Posts Categorised: DIY/Projects

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 inframe.space 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.

Live Your Own Way – with Author and Plant Stylist Hilton Carter

author hilton carter stylist houseplants greenery in the home

These weeks are flying by which means we are now on Episode 2 on the second series of my Podcast. I had a great chat with Plant Stylist and Author Hilton Carter this time who very kindly shared some of his day with me to discuss his life and how he cares for and styles over 600 plants of all sizes in his home, while squeezing in time to write 2 books with another one due out soon.

Hilton’s books are aptly named ‘Wild at Home’ and ‘Wild Interiors’ with the new title called ‘Wild Creations’.

This was a real treat personally to get some quality time to talk about this subject as I am well in to my plant journey and learning more every day, but it is trial and error as we discuss. Adding plants to a home scheme can have such a beneficial effect so this is why I love the world of Biophilic design and factor it in whenever I can.

hilton carter books houseplant care diy tours

I ask what led up to him becoming a plant stylist and author ?

Both books are so helpful for anyone wanting to dip their toes in to the world of greenery right through to full on, filling your entire home with greenery types which is kind of where I’m heading … and no regrets there.

In ‘ Wild at Home ‘ you will learn all about caring for and styling your plants with some stunning home tours and clever DIY’s while ‘ Wild Interiors ‘ takes you on a global tour of  some incredible homes which he has photographed perfectly.

During the Podcast we talk about many aspects of keeping houseplants – the health benefits, the upkeep and which ones he thinks will be the ‘ it ‘ plants in the near future. Couldn’t miss out also his propagation wall with his especially designed cradles. A really inspiring idea.

It was really good to have my first international guest with Hilton being in Baltimore, USA. He has a very cool instagram page if you want to take a peek.

You can listen to this episode here with all the usual channels.

On this page, you’ll find all my other Podcast episodes. Next week we are delving in to interior photography so do subscribe to hear more soon.

Image 1: Copyright Hilton Carter 2021.

Live Your Own Way Series 2 with with Emma J Shipley

emma j shipley imagery drawing sketch pink red hair

I’m thrilled to have just started Series 2 of my Live Your Own Way Podcast. For the first episode I chat with Graphic Artist and Founder of her own accessories and homeware brand – Emma J Shipley.

You may well have seen Emma’s designs either online on her own store or in one of the many stores who stock her brand. The artwork is so distinctive, so that was definitely a talking point as I wanted to know how she developed her signature mythical and colourful style.

It was a great chat and we covered her time at the Royal College of Art including how she came to win the John Lewis Award for Emerging Talent while studying amongst a handful of other accolades.

emma j shipley bedding colourful interview podcast colours mythical

Stockists and collaborations over the last few years include Liberty, Anthropologie, Clarke & Clarke, Aesop and a fascinating one with Disney and Star Wars.

Her designs are timeless. An example of this is the Audubon print with an intricate hand-drawn scene of fantastical birds inspired by the works of John James Audubon.

I love how Emma works the colours together so that the different collections work still perfectly together. They work in rooms with rich colours but also white walls or anywhere in between.

emma j shipley cushions bold colour vivid love

As a textile lover and maker of things, the range of fabrics are really appealing and made with cotton and velvet which are both lovely to work with.

There are so many beautiful accessories on her website, she has everything covered – the scented candles in bona china pots, wallpaper, tableware, cards and also the most stunning art prints – we go in to detail about the silk Constellation print and the inspiration behind it.

It was interesting talking about her use of colour within the Scarves too; which are her favourite hues to use – and we discovered a mutual love on one particular colour…

Emma J shipley images cushions colour Emma J Shipley colour homeware vivid inspiring

Really, it was so inspiring to discuss see what someone can achieve with a combination of talent, focus  and a seriously good eye for colour – and all with self deprecation !

Times are obviously unusual at the moment so Emma offered some helpful advice for anyone studying in the creative field right now – which will be very useful here at home for my daughter too who is set for the world of art.

Here is my Podcast page where you can catch up on Series 1 if you’d like to. I hope you enjoy it as much I enjoyed making it. Do subscribe if you would like to hear more. I have a great interview lined up for next week too – about one of my most favourite ever subjects.

You can also subscribe to my newsletters here. I update every now and then with news.

Images Copyright: Ben Broomfield.

