Light Fantastic

Another must have in a home is light, an element that is simply never going to go out of fashion…

Underused in dreich and dreary Scotland, I am afraid, although we are slowly learning from our know-it-all Scandinavian neighbours!

VELUX® windows, a Danish company, of course, are always a stunning addition to any home.

Easily arranged in a self build, like this stunning home in Ayrshire, that we shot a while ago for Ideal Home magazine…

Living area

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Exterior

It was the kitchen in this house that stayed with me…

View through to kitchen

The house is cleverly, semi open plan, so you get a pleasing peek from the living room…

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…and it is the rooflights that make it.

A southerly VELUX window, can drench a formerly cold room in sunlight all day long, likewise in a room where you want to work, a northerly rooflight can provide a welcome, more even light.

The key to their beauty is that the light they bring in is much greater than the light you get from an ordinary window. Use generously – these products are surprisingly good value – install a bank of windows where just one would do and give your home the loft-living style, wow-factor it deserves!

Thinking along these lines could save you money in fact, people often plan an extension, when they do not really need more space, they just crave light and they know that an a new extension will bring that, but you can just install more windows! Give it some thought…

Find out more about their products at the VELUX webshop

This is a sponsored post, written in co-operation with VELUX

Vinyl – it’s back!

A brilliant, but seldom thought of way to add colour to your home is on the floor…

Pink floor kitchen

Love the pink vinyl flooring in this kitchen

pink glittery floor

Look carefully – it actually has a sparkle through it…a sprinkling of glitter

glass door with flower design

The owner of this kitchen can’t get enough colour – love it!

Anyone feeling slightly less brave, but still tempted by the practicality of vinyl flooring could do a lot worse than look very carefully at the Flexxfloors Premium Tiles in Terrazzo Anthracite or Concrete Grey…

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I do not think you could find an edgier, more contemporary neutral backdrop to a kitchen anywhere…

But for a more traditional look, black and white chequerboard tiles are always a winner…

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Classic…

Modern vinyl kitchen floors are attractive and versatile, very easy to clean and extremely hard wearing. Vinyl can be used throughout the house, but remember to choose tiles that are designated as appropriate for use in the kitchen and bathroom…important.

You could install the floor yourself, do think about it. However, if you’re not a DIY expert and precision isn’t your strong point, you might want to consider employing a professional – we did in our kitchen and Doug is a DIY fanatic….these tiles are good value, professionally laid they will look really expensive – I promise you.

The task will be completed in no time and all that you’ll have to do is stand back and admire your beautifully decked out new floor!

Get that party organised!

Should I? Shouldn’t I?

Lorraine’s gorgeous colours made her home a ‘no-brainer’ when it came to choosing for my last post – we had just returned from a family holiday in Barcelona – full of colour and atmosphere – it is how we should all be living!

I took plenty of pics on my iphone…

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We had a wonderful time, would we have had a better time with an ipad? Have been humming and hawing about this for a while now and yes… drumroll…I have decided!

Dear Santa,
There is a great range of ipads available from John Lewis at the moment, not only have I realised that ‘yes I do’ want one, I have even managed to decide exactly which one I want!! It is the Apple iPad with Retina Display, 16GB, in White, thank you! From John Lewis, there is a free 2 year guarantee. All I need to do now is decide which scrummy ice cream colour I want for the cover….oooh…blue…no green…it’s got be green…yes…oooh???

Cotterell home

Love the colourful and eclectic home of Lorraine Cotterell, which Douglas photographed for House Beautiful magazine recently. Lorraine is co-director of Cotterell & Co the well known lighting and furnishings design store, with branches in both Glasgow and Edinburgh and a growing online presence as well.

Fireplace

Lorraine’s home was her family home where she was brought up, which her and her husband, Graham, have beautifully updated recently.

Kitchen

kitchen seating

Hallway mirror

Bedroom

Dressing table

Bathroom

child's room

Lorraine and her Graham’s youngest child is a beautiful little girl from Thailand, this very welcome addition to their family has prompted them to use Eastern touches throughout their home. Lorraine’s natural flair for colour combined with her sound knowledge of design trends has ensured that the results are absolutely stunning.

