Sneak Peek

Sunday, 18 December 2011

In between Christmas preparations, cooking and cleaning, I managed to take a couple of not too grainy pictures of the bedroom. Really just a tease, because the rest of the room is still pretty much a complete mess.

As you can see, the new bedroom styling involves lots of Tomado shelving and West German pottery. So far, I'm not straying too far from home.

Oh yes, and I thought I'd give a chance to the whole "neutral and tasteful" vibe that all the cool kids are devoted to nowadays...


Monday, 12 December 2011

Big changes indeed ! Which for the moment mostly involve making a gigantic mess...

... moving out furniture and selling off a whole bunch of stuff on ebay (and still finding the time to flip through Design Sponge at Home ) ...

... and blogging on the coffee table while od'ing on coffee... How 'à propos'.

Yes, you guessed it, I had the brilliant idea to tackle a complete overhaul of my bedroom right before Christmas and the end of year marathon to get all the school projects in.
I'm pleading the temporary insanity card and blaming flipping through too much 'Design Sponge at Home' for all this foolishness.

So how are you guys getting on with your Christmas preparations ?

My home in IKEA FAMILY LIVE magazine

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Probably the most exciting news around here for a long time. 'Cos let's face it, I'm kinda in a slump on the whole interior decor/thrifting front. And let's be honest, how excited can you get about finding yet another sunburst mirror ?

Over the past twelve months, I have been contacted by various Ikea editors to see if I was interested in having some photos of my home published in their magazine. Hell, yeah ! 
But talk about things moving slowly. Case in point. The whole thing took over a year to come through...

Anyhow, it's now official. Drum roll please ! I got a two page spread in their Autumn 2011 edition and if you disregard the most horible photo ever taken of me (thank god, they only used a tiny black & white insert!), I'm very happy with how it all turned out. They used both my photos and my actual text. And yes, I really do think that Ikea does amazing textiles. But despite my hint about needing a new sofa, I didn't get any material rewards for my troubles. Not even a gift voucher for some cushions.Cheap bastards...

Ikea ! I still love you though, even if you're an ungrateful mistress.

Mirror, Mirror...

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Home projects continue to be slow and far apart.

Being back in school does have its perks though. Like getting an extra day off last week in honor of the "Fête de la Communauté Française", the main funding organism of french-speaking education institutions in Belgium.
Needless to say that when I still worked as a legal secretary for various American and British law firms, we were never granted a holiday on that day...

Why am I mentioning this ? Because I used that unexpected day off (and the beautiful weather) to indulge in my favourite open-air activity : rummaging through the Brussels flea market ! And of course, I didn't leave empty handed.

Lately, I seem to be set on finding mostly sunburst mirrors. After scoring that oval one at a local antiques store (for a mere 10 eur), my trip to the flea market saw me coming back with the very ornate (and probably slightly kitsch), top left specimen. Still at 20 eur, I didn't hit my budget too hard and it actually goes nicely with the four others.

At the rate I'm going that wall should be covered in no time.

Scandinavian Finds

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Things have been kinda slow around here - decorating wise at least. School has started again and studying for my programming classes is taking up most of my energy these days (I'm learning PHP and ASP.Net if anybody's interested).

Plus, I've declared a spending freeze after living way above my budget for most of 2011. No more ebay this month and so far, I've done pretty good.

Of course, that doesn't mean I've become a total thrifting abstainer. And when I come across an incredible deal, I might just be tempted enough to go for it.

Like these wonderful Arabia Finland storage jars - 20 eur for the three of them. Yes, 20 eur !

I'd never even seen the gooseberry pattern before this find.

Which brings me to another amazing Arabia find. This one already dates back a few months, but since it's the same range of ceramics and the price was even more mindblowing, I think it's about time I give it some attention.

So, I dug up this ceramic board from the bottom of a box of junk at the Brussels flea market. And paid... 3 eur for it !

It's not really serving any purpose other than decorating this little area next to the kitchen sink. But a vignette like this makes doing the dishes just so much more pleasant.

The Scandinavian theme even extend to the soap holder...

I brought this Figgjo Flint dish back from the UK earlier this year. I think I paid something like 10 gbp for it. It's from the Turi 'market' series which is one of my favourite FF designs.

