Our Design Blog

A photo of a main bedroom with patterned curtains hung at the bay window.

I was in a consultation meeting with a client recently, and we were discussing curtains for her living room as part of the whole design concept. She’d been thinking about this project for a while, and she had lots of ideas and swatches of fabrics she liked. She showed me her favourite one, and although it was beautiful, I had to tell her I wouldn’t suggest using this fabric for her curtains as it was made from 100% linen.

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A rendered image of a bathroom with a large sink and walk in shower

Work in Progress - The unique en suite

28 Apr 2024 - 9 min read

When we first started working on our Unique Family Home project in February 2022, the plan was to get the house ready for the clients to move in and save the larger projects (such as new bathrooms) for later. But whilst we were working on converting the garage to a gym, a leak from the main en suite above changed our plans...

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An AI generated image of an interior working at a desk

Can AI replace an interior designer?

28 Mar 2024 - 14 min read

One of my interior design colleagues in the States recently had a phone call with a potential client, and everything seemingly went well. A week went by without her hearing from the client, so she followed up to see if they still wanted help, and the client replied: “We are trying the AI approach at first to see if it meets our needs” So what does this mean? Can AI really replace the work of an interior designer?

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A image of a number of technical drawings and floor plans

When all the stress and mess of your home renovation is over and you realise that you can’t fit that dream corner sofa where you thought it could go, or that there’s no plug socket where you need to plug a lamp in, you may start to worry that you’ve made a mistake. If only someone had helped you with these decisions before you started the building work…

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a rendered image of a bedroom with aqua wardrobes

This month we are having a closer look at one of our recent projects, and this one is quite a transformation - from damp and a little unloved, to a gorgeous interior with bespoke storage and bags of character.

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A photo of Louise Misell leaning over a desk with lots of colour charts, and wallpaper and fabric swatches on it.

What happens in a design consultation?

28 Nov 2023 - 6 min read

As an interior design studio, we offer different types of services to our clients, which vary based on the type of help they need from us. Most of our projects will start with a design consultation, which is the first step in working with us. If you haven’t used an interior designer before, you might be wondering what a design consultation is, and what exactly happens during one.

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A photo inside one of the screens at the Everyman cinema in Cardiff, showing the sound proof panels.

As you probably know, the way we choose to decorate our homes can really affect our mood and our quality of life, but it doesn’t all come down to the way they look. It’s also about how our homes sound.

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Bedroom with blue walls featuring a double bed with large wooden headboard

It feels like this blog post has been a very long time coming. If you have been reading our past blogs, you’ll know that we have been working with a lovely family on their home for a year and a half now. The home is a work in progress as we are continuing to fine tune it for our clients, but we have taken photos of the rooms which are finished and now is the time to reveal them to you.

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A photo of the hallway showing the bespoke chandelier and the bookcase and radiator cover on the mezzanine.

As I mentioned in part one of the blog about our Unique Family Home project, the basics for the house were completed before the family moved in, meaning we decorated, furnished and added window dressings before they arrived. The plan was always that the bespoke or handcrafted elements of our design were to be completed after their move in date, because they would take longer to design and make.

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A photo of the partial front cover of the book 'Human Dimension & Interior Space'

Good Design Improves Lives

28 Jul 2023 - 9 min read

Good interior design can certainly improve our lives, and it is integral to our wellbeing and ease of day to day living. I’m not talking about the kind of interior design which involves choosing paint colours to go on your walls and sourcing pieces of furniture for your home. Of course, these things matter, and will definitely make you feel better, but what I’m really talking about is the positive impact that good design can have on your everyday life.

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If you have been following us on social media you will know that we have been working on a large whole home project since March 2022. This project originally began with the task of completing decoration works and adding blinds and furniture before the family moved into their new home. It has since grown, with the most recent work being to design and install a home gym in one half of the double garage which is attached to the property.

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A 3D model view of our design for a living room with a  TV above a fireplace.

Can I put a TV over a fireplace?

28 May 2023 - 8 min read

With TV sizes getting larger and larger these days, most people struggle with where to place their TV in the room. If the room has a chimney breast, the alcoves on either side of it are an obvious place to put the TV, which can work well. But if you have a larger TV and it isn’t going to fit in an alcove, where can it go?

