London Trip

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Everybody loves to get away now and again, and I’m happily planning my next trip to one of my favourite cities – London! Find out what I’m planning to see and do there. (more…)

Stylish Business Premises

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All businesses will want to create a good first impression but it can be difficult to carry that on throughout the whole premises. If your business has a medical background you will also have the added burden of creating a professional and clinical atmosphere too. (more…)

Why White?

White is hot right now. There is something refreshing about the crisp, cleanliness of a white-on-white room.  White creates a perfect background for items in the room that might be higher investment pieces, and allows for seasonal change-outs of smaller investment pieces, like your toss cushions and small accessories in the space.

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“White makes for a flexible and forgiving first step.  Paint a room white and you have a blank canvas for anything…” William Waldron, Photographer, New York.

If you walk through an art gallery, what colour are the walls typically? White. That’s because there is no better way to allow a piece of art (or furniture, or drapery) to speak in a space than to give it a clean background.

It is extremely important when designing with white, to include plenty of texture in layered objects to pull the space together.  Just painting the walls white may not be quite enough.  Consider the upholstered furniture in your space, and any fabric elements.  Use textured fabrics like casual linen, or tweed, to really anchor the atmosphere you’re trying to create.  This can be as simple as adding a full set of linen drapes, or pile toss cushions onto your sofa or bed.

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I can understand the tendency to want to throw a great colour on the walls.  There are so many great options upon walking into the paint store!  Many will choose paint colour first, and try to use that paint colour to define the room – but take it from me, it is much easier to shop for your higher-investment items first, use those to define your theme, and use a soft white to complement them.

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But wait.  Before you head out the door to your local hardware store for a can of off-the-shelf white paint (please don’t use off-the-shelf white).  Understand this – all whites are not created equally.  Benjamin Moore alone offers over 200 shades of white, all of which have undertones of different colours.  This is where your friendly local Interior Designer comes into play! Consider hiring a professional to help you determine which whites work with your space, in your space.  It is extremely difficult to select a colour while in the store, as so many factors come into play – sun exposure, lighting, your furniture and flooring.  All of these elements are very important when creating a design concept.

Interior Design Tips For A Mobile Home

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Mobile home interior design presents challenges regarding space. The rooms in mobile homes are small and will require ideas and tips about designing and decorating small spaces. If you have plans for decorating your mobile home, they may need to be compromised somewhat because of the space. However, there are ways to achieve your ideal theme in mobile home design.

The first step in mobile home design or decorating any small space is to get rid of the clutter. Sort through your things and get rid of any unnecessary or unwanted accessories. This will automatically make your space look bigger. Find places to hide things such as under table skirts or behind closed doors. Making sure everything is neatly stored and out of view will open up the space. While moving things and clearing away, you may want to rearrange your furniture. Make sure large pieces of furniture are not blocking walkways or entrances. Also place tall pieces of furniture on a wall and not in an open space. Mobile home interior design is about creating space in an area that doesn’t have much space.

Choosing color is important in mobile home design. In order to create an open, larger atmosphere, you should use light, cool colors. Painting your walls in soft tones of blue or green will provide an open, airy feel. You should also choose colors within the same color family in mobile home decorating. Do this not only when picking paint colors but also when choosing fabric for curtains or upholstery.

Rooms look larger when they are well-lit. In mobile home design it is very important to ensure rooms have plenty of light. Stay away from heavy curtains or drapes for your windows. Use window treatments that are lighter to allow the brightness from the outside in. To provide plenty of light in your rooms, have lamps, track lighting or recessed lighting installed. Small spaces need more light.

There are other little tricks you can try. Using reflective materials is one trick to make a room appear larger. Using mirrored tiles or a large mirror on a wall will definitely make a room look larger. You may not be fond of mirrored walls but this may be one compromise you”ll have to make. Another trick is to use see-through materials. This will make objects look further away. This idea could be used in shower doors or table tops.

When choosing furniture for a mobile home, it is better to pick big pieces. This may sound strange but a few bigger pieces of furniture, are much better than several small pieces of furniture. By using several pieces, the space is cluttered while two or three bigger pieces will allow for more openness in a room. If covering your furniture, be sure to pick plain colors instead of prints, plaids or stripes. If wanting to add something extra, use texture but also in plain neutral tones. Choosing plain colors and neutral colors for light, sheer window treatments, bedskirts and tablecloths will provide an airy feeling as well. Owning a small home like a mobile home can provide problems when designing but if you follow some of these tips your home could be more comfortable and feel much larger than it actually is.

