Wednesday, 21 November 2018

A little update & some luxury lodge styling

Oh dear, I really have been slack when it comes to posting on here, but I do have a valid excuse in that work is busy, social life is full and I'm also learning beginners woodworking (making a stool no less!!) and learning the drums (I got an electric drum kit for my 40th boom!).

Projects I have been working on are wide ranging and varied, clients like a bag of pick n mix and photos, as ever, few and far between.

Nevertheless here are some snaps from projects of late...

Coastal vibe lounge / diner styling

Seriously large sofa for chilling (could even take more cushions - is that possible?!) styling

Modern blue + white + copper styling

Painterly vibe styling (LOVE this artwork, you'll never guess where I sourced it!)

Tom Faulkner Capricorn console + Madison round mirror (in unfinished hallway,
excuse the skirting but I HAD to share this quick snap!)
So many more wonderful things I could share, but no photographic evidence to prove it dag nab it! this space...

Friday, 11 May 2018

Before & after: family home remodel & renovation, Torquay...

...but first some blurb about my 'hand-holding' design service and how it works...

I thought I'd share with you some snaps (professional photos are being taken later - once art has been installed & all soft furnishings in place etc) of a small 'hand-holding' project I carried out recently.

These are the before and after photos of the bedrooms that I designed for a family home in Torquay. The house required a completely overhaul; it was remodelled and renovated, knocking down walls and opening up new spaces, bringing in light and generally modernising it to create a fresh, light, welcoming family home. 

This client wanted me to help her make "bolder interiors choices" as she always "plays it safe". This is the type of request I get time and time again, where a client wants to make changes to their home but just doesn't have the confidence to go it alone or the skill / knowledge to bring it all together, specifying the right elements to create a new look. 

For a modest sum, I am able to give clients the confidence, the skills and knowledge, designing for them spaces that they would otherwise not have felt able to achieve. This is what I mean by hand-holding and probably makes up about 70% of the residential work I undertake. It's affordable, quick to turn-around and once I've presented to my client they can crack on feeling fully equipped to implement the design themselves. Win-win - I love these kind of projects!

Before & After

The brief: 

  • design a "hotel look" bedroom & en-suite that is luxurious & sophisticated
  • create a space in which the client can fully relax & feel rested in

Before: master bedroom

After: master bedroom - modern, indulgent & restful

After: master bedroom - modern, indulgent & restful

Girls's Bedroom no.1 
The brief: 

  • design a funky, bright & modern 12 year old girl's bedroom
  • colour scheme must include turquoise!
  • specify colours, lighting, wall coverings, soft furnishings & curtains for bedroom & en-suite bathroom, as well as drawer handles. Retain fitted wardrobes.

Before: 12 year old girl's bedroom

After: 12 year old girl's bedroom

Girls's Bedroom no.2
The brief: 
  • design a girly, modern & cosy 10 year old girl's bedroom
  • colour scheme must include pink & glitter / sparkle
  • specify colours, lighting, wall coverings, soft furnishings & curtains as well as drawer handles. Retain all fitted furniture

Before: 10 year old girl's bedroom

After: 10 year old girl's bedroom

Whilst the photos haven't been professionally shot and the rooms not 'styled' I hope you'll agree that the transformations are really effective and answer the brief.

All curtains, blinds and cushions on this project were handmade by Inspired Curtains. We work together on the majority of my projects and their work is second to none. 

Happy weekend y'all 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Literally splashing paint on the floor - new (old) trend

You may have heard of "spatter-dashing", which is the the method of painting floors with splattered speckles of colour, is an iconic, age old technique dating back to the American Colonial period.

Splatter-dashed floor aka messy, needs-a-clean floor

The technique, especially when applied to the floor, is literally something that makes my toes curl.

Splattered paint all over the floor?? Erm, that begs for the question "did you spill the paint pot before you got started decorating?!"

Whoops, I just emptied the wood burner ash over the floor!

So imagine my thoughts when I hear that 2018 heralds the bringing back of terrazzo floor tiling, works tops, bathroom name it. Big gulp.

Love the colour palette but not the mess

Terrazzo is a composite material made of marble chippings set into cement. It originates from 16th century Italy. yes 16th century. From a country that is king of all decor ornate and über elaborate. So using it in modern homes today? Hmm. I worked on a commercial project not long ago where we ripped out skip loads of the stuff, did we make a big mistake?


Don't get me wrong, I LOVE marble, timelessly elegant, both classical and contemporary. But terrazzo tiling??

Nope. Maybe in commercial settings. But not in residential.

And here's why;

U.G.L.Y you ain't got no alibi, you ugly

It's prone to cracking. If damaged, a specialist needs to re-grind and re-polish it.

It reminds me of stark hallways and staircases in department stores, apartment blocks and government buildings. I'm all for urban / industrial / concrete interiors but this is just not ever going to float my boat, it definitely sinks it. Right to the bottom of the deep blue sea.

Hope I haven't offended anyone's recent installation. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion, yes?

Good job I'm not one for following trends *lol*

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

May I hold your hand?

You know that feeling when someone reaches out for you and slips their hand into yours?

Yes that feeling.  Amazing, isn't it?!

Styling, designing and decorating over the past nine years, I've come to find I really like holding people's hands. It is THE reason why I feel inspired, motivated, engaged, passionate and above all grateful every day of the week.

