Posts Categorised: News

An Inspiring Afternoon with Oka at RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea Flower Show winner

Last week I had a truly lovely afternoon at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show courtesy of the team at Oka.

We started the day with a faux flower arranging lesson with their in house Interior Designer Hilary using Oka’s silk flowers at their flagship store on Fulham Road. It was really fun and I will be showing you the some of the skills I picked up soon here on the blog.

I’ve never been to RHS Chelsea Flower Show before and ironically even though I have worked in TV and know the ropes  – I still imagined it would be ‘ like off the telly ‘ which it kind of was but much, much bigger and spread out than expected.

The show gardens were so clever. The dedication that goes in to each and every one is admirable.

Being a fan of Japanese styles I loved this gold medal winning one above designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara called ‘ Goshi No Niwa Now wall, No War ‘. The way the glass house hides amongst the trees. Stunning.

Tom Raffield ChairTom Raffield lighting

It was really exciting to see Tom and Danielle Raffield showing their ‘ Gwenver Garden Room ‘. You may know that I interviewed Tom recently after their home was featured on Grand Designs. I seem to have learn a lot about steam bending wood recently and I think their house is just beautiful.

Chelsea Floreer Show Gold

To really take in every single design you’d have to spend a couple of days there but I took as many photos as I could. Here is the ‘ The Silk Road Garden, Chengdu China by Laurie Chetwood and Patrick Collins ‘. Another gold winner..What are you thoughts on it ? I love its uniqueness.

Chelsea Flower Show Structure 2017

There were a lot of people studying this yet another gold winning garden named ‘ Breaking Ground ‘ designed by Andrew Wilson and Gavin McWilliams. I really like it. I’m pretty sure if my daughters had been there they woulds have wanted to climb it … not sure that would have gone down well !

Garden Inspiration Chelsea

This ‘ Poetry Loves Garden ‘ designed by Fiona Cadwallader won a silver really caught my eye. I’d love something like this in our garden at home.

Boat Garden RHS Chelsea

One from my neck of the woods. The ‘ IBTC Lowestoft Boatbuilder’s Garden by Gary Breeze. It won a gold and I’m not surprised. Are you ? So tranquil.

Green Garden Industrial Inspiration

I wish I’d managed to get a better photograph of this design but wanted to share it anyway. An industrial style space called ‘ Walkers Wharf ‘ by Graham Bodle using recycled woods and materials. For me it shows how you can make a calm area out of pretty much anything. It won a gold.

Mediterranean Garden Orange Tree

 

This orange tree was part of the ‘ Viking Cruise Garden of Inspiration ‘ by Sarah Eberle made me yearn for Spain. The mosaic and spiky arid loving plants. Sarah won a silver this year.

Colourful Flowers Pinks and PurpleBright colours flowers Gladioli Flowers ChelseaIdeas for garden inspiration

Then there were the flower exhibits. Wow. The colours.

It was a fantastic experience and I think I’m hooked now. Can’t wait for next year. Thank you Oka for a really inspiring time.

Which is your favourite ? Leave me a comment under this post  – would love to hear from you.

Lucy x

How to Stop Damage in your Home With The Grohe Sense Water Sensor

Water Damage Home Grohe

In the past I’ve heard of people experiencing a burst water pipe in a room or a flooded cellar and seen the havoc caused but haven’t ever considered that it could happen to us in our own home .. until now. I had no idea that in fact, every second family has had water damage at least once or that 93% of cases could have been easily prevented. But here is the biggest shocker of all – in Europe the average price for repairing the damage is way over £2000. Yikes ! It hadn’t really occurred to me that a small leak in a home, silently dripping away can cause extensive and long term problems.

But for me – losing any precious memories like photos or artwork by my kids would be the worst as you just can’t replace them. I don’t even want to go there.

Water Sensor for water damage Grohe

The reason I am taking you along this avenue is because Grohe have asked me to review their brand new concept: The Grohe Sense Water Sensor which essentially is an early warning system that is wireless so will work in your entire house. It monitors areas where water damage could occur for example a bathroom or utility room and also checks the temperature plus humidity or frost and instantly alerts via the Grohe Ondus App which you quickly install on your phone if it senses potential issues. Humidity itself can cause mould which is not good for health so all in all I am quite pleased to be trying The Sense Water Sensor out  – anything that makes life easier and cost effective along the way is good with me.

