28 Mar 2022 - 11 min read
A fab young couple came to me way back in December 2020, needing help with their planned loft conversion and hallway works. The builders were already in and working on the new porch area, and were due to start on the loft conversion, which would include the main bedroom and an ensuite, in the next couple of months.
28 Feb 2022 - 7 min read
Recently, I have been rewatching some of the TV series ‘The Great Interior Design Challenge’ as I find it fascinating to see the amateur designers let their imaginations loose, and I love seeing the many varied schemes they come up with. I enjoy watching the show, but the main challenge for the designers seemed to be the very small £1000 budget they were given to furnish, decorate and renovate each room.
28 Jan 2022 - 10 min read
Back in July last year, I started a new project to transform a living room. The couple I was working with had recently moved into a new home, and were keen to make it feel right for them. The previous owners had done a lot of work to the house including building a kitchen extension, which the new owners loved, so there wasn’t a lot for me to do there. The separate living room was the main problem, and needed some work.
28 Nov 2021 - 9 min read
With Christmas and New Year around the corner, it is the season for looking back at what we have achieved over the current year, and for plotting our hopes and dreams for the next one. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about my creative background and how I came to be an interior designer, and what I would like to do with those skills next year.
28 Oct 2021 - 9 min read
Today I’m excited to be sharing the final photos of the Victorian terraced house I’ve been working on for over a year and half, known as the Pontcanna Project. It has been a long journey, but we are finally done, and the homeowner is delighted and now showing off the house to her friends, neighbours and family.
28 Sep 2021 - 9 min read
This time last year a young couple got in touch to say that they were in the process of buying a new house and needed help. It was a classic situation - they knew the house needed work and had just found out that it needed damp proofing as soon as possible.
Apart from a lot of mess, this was an opportunity for the couple to rethink the layout of the internal walls, and decide how they wanted to use the space.
28 Aug 2021 - 7 min read
An interior designer can help you with many aspects of renovating or upgrading your home, but one of the most popular (and fun) services we offer is to help a client choose colour schemes, as this can be tricky to do on your own. What if, instead of hiring an interior designer, you could have colour guidance from an expert, with everything you need in one box?
28 Jul 2021 - 11 min read
In my last newsletter, I asked you, my lovely readers, to share your design dilemmas with me, so I could offer up my thoughts and suggestions on how to solve them. I’ve gathered up a few of your questions, and will do my best to answer as many as I can in this post (there were a few I couldn't get to, so I'll do another post soon).
28 Jun 2021 - 8 min read
When it comes to renovating our homes, there are a huge number of things to think about - budgets, colours, flooring, furniture and finishes, and lighting, as well as organising any building work which needs to be done. Keeping on top of all these things can often feel like a mammoth task, so understandably, we don’t really want to increase the pressure by adding in anything else.
28 May 2021 - 9 min read
You might have seen that so called ‘designer paint’ has been in the news recently, as the British paint brand Farrow & Ball has just been sold to a Danish company for £500 million. This prompted a couple of articles voicing some strong opinions on the brand, with both Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen in the Daily Mail and The Telegraph’s Shane Watson calling time on the brand’s long reign as the go to choice for the tasteful elite.
28 Apr 2021 - 9 min read
Lockdown was stressful for all sorts of reasons, and many of them were unexpected, but the one thing that I wasn’t expecting at all was that I would finally crack and hire a cleaner. This got me thinking about my own job, and our approach to hiring people who have more knowledge and experience than us. There are definitely times when it really is best to hire a professional.
28 Mar 2021 - 8 min read
This month, I’m writing about another work in progress which truly is still in progress - there are remaining bits and bobs to be installed and/or bought, but the clients have kindly shared some update pics with me, so I thought I’d show them to you. When I was contacted by this lovely family needing help it was before the pandemic began and we couldn’t have dreamed of what was to come.
