A modernised 18th century cottage in Ireland

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Came across this beautiful home on Livingetc and had to share. I'm not often drawn to minimalist interiors because I find them characterless, but there's something about the punches of colour in the soft furnishings and artwork (especially the artwork) that really give this place personality, and I really enjoy what the owners have done with the staircase constructed using salvaged railway sleepers (the fact that they're 'floating' is both terrifying and amazing).

This build is in County Clare, Ireland on a secluded hill with no neighbours. It looks like such a peaceful home, and with nothing around but the odd cow grazing outside your living room window - it's basically the dream.

Read more about this home here.

Photographs © Paul Massey. Originally featured in Livingetc.


Interior design diploma update

Monday, February 11, 2019

Hi! I'm over half way through my diploma now, and I wanted to make a post about the things I've been doing and have learnt so far.

Photo by Hey Beauti Magazine on Unsplash

1. I've learnt how to do technical drawings 📐
At first I hated doing these - I haven't drawn in years and I didn't think I'd have the knack for this, but it's not too bad once you've done it once or twice. First time I didn't use a drawing board so they turned out a little wonky, but then I bought the Popamazing A3 drawing board off Amazon (cheap, does the job fine) and my drawings have looked loads neater. The drawing board is a little cheap feeling and I would love something a bit sturdier and smarter in the future but it works for now.

2. My presentation and concept boards have improved 🖌
Who knew there was an actual knack to putting together a presentation and concept board? I thought you just whacked images together in a visually pleasing way and that was that but, as I've learnt, it does require more work than that. My first one I submitted was kinda terrible, but they've improved a ton since and are more fun to work on now I'm better at them.

Note: You can see everything diploma related (including pictures of my presentation boards) on my Instagram profile as a story highlight.

3. I've finally put together a portfolio... 📒
At the moment I have some of my work printed off, put into plastic wallets and are in a slim black ring binder because I'm not exactly sure how an interior design portfolio should look. I have all my work on my computer too so I will probably start up an online portfolio soon. For now I like having my work in a physical folder that I can carry around with me if needed. Admittedly the printed off work isn't the best quality (I have a standard printer, nothing fancy) but it's not bad, I just wish the lines were crisper and the colours popped more. Maybe I'll get them printed professionally in the future, who knows.

4. ... and a sample book 🎨
Last year I ordered a million and one wallpaper and fabric samples and colour cards. I have them stored in a landscape A3 folder and a lever arch file. Again, no clue what a proper interior designer sample book looks like (or if people even keep their samples in a book) but this works for me at the moment. I know that in the next module or the one after that I will be able to put a lot of my fabric samples to use which I can't wait for. I have so many it's kind of ridiculous.

5. I'm having a lot of fun, but I'm still not sure what's going to happen afterwards..! 🤔
The obvious route would be university, but there's a big part of me that is saying "NO" because of how much I hated it last time. I understand that last time I was doing Creative Writing and not Interior Design, so it would be a massively different experience, but I didn't love the university feel. I didn't like being a student (even though I am one now, lol) and I didn't like the fact that it felt like school. 

I expect it'd be different because I would be, 1) doing a different course studying a subject I love way more, and 2) at a whole new uni. I'm undecided, and I'm on no time limit, so I'm going to wait it out. I could also stay on with the NDA and do a BA (Hons) with them, so that's a possibility, it's just that I'd be studying from home still and not meeting a whole lot of people/going out much/getting that 'hands on' experience.

So that's what's been happening. Lots of drawing, lots of inky hands, quite a bit of collage, cutting and sticking, essay writing, reading, research... genuinely loving it.


Lovely quotes / 21

Friday, February 08, 2019

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought life would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.”
— Rachel Marie Martin, The Brave Art of Motherhood

“Voluptuous stillness everywhere. Winter strikes my heart.”
— Virginia Woolf 

“Fragrance and melancholy. A dead garden in January.”
— Georg Trakl, from Poems, Prose: A Bilingual Edition; Sebastian In Dream

“I hadn’t known that a light could be a feeling and a sound could be a color and a kiss could be both a question and an answer. And that heaven could be the ocean or a person or this moment or something else entirely.”
— Megan Miranda

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
— Gary Snyder

“You are not free until you have no need to impress anybody.”
— Joyce Meyer

“I’m going to do nothing but sit in the sun, eat hugely, and watch landscapes. That’s the way I travel. Looking, looking, looking and making up phrases to match clouds. It is the passion of my life.”
— Virginia Woolf

“If flowers can grow through blankets of melting snow, there is hope for me.”
— Tyler Knott Gregson, Haiku on Love


Au revoir, Janvier

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Ah, January. It's finally coming to an end and I can practically hear the whole planet letting out a collective sigh of relief.

January hasn't been a bad one for me, I've had a lot of spare time to get coursework done and keep wrapped up warm inside. My mum and I went to Sheffield a week ago which is when I was burdened with my third cold of the season. Apart from that, the day was amazing and I managed to buy some lovely things for my journal and my wardrobe. Still, I'm glad to see the back end of this month. I'm looking forward to seeing signs of spring pop up around the place (if the snow eases, that is).

I've had a few technical drawings to complete for my course recently and I'm not going to lie they're not my favourite thing to do, but after I bought a (very cheap) draughtsman board off Amazon it became a little easier (and dare I say fun). Once I have my assignments scanned and photocopied I can submit them and be done with technical drawing (for the time being). I must say, using a scale ruler and a set square does make me feel nerdy and I love it. Using a proper drawing board makes me look like I know what I'm doing even when I don't.

