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I’m always inspired by the ingenuity of lighting fixture designs. A lamp or pendant light is like art and can make or break a space. But these Roofer lights by Benjamin Hubert for Fabbian are so cute and versatile that they’d work in both grand and modest spaces alike.

roofer light green

The green is great fun (imagine it with brass accents or against a fresh white interior). But I would probably go for the gray.

Roofer light black

The Armadillo light by LZF  is another shingled design. The shingles are arranged more irregularly, giving this light a quirkier feel. This cherry red is the perfect color for the style.

Armadillo light

Anyone spotted any other shingled designs I missed?


We’ve finally finished our son’s new bedroom and I can show you some pictures. It didn’t actually take that long to do – most of the room was finished in the first weekend because we’d planned it all out. But we had a few issues with the light fitting so I haven’t been able to take any photos. At last it’s sorted out so here’s the finished (well, almost) result.

If you’ll recall, this room is for an energetic three-year-old who absolutely loves red. I didn’t think an entirely red room would be wise given the energy levels we’re talking about here! So I went for this deep turquoise blue on one wall and white on the rest. The blue is Benjamin Moore’s Electric Blue. It’s really warm and looks lovely at night by lamplight too. Then we added red accents like the chair and IKEA cabinet (just seen on the left) to satisfy the client, so to speak (!)

I must confess to there being a high number of IKEA items in this room. The chair and bookshelves are both IKEA, but who can resist their pricing? I got my son to help sort the books into colors, which he enjoyed – and the effect is rather pleasing. I’ve been dying to try out a ‘rainbow of books’ but have had to hold off in other rooms because my other half isn’t keen (makes it hard to find the one you want apparently – I can’t sympathize because I remember the color of books before I remember their title). The pillow on the chair is from PierOne Imports.

The notice board is made from a $4 IKEA frame and some Japanese wrapping paper. It has little goldfish against a blue background.

The bed and bedding we already had (the truck bedding was from Target last year). But we added the two decals – chosen by our construction-crazy son – from Decomodwalls on Etsy.

The cabinet is one I’m sure everyone will recognize as the PS Cabinet from IKEA.

It’s probably not that suitable for a child as it only closes and opens if you can master the key mechanism. But, we billed it as a cabinet where he can keep secret things and that incentivized him to get the hang of it pretty quickly!

I love this little corner of the room. The lion and blue rabbit were both baby gifts and the dog was the first item we bought after finding out I was pregnant the first time. The painting of our son is by my mother-in-law and was a gift this Christmas. We just had it framed and it totally makes the room. We’re very lucky to have an artist in the family. I just love this painting because it captures our son’s expression so well.

I’ve been dying to get these kid-sized Ant chairs from Room and Board for ages. They come in orange, lime and white too but the aqua works perfectly here. The table is IKEA (again).

The cute Humpty Dumpty clock was a gift from my parents.

On the other wall there’s a dresser and closet. I’m thinking of adding wallpaper to the closet door – or at least a paper or fabric-covered panel with hooks – just to add interest to this corner. I also need to frame the poster of The Little Prince properly. But, you have to leave some things unfinished otherwise, where’s the fun?

The light fixture (the one we had issues with) is from Urban Outfitters. It’s called the Dreamcatcher light. I love the look of it, but unfortunately it only comes with a cord kit that allows you to plug it into a wall. Very odd seeing as it’s billed as a ceiling pendant. We looked for a replacement ceiling cord kit for ages but it seems they don’t exist. So we had to buy another (cheap) ceiling fixture and use part of that.

The curtains were here already – we had them made at The Shade Store when this room was a guest room. I’ve ordered woven wood blinds too, which will help block out more light and prevent early morning wake-ups in the summer. The rug is the one we had in the nursery and it has stood the test of time pretty well, so we probably won’t change it for a while. But when we do, I’d like a Zapotec rug like this one.

So that’s it. Our son loves his new room and now has plenty of space for his toys, books and clothes. He can spread out on the floor and play and then everything gets easily tidied away at the end of the day. And I get pleasure out of seeing that splash of bright blue every time I come up the stairs.

Next stop, the nursery and then the guest room – and only eight weeks to go before baby number two arrives! Will we make it?

After much searching, I’m closing in on the makeover plan for our living and dining rooms. As I mentioned in this earlier post, I just want to update the look and inject some fresh energy into the house. No major furniture purchases and no painting allowed.

So, here was my action plan:

– (Finally) buy a rug for the living room – we’ve been looking for one for almost three years, time for a decision, I think.

– Replace the ugly chandelier in our dining room that came with the house.

– Make a photo wall with the various family photos we have scattered around.

– Clear some of the surfaces and re-arrange some of the accessories.

– Introduce some plants.

I struggled to reconcile several different design aesthetics currently buzzing around my head. For example, I’m loving the apartment of sfgirlbybay blogger, Victoria Smith.

sfgirlbybay apartment

But I am also inspired by Remodelista blogger, Julie’s, house in Mill Valley (although obviously don’t have those stunning cathedral ceilings to work with!)

Remodelista house

Finally, I found my inspiration in this picture, originally from Domino magazine, but found via Room Lust blogger, Javi’s, Flickr photostream.


This look checks all the boxes for me: neutral colors, clean simple lines, organic shapes, with a bit of vintage.

I started with the rug. We’re almost settled on this design from Schumacher. It’s a very pale creamy-white looped wool carpet which we’ll have made into an area rug (I know, with a toddler I must be crazy but bear with me…) and it has a light blue-gray pattern. Because of the pattern, stains are going to show up less.


Then a bought this long lusted-after white bird bowl from Jonathan Adler.

bird bowl

I also have the vase I posted about here.

Then, for the dining room, we went all out and chose this pendant from Room & Board. It’s the Nelson Bubble Saucer Lamp. It’s pretty big (36″ in diameter!) so there will be no escaping its presence! But I love the organic shape. It wasn’t easy to get home though. I don’t think the sales associate appreciated the ten minutes spent trying to cram it into the back of my Ford Focus. That was after he allowed me 20 minutes in Room & Board’s stockroom hunting out different sizes so I could compare them. Being down there was like being in the world’s best flea market – every shelf had something cool to gawp at.

Nelson Bubble Lamp

I am still looking for the right mirror. It needs to be round, with a black frame and very simple. A front-runner is this one from Restoration Hardware, apparently made from a Polish train wheel (?!).

train wheel

Another option is the Channing Mirror from Pottery Barn.

Channing Mirror

I love this one seen in Domino but don’t know where it is from:

Round mirror

I’m not sure any of them are completely right. Any other suggestions?

I’ve also bought some frames ready to make our photo wall. We already have the photos so that will be a project for the next cloudy day…

Finally, the plants. We’ve chosen one: it’s called a Rhapis Palm. Now just got to source it at a reasonable price and get it home.

So, some progress made. I’ll post pictures once it’s all in place. I can’t wait to see it all come together.

The design discoveries and dilemmas of a Brit in San Francisco as she turns a house into a home.
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