Posts Categorised: Design/Interiors

Our new Polaris Mistral Worktops from Karonia Surfaces

Mistral white kitchen worktops island blue kitchen

Firstly, I want to say thanks so much to everyone who has paid a lovely compliment about our new kitchen. Really appreciate it. Today, I want to show you our Mistral tops from Karonia Surfaces that were such an important factor in the overall design and I will talk through the process and why we chose this.

Since we moved in to our home nearly ten years ago, I’d always found the old worktops hadn’t lifted the room, if you know what I mean ? They were black which for a room that didn’t at the time allow in much natural light was a bit of a shame. But, that’s all in the past now. Because we have our new Mistral Surfaces and they have made all the difference.

We also have the mistral on the new island too. Honestly, I feel like Mary Berry swanning around because there’s so much more space and inclination to spend time making interesting meals. The pasta maker has made an appearance and I have even offered up our place for Christmas Dinner this year. I’m feeling that confident.

If you saw the original plan I made then you’ll see the dimensions which worked out well.

Karonia Surfaces White Polaris worktops in blue kitchen

I think I first became of Karonia Surfaces quite some time ago as I’d seen their worktops in magazines and of course on good ol’ insta. I was looking for something new and sharp looking for the kitchen which would brighten it and also be non porous as I wanted something low maintenance and good quality. Not asking much right ? :) But their Mistral ticked all these boxes. Any spillages can be wiped clean easily.

I was pretty set on something uncomplicated and with a teeny tiny bit of sparkle. So Polaris was perfect as it has that plus very subtle small clear chips within the resin. Also because the island needed jointing to create the size we wanted,  it would blend together brilliantly and actually now in situ, you cannot even see where the join is. It’s seamless.

What’s also pretty cool is that it can be sanded too so any scuffs over the years can be removed. It’s made of a very strong acrylic resin that is has a high level of heat and chemical resistance too so it was a bit of a no brainer all round.

mistral worktops karonia surfaces white smart non porous

So, where did I start with choosing the right surface and look when there are lots of options ? Well, firstly I spoke with the lovely guys at Karonia and they recommended me a local company called Woollards of Mildenhall – they’ve been absolutely first class in helping along the way.

Ian Woolard came over and measured up and bought with him the entire range of Mistral to look through. Karonia and Ian worked together and kept each other up to speed at all times which was amazing. Made my life so much easier with all the other things to consider.

karonia surfaces white mistral polaris drainer gold sink

The edging around the sink was created to have a slight overhang. Within the design, We also moved the drainer to the other side of the sink so it would be above the dishwasher and during the preparation process for this, the Mistral was sloped to enable efficient drainage.  The good thing about using this Mistral is that it is very easy for a fitter to custom shape and angle to your specifications, often even on site, so quick to install. I’ve found the overall finished look gives a nice bespoke feel.

Karona Surfaces Mistral white smart clean look in kitchenKitchen hob blue kitchen mistral surface

The Mistral has also been used for splash backs and covers the whole of the black of the hob. So it can be wiped easily. I find that because it’s smooth and white, it’s much easier to see and keep clean.

Andy our fitter asked us what kind of edging we would like – which was a slightly rounded finish including the splash backs, which he produced swiftly. I’m always blown away by how effortless good fitters make their work look.

Polaris White Kitchen WorktopsKaronia Surface Mistral Polaris White

I’d been so looking forward to having the surfaces put in and was not disappointed at all. It’s made the room so much lighter. It made me realise just how much the space needed it. It feels nice to proudly show you my kitchen now after hiding it away for so many years.

Mistral white polaris worktop blue kitchen Karonia Mistral white worktops kitchen clean today look

Although we chose Polaris, Mistral comes in many different styles and colours. Some more like ours right through to something suitable for a more dramatic scheme. It is also used in bathrooms so not just a kitchen option.

I highly recommend Karonia Surfaces. They know their onions when it comes to Mistral. They also have a store with everything you need for installing and maintaining your worktops.

I can’t sing the praises of Woollards of Mildenhall highly enough  – they are the Premier Expert Fabricators and Fitters of Mistral in East Anglia. I’m really grateful for the introduction from Karonia. It’s important to feel looked after when making big home improvement decisions and it was a good experience from start to finish.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Do leave me a comment with any questions or just to say hi. Always good to hear from you.

The Surfaces were gifted to me. As always all opinions are my own.

Stunning Homes for Sale this Month.

It’s been too long since I last shared a post with stunning homes for sale, what with work having gone on at home but today I’ve found a couple of corkers to share with you. Without realising it initially, both properties are by water in one form or another.

Hove, Sussex. 

