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Posts Tagged ‘plants’

The downstairs loo is often the smallest room in any given house; tucked away by the front door or under the stairs, it’s all too often a space that goes a little neglected. Due to the general size of downstairs bathrooms, there is sometimes a hesitancy when it comes to decorating, with people believing that a small space cannot take on a heavy design scheme. However, I believe that the downstairs loo is the perfect place get a little creative when decorating it. Since you don’t tend to spend an excessive amount of time in the area, it can afford to be designed in a dramatic and exciting way. Once you have your basics, a toilet and sink, you can really begin to play around with the scheme, creating your own little paradise that you get to visit a few times a day.

To make a big statement in a small space you must first be decisive about which direction you want to take. Big features can look amazing but include too many and the space may become a little claustrophobic; here are a few ideas to get your thinking about how you could best design your downstairs loo.

When you have guests over for an evening, often the cloakroom will be the only bathroom they see, so creating a show stopping space will really make a strong design statement. Adding a patterned wallpaper to your loo can be a great way to give the space its own sense of character. On a recent project we decorated a client’s downstairs bathroom with this fun Manuel Canovas wallpaper, L’envol, which really gave a bland space a bit of impact.

‘Manuel Canovas L’envol Wallpaper’

There are so many styles you can opt for when it comes to choosing a wallpaper with flare for your loo. I’m head over heels for this flamingo print from 17 Patterns in pink. It’s a fantastically designed pattern that will look amazing in a downstairs loo, really giving the space a strong, bold look without being overbearing.

‘Flamingo in Pink Wallpaper’ from 17 Patterns

If you’re general aesthetic is more traditional, but still vibrant and colourful, a charming design like this Secret Garden pattern from Juliet Travers in midnight blue will help create a sweet but dramatic effect in the small space. The enchanting pattern teamed with the perfect lighting will create a fairy-tale like space.

‘Secret Garden Wallpaper’ from Juliet Travers

If you have the advantage of additional floor space on your side, a few plants strategically placed will really transform the place. If you have a few different surface heights, for example the floor a countertop and maybe some shelving, building your own small jungle of plants in different varieties and sizes will give a depth to your space, making a strong statement. When it comes to plants, of course it depends on your preference, but I believe more is more, and an overflow of bohemian style succulents, cacti’s and tropical pieces will really create an impact as opposed to one, lonely plant. If you’re short on sunlight, a quality faux plant can look just a good as the real thing, plus if you’re opting for a plant of the spikey variety there’s no chance of a painful accident! Abigail Ahern does some of the best artificial plants and flowers around, I love this array of cactus; they’ll really help to build up your plant portfolio.

‘Artificial Plant Selection’ from Abigail Ahern

A lack of floor or surface space shouldn’t deter you from adding some foliage to your bathroom. This wall garden from Rockett St George is a great example of how you can really get creative with plants in your home, and in your loo. Vertical gardens are a fantastic and innovative way of using your space selectively but still keeping a fresh and current aesthetic. You can buy a readymade one, real or faux, or if you want a project, creating you own one is the perfect way to include everything you want to and design with you own vision.

‘Faux Vertical Garden’ from Rockett St George

Sometime the downstairs loos is fitted into a rather tight space in the home, which might make you think that there is only room for the bare necessities, but you can always create more space with the use of carefully planned shelving. The trick is, in a small space making sure you put up your shelves somewhere where you won’t be knocking into. Once you have this figured out you can pick a shelf that matches your style and begin to fill it with a mix of ornamental and usual items, creating the perfect design balance. These industrial style shelves from Cox & Cox are sweet; their light design means that they won’t feel like they take up more room than they actually do, and the open nature of them makes them ideal for carrying objects of various heights and sizes.

‘Industrial Wood and Metal Shelves’ from Cox & Cox

Another shelving design I love is from Anthropologie, although these are slightly less functional then your conventional pieces, they are so pretty they’d make the perfect design feature. Often you find downstairs loos located under the stairs, these shelves would look lovely ascending in size order up a sloping wall.

