Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Belgian Style: Raw Wood in our home...and an announcement....

Hello chickadees,

I'm linking up today with Laura. Here's her button for those of you who haven't had the pure pleasure of seeing her blog yet.


On Monday, I was very excited to start a new series on Belgian Style where I'll be revealing my inspiration images, which highlight one element at a time, before sharing how I've tried to bring in the gorgeousness to the renovation of our home, using easy-peasy steps that you can follow if you'd like.

Please remember that this series is the
antithesis of
slavishly copying the look. It's about
finding a style that suits you
in your home and in my home, and
in our every day lives.

First stop: raw wood.

{For a peep at my inspiration, click here.}


Here are three short steps to
adding touches of Belgian Style
untreated wood
to your home.

{I've listed them in order of the impact they'll make on your house. So if this is a look you love then go for idea One. If you just fancy a hint, here and there, then you could try idea Three.}

{One: Is there raw wood in the structure of the house? If not, don't be afraid to add it.}

When we moved in to our house, there were incredibly ugly modern doors. No redeeming features at all.

We've replaced those monstrosities with stripped pine doors, which have been gently waxed to provide protection. I can't even begin to tell you what a huge difference this made to the look of the house.  

Even with the most modernernised room in our home, the bathroom, hanging a door in natural wood gave the room a new depth.

We're lucky enough to have original beams on our top floor, which we've kept exposed. I love the attic-chic look that they create up here, giving so much character to what could otherwise be a cold top-floor space.

{Idea Two: Choose furniture in its raw state, or consider stripping back to the wood for a great way to bring in a bit of Belgian bling to your home.}

We have waxed elm chairs in out dining room. If they  become stained, we just sand them down - perfect for little ones.

My grandmother's settle, tucked in the corner, is one of my favourite pieces.

Look at the gorgeous detail carved into the wood.

{Idea Three: Adding Accessories}

This makes least impact but is soooooo easy to implement.

Here's one of the ideas I've used from around our house.

On top of the piano, in our dining room, I've placed two lamps made from old bobbins either side of my old Singer sewing machine.

Both the base of the sewing machine and the bobbin lamps have such a beautiful grain.

The exposed wood reveals the age of these beautiful pieces.

Seeing them there, imagining their past lives, brings a smile to my face whenever I see them.

Fancy a bit of Belgian Bling? Let me know how you get on.... 

Oooh, ooooh, and guess what I have to announce?

I have an interview coming up here on Modern Country Style. When I was asked to interview Christina Strutt of Cabbages & Roses fame, I was nearly beside myself with joy.

Is there anyone who deosn't appreciate their fanastic take on vintage florals?


I thought not. We *all* love them.

Come back and hear what Christina has to say about designing fabric, decorating with Modern Country Style (*sigh*), what makes up her perfect much more.


Enter your email address:

to subscribe to Modern Country Style


Loo xx from Jumbles and Pompoms said...

Hi Lovely, like you I'm a keen fan of raw wood. Our old house had it in droves, unfortunately, this one doesn't. I think I've already bored you about the doors which were made out of the wood that you might build a shed with (every time you brushed past a door, you'd snag your woolly on it - it was that bad). Er where was I, yes raw wood. Love it. Love the pic of the old sewing machine on the sideboard with those lamps.

Talking of sewing machines, am having a torrid time with that blessed* (*I really want to put a bad word here, but I won't) sewing pattern. Flipping yokes and pleats and pinning the right side to the wrong side - it's like another language. Sorry rambling on. I'll go now.


Tricia said...

Your photos look so good Sarah. I really love that one that shows the beautiful detail on your sewing machine.

As for raw wood, I'm a big fan. The furniture in my bedroom and a few of my tables are waxed. It really is such a good look.

Have a good day :)

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

I am really loving these posts on belgian style! I could never really figure out what my style is but I think this is close to it... I love good hits of raw wood in our home.
Love love that settee!! Your doors are gorgeous! Ok you got me with those doors...that is my next project!!!
Merci sarah!

Connie in Hartwood said...

'Attic Chic' is brilliant!! I love the way your new/old doors have totally changed the whole feeling of your house. Grandma's settle? It's a work of art ... gorgeous.

Unknown said...

Love it! I have been working with the balance between design elements and I love seeing how others incorporate them into their home! Beautiful!! I can't wait to see more!

On Crooked Creek said...

I adore those bobbin lamps, too cute! Your home is lovely with the change of doors! Keep the inspiration coming and thank you for your sweet comments today!

alison said...

Mmmm...I like the idea of changing the've given me some ideas of blending old with new. Lovely!
Alison xx

chris said...

I adore your home, Sarah. The union jack pillow on the settee is awesome, as is of course, the settee.

Jaimie said...

Sarah, all I have to say is, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! I love it all and I am totally with you on the raw wood. We actually have raw wood doors in our little cottage and at first I was thinking of painting them, but now I am so glad I didn't. They really add character and warmth to our home. And I am so excited for your interview. For Christmas my husband gave me the Cabbages & Roses book, 'At Home With Country'. I LOVE IT! Yay!

