Monday, 6 December 2010

pack it in!

I am such a hoarder, I hate chucking things out, you just never know when they could come in handy again. I spotted the image below of 2 crocodile leather suitcase in a magazine and it reminded me I had some in the attic!

I have had my 2 Vintage Suitcases in the attic for the last god knows how many years. I think they have moved house with us many times but I've never quite found the right place for them. But I have dusted them down and they have now provided a nifty storage solution for all my bedroom "stuff" like hairdryers and have become a handy showcase place for my vintage bags. I was starting to despair there is so little storage place in our house, I am glad that I didn't chuck them out, could just do with finding a few more now!

tick tock....

I love collections of things, mirrors, ornaments, whatever really that creates visual impact, or interest. If its a little bit quirky all the better. I spotted this image recently, this eclectic mix of battered and ancient alarm clocks is ever so sweet.
love where you live

the power of three

I am working in the dining room it feels a bit more festive in there than in my office. Need sunglasses though the light is really bright because of the snow reflecting off the ground outside, but it's a beautiful view to look.

Most thoughts of staying in during the cold weather revolve around cosy warm fires, lots of cosy colours and throws. In contrast this bedroom looks xmasy but in a wintry way!
I thought the room looked beautiful but a bit stark. Although I love the simplicity and perfection of the way the accent colours are balanced. A perfect styling example of the theory of the power of three. The off black connected in the woodwork colour, throw and lampshade, and the gold reflected in the lamp base, mirror and colours in the rug.
love the styling but it needs warming up, and so do I, I'm off to put another jumper on!

lover where you live


I think spring cleaning is so overrated its the pre and post Xmas clear outs which are the most thearaptic! A good clear out pre xmas to make room for all those fab pressies and the post xmas clear out to get rid of those less than usefull pressies!

My new years resolution (in addition to having an alchohol free month) is to master the art of de-cluttering. No more overspilling drawers and stuff falling out when cupboard doors are opened. So I've been having a clear out over over the holidays and rearranging my shelves and cabinets so for at least a few weeks my home looks show house pristine. It does require some willpower to put only the best of your belongings on show. But less is more!

Kitchens are the hardest to style, so much easier to leave applinaces, cups and hardware on countertops, but it can just end up looking like a student kitchen. A great strategy is to collect items that look great left out and you just can't go wrong with white crockery, glasse and wooden bowls. These images show just how stylish it can look

love where you live

recycled xmas

Yikes only a few days to go till Xmas. I am not very prepared having been foiled by the weather, that's my excuse. I did order a few presents but they're stuck in the postal system so I braved the snow yesterday and walked into town to get a few pressies. I managed to forget the wrapping paper though, what a twit. It made me improvise, I used some brown paper, string and I cut off the ends of the Xmas tree to add a bit of colour and stuck it through the bows .
It was fun having to be bit more creative, I think I am going to wrap the rest of the presents using newspaper and ribbon, thoroughly environmentally friendly!
I do love simple Xmas Decos. I Spotted this simple but pretty xmas styling idea as well, pine trees branches and candles to decorate window sills, very festive.
love where you live

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

xmas countdown

snowflake stickers

I haven't bought a present yet or even started a list, nor ordered the turkey. I am surprisingly calm about it. Living in Bath has that sort of effect on you, being 5 mins walk from hundreds of amazing shops does breed complacency. I know its going to be a breeze to walk into town and shop till I drop.
The Xmas trees are about the only thing I have organised, 3 this year! One for the upstairs living room and and one for downstairs living room, both colour coordinated of course and my daughter wants to decorate the third with edible decorations, marshmallow and pop corn garlands and gingerbread decorations, sounds like a tasty idea.
The simplest things make the most lovely Xmas decorations. A huge bowl of oranges or fir cones, simple white candles and freshly cut foliage. Or go for a simple theme, I found these lovely snow flake stickers and snowflake tea light holder on If you have some lovely Xmas styling tips post them on
facebook- interior design bath id-homes.
love where you live

Thursday, 25 November 2010

all cozy wozy

I managed to sneak in a bit of shopping in when I was in London last week. I Headed to Oxford Street for a bit of shopping; window shopping only of course. Sooo lush, Zara in particular was full of the scrummiest Autumnal delights.

It all felt a little Ralph Lauren Home the colours were all caramelly, fudgy and lots of flashes of tartan and paisley. The textures were full on texturial porn, soft velvets, suede's and wools. I am loving the slouchy leather satchels and swirly plaid skirts, its all very modern and hunting and shooting set. I thought the colours and textures were quite inspirational and I predict that next winter will see a lot of these heading for the shelves of the home styling stores.

