LOCK DOWN LOW DOWN: Top Tips for your Home Design. Those four walls never looked so good!
Climbing those un-inspiring walls during lock down? We all need to feel that our home is our sanctuary and no more so than during this very real and weird time of lock down. Good design can helps us live and feel better and this is a great opportunity to survey our surroundings and consider what we can do to make our homes a happier, lock down friendly space.
Many of you are already taking advantage of some extra time; rolling up your sleeves with paint brush in hand ready to re-vamp. Trying to achieve a living space that functions for everyone and makes you feel relaxed, safe and happy needs to be approached in a simplistic way. No fuss, no drama. Here is a guide of hints and tips to help encourage & inspire you in creating a home to keep you smiling.
1. INSPIRATION; My taste over the years hasn't really changed, it's evolved, often influenced by life's adventures adding to but always re-affirming a continuity of style. Sometimes our tastes can become a bit lost with our busy lives at work, our families and different personalities living side by side. Try and re-connect with the aesthetics you like and those of your loved ones around you; look to the things you own for inspiration whether it be a favourite item of clothing, an image of a destination, a piece of artwork, some jewellery, etc. Arrange items together and see how they inspire you; look at the colours, the shapes, the patterns. Pinterest is another great place to collate images to inspire but don't just look at finished interiors; look at fashion, nature, colour, shapes etc. Check out my pinterest for ideas https://www.pinterest.co.uk/r379/boards/
‘Your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love’ – Nate Berkus.
'It is not a question whether or not someone has good taste. It is how something feels to the individual…Open your heart and mind to the world, and find the things that connect with you. How else will you know how to design your home?' - Kelly Hoppen
2. FUNCTION V AESTHETICS; It's important that a space should be practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. Think about what you want to achieve in each space as well as how you want to feel in that environment ie: relaxed in a bedroom, focused in a home study, creative in the kitchen. Write a list and consider what isn't working for you at the moment and what adjustments you can make yourself.
3. DE-CLUTTERING; It can be too easy to clutter up spaces if you have a love for all things old and new, which I do. I am nostalgic and like having photographs, letters and gifts from loved ones around me. Also the day to day necessities of tidying, and cleaning can all get overwhelming and you need a process to help organise these things. The KonMari method was created by organizing consultant Marie Kondo and is a system of simplifying and organizing your home by getting rid of physical items that do not bring joy into your life.
Marie Kondo's original book is called 'The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying' . Her second book recently came out called 'Joy At Work': Organizing Your Professional Life, bringing calm to where we spend so much of our time.
Here is a recent article about her approach; https://time.com/5820605/work-from-home-tips-marie-kondo/. and a link to her shop https://shop.konmari.com/. For quick insights you can also watch her on You tube.
‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ - William Morris
4. SYMMETRY; My style is fairly eclectic but I do feel it's important to have a sense of symmetry in a space; whether it be how artwork is placed on a wall, your furniture seating plan or if you have a lot of different objects then organising them within colour palettes. You can then play with mixing other pieces together and maintain an organised and harmonious feel.
‘Symmetry is not always necessary but there is something that feels inherently right about a room with balance ‘– Maddux Creative.
5. DETAIL & THE BIGGER PICTURE: For me, an interior should look as if it has evolved over time; reflecting your life where you have travelled, your taste, books, photos, plants etc. Things can easily sit there and become stayed or cluttered to the point where you don't notice them anymore. From time to time I clear spaces and change things around to bring them back to life. I curate each area whether it be a side table, book shelves or a mantle piece. Take photographs of small details of your space as well as the wider picture to help see things from a different perspective.
'Being detail-obsessed is no use if you can’t ‘zoom out’ – Alidad.
6. COLOUR: I stumbled across the 'Colour Mirrors' concept about 15 years ago. Initially I thought it seemed a bit out there; learning about a person or oneself through the colours they are drawn to in these bottles but I ended up loving it and doing the courses and qualifying as a practitioner. What I have taken with me from this experience is that we are drawn to colours for various reasons and at different times during our life journey.
