Thursday, 29 March 2012

Take a seat

As some of you may now know, my absolute favourite colour is yellow.
Not only does it shout gladness, vivacity and boldness, it heralds the joyous arrival of spring and represents the most incredible sunshine for this time of year. Big smiles please!

While spending the morning searching for furniture for a client I happened upon a sofa that made my heart go pop. THIS has to be the sofa of my (current) dreams... yellow, curvaceous, altogether modern yet still erring on the side of retro, button detail and cute little conical legs. How can you not love it?

love, love me do - petal sofa, rume

I just HAD to share it with you. Designed by Richard P. Baker for rume, the petal sofa is highly personalise-able (sorry, another of my made-up words) whereby you can specify dimension, fabric, cushion type and layout, even leg timber and stain. So even if you don't like yellow but love petal's shape you could choose any colour you like. From £1,975 + fabric for a 1.5 seater it's an investment piece to be cherished and is offically added to my wish list for my new home...when I eventually sell the current one.

Continuing with the theme, when I visited the Ideal Home Show at Earl's Court last week I came across The Velvet Chair Company. I simply couldn't walk past their stand without stroking their beautiful bright pink tub chair and after longingly admiring the complete range of chairs, found out from the very friendly lady on the stand that they are made in Nottinghamshire, England and sold only at Oliver Bonas. Available in nine gorgeous colours from neutrals to bold brights the range of velvet chairs, stools and ottomans are made from solid beech frames and covered in velevet made in Holland. Each chair is guaranteed for 20 years, which I think is fantastic and reflects the quality of the workmanship. The only thing is, how on earth would you choose your favourite colour? Well, obviously mine would be yellow, but I love ALL of them!

Available from Oliver Bonas, from £365.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Home Restyler Devon Life article to download

For those of you who were unable to read my Bring the Outside in article for the April 2012 issue of Devon Life that I previously uploaded and for those of you who aren't lucky enough to live in Devon (hee hee!) so can't buy a copy of the magazine, please click on each page number below where you will be able to download each page and read the feature in full.

Page One

Page Two

Page Three

I hope you're having a lovely sunny day!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Home Restyler debut - four page Devon Life magazine feature

When I first launched Home Restyler, I never dreamed that I would appear in one of the biggest county lifestyle magazines in the UK. I was delighted to style the front cover of Devon Life magazine's August 2011 issue and since then have contributed regularly with various hints and tips.

This month however, things have become even more exciting...I have written a full length feature all about bringing the outside in and I am so pleased to let you know that it is now out there, in print, in the April issue, over four whole pages!

When I saw it on-shelf in the supermarket earlier I nearly squealed out loud and had funny looks from the staff there as I frantically ripped off the plastic wrap to see the finished article! If you are interested in reading it, I have scanned it in below, although it would be so much more enjoyable for you to buy a copy and flick through it at your leisure :) I hope you like it and that it fills you with springtime joy, giving you lots of inspiration for bringing the ouside into your home. Let me know your thoughts...

I will post a much higher resolution pdf of the article once I receive it from Devon Life, as I know the quality of the pages above isn't great but I just HAD to share it with you as I am so excited and delighted. I love writing as much as I do designing and this space, I'm writing another article later this year *smile*

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Easter Styling & Decorating Inspiration

I love any excuse to get styling! No matter what season or celebration, I can't resist playing and styling to create new looks. Last weekend I spent a few hours setting my home up for Easter so I thought I'd share some photos of my springtime decorations with you. It's all about the fresh, bright pinks and yellows for me this year *smile*!





I hope you like them. If you have decorated your home, why not email me some of your photos so I can share them on the blog? Happy styling!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

How to: six steps to a successful room design

Having spent the last few days with my latest client developing a new look for her master bedroom, I am feeling inspired to blog about the approach to designing a room and how to go about finding the right pieces.

Casadeco Shetland range

My client won't mind me saying that when she has designed rooms by herself in the past, her impatience to achieve the end look meant that she made snap decisions, which led to buying unsuitable pieces and wasting money. Although I always recommend letting your instinct be your guide (I love the buzz you get from a gut feeling!), I also advocate evaluation and re-evaluation. When designing a room or rooms it is important to allow yourself time to and space and step back from items you have selected. An item that seems perfect one day, may not seem so perfect the next.

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. This easy to follow process, helps you step back and look and what you have and what you would like to have, giving you time and space to create a look that works for you. 


I love this Vintage Rose folder from WHS
  • 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 love 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. 
Taking this approach is definitely 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.


  • 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. 


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.  

(I've just been on an intensive sketching course so I'm looking forward to sharing with you some of my latest sketches and room plans soon...)


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, what you are trying to achieve and how soon you want to achieve it. Do you want to buy everything in one go to get it all done or would you rather take time to collect pieces over time? Redecorating a room doesn't have to cost the earth. (If you want some Home Restyler tips on how to achieve shoe-string budget makeovers click here.)
     Write a wish-list of all the stuff you would like and allocate a budget (with contingency!) and then


  • 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 budgetThere are countless blogs (check out some of Home Restyler's favourite blogs on the right side of this page) that you can also read that are packed with information  
  • Ask your friends and family where they shop, if you like what they have in their home, they will be a mine of useful information!
  • Immerse yourself fully and then add all of your swatches, samples and cut-outs to your Style File. 


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.

Bold, fresh, English cottage inspired Delphine range by Harlequin

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

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The wonderful world of new

Head about to many new and wonderful things to share and just not enough blogosphere space to put it in. Well, not really but I don't want to overload you now do I!? So as De La Soul sang back in the 90's, 3 is today's magic number.

 I am really excited about this new brand called Scion. It has very recently been launched by Harlequin with the aim of filling the gap in the market for affordable yet stylish interior products. The modern, Scandinavian inspired debut collection Melinki is made up of an eclectic mix of fabrics and wallpapers and has a cool, clean palette of fashionable hues: coastal calm, retro kitsch, bakelite brights and urban neutrals. I can't wait to get my hands on the first sample books!


This Candy Stripe rug from Woven Ground, is bang on trend, as this season, soft furnishings are all about sugar sweet pastel shades. Add this to a neutral interior scheme for instant colour pop. Lemon sherbet anyone?!

It's amazing what a bit of lateral thinking and innovation can do in terms of product design and helping to save the planet. Dan at ashortwalk came up with the idea of reusing vending machine coffee cups to make house numbers & names. Once used coffee cups have been cleaned and shredded they end up being transformed into practical yet beautiful house signs that look and feel like slate. The UV-protected plates come in five font styles and three colours and cost from £19.95 each.
Did you know, on average every person in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every 7 weeks, so if you want to lose weight - recycle!
[source: Waste Watch]