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I’ve neglected to post here for a while because I’ve been so busy trying to wrap up work and get everything organized before the baby comes. The due date is Sunday and I finally feel like everything is under control. There’s just time to show you one of the decorating projects we’ve been working on at home – the guest room.

As you know, the arrival of baby number two means we needed to convert our top floor office into a multi-function office and guest room. It’s a bit of a squeeze: there’s no actual closet in this room so we needed some clothes storage space for guests. And, given that our families and friends come all the way from England, we wanted a proper bed for them to rest their jetlagged selves! Plus, as we already had a lot of the furniture, we couldn’t go out and buy new mini-sized pieces to fit.

The solution was to keep the whole room as uncluttered as possible with just a few pieces of essential furniture and a very calming color scheme of white, green and taupe. I also really wanted to blend the decor with the view outside, since there are four windows in this tiny space. The wallpaper, which is Sweet Bay by Sanderson, is supposed to echo the flowering trees and vines in the gardens visible from this room. It’s much more traditional than I intended, but it does have a beautiful painterly effect. It even seems to make the room bigger. We already had the bedside tables, found in an antiques store in San Francisco, Past Perfect. The mirror is from another SF junk store, sadly closed now. The bed and bedside lamps are IKEA. I considered using task lights to balance the floral wallpaper with a more industrial look. But the angular lines clashed with the pattern, so it was back to my trusty IKEA lamps…

Here’s a close up of the wallpaper. As it’s pretty much the only exciting feature we had space for in this room, I thought I’d better make the most of it!

The other end of the room is the business end, so to speak. As this space has to function as an office, we needed lots of storage space. The dresser is actually a very cheap filing cabinet bought online. The top drawer can be reserved for guests. I used lots of boxes and magazine holders on the shelving to keep it from looking too cluttered or busy. The desk fits here too, along the window, but we decided to take it out for now as we have various family members staying for a while and wanted to give them as much room as possible.

I used light filtering roller blinds to keep the sun out on summer days and for privacy. The thicker roman shades from The Shade Store keep the heat in at night.

What would we do without West Elm for finishing touches like lacquer trays?!

Here’s part of the view from the window. When the desk is here, it’ll be a relaxing place for working and thinking. (By the way, can you spot the photographer??)

The ceiling light fixture is from EQlight. They have fantastically intricate shades in different sizes. When the light is switched on you can really see all the detail – the shape almost mirrors the blooms on the wallpaper.

So, there it is, a little oasis of calm for our guests in the hectic mania that is our home (soon to be even more hectic, no doubt!)


My brother-in-law and his wife became the proud parents of a little girl this week (their first baby). So, in honor of the occasion, this post is devoted to all things girly in interior design: it celebrates baby pink and bubblegum pink, frills and flounces, feminine shapes and floral patterns. And, why not, I say?! Besides, what better way to usher in the spring than with the color of cherry blossom? Enjoy.

Via This is Glamorous.

Via Automatism.

Via Casapinka.

Nicole’s living room from Making it Lovely.

Via House of Turquoise.

Via Peacock Feathers.

Via A Life More Fabulous.

Via JPM Design.

Via Apartment 34.

Via Beauty Comma.

Via Pink Wallpaper.

Via Automatism.

Now let’s raise a glass of pink bubbly to my brand new niece. Welcome to the world! May it always be rosy!

As you know, we’re redecorating our guest bedroom at the moment. Well, to be precise, we’re in the midst of a pre-baby decorating frenzy which involves swapping the functions of three different rooms. It’s proving to be a bit of a nightmare as we have to shuffle pieces of furniture, stepladders and tools from one room to another so we can get tasks done as the required items arrive through the mail (as I have zero time for furniture shopping everything has to be ordered online). Anyway, the guestroom is now where the study once was and, in fact, will serve a dual purpose as both office and bedroom.

It’s not ready to show yet, but I thought I’d share some of the bedroom images that have provided inspiration (or caused design confusion, as the case may be – read on and you’ll see why!)

First, let’s talk about color. If you recall, when I blogged about it here, this room has four windows on three walls so, although it’s lovely and light, can be subject to extremes of temperature, depending on the time of year. I needed to choose a color that wouldn’t exaggerate the heat or cold. So, a while ago we painted it green and I decided to leave it that way since it really is the best shade for such a space.

This is almost the exact same shade (via Decorology) and, like this room, I’m mixing it with a lot of white (except for the roman shades which arrived yesterday and turned out to be more cream than white. Disaster. They’re up and I’m trying not to get upset every time I look at them because they’re really very nice otherwise, honestly. And also because I made my husband paint the ceiling from cream to white so it would work better with the supposedly white blinds…. say no more).

Here’s another green and white bedroom, this time via This is Glamorous. We have bedside tables a bit like this and I really like the contrast of crisp white bedding with more sumptuous wallpaper.

On the other hand, I also like the vibrancy of this room. The greens are much fresher and more modern – perhaps more in keeping with the rest of our house. Photo by Polly Wreford, Sarah Kaye Represents.

I also have a ‘thing’ for white bedrooms so am trying to keep as much of the room color-free as possible. This also helps to unify the two functions of office and bedroom. I still need to find something to anchor the space, like the pearl-inlaid trunk does in this room. Via Decorology.

