Floral display in an open vintage tin box

I’ve been trying really hard recently to ensure I blog on a Monday and Friday, which is all I can realistically fit in around my work, but this week I didn’t get to post anything on Monday. Sorry about that. I was too busy travelling down to Hampshire to do a measure at a client’s and breaking down on the M40 because I stupidly ran out of fuel (I eventually got to my client’s after waiting for the recovery man on the hard shoulder for 90 minutes and paying £160 for the privilege!) *Massive red face* So, after ‘one of those weeks’, it’s good that it’s a short one and we’ve got the lovely long Easter weekend ahead of us. But I didn’t want to go a whole week without blogging, so I thought I’d squeeze a very quick one in today. And what better way to celebrate Easter, and spring in general, than exploring some really pretty ways to display all the lovely flowers that are beginning to fill our shops.

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painted green ceilings and walls

This week I’ve had the pleasure of visiting one of my clients to discuss finishing off a couple of her bedrooms. My lovely client Donna, and I, started working on her house about five years ago now, and slowly over time, we’ve decorated most of her house. The majority of the work has been done and the rooms are looking lovely, but we just need to finish them all off before we embark on a major re-working of her master bedroom suite. It’s all the little details we need to address, you know the thing…rugs, pictures, ornaments, throws, cushions, shelves, etc., the things that make a room feel lived in. So, rather than tackle all the rooms in one go, we’re going to just concentrate on her daughter’s and son’s bedrooms for now. And in particular for today’s blog, her son’s bedroom, as I really think we need to paint her ceiling a different colour! See if you agree…

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yellow swan lake on walls

I’ve been thinking a lot about yellow recently. I think it’s because I do most of my thinking when I walk the dogs, and for the last week or so, when we’ve been out and about on our walks, and as spring is finally blossoming, my heart has been gladdened to see swathes of beautiful, sunny yellow daffodils all over the place. I have always loved seeing yellow daffodils; more than any other flower, they herald the change of seasons to me, and their golden colour makes me think of sunshine and summer and long warm days. And as the girls and I walk along and I admire the sunny flowers, I get to thinking about my soon-to-be-decorated guest bedroom which will be wallpapered in yellow swanned loveliness and I realise that yellow makes me happy, that’s it’s an uplifting positive colour in the world, which should be adored and loved by the masses.

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Ibride artwork

My favouritist (I’m allowed to use made up words) art brand ever in the world is Ibride. It’s a French design company whose name means ‘hybrid’ and when you see their furniture and accessory designs, you’ll see why they named themselves as such. When expanding my shop’s offerings from fabrics & wallpapers to accessories for the home, Ibride was at the top of my list and I was mega excited when they said yes, I could stock them, as I am in love with everything they design. Not only do they produce exquisitely painted animals (and you know I LOVE my animals) in gorgeous outfits, but the company’s products are quirky, fun, beautifully crafted and original.

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Many moons ago, before either of my shops, and way before I even dreamed of being an interior designer, I went to college to learn upholstery. I remember at the time wanting to take an old-fashioned craft and funk it up a bit, and after trolling through the college list, I landed on upholstery. I did it part time for about 3 or 4 years I think, my memory’s quite hazy, but I soon realised that I didn’t actually enjoy the practical upholstery work, which was about 90% of the labour, I just liked putting the pretty top fabric on, with pretty trims! So I gave up doing the actual work, choosing instead to take my stuff to a far more qualified upholsterer, and continued to indulge my passion for revamping antiques by simply designing their new covers. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to design all sorts of chairs, either for client’s schemes, or to sell in my shop; and today I thought I’d share with you my top ten favourites:

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main image

Sometimes I like to settle down into a nice little daydream, and if the daydream is going particularly well, then we’ve moved to California (I don’t like being cold in my daydream) and I own a boutique hotel with my husband. My husband is integral to the daydream as I would require him to do all the clever manage-ey managerial stuff, I can’t be bothered with all that, I just want to be able to decorate umpteen rooms exactly how I want! You see, you can get away with so much more drama in a hotel, as guests aren’t going to be living with the decor day in day out, they’re just there fleetingly and actually might enjoy having their senses stimulated by something completely different from what they have at home. Sadly, I’ve never had the budget to stay at an amazingly decorated hotel, but if I did, there is one hotel, and one hotel room in particular, that I would love to call home for a night.

