Posts Categorised: News

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.

Five Calming Colours for your Home

Teal Bedroom Next RAttan Planter bookcase ideas for quiet cosy relaxing space

Often, on my social media, I receive messages asking about paint colours. All sorts of different aspects but a lot about using calming colours in the home. In fact, a lot more this year which I think says that we are looking more than ever to find solace and treat our homes as havens more than ever.

It’s one of my favourite subjects and I feel, very important to get it right – part of your self care. I’ve had clients tell me they’ve spent years not feeling entirely comfortable in what should be a lovely room. We have changed the colour and just like that – so much happier in it. There are so many variations of a colour so sometimes just changing a tone if you’re set on a certain hue etc can make all the difference.

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned before but in my twenties I trained in Healing and so studied the relation of colour and it’s impact intensely, which was really useful and helpful when becoming an interior designer.

I’ve have picked out some room colours today that are harmonious and great for serenity.

TEAL

I’m not just saying this because my own bedroom is teal – but it really is a very soothing colour. I often wonder if it’s part of the reason humans are drawn to visiting the coast? To look at the deep greeny blue water which is always balancing for the soul. There are various variations from deep to light and they all have a similar impact.

I’ve used it on all walls as I like the feeling of being enveloped in it –  for some this could be slightly overwhelming but you could if preferred maybe just paint a feature wall – or even just add it as an accent colour in cushions, blinds or a chair. You could add some neutral tones or more greens including plants. Playing around with the proportions will help you work out what suits you. As ever I do recommend a mood board.

Pink Dressing Room Calming Space Balancing pretty calm room in home Swoon Worthy Blog
Image Credit: Kimberly Duran  – Swoon Worthy.

PINK

I get lost in a bit of a happy abyss when I start in to this kind of colour pink. Using the right pink can have a really good effect on the mind and body. It is actually sometimes used in sport training areas to rest energy levels, so a really good option for when you need to chill out.

Of course, there are so many different types of pink, some stronger will wake you up and therefore better for the kitchen or living area where you want to chat. This one though in Kimberly’s Vanity Space next to the bedroom is ideal for having some time to rest –  and how lovely does it look with these plants ? She always does pinks very well in her home.

Pink is also linked in Chakras closely to the heart as is green. It’s universally known as being related to love – so you can’t go wrong.

Are you a fan of this colour too ?

White Calming Space Living Room relaxing home ideas inspiration
Image credit: Natasha Denness Coaching.

WHITE

There’s no doubt that a pure white room is extremely relaxing. You just have to look at meditation spaces to see how impactful it can be. Adding some light accent colours if desired – gentle blues or greens will be nice and easy on the eye. My bedroom was once white with some light teals and I did love it. Found it very easy to switch off and not overthink.

White is sometimes used to give the feeling of space. I love how it makes a room feel so fresh and clean. It’s no surprise that many meditation spaces are white. Natasha is a Life Coach and this space must be perfect for reading and working.

It really helps with pure white to have lots of natural sunlight. If not – then another neutral might work more for you.

Green bedroom teenager bookshelves raninbow mylands

GREEN

When it comes to green – there’s a spectrum of possibilities. It has a strong association with nature and therefore great in biophilic design. It’s not only tranquil but also natural and balancing. Did you know that green is sometimes used in operating theatres to balance the surgeons eye against the red while doing an operation? Also there are ‘Green Rooms’ in tv studios ( I’ve spent a fair few years in them ) to relax guests before they are on a show. So it is universally accepted as good for the mind.

You can layer greens together nicely and it’s also a colour that combines with lots of other hues. So a great choice. As I mentioned before – we chose this green for our teenager’s bedroom because the next couple of years of GCSE’s will be helped along by a steady colour. When the sun is setting outside and it hits the wall, it’s stunning.

If you do head more towards lime – which has zingy yellow in it,  it will become energising and not good for sleep –  so worth taking that in to account.

Purple bedroom inspiration calming serene ideas home colours
Image credit: @miafelce  – instagram.

PURPLE

But not just any shade purple. Although it is a very spiritual colour – some can be more intense and stimulating.

This beautiful deep Lavender is very peaceful. Love it with the old fireplace – it works so well together and Mia’s choice of adding wood and gold really contrasts perfectly. It feels really grounding but decadent at the same time, if that makes sense ?

Purple is a mix, as you may know of red and blue combined so dependant on the balance you will get very different outcomes. This has more blue in it which definitely gives a feeling of serenity. I once used a similar choice to this in my own home and really loved it – having seen this room I am tempted to do it again.

Hope you’ve found this post useful and do feel free to ask any questions below if you’d like to.

Also – do pop over to my instagram for more home and colour inspiration.

Live Your own Way Podcast – Biophilia with Sally Coulthard

Sally Coulthard Author Biophila

I absolutely loved talking on my Live Your own Way Podcast this time with best selling Author Sally Coulthard about her latest book Biophilia. She has also offered a prize for my readers with more information at the end of this post.

It was well worth the purchase and I am pretty picky when it comes to a good book. It’s a mixture of well researched facts mixed with useful ideas to enhance and balance our homes.  Well worth every penny and as I said to Sally – it’s timeless in style so definitely a keeper too.

Biophilia Book Sally Coulthard Plants Nature

I feel I know so much more about the subject and how beneficial inviting more natural elements and plants in to your home can be for your whole family. Although plants are fundamental they aren’t the only thing that can help balance the home – there are many aspects.

