How I Brightened Up My Design Room

Lucy Loves Ya

How is your day going so far ? Good, I hope.

Do you fancy a little tour around my design room – now that it’s freshly painted and has a few new pieces added ? It makes such a difference, having it all a little more organised. I’ve found since having children that there’s enough toy chaos in our home without me adding more so I’ve stripped it back a bit in here.

To start with – the walls have been lightened even more with a Farrow & Ball paint called All White. What I like about it is that it’s so pure in colour with no other pigment added so it instantly makes all the colour around stand out. Honestly, we have only gone a few shades whiter but it feels much brighter now.

My technical drawing board sits on the design table now , which is still one of most favourite things in the house ( and one of the heaviest ! ) . Not only do I use the room for making things, it doubles up as somewhere to sit and come up with interior design ideas now.

Retro Phone - Lucy Loves Ya

I painted the fabric cupboard Dayroom Yellow which is also Farrow & Ball. What do you think ? I love that it’s a strong colour but also blends very well with its surroundings. Perfect for the room to add the sunshine that we don’t always get in here. Having said that, it’s beautiful out there today.

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Inside, I painted it All White again but with their interior wood paint. The textiles and the patterns jump right out with the white as a backdrop. Really pleased overall with the whole look.

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A few new prints on the walls ( flamingos in one of course … ) along with some more succulents and planters. Honestly, is there a plant addict anonymous helpline ?  Think I might need it .. help !

Oliver Bonas Frame - Lucy Loves Ya

 

Oliver Bonas Lamp - Lucy Loves Ya

 

Oliver Bonas - Lucy Loves YaMy workspace is much more uncluttered and I have a new pastel pink lamp with a marble base which I adore. It’s from Oliver Bonas as is the multi frame up there above the screen.

Books - Lucy Loves Ya

Inspiration books under the design table have been tidied and organised. Much easier on the eye ! They just might even be colour co – ordinated.

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The striped rug has most definitely added some more colour and fun to the floor and it’s so lovely and soft. It’s from RugstoreNE and is by Brink & Campman.

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You may have noticed here on my blog that I really  love music and  especially records with cool artwork on the covers. Long live vinyl .. thats what I say ! I’ve popped several of our favourite albums in to some frames. It was a tough choice choosing but they can always be updated.

Lucy Loves Ya Design Room

The pegboard is so handy for washi tapes and notes – not they I ever get a chance to use these things, with two daughters in the house … :)

My sewing machines are, well, still the same so I don’t need to show you them but I hope you’ve enjoyed being shown around. You can see a few more images on my instagram if you fancy having a look.

Lucy Loves Ya Design Space

I’d love to know what you think of the room ? Do you like it white and light ? As ever, you can leave me a comment under this post or you can tweet me @lucylovesyablog.

Have a good one.

Lucy x

The paint was sent to me by Farrow & Ball, as was the rug from RugStoreNE – all opinion, are my own.

Inspire Me – With Rosie Ramsden, Author of The Recipe Wheel

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You may well have seen The Recipe Wheel book in stores as it is doing so well and the cover is so colourful and unique – let alone the content. 

The premise is 120 recipes using 10 inspirational  wheels that both savoury and sweet. So many fantastic dishes to try out.

Today, I feel really lucky to be sharing with you, an interview with Rosie Ramsden the author, who illustrates the book beautifully too. 

 

Rosie Ramsden interview on Lucy Loves Ya

 

Rosie, you’re an author, cook, food stylist and an artist – which came first and what inspired it ?

I painted a lot in my school years but it was only when I started working in food that I found that cooking inspired me to paint more, having so many beautiful ingredients to work with – particularly painting still life of food. When I can’t paint, its the food styling that satisfies my creative side.

Rosie Ramsden book

Your book ‘ The Recipe Wheel ‘ is such a genius and fresh way of looking at  food and cooking – how did you come up with it ?

Thank you so much ! The Recipe Wheel reflects how I think about cooking: I start with something I know, then I use that to develop a recipe; to think how I could make it more interesting, delicious, colourful. The more I cook though, the bigger my own personal recipe wheel becomes, but it gives me a lot more scope for coming up with fresh ideas.

