Posts Categorised: DIY/Projects

Why we chose our living room colours

Eden Broadwick Sofa Workshop Teal Cheetah Animal Print

Spending much more time at home currently means I am enjoying and taking in much more of what we have directly around us. It certainly makes you appreciate what you have and where you are. When we changed things around in the living room a while ago I shared it with you, but I thought I might go a little more in depth as to why we chose the colours – especially the main one. I did of course make a mood board at the time as it makes life so much easier and decisions quicker. In fact it can completely change and alter your outcome.

I would say my personal taste is eclectic and colourful but with strong leanings towards teals and mid century.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Sofa Workshop.
teal sofa in living room with grey walls and gold rug

Teal makes me happy it’s vert definite and offers balance in a room. It’s also a very restful colour that works with so many other hues. Which, if you’re using it for a sofa makes sense ? If we decided to change the wall colours ( yup, it’s on the agenda ) then you could consider light pinks, certain softer blues or actually even darker blues, shades of green and golds. It obviously also works nicely with a pure white, neutrals and all greys. An incredibly versatile choice and one that I’m glad we made. It’s much easier to change the walls than it is than change your furniture.

I worked with Sofa Workshop on this particular project with a review and went for the Eden which comes in various sizes

It takes quite a lot of time to find your own personal colour palette but once you do, I don’t think it ever veers to far. I always say to people that the most important thing is that you love your choices and that no trend or influence should dominate.

Teal yellow bluebellgray sofa living room

We really do love a bit of 50s/60s era here and the Eden also lends itself well on that point. There was a choice of various sizes from a four seater sofa all the way down to a foot stool. We are avid Netflix fans and spend a lot of time plonked here so something comfy and large was a big factor. Let me tell you, the last 6 or so weeks have been greatly bolstered by this space.

It is much higher seating than our last sofa, which we also loved a lot  – and also from Sofa Workshop … we are long term fans. This has made it a bit more suitable for older family. There really is so much to consider isn’t there ?

As you can see I have thrown many different colours with the teal and it just seems to make it more vivid and lovely which is great. Friends often think the fabric is velvet because it’s so soft but it’s actually not. I did consider it but as it’s the most used sofa I went for something else. There are literally hundreds ( actually probably thousands )  of patterns and plains with different feels to choose from. So a really suitable one for a busy family with pets stood out.

Sofa Workshop Colours Inspiration

I haven’t even got round to the Broadwick yet. Again teal, but with a cut velvet and metallic sheen. The aim was to add some animal print but I felt with the distinctive rug that it might end up being too much in browns and golds ! So a great compromise was this Matthew Williamson Cheetah Print find. I was half expecting Sofa Workshop to say they couldn’t use it but they came back with an immediate yes. Nothing too much trouble.

Layering a room with various textures and textiles not only makes it more interesting, it also can make it feel more lived and comfy. Which is what you want usually for a living room.

Teal Sofa Matthew Williamson Cheetah Print pattern contrast velvet

It’s a bit of a nostalgic reason that I chose the Broadwick. The vintage and classic style shape and bolster cushions really reminded me of my amazing Grandma. She loved this type of design and so therefore it felt really right to have it. I hope we can keep this one in the family and that the girls will remember it fondly or even have it themselves when they’re grown up.

Teal Sofa Workshop living room inspiration colours bright fun Sofa Workshop Broadwixk Cheetah Print Matthew Williamson

It is a seat for two as putting in another longer sofa would’ve been too cumbersome. We can easily walk around it to put on some vinyl It’s nice to recline in to and I do love a snooze in it every now and then. Of course, quite often it ends up with piles of dry washing on, but hey, isn’t it the same in every home ? Sandy unfortunately for him, isn’t allowed on here but he has own one so fair’s fair.

teal blue sofa living room colour inspiration for the home

When I studied colour psychology I worked out that I am a ‘ Spring type ‘ because I do tend to opt for lighter shades although you could also say an ‘Autumn type ‘ as there are definitely sentimental touches too. That is probably a post for another time to share with you.

I’d love to know your favourite colour and style ? Is it something that you’ve down in to or have always loved ? It’s fascinating as an interior designer to hear what makes people tick in their living spaces.

