Pigments of the imagination with Annie Sloan

Breathe new life into tired cabinets, add pops of colour to shelves, and create colour schemes at your whim with chalk paint by Annie Sloan.

From beginner to advanced techniques, transforming your kitchen is a weekend project, instead of a long term investment. Pick from the palette of 37 colours, mix and match to create custom shades, or go for gold by creating a sumptuous gilded splash back using Annie Sloan metallic leaf in brass, copper or silver.

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Wall paint in Antoinette. Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue/ Emperor's silk mix on cupboards.

Wall paint in Antoinette. Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue/ Emperor's silk mix on cupboards.

Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue with Brass Leaf gilding on splashback.

Chalk Paint in Aubusson Blue with Brass Leaf gilding on splashback.

Visit AnnieSloan.com for kitchen painting techniques, tips and inspiration.

Dutch House from Next Home

Contains Affiliate Links

If you are a fan of pared back design, with monochrome prints, and a few hints of a past spent travelling, you will love Dutch House from Next Home. Suitable for both contemporary and industrial style interiors it's the epitome of laid back cool.

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Sofa from £699, Tile effect rug from £40, Landscape cushion £10, Natural faux sheepskin rug from £30, Bronx floor lamp £80, Black piano stool by be pure £99.

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Hand Drawn Wallpaper Designs Inspired by the Natural World

Charlotte Jade was set up in 2015 by artist Charlotte O’Reilly and sister Kate. They take their inspiration from the concept of Biophilic Design - the belief that we need nature for our wellbeing. Using the shapes, form, patterns, textures and colours prevalent in our natural environment the Charlotte Jade collections bring the outside in restoring our affinity with nature, with the aim of reducing stress, aiding mental alertness and improving productivity.

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Not just on wallpaper either. The eye-catching range of hand drawn designs, is also available on textiles, upholstery fabrics, cushions, ceramic tiles and flooring.

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Its latest collection Into The Wild will be launched at Decorex International, which returns to Syon Park from 16 – 19 September 2018.

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Charlotte Jade also offers a bespoke design service, working directly alongside clients to create special one-off, hand drawn patterns that are unique and exclusive. Its designs have been used in commercial and residential projects around the world, including a bespoke project at LUX Hotel for Kelly Hoppen Interiors. It has also collaborated with London Zoo to create a range of cards and the duo are currently working with the Zoo on a new set of designs.

How to Home Stage Your Property for a Really Quick Sale

Sometimes property sellers need a very quick sale. You might be relocating for a new job or need a bigger house for a growing family or you’ve found your dream home already and can’t wait to move in.

Whatever your reason for wanting to sell your property fast, there are a few key actions that will get prospective buyers interested. And, the more appealing your home looks to buyers, the faster it will sell.

How can home staging help?

You have little more than 10 seconds to make an impression on a prospective buyer. If you want to sell your property quickly, you need to make a positive impact straight away. This requires more than just a deep clean and tidy-up.

To get buyers interested you need to think about how your home is dressed. This means lighting, furnishings, interior design and greenery.

Here are 11 tips to help make your property stand out from the crowd and get a quick sale.

1. Go Minimal

The first rule of getting your house ready is to declutter. Remove all unwanted objects from each room. This includes cupboards, wardrobes, and bathroom cabinets. Especially any ornaments or personal memorabilia — you want to depersonalise rooms as much as possible. Aim to get rid of least 30% of your things. You can throw these away, recycle or place in storage.

2. Curate Furniture

Remove all unnecessary furniture to free up space. This doesn’t mean empty your house out entirely. But, buyers struggle to visualize living in a place that is empty. Rather make sure the furniture you include serves a purpose e.g. a table to indicate a dining area, or a well-placed cuddle chair with a rug thrown over it for reading. Show off any period features — especially if they are in good condition. Fireplaces and wooden flooring are very desirable to buyers.

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3. Sort out Lighting


Get the lighting right. Hands down this is one of the most important house staging tasks. Dark spaces are unattractive to buyers. Make the most of any natural light you have — remove heavy curtains and any obstructing furniture or clutter. Turn on all lights even during day-time viewings. Add table lamps to darker zones to brighten them up. To create a warm ambience, change light bulbs to soft glow.

4. Decorate Wisely

Navigate carefully between neutral and boring. There’s no doubt that earth tones work better than more bright colours on walls. You want to sell your house not your taste in interior design. But, a splash of colour on an accent wall can also brighten up a drab room and create a modern feel.