Grohe Phone App Water Damage
Helping to stop water damage

It took me a matter of minutes to download the app by the way – and was self explanatory which helped. You add the room/s that you want to install the Sensor – ( in this case I have used our bathroom to show you ) and then basic information about that room such as whether it’s wet or dry, then place the  Sensor next to the source of water after you have installed the 3 AA batteries ( supplied in box ) which should last for up to 4 years and then … connect !

As you can see the Sensor itself is compact so can easily fit in to a small space and is also reactive to water. As soon as a leak reaches the Sensor it will emit a beeping sound, a red light will flash and the notification will go straight to your smartphone. Even without WLAN connectivity the Water Sensor itself will still work. I tried it out with both the Grohe Ondus App and without.

I reckon it’s a pretty cool idea. How about you ?

Easy ways to stop water damage

Grohe have been developing this product for the last few years and in my opinion the price of £51.99 is very good compared to the potential costs of the unthinkable.

Leave me a comment under this post – would like to hear you thoughts ?

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Grohe. As always all opinions are my own.

A Trip to Meet Ercol at Their Headquarters

Last week I went on a rather lovely day trip to Princes Risborough. A 6 a.m start was very much worth it to visit Ercol H.Q.

The very lovely team invited me along with a few other bloggers and members of the press to view their factory and showroom ( check out this lovely ‘ Bosco ‘ bed above ) and see how their furniture is made. it’s an annual Open House that lasts two weeks and is well worth the trip.

Did you know that in 3 years Ercol will have be 100 years old ? They are still family owned having been founded by Lucian Ercolani OBE and now owned by Edward Tadros whom I had the pleasure of having lunch with and Lisa, Ercol’s designer.  I’d just like to apologise now to Lisa, Ercol’s designer for the one hundred questions that I asked her over a superb and tasty lunch about her career – although Lisa was more than happy to answer them. It was just too tempting and an opportunity not to miss …  and to be fair that’s what I was there for !

As a massive fan of their designs it was a real honour to be included in the day and I couldn’t wait to see how they work through their design and hands on manufacturing process  – and it didn’t disappoint.

Luckily for you I forgot to get a photo taken of me in my high vis jacket and goggles on the tour as we made our way around the factory watching as they hand crafted each Ercol piece from raw local wood right up to the finished product.

This smooth pile of table parts were just before they were matched up to ensure the grain and colours are exact. The man who showed us clearly had a strong eye for precision because I couldn’t see any difference but he could see a very slight contrast in the pieces and said they wouldn’t be used together.

My two favourite areas were watching the process of steam bending the wood with precision and then spraying coats of paint on to chairs. The talented craftsmen make it look so effortless –  I’m pretty sure it’s just the years of dedication that gives that impression. It felt very serene in the factory even with all the noise of the machines and the levels of concentration for absolute perfection were impressive.

It was also really interesting to see how different stores ask for varying finishes and palettes. Every part of a design process thought through and considered for their customers.

A little wander around Ercol’s showroom was fun. Feeling the textures of their latest fabrics and learning about their upcoming Autumn collections.

 

With their trademark functional designs – Ercol have produced some beauties this year. Including the ‘ Amelia ‘ sideboard with matching chair and ‘ Teramo ‘ range including this wonderful dressing table.

As ever the classic designs such as stackable stools drew my attention as did the steam bent ‘ Chairmaker’s Chair ‘. Apparently they come in a choice of wood finishes and colours. I really like this blue and the fabric.

All of these collections will be available in Autumn 2017. If you’d like to find out more pop over to www.ercol.com

A really insightful day in Buckinghamshire followed by a very early night !

Are you a fan of Ercol too ? Or is there a particular brand that you gravitate towards when looking for new furniture for your home ?Do leave me a comment  – would love as ever, to hear from you.

Lucy x

Win £100 to Spend on King & McGaw Artwork Giveaway

Last week I showed you our newly updated bedroom and you may have spotted some of my prints on the walls ? They are from online art, print and poster store King & McGaw and the good news is that they are kindly offering one of my readers a £100 voucher to spend on some of their artwork. Will fill you in at the end of this post on how to enter the giveaway.

