Interior Design Blog

June 2016

I hope you are enjoying this lovely sunny weather and the last few days of the school half term for those of you with children.

I have been keeping busy seeing clients who are spread across Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. I have neglected my blog – so I do apologise. Time flies by when you truly love what you do – I  am now extra busy as I have gone back to sewing, scary to think over 18 years ago I was taking my City and Guilds exam in Soft Furnishings!.  It is so satisfying producing a handmade product as you know exactly how it is made.  Technology is great but I feel it is important to keep traditional crafts going.

I adore fabrics but only purchase fabric books that will be suitable for my client base.  Sanderson are a firm favourite of mine, their newest collection The Woodland Walk – which can be seen on their website www.sanderson-uk.com

The collection evokes treasured sentiments and is inspired by British woodlands and wildlife, the cloths are natural, the imagery beautifully hand-drawn and painted

All the elements of this collection work together to create a sophisticated modern country style.

Butterflies are included in this collection which I find are popular for girls bedrooms but this natural colourway is much more grown up and would work well for older females and also in garden rooms.

Sanderson Woodland Walk Collection

February 2016

Hello

Apologies for my lack of news but I have been rather busy.  Lots of exciting news – I have already bookmarked a day off in March to visit Chelsea Harbour – London Design week so I can see all the new designs under one roof in one go.  I know some of the fabric houses have released their new designs but I prefer to see everything together before I purchase any fabric books. As I tend to know what my clients want then I am now quite particular which my purchases!

I am extra busy because I have gone back to sewing majority of my orders – I love the mix of visiting my clients then going back to my workroom to sew  - although I do have a fantastic back up if I cannot cope.

I will be back with more news soon.

 

August News

Hello everyone

We are already half way through August and it is not to early to start thinking about decorating in time for Christmas!.  There are some fabulous new collections coming out but I have to say I still think some of the older designs from fabric houses are still my favourite.  It is important to think about the age of your home and older homes are more suited to the traditional prints and colours from Sanderson/William Morris or Colefax and Fowler.  The same applies to paint Farrow and Ball and Little Greene Paint colours are much more sympathetic for older buildings.  If you need any help with colours or fabrics please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I am always out and about getting inspiration and keep up to speed with new products on the market – a pile of home interior magazines is always stacked in my office but nothing really beats seeing the product in the flesh so often I will go to London or visit flea markets for quirky products to make you home individual to you.

Enjoy the rest of August and I will be back soon.

Finishing Touches For Your Home

Once you have your room painted and furniture placed it is the ‘finishing touches’ that add personality to your interior and make it more personal to you. This can be achieved in the following ways

1. Fresh flowers and plants

This is a quick transformation and doesn’t have to be anything dramatic and expensive. Fresh flowers add colour to your room simply place on a coffee table or cabinet. You can change vases and the colour of the flowers so the room is always updated. A long clear vase filled with lily gives off a beautiful scent and will certainly lift your spirits and wow your guests. The way flowers are displayed can make a huge difference to the look of your room. If a simple plant pot is more your style then just ensure you have a fabulous container and you dust the leaves! I have to say I am not a keen fan of fake flowers although saying that there are some great ones on the market and good for those who are not green fingered!

2. Art work

Paintings and works of art are all very personal taste. Bare, boring walls get a real lift with a pop of colour from a colourful poster, collection of prints or simply family photos. Try to focus on a colour scheme or theme. Black and white photographs mounted in black frames which can be purchased very reasonably from Ikea can really make a statement. You could choose one large piece and create a focal point in the room.
Picture lights over artwork really do bring the painting to life and creates another dimension to the room.

3. Collectables

If you have a hobby and collect things such as books, teapots, sporting equipment then you can display the collection as a point of interest. However you do not need to display everything as your home not a museum and will soon look very cluttered. You can easily change displays around if you get bored and bring out different items to keep the room
4. Combine Textures and Feel
A combination of cushions in different fabrics, textures and colours can add another dimension to sofas and chairs it stops them looking ‘flat’. You can mix patterns and colours. Colours can be changed seasonally and fabrics, you may wish to pack your wool cushions up now and replace with linen or cotton cushions. Replace a wool throw with a linen one for the spring.