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I was immediately drawn to The Recipe Wheel book by the colour on the front. How important was this in the overall look and feel ?

Colour is an important aspect to cooking, as it tends to be the more colourful ingredients, namely vegetables, that inspire us to start cooking. More importantly though, I felt that the colours in the wheel helped to engage imagination and encourage the reader to explore their own ways of cooking.

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Will you be writing and illustrating any more books ? If so when can we expect to see them on the shelves ? 

I would love to at some point. I’m waiting to find an idea that really makes me want to write. In the meantime, I’m food styling and writing and painting for other people which is so valuable for experimenting with flavours and exploring recipes, before venturing into something new of my own.

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With your styling work – how long does it take to prepare to set up shots ? How do you make it look so effortless  ? 

The time a shot takes completely depends on how long the recipe takes to cook beforehand, or how long it can stay on set before it starts to wilt. It depends on the light for the photographer and how the plate looks as a whole. Somethings are instant – a quick one shot triumph – and some can take all day..! I usually find that the less time something takes to get right, the better it looks.

Of course, I’m intrigued as to what your home is like ? How would you describe your own interior style ? 

It is cluttered with paintings, cups, saucers, flowers, paint brushes and rugs ( and now children’s toys ) but I always make sure there are spaces for calm, too. I like to call it organised mess… Light is essential for me. I can’t bear a dark room, unless it is filled with lamps. The walls are all pale and muted, but there is colour in everything else. No black, but greys and reds and woods.

Being a Mum, how do you combine everything and what’s a perfect family day for you ?

I can safely say on behalf of my whole family that food tends to be the centre of everything we do. Mealtimes mark pauses in chaos, and give us a chance to spend time together. We are lucky that there’s always a full fridge at home, and living in Hackney a good restaurant is never far out of reach! In between food, I love putting Thom on the back of my bike and whizzing around Victoria Park. If there’s a beach or a river nearby then I’ll hopefully swim in it, and being outdoors, husband / baby / dog in tow, is my idea of heaven.

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Can you give some advice to any aspiring creative people who dream of writing their own book one day ? ( including me ! ) 

The more you write or cook or eat or think about food, the more the ideas will flow. Sometimes there are knockbacks but that shouldn’t distract you from trying. Talk to people for their advice, and be prepared for hard work that is utterly fulfilling and fun !

Thanks, Rosie. I completely take my hat off to your talent and work ethic.

Having already tried some of the recipes here – I can totally recommend this book and aesthetically, it’s a talking piece in itself !

Hope you’ve enjoyed the interview and let me know what you think of it, if you buy the book too or leave me a comment just for the fun of it under this post with your thoughts. Would love to hear from you as ever … :) 

Have a good one.

Lucy x

Photo copyright credits: 1 – Lizzie Mayson. 2 & 3 – Lucy Gleeson ( the colour wheel graphics on the front page book are by Will Webb ).  4  & 5 – Rosie Ramsden. 6 – Maja Smend for Delicious Magazine. 7 – Tara Fisher for Thomasina Mier’s upcoming book, Home Cook, Faber and Faber. 8 – A Tess Ward Recipe Fabulous Magazine by Ria Osbourne. 

A Tea Party With My New Bluebellgray Set and 20% Offer Code For You.

Bluebellgray Tea

So, here is a lovely way to start the week with a little tea party – and a special offer …

I’m so in to my new floral inspired ‘Florrie ‘ fine china tea set from Bluebellgray. I’ve always had a thing about drinking from delicate mugs and cups and saucers and these are so adorable. I was almost too scared to take them out of their beautifully wrapped boxes because they’re so pretty and I am terribly protective of my china. Just ask anyone who has tried using any of my favourite tea pots. I tend to stand over them in case they go to drop them. It’s true !

Macarons & BlueBellGray Florrie

Anyway, Saturday was the perfect opportunity to give my Florrie babies their first airing as it was sunny outside and cakes and macarons needed to be eaten and tea sipped.

