Using Maps in your Interiors

WorldMapMuralIt’s going to be a quick one today as I’m currently working on a client renovation, my own renovation & planning for the next client renovation due to start in December. Having to manage multiple teams of builders and clients expectations has taken a lot more effort than I realised. But I’m starting to see the results of those efforts and the excitement is building.

I was recently gifted the most beautiful map designed by my designer friend Kristjana Williams. You can see the picture on my instagram account here. Since then I have been seeing all sorts of images of interiors that have utilised maps for decoration.  So I thought I’d share them with you today. Maps are so versatile and can be used in any sort of space design. Here are some examples below…

AerialMaps

BlackNYMapNewYorkMapsVintageMapStylingKSWWorldMap

Do you use maps in your interior decoration? I’d love to know. Till next time.

xD

Image Source: Title – Interiorholic, 1 – inoutdesign, 2 – Wall Deco , 3 – linaikse 4 – shades of light, 5 – provided by Kristjana Williams – Photography by Leigh Keily

Creating Kitchens with Bling

wpid-708d5265fcd478c0adf9453e76020c34I’m not typically one to go for an interior that has a lot of bling in it. It’s never been my first choice preferring more textured materials such as wood, bricks or concrete. But there is something to be said about people that have the confidence to go all out. A great way to do this through metallics and lately I’ve been quite taken with metallics in the kitchen.

Metallic splash backs or cupboards create such a vibrant effect, creating a beautifully impactful look that is also in my opinion beautiful.

My tips for creating a kitchen with bling are:

  • restrict the colour palette against the metallic surface area. I suggest down to only 1 or 2 additional colours
  • ensure that you balance the colour against a neutral colour being either black or white
  • go all out and create the impact, you can’t go halfway with this look

Here is some inspiration:

Silvermosaic

CopperKitchen

GoldKitchenWhat do you think? Would you have bling in your kitchen? I’d love to know.

Till next time, xD

Image Source: Title – Unknown, Image 1 – Unknown, Image 2 – Ikea Design, Image 3 – Decoholic.org

 

A creative venture and a giveaway!

mapology_guides_logo_grey-1Today I wanted to talk about the creative project that my friend Tina from the wonderful blog Colourliving has been working on called Mapology Guides. It’s been an amazing journey for Tina who told me about the idea late last year. I’ve been steadily watching the concept that started as an idea in her head, then turned into a work in progress and then became something tangible that I was able to physically hold in my hand. It’s been wonderful to see this great idea come to life.

Mapology Guides are about the decisions we make. We spend all day, everyday making them and we all tackle these decisions in a different way. These guides are a representation of alternative ways to tackle the decisions we make be them little or large. They tackle everyday questions to help us make better choices and decisions in life and do so in a thoughtful, fun and visually creative way.

The maps are curated by Tina Bernstein & Mike Abrahams and each map has been created by a different talented writer and illustrator utilising imagery to distill a complex audience in a fun, humorous and educational way. What I love even more is that in producing the maps, the creative team are recognised for their contribution and share in the success (or failure) of the project with 50% of profits split equally between them for 15 years.

So without further ado, here are the guides…

mapology gifts map cover hi res

mapology gift map back hi res (smaller size)mapology gifts map close up high resmapology gifts map open high res

Be Present Perfect – is a map to help people get the right gifts for everyone, everytime. It’s a fun interactive map that gives you options for what you can buy that someone special. It takes the stress out of gift giving and gives plenty of opportunity for a laugh along the way if you ever have a Dodgy Relative or Sugar Daddy that is.

Writer – Simon Rodway & Illustrator – Miranda Sofroniou

mapology wbu cover hi res

mapology wbu? detail hi res (small siza)mapology wbu?map open hi resWhat’s Bugging You? – Is my favourite of the 3. It’s about tackling lifes problems, big and small and provides insightful ways to address them and help us move on. I found myself sitting down to fill in the empty boxes posing questions such as What is the problem? and What are the smallest next steps you can take? A very insightful guide that I will be referring to for many years to come.

Writer – John-Paul Flintoff & Illustrator – Jenni Sparks

mapology pets map cover high res

mapology pets map back hi res

mapology pets map detail hi res

mapology pets map open high resWould like to Meet… Matchmaking pets and people – is a matchmaking guide for people and pets. It includes animals for all occasions from cats and parrots to spiders and horses. This a great guide for those that would love to have a pet but are not sure which one would suit their needs. It’s beautifully illustrated and also provides informative information on the animals themselves such as the pets lifespan, potential costs and time needed.

