Everything must go

I went to the Graham and Green warehouse sale yesterday with a friend, it’s on a glamorous industrial estate in Brentford. I’ve been before and written about it – although I had forgotten and my friend had to remind me.

I had also forgotten just how much furniture they have available at these events. We went quite late so many of the items had sold (and we were on more of a reconnaissance mission than actually making major purchases) and were either waiting to be collected or loaded for delivery – a service I only realised they offered as we left. That’s probably a good thing as I might have gone mad and bought a massive shelving unit, or sofa, just because they were a bargain. Having a tiny smart car is a good constraint sometimes.

Anyway here are some rather blurry images to give you an idea of what’s on offer.

Desks and mirrors.

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Sideboards

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Garden furniture

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Shelves and some of the mother of pearl inlay items they are known for.

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Some of the smaller home accessories

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And here are the things I wanted to buy and agonised over.

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  • Could they go in my kitchen? No it’s full (even if you rearrange it)
  • What about the sitting room? But weird for a sitting room? Anyway that room needs a bit of a rethink so best to hold off
  • Landing, hall walls? Possibly….

I managed to be restrained and will probably keep these in mind and return to their next sale when I have the house and my mind slightly more in order. I think they have a couple a year and if you’re on the mailing list they send out a reminder.

I did buy a couple of things though. This mirror for the downstairs loo, I’ve had my eye on it for a while and I found one at the sale lonely, looking for a home (this image is from the GG and website –  I’d like the wire rack too).

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And some more pom poms (image also from the GG website), I already have some but they were reduced to £3 so good for spares.

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All in all well worth a visit, particularly if you have your eye on one of the larger items of furniture.

Small additions

I treated myself to something new last weekend.

Normally I try and make cushions myself. It’s so easy to do (as long as you’re not a total perfectionist) and a quick way to update a room. Plus it’s much cheaper to buy some fabric and do this yourself. However, this one I couldn’t easily make and I liked it = I justified the purchase.

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I found the image really quite striking. In the East Dulwich shop Mrs Robinson where I bought mine they had this lady and another version showing a Geisha. I later found the same cushion I bought plus another alternative on Graham and Green (and a  bit more expensive – I felt good about that).

They’re everywhere…

They are made by Danish company Au Maison and they reference the range of Tibetan images as being by Steve McCurry whom I assume is the same Steve McCurry who works as a photojournalist. His site is well worth a look as it has a host of images from his travels, he is also known for his striking and very very famous image generally referred to as Afghan Girl. So there you go, photojournalism in cushion form.

In a total change of tone I have also started trying to sort out the garden. Spring has finally sprung and plants can be planted. Last year there was some success with sweet peas rambling up a grill on the patio. So I am growing some more.

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The garden, despite quite a bit of planting, is still pretty barren in places. This year I hope will be a year that really changes that. It’s top of my list.

And finally a bit of exciting news, I found out earlier this week that this blog has been listed by The Telegraph as one of the Top 50 Interior Design Websites. I’m very surprised…but pleased.

A dash of colour

I recently decided to paint this dresser.

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In many ways it’s nice as it is. But it’s soon going in another room where I think being painted a light colour will fit better. Plus it’s not in amazing shape (the wood on the front door for example has bowed) and my dad advised that a lick of paint would help keep it all together. And I always listen to my father!

So I chose Pavilion Grey by Farrow from Ball as base colour and then a highlight colour of India Yellow. I wanted to pick out some of the edges and this colour links with the yellow/oranges in the small pieces of glass in the top windows.

And this is how it turned out.

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I went a bit crazy and freehand painted some decoration on the drawers. I’m not sure it goes with the total look of the cabinet but I like it.

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I also spotted these pom poms on the Graham and Green site and bought them on a whim. They’ve gone in the bedroom.

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A little ridiculous but they somehow seem to make the room more complete and they’re fun.  At least I think so.

Slowly but surely

The flat continues to become more a flat and less a few damp rooms at the bottom of the house.

The bedroom and bathroom are the most complete.

The bathroom now has a proper mirror, which is a pivot mirror so adjustable for tall and short alike. It comes from Next, which is the first thing I have bought from them.

I still really like this view from the bathroom back into the bedroom.

I have finished painting all the things green that are going to be green, including the double doors on the bedroom side. They just need some handles now.

And some storage has been added to this room. Clothes are hanging in a space which will ultimately be an enclosed wardrobe.

Shoes hidden in a shoe cabinet from Ikea along with some shelves and white boxes for er, more shoes.

I also picked up a little bin for this room from Jane Newbery in Dulwich. Pretty.

One last small addition is a hook on the back of the door. I bought this well over a year ago from Graham and Green in their sale, so pleased to finally have a home for it.

The connecting space between the bedroom and the sitting room will also be the connecting space between the flat and main house. This separation has started. Which also means a space has been created which will hold another loo for the use of the main house.

The green steps are currently standing in for the loo so we can check there is enough space, which there is, just.

