Posts filed under: Past Projects

Decorating for Autumn

Summer is drawing to a close, and we are entering the mellow days of autumn. It is often a time when thoughts turn to redecorating, particularly as the winter nights are drawing in and we are spending more time at home. We want to feel warm and cosy in our homes and traditional autumn colour palettes of red, orange and yellow are perfect for achieving this ambience.

This sample board is from a project I designed recently for a couple who wanted just that. They had a garden room that they used as their sitting room in the summer and the brief was to design their sitting room and dining room for use on winter evenings to relax in and entertain friends. I used rich colours and plenty of texture to achieve a feeling of warmth and cosiness.

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In a similar vein I was asked to design a sitting room for a client that could be changed between summer and winter, so I opted for a neutral colour scheme of sand and cream, with red as the contrast colour. The roman blinds and cushions could be changed from the warm wool fabrics in the winter to the lighter checked linen fabrics in the summer.

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Autumn is a time of, warm days and increasingly chilly nights and you could opt for a contrasting colour scheme of blue and orange to reflect this, as in this kitchen I designed a few years ago. The kitchen faced south, so blue was chosen as the main colour to cool the room down, and orange was chosen for the north facing breakfast area, off the kitchen to give warmer feel.

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I love this new Renaissance fabric collection from Warwick fabrics for delicious autumn shades of rust and red, but equally you could achieve a sense of winter calm using a palette of greys and blues by using a different colourway from the same collection.

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I used this gorgeous fabric from William Morris in a recent kitchen project made up into roman blinds and a seat cushion. It has a fruity pattern in soft autumnal shades of smoky blue contrasting with rich shades of aubergine, mustard and orange to gladden your heart as the nights draw in.

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Fabulous Summer Florals

Flowers are a massive inspiration for me, and at the weekend I visited beautiful Packwood House, a stunning National Trust property not far from Lapworth in Warwickshire. I have been visiting for a number of years now and have been watching the progress of the Trust restoring the gardens to their former glory. The herbaceous borders have been of particular interest as I love flowers so much, and yesterday they were at their glorious best.

Florals aren’t for everyone in interiors, but I love to use them when I can, they are so joyful, and there are some lovely designs about for all tastes. They can be used on a feature wall as wallpaper to add a focal point, a few cushions can be scattered across a plain sofa to liven it up, or how about a sumptuous pair of curtains to lift the spirits in an otherwise simple room. Here are some of my favourites.

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I am using beautiful Tulipan from Osborne and Little in a master bedroom and en-suite bathroom project I am working on at the moment.

This RO-GardenSilhouettewallpaper from Anna French’s Seraphina collection has a lovely floral summer motif but in monochrome tones, so provides an elegant and subtle backdrop for a room.

I have recently used fabrics from Prestigious Textiles Printworks collection to brighten up a 006_PRINTWORKS-CAMvery neutral sitting room. The collection has a mix of large scale floral and geometric patterns in a rainbow of colours ranging from bright to natural, digitally printed onto soft linen for a lovely drape.

For a more tra2741ditional look and feel, James Hare supply gorgeous silk embroidered fabrics such as Silwood from their Orchard Silks collection.

 

 

And finally a classic mixture of stripes and florals from Warwick Fabrics St. st%20germainGermain collection.

Sumptuous Edwardian Kitchen

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I have recently completed a kitchen refurbishment project in a lovely Edwardian house in Kenilworth.   The brief was to design a breakfast kitchen which had all the ‘mod cons’ but was still in sympathy with the period style of the house.

We started off with a very dark, cluttered room with very little character and reference to the period that the house was built in. Of course, homes didn’t have fitted kitchens in Edwardian times, and would have had free standing furniture.  I took these ideas and added features such as patterned floor tiles, wooden finishes and Arts and Crafts styling that you would have seen in this period, but with a contemporary twist.  We chose a fabulous black gloss range cooker as the centre piece, backed by Taylor Kitchen July 15 030 stunning turquoise sculpted tiles that look like they have come from an Edwardian London Underground station.

resize4The oak display cupboards and the central island have a look of freestanding furniture, and I used polished brass cupboard handles and drawer pulls to match the fittings on the range cooker, and again to enhance the period feel of the kitchen.

The floor tiles were selected to look like the quarry tiles which would have been used in Edwardian kitchens, together with the subtle white and grey patterned ones which referenced the patterned tiles that were popular back then.

Finishing touches included the antique brass period style lighting and the gorgeous Arts and Crafts William Morris fabric used for the bench seat pad and blind, in lovely contemporary shades of gold, turquoise and Taylor Kitchen July 15 004aubergine.

I now have delighted clients, who can’t wait to come home to spend time in their beautifully renovated kitchen.

 

 

Six Serious Interiors Trends for 2015

We are now well into 2015, and I thought I would share with you some trends I see emerging this year and going into next.  I think there is a real technology versus comfort thing going on in interiors; by this I mean that as we are increasingly drawn into having all the electronic gadgets at our disposal, we are looking for a softer feel  to our homes, where we can feel cocooned from the outside world. We are looking to be cosseted by comfortable seating, natural colours and finishes and a return to good old fashioned books.  Here are some of the key trends we will be seeing:1

Large comfortable seating – that can be shared by all the family to chill out together on, particularly corner groups in family spaces. We can watch TV together, chat and dare I say it catch up on all our social media together!

