Tales of the Unexpected

This light box is brighter than the sun but I love the contrast with the midcentury shelves.

When I think about what makes me sit up and take notice on an Instagram scrolling session for me it’s the photographs that show something just that bit unexpected.

Now that’s not to say I don’t love to ogle a beautifully-designed kitchen or a well-curated sideboard, in fact that kind of ogling is up there with my favourite pastimes. But what makes me stop in my tracks and really take note is seeing something used in an unusual way, something you just wouldn’t have expected to see.

For instance, around a year ago I was having a bit of a switch around of rugs in our bedroom. We had had an Ikea cow hide in there for a while and I wanted something with a bit more texture and during the reshuffle it got moved into the bathroom.

Cow in bathroom situation

Suddenly it was a completely new piece to me. Not just because it had found a new home but because it’s not your typical bathroom mat. And this atypical pairing elevated both the hide and the room to something completely different.

Pleased with my success I realized that the long-standing problem of cold slate floor and cold Manchester morning could be massively enhanced by the addition of a sheepskin rug by the sink. It was heavenly in its unusualness (not to mention comfiness). And suddenly I really liked my bathroom again.

This is by no means mind-blowing innovation of the deepest kind, of this I am fully aware, but just a bit of lateral thinking and suddenly you have a much more interesting space.

Just one of the beautiful spaces created by @blissfullyeclectic

I had a similar experience on seeing a picture of the lounge of Blissfully Eclectic recently. On the wall over her fireplace was the same Anthropologie bath mat I had bought for our shower room in the Christmas sale. Not slightly damp and murky from over-use by mucky children but resplendent and looking like a cool piece of wall art for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

By being added to what is, undeniably, a beautifully designed room, it had turned into something else entirely.

A beautiful wall hanging from Rose & Grey which tones with everything in the room but adds texture to what kind be a hard surfaced room

I’ve started to apply this theory into different places around our home recently, sometimes unsuccessfully but we’ll gloss over those. Examples include a wall hanging in our bathroom which you would more typically see in a bedroom setting and little accessories around our range cooker which give the black box a bit more character.

Interestingly, I think that one area where I am really starting to see this theme is in garden design. We are starting to see the emergence of more art options for outdoors which I think can really make a big difference if you have a relatively small outdoor space as we do and I recently added a number of touches from indoors to our little playhouse which make it seem a bit less like a shed!

I love this outdoor art from Print Living

These days when I’m starting to think about putting together a new room or just having a bit of a switch-up I have a walk around the house to see what I can use that I already own that might look completely different in a new space. Not only does it play into my thrifty nature but it gives you the opportunity to create a space that really stands out from the crowd.