Tuesday, 27 September 2011


My sister has been raving about Pinterest for ages and I have finally joined.  Slowly building up my ideas for the rooms in the house.  Loving it so far.  You can check out my pinterest page here...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

let there be light

I have a slight obsession with lights and mirrors.  I have loads of mirrors around the house and also lots of fancy light fittings.  Here are some of them...

Lounge Mirror and Chandelier
The lounge is yet to be decorated (I have dark grey plans...) but it has one of my favourite mirrors and light fittings.  I love the ceiling rose and deep cornicing in this room.  The mirror is quite large and really suits the size of the room.  I got it from Tree House Interiors a couples of years ago.  I used to live around the corner from Tree House Interiors and actually carried this mirror back myself with a recently operated on elbow....not the smartest move but I had to have it!  The chandelier is from Litecraft in Glasgow, it's the only one I have which is very traditional looking but I love it.  The room could probably take a larger light fitting (this is one from my flat) so I may upgrade sometime soon...

Lounge Chandelier

Currently on the wall in my hall this mirror from Litecraft is another favourite.  Its quite small but very chunky.  I plan to put this in the WC once it has been done up.

Chunky Silver Mirror from Litecraft
I also love my mirror which is in the kitchen and is from Alexanders in Aberdeen.

Sun inspired mirror from Alexanders
The final mirror I wanted to include was actually a mirror which my mum picked up from outside someone's house about 20 years ago - I can't believe someone was throwing it out.  We used to have this in the bathroom in our family home and I now have it in my hall.  I absolutely love it and it has great sentimental value to me.  Reflected in the mirror is the leaded stain glass of the vestibule door.

One person's trash is another's treasure
A few more light fittings...

I got these two lights from Annie Mo's in Aberdeen.  Annie Mo's is one of my favourite furniture shops and I have a lot of pieces from there - you will see me talk about it a lot!  These lights will eventually be going up in the hall.  I love the leaf detail on the edge.

Lights from Annie Mo's
I think an entrance hall should be grand and therefore I wanted a statement light fitting for my new house hallway. I went off down to Glasgow to find something suitable.  I came straight home and fitted it myself.  There are over a 100 glass balls and shapes to attach...it took a while.  But I absolutely love it.  I bought this from House of Sher in Glasgow but it is also available in Litecraft.

Entrance hall light
Finally, the light from the dining room, which I have a smaller version of in the master bedroom.  This light is again from Litecraft in Glasgow.  I really like this one as it is a bit of a modern take on the traditional chandelier.

Dining room light fitting
I recently ordered a corner sofa for in the kitchen, and have just had a 46" LED tv installed which is great for me while I am cooking.  I will post some photos of the finished kitchen once the sofa arrives - around the start of November.

The next room I will be tackling will either be the dining room or the lounge.....will keep you posted.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

kitchen accessories

Some of the things I have bought for in the kitchen...

I absolutely love Cornkist Ceramics - the fact they are all made in Aberdeenshire (and by one of my friends wives!) makes it even better.  I have four large old sweet shop jars which used to belong to my mum.  They remind me of when I used to go in to our local sweet shop and order a 1/4 of sports mixtures.  I ordered "Onion" and "Pickle" jar labels to keep the cats food and have also just placed and order for "Pasta" and "Basmati Rice" for the remaining two jars.  I love them, they are so cute.  I also ordered a personalised cake stand for the birth of my niece which was also from Cornkist.  Looking forward to placing another order soon...

My new jar labels and Pickle enjoying some food :-)

I am loving all the plays on the old world war II posters.  I couldn't resist getting this for my kitchen as the colour scheme is grey, white and yellow.  The poster is from Milly Bee and the frame is from Ikea.

Keep Calm and Eat (Madeira) Cake
I bought myself a new silver mirror for on the wall from an interiors shop in Aberdeen.  The sunflowers are from Country Baskets in Glasgow.

Sun inspired spiral mirror
I ordered a table and 4 chairs from Vertigo Interiors.  A white gloss round table and 4 tulip chairs with charcoal grey cushions in the style of Saarinen by KnollStudio.  Here is Pickle relaxing on one of the chairs...I'm quite impressed with the quality of them and they look really good in the kitchen.