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palm beach credenza

Friday’s post What Is Palm Beach Chic? was a little prelude to today’s article, as I wanted to quickly explain what this style of decorating actually is (just in case you didn’t know) before I launched into a full-blown explanation of how I want our guest bedroom to be all Palm Beach-ified and you’re like, scratching your heads and muttering ‘what the hell’s she going on about’ under your breath. So, now that we’re all on the same page, singing from the same hymn sheet, and any other confusing corporate-ey phrase you want to add in, I can now begin to tell you about my scheme, and hopefully you’ll be able to see where the inspiration has come from.

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southern living

Having shared the beginnings of my interior design schemes for the study-cum-snug and the living room, tomorrow I want to share the ideas I have for the guest bedroom. This is the last room scheme that I’ll share with you for a while, because even though I know how I’d like to decorate the other rooms, I think decorating three rooms is quite enough for now! And you’ve probably had enough of me going on about schemes that I’ve not even started yet. I can’t help it, I get excited. But before I bang on about ‘Palm Beach’ this and ‘Palm Beach’ that, for those of you who haven’t got the foggiest what I’m talking about (and if you don’t, it’s no biggie, it’s a decorating style rarely used in this country), I thought it might be best to explain this colourful decor first, before moving on to how it’s influenced the design of my bedroom.

As an aside: I’m secretly hoping my husband will read this post. We used to identify this room as the ‘garage bedroom’ (it’s above the garage; we’re geniuses, I know), not to be confused with the ‘spare bedroom’, incredibly important when asked by the wife to take something upstairs. But recently I have requested him to call it the ‘Palm Beach bedroom’ and he just keeps exasperatedly exclaiming, “What the bloody hell is a Palm Beach bedroom???”. Read on hubster, read on.

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Having shared with you the beginnings of the scheme for our study-cum-snug, today I’d like to take you through my thoughts for decorating our main living room, where we spend most of our time, watching TV and loafing about. Unlike our study, where there’s a bit of a narrative around the concept, this room’s design is being dictated to purely by what’s already there, essentially a dark, country living room with a log burning stove. It would seem really incongruous to me if I were to start decorating it in a really modern style, or if I were to create a glamorous luxe pad or retro den, as the poor little wood burning stove with his old-fashioned wooden fire surround, would be sat there all on his own without any furniture mates to chat to about country life. I feel it would be much better to stick to the room’s roots, and keep it looking countrified. That way the house is happy; the stove is happy; and once I’ve put my own spin on things to spice it up, I’ll be happy.

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The Chesham Cabinet

Just as in fashion, the interior design world of textiles has a couple of seasons, where the new collections are launched and showed off at various industry events. It’s always very exciting to see the new products and when I had my shop, I was very lucky that the companies’ agents would visit me with all the new swatch books and show me their latest collections. It was one of my favourite parts of my job at the shop, and I would find it very hard not to buy every single book I was showed (yep, the fabric books cost a lot of money folks) as it’s easy to get very carried away and spend too much money.

So it was a good thing that I had my wonderful colleague Luise, who I instructed to play ‘bad cop’ to my over-enthusiastic cop, and discourage me from buying anything unless I absolutely loved it. She was very good in her role, but sometimes a new fabric or wallpaper would come along, which would make me so absolutely giddy with love and excitement that I would actually do my Happy Dance in front of the agent, and start squealing about it being My New Favourite. At that point Luise would know it was a lost cause and that a new book would be coming to live in the library. And the agents were always kind and pretended they didn’t mind the slightly embarrassing Happy Dance.

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