Posts Categorised: Design/Interiors

Cosy Homes with Direct Stoves

invicta-seville-wood-burning-stoveIt’s so good to see a few cheery white snowdrops peeping through the soil here, but it’s still pretty freezing in our house, especially in the evenings and probably will be for a few months to come. I’m not complaining though as I love the cosy nights, looking at the flames and feeling the natural glow of a roaring fire whilst reading a good book or watching a favourite film.

We have an open fire and I also use a wood burner in my sewing room that was already here when we moved in, which actually heats much of the house and I love it – but if I had been able to choose – I think I would’ve gone for one with bold colour, like this pillar box red one. It’s an Invicta Cast Iron ‘ Seville ‘ Wood Burner from Direct Stoves. Combined with the vintage inspired design – it’s perfect for colour lovers.

Burners, I have found, are great for more compact areas, but also warm larger areas so well too, in fact, they do a good job of heating the whole house.

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The white wood and multi fuel Charnwood Burner from Direct Stove’s vast ranges is a great feature piece in a more contemporary style. Quite handy to be able to store some logs underneath it, taking up even less space.

I do love this double doored, Multi Fuelled Stove with cook top also made by Charnwood. It’s suitable for a medium to large room as it throws out lots of warmth as well as featuring a soapstone hot plate for cooking on – perfect for a cosy kitchen. Imagine a nice bowl of hearty soup warming after a long winters walk. Yes, please !

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There’s a wonderful selection of electric, gas, wood and multi fuel stoves plus Range Cookers on the Direct Stoves website. What’s really great is that some of the stoves come in different colours too, as well as modern and classic styles  – spoilt for choice ! You can can find everything you need here  – www.directstoves.com

Have a nice day …

Lucy x

Written in association with Direct Stoves. All opinions my own.

Valentine’s Day Home Gift Ideas To Share

Share the Love

With just two weeks to go now until Valentine’s Day is upon us, I have put together 10 home gift ideas that you could buy to share … Valentines is about the two of you after all, no ?

If you’re single then you can still treat yourself because you deserve it. It’s a win, win situation ! I’ve added the prices too and if you like the look of any of these things then you can click and take a closer look.

1. We all know and love Penguin Books. A loved up print for your wall that will also add an extra pop of colour to the room. Unframed. Made by Reece Ward. £21.

2. I adore the elegant, french furniture and accessories by French Bedroom Company. I can personally vouch for this cosy, soft  dusky mink ” Pauline’s Pretty Throw ” as I have one here at home. Perfect for cosying up. £70.

3. If ever there was a time to insist on more scented candles in the home. One each. He gets Cardamom, Pepper, Patchouli and Amber. She gets Mandarin, Bergamot, Jasmine and Vetiver. From Amara. £30.

4. More lusciousness ( yes, apparently it is a real word ) .. REN Moroccan Rose Bath Oil from Space NK. £30.

5. Love Birds ! Stoneware salt and pepper shakers. I couldn’t resist sharing these with you. Kitsch and extremely colourful. Liberty London. £19.95.

6. Alessi make really unique products and these heart spoons are just perfect. My daughter has one ( well, she has hoodwinked mine ) They look so pretty at the table and great for hot chocolate. Millys Kitchen Store. £19.95 for 4. Which leads me on to the next idea …

7. His n Hers ” Together ” mugs by Rob Ryan. These are from Mollie and Fred. £16.99.

8. I’ve talked about Liberty London enough for you to know that these would always get picked. Bombus ( remember my interview with them ) decoupage the letters with Liberty fabric. They are £10 each.

9. US based store Leif has lots of lovely things including these heart cushions that come in different colour ways. They are $58.

10. Oh how I love Vowed & Amazed. They provided our light up letters for our wedding and they now make and sell them too. This joined up ” Love ” sign with fairground lights would be a beautiful addition. £260.

That is all ! What do you think ? Are any of my picks winking at you ?

