Tag Archives: Spain

The gardens in Spain grow mainly……..anywhere you like!

31 Jul

Sincere apologies that this has been a blog-free zone for the last week or so. But I’m delighted to say this was down to the fact that the DIY Dame was hanging out in Spain.  I meant to put one of these signs on my ‘blog door’ before I left (from yourstylefix.com)…………….

 

 

But I ran out of time on the day we left. Those precious hours before we drove to the airport on that cold rainy British summer’s day, disappeared in a cloud of chaotic last minute packing (clothes are fine, it’s always the sundry kids stuff – calpol, inhalers, snacks for the car, snacks for the plane, swim goggles, sick bag etc – that take most  time to pack!).

Anyway after ten days of glorious Spanish sunshine and many hours idled away reading by the pool or on the beach, IB and I now feel rested and ready for DIY action once more. In truth six months filled with the house move, renovations and juggling work/parenthood had taken their toll.  There was of course no escape from parenting in Spain (although kids on holiday are fun as opposed to kids that you’re trying to get out the door for school/make do their homework) but it was a delight to have a break from thinking about kitchen design, building plans, paint swatches, sunken baths  etc. Maybe more committed DIY/home improvement crusaders would think us lacking in commitment but hey so be it.

Of course it would be a lie to say I switched off completely from thoughts of decoration and design. I carried my camera with me whenever we went out but not just to take obligatory holiday shots. I was on a quest for inspiration for our home courtesy of the streets of Marbella and remote Spanish villages.

One of the key things that stood out for me as I clicked my way through our holiday was not what the Spanish are doing with the inside of their house but rather what’s happening on the outside. In towns big and small across Spain there is, unusually for such a green country, a lack of garden space for the individual home owner. But the Spanish are very creative in how they approach the challenge of creating gardens without having actual gardens!  This week I’ve seen balcony gardens, window gardens, foot high walls functioning as garden space and in the most creative (and colourful) case, steps converted into a front garden creating a beautiful flowering walkway for their owner! Now where did I put my spade………………..

 

diydecoratingdame

 

diydecoratingdame

All this from that tiny little hole bottom left!

diydecoratingdame

And my personal favourite!

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Viva La Espana!

11 Jul

I promised a little while ago that every now and then I would look to the international interior design stage for inspiration. On my last trip to Dublin, a nosey around some Irish design shops and websites showed me how much I was missing only focusing on UK sites/shops for inspiration. With a trip to Spain not too far away (oh yes the Dame is going to Spain!) and the promise of some sunshine (diy tools crossed!) I thought it might be timely to have a look and see what sort of design statements our Spanish cousins are making these days.

 Source – batamhousing

Source – interiorarcade

Source – coolhomedesign

Source – interiordesignityourself

Source – omahkunet

Source – houseinteriordesign

 

The upshot of all of this is that I think I might move to Spain. Seriously I LOVE that the Spanish seem to be all about autumn colours (maybe an antidote to their climate?!) and natural wood and textures. Although I’m not sure where I stand on the whole open landing/balcony above the living room idea. I don’t think I’d trust my boys not to hide out up there and lob things down on me while I sit relaxing in the living room. Also, surely privacy is an issue?! On the plus side though, I bet having an open landing gives a feeling of space and creates connection between the upstairs and downstairs of a house, which I know in this country people tend to think of as very separate areas with very distinctive functions.  Anyway before I loose myself in fantasies of ripping out half our upstairs walls and replacing them with wrought iron balustrades (an idea I am 100% sure IB would not support!), I’m off to find my passport and lock away the carbs as I’m not quite feeling ‘bikini ready’ as they say!