5 Simple Interior Design Tricks Which Will Blossom Your Home

No matter if you are moving home or simply looking to vamp a bit of live around your house with a new look, there’s tips which can help you get the most out of your room which designers easily do with minimum effort and cost. This list compiled with most of the smallest things, although the impact that they can have is huge in the big picture. It could be anything from a painting, mirror, plant, or even a lamp. Maybe you’ll like to give your room a softer look, to give the effect of comfort, maybe you want to brighten the room to put emphasis on specific items. Have a read through these design tips and see if they will inspire you to give them a go.

 

  1. Having big mirrors can bring more light around the room
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    Much like the photo above, sometimes mirrors are used to give the impression that a small space is actually bigger than it appears. For bigger sized rooms, or a room with a small amount of natural light getting through, can be improved by situating mirrors directly across from windows. It’ll instantly add light, reflecting it across the room. Mirrors which are decorative can also be used for art to fill in the gaps of the empty wall space. Not matter if it’s big or small, adding in mirrors will guarantee a brighter room.

  2. Trick guests with the power of slip sheets

Although they receive a bad rap, slip sheets can be a very nifty tool to transform a room. Let’s state the obvious thing first, they protect your furniture, a couch isn’t something you can just go out and buy another of in a hurry, they are expensive and require time and effort to move and change, so if you have children running around, it’s a great idea to have them in place to protect not only how they look, but your wallet. Not only can it serve as protection though, it’s also a great trick for changing around your room to suit the seasons, e.g. in the summer changing your couches colour to white makes it very appropriate and gives off a clean and bright look, to match the aesthetic of the outdoors.

 

  1. Green it up

    Add as much plants to your home as possible, fling them in every room, no matter the size, it’ll look great I promise. The best thing about this is that plants are so cheap; you can pick some up for as little as £3 if you are looking in the right places. It’ll instantly add more texture and colour to your room. This doesn’t just benefit the appearance of your room though, it’ll keep your room smelling good and add a balance to the humidity, as well as eliminating harmful gases from the air. Why wouldn’t you have nice green plants?

 

  1. Don’t leave bookshelves looking scruffy

    If you are looking for that instant burst of colour, as well as being able to instantly add a bright look and re-invent your book, it’s immense the difference something as simple as painting a bookshelf can do to transform your room for the better. No just in this case, but applying a coat of paint can be the cheapest way to re-invigorate a room. Painting things like bookshelves is always a good way to start due to it not being a big space which will take long to do.

  1.  Add some baskets 

Wicker baskets are great for storing almost anything from bits and bobs to towels and plants. The thing which makes wicker suitable for any household is due to its ability to fit in with most environments, due to the inoffensiveness of the colours- which usually follow a natural theme.

5 Tips to Help Improve Your Room Decoration

Interior design is an interesting practice; this could be because there isn’t too much theory behind a lot of the designing which can be applied to different on a mass scale. That’s right, there really isn’t a rule-book that you can officially follow – sure art is subjective, but that isn’t why. The reason is due to the lack of a rule book to follow when creating your rooms aesthetic. Sure there are some rough principles which you should follow when you are to ensure that you manage to achieve a perfect room every time. This list won’t be including skills which you will have to study and spend time ingesting, it will be specifically be little tips which you can pick up on immediately.

 Don’t get too invested in themes

It’s pretty easy to get invested into the idea of the ‘complete’ room, a lot of people will take inspiration from current themes, like for example, the Cape Cod look, which is a very popular household theme. It’ll feature the same stuff- nautical white and blue palettes, a few seashells and boat ornaments. The problem with following the laws of a theme is it will trap your own creativity and you will be constantly sacrificing your own personal taste to keep the room looking complete.

Never follow principles, as it blocks creativity

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Sourcing yourself some basic guidelines can give an ideal starting position for decorating and adding furniture to your home, even if some of which aren’t particularly suited for that room. The best advice you’ll receive is to do with items of decoration which will ideally make you happy- pictures of loved ones, although then it comes to furniture you should always make sure that the items are comfortable within the room. Sure you can have something that will love pretty and impress your guest, but this isn’t worth your comfort, as you’ll be relying on the rooms as a play to relax all through the year. A dress down look is often popular in today’s living rooms.

Always leave the paint ‘til last

Now this is something you’ll ALWAYS want to avoid. Usually people will decide the paint colour first and then apply their purchases and decoration around the colour theme that they have implemented. It’s easy to understand why someone would like to paint first, the idea of arriving to a room with a fresh coat of paint. Obviously, you can do it this way, but it’s not ideal when considering the final product.

There are endless paint colours with multiple shades, tones and tints. All of which like look different from room to room, due to the variation of light sources- to summarise, what you might consider to  look good in one home might look different in your new home. So always wait, because the main factor which will decide the paint colour are the carpet/rug, the furniture, whatever you have hanging from your wall and anything else you are filling the room with. So you can only get an accurate idea of what colour to pick when all of your things are actually inside of the room.

