Posts Categorised: Interiors

Inspire Me – with Charlotte Cosby, Creative Director at Farrow & Ball


Are you a fan of Farrow & Ball ? I am. It’s hard to not fall in love with their paint colours and wallpaper designs. I love the depth of their colours and the feel, texture and quality of the papers.

Charlotte Cosby, Creative Director at Farrow & Ball is behind all of the beautiful shades and patterns, along with her team, based in Dorset. I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to interview Charlotte and ask her amongst other things, about their new collection …


A question I am sure you get asked a lot, as you have such a dream job, but how did you become Creative Director at Farrow & Ball ?

It was really just a case of being in the right place and the right time, although a love of design, interiors and colour certainly helped as well!

My first job was at a bank, but as it turns out, I wasn’t that interested in Swiss market intelligence so packed my bags and headed for an ad agency in London. There I worked as a planner but soon realised my heart was in creative and I went to work for a freelance interior designer and gallery owner. Finally, at the tender age of 23, I settled at Farrow & Ball. I was like a kid in a sweet shop full of colours and patterns and have spent the last nine years growing up with the brand.


What are your earliest memories of colour and patterns ?

I’ve been drawn to colour and pattern for as long as I can remember but my most vivid memory is of the wallpaper in the living room of my childhood home. It had an off-white background with pale blue, peach and aqua irregular dots that created a loose impression of flowers in a garden. Coincidentally, I’m very attracted to patterns with that type of texture and this question has helped me to pinpoint exactly why that might be the case !

Research must be an integral part of your job. Do you travel far and wide ? How do you find these places ?

Yes absolutely, I’m very fortunate to be able to travel to lots of amazing places as part of my job. From research trips to the States to attending trade shows across Europe, I journey anywhere and everywhere for Farrow & Ball! While I’ll often start by looking for inspiration for new wallpaper designs in archives, initial inspiration could have come from anything from Japanese manhole covers to historic houses to something interesting I’ve found in the antiques fabric dealers in New York.


BP5002 & BP5004_273EE_273EEG_2

Are you constantly updating your own home with your new hues and wallpapers ? Or do you have staple favourites ?

Yes I paint a lot! Every time we introduce new colours I end up painting another room with a new favourite colour. My home is an eclectic mix of contemporary and modern with a restful colour palette backdrop. I spend a lot of time around colour and am always busy so I opted for a simple, restful palette so I could properly relax.

My bedroom is painted Wimborne White which is a great backdrop for the 8ft high green banana leaf print I have on the wall! The living room is painted in the soothing Dix Blue which is extremely calming and the guest room is a combination of Ammonite and Purbeck Stone.

I also have some bolder colours and patterns, for example I have Lotus 2051 though my hallway. Being a first floor flat, this covers two floors from the bottom of the stairs. For my kitchen, I wanted something a little more dramatic so opted for rich Stiffkey Blue. My bathroom is also painted in Dix Blue and Pavilion Blue but with the addition of a giant pink Aubdon flamingo on the tiles !


How would you recommend using palettes throughout a home to ensure a happy balance ?

If you want a house to flow from room to room, choose paints that have the same weight of colour within them. Strong colours are great but do think about how they relate to one another. Make sure you are happy with the flow and that it doesn’t shock or jar from one room to another. For example, a Stone Blue hallway leading into a Rectory Red living room will work well because the weight of colour is balanced.

Farrow & Ball have the most wonderful selection of whites. Can a subtle difference in shade make all the difference in a room and why ?

It certainly can ! As with all of our colours, our whites have different undertones. The key to picking the right white is taking the time to understand how these undertones will affect the space you are decorating as well thinking about the look and feel you want to achieve. For example, with its red undertones, Joa’s White is the perfect companion for Book Room Red or Rectory Red and will create a warm and homely environment. To create a cooler more urban style, neutrals like Blackened or Dimpse which have soft blue tones, illustrate how the undertone of a colour can not only change the overall feel of the room but also the style.


I immediately spot your colours and patterns in people’s homes. What do you think it is about Farrow & Ball paint and wallpapers that make them so distinctive ?

