Thursday, 30 June 2011

Belgian Style and meeting Annie Sloan...could this post get any better?


Oh me. Oh my. 
Do I have some completely awesome treats lined up for you?
YES, I DO!!

Do you remember I said I was going to see the one and only 
paint extrordinaire, Annie Sloan
Well, let me tell you, I had a completely awesome time and 
I'll be sharing every last drop of what I learnt over the next couple of weeks.
Excited?
You should be....

Yesterday we talked about how Belgian Style uses texture 
instead of bombarding you with a wall of colour.

Now, before I show you our Master bedroom, I wanted to show you a quick example of how easy this trick is to pull off in *your* bedroom.


Bedrooms are a great place to use take advantages of Belgian Style. Serene colours.
Layers of rumpled linens.

Thick quilts to keep any coldness out.

Seriously.
Could anything be more unromantic than being cold at night? 
Can socks be sexy?
Errr.......no.

Pile up those layers and you'll never have that problem again!
{Yes, Mr Modern Country LOVES Belgian Style. ;-)}




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Image via Emma's Blog

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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Belgian Style: Texture


So, let's see. Where were we before we were so rudely interrupted by....
errrr......oh, yes, by me.
* blush*

Belgian Style: Make It Yours Part 3
Sigh.
So beautiful. So dreamy.
So impractical.

There.
I said it.

But there's so much that I *do* love.
So my question when looking at these gorgeous images is this:
How can I get that look to work for me 
and Mr Modern Country
and our four littlies?


They'd have those silvered baubles down in a flash, let me tell you.
Glass baubles are not on my list of 
'Things I Must Let My Children Play With'.

However, I am a huge fan of subdued palettes in interiors.
Just like these.
Though a little teensy bit more colour 
would work better for me in our home.

But what I adore about these pictures is the way the lack of colour is completely compensated by the huge range of delicious textures.
Let's take a closer look at all that
scrumdiddlyumptiousness, shall we?

The cool-to-the-touch floor tiles, the rough wooden benches, the mirrored orb, the soft gleam of the antique mirrors, the unpainted walls, the soft cushions, the shine of the chandelier drops, the smoothness of the glass candlesticks, the carved fireplace, the matte smoothness of the linen tablecloth, 
the old bistro chairs in the corner.

And as if that wasn't enough.... 
as if the point needed pushing home any further....
a large gnarled branch hung with mercurised glass baubles.

Point made, I think.

There's more than one way to grab my visual interest.
And texture ranks pretty darn high on that list.

Coming up soon, I'll share how
 I've used texture 
in our master bedroom 
to make it a romantic haven. 
Aaaaaaah! 





Image via: Chateau de Mossac

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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Belgian Style: Make It Yours

Hello cutie pips,
And how are you on this fine day?

A while back now, I began a series called 
Belgian Style: Make It Yours.

{While Belgian Style is totally my current Style Crush,
it's not a look I'd *actually* choose for my home.
Does that make sense?}

I love the feel of it, 
the mood it creates 
and the look of some of the images 
but I'd find the look 
too austere and formal to live with every day.


So I'll be continuing on this gorgeous little series, 
which I can't wait to carry on unfolding, 
about how to take the very best of Belgian Style and add it, 
in little bits and pieces, in a way that works for YOU.
My definition of Belgian Style would be that it's all about combining extreme visual restraint and rustic warmth to create elegant, pared-down rooms with a strong nod to an industrial past.

I've only drawn on the elements that I love from this style. 
I looked at huge numbers of pictures of this style, 
discarded what I don't like and 
have tried to make it my own. 
See what you think.

The elements I've chosen to focus on create a more 
restricted version of Modern Country.

So far, we've looked at a muted colour scheme....


and I shared how I've tried to create that in our home....


the use of untreated wood.....


and how we've used raw wood in our home....


....and, finally, how texture can be used to add visual interest instead of strong colours....


and that, my pretties, is where we'll be stopping off tomorrow.....

Now, you'll have to excuse me, 
I'm off to see a man about a blog.

Well, *my blog*, actually.
And not a man at all...

but the very lovely Annie Sloan.
{Eeeek}




I'm linking to the parties in my sidebar.
Images via: Unknown, Me, Cote de Texas, Me, Homes and Gardens

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Sunday, 26 June 2011

Lazy Sunday afternoon.....


It's lovely and warm here in the Cotswolds today. 
Sapphire blue skies.
Warm, balmy breeze.
Mmmmmmmmmmmmm....

We're just about to light up the barbie
and have tea in the garden.
{Coming over? ;-)}

But before all the shenanigans begin outside, 
I wanted to take a moment to tell you what's coming up.
Cos I like you that's why.

Give me a B.

Give me an E.

Give me an L.

Give me a G.

Give me an I.

?#@!*£


................

Oh, forget it, that's going to take far too long.
{I've got sausages to sizzle, don't you know?}

Belgian Style. 
Yeah, baby. That's what.

I had suuuuuuuch a lovely, lovely time looking through the
Kitchen Favourites that you linked up.
I love all the personal touches that make a house a home. 
{I was honoured that you shared them with me. Thank you.}

Plus I got to meet lots of new chums.
I love a good party.
I'm looking forward to the next one already!