28 Feb 2021 - 8 min read
When I have colour consultations with clients, we spend lots of time thinking about colours for the walls, and then choose complementary or similar colours for the woodwork. Next, I often suggest choosing a colour for the ceiling. Lots of clients are surprised by this approach as they think that ceilings have to be painted white.
28 Jan 2021 - 13 min read
I’m sharing another work in progress this month, a small but perfectly formed bathroom. Just like the last work in progress blog, the space is actually finished but due to the current lockdown I can’t go to take the final photos. But I can share the design and some pics the clients kindly sent me with you.
28 Dec 2020 - 8 min read
When a potential client gets in touch, I always ask them if they have worked with an interior designer before. I often find that they haven’t, and they're not sure how I can help them. It’s understandable that people aren’t sure what I do - there are literally thousands of interior designers across the country and they all offer different services or describe their skills in different ways. So what does an interior designer do, and how can you choose the right one for you?
28 Nov 2020 - 10 min read
This month I want to share a project with you which I absolutely loved working on. It’s actually finished, so not technically a work in progress, but I will be putting the finished photos up on my website in the next couple of weeks so I thought I’d share the process with you and give you some background to it.
28 Oct 2020 - 8 min read
So, you’re ready to hire an interior designer to help you with your home. You have a look around for potential designers who fit the bill, and find a few who look professional and experienced. Do you have a look at their portfolio on their website, to see what kind of style their design work is? Or do you think that it doesn’t matter what styles they’ve produced before because they are designers and will design for you?
28 Sep 2020 - 11 min read
In July of 2019, I was given a referral by some great clients, who said that their friend might need some help with her home. When I went to meet her, she had clearly been thinking about what she needed and was ready to hit the ground running. She wanted to move her kitchen (which was currently in the smallest room on the ground floor) to the largest room, which was being used as the living room.
28 Aug 2020 - 7 min read
So, you’ve been thinking about making some changes to your home and have talked it over (endlessly) with anyone who’ll listen. You know how you’d like the end result to look, you’ve got your finances in place and you just need someone to make all your dreams a reality. Time to sit back and let someone else take control now, right? Sadly, no. You need to find a good builder who understands your vision, your wishlist and can make it all happen on time and on budget (or as close as possible).
28 Jul 2020 - 7 min read
I’d thought I’d share a project of my own which I’ve been working on during lockdown - my office. I started running my business from this room as it’s the converted loft at the top of the house (so it’s nice and quiet). The only problem was that it hadn’t been decorated since we moved in and was a very boring shade of beige.
28 Jun 2020 - 8 min read
I think we might all be in need of a little escapism right now, and whilst actually going on an actual summer holiday might seem a distant dream, I thought I’d share something which makes me almost feel like I could be on that longed for holiday. Almost exactly two years ago, I was contacted by some absolutely lovely clients who I’d worked with before.
28 May 2020 - 9 min read
As a lot of us are spending loads more time at home right now, many of us will have decided to get our homes in order and that now is the time to finally replace that lumpy, old, saggy sofa. Large, expensive items like sofas, beds and mattresses are investment pieces of furniture that we don’t buy very often, so when we do, we understandably want to get it right and not make any mistakes.
28 Apr 2020 - 8 min read
As you can imagine, this is a question I get asked a lot. You might have recently moved into your new home, or maybe you feel like you need a change. We’re all spending a lot more time staring at our walls during the current situation, and paint is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to really make a room feel like your own.
28 Mar 2020 - 8 min read
With everything that’s happening at the moment, I’ve been thinking about how important it is for us to feel connected with each other. Acts of kindness and sharing are more important than ever, as is letting others know that we appreciate them. So, this month I wanted to share some really lovely feedback I’ve had from clients who have used my online design service.
28 Feb 2020 - 4 min read
It’s time for another blog post from me, and this month I have exciting news - I have a guest blogger! Hayley Baddiley from British stoneware brand Denby (I’m sure you all know their lovely kitchenware and crockery) has written a piece about conscious kitchen design.
