Category Archives: Weekly Column: Friday 5’s

5 things I’ve learnt from…


A couple of weekends ago I headed off to The Conran Apartments in Marylebone to attend an inspiring workshop run by Gabby Deeming who is the Decoration Editor at House & Garden Magazine. The informative workshop covered the topic “Spring Styling” which covered all aspects of styling your home. Gabby was a lovely and enthusiastic speaker and took us through many inspiring idea’s of how to style one’s home. Here are some of the things I learned at the workshop.






So did you learn anything new? Have you been inspired to go away and make changes to your home? Maybe this weekend?

Whatever you are doing, have a lovely weekend and I’ll be back on Monday. Till then, xD

Image Source: Title:, 1, via Bodieandfou 2, Linda Bergroth 3, Tina Hellberg 4, Decor8 5, Davidgarciaphotography


5 things I’ve learnt from…


Earlier in the week I attended the Press Release event of Anthropologies Autumn/Winter homewares collection. I’ve always been a fan of this eclectic store as not only do I love what they sell, but I am always returning to see what creative display they have put up.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I don’t usually talk about particular products as I’m more geared towards talking about design. However, I couldn’t resist a sneak peak.

When I got there, I was blown away with the displays they had put together I just had to take a few snaps. In turn, I realised that it is just as important to understand the basics of styling as it is about design for an Interior Designer to be successful. The finishing touches are what complete the interior and as they say, the devil is always in the details. So I thought I’d put together some basic things to consider below:Styling-your-home

  1. Display similar items  together to create a harmonious focal point.
  2. Vary the height of objects to create interest.
  3. Always add flowers, foliage or food to appeal to the senses.
  4. Add quirky items in unexpected places.
  5. Restrict the colour palette but provide lots of texture.

If you happen to be a professional interior stylist out there or even if you’re not, I’d love to know what you think as these tips were purely derived from the photo’s I took. And even if have something  you’d like to add to the list, I’m always eager to learn so don’t be shy!

It’s a long weekend over here in the UK so I will be back on Tuesday with another Interior Profile. Whatever you are up to, have a good one. And for all of my fellow blogging friends who are off to Berlin for The Hive Conference, safe travels and have a great time!

Till next week. Enjoy! xD

Photography: Doris Lee (Interior Novice)

5 things I’ve learnt from…


This week I have been catching up on reading all of my favourite blogs. I love reading the blogs of others especially if I learn something new and interesting. This week I thought I’d share some of those posts with you.

  1. Over on A CUP OF JO, I found out that Hygge & West have launched a new wallpaper that is removable. I love the blue hue with the birds and clouds.
  2. I learned who the “Top manufacturers of cashmere home goods” were on the blog L’ESSENZIALE  a fellow KLC student.
  3. A CUP OF JO also taught me “3 ways to arrange flowers”.
  4. James Davidson provided an insightful view of his “Creative Process” over on COLOUR LIVING.
  5. EMILY HENDERSON gave us 5 tips to designing a timeless kids bedroom.

Do take a look at these posts. I found each of them really interesting and as you know, I love it when I learn something new. I’d be keen to know if you learnt anything from them also.

I’ll be back on Monday for another Interior Style. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. xD

5 things I’ve learnt from…


The Victoria &Albert Museum is fantastic when it comes to providing affordable classes on almost any topic related to art, design and culture. Back in May 2009, I attended a very interesting study day called “De-mystifying the Commissioning Process”.

At that time I was in the throws of renovating our old flat. We were seriously considering commissioning a fairly large bespoke AV unit as we had spent way too much time trying to find one ready made that met the needs of both big J (it needed to fit all of his precious audio and visual equipment and exacting measurements) and mine (it needed to look good). Then this study day came along and so I jumped at the chance to find out more before we took the plunge. Here are some tips that I learnt that day…

  1. Make sure that you are clear about what you want and get everything in writing.
  2. Ensure you are  clear on price (including any delivery and installation costs), timing and terms of contract before proceeding or putting down a deposit.
  3. Provide images, sketches and fabric swatches to the craft person to help them with inspiration and insist they provide samples for approval.
  4. If working with fabric, always get stock cuttings as the colour on the samples could be different; then check how much is left on the roll. When you receive the delivery of the fabric, always check the stock cutting you have against it as batches can vary in colour.
  5. Get the crafts person to visit the property they will be building for if possible. This will allow them to take measurements if required and see the space.

A lot of this is common sense however I did learn how important it is to ensure that both the craftsperson/designer and client understood each other and agreed on expectations before any exchange of contracts took place. This helped immensely in our own commissioning process.

So have you had anything commissioned? What are your experiences of this and do you have any lessons learned you’d like to share? I’d love to know.

It’s finally the weekend and this Sunday is my birthday so I’ll be celebrating quietly with my family. I hope you have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you on Monday for more interior talk. xD

Image Source: Unknown

5 things I’ve learnt from…


It’s Friday! Yay and almost time for the weekend.

Last September, I attended the Design Masterclass of the famous London based Interior Designer Abigail Ahern. The class took place in her home and she used it as a showcase for the lesson’s she taught during the 1 day workshop.

So the first thing I have to say is that her house is like a work of art, every single nook of the house is a feast for the eye’s and if you ever get the chance to attend her class then I would highly recommend it. Abigail is such a talented designer and was wiling and able to answer every question thrown at her. The class was structured but the setup with laid back and informal making an environment that was conducive to learning.

