Friday, 27 March 2020

New Range Of Breathable Claypaint Suitable For Lime Plaster In Period Homes!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, with all the crazy and unexpected ups and downs of life at the moment, I hope these posts are able to provide you with some plans for your future and some welcome distraction. 

Fenwick And Tilbrook Clay Paint For Lime Plaster On Modern Country Style

I'm thrilled to be able introduce you to a whole new range of paints suitable for lime plaster. Finally!! Did you know that Fenwick and Tilbrook's whole range can be produced as chalk paints? These are PERFECT for old homes. I first stumbled across Fenwick and Tilbrook on Instagram when I was searching for breathable paint suitable for lime plaster. This is the second paint I've tried from Fenwick and Tilbrook (see my review of Woodsmoke here) and it's safe to say I'm a total convert. 

Clay Paint For Lime Plaster On Modern Country Style

If you live in a period home like ours then chances are your walls are plastered with lime plaster. And if they're not then they should be! Lime plaster has been used for many, many years because it's so fantastically long-lasting. It provides a flexible, and, importantly, highly breathable finish.

Fenwick And Tilbrook

This breathable finish is absolutely ESSENTIAL in older homes to avoid damp issues. I cannot overstate this enough. If you start using modern materials (for example, gypsum plaster or anything containing cement or plastic), particularly in the basement or ground floor of your home then don't be surprised if damp patches start appearing. This includes normal, standard paints. They all contain plastics which will trap any moisture that will be in your walls, damaging the walls and causing the paint to flake away from the walls as the water forces its way out. Not pretty and not good for the house.

Fenwick And Tilbrook Clay Paint For Lime Plaster On Modern Country Style

Claypaint is a fantastic, breathable solution to covering lime plaster. Its super-matt finish creates a beautifully authentic feel, whilst also combining durability, which many traditional lime paints and washes have lacked. And, as an added bonus, the additional gloopiness of the paint will act as a low-level filler, evening out any inconsistencies in the wall.

Clay Paint For Lime Plaster

Until recently, colour choices in claypaint have been somewhat limited but Fenwick and Tilbrook have HUGELY increased the choice by making all their gorgeous paint colours available in their unique claypaint finish. There are plenty of soft, subtle shades to choose from, as well as bolder, brighter colours too. Huzzah!!

The colours I've used on the walls in our downstairs cloakroom is based on their gorgeous colour Tusk but they've created a bespoke colour for me (and can easily do for you too!!). I wanted the colour to draw attention to the beautiful shades (Pumice and Papyrus) of these stunning tiles from The Winchester Tile Company. I'm thrilled with the results!

Fenwick And Tilbrook Clay Paint For Lime Plaster On Modern Country Style

In fact, Fenwick and Tilbrook work with you on a surprisingly personal one-to-one level, so rare these days, to create colour matches to pretty much anything you can think of!

Time to get the paintbrushes out!!?

Take LOTS Of Care Until Next Time,
Sarahx

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Monday, 9 March 2020

5 Tips For PERFECTLY Modern Country Tiles

Choosing GORGEOUS tiles for a small space makes the most enormous difference. Here's a few pointers to help you on your way...

Modern Country tiles

Go for quality...
It's absolutely worth paying that little bit extra for the wow factor, particularly so in a small space like our downstairs loo. The clay base and glossy, undulating finish make these tiles from The Winchester Tile Company stand apart miles and miles from high street equivalents. Each tile is different and finished by hand and its little details like these that really matter where square footage is tight.

Original Style tiles

Don't be afraid to mix and match.
If your tiles will be reaching half way up the wall like ours then consider some kind of border to make the whole space feel more considered and thought-through. Here, I've picked the Cosmpolitan Ogee Moulding Border tiles in Pumice (20 x 3), the Cosmopolitan Field Tile in PApyrus (13 x 13) and then  Cosmopolitan Half Tiles (10 x2 0) in Pumice all from the Residence range. It's those top three rows that pull this whole room together.

The Winchester Tile Company Tiles

Steer clear of anything overly trendy
Generally speaking, trends will date and, just like any other decorating choice that you want to last and last, it pays to stick to classics. Metro-style tiles, simple squares and timeless mouldings will look good forever. Fact!

