Posts Categorised: Design/Interiors

Bohemian Ethical Christmas Gift Ideas

Jute Baskets Colourful Fair-trade

There’s no way around this. I have to mention Christmas. Because if I leave it too late then my guide will be null and void and I imagine there will be some starting to think about the big day ? I’m feeling a bit smug this year as I’m feeling almost on top of it so far.

Having been looking in to ethical gift ideas recently not only for myself but to share with you here on the blog, I actually got quite excited as I found some things I had been looking for anyway and some great new online stores. If I hadn’t snooped around on the ‘net I wouldn’t have discovered The Decorator’s Notebook store. Not only really stylish fair – trade homeware but their ethos is empowering women, nurturing small businesses and protecting the environment.

Fairtrade blankets throws colourful cosy homeware

Having a bit of a penchant for throws especially of the tasseled variety ( who doesn’t like feeling cosy this time of year ? ) these basket weave cotton throws from Rigby & Mac come in several colours. I’m picturing a good book or film, hot drink and all wrapped up for the evening. Yes please.

Christmas fair-trade gifts
1. Berber Basket  – Myakka 2. Salad Servers – Namaste 3. Hanging Panter – House of Kind 4. Hanging Mirror – Nkuku 5. Frida Kahlo Tea Towel – Ian Snow 6. Bowls – Auraque 7. Wool Cushion – Plumo 8. Indigo Drop Mug – Nkuku 9. Yellow Bag – Winter’s Moon.

Here are nine more colourful items from some really cool online shops.

Really enjoying the whole Berber trend and will continue to do so for a very long time. The baskets with extra detail are useful in so many rooms. I know my girls would love them to store al their bits and I personally would put one in the living room or bathroom.

If you get a chance to check out House of Kind, you’ll find some really beautiful handmade porcelain pots amongst a sea of other sustainable, vegan items for the home. Plus stocking fillers  – lots of them.

Still gutted that I missed the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V & A ( Did you manage to go or see anything about it ? ) but consolation might be found in a vibrant tea towel from Ian Snow.

Loving that fluffy wool cushion. I’ve a feeling we might fight over it in this household though. I’ve been a fan of Plumo since they started out. They stock some really unique pieces.

Brass Pot Hand Etched

Another beauty buy Nkuku for Decorator’s Notebook. A classic hand etched brass pot using ancient techniques. Apparently it’s water tight so perfect for flowers but I think I would use it as a feature even without  – it’s sure interesting to study like a piece of art.

There are no doubt plenty more good places to source gifts and inspiration. If you know of any  – or just like what you see here than do leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you as always.

Oh, and by the way … this post isn’t sponsored in any way. I just thought it would be good to promote some of these businesses.

Lucy x

Revitalising the Living Room with Sanderson Grey Mist

Grey Living Room Colours Yellow Blue TealToday I am going to give you a little tour around my living room now that it’s complete in both colour and comfiness. In fact, I am breaking it down in to three posts in total over the next few weeks as I want to go in to a bit of detail on choices and have a review to do of my new sofas and talk about my lovely new rug and how I chose the right size.

So, initially let’s start with wall colour and why ? Well, for some time I’ve been frustrated with the lack of light in the room. Having painted the walls almost a pure white and realising that without lots of natural sunlight, no amount of applying ‘ high value ‘ will brighten it. In fact it does the opposite. It emphasises the dark and feels gloomy.

Grey wall teal sofa gold light

With that in mind, I decided a neutral was needed. After the Sanderson event recently I tried out some of their greys to define instead and as I knew I would be adding plenty of colour with furniture and accessories and it would enhance them. In fact, I went for one of their brand new ones called Grey Mist in Matt Emulsion which I tried out on each wall at first. I recommend samples first always, as a paint will look one colour in your home and completely different in someone else’s.

After a week of checking it at different times of the day when I was relaxing in the room, I really liked it. It’s a consistent mid grey with ever such a slight presence of blue. In the daytime it’s actually quite warm when the sun makes an appearance and then works really nicely with ambient lamps later on.

White Painted Fireplace

The room feels so much more defined now. We painted the stoneGrey Walls Living room
fireplace white to balance out the doors and then used Grey Mist Oil Based Eggshell again on the radiators to blend them with the rest of the room.

Grey Wall Blue Sofa

It’s the first time I’ve used Sanderson paint. It took two coats for me to feel entirely happy although the first coverage was pretty impressive. I painted the first one and then thought better of it and asked our lovely local painter to come and do the second ( I’m not the fastest decorator to be honest ). We both felt that the paint was very good quality and nice to work with – a creamy texture.

Grey Mist Paint Living Room Walls DJ decks

With the teals and yellows in the room and then pops of pinks it has all worked out as planned and I do love grey and gold together, hence choosing Lennox sconces from the shop Made that aren’t too dominating but draw your eye with the industrial bulbs.

Hope you like it too and keep an eye out over the next few weeks for the rug and sofa posts.

Lucy x

The paint was a gift from Sanderson.

Interior Design Instagram Accounts to Follow

Colourful instagram accounts

Instagram is a really useful platform to share my images and engage with fellow friends and interior bloggers but it is a minefield that is ever expanding so it’s not easy always to find new accounts to follow. There are so many.

Who to follow ? Well, if you love interiors ( which I guess you might if you read my blog ) then today I am going to share the love with five of my current UK based faves that take interior trends and home improvements to another level. You might enjoy them too.

