A Year to Look Forward to

This Christmas has been wonderful, I hope you all enjoyed your festive season as well. I’ve taken a little break from the blog – largely because I couldn’t actually get to the computer! It’s this time of the year that storage really becomes an issue with me and when I finally take down all the decorations (today) I feel ready to freshen things up, to create some space and to PUT EVERYTHING AWAY!

feather wreath

Over the last few weeks of crazy spending (on other people) I’ve been thinking about what were my favourite homewares purchases of 2014. I had a holiday in the South of France over the summer and came home with two oversized cushions for my bed. They were designed to cover my pillows and to make the bed more glamorous. Job done, but what I didn’t realise was how comfy they’d be to lean against and now almost every activity that I would otherwise do sitting on the sofa, is taken back to my bed and there I stay tucked up and nestled into my big cushions. Winter has some perks!

big cushions

I needed extra storage (what did I tell you) in my bedroom and found this little whatnot at a local antiques market. It had been painted blue. It wasn’t very lovely. They hadn’t prepared the wood very well and the paint started peeling away every time it got knocked, so I gave it a good sanding with fine grade sandpaper and then coated it up with two coats of normal emulsion paint.

Coating it up

whatnot detail

I knocked it back with the same fine sandpaper to give a distressed and lived in look and then sealed it with an acrylic decorators glaze. I’ve mentioned this product before but it honestly makes doing up furniture the most straightforward process. All of the products are water based (and although I hate the fumes of oil based paint, you still can’t beat it for a robust and long lasting finish – the decorator’s glaze however, is almost as good) so they’re quick drying and easy to handle. The glaze goes on slightly translucent but dries clear and comes in a variety of finishes. I’ve used the matt on my kitchen units (yes really) and most often go for satin on furniture so that they look more ‘authentic.’

bedroom storage

And finally I went a bit mad on mirrors in the autumn. I had the two large ones already and wanted to have a mirror wall to compliment my rogues gallery going up the stairs but hadn’t found quite the right sizes. As chance would have it, I found these when visiting a girlfriend in Tunbridge Wells (the baskets above were also found in T.Wells) and knew they should be mine.

hall mirrors

What I’ve also been doing over the break is taking the time to think about the blog and the direction it’s going in. The reason I started writing was to share the experiences I have as an interior designer. That hasn’t changed but it seems that in blogging communities credit is given to the amount of traffic and the frequency of posting. This is something I’ve chosen to overlook, largely because my writing is an extension of my work as a designer. I don’t have time to write a blog post every day, let alone every couple of hours. What drives me is sharing issues and events that I find interesting – not how many views my blog gets (although I’m always happy to have more readers!)

detail hall mirrors

I happened to read a really wonderful article about this by Holly Becker – creator/editor of decor8 – which you can read here and she strikes the chord that great content takes time to create. She mentions that most readers are time poor and not likely to read every post if their inbox is overwhelmed with emails from the same source. How many times a week do you look at the subscribed marketing emails that come in? I delete just about every one – because I know how to reach them if I want to.

detail whatnot

So, in the spirit that I started, I’ll continue to post when I have the time and most importantly when I think the content is good enough to be of interest to someone reading the blog. I’m very happy for you to share my content but please credit me and link back to Putting the Love In. As with every creative pursuit, having the idea in the first place is the hard part and in such a competitive marketplace those of us with little voices don’t often get heard over those that have the financial backing to shout really loudly. Funnily enough, I’m not actually interested in doing that because what I do is still client driven and I think they’d feel rather exposed. My work is about helping people create homes that they want to live in and sometimes the issues can be very personal. So I take my time and learn what I can from every job I do. It’s only after I’ve worked through the process that I feel I can share my experiences. You can see why this might be called slow blogging! Think I’ll head back to bed…

bed cushions

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