Monthly Archives: January 2013

New interior launch from Scion

Scion_WabiSabi_17_LRAs the weather warms up we all start to think about brightening up our interiors and what better way than with one of the new Spring collections. Young brand Scion has a fantastic new collection launching in March and here’s a sneak preview.  Wabi Sabi, is a striking and eclectic collection of prints, weaves and wallcoverings, which adheres to the Scion principles of cutting-edge, individual and affordable fabrics and wallcoverings.

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The collection name ‘Wabi Sabi’ originates from a Japanese philosophy, which embraces two separate concepts: ‘Wabi’ – humble and simple, and ‘Sabi’ – aged and weathered. Together they represent the most honest, modest and simple form of beauty with calmness, confidence and respect: a beauty, which transcends perfection and celebrates the loveliness inherent in the less-than-perfect.

Scion’s Wabi Sabi collection celebrates the beauty of imperfection, encapsulating the spirit of age-old hand crafted techniques. The 13 fabrics and 10 non-woven wallpaper designs are inspired by traditional methods such as block-printing, shibori, batik and ikat. They appear naive, natural, casual and uncontrived, perhaps even timeworn and weathered, but at the same time they are refreshing and uplifting, in a stunning array of mood-enhancing shades.

The motifs are a beguiling blend of abstract, geometric, organic and floral, which make a powerful statement individually and mixed together. Painterly brushstrokes, stripes, chevrons, ikats, batiks, tie-dyes, ink spots, ombrés and floral motifs all fuse effortlessly to create an understated, sometimes mis-matched yet always harmonious, interior.

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The colour palette enhances the designs and reflects their inherent charm and simplicity – and with names like this who could resist? – midnight, indigo and ink; chalk, stone and hay; charcoal, ebony, slate and smoke; apple, grass, moss and obsidian; vermilion, baked earth, umber and oxide; viridian, seaglass and teal; raspberry, amethyst and clover.

Wabi Sabi’s printed fabrics and wallcoverings are manufactured in the UK, by factories that have clear commitments and initiatives towards the care of the environment and to sustainability.

Wabi Sabi upholds Scion’s accessible pricing policy: printed fabrics start at £26.00/mtr and wallcoverings are £32.00/roll. The collection will be available nationally and internationally from March 2013. If you would like samples of any of the fabrics or wallpapers please give me a ring. Tel: 01572 747318

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I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire 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.

 

 

 

Winter Watch

Well, winter has arrived. The roads are treacherous, the heating is on full and the wood burner has been alight too. I was going to write a lovely piece on the new Little Greene Wallpaper collection which they have just launched but yesterday I spent my afternoon in a ditch rather than in the office.

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No, I’m not doing a piece for the BBC’s new Winter Watch bird watching programme. I was going to see a client with some beautiful garden design plans when I skidded on some snow as I went around a hairpin bend. Before I knew it I was in the ditch. It all happened in slow motion and, if I say so myself, was elegantly done!

Almost as soon as I got myself together I noticed a little Robin hopping around the hedge and keeping me company. Later a Wren arrived too so I could probably have done a special piece on Winter Watch. As I was pulled out I saw the Robin tug an enormous grub out of the ditch where the car had been so it was worth his company.

I was amazed at how many people stopped to check I was OK and to offer help. From Steve the first guy on the scene who asked the local framer to come and see if he could pull me out (unfortunately no – I had to wait for a recovery truck) to the guys at Adams Garage in Morcott who checked the car over and blasted the mud and stones from under the wheel arches. This is what living in a rural community is all about – people rallying together to look after each other. Thank you to all of you.

I wasn’t hurt and as I said to Mr H at the end of the day – the car is just metal, it’s people that matter: and that’s what the people of Rutland showed me yesterday.

If you have a garden project in mind and need some garden design advice or help with planting then please get in touch. I work on garden design projects across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northampton. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

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 ensure the grass isn’t greener in your neighbour’s garden

A recent report in The Telegraph newspaper explained how experts were worried about the state of UK gardener’s lawns in the coming years. At this time of year there is not much you can do about your lawn. After all the rain we have had, made most lawns are too wet to even walk on them.

Here’s what The Telegraph had to say:

“Experts fear the British summer will be prone to extreme weather conditions in years to come, with periods of torrential rain and prolonged droughts becoming the norm.

As a result maintaining a classic lawn will get harder, prompting warnings that gardeners seeking the ‘bowling green’ look will have to make do with rougher grass instead.

