Posts Categorised: News

Win a £100 Voucher to Spend on Gorgeous King & McGaw Artwork

Last week I showed you our newly updated bedroom and you may have spotted some of my prints on the walls ? They are from online art, print and poster store King & McGaw and the good news is that they are kindly offering one of my readers a £100 voucher to spend on some of their artwork. Will fill you in at the end of this post on how to enter the giveaway.

In the meantime here are some close ups of the pictures. Andy chose this canvas print which is by artist and founder of Bluebellgray Fi Douglas and it’s called ‘ Stornoway  named after a coastal town in North Scotland’. We can see so much in it every time we study it. It’s a very peaceful vision for the bedroom and helps me to relax while nodding off. I love the blues. It gives the flowers a very striking backdrop doesn’t it ?

The canvasses at King & McGaw and the prints come in different sizes and you can also choose to have them sent to you framed with lots of options there too.

There are a plethora of artists on the site ranging from contemporary to vintage to everything in between. It’s so good to see modern and museum masters sitting along side new photographers and well known artists. A real treat for the eyes.


It’s a well structured shop so you can find exactly what you’re looking for easily and then see what it looks like on a wall in your chosen frame and size using their clever graphics.

I’ve always wanted one of these Penguin Book prints. They’re classic. Have you ever owned any of the books ? Some of the titles when I was looking through really made me chuckle.

I kind of thought this particular one was quite apt. Plus the green works well with the blues in the room. Perfect size for our ‘ shelfie ‘ …

You may have noticed that we’ve kept the room quite light and airy ? A little bit of cheery pastel was needed too and I wanted it to be fun. By Croatian graphic designer Ana Zaja Petrak, it gives the corner of the room a nice lift.

If I could enter this giveaway I would as there are so many fabulous pieces to choose from. But it’s over to you now as here is how to enter. Super easy and it’s open to all UK and European residents. It will run for one week and I will notify the winner who will be picked at random by Rafflecopter within 24 hours of it ending.

If you want to follow King &McGaw anyway for updates without taking part in this giveaway then you find them on Twitter here or instagam here. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions

 

Entrants must be 18 or over.

You must leave a comment under this post to validate your entry. ( See rafflecopter which explains what to do )

No cash or alternative prize offered.

Postage and packaging will be included in the voucher amount and are the responsibility of King & MGaw.

Giveaway open to UK and European residents only.

I will notify the winner within 24 hours of the giveaway ending. If I do not hear back within 48 hours a new winner will be picked.

Good luck !

Lucy x

Updating the Bedroom with Quick-Step Wooden Flooring

Well. This post has been a long time coming. But I am really pleased with the results so worth the wait I guess.

Some time ago I wrote about my plans for a new bedroom look with some moodboard ideas. The main plan was to change the flooring to Quick-Step hardwood as this has been my ambition for quite some time –  but we also wanted to change the colours and decided to rebuild our wardrobe. In for a penny etc …

So we got in touch with our local installer Mark Hughes ( who we found on the Quick-Step website ) and he came and completed the job in just over a day. Shout out for Mark because he was excellent and I totally recommend him to customers in the East ! There are no before pictures I’m afraid as I really wasn’t keen on the carpet and just want to share my happiness with the new wooden flooring !

The feel of the flooring is very smooth which is nice on my feet first thing in the morning and I love the way the boards clicks together neatly. It’s hardwearing which is incredibly beneficial with two kids in the house.

If you didn’t know already Quick-Step also manufacture trend lead vinyl and laminate flooring – a lot to choose from and well worth checking out.

What do you think of the overall finish ? My aim was to lighten the room so opted for Natural Oak planks ( COM1450 ) as it’s a mid colour and the mirror also reflects light so it’s a nice natural light. We really wanted a serene space with calming hues. A place to retreat to and switch off.

Here’s a sneak peak inside the wardrobe. It’s much more organised than our cupboard before with designated shelves for shoes – and the hardwood flooring means that it’s easy to keep clean and dust free. I really enjoyed designing it.

