Posts Categorised: DIY/Projects

The Shopkeeper’s Home – Book Review

Book

There are so many good books out there, it’s impossible to know sometimes where to start. I’m an avid book collector when it comes to interiors, crafts and inspiration generally so am really pleased to be sharing one with you, that you just might be interested in.

I was sent  ‘ The Shopkeeper’s Home ‘ by Caroline Rowland ( who by coincidence, I was introduced to last week at the Awards ) to review and was kind of intrigued by the title. For a start the word ‘ Shopkeeper ‘ sounds lovely and vintage and ‘ Home ‘ immediately got me interested. Because I’m a bit nosey like that. Especially when it’s about some of the ” World’s Best Independent Retailers and their Stylish Homes “.

ShopKeepers HomeBook copy

The good news is …. actually, there is only good news. This book is fabulous. It’s also pretty meaty in terms of volume ( I sat for ages and read it with one of my new Wedgewood cup and saucers from my Amara Winner’s Goody Bag ) … and couldn’t put it down until it was finished.

For the introduction – there is lots of advice and information on styling a home or shop, flooring, lighting, textiles and colour stories ( favourite section .. check out the yellow home belonging to shop owner Danni Hong ). It’s really easy to follow and the imagery draws you in immediately – lots of colour and eclectic spaces to wet your appetite.

Cafe Shops

What I love especially about this book is the layout. The main focus being the shopkeepers work and then their home spaces – it flows really well and makes you want to turn the page to see more .. and more.

Craft Shops

It really makes you think about the creator behind each of these shops and it’s interesting how there is often a crossover from each persons shop to their home style. Although sometimes the homes are a slightly more serene version. Which is inevitable, I guess. The main thing they all appear to have in common is a love of aesthetics, whether they sell homeware, coffee and cakes, sewing notions or clothes. Every shop featured is full of passion and individual personality. Having had a store myself once  – I know how much goes in to the thought process and wanting it to feel homely for your customers. So many aspects to consider !

Throughout, there are pockets of inspiration and suggestions on how to decorate, display and source items with loads of images.

I won’t tell you anymore as it might spoil it for you, if you want to buy it !

I honestly can’t recommend this book enough. It’s stunning, really well curated, the quality of paper is lovely and it’s a hardback. Not bad at all for £25.

Are you a book lover too ? What do you love to read ? Leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ….would love to hear your thoughts :)

Lucy x

I was sent this book to review. All opinions my own.

Inspire Me – With the V & A. The India Festival.

Fabric of India

Have you ever wondered how exhibitions at the V & A Museum are put together ? I’ve always been intrigued, so after an amazing cocktail event laid on by Good Earth ( more on that in a bit ) at the Fabric of India Exhibition, I did a little interview with the curators Divia Patel and Rosemary Crill …

V&A Curators

You have a dream job . How did you get in to curating at the V & A ?

DP: I did an MA in South Asian History and Anthropology at SOAS.

Muslin Beetle Wings

What inspired the India Festival ?

RC: We are holding the India Festival, a series of exhibitions, displays, events and digital initiatives that will explore the rich and varied culture of South Asia, to celebrate the 25thanniversary of the opening of the Museum’s Nehru Gallery, which displays some of the most important objects from the V&A’s South Asian art collection produced between the 16th and 19th centuries.

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For your exhibition, you have a  team including a Sound Designer, Project Manager, Exhibition Designer as well as yourselves on the ‘ Fabric of India ‘ – how do you all work together to make it all happen ?

DP: Lots of people are involved in V&A exhibitions from many different departments in the Museum. Whilst the curators decide on the narrative of the show and what objects will be on display, getting the exhibition ready involves a huge number  of people; a design team, builders, the exhibitions team to manage the logistics, conservation experts, technical experts, as well as the curators. We all work closely together, many several years in advance.

Houndstooth Sari

I especially admired the collection is the Chikankari Sari. Do you have a personal favourite ? 

RC: Although I love and admire the beautiful historic pieces made for the Mughal emperors and other rulers, I am very fond of the simpler pieces in the ‘Nature and Making’ section of the exhibition. These have such understated elegance, even if they are completely plain – they all have their own special texture or weave, and it’s a delight to be able to give them their moment of fame.