While I have you her reading, I just also want to say the most massive thank you to Sofa Workshop for joining forces with Design Havens for Heroes with whom I am also supporting and working with as an Ambassador and Interior Designer. We will be making over NHS staffs’ homes who have been working on the frontline over the last and coming few months. Sofa Workshop jumped at the opportunity at helping us out and we are all very grateful.

How I made my bedroom warm and snug

Blue Bedroom Little Greene Teal Cosy Moroccan Rug

I wasn’t sure whether to show this post right now as let’s face it, we are all a little preoccupied with you know what. But, having weighed it up, decided that a distraction and some colour inspiration might be useful. Also totally understand you might not feel like reading at the moment. But there’s no point in me stopping doing what I do. So, here is how I made my bedroom warm and snug. You know, I haven’t regretted it one little bit.

Some time ago we made some changes to the room with putting in different flooring. Then I changed the wall behind the bed. I’ve nothing against feature walls, I like them, but it wasn’t floating my boat in this instance because of the strong hue with white – the contrast was’t working in this instance.  I did though, love the teal blue colour used which was Little Greene Marine Blue. So went for it and covered all of the walls with the lovely creamy paint. Aside from it being very satisfying doing the job myself ( apart from removing the radiator in the process ) I immediately started to feel more comfortable and content in the space.

There can be an assumption that deep colours can make it feel gloomy and heavy, but it really depends on the light and use of that room. In fact, even in a room that isn’t for instance, South facing, embracing a rich colour can enhance and add character.

Disclosure: Gifted items from Little Greene, Next and Louis De Poortere included in this post.
Teal Bedroom Next RAttan Planter bookcase ideas for quiet cosy relaxing space

Adding accessories too such as a new Pink Bedspread which is actually reversible so grey on the other side, two Brass Brooklyn Table Lamps, a plant in in a new Woven Planter on Feet – all from Next, have added different textures which layer the room and I feel made it much more enticing.

Pink Next Bedspread Teal Bedroom Pictures aboce Sleigh type Bed

We have put some of my husband’s framed photography from his work travels up here. I think these are mainly of New York City.  As it’s a sleigh style bed, positioning two portrait pictures either side of a landscape one worked with the sloped sides of the bed.

Louis De Poortere Moroccan Rug Bedroom Teal West Elm Mid Century Chest Gallery Wall of Drawers West Elm Mid Century Dresser Moroccan Rug Pink Bedspread Cosy and Calming Stylish Teal Bedroom

We also put my lovely ‘ Silence ‘ Artwork by Bianca AKA French for Pineapple above my chest of drawers and a few family pictures. My Dad and Mum were both actors and models when I was little and I just love these photos of them. Such a cool era. Also I’ve put up a customised portrait that Karina Mansfield did for us a little while back. We are sat in Southwold by the beach huts with Sandy our dog. I will cherish this until we can go and visit the seaside again – hopefully soon.

Little Greene Marine Blue Beatles Artwork Boden Shoes Louis De Poortere Rug Next Pink Bedspread

Now, I have to tell you about the rug which I think is a total show stopper.  You may have noticed I have worked with Louis De Poortere a few times and was absolutely thrilled about doing so again. They are absolutely my favourite company for designs and I have had this cotton and finished Antiquarian Bakhtiari design one on my vision board for a bit so to have it now where I wake up and go to sleep, well, I feel very lucky. It works well with the Quick-Step Flooring down already.

It comes in several different colours, this is the Janissary Multi 8712. The blues match the walls brilliantly and the greens, reds, pinks and warner multi – tones but slightly faded look, feel extremely cohesive with it’s surroundings. It’s traditional in style but the the richness modernises it, making it perfect for the bedroom. It has been made with a flatweave and is super soft on the feet. I do lone wooden flooring and how practical it is, but this rug added completed the room.

Heart Mirror Teal Bedroom Cosy and Comfy Space for relaxation

What I have found since doing updating the room, is that I want to be in here more often. I found the white very peaceful which was my intention but the teal has made it restful and definite. I’ve now got some plans with my spare time ( let’s face it, most of us have more at the moment ) to do another bedroom soon. My eldest starts GCSE’s next September and I’ve been having a think with her about which colour would work to aid study and sleep. So, stay tuned for that one.

