Monthly Archives: May 2011

Home Interior Styles

I heard a lovely thing on radio 2 recently: a caller said he knew it was Spring because his wife had said “this lounge needs painting.” I’m sure I say it every year but this is my favourite time of year. There is so much promise in the air, new buds are awakening every day and long forgotten bulbs are appearing like buried treasure from the damp earth.

For the interior one of the easiest ways to create a new look is with paint or wallpaper and I think the Radio 2 caller’s wife had a point. At this time of year light levels change and our homes do look different and a freshen up with some paint can work wonders. If you’re feeling brave you could also think about decorating a feature wall with a strong colour (if the room is big enough to take it) or a feature wallpaper. The fabric houses are full of strong primary colours at the moment with dominant patterns in striking color combinations so work these into your new scheme too. The colour at the Cannes Film Festival this week is reportedly WHITE but my Global Colour Research partners inform me that the colour for May is GREEN. There’s so much green about at the moment from the very restful to the striking and vibrant limes. I love some of the new looks the fabric houses are launching. If your budget is tight simply opt for a change of cushions and accessories but if you have more to spare then a new set of curtains or blinds will transform a room.

Little Greene Paint creates a striking feature wall

Paint has come a long way in recent years and we are all so much more aware of its environmental impact not just in terms of voc’s but in its storage and handling too.

One of my favourite paint company’s, Little Greene’s, offers a fantastic range of environmentally-friendly water-based paints. They are passionately committed to acting positively and responsibly in order to minimise the ecological impact of their manufacturing and distribution process. All the company’s paints are manufactured in their own UK factory using only the finest organic, natural and safe-synthetic pigments.

They have such a high reputation that Little Greene Paints were selected to decorate The Prince’s Foundation Natural House at this year’s Ideal Home Show.

The company has been working on this project with The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, an educational charity founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, for some time and is a source of considerable pride as well as much inspiration for Little Greene.

The Foundation aims at establishing sustainable, responsible construction methods for the planning, designing and building of community housing, thereby improving the quality of people’s lives.

Little Greene’s water-based paints are quick drying, virtually odourless and brushes can be safely washed in tap water after use. Colours selected are evocatively (and appropriately) named shades such as Salix, Celestial Blue, Acre, Linen Wash and Clay Mid. If you’d like more information on Little Greene visit their web site or give me a call and I’ll order samples for you.

I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

Garden jobs in May

Spring has definitely sprung and new life is appearing in the garden daily. If you took a leaf out of my tree and did a good tidy up last Autumn you should be feeling on top of things and even have time to read the seed catalogues at leisure. But if you’re still grappling with the onset of Spring and need to get ahead here are a few of the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.

Borders

  • I’ll be doing a final tidy through the borders cutting back all the herbaceous plants I left last winter and weeding where soil is light and crumbly.
  • Support taller herbaceous plants especially delphiniums and paeonie’s
  • Split clumps of perennial grasses to keep them alive in the centre

i love using antique pieces within my gardens to add interest even before the plants appear

  • Mulch, mulch and add more mulch – I’ll be adding well rotted horse manure together with the contents of my compost bin. I’m also just in time to add a sprinkling of bone meal to established hedges – rake up any leaves and sprinkle on the soil at the base.
  • Hedges are hungry feeders so fertilising is really important to keep them healthy.
  • Turn the compost heap and begin to add fresh material. If you have access to manure (chicken or horse) add this in layers and it will help to get the composting process going.

Lawns

  • Your lawn should have had its first few cuts.
  • Renovate grass as needed – if like my lawn it is filled with moss you can use this to your advantage and rake it up to make decorations for the house. Wire bunches of moss and flowers (blossom, primroses, and newly emerging leaves) around a wire ring or heart. Keep them watered or spray every day and they will last up to a week.

Ponds

  • Clear ponds and begin to plant marginal pond plants. Leave cleared plants on the waters edge overnight to allow any creatures lurking in them to find their way back to the water.

Think ahead

  • Plant up containers for summer and keep under cover until all frosts have gone
  • Sow annual flower and herb seeds.
  • Plant scented leaf pelargoniums (you will find some of my favourites at The Herb Nursery at Tistleton)
  • Plant out pot grown pumpkins, courgettes and cucumbers once frosts have passed

Don’t beat yourself up if the garden isn’t perfect – you have time yet.  I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home and garden. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

Designing garden ponds can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your garden