All posts filed under: Decorating

Check out my 3 features in this month’s Style At Home magazine

The new issue of the very lovely “Style At Home” magazine has dropped on my doormat and I’m delighted to see I have all sorts of features in there this month! I wrote an 8 page feature all about wall tiles which (I hope) will inspire readers to consider a different layout, colour, style or even room in which to use tiles. We all know they’re perfect in bathrooms and kitchens but what are the new trends here? Using rectangular tiles in a brick pattern has been popular for a while but now we’re using coloured grout or fitting in different patterns such as herringbone or basketweave which looks amazing. Doing these layouts is as easy as “normal” tiling and the visual impact is impressive (what a great combination). The tricky bit is getting the first row set up correctly then you build as normal up the wall. You can always dry-lay the tiles first (this simply means laying them out on the floor) first to try different patterns – take photos on your phone of each as you go so …

Woo hoo I have a new website!

I am a complete technophobe and even when I try really hard at getting it right, more often than not I get it all wrong so the concept of building my own website was more than a little daunting. A friend pointed me in the direction of Wix claiming it was really easy to use. I was very skeptical but I spent many hours, made lots of mistakes, got frustrated, got un-frustrated and ta- daaaaaaaahhhhh here it is!  I am terribly proud of myself because it all seems to work well and is a great place to see all the things I do… magazine room makeovers, styling, writing, up cycling and craft, as well as the videos I did for Style At Home magazine. It’s also got info on my new venture which is taking on private commissions for design and styling because for years people have asked me to come and help but up tis now I’ve only worked on magazine features. So I’m excited and I hope you have a chance to look at …

See my living room in Real Homes magazine

A while back I wrote a post when considering whether to paint my living room navy blue. I had collected lots of beautiful inspirational images on Pinterest and just had to bite the bullet. I’m always encouraging others to be brave and commit to decor because that has better results than being half hearted so decided to take my own advice to just do it. So I took the kids to school then started painting. It didn’t take long to do the walls, then the rest happened slowly like an organic process with each decision inspiring the next. After the walls came the map because it’s beautiful and the fact it’s canvas makes it even more so (go Newgate – I love this). The room then needed some brighter colour to give it some life so I took the colours from the map and made velvet cushions in mustard and aqua green from soft and tactile Harlequin fabrics. I recovered my chaise long in dove grey velvet (that took a day) and there’s something quietly decadent …

All about wallpaper and it’s bold beauty

This week is wallpaper week so I’m celebrating this wonderful thing that can change a room beyond belief. It can add a block of colour or pattern upon which you hang pictures, though some are like a work of art themselves – huge florals, landscapes and pictures that would be impossible to achieve any other way. Wallpaper is easy to hang and good quality papers are lovely to work with (you generally do get what you pay for – rolls under £10 can tear easily when being hung so you need to be careful but once they’re up they are ok). Some are simple plain (ish) prints that aren’t a million miles away from a painted finish, but others are incredible, dramatic and dynamic pictures that completely change a space. You also get murals – a giant picture that will cover a whole wall  – and these are put up like wallpaper and can be a huge map, photograph, or view across a beach or anything in between. If you fancy a mural, look on WallpaperDirect as they have a …

Dark walls – cosy and wonderful and I’m going to do it!

Most of us feel that light bright walls in our homes is the only way to go. It’s a pretty safe option – after all no one will be offended by an off-white wall but for a while I’ve been wanting something different in my living room. Last year I did a shoot for British Gypsum who have not only magnetic plaster (make an entire wall a giant noticeboard – I have to do this sometime as it’s completely brilliant) but also a new plasterboard that is very strong and you just screw into it – no fixings necessary (again – brilliant – check it out!). Anyway I digress…… one shot I designed for them was to demonstrate a load of heavy pictures safely mounted on the plasterboard and I used a navy paint on the wall. It was unbelievably beautiful and rich and cosy and it’s been in my head ever since. But it is also pretty dark and so quite a dramatic change. With this idea gnawing away in my head I did what …

Have you seen the new Ted Baker tiles? They’re amazing!

