Industry, Trends, People Archives | The Home Design School

Category Archives for Industry, Trends, People


Plant display interior design

Plants are great for the home. Not only are they great for air quality, but they bring in a natural element too, which can soften a design scheme, and introduces a pop of colour. 

When it comes to bringing house plants into our homes, we can often get stuck in a rut with the same-old terracotta pots or plain ceramic containers from the garden centre. In today’s post, we break out of those boring old options, and share with you 12 alternative ways that you can display plants in your home. 

Table top

Table top planters are a great way to display plants and flowers. Of course, you don’t have to restrict yourself to a table, you can use windowsills, sideboards, shelves or any flat surface. 

1. Repurpose everyday objects

 Catch Me If You Can mug by  Sophie Allport  Catch Me If You Can mug by Sophie Allport

Think a little bit ‘outside of the box’ and repurpose other containers to house your plants. Unused mugs, teapots, watering cans and wellington boots are everyday options. Be sure to create drainage at the bottom, either by using a smaller pot inside the container, drilling holes into the base, or by adding rubble at the bottom.

2. A Quirky Pot

Don’t just stick to boring, run of the mill vases and pots. Look for something a little quirky, like this unusual planter of the Greek Godess Hygeia. 

I love the way this plant looks as though it is just sprouting out of her head, like nature’s best coiffure!

 Blush Hygeia vase from  MiaFleur  Blush Hygeia vase from MiaFleur

3. Amaze your friends!

 Lyfe Levitating Planter,  Noxu Home  Lyfe Levitating Planter, Noxu Home

If you want something a bit out of the ordinary, try this levitating (yes, you did read that right) plant pot.

The electromagnetic field in the base floats the pot, which has a magnet embedded in its base. How funky is that?!

It creates a hypnotic effect as it rotates in the air! Stunning!

This pot is planted up with an air plant, which requires no soil, and lives happily with little human intervention. Perfect for the less green-fingered amongst us (ahem, that would be me). 

4. A Brass Terrarium

Terrariums have been really popular items in home decor for quite a while now. Add a handful of gravel at the bottom and a couple of succulents or cacti, and you’re good to go. And if you tire of the display, they make beautiful candle holders too. 

5. Glass Jars

Similar to the glass terrarium, a simple glass jar displays smaller plants like succulents and cacti, but without the framed surround. This glass jar comes ready-planted with artificial succulents. Talk about maintenance free plant care!

 Brass Terrarium via  Decorator's Notebook  Brass Terrarium via Decorator’s Notebook  Artificial Succulent Jar,  The Contemporary Home  Artificial Succulent Jar, The Contemporary Home

Floor Standing Planters

If you have a larger plant, or want something more impactful in your space, floor-standing planters can be a great option. Because of their size, they become more than just mere accessories, but objects of display in their own right.

6. Short Leg Brass Planters

 Brass Planter with stand from  MiaFleur  Brass Planter with stand from MiaFleur

7. Stilted Zinc Planters

 Zinc effect planters by  MiaFleur  Zinc effect planters by MiaFleur

8. Long Leg Planters

 Floor Standing Planters by  Black by Design  Floor Standing Planters by Black by Design

9. Bag Planters

 Orla Kiely Flower Print Bags from  Wild & Wolf  Orla Kiely Flower Print Bags from Wild & Wolf

Floor based planters don’t have to have stands, of course, as these bag planters by Orla Kiely show. Although these are displayed outside, they would add a great touch of colour to a 70s inspired living room, placed as a display in an empty corner of the room.

10. Display Stand

OK, so I’m cheating a little bit here. Not strictly a floor planter, but a shelving unit can add real impact to a green display, making your plants the focal point of the space. Match the smaller plant pots to the colour of the frame for a cohesive, and well thought out display. 

 Milano Shelving Unit by  MiaFleur  Milano Shelving Unit by MiaFleur

Hanging Planters

If floor space is at a premium, consider suspending a planter from the ceiling, or a pole. Just be careful when watering, as you don’t want the water to drip all over the furniture beneath!

