Blog

A photo of a velvet teal sofa in a living area.

How to buy a sofa online

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.
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A photo of lots of paint tester pots

What colour should I paint my walls?

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.
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A photo of the client's newly designed living/dining space.

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.
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A birds eye photo of some Denby crockery arranged on a rust red tablecloth.

Conscious Kitchen Design

28 Feb 2020 - 4 min read

Some gorgeous tableware made by Denby Pottery 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.
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A photo of an incandescent light bulb.

How to choose a light bulb

28 Jan 2020 - 7 min read

An incandescent bulb 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.
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A photo of the Victorian Double Reception room with a thank you message over the top.

Thank you for a great year!

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!
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A photo of the Olympia in London, where Decorex is held.

Decorex is the biggest trade fair for the interiors world, held every year in London. I went along to find new suppliers and see the trends and new products we'll all be wanting in our homes next year.
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A computer generated visual of how the main reception area could look.

Work in Progress - The Law Centre

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.
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A photo of the finished lamp in the hallway.

Colourful lamp update

18 Jun 2019 - 4 min read

A short blog post about how I added some more colour to my hallway by painting a lamp base in an orange-red shade, using chalk paint.
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A wide shot of the kitchen area of the room, with the green wall and colourful blind fabric.

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.
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A photo of my living room bay windows with the new blinds, pole and curtains.

How I dressed my own bay windows

4 Apr 2019 - 7 min read

When we moved into our house I had to find window dressings for two large bay windows which both worked practically and were affordable - not an easy task. Here's what I came up with, and how much it cost.
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A shot of the Cardiff judges

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.
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A wide shot of a pink bedroom with a traditional bay window

The challenge of dressing a bay window

28 Jan 2019 - 6 min read

Bay windows are beautiful, grand features but they can be difficult when it comes to choosing curtains or blinds. In this post, I show you the options and discuss the pros and cons of each one.
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A photo of paint charts and a tester pot of paint

New Year, New Home Goals?

3 Jan 2019 - 6 min read

The new year is a time when we often think about improving our homes - here's my step by step guide for planning those changes, to make sure your projects run smoothly.
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a picture of some Autumn leaves covering the ground

A look at the predicted colour trends for interiors next year, how those colours are supposed to make us feel, and how we'll be using them in our homes.
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a photo of several paint tester pots

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.
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some of the fabrics in the Morris Pure North collection

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.
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a room decorated in the 'Pleat' paint colour from The Little Green Paint Company

My current colour crush

18 Jul 2018 - 2 min read

I'm a lover of colour, and here's a blog post about my current favourite colour, which is 'Pleat' from The Little Greene Paint Company.
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the finished cupbaord with blue paint, teal wallpaper on the doors, and new handles

A weekend Ikea cupboard makeover

14 Dec 2018 - 9 min read

I finally got around to this project - making my Ikea cupboard look more glamorous by painting it with Annie Sloan chalk paint, adding wallpaper to the front and changing the handles.
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A picture of the front cover of the 'House Preparation Checklist'

Checklist for Moginie James

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.
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Welcome to my design blog, where you'll see posts about anything from my current interiors obsession, 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. Happy reading, and if you have any questions, or would like to chat about anything interiors related, please use the contact form to get in touch.

Thank you,

Louise

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

A photo of the new coloured taps from the Dowsing & Reynolds Miami colour pop collection.
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

a photo  of the new doorstop from Buster and Punch, with their logo and branding.
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

A photo of the wallpaper made from cork, By Monkey Puzzle Tree
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

The front cover of Cardiff Life Magazine issue no.208, Autumn 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

The Amara interiors blog awards voting banner 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

A view if the contemporary copper kitchen featuring the copper pendant lights from Artifact Lighting.

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

A photo of the new House of Hackney Palmeral print for outdoor use.

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

A photo which accompanies the Cardiff Life article about Living Coral
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

A photo of the new Componibili Bio.
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

A photo of California Shutters new range in ash wood.

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.

californiashutters.co.uk

My new favourite tile!

7 Feb 2019

A picture of the Lampas Marint pattern tile from Topps Tiles

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.

Lampas Pattern Marine tile

Pantone announce their colour of the year 2019

11 Dec 2018

a shot of a coral reef with the description Color of the Year 2019

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

a view of the dressed bed, pink walls and blackout lined curtainsMy 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.

Homfy article - Are you guilty of these 8 bedroom design mistakes?