‘Bloomland Shelving’ from Anthropologie

Whenever I think about inspirational bathrooms, I always think back to the beautiful image of the bathroom in Malpalquet House in East London, which I wrote a blog on some time ago. The bathroom wall was covered in pictures, frames and crucifixes, which overall created a beautiful effect.

‘Bathroom in Malpalquet House’

While you may not be able to squeeze all of this into you downstairs loo, you can certainly create something that’ll make an impact. If you have a generous amount of clear wall space, you can start to make you own mural of photo frames, prints, painting, mirrors and anything else you can think of. You may want to go down the nostalgia route and use family photos, or pick out arty prints, or even just create a miscellaneous haven. I love these Kiko frames from Nkuku, they come in a range of sizes so you can mix and match and find the perfect fit for your chosen display pieces. Unlike conventional frames, you can change what you want to go in the Kiko frame with ease and swap out or add in items as you find them. A downstairs loo wall covered in the frames will make a beautiful, comforting statement.

‘Kiko Frame’ from Nkuku

Using mirrors, in varying sizes and styles is also a good way to create an impact, and also provide a functional aspect to your bathroom. These hanging portrait mirrors from Nkuku are great to add to a collection of mirrors; with some being flatter, some more elaborate and some smaller or larger. A wall covered in mirrors or frames will automatically create an eye-catching feature in a small space.

‘Vintage Portrait Mirror’ from Nkuku

The downstairs loo is often a forgotten about space, or somewhere thought as only a functional room, but there are so many ways to great creative in a small space. It’s an area that you can confidently show off your style and really begin to design an area that’s a fun space.

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It was always a popular opinion in my household that you could never have too many vases. Large ones, small ones, tall and stubby, wide and narrow, my mother’s collection of vases is rather impressive. Not only did this mean that my family home is constantly full of lovely flowers and plants, but it’s also full of beautiful vases to accompany them.

Now that the sun is shining away, and it’s finally starting to feel like spring, it’s time to give our homes that fresh spring makeover, and what better way to do so then by adding some amazingly designed vases and pots to your collection. Whether you have miles of space to play around with, or can just about squeeze a small pot in somewhere, walking into a room that has a beautiful plant or boutique and a decorative pot to match is always guaranteed to be a mood enhancer.

This Kali vase from Abigail Ahern really caught my eye, the aged dappled effect adds character. The pretty off-white ceramic colour will wonderfully complement some vivid green leaves overflowing from the top.

Kali Vase from Abigail Ahern

New from The White Company are these Mossed plant pots that come in a range of sizes. This look is created by coating the pots in yogurt and burying them in soil. The look has a rustic, urban feel about it and would look great with some tough, Mediterranean plants.

Mossed Plant Pot from The White Company

For more of a colourful touch, and something that would look fantastic even without flowers inside are these retro Mid-century Italian vases from Alfie’s Antique Market. They’re made to capture the attention of the room, and would make a superb statement grouped together on a side table or on top of a cabinet.

Carlo Moretti Vases from Alfie’s Antique Market

Interior Supply stock some super stylish contemporary pieces that never disappoint, including these intriguing deformed vases. It’s an interesting take on the classic glass vase that puts across a subtle yet distinctive look.

Glas Italia Transformer from Interior Supply

Not on the High Street have a wonderful collection of marbled cement pots that are a fantastic and inexpensive way to inject a dose of glamour into your interior. They’re the perfect solution if your porch, kitchen or conservatory is in need of a quick vamp, especially if you don’t want to break the bank!

Marbled Cement Mini Pots from Not on the High Street

Cactuses have been a hug trend over the past couple of years, filling up thousands of window sills and decorating an infinite amount of homes. From Abigail Ahern comes this interesting, cactus shaped vase that is perfect for all the cacti lovers out there! Pop a colourful flower or plant on top for a fun and modern feel.

Tall Cactus Vase from Abigail Ahern

Another mosey down the vintage lane to The Old Cinema, who always have a few hidden treasures within their midst, including this charming 1970s vase designed by potter Michael Cardew. I love the abstract striped effect and the almost diluting colours.

1972 Slipware Vase by Michael Cardew from The Old Cinema

If you’re into your sweet interiors, this adorable vase from Houseology is something to keep your eye on. The beautiful porcelain appears as if to be knitted, making a lovely effect.

