Outdated Trends

I've just come across this article and thought it might be helpful to those that are thinking of doing a refurb, it's interesting, and will save you spending a lot on a product that might now be considered out of fashion. When I'm designing, I try to keep away from some trends as much as possible as they are too expensive to put right each year. http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/trends/news/g3472/outdated-home-trends/?slide=8 #interiordesign #elledecor #trends 

Why it’s important to get a qualified interior designer

 

 

There are so many people out there who decide that want to do interior design. 

 

They get hooked on Pinterest or Houzz, redecorate a room or two get a few compliments from friends, and bang they become an interior designer!

 

What people don’t realise is the work that goes into this profession. 85% of an interior designers work is the coordination and admin, and 15% is the design. It is therefore imperative that someone knows what they are doing as within that percentage there is a lot that can go wrong. 

 

The British Institute of Interior Design have a number of registered designers who have met their rigorous requirements https://biid.org.uk/find-a-designer/find-a-biid-accredited-interior-designer

 

Find someone that has the experience, that you feel a bond with and that you can trust will know what they are doing!

A thought about storage in Kitchens

A Kitchen needs such careful consideration as it is usually the most expensive and used part of the house. It needs to work well to suit your lifestyle.

Generally, people don’t ever seem to have enough storage, however much they think they do to begin with it gets filled very easily.

Try and fit in floor to ceiling cupboards on one side to gain as much space as possible, overhead cupboards can be good room dividers , add an island on wheels that can be moved out of the way when entertaining.

 

 

Lovely image found on Pinterest

Lovely image found on Pinterest

Bring Back the Bar!!

When I think of a home bar, Del Boy’s retro cream vinyl fronted curved bar with a pineapple ice bucket springs to mind!

I am about to design my second bar for a client, within the last few months. As more of us are choosing to entertain at home, bars are in once again!

Be it a freestanding cabinet, built in, or a drinks trolley,  they can be elegant, fun and practical accessories to add to your home. 

You may want to incorporate a wine fridge, ice machine, a sink, even bar optics! A bespoke unit can be tailor made to suit your needs and don’t forget good storage! Glass shelving and mirror backs, using clever lighting can make your vodka, gin and whisky bottles look like works of art! 

I added a pull out desk on one side of the unit we designed, for a client that works from home and even though she has her own home office, needs to shut herself away in the Sitting Room from time to time. This works a treat! 

Many furniture designers such as Knowles and Christou will make special bespoke drink cabinets with all the bells and whistles, pull out trays, fitted glass racks, mirror back, wine bottle rack, drawers, the only thing they don’t provide is the alcohol!

Throws

A throw is an easy way to make a change without the expense of altering the decor, it dresses up furniture, adds colour, texture and pattern to a room, as well as warmth.

But placing a throw on a sofa, armchair or the end of the bed isn't so easy.

I’ve spent hours in the past folding, unfolding, scrunching, crumpling, primping, placing carefully and even throwing a throw (out of frustration), onto my piece of furniture to make it look right. 

I've come to realise that the art of using one is to make it look effortless and not styled. But how do you achieve that? I think it depends on your personality and you should do whatever you like and don't worry about what anyone else thinks!

You can fold them perfectly, and place neatly across the end of a chaise, like a blanket on a bed,  or draped with several throws on top of one another almost covering the whole piece of furniture. perhaps rolled up and stacked in a basket. My preference is to fold my throws quite neatly and hang them 3/4 over the arm or back of a sofa, and sometimes depending on the material of my throw, effortlessly draped over the corner of an armchair, with my cushions sitting over them and the edge of the throw showing on the back or sides.

In the winter we snuggle up on the sofa, as a family, and have a variety of throws that we cuddle up in, knitted, furry and blankety. There’s nothing cosier!

 

 

 

This weeks inspirations

These designers never cease to amaze and inspire me. Ochre Furniture their Surya pendant, the Lily tables by Tom Faulkner I would so love to have a cluster of these in different sizes and the Neva chair from Artisan that can be brought at Nina's House. 

Out of the Darkness...

I read this article recently and I do hope that out of the darkness there is light! 

 

 Kate Watson-SmythMad About The House blog, and author of Shades of Grey

"Given the seismic events of 2016 and the resulting uncertainty in the markets, I think there will be a return to the old ‘don’t move; improve’ adage, as people decide to stay in their homes and ride out any economic uncertainty. This usually heralds a period of bold ideas in interiors, as the bland beige that appeals to prospective buyers is dumped in favour of design decisions we want to live with." 