11. Ceramic Plant Pots

Ceramic, hanging plant pots allow you to bring in a colour to match your scheme.

 Orla Kiely Hanging Planters via  Wild & Wolf  Orla Kiely Hanging Planters via Wild & Wolf

12. Suspended Terrariums

Hanging glass terrariums give a rustic, almost industrial look to a space.

 Aculo Hanging Planter from  Noxu Home  Aculo Hanging Planter from Noxu Home

If you are green fingered and like to bring houseplants into your home, which planters do you like best? Come and tell us in the Facebook group.  

Until next time x


Kate Hatherell Interior Designer Teacher

There are so many talented individuals within the interior design industry. Sometimes it can be a bit of a quagmire, trying to wade through and know who to follow. I enjoy following a variety of influencers; some are people who have a similar style and taste to my own, as well as others that have a completely different design style to my own, which gives me fresh perspectives.

Here are my top 10 of interior design influencers I love to follow.

1. Sarah Akwisombe [Website here]

I first discovered Sarah when I was researching how to set up a blog; Sarah runs an awesome introductory course for wannabe bloggers called Blueprint to Blogging, which is how I came to set up my blog. That aside, Sarah is an interior stylist and blogger based in London. She describes her style as being bold and rebellious, “kinda like Betty Draper wearing Nike Air Max”! Sarah’s style is so deliciously different to mine, and I love following influencers outside of my own style. If you want something a little quirky, very individual and über cool, she’s one to check out.

2. Melanie Lissack [Website here]

Melanie Lissack is an award winning blogger, based in London. Melanie set up her blog to help people like herself, who see gorgeous interiors in magazines, but don’t necessarily have the budget to recreate the look. She teaches people how to source, copy or recreate those looks, on a budget. There are loads of DIY tutorials and inspirational images, as well as product reviews too.

3. Sophie Robinson [Website here]

Most famous for her stint as one of the presenters on the BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge, Sophie is a London based stylist too. One of Sophie’s strengths is her awesome knowledge and boldness with colour. She is not afraid to experiment and mix cohesive and clashing colours together. I attended one of Sophie’s in-person design workshops last year, and I can confirm that she is as nice in person, as she is on the telly. Awww…

4. Kate Watson-Smyth [Website here]

Kate is an interiors journalist and writer, who pens the blog, Mad About the House. She also runs a design consultancy called Mad About Your House. Kate’s style is quirky and eclectic, yet her backdrop colour palette is almost uniquely monotone. If you like the current trend for grey (and if you know me, you know I do!), her fab book ‘Shades of Grey’ is a must-read. 

5. Kristie Barnett [Website here]

Better known as ‘The Decorologist’, Kristie is a US design and colour expert, and home staging teacher. She creates sophisticated, and beautifully styled homes. I love the way that her blog teaches you different home decor lessons, often through projects she is completing herself. 

6. Maria Killam [Website here]

There is nothing that Maria Killam doesn’t know about colour. She really is the Queen of Colour! Maria provides colour consultancy services across North America, and she also runs colour workshops, teaching others her systems. 

7. Stacey Sheppard [Website here]

Better known as, ‘The Design Sheppard’ Stacey’s blog is a great read because of the variety of information that she shares.  From product reviews and designer interviews to makeovers to sneak peeks inside her own home decorating plans. 

8. Kate McPhee [Website here]

Kate McPhee is an interior stylist who creates the beautiful Good Homes Magazine room sets that you see each year at The Ideal Home Show. What I love about Kate’s work is that her creations are real, liveable designs. You feel as though you could really live in the spaces that she creates, rather than them just being “swoon worthy” spaces (which they are too of course!)

9. Emily Henderson [Website here]

Most famous for her New York Times Bestselling book, “Styled”, Emily Henderson runs an LA based interior design company. Her blog is a mix of how to’s and inspiration, and she gives away golden nuggets of style advice.

