Category Archives: Interiors

Jobs in the garden in February

If you are lacking scent in the garden plant a flowering shrub now – try Lonicera x purpusii or Chimonanthus praecox ‘Luteus’. I love the scent of sarcococca by a front door as the scent assails you as you approach. It can be quite heady but at this time of year you just get a passing whiff!

garden design Lincolnshire

Cut back summer flowering clematis to about 18 inches of the ground to encourage them to come back into leaf and create a great display later in the year.

garden design rutland

If you didn’t put them in last Autumn, plant garlic, shallots and onions. They need a cold spell to get them moving so if the soil is unfrozen now is a good time to plant

If you’re lacking some structure or garden features now is the time to tackle it. February is a good month to dig a pond, add a bird bath or sun dial or create new paths. Avoid treading on wet soil as this compacts it and damages the structure. If you have to work on open soil, lay down planks to spread your weight – old scaffold boards work well for this.

garden design Oakham

Remember keep tidy – rake and clear leaves to keep pests down, especially slugs

 

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.

If you have a project in mind and would like to have a chat please give me a call: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020

 

Why should I engage a garden designer?

What does a garden designer offer that you can’t work out yourself? With over 10 years’ experience I think I’m qualified to answer that question, so here are some of the benefits of using a professional garden designer.garden design Stamford

You wouldn’t dream of trying to create an electrical diagram of your house without consulting a qualified electrician, so why do we think we can design our gardens better than a professional can. For many the mere thought of the costs of employing someone to redefine their outdoor space is a huge hurdle but it needn’t be as costly as you imagine. If you compare metre for metre it can be the least expensive room in your home. It can even save money in the long term by ensuring your money is spent in the best way and avoiding costly mistakes. Having a designer to draw up detailed plans can ensure any problems are smoothed out before any work begins and allows you to budget more accurately.

garden design oundle

One of the key things a garden designer will do is to make you think about the way you use the space. You may need a lawn for the ubiquitous football goal now, but in 5 years the boys might have grown out of it and you can use the space for something else. A garden designer will understand all this and plan your garden accordingly so that what works for you now, will, with a few tweaks, continue to work in the future. They’re used to manipulating space and will understand the growth rates of individual trees and plants so that you plant the garden once and get it right.

garden design Lincs

It’s important that you chose a designer who you can work with. Check out their credentials, look at examples of their work or ask them to take you to a recent garden. You’ll also need to think about how much time you’ll spend working in the garden so the garden you have designed matches your expectations.

It’s also important to be honest about what you can afford. A professional designer will aim to design within your budget but you are likely to get a very different garden in terms of materials used, features incorporated and bespoke craftsman designed pieces if you’re spending £10,000 as opposed to £5,000. And it’s not true that given a budget every designer will exceed it – most will want to give you the best garden you can afford so be honest and help them design to your budget.

garden design Uppingham

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

Garden Jobs for June

Has Summer really arrived at last? I do hope so but I’m also keeping everything crossed just in case. The warmth and wet has done the garden so much good, but now you have to keep on top of it. Here are my top jobs to complete this month.

garden design stamford

Your herbaceous borders should be about to peak this month so ensure you keep them well staked to avoid any flops. Fill any gaps now so they are almost disguised by new lush growth as it pushes through.

 garden design Lincolnshire

Borders

Continue to deadhead in your borders to encourage repeat flowering

Remove old flower stems and leaves of hellebores

Deadhead!

garden design Oundle

Ponds

Remove too vigorous pond plants to keep an area of water clear

Pond garden design rutland

Vegetable gardens

Start to harvest garlic and shallots

Thin out direct sown seedlings including beetroot, lettuce etc

Feed tomatoes weekly with a high potash feed and remove side shoots once trusses have set

Repeat sow lettuce, salads, French and runner beans, carrots and beetroot for crops later in the season.

garden design lincolnshire

General

If slugs are a problem, get a couple of chickens! Bantams do hardly any damage to your garden and provide you with fresh eggs. They won’t lay all year round like a more robust breed such a long island red but they will keep pests at bay.