Andy took this fab image of the bedroom through the mirror. It kind of sums how I feel about it.

Finally a place to chill where I can also do my yoga in the morning before the day starts … with a cup of mint tea.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the little your around the room. Do leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts.

Lucy x

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

The Coat is off, the Jacket is on. It’s Spring !

This is my favourite time of year. It’s full of so much hope for the coming months and I find it a good time to work on new ideas for the blog and certainly this year it’s already looking interesting.

Recently I’ve also just started home schooling my youngest daughter for a little while so it’s a good opportunity to get out and about and do some fun topic days with her.

I’m also so happy to be back to wearing a blazer and lighter clothing. Aldeburgh definitely has been mild enough recently – I didn’t mean to coordinate myself here but it’s a pretty good match with the doors, hey ?

If you’ve ever wandered along the seafront in Aldeburgh you will know these colourful, tall and eye catching houses well. The place is peppered with lots of bright homes and  many of them are varying. Shades of blue but lots of Suffolk pinks too.

It’s a really inspiring place to hang out and soak up some fresh sea air.

By the way, what are your thoughts on my new shoes and handbag ? I am a real sucker for black accessories to go with my outfits. The shoes are super comfy. A wardrobe staple – and ooh ..  on that note, I recently designed our new bedroom wardrobe and can’t wait to show it to you later this week along with our new wooden floor. I digress … :)

Let’s get back to the business of Spring and seaside love ! The other thing I especially love about this time of year is this. Strawberry ice cream in a sprinkles cone. It really is that simple sometimes. Bliss.

Come on sunshine, I’m ready for ya !

Are you set for it too ? Leave me a comment under this post and let me know what you’ve got planned or just to say hi  -always good to hear from you.

Emilia Ponte Blazer, White Swing Tee, Mini Saddle Bag, Black Slipper Shoes, Mayfair Skinny Jeans all c / o Boden.

Lucy x

Fancy a Little Harajuku Home Inspiration ?

  1. Yellow vase – Next 2. Retro phone – Red Candy 3. Table lamp – Heals 4. Paper garland – Talking Tables 5. Kokeshi Bento box – Japan Centre 6. Shelving unit – Habitat 7. Floor lamp – Habitat 8. Pandrup Rug – Ikea

It’s no secret that I love anything ‘ Japan ‘ themed – you just have to look at the header of my blog – but I’ve never visited. Boo. Luckily my husband Andy has many times and knows the place well so I’m really hoping we can go sometime soon. It’s definitely on my imminent to do list.It’s such a multi faceted country and I’m fascinated by the buildings, people and the colours in Tokyo. Which got me thinking about whether a Harajuku ( a district in Tokyo ) inspired room would work for one of my daughters. I don’t see why not. They both adore anything quirky and bold –  and the wonderful thing is you don’t need to be too matchy with it. Clashing contrasting works !

I’ve put together a few Harajuku style finds in case you’re feeling inspired with us heading in to Spring, to make a few new additions or to try a completely new look. I always find making up a moodboard of items helps to decipher palettes etc and gives everyone else an idea of what you’re thinking.

Not all of these items are high street prices but they are a good starting point for some inspiration. I particularly love the quirky twisted Habitat shelving unit. It would look great full of Manga comics and brightly coloured accessories.

  1. Neon heart wall light – Trouva 2. Washi tape – The Lovely Desk 3. Cushion – Habitat 4. Tray table – Mariska Meijers 5. Mickey Mouse pixelated art – Conran Store 6. Hoptimist figurines – Conran Store 7. Floor lamp – Habitat 8. Green pouf – Habitat

I really haven’t held back on the colours. In fact, I wanted to go even further with them ! Adding just one piece of furniture to start with can make all the difference. Or defining areas on plain white walls with washi tape, making L or box shape panels is really effective.

How cool is the pixelated Mickey Mouse artwork from Conran Store and I’m also really loving the yellow floor lamp. Great for a slightly more grown up bedroom.

Hope you like my little selection ? Do leave me a comment to let me know what you think or just to say hi … always good to hear from you.

