Finding Inspiration for Interiors…

Last week, Anna left this comment on my post about statement lighting. I had spent that day doing a phone interview with a journalist about my interiors choices for the old house, (more on that soon!) and a lot of her questions got me thinking. When this question also came up it made me think there might be a blog post in that! So here’s Anna’s question…

Hi Rebecca,

Please can I ask you, where do you find your inspiration for interiors? We moved into our house last November. We so far have had a new kitchen and new windows and doors and whilst these aren’t small jobs I’m still struggling with the interiors.

I think from me, I am worried about getting it wrong.. so everything ends up looking really similar and quite neutral and quite boring!

How do you work out whether or not statement pieces were working your rooms? How do you decide on a colour scheme? When you are decorating the new room where do you start?

I really hope your blog explores these questions of the next few months with your new house! I am super excited to see what you do with the new house so I can get some inspiration and also not be afraid to try new things!

Good luck with everything!!
Ax

So lets break Anna’s question up into three…

How do you work out whether or not statement pieces were working your rooms?

As a general rule of thumb, I would say that any room can only handle 1 or two ‘statement pieces. That might be a feature light (like these that prompted Anna’s question,) something that is a really bright colour like a yellow armchair, or a large piece of art. A patterned wall paper would also fit this category…

I think to decide if you like something, you have to live with it. For example when I bought the flamingo print, I wasn’t sure – it felt like he was staring at me all the time! But after a day or two, I got used to it and loved it. With my film lamp, that was easier as I knew I wanted one for a while, and when I found it at a great price, I knew just the corner where it would go. If you’re nervous about splashing out and not liking it, just make sure you love the piece itself, if you do then you’ll make it work, even if it’s not where you imagined it originally.

How do you decide on a colour scheme?

Let’s take my old lounge as an example here… First off we painted the room grey and kept all our neutral sofas and dark wood furniture. When I realised the room needed an injection of colour, I found Eric (the flamingo) and the pink worked so well against the grey that I ran with it. There was already blue in the room (the blinds were edged with a blue/brown shot silk and the club chair was a similar blue/brown fabric) so I chose that as another accent colour. I wanted lots of brights, so with the addition of the little yellow bird and the Russian dolls, yellow became the third ‘colour’.

Ideally what you want to be looking for when you are accessorising are things that aren’t just block colours either, (unless you’re going for a very modern look perhaps.) For example, the flamingo has shades of red in the pink feathers and the yellow Russian dolls pick that up in their painted detail, tying the two together.

I also noticed once I had completed that side of the room, centring around the flamingo print that the room became a room of two halves. The other side with the sofa was very similar to how it used to be with no colour splashes and didn’t look right. So I switched the cushions for a selection of blue toned designs and then stumbled across the pink lampshade that finished this DIY and finally we were done!

When you are decorating the new room where do you start?
The easy answer would be anywhere, but the sensible item would be the big ticket items. For example, if you have a blue sofa you could use that as a starting point. In general, for the sake of longevity, people choose neutral large pieces so they can decorate around them a few times before they have to start again with new ones, but if you know you love a colour then I’d say go for it and don’t be afraid to extend what we consider neutrals to be. Neutral doesn’t have to be boring beige, widen the spectrum with greys, taupes, mocha, putty or stretch outside the traditional neutrals to charcoal, navy or khaki.

I have a neutral sofa, so I start decorating with other ideas. Eric started the lounge decor, our dining room was inspired by the smoky blue edged mirror and the blue/grey accents came from there, including the curtains and the smoked blue light fitting.

You could also start with something you already have of course and it might be something really small – a kitchen might be inspired by the pattern on a favourite mug, or a lounge by a fab print you like for the curtains. Just go back to the advice about about finding a colour palette and accent colours and you will pull it all together.

Lastly, don’t fight your natural style. Anna mentions everything being ‘quite neutral’ as though it’s a bad thing when that can be just as much of a style as my own love of colour. However given the fact you follows it with ‘and quite boring’, I guess you want to jazz it up Anna!

I hope that helps Anna and I’d love to hear if any of you agree or disagree with my advice or if any of you have anything to add…

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Spotted: Magpie Miller

Right now, I’m on a real mission to get some key areas of my home sorted out and it’s lead me to re-investigate some of my favourite online stores. (Remember when I first featured Magpie Miller in 2011?) Magpie Miller recently shot their latest offerings for their spring/summer collection and I loved the styling so had to take a second look…


Credits: Products, Magpie Miller // Photography, John Day // Styling, Charlotte Love.

I love the curated collection that Elissa oversees, mixing salvaged and re-loved pieces with decidedly modern bright and beautiful finds like these gorgeous geometric shapes. I can just imagine these hanging in a baby’s room or as a decorative feature in a modern home.

I thought I would share some of my favourite pieces and invite you to look around the rest of the store. I’ve got my eye on a few things – how pretty is the oh la la print and the mint green moon screen print? Or these 1960’s ombre pastel glasses? I’m imagining summer cocktails…

What’s your favourite Magpie Miller find?

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Monday Must-Have: Fox and Crow Candles.