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A photo taken from underneath the finished chandelier showing the bulbs and rings.

You may have seen from last month’s blog post that as part of the work on our ‘unique family home project’, we designed and installed a pretty special bespoke chandelier in the hallway. I thought you might be interested to see how this came about, and the steps that it took to get the piece made and installed.

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A photo of Louise Misell working at her desk.

A week in the life of a designer

28 Mar 2023 - 10 min read

My job can be so varied, with lots of different aspects to it, and most people seem to find it quite fascinating, so I thought I’d share what I do behind the scenes a little. I decided to keep a diary of a week of my working life, so you can see what I really do, and how glamorous it really is!

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A photo of the exterior of The Turner House Gallery in Penarth.

Whenever I’ve been interviewed, either for TV or a magazine article, I usually get asked where I get my ideas and inspiration from. When I’m working on a specific project I would say that my inspiration mostly comes from conversations I have with my clients, but as a visual creative, I like to keep things fresh by keeping a mental note of interesting and inspiring things whenever I see them.

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A photo of the brown velvet sofa with colourful cushions and the galls coffee tables in my finished living room.

Final Reveal - My living room

28 Jan 2023 - 7 min read

This month’s blog is the final reveal of my own living room project. The finished article has been a long time in the making, since I first began designing it back in 2020 (I seem to suffer from the same syndrome as all people in the trade, that work on your own house always goes to the bottom of the list). You can read more about the problems I was trying to solve here, but here’s a quick recap.

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A photo of the partially finished main bedroom with blush pink walls and a teal ceiling.

Work in Progress - The unique family home

28 Nov 2022 - 12 min read

I was contacted in February this year by a lovely young family who were moving from overseas back to the Cardiff area. They needed help getting their newly purchased home ready for them to move in to in July, and as they weren’t living in the area at the time, they asked me and my team to organise everything.

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A photo of the Decorex sign at the entrance to the exhibition

Decorex, the interior design trade fair, is back! It’s held every year at the beginning of October, but for obvious reasons the last two years it was held virtually, and this is the first year it’s been back in real life. And I have to say, it is joyous to attend in person. I ‘attended’ some of the online events over the last couple of years, and it wasn’t the same at all.

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Hands up who uses Pinterest? I know lots of people do - there are 16.7 million monthly users in the UK, lots of our clients use it, and we do too. It can be a great tool for you to see which interior styles you like, to gather your ideas together, and to help you create a ‘mood board’ of how you would like your home to look.

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A photo of some fabric, wallpaper and tile samples arranged together.

Try before you buy

28 Aug 2022 - 8 min read

As we’ve been living life through the lens of an online world for some time now, partly because of the pandemic, and partly because of the way our shopping habits and high streets have changed, I have been thinking about the importance of the physical world versus the digital or online world. Many people (including me) love the convenience of shopping online for things, and that you can now buy literally anything you need easily and quickly.

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A photo showing the living room with dark teal walls and light red built in cabinets.

Work in Progress - My living room

28 Jul 2022 - 9 min read

This month I’m sharing a personal work in progress with you - the transformation of my living room, which has been planned for a good while now, and dreamt about even longer. When we moved in to our house 17 years ago, the walls were painted cream and there were ill-fitting cream curtains on an even more ill-fitting pole (you can read about how I solved that problem in this blog post).

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A photo of the finished office showing the green walls with blue alcoves.

Down with dull offices!

28 Jun 2022 - 6 min read

This month, I have a special guest writer - my husband! He recently moved into a new office, and asked me for help with choosing paint colours for it. He decided to share the experience with you, as painting the new office has transformed it from a frankly boring room, into somewhere he feels comfortable and energised to work in. It also looks good on Zoom, which is essential these days.

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A photo of Re: mix paint Nether Red and Slaked Lime in a dining room.

Regular readers of my blog (or anyone that has ever talked to me about paint) will know that I am a big fan of the brand Little Greene. I love the depth and range of their colour palette, the fact that the paint is vegan, and that it covers and performs so well. They have just released a new paint collection, and I’m more excited than usual, because this one is a little different.

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A photo of our Quirky Victorian House project with an antique bedside table.