For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to the colour teal. It runs through my house in very subtle forms: in a piece of art, a rug, a vase etc. In this time of lock down I find myself drawn to bright colours with a desire to be bolder with them. I have just chosen a Dulux colour Lemon punch for above my fireplace and Proud Peacock for my desk wall, whilst still keeping the other walls, curtains and carpets in neutral shades. I also love bringing a bit of black into an interior whether it be a lamp, a painted chair, the frame of a picture. It grounds things and instantly brings a chic, elegance to a room.
Don’t limit yourself to only one or two colours. It’s like matching your socks to your tie. One should experiment with colour and pattern – a harmony can come out of the chaos - India Mahdavi.
‘Every room needs a touch of black just as it needs at least one antique piece’ – Jan Showers
Beaded Coaster from Birdie Fortescue. Skull Dish from H&B Style.
1. The Sun - I Am (Yellow / Yellow)
This bottle vibrates to the energy of the sun – the light source and the life force of the world. It also resonates with the energy centre at the centre of your being, the solar plexus. This first bottle acknowledges your I AMness, that feeling of being totally connected with your highest aspect. This is true power – the recognition that the Divine is in everything and oneness is the natural state of the universe. This bottle clears confusion and fear and is helpful for SAD and depression. Yellow is the colour of intellect, brightness, light and joy. The Colour Mirrors system as a whole is a journey of Ascension, and as Ascension is a by-product of joy, the only way the system could really begin was with a bottle which reflects that joy.
30. Creativity (Deep Turquoise / Pale Turquoise)
This bottle is related to writers and artists who need time by themselves to let their creativity grow. Give yourself the space to let your imagination expand and flourish, and become the creator of your own life. You are gifted in the arts and a wise counsellor. Unfortunately people often want too much from you, so make space for yourself. Learn to fill your own cup so that it might overflow into the world. Set boundaries to your space and time and do something creative, for that is how you feed your soul. Do not let yourself get over-stressed or you will be flirting with burnout.
7. NEUTRAL PALETTES: If your preference is for a more neutral palette you can layer it in different tones, textures and patterns. I would still choose at least 3 or 4 complimentary colours to bring a room to life. The images below show calm and serene spaces with what would appear little variation in colour but there are contrasting elements which look striking together; warm whites and golds, bold pattern, black & brass in the top image. Taupe, pinks, lavender, grey, silver, gold & Ivory in the lower.
I am convinced that a calm, quiet and harmonious interior can be as beneficial to health as a sensible diet and regular exercise - Kelly Hoppen
8. FURNISHINGS - ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD; When choosing furnishings I don't believe every piece has to be expensive or designer. It's nice to have some good pieces and one should have a decent sofa, this can range from from super cool Loaf with their luxuriously deep sofas in traditional styles or something that will see you down the generations like Dudgeon Sofas, a comfortable bed, a beautiful antique can bring integrity and interest to an interior, mix with some modern pieces; a sculptural table lamp from Porta Romana or Vaughan Lighting, beautiful textured and patterned fabrics and a piece of designer furniture from for example Nicholas Haslam.
For other pieces you can take time to curate, there are some decent and reasonably priced items out there, it just takes a bit of research. I regularly look to the sales items on websites and also to the high Street. Well made curtains look beautiful and are a good investment but plain linen curtains if you buy them a little longer and puddle them onto the floor from a simple metal black pole with pretty plain sheers look great. Refurbished furniture is also worth considering, it can be better quality than new, having used good, solid materials and more traditional making techniques than a lot of expensive modern pieces. Have a look on our website link for our collection of beautifully refurbished pieces freshly polished or painted & upholstered in super cool fabrics from Casamance and Christopher Far Cloth http://www.rachelniddrie.com/unique-refurbished-furniture.html#
‘Pay no attention to grand sweeping opinions; I heard someone say, ‘Brown wood is boring’ when of course a beautiful well-looked after piece of brown furniture can be pure heaven
9. ACCESSORIES; I do love a vignette; a curated little space. We usually think of the accessory as adding the final touches to an interior but it could be a starting point if you work designs around the colour of an existing vase, an ornament, rug or favourite piece of artwork. Simplify a shelf by organising things in a partially structured manner gives it an artistic feel, showing off books and ornaments & photographs so each item looks like a little jewel in itself.