Its not been so much as autumnal feel at the moment but a Arctic winter feel, get those roaring fires going now! There are some lovely warm throws about at the moment I've been wrapping myself up in a lovely warm blanket from www.melin - warm as toast I am !!!

love where you live

Sunday, 21 November 2010

dark and sultry

Great minds think alike. I thought I was being brave going for a dark paint colour in the study but I was looking at some interior design blogs and found these lovely dark and sultry room schemes. Its a great wall colour and comes into its own in these long cold dark nights (Farrow and Balls Down Pipe or Off Black ). It creates a surprisingly cosy and comforting space. The bedroom room scheme above with its mix of retro bed and contemporary looks really chilled and fabulously sophisticated. Using a warm accent colour like yellow and red stops the schemes from becoming to serious. The bedroom rug is from the rug company and the study light is from Abigail Ahern.
love where you live

ballroom blitz

I can't believe that the year is nearly over, it feels like it been all work and no play. Its amazing how unglamorous the role can be, infront of clients its all a calm well presented front, but on the coal face I have ended up in my scruffiest clothes mucking in to get a project in on time more often than not, hair and nails covered in paint.
I saw this picture and longed to get glammed up and hit the town for a bit of R&R. Sadly I am not sure Bath has anything so grand or glamorous.
Its Tom Dixon, one of my design hero's, latest offering, the Tasmania ballroom in Hong Kong. The owner wanted a Private club atmosphere without the stuffiness. The look is a very refined James Bond feel with retro-high tech, combined with a confident cool club atmosphere. The result is a exclusive and glamorous mix of pool club/night club/private club. Dixons key pieces include the cone, pipe and copper shade lights and off-cut stool.
Mmm I think a definite location for cosmos and laboutins!
love where you live


Inspiring and definitely unexpected this is not your typical Steak House Restaurant, its recently opened in Stockholm of all places. I love the way that the design company, Stylt, responsible for the make-over have created a really interesting homely atmosphere but have spiced it up with hints of travel, science and glamour. The brief was to create an eclectic interior mixing alchemy and mysticism. Hats off to the clients who had the imagination and bravery to go with such an unconventional look.

Monday, 15 November 2010

designer notes

Have found so little time to write recently its unreal. Mostly as a result of taking on the almost full time job the last 3 weeks of coercing and hlping to write my son's uni application (and the hellish personal statement), not least the days spent on the road taxiing him to see the uni's on his shortlist. Thank god its now been submitted. Didn't have this problem with my daughter, boys are such hard work!!!

Nearly all the motorway driving done just one more jaunt to go, this time to London for a styling for Photo shoots talk. I am hoping to pick up a few useful tips. I would love to have more opportunity to do styling. By the time I have gotten to the end of a project there isn't much budget left to finish off the whole look which is a crying shame. Its all about styling. What takes up 5% of the budget can give 50% of the impression.

But there again it doesn't have to cost a fortune. I think the best ideas are often really simple. I like this dining room where the centrepiece consists of a simple collection of glass glasses and candlesticks.

Friday, 29 October 2010

techno fever 1

I am not much of a techno person, I like to keep things simple. But this year I have tried to embrace all things new, hence a facebook account, a blog and now an Ipad. I am a convert it has become a permanent attachment to my person! I bought it with work in mind, the graphics are really good and its a great size to be able to pull out in front of clients to show them my portfolio. I have had great fun searching out some great apps that for an interior designer are indispensable.

i handy or blevelfree for an instant spirit level!

its essential to understand natural light when designing a room, Compass app for working out the rooms orientation

colour change using a picture from your albums you can show a client who has difficulty visualising things what a piece of furniture or even an entire room will look like in a completely different colour.

convert units - to switch between metric and imperial

my measure is a brilliant app for keeping track of dimensions. You can shoot a clients existing furniture, and overlay the dimensions. Once back in the office it takes the guess-work when deciding how to make sure new and existing elements work together.

myPantone app - has a fab function on it which allows you to take a picture and then get the app to work out the colours that its seeing, brill for working out any colour references of colours when your out and about.

How did I manage without out!

love where you live

cupboard love

Every decade has its culinary object of desire. In the 70's housewives lusted after revolving spice racks and electric carving knives; in the 80's we wanted microwaves; then glossy coffee machines took over in the 9o's and more recently high-tech juicers have become the "it" item.
But the latest kitchen "must have" owes little to technology and everything to the practicality of our ancestors. To be truly chic a modern kitchen needs a larder.

If you've accessed your inner goddess you'll want somewhere to put the trays of freshly cooked cup cakes. And if your buying in bulk to save money then you'll need somewhere to store it. On top of which a walk in larder deals brilliantly with kitchen clutter.