Furniture needs room to breathe

Try to eliminate the amount of furniture, which will congest your room. A room is always more efficient and comfortable when there is space to manoeuvre easily. This works well if you have a smaller or tight budget, because it’ll put a literal cap on your spending. Instead of spending a lot of money on lots of furniture, invest more into the quality of the few pieces of furniture that you own. Your room will have a little more class to it if you have this more selective attitude, instead of buying lots and lots of cheap furniture from ikea that you think will come in handy. For me personally, this method is very suited to what I am attracted to lately, whilst I’ve been adopting a more minimalist style into my work.

Make sure that your artwork is hung at an appropriate height

There is a reason why art galleries and museums will hang art which the middle of each piece of art is 57 to 60 inches from the floor. Can you guess why? It’s because you can actually look at the art effectively and take it in at a height which isn’t awkward for you to do so. So take inspiration for these galleries and do the same if you’d like to get the most out of your art.

In rooms similar to this one, where the ceilings are taller, you’d maybe like to keep a bit of symmetry and just put the artwork right in the middle of the ceilings and the ground, but it needs to relate to human scale, not the room sizes scale, which will not benefit the art at all.

 

Packing up home

We all know the saying ‘making a house a home’, but what about having to do the exact opposite? Moving home is probably the only time you have to forcibly take all the lovely character out of your home. For someone like me, it can be a dramatic period having to take down all the accessories from my innovative ideas and be left with a bare home.

If there’s one thing I love just as much as decorating, it’s being organised. And moving home is all about organisation. You might find the idea of packing up what makes up your life a little difficult. That’s why I have a few pointers here to make the process easy and stop you from simply throwing everything in sight in to a box, and then having to rifle through it later. Here are my main questions you should always ask yourself:

Do I use this?
If it’s covered in dust and you’re wondering if it’s useful, then you should know better. If it’s an item you will use (remote control, can opener, phone charger) then make sure it will be the last thing you pack.

Will I really need this?
If you’re contemplating the pros and cons of packing up the blender early, then you’re going to have a problem. Think of packing up the home as a case of working your way down to living on essentials. And if you come across something you don’t use in everyday life (an example would be a vase) then pack it up.

Should I keep this?
In the same fashion, you might be better off getting rid of something if you don’t use it. The ideal place to find rarely used items is in wardrobes and drawers.

Could I sell this?
Your attic is a treasure trove before you move. Have old machines, clothes and furniture that you can get rid of? Then see how much they sell for on eBay. You’d be surprised what some people are willing to pay for things that you’ve no use for.

When we moved here to Kingstanding from Bristol, we used the help of Ablemove-Wottons. This little company were a great help in allowing us to plan ahead and make a big day for the family incredibly easy. With their guidance, moving became a quick case of getting the van loaded up, and not the panic we’d experienced with our big move a few years back.

You can find out more about moving home in the UK by visiting the Ablemove-Wottons website.

Greek Inspiration

Sometimes you need a change of scene to get some fresh, original and inspirational ideas for your home decor. Following a recent family holiday to Rhodes with Mark Warner, I came back full of ideas of how to freshen up my home with some south Mediterranean style and flair.

Rhodes is a beautiful sun-bathed (of course) Greek island located only around 20km from the southern Turkish coast, and thanks to its unique position at the crossroads of the southern Mediterranean Sea, it has had a rich and excited history which has of course influenced its style, décor and architecture. With Greek, Egyptian, Byzantine and Medieval influences all playing their part, it is a mish-mash of gorgeous styles from different eras that help to make up the islands charm.

With the bright sunshine, stone carvings created centuries amaze visitors at the Palace of the Grand Master in the main city of Rhodes, and the ruins of the Temple of Apollo really give you a scale of how ancient this island is.

Not to forget the bright colours of the fishing ports and villages that are scattered throughout the island. These charming old-worldly villages are often perched haphazardly on rocks surrounding a natural harbour and life goes on as it has for centuries. Their lovely sea-side quaintness definitely gave me some ideas for some fresh décor and even for my garden too! A seaside theme is timeless and can look effortlessly chic and welcoming if done right.

Whilst we there, we also took part in some watersports in the glittering blue Med. This got me to thinking about some shimmeringly sheer fabrics that would look great at the windows. And I am sorely tempted to invest in some blue glassware for our picnic set…

So don’t forget to keep your mind open to inspiration. If you are going away on holiday this year, then you could well find exactly the right look that you have been seeking. If your budget and luggage weight can stretch to it, a few key pieces from elsewhere can become a focal point to a room with a twist.

