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’s 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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Light in the home – switches and circuits

Forbes & Lomax button dimmer controller in stainless steel

And so we come to the final chapter of this lighting series. I know, it’s very sad isn’t it? We’ve covered natural light, hidden lighting, statement lighting, accent lighting, and now for the season finale – switches and circuits. Hmmmm…perhaps a bit of an anti-climax. Nevertheless, this behind-the-scenes cleverness and trickery is just as important as the lighting itself and proper planning will ensure your room is adapted perfectly for your lifestyle. This is how your lighting scheme can reach its full potential.

Feature image: Forbes & Lomax button dimmer controller in stainless steel

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As featured on Houzz – How to Stay on Top of Your Bathroom Renovation

Jennifer Chong in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK on Houzz

Last week I proudly announced that my first article for Houzz had been published – A beginner’s guide to managing an interior design project. It seems to have been quite the success so huge thanks to everyone who read it, liked it, shared it, commented on it – love you all!

Since it went so well, the lovely people at Houzz have just published another of my articles – How to Stay on Top of Your Bathroom Renovation. If you’re planning on doing up your bathroom or cloakroom, do nothing until you’ve read this! Bathrooms can be complicated and tricky so getting it right requires serious planning and organisation. Hopefully, with these top tips, you’ll soon be handling it like a pro!

Feature image: Sims Hilditch via Houzz

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As featured on Houzz – A Beginner’s Guide to Managing an Interior Design Project

Jennifer Chong in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, UK on Houzz

NEWSFLASH! I was recently asked to write some pieces on interior design project management for Houzz, an online platform for home renovation and design. I am very excited to inform you that the first article has been published today – A Beginner’s Guide to Managing an Interior Design Project. It’s is an overview of tips and tricks of the project management process to help you turn your design ideas into design reality with the slickness of a real pro. From detailed specifications to the various pitfalls to avoid, there’s a loads of helpful advice for those choosing to manage their own interiors project.

Feature image: Sigmar via Houzz

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Light in the home – accent lighting

The series continues with our next chapter on accent and task lighting. I’m always going on about lighting levels because they are so important for both design and functionality. Every room will require different levels of lighting depending on how you want to use it. Whether it’s the time of day, activity you’re doing, or the no. of people, being able to adjust the lighting to suit your mood or task is vital for a well designed and practical home. Get it right and you’ll barely notice it because it just works; if it’s wrong, it’s the most annoying thing ever. Accent lighting gives you the flexibility to create different settings and transform your space to work for you.

Feature image: New SS16 lighting range from Loaf

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Light in the home – statement lighting

Lighting is a huge part of interiors, both in form and function. There is a plethora of light fittings available, from budget to extortionate, but I have to say that much of it (dare I say – the majority?) is not actually very nice. In the last chapter, we looked at hidden lighting which demonstrated the impact and effect of just the light itself. Today we consider the more tangible aspect of statement lighting and how light fittings can create a stunning design statement as well as offering a practical purpose.

Feature image: Norm 06 shades, £72.00 from Rume

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Light in the home – hidden lighting

Light in the home - hidden lighting

Spring has officially sprung. With Easter efficiently done and dusted before April and the clocks going forward, we’re on our way to lovely long days of (fingers crossed) sunshine. Even with the most gloriously sunny days, our homes all need a helping hand and that’s where the rest of this mini series comes in. Having covered natural light last week, we now look to artificial lighting. As we will see, light in the home is not all about function and practicality. Sure, it’s key to the prevention of bumping into stuff in the dark but it’s also about design – creating shapes, moods and interesting features.

So, onto one of my favourites – hidden lighting. Sometimes it’s all about the light itself and not about the fitting. Hidden lighting can be a bold design statement in its own right or a subtle hint to highlight another design feature. It’s such a simple tool that will seriously up your interiors game. We’re talking next level. Onwards to chapter two…

Featured image from mckimm residential design via Houzz

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Under achieving

Harry Potter knows better than most people how annoying that space is under the stairs. It tricks you into thinking it will be useful storage space, but how do we utilise that space to our best advantage? I know my under stairs cupboard leaves something to be desired, but that’s probably because we treat it like it’s some kind of bottomless black hole. Anything that doesn’t appear to have a home goes under the stairs. It’s now so ridiculous that I couldn’t even tell you half the stuff that’s in there, let alone reach it. I can’t be the only one, so if you’re guilty of the same then read on. Continue reading “Under achieving”

Open plan living

Amazonias Wildwood Tiles from Walls & Floors Ltd

Smashing down all one’s internal walls to create a big open space is a trend that’s been around for a long time now. The gods of the interiors and architectural world are now saying that ‘broken plan is the new open plan’ and I have to say, I’m totally on board with this. However, despite that, I sincerely doubt this is the end of open plan living.

The beauty of the open plan space is that you can maximise the room you have by essentially overlapping what would be separate rooms. This gives the look and feeling of more space and a larger home. One large area also means that everyone can be in the same room doing different things, which encourages sociable living within a home. Yet another bonus is that the lack of walls allows you to optimise the natural light levels.

As with everything in life, it’s not all roses. Despite it’s benefits, open plan living can be tricky to get right. It’s hard to make a large vacuous space feel cosy and homely so it can feel cold and exposed. Plus there’s the risk that your different areas feel disjointed, furniture can look lost and trying to design around so many different factors means everything is compromised.

Ok, that was a really long intro so I’ll move swiftly on…

Featured image from Walls & Floors Ltd
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