And while I'm at it, let me also present the latest in a long line of Scandi finds. A cast-iron candle holder from Dansk Designs - which I think is actually a US brand (correct me if I'm wrong).

Love those spikes !

And look. It even came complete with its original box. That and the fact that it's in near perfect condition gladly made me cough up 25 eur for it.

And you ? An interesting finds lately ?


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Autumn is here. It's cold, it's rainy, it's windy. I'm back in school. And the mood is just generally miserable.

It's that time of the year when you get home and it's already starting to get dark. And try as you may, you can't take anything but grainy photos.

It's that time when an extra blanket pops up on your bed again. And you just need to hang up some retro brass mirrors. You know, just for that tiny bit of extra light and warmth. And also because the sight of yet another budding collection just brings a silly smile to your face.

It's that time when you splurge on a new bedside lamp - one that gives off the most beautifully cosy light.

Like I said, the season of blurry pictures has begun.

The Big Kitchen Update

Saturday, 27 August 2011

So you may or may not have wondered where the hell I've been these last three weeks ? Well, here's your answer: slaving away on yet another kitchen update.

I think this time around we definitely have a winner. Now before the kitchen turned out anything near as fabulous (if I dare say so myself), it underwent several stages.

Let's recap.

Uh oh, way back when I still liked bright colours and messy kitchen tables. Although you may notice the paint samples - help was on the way...

Earlier this year, I eventually made up my mind about what colour to choose (Farrow and Ball's 'Pavillion Gray') and went to work.

Decor wise, I tried out my English antique bookcase for a while...

... in combination with a modern painting and some bright ceramics.

And then the inevitable happend : I didn't like that light gray anymore...

During the summer holidays my painting utensils made an appearence - yet again. Since I couldn't be bothered to repaint the whole room, I focused on this somewhat larger wall opposite the windows. I stayed faithful to Farrow & Ball - which I cannot recommend highly enough - and chose their über cool 'Down Pipe'. The most amazing dark gray I've ever come across.

Sorry for the annoying reflections on the poster. I need to get some sort of filter for my camera to take proper pictures of my art.
But just this much : it's only a plain old exhibition poster, but such a nice souvenir of my trip to London. And btw, if you're lucky enough to be in London right now, go check out the 'Eyewitness - Hungarian photography in the 20th century' exhibit at the Royal Academy. It's on til October and SO worth seeing !!!

Sometimes you just have to come full circle.

Yep, I went back to my original idea for this area and chose wall mounted shelves to host some of my collections. Except this time around I didn't go with my usual Tomado shelves, but got some bigger ones from ebay (where else ?). I don't know the name of this particular system (feel free to enlighten me), but they do pop up quite regularly on ebay Germany, so I'm suspecting that they might be of German make.

In any case, I think they're rad.

Let's take a closer look at the accessories, shall we ?

I got a little English and Scandinavian theme going on, to which I'm of course planning to add to. So far, we have : Hornsea owl and cat pepper shakers, two Orla Kiely storage jars, Kaj Franck and Catherineholm enamel bowls...

... Arabia Finland vase, Hornsea jam pot and - just to stir things up - a lovely retro plastic watering can.

A few close-ups for good measure. Aren't they cute, my Hornsea finds ?

Somebody, help me ! I can't stop myself. On top of being totally addicted to West German pottery and starting to be hooked on retro glass, I'm now also completely obsessed with vintage British ceramics. I've been cruising ebay like a maniac.

So expect more crazy posts about thrifty finds in the near future !

PS. For the record, I would also like to state that during these last three weeks, I've also accomplished the following:
  • painted the kitchen windows, doors and radiator white;
  • cleaned and decluttered the whole place like there's no tomorrow;
  • schlepped a ton load of stuff to the goodwill;
  • got rid of numerous pieces of furniture on ebay and freecycle;
  • and most of all, I started to deal with my giant black hole of a basement. That space is like the fucking Bermuda triangle: stuff is absorbed, never to be seen again...
Like I said, stay tuned for upcoming episodes.

Now this...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

... is what happens when your cat enjoys your new desk chair just as much as you do. He manages to wiggle in between your bum and the back of the chair - and actually goes to sleep there.

Note the cat bed on the right - totally disregarded.

But don't let Watson's adorableness fool you.

When it comes to sitting on this particular chair, things have a tendency to get nasty. Mr Watson is adamant the chair belongs to him. Hissing and scratching each time I try to push him off it...

