Shutter Speed

A really quick and instant update that works in so many styles of homes is to pull down dated curtains, that you always knew were not right, and replace with some really on-trend shutters.

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When my friend Kirsten put her shutters up in her Victorian terrace, complete strangers would knock at the door and ask her where she got them from! So stunning…

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They give any style of home a wee hint of New England…who doesn’t want to live in the Hamptons?!!

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All the images I am using to illustrate this post are all shot in Scotland, but the shutters give the rooms an up-to date, international twist

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Most of the shutters we come across are white. Pale and interesting is always beautiful, but click on the link above and you will see that they can actually be made in any colour… Would love to see the results if anyone chooses to order some!

I would go for a soft lilac if I could…

Jo Tutton International Interiors & Styling

Lifting a dark and dated property is a useful skill to have. So often we get used to home being a bit tired, …live with it until we come to sell and only then do we do a quick freshen up. My advice is be ruthless and do it now!! Jo Tutton’s Edinburgh home will inspire you to do exactly that: for Jo, it was all about taking a dark and uninviting basement flat and making it as light bright and airy as possible – giving it a much grander feel.

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Every detail has been carefully thought out

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The galley kitchen has a sliding glass wall overlooking a stunning city hideaway garden.

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Pretty bedrooms are enlivened with pops of colour

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And a very ingeniously arranged dressing room…Billy bookcases with glass doors are perfect for displaying gorgeous bags and shoes

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A decadent creamy bathroom

Find out more about Jo Tutton International Interiors and Styling. Her approach is that a home should be about who you are, your life, loves and travel – nothing matchy matchy – whether that being a period property or a more contemporary style. She likes to add touches of glamour that’s a testament I guess to a former life in one of the most glamorous cities in Latin America, Monterrey, Mexico. But ultimately each project is different!

The Geffrye Museum

Delighted to have a guest post this week from one of my oldest friends and my long time work mentor, journalist Sue Gray. She recently visited the Geffrye Museum of the Home and was telling me about it and I thought ‘Why have I never been to this place? Why have I never even heard of it?’

Sue has very kindly put that right for all of us, please enjoy her post below, about this wonderful institution.

Read more…

Provence

Well, we are back from our house swap and house swapping is good!

I was questioning my sanity in the days before we left, typing out instructions on how to use the TV and where the nearest garage, bank and petrol station is. We had arranged to swap cars as well as houses and I had confidently, mentally prepared for them to use Doug’s very reliable, very economical Citroen C2. Of course in the week before we were due to leave, the C2 started playing up – great! Instead we had to let them use my beloved, but ancient, Fiat Multipla, which is neither reliable, nor economical…aaargh!!

We arrived and our exchange family, the lovely Girods: Cathy, Thierry, Marion and Lucie warmly welcomed us and gave us a delicious lunch and then left to go to our house – hang on…shouldn’t it be us leaving, after they have given us lunch?? It definitely felt odd! Instead, they left, leaving us in their house!! It was slightly Alice in Wonderland…

We got used to it pretty quickly though, literally running to jump in to the pool the moment they headed off!

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Provence is beautiful of course and a haven for lovers of food, wine and interior design…

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Wondering round the stunning interiors and home ware shops in the gorgeous mediaeval town of Uzes, I quietly decided that when I get home, I want everything in my house to be painted cream or olive, and every unpainted surface, to be limestone or linen…

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We were near Avignon, a stunning, walled city, and it was festival time, so lots of art exhibitions, music…

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…beautiful scenery, wonderful food and happy days…

A Fuchsia garden

Stunning weather in Gullane today and we are off on holiday soon…definitely garden season…gardening is a passion that has always been inside – for many years deep inside me, because I was bought up in a flat in Central London and then moved to a similar, top floor flat, in Glasgow…

I am spoilt because my husband is an able landscaper and kind of likes to do things his way (I think the saying is ‘Doug’s way or the Highway’) so I have been left, even when we bought our first house together, feeding my passion by ‘reading gardening books’ and ‘imagining myself gardening’…

However, I am now, by very good fortune, able to write about gardens for my work. We have just had a feature published, again in House Beautiful magazine, in the current issue, August 2014, about a beautiful garden in Dundee. The owners bought a stunning modernist home, at an early stage from a developer, and have really put their personal stamp on it.

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With the help of brilliant garden designer, Tracy McQue they have created a garden that is a work of art, mouth watering colours, fun shapes and soft, practical textiles for outside, all combine to make an outside space that they use and enjoy all year round.