Original Style Cosmopolitan Range

Don't be boring
Having said that, don't feel you have to be neutral and bland all the way. The Papyrus Field tiles are a cool white tone and the Pumice colourway is a warm grey-green. However, the combination of the different shapes here, combined with the amazing hand-made feel of the glazing means that, whilst the vibe is gentle, these tiles are attention-grabbingly beautiful.

The Winchester Tile Company Border Tiles in Pumice

Always but always choose Modern Country!
How could I miss this step out!!? The mix of muted colours alongside the beautiful rustic edge finish of these tiles creates a look that is sooooo Modern Country and, no surprise, I'm in love!

Small downstairs loo Modern Country tiles

Don't be nervous of designing small spaces. They're a chance to create something really special. Every time I go in this little room, it brings a smile to my face!

Take Care Till Next Time,
Sarahx

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Friday, 6 March 2020

Beginning To Build The Downstairs Loo!

As part of our building project, we removed the weirdest, smallest, grottiest loo in the world! It was TINY!! What a joyful day it was when our amazing builders knocked the whole thing down!! A total celebration moment of the whole build! Instead, we now how have a gorgeous downstairs loo that visitors can use without fearing for their lives!



Now, I've said it many times before but when designing any small room, cloakrooms being a perfect case in point because they're often on the petite side, the details matter one hundred per cent. Much more so than when the room size speaks for itself. Here's a place (at last!) that you can really go to town because there simply isn't the wall space for costs to mount up!



In particular, I'm talking about the loo, sink and taps. And I'm most definitely talking about the tiles which, oh my goodness, can make SUCH a statement if you choose carefully.


Coming up soon tomorrow, the first reveal of our new downstairs loo!!

Take Care Till Next Time,
Sarahx

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Thursday, 27 February 2020

Are Soundbars Worth It?

You may have noticed that the last post, How To Incorporate A Large Television In a Period Home, didn't mention the sound quality of the television and that's no accident! While the Sony XG95 has fantastic sound, I wanted the whole cinema experience in our new snug so I decided to bring in the pleasures of a soundbar.


It's a game changer!!

Suddenly, television viewing is taken to a whole other level. You can read all the gumpph, all the techy information, but nothing can prepare you for the moment that your tv first connects to your new soundbar (we went with the Sony HT-S350) and you're transformationally caught up in a whole other level of immersion.


Whatever it is that you're watching magically comes alive. You feel as though you're transported there in a beautifully orchestrated heartbeat! For it's lovely neat size (far less clutter and wires than a surround sound system), this Sony Soundbar packs an incredible punch, earning its place a thousand times over!

As a fantastic bonus, we can also stream music via Bluetooth, meaning that this room has become a real hub in our home for friends, for family, for parties, for quiet times...

How To Incorporate A Large Television In A Period Home

Plus the underfloor heating doesn't hurt....the cat loves it!! ;-)


Take Care Till Next Time,
Sarah

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Saturday, 22 February 2020

How To Incorporate A Large Television In A Period Home

Here are my Top Tips for incorporating a large television in a period house. We live in a Georgian home and have just converted the basement into a Cinema Room, which means that I can show you in practice how I designed the space around our new Sony 75" television....

How To Incorporate A Large Television In A Period Home

First of all, I'd strongly suggest playing up the other architectural features in your room to provide some gorgeous contrast with old and new. Make the style of the room very obvious and the television will appear part of a cohesive whole rather than a mishmash of lots of different styles.

How To Incorporate A Large Television

In choosing that look, may I suggest that you look no further than Modern Country Style?! Modern Country Style is absolutely tailor-made for introducing contemporary technology, like this incredible tv. It's the Sony XG95 model and is an epically gargantuan 75".

A Large Television In A Period Home

It's worth spending near the top of your budget for new technology to make sure that it will stand the test of time; looking after our environment means choosing to move away from a disposable culture. Buy once, buy well and your room will be a place you gravitate towards. Particular features to look for are an anti-glare surface (which stops annoying reflections). Can you can see this in action below? 

Anti-Glare In Action!

