Pretty in pink
Every room in my cottage starts with a focal point and in the kitchen, everything was created around my pink, Smeg fridge, which I bought about a year after moving in. This was my one, ‘must have’ purchase, so I based all of my other decisions on this. Apart from Milo’s room, it’s the palest room in the cottage, because I felt the kitchen needed a fresher feel than elsewhere. You won’t find any ‘dark’ elements in here. After searching online, I came across this really pretty, Nina Campbell wallpaper long before I joined Instagram, and Farrow and Ball’s ‘Theresa’s Green’ was the perfect match. Both go beautifully with the fridge.
I always had a fabric curtain to hide the bins and originally, a mustard, raspberry and blue striped fabric from Ian Snow did that job for me, with a window blind to match. The stripe worked fine with the Nina Campbell wallpaper and it was in situ for quite a while before I decided, about 2-3 years ago, that it was time for a change. ‘Matilda’ by Kate Forman now has the pleasant task of hiding my bins and it's doing a mighty fine job, I have to say!
The cabinets are second hand, which I acquired from a flower shop in Haverfordwest before I even moved in. An unusual find in a florists you might say, but they had a beautiful kitchen to the rear of the store that they were making redundant, so the units promptly became mine. I had wanted to paint them a pale pink for a long time, but I was concerned with it looking too ‘sickly sweet’ in here – I just couldn’t find the right shade of pink. I had to be really careful too because the units are melamine, not wood, so chalk paint is the only substance that would take. Then, one day, out of the blue, came the perfect shade of pink. French Chic Paints approached me and asked if I would be an ambassador for their brand and to my absolute delight, I found the right colour! It was almost heaven sent! The most beautiful ‘Ballerina’ pink in the palest of ‘ballet shoe’ pinks was just perfect, so I took the plunge at last and painted my kitchen cupboard units.
I have a big, green, wall unit that has been here forever. We travelled to Bridgend years ago to pick that up. It was the very heavy, top half of a dresser and was the very first piece of furniture that I ever painted. I worked through the night until nearly 3am, lit by floodlights and armed with my Annie Sloane chalk paint, layering, sanding and waxing until I achieved the look I wanted. I was really happy with the result and I still love it – I’d never take it down. My friend Linda at The Woodland Farm makes beautiful floral installations and wreaths and she regularly supplies a fresh wreath for my front door. Here, crowning the top of the green unit, I have one of her gorgeous installations trimmed with fairy lights from one of my favourite shops, The Golden Sheaf Gallery in Narberth - an emporium of delights that's well worth a visit!
I also discovered Virginia Graham ceramics in The Golden Sheaf Gallery and the first item I fell in with and bought was the quirky, handmade teapot. It’s stunning and my love for her collection has grown from that one piece I just had to have. I now have mugs, rose vases, larger vases, milk jugs, sugar bowl, half measure mugs, egg cups, you name it, and I actually use them all! I haven’t bought them all in one go though. I believe you can always find a way to indulge if you put a little money aside now and again, and each time your next, beloved piece arrives, it’s as exciting and as precious as the first time. It feels like you’ve earned it. I like to think of collecting as a little like gardening, but without the back ache and dirty finger nails! Add a little bit here and a little something there and before you know it, your collection has blossomed and grown into something really beautiful to treasure and enjoy for years.
As you know, when a door opens, it takes with it a large chunk of wall space, so quite simply, I took ours off. Years ago, I bought a really beautiful, appliquéd, chiffon curtain from Ian Snow with the view to using it for something one day, but for what, I didn’t quite know. It is now draped where the door should be. I trimmed it with some heavy, metallic fringing that I found in a London back street shop that I know of and voila! - a finish look to be proud of and a kitchen as large as it’s able to be.
Interestingly, the kitchen is consistently the most popular room on my Instagram account and over the years, it’s achieved well over 3,000 likes at a time. I just know it’s that pink, Smeg fridge that everyone falls in love with though, I’m under no illusion about that!
Now, we must pay a visit to the bathroom...pun intended!