Above is @Oxfordone who has the most beautifully curated home. Lissi is a fellow colour lover who is excellent at co – ordinating trends and bold patterns. Her account always makes me smile – it’s really clever. Definitely one to follow – and check out her bathroom for sure – it’s super cool.

Blue Room Living Space Relaxing Calm Bright Melanie Lissack

I only recently found @melanielissackinteriors when we met at an event and I’m really glad I did. She has fantastic style and a very stylish home. A triple award winning blogger, Melanie has a plethora of rooms to admire and take inspiration from. The tiles in her kitchen are just dreamy and I love the blue living room and choice of wallpapers.

Karen Knox Interiors Black Room Orange Chair Leeds based Designer Karen Knox aka @makingspacesnet has created some stunning homes. She puts together textiles and fearless colours in a ( seemingly ) effortless way and they just work so well. A very talented person. She posts photos that you want to study all the detail which is always a good sign. Do follow if you are looking for some fresh ideas.

Kate Lovejoy Interiors Blue Kitchen Dining Cosy Space

Not so long ago when I wrote about matching colours with your zodiac sign –  I was introduced to @katelovejoyinteriors and she sure knows how to use colour and shape to design aesthetically pleasing rooms. Kate’s interior design account is bursting with vivid walls and furniture. She has a really good eye for colour and shape. Featured in lots of magazines which is no surprise at all.

Interiors Bedroom Peaceful Button Headboard

The palettes that @rockmystyleblog use are adorable. It’s a persistently gorgeous account to follow with a mixture of lots of Scandi, Mid Century and tactile looking textures. What I especially love is how generous they are with including other accounts and their homes. Light and bright – I recommend highly.

Image: Adam Crohill.

I’d be really interested to hear some of your favoured interior instagrammers. Is there anyone in particular that you look forward to seeing their pics ? Do leave me a comment below.

Lucy x

Ten Gold Wall Light Ideas for the Home

Palm Tree Wall Light

I have written this post because on my  hunt for some gold wall lights, I came to a realisation – it’s not that easy even with all the choice out there. Sure, I found some corkers that I’d bite my own hand off to have in my home but could I find exactly what was I wanted – not for a while anyway.

But it all worked out in the end and I thought to save someone else’s eyes going square in such a quest, I’d show some finds that are pretty gorgeous. Here’s my top 10 including the sconce chosen that we have just put up that you will see soon in our finished living room.

The first one above is from Graham & Green. Who needs tropical islands when you can have a metallic palm tree in your own living room ? A real feature to enhance a wall. I have also noted it’s currently in the sale. Just saying.

Wall Light Sconce Gold

I love a bit of Anthropologie. They always come up with something a little bit different. This hardwired light has a brushed brass finish. It’s an updated single candelabra  – worth bearing in mind that a certain shape of bulb will be needed each time.

Gold Wall Lights Living Bed Room1. Maison Du Monde 2. David Hunt 3. Habitat 4. Heals 5. Made 6. Em – Home 7. Houseology 8. Nest

Here are eight wall lights that will give out light in different ways and create a different look in your home.

I really love the large globe lamps. They’ve always been around in one form or another. This style will throw out a warm light ( with the right bulb ) mixed with gold will give a cosy but luxurious feel.

Task lamps like the one here from David Hunt look really sleek on a bedroom wall. I have this one on my wishlist. Really like it’s shape.

Habitat offer this Tesselate LED decorative wall light. They look pretty cool above a bed, sofa or a very nice welcoming piece in the hallway ?

Ever a fan of Houseology  – their Matt Brass exquisite sconce by Eicholtz Boivin ( 7 ) really appeals to me. A real talking point and so bold and rich in colour.

Nowadays, with many designs on offer and room designs being so fluid, you can mix and match many looks so many of these lamps would work in different eras and styles of homes.

Our new lights are one of the above and I am looking forward to sharing it with you soon. Keep a look out.

Lucy x

How I set up an interior scene for a film shoot

Tv Set Filming Bedroom Bluebellgray colourful bedroom

Last week was a really busy one in terms of here at home. Not only have I been coming up with some ideas and plans for a new living room, there was also some film location work going on.

Now, if you read the last post of mine, you’ll know that we just had a new carpet put in which I love so as you would imagine I had my beady on it all day when the crew were here. They were very good and respectful though. I think they wouldn’t have dared stand on or put their cameras and lights on it. I was hovering …

Grey Walls Cosy Bedroom Colourful duvet pillow Picture Ledge over bed

Anyway, I digress and will tell you more about what the filming was all about a little later, as what I wanted to talk about today is how I created one of the scenes – I recreated it here for you as there was literally no time on the day to take any photos.

Having interviewed the very established tv production designer Richard Drew not so long ago, it gave me some inspiration on how to go about setting it all up.

I needed to make sure it looked right for the character’s involved so here is what I came up with:

Colourful Bedroom Retro phone Grey Walls Bluebellgray

Painted the wall behind the bed a light grey. It is a naturally light space so it can take it. I maybe won’t be keeping this colour for long but as I am soon doing up the room ( again ) so felt this colour would be suitable for the two people

Added contrasting colours because the grey backdrop allowed it. The lovely people at Bluebellgray provided us with a Seafield duvet set and a couple their Fringe and Paintbox cushions. If there had been too much going on with strong patterns etc, it would take away from the actual story. I was always taught when I worked in television that too much black is not good on film because it soaks up the light and lots of red isn’t too popular either. Stripes can strobe on film also which would make the viewer feel ill after a while so that’s always a no no.