Sally studied Archaeology and Anthropologie at Oxford University and has gone on to write 22 books – many nature based plus some excellent Interiors ones as well. We chat about this and what especially inspired this Biophilia book.

She also writes monthly for Country Living Magazine so her knowledge on her subject and experience is vast.

Sally Coulthard Author Plant Book Illustrations

This is the inside cover of the book by Helen Bratby. The pages feel really tactile and every page is beautiful.

We talked about how the last few months have felt and whether things might change for good when it comes to slowing life down a bit and appreciating what is around us.

I do hope you enjoy the Podcast and as mentioned earlier there’s more … if you are on instagram I am running a giveaway for a few days as Sally is kindly offering the chance for someone to receive a copy of the book as a prize.

You can find my post here with how to enter that. I haven’t run a giveaway for ages so it’s nice to be able such a great gift.

Next week I am chatting to the super talented Dominic Chinea from BBC1’s The Repair Shop. Do subscribe if you enjoy as there’s more to come. So glad I started this show – I feel I am finding out more and more each week about different aspects of design – as you never stop learning do you ?

If you missed last week’s you can find it here.

Live Your own Way Podcast – Francesca Rowan Plowden

Francesca Rowan Plowden Interior Design

Another week has zoomed by which means I’ve recorded another Live Your Own Way Podcast. Episode Four is with Francesca Rowan Plowden chatting about her past acting work, interior design career to date and how she recently founded the brilliant Design Havens for Heroes charity where designer are making over NHS Staff’s rooms in their own homes.

Design Havens for Heroes NHS logo

There is so much planning at the moment with several teams to ensure a smooth running operation.

I’m honoured to be part of the brands team and also designing some homes in East Anglia. We have brands involved such as including Sofa Workshop, Little Greene, Sofology, Carpetright and Matthew Williamson to name just a very few. There are hundreds of designers looking forward to being assigned their rooms for the lovely NHS people – it’s very exciting.

Francesca tells me how the initial idea came about and what the future holds, now that we are on the verge of starting the physical work.

yellow chairs grand home stately goodnestone hallstately home grand bed wallpaoer Goodnestone Hall rowan plowden

When it comes to her career, I found Francesca’s experience working on stately homes really insightful – the process from start to finish and of course the challenges that might come. It’s always interesting understand how other interior designers develop their concepts, especially on homes with such history.

These images are above are from Goodnestone Park where Rowan Plowden collaborated with Marcus Crane to completely renovate a deserted home.

stately home grand wooden flooring rowan plowdenReception room battel hall grand house rowan plowden

This is her work at Battel Hall on Leeds Castle Estate which we also chat about. A two year restoration project completed in 2018. Maintaining the history and enhancing it with colour.  Absolutely beautiful.

interior design yellow sofa grey walls lovely cosy rowan plowdenelmley nature reserve rowan plowden

Kingshill Farmhouse on the Elmley Nature Reserve.  Francesca transformed a once derelict 16th century farmhouse into a magnificent family home, ready to be let on the Air B&B holiday rental market. I really love the colours she has put together here.

seaside home wooden island rowan plowdenkitchen panoramic view wooden table rowan plowden design

A stunning panoramic view here. This 3 bedroom property was completely redesigned and renovated using modern, clean, minimal styling a few years back and we talk about it on the Podcast and how it has also been greatly received on instagram.

Really hope you enjoy this week’s catch up. I’ve given details on there but will pop some here too about the charity. Find the website here where you can nominate an NHS friend or family anywhere in the UK. Plus there are regular updates on the instagram page.

Here are links to episode one,two and three if you missed them.

Live Your own Way Podcast – Eva Sonaike

eva sonaike designer

It’s week three already on the my Live Your own Way Podcast which means a new guest. Thoroughly enjoyed talking to London based desinger Eva Sonaike about her business, life and journey to becoming owning her own successful interiors company.

A woman after my own heart, her passion for bold textiles and homeware is huge.

eva soinake interior design

Her mission is to help people create unique homes full of colour and elegance inspired by her Nigerian roots combined with a love for Mid Century – inspired by her home in growing up in Germany.

It didn’t take long for a very big and well known store to spot her bold, unique work in the early days which quickly spurred the business on. The brand now stocks in five continents across the world having grown over the last eleven years.

Starting out with cushions, they now produce textiles, lampshades, pouffes, rugs with a brand new exciting addition on it’s way.

eva sonaike cushionscolourful cushions prints

I found this chat so informative –  especially for anyone wanting to enter the industry as she’s so generous with her experiences starting out and how she goes about running Eva Sonaike day to day with the process for creating each collection, from how she combines patterns with colours in the process – to making the business run smoothly in all of the countries she stocks in. There’s so much love and thought that clearly goes in to her work and we discuss this all in great length.

We also talk about Eva’s life as a journalist and TV producer prior to her starting the business.  Also of course her own home colour schemes and whether they reflect what she designs herself.

african prints yellowafrican homeware colours bright bold colourful prints bold

It felt a bit like I was a bit like chatting to an old friend. We haven’t met before but hopefully we will cross paths soon as we seem to have a lot in common having both worked in TV and our love of textiles. Eva is absolutely lovely and her life is really fascinating to learn more about. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as liked recording it.