DP: I love so many things in the exhibition that it is difficult to pick a favourite. For me the sari that opens the show, the Houndstooth sari by Abraham and Thakore is special because it so elegant and simple but says so much about the continuing traditions of India and how they can still be relevant.

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Are all the exhibits donated ?

RC: Some of the exhibitions have been kindly loaned by institutions or donations around the world, whilst many are from the V&A’s own extensive collection. These have mostly been purchased over the years, but a considerable number have been given as donations.

Good Earth are supporting the exhibition  – this seems to be the perfect collaboration ?

DP: Yes, it is ! The V&A and Good Earth are delighted that the brand is a sponsor of the exhibition. Good Earth’s celebration of the heritage of India and support of traditional crafts means they are a fitting sponsor and understand the story the V&A is trying to tell.

Will visitors also be able to purchase their products online from the V & A ?

DP: The V&A Shop are also celebrating the V&A India Festival with a beautiful range of products inspired by rich Indian culture. A range of Good Earth designs will be on sale in the V&A Shop and via vandashop.com

Jewelled Sword

There will be a series of events over the next few months for the Festival, exploring South Asia – what will this involve ?
RC: There’s lots more Festival activity. For The Fabric of India there’s a Friday Late in November, a special conference, and talks and workshops (visit vam.ac.uk/whatson for more information). We also have our next major exhibition Bejewelled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection opening on 21 November, which will present around 100 spectacular objects from or inspired by the jewellery traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

Many thanks to Divia and Rosemary. I want their job ! :)

If you get a chance to visit during the festival  – you must go. The experience is amazing and I particularly loved the atmospheric music.

Good Earth Book

As I mentioned a little earlier … the party at the V & A was nothing short of stunning. An aroma of pure jasmine and rose petal oils filled the room and the soft but colourful lighting was incredibly warm and elegant.

I drank alcohol free lychee cocktails ( wow,very palatable .. ) while my friend enjoyed the champagne.

Lots of women wore exquisite saris that made my eyes dance with happiness  – and there were pretty lanterns and rose petals beautifully scattered over the tables.

This was all a gift to all to the invited guests from Good Earth, the Home Decor company who are sponsoring the exhibition. I already knew of them as I have had my eye on their quilts for some time… especially the Champaka Muslin Razai one. :)

They are now established globally after being known across India for their luxury, hand crafted, unique designs. Sustaining tradition and ecology is a priority for them, which really appeals to me too. I love that each design holds a significance and has a story behind it.

I was lucky enough to take away a few of their pieces in my bag on the night. The book above is full of dreamy colours and inspiration.

Good Earth Mug

The mug is fine bone china and decorated with 24 carat gold. I’m enjoying some mint tea in it. Bliss.

GoodEarth Napkins

I’ve never seen sheer, delicate, cocktail napkins like this before. Do you like them ? They are in an aqua marine blue and cinnamon and hand block printed. What a treat.

Good Earth Products

Can’t wait to pop this Peacock Ornament on our Christmas tree. Apparently it is made by soldering fine wires together to make intricate lace like patterns, that originated during the Roman period. The technique is called Filigree.

How did I find out these little nuggets of information ? All of the products have a little information card with them. How cool is that ?

Hope you’ve enjoyed my post ? What kind of exhibitions inspire you ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Lucy x

The Fabric of India, supported by Good Earth India, with thanks to Experion and Nirav Modi, is at the V&A from 3 October, vam.ac.uk/fabricofindia

Photographs 1-7 copyright of V & A 2015. Photos 8 – 11 are taken by me – Lucy Loves Ya.

A Welcome Back To My Design Room

My Sewing Room

With those colour palettes I shared last week, I mentioned that I am going to be doing some DIY soon. I was sat at my craft table yesterday putting some colours together and realised I haven’t posted any pictures of my sewing room for ages – and especially my new fabulous chairs.

Hag Capisco Puls

I’m over the moon with this CAPISCO PULS chair. It’s made by HAG and Peter Opsvik the designer used inspiration from a horses saddle for the sitting position. His goal was for increased movement in the seat. It has been 30 years in the making from patent to fruition.

Hag Capisco Puls 3

It’s perfect for this room, because I can swivel the seat around so that I sit with my back against the rest or lean forward on to it. It also moves up and down, so I can sit at my sewing machine and then wheel over to the craft table and add the extra height I need. It is really comfortable, practical and well made and encourages sitting upright. We all fight over it, to be honest !