10. Emma Sims-Hilditch [Website here]

Out of all of the inspirational people mentioned here today, Emma Sims-Hilditch is the designer whose style most closely matches my own. Emma is the person behind the design company, Sims-Hilditch and she is also the Creative Director of Neptune. Her style is pared back English country. Sims-Hildich publish a journal on their website, with gorgeous images of the most beautiful country home interiors.

So those are my top 10 interior design influencers. Who do you like to follow and why? Come and join the conversation in our facebook group.


Ideal Home Show 2017

Unless you’ve had your head buried in sand recently, you’ll know that the Ideal Home Show has been taking place in London over the past few weeks. I usually go to the show every year, because well, who can resist a whole show packed full of house, home and interiors stuff, right? 

For those of you who don’t know, the Ideal Home Show is an annual event in London (although it also runs in other cities later in the year) and suppliers from all walks of the home design field set up stalls and displays to showcase their wares. 

Aside from the supplier stalls, there is also a complete mock up of a show home, which you can explore. This year we were treated to two separate show homes, a 21st Century Cottage and a block of modern apartments. 

To be entirely honest, I was a little disappointed in the show homes this year. On the positive side, the schemes were all very competent, and any of us would be proud to own a home like the ones on show, but they just all felt a little… well… pedestrian. There was nothing that made me go “ooo!” and want to rush out and buy it. I just didn’t find them especially innovative or stylish I suppose and I go to the show looking for inspiration. Maybe that’s just me, though. Here are some pics of the interior design and perhaps you can see what I mean? 

That said, in the rest of the exhibition, there were some really innovative and exciting suppliers on show. Green Matters UK were there again this year, displaying their amazing ‘Living Walls’, which are not just fantastic for the environment and improving the air quality of your home, but they look pretty neat too, don’t you think?

Now, although I was disappointed by the show homes, the absolute highlight of my trip every year are the room sets, created by the talented stylists at Good Homes magazine. After my experience in the show homes, I wasn’t holding my breath about the room sets, but I was delighted when I saw them, as they were as beautiful as usual.

What I love about the Good Home room sets are that they are always so cohesively put together, yet you feel as though you could create the look in your own home. They are aspirational, without being out-of-reach.

As those of you who know me will understand, I believe that home design should be accessible to all, and these room sets fit in nicely with my philosophy. In fact, Good Homes even provide a supplier list at the show so that you can go away and shop the look yourself. 

Let’s take a look at some of the six room sets they had on show. 

The Living Room Set

The stylists went for a modern take on a retro vibe with this blue and pink living room set. See how the furniture legs are tapered and there are several graphic and geometric prints, giving a nod to mid-century styling? The choice of blue is right on trend, especially those darker blue elements, as seen by Dulux’s colour of the year: Denim Drift. The pink adds a softer, more feminine side to the look, all beautifully tied together with some accent copper pieces. My own living room uses these colours, but after seeing this room set, I’m sorely tempted to get a little bolder with the blue.

The Bedroom Set

Oh man… that throw. Mmmm. Let’s just focus on that for a second. This is the Tatton throw, and it’s hand-knitted by Dunnknit designs, using unspun chunky merino wool. You can check out their Etsy store here. I mean, the rest of the room set was pretty too, but this stole the show for me. 

The Dining Room Set

Quite a bold colour choice for the walls of this dining room set (it’s Plush Parlour by Crown) but they get away with it because everything else is kept quite simple. I love the light relief given to the strong purple colour by the accents of mint green too (Opal Silk by Crown). Aside from the colours, the floor was a bit of a talking point too, with highly patterned “Zeina Galena” tiles from Walls And Floors. 

The Kitchen Set

I do like a wooden framed kitchen, and this room set didn’t disappoint. Mixing the colours of your cabinets within the same palette is a great way to add interest to a room which, let’s face it, can be a little bland. These Laura Ashley wall cabinets are light grey and the base cabinets are anthracite.

Keeping the worktops wooden (rather than a white granite or composite surface) brings warmth into the scheme. Loving the peg board around the walls, which bring a Shaker-esque feel to the room, and complement the cabinet style too, of course. 

