All about the exciting (terrifying) world of buying a flat in London and other interesting distractions.

Thoughts, ideas and little bits of inspiration.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Baking smugness

I have been told there are few things as satisfying as making your own bread. But lets face it, I just don't generally have the patience for waiting for the dough to rise twice over etc. If I'm baking, it is generally because I want either a) instant gratification b) a cake fix or c) praise

Past bread making attempts have been of mixed success. Largely due to impatience (see above). So it was with a little trepidation that I decided to try and make Hot Cross Buns on Sunday. I followed the recipe (unusual for me) and really made myself wait long enough to let the dough really double in size.

Behold the pay off:

So they aren't entirely uniform, but the perfectionist in me completely overcame this on eating one. They are awesome. James Martin I love you.

The biscuits in the tin are Easter Biscuits, made to my Mum's recipe and as authentic as could be.

Et voilà! A haul of seasonal baked goods. The boy was very happy indeed. 

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

I heart Little Green Notebook

I love Little Green Notebook at the best of times, but a whole post on book shelves - AMAZING. 

I'm aiming for a similar look to this one (M designs via Dolce Vita, via LGN)

- like this but with the chimney breast instead of the middle stack. And maybe not that colour, but you get the general idea. A mix of books and objects and pictures.

The paint colour samples are sitting patiently in the living room. We are waiting till Friday to get them on the walls.  Friday is completion day and the flat officially becomes ours at last. About time.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Tea? - Always.

I rarely refuse a cup of tea. It is even rarer that the boy refuses one. Memories from University days long past, in the post night before mornings, when there was not a clean mug to be found in the house, of making his cup of tea in a pint size Pirex measuring jug... yes the whole jug.

This billboard in Shoreditch never fails to make me smile. I always agree with it.

On Saturday I spotted this lamp which I had never noticed before, over the bar at one of my favourite ladies lunch spots in Bermondsey. It made me want tea. In pretty cups.

On Sunday I finally caved in to my urgent need for Scrabble Mugs. I only bought 2, but I fully intend to eventually have 6 at least, since you can't play scrabble with just 2 letters. I did actually need them, since up until now in our house you could either have tea in a tiny thimble of a mug or a huge (stolen borrowed acquired) Starbucks mug. Not that I need to justify myself... okay they are not exactly cheap... but I love them.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Homeless no more!

For all of last week we were technically homeless. Prior to that I spent a week in bed with laryngitis whilst my flat mate knocked down walls in the flat... What fun. I have never been so stressed out and miserable in my life (for which I am sure the boy will vouch). Thanks to the hospitality and all round loveliness of friends I didn't have to resort the cardboard box fort, but it does feel so so good now to have the keys to the new place. Even if we are now living surrounded by unpacked boxes.

Sadly, the ideal scenario of redecorating before we moved in was never to be. We have a few more weeks wait before the sale is completed and I can get at the paints. This does however mean that I have plenty of time to consider the colours... and a small spree in the Habitat sale has temporarily sated my urges to buy house things.

I am in love with my new Kura origami lamp shade 

But I have some projects in mind for the other pendant shades required. I think this should be easy enough to recreate:

And I'm thinking about something inspired by this scrap paper light, by Gabrielle Guy as featured on Design*sponge.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Is it Spring yet?

We aren't quite there yet I know. After the mild weather last week this cold snap is a sharp reminder that we have only just escaped February. But it is past 5pm and it is still light out so that has to stand for something.

I keep seeing lots of lovely (horrendously expensive) spring flowers and foliage in the overpriced London florists and I am really tempted by the beautiful Pussy Willow - but I hate the thought of paying so much for something I know I can find just growing by the road side at home.

A few weeks a go, Chinese New Year, the oriental supermarket near us had bunches of real Cherry Blossom - beautiful! Good house keeping suggests a good all year round cheat:

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Vertical gardening

There was I thinking Succulents were a bit dull. Then I saw this:

A nice little project perhaps?

Friday, 18 February 2011


I am not a patient person. Waiting for other people to get things done is the worst. I fully stand by the phrase ' If you want something done, do it yourself'. However this makes it all the more frustrating when you know that you have to let other people sort things out.

Case in point: House buying. All we can do is constantly badger everyone. Lawyers, estate agents, lawyers, bank, lawyers... Please please please, if there is someone out there listening who has the power to speed this up, I will honour them with every variety of baked good I can think of (when I get into my new kitchen).

We are so close. I literally can't take it any more. Come on people - pull it together! This needs to happen NOW or else I am going to be homeless in 2 weeks time. Better start collecting boxes - that way if we can't pack at least I'll have something to live in...

If only it were this easy.

This is pretty fancy cardboard house, this would do.

 Cardboard castle anyone?

Thursday, 3 February 2011

colour lover

Probably my favourite colour. Must use this somewhere.

(I'm also loving that chair)

Perhaps as the colour at the back of some shelves like this:

Why do some things just look better in pairs?

My Mum (who is a freelance florist) says that flowers always work best in odd numbers - it's something to do with our minds embracing chaos - it looks more natural.

But sometimes things just look better in pairs. I think a pair can often look more considered than one thing on its own. For example:

 ...Pair of lamps, pair of perspex tables, pair of white ottomans. This room looks so smart. 

Of course other good things also come in pairs...

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Coming to terms with my red sofas

I've been contemplating dyeing my two Klippan sofas. Its not that I dislike the red as such, more that its quite big colour statement for a living room. However, dyeing them is not going to be easy. I estimate it will need 4-5 packs of dye + a ton of salt and nerves of steel hoping that it doesn't stain the bath... and this is per sofa. So I thought if I could find a palette of colours that compliments the red, maybe I could save myself the trouble.

Queue genius website

The one I'm liking the most at present:
Inspired by Katie's living room at What Katie Does

Now I need to keep an eye out from some mustard yellow things or fabric (and a Kitten).

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Paper dream

Going with my current map obsession:

I'm liking this alternative way of revamping a piece of furniture. Guessing it would be fiddly, but I reckon it would be worth it.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


A very thoughtful friend sent me a link to Liberty's new fabrics. Must find a way to use this awesome Brian Wildsmith print somewhere.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Coffee table project

With  house move impending I've been thinking about furniture and the potential need to visit a certain affordable Swedish design Mecca. Fortunately, we are quite lucky in that we already have pretty much everything we need, which is a big bonus as far as our joint account is concerned. However. I am bored. I also don't want a house full of Ikea furniture that looks like Ikea furniture. So. The sofas are going to get a dye job. The kitchen butchers trolley will get a lick of paint, and for that useful square coffee table that everyone has I'm thinking something along these lines:

Before and after shots to follow...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Kitchen envy

Love love love. Colour and shelves especially.

Collections in colour

It's January. It is grey and dull. I may be failing to inject much colour into my wardrobe (grey has become a comforting staple), but I fully intend to make the most of colour in our new place.

We are once again mid-purchase, in that weird solicitor filled conveyance limbo between offer accepted and completion. So, whilst I don't dare yet post any room specific ideas, I'm allowed to have great ideas yes?

So, in the name of injecting colour:

I thought this was a clever, and unusual way of organising your books. I may however me a bit too OCD to try it! Maybe just with one shelf to begin with...

The colour grouping thing is good though. It brought Tony Cragg's sculptures to mind (get me with my modern art references - this year I vow to use my degree in any way possible!).