Category Archives: interior design stamford

New Year, New You, New Home

How many New Year’s resolutions have you made this year? How many are still intact?

I have joined the Arbonne Detox boot camp along with 240 other clients and independent consultants. The support and camaraderie is amazing and has really helped to keep me going. I think being able to see results is so important and that’s why this week’s blog is filled with practical ideas which you can implement right now.interior design Uppingham

 We’ve been making New Year resolutions for over 4,000 years. Many of us will have pledged to get fitter or to de-clutter. But on 15th January, half way through the month, how many of them are still intact?  Last year I’d have said I can’t really help with the getting fitter part but this year with my Arbonne Independent Consultant hat on, I can. If you’re interested in getting fitter or using a pure safe beneficial skin care product do get in touch and I’ll talk you through how I work. But for now, here are some simple solutions to get a wardrobe, a room or your entire home in order.

interior design Stamford

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 now or file for 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 and the chest of drawers with the hats and gloves etc.

interior design Uppingham, Norway 2013 620 (490)

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. I recently read You Were Born Rich, by Bob Proctor and his final chapter deals with creating a vacuum. He says “in giving you will also be receiving. Whenever we wish to receive anything new into our life, we must trigger the process by making room for it!”

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.

garden design Lincolnshire, Norway 2013 620 (486)

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. Or if you would like to know more about my Swiss botanical skin care health and wellness products get in touch. 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.

 

 

Setting the scene to sell your House

It’s that time of year. The children are back at school and people are again looking to buy and sell homes. A good interior layout and good interior design are key to ensuring that your house comes top of the list in a potential buyers mind. But how do you achieve these things. Here are my top tips.

We all know to keep to a neutral colour scheme and to tidy up – but if you go too neutral you risk making your home bland and forgettable, too colourful and you risk alienating a whole section of potential buyers. Unworkable layouts are annoying, and cluttered spaces scream “too small”. Dirty, tatty kitchens and bathrooms are a big turn-off too, so where do you start.

What can you do to secure that all-important sale and how do you sell an “aspirational” lifestyle? Unfortunately everyone’s taste differs, but when it comes to selling your house put aside your personal preferences and follow these simple rules:

TV presenter Sarah Beeny states this time and time again, but it is still worth repeating. One person’s treasured possessions are another person’s dust collectors. Minimise the number of decorative objects on display as clutter makes a room appear smaller and serves only to camouflage features of the room that you should be promoting.

interior design Lincs, Harlequin_Landscapes_12_LR

Your furniture should be in proportion to the room size. An oversized sofa in a small cottage will dominate the room and make it feel cramped. If you cannot exchange it, covering it with a light coloured textured fabric will go a long way to reduce its impact. If you need to show more seating, small side chairs are preferable to another sofa and give the room a sense of space and practicality.

interior design Stamford

Lighting is an essential element of any room and is often overlooked. If you only have a central light your room can appear cold and uninviting by its single bulb. This is especially true as we go into winter. Table lamps strategically placed on side tables are a great way to create interest and warmth. Remember – fluorescent light bulbs (kitchens for example) give off a cold, uniform light and whilst fine in a workshop, should be replaced inside the house with a more suitable fitting. Dimmers and cream lampshades are the cheapest and quickest way to create instant ambience in any room. If you have down-lighters you may consider using a slightly darker wall colour as these types of lights tend to wash out pale colours. If you’re thinking of redecorating prior to putting your house on the market paint an A4 size piece of white card or an artists’ canvas with your chosen colour and try it next to each light source before you paint a whole room. Never put the paint directly on the wall, you’ll simply look at the difference between the two colours and not at the new colour.

interior design Oundle

The colours of your walls are the single most important factor when presenting your home to potential buyers. In general the average house buyer is not good at visualising the potential of a room. Even a single wall painted a bizarre colour can be a stumbling block to the buyer and mean the difference between selling and not.

