Throw open the windows

Planted purple wellies

Wow! What a fabulously sunny morning. For the first time this year we have thrown open the windows to let the house breathe in the early Spring  sunshine. I find it’s an amazing feeling when you can open up the house and the garden becomes part and parcel of your living accommodation.  No more rushing in and out between short sharp bursts of rain or scraping the ice from the car in the morning. With that in mind I wanted to write about my sister’s relatively new home which really embraces its rural surroundings.
Shortly before Christmas 2014 my sister and her husband moved into a chalet style house with a view to die for.  The rear and side aspects of the property have views stretching out across the adjacent fields which are home to a number of horses and chickens, whilst the front aspect has direct access to the neighbouring golf course and more fields which eventually roll down to the shoreline.  When my sister and her husband took ownership of the house it was in reasonably good decorative order but was not necessarily to their liking.
Keen to make the house more homely my sister and her husband firstly embarked on revamping the lounge and dining room to suit their own personal style.  The biggest obstacle in their way was the dark red  carpet and matching painted statement wall.  Neither the wall nor the floor covering were particularly out of place in the large, spacious, well lit room, and their existing leather sofas and oak furniture blended in well.  The only real uncertainty was choosing curtain and blind fabrics that would bring the whole scheme together without obscuring the wonderful views.
Laura Ashley was first choice for my sister as she knew that they had a wide range of “country house” patterns and colours that would do exactly what she wanted.  She collected some swatches and shortlisted two favourites; Geranium and Summer Palace, both in Cranberry.  At this stage I offered to make up some mood boards based on these two designs using images from the Laura Ashley AW2014 catalogue and a collection of wallpaper, fabric and paint samples.  I hoped that it would aid the decision making process.

summer palace cranberry
geranium pale cranberry

I was not disappointed! The boards certainly helped as we both decided that the first was too fussy and the second too light. As a result my sister revisited Laura Ashley and found a third design that she liked; Peony Garden, again in Cranberry. The colour way and design worked better with the scale of the room and the colour tones of the existing furnishings.  Despite not making her selection from either of the sample boards, she did buy into the idea of subtly extending the colour scheme to the exterior areas of the house by way of the colour of her potting shed and introducing the cranberry hues into her planters. The finished scheme both complimented and embraced the house’s rural surroundings.


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