Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Country girl

I love home décor magazines! Not the ones with lots of ads in, but ones with real, affordable, pleasant-on-the-eye ideas; and most important while living in London (and UK as a whole probably) ideas on making the most of the space we live in! So I hoard these magazines; they have so many great ideas I can’t throw them away! But there comes a time when some things have to go.

So here’s what I did, with an interesting revelation!

 I bought a decent A4 note-book (it was actually a squared notebook and the squares work very well as the background) and I stuck into this book pictures from the magazines that I couldn’t bear to throw away, and then threw the rest of the magazine away – guiltily. It’s a fiddly job cutting with scissors, and sometimes tearing can be disastrous or look messy, but tearing against a ruler is perfect. (Unfortunately nearly every exercise book currently on the shop shelves has perforated pages, so please turn the pages gently!)

In my red ‘mood’ book – a little different from a designers ‘mood board’ but on a similar theme – I have neatly torn pictures of home items and styles which are both pleasant to look at and creatively inspiring. 

 There are pictures of iron bedsteads and country-style patchwork quilts; antique-looking, delicately flowered milk jugs; baskets on shelves; cottage gardens with foxgloves, rambling roses and carnations; white painted, glass fronted kitchen cupboards; floor to ceiling bookshelves; pink patchwork, striped and delicately floral patterned outdoor cushions; blue & white china; photo displays; a dining table with odd chairs; sofas with checked blankets over the arms and a patchwork quilt over the back; rugs, curtains, mirrors, lamps and a dark blue striped/checked very comfy looking armchair.

 Every now and then I page through this book to remind myself what I like – hmmm! That didn’t sound quite right! I know what I like, but looking through this ‘scrapbook’, it becomes very evident what kind of décor I like – there’s no doubt about it, I’m a country style kind of girl!

I suppose that’s a good thing to be sure of when in just a couple of months I’ll be moving into a country village – although not exactly a country cottage, or farm cottage! I’ve decided I like the mix-and-match look! Today I bought three Johnson Bros. dinner plates with a quaint thatched cottage pattern, plus two ‘Alfred Meakin England Flow Blue Greenville’ dinner plates, all from about the 1930’s era (Memories of Mortlake is a treasure trove if you’ve got the time to pick out individual pieces among the countless bits & bobs of practically every kind of material available!) Together with my current BHS Country Garland plates, (very kindly gifted to me when we first arrived in London – thanks Pat!) there’s now nothing stopping me from ‘mixing’ them at a dinner table set for, say, six! (Except that the Alfred Meakin plates are much smaller than the others; Oh well, maybe someone will have a small appetite!)

And together with the odd plates I’ll add a salt & pepper set for each guest – all different of course; the Zimbabwe wooden ones from Sean, the ‘Karkloof’ butterfly ones from Nicole, the blue & white lighthouse ones from Megan, the blue & white floral ones from a charity shop, the red & blue ‘couple’ ones from my sister, and perhaps the Country Garland ones, but not with the Country Garland plates! If I hold everything together with a plain tablecloth, and we all have the same chairs, do you think I could stretch to decorated cutlery as well?!  (Coffees will be served in non-matching ‘pretty’ mugs, but tea will be served in the Cartwright & Edwards Victoria pattern bone china tea cups!)

 And the revelation? Well I kind of know that I like country style things, but the revelation is that a lot of the magazine tear-outs, but not all, whether they’re cushions, curtains, sofas or table-ware, are PINK!!

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