Monthly Archives: March 2012

Getting to the plastering stage on a design project

Everyone always says it but rooms look so much better once the plaster board goes up. They don’t even need to be plastered, just the fixing of the plasterboard changes the dimensions and makes them look tidier. It’s a bit like a messy garden getting a fresh fall of snow, it suddenly looks lovely!

Our design build and renovation project is no exception, it all seems to be coming together now the plasterboard is going up.

Where possible the plasterboard is screwed to the joists as in the utility

Taping the joints on the plasterboard

In other places we use dotting and dabbing, where the walls are dotted  with fixative for the plasterboard to adhere to

Part way through plastering the en-suite

Stilts: the tools of the trade for Paul the plasterer

Moving around is so much easier with stilts

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Sourcing oak beams for our design project

I know I keep saying it but we really are making progress on our design build and renovation project now.

This week’s exciting event was the arrival of the oak beam. Having got quite excited about a reclaimed beam I sourced at a local reclamation yard we realized it was both too big and too heavy to fit and have had to opt or a new beam after all. This was always the builders preferred choice (you know what you’re getting with new!) but I think even he was surprised at the size and weight of it. But it is now in place and has had its first lick of Liberon Superior Danish Oil, to protect it and bring out the natural grain.

The oak beam arrives on site

Moving the oak beam is a challenge

It has to come onto site via our neighbour’s field – thanks Nick and Sara

It takes 4 people to move it, and a bit of head scratching!

Once in the garden it’s a clear run (well perhaps not a run) to the house!

Looking into the new space with the oak beam in place

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

What’s new at London Design Week?

London Design Week has been a luscious affair. The warmth of colour within the new collections is breathtaking with some similar themes coming through.

The latest trend of mid century design is a strong one which we also saw at the Furniture fair at the NEC in January. Collections from new brand Scion are leading the way in this area.  There was also a huge showing of flags – as you’d expect in the Jubilee year and with the Olympics almost upon us.

GPJ Baker floral flag

The move towards art and the arts and modern crafts movement continues with brands pulling inspiration from crafters. New furniture from JVB, the South African brand is temptingly good. What they have done so well is to bridge the price quality divide and maintain beautiful styling and quality at a good price.

New looks from Mulberry include some amazing embroideries and complement the traditional English look which they have mastered so well.

I love this Mulberry sofa

Looking into the past for inspiration is the Zoffany brand. They have been working with mural artist and specialist in Elizabethan painted decoration Melissa White who has pulled together a beautiful collection under the Arden name. Taking inspiration from the Tudor period the collection of wallpapers, prints, weaves and embroideries uses subtle colours reminiscent of the period. “Putting the designs into new colourways for Zoffany has been a revelation as suddenly they have new personalities and a new lease of life, Melissa explained.

 

Verdure wallpaper from the Arden collection by Zoffany

Artist Melissa said “working with the zoffany design team has been a real inspiration as they have such knowledge of the making process which has enabled the wallpapers and fabrics to be manufactured on a large scale. Being able to bring my designs to a broader audience is amazing.”

Much of Melissa’s work is on old properties uncovering period work and recreating those designs in a more modern setting. It is seen by her clients but never gets seen by a wider audience, the new Zoffany collection will now bring her work to a much broader audience.

 

Zoffany’s Saffron Walden wallpaper form the new Arden collection

For a stunning look to a wall then the new Cole and Son wallpapers are hard to beat. The new Albemarle Coleridge collections would really make a statement in an entrance hall. While the metallic effect on the Albemarle Albery wallpaper is quite beautiful.

 If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

Plaster boarding a design build and renovation project

Work on our extension has moved on and we are now at plaster boarding stage. The insulation is all up and stud work for the new entrance hall is taking shape.

We spent the weekend on our hands and knees taking up the old quarry tile floors. We will now lay a self leveling compound before the under floor heating goes down and we re-tile.

I’m in love with the utility, I knew it was going to be an amazing space but now that the wall between  it and the garage is in place and insulated you can really see the space which is left. I can see a wall of art, or space for a collection – those of you who know me well will know I’m a great collector! Minimalist just isn’t me! The world is my oyster.

 

Plaster boarding to the bathroom ceiling

 

Stud work which forms the new entrance hall

 Getting started on the Quarry tiles

Removing tiles from the hall floor

Removing tiles from the old shower room and looking glamorous in my vintage 1950s head scarf!

 If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

How to manage first fix plumbing

If I have learnt one thing from being involved in design and build projects  it is that planning is everything. If you spend time planning, sitting with your architect and visualizing where everything will go before you sign off your plans you will be a step ahead from day one.

For us the first fix plumbing and electrics, which are almost complete, have gone well, with only minor changes along the way. I’d have preferred no alterations at all, but as the builder will tell, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. And if that woman is both the client and the designer he has no hope!

First fix plumbing

It has been quite tricky to find a shower which would fit into the corner of the bathroom due to the sloping ceiling but at last I have resolved this problem with a Daryl shower screen and a ceiling brace from another manufacturer. All other plumbing has stayed the same and my cardboard bathroom has been a great success.

Creating the new entrance hall

The builder removed the last of the old walls which means we have now created a larger entrance hall. I’d like to use the work’ grand’, but having visited a couple of large London buildings this week the idea that my 1820’s cottage entrance is grand is rather ridiculous!

I don’t know how the dog has kept dust free!

But oh the mess. It has been simply impossible to contain the dust this week and every surface has a subtle coating. The poor dog has had to move out of her bed which used to be in the downstairs shower room. This will soon become a small cloakroom and the entrance hall. And I know exactly how much piano practice our daughter has done by the state of the dust on the keys!

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

How to prepare a ‘first fix’ on a renovation project

It has been such a busy week on site. The builders have handed over to the plumbers and electricians this week and we are well ahead with our first fix on the electrics and plumbing. This usually happens after block work is up but before the walls are plaster boarded and plastered. In this way all the electrics and pipe work is hidden behind the plasterwork.

 

At this stage its really important to know exactly what lighting and power you need in each room. As a minimum I would put double sockets into the corners of each room but if you also know where you are putting your furniture you can think about where you might need power for a table lamp or sound system. Also if you are ever considering putting a flat screen TV on the wall get the electrics in now, you can always hide the sockets with a picture until you have the TV but putting the electrics in later can be a real pain.

Looking through the kitchen as first fix electrics go in

 

Our ensuite and dressing room has been quite a challenge as the ceiling slopes and getting a shower into a corner has been quite difficult. The room has been planned out using a cad system but to ensure we really do have the layout right I created  a cardboard cut out of the furniture. It was working quite well until James, our electrician, forgot it was cardboard and rested his clipboard on it and funnily enough it collapsed!

The cardboard bathroom in the new ensuite

If you can be quite clear at first fix stage what type of shower etc you are having then plumbing them in becomes much easier as you can work out how much water a second will be going down the drain and how big the pipes need to be etc.

As with most things reparation is everything and I have learnt over the years you can never be too organized.

 

 

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.