Lila said...

I have really contemplating adding raw wood to our decor and home. I love how cozy and inviting your home is.

Luciane at said...

hey sweetie!!!

I LOVE seeing your house.... it's so beautiful and personal! I love every room.

Interviews are fun, huh? Scary, but fun! I've started it too and I'm in the process of finishing my next one.. it's really cool.

I can't wait for this interview, Sarah! It will be wonderful!!!

Have a great day!


Luciane at

Anonymous said...

Hi sweetpea!

I love looking at photos of your home. I never noticed your grandmothers settee. It's beautiful! I luuuuuurve the beams and doors in your house, as well. I think every space should include wood tones. It adds warmth and character. Our house has tons of white woodwork because it's the Colonial style but the wood floors and furnishings tone it down. I'm really digging this series!

Can't wait for your interview! Mmmm vintage floral, yes please :)

Have a fantastic day! xo ~M

Meera @ firstsense said...

Hello lovely! It's always such a treat to pop by here :)

I love raw wood and the details in your home are just so lovely and personal and characterful.

Super news about the interview! Looking forward to it! :)

Meera xx

Travel With Lulu said...

I can't wait to read the interview - that's fantastic.

My grandfather used to sell Singer sewing machines - so brings back happy memories of my childhood! XOL

Erin said...

Hello!! I am loving this series Sarah, as I am a lover of natural my old house our doors and woodwork was natural, and I miss it so. So beautiful in it's basic element..I love those lamps and the singer together and grandmother's settle..yummy!

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

The raw wood is a pleasure to see. I know my home is filled with pine and oak and maple and .. I can see the wood grain. Great photos in your post.
- Joy

Olive said...

Sarah, I love your Grandmother's piece in the corner. Nothing compares to the beauty of wood. I only paint when the piece has a surface that cannot be redeemed. hugs♥O

Robynne's Nest said...

Great post Sarah, just love the bobbin lamps. Can't wait to read the C&R interview...her homewares and clothing are amazing and her stores are one of my favourite stops in London. Robx

Unknown said...

Thanks for your advice
I just love the bobbin lamps and the beams upstairs
I am waiting to read your interview with
Christina Strutt
Many hugs

Anonymous said...

completely wonderful ideas, and really accessible. Replacing a door here or there is truly brilliant! I've never even considered that, but it would truly make a big impact... just like in your bathroom, which is magnificent, btw.

thanks, diane

Doda said...

Your home looks gorgeous. I especially love the sewing machine and lamps. Where did you find them?

Miranda @ Pressing On said...

Great post. My favorite features are your doors, they are just so pretty.

Congrats on the interview. That will be a fun one to read!!

Unknown said...

I adore the lamps, they are perfection with that sewing machine! I don't think I could do Belgian style in my home - I have painted the only two unfinished doors in my house (ducks in case your readers throw things at my head) and added glittery glass door handles! ;)

It does marry so very nicely with modern country, however, and all the industrial touches makes my heart go pitter-patter!


Anonymous said...

those big huge chunks of wood...are they a part of your house as in the framing or are they added on top kind of?

you are lucky to live in europe where this seems to be the norm for historic homes, is this correct?
do you think we can just add chunks here on regular drywall? said...

I'm loving the look and how the raw wood is such a big part of it. Are you having any more inspiration parties? Let me know!

At The Picket Fence said...

Oh, shame on me! I just realized that I read this first thing in the morning but forgot to comment! Every time I see more pictures of your home I feel like I get to know you a little better. :-) Your blog name could not possibly more perfectly capture your style and design sensibility. Everything is just lovely!

High Street Cottage said...

OH Sarah, I love seeing images of your lovely home! And how fitting that you interview Christina Strut! I'm so happy for you, and excited, can't wait to read the interview!!! I love Cabbages and Roses! You have made me come out from hiding, so to speak when I read this I had to reply, hugs and kisses, tami

Simple Home said...

I love this style. I've been loving the Scandinavian look I see on blogs, but I have pieces of furniture that I just can't paint white. There is something about their natural state that really appeals to me. This style gives you a touch of both. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos :-)

Kathysue said...

Beautifully written and explained. I love how you have taken us through the steps you have taken to make your home just like you want it. The natural wood is so warm and gorgeous, Kathysue

Anonymous said...

Your home is lovely Sarah. Thank you for more inspiring words. Love your touches of raw wood. So special to have pieces with some history from loved ones too.

Lisa x

♥ Mary Janes TEAROOM said...

Lovely photographs Sarah.
I love the added vintage touches...the old sewing machines are beautiful, aren't they? So much wonderful workmanship. I have one too.
Good luck with your interview. So exciting!
Susan x

Le said...

ohhh how fab - love your nan's couch - it's a keeper :) plus that brittish cushion with the heart - I heart that :)

I have just seen a belguim style inspired kitchen - will send you a link - I think it is mod belgium - hee hee le xox

Unknown said...

