Moving to


Over the Christmas holidays, I’ve been busy working on a new home for the Interior Novice blog.  The new site address is

What do you need to do?

  • If you are a WordPress follower or have subscribed to the site through email you have already been re-directed and will continue to get new posts
  • If you are subscribed through Bloglovin, I have made the request to redirect you to the new site so hang tight
  • If you are subscribed through another blog reader, you may not get new posts so please bookmark or update your blog readers to
  • If you come directly to the site, you will be automatically redirected to the new site from Monday 13th January.

Thank you very much and see you on the other side!


Merry Christmas


Good Morning Dear Readers,

Just popping in to say a quick hello and a Merry Christmas!

Lately, I’ve been getting more and more of a want to be in nature. It could be living in a big city, or the change in weather that has cooled the air but I am feeling the need to go on walks amongst green and be in the quiet. Have you ever gone for a forest walk and just stood in amongst the trees and listened? It’s the stillness and the sounds of nature, birds and rustling leaves that gives you a sense of life. So I decided to try and bring some of that into my home for the holidays.

So when the I found out about the Kinfolk Natural Home Decor workshop it was right up my alley. It was run by  a couple of lovely ladies, Ana & Tassja who run a boutique catering company called Juniper & Lily. The class was very informal and relaxed and it allowed me to make a couple of lovely items using foliage taken from nature. In the end of made a natural hanging chandelier and what I like to call the alternative to a wreath, square rather than round in shape. Here are some images of the day.






And here’s what I made…




I’m now hooked and I’ll start a tradition to make all of my festive ornaments in future years to come.

Before I sign off for the holidays, I just wanted to say a big Thank You to each and every one of you for reading, commenting and interacting with me on this blog and all of my social media channels. I have loved and appreciated every one of your comments, likes, tweets, insta words and facetalk.

When I tell my friends and family that I blog, I am often asked what it is that I get out of it and why do I spend hours at a time doing it? I always give them the same answer. Firstly, I love it and when I am away I often feel like something is missing and secondly I get such satisfaction from interacting with you, my readers and making new friends. You have become an integral part of my life so Thank You.

So I’m signing off for another year and will see you all back here in January 2014. Have a lovely Christmas and a safe New Year my readers, my friends.

With Love, Doris

Image Source: Photography by Doris Lee

Designing a family bathroom with C.P. Hart


Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been working on the design of a family bathroom for my friend and practise client for a number of months now. I am happy to report that a couple of weeks ago we nailed down the design and placed the order for all the fittings and fixtures ready for the installation to take place in early 2014.

It was then a week later that I was contacted by C.P. Hart – a major supplier of luxury bathroom furniture and fittings to be part of a blogger challenge where I would have to design a family bathroom with the dimensions of 3 metres by 2 metres (which is the average size of the family bathroom in the UK). So considering that a) the bathroom I have designed is in fact 3×2 and that the order placed with the exception of the tiles was all through C.P. Hart, I couldn’t really refuse the challenge.

So here is a guide on how I went about designing the family bathroom together with some lesson’s learned along the way.


The requirements for this project were very clear. The bathroom and toilet were separated and they wanted to integrate the 2 rooms into one large family bathroom that would be used by their two children and visiting guests. All tiles and bathroom fittings would be replaced and they were happy to perform structural work if required. In terms of fittings, the only key requirement was for a double sized basin that had a single trough to be incorporated into the scheme.


I then went about drawing up a floor plan for the existing layout and proceeded to put together some possible options for the new layout. We met several times and went through various options. During these sessions, we had to consider practicalities such as plumbing and how much structural work we would go ahead with.

The major structural changes include:

  • The removal of 2 windows in the existing plan to be replaced with a long narrow window across the top of one wall.
  • The existing door will be relocated and replaced with a sliding door to create more usable space within the room.
  • The double basin with LED mirror above it will be main focal point of the room and has been placed directly opposite the door for maximum impact.
  • Extra height storage will be built into the room to hide dirty laundry and spare towels.




Read design magazines and use inspirations board sites like to get idea’s on what you’d like to include into the scheme. I asked my client to create a Pinterest board and pin examples of bathrooms that appealed to them. We then visited several showrooms to get inspiration and idea’s.

In the end, it became clear that they wanted to go for a contemporary and clean style that included some organic or textured detailing. During a visit to the Stone and Ceramic Warehouse, we found the tiles that would set the colour scheme. The Rust White tile mimics the organic nature of rust in a white, grey and caramel colour combination would go on the floor and then paired with a light grey tile called Ben Nevis would form the basis of the scheme.