Our paints are made using the highest quality pigments and resins and no low quality ‘ fillers ‘, which means they have a visibly greater depth and purity. The key ingredients of Chalk, China Clay and high quality Titanium Dioxide all combine to give our paints their unique absorbing finish. We also test every batch of paint by hand for colour accuracy, so they meet our obsessively high requirements.

Farrow & Ball wallpapers are just as distinctive. Our papers are handcrafted according to traditional production methods and created using our paints meaning it’s easy to combine paint and paper to create a cohesive look within a room.  You could choose to pick out the ground or pattern colour on woodwork or other walls, or choose fabric and furnishings inspired by the paper. The paint also gives the paper a uniquely textured appearance which makes them really tactile – you can’t help but want to touch them !


Can you tell me about the new Farrow & Ball wallpapers – Hornbeam, Feather Grass and Blostma. What is the inspiration behind them ?

Living and working in Dorset, I am constantly inspired by the beauty of nature and the changing seasons.  I wanted to create a collection that celebrates the special influence that the British countryside has on you, and translate this into the home.

These papers are inspired by a desire to embrace and appreciate the beauty of nature around us. They are also part of a wider design trend for trees, plants and leaves, as people take a moment and connect with the nature around them. Feather Grass, for example, has a wonderful large scale border design that makes you feel like you a lying in a country meadow !

People are increasing viewing their homes as places of sanctuary and this collection really encapsulates the calm, restful feeling that we all strive to achieve.

Pink Ground

Finally, what are your colour predictions for 2016 ? 

The colours we’ll be looking to decorate our homes going into 2016 will promote a sense of tranquillity and wellbeing.  Sophisticated pastels shades that can be used in isolation or combined with classic greys will continue to be popular throughout the year. The smoky, silvery Light Blue, a colour that is neither blue nor grey but mysteriously somewhere in between and works brilliantly when combined with some of our cooler neutrals such as Dimpse, Blackened and Lamp Room Gray.

Warm Pink Ground reflects the desire to turn away from the more sweet and sugary pinks and towards a more soft edged colour that while remaining pretty, exudes a sense of class. Combined with the darker tones of Charleston Gray and London Stone, Pink Ground is the ultimate sophisticated chic pink for the year ahead.

A huge thanks to Charlotte for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions about her inspirations and very cool job at Farrow & Ball. It was such a pleasure to meet her recently at the Amara Interior Blog Awards when she presented me with my award.

Some really insightful information there about colour inspiration. Has to got you in the mood for painting and decorating ? What do you think of the new wallpaper collections ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog … as ever, I would LOVE to hear from you …

Lucy x

All images copyright of Farrow & Ball 2015.

Christmas Colour Inspiration Palettes


Every now and then I like to draw out some of the colours from my instagram photos and share them here for a little inspiration. You may have seen some of my other posts ? As we have festivities coming up – a good time to do it, before we are in the thick of it all.

Do you like to stick with your festive colour scheme each year or change aspects of it ? I tend to see little things throughout the year that I like, or will make something and then I get a bit ahead of myself, thinking about how the Christmas dinner table will look or the living room. Sometimes traditional wins and other times maybe some pastels or stronger colours, that look lovely against a white canvas.

So, here are two photos with different palettes that I like. The first one is Light blue and red. A mix of traditional and contemporary. These colours look so good together.

What do you think ?


I bought this hand held bouquet from a farmer’s market recently. Another nice combination, which would look great on a Christmas tree or wreath. Warm and feminine.

Some more festive posts coming up over the next few weeks. I love this time of year ! Although I really need to get a bit more organised in the gift department.

Which is your favourite set of colours ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog – as always, I would love to hear from you ..

Lucy x

The Shopkeeper’s Home – Book Review


There are so many good books out there, it’s impossible to know sometimes where to start. I’m an avid book collector when it comes to interiors, crafts and inspiration generally so am really pleased to be sharing one with you, that you just might be interested in.

I was sent  ‘ The Shopkeeper’s Home ‘ by Caroline Rowland ( who by coincidence, I was introduced to last week at the Awards ) to review and was kind of intrigued by the title. For a start the word ‘ Shopkeeper ‘ sounds lovely and vintage and ‘ Home ‘ immediately got me interested. Because I’m a bit nosey like that. Especially when it’s about some of the ” World’s Best Independent Retailers and their Stylish Homes “.