5. Lighting
Re-visiting your lighting can help enhance the look of your room. Don’t see lights as just practical products. The can be used to create artistic effect. You can create a layered look by installing a combination of ceiling ad wall lights, lamps and recessed lights. You can place up uplighters in plant pots to throw light up to the ceiling and these can easily be hidden behind a chair.

Boxhouse News

Hello

 

I do apologise for my lack of blog but I have been busy working with clients on various projects mainly back in the Cotswolds.  I just love the countryside and recently dropped off curtains one evening and stopped to take one of my favourite things, Cotswold Stone wall with wild flowers – take a look.cotswold view

Dressing your windows

curtains and blinds in prestigous fabric

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dressing a window can be as diverse as you wish. You need to think what do I want to achieve? It may be privacy, add warmth, functional or just for decoration.

1. Privacy
This can be in the form of a simple sheer roller blind which will give a contemporary feel to the room, and will not block out that much light during the day so you are able to keep them pulled down fully. Alternatively you can have shutters fitted, however these do tend to make the room look dark, a slightly lighter version would be to have venetian blinds which can be either wooden or aluminium and this gives you the option of tilting the slats so you can choose how much privacy you want.

2. Warmth
Full length curtains in a thick fabric will certainly add warmth to a room you can also interline them which is like a blanket sandwiched between the main fabric and lining this gives a really sumptuous look and feel as well as keeping out draughts. Interlined curtains are great for draughty doors or old cottages.

3. Functional
How often do you draw curtains, are you someone who always pulls them shut as soon as the light goes down, then if so choose curtains with a simple neat heading that are easy to pull open and shut with the minimal of adjustment. Invest in a good quality track or curtain pole which makes the curtains run so much more smoothly. Silent gliss is a brand name and certainly the ‘rolls royce’ of tracks – try one and you will notice the difference.

4. Decoration
These are used to simply dress the window and not be functional. It may be that you want a roman blind to pull up and down but have ‘dress’ curtains either side which means that you would never pull them, with this choice you would need less fabric which means you can choose a more expensive fabric if you love it as you won’t need as much!

5. Curtain headings
There are various types of headings but briefly the fall into the names of
Pencil pleat – simple gathered heading
Pinch pleat – classical pleat pinched into three also known as French pleat
Goblet – traditional heading shaped like a goblet – not so commonly used today
Eyelet – contemporary heading with rings punched into the fabric – no curtain rings are required on your curtain pole and cannot be used on a track
Wave heading – contemporary heading which folds back into waves this needs to be fitted onto a specialist track, simple but needs to be calculated accurately

Choosing the perfect sofa

 

upholstered in fabric

Grande Sofa and Chair 

Choosing the sofa that suits you, your family and home can be rather a minefield there are so many different designs and sizes to choose from. Here are some top tips when purchasing a sofa.

1. Shape
There are lots of designs out there but when it comes to the crunch I would recommend choosing a timeless classic which will last you a long time. It is best to avoid the latest craze and trends as your sofa may date very quickly. Are you someone who likes a traditional shape with scroll arms, or a more modern contemporary look with straight arms. Corner units are popular especially for TV rooms they are large so ensure you measure properly remember it may look small in a showroom but not in your home.

2. Fabrics
Think about your lifestyle do you have pets and children? If so you may want leather, if you don’t like leather which can dominate a room then choose a fabric that has a stain repellent in it or if you can have the fabric treated i.e scotchguard. Colour and texture do you like the warmth of wool or velvet maybe you prefer linen – a natural slubby appearance created a more ‘lived in look’. Also think about colour a neutral colour will be timeless and colour can be injected with cushions. Patterns can date more than a plain so choose you pattern carefully.

3. Fillings

Feather, foam, fibre? If you are someone that likes to sink into a squashy sofa then feather is for you, but it is high maintenance and will need regular ‘plumping’ up to prevent the feathers flattening. Foam is firmer than feather but lower maintenance. Fibre is in between the two and will suit majority of people, a good combination are fibre seats and feather back cushions which gives you the best of both worlds. The lowest maintenance is a sofa with a base wrapped with lots of foam and fibre known as a bench seat which means there are no cushions to maintain – a Chesterfield is a good example of this.

