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Friday 31 October 2014

Friday I'm In Love - bathrooms

This post was going to be about metro tiles then hexagonal tiles and now it's just a general bathroom one, yep that's just how I roll:)
I am currently obsessing with bathrooms and I know it is purely because ours is in dire need of a makeover. It is so vile I don't even think I will ever post before photos, I'll just grow straight to after. It has poor ventilation so it's getting quite moldy...yuk! The paint is peeling off and the grouting is horrendous. Basically it's the last place you would go if you want to get clean! But all that would be fine and easily fixed if the layout wasn't just the most bizarre thing I have ever encountered. Whoever I had the idea must have lived on another planet. They have created a sort of airlock chamber in the middle of the room...really bizarre. And this is why this week I am celebrating all things shiny and clean and polished.
So feast your eyes on the photos below.

Photo by The Design Files

Photo by Door Sixteen

Photo from Apartment Therapy

Photo by Dear Designer

Jatana Interiors photographed by Armelle Habib

The Story Hotel bathroom photographed By A merry Mishap

For some reason blogger isn't letting me change the link for the caption. So apologies in advance if each photo isn't linked properly. Hopefully I can fix it soon.
Happy Halloween and have a lovely weekend.

Saturday 25 October 2014

Favourite Toddler books

Back in May 2013 I did my first post about kids' books, i might have mentioned at the time that it was going to be a weekly post...hummm well that went well didn't it? Anyhow here's my second post and this time I am looking at toddler books that we have loved reading. Elliott is now four and half and he still loves all of these books. Every night we have a routine going one before bed and having two books read is part of it. I love that moment when you snuggle up and look at beautifully illustrated stories.

1. Mr Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown. This book has a nice contrast of grey pages when Mr Tiger is expected by society to behave a certain way and bold colourful pages when he breks free from what's expected. The illustration is beautiful, bright and colourful. The story shows that a little individuality is exactly what people need to be happy.

2. Little Mouse by Alison  Murray. Beautifully illustrated book depicting the different moods of a little girl, she might stomp like an elephant or she will always be her mummy's little mouse. Very sweet.

3. For Just One Day by Laura Leck and Marc Boutavant. Wouldn't it be a fun to be a snake for just one day? This bright and colourful book does just that. I love the bold colours of this book. It has a lovely retro feel to it.

4. Who's Like Me? by Nicola Davies. Beautifully illustrated again by Marc Boutavant. Elliott loves animals and this book teaches him about their different habitats. It has flap so that the child gets involved. Love love love this book. It also became a staple present for  birthdays as it is just such a nice book.

5. Hey Presto! by Nadia Shireen. A very sweet and funny book about friendship and how fragile it can be when success is involved!

Here is my shortlist for this time but there are many many more books that we love!

PS: I know I missed my Friday I'm In Love post this week, it will be back next week:)

Friday 17 October 2014

Friday I'm in Love - Robin Day

This week's Friday I'm in Love is all about Robin Day. If you don't know who is he is, here is a small recap:
Robin Day was a British furniture designer, who shot to fame in 1951 when he designed the seating for the Royal Festival Hall. He is best be remembered for the, at the time revolutionary and to become ubiquitous, polypropylene stacking chair (see picture below). Every village hall, school, waiting room seemed to have one in grey or orange. This was the product that fulfilled his stated aim for great design to be affordable and available to all.

Robin Day Stacking Chair
Robin Day: stacking chair

Soon after Robin teamed up with Hille, a British furniture company, expanding on their furniture range , making it more contemporary while remaining flexible and economic. Some of his trademark furniture were:
  • the Single Convertible bed settee, which won the first of several Design Centre Awards in 1957.
Single Convertible bed settee by Robin Day for Hille c1957
  • Space saving and multifunctional Modular Storage System
Storage system by Robin Day for Hille International Ltd, 1950-51

  •  He even designed the perforated steel seating that are so universally well known in the London Underground

However, I discovered his design when Habitat, headed by Tom Dixon as their creative director, reissued some of his earlier designs. This triggered off a new wave of interest and appreciation.
For years I coveted several of the pieces from Habitat. Although these design were made accessible to the high street, they still came with a high price tag. In spite of that I held on and managed to score a couple of pieces on gumtree at a fraction of the price!!