Now, I’ve kept some treats behind for you as I don’t want to ruin the show if you’re heading there over the next week. There’s plenty more to see. The Ideal Home Show (London) runs until 9th April 2017, so get there if you can. 

If you’ve been this year, what did you think of it? Drop your comments in the box below to let me know. 

And if you’d like to learn how to design your own home like the professionals do, why not treat yourself to my home design e-course- click below for the details.


Until next time x

Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2017

Whether you’re into trends or not, the annual announcement of Pantone’s ‘Color of the Year’ is big news in the interior design world. This year, the top bods at Pantone have chosen, “Greenery” as their winning colour choice for 2017.

Described by Pantone as a, “fresh and zesty yellow-green that evokes the first days of Spring”, greenery is a refreshing and uplifting choice. Let’s take a look at the inspiration behind this colour:

So who are Pantone, anyway, and why is their colour choice so important?

Pantone is the creator of a standardised colour matching system, adopted by interior designers, graphic designers, architects, fashion designers and printers all over the world. Because everyone sees colour a little differently, using the Pantone colour system enables designers to make sure that they are matching colours exactly, leaving no doubt about the precise colour intended. Each colour has a unique reference number to identify it, making colour matching across professions and across different locations flawless.


But Pantone doesn’t stop there. The Pantone Color Institute studies colour from a wider perspective, looking at how humans connect with, and are influenced by, colour. This year their colour selection reflects what they see as a human desire to turn away from modern life, and return to nature.

“The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world.

Greenery symbolizes the re-connection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose amid a complex social and political landscape.”

— Pantone


What started as a small graphic design business has now morphed into a power house of influence. When Pantone announce their colour of the year, designers and manufacturers jump to include it in their offerings. Expect to see green everywhere this year! 

product picks

Fancy bringing a bit of greenery into your life? Here are my top product picks for 2017.

If you’re going to bring some of this year’s top colour into your home, I’d love to see your photos. Head on over to share them in our Facebook group.

Until next time x

Main Image Source: Green Regeneration – product set by PIXERS. Click here to go to website

Mood Board Images:

1: Renoir Light Pendant, Där Lighting | 2: Bright Green Canopy Forest Wallpaper, Murals Wallpaper | 3: Scandanavian Cushion Cover- Tile Print Green, And Shine |  4: Large Round Hand Painted Tea Caddy Table Lamp, Besselink & Jones | 5: Green Glass Hanging Tea Light Holder, The Contemporary Home | 6: Lime Green Jug, Annabel James | 7: Ensemble Deux Poufs Design Carres Tartufo, KSL Living | 8: Oriel Chair, Green, Rume | 9: Bamboo Plant, Sweetpea & Willow



Decorating diplomatically

For those of us who have dreamed about having a home of our own to design and decorate since we were knee high to a grasshopper, moving in with our partner should be a really exciting time. At last, all of our plans and dreams can come true, and we can finally create the nest we’ve always dreamed of.

That is, until you run up against your partner. And their views. And you realise, the horrible, painful truth: they also have thoughts and opinions about your home decor, and they ‘aint like yours. At all. What started as a romantic adventure together can soon turn into a nightmare, without some decorating diplomacy to see you through. 

In my last post, we talked about how to find out how your partner really feels about decorating. Do they have the same views as you about the importance of decorating, the need for it, how much it will cost, what it will look like? If you went through the quiz, and tried the ideas I suggested, you’ll be in a much better place with your partner already. 

But what if your partner *is* on board with wanting to decorate, what if they *are* happy to spend money on creating your dream home, but (horror of horrors) their style is just so different from yours? How do you work together to create a home which combines the best bits of yours with the best bits of theirs, without it all looking like a confused mish mash of styles?

I’m going to take you through a seven step plan to help you to work together to create a cohesive home decor, which you can both love and be proud of. Download the worksheet to help you go through the steps below. Work through steps one to three separately and then come together to work through the rest of the steps together.