In the meantime here are some close ups of the pictures. Andy chose this canvas print which is by artist and founder of Bluebellgray Fi Douglas and it’s called ‘ Stornoway  named after a coastal town in North Scotland’. We can see so much in it every time we study it. It’s a very peaceful vision for the bedroom and helps me to relax while nodding off. I love the blues. It gives the flowers a very striking backdrop doesn’t it ?

artwork bluebellgray abstract piece

The canvasses at King & McGaw and the prints come in different sizes and you can also choose to have them sent to you framed with lots of options there too.

artwork penguin books green the big sleep

There are a plethora of artists on the site ranging from contemporary to vintage to everything in between. It’s so good to see modern and museum masters sitting along side new photographers and well known artists. A real treat for the eyes.

the big sleep penguin books
the bulge sleep penguin books

It’s a well structured shop so you can find exactly what you’re looking for easily and then see what it looks like on a wall in your chosen frame and size using their clever graphics.

I’ve always wanted one of these Penguin Book prints. They’re classic. Have you ever owned any of the books ? Some of the titles when I was looking through really made me chuckle.

I kind of thought this particular one was quite apt. Plus the green works well with the blues in the room. Perfect size for our ‘ shelfie ‘ …

colourful artwork from king & McGaw

You may have noticed that we’ve kept the room quite light and airy ? A little bit of cheery pastel was needed too and I wanted it to be fun. By Croatian graphic designer Ana Zaja Petrak, it gives the corner of the room a nice lift.

artwork at King & McGaw

If I could enter this giveaway I would as there are so many fabulous pieces to choose from. But it’s over to you now as here is how to enter. Super easy and it’s open to all UK and European residents. It will run for one week and I will notify the winner who will be picked at random by Rafflecopter within 24 hours of it ending.

If you want to follow King &McGaw anyway for updates without taking part in this giveaway then you find them on Twitter here or instagam here. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions

 

Entrants must be 18 or over.

You must leave a comment under this post to validate your entry. ( See rafflecopter which explains what to do )

No cash or alternative prize offered.

Postage and packaging will be included in the voucher amount and are the responsibility of King & MGaw.

Giveaway open to UK and European residents only.

I will notify the winner within 24 hours of the giveaway ending. If I do not hear back within 48 hours a new winner will be picked.

Good luck !

Lucy x

PS: You can see more of this room update here and find more artwork that I love here on my Pinterest board.

Updating the Bedroom with Quick-Step Wooden Flooring

White blue bedroom

Well. This post has been a long time coming. But I am really pleased with the results so worth the wait I guess.

Some time ago I wrote about my plans for a new bedroom look with some moodboard ideas. The main plan was to change the flooring to Quick-Step hardwood as this has been my ambition for quite some time –  but we also wanted to change the colours and decided to rebuild our wardrobe. In for a penny etc …

white peaceful bedroomWhite blue bed

So we got in touch with our local installer ( who we found on the Quick-Step website ) and he came and completed the job in just over a day. Shout out for Mark because he was excellent and I totally recommend him to customers in the East ! There are no before pictures I’m afraid as I really wasn’t keen on the carpet and just want to share my happiness with the new wooden flooring !

Wooden Floor Quick-StepBlue retro chair

The feel of the flooring is very smooth which is nice on my feet first thing in the morning and I love the way the boards clicks together neatly. It’s hardwearing which is incredibly beneficial with two kids in the house.

If you didn’t know already Quick-Step also manufacture trend lead vinyl and laminate flooring – a lot to choose from and well worth checking out.

White blue contemporary bedroomWhite bedroom inspiration

What do you think of the overall finish ? My aim was to lighten the room so opted for Natural Oak planks ( COM1450 ) as it’s a mid colour and the mirror also reflects light so it’s a nice natural light. We really wanted a serene space with calming hues. A place to retreat to and switch off.

Built in wardrobe Converse trainers

Here’s a sneak peak inside the wardrobe. It’s much more organised than our cupboard before with designated shelves for shoes – and the hardwood flooring means that it’s easy to keep clean and dust free. I really enjoyed designing it.

Bedroom inspiration white room

Andy took this fab image of the bedroom through the mirror. It kind of sums how I feel about it.

White bedroom green mug colour

Finally a place to chill where I can also do my yoga in the morning before the day starts … with a cup of mint tea.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the little your around the room. Do leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts.

Lucy x

This is a collaboration with Quick-Step. All opinions are my own.