Sofa.com collaboration with Barneby Gates for Design Lab AW16

sofa.com with Barneby Gates Bluebell three seat sofa in Owl linen, Bluebell armchair in Owl woven, Ottoman footstool in Owl linen

I do love hearing about exciting new collaborations and when they’re with up and coming designers then that’s even better (because everyone loves an underdog). It’s for this very reason that the Design Lab from sofa.com gets a big thumbs up from me! ūüĎćūüŹľ

The bi-annual initiative by sofa.com teams up with UK textile designers to create beautiful¬†limited edition collections. These exclusive ranges pair¬†the stylish¬†furniture designs of sofa.com with fabrics designed by fresh, new talent. Their AW16 collection¬†with design duo Barneby Gates¬†launches next month but I’ve had a sneak peek and decided it’s too good to keep to myself!

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Ingenious ways to store your bike

Hands up – who owns a bike? I’m one of many cyclists in Cambridge, and¬†I pootle around the city when the weather’s decent. Mine’s not a particularly fancy bike but I adore the¬†big wicker basket on the front which I can fill with bunches of flowers and baguette sticks as I cycle around waving at people. Ok, it’s not quite like that but you get the idea. With¬†Tour de France approaching in just a couple of weeks, it’s got me thinking about the rest of us. Whether¬†you’re a¬†leisurely, fair weather cyclist like me, or a hardcore¬†racing cyclist, or an off-roading mountain biker, or a commuting cyclist, or you just own a bike but never actually use it (you know who you are), we all have one common problem – where to store your bike?

Basically, you have three options – on the wall, up high or outside. Check out these ingenious storage solutions for your wheels.

Feature image: via Dwell

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House goals: The Kitchen Larder

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Anyone who knows me well will know that I love food. I love eating it, I love cooking it, I love how it looks, I love the aromas, I’m pretty much obsessed with it. For me, cooking and baking is therapeutic, giving me¬†time to¬†focus solely on the task in hand and block out everything else. It helps to clear my mind and provides an experimental outlet for me to¬†create tasty dishes that bring joy to those who eat them (unless something goes very wrong).

My kitchen is bursting at the seams with gadgets and ingredients and the never-ending quest for storage is a perpetual challenge. Every space is filled in the blink of an eye with more “essential” items. For a while, I longed for¬†a dedicated larder¬†cupboard.¬†As I got older, I felt my desire¬†for a walk-in wardrobe¬†shift towards a walk-in larder. The dream has since been upgraded to a Nigella-style walk through pantry. What next? Pretty soon my kitchen will take over the entire house. I feel it’s only a matter of time.

So, fellow foodies, whether you have loads of space or things are a little tight,¬†here’s how to create your own swoon-worthy¬†larder¬†area.

Featured image: Loft Kitchen by Team 7 in walnut by Wharfside

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A how (not) to guide to DIY alcove shelves

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Let me just make something very clear from the start. This is no tutorial. This is not a “How To” guide. If anything, this is a “How Not To” guide. DIY or any kind of hard labour is not my strong point and I’m the first to admit that. I’m organised, I’m creative, I get s**t done, but I do this by developing design ideas then efficiently¬†coordinating others to do it.¬†In my profession as an interior design project manager, I rely on the skills of others to make things look beautiful and bring my ideas to reality rather than subject my clients to the work of my own fair hands. When it comes to getting my hands dirty or any kind of physical effort, you probably don’t want me on your team. However, what I do have in spades is a can-do positive attitude! So think of this more as a demonstration that if I can do it, anyone can do it.

Bespoke joinery can be a wonderful thing and I love using it in my projects. It gives a distinctive¬†feel to a space and can work wonders creating stunning features and smart storage solutions. However, I know that the budget doesn’t always stretch to custom made options and so this post is about how to achieve a unique look without calling in the pros.

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Feioi’s falling for…mirrors

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It’s nearly the end of the month, and that means payday! Introducing my Feioi Finds¬†series to give you some ideas for your shopping wishlist this month. It could be a¬†big splurge, a little gift to yourself, or an irresistible bargain that’s just too good to pass up. Go on…treat yo self. You deserve it!

Each month I’ll be¬†featuring¬†inspirational pieces that I’ve been falling¬†for and I’m looking at¬†both designer and high street brands so you can get the look whatever your budget.¬†Each month I’ll¬†focus on one topic, item or look. If you’re searching¬†for something specific, get in touch in the comments section and suggest something for the next Feioi Finds.

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

This month I urge you to indulge your inner narcissist with these gorgeous mirrors. Mirrors¬†make wonderful decorative features and focal points as well as reflecting light and enhancing space. More importantly, they’re essential¬†for checking your hair is still on point or perfecting your selfie game.

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All the small things

Think of the big picture. That’s what people always say, isn’t it? Of course the big picture, and being able to visualise it, is very important when it comes to interior design project management but what about the little things? Little things can get pushed aside while considering the big picture, delayed until a later date or forgotten about completely. However, it’s the little things that turn “nice” interior¬†design into OMG A-MAZ-ING¬†interior design. And who doesn’t want that?

I’m not going to list eeeeeevery tiiiiiiny little detail you might want to consider. It varies so much from room to room, house to house, project to project. I’d be here forever and you’ll be bored. Instead, here are a few ideas to get you started. The rest is up to you…

Featured image: Bloomingville Gold Finish Soap Dispenser, part of the Golden range of bathroom accessories from Quince Living.

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Inside out

I may be tempting fate by saying this out loud¬†but it would appear that summer has arrived in the UK – yippee! Who knows how long it’ll last but with reports stating that 2016 is set to be the hottest year since records began, it’s looking promising. As a country famous for its¬†temperamental weather, many of us are very good at bringing the outside in. Lush house plants, fragrant herb pots and beautiful vases adorned with flowers decorate our homes so that we can still enjoy a little nature on those indoor rainy days.

However, with the sunshine and warm weather out in force, we need to think about taking the inside outside for a change! Here are a few of my favourite ways to bring your living space outdoors.

Featured image: Outdoor entertaining by Nkuku

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As featured on Houzz – A Beginner‚Äôs Guide to Managing an Upholstery Project

Jennifer Chong in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK on HouzzMy latest article for¬†Houzz¬†has dropped and it’s a goodie (if I do say so myself). Everyone loves a bit of upholstery and the options for bespoke and customised pieces is increasing all the time. Not to mention the recent surge of upcycling, with reupholstery being the ideal way to revive old furniture.

However, the idea of taking on such a project can be a little confusing when you look into it. There’s much more to think about than simply which¬†fabric to choose. A Beginner’s Guide to Managing an Upholstery Project covers¬†my hints and tips to stay on the ball as well as the common pitfalls to avoid.

Feature image: UBER Interiors via Houzz

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A touch of black

Interior design loves a black accent. Think of it like your favourite pair of black boots or a little black jacket. It goes with everything, brings out the brightness in colours and makes an outfit pop. Case in point:

All images via Pinterest: Image 1 / Image 2 / Image 3

Black is a colour that many are afraid to use in interiors. Common concerns are that it’ll be dark, heavy, harsh. All myths my dear friends! A little (or a lot of) black can elevate your interior design and enhance a¬†look like you never imagined. No matter what your style, a little splash of the darkest hue is exactly what you need to complete the look. Not convinced? Hear me out…

Featured image: Aver white extending dining table and Eames style dining chairs from Danetti
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