Break up large expanses of wall space with artwork, photography and shelving, carefully placed and considered.
A rug can bring so much to a room; a warm layer, a beautiful pattern, a contrasting element, modern, traditional, wool, silk the options are endless.
The scatter cushion we simply can't ignore, a beautiful accent colour or eye catching pattern in a cushion can lift a sofa, chair or bed. We often feel more daring with cushions, it's like our design expression can suddenly be released in just that one item. When buying a feather cushion interior buy them 1 or 2 inches bigger, it gives the cushion a better, plumper shape.
For bedding I do like a Designers Guild cotton duvet covers and pillow cases. I recently discovered Matouk Linen, whose designs are so appealing. Birdie Fortescue is one of my go to's for table linen and accessories.
'Pictures should be big, or there should be lots of them. There’s nothing worse than a painting the size of a postage stamp on a vast wall'. – Nina Campbell.
10. THE BORING BUT ESSENTIAL STUFF: Prep is important when decorating; getting the right materials, cleaning and rubbing down walls, using primers if needed prior to painting. Test paint colours before you go the whole hog of buying a tin of paint. I paint samples up on the back of old wallpaper or lining paper and tack them to a wall. Move them around so you can see the colour in different light before committing. Move and cover furnishings to protect them. If you are home alone during lock down don't attempt to move anything heavy or get up any high ladders without taking your phone and informing someone of your activities. Don't attempt to put up pictures and hammer nails into walls without checking if there are any electrical wires running behind the wall. You may have to work around things for now and create some interesting lock down Design details!
Finally, have fun allow yourself time to enjoy the process, you can gradually build up the layers, you don't have to do it all at once but have an overall design in mind and keep referring back to your original concepts. If you are slightly cautious, start off with your safe choices then go a couple of shades bolder and gradually build up and take a few of risks on things.
‘Don’t be afraid of a bit of ‘bad taste’. Many rooms are strangled by trying to be too tasteful for their own good. Be bold and buy what you think and do not worry about what the neighbours will think. Idiosyncrasies and juxtapositions bring rooms alive’ - Douglas Mackie
‘Serious is a word that must be entirely avoided when it comes to decoration’ – Kathryn M. Ireland.
R A C H E L N I D D R I E is proud to be working with the Nutshell in Kings Walk; a vibrant performance and events venue in the heart of Winchester as their Art Curator for exhibitions in the fabulous building that was once the antiques market Shell A, Shell B and Reception all available for hire.
The first art exhibition at the Nutshell is coming to an end this week. 4 local artists; Ed Saye, Bex Willis, Kate Arnold and Georgia de Buriatte filled the generous white walls with their artistic talents. All of these artists are currently involved with the Nutshell running a variety of art classes. www.thenutshellwinchester.com/workshops
Click the link for more information or contact Rachel directly at: email@example.com
#art #winchester #venue #artwork #exhibitions #artcurator #thenutshellwinchester #rachelniddriedesign #artexhibition #eventsvenue
I get terribly excited in the lead up towards lent; the anticipation and intention to let go of some of those material trappings; evenings spent half working on my laptop and half flicking through endless channels of brain numbing programmes, relying on sugar to make my day, buying happy items online - (bye bye Brandalley - well for 40 days). I know if I can persevere and resist some of these through prayer and meditation I can reach a better place, a better awareness, a clearer mind - but it won't be easy.
In truth I struggle every year with my Lenten intentions and royally fail. Yet here I am starting Lent with high hopes and a long list. Ideally I like to follow some kind of guide to keep me focused and in my search online I came across : 40-things-to-do-this-lent__1_.pdf Whether you follow a faith or not there are some wonderful ideas especially relating to being more environmentally friendly and with my recent blog Eco Elegance I am ready to embrace these.