Make sure you have a couple of nice places to sit and enjoy the garden – perhaps one seat positioned for sun and one for shade. There’s nothing better than being able to enjoy all the work you’ve put in but if you don’t make it easy with a well positioned seat you may miss it and only ever go into the garden to toil.

If you have a garden, interior or landscaping project which you need help with or fresh ideas to inspire you 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 make my home sell?

I have just been asked to advise a lovely gentleman on what he needs to do to help his home sell. He’s been living alone for a few years and just needed a little bit of support in what to tackle first and how far to go. Here are my suggestions on what you can do to give your home a better chance of selling.

Having a good interior layout and good interior design is key to ensuring that your house is at the top of any potential buyer’s mind. We are all aware of the rule of keeping to a neutral colour scheme and to tidy up – but if you go too neutral you are at risk of making it bland and forgettable, too colourful and you risk putting potential buyers off.

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The colours of your walls are the single most important factor when presenting your home to potential buyers. People are generally not good at visualising the potential of a room. Even a single wall painted a bizarre colour can be a stumbling block so for most houses neutral colours are safest. However don’t shy away from creating some interest and style – just avoid too much drama! Try using wall paper with large bold prints but keep it to one wall and use a complimentary paint colour to pull it all together.

interior design Oundle

To make rooms appear larger paint skirting boards and woodwork the same colour. If you have the luxury of large rooms, painting skirting and architraves darker and walls lighter. This will make them less cavernous and more homely. If you have low ceilings then paint your walls and ceiling the same colour to heighten the feeling of space.

Add colour accents 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.

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If you know the layout of a room is currently unworkable then change it – even if this means you can’t use it for the purpose you originally planned it. The next potential owner may have a different use for it anyway.

Cluttered spaces scream ‘too small’ to potential buyers. Your furniture should be in proportion to the room size. A large sofa in a small cottage will dominate the room making buyers feel hemmed in. If you can’t change the furniture, covering it with a light coloured textured fabric will go a long way to reducing its impact. If you need more seating use small side chairs which will give the room a sense of space and practicality.

Use dainty pieces of furniture in small rooms to make the room appear more spacious

Use dainty pieces of furniture in small rooms to make the room appear more spacious

Cleaning may not be your everyday priority but dirty, tatty kitchens and bathrooms are a big turn-off. A day spent spring cleaning is time well spent. Remember you are selling a lifestyle and no one wants to buy into a home that feels unloved and uncared for. Likewise, dirty or marked carpets are a real turn off. Get a professional in to clean them, or replace with neutral carpet throughout. It will be money well spent.

Unfortunately everyone’s taste differs, but when it comes to selling your house put aside your personal preferences. Remember less is more and minimise the number of decorative objects on display.

Choosing lighting for an older property with a contemporary feel

Don’t overlook lighting either. A few well placed lamps and warm shades in light bulbs can go a long way to brightening a home.

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.

 

 

Harlequin Landscapes Wallpapers, it’s like painting in the sky

Isn’t it funny how ideas come together. We have just returned from a trip to Norway where we went cruising in search of the Northern Lights. On one of our explorations on shore we came across a Norwegian interior store and just had to get our fix. It smelt of paint and wallpaper paste, of freshly sawn timber. I was in my element – Mr Hutchinson humoured me! And then I get back into the office and not only is the weather still replicating that of Norway, complete with 5ft snow drifts, but The Harlequin Studio has captured the essence of Scandinavian skylines in a new range of Landscapes. This is a striking contemporary collection of painterly, impressionistic and abstract non-woven wallpapers, which are all being launched this month.

interior design Lincs, Harlequin_Landscapes_12_LR

Wallpaper Plateau

Comprising 26 wallpapers across six contemporary designs, Landscapes is a modern collection, which encompasses artistic interpretations of patchwork fields, coastal seascapes, mountain ranges and rolling hills, all set against a backdrop of the horizon. They really do remind me of the landscapes we saw while cruising along the Nordic Fjords. Sometimes bleak, almost always snowbound but somehow beautiful.

