Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Catching Up

I've been a bit lazy, neglecting the blog these last few weeks as I've been tied up with other projects. However, progress continues apace and we're finally getting into the spring cleaning state of mind, sorting out and finishing jobs that have been put off far too long!

One such task I've procrastinated over longer than I'd like, is getting stair runners installed on our two flights of stairs within the flat. Ever clear on what I want, runners were purchased a few months ago from the wonderful Roger Oates Flooring. For those unfamiliar with this company, Roger Oates stock a range of traditionally woven flatweave, Wilton and wool runners and fabrics. I opted for these fantastic flatweave runners that I've long lusted after in design magazines, seduced by the sophisticated herringbone weave and classic colours.

Images courtesy of Roger Oates
First off, I realise the runners are different. The main reason for this is that our stairs are two different widths due to the first run being part of the original common staircase which became integrated into the flat following the 1950's conversion. Not all styles are available in the wider width necessary to cover this run, at least not off the peg by the meter and we werent inclined to pay a huge amount for a custom order, given the runners are at a high price point already. Hence I selected two different styles but on the plus side, they define the entrance hallway to the flat from the second flight of stairs up to the top floor which is more within the main body of the living space.

The flaw in the plan being that Roger Oates are based down south and in line with this, demand for installation of their products seems to also be firmly south of the border. As we'd purchased directly rather than from a Scottish stockist, the hunt for a qualified fitter was an arduous task. Luckily, we eventually prevailed and found an excellent fitter to do the job at Millers Flooring. Here are the results:

There's still some work to do in removing the stair rod brackets from the second run and touching up paint on the stairs generally to tidy things up but all looking good so far!

On another topic, being very much into all things interiors, I tuned in to BBC 2's Great Interior Design Challenge. I very much enjoyed the series, despite agreeing with some of the critics observations. In particular, I was pleased to see Timorous Beasties designs being used in several of the projects. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of this Glasgow design house and have used no less than three of their wallpapers in our redecoration so far! Very chuffed to note that Luke Watkins from GIDC seemed to have read my mind by creating a very similar feature using Timorous Beasties 'Pheasants' paper. We used this paper to cover the chimney breast in the master bedroom, accenting the French style furniture and Farrow and Ball paint we chose. I think it's really effective- we particularly like the way our decorator split the paper to have one of the birds peeking out above the picture rail!

Here is Luke's design:

Image courtesy of Luke Watkins

Our feature chimney breast came first of course, being completed last summer! As you can see, he used a very slightly different colourway (ochre and blue) which is lovely. I consciously decided to go with the grey tone instead as there is already quite a lot going on in the bedroom with the blue Delft tiles, marble and of course our ornate furniture etc, so I wanted to keep the colours simple and not assault the senses with too many colours/patterns at once! I also purposefully took the wallpaper above the picture rail right to the ceiling to draw the eye up, which personally I think works really well as we have such a lovely cornice in this room. I do like how Luke used the Chinese style pottery that his clients already owned within his scheme. I plan to pick out the blue in our fireplace using textiles and ornaments- currently on the hunt for some fabulous ginger jars! I'm the first to admit that white and blue with very rich cream perhaps aren't natural bedfellows but the devil is in the detail and I'm confident that once the room is finished it will pull together well.