A Swoonworthy Mini Makeover


Happy 2014 one and all! It’s been rather low round here on the blog-post front, but I have an ace excuse, honest….


…I’ve been writing a book! It’s on interiors (as I don’t really know about anything else) and it will be published this Spring. I won’t say anything more right now as there’s still a few tiny odds and ends to tie up and I want to do a proper post on it, but now I’m not working 90-hour-weeks back to back, and having redressed the work/life balance (and eaten copious amounts of cheese) during the festive break, I’m ready to say a bit more for myself again! Starting with this.


I was recently approached by Swoon Editions, an innovative online furniture company who specialise in limited-batch runs of furniture, ensuring prices are kept low without compromising on design or craftsmanship, and asked if they could tempt me with an armchair from their lovely collection, in exchange for taking a few pics of it in situ at home. As I STILL hadn’t managed to solve my living room armchair dilemma, the words ‘gifthorse’, ‘don’t knock’ and ‘mouth’ sprung to mind. Having failed thus far to find a loveseat or bench the right size (and price) to fit the rather bijou space I had available for said seat, when I clapped eyes on the Milly, I knew she could be the answer: with her diminutive proportions, she would easily fit the gap whilst still leaving space for a small side table, and if in the future I did find the bench/loveseat of my dreams (which after 18 months searching I think only exists in my head), she could comfortably be relocated to the dining room, bedroom or study. I plumped for the grey colourway (natch) to tie her in with the rest of the room, and I think she looks resplendent in her new abode. For me, legs always seem to be an issue when looking at not-a-million-pounds seating: the standard seems to be cheap, clunky veneer-clad ones which screw on rather than being integral to the furniture, and is one of the reasons I’ve struggled with my search for so long. Luckily, the Milly (for she’s a somewhat leggy creature) has legs to die for, created from turned solid oak in a pleasingly matt, weathered finish, and with a mid-century style taper.


I’d been waiting to source a chair before hanging any artwork on this wall, so the arrival of Milly also spurred a picture hanging frenzy. After finally relocating the lovely pieces I picked up last August at the Lille Braderie (rolled up at the back of my dining room food cupboard, obviously – no, me neither), frame sourcing commenced, before a final hanging spree.


Top: Vintage 1940’s exam papers, from Lille Braderie, framed in 20x25cm Black wood block photo frames, £9.60 each, Debenhams. Middle left: Papercut artwork, from a vintage market (which I think is sadly no longer there) just outside the main Greenwich Market , framed in 24x30cm Bacall floating picture frame, £16, Habitat. Middle right: Vintage sheet music cover art (I think), from Lille Braderie, framed in 50x70cm Ribba picture frame, £12, Ikea and painted in some leftover Light Gray emulsion, Farrow & Ball. Bottom: Vintage Paris map, from Lille Braderie, framed in Ikea Ribba frame, as before.


In all the excitement, I also added a little pimp-up to my hyacinth plant pot – having excitedly purchased the plant just before Christmas, I failed to check if I had a suitable outer pot to house it in, and this white one was the best I could find knocking about in the shed. As the plastic inner pot protruded slightly, I sloshed a bit of Farrow & Ball’s Light Gray on it (yes, a bit posh like, but I was actually painting some props in it previously for a client and got a bit carried away with using up the leftovers – see also picture frame, above), then decided to add a few stripes with Washi tape. I decided to go with my little 50’s footstool as a ‘side table’ for Milly (for some reason, despite having zero chairs, I seem to own about five side tables, most of which live in the loft, waiting for their moment to shine downstairs). Its small scale sits well with Milly, and it can also easily be cleared off to double as an additional seating perch when we have more than, um, three people come to visit. I’m now on the lookout for a small square tray to sit on its top to make the table-to-seat transition slightly easier and more robust.

So what do you think? Potentially I’d like to add in a couple more prints, but for now, I think I’m done. Phew! Back soon with book info…

{Images} All copyright Joanna Thornhill. If you wish to use them elsewhere, please include a credit and a link back here.

Disclaimer: Swoon Editions supplied me with the Milly free of charge, but all words and opinions are my own, and trust me, I wouldn’t put anything in my house that I didn’t genuinely love, as I am a total fusspot with a poor poker face.


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About Joanna Thornhill

Freelance Interior Stylist, Author, Writer and Crafter working for a range of magazine titles and commercial clients. Author of Home for Now (CICO Books 2014)

11 responses to “A Swoonworthy Mini Makeover”

  1. Claire@Celebrate Creation says :

    Gorgeous living room 🙂 I look forward to reading the posts about your forthcoming book. Congratulations to you!

  2. secretgardenhome says :

    Hi Joanna! Happy New Year! I love the grey wall and the framed prints. Lovely arrangement. By the way, I’ve got the same book about London haha Good luck with your book writing. Looking forward to hearing more. Bests Monikax

  3. Ninette says :

    Your home looks so nice! I love the grey walls and the prints – have been thinking about painting my craft room grey ever since this summer, but just haven’t gotten around to it. Good luck with your book project, so exciting!

    • Stylist's Own (by Joanna Thornhill) says :

      Thanks Ninette! Desperate to get on with the rest of the house, but everything is currently on hold whilst we try to cobble together some money to replace a couple of windows which are severely rotten and leak, boring! Well, actually they are all rotten and need replacing, but some are worse than others! I do love the dark grey, it makes everything look smarter somehow. Hopefully bedroom next!

  4. nickcarterint says :

    Hi Joanna ,I like your fix on the protruding plastic pot for the Hyacinth! Did make me smile – a true stylist !Great Blog – now a follower.

  5. Elaine says :

    I love the display on the wall and the colour of the wall…what is that colour?

  6. Morty says :

    Great colour scheme, love the paint colour and the way you’ve arranged those frames!

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