the stencilled room

I've had a bit of a thing about stencilling ever since I visited Lyn Le Grice's Stencilled House in Penzance as a child and being blown away by the artwork on the walls. The childrens' bedroom fascinated me in particular, where ribbons and bows adorned the walls, framing the names Jack and Chloe, and there were gold stars and a moon on the ceiling. The room had a couple of beautiful old brass beds dressed with floaty antique linens and there were gorgeous painted floors throughout. Each of the rooms had a different theme and, although busy and over the top, the whole effect was just incredible.

It all sounds a bit twee now but it was absolutely magical. In fact, when I co-bought my first flat in London, I stippled the bathroom walls a mediterranean blue and had every intention of putting gold stars on the ceiling, the idea being that we could lie back in the bath and gaze up at the night sky. But for some reason I never got round to it and so never got my stencilled house. The house in Penzance isn't owned by Le Grice now; I think it's home to an insurance company (or something like that) so I expect those gorgeous paintings are long gone. Thankfully, though, the work is still captured in this wonderful book.

In my last post I mentioned that I'd used another fab book to decorate our downstairs loo last Half Term. Finally, a stencilled room!

You should have seen our "little room" before it was decorated. It had been painted (by the previous owners) in varying shades of orange, chequer board style, and it took us three good coats of white to cover it up. Thank goodness "little" is the operative word here, otherwise it would have been a very long job. We had almost a tin's worth of Alabaster left over from a previous decorating project which needed finishing up so, waste not want not, I used a couple of coats of that as the base coat. Then all that was needed was two small pots for the fun part.

I bought a couple of acetate sheets and with a permanent marker, traced over the outlines supplied in the book, then cut them out with a stanley knife.

Using masking tape to secure the template to the wall, we took turns to tap, tap, tap our paints randomly over the alabaster. The paints we used were from Ecos - organic, solvent free that are completely safe and smell innocuously of peppermint as they are brushed on.

We did take before and after photos, including lovely ones of the children getting stuck in and making their marks but, unfortunately, hubby's computer crashed and we lost the lot. (Including numerous photos taken at Longleat that same holiday.) So much for backing up your work, ahem!!

By the way, you mustn't take too much notice of the black tape around the pipe; painting we may do here, but DIY - that's a different matter!


  1. That looks lovely - really classy.


  2. Looks great, sounds like the before was rather ummm shall we say interesting?! ;-)

  3. This looks great - light and airy and not over done as some stencil work can be, I'm sure you'll have the odd moment to contemplate your work.

  4. I was a big fan of stencilling in its hey day (thanks to Linda Barket et al) . Yours looks so lovely, I may have to get out the craft knife and brushes again. Its really lovely. xxx

  5. That looks fabulous and such a great effect.

    I received Lotta's book for my birthday last year - I really must dig it out and take another look.

    Nina x

  6. Your cloakroom looks lovely Kate - I really like the simple motif you have used and the colours are perfect. The stencilled house in Cornwall sounds like it was an interesting place to visit - shame it's not there any more.

    Jeanne x

  7. Stencilling! That takes me back - I went stencilling mad in my first home. Yours are lovely.

  8. Yes I agree it looks good. I think the design you chose was very classy.

  9. Nicely done you! I have been missing all your goodness going on over here, such industry and cleverness. I love the block printing as well.

    Still mountain climbing over here but, it appears to be avalanche season and so...currently I'm hiding under a rock, doing nothing and making nary a whisper.

  10. Gosh how clever and very, very stylish!

    I do love the gorgeous curtains in your new post, beautiful! Hope your litle one has fun with her friend.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend.


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