This month, we have an exciting guest post from Nia Wyn Rossiter, founder, director and interiors expert at Penderyn Antiques, who has written a guide to choosing and using antiques in our homes.

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A photo of the basin area of the loft conversion ensuite.

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.

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A photo of a teal sofa and footstool in a pink living room.

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.

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A computer generated visual of the room design.

Work in Progress - The room that glows

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.

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A computer generated render of my design for a living room, including a new fireplace

Interior designer as director?

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.

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A photo of the middle bedroom in the house, painted in a rich teal colour with a mustard yellow bed.

The Victorian Terrace - The Final Reveal

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.

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A photo of a bespoke desk I designed for a client, painted in a rich burgundy colour.

Work in Progress - The Bespoke Desk

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.

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A photo of some fabric, tile and paint samples with the Designer in a Box logo overlaid.

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?

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A photo of a wet room I designed using tiles as a feature wall.

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).

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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.

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A photo of designer paint brands colour cards

Is it over for designer paint?

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.

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A photo of a dark green living room with gold accents in the lighting and picture frames.

When it's time to hire a professional

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.

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My design for the plywood desk.

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.

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A design for a living room with the ceiling wallpapered.

Do ceilings have to be white?

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.

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A computer generated image of the proposed bathroom design.

Work in Progress - Small bathroom design

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.

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A close up photo of some cushions on a sofa.

Not just a cushion plumper

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?

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A close up of the bed with pink and green wallpaper behind, and dark green walls.

Work in Progress - Bancha Bedroom

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.

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A computer generated visual of a living room design for one of my clients.

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?

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A photo of the recently completed hallway with bespoke seating.

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.

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A photo of some building work in progress on a kitchen.

How to choose a builder

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).

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A photo of the newly decorated office, with a sofa bed and dark green walls, with a vibrant rug.

Work in Progress - The Loft office

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.

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A photo of the finished pool area, with four sunloungers lined up ready to relax on.

A little bit of escapism

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.

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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

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

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.

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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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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 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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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 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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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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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 the design blog, where you'll see posts about anything from the projects we are working on, to the latest fabric and wallpaper collections, and all things interiors related. We love colour, pattern, architecture and old buildings, and we love to share our finds with you.

Happy reading!

Intelligent paints from Little Greene

28 May 2024

A photo of a kitchen painted with Little Greene paints.
Little Greene have just launched an intelligent paint range - it is a paint colour and primer in one, so you can use one tin to transform any surface, without the need to use a separate primer first. Learn more about the range here.

Treat your senses with paint

28 Apr 2024

A photo of five paint colours in stripes, with paintbrushes underneath the stripes.
A collection of five brand new environmentally friendly paint colours from Earthborn. With names like 'Splashing', 'Balloon Ride' and 'Bunny Hop' they are designed to appeal to all of our five senses, and are almost good enough to eat. Available in all interior finishes, you can see the collection here.

The Great Outdoors

28 Mar 2024

A photo of a parasol made in colourful outdoor fabric in a garden.
New from one of our favourite brands, outdoor fabric from House of Hackney. Their colourful prints are durable and colourfast, so they are perfect for use outside, and the sun (if we get any) won't fade them. You can see the outdoor collection here.

Beata Heuman's Direktors Lampa

28 Feb 2024

A GIF of the Direktors Lampa in different positions.
A new product from one of my favourite designers - the ever so versatile Direktors Lampa from Beata Heuman. It has an articulated joint on the base and a directional shade holder, so you can move this lamp into the perfect position, whether that be for work or play.

Little Greene x National Trust

28 Jan 2024

a pantry room with green cupboards. The walls and ceiling are covered in green floral wallpaper

Little Greene have launched their latest collection of wallpapers in collaboration with the National Trust and they are just gorgeous.

Featuring eight historic wallpaper designs that have been created from original patterns found at several of the National Trust’s historic houses, the collection comprises an array of exotic birds, stylised florals and large-scale tropical murals. You can see the collection here.

All that glistens - antique copper from Soho Lighting

28 Nov 2023

A photo of three copper pans on a shelf with matching copper light switches beneath the shelf.

