Thursday, 29 September 2011

Before & After furniture restyle: Edgy side-table

I'm sorry that the re-styles have been a bit on the quiet side of late, but these things take time and patience and, for me, are a labour of love. I currently have a lot of projects in varying states of restyling including a very groovy ottoman, a cute triangular mini-corner cupboard as well as stools, mirrors and frames. All of these items have to be finished by 29th October (eek!) as they will all be for sale at the Contemporary Homemade Fair, which is being held at Victory Hall, Exminster, Devon (near Exeter) from 10am - 4pm...much more info on that to follow soon!


Anyway, back to where I started, this evening I would like to share with you a funky little table that my mother's uncle made many years ago. Some might say that it was fine as it was i.e. in it's pre-painted state and to some extent I do agree. The shape of it is so unique and timeless - one of those pieces that will stand the test of time and fit in with many decor schemes. I have chosen not to sell this item as I absolutely love it and have put it on my landing so I get to see it everytime I go and up down my staircase, which is generally a lot of times as I am forever forgetting why I went up or down in the first place!

After - straight lines softened by hearts & flowers

I hope you like the table. There will be a lot more before and afters to come over the following month...

Something else I just have to share with you this evening is this shot of my papa.

Papa & the collection of tree stumps

Bless him and his Husqvarna chainsaw gear! He is always more than happy to help and today he got all chainsaw happy and delighted in chopping lots of tree stumps for me, ready for some fab items I'll be making for the Contemporary Homemade this space...!

Oh and in the meantime my ever so talented mum created this wonderful autumnal floral display, using a selection of plants and flowers from their garden...such green fingers and so talented at creating stunning and unique displays x

Beautiful autumnal floral display

Latest love: logpile wallpaper

What a beautiful morning! I've just had an exhilerating march to start the day off and decided I just can't wait any longer to write about my latest favourite love of the moment. I wanted to wait for a chilly autumnal day to write this post but after looking through the wallpaper samples I've been sent whilst annoyingly in a state of insomnia last night (prob due to too much bubbly!) I'm blogging it-tastic today!

Home Restyler's latest love!

Freelance graphic & textile designer and roddy & ginger business owner Virginia Armstrong designs and sells her vintage inspired textiles from her studio in south-east London. For me, she has captured a look and feel that is just so appealing and natural in shape, form and colour. As any of my regular readers will know, I love a classic retro vibe and Virginia's designs are totally on my wave-length.

This autumn, she launched the logpile wallpaper collection, which has such a natural, earthy and somewhat eccentric feel to it. The colours are spot on for this autumn / winter bringing three woodland themed colours into the home: woodsmoke, silver birch and moss yellow. 
The 52cmx10metre rolls retail at £52.00 each and are available now from the roddy & ginger onlineshop

The logpile design isn’t only available as wallpaper but also  as teatowels, cushions and pillowcases.

roddy & ginger also have other designs in the range including folkdancers, woodland owls and lovebirds amongst others, which are available to buy as screenprints, teatowels, cushions, shopping bags and aprons...yum, so much to choose from...

As one might imagine, Virginia's house is also rather deliciously filled with her designs and is a real testament to her taste, style and love for all things vintage and retro. Not surprisingly her house has recently been photographed for House Beautfiful magazine. Here are a few snaps, which were taken by Eve Ashby of South West Make-Up, whilst there filming for another shoot.

The search for inspiration for my new living room is sorted. Now just to sell the house and find the right one to buy...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Home Restyler does Gothic in Devon Life

My copy of Devon Life October 2011 just landed on my doormat and I am very excited to tell you that some of my tips on how to successfully inject dramatic, Gothic style into your home are in it.