Choose a television which has a very slim profile (how far it sticks out from the wall). This Sony XG95 has a profile of just 6.9cm, which makes it extremely unobtrusive and gives the impression of almost being a decorative feature rather than a massive, bulky television. In fact, the panelling sticks out further than the actual tv!

How To Incorporate A Large Television In A Period Home

...and, my personal favourite for making sure this becomes a well-used room in your period home, prioritise fantastic visual contrast. You want the blacks to be super dark, the colours to be saturated and the range of colour variation to be rich and full. All televisions are absolutely NOT made equal.

 A Large Television In A Period Home

Create a space specifically for the television within your room. The panelling used here provided the perfect opportunity to build a large panel beneath the chimney breast to place our new 75" Sony television.

How To Incorporate A Large Television

Your television is likely to be predominantly black. It'll look far less intrusive if you introduce touches of black elsewhere. Here, for example, I've used black Jim Lawrence wall lights, Annie Sloan black ticking cushion plus my favourite Z monogram cushion from M&S. You can see these as soon as you open the door so that when the telelvision appears in your line of sight, the colour scheme has already been set. Clever, huh?!

Modern Country Style Living Room

Make sure your television cabinet ties in with your scheme and hides as many wires as possible. I'm completely besotted with this one from Oak Furnitureland with its beautiful chunky curves.

Brindle Large Television Cabinet from Oak Furnitureland

I can't even put into words how lovely it is to be in our new Cinema Room. We use it so much more than we'd ever imagined. It's warm and cosy and, whether our new television is on or off, it's a perfect place to snuggle down and unwind.

How To Incorporate A Large Television In A Period Home

Take Care Until Next Time,
Sarahx

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Thursday, 6 February 2020

How To Make New Pine Wooden Doors Look Old

Over the years, I've searched out lots of gorgeous reclaimed doors...and loved every one...but there are some occasions when the right door simply can't be found, even with a handy carpenter making adjustments. So what's a girl to do when you need to make a new door look like an old stripped pine door? Here's a tutorial for the perfect method for making brand spanking new doors look reclaimed !!

Farrow and Ball Light Blue How To Make New Pine Wooden Doors Look Old

The trick is to start with great doors. This is not going to work with a plywood cheapy door from your local DIY store. The new, replica, 4 Panel Victorian Style pine doors I've sourced previously are from Historic Doors...

How To Make New Pine Wooden Doors Look Old

It's reasonably easy to find good 4-panel replicas but extremely hard to find 6-panel Georgian Style new pine doors. I searched high and low...and eventually came across these beauties from Walcott Reclamation.

How To Make New Pine Wooden Doors Look Old

The shape and the 'solid feeling' should be right but at this point they will look very new: pale and smooth. We need to bring in that olde worlde charm and knocked-about feel. The best way to do this, I've found, is to apply a solution of caustic soda diluted with plenty of water and rub it on with a rag. {PLEASE NOTE THAT CAUSTIC SODA IS LETHALLY STRONG STUFF. USE GLOVES. USE GOGGLES. DON'T LEAVE ANY ON YOUR SKIN.}

How To Make New Pine Wooden Doors Look Old

After the solution is applied, you'll find that the wood will turn yellow. This will settle down somewhat and, depending on the wood, will become greyish and possibly streaky. However, the most important thing that will happen is that the grain will raise. This replicates what happens with wood naturally over a long time, creating that aged stripped pine look in an instant!

How To Make New Pine Wooden Doors Look Old

Leave to dry thoroughly and then wax away! I used Briwax in  Medium Brown...

How To Make New Pine Wooden Doors Look Old

Follow the instructions on the tin for a gorgeous mellow, warm finish that perfectly replicates old pine...but on your brand new doors, giving you that classic stripped gorgeousness!! Magic!!

Take Care Until Next Time,
Sarahx

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Saturday, 25 January 2020

Colour Study: Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

Hello, Modern Country lovelies, 

Welcome back to another Modern Country Paint Colour Study! Sometimes, just sometimes, I'm lucky enough, through my work, to stumble upon something truly special that I simply HAVE to share with you...and today is such a day: Fenwick and Tilbrook's Woodsmoke Exterior Eggshell is one of the very best I've tried in sooooo many ways.

