Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Behind the Scenes: New Studio & Workshop

Want to see a tiny corner of the new studio and workshop? Keep reading! We're so close to finishing The Old Barn now, just some flooring to sort out for downstairs, and a few snagging bits and bobs to go. It's sooo exciting. If you follow West Egg on Instagram (and if you don't, I recommend you do! Handle: @westegguk) you'll know that I have already started using the barn for some photos of new products recently and oh my goodness, it is so much fun. I could literally spend all day styling and tweaking the same piece 20 different ways. It's such a revelation to have the space and the light, oh my god, the light! It's a total game-changer and a big milestone for the business. 

I haven't taken any proper wide-angle photographs of the whole building yet because it's not quite ready, and I need it to be a bit more ready and a bit more perfect before I let you guys in, okay? But it's so close now I don't think there is any harm in sharing one corner. The walls have all been covered with timber wood cladding, which my amazing dad actually did himself. Our lovely neighbour came and helped with some of it thankfully as it was such a big job. Upstairs, the walls are painted white - pretty simple, with a grey floor (Pavilion Gray by Farrow & Ball). I've left the floorboards quite rough, I didn't want them to be perfect because as they get marked and dented it won't matter so much. At one point I was thinking of painting the floorboards white... can you imagine? If you really want to see the "before" photos - hop over to the nest egg blog which I intermittently update with photos of the renovation project. 

What do you think? This photograph features the Apothecary Style Bookcase, Damask napkins, Green L'Ideale Jar and a Vintage Glass Bottle. The damask napkins are one of my favourite new additions to the store actually, they are such a wonderful design and the best bit is they are designed and made in England. 

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Crooked Logs Make Straight Fires

Have you heard the proverb "crooked logs make straight fires" before? I just came across it this morning, it really caught me at an appropriate time! I think the point is that something flawed can sometimes be just as useful as something perfect. So, just use what you have and make the best of it you possibly can. 

As some of you may know, we've undertaken a house renovation for our first home which is turning into a colossal effort but the main structural work is now complete so our fragile little 17th cottage will hopefully continue to stand for a few more hundred years. 

Without ever questioning it, the general consensus was to put a log burning stove into the large inglenook in the sitting room. I think this is because they are so efficient? Perhaps safer too? I never once properly thought about it. But the house I grew up in and love dearly I might add, has a huge open fire in the ground floor sitting room and a small open fire in the cosy sitting room directly above it. I've been fretting for a few weeks now about how we're actually going to be able to afford to put a log burning stove in when there is still plastering, flooring, insulating blah blah blah to be getting on with. 

Money is such a big problem when you're doing these projects because you basically haemorrhage cash on a daily basis. You want to level that tiny area of uneven floor? You'll need 8 bags of high performance levelling compound, a drill paddle (didn't even know they existed), some other bits and it will cost you £177.56. A sorry tale of woe if ever I heard one. 

So, I'm now thinking - why are we so focused on a log burning stove? Why can't we just have a normal open fire like I had when I was growing up? My parents still use them, and actually, one of my favourite sights over the Christmas holidays was watching Alfie pug lying practically comatose in front of the fire and so hot you can barely pick him up to move him (why do pets do that?)

This room is roughly the same size and layout of the sitting room in the new cottage. Our walls will all be plastered and our flooring will be nowhere near as beautiful as this stone laid floor but it's given me some idea of what it could look like.

Back to the proverb, I think maybe we'll just go with an open fire for now. I guess we can put a log burning stove in at some point in the future if needs must. I definitely need to do some more research and check our brand new flue liner will be up to the task, but I'm thinking go with the crooked logs. We'll make a nice straight fire.

I've just posted over on the Nest Egg blog the progress photos of the inglenook - it is quite amazing actually how far it has come. If you have any experience of open fires vs log burning stoves I would really love to hear from you - please email me at Thank you! 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Meet me at Meet The Blogger London!

Hello everyone. I have some exciting news to share! I am absolutely thrilled to confirm I will be taking part in the Meet The Blogger London conference which is taking place over the weekend of  March 9-10, 2013. Meet the Blogger is a truly unique, international blogger 2-day conference in London dedicated to home, design and lifestyle bloggers. 

I will be teaching a very special workshop where I'll be speaking about restoring and revamping furniture and I'll also be demonstrating a range of techniques that you can use at home to bring old pieces of furniture back to life. We have some fun surprises in store for those coming along which is very exciting and I've had a lot of fun putting together some new and different ideas. 

I'm really excited to be part of such a stellar line up including Yvonne Eijkenduijn who writes the incredible Yvestown blog, Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar fame, author Ana Aguilar of Let's Blog Design and the supremely talented photographer Paul Craig who specialises in interiors photography. Click here to take a look at the bios of this super amazing group of bloggers!

Oh, and I didn't mention one really fabulous thing yet... the conference is taking place at the brand spanking new 5* ME Hotel in the heart of London. Just a *tiny* bit excited about the rooftop bar where I can imagine we'll definitely be having a few drinks on Saturday evening. 

So if you would like to come along and say hello, please click here to go to the registration page on the Meet The Blogger London website. Everyone is welcome, you don't have to be anywhere near a pro blogger to come along - lots of those attending will only be *thinking* of starting a blog so please don't be scared away if you don't have a fancy pants blog. 

Want to know what's included? 
  • Entrance to the biggest and most attractive 2-day European blogger conference in London
  • A wonderful 5* design location in the heart of London
  • Get to know fellow bloggers from all over Europe
  • Free coffee, tea, taste breaks, drinks, lunch, bubbles and bites
  • Inspirational key-note speakers e.g. Yvonne Eijkenduin
  • Educational blog-, style- and trend workshops for upcoming and professional bloggers
  • Exclusive London city design tour
  • A goodie bag when you leave
  • A weekend to remember!!
  • A discount on your hotel booking (attendees only) in the ME Hotel
See you soon!

All images used with kind permission by Meet The Blogger London

Monday, 14 January 2013

Styling Trend - the unmade bed

Hello everyone, happy Monday to you. It's snowing here in England which is super exciting, especially as I don't need to be anywhere today other than in my home office working away. Got some tea, got my pug, and I'm on a roll. 

I was taking a break earlier though and doing some research on painted wooden bed frames (I'm planning to paint ours) and I got really distracted by this trend for styling unmade beds. I've vaguely noticed it before but they seem to be everywhere. And I'm not talking turned down kind of unmade, I'm talking really messy unmade. It just does not appeal to me at all. Is this it for me? Have I totally lost it?! 

Just to clarify, I'm not saying everything has to be perfect. Far from it. I've never been into the kind of stuffy interior design look where you'd be scared to touch anything, let alone sit down. I want my living spaces to look stylish but not like they are trying too hard. Karate chop cushions do not do it for me. But, equally, at the other end of the interior styling spectrum, this unmade bed trend is not for me either. Picky, much?

And So To Bed 

And So To Bed - what an amazing company, their beds are just absolute heaven. I completely understand that having photo after photo of immaculately made beds could get a little boring so they've mixed it up. But this for me, is just not right! What do you think? 

The White Company

This is more my idea of the perfectly made bed. Not too neat but it looks comfortable, classic, and most importantly, inviting. The only thing I would change is to add a headboard. And not a karate chop cushion in sight! Actually, there is a great blog post on Apartment Therapy about karate chop pillows, and design peeves in general - take a look here. Some of the comments are very funny too. 

So, which camp are you in? Unmade, or made? Please leave a comment to let me know what you think - I'd love to hear from you.