So with pancakes on the menu tonight if you don't hear from me over the next 40 days, wish me luck and I will see you on the other side.
I have to admit I am not the most conscientious person when it comes to being eco-friendly; I do my general recycling and then struggle to get down to the bottle bank, I use a few eco-friendly cleaning products but my WC receives a good dose of bleach. I have collected a somewhat ridiculous amount of plastic bags however many I remember to take with me to the supermarket, spilling out of every corner, waving their plastic handles at me, reminding me - this is not good bag lady!
Recently we have seen more and more eye opening images depicting the devastating effects that our lives have on this planet. One would think this would be enough to shake us all up but realistically many of us struggle with our own day to day tasks where time and money often seem against us. As we are becoming more aware of our mental health and encouraged to get a better work/life balance the realisation that we are each responsible for the decline of our beautiful planet can feel overwhelming and we bury our heads. How on earth are we supposed to accomplish being environmentally conscious enough too.
One documentary I watched recently that totally surprised me was 'Stacey Dooley investigates cotton'. Although it focused on the clothing industry I am fully aware that within the home and within my job as an interior designer the use and promotion of cotton is fairly prolific. I even promote it on my website as a good thing; it's versatile, feels great, , patterns can be printed beautifully, it drapes well for curtains, I could go on but I think you can tell - I love cotton. I was horrified to find out then the reality of the destruction it can cause to the environment due to the large amounts of water it requires to manufacture even one simple pair of jeans. You may think this doesn't sound so bad but watch the documentary or read this link and see the effects it has had to a whole community.
I am not suggesting we no longer use cotton but having watched the documentary I am encouraged to re-think and look into how I live and work. Is it possible to be an interior designer and be able to give a wide range of options that are beautiful, usable, affordable and sustainable. Who are the most eco-friendly suppliers of fabric, furniture, paint, lighting, rugs and other items we use to decorate our homes. Are there other materials I should be aware of that are preferable? Is it better to consider promoting more artisan items? I love artisan but not everyone has the budget or the patience with the lead times and the slightly unknown results - it's not the depeche mode we have all become accustomed to. It could appear that for us to be kinder we have to be wealthier - is this true?
On a positive slant, I do have a passion for second hand, vintage and antique pieces. I have rarely purchased something that I don't fall in love with and keep for a long time. So albeit subconsciously I am in that way somewhat eco-friendly; I buy and I love. I re-use and I re-love. Most of my furniture is second hand; items I have either purchased myself or have been lucky enough to be handed down by family and friends. I like to buy new items here and there; a rug, a piece of art, cushions and accessories to bring in a certain texture or colour to balance out the eclectic fusion. This is something I like to encourage with my clients if they are happy to do so; mix the old and new in creating a wonderful interesting home with integrity.
Older furniture is often well made with beautiful patinas and an interesting history. Sadly, apart from vintage and Art Deco the older style furniture has very much fallen out of fashion and people are struggling to give it away. This does however mean there are lots of exciting things to be found at auction houses and charity shops for an absolute steal if we are willing to open our eyes to them.
Images above of my home interiors; including curtains in a Nina Campbell printed cotton, second hand antique style mirrors, antique chairs, modern and antique vases. Cushions from Chelsea Textiles & Robert Kime, bed covers from Aleta, cashmere throws and artwork I have had for around 15 years or more and love them as much as the day I bought them.
I will be visiting antique shops and charity shops and discussing the subject with general suppliers. Please join in, comment and share your ideas and suggestions. I cannot promise to only use eco-friendly items from here on but I intend to seek out the possibilities. I am interested to see what is out there and how easily accessible they are in creating ourselves a more eco elegant home.
#ecofriendly #ecoelegance #ways2gogreen #antiques #reuserelove #interiorswinchester #secondhandchic
FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOUR HOME
The home is where the heart is and whether you are creating a romantic feel or a loving space for yourself or you and your family, make sure your home is inviting and filled with things that you love.