28 Jan 2020 - 7 min read
Now that we’ve made it through the shortest day of the year and the days are getting longer, I find myself yearning for the light of Spring. Things just seem easier when we are surrounded by light, so brightening up the dark days of winter is still very much on our minds. We depend on artificial light at this time of year, and the type of light we see can really affect our mood. So how do we get it right and make ourselves feel happy instead of glum? It’s all about the type of lighting we choose, and that starts with the humble light bulb.
22 Dec 2019 - 5 min read
I've had a really busy but great year which was more than I could have wished for. Here are some of the highlights, and I also want to say a big thank you to all my lovely clients, suppliers and tradespeople who I rely on to keep my business going. Thank you!
6 Sep 2019 - 8 min read
I was recently asked to help this charity to improve the public areas of their building. They wanted to make them feel more welcoming and also to help the people using the centre to feel valued. I was really pleased to be able to come up with a design for them. Read on to see the plans and hear all about the design choices I made.
8 May 2019 - 7 min read
This project isn't quite finished, but I'm really happy with progress so far, so thought I'd share it with you, along with a little bit about my design process.
11 Mar 2019 - 6 min read
Some people called me brave, some people said it would be great publicity, but I just thought it would be fun. Here's what happened when I let five local property gurus snoop around my house.
29 Aug 2018 - 3 min read
My pick of the latest fabric and wallpaper collections, with an explanation of the inspiration behind the collections, and their potential uses in today's homes.
12 Aug 2018 - 4 min read
Have you ever wondered why the paint on your walls doesn't look like the paint colour on the paint chart? Read more to find out how to make sure you get the colour you wanted.
22 Jun 2018 - 1 min read
Whilst I was working as a Home Design Stylist for John Lewis, I was asked by the estate agent Moginie James to write a checklist for people selling their homes. It's my guide to making your home look it's best and for presenting it well to prospective buyers.
Welcome to my design blog, where you'll see posts about anything from the projects we are working on, to the latest fabric and wallpaper collections, and 'how to' guides for all things interiors related. I love colour and pattern, architecture and old buildings, and I especially love the moment when you see something so beautiful it makes you take a sharp intake of breath.
28 Apr 2022
|This month, we were pleased as punch to receive the Best Homes & Interiors award from the prestigious Cardiff Life Awards. Cardiff Life Magazine are well-known champions of our city, and the annual awards celebrate the best of Cardiff talent, so we are over the moon to be named 2022 winners!|
Morris & Co. X Ben Pentreath
28 Mar 2022
|The designs of William Morris have made a comeback over recent years, and now they have been given a striking makeover by interior designer Ben Pentreath. The Queen Square Collection has reimagined some of Morris's most famous fabrics and wallpapers in rich tones and vibrant colourways. You can see the collection here.|
28 Feb 2022
|One of my favourite design houses, Woodchip & Magnolia, have gone all out for the all over pattern trend and produced wallpapers and fabrics in the same prints, which I love. You can see the whole stunning collection here.|
New fabric collection from Prestigious Textiles
28 Jan 2022
|A new collection of sumptuous fabrics has just been released from Prestigious Textiles, called Monsoon. The collection includes tactile velvets, animal motifs, embroideries and beautiful sheers, so it's versatile enough to use anywhere in your home. If you'd like to know more about these fabrics, please get in touch.|
New reeded glass pendants from Mullan Lighitng
28 Nov 2021
|Lighting designers and manufacturers Mullan Lighting have a new range of reeded glass pendant lights available. These Mid Century inspired lights come in three shapes and four finishes, but the Nahla (the one pictured above) is my favourite. You can see the range here.|
Little Greene and Bert & May join forces
28 Oct 2021
Little Greene has announced a collaboration with tile brand Bert & May. The collection sees eight gorgeous Little Greene shades translated onto tiles, giving you even more opportunity to add colour, texture, and a mix of materials to every area of your home. I love this bathroom combination above, with the perfectly matched tiles and paint offset with touches of terracotta, mustard and oak. You can see the full collection here.