Adding Big Print to a Small Space

biophilic prints textiles for door curtain

There are always certain areas in a home that tend to get neglected. Maybe they’re not utilised as much but just small space and therefore harder to add character to. Our back door has been a bit like that and it has been bugging me for some time, so I decided to add a lovely big print in the form of a door curtain to add some character. It’s amazing what some plants and pretty fabric can do. As this part of the room is often in my eye line when cooking and daydreaming about interior design projects … it really has made a difference not only to that part of the room but the overall feel of the kitchen.

I’m a massive Linwood Fabrics and love using their fabrics. They’re so easy to work with; lovely to cut and sew. I have had my eye on this Kahanu Oasis print from their Belleville range for ages. Not just the colours but the exuberant design. It is inspired by an early 20th century chintz and is a really gorgeous quality. This style has made a huge comeback over the last few years, but I’ve never stopped loving it. It would look great upholstered on a chair. It’s a feature print for stands out on it’s own but if feeling brave, would also look amazing with some other bold colours.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Linwood Fabrics.
wall mounted plant holder biophilic design tropical fabrics

It does take time to make a curtain because of all the hand stitching but all worth it. Let’s face it as well – we all have a bit of extra time at the moment. If you sew then you’ll know about pattern matching with seams when making items  – it’s not always easy but I found this one extremely simple when I was joining the two panels together. The feel is lovely and soft with a medium weight linen.

biophilia curtains door small space big print plants

With my love of Biophilia growing by the day, it’s also a great excuse to add more plants even in textile form to the home. The greens and pinks are good for the soul and are an extension of the garden – although I’m still working at owning plants that look this good. If you’ve seen my banana plants on instagram you’ll know I am giving it a good go ! The houseplants here are Spiderworts at the top and Pothos underneath. Both grow quite quickly and will trail so nice to grow in a wall mounted pot.

Speaking of instagram – I recently did a Reel to road test Linwood’s stain resistant fabrics as many of them have this kind of finish. If you saw it you’ll know that I poured tea all over some of their velvet and linen. It felt oh so wrong but I really wanted to know of it really worked. Here are the results.

So, what do you think of our newly spruced up area here ? Is there anywhere in your own home that you want to give a facelift ?

back door curtain inspiration small space fabrics ideas for biophilia home

If you’d like to see more of Linwood’s collections then pop over to their website for some inspiration. Many of their textiles are designed and printed solely in the UK with the rest made in cherry picked mills in Europe. Each collection is drawn and painted by hand. I think for me, that’s what makes it so special making anything they have created.

You can see an older post of mine where I upholstered a bench seat in their Tango fabric and created a Youtube video here.

Live Your own Way Podcast – BBC1’s The Repair Shop Expert Dominic Chinea

 

Dominic Chinea BBC1 Repair Shop Metal Expert Live Your Own Way PodcastI can’t believe we are six weeks in now with my Live Your own Way Podcast. It was an absolute pleasure chatting with Dominic Chinea this time who is the Metal Expert on BBC1’s The Repair Shop.

It really is one of my favourite programmes for many reasons and I’ve always been quite fascinated by how Dominic and the team can turn someone’s precious heirloom back in to something they remember from years gone by in their home, making the family so happy in the process.

Not ashamed to admit I’ve shed a few tears over several of the personal stories when families arrive and even more so when they receive their beloved items back. It’s such a kind format and has clearly touched people’s hearts as they are currently filming their sixth series for BBC1 – Dominic very kindly gave up his lunch break for us to have a chat about how it’s going.

Dominic has had a really interesting career leading up to this work having studied Graphic Design at University and then going on to Car Restoration, Set Design for a very well known photographer –  and then starting his own business with a studio carrying on with Set Design and also Sign Writing and Prop Making on Photo Shoots, Film Sets and Restoration.

There is a great story behind how he came to be an Expert at The Repair Shop during the Podcast.

You’ll see on his website some of the Installations he’s created  – I wanted to know how the collaborations had come about such as an incredible Chandelier he made for the interior of Billingsgate Market. All of his designs and jobs themselves are really diverse so naturally I asked about the process – how do they come about?

He gives some really useful advice for anyone considering a more Artisan type career as he specialises in age old Craftsmanship – it’s really good to know that the show is encouraging people to try out crafts again. The more restoration that goes on the better for us all.

So, you can link to the interview here on various channels and do remember to subscribe as I have a brand new series of the show coming soon with some more great guests.

You can find last week’s chat with Author Sally Coulthard here.

Thanks you ever so much for listening to the Podcast. I am really enjoying it and am so glad I finally got around to doing it.