Ways to create a sociable kitchen.

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I have committed a major blog fail!!!! The main thing you should do when being a blogger is….actually blog! Keep you lovely readers up to date, informed and excited about interiors!  But then I went and got a new job! Very exciting news as its at a kitchen designers, who quite frankly, design DREAM kitchens! I absolutely love it, but it has meant that my little blog and my Scout Styling work was slightly put on the back burner for a while.  I have been doing their social media, marketing and events, along with learning lots about kitchen design. It is fun, but very hard to fully commit to two social media accounts and websites! I am lucky though, as it will allow me to keep up to date with the latest interiors news, products, materials and trends, and also still allow me to work on my Scout Styling ‘room in a box’ designs.

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The ALNO Cera available at Bradbury’s of Exeter – check out our website and follow our Facebook page for more info and fabulous pictures of dream kitchens.

Seeing as I am now learning about kitchen design, I thought I would write a piece about Kitchens, and more specifically, how to make your kitchen more sociable. Gone are the days when the kitchen was just a place to cook dinner, a small room at the back of the house purely for the preparation of food, cut off from the rest of the home and the family. Now, our kitchens are sociable spaces, the hub of the home, and quite often, the main entertaining and living space.

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The trend for open plan living is definitely not slowing down and is set to grow in 2017 as more and more people are choosing not to move, but to stay put and extend their homes to create large open plan kitchen and living spaces, with bi-fold doors, roof lanterns and kitchen islands being the most popular alterations. The idea of zoning your areas, for cooking, dining and living is increasing in popularity; so rather than one large open space, more families are realising that having separate areas to allow you to escape the mess and noise is a good idea!

A large island. A kitchen island is perfect for creating unity, while also allowing you to zone your areas. In a large, open plan room, it divides the preparing and cooking area from the dining and living area, but it also brings people around it to eat, read, chat and have a cup of coffee. Add lots of storage, some statement stools and a large pendant light, and you’ve created a real focal point for the room.

ALNO contemporary kitchen islands

Bi-fold doors.   ‘Bringing the outside in’ is another growing trend, as people create extensions that have whole walls made of glass and allow you to fling open the bi-fold doors, and have unspoiled views and access to the garden, almost as one continuous space. This is great for creating social unity as it allows you to interact with family or guests in the garden whilst you are in the kitchen without any division.

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Sofas. If you have the space, a sofa or pair of sofas opposite each other, is a great addition to a kitchen. It allows a cosy, snug area for people to relax in whist someone is cooking, or to retire to with a glass of wine after a meal. If you choose a bright colour or a chesterfield, then you are also creating a focal point and much needed interest to a neutral colour scheme. A comfy place to sit will always bring people into the kitchen.

Music. Music will always bring people together and it one of the best ways to add life and atmosphere to a room. You could create a small music corner with an old record player and comfy old armchair where people can sit and thumb through your record collection, or you could install the latest state of the art wireless sound system, either way, its a great way to make a sociable space. At a party, music will always allow people to congregate in the kitchen and family will have fun Saturday afternoon dancing in the kitchen; we can often be found circling the table doing embarrassing moves to the Kinks!

Outside Styling. Seeing as the sunshine seems to have arrived, it is a great excuse to take the kitchen outside and create a comfy, stylish outdoor dining area. Throw a rug down, take some large cushions out, maybe even a small sofa, light some candles and style your outside space as you would your indoor space. Hang some festoon lighting and colourful pom poms in the trees and invite everyone round to enjoy the warm evenings.

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This image by Lisa Dawson Styling is a gorgeous and fun way to do outdoor socialising and entertaining, and if you don’t already follow her Instagram, take a look as its packed full of great inspiration and her blog is always a great read!

I’m thinking of running a competition in the next few weeks to win one of my Scout Styling room designs in a box, so will keep you all updated on that soon!

 

 

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Spring Update – simple ways to rejuvenate your interiors.

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Spring is in the air, the daff’s are in full bloom and stuffing our faces full of chocolate eggs is just around the corner. If you’re looking to add a bit of Spring freshness to your interior decor, here’s a round up of quick ways to bring the outside in and liven up your interiors.

  1. Botanical prints.

Adding a few botanical prints is a good way to add a fresh look, and the botanical trend is still very current so there are lots of lovely print out there, such as these lovely ones from Etsy.

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2. Soft Furnishings.

One of my favourite things is to climb into a freshly made bed with brand new bedcovers and this is a very simple way to get ready for spring. This bedding from White Company is so elegant and has added interest with the Pom Poms which I am seeing everywhere in interiors right now and love the quirky aspect they add.

Also check out @cushionsatthemanor on Instagram as they do some of the loveliest (and affordable) Pom Pom cushions I’ve seen!

3. Fresh Flowers.

Adding fresh flowers in beautiful vase’s all around the house is another relatively cheap and quick way to add colour and life into our interiors. Tulips and Daffodils are classic spring flowers and are so bright and cheerful, especially against a white or grey colour scheme.

4. Storage.

No spring clean is gonna happen until you have your storage sorted. I’m of the mindset that if you can’t see it, it’s not there. I have drawers all around the house shoved full of shit! But as long as it’s hidden and things look pretty, I’m good!

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These belly baskets are great for filling with toys or general bits and bobs, and the dipped white effect gives a cool, contemporary edge.