Dulux colour of the year - Bright Skies
29 Sep 2021
So, Dulux have announced their colour of the year for next year, and here it is! Bright Skies is described as the 'breath of fresh air' that we all need after being indoors for so long. What do you think? I'm reserving judgement at the moment. It looks a little cold in the picture, but I don't think the beige sofa and the styling are doing it any favours here. Maybe colour drenched (painted on walls, ceilings, trims and doors) and with some warmer burgundies and terracotta, it could be lovely. You can buy the colour here.
A new home collection from Paloma Faith
28 Aug 2021
|British singer songwriter Paloma Faith has recently launched her first collection for the home. It includes wallpapers, fabrics, cushions and bedding, and she describes the look as 'faded grandeur and retro maximalism'. The prints are everything I love - dramatic, colourful and fun, and you can see more of the collection here.|
It's all about soft yellows
28 Jul 2021
|I was watching an Instagram live post from The Little Greene Paint Company last week, and they were discussing a comeback for yellow. Now, as you know, I don't think you have to follow the trends but yellow hasn't been fashionable for a long time, so this sunny, uplifting shade is often overlooked. A warm yellow like Little Green's Carys (above) is perfect for cheering us all up, and you can buy it here.|
The cushion that gives back
28 Jun 2021
|Introducing the cushion that gives back, from homewares company Oka. They have produced this cushion in partnership with The Trussell Trust who support two thirds of the UK's food banks, and 100% of the proceeds from sales of this lovely green velvet cushion will be donated by Oka to The Trussell Trust. It comes in a range of other colours too, and you can buy the cushion here.|
A beautiful new tile collection inspired by the National Trust
28 May 2021
|Just launched, Ca Pietra a new tile collection in collaboration with the National Trust. Every tile has been inspired by one of the historic properties, gardens or coastlines looked after by the Trust, and a minimum of £10,000 from sales of the tiles will be given to the National Trust to help them continue their important work. You can see the collection here.|
Yummy new switch & socket colours
28 Apr 2021
|Did you ever think that your light switches were good enough to eat? I'm guessing the answer is no, until now. You can now buy switches and sockets in these gorgeous colours from the new Dowsing & Reynolds Cafe Culture collection. They come in luscious shades like Cinnamon, Caramel Latte and Whipped Cream, so you can tone, coordinate or contrast with your wall colours and make every part of your interior scheme look delicious. You can buy the gorgeousness from here.|
A sustainable fabric choice
29 Mar 2021
|A beautiful new sustainable fabric range from Clarke and Clarke has just been launched. It's made entirely from recycled materials so you can refresh your home with a clear conscience. You can have a look at the fabric here. Get in touch with me if you'd like to buy any of this fabric.|
Sought & Styled - Preloved items given new life
28 Feb 2021
|This month I want to highlight a business run by a very talented lady I met a few years ago (remember when we could meet people?) Not only is she a creative interior designer, she also runs an online shop where she reuses and repurposes anything from soft furnishings to larger furniture items. Everything sold is bespoke and unique, and is effortlessly waste conscious because it's being used again. You can visit her shop here.|
Do kitchen worktops bore you?
27 Jan 2021
|Thanks to a genius idea from kings of pattern Blackpop, you can now have one of their colourful designs on your kitchen worktop. They will put any of their funky fabric or wallpaper designs onto waterproof MDF to make you a unique worktop, or they can even make a design just for you. Chopping will never look the same again! You can buy the worktops from their website here.|
A Fresh Take - Cardiff Life feature
18 Dec 2020
|This month's issue of Cardiff Life Magazine is out today, and features an interiors special, because one thing this past year has made us do is take a new look at our homes and how we'd like to live in them. To see what I and other local interiors experts have to say on the subject, including a round up of the trends for 2021, have a flick through the digital mag here.|
An enchanting inaugural wallpaper collection from Tom Baker
26 Nov 2020
|This opulent and atmospheric wallpaper from Tom Baker immerses you in a world of tropical flora, fauna and exotic animals. With soft cool tones and hints of pink floral detailing, this is the perfect wallpaper to add a relaxing and exciting edge to your home. Find this enchanting collection here.|
A new shady collaboration between Matthew Williamson and Pooky
20 Oct 2020
|The humble lampshade is often overlooked, but with the new collaboration between Pooky and Matthew Williamson they won't be for much longer! Matthew Williamson has applied his talent to design a new range of Pooky lampshades. Whatever your taste, colour scheme or budget you will find the perfect lampshade for your home in this new collection which is now available. This spectacular new collection can be found here.|
Felt covered curtain poles
17 Sep 2020
Now you can add some texture to your window dressing with these Walcot House felt covered poles. The pure wool coverings come with a option for bronze or steel fittings and wide spans up to six metres. The curtain track is cleverly hidden within the wooden curtain pole and there's a choice of nearly 50 colours and textures. You can find out more here.