Increasingly clever design means there is no need to abandon the larder dream even if you don't have the luxury of a separate room. Instead of the usual base and wall cabinets you can just block out a space with a tall larder cupboard. Companies like plain english are great at designing larders but they come at a price. A cheaper route, let id homes design and make one for you! I designed a great one last year which hid away all the owners clutter and kept the worksurfaces clear by housing the toaster and kettle.

Food for thought?

Sunday, 24 October 2010

wall domination

I was completely taken by the exciting and creative possibilities of surface view's products ( I spotted them at Decorex but I am not the only one
their amazing vintage atlas canvas's were used in the guardians photo shoot and Living etc featured their vintage art print (Above).
They have a vast and uniquely beautiful collection of images which they can apply to canvas's murals and roller blinds. Even more fun there is a bespoke option where you can have your own images blown up into art. I am already looking at my walls in a new light and thinking up mad ways to add a bit of excitement to a dull space - I am thinking that I may like to plaster my cloakroom in a Marvel comic mural!
Where will you find room for one?!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

single minded statement

The next house we move to ( we are coming up to 4 years in this house a record in one place so it must be time to move!) I would love to design a bathroom with Marble. Its such a tactile luxurious material would be lovely to use oodles of it. This bathroom has gone for the ultimate stlye statement floor to wall marble, A real single minded design statment. I think its off the the estate agent I go!
love where you live

sleepless in bath

I am still hoping that life will calm down at some point,
but no light at the end of the tunnel yet (the rumours must be true; because of recession the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off). My work days seem to be getting longer and longer. This week has seen a meeting with a potential client taking place at 9 at night and finishing at 10.30pm Then the morning starts at 7.30 with texts and calls from tradesmen. Yuch!

I am starting to think that my bed doesn't exist I've seen so little of it recently. We had been looking forward to a new one. Our bedroom has quite a tall ceiling and our king size looks tiny in it so had ordered a 6ft Queen. After 16 weeks of waiting I have given up and asked for our money back. Back to the drawing board. I am starting to like the idea of going for a canopy bed, the look is very feminine and glam.
Tonight is the exception I am off for an early night, bed is calling
night, night and sleep tite!
love where you live

Thursday, 30 September 2010

wide open

It has been a relentless few weeks, I think my brain has reached overload level. I have so many to do lists, emails, phone calls, problems to solve life has just become a blur. It has got so bad that I am not functioning properly, not helped by a constant headache! I travelled to London yesterday especially to see a design lecture being given by my favourite designer Ilse Crawford, I completely zoned out, got the times in a muddle, I arrived late and only caught the last 10 mins. Gutted. It was a hideous journey too, packed on the train to London then packed like sardines on the underground. I did manage to get to Decorex though (a design show for interior designers) which meant the trip wasn't a complete waste of time. I walked past an exhibitors stand which had statistics written across its walls, one stuck in my mind- That the UK builds the smallest houses in the whole of Europe. It looks like as a nation we like to make sure we are all squashed up whether travelling or in our living spaces!

In contrast here are 2 of my favourite big spaces. The first designed by the south african based Saoto archicts. The second is a property in Panama both awesome spaces.

love where you live

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

ship shape!

Its great being adventurous with design but I am not sure I would have been brave enough to think about developing this kitchen design though. For sea-lovers looking to bring a nautical theme into the kitchen the new marecucina kitchen concept from could be just what they are looking for, with its nautical shapes, colours and materials. It even has its own mast. Not sure I would be brave enough to go with such a design. But what the hell if a client wanted a ship-shaped kitchen why not!

love where you live

Sunday, 19 September 2010

space the final frontier.......

Yikes its getting colder outside. Which means having to look for all my winter clothes which are packed in Suitcases somewhere in the attic. Its a reminder that as much as I love my home, the storage space is hopeless. Those Georgians knew how to design beautifully proportioned rooms but had hardly any need for wardrobe space (their clothes collections would have consisted of a handful of outfits). Its really difficult to incorporate storage space without spoiling the proportions of the rooms (particulary in the bedrooms) hence I am always short of space (although my other half would claim its me that has too much stuff).

I have invested in Footstools that have storage in them, beds with storage in the divans and any other means possible to create storage, including lots of hooks on the backs of doors and interesting shelving. These black powder coated cameo's I spotted by adrien rovero are a too good to cover up! If you have any inspiring storage solutions let me know!

love where you live

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

summer time and the living is easy.....

Sort of failing dismally at catching up with some work today. We are having a break away but its also a bit of a working holiday. Its still really warm over here though and my concentration levels are decimated. Either that or it could possibly be the sangria!