DSCN1715Deepest blue – gorgeous deep shades of blue on walls and beautiful indigoes in fabrics such as these from the Osborne and Little’s latest collection, Pasha. Textural, exotic, and very different from everyday life.  Blue is the colour of summer skies, tranquil spaces, heaven. It is perfect for grounding us in nature, far away from all our gadgets.

Geometrics – if all this blue isn’t for you, and you are looking for something mDSCN1705ore contemporary and urban, how about following the geometrics trend, as these fabulous fabrics from Prestigious Textiles and Ashley Wilde demonstrate. Still up there with the grey and neutral look that is so popular at the moment, but with the added bonus of structure.

DSC_4923Driftwood finishes – a little while ago, I had a project where the client’s family room was criss -crossed with pine wood beams, they had yellowed with age and were not looking their best. I suggested that we paint them in a soft wash of white, to give them a drift-wood finish, as you can see in this picture, and now this is a trend for 2015.

Statement lighting – this draws the eye up, making a new focal point to the room.  There is so much choice available, and well-chosen lighting not only gives the practicalities of light, but also DSC_2803adds to the decorative scheme, adding another layer of texture and interest. I used this beautiful bone china cascade fitting in the same project as the driftwood beams to give the wow factor

Libraries – yes, we are going back to books, and a real trend will be surrounding ourselves with our favourite volumes to get a sense of perspective in a fast changing world. I can see this being really useful in this day and age of open plan living. What better way to retreat from all the hustle and bustle of family life, than in a beautifully planned library with relaxed seating and familiar objects around us?  I also see this as a way to use a redundant dining room, why not turn it into a library with comfortable dining chairs for reading and relaxing, and an extendable dining table for when you would like to entertain more formally?

 

I love my job!

A Sweet Lime from Sweet Lime DesignIt’s always good to know you have done a great job for your clients, and lovely to get positive feed-back.  Here are some of my latest testimonials.  :

We are absolutely thrilled with or new curtains and cushions. Jane has walked the treacherous path pleasing an exuberant extrovert and a conservative, financially prudent introvert with skill and diplomacy. We now have a lovely lounge curtains, beautifully made and skilfully hung, that embody a happy union of sophistication, attitude and calm. Jane has some-thing of the halcyon days when your word was your bond, what got committed to got done and customer led service was integral. Many thanks Jane to you and your team

Catherine and John W, Leamington Spa

 

We asked Jane to help us revamp our lounge.  There is such a vast range of colours, fabrics and furniture on the market that we did not know where to start.

We had an initial meeting with Jane, to take a look at our current room scheme and discuss our preferences for colours etc.  Jane then came back to us with some paint and fabric samples and suggestions which she thought we would like.  We arrived at a colour pallet of blue, yellow and cream, not colours we would have considered if we had done it ourselves.

Jane project managed the making of curtains and the re upholstery of one of the sofas as well as obtaining curtain poles.  She also suggested the lighting which we liked and bought.  We also needed side tables, coffee table and television stand, and Jane recommended a company in Lincoln to us.  The furniture is of excellent quality, so thank you Jane for pointing us in the right direction!

We are very pleased with the final result and thank Jane for her patience (when we were undecided), and vision of what the room would look like on completion – she was certainly right.  We now have a cool, comfortable living space which is a pleasure to relax in.

Pat & Peter G, Leamington Spa

 

We are absolutely delighted with our new curtains, they look fantastic in the context of our colour scheme and taste within our living room. Even more importantly all the ladies of the house love them. We are thinking of another curtain project in the house later this year and I will certainly come back to you with a brief when we are ready.

Mike V, Warwick

 

London Road 2012

Recently,  I was asked to work on a very interesting project in Luton, by a young property development company.  They were converting a large 1930’s house into nine studios to provide accommodation for students at Luton University. The brief was to design a vibrant scheme that would appeal to students, but also be able to take the wear and tear of daily student life.  The developers were keen to use an idea they had for open cube boxes to provide a versatile storage solution for the rooms .

Each studio was to have its own kitchenette and en-suite shower room, and there was also planned a communal kitchen and living area for the students to meet in.Communal Area

I decided on a bright and contemporary lime green and tangerine colour scheme for the storage boxes to contrast with an industrial lookKitchenette of concrete and steel grey.  I specified vinyl floor covering that looked like steel plate, industrial style lighting and white metro tiles for the bathrooms and kitchenettes. We used Astro turf on the stairs and communal areas to give an unusual but hard wearing floor covering.

 

As you can see from these before and after pictures the rooms were transformed, and went down really well and were all let straight away despite the rental being higher than that being charged by the University for their rooms.  For help with similar projects, please contact Jane at  Sweet Lime Interior Design

Before student room Student room