a way of life...

Month: December 2018

Green&Black Wardrobe

For a long time I have been pondering what colour would spice up my rather beautiful, but tired, wardrobe that greets visitors when they arrive in our hallway.


Neptune provided inspiration with their seasonal offerings in their Autumn/Winter 2018 Directory. Revisiting an existing paint shade, Chestnut, and pairing it with Nutmeg, sparked my imagination. 

Nutmeg and Chestnut

With our bold striped Crucial Trading carpet running the full length of the staircase in the back ground and our crazy orange and cream spotty carpet from Ikea on the in the foreground, using these Neptune colours to tie the scheme together seemed a no-brainer.


Our first task was to dismantle the wardrobe and to add an undercoat to ensure the top coat would adhere to the surface. This was no mean feat as I’m sure you can imagine.

We left the undercoat to try and applied the first coat of Nutmeg eggshell that same afternoon and left it to dry overnight.

The following morning I was up at the crack of dawn to apply the second and final coat. Using a sponge roller actually made the task much quicker and easier and again I allowed a 12 hour drying time to ensure that the paint had gone off completely.


Once all the elements were put back together I was stunned and delighted with the results as we now have a truly smart piece of furniture which smacks you in the face when you enter our home.

My only residual concern is that it it represents a bar of Green&Blacks’s dark chocolate which is an absolute favourite of mine!

Now that our hallway is neat and tidy, this weekend I have enjoyed adding some seasonal decoration in anticipation of the festive celebrations.

Gathering some branches from our golden beech tree and cutting the dead heads from our climbing hydrangea I have added some seasonal dressing to our lovely new cupboard.

Seasonal dressing

Our final task is to paint the entrance vestibule with Chestnut emulsion but for the time being I am basking in the glory of completing this initial restoration.

Christmas Is Coming

It’s a sure sign that Christmas is coming when you walk into a bar and there’s a tree suspended upside-down from the ceiling.  The one below was seen at The Bugle in Brading on the Isle of Wight last weekend.

Full marks for novelty, although maybe not so many for practicality.

The Bugle, Brading

The first of December spurred me on to buy our family Christmas tree. Having seen this room set at Neptune in Guildford I decided to buy a table top Nordmanniana from the Farm Shop Lyne.

I was taken by the simplicity of the decoration of this tree and by the glass vase in which it had been planted. Both struck a chord with me as I have spent much of 2018 aiming for a more pared back interior in our cottage.

Container grown Nordmanniana

Here you can see a close up of our tree along with some of the snow globes that I have made for the craft fairs that I have been attending this season. The one shown below is my most recent addition.

“Bringing the tree home” snow globe

Using a glass yoghurt jar, a miniature truck bought from Hobbycraft, and a mixed bag of bottle-brush Christmas trees bought on-line, I created a minute replica of these Ikea filled vases that I saw for sale at the Country Living Christmas Fair last month.

Giant truck snow globes

The homecoming truck laden with an oversized tree has been a popular image over the past few years. It seems to have been particularly prevalent this year and, with this in mind, I couldn’t resist buying this M&S bedding set which depicts the  tree being brought home on the roof of the family car.

M&S bedding set

I waited for the rain to stop today, and for the sun to emerge, before taking photographs of this lovely set along with our little tree and a selection of snow -globes.

Winter wonderland

Aside from snow globes and homecoming trees another popular decoration this year is the humble pom-pom. They have adorned everything from handbags to jewellery and have now been seen being used in Christmas decorations.

Handcrafted snow globes

The wreath shown below was one of my favourites and was spotted in the Giraffe & Custard gift shop in the Rectory Mansion, Brading.

I am now really excited about next weekend as I hope to plunder our loft and revisit my ever expanding supply of decorations. That said, I hope to honour my paring back strategy and use a mixture of fresh foliage and simple baubles.

I look forward to sharing the end results with you and hope that this blog has inspired you to start thinking about the season and the delights that come from the preparation for the big day.

Happy decorating!

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