Five good reasons for using Stripes in your Home

striped door curtains

I have written a post here with five good reasons for using stripes in your home … and also a few do’s and don’ts.

It feels like I have been working with textiles most of my adult life in one way or another and I still absolutely love them. Even more now if that’s possible. It’s second nature making things and it was certainly a great basis for when adding interior design to my repertoire.

I received some beautiful Romo Ashley Multi fabric to make these new door curtains and roman blind for the living room. I wanted some extra impact as the previous ones were a plain fabric and I love me a bold print ! So, I took off the backs of the old curtains and blinds and reused them with the new fabric. One, to avoid waste and two, it saves time making some backings if the old ones are perfectly fine – you just have to reattach and restitch.

Anyway, here are my thoughts on stripes are useful as well as wonderful …

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Romo.
romo striped curtains wooden sideboard

They are classic and won’t date. A timeless backdrop.  You could change your scheme over the years and keep the stripes, no problem. Especially if you pick out one with a plethora of colours. In the Interiors world they are always ‘ on trend ‘ in one way or another – you really can’t go wrong. Stripes are your reliable friend when it comes to decorating.

striped curtains with brass pole

Stripes can make a great statement if you want to make an impression in the room but are not keen on adding lots of pattern or colour elsewhere. Just having a blind for instance and the rest of the room being block colour does the trick. Okay, maybe a few cushions with a bit of oomph but that blind will really add some impact.

Romo striped roman blinds

It is a brilliant print to sew with, if you are making them yourself. I find it takes less time as you have your cutting guide right there. Once you’ve measured up you can just cut along the lines. Anyone who sews will know that makes a big difference. It means that they will be lovely and neat as a result. This Romo fabric is really tactile and the quality is lovely too. A dream to work with. I have a little left which I’ll make in to some cushions for another room.

striped curtains romo door vinyl record stevie wonder door curtains

To heighten or lengthen a room – add stripes. Horizontal to make the room feel taller and vertical to elongate the space. This applies with textiles or wallpaper although it is harder to find either of these going vertical but that doesn’t mean you can play around with this anyway. You could always paint the stripes on the wall if you have a steady hand ?! I recommend looking at the size of the room and choosing stripes accordingly. Bigger room – larger stripes etc.

blue sofa workshop seat romo striped door curtains

Patterns and stripes also can work together really well to create a playful scheme and this can be used anywhere. It doesn’t have to be either or. My tips for this is pick out elements of colour from the stripe and find a pattern with it in too. Don’t try and go full impact on both though. They will end up fighting each other for attention. Not good for the eyes and won’t encourage a feeling of relaxation in your room.

Here I have both but also a solid wall colour. The balance works and doesn’t overwhelm us.

So, what do you think of the Romo Ashley Multi Stripe ?

While you’re here, I want to let you know about my new Interior Design Course coming very soon now. If you sign up to my Newsletter, I will be letting everyone know more and will also be offering two free spaces. So do sign up. I only usually update every now and then.

Live Your Own Way Claybrook Studio Creative Director Rob Whitaker

rob whitaker claybrook studio artistic director

So, here we are at week 8 and this time I am chatting with Creative Director of Claybrook Studio Rob Whitaker who along with fellow Founders Andy Manders and Lucy Kenna hit the interior design scene only a few years ago, making a huge impact with their eye catching tiles. Due to demand, they soon added wooden flooring, paint  and bathroom fixtures and fittings.

What brought the three of them together and how has the company become so successful in such a short space of time ? This obviously comes with hard work and years of experience between them. They have strong values when it comes to how their customers should be treated. It is interesting to hear how they run their business and what decisions they made early on to ensure they are all a happy team. Some really sound advice for budding business owners.

contemporary bathroom grey white tiles unique sink colourful

Not only do they run the store online, there is a showroom in Shoreditch which can be visited to check out their ranges of. Something I am looking forward to doing again soon. I’ve missed pottering around in interior shops.

As, I mentioned to Rob, I feel like a kind in a sweet shop as an interior designer, looking at all of their incredible designs, How do they come up with them and what is the difference between a ceramic and clay tile ?

blue japanese style kitchen tiles

The glazing on the Porcelain Zeze tiles is influenced by Japanese traditional techniques – I think it really makes them stand out ? They come in 5 different shades.

We are seeing tiles being used in many more ways these days especially now that fireplaces have become a focus again.

spanish style tiles bathroom kitchen red orange

During the Podcast I picked out some of my absolute favourites to talk about. One being the Festive Ribbon design. I loved the inspiration behind these. I think you might too. It certainly took me straight back to childhood on a sunny Spring day. It’s interesting how a pattern or colour can take you on a journey.

triangle bathroom kitchen tiles claybrook studio

These Bermuda Triangle tiles are one of their newer tiles and come in seven colours. I did mention them to Rob in the Podcast because they caught my eye recently and we talked about how they can be used in a design in several different ways. I really do love them. What do you think ?

orange wall paint retro mid century homepink paint wall inspiration

As I mentioned Claybrook Studio do a fabulous range of eco friendly paints. They have very cool names. Carly’s Loafers and Claire’s Lippy, that you can see above are just a few of them. What inspired them and how and how do they manufacture them all ?

Naturally, I wouldn’t let Rob go until he told me about his own taste when it comes to interiors. Does he have a Claybrook adorned home ?

