Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Painter Man

Operation stair sanding avoidance goes from strength to strength. This weeks diversion, the back bedroom. In many ways the back bedroom has been something of the underdog, one of the first to be done, at that point we had neither time nor energy to think about it so simply white washed. The time hath cometh to give it some love.

Usual colour debate ensued and many samples toyed with. I was initially keen on the pale walls/ dark wood combo which I often think looks great. Contenders included Farrow and Ball's Blackened, a shade which provides a satisfying range of colours depending on the light. But it is a cold colour and in an actually cold room I had reservations. For one crazy moment green was considered - green! A lovely rich, dark green, which wouldn't be out of place in a dining room. It looked great, the only problem with green, well it's not grey!

It's a fairly small room and not particularly light at certain points of the day so a vast majority would say go pale and there is some wisdom in that, so, I thought about it..... for about a milisecond. We all know that the samples were just tokenistic, there was only ever one contender - downpipe. I had my doubts, let me assure you, even I was concerned that it might be too muddy for a dark room. But it has never let me down yet and I had faith. Sure enough the wonderful moody hue is working it's magic, it doesn't look dark it looks rich, from green to blue to black depending on the light, it makes all the other colours stand out ... I love it!

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Sweden to see the lovely Maya. It got me thinking how all of our styles are so very influenced by our neighbourhoods. None more so than Sweden which has an incredibly strong signiture style, not so much of the downpipe here. Everything is very perfect and uniform, with nothing out of place. The fact that Ikea came up with all those brilliant storage devices is no coincidence! It's not my personal style (alas) but it has a real beauty, I admire it's crisp orderliness and man they give good light!

My hood, on the other hand, could not be less ordered, a total melange, with sleek million pound homes next to semi-derelict high-rises. But wherever I am in this crazy town I can't help but find inspiration in the oddest places - a beautiful window here, a cart that could be an amazing coffee table there. I sometimes wonder if everyone thinks in interior?

With the mix of styles there is the equal mix of people. Crazy crazy times round these parts and many others and like alot of us I have a love hate relationship with the area. Some times you literally fear for your life walking down the street and sometimes, like a few moments ago, a neighbour you haven't met before knocks on the door and gives you a bag of greengage plums from his garden.

We might not have a deli on every corner and there might be many many problems, but mostly, it feels like a community who care and are trying and I like that.

Monday, 1 August 2011


Firstly I think I need to clear something up, contrary to my last slightly misleading post. Project squat is by no means over and neither is this blog. 'Phew' I hear you communally cry, I know you would all be lost without it.

Simply, we are considering options. With work all but done (all but, being a flexible term), I am obviously looking into what next. Heaven forbid I have any free time to enjoy the summer or spare cash to, I don't know, buy an ice-cream. No no no, as many of you know, I, like many other ladies, need a project and a project I will find. Chances are nothing will come of it but I am currently spending many an hour, perusing house websites and visiting properties in need of a total overhaul. If I had my way, and ALOT of money I would have snapped one up ages ago and be knee deep in plaster dust buy now, such is my enthusiasm for the world of decorating. Thankfully I have an altogether more sensible voice in my ear and a total absence of readies... so for now we continue to consider...

My research has resulted in some lovely outings. On a recent visit to Walthamstow whilst cycling through the marshes, along the canal, past the families with small children picking wild blackberries and the groups of Australians picnic-ing on the vast green landscapes and swathes of wild flowers, I literally felt like I had stepped back to my childhood in Yorkshire. (Minus the Australians, we didn't have so many of them in 80's Ilkley).

Walthamstow village itself was a delight a veritable oasis in the heart of the city - little cafe's and bars and THE most beautiful streets with incredible houses... Who knew? (well no doubt alot of you, but not me!).

From one extreme to the next, I then ventured to Hackney Wick to sample a bit of Hackney Wick-ed (see what they've done there?) So, this is where the cool kids go?? The most urban of urban landscapes, towers of rust, dis-used warehouses car-parks come theatre spaces, cinema's set up on dis-used fridges, but mainly thousands of trendy young things with wild eyes and cans of red stripe. No doubt all artists, DJ's or photographers. I was immediately taken back to Brooklyn, Bushwick to be precise (so post Williamsburg!)

Both areas have their charm and both contenders for squat number 2.

Meanwhile back indoors we are still left with the one major piece of refurb, the beast that is the staircase. I am between jobs at the moment, 'resting', I believe they call it. Ample time to tackle the monstrous task. So, I have resorted to the only option left, procrastination. Suddenly, even though it never bothered me before, I am struck by the monstrosity that is the bathroom door is. A cheap, pine emergency purchase, how could I have let this go, it MUST be painted, I can bare it no longer. So bathroom door is now the same delectable shade as the walls, yes your favourite and mine.. Downpipe.

As for the stair case... have you seen the state of the shed....?