Setting TV Scene Bedroom Grey Colour Cosy Bright Pops Colour

Made the space feel cosy as it was a sleepy night scene, by adding pictures, books, drinks of water, plants and soft lighting. Of course there is the professional lighting but they can tweak everything to make it look like the right time of day. It’s pretty clever really.

I asked about the characters before hand and had a look at the script to get an idea of what they might be like and how they would dress their room. It’s also important to check what they will be wearing to make sure it all coordinates.

Grey Bedroom Colourful TV Scene Filming Blluebellgray Cosy home

What made me laugh was actors sleeping and chatting in my own bed. Luckily they are both lovely folk so it wasn’t too weird.

My kitchen was also used on the day and our upstairs hallway. If you are new to reading my blog, you may not know that I originally used to act and still do sometimes … so guess who was in one of the scenes ? I loved it and we had a really good laugh. I played a snooty lady at a dinner party. A great opportunity to ham it up a little.

This was all filmed for a trailer called  ‘ Bus Pass to Peterborough ‘ to showcase my Dad’s script. he has been a writer for a long time and has worked lots of different types of programmes over the years. I really admire his tenacity in such a tough business. It took a whole week of locations. Pre – production planning too and of course then it will be edited now. Amazing the amount of team work that goes in to these things, booking the actors, location hunting, scene setting and working out timetables – and of course relying on the weather which was luckily really good. I can’t wait to see the completed work and then see where it is taken from there ? The long term focus is a television film set here in Suffolk. There are some beautiful Autumnal outdoor scenic shots as you might imagine and a really great cast so fingers crossed.

Lucy x

Thank you Bluebellgray for your gifting !

Five reasons why we chose Padstow Carpet from Brintons

Brintons Stair Runner Spotty Carpet Dotty Grey Colour HallwayIsn’t a relief when you’ve completed a home project ? Especially when you’ve wanted to for such a long time.

We are so happy to now have the stairs and landing carpeted in something I feel very proud to show you. Yes, I am absolutely guilty of staring lovingly at the landing when I get up in the mornings and maybe loitering on the stairs more than I used to.

There’s been a definite shift in the last few years over to using carpet as a feature in your home – although Brintons who made ours have been doing so for many years.

Spotty Stair Runner Grey Wool Carpet Hallway

I’m going to break down the five main reasons why I chose this particular wool rug for our home :

Grey Pebble Cosy Carpet Wool Hallway

This is the first view you have of my home when you enter the door. It’s pattern makes me very happy every time I open the door. We all love it. It’s a feature for the room – really

The quality. Oh, let me tell you. It’s the softest carpet I have walked on but also very hardwearing. 80 % wool and 20 % nylon   – so it’s extremely tactile and comfortable for the feet yet made to last. It was really important to have a carpet that will last and stay looking good.

I have noticed a really detailed list of detailed advice on how to care long term for your carpet on the Brintons website.

Spot Pebble Grey Spotty Carpet Runner Soft Cosy

The colour. Having two still relatively young girls whose friends visit often and a labrador who loves to sneak a cheeky sit down on the stairs whenever possible so it needs to be practical and cover all those bases.

Although it’s a firm shoes off policy nowadays to head upstairs – it still will take quite a bit of trampling over the years. Although it comes in many other gorgeous colours and patterns, we opted for Pebble Spot which as you can see is a grey shade. It works with the white walls but even if we decide to add some other colour there – grey works so well with many. It also frames the hues in the rooms when you look in to them.

Spotty Carpet Stair Runner Grey Hallway Cosy Pebble Padstow Brintons Carpet Runner Stairs Grey Polka Dot

Hallways can be vastly overlooked as somewhere you just pass through. Which I always feel is a shame. They deserve so much more !

After all you probably spend quite a bit of time walking on it so make the floor fabulous to look at ? Our Padstows Pebble Spot has really livened up the stretches between the rooms and made it look and feel a lot more expansive.

Stair Runner Carpet Spotty Polka Dot Grey Silver Brogues Carpet Spotty Grey

Okay, this might sound like a funny reason but I think names are very important and can pull you one way or the other when making decisions. Padstow evokes very lovely, happy memories for me. Cornwall is nne of our favourite places to visit in the world and we have seen the girls at different stages enjoy the beach and delicious fish and chips there. So, I was immediately drawn to it.

Brintons Carpets Pebble Soft Cosy Carpet Runner Stair Hall

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour and like our new carpet too ? Brintons do a fantastic selection of pure colours, patterns such as plaids, stripes and florals. I love their collaboration with Laura Ashley. Do check them out if you’d like a little inspiration. They have been in business since 1783 which speaks volumes.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Brintons. They very kindly supplied me with carpet for my home.

Also – a quick mention about my silver platform brogues and Broadgate bag as I have been asked many times on instagram where they are from. Gifted from the current Boden range. :)

50 new Sanderson paints and Colour Psychology with Sophie Robinson

Sophie Robinson TV Presenter Colour

Making the move in to interior design has been once of the best decision I’ve made. It feels like the skills I have learnt over the years such as dressmaking, tv and theatre work, owning a shop – have all helped make the transition more seamless and understand the aspects involved. The one thing that hasn’t changed over the whole process is just how much I adore textiles. The colours, prints and textures.

