All posts tagged: featured

cate st hill IKEA kitchen makeover before and after

My IKEA kitchen makeover – the transformation

It’s a very exciting day, for I can finally reveal my kitchen makeover! It’s been a huge transformation and I’ve been beavering away behind the scenes, bringing it to life with IKEA. When we moved into our new house and found ourselves with this terribly vibrant, yellow kitchen, which was dark, dingy and unwelcoming to be in, I knew straight away that I wanted the complete opposite – a light, airy room that would be the sociable heart of the house. At the same time, IKEA were promoting the idea that ‘when we cook together, we make more than just food’. The concept that the kitchen is not just a purely functional space for feeding ourselves, but a space for ‘happy household togetherness’, whether it’s gathering your nearest and dearest and using every spare chair available, celebrating those wonderful everyday moments or connecting over long, lazy lunches. It’s a philosophy which really chimes with my own, and having had an IKEA kitchen before and been really happy with it, there was only one brand I wanted to turn …

Wooden window shutters from Hillarys - light living room inspiration - window treatments - scandi-style interiors

#cshhouserefurb: wooden window shutters from Hillarys

Bay windows are possibly the most difficult of windows to dress. Curtains never quite hang right, bunching up in the two corners where the window panes meet (not to mention the dilemma of short or long), blinds can look a little messy and often block off much of the top window, while translucent films can bubble and start to peel away at the corners. Window shutters might be just the answer – made to measure, they fit neatly into almost any size window, no matter how old and crooked, and offer flexibility in terms of light and privacy. If you saw my living room makeover in my previous post (here) you may have noticed that we didn’t have anything on the windows to begin with. On visits to Scandinavia I’ve been amazed how few homes have curtains, blinds or shutters – they think it’s mad that you would want to cover a window and prevent what little light there is coming in. Great for those who love to peer into peoples homes when they walk past …

before and after living room makeover - light grey walls - painted white floors

My living room makeover – painted white floors and light grey walls

It’s been a long time since I shared the first photos of our new house in south London. It hasn’t been the smoothest of renovations (nightmare builders, endless delays) so I’ve been reluctant to share much of the progress, because for a while there wasn’t any! But, just before Christmas the builders were finally out of our hair and we could get on with the decorating and making it home. I’m so excited then to reveal the first of the spaces to be finished – the living room. After the builders had painted the ceilings and whitewashed the walls, it didn’t take long to put the final coat of paint on and see a real difference. I spent the days in-between Christmas and New Year painting the original floorboards white and after leaving it to dry and cure for a few days, with a new month and new year, we were ready to move our furniture back in and put all the finishing touches in. There’s still a few bits be done, and it’s still a work in progress, but …

Tidying those wires and creating an uncluttered home with Calligaris

Tidying those wires and creating an uncluttered home with Calligaris

With a fresh new month and new year, January is all about new beginnings, getting organised and rejuvenating your life and home. Just like with a Spring clean, it’s a great time of year to declutter, have a clear-out and re-evaluate the things you really need and can’t live without. I took the time between Christmas and New Year – days usually lost to lazy mornings, binge watching box sets and copious amounts of leftovers and chocolate – to get ahead with a bit of DIY. We’re so nearly there with the renovations. The floors in the living room and kitchen have been painted white (we got the walls done before Christmas), and after all the dust and builders it’s beginning to look fresh, bright and like somewhere you could actually live! The best bit about starting this new year is that we now have this lovely blank canvas to make our own. A clean, bare room. We can start afresh and take our time filling the space with our belongings, only adding the things we really need or love, …

Travel guide, a design packed weekend in Antwerp

Travel Guide: a design-packed bloggers tour of Antwerp

When you think of the design capitals of Europe, cities such as London, Paris, Milan and Stockholm might spring to mind. But, there’s another city out there that should be on that list, the slightly more under the radar Belgian city of Antwerp – a Flemish jewel with an emerging design scene that’s giving others a run for their money. With a strong artisanal heritage and cultural legacy, from the 17th century paintings of Rubens and Van Dyck, through the thriving, polished world of the diamond industry, to its cult status in the fashion world with Belgian fashion royalty Dries van Noten, the merchant city Antwerp has developed into a super stylish cosmopolitan centre. Today, young, emerging Belgian designers are putting their stamp on the city, while contemporary concept stores and gastronomical delights are attracting visitors from across the world. There’s certainly more to the city than frites and beer, there’s culture galore, art and architecture, and design by the bucket load, untapped and waiting to be discovered. In October I visited the city as part of a …