This beautiful armchair in cream leather with ash surround. It is the comfiest chair I have ever sat on. I was bored while on holidays in France (it was raining can you believe it??) and decided to check gumtree to see what Glasgow had to you do. And this beauty came up. The guy selling it lived at the end of my street and the price was insanely low, so that was fate, don't you think? I had to have it. But I didn't mention it to A, because E was just a couple of months old, A doesn't like crazy plans or spending any money...even if it is a bargain. So I arranged it all from France and basically I was driving round to pick the armchair 20 minutes after we were back in the house. A was suspecting something and growled at me when he saw me come back with the car crammed with this on it. He refused to sit in it for the first few days to protest but after that he was the one loving it and we had to battle to decide who was allowed to sit in it - our sofa is mega uncomfortable you see!!

The second bargain was this beautiful chair in black leather with walnut back.
This time the gumtree post was in Edinburgh. I sweetened the deal for A with some Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  Again it is a really comfy chair. I would like to use it as a desk chair but we don't have a desk yet so we have been using as a dining chair. Problem is that E has decided it is his chair and insist on using it every diner a desk chair it has to be otherwise it won't survive very long!!

If you are interested to find out more about Robin day you can read this article from the Independent.
There was also an exhibition recently in London organised by Twentytwentyone, I wish I could have gone...

Friday 10 October 2014

Inside the new flat

As promised here are the photos of the flat as it was when we viewed it. For me to consider living somewhere there are a few key points I look at apart from price:
  • The location: obviously I can't change that and I have learned the hard way that to us it is very important and we would rather sacrifice living in a house or having our own garden for a flat that is in a great location next to everything we love about Glasgow. 
  • The size: we have a lot of things. In between Allen's dvds, cds, vinyls, comic books and Elliott's toys, the boys in this house own  a LOT ****! Although I think we could have coped in a smaller flat, this one was huge and at the same price as other smaller ones.
  • The building: is it a busy tenement? is it going to be a noisy building?Again you can't change annoying neighbours:(
  • The decor: can I redecorate the flat? I didn't really want somewhere immaculate because I wouldn't have been allowed to do anything to it. And it would have been more expensive.  Here I can redecorate but it's still manageable stuff: there are no wood chip in sight, the ceilings are good, the kitchen isn't horrific....the bathroom is another story:(
Anyhow here's the flat in all its (quite gross) glory!


We have already changed a few thing in this room but it hasn't been decorated yet. It is pretty big and has good proportions. The fire is apparently i working order but we haven't tested it out yet.
The carpet is in ok condition but I hate carpet so good condition or not I think it's gross. When we got the keys I went in straight away to start painting Elliott's bedroom and I noticed there were a lot of moths flying around and on the edge of the carpet. There were also signs of the carpets having been damaged by moths...for me that just illustrate how disgusting carpets are. I gave them a good hoover, and then using the steam cleaner I cleaned the edge of the carpet. It was a genocide down there, I was killing everything in site with my steam cleaner.....sooo satisfying (maybe a little too much!) I haven't seen any since but still repulsed by the carpets and just to bin these asap.
Below is the other side of the room....and yes we have a hatch...because let's face it it is super handy...not! That was one of the first thing I sorted with a really easy solution.


The Kitchen is alright, it is not offensive but it's not amazing either. It's a good size and is light and bright. As well as what you can see in the photo it has another small section at the back of the room which means we have space for a round table and chairs.
There are a few silly things here and there that could be improved:
the walls are papered with different style of wallpapers and borders the whole lot on top of one another and someone went and painted it white. It is really patchy and just looks amateurish. The tiles are really randoms and the wall next to the cooker could do with some tiles. There is a shelf at a really strange height some randomly added lights with lots of cables visible. Altogether we can live with it. We need a tiny bit more storage though so we'll need to think of a solution.