I love the idea of the sewing machine and bobbin lamps on the piano. That looks fabulous! I also adore all of that floral. Looking forward to seeing more ;)

LindyLouMac said...

You have some very appealing pieces in your beautiful home Sarah.

Carla @ Hammers and High Heels said...

Beautiful photos! I can't wait to read the interview, how exciting!

Holly said...

I'm afraid that my house is a 3 yr old builder home with no architectural interest whatsoever! I love how well you are able to incorporate your's so charming!

Magali @ The Little White House said...

I'm very excited about that interview. I bought a magazine a few month ago and they had an article on Mrs Cabbages & Roses' home in England and my, was it fabulous, not grand, just perfectly cozy and welcoming. I thought you might want to check a blog called "Tema et les P'tits-beurres" I recently found: Tema is belgian and has a wonderful eye for decoration.

Kirsty Girl said...

Gorgeous! Love the belgian style, the raw wood and the bling! Stunning.

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Your home is so gorgeous, Sarah. I still adore your bedroom color. That carved sette is pretty incredible.

Unknown said...

Love how you placed the bed under the sloping roof and the black and white painting. The sewing machine, the color of the room. It's all so perfect!

Stephanie said...

Beautiful. I wish I could start my whole house over. That isn't feasible so trying to only bring in what I love while getting rid of some of what now seems to be clutter. Thanks for the inspiration!

michele said...

beautiful photography and tips, Sarah. i love coming here!


Anonymous said...

Very Nice! I lived in Belgium for a year when I was 17 years old. It was one of my fondest times of my life!

Courtenay@Signal Hill Interiors said...

Well, what do you know? I think I like Belgian style. Your bobbin lamps are so cute, but so sophisticated.

Erin S. said...

Just found your blog through "Serenity Now"--your photos are lovely. I lived in London as an expat from 1999 to 2002 and reading your blog is like talking to all my friends there :). We have your exact same dining chairs (bought used with a super sturdy table for only 100 quid total!). Thanks for the sanding/rewaxing tip--I didn't know that's what you do. I love the color so much I haven't wanted to mess with them, but they could probably use a little attention.

Joy@Thrifty Parsonage Living said...

I'm visiting your blog through "Serenity Now"-- I love your photos of the sewing machine. You show such lovely detail in your photos.

René said...

Sarah, I liked your mention of the pine floors in your kitchen. We have heart pine with a urethane finish which I have never liked. Over time they have begun to turn orange - blah! Stripping and waxing would make a huge difference.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

You made raw wood look stunning! I love the beams on the ceiling. :)

Thanks for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. :) Hope you'll stop by Serenity Now again soon!

Megan @ {VintageHydrangeas} said...

That is such sound advice, thank you for sharing! So inspirational!

SLR said...

loving all the dark rich wood, but i really really love your jan constantine union jack pillow!!

Laura Cain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura Cain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

it's so lovely to have a little lookie around your gorgeous house...

i have been collecting those wonderful bobbins from mills in northern england since we arrived here...i've used mine as candles...but i love the idea of lamps!

a little inspiration for me before i get to sewing another union jack cushion and some bunting for spring...

melissa xx

ps- i did a wood post this morning of my front hall...spring is in the air!

Sarah said...

I love raw wood too. My favourite piece is my antique huon pine farmhouse kitchen table, with turned blackwood legs. Huon pine and blackwood are both Tasmanian timbers - huon is an amazing honey colour with a very fine grain. It smells amazing and the timber was once prized for boat building - it's now really rare. I just scrub it clean once in a while as it's raw, but I do wonder if I should be protecting it with danish oil or similar...

You're so right about those doors of yours, they anchor your whole scheme don't they?

Great post Sarah!

Travel With Lulu said...

I'm back :) You know I have crazy love for you and your posts :) Thank you for joining Post Of The Month Club! XOL

TexaGermaFinlaNadian said...

Beautiful, and i know it is pretty late, but congrats on your interview. Pretty cool :) STopped over from the Post of the Month Club. Hope you are having a great one!

Brandy J. said...

Your home is STUNNING! I just found your blog and am your newest follower. Thanks for the fab projects and inspiration. I will definitely be stopping by often!

Beth said...

Hi Sarah,
visiting from the post of the month with Laura Happy Homemaker UK.
You have a beautiful home and a gorgeous style.

Alina @ My Yellow Umbrella said...

Stopping by from Funky Junk Interiors! I love this--your home is beautiful and inspiring!

Alexson said...

Loving the term "attic chic"!

Haakansmom said...

Can you please share what color is in your master bedroom? It is such a perfect gray...I simply must know the name and brand!!
Thanks so much!

western serials said...

Your photos look so good Sarah. I really wonder to watch that shows the beautiful detail on your sewing machine. As for raw wood, I'm a big fan. The furniture in my bedroom and a few of my tables are painted, It such a good look.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
01 09 10