Well I’m pretty chuffed to let you know that my design work as won both the Design & Customer Service awards in the latest ‘Best of Houzz Awards’. It would appear that my portfolio includes some of the most popular images and consistent reviews on Houzz in 2018 !
As co-founder of the Interior Design Collective it’s exciting times. It’s been a long time in the planning but delighted to say that we have collaborated with our newest trade partner, international home and lifestyle brand Designers Guild to create an IDC Edit for Designers Guild. #IDCxDG
Myself and a couple of the other members of the IDC, Emilie Fournet and Ellie Horwell worked together to create our own IDC edit for their flagship store in Kings Road! We are absolutely delighted with the end result and this window display showcasing the IDC Edit will be live for the next month so make sure you go and check it out!
London goes a bit design crazy for a few weeks in September and this year marks the 16th London Design Festival with events spread over ten design districts and five exhibitions across the City. It’s a two week design fest of exciting events and I normally try to get as involved as I can in the proceedings!
First stop for me on Monday was Decorex International over in Syon Park in Richmond and I’m not going to lie, there are easier places to get to ….. walk to station, bus, overground, courtesy bus from tube… but I got there in the end and it was well worth the hike over and I got to spend the day with some of the gang from the IDC which is always a bonus.
I’ve found over the years that one of the best things about these design shows is they do put on some pretty inspiring leadership sessions and the panel discussions are always quite relaxed which is good. I whizzed into one as soon as I arrived which was being hosted by Daniel Hopwood - you probably know him best as one of the TV presenters of The Great Interior Design Challenge (a show which sees amateur designers put under enormous amount of pressure over a period of 2-3 days and somehow they survive and come up with some marvellous creations on an extremely tight budget #respect #ithinkiwouldcrumble) Anyway, Daniel runs his own Interior Design Studio and he shared a few of his designer insights into how to create a design concept for the blank canvass that is ‘the new build’ as lets face it, not everyone is blessed with a characterful double fronted Georgian manor. His client budgets were shall we say, ‘generous’ but he gave some interesting insight into how he manages the design process.
With over 400 international exhibitors at Decorex it’s a great opportunity for designers to see the new collections, meet the makers behind them and seek out new products as they showcase the finest displays of furniture, lighting, textiles, craft and accessories from emerging and some of the most distinguished names in interior design.
I was delighted to meet up with Alternative Flooring Carpets and see their amazing new collaboration with Zoffany. I popped over to say ‘hi’ to the ladies at V Interior who were displaying several gorgeous items from their wonderful selection of vintage designer pieces and to the team at sofa.com and timorous beasties.
One the highlights of the show for me this year was meeting Sophie Robinson, Interior Designer and TV Presenter. You never know how these TV folk are going to be when you meet them but I can honestly say she was absolutely wonderful and it was really interesting hearing all about her DIY SOS TV presenting. I would have happily hung out with her all day but she may have thought that a bit odd as we’d only just met……. maybe next time!
It's here ! The very first IDC Design Surgery has now been confirmed - whoop whoop!
Our first design surgery will be held at the North's leading destination for interiors - Redbrick Mill in the fabulous Made.com showroom on Saturday 30th June.
The day will consist of a consultation style workshop, planned around you and your own home dilemmas and will be hosted by IDC co-founders; the brilliant Karen Knox of Making Spaces and yours truly.
'Designers to watch' - Kitchens Bedrooms and Bathrooms Magazine
'Such a genius idea...the IDC is one to watch' - Kate Watson-Smyth of Mad About the House
Now we've done quite a bit of work behind the scenes on these workshops in a bid to really find out what people wanted from an event like this. Well, the people have spoken and requested that the content be planned around their own home projects - design dilemmas: room layouts, how to manage your budget against expectations and the perils of managing your Pinterest board just to name a few. Real life stuff for real life design situations.
We've capped the workshops to a maximum of 10 places as we want to cover as much content possible during the allocated time.
A delicious lunch will provided by Filmore and Union along with a much needed cold glass of fizz at the end of the day.
Not only will you be walking away with a head full of new design ideas, but you'll also be trotting home with a jam packed inspiration bag filled with a load of gorgeous goodies and exclusive discounts from a our wonderful Trade Partners.
Now Karen kind of pretty much insisted that the first one of our Design Surgeries would be run 'up North' in her home town of Leeds. So that's where our first one is going to be......but watch this space as the next one will be closer to me #justsayin
Karen and I would love to see some of you at the first Design Surgery so click on the logo below to grab yourself a ticket!
If you can't make this one then don't worry as we are planning more for other cities around the UK so we will keep you posted and hope to meet you at the next one!
'Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind' - Seneca
We all operate and function in a different way and how we find inspiration will vary from person to person - reading, social media, music, nature, people, buildings, food......
Finding inspiration on the world wide web is a 'major' part of my day to day job and social media networks are a fantastic way to get inspired - swiping through instagram, perusing over millions of pinterest boards, reading blogs ... is an amazing resource, one that allows us to view the world and what it has to offer without even getting out of your chair.
However, from time to time being able to 'disconnect' from this intense 'electronic world' can be enormously beneficial to reignite and reenergise the mind.
'Travel' - to make a journey, to go from one place to another..... (dictionary)
To 'travel' allows us to view the world in a different way. Travelling gives us the opportunity to clear away the distractions of 'normal' life and help us reconnect to the outside world.
I've recently just returned from a bit of a 'road trip' in America - starting out in Texas, moving onto the hip Californian West Coast and then Eastward to the delight that is New York City. Submerging yourself into new surroundings really does allow you to 'explore' and 'feel' what's actually out there around you.