While I have you here also – I did an interview with Ideal Home recently about my trend predictions and DIY disasters. do have a read if you’d like to hear about them.

Lucy x

Giveaway – Win an Acapulco Chair from Oli & Grace

I always seem to disappear of the face of the earth when it comes to school holidays. Although I’ve been quiet on here – it was my Birthday last week and we had a great trip to see the David Hockney Exhibition at The Tate in London. Totally recommend it.

As you may know, I do love hosting a giveaway so am feeling pleased today that I have a really good one for you. If you look over on my instagram you will see that I have an Acapulco Chair from the fab shop Oli & Grace and they are, very generously, offering one of my readers their very own chair too. More on this at the end of the post where you can enter via Rafflecopter if you’d like to.

If Oli & Grace are a new find for you then let me tell you a little more about the team.

Already having had the experience of travelling the globe designing and manufacturing pieces for retail stores – they had a head start and wanted to use this experience to create some furniture for the home that wasn’t mass produced, good quality and not overly expensive.

So, Oli & Grace came up with classic designs made sturdy materials such as good solid wood and that is sustainable sourced ( good ! ) and stand up to the challenge of modern day living.

While the company and collections have grown –  they will stick to their initial promise of easy to assemble, quality homeware.

I do love the colourful, industrial style chairs here. It adds a splash of colour to the room. What do you think ?

 

As I have an Acapulco Rope Chair myself, I can tell you that they are supremely comfortable. It’s a clever design as the shape is reminiscent of the cool 70s but the legs are contemporary and it works really well in our home ( as you will see on my instagram ). We have all been fighting to have a go at sitting on it.

Being offered up by Oli & Grace  is the natural shade as you can see above. It’s easy to click the legs in and it’s not too heavy so can be moved around the house easily. The RRP is £120 so it’s clearly a good strong item.

It’s a nice simple Raffelcopter giveaway and there are several ways to enter. It takes only seconds to take part. So, if you do  – good luck.

Make sure you do leave a comment telling me whether you have followed on instagram or twitter or just left a comment etc though as this option is mandatory to be officially entered.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Terms and Conditions

The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter and notified as soon as the giveaway ends.

This giveaway is open to UK residents only.

Postage and packaging supplied by Oli & Grace.

No cash alternative or other prize offered.

The winner will be notified as soon as the giveaway has ended – if I do not hear back within 48 hours, a new winner will be picked at random.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Oli & Grace. All opinions are my own.

All images copyright Oli & Grace 2017.

How About These Valentine’s Day Treats in the Post ?

 

If there is one place we like to visit as a family when we are in Noting Hill then it’s Biscuiteers. We like to support small businesses , especially ones that make sweet treats – yes I know I’m being virtuous at the moment but one or two can’t hurt can they ?

Anyway, I was pretty overjoyed to receive some mutual love in the form of a personalised Valentine’s Tin as a gift from the lovely people at Biscuiteers, full of treats from their personalised Love Letter Collection.

You’d have to have a steady hand to ice a name that well wouldn’t you ?

Obviously the girls and Andy were pretty chuffed too so I’m not sure they will last too long but that one literally has my name on it ! It’s mine.

Here is the whole selection from the tin. So cute ? You can find out more about ordering gifts on their website. I really love their cupcakes and they also do hampers and gifts for him, her and kids.

  1.  Heart Card – Studio Sarah London 2. Postbox Flowers – Bloom & Wild 3. Roses Candle Diptyque 4. Molecule Spritz – Liberty London 5. Heart Dishes  – Oliver Bonas 6. Love Print  – Showler and Showler

Here are a few more ideas here too on some ideas if you want to order something to surprise your Spouse / partner / BFF on the day or just treat yourself ( and why not ? ) with something special in the post. Or if you are reading this on the morning of the 13th and realise you’ve forgotten that .. it’s tomorrow ! Fear not.

I wear Molecule perfume and it’s unisex so suitable for anyone if they like earthy scents. It smells different on everyone as it enhances natural pheromones. Of course these things are all my taste but the shops here stock lots of different things. Hopefully this helps if you’re still on the look out :)

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m off to eat a Biscuiteers love letter before someone else does !

