Monday, 21 May 2012

Pedlars open a pub

Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, the stylish owners of Pedlars have opened a pub in Wales, the Glynne Arms

As regular readers may know, I've worked on a soon-to-be-published book with the couple, The Pedlars Guide to the Great Outdoors, and they told me about the pub at our last meeting at our publishers, when they were still knee-deep in renovations of the 200-year-old building in Hawarden. Knowing them, I knew it would be beautifully done. Here you can see for yourselves – there are even a few ideas to steal for the home...

I really like the arrangement of mirrors on the back wall. It's a nice approach to mis-matching which, when done well, always has some sort of order to it when you look hard enough. Here, it is in the line invisible line the mirrors sit upon, and the old signage that stretches the length of them, both of which act as a frame. And together with the symmetry of the paired wall-lights the effect is calming rather than chaotic, but without dull, matchy-matchy uniformity. The same goes for the battered oar collection on the right; grouping things together provides unity, but they're much more interesting visually when those things themselves are each unique and imperfect.

For parquet floors, if you are investing do try McKay Flooring whose owner, Richard, is a floor nerd who writes a (surprisingly interesting) blog on the topic. They sell reclaimed parquet, which is affordable, but the fixing is the expensive bit as it needs a specialist. Alternatively, for cheaper but still nice-looking parquet (£24.50 per square metre), Flooring Supplies is worth a look.


I love this striking trompe l'oeil wallpaper, "Lumberjack" from Andrew Martin's Engineer range, available from Rockett St George at £69.90 per roll. And isn't it refreshing to see a refurbished pub ditching the now ubiquitous bold, floral designs?


Green – from the cool side of the colour wheel – is a good, relaxing shade to dine by. Though it wouldn't be if it was all the colour of the cupboard on the left or the floor, but these accents of a stronger shade cleverly add interest and depth used sparingly. It can get overwhelming choosing paint colours, and over-thinking it can only make things harder. I'm all for gut-feelings, which require no training: when your tester is on the wall, what emotion does it provoke – whether it makes you feel relaxed, like dancing or like shouting, tap into that and think about how appropriate those feelings are to the room you're painting.

Another excellent way to make mis-matching work: that this garden furniture is all the same type, makes it comfortable to be around in such a variety of different colours. And gardens are so often victim to traditional outdoor furniture: plain colours or wood finishes – but you create a much more interesting space by deviating from expectation. I love this garden; it's got me thinking that rather than varnishing my battered wooden garden tables and chairs, perhaps this summer I'll instead use up some vibrant tester pots (and then varnish them, so it stays in place).

This is a small touch that nevertheless takes confidence: randomly positioned posters, pasted to a wall and then fixing the clock and lights over, rather than nervously around, the new display. But that lack of fear is a great thing to embrace, as experimentation often creates the most interesting homes. And if you don't like it, you can always change it – but better to try it in the first place. This effect could be recreated with sheets of newspaper (a friend used a series of posters the Guardian produced a few years ago), or you could try some Cavallini wrapping paper.

The exterior of the 200-year-old building. I shall check, but the door and windows look like Farrow and Ball's Arsenic.





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