For most houses neutral colours are the safest bet, but this is not to say that you should shy away from creating some interest and style, but avoid drama! Try using wall paper with large bold prints but keep it to one wall and do not be tempted to paper the whole room. A complimentary paint colour will help to pull the room together.

It is also essential to consider natural daylight when re-painting walls. Start with which way the room faces – north facing will make colours look greener whilst southern facing rooms will make colours look more yellow. For rooms that run east to west the colour will change as the sun moves throughout the day. This change should be embraced as this makes rooms come alive.

Interior desing Lincolnshire

White – if in doubt keep it simple!

From urban chic to rustic simplicity, white is infinitely versatile. Pure white – its simplest form – is blinding in bright sun but can also take on a variety of hues at different times of the day in less glaring exposures. Adding shades of other colours to the white canvas can subtlety change its personality. White’s capacity to reflect light is an important factor in making rooms appear larger. From off-white to apple-white and a multitude of shades in between, the paint pallet is vast and the range of options infinite!

To make rooms appear larger paint skirting boards and all woodwork the same colour. Remember to use the appropriate paint for each surface. If you have the enviable luxury of large rooms, pulling them together with darker skirting and architraves and lighter walls will make them less cavernous and more homely.

Don’t be afraid that it’s all looking a bit white. Accents of colour can be easily added to your neutral look with paintings and soft furnishings. Scatter cushions and throws are a good way of harmonising a scheme. Your soft furnishings should all be in the same colour palette with different textures to add depth. You can also try adding pattern but sparingly and always in the same hues. If in doubt, leave it out…..

If you feel you need some expert advice then do get in touch. I undertake consultations in your  home or garden to discuss home décor, paint schemes, window treatments and whole room interior design or garden design projects. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland, Leicester, Nottingham and Northampton 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.

 

 

 

Kitchens that work

Don’t you just love a kitchen that works. Where you can access the range cooker and the work surfaces, fridge, sink and dishwasher without having to duck and dive. Where the bin is handy and you have space to work and even more space to put things away.

modern kitchen design

These are the sort of kitchens we create. Talk to us if you are thinking of revamping your kitchen.

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, Oundle, 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.

 

 

Turning over a Spring leaf

I’m a little late I know but It’s at this time of year that I like to take my curtains down, my rugs up and have a proper Spring clean.  I know it’s a luxury but I also like to change the furnishings in my favorite rooms so they better reflect the way I live in the summer. Gone are the heavy curtains and in their place come out finer, sheer curtains which reflect the light. If you have a neutral scheme you can change a room overnight with a few accessories, cushions and lighting.

interior design Lincs, Scion_WabiSabi_04_LR

New from Harlequin’s Wabi Sabi collection

Here’s some ideas which might inspire some changes for you and your home.

 

Interior Design Oakham, Momentum_SS_01_LR

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interior design Uppingham, Momentum_SS_05_LR

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interior design Northampton, paint image 10 varbuthnott

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Lift furniture off the floor to make rooms appear larger

Lift furniture off the floor to make rooms appear larger

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, 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.

 

 

The art of using wallpaper

If you really want to make a statement in a room you can do worse than letting the walls do all the work. Hanging wallpaper on your walls adds instant personal style. From the most over the top design to the subtlest texture, wallpapers make a design statement.

Interior desing Lincolnshire

Wallpapering one wall, chimney breast or alcove provides an opportunity to indulge in a lavish design that you wouldn’t want covering an entire room. While wallpapering a whole room can transform it into a special place. Many companies are now producing smaller scale prints which won’t look out of place covering all walls even within a small room.

interior design Oundle

What do I need to think of:

The only thing you need to be aware of is the scale of the pattern compared to the room. With a large scale pattern, which has a large repeat, you will need a high ceiling or a staircase, where you have a significant drop, to really get the impression of the scale of the pattern.

interior design Stamford

Before you start, clean walls and fill any holes or cracks. For just one feature wall, especially on a chimney breast, place the first piece of wallpaper in the centre. Use a plumb line or spirit level to draw a line where the edge of the first piece of paper will be hung.

