Tag Archives: home interiors

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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

 

Lacanche Range Cooker Demonstration

We are pleased to announce the first of our cookery demonstrations in our new show kitchenin Rutland. We will be hosting a Lacanche Cooker Demonstration in conjunction with C’est
Cheese the mistresses of cheese.

This is an exciting opportunity
for potential and existing Lacanche customers to sample first-hand the
versatility and performance of the range and the amazing things you can do with
cheese (hot and cold)

8.00 pm start in the Alison Hutchinson Design show kitchen for a relaxed and informal introduction to the
cookers and the creativity of cheese. Please ring to book a place, Tel: 01572 747318. We look forward to seeing you there.

Thursday 29th November 2012

Address: Alison Hutchinson Design, 12 Willoughby Road, Morcott,
Oakham, Rutland LE15 9DY

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

 

How to create your dream bathroom

Bathrooms can be dream spaces or terrible nightmares. They are usually amongst the smallest rooms in the house but are often used more than any other. You often have a lot to squeeze into this small space and they need to work perfectly day in and day out. There is nothing more off-putting than a grotty bathroom. If a poor shower or an ill fitting loo is your first experience each morning then it can set the whole tone for the day.

Here is my checklist of things to think about before starting a bathroom project.

The great thing about contemporary bathroom design is that you can mix and match your favourite pieces from a variety of suppliers’ ranges. Simply make sure you opt for whites which  match within the manufacturing ranges you choose. There is so much with which you can personalize a bathroom from the range you choose to the style of taps, the surfaces you opt for and the tiles you use so get creative and work some magic. Or if you’re at a loss on where to start, give me ring and arrange an informal chat.

Things to think about before you start….

Mood and budget – It’s important that you think about the style you want before you begin.  Visit showrooms to see what style you like and how they look ‘in the flesh’. Decide on the mood you want to create – cool and contemporary, warm and cosy, slick and masculine, opulent, retro Victorian or Art Deco? Be realistic about the budget you want to allocate to this re-design.

Who will use the bathroom? Will the whole family use this space or is it a chill out room for adults only? Does it need co-coordinating with a bedroom as in an en suite bathroom? For the family bathroom a degree of practicality is required in the design – storage will be a must as will durability, safety and ease of cleaning.

Layout – make sure you have the room dimensions with lots of detail. Draw up a scale plan so you can plot the size of the room, position of doors and windows, height of windowsills and radiators, toilet and pipe-work as well as current position of the sink and shower or bath. This is important as to move soil pipes is an expensive business so if you are going to move them you need to factor this into the budget.

Lighting – Lighting is all important and needs to play a dual role. For a relaxed atmosphere use dimmers for general lighting. Task lighting is more direct, brighter and placed where activities take place – i.e. shaving or putting on make-up. Plan what goes where and chose your fixtures accordingly. UK requirements stipulate that light fittings within 600mm of a bath or shower must have an IP rating of 65 whilst other lights at more than 600mm away must have an IP rating of 45. Lights must be operated by a pull cord or an outside switch rather than a light switch inside the bathroom. This is important to note as it will affect your entrance and how you access lighting when in the bathroom.

Storage – If you want to maintain an uncluttered look then storage is essential. A bathroom is a very private area and there are some things that are best stored away. A cupboard behind the main mirror takes little room and is extremely useful. Under sink cabinets are now very popular and are best raised slightly off the floor to keep them damp free.  

Heating and ventilation – A cold bathroom is no fun at all. Check whether your existing heating is up to scratch, or do you need additional warmth? A heated towel rail is cost effective to run and can help to top up the heat but if you keep towels on it all the time this will limit the amount of heat it puts into the room. You might want to consider installing under floor heating in small spaces. I always recommend it in wet rooms where you want the floor to dry as quickly as possible after use. You can make a design statement with contemporary radiators – they give you that wow factor as well as being useful. If you are going to use a large mirror you may want to consider installing heated pads on the reverse. These are wired in with the light switch and prevent the mirror misting up after a shower, many off the shelf mirrors and mirror cabinets now come with integrated lighting too. Remember that it is a local authority regulation to have external ventilation and I think installing an extractor fan is a must.

Fixtures and fittings – When you are planning a bathroom it is unlikely that you will be choosing fixtures and fittings all from the same manufacturer. There are no fast and hard rules about this, but do keep to the same style to keep the overall look elegant and coherent.

Always buy the best fixtures you can afford. Cheap taps are a false economy; they will soon start to drip. Good quality fixtures and fittings always add that “wow” factor, they also feel good to the touch.

Bath or shower? A bath is great for relaxing in, but a shower is invigorating. Think about the design of your shower: do you want exposed i.e. surface mounted or concealed mixer valves in your shower? Concealed mixer valves lend themselves to slick and contemporary rooms, whilst exposed bathroom furniture can become part of the “look” especially if it is modern or if you want to enhance the period feel of the bathroom to be in keeping with architectural detailing.

Fixed shower heads or wall mounted? You can have both with a diverter valve – this allows you to switch the water between the two. I’d always recommend this otherwise a fixed head shower is impossible to clean! Washing small children or washing your hair is easier with hand held shower heads. Fixed shower heads can also be enhanced with luxurious body jets if you have good water pressure!

So before you buy anything check your water pressure – a plumber can do this for you. Pressure is measured in bars and most homes will have a water pressure of 1-1.5 bars whilst hotels are nearer 3-4 bars. You may want to fit a pump as some of the new fixtures and fittings may only work with a higher pressure. Many come from mainland Europe where water pressure is higher so you need to check that it can be adapted to the UK standards and pipe sizes. Huge shower heads look fun but require an immense flow of water to operate properly, so bear this in mind before committing.

Finally think about the textures within the room and ensure the space isn’t all the same – add texture with tile finishes, taps, counter tops and accessories. And most of all have fun – this will probably be the first room you use every day so you want it to leave you feeling awake and ready for the day.

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.

Designing 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.

These are the sort of kitchens we create. Talk to us if you are thinking of revamping your kitchen. Or ring us to book an appointment to visit our show 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.

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.