Have a good week, more blog posts to come …

Lucy x

Beautiful Illustrated City Maps

London MapThe other day I was lucky enough to have a good close up look at some Jenni Sparks prints from the online art store Evermade. It’s great to be able to view artwork online, but there’s nothing like studying it in the flesh, if you know what I mean ?

I’ve written about my trips to Berlin and New York before and talk about lovely London a lot because I’m a city girl at heart. These truly intricate, hand drawn map prints by Jenni Sparks really took my breath away. The latest edition – Paris took six months in total to complete. There’s lots of research behind all of the illustrations with quirky pieces of information in each area and landmark places to visit. Berlin MapNew York Map

It must be such an enlightening experience getting to know the people who live locally and where they like to hang out, whilst designing each map. The time and love that Jenni has put in to each piece is clear to see. So hoping that Tokyo is next on her list !

What’s your favourite city in the world and why  ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog. Would love to know.

Lucy x

All images belong to Evermade / Jenni Sparks.

Colour Your Christmas

Xmas Bright LucyLovesYaI love Christmas. The shiny, razzle dazzle of it all and feel justified in doing a Festive post now as the lights are officially switched on in Oxford Street. With an abundance of traditional decorations and homeware to choose from online, I thought I’d seek out some slightly more cute, colourful and heaven scented 2014 items at varying prices.

1. The playfulness of this wreath from The Original Pop Up Shop is handade from Merino Wool. It would work against so many colours. It’s very tactile looking – beautiful !

2. A cheeky little retro style plaque from Selfridges. This one is by Gisela Graham.

3. I am a big Diptyque fan. Their candles last for ages and they smell divine. This one is scented with cinnamon and plum. I’d be very happy to find one of these in my stocking. It’s stocked at SPACE.NK.

4. In Festive colour with a bold chevron print. These gold and glamorous napkins are by Paperchase.

5. As Liberty London lives right in the middle of the capital, this London bus tree decoration represents them well. I love it, especially as it is the old fashioned design. Glittery too – Ooh !

6. You could make a statement with these Multi coloured crackers for the tree or against a white table cloth. You can also find these at Paperchase.

7. How could anyone not fall for this little woodland Hedgehog decoration. Uber cute. Found at StreetHub.

8. My heart skipped a beat when I first spotted these handmade fairground star lights. Made in Britain – they come in various colours. They’re not cheap but I would use them all year round. These are by Goodwin and Goodwin at Not on The HighStreet.

9. Every year when we make Mulled Wine, I remember the thing we forgot. Proper glasses.  John Lewis do a set of 4 thermally insulated ones in a soda glass shape.

10. Father Christmas in a glittered robe. As he should be ! A set of 6 that come in a gift box from one of my favourite online stores – Berry Red.

Hope you like my selection. I will be seeking and sharing more soon. :)

Lucy x

Seaside Bedroom Inspiration

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It’s turning a bit cold outside, we’re lighting the fire in the evenings now. But I stepped outside this morning and the sky is beautiful blue and the colours in the fields are still lustrous. Which prompted me to crack in to this bright fabric bundle because I’m going to make a quilt for my daughters bedroom that I’m just about to do up.

She has gone off pink. It’s all about blue now. But, I’m sure it’ll all change again – so hedging my bets with an eclectic mix.

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One of our favourite family places to go is Southwold, because it’s like a step back in time and there is so much inspiration there to draw from. Luckily we aren’t too far away ( if you ever visit, don’t forget to visit the Electric Picture Palace ! ).. and I love Joanna Corney‘s prints so we are going to use her beach hut matte wallpaper. It will only be one on one wall, so it will add a flavour.

I will make some roman blinds and with added pom poms – and to finish the room off and carry on a vintage seaside, colourful theme – one of these balloon lights by John Moncrieff at NotonTheHighStreet. Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.03.53

What do you think of this combination ? Does it work for you ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog.

Have a nice day !