Drier springs and wetter summers will also ensure plants in beds and borders will struggle to flourish.

The stark warning was been made by experts from the Met Office and the horticultural world during a recent Royal Horticultural Society conference.

Professor Richard Bisgrove, an expert in turf management and garden history, believes people will have to abandon the dream of having the perfect lawn”.

Richard was the lead plant lecturer on my garden design course at Reading University back in 1999 and he was a fantastic teacher. I learnt so much from him that I still apply to my garden business today. His lawn tips from The Telegraph are really useful:

“Instead gardeners should raise the height of their lawnmower blades in the summertime to ensure a healthy patch of grass.

The retired University of Reading lecturer said: “My own view is that climate change won’t affect gardens dramatically but the weather will.

“Nobody can tell one year to the next what we will have.

“In terms of grass I would say to a large extent the less effort you put into it the better.

“People should accept a slightly higher cut of grass, more daisies and buttercups.

“In general, intensive inputs into grass management are futile.

“If you are after the perfect lawn you have to cut it closely, at least once a week, burning fossil fuels, using more fuel.

“There are some people for whom the perfect bowling green lawn is the only thing they can live with so they will have to pay the price for it.

“Very short grass will go brown in just a short spell of dry weather so you have to irrigate, remove moss and weeds which all uses up more resources.

“Most people who now aim for the bowling green look are probably over the age of 75.

“Most younger people are willing to hack at it a bit when it bothers them then leave it at that.”

Professor Julia Slingo, the chief scientist at the Met Office, also believes gardeners will need to adapt to the change.

She said: “We should all be worried about climate change, we are taking the planet into unchartered territories through our own activities.

“We are taking our planet into a climate that we haven’t seen for a very, very long time, going back to before there were gardens in the UK.

“For us in the UK we will be buffered from most of the climate change because we live downstream from the Atlantic Ocean, that is why we have lovely gardens now.

“(The weather) will continue to be very variable and as gardeners we need to adapt to that.”

You can certainly say that again. Let’s see how we can all adapt to the variations in weather this year and hope it’s not the wettest drought we have ever experienced!

 

If you have a garden project in mind and need some garden design advice or help with planting then please get in touch. I work on garden design projects across Lincolnshire, Rutland and Northampton. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

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.

 

New Year, New Tidy Home

January usually brings lots of New Year’s resolutions, we’ve been making them for over 4,000 years. Many of us will have pledged to get fitter or to de-clutter. But how many of them are still intact?  I can’t really help with the getting fitter part but here’s some simple solutions to get a wardrobe, a room or your entire home in order.

Start with a small area – maybe an area that really bothers you.  If you start with an area that is very visible or that you use often, you will feel wonderful once it’s done and be motivated to carry on.

Focus on one area at a time – don’t get distracted and pulled into other areas. Concentrate on doing just one area and then celebrate your success.

To stay motivated you need to make it a habit.  So, for example, try to sort through your mail as soon as you get home. Try to touch each piece of paper just once and then make the decision right then and there: what you need to keep, bin or action later.

Set a realistic time limit – maybe you have an hour, so tackle the boots and shoes in the hall cupboard and then the next day you can do the coats.

With a large area or room – have five different boxes or bags.  Label them – TO KEEP IN ROOM – STORE SOMEWHERE ELSE – CHARITY – BIN and REPAIR.  Once they are filled, take care of them quickly.  I load the charity items in to the car and next time I’m out I drop them off.  You won’t miss them, and someone else will be thankful for your generosity. Or try using Freecycle, there are groups across the country and you will be doing someone else a good turn.

Move items to the place where you use them the most, for example, rain coat by the front door.

Try to be ruthless with regards to your clothing. The familiar rule of “if you haven’t worn it in a year then you aren’t going to wear it”, holds true with one exception – formal wear.  I make four different piles for my clothes – TO KEEP, TO REPAIR OR ALTER, TO GIVE AWAY and TO BIN.  Again action the items quickly so there is no second guessing.

If you have an untidy teenager in the house too, try to get them to pick 5 things up off their floor every time they enter their bedroom. Even if they only go in and out to the loo a few times a day they will soon be able to see the carpet!

If you are still feeling overwhelmed maybe it’s time to ask a well organized friend for help or hire a professional organiser or decorator.  You won’t regret it. 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.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford 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.