Louis De poortere Rug Blue retro chair vintage radiator cohesive colours

Hope you like the new bedroom too. I will be here in the house quite a bit over the coming months so I’m pleased to have got it sorted. A sanctuary.

Sending you all lots of love and if you have any questions about interior design then let me know. I am thinking about running a few online courses at very low rates for anyone wanting ideas while they are wanting things to do or might be thinking about training in the interiors profession – if anyone is interested. The first one I run will be free and on a first come, first serve basis with limited places. More to come on that soon. You can also find my services on this page and I am really happy to give advice, again as a gift, if you are feeling like you could do with some distraction and help on a project to get going. It’s something I can offer right now and feel I am doing some good, all be it on a very small scale.

There will also be some more Youtube tutorials up soon if you feel make something for the home.

Have a good week and stay indoors x

How to Make a Pencil Pleat Door Curtain

front door DIY curtain on Youtube

Although making videos takes quite some time, I really enjoy them so have put together a Youtube tutorial alongside this blog post on how to make a pencil pleat door curtain, which you can see below, but hang on just a sec while I talk you through the rest of the area which I’ve also updated with new hues and textiles.

Although making a fuller gathered style of curtain involves more fabric in width than, say, a tab top or a pinch pleat which is another option, but for something on show downstairs and potentially keeping drafts at bay, my choice is for something full and cosy looking. There’s nothing nicer on a winter’s night than shutting out the darkness and cold.

I know a before and after is useful but I’m not sure I want you to see how it looked prior – it’s a distant memory now thank goodness.

Considering the curtain is right on show, I’ve been too busy to get round to making it more cohesive but it’s done now and I love looking at it while I am working.

As all sorts of things end up by the front door … boots and bags for starters, I felt just one curtain would be a good idea, to take up less space and there was enough room to the side to enable pulling it back easily.

Disclosure: Gifted items from Style Library, Horace Panter Art and Next included in this post.
Pink Door Paint and Green Door Curtain by Sanderson lovely combination

Some might say that putting a green curtain and pink door together is a bold move, but they are a natural fit. I was careful about which colour tones I went for. Both being too strong might not have worked but a slightly lighter shade like this Rose Ash Light paint with the Papavera Plains in Cactus both by Sanderson, balanced nicely.

If I had to pick my favourite thing about interior design I would opt for textiles and putting them with paint colours. I’m so glad that I learnt to sew years ago as it really helps knowing what each type of fabric can do and how it will work with it’s surroundings.

DIY Curtain on Youtube how to make a front door curtain

Recently, one of my favourite artists Horace Panter sent me one of his Walkman Fine Art Prints which was a really lovely treat as a big fan of his work, both artistically and musically with The Specials, so we’ve had it framed and it really brightens up the wall. We also have Horace’s cassette print and I love them both equally. They are real talking points – my friends and I love to reminisce, although they are available again and very trendy. I used to record Top of the Pops off the television (which I ended up years later working on ! ) and then playing it on my way to school with my headphones. Good times.

Sanderson painted door Rose Ash Light and Papavera Plains in Cactus Green

The curtain pole is from Next. It is extendable and they come in different sizes ( and colours ) which is handy to fit the the area exactly, as needed here.

Colourful woven fabric by Harlequin

So, back to the fabrics. Everyone who comes in loves this woven Harlequin, Hamada in Fuchsia Marine. Inspired apparently by textural elements of pottery making. It has a 70s look and feel to it. It’s so rich and the plaid is really eye catching. The paint on the bench is called Ocean Spray Light made by Sanderson. I opted for Water Based Eggshell finish, which was the same as the door. It is a very subtle grey which makes the vivid stripes above it pop.