New look LucyLovesYa – and an up cycled Purple Piece

Welcome to my new look blog ! I am so excited to be sharing it with you. Kim Lawler has done wonders. :) Kitty Finegan designed my new banner logo and caricature. I’ve been dying to show you it .. and now here it is. Over the next few days there will be more little tweaks … keep your eyes peeled.

Todays post is an up cycled chest of drawers – our spare room needed a bit more colour. This was given to us by a family member and it was a teak colour. No idea the era .. maybe you can tell me ?

My wonderful Sis, Clare, turned it in to something much more colourful. The paint is an Annie Sloane one – ” Emile “. I did have a look around at some knobs but the new colour, I think, personally really suits gold. So, I kept them.

Oh and look ! There’s us. I couldn’t bear to part with our wedding cake toppers so I bought a globe and popped us inside. We can live in a happy bubble forever more !

 

It is very difficult to find wall lights that are unique, kitsch and yet not too garish. These ones are from Lighting Majestic who very kindly wrote about LucyLovesYa a little while ago. They’ve a big selection of lighting if you’re ever looking.

In other news – I have been shortlisted, thanks to you lovely people for an Amara Interiors Awards 2014 in the Best Colour Inspiration Blog section. It has been narrowed down to 5 of us now. Very grateful that you voted for me. Thanks. The decision is in the hands of the judges now !

Hope you love the new look LucyLovesYa as much as I do. Tweet me @lucylovesyablog or leave me a comment. :)

Wallpaper to grow up with …

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There are literally thousands of stunning wallpaper designs on the internet. Trust me, I’ve been looking around to find one for my daughters bedroom, that will carry her through from being 8 to her teens. The ones I have chosen for you to see are of course, quite loud, but I think they would add great character to a room – maybe with just one wall covered. I would probably make a plain roman blind to go with this one made by Pip Studio and for sale on Not on The Highstreet by FIFTY ONE PERCENT ( no, I’m not shouting, that’s how they write it ! ). Love all the bobbins and sewing paraphernalia. :)

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Whether it is because I am obsessed with flamingos or maybe my just in the genes – Mae loves them too so this is definitely a consideration. We are only going to do one wall – I know feature walls aren’t as trendy as they used to be but I think it works well in a kids room, especially if it’s not too big. She loves blue too so it could be the one !

This wallpaper is by Cole and Son and and for sale at WallPaper Direct.

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This may not be every girls cup of tea * sorry, I’ll get my coat * … but it’s so dainty and pretty and I am sure would look amazing up. How could you ever get bored of looking at it ? It’s a Brian Yates print on the Select Wallpapers website.

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More birds. A really vibrant print, again from Not on The Highstreet by a shop called Snuggle. It is made to order in 50cm squares. What do you think ?

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I fell in love with this wallpaper the first time I saw it. It would probably mean a lot more to adults than it would to the ‘ new generation ‘ but it’s very retro and kitsch. Mae likes kitsch. So we might be on to a winner. This Penguin library wallpaper is by Osborne and Little from John Lewis.

My taste is very LOUD when it comes to prints as you may know. But I think these are all perfect for a growing girls bedroom.

What are your thoughts ? Do you have a particular favourite print that you’ve seen recently ?

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

Lucy x

My Guest Post for Artist – Jessica Zoob

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 11.09.56 A quick update to tell you about my guest post on the very talented artist Jesssica Zoob’s blog. She very kindly asked me to write about LucyLovesYa.

Jessica trained at Central School of Art and Nottingham University and worked as a theatre designer for 7 years at venues such as The Royal National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic. For 14 years now though she has worked exclusively as a contemporary artist from her home and studio in Sussex. She exhibits around London and her work is shown worldwide in private collections.

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 11.08.11 I love Jessica’s style and find her use of colour really emotive. It’s easy to lose yourself in her work, I think it’s partly because of the different textures she uses in the process. I could stare at her paintings for hours ! If you’d like to see or read more about Jessica Zoob then click here for the website.

My post can be found here.

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

All images copyright of Jessica Zoob 2014.

Rustic Trends – Tactile Textures

I was doing a bit of searching around recently on t’internet for trends this year because we’ve been doing some work on our home.

