Making storage work!

Yesterday my husband did the decent thing. He went to the dreaded IKEA store and bought my daughter a bed. I already mentioned in an earlier post – Make it your own – that I am not a fan (and neither is he!) but the shop has its purpose. Consoles, for instance, to be painted in the same beautiful dark hue as the wall so that beautiful layers and still lifes can be created, are good. So are kids beds.

My husband only rang once from the shop to ask “where to find the damn bed”. The question made perfect sense to him, even though I hardly ever (read: never) go to the shop. My suggestion to ask a member of staff to help out was of course “ridiculous”…We actually always agree on how to decorate and style our home but always tend to have arguments when we visit this particular store.

Another side effect the shop has on us is the realization we need to have more shelving and cupboards.  I hate spending money on practical stuff – stuff that has a real function (other than chairs to sit on, sofas to lie on, tables to hold wine glasses on – need I go on?). Cupboards and shelving aren’t very sexy. I am of course not talking about beautiful art deco sideboards to hold drinks and cutlery in the dining room. I also don’t mean the little chest of drawers that is purely bought for decorative purposes. I mean cupboards, wardrobes and shelving you need – such as in the kitchen, utility room or bedroom. We probably don’t have enough shelving or at least storage space. During this last visit some shelving miraculously made it’s way into our house. However, I have decided to give my husband a total free pass on the utility room – how convenient! The one room nobody gives a toss about and that shouldn’t be seen by guests anyway will now be covered wall to wall with shelving!

For me shelving or storage only works in a couple of ways:

1) Shelving on the whole width of the wall in the same hue as the wall or worktop (in for instance the kitchen). I am not a fan of kitchen units up on the wall. I do like shelving with pottery and trinkets on display.

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2) Unconventional shelving – for instance my pharmacy cabinet with my art deco glass ware on display. The cabinet still smells of medicine and has a lovely industrial and unfinished feel.


3) ‘Sexied up” wardrobes – I have had this on my ‘to do’ list for some time now. Wallpaper the outside of your wardrobe with your favourite wall paper. (e.g  De Gournay and Cole & Son). This works particularly well if you have paneled doors so you can frame the wallpaper. Don’t get put off by helpful friends and family who claim ” it will never work.”

A lot more is possible than you realize.


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Magpie treasures

I have been selfish…Since our return from the Emerald Isle, the weather hasn’t been great and therefore I couldn’t really get stuck into the necessary outdoorsy kids activities. That is my excuse … at least. We have been at home, eating our way through the day and spending too much time on I-pads and TV’s.  I took this opportunity to spend more time on my design work and have neglected the kids that is…. I actually used my son to test my boredom exercise!

The weather had got me thinking of autumn and the different seasons….and I wanted my interior to match that mood. I think lots of us change our rooms when the season changes. I tend to light the fire (haven’t done this yet!!) and feel the need to get in more candles. woolen throws, change my cushions slightly, throw down the odd fur etc.

I wanted to create different seasons using the same antique console, 50’s chair and vintage Christian Dior handbag (fashion and interior design are never too far apart!) by just adding different accessories. I then asked my son to guess which season I was trying to reflect. I realize the threshold is not very high for this little exercise but it was fun to do and a lot better than kicking a football in the rain (in my book at least)!

Of the two images shown here I have a 50% success rate with my son.

Is it obvious which season I was trying to reflect? I only added two seasons for now …



Picture number 1 is winter and number 2 is autumn.

Autumn was clear to my son but winter wasn’t he said. He guessed number 1 was spring and his logic made perfect sense! He thought that the little kingfisher bird indicated ‘new life’ and therefore spring – you can’t fault his logic.

This is what I tried to do. When I think winter I think icy blue colours, hence the colour scheme. I added a winter silvery grey fur, and the soft cotton-like catkins branch. My thoughts on the taxidermy kingfisher were the colour blue as well as its literal translation in some languages – “Icebird.” Anyway, mission not accomplished!

Autumn went better – I think all to do with the dark and amber colourscheme. The deer statue and crocodile’s head plus the amber and brown fur throw made ” this one easy” my son replied!

The right accessories make all the difference in any interior…..

I will leave you with my view that every interior deserves some daring, unexpected and sometimes controversial accessories. Take a look at my Etsy shop for some of the Magpie treasures and accessories as shown above.

By the way, please let it be clear – I don’t hope summer is over yet and I am sure there will be more sunny days to come……in fact, the sun is trying to come out as I am about to publish this post!