You can find all other episodes here.

Live Your Own Way with Designer and Craftsman William Hardie

William Hardie Amazing Spaces

I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s Live Your Own Way Podcast chat with Designer, Craftsman and Maker William Hardie.

If you are fan of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and Shed of the Year with George Clarke, you’ll have seen all the incredible creations he has come up with. over the years. Too many to fit in to one conversation but we most certainly covered a lot of ground about the show and his company Studio Hardie who are a team specialising in a variety of unusual high profile projects in many disciplines including architecture, playgrounds, interior design, furniture, exhibition spaces and public art.

They’ve worked on commissions including John Pawson for The Design Museum, Walmer Castle, Vivo Barefoot and a Timber Frame Farmhouse in Isle of Eigg, Scotland.

Studio Hardie are also often are asked to work on interiors of homes so my natural question was how do they choose which to work on ?

Rotating Home Amazing Spaces Rotating Home George Clarke William Hardie Amazing Spaces

The futuristic rotating home has to be one of my personal favourites. Such a, quite frankly, mind bogglingly clever design. The gimbal shelves were my favourite part of it.

There have been some really memorable trips on Amazing Spaces  – The Northern Lights in Finland ( including the infamous dip in the freezing lake ) and William visiting and going under the Glaciers in Canada.

Did you see the episode where he went in to the underground city in Helsinki ? If not, you must try and catch it. Really interesting.

Oh, and the Observatory – another good one.

When it came to talking about Shed of the Year – how on earth does he choose a winner as a judge with so many unique conversions – it must be hard surely ?

We discuss all all of the above.

Amazing Sapces Caravan Amazing Spaces Caravan Home converted field

The converted 80’s caravan that William and his team worked on for George and his young family really stuck in my mind. Certainly left a brilliant impression for a first series. It was almost unrecognisable even though they had used elements and the frames, yet still delivered George the holiday home he craved from his own childhood. Opening up the whole front of it was such a clever idea.

You can listen to the full Podcast chat on any of these channels.

All my other episodes are here.

Live Your Own Way with Fine Artist Jessica Albarn

jessica albarn drawing bee on playing card

A lovely chat on my Live Your Own Way Podcast this week with Fine Artist Jessica Albarn.

well known for her insect and animal fine line drawings on paper that are often multi layered incorporating geometry. She also produces her work with clay, glass, honey and wax. We discussed how she creates her pieces and what inspired her fascination with the animal eco system.

fine artist jessica albarn sketch drawing Jessica Albarn Artist drawing bee Jessica Albarn drawing bee sketch fine art sketch

Jessica is devoted to bees and uses her work to raise awareness to their plight.

I was interested to hear more about Jessica’s family meadow in Devon which has been developed to encourage all sorts of wildlife. She created a film called Life After Death sitting amongst the nature there and incorporating a stop motion drawing. You may well want to see it after listening to how she made it on the Podcast.

Jessica Albarn art owl sketch geomotry hare drawing fine art jessica albarn

There is a lot to talk about as Jessica has exhibited her work in many corners of the world over many years. Some of her commissions include Soho House, Hoxton Hotel, V & A and Mandarin Oriental Hotel – a hugely long list and with some really interesting new ones coming up.

You can listen to my full Podcast chat with Jessica Albarn here on any of these channels.

Hope you enjoy. All other episodes can be found here.

Live Your Own Way with Writer and Broadcaster Kunle Barker

Kunle Barker Author writer Broadcaster

A very interesting Podcast chat this week with property expert, writer and broadcaster Kunle Barker. If you’re a fan of ITV’s Love Your Home and Garden then you will have seen him working alongside Alan Titchmarsh where he was also the consultant leading the design and build on each show.

Kunle has years of experience in the world of construction and is Chief Operating Officer at Melt Property. He also writes regularly for Architects Journal and is a Judge on several prestigious Award shows including British Home Awards and International Property Awards.  He is also the main host and curator at Grand Designs Live with Kevin McCloud.

A busy man indeed.

Kunle Barker and Kevin McCloud

With Grand Designs Live being a huge event in the world of interiors, we chatted about how well they put it all together and the challenges, especially in the ever evolving world of design. It is a well oiled machine but that takes a lot of hard work behind the scenes, of course.

Garden Room Inframespace

Kunle is also Brand Ambassador for who offer a bespoke extension and garden rooms in a unique way using structural light, steel frame technology, which is environmentally responsible and recyclable. Also reduces the use of concretes and they look amazing don’t you think ? The deliver time is pretty impressive too.

Kunle Barker Love Your Home and Garden advice adding value

I was interested to know a bit more about women in construction and whether we are seeing more entering the various trades within the the industry. It was interesting to hear about this and progress that is being made.

A very popular topic and not one to miss out on is adding value to your home. Something most of us at times in our lives strive to do for various reasons. There are many ways including pimping up your garden ,which is more important than you might think. So, we discussed this quite a bit.

Contrary to popular belief it is okay sometimes too to lose a bedroom or not make the kitchen your priority for a makeover. Some excellent advice from Kunle  on what you can do to make a difference. I certainly learnt a thing or two myself during the Podcast.

You can listen via all the usual  channels.

Hope you enjoy it. You can find all my other Episodes here.