No surprise of course then, when Sanderson invited me to the launch of their 50 new paint colours at the  renowned Sanderson Hotel in London, I jumped at the opportunity – not only because of the lure of new hues, but also because the very lovely colour expert and tv presenter Sophie Robinson ( remember my interview with her ? ) was on hand as host to talk us through colour psychology with a fascinating workshop. Can you see me sitting there at the front looking all pensive with pen to mouth ?

Sanderson Paint Cards

Before I talk about the paints, let me tell you a little about the workshop. We were asked to instinctively choose some colours and prints with just five minutes to put together a quick collage. I opted for predominently pinks with some similar shades that formed a harmonious palette for a room. But it was very interesting to see that my fellow bloggers and journalists came up with all completely different ideas.

Sophie Robinson TV Presenter

After an invaluable interior design talk from Sophie about how and why this theory was founded by scientist Angela Wright back in the 70s. how we can use it now to determine which season our home style reflects. We then spent time making up a larger mood board to nail down our own defining season. Well, I know this won’t come as a huge surprise to you if you follow me on social media, but I am about 95 % Spring with a sprinkling of Autumn.

Sanderson Paints Colour Rainbow

To give you an idea of how this is all worked out:

Spring colours are softer, hopeful shades – think pinks, blues, yellow – cheery. Often Scandi and light woods. Maybe someone who is constantly making over their home and changing flooring or walls. Hmmm.. that is definitely me, right ?

Summer was quite surprising really as you might assume that it would be just similar to Spring with strong primary colours but not the case. Much lighter and subtle. Greys, pastel blues. Muted for a calm and relaxed environment.

Autumn – I naturally think of earthy oranges, reds, browns – that kind of thing for this season which yes it is, but more than that. Also there are stronger blues, yellows. Rich and cosy is how I would describe it. Happy shades with a deeper intensity. A nostalgic type who might invest in pieces for the home or own many heirlooms.

Winter is a much more monochrome and contrasting look. Blacks, whites, definite, dramatic patterns such as large strong stripes. To give you an example of a designer, maybe some like Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen. Flamboyant designs with maybe some little pops of colour in a home. A really pure palette – excellent also for businesses as it’s straightforward and clear. Liking statement furniture that is functional.

Colour Flowers Paint

Now on to the new 50 Sanderson paint colours and a little background about their company. For starters, I had on idea that they have been developing their paints since 1900. These were introduced by Arthur Sanderson to complement his wallpaper prints and fabric collections. Going strong all this time later with now 151 shades in every finish needed to use throughout any home.

They tint all of the paints in house at the same facility where the wallpaper is manufactured.

Sanderson Paints Colours Moods

I always see Sanderson as a beautiful classic and timeless ‘Autumn ‘ brand and still do but having spent a bit more time with them and viewing these new colours, it’s very easy to see them being used widely in contemporary homes too. There are so many different ones … vivid brights right through to more minerals.

Sanderson Paint Blue Colours Living Room Calm Sanderson Paint Blues hallway

Being a huge fan of all blues, I am really keen to try out some of these paints now because they’ve come up trumps. They have developed some gorgeous new teals as well as coastal blues and let me tell you – I  am desperate to find an area that I can makeover soon. Particularly keen on the Sea Pink as well Grey Mist. I have it on very good authority that it’s beautiful to paint with.

Which season is your home or are you a mix of a few ? Hope you’ve enjoyed the post – big thumbs up for the new Sanderson colours from me. You can check out them all here.

A great day, full of chat and information. I forgot about my cold completely. Also, I’d just like to say that the lunch at the Sanderson Hotel was incredible. Must try and go again sometime.

Lucy x

Image copyright: 1 – 6, @joshtuckerweddings.

Finding the right colour palette to suit your zodiac sign


Red Yellow Room Bright Cheery This post might not be to everyone’s taste. Some people love learning about the zodiac and how our personality traits are determined by it. But for others it’s a load of old bunkum. I respect both opinions  – today though the post is all about colours in the home that can compliment your star sign.

I am fascinated by astrology and always have been. So much so, that when my girls were babies I decorated their bedrooms to ensure it worked for them. I don’t read horoscopes or anything like that but I have quite often been able to guess what sign someone is so for me there is truth in it.

Aries.

If you don’t already know, the first of the chart is Aries the ram. which starts on approximately April 20th.  Let’s start with a passionate hue. Aries are a fire sign and respond well to strong colours, more on the warm side of the colour wheel. Like reds, scarlets and oranges ( above ). Often being quite sporty, impulsive and adventurous types, they could benefit from a home with elements of these shades to inspire their desire to keep  busy and their minds active.

Farrow & Ball Pink Ground Gentle palette dining room

Taurus.

I have a Taurean daughter so feel I have got to know this one pretty well. As a rule, they are a laid back sign ruled by earth –  who don’t anger easily and are pretty laid back, though sometimes stubborn. Steady characters and quite often drawn to artistic careers. They enjoy beauty and the finer things in life. To enhance their nature – pinks and greens are good. These two colours are very gentle – and maybe a dash of gold as it would compliment this. But remember it’s the sign of the bull so reds not such a great idea, especially in the bedroom where they need to feel restful.

