Renovation of a mews house to sell

Further to a previous blog post about the Clapham mews house, I’ve completed the work and the house is now on the market. Yesterday, Friday 10th May 2019, the property was featured in The Times as House of the Week ! Sadly I’m not mentioned in the article as the interior designer neither Shelley Hugh-Jones who I used to design the courtyard garden and terrace planting, but it’s great to see the house featured in the newspaper.

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Interiors sourcing at the Decorative Fair and Golborne Road

We are in mid winter here in London. Temperatures plummeted a week or so ago and we barely reach 6 Celsius most days. However I won’t complain as when it’s so cold there is less of the debilitating grey skies and more of blue skies and sunshine which really do elevate the spirits.

Monday 21 January was Blue Monday the most depressing day of the year. What a load of twaddle, isn’t it?! Why would you identify a day as the most depressing? Most of us stuck two fingers up at Blue Monday, smiled and got on with our lives.

January started with a vengeance from a work perspective so I’ve had no time to feel the post Christmas blues. And I have a trip to Sydney to look forward to in a few weeks - family, sun, sand and sea and loads of oysters and Riesling!

Between a lot of client meetings and client work at home, I managed to squeeze in some outings. First up, a day of sourcing for clients started with a visit to the Decorative Fair in Battersea Park with an interiors friend. I enjoy a wander around the stalls as they are all so beautifully styled but everything is eyewateringly expensive!

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Revamping an Edwardian Home used for Bed & Breakfast

CLIENT PROFILE:

Large Edwardian family home in Tooting, South West London, with a well established bed & breakfast Parklands Bed & Breakfast

I was contacted by the client to revamp the guest suites and communal areas with new colour schemes and to restyle each room with different accessories. In most instances I was able to recycle all the accessories in the property. 

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Renovating a Victorian apartment on a tight budget

CLIENT PROFILE:

Single professional male; first home he has owned; South West London two bedroom ground floor Victorian apartment; east facing. 

The client had no furniture when he moved in except a deck chair!  The whole apartment needed to be painted, decorated and filled with furniture and accessories.  His brief was for a stylish and comfortable design as his previous abode had been a real bachelor pad!  And all on a very small budget.

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Transform your kitchen with colour

One of the biggest problems with posting my projects on my website is the fact that the projects are ongoing. My clients are all residential and the projects don't have a start and end date mainly due to budget restrictions or the time it takes to source a particular item(s).   I'm happy to roll with it - dip in and out of the project as and when the client needs me but it makes it difficult to share the finished article with you.  So I've decided that I'll share my projects with you as a work in progress.

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Open house event at mine

Recently my home was opened up to members of the Decor Cafe for an evening event. The DecorCafe Network, of which I am a member, is a collaborative community of those of us whorun our own businesses in the interiors industry and those who just need inspiration and help to decorate their homes. These home tours bring members together to connect, learn and share ideas.  

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Petersham Nurseries - a source of inspiration

Petersham Nurseries is one of those places that is good for the soul.  It is all about beauty and style, both outside and inside.  I'm there at least three times a month and have rarely left there empty handed!  

It's a half hour drive from my home which takes me across Richmond Park, another place that is good for the soul. It's hard to believe that you are in a big city when you are in the middle of the park surrounded by trees, bracken and deer.  

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Add colour to a grey colour scheme

The trend for grey interiors continues, at least in south west London where I and most of my clients live.  Most paint their interiors in various shades of grey and then wonder what they can do to brighten them up. After all, it's grey outside most of the year in London so why would you want to bring that indoors?!

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An optical feast at Petersham Nurseries

s many of you know, I love Petersham Nurseries and am a frequent visitor. It's described on their website as "Internationally prized garden centre, Petersham Nurseries is a tranquil oasis
and seedbed of inspiration"
and that about sums it up. The highlight is always the shop which is in one of the glasshouses. The styling of the furniture, accessories, plants & flowers is superb and I find it a real inspiration.  I love to wander around admiring and of course buying one or two things as it's very difficult to leave empty handed!

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Tips for creating a picture wall

Most of my clients and friends are daunted by the task of hanging their artwork so it usually never makes it on to a wall !  

Styling your walls with artwork and mirrors is something that people struggle with because they don't know where to start and when they do start, they usually hang everything too high and don’t group things to give a feeling of cohesiveness (see my separate blog post How to Hang Artwork).   

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall .....

As many of you know, I have a passion for mirrors and my home is full of them. At last count I had 27 and it's only a two bedroom apartment!  

