Monday, 7 April 2014

Your Home: Introducing English Abode


This week I want to introduce you to a website that I have spent much of the weekend trawling looking for unique pieces for my current project. It's a new luxury interiors website called English Abode, which encompasses a range of styles from beautiful antique pieces to modern and vintage - something for everyone and I for one am totally hooked! As well as having items for sale they have a magazine section of the site packed with interiors inspiration and ideas.

One of the main things I'm looking to source at the moment are wallpapers to brighten up the bedrooms; I have five to design and although I want a similar colour palette across the house I'm keen to introduce a variety of textures and finishes to make each space individual. Whilst browsing English Abode I stumbled across an favourite of mine from the wallpaper world - British design team Turner Pocock Cazalet. Their designs include a variety of animals and birds as well as more fun images such as the tennis print above all elegantly finished in a range of colours.


To celebrate the launch and my discovery of their website, English Abode are generously offering all Little Miss Homes readers a 10% discount on all items except for antiques. Simply enter the code: ABODE10 at the checkout.



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{Images via English Abode}

Friday, 21 March 2014

Decorfest: Designer Spotlight with Ana Moly


With only two days to go until the first ever Decorfest, I want to share with you one last special Decorfest Designer Spotlight with the super talented Ana Moly, a children's lifestyle brand that will be exhibiting at the show in Wimbledon on Sunday. Really looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible there and meeting all of the talented exhibitors.  It starts at 10am and runs to 4pm at King's College School, Southside, Wimbledon SW19 4TT. See you there!

LMH
x

Please tell me a bit about your background and why you do what you do. 
I have always been creative and come from a very artistic family, I studied and began my career in fashion developing prints and graphics, my illustrations have always had a childlike appearance and I developed on this. I wanted to create children’s products that were fun and colourful but not necessarily over designed, the simpler styles can be as appealing to all ages, children and adults.

Where do you live and work and how do you balance the two?
I live and work in London. The city has such energy that inspires you creatively all the time. In regards to work life balance I believe as long as you are happy and not neglecting yourself the joys of life (or a little bit of them) then there is no particular balance, its something that changes all the time. When you enjoy what you do its hard to separate the two.



What or who inspires you?
Inspiration generally comes from my surroundings with a fashion background I work with very on trend styles and colours. And of course children, they are so inventive and carefree, you can draw from them easily and use it as an aspect in your designing.

What is your greatest achievement / what are you most proud of?
Starting this company. I enjoy expanding the brands identity into