Step One: Identify the Feel

Put down the photos for just a minute. Log out of Pinterest and put down the glossy magazines. The first thing you need to do is to identify the sort of feel that you want from your home. What is home? What does it mean to you? What emotion do you want your home to evoke? Do you want a relaxed space? A formal space? A stylish space? Is it about hanging out with friends, or is it about being more formal and impressive? Think about the places you have been together that you liked e.g pubs, bars, restaurants, stately homes, friends houses etc. Don’t think about the décor, think about the feel of the place.

Step Two: Annotate Pictures which Express your Preferred Style

Start collecting images which have elements of the feel you are trying to create. You can use magazines, Pinterest or photographs to do this exercise. Gather them all together in one place. Now you need to look really closely at these pictures and start getting a bit analytical. On the worksheet write down what you like about each image. e.g I like this shade of blue, I like the turned legs on this sofa, I like the light open feel of this room, I like the cosiness that the log fire gives. Make a list of the qualities that appeal to you most. Rather than saying “I like this room because it’s mid-century modern”, say “I like the clean lines and geometric patterns”. Be specific about what it is you like.

Step Three: Rank your Preferred Elements

Using the worksheet, rank the elements you have chosen from your picture research by how important they are to you to have in your home. Split them into ‘Must Have’ and ‘Nice to Have’. Take time to do this, and be prepared to compromise on some of it.

Step Four: Share your Ideas

Now that you have got a clear picture of your own likes and dislikes, present your list and your images to your partner. Allow time to really listen to each other and to elicit what it is that your partner likes. Why does this image inspire them? What lights them up? Allow them 10 whole minutes at least, and don’t be tempted to interrupt. Listen with open ears and an open mind. Your job here is to discover, learn and understand. Once you fully understand where they are coming from, swap places and repeat.


Step Five: Find Commonalities and Agree Compromises

Most people like more than one decor style. They might really like modern country, for example, but they also might like some industrial elements or more sleek pieces. It’s in the overlap of these tastes that we find common ground. Discuss with each other the shared elements that you can both agree on and take it from there. Try to agree on some basics like the feel you want to achieve, the colours and textures you like. Even if one of you likes neutrals and the other likes a riot of colour, you can usually find a way to please both with a neutral backdrop with colourful accessories and soft furnishings, for example. Agree to play up one person’s tastes in one room, and another in another room if you need to. Open your mind to different ways of achieving the feel you want.

Step Six: Get creative together

Time for you to start exploring ideas about how you can combine your styles and tastes. Sit together and create a joint Pinterest board, which has elements of things your partner likes, and things you like. Make notes underneath each image about how each of you feels about each picture and start to build up an idea of how different elements can work together. Remember that it’s not just ‘alright’ to have a mix of elements side by side in your home; in fact, it keeps décor interesting and more edgy to have a mix of different styles. Planning together in this way puts you on the same team and helps you to work together, rather than against each other. 

Step Seven: Create a Joint Mood Board

Finally, you’re going to create a mood board together. Select specific paint samples, fabric samples and photographs of furniture and accessories that you both like, using the joint Pinterest board for inspiration. Suggest a range of paint colours, fabrics and furniture pieces so that you have as broad a range as possible to find common ground and that you can both agree on. And that’s it! Once your mood board is complete, it’s time to shop happily, knowing that you have listened to each other and accommodated both of your styles and tastes. 

Going through these seven steps together will help you to take some of the heat out of design decisions, and help you to work together to create a home you can both love and enjoy. Always start from a place of love and respect for each other, and be open to listening to the other person’s ideas. 

Let me know how you get on.

Until next time x





To me, having a beautiful home environment is really important. I mean like super important. As in (friends and family aside) it’s one of the most important things in my life. I know that’s probably a strange concept for some people to understand, but I also think that some of you reading this will feel the same way too. My home is my sanctuary, and the way it looks and feels is right up there on my list of priorities. 

It’s not about having other people’s approval of it (although it’s always nice when people comment on how lovely my home is) and it’s certainly not about showing off. It’s just that, if things don’t look right, I don’t feel comfortable in my own space. Does that make sense? It’s a bit like if you have a picture that’s hung up a bit wonky, it keeps catching your eye and bothering you until you go and straighten it. Well I get that sensation if colours clash, or if the style of a piece of furniture isn’t appealing to me, or if something is missing from a space.  