Let’s not waste time and crack on with this place house in Hove. I’ve been racking my brain as I do remember this place from when we lived in Hove but can’t exactly place it. The reason I recall it is the placement of the windows, especially the protruding centre one and the grand chimneys. Seem to remember wondering what it looked like inside at the time so bit of a treat getting to see inside now.

It’s situation on First Avenue which is one of the finest and widest roads on Hove. A lovely location with an oblique view of the sea.

pink walls living room ideas unique pink bedroom cement walls cool ideas

Behind the reclaimed front door retaining lots of history, is a redesigned interior using natural materials. What do you feel about raw plaster walls? I really like them and love the options they offer you for hanging or not hanging art. Either works dependant on your own taste. Plaster is generally a more expensive option to use as it takes longer, needing more than one coat but the overall effect is lovely I think – and they stand the test of time better.

With this place it’s already done though so not something to even have to think about.

They’ve added gold switches and door handles which work as a nice accent with the pink walls.

living room pink walls grey sofa ideas inspiration

It’s quite interesting looking at the plaster walls in this home as I have seen it more in new builds and of course on Grand Designs. It works really well with the high ceilings.

Putting in wooden flooring has so many benefits. On a practical note it’s so easy to keep clean, I’ve found – plus did you know it helps with acoustics ? Soaks up sound in the room. They’ve also used seagrass which is a nice natural fibre.

pink bedroom cement walls cool ideaspink bedroom ideas inspiration homes for sale

The property has two bedrooms. The main one looks out over a balcony and the coast.

The overall look of this palette with its earthy tones, raw wood and having the sea almost at your doorstep gives a real sense of simplicity and I love that.

With the woodburning stove back in the reception room and a good book, I’d be a happy girl living here.

For sale with The Modern House at £800,000.

Gosport, Hampshire.

This is the second time I’ve shared a houseboat this year. The last one being in London. Seems I’ve developed a bit of a penchant for them. When you’ve looked inside this one you might be with me on that if you’re not already. Personally I really enjoy the thought of being able to move your home especially if you love it but want a change of scenery. Pretty cool way of living that I am totally open to at some point in the future.

Houseboat cool decor cosy contemporary

With this houseboat home, they’ve really emphasised space by making it open plan living and adding bi – folding doors out to the decking. Clever.

In fact, the current owners completely redeveloped the boat turning in to a two storey dwelling with three bedrooms. 1250 square feet in total which is pretty impressive.

The front door is handmade with reclaimed wood from Hyde Pier on the Isle of Wight which is a lovely, unique touch.

Houseboat trendy cool cosy smart ideas inspiration Houseboat quirky cool living space contemporary cosy

The living area is the top floor which makes sense to allow in plenty of light and probably offers up the best views.

Downstairs is the master bathroom, the bedrooms and underfloor heating. Apparently the wood flooring used throughout was originally used in a Victorian School in 1865.

Houseboat inspiration ideas Houseboat inspiration ideas cool smart

The entire home has so much character and has clearly really been thought about in great detail when designed. A very stylish houseboat don’t you think ? If we were thinking of moving, I’d be paying them a visit for sure.

It’s on the market with Aucoot for £399,950.

Have you seen any cool and inspiring places for sale at the moment ? Leave me a comment under the post.

Images 1 – 6 © The Modern House. Images 7 – 12 © Aucoot.

Five things to consider before choosing floor tiles

Grey tiles kitchen large cement look

Today I’m showing you around the kitchen, looking at the new flooring and discussing five things to consider before choosing floor tiles.

When I was in the primary stages of coming up with kitchen ideas, the tile aspect was a really important factor. We wanted something easy to maintain and contemporary but also classic enough to ensure we never tired of it. As our home isn’t old, although has been built to look it, I really had to weigh up what would work both aesthetically and practically. The original ones laid were quite petite and I felt did nothing to accentuate the size of the kitchen. They were swallowed up – plus I really didn’t like the colour as it dominated too much. It just wasn’t me.

After much deliberation and searching and samples I chose the one … *fanfare*… Urban Grey by Stone Tile Company. They are ceramic and created using HD inkjet printing technology creating a cement look.

floor tiles grey large kitchen style cement Grey cement tiles large

Price.

This is maybe going to be your first thing to weigh up. What is your budget ? Although it’s great looking for inspiration all over the internet, it’s worth being completely realistic about what you have to spend. The chances are you will find something if you look hard enough. I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Stone Tile Company on this refurb but I definitely would’ve purchased the Urban grey tiles anyway – £13 per square metre which is a very, very reasonable price and exactly what I wanted. Couldn’t believe it to be honest when I spotted them.

Grey floor tiles kitchen large slabs grey floor tiles kitchen large stylish

Colour and Style.