ShopKeepers HomeBook copy

The good news is …. actually, there is only good news. This book is fabulous. It’s also pretty meaty in terms of volume ( I sat for ages and read it with one of my new Wedgewood cup and saucers from my Amara Winner’s Goody Bag ) … and couldn’t put it down until it was finished.

For the introduction – there is lots of advice and information on styling a home or shop, flooring, lighting, textiles and colour stories ( favourite section .. check out the yellow home belonging to shop owner Danni Hong ). It’s really easy to follow and the imagery draws you in immediately – lots of colour and eclectic spaces to wet your appetite.

Cafe Shops

What I love especially about this book is the layout. The main focus being the shopkeepers work and then their home spaces – it flows really well and makes you want to turn the page to see more .. and more.

Craft Shops

It really makes you think about the creator behind each of these shops and it’s interesting how there is often a crossover from each persons shop to their home style. Although sometimes the homes are a slightly more serene version. Which is inevitable, I guess. The main thing they all appear to have in common is a love of aesthetics, whether they sell homeware, coffee and cakes, sewing notions or clothes. Every shop featured is full of passion and individual personality. Having had a store myself once  – I know how much goes in to the thought process and wanting it to feel homely for your customers. So many aspects to consider !

Throughout, there are pockets of inspiration and suggestions on how to decorate, display and source items with loads of images.

I won’t tell you anymore as it might spoil it for you, if you want to buy it !

I honestly can’t recommend this book enough. It’s stunning, really well curated, the quality of paper is lovely and it’s a hardback. Not bad at all for £25.

Are you a book lover too ? What do you love to read ? Leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ….would love to hear your thoughts :)

Lucy x

I was sent this book to review. All opinions my own.

Eeeeek. I won !

21946986914_accafcc9ea_bI want to start this post by saying a massive thank you to all who took the time to nominate and vote for me in the Amara Interior Blog Awards 2015.

A few nights ago, I attended the awards ceremony at Ham Yard Hotel in Soho, London with Andy, and quite frankly, was looking forward to clapping the winners of each category, including my own. If you know of the other bloggers in the Colour Inspiration section, you will know why I was resigned and more than happy to do so. They’re all so talented.

So after catching up with old friends and new, we all sat down in Ham Yard’s private theatre ready to hear who would be the Highly Commended and the Winners for 2015. We decided to sit towards the back so that we could watch it all happen.TV Presenter and Interior Designer Sophie Robinson was our presenter for the ceremony and she was so at ease and good at her job ( which is definitely not as easy as she made it look ), that I think it relaxed us all a bit. Sam Hood who is Creative Director and Chief Buyer of Amara was on stage too and as the first two winners were announced ( I would love to name everyone but will give you a link to see all at the end … ) the sponsors of those categories walked up and shared a moment with them.

Then came ‘ Colour Inspiration ‘ … I reclined a bit at this point because I had already made up my mind who had probably won. But then I hard my name called out and went a bit  ‘ out of body ‘. What made it even more special, was that Sophie had said that it was her favourite category. So, up I went all jelly legged ( I kind of resembled Mrs Overall from Acorn Antiques ) because I was suddenly very nervous and trying to trying to walk quickly in heels up on to the stage to meet Sam and then Charlotte Cosby, Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball who were the sponsors for this particular award, for a photo…. then back to my seat, where I sat stunned but totally elated.

You may notice in this photo that Charlotte was in a much more colourful outfit than me on the night. A lovely red dress. Had I known that I was going to win and even though I love my Vivienne Westwood black dress – I would’ve worn something a little brighter, I think !

After enjoying all of the other categories, we all then headed back to the bar area to celebrate and chat more.

I mean, wow ? It has taken a few days to sink in and to think that the judges with such experience in their fields, chose me.  It blows my mind. I have to say at this point – the other 4 shortlisted blogs were Candy Pop ( in photo above ), Emily Quinton, Little Big Bell and Jessica Zoob who are all so fantastic and very clever at what they do – it must’ve been a hard choice.