It’s also a reflection of me, of my unique personality. My home is a reflection of my identity and an expression of my taste. It showcases who am I, and what matters to me most. That’s a bit deep for a few cushions and a dab of paint, huh?

So, because of this, you might think that I’ve always had a lovely home, and that I’ve always been able to create a perfect little sanctuary for myself wherever I’ve been. Well no, actually that’s not the case. If you’ve read the About page on my website, you’ll know that I spent many a frustrating year trying to decorate my dream home and not getting very far. 

Whilst I’ve always been able to identify what I don’t like about a room, and whilst I’ve been able to point out in magazines and on Pinterest what I do like, actually making it happen in my own home was something that used to baffle me. I just couldn’t seem to get it right.

So a few years ago, I hired an interior designer to ask for some advice. I had a day’s consultation with the designer, and she came to my home and looked around and we talked about the “space”. I didn’t really know what I wanted and I was really vague in giving her any direction. She was very patient with me (!) and she suggested a few things she could source. We talked about including some vintage items (her practice was attached to a reclamation yard) which sounded lovely. All well and good. But after she’d gone, I started to bring in some of her suggestions, and it just didn’t well… feel right. I wasn’t sure where to put things. I didn’t know in which proportions to use the fabrics and paint colours we had discussed. Again, something was missing, but I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know how to bring it all together.

And so, what did I do? I hired another interior designer! Crazy, huh? I reasoned that perhaps the first one just hadn’t been on my wavelength or she hadn’t interpreted my ideas well (or something). So along comes designer two. Now this one got my style down to a tee. Most of you will know that I like clean, fresh modern country style with classic elements (although I’m not sure I could have articulated it this clearly at the time). No fuss. No frills. Well she got this, and suggested furniture, fabrics and accessories that I would love and we talked about how to make it happen. She even went away and made me a mood board with some beautiful images and fabric samples.

The problem this time? When my husband came home, he didn’t like the designs! Huh?! The designer had suggested that we paint the kitchen units, and he was like, “No way!” because he thought it would chip and damage. He hated the chandelier she had suggested, and he was horrified that the chairs he had chosen for the dining room would have to go, because he loved them. Now, I like to think that we’re both quite reasonable people, and the fact that he hated the design meant that I wasn’t just going to force it upon him. I mean it’s his home too, right?

So, as frustrated as I was, I went back to the drawing board (if you’ll excuse the pun) and began to learn all about how to design my home the way I wanted, but also the way that it suited my family too. It wasn’t the designers’ fault that it didn’t work for us. It’s just that, your own home is something very unique and personal to you and the way that you live, and there’s no real way that someone else can get under your skin and understand how your family lives better than, well, you!

To tell you another quick story, I have a friend, Anna, who hired an interior designer to design, source and decorate her whole family living room from scratch. What a luxury, huh? You’d think she would be delighted with the results, right? But actually, Anna ended up hating the room so much that she redecorated it herself within 3 months! So what had the designer done wrong? Nothing! It was just that my friend didn’t feel as though she owned the space. It wasn’t her brain child, and she never really felt comfortable there. It was someone else’s vision, a reflection of someone else’s personality. As lovely as it was, it just wasn’t “her”, and she could never truly connect with the space.

So am I on an anti- designer rampage? Do I think that interior designers are a waste of time? Well, yes and no. Here’s what I learned from hiring two interior designers:

  1. *You*, and only you, have a better insight about what you like and dislike for your home, way better than any interior designer can glimpse in a short time spent with you.
  2. When you design your own home, you feel as though it is your own space, your own sanctuary. When you design it, you own it.
  3. No-one has a better idea of what works for you and your family than you. When designing your home decor you need to bring your partner on board and work at it together.
  4. When you design your own home, you can add pieces as you go along and make the process organic rather than forced.

