Welcome to the Art Room!

Art Room Materials 1

 

When we moved into our dream house a few years ago, we began by gradually restoring the most important rooms, starting with the kitchen.  Most of the rooms in our rambling, period house are part of the original footprint of the house, but there is a little annex attached to one side which housed a peculiar, 1980s-style kitchen, complete with carpeted floor and faux-wood cabinets.  It was so bizarre – and so unlovely – that for a couple of years we essentially ignored it (and indeed didn’t take a single photo of it).

Then some time ago we decided to rip out the kitchen, whitewash the walls and lay a cheap laminate floor, thinking it would make a good office space.  Instead, Harry and I have gradually staked our claim, filling the room with a growing tide of papers, paints, scissors, crayons, works of genius and  - everywhere – tiny drifts of sticky tape that briefly adhere you to the floor, or indeed any surface you may lean on.  It is, without doubt, now The Art Room…

The Art Room

Harry and I each have a desk; simple white worktops on IKEA trestle legs, which hold all of our most precious materials.  Harry’s is very clearly marked in case there is any ambiguity about ownership, and bedecked with various masterpieces;

Art Room Drawing Desk

Art room 2

I have noticed, as a random aside, that I always look in Harry’s pictures as if I have recently dismounted from a horse.  I am trying not to wonder what this may mean.

Art room 1

We love thick Giotto mega colouring pencils for their intensity of colour and ease of grip; not cheap but they last seemingly forever.  Then jam-jars of brushes, pencils, Sharpie pens, pastels and tactile, jewell-shaped crayons; a legacy from Harry’s early childhood but too enticing to move on from completely…

IMG_5590 Art Room Caryons

The Art Room has a mysterious, scrolled staircase which ascends to a cosy alcove in the roof; too small for an adult to stand up in, but perfect for a child.  We don’t know what it was intended for, but now it becomes variously a den, a reading nook, a hiding place and THE best place in the house to squash 25 people into when playing Sardines.  It’s the only accent wall in the room, wallpapered (by me! After a glass of wine, as well!) with Scrapwood paper by Piet Hein Eek.

Scrapwood wallpaper

The stair-rail is strung with a random assortment of half-finished projects and decorative finds, like this vintage flag, driftwood garlands and my ever-increasing collection of beautiful stars..

Art Room flag

And under the stairs?  Our Dreaming Chair, where we can curl up and read, think, snooze or just chill out.  A gift from friends who were moving house, it looks like it is a million years old and has lived many interesting lives.  Each year on Fathers Day we take a photo of H and my husband in the chair together, and I intend to do this for at least another 40yrs.

Art Room chair

The Art Room overlooks the unlovely driveway, so to mask that and to filter the light which in summer is blazing and intense, I propped old window shutters from our last house against the wall.  They allow the weak, blueish northern winter light through and then do a great job when the weather turns warmer.

Art room shutters

What else?  A few nods to storage include a display box of old projects and keepsakes, and a couple of museum shelves just deep enough to hold propped-up treasures..

Box Shelf

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We use Ikea’s Asker hanging herb pots to store pens and brushes; mine are hung on the wall;

Wall pots

And Harry’s stand on his desk (the giraffe ruler was a treasure found in his Christmas stocking, but we suspect Santa might have sourced it here).

Art Room Materials 1

And our eBay-find vintage plan chest stores gorgeous papers and completed art works (you can glimpse it in the main room photo above)…

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Most of our other paints, glitters and craft stuff is stored on make-shift shelves in a shallow fuse-box cupboard just outside in the corridor; unbeautiful, but very useful, and somewhere that Harry can go without help to choose whatever he needs..

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So that is our tour, of possibly my favourite room in the house, and one with  - already – some incredible memories.  A room to be messy in (in fact my husband smiled at these photos, so unrepresentative are they of the daily chaos and flamboyant mess more usually found within), to play in and to be happy in.  Very happy indeed, in fact.

turtle

Art Room Sign

 

handbag logo

Separations and Reunions

Travelling 1

The New Year began at a million miles an hour with a flurry of back-to-work-and-school panic and then, for me, a week of transatlantic travel.   I’ve periodically travelled for work since my son was born, usually to the US, and these partings have been easy enough for both of us to manage.  Of late, though, it’s a little harder.  Time has lost some …
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Last-minute Christmas decorations: Simple 3D Stars

Simple 3D Stars tutorial

How are you, are you all set for Christmas?  We’re feeling festive  tucked away here in our small corner of the world, after a weekend of visits from family and friends, the official end of school and work, and the house now bedecked with lights and decorations (I’ll share a few pics tomorrow in a final post).  One last-minute addition has been …
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A homemade Christmas

How was your week, has it been a good one?  It’s been a crazy busy one here; a mix of work and play, of Christmas parties and Nativity plays, of late nights and early mornings (Harry’s latest trick; to slip into our bed at an ungodly hour and whisper hoarsely in my ear ‘I love you to infinity Mummy.  Now can I stay?’).  We’re looking forward to a relaxing weekend and some festive crafting …
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The Fir Lady returns once again

Christmas Lady

Christmas began to arrive in our home yesterday, as I staggered back from the garden centre with armfuls of pine, eucalyptus and berries.  Now the house is filled with resiny scent, as is my hair, my clothes, my hands… it’s intoxicating.

And the fir lady has once again come in from the cold and taken shelter in a corner of the kitchen; this year she …
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DIY Personalised North Pole Sacks (It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!)

DIY Santa Sacks

Given that we don’t get to kick off the Holiday season with Thanksgiving here in England, I feel I’m allowed instead to start to get a little bit excited about Christmas.  I love Christmas; absolutely unashamedly, whole-heartedly love it.

In readiness for the big day itself, I’ve been trawling through my cupboard of fabric pieces and offcuts, looking for bits and bobs to use …
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