Here are 5 tips that I learnt from the masterclass:

  1. General – create contrast in a room by using lots of different textures and use the ratio of 80% harmony and 20% oddball to create tension in a room.
  2. Hallways – treat them like a living room and accesorise as you would any other. In transitional area’s such as this, you can use bold colours as you don’t stay in them for long and will create maximum impact.
  3. Kitchen -this room can be cold and utilitarian, soften it up with accessories like books and lamps. Use open plan cupboards and shelving and use unexpected lighting. A trick to make a kitchen look more expensive is to use mdf doors and make them longer than the cupboards.
  4. Living Room – create as many nooks within the room as possible. Vary the height of furniture to create interest in the room and always add a spare chair.
  5. Bedroom – put multiple layers on the bed, create symmetry without being matchy matchy by using lights that are different but the same height. Instead of a standard bedside table, try to use something different such as a chair or even a normal table that can double as a desk.

If you’re interested in attending one of her classes you can find out more about it here, if you can’t make it to London, I heard a rumour that she might be setting up an e-course, she also has a store that is based in Islington and you can find out about it here. And finally, Abigail also has a new book out called Decorating with Style which will be released in the UK – later in the month. Do I sound like an informercial yet? The images below are from the blog of photographer Todd Selby from The Selby and are of Abigail Ahern’s home where I attended the masterclass.

It’s going to be a super busy weekend for me, today I will spend the day having a look around houses in South London as part of the Living Etc House Tour. There is nothing more fun than having a good snoop around a well designed home (in my opinion) so it’s going to be a special treat. Then on the weekend I will attend the Meet the Blogger conference in London. I am especially looking forward to meeting up with some old and new blogger friends and going on the design tour that has been organised by Tina from Colourliving. As usual I will report back next week after I’ve recovered from it all.

And finally, I just wanted to wish all those mother’s out there a happy Mother’s day as it will be on Sunday here in the UK. I hope you get spoilt with breakfast in bed and don’t have to then clean up after.

Have a lovely weekend. xD



5 Things I’ve learnt from…


Last week we talked about how I went to the all day Masterclass I attended in 2011 called Design with Confidence and the lecture presented by Diana McKnight. The post went through a number of the design principles commonly used to build an interior scheme. You can take a look at last weeks post here.

As I got such good feedback from the last post, I thought it wasn’t right to just leave it so today I will outline the last 2 design principles to ensure that you all get the complete picture. So, here they are:

  1. Proportion – is the relationship of one part of the room to another. It’s about creating visual balance within a scheme. The golden section, is a greek methodology that emphasises that given two parts, one smaller and one larger, the ratio between the smaller and larger part should be the same as the ratio between the larger part to the whole. The 3 variables in the proportion of a room are the width, length and height.
  2. Scale – this relates to proportion and is used with a visual reference to the things we know. The scale of an item is usually used as a  reference compared with a person or another object in the room.

I think that these elements are the most fun of the design principles. Playing with scale and proportion can turn a boring and bland room into a bit of a Alice in Wonderland scenario and create something unexpected and exciting within a scheme. Which element is your favourite?

And finally, last week we had a bit of fun by guessing which images utilised which of the design principles. After careful analysis, I can safely say that every one of the rooms I showed has all the design principles in them in some form, including the use of proportion and scale.


So there you go. I hope you enjoyed the post today. This weekend will be full of activities with the family and I’m craving a roast so may have to fit that in somehow.  Have a wonderful weekend. xD

Image Source – Title – Etsy,, House Beautiful and Atlanta Homes Magazine

5 Things I’ve learnt from…


So a couple of weeks ago I talked about an all day Masterclass I attended in 2011 called Design with Confidence. The second installment of what I learnt on the day is what I’m going to talk about this morning. The lecture was presented by Diana McKnight who is currently the Director of Studies for KLC with whom I am currently studying with. You can find out more about Diana here.

During the class, Diana went through the key design principles commonly used to build an interior scheme. I’ve outlined some but not all of them below:

  1. Emphasis –  is a dominant element that creates a focal point in the design. When you enter a room, your eyes will automatically focus on the most dominant element in the room for example a large sofa, a fabulous chandelier etc, you then need to determine what the eye looks at next, these can be defined as Sub-ordinate elements.
  2. Balance – is commonly used in an interior scheme. This is done by using an axis or common line to create a symmetrical (where one side is mirrored to the other), asymetrical (where there is a balance of colour and shapes but not exactly the same) or radial balance (commonly used in a circular scheme where everything is designed around the centre point of a space).
  3. Harmony – This is the careful selection of elements that share a common trait. While balance is the placement of objects in a room, harmony relates to the objects themselves through shape, colour, texture, material or pattern.
  4. Unity and Variety – where you can have a variety of unique traits. This is where dissimilair items are placed together but create a feeling of unity and variety. For example, you could vary objects by size, colour or texture.
  5. Rhythm and Repetition – where the choreography of a sequence of repetitive elements reflects an integrated design approach. This approach uses the idea that by repeating elements within a scheme it will create unity.




So to finish off today, I thought I’d add a bit of fun into the post. As I would usually point out the various elements in an image, I thought that it might be fun for you guys to do it! I just want to emphasise that this is NOT a test. I hate those things. So I’ve given you 3 different interiors that have used a variety of the 5 elements in them and I was hoping you might like to tell me through commenting, which elements they have used. You don’t have to do all 3 – you could choose 1 or you can do all 3 if  you like. I’m fine either way. I will give you guys a week to have a bash and I’ll post what I think the elements are next Friday 22nd Feb.


So it’ll be a quiet weekend for me after a couple of hectic ones which is a relief. Whatever your plans are for the weekend, I hope you have a nice time of it. I will be back on Monday with another interior style. xD

Image Source – Title – Etsy,, House Beautiful and Atlanta Homes Magazine


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