5. Be Nosy

Go along to a few viewings of similar properties and get inspiration for what works and what doesn’t.

6. Manicure the garden

This is one of your most prized assets. Its worthwhile spending time making it presentable and attractive. Make sure you maintain a mowed the lawn. Dress up garden furniture with cushions and rugs. Make it more appealing by adding flowers beds and updating old paving stones.

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7. Accessorize

Mirrors are a wonderful accessory as they reflect light and makes small spaces feel bigger. Place them in corridors, rooms. They also work well in small gardens.

Don’t forget to add fresh flowers in rooms.

8. Home Furnishings

Add a little luxury by adding soft furnishings and cushions. Place rugs in specific places like by the kitchen workbench. Buy new towels and bedding. Throw a blanket over the end of the bed for added comfort.

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9. First Impressions

Before your buyers even steps inside your house they will be forming an opinion of what to expect. This means the front of your house needs to look as great, as the inside. Give your entrance the ‘wow factor’ by ensuring it is clean and tidy. Add a hanging flower basket, install outside lighting and update outdated door numbers with a more contemporary style.

10. Create Flow

Leave doors open to encourage buyers to wander comfortably around your property. They should be able to see inside the room immediately so make sure your best features are clearly in sight.

11. Banish bad smells

Bad smells will keep your property languishing on the market. Smoking and pet smells are a big turn-off. Place potpourri and scented candles around the property — perfect for small shelves. If you have time, bake bread and make fresh coffee on viewing days. This will fill your property with comforting smells adding a sense of homeliness.

By investing time in home staging your property, you will attract more viewings and interested buyers helping you sell your home fast.

Run For The Hills Designs Next Generation Work Space in Birmingham

The space is spread over five floors, comprises close to 20,000 square feet, with two large work spaces on each floor. The building has an amazing location, less than five minutes walk from New Street Station, where the HS2 will arrive, linking Birmingham directly with London, The East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester.

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Drawing inspiration from Georgian facades and private members club entrances, the exterior of the property is now befitting of the young, vibrant clientele it seeks to attract. The front door, repainted in an inky dark Paint & Paper Library blue, is adorned with bronze ironmongery; an antique-style bell, door knocker, letter plate and buzzer. Above and around the main sandstone entrance, statement new signage in blackened steel and antique brass give visitors a hint of the premium design within. The main lobby features oversized antique mirrors, flanked by the project’s eponymous dark blue painted walls.

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Bennetts Hill House is the second collaboration between Run For The Hills and property developer Dunmoore, following the success of the redevelopment, styling and rebranding of the Wireless Factory warehouse style workspace project in West London.

Led by Creative Directors Anna Burles and Chris Trotman, Run For The Hills’ holistic approach, includes working on everything from the interior design of Bennetts Hill House, to origination of the branding, logo and entire visual identity and website. Designing everything from the exterior signage and the ‘to let’ board outside, to the company board in the main lobby and internal way-finding and signage throughout the building. Having both interior and branding teams in-house has allowed a design synthesis between all elements of Bennetts Hill House’s new creative identity.

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Head of the interior design team, Anna Burles, comments; “The brief from our Client, Dunmoore, was to create a taste of Soho / Shoreditch in the heart of Birmingham. We wanted to create a space that felt urban and cool but also sophisticated and appropriate for the heritage Georgian building. Our monochromatic scheme of deep midnight blues, urban greys, off whites, chalk and clay is dramatic but with an elegant, utterly timeless feel which would appeal to men and women.”

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The new open-plan offices feature super high ceilings with exposed concrete pillars, exposed steel beams and oversized vintage blackened steel mirrors. The ‘studios’ also feature large, steel framed Crittall windows on all sides, allowing swathes of natural light to flood through the space. The show suite on the 4th floor also showcases the stylish shaker style kitchens designed by the interiors team,featuring crisp marble worktops, super dark painted cabinets and doors, antique brass taps, butler sinks and apothecary style cabinet handles. Rather than overhead cupboards, the kitchens have reclaimed timber open shelving with cast iron brackets, making a style statement and keeping things feeling light and airy.

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Founded by Chris Trotman and Anna Burles, Run for The Hills is an award-winning creative design house specialising in branding and interiors.