Kinto Couture Knit Flower Vase from Houseology

For those who like to play around with historically classic decorative styles, this Chinoiserie-esque planter is something can be worked into dozens of different schemes, whether it’s to complement or to contrast, this piece could settle quite nicely into an interior or exterior of a home.

Chinoiserie Planter, Oka Direct

Fill your homes with bright and fun vases and wonderful florals and foliage to match!

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Blog by Philippa Rosselli

When thinking about the decoration of your home it’s important to remember to include your garden into the mix. Even if you don’t have green fingers there are always ways to dress up your garden that don’t take up too much time or energy, and any garden no matter what size or style can benefit from the addition of a few lighting features. Just like an accessory to a room, lighting can be the perfect finishing touch a garden needs to make it special.

Now that summer has arrived and (fingers crossed!) the weather is bright and beautiful the time has come to adorn our gardens with lighting and turn them into the magical havens we’ve all been dreaming of when the sun goes down. Whether you’re looking to revamp your garden into a welcoming setting for BBQs and other social gatherings or if you’re looking to create a more permanent feature piece for your garden, there’s an abundance of styles and lighting features to choose from.

A few new lighting additions is the easiest way to update your garden,  if candles and fairy lights are your thing or you’re looking for a quaint new porch light, these little finishing touches are just right to show off your signature style in a quick and easy way.

Charles Edwards, Mews Gatepost Lantern

This lantern from the Charles Edwards exterior lighting collection is a contemporary way to add a little old-fashioned English romance to your garden. The bulb and frosted tube combination means that you’ll get that flickering candle effect without having to relight every time there’s a gust of wind!

One of The White Company’s bestsellers this summer are these beautiful Bistro Bulb Fairy Lights. Fairy lights are a beloved home and garden accessory, creating a warm and cosy feel to any surrounding area. These lights are particularly great as the oversized bulb creates more of a retro style, forming the atmosphere of a quaint Italian bistro or perhaps a 1950’s American funfair. Whether you want to hang them on a trellis or in a tree, they’re adaptable to any garden and any style, and are a great last minute addition for any party decorations.

The White Company, Bistro Bulb Fairy Lights

Retrouvius currently has some wonderful indoor and outdoor lighting features, but my particular favourite for a porch feature is this charming Painted Copper Lantern.

Retrouvius, Painted Copper Lantern

Painted on the glass sides are charming seaside landscapes that are the perfect welcoming accessory for every seaside lover or fan of the quaint and quirky. This little porch lamp could be the ideal piece to add a little beach-fun and nostalgia to your home.

If you live in a flat or terrace with perhaps just a rooftop or small space to work with, there are still countless ways to make your outdoor area the most sought after space in your home.

John Cullen Lighting

This John Cullen Lighting design uses lighting around the edge to create the illusion of a spacious area whilst using candles and table lighting to make a cosy and inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect place for social events.

Collingwood Lighting

The same goes for this lovely al fresco seating area using Collingwood Lighting. Three wall lights throw warm light up and down the wall highlighting the attractive brickwork and the foliage in front.

Summer isn’t the only season your garden should be getting all dressed up for though. Incorporating permanent light features into your garden is a fantastic way to make a statement all year round. Turning a garden into your own personal haven means that you can have your very own beautiful landscape painting to enjoy all to yourself.

If you’re lucky enough to have a gorgeous pond or water feature in your back garden then it’s the perfect canvas for some dramatic lighting. John Cullen Lighting shows how to use lights to highlight a water feature and its surrounding shrubbery. The glow and shadows these lights created by bouncing off of its partnered bush adds a level of contemporary sophistication to a garden.

John Cullen Lighting

If you love gardening and have a prized plant, you can use a lighting feature to show off your marvellous creations!

John Cullen Lighting

Putting a light next to the plant immediately draws your eye to it making it the feature piece in your garden. You can use this effect to display your plant proudly or to achieve a beautifully dramatic statement with the lighting creating a striking shadow effect on the house wall.

