Tiddler and Fox News
I'm currently house-hunting and have already seen about 15 houses, none of which have made me feel at home - yet!
It's always the same, you know as soon as you walk through the front door that you've found the one.
But I'm happy to keep looking and of course, I'm happily thinking about all the decorating I'll be doing and new furniture I'm hoping to find. It will all come from a flea market or auction of course!
I don't think I will be able to find the stunning character cottage that I'm looking for just yet - budget won't stretch to that for now but I'm hoping to find a house that still has a soul and that will look ok full of rustic pieces and all the second hand and vintage stuff that I'm amassing.
And I'm hoping for a kitchen that will allow me to go the whole hog in terms of cottage/rustic style. I currently rent so my interior design aspirations have been somewhat curtailed for the past few years but watch out new house wherever you are, you will be getting the full treatment!
Over the past few years I've completely fallen in love with rustic and vintage style and the kitchen will likely be the first area to be changed. Naturally I've been filling my Pinterest account with kitchen ideas first and finding other images of things I love, like this dresser.
Not just the colour (which is stunning isn't it?!) but the idea of the open shelving to display china and vintage pieces and the traditional cottage look too. I know I'd be happy with something like this in my home.
I love open shelving, the idea of being able to see easily where everything is and not having to delve into cupboards all the time.
My current kitchen is a bit cramped in terms of storage so I'm looking forward to having something like this:
Plus all that lovely vintage ironstone too of course....
I've got my eye on a large cupboard I've spotted (I'm not telling where!) but it would give me the option to do something like this:
Which is just stunning, plus it's practical, plus it would make me super organised. For once.
I'm feeling drawn to a romantic looking kitchen if I can get it but as I said, that may have to wait for a while but something like this would make me very happy!
Not sure I can afford the French Chateau just yet but I can dream.
A more achievable aim would be a cosy corner for dining, something along the lines of this pretty kitchen diner:
Good lighting, comfy seating, a great practical eating area, what do you think?
Next up, the living room!
Tell me what you think of these ideas and how you've achieved the vintage look in your own kitchen.
Until next time x
When you are looking to buy vintage pieces, you can't beat a good auction or car boot sale for a good place to find unusual and unique vintage treasures, especially if you go regularly and find good sellers that are there very week. But what about online?
Ebay and Etsy are undoubtably two of the best places to find some awesome treasures, and you can find some amazing pieces at very good prices - although prices have been creeping up over the past few years as vintage grows ever more popular.
But what about when you are just looking for interiors inspiration or a gift idea for a friend who loves a bit of kitsch. Well, Pinterest wins hand down for pretty much everything in my opinion but I've also found some great resources online for up cycling and vintage inspiration lately:
Its an American site but its a treasure trove of ideas, How-To's, ideas, videos, TV episodes....etc etc etc! Brilliant resource for ideas on upcycling, gardening, decorating and so on plus they show you how. For example turning a plant pot into a lamp or make throw cushions, its all here.
I discovered Pippa's site recently and love not only the site itself but how much information and industry tips she shares - well worth a look and an interesting read. I loved her recent styling for Country Homes & Interiors magazine.
How could I not mention Period Living!? Lots of advice, projects, ideas and design, plus buyers guides and lots of lovely images to help inspire you.
Again, great resource for design and styling, it may be an American site but I do like its approach to all the good things in life, lets face it recipes and homes, brilliant!
I've had the Houzz app on my phone for about 18 months and find its an absolute treasure trove of all things interiors. More angled towards modern rather than vintage but still plenty of period properties and articles here plus its pretty much property porn if nothing else! Great for renovations and finding a local professional too.
Another recent discovery, this site gives you all the info on National Trust properties and all their treasures. The National Trust Treasure Hunt is a fantastic read, all about the wonderful objects, how they are preserved and all the preservation work that goes on, a really good behind-the-scenes and history lesson.
Prepare to loose hours on this fantastic website, a really inspiring place to be, plus fab images, stat.
Still a great place to find bargains, whatever style furniture or homewares you are after and its great that you will be buying from someone local too.
Yes, you can shop at Oxfam online! They have a great Vintage section and although prices are no longer super cheap, you can still find a bargain plus some unusual items too, good fun to browse and if you buy, you are of course supporting a great cause.
This fab vintage gifts emporium makes me slightly jealous and is a good place to find vintage gifts at great prices...!
The internet is so huge that I have no doubt missed some favourites for some people, let me know in the comments of any great sites I should know about - in the meantime, happy reading!
Until next time x
I recently did a presentation to ladies of a lovely networking group that I belong to about interiors trends for 2017 and how they can be used within our respective businesses, how we can tap into them for marketing purposes and so on. And I thought that I could bring some of that information to you, albeit, this time, how you can take those trends and apply them to your interior decorating.
For lovers of vintage and handmade, we can still tap into trends each year without sacrificing our love of second hand and traditional, just by taking some popular colours and finding those unique vintage finds in those colours for example.