5 Essential Floor Sanding Tips For Beginners

Sanding and finishing floors - particularly the hardwood variety - may seem like a challenging task for the uninitiated. However, the process is surprisingly straightforward - assuming you have the right equipment and tools. If you can borrow or rent a large electric sander, this will make the process easier. However, you can complete the process by hand sanding too - although if your floor is very large, this could be a cumbersome task. After several hours of hand sanding a large surface, you may even hot-foot it from your home for an emergency trip to your local DIY store - and invest in a sander.

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Here are five helpful tips for sanding your floor.

1. Use the right grit number as the sanding progresses

For most floors - particularly older, more uneven ones - you may need to use two or three different grit numbers. The lower the grit number, the rougher and more vigorous the sanding. For a very uneven floor, begin with a something like a 36 grit, before progressing to a 50 or 60 grit. If the floor is already fairly flat and even, you might start off with a 60 grit. In the final stage of sanding, by which time the floor should be flat, switch to a finer grit of 80 to 120.

2. Combine diagonal with straight movements

Initially, moving your sander diagonally will help even out the floor. For the latter stages of the sanding, perhaps using something like an 80 grit, move the sander in line with the direction of the flooring.

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3. Use the same sequence of grit numbers when sanding the edges

If you started off with 60 grit for the central areas, before finishing on 80, then repeat this sequence when sanding the edges. You can clean the corners either by hand, using a palm sander - or perhaps even a delta sander if you have access to one.

4. Use the dust-bag wood dust to fill any gaps

After carrying out the initial rough sanding, empty the dust bag and use the wood dust to fill in any splits or gaps. Add PVA glue to the dust, mix it, then apply the filler to the gaps using a spatula. Leave enough time for the filler to dry, before sanding it off - 100 grit should be sufficient.

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5. Using a final fine grit is important - especially if you plan to stain the wood

Once the main sanding is completed, go over the middle and edges with a fine grit of around 100. If you don’t have a rotary or finishing sander, you can do it by hand. This final stage of fine sanding is very important if you plan to stain your floor.

You can find plenty more tips for your DIY over at the DIY Advice blog.

How to Make The Best Out of Your Small Bathroom

If you’re anything like me, you might have found your dream home. It has everything you want, except the bathroom is…small. Or maybe you’re lucky and have everything including a large bathroom for yourself but your guest bathroom is not quite as big. Either way, the question remains: How can I make the best out of my small bathroom?

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It is well known that mirrors can make a space look larger and that shelves and cabinets are essential in a small space. I like to combine these two principles in my bathroom to make sure every square inch is utilized and use a bathroom mirror cabinet. A bathroom mirror cabinet helps open up your small space and also provides valuable storage room useful for cutting down the clutter and keeping things nice and tidy. Gone are the days of the boring bathroom cabinet, today’s options provide a much more updated and attractive look.

The space above the sink is often underused in traditional bathrooms, usually featuring only a mirror or at best a thin medicine cabinet. Cabinets from companies such as Villeroy & Boch and Duravit have taken a seemingly simple bathroom item and loaded them with features. Many feature built-in lights which brighten up your bathroom and give it a more open feel, as well as interior outlets and adjustable shelves so you can customize the interior to suit your needs.

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Another great way to win some space in your bathroom is with your shower. Your shower does not have to take up all the space in your bathroom, and with the many options available to us today we don’t have to sacrifice comfort when choosing to downsize our shower. Hansgrohe, one of Germany’s finest shower manufacturers provides a wide selection of ceiling mounted showers tailored to every shape and size of bathroom.

A growing shower trend is ceiling mounted shower heads. Not only does it bring a fashionable new minimalistic aesthetic to your bathroom, it also reduces the space needed for the shower. With this type of installation, you can even enjoy the luxury of a large shower head in a small shower.

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Finally, the last tip for making the best out of your small bathroom is using soft closing toilet seat. While this might not seem intuitive – hear me out. Small bathrooms are usually up against or attached to other rooms, particularly bedrooms. Walls are often thin, and noises travel. One of the additions to the bathroom that was most appreciated by the rest of my family was the addition of a soft close toilet seat. No more waking up the loved ones when getting up to use the toilet in the middle of the night.

The majority of the major toilet manufacturers now offer soft close toilet seats with designs to suit every bathroom’s style. Switching the toilet seat is also a simple way to update the look of your toilet without having to buy an entire new toilet. Just a warning, you really do get used to having a soft close toilet seat and when you visit the homes of friends and family who do not, you will probably slam their toilet seat shut and wonder how you lived without soft closing seats.

