Over this holiday, we've stopped in to see many of you, family and friends. Perhaps you invited us in for a cup of tea. Perhaps you gave us lunch. Maybe you even let us stay a night (or ten). And now how are we going to thank you? By showing the world your secrets. Your stylish secrets.
Swing low, sweet Tilly! Our cousins, C & A, hung this giant swing from the centre of their playroom, and it was the perfect way to amuse a very energetic two-year-old, a curious Tilly, and a gobsmacked seven-month-old. The large mesh seat could happily hold two children, and looked much more comfortable than the wooden plank versions you usually see in edgy New York apartments (like these).
Again, there's something unusual hanging from the ceiling -- can you tell what it is? This was the dining room in the summerhouse where we stayed (or 'the Oasis' as our cousins, K & K called it), and ripe bunches of grapes dangled above our heads. As you can imagine, fresh fruit was always on the menu.
A stylish house of a smaller size! We spotted this playhouse in the garden at L & JP's housewarming party, and couldn't stop thinking about it. (On the DIY list? More like on the garage floor!)
Another idea from L & JP -- this sweet letter C is on the wall in their daughter's nursery. Unlike the usual painted or ModPodged wooden letters, this beauty was soft and stuffed and covered in fabric. If I can get over my initial dilemma (an 'M' for Matilda, or a 'T' for Tilly?), I'll have a go at making one myself.
And one more shot before we leave them alone... the white nursery, with a single red wall. Beautiful. (Ignore Tilly's slightly non-plussed expression -- she did like the colours, but was a little miffed to have been removed from a large stack of Dick Bruna books and popped into a cot with four other children, simply for the sake of us mothers taking a photo!)
Another red wall, this time at our cousins K & K's real home (as opposed to their summerhouse). I've got a thing for houses. For two years, while studying art, I only painted pictures of houses. This might have rekindled the obsession.
Ever been to someone's loo, and emerged with one of their paintings in your hand? This seaside piece, by St. Ives painter Susie Brooks, was hanging in our friend L's bathroom, and she kindly showed no signs of alarm when I came out holding it -- with clean hands, of course. What I love is that while the sea is painted, the land and houses are left white, simply outlined in black. Landscape painting gone modern?
Though her house is green green completely green, L added a red pepper to the salad to make us feel at home. (And Marimekko napkins for lunch -- the height of luxury!)
And last but not least, a quick shot from I & I (aka Mum and Dad), who have managed to squeeze a gigantic collection of Chinese ceramics into their new home in England. This set of Mao figurines, on top of a cupboard in the kitchen, brings back many happy memories of Dirt Market bargains.
Thanks to all of our wonderful hosts -- we have but a week left now in England before flying home. Tomorrow, we'll be celebrating my grandfather's 90th birthday, so stay tuned for a special party post. Pass the parcel for ninety-year-olds. It's going to be great!