Wardrobe makeover by Nina’s Apartment in Annie Sloan Aubusson and Duck egg blue chalk paint

I am proud to finally present to you the result of my £20 wardrobe makeover! Got it months ago from Banchory’s Box Room (great for finding old furniture) and I eventually painted it and did it up. I love the combination of the blue and the brass hinges. It is now baby’s first antique piece – holding all its baby grows, cute little cardigans and mini socks.

I painted the inside of the wardrobe in Annie Sloan‘s duck egg blue chalk paint and the outside in her Aubusson blue shade (with a layer of duck egg blue underneath which shines through after I lightly sanded through the corners and edges). I also stuck some blue-green retro fabric against the inside back panel of the wardrobe. My sister, who has been helping me finish the nursery over the past few days, put in an extra shelf (which she made out of our old bed slats!) and we got some useful storage boxes for underneath. She also saved me some money by suggesting using an old broom stick as a clothes rail and painting it in the same colour as the wardobe. Neat!

I’m very pleased with the result – hope baby likes it too when I show it its room for the first time next month 😉

The broom stick clothes rail and bed slat shelf!
My hard working sister ‘handy An’ – 🙂

A new obsession: antique Hungarian pine benches


We love being in our kitchen. It’s spacious and it has a large dining table in it where you can sit and read the papers for hours, drink tea and generally potter about. A lovely addition to our beloved table we think would be a big old wooden bench, antique, painted and with cushions scattered on it. Now, where to find one? I always do a search on eBay and quickly I came across the type I like best: the Hungarians! Church pews are nice too, but I don’t think they’re very comfy to sit on in the long run. The Hungarian ones however have a deeper seat and a back that isn’t as upright as the pews. They also often have storage space underneath the seat. Very handy. Hopefully we’ll have one in our kitchen very soon… I’m on the hunt! Do let me know if you know of any place in the UK that deals in them. Thanks!

Image: Ravishingly Rustic


Treasure hunting at lunchtime: one enamel teapot and two vintage spice jars


People kept on telling me about this place but I never got around to visit… The Box Room in Banchory, Aberdeenshire. Yesterday lunchtime I finally had time to pop down and have a look. My oh my, what a great spot for treasure hunting! Hidden away on a small industrial estate and packed full of second-hand furniture and just…well, stuff. Chairs, tables, cupboards, bed frames, mirrors and lots of cups, vases, decorative things and of course your fair share of hideous kitsch-y pictures. Cheap too, that was the best bit! £10 for a chair, £20 for a table. Not all great pieces, but there are some real gems with potential. I feel I should really keep this little secret to myself and not shout it from the roof tops but most of you live far enough away not to all of a sudden raid the place, haha 😉

I will definitely be checking here for furniture once I’m ready for my next DIY project, but yesterday I was a good girl and only came home with one lovely blue enamel teapot and two cute mustard yellow spice jars… Had to be strict! “No, Nina, you can’t have that chair – you gotta finish your other one first!!” Can’t wait to go back though, they told me they get new stuff everyday…

Treasure hunting! A mid-century chair at the auction

I went to an auction yesterday at the village hall in lovely Tarland, Aberdeenshire, and guess what – I came back with a chair. The room was full of Edwardian chairs, big mahogany chests, sideboards, hideous pictures and lots of bric-a-brac but this chair caught my eye as it’s mid-century and very elegant. Couple of chips in the varnish and a hideous stained seat must have put people off bidding for it, because I snapped it up for £12. Bargain!

Not sure whether to completely strip and revarnish it or to repair it (need to have a closer look at it tomorrow). I do quite like the idea of lightening the wood somehow, as it’s a bit too mahogany-like for me (I think the frame is a mixture of maple and teak). I can already picture the end result though: a beautiful modern chair with a nice, new seat. I am thinking black and white fabric, something with a graphic pattern. What do you think? (fabric images Marimekko)

Here’s some more images of the auction. Almost bought the leather suitcase (I love those!), but didn’t want to bid over £10 for one with a broken lid.

