Wednesday 15 April 2020

Brit Decor: Master Bedroom Makeover

Hands up if you are currently locked-down and lusting after home decor + DIY projects that you never thought you'd have the time for? *Both hands raised here*

Approximately two and a half years ago, as part of a sponsored collaboration, I applied a feature mural to our master bedroom wall, which I've loved ever since. However, there was always going to be a 'shelf life' to the mural as the bedroom is south facing with two windows which allows the sun to pour in from multiple angles (south & west) with an inevitable bleaching effect. As a result the mural had recently begun to look a little tired, and the once gorgeous grey tones had taken on a slightly faded and greener shade - cue a lockdown inspired re-think!

For this totally inexpensive makeover I wanted to incorporate a new hue from our extensive collection of opened paint tins in the garage (are you one of those people too?) for a pop of colour to lift the existing grey scheme without re-painting the entire room. The final colour choice would have to either pair or 'pop' with our cobalt blue HAY chair, situated to the right of the bed.

After painting a handful of cardboard sample squares, including Black Heron and School House White, I opted for Dead Salmon by Farrow & Ball. It's a rich pink grey/brown otherwise known as a 'buff neutral' which already blankets our living room in a dreamy calm hug of warmth. As the bedroom is a much lighter space, I wanted to accentuate the light further with a half-painted feature wall pairing Dead Salmon with a crisp white.

The neutral components of Dead Salmon work beautifully with the surrounding grey walls and the pinky tone empowers the HAY chair to provide a contrasting twist. During the midday sun the feature wall takes on an elevated warmth whilst the evenings sees it transformed into a more tranquil space.

Mission makeover complete!

All images / Copyright Mike Ahern

Friday 3 April 2020

Brit Decor: Lockdown First Aid

If, before recent world events unfolded, anyone had suggested to me that we would all be asked to remain at home for several weeks, possibly months, I probably would have whooped at the idea of all those hours of quality nesting time, and trust me I am one hell of a nester! However, skip forward to the very real present and it all seems a little different...

It's clear that many of us will be searching for, or will have already found, our own tools to deal with this surreal situation. Like millions of other stranded human beings I was very quick to engage with video calls to family & friends, despite it being a medium I've always shied away from. Again, to my surprise this has proved to be a major source of comfort and connection in what became a physically disconnected world almost overnight. 

But away from the tech I still found myself missing some kind of connection with reality, perhaps anxious thoughts were clouding my usually grounded nature? So I began to think of simple ways to distract & comfort.

After rummaging through some of my many 'bits 'n bobs' packed away in cupboards and nooks I decided to piece together a capsule collection of useful but also mindful objects, easily accessible and able to administer instant calm.

My handy little quilted HAY zipper case is very soft and tactile and seemed like the perfect starting point to house my lockdown goodies. Part of my stay at home therapy has included lots of 'making' and so I've whipped up a completely natural scented balm to promote calm & uplift the senses at the same time. There is also a very handy little bottle of hand sanitiser made with essential oils and Aloe Vera, with a dash of Vodka!

Ever the organised geek, I'm always making to-do lists on my phone, but for the purpose of mindfulness and the temptation to look at the BBC news App, I'm using this Greek notebook I picked up in Crete, a trip which holds many happy memories and, personally, I find the process of scribbling away to-do notes onto paper very therapeutic - in comes the HAY pencil with gold lid for a touch of luxury!

With all this extra time on my hands I have also found myself reading up on various topics a lot more, so handy mini post-it notes are a must-have tool for me to bookmark recipes, articles etc. And if I need to relax a little more, I keep a constantly updated art postcard to remind me of my creative roots. 

I've no doubt that the entire contents of my lockdown First Aid kit, even the HAY case, will soon be switched in order to keep up my interest levels!

All photos / Mike Ahern

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