Do you need an expert eye to look over your renovation plans? Try our Renovation Plan Review service

Our Renovation Plan Review service explained

8 min read

Published 28 Feb 2024

 

A image showing several floor plans and technical drawings

If you’ve ever been through a renovation of your home (or someone close to you has), you’ll know that the process usually goes like this: have some plans drawn up by an architect, apply for planning permission, receive quotes from builders, agree a fee, and then start work. So far so good, but as the work progresses the builders will inevitably have questions about where you’d like to place things like plug sockets, lighting and radiators and you’ll realise that as you’re not quite sure where you plan to put your furniture yet you can’t make these decisions. You’ll also realise that the builders need answers to these questions NOW, otherwise you will hold up your build, so you make decisions on the hoof and hope that everything works out. When all the stress and mess 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…

Last year, we were in the process of developing a service for clients who are embarking on a renovation to offer an expert eye on their plans before work begins, when a potential client got in touch needing help with just this situation. The timing couldn’t have been better! The couple were planning a side and rear extension, which would open up the back of the house to create a large kitchen/diner/living space with a separate utility room and downstairs loo. This is how the space looked before any work started:

A photo of a kitchen with white walls and wooden cabinets
A photo showing a back door and window to garden, with white walls
A photo of a living room with white walls and ceiling, and patios doors to the garden
A photo of a dinning room with all white walls and wooden doors leading to a living room

This is what the clients said when they got in touch with us:

As neither me nor my wife are very creative we feel like we need some help in planning that open plan space - especially since it'll be quite large. Although we're obviously a way off of getting into furnishings etc, we're keen that we don't end up making a mistake with the placement of a radiator and/or missing a trick to modify something before the building starts.

This was exactly what we were developing the service for - to prevent mistakes at this stage so that things like the electrics would be planned properly, and not have to be figured out once the building work started. It’s both difficult and expensive to sort these things out after work has finished, so our new service would look over building plans and consider lighting and electrical placements, the best way to heat the space, and possible furniture layouts (to make sure that the dream sofa would fit). We decided to call it our ‘Renovation Plan Review Service’.

We offered this service to our new clients and they were delighted - it was just what they needed, so we got to work. The clients sent over the plans they’d received from their architect and I spent time looking over them. We arranged a meeting to drill down and find out what they wanted from the space. One of the first questions I asked was ‘why are you doing the extension?’, as understanding this would help me prioritise their needs. They answered that they needed more storage, the existing kitchen was too small and felt cut off from the rest of the space, and they wanted a lounge area along with a dining table, essentially a family room where everyone could hang out together. The separate lounge at the front of the house currently had double doors to the new space, but the plan was to remove these doors and block up the wall to fully separate it and create a more adult living room. Here’s a section of the original plans:

An architects floor plan of a hose
Looking at the plans, the kitchen seemed to be in the right place for the space, but the original dining room was to be opened up and had been earmarked as the dining area, which was quite far away from the kitchen. The remaining large space in front of the dining area was marked as a sitting area. The clients didn’t know how the furniture could be configured and were worried that they would have a large open space with nothing to fill it. They wanted space for a corner sofa, a TV (ideally in a media wall with a fireplace), a desk, a large kitchen island with a hob in it and space for bar stools, and were considering adding underfloor heating as it currently looked like there was little wall space for radiators. They were worried about the extra expense of underfloor heating and wondered if they really needed it. I explained that as part of my review of their plans, I would work out the volume of the space and how much heat it would need to keep it warm and then tell them if we could fit enough radiators on the available wall space to heat it effectively.

The clients had already tweaked the first plans - they realised that there was too much glass in the kitchen area and reduced the 5 metre bi-folds to 4 metre ones, and also planned to change the bi-folds in the sitting area to a large window. This would give them some extra wall space and more options for placing radiators.

When we met to go over the architect’s plans, the first thing I suggested was to swap over the dining and sitting areas, so there would be a natural place for a corner sofa and a media wall with TV. I also suggested that the wall by the entrance to the room be made slightly longer, as this would add another place for a radiator and provide a ‘back’ for the corner sofa to go up against. The next thing on their wishlist to address was storage - the couple had stated that one of the main reasons for carrying out this work was to improve storage (with two younger children, this is often a problem in a large open plan space). The current plans had nowhere earmarked for storage at all, so I suggested a run of storage along the wall from the sitting area up to the back window. This would include a floor to ceiling media wall to house the TV with cabinets, a set of tall cupboards, followed by a built-in bench with drawers underneath. The new desk could then go at the other side of the window.

Next, I planned out the kitchen island with enough depth for two rows of units (to give storage at the front and back of the island) and an overhang for bar stools. The hob could easily fit on here, so that was ticked off the couple’s wishlist too. Here are the reworked plans I produced showing the proposed furniture layout:
A floorpan showing furniture placement for a living room, kitchen & dinning room.
I then spent time planning out the lighting placements, taking into account the roof lights in the ceiling and the steel beams needed to support the house, and provided an electrical plan to show the builders how and where the lights would be switched on and off, so they could add the cabling in the right places. I then worked out how much energy would be needed to heat the space effectively - which was approximately 13,000 BTUs (a large open space with lots of glass and a high ceiling will take a lot of heating). I looked at the places available to add radiators and broke this down into the heat output each radiator would need to provide, so the couple could find radiators that matched the correct heat output. Working out this meant that the clients didn’t have to have underfloor heating, which they had said they preferred not to install to stay within their budget. However big the budget is, there is always a compromise to be made somewhere, and using our service meant that they could confidently rule out underfloor heating knowing that the space would be warm enough.
A technical drawing of an electrical plan for a room

When I presented the plans and my recommendations to my clients, we also discussed the benefits of moving the door to the utility room out of the kitchen area and into the entrance area. This would give them more space for extra kitchen units on one side of the wall, and extra utility room units on the other side of the wall, so we decided to go ahead with this change and I reworked the plans. My finished presentation included a furniture layout, with radiators, sockets and light switches all mapped out, ready for the builders to follow. The large empty space that the couple weren’t sure what to do with now had a purpose, and they could go ahead with the build knowing that their plans would work for them and the way they wanted to use the space. Here are a few shots of the build in progress.

A room with bare plaster walls and concrete floor
A room with bare plaster walls, a concrete floor and large bi fold doors
A room with bare plaster walls, a concrete floors, bi fold doors and a window

The couple were so delighted with our help that they asked us to continue working with them to design and specify all the items for the space, including the built-in storage and seating, which we were more than happy to do. It gives me joy to think that we developed the right service just at the perfect time for this couple, and it has helped improve their daily lives. Anything we can do to make the renovation process less stressful and run more smoothly is essential in my view, and I think this service will be invaluable for other home owners. Here’s what our clients had to say about the experience of using our renovation plan review service:

The footprint of our extension was not ideal and, once we'd found a builder, we had a sudden panic that we'd spend a lot of money extending to only end up with lots of 'dead' space! Because of that, we found Louise and her renovation plan review service. Louise listened very carefully to our requirements and not only fitted in everything we wanted, but managed to actually exceed what we thought was possible with the space. We're delighted with how it has turned out

 

A rendered image showing a kitchen, dinning table and sofa
A rendered image showing how the space will look once complete

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!

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.

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?