I have so many walls to cover in the new home that I’m being drawn to large-scale wall murals as an alternative to wallpaper and artwork. Why not combine the two I say! And being a new build it could do with some atmosphere and character.

So, I was having a little mosey on the website of An Angel At My Table - one of my all time favourites by the way – and they had a couple of new frescos that caught my eye. At first I thought the cherubs would be a good choice for the bedroom. Kinda soft and romantic and oozing pastels.

Cherubs wall mural from An Angel at my Table

And then I saw the trees.  A slice of England as if captured by the Old Masters. Pastoral scenes, rolling mists and magical intrigues.

Trees wall mural from An Angel at my Table

And then I saw all of the other products that had been styled in front of this woodland glade.

An Angel at my Table

Oh, my giddy aunt, I’m in love.

What a good idea are these outdoor rugs from Cuckooland?

The perfect basis for creating an outdoor room and they are so stylish too! I can imagine one or two to liven up a plain deck (layer, layer, layer) and make entertaining and outside dining so much more of an occasion. And so practical for making more usable space on the lawn. Imagine, no more damp bottoms. Not only that, they tick the recycled materials box, can be used as indoor rugs if you so wish, and roll up in a carry bag to be taken and used as a beach mat or a picnic rug. 

cuckooland outdoor rugs [1]


cuckooland outdoor rugs [4]


cuckooland outdoor rugs [2]


cuckooland outdoor rugs [3]


Did I mention that they’re reversible too?

I can’t quite decide between Laguna and Lhasa. What do you think?

Did you know that the leather Chesterfield sofa has been around for about 200 years? The distinctive button-backed style with scrolled arms is often synonymous with libraries and gentlemen’s clubs but stuffy it’s not. Not only is it a hard wearing and practical choice for a family home, it’s also a bit of a chameleon and will fit comfortably in most styles of interior.

Blog — Payal Desai Designs

The room above is perhaps the type of room you’d expect to find the handsome Chesterfield. It’s dark wall colour, mounted trophies and antique furniture would be at home in a hunting lodge. But look closer at the Perspex coffee table, rug and the very colour of the leather. All contemporary touches that lift this room out of the ordinary.

dust jacket attic blog

You perhaps wouldn’t expect a Chesterfield (in fact a pair of Chesterfields) to be so at home in a white-painted room with pale wooden floor, but don’t they look fabulous? The Chinese furniture, art and the wicker chairs all prevent the room from looking too dull and balance the colour of the leather. Love that plants have been added too. A room just isn’t the same without them.

lazarorosaviolan dot com

Here a pair of Chesterfields look very at home in a luxurious, modern scheme. The traditional grouping of two sofas either side of the fireplace works very well mainly because the typical low back does not impede the view across the room. It’s also eminently comfortable I can tell you now.

ethnic chic dot com

And last but not least, a very feminine room to prove that this type of sofa really does work anywhere. Just add an antique rug, cushions, furs, books and flowers. Oh, and a dress on the back of the door. Love the ceiling mouldings!

For a fantastic range of Chesterfield sofas, club chairs and wing chairs visit Distinctive Chesterfields.

Image sources: 1 Payal Desai Designs 2 Dust Jacket Attic 3 Lazaro Rosa Violan 4 Favim

How cute is this Bird on a Wire wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct? It is simple and effective in this entrance hall scheme and although its pretty it’s definitely not cute. Put that down to the wood furniture, utilitarian table lamp and organic accessories. And of course the uncontrived flower arrangement in a plain glass jar.

wallpaperdirect_bird on a wire

Wallpaper from Wallpaper Direct. £69 per roll.

Want to create this look at home?

Here’s a few suggestions from me.

wallpaperdirect_bird on a wire with accessories

Where to buy: 1 Round mirror from Heals. 2 Bird bookends from Marks and Spencer. 3 Stool from Design Vintage. 4 Anglepoise lamp from B & Q. 5 Apothecary chest from Asda Direct. 6 Artificial flowers from John Lewis. 7 Umbrella stand from Oka Direct.

Less is definitely more sometimes. When you have a beautiful period home with elegant proportions, high ceilings and an abundance of original features, why guild the lily? All you need is a simple pared back colour scheme, a few well chosen pieces of furniture and a smattering of home comforts.

This is home of interior designer and BBC TV presenter Gabrielle Blackman, her husband Pete, who works in advertising; and their daughters Cecelia, 10, and Beatrice, 6. It was built in 1780 and she lives with her family on the top two of the five floors while her parents live on the other three.

An Elegantly Simple Bristol Home via Homelife.com.au [0]

I love the predominantly grey and white colour scheme with flashes of teal and mustard. It’s a brave move to paint all the floorboards in the house but to lay rugs down would change the airy feeling entirely.

An Elegantly Simple Bristol Home via Homelife.com.au [1]

The kitchen most definitely looks well loved and lived in and the teal splashes carry through the colour scheme from the living room without it looking too ‘designed’.

An Elegantly Simple Bristol Home via Homelife.com.au [4]

I just want a black glass fronted cabinet like that. I may have mentioned this before.

An Elegantly Simple Bristol Home via Homelife.com.au [5]

And I love the linen sheets, unlined curtains and simple task lights.

An Elegantly Simple Bristol Home via Homelife.com.au [6]

All images via Inside Out Magazine. Photographed by Michael Paul.

Founded in 1887 Anaglypta is one of the best known and oldest wallpaper brands and synonymous with paintable textured wallpaper.  It fell out of favour for a while but you have to respect its longevity. The original archive consists of 500 patterns, representing styles from the mid 19th and early 20th century and the new collection called  ‘Book 39’ comprises an eclectic range of timeless patterns that celebrate decades of good design.