Every bathroom can be beautiful and functional, no matter the size. By following these three tips and shopping around for some extra ideas you will be able to find solutions to your small bathroom problem and have a space that you truly love and find comfortable.

Top Tips For Using Yellow Around The Home

Yellow inspires optimism, confidence and brightness and can make a room feel warmer. Good things to remember as we hurtle headlong towards Autumn. If you are thinking of redecorating soon, maybe consider this most sunny of colours. And to help us out Valspar have suggested a few tips to help us along the way.

Mood Boosters and Modern Touches

Valspar Simply Brilliant

Valspar Simply Brilliant

Tapping into current colour trends, there’s been a real shift of people moving towards brighter colours with a clean-cut finish. Sunny shades of yellow can work on almost any wall, when paired with a crisp white ceiling and skirting boards the effect is fresh, bold and classic whilst remaining current.

Valspar Sunwashed Meadow

Valspar Sunwashed Meadow

Yellows don’t always have to be bright to bring cheer into your room. Using saturated yellow hues such as ‘Sunwashed Meadow’ can be a fantastic way to add a burst of colour to living spaces. Pairing these shades with contrasting charcoal grey and black furnishings provides a contemporary look.

Make a Bright Statement

Valspar Sense of Wonder

Valspar Sense of Wonder

If you have a kitchen that doesn’t get a lot of natural light, yellow is the perfect choice to brighten up this important family space. To achieve a rustic feel in the kitchen, you can team sunny yellows with natural wood panels. For your kitchen refresh, opt for the Kitchen and Bathroom range from Valspar®, which can endure the scuffs and knocks of daily living without compromising on colour or finish.

Valspar Yellow Ombre 002

Valspar Yellow Ombre 002

If you’re feeling creative, shades of yellow work really well as an ombré effect. This is a simple and stylish technique that can be used to create a unique, personalised accent wall by blending several different yellow shades together. To achieve this, choose three different colours from the same colour family, one light, one medium and one dark to create a striking statement wall.

Colour Pops

Colours matter. They tell the world who you are, so what better place to start than with your entrance? Statement front doors are one of the hottest trends of this year and bright yellows are perfect for creating a warm, welcoming entrance and setting your house apart from the rest.

Valspar Zany Jane

Valspar Zany Jane

Cheery yellow shades complement red brick perfectly and provide an eye-catching contrast to any adjacent greenery. Use Valspar® Exterior Wood and Metal to paint doors and window frames in the same shade for show-stopping results.

Valspar English Primrose

Valspar English Primrose

Using yellow when upcycling is ideal for adding a playful feel to a room and vibrant shades work well to add a pop of personality and individuality. Valspar’s Premium Blend v700™ Wood & Metal will give even the thinnest piece of MDF a beautiful finish, that is long-lasting and withstands those everyday knocks.

Make a Statement With Colour Blocked Walls in Pastel Tones

Colour blocking with fresh pastels like lilac, mint and blush is definitely on our radar right now. As summer fades away what better way to keep our homes upbeat and fresh looking? A chic way to get this look is by mixing cool neutral furniture with mixed pastel walls for a bold and colourful statement. It’s also a great opportunity to play with 2018’s It-shades; sage is still popular as a versatile neutral, and lilac (a gentler answer to Ultraviolet) offers a calmer look that’s still very on-trend.
 
It’s all about determining the right colour mixes and where to show them off, whether it’s on a large scale or in small, arty doses. Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture Choice talks us through it.

Dorado White Bed £329.99 from Furniture Choice

Dorado White Bed £329.99 from Furniture Choice

Unexpected colour combinations offer a fresh, contemporary feel, while a unique play on patterns amplifies the effect,” says Rebecca. “If you’re going with a mix of cool and warm tones, introducing a third neutral shade will balance both sides out. For instance, matching grey with fresh pastels like lilac and mint creates an interesting and energetic appeal that would look great as a feature wall.”
 
“It’s a great way to dress up your wall and also put the focus on a special piece of furniture. You can either go with eye-catching shapes and lines, or paint out a section of the wall for a clever framing effect.”

Osaka White Gloss Dining Table, £299.99 from Furniture Choice

Osaka White Gloss Dining Table, £299.99 from Furniture Choice

Your walls are the star here, but that doesn’t mean they can’t share the limelight. Choosing furniture in light tones will immediately create a contrast, without adding more colour to a space.
 
