Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Pleasurable Accessorising

Little cushion

Little things bring so much pleasure - fact.

I made this cushion at the weekend from fabric samples which I particularly liked and hadn't the heart to throw away (Manuel Canovas).

They had lurked in my office for a while asking to be made into something lovely.

I did invest in some beautiful bobbles for the trim but everything else I already had.

Lesson to self: 
don't throw remnants away - you never know when inspiration will strike and enable you to up-cycle!

Monday, 27 July 2015

'Quick' sketching

Something I often hear is 'can you just throw together a quick sketch for me?' 

Let me tell you that there is no such thing as a quick sketch. 

OK not strictly true. Let me re-word that - there is no such thing as a quick sketch that will be useful to the client or to the designer.

ANY sketch that makes it into a client's hands is a carefully thought out exercise to make sure that it is true to what the end goal will be and will visually portray what the designer needs to communicate to improve the client's understanding.

Prior to that sketch there are many hours of thinking and 'what'if'-ing that go into making up the final components.

It is possible to cut down time spent on the sketch itself (using a less time intensive medium for example (this will be individual to each designer)) but you can not short cut on the preparation that goes into it. You can also help yourself by asking what is the most important focus of the sketch - what exactly is it that you need to communicate?

Before the weekend I managed to pop a few 'quick sketches' off to a local club who are undertaking refurbishment of their club house. I had a meeting on site a few months ago and explained my ideas to a colleague to pass along to those in charge.

The sketches I sent portray in simple form the impact the refurbishment would have, and that is the important thing here.

I therefore used bold strokes in terms of colour. It is not a scaled accurate sketch at this stage but a taster to pique interest in the possibilities:

Friday, 17 July 2015

A sense of (colour rendered) Perspective

 These three drawings show what effects can be created using different perspectives and varying rendering techniques.

The measured (one and two-point) perspectives were started off to scale and then the details were filled in using a combination of measuring, eye and just what looked right in the drawing.

I'm definitely a fan of the measured over the freehand. A little more effort is required but you end up with a drawing you could walk into.
One-point perspective in mixed media
Freehand perspective in mixed media

Two-point perspective in mixed media

Monday, 13 July 2015


Visualisation is the trickiest thing when it comes to imagining the 'after' of your home or space.

That is why as Interior Designers we spend so much time communicating via description, sketching, sampling and scaling.

A client looking at a picture may not be able to imagine it as their space but at least they will know whether or not they like it! Any sketch or visual prop can be invaluable.

Drawings and perspectives can be extremely time intensive but they prevent costly mistakes and ensure that the "ta dah" moment at the end of a project is a happy one for both designer and client.

A perspective drawing is a great tool in the designer's kit for the reasons above but also because, if the designer has done her / his design groundwork thoroughly, it generates excitement.


Sunday, 5 July 2015

Brocante at Petworth Park

Plant stand by the bubbly tent

It was a beautiful sunny day at 
Petworth Park yesterday.

Just right for The Summer Brocante.

It was a real treat to have time to wander and look... and look.

Jostling for attention

There was a gentle buzz in the air.
Lunch and sweet peas in the tent

The day was a delight, 
from the parkland setting, 
through to the tea tent 
with its delicious home cooked cakes and quiches 
(feta, broad bean and mint was good), 
to the attractive stalls jostling side by side for attention, 

housed within a marquee with an open courtyard space for a spot of sun bathing or drinking bubbles, or both.

Vintage sweep...

The whole event was well thought out for maximum enjoyment and maximum spend.

I was quite tempted by this 'Margot' dress,
with sleeves floating in the Summer breeze
Hats off not only to the stall holders but also to the volunteer organiser at the National Trust Petworth House largely responsible for this event being at Petworth, and to 
The Country Brocante for its fabulous staging of this wonderful event. 

= Great collaboration, which I'm sure did wonders also for Petworth House and Park too, since a free (for non-National Trust members) look at the house was included in the £5.00 entrance fee to the Brocante, which would have involved a breathtaking view of House, Deer Park and Lake set amongst the Sussex downs in the stroll across from the Marquee. 

View of the House whilst strolling across from the Brocante
Who wouldn't want to go back again to visit?

Petworth town is of course a mecca for antiques for those in the mood for a little browsing or serious shopping.

Friendly service at The Hungry Guest in Lombard Street

There are plenty of places for the discerning shopper 
to pick up refreshments for stamina, 
including The Hungry Guest cafĂ©  in Lombard street just off the main square. 

The Hungry Guest has been named one of the 30 Best Places for Brunch by The Times (2012). 


Of course I MAY have come away with a few items from The Country Brocante, and will reveal all once they are in place at home. 

Pigeon carrier anyone?

In the centre - an antique hose attachment with rotating spray, perfect for Summer days


Wednesday, 1 July 2015


IN the days of many choices, and immediate access to them via the internet, it can be so difficult to make just one choice...

There are SO many products on the market that it can be bamboozling. 

The only way to avoid endless exhausting googling in the quest for that perfect light amongst endless perfect lights is to be strict with yourself. Have a set of criteria that you will not step outside. 

Tick off the priorities first:

  • Outside / inside
  • Bathroom / other room
  • Pendant / table / wall
  • Colour
  • Bronze / copper / nickel / stainless steel....
  • ETC...

Be careful of the obvious: check your dimensions and have a tape measure by your side to help visualise the light TO SCALE. 
Many people before you have fallen into the scale trap

Remember that a picture on a website will not necessarily clearly show you the scale. Suppliers are clever at showing you the scale they want you to see (for eg. small books on a bedside shelf can make the shelf appear larger than it is).

You could buy vintage. Again, there are many great suppliers of re-worked and up cycled vintage lighting. 


Also, don't forget to keep your eyes open for an unusual light. My best ever buy was an old scissor light from Germany via Ebay, which an electrician re-wired and fitted for me. No-one else I know has one quite like it and I have lots of lovely comments about it from visitors. (I was looking for something specific though and when I spotted it I bid my heart out to get it!)

Look out for interesting lighting at brocante fairs - there's one coming up this week at Petworth House in West Sussex - jumble sales and in local village magazines. What someone else has fallen out of love with could be just what you are ready to fall in love with.

Remember too that you can build your own lighting now. There are many suppliers of the various components required to create your own individual lighting feature.

If you do decide to go down this route do seek advice from a qualified electrician to see if what you have in mind is physically possible. Consult with a lighting expert or designer who can make your ideas take flight or make you think about lighting in a different way.

Lighting is a hugely important part of your home. You notice how important mostly when it has been misjudged and doesn't work!