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!