I had a bit of material left over so made some cushions too …

Hamada by Harlequin fabric in multi colours

Plus there was enough to use for a roman blind. I don’t like waste, so also kept the lining of the original blind there and fittings and just took the front off and replaced with the Hamada. Guess that’s maybe a Youtube tutorial for another day ? It makes sense to re – use everything if you can. Less measuring, cutting out and good for the planet :)

Hope you enjoy this video and find it useful. A curtain is quite a straightforward thing to create and once you’ve made one, you’ll find it really easy to navigate the next time. It’s the joins, if some are necessary – and adding lining that can be a bit confusing but hopefully it clarifies all of that.

As I’m fairly new to making these little films, any thumbs up or subscribers are really appreciated as it’ll help me grow on the Youtube platform.

Let me know how you get on if you give the DIY a go ?

If you would like to check out more colourways in these fabrics and paints then head over to Style Library. But make yourself a cup of tea first. You will be there a while, I always am.

You can also sign up to my newsletter if you’d like to for updates and any giveaways, just on the right hand side of this post.

How to choose the right radiator for your home

Vintager Style radiator classic panel in white
Disclosure: These radiators were gifted to me by Soak.com in return for this post. 

When we were recently thinking about heating for the kitchen, I realised there’s more to it than just liking a certain style or colour of radiator. So am writing this post on how to choose the right one for your home.

It seems like a good time to do this too, what with the darker evenings and mornings being longer and a lot of us wanting to keep cosy and warm as much as we can.

Our radiators are from Soak.com and are from their Traditional Colesseum range.

Panels.

I found a BTU (British Thermal Units) calculator on Soak’s website and it was invaluable in working just how much output would be needed. You add in the dimensions, the room type and windows plus whether they are single or double glazed, then it pretty much does the work for you. Having said this, it doesn’t hurt to speak to your plumber to gage some extra advice if you’re still not sure. You’ll need more panels if the room is larger and with more windows. As for this kitchen – it naturally will be heated by the cooker and oven so I decided that two panels would be sufficient on each one. If it were the living room or something like a conservatory or bathroom you might want to go higher. It does have to be just right for you and worth giving some thought.

radiator classic vintage whiteclassic vintage style radiator in white advice on heating and roomsvintage classic old style white radiator in kitchen advice iideas

Vertical or Horizontal ?

If you’re looking to put a radiator in to a small space. Maybe there’s limited room because of doors and windows, it’s much more cost effective to buy a vertical radiator ( tall ) than start moving doors etc – and as they’re so good looking these days it works as a feature. There are varying sizes to fit many spaces and also colours. They take up very little space so you can heat your room just as efficiently.

Ours are horizontal in shape as we had areas that they would fit perfectly in. We went for low in size so they could fit under the window and allow us to put wall mounted book shelves above. Then the small radiator near the utility room which couldn’t have fitted better which is classed as horizontal.

Classic vintage style radiator in white grey floor blue kitchen

Traditional or contemporary and which colour ?

So many choices these days. So where do you start ? Homes on the whole seem a little more eclectic in style so mixing a traditional looking radiator with a more modern home works wonders. Or contemporary in an old home too. It’s very much personal taste. The contemporary radiators at Soak, to me, are like a blend of old and new with flat or rounded panels but with a play on classic. You can see them here.

For a bathroom you might instead opt for a heated towel ladder especially if short on space. I love Soak’s copper ones which would be really effective against a dark wall.

As for colours, there are options these days as opposed to just your standard white. So, this saves painting them, which is possibly the past thing you will feel like doing with a brand new radiator. Over at Soak there are greys, whites, sage green and then chrome and mirrored.

Vintage style radiator classic white style

Floor standing or wall mounted ? 

This can depend on whether you are starting from scratch as the amount of work fitting these varies and it’s best to put the radiators in before tiling and other forms are flooring are put in. Wall mounted is where (usually) the radiator is attached to the wall with brackets where as floor standing; they have feet. Both normally have pipes that go in the ground but in flats you may find they go in to the wall instead.

One more thing to not forget is the kits such as brackets, valves, legs etc. Some come with them and other need to be ordered separately. So good to check this first. You need to also decide if you want angled or straight valves which as you’d expect from the name, go straight up from the floor.

classic white radiator vintage style white walls blue kitchen ideas advice on heating

Hope you’ve found this useful. I know there are certain things here that I have learned recently so might be of some use.