Please vote for my blog
11 Aug 2020
|I'm really thrilled to have been nominated for an Amara Interiors Blog Award this year! If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to vote for me, I'm nominated in the Best Interior Designer Blog category, and you can vote for me here.|
Upcoming interiors trends from Love Rugs
10 Jul 2020
|Love Rugs, the people who know about all things rugs have just published a feature on the upcoming interiors trends for 2020. They asked six of the UK's top interior designers (including me!) to tell them what the upcoming trends are, and in particular the changes we will be making to their homes. The article can be read here, and if you'd like to have a look at the huge range of rugs they offer, click here.|
A new fabric collection from Linwood Fabrics
15 Jun 2020
|I love Linwood fabrics - they have a fab way of mixing colour and pattern into something really special, producing fabrics and wallpapers that make me want to coo. This new collection, available at the end of June, is just as gorgeous. It's called Kami, with the pattern inspired by a 19th Century document. The collection is a range of printed velvets, so perfect for upholstery and accessories like cushions.|
An easy way to update your kitchen
16 Apr 2020
|If you are looking to update your existing Ikea kitchen rather than replace it, Stockholm based company Superfront are here to help. They sell a range of fronts, handles, legs and tops to fit not just the Faktum kitchen range but also the Besta, Metod and Pax ranges - so you can customise anything from your sideboard to your wardrobe. These super cute round handles are part of their new birch collection, and the whole range can be found here|
Move over boring taps - colour is the new black
13 Mar 2020
|Colour has been taking over our kitchens and bathrooms for a while now (yay!), and has slowly been creeping into sanitaryware and fittings. These perfectly coloured mint green and pastel pink taps from the new Miami Colour Pop Collection from amazing homeware brand Dowsing & Reynolds are spot on and would look gorgeous in any kitchen or bathroom to add a shot of colour without overwhelming with sugary sweetness. You can learn more about this new collection here.|
Who knew a door stop could look this good?
19 Feb 2020
|Door stops are one of those little annoying things that we all need, but are not the prettiest to look at. Now London based Buster & Punch have turned their attention to the problem and transformed the humble door stop into something cool and covetable. They might cost more than your average one from a DIY store, but as you're going to see it every day, why not look at something beautiful? here.|
Wallpaper made of cork?
29 Oct 2019
|Sustainability and concern for our environment are key in the interiors world right now (as they should be). So when I saw that Monkey Puzzle Tree (a brand I admire for their sense of style and creativity) had produced this wallpaper made of cork, I was blown away. Cork is great for so many reasons - it can be harvested every nine years without harming the tree, is grown without the need for pesticides or fertilisers, has excellent sound and heat insulation properties, and is naturally antimicrobial and antifungal. This wallpaper has an A+ rating for emissions so it creates a healthy environment wherever it is hung. Add to this that the design was produced in collaboration with the talented Drew Millward who lives in my home county of West Yorkshire, and that it's called 'Hit The North', I was bound to fall in love with it. You can buy the wallpaper here.|
I'm in Cardiff Life magazine - again!