The next morning when I woke up, I had that moment of clarity you get when you realise you haven’t just dreamt something – it actually happened. When Mae and Betsey came in to see how the evening had gone – I pulled the award from under the duvet and they did a very happy dance. We all did, actually.

Amara Award

My first ever product review request for Lucy Loves Ya was from Amara. I remember feeling very excited about it … and now 4 years down the line, this has happened. I have a lot to thank them for. They are not only the leading online luxury homeware and gifts boutique, but they are also really nice people – so I feel grateful to be involved with them.

Right now, I’m on cloud nine and think I’d like to bottle this feeling. :) Looking forward to writing lots more blog post and carrying on with filling the blog with colour !

Here’s a list of all the highly commended blogs and the winners.

Wishing you a great day.

Lucy x

Photographs 1 – 7 taken and copyright of John Nassari Photograhy. Photo 7 taken by me – Lucy Loves Ya.

An Afternoon In Soho with Conscious Me

Nadler Hotel

Last Saturday was a day of pure indulgence. Not only because I got to photograph all around Soho for the afternoon – but the added bonus was checking out some fantastic shops, a hip hotel and 2 very nice private members club.

It’s not often that I have the luxury of so much free time to do all of the above – and the best bit of all was that all of the venues are ethical in their approach to business.

I know this because I was invited on the tour by the lovely people at Conscious Me, who were collaborating for the day with Instagrammers London to show us all of the ‘ greener ‘ options around Soho  – so that we can tell you about it too.

If you haven’t yet heard of Conscious Me, it is a guide that is bringing together all of the organisations in every area, on one website. Be it, interiors, fashion, food, drink, beauty – pretty much anything you can think of. Their ethos is to empower and inspire people to make good choices in everyday life.Conscious Me Healthy

It certainly made me think. I do my best to buy from companies that care about our environment but it’s not always easy to know where to start. The afternoon was very insightful and to be honest, I was actually pleasantly surprised that some of the places we visited were so environmentally friendly.

You can also add information on to the website if you fancy, by writing your own little post and there’s the option to add your profile so that you can link up with other like minded folk.

A great idea all round, if you ask me.

We started at The Nadler Hotel in Soho which is self catering and eco friendly. We checked out on the rooms and it was lovely, with its own kitchenette and free filtered water.

Whole Foods on Glasshouse Street was first on the map. The holy grail for organic food in central London. Oh, how I love that place !


We had a smoothie at Leon which is a healthy fast food restaurant, Then on to Lush Cosmetics who are fighting a war on waste, animal testing and palm oil. As you may already be aware – these shops smell divine.

Nudie Jeans

Then we stopped off at The Nudie Jean Repair Shop in D’Arblay Street. Swedish jeans made with around 80% organic cotton. They fix your jeans if they get a hole and offer 20% off a new pair when finally needed.

The House of St Barnabas on Greek Street is committed to tackling homelessness. A members only club so you would have to join to enter ! :)

Neals Yard Covent Garden

On the way back for a bit of dinner at The Hospital Club in Endell Street, which is also a members club, focusing on sustainability ( and with a rather beautiful old record player in the reception )  – we passed the Wild Food Cafe which serves yummy raw, organic, veggie dishes – and Neals Yard Remedies who are famous for their ‘ no nasties ‘ products.

Other spots to be aware of are The Dominion Theatre, and Ceviche Restaurant.

The Hospital Club Soho Street Art

A little bit addicted to Instagrammers London now too and will be doing some more of their days soon. Too much fun and lovely people to chat with along the way while taking extra pics of street art. This one is by Mr Cenz and the person striding by is instagrammer @andreweggy :)

The Groucho

If you want to have a look at Conscious Me – here’s the website. Hope you find somewhere special near you to try out !

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival at Snape Maltings


Every year we try and make sure we go to the weekend of the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival based at Snape Maltings.

Apart from it just being a fun day out for us all, it’s stacked full of really good local produce from East Suffolk. There is live music throughout the day which adds to the already buzzy atmosphere.


This year it was the 10th Anniversary of there were ever 90 different producers along with demonstrations, masterclasses and an area for kids to get hands on with some cooking.

One of the first stalls I spotted was full of beautiful seasonal flowers. Needless to say, some came home with me and ended up on my Instagram.