Anaglypta - EGON 1


Amongst the vast book of 94 papers there are iconic patterns such as the late 19th century ‘Egon’ and ‘Turner Tile’ together with the re-introduced 1930s design, ‘Deco Paradiso’. At a time of renewed interest for textured wall-covering this new collection manages to feel relevant to present day trends while retaining an essence of heritage and period style.

Anaglypta - TURNER TILE 1

Turner Tile

I’m kinda liking the white treatment above paired with contemporary furniture.

Anaglypta - DECO PARADISO 1

Deco Paradiso

Prices range from £8 to £50 per roll.

How do you feel about Anaglypta?

Trolley Dollies

June 30th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

Now that summer is truly here and with it the season for summer parties, what we all need of course is a drinks trolley!

They have shaken off that dated reputation and with the help of Mad Men have become sophisticated again. But they are also so practical you see. No more juggling trays of precariously balanced cocktails. No more rushing back to the kitchen for the forgotten ice and slices of lemon.  We can all swan around like Betty Draper looking as cool as cucumbers and dispensing martini’s and the odd Babycham with a cherry on a stick.

Drinks Trolley - Oliver Bonas £195

My favourite is this little gold bamboo number from Oliver Bonas. It has handy holders to stop bottles toppling over and is the height of retro cool. It’s also the cheapest of this selection at £195.

Kaymet Modern Trolley, Silver with Silver Trays via Clippings £339

The classic Kaymet Modern Trolley has been produced in Bermondsey since the 1960s.  It has a silver anodised aluminium frame, silver finished wheels and two removable silver trays. Available from Clippings for £339.

Out There Interiors - Three Tier Trolley (Teresita) £275

The Teresita from Out There Interiors is available in aubergine, black, cameo green, petrol, white and yellow and is £275.

B & D Designs - Felix Trolley £2400

But if you truly want to splurge I would go for the Felix by B & D Designs (by artist Cathy Azria). It’s taller than the average trolley with three removable trays and costs an eye watering £2,400.

We’ll all be rushing out and buying a Teasmade next.

First Direct Bank is twenty five years old this year and they have just launched a competition to find an aspiring interior designer for the bar area at the Leeds Arena. And as well as the kudos of the bar re-design there is also a couple of great prizes to be had.

So why am I telling you this?

Because they have asked me to be one of the judges.

So that is, alongside Tracy Garrad, CEO of First Direct Bank, Tony Watson the Sales & Marketing Director for the Arena and David Laycock (Head of the Leeds Retail Consortium). I feel very honoured.

Image courtesy of Emma Reddington (prop stylist) and Sian Richards (photographer) [1]

Entrants will need to submit a mood board expressing their ideas – fabrics, colours, images, text, anything. We don’t expect details of every square inch of the space but we’d like to see an overall impression of what the bar will look like. Above all it needs to convey ‘unexpected Leeds’ and the ‘unexpected bank’.

Image courtesy of Emma Reddington (prop stylist) and Sian Richards (photographer) [2]

So, if any of you lovelies feel like entering, you do have to be a resident of West Yorkshire and it’s only open to non-professionals. If you would like to know more you can find the brief , all details and a few tips from me over on the First Direct Tumblr site.

Image courtesy of Emma Reddington (prop stylist) and Sian Richards (photographer) [4]

Closing date for entries is July 9th.

Moodboard images by kind permission of Emma Reddington (prop stylist) and Sian Richards (photographer).

I’ve done quite a few bedroom renovations and I veer from freestanding to fitted wardrobes, and back again, on a regular basis. But on a practical level I have to say nothing beats a custom built, walk-in wardrobe. Even the guys get excited at the prospect!

We don’t all need a space the size of some of the glamorous closets pictured here but a well designed space will have many benefits as well as making us very happy.

1. It frees up space in the bedroom to make a clutter free, relaxing room for sleeping only and recharging the batteries. There’s nothing quite as calming as tidy room.

The ultimate walk-ins via Elle Decor [1]

2. It makes getting dressed in the morning a quicker and more efficient process. No hunting round for the matching handbag or the right accessory.

The ultimate walk-ins via Elle Decor [2]

3. It means you will wear more of your wardrobe on a regular basis because you can see exactly what you have. How often have you found something at the bottom of the wardrobe you had completely forgotten about?

The ultimate walk-ins via Elle Decor [3]

4. Everything out on show is a good incentive to keep your items tidy and in good condition. You are more likely to get things cleaned and buttons replaced if there is a constant reminder that they need doing.

The ultimate walk-ins via Elle Decor [4]

5. A custom built wardrobe will maximise the space you have and with good planning will accommodate all of your possessions from most frequently used, (easily accessible) to out of season clothes and less used items on the top shelves.

Contemporary fitted wardrobes in London including luxury walk-ins, available from Urban Wardrobes.

All images from Elle Decor

Fans of Cabbages & Roses charming, quintessentially English furnishing fabrics will be very pleased to hear that they will now be available from eight John Lewis stores.

There will be 12 prints available, including the original and iconic Hadley Rose print, totaling 28 colorway options. All in 100% natural linen fabrics. Participating stores include Oxford Street, Peter Jones, Kingston, Cribbs Causeway, Bluewater, Cambridge, Edinburgh and High Wycombe.

cabbages and roses fabrics now availible at john lewis stores [1]

Constance Blue, £65 per metre.

cabbages and roses fabrics now availible at john lewis stores [2]

Constance Raspberry, £65 per metre.

cabbages and roses fabrics now availible at john lewis stores [3]

Hatley Rose, £48 per metre.

cabbages and roses fabrics now availible at john lewis stores [4]

Fans might also be interested to hear that founder, Christina Strutt’s country home Brooks Cottage, will be making an appearance in the August issue of Heart Home magazine.

Out on 7th August and available now on the iPad App.

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