Colour Study: Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

I used Fenwick and Tilbrook's Woodsmoke on the panelling in our new snug and, oh my goodness gracious, I've fallen head over heels in love with this colour. It's the VERY best paint colour I know to use with exposed Cotswold Stone (more on that to come!!).

Colour Study: Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

As with all the best paint colours, it's hard to describe exactly. Fenwick and Tilbrook describe it like this: The colour of smoke changes depending on the material that is burning, natural wood will change the smoke to a pale, warm, grey beige. This is the inspiration for our colour Woodsmoke'.... I'll try and get over my lovestruck jabbering enthusiasm and give you a good clear idea on what to expect...

Colour Study: Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

Woodsmoke is a superbly soft green. But not an obvious green by any means...it's muddily muted green tones create such a gorgeous neutral warmth that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who walks in here comments on how peaceful it feels...and I put that largely down to this precise paint colour.

You can see just what a difference it made by looking at this before photo from when the panelling had just been put in...



And here's almost exactly the same shot with the delicious Fenwick and Tilbrook Woodsmoke on the panelling. As soon as our panelling was painted, the whole room absolutely sprang to life. We'd come and sit down here just to stare at the colour. It's mesmerisingly beautiful....

Modern Country Style Living Room

Fenwick and Tilbrook have created the most perfect mid-toned hue. Woodsmoke contains just the right amount of grey; there's absolutely nothing cold or industrial about this beautiful colour.

Colour Study: Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

A quick word of warning: when painting rooms after significant building work, if you're after the Modern Country Style then try to avoid colours that are too grey because they can make the room appear somewhat soulless. 

Colour Study: Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

Fenwick and Tilbrook's Woodsmoke is green enough to add the perfect warmth of the Country but is still dirty enough (and I mean that entirely in a good way) to feel beautifully contemporary at the same time.

Colour Study: Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

One of the things that is so super special about Fenwick and Tilbrook's Exterior Eggshell (which is what we've used here) is that it goes on BEE-YOO-TIFULLY. No drips, no overpowering smell, no stickiness....just extraordinarily easy to apply in smooth, lustrous strokes for a really fantastic, tough finish....and you most certainly do not get that experience with every paint brand out there.

Colour Study: Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

If you're a fan of muted, gently-greyed paint colours then you've struck gold here at Modern Country Style! Here is Fenwick and Tilbrook's Woodsmoke in gentle evening light...it appears much greyer but still with a lovely softness.

Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

So...overall verdict? I literally could not praise this paint any more. It's perfection in a perfectly packaged paint pot... Woodsmoke harmonises beautifully with all natural materials, stone walls: check! Stripped pine door: check. Iron wall lights: check! Wool carpet? Check! 

Fenwick And Tilbrook Woodsmoke

Fenwick and Tilbrook's Woodsmoke is chockablock-full of character and charm....perfect for an injection of Modern Country Style into our brand new snug! 

Now...have you ever wondered how to give new bare pine that stunning antique stripped pine look? Coming your way soon is a full tutorial...

Take Care Until Next Time,

Sarahx

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Friday, 24 January 2020

The Worst Before Shots In The WORLD!!!!

I'm SO excited! It's finally time for me to start revealing all that's been going on behind the scenes here in our little corner of the Cotswolds.

For those of you who are new {welcome!!}, four years ago we moved to a rambling Georgian house that needed a lot of care and attention. And over the last year, we've been having extensive building work on much of the house.

Let's give ourselves a quick reminder of a couple of the Before and After rooms, and then I'll show you the official Worst Before In The World!!

Here's the transformation of our Living Room...


Modern Country Living Room

And who forget the awful kitchen that we turned into our Family Room...  (full details here!!)




When we first moved in, with no definite plans for the basement, the children used it as a playroom but over the next couple of years, we gradually began to realise what amazing potential this space had.


The builders did an AMAZING job at doing all the behind-the-scenes work and then began...


...Project Snug!!!

Take care till next time, 
when I'll be sharing one of my new favourite EVER paint colours with you,

Sarahx

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