Design To Live Well.....

Design To Live Well.....

I am a believer in wellness in the home which is why my design vision is focused on Light Space and Colour. It was therefore interesting to see at 100% Design the league of young designers who are striving to create good out of bad. These young ambitious creative individuals are looking at waste materials and sustainable renewable products which can be reengineered for good.

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How much baby do we really need?

How much baby do we really need?

We all do it. Day dream I mean. Hopes, aspirations… what we want.

Now there’s a question.....

What we want or more appropriately what you want.

Day dreaming whilst having a coffee, or watering the plants or walking along the high street window shopping. I did this just the other day on my way down Regents Street towards the Royal Academy for the Summer Exhibition. I was people dodging. I rarely meander so people dodging is an occupational hazard. Anyhow as I was overtaking….. a window caught my eye. The way this window was ‘styled’ immediately caught my attention.

Style or styling is a big part of interior design and I bet a lot of you daydream about that too. You know… how do I fashion cushions on my sofa. How do I make my bed to look like the one in the swanky hotel advert.

How do I do that. and how do I do that without spending a fortune.

Help is at hand.

Of course you could ask me or another designer. But you might not want to for various reasons.

So I’m here to give you a little midweek advice.

Ralph Lauren looking cushions.jpg

Start here…

Style doesn’t always have to cost a fortune…

I cruised into this store and I was pleasantly surprised.

I wandered around for a couple of minutes and stumbled across these cushions (pictured above). I thought ‘hang on’ these are reminiscent of Ralph Lauren. OK I know the throw and chair probably gives it way. But you have to admit, these a cool.

You may well have just had to spend a small fortune on your daughter’s prom dress along with hair, nails, spray tan, shoes, handbag and the Limo!!

And now you are thinking what about me! I seriously want my bed to look a little more alluring or I’m fed up with that bloody bathroom mirror.


Err hello

what about meeee…..?

This store is very well styled. And this is where I am coming from.

If you are struggling to ‘style’ your home. Go and seek inspiration and you will find it here, that is for sure. I continued walking around, had a chat with the stylist as you do when you are nosy interior designer. They have created a stylish emporium offering interior accessories of all nature at affordable prices in a store that is a real pleasure to walk around.

White Company Styled Bed.jpg

Who wouldn’t..

Want to sink into this bed….?

Take this bed for example, the desire just to throw yourself onto it is quite appealing. I love walking into my bedroom in the evening and seeing my bed looking desirable… cozy, comfy, stylish. The bed in all the advertising images, that has the coffee tray and the magazines on it. Come on you know what I mean…



OK….. I’ll put you out of your misery. Who am I talking about?

H&M. The fashion brand.

They have a home store on Regent Street that is fabulous and there is even a cheeky little cafe at the rear of the store when you can sit and contemplate your forthcoming purchases whilst having coffee and a cheeky cake.

Take photos with you phone, make notes and emulate style to Bring Your Home To Life…..

Happy Shopping!


I’ve read an article this morning in The Daily Telegraph about home storage and how it can be the bane of your life.

Let’s face it we never have enough.

Of course advertising and marketing does not help us, continually encouraging us to buy more, thereby increasing the weight of the creaking drawers. All those clothes vying for wardrobe space. We end up pushing cupboard doors shut hoping the problem will ‘go away’.

What to do?

As an interior designer that is a question we are often asked. How can we improve the storage in our home so that it is not so cluttered?



A collection of things lying around in an untidy mess. Clutter is a thing that doesn’t belong in a space because either it belongs somewhere else in your home or it doesn’t belong there at all because it no longer ‘serves a purpose’.

Here we go. In order to have order here are 3 steps to take control and bring your home to life.

Step 1. The logical first step towards solving home storage is to look at what is no longer needed and either give it to the charity shop or throw it away in the dustbin…. lurking the garage.


That’s right..

Put it in the dustbin….

Easier said than done because as humans we cling to stuff like that because of the ‘emotional’ connection to it.

Step 2 is to resolve that connection by considering what value it has to you.

I’ve been working with a client recently who has very strong emotional connections to several items in her home. Her husband would ‘chuck it all out’. However his wife is emotionally connected to them because the items were given to her by her late mother. Therefore that connection is completely understandable.

Once you have established what that connection is it is easier to part with it. I’ve had to do this a few times in my life due to the circumstances I have found myself. I moved out of a very large converted barn into a one bedroom flat. You can imagine the dilemma especially with clothes and shoes. One bedroom. One wardrobe. Horror of horrors….. something has to go. I did say goodbye to some ‘old friends’ as they had no where to go… sob!

However there is one thing I cannot part with and that is art. I’ve collected quite a lot over the years whilst travelling etc. Therefore I have to say some of that is in paid storage as I’ve run out of walls to display it.

I’m not practising what I preach here at all am I.

I’m digressing!

Getting back to storage and how to manage it.

Lack of storage is directly related to floor space and how you can squeeze in a cheeky cupboard or box here and there. Ikea has made a fortune providing simple cost effective storage solutions.

My approach is to look at the entire floor area. Reassign furniture to another place. It may be sitting in an area of your home that is ideal for storage but because there is an heirloom occupying that space, you cannot see it.



The final frontier…

Step 3. Take a deep breath, a piece of graph paper a pencil and a tape measure. Measure the room and the items in it. How it is positioned? Can it be moved? If so move it. Thereby creating an area where storage can either be built or bought. Remember sometimes an item of furniture will look stunning somewhere else especially if you paint it and put some sexy new handles on it.

