Friday, 14 June 2013

Introducing... A Place Called Home, by Jason Grant

We've just moved bedrooms and there's now a trail of furniture to swap about and all sorts of things to be looked at with fresh eyes – but no budget for buying anything new. So I'm most inspired by a beautiful book just out last week, A Place Called Home, by Australian stylist Jason Grant (Hardie Grant).

It's perfect since the ideas – presented with barely any accompanying text – are all about sprucing your home without spending much: there are some crazy-simple furniture pimping ideas (though not labelled 'upcycling' which is refreshing), some ideas involving cheap, plastic kids' toys (my favourite) and lots of other very basic but creative instant perks. Here are my favourite...

All my kitchen table chairs are painted white, as are the table legs. It looks good against the concrete-grey vinyl floor. But they're a bit grubby and a change is coming to the kitchen in other ways – and mixing up the chairs a bit, maybe painting one or two would give the space a whole new style.

Blue is a brilliant colour for bedrooms. Restful and airy. And if you have a paintable bedhead, it's an nice way to get some into your sleeping space. This simply dressed bed just looks lovely.

Oh yes. Plastic animals. I have a toy horse balanced on a chunky light switch already. It's possibly my favourite spot to look at in the whole house, and always makes me smile. But how great to expand the idea – and create an instant feature on the top of a picture frame. I just love this. And it's a bit weird. Not everyone will like it. Perhaps it's not very sophisticated or grown up. Which is perfect, as nor am I.

A tired old-man chair: picture it without the sparky cushion... it could be that chair you keep meaning to re-uphoster but can't quite rustle up the cash for the job. It could be the comfy chair that looks a bit drab and makes you think you need to one day buy a proper new one... but, again, there are more important things to buy. How great to see what a massive and lovely-looking difference a simple cushion can make – one that contrasts pointedly is the key. And golden brown with turquoise? A dreamy combo don't you think?

By the way, those clean white shelves repeated on the wall – in case you don't recognise them – are from Ikea. How easy to de-Ikea things with some personalising paint. And it's a cheap way to create good-looking display stands for books with good covers or small framed pictures or large loose photos.

Matching flowers and a big trad vase are over-rated. I love this random collection of bottles – some still with visible branding and labels – with stray stems on the go. No need to fork out for enough blooms to make a bunch.

A Place Called Home is by Jason Grant and published by Hardie Grant books (£25 hardback). You can also check out Jason's blog.



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