The No. 1 place for lighting inspiration if you're renovating

The No. 1 place for lighting inspiration if you're renovating

I'm not kidding guys, I was awake until 1am (!) last night looking for the specific dining room light as the electrics are all going in next week. I started my internet search at 8pm! That's 5 hours wasted trying to find a bloody light shade that if you looked at, is so generic. What's actually wrong with me?? Do you get this too? I think I've found something to help...

Read More

Finally making our bedroom lighting more 'wow' | Bedroom makeover update

Ok so the bedroom is slowly but surely looking like how I want it. If you want to see before + after shots, head on over here. I also did a little step by step guide to creating a gallery wall for the less confident decorator.

We got the whole bedroom re-skimmed with plaster, sealed it all, gave it some fresh colours, and now I'm sorting finishing touches. We're slowly making progress, we still have a way to go but it feels good :)

The lighting has been on my list of things to change since FOREVER. When we moved in I was glad of the previous owner leaving all of the light shades and window dressings - it's meant we've had more time to think about what we want to replace things with, but in the same breath it's slowed down my progress as it's never been a priority to make changes.

With the help of family run lighting specialists (who I will now forever look to when considering lighting fixtures and changes) Dowsing & Reynolds, we had a pretty seamless switch over from our plain white plastic light fixture to this shiny new copper cage pendant. 

Dowsing & Reynolds gave me the freedom to create my own bespoke light. From the colour of the ceiling rose, the material, length and colour of the cable to the shade, bulb holder and light bulb, you can customise a light to suit any space and fit it all as soon as it arrives without too much technical expertise (err, well, if you have a new build property that is). 

I'll tell you a bit about how everything arrives and how we went about assembling it, but for a full on DIY post, I recommend checking out Kimberly's blog Swoon Worthy where I stole inspiration and where I spend most of my spare waking hours these days (thanks Kimberly!)

Above is the basic kit you need for installing and hanging a light of this style. I chose all of mine on the Dowsing + Reynolds site, working to a copper theme with dark grey fabric cable, and a gorgeous vintage lightbulb. I asked Neil (he has no prior electrician experience) if he could remove our current fittings and install the whole light fitting and ceiling rose. It turned out very doable (he is pretty trustworthy with this sort of thing, and can turn his hand to anything although he'll probably disagree if he read this) until we reached a problem that only an experts mind could fix.

As we live in a flat built in the late 1800s, our wiring behind the ceiling rose had just 2 wires not the standard 3, so we had to get a sparky in to rewire and fit it for us. She did an excellent job at a really low cost (£25). It's one thing to bear in mind if you're thinking of doing a DIY job. In a new build, or in houses post 1920s I'd imagine it would be fairly simple. But for the sake of £25, we felt a lot safer having an expert come in to take over. And a huge high five was in order at the fact our electrician was a woman. What a legend.

Dowsing & Reynolds provide all the necessary screws, wall plugs and instructions to do this yourself but it's useful to have a cable stripper or stanley knife to cut the cable to the length you want it, and as I already mentioned, previous experience is better than none at all so if you do know electricians that don't mind doing small jobs, I'd ask them before you try it yourself.

Also one last thing - always remember to switch your power of at the fusebox before fiddling with any lighting or electrics. 

I can't wait to start plotting ideas for our living room now. I think something a little cosier in line with our traditional feel we have going on in the living room might work. I'm sure I'll find a tonne of ideas on the Dowsing & Reynolds website. 

Next on my list is to change those disgusting blinds!


Spotlight on... FOLDS (& epic Interior tips from Founder Emma Gurner)

Pssst. It's a new feature around these parts. Getting your hands on unique interior finds, whether as a gift or to give your home the wow factor, can be tough to come by with all this crazy competition in the online world. High street stores are an option, but never provide that real unique gem that people instantly compliment.

I'm on a mission to introduce to my readers some of the chicest online interior stores out there, the stores that aren't on the highstreet, that will provide you with go-to outlets for lovely things for your home, christmas gifts or simply somewhere to click for inspiration.

This week, I'm introducing FOLDS and chat to their delightful Style Director Emma Gurner :)

Interior: Cushions & cosiness

Fluffy cushions, Folds

Online interior boutiques that have a strong focus on your lifestyle tick boxes for me. When you visit a site where page after page is stocked with beautiful collections you can work into your home and the way you live, browsing accessories that are easily styled and are sure to be loved, that's what I look for when shopping online for interior bits, and Folds thrive in this. With designs sourced from all around the world, there's a strong mix of patterns, textures and products on offer to suit every lifestyle. 

Whether you're looking for cosy layers this winter, or detailed patterns to add a focal point to your rooms, Folds' cushion offerings in particular catch my eye on every visit. Remember I told you about my cushion obsession? Well, Folds are experts in sourcing intricate detailed, geometric & cosy designs to fit your lifestyle and look. Just check out the stunning watercolour-esque  hand ilustrated Sky Siouki prints

Interior: Cushions & cosiness, winter interior looks

Whilst items might not seem cheap from the outset, once you meet the designers, hear about their intricate approach and all the hours gone in to crafting you the perfect cushion to suit your room, you realise what a bargain they are. And what a stunning gift they would make. 

With the chilly Christmas around the corner, Neil & I are loving thick knits, heavy fur and herringbone for ultra cosy times, and when 2 of Folds' sumptuous fluffy pillows arrived on our doorstep, packed with warm duck feathers, we couldn't wait to chill out with them on our Chesterfield. 

Interior: cushions & cosiness, folds winter interior looks

But of course, textiles aren't the only things Folds excel at sourcing. They sell some of the quirkiest lamps and lighting, for that sought after 'industrial chic' look. I simply LOVE this simple iron table lamp, that would look great with a quad loop lightbulb. As well as their strong collection of quirky furniture sourced from all across the globe.

I was delighted that Emma Gurner, Folds' Style Director and interior design consultant took the time to answer a few of my burning questions about her love for homeware. I was so inspired by Emma's (and her business partner Suzi's) approach in building their business, and the passion that drives their decisions. 

Here she is :)...

Interior: cushions & cosiness, folds winter interior looks

Hi Emma! Tell us a little bit more about you and your passion for all things interior

My passion for all things interior began about 15 years ago when I landed a job working at BBC Good Homes magazine. My career continued as an interior stylist from then onwards. Now 15 years and 2 children later, I felt it was time to begin my own company and so Folds was born!

How did you come to start your own online store?

I met my business partner Suzi through our children at nursery. With her knowledge of running a business and my creative input we were able to begin our exciting new venture. The website came about after almost a year of private sales and market research. Despite having a low budget we were able to build our own website using a template and are slowly adding to the website as our business grows.

What's your most loved interior possession?

My most loved interior possession is my copper unit. I designed it myself and painstakingly treated copper sheeting to give it a weathered look. The unit provides a wow factor to the space as well as being a very practical piece of furniture!

What tips would you give for readers just starting out in decorating their home?

I think pinterest is a wonderful tool now available to collect images that you love and to create mood boards. It is a great starting point for getting inspired.

What's your favourite home look this season? 

I love feature lighting and the multi-arm pendant lights are big news at the moment! Like this Five light adjustable pendant, £230. 

If you haven't yet paid Folds a visit, I strongly urge you to take a peek at the collections and start a house-piration pinterest board right away! 

Also follow Emma's journey with Folds on her twitter (she has just got the most adorable little puppy, I can't keep my eyes off her tweets!)