Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Brit Decor: Summer living room update with Dwell

Images / Copyright of Mike Ahern

I had been feeling the need to update the cottage for some time - this is a seasonal thing for me with the onset of every Summer and the prospect of brighter, longer days. This time of year allows me to literally see each living space in a new light and assess what does and doesn't work so well within each decorative scheme. So imagine my delight when the team over at Dwell asked me if I'd like to update my home with some of their key products, to show how easy it is to re-vamp and re-organise our living spaces with a few choice items! 

For my mini-makeover I began with the living room, which is the hub of the house and my favourite place to kick-back and experience some downtime. Apart from the fireplace mantel, I had become acutely aware of a lack of shelving in this room, as these offer a means of displaying favourite items and can provide additional storage space. 

I opted for Dwell's 'Escala' shelves in white because I knew that the matt finish would blend seamlessly into the brilliant white walls without appearing to intrude upon this modestly-sized space. These bring a subtle chalky architecture to the room and I love how the white gives a fresh look which really enhances the bright colours of my chosen objects of interest, now proudly on display.

For the shelving I have also added two further products from Dwell's collection - the charming 'clay vase' (bottom shelf) for that artisan/handcrafted look, and the white 'marble toothbrush holder' (second shelf from the top). Sometimes it pays to think outside of the box and I really wanted to add one of 2015's hottest materials, marble, into my living room. Here, I've ditched the toothbrush and instead utilised the holder as a stationery pot, although I may even use this as a vase at some point!

Finally, I chose Dwell's 'Aztec cup tower' to bring a touch of pastel geo-goodness into the mix and liven up my coffee table. These colourful espresso cups give just the right balance of energy and calm through a combination of chalky greens, pinks and greys in an exciting array of patterns - perfect for some lively coffee table talk with friends.

Key to my choices were how well each product would work in harmony with the existing scheme (without having to redecorate) and their functionality within the room. For a closer look at my product picks from Dwell, please see 'below' and of course, you can view much more at their online store.

The 'upstairs edit' in my home makeover with Dwell will be coming soon!

This is a sponsored post

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Brit Decor: Up close & personal

It's been an exceptionally busy whirlwind of a month here at Brit Decor, so I just wanted to share a recent interview that I did with Posh Flooring Supplies, which gives a bit of an insight into me, how I work as a designer, and the history of Brit Decor. 

In reality, I couldn't have done any of this without the support of YOU, so I think this is definitely the perfect moment to share the love - thank you for reading!


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a thirty-something designer living in the beautiful Somerset countryside with my partner and two cats. I began my career as a Graphic Designer after graduating with a BA Hons in Graphic Communication, but since then I have gradually shifted my focus towards interior design in order to fulfil my dream of creating beautiful interiors - a passion which I share on my blog, Brit Decor. That's me in a nutshell!
How long have you been blogging?
I created the blog back in 2010 but it wasn't until 2013 that I began to post regularly and develop a readership. It was amazing to reach a point where I realised that this was the perfect vehicle for my creative output.

What made you start blogging?
Creatively I felt there was something missing in my life and I realised that blogging could be the perfect way of exploring my own creativity and sharing this with other like-minded people. Being completely in control of your own creative output is also hugely empowering!
What advice would you give to people looking to start a blog or magazine?
Quite simply - go for it! You can create a blog for free and it's a very user-friendly process. Even if you are not planning to make money from your blog, think in advance about your unique selling point - what will make your blog worth reading?
Where do you look for design inspiration?
Everywhere! I am constantly looking for inspiration and soak it up like a sponge - this might be through targeted exploration of interiors, shops, museums, architecture, magazines, or just day-to-day inspiration that I might take from looking around me - like an autumnal tree, or a moody grey sky.

Who are your favourite all time designers?
It's hard to avoid mentioning Sir Terence Conran - his contribution to British interiors has been pretty epic and I have always been a huge fan of his simple style aesthetic, right from the Habitat days. In terms of stylists, I'm a huge fan of Aussie stylist Mr Jason Grant. I just love his relaxed & utterly cool way of styling interiors.
What is your favourite interior design trend right now?
Always at the top of my trend list is Scandi-style minimalist neutrals, because this 'look' is always going to be successful due to it's versatility and uncomplicated aesthetic. Additions to this style which have really caught my eye this year are herringbone wooden flooring, for it's chevron pattern and rich texture, and the emergence of plywood as an interior feature. Although the latter was previously considered a bit of an under dog in the design industry, in 2015 we've seen just how successful plywood can be when applied to a minimalist kitchen, for example.

Are there any trends you feel will get a lot of attention in 2015?
Yes, bold and graphic prints are are bursting onto the interiors scene everywhere!
What are you interior design ‘pet hates’?
Hate is a strong word - I prefer not to be overly judgemental when it comes to interior styles because I think it's healthy, creatively, to keep an open mind. That said, I would probably draw the line at Lilac!
What would your dream home be like?
I'm torn on this one, having lived in and around the Georgian city of Bath for much of my life, I am inclined to go with a sensitively restored Georgian townhouse complete with original architectural detailing. However, if I could split my time between two countries, I'd probably choose a white sugar cube house somewhere on a Mediterranean island.
What are your favourite blogs right now and why?
One of my top reads has to be Curate and Display by the very talented Tiffany Grant-Riley - I'm always hugely inspired by her work.
What article on Brit D├ęcor would you consider your favourite?
Wow, now that's a difficult one! Probably one of my 'Brit Decor makes' projects, where I get to explore a creative idea from conception through to creating the final item - and then share the entire journey with my readers, and hopefully inspire them too. A recent favourite was my attempt at making a Shibori dye cushion.

Please don't forget to check out the Posh Flooring Supplies website by clicking here!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Brit Decor: It's a green thing

Images / Copyright Mike Ahern

With the whirlwind of horticultural excellence that is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, about to be dismantled again for another year, it has been all about green here at the cottage. I make no secret about my passion for gardening and in many ways I am living the dream with my very own cottage garden to play in and, of course, to relax in also.

Inspired by Chelsea's amazing display of creativity and expert know-how, I decided to give our living room a little green-themed update this week. This is the beauty of interiors styling - in many instances it only takes a handful of considered objects to totally transform the look and feel of a space. You can turn a scheme's palette from hot to cold or from neutral to multi-colour in an instant.

For the living room I wanted to keep my theme fresh and zingy with a palette of greens in an array of shades, shapes and textures. I find that books, asides from a good read, also offer a great quick-fix for adding colour and interest whilst houseplants, a big favourite here on Brit Decor, bring architectural shapes and texture into the mix. The fresh green tones also work well against the brilliant white walls to create a light and uplifting scheme.

Who knows what my next theme might be...happy styling folks!



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