Thursday, 3 January 2019

Meet Me In Morocco - The Decorating Continues


Finally we've redecorated our bedroom, all that's missing is a kilim or an old oriental rug which I'll hunt for when we're back from our travels. 

Who Killed Bambi? rug (£1, car boot sale), 1930s bentwood armchair (£2, jumble sale), Victorian French mannequin (rescued from a friend who was chucking it out)

There wasn't much wrong with it before but, after painting the lounge a magnificently moody shade of teal, we decided to take the bedroom over to the dark side, too. Inspired by our shabby bentwood chair which, you may remember, we recently reupholstered with a vintage pair of Jonelle "Marrakesh" screen printed curtains, we painted the walls a spicy colour Valspar call Meet Me In Morocco.


I'm wearing a modern mustard bodysuit I bought new (!) from a sale in a proper shop in 2016, a vintage plaited leather belt from a charity shop and an acetate 1970s maxi skirt by Country Casuals which I swapped for a scarf with another trader at the last fair we worked. Country Casuals were known for their prim and proper Maggie Thatcher-esque tailored suits and smart blouses - I had no idea they'd ever ventured into psychedelia. You may notice that my skirt is a mixture of reds, oranges and browns, when it comes to interior design you wont go far wrong if you decorate your home in colours you love to wear.


Like the poor old bedroom chair, both our vintage French Corbeille bed (a ridiculously cheap eBay find back in 2006) and our charity shopped Lloyd Loom blanket box, had been ragged to buggery by the cats so we recovered them using a pair of red cotton velvet curtains Melanie, a lovely blog reader, had given me when she and her husband Ray came to see us when we were trading in London a couple of years ago. Forget diamonds, a staple gun is a girl's best friend.


You can see our previous wallpaper on my blog header, a rather posh, hand-printed Cole and Son metallic pink design. We'd enjoyed it for ten years but as it had only cost £7 for two rolls (RRP £95 a roll) we didn't feel too guilty about covering it up. The replacement is a reissue of an original Art Nouveau wallpaper design by Crown from 1910. It was love at first sight when I spotted it - I can't resist a metallic finish as it's perfect for deflecting the attention away from our lumpy & bumpy two-hundred-and-seventy year old walls. The design reminds me of the end papers in antique books only on a larger scale.


Here's the Lundby Stockholm house all lit up and looking much prettier against the darker backdrop. The mahogany chest of drawers is Victorian and has stood in this corner since the dawn of time. Neither of us are particularly keen on it but it's a whopping great lump of furniture and I've no idea how we'd ever get it out of the house - I think it was in there when my Grandparents moved into Stonecroft back in 1952.


The vintage block printed bed cover was made in Iran, I found it in a £1 linen bin in the charity clearance shop. I considered chopping it up and making it into a caftan but was scared to in case I buggered it up. I did made the bolster cushions and the pom-pom trimmed patchwork covers.


You've already seen my me-made curtains - sewn from scrappy secondhand curtains, vintage dresses too tatty to sell and any pretty fabric remnants I could lay my hands on. The curtain rail was one of those horrid 1970s orange-y pine things but a coat of white paint soon sorted it out.


Jon made this lamp from a 1960s Lady Schick hairdryer we found at a car boot sale for £1. I love how it throws circle-shaped light on the ceiling, a bit like being in a disco.


The Trechikoff-era plaster lamp was 50p at a car boot sale back in 2010 - I couldn't hand my cash over fast enough! The vintage granny lampshade was liberated from a skip.


We bought these modern Colonial-style white wicker wardrobes from a catalogue clearance shop in Walsall when we moved to Stonecroft in 2005 and I'm amazed that they're still intact. Jon keeps his clothes in them (and a few of his guitars on the top!)


Kingdom Come by JC Ballard is my current bedtime read, a dystopian tale of flag-waving patriotism and rampant consumerism in middle England.


Art on our walls -  Trechikoff's Hindu Dancer and The Rose in the Workshop, Louis Shabner's Gail, three typically bucolic prints by Vernon Ward, a painting of Jon & I at Glastonbury in 2014 (a 50th birthday present from Liz) and another of me by my friend Clare.