Don't hold back from showing your personality with photographs of family & friends, plants, animals, books, artwork and decorative items, these reflect your capacity to love and care for things, your interests as well as your ability to keep something alive! All bonus points in anyone’s dating agenda. No need to clutter spaces; even a few personal items carefully placed can have a positive impact. Having cherished possessions like this around you, can also help with your general well-being.
Low level lighting rather than bright over-head lighting is much more flattering and gentle; lamp shades with linings in soft pink or gold give a warm, magical glow. Light candles with subtle scents to help with relaxation and tranquility. Choose sensuous textiles like cashmere throws, linen fabric. wool & silk rugs with tactile furniture in warm woods & tones of golden distressed brass. Walls with a hint of pink, are very complimentary creating a wonderful rosy, happy, positive feel to a room. Antiqued mirror is a romantic nod to the past, creating interest & adding reflective space to a room on furniture or walls.
For bedrooms serenity is key; charm the senses with soft colour palettes, keeping it simple in no more than 3 colours in various tones with the occasional contrasting finish & fabric for interest. If you like patterns choose large blooms of florals, my favourites are from Bennison Fabrics, Sandersons and Colefax & Fowler. For more of dramatic effect; oriental style fabrics with a black background in cotton are seductively stylish. Mixing smooth silks, crisp cottons and pretty florals induce calmness, feel sensuous and reminds us of nature encouraging fulfilling, soundless sleeps.
Indulge by investing in fabric walling in silk or linen to create a wonderful feeling of being cacooned in quietness, safety & elegance. Beds & windows with sheer curtains are the ultimate in romance; with soft dapples of light and breeze filtering through feels wonderfully freeing, perfect if you want to keep spaces open but with an element of privacy. Beautiful, well made lined and interlined curtains with a bit of extra length are cosy and luxurious enhancing an overall feeling of harmony. Click the link to our website for more inspiration on romantic bedrooms www.rachelniddriedesign.weebly.com
A crystal chandelier or wall lights are pretty and elegant dimmed to create soft patterns of light. The bedroom should remain a sanctuary so keep televisions to other more social areas in the house.
To maintain that sense of serenity a bedroom is best kept tidy and stress free, avoid having too many cluttered objects on display. Soften wardrobes with upholstered or wallpapered panels in a subtle textured pattern, adding interesting details with gorgeous glass or metal ironmongery. Warm wooden flooring with rugs and sheepskins or invest in a good quality wool carpet. Antiques and painted furniture are romantic and add personality to a space. Also think about your choice of artwork and how it is placed in maintaining your soothing environment.
Creating a romantic, loving home is just as important whether you are single or in a relationship. Once you have filled it with warmth and love, sense the harmony and let the romance begin.
Looking to transform your home into a beautiful space you will love - contact us.
#inspirationalideas #blissfullyhappy #valentines #homedecor #interiors #Winchester #designWinchester
New Year Design Resolutions
With the anticipation that this year is going to be an exceptionally splendid year, here are my top tips for New Year design resolutions, to help you achieve a super chic & stylish, relaxing home with oodles of character for 2017.
Set your design goal
Be more decisive and don’t over think it
Indulge in a bit of bad taste
Face lifts & feel goods
Remain open minded
Wishing you a very happy new year with brave and bold design decisions for 2017 & less clutter.
#homeaccessories #antiquesourcing #designerrugs #newyearresolutions #boldcolours
My first job in the interior design world was working for a traditional sofa shop on the Kings Road called ‘Recline & Sprawl’. Situated just before the New Kings Road we were surrounded by antique shops, lighting, framers etc. Opposite were our arch sofa rivals George Smith sofas; the darling of the traditionally made sofa companies and just a few doors down another competitor George Sherlock Sofas, with their beautiful Howard style sofas that I secretly coveted in fantastic pink linen.
