This n' That ........ Decking, Kitchen Table Makeover and more ......


Hello There

I hope you're all enjoying what remains of the weekend - it's a bit grey and dreary here in Ireland at the minute :(

When we were in Paris a couple of weeks ago, I smiled when our lovely French guide commented on the fact that English people talk a lot about the weather - true btw !! Whereas the French apparently love to make idle chit chat about politics !! I loved her somewhat indiscreet comment about how Monsieur Hollande is sometimes known in Paris as "Guimauve" - roughly translated, it means "marshmallow" :)

Anyway - as the title suggests, there's a little bit of everything in this post .......

Here go's :-


Lots of discussion these days in this household about the back garden !! Having completely gutted and renovated the interior and exterior of our present home, we ran out of steam when it came to the garden - but it's now time to get stuck in. We added lots of weatherboard cladding to the exterior walls - I'm no expert in garden design but I reckon a large wooden deck would really suit the style of the house.

Only problem is that because we live in a slightly damp climate - sorry it's the weather discussion thing again ...... anyway, a standard timber deck might need quite a bit of maintenance and up-keep - and time is one thing we don't seem to have much of I'm afraid !!!

So I think we are going to go for this 're-constituted' stuff .....

It's kind of 'spendy' - but apparently it's non slip and maintenance free. I must say, I was most impressed with the realistic weathered grained finish.

Rather than adding a little fence around the deck, I think we'll leave it open for a "free flow" effect - and we'll plant big banks of white Hydrangea all along the base - kind of Hamptons style !! 

I have a little dream of sitting on an Adirondack chair, enjoying a coffee and the Sunday papers :) Dreaming is good for the soul !!!

I'll keep you posted on progress.

Kitchen Table Makeover

We have had our old French refectory table for years - its a bit 'coggily' but I really like it - it's a great shape and size .....the only thing I wasn't keen on was the colour of the pine top - it was a bit yellow/orange.

A few weeks ago, when we were planning a magazine photoshoot of the house (to appear in Country Homes and Interiors) - I decided to bite the bullet and paint the top.

The first attempt - using the ubiquitous Annie Sloan paint - didn't really work for some reason. I know the AS paint can look really great, especially for a vintage look, but the colour and texture just didn't seem to suit the rest of the decor here - so I sanded it all down. Phew - what a mess !!! It isn't called "chalk" paint for nothing. Mind you, it made a brilliant undercoat !!! Anyway, after that, I used Fired Earth water based eggshell in 'Bone White'.

The colour was perfect - but the finish was a little bit too 'perfect' for such an old table.

So I "duffed it up" a bit by sanding the edges ... that helped - but I still felt the top looked too plain - so I had a brain wave and "scored" lines to create the effect of wide planks. The paint hadn't fully hardened so it was easy to do this using a big ruler and a screwdriver.



I love the overall effect - and just to give you a sneak preview of the dining area as it will appear in the magazine ... here go's ....

Needless to say, I couldn't resist using some of our gorgeous new Lene Bjerre stock :)

Incidentally, I thought I might have had to add a coat of clear matt varnish to the table top to make it durable - but so far, it's been holding up very well.

Contrary Jeans !!!!! I

Am I the only person in this world who absolutely hates buying jeans - squeezing into small changing rooms, getting all hot and bothered - just horrible !!!

Sooooo -  you eventually find a pair that seem to fit and which don't make your derriere look too gargantuan - deal done - phew ..... you can toddle off gripping your carrier bag and meet your Chums for a coffee !!

But you know what's coming next Ladies don't you  - you wash the darn things and they shrink - and I'm honestly not using that as an excuse for putting on a few pounds ..... it's the fact that the legs shrink in too .... and become the sort of skinny jeans that only teenagers can wear !!!

So next time you think - "aha - I know ..... I'll buy them on the roomy side to allow for shrinkage" - but I bet you know once again what is coming next Ladies - will these ones shrink ??? No Sirreeee - not one millimetre !!!!!

Am I the only person who has several pairs of jeans and none of them fit ???

An Exciting Purchase

I can't say too much right now in case it all falls through - but Himself and I have placed an offer on a modest little apartment "far far away" - and it's been accepted :) I'll keep you posted.

This little empty rocky cove hopefully has our name on it :)

Right, I'm off.

Take Care

Marie x