St Vincents concept store, Antwerp

Travel: st. vincents concept store, Antwerp

So earlier in the month I shared the first instalment on the bloggers tour I attended with Function & Form in Antwerp (you can see it here if you missed it). Masterminded by fellow bloggers – interior stylist Tiffany Grant-Riley and graphic designer Annie Kruse – we spent a lovely weekend in October exploring all things design in the Belgian city. A slightly under-the-radar European city in terms of design, Antwerp has a bounty of boutique concept stores, beautifully curated design shops and independent coffee shops waiting to be discovered. One such gem is the concept store st. vincents, which we were all cooing over. And if it hadn’t been for the fact it was our last day and we all had trains and planes to catch I think we would have moved in. It has something for everyone, whether you’re an interior and antiques magpie, a fashion lover, or whether you simply want to while away an hour or two over a good coffee or tea in this beautiful, raw but contemporary setting. Visitors are actively encouraged to linger and enjoy …

John Pawson's Life House for Living Architecture - a holiday home designed for moments of calm and reflection

Travel: John Pawson’s Life House for Living Architecture

Back at the beginning of August, we escaped for three nights of peace and relaxation to the Life House – a simple, contemporary holiday home designed by the architect John Pawson for Living Architecture. It was unlike anywhere I had stayed before, a retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, from which to rest, reinvigorate and restore, all in the stunning, picturesque setting of the Welsh countryside. Set up to promote modern architecture, Living Architecture commissions some of the best architects to design houses in some of the most beautiful locations in Britain, a winning formula right? You might have seen Grayson Perry and FAT’s jolly A House for Essex, or the precariously cantilevered Balancing Barn in Suffolk by MVRDV, or wondered what that peculiar looking boat is doing perched on top of the Southbank Centre. They’re all available to rent, making the perfect getaway whether you have an interest in architecture and an appreciation for meticulous design, would like to experience what it’s like to live, eat and sleep in a space designed by a top architectural practice …

The beautiful Frama store in Copenhagen, housed in the former home of the St. Pauls Pharmacy. Image: cate st hill

Frama store Copenhagen

I first heard about Frama store in Copenhagen when I saw the most beautifully calm, minimal images on my friend’s blog Hannah in the House. I just knew I had to pay a visit when I headed to Copenhagen for the northmodern furniture fair. So, Hannah and I popped into Frama for an evening of drinks at the store to showcase the work of Copenhagen-based Plethora magazine. Eager to have a proper nosy around, I returned the next day to wander around the fascinating space and take a few snaps. Housed in a former home of St. Pauls Pharmacy in central Copenhagen, Frama is an architectural gem of a store, where old meets new. The building has been remarkably restored, with all the original dark woodwork, decorative ceiling motifs and even the little drawers where all manner of pharmaceutical paraphernalia would have been kept. Floorboards have been sanded back, while the back rooms have been left fairly minimal with white and soft grey walls. They describe the store as a ‘work in progress’, serving as a both a retail space and a platform to …

Travel Guide: A design-packed weekend in Copenhagen

Travel Guide: A design-packed weekend in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is certainly one of the most stylish of the Scandinavian cities but it’s not bragging about it or singing it’s own praises. It’s a relaxed, down-to-earth place, with effortlessly well-dressed Danes casually cycling past, bustling cafes spilling out onto the tranquil waterfronts and smart design shops waiting to be explored. Copenhagen ranks high in surveys of quality of life, and it’s not hard to see why the Danes have it so good – that magic formula of good city planning, lively culture, tasty cuisine and a strong emphasis on community. It may have been because it was the summer when I visited in August, but people weren’t rushing about like in London; everyone seemed to be in a calm, quietly content mood, slowly going about their business. The sun was shining and Copenhagen was soaking it up. Copenhagen is a city built on decades of design heritage and culture – from mid-century icons such as Finn Juhl and Arne Jacobsen paving the way, to young contemporary designers like Muuto and Ferm Living making their mark on the city, and indeed the design world, today. …