Thursday 28 February 2013

Creating Flow-Through: Flooring

Let me share a peek into this gorgeous home. Having the same beautiful flooring throughout several rooms is a fantastic way to unify any space and create that Modern Country Flow-Through vibe.

But I bet when I said the words 'beautiful flooring', your heart sank. Beautiful = Expensive in the flooring world, right? Well, just look at these floors....

They'd be in my gorgeous-category hands-down.....and didn't cost the earth either.....both literally and figuratively.

What am I on about?

Come over to the Relics blog and see the rest of this gorgeous home plus a detailed How-To on what YOU can do to get this lovely Scandi-Chic look in your home.

{Top Tip: it's easy-peasy}

All images: mine

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Monday 25 February 2013

A Sneaky-Peek Into Our Modern Country Dining Room

So here it is....our Flow-Through Modern Country Dining Room. 
One of my favourite rooms in the house. It feels calm and relaxing...essential with five children around!

One of the questions I've been asked a lot recently is how to make this work: how to take two separate rooms and create a Flow-Through feel that really works for you.

Over the next few weeks, let's take a look, shall we, at some easy-peasy ways to create this Flow-Through look in your Modern Country Dining Room?

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Monday 18 February 2013

The Fabulous Flow-Through Dining Space....

And now, let's get down to the style that I truly love; that's not to say that the other Modern Country Dining Set-Ups weren't utterly beautiful and divinely functional but this solution is my absodoodle favourito, as the saying so clearly should go.

The Flow-Through is Modern Country Dining-Heaven. 
Yes, it could be seen as a hotch-potch of all the previous styles we've been discussing....or, as I prefer to think of it, a rather sneaky nabbing of the very best bits to make.....Dining Nirvana!

Can you see, in these images, the dining area seems to flow perfectly  in and around the rest of the house?

Some of the tables are in a room of their own, while others are in fairly open-planned but strictly zoned spaces.....

...yet all of these spaces manage the Modern Country ideal. Conjuring up the feeling of the Country idyll but retaining the slight separateness because of the realities of Modern life with all its noisy kitchen gadgets. These gorgeous dining tables aren't in the kitchen but have been arranged artfully nearby, to ensure the owners have the best of Modern and Country living.

Oh, the joys of the Modern Country Flow-Through.
I think it's about time I showed you ours?

Images via: Country Homes and Interiors, Period Living, Unknown, Katherine's Dream, Ideal Home

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Thursday 14 February 2013

Livng/Dining Rooms...Making The Space Work For You!

Can Living/Dining Rooms work? In our last home, this is exactly what we had. One medium-sized reception room. It was the only place to squeeze us all in. And when I say squeeze, I really do mean squeeeeeeeeze.

And that's what this post is really about. The question isn't so much 'Does this set-up work?' but more a case of 'Work with what you've got'.

Yes, some dining arrangements do work better than others but what if you haven't got/can't afford/don't want that set-up?

It's all very well showing lovely images of beautiful dining spaces but what about if you live in a wee flat, or in a house-share, or have a bedsit? What should you do then? 

If you possibly, possibly can then do try to fit in some kind of table somewhere to sit down to eat and say a big fat goodbye to eating off your lap in front of the telly.

DomusNova Queens Gardens W2 3

Sitting down together to eat as a family is one of the highlights of my day. Breakfast, lunch and tea. Three times each day to be intentionally together.

Take this as a Valentine's Day Modern Country Lifestyle Challenge: taking the best bits of Country life and making them work in the Modern world. Try it, if you don't already, and let me know if it works for you...

Images via: Casaanversa, Light Locations, tumblr_luxz6zDqu31qcp9cdo1_500, 
Unknown, Nicety, Country Homes and Interiors

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Monday 11 February 2013

Consevatory Dining At Its Modern Country Best

Who fancies eating under the stars but within the comfort of your own cosy home? Yes, you say? - or was that more of a yeeeessssssssss happy squeal? 

And who, of a summer's evening, wouldn't love to share something deliciously scrumptious whilst watching the soft golden sun sinking lower and lower over the horizon? Hmmm, yes, I suspected there would be more squealing at that suggestion too.

And, do you know what? I'm right with you.
Well, not literally, although wouldn't that be marvellous if I was?

Sitting, chatting happily, over warm, moist chocolate puddings, or just a hot chocolate for the less indulgent among you. And when I say 'hot chocolate', you should know that in my house, that drink means marshmallows and whipped cream atop a steaming, soothing mug of sugary heaven. Life is simply too short to settle for less. Diet hot chocolate? Bleeurgh to that nonsense, I say.