Now, where's my glass of ice-cool cider......




Image via amprojects

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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Kitchen Favourites Link Party

Hurrah! It's time for my 
Kitchen Favourites Linky Party!

I'm calling for your 'Kitchen Favourites'. 
Everyone has a favourite spot in their kitchen, 
or a favourite item, or a favourite feature. 
Or even something that you'd love in the future.
What is it and why? 
I want to know.


So, let me start by showing you 
how our kitchen looked before we dealt with it. 
One word: bleeeurgh.


It was a place to pass through on the way to the garden, 
or to use purely as a functional cooking space.
Then, one day, I decided I could live with it NO MORE 
and that it simply HAD TO BE TACKLED.


So tackle it we did.
This was no time for ripping out starting afresh. 
{Baby twins aren't the most careful of creatures, I've found...}
Plus there was plenty to be salvaged...
Definitely a redo, rather than an entire renovation.


But NOW? Ooooooh, I love it!
My absolute favouritest ever thing about our kitchen is that 
it's a place I want to linger in.
I love being in here just for enjoyment.


It just shows how much you can change on a smallish budget. 
It honestly feels like a different room to me now.


So how did we ring the changes?
You can see my Our Kitchen posts for more details
...or check My Home Tour at the top of this blog.


Now, what do you say? 
Do you want to stay and have a drink here 
or can I come over to yours now?
Please say yes. Please say yes...


Let's get this linky party on the road, shall we?

 Here are two things I'd love you to do:
1) Follow Modern Country Style 
if you like what you see here.

2) Link back to me in your post 
so other people can come and find the party. 

Then everyone who comes over from other blogs will be able to see a link and picture from your blog here on Modern Country Style so they can come and visit your fabulousness.

Not rules, exactly...but I'm hopeful. ;-) 
  
And now? 
Now, my lovely, it's YOUR turn.
{just click on the Click Here To Enter button and follow the 
instructions and give me a shout if you need a hand}



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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Kitchen Favourites Part Three: Cooking Revelations.....


Need a little recap before I get going with this post about 
what's happening tomorrow?
Only, like, the best party in the whole entire world ever.

I'm calling for your 'Kitchen Favourites', my lovely. 
Everyone has a favourite spot in their kitchen, 
or a favourite item, or a favourite feature. 
Or even something that you'd love in the future.
What is it and why? 
I want to know.

Here's your mission:
blog about your Kitchen Favourites and then 
swing by and link up tomorrow
so we can all drool over them too.


Now, before Thursday's Very Exciting Linky Party, 
which will be up at 12 noon (GMT), 
I thought I'd share with you my recent discovery that has 
completely and utterly perked up my time spent cooking. 
And preparing scrummies to eat should surely be a 
kitchen favourite of sorts, should it not, my cutie pips?

I decided I was stuck in a rather deep cooking rut 
and needed a good shake up. So to whom did I turn? 
Who else but luscious Nigella?


I chose my very favourite recipe book, Nigella Bites, 
and have been putting aside a time once a week 
(or there abouts - sometimes twice, soemtimes, horrors, none) 
to cook recipes from those heavenly pages. 
{Heavenly, even when they are splodged with unknown foods.}

I've forced myself to work from the very start, page by page. 
I. AM. LOVING. IT....... 
It's completely transformed my attitude to having to churn out a meal for six each night into *gasp* one of enjoyment and anticipation.


By working systematically through, recipe by recipe, 
and not allowing myself to skip a single one, 
it's forced me to broaden my horizon's and tastes. 
I hope I shall never look back.

So thanks, Nigella, duckie. I can call you that, can't I?

No???

And, oooooh, what to wear to the linky party tomorrow? 
Would this be a step too far? 


{I'm thinking the white'll hide any flour stains.
I always manage to pick up a flour stain or two.
At least I think they're flour stains.....}

See you tomorrow 
with your Kitchen Favourites.

What'll you be wearing?
Don't be coy, now....

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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Kitchen Favourites: Part Two

Hey there, cutie pie,

Welcome back to Kitchen Favourites Week.

Ooooh, I've been soooooooooo{breathe}ooooooooooo looking forward to sharing some of my favourite parts of our kitchen. 
And then seeing yours too.
{Remember the Kitchen Favourites linky party on Thursday? Button's on my sidebar...} 
The excitement is killing me.

Let's kick off the week properly by taking a 
further look at Kitchen Shelves shall we?



And instead of choosing images from an unspeakably perfect kitchen,
I thought I'd show you how *our* open kitchen shelves work for us.  




I love 'em.
Remember my first two thoughts about open shelving from last week?
If not, here's a reminder....

Consider glazed units.
    My last tidbit for you cherubs who long for open shelving 
    is to have things up there that you L:O:V:E.
    {Disclaimer: I know my new-found love of Rainbow Writing is in no way 
    Modern Country but sometimes a girl just can't help herself...}




    And I mean REALLY love. Love to look at, drool over, 
    want to gaze upon, are enamoured of, are enchanted by, delight in, 
    have affection for, think the world of, are fascinated with, 
    are captivated by, are crazy about, are enchanted with, 
    that you treasure, that are dear to your heart....

