DIY, Interior Style

Bedknobs and all the rest

This bedroom has a quirky layout with views of the sea in the distance.

The ‘before’ photo below was taken in the summer time but it gives an idea of the basic space.

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A salvaged bed which fits in the alcove perfectly but is brown and very varnished to start with.

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The bed is taken apart degreased and sanded. Also the legs are heightened by 17inches – this provides extra storage beneath and better views of the sea.

We painted it in French grey mid by Little Greene, this paint is so fab, chalky but resilient. I couldn’t resist copper waxing the wooden bed knobs!

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End result…

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a shelf made from driftwood provide a practical place on high for a reading lamp, books etc.

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a Pamela Leonard etching provides another picture window – a view you can get lost in.

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the dressing room area has a make shift dressing table – that was one of my granny’s hall tables in a former life, the mirror we picked up in a second hand shop. The chair was fished out of a skip by my sister!

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the chalkiness of the gorgeous little greene paint that has transformed the secondhand bed.

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The dark paint in the alcove provides a snug, atmospheric area to drift to sleep.

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While the rest of the room is calm and tranquil – full of little details to catch the eye.

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Antiques & Antiquing, DIY, Inspiration, Interior Style

I heart copper

As an etcher, copper is very important to me as an essential core material – the plates I draw on with a needle are made from copper.

Imageimage: niamh mac gowan

but also at the moment for me I am really enjoying using copper in my interiors. I adore metallics  – not too shiny now – chrome to me is cold and clinical but rustic metals, mercuried silvers and distressed golds are great. I think their textures are very important as a layer in an interiors. Copper is so warm and I just love it with tweeds, linens and wools  – fabrics I often use.

Its also the fact that it can be utilitarian 

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image: via pinterest

or it can be decorative…

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image: niamh mac gowan

It works well in the kitchen….

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copper plate from herriott grace

and also is great for lighting as it emits a warm light…

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image: this ivy house

M&S copper pendant light

copper pendant light from M&S

strand lamp by Clancy Moore Architects

strand lamp by Clancy Moore Architects available from Makers & Brothers

 

 

I got this gorgeous copper wax from Cornelissens in London you can just rub it on wood and polish it off a few hours later. 

I have been decorating the bedroom this new year (more about that in a separate post) and I used it on the bed knobs 

Imageimage: niamh mac gowan

I also used it on an old sconce I had lying about…

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before

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et voila

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The nice thing about copper is that you can pick it up in bric-a-brac or charity shops for next to nothing.

I got this bowl in a shop in Brighton for £4 last Summer

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image: niamh mac gowan

I bought this oversized copper bauble last month and now it is doing disco ball duty in the bedroom..

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image: niamh mac gowan

I think I may be a magpie!

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DIY, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

Styling your home for the Festive Season – part 2

Continuing my notes on styling your home using nature as your resource……

Simply place an evergreen branch in a bucket  this is great for those short on funds for a costly Christmas tree or if like me you are short on space. It looks great on a hall table so Christmas greets your guests on entering.

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Another great alternative to a tree – or something to have in another room – on the kitchen dresser perhaps –

Tie together a bunch of deciduous branches. Hold in place in a garden urn or flower pot with some large stones – cover these with moss and decorate with your favourite baubles as these are going to be seen more so than if they were on the tree.

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Handy tip – always change the cheapy string on baubles to ribbon – it looks so much more expensive! Ribbon – when ever I buy a new dress the first thing I do is cut off those annoying ribbon loops that are waiting to flop out at an inopportune moment.

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and as a person who can’t throw anything away for fear of it being useful, I have a box full of them!

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Hang baubles from shelves or anywhere you see a hook!

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 I made some bunting made from pages of an old book

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 – love this especially if you have a darker colour on your walls – it really stands out but in a very simple way

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This year I will be mostly wrapping my presents in brown paper tied up with string

with an added embellishment of decorative detail from nature.

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Wishing you a very happy & stylish Christmas!

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Floral & Gardens, Inspiration, Interior Style, Nature & the Coast

Styling your home for the Festive Season – part 1

Styling your home for Christmas using nature as your resource.

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Instead of just automatically getting out the same box of decorations every year and putting everything in the same place, mix it up!

Start by going outside

Take a look in your garden: gather greenery – lleylandii, ivy, hydrangeas, anything with berries on it, eucalyptus, bay, – any herbs

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Go for a wintery walk in the woods: gather moss, pine cones, deciduous branches, evergreen branches – there are lots on ground now following recent storms.

Perhaps followed by a hot whiskey by the fire in your local pub!

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Create an atmosphere in your home….

Cosiness: Warmth from an open turf fire and from candles about the place.

Twinkly lights: tealights & fairy lights  everywhere and anywhere

Aromas: Christmas oil – dropped on to pine cones & herbs used as greenery. Mulled wine or cider simmering on the hob. Stick cloves in oranges wrapped in velvet ribbons.

and then a feast for the eyes with these decorative details…..

I found this copper bowl in a charity shop in Brighton for £4, I have filled it with pine cones dabbed with aromatic oil – a kind of modern day pot pourri!

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Choose your colours, this year I am focusing on greens, greys and copper, keeping it wonderfully simple

Wreaths are not just for the hall door

they can be hung in front of a mirror

at end of a hallway

or in a window

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Play with scale

You can make tiny wreaths – with rosemary or buxus or any other greenery with small leaves – for backs of chairs or again hung around the house – see here how to make this one above.

I also made this HUGE Lleylandii Wreath – using just greenery – simple simple.

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I used a hula hoop bought from my local toyshop for a couple of euro and wrapped it in masking tape and added branches of lleylandii – which is great as it floppy! I love the simplicity of this – but sadly it is too big for my house!!

(all branches were scavenged from recently felled trees that greatly improved the views from upstairs)

Choose your colours, this year I am focusing on greens, greys and copper again keeping it wonderfully simple

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 Bring in your lanterns from the garden – line with moss – mini cones – grey candles

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I gathered some branches with tiny cones  and dabbed some gold paint on them

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Another idea is to get an antique plate or a tray and line with moss, place one or ideally a number of candles within this and dot a few small baubles and pine cones nestling on the moss. This would make an impressive centrepiece as it will sit low on the table.

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I dyed an old cream linen tablecloth to black – the perfect backdrop for all the coppers and moss greens and twinkly lights

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tea towels and linens for napkins – folded with string and decorated with a nature detail

all images by Niamh Mac Gowan  except the photograph of the marvellous Jerusalem Tavern

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