 

Finding Storage for Those New Gifts

Now that the excitements of Christmas are over :(, are you like me and look around your house in desperation wondering where you are going to fit  all the new things you've been given?

Finding storage in your home is hard at the best of times, so I thought I would dedicate this blog to help you find some interesting spaces that can be turned into storage,  some easily achievable and others that with a bit of money and imagination could transform your life and home!

Below is an image I found of tiered shelving in what would ordinarily be dead space in the loft. I realise that it isn't attractive but would be useful and you don't have to be a particularly good carpenter to construct it. Boxes keep your stuff more organised and this way  you can get to them easily.

Some ideas below that wouldn't be that hard to build,  creating a bit of extra space over an existing doorway, in say a bathroom for spare towels, or in a kitchen for china etc, as you can see in the reference below adding some shelving around the doorframe is also a good and attractive way of creating more storage.. If you have the space over your doorway in a hall, it could be made deeper for storing suitcases.

What a great idea, although maybe a bit mad?! 

What a great idea, although maybe a bit mad?! 

Ingenious ideas for stairs, landings and under-stair storage, I love the steps being used as drawers! The last couple of pictures are pull-out cupboards that we had built for a client who wanted to store their shoes so they could be seen and got to easily, means you don't have shoes all over the place, and the kids could have their own shelf so there is no excuse not to tidy them away - Japanese style!

When my kids were younger all their new toys used to make my heart sink, bah humbug that I am! It was because I'd have to find somewhere to put them all.

Nowadays play tables are a great creation, not only are children able to sit, paint and play but there is also space for some storage.

For example this one is a craft table, it has a holder to attach a roll of drawing paper, space for pens and pencils, cubby holes and shelving for paints, books, scissors etc and room enough for 2 kids to sit at, aswell as attractive - I love it! 

We had this play table made for one of our clients, who wanted a storage unit for their 3 year old son who likes playing with cars and trains, as well as doubling up for drawing.

So we painted one-half in blackboard paint for drawing on and the other side for playing on, with deep storage drawers on one side for his car and train collections. We built this on wheels so that it could be wheeled to the middle of the room or to be put away in the corner.

For the same clients we had these units built for their son and daughter, no need to point out which was for the little girl! Behind the bunk beds we also built a hidey hole, for the kids to play in, such fun! We added some closed storage in drawers as well as open shelving for books etc. to give the room more depth.

There are many ways of creating more storage that as you can see don't have to be too complicated,  or with some help from a carpenter can be as elaborate as you'd like. So don't despair! If you'd like any help or ideas please contact us, as we have genius cabinetmakers at our disposal!! gabi@gabidarochainteriors.com.

 

Last Minute Decorations from Natural Sources

This is my last blog before Christmas, and if a bit like me you've left things till the last minute here are some tips for making Christmas decorations. Be creative from what you find in the garden or areas around you.

Any jars or bottles around the house can be filled with foliage, berries and even apples can make it look festive. I like them in clusters as they make more impact.

Any jars or bottles around the house can be filled with foliage, berries and even apples can make it look festive. I like them in clusters as they make more impact.

Collect a pile of pine cones and tie them up together to make a stunning wreath or garland. If you have time you can paint some of the edges with gold or silver metallic paint to give them some sparkle and less rustic.

Collect a pile of pine cones and tie them up together to make a stunning wreath or garland. If you have time you can paint some of the edges with gold or silver metallic paint to give them some sparkle and less rustic.

How easy is this? Church candles surrounded by a selection of nuts or lay them on a bed of cranberries. Simple and stylish.

How easy is this? Church candles surrounded by a selection of nuts or lay them on a bed of cranberries. Simple and stylish.

Wrap some candles in foliage and tie them with white ribbon, again effortless and looks beautiful. 

Wrap some candles in foliage and tie them with white ribbon, again effortless and looks beautiful. 

This table looks so festive, a pile of nuts, candles and fruit in the centre, and dried leaves from an oak or maple tree (any tree with nice big leafage), placed on a plain napkin. 

This table looks so festive, a pile of nuts, candles and fruit in the centre, and dried leaves from an oak or maple tree (any tree with nice big leafage), placed on a plain napkin. 

  A sprig of rosemary tied around a white napkin with some twine, looks unpretentious and natural. The satsumas, foliage, candles and pine cones make a cheerful centre piece.

 

A sprig of rosemary tied around a white napkin with some twine, looks unpretentious and natural. The satsumas, foliage, candles and pine cones make a cheerful centre piece.

Simple and fun. 

Simple and fun. 

I love these dried orange slices tied to shrubbery they make a tasteful garland or wreath.