This room is right next to the kitchen and feels part of it in a way as both rooms are in the same mini corridor. We used it as our temporary bedroom when we first moved it but I always felt I was sleeping in the kitchen so it didn't really work for me as a bedroom. Plus there's an enormous tree right outside the room making it quite dark...and it's not even a nice tree!!!
We have now changed it to a dining room and it's much better. I still want to take a sledge hammer and knock that wall down so we have a bigger dining kitchen but apart from that I am good....oh and rip the carpet up, I mean carpet in a dining room? NO. THANK. YOU.


Oh my where do I start? I think whoever decorated this decided: let's have a colour scheme, oh what colour would be nice for a bedroom? Yeah brown, let's go for brown, because that's a cheery colour, really uplifting and just looks like...POO!! Well that scheme didn't last... If you follow me on Instagram you have probably already seen previews of the room and there is no more brown in sight:) But the sink is still there:(( I am waiting for Allen to come back form tour to temporarily remove it, so if we ever have to move out we just reconnect it but in the meantime we don't have to pretend we are living in a B&B!


This bedroom again is ok, the walls were wallpapered and again someone painted over them but badly so it's all patch and the wallpaper had a daisy pattern, which I am not really too keen on. The windows are huge and let a lot of light in and because  it's south facing her room is always nice and toasty during the day. We haven't done anything to it yet because it is blah and she can live with it now. Plus it turns out she actually isn't too crazy about having a loft bed because it involves....well...climbing up a ladder and she is far too lazy at times to do that or even to get down if she needs anything!! so if and when we do her room up we'll sell her bed and buy a new double one ( all on gumtree of course:)


When we viewed the flat it was described as part furnished...this was the furniture!! a old bed and a piano? weird! We kindly asked the landlord to remove them, which was not a problem. One of the first things I did when we got the keys is remove the carpet...I could have waited and lived with it but it was gross and had lots of stains on it...vom. Underneath was newish floorboards that probably were laid down when the central heating was installed, There weren't nice enough to sand back plus they had massive gaps between each board, but for me that was a better option than keeping the carpet. Did I mention that when I pulled it up, the receipt was underneath it. It was laid in 1992, which for me seems like yesterday but that's 22 years ago...22 years of grime and dirt in one ugly electric blue carpet.


There is also a spare bedroom/study room. It is tiny but big enough for a single bed and our wardrobes. We aren't too sure what to do with the room yet. We'll see once the rest is finished

We also have a massive hallway which could have a desk area but we might hang our bikes on one of the wall...not sure yet!

Voila! Bienvenue chez nous:)

Sunday 5 October 2014

New flat

WARNING: This is going to be a looooonnnnnng post:) But hey I' m happy with it!