Pickle relaxing...
That's it for today....more coming soon.

inside out

I think its important that the outside of your house looks as good as possible.  I have a lot of work to do to my gardens but one of the first things I did once I moved in was paint the front door.  It was a wishy washy pale blue colour which was not great.  The colour I went for was grey (shock). It is Night Jewels 2 by Dulux - in an exterior gloss for wood and metal.  I also ordered new door furniture from Door Furniture Direct.  Everything I ordered arrived quickly and they refunded extra items with no issues.  I'd definitely recommend them.  Everything I bought for the front door is quite traditional.  I love original features and where possible will buy items in keeping with the age of the house.

New door handle and letter box from Door Furniture Direct
I stripped the door back to bare wood as far as possible using a heat gun and as a last resort Nitromors (hate the stuff!).  I did one coat of primer in dark grey and then two coats of gloss top coat.  I have since spoken to a friend who is a painter and decorator and he says it is not worthwhile stripping right back to the bare wood - as long as there is no loose or faking paint.  Wish I had spoken to him before doing the door!

At the front of the house there are iron railings.  The integrity of them was intact but they had several layers of thick black paint on them which was flaking and rusting badly.  After speaking to several companies and researching online I decided to pay to get them soda blasted.  The company I used was Soda Blast and they had to travel up from Edinburgh.  They were brilliant and the result was all the railing completely stripped back.  They look fantastic now and all the detail is back which was lost under layers of old paint.  I have since painted with a red oxide paint to protect and prevent rust and one coat of mirror black gloss.  This really needs another coat of gloss but will have to wait until next summer as the weather is too unreliable now.

Railings painted mirror gloss black
There is so much work to do in the back garden but the front of the house is looking a bit more respectable now...

Monday, 12 September 2011

moving day

Moving date was 20th of June so naturally I started packing about 1 month in advance and trying to have a clear out at the same time :-)  I didn't plan things particularly well and ended up going on a holiday to NYC for a week prior to moving day.  It was my first visit to New York, and in fact the USA and I had a brilliant holiday.  This is one of my favourite snaps. 

Manhattan at night as viewed from Brooklyn

Anyway, back to interiors...Moving day arrived and luckily it was sunny (always a gamble in Aberdeen) so no rain wrecking all my things!  I decided to save a bit of money and do the moving myself - along with several happy helper friends!  Once again I hired a van from Low Cost Van Hire on Constitution Street.  I have used them several times now and find them really reasonable.  The move all in all went well, I got the keys at 11am and by 4.30pm had finished unloading everything and I was able to return the van.  Then the cleaning and unpacking began.

As I said in my first blog the house is over three levels.

Entering on the ground floor...

Downstairs via the mezzanine level....

To the basement level...

From ground floor up to the first floor...

Luckily the house had been rented prior to us purchasing it so everything (except the bathroom) was painted magnolia.  However, its my personal belief that magnolia is the devil and anyone who chooses to paint it has no style or taste.  BUT its inoffensive to a degree (although I won't be able to abide it long term).

The first room we decided to tackle was the kitchen (mainly because I found the cupboards particularly grim and because I spend a reasonable amount of time in this room)....I will post some of the after photos in my next blog along with showing you my purchases and what I have done.

Kitchen (Before) - Basement Level

welcome to my blog

I have recently bought my first house together - a 4 bedroom, 3 public room house over three floors.  I absolutely love it and along with my two cats Onion (6) and Pickle (1) have settled in well.  There is loads to do and I will be tackling it bit by bit.  My sister Sarah has started her own blog and suggested I do the same to showcase the changes to the house and my ideas.  I absolutely LOVE grey and will be incorporating it throughout the house, hence my blog title.  My favourite interior magazine is Livingetc which definately best reflects my taste.  I currently have around 30 magazines stacked beside my bed all tabbed with my favourite bits and bobs.

Before I moved in I created an electronic mood board for each room and began planning colour schemes and purchases - I absolutely love interiors!  I have lived in the house for over 2 months now and my plans have adjusted slightly but for the most part remain the same.

My next post will include some "before" photos and I will start showing you some of the changes I have made so far :-)  Hope you enjoy...