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Rustic is a top trend for 2014 so I have put together some images of what I would use for a bathroom with tactile textures.

I really like this Cambridge Free Standing Bath from C. P. Hart Bathrooms. I would ideally have some exposed brickwork which really breaks up a room, adds extra character and accentuates the shape. I do have some in my sewing room but would’ve loved to been able to do this in the bathroom too. I do like a splash of colour so would go for a wooden floor – and would some boldness in the accessories – like this Liberty London floral fabric for the blinds and some chunky towels.

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The board is on my Pinterest ( I strongly recommend doing an inspiration board if you are thinking of designing a new room ) of how I would accessorise with this bath – and have added some of the pics to this post too.

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A lovely earthy candle scent would add to the overall feel of the room – and a few pops of colour dotted around against the white walls to finish it off and a heavy duty wire rack. I don’t think you can go wrong with an old style radiator – again, this one is by C. P Hart Bathrooms – who incidentally have a broad range of bathroom showrooms, ideal to gain some inspiration and get a true appreciation of the look and feel of their products. Also, for professional and interior designers, they have a trade section on their website that is well worth exploring. if you need some when you come to do your own bathroom.

Please share the love by clicking on the links below xx

This post is in collaboration with C P hart – all opinions are my own.

Make Roman Blinds – a Tutorial

As promised recently, having shown you my new sewing room roman blinds – here is a tutorial on how to make one for yourself. I’ve had some emails and tweets asking where my fabric is from – Kingdom Interiors and it’s Perroquet by Nina Campbell.

Before we get started, you will need:

Main fabric ( we will work out how much shortly.. )

Interlining ( Optional )

Blind lining fabric

Thread and sewing needle, scissors, pins, fabric chalk, tape measure, scissors, sewing machine, staple gun

Wooden baton cut to size inside or outside recess

Dowel rod and base bar – both of which you will need to cut to size.

Eye rings, blind cord, blind acorn, screw eyes and 1 cleat with screws.

All of these things should be obtainable from your local fabric shop, if not, try eBay.

Measuring up

Main fabric

You will either want the blind to sit inside or outside the recess. As you can see the one I made sits outside. You can do either as I have instructions here for both. Either way this tutorial is based on you using a 20 mm deep wooden baton. There are other methods but this is how I like to make them. If you are going outside the recess, the width of the window sill is your guide on how wide to make the blind and cut the baton.

Whether making for inside or outside the recess – measure vertically and horizontally , the top of the blinds will be stapled to the very top of the baton so remember to add allowances in the fabric length for this –  plus 5cm for a return at the top and 12 cm hem for the bottom. Each side of the blind will need 5cm return = 10cm total.

Work out all of these measurements below before buying your fabric to ensure you have enough – make sure too that your fabric width is wide enough for your window. Unless you have a plain fabric or a non obvious pattern you won’t be able to use the fabric sideways.

Horizontal: Desired width of finished blind + 2 x 5 cm ( 10 cm ) = Total width to cut.

Vertical:  length from very top of baton down to window ledge or desired finished drop + 17cm ( return and hem ) = Total length to cut.

NB. Before you cut, if the fabric has an obvious pattern – make sure you have decided on which parts of this you want to use and that you have it the right way up. In other words, frame in your mind the finished blind and how you want the it to look. I made sure on mine that the birds were as central as possible.

Interlining ( optional )

Same measurements as main fabric. I like to use this as it makes the blind more sturdy and it blocks out some light. You could use black out lining instead if you are making a bedroom blind – this will make your room much darker when they are down.

Lining fabric

Horizontal: Finished width + 4.5 cm either side ( 9cm ).

Vertical: Finished drop + 5cm return for top edge.

You will also be adding rod pockets to the lining – so will need to also add on 2.5 cm per pocket ( dependent on size – the larger the blind the more rod pockets will be required )

Putting your baton up

I recommend cutting to size and stapling the rough side of your velcro on to the top before doing this. You can always do it afterwards but if you have little space between baton and ceiling it will be trickier once it’s up.