He doesn't like to share ! I have to resort to drastic measures to get him to move. This involves taking out his claw clippers and pretending to come near his toes. Luckily for me, the mere sight of those scissors always makes him bolt.

See, I don't like to share either.

Ebay Craze III

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Indeed. I'm still not finished showing off my ebay loot from the past months...

Like I mentioned in my last post, I bought a lot containing no less than five fat lava vases. Besides that horrible brown and purple thing that I'm hiding in the loo, the other four vases are actually quite amazing. Like the two big ones above.

Both are Scheurich vases and marked W. Germany, the tall one with the orange decor is numbered 200-28 and the round one with the big red flowers is marked 484-21. Both have the same beigy brown lava glaze that reminds me a bit of baked meringue. Yum !

The little one in front, I thrifted during last year's summer holiday. And so far, the poor thing was kind of orphaned as it didn't really go with any of the other pottery sets. For a long time it stood all alone on the hall shelf, where - luckily - it survived a fall when said shelf came crashing down to the floor.
After that episode, the shelf got sold on ebay and the little vase was tucked away safely in a cupboard, in the hopes of better days...

Just for kicks and for those less interested in West German pottery, a view of the other side of the coffee table. Did I ever mention that this table was actually my first ever ebay buy ? Well, now I guess I did.

Yep, me and ebay we hit it right off.

The Loo - Before & After

Sunday, 31 July 2011

It's the tiniest room in the flat. It's a pain to photograph - way too long and narrow to ever get a halfway decent picture. And then it used to be the most neglected space of all.

But not anymore.


And before.

I put my unemployment period earlier this year to good use and finally painted over the horrid orange. I used the leftover paint from the kitchen - Farrow and Ball's Pavillion Grey. And this is by far the room where I like this colour the most (I also used it as an accent wall for the hall closet). I don't know how come, since both kitchen and toilet are facing west, but the light in here makes it look really grey and classy and not some weird blueish mish-mash like in the kitchen.

I also scored a couple more Tomado shelves of ebay. Yay Tomado ! Yay ebay !

Part of it as storage - like for the obvious toilet paper - but mostly to display more stuff. So far the vignetting isn't great as I'm mainly working with 'rejects' from other areas. But you get the idea.

Bearded dudes limited edition prints from Ashleyg on Etsy. And vintage Hans Bolling optimist and pessimist figurines.

More of the West German pottery craze from last month... My first Scheurich 414-16 vase with a rare purple glaze. This thing is so ugly, I now find it quite endearing and I might actually keep it. The only reason it ended up with me in the first place, is that is was part of a lot that containded far more attractive specimens (but more about them another time).

And finally, my newest obsession. Glass !

I blame Holly Becker and her book "Decorate" for this latest addiction. I don't know if you guys have already read her book (which I really recommend !), but the first picture in the book is actually of somebody's vintage green and blue glass collection. I thought it looked amazing. And thus the impulse, to thrift me some glazen holdiay souvenirs...

On the left, a bubble glass dish purchased for 9 gbp at the Topsham Antiques Centre and on the right, a vase of undefined origin, but at 4.50 gbp exactly in my price range (this one I found at the Exeter Quayside Antiques Centre).

My little finger is telling me : there's some serious glass collecting in the air...

Ebay Craze II

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Last time, I told you all about my tallest WGP purchase. This time it's all about the smallest one yet.

This teeny-tiny vase was picked up during last month's ebay frenzy. It's a Scheurich and at a whooping 7 cm, the smallest West German pottery I've ever come across.

I've decided to streamline the kitchen as much as possible, so the green collection (plus the white vase with matching pattern) is now living in the bedroom. I even squeezed in one of the green Eames chairs for good measure.

Flo couldn't care less.

Ebay Craze

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Ok. I went a little crazy on ebay this month. Of course, it goes without saying that my shopping spree was purely West German pottery related.

First on the list, this massive Scheurich floor vase. The tallest I have - 47 cm !

I think it looks fabulous in the hall. Fits right into the little ceramic decor thing going on out there: Italian wall plate my grandma bought on one of her first trips to Italy in the early 1950s, and a Ruscha plate I bought on ebay years ago. Long before I had ever even heard of West German pottery. My wallet thinks those where the good times.

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