White hallways peaceful room space tranquil

Gemini.

A really fun sign. Always stimulating and bright to chat with and the sign of twins. So according to astrologers they can be like two different people. If you’re wanting to create space to give a gemini time to rest their ever active creative mind, then white is a worth thinking about. Being an Air sign they the white is nice and light and might suit them down to the ground.

That said, some pops of colour will work a treat as we don’t want them feeling unstimulated. That wouldn’t be fair :)

Pastels bedroom Colour Palette

Cancer.

Totally home loving are these guys. Great home makers too. Very sensitive as they are the sign of the crab ( soft on the inside even if they seem tough on the out ) and also ruled by water. To keep their homes feeling like a safe and happy retreat, pastels are an excellent choice and also silver as they can be quite controlled by the moon and it’s cycle. I have noticed that cancerians quite often have a unique giggle and apparently it’s called the ‘ lunar laugh ‘. So I think these shades together would work well and make a lovely palette for any cancerians out there.

Leo.

Well, the lion is not someone to mess with. They are strong and loving and very protective of their loved ones at home. They may well demand colour ! I tend to get on well with this sign – I appreciate their fire sign straight forwardness. So lets not mess around here – stand out paints like purple or orange will look splendid in their den. Proud colours that showcase them and their strength of character but doesn’t outshine them totally. They will respond well to warmth and love a beautiful, proud home.

Brown Living Room Earthy

Virgo.

If you ever need someone reliable in your life, hang out with a virgo. The same goes for their home  – they have exquisite taste often and it will possibly be meticulous as their attention to detail is so on point. They are an earth sign and generally do have their feet well on the ground. So shades such as chestnut brown and actually the new Deluxe colour of the year which is Spiced Honey would be fantastic. They might spend some time choosing though, as someone else might just go for a tone of ‘ brown’  – they will study colour charts to find the exact right one for their home.

Pink Bedroom Neon Light

Libra.

Librans are the sign of the scales. So this means they are often balancing and weighing up ideas and usually come up with beautiful palattes themselves, once decided as they are very creative. They love beauty and any colours that evoke this. Air signs tend to live a lot in their mind and are good at coming up with quirky combinations. It would be difficult to pick just one or two colours for a Libran as they are open to so many but I would definitely say that pinks are good for their homes as it’s a balancing hue and would be a good starting point at least.

Black Bedroom Dark Moody Cosy Calm

Scorpio.

Okay, the depth of Scorpios deserves a really deep colour.  I think I’d opt for black if I had to choose one. Red is good too. They like privacy and are instinctive people. Being loyal  – black is one of those shades that offers the same kind of thing. You know where you are with it and it looks so good as a back drop for other deep shades. It’s a brave move to paint this in a room but it suits their personality. They are strong and not afraid to stand out.

Plum Colour Room Living Bright Happy Colour

Sagitarius.

You have a very positive, adventurous and forward thinking friend in a Sagittarian. They love having fun and living in the moment and therefore deserve a cheery space to hang out with their many friends and family. They are optimistic and will try colours that maybe someone else might be apprehensive about. I think Plum would be well worth a try. Or anything that is not just your average shade. My Mum is a Sagittarian, so I grew up with some really out there palettes on our walls and still remember them clearly as well as her beautiful vivid artwork.

Grey bedroom

Capricorn.

Of course, it’s not the same for every single Capricorn but they are portrayed as a sign that likes to play it safe and aim for a more traditional look. Maybe greys or grey / browns  – and something smart as they tend to like things in order and are practical. I’d love to hear from any Capricorns who are the total opposite and love bright colours instead ?

Blue Bedroom

Aquarius.

Well this is my sign and my other daughters’ too. We can be pretty eccentric in our choices but I think it’s important to have colours in our homes that calm our very active minds. I never forget anything and have a brain like a computer. As much as they like to spend lots of time with friends, chatting about anything and everything  – they also at times like to just be at home with their family.

Being cerebral  – blues are a great way to offer serenity and it’s wonderful for the mind. Personally I do love blues and bluey greys these days.

Teal room home peaceful

Pisces.

The fish. A water sign if ever there was one. They have amazing imaginations and can be very poetical. Very sensitive by nature – something like turquoise is a possibility for them. It’s watery and easy on the eye. They can be indecisive so it’s a lovely gently but definite way to bring to surround them with a natural and deep, peaceful home.

Hoper you’ve enjoyed my post. If you’ve found anything I’ve written useful or interesting then do stop by and leave me a comment. Always love to hear from you.

Lucy x

Image credits and copyright:

1,3 & 12 Karen Knox – Making Spaces. 2 & 6, Farrow & Ball. 4,7 & 10 Lucy Gleeson – Lucy Loves Ya. 5. Kate Lovejoy.  8 & 9 Kimberly Duran – Swoon worthy. 11, Mel Yates.

Why I’ve gone for Consistency with our Flooring

Pink Kids Room Desk Study Area Eames Chair Retro Scandi Floor

So here’s an admission. My name’s Lucy and I’m a Rightmove addict. Ahhh, it feels good to get that out. I trawl the homes looking at all the decor and how people have lovingly decorated and  dressed their rooms.

One thing that particularly turns me on or off is the flooring and this is because when you see a gorgeous home that has different flooring in every room it feels really inconsistent and doesn’t flow. I don’t mean that every single room should look completely uniformed but I just feel it’s much more easy on the eye if it at least there is a running theme throughout ?

