Add layers

Love Thursdays, episode 2 of the show I am appearing in, Get Your House in Order (8pm Channel 4) airs this evening. In this weeks episode Sylvia who has spent over time approximately £100,000 on stuff struggles with letting go. Its a challenge on all fronts, for Nick to actually get enough money from the stuff to give to me for the re-design, for Sylvia obviously in parting with things she has had for decades and for both Sylvia and I to meet in the middle as we are a little different when it comes to design. Will Sylvia like her newly designed house?  I can honestly say right up until last I couldn’t call it. As confident as I am with my design and as much as I love it and endorse it, it doesn’t matter two hoots if your client isn’t happy! Shall leave you in suspense until this evening!

Imperfection, eclecticism and quirkiness is how I described my style recently to a journalist. For me (at least) it’s so hard to be surprised anymore so what I set out to do is add layers of interest to give people the opportunity to be tantalised. In the store, and for my design work I want to create spaces so dense with references its impossible to know where to look. An easy way to start is with rugs. Rugs are great for adding that tactile element, and not just that for open plan spaces (that at times can feel rather cold) they are great for softening. Use them as a pathway; layer one over another if you dare. For one of the episodes, I fell in love with an Ikea rug not dissimilar to below. Black and white striped it adds an immediate contemporary tone to the space as well as grounding it beautifully. You can pick up rugs for a song if you know where to look, auction houses, flea markets, eBay, Anthropologie (beautiful), Urban Outfitters (cool) or take a trip to Morocco or Istanbul and wander the souks (so want to do that)!

Anyways that’s me done, painter arrives today (yay hay) to repaint the hallway whole 4 flights of it, the bathroom a new colour and the outside, in 2 days, wondering if I am being a little over ambitious?

And the winner is…..

Its been the hardest thing to do I’ve gone back and forth thank you thank you for all your amazing comments so wish I could give everyone a place.

There are 3 winners and they are as follows:


Helen Stanish


Congrats you guys, can I ask you to email Ainslee at the store ( so you can co-ordinate dates.

See you soon x

How not to decorate

Wow guys amazing responses thank you. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to choose it’s an impossible task. The competition ends at 12 so at noon I will sit down in the garden with a coffee and try and figure out a winner. Wish I could let everyone win its a tough one.

So lets talk interiors, I believe every room needs a dash of glam, a dollop of boho a mish mash of styles if you will, whether your decorating a palazzo or an apartment the same principles apply. That is of course to make your space feel well travelled, eclectic, tantalising and memorable. I have no time for the perfect home, that kind of unattainable look where every room has been decorated just so, with nothing out of place. Style to me should be easy going and carefree, a little messed up.  I want my clients, friends and family to feel that the moment they walk thru the door they are immediately at ease, uplifted and excited. Otherwise what the hell is the point?

Two images below illustrate how not to design. All the money in the world doesn’t get you a cool interior!

The individual pieces are beautiful, the paint colour is beautiful and yet this living space feels  static and  uptight. You don’t feel at ease the minute you walk through the door. It needs stuff, stuff like books, candles, flowers, stuff,  something to knock it off kilter its way to tasteful

Again uptight. The best interiors to me are those imbued with the sensibility and personality of their owners, this looks like a designer has come in followed the usual blueprint, produced a very tasteful space but it lacks spirit. So there you go, you can have all the money in the world, only trouble is style has got nothing to do with it.



Competition Time

Competition time!! I was thinking it would be great to give away a master class  – its a pretty easy competition all you have to do is write why you want to come along, I shall select the best answer and announce the winner tomorrow pm. Competition ends noon tomorrow.

Let me give you a little insight into what we will be covering.  We shall  start with my top 15 rule breakers that will take your home to a whole other level, followed by a ‘be brave’ section so interesting combos on layouts, colour and lighting. Then there is a house tour, lunch of course (hopefully in the garden if the weather holds). More stuff on things to make your home feel great, a mini challenge (don’t freak its fun), instant updates and finally design on a shoestring. Rounded off with cakes from Violet and a glass of champers.


If so let me know why (oh and you can also enter via facebook)