I recently decided to try a new moisturiser and cleanser from Facetheory. I've had the website bookmarked for years so I finally had a browse and came across some products that were exactly what I'd been looking for. I got the Oil-Free Supergel Moisturiser that is packed with camomile, aloe, green tea, niacinamide, vitamin B3, stabilised vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid. Basically every skin-loving ingredient known to man. I love this so far, it's light and a little goes a long way.

I've also been trying out the Clarifying Cleanser that has glycolic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid, Argenine, sweet almond oil and avocado in it. This stings ever so slightly (not too uncomfortable) but my skin looks phenomenal afterwards. All Facetheory products are cruelty free and free from nasties such as parabens, SLS, SLES, and sulphates. #notspon and #notgifted, just impressed by the brand and products. Oh, and their lab is in Sheffield so the products are being made very local to me!

I'm hoping to take some pictures of my new journal soon that I've been working on throughout the month. It's wonderfully messy and colourful and I am really enjoying using cute washi tapes and stickers again.

Hope January was kind to you, if not I hope February brings you better things.


My favourite places to shop for stationery

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Understatement of the year: I'm on a bit of a stationery kick right now.

I used to be flat out obsessed with stationery when I was in college and university. I owned so much of it but I did most of my work on a computer using Microsoft Office so most of that stationery went unused. But I still kept it all because I couldn't bare to part with my beloved stationery collection.

Fast forward to about a fortnight ago and I finally let go of a lot of unused memo pads, sticky notes and notebooks I had stashed in my drawers (taking up valuable space). They were old and not my style anymore so I thought it best I recycle them and move on. 

However, I then fell down a rabbit hole of watching people do stationery hauls on YouTube and I couldn't help but find myself stationery shopping once again, but this time I wanted to buy beautiful stationery that was pretty to look at, functional, and sparked joy.

So, I've been spending a lot of time browsing stationery stores online. Here are 5 of my favourite suppliers:

↳ Youse Stationery (shop)
This Sheffield-based online store sells the most beautiful mixture of new, vintage and handmade stationery, desk accessories and cases.

Pictured: Vintage Dinosaur Fountain Pen | Pelican Rubber | Vintage Tin Compass

Papersmiths (shop) ↵
A truly gorgeous, design-led store that stocks stationery, books, magazines, homeware and greetings cards. Stocks hundreds of brands. 

↳ Fox and Star (shop)
My go-to place for Japanese and Korean stationery from brands such as Iconic, Midori, Seeso, Livework, and Paperways.

Pictured: MT Pastel Blue Washi Tape | Seeso Vintage Journal v.3 in Mint | Livework Hexagon Colour Palette Stickers

Pencil Me In (shop) ↵
Stocks the most vibrant and unique new and vintage stationery, greetings cards and prints. Their range of quirky slogan pencil sets are my favourite.

↳ Present & Correct (shop)
The most aesthetically pleasing website on the internet. P&C stock every item of stationery you'll ever need or want.

Pictured: Brass Index Clips | Vintage 360 Protractor | Reporter's Notebook


More non-fiction faves

Friday, January 18, 2019

I made my first non-fiction faves post just over a year ago. I still really only read non-fiction; nothing else really floats my boat at the moment. I like to read a book to get the information I need and that's that.

My non-fiction book collection has grown a lot since last time. I have a whole shelf (and a small bit of overflow, oops) full of books about slow living, interior design, beauty, fashion and mental health. It's my absolute favourite shelf and the only one I revisit time and time again.

Since my collection has expanded quite a bit since last time, I thought I'd post a couple more non-fiction faves that I have read and adored lately. In no particular order:

Pretty Iconic

1. Pretty Iconic by Sali Hughes
“Over 200 iconic products that are among the influential in the beauty world - past, present and future. Packed full of beauty wisdom, Pretty Iconic takes us from the evocative smell of Johnson’s baby lotion through to Simple Face wipes, NARS Orgasm and beyond, looking at the formative role beauty plays in our lives.”
↳ A fantastic read, makes you feel very nostalgic.

Take your spring cleaning to the next level with Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki. A best-seller in Japan, this book uncovers why we want to own more than we need, what this mentality does to our wellbeing and how we can live better by owning less.”
An intense look at minimalism, but it's full of amazing tips and advice. ↵

Remodelista: The Organized Home

“Live Green is a practical guide of 52 changes - one for each week of the year - you can make to your home and lifestyle to reduce your impact on the environment. Tackling all areas of your life from your cleaning routine, home furnishings, food shopping, fashion choices, natural beauty and Christmas, this book has all the ingredients to help you achieve a more sustainable year.”
↳ Such a lovely read, full of practical advice that isn't patronising or intimidating.

4. Remodelista: The Organized Home by Julie Carlson
This compact tome shows us how, with more than 100 simple and stylish tips, each clearly presented and accompanied by full-colour photographs that are sure to inspire. Readers will learn strategies for conquering their homes' problem zones (from the medicine cabinet to the bedroom closet) and organising tricks and tools that can be deployed in every room (embrace trays; hunt for unused spaces overhead; decant everything).”
Loved the straight to the point, comprehensible advice for organising your home. A must have. ↵

The Great Interior Design Challenge Sourcebook

5. The Great Interior Design Challenge Sourcebook by Tom Dyckhoff, Sophie Robinson, and Daniel Hopwood
“This great new book is packed with practical advice on how to achieve the look you want, for a budget you can afford. Before you begin any kind of home-decorating project you need to make sure your canvas is in good order. We include a handy checklist of common problems to look out for and how to fix them - including cracks in walls, creaking stairs, damp patches, draughts, leaking roofs or blocked chimneys. Doing it yourself is fun and economical, so we include step-by-step instructions on how to achieve a variety of home improvements.”
↳ This book has been a life-saver during my interior design course.



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