This post is brought to you in association with Argos.
When I think back to my childhood home, I have very fond memories of summer days spent falling out of trees and sliding down haystacks in the field behind my parents' house. But I also have very clear visual memories of the patterns and colours in the house itself - the sunlight streaming through my flame-coloured hessian curtains, the red poppy cupboard that my Dad painted for me, the blue and pink hexagon feature-wallpaper in the main bedroom (one afternoon Mum and I decided enough was enough and we ripped it all off and painted the wall white, which was a significant improvement design-wise, albeit distinctly less memorable). I have similar memories of my Grandma and Grandad's house in the North East - the owls and leaves on my bedroom curtains, the bluebell wallpaper in the little bathroom, Grandma's prized Wedgwood and crystal collection, and the floral china mugs in the kitchen.
I've written before about my desire to fill our new (130 year old) house with as much decoration, ornament and curlicues as I can, because I feel that children should be surrounded by pattern and colour due to the memories and impressions they create. My Pinterest boards are full of gorgeous, serene white spaces - but although I admire these types of rooms aesthetically, in real life they're just not for me.
So I've decorated our guest bedroom in hot pink and yellow, painted all over Eva's fuchsia wall and filled her room with different floral and animal patterns, and have just finished (hurray! it's finished! pictures coming soon) Natalia's mural, which is a riot of larger-than-life daffodils, buttercups, chickens, ducks, apples, stars, snowdrops... We're probably going to tackle our master bedroom next, and although I'm swaying towards the temptation to create a calm, neutral oasis of ivories, coffee colours, muted lace and silks - I just know I'm going to end up chucking a sunshine-yellow dresser into the mix to liven things up.
Something that we're planning to include in our future kitchen-diner is a huge reclaimed wood dining table with twelve mis-matched dining chairs. I love the idea of each of our children having a favourite chair that they insist on sitting upon - the curvy squiggle chair, the wooden chair made from antique boat wood, or the chair with blue legs. I'm also planning to rescue various unloved chairs from eBay, local charity shops (and of course our cellar!) and customise them with patterns, photographs hidden underneath the seats, secret messages carved into the wood and so on.
Here's a fantasy round-up of mis-matched dining room chairs. You'll also see from this what kind of colour scheme I have in mind for the new extension...
Argos asked me if I'd like to choose an item of furniture to review, so with the future kitchen-diner in mind, I had a look at their dining chair options. I knew (of course) that Argos sell dining chairs, but what I didn't realise is that they sell Habitat dining chairs. I was distraught when Habitat went into administration, and was delighted to discover that they are now selling furniture through Argos instead.
I chose the chair with blue legs, also known as the Habitat Hester dining chair in Airforce Blue. Our dining room is still an architect's drawing (yes, we've hired an architect! more on that to follow...) so in the meantime, the chair is living in our guest room, where it provides a very pleasing streak of blue alongside the yellow curtains, and the hot pink socks of the nearby table.
It's lovely quality, very comfortable, and delivered ready-assembled which is quite the novelty for this affirmed DIYer. Thank you very much, Argos! As soon as Eva saw the chair she announced it was her "special chair" and immediately climbed aboard, so I think it's a good choice for my grand 'inspiring childhood memories' plan. She's not the only fan, mind...
Which is your favourite chair from the roundup? I'm bagging the crazy cardboard squiggle chair, okay?
Disclosure: Argos provided me with the Habitat Hester chair for free. All words, opinions, layouts and photographs are my own.