17 Sep 2019
Now that the summer is officially over and our thoughts turn to cosying up our homes for winter, I'm here to help. If you're in need of some inspiration, you can read all about the interiors trends for Autumn and how to work them into your home in this month's Cardiff Life magazine. Hear what I and other interiors experts have to say on pages 18-22. You can read the digital version of the magazine here.
I've been nominated for an Amara Interiors blog award!
6 Sep 2019
|Exciting news! My little blog (Design Insider) has been nominated for an Amara Interiors Blog award! I'm so chuffed to be included at all, and not expecting to win, but if you enjoy reading my blog posts then please vote for me. I'm nominated for the Best Interior Designer blog category. Voting is open until the 11th of September and you can vote for me here.|
My kitchen project featured on the Artifact Lighting blog!
1 Aug 2019
When I designed the contemporary copper kitchen, I wanted to use some copper elements to add warmth and also to tone in with the pink walls and pale grey units. I found these pendant lights from a company called Artifact Lighting, and they are perfect because they add to the 'warm glow' I wanted to acheive. They also have a vintage look which contrasts nicely with the sleek look of the kitchen units. When the kitchen was finished I sent some pictures to Artifact Lighting, and they liked the kitchen so much they featured it on the blog page of their website.
You can read the blog page here
House of Hackney's first outdoor fabric
26 Jun 2019
One of my favourite interiors brands, House of Hackney, who are known for their daring and quirky prints, have just released a new fabric which is suitable for our door use. They took one of their designs, Palmeral, and reimagined it in a fresh colour palette of off white and green. This colour fast and water resistant fabric can be used for anything from outdoor cushions to furnishing yachts (if you are lucky enough to have one!)
My thoughts on the colour Living Coral in Cardiff Life Magazine
31 May 2019
|Hear what I and my fellow designers have got to say about Pantone's colour of the year, Living Coral, and how to use it, in this month's Cardiff Life magazine. The article is on pages 84-86, and you can read it here. Do you think you could use it in your home?|
Sustainability in furniture design
7 May 2019
|Sustainability is something that is becoming more and more important in interior design - not just where we buy items from and how far they've travelled to get to us, but also the materials that they are made from. Kartell, one of Italy's best known design brands, have just released the world's first piece of furniture made from a bioplastic called Bio-On. It's a fully sustainable version of one of their best selling items - the Componibili modular unit, and it comes in four delicious pastel shades. They may be 100% sustainable, but they are also super cute and bang on trend with this seasons colours. You can buy them here|
The latest trend in shutters
24 Feb 2019
Forget painted shutters - the new style direction for window shutters is bare wood. These full height shutters made from sustainably sourced ash are the newest product from California Shutters, and are set to be big this year.
My new favourite tile!
7 Feb 2019
I was searching for some tiles for a client's splashback recently and came across these beauties from Topps Tiles. There's long been a trend for patterned tiles, with lots of geometric shapes and bold colours going on, but I've begun to see more and more tiles with a pattern in the surface of the tile itself. These ones are a lovely example, and the deep blue colour is just stunning. To get a closer look at them, follow the link below.
Pantone announce their colour of the year 2019
11 Dec 2018
Leading colour experts Pantone have annouced the shade which they think will be the colour of the year for next year - Coral pink. It might look very bright and scary, but it's actually quite easy to use. I wouldn't suggest painting a whole room in it, as that might be a bit overwhelming, but I would use it in small doses, such as on cushions or in artwork, to liven up a shceme. Pantone say that the colour is meant to 'embrace us with warmth and nourishment and provide comfort and bouyancy in our continually shifting envirnoment', which basically means it's a happy, uplifting colour, and might just cheer us all up!
My work featured on Homify
8 Oct 2018
My work has been featured in an article on Homify - one of the leading online ideas platforms for all things interiors. My project is in an article on how to avoid common mistakes when designing a bedroom. The article mentions how important it is to block out light for a good nights sleep - something I addressed by adding blackout lining to the curtains and adding an extra layer of window dressing with the wooden Venetian blinds. To see the article, please use the link below.