Welcome to my design blog, where you'll see posts about anything from my current interiors obsession, the latest fabric and wallpaper collections and 'how to' guides for all things interiors related. I love colour and mixing pattern, but also covet an uncluttered interiors look. I especially love the moment when you see something so beautiful that it makes you take a sharp intake of breath. Happy reading, and if you have any questions, would like to chat about anything interiors related, or share your interiors obsession, please use the contact form to get in touch.

Thank you,

Louise

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?

Colourful lamp update

A photo of my painted and wallpapered hallway cupboard.

If you’ve been reading my blog posts, you probably know that I’m a fan of Annie Sloan chalk paint, and I love using it to update and refresh tired bits of furniture. I recently painted and wallpapered an old Ikea cupboard in my hallway (which you can read about here) which I was really pleased with. Once I’d done that, I decided that the green lamp base I had on the cupboard wasn’t sitting quite right with the darker green walls of my hallway and the rich teal of the newly painted cupboard.

A photo of the green lamp base before painting.

I knew I wanted to add some more colour to the scheme, and found this fab lamp from Pacific Lifestyle:

A photo of a table lamp with an orange base that I liked.

I loved the colour and thought it would be a perfect contrast to the darker green and teal colours around it, but in the interests of not replacing things for the sake of it, I decided not to buy a new lamp and to paint my green lamp base in a similar colour instead.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, but it comes in a wonderful set of colours. I love them all, but the perfect colour for my lamp wasn’t there, so decided to mix the paint colour myself (this is something Annie suggests doing herself to get the right shade).

I bought two tester pots, one Barcelona Orange and one in Emporer’s Silk.

A photo of the Barcelona Orange tester pot. A photo of the Emperor's Silk tester pot.

Mixing the colours was as easy as putting them into a bowl and adding little bits of each until I was happy with the colour.

A photo of the two open tester pots before I began mixing them.
A photo of the colours being mixed together. A photo of the finished mixed colour.

Now the colour was right, I was ready to start painting. I wanted the lamp to have a smooth contemporary finish, so as Annie Sloan advises, I added a small amount of water to the paint and to achieve a flat, non-textured look.

A photo of me adding water to the paint.

I worked all the way around the lamp, turning it as I went so that there were no drips. I used two coats of paint to cover the green of the lamp base, and then left it to dry.

A photo of my painting the lamp base.
A photo of the lamp painted three quarters of the way.
A photo of the lamp with two coats of paint on it.

Once the paint was dry, I used the Annie Sloan wax to finish and protect the chalk paint.

A photo of the Annie Sloan wax and a cloth to apply it with.
A photo of me applying the wax with a cloth.

I then put the lamp back together and added the shade. It really was that simple. Here’s the finished lamp back on the cupboard.

A photo of the finished lamp sitting on the hallway cupboard.

I really love this pop of colour against the dark walls and cupboard. It picks out the colour of the terracotta tiles on the floor, and the rust colour on the cupboard handles. The reason this colour works so well is that red-orange is opposite blue-green on the colour spectrum, so the shades really contrast and set each other off.

The colour reminds me of Living Coral, Pantone’s colour of the year for 2019. That colour works so well with turquoise for the same reason. I think this shade has lifted my whole hallway scheme, and I like it so much it’s inspired me to add more of it into my hallway - watch this space to see where it turns up next!

 

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A pic of the living space I designed remotely in London, and went to take some photos of when I was visiting Decorex. The clients wanted some colour but to keep the space light and bright, so we went for off white walls (never brilliant white!) and added colour in the furniture. It's a very simple design (which is what they wanted) but the personal gallery wall and warm colours make it home. Here's a last pic of the Victorian terrace knocked through room. This piece of original art was central to the design as the couple love collecting art and this is a favourite. It was hidden away in the back room, but now really pops against the contrasting pink wall.  I love this piece - it reminds me of those '70s prints of the blue girl and I could look at it for hours. And here is the other part of the 'knocked through room'. The clients were struggling with a use and identity for this room, as happens so often with this middle reception room in a Victorian terrace. It would have been a formal dining room but now we eat in the kitchen we're not sure what to do with it. I suggested some cocktail chairs and a console table and to use the shelves as a bar area, and now they have a place to relax with drinks. The clients say that 'People feel transported into a luxury members club or hotel which is exactly the lux feel we wanted from the design whilst allowing us to use the space in a way that works for everyday'. Here's the other half of the two rooms in the Victorian terrace I worked on. It was a lovely bright Autumn day when I shot these so I'm posting to remind myself of the good parts of our Autumn weather (not like the dreary wetness of today). I'm also feeling a bit under the weather and looking at this room makes me smile, so here's my present to me! Another view of the Victorian terrace with its two living spaces opened up. The clients were struggling with how to decorate the spaces as they wanted each room to feel like it has its own identity but for both spaces to work together. As you can see each room from the other, we decided that colour was the way to visually link the rooms and took time choosing the right colours. I love the contrast of the lighter pink room with the darker, more cosy snug room in the background. Luckily the clients did too! Another shot of the knocked through Victorian living room. I was chatting to a friend the other day about how I approach design, and I realised that my theatre degree influences me quite a lot. I start with the practicalities first as a space has to be functional and comfortable to use, but then I add the 'show' on top. I like a bit of drama and staging in my interiors, and the sense that everywhere you look there is something interesting to see.