Saturday, 10 April 2010

A Bookcase

A bookcase isn't just a bookcase.

It's a feature. A place to put not just books, but ornaments. Figures and plants, potpourri and piggy banks. Don't be fooled by it's name - a bookcase is simply a few shelves and can become whatever you want it to be.

I bought this bookcase from Ikea at a steal of a price (and pretty much a steal from another person, as they'd tried to 'save' it by hiding it near different packs of furniture) and when I got it, I didn't even know where I was going to put it. All I knew was that it was a beautiful shape and would have a purpose one way or another.

This bookcase was positioned in my hallway when I initially bought it, and when we moved it was brought into the livingroom. It has been a main feature in both these areas because of what it holds - everything.

Books, fairies, plants, a small wicker basket, a strange wooden ball that I bought for no apparent reason, a small statue of a lady, cards, notebooks, piggy banks, a big glass bowl full of potpourri, a small pink bucket which holds more pens than I could ever possibly need, a box full of memories, dvds, board games, a clock, 4 bright green vases that don't (and have never) held flowers and my bright pink filing box.

It oozes colour and brightens up the area in which it stands. It stores objects that I have no storage space for and yet even though it looks used, I hardly ever take anything off it. It serves no other purpose than to just be.

I loved the look of it so much that I took photos and when I moved house the first thing I did was look at the pictures and work out how to put it all back together again into it's beautiful state of organised chaos.

I didn't buy anything specifically to go on the bookshelf. I used what I had to build colour, depth and excitement. It cost me nothing to decorate it, and yet it looks as though everything was bought to intentionally make it look the way it does.

Be bold. Don't be afraid of wild colours. Have a bright little spot in the corner.

Sunday, 4 April 2010


The thing I often see that people get wrong when it comes to making a house look homely, is stick to a colour scheme and not stray away from it at all. And the most popular colour scheme? Brown and cream.

I think this is pretty common as it’s neutral. The idea is that anything will match magnolia and whilst this is true, it is almost always matched with brown and one single colour. Although the idea is to look modern and stylish, it can become a trap, with the decorator afraid to add in another colour in case it clashes.

And I have been guilty of this. The colour scheme in my living room at my flat at University was green and purple (as accessory colours - the walls were magnolia). The bedroom was blue and brown (again, accessories only). And whilst the bedroom was fine with a colour scheme (I actually love blue and brown – I still have that in my bedroom now – but I’ve added white into the mix) The livingroom just didn't feel full enough. It was lovely as student accommodation, don't get me wrong, but it lacked something busier and just felt a bit too empty at times.

I've come to realise that a room doesn't have to be bursting with objects to make it feel full and comfortable (you may like a more spacious feel, but i find that too often than not that a minimalistic approach lacks a bit of warmth) and incorporating colour fills this gap.

Say you rent, for example. The walls are magnolia. The carpet is cream. You have a brown sofa. Your TV cabinet/case is wooden and your TV is black. Your dining table is wooden. Your bookcase is wooden. Everything is brown, or cream and dull. Is there anything you can do?


Add colour with your cushions and curtains and put some bright flowers in the centre of the table (the daffodils were a pound from Tesco - you cannot resist flowers for a pound). The bookcase adds dramatic colour to the room and creates a feature. 4 little things and I have transformed the brown shades.

Not only is it possible - it's easy.

Friday, 2 April 2010

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