This always happens to me: I end up buying stuff without realizing the size of my car. Amazing how much DOES fit in though. Friends helped me push it in (having to zip open the roof to accommodate a chair leg) and I was still able to drive 😉

Portugal: going on holiday in style…

We’re off for a week on holiday soon and I can’t wait. We wanted to catch some last Autumn sun before diving into Winter and picked Portugal as our destination. It’s promising to stay sunny and warm, so that’s perfect.

Always looking for beautiful places that inspire me, I found a lovely guesthouse in the Algarve, close to the coast. I hate going to big chain hotels and places for mass-tourism – of which there are unfortunately plenty in the Med –  and so I was chuffed about this one. Of course, we haven’t been yet, so we’ll have to wait and see what it’s really like, but the photos look promising! www.tapadadogramacho.com


I’ll be chilling out by the pool or on the beach I think, while my man is trying out some kite-surfing (oh dear). I’d rather relax, read a book and indulge in some delicious ‘Pasteis de nata’ or Portuguese custard tarts. Don’t know these tarts? Let me introduce you to them with this recipe…Yum!

I am also planning to look for some nice Portuguese antique tiles, or ‘azulejos’ as they call them, to take back home. I saw them some years back when I was in Portugal for the first time and they’re so beautiful. I’ll probably only be able to take a few back, due to airline restrictions, but perhaps that is not such a bad thing, budget-wise…

I got plenty of creative ideas for what to do with them anyway…using them in bathroom tiling, making coasters out of them or simply displaying them as pretty objects.

Or actually, you could do as the Portuguese and stick them on the outside of your house!

Até a vista ! (see you soon!)



Gypsy style home decor

I have always been strangely attracted by the gypsy lifestyle. The old-style caravans, the women with their long skirts, black hair, big earrings, the mysterious eyes. And the music. Whenever I hear a violin or accordeon playing gypsy music, I am touched by it. Even in the middle of a busy shopping street I will stop and listen. I don’t know what it is, but it feels familiar, as if I’m somehow connected. Who knows… Maybe I’m just a romantic with a love for history and traveling.

Anyway, back to interiors & junk! 😉 As I’m traveling myself this weekend, not in a caravan but by plane and high-speed train to the Netherlands (I know, VERY gypsy-like, eh?), I thought I share some travel-themed ideas with you. I came across a nice blog (interiordivine.blogspot.com) and found some inspiring images around the ‘gyspy’ theme.


Jeanne Bayol

I love folkloric, bazaar-like interiors and the work of French designer Jeanne Bayol just makes me smile. Jeanne shares my fascination with the gypsy lifestyle and passionately restores and sells all kinds of gypsy caravans in The Provence. You can order your own one on www.les-verdines.com

For some great ‘gyspy’-like music that makes you instantly happy, go and download some tunes from 17Hippies or Orkestra del Sol.

from blog.mydeco.com

Can’t decide what fabric to go for? Here’s the solution: patchwork upholstery!

I have recently been looking for the perfect fabric to recover an old chair, but…there’s just too much choice! I love simple, sophisticated linens in greys and browns, but I also adore bold, colourful, flowery, glittery, embroidered, oriental, silky and velvety fabrics – Designer’s Guild, JAB, Harlequin…. However, I came across the ideal solution; the fabulous creations of UK designer Kelly Swallow: patchwork chairs! Don’t you just love these?

Her website says: ” …A swatch of vintage fabric is a little piece of history…” That’s my girl.


Paradise! The Puces de Saint-Ouen Flea Market in Paris

OMG, I felt like a kid in a sweet shop…

Next time you’re in Paris, forget the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, head straight down to Europe’s biggest flea market for a day in treasure hunters’ paradise… The Puces de Saint-Ouen. Hundreds of stalls with vintage clothes, jewelry, furniture, art and antiques covering a whole neighbourhood. It’s not that cheap, but even if you don’t buy anything you’ll come home with lots of inspiration and heaps of photos! And if you have totally fallen in love with that fabulous Danish designer sofa from the 60s, they can ship the whole thing home for you (so don’t worry about those Easyjet baggage limits).

Take a look here for more information…