Look at the floral  on this Florrie tea plate. The set contains 4 individual blooms, all designed and originally painted by Fiona Douglas who started Bluebellgray back in 2009 in Scotland. The pinks blue and yellow watercolour brushstrokes on these are almost too good to hide away in a cupboard  – definitely worthy of hanging on the wall.

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I am sure you will have seen one of their ranges because they are stocked in many stores these days – ceramics, bedding, rugs and gifts. All of their products always catch my eye because they’re so colourful and unique. My two favourite things. I wonder if Fiona envisaged her brand becoming so well known ? It certainly has. I’m always amazed at how much inspiration can come from one person. There are so many rich and dreamy ranges to choose from.

Bluebellgray Tea Party

Do you like tea from the teapot ? I always think it tastes better somehow from brewed in one. Especially on a sunny day with friends and family.

BlueBelleGray Flowers

Mae found another use for the pretty Florrie milk jug once we had finished our cuppas .. The bright reddy pinks seem to being out the hues on the ceramic which is a piece of art in itself, really. I might not let anyone else use this … is that really mean of me ? :)

BlueBellGray Florrie copy

Now about  the offer that I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I am honoured to have an exclusive Bluebellgray discount code here for my readers. You can get 20% off everything at Bluebellgray by using this  – LUCYLOVES – you just need to enter it on the ‘ view basket ‘ page at checkout. They have some stunning Moroccan Baskets just in as well as of the other homeware that I was telling you about. Take a look.

BlueBellGray & Cupcakes

I am now very tempted to add to my new Florrie set too with some bowls and salad plates to my collection.   hope you have fun browsing their website. I also found so many pictures to share on Pinterest on there. You will see what I mean !

Have a good one.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Bluebellgray – all opinions are my own. 

Colour Palettes For Summer Inspiration

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It has been a little while since I added some colour palettes to the blog. I love doing it but time goes so fast and then a season has passed.
Well, we’re still in Summer .. it is only the start of August, so these are definitely warranted.

I’ve picked out a few of my recent favourite instagram pics of which I love the colour combinations, starting with a picture of Betsey holding a big vase of flowers in her favourite dress. There is actually more of a story to this picture as it was for a styling competition run by One World Trading and Bloomon and we won with this. Which makes me love it even more because it made Bets so very happy.

As I have said before – I am a big fan of pink and green together. So many different shades of pink to choose if you really direct the the image but I like these particular ones. It would make a lovely scheme for living room. Or how would you use it ?

Colour Blocks 2

Adorable Southwold in this one. One of my favourite places. Mae, my eldest is mad on blue and I think she would really like this for her room. We are half way there with her walls but also grey is really growing on us, even though we are generally a brightly coloured home. Grey brings out other colours and makes a great, dramatic backdrop. I think it’s also a good combination on this one for a bathroom or contemporary kitchen. What do you think ?

Colour Blocks 3

Is there anyone who hasn’t seen this wall on instagram at some point ? Possible the most photographed wall in London. This is my favourite of the three as it’s so happy and summery. I’d love some wall art in these colours or I could see it looking fab in a nursery. In fact this isn’t far off my newly painted design studio, which I will be showing you very soon.

Do you like it too ? Which one do you like best ?

If you’d like to follow me on isntagram for more colour inspiration them you can find me here – lucylovesyablog ..

Have a good one.

Lucy x

Relaxing with Rooi and Rose Lemonade …

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Hey, how is your week going so far ?

It’s a little hectic here with days out, posts being photographed and written – I’m not complaining though. Happy to be busy – a few lie ins are most definitely scheduled.

 

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It was so lovely and sunny yesterday that I got out my new gifts from Rooi.com ( more about them in a minute … ) and had some rose lemonade while we watched the sun go down. Bliss.

We really should do it more often.

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You may well recognise the gold polka dots here that Kate Spade is renowned for. I feel very lucky to have this ‘Raise A Glass Pitcher, a Highball Glasses Set and the Gold Ice Bucket. A real treat to use.

