Thursday, 26 April 2012

Have your cake...& sit on it!

Ok, I have been totally distracted this afternoon... whilst searching for modern and 'different from the norm' coastal inspired home interiors, I was sent an email about a totally adorable piece of furniture. Not one to shy away from a piece of cake, I couldn't resist this either.

What can I say...I haven't seen anything like this piece before, certainly not of this quality and so I just had to stop what I was doing and share it with you. Aren't you glad I did?!

Made in the UK from solid British oak and walnut, Italian leather and chrome detailing, these delicious looking muffin shaped pouffes from Babatude Boutique can be customised to suit your own personal taste. Choose from White Chocolate, Blueberry, Pistachio, Banana, Cappucino, Strawberry, Anis or Lemon flavour and go mini, standard or large it. If you opt for a large muffin it comes with internal storage so you can store your stash of sweet treats in it and no-one will ever know!

These muffins don't come cheap with prices starting at £530 BUT suitable for both residential and commercial settings, this unique piece of furniture will add fun and flavour to any room and will be a quirky conversation piece for years to come.

For more information please click here.  Sometimes you can't have your cake and eat but sometimes you can have your cake and sit on it *smile*

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Big ideas for small bathrooms

Well hello there!

It seems that an awful lot has happened over the last week and it's all good - I've been pontificating various thoughts and ideas and am brimming with excitement and enthusiasm *smile*.

I have been lucky to meet lots of new people and have been discussing all sorts of new ideas and working on various new projects so I look forward to sharing more about those over the coming weeks...

In the meantime...I was discussing bathroom concepts with a client the other day and we were talking about, how for such a small room within a house, there is a large amount to think about and decide upon. So, today I thought I'd share with you a few little pointers that can make a big difference to one of the most functional and important rooms in your house, helping you to maximise every conceivable space within it.

It sounds obvious, but when designing your bathroom, try to hide as much away as possible. By this I mean conceal boring things like pipework behind boxing or stud walls and use wall-hung units. By doing this, you will create a more streamlined look, giving the impression of greater space, thanks to more visible floor space and clean lines.
The Kohler Stillness range with contrasting forms, textures and materials offers a selection of wall-mounted units to help create more visual space in the bathroom.

Kohler Stillness range

Simple tricks can create huge impact on the appearance of size and scale within a room. Using mirrored cabinets as storage units and placing large mirror on walls above baths reflects light and bounces it around the room making it seem so much larger, lighter and airier. Get a large piece cut to size at your local glazier to create a big wow like this bathroom below (image from Dulux).

When it comes to tiles, less is more. What I mean by that is, the larger the surface area of the tile, the less tiles you will require and the less grout lines in between them - the result of which is a bigger appearing surface. Using the same tiles on the walls and floor will give a seamless flow to the room and if you use pale tile colours, especially white or limestone, this will make the space feel even bigger.

Original Style Tileworks Essence tiles


Lighting is a vital part of the bathroom and it is important you consider it fully when planning your fit-out.  When you want to apply make-up you may want to have bright yet natural daylight effect but when you want to bliss out in a bubble bath, you'll want more subtle, relaxing lighting. Also, to help create a larger appearing room, why not add under-cabinet lighting as this creates a 'floating' effect, which will enhance the feeling of space.  I'm loving this mirror from Astro at the moment, perfect for a modern, minimalist bathroom, the mirror features 2 x 39W tube lamps that shine light out of the top and bottom of the mirror. It looks like it is floating on the wall and makes the wall space seem so much larger than it actually is.

Astro Flair bathroom mirror
Apart from that;
  • if you have tricky spaces like curved walls or sloping ceilings, it's definitely worth having bespoke units made to fit, otherwise you risk losing vital space (I know a few good carpenters if you need a recommendation!)
  • always go for space-saving sanitaryware - there are so many clever products on the market that will make the most of tight spaces i.e. corner wash basins and counter top sinks
  • if the space really is limited and you think you need to choose between a bath and a shower, have a shower above the bath and not as a stand alone products. When is comes to selling your home one day, it is advisable that your bathroom offers both options.
As with any room restyle in your home, it always pays to spend time up front and do your research before you buy!

I hope that my tips are useful and that they offer you some practical advice if you are thinking of re-vamping your bathroom. As ever, if you would like any help designing or styling your bathroom or any other room in your house I'd love to hear from, so please do get in touch.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

3 ways: to put a smile on your face

We all get moments in time when things are a bit rubbish, we over think stuff and worry way too much. Well, I learned something this week. I learned that when I am feeling a bit flat, something always comes along to make me smile and the whole world seems a much brighter place.

...and things always happen in 3's. Just when I felt I needed a boost 3 great things happened; a current client gave me some wonderful feedback, the phone rang and a new client asked me to design a kitchen and bathroom for a house she is building in Cornwall and I came up with a new idea for Home Restyler's portfolio of services. All of a sudden I was beaming and buzzing with energy. So to share the love and to bring a smile to your face, I share with you today 3 other wonderful things.

1. add some romance to your life
For those of you who love the shabby chic, romantic look, I was delighted when I came across these tiles last week. 

