Style

Any good foodie will tell you, the number one destination in London for luxury food goods and gifts has to be Fortnum & Mason. In business for over 300 years, their hampers are iconic and rightly so.

Jam packed full of delicious, carefully selected food items, they make the perfect gift at Christmas. The fantastic baskets which they are delivered in, boldly printed with F&M, can also be used as storage at home for many years to come.

We were sent a lovely little hamper from Fortnum and Mason, full of delicious treats for a decadent afternoon: Chocolates, Champagne, three different tea blends and some delicious strawberry jam (pass the scones please!).

Putting my Fortnum & Mason hamper to good use, I decided to use it as storage in my new bathroom. It’s a small space so we’ve cut down on the amount of cupboards we have in order to help create a more spacious feel. Still we have items that need putting away so this little hamper was ideal.

Flannels, soap, sponges and bath oils now have a luxurious new home in the bathroom. They are neatly packed away and yet easily accessible at the same time. Perfect!

For more ideas and inspiration on how to use your Fortnum & Mason hamper check out my Pinterest board.

Thank you to Fortnum & Mason for our lovely little hamper. Look forward to celebrating Christmas with you again this year!

As you know I absolutely love old houses. The charm, character and details are something that you struggle to recreate in a newer property. Yet buying a period property can be a daunting process. Damp, damming building surveys and finding asbestos in your period property, can put a serious downer on buying the home you’ve fallen in love with.

When we first bought our house, an Edwardian property from around 1910, it was a condition of the mortgage offer that we have a building survey. Obviously this is something we would have wanted to undertake anyway, to rule out any serious potential problems that would cost a lot of money to fix later down the line.

Terrifying building surveys

When we received the results of the building survey we were shocked. I’m not actually joking when I say pretty much everything that could be wrong with a house was listed in the building report. It was a very, very long list dotted with terrifying words like… leaking, damp, woodworm, asbestos. Initially reading through the report made our hearts ache, how could we take on this sinking ship?

After a stiff drink we decided to calmly read the report again. It seemed that rather than clarifying that the house had all these issues, the company who carried out the survey had basically created a list of all the things that ‘could’ be wrong with a period property, to cover themselves. Sure the house could have rising damp (but it doesn’t), it could have a leaking roof (but it doesn’t) and it could have woodworm (again, it definitely doesn’t!).

There are plenty of issues that could have potentially been wrong with the house. But none of the problems flagged up were actual problems present in OUR house. All apart from asbestos.

Finding asbestos in your period property

We had heard of asbestos. It’s a type of insulation that was used in construction throughout the 20th century until it was eventually banned in 1999. It was discovered that inhalation of asbestos fibres could cause serious and potentially fatal health issues such as lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. For more information about asbestos and asbestos related illnesses please visit http://www.yourlegalfriend.com

It wasn’t something we were going to leave to chance. We’d heard of people removing the asbestos themselves, burying it in the garden and such stories. With small children it was just not something we were prepared to risk.

We got an expert asbestos removal company to come, before we moved in, and assess the house. They also identified a few places where asbestos was lurking. These were mainly in the outbuildings (like the garage roof), which is very common. We booked in a removal date and the team came and removed the asbestos, taking it with them to dispose of correctly.

We moved in about a month later, knowing that there were no nasty surprises waiting for us. Well apart from twenty layers of wallpaper and small spider armies!

This post was written in collaboration with My Legal Friend. Thank you for supporting Lish Concepts.

 


We’ve nearly finished decorating upstairs, although a few last finishing touches seem to be lingering. I blame Love Island!

In my mind I’ve already moved on to thinking about decorating the living room. I’m so excited to get started in there as it’s the first room you arrive at in the house. I will feel really proud to have a completed, cosy room to welcome people into instead of offering excuses as to why it looks like it does.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s already a gorgeous period room, it just hasn’t been decorated…. yet! A large five paned bay window lets in loads of sunlight and we are planning on having shutters put up to match upstairs. A period fireplace sits grandly between two alcoves and we’ve uncovered the wooden floors which will be sanded back. The whole look and feel of the room lends itself to a classic look but we will want to add a slight modern twist.

We’ve been talking about having dark blue or even black as the wall colour. Although I’m normally one for lighter colours like grey and white, we fancy a bit of a change and think it will work well in the space.

I’ve been working on creating a mood board for the kind of look we want to pull together. I find it is a really good way to get an impression of the entire room, acting as a useful guide when hitting the shops for accessories and soft furnishings.

The sofa is of course the central point for the living room so we need to get that choice right. Our sofa has really seen better days although we’ve only had it for two years!! It’s a kind of woven oatmeal colour fabric and although I thought it would be forgiving, between the dog, two adults and two children, we’ve managed to destroy it.

I’m desperate to find a sofa that is going to be able to withstand the wear and tear of two children a little better than this one has. I’m thinking leather is the way to go and as I’ve always loved brown leather sofas I think this will be what we settle on. Classic, timeless and durable, I think they work in period rooms as well as in a more modern setting. Perfect for us!

Currently we are undecided as to whether we would want a brown leather corner sofa or a leather sofa and an armchair combination. I’ve been looking on Darlings of Chelsea who have some exquisite luxurious leather sofas in a range of shapes that I really like. I’ve opted to use their Kingly sofa as the basis of my mood board design as I think it combines the classic robust luxury of a leather sofa with a modern twist which is the way I’d like the room design to go.

I don’t know about you but I’m a little bit in love with this moodboard. The mix of the leather, washed out navy and black and white looks stylish, crisp and modern. I’d love to add some Moroccan accents like a Beni Ourain rug and some cushions as a nod to global fusion / travel inspiration and I’ve always had a love of cool black and white photography. Now just to run it past my beloved!

This post is written in collaboration with Darlings of Chelsea. Thank you for supporting Lish Concepts!

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