Home, Home Projects

Il pleut

il pleut rain art french

A strange twist of fate meant that our builders left us unexpectedly the day we moved house. We had lined up temporary accommodation for 10 days as I knew the builders were running late but not for the foreseeable future. Luckily, at the same time, my mum completed on the purchase of a house near by and she saved us from living on the country streets of Oxfordshire (thanks mum!). Our girls have been quite unsettled by these events so – with my mum’s agreement – we re-decorated the room the girls are going to stay in to make it exciting, comfortable and more like a home. This will also be their room when granny visits the UK so it’s a lasting project.

Here are some before photos. The previous owners clearly LOVED shelves. I have never seen so many in a house – there is one above every door.

On a random late night search for wallpaper – my kind of porn – I stumbled upon this beauty: Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi

Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi

It inspired me: I could instantly see a gorgeous calm shared bedroom which would suit kids toddling to teening. I shared my idea on my facebook page and my mum also loved the wallpaper. It was my starting point for the room which also worked well with the beige carpets which were staying. The small and awkward shape of the room meant we had to go for bunk beds. There wasn’t room for the Ikea furniture in the ‘new green’ I had picked out in my moodboard so I had to rethink the storage which was there and my mum was keen to bring in some dark grey to go with her plans for the rest of the house.

Here’s the result. I should add that I had less than a week to plan the room and we had one weekend, whilst the girls were with me at my in laws, to get the room ready. My husband and father in law did an amazing job with the painting and the wallpapering don’t you think?

cloud hanger rain art eames olive cloud hanger rain art eames chairs olive petit bateau open wardrobe Ladybird books

When I showed the wallpaper to the girls, they said it looked like rain so that was my starting point for the art work. I colour picked the kiwi drop for this canvas and then added the saying (which has been quite apt for our current situation!). The cloud hanger was a great find. The Il pleut picture on the shelf was a nice nod to our Frenglish family.

Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi rain art Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi IKEA MYDAL bunk bed hack

The IKEA MYDAL bunk beds painted up really nicely and we painted the IKEA ODDVAR stool to match. As the wardrobe was going to be open, I really wanted the wallpaper at the back. We removed one of the shelves so it was less compressed and got a hanging rail for the bottom shelf; ideal for the girls mix-matched clothes collection! I bought a collection of vintage Ladybird books on eBay so the girls would have something to read in the room (all our stuff apart from 4 suitcases is in storage).

Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi wallpapered open wardrobe Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi wallpapered open wardrobe

When we move, I always keep with us the girls’ IKEA linen bedding, granny’s knitted blankets which they’ve had since they were born and their Lornas (which are a doudou my friend Lorna bought each of them when they were born).

Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi IKEA MYDAL bunk bed hack

I couldn’t resist adding these gorgeous hand crocheted weather cushions I found on eBay. The girls love them!Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi rain art

Hope you enjoyed the tour. My girls definitely love their new room.

Scion Sula Wallpaper in Juniper & Kiwi

Home, My Homes

My 50 shades of grey

grey paint colours

For the last month, I have been all about 50 shades of grey… not the novels but paint colours!

If I had had this blog when I decorated my first home in 2002, I would have written a post called 50 shades of beige (not so catchy I know!). I spent ages colour testing, scanning (as I couldn’t afford the real deal) Farrow & Ball colours like Bone, Skimming Stone and Elephant’s Breath that I had heard my mum talk about but in the end I decided that Dulux European White was the best beige for me. I have since used it in my homes in London, Dubai and again recently in London (here it is in our flat in Brixton). I love how it works in Victorian houses against white wood work.

After Brixton London flat sitting room

My search for the perfect grey has been an equal labour of love. My first grey room was my youngest’s tiny nursery in our flat in Dubai. It’s strangely hard to find a true grey. One that’s not green, blue or beige. After some testers I settled on Dulux Grey Steel. Three of the walls were painted the lighter shade and then the feature wall with the custom tree shelf was painted the darker Grey Steel 2. I also used it on the chest of drawers drawer fronts.

grey green nursery

grey green nurseryWhen we moved to Toronto, I looked for a house to rent in the East end of town. When I saw not one but two perfect greys in one house I was sold! I think one of my first emails to the landlord was to ask what the colours were. She was delighted to share the Behr paint chart with me as she had spent a lot of time agonising over the colours.

Behr grey paint chart

Here’s the slightly darker Behr Silver Bullet in the girls’ shared woodland room:

girls shared grey woodland bedroom

And here’s Behr White Metal in our bedroom (more photos of the room in our house tour):

grey bedroom eames chair

When we decided that we were moving from Canada back to the UK, first on my list was to research if I could get Behr paint in the UK. After many unanswered emails to Behr and internet research – including asking the shipping company if we could ship some paint (you can’t!) – I decided to arm myself with a couple of paint charts and hope the colour scanners in the UK would save me.

When I started planning the colours for our new house, I took my Behr paint chart to HomeBase and had it colour scanned. In fact I had it colour scanned a few times and had 2 samples mixed up, hoping that user error was to blame for the fact that the colour was slightly purple. Sob.

Behr white metal

Behr White Metal ruled out, I turned back to Dulux to see what they offered. Polished Pebble was voted best grey in 2015 and Goose Down was Dulux grey of 2016. So I had to try them out.

Dulux polished peddle goose down

dulux grey steel 2

In my opinion, Polished Pebble was slightly beige and Goose Down was too dark. Grey Steel 2 from my youngest’s nursery also was too dark for the UK light. I went back to the colour charts looking for a true grey – which went from white to black – and found Night Jewels.

Dulux night jewels 5

And when I painted Night Jewels 5 on the wall in our new house… it matched the Behr White Metal paint chart! Search complete! Dulux Night Jewels 5 is the best grey for me.

dulux night jewels 5

Thanks for following my 50 shades of grey story and I can’t wait to show you the end result.