Tuesday, 27 August 2013


Look what we did on the weekend:

Busy weren't we. Wallpapering. With Anna Spiro for Porter's Paints beautiful, hand drawn, 'Rosey Posey Trellis'. Notice the arch and all those door openings. All I can say is thank goodness my husband knew what he was doing.....he'd wallpapered his bedroom....when he was thirteen. We may have stayed up just a little bit late on Saturday night and at times on Sunday the pattern became almost the quest to join the dots. We got there in the end..... at around about half ten on Sunday night. I really love how it's turned out, it's totally transformed the area at the top of the stairs and it works so well with the toile sofa and Persian rugs which were already in situ.

Being just over 100 years old, our house has myriad elements which scream 'olde worlde, dark and fusty' yet cleverly, this wallpaper has taken all of that on board and now announces that it is unapologetically all of the above and that it's also the home of a 21st century family......don't you think?

I couldn't help myself and instagrammed one of the above photos.....imagine my excitement when it elicited the following comment from Anna Spiro herself....'Well look at that! I think this is my favourite use of my wallpaper yet!' Exciting.

After much deliberation, I am about to order a Designer's Guild velvet to cover the chair that I nearly had reupholstered last year in blush pink. To tie in with this space, I'm thinking that I might go emerald green with a dark blue trim (which also, coincidentally, happens to be Rupert Campbell - Black's racing colours in reverse):

Although I was also momentarily toying with mauve:

Both colours are featured in the nearby window, yet wouldn't be too outrageously matchy - matchy and would provide a pop of colour against the blue:

Or should I just go with hot pink.....Anna, if you're reading?

Serendipidously, over the weekend, I'd put the Jilly Cooper novel down and happened to be flicking through this book 'David Hicks: A Life of Design':

It is such an inspirational read when you are tizzing up your own many ideas. I can't wait to flagrantly steal this look.....when I finally get around to taking my pile of framing in, I will be asking for different coloured picture mounts.....a la David Hicks circa 1953:

This book is a visual feast of images of the late David Hicks' work, flavoured with stories about his fabulous life. It was written by his son, Ashley, whom you might remember showed our gardening tour around his parents garden at 'The Grove' back in the torrential rain:

I subsequently looked up Ashley Hicks on Wikipedia (as you do) and was surprised that it claimed that he avoided the fateful boat trip in Ireland....the one where the boat was blown up by the IRA killing his grandfather, Lord Mountbatten, his cousin and a local teenager, because, and I quote.....'I didn't go on the boat because I went to buy some cigarettes'. I wonder if it's true.

Anyway, back to the book about his father.....I loved the story about how proud David Hicks was to have his 13 year old daughter, India, participate as a bridesmaid at the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and  Lady Diana proud that he had the wreath of flowers that she wore on her head, dried, framed in perspex and put on display at his home.

I was also seriously impressed with David Hicks' drinks table...check it out:

This, in stark contrast, is ours:

It's so dry that it even has an orchid growing in the champagne bucket. Addled by jet lag, we did momentarily think about stocking up on spirits duty free on our re entry into the country, however, remembered just in the nick of time that we'd already used our booze limit to bring in Chateauneuf du Pape.

Having read what David Hicks wrote about an under stocked drinks table...'it not only looks mean, but is visually meaningless (harsh words)...I like rows and rows...and several back up bottles of gives a generous, welcoming atmosphere, and if a bus load of friends does descend on you, you are ready for them'. I might have to drop in to the bottle shop on the way to do the school run.



  1. Oh I LOVE the wallpaper - looks fabulous, and it's surely your favourite spot in the house now. I think you should go with green... throw the pink in on cushions maybe. I'm so impressed you put it up yourself too. Wallpaper is so tricky. My goodness you have been busy in the couple of weeks since your return, did you find that you walked into your house with fresh eyes? I always love (and hate) that part of reentry to the house, when you suddenly see it as a stranger does.
    Your drinks table does look a bit lacklustre. You definitely need to take a leaf out of our book... I've actually removed the three (each!) backup bottles of Pimms, Gin and Aperol Spritz as it appears my husband has a complete panic that we may run out (and of course we can supply vodka, whiskey, rum, brandy, campari, Grand Marnier, Baileys and a bunch of other things at a moments notice). I was concerned the drinks table might collapse.
    Am slightly concerned that David Hicks is responsible for the generation of women who now freeze dry and frame their bridal bouquets..... xx

  2. Hang on, arent you still jetlagged? You put the rest of us to shame...The wallpaper looks bloody amazing. I don't know what it looked like before but it seems to make everything come alive - including the arches. I am with Heidi, green seems a go-er. David Hicks is such a legend. I think the story about the ciggies probably is true - life is like that sometimes. Your drinks trolley is nice but maybe replace the orchid with a hard scotch a la Mad Men? :)

  3. Hi Romy, was great to meet you yesterday! Your wall looks amazing. I'm a terrible decision maker so goodness knows what colour I'd choose. A salmon pink would look great against that blue as well, just to confuse you more :)
    That window is amazing. Our home is just over 100 years old as well, but looks very different to yours. I do love the character of an old home.
    Sarah x

  4. Dear Romy

    I luff the walls and luff that book too. The coloured mounts are genius. Is that a Jan Constantine Cushion I see?

    You are a wallpapering wizz.

    I know Anna Spiro. She once came to our fireworks party. And E bought a car from her husband. True Story. All the nicest stuff in the house has been sourced from her lovely shoppe.

    Meanwhile MUST BOOK FLIGHTS!!!!!!!!

    My sister is here from Honkers. Tres happy re this xxxxx

  5. Oh Romy - I absolutely love this. I'm so inspired. I love it - um, I said that already...

    I am such a rare and lazy blog commenter these days - usually read on ipad which freezes up when I try to comment. I have a very blue and white and wooden floorboarded family room in our new home and have been shopping for persians (without much energy). You have sealed the deal with your gorgeous new landing.

    Husband has been a little unresponsive as I shoved your pics under his nose (three times). I am ignoring his lack of enthusiasm and going shopping! Wallpapering would kill him... you have a keeper in your husband.

    Hope you're enjoying the return home to Hobart. I must admit I'm much less envious of your insta feed on my train journeys to work. It was a little hard at times...!

    Ann x

    (Please just know that as rare as my comments are, I read everything you write and always enjoy it!)

  6. Romy! OMG. love, love, love all of this. you described this space so well to me but these pictures are just incredible. Just brilliant. I think you cannot go wrong with hot pink or the green either will be gorgeous. and btw am loving the wallpaper and drinks cart. is that the imperial trellis we talked about? so good. am dying to see more of your beautiful home.

    as having met david hicks (how insane is that statement) i think he probably was out buying cigarettes.


  7. Isn't it funny? Ashley Hicks liked a photo of mine on Instagram so I start reading into the family's life a little as well. I've always loved David Hicks work!

    Oh, and your wallpaper is completely gorgeous - incredible job doing that yourself! xx

    Anna (My Design Ethos)

  8. I so love what you have done ! I am doing pink for feature wall. Will post so you can see. Good way to immerse yourself back to Hobart . Remember you are still in a city

  9. Romy, this looks fabulous. Well done you two and welcome home belatedly. I am using this Anna Spiro wallpaper in pink as a feature in my home refurb . I will send you a pic in a month or so when finished. The insane husband also wallpapered his bedroom in black and white at 15 so maybe he too, can reprise his skills. No wonder garden tour members got on so well…we all love the same things. Scarves (three of them) going gang busters thanks to you . Hope all well with les infants and you xx


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