Potential hiccups to watch out for, if you're plumping for this conservatory dining, must definitely include seasonal adjustments. Be mindful that temperatures will be amplified a million-fold in a glass conservatory: sweltering if it receives direct sunlight, and f-f-freezing in the winter because glass isn't a terribly efficient insulator. 

But don't be despondent if your thumping design-heart is set on this idea. There are plenty of excellent solutions for both problems. For example, blinds and good ventilation go a long way towards keeping temperatures down, in our English climate at least.

More effort and expense, perhaps but just look at what you get in return...

A completely blissful space, flooded with natural light; absolutely perfect for casual chit-chat as well as more formal suppers. 

Yes, m'dears, Modern Country Conservatory Dining is officially lush.


Images via: Bright Bazaar, Homes and Property, Unknown, Unknown and HouseToHome

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Thursday 7 February 2013

Modern Country Dining Rooms

Today, let's take a look at some Modern Country Dining Rooms, which are exclusively used for what it says on the tin. A one-stop room for eating-purposes-only.

The fact is that not everyone has a separate dining room like these, and not everyone wants to dedicate a whole room to eating but, for those that do, feast your eyes on these beauties!

Do you like this way of eating? Separated from the hubbub of noisy living, they're super-serene....  

All that Modern Country space can be solely focused on enhancing the eating-aesthetic.

The more I think about this, the Modern Country way of living, the more I realise what a huge range of dining options there are: the smart, the casual, the formal, the chilled....

There's no need at all to feel you have to pick from only one option. The lovely thing about Modern Country Dining is that you have the complete freedom to choose what suits you and your home. And me and my home.


Images via: This Is Glam, Living etc, Unknown, Ideal Home, Home Bunch

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Monday 4 February 2013

Kitchen/Diners: Do They Work?

What is it that they say? Different strokes for different folks? And never has that been truer than when it comes to dining arrangements. Today's line-up feels very informal and very chilled, with the kitchen in full view.

These have obviously been perfectly tidied (and very gorgeous they look too) but just imagine having friends round for dinner. Could you sit there, tucking into your yummy pudding, in full view of your dirty pots and pans?

I'm just not sure that I could. 

This kind of table is just perfect for coffee with your best friends, or children painting, or neighbours popping in....but not, not, not for fine dining.

The only way I can see it working is by having some kind of captain's table/breakfast bar raised-affair between the hard-working parts of the kitchen and where you might be sitting, so that you'd be shielded from the worst of the cooking chaos.

I'm aware, though, that lots of people love this arrangement. 
Have you found this to work well in your home?

Images via: Decorator's Notebook, Farrow and Ball, Katrin Cargill, unknown

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Friday 1 February 2013

How To Plan At The Beginning Of A Renovation (...The Horrors Of The 'Before-Dining-Room'!)

Hello sweetie pips,

Do you know what I think? 
I think I need to take a step back from all my dining-room over-excitedness and start from the very beginning. 
{Where else?!}

Here's what we had to work with.

These pictures are from BEFORE we moved in 
so feel free to cast your judging eye quite freely.

I always try to compile 
a list of what any room has going for it 
BEFORE I start on any making over process.

I struggled to find much in this room but here's my {short} list.

A good size and shape.
The room has quite a substantial feel. It's a definite room in itself, rather than a kitchen add-on.

A fireplace 
This barely got on the nice list because it's currently so ugly but I can see there's loveliness underneath there somewhere....

Storage space under the stairs.
I can NEVER have enough storage. I always think good storage is the secret to a tidy(ish) house with four children.

Good links through to the kitchen.
The last thing I'd want is to be stranded at the back of the house slaving over dinner on my ownsome. Nope, that's not the onions making me cry.

French doors with transom window above.
More orange varnish is hiding a beautiful view.

And then I try to write
a list with what MUST CHANGE
It helps me to focus on what specifically needs to be altered.....


All the orange pine. Bleeeugh.
The Eighties border and wallpaper. More Bleurgh.
The light fittings. Ditto.
All original features removed. Sob.

This room doesn't get a huge amount of natural light so I wanted to make it feel airy and bright by day but still warm and lovely in the evenings.

Yes, over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing how we transformed our dining room from the very outset to the finished product. I can't wait to share the full transformation with you!

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