Thursday 28 January 2016

Belgian Style Living Room

I can bear it no longer. I'm afraid I'm going to have to take you for a very pleasant foray into Belgian Style. The Belgian Style look fits into so much of what I love in Modern Country Living Rooms that I feel it would be positively rude not to.

My plan is to break down Belgian Style into four or five essential elements to see what will work for me tucked into my little corner of England, and what is best left to show homes and magazines.


I don't think I've mentioned it for a little while but we have five very lovely but sometimes sticky-fingered children, so white fixed covers sofas are always going to be a no-no, no matter how alluring they look in the photos!

I'm asking for the whole shebang for our living room, you see. I want good-looking and hard-wearing. And where better to start than Belgian Style?

Image via:

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Monday 25 January 2016

Modern Country Living Room Quest...

On with our quest to find the holy grail of Modern Country living rooms... This beauty has got bucketloads of Modern Country elements. The wall colour for starters (try Farrow and Ball Lamp Room Gray (click through to see a full colour case study) for a magnificent grey with those subtle cool blue undertones).

This living room is positively heaving with original features. The cornicing, the picture rail, doors and floors...That fireplace?....uh-mazing! Definitely going on my must-have list.

Then there's the sofa, beautifully upholstered in vintage grain sacks. *Love*

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But, as they say, the line must be drawn somewhere....and for me, that line is drawn firmly at fifties accessories. The light and lamp, the picture and kettle collection on the fireplace is wrong, wrong, wrong. 

For the owner, I'm sure that this is utter heaven but for me, the picture is not complete...

Hmmm....the journey continues...

Image unknown

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Thursday 21 January 2016

Modern Country English Stately Home Tour!

Can I let you into a secret? I really struggle to find gorgeously inspiring living rooms to share with you...So many times, I'm looking round a house and love it all....until the living room, when everything falls a bit flat for me. Today's incredibly beautiful Georgian house tour is a case in point...

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I have a bit of a thing for English stately homes decorated in a Modern Country Style. Take a look around the rooms of the one I'm sharing today and see if you agree. I've included paint suggestions, during our tour, in case you'd like to try it out in your home....For this look, try Farrow and Ball Green Blue (walls) and Farrow and Ball Light Blue (woodwork).

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There's just something special about this colour scheme. It has that signature pared-back look but, because of the grandeur of the house, you can somehow get away with a little more colour than you might use in a smaller house.

Try Farrow and Ball Light Blue for this softly formal look of the shelving in the library below.

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Little Green Lead and Little Green French Grey will give the starker effect of this next room...



Now for the living room....brace yourself....


Really? Is that all we get? A tatty old sofa in the corner of the room? Where is the gorgeousness spilling over from the rest of the house?

I can see we're going to have to do a whole lot of digging to get into the belly of what makes the perfect Modern Country living room...

Images 1st locations

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Monday 18 January 2016

Gorgeous Cottage House Tour

Here's another beautiful example of a period home that has been shaped to the taste of its owners. Yes, it's a beautiful old cottage and has charm oozing out of every but that's not necessarily what hits you as you look round. The house's period charms have been made to work for them, rather than to dominate each room....

Vintage living room | Vintage country house | House tour | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome

The focus, instead, is on key pieces: painted furniture...

Vintage dining area | Vintage country house | House tour | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome

...the perfect accessories...

Utility room | Vintage country house | House tour | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome

...and this stunning extension...

Open-plan conservatory | Vintage country house | House tour | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome

Soft colours make a soothing backdrop.

Pretty pink bedroom | Vintage country house | House tour | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome

And did I mention the Modern Country Garden?

Cotswold cottage | Vintage country house | House tour | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome

The Hallelujah chorus is ringing out!

Country garden | Vintage country house | House tour | PHOTO GALLERY | Housetohome

Now let's talk some more about the journey to a perfect Modern Country living room...

Images via Country Homes and Interiors

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Thursday 14 January 2016

Are Period Homes Better?

If I had a penny for every time I've heard someone wishing for a period house, I'd be a gazillionaire. But let me tell you a story to comfort those of you yearning for older properties...

Just before we moved here, a good friend of mine also moved house nearby. While we moved to a Georgian property, she moved to a new build. 

We visited her six weeks after she moved in and, while our house was still in complete chaos from having to sort out years of other people's diy mistakes, hers was a picture of serenity. 


Not only that but this new house, because it had very little character of its own at first, almost instantly had the same feel as her old home, only this time it was more spacious!

Yes, it is always period properties have my heart but, let me tell you, they are by no means the easy option. The very same character that tweaks your heart strings, can also be trickier to work around initially.

It takes much longer to get to know an older house, with all its quirks and special ways. Why is there a blocked up window here? Why does that water pipe stop short there? And how am I meant to peel of ten layers of paint to get back to those original features!

I've often found, when I've worked on designing clients'  homes, that new builds are so much easier to stamp your own character onto because you don't have to fight so hard against the existing character of a house, making it bend to your will.

Yet this post isn't meant to sound like a big ol' grumble! Rather I just wanted to put it out there that it's uber-easy to imagine the grass is not only greener but longer, lusher and more perfect in every way, whereas, in actual fact, it just needs watering wherever you are, wherever you live.

This house is a fantastic example of a big space, full of its own character that has been beautifully moulded to make it the kind of home that its owners want it to be.


Please be inspired to enjoy putting your own stamp on your own house, whether it's brand spanking new or as old as time itself.

Now, back to stripping ten layers of paint...!!

Images via unknown

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Monday 11 January 2016

Perfectly Neutral Georgian Home Tour

I've been thinking a lot, natch, about living rooms, because we're now in the process of having ours done (can you hear the bangings of the builders downstairs?) and how I want ours to look. This Georgian home I'm sharing here has some of the elements I'm after.

Yes, it's a location house, I believe, so you have to look past the slight blandness and lack of personality....

....but I love the way the entire house works together. The spaces aren't replicas of one another but there is a strong identity that runs from room to room to room.

I've been building up in my mind a vision of how I'd like our entire home to look when it's finished so that this room will fit perfectly into the cohesive whole. 

Obviously that's a big ask but it's so easy to dive right into a project like this, full of enthusiasm, but without thinking through the basics.

Without the right foundations in place, you can end up with a house full of very lovely but very disparate rooms, and that's not what I'm after.

Even as you continue upstairs in this house, the feeling of calm stays with you. Soft, chalky shades of greys and taupes run throughout, with reclaimed furniture and wooden accents.

It might not be exactly right for us and our family but it's pretty bally gorgeous, don't you agree?

Images via 1st Option

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