Do leave me a comment under this post if you have any mother ideas or just to say hi … always good to hear from you.

Lucy x

Inspire Me – With Furniture Designer Tom Raffield

 Just recently I was watching Grand Designs and was mesmerised by this really cleverly constructed house set amongst nature in Cornish Woodland . Built with wood, using the art of steam bending – Tom and his wife Danie spent three years working on their project which would ultimately be their home.

I have to say, I think it is my favourite build so far. The overall aesthetic – and how they attached the new design to an older building. The result is stunning. 

Tom and Danie were also running their business at the same time as well as looking after their young family. Brave. I’m really pleased to have grabbed a bit of Tom’s spare time find out how steam bending wood works, how they held it all together during their building journey and what is happening next with their handmade lighting and furniture …

Tom, you specialise in the art of steam bending. Both in your work, selling your furniture and lighting – and of course building your own home with this technique. How did you first start using wood in this way ?

At university, I had a project on materials and as I had never worked with wood, I decided to give it a go. The obvious question then was how do you bend wood. The rest is history !

Can you explain how steam bending works ? 

Very simple; you find freshly cut good quality hardwood timber, you put it into a chamber which you then fill with steam for a certain period of time depending on the size of the timber, then you pop it out, put it into a metal strap to support it and bend it around a former so it takes the formers shape. You have to do the bending in around 1 minute, so you have to be fast. Then you put it in a drying room for a couple of days and it is ready to use.

Your home and journey of creating it were featured on Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud recently – was it a life long ambition to build your own house ?

Yes definitely. We’d be hunting for the right site for a long time, finding somewhere we could build, live and work, with land and woodland too was quite a challenge. I feel so lucky and although hard work, it was a lot of fun and very satisfying. Danie and I are used to working together but this was possibly the biggest project we’ve tacked to date, we both have a new found respect for each other, and sharing a home we’ve built together is pretty amazing.

What were the high and lows over the period of building and planning ? 

The highs tended to be the little benchmarks like getting the frame up, getting watertight, turning on the heat, then when we took the ladder away and replaced it with a staircase ! The other massive high was when we tested the steam bent cladding on the building and it worked, it transformed the building from quite an austere sharp building to a gentle and tactile form. The lows, well there was a few… the planning took so long and being cramped up in the small cottage with no inside bathroom wore a bit thin towards the end. The tyre wall was a killer and 600 tyres later we will still  never forget the physical ( and mental ) pain it caused.

I loved the overall look of the new build attaching to an older, already established house. What inspired you to fuse the two together ?

It was the idea of creating an architectural timeline… being able to identify which part of the building had been built by the original estate owners and then 150 yrs later the part which was built by us …

Did you manage to stick to the original £100,000 budget ?

Not quite. We didn’t have a clear budget at the start, this was a clever bit of tv editing. We had 100k in savings and knew we had to stretch as far as possible. When the quotes came in we thought we could bring it in for 150k-200k but it ended up going to 160k, so not too bad really. It is all down to doing most of the work and getting most of the materials from your own site  and from your own skills.

Is there any sage advice that you can offer to anyone thinking of taking on the task of designing their own home ? 

It sounds a bit obvious but I tried to treat building a house like making a really complex piece of furniture… I was so wrong ! The skill of the craftsmen is important but it is more about bringing lots of craftsmen and materials together just at the right time… Project maangement  is the most important thing which is usually the reason a project fails to happen, goes massively over budget or ends in disaster.

What wood did you use for your home  – and what do you generally use for the products that you design and sell ? 

I love using English oak and ash but we used whatever we had in our woodland which was felled and available so larch, sweet chestnut, ash, norwegian spruce, beech, oak and sycamore.

How do you manage the business between the two of you ? 

Since having baby no.3 Danie has had to take a back seat and focus on being a mum but it is great to be able to come down to the house and go through things with her as she understands the business so much so is a real help. We also do a lot of the designing together. A part of the business we both love and work well together on this.