Wooden Scandi Floor Kids Room Neon Flamingo LightWooden Floors Quick-Step

This spurred me to choose the same Engineered Natural Oak Wood Quick -Step in for all of our bedrooms including B’s bedroom that I hadn’t showed you until now. A while ago I posted the main and guest bedroom but since then we have had a change around ( are we ever surprised by the amount of abandoned stuffed toys found during these times needing new homes )  and we feel really pleased with it…

Wooden Floor Built in Wardrobe Pink Bedroom

I know you shouldn’t decorate your home to please the next owners – but I do think it makes a bit of sense to consider what might sell your home in the future. How many times have you heard of owners ripping up nice carpet to expose the wooden floors ? Plus it just looks great for right now – which is the main objective.

Kids Den Blackboard wall music room Wooden Floors cosy inviting

Putting down this Quick-Step has made the room feel twice as big. As we’ve put in a new mirrored wardrobe this has also added light and makes the floor look like it goes on forever. But also if you slide back the doors you enter another little world beyond the dresses.

There is a ‘ secret room ‘ ( my sister said one day it will be called the boyfriend room and I said that’s when it will be bolted up haha ) that we’ve also had the Quick-Step laid in and it has transformed a tiny little space and it’s much more inviting now. Easy to wipe too with the chalk dust.

So now all 4 bedrooms are completed. Our room, M’s room, guest room and this one. We laid all of the floor boards the same way again to be formulaic. We’re very happy with the results. If you’re looking to change your flooring then I’d definitely recommend Quick-Step as an option.

To be honest, I’m amazed I even managed to photograph the room over the Summer Hols let alone write the post  – hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Quick-Step – as always all opinions are my own.

Inspire Me – Interview with TV Production Designer Richard Drew

Tv Production Designer Richard Drew
Have you ever wondered how a TV set is designed – the though process behind it ? Why are certain colours used in a character’s home and who develops all of this and how ?
Well, I have some answers here for you courtesy of TV Production Designer Richard Drew who has worked on many shows in his extremely established career including The Inbetweeners, Smell of Reeves & Mortimer, Man Down, Alan Partridge, Ratburger, Walliams and Friends, Sick Note, Stath Lets Flats …the cv is wayyy too long to mention everything.

It seems like the perfect time to chat with Richard and discover some tricks of the trade as he is just about to celebrate his 30th year in the industry …

How did you train to become a Production Designer ?

I studied at Barking College of Technology as a 6th form student doing a Media Course in 84 / 85 – pretty progressive for the mid 80’s in East London. I did O’levels in film, television and theatre design. Then I got accepted onto a West Sussex College of Design course 85 / 86 doing a theatre design diploma, a 2 year course completed in 1. Then finally film school 86 / 88 in Newport South Wales, an HND course in film and tv practice.

I went from school right the way through without a year out and finished my education in June 1988. My first day at work for the BBC in Wales was the 8 / 8 / 88 – it’s my 30th Anniversary next month. 
But it goes further back than just the education, as a 12 year old I stood on a professional stage for the first time as an amateur performer and was totally transfixed. Not so much with the audience and lights but was intrigued and captivated by the mechanics of theatre and how it worked behind the scenes – and I loved the smell of backstage. – I still do. 

 It was my Drama Teacher at school who told my Father when I was maybe 14, that I should consider persuing a career backstage rather than trying to be an actor ( something I thought I wanted to do ) as I clearly loved the theatre and was ‘ good at art ’ but not ‘ good at acting ’ – the single best advice anyone ever gave me. I painted the boards rather than tread them.

Billionaire Boy TV Show

Is there a process when you start work on a new project and how do you decide what the characters’ homes will be like inside ?

It all starts with a script. Reading it over and over, followed by a meeting or two with a writer / director. Then finding a location which will dictate a hell of a lot. I love the back story to a character. Why are they here ? What they do for a living etc. I think about colour themes, age of the charcter… where they shop, I love giving my characters collections of things… maybe a bit of me there ?

If building a set interior I try and go for sets with depth; sexy transitions from room to room, sets wide enough that you don’t need to move walls or furniture to shoot in. It’s a lot easier to make a room feel smaller on camera than make a room look bigger. Lighting is vital, windows are useful and building a room means you can make an alcove just the right size to fit a particular piece of furniture. 

 

Comic Relief ImageDavid Walliams Lady image

Where do you go to find inspiration ?

The art world more than anything I’d say – for a designer of spaces and interiors maybe more than the architecture world, which I guess you’d expect – installation artists like Esther Stocker I really love. The Comic Relief set of 2016 was inspired by her work … a collage piece by Sharon Elphick inspired the Comic Relief set of 2013.

Street Art – I love the trend for doing art with fluorescent tape. Furniture design both good and bad. Shop window displays in general are great sources of ideas. Wallpaper patterns, shadows on the floor, the colour of the sea, fashion. Pretty much wherever you look if you’re switched on that way I think you find it.

