Thursday, September 20, 2012

Spotted: Gooooooood morning!

I saw these guys out for their training run at 9am yesterday in Hyde Park Corner. Immortal indeed!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DIY Update

Hi bloggies! It's been a while, I know; we've been really busy trying to make our new house a home. When last I blogged, The Irishman and his brother had been ripping apart the place to paint the lionshare of it bright white. Now complete, we're really pleased at how much cleaner and brighter it looks. We're ready to start hanging art on the walls to really make it our own.You can see above the lovely light coming in from the back garden; it's pretty fabulous as a space, I must say.After the painting marathon, we spent a lot of time in the garden fighting back some of the wilds. We have lots of fascinating fruit plants invading our garden from neighboring patios; a fig tree and passionfruit and grape vines are all dropping their produce into our yard. Unfortunately, I think they're all ornamental so rather than try to keep it all, we hacked most of it away. Now the space is bigger, brighter and cleaner (sense a theme here?).Finally, the biggest excitement for a while happened last night when we bought a kitchen table. We were toying with going for a mid-century modern pieces like this vintage Ercol number below.
The Irishman wasn't really feeling the vibe, though, and I think for something like this to work, you have to build a world of mid-century around it otherwise it would feel out of place. Being so characteristic it would drive the whole aesthetic of the ground floor of the house, and since we weren't going to develop a completely new style overnight we decided to go with one of our original ideas: a vintage farmhouse table.Friends, do you know how expensive an old farmhouse table can be?Answer: as expensive as you want it to be! We found some new ones on Not on the High Street for into the £1000s; the prices for used/reclaimed wood tables aren't much better on Ebay or in antique shops, and those can sometimes have gaps in the planks and uneven surfaces that aren't exactly practical. We were considering just going for it and buying a new table until The Irishman found a listing for a table for sale in Stoke Newington on Gumtree for £225 plus a bench for £75. Last night we went around to look at it, bargained the poor man down to £275 and took the table home in the back of our Streetcar. You can see it, hosting my lovely autumn sunflowers, in the photo at the top.So we're on track, slowly but surely; this weekend we're headed to the New Forest to see some friends and planning on stopping into some vintage and antique shops along the way. Our next focus is bedside tables – I'll keep you posted on the search.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The DIY Begins

This was my bedroom last Sunday. That's my lovely new bed and amazing mattress, covered in plastic sheeting to protect it as we repainted the bedroom.

We've well and truly moved into our house, and have been in for nearly four weeks. But our quick turn-around move meant that we didn't actually have the luxury of doing things when we first got into the house that we originally wanted to do, like paint the entire house a base coat of white, get it professionally cleaned, etc. Only now are we really getting into the depths of making it our own.

While my friend was visiting last week, The Irishman had time to start prepping the bedroom for painting and we managed to get most of it done last Sunday. This week, he has a week of holiday before he starts a new job and his brother is over from Dublin to help him tackle the rest of the house. Though the entire place smells of paint fumes, already it looks brighter, cleaner, and more of a blank slate for us to make our own.

Hopefully by this weekend the guys will have most of the house done, save for the bathroom (already a lovely Farrow & Ball shade of blue), the loft (which was very recently painted and doesn't need any work), and the kitchen (which is such a disaster that we're toying with just leaving it until we're ready to rip it apart and replace it). 

After the initial white-wash, I plan on tackling the bedroom as the first room we decorate. I'm starting to build pinboards on Pinterest of colours, textures, textiles, and furniture, and we're excited to design  a restful and calm space we both enjoy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Recap: #Ladyweek2012

Those of you who follow me on Twitter were probably scratching your heads last week, wondering what the h*%£ I was on about with all of my #Ladyweek2012 tweets. Well, I had the week off from work and my bestie visited to check out my new house, new hood, and drink a lot of rosé. She came bearing gifts from Trader Joes and an old-school friendship bracelet (mine is the pink one!).

We pretended we were Patsy and Edina from AbFab and drank before noon, and especially copious amounts of rosé at fancy restaurants. Our first full day together, we went to lunch at Ottolenghi! We also got cultural and saw the Heatherwick and Ballgown exhibitions at the V&A. I highly recommend both – especially Heatherwick. He is a genius!

One of the things my friend specifically requested we do was the Emirates Air Line. It's pretty great! You get an amazing view of the East End, including the Thames Barrier, even though it's sort of a trek to get there. 

Besides eating in restaurants, we also indulged in nights in drinking rosé (of course) and British TV. I got my friend hooked on the Great British Bake-Off over four types of cheeses and three types of meat.

And of course, we just wandered... up and down the streets of Stoke Newington, Dalston, Islington, Clerkenwell, Oxford Street, Soho, and Bermondsey Street... we went into shops, markets, cafes, and generally were ladies about town. It was an amazing staycation and we're already planning #Ladyweek2013 – maybe in America, maybe someplace in Europe... the sky is the limit because #ladyweek can take place anywhere with sun and rosé.