Now that we are firmly in 2017 – what are you plans for this year ?

I no longer have the house as a distraction so the business is the focus. It is doing so well but is incredibly demanding; there are never enough hours in the day! That said I absolutely love what I do and feel passionately that through the products we create we are doing something very special and I am proud of that. I think this year will be all about developing new products and ideas based around using wood in ways which defies belief, new products which are based on craftsmanship, provenance and innovation ! We are going to be doing an exciting installation for London Craft week and all of our furniture is launching with John Lewis in the next few weeks which we cannot wait for.

Thanks, Tom !

If you would like to know more about Tom Raffield’s Luxury Lighting and Furniture Designs then you can find everything you need to know here at www.tomraffield.com 

Hope you enjoyed this interview ? Have you ever dreamed of building your own home ? I certainly have ! Do leave me a comment under this post  – I’d love to hear from you.

Lucy x

All images copyright Tom Raffield 2017.

AirBnB Collaborate with Pantone – To Create a Greenery Haven

As a blogger, I get invites to many different events and workshops and I feel very lucky. I don’t attend too many of them as it often takes a large chunk out of the day to attend, but when the opportunity to visit an Outside In House in London pops up. Yes please.

You may have heard about this amazing AirBnB and Pantone collaboration in Dingley Place, East London .. cool front door, hey ?  They have transformed this home in to a plant oasis and project venue based on Pantone’s Colour of The Year  – Greenery – for a family of four for overnight visits.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear on my tour around the home that one night’s experience in this entire place, so close to the centre of London is only £200 per family. Even better is that every nightly fee is matched by Pantone with all proceeds going to charity.

This setting of trees was just as you walk in the front door. Apparently it took them two days to convert the whole house, which is pretty impressive.

Maybe because we are a little closer to Spring than when Pantone first announced Greenery, I loved it even more. Such a refreshing and zingy colour and it really works on such a big scale.  The aroma of the herbs planted around the rooms was incredible.

I’m pretty sure my girls would squeal with delight at the thought of staying indoors in a teepee adorned with fairy lights. This was downstairs below ground level along with the master bed and bathroom. I loved the lawn flooring and continuation of sweet and healing scented plants surrounding the beds.

So serene and hidden away in such a busy and non stop city.

After a tour and a super healthy cup of herbal tea drink we sat down in the dining room / craft table with Walthamstow based, textile and surface designer Daniel Heath, and tried our luck at screen printing on wood surfaces.

Daniel showed us the process and then we looked around the conservatory for a plant that inspired us to have a go ourselves.

It was incredibly therapeutic to do and also great fun watching everyone’s stencilling turn in to a cool creation to take home.

Definitely a blogging afternoon to remember !

So, has Greenery grown on you yet if you didn’t love it at first ? Or maybe it was love at first sight ?

Leave me a comment under this post  – I’d love to hear from you.

Lucy x

 

Why It’s Important to Define Your Interior Design Style

Some time ago now, I told you about my interior design course.

As you’ll know if you read the post before this one, I have been taking it quite easy over the last few months but am now back, ploughing on with it all. If I could be an eternal student, I would. But I really do want to complete this KLC interior design diploma soon and crack on with what I love doing professionally.

For someone who really enjoys playing with colours and indulging in fabric and wallpaper swatches, this part of the studies couldn’t be more ideal. I guess this is how things will be from now on – although much harder and in detail work is coming up and I’m looking forward to it. I’m hoping the technical side will be an exciting challenge.

What is interesting at this stage, is that I’ve been really working what my personal style is so I can not only define my vision ( and not confuse it with a clients brief ) but also to look back once I have finished this course and see how I have progressed. I’ve found it harder than I thought because I am in to so many style eras and palettes. It’s a really helpful exercise and part of this curriculum so has to be completed properly. I write key words and have found I am quite often drawn to ‘ quirky, colourful and Scandi looks .. now there’s a surprise.