Gothic Style Dramatic Interiors - Home Restyler ideas & inspiration

  • Rich in colour, mystical & intricate this style of interiors is about the display of richness in an elegant style & generally works best in wide open spaces
  • Originally the architectural style was used in 12th century, nowadays more inclined towards Gothic minimalism, which is slick, modern & has cleaner lines
  • Features: tall arched windows, stunning stained glass, fireplaces, pointed arches, heavy fabrics
  • Suited to those who love creativity & drama in their lives 

Colour: rich, dramatic & moody. Jewel greens & reds, deep blues & purples with metallics to brighten

Fabrics: rich, heavy fabrics like crushed velvets & chenille, big/bold patterns i.e. damask, beautiful shiny silks

Flooring: ideally stone but for a more comfortable, homely feel, rich toned hardwood flooring or more rustic sisal with ornate & deep coloured rugs

Lighting: chandeliers, wrought iron, use of gold / silver, wall sconces, candles & dimmer switches soften the mood 

Romance: to soften the overall look introduce gold / silver & dark wood with vases, frames, candles & mirrored surfaces

Room by Room
Living Room Tip: use wide bands of complementary colours together with detailed accessories to create impact without creating a harsh look. 

Bedroom Tip: coloured, scented candles & metal candles holders look beautiful in bedrooms lending a mysterious & romantic appeal. A metal, arched bedstead makes an impactful statement.

Kitchen Tip: high gloss units are on-trend & can create a modern, glamorous, dramatic look through the use of dark colours like aubergine, black & deep blue. Increase drama with chandelier style cooker hood

Bathroom Tip: black & white never goes out of fashion. Make on ornate, free-standing bath your focal-point, hang Venetian style mirrors, hang bold printed curtains/blinds, use a mix of b&w tiles & accessorise with plush black towels, antiqued candle holders & silver soap dispenser

How to create your own interior style

Six steps to creating your perfect interior style

The way you style your home is personal to you and needs to work with the way you choose to live your life and those who share it with you. Not all of us feel confident when choosing how to style our homes, so for those of you who would like a little guidance here‘s a plan to help you on your way.

1. Create your Style File
·        *  Get inspired by all the things around you, inspiration is everywhere you look; magazines, art, fashion, nature … rip out the page, take a photo or get a sample of it and  
·         *   Keep it all together, file it in a lever arch, pin it to an online album (I recommend although be warned, once you start pinning you’ll find it hard to stop!) or box it. File it however suits you best and once you’ve collected a good selection of things that inspire you
·         *   Create your style by going through and categorising it. It’s likely that common themes will run throughout. Break it down and find out what colours and styles you are naturally drawn to.

Admittedly if you take this approach, it’s won’t happen overnight but believe me it’s worth the effort. Why? Because you’ll always have your Style File to refer to and when you start making big decisions i.e. which sofa to buy, if you can’t trust your instincts, this Style File will be your guide.

2. Assess your belongings

·         *   Go around your house and evaluate everything you own; furniture, lights, accessories, frames, cushions, absolutely everything.
·        *   Think about each item and decide whether to keep or get rid of it. Consider whether repainting or reupholstering it would give it a new lease of life. Be ruthless and sort out what you love or loathe.
·        *   Now measure the big items and cut out roughly to-scale outlines of them.

3. Work out a floor plan
·       *   The simplest and most effective restyles are often the ones that use furniture and furnishings from other rooms within a house. A clunky looking table in one room might be the perfect missing piece in another.
 *    Draw a simple outline of the rooms you plan to restyle and move your cut-outs around it until you find a layout that you like. When doing so consider any features you’d like to accentuate, areas to conceal, views and remember furniture in 2D looks smaller than in 3D. No one layout is perfect, make compromises and you’ll find the one that works best for you.  

4.  Give yourself a budget

           Everything considered you may think you need to spend lots of money to achieve your new look. This is why it’s important to be realistic about the cost of furniture and furnishings and what you are trying to achieve. 
           * Do you want to buy everything in one go to get it all done?
           * Would you rather take time to collect pieces over time?
·       *  Write a wish-list of all the stuff you would like and allocate a budget (with contingency!) and then


5. Look, research & discover
·         Get out and about; go into the shops you love and ones you’ve never entered before.
Look at books and magazines, get on the internet and check out retailer websites to see what is available within your budget
       * There are countless blogs online that you can also read that are packed with information 
·       *   Ask your friends and family where they shop.
·       *   Immerse yourself fully and then add all of your swatches, samples and cut-outs to your Style File.