I really do think that the best person to design their own home is YOU! So, be brave. Get inspiration, gather ideas, educate yourself in the know-how (just as I did) and away you go! Don’t forget to check out my courses if know-how is your issue, or read through the blog for tips and ideas. 

Happy Decorating!

Until next time x



Emily Bond dog fabric

Our designer digest this week takes a look at Emily Bond, who is a Bristol- based fabric designer, not too far away from us in Somerset. Founded in 2007, Emily’s initial fabrics were inspired by her two dachshunds, Oscar and George, and the dachshund fabric is one of her iconic prints. In fact, if you’re a dog lover (and let’s face it, if you are a country dweller you most probably are) you’ll spot a couple of cuties throughout this post. The dachsund fabric here looks beautiful on this armchair. 

Emily’s fabrics are sold by the metre, and you pick them up directly from their website, or through various other retailers across the UK. The colour palettes are all muted, traditional and heritage: truly English country style.

All of the company’s fabrics are hand screen printed onto linen and they are proud of the fact that they are 100% British. Emily has branched out since launching her dachshund brand; her prints include more diverse items from the countryside such as the farm animals and garden vegetables shown here.


I like the fact that there are some coastal inspired fabrics coming through too, like the crab above. Emily Bond also do a range of non-fabric products too, which carry the same designs as the fabric range, like this tea set below.

I have a couple of metres of dachshund fabric awaiting me to turn into something lovely for my home. A cushion pad or pillow, perhaps. I’ll post a couple of pictures when it’s done.

So, what do you think of Emily Bond? Which are your favourite prints, and where would you use them in your home? Let me know in the comments below.

Until next time x



It was quite an unremarkable Tuesday afternoon. I was browsing around the internet, looking for some upholstery fabric for a project I’m working on, when boom! I stumbled across Vanessa Arbuthnott’s website. Well, what can I say? It was love at first sight. Vanessa Arbuthnott, where have you been all my life?

So I got straight onto Vanessa’s PR team to ask them for some photos to share with you. If you like contemporary country style (and I’m guessing you do because you’re reading my blog) you’re gonna love this. Shall we make a start?

This pink and grey living room works as a formal space because of the shape of the furniture, clean lines and hardwood flooring, but it also gives an inviting and cosy look which is achieved by the soft furnishings. The fabrics come from Vanessa’s Bohemain range: the sofa is covered in Stockholm Stripe which is £48.00/mtr; the armchair & sofa seat pads are covered in Pretty Maids, also £48.00/mtr; and the cushions are a mixture of Stockholme stripe, For the Love of Rose and Gypsey Garland, all priced between £44-£48/mtr.

Another pink scheme, this time with accents of lime, the bedroom above is from Vanessa’s Swedish collection.

The curtains are Dawn Chorus (dusky pink) £48.00/mtr with a leading edge in Plain Linen Lime. The Vanessa Arbuthnott Rectangular 6’ Headboard is £560, and is upholstered in Up The Garden Path Dove £48.00/mtr. The cushions and duvet are a mixture of Pretty Maids and Plain Linen, Lime, Winter, Up The Garden Path Dove, Stockholm Stripe Dusky Pink, Lime, Winter and contrast Charcoal piping all between £44-£48.00/mtr. Imagine waking up in this pretty room- not a bad start to the day!

Onto a colour change now. The cosy living room above invites you in to the room with its moody dark wall and fresh, almost coastal-inspired fabrics. I can just imagine sitting here with a steaming mug of tea in hand, sleepy dog by my feet after a long country walk.

The Vanessa Arbuthnott ‘Traditional’ Armchair is £1450 and it’s upholstered in Dawn Chorus Mushroom, Teal, Winter at £48.00/mtr. The cushions are covered in Stockholm Stripe Teal, Mushroom, Winter and Up the Garden Path Winter £48.00/mtr, and the footstool is upholstered in Pretty Maids Winter £48.00/mtr.