You can't have too many mirrors in the home. Apart from their functional purpose, they are a superb way to bring light into a space, can be used as artwork or generally to enhance the aesthetics of a room.

Here are some of the mirrors in my home and how I've used them.

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Give a piece of furniture a new lease of life

I'm a great one for up-cycling furniture with a lick of paint rather than get rid of it.  I usually paint with Annie Sloan chalk paint as it's so easy to use - no prep required and you can paint it on any surface including on fabric!  However this time I wanted a specific colour which doesn't come in the Annie Sloan range so I opted for Farrow & Ball which had the exact colour.

I'm a huge fan of Farrow & Ball paint and I have used it throughout my home. Most, if not all, my clients have F&B throughout their homes. I particularly like the way F&B split their neutrals into six groups which makes it so much easier for people when trying to choose a neutral colour(s).  In fact I use the six neutral groups as the basis for my colour talks.

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Headboard or Artwork in a Bedroom?

Do you have a headboard on your bed? Many of us don't. So what alternatives are there?   Mirrors, artwork, wall hangings.......... ?

In one of my bedrooms the bed has no headboard so I have added a very narrow bookcase on which are two lamps. However the wall above that was completely empty and crying out for a wow factor alternative to a headboard. 

I recently purchased a boxed set by Natural Curiosities of 14 x 14 inch square prints called 'Images for the Inquisitive - Volume 12 - Hortus Eystettensis'. They bear the authentic Latin name of an important 1613 collection of engravings of every species in the palace garden of Prince Bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria).  The box had been sitting in a cupboard and this was the perfect opportunity to have some of them framed and placed as art decor behind the bed.  I used my wonderful picture framers, Read and Booth, in Wandsworth Bridge Road, London SW6, who helped me select nine of the prints and a suitable frame (with no mount).  I planned to hang them 3 x 3 to add a real sense of drama to the room. The ceilings are very high in the room so there was plenty of space below the picture rail.  I also painted the lamp bases in Annie Sloan's 'Aubusson Blue' and bought a pair with a lovely botanical fern pattern pleated shades by Pooky Lighting

In the other bedroom there is a headboard but the wall above the headboard needed something on it to complement the headboard and add a wow factor.

I had forgotten all about a very old book of Pierre-Joseph Redouté rose prints that was my grandmother's. Belgian born Redouté achieved success as a painter working for the French royal court as a tutor to Marie Antoinette and later from 1798 was appointed to paint the flowers of Malmaison by Josephine Bonaparte. His famous published works include 'Les Liliacées' and 'Les Roses'. This version of 'Les Roses' was published in 1954 and I had rescued it from my grandmother's house in New Zealand when she passed away over 40 years ago!!  I had a light bulb moment and decided to create a group of framed rose prints above the bed as the colours would beautifully complement the headboard and the colours of the cushions and Kantha throw. Also, the wall colour, Farrow & Ball 'Teresa's Green' would provide the perfect colour to enhance their beauty. Once again my lovely framers, David and James from Read and Booth helped me select the eight prints from the book and a suitable frame. The frame is a reddish-brown wood which really works well with the background colour of the prints and the red/pink colours of the roses.

I hope I have inspired you to use art in a bedroom in place of a headboard or even to enhance a headboard.  I would love to see what you have done with the wall above your bed(s) so do send me pics.


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Back to Petersham for inspiration and sourcing

Hi everyone.  I went back to Petersham Nurseries this week armed with my Nikon D5500 camera.  It was a sunny but cold day and I decided to take a walk along the Thames before lunch (Petersham Nurseries is a stone's throw from the river).  There was even someone launching a boat and taking a jaunt up the river, despite the cold.

Along the river bank I found some pretty delicate wild flowers

I branched off the towpath along the river into the woodlands of Petersham Lodge.  Signs of spring were everywhere:

The woods led to a pretty iron gate that separates the gardens of Petersham Lodge (which are private) from the woodlands. 

The Belted Galloways are back in the Petersham Meadows by Petersham. Dogs are banned during the grazing season, April to October.

I returned to the Nurseries and spent time before lunch taking photos in the cutting garden where there was a superb display of tulips.

There were so many beautiful flowers to photograph

And of course the highlight of my visits to Petersham is the shop. I love the way it is styled with plants, flowers, furniture, accessories etc.  And I am always tempted to buy something!

These two beautiful bowls of flowers greeted you as you enter the restaurant

SEEKING STYLE INSPIRATION?

If you’re working on your own home decorating project and looking for some inspiration, please get in touch and see how I can help. 


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