Tray

Do you know of Mariska Meijers ? Well, this stunning tray and stand are designer by her and work well with the acrylic Kate Spade sets. The tray also has an additional ‘ table stand ‘ which is really useful.

Kate Spade Cups

All of these delicious items are from luxury online homestore Rooi.com I like their taste in colours and style – very much. They have Ban.do coming really soon to their website too.

Well worth having a sneaky little look through their brands  – they also sell the most wonderful cotton bedding, Christian Lacroix, Pip Studio and Liberty London and that’s just a few of many. I do love their doggy beds.

Kate Spade @Rooi.com

Here are my goodies in the garden where we settled for a while. We added some fruit to the as you can see. I can definitely recommend raspberries and lime with rose lemonade. So good.

While you’re here  – I was honoured to be interviewed last week by Good Housekeeping Magazine Online, about my home and inspirations – you can read it here if you like !

Have a good one.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Rooi.com –  all opinions are my own.

Inspire Me – with Interior Designer Sophie Robinson

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Have you ever wondered how an interior designer balances an interior design career and home life … along with tv presenting, interior styling and running colour courses.

Well, I have a little interview here with Sophie Robinson whom you may well know as a judge on BBC2s Great Interior Design Challenge and home expert on ITV’s This Morning –  who can fill you in on just how she achieves all of the above.

I’m a fan of Sophie’s work so it is a real pleasure to be featuring her here today on ‘ Inspire Me’ … 

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Was it always your plan to become an interior designer ?

I was always passionate about doing up my bedrooms as a young kid and that quickly spread to other rooms in the house. My mum is hugely creative and that really had a positive impact on me. She was also really encouraging and gave me free reign to design my bedroom and help with other areas too. She really nurtured my creativity and gave me confidence. She did such a good job that my brother Edward Robinson is an interior stylist too !

You’ve just moved in to a lovely new house. What made you fall in love with it and is this your forever home ? 

Yes I think it will be our forever home. We’ve been working hard and saving like mad to get here. It’s a four-bedroom farmhouse in the Sussex country and we have 5 acres of paddock and garden, then surrounded by 100acres of ancient woodland so yes- it’s pretty dreamy ! The house however is a bit charmless so my husband, who’s conveniently a builder, and myself are going to really relish the design. The house isn’t listed so we’re hoping we can really release our creativity on it. We’re up for a big remodel !

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There are some fabulous colour trends this year – are you working with them a lot ?

Colour trends come and go and I’m always fascinated to know what they are but as a devout colour lover I’m never greatly swayed. Over years I’ve developed my own colour palette and I like to work with that. However I love the way trends can shake me out of a style rut and encourage me to try something new.

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The ultimate question – what is your favourite colour ?

Neon pink. That was hard.

When working with clients on their home designs – do you help people develop their style or do most people already know what they are looking for?  

Some people have a very strong idea of what they like and others don’t have a clue. The true skill of an interior designer is to draw out the individual’s style and taste and then make it work in their home. 

How did you get in to television presenting ?

It’s pure luck ! My first job was on ITV’s 60 minute makeover and one of the researchers went to Art College with my brother and invited me to screen test. I find in this industry it’s really important to make good connections with everyone you meet, and do a good job. Being self employed you’re only ever as good as your reputation. One of the directors on 60 MM was, almost 10 years later, casting for judges on GIDC and put my name in the pot.

Can you pick a favourite room from the many you have judged on the Great Interior Design Challenge ? 

No !
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Do you find it easy to balance work and home life? If so, please do tell us how … ? :)

No I do not. It’s a nightmare. After filming three series with loads of time away from home and moving house and having an incredibly busy first 6 months of this year I’ve decided to take a break. My health was suffering and it’s not worth it. So I’m taking the school summer holidays off to spend with my son and nest in my new home. Sometime you have to honour the power of No and get some control back. I think watching your children grow up has to be the most important thing. Although I love my career so don’t panic, I’m not going anywhere, just dialling it down for a bit.

