking cakes, making cushions or my favourite….planning interiors. So I guess you could say that I do have a creative side to me.
We are living in a house which I think is best described as a project – Johnny says I fail to see the good bits and just focus on the bad. I know how it will be when it’s finished but at present, he’s right – all I see are artex ceilings (so oppressive in a cottage-style house – i.e. low ceilings), murky wall colours and a nice influx of woodlice round about now. This place needs work! I am nothing if not impatient and I am already getting itchy feet at having to wait until the end of the year to start the work. This has led to me feeling creatively quite frustrated and I am actually now thinking of studying for an interior design qualification to give me that outlet and some formal theory behind something I really enjoy.
So I thought I’d write a post to share some of the inspiration that is informing my thinking for our house. I have definitely been influenced by my surroundings and elements of coastal and country are coming through. But overall, I would describe my vision for this place as a mix of Scandinavian, coastal and modern rustic. Whites, greys and some bolder dark hues have been a consistent in the colours that come through – I do like a bit of colour but something that lifts a neutral background and is muted enough to still be calming (I find too much colour ‘noisy’). Natural textures and materials also feature heavily – pale wood, marble, horizontal and vertical panelling, jute rugs, linen, leather, rattan…. I don’t like things to be too polished but equally, I like a bit of order for things to feel calm. Lighting is so important to me and I have an aversion to bright overhead ceiling lights (more noise!) so we’re planning to take out most of the (low) ceiling lights – and replace them with table and wall lights.
Before we owned the house, it was a bit of an unloved second home – and before that, a B&B. It feels like it has many stories to tell and it has layers of other people’s lives here. I think that is driving me to go pale and light and airy – almost starting afresh, making it ours. I feel that the house needs harmony and balance breathed in to it. Anyway, here are some of my favourite images gracing my Pinterest board at the moment….
1. I loooove this. I really like the dark shelves which makes everything on them ‘pop’ but the contrast with the rest of the pale elements in this room creates real calm for me. Image credit: justagirlblog.com
2. The simplicity of this space speaks to me a lot! I like the pale woods, some stripes (who doesn’t love a stripe?) and the open fire is so restful. I am dreaming of tea and cake around the fire! Image credit: welke.nl
3. The stripped wooden floor is beautiful – as well as one of my favourites, wishbone chairs! The greenery with the wood and a white backdrop are such a stunning combination. I definitely want elements of green in our new home – probably more so in the way of plants and foliage. Image credit: diningroomlighting.eu
4. Shiplap – or horizontal tongue and groove to me! – is so coastal and just feels at home with pale wall colours. I like it because it adds interest and warmth whilst being neutral and easy to work with. I have always lusted after a glass-fronted cabinet like this so hoping to find room (and budget!) for one somewhere 😊 Image credit: Home Bunch and @camitiffin
5. Although I love a Shaker kitchen, I also like the juxtaposition here of a traditional Aga (which many of you will know is on my lust-list!) with a handless cabinet style. We’re still not sure which way we’re going to go but I like that this shows you either would work. Also love the natural texture of the exposed brick, the pale parquet flooring and the openness from lack of wall units. Image credit: Blakes London
6. This marble is to die for! And the tap is the most perfect pale gold (so many are too yellowy / harsh in my humble opinion!) I love marble so much and we have it in our kitchen at the moment (the only part of our house which had been renovated by the previous owners) – but it’s high maintenance. We have ruined ours with lemon juice spraying on to the surface and not realising until it shows up as an etched imperfection on the stone. So for that reason, we won’t be having it for our new kitchen surfaces but we would like to use it somewhere in the house. Hopefully we’ll re-use the kitchen worktops maybe for a bathroom sink top? Image credit: Rue Magazine
7. I still love a patterned tile! And this space with its dark cabinetry and glazed back door is what I have in mind for our utility room. At the moment it is an add-on at the back of the house which can only be described as a upvc monstrosity with obscure glazing all the way round (not sure why). It also smells very damp and our washing powder forms in to clumps in a couple of days – it needs sorting! Image credit: Rock My Style and @rmv_loves
8. Last but not least, one of my favourite dark hues – Mole’s Breath by Farrow and Ball. We also had this in our bedroom in our last house and we found it so cocooning, calming and restful. Our bedroom now faces South so I’m not sure if it will give us the same velvety grey – I’m a bit worried it will look too brown. But either way, we hope to use the colour again somewhere in this house. And this shows how you can introduce colour so beautifully to a neutral scheme – I just love the muted pinks in the throw here. Gorgeous! Image credit: Aerende and Anna and Tam
There you go – a little insight in to my thoughts for the interior of this place. Let me know what you think!