This morning, I’m delighted to be able to share something I’ve been wanted to shout about for a while now, indeed you may have read some of my tweets about Fox and Crow who make beautiful scented soy-wax candles. They contacted me a little while back to see if I would share their products and kindly sent me a sample which I was very pleased about. I love scented candles, don’t get me wrong, it’s so lovely being surrounded by gorgeous smells. Sometimes they can be over powering, sickly or headache inducing though so I was happy to recommend them having smelt it myself.

I was instantly smitten by the bronze foil embossed packaging and cute Fox and Crow logo, but I could smell my Lavendar Ice Cream candle before it was out of the box. Indeed it made my room at work smell beautiful and then did the same at home before I even lit it.

Just this week Fox and Crow secured their first stockist in London, Home & Kids, who also do mail order, so this is my tip to you readers – if you’re looking for Christmas gifts, stock up on these and your friends and family will not be disappointed! I’ll certainly be purchasing some 🙂

Happy Monday readers!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Found: How to mix patterns

One of the things that is hardest to do (I find) in interiors, is to get that eclectic mix of items and style them all together without it looking like a jumble sale. When items that you love just work together then that’s great, but when you’re trying to achieve that look from scratch it can be frustrating for you and disastrous for your design project if you’re just not progressing with it.

So, when I stumbled across this video last week, I thought you might all enjoy watching it and learning from Emily, who I later found out started out as a props stylist, then won a TV design competition and now hosts her own design show on HGTV. Maybe you already know her? Either way, I found the advice was fantastic, clearly presented and Emily even goes so far as to show the mistakes you can make when only applying one design theory.


How to mix patterns, Styling 101 by Emily Henderson.

Do let me know if you found this interesting and useful and make sure you check out Emily’s blog, Style by Emily Henderson.

Love,
Rebecca
xo

Introducing… Ebury Home and Garden

This afternoon, it gives me great pleasure to be introducing you to a new online Home and Garden destination… Ebury Home and Garden.

Already well known in the Wedding industry, Hannah Gooch also runs The Ebury Collection, a wedding blog and directory of wedding industry suppliers but is now branching out into her passion for interiors.

With a background in photographic campaigns and art direction for a major high street store, further honed by her recent successes in concept direction and shoot styling for Ebury Collection, Hannah certainly has the credentials for the task.

I’ve loved interior design for as long as I can remember (even studying it at university). I’d always have a project on the go, whether it’s revitalising an old chest of drawers or renovating our own home. I’m much happier hunting round antiques fairs than shopping for fashion and have lost count of the number of design books and magazines I’ve collected over the years. So it made perfect sense to launch a business that I have a real passion for.

The choice of products reflects Hannah’s personal sensibilities and varies from vintage finds to rustic recoiled, handmade and sustainable treasures to perfectly finish your homes look.

I’ve chosen an eclectic mix of products that are inspired by countryside living. I like to call it ‘Rustic chic’. Our products are practical as well as being beautiful to look at. We’ve hunted for one-off unique vintage pieces and products which are Fair Trade, recycled or made from FSC wood

I have already spotted a few ‘finds’ that I’ll be putting on my interiors wish-list but for now I thought I’d leave you with my edit of the Ebury Home and Garden offerings… Florence’s favourites.

Smoke bottle vase – £29
Vintage Compote Dish – £38
Zinc box with drawers – £39
Patterned Tumblers – £4.95

Please do head on over to Ebury Home and Garden and drop us a comment if it’s right up your street… I have a feeling there will be a lot of credit cards burning this afternoon 😉

Love,
Rebecca.
xo

Florence’s florals… Delicious Dahlias.

Last weekend I sent my beloved to my local florist (Blossom in Chorlton) to pick up some dahlias I had seen them tweeting about. It was like a lightbulb moment. My favourite kind of flowers, structural yet soft and staggeringly Autumnal. Perfect for the changing seasons.

He came back with a bunch of handpicked velvety dark, fresh white and raspberry ripple looking blooms in all their untidy spiky glory, interspersed with tight buds. They look nothing short of glorious.


*Gin & Tonic in the garden with the Dahlias

Immediately my mind ran onto sharing the bunch with you and encouraging you all to make the most of seasonal local dahlias you will find in good florists and market stalls up and down the country right now and I was inspired to search for some dahlia arrangements and images to brighten up your day.

Are they not beautiful?

The above arrangements were styled by none other than the very talented Amy Merrick (who you may have seen on Design*Sponge.) Her new site has taken blog land by storm so I doubt this’ll be the first you have heard of her, but her dahlia arrangements were too good to not post here.

Of course, dahlias need not be Autumnal… they come in a range of colours and suit lots of events.


*Images: Style Me Pretty (top 2) and Saipua.blogspot.com

I love. I hope you do too…

Love,
Rebecca.
xo

Beautiful Butterflies

In the Rockett St George email newsletter I got recently I couldn’t help but notice this super budget friendly idea for decor.


*Rockett St George Butterfly Gift Wrap

The print above is actually a sheet of very high quality gift wrap paper, but the newsletter mentioned a customer framing the paper and using it as a print. At £2.50 you really can’t do better than that and there are a whole range of different designs you can choose. I already own the world map design which I intended to frame (must get around to doing that!) but I love the vintage/salvage vibe of the butterfly print too.

Love,
Rebecca.
xo

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