Monday, 31 May 2010

M.Y.O - make your own

I take my hat off to anyone who is competent with a sewing machine, its not my forte
(its just as well I have a good crew of soft furnishing and upholstery guys around me!)

I thought however I would challenge myself this year to at least have a better knowledge of some of the key making techniques. This year I have been on the most amazing week long handmade curtain and blind course I was taught by the Yoda of the Curtain Making World!- I know feel like a Jedi Curtain-Making Knight.

My search for enlightenment has been made easier by the opening in my home town (Bath) off "The Makery" ( which holds workshops on anything from cushion making to making your own knickers. The classes are small and lots of fun. It's so hip and happening that Elle Deco are running a feature on it. I have joined their furniture painting class and cushion making. My last challenge is to learn the secrets of upholstery with them when I get back from my hols in July.

I am not sure I will ever be good enough to making anything half decent. But it has given me lots of inspiration and confidence in seeing the potential of junk shop finds and I can now spot a well made curtain from 20 paces!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

sex and the city mania

Sex and the city 2 mania has reached fever pitch. All the buzz on facebook is about what everyone is going to where to the premiere. Where the Aidan and Carrie plot will go?
(I have palpitations just a the thought of seeing him on screen again). Looks like Carrie has gone all grown up with her interiors judging by the stage sets. I hate her not only for the fact that her new closet is to die for, but she also gets to keep her old closet. A recent poll amongst friends ranked walk-in closet's as a must have, even higher than wanting an enormous kitchen. Carries apartment with Big is a mash up of traditional, contemporary with a a bit of added kookiness, classic carrie! The bright splashes of primary colour are fab.

I am looking forward to seeing the film tomorrow but until then

I got to thinking.... about closets. As I sit here I ask myself, even if all women had big closets would they ever be truly be big enough for us.....?!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

french bookworm

I love a good interiors book to flick through. I noticed this one at the book store recently. French Interiors:The art of Elegance. Its packed with amazing architectural interiors, elegant rooms and close up details.

This is a really handsome, well- designed, superbly printed and entirely unnecessary book! Just a subtle hint, its my birthday soon and its on my wish list!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

a neutral world

Lots of design pundits are saying that neutral is passe, old hat and boring, I was starting to believe them! Then I found this website which has houses listed in it with the most amazing interiors. They have me wanting to redesign my home again! Or maybe not I think that my partner would probably not put up with yet another colour change. Maybe the answer is I need more than one house, maybe 2 or 3. But definitely a whole house dedicated to colour experimentation! But there again that's probably why I am in interior design so I can let rip all my ideas on other peoples homes, its probably cheaper than buying a another house!

the website you need to check out is

house of turquoise

Colour preferences are so hugely subjective. My preferred colour palette is quite narrow, I love grey tones of colour and the calm and relaxing atmosphere they create. I have just put together a colour board which is based around grey tones of blue, lilac and beige it looks great. When it comes back from a client I'll up load it for you to see.

I'm not sure I could live with loud colours in my own home. But I do love looking at zingy colours. Designers Guild's mad colour palette is fab and I have just come across a blog written by Erin who is obsessed with the colour turquoise. It features lots of fabulous homes featuring her favourite colour. Take a look its full of inspirational images.

I long to live in a warmer, sunnier climate, where the quality of light is more complimentary to brighter colours. But until that day I will stick with my colour retarded English Colour Palette!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

strawberries and cream

One of my favourite summer treats ( apart from a few jugs of Pimms!) is copious mounds of Strawberries and cream. Cream and hints of pink are a great interiors colour combination, scrummy! The colour combination works will in a country cottage interior but works just as well to create a really contemporary and funky look.

let us know what you think

Monday, 17 May 2010

art attack

Had hoped that last weeks Advanced Colour Course would teach me a few new things but alas no. But it did fill me with enthusiasm for my current project, the course triggered some great ideas for the design, so not a complete waste of time. The biggest inspiration for colour was my outing to Bristol and the affordable art fair on Saturday. I know I have definitely become an art junkie I wanted it all and I wanted it now!
I am finding out what pushes my buttons and there are 2 definite threads
- narrative pictures in really restful colours we bought a couple of Jane Eccles paintings (they are even more gorgeous in the flesh) They are called girl by a window and words unspoken

and really twisted stuff!!! (nate frizzell is amazing I've posted a pick of her lost in the thicket picture). is another favourite gallery for really unusual pieces.

I'll post during the week the links for the the photographer we found at the fair, he was awesome.

Looking forward to my next couple of course this week, cushion making and shabby chic furniture painting. You have to take a piece to paint and I found this wicked 1930's dolls cot which should paint up nicely (and it only cost £20 from a junk shop, result!). I must remember to take a before photo before I start work on it

art attack II

As promised here are the details of the amazing contemporary photographer Richard Heeps. His work is highly seductive, the highly saturated colours demonstrating great empathy for his subject matter. He does amazing cool descriptive interiors and his style pushes the limits of lens based photography without the need for digital manipulation. His work would looks fantastic in the coolest of contemporary interiors. Doesn't quite fit in with my Georgian House but I will find a way of working in some of his work in to my house by hook or by crook!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

affordable art

Check out the affordable art fairs which are running across the world this year (NYC, Paris, Sydney). I'm heading for the one being held in Bristol next week. I am going to be checking out , , ( have already purchased one of her screen prints) and
Let us know if you've been to one of the fairs and what you thought of them

a women's work is never done.

I have had a very productive weekend, yes it is the weekend and I am working. I am away the back end of the week on a course and it seems the only way to keep up with things!
I have been busy working on the construction side of a job this week so it has been nice to start working on the designs. Kicking off with the kitchen, there are lots of appliances to fit in and a wall is coming down so I want to make the most of the new space. The whole house is being rewired so there is a great opportunity to design in some great lighting features.
Most clients never think to come to an interior designer to design a kitchen. But where I have pitched for Kitchen design jobs I do tend to get them. I find that when clients go to a kitchen shop the design they get is about selling them as many units as possible, very few come and look at the space and even fewer look at offering nothing more exciting than a few under mounted halogen lights.
I love designing kitchens they are a real challenge, its getting the design to work ergonomically, aesthetically, technically, and creating a design which fits the clients and the houses personality. I am still a huge fan of hand painted kitchens (so practical, just paint them another colour when you get bored of them). I also love really out of the box designs (like the architect designed wooden kitchen above) and the simplicity of cream units.
I find designing in layers works for me. I develop a a floor plan (identify location of services and options for appliance locations and lighting), I put together a mood board then once this gets approved, then I source appropriate doors, then present the final design.
Anyway enough must finish the job in hand! I have a nice evening to look forward to cooking up a storm for my kids and having a very enjoyable evening around the kitchen table with them and a glass of chilled white wine!