I’m currently coveting MiaFleur’s new Floral Romance furniture collection.
In jewel colours with lavish floral designs, this collection showcases the beautiful 2016 moody botanical trend. While very feminine and classic, the furniture also has contemporary shapes and details, which gives this painterly style a cool update. Launched in October, the range comprises of four select pieces featuring these dreamy floral designs, designed to be used individually to add charm and character to any room, or in combination with other pieces. I think the drawers would look great for bedroom storage and would make a wonderful key statement piece in a plain space.
Summer is nearly done (yes, sorry to let you know about that one) and I’m looking forward to refreshing JB towers with some new looks for AW16.
I’m very excited about this season – there are so many looks I love that can be enjoyed and adapted to suit your style. There are seven really strong themes that would work well in any kind of interior, large or small, grand or modest.
Colour pop fun
I can’t resist a pop in colour in my rooms. You can go bold with a Memphis-inspired scheme like the one from Very above or you can simply add colour accents to a more restrained room with accessories. How about some bright crockery or a statement lamp or piece of brightly coloured furniture.
Lush and plush
We all love a bit of luxe; gorgeous fabrics and textures that are tactile, soft and warm that make us feel warm and snuggly while still retaining a sense of style and opulence. Key colours are navy, purple and turquoise and beautiful metallic touches. Oh, and don’t forget a bit of greenery!
This look reminds of years ago when, in another life I think, as production editor on Restaurant Magazine I went on my first press trip. It was to the Martel Chateaux in Bordeaux and it was really quite something. Woven carpets and tapestries, distressed wooden panels and floors. Studded sofas, elegant candelabra and pretty chandeliers – the whole place was just divine and now is rather easy to evoke with a few high street buys.
If you’ve had a look at my menagerie pages you’ll know I love a home with a sense of humour and a touch of the unexpected. So I’m pleased to see accessories from so many leading retailers that make you smile this year. I’m particularly taken with this vase from Marks and Spencer.
Cool and clean
A calm colour scheme and well chosen, minimal accessorising can be a really rather wonderful thing. Its certainly something I like in a bedroom and this was definitely my approach when I lived in a small flat. There are so many collections available in terms of furniture and accessories that you can co-ordinate to get this grown-up look.
As a former editor of craft mags I’m always drawn to a mismatched style that showcases knitting, crochet, patchwork, weaving and a nice bit of trimming. Check out this room scene from Homesense – it’s colourful and cosy sure but it also has such a cohesive style, it’s just so inviting.
No autumn round up would be complete without this season’s take on nordic and woodland. I think these ceramics and ornaments from George are really cool; contemporary and fun.
What inspired my retro flower drawings of the week I hear you ask? Well, a couple of weeks ago I was looking at moody botanics and loved the idea of beautiful blooms set against deep dark backgrounds. This also coincided with me becoming obsessed with vintage floral duvet cover designs. And I’m not talking about those pretty ditzy Cath Kidston inspired numbers, no I’m thinking of the type of things I had as a small child in the early 1980s (that were practically 1970s).
So I’d thought I’d combine the two themes and create this set of retro floral illustrations and pattern design. I think these would look great on home project and I’m thinking of using them on some cushions and lampshades for a real cosy feel in the bedroom – a little nod to the bedrooms of my childhood.
The flowers I’ve illustrated here are ranunculus, dahlia, peony, rose, hydrangea, anemone, rose and succulent, I deliberately choose round shapes that fit together nicely in a kind of clockwork fashion.
In my on-going quest to revamp the bedroom I decided we could do with some subtle lighting. I’m a massive fan of candles but they are not always the safest thing to have burning while you’re falling asleep to some night-time reading or Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime (I know, I’m so street). So I’ve opted with some safe bespoke LED lanterns. I bought a needcraft lantern making kit which enables you to make three little lights using fabric or paper as a covering. They’re a fab little update and would make a great gift. I’ve used a lot of needcraft kits (the company are not paying me) to give elements of my home the personal touch. From lampshades to bins, the kits have allowed me to make use of my own fabric designs with quick-win, no-sew makes. The instructions are super easy so you really can whip these up in minutes. I’ve covered the lanterns with my thistle fabric from Spoonflower in keeping with the blue bedroom theme. However they are currently living in the dining room – Dr B loves them and is very keen on using them along with our candles when we have our evening meals (weekends mostly if I’m being honest – we eat on the kitchen or lounge most days).
Okay I’ll come clean, I’m using these as storage buckets but they are actually waste paper bins.
I originally bought two Needcraft bin making kits for our upgraded study (pics coming soon) and our ‘continual work in progress’ bedroom. The kit is really easy to use with simple step by step pictorial instructions, I’m not a particularly neat sewer so I like a no-sew quick fix when I can.
The thing is when I made the bins and I didn’t have the heart to put rubbish in them.
As I’m aiming for a relaxing cool blue vibe in my bedroom and I covered the first ‘bin’ in my storm-grey Scandi leaves fabric from my Spoonflower shop.
I was really happy with the end result, so much so that I really couldn’t face filling it with make-up removing cleansing wipes, laddered tights and other bedroom rubbish stuff. It looked too pretty!
