My Ideal Garden Style

July 24th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Gardens - (0 Comments)

I have a hankering after an old fashioned type of garden. I’m not talking about picket fences and benches made from fallen branches (although they can also be lovely in the right setting), I’m talking about naturally aged wood fences, recycled apple crates, brick, and old metal.

Garden Trading Aldsworth potting table £240, Wooden sign £12, Colworth herb box £22, Wooden seed tray £10, Large and small seed box in clay £6 - £10 mailable

Aldsworth potting table £240, Wooden sign £12, Colworth herb box £22, Wooden seed tray £10, Large and small seed box in clay £6 – £10

It’s the kind of look that does lend itself to a country garden admittedly, but I think it can also work in the city, in suburbia and even on a balcony. It’s more of a way of life than a style statement. It’s about cherishing those tools so that they last for years, recycling and reusing pots and taking cuttings from friends instead of running off to the garden centre every time a bare patch appears in the flower bed.

Garden Trading Florist vase, large £18 medium £15 and small £12 mailable

Florist vase, large £18 medium £15 and small £12

It does take time to create this kind of garden and that’s the only downside.  Not just in the hours you have to dedicate to its welfare but also in the number of years it will take to mature. But in my dream of dreams I have the time to do this. I will put aside time to tend my little plot. I’ve already started off a tray or two of cuttings and time will tell if they will root and grow.

Garden Trading - Garden Essentials

Bonfire fork, £35, hanging sign, £4.50, wooden rake, £16, tool hook rail, £24, thermometer, £20, string jar and jute string, £12, set of 6 herb garden markers in slate £9.50

I’m collecting tins to use as planters and wooden crates to use as shelves, tables and well, just crates. I’m going to banish plastic, clean up my tools and sort out a corner of the garage where everything will have its place.

I’ll be growing veggies next!

All items shown available from the Garden Trading.

Stay One Step Ahead

July 23rd, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

If you thought all carpet was beige, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact I wish someone had told that fact to the developers of my new house! Just as fabrics,wallpapers and paint colours follow trends, so does carpet. Trends might be slower to catch on – carpet and flooring after all is a relatively expensive outlay – but believe me, the circle of life moves on.

Carpetright, Champion (four colours) £2.99m2

Champion (four colours) £2.99m2

For autumn/winter the clever peeps at Carpetright are predicting four easy to follow trends that are all achievable at surprisingly affordable prices - English Eccentric, Refined Monochrome, Tales of the Orient and Meadow Breeze.

Carpetright, Paris Rug Collection from £99

Paris Rug Collection from £99

English Eccentric – is about being adventurous with colour, texture and pattern. A bohemian look can be created using inexpensive carpet tiles laid as geometric patterns, or by using three complementary shades of carpet on alternating stairs for a truly bespoke look.  If carpet is not for you, why not place a selection of rugs, all with different patterns on your floor, adding warmth in the colder winter months but easily removed for summer. It’s about mixing the unexpected in a fresh and bold way.

Carpetright, Ashby Anthracite Carpet £5.99m2

Ashby Anthracite Carpet £5.99m2

Refined Monochrome - is a cool and sophisticated trend that has an elegant and timeless look that never dates.  Black and white flooring will provide the perfect backdrop for glamorous and classic furniture. Capture the new refined monochrome look with velvet upholstery and shiny glass and metallics. It’s best to keep accessories to a minimum but ensure each piece makes a statement.

Carpetright, Carousel Twist Turquoise Carpet £13.99m2

Carousel Twist Turquoise Carpet £13.99m2

Tales of the Orient – is all about injecting bold colour and pattern into your home, creating a vibrant scheme packed full of opulence.   Juxtapose Chinese and Japanese design with strong geometric lines and add an exotic touch with Oriental inspired wallcoverings.  Mix spicy shades with jewel blues and offset with black for a dramatic contrast. Yum. 

Carpetright, Virgo Pink Carpet £7.99m2

Virgo Pink Carpet £7.99m2

Meadow Breeze – is a feel good colour palette.  The upbeat colours will give your home some summer sunshine all year round.  It’s best to choose your flooring first to provide an essential base colour.  If you opt for a boldly coloured carpet, balance it with lots of white furniture and accessories.  

Which trend would you go for?

All images are taken from the Carpetright lookbook.

Tine K Home’s Beautiful Home

July 22nd, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Houses - (1 Comments)

“It is the contrast between light and dark which creates the style and atmosphere. Often, the dark colors come from old objects, furniture and carpets from the East. I like pieces that have history, that are handmade and different, and that I can’t usually find in Denmark.”

Tine Kjeldsen, Tine K Home

Tine K Home's beautiful home [1]

While I was researching yesterdays post I stumbled across the latest press images for Tine K Home and I was reminded once again how much I love and admire everything about this Danish brand. The image above is from the Tine K Home website but I found the following pictures of Tine’s own home in a 2012 issue of Est magazine. It may have changed a lot since then, but I have a feeling it will still exude that cool Scandinavian vibe. If I could fill my home with her products, believe me I would.

Tine K Home's beautiful home [2]

Tine K Home's beautiful home [4]

Tine K Home's beautiful home [5]

Tine K Home's beautiful home [3]

Photographs by Jacob Gils

Do you ever have a yearning to relive childhood fantasies and drift away into a whimsical wonderland? Yes? Well you should definitely check out ‘A Curious Kingdom’ which is the debut collection from Sky Siouki.


Mythical creatures, oversized foliage, dreamlike landscapes and frolicking wildlife, all combine to create an enchanting essence of nostalgia. 

SkySiouki_cushions [1]

Each design features intricate hand-drawn illustrations digitally printed onto luxurious fabrics. Unique and bold, these cushions are perfect for those who dare to be different. Everything is made in the UK.

SkySiouki_cushions [2]

 The range includes cotton velvet and silk dupion cushions, lavender bags, linen notebooks and unique greetings cards all available to buy online.

Let your imagination run away with you!

The July issue is now out my lovelies.

Heart Home magazine July 2014 cover photograph by Paul Craig

I’m particularly fond of this cover. It’s a detail that we took in the home of Craig Masson and I’m kinda fond of skulls but instead of looking macabre these ones just looked pretty, especially with that gorgeous mirror as a backdrop. The rest of Craig’s home is just as inspirational. Full of collections and retro finds but you’ll have to read the issue to see more.

Oh go on then, just one more teaser.

Heart Home magazine July 2014 - Home of Craig Masson photograph by Paul Craig

We also have our first ever garden makeover feature. It’s full of ingenious ideas for re-cycling everyday objects to make the most of our outside spaces. Stylist Joanna Thornhill demonstrates how to glam up the garden in fact, in her very own little oasis.

Heart Home magazine July 2014 - Garden Feature styled by Joanna Thornhill, photographed by Rita Platts

And of course it’s full of all the usual interviews, hotel recommendations and shopping news including this one that I’m very drawn to.

Heart Home magazine July 2014 - A touch of moroccan magic shopping feature


Heart Home magazine.

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

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?

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

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