Since moving from France to Glasgow 16 years I have had 7 different homes! I do or did enjoy moving and every time it was voluntary, either because I decided we needed something bigger or to buy etc There was always a motivation behind which made the move exciting.  When I was pregnant with Elliott we moved back to the West End and chose a really beautiful flat in one the classiest street I have seen. It was perfect for us at the time but as the flat was only two bedroom we knew from the word go it wouldn't be our forever home and we would have to move once Elliott would be big enough to have his own bed (his cot was in our room). We were super psyched when we found a massive duplex at a reasonable price two and half years ago. It was in a really quiet street. Because it was really on three floors it felt like a house etc only downside no access to the back garden. But we could live with that and given that we just had to go down a flight of stairs and we were along the Kevin it wasn't an issue. So we felt that this was it, we had found our forever home and had no intention of moving for a very very long time! But then disaster struck and our landlord decided he wanted to sell and we had once to move once again. By that point I was over the whole moving malarkey. I am a total expert at it because of the amount of times I had to do it but this time round I had zero motivation. Even looking for a flat was a chore:(( And anyone who has been in my company for more than five minutes knows that I am addicted to Rightmove so really this should have been a dream come true! But I think the pressure of having to find somewhere big enough, not expensive, in the catchment area for the school AND before a certain time was just a tad too much for me. We even considered temporarily moving back into the flat we own in the Southside even though it's too small. I am well aware I am going on and on here but bear with me this chat is going somewhere!!
So after a few weeks of looking and crying and looking again and crying some more, we finally found something that actually was quite good. The whole thing was a little surreal as the flat is on the same street as I used to live when I met my A 10 years ago. So for us it felt totally right straight away. And I did something I never thought I would do: I sent A to see it as I was at work and didn't want to miss out and agreed to move in without having viewed the flat myself. AAAAHHHHH that could have been a big mistake, but I totally trusted Allen on that one. Although when I bombarded him with questions that evening he barely remembered what the flat looked like!!!  I had seen pictures online, I could imagine the layout from knowing the flats on that street so I am sure it was going to be fine....well Allen kindly arranged a viewing on my birthday, even though by that point if I had hated it it would have been too late as we already had paid our deposit and all!!! Well I loved it, it felt like I had always lived there (in a way I did as it is the same layout as my old flat but not chopped into two flats if that makes sense?) So we are back where we started:)
So here is a small teaser and I will do another post with more photos ( otherwise this is going to be the longest post in history):
The photos aren't very exciting but it gives you an idea about the size etc.
So far we love it! We have no neighbours as such; above, below and on one side are all offices so after 5 really it is completely silent. We have a back garden that we share with the offices and the people in the basement. Obviously the office guys don't use the garden and the basement flat has it is own small section so we have the rest of the garden to ourselves! It is so nice we have had quite a few barbecue already and the kids like to go down and kick a ball. On the plus side as it is shared the factor arranges for the lawn to be mowed, so it's all good!
Oh my I was chatty, well next time I will post photos of the rooms so you can see what's what!.
Enjoy your Sunday! I got myself a bike and a seat for E on gumtree so I can't wait to try it out!

Friday 3 October 2014

Friday I'm in Love - String shelves

Babyccino Kids

The String shelving system was designed by Swedish architect and designer Nils Strinning in 1949 for a design competition initiated by the Bonnier public library. Recognising that if people were to be encouraged to purchase books they would need somewhere to keep them, the Bonnier publishing house stipulated that the designs submitted should be affordable, simple to transport and easy to assemble and hang. Strinning's String system won first prize.
More than 60 years on and the String shelves system is still going strong. It is super versatile, light but still stable. Each component can easily repositioned and combined with others and it works just as well in the kitchen or bathroom as it does in an office or lounge. Perfect for displaying cute toys like the above photo.

 The photo above shows the String Pocket shelves. It is like a mini version of the String shelving system. It comes with two side panels and three shelves. Its size is perfect for displaying books and beautiful objects. It comes in different colours or different types of wood, which makes it so versatile. You could have a yellow one in a kids bedroom and a white and walnut one in the Living Room!

The Shelving system comes with different components like this mini sliding door cupboard, perfect to have as drink cabinet I'm thinking! It's perfect if you don't want to have everything on display.

Photo Süsk & Banoo

Photo Varpunen

Photo Weekday Carnival
I love the option of having a desk as instead of another shelves. It's great when space is an issue as it doesn't take that much space but makes a clearly defined working area.

Photo Weekday carnival
The one downside of the String Shelves system is its price, it can add up quickly if you had very components but it is a design classic that you will have forever. The Pocket shelves are on the other hand affordable It would probably cost you as much to get three shelves and similar sides in Ikea so purely for that, it's absolutely worth it as you would be owning a part of history!

On that note I hope you have a lovely weekend. The weather has turned really autumnal here in Glasgow. I have resisted putting the heating on so far but I am not sure how long I will last!! We have nothing planned this weekend as E is exhausted from school and just want to stay in and play with his Lego.
Bon Weekend!