5. Think about your layout.

Ever since I was a child I would move my bedroom furniture around every few months, and I still, to the annoyance of my family, do it now. Finn will get in from school and notice that a new wall has been painted grey, a sofa has moved or a rug has vanished, only to find it pop up in a different room. A room re-fresh instantly gives a new feeling to your interiors and it is totally free to do. Quite often you will find this new layout works better for your lifestyle and the way you use the room. Every few months is a bit extreme I admit, but once in a while, it can work wonders. Grab a pen and paper, draw a rough sketch of the room and play about with new ideas of how the room could work differently and go for it.

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2017 up and coming trends (and how to use them in your home)

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2017 brings all new interior trends to watch out for and you will start seeing them in the glossy mags and all over Instagram. You may like aspects of the latest looks but not want to invest in totally redecorating your space or feel confident enough to really go crazy trend wise. That’s ok. That’s good. Trends are so fleeting, it’s probably best not to follow them by the letter but to take parts of them that you love and that fit in with your style and home. That way your look will be timeless and you won’t have to keep changing and replacing things.

So…what are the forecast trends for 2017 I hear you shout?!

Here’s a round up of my favourites and how to bring them into your space:

Greenery… Being Pantone colour of the year, of course we are going to see fresh, bright green pops of colour creeping into all aspects of design. It’s a bright and happy colour but quite strong, so rather than smothering all of your walls in it, I would bring in this trend by having lots of beautiful flowers and plants around and also choose one key piece to, as Pantone put it ‘reinvigorate’ and ‘rejuvenate’ your look. Go green for 2017!

Lime green ottoman. Made.com
This Green ottoman from Made.com is a great piece in a classic style that also gives you a bright, fun and trend worthy colour!

Feeling Blue… Strong and moody dark blue’s have been growing steadily in interiors for a while now and a personal favourite of mine. Moving away from greys (although I am still obsessed with my beloved grey) I love the warm and edgy vibe that indigo, navy and Prussian blue can give. They make a space look current whilst still creating atmosphere. However, 2017 is going to see brighter, jewel like blues creeping into our homes, and these can add a more glamorous and sophisticated look.

 

1.House of Fraser oversized blue cushion

2. Moroccan tile cobalt blue cushion

3. Blue throw by London blankets

Cushions and throws are a great way to quickly and cheaply update a living space. These blues have great impact, and you can swap or change up the look when you need to. Blue works well with a lot of other colours as well, so you can add in accents of mustard yellow, corals or orange if you want more interest, or you can keep it all blue for a serene and cool look.

Artisans…  Home made and DIY crafting projects are very popular but 2017 will see more skilled artisan products gaining popularity with a lot of people preferring to shop for high quality products that will stand the test of time and stay with them through their lives. People are becoming increasingly aware of the environment and like to use craftspeople with sustainable products.

1. Handmade ceramic planter

2.Handmade porcelain bowl

3.Handmade ceramic mug

Natural materials like ceramics, porcelain, wood and stone give a real quality feel to a home and if used along side more modern materials and colours, they can make a scheme look really cool. These items from Not on the High Street are a lovely way to incorporate artisan, wonderfully made products but without huge expense, and who doesn’t love a bit of new kitchenware!!

Glamour and Opulence …  If you love a really sophisticated and luxurious interior, there are lots of products and room schemes that go all out on the glamour! Copper accents have been used for a while now and are a great way to add a touch of class to a look but 2017 is set to see this trend sore with the addition of lots of reflective and mirrored surfaces, gorgeous velvets and brass and marble materials being used for anything from kitchen surfaces to clocks and lamps.

 

 

  1. Harlequin wallpaper
  2. Ivy side table – brass and antiqued mirror
  3. Handmade gold lined lampshade 
  4. Habitat copper vase

These pieces are an easy way to incorporate this trend into your living space without spending a huge amount of money and they really create a slick scheme and look more expensive than they actually are. However, if you need a stand out, wow factor statement piece, this lush, dark green velvet armchair with brass frame from made.com is going to give you just that! A little more expensive compared to using accessories to create your trend worthy interiors but this design is timeless and never going to go out of fashion, so there’s an excuse for you!


Grass cotton velvet armchair

These are just some of my favourite looks and styles coming up in 2017 and obviously you should take trends with a pinch of salt and always go with what you love for your home.

I would love to hear about the trends that you are looking forward to this year and how you plan to use them in your homes?
xx

 

*I have not been paid or sent products for this post, these are my own opinions and just items that I love and would use in my home.

New year…New home (until chickenpox arrived!) 

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2017…I was all ready to leap into the new year refreshed and revved up to start my looooong list of home decorating projects I’ve been eager to start ever since we moved into our new home in Devon. Nothing major, just paint every room, get new furnishings for every room, repaint a chest of drawers oh and a Gotham city-scape in Finn’s room. Easy!

2nd Jan…Lola gets chicken pox! The first week has been spent tearing my hair out every night and my days wandering around in a trance. Not to be disheartened I decided to start all of these projects all at once, so spent my week doing random bits of each job whenever I had a spare second…so I painted half a chest of drawers while the kids were in the bath, part of the utility while I did the dinner and the living room while watching my weekly dose of First Dates! You can just guess how half finished the house looks now but I will keep you informed on the progress… this is the colour I’m doing the bedroom…

Farrow and Ball light blue bedroom

Did I mention I’d also started the bedroom! Oops. It’s Farrow and Ball Light Blue, but it’s not blue at all. It’s a really lovely colour though, that gives a very calming and cosy look for a bedroom.

Happy New year and I’ll post the finished projects hopefully soon…I’d love to hear about the things on your new year/new home lists and the projects you want to finish, so let me know…

xx