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You’re currently working with This Morning and Good Morning Britain on ITV, offering ideas for home makeovers. 

Yes that has been great fun. Live TV is very different to pre-recorded stuff. The amount of work and organizing that goes into 5 minutes of live broadcast is insane ! But the This Morning crew are just so delightful as are Holly and Phil.

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As well as working with clients and presenting (and of course being a Mum), you also run courses. Who would you recommend them for ?

I run Interior Design Master classes with Daniel Hopwood, which are a great day for anyone who’s passionate about interiors. Our guests include people who’d like to go into it as a career or maybe currently studying. Then there are plenty of people who are doing up their own home and are looking for ideas and knowledge and also people who want a lovely day out and a nice lunch ! I also run courses on Colour, which is a more hands on, and creative workshop with ideas to update your home or your wardrobe. There are more dates coming up in the autumn and you can book on our Eventbrite page.

What is the best bit of advice you can give to any budding interior designers or presenters ? 

If you want to become an interior designer you need training. In today’s professional market interior designers have high levels of qualifications and computer skills. If you want to set up your own company rather than work for someone else, you’ll need not only interior design but also business training. It’s a very competitive industry and you need grit to make it ! As for becoming a TV presenter, that’s much harder to orchestrate. I’d aim to becoming the best in your field, make sure you are visible on social media so that when casting directors are looking for new talent, your profile sticks out. It probably would be a good idea to do YouTube videos too. Then make sure you have another career to fall back on, as TV is notoriously fickle !

We’re already in August (wow !) – what do you have planned for the rest of 2016 ? 

I’ve been flat out for the first part of this year so I’m going to take it easy over the summer. I’ve just started working with a business coach and my focus is growing my brand and my social media platforms so I can have the enviable life of flexible working hours, where and when I like ! While continuing to inspire people to get creative in their own spaces by sharing all the know-how I’ve accrued over the years. Watch this space !

Thanks, Sophie. Fantastic advice regarding the world of television  – and your love of colour is truly inspiring. 

If you’re interested in Sophie and Daniel’s courses – then do click on that link. I rather fancy it myself.  You can also follow her Youtube channel here and her lovely colourful instagram page here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this interview with Sophie – do leave a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog with your thoughts and also what colour combinations work for you in your home ? 

Have a good one.

Lucy x

Image credits: 1. Luca Sage. 2,3,4, 5 & 7 by Alan Callender. 6 by Sophie Robinson.

Chilling Our Boots with a Homemade Raspberry & Choc Ice Cream Recipe

Raspberry & Choc Ice Cream

It’s still very much trial and error with my attempts to grow fruit and vegetables in the garden. We’re enjoying it though. My friend Lou told me that raspberries grow easily so of course I rushed out and bought a plant last year – and she was right. They do.

Hoe Grown Raspberries

Betsey loves them and there’s nothing nicer than popping outside and helping ourselves to a few organic raspberries – and I seriously don’t want to waste any of them. In fact, I’d go as far to say that I’m obsessed with not wasting anything that we’ve grown. It tastes so good and we’ve spent so long nurturing everything. I probably sound like that lady with the dungarees from the 70s sitcom ‘ The Good Life ‘  – but we have a long way to go before we have pigs roaming in the garden.

Home Made Ice Cream

Anyway, we decided that as we have practically been melting in the heat this week it would be a good time to use our new ice cream maker and try out our own simple recipe for raspberry and dark chocolate ice cream with fresh mint. As we have sampled it and like it a lot..  ( it’s so intensely fruity ) – thought you might like it for yourself ? You don’t actually need a machine to make this but if you do have one  – saves a little bit of time. It’s really quick and easy.

Ice Cream RecipeIce Cream Recipe on Lucy Loves Ya

Ingredients.

1 and a half cups of raspberries.

200 ml  extra thick double cream.

75 g white sugar.

40 g dark chocolate chopped into small pieces.

1/ 4 teaspoon of vanilla bean extract.

a few sprigs of fresh mint to decorate.

Method.

