A week in Jersey // The Channel Islands….

jersey, visit jersey, cool bananas, cool bananas blogWell hello there! How are the summer holidays treating y’all so far? Are you feverishly packing & in eager anticipation of your adventures, or planning a chilled time at home over the next few months?

We’ve not long returned from an utterly blissful trip across the channel, spending a week on isle of Jersey- although, I hasten to guess, the title of this post *probably* gave that one away! Continue reading →

Expanding the home // Optimizing light & Space with a garage conversion

cool bananas, cool bananas blog, garage conversion

The house as we bought it. Overgrown, unkept & a big project!

When we started searching for a house (back in 2010), we were on the prowl for a property with potential. A ‘fixer-upper’ if you like (cue singing ‘that’ frozen song). Not just decorative restoration, but something that we could expand in some kind of capacity & capitalize our money on. In the fast moving property market of southeast London, this is no easy feat- any contenders on the market are swiftly taken off, frequently in bidding wars. Fortunately, we managed to avoid these & had a fair bit of luck on our side (we did have to wait a nail biting 9 months to actually get it, thanks to probate) Continue reading →

Interior trends: Unexpected Wild // Nature in the home.

cool bananas, cool bananas blog, interior, unexpected wild, plant box, interior design, red magazine, botanical

A short while back I had the pleasure of attending an interior styling event: Red’s botanical master class. Just a short stroll from Tuffnell Park tube station & set over 4 floors of a striking Victorian town house, it was breath taking. Curated & hosted in collaboration with The Joy of plants (part of the Flower Council of Holland) & Red Magazine, it was designed to show consumers how inspirational and versatile houseplants can look in the home, showcasing current top interior trends: Unexpected wild & Happy life.

Awaiting me was a morning filled with botanical beauty, out of this world interior styling, hands on creative sessions & a chance to meet one of my blogging idols, the hugely talented Geraldine, from Little Big Bell– who not only styled the kitchen in the happy life theme, but was generous enough with her time to share crafting secrets in the garden. Continue reading →


garden, terrace, outdoor living, cool bananas, cool bananas blogWhen it comes to the interior of our home, we opted for an abundance of white, & introduced pops of colour throughout the house with accessories. But each & every wall is the same wash of white. I know to some this may sound boooooring, but our 70’s semi lacks any kind of period features or character, added to that Mr B & I are fans of clean, modern lines & silhouettes (we also have no lamp shades or light fittings, instead spotlights glimmer all around), but from a super practical stand point too: long term we may end up renting our property out, so by maintaining a non-descript (some would argue plain) colour everywhere it just makes any possible transition to this easier.

We’re really fortunate, that living in such close proximity to London, we’ve got our own private outdoor space. Alas, it’s a little neglected. I guess because splashing out cash on the garden is at the bottom of our priorities list. It’s such a shame, especially once the British summer decides to join the party (all be it, for only a handful of days over the course of an entire year, but still) as it’s a space we really don’t appreciate or use to its potential. To say our house was an eye saw when we first moved in is a complete understatement. & The garden? It’s no lie, was an overgrown English jungle, harvesting rats (ewww) & goodness knows what else. The complete house was stripped to it’s bare bones until resembling a shell, & reconstructed. As is the case with any kind of build, money is zapped far too quickly, meaning focus on the garden had to wait for another time.

Fast forward 3 years (& a garage conversion) to now: The jungle no longer exists, instead it’s been hacked down removed & replaced by a garden shed (aka mr. B’s mancave), along with a nicely designed lawn area & paving. I feel a little ashamed to say, we literally have no garden furniture (we have blankets, so if you do ever pop around for an elderflower tipple, don’t fret, a large selection of blankets will be offered!). I’d love to fully embrace outdoor, savoring those longer evenings, so I’ve been busy searching for inspiration & making a wish list……. Continue reading →

5 things that get me through the day // MODERN MOTHERHOOD……

cool bananas, cool bananas blog, things that get me through the day

This little thing we call ‘life’, it can be a challenge at the best of times, right? So having a child, or in my case a Threenager, to content with daily can be arduous & exhausting, yet incredibly fulfilling all in one breath. I’m in the constant tight grip of soul-destroying guilt: Am I doing my best? Enough? Could I be a better parent? Do I spend enough quality time with him? At any given point I could be at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum: from incoherent babbling, to hysterical laugher, or on a baaaaad day non-stop tears streaming down my face. It’s a roller-coaster ride baby.

In a world full of ‘crazy’ (thanks for that line there Phil), it’s become essential for my sanity to seek out a few wee things, that allow a moment of escapism, a pause to remind me of normality. Something for an oomph, just to get me through the day. Continue reading →