Which style would you ideally go for?

Do leave me a comment under this post if you have any questions or comments – as always great to hear from you.

You can also find more of my pictures over on instagram.

Five Ideas for Finding the Ideal Dining Table Rug

Kitchen Table Rug to add Style and Texture under table

Like everything else in a kitchen or dining room, when you are refurbishing or changing things up a bit, it takes time to find the ideal furnishings and that includes a rug if you are considering adding one, maybe under the table.

It took me absolutely ages to be honest to find the right style, colour and fit so thought it would definitely be a good idea to write a post in case anyone’s ever in the same boat.

I knew I wanted something with a Moroccan or Turkish kind of vibe and it needed some reds and warner tones to balance with the blue units. Also, I had a favourite company in mind who I have worked with before and both Andy and I really champion their rugs. But, would this vision in my head all come together in reality ?

kitchen rug table louis de poortere

Oh, yeah ! It certainly wasn’t the last thing to choose on my mind when it came to the kitchen, but because I hadn’t chosen a table it had to wait to make sure it fitted etc.

rug moriccan style louis de porter kitchen table

You may remember some time ago, I wrote about Finding the Ideal Rug which included our Jacob’s Creak rug from Louis De Poortere’s Mad Men range. Well, I found another beauty on their website amongst their Antiquarian Ushak Collection  could not have worked better and leads me to my first tip which is:

Continuity.

I’m always going on about creating a cohesive environment but only because I really recommend it. In our home you can see the kitchen from the living room and vice versa. So, very much I’d recommend thinking of the flow of throughout your rooms to keep it all easy on the eyes aesthetically . With these two rugs they have a similar style being flat-woven and a subtle and vintage looking pattern which I think Louis De Poortere do so brilliantly. So, from one room to the next it gives a sense of continuity.

Vintage Style Rug by Louis De Poortere for Under Kitchen Table to add Style and Texture with Painted Grey Chair

Flatweave or Pile ?

Well, I’d say this depends on several things. But a fluffy rug is a no no really. Not only because food can be dropped and lost ( unless you have a dog that hoovers anything and everything ) but pulling chairs back and forth could potentially cause some trip ups which you won’t.. A flatweave will be nice and much more low maintenance.

Also if you can get one with an anti slip backing like this rug then that’s good otherewise you might need to add that on yourself.

Shape and Size.

The rug will need to be substantially bigger than the table because bearing in mind the chairs or stools too plus you want ideally for them to still be sitting on it comfortably when pulled out. So aim for around 60 cm longer and wider each side, than the table set.

The shape of the rug tends to work best when you emulate the room. So rectangular = rectangular and so on. This isn’t something set in stone so you can play around with it but I’ve found it suits me.

Rug Louis De Poortere Colours Inspiration Dining Room Table

Colour.

You might have bought the rug first in which case it will be your inspiration for the rest of your colour palette, but if the other way around, then pick out a strong colour in the rug, even if it’s a small amount,  that will match your chosen main hue. You can see here there are elements of teal that match the cabinet.

Equally as I was saying earlier, I also required some more autumnal tones so this rug was just right in every way.

Obviously, something that can disguise the odd mark is essential. A light shade won’t stand the test of time like a darker or patterned one.

Moroccan Vintage Style Rug by Louis De Poortere

Material.

An easy clean rug is obviously the best option but it depends on who is using the dining area and how often. If there will be young children using the area and potentially throwing their spag bol around or you have pets frequenting then it’s definitely your best option. However, if this isn’t an issue then you have a bit more scope.

Morrican Rug for kitchen Table with Teal and Reds vintage style under table

With our Louis De Poortere rug, I hoover it regularly and they recommend ‘ James Water ‘ if it ever needs a slightly deeper clean.

Hope you like our new rug too ? The name Ushak derives from the Turkish tribe of the same name who used their designs in mosques and churches generally. Louis De Poortere have gone for a similar faded look which I love.

If you’d like to check out their huge collection of great rugs then you can find them here.

This is a collaboration with Louis De Poortere. As always all opinions are my own.