So what can we expect this year? Well the colour of the moment is pink - Spring is a time for freshness and brightness and this season pink has taken centre stage. You can use this in soft furnishings without having the commitment to a colour that may well not be your choice in a couple of months time. The following image from Mad About The House shows how you could bring a subtle shade of pink into your home without it looking too girly or sugary.
You may be aware of the colour guru Pantone and the fact that they set a colour for each year and for 2017 their choice is 'Greenery'; a bright, fresh green that can just as easily be brought into your interior schemes by adding plants as much as by adding a paint colour. Botanicals are also huge this year and I've just taken that to mean that we all just love plants and want more of them in our homes!
For summer, colours such as yellow, aqua and teal will take centre stage - great for clothes, we all love a bit of bright dressing when the sun is out or we are on our summer holiday.
This image from Dear Designer blog may not be to everyones taste but does show how you can bring these colours together for a cohesive look in your home.
Once we get into autumn and winter this will change to the usual sort of hues of plum and orange, deep greens and blues and other natural colours. Perfect for making your home feel cosy and warm. This image from Sainsbury's Home gives a good idea of how you could use these hues for impact. Just add a roaring log fire and candles - very hygge!
Overall, for 2017, gold, green and blue will be everywhere in interiors.
In terms of themes for this year, there are a few worth mentioning. First the 'Boutique Hotel' look, essentially lots of lovely velvet, shiny surfaces, mirrors and gold, such as this image by homedecorideas.eu.
Next, 'Nomadic' which is east meets west and pretty much anything goes, a great eclectic look that means you can mix old and new with ease. If you don't want to change too much, just add a few throws and cushions and you're done! Theculturetrip.com shows this well I think with the wall hangings and soft furnishings especially.
'Unfinished Industrial' is a more modern look this year which favours concrete as a material for furniture. Perhaps just concrete plant pots either side of the front door would fit the bill nicely without sacrificing comfort!?
And lastly, 'Rustic Charm' which is lots of wood and botanicals. Great for me, I've got plenty of wood and lots of plants! Sorted. I liked this image by the urbanite.com showing a fabulous piece of furniture, great for storage but simple and rustic too.
For plenty of inspiration, I've put together an Interiors Trends 2017 board in Pinterest (here) to give you plenty of ideas of how to bring these ideas to life. I could search Pinterest for hours looking for ideas on interiors (and I do!) as its great for inspiring you to think slightly differently about how you can take up to date colours and ideas and use them within your own home scheme without having to do a complete makeover. I hope you find some inspiration here!
Until next time x
I thought I would share a few simple tips to make sure your furniture painting project is as good as possible first time. I've had a bit of trial and error over the past couple of years that I've been painting furniture and each one was a chance to learn how to get the best distressing results depending on the finish I was after, so here goes:
1. Always clean the piece before you start. I use sugar soap for this, applied neat on a sponge and then I wipe down the piece of furniture throughly to remove all the grease, dirt and dust that gathers on vintage furniture - you'll be amazed at what comes off! This gives the best surface for paint to adhere to ensuring you get a good finish when painted.
2. Use good quality brushes. I invested quite a bit in the best brushes you can buy for applying chalk paint and it paid off. I get a good finish first time and it makes the painting process quicker and easier and therefore much more fun!
3. Let paint dry in room temperature. This way it won't dry too quickly or too slowly and the finish will be much more even.
4. Depending on the type of distressed look you are after, there are various 'tools' you can use:
Sandpaper block - easier to handle than a sheet of sandpaper, this is a good way to take off large areas of paint on say, edges, excellent for achieving that shabby chic look.
Wire wool - excellent for achieving a subtle and very naturally 'aged' look on furniture or as its also known, that chippy look.
A wire brush - I read about this somewhere recently (sorry, I can't remember where!) but thought it a brilliant idea for achieving a naturally aged look too.
A wet rag - I use this technique to take off chalk paint on ornate picture frames, such as the two shown below, or anywhere where you want to expose large areas of colour underneath. Don't wait for paint to dry for too long, it's best to use this technique when paint is only just dry, otherwise it's much harder to remove.
As with all these, start with gentle pressure and built up areas of distressing to achieve the look you are after. Taken off too much? Just re-paint and start again.
5. Finish your piece with a coat of wax. Depending on the finish you are after, use clear wax to bring out the colour of the exposed wood or base colour or coloured wax to really bring out the details on a piece.
I hope these tips are useful, let me know if you can add any more to my list in the comments!
Until next time x
10 Best Paint Colours for Painted Furniture
I know what colours I love when it comes to painting a piece of furniture, usually it's a neutral of some sort but I have experimented in the past with all sorts of colours, plus I've done commissions for others that have been brighter in hue that I would normally opt for! Yes I'm talking about you, grey and orange table for my nephews Star Wars themed play room!