Available from Topp Tiles, Rosie Simmons' new Lace Cream tiles, with a dainty and delicate damask antiqued lace pattern on a pearlescent glaze, are a beautiful way to add subtle shimmer and femininity to your bathroom

2. buy artwork without going broke
As many of us know, buying art for our walls does not often come cheap. So what a brilliant idea, had by New Blood Art founder and art tutor Sarah Ryan, to set up a website providing emerging artists with an income and the general public access to truly affordable art.  Sarah spots new talent in the form of painters, photographers and sculptors, who then sell their art via New Blood Art. Win win all round!

Cloudpond by Susan Rosenberg £150

3. add a splash of colour to your tableware

I love RICE, you know, rice as in the Danish homewares company that is known for its colourful melamine, its funky storage items and glazed Italian tableware. Well, this summer they have added to their offerings with some fab new brights. Although considering buying it does make me want to emigrate to warmer climates...I mean when are we EVER going to get to eat al fresco at this rate, it's hailing as I write this blog post for goodness sake!

Wishfully dreaming of eating outdoors...

Groovy dipping bowls in 9 bright colours £5 each
Mini cake my favourite colour £19

are you smiling yet?!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Making an entrance

Some of us like to make more of an entrance than others. If you like the idea of adding some impact and making a statement with entrances within your home, here are some great ideas to use as inspiration.

Lead the eye into the next room
Doorways are the entrance into a whole new area of the house. What I love about this bright and funky living room, is how the turquoise painted door frame is the same colour as the walls in the adjoining room. Painting the door frame like this naturally draws the eye to it, making the you curious to find out what will be found around the corner, don't you think?

Major splash of colour!
Quick, simple and so effective. If you do nothing else in a hallway, this will add enough impact all by itself. And if you get bored of it, you can easily change it to suit your mood, the season or the latest trend.

Sugar & spice & all things nice
If you're into all things pretty and floral in a granny chic kind of way, this photo found on Girly Me gives some detailed inspiration for a way to add some floral flair to your hallway. Get your stencils at the ready!

Additional & unique shelving
 Create a compact and cosy library space within a large living room that has high ceilings, by building bespoke boxed in shelving around a door frame. Like a tardis, it not only holds a wealth of information but the entrance into another world (er room!).

Oversized hanging beads
No longer just for old-fashioned shop doorways or static homes, the practice of hanging beads in doorways has taken on new meaning. No longer are they naff and outdated but are now a way of saying, "hey look how creative I can be" and don't have to cost much at all. The shape, size and colour choices are endless. You can make these yourself with some beads (eBay has loads to choose from) and string / rope et voila. Not great for keeping out draughts, but ideal for making a bold statement.

Who'd have thought you could have so much fun with doorways *smile*. Have fun experimenting!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

3 ways: dare to experiment

According to last night's BBC Bang Goes the Theory, even if we like to think we are non-conformist, our brains will tend to follow the majority, thus making us behave in a manner that is more conformist than we might actually like to be. So, when new trends appear, for example this summer's craze for women's bright coloured skinny cropped trousers, do you follow the pack and go out and buy yourself a pair or do you step back and consider whether they will actually suit you and make your decision based on your own tastes and style?

How is this linked to an interiors blog, you may wonder? Well, this was really just my initial thought about how we decide whether the rules we apply to our own interior styling are based on group thinking or our individual likes and tastes. Love it or loathe it, at the end of the day it's your house, you decide.

Today I'd like to give you three ideas that you could try out in your home. If you like to dare to experiment, if you like to try out new things then this is for you. Whether you embrace change or are somewhat scared of it, these three ideas are simple to do and if you don't like the effect once you've done them, they are easy to change, so what's to be worried...why not give one or all of them a go?!

1. Make an entrance

If you would love to experiment with colour, but are a little nervous about doing so in a main room within your house, the hallway is the perfect place to be brave. Hallways aren't areas designed for sitting in and spending time in but a part of the house that simply gets passed through, which means you can be experimental with colour here. Why not paint walls in contrasting shades for real imapct. You could paint one wall a bold, fresh red and another a cool, clean blue for maximum effect that you are sure to enjoy coming home to.

Little Greene Atomic Red & Brighton Blue
2. mix and match

Who says that your curtains and blinds have to be made with the same fabric? I love the idea of mixing and matching different patterns on each window. As long as the colours of the fabrics are of the same hue, you can go for it by selecting stripes, florals, geometrics...By doing this you will add interest and colour at each window and you could never be accused of following a trend! Why not add more interest by using fabrics from the same palette to make up table runners, cushions, tea cosies, egg cup hats, tea towels and even frame some of it for quick and easy wall art.

Harlequin Folia range
3. paint the floor

Rather than take on a huge area, if this is your first attempt, why not try this out in the bathroom, where the floor space is much smaller. If you have wooden floorboards that are in a good condition, this is a perfect excuse to rip out old lino and create a fresh new look. Sand down your floorboards and apply a white base coat as your base layer. Then why not be creative and rather than paint the whole area one colour, add a central masterpiece using a block design. Mark out your shape using frog tape, choose one or more oil-based floor paint colours and get painting. Painting in box shapes using tape, should be pretty straighforward so this is suitable even for the faint-hearted decorator. If you're feeling more adventurous why not try out some other shapes like stripes, chevrons or spots. I love this multi-coloured floor, how could you not feel cheery walking into a bathroom painted like this on a cold and dreary morning?!

Kate Spade store, Palm Springs

Have fun. Try things out. What's stopping you... *smile*