Decorating with Shoe-String Style….

Josef taking a look around the newly-styled and decorated utility room

Flipping through the pages of House Beautiful and Veranda magazine fills me with a pleasure induced euphoria which soothes my soul and tells me that all is right with the world. Living in a house where I had removed interior walls, pulled down ceilings leaving electrical cables hanging down and pits in the floor where walls used to be tends to have the opposite effect. I became a demolition crazed lady when my husband moved out. Not for me a cathartic re-painting of walls-I knocked them down! I removed a downstairs toilet, 5 interior walls, two ceilings and all the lights in one room alone!

Creating tranquility out of the chaos has taken time, but the house is just beginning to be a rubble-free zone. And yes, in my dream world I would have loved a Chalon kitchen and utility room, but I have shown that it really is possible to create a similar look with some vintage finds, some paint, a few lengths of wallpaper and some quirky style.

Working on a very slender budget means that nothing comes easy, but the results are an individual interior which reflects the people who live there. All the furniture in this room was yellow pine and I ‘pickled’ the table top and painted everything else. Look at it now- the colours just sing!

And how did I ever live without a gate in my house? Just propped against the wall for verve and colour, I LOVE it!

Every room needs a little gate!

Every home needs a little gate!




35 thoughts on “Decorating with Shoe-String Style….

    • Thanks so much Pauline. I was so lucky to be given that lovely wall paper. It gives me a great focal point through the kitchen door. As for Josef, well he does rather take the limelight with his magnificent whiskers! x x

    • Thanks so much Lucy. The pattern on the paper is big and bold, but what might be overpowering on a wall is softer when in a dresser or armoire. I am very excited about it. I feel happy each time I see it!

    • Thanks so much for that Robert. I am a real ‘home-bird’ and like decorating my nest! I do so envy your approach to life, your willingness to move about and travel. So much of who you are comes through your photos. But then the same applies to me I suppose, and my photos show that I don’t travel much further than the crab apple tree in the meadow!

    • It always seems such a shame that I do not have a magic carpet to help all my blogging friends to pop round and see what I am up to. You would be invited. Wouldn’t it be fun?! x x x

      • It would be great fun, Karen! Thanks for the invite. Who knows the way technology is going these days a magic carpet or “beam me up Scottie” type gadget might be on the cards. He, he! xoxoxox

  1. Lovely, lovely..truly your home, Karen. Such style and of course, the gorgeous trifty finds. Well done and I feel it is somewhat symbolic that your house merges form the rubble to become peaceful and traquil and evr so you? I wish lots of positive feelings in your beautiful house that becomes a real Karen-Home!

    • Thank you so much Johanna. I have embarked on a long journey with my refurbishment of the house. Much of it I can not afford to tackle, such as windows which need replacing. But the house is beginning to reflect a little more of ‘me’ now. I am so impatient though and would like a magic wand to finish it more quickly! And I wish it was bigger! I see a new piece of furniture and so fall in love with it…but there is not enough room…

  2. Your home looks so beautiful, so inviting. You have taken so many thoughts about everything and I can see that every little piece has been collected and decorated with so much love, wonderful, Karen. Have a wonderful day and greetings to your cute cats, regards Mitza

  3. Okay, so I think this is the healthiest and most impressive response to a divorce that I have EVER seen! Talk about picking up the pieces! You have a wonderful eye for color and style–it’s all perfection!

    • Thank you so much Kerry, it does feel good to make some changes.
      We spoke the other day of how we like to collect and hoard. Well when I left my business my little home had to absorb 13 years worth of accumulated furniture and stock from the inn and the shop there which had built up over that time. I needed two properties to hold my stash and suddenly, I was reduced to one! I have a big problem letting go of things I like. All the furniture in my re-styled utility room had been ear marked to sell, but, as you can imagine, when I found out what a buyer would pay for it, it was so little that I decided to keep it. Why is it that when I want to BUY a farmhouse table that they are scarce and expensive and yet when I want to sell one….no one wants them anymore. Ah, well, that is the nature of buying and selling. But I am so glad that I kept it all now.
      Incidentally, I checked out your Etsy site the other day and I loved it! All those chocolates and the combination of candies and linen is just gorgeous! I hope you don’t mind, but I was looking at it to get ideas about starting up my own store. I LOVED the fabric with the dancing carrots and the way that you shared your feelings for and the way you source you items. It made it so much more than just a retail experience.
      Anyway, I am working on the idea of letting go some of my treasures. I think it may leave room for new experiences, rather than more china, furniture, haberdashery and linen to come in! I am hoping so… Karen

      • When I was getting started on Etsy, I did tons of looking at other shops, trying to get a sense for what I liked and what I didn’t. So, I’m very pleased to have you looking at my shop for the same reasons. Etsy has changed a lot in just the 3 years since I started–the competition is fierce, especially in handmade jewelry and knitting and crocheting. But vintage seems to do well still! I’ll be interested to follow your progress!

  4. Well done Karen! We’re renovating our mountain retreat and have done the same thing: removed ceilings in the kitchen and bathrooms, striped walls and floors and are now sanding our knotty pine floors which are turning into treasure. So much to do and we are doing most ourselves. We will be replacing all plumbing, kitchen cabinets, sinks, appliances and ditto for our baths. We will be replacing all our windows and doors….the list seems endless but soon we can get to decorating and I can hardly wait. Love what you’ve done to yours. It’s quite adorable and free spirited. Like you! “-)

    • Your message made me so happy! I am so excited to hear about your mountain retreat and the changes you are making there.
      I too sanded my wooden floors, it is quite a task, but it puts real heart and soul into a home.
      I do get tired of being dusty and covered with paint and sometimes it is just great to wash and change and dress like a lady!
      I loved being called ‘free-spirited’, it made my day!

    • Oh, thank you Beth. It is nice in parts, but much of it really puts the shabby into shabby chic! Josef will be very pleased to hear that you consider him handsome, i would tell him, but he is asleep (again).

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