interior design Oakham, Harlequin_Landscapes_11_LR

Wallpaper Tunturi

The collection evokes a feeling of harmony and tranquillity. Its freely painted motifs shade subtly, giving an impression of watery brushstrokes, whilst the understated colour palette plays with the idea of light and shade reacting  to each other. It is enhanced by gentle diluted tones mixed with stronger, earthy shades: ink and seaglass; sky and teal; smoke and charcoal; grass and mustard; pebble and slate; soft clover and amethyst; mandarin and pomegranate.

interior design Uppingham, Harlequin_Landscapes_Cover01_LR

Wallpaper Plateau

Each wallpaper makes a powerful statement in its own right, but can be combined equally effectively with other Landscapes designs or colourways to create a more personalised look within your own interior.

Interior design Oundle, Harlequin_Landscapes_01_LR

Wallpaper Vista

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Wallpaper Vista

Interior design Northampton, Harlequin_Landscapes_02_LR

Wallpaper Plateau

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Wallpaper Tranquil

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.

 

 

Inspiration for the coming Spring

 

Sometimes we all need some inspiration to make us feel differently about our own homes. I have been searching for some inspiration at home as well as for clients. Here’s a selection of some of the things that have taken my fancy!

11 - 8000 Paintbrushes

New colours from Little Greene – my favourite paint people

interior designer in Lincolnshire

A new wallpaper collection from Scion, makes me want to be beside the sea

 

interior designer in Rutland

Striking wallpaper but am I brave enough

interior designer in Stamford

Who could resist these wallpapers, I want to cover files with them not just walls

interior designer in Northamptonshire

A luscious velvet, reminds me of … what does it remind me of?

interior design uppingham

Just love the shape of these stools from Whitehead

Exterior design Lincolnshire

Inspired by nature

interior design Oakham

 

 Walls and wellies to match

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Decorex – Lighting I loved

Isn’t it funny how you see something a week or so in advance
of when you need it and then just can’t get the image out of your mind. I’ve
been a bit like that with some of the amazing things I saw at Decorex this
year.  Decorex is the show for architects
and interior professionals where we all go to seek inspiration, to see the
latest interior trends and talk to new and existing suppliers.

I have a few projects on the go at the moment that need some
really specific things to bring them to life:  lighting is one of those things. Lighting can
really transform a room. It should be functional but can also be beautiful,
mood enhancing and task oriented. Here are some of the lighting ideas which
caught my eye…

 

 

a fabulous drift  wood lamp from David Hunt Lighting

and something to create a talking point!

Oh to have a hallway tall enough to accommodate this hanging light

I know exactly where these could go

and this bronze light is just superb

a quirky take on lights and mirrors from La Deun Luminaires

the amazing luminescent properties of ceramics from Boatswain

A real curiosity from the natural world, there’s no lighting here these beaufiul butterflies simple pick up the light within the room!

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 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 happening at London’s Decorex show

I have a busy day at Decorex in London planned for today.  Decorex is the show for architects and interior professionals where we all go to get inspiration, to see the latest interior trends and talk to new and existing suppliers.

The grounds of Chelsea Hospital are transformed with the installation of a large marquee and trade stands. This year Vivienne Westwood, a doyenne of British fashion and design, has decorated the entrance so it is bound to be full of glamour.

2011 Decorex Foyer

I’m looking forward to catching up on all that is good in design and will bring you more of what was good later in the week

.Decorex

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 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 a building site into a home

I love hard landscaping, paving, walls, fences, but I think it is only when a garden gets planted that it becomes a garden. Likewise undertaking a building project can be a thankless task until you get rid of the builder’s rubble and dust and get onto the creative bits: paint colours, curtains, blinds, and furniture.

Here’s a quick preview of an extension I have just completed.

The original footprint of the extension

Digging out and setting the footings

The blockwork walls go up

Blockwork is faced in stone

The underfloor heating goes down

The plastering is done  – I wanted it to be a little rough to complement the age of the original building. The plasterer hated doing it but it looks lovely! And the Porcelanosa floor tiles are laid

Decorating with Earth Born Clay paint to allow the building to breath

The furniture goes in and the blinds are fitted and we have a home!

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, Rutland, Oundle 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.