What Will You Be Reading This Summer?

I might not have a beach holiday this year but I'll still need a reading list!

So, tell me what you're reading, what you've been reading & what you'd recommend?

House & House : 13 Swimming Pools That You'd Never Want To Leave.

My phone informs me that it's currently 33 degrees in London, the hottest day of the year so far....Centre Court, Wimbledon was 41 degrees at one point yesterday!!

July has arrived in a blast of heat &, as usual, we city dwellers are sweltering :)
Sandals & pedicures, iced drinks, windows open at all times....
sales of ice cream & sun cream must immediately go through the roof. 

We hope it will last but, knowing that it well may not, we make the most of these long languid days of summer.

Sitting with a long cool drink by a beautiful pool would be wonderful right about now, I can but dream. These are some of my Pinterest favourites, all private pools I imagine....
you'd never want to move would you?

Happy July!  


Blogger Project : "Colour A Child's Life".

via Pinterest

I have long been an admirer of the amazing Camila Batmanghelidjh & Kids Company, a charity which she set up in 1996 to provide "practical, emotional & educational support to vulnerable children, young people & families".

Having seen & heard her interviewed many times in print & on the radio
(see here for a very recent magazine interview)....
Determined & fearless, her work has already changed lives & continues to do so, she's quite extraordinary.

Babycare specialist Kiddicare has joined forces with Kids Company for a series of makeovers for families who are currently being supported by Kids Company.

a before & after from a previous project

Each project will be tailor made to help one family, a family who may very well living in unsafe, barely habitable & generally pretty poor conditions.

A handpicked team will spend one day working on a specific room in order to improve the family's surroundings.

I am privileged to have been invited, along with a group of parent bloggers, to join Kiddicare & Kids Company today for their "Colour A Child's Life" London project. 

Our aim will be to
"transform the chronic living conditions of a family in a disadvantaged community".

The only details that I have so far is that this family has been involved with Kids Company for some time & that the home we will be working in is for a single parent with a very young baby. 

I cannot wait to get involved and look forward to being able to report back, I have no doubt it will be extremely rewarding.

a before & after from a previous project     

House & Home : Adding Colour with Graham & Brown.

As part of my ongoing collaboration with wallpaper designer Graham & Brown, I will be featuring a different design trend each month....this month is "Popsicle".

The idea of "popsicle" is about adding colour to your home, by means of wallpaper, bright pops of colour from furniture or accessories to brighten up a pale or light room or simply using layers of the same shade to add colour to your space.

It's a concept that most definitely appeals to me....although four or five years ago, it was never something that I thought about, it wasn't really my decorating style.

My style has evolved & my home tends to be more curated....
I give way more thought to the look & vibe that I want to achieve - the Pinterest effect maybe ;)

I've spoken before about the lack of light in our Victorian terrace house - my aim when we moved in was to bring in as much light as possible....
if I could have painted the whole house white, I probably would have done!

What we have done so far is paint, using white and several shades of grey.
The floors are lightly sanded in a natural wood, our sofas are cream, the mantelpieces are white & I've painted several items of furniture in a very pale French Grey.

I love the look we have achieved so far, it's most definitely freshened up the house, it looks more contemporary & much brighter. 
It's also become a much more calm & welcoming space.

To add warmth & colour though, I have so far relied on accessories - cushions, books & artwork mostly,

A gallery wall of large framed Instagram photographs adds colour to our living room, as do cushions in varying shades of grey & bookshelves full of books add colour & life too.

I painted my teenage daughter's room white - white floorboards & white walls.
Her bed & storage units are also white but colourful bedding, lots & lots of artwork & her collection of books add so much life & interest to the room.
The room has energy & feels inspiring & creative - just what I wanted for her.

I watched a TV programme recently where, having first emptied the property, they then painted an entire house white. 
It allowed the owners a chance to take a look at their space with fresh eyes & really visualise what they wanted it to become.
Once they removed all colour, they could gradually add it back in a totally different way - and their new way was generally much more understated, a few pops of colour here & there is often much more effective & allows you to really appreciate & see your possessions.

wallpaper - Chinoiserie Jade by Graham & Brown

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