Making an entrance into 2017

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

What a nice coincidence that I bring you my 25th Rise of the Roost blog on Christmas Day! I hope you will spend a little time catching up with some some interior design memoirs as you sip your port after your huge gut-filling lunch.

Is it just me, or have you had a shitty year too? 2016 has been blamed for loosing far too many loved celebrities (and wait, there’s still a week left before the year is out for more to go) terror on our streets, travel chaos and then there’s that B word that I’m sick to the back-teeth of hearing. Despite all of that we positively move forward, dust ourselves off and get on with it.

Office Studio renovation continued…

Another positive out of this year is the near-completion of our renovation. Having spent so little time earning cash means that I’ve managed to push my energy into parts of the house. The husband has been tending to clients as I’ve been wallpapering and painting, finishing the office floor by staining and varnishing it, back to its former glory.


The floor in the office/sewing studio was the biggest task to complete. I had so much stuff in the room, it was a case of moving everything around while I stained and varnish one half. Then complete other half over the course of a week.


The hallway was our biggest transformation. That hasn’t been easy with many holes to fill, sand and re-wallpaper. But now with a fresh coat of Valspar’s copy of Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Grey its gone from crack-house to classy abode in just a few months. This was an area of the house that had been so hideously awful for so long, we wondered if we could ever make it nice again. I must say that the impact of walking into a house that looks like shit, day in day out plays all sorts of negativity with your psyche – I felt so much more positive when these walls were put right and we could pass by without feeling depressed. Again Jason had to drop the radiator so I could get behind it to strip off the old wallpaper and add new paper. This area is only going to improve the more we work on it. Here’s where we’re up to so far:

Featured article – An Antique Christmas

London – It has taken some planning to get me here. Tucked behind a posh row of ridiculously expensive shops and down a narrow lane in Richmond lies Petersham nurseries. This garden centre is not the usual place where you’d find your blue rinse clientele, searching for that perfect hyacinth. Petersham prides itself on being the “Calm of London, an Oasis of space, nature and positive living”. But it is much more than that.

It boasts a three month waiting list for a seat in its glorious heated glass conservatory restaurant. The exclusivity of that makes it popular with actors, film directors and writers. There are a couple places to eat – privately tucked away in planted corners, purple flowers cascading over the utilitarian metal furniture. This little piece of Tuscany is the ideal weekend treat to get inspiration. Plants aside – I’m there for the plethora of international antiques and the magnificent artistic displays. As you walk through, you cannot help but casually pick up beautiful household items you don’t really need. It’s no wonder this place has had so much press coverage from Town & Country magazine to Baazar and Vogue Living magazine. If you’re into set or window display design then I’d recommend this place for a visit. Don’t go thinking you can buy any furniture though – those pieces really are at celebrity prices.

Inside one cafe area of Petersham Nurseries. Spiral stairs adored with lace-up wellies to die for. I am in love with these boots, but went away without a pair (they’re about £150.00)

More inspiration follows…..

If you look closely in the mirror photo you’ll see two very naughty ladies that I had to keep under control.

Christmas Cabin fever

Such is the case that when friends come to visit, we go exploring. A month ago I heard of this secret garden Inn through a knowledgeable local and so decided to check it out and try some Mulled wine.

The Lock Inn is a magical place along the Bradford-On-Avon canal route. There are numerous seating options and the bar owners “Dick and Jane” are as part of the charm as the narrow boats and the painted watering cans hanging from the pub ceiling. The public have full access of the garden cabins (you can book these in advance from small groups and up to 10 people) The cabins are heated in winter and have a bell to call the staff to your table. There is also a stationary narrow boat docked outside and a large party tent. Inside you can grab a cosy seat by the fire and enjoy the bar-man’s banter, heavily adorned old advertising signs and props over-head. Its a truly unique and enjoyable place to visit.


And lastly a little personal dedication to our Coco who would have been 13 today. Happy birthday our girl and Merry Christmas to one and all. See you all in the new year for more renovation projects!


Rip, Coco 25th dec 2003 – 07 Dec 2016

norgstar xxx




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