Writer - Sarah Farley and Illustrator – Nanna Koekoek

Along with the guides, postcards are also available to either supplement or to go on their own.

When I received the guides, I was immediately drawn in by the colour illustrations and imagery. I then sat down and started to read each of the guides and was taken aback by the sheer complexity and level of thought that was put into each of them. They are not just fun because I must admit that I did laugh out loud while reading them, it was that they were all helpful and informative also.

I am so incredibly proud of Tina because I have seen first hand the hard work and dedication she has put into this project and I wish her all the best in her new venture.

As a special gift, Tina has kindly offered 1 set of each map and postcards to give away to Interior Novice readers so you can experience it for yourself. So all you need to do is leave a comment to the post below detailing which guide you would find most helpful in your life for the chance to win! The winners will be selected by using random.org and announced on Thursday 20th November. This is a world wide give-away.

But even if you don’t win, you can still purchase the guides from the Mapology web site.

Till next time. xD

Image Source: Provided by Mapology Guides

Working with an Open Plan Layout

I recently completed  a consultation for a client and received my first payment for work as an Interior Designer. Yay! The client was at the end of a major renovation and requested some consultation around possible colour options. To be honest, this was pretty easy as she already had a clear idea of what she wanted, so I was able to source some sample fabrics to supplement what she already had and acted as a sounding board which helped re-affirm that she was on the right track.

However, I felt that I wasn’t really giving her any value for money, so I decided to provide something extra by giving her a floor plan highlighting some example layouts for her space. I thought I’d share them with you today.

The space is an open plan double reception and looked like this:

Floorplan1

As the renovation was at the end of it’s completion, the built cabinetry was already completed. The client had installed shelving and storage along one long side of the room, which gave me a long narrow rectangle to work with.

As it was a large space, I felt that it needed to be zoned into 2 distinct area’s. As the TV point was at the bottom end of the room (closest to the bay window) it made sense that the reception area be placed at the window end of the plan. The top end of the space could be multi-functional, however the client was planning to place and display all of their art books in the book shelf so I felt that it could be used for a number of purposes such as a reading area, study nook or play room for their 2 young kids. All the furniture was in the process of getting replaced however I managed to convince the client to keep the Ercol armchair that was a family heirloom and incorporated it into the furniture layout to showcase how it could be used to work with the new furniture.

As part of the plan, examples of dimensions were provided so that when the client went shopping they could get an idea of how a piece of furniture they were looking to buy would fit into the space.

Here are the options I provided.

Option1ReadingNook

PlanOption1

option2childrens

PlanOption2

option3study

PlanOption3

In the end, the client went for option 3, without the furniture in the middle. The top end is used as a study area and houses a desk, while the reception area has an extra long sofa that takes up the length of the wall. The Ercol will be re-upholstered and sit in the middle of the room looking out towards the bay window.

The feedback from my clients was that the plan was very helpful and when I heard they had been taking the floor plans with them while shopping to assist them in purchasing their furniture, it was really great to hear that my work had provided value. A win-win for both of us.

Which layout do you prefer? I’d love to know.

Till next time, xD

Book Review: Decorating with Plants by Satoshi Kawamoto

DecoratingwithplantstitleRegular readers will know that I have a longstanding love of plants. The progressive work on  my little London garden has been something that has brought me a lot of joy over the years even though it’s been a long work in progress and still going.

The accumulation of plant life in my interior however has only been a recent development. Late last year, I came across an article in Elle Decoration that showcased an interior based in Brooklyn that was minimal but full of plants. It struck me how wonderful having plants in the home could be. The life the plants brought to the interior helped create a space that was homely, peaceful and tranquil. And so, I decided to try to bring some greenery into my home. I was cautious at first, starting with some easy to care for succulents, and have slowly progressed from there.

So when Jacqui Small asked me to review a book called Decorating with Plants by renowned Japanese Garden Stylist Satoshi Kawamoto, I just couldn’t refuse. The look of the book alone speaks true to Satoshi’s unique and edgy style and the book itself doesn’t disappoint.

Decorating with Plants provides pages of inspiration on how to incorporate a variety of plant life into your home. What I love about this book is that it is uniquely in Satoshi’s style where he prefers to use natural materials such as driftwood, linens and vintage finds to create his displays – totally in line with my aesthetic.

