Janice Issitt                    Life and Style

travel, interiors, photography, home, crafts, personal style

5 Aug 2015

Seaside colours - DIY Kitchen ideas

Where I live in Buckinghamshire is about as far from the coast as anywhere you can get. Is it any wonder then, that during August I long for the seaside, maybe because as a youngster my Dad would pack me and Mum off to Broadstairs for the school holidays to stay in his Uncle Toms guest house, right next door to Oliver Postgate's house on Chandos Square.  Yes, it was the sixties, ice cream parlours in shades of pastel, donkey rides, sand castles and the gift shops, with things made from shells.

So this week, when it seems like the world and his wife have gone to Cornwall, or some other cool resort in the UK or abroad, I've been hankering for the colours of the seaside.

This is also my birthday month and so often August treats are trips to the coast and a few extravagant purchases. These often take the form of something for the home, the first time I did this was my fridge freezer ..... the pale blue SMEG

When we moved to this house a lot needed doing to update it. As Im not much of a cook and neither is the other half, the kitchen was a dilema, I didn't want to spend lots of money on it, also the units were wood and it seemed a shame to rip them out. The kitchen isn't very big but for us its totally sufficient, and, at the end of the day, it really is just a home for pretty kitchenalia.  Oh yes, not being able to cook doesn't damper the spirit for collecting associated objects.

Actually, I think that the lack of ability to create gourmet food can be balanced with presentation, its smoke and mirrors at my dinner parties.

Last month my kettle broke, and I was getting fed up with our cheapish toaster which looked nice, but took forever to toast the bread for some reason. 

I had a look around for a nice kettle only to discover that SMEG do beautiful ones, and, of course, I also learnt they do gorgeous toasters too.  

Why is it that whenever you get something new and shiny it shows up how tired its surroundings are.  We had painted the kitchen cupboards in a few different colours, quite muted but with different coloured knobs on each cupboard. The top cupboards in a classic Farrow and Ball white (Pointing I think), still looked good and throws the light around the room but the bottom units were a bit dull in comparison to the new appliances so I mixed up a few different paints to zshusch them up.

Since working with Annie Sloan Chalk Paints as a Painter In Residence, I find that barely a day goes by without me painting something.  Often a backdrop for photos where I like to see how different colours work together, and sometimes on walls and furniture.

On one side of the kitchen where I now have my swanky new Nutribullet in purple, I have painted the bottom units with red details and stencils for a folk look. Choosing some different knobs from Anthropolgie to add the finishing details.

On the other side of the kitchen where the new SMEG kettle and toaster sit, I brightened up the units with a variation of paints that I mixed myself. Using up leftovers and tester pots. 

While I was painting the kitchen one morning over breakfast, I was taken to thinking about Vanessa Bell, having just watched the new tv show about the Bloomsbury Set "Life In Squares". 

I spend a lot of time on instagram, posting photos of colourful inspiration, and as it has a square format I started to think that my life is in squares too. Annie Sloan was kind enough to say that my style was reminiscent of The Bloomsbury Painters, in that every surface of my home is painted and decorated. As these were the first true bohemians I can see why my style is considered Bohemian Chic.

I snapped this through the window at Charleston House, home of Vanessa Bell

The other half bought me a Nutribullet and I started to use it this week.  I was sceptical but a few friends raved about it so, Im giving it a go and so far so good, I feel slimmer, less bloated and have a bit more energy.  

Nothing adds a splash of colour to the kitchen like a fruit bowl full to the brim. 

I may try to post a few of my favourite nutribullet drink combinations, so far I definitely like to add almond milk in the morning with some porridge oats and dates. 

If your kitchen needs a spruce up and the kitchen cupboard doors are wood, or wood veneer, then perhaps think about painting them. I find that Farrow & Ball paint lasts very well and can be wiped down, but you will need to prime and undercoat well before using it. 

Chalk Paint is a quicker fix but has to be well waxed to protect it from splashes and spills. If you clean a lot then the chalk paint may not be the best if you want to scrub it regularly.

I'm now looking at the Amara site for ideas about what else would look good, perhaps a Delonghi Espresso maker in pale blue ... mmm
also some new linens like the animal prints from Thornback & Peel.

I have a pinterest board for Bloomsbury Painters and styles over at https://www.pinterest.com/JaniceIssitt/bloomsbury-art-styles/

Here you can see the work of Vanessa Bell and the home where she lived called Charleston House. 

Next week I may not be blogging as its my birthday and Im going to Amsterdam.  I will of course be taking lots of photos there and Im keeping an open mind about what I will find to report back on, but I have a suspicion there will be some tattoos and flea markets covered.

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