The Consortium

Four years ago today my youngest daughter was born. It also happens to be fours years and one week after we moved into our new home that had suffered a total refurbishment and redecoration. It was our first family home with the four of us and we had painstakingly designed and curated the interior and exterior style.

Flossie Doo-dah

The house sat in a quaint, picturesque Hampshire village. But chocolate box cottage it was not. It was a 1980s box with straight lines and big boxy windows. It was my first interiors project and I decided to go against the architecture of the building and fill the house with contrasting vintage and antique pieces. The juxtaposition of distressed antiques against flat white walls and glass features worked really well.

To help me complete this quirky look were my friends at The Consortium in Romsey. Those who have followed me from the beginning and read some of my first posts on the blog may remember the Annie Sloan painting course I went on, run by Mary at The Consortium.

Vintage treats at The Consortium, Winchester

The Consortium Winchester

The Consortium Winchester

Last week The Consortium opened it’s first shop in Winchester and I popped along to see what lovely vintage delights they had. It did not disappoint. The Consortium is one of those vintage shops that is actually “shop-able”. No dusty, dark corners cluttered with tarnished silver. The Consortium is bright, light and inviting.

The Consortium Winchester The Consortium Winchester

They have a website too and you can follow them on Twitter but if you’ve ever passing Winchester be sure to make a stop – but allow plenty of time!

What’s your interior style? Vintage or contemporary?

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In a break from the Christmas madness, I’ve gone off the program and gone all kitchens!

Renovating, moving, building, moving, renovating, building…you get the idea. This pretty much sums up my whole life. My parents’ were addicted to property. Refurbishing it, knocking it down and putting it all back together to then sell it and move on. You might think that moving every few years during my childhood may have put me off but in fact I married someone who classes “property development” as a hobby. Oops. So I can now say that my childhood and my adult life has been pretty much consumed by property redevelopment of one sort or another.

We are currently in the middle of another project and this week I have had to think kitchens. The kitchen I have had to look for is pretty standard but it got me thinking about what my dream kitchen would be. What I’ve realised is that I’m still confused. I love the clean, crisp symmetry of modern architectural kitchens but I also love the comfort and forgiving style of a country kitchen too. It’s such an important room and one that I think most women think a lot about and want to get right. Here’s what I found…

Friday Fantasy Kitchens

I love the handmade look of this kitchen with striking chandelier above the island unit.

Friday Fantasy Kitchens

The simple, clean cut look of this kitchen is just lovely. Love the feature window/door too.

Friday Fantasy KitchensThis looks so inviting and homely.

What does your dream kitchen look like?
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I don’t know if it was because I was born in the Autumn or it is my fond childhood memories of kicking  leaves and eating roast lunches but I love this season. I love the dark evenings and watching the rain on the windows when it’s warm and cosy inside. It’s something I’m trying to pass down to my children so they can have similarly fond memories.
All change
It’s not just my wardrobe that gets a bit of an overhaul when the season moves on. I like to add and take away a few bits in my living space too. I enjoy change and I find it refreshing to see new things in the room (this usually means they have come out of storage!) – little tweaks can have a big impact.
Change in scents…
Updating the scent of your home is great for making a change. Fragrances can evoke such strong memories and emotions and it’s lovely to walk into a home with a welcoming scent. Here is a couple of gorgeous candles from the True Grace range from Amara that are great for Autumn in classic Sandalwood and Black Lily.
Home scents
Wrapping up…
You can’t have Autumn without a blanket or throw. They add wonderfully warm texture to your room and are great for cosying up on the sofa. Wrap up with these lovely blankets also from Amara.
Snuggle up

1. Lexington £295 / 2. Avoca £92.50 / 3. Bronte £79.55

All from Amara.

How will you will be snuggling up this season?

(images www.amara.com)

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Writing yesterday about relaxing without guilt and the chaos of my everyday life, it got me thinking about a few things around the home that give me that quick fix in order to sit down and unwind properly. Like most, I don’t have the luxury of time, or to be honest the inclination, to have a completely spotless home. I need to tidy up so I can move onto the next task. As I said in my post yesterday, it really is about the small things. The small things that can have a big impact.

For me, it’s small baskets dotted sporadically all over the house. I am always amazed at how putting stuff in a basket can transform a room and most importantly, clear my mind!  From keys and post, to pens and make-up, putting things away like this means I can very quickly collect  things up, put them in the basket and move on, knowing that at least the room is tidy.

Here’s my pick of some lovely baskets to have around the home.

Relax...The Quick Fix Tidy Up.

1. £47 www.allmodern.com / 2. £145 www.okadirect.com / 3. £34 www.liberty.co.uk / 4. £7.99 www.hm.com / 5. £38 www.shopterrain.com / 6. £39 www.ikea.com / 7. £53 www.crateandbarrell.com

What are your tricks for a quick-fix tidy up?

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This week I have been finishing off an on-going project that I’ve had for a while. A pine blanket box. After the Annie Sloan painting course, I wanted to experiment with the bolder, darker colours and thought this was the idea piece to carry off Aubusson blue.

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The colour is amazing. I went with Old White for in the inside, as a lighter, brighter contrast. The paint went on so well and this, in hindsight, was the easy bit. As it dried, I noticed there were LOADS of drips. I had applied it too thickly. Not to worry, just sand it down! It really is fool-proof. If you make a mistake it is easily rectified. I sanded the drips down and distressed the areas where I felt it would have had natural distressing and then applied a clear wax over the top. Wax, buff, wax, buff….this went on for a while and is really where the hard work lies.

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If I’m being completely honest, I’m not entirely happy with the end result. I think I’ve over distressed it so I’m going to paint over some of the bits that I’ve sanded down and re-wax before I sell it. It is really is that easy. I adore the colour and it will make a great toy chest, dressing-up box or coffee table.

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I’m working on a dresser at the moment….oh my, it’s a little daunting!

Have you been working on any projects this week?

Laura x

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Every Wednesday Polly’s Project Wednesday will feature my favourite hobby, furniture up-cycling. I am not at all crafty, but I love anything to do with interior design and really wanted to give something a go. I completed the Annie Sloan chalk painting course and this weekly feature will follow my steps from hunting down bargain pieces to the transformation itself.

Follow me as I get braver and try new paints and different finishes. I’m looking forward to trying out the crackle glaze effect.

Laura x

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