So, inspired by a rather nifty idea from Black Parrots Studio’s Sarah Mitchenall on her first round of The Great Interior Design Challenge my bin turned into a book bucket, which has proved to be very handy, as the one thing our house has got is an abundance of books. So this now lives at the bottom of our bed for all our reading needs.
Now the study REALLY needed a bin so I set about making the next one in my tropical trio design, also available at my Spoonflower shop.
Because the instructions are so easy to follow you can make these bins in minutes with either fabric or paper. I’ve had this tropical design for a while and, although I loved it, I was at a loss as to what to do with it. However the fabric’s subtle hues and graphic design suits our workspace perfectly.
And you see that was the problem – too nice. Once I finished that one I could not face using it as a place to throw receipts and scrap paper for recycling. I do however have lots of gift wrap, large format paper, bookbinding cloth and posters I need to keep in one place so my tropical bloom bucket is being used for precisely that.
You may have noticed that I’m a bit of an old hippy at heart and as an illustrator I can’t help but be drawn to a folky design. I love its simple, yet rather splendid style plus the sense of symmetry and its decorative hand-crafted look. I also like they way that even if you just use small touches, folky styles can give the most austere and coolest of spaces a relaxed edge and an element of informality and, because this style is steeped in history, it can give your spaces a sense of heritage.
It would appear that I am not alone. There are so many gorgeous folk-inspired designs on the market for you to buy to give your spaces that relaxed vibe. Take a look at my top ten (in no particular order) below…
We’ve been in our Wivenhoe home for four years now and we still haven’t got round to doing up our bedroom properly. So it is my mission to get it revamped for the end of 2015 – or at least the beginning of 2016 (watch this space). I’ve scoured my look-books and magazine moodboards for inspiration and we (it’s a joint decision afterall) have shortlisted five current bedroom trends that would look fab in our little space. From traditional country classics to bright and contemporary, we’re still debating which style to go for – I personally like them all. I promise we’ll make up our minds soon.
Country Classics I don’t normally go completely traditional in regards to interior design – I’m favour more of what you might call a mash-up look, or should that be eclectic? However, when it comes to bedrooms, there’s something I can’t resist about wicker chairs, white wooden accents, artisan looking quilts and pretty florals. It just screams class and loveliness as well as making me feel grown up – I mean take a look at this lot, I’d feel like a French princess every morning if I woke up to this.
Bright and Beautiful Accent notes in bold colours and vivid patterns are definitely my go-to when I’m usually looking for homewares. So I’m very taken with the trend for retro motifs, geometric weaves and bright painterly effects, plus the current palette of rich buttercup yellows, mint greens and warm berry shades. This look really suits my preference for mixing and matching styles as you can go to town with it or tone it down when teamed with greys and other more sober shades and organic, rustic materials such as wood or leather.
Calming and Relaxing A bedroom is a sanctuary and I’m very attracted to the idea of creating a space that is truly calm and restrained. We’re both so busy and I’d like to make a soothing, restful place for us to really wind down in. I’ve recently seen some lovely collections that fit the bill perfectly, combining soft hues, neutral tones and natural textures with elegant, subtle motifs – just gorgeous.
Modern Graphic As you’ll know from my stamped stationery and fabric collections, I’m often drawn to strong pattern in a contemporary blue/grey colourway. Inspired by Shibori dying and Scandi design, this style seems to combine my love of bold graphics with my desire to create a tranquil space. Worth exploring.
Fun and Quirky Because the boudoir is a private space (behave!), I think you can afford to be a bit playful too. Even if it’s not massively full on, whatever general look I go for, I’ll be sure to inject a fun quirky element to my bedroom scheme – after all we all know how I love a little animal in every room!
Where I live, by the creeks and estuaries in East Anglia, salvaged wood turns up in many people’s homes – crafted into sculptures of the wading birds that dot the shorelines in winter. Foremost among driftwood bird sculptors is Guy Taplin, who made the birds above. He’s sometimes known as the Bird Man of Wivenhoe. Along the river banks between his studio and Ella’s Place you’ll see upturned tenders (the little rowing boats that carry you out to the larger sailing or pleasure boats anchored further out on the water). Many of the houses are weatherboarded in the vernacular East Anglian style, too. A good friend of ours says it looks more like New England, USA, than Olde England.
The reclaimed and salvaged wood trend has been everywhere in interiors this year, too, cropping up in all kinds of editorials and ads. Used well to complement other materials and colours, it doesn’t need to overpower and can look chic, rather than just shabby.
Here are a few examples of the trend I’ve found recently.
1. The neutral and earthy tones of reclaimed – salvaged – wood can help to soften a room when used carefully. The accent wall above is complemented by the stone, steel and leather, but allows the pop of a red armchair and yellow pouffe to stand out.
2. As a headboard, above, it provides the colour-pop on its own, jumping out to contrast with the colourful wall.
3. The weathered boarding, above, adds notes of outdoor wilderness to a small space, without turning the room into a log cabin.
4. Reclaimed wood units and shelves make for a stylish kitchen, above, that also helps to bring the outdoors in.
5. A lighter touch in the kitchen with the trend comes with the addition of a single reclaimed wood cupboard, above.
6. For a calming space, the natural tones of wood look great when set against clean whites and complementary shades. To mix things up, try bringing in different textures instead of colours.
7. And remember that wooden panels can still be painted, even if they’re salvaged. The fun pops of colour above really help to lift the room.