 

If you are looking for the same sort of ancient architecture as the Greek aesthetic but something a little bit more secluded- the architecture in Malta is of a similar fashion, although it does have its own expression and identity surrounding it, its obvious to see the similarities between the two. See more of Malta here: https://www.chevron.co.uk/malta-hotels/mellieha/seabank-resort-and-spa

Recommended Books To Set you up for a Career in Interior Design

You’ve used Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, you’ve seen lots and lots of lovely looking rooms, which have inspired you to give the profession a go. The first step of becoming an interior designer is always the same, design your own rooms! Most of you will have an idea already of how you want your room to look – although you’ll probably lack having an idea of where to start with it all. Don’t get me wrong, designing a room can be a very frightening prospect if you have no experience of doing so before. So before you go ahead and just start having a go at it, it might be worth having a little help with doing so. I’ve created a list of 3 books which I believe will be perfect in the context of starting out in the interior design industry. I’ve chose four because I think these could be the basic foundation to learning about the craft, and there is only a certain amount of information that you can digest. These books aren’t appropriate for experienced designers.

  1. Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-room Guide to Create a Home That Makes You Happy – Deborah Needleman


    This book makes the list due to its easy to follow structure – its room-by-room written, breaking each different room into its own chapter, and in doing so it helps break down all the secrets to putting together the perfect home. The book is very image driven (which all interior design books should be, because… Obvious reasons) with how-how advice, industry professionals tips and secrets. Each chapter within the book gives a real exploration of real life rooms and the photos included and further analysed by annotated extracts throughout to explain how the artist has created the look of the room. All the room and homes which are published within this room insight in to how to create style which is based on the way people live. Featuring inherited and second hand pieces. It’ll also set you up for basic problem solving and how to get around problems that you’ll likely face.

  1. Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home – Holly Becker & Joanna Copestick


    Amy Bulter, Jonathan Adler and Kelly Wearstler are some of the world’s top interior designers – they’ve all contributed towards this book, giving their experience away by sharing thousands of experienced and professional tips, how to manage your budget, easy and applied solutions for everything and a huge selection of ideas. The book features approaches on how to achieve any style of past and present and is packed full of useful illustrations, shortcuts to have you time on your project and how to construct the theory side of the industry – e.g. shortlists, blueprints and floor plans.

3. Creative Walls – Geraldine James


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This book is different from the two above, as it specialises more within one part of a room in particular, although the language used within the book and the simplicity of the structure keeps it highly appropriate for beginners. After you get your ideas sorted and your walls painted, you’ll now turn your attention to what exactly it is that you want on the walls and how you are going to structure it all to become one. With any wall you can create something that blossoms with creativity with your own unique taste. The book with give you a how-to guide from how to hang expensive artwork, to something as little as how to present little polaroid photos on your wall. Due to the versatile knowledge you’d learn it makes it a must read.

4. Decorating Without Fear: A Step by Step Guide to Creating the Home You Love – Sharon Handby-Robie

This book is highly appropriate for first time designers, in fact I’d go so far to saying this should be the first book you ever read on interior design! ‘Decorating Without Fear’ is so obviously constructed to help beginners as it answers all the big questions which you are needing answered, which you won’t find on the internet due to them being so broad. These sort of question will help you with the bigger picture of what type of environment will best fit your personality through a certain colour and theme. It has a step by step instructional guide that can help you turn any place into a place with you can identify with. With the books writing style, it’ll have the whole process feel effortless to the reader.

Radiators

Now I mentioned in my last post about moving home. When the family came here from Bristol, one of the reasons we took the house was because the living room had this fantastic bay window with a lovely view. We loved it immensely but there was just one problem, it was never warm enough. I ran in to problems figuring out what to do. And when I get in to a problem with my décor, I really can’t leave it alone.

The windows were already double glazed and the floor was insulated right, but it was quite big and the family preferred to be near the window as much as possible. The window had a cushioned bit jutting out that was perfect for sitting on during the day when the sun was coming in, but at night it would be very cold.

That’s when I came across these convector radiators. They were the answer I’d been hopelessly searching for (I had the feeling I was more invested in the problem than the rest of the household were). Because I had no clue about how to measure for a radiator like it, I phoned up the number they had on the site and found out just what was needed to do. Now I feel like an expert with a tape measure.

The radiator I bought came with all the right fittings which was great as I had no clue what a person would need to have their radiator installed. And luckily for us, getting it fitted was no problem. The carpet didn’t need any adjustments apart from a simple cut so it could sit around the pipes and the floorboards around the window were easy enough to lift up and replace.

I’d say that anyone who has a similar window area to ours should definitely think about getting one of these convector radiators. It heats the room up much more efficiently than the radiator that was hidden behind the sofa (I just turned it off) and because of the shape it doesn’t seem to be in the way like a radiator can seem to be at times.