I have just seen the fantastic new “Residence” range of tiles by luxury fashion and lifestyle brand Ted Baker and I thought I’d post about them straight away so you’re ahead of the game too. As you’d expect from an iconic designer, the range is an interesting blend of styles that could fit in a wide range of settings and styles of homes and these were inspired by a trip to Europe where he saw a house made entirely from tiles. There are some that would sit with quiet elegance, just waiting to be noticed and when that happens, you think “Oooh they’re beautiful” and others, like the big patterned glass splashbacks that do the exact opposite bringing a welcome thwack of colour and personality into a kitchen. They’re made by British Ceramic Tile so the quality will be great (I have some BCT tiles in my own home and they’re gorgeous) so these are well worth looking at. So here’s the collection. It’s vibrant and fun, delicate and daring and I bet by the time you get …

Ways to make a rented property more like home

When you’re renting, you’re often stuck with the decor which can often be a mix of neutral shades and inoffensive yet non-descript rooms and it can be frustrating if you feel you can’t put your own stamp on your home. Don’t be downhearted if this is you, because there’s loads that can be done to add colour, style and personality without changing anything you’re not supposed to. Furniture, rugs, artwork, linens and accessories can completely change the character of a room so all is not lost but you do need to be creative with your thinking to make the room wonderful using the wall colour and flooring that’s already there. Having said that, it’s always worth asking your landlord if you can redecorate if you really really want to, as many are happy for you to do so (you’ll probably have to redecorate it back to the original before you move out) but if you can’t or don’t want to, here are some ideas to make your rental stylish, practical and gorgeous. If you look at the photos …

Get the Featherdown feeling at home – Rustic style living

My little family have just returned from a glorious week in Norfolk staying at College Farm, one of a number of locations of Featherdown Farm group. It’s a back to basics holiday and this is our fourth visit staying in one of the wooden floored, canvas-sided tents. If you’re used to camping it’s utter luxury because there’s running water, proper beds with snuggly quilts in crisp linen and your very own indoor loo so no traipsing through wet grass to get to the shower block. No electricity means oil lamps and candlelight are the only things that break the night sky. I love candles but only here do I have them as the soul source of light that I find unbelievably beautiful. Everything in the tent has s purpose and the style is rustic, unfinished, mismatched and vintage. It creates a relaxed, soulful feeling that’s warm and comforting. No tv, Internet, wifi or any of that. Just a purity that I would recommend to anyone who needs to escape a little, breathe deeply, enjoy their family …

New paint from Little Greene – “Blue” – giving you a sneaky peek of the most inspiring collection I’ve seen in a long time

Working as a freelancer for magazines means I am lucky enough to see press releases of all sorts of lovely products, trends and ideas before they hit the shelves in the shops, or are shown off in magazines. It’s exciting to see what’s coming next and I am a complete sucker for a paint chart because I absolutely love looking at new colours and working out where I can use them on projects I’m working on.  I have just seen the new “Blue” range from one of my favourite paint manufacturers, Little Greene – a truly mouthwatering collection of shades and I wanted to share them so you can start planning your own re-painting project. Really and truly they are the most beeeaauuuutiful colours I’ve seen in a long time (and I spend a vaguely concerning amount of time looking at paint). They aren’t available until September but this will give you (and me) time to work out what colour to use where in your home… Lots of people think blue is a cold colour and yes, certain shades …

Bold colour in the kitchen to stand out from the crowd – how far will you go?

Kitchens are generally white, wood, grey, black, cream…. any combination of the above. These are easy to live with and are less affected by the ever-changing tides of interior fashion but you’d be surprised at how much more you could love this room if you added some colour. It’s often “not done” and I think as showrooms and glossy brochures back away from bold colour, sticking to muted neutrals then everyone else does too because it feels safe. However if you take the plunge, the simple colour scheme of most kitchens is a great base – a blank canvas in many cases – to which you can add beautiful colours. White and black of course are easy as anything goes with them, but when there’s lots of wood I’d suggest being a bit careful. Generally blues and greens work really well, yellow, orange and red can be a bit trickier with wood but it does depend on the shade of wood and the depth of the colour you want to add. Getting samples of all …