As I mentioned in my last blog post (Why I love painted furniture - and you should too! - read that here) I find that furniture 'speaks' to me about what colours or finishes to use, but am I alone in this? I find it fascinating what colours do get used and the bravery of some up-cyclers when I'm immersed in Pinterest looking for inspiration.
So, I thought it would be fun to do a round up of what I think are the 10 best colours for painted furniture.
1. White. Well, I would say this, as most of my pieces are in shades of white, but lets face it, white and all it's variations just goes with EVERYTHING! You can't go wrong and it never dates or goes out of fashion.
2. Cream. Ditto to the above, cream is a classic shade to paint a piece of vintage furniture as the shapes just seem to lend themselves to this warmer tone.
3. Taupe. Ok, this is a generic term for pretty much any colour that you can't really describe! Greige, mushroom, French linen, cotton, white pepper, buff, beige, I could go on but you get the idea. Goes with all interior styles not just retro or vintage.
4. Grey. Anyone who knows me is well aware that I LOVE grey. Clothes, paint colours, soft furnishings etc, I'm happy with grey. Again, its a timeless colour and fits in well with most interior schemes, be it contemporary or vintage.
5. Black. I've found that my version of black (Autentico Nearly Black) has been very popular and with a few embellishments, it proves itself time and again, to be a very versatile colour. Again, it can fit beautifully into a modern scheme or look just as at home in a traditional room, with a hint of the oriental about it.
6. Blue. I love the darker shades of blue as well as the paler ones. The darker the colour, the more dramatic the piece of furniture can look, and with the right waxes and finishes, a simple piece can be transformed into something quite spectacular, such as this fab chest of drawers by The Olde French Door.
7. Teal. Again, I've painted a few pieces in my own mix of teal and it definitely had its moment. A lovely shade for bedrooms and bathrooms and for spring and summer decorating. I love this chest of drawers by Obee Designs.
8. Red. Has to be my second favourite colour (all my kitchen accessories are red, there is red in the bathroom.....) and just like dark blue paint colours, red can be a dramatic accent colour or used to make a piece really make a statement. Great use of a dark red by The Splattered Smock on this lovely dresser.
9. Green. Soooo many shades of green to choose from! Dark = dramatic, pale = soft and multifunction, emerald = fun. Depending on what shade of green you choose, a piece of furniture painted like this will certainly be memorable, like this soft green dresser by orphanswithmakeup.com.
10. Pink. Classic for girls bedrooms, feminine room schemes, excellent for lovers of shabby chic style bedrooms and bathrooms and popular for country cottage style too. Again, a myriad of shades to choose from. Go for dramatic dark pinks to make a statement or soft and almost neutral pale pinks to fit in anywhere, this is a fun and popular shade to go for.
So I hope that has given you some inspiration to try something that you normally wouldn't have thought about, I know that I'm now eyeing up a few pieces with different ideas!
What's your favourite paint choice? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time x
Ten years ago, if anyone had told me that I would be trying to make a living from hand painted furniture, vintage style homewares and brocante objects, I definitely would have looked at them as if they were insane. But life changes, stuff happens, people leave, cats arrive and you fall out of love with your traditional career. And then your hobby becomes your career and life changes again and you find yourself converting your bedroom into an office come store-room, come space for creating and painting.
I have the best view from my desk, sheep in a paddock with the hills in the distance and Somerset has to be one of the best places to live and at last I'm settled and at home and with my love of vintage furniture, hand painted of course, I know where I am and where I'm going.
Not that a love of vintage and hand painted furniture is a new thing but its certainly increasingly popular and every time I go to a flea market or brocante, the crowds get ever bigger and the markets more exciting with more and more unusual and unique finds.
And that, for me is the pull. Each piece of vintage furniture or home accessory that I paint is unique, you won't find anything else like it, anywhere. It also feeds my desire to be greener and more eco friendly, by re-using and repurposing. In the past I was just as guilty as the next person in that I've been too quick to throw stuff out that still had plenty of life in it and just needed an update or should have been donated to charity or sold at a car boot and found a new home. Years later, I'm now at ninja-level charity donating and car booting!
Once I've found a piece of furniture, I usually find that each one will 'talk' to me about how to upcycle it, what paint colours to use - or even to leave it as it is. The piece dictates the colours and finish and will therefore be unlike anything I will have done before - or that anyone else has done. Which I love; there are so many options to choose from depending on what you like.
I don't necessarily go with interiors trends (but sometimes I do take a little inspiration!) but neutral colours such as cream, grey, black, taupe and white all fit into pretty much any room scheme, be it contemporary or shabby chic and will never go out of style.
Each piece will have its own character and history too and then as an owner of vintage furniture you become part of its history. If you paint or up-cycle it, it gives it even more personality and it becomes something new all over again, fitting into any room with ease as you have given it a new lease of life.
Whether its rustic style, a glossy finish, country cottage, or a bright colour you paint your furniture, you can make it anything you want it to be. What's not to love?!