Puree 1 cup of raspberries and chop most of the other ones in to little pieces – adding them a bit later in to the ice cream mix for texture and also save a few for topping.

Add the sugar, chopped raspberries and vanilla extract to the puree and mix together. Then add the chocolate, saving a few pieces back. Place the mixture in the fridge to cool for 30 mins.

Next put it on the ice cream maker or mix steadily until the consistency has thickened a little. Pour it in to a bowl suitable for the freezer and then sprinkle the last few bits of chocolate over the top.

Pop it in to the freezer, ideally over night but for at least 4 hours. You have ice cream !

Raspberry ice cream recipe

To serve  – add a few fresh mint leaves and raspberries to the top – it looks nice and colourful but also adds lovely flavour.

If you try it out – hope you enjoy it – do let me know how you get on ?

Have a good one.

Lucy x

Three Bedroom Moodboards for a Makeover

Pinks & Blues Moodboard

Apologies for the radio silence these last few weeks here on my blog. I have been updating my social media but have had this weird virus so the energy levels have been a little low. However – feeling loads better now.

Enough of that though … on to brighter things.

A new look bedroom is on the horizon. In fact, I’m not sure you’ve ever seen my bedroom before but you will once it has had a little makeover. My mind has been buzzing with possibilities. I know for sure that I want to change the flooring from carpet to wood. I think it will make the room feel more in keeping with the style of the house. We have wooden floors downstairs too so as long as we have some good felt underlay underneath it will be soundproof and add more character to the room. In the long term it will be more practical too.

Realising how important the floor will be to the overall scheme, I have teamed up with flooring brand Quick-Step who are leaders in their field, to discuss how my final choice of floor will impact on the look and feel of the bedroom.

I have lots of Quick-step samples to choose from as they manufacture all sorts of trend-lead flooring including luxury vinyl, hardwood and laminate – However, for my bedroom, and we are going for their hardwood collection which is in fact engineered wood flooring, which comes with many benefits. It looks fantastic and also offers the same appearance of solid wood due to its real wood top layer. It’s very easy to install which is good, plus it’s hardwearing and easy to look after – which is just what we need. Our local flooring fitter has also given it the thumbs up, so I’m sold and looking forward to getting started.

Next comes the ideas for colours and textures. Still in the early stages but I have had some fun picking out my favourite samples and seeing what palettes might work with them. Quick-Step has a huge selection to suit everyone’s taste, from trend leading greys and whites, to more traditional browns and golden tones, so I wasn’t short on choice.

Bedroom Boudoir.

The first one above is from the ‘ Compact range ‘. I like the idea of similar coloured floors to downstairs so that it flows well from room to room. It also means that they can be painted if we ever decide to.

Pink & Blue Moodboard

The soft shades compliment it and hopefully give a restful and feminine feel ( sorry, Andy ).

Blue & Pink Moodboard Close Up

I think the colours would be more in the bedding with white walls. A stronger turquoise to pull it all together and a little splash of gold to add warmth and a bit of opulence. :)

 

Green 7 Yellow Moodboard

Green and Serene… Almost.

Yellow is very much on trend at the moment but I love it all the time whether it is or isn’t. Of course in a bedroom you don’t necessarily want too much as it is a stimulating colour but
maybe a chair covered or an art print or two will make it cheery and lovely to wake up to. Some earthy green  – maybe a plant or I can make some blinds with botanical prints. Gentle pinks always seems to sit nicely alongside these two colours.

Green Yellow Moadboard

The white washed floor is Quick-Steps’  Castello ‘ range and I really love it. With white walls it will make a very light and peaceful room. You can see the grain of the wood still which is really appealing too.

Green & Yellow Moodboard

What do you think of this colour – way ? I’d love to find a vintage style brass lamp to complete the look.

Beach Hut Moodboard Inspiration

Beside the Seaside.

Obviously a seaside inspired room was going to make its way on to my blog wasn’t it ? If not for Andy and I  then it would suit one of the girls’ rooms.

