Dark and blowsy

It’s not quite the golden loo that went missing from Blenheim Palace, and I don’t have anything comparable. But I do have plenty of loos. Or rather photos of them. This one’s one from Grand Designs last year, where of all things they had a whole section dedicated to the smallest room, and the Lavatory Project. Who’d have thought hey?

Today’s Lavatory Project is potentially a bit marmite, if you can be a bit marmite!

dark wallpaper and a dark mirror

I’m very much of the opinion that you can go bold in a small space, and especially in a downstairs loo. But then again I don’t have one, so it’s easy to say that isn’t it? I like how the frame of the mirror is also dark, and the wall lights either side of it too.

There’s hints of copper too, which works well with the pink flowers and the splashback tiles.

dark wallpaper and a white suite

I’m not sure about the potted plants in the loo, or the gardening tools, but I guess some artistic licence in this environment is allowed!

pale pink tiles behind the sink

Yes, see what I mean about the watering can. Though it’s a very nice watering can!

And with a room with dark decor, light is even more important than normal. Alongside the wall lights, there’s an overhead industrial pendant light - the sort that you regularly see on Salvage Hunters (yes, I’m still working my way through hundreds of episodes), though this one picks up on the copper theme again.

an industrial light with a copper inner

What do you think?

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?