I treated myself to these cacti from B&Q last week.


The handmade 1950s rose print quilt was £2 from a charity shop a few weeks ago, the cats love it.


We've been to Morocco a couple of times. Here I am on my first trip as a fresh-faced 25-year-old back in 1992. We stayed at The Hotel Continental in the heart of the souk in Tangier where, two years previously, John Malkovich had stayed and filmed The Sheltering Sky. Abdul, the fez wearing head waiter, had worked there since the Second World War, during breakfast he'd wind up the gramophone and play big band tunes. We visited the Bond baddie's Tangier villa in The Living Daylights, dodged a legion of touts who'd line up outside the hotel each morning and attach themselves firmly to our sides as we walked around le petit socco pointing out the obvious and demanding cash for the privilege. We sat in cafes bedecked with graffiti supposedly daubed by The Rolling Stones, payed homage to the Marrakesh rooftop where Talitha Getty posed for that photo, marveled at Yves St Laurent's beautiful blue garden, trekked the Rif Valley, swam in icy cold mountain streams, crossed the country on the overnight Marrakesh Express where we shared a couchette with the locals and accidentally ended up in an illegal strip joint in downtown Marrakesh with the chief of police (as you do!)


Here's a little slideshow of our twenty-seven year old adventures. Jon's got hair and everything! I know I'm going to sound like like a moaning old bat but travel was so different a quarter of a century ago. There weren't the cheap flights you get today and you'd often had to save up all year to travel,  none of those tedious bucket list types either, ticking stuff off and blocking your view of the sights with selfie sticks, instead travellers thoroughly immersed themselves in the culture of the country they were in. Pre-internet, we interacted with one another, exchanged tips, loaned out well-thumbed guidebooks and shared meals and taxis. These days the majority of your fellow tourists have their faces stuck to their phones, updating their Facebook statuses and constantly checking how many likes their latest selfie gets on Instagram. The only downside was that, pre-internet, you'd often end up losing the paper napkin on which you'd scrawled your new friends' phone number upon so you never managed to keep in touch with the couple you'd spent that night in a strip joint in Marrakesh with - Facebook does have its advantages.


Anyway, enough of that! Not only have we finished decorating the bedroom but I've finally managed to pack my India travel bag (despite Idris Elba doing his best to distract me with the new series of Luther). I'll be back soon!

48 comments:

  1. It all looks warm and gorgeous. It's lovely to see all your vintage finds on display too. I'd have gone at warp speed for that 50p lamp too! When do you ever see them for that kind of dosh? I love Morocco...haven't been since the early Eighties and look at you too back then. Awwwww. I agree travel was so different back then...what's the saying? The past minus the fecking smart phones, selfie sticks and pouting poses is a different country...something like that!
    Kingdom Come is fabulous isn't it? Very current as well. Consumerism is highly overrated, I feel.
    Loves ya!
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, darling! I can guarantee that there won't be a selfie stick accompanying me on my travels....ever! Love ya! xxx

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  2. That shade of paint is absolutely stunning!! I love how you've decorated, it looks so cosy.
    I agree so much with the state of travel nowadays, I was lucky in that my mum worked for British Airways so I grew up travelling to far flung destinations. So many places I went to in the '90s are beyond recognition now, with so many sites roped off because brainless tourists can't respect anything in their quest for the perfect selfie so they can brag on social media. It's not about experiencing things anymore, but having some kind of "enviable" staged photo album.

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    1. You put it so well, I've seen some appalling behaviour for the sake of taking an Insta-worthy (god, I hate that expression!) xxx

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  3. I love that spicy orange!