Grey sits with other hues so well and because I had been looking, as I say,  for a cement style these were absolutely spot on. Because I knew I would be painting the units a teal colour and adding gold accents, I made up a mood board and felt it would be the most cohesive blend along with the oak pieces. When you’re thinking of laying a new floor, it is generally a long term thing and you need to be sure it’ll go with current and possible future cosmetic changes.

If pattern is an option you might consider then look at your potential colour scheme and bear in mind that the floor will be the lovely feature.

Going with the age and style of our home along with the palette intended; Urban Grey was ideal especially with the new french doors that throw extra light on to them and make the grain stand out even more. I wanted a nice and bright kitchen.

Grey large floor tiles kitchen style teal

Size.

This will depend on the size and shape of the room in question – and what kind of format you want the tiles to be laid. If you have a large space then you can more than get away with bigger tiles and I find that it brings everything in to proportion and this applies to a more compact room – smaller tiles tend to suit a smaller room.

grey tiles large urban blue kitchen

Durability, Suitability and Texture.

Things to think about here are who is using the room and what is it’s purpose ? For a kitchen it’ll involve all sorts of activity. Cooking, socialising, pets wandering around on it etc so you might go for a non slip textured surface that’s hardwearing, which is good for a hallway too or modern living room. Ceramic is a very popular choice. Slate or limestone are also hard wearing and have a riven top. Quartz has a shiny look that sparkles beautifully in a bathroom or equally a sleek kitchen. It has a honed more shiny finish . A natural stone mosaic is an idea if you’re wanting a seamless join between the in and outdoors. For instance from the garden through to a kitchen or conservatory. Porcelain is similar to Ceramic but slightly less porous. Both great for many rooms in the home. Slate is brushed on it’s surface and therefore nice on your feet.

If you want under floor heating always check the suitability of the tiling beforehand.

stone tile flooring grey cement style kitchen floor

Fitting.

Of course, it also depends on who is putting the floor down and on this point – does it need levelling before forging ahead with the tile laying ? If you are wanting to do it yourself you might want to choose something that you know you will be fine working with  – or if like us you are using a tiler then make sure they work out the exact amounts plus around 10 % extra for any breakage and spare. Talking of which I have to give a big thank you to our tiler Harry Constantine who is absolutely brilliant. A total perfectionist and I really recommend him if you are in the East. Lovely guy too.

So, what do you think of our new flooring ? I hope you like it too. If you’d like to know more about Stone Tile Company do pop on over. They have a vast range of Mosaic, Indoor and Outdoor floor and wall tiles in varying colours and designs. A lot to check out.

You will also see more pics of the kitchen over on my instagram if you fancy having a look.

This is a collaboration with Stone Tile Company. All opinions as ever are my own.

Some of the best places to buy Colourful Art

artist colourful nelly duff colourful artwork bright home gallery wall

Every now and then I love to do a round up of favourite places to find cool things here on the blog. I’m always amazed at how popular these posts are. I’m currently looking to buy some extra art for a gallery wall in the kitchen, so am keeping an eagle eye out for good places to shop but have some go to destinations that are reliably colourful.

As art is so subjective, what works for me might not for you but some of these stores have a myriad of genres so I’m pretty confident there’ll be something for everyone. I feel really passionate about good art as I grew in an arty household and have a daughter who is clearly heading down this route herself.

I’m starting off with Nelly Duff who you may be aware already. I’ve bought a few pieces from them over the years. They often update their selection of artists so you will find new prints and originals and a definite mixture to suit many. This amazing abstract mountain scape is by Torben Giehler and is printed on Somerset Satin.

bold graphic artwork prints Pop music

I know of this company Quirk and Rescue because I follow them on instagram. They’re a design duo who are based in East London Ms Pink and Mr Black. Their store exudes colour and cool homeware. Their bold graphic designs are all their own work and they are based in East London. You should check out their wallpaper too. it’s incredible.

Dalmatian Dog Art work Print home frame

If you’re a dog lover than you really might like Sally Muir’s lovely website. Although she is not solely a canine artist because she draws landscapes, people and other animals. But, I am especially drawn to the pups and if you’ve seen my insta feed you’ll spot some of her plates on my wall. Every one has such character. I believe Sally also does commissions. I’m such a fan of hers.

This print is from Print Club London who specialise in Limited Edition Screenprints it’s and called Tigerr Tea by Charlotte Founder.  They’ve got some really cool and affordable designs that come framed with various options or unframed. Think they also offer workshops so you can learn to screenprint. Wouldn’t mind a go at that myself.

Jessica Zoob Artist abstract art

Now, I was lucky enough to meet Jessica Zoob a few years ago at an awards ceremony and have loved what she does even more since then. We have a canvas of hers on the wall at home. I think her paintings are mesmerising; you see something different in them every time you look. This one is from her collection called Passion.

