Love This #84: Spools and wooden shoe forms

This month’s Love This post is also from last year’s Grand Designs Live and was right alongside the lovely radiators I shared before. You can just imagine my joy, and MOH’s despair as he tried to move me along without leaving with either any of these, a radiator or even any of the tiles.

Sometimes he has a tough job… But luckily for my purse he’s often there to do it.

Though these wooden spools or bobbins, would look great wouldn’t they as a ornament? And not just in a craft room, although they’d look great there I think they’d work in almost any room, and bring their character to the space. I”m sure they’d be a talking point too.

Wooden spools
top down view of the wooden bobbins

I managed to leave without any, but I’ve made a mental note - and now a blog note - to add them to my virtual wish list. If I see any when I’m out and about that are reasonably priced then leaving them there might be a completely different proposition. I think I was distracted though, by these.


Wooden shoe forms. I’m well known for being a bit of shoequeen, so it makes sense to be curious about these too. They are fascinating and beautiful in their own right, and again would make an unusual addition to a display area. And they really do make you think about how shoes are - and used to be - made.

The lights too are where it got interesting, as that’s where MOH and I swap roles. He would easily have left with even more than these - we saw plenty of vintage lights at the show - and that’s even before we saw this one:

A vintage industrial light

We both almost wavered, but practicality - and lack of space - won again. For now.

Geometric and encaustic tiles at Grand Designs Live

I’ve said before that Grand Designs Live, and in fact any show is a treat for the senses, and can provide complete overload as well as the inspiration you might be after. Or both. And sometimes, like anything, it takes a while for the brain to process it all. There’s so much to see, that it means very tired legs at the end of it after trying to see everything, and MOH will tell you I try my best to see just about everything.

At times though there’s things that just make you stop and smile. And yearn for a Victorian style property that has a short path in the front garden that could be tiled, or better has the hallway that you could lavish tiles such as these on.

Terracotta tiles inset with yellow flower motifs

But first, let me tell you about encaustic tiles - a term i’d not heard of before. They’re simply ceramic tiles where the pattern is made of different coloured clay, rather than being part of the glaze. Usually they have two colours, but can have up to six colours, and the image below shows some good examples of these, and they’re stunning aren’t they?

encaustic tiles to rival those from Portugal

You’ll probably have seen them before though, even walked on them I’m sure, as they’re often embedded into designs with geometric designs.

A traditional pattern using geometric and encaustic tiles

And of course, there’s plenty of designs. This one definitely has the feel of a patchwork quilt pattern - I wonder what came first, the tile pattern or the quilt?

Star tiles that almost look like a patchwork quilt

And if you’re thinking that all of these are very traditional, then think again. This smaller pattern has a much more modern feel and in a modern setting, say a bathroom with a crittall-type shower enclosure and black fittings would look stunning, and bring the traditional and contemporary styles together.

A smaller pattern brings a more modern feel

They also give the tiles I’ve shared from Porto a run for their money too, don’t they?

Lavatory Project: Spots and stripes

This one isn’t for the faint hearted. It is rather bold, and if you’re of a delicate nature then I advise sunglasses. Just like my dad when he took me to Abba: The Movie, which I’ve just had to google the year for. It was 19 cough cough 78 cough. I was very young. And he didn’t wear the sunglasses, and not just because he wasn’t allowed.

That said, I quite like this one.

Black and white striped wallpaper for the lavatory project at Grand designs live

I think it’s ok in a small space, in a larger room I think my eyes might go a bit, well a bit everything. Or maybe the extra space would make it slightly calmer, who knows. This size space is all we have though, and while we often think bold dark patterns don’t work in small spaces, we’ve been proven wrong.


You’re probably wondering if those mirrors were the spots, aren’t you? Well they could be, but it’s the floor that’s really spotty, and it’s not a shrinking violet either.


Actually the floor has just jogged memories of a wall in my bedroom growing up. I insisted that I wanted pink spots on the wall, and my poor long suffering parents agreed, but I had to do it myself, which must have been torture for them. I was quite pleased with the result, although looking back it shouts Mr Blobby to me. I’m sure they were relieved when the next colourway came along, I can’t remember what that was, so it was nowhere near as memorable.

I think they’d have drawn the line at such a bold colour scheme though. I think, actually I hope!

This next shot is my favourite, it’s got a bit of the whole room in it, and I wasn’t surprised to see a record on the wall - it fits well with the theme.

Spots stripes and a brilliant white washbasin

And did you notice the tap? Isn’t it stunning - and the tiles, I think they’re the only thing in the space that’s not black, white or chrome.

I told you it was bold, didn’t I?