Add some warmth and interest to your interiors with the Autumnal hues of antique brass, copper and brushed brass light switches and plug sockets from The Soho Lighting Company. Our favourites are the antique copper collection, as they are hand finished to replicate the aged tone of Victorian cookware.

Paint made from olive stones?

28 Oct 2023

A photo of a mustard yellow painted wall with a dressed table in front of it.

Well known paint brand Mylands have created an innovative new paint range made from ground olive stones. Using a waste product and turning it into an eco friendly paint is genius as it has virtually no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and creates minimal environmental harm. It is available in all their beautiful colours, and will leave the air in your home purer after decorating, meaning you and your loved ones will benefit too.

Recycled yarn given a new life

28 Sep 2023

An image showing the new recycled fabric on a sofa with a yellow background and foreground.

kirkby design's latest range is a happy collection that not only looks good but does good too. Created using 100% recycled cotton yarn from the fashion industry these eco-conscious prints are the perfect way to bring a splash of colour into your home this Autumn.

Shower curtains can be cool too

28 Aug 2023

A photo of the Zsa Zsa shower curtain from Divine Savages.

Who says shower curtains have to be white (or greying with mould)? The fabulously patterned range from Divine Savages is a bold and easy way to add a wall of colour and pattern to your home with no commitment. Very easy to change, and very easy to fall in love with too!

Beautiful outdoor lighting

28 Jul 2023

A photo of one of the new lights from the Soho Lighting outdoor collection
Outdoor lighting is not usually something to get excited about. But this new collection from Soho Lighting is beautiful, and in on trend but timeless brass. Inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show and designed to compliment any style of planting, there are three new lights in this collection. They are all made in Britain and you can take a closer look here.

The perfect combo

28 Jun 2023

A photo showing a light switch which is made up of a combination of toggle and dimmer switches.
We often have lighting combinations in our rooms (such as kitchens) where some lights need to be dimmable, (say over the dining table) and others need to be a functional on or off switch. The clever people at Dowsing & Reynolds have combined these types of switches into one plate, which is not only practical but stylish too. You can see the range of switches and finishes available here.

Rebel Walls x Jack Kinsey

28 May 2023

A photo of Jack Kinsey in front of one of his wallpaper designs from Rebel Walls.
If you are a fan of the BBC's Interior Design Masters, you'll recognise Jack Kinsey, the runner up in the final of this year's show. He was our favourite to win, and is incredibly talented. It's lovely to see him team up with one of our wallpaper suppliers, Rebel Walls, to create a hand painted bespoke mural collection which brings the best of the past into the present. You can see the collab here.

Heritage tiles from House of Hackney

28 Apr 2023

A slideshow photo showing the new tile range from House of Hackney.
One of my favourite maximalist brands, House of Hackney, have released a stunning new collection of heritage tiles based on their most popular floral design, Artemis. They are hand made and traditionally glazed, and come in a rainbow of signature House of Hackney colours. You can buy the tiles here.

Fired Earth x Nina Campbell

28 Mar 2023

A photo of a bathroom room set with the new tiles on the walls and floors, with the designer in the corner of the image.
One of the best known interior designers, Nina Campbell, has collaborated with one of my favourite tile suppliers, Fired Earth, to produce an elegant range of beautifully patterned tiles, and a complementary range of understated plains. They are designed in her signature style, and are very easy to mix and match to create a relaxed look in your home. You can see the collection here.

New National Trust wallpapers

28 Feb 2023

A photo of the Poppy Trial wallpaper in the Masquerade colourway, with yellow paneling and a white sink.
A new collaboration from Little Greene and the National Trust, a collection of wallpapers spanning over 200 years of decoration. The designs have been created from original papers found at three of The National Trust's historic houses, and printed using traditional techniques. The collection includes hand painted birds and stylised florals, and comes in 45 colour ways. You can buy the collection here.

More pattern joy!

28 Jan 2023

A photo of one of the new cushions from Woodchip and Magnolia, in blue with a red fringe.
New from one of my favourite wallpaper suppliers, Woodchip & Magnolia, comes a long awaited collection of 18 bold and beautiful cushions. Inspired by some of their best selling wallpaper designs, they are made in tactile velvet and feature a pattern on one side and a coordinating plain on the other. You can see the collection here.

