The Magic of Scaramanga

I just cannot get enough of this Fife based, vintage and interiors salvage company Scaramanga. They import beautifully distressed antiques, mainly from India. I was fascinated to hear that they have been the go-to supplier for props buyers around the world for ten years now and was delighted to hear of their latest starring role in the film Victoria and Abdul.

They provided 15 pieces to the film set: trunks and boxes, tins, bowls and leather journals.
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Going back to my roots

A little bit about me – I was born into quite straitened circumstances: my parents were a middle class, educated couple, who, somewhere along the line, had taken a vow of poverty: they met at a communist party meeting in Hampstead – cute I know. This weekend was a nostalgia trip for me because I went on an Abigail Ahern masterclass, in Islington, where I lived for the first three years of my life, in a prefab estate on Brecknock Road.

I stayed in a smart hotel in Bayswater, The Shaftesbury, where my parents later lived, in a beautiful council flat, until they very sadly died when I was 21. After a long train journey, listening to a guy behind me talking Hungarian for the last half of the journey (my Dad was Hungarian) I was predictable a heap by the time I arrived, I phoned my cousin, who has heroically carried on the London baton for us and with whom I normally stay, and who completely understood – thank you Gaby, you are so kind, and I calmed down!

Abigail’s workshop was nothing short of amazing, you are greeted by this beautiful overgrown fig tree in the front garden (yes, she plays with scale a lot.)

The small group walked round enraptured, as we were treated to a house tour.
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Colour and the importance of…

Following on from my recent post about meeting Sophie Robinson, the Queen of Colour, I wanted to write more about this ridiculously important subject. Sophie believes that painting a room white is actually an ‘interior design crime’.

I am not sure I can go along with this, much as I would be well qualified to, as the owner of an aubergine kitchen (above), a dark grey bedroom, a bronze TV room (below) and a plum dressing room.

Seriously though, it cannot be denied that all white homes are stunning. There is something completely magical about walking into a house where all the walls and floors are painted a perfect dazzling white. Especially when the owners do not have children, dogs, cats or, errr, visitors. What transforms these magical monochrome palaces into real, loveable homes is, of course, pops of colour.
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Ode to a mouse

Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

Written by Robert Burns after he had turned over a nest of a tiny field mouse with his plough. Burns was a farmer and farmers in his day, were typically far too busy to be concerned with the state of the mice in their fields. This poem shows Burn’s concern for all creatures and his innate humanity.

The ensuing verses should be compulsory reading for all builders and renovators, for whom consideration for every detail is of the utmost importance. Skirting and mouse mouldings can make or break the interior architecture of a home. Once you have decided on the style of your project, every detail needs to adhere. Whatever the period of your home, the skirtings and architraves need to be carefully chosen.
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Improving your bathroom

Probably the most important room in the house. Bathrooms are where we get ready for the day. Where we revitalise and refresh, as well as relax and unwind, soaking away all the stresses of life. If you want to give your bathroom a spruce up, but you are on a budget, there is plenty you can do – here are a few simple tips for breathing new life into your bathroom space without it costing you thousands.

Say goodbye to the shower curtain
Never hygienic – get rid of that drab old curtain and swap it out for a clear glass shower screen instead. Not only will it do a better job of protecting your bathroom from water, but it will help to enhance the size and feel of the space. A pane of glass will make the room seem more continuous. Look out for beautiful but inexpensive selection at any DIY store.
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