Friday, 26 June 2009

Ideal Home?

Oh my, it's been quite a week, as in quite a busy week, quite an exhausting week.  All shall become clear...

Let's backtrack and reminisce a bit.  When we bought our dinky country cottage, we made a concerted effort to decorate each room.  As a matter of fact, we didn't decorate in terms of painting, but we spent a considerable amount of time trawling round for furniture and "things", painting and restoring them and sewing a lot of curtains, cushions, seat covers and so on.  When we moved into our London home, however, it was a bit more of an epic event.  Two houses/flats in which we were then living to be moved into one, a young child in tow, and all on a bigger scale and an immediate scale, out of one (actually two) houses, into the new (old) one, not leaving anything behind.  The cottage allowed us a little more luxury.  It also took an age for the sale of the cottage to go through which meant we had time to prepare. Recently, I realised that there were many things around our home in London that I still needed to get round to doing.  I've spent a lot of time sewing for other people and not so much for ourselves!

First up was the guest room, the unoriginally titled "yellow room" (we tend to refer to bedrooms by colour); if we're feeling silly, it's the "chamomile suite" (just as a joke, you understand because it's not a suite at all!)  Boring lampshades in here, yes they had been on my mind for a while (strange things I have on my mind, no?)  Time to jazz up the shades...

Take two fairly nondescript ivory shades (I think the lamps and shades came from Sainsburys, purchased by Mr HH years back), and make a paper pattern from them because not being round, covering them is not quite so straight forward...

Decide on cute Cath K "Posy" fabric, stockpiled for just such a moment.  Love that one, so understated but so vintage in its feel...

Get very messy with fabric glue and weight the shades down with some picture frames handily nearby (ear marked for the next project) to secure the fabric to the frames...

The result...

(Moss green velvet trim courtesy of my stash, courtesy originally of my sister).

The bed had but a single pale yellowy cushion, albeit quite showily endowed with ritzy glitzy feathers.  Time for some friends.  Time to assault the fabric stash and the collection of vintage embroidery...

(The yellow fabric is a gorgeous, long discontinued Cath K design, "Rose Wiggle", the pink dots courtesy of Holland Fabric House).

So, that's the bedside tables and the bed dealt with.  But now, the walls looked too bare...

Not sure from where this idea sprung to mind but I rummage in the den and find two walnut picture frames I had once had on the wall in my flat.  Decide I want to frame some of the lovely floral pictures which are in a book about flowers which my sister bought for me (handy that sister of mine?)  The floral pictures are far too small for the frames and there are no mounts. Let's use scraps left over from an Amy Butler pillow project in which I patchworked Kaffe Fassett fabrics together and for the other one, leftover scraps from the patchworked Cath K fabrics I use to make my notebook covers.  A zany little project that was very quickly (if messily) completed with the help of some spray glue..

It's looking a good deal more cheery than before.

The main reason however, for the hive of house-improvement fuelled activity this week stemmed from an email I received out of the blue two weeks ago.  An email from a lovely lady at a well known interiors magazine, who having seen my blog, wondered if our home might be suitable to feature in the magazine?!  And so today was the day of the photoshoot...

Much oohing and aahing in the den in particular...

The Munchkin had a starring role in the living room once he came home from school!

He was also chuffed because his room received a bit of a makeover with new blinds and bunting courtesy of more of Miss Cath K's fabric...

The ladies from Ideal Home magazine brought some lovely flowers with them.

All in all, it's good that we were motivated to get stuck in to a few projects around the house that we'd been meaning to get round to for ages (as you do) and today was really enjoyable.  So, in a few months, the HenHouse might be starring in a lovely homes mag (and yes, Jacky-Ginge did his best to get a look or is that a paw, in!)

Happy weekend, one and all.


  1. so sweet.. how exciting to have your lovely home featured in a magazine. the flowers are beautiful.

  2. What a fab time you must have had! & you must be feeling so proud too.... Congratulations, you deserve it, talented lady that you are!

    Love the lampshade makeover


  3. Your house looks beautiful! And the lampshades are really motivating, I have two or three that need to be covered...


  4. Wow!
    How exciting!!
    You must tell us when you're going to appear in print.
    Hope you're enjoying a relaxing and well deserved glass of wine, or two after all that preparation and busyness.
    Lisa x

  5. WOW Your cottage sounds so dreamy, my dream place,as I read really!!!! and then my jaw drops, once I see these pictures! WOW you are so super crafty & I LOVE the result, I would love to be a guest :) have a wonderful friday dear!

  6. How flippin exciting is that?!!!! Such a great keepsake if it all gets published! The lampshade is gorgeous, I love it, I just make myself laugh when I think about how mine would look if I attempted to something like that- you'd want to keep the lights off for fear of offense.


  7. What a big week you have had! Your house looks lovely & I can see why the magazine wanted to come and visit. Well done with your lampshades, cushions etc, they all look very sweet together. Loving the flowers too x

  8. OOoo well done you. I get that magazine delivered to Holland - can't wait to see your gorgeous home!!

    Love the lampshades as well.

  9. Well done you! Your efforts in the "yellow" bedroom have really paid off, loving the lampshades! and the pictures, so pretty. Can't wait to see the article when it comes out!

  10. Good morning Hen!
    Congratulations on this good news!
    I supposed that was something concerning an interiors magazine and your new career...since the fair you've become a V.I.P.!!!
    May I be your guest, please????
    Have a relaxing weekend!


    p.s...for'll be always a V.I.F.!!! (F is for friend!)