Vanessa describes her style as contemporary country (yep, that’s why I like it then). She has thirteen collections, all produced in the UK. Her fabrics and wallcoverings (so I’m told) ‘represent an eclectic fusion of themes and inspirations, a celebration of her love of the simpler things in life, the countryside and her rural roots’. I quite agree. Gotta love this shot below:

Vanessa has recently opened her flagship shop and showroom in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, where there are floor to ceiling ‘walls’ of fabric, arranged by colour. For those of us who find putting a whole look together daunting, the fabrics are arranged with complementary wallpapers, accessories and furniture to help you to bring it all together. There is also a design service for those who want a little extra guidance.

So if you have a decorating project in mind, what better time than to take a look around Vanessa’s showroom for a bit of country inspiration. Day out, anyone?

Why not drop me a comment in the box below to let me know what you think, or share this post with your friends?

Until next time x



Ideal Home Show 2016

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I went along to the Ideal Home Show last week. One of the biggest events in the home interiors calendar, I was pretty excited to be going along, as you might have seen from my numerous tweets, counting down the days beforehand.

What I love about going along to shows like this is that you get to see all sorts of home interiors paraphernalia that you might not have discovered before, so it’s a great place to learn about new and different brands. An example of this is Culinary Concepts, a company which I hadn’t heard of before, but makes some really lovely products:

I love the combination of polished hardwood, brass fixings (escutcheons I believe they’re called) and industrial elements. They are right on trend too with their range of glass terrariums filled with plants and succulents, which seem to be everywhere at the moment:

But for me, the best bit of the whole event is the room sets that are styled just like in the magazines. The first time I went to the Ideal Home Show, a few years ago, I expected that the whole show was going to be lots of room sets and nothing much else, and I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed to find that there were just a few room sets in amongst all of the supplier stalls. But this time I knew what to expect, and I headed straight to the Good Homes room sets, designed and styled by the very talented Kate McPhee.

To top it off, they also tell you where to buy the accessories so that you can re-create the look at home. The little console table at the back of the room is from Nexus, and it is styled with accessories from Bloom, Habitat, Sainsburys and Debenhams. The botanical print cushions are from Graham and Green and the curtains are shot-silk in mink, from Louvolite.

The kitchen below had more of an industrial feel to it and is from Clerkenwell:

The walls are painted in Aqua emulsion from Eicó and the units are Eicó Bluegrass. The ‘Eat’ print is by Christopher Griffith and comes from Surface View and the accessories are from Garden Trading and House of Fraser, amongst others.

Aside from the room sets, there were plenty of other things to see and do: there were interior design demonstrations; exercise equipment which makes your body jiggle in a most undignified way; a range of beds which turn into desks by day; and this Eco home below by Green Unit, covered in a natural, living sedum roof by Green Matters. Oh, and spot the celebrity too!

All in all, we had a great day out, found some design inspirations and discovered new brands and products. I will be booking my ticket for next year as soon as I can.

Until next time x


As I said in my last blog, I was lucky enough to get a VIP seat at Farrow & Ball’s colour workshop last week, hosted by the luxury interiors brand, OKA. So today is my chance to share the latest on their nine gorgeous new colours.

A bit about the brand…

Farrow & Ball was founded in the 1940s in Dorset, where their main workshop is still located today. Like Hoover is to the vacuum world, so Farrow & Ball is to the interiors world. It is a brand which is synonymous with ‘paint’, and it is loved the world over as a sophisticated and up-market brand. Farrow & Ball pride themselves on the quality of their product, never compromising and using only the finest ingredients with rich pigments. They have good eco credentials too, producing low odour and environmentally friendly paints with low or minimal VOCs. 

The colours…

But, the bit you’re all waiting for, of course, are the colours themselves. There are nine new additions to the carefully curated palette, and all of the colours work in harmony together.

The neutrals first: Shadow White No 282, Cromarty No 285, Drop Cloth No 283 and the palest of pinks, Peignoir No 286:

Next come the darker neutrals: Salon Drab No 290 and Worsted No 284:

And finally the greens and blues of Vardo No 288, Yeabridge Green No 287 and Inchyra Blue No 289:

I can’t wait to see how you are going to use these colours- share your pics 🙂

Until next time x