A sad old chest of drawers, given a new lease of life to be used elsewhere in your home.

Leaving you with space!!

To create much needed storage.

How satisfying.

All that was clutter is now carefully and tidily stored away.

To put things in order means you put your past in order too.
— Maria Kondo

If you need help ‘space planning’ and would like to explore your options. Come say hi. I’m always happy to chat.

3 Reasons To Use Colour In Your Home…..

To give you an insight into colour, first here are some cheeky facts :

In 1666, English scientist Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when pure white light passes through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colours. Newton also found that each colour is made up of a single wavelength and cannot be separated any further into other colours. The colours of the rainbow : Red, Green, Violet, Indigo and Blue. Today we use the colour wheel because it displays the relationships between colours. In general, the way colours contrast with each other. These can be defined as either analogous or complementary.


The Colour Wheel

According to colour theory, harmonious colour combinations use any two colours opposite each other on the colour wheel, any three colours equally spaced around the colour wheel forming a triangle, or any four colours forming a rectangle (actually, two pairs of colours opposite each other). The harmonious colour combinations are called colour schemes. (By the way, this image is drawn by my sister Wendy).

Several ancient cultures, including the Egyptians and Chinese, practiced chromotherapy, or the use of colours to heal. Chromotherapy is sometimes referred to as light therapy or colourology and is still used today as a holistic or alternative treatment. Red was used to stimulate the body and mind.. Yellow to stimulate the nerves and purify the body. Orange to heal the lungs and increase energy levels. Blue to soothe illness and treat pain and finally Indigo shades were thought to alleviate skin problems. Therefore today, this theory is used in interior design. Colour does make a difference in the home. Personally I can’t live in a ‘white’ home it is too harsh on the eye. Why have a home that resembles the interior of a ping pong ball. I believe colour “brings your home to life”.

So, looking at the application of colour in interior design and the chromotherapy above, it is easy to see how using colour will affect your mood, your home life and those around you.

Number 1 - Using Colour Creates Mood

Using colour in your home says a lot about you, and can send a strong message creating an overall impression of who you are.  If you enter a dark home, your mood will instantly change and the same can be said if you walk into a stark white hallway. Therefore, colour creates mood. The trick is to learn how to use it so that your home really does reflect who you are. Colour is in my soul and it is one the key drivers as to why I do what I do. Way back when I bought my first apartment I painted the walls in the living room the most rich red by Fired Earth, Bengal Rose. I will never forget how it transformed a very large Victorian living room into a rich warm haven, but not only that, how it made ME feel. You will instinctively know how you feel about colour when you look in your wardrobe. It is a good place to start because what looks good on you will very likely also look good in your home. Depending on the hue, it will engender calm or invigorate with energy.


Colour Is a Power that Directly Influences the Soul

- Wassily Kandinsky

Number 2 - Make A Statement

There has been a lot of noise about statement walls and whether they are in or out.

Ignore all of it!

Go with your gut. If you want a statement wall have one, because it is your home. It is about you so my advice is ‘go for it’.

I love a statement wall not only because of the impact it will make in a room but it is also a great way to introduce colour if you are reticent about using that colour on all four walls. Let’s face it, paint is far easier to change than wallpaper, but there is also another factor, light. Look at how light affects paint. I love this element of using paint because it changes throughout the day.

Here is a quick and dirty on what to consider when applying paint.

North facing can be challenging so either go for dark rich shades to create a sultry mood or to maximise light and space, go for light neutrals with warm undertones. South facing rooms enjoy some level of light all day which means that both warm and cool shades are equally practical. East facing, light can vary the most throughout the day; bright morning sunlight fades to darker evenings meaning that these rooms can look gloomy as the day goes on. Blues, greens and other cool tones are brought to life in the morning sun but still retain some light and vibrancy as the day goes on. Finally west facing, consider how colours in west facing rooms will be affected by both fading sunlight and artificial light. Whites and neutrals will make the most of any light in a west facing room.

Number 3 - Proportion

Using lighter colours will make a room look bigger and brighter. Light and bright walls are more reflective, making a space feel open and airy, which helps maximize the effect created by natural light. Dark colours tend to absorb light, making a room look smaller, but equally if you want a room to be cozy and restful area, dark colours are key.


Light, Bright Walls..

Are more reflective….

For an optimum effect, select soft tones of off-white, blue and green, and always remember that brighter rooms look bigger and more inviting. I love to paint skirting and door frames in a lighter tone. By doing so, the walls will appear farther back, making the room seem bigger.

To give the illusion of space, if your walls are painted a rich or deep colour, a pure white ceiling will seem even lower because of the sharp horizontal line between the wall and the ceiling as the two colours create where they meet; paint the ceiling the same colour as the walls. Abigail Ahern uses this technique a lot. She is the founder of the “dark movement”. See below.

Add Bright Colours…

To these dark, inky shades and make your room pop!

In terms of what paint. Of course we all know Farrow and Ball, Little Greene etc. However, please do seek out Benjamin Moore, an emporium of colour. Below is an image of a project that is underway use Benjamin Moore paint.

Basi MBR Gray Shadow copy.jpg

This paint has a lovely rich hue and looks fabulous as the light changes throughout the day and when lit at night from the spots above.

If you would like to know more about using paint in your home, please do give me a call. I am more than happy to pop round and have a chat.

Come say hi!