4. Comfort

A good sofa must be super comfortable. Consider the setting are you wanting an occasional sofa in a formal sitting if so you may choose a firmer upright bench style which will give clean lines. Is it a sofa you want to chill out on with the kids and watch TV then choose a large squashy sofa. It will often take several visits to a showroom and really test the sofas a quick five minute sit down is not a true test.

5. Loose Cover or Fitted Cover

The advantage of a loose cover means that they are removable and washable – great if you have pets and children. They give a more relaxed look to the sofa. Fitted covers give a much neater appearance, you can always have them steam cleaned in situ should you wish to freshen them up.

Sink into your sofa and enjoy!

Home Office

Working from Home
Statistics show that there are more people working from home than ever before so it is really important to spend time on designing a space that is functional for you.

Whether your home office is designated space for running a business, or simply a nook for paying bills and organising your life in general you deserve a proper area. Why? – an office reflects the design and comfort of the rest of your home and you will work a lot more efficiently if you have a proper designated and decorated room.

1 Location
Do not always assume you have to have the smallest room in the house or in the loft. Consider how your work do you need it to be quiet or can you cope with children and background noise? Do you have clients visiting you? – If so ensure you have adequate seating and it looks professional – this all reflects in how you present your business. Make sure your office has plenty of light to cut down on eye strain and headaches. Use a small lamp on the desk for task lighting.

2 Décor
Paint the walls in a colour you love. Forget the ‘office beige’ one needs a colour to ensure you work to your full potential. Some people like a bright cheery colour like orange or lime green. Others need a calming shade like duck egg blue. Colours really do have a huge impact on the way we feel.

3 Furniture
Invest in a good chair this is worth spending money on. Desks, shelving and storage need to be considered do you generate a lot of paper work? Do you need to keep client files? Plan what you need before you go and purchase furniture. Home office furniture should complement other rooms in the house instead of screaming ‘soulless office furniture’ – try Dwell, John Lewis and Marks & Spencers for inspiration.

4. Technology
Place your monitor as close to the socket as possible to avoid trailing wires and cords (use cord tidies). Purchase a wireless printer which avoids this.

5. Accessories
Choose items that enhance your personality – for example a fabric covered pin board, a wicker waste bin, a pretty mug – the ‘shabby chic look. If your taste is contemporary then Perspex pen holders, staplers and metal rulers all look cool on a glass desk. Pictures are another injection of your personality for your office – if you enjoy looking at your children’s paintings then allocate a space on the wall for these – anything that inspires you.

Enjoy your new space working from home.

January 2015 New Zealand New Homes

Belated New Year Wishes to you all, apologies for lack of my blog but I have been away in New Zealand – but am now back seeing clients and have a couple of exciting projects on the go.  The New Year is always a good time to review things and start a fresh.  It was interesting being the other side of the world and of course I had to go and visit some Showhomes, although New Zealanders are on holiday and go the their ‘Batches’ which are holiday homes normally on a piece of land several hours drive away from their everyday homes.

New Zealand new build

New Zealand new home

I managed to view a showhome and found that due the earthquakes they are constructed very differently, nearly all on one level and they are very much into family life and tend to have large kitchen/dining areas (see image) and have at least three to four bedrooms.  Paint is very expensive due to having to import it, along with all the fabulous fabrics that we take for granted in the UK.

Kitchen Showhome  New Zealand

Kitchen Showhome
New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the new homes windows seem to be from floor to ceiling so need a lot more fabric, I was amazed to see how the curtain linings are attached to the curtains, simply by being tagged together(see image).  I do not think we could get away with that in the uk.

tagged curtain lining

tagged curtain lining

 

Christmas is getting nearer

I know Christmas is next week and I apologise for the lack of blog but it has been crazy.  I was out delivering curtains last night and busy with quotes today – but I love my job.  My last job is being fitted on the 23rd December just in time for Christmas.  Already I am starting on an exciting project for next year so keep an eye on my twitter feed for updates.

I will also be writing a page for The Local Answer a Cheltenham magazine which is delivered every month and full of useful contacts and what is happening in Cheltenham.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my customers who have used my services and look forward to welcoming new clients in 2015.

Have a wonderful Christmas and prosperous 2015.