“Colours like beige, white and even blush stand out well against bright and dark colour combinations, putting a spotlight on your favourite furniture and decor,” advises Rebecca. “It offers a different perspective on pieces that you already own, giving it an instant summer-ready update that can work in harmony with the new colour palette.”

Finley Ivory Three Seater Sofa, £549.99 from Furniture Choice

Finley Ivory Three Seater Sofa, £549.99 from Furniture Choice

Founded in 2005, FurnitureChoice.co.uk is an independent furniture retailer. The company combines a deep knowledge of contemporary furniture manufacturing with first-class e-commerce expertise.

The Urban Jungle Trend in the Home

The urban jungle trend is not just a fickle fad. It is a living, breathing lifestyle choice. It is living a life among plants and in harmony with nature, even if you live in the heart of a big city. Whoever tries it once, cannot imagine life without soothing greenery in the home. It is suitable for any interior and brings positive energy and more oxygen to every room in the house. Plants can stand on the window sills, the larger ones will proudly decorate the floor, and the fancy vines will grow robustly in wall planters.

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Pixers Green Kitchen

Luckily, you don't have to be that green fingered to include greenery in your own little pad. Wallpaper, cushions, and carpets in floral patterns, as well as vases and knick-knacks in the shape of leaves and flowers, will complete the look and make your home bloom throughout the year.

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Pixers Summer Palm Tree and Banana Leaf

And if you choose to adorn your walls with urban jungle inspired wallpaper and wallmurals you will optically enlarge your space as well as experience the full 'communing with nature' benefits. 

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Pixers Leaves and Pink

This sweet and elegant yet casual combination of succulent green and pastel pink is very popular.

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Monochrome Vector Leaf Pattern

White and all the colors of the earth, like beige and browns of various shades are ideal for lovers of the classics and minimalism. And all of these combinations are good backgrounds for green compositions. 

All wall murals are from Pixers.

Holiday DIY Projects with Crown

Holiday weekends offer the perfect opportunity for finishing those half-attempted DIY tasks or unleashing your creativity with colour. Whether it’s a tired piece of furniture in need of attention or a plain wall that is crying out for a little charisma, there are a number of ways to make the most of the long weekend.

Dash Of Nutmeg, Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l, Top Notch & Midnight Coal, both Non Drip Gloss from £15 for 750ml

Dash Of Nutmeg, Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l, Top Notch & Midnight Coal, both Non Drip Gloss from £15 for 750ml

Crown’s selection of multi-surface emulsions, non-drip glosses and satins offer extensive colour choices and high-quality finishes. With step-by-step guides available, alongside expert advice from the colour consultants, visit www.crownpaints.co.uk for answers to your DIY questions.

Dash of Nutmeg, Hare, Soft Shadow, City Break, all Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l; Steel Drum, Non-Drip Gloss, from £15.49 for 750ml.

Dash of Nutmeg, Hare, Soft Shadow, City Break, all Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l; Steel Drum, Non-Drip Gloss, from £15.49 for 750ml.

'Many lack the confidence to consider a paint effect, but it can be a great way to personalise your walls. You can create a mountain scene by simply layering paints and the outcome delivers a mix of drama and serenity'. Judy Smith- Crown Colour Consultant

City Break & Hare, both Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l.

City Break & Hare, both Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l.

Home Study Styling Tips

If you work from home you will know how much time you spend in your office. Sometimes it may feel like you never leave the house, that’s why it is important to style your office a little differently from the rest of your home, making it feel like two separate places.

Firstly, when styling the office space be sure to incorporate a few personal elements, this can be done using colour, fabrics, and pictures. You could even try decorating with flowers or houseplants as we have discussed before on this blog.

When looking to style your office you can either do this by purchasing bold coloured office furniture, or an office chair that represents your style, as the infographic below from Furniture At Work showcases, or you can make subtle changes using accessories.

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Get Crafty

Let’s take a look at some accessories you could add to your office, making it a little more fashionable.

Family Photos

A popular choice or many, a nice family photo can brighten a stressful day. You may even want to place it in a handcrafted picture frame that you made with your children, bringing back lovely memories.  Picture frames can be simple to make out of cardboard, paper mache, or just go online and design one!
You may also want to create a lovely painting with your family that will make you smile every day.