Work out the wallpaper drop (the length from ceiling to skirting board) and add 10cm to both the top and the bottom for trimming. Cut the first piece.

In order to match the pattern, place this first piece alongside the next length of wallpaper, line up the pattern, add trimming allowances to the top and bottom, and cut the next piece. With large patterns there can be quite a lot of waste so ensure you have worked this out before ordering.

interior design Northampton

If you have an interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for, then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973 843020.

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 do I add warmth to my home?

 

It’s that time of year: the sky is filled with beautiful low light and frosts and cobwebs mist the air. It makes me feel I have to change my interior to reflect the weather outside and I don’t mean getting out drab colours. We all need to inject some light and life into our interiors at this time of year.

If you are thinking of redecorating in time for Christmas, you need to get your skates on. If you want to order new furniture, a sofa or bed for instance, then you only have a short window before the major retailers will close their books to orders. No one likes to let a customer down at this time of year so they have a cut off point for orders to prevent disappointment. Independent retails can often be more flexible than the major high street names so do check when their last order dates are.

To create a feeling of warmth you need to layer textures and fabrics in your interior. If you have a leather sofa then add cushions in different fabrics, wool and chenille etc to create movement. A throw placed over the arm of a chair can create a comforting look and can inject a new colour to the room. Use this as a starting point for injecting colour into an otherwise bland interior. Pick up on the colour within accessories and perhaps lighting too. It’s quite fashionable to have coloured shades on lamps at the moment and I think these look best if you choose drum shades – the ones with the perfectly straight sides, just like a drum. These now come with alternative metallic colours on the inside which adds light.

A room can also be altered dramatically by smell, temperature and lighting. It is amazing how easily you can alter the ambience of a room by introducing minor details like scented candles, repositioning lamps or adding a mirror to reflect lamp light back in to the room. And the addition of a dimmer switch to your main lighting can have a huge transformation.

I have a love of mixing contemporary styles and furnishings with antiques. For me this style of decorating allows the interior to reflect the age of the property while bringing it up to date with modern life. I don’t believe there is a secret to blending different styles within an interior, but you have to do it with confidence. There is no doubting that some of us are better at it than others but if you buy what you like you will invariably find somewhere to put it that works.

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 07973 843020.

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

 

 

Decorex 2012 – Furniture I loved

Inspired by some of the leading design brands exhibiting at Decorex and also some of the small, young brands who were
exhibiting for the first time, I have returned to the office filled with energy and ideas.

Here’s a selection of my favourite furniture from the Decorex show

An inspirational table and bench by UK joinery company under the watchful eye of Tom Faulkner

A contemporary stool and desk from Pinch designs

Bringing a touch of creativity to mundane storage

Companies displayed a lot of cabinetry with clean, sharp lines,  like this from Michael Northcroft, and also cabinets with pale outsides and wild colours lining drawers… a look which I loved

This was a great shaped tables which appeared again and again around the Decorex stands

And this

 

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. Or 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 07973 843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design an interior or garden to complement the architecture of your home and
choose the right materials to complement it

 

Create Momentum on your walls

As we move from Summer to Autumn we all feel the need to make a few changes in our homes and garden – to keep the momentum of change going. Originally launched in 2011, the Momentum range from Harlequin is now expanding with two distinct ranges launching this month: Momentum Wallcoverings Volume 2 and Momentum Sheers & Structures.

 

Harlequin wallpaper, Leaf

The new Momentum wallcoverings collection enjoys a fashion-focussed, forward-looking palette of chalky tones, ranging from subtle neutrals to monochromes and on-trend brights such as orange, apple and teal. Embossed effects, sumptuous beaded textures and metallic highlights add the finishing touch of glamour.

 

Harlequin wallpaper Maze

Sleek and sophisticated meets graphic and architectural, this contemporary-chic collection of textured wallcoverings features a stunning mix of eclectic styles, graphic prints and quirky designs such as People, a subtle motif which at a second glance reveals silhouettes of people in a crowd; Flint, a textured slate wall effect, with a flint-like appearance, enhanced by hints of metallic; Array, a striking woven effect design in graded chalky colours with vibrant ‘pops’ of colour; Leaf: a silhouette of oversized leaves, in both graphic solid colours and beaded neutrals; and Trellis: a lattice design in both subtle neutrals and bold flat shades, embellished with metallics and sparkling beads.

