Friday, 13 November 2015

How to light up your home this winter

I haven't really talked much about lighting here previously, however today I feel compelled to do so. Maybe it's because of more dark hours in the day and the need to turn lights on more frequently. Gosh at my latest count, I totted up 11 light fittings in my living room, so true to my word I do exercise my mantra that lighting is not only an integral part of your home's design and decor but that you can never have enough. Oh, and I just have to share with you a most fabulous lighting maker / supplier today, not only are their products gorgeous but they are lovely people too :) More of them in a mo...

Lighting - the whys, whats & wherefores

Nothing makes or breaks a scheme the way lighting can. It is absolutely vital for creating the right mood of course, for offering practical solutions so you can get on with your day-to-day life.

The most important rule of lighting?

Use different types of lighting to create your overall look

It’s all about using a combination of different lighting that vary in intensity to accommodate all the activities that occur day & night

The big mistake?

Expecting one type of lighting to do it all

Each lighting type meets a particular need. By layering these you can create atmosphere & mood in your space and highlight key aspects of your room’s design

Chandelier Murano, Eicholtz - why have just 1 when you could have 5!

There are three main layers of lighting to think about:

1. AMBIENT (mood)

the base layer of lighting that provides the overall illumination to your space
it should add a comfortable level of brightness without creating glare

2. ACCENT (directional)

highlights key features in your room design, such as artwork or architectural elements
acts like a spotlight to help bring forward key features in your space
shouldn’t cast a harsh light, instead works without drawing too much attention


adds brightness to areas of a room where daily activities are performed 
should be bright enough to prevent eye strain but not so powerful that it creates shadows or glare 

What to consider when choosing lighting

  • What do I use this space for? i.e. cooking, reading, sleeping or socialising 
  • What is on display in each room? Are there any features i.e. a painting or fireplace?
  • How much natural light does this room get & where is it coming from? South-facing room - sunlight comes in directly through the windows North-facing - tends to only receive indirect light
  • What time of day do you use this space most? Morning, all day etc?

  • Kitchens & workspaces tend to need more task lighting
  • A combination of ambient & accent lighting in a living room will help make your space feel cosy & relaxed 

Lesson over! I hope you found that interesting & inspiring...?

Before I go, let me tell you about Pooky.

Pooky is all about beautiful, decorative lighting. Lights that look thought they cost a fortune but don't (yay!). They have a lovely range of lights and if you sign up to their newsletter you'll get 20% of your first order, woohoo!

Yellow :) 

Happy light filled dark cosy evenings at home this weekend to you all. Did someone say weekend?! Yippee :) x

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Styling with Copper

Wow it's been what seems like a lifetime since I last blogged, ok only 5 months but still. Residential design work and running Colour Confidence interior design workshops have taken over and left no time for blogging. However today, whilst perusing the web for some items as part of a living room scheme I'm designing, I came across Mia Fleur. And I just had to share this quirky online boutique with you.

Mia Fleur is an online boutique that sells a range of decorative home accessories and occasional furniture, partly designed and made by the owners and partly sourced from British designer makers. Their aim is to fill a gap in the market with quirky, unique and non homemade-looking handmade interior loveliness.

Round copper mirror with chain (& gorgeous bottle vase too)

Wall rosettes. Love this aqua colour.

White geometric vase. On a marble table. My idea of style!

The reason I came across them was because I'm working up a navy / copper / grey / marble scheme at the moment and when searching for a copper tray, lo and behold I saw one on the Mia Fleur website.

And, for those, of you who may also adore the idea of styling / decorating with copper in your own home, the lovely ladies at Mia Fleur have written a fab handy guide entitled "The Ultimate Copper Styling Guide", which you can download by clicking here.

Join their mailing list and you'll get 10% off your first order. Bonus.

I hope all is well with you and here's to more loveliness in the world generally *smile*

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Experimenting with new colour combinations - liven up your duck egg with orange + teal

Developing a colour palette as part of an email client consultation yesterday has inspired me to write about experimenting with colour today...

Duck egg + teal with a punch of orange - Little Greene

Humans often err towards the side of caution and when in comes to interiors opt for tried and tested colour combinations. One of the safest colours that has been a staple for residential interiors for ever is the colour duck egg blue. The likes of Laura Ashley, M&S and Next have traditionally mixed it with neutrals (cream, taupe & beige) and included into 'ready to buy' looks including brown leather seating, oak furniture and patterns including spots, stripes and florals.

Whilst this combination works, it is, dare I say, somewhat boring. I'll admit to being a victim of it in a previous house many years ago (although I did throw some fuchsia pink into the mix!) but seriously come on, let's have some fun and funk it up.

How best can we do this?

Add some depth with a deep teal hue

Add a shot of zingy orange
A varied palette of teal & orange

David Mottershead, the managing director of Little Greene, says: “Using paints effectively in interior design is a much more sophisticated process than selecting a single colour from a paint chart. One colour in isolation can be attractive, two in combination can be beautiful and three shades used together can be quite exquisite.”

Exquisite - yes! Boring - no!

Accessorising with the colour palette (image: Martha Stewart)
Moroccan colour palette - (image: from Billabong's autumn 2014 ad campaign)
Vivid orange berries, how amazing is nature! (image: Creature Comforts)

I hope seeing this stunning this colour palette has inspired you to move away from safe and go add some colour to your life *smile*

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Successfully mixing modern + traditional interior design alpine style

When I walked through the doors of Hotel Moar-Gut, I was honestly taken-a-back. I had been expecting traditional Austrian interiors; lots of wood, carved hearts, local stone, which is exactly what I found. However this was no old-fashioned alpine design, no this was so lip-smackingly on my wavelength. In fact, I think I actually squealed out loud with joy!