Beach Hut Moodboard Textures

I think the rustic feel of the wooden flooring here also helped to conjure visions of stripes and pastel hues. It is from the ‘ Imperio ‘ range at Quick-Step and is described as ‘ rough white oak ‘  – the texture is lovely to touch.

Beach huts and rainbow colours always remind me of fun family days so it would be a happy haven to retreat to.

A striped duvet set or some wallpaper would definitely add a coastal element.

Beach Hut Moodboard

Blue and white is probably the most popular combination but I don’t think I would be able to resist the odd pop of yellow or pink – or both.

So now the big question  – which is your favourite – or do you have your own idea of what would look good ? Do leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Keep your eyes peeled for the finished bedroom – and in the meantime I also have an updated design area nearly finished too ..

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Quick-Step. All opinions are my own.

Sweetpea & Willow – 10 Year Anniversary …

Sweetpea & Willow Lansdown 3 seater sofa in Azure velvet from £3290, Eicholtz Asscher nickel coffee table £1495 (4)

Today I want to share with you,  some rather gorgeous pieces of furniture. I’ll start with this one because, as I think I’ve said it before – my favourite colour is turquoise or in this case ‘ Azure ‘.  It looks so inviting in this room and it might just be be because those seat cushions are extra deep for comfort.

The Landsdowne Modular Sofa and all the other pieces on this post are from Sweetpea & Willow who are actually celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year. You may well know of them already – they have a huge showroom in London as well as an online store. They are a name that I am familiar with for good quality, high end french furniture and home and garden accessories and I love their ” Handmade in London ” section.

I have noticed that they evolve along with the trends and colour palettes of each year but always know their own style and do it really well.

Sweetpea & Willow Vintage Rose Berkley collection armchair ú1495, antique mercury glass lamp ú195, Eicholtz connor side table ú1195 (7)

Vibrant pink and gold. I’m sold. The Vintage Rose Berkley armchair here with its deep buttons and fixed studs is dreamy. It’s designed and made by Sweetpea & Willow with responsibly sourced hardwood frames. It comes in different fabrics and sizes from the armchair all the way up to a 4 seater.  Really, really like this and am now wondering how I can make it appear in my living room sometime soon. Hmm. Funnily enough I have been looking for a new standing lamp and this one is great for reading.

 

Sweetpea & Willow Bancroft 3 seater sofa in silver from ú2980, Bancroft armchair in silver from ú1580, Bancroft footstool in silver from ú685Sweetpea & Willow Bancroft armchair in silver from ú1580 (2)More neural tones for a tranquil space, with these pieces from Sweetpea & Willow and some splashes of dramatic hues. My eyes are drawn straight in to that lovely glass Eichholtz tray.

Sweetpea & Willow St Jorges Bed in Platinum fromú2265 (kingsize) (4)

I’m not sure that I would ever leave this St Jorge Bed. I think if choosing a fabric I would have it made up in the cotton but you can also get it made in silk ( wow ) linens and velvets ( double wow ). A bed is usually the centre piece for a bedroom and something we don’t change regularly so – it’s important to have one that you love getting in to. After all we spend about 26 years of our life sleeping, apparently.

Sweetpea
  1. Jonathan Charles Artanis Four Shelves Unit. 2. Columbo Desk Lamp. 3 Double Jeu Opiat Cushion  4. Gold Good Vibes Only Picture 5. Gold Top Pineapple Jar 6. Barbara Bronze Chair 7. True Grace Black Lili Candle 8. Golden Base Viola Vase 9. Alexandra Side Table 10. Eichholtz Mirror Cheyenne

Here is my wishlist on some current Sweetpea & Willow items. As you can see – I’m all about the gold at the moment. It adds warmth to a room but is super glamorous too. I’ve always been a huge fan of tropical prints and interiors and glad to see they have a selection of luscious pineapple products including the jar .. but do check out their book ends too. I will definitely be buying the ‘ Good Vibes Only ‘ picture.. I think it says it all for a happy home.

How do you like Sweetpea & Willow’s style ? I recommend checking their garden ranges out too …

 … and are you with me on the Wishlist ? Leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Sweetpea & Willow. All opinions are my own.

