5th August 2014
This post is all about the style of summer so I hope it’s summer wherever you are – and if not, then I hope the sun is at least shining!
I’ve been working on this living room for which the brief was ‘warm, welcoming and elegant’.
It’s a summer house for the family so it needs to be a home away from home, with all the comforts you would expect but a truly relaxed vibe.
I took the cue from the fact that it’s a summer house to make it reflect this most wonderful of seasons with lots of light and pale fabrics.
But you can see how it will provide a warm welcome year round with the gorgeous ivory woodburning stove surrounded by a classic limestone mantel.
If you like nothing more than curling up with a good book, then the wall of shelving will surely appeal. The dark background is a great design trick to add drama and allow the items on the shelves to really stand out.
If you are a fan of blue and white, then using this colour combination in accents is a great way to make a room feel fresh and inject colour at the same time.
As Aerin Lauder says her gorgeous book ‘Beauty at Home‘ : “Blue and white is part of my decorating DNA. I love it in any way, shape, or form.”
And who can argue with a style icon like Aerin?
If you’d like information on any of the items I’ve included in this living room please email me and I’ll give you all the details of where I sourced them.
And if you have found this post inspiring and you would like some advice on how to inject some summer fresh ideas into your home, then please do get in touch!
6th May 2014
As promised in my last post, here’s a space I have designed based on the classic view of the Amalfi Coast below.
While the colour palette of the image has been an obvious influence on the design, it’s also the sense of the Amalfi Coast that I also wanted to capture. I’ve chosen a very light palette against which the blue can really stand out with white walls and a white painted floor as well as a white linen banquette (treated with stain guard of course!). It’s that idea of brightness and intensity which makes this space feel summery while the slightly greyed wood of the dining table balances it out and stops it feeling too blindingly white.
When I think of Italy I imagine great food and lots of time spent around the table enjoying it with family and friends. The layout of a dining space with a built-in banquette is to me just the most welcoming and convivial layout. Doesn’t it just invite you to sit and stay awhile?
29th April 2014
How do you get inspired to design a room? Designers often say that they get inspired by so many things – a view, nature, architecture, a beautiful dress, a particular colour combination – the list is literally endless.
My advice if you’re looking for inspiration for your home is to make a collage of images that simply resonate with you – they don’t have to be images of interiors – just whatever appeals to you. You’ll begin to notice patterns and things that recur over and over like certain colour combinations that you really like or patterns that you can incorporate in fabrics or flooring. This view of the Amalfi Coast (which I was moved to paint in anticipation of a visit in May) is full of inspiration for me for a wonderfully, summer fresh room. I’ll design a room based on this and publish it as my next blog post so you can see what I mean!
16th April 2014
I’ve been working on ideas for a holiday home in Ireland and one of the changes I am proposing is the addition of an outdoor terrace off the kitchen. The style of the interior is very light and neutral with lots of painted wood and weathered grey wood. A little bit New England and a little bit Swedish. So the outdoor space would be something like this* with simple and unfussy planting and lots of green and white. What do you think?
* This drawing is based on Janelle McCulloch’s photograph of the beautiful terrace at Fern Vale Farm in Australia which was resdesigned by its owner, Melbourne based interior designer Jane Charlwood.
6th April 2014
Do you love makeover shows as much as I do? Where a tired old house or room is transformed and literally brought back to life in some cases?
One of the things I love most is imagining how I’d go about these transformations myself and although my focus is usually inside the home as an interior designer, I often find myself looking at exterior spaces in the same way. A great example is this small country house I came across near a beautiful lake in the middle of Ireland. It had certainly seen better days and was quite a sorry sight but even so I couldn’t help but imagine it restored with new windows (begone ugly plastic windows!), new rendering, some detailing under the eaves and its garden planted with lavender and roses. Scroll down to see it reimagined…
21st January 2014
I love drawing buildings so I thought I would share one I did of a favourite view of the Bridge of Sighs in St Johns College, Cambridge in snow. This beautiful covered bridge was built in 1831 and was named after the famous Venetian bridge, although it doesn’t resemble its design in any way. I am planning to do lots more drawing this year, both of buildings and also interiors so I’ll share these as I go!