Image Source: Stone and Ceramic Warehouse


The people in the showrooms deal with their product day in day out. Use the opportunity to get idea’s from them and utilise their expertise. As someone who is learning about Interior Design, I took the opportunity to try to get as much information from the sales people as possible. Here are some things I learnt:

  • Lighting is extremely important in the design of a bathroom. If your bathroom is not going to have much natural light, the ambient and background lighting is important. We decided to incorporate recessed LED lighting under the bathtub, under the sink basin, to light up the mirror. A small alcove above the toilet would house a spotlight and the spot lights in the ceiling would be on a dimmer switch for control.
  • When creating a contemporary minimalist bathroom, the fittings are very important as they will stand out against the simplicity of the wall. It was therefore important that these elements were distinct and to a high specification. To create harmony and cohesion, the fixtures were chosen from the same manufacturer and where possible range.
  • When choosing tiles, the larger the tile size the cleaner the look. Large sized tiles on the floor will make a small room look larger. We chose 60x60cm tiles for both the floor and the walls.
  • If you are on a strict budget, the trick is to go for more expensive tiles on the smaller surface area, which in this case was the floor to create impact and then go cheaper on the walls.
  • In a small bathroom, choose wall hung furniture so that you can see more of the floor. This will make the space seem bigger.


And the final step is to purchase all of your fittings and fixtures. Always check with your supplier for lead times on orders so that you know when to arrange the builder to come around and don’t forget delivery. So here are the products we have purchased from C.P. Hart.


If you’re interested in any of the items we purchased, more details can be found on the pinterest board that I’ve created where all the products are listed and can be found at×2-bathroom-challenge/

Of course, C.P. Hart have an exceptionally large range of bathroom products that you can find at well as Wet Rooms

I hope you have enjoyed reading the process as much as I did experiencing it. I have learnt so much about the realities of designing for someone else.  Special thanks has to go to my dear friend who has supported and encouraged me all the way through the design process. I will follow up in the New Year with you all when the bathroom is finished.

This was a sponsored post, however the design, words and opinions are my own.

Till next time. xD

Mixing it up with Old and New


Lately I’ve been thinking about the relationship between old and new furniture. I used to think that the way to create a beautiful interior scheme was to start with an empty room, spend large sums of money, buy everything shiny and new and voila – a beautifully stylish interior.

Now it could be because I’m getting older or the influence of being in a country that has so many historic sites and buildings but I have slowly grown to love beautifully aged and distressed pieces of furniture.

I recently visited a local garden centre. My eye was immediately drawn to an old rusted table that was sitting in the rain.  It had aged and oxidised to the point where the surface was no longer smooth and shiny, but textured, rough and lumpy. The legs which would have once been considered ornate had rusted over into a wonderful copper colour. There was something magical about that little round zinc topped table and it took a lot of will for me not to take it home. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

So it got me asking the question, how can I incorporate old furniture with new? I think that the trick is to make it the star of your scheme. Embrace that it is aged and sit it alongside something very clean and contemporary so that it stands out. Another option is to re-use it for another purpose, for example if it was a cabinet, use it as a closet instead. Think outside of the box. Here is some inspiration…






The examples show that an old distressed item can sit quite happily within a contemporary setting. Do you have any aged items of furniture in your home? Do you like to mix old and new furniture in your scheme? I’d love to know. Till next time. xD

Image Source: Title: Richard Powers Photography , 1 – Design Sponge, 2 – via Crazy Mary Revista, 3 – Remodelista, 4 – Design Sponge

And the winners are…


Good morning, just a quick note to inform the winners of the Seal Design Studio prints. I took all the names from the comments list and put them through the lists generator and took the top 4 names that came out.

The winners are:

  1. Geraldine from Little Big Bell
  2. Lauren Kellim from Girl and the Abode
  3. Interior Designers in Orange County
  4. Mahditanoshi

Congratulations, I will be in touch with each of you to get details of where to send the prints.

Thanks to everyone for entering! If you didn’t win, you can still order the lovely prints for a very good price from Seal Design Studio’s Etsy Shop here.

Special Thanks to Leon and May for generously providing the prints for the giveaway.

Till next time. xD


V&A Talk: Tricia Guild – On Colour


I was very excited to have recently attended an evening talk at the Victoria and Albert Museum with one of the UK’s best-known Interior Designers Tricia Guild. She is the founder and Creative Director of Designers Guild and is known world wide for her bold and colourful fabric and wallpaper collections as well as a large range of home interior products.

Tricia Guild started Designers Guild in 1970, when as a decorator was unable to find any fabrics that suited her purpose so created her own instead. Since then, Designers Guild is a world wide leading brand  and Tricia has been awarded many accolades including an OBE. To add to this impressive list, she has written fifteen books. That’s right one, five!

She is truly an inspiration to anyone in the design profession and here are some notes I took from the evening which was a conversation about Colour and her new book titled Colour Deconstructed. She was interviewed by Susan Crewe, Editor of House and Garden Magazine.

