Adding the finishing touches to our porch

Usually when people talk about decorating their smallest room, we all know which room they have in mind. But for us our smallest room isn't that room at all, but our porch. It's so small that I doubt many people take more than two steps in it at a time, you can reach both the walls without having to stretch your arms hardly at all, but it does provide a bit of a buffer between our main living room and the busy road outside. 

It's also a functional space holding our fuse board and electricity meter along with our recycling, a few pairs of shoes, my wellies for the allotment and an umbrella or two. What it hasn't been for quite a while is pretty. But on Sunday afternoon that all changed. 


Hanging the pigeon shelves

In an unexpected spate of activity we hung the pigeon shelves which we'd bought a while back from Dormy House. We'd bought them unfinished in the sale, unfinished because we weren't certain what colour to choose and because they were significantly cheaper that way. My reasoning was if we bought them painted and then changed our minds it wouldn't be so cost effective, and as there was a strong likelihood that we would change our minds we (the Royal we, that is) might as well paint them to start with. Completely sensical, yes?

Well MOH needed some convincing, but he dutifully set about painting the units - we bought two sets, and my original plan was to hang them both in this small space. That's the bit that changed in the end, but more on that later. With one set of shelves painted MOH was keen to get it hung on the wall and out of the way in the Conservatory, which had turned into his painting studio for the duration.

In the end we chose Farrow & Ball Old White for the shelves, which is the same colour (and paint type - so not another tin of paint to store) we'd used on the bookcase and radiator cover in our main living area.  The walls are Farrow & Ball Skimming Stone, so all very neutral and purposefully so.  The only problem was that it was, well a bit beige. Or grey, depending on your viewpoint.

I didn't mind that so much as it's not a room we spend much time in, and having these neutral colours means it's relatively easy to keep clean. And with it being so small, let's face it it doesn't take long to give it a coat of paint. It is probably the most painted room in our house!

Adding some colour

A while back I'd been gifted a selection of Prestigious Textiles' new Java range, well looking at it again I realised that it matched quite nicely with our updated colour scheme now we planned to add Ocean (blue) and Mustard (yellow) chairs to our downstairs space. So I set about making a faux Roman blind with one of the fabrics.

I've mentioned it before but the sewing in this blind was minimal. Instead of being challenged by the sewing, as expected it was two of my other loves that came into play - ironing and maths!  And if you're wondering why it's a faux Roman blind, we never pull the blind here so it didn't need to cover the window, it just needed to be deep enough to dress the window.

It looks quite good, I think. And does inject some much needed colour into the space. I still need to get a cleat and find something suitable to act as a toggle for the blind cord, but all in good time...


So with my Roman blind hung and my pigeon shelves on the wall, it was time to collect some of the items I've been saving to store in them.  My aim is to add colour to the porch with the items we store here, but to keep it functional and as cohesive as I can too.  The black treacle tin has used stamps, while the golden syrup tin is holding the batteries we need to recycle. I love these classic tins and giving them a new use, but I think I'll have to keep my eye on them in case they just happen to fall into the recycling basket below with help from MOH when I'm not looking!

pigeon shelves

The Indian Tiffin set was a birthday present and I knew it'd look good here. I haven't worked out if I'll use it to store anything yet, but it does make me smile each time I walk past.  

Saddlebag & pump

The other purpose for the pigeon shelves was to store some of our cycling gear - we knew they wouldn't be large enough for helmets, but I've an idea for those (not yet implemented, of course).  

I've added the mini cool bag I use when we take lunch out cycling, and inside there's a flask with the same pattern. Some pretty tins, and some notebooks, you know the sort of stuff.

MOH has added a saddle bag and a pump - can you tell which of us is the less frou-frou?  

Ah well, they're supposed to be functional too - but perhaps I could make a little curtain for the less pretty sections...

So it's been quite a while coming together, but finally I think we're there. Our porch - our smallest room - is starting to add prettiness to its purpose.

And that second set of pigeon shelves? 

Well they'd be perfect in what I call my craft room and what MOH still calls the study. There's only one wall they can go on in there, so I need to work out how to make it work - and choose a colour, because I'm not sure this colour would work so much, and I might need to repaint some of the walls too, to get it just right.

But I'm starting to plan, and starting to be quite excited about filling it with craft supplies. MOH will no doubt roll his eyes and not understand why I need all that stuff, but I'll remind him he can call the spare room with his records and dart board his own, I think...