    Ah yes, the old days of travel. When all your luggage was stolen on a train between Spain and France and you still travel for months afterwards with only clothes that other travellers have given you. Or you get run off the road on a moped in Portugal, eventually get taken to a hospital where you have to rely on the kindness of strangers. So many adventures and no photos to prove it actually happened. That's the only thing I miss. My memory has faded. I wish I had photos. Also I would have liked to have Google Maps on many occasions.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Haha! The good old days and yes, so few photos to prove it - most of the time you'd take your film into the chemist to get it processed only to have 24 blurred pictures! xxx

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  4. still can't get over seeing you with your blond hair, you look so different. I'm in love with your new wallpaper, beautiful colors and print.

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    1. I know, I can't believe that was me, I look such a goody-two-shoes! xxx

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  5. I noticed the exact meet me in morocco shade of paint on some of the pics on your slide show your - bedroom is very authentic! We had booked a guest house in marrakech souk in december but hubby was too ill to travel so we had to cancel, i was on a mission for a leather pouffe! Oh well. Looking forward to seeing what you packed for India. Have a great trip.

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    1. I couldn't believe how alike those walls were when I dug out those old photos. Valspar certainly did their homework, didn't they?
      What a shame about Morocco. xxx

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  6. Babies in that slideshow!!!!! Love it---we're on par with colors--I want to paint my living room a burnt sienna soon!!

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    1. Do it! I can't wait to go to bed now! xxx

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  7. Love that new wall color & the Art Nouveau wallpaper!
    The hair dryer lamp is my fave!
    Never been to Morocco, hope to go some day!
    xox

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    1. Thanks, Bibi! I loved Morocco when I went all those years ago, regular visitors reckon it's still a wild adventure. xxx

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  8. Ever time I look at your blog. I'm thinking to my self I recall that when I was or wow and know so and so had one those.
    Enjoy your self in Morocco stay safe. My oldest and wife went to Egypt.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Morocco was 27 years ago, it's India next! Hope your son had a brilliant time in Egypt. xxx

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  9. I love the ethnic styles you manage to mesh in your home. It only stands to reason that your decor matches your eclectic travel tastes. Can't wait to see the pictures when you return!

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    1. Thank you! People always tell us that our home is a great reflection of us! xxx

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  10. What a wow of a post, Vix! I would never have recognized you from the old photo even though I have certainly seen pictures of you with your natural blonde hair before!

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    1. Thanks, Jan! I don't look like the same person, do I? xxx

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  11. oh yes! traveling in the early 90s was different - very. miss it too.

    your bedroom looks wonderful with the new colors and patterns!!
    chapeau for velveting the bed and box - must be a lot of work. love how you arranged the art...
    xxxx

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    1. It really was, I can sit in cafes in India sometimes and be the only person who hasn't got their face glued to a smartphone. Whatever happened to conversation with strangers? xxx

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  12. Your home gets better and better, I love the bedroom revamp! It looks very inviting. I enjoyed the slideshow too, what fab photos. Xx

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  13. What a great job on your bedroom. Did you paper over the previous wallpaper, didn't know that was possible. Love the new Art Nouveau design btw and your recovering of bed and ottoman is a triumph. Haven't made it to Morocco yet and haven't got a bucket list (god help us!) but I would like to get there one day. How travelling has changed, more's the pity. xx

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    1. Yes, you're fine wallpapering over the existing paper - as long as it's all stuck down.
      The dreaded bucket list, all about impressing other people and nothing to do with seeing the world. xxx

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  14. I love the colour of your bedroom walls, it looks like a darker shade of Dove Cottage's sitting room. At the time, people said it would make the room look even smaller, but it doesn't. As for that delicious wallpaper: wow? And that vintage block printed bed cover ... Utterly fabulous! I'm itching at having a go at Dove Cottage's bedroom now! I showed Jos that picture of you aged 25, and he didn't believe me when I told him it was you ;-) xxx

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    1. I'm definitely a convert to the darker side now! I loved that paper at first sight and was really happy to find it cheap! xxx

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  15. What adventures you’ve had over the years, with even more to come. You’ll be ready for the warmth when you get there won’t you. It’s blumming cold today.
    My sister had a settee in the same pattern as your wallpaper in different colourway. More browns, blues and gold, it was a Liberty fabric. I wonder if your paper is a Liberty design.
    The inherited chest of drawers are perfect for your dolls house. I’ve inherited some from my grandma, only thing is she smoked and the inside of the drawers are a bit smelly.
    Lots of love xxx

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    1. If only I had more photos!
      The print is very Liberty-esque, isn't it? It doesn't mention that it is and I don't suppose we'd have been able to afford it if it had been! xxx

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  16. I love seeing the old pics of you and Jon - you both look so gorgeous! I am inspired, seeing all of your furniture and walls - I want to decorate! However, I'm super-lazy...I mean EFFICIENT! and I hate the actual practical work involved.

