Venice x2

Above is a bit of a visual love letter to Venice, the most magnificent city in Europe. We went there for the first time last February and loved it so much we went back again the same year. Twice in one year may sound like over kill, but we had just as good a holiday the second time round as we did the first. Where as the first was characterised by an excess of red wine, this holiday was characterised by an absence of red wine and an excess of sea food (and pasta, and risotto, and gnocchi, and pizza.... the list goes on - you get the picture!)

Where as last time we went we were mainly too sozzled but to do anything but lounge around central Venice, this time we managed to get out and see some of the more far flung sites. The pictures above are of one if the islands in the lagoon called Burano. It's famed for it's pretty little multicoloured houses as well as it's lace production. We, however, chose it for it's sumptuous looking restaurant where we devoured the best risotto I have ever had.

The trip back across the lagoon was very atmospheric in the twilight, I would love to visit Venice in the summer but it sure is eery in the winter.

We rounded off the trip with a trip to the historic Teatro al Fenice to see a ballet. We had a box and felt dead grown up, unfortunately our lack of Italiano meant we had failed to understand that this was a modern interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Onegin performed by a Russian ballet company and set in the 1990's - cue lots of modern dance and electric guitar music. Not quite what we were after but and amazing building none the less! 

I'll leave you with this pic of Nick in the foyer to our hotel, a medieval villa with it's own carved marble staircase entrance. The other is a picture of the canal we were staying on, what a place!

Happy Christmas everyone, I hope you have a really restful and happy christmas and new year.

Mary x 


The Communist

Hi y'all, a little ode to the lovely 1950's communist chair, a very comfy, very versatile and very stylish seat. I have three done up at the moment, all in differing shades of turquoise/green and they look delightful put together. Feast your eyes on these!

The new chair is the turquoise velvet one with the stripy grey and white linen back. It's a very nice chair and the wood on the legs is in excellent condition and both fabrics are by Designers Guild.

Turquoise communist chair upholstered in Designers Guild velvet on the inside and a linen white and grey stripe on the reverse: £200

Right, I am off to Venice for a little holiday in about five hours time so I will bombard you with beautiful holiday snaps when I get back. Have a great week and good luck with all the present buying and festive celebrations xx


Aspirational living

It must be a couple of weeks at least since I last updated the blog, let alone put any new chairs up - what can I say, Christmas is a busy time! What with finishing off the school term (exhausting) and getting stuff sorted for our new house (exciting), I have not had a lot left in me for general aesthetic appreciation and yule time frolicking, shame! Plus, no one wants to check into a furniture/lifestyle blog and find ponderings on differing bath enamel durability or rants about the stresses of living with ones parents as a 35 year old - hence my silence!

But I couldn't let another week pass without a quick house update. It's definitely going through the stage of looking worse, before it looks better, but behind all the rubble and demolition, giant leaps forward are being made. We have got rid of pretty much all the yucky bits inside and out (think disgusting built in cupboards, corrugated iron shed and a kitchen in a bedroom) and are now in the process of knocking through walls and creating the eventual space we are imagining!

Being pretty in to interiors and stuff (obsessed), I've got tonnes of ideas for the house, books with photos stuck in and Pinterest boards a plenty. The thing is to try and match the aspiration with the reality; it's all very well obsessing over a picture of a gorgeous Georgian double fronted sitting room when in reality what you are working with is a humble Victorian terrace. As much as possible we are going to try to stick to the house's Victorian roots and use that as our guiding star. That said, budget equally leads most of our decisions and what will inevitably happen is that the majority of our money will be swallowed up by the building work leaving less and less for all the beautifully stylish furniture and appliances I can't wait to buy! On my current lust list is an oval dining table by Saarinen(1) and some vintage Jielde lights for the bedside table(2), not to mention a set of Bertoia wire dining chairs for the kitchen(3) and a 1950's atomic chandelier for the sitting room(4).. I can but dream! 

I comfort myself with the fact that although designer pieces of quality furniture such as the ones listed above look amazing wherever their setting, in reality the homes that I find have the most warmth and effectively are the ones I most want to live in/own are not those where money has been no issue but where thought and creativity have gone into making a little stretch a long way. Junk shop finds mixed with quality craftsmanship, old blankets and excellent lighting. The industrial trend means that even the most battered old pieces can look amazing with a bit of polish and set amidst some smarter, slicker pieces. I am a lady obsessed with eBay and there really are some amazing things out there which you would be hard pushed to find else where. There are also a tonne of bargains waiting to be had and you can pick up really good things at the fraction of their retail cost - we are currently bidding on a Lefroy Brooks shower set with a RRP of over a grand, currently sitting happily (for us) at £99 - I'll let you know how we get on!

I have become an expert in multi tasking since currently I am employed full time in growing a little human being on top of everything else. I'm now five and a half months pregnant, over half way there, yikes! They say that the middle stage is the best bit, so I better start making the most of it before I get too huge. I have to say, although the nausea and extreme exhaustion have faded and I seem to have managed to shake off what ever coldy/snotty lurgy I had been carrying round with me for the last 3 months - pregnancy is still no walk in the park! Heart burn, indigestion, back ache and general fatigue are still pretty much omnipresent. That said, it is a truly mind blowing thing when you start feeling this little thing wiggling round in your tummy, totally surreal but amazing! We had the five month scan last week and everything looked good and the baby was opening and closing it's mouth, chatting away! We decided to wait and find out the sex of the baby au naturel. Given that there aren't vey many proper surprises left in life, it seemed a shame to spoil this one, plus, a wise woman told me that the suspense really helps when you're pushing it out! We are starting to think about baby stuff more and more. I think I might start buying old cashmere jumpers at charity shops and making them into little baby outfits, after nine months nice and snug in a uterus, I imagine cashmere would be one of the only acceptable alternatives. 

I so want my own space to start nesting in, actually scrap that, I just want my own space. We are literally bursting out of our bedroom and I don't know where to put all the Christmas presents, baby stuff, chairs and fabric we're accumulating. Speaking of chairs, I do have a new one and I will put it up tomorrow. It's taken me so long to write this that it's now completely dark and i'l have to photograph them tomorrow. Something to look forward to then!