Not complaining though , I am not looking forward to temperatures that are going to be at least 10 degrees c. lower when we get home. So I going to making the most of the warmth. Instead of getting on with my marketing plan I have been dreaming about what amazing outdoor rooms I could create if we had better weather in the UK . Found these yummies outdoor spaces which look really inviting. We had our front garden landscaped this year, had a massive patio built as part of it but haven't quite got around to putting any furniture on it yet. Theres space to go for the whole hog, dining set, outdoor sofa, lounge bed, or we would if we had the weather which would justify the investment! I am still loving Philip Stark designed Toy Chairs, so will save up my pennies for them next summer. Well that is it, no more dreaming and back to work!!!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

illuminating lighting mistakes!

I love good design, simplicity, understated looks, nothing brash or cheap. There are a few things that I really make me cringe though and offend my design ethic. Artex ceilings, upvc windows and energy saving light bulbs used to be my least favourite additions to any room. But now I have a new most hated to add to my list. What is this trend for sticking halogen lights everywhere, they are appearing on bathroom floors, kitchen plinths and seem to serve no purpose what so ever. I am not against feature lighting though, a good designer will incorporate lighting as a subtle design feature and not a design after thought. Great lighting should have a top note (ultimate aim to provide great functional light), middle note (to create drama and a wow factor, like an amazing pendant light or oversized floor light) and a bottom note (just subtle beautiful high light lighting). I spotted in the local property mag a kitchen with the halogen lights in the kitchen kick-plinth, worst of all they are blue, why?. It reminds me of boy racers who add these neon strip lighting to the underside of the car (why again!). On the opposite end of the spectrum what about this stair lighting for the ultimate in understated glamour and simplicity. Its a great example of bottom note lighting.

There I feel better for my little rant! What are your design hates?

love where you live

Thursday, 2 September 2010

style before substance

Yes, I have finally managed to sit down. I feel as if I have been on my feet for 3 days solid.
Its all in a good cause. One of those things, met a person who introduced me to another person who specialises in interior photography www.iain .The upshot is that he is doing a shoot at my house speculatively (tomorrow) and will send of the pics and a story to see if he can get a commission from a magazine.

Easy I thought only got to get 6 rooms ready. No, not easy styling rooms for a shoot is hard work. I ended up deconstructing all the rooms, moving all my junk and day to day knick knacks (which nobody but me would understand why I have them in the first place). Then days finding the right shade and shape of vase to fill a gap, the ideal picture for another gap, cushions to be rearranged into the perfect formation, furniture moved around to get a better angle in a shot. Fresh bread, herbs and fruit for the kitchen the list of things to do was endless. I think I would really enjoy doing it for a living but in your own home its a nightmare. Trying to keep the house clean and tidy until tomorrow, I am just about ready to pack everyone off down to the travel lodge so I don't have to do another wipe down of the floors.
I am sure it will all be worth it though and I will get some good publicity from the shots if they get used and I will have some great shots for my website and publicity material.

Designing a room for a shoot and designing a room to be lived in are completely opposing design wills. Its all about identifying a style, following it through and finding the right props. Its is not about day to day living! I only hope I can find everything I have hidden when thy have gone.
Have a look at some of the shots I love for the simplest but most stylish of styling. If you have any pics of fabulous styling would love to see them email them to me at .uk
love where you live

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Bath is a small place and it feels even smaller this week. Results at my sons schools were made incredibly sad. A terrible car accident the day after the results resulted in the loss of a hugely talented life. Charlotte was an amazing artist and had already exhibited at Chapel art gallery.
I know its been a week of reflection for the parents and the pupils at the school. How does anybody begin to make sense of such a terrible loss.
We, me included, spend our lives propelled at a million miles an hour, bombarded my emails, texts, phone calls. But today has been reflective day, appreciating what I have, a promise to myself to spend more time with my son and daughter. A promise to forget not to take anything for granted
To Charlotte, forever beautiful, forever loved, forever missed.

Monday, 30 August 2010


Nights are growing shorter and temperatures cooler, yuch! Never mind only a few more weeks then a trip to Spain where it should be a bit warmer. Just the next 2 weeks to get through; this week getting our house ready for a photo shoot on Friday, then the following week getting another house dressed and ready for sale.
Just thinking that adding panelling to a room has got to be the simplest way to create a really beautiful, glamorous, timeless space. The house I will be working on in a couple of weeks has the orginal panelling.
But its simple to add to an existing room. Tongue and groove to add a cottage feel or cut ply a more contemporary feel which is what has been used to clad the bedroom above at Chiswick house hotel. Its doesn't have to be prohibitively expensive but a good carpenter is a must. I am really looking forward to starting work on an ensuite next week where we are going to use panelling, its going to look amazing. Pictures to follow in a couple of months.

I am going to upload some pictures tonight onto my facebook site ( interior design bath id homes) of a room where we created a panelling effect by just using dado and architraves. The carpenter used a laser spirit level which made sure that it all looked fab when it was up.

Happy days, off to watch a couple of Gavin and Stacey episodes for the rest of this bank holiday Monday, tidy!