I love these dried orange slices tied to shrubbery they make a tasteful garland or wreath.

What a great way to recycle! Put some candlesticks into empty wine bottles with sprigs of spruce tied with twine, an array of them look gorgeous. 

What a great way to recycle! Put some candlesticks into empty wine bottles with sprigs of spruce tied with twine, an array of them look gorgeous. 

Fun Ideas for Christmas

I'm loving some of the posts on ideas for Christmas decorations from Pinterest, and will be making some the decorations myself this year.

I'm sure that most people would agree that a bit (or a lot, depending on how much bling you like) of lighting looks magical, especially at this time of year, when it gets dark so early. Now that battery operated lights are so available, and last longer, they can be added anywhere and  everywhere!

Fairy lights on a fireplace mantle, around door architraves, across the top of picture frames, and even inside jars and lanterns look so pretty when lit. There are some clear baubles that you can buy from Amazon, which would also look pretty with fairy lights and can be hung on the Christmas tree. I bought some and have filled them with white and dark chocolate shavings and marshmallows for making hot chocolate, delicious as well as pretty decorations.

I love this idea from Xerxes to fill stockings with cutlery, a fun way to dress your table. Although I'll have to improve on my knitting!!

Hang some pine cones on some twine and add these across an archway for a beautiful but more natural look. They will add a nice seasonal aroma to the room too. 

These napkins look so Christmassy, add a few cinnamon sticks, winter berries, holly or mistletoe and tie them with some twine. 

Oooh! Some orange slices pricked with cloves to hang on the Christmas tree, beautiful and pefumed.

Don't over complicate things. I find that if I stick to making decorations that are easy, I actually carry them through.  For example, curling a sprig of rosemary round and binding to make a circle  couldn't be simpler and looks so pretty on a plain plate or napkin. 

A few tips on How to add those finishing touches to your room

We sometimes get asked to help clients to finish their room off, by this we mean adding cushions, rugs, pictures, lamps etc, these accessories bring a room come to life.

A chance for you to show your personality by adding pieces that are meaningful to you and reflect the way you live whether you’re an avid reader, a quirky collector or a world traveller. 

A few things to remember; small or single objects can disappear or look lost on their own, so group them together, which will make more of an impact. Odd numbers look more natural, for example a group of five tea lights look more effortless than four of them bunched up.

You can add colour and textures in cushions, tie backs, pictures, to help a muted room look more interesting. A fluffy rug, velvet cushions and table lamps will make the room look warm and cosy. 

Add flickering candles at various heights, statement centrepieces such as a vase of flowers that tie in with the colour scheme, add some nice trimmings to the base of a plain lampshade to make it fun, a ribbon to curtains as a tie-back, or pick out some of the colours in a painting which will pull the room together.

Fun Ideas on Christmas Decorations

I found some inspiring and innovative tips for Chrismtas decorations in Elle Deco this month. 

How lovely as well as easy to add a festive theme to the centre of the table. Fill glass jars (that you can buy at affordable prices from Covent Garden Flower Market), with clementines, leaves attached or peppermints you can even sit them on an arrangement of ivy that you've cut from the garden.

White is my favourite background colour at Christmas as greens and reds stand out against it (of course as do all other colours!). A white napkin tied with twine, and a few sprigs of natural foliage (or scented herbs)  from the garden, again is simple yet stylish.

There is nothing more magical than candlelight, so lots of candles, all sorts of shapes and sizes dotted around the place or table immediately create a spellbinding atmosphere.

Draw or get one of the kids to scribble a winter scene in white chalk on a blackboard - as easy as pie! It doesn't matter how naive the drawing.

Another idea for candles is adding cinnamon sticks around church candles, not only will you get the lovely Chrismtas scent as the candles warm up, but they also look charming - a nice pressie for someone?

 

 

Pinterest And Why I Love It

Is there a better way to keep images you like on file? I don’t think so.  As an interior designer I have tried a number of ways to file pictures.

Looking for a particular reference? You just have to search an item and various images come up. I find it more useful and quicker than browsing through interior magazines. Not that my magazines get left untouched, but I consider it a luxury to find time to leaf through them.

Many of my clients are now on Pinterest too. They create a board that they share with me showing their likes and dislikes. This is a very useful tool as it gives me a feel of the client’s taste and less time to work out what look they want us to help them achieve.

Pinterest is so easy to use! 

I’ve linked it to my Twitter and Facebook accounts so that I don’t need to add something to each one individually. I can even add to it from an app on my phone.

Using social media doesn’t come naturally or easily to me, this way I can keep on top of it at the press of a button!