Palms Trees, A Sri Lankan Monkfish Curry Recipe and Coconuts.

The Elephant Stamp Napkins

After the last curry recipe here on my blog, I figured another one might go down as well. You all seemed to like it and the feedback I received was ace.

Thankfully my clever Dad was very happy to oblige and came up with a recipe for a Sri Lankan style curry and let me tell you – it is good. I ate it all and then scraped the plate clean at the end.

I also thought it would be a great opportunity to try out my lovely new napkins and matching cushions. They’re really tropical and match the curry theme perfectly, don’t you think ?

If you don’t know of them already – I’d like to share a bit of background info about The Elephant Stamp who I received my Safomasi tropical textiles from –   and then I will move on to the recipe and a tasty non alcoholic cocktail too.

Monkfish Curry

If you love homeware that has a story to tell then The Elephant Stamp online store will be right up your street.

They personally selects all of their homeware designs by global brands. The printed illustrations are inspired by places such as Devon, The Netherlands but then further afield in Kerala ( I have a feeling this is where my napkins and cushion print inspirations are taken from ) and they even have hand embroidered items from Women Artisans in Mexico. All very beautiful.

Elephant Stamp Cushion

The Elephant Stamp’s aim is to connect us to the maker of each piece and to understand the origin –  which also will helpfully enable them to carry on making their carefully, well made products for a long time to come … Which is good news for us all.

They sell some beautiful throws that I am sorely tempted by. Do check them out.

Sri Lankan Curry

Now on to the Sri Lankan Monkfish Curry recipe.

If you’d like to give it a go then here is what you will need. This should serve 4.

1 kilo Monkfish – diced, skinned and de – boned.

Turmeric powder.

1 red onion – thinly sliced.

2 tablespoons groundnut oil ( you could use sunflower oil instead )

3 medium sized tomatoes – well chopped.

1 teaspoon seasalt, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 teaspoon grated root ginger, chilli flakes, ground cumin seeds, ground black pepper seeds, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 inch cinnamon stick, handful fresh curry leaves, 1 tablespoon of tamarind water ( you can find this online or in some supermarkets )

1 litre –  coconut milk.

1 lime.

Rice – enough for 4 people.

Coriander, extra lime pieces and 1 grated coconut to garnish.

NB: Keep the shell of your coconut for serving your cocktail  – you will need 6 ice cubes, coconut milk ( you will already have enough from the carton from the curry recipe )  and 3 mugs of fresh pineapple juice.

 

Monkfish Curry Recipe copy

Method

Marinate the monkfish in a light powdering of turmeric for 10 minutes and then set aside.

Heat the oil gradually and then add the onion and fry until soft. Add the tomatoes and fry together with the onion until well blended. Now add the salt, crushed garlic clove, grated root ginger, chilli flakes, ground cumin seeds, ground black pepper seeds and sugar. Also the add the cinnamon stick plus a handful of fresh curry leaves  and a level tablespoon of tamarind water. Stir well  before adding a full mug of coconut milk and stir well until all well mixed together.

Now introduce the marinated monkfish and cook gently for for only a few minutes until it is tender. Finally add the juice of one squeezed lime.

If you are cooking this to eat with rice – prepare and boil the rice ready to co – ordinate with the curry being ready to eat.

Monkfish Sri Lankan Curry

Plate up your meal and then dress with coriander, extra lime pieces and some grated coconut.

Pina Colada

All you need now is a refreshing drink to have with your curry – so blend the ice cubes or crush if you don’t have a blender with the coconut milk and pineapple juice  and serve in the left over coconut shells. Add some straws  – and you’re away !

Pina Colada Non Alcoholic

Hope you enjoy this recipe by my Dad, if you do try it out –  and love my new napkins and cushions from The Elephant Stamp as much as I do ?

Any questions or comments – leave me a comment under this post and I will get right back to you.

Have a good one.

Lucy x

The cushions and napkins were gifted to me by The Elephant Stamp. All opinions are my own.