Monday, 6 July 2015

Book Review: Pure Colour by Jane Cumberbatch

Some styles just stand the test of time, don't they? Endure the changes, remain steadfast amongst the whims of fashion. It's all well and good to be 'on trend', but that can soon become tiresome, and if like me, you don't want your home to be a carbon copy of everyone else's, perhaps 'on trend' isn't for you either.
I've always been a great admirer of Jane Cumberbatch's style. Over the years I've collected many books on interiors, and many of those have ended up on the shelves of charity shops. My Pure Style and Pure Style Outside books, which I purchased in 1996 and 1998, however, have remained, still on my shelves, still picked up, still relevant. Still pure.
So when I saw Jane had published another book, Pure Colour, I couldn't wait to get it...and it doesn't disappoint. Every image is amazing, I've said it before on here, but colour really does touch my soul.
I've loved flicking through its pages, reading the words. Jane guides the reader through a variety of colours, bold, calm, energising and harmonious. She explains how she uses them, giving help and advice.
My own use of colour is purely instinctive. I don't understand the science of colour, but I do know what I like to put together, and how this affects me. I couldn't live without colour in my home, it wouldn't feel like home.
I absolutely LOVE this book, and I'm sure it will remain on my shelves for many years to come. Unfortunately I don't think my images really do it the real justice it deserves, perhaps one day I might learn how to use it properly!
Oh, and one more has bold pink edges, that alone is worthy of a purchase don't you think! In my opinion EVERY book should have colourful edges to its pages!
How cool is that!
Hope you all have a great week, I've a little more time now, so hope to visit more of your blogs this week, see what I've been missing!
Amanda :) xxx
(p.s. I wasn't sponsored for this post, book bought and paid for by me!).


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Knock On Effect...

There's a Knock On Effect now we have a garden studio...we have more room in our home!
Since I've moved all my sewing and craft 'stuff' down into my studio, we've so much more room. It feels like the house has taken a deep breath in, then exhaled out...slowly!
Whilst I just love my little yellow cupboard, and my colourful vintage sheets, it always felt like I took over the room, more my space than the families. And whilst, when I saw my beautiful blue cupboard last year, I knew it was perfect, it felt very dominant in our living room.
Like a lot of us, who are 'into' our interiors, I'm always adapting, tweaking and changing our home. For the past eighteen months I've bee editing and simplifying things. Some days it felt my 'busy' interior was swallowing me up. So I'm refining. I still want colour. I still want quirky. I like eclectic, something with character. My home will always look a bit different from the 'norm'. So changes are happening, and I'm really pleased with the results.
I just LOVE the dining room, I picked up the old school map for a few pounds, and I just knew it would look great next to the blue cupboard. And that mustard coffee pot...well this makes me smile, just as much as my little yellow cupboard did! There's lots of conversations being generated at mealtimes now, that map is proving to be very interesting!
I'm now on the look out for a simple bench to go in front of the map, extra seating for when friends are over. I love having a mental list of stuff I'm looking for, you just never know when treasure may turn up. The map, eventually, will be hung higher, and the clock removed. (Waiting on Mr Bea...I'm a whimp where drills are concerned!).
The atmosphere in our living room has also changed. It's feels more open and cosy. Moving the chest of drawers, means I'm able to see more of the lovely wall colour. Removing the stripy rug has calmed this room down too, it feels more harmonious now. There's future plans to replace the bay window and install shutters,..but that might be some time away yet!
And the conservatory, well that needs some work feels quite bare at the moment, but the right squishy armchair and rug will correct that. I just need to find the right ones, they're on my mental list, so they'll turn up sooner or later.
We are cracking on with the garden, a seating area, which catches the setting sun, has been on the list is a composting area, and potting bench, it's all go here! Oh, and then there's the outdoor lounge area...
I can't believe the difference the garden studio has already made in the way we use our home and garden. We really have only just started with the garden, and we will never really feels like a whole new world is opening up!
So how about you? Are you making any changes, tweaking your rooms a little, simplifying you living space or creating new areas in your garden, I'd love to hear!
Have a great weekend...whatever you're doing!
Amanda :) xxx



Monday, 29 June 2015

Bath Time Retreats...