Family portrait

Seaweed Bath anyone?

You all know me by now, my favourite hang out – Fletchers Spa – when I am not working away as Her Indoors or playing tennis, this is where you will find me – any excuse…

Bath Hut Busy!

It all started when I was invited to an ‘information evening’ at Fletchers, by my good friend, Rebecca O’Connor, owner of Beatitude an innovative range of aromatherapy oils, about the Sligo based, Seaweed cosmetic company Voya

We were both intrigued – I have to say I have seen a seaweed bath and did not want to rush to jump in. However, we were charmed and fascinated by the co-founder, Mark Walton (he does not look a day over 35 – honestly!)

He told us the wonderful story of how, for over a hundred years his family had literally been running in and out of the sea on the west coast of Ireland, harvesting seaweed, filling their, now, 14 baths, with seaweed for their 40,000 visitors a year to bathe in, and making creams and lotions out of the extract…

Have you ever wanted to feel completely rejuvenated and drenched in goodness? Well visit their page and find out more. At the end of the evening Becky and I both, immediately, booked ourselves a seaweed bath. The date was perfect – the end of a busy week in London for Becky and…errr…a completely normal week for me…oh well – no rest for the wicked!

Bath Hut Interior

What a welcome! The fire inside the bath hut was blazing…a wee pair of slippers beside it!

Chaise

If it all gets too much – you can just have a lie down!

Hazel curtain rod

Could not help noticing the curtain rod in the corner, made out of a stick of Hazel – that’s a good idea!

All you have to do is get in the bath…

Seaweed Baths

Errr…

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OK!

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Total and utter bliss – honestly!!

You can read more about Beatitude and Fletchers in the current issue of local lifestyle magaizne, The Toun Cryer

House Dress

Unless you have an unflinching eye and a very strong sense of style, there is always going to be a moment when you could definitely do with a sounding board, a really honest opinion and some fresh, original ideas to help you make the most of your home.

Professional help can pay for itself. The owners of House Dress, a Glasgow based interior styling company, are experienced renovators and experts at sourcing products and materials at the best possible price – with their advice and support you will not make expensive mistakes.

Douglas photographed the Stirlingshire home of a member of the House Dress team, Sheona McLaughlin, recently.

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Sheona McGlaughlin

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Sheona’s home is a great example of contemporary Scottish style with a sprinkling of Cape Cod. She instinctively knows how to bring a room to life. The House Dress team are more than great shopping companions, involving you in all decision making, from selecting paint to hanging pictures. They are not an advocates of throwaway chic or changing things just for the sake of it. In fact they will often persuade clients to appreciate something you have fallen out of love with simply by rearranging it. Always looking for creative ways to ‘upcycle’ and reuse, from upholstering an old chair with a modern fabric to giving a tired bookcase a new lease of life with a lick of paint.

Inspired? If you feel you could do with some input from Sheona and Bridget to help make your home more unique and ‘right for you’, just give them a ring on 07713056046

Homes all need a bit of help at times…

A Spoonful of Vintage

Had a wonderful Saturday – The Vintage Vendors opened their doors in St Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge…had a great time…tea, cake and vintage knick knacks…

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…wonderful atmosphere!

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Seriously considered buying this beautiful painting from Swedish vendor Bra Bohag

Swedish painting

A fishing scene set in the South of Sweden…exactly where Wallander is filmed…

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Douglas did buy me this beautiful 1960s Swedish ring…good friends of ours will know that this is not the sort of thing he does every day…

We also picked up a few vintage interiors magazines…

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Brilliant, in the DIY mag there is a really great feature about ‘covering period panelled doors with hardboard’ – love it!

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Can’t wait til the next event on Sunday 13th Oct, 11am-5pm at Spoon cafe, 6a Nicholson st, Edinburgh EH8 9DH