Summer is officially over, our children are settled at university, the nightly Love Island fest in Douglas’s office (nothing to do with him I assure you) is firmly in the past and his office is an absolute mess. The dual purpose ‘Party Central/Beating Heart of our Business’ combination that our beautiful garden building has to serve can be a tricky tightrope I have to say.
It has been half term here this week. Douglas has been decorating the kitchen, I have been doing the accounts and I have taken the opportunity to hoover and dust, sort out the logs, arrange some flowers and generally spread a bit of ‘Hygge’, in preparation for the change in season.I am very pleased with these beautiful wicker baskets that were gifted to me by Bay Tree Interiors and the faux flowers I received.I particularly love the Pussy Willow branches depicted above, they are really useful for styling pale, pared down interiors. I have tried to create an Autumnal arrangement here, and have added some beautiful pumpkins from our local pumpkin farm, Kilduff Farm. I love the sculptural forms and gorgeous colours. A brilliant weekend destination in the run up to halloween by the way – you can pick your own.I decided to tackle this as a proper styling exercise – you know – ‘practice as you preach’. We are due a few visits from some slightly intimidating designers and I wanted to be able to welcome them with a relaxing coffee rather than a frantic apology.
Here it is before – grim!I took this progress shot while I worked on it – I was trying to pretty the place up a bit, but actually there is far too much rammed in and it is all looking a little bit unrealistic.The orchid and peonies had to go – not very autumnal I gurningly had to accept. The giant dried flower arrangement dangerously near the stove had to come out as well, Doug felt (grrrr). Plus, of course, the hoover is still there!I have added a wee pile of books as a finishing touch. No autumn day is complete without a read in my opinion. My latest discovery is author Meg Wolitzer, introduced to me by my favourite Podcast The High Low. Dolly and Pandora explained that Meg was the author of a book that a recent movie I enjoyed, The Wife, starring Glenn Close, was based on. I have to say I am working my way through her novels almost as fast as I did with Liane Moriarty author of the hit TV series Big Little Lies.
I do love books about school gate mums: their dark secrets and hilarious pettiness – a guilty pleasure for me now I am well past that stage. Would not feel quite so comfortable reading about dodgy empty nesters!