Nominated Best Interior Design blog

I am thrilled that the blog has been nominated for the prestigious Amara Interior Design Awards for the third year running, this time in the Best Interior Design category. The hosts for the awards night will be TV presenter and interior designer, Sophie Robinson with journalist Kate Watson-Smyth who writes the award winning Mad About The House blog. Voting has now opened so I would be most grateful if you and your dog (or any other pet that comes to hand) could please vote. Just press the voting button below for the blog to be shortlisted!

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Styling Downton Abbey film sets for The English Home magazine

In our house, it’s written in stone that Sunday nights are spent watching the latest period drama or film. When The English Home magazine asked if I would like to recreate three rooms from Downton Abbey to coincide with the forthcoming feature film, you could say it was a bit of an open and shut case – albeit of the vintage prop variety. 

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English secret garden

One of the sweet spots of the summer season is the moment when our calendar gets filled with dates to visit gardens open for charity on behalf of The National Garden Scheme. More exterior than interior I suppose but fairly inextricably linked for floral/botanical design inspiration and for the patterns found in imaginative landscaping. These are usually private gardens and there is often exceptionally fine, freshly baked cake from precious family recipes. If you are lucky, proper tea cups and saucers with the odd plant to buy and a bit of bunting. Heaven really.

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Madrid’s modern antique style

Whilst the cost of high street rents is changing the way vintage and antique furniture is bought and sold in the UK, it turns out that Madrid is a city with a thriving retail secondhand scene. Last weekend, with just over 48 hours to spend in Spain’s capital, I came across the El Rastro street market (La Latino metro) with more vintage and antique shops than even I could speed-prop my way around! Here’s a few that caught my eye along the way…

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Affordable antique chic

Have you ever wondered what City lawyers, bankers and TV journalists do in their lunch hour? Well, it seems more often than not, they are to be found perusing once sunken treasure as well as other ancient artefacts such as the captivating turquoise hues of 12th Century Persian ceramics.  These carefully curated treasures are to be found amongst the antique vessels and furniture that make up Hilary Fisher’s antique shop in Gray’s Inn Road, Fisher London.

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Red, turning up the interiors heat in 2019

A very Happy New Year! It’s that crystal ball time of year for trend predictions and, even if you choose to ignore them, I always think it’s fun to keep at least one eye on what’s going on. This January the blog is turning up the heat with a look at the use of primary red in interior decorating schemes. Although it may appear to be more of a micro trend right now, it’s one I believe will intensify as 2019 goes by.

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Christmas decorations at Castle Howard

Christmas is the time of year that sends interior stylists into overdrive (even though they have often been decorating for Christmas several times over since July). We can’t resist it! However, nothing quite compares to the effort and scale that has gone into decorating Castle Howard in Yorkshire this Christmas. Respect goes to the three weeks of non-stop decorating that completed months of planning by Charlotte Lloyd Webber, Bretta Gereke and their team of 6.  The blog’s Christmas present to you this year is an edited highlights tour of Castle Howard’s celebration of The 12 Days of Christmas.
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Your 2018 Christmas gift guide

Back by popular demand is the blog’s Christmas gift guide. B-Y  J-I-N-G-L-E   B-E-L-L-S – I hear you cry! The blog’s very own Christmas Fairy has flown from the top of the tree to make light of your Christmas shopping. Dangerous, I grant you, with Panda our beardy mini schnauzer on patrol amongst the presents…

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How to make a foraged Christmas wreath

What style Christmas wreath will you be choosing for your front door this year? With so many to choose from, it can be a little daunting but I find myself with the foragers on this one …

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Turning a shed into a home office

Rachel, a busy management consultant, asked me to convert her garden shed into a home office at the end of her Oxfordshire cottage garden. It needed to be a work space that Rachel really wanted to be in but also one she could separate from home at the end of the day. I have had some experience of shed conversions. I once turned our wooden summer house into a home office for a Marie Claire 101 ideas magazine interiors feature. There is something quite magical about creating outdoor rooms and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one!
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