Sunday, 9 May 2010

Project Updates

Just a quick update on a couple of projects. Remember my plan to decorate a blank wall in the kitchen with plates. Well this is how the wall looks now:

The sampler was hand made by my sister in law as a wedding present. The words are a lovely pagan marriage blessing and she stitched it in green and yellow, our wedding colours. We bought the original Bird's Custard advert from a car boot sale in West Sussex and the print is from the Keep Calm Gallery.

Also, ages ago I posted about my beautiful freecycle chairs. I found a remnant of Designer's Guild fabric on eBay and they now look at lot smarter:

Really pleased with both transformations!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Desk Before and After

Sorry I have been a bit quiet of late - frustratingly life keeps getting in the way of blogging! I have been a busy bee despite my silence and have quite a few projects stacked up to tell you all about.

I am going to kick off with the desk found in my parents' garage which you may remember from an earlier post. It used to look like this:

With a bit of love and attention it now looks like this:

Along with my lovely Karin Akkeson 'Tomorrow Something Wonderful Will Happen' print and repro Eames DSW chair (both recent purchases) the desk is part of a new workspace in our sitting room which has given us a home for all the bills and papers that used to sit in piles on the floor:

Another before and after to follow very soon...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Marrakech Express

I am just back from a wonderful week in Marrakech. I have always wanted to visit Morocco and with the British weather reaching an all time low in February, Mr Crafty and I decided it was time for a spur of the moment trip.

The city is as wonderful and crazy as everyone says it is but boy do those Moroccans know how to make things look beautiful. There are jewel like colours everywhere and even the most ordinary of homes are made extraordinary with the use of beautiful mosaic tiles and decorative tassels galore.

One of my favourite places was the Majorelle Gardens which was created by Jacques Majorelle, a French Painter, and was latterly owned by Yves Saint Laurent. The garden sings with colour and is a oasis of peace in a frantic city. The cafe also serves a dreamy orange blossom ice-cream.

The fountain at the Majorelle Gardens

One of the many beautiful avenues at the Majorelle Gardens

We were lucky enough to stay in the wonderful Riad Zolah which was our sanctuary from the busy streets when we needed it.

The courtyard at the Riad Zolah with it's rose petal filled marble pool

Our lovely room complete with complimentary babouches (leather slippers)

But no trip to Morocco would be complete without trying some haggling in the labyrinthine souks:

These pictures don't begin to convey the magic, colour and chaos but I got a little reticent about taking too many photos for fear of making myself a target for the very persistent shopkeepers. We did come home with some booty though:

The one thing I really wanted to bring back with me was a pouffe. I have been admiring the ones from Graham and Green for a while but was always put off by the price tag. We got this lovely leather one for a quarter of the price and if our haggling had been better we could have probably bartered it down even more.

These tassels were everywhere and I couldn't resist bringing a pair back to bring a bit of the 1001 Nights to our South East London sitting room.

When we move to our "forever house" (which is where we hope our next move will take us whenever the time comes) I am definitely going back to Marrakech for some serious interiors shopping!

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Heaven is a place in Bloomsbury

I had a lovely day out today - the sort of day that makes me fall in love with London again. A group of us gathered together for a friend's birthday celebrations. We took in the Egyptian mummies and assorted gilded Elizabethan clocks in the British Museum and then headed to my new favourite place in the world Bea's of Bloomsbury for the most marvellous tea!

I loved the high kicking cake stand and the red velvet cupcake was to die for. They have an open kitchen there so you can spy on all the clever pastry chefs rustling up wonderful sweet treats. I would heartily recommend it to anyone with a sweet tooth!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Our Kitchen

Well I have been promising to do this for ages but here, finally, are the pictures of our kitchen in its (almost) finished state.

I don't have any photos of how the kitchen was when we first moved in. Basically the whole flat was painted jade green and lemon yellow with silver woodwork which may well have been the height of fashion in the early nineties but would have been quite something to try and live with so the first thing we did was to give everything a coat of brilliant white paint just to make it a bit more bearable.

The walls were originally yellow and the chimney breast was jade green but this is how our units used to look with the walls already white (there is a lot of mess in these photos as we were just embarking on doing the room up!)

We haven't made any alterations to the layout so this has been very much a facelift on a budget rather than a complete renovation but I am so pleased with the results:

Our Freecycle Danish chairs have found a temporary home
in here but will be replaced by our eBay bargain G-Plan chairs once I have done them up.

We still need to get the door on the washing machine
- one of the many finishing touches still to do!

I love these hanging plant pots from Rockett St George that I was given for Christmas.
We never had much room on the worktop for fresh herbs but now we have our own hanging herb garden!

As I say we have only given everything a facelift but it feels like a completely new room and it has been done on an absolute shoe-string. My favourite things are:
  • The Ikea Docksta table which we got from Freecycle. This was serendipity at work as we were going to budget to buy one the very next month from Ikea.
  • The lovely engineered oak flooring which was second hand from eBay (this meant Mr Crafty had his work cut out getting all the old glue off but we saved hundreds and it looks a darn sight better than the old vinyl complete with cigarette burns that we inherited from the previous occupants).
  • The worktop made from reclaimed oak by Lidster and Son and sourced via eBay.
  • The Cole and Son Cow Parsley wallpaper bought half price on eBay.
  • Our metro tiles - half of which again were an eBay buy and the rest we bought new to match.
  • The blackboard cupboard - currently covered in messages from the friends we had to stay at new year - I am loathed to rub these off!!
  • The dresser unit which I used to hate but I now love thanks to removing the cornicing to give it cleaner lines, the colour (Farrow and Ball's Blackened) , the shaker handles (another eBay buy) and the wallpaper lining inside the cupboard.
  • The hanging herb garden (as above)
We still have the odd bit off filling to do and the cupboard door needs to go on the washing machine once we have the right hinges. I am also amassing plates and pictures to go on the wall over the radiator by the table but for all intents and purposes it is job done.

Hope you like the pics!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Welcome to 2010!

A very Happy New Year to everyone!! I hope a very merry festive season was had by all. We had a very lovely time Chez Crafty seeing the new year in with good friends and of course it wouldn't have been a party without bunting would it?

My resolution is to finally finish some of the projects I started in 2009. I have chairs to paint, other chairs to upolster, plates to source and hang, blinds to make etc. It will be great to finally get some "afters" on here after all the "befores".

One thing that really is finished (aside from a few teensy little finishing touches) is the kitchen and as soon as I can take some decent photos I will put them up on here (it deserves a little better treatment than a quick snap with the Blackberry after all the hard work that has gone into it!)