Archives for posts with tag: stairs

Imagine my surprise when I received the following message from my sister Sanna:

"John Lewis copied you!"

“John Lewis copied you!”

Well I wouldn’t go so far as to say copied exactly, but this bright orange runner on white painted stairs bears a strong resemblance to my own stairway and encourages the braver John Lewis customer to splash out on colour. It’s quite heartening to see a trend catching on, when you’ve already run with it.

However cutting edge is as cutting edge does, and whilst I can predict you a fancy notion for your home, I wouldn’t come knocking for media advice. I have, in the manner of a child (or me for that matter) in a sweet shop, recently discovered Pinterest. Such Luddite behaviour is not from lack of information, because I remember Tim showing me something about Pinterest years ago. Hopelessly behind the times, I’m just getting around to it now.

Only yesterday I picked up on this little ensemble, which resonates joyfully with so many of my ideas, but yet takes them somewhere new as well:

Snaffled from Pinterest/ A Punch of Color

Snaffled from Pinterest/ orig. Apartment Therapy

The use of carpet is clearly extreme, but see how they work with the stag’s head, the stripes up the stairs? Most exciting, however, are the flowers which have somehow escaped from their carpet. I think this is so clever. I’d love to know how it’s done.

Anyway, who knows? Some time in the near future, I could start exploring this new phenomenon I’ve heard about called Instagram. It is meant to be good. But I don’t want to hurry things….

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Well, we’ve been en vacances! It was lots of fun: a few days’ city break in Paris, a luxury week in a manoir near Bordeaux, and a stay in a mobile home on a campsite near Rochefort.

I loved the understated glamour of our converted manor house, which was typical structurally of the region’s low, cool, rambling old buildings. The owners had made clever work of their renovation, retaining the character of the place with original beams, walls and flooring, and adding elegant furniture pieces and fittings which were not ostentatious.

Check it out; sartorially speaking, it's ok to leave your footwear lying around if it looks this cute

Check it out; sartorially speaking, it’s ok to leave your footwear lying around if it looks this cute

The stair carpet was in a jazzy check, which looked smart and classy against the rough stone walls.

Another thoughtful juxtaposition of old and new was the way that the doorways and windows were framed. Rather than plaster smooth right up to the edges, the large stone blocks surrounding the windows and doors were often left exposed. The kitchen featured an even more inventive form of this, with the regular tiling being cut at the same angle and curve as the plaster.

Curvy: plaster and tiling take part in synchronised wave

Curvy: plaster and tiling take part in synchronised wave

Nifty, huh?

I wasn’t very excited by the tiling in any of the bathrooms, which all featured bleurghhh shades of murky green or rust, but I did love this feature:

Framed: maybe you could hang a shower curtain from it?

Framed: maybe you could hang a shower curtain from it?

I don’t even know what it’s there for, but it does add to the quirkiness and detract from the ceramic faux pas.

Stone walls make an appearance again

Stone walls make an appearance again

Finally, some additions to our selection of Things to Put on Your Walls, French holiday home style.

Farming yoke hovers above Toulouse-Lautrec pieces

Farming yoke hovers above Toulouse-Lautrec pieces

Yes, there is a little line of keys, just right to adorn a bare beam.

And a bemused Bordeaux fermier is wondering just where he put all his spare clefs....

And a bemused Bordeaux fermier is wondering just where he put all his spare clefs….

I know I promised to tell the tale of my living room curtains, but I do also have the most amazing Paris shop for you to discover as well. So we’ll see where we end up… à bientôt.

 

Beautiful orange squares by Caroline Clark, inspired the theme of our hallway

Beautiful orange squares by Caroline Clark, inspired the theme of our hallway

This painting has lived in the hallways of three very different houses now, but in this our most recent, I think we’ve been able to give it the most appropriate setting.

When we moved to this house, the hallway was green and gloomy.

A peaceful but tired and dark house

A peaceful but tired and dark house

It was so refreshing to get the white paint out and let the light in. The carpet was ripped up, the floors stripped and varnished. We considered a bold striped runner up the stairs, having ogled some striking carpets at Roger Oates http:/www.rogeroates.com/products/runners/ and some fun patterns on rugs from a little Swedish firm I know called Pappelina http://www.lottafromstockholm.co.uk/pappelina-rugs.html. But then — A GREAT FIND! –  on Pinterest and pasted liberally throughout the design blog world:

Design_sponge_rect540

Credit: Dan Duchars/ London

I was inspired! And so the search began for a bright orange carpet… surprisingly hard to source. I thought at first that I might find a magical bargain at “end-of-line” warehouses or even something online. But I was nervous about the quality of the internet offerings, and ends-of-line are usually to be found in the theme of beige: the closest I could get to orange was a drab rust.

Thanks to a local family-run firm with a proper selection of good quality brands, I finally found our runner, and now our hallway is welcoming and cheerful.

A go-faster stripe up the stairs, because everyone likes to race, especially in our house

A go-faster stripe up the stairs, because everyone likes to race, especially in our house

You can probably spy the painting now settled in its new surroundings. We liked the orange line so much that we added one above the dado rail as well.

At home in a bespoke space

At home in a bespoke space

The painting fits right in, and I’m always on the lookout for a few gold accents or chirpy orange pieces. Soon I’ll tell you about our console table and the cute orange vases I found….

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