Bread Snape

It’s surely criminal to pass freshly made baguettes without buying at least one ? Why doesn’t my homemade bread look like this ever ? :)


So many tasty pies and buns … not enough time to eat them all … but we took some home with us too.


These tomatoes  – perfectly ripe and sweet. It’s making my mouth water, just thinking about them again. Local and homegrown veggies definitely taste different don’t they ?


The chocolate and salted caramel macarons were our favourite. I would really love to learn how to make them. Do you know of any good recipes ?

Snape Maltings

As well as the concert hall, famous for being converted from an old malt house by Benjamin Britten in 1967, there are also many shops, all transformed but still with exposed, old red brick. One of my favourites is the interiors department, because it is full of colourful inspiration for the home.

Snape Maltings InteriorsSnape

I really recommend a visit here if you’re ever in the area. It is beautiful and the views of the river Alde and beyond are stunning. On this particular day the sky was blue so I will leave you with a picture of the bright bunting that completed the festival.

SkyDo you have any food festivals that you don’t like to miss ? Please do recommend some. Leave me a  comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog :)

Have a good day.

Lucy x

An Afternoon Swooning Over A/W Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto 2015

It has been on my bucket list for quite some time and definitely in my daydreams while I studied fashion design, to attend a catwalk with a front row seat – to be able to study every inch of the cuts, pleats and darts of garments as they swish past down the runway.

As luck would have it, Carpetright were collaborating with London Fashion Weekend at London’s Saatchi Gallery by supplying some of their carpets last week for the Catwalk Lounge and also the VIP Luxe Lounge. They very kindly invited me along to realise my dream and attend the Peter Pilotto show.

Blue Coat Peter Pilotto

I adore his style – the elaborate, playful patterns and contrasting colours that draw the eye in. The latest collection for Peter Pilotto A/W 2015 (London Fashion Weekend runways focus on current season) is inspired by board games and the patterns were playful and contrasting as you can see. I spent a bit of time trying to work out which games they were inspired by and pretty sure Snakes & Ladders and Chess were part of the theme. Can you spot any others ?

Pilotto 2015

It was a test on my nerves, trying to catch the models on camera as they move pretty quickly and so was very happy when I checked my camera afterwards and realised I got them pretty much in focus. I was a bit ‘ fingers and thumbs ‘ at the start because I was so excited to see the clothes.

Catwalk Peter Pilotto

One question that I was asked during a vox pop interview with Carpetright was ” What is your favourite trend for the upcoming season ? ” – my answer was that, being a vintage loving girl –  Victorian shapes and high necks which you can see ,seems to represent a strong part of Peter Pilotto’s creations . There is also a definite nod towards retro with both the palettes and the A line shorter dresses. Divine !

Naturally, fashion inspires our interiors and vice versa, so it will be very interesting to see what makes it on to the high street in the home stores. I hope lots of colour and shapes inspired by this wonderful collection.

Peter Pilotto Runway Peter Pilotto Image

I had such a good day and met some new blogger friends. We got on really well and it was a treat to sit and chat at Beaufort House on the Kings Road beforehand ( only I could drop a glass in such a posh venue … oops ! ) and have a hot chocolate and ‘ post catwalk ‘ catch up afterwards.

Oh, did I forget to mention that a Markus Lupfer WOW jumper fell in to my hands during the LFW shopping part of the day ? Well, one purchase was perfectly acceptable, right ? You will spot it on my Instagram any day now …

Joules Scarf

Many thanks to Carpetright for the invite and such a wonderful goody bag. The colourful Joules scarf will come in handy this Autumn, it’s so soft  – and amongst the other gifts were some delicious sweets.

Who is your favourite designer or brand for fashion and interiors ? Do you have a style that you are enjoying at the moment ? Leave me a comment or tweet @lucylovesyablog – I would love to hear from you …

Lucy x

All photos are taken by Lucy Loves Ya.

Inspire Me – Collaboration with Kim Parker and Clarke & Clarke


It is only a matter of days until the doors open for Decorex 2015 at Syon Park. It’s right at the beginning of London Design Week – and as you may already know, is renowned for its esteemed exhibitors.