Making the blind

Cut out your fabrics. Double check you have the right measurements ( above ) and go for it. Do the same with your lining fabric.

Starting with your main fabric – lay out flat with wrong side facing up. Place the interlining on top of the main fabric so that all corners match up and press both sides towards you by 5 cm. The interlining should be sitting inside the main fabric. Snip the corners ( see pic below ) off the interlining at the bottom of the blind to avoid too much bulk later when you mitre them ( you will see what I mean .. ). Then fold the lining fabric in by 5cm each side too and press.

Now, you need to work out where the rod pockets are to be sewn in on the lining fabric.

To give you an example – my blind has 3 rods and so is divided into 7 sections ( the number of sections is always the number of rod pockets multiplied by 2 then add 1 ) from the base of the screw eyes to the bottom of the finished blind is 121.5 cm so divide this by 7 and each section measures 17.4 cm – therefore the spacing between each rod pocket is 2 x 17.4 cm which = 34.8 cm.

Making sure the wrong side ( the side you have pressed the seams into ) of the lining is facing up Stick a pin where each rod pocket is going to be and then mark 125mm either side of each pin. One by one, fold and press each pocket so that the marks are facing each other ( each ” loop ” should total 2.5 cm ), press them and then machine sew all along the widths of the blind. You now have your rod pockets.

As above, lay out you main fabric ( if you have added interlining this should still be sitting inside ) with right side facing up. Lay the lining on top, wrong side up – checking that the top and bottoms of the main and lining fabric are adjacent and that the lining is placed centrally, you’ll find that the lining is just short in size of the main fabric – about 2.5 cm each side. Ease out any wrinkles, then mitre ( fold corners ) the bottoms of the main fabric inwards ( this is why you cut the the corners off the interlining ) so that they are the same width as the lining and pin to the main fabric. Machine sew a 1 cm line along the width off all of these layers to hold them together.

Turn the main fabric and lining out the other way so that the right side of of each is on the outsides. The interlining is now in the inside, still folded inside the main fabric. Pull the top of the lining up so that it matches the top of the main fabric and ease out any creases in all layers and then pin all along the top and sides. The recess bottom of the blind should look like this:

Give the blind a pressing all over. Double check for any creases because you are next going to machine sew a 1 cm line all along the top width of layers. Once you’ve done this, either machine or hand sew the soft side of the velcro all along the top of the wrong side of the blind ( above ).

Place the base bar inside the bottom of the blind. They generally come in metre lengths so you may need to cut to size.Now, from the very bottom of each side, herringbone stitch the reverse of the main blind to the lining. Don’t yet stitch up the rod pocket as you haven’t inserted them yet :)

Hand sew eye rings 5 cm in on each rod pocket and then space others in between, depending on how many cords you are using vertically, to pull the blinds up ( I used 3 on my blind ) and then stab stitch just under each of the rod pockets. I tend to do two stitches as find it holds all layers together better, especially if you have interlining.

Insert your cut to size dowel rods and then sew up the ends of the rod pockets. 

Screw the screw eyes into the base of the baton. They need to be directly above the threads and one above the cleat – time to decide here if you want this to be on the left or right of the window. Screw the cleat in half way down the window ready.

On each bottom eye ring attach a cord by tying a knot and then thread up through each eye ring above then to the left or right, dependent on which side the cleat will be.

Putting the blind up

Velcro the blind together at the top. Now cut and thread the blind cords up through the relevant screw eyes above and then if going left thread all cords through each screw eye including the one above the cleat or vice versa if you are going right. Gently pull all cords down at the side so that the they are all taught at the back and threaded without any loose cords and then braid all cords together down the side ( this is for safety too ). Cut the braid where the cleat is and attach a weight on the end by threading the plait through and then knotting it underneath.

When you pull the braided cord the blind should pull up evenly ! It might take a few days to sit “right” so I recommend leaving it up for a few days for the folds to settle.