And this is the big hole that has had to be dug by the back door to connect all the plumbing.

In the front room which will be a lounge and kitchen space the kitchen has been delivered and partly installed. It’s actually has white gloss cabinets, but the protective cover is still on.

This room us usable now and some furniture has been added. Including this rocking chair which I treated myself too, also from Graham and Green, also in their sale.

By day…

And by night…

Somewhere for me to sit and rock back and forth like a little old lady working on my sewing. Probably muttering.

But the rest of the room is still a bit ramshackle.

The front door for the flat is the next major piece of work.

This kind of lobby area has access to the old coal storage hole. This now has a new floor fitted and is being used for some basic storage. One day maybe a wine cellar.

The roof in the entrance area needs attention and we’ve had to have a new door made as it’s not a standard size.

View out from the front door.

Back the other way. These flagstones have already been lifted and replaced and I think in the finished space will look great.

This internal door from the lobby space into the sitting room will stay but needs some serious attention.

Some temporary measures to keep things waterproof.

The new door is due to be delivered in the next week or so, so this area should be very different in a few weeks. After that it’s work on the extra loo, then the last big project which is the main kitchen.

Basement gets water and light (well nearly)

Work continues on the basement. It’s all pipes down there.

This is the hall area where the flat joins with the main part of the house. It’s so luxurious it even has a radiator.  Ooh.

This is the view into the bathroom.

The barrier at the top of these steps is to stop the dog going down, jumping the last step and then getting trapped down there. She doesn’t seem to be learning from this mistake. We are still missing a bottom step hence the problem.

This radiator is to go in the bedroom under the french doors / long window. It’s only from B&Q and seems to be the perfect size.

The front room / open plan kitchen still needs some work. Although we do have a boiler now.

Is it more depressing to have a wheelbarrow in your lounge…

…or a cement mixer in your bedroom?


What does look great is the office, set up as a music studio for Klaus. The half-door I think is a great idea of his.

The pigeon holes/ shelves in here are from Graham and Green.

The next steps are to tile the bathroom and put in the toilet etc which we have already bought. Hopefully this next stage should see some swift improvements.

Little details

A small update.

I’ve been doing a little sale shopping for those small finishing touches that can be hard to find when you need them and pricey. A few of my finds have been used already and the others I am hoarding as they wait for their moment.

The Graham and Green warehouse sale was the source for some bathroom accessories. We put a small sink in the spare bedroom for guests as being on the top floor we thought it might seem a bit of a trek to the bathroom even though it’s only down one level. We already pleased we did as we were sleeping in their while our room was worked on and it was really useful.

Here is just one example.

This comes from their Fleur de Lys range which is still on sale.

Then from Anthropologie I bought all these door knobs all for just a pound or so each. These have no particular purpose as yet but will be useful to add a bit of interest to our furniture.

I’ll upload some shots once we have fitted some of these.

A busy weekend

First up is the bathroom. We have a new roll top bath ordered, paid for and arriving tomorrow. The shower screen and tray have arrived and we went out and bought some simple tiles. We’ve also started the process of building the utility cupboard which goes in the corner of this room. The new washing machine is sitting next to it ready to be slotted in. Plus plasterboard has gone on the ceiling.

We were however still missing a sink (and a loo). Everything we saw in the showrooms we either hated or was extremely expensive so we decided to check eBay. At the pub on Friday night using their wifi we found a very nice sink not too far away and about to end. It had no bidders apart from us so we picked that up for 99p, incredible. Then we noticed that the seller had other items, a complete bathroom suite in fact all of which was about to end. Since we were going to their house anyway we bought their loo, shower attachment (which we are hanging onto for the basement bathroom) and another bath. The second bath we thought we’d keep for the taps as they are so expensive and find a new home for the bath.

Here’s the loo arriving.

So that’s a very good condition bathroom suite for £7.48.

We left the bath out front as it was heavy and before we had the chance to take the taps off (which were ok but not too great) some very strong beachcomber came past and took it away. To be fair when this normally happens we’re pleased as we deliberately leave items we don’t need out front for poeple to take, but in this instance it was a bit swifter than expected.  I think we owned the bath for two hours maybe three. Nevermind.

On the way back to London from collecting our loot we swung past the Graham and Green warehouse sale in Chiswick and bought some small bits and bobs. It’s worth checking out particularly for furniture. It happens about twice a year and everything is at least 50% off.

The other room which has had a bit of attention is the back bedroom. This is how it used to look.

And here it is now. It’s not totally complete but a quick facelift.

This is Chinese Blue from Farrow and Ball and the orginal curtains.

But unfortunately the view back onto the landing shows the general state of mayhem.

This room and a few of the others have boards that can’t be put back down. Either they are too fragile or they have been cut but not across the beam so they are impossible to repair. So we went to the reclamation yard and bought some  new/old boards.

Some other treasures at the reclamation yard. These are taken on my phone so not great quality shots.

The boards are now in the house waiting to be fitted.

So still lots and lots to do.