Noor -1 copy

Did I mention that I love bright colours ? Much ? This chair is just about as pillar box RED as you can get. A Scandinavian style by RBM designed by a collaborative of three designers – StokkeAusted, Form Us With Love and Susanne Gronland. It has a great shape and it feels flexible – so excellent for long hours at the computer. The focus on low impact materials is appealing –  plus it can be recycled, gives sound mind too.

You can choose the colour, material and model – and there a few different styles to choose from. Even the legs can be selected which is great if you already have a certain colour scheme. There is an option for having them upholstered too.

Moodboard

They’ve been very useful so far for long hours at the tables – and for fun times playing with swatches and tester pots. I’ve collected a few colours and other hues in various forms that I have in mind for the living room, to make up a mood board. It is still work in progress but the new look will be on its way soon. I will be making new blinds and curtains – and doing a spot of painting. There might also be some new additions when it comes to furniture.  So keep a look out !

Hope you like my new chairs and my sewing room ( if you haven’t seen it before ) .. I would love to hear from you, whether it’s about my room or to tell me about your favourite room in your home. Leave a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ..

Have a fab day.

Lucy x

I was sent these chairs to review. No other payment has been received. All opinions are my own.

Oh.. and please do vote for in the Amara IBAs .. there’s still time and you might win a trip for 2 to Italy ! Just click on the badge on the top right hand side of my blog. Thank you xx

Our Secret Room … Sshhh !

Kids Secret Room 2

I want to share a colourful little corner of our home today …

My girls are lucky because there is a little door behind a wardrobe that leads to the girls ‘ Secret Room ‘ as all their friends call it – and they always head in there.

When we moved in it was a just an empty cold space with no real floor but it needed a purpose as every room does. The ceiling is too low for a dressing room but it is perfect for a cosy little creative space and of course somewhere for them to have a bit of a gossip….

We painted the side walls with a Farrow & Ball paint called Strong White, which adds light to the room and then at the end, we painted the wall with a blackboard paint so they can have some fun drawing. The odd midnight snack has been consumed in here too – I have found the empty crisp packets … :)

Treats in the Secret room-1 copy Treats in the Secret room-1-3

This ‘ Atilla ‘ Gnome Stool is by Kartell who are famous for their collaborations when it comes to interiors. I love their creativity and focus on well made products. Phillipe Starck who is also well known for his focus on practicality, designed this stool which also doubles up as a table. It is incredibly sturdy and a good weight, so it feels very safe to sit on !  It’s from online home store Kontenta  – they also stock the other two in the collection called Napoloeon and Saint Esprit, if you’re looking for a set.

Kids Secret Room 1-1

Kontenta also stock lots of designer home products such as beds, lighting and wall art  – I really like their store because it’s full of colourful items. Right up my street. :)

I hope you like our ‘ Secret Room ‘ ? Which is your favourite room in your house ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Have a good day.

Lucy x

I was sent the Kartell stool by Kontenta but have received no other payment for this post. All opinions my own.

A Beach Hut Inspired Garden Room

Beach-Hut-Shed

One of our favourite things in the world is visiting the coast and we try to as much as we can, but sometimes there’s too much to do here and a trip seems a bit tricky. We’ve been meaning to do up our garden room for a while  – it’s right in my eye line when I look out the kitchen window, so at last we have combined our love of the seaside with some DIY and created our own little beach hut hideaway.

Beach Hut Shed

The exterior blue paint is ‘ Pure Duck Egg ‘ by the Homebase range of  ‘ Home of Colour Garden Colour ‘ which I think is refreshing. What do you think ?

I covered some old deck chairs with some new canvas in bright stripes. It was really easy, especially as the material only had to be sewn to loop around little poles and not tacked in to them.

Cupcakes

I painted the wooden interior and then we covered the floor to make it easy to clean with an oak effect vinyl . It came in plank style and feels very strong. It’ll be handy for wet feet after water fights and labrador paws.

The  Drew Lacquer Table is by Habitat as is the bowl, I love the print and think I might invest in the collection more, it’s really reasonable .The cakes are a treat to ourselves for finishing the project finally !

