My list obsession

I love making lists. When I first met my husband he really had to get used to this list obsession of mine. More often than not he would look at me hoping to find a trace of something that would indicate I was only joking when I asked him for yet another list. Meanwhile his facial expression would read: ‘is she really asking me to do this?’ and yes, of course I was very serious. I make obvious lists such as ‘to do during the week’, ‘what things to see on holiday’. But my favourite lists are the pointless, but very enjoyable, ones. Such as: top 3 favourite restaurants, top 3 most memorable moments on holiday, top 3 ‘last supper request when on death row’, top 3 best hotel room, etc. etc.

I even have my kids in on the game. I overheard my son discussing his top 3 “last supper death row request” which consisted of 1) pizza 2) chicken tortilla 3) bacon and eggs. I used to think that it made sense to put extremely expensive and over indulgent food types, such as lobster and champagne on my list but I think that if you were in that death row situation you would probably favour comfort food and food with special memories over caviar and truffles. I have played this game so often I think I know my husband’s list without asking him yet again: 1) steak and chips 2) a Chinese take away from his home town 3) toast with butter. Mine is currently –  surprisingly enough it changes a bit – 1) some sort of shellfish (crayfish, prawns) with home made chips and mayonnaise 2) brown bread with a mature piece of cheese 3) simple pasta dish (aglio e olio). So you might add in a bit of extravagance but mainly you want comfort and things that probably have a sentimental reason for loving it.

I think interior design works in a similar way. At least my design does. I want a couple of extravagant and design items and then I want to layer up with comfort and coziness. If I had to play my own game of naming my top 3 interior items I would struggle as I need more than 3 items to make a room come to life. My list would consist of the following:

  1. a couple of key design pieces – mainly furniture
  2. colour – my only design rule – dark hues on walls with pops of colour
  3. lighting – essential to create the right atmosphere – pools of light and be generous…
  4. fabric and textures – cushions, throws, rugs. Vary the textures not just with regards to fabric but also with regards to larger items (e.g. furniture) such as wood, concrete and brass ( a sneaky way for me to add in another category: accessories!)


I realize I didn’t cut it. I need more than 3. Too bad. I can easily add another few items so this will have to do. Finally, I thought I would let you have my latest top 3 list of retail & Highstreet shops I do buy from. I realize that in interior design it is frowned upon to not only have design, one-off items or the haute couture of fabrics but I love to mix and match. Keeps life way more interesting.

  1. – for great lighting
  2. – for table lamps and cushions
  3. – for throws, quilts and quirky little brass accessories

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A touch of spring

A lot has happened and a lot is yet to come…. I can’t share all the developments yet but soon enough I will be able to. I realize I have been absent for a while but all for a good reason. When I can, I will bring you the news!

Today I tried to take some photos of the beautiful magnolia and other tree – can’t for the life of me remember the name of the other tree – with pinkish red flowers almost like raspberries ….They are both in the front garden and make for a lovely cottage style feel as the windows frame the soft white and lush pink flowers…

IMG_0008(1)  IMG_0010(1)

I love looking at the garden but unfortunately have not taken to the art of gardening. My husband cuts the grass and that’s about as far as our gardening skills go. We fooled each other into believing that once we moved here – from the city with a small patio garden – we would get stuck into gardening and spend our weekends pruning, cropping, weeding and whatever else is necessary but alas…I am hopeful that in time I will find the urge to get stuck in; I just don’t know when that will be. I suppose we are still a bit away from the art of gardening as we took gardening advice – very poor I may add – from our house painter and didn’t think to question it. But then my mother also buys her bread at the butcher’s and gets her ham and sausage rolls from the cheese shop (and these aren’t fancy delicatessen shops). Don’t ask, I am sure the initial decision to do so made sense at the time. And it has to be said the food tastes good. So then who cares. If it’s good, it’s good regardless of the formal name or origin. Same with design. I won’t scare you just yet buy jumping straight into my design philosophy and do’s and don’ts – after being away for a while – but I’ll confidently confess that rules are there to be broken, in particular in interior design.

I have only one rule I can’t depart from and that is – use dark hues on the walls! I would really love you to come over to the dark side however I understand this takes time. So in light of the spring view from my front window I decided to search for a spring colour – in this case green. I looked at all colours of green but as you will note the photographs that truly stuck with me and eventually made it into my post tend to be dark and slushy….and not necessarily vibrant and up beat. I tried but this is what happened…. O well, that’s my thing, I suppose…

Below photos are great for their slushy walls but more importantly for their arty and casual display of what looks like scraps of wallpaper. This combined with great vintage furniture and brass make for a laid back yet refined and glamorous look.


Styled by Bree Leech and Heather Nette King for Dulux featuring fragrance by Fleurage – Future Past palette. Photographer: Lisa Cohen

Love the colour of teal on the chair below, combined with clashing emerald – very striking. A drinks trolley is an absolute must and welcoming feature in any room (see my earlier post ” a warm welcome”) – check out this great vintage brass one. I have my eye on a similar one on E-bay.


You can never go wrong with sophisticated paneling – more grey than green, I must admit. But have a look at the great lamps and tables and what about the opulent wave of greenery. It wouldn’t survive in my house, but it is nevertheless spectacular.

Finally, truly glamorous mirrored sideboard, vintage lamps and wall art. Colour on the wall looks very like my own hue – Farrow and Ball – Downpipe. Love!