 I think a Google image search is a thing of beauty as it opens up so many possibilities that endless library searches may never find. Graphic art is a huge influence – record covers. I’ve spent a lot of money on records in the past based soley on the cover art. I’m a bit of a culture sponge, a hoarder and have the capacity to remember and reference things not really knowing how or why it’s there other than certain things just stick. Something as varied as the typography and layout of a Live Aid poster, the colour of Tom Hanks bed in the film Big or a Tom Ford suit worn by Colin Firth at the Oscars. I don’t know whether that’s a designer thing – or a thing that I just possess – but I’ve always been very visually aware and a bit of a visual magpie ( sorry that’s a very lazy way of putting it )

Sick Note TV Programme

I’d love to know which colours you enjoy working with the most ?

I adore colour – certainly when designing the light entertainment shows I’ve done in the past ( Friday Night with Jonathan Ross – the BBC version , Your Face or Mine, Comic Relief – I’ve always gone for a set with colour – the truth is people in light entertainment particularly are quite scared of colour as there is no get out of jail card. If you have a green set, you’re stuck with a green set but if you paint the set grey and light it green, you can change it to any colour you want, which I think is a cop – out. In designing for scripted stuff I love using colour throughout –  limited colour palletes, certain colours for certain characters etc.

If you watch season one and two of Sick Note ( Sky One Season 2 starts this week ) there is no yellow on the set apart from one character who wears it and has yellow props and a yellow car. It was a decision based purely on the fact that we thought it would make that character stand out – although she’s not a main character she acts as a linchpin to a lot of the story. I once did a kids show years ago which was like a Japanese Anime and the only colours I used on the set were the colours of the Tokyo Subway lines. Just because. I love the meaning of colours and the way they make you feel. I love playing with colour tones also.

How would you describe your own home style ?

Ecclectric ( is that even a word ?) – colourful and spacious.

I’ve got the ubiquitous Tolix Chairs and the G plan Sideboard but its mixed with a bit of 70’s, 30’s ,50’s stuff.. a sprinkling of kitsch thrown in. A solid Ikea Bookcase and Lack Bed have been with me forever to address the balance. I’ve an Eames Lounger and Sofa that was in a famous film ( I really can’t tell you which one, no really I can’t ) and there is fair amount of film posters going on and random signage from various travels or film shoots. Christ it sounds like a hipster wet dream. Car boot finds and skip grabbed pieces fill the gaps  – a £12 1960’s coffee table sits happily on a moroccan rug.

I’ve avoided the trend for house plants as I know I’ll kill them but still have an empty Macrame basket hanging from my ceiling. I’ve got Airfix planes in my kitchen and a 1980’s ceramic Buddha in my hallway. But I love it. Of course it’s a little bit art directed. 

Billionaire Boy - Production Designer - Richard Drew

There must be some pros and cons of working as freelance designer in television ?

I’ll start with the negatives.

The hours can be brutally long Sometimes in the Art Dept it’s not uncommon to do a 14 hour day – it takes a certain person to want to commit to that. Plus as a freelancer even when back home the phone can ring at all hours – script changes at 10pm or schedule changes. I’ve often thought there should be an acceptable cut off time but when you’re knee deep on a project – it just all consumes you and you live and breathe it. It becomes normal and although we all know that it isn’t healthy we still do it.
I also don’t think that’s unique to the Art Dept. Make-Up, Costume, Lighting, Locations etc etc – we all do silly hours.
It’s often a more physically demanding job that you’d maybe expect, certainly the filming part of it.
I walked 9.5 miles in a studio fairly recenly – a studio maybe a bit bigger than a tennis court. how is that possible I didn’t go anywhere.
I was on my feet dressing a set, back and forth all day but going nowhere. 
Dressing sets / solving problems / construction managing a project takes it’s toll whether you think it does or otherwise – punch drunk in decision making. I don’t suffer fools I’m afraid so working with ‘ chancers ’ or new kids on the block who think they know everything can be very tiresome – I would say I don’t think that’s unique to television though.

Oh and you never know when the phone may ring, that can be both good and bad. I still havent got used to it either way.

The pros thankfully outweigh the cons. I’ve met a lot of truly wonderful people in my career so far. Film shoots on the whole are great environments to spend your day and although hard work, are also fun. A shoot allows you to work in amazing locations and world famous studios – my current project has me putting a set or two onto the stages at Pinewood Studios. I can’t tell you what a thrill that is to say, working at the BBC was also always a real thrill for me too.

I’ve travelled a little bit too – Rio, Tokyo, Warsaw and Beijing – to see those parts of the world from a work perspective rather than just a holiday perspective is authentic and how cities should be seen I think. I’ve worked with some immense talent and spent time with huge stars. I have to stress that this is not why I do the job but sometimes you do have to pinch yourself – ” yes that is Stevie Wonder and yes he is rehersing not 12 feet from me “.  ” Yes I’m standing on stage with David Bowie ” – ” yes I will catch Daniel Craig in my arms on this small stunt fall “…
More importantly in light of equal pay and the ‘ Me Too ‘ movement I’m incredibly proud to say that the Art Dept is a fantastic example of where male and female doesn’t matter. 

Buyers, Set Decorators, Art Directors, Prop Makers, SFX Designers, Prop Masters, Standby Props and Production Designers are just as likely to be female as male – and equally paid too. Its based on ability and nothing more.

Sick Note T V Show

Is there a particular project over the last 30 years that stands out the most as your favourite ? Why ?

That’s like trying to choose a favourite child !