  • Though her designs are colourful, the colours are always mixed in with a neutral base like black or white.
  • When creating an interior, play with the scale of the prints and patterns, ie mix large prints with small to create contrast.
  • Texture is very important with choosing a fabric.
  • When deciding on what colour you want in your home, create your own mood boards.
  • Educate yourself about your own colour sense, every one has a different idea on what colours respond to them.
  • Linen and Velvet are an unlikely but brilliant fabric combinations.
  • When designing a scheme, choose a dominating neutral colour and then accessorise with pops of bold colour.
  • White is probably the most difficult colour to use in an interior because there are so many different shades of white, so be careful.
  • Go with one thing that you like such as a fabric or pattern and use that as a starting point to the design of your interior. Then take the colours and shapes and work that into other aspects of the scheme.
  • Interior Design is all about the feeling, it’s not prescriptive, I don’t follow rules.

Tricia Guild is clearly passionate about colour and pattern. It was interesting to hear that all of the patterns designed in her studio are hand drawn or painted first before they are replicated and that a lot of her inspiration is taken from photographs that she has taken over the years during her travels as well as nature (she’s a keen gardener).

I have to admit that some of her work is a little on the flowery side for me personally, but I can appreciate the talent and the beauty of her designs and patterns. While having a look through her design portfolio however, I was drawn especially to her Ombre wallpaper which is part of the Saraille Collection which is also featured in her new book.




What is your take on colour in an interior? Do you go bold and like it bright, or are you inclined towards a more understated palette in your home? I’d love to know.

Be sure to tune in on Saturday where I will announce the winners of the Seal Design Studio prints give away. Till next time. xD

Image source: Designers Guild Blog


Breaking it down…


I’m in the process of re-designing the layout of an Open Plan kitchen for a new client which is very exciting. I promise to reveal more of this in time. As a result, I have been working on getting some “blue” inspiration as my client has a rather lovely blue wall that they would like to keep.

During my research, I came across this industrial looking study nook. Though at first it may seem like a desk has been plonked into a rather small area, the design of the space has utilised some clever techniques that are commonly used in small spaces. I’ve highlighted these below:


I love this image because it just goes to show that even the smallest corner of your home can be utilised to great affect. Of course, I was also drawn to the industrial style lighting and vintage furniture which in my mind make a magical combination. What do you think?

If you haven’t already, there is still time to enter the competition to win one of four fabulous prints from Seal Design Studio. Just comment on the post to enter here. The winners will be revealed on Saturday 30th November. Till next time. xD

Image Source:

Using Wicker Furniture Indoors


I was asked the other day about the idea of utilising outdoor furniture inside. A friend of mine was toying with the idea of buying a sofa that she could take outside during the Summer months and then bring back into her open plan kitchen to use during Winter.

Since she has a very Eclectic style interior in her home, I thought it was a great idea and decided to do some research to give her some inspiration and idea’s.





What do you think about Wicker furniture indoors? I’d love to know. I hope your week is going well. Till next time. xD

Image Source: Top –, 1 – Sketch London, 2 –, 3 – Unknown, 4 –

Giveaway – Colourful Prints from Seal Design Studio


I hope you are having a lovely weekend. I have a special treat for you today. When I was in the process of designing Little J’s room, I came across a lovely shop on Etsy called Seal Design Studio.

Leon and May sell the most lovely modern design prints from their studio based in Sydney, Australia. I immediately fell for their Star Wars inspired retro prints and ordered some for Little J’s room as pictured in the post here.

I’ve been wanting to giveaway something to my lovely readers to date, so when I asked them for an extra print, they didn’t send just one but four! So you have four chances to win one of the four prints below.




All you have to do is write a comment at the end of this post and tell me where you would imagine the print would go in your home. I’ll then put all your names in to choose the 4 winners. This giveaway is open world wide so anyone anywhere in the world can enter.

You have until Friday 29th November to enter and the winners will be announced on Saturday 30th November so that I can send them to you hopefully just in time for Christmas!

So get commenting and Good Luck! xD

Please note: the giveaway is for the prints only – frames in the images above are not included.

Image source: Seal Design Studio

Little J’s Room


It has been dreadful weather of late. Grey, wet and gloomy outside, so I decided rather than spend another day with LIttle J parked in front of the TV (which I hate doing but sometimes you just run out of ideas), that we’d take the opportunity to clean up his bedroom and take some pictures of it.

When little J grew out of his old cot back in July, I decided to take the opportunity a give his room a makeover. I’m not going to show you a before picture as it was just a white room before with a cot bed and nappy change table. That’s it.

When I asked little J what he wanted his room to be like, he immediately said “Space and rockets” and as he also loves Star Wars, I went with it. Here are some snippets of his room.







Some tips for designing a kids bedroom are:

  • Keep the big ticket items such as the wall, floor & large pieces of furniture neutral so that you only need to change the accessories as they grow older.
  • When designing the layout of the room, think with longevity in mind, will you have to eventually put in a desk? Will you eventually need to change the bed?
  • When using frames, think about weight. Try not to use glass as they can break and cause injury. I have used light weight frames made out of light wood and plastic so if it falls, it won’t cause any harm.
  • Utilise old toys to create displays in the room.
  • Don’t be too precious about anything, it’s their room after all.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the week. xD

Photography: Doris Lee


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