  11. Wow! Lucky you - I'll have to look out for the magazine
    Julie xxxx

  12. very cool I must make sure i get a copy of the magazine

  13. Gosh Hen how exciting. i can't wait to get the magazine when it comes out. Your home looks wonderful during the shoot so the finished spread will be fabulous.

    Thanks for the lampshade idea and tips, I've got a similar situation and am inspired to delve into my stash and get cracking.

    Thanks and have a super weekend!

  14. Wow, how exciting!! can't wait to see it x

  15. wow, congratulations Hen, what great recognition for you and your blog. I must say that I look forward to reading your new posts and being new to blogging hope to have a blog as good as yours.

  16. how exciting!!!!!!!
    how lovely to have two beautiful homes.. thats even more space to find a home for more lovely things!!!
    will have to keep an eye out for the mag now

  17. paintdropskeepfalling27 June 2009 at 10:08

    How exciting! You will post when the feature is in print won't you?
    I feel like going and doing a home make over myself now!

  18. Congratulations. You must be so proud and excited; of course all your regular visitors already know how wonderfully your home and cottage are decorated. The lamps look great and the green trim sets them off nicely. Did you make to sweet pink kitty on the bedside table? She is lovely. Please make sure you post about which issue of Ideal Homes you will appear in so I can buy it. Have a great weekend and congratulations once again.

  19. Hello and what an uplifting read ..what fabric glue do you use for the lampshades please i was going to make a kinda skirt but may use your method
    Kieren x

  20. Ahh, that's grand news. I am so glad that others will see how joyfully creative you are.

    We do get access to British magazines over here, usually a month later than their original arrival in the UK. I will be looking out for Ideal Homes.


  21. How exciting, you'll have to let us know when the magazine comes out

  22. Hello Hen, Oh how exciting! I can't believe you managed to get your home photo shoot ready in just 2 weeks, I would need 2 years! Well done for making it all look so fabulous. Do let us know when your in WHSmiths.
    Bertie x

  23. Hi Hen, you must be so excited, and so proud!!
    Your house looks beautiful, no wonder the people from the mag want to do an article!! Will look
    forward to seeing it in the magazine, you'll let us all know,when its to be published won't you??
    The lampshade makeover looks great, and the pictures, you make it all look so easy!!!

  24. Oh please let us know when you will be Ideal Homes mag. I love all the things you make, your a very clever lady. I wish I could sew, have you ever thought about doing a day class for beginners to show how you make your lovely cushions !!!

  25. Love the lampshades! - Your house looks lovely - I had to zoom in on the piccie of your lounge - that cornicing (? - is that spelt right) is absolutely beautiful - well done you! - Natalie x

  26. Hi Hen - so pleased you enjoyed the shoot... thanks again for inviting us! Hope you are having a relaxing weekend in the cottage. Just wanted to drop a line to say that if any readers of your blog would like to put their home forward to Ideal Home, we would love to hear from them. Just email me some snaps of your home and we can take things from there:
    Thanks again for a successful and enjoyable shoot!

    Bethan John, Interiors & Style Assistant, Ideal Home

  27. Congratulations! How exciting for you - every bloggers dream come true!! The pics of your studio look fantastic.

  28. Oh wow, how exciting. I'm not surprised though, your house is beautiful. Can't wait to read all about it. Sam x

  29. Wow- your house is amazing and the lampshades look wonderful. I am now inspired!

  30. Wow-love your beautiful home and the lampshades, cushions and pictures are fab! I am now inspired!

  31. I love your lampshades and a fun makeover! V exciting too about photo shoot, will have to lookout for it in the coming months.

  32. Congratulations Hen, how wonderful and exciting! love the lamp shades, you clever thing!
    Rachel x

  33. Well done you! Remember and let us know which issue you will be in. Have a lovely weekend - jacquix

  34. Oh wow I can't wait to see your home in print!!!!

    Your lampshade project is great - I'm inspired to give it a go myself.

    Victoria xx

  35. Oh wow - love what you did with your lampshades! Your home truly deserves to be drooled over by millions - congratulations! G

  36. Hi Hen,

    Well it was only a matter of time before you were 'discovered'

    Your beautiful home is very worthy of all the fuss!

    Can't wait to see you in print...

    Natasha x

  37. That's sure to let us know when it's in. Love the lamp shade idea :)x

  38. OOOO congratulations Hen, Mr Hen and munchkin!! You so desereve to be in a magazine and can't wait to see the result!!! Claire xx

  39. Very exciting well done!!

  40. Ooooohhhh what a fab post Hen! Starting with some great crafty excitement in those gorgeous lamp shades, going on to beautiful cushions, and love, love, love the framing idea, what a brilliant use of scraps! Your house is just scrumptious, and how exciting that we'll get to see it in a magazine! That's fantastic! Let us know when we can buy the mag. Really enjoyed this post, and how easy you make all that decorating look, when we know it's not!
    Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

  41. WOW!!!!!!!

    I do love your home so MUCH!!!!

    I'm so pleased that you get to be in the mag....I've been reading Ideal home for a while now and I do enjoy the houses they feature, they have made them more "real" over the last yr or so, your beatiful home is fine example of how to enjoy being at home with all its comforts!

  42. I look forward to seeing more photos of your lovely home in the magazine, congratulations! I love all your projects too. Lovely


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