I’m incredibly proud of the 5 comic reliefs and 4 Sport Reliefs I’ve designed for the BBC. I’m part of that wonderful tv family and the history of that show. Always honoured to be asked. It’s where I’ve got to flex my showbiz muscles and every once in a while it’s a good thing to brush off the glitter and mirrored floors.

The 11 O’Clock Show put me on the map as a Production Designer and was the point I stopped being an Art Director so I’ll always have a soft spot for that show. The Inbetweeners for seeing how a show nobody had heard of suddenly become a show that everyone knew  – and it’s always a nice revelation to tell younger members of a crew that I worked on it. Their eyes generally light up.

Stath Lets Flats TV Show Channel 4 designer Richard DrewCreatively. I’d say most of what I’ve done in the past 2 years on the whole has been some of the best stuff I’ve ever done. Ratburger the David Walliams book for Sky last Christmas was a dream job. I had total creative freedom thanks to trust from Production, Matt the Director and David himself – I was like a child in a candy shop on that one. A Ratburger machine that was part Heath Robinson and part Mousetrap board game. Recently Sick Note for Sky, Stath Lets Flats on Channel 4 , the new series of Alan Partridge due to air on the BBC in January and my current project ‘ After – Life ’ have all been immensly challenging but very rewarding. Building sets and dressing sets is the best for me. Creating something that doesn’t exist is still such a buzz. 

I’m fortunate to still enjoy the job as much as I do.

records vinyl collection

I couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask you about your huge vinyl collection. Where do you like to go record hunting and who are you loving listening to at the moment ?

I’ve been buying records almost as long as I can remember. Whats the Abba line ? ” Mamma said I was a dancer before I could walk, she said I began to sing long before I could talk ” well that’s me I think, I’m basically Agneta from abba.

 The collection is close to 4000 now and has no desire to stop growing… 
If designing is my love then music is my passion. I’m not someone who buys for value, I buy to complete a set or because I love a partiular track or I just like the cover. There can be a million reasons I buy but ‘ its resale value ’ isn’t one of them. Because of this, my taste is wildly eclectic.
For example last week at a charity shop in one swoop I bought a Hazel Dean hi – energy 12” , a UB40 12”, a Todd Rundgren album a Nat King Cole album and a 70’s album by a French band called Space. Magic Fly is the song you would know – trust me.
Sure I have genres I prefer – disco, dance, electronic, synthwave, soundtracks, brit funk, and indie but that doesn’t stop the Rouge Country Albums and Jazz albums creeping in or a bit of folk. Anything goes to be honest, I’m unashamedly first and foremaost a pop fan. I go to at least a dozen gigs a year, recenly Gary Numan, MGMT and Orbital so of course I’ve been out and bought some of those albums to join some dots. I’ve recenly being listening a lot of Imagination, Tiger and Woods, Roosevelt, Hall and Oates and Faithless.

Could you offer some advice to anyone wanting to get in to your industry ?

No matter what anyone tells you getting a foot in the door is all about timing. Yes you can study at some amazing courses – particular shout out to Lucy who runs the BA Hons in theatre at Wimbledon and David who runs the tv production course at the National Film School but those courses not so much arm you with the tools but put you in the right place to be noticed. Talent sometimes doesn’t come into it.

 I found out fairly recently that the criteria for me getting on my film school course ( over 1500 applicants for 14 places )  wasn’t whether I was any good but whether I was employable – I’ve often wondered what they saw in me and now I know it was simply that I was marketable.. 
So when I say timing I can only say that the last 3 incredibly brilliant Art Directors I have employed have called me just as I was looking for someone – it was only after they contacted me did I check a cv and get references – it was just down luck sometimes
Don’t be  disapointed if you send out 200 cv’s and nobody replies. Send 200 more. Do low budget jobs, do no – budget jobs – put yourself out there. The more people you meet the more opportunities you create. One day it will work in your favour.
 It happened to me – I did a low budget 2nd world war film at film school in my final year. I hired some costumes and got chatting to the Costume Assistant who got me a meeting with a Senior Costume Designer who got me an interview with the Senior Production Designer who got me a 4 month contract fresh out of Film School.

 The film school put me in the position to visit the costume store but the rest was just good timing and luck.

What are your upcoming projects for the rest of 2018 ?

The shortest answer I’m going to give.

I’m doing a big theatre stand-up show for Jimmy Carr in Dublin in September – a Netflix Special and October will always include work on the annual Halloween party for Mr Jonathan Ross. Which is where I get to flex my dark side. But in terms of scripted stuff nothing as yet. There are a few things bubbling away so for the time being I’m okay. I’ve done a small amount of lectures at Wimbledon Art College and been a mentor at the National Film School – maybe its time to get the mortar board and gown from the loft again ? It’s also a good time to do galleries and exhibitions.

 I try and make the theatre design degree show every year and also the film school degree show, I jokingly tell people I’m only there to steal ideas but I love talking to design students, you know when you’ve met a really good one.

A massive thank you to Richard Drew for such an insightful view in to his work background. Wishing him a very happy 30th year in television. 

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about behind the scenes on TV sets ? Do stop by and leave me a comment if you’d like to. Always love to hear from you.

Lucy x

All images copyright Richard Drew 2018: 1. Richard Drew, 2. Billionaire Boy, 3 & 4. Sport Relief, 5. Sick Note, 6. Billionaire Boy, 7. Walliams and Friends, 8. Stath Lets Flats, 6. Richard Drew’s vinyl collection.