podtabulous!


I can’t quite believe I’m writing a post about interior decor (really, folks, my home is not all that) . . .but I confess that I am very pleased with the pod’s new posh paint job, and with my revitalised workspace, so here are a few details.


The walls are painted with “Skimming Stone”. We used this same shade when redecorating our bedroom last year (I have a habit of getting paint for my birthday), and at that time had lengthy discussions about the different qualities of Farrow and Ball’s neutrals, which their colour card (lovely as it is) does not convey. Both of us were initially very keen to cover our walls with “Elephant’s Breath”, but when we swatched, it turned out to be the mucky grey-ey brown that its name perhaps suggests. “Skimming Stone” has a warmth, a clarity, and a quietness to it. You can see this, I think, on some of the interior shots I’ve taken in our bedroom – for example here and here. I think it is a neutral that does great things with whatever light there is.

The woodwork, chair, and some of the shelves, are painted with “Pigeon.” I heart pigeon! A few years ago I was doing some research for a piece about dolls which took me to Mary King’s Close, where I got to pop inside some of the spaces in the buried tenements that are not open to the public. Pigeon, to me, is the colour of those hidden rooms.

It is very hard to photograph the pod, because it is so damned small, but this shot gives you a reasonable sense of the Skimming Stone Walls, with a Pigeon-coloured bookcase at the bottom edge of the pic.


The light is coming from a gigantic wall-mounted lamp that, in lieu of a window, blasts out 10000 lux to prevent the pod from feeling too much like the storage cupboard it really is. The prints depict my locale, and its fisherfolk, a century and a half ago. The fishy theme continues elsewhere on the walls . . .


(this winsome lassie is a fashion plate from the moment when there was a brief trend in fishwife chic, following the International Fisheries Exhibitions of the late 1890s)

. . . on the desk

(a happy ebay find)

. . . and on my new pinboard, for swatches and design ideas.

Above the desk is a framed print of Caspar Netscher’s Lacemaker, which I’ve had for many years.

I’ve read a few fairly standard readings about gender and virtue &c &c in this painting, but what I really like about it is its Chinese-box quality: she is sat in a small box-like space, contemplatively engaged in detailed textile work; Netscher (a superlative painter of textiles if ever there was one), is similarly engaged, and I, sat at my desk in my pod, am too. I love the heavy woolliness of her woollen skirt and bodice, and the detail of her cap just about kills me – perhaps not least because I own a dress whose fabric is curiously reminiscent of it.

Well, that’s all you get to see of the pod today. But lest you think that I’ve gone all ideal home on you or summat, and since all Tuesdays are messy ones round here, I present to you some details from the rooms which are not neat and freshly painted.


Tea stains and dog hair perfectly set off an Orla Kiely radio. . .


Dust gathering in picturesque fashion against Farrow and Ball paintwork


Paint covered overalls that are yet to be dealt with . . . .

. . . and finally, and most messy of all, a terrifying discovery among the pod’s accumulated detritus

me, in 1992.

55 responses

  1. I got a chuckle out of your old license photo; you looked like a bit like Helena-Bonham Carter playing Bellatrix LeStrange. I am inspired by your home-improvement efforts, especially since your dust balls look so much like mine, it give me a little glimmer of hope.

  2. The last messy picture made me giggle because I too rocked that hairstyle, in the distant past.

    Your pod looks like a lovely tiny retreat from the rest of the world, especially with its calm new colours!

  3. Ye Gods! THE HAIR IN 1992 IS AMAZING! Does it include a wee dreadlock or do my eyes deceive me?
    How I love your pod and all the wonderful things that you have put into it. Skimming Stone is indeed a very fine shade and I must confess to having something of a penchant for a nice shade card.

    The megalux lantern of dreamz sounds excellent and of course I am a massive fan of the gathered dust.

  4. I’m guessing from their website that Craig and Rose are no longer based in Leith. I used to buy so many of their heritage paint tester pots that the sales assistant ventured to suggest that, Pokemon style (and yes he actually used that phrase) I was intent on owning them all.

    Love your dust photos. The Wellcome exhibition about dirt is fantastic (as is the accompanying book). Though the reaction of my middle child on being told we were going to an exhibition about dirt was priceless: ‘You must really hate us’.

    Best wishes,

    Joan

  5. Lovely colours!

    I really find these sorts of posts much more inspiring (and fun to read) than those with ‘perfect homes’.

  6. Hmmm, heavy influence of lichen, Ireland, sea, foggy sky, sand, stone and skree in in different qualities of daylight. Beautiful. You have such a wonderful way of expressing delight!!!!