My trip lasted 2 weeks and I shot nearly 700 images in this time but every time I go away I love to come back with a new 'travel portfolio' of that destination visited - wonderful visuals that you can draw upon for future projects adding an element of 'travel-inspired interior design' can really inject a little 'international' flavour to your own ideas.
To share all the images with you may be a little too much so here's a few of my favourites.......
Traditional features from the 1900's in Yosemite, California
The founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, described as 'one of the greatest entrepreneurs of the 20th Century' on the company website tribute, sadly passed away this weekend at the age of 91. Founding the business at just 17, Ingvar's amazing vision to create a 'better everyday life for the many' reached millions of people worldwide.
Ingvar Kamprad's 'flat-pack' furniture radically changed how people designed their homes and the powerful IKEA CONCEPT of combining function, quality, design and value to help more people live a better life at home has affected so many of us today.Read More
Lovely way to start the day today with an email congratulating me that my design work has won in both the Design & Customer Service categories over at Houzz - yay! (big smiley face)
Apparently my portfolio includes some of the most popular images and consistent reviews on Houzz in 2017 so I've been given these badges as a little 'yay to me' - which I'm mighty pleased with.
Houzz is the leading platform for home renovation and design so if you've not had a chance to look at what it's all about then have a whizz over as it's full of great inspiration on everything you need to know about improving your home. As well as all the awesome photos and inspo, you can ask for advice, buy products and of course, hire the professionals should you so desire.
In the press release info, apparently little ole' me was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, home improvement and design industry professionals. When you say it like that it sounds pretty awesome doesn't it?!
The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography.
I've been lucky enough to win DESIGN AND SERVICE and according to the info, it means that the Design award winners’ work was the most popular amongst the community and the service honours are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017.
The lovely fellows over at Houzz have already donned my profile with a “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge, as 'a sign of their commitment to excellence'.
These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals so a MASSIVE thank you to all those at Houzz for these fantastic awards.
Well, we're on the final week countdown to Christmas. Are you feeling ready? I think I'm getting there slowly.
Pretty wonderful to have had a little flurry of snow a week or so ago too wasn't it...... until it turned to black ice then slush, but hey, it was beautiful for a few hours!
Here's hoping that most of you will all be able to start winding down this week as we approach the weekend celebrations. Kids will be finishing school in the next few days and that's when the fun and excitement begins.
Genuinely feels like i've been writing lists for weeks now...... Just need to remember that somehow, it always seems to fall into place and it won't be long until we can start to dress the table for dinner. Yay!
All that's left to say, is a BIG thank you to all of you for supporting my blog this year and all that's left to say is I wish you a very Merry Christmas and I look forward to chatting to you all in 2018.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR
As I've mentioned before, when we moved into this house, we arrived with grand plans of what we were going to do when funds allowed. Nearly 2 years on and with no clear plan of when this will be exactly...... I felt that I needed to get my act together and finally organise some much needed storage for the bedroom. And where better to look than the world's largest furniture retailer, Ikea.
In our previous house, we got our local carpenter to build wonderful built in storage, but the 'built in' element meant that we had to leave it there on departure and subsequently we arrived to our new abode without any storage at all, apart from 2 clothes stands that I'd manage to acquire when the local GAP store closed down.
Prior to moving in, the previous owner had kindly asked if we would like her old pine wardrobe, which we have been using now for nearly 2 years. As grateful as I was to have at least one place to throw things into, the doors have never shut properly and the hanging space was very small so in fairness, it's never quite done the job.Read More
I've wanted to be able to say that for ages! And now I can **whoop whoop** as one of my designs was actually featured on TV last weekend.
A few months ago I was contacted by Tern TV, saying that they were in the process of filming a new show for Channel 4 called Best Laid Plans and wanted to know if I would get involved.
Each week architectural designer Charlie Luxton and property developer Sophie Morgan follow two families renovating their homes and together, they do their best to help these homeowners resolve their crucial design dilemmas. I know there are quite a few of these 'type' of shows on now but this is a good one and I'm really hoping they do a second series as it's a fab format.Read More
So, yesterday I went along to view the new Spring | Summer 2018 collection for Sainsbury’s Home and Argos Home. Although being in London for a presentation meeting before 9am does require some part military organisation chez moi (family | dog | school…..) it was definitely worth it.
Rona Olds, Head of Buying and Design Sainsbury’s Home, gave a great insight into the DNA of the company and their commitment to great design with their growing in-house team of talented designers. Not only do they want to promote talented new design but they are also very committed to ethical sourcing, ensuring that their products being sourced are obtained in a responsible and sustainable way.Read More
The television - 'a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images and in two or three dimensions and sound' (wikipedia)
It's a funny old thing the television. So much excitement around it's invention and when it was introduced into our lives. Most 70 year olds love to share their memory of rushing to find someone who had a TV in their street to sit in front of a tiny screen to watch the Queen's coronation in 1952.
The television has been on quite a journey over the 60 plus years its been in our homes. I remember we didn't actually 'own' a TV for years but rented it from the local TV place AND we had to get up to change channels! As a design it's evolved from a square box screen displaying fuzzy black and white images to a now far more refined wafter thin piece of technology. It's educated us, it's made us laugh, made us cry, we've argued over it and we've had gatherings around it and for most of us, we still choose to have at least one in homes today.
Personally I'm not a fan of TVs in the bedroom so how to design these into these spaces has never been much of a concern for me BUT I do still like to have a TV in the living room.Read More