Adding texture and colour with a rug

Hi All,

Hope your mood is better than the weather. It’s pouring down all day in England. Grim!

On days like these, one just wants to cuddle up on a sofa and read. Whilst I was doing so, I remembered that I never wrote to you about our new rugs.

I think the whole room can be transformed with the right rug. I love having wooden floorboards; they look great, but sometimes they might feel a bit cold under feet.

A rug can help with that. It can also add much needed texture to a fairly neutral room and/or a pop of colour.

Adding texture with a rug; textured wool rug; Next rug

For our living room, we found a multi-tonal tuft rug from Next, which helps the room look cosy and welcoming.

Adding colour with a rug; Habitat rug; green rugFor the office room, I wanted something funky and full of colour. I think the green rug from Habitat looks perfect there.

What do you think?

Happy Sunday!




How to display artwork and pictures in your home

Couple of weeks ago, we finally started to fill our walls with pictures. It’s the most satisfying part of decorating your own place. Immediately, you add a personality to your abode.

In our living room, above the sofa, we wanted some sort of gallery wall. We decided to go for the vinyl album covers. We’ve been collecting albums for a good few years. Antique shows and second hand/charity shops are perfect for finding your favourite music from the past or present.

Vinyl albums arrangement

Vinyl album covers gallery wall

Obviously, Queens of the Stone Age are up there as well haha

What I like about framing your favourite album covers is changeability; you can swap them at any time.

Library pictures and cameras above the shelves

In the library, we decided to utilise a space above the shelves to display film-related equipment and memorabilia (it’s primarily my boyfriend’s room, so it was his call).

Plus, we’ve added another old album cover in a corner.

Library album cover

Upstairs, the hallway got a makeover as well. Keeping with a film theme, we decided to create old film stars’ gallery wall. I think the black and white pictures are great. Hope you can name all of the below.

Film stars hallway gallery wall

In the office/second bedroom, it’s all about contemporary art and street art. Above the fireplace, we placed Roy Lichtenstein’s reproduction of Girl with Hair Ribbon, which goes well with our green wall.

Lichtenstein reproduction, pop art

On another wall, we decided to display Steve’s pictures of Banksy’s street art, which we found in London in 2006/07. If you want to see more, please check Stephen Pick Art.

Street art pictures taken in 20062007My top tips for displaying artwork/pictures in your house are:

  • Pick the pictures/paintings/things that mean something to you. Every time you glance at your wall creations, the good memories will pop in your head.
  • Lay them on a floor first to check whether the combination you chose is right/flows nicely. You can use one binding colour or motive if you like, but generally just follow your instinct.
  • You can change it at anytime; so don’t be afraid to experiment with colours, textures and themes.

What do you tend to put on your walls? Have you got any tips about how to do it?


Houseplants for shady rooms

Hello All,

Hope you are looking forward to this weekend. Any interesting plans?

I’d started looking for some new houseplants in January with not much luck. My shelves in the living room looked somehow empty without any greenery. I had a difficulty finding something appropriate as the room is north facing and it’s pretty shady for most of days as we keep our blinds half-closed.

Also, as much as I love having plants indoors, I can be quite forgetful and time-poor, so the low maintenance was the key criteria.

After few months of searching around, I finally came across two options, both purchased at my local garden centre: Palour Palm and Boston Fern.

house plants for shady rooms

You’d be happy to know that both plants are doing fine despite my low effort. To find more about hard to kill houseplants click here.

In the meantime, my friend Kasia gave me her old plant, which I promised to take care of. The only issue is, I have no idea what it is. Any thoughts?

a mystery house plant

At least it’s hard to kill, whatever it’s called. It’s proudly displayed in our library.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Stylish and practical furniture from Unto this last

Hello Dear All,

Can someone stop the rain? I suppose one has got an excuse to lie down, read and relax (big smile).

Just wanted to show you a new addition to our living room from Unto this last. I wrote about them before, and I’m very pleased with my purchase. Especially, that the magazine rack was free (compensation for a delayed order).

Unto this last living room furniture

Do you like what you see? I thought it was a bargain.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Before & After: Living room

Dear All,

Hope you had a lovely Christmas in the company of your family and friends.

As promised, I’ve started working on Before & After posts to summarise our house transformation.

Let’s start with our living room. The next three pictures show you the extent of our makeover.

Living room before we moved inliving room before the work commencedsecretgardenghome living room after

The work included: new gas central heating installation, new sash window, stripping wallpaper, wall replacement (hardcore DIY), replastering, repainting, new wooden flooring…let me catch my breath…new open shelving (thank you George), new furniture…If you want to see more detail, click here.

secretgardenhome living room after makeover

In terms of the colour scheme we went for a mix of white, pebble beach and grey. The sofas came from Habitat and the coffee table and TV unit were made by Unto this last.

Inviting and cosy small living room

In terms of the lighting, the main light is called Kaigami, and the side copper lamps were purchased at John Lewis.

We are almost there with this room now. Just a couple of things to do: putting pictures on the walls (should be fun), getting a small rug (I’ll share my research with you soon), and perhaps a magazine rack.

What do you think? Do you like it? Is there anything we could have done better?

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!


Christmas at secretgardenhome

Good morning/afternoon,

Hope you are having a lovely weekend and not running around shops searching for presents.

We’ve started preparing the house for Christmas as lots of people are coming over to visit. We want the place to look as Christmasy as possible.

Christmas at secretgardenhome

Even the outside is more inviting now after our mini transformation. The whole street got into the Christmas spirit. It looks beautiful!

Xmas window

We got a real tree this year, so I’ll share more pictures later.

How are your preparations for Christmas this year? Are you going for a specific theme?