Well, I'm not sure what words I can use to describe this amazing period property! Everything about our weekend here was wonderful.
We booked Daniel and Anna's apartment through AirBnB. I just loved the look of the apartment, and the quirky, eclectic way in which it had been renovated.
It didn't disappoint...Daniel was the perfect host, warm and welcoming, eager that we should have everything we needed, to make this a wonderful stay. As he showed us around the apartment, it was clear how much love he, and his wife Anna, had put into this place.
A selection of homemade jams, homemade bread and cereals were left in the truly brilliant kitchen area, which had all mod cons...but very sensitively done! The shower room was cleverly installed into part of the bedroom. The bed itself, has to be one of the best I've ever slept in...wish I had asked about the mattress now!
I just loved all the little details throughout the flat, from the bath sign in the bedroom, the vintage cameras, the amazing lighting...and the balcony. Well, once I'd got over my fear of heights, which took all of five seconds, I loved sitting out there. The view over neighbouring gardens, and the hills was so relaxing.
The apartment is situated on one of the main roads into Bath, for most it would be a ten to fifteen minute stroll, much longer for myself, but there's an array of vintage, quirky shops enroute...all a little run down, which made them more appealing!
I would definitely reccommend this apartment, you wouldn't be disappointed. It really was a Bath Time Retreat!
(I wasn't sponsored for this post...all my thoughts and feelings are my very own, as was the money I paid, and worth every penny I may add, to stay there!).
THANK YOU so much for you're lovely comments about my garden studio...already it's made a big difference to the way we use our garden and home...more pictures soon, of the changes I've made.
Have a great week everyone!
Amanda :) xxx





Thursday, 25 June 2015

The Tale Of Two Studios...One His, And One Hers!

It was one very difficult decision. One day I would follow my heart. One day I'd follow my head.
When we moved into our home, 13 years ago, I always envisaged a long building at the bottom of the garden, a place to relax. Back then, in my head, it was a summerhouse type building, with a deck and veranda...bit like The Waltons. Loved that program.
When I finished work a few years ago, I shelved those plans. It was never going to happen now. I started to save for a downstairs toilet, you know, for the time when my legs won't let me go upstairs.
This year however, I realised I was quite a few years away from being able to get my downstairs toilet, (which by now was a downstairs wet room). But I wasn't that far off a garden studio. Hmmm. Dilemma.
So what's a girl to do? Go with your head, keep saving...get that downstairs shower room? Or go with her heart, live for today. Forget planning. Think about now, think about the enjoyment, think about being happy...right now.
I am always sensible, I am always careful with money, I budget...that's why we were able to pay off our mortgage a whole ten years early. But I didn't want to be sensible. A garden room felt right. It felt like that's what we should do. So we did!
So lots of research was done. We looked at what we wanted, what we could stretch too. We found a fantastic local company, Crusoe Garden Rooms. We met Trevor and worked out our design..two studios, one for myself, to sew, read, entertain. A smaller studio for my husband, who's a musician. Separate entrances too...I know the music studio won't look very pretty!
The build went smoothly, Trevor and his team, were brilliant throughout. It was exciting to see the changes each day, to watch our dreams come true. It's very well insulated, so we shall be able to use the rooms all year round too.
I'm sat here in my garden studio as I'm writing this. It feels calm, it's light...I can hear the birds, people cutting their grass. I can look out onto my garden, the bees are busy on the chive flowers, and I can almost see the courgettes growing out of their bed.
It feels like the best place in the whole world. I'm so glad I followed my heart. I don't know what the future holds. I don't know what my mobility will be like in the future...I do know however, that at the end of my garden, down that steep hill, there's the most amazing place to be. And do you know something, I think that will keep me going, for some time to come!
One very happy,
Amanda :))))))))