Although we promoted ourselves as having superior webbing on the base of our sofas and hand tied springs (that was our big line), competition was high and George Smith particularly had the edge; not only were they well known for a quality product, they more than often promoted half-price sales, were clearly visible from the road and had a much larger shop window. We on the other hand were hidden under some kind of pagoda like facade, with a small front window, obscured by a red post box, bus stop and clock and were under strict instructions never to offer any such deals or promotions. Our bosses repeated their mantra that selling the sofas at a lower price (which was the sale price of George Smiths sofas) consistently throughout the year would give us the appealing edge.
So it came to pass that people would regularly wander into the entrance of the shop and shout, ‘do you have a sale on’ or when does your sale begin? Barely had we uttered the word no, the person had already crossed over the road and was veering towards the banners of the half-price sale at George Smith with little chance of them hearing us finish ‘but our prices are consistently all year round half the price of George Smith' …. Even if you managed to explain the whole thing, you could see their eyes glaze over at no sale, ‘so you don’t have a sale would be the general response’. People love to know they are getting a bargain and who can blame them, it’s all about marketing. Still sometimes we managed to get the message across and thanks to the amazing manager we had faithful customers and the business continued on.
It was the millennium and these were still exciting times when the Kings Road attracted famous and interesting characters. You didn’t have to go searching for them in night clubs or restaurants, online or in magazines no, they were walking around freely and they would even come to you. So each day was filled with the possibility of someone super famous popping their head around the door.
In this rather nostalgic year we have been experiencing with the passing away of so many beloved celebrities, one of the most recent being George Michael, I am reminded of my time working at Recline & Sprawl and his visit to the little sofa shop. Arriving with his interior designer he walked in wearing a baseball cap and quietly perused the furniture. We had 4 CD’s that we continously played in the shop; Dido, Maria Callas, Burt Bacarch and George Michael – Ladies & Gentlemen The Best of. My manager had this fortunate or unfortunate ability to attract coincidences, so we weren’t entirely surprised to be listening to George Michael when he arrived at the door. Luckily it was for our ears only at the back of the shop, otherwise he would probably have thought we were playing it on purpose, which would have been terribly embarrasing, then we would have been forced to show him our coincidence board; a detailed list of the daily coincidences; 10.30am - discussing Mrs Jones armcaps, phone rings - guess who - it's Mrs Jones. 10.45am - listening to George Michael, 10.50am George Michael walks into showroom - quelle surprise!
His Interior designer did her best to shield him from us fearsome shop assistants; when I asked if they needed any help she immediately bundled him down the stairs tout suite, away from our eager, beaming faces. She had purchased from us before, so there was no need for the hard sale. He however looked up at me, raised his eyebrows and smiled with a kind of an amused I’m sorry expression. Obviously he had prior instructions not to collaborate with the shop assistants. It was an exciting moment, his songs had been part of my life through my teenage years and my twenties and here he was.
His visit albeit brief, left an impression on me not only from his smile but as he walked out he said a sincere goodbye, waved and thanked us. People spotted him in the street and were calling out to him as if they knew him like a friend – ‘Hi George’ and he stopped and waved and called back and for several minutes this went on. His protective Interior designer finally managed to coerce him into the car and off they went and I thought what a genuinely nice guy, how lovely and my manager and I agreed that we loved that George.
A few days later we received an order for some sofas from his interior designer, I like to think they were for George Michael and that our professionalism and contained inner excitement helped him choose us over those Kings Road sofa giants or perhaps it was simply the 70% feather, 30% duck down cushion interiors, superior webbing and hand tied springs.
#GeorgeMichael #memories #sofas #interiordesign #kingsroad #chelsea
As Christmas fast approaches, I ventured out into the shops of Winchester to see what is on offer in the range of beautiful, fun and exciting Christmas gifts for the home.
