Sunday, 25 November 2012

Looking Up

I thought I was so clever when I decided to paint the ceiling, but after taping off the first stripe I quickly realised how time consuming and painful the process would be.

First of all, my convenient little step ladder proved less than adequate when factoring in the ceiling height and my own [lack of] height. Put simply, I could barely reach it.

I had a brilliant idea to wear my biggest heels whilst on the step ladder to remedy this problem (health and safety, eat your heart out), but even I'm not that stupid (of course I tried it, but balancing was a challenge). In the end, I resorted to stretching on my very tippy toes.

After about 15 minutes, first stripe finally taped off, the pain in my neck was immense. This was when I decided:

a) To reduce the quantity of stripes and increase the space in between. No brainer.
b) Measure, shmeasure. We don't have one straight wall, or level floor in this ancient flat, so measuring turned out to be a huge waste of time. I ended up eyeballing and winging the entire thing.

Here's a peek of how it turned out, though I still need to touch it up a bit.

I would like to add in my very best American infomercial salesman voice, "BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE"!

I also wanted to tackle the bland space above the shoe cabinet. In an ideal world, I would just throw this up there -

But your eyes doth not deceive you, that does indeed say £775. Quite frankly, in the wise words of Kanye West, "That sh** cray."

So I did some internet sleuthing and found this! I'm hoping I can some how marry the two designs and produce my own spin on the hanging mirror.

On another note, I'm really enjoying using instagram. Follow me! (Username designgratis)

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Instadump...Or So The Cool Kids Say

I've just gone and done it.

For the last year or so folks, I have been using Instagram purely as a photo editing tool. (I know, just bear with me, I can be a bit strange at times.) I have had my account set to private and filtered my "instagramed" photos into my camera library...or something like that. 

You know, for someone (coughbarelycough) under the age of 30, I really should be doing a better job of keeping afloat with technology...

The bottom line is, my instagram is now open to the public. Unfortunately, during the process of trying to figure out what the hell I was doing, I lost many of unloaded photos (I was able to recover them in said camera library) which I have "dumped" below.

These were taken this summer and are mostly Turkey, as well as a couple odd ones from Venice...I think.

Enjoy! And don't forget to follow me on instagram under username designgratis.

Oh and Happy Turkey Day for those of you across the pond, I only just realised it was today about an hour ago. I am thankful to my facebook newsfeed for informing me.


Sunday, 18 November 2012

Peach No More

If you read last week's post, you may remember me mentioning that I was having a birthday lunch at Sushi Samba. The above photo is a spectacular view from one of the restaurant's terraces on the 38th floor.

The place is phenomenal. (The copper fixtures in the bathrooms!)

And the food ain't too shabby either. I inhaled most of it before even thinking about taking a photo.

It was a great experience, but I digress.

Last week I also shared my disaster of a hallway, and plans for a cheap makeover.

I spent most of this week painting...and repainting.

And painting some more.

I am a huge advocate of "you get what you pay for", so why pray tell, did yours truly go out and purchase budget white paint? The mysteries of life. The moral of the story is, buy good quality paint to avoid having to apply 5 coats. After all, time is money.

Back to the matter at hand, I applied the final coat yesterday and the hallway is unbelievably brighter! Before and after several coats of white paint :


It truly embarrasses me that I waited so long to paint it. It feels cleaner, and at night it actually looks like we have added an extra bulb to the light.

Now that that's done, I have begun to pay more attention to the ceiling. As I said last week I really like the idea of painting graphic stripes up there. It adds a bit more atmosphere to the tiny space and is easy to repaint when we move.

As you can see in the photo above, there is a tiny little soffit (which probably conceals a pipe), which I intend to use as my painting boundary. That little bugger annoys me to no end, so I'm ignoring it because painting it would draw even more attention to it.

I drew up a reflected ceiling plan to further gather my thoughts and make some decisions.

My initial thought was simple medium grey, evenly spaced stripes. Although I like the simplicity of it, I am conscious of committing to such a precise pattern. What if I make a mistake? Daunting.

So I thought about painting random stripes. It's so much easier to disguise mistakes with a random design!

I also like the idea of mixing medium grey with light grey stripes. So as for now, this is the plan. The ceiling plan is to scale (with the exception of the cupboard doors at the end of the hallway which I totally eyeballed. I always got into trouble for trying to eyeball everything instead of measuring when I was at university, but that's another story), which should make it easy - hopefully - to reproduce this pattern on this ceiling.

I even put it into 3d to better visualise it. 

So fingers crossed that I do not eff this up. I intend to buy the very best masking tape I can find, in hopes that I can redeem myself from the shame of the £7.99 paint (2 litres!) saga (an uneven drippy mess).

Wish me luck!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

When Peach Goes Wrong - The Hallway Edition

Today is a special day for me...

And it's been a really nice one so far. There's a Hummingbird Bakery behind our flat that I usually try to avoid like the plague (without great success)... but as the calories don't actually count on your birthday, I took the opportunity to stuff my face with red velvet cake. Shortly I will be heading to Sushi Samba in the Heron Tower where I will continue to do so.

What has really consumed my thoughts most of this weekend though, was our hallway.

When we moved in, we painted the entire flat leaving the hallway for last, as it was all one colour, and kind of nuetral (which tells you what the rest of the place was like). Except we never got around to it.

The hallway is a sort of peachy beige hybrid, gets little natural light, and is teeny tiny. And I do mean teeny tiny. There is also an issue of a "slightly larger than I would prefer" shoe cabinet that cannot be moved, less than attractive flush mount light fixture, and an entry phone straight out of 1995 that doesn't work (we're 2 flights up so throwing the keys out of the window to our guests outside has become the norm. Classy.)

Apologies for the grainy pictures, and this is when it's sunny!

Now I do love peach, but I love trendy peach. I love peach in lovely American sized rooms, with loads of sunlight streaming through the windows, bright white textiles and warm wood touches. Our hallway is nothing of the sort.

So whilst brainstorming, I began to think about how in some small spaces, bold patterns can really make a statement without creating visual clutter. Like this:

via Desire to Inspire
via Apartment Therapy
via Lonny
via Apartment Therapy

However as we're renting, anything I do, will have to be undone at some point in the future. So I need to keep it simple.

Then I got to thinking about painting stripes like these...

via Lonny
via Country Living
via Frisson Design

I did begin to worry though, that I have more doors (6 including the front door) than wall in the hallway, which would drastically break up any design....

Which led me to the ceiling. Oh, yes.

via Vintage Luxe
via Kiki's List
via Viva Cindy
via Design*Sponge


Our ceilings are pretty high, so at least I don't have to worry about that closed in effect that can occur when ceilings are painted.

I still need to consider colour, width, and spacing of the stripes. (Heck I haven't even figured out when I actually plan to do this, but the seed has been planted.) So any of your suggestions, thoughts or tips would be greatly appreciated!

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