    It's all so pretty! Happy weekend, Vix!

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! I'm lucky to have a keen(ish) DIYer in Jon but I know what you mean about the disruption and mess! xxx

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  17. I cannot believe you had blonde hair! You and John look so young...

    Your bedroom is fabulous. What a rich, warm colour the paint is and I love the wallpaper. Your art wall is lovely and I really, really like your bedspread. I've just discovered Suzani textiles which are just exquisite. Maybe I'll get lucky and one will turn up in a charity shop!

    I bet you've got the packing done already. Just think of that sun and heat whilst we freeze....

    Have a great weekend.
    xxxx

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    1. Suzani textiles are gorgeous! I've found a couple of sellers based in Uzbekistan selling the most incredible kaftans and duster coats and I'm seriously tempted! xxx

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  18. More holiday treats -- and inspiration for projects in the New Year! Thanks for displaying the effectiveness of dark wall colors in displaying a mix of bibelots and art! It's even more apparent in your bedroom than in your lounge, Vix.
    Ahem. One would like to hear a fuller account of how one "'accidentally' winds up in an illegal strip joint in downtown Marrakesh with the chief of police, as you do."

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    1. I'm glad you like the room, Beth! Those darker shades really do seem to showcase our art and random things, don't they?
      I seem to recall asking a doorman outside a swanky hotel in downtown Marrakesh about where we could find a late night drink and got directed to that bizarre underground strip joint, the bar prices were eyewatering as was the entertainment! xxx

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  19. I've been following your blog for a while, but never commented before. You and Jon seem to "eat" life and I like the life you've carved out for yourself, after being unhappy earlier on, when you were in your demanding job.

    I'm liking the new decoration. It's your style entirely. Love the way you've refreshed your furniture with vintage fabrics!

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    1. Hello Annie, how lovely to "meet" you and to read your comment. xxx

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  20. Love the new colour and wallpaper. I'd love to go darker but husband isn't keen unfortunately.
    I loved Morocco, I visited Marrakesh about 15 years ago and fell in love. No camera phones then either.
    Looking forward to seeing more India travels :)
    xx

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    1. It was me that was a bit scared of the darker colours, I'm so glad Jon twisted my arm!
      Morocco was fabulous, we loved the faded glamour of Tangier and the in-you-face madness of Marrakesh and Jemaa el-Fnaa. We visited Agadir a few years later and bumped into Ian Botham! xxx

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  21. What an ace bedroom revamp. The bed and Lloyd loom box are really cool. Overall it reminds me of the more bohemian side of the late 60s/early 70s.

    Pete and I have thought of going to Marrakech, though we haven't made it so far.

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    1. Thanks, Mim! I was out with a friend years ago and spotted that Lloyd Loom box outside a junk shop in the arse end of nowhere, she only had a tiny car and it was hilarious trying to squeeze it in! xxx

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  22. It's a great colour for your room and I love your upholstery. Most of all though, I really enjoyed your trip down memory lane and the photos, where on earth does the time go? It seems like yesterday that I was that age! xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sally! I can't believe it was so long ago, I think I've got blog readers who weren't even born then. The world seemed so different then! xxx

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  23. Love the paint colour and the paper goes so well with it.
    Hugs-x-

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  24. The new wallpaper is beautiful, and the upholstery job you did on the bed and basket looks very professional. Loved watching your slideshow. Time zips by, doesn't it?

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    1. Thanks, Goody! I can sleep for hours in that room now, those colours are so relaxing! xxx

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xxx