Ok, now moving on from color, let’s talk about pattern. Although the room is small, I really like the idea of introducing some pattern that echoes the views outside. With so many windows, the room really does feel like it’s up in the treetops, so I want to reflect some of that in the design. I immediately thought of adding some floral or trailing wallpaper to one wall, and then remembered this stunning bedroom by Miles Redd featured in Domino. Via Style Redux.

A chinoiserie-style floral would also work beautifully and I love this turquoise wallpaper because it’s so vibrant and modern, despite its very traditional pattern. Via Automatism.

More traditional chinoiserie, like the example here via Apartment Therapy, would also work well. Unfortunately an original De Gournay is out of budget!

Although I’d like to introduce some pattern, I don’t want the space to be too traditional or girly. I like the way the rooms above and below balance feminine textiles or wallpapers with much more utilitarian and industrial elements such as task lights. Via Fondly Seen.

And this one from stylist Lucyina Moodie‘s portfolio.

Then again, I am attracted to the tailored elegance of a bedroom like this one from Canadian House and Home. A simple, calming color scheme, glammed up with the chandelier and plush bedlinens is so inviting.

So, as you can see, this one little room has a lot to achieve! It’s starting to take shape but has a long way to go before I feel it meets all these criteria. But, we’ll get there eventually!

If you’ve read this blog for a while, then you’ll know I have a ‘thing’ about wallpaper. I’m drawn to the idea that, with a few dollars and a couple of hours’ work, I too could have trailing florals, rich chinoiserie, dramatic geometrics or sumptuous metallics on my walls. Trouble is, very little of these tempting wallcoverings ever make it into our house. That’s because I am hopelessly indecisive and, frankly, the knowledge that a decision would mean no more excuses to linger over wallpaper samples and web sites, makes me just want to avoid making choices altogether.

My usual haunts when looking for wallpaper inspiration are the likes of Osborne and Little, Romo, Cole and Son, Graham and Brown. So I was delighted to discover the site of Anna French the other day. Based in Scotland, Anna French designs lace, fabrics and wallcoverings. Her florals, beautifully drawn with rich colors and lots of metallics, are simply stunning. So much so, that I might actually be tempted to make a decision at last! So, for all those who, like me, love a bit of wallpaper eye candy, this post is for you.

Just think, you could unleash the true romantic in you with this design: ‘Bouquet’.

Experiment with the color combinations of ‘Damask’.

Introduce some ladylike glamor to your home with ‘Bird in the Bush’.

Enjoy the childish simplicity of polka dots with ‘Spot’.

Go for a bit of understated elegance with ‘Wisteria’.

Or sheer exuberance, with ‘Firework’.

And, my personal favorite, ‘Lavinia’, shown here in gold on veridian. (Wouldn’t you just love something in your house that you can describe as gold on veridian?!)

And if you want a peek at the fabric collection, check this out:

If you want to imbue your space with a sense of luxury, I say look no further than Anna French. As for me, I’m ordering my wallpaper samples right now…

I have always liked Anthropologie‘s furnishing line, so I was delighted when it introduced a range of wallpaper. I was checking the site out today and found this really pretty wallpaper with birds, butterflies and flowers.

Vanuatu Twilight wallpaper

It also has a rather enchanting name: Vanuatu Twilight. Here’s a close-up.

Vanuatu Twilight

This is an Anthropologie exclusive but the funny thing is, a few months back, when I was looking for some pretty wallpaper with birds, I found this on a site called

Hummingbirds wallpaper

This one has a slightly more humdrum name (no pun intended): it’s just called hummingbirds wallpaper. But the pattern is identical. carries it in a few different colors (and a matching fabric), but none exactly the same as the Anthropologie one, which I assume is therefore custom. I had been searching for the original manufacturer, and I’m still none the wiser. But at least I now know where to go to see an example of it on a wall. has lots of other surprisingly pretty wallpapers, like this tree of life design.

Tree of life wallpaper

And this delicate orchid pattern.

Orchid wallpaper

All perfect for a light and summery scheme.

I’m looking for the perfect wallpaper for our bedroom. It’s to go on the wall behind the dresser and the mother-of-pearl inlaid mirror with birds and flowers. The trouble is finding something interesting enough for that small space, but that doesn’t compete too much with the mirror frame. Here are some of the contenders.

Nina Campbell Lombardia wallpaper

I love this wallpaper by Nina Campbell. The butterflies are really sweet, but I wonder if I’d tire of them?

Osborne & Little Lombardia wallpaper

I like the subtle pattern and gold backdrop in this wallpaper, also by Nina Campbell. Might be a bit sumptuous for our bedroom though?

Osborne & Little Asuka wallpaper

I’ve always loved this design by Osborne & Little.

Florence Broadhurst wallpaper

I’m sorely tempted by this dramatic design from Florence Broadhurst.

Clarence House wallpaper

I like the Japanese blossom motif in this Clarence House design.

Timorous Beasties wallpaper

This is by Timorous Beasties at Walnut Wallpaper. I like that it’s subtle but a bit different.

Ferm Living wallpaper

This is from Ferm Living. The splashy branch-effect is stunning, but the white background might not work.

PomPom, Sanderson wallpaper

This is PomPom by Sanderson. I like the idea of a charcoal backdrop.

So, as you can see, I’m still very undecided. Am I missing any other options?

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