Industrial Chic....Yes or No?

We currently find ourselves at various stages of completion in our home....
I spent a day looking for Victorian fireplaces last week in order to finally finish our living room, which is almost done apart from a couple of coats of paint.

The loft conversion will, fingers crossed, begin at the beginning of January.

A new kitchen of some sort, probably not the planned extension though, will hopefully begin in the spring.

I've been working this year with wallpaper manufacturer Graham & Brown, discusssing & exploring various design trends....this month I am focusing on the "industrial trend".
If you had told me about five years ago, that I would be considering incorporating elements of this trend into my home, I probably wouldn't have believed you since it can seem harsh & cold, not generally the look I go for in my home.

But industrial can mean all kinds of things....
it can be a stripped back simplicity, greys & dark blues, possibly a neutral palette. 
Metallic shades, wallpaper & lighting - all of which I love.

It can mean turning industrial objects such as copper piping, wire or bare lightbulbs into the most fantastic every day items, things of beauty, functional items which both fit in seamlessly & create a talking point. 

For the loft I am hoping to leave the walls at either end of the room as exposed brick which I can 
then paint white, it's an industrial look that I love.

Our hallway will feature various shades of grey which I've chosen from the Graham & Brown website, they have a fabulous choice...I love grey since it can create so many different moods, be it industrial, Scandi-chic or just simple elegance.

Our house is Victorian so some rooms need to be cosy & warm....
I found two beautiful fireplaces at auction, they arrived yesterday & I am already loving the difference that the cast iron makes, it adds a very different quality to the feel of the room.

I am thinking of interesting industrial style lighting in the kitchen, it will probably be the most modern space in the house, with a large glass wall, white units & plenty of stainless steel.

As with any design trend, it's about adapting it to your own environment....
is the industrial look your cup of tea?     

industrial style storage unit via here

basket pendant lights via here

clock & grey paint via Graham & Brown  

This post is written as part of an ongoing collaboration with Graham & Brown, all thoughts, opinions & words are my own.

Autumn Colours, Insomnia, Overthinking & An Awful Lot of Procrastination.

So what have I been doing with myself? 
Thinking and procrastinating. Procrastinating and thinking.

It's been slightly better this past week or so but during the last few months, I've had the worst insomnia....
the world is a bizarre place from 2-5am....
it's quiet in that you feel as though you're the only person awake, it's deafening in that your mind thinks all the thoughts, you can't shut it up.

I began to dread the nights, knowing that hours of tossing & turning lay ahead of me.

Sometimes I get up & read, I try not to reach for my iPad knowing that I'll never get back to sleep that way....sometimes I just try to think calm, happy soothing thoughts.

I have some things that I'm sad about....
although strangely, the stillness of the night is sometimes comforting in that respect....
it's the plans & all the other middle-of-the-night meanderings of my mind that can be troubling. 

I write emails/texts/blogposts in my head, compose conversations, make & remake plans....

And then daylight arrives and the world seems normal-ish again.

I have some plans for this next year....I know what I want to do but - for whatever reason - I am putting it off.
I want to do a course which will (hopefully) lead to a brand new career....
I got all the details, discussed it with friends in the same field of work, did a one day induction course - then put off booking the next stage of study & missed the entry date. Fast forward a few more months & I've now missed the next start date.....procrastination at its very finest!

Why do we do this, why am I doing this
Someone much wiser than me, would probably say that I'm nervous, unsure, doubting myself, scared.....I have no idea why.

Feel the fear & do it anyway.

I want to get in shape, get back in shape, I think about it a lot....I have done very little nothing about this issue.

Talk. Think. Plan. ACTION.

Just flippin' well do it!!

I eventually went to the doctor because I've been feeling rubbish....tests showed that I am totally healthy & normal. Hoorah....I think.

I just need to commit, book the course, make the phone call/s, start walking/classes/the gym/eating well....what am I waiting for?

Our house renovations rumble on....
we have now borrowed what we hope is enough money to enable us to finish everything.
We're at the stage where we just want everything to be done.....our make-do/temporary sleeping situation is no longer fun, funny or tenable, the kitchen is driving me nuts & the long to-do list seems to be getting longer not shorter. 
Deadlines need to be set, work finished & decisions made.
Let's do this.

Autumn in London has been SO completely & gloriously beautiful this year, I've never noticed the trees & leaves so colourful or so dazzling before.....I've been completely in awe of it.

Definitely my favourite season, right now the pavements are covered with leaves, my wardrobe is full of knitwear & I'd make soup every day of the week if I could get my family to eat it every day!

Onwards & upwards, happy November!

Book Love at HomeSense.

 HomeSense is a fairly recent discovery for me but one that I'm absolutely loving, finding new items for house & home every time I go there.

It's hard to pick a favourite but possibly my favourite section is the book aisle/s.

I once went to a Mexican supper club at a gorgeous home in a very trendy Islington square - the dinner took place in a basement kitchen where the owner/host had not one but four floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with cookery books - it was a dazzling selection, one I don't think I'll ever see equalled or surpassed.

Every HomeSense store that I've visited has at least one or two aisles of books, many of them are cookery books but as you can see from these photos, they have plenty of other coffee table/hardback books too.

I do have a weakness for cookery books, I can't resist them - and as everything at HomeSense is vastly reduced, I don't think any of the books pictured cost more than £6.99 - it does rather make buying one or four slightly more acceptable!

   This is post is written in collaboration with HomeSense, all words/content/thoughts/purchases my own.

Sponsored Video : M&S Presents "The Art Of...."

When I was young, I wasn't allowed to watch a great deal of television but on the occasions that we did, my mother would always turn off the adverts or send us out of the room!
We laugh about it now & she says that she didn't want us brainwashed by advertising....or asking her for endless toys etc.

These days if I'm watching television, advert time usually means time to get up & make a cup of tea or do something else very quickly.

I do love a clever ad though & have really enjoyed the TV advertising campaigns from M&S over the past year or so. 
Food photography is so tricky to get right but in their "Adventures in Food" campaign last year, we got to watch the tantalisingly delicious M&S food ads....
colours so good that you could almost taste the food!

Likewise, their fashion ads....
from a previous campaign which featured dozens of windows & balconies occupied by dozens of models wearing gorgeously colourful M&S clothes to the current "The Art of....", their latest campaign.

The Art of....texture, transformation, toddling, style, wool, comfort & (as seen in the video below)....."disguise".

The Art of....focuses on fashion, focusing on style & quality, something that Marks & Spencer has always been known & loved for.
The TV ads focus on the manufacturing process, the design & the unique look that makes this good old British brand instantly recognisable & such a staple in so many wardrobes, year after year.

There can't be many people who don't own a drawerful of  M&S underwear/lingerie & their brilliantly designed ShapeWear & Magicwear is a must, the range is huge.
Pretty & practical it promises to "smooth & lift, sculpt & flatter", who can say no to that?   

This post is sponsored by Marks & Spencer, all words & opinions are my own. 
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