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In raptures over Rapture & Wright

November 16, 2011

I’m a long time fan of Rapture & Wright and all they stand for: great designs, handprinted in the UK, and on fabrics woven in the UK. So 100% British. Great all round. I’m after one of these lampshades for the spare room, and love the orange colour inside the shade as it’ll warm up the horrible, cold lighting that energy-efficient bulbs give out.

The company was started by Rebecca Aird and Peter Thwaites in a barn nearly 10 years ago  and the succes they’ve had makes me want to a) buy a lot of their fabric and b) set up my own business in a barn. I suspect the former is more likely to occur than the latter…

And one final drool at their fabrics with this Mandalay fabric which has been shot beautifully in this old car.

More soon.


Renovation completed, now down to the furnishings

November 14, 2011

The renovation of our house was completed in May and we finally, finally moved in – broke, sick of builders and architects, but happy. (I will post some photos shortly – the before and after sort.)

Even six months on, we’re still in need of finishing things off and getting the right furniture in place. I’m currently awaiting delivery of my new Kilkenny chair covered in the beautiful ‘Bird Garden’ fabric by artist and printmaker, Mark Hearld. Mark works with the talented team at St Jude’s, and this piece is in a limited edition collection of sofas and chairs by All the pieces are on view in their Chelsea showroom.


I like to think I’m going for a mid-century (who isn’t these days?), eclectic look throughout the house. But I suspect it’s more ‘jumble sale meets while elephant rejects’. Or just ‘dump’. But I can aspire…

More soon.

Plans, polenta and perseverance

February 19, 2011

The house renovation goes on, the budget increases, my hairdresser has stopped describing my grey hairs as ‘only a few’…

Inbetween getting a PhD in joinery plans, trying to give a damn about the exact position of tens of electrical sockets, and endless chat about shades of brick pointing, I’m writing and cooking. The two aren’t related, sadly – but they would be in my ideal life. Oh and I’d probably live in Manhattan. Loft-style apartment and all that.

Anyway, I’ve decided to cook my way through the River Cafe book. You know, the really old blue one that most people seem to have a copy of?

Read more…

Reader, don’t let me get away with crap excuses

January 19, 2011

In a slight change to the schedule, I’ve just got to say – publicly – that I’m going to finish writing my book in the next 4 months. I’ve been saying that for the last 2 years. But now I’ve written it down and told you, I can’t welch out of it.

So please reader, don’t let me get away with crap excuses – the dog’s got worms, the fridge needs cleaning, I need to colour-code my sock drawer…- feel free to verbally lambast any such feeble excuses.

It’s not like I can’t complete a manuscript. In fact I’ve already written a non-fiction book and had it published (if you  need some cheap kindling material for your fire, let me know and I’ll give you the title. It’s currently available on Amazon for a very modest 1p. Much cheaper than logs, and you’d be doing the reading population a favour).  

Now for 1000 words while the baby sleeps and before the builder rings and asks me important questions like what sort of washers I want for the taps…

More soon.

House renovation: before and during photos

January 13, 2011

It’s been a while. There was all that snow, and then that Christmas business. And things at the house ground to a halt during all of that.

But now the builders have got the kettle back on, picked up The Sun and opened their lunchboxes…OK, that’s very unfair. These builders are the nicest, most efficient bunch you could want to meet. Really. And they’re cracking on.

The back of the house was looking like this:

Then just before Christmas it looked like this:

And here it is just yesterday:

Here was the view of the kitchen in December:

And here’s the kitchen as of yesterday:

Heading on upstairs, here’s where we’re at now:

And here’s the staircase waiting to go up and be installed in the top floor. Finally we’ll be able to see what the bedroom at the top looks like.

More soon…

House renovation: rebuilding what they’ve ripped down

December 4, 2010

I was at the house a few days ago and things are coming on. As you might remember, the builders told us it was going to be quicker and cheaper to pull down the whole of the back of the house and rebuild it. So, we started with this:

Then went to this:

Then the builders took all that down and left us with this:

And then last week they started putting back what they’d ripped down, and so far we have this:

There’s something very reassuring about seeing the skeleton of the house going in.

The back of the house takes shape. This will be the kitchen, and looking up to the study and utility room.

And here’s the last one for now.

More soon.

House renovation: Steels the show

December 2, 2010

This week it’s been all about steelwork in our house renovation project. And frankly I’m more than a bit relieved as it wasn’t entirely clear what had been holding the house up for the past few weeks.

Here’s a tour of our very smart, red steel work – interesting for building and property geeks, deadly dull for the rest of you I fear.

The view through the front door.

Our sitting room.

Looking at the back of the house.

Standing in what will one day be the kitchen. Really.

More soon.