Cupcakes!

The flowers are all from the garden – I found these retro style wall vases recently – they’re great for displaying a few at a time.

Flowers From The Garden

The decking came in tile form. My brother built it for us, we just used 6 which enough for us to be able to put the deck chairs on and even maybe have a little barbecue. I’ve put some lavender and other flowers on there too to add a little extra colour and nice aromas.

Covered DeckChairs

I hope you like our new rustic beach hut garden room ?  Please do leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts. :) Would love to hear from you.

I feel quite proud that I did a lot of it myself. Especially as it is the summer hols ! It has given me confidence to try some more house projects.

You can find the paint, decking, Habitat items and some of the plant pots on the Homebase website.

Lucy x

This post is in collaboration with Homebase. All opinions my own.

Summery Colour Palettes

pink flower

What with this very sunny weather, I thought it would be a good time to share some colour palettes that I have made up from some of my photographs. Maybe, like me you’ve got some DIY lined up or just enjoy all of the hues of Summer.

This first one would be ideal for a living room or an outdoor area. It’s quite girly too – the darker tones could work as accessories ?

I love pink and green together, feminine and earthy. A winning combination.

blue house

This cottage door surrounded by a wonderful fresh aqua, by the sea,  caught my eye recently. I could see it in a nursery or play room – where would you use it ? It’s so happy and blue is one of the most popular colours globally. I guess with the sky and the sea – it’s a colour that we trust and it’s nice and cool. The lavender will add a pretty purple too once it flowers.

macaroon

Being a bit of a macaron fan – I had to take an instagram picture of these. The palette is playful and ideal for a kitchen against a white canvas or a Summer party even. How could you ever feel anything but cheerful sitting amongst bursts of these colours ?

I’m about to do our garden room and think I will use some of these for inspiration. I look forward to showing you it. :)

What colours do you like to use together ? Leave me a comment or tweet me lucylovesyablog.

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Achica Cheeky Peek In My Living Room

Lamp from AchicaI do love a peep in to peoples homes – all the interesting little nooks and spend much of time looking on Pinterest for inspiration. Being as I’ve had a little change around here in the living room, I thought maybe you’d like to see a colourful corner of mine ?

Last week I painted a few mini crates to display some of our garden perennials to work nicely with the colour wheel print above and my new cushion and chrome and white lamp sent over by the lovely folk at from Achica. The lamp is perfect for evening sewing and reading.  It’s nice to have a lamp that will work well anywhere – I will probably use it at my sewing table too.

The cushion is bold and refreshing and perfect for Summer. Citrus is in this season so a fruity print cushion is my contribution … :)

Citrus Cushion Print - Achica

Achica ( if you aren’t already aware ) is a luxury lifestyle online store offering exclusive, daily promotions on lots of home interiors and fashion accessories. Worth a look if you like discounted designer goodies.

DIY Window Boxes-1 DIY Window Boxes & Fabric

Do you like the crates ? I bought some sample pots and it took no time at all to paint them. Inside I popped in some jam jars. They work well as window boxes too if you want to dress a sill or too. Actually, I nice little teachers gift for end of term too ? Not long now ..

Close up Achica lamp

If you have any DIY tips for adding colour to your home or want to just say hello – leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog – would love to hear your thoughts.

Hope you are having a fabulous day ..

Lucy x

I was sent the lamp and cushion by Achica for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own.

My Colour Inspiration on Instagram

Cath Kidston Dress Happy New Year to you. Did you have a good one ? I hope you did.

After my last blog post – I wasted no time in getting the Bus dress that I had my eye on. You may have seen it on my Instagram account. I’ve uploaded loads of pics on there over Christmas.

Here are a few ‘ Colour Inspiration ‘  images from the last few weeks …

Sweet Shop AldeburghSewing threads Flower Inspiration on InstagramColourful QuiltsButtons Hello KittyRice DK Pins

 

I tend to post something each day on Instagram – so if you love a bit of colour, like me – then click here to see more. :)

Have a great start to 2015 – it’s the weekend already – Ye Ha !

Lucy x

Seaside Bedroom Inspiration

IMG_1095

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

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

beach-hut-wallpaper-2-website

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

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

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

Have a nice day !

New look LucyLovesYa – and an up cycled Purple Piece

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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