Gin and a gerbera

Because what every well dressed drinks trolley needs, is a selection of gin and a gerbera. Don’t believe me, then by now surely you’ll know I’m not always conventional, and even MOH is being won round. But that could be to do with the amount of gin, which we’ve seriously neglected to drink.

an eclectic and colourful collection on our drinks trolley

The drinks trolley was an addition - and a treat to ourselves - following the conservatory refurb work we undertook last summer. I don’t think I’ve shared it here before, and I’m not sure why, because it’s one of the items that’s helped transform our space. And it comes in handy with my new cocktails every day on a Bank Holiday weekend rule, which surely should be adopted without any questions asked.

looking down on some gin

The gerbera is a new variety, and I’ll share more about it later this week, so if sunny, bright and orange gerberas are your thing you can find out more on Friday.

Aperol and a gerbera to match

And yes, I know Aperol isn’t gin, but Aperol Spritz and Negronis are the best drinks ever, along with gin and fizz (separately not together) so it has an almost permanent home on the drinks trolley. MOH is being educated on the art of arranging, and less is more. He was all for filling it full of booze, and while that’s admirable, my preference is to keep some of that in its cupboard space.

He hated the fact there was a cake tin on the trolley. I loved it as it brings some colour at a lower level. And yes, I know it’s not a normal addition, but what’s normal, and why is that something to aim for? Exactly.

Curved edges and glass of our drinks trolley
bar accessories

The shape of the trolley was what really attracted us to it, and one of its best features is the bars around the bottle spaces, as when MOH takes his trolley on manoeuvres, it’s invaluable. We spent a fair bit of time deciding whether to take the drinks trolley plunge, or not, but it was so worth it. it’s not the most functional piece of furniture, but when was functional fun?

bombay sapphire gin and a decanter, and curves of the drinks trolley

And in case you’re wondering, it’s from Atkin and Thyme who have plenty of contemporary furniture, which as you’ll discover if you browse their site can add a bit of quirkiness to your home.

Are you in the drinks trolley gang, or in the no-way ever camp?

A great summer to enjoy our redecorated conservatory

Looking back it seems a long time ago that we started to empty our conservatory in readiness for the work ahead, and it was - I can’t quite believe that was the end of April, and while the work hasn’t taken all that time, a great summer got in the way of my blog posts!

There was the newspaper discovered behind the architrave, as according to our builders there’s always newspaper, and the start of the dust. You’ll remember the week we went grey, and the one where the doors were on we had new flooring too, and then like any building project there was the final push.

Which only left the bill to pay, and get the conservatory furnished again and enjoy it with the beautiful summer we’ve had. This project hasn’t been without a mishap or two, and we’re sorting those out with our builders and are confident they’ll be resolved, but that final payment really is your negotiating bargain so my advice is to only pay that when you’re happy.  Our final payment is partially paid and the remaining amount reflects a price for what’s outstanding, because after all money’s tight in the building trade (and local businesses generally) and because everyone has bills to pay and mouths to feed.

So onto the reloading  

We were lucky that our builders were helpful and willing to do over and above, and they won’t know quite how grateful I was that they moved the dresser and bookcase back into our new space. Had I known I would have emptied the bookcase, as that would have made it much easier for them. But with the furniture back in place it was great to see how it would look with our new bifold doors at each end of the space. 

the internal bifold doors
external bifold doors and view to the garden

And yes, it looks completely different. Much more modern and distinctively less wood on show.  We can’t believe how this simple change had altered the look of our conservatory, and we’re already wondering why we didn’t do it sooner.  

Reloading the dresser and bookshelves following work in our conservatory

It’s changed how we use the space too, no longer is it a temporary store for everything from MOHs bikes and cycle gear to anything that doesn’t have a real home. It’s become another space to sit and unwind and we’ve spent many any evening as darkness falls sitting and enjoying the space. 

grouping objects in threes

It’s become the space to grab some chill time when we come home from work, for that cuppa catching up on the day, or the place for early evening cocktails when we need to escape the heat for a bit. And it’s been great to come home and throw open the doors to the garden, although this year our gardening has fallen behind what we’d like. 

The bifold doors really open up the back of the house

And now that the temperatures are starting to dip overnight we’re benefiting from the internal bifold doors too, which are a much better fit than the wooden doors they replaced. I’ve a feeling that our conservatory will no longer just be a corridor to the garden or a room for a few days of the year, I think we’re going to get a lot more use out of it, and from our drinks trolley which was a treat to ourselves, but more on that in another post.


A patchwork chenille rug

After giving the whole of our downstairs a thorough deep clean last weekend we couldn't resist trying out our almost-finished conservatory with some of our furnishings and the new rug that has patiently been waiting and flattening out camped out in our bedroom, and it was bliss to pretend we had a room that was sparkling clean, newly decorated and with furniture in the right place.

You can see from the photo below though, our builder's tools aren't far away and in this case just over the arm of our sofa.  But it's a lot less than it has been, and we can actually see the newly sanded and varnished floor, which has turned out fantastically well. That's not what I'm focusing on today though, it's the rug.

A glimpse at our new look conservatory with its new patchwork chenille rug
It's the Grey & Black Manhattan Patchwork Chenille rug from Best at Flooring and I'm really pleased by both it's simlicity and pattern. It's soft to the touch, as you'd expect with chenille, but with it's already looks like it will be hard wearing, which with MOH's bike being carried over it twice each day, will be essential.
A comfy place to sit

You'll know I'm a fan of mix and match patterns, and patchwork too, so it's no surprise that I'm a fan of this rug.  It is black and grey and some might find then a bit dull, but even though I love quite a splash of colour, I like this calmer scheme too but I couldn't resist adding a pair of bold geometric patterned cushions.

Plains, chevrons and patterns together
A closer look at the pattern of the rug

I couldn't resist adding a pop of yellow though, and I plan to add a couple of more colourful cushions at some point. One will be a patchwork design made of the samples I ordered recently in our quest for new sofas, which should be arriving in the next couple of weeks (yay!)  MOH's done that eye roll thing he does when he thinks I'm having another wacky idea, but I'll show him...

A head on shot of sofa, side table and a new patchwork rug

I'm pretty certain that this will soon become a favourite spot to sit and relax on those typically English summer days, when sitting in the garden really isn't an option.  You know just the sort of days, don't you?

Admiring my new patchwork chenille rug from Bestatflooring
A top down view and taking a pause to find some more gardens to visit
shadows of the jasmine through the window in the sunshine

It was a real treat to try out our furniture and the rug in our new space, and because we're in that super-cautious phase, even the rug got a run over with the hoover, and while it was far from filthy, it was easy to cover.  This week the builder's were due back to finish up, clean down and complete the snagging and so on Sunday evening we moved it all back out again - luckily it's all relatively light to lift.

I'm hoping it won't be too long before it's all back in there for good.

* This is a collaborative post, but all views are my own.