Sunday, 22 September 2013

Cornwall Vintage Style!

I'm just back from our holiday and I feel refreshed and inspired. I've always had a love of vintage so I was in for such a treat. We were lucky enough to stay at Trevoole farmhouse, belonging to Travis and Beth. I was so inspired by a feature on their converted Fishing Cellars that appeared recently in Country Living that I emailed to see if they had a room to squeeze us in at one of their holiday cottages during Sept and was delighted that they had space at the Farmhouse.

We even managed to keep the coal fired Aga burning, we called her Muriel, she has been in the Farmhouse since 1948.

The property nestles in its own little hamlet behind the barn where Beth and Travis live. On site is a vintage shop and tearoom that opens on a Thursday. Beth greeted us with homemade scones, clotted cream and home made jam so we were delighted. the Farmhouse is a complete delight, full to brimming with vintage treasures, fabrics and books. I was in heaven and was in danger of spending most of my holiday in the laundry room! Beth's amazing styling skills are evident throughout both the farmhouse gardens and tearooms.



You can even have your afternoon tea or lunch in this lovely old style greenhouse built against the old stone wall.

The gardens are open through the NGS

We were privileged to be given the key to have a picnic at the Fishing cellars which overlooks the beach. Beth and Travis have renovated this beautifully, it's simply breathtaking in both it's location and style.


Collections of vintage coastal inspired memorabilia adorn every room. It's effortless simplicity really displays Beth's styling abilities. It is available though Shootwest for photoshoots.

The Lizard is such a wonderful area, we walked, talked and managed to spend time with my sister and her husband, the doggies had a beano and we can't wait to return.

Kynance Cove


St Michael's Mount


The landscape is so varied with creeks, cliffs and beaches there is something for everyone!


Sunday, 19 May 2013

So many great reasons to holiday in Northumberland!

When I was a little girl I used to create a holiday scrapbook, how sad!! I would collect postcards, draw pictures and write about my favourite places... So here I am again... many years on creating another scrapbook in a new format!

Escape the airport chaos, load up the car and take a holiday in the beautiful county of Northumberland. It's so easy, no passport, no days waiting at the airport, lost luggage or sunstroke!

This is our second holiday in Northumberland, it's such a great county, full of diverse countryside, from beautiful deserted beaches and castles fabulous hills and streams inland.

We have had of course a variety of types of weather, but nothing ever stops us getting out. We just wrap up warm and blow the cobwebs away even in the mist! I do love walking and get a sense of achievement from completing a long walk but have been known to have the odd tantrum when there has been a steep climb!

One of the main reasons we have been taking holidays in the UK is so we can include our two Border Terriers Tolly and Winston, they have such a great time it makes us enjoy our hols even more enjoyable.

I'm really picky when it comes to booking a holiday cottage , I want to stay somewhere that I love. I suppose being in the interior trade my surroundings are important to me, especially when on holiday. So I tend to spend hours trawling the Internet finding the perfect holiday cottage. It really is worth spending time researching the area too.

The Bothy

I've noticed you don't always pay more for good taste. My family now tend to ask me to find their holiday cottages, I'm getting a reputation for finding some real gems. Up here in Northumberland I would highly recommend . Corrine Joicey has renovated three beautiful properties, you can book through the Crabtree and Crabtree website which has a great selection of cottages in the Borders of England and Scotland. We have stayed The Smithy ( last year) and The Bothy (this year) .

The Bothy is a fabulous holiday cottage situated in the Bowmont Valley. Tolly and Winston are thrilled that they have some friends in the field in front to torment.

The house is so well equipped with a huge kitchen sitting area with a wonderful woodburner so it's toasty warm. It has two bedrooms, one which doubles up as a family room with its own tv and children's toys.

This year we visited Barter Books in Alnwick, a fantastic find. We sampled tea and cake in the Old Waiting Room where there was a roaring fire.

Heatherslaw Mill was an interesting trip, we saw the workings of the mill in great detail, plus I managed to buy some flour for my bread making.

A trip along the coast to Bamburgh is a must , especially for the sausage rolls at the butchers!

The beach here is so wonderful, the dogs had a beano,

Eleanor's Byre is a lovely barn and coffee shop further down the coast towards Dunstanburgh.

We always enjoy a trip over the causeway, depending upon the tide to Holy Island, it's great for walking and the little village is so sweet.

There is so much to see and do here, I know we will be back!

We have been lucky enough to take a 10 day break and have really recharged the batteries!I've even managed to finish my quilt which is a huge achievement!

I hope you get chance to take a break too, ifyou do take a look at Northumberland, it's fabulous!

Please blog your holidays too, I love seeing new places to explore!

Debs x


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Don't be daunted by tiling girls!

This week I have been backup in Norfolk working on the holiday cottage. I have already tiled the shower but needed to tile behind the sink so I thought it was the ideal opportunity to write a little blog about the process,it's not difficult so if you have a small area to tile, give it a go.

I am using brick shaped tiles. I love their more contemporary style in a period cottage. Firstly I had to attach a batten of wood to the wall to allow me to rest the first row of tiles onto. You may not need to do this if you are tiling above a work top or a sink, I had a small gap behind my unit.

Next I prepared the number of tiles I needed and realising a brick pattern would need some half tiles at each end I cut these, you need to score along the tile on the front face put a matchstick of pencil underneath and then put pressure either side to split it.

Tile adhesive is then applied to the wall, this comes ready to use and is applied with a notched scraper. Then you press your tile firmly onto the wall, add a tile spacer, add the next tile until you have finished your row.

Carry on adding adhesive and tiles and spacers until you have finished.

Allow to set,wipe away any adhesive on the face of the tile.

Mix the grout, make sure it is not too sloppy or it will run out of the gaps, I have used a limestone coloured grout from Fired Earth. I use a small scraper or spatula to push the grout between the tile and then wipe away the excess with a damp cloth. It looks messy but is quite easy.

Once grouted clean away any excess grout and allow to dry. Polish the tiles with a dry cloth. You may need to seal them depending upon the type of tile you are using.
Let me know if you have a go! Start with a small area such as behind a sink and then progress as you gain confidence. Good luck!



Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Window Dressing

I usually redress the windows in the shop every 4-6 weeks and stagger doing them as I have got four to do. I'm really lucky that our lovely shop has such gorgeous picture windows and they are a treat to do.

However in January I have all four to do as they have been dressed for Christmas , so this week I made a start!


How do I go about it? Well , I usually choose a fabric and theme the accessories around it adding cushions, throws and accessories from the shop which have the right theme or colour.

I suppose it is like painting a picture really, I never plan down to the final details it just tends to flow once you get going. Sometimes it knowing when to stop which is the problem.

I sometimes buy show lengths specifically draping for the windows and have cushions made to coordinate so it is a bit of an investment but it is a showcase for the shop and I think so important for the business.
I also like to add a piece of vintage furniture such as a dresser, chest of drawers ,chair or French day bed. This helps to create atmosphere and depth.

We get lots of lovely comments about our windows, I hope you enjoy looking at the photos.

Debs x