He starts the book by providing examples of how you can create plant displays in your home, using his home on the outskirts of Tokyo to showcase idea’s for every room in the house including the toilet. The book then talks about various ways to style a corner in the home, table settings and then store design.

Though the book is not a weighty tome, it is small but impactful. The images in the book are full of inspiration and I found myself, spending minutes on each page having to dissect the images because there are so many good ideas. Though the book is focused on plants, the images also provide inspiration on how to decorate with your every day items. His bedroom for example uses a variety of hats as display on his walls which I loved.

Would I recommend this book? If I saw this book on the shelf of the bookstore, I would definitely buy it simply because the book speaks to my aesthetic and creativity.

For this post, I decided to show some of Satoshi’s table settings that he has featured in the book. Beautifully created and styled all using the same table.

Decoratingwithplants

Decoratingwithplants1

Decoratingwithplants2

Decoratingwithplants3

Satoshi is also the creative director of Green Fingers, a chain of stores in Tokyo and New York that encourages customers to transform their living environment with greenery, garden accessories and personalised furniture. Further stores are planned for Los Angeles and my home town London. I can’t wait!

Till next time, xD

Image Source: Title Image by Doris Lee, consequent images from the book.

 

Urban Jungle Bloggers – Plant Shelfie

Plantshelfie1Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series hosted by Igor from Happy Interior Blog and Judith from Joelix.com. Every month they (along with other bloggers) share idea’s and inspiration to readers on how to create green urban spaces in the home. Each month a different topic is chosen and participants are free to join in with the fun.

This months topic was “Plant Shelfie”.

We are still in the midst of getting our downstairs space finished. Having started my own design business, I’ve had to prioritise other peoples interiors ahead of my own. This is just fine by me, however I find that my to be studio space is feeling somewhat neglected. So this morning I thought I’d brighten a small alcove space, that is currently waiting on some flooring and skirting with my version of a “Plant Shelfie”.

The lovely bench, is from Bloomingville and will indeed be used as a changeable display shelf so being able to put my concept into practise was a lot of fun! Here are the results…

PlantshelfieLandscape

 

Plantshelfie2

PlantShelfie3

 

So what do you think about my attempt at a plant shelfie? I’d love to know.

Till next time, xD

Image Source: Photography by Doris Lee

 

A Simple Year

StayingSimpleA Simple Year is a year long on-line course that I’m participating in that covers subjects related to simplifying your life. For the month of August (I’m playing catchup here), the topic covered was titled Staying Simple, which provided information and tools on how to simplify aspects of your home. The topic teacher was Brooke McAlary who blogs about simplicity on Slow Your Home.

This months topic was filled with very inspiring and motivational information. Brooke started off with providing an introduction of why she started to simplify her life. Being someone who was overwhelmed with trying to have it all, a successful business, a family, house and all the trimmings, she was candid about the phases in her life that lead her to a meltdown and decision to simplify her life.

What I really loved about this topic was that she cut straight to the subject of how to unearth your priorities. The reason being that if you spend time understanding your priorities, your motivation to living a more simpler life becomes easier.

So I thought I’d share with you the 7 questions that she asked for reflection on:

  1. Who are the most important people in my life?
  2. What experiences are most important to me?
  3. Looking back at my life, what do I want to see? What do I want others to see?
  4. Imagine a perfect day. Describe my surroundings, my feelings, my attitude. What is in common with my current life?
  5. What about my current life doesn’t feature at all?
  6. If I had a simpler life, what positive things could I move towards?
  7. What negative things could I move away from?

By answering these questions, it will help you to understand what your priorities are in life. Did you come up with anything interesting or surprising? I’d love to know.

Till next time, xD

Image Source: Photography by Doris Lee

Breaking it Down – Farmhouse Kitchen

FarmhouseKitchenTitle It’s funny when the momentum of life seems to be heading full steam ahead, then something happens to slow you down. Little J is sick and has had to be home from school this week. This has given me the opportunity to browse through Pinterest A LOT. So when I came across this beautiful  farmhouse interior on The Design Files a very popular Australian blog. I just couldn’t resist trying my hand at breaking it down.

FarmhouseKitchenBreakingitdown

If you want to see the rest of this amazing home, you can see it here. I highly recommend you take a look as it’s a beautiful space.

What about this interior appeals to you? I’d love to know.

Till next time, xD

Image Source: The Design Files

Blogging Anniversary – Why do I blog?