Harlequin wallpaper – Flint

Later in the week, I’ll bring you the story of the Harlequin Sheers so keep a look out.

If you have a garden, interior or 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 do I choose Carpet?

It has been a few weeks since we completed work on our design build and renovation project in Rutland but due to the woodworm treatment we had to apply to the floor boards upstairs the carpets have not been able to be fitted… until now! Our post Olympic blues have been set aside as we are so thrilled to have carpets on the stairs and in the bedrooms! Just like the new caret smell (which I love but I know some clients don’t) which will wear off, so will the novelty so roll on the Paralympics.

I chose two different types of carpet. The bedroom carpet is a traditional woolen weave which will be fitted over an underlay. This is a classic look.

The stair carpet is made using a flat-weaving method which gives a distinctive texture. It too is an all wool carpet but the flat weave gives a look similar to natural floor coverings (sisal etc), but offering the warmth and practicality of a wool carpet. This carpet, as with all natural floor coverings, needs to be delivered to the place it is to be fitted a week prior to fitting to allow it to acclimatize to the conditions.

 

The staircase before the carpet is fitted

A roll of carpet ready for fitting

Fitting the underlay

 

 

The stair carpet being fitted

Choosing a carpet

Nothing compares to the soft, luxurious feeling of carpet under your feet. Carpeting provides a safe, comfortable spot for kids to play and may even reduce the risk of injury during a fall. Carpet requires a bit of extra maintenance compared to vinyl or tiles, but there’s simply no substitute in terms of sound absorption, warmth and overall comfort.

Wear and tear

There’s a lot to think about before you choose a carpet. Bear in mind how much wear it will get and how long it should last – a few months to sell your house, or years of teenagers tramping up and down the hallway?

Get the look

Before paying out for the latest fashionable colour or pattern, think about future decorating plans. Always take a sample home to see how the carpet might look with your décor, both in the day and at night with your lighting. You’ll also need to think about whether the width and pattern of the carpet will fit your room, including alcoves or bay windows. Carpet usually comes in 4 or 5 m widths. If you want to run the same carpet through multiple rooms think about the best way to lay it, whilst getting the most use of the relevant width, so that it runs the same way in each room

Decide on a budget

Deciding how much to spend is difficult, but you need to think about how well it will wear and how often you intend to replace it. And to get the best job it’s important to invest in good quality underlay and professional fitting.

If you have a 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.

Create Momentum in your furnishings

 If the change in weather has created the need to change your interior then look no further. The new Momentum range from Harlequin is now expanding with two distinct ranges launching this month: Momentum Wallcoverings Volume 2 and Momentum Sheers & Structures.Earlier in the week I bought you a snap shot of the fabulous collection of wallcoverings. Here is the collection of sheers.

 

Harlequin Voiles: Trellis

Momentum Sheers & Structures is the perfect continuation of the Momentum fabrics story: it identifies and fills a noticeable gap in the market, both nationally and internationally, for design-led but practical sheer, semi-sheer and structured fabrics. All but one of the sheer fabrics are wide-width with a weighted edge, making them both versatile and functional.

Harlequin Voiles – Dot

The voile motifs are graphic, geometric and stylishly understated – ikats, stripes, ogees, diamonds and spots – in an atmospheric range of mood-enhancing, scene-setting shades, highlighted with hints of metallics. The structured plains are subtle and highly useable, and are complemented by a contemporary lace-effect fabric, cleverly constructed from strips of ribbon sewn together. 

Harlequin voile – Define

The Momentum story continues to unfold and flourish, with a range of striking and sophisticated weaves being planned for next spring: watch this space!

 Harlequin Voiles – Arc

If you have a garden, interior or 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.