New colours from Fenwick & Tilbrook

28 Nov 2022

A photo of some shelving showing the five new colours from Fenwick & Tilbrook.
One of my favourite paint suppliers, Fenwick & Tilbrook, have just released 5 new colours. Named lovely things like Tarnished Brass and Spring Puffin, these warm, muted shades have been mixed by eye and are perfect for creating cosy, cosseting homes. You can see all their colours here.

Out of this world lighting

28 Oct 2022

A photo of the new Mars wall light from Mullan Lighting.
It just so happens that I'm excited by newness from Mullan Lighting again this month. They have launched a fabulous colourful series of wall lights, with celestial names like Mars, Neptune and Jupiter, and I just LOVE the use of colour in them. You can see the range here.

Introducing sustainable pendants from Mullan Lighting

28 Sep 2022

A photo of the new rattan pendants from Mullan Lighting.
The brand new Altus and Betty ranges of pendants from Mullan Lighting are beautiful, but we are also excited about them because they are handcrafted from rattan and abaca, which are sustainably sourced materials. You can see the Altus collection here, and the Betty collection here.

Whipping up a storm

28 Aug 2022

A photo of a neutral coloured stir runner with a red whipped edging.
A colourful innovation from stylish flooring brand Alternative Flooring - you can now add a colour of your choice to the edges of any stair carpet runner they are making for you, taking whipped edges from ordinary to full of fun.

A responsibly made lamp

28 Jul 2022

A photo of the new light from HouseOf.
New from lighting brand HouseOf, a responsibly made eco table lamp. Made from recyclable and waste materials, and designed and made in London, they will even take it back within the next ten years in exchange for 20% off another one of their products. You can learn more here.

Corduroy is cool again

28 Jun 2022

A photo of a curved chair covered in orange Sculpt fabric.
A new fabric from Kirkby Design called Sculpt includes these deep pile cotton velvets which look just like large versions of corduroy. The look takes me right back to my childhood, and is very comforting. You can see the collection here.

Colourful, wonderful boucle fabric

28 May 2022

A photo of a sofa upholstered in a blue Linwood Sienna boucle fabric
The trend for super soft Boucle fabric is still going strong, but up until now we've mostly seen it in creams and whites. One of my favourite fabric suppliers, Linwood, has produced a new colourful collection of 48 shades. It's a durable and soft fabric, and works particularly well on sofas and cushions.

We won!

28 Apr 2022

The Cardiff Life Awards 2022 winners badge
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

A room styled with items for the new collection of fabrics and wallpapers.
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.

Matchy Matchy

28 Feb 2022

A photo of Woodchip & Magnolia's wallpaper matching the fabric on the sofa.
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 photo of fabrics and cushions from the new collection from Prestigious Textiles.
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

A photo of the Nahla glass reeded pendant
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

A photo of some green Bert & May tiles from the new collection, in a bathroom painted green.

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

A promotional photo from Dulux showing the paint colour Bright Skies in a room setting.

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

A photo of the vintage botanical black wallpaper from Paloma Home.
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

A photo for Little Greene with room inspiration for using Carys yellow paint.
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

A photo of the green velvet cushion on a chair.
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

A photo of one of the new tiles in a kitchen roomset with pink walls and black bar stools.
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

A photo of two of the new light switches from Dowsing & Reynolds
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 photo of the some of the new Eco range of fabrics.
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

The sought and styled logo on a green background
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

A photo of a Blackpop design on a kitchen worktop.
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

The cover of the December 2020 issue of Cardiff Life magazine.
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

A tropical teal wallpaper plasters the wall above a wainscoting panelling and a navy fabric covered bench. The wallpaper is adorned with tropical wildlife and atmospheric jungle scenery including parrots and  jaguars.
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

A picture of designer Matthew Williamson, standing next to a blue dresser with a wide array of candles and candlesticks on the top. Behind him in a ornate floral wallpaper with a sunburst mirror
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

Walcot House felt cover curtain poles

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

A picture of the Amara Blog Awards vote for me sticker.
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

A photo of the Love Rugs website featuring the article.
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

A photo of the new Kami collection from Linwood fabrics.
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

A photo of the new birch handles from Superfront.
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.


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?