Inspiration, Interior Style, Lifestyle

an Autumnal day at Ham House

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Having lived many years in Richmond, Southwest London, I was lucky enough to have a myriad of stunning buildings on my doorstep, one of them being the ever intriguing Jacobean Ham House on the river opposite Twickenham. I revisited the house the other day just as the Season was turning from late Summer to hints of Autumn and somehow the hues in the interior, as well as in the gardens, echoed this for me.

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Rusts and burnt sienna colours were in the bricks…

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soft green greys in the lavender

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the blue-purples of the damsons in the Kitchen Garden

As we went inside we passed the trompe l’oeils on either side of the entrance which now look like faded memory

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As I went around the rooms, the colours that had sung at me outside were evident in the fabrics and silk wallpapers in the darkened rooms. some have been restored – like this one. Glorious…

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I loved the warm gold details in the panelling

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I especially loved the picture lights

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detail of silk wall hanging

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Greys setting off golds and rich reds…Drama!

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One of my favourite rooms is the Green Closet with the finest collection of miniatures

you can see them all in detail on the National Trust’s website. I love the green silk backdrop. It wouldn’t be the same if it was just painted white would it?

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The flock wallpaper in the Duke’s Closet really caught my eye. What a colour! very now!

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why I love darkened dining rooms… the table covered in white linen looks very inviting.

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a detail of the leather wallpaper

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the view of the front from the window

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Evidence of how inspired I was by these Autumnal colours can be seen in this rug made from recycled wool that I bought in the National Trust shop outside.Image

Autumn bring it on!

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DIY, Floral & Gardens, Inspiration, Interior Style

Making an Entrance 1

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I am lucky enough to be a volunteer gardener at the world renowned Mount Usher Gardens (or maybe they are lucky to have me and my sunny disposition, I don’t know). I work alongside the Head Gardener Sean with Minnow & Max (his two jack russels) in tow. Then there is Emma, Graeme, Noel and Si each with their own talent & passions that they dedicate the Gardens. It is hard to believe such a small number of people are caretakers to such an expanse of stunning natural beauty.

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Anyhow I will write about the gardens themselves and all their glory in a separate post, today I want to write about our new entrance in to the gardens. Some industrial buildings have been lying empty for the past few years – commercial space that had become unused since the ‘downturn’.  It was a sorry blot on the beautiful landscape of the courtyard at Mount Usher which is tended to by Sean and his team. Here we have the garden restaurant, and the fantastic garden shop – which is where I buy all my plants and pots and any gifts I am ever buying for people – I could not do without it, there is also a handy Avoca deli for artisan foodstuffs and Strawbridges which is great for home  items,  especially good for tablecloths as well as furniture. I digress… up to now the entrance to the finest example of William Robinson’s way of gardening was a small (but beautifully simple) gate. Now Avoca have cleverly incorporated that empty building so it has become a more befitting entry to the gardens that lay ahead – with a nod to the history of the gardens

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Ros, Avoca’s talented and tireless stylist has created an airy space with museum style cabinets full of historical paraphernalia to peruse, including a lovely tribute to head gardeners past and present….

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They have also made use of the existing stove and added some apt decorative touches throughout …

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We are enticed to enter the gardens with style –  with the use of paint colours that sit so beautifully with the greens of nature,  simple wainscotting and recycled windows…

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Old fashioned …in a good way…. well worth a visit.

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