A new dining room table is on its way...

Yes finally.  And you're right, it has taken a while.

The table we've chosen is one I've shared here before. But did we opt for a zinc topped table, a concrete table, the gorgeous wooden table (Love This #57)  from the Ideal Home Show or the white glass table (Love This #58) we saw at Grand Designs Live?

Remember we had that list of criteria too,

  • wooden, or preferably a wooden top and metal legs,
  • those legs should be offset and not directly under the corners of the table (because I think this makes the table look blocky and bigger than it actually is),
  • a mismatched approach to chairs and one length to be bench seating.

Well the criteria was no help whatsoever, as we've ordered the white glass table from Grand Designs Live!



It is beautiful, but it isn't wood.  And it does have the legs at the corners (and not offset) but they are set on the diagonal, so they don't look blocky. Now all we need to do is wait for its delivery.  

So why did we choose this one?

The first time we saw this table, back in May we were impressed with its sleek lines and the clever way it extended. Then we walked away confused as we thought we wanted a wooden table. We both liked this glass table straight away - and that's unusual in itself, as we usually have different tastes.

After the show we really didn't think too much more about it. Until in September we went to another show at the Excel - The Homebuilding and Renovating Show, and we saw it again. We also saw that concrete table that was briefly considered too (imagine the breakages that could wreak) and once again we left the show both liking the same table. 

There had to be something in this. Thinking about it more carefully, the things we liked were: 

  • Its extend-ability - it easily extends by one metre, in two half metre increments,
  • Its whiteness! Our kitchen-diner can be a dark room, sandwiched between the conservatory and the main living room with no natural light of its own. The white glass will, we hope reflect light into the space, and brighten the room a little. 

And mostly we liked that it fitted with the style of our decor. So after lots of measuring to see which size we should order, some more umming and ahhing and then with the January sales on, last week I took the plunge and ordered the table. 


Now, I just have to be patient for the next 6-7 weeks. Oh, and find some chairs to match, as we didn't like the chairs we'd seen with it before, and the gorgeous ones in the picture are no longer in the showroom. And let's face it, it's taken us this long to decide on the table, so we're not going to buy the chairs unseen now, are we?

The chair hunt has begun and I've a feeling it will be less tricky than finding the right table has been, but more on that soon. 

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A review of Vita Interiors George Nelson Style Ball Wall Clock

When Vita Interiors got in touch and asked if I'd like to review a 1950s style clock I hoped I'd be able to choose one of the design classics, the ball wall clock by George Nelson. And I could, so I did.

The question was though, what colour to choose as there were eight colour ways to choose from.  Although there are three wood finishes available - oak, maple and walnut - I knew I wanted something more colourful.

As you can see from my pictures I chose the multi-coloured version. For me the choice was between this and the all blue version. Other colours included orange, white, and red, so there's something to match whatever decor you have.

I planned to put the clock in our study, where the walls are painted in cream and blue-green. It's a relatively small room, but it's chockfull of books, craft supplies, lots more paper, a rogue chair, our printer and a few remaining cardboard boxes which we really must sort through.

We didn't have a clock in there though and it's an easy place to lose an hour or two. Adding a stylish clock would I thought add to the room and help improve my timekeeping - what a bonus!

Once I'd placed my order I began to wonder if I'd chosen wisely - would it be too bright, too gaudy or should I have gone for the all blue version? But it was ordered so I hoped it would work in our study. 

When it arrived I was pleased to see that the colours were colourful but muted and not overly bright. Phew. I think it works really well on the blue-green wall, and in fact much better than an all blue version would have.

The photo below is my favourite shot as it shows the depth of the clock's mechanism, the more delicate metal hands and each hour ball clearly. I also like the shadows it casts on the wall.


The clock is easy to hang on the wall on either a single screw or a picture hook. It operates on a single AA battery and I was surprised and pleased that one was included. Now that doesn't happen too often does it? It's light weight too so I'm confident it will stay on the wall.

I'm really pleased with it and I think at £44.50 it's a stylish clock for a reasonable price.


Once the clock was in place, I wondered why I'd been unsure about my colour choice as I suddenly noticed quite a few blues, greens and oranges in the room. It's funny how things work out isn't it?










Disclosure: I received this 1950s George Nelson style ball wall clock for the purposes of this review, however all words and opinions are my own.


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