Colourful artwork etsy prints

You can find some fantastic artwork on Etsy – some very established artists sell on there. Margo in Margate is a very good example. She’s widely known these days for her characters and loves drawing dimple forms and especially faces. Although Margo hasn’t always been an artist, she was a Primary School teacher for twenty years prior. She told me that she she really loves how children capture life in very simple but powerful ways.

Horace Panter The Specials Artist Walkman Art Print Gallery Wall

You may have read my interview with Horace Panter a few years back. I’ve also featured his giant cassette print that we have framed here at home. It makes me feel so nostalgic. You’ll know Horace as co – founder and bassist of The Specials but did you also realise that he’ graduated in 1975 with a fine art degree ? His influences range from Peter Blake and Andy Warhol to Edward Hopper and David Hockney. If you ever get the chance to visit one of his exhibitions do take it. he shows his work all over the world regularly.

bluebellgray colourful art wall gallery

So much respect for Fiona, the founder of Bluebellgray. You can spot one of her paintings a mile off. Really distinctive. Not saying I’m obsessed or anything but I have her art, ceramic set, cushions and duvet set. The company is based in Scotland but you’ll se her creations in many stores all over the world now, as well as her own shop in Glasgow.

I’d love to know if you have any stores you can rely on for something a bit special ? Or have you discovered someone knew here ? Do leave me a comment under this post.

You can also find some more inspiring art over on my Pinterest board.

How to choose the right sink for your Kitchen

Gold Sink by Alveus Kitchen Shiny Warm Undermount

As promised, I am going to show you around my new kitchen over the next few weeks and what better place to start than our new sink and tap ? I’m also adding some tips for choosing the right type should you ever be looking for advice yourself.

When working out a colour scheme, I realised that gold was totally the right way to go with the blue and to be honest, I’d had my heart set on having a sink and tap like this for ages. I’d been looking longingly at the Olif website.

Our old one had been here since the house was built and did it us well but definitely was at the end of it’s rather long life.

gold sink kitchen inspiration alveus ideas undermount

Luckily Olif were happy to work with me on this and have provided me with their Alveus Monarch Quadrix Sink and Leo Tap. You can buy it alone or mix and match with other options if looking for both but this combination was perfect for my requirements. It’s made of premium 18/10 stainless steel with a gold finish. Olif are leaders in trend setting and exclusive sinks and taps and I have been a fan for some time.

Gold Sink Undermount Shiny Warm Kitchen Inspiration

We just wanted a single bowl look and to fit in an Undermount style meaning it sits below the counter slightly in this case with a small overhang of the surface surrounding it ( will be writing about the worktop soon ). Mainly because I especially like that look. But this Alveus in particular can also be bought as Flush / Slim which means where the countertop flows in to the sink with no visible edging.

There is actually a bit to think about when looking at purchasing a sink and I learned a lot from this process. If you’re looking for the sink edges to sit on top of the surface then you would need to go for an ‘ Overmount ‘ sink. Some have drainers for your washing up with them and some just come up over the surface, which you might want if you have a built in surface drainer already. You may have heard of  ‘Sit on ‘ sinks and the occupy the full depth of  the surface.

Then there’s thinking about left hand or right bowls ( the smaller sink if going for double ) and this will depend on personal preference. You can also choose which side you want a drainer with an Overmount sink and it’s a good idea to take in to consideration where the dishwasher is if you have one and place it above that.

Gold Tap Kitchen Inspiration

Will you want your tap to be placed on the sink itself or on the worktop and is there to do that ? All worth taking in to account before making a final decision on it. If you are using a fitter it’s maybe an idea to talk it over with them first.

I’m not going to stop there because I’ve not even started on the materials. Olif have a very lovely selection including Composite Granite, sinks and drainers made with toughened bespoke coloured glass, stainless steel with not only gold but copper, bronze, matte black or anthracite finishes. Brushed steel and chrome are available too. As do the taps along side the choice of Mixers, Pull Outs, Boiling or Filtered Water. I also noticed some really cool kitchen taps with ‘ Coloured Stone Mixer handles ‘.

gold sink tap olif kitchen inspiration ideas advice

I’m literally over the moon with our sink and tap and have had lots of compliments even from all the tradespeople and I’ll happily take that ! It has given the kitchen a really unique feel and added some nice warmth. Plus it’s really pretty and shiny and I love shiny things.

gold sink teal kitchen little greene air force blue mistral surface

More posts to come on other aspects of the room and I hope you’ve enjoyed this one. Do comment if you have any questions or just want to say hi and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

If you’d like to have a look over on the Olif site then there’s lots to see along with lots more information.

The Sink and tap were gifted. All opinions as ever are may own.