I’m very lucky, to have recently chatted with award winning lifestyle designer, Kim Parker, who is collaborating with Clarke & Clarke on a stunning, colourful range of wallpapers and fabrics which will be launching at Decorex – and couldn’t wait any longer to show you a preview of their beautiful floral designs …

ART BOOK 1-800x800

What is your background? How did you become an artist ?

I grew up in a home surrounded by great music, art, ballet, and a love for Nature. My family are all serious classical musicians. By the time I was two years old my parents were already saving my drawings of clowns and flowers and putting them together in a book. It was evident early on that color was a driving force for me.  I used to dig my crayons deeply into the paper to get the maximum richness of color out of them. Having come from a musical family I started studying the flute by the time I was eight years old. I pursued my life as a classical concert flutist -graduating with a degree in Flute Performance from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. I had many rich experiences as a classical musician, playing publicly in masterclasses with Jean Pierre Rampal by the time I was thirteen, and spending memorable summers playing in an orchestra at Tanglewood where I had the great privilege of working closely with Leonard Bernstein, who happened to be my musical hero. My life seemed destined for a career in music. But in between concerts and practicing, I was usually painting quietly. I would just sit for hours at my desk reeling out designs in exuberant colors. It came so naturally to me. I had absolutely no idea throughout my childhood and even after college, that I could make a living as a textile designer. I didn’t even know there was an actual “field” for this! It was not part of the dialogue in our home.

It was not until my late twenties that I started to pursue a career in textile design. It was hard to cross this emotional bridge and leave my early career as an accomplished musician behind, but taking auditions for orchestral positions and living out of a suitcase somehow didn’t resonate for me altogether. I was literally starting over in a whole new creative path. My story was chronicled in my first art and design book, “Kim Parker Home: A Life in Design.” (Abrams) Entering into the design industry with just a small book of hand painted textile prints each no larger than the palm of my hand, in retrospect, took courage. I worked in the fashion industry painting in numerous design studios for a period, then moved on to start my own print design company, “Kim Parker Designs” where I sold my hand painted prints on silk and paper to hundreds of fashion companies such as: DKNY, Jill Stuart, Gap, Anna Sui, to Anthropologie. After seeing the success my designs were having when appearing in other people’s collections, my husband Felipe ( and business partner ) felt we should move in the direction of creating a brand.

I think “becoming an artist” is a lifelong process, something that hopefully continues to evolve and grow. I know that my earlier career as a classical musician really provided me with a very strong and unique foundation for my life in design. I was not coming from an “academic” art background. I didn’t graduate with a degree from FIT or Parsons. My life in design was something that was developing organically. Every step of the way there were challenges and I held tightly I guess to my own style and voice, which was very unschooled. I think I preferred a career in design to one in music because I simply had more creative freedom of expression. With all the beautiful music living inside of me though, I was able to express these harmonies and rhythms by freely composing gardens. I was exploring my own idiom; incorporating a rich sonic vocabulary with pigment in a tapestry of flowers and leaves. This freedom and passion never gets old to me. It’s a form of story telling.

ART BOOK 9-800x800

How did your collaboration come about with Clarke & Clarke ?

My agent showed me a Clarke & Clarke ad in one of the industry design magazines with some beautiful fabrics and wallpapers. We both agreed that it felt like a good potential licensing partner to pursue. When we met Emma and Lee Clarke for the first time here in New York in our showroom, we spent seven hours carefully going through a massive archive of my hand painted silk, linen and paper designs together. Those seven hours felt like two hours. The mutual enthusiasm and decisions as to which designs would become our first collection was a magical exchange. It’s really important to work with a company that supports and understands your vision artistically. It was Creative Director Emma Clarke’s idea to create the “Artbook” instead of the usual mix and match types of fabric and wallpaper books you so often find in decorator showrooms. She really understood what had gone into each and every “child” I had painted, seeing their souls so to speak. Lee and Emma appreciated their exuberant colors and energies. After careful selection and deliberation, we all agreed on the vision for the “Artbook” collection.

ART BOOK 13-800x800

Who and what inspired your designs for the collaboration ? 