The sheer variety my work brings to my daily life is too cool for school; variety of clients, properties, briefs, projects, locations, demands, deadlines, coffees (cheeky I know but if you are lovely enough to offer me a coffee I hope you don't notice when I subtly try to suss out how you'll make it, just in case there's a chance it may be instant (bleurgh) so then I can kindly request a tea instead *wink*).

Occasionally I question whether I'm really bringing anything to the world. Is this stuff I do helping anyone, I mean reaaaally helping anyone, am I contributing to the greater good, is it adding value to this world we live in any way shape or form.

I go into self-analysis mode and then try and channel conversations I've had with friends and family about this very subject and remember what they said....

...hell yeah, I am helping people, I am contributing my little bit to the world and I am adding value.

So forget questioning the validity of my work, I embrace it and feel lucky that clients turn to me to 'hold their hands', to guide them, to give them the confidence that they lack.

And exhale. Feels good.

My interior styling mantra has always been and will always be that it must be


In order for me to know I've not just answered the brief, but gone above and beyond it, I strive to give an edge to my clients' interiors that is individual, stylish and personal, it has to work on a practical level, not break the bank and it should endure the test of time.

So if you feel like you just haven't quite got the proverbial balls for it, like you know you want to feel that fear and do it anyway but can't...quite...take...the...plunge, like you sort of know the end look you're trying to get to but have lost your way trying to find it, maybe you just need to extend your arm out.

Whether you have a blank canvas and want me to create a compete design or you need me to add the extra flourishes to a scheme you have already started, my job is to 'hold your hand' and make s**t happen.

Be distinctive. Be bold. Together we will rock your vibe. 

Just one pre-requisite; (aside from good coffee *smile*) go with your gut.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Changing times - open plan is dead (gulp)

After a super long time with no capacity to be able to write a blog post (where does the time go?!) the new year and a new chapter of moving into a new home next month (woohoo!) have given me the impetus to MAKE the time so here I am.

Be it raze the current house to the ground allowing me to create an entirely new dwelling or remodel and ameliorate the existing property bringing it into the 21st century, lying ahead of me are a myriad of decisions that need to be made.

Rather than feeling overwhelmed or daunted I am so excited to embrace this new chapter and having recently converted from a slightly 'withheld' individual to a vehement go-for-it, yes-sayer (hallelujah!), this newly found state of being has led me to completely step away from all known comforts and trodden paths to forcibly challenge myself to experiment and try new and unknown things. 

Call it what you want (just not an early midlife crisis, I do turn 40 this year you know, eek!) but boom, feeling the fear and doing it anyway is so god dam invigorating, I'm embracing this new attitude of mine with open hands and heart.

Ha ha this-a-way, ha ha that-a-way, ha ha this-a-way my oh my!

I've been contemplating the concept of open living for some time. Being a complete tidy-freak, I mean seriously, a COMPLETE tidy-freak - just one thing out of place and I'm stressing out (doh), this whole open plan life of mine adds to my stress level beyond belief.

Ok, it's really great to have everything in sight line when at home; Heidi drawing at the dining table while I bake in the kitchen (cos that happens loads), Simon playing the keyboard (with headphones on thank god, no he's actually quite talented) and the dog and cat playing silly buggers in the conservatory (best buddies really) it all sounds idyllic doesn't it?

Yup, but then Heidi gets all crafty with glue, paper and loo roll inners then leaves it there to set up a clothes shop whilst dancing around to Simon's piano playing (headphones now removed and volume cranked up), cat and dog chasing about having been in the garden in the rain (muddy paw prints, splattered dog shake-off) all while I try and remain calm in the kitchen (having now poured a glass of medicinal wine)...stuff, mess, noise, dirt aagghhh...are you feeling my vibe yet?!

The 'idyllic' open plan living chez nous

From an aesthetic point of view, it all looks great - the space flows, feels larger, more sociable and when tidy (which is all the time, hence my inability to ever sit down) is a delight to hang out in. However if anything is out of sync; there is music / tv on, fragrant dishes are being crafted in the kitchen, the cat has his crazy half hour and climbs the walls or I just need to take 5 mins out and get some peace, forget about it, this haven of minimal calm living is upset and there is nowhere to hide (except the loo) and even there, well let's not get into that!

I have enjoyed this lovely space but you know what, having coveted others homes for their open spaces prior to having my own and having waited a long time to get it, you know what, they can keep it. I am over it. I am moving on and stepping back in time and lusting after separate rooms or 'broken spaces' at a push. Open living is done and dusted for me.

I am dreaming of a dining room.
A living room.
A play / music room.
A kitchen.
All separate, all enclosed, all with their own walls. Fancy that.

Open living is dead. Long live open living.

It's the end of an era for me and I can't wait to see where this takes me...

Hostess trolley?! - practical hey, keeping your seconds warm, while you eat the first plateful (nom!)

Kitchen-to-dining room hatch?! - awesome, serve through the hatch, close the doors & no need to clear the pans and dishes whilst you eat and drink in peace. Saves walking to and fro each time you need a top up. Does it mean I need a chef / housekeeper though *wink*

What do you think about open plan living?
Will I eat my words when I come to finalising plans with yet-to-be-chosen appointed architect for the new house #chatterparklympstone? Well, hey I don't mind eating my words, just make sure they're  chocolate dipped (smile).

A token shot of scrumptious Winnie 💛

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Living with an interior designer isn't easy...

Following on from my earlier post 2 posts in 1 day!... In true Katey style, pretty much as soon as the photo shoot was over, I had a wood burner fitted in my living room, so obviously HAD to change the wall colours to suit my new mood and look...! I don't know how my husband puts up with me ;)