It’s really handy to have instant photos to pop in to my personal record journey to use as inspiration, so I carry my camera around with me a lot – and I’m forever finding colours and textiles that I love  – so they go in to the book too. This is my passion and I feel really lucky to be doing this now for a career.

As I’m already very much in to interiors, it’s been useful so far to know where to look for ideas but there are so many great companies out there starting up and it has opened my eyes to them. I found a shop called Perch and Parrow who sell gorgeous homeware and I will definitely use in the future and love some of their fabric samples here. The velvet is so lush.

It’s also a great excuse to read even more home magazines. It’s my addiction anyway but I’ve taken it to new levels. Well, it’s all in the name of research ;)

So, that’s where I’m at right now. I am starting to also draw up plans which is the bit I was nervous about so here goes .. I am sure some will appear on my instagram if you follow me.

If you are reading this and tempted to find out about the KLC School of Design then I do recommend them. They run all kinds of interiors and garden design courses at their HQ in the famous Design Centre East by Chelsea Harbour or if you study online then they offer lots of support if ever needed. They do expect a high level of input from their students but in return offer a really good qualification at the end.

Now about you. If you had to describe your own personal style, how would you ? I’d love to hear your thoughts, it’s all great research !

Thanks for reading.

Lucy x

Why Yoga and Meditation is my Inspiration for 2017

Hey, Happy 2017. Hope you are having a good start to the New Year. I’m easing myself in to it and so far, so good ..

But for some time I have been wondering whether to share a little bit more about me on the blog. I tend to keep it as a positive place and always will … although one thing I found last year, which I want to talk about is that I struggled a bit to keep up with the mad pace of social media. Usually it wouldn’t be an issue but truth be told, I haven’t been too well.

Over the last few years I have had a condition where if I get overworked or tired, my throat and eyes gets very sore and and I end up with a very swollen and raw mouth. At first I thought it was something I had eaten, like an allergy reaction, but then realised a pattern to it. The last few months have not been so great. It has done something a little odd to my immune system so I really do lack energy sometimes. Is it just me or do you know anyone else that this happens to ?

I’ve tried lots of different ways to treat it but I don’t think anything works completely unless you start looking after yourself and your body really well. Pressures of life can take their toll, especially when you are juggling many plates.

This is where my new hobby comes in …

Yoga.

Something that I have wanted to try for what seems years. I have meditated before and found it really effective, so combined, hopefully it will make headway – and it will be interesting to see if it has any impact. I hope so, as this is the year that I will qualify in interior design and really can’t wait.

I had to find a mat that would inspire me. What do you think ?

  1. Constellations mat – Blisscloud 2. Yoga belts – Yoga matters 3. Colourful mat – Yoga Design Lab 4. Blankets – Yoga Direct 5. Pink mat – Shake it London 6.Tropical mat – Yoga clicks 7. Bolsters – The Yoga Shop 8. Green mat – Liforme

Because, of course, my mat had to be colourful – I now know many online stores, found in my search .. You can see it here in my selection of finds, at number 3. I also think the Constellations Mat at number 1 is pretty amazing.

If yoga is something that you would like to try then maybe some of these finds will inspire you too.

From mats, belts and bolsters, there are so many out there. If you’d like to see where any of the above are from then you can click on the links.

I was also sent two great books called Spark Joy by Maria Kondo and At Home in The World by Thich Nhat Hanh. Thank you Penguin Random House for posting them over.

Spark joy is essentially is a guide to decluttering your home, covering each room and ways to make more space and remove anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Sounds like common sense but actually it can be quite hard to let go of old pieces sometimes, even if they aren’t purposeful.

At Home in the World is an autobiographical read, by Nhat Hanh’s life and how he has taught Zen and Mindfulness throughout his life, while travelling the world. It is quite fascinating.

This year, I also aim to eat well and try some new styles of cooking. I’d love to do more Thai food.

I hope you have a great 2017. I’m really looking forward to sharing lots of inspiring posts with you.

If you have any yoga tips or would just like to stop by to say hi then do leave me a comment underneath. Would love to hear from you.

Lucy x