  7. Got your freak on in that ID pic! Love the Skimming Stone color, despite being a primary color person myself. A wonderful neutral shade, with character.

  8. I wish you had not painted it Pigeon, now I shall have to find a small piece of furniture to paint, I will be raiding the secondhand furniture shops again and buy yet another tin of F&B !! Love the picture of the lacemaker, interesting that she has the light coming over the shoulder onto her work, I tend to face the light when I am working but that does make for a better composition, love the pic, you remind me of a young Helena Bonham Carter!

  9. The names of F&B paints irritate me greatly but there are really some beautiful colours in them. And are you a fan of The Cure perchance?!

    • I’m a great fan of Farrow and Ball colours and the quality of their paints, especially the depth of even the palest hues. And I love their names and their historical allusions.

  10. I love the passport photo! Though I see how you must grow weary of comparison to HBC.

    The pod is handsome. I especially like the prints and the way you’ve framed and matted them. Coincidentally, another knitter/hand dyer on my blog-reading list just posted on her recent dying trials of locally-gathered plants; eucalyptus yielded the colors of the first two sections of the sample card in your top photo, really much the same as the original colors of the bark and leaves. My own favorite neutral wall color has a peculiar and anti-romantic name: Western Acoustic, from Kelly Moore paints (US). Why “acoustic”? What has that to do with hue?

    Thanks for documenting the dust bunnies, etc, so dramatically. I may want to do likewise, as every day is messy Tuesday here – removing the clutter from any pic taken indoor or out requires much too much photoshopping.

  11. So much promise in a Farrow and Ball shade card don’t you think. Somehow my own dog hairy home never seems quite to do those wonderful colours justice, or maybe the light’s just wrong in Wales. Your pod, on the other hand, looks resplendent in it’s new colourway :)

  12. Lovely! The prints really give it that extra decorated-but-your-style edge.

    And now I’m looking up at my 14′ ceilings, wondering what it would take to paint them (I rent).

  13. cute then, cute now.
    i love your lovely sort of adam pod.
    love the netscher. like vermeer, who always included a kind of omphalos or window in his interior paintings, via a map, mirror, letter — he always made a hole in his interior for the galaxy to pour through — netscher has done the same here, with a reproduction pinned to the lace maker’s wall.
    very good.

    • my thoughts exactly – but you put it so much better. Netscher has also sneakily put his signature on the omphalus (the word always makes me think of Buck Mulligan. . . )

  14. Fishwife Chic ! Ha… I can’t believe it. Anyway, you looked adorable in 1992, and still do. I believe I’d like to huddle up in your pod, and am inspired to make my Loft Room, similarly some such coziness. Oh and “skimming stone” color is right on… and the framed bits and Objects d’ Curio are very signature you. Thank you for sharing !

  15. I needed to smile at something today and your driver’s picture did the trick ;) Thanks, I needed that.

  16. Ps. I particularly love the idea of hanging paintings of portraits of women doing what we love to do. I believe surrounding one’s self with art of such, increases our capacity and deepening attachment, creating a sort of omnipresence and visual mantra. You seem to do this so well in your pod and house. I believe I will print out on computer paper, my saved files of odd photos and paintings of women knitting , and hang them on my walls. Thank you for helping me realize this !

  17. Seriously Helena Bonham Carter (glad to see I wasn’t the only one who thunk it). Love the paint colors/colours…

  18. The end results are definitely worth the hair, etc… and at least you look like Helena Bonham-Carter. I found an old Institut Francais card the other day, same vintage, and I looked like Andrew Lloyd Webber. Agh…

  19. I did not know that dust could be picturesque, but you have made it so! And thank you for the ID picture, what an awesome way to end a post :)

  20. Love the corners of the pod, but would like to see more, of course. If you would just back up a little when taking your picture and get three walls of the space in at various points, that would be grand, rather that just portrait walls. I do love the paint neutral palattes. You have found a lovely paint set to work with, which is hard to find. I am an interior designer of more years that I would l would like to admit, and this is not easy to do. Kudos to you for having found one!

  21. Your mentioning of Caspar Netscher reminded me of a visit to The Hague last year where I saw the ten portraits of the Craeyvanger family painted by him and his teacher Gerard Ter Borch. They were bought by a private collection in order to keep them together. The portraits of the little girls by Netscher are particularly lovely…

  22. I loved your “post about interior decor”!
    Because for me an “ideal home” is not the neat and tidy type, but the one where we can see signs of real living in.

  23. Beautiful colours, reminds me a bit of a pleasantly foggy day. The photo? How about the maiden tied to the train tracks in the Charlie Chaplin movies? Should you run out of dust/dog hair, I’ll send some express post! Thanks for being you.

