Cornish lifestyle – Surfs up

Adam our (fabulous) decorator was up at the crack if dawn before work this morning to take advantage of the surf.  #perksofthejob #cornishlifestyle

Project Sergeants Rest (retreat)

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The Mood Board for the ‘Project Sergeants Rest’ (Retreat) is on the go here.

Concept so far…….There are heaps of down lights that would be time consuming and costly to take out so we are using them to our advantage and opting for a more minimalistic, modernist approach with a scandinavian mid century feel.


Mood Board ‘Project Sergeants Rest’…

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The Mood Board for the ‘Project Sergeants Rest’ (Retreat) is on the go here.

Concept so far…….There are heaps of down lights that would be time consuming and costly to take out so we are using them to our advantage and opting for a more minimalistic, modernist approach with a scandinavian mid century feel.


A renovation diary

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I am lucky enough to have been asked to renovate and furnish another beautiful property destined to be let through cottage boutique; a high end holiday letting agency, characterised by its stunning portfolio of period homes dotted throughout the picturesque town of St Ives, Cornwall.


I thought it would be fun to capture the progress of this project – ‘Project Sergeants Rest’ (also known as Sergeants Retreat – name preferences on a postcard please). Below are current images including a glassed side entrance, tiled bedroom floors and beautiful but awkward windows.

This property is the right hand side of The Old Police Station, the left hand side of which was renovated and furnished towards the end of last summer (2014) and retains the name, The Old Police Station (or TOPS for short)….below…

I will be posting progress from the initial phase of gathering ideas and inspiration, right up to the final clean and dressing of the property for its photoshoot. Follow the project via twitter, instagram and Facebook.

I welcome all comments, questions and suggestions along the way!

Kalk Bay

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As a Friday goes, today is up there on the Most Memorable List, largely due to the morning being spent quietly drinking coffee whilst lying on a pretty secluded, stunningly beautiful, exclusive beach called Bolders in nearby Simons Town

Blessed with a whole child-free day and the company of a great friend from Cornwall, I then spent the entire afternoon BROWSING the shops in Kalk Bay. I capitalize this word because as many mothers know, browsing is on The List of Compulsory Sacrifices one makes during the early years of parenthood, and as most women know, it is something that we LOVE to do.

Camera at the ready I took pictures at will, of all the beautiful shop interiors and cafe decor.

From a must-have chaise longue to amazingly upcycled industrial lighting, and from a fantastic leather chair window display to………………..

……. the inventive display of gardenalia (if that word doesn’t exist – it should!) Kalk Bay has it all.

Following an initial browse we leisurely found refreshments in a reclamation yard ‘Mind My French’ which conveniently had a creperie attached to the side. Only in South Africa (in my opinion of course) could you find a restaurant sandwiched between a main road and a railway line and still find it charming.

Post crepe, we then stumbled upon a lovely shop-above-a-shop which sold £50,000 artworks along side cake stands (more reasonably priced) of which one particularly caught my attention.


And with cake set firmly in my minds eye I think of home and the belated New Year Sugar Free diet that I will be perfecting upon my return.

I will be sad to say goodbye to this beautiful country for another long year. Thanks again South Africa for slowing my pace, allowing me some rest (and a tan that I will be forced to cover up as soon as I land!).

Thank you for helping me to appreciate what I already have and for helping me to understand what I need in order to keep growing.

Until next year.

Renovation Project Update

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The holiday flat is nearly finished and has grown from an empty dust-filled parquet canvas to a haven of beach calm using only inherited/reupholstered/upcycled furniture (with the exception of a few ‘must-have’ accessories).

My favourite piece in the twin room is this shelved mirror, which was bought as a (shelfless) old window, and lovingly repurposed. The drawers have had new knobs and a lick of paint and the chair which was a lucky junk shop find has been given a new white-wash.

The inherited living room suite was reupholstered before we arrived and courtesy of the most glamorous octogenarian seamstress I have ever met (Zelda you know who you are) we were able to dress it with some beachy scatter cushions. The coffee table was made from old pallets and give a white wash and the dining table was made from an old gate. My favourite accessory in this room is the naturally aged and distressed blue ladder, that has now retired from its workhorse days to rest calmly against the wall as a newspaper rack.

The double room has inherited simple white bedside drawers and lamps and has a adopted the same calm beach-side feel as the rest of the flat, whilst the hallway has a distressed antique mirror above a useful 1970’s slimline unit gleaned from the main house.

The balcony which had a green floor and clashing brickwork is now calmly painted in whites and creams and houses another ‘window mirror’ above an ingenious, stripped top, half-a-table (cut lengthways and mounted to the wall). Complimenting these two pieces is a couple of bar stools around a (slightly wonky) tall table that used to be a wine barrel, oh, and an incredible view.

To book this hillside apartment in Fishoek Cape Town, please make enquiries via beatengreen.


How to host a food market…..

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Having just experienced, possibly THE best view in the world whilst enjoying the delights of fresh sushi I feel educated enough to post a blog on HOW TO HOST A FOOD MARKET

1) Provide one unimaginably beautiful setting to include four of the top four vistas in the world, mountain ranges, miles of a white sandy beach, a large lake and rows upon rows of grapevines.

2) Allow free access, picnic tables with umbrellas and plenty of space to lay rugs.

3) Provide a play park for the children and enclose the entire venue with a fence to keep the children contained yet occupied.

4) Invite independent stall holders to sell menu upon menu of delicious, mostly nutritious, but sometimes naughty (chocolate crepe you know who you are) food at ridiculously low prices.

5) Ask the sun to shine warmly and set serenely.

Cape Point vineyard at Noordhoek operate such a successful example of a food market that the number of visitors have increased dramatically since this time last year. The view now attracts a wide variety of interest, both professional (wedding magazine photo shoots) and general party goers (Et al and I)


World Design Capital

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It is no wonder that Cape Town was awarded the World Design Capital distinction for 2014,, which recognizes design as a tool for social, economic and cultural development. Whilst meandering the streets of the Cape Town suburb Observatory this week, this creative edge is evident everywhere, from the chandeliers made from spoons and teacups to the wall light that used to be an ice bucket. Upcycling began in the poorer regions as a means of earning an income where people collect everyday scrap metal such as soda cans and turn them into decorative ornamentation. These are then sold on the streets but have also made it into some main stream tourism outlets where the concept has then also been expanded. New items are expensive and so industrious small business owners need to get inventive.

The same inventive streak streams into aspects of everyday life as seen in these upcycled-tyre-swings in the local childrens playpark, and the giant ‘bottle-top’ elephant head observing the fun from the trees.

Next time I will look at the upcycled and recycled design features that run through the restaurant industry…..


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