Monthly Archives: April 2015

Partying, porn and Jessica Zoob

Not much interior designing this week but I’m still exhausted. It started with a hen night, which transitioned into a few days at Holly Cottage with the bride to be and the girls, and ended with a wedding. I’ve realised I’m now too old for that much partying. Normally Mr W has to spend his weekends coping with my ADD. This weekend he was starting to wonder whether I had narcolepsy. Too tired to cook, I even ate salad, which to me is the equivalent of offering a vegan a fry up. It was a fun week though and it did provide plenty of interior design porn.

First stop Artisan in Manchester, the venue for the hen night. Somewhere between a very cool loft apartment and a warehouse, it managed to be uber cool without being pretentious. The vintage plaster effect wallpaper on the ladies bathroom ceiling really caught my eye.

IMG_2974  IMG_2975

[pinterest]

I also loved the herb planters outside the kitchen, the metal framed doors, windows and mirrors, and the slightly bonkers wall art (PS thats my beautiful sister below centre)

IMG_2977  IMG_2971 IMG_2972

[pinterest]

Add some funky industrial lighting, and a couple of Mona Lisa’s and you have one very stylish bar and restaurant, and the food was pretty good too.

IMG_2978 IMG_2976

[pinterest]

My next interior design fix came the day after when we stopped at The Plough in Lupton for some much needed carbohydrate and fluids. The minute we stepped into the dining room I fell in love with the wallpaper. At first it reminded me of the deserted houses you see in 80’s American horror movies when the plaster is crumbling and the paper has peeled off, then you look closer and its like looking into a lake on a Monet painting, all blues, pinks and greens. A little research and its from a new range of wallpapers and fabrics designed by the contemporary impressionist artist Jessica Zoob. It is stunning, but at £495 for a 2 roll pack (gulp) it could be some time before I get to hang it anywhere.

I’d assumed the decor was the work of a professional interior designer, but turns out it was just a friend of the owner called Amanda Delaney. Hats off to her for an amazing job. I loved everything from the copper coloured radiators to the rugs on the chairs by the stove.

IMG_3001 IMG_2999 IMG_3006

[pinterest]

If you ever find yourself somewhere between Yorkshire and Cumbria you have to visit The Plough. They served up possibly the best Sunday Roast I have ever tasted, and when I expressed an interest in their decor a very nice young lady showed us around all 6 of their bedrooms which were as beautifully decorated as the dining room and bar area.

Top tip – if you want to treat your loved one to a romantic night away book the Torsin room – absolutely stunning.

IMG_3010 IMG_3009 IMG_3016 IMG_3014

[pinterest]

Last stop was the aptly named Nutters Restaurant in Rochdale (if you’ve met the bride you’ll understand why so apt….), the venue for the wedding. This fed my love of architecture and restoration. Built in 1850 as a private gothic-style manor house, it has since been a hospital, a night club and a Brewsters steak house. It was bought in 2003 by Rodney Nutter, father of celebrity chef Andrew Nutter, and is now a restaurant and wedding venue. It’s the grounds and exterior that make this place a great venue for weddings. It was another great dining experience too, and the straw that broke the camels back. I am now on a diet…..

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 22.54.10 Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 23.04.01

So normal service resumes this week – work, study, exercise. But a huge thank you to the  bride and the ladies that made last week so much fun. I’m still giggling at the facelift selfies….

IMG_2984

And finally, congratulations to Matt and Karen the bride and groom. It was a fantastic wedding.

IMG_3079

 

 

Bag yourself a bargain

As an interior designer I appreciate space, particularly my own. Which is why it’s a good thing Mr W has finally returned to London. I love my husband, I wouldn’t be without him, but our 5/2 relationship suits us both. Divorce or death (of one of us) would have been the only outcome if he’d stayed much longer. So now he can get back to his routine, and I can get back to the non-routine I just realised I prefer. This involves only shopping or cooking when I feel like it, working until midnight if I’m in the grip of something, and spending a few hours gardening if the sun is out and I need thinking time. The opposite of my previous life, which was bound by routine and schedules. Perfect.

The other personal change I’ve noticed, is that I have replaced my handbag snobbery with car snobbery. Posh handbags don’t really cut it in Cumbria or my new life. It isn’t practical to carry tape measures, notebooks, paint/tile/fabric/flooring samples in soft leather, silk lined pouches. They don’t really work on building sites either when I need to put them on the floor while I measure up and take photos. So I’ve happily made the transition to cheaper and more practical shoulder-wear. However, I recently dropped my fabulous ‘takes me anywhere, fits anything in it’, automatic 4WD off for a service and was given a tiny, tinny, manual, skodia fabia for the day. I actually had to get someone to show me how to start it, and you should have seen my attempt at parallel parking without a camera and sensors, it looked like it had been abandoned by bank robbers. If by some strange cruel twist of fate this becomes the car of the future with all other models becoming obsolete I will revert to taxi’s everywhere. A challenge in my line of work and rural location but a necessity I’m afraid.

Bizarrely I am the complete opposite of a snob, (what is this, egalitarian? modest? humble?) when it comes to interior design. I love nothing more than a cheap replica of something that costs an arm and a leg elsewhere. Don’t get me wrong I love the expensive stuff too, but most people can’t afford it. So as interior designers it is often our job to create the same look for a lot less. I’ve recently been looking for items to spruce up my summer house so behold my current favourite spring themed bargain replicas!

First on the list these wood effect drum shades. Yes the John Lewis one is beautiful but for a tenner the one from Wilko is a stylish bargain

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.07.14

Woodland nightshade from John Lewis, £35-45

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.07.45

Wood effect nightshade from Wilko, £10

[pinterest]

There’s a definite bee theme in the shops at the moment, and these are two of my favourite clocks.

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.47.33

Progetti Time2bee wall clock, £145 by Red Candy

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.46.31

Honeycomb clock from George Home, £12

[pinterest]

There is no denying that this Juneberry & Bird cushion by young British designer Lorna Syson is georgous. But if you can’t afford the £32 price tag, Wilko has a pretty bird cushion for only £6.50.

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.24.43

Juneberry & Bird cushion, £32 from Howkapow

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.24.32

Bird cushion, £6.50 from Wilko

[pinterest]

Sticking with the bird theme, both of these rugs are beautiful and the one from Next isn’t expensive at £160, but I actually prefer the cheaper one from Kaleidoscope.

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.37.27

120cm x 170cm Hummingbird rug from Next, £160

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.38.33

120cm x 180cm Hummingbird rug, £115 from Kaleidoscope

[pinterest]

Finally, my summer house is littered with tea light holders, my excuse being that many are presents from visitors (honest guv), but there’s always room for a few more…..

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.55.32

Set of 4 LSA green glass tea light holders, £18 from Heals

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 15.01.37 Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 15.01.51 Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 14.58.51 Screen Shot 2015-04-25 at 15.01.44

Glass butterfly motif tea light holders, £3 each from John Lewis.

So Mr W is home again this weekend, and despite my earlier comments I have missed him, but if he misses his train home on Sunday I might have to move into the summer house to save our marriage….