Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Decorator Ideas

I have been needing a little inspiration of late. I know the style I want to have in our home: vintage, a little tatty round the edges with a bit of retro thrown into the mix to create a truly confused look ;) - sounds a bit like me really; vintage, tatty, retro and more than a little confused on the odd occasion. It needs to be family friendly and not so polished that the kids are in constant fear of smashing something. Oh wait, that is me being in constant fear of the kids smashing something, they tend to charge on regardless.

Anyway I saw this book, 'Simply Country' by Liz Bauwens and Alexandra Campbell, on Amazon whilst perusing for Christmas gifts to send back to Australia. It was a one click purchase, as Mr Bee calls it. I liked the cover so I clicked, I was not in a book shop so I couldn't flick, so I just clicked.

It arrived a few days later and I realised that I should have flicked before purchasing this book. The cover is truly fabulous however the rest of the photos weren't really what I was looking for; not really a failing of the book I suppose but rather an unresearched purchase on my part. I refused to give up on it so I took it to the gym for reading material on the cross trainer for two weeks and ploughed through every word whilst trying not to sweat on it. It grew on me. There are some good ideas but not the 'wow' factor; at least for me anyway.

Next came 'Thrift Chic' a book by the same authors (I only noticed this four days ago but I have had this book for about several weeks). This book has a few lovely photos and ideas but I feel it is really just jumping on the bandwagon of Vintage Style Revival, so popular at the moment. Once again it just lacked that special something I was looking for.

This is one idea which I loved from 'Thrifty Chic' , a painted stair runner. There are instructions for this project in the book. I must stress I am not saying that these two books are not worth a look but rather that they were not what I was looking for in the inspiration stakes.

However this book, 'Bazaar Style' by Selina Lake and Joanna Simmons, is absolutely gorgeous. I first saw this book on the Henhouse blog. What great and simple ideas. I LOVE this book. It is just off beat enough for me.

I covet this chair. There is quite a bit of this style of furniture around in Australia as it seems to sell in China town stores all over the country, of course it is not red but rather a very high gloss varnish over the wood. This is an true resurrection of something no-one wanted (the chair was apparently found in a skip - lucky them).

The use of hundreds of small pieces of wallpaper on this fireplace looks amazing and the chairs are equally wonderful. Am I gushing? I don't mean to, well not too much. Unfortunately our fireplace is 'rustic' to say the very least and does not have a flat surface in sight.

There is just page after page of fabulous ideas in this book. The wonderful thing is that as it contains all vintage object you can look at the basic idea, see what similar grouping you might have around the house and let it grow from there.

So of my three latest decorating purchases it was third time lucky for me. 'Bazaar Style' lives by my bed at the moment just in case I want a quick decorator dose to dream about before dozing off.


  1. I always hesitate before buying a book I cannot touch. But, I do have experience with it, and similar ones to yours. January is redecorate time and I'm collecting ideas. Like the Bazaar one, too. Also love your rhinestone collection in the next post.

  2. It's me again, in a moment of enthusiasm. I have that 'Thrifty Chic' book too, and I enjoyed it but I was upset by the deliberate distressing of furniture. So fake and pretentious when one's children can distress anything quite effectively, thank you. I must try the Bazaar book instead.