6. Get creative & make a mood board
This has to be one of the most fun parts of the process. It’s time to get out the scissors and glue (release your inner child!) and for each room you want to restyle, make a mood board with the contents of your Style File. 

·         Refer back to what you did earlier and create your board based on the furniture and accessories you already have and what you need to buy.
·        *   You know your style, you know your budget and you know your floor plan. This step brings everything together on one (big) board so you can see how your look comes together. How exciting!

One last point, before you get your wallet out and hit the shops, it will save you time and stop you from feeling overwhelmed by the task in hand, if you write down a list of what you need to do, what you need to buy and in what order. This way you can tick off each job as it’s done and when the room is complete you can sit back, relax and feel proud of how you achieved your own interior style.

Have fun and if you’d like any advice or have any questions, please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you x

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Finding your interior style - part two in print

Well, today saw my second column in Exeter Express & Echo weekly newspaper, which was part two of how to find your own interior style in six easy to follow steps.

As many of my blog readers are unable to buy the newspaper, next week I would like to share the complete article with you in full. So if you'd like some advice to help you find your own interior style, remember to take a few minutes out of your busy day and come back here on Tuesday 27th, when I will break it all down for you.

Until then take care and enjoy this beautifully mild September weather we are so lucky to be having!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Snuggle up

Ah the turn of season. Despite my love of summer sunshine, days on the beach and late evening al fresco dining, there is something so comforting about the days getting shorter and the air becoming colder. I love the fact that come late evening I now need to turn on a few lights around the house, draw some curtains shut and put my snug and cosy new bootie slippers on. My flip-flops and summer dresses have been packed away and my wardrobe is now full of woollen jumpers, warm coats and winter boots. I love the newness of wrapping a scarf around my neck each day and the feeling of cooler, fresher air blow across my cheeks when out for a beach walk or apple picking.

Now that summer has ended my thoughts turn to cosying up the house and making it a a truly comfortable, snuggleable and cosy place to retreat and be warm and cosy. It's time to replace the summer cushions and light linens and bring in all things knitted, sheepskin, cashmere, velvet, tweed and natural wood.

If ever it were possible to fall in love with a beanbag, let this be the moment. These beanbags have to be the most covetable I have ever seen!

If I had these in my living room along with this shaggy rug and wood burner, I honestly don't know how I would manage to do anything except lounge on them. Small sheared sheepskin beanbag £300, sheepskin cushion £60 and sheepskin rug £500 - The White Company.
Hmm, I'm thinking a hot chocolate may be the perfect drink right now...

And if those aren't enough to keep the chill off you, how about this adorably cute Ruth Cross Hottie how ater bottle in Misty Cliffs (a new colour for Winter 2011) £48. The handmade cover is knitted with lambs wool with lurex sparkle and has a satin ribbon drawstring and is sure to give you an instantly supersoft burst of warmth.

Candles. One of the BEST bits about Autumn / Winter. My friends all know how much I love candles and that I will light them at any opportunity. On a bleak, grey, dismal day a lit candle, especially a scented one can bring such warmth, light and joy to a house. Here are a few of my favourites that I have seen so doubt there will be many more to follow!

True Grace As It Should Be Fig candle - Earthy-sweet aroma of Mediterranean fig trees, fruity and oozing with Autumnal warmth. £19.95 from the Scented Candle Store

On-trend scandinavian light wood heart shaped votives - set of 2 £8 from John Lewis

These fragranced candles from French perfumier Geodesis are delicious, they use the highest quality wax and unique blends of perfume and candles burn for up to 60 hours. My favourite scent is Cinnamon but it also comes in nine other fragrances; Orange Tree; Lavender; Blackcurrant; Massoia Tree Bark;  Fig Tree, Rose, Clove, Verbena or Agar Wood. Divine!
Priced at £22 each they are available from Velvet Bown at

Over the next few months I will have a whole host of posts full of ideas and inspiration to help you make your home cosy for the coming colder months. Snuggle up and keep warm!