I’m really excited about this post for a number of reasons. First up, I’m chuffed to bits with how a number of pieces from my travels and some of my recent online discoveries have come together to reveal a globally inspired room that doesn’t feel too themed or cliche. Secondly, because I think my photography practice has really started to pay off. And lastly because I am genuinely thrilled with my new bedside tables from Swoon Editions, that I feel give this room the edge it needed. The room’s not finished by any means – there’s more painting and I hate the wallpaper (which is why you’re not seeing it in the photos!). It also needs more greenery, there’s an oak cabinet to be moved in and I want to change the lampshade. But for now, I think I’ve created a well-travelled look, and the room is ready to welcome guests.
I’ll start with the ‘before’ photo, if that’s ok. Always good to have a bit of context….
Above is the all important ‘before’ shot of the room. This was when the house had tenants in as we were living in Brussels. All just a bit bland.
And here’s how its looking now. Rather better I think!
I would love to be able to share with you my well-designed mood and concept boards for this room, but the reality is that there aren’t any. I winged it. Well, ok, that’s not strictly true – I knew that I wanted my browny-beige Moroccan pom pom blanket on the bed, and I knew that I wanted my African indigo mudcloth cushions (made by Jess at Spilled Paint Design) to feature in the room. But that was it.
In the interests of
laziness money-saving, I opted to use the paint we already had to refresh the walls (Putty by Homebase), and the rest of the furniture was already in the room. Well, all except the be-yoo-tiful new Sarena side-tables, which I bought from Swoon Editions and which arrived a couple of weeks ago. Aren’t they fabulous!?
The dark mango wood and the hard carved details give this room a tribal edge that no creative styling of my Ikea Malm tables was going to deliver!
The drum shape of the tables adds a quirky feature and the hand carved leaves (meant to resemble an artichoke – love!) give them texture and depth. And its not often you get to say that about side tables! The main reason I chose these tables was because they were so different to what is available elsewhere – and so different from anything I would have chosen a few years ago (let’s just call that my matchy-matchy period – I’m better now). I wanted something that was bold, and as the guest bedroom doesn’t need any more storage (the previous bedside drawers were empty), that wasn’t a consideration. There was another table that I ummed and aahed about too, but it was vetoed as hubby felt it looked too much like a bin. And he wonders why I don’t ask his opinion anymore….!
A close up shot, showing a bit more of the detailing. And, hello? Check out this photo! Super impressed with myself here! The lovely copper lamp is from Atkin and Thyme – its a real bargain at £65 and will be back in stock in March.
The tribal print pillow cases are also a new addition to the room. They’re from Maryam Montague’s online souk and came all the way from Morocco (kind of ironic when you think I’ve only just visited Marrakech, but I didn’t unfortunately discover Maryam’s store until later. D’oh). Not only do the pillow cases have different designs front and back, they also have pom pom detailing down the side. A subtle, but adorable detail.
The photo above really shows off the fabric on the cushions. The African indigo print is really delightful. It almost has a denim-like quality to it which I really adore, and Jess has finished the cushions off with a linen backing and some chunky brass zips. I’m really pleased with them. And that turquoise beauty with the bright red and yellow detailing up front? That’s a new brand discovery for me. I spotted this bad-boy cushion in a concept store in Brussels when I visited in January – it was on sale at less than half price so I really had no choice but to buy it.
When I looked closer, I noticed the label said ‘Zero Hunger Guatemala’. This only added additional justification for me to indulge – I couldn’t be sure that the cushion was actually from Guatemala, but I was willing to take a chance. As it turns out, it was indeed made in Guatemala, as part of the Zero Hunger Project, an initiative designed to fight hunger by providing artisans with sustainable income opportunities. What a fabulous accidental find! If you’re interested in any of their products (careful, they’re all beautiful!), you can find them sold in The Mayan Store, also based in Guatemala but with an online shop selling a range of really lovely items.
Some simple styling is all that’s needed – this table makes enough of a statement on its own. The little silver arrow is also from M.Montague.com and I couldn’t resist it.
We bought the wooden chair in the picture above in a fabulous vintage store in Brussels, called Retrofaktory – I wrote about its general wonderfulness here. It was going to be the owner’s next upcycle project but I convinced her to sell it to us instead! The ‘today is going to be a great day’ cushion was a find during our trip to Sydney, tucked away in a cute little boutique in the mall in Darling Harbour. I like that this set-up shows that ‘globally-inspired’ doesn’t always have to mean items that are typically ‘ethnic’ or ‘traditional’. The whole point is that whatever you bring home should be something you love and that reminds you of the places you’ve been. It also means that bringing items home from your travels can work in any decor or design scheme – be as boho or as contemporary as you like!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek into the spare room – I would absolutely love to hear what you think about it, so tell me in the comments below or drop me a line!
Happy travels, and shopping