2015InspirationYesterday, it was my 2 year blogging anniversary and it literally started with a BANG. At 8am in the morning, the builders arrived to perform their magic on our downstairs reception and my new to be studio. I can’t tell you what a relief it’s been to actually have someone start work on this, and I am really looking forward to having our front 2 rooms ready in time for winter and the Christmas season.

So, it’s been 2 years since I started writing about my journey and transition into a more creative life. It started off with a chance click over to an On-line Blogging Your Way course by the legendary author and blogger Holly Becker of Decor8 and from the first post I wrote, I have loved it and has become an integral part of my life.

When people ask me why I blog, I find at times it is difficult to articulate what it is about blogging that is so wonderful. So I thought I’d try to write down a list of the reasons why I blog in no particular order:

  • It pushes me to do better and take risks. I’m always thinking about the next exciting thing I can blog about which in turn pushes me to go out and find it.
  • I’m part of a fabulous community. My friends and readers who take the time to read my posts, leave a comment, encourage and support me through social media, help me to keep going especially when I’ve had a tough day.
  • Writing helps me to analyse what it is that I want to articulate about a particular topic and share my opinions and thoughts.
  • Writing helps me to practise the words I want to say to clients. Funnily enough, when I am on-site with a client, I am better able to verbalise what I want to say because I have written about it. I’m not sure why.
  • It makes me accountable. I feel a responsibility to do better because I have an audience.
  • It has become not only my diary, but a portfolio of work and a reflection of my true aesthetic that has lead to work on projects that I really enjoy.
  • It has put me in contact with other very talented creatives in the industry that I look up to and never ever thought I’d be able to interact with in real life.
  • I have met and made friends with the most wonderful blogger’s all over the world.

As I look back on the past year, my drive for experience has lead on an unexpected course. On a professional perspective, I’ve managed to complete 2 bathroom renovations, do some professional styling for a talented textile designer and start a Design Studio. I don’t think these things would have happened within such a short time without having a blog.

So for the next year of blogging, I’m going to focus on the continuation of my journey through experience, creating a studio, sharing my learnings & as a special request by my lovely blog friend Monika from Secret Garden Home, I will be sharing some parts of my home with you.

A special thank you to all of my readers and friends on helping me get this far. It’s only because of your comments, encouragement and support that I’ve been able to get this far. I thank you from the bottom on my heart.

Till next time, xD

P.S. A new year, means a new moodboard for the site. What do you think?

Image Source: pinterest

 

Alternative ways to use your Conservatory

ConservatoryTitleI’ve been madly rushing around this week desperately trying to settle into a new phase of my life. My son little J has started primary school which is a big milestone for the entire family. Little J has settled into his school life like a duck to water, and I find myself in an unexpected position.

The intention was always to continue with my studies, get some quiet time to furiously finish the diploma over the next year while I slowly started to get experience by completing little projects around the house. Instead I find myself having to put my studies on hold for a few months (the end of the year) and starting a Design Studio (more on that soon) because I seem to have acquired a number of clients that want to pay me to design and renovate their homes, I have to say that again, someone wants to pay me to do what I love!

Let me put it out there first and foremost, my clients are all aware that I’m still learning and a complete novice, and I’m not gutting a 12 bedroom mansion and starting from scratch. But they are all projects that will give me experience in ways that I know books could never do. I feel busy and yet very blessed to be where I am and it’s kinda scary.

So today, I wanted to talk about one particular client who has acquired a flat which houses a conservatory. I’m in the process of designing a scheme that fits around it and I thought I’d talk about it a bit today.

When it comes to conservatories, they can sometimes stick out like a sore thumb. You know with all that glass and hard tiled flooring it can be a blessing or a curse. So I think that the trick is treat it as an extension either of your garden or of your interior.

The image above showcases how using elements from the outside can create such a wonderful effect. From the gravel on the ground, to using the hanging basket as a replacement for a chandelier, it creates a beautiful setting to sit in inside without having to suffer the elements outside.

The images below showcase ways you can use a conservatory as an extension of your home. Being short of space here in London, we tend to utilise every single indoor area we can find and is what I’ll be designing for for my client. Here is some inspiration…

ConservatoryStudy

 

ConservatoryDining

 

ConservatoryBlackDo you have a conservatory? What do you use it for and how does it integrate into your home? I’d love to know.

Till next time, xD

Image Source: Title: Sfgirlbybay.com, 1 – Femkepastijn.nl, 2 – Unknown, 3 – Unknown