  24. Love the colors you chose and the painting of the lace knitter-your license phot does look like Helen! They say we all have a double!

    I am also very jealous as I would like to have rooms painted and done up in my house but hubby has sworn off painting and I have never done it-kind of intimidates me, esp. at 60

  25. You are lovely — all Helena Bohnam-Carterish.

    Love the neutrals in the pod. I’m impressed at how you find such lovely things and a way to make me feel as if your space was infinite, not limited.

  26. I love the picture of the lacemaker. My lace guild gives small presentations throughout the year and one of the meetings is always devoted to lace history. Such a lovely picture.

  27. I love the paint colors. Especially when one is passionate about color, it is nice to have a neutral space in which to play with it. My husband is not a craftsperson at all, and loves strong color but has nowhere to put it other than the walls … so our living room/dining room walls are a bright yellow. In winter light, they’re beautiful and warming, but the rest of the year they’re just too much for me. I’ll keep the Skipping Stone warm neutral idea in mind if I ever get to replace the yellow!

  28. Thank you, Just thank you for Bruce for your Camper Van. For your Photography. For your steadfastness.( Its a word!) I like reading your posts very much. Lori

  29. Thanks for the inspiration in home redecoration, something that I’ve slowly been chipping away on here, I’ve dubbed it “Operation Happy Home”, hope yours is too. I had much the same hair in 1991. 1992 was the year I made the unfortunate “white girl dreads” decision. Glad to see you didn’t make such a mistake as well. That Netscher print is beautiful, I love the weight of her clothing, it really got me thinking about painters as archivists of everyday life and how photos don’t really take the same place in recording how we live.

  30. I love the space, and the mess! It’s nice to see I’m not the only one with a house full of dust corners and animal hair! My only question is whether you left it after taking it’s picture or whether you had to clean it up!?! I also really like the green swatch – the colour, the texture – and I’m hoping we might see the swatch board a few more times as it fills with ideas!

  31. I love the colours your have chosen. We used to be able to get Farrow and Ball out here and I used it heaps. My kitchen is Cooking Apple Green – now sadly the paints are no more…..

  32. Don’t get me started on paint charts. I actually got for Christmas one year the Farrow and Ball paint swatch booklet which I used to keep on my bedside table. Dead Salmon and Mouses’ Back are big favourites.

  33. I do like the “Pigeon” bookcase and I am not a neutrals woman! Our house was neutral Farrow and Ball-ed when we bought it and now it is…not. However, I love, love, love your portrait wall, and the fishwife chic. And now I come to think of it my home office is magnolia/cream/neutral, so a “pigeon” bookcase would look very nice….again, you inspire!

  34. Definitely Helena Bonham-Carter, so intense so dramatic. Hey, Kate, take a walk on the wild side…
    Lovely room too ! Congratulations for both !

  35. The colours you chose for your “pod” are lovely. The paintings and pictures and their mattings, and the find from ebay compliment it all so well.
    Kate, are you telling us that Bruce makes his own cup of tea…Lol!
    The lace maker picture is lovely, and your 1992 photo is really gorgeous, and you do look like a number of actresses, especially those chosen for period type movies.

  36. I do like to look at pretty interiors pictures and dream of having all that light and space and nice furniture. But I usually end up wondering, where is all their stuff meant to go? Do people with nice curtains and good taste in coffee tables not have any books? Or hobbies of any kind? And what’s with the cocktail ‘cabinets’ that have, like, three bottles and two glasses? They surely must get bored of having the same drink over and over…

    I love seeing your pod. I dream of having something similar! The Yarn Harlot’s room looked pretty nice when she blogged about it (http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2010/10/08/the_room_itself.html), and she has the benefit of natural light too. The spare bedroom is meant to be ‘mine’ (my boyfriend has the smallest bedroom for his numerous musical instruments), and while it has a lot of books (not to mention random other stuff), it is all too often filled with laundry drying out and things that are waiting to be put away properly. I’ve said that if we move, I want just a cupboard – something like this! (http://pinterest.com/pin/34555574/)

    I hope your beautiful refreshed pod continues to fuel your creativity and provide a haven for you. I liked reading Textisles so much, it was a real treat.

  37. So dustbunnies are making it onto blogs now. Does this mean I can leave them be as ‘home decoration’? Pod is looking great and I look forward to seeing what inspirations come out of it.

  38. Barb and I are still cracking up about your “first house where you feel obliged to paint every room a different color” remark. We both can so relate! It’s funny that you’re talking about house painting and home decor because right now we are in the midst of contracting painters to paint our entire house and are in a never-ending quest for the perfect neutral! If only Solon Goose were a shade of paint…

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