First on my list was Pure Home in the square. The entrance was beautifully Christmasy and rustic with carved deer and country style wicker baskets. I had a quick scout around the ground floor where there are Christmas decorations, glassware and candles and then decided to peruse upstairs. I was stopped in my tracks by a shop assistant asking me whether she could help me, although it was more in the tone of - and where do you think you are going madam. I thanked her and said I was fine and continued to head upstairs when she proceeded to ask, 'did I know it was only sofas upstairs'? Okay, I said, that’s fine, thank you. She then continued to follow me up the stairs. Remaining undeterred and with the assistant closely at my heels I continued on. What was she thinking I was going to do, steal a sofa? If there had been a sofa shop next door and I had the ability to carry one I imagined myself doing an irrational purchase and walking past Pretty Women styley chanting BIG MISTAKE! BIG MISTAKE! Once upstairs the furniture and layout was a bit underwhelming with leather sofas and simple but well-made oak pieces. I then spotted an Eames like style chair and stool and some unusual and interesting industrial clocks, lighting and furniture, all worth seeing. They also had a great supply of cushions in simple ticking fabrics. I finally came across three delightful ceramic lamps, which would look great in any interior. It was well worth the trip upstairs – as long as you are prepared to navigate your way past security.
Next on my list was The Hambledon. This is one of my favourite shops for clothes in Winchester. Everything I have bought from here I have cherished and loved; the colours and the patterns are timeless and individual and bring a smile to my face when I open my wardrobe. So I was interested to see what they had on offer in the home accessories department. The home section is bijoux but has some real gems. The candle stick holders, vases and tumblers in pretty, cut coloured glass are beautiful and reasonably priced. Lovely, chunky, wool throws and velvet cushions in jewel oranges, blues and green. I particularly loved the parrot and pineapple jugs and cabbage plates. I overheard one young customer next to me say ‘that’s like something my gran would have’ – indeed it may well be but it makes an interior far more interesting to add the occasional unusual, humorous piece, so take a look at Grannies collection with fresh eyes and you may find some beauties.
One of my favourite Streets in Winchester is Parchment Street. They have a wonderful variety of shops. I was delighted to come across two new shops just opening. There is a new Turkish shop called The Mayam Bazaar as well as a new Orchid Furniture shop. You will also find Bell Fine Art, Forme, The Yankee Candle Shop and The Clock Shop.
In The Mayam Bazaar you will find piles & piles of sumptious, wool rugs, wooden side tables with mother of pearl inlay, Turkish cotton towels and rugs and lots of trinkets. I purchased a rather beautiful fabric hanging of the Madonna and Child, which I am thrilled with.
Next door is the newly opened Orchid Furniture. I am particularly drawn to Asian pieces and influences so was overwhelmed with the beautiful colours and patterns of Turquoise, yellows & oranges when I walked in. They have recently started a new range of contemporary pieces in their collection like their fabulous concrete dining table. The combination of different finishes and styles shows the pieces off to perfection.
Bell Fine Art has been on Parchment Street for well over 30 years. I used to go in there when I was in my early 20’s and purchased my first framed prints from them. They have a good collection of artwork but I particularly love their range of ceramics, which are absolutely stunning. It’s a great place to find unusual, individually designed gifts, beautiful for the home.
If you are looking for the ultimate gift then visit The Clock Workshop and view some of their exquisite, antique clocks. Time pieces are beautifully fascinating and are works of art in themselves, some ornate, some simple, all telling their own story.
I paid a little visit to Consortium on Jewry Street; it was so busy it was difficult to get past the front door. Once inside it was rather chilly but this didn’t seem to deter anyone, evidently popular there were people popping up everywhere. Their main look being vintage, industrial style furniture; they have some beautiful throws in limes, pinks and oranges and a great selection of cushions, baskets and rugs.
I finally headed to the Winchester market and came across the wonderful ceramics of ‘Tregear Pottery Design’ from the Isle of Wight. With patterns of seagulls, fish and sailing and all in these pretty whites and blue/greys and green/grey tones.
