Tag Archives: home interior decorations

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.

 

 

Why use a garden designer

What does a garden designer offer that you can’t work out yourself? Here’s my view on how I can help you create the garden you have always dreamed of. Whether it’s to relax in, to play in, to cook in or to entertain in, let me help you to create a beautiful garden.

garden design

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.

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.

garden design Oakham DSCN5773

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.

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.

 

 

 

How to make a small room appealing

Small rooms need a tad more thought on furniture placement and decorating. You need to remember to keep good proportions, lift things off the floor and create interest at several heights. Think about what you position at floor level, at waist level and above your head for a sense of depth. This is critical to ensure the space looks open and light.

interior design Oundle
Here are some of my interior design tips which are easy to follow and won’t break the bank.

  • Keep it tidy! Clearing clutter always helps in seeing the wood for the trees! Make sure everything that is not decorating your room is cleared away in storage. For a bedroom, buy old suitcases and use them as storage! In a living room, ensure your side board or any other furniture has closed door on some of it, this hides the bits and pieces that do not add to your room’s relaxed feel.  If it’s not adding to the decoration and you haven’t used it in a year you probably never will so recycle it.
  • Interior desing Lincolnshire
  • Think tall and think less is more! Ensure curtains go all the way to the floor, this draws the eye from the floor all the way to the ceiling and will make the room taller. Do not use too many small accessories – a few larger pieces (even over scaled pieces) give balance and will make the room look taller and bigger. Use stripes in wallpapers. I love using vertical stripped wallpaper if I want to elongate a room.
  • Light it up! I love central lighting but in smaller rooms it takes too much space – it can be rather harsh and also the light pool makes shadows in the corners. Adding uplighters to create volume on the top part of the room is always a good idea. Add side lamps too which will create mood and drama. Dimmers help in creating a warm atmosphere too as you can choose the exact feel you want.
  • interior decoration Stamford
  • Reflections! Mirrors add visual space and fool the eye into making a room feel light and larger. The lighting tips above will bounce off the mirrors too. Try placing one above a fireplace in a living room, place one behind the side lamps on side tables to reflect across the room. But also use reflective surfaces: glass, acrylic, glossed surfaces. It all helps light bounce around a room.
  • BIG or small furniture? No point buying that very large sofa or King sizebed if they swamp a room. Keep good proportions instead. A good tip is to cut out newspapers in the shape and size of furniture you have or want to buy, move it around and see how it feels. Ensure that not everything is touching the floor- allow for different heights in your furniture, this again keeps it light and off the floor.
  • Interior design Nottingham IMGA1648

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

How to add the finishing touches to a room

Adding the finishing touches to a room makes all the difference as I’m about to explain.

If the devil really is in the detail then interior and garden design are devil’s work! I’m a demon when it comes to getting things just right. I don’t go around re fluffing cushions every hour, I have a life and it’s just impractical, but I do like the details to be right. And it’s when it comes to finishing a room that I think details matter.

So often you run out of steam before you have added those finishing touches. Try to stay focussed and remember that a tiny bit of effort late on can really make your room sing. If you can tie the colour theme for your room to your accessories as well as your curtains or window dressing then the whole room works better.

Add a vase in a colour which picks up on the main colour of the curtain or chair fabric and it will draw the eye and pull the whole look together. This is true in the garden too, where repeat planting of the same species within a border draws the eye and makes the whole look more settled. I call these things the full stops. They’re the areas that your eye is drawn to and then stops at before moving on to take in the rest of the room or garden.

One of the easiest ways to finish a room is with a collection of contrasting cushions. Try to pick out one of the main colours within the room, from the carpet, walls, wallpaper or curtains. Contrast this with another colour which works equally well within the room and is present in smaller touches.

You might simply opt for a plain square cushion, but if you want to do something special think about a contrasting piped edge or a braid. An oblong cushion works well against the side of a sofa rather than at the back and box cushions are very popular at the moment as they give you the opportunity to use a contrasting fabric on the edges too.

Whatever you decide, be bold and enjoy the moment.

If you’re thinking of developing your home or garden this year and need a little help or guidance then please give me a call – I’m happy to come out to your home and offer advice and support from a single pair of curtains to the whole house and garden. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973 843020.

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.

 

 

Creating a mid-century modern look

I have always loved mid-century modern furniture, way beyond the time when it was fashionable. One of my first pieces of furniture was a G Plan dining table which the receptionist at Britvic Soft Drinks, where I was working in PR at the time, was throwing out. A small donation to a local charity and the security man and I had it in the back of the car – I seem to remember I had a Ford Tigra at the time, so how I got it in is a complete mystery, but I did.

Wallpaper (l-r): Striped Petal, Multi Stem, Scribble , Linear Stem, Striped Petal, Giant Rhododendron l

Some years later and a complete change in career, first to garden design and now incorporating interior, garden and landscape design in my business, I still look out for mid-century modern pieces. Today they are far easier to come by and the look has been translated into home wares and fashion too. That’s why I was so excited when Internationally-renowned Irish designer Orla Kiely joined forces with Harlequin, one of the UK’s foremost interiors companies, to create a striking collection of bold and beautiful wallpapers. The signature collection was launched at Decorex in September: here are some of my favourites.

Wallpaper: Giant Stem

 

Founded in 1995, the Orla Kiely brand has become a byword for inspirational design, quality and visual innovation which is driven by Orla’s love of pattern, colour and texture. Her distinctive graphic and stylised motifs, in clean repeat constructions, achieve a very modern style, while her love for all things mid-century adds a nostalgic quality.

Wallpaper: Giant Rhododendron

What started with a small bag and accessories collection has now grown spectacularly to include Ready to Wear and fashion accessories, homeware, furniture, travel accessories, stationery, fragrance and now wallpapers.

Wallpaper: Multi Stem

The Orla Kiely collection is a testament to her flair and highly individual hand-writing. It comprises fourteen existing and immediately recognisable designs, several of which have been reinterpreted or rescaled. Coloured with wallpaper in mind, they retain the distinctive Orla style. They include evocatively named shades such as Bird’s Egg, Hibiscus, Nettle, Warm Calico and Bay Leaf, which sit comfortably alongside Olive, Midnight Blue and Classic Red to form an eclectic palette of vibrant brights and pared back neutrals.

Wallpaper: Giant Abacus Flower

Orla Kiely elaborates further: “One of my greatest passions in life is pattern and colour so the idea of creating a book of wallpapers was an exciting one. To me, the home is where we can truly express our style and personality, where we can be playful. Working with Harlequin was a great pleasure; combining our design aesthetic with their experience and knowledge to develop a book that I am very proud of.”

Wallpaper: Acorn Spot

If you have an interior project where you would like to use one of Orla Kiely’s wallpapers then why not get in touch. 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.

Wallpaper: Giant Abacus Flower

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

 

 Wallpaper: Rhododendron

 Wallpaper: Striped Petal

 

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.

 

 

 

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