Sleek modern with a rustic twist
Do you see what I mean?! Hotel Moar-Gut is situated in the Gro├čarl region of the Alps, a stunning, unspoilt and quiet resort, which prides itself on alpine ski sport but is just as incredible in the summer months. Relatively unknown to those outside of Austria and Germany, the hotel is a Kinderhotel, making for the best holiday for both children and parents alike.

Family Kendlbacher, the owners of the hotel, have created a beautiful hotel successfully marrying modern and traditional interior design together. The combination of untreated wood and natural stone with modern furniture, light fittings and decorative objects creates a non-pretentious, relaxing, all enveloping atmosphere, inspired both by nature and design.

Wonderful wood!

It's all in the detail - button back chair upholstery

Wine tasting cellar - love the circular chairs

Oversized ceiling pendants bring a traditional alpine look up-to-date

Statement styling: huge chunky legged table, enormous bowls wrapped in
antlers filled with moss & daffodils, oversized brown cowhide pendants.
I adore!

Gorgeous trio of glass pendants suspended over the bread & honey bar

Every Austrian interior needs hanging hearts!
Beautiful traditional honesty whisky bar for a wee dram

Don't get me started on the food! It was simply delicious and so varied, no chance of getting bored of the same old buffet day in day out. From 7am to 10pm locally sourced food galore, dinner was a 5 course affair with a vast selection of wines to choose from.

Gourmet dinners to die for!

Traditional local dishes served with a modern twist

And the service was impeccable. All of the staff were friendly and much to my daughters delight, all knew her name (one of the hotel's policies).

Kids room with single, bunk bed & TV

Solid wood furniture with  splash of bright colour

...the accommodation (family suites), the spa, the pool, the animals (you can adopt a pet to look after during your stay), the kid's wonderland, the location (near to all the ski sport activities just 5 mins away by car) was the ideal set up for a perfect family holiday. I thoroughly recommend it.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Where to find...the most incredible wallpaper & murals

If you happen to be seeking the most incredible wallpaper or perhaps murals for your walls then I am delighted to share with some great news.

The focus of the wallpapers on today's blog are taken from a collection that is characterised by simplicity and minimalism with clean lines and modern shapes. Ingrid + Mika are the latest studio to have been added to the most awesome of manufacturer's and suppliers of wallpaper and murals Milton & King's online.

Marble Block  - my favourite

Ingrid + Mika's Scandinavian inspired wallpaper designs are a natural fit for any organic modern style, so if you love this design aesthetic you will simply adore their range of wallpapers. I am lusting after them all!


Contact Grid

Plus Sign


Black & White Stripe

However, if you're NOT looking for Scandi-inspired wallpaper, fear-ye-not, M&K's online shop is THE place to shop for incredible and unique wall coverings like no other, believe me.

But be warned, once you enter, hours will fly by... but hey, it'll be worth it.

Navy, Blue Boy

Casa One, Wallpaper Rebuplic

Shedding Indian Autumn, Print Paper Cloth
The choices are endless... happy browsing...

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

How to create a designer kitchen on a budget

Last week I had a call from the lovely guys at FUBAR radio asking if I'd like to have an interview with comedian / presenter Mark Dolan and the original WAG and presenter Lizzie Cundy about an interiors related article that appeared in the Daily Mail.

The article was about Samantha Cameron's no.10 Downing Street kitchen and "how to get the same look for a fraction of the price". Mark and Lizzie wanted to chat with with me on air about how to go about doing that amongst other things like what creates that 'wow' factor in a kitchen and how I feel about having TV in the kitchen, which turned out to be a rather contentious issue ha ha!

Anyway, it was 10 minutes of lighthearted kitchen design discussion and was my first ever interior design related live broadcast. It was on the spot, no prepared questions and well, whether or not, I gave any sound advice I LOVED doing it - it was such fun! *smile*

If you fancy a listen, here's the link to the clip on SoundCloud.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Say hello to yellow, because this year it's BIG baby!

Surely you've noticed it too right? 

  Yellow is EVERYWHERE.  

Happy?    Me?    YES, because, just in case you didn't know, yellow is my favourite colour!

But I'm also a teensy little bit sad because it means that it's not just mine. Sounds so silly writing that but I liked it not being popular because it was always a challenge to find fab and funky yellow accessories for the home. However now, wherever you go you'll be able to pick up amazing sunshiney brights to bring that oh so gorgeous colour into your abode.

So much for me and my latest obsession with 'stuffocation' - the one thing I won't be minimalising on is more yellow accents for my home *smile*.

Here are some of my favourites;

Geo blanket 130x 170 in pamp & seal by Edited

Geo cushion 40 x 40 in pamp & seal by Edited

Newgate pantry wall clock 22.5cm dia at John Lewis

Jonah kingsize bed in dandelion yellow at Made

Yellow gradient colour glass collection by Hay at Edited

Hay Kaleido modular trays at Nest

Smile framed print by Seventy Tree

Loop mirror small ash with yellow strap at Heals

Yellow porcelain plate with budgie motif at H&M

What's not to love about a splash of yellow at home, especially on a rainy grey day like today hey?!