    Yeah, me and the thesaurus, we're like *this*, we are. 



    If you stick with displaying things that you use regularly and 

    love to drool over then this look is gorgeously practical.

    Oh, and one tip that I've found really works for me is this:
    when you're choosing which foodstuffs to display in jars,
    choose products where the WHOLE packet fits in the jar.
    Otherwise you end up with half the packet in the cupboard.
    Huuuuuge waste of storage space.



    So what do you lurrrrve in your kitchen? 

    I know, I'm getting ahead of myself.

    More importantly:

    Are you ready with your post for Thursday's Kitchen Favourites link party?
    Tell me, tell me.....

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    Monday, 20 June 2011

    Kitchen Favourites Link Party a-comin' up.....



    Good weekend, peeps?

    I've been the busiest bee in the entire world 
    but I was determined to blog today, 
    even if I had to scratch this post out with my eyeballs.
    {Nice.}

     I've been cooking you up a tasty little button for my
    Kitchen Favourites link party this Thursday. 
    Here, for your visual titillation, is the very button of which I speak:

    Kitchen Favourites

    I'm calling for your 'Kitchen Favourites'. 
    Everyone has a favourite spot in their kitchen, 
    or a favourite item, or a favourite feature. 
    Or even something that you'd love in the future.
    What is it and why? 
    I want to know.


    All you need to do if you'd like to join 
    in the Kitchen Favourites party on Thursday 
    is to copy the html section at the base of the button 
    and paste that onto your blogpost. 
    Your very own fancy-shmancy linked-in button magic.
    Woo-hoo!
    {Don't say I'm not good to you, sweet cheeks.}

    Now, I've had lots of email questions about link parties 
    so for those of you who don't yet know the ultimate pleasure 
    of a link party, this is how it goes:

    To join in with the party on Thursday, you need to write a post on your blog about your Kitchen Favourites (more on that in a mo) and add in a bit about linking up to this party so that people reading your post can boogie on by here too. Come on over to Modern Country Style when Thursday's post goes up and follow the instructions to link up your post to the linky party. 

    Then everyone who comes over from other blogs will be able to see a link and picture from your blog here on Modern Country Style so they can come and visit your fabulousness.

    Link Parties are a great way to promote your blog, if you have one,
    and get to know lots of other gorgeous blogs.
    Feel free to email me any questions you have. 
    You're TOTALLY on my guest list, y'see.
    I'm in! You in?
    Can you tell I'm super over- excited? 

    Tomorrow, I'll be kicking this off for realz.
    {I've always wanted to say that...I need help}

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    Friday, 17 June 2011

    How To Conquer Kitchen Shelving: Part 2 and Link Party Announcement


     Shelves in the kitchen,
    don't they look bitchin'?
    {Geddit?}


    That'll be my last rap effort on 
    Modern Country Style.
    Probably.

    And don't think I can't hear your sighs of relief from here.

    I hear them. 
    Loud and clear.
    Loud and clear.

    In return, I think it's only fair for me to ask 
    for another nose around your house.
    Um, I mean another link party. 

    I'm calling for your 'Kitchen Favourites'. 
    Everyone has a favourite spot in their kitchen, 
    or a favourite item, or a favourite feature. 
    Or even something that you'd love in the future.
    What is it and why? 
    I want to know.

    The party will be next Thursday 23rd June.
    I can't wait to see what loveliness you have to share.


    My serving suggestion number two for Kitchen Shelves 
    is stick to displaying the things that are used regularly. 
    That way, they'll receive regular washing and won't have a chance 
    to build up that charming layer of greasy dirt. 
    Bleurgh.

    Here's how *not* to do it.


    This is a classic example of a kitchen that looks utterly fabulous in a photo shoot but I just can't see how it would work in real life. 
    A big fat no from me.

    If you want any kind of life away from cleaning 
    then the way forward for shelves in the kitchen is 
    to stick to displaying things that are constantly in use.


    Lovely.



    Images via 4InteriorDesign, Unknown, Unknown, Ideal Home

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    Thursday, 16 June 2011

    Open Shelving Serving Suggestion Numero Uno



    Open Shelving........Shall we get to the nub of the matter? 
    D:U:S:T

    {Truthfully, have you ever seen the word 
    made to look so prettified?!}

    And not just any old dust. 
    Greasy grimy dust.

    Not nice. But true.

    It's certainly an obstacle.
    But by no means one that's 
    insurmountable.

    When we were planning our Open Shelving for the kitchen, my ponderings brought me along this line of thinking and I came up with some rather lovely ways round the problem.

    Wanna hear?
    If the answer's yes then gaze intently at your screen....
    are you looking extra-stunning just for me?

    Just what I like to see.......
    ;-)

    I'll start with the easiest rule: 
    if you're wanting the look of open shelving 
    but can't bear the cleaning then consider glazed units.


    Doesn't this picture look GORGEOUS?

    I love it.

    Did I mention gorgeous?
    Did I mention glazed units?

    Mmmm.....


    Image via Riviera Maison

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