Knick knacks and what nots

So I promised a blog on decorating the top of the Mexican chest. I now it’s been a while, but my real job has been somewhat hectic this last week or two, meaning that I’ve not been able to spare much thought to much else. Likely to continue for a while as well, I’m afraid. But I’ll do what I can to keep updated!


So with the new chest, we knew we wanted it to look nice on top (and not just be another shelf for books. Though we do need one….). Some time before, we had bought a rather nice table runner in Malta. It had a pattern of orange butterflies on cream material, and we had always felt that it would be good in the loft room. And lo and behold – it does look good! And it was a good size for the chest too. Sometimes it’s just fate.


Our little stereo vignette

Our little stereo vignette

But that’s just a base. We also knew we wanted the stereo on the chest, and angled so that the sound would reach into the whole room. The black of the stereo looks really good against the walls and with the black metal on the chest, so that worked out well too. To soften the lines a little, I added a black metal candlestick, that stands out well against the wall.


I’d previously bought a dark purple faux rose (from the ever fabulous Abigail Ahern’s store). I’d hoped it would work in the hallway, but it wasn’t right there. However it was the perfect colour for the loft room – that purple matched the trim really well. And I may say now that against the wall it positively glows with warmth. So it got added to the candlestick, in a beautiful single stem cut glass vase my brother bought me for my 18th birthday. Added to the bottom is a little tag that was part of a present I bought my lady.


You can see some of the philosophy I bring to decorating shelves etc. It’s important that what you put out looks good. And it should match the room in some way. But if you’ve bought or been given something, it comes with a story and with memories and associations and affection. And that’s what a home is all about. It’s about memories and love and all the things that make up YOU and if what you put out doesn’t say that to you (I don’t care about visitors – you live there, you see it every day) then you’ve failed.


Which is a distinct link to the other main feature of the chest’s decoration. The thimble collection. As it turns out, the dark wood of the official thimble collection holder is lovely against the wall. But they overflow out onto the little book collection (it’s Beatrix Potter, which none of us read, but the collection in a box case is too lovely not to have out) and even on to the cake stand. And isn’t that cake stand lovely? I’m a fan of using cake stands to put other things on instead of hiding them away in cupboards. Cake stands can be so lovely in themselves and are clearly designed to display things too.


The white rabbits are a nod to our obsession with bunnies (as mentioned in the cushion blog), and look rather fun away in the corner. In fact, all the things you can see have some personal memory attached.


All our bits and pieces looking lovely

All our bits and pieces looking lovely

Which is why (or one reason anyway!) that I’m starting to love spending time up in the loft room….


Busy life – and orange rooms

Things are pretty hectic for me at the moment. I’m changing jobs – this is my last week in my current one – and there’s lots of loose ends to be tied, as well as leaving drinks to arrange! New job starts next week, so that might take up a lot of time as well.

There’s one room I haven’t mentioned much so far – the loft room. It’s incredibly awkward as a space – the ceiling is very low even at the highest point, and all of the widest part of the room is under the sloping ceiling. At the lowest point the ceiling is about 3 foot off the floor, so there really isn’t much you can fit under there. Though that ‘wall’ also has the two doors to the loft storage in it, so you wouldn’t want to cover it anyway.

I’d originally wanted to have the main bedroom upstairs, but you could barely fit a bed in, and certainly not a wardrobe. Remember how much wardrobe space we installed in the bedroom? Yes, well, that would have been impossible. So we wanted a cosy, second sitting room – a sort of library almost – but with a sofa bed for guests.

Most of the colours we’ve chosen so far are a little on the cold side, though quite bright. I wanted to try a dark colour, that would say ‘cosy’ and ‘warm’ and studyish. So we looked at reds and oranges. We did try a few similar to the Colour Of The Year (Marsala), but they were too flat and brown. I loved some deep, almost purple blood reds, but got vetoed in that they were too red.

So in the end we chose a fiery orange red. It’s Cinnabar Red from Fired Earth, and the colour matches the name – spicy and exotic, orangey but still red. In fact it kind of matches a coat of mine…

Close up of the paint colour

Close up of the paint colour

Its a bit brighter than I envisioned originally, but in the sunshine, or with just a side light on it, it absolutely glows and does actually convey the image I wanted of the room – so all’s well that ends well!

Painting in progress - really shows how the sunshine makes it glow

Painting in progress – really shows how the sunshine makes it glow