Although a lighting fixture is a great way to show off your garden and all its wild wonders, you might also want to consider finding a light fixture that is the main feature of a garden itself.

Artemide, Reeds Outdoor

This beautiful piece from Artemide is a lovely contemporary way to include lighting into your garden. It can be left to stand alone like in the picture above, perhaps on a patio or decking area, or you might want to integrate it into a flowerbed. A few of these pieces would be the perfect addition simply dotted around in an overflowing wild garden.

Your garden can be the perfect canvas to play around with adventurous and beautiful lighting, and it’s the perfect way to inject a bit of luxury without a complete overhaul. From elegant, contemporary pieces to fun and romantic, adding a little light into your garden could give it the burst of life it’s been looking for!

 

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I took a trip to Whittlesford today to visit the delicious Oxbow and Peach shop and although I had an inkling of what I would find having already discovered this wonderful company at an interiors fair, I had no idea what a lovely treasure trove it would be. They specialise in finding one off vintage pieces and they clearly have a very good eye because all their stock is unusual and charming. They are only open on Fridays and Saturdays so plan your visit carefully in order to avoid disappointment!

Oxbow and Peach 013 Oxbow and Peach 001 Oxbow and Peach 003  Oxbow and Peach 005 Oxbow and Peach 007  Oxbow and Peach 009 Oxbow and Peach 010 Oxbow and Peach 011 Oxbow and Peach 012

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We have recently launched our new series of interior design talks for 2014 including a new course on how to accessorise your home. Starting on the 4th February 2014, the course will cover what accessories will work for your home, where to find them and how to know what to put where. There will also be hints, tips and insider secrets on all accessories including furnishings, storage, light fittings, rugs, curtains and blinds, cushions, flowers and plants, tableware, bedlinen, pictures, collections, accessories for children’s’ rooms and how to accessorise your kitchen and bathroom. Places are going fast so go to www.interiordesigntalks.com for more information or to sign-up.

Picture 305

Picture 540 Picture 134 Picture 125 Picture 485 Picture 356 Picture 103

All images are taken from Secrets of a Stylish Home by Cate Burren and Simon Whitmore. With thanks to Simon Whitmore photography for the use of images.

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With Christmas behind us it will soon be time to take the decorations down and give your home a fresh new look.  Here are just a few ideas to make your home look and smell beautiful in the aftermath of the festive season.

Indoor flowering bulbs offer great value displays for minimum effort and can be planted in the garden afterwards to flower next year.

paper white narcissus

Indoor Narcissus Paper White from the Spalding Plant and Bulb Company from £9.50

blue hyacinth

And also from the Spalding Plant and Bulb Company, these beautiful Delft Blue Hyacinths have the most heavenly fragrance –  from £5.85

white hyacinth bowl

If you haven’t had time to plant your own bulbs, ready to flower, potted spring bulbs are available from most supermarkets in a multitude of different containers to suit all tastes. Waitrose Scented White Hyacinth Planter £35

cyclamen basket

Cyclamen Wicker Bowl £24 and available on next day delivery from Interflora

single bay tree

To make your front door that bit less bare after taking down your wreath these fabulous potted olive and bay trees from Marks & Spencer come in decorated pots so that all you have to do is stand them on the door step and water them!

This blog first appeared on the Cambridge News website

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Fed up of drooping Poinsettias and dropped pine needles?  Then consider these fabulous, faux alternatives from Bloom, in traditional and modern designs that will last year after year.

 

Large and small poinsettias £65

Two different sized poinsettias potted in charmingly aged terracotta pots that look as if they have come straight from the back garden.

Bloom narcissus

This is a lovely little narcissus arrangement in a moss filled silver pot, which at only 27cm high makes a perfect centerpiece for the table.  £25

Bloom Christmas Treet

To make things even easier, this 5’ pre-lit Christmas tree comes already decorated with a constellation of little LED lights so all you have to do is plug in and switch on! £159

Bloom twigs

For a more up to date alternative to the traditional fir tree, these twiggy stems would be very useful where space is limited. £19

Bloom topiary

As would this elegant Cedar topiary spiral in its sac-cloth wrapped pot. £49 from Bloom

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