Thank you for a great year!

Published 27 Dec 2019

I hope that you’ve managed to survive Christmas, and the many stresses it can bring. I hope that you even managed to enjoy it too. I spent time relaxing with my family and had some time to think about some things. It’s nearly the new year, and a new decade is also about to begin. It’s exciting to think about the possibilities a new year brings, and it’s also a good time to look back, celebrate our successes and think about how we’d like next year to play out. So, I’ve been doing just that and I wanted to write a quick post to let you know what I’ve been up to. I also want to say a huge thank you to all of my wonderful clients. I’ve had a really fantastic (and busy!) year, and it wouldn’t have been possible at all without you lovely people. Here’s how I spent some of my time:

A photo of me at a client consult.

me in the middle of presenting a scheme at a client's house

This year, I have completed 36 home consultations, designed 29 room schemes, consulted on 10 other projects, and managed the installation of 11 projects. I was also lucky enough to have been nominated for an Amara Interior Blog Award, and was a finalist in both the Cardiff Life Awards and the Cardiff Property Awards in the category of Best Residential Interior Designer. I didn’t win the awards, but I was so grateful to be a finalist - something I thought was only for really well established businesses and not for little ol’ me.

A digital window sticker of for being a Cardiff Life Awards finalist. A digital window sticker of for being an Amara Interiors Blog Awards finalist. A digital window sticker of for being a Cardiff Property Awards finalist.

 

I’ve also been on the telly, in a programme called ‘The Best House in Town’ shown on the BBC. It’s still on the iPlayer as it’s been repeated a few times this year, and I’m still bumping into people who have seen it! It’s truly strange to meet new people who say that I look really familiar but they can’t place me - I then have to sheepishly ask ‘did you see me on the telly?’! Wierd.

I wrote a blog post about what it was like to have a TV crew invading my house whilst the programme was being filmed, which you can read here.

A photo of some of the judges of The Best House in Town in my hallway.

three of The Best House in Town judges discussing my hallway

Two of the schemes I designed this year were for amazing charities working in my local community. One was for The Speakeasy Law Centre, who are part of a national network of dedicated teams giving free legal advice on issues such as benefits and housing. You can read more about the designs I produced for them in this blog post here. I also helped out the TAVs Centre, who provide hot meals and a safe space for the vulnerably housed and homeless. Both of these buildings were not looking their best and not projecting the welcoming vibe that the people running them wanted, and the people using the services needed. I was more than happy to give my time because I really believe that the places we spend time in have a huge effect on our wellbeing. If those places are warm, welcoming, clean and practical to use, then we will feel more relaxed and at ease with the world. Without the services that these charities provide, many people would find it difficult to survive, and I hope that the small bit I’ve done to help refurbish these spaces means they will not just help people to survive, but also help them to thrive. 

A computer generated image of my design for the reception area of the Law Centre.

my design for the reception area of The Speakeasy Law Centre

One big thing I’ve been working on throughout the year is the redesign of my new website. Most of my clients seem to find me through my website, so it’s really important that it shows you who I am and the kind of work I can do. It’s been a lot of work to juggle the redesign with all my client work, but I hope you’ll agree that it looks better. I’m so grateful to the clients who helped me by allowing me to photograph their completed projects to go on the site. Please have a look around the new site when you have a spare 5 mins - I’d love to know what you think! 

A screenshot of the welcome message on the home page of my website.

the image which greets you as you open my new website

So, those are the highlights of my work year - I hope that next year will be just as busy and just as much fun. I also hope that your new year will bring you happiness and joy, a life full of colour, and maybe a well designed home too. To all of my clients, past and present, I want to say thank you for trusting me with your homes, going with some of my more crazy ideas, and for appreciating the way I do things. I certainly appreciate you!

 

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

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?