Each design in this collection was actually created at different times in my life. I will say though that the cover child, “Rosina” was painted while listening to the music of Argentine composer Astor Piazzola. I love his music and feel the flowers are dancing tango. “Martine” was originally painted on French linen many years ago. It was one of my favorite designs that I felt would one day have her platform. Other designs such as “Ariadne’s Dream” were wilder explorations on paper with gouache, created at a time when I was literally living in my box of paints. It’s pure fantasy. I love them all, to be honest. I feel like a mother who has all of these kids who have grown up to be true to themselves, and for that, I am proud. None conform to an industry standard, and all, I can assure you, were painted from the heart.

ART BOOK 18-800x800

I love the names you have chosen for the collections. Are they names after people you know?

Naming my work is actually one of the great pleasures and liberties I have as a designer. Some of the names have very personal connections, while others just explore the sensual nature of language. I decided to give them mostly girl names because obviously flowers are usually associated with the feminine. ( but I love when men wear flowers! ) I am a fan of Greek mythology, so there are a few names that incorporate mythological characters. “Penelope’s Muse“– one of my favorite designs in the collection was named after Penelope, Odysseus’ wife. She was the Queen of Ithaca who was waiting for twenty years for husband to return from the Trojan War . I chose her name because she is a symbol of “patience” and “fidelity.”

“Ariadne’s Dream” was named after another mythological character, Ariadne, whom I have been intrigued by as well. She was brilliant and an innovator. She knew how to assist Theseus in safely returning from his dangerous mission by using a thread to guide him back from the labyrinth. When I painted this design I think I was in my own kind of labyrinth.

“Martine” and “Rosina” hold a very special and personal place in my heart. “Tatiana” my little gypsy dancer, came from my love for Russian and Ukranian embroideries, my Eastern European heritage I guess. Designs like Giselle and Isabelle’s Garden were named simply because I love those names, and “Caitlin” was always a favorite Irish name. She is my bitonal toile child who likes showing off her versatility by being offered in a number of color combinations.

C&C Kim Parker The Artbook2

Have you been involved with Decorex before? 

I have not been involved with Decorex before. I have heard about its impact on the design world and what a truly, highly unique platform it is for introducing new and innovative collections.

ART BOOK 8-800x800

Do you have favourite colours that you like to work with ?

I tend to work a lot with warm and exuberant colors such as pinks, saturated oranges, and apple greens. I love all colors of course. I have lately been drawn to plum and pink. Colours have different “frequencies.” As a musician, I see the correlation between certain tonalities and their corresponding colors. Certain colours I guess just leap out at you with energy, while others play a more subdued role. I personally love colours that celebrate life! I am a huge fan of orange, and most shades of pink. Pink is the colour of love. Who wouldn’t want that in their home?! Our living room is mainly orange and pink.

The Kim Parker Artbook for Clarke & Clarke featuring Isabella's Garden design

Can you tell us about your design process from drawings to the finished product ? 

I love this question. There is no drawing process for me. I have never ever sat down and pre-planned a single design. I just dip my brushes and go. The creative process for me is a very free and organic one, which keeps the whole approach fresh. I really don’t like designs that are fixed looking and too thought-out. They kind of lack energy to me. I hope my designs reflect a more human approach since they’re all painted by hand, and none have been mapped out in advance. Designing is a very personal space where no one can follow. My heart is my compass. The influences are innumerable. It could be a piece of music that transports you to another place, or simply a bird out the window singing its heart out.

Just the other day this lovely Mexican flower vendor in our neighborhood stopped me on the street and asked me where I got my embroidered blouse. It was from Mexico, and we started talking about his city, and the women I reminded him of apparently. Before I knew it I was showing him floral textile designs I had painted on my iPhone and he told me I reminded him of Frida Kahlo. Moments later he kindly handed me a beautiful orange Gerber Daisy from his stand, and said, “This is for you.” I took it home and put it in water. Hours later I painted one of my finest watercolors. This is just an example of where inspiration can be drawn from and where the creative process originates. My designs find their way onto the various product surfaces after they have been created. Not every design can become a rug, or paper a room. I have seen how certain designs of mine lend themselves to certain surfaces better than others.  But it’s wonderful to be surprised too; to see one of your kids sized up and dancing on the wall or floor, one you thought for sure would not translate, or to pull one from an archive and bring new life to it on a bedspread or dinner plate. From start to finish the process remains organic, thankfully.