Storage Areas

This could quite possibly be the most dull area of the office, but with a little paint or coloured overlay you can make the space bright and cheerful. Another option is to write inspirational quotes on the front of the boxes providing something motivational.

Brighten up the walls

Black paint to create a chalkboard wall is right on trend at the moment and this is simple to do. Once the wall is painted, find some chalk and get writing you can be as creative as you like as it can be wiped off.

Depending on your business, why not use bold colours accompanied by monochrome furniture, providing you with the best of both worlds, and if you want to add a little craft simply focus on one wall and dress it with fabrics.

 

Pretty PVC from Bluebellgray

Let's face it, summer is not the time to be washing an ironing the tablecloth. That's why we love a PVC version. And the latest designs from Bluebellgray are absolute stunners.

Rothesay

Rothesay

Perfect for adding a playful and colourful twist to your kitchen or outdoor table. This PVC coated cotton is also perfect for protecting your table during craft projects, messy food preparation, or to simply add a colourful statement to your home.

Cactus

Cactus

The Details

  • Available in four signature designs including; Cactus, Botanical, Rothesay and Seafield.
  • £33 per metre
  • Available online and in-store
  • 100% coated cotton
  • No need to sew - ready to use right away (WE LOVE THIS ONE!)
  • Water resistant
  • Made in the UK
Botanical

Botanical

Seafield

Seafield

Available to order online here.

Festive Florals from The Magic Flower Company

Perfect all year round, from the height of summer to the festive season, the collection from The Magic Flower Company is carefully preserved to ensure beautiful, lasting flower arrangements that can be enjoyed in your home throughout the year. Designed to last for many months or even years in perfect condition, choose from single stems of elegant eucalyptus or opt for rich burgundy red roses to celebrate the arrival of Christmas.

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100% real, the extensive range from The Magic Flower Company is preserved through a skilled process that sees the sap of the stem replaced with a harmless glycerine solution to maintain the natural beauty of each flower or sprig of foliage. From stunning table centrepieces to classic vases and individual stems that make a statement, floral displays inspired by the festivities are guaranteed to take you from the start of December through to the new year and beyond. With bespoke services tailored to your home available on request, a unique arrangement can be organised to meet your style and space requirements for Christmas or any other special occasion on the horizon.

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Lo-Res Hi-Res Magic Flower Company - 01.jpg

Pricing starts from £6.45 for a single stem Rose & £39.95 for a Magic Flower Arrangement

Naturally Nordic from Debenhams This Autumn

Debenhams have curated a collection for the Autumn months that is designed to introduce the ultimate Scandinavian aesthetic into our homes. Healthy and wholesome, there is a strong sense of wellness and a feeling of serenity running throughout the range. The colours are calming but at the same time would inject just the right amount of accent into grey neutrals. Like adding a coloured scarf to a well-tailored grey suit. The textures are tactile, and there are plenty of hurricane lamps and holders to tempt us to adopt the Nordic tradition of lighting candles.

Contains affiliate links.

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  1. Cushion, £45.
  2. Reactive Dinnerware Set, £60.
  3. Smoked Glass and Gold Hurricane Lantern, £18.
  4. Candle, £20.
  5. Basket, £18.
  6. Throw, £25.
  7. Cutlery (16 piece), was £35 - now £28.
  8. Faux Fern, £40.
  9. Vase, £30.

All from Debenhams this autumn.

Annie Sloan: Ombre Bathroom

Give your bathroom a wash of colours with Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan. Available in 37 mixable shades, Chalk Paint can be applied directly to fiberglass, porcelain or cast iron tubs without priming or sanding. Ideal for beginners, soak your bathtub in colour with a single pot of paint, followed by a coat of Clear Chalk Paint wax, in just a matter of hours.

For intermediate painters and up-cyclers, a waterfall-effect ombré wall in a cascading ocean palette is the perfect weekend project. Start with your lightest colour to darken it. Apply the paler colour above your first colour, then use a clean brush to lightly feather the paint while it's still wet, blending each other into the next. Repeat steps two and three until you reach your darkest colour at the top of the wall then seal with wax. Paint dry? Dive in!

Annie Sloan Bathroom Ombre Aubusson Blue Wall Paint and Provence Chalk Paint bath in Provence Chalk Paint.

Annie Sloan Bathroom Ombre Aubusson Blue Wall Paint and Provence Chalk Paint bath in Provence Chalk Paint.