Happy Christmas shopping; may this season be filled with love, peace and joy and goodwill and happiness for 2017. #winchestershopping #interiordesign #homeaccessories #antiques
Now the temperature has finally dropped after a wonderfully warm spell resulting in those gorgeous, intense, autumnal colours, bright, crisp sunshine, blue skies and green fields, what happens when the sunshine no longer filters through the window and those dark evenings and rainy days make us dread those winter blues? If you haven’t had joyous memories of the more wintry months start to create them with positive connections enabling you to look forward to each season rather than just the warm ones. We often think about what we wear with the changes of seasons but how do our homes change and how can we keep cosy and happy through the darker, colder days and nights.
There are the bigger choices you make with a property; like underfloor heating and the colour temperature of integrated lighting, which can make a huge impact on comfort and your mood and with these ever more popular options you can have timber or stone flooring and feel as cosy as you would with carpet.
On a smaller scale create warm, soft, ambient lighting with side lamps and consider buying lamp shades with gold lining for a rich, warm soft, subtle glow. Gold has become more popular again and there are lots of attractive pieces of furniture and accessories to add a hint of warmth out there without going overboard. Think about adding subtle touches of it in your home with an old gold distressed frame for a piece of artwork or photo and for a coffee table or side table with a gilt base try Made.com.
A fireplace can be wonderful to come home to on a nippy evening and there are so many choices out there enabling you to enjoy that feeling of an open fire. Get an expert to assess the possibilities and make sure that it’s heat capacity compliments any existing heating you may have; be aware that overheating can be as uncomfortable as under heating.
Times used to be when one would have loose summer covers for one’s sofa and chairs which would be packed away for winter. I think this is still a great idea and something that should be considered; cotton and linen for summer and velvet for winter, how delicious. The other practical benefit being that it makes your furniture last longer. See sofa.com for their fabulous upholstered furniture and range of exquisite velvets.
Draughts can affect all types of properties old and new and a fabric draught excluder may seem terribly old fashioned but why not get them made bespoke for windows and doors in your own choice of fabric? Cosying up on the sofa or covering the bed with a wool or cashmere throw is a treat. Going for pure cashmere from a reputable source is an investment bringing lasting enjoyment but there are also some great budget options out there, which can be surprisingly soft. Try West Elm or Zara Home. I also love a traditional bed quilt on top of my duvet for extra snugness. Steep your toes into a sheepskin rug last thing at night and first thing in the morning Skandi style from 'IWOOT.
Don't be afraid to add a bit of texture and colour and humour into your home. Mix the old with the new creating a home that looks like it has evolved over time. I love Graham and Greens Blue Jellyfish Paperweight and their bright appliqued Character cushions. For something a little more classical try Robert Kime or Chelsea Textiles for truly beautiful, traditional embroidered and ethnic cushions. For quirky and stylish check out hutchingsandbrandt, their Metal stag hooks are both seasonal and stylish.
Creating a cosy ambience isn’t complete without the fragrant glow of a candle. For a beautiful winter sensory experience check out Jo Loves for candles with wonderful names such as ‘Smoked Plum and Leather’, ‘Salted Caramel’, Red Truffle 21’ and ‘Log Fires’. A personal favourite of mine are the Manuel Canovas candle range from Colefax & Fowler, each one has a comforting, warmth to it. Smells don’t just have to reflect winter though consider those which generally make you happy. I tend to be drawn to a mixture of Vanilla, Jasmine and fresh cotton and these keep me happy all year round, so keep your favourite spritzer on hand for a quick squirt to lift your mood.
Finally, I can highly advocate having a pooch around the house. My dog Furio is small and white and looks fabulous in any interior, whilst also keeping my feet toasty warm. But seriously, whilst considering all the commitments having a pet entails; he forces you to face the elements and stride out into all weathers experiencing incredible winter mornings of star filled skies and when it’s not so star filled his happiness is infectious, just make sure you clean his paws before he walks across your sheepskin rug.
Author - Rachel Niddrie
Winchester based Interior Designer. Sharing my design experiences, likes and loves and all things I find beautiful, useful and inspirational in the world of interiors