ART BOOK 17-800x800

Enjoy Decorex ! 

Thank you ! We are very excited about our new designer collaboration with Clarke & Clarke. They are an amazing team with so much integrity and hope to continue growing the program. We are thrilled to be working with such an extraordinary company.

Thanks very much to Kim. Really inspiring !

I hope you have enjoyed the interview ? What do you think of the designs ? 

Leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ..

Lucy x

All images are copyright of Clarke & Clarke and Kim Parker 2015.


Sweet and Serene September Shades


PIC 1 copyIt’s September. Say what ? Can’t quite believe it, but it’s true.

I’ve picked a few of my recent instagram images and have drawn out their colours for some interior inspiration. I know Marsala is supposed to still be in this year – I’m afraid it’s not for me, but these ones are. They are a bit more subdued than my last collection. Maybe you are thinking of doing a bit of DIY ? I am – more on that next week.

These roses in the garden are starting to finish up but still smelling divine. If I keep my fingers crossed, we might just have a few more. The mix here of pastels and brights, reminds me of the 70s – quite old skool and playful. The warmer orange is the colour that the leaves will be turning in a month or so. I could see this palette in a girl’s room and also as a retro wedding palette – what do you think ?

PIC 3 copy

I took this picture in Bristol last week – it’s definitely more Autumnal and earthy. I think it would be nice for a guest or teenagers bedroom – all quite relaxing and spiritual colours. Makes me feel calm, just looking at them.  I’m not actually sure what this plant is called – maybe you know ? Isn’t nature grand ?


This fallen Japanese Anemone is so delicate. I placed it on an old garden table to photograph it because I liked the contrast. This could make a great colour scheme for a study or dining room ? The yellow being stimulating and the grey and blue tones to bring you back down to earth ! The furniture could be in the cooler shade ?

I would love to know what colours you like to put together and which of these are your favourite ?

Please do leave me a comment under this post – or tweet me @lucylovesyablog.

While I have you in my grasp still …  are you on Instagram ? I have started a hashtag -#InspirationIsColour and I regram some of my favourites. Play along if you’d like – I look forward to seeing your colourful pics !

Lucy x

There’s also still time to vote for my blog if you would like to in the Amara Interior Blog Awards. I would be so chuffed. Don’t forget each vote is automatically entered in to a draw – where you could win a holiday for 2 to the Amalfi Coast. You can vote here. Thank you !

Our Secret Room … Sshhh !

Kids Secret Room 2

I want to share a colourful little corner of our home today …

My girls are lucky because there is a little door behind a wardrobe that leads to the girls ‘ Secret Room ‘ as all their friends call it – and they always head in there.

When we moved in it was a just an empty cold space with no real floor but it needed a purpose as every room does. The ceiling is too low for a dressing room but it is perfect for a cosy little creative space and of course somewhere for them to have a bit of a gossip….

We painted the side walls with a Farrow & Ball paint called Strong White, which adds light to the room and then at the end, we painted the wall with a blackboard paint so they can have some fun drawing. The odd midnight snack has been consumed in here too – I have found the empty crisp packets … :)

Treats in the Secret room-1 copy Treats in the Secret room-1-3

This ‘ Atilla ‘ Gnome Stool is by Kartell who are famous for their collaborations when it comes to interiors. I love their creativity and focus on well made products. Phillipe Starck who is also well known for his focus on practicality, designed this stool which also doubles up as a table. It is incredibly sturdy and a good weight, so it feels very safe to sit on !  It’s from online home store Kontenta  – they also stock the other two in the collection called Napoloeon and Saint Esprit, if you’re looking for a set.

Kids Secret Room 1-1

Kontenta also stock lots of designer home products such as beds, lighting and wall art  – I really like their store because it’s full of colourful items. Right up my street. :)

I hope you like our ‘ Secret Room ‘ ? Which is your favourite room in your house ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Have a good day.

Lucy x

I was sent the Kartell stool by Kontenta but have received no other payment for this post. All opinions my own.