Anaglypta’s back; the return of the textured wallpaper

Anaglypta wallcovering - Deco paradiso//Photograph via Anaglypta

As soon as I saw this black, painted, textured wall in a wallpaper magazine I ripped it out as I knew I had to blog about it. There’s something about the pattern and the way the light reflects off the dark hue that is beautiful without being pretentious.

Until then I had assumed that patterned wallpaper was akin to woodchip and was rightly the preserve of an era past, only useful for bored children to slowly pick at. But look how good it looks!

Anaglypta - alexander//Photograph via Anaglypta

These Anaglypta wallcoverings are from their heritage collection from the 1930s. I think I’d paint them a moody blue, an apple green or a neon yellow to mix in some more of the contemporary.

Could you be tempted? I find the aesthetic slightly absorbing and strangely comforting; a combination that has got me trying to work out where I could put it in my house. Just think what you could save on re-plastering…

Paint chart choices

Last week I was working on painting the first of my two cupboards. It used to look like this (not sure why it has no drawers in the picture!):

1930s cupboard before
And now it looks like this:

Painted 1930s cupboard in progress
As you can see, I haven’t painted the drawers yet as I am planning to paint them a different colour to make the cupboard a bit more visually interesting. I used a pale grey paint I had left over from painting my daughter’s bed and now need to decide what will complement it most.

The easiest (and cheapest) idea is to use paint I already have, which make the choices a subdued green blue or a chartreuse yellow. Or I could splash out on a tester pot of something completely different, like a mid-tone grey, a mid-century orange or a moody blue. Decisions, decisions.

In other choices, I’m trying to decide whether to pluck up the courage and apply to study something more closely linked to this blog than my previous jobs. I’m probably at a similar stage in my decision as this cupboard is; just waiting for the last, crucial effort that will make the impact. I really hope this cupboard looks good.

Ideal home exhibition highlights

My friend asked me if I wanted to go with her to the Ideal Home exhibition and, as I had a free ticket in my magazine and it sounded like it might be fun, we visited today.

ideal home exhibition at Earl's Court

Overall, I was disappointed that the volume of products vastly outweighed the more designed or curated spaces but there were a few finds – along with some tasty food – that put a smile on our faces.

The area of most inspiration for me was the Ideal Young Gardener of the Year show gardens and I loved the combination of plants and structures (especially in Capel Manor’s).

I also enjoyed being reminded of Earthborn‘s clay-based paints and Plain English‘s early twentieth century-inspired cabinets. But sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, as demonstrated by Potnotch‘s hanging pot holders.

I had a good few hours with my lovely friend Catherine but I don’t think I’ll be heading to the Ideal Home exhibition again. Are there any home or interiors shows that I should be going to? I’d love to hear your recommendations.

Cupboard love

I can only apologise for my recent lack of blogging; if you had wanted to read about nursery schools and farm visits then I could have obliged.

I have however been on a new project surge at my house: moving furniture around, buying cushions and getting some quotes for jobs. Mr Paint chart joy has even got out his paint brush again!

Here’s a bit of my new look front room with its lovely new cushion from John Lewis. As you can see, I still need to finish off where the new fireplace has been fitted. Oh and I should probably have tidied up the children’s books before I took this photo but I’m keeping it real.

Bookcases , armchair and cushion

My storage reorganisation has left a lot more space in my open plan room for toy storage. After experimenting with buying a fancy new cabinet, I just couldn’t bring myself to spend lots of money on something that was going to be banged about all day. So here’s my new Ebay cupboard which cost a whole fifteen pounds that I can’t wait to paint in Dulux’s Spring Breeze 3.

Austinsuite cupboard - before

Shop local 4: The Old Flight House, near Bicester

Sorry – this is one for people in the South East of the UK – but I think it is worth finding and using your local shops and so I’m going to plug mine!

I first heard about the Old Flight House Antiques Centre when it was nominated for a Muddy Stilettos award last year, and thought it sounded good enough to make the hour’s journey. The vast and varied selection of antiques, vintage items and other interior accessories was impressive and made the trip well worth it.

It had the feel of wandering through your grandma’s (very spacious) loft; packed full of items with a past in need of an editor. I particularly enjoyed some great value finds – such as a vibrant Mexican throw (currently in my bedroom) and some large glass storage jars (still there when I left).

I would definitely recommend it for a browse and a coffee or as somewhere to source a specific item of furniture or accessories.

See my other recommendations:

A little of what you already have

Turning the pages of interiors magazines, it is very easy to think that your house would be more beautiful or calming or cool (or whatever it is that floats your boat) if you just had that thing just there. As we all know that’s not really the case, I thought I might try to bring a fleck of the makeover magic to my house with no cost and a little effort.

For my first attempt, I thought I’d be brave and tackle my kitchen. I don’t really like the kitchen – it was put in by the previous owners – but it’s not bad enough to change. So I wondered if a bit of changing things round would make me enjoy it more.

The result is cheap and cheerful, I think. I love my random selection of storage jars and have dug out a few old treasures from the cupboards to enjoy again.

Kilner jars and patterned storage jars

Kitchen window and worktop with coffee pot and jugs

N.B. As I sat down to write this, the builders next door put up a higher fence in our garden prompting me to send a text to my husband suggesting we may want to get on rightmove. Contentment is harder than it looks.

A little bit country

Fresh flowers in a jug//Photograph via The Kitchen Garden School

I have just got back from visiting a friend who lives just next to the primary school I went to, right on the edge of what I would call ‘proper’ countryside. The smell (it’s opposite a farm; you can imagine) took me back to days spent crouching down next to mushrooms and pulling the seed heads from grasses. The town I live in is practical, I miss the city I worked in but the countryside I grew up in is a part of who I am.

There are many devoted fans of country style but I am not one of them. All those pale interiors and hearts can feel a bit too sentimental for my liking and aren’t really very practical when faced with all that nature.

Two of my concessions to country style are simple enamelware and freshly picked flowers in a jug (I think my choice would be a bit more rustic than the one pictured). Simple, practical and beautiful.

eggs, butter and whisk with enamelware bowls//Photograph by Sam Stowell via Falcon Enamelware