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The Ombre wall was created by Brand Director Felix (Annie Sloan's son), using Wall Paint in Aubusson Blue (top) and Provence (bottom). Both painted in Chalk Paint in Provence and finished with Chalk Paint Wax. The bath feet were painted in Chalk Paint Original and finished with Lacquer. The floorboards were treated with a wash of Chalk Paint in Old White. 

Expert Advice - Planning a New Kitchen

Planning a new kitchen can be a daunting task. The modern kitchen has a million and one jobs to do including cooking, cleaning, dining, entertaining, homework and sharing family time. So, the key to making it all work is space, storage and functionality. Luckily, the team at Neptune Kitchens have experts on hand to answer all of your kitchen queries. 

Neptune Edgbaston - Suffolk kitchen hand-painted in Sage from £12,000

Neptune Edgbaston - Suffolk kitchen hand-painted in Sage from £12,000

Where To Start

“It’s so important to have an idea of what you want before approaching a designer. They will ask you how you will use your kitchen, these factors will dictate where to start with the initial ideas for your kitchen and help determine other important factors such as storage.”
Rebecca Malyon, Head of Design, Neptune

Neptune walls painted in Teal emulsion, Carter shelves, Longton large pot, Henley kitchen in Snow from £14,000

Neptune walls painted in Teal emulsion, Carter shelves, Longton large pot, Henley kitchen in Snow from £14,000

Zoning

“Well-thought out zones make life more efficient. The whole room just flows. Factoring in primary zones for cooking and socialising allows the kitchen to become a multi-purpose hub, bringing the whole family together. It also lets you make the absolute most of a room. With zoning in mind, every nook and cranny is explored.”                                                           Rebecca Malyon, Head of Design, Neptune

Neptune Suffolk Larder Cabinet

Neptune Suffolk Larder Cabinet

Storage


“Focus on how you use the kitchen and determine what is needed for the way you cook and
entertain. This will ensure that you utilise all the available space for your individual requirements. My best advice for storage solutions is to find the correct balance between interesting storage options and lots of open cupboard space”                                            Daniele Brutto, Co-Founder, Hub Kitchens

Burbidge Salcombe Painted Dresser in Charcoal and Chalk From £2,200

Burbidge Salcombe Painted Dresser in Charcoal and Chalk From £2,200

Freestanding Furniture


“Freestanding dressers or full-height larders not only look beautiful but give you mountains of storage space too. A countertop cabinet means that you can keep things like toasters, kettles, coffee machines or mixers on that low level, on your work surface, plugged in and easy to
use, but they’ll be hidden behind the bifold doors when you aren’t using them.”
Becky Smith, Kitchen Designer, Neptune Bristol

Neptune Suffolk Kitchen from £16,000

Neptune Suffolk Kitchen from £16,000

Kitchen Islands

“Having a kitchen island has huge benefits that go further than just the additional work surface. A beautifully designed island also turns into a beautiful piece of furniture with ample storage, if used wisely you can make your kitchen work efficiently for you.”
Rebecca Malyon, Head of Design, Neptune

Expert Advice - Choosing a New Bathroom Floor

With so much choice available, it's often hard to make final decisions when choosing new items for the home. This week we're going to help you transform your bathroom into a stylish sanctuary by picking pretty and practical patterned flooring. Below, Sarah Turner, Buyer, Hard Flooring & Rugs, comments on current trends and things to consider when choosing new bathroom floors.

Carpetright Mardi Gras 599 Sagres vinyl tile, £15.99 per square metre.

Carpetright Mardi Gras 599 Sagres vinyl tile, £15.99 per square metre.

First the Practicalities

“Prioritising safety in the bathroom is essential, so ensure you consider how practical and slip resistant flooring is before purchasing.

Vinyl is highly water-resistant and is a great way to update your room without blowing the budget.

There have been many developments in design and styles that mean the effects vinyl can create, such as tile or wood, are incredibly realistic. It’s a great choice for families as it is durable and softer and warmer underfoot than laminate.”

Carpetright Tarkett Starfloor Retro Luxury Vinyl Tile, £28.99 per square metre & Moroccan Pattern Duck Egg Rug, £34.99.

Carpetright Tarkett Starfloor Retro Luxury Vinyl Tile, £28.99 per square metre & Moroccan Pattern Duck Egg Rug, £34.99.

Then the Style

“Increasingly we are seeing customers opt for bold shades and patterns in their bathrooms; using it as a way to add a little personality to the room.

Light and bright colours work well in smaller areas and can help give the illusion of space.

If your room is on the larger side patterned flooring creates an eye-catching statement.

A well placed rug can also be added to spacious bathrooms to help create a warm and inviting atmosphere, just try to make sure it is not in an area that is often wet.”

For more examples of vinyl flooring and more advice visit Carpetright.

DIY Colourful Pallet Outdoor Lounger

In just a couple of hours, you can transform three unassuming pallets into garden furniture. Pick any colour you like, and decorate with coordinating cushions for the party-perfect snuggling lounger that’s straight out of Love Island!

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You Will Need:

  • Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Garden Furniture Paint.
  • Wooden Pallets.
  • Small Roller and Tray.
  • Paint Brush.
  • Paint Stirrer.
  • Paint Tin Opener.
  • Electric Drill With Screws.
  • Metal Brackets.
DIY colourful outdoor pallet seat (2).jpg

Directions:

  1. Ensure surfaces are smooth, dry and free from contaminants. Take your chosen shade of garden furniture paint and paint the pallets. (Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Garden Furniture Paint requires no priming, is water resistant and is mould and algae resistant too). Use a mini roller for an even finish.
  2. One to two coats will be needed, and you'll need to leave the paint to dry for one hour before flipping the pallet and painting the underside. You might need to use a brush for the harder-to-reach areas.
  3. Create the base of your lounger by stacking one or more pallets to the right height. When you're happy, secure them with screws and an electric drill. Use metal brackets for extra strength.
  4. Add another pallet propped in a vertical position to create the back of your lounger. Again, secure it in place with drill, screws and brackets.
  5. Dress for comfort! Homebase sells special pallet furniture cushions that fit perfectly on top of pallets. 
  6. Add more colour with more scatter cushions, pot plants and fairy lights.

For stockist information and more inspiration visit www.makeityours.co.uk

Run For The Hills Designs Kricket's Cult New Brixton Restaurant

Award-winning London-based consultancy Run For The Hills is delighted to reveal their design of the interior of the new Kricket Brixton restaurant. Run For The Hills has a long history working with the brand on Kricket’s creative identity, website, and designing the interior of its first Central London restaurant as well as their upcoming hero site in Television Centre between neighbours Soho House and Bluebird.

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 Anna Burles, Creative Director of Run For The Hills, comments: “In terms of the look and feel of the new space, the design is barfly-moody meets under-the-arches cool. Styled for evening vibes and social weekenders, it’s a lo-fi, relaxed scheme, perfect for late night drinks, cocktails and Kricket’s utterly delicious signature small plates. A bit grungier than Soho, we’ve styled Kricket Brixton with a dusky palette, painting the corrugated curves of the two railway arch ceilings in a knocked back pink terracotta. Which gives a welcome-in statement colour by day, and gets warmed by candle-glow lighting at night. Hand painted  wall tiles, crisp carrara white marble, distressed mesh and patinated iron finishes to the bar and restaurant keep the pinks and nudes urban and earthy rather than sweet and girlie. All of which creates the perfect  backdrop for pops of Kricket’s amazing brand orangered, which really zings out.”

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Kricket is the brainchild of chef Will Bowlby and front of house Rik Campbell. Their tiny and much talked about first eaterie, was squeezed into a 20-seater shipping container within POP Brixton in 2015. Which set tongues chattering. A major F&B investor spotted their unique talents and helped fund the opening of their first bricks and mortar space in Soho.

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Rik and Will comment: “It has always been our intention to return to the neighbourhood where our journey first began and we couldn’t be more excited. Brixton has remained such a huge part of Kricket’s identity and we’ve been searching for a permanent site ever since we moved out of POP Brixton.”

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 A continuation of the lively Indian cooking found in Soho, the menu leans heavily towards Indian inspired street-food dishes and bar snacks to accompany a brimming cocktail and drinks list. As usual, there will be an emphasis on using seasonal British produce, making classic Indian flavours ever more accessible.

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Run For The Hills has also designed the Kricket cookbook, the launch of which coincides with the opening of the new restaurant. Kricket: An Indian Inspired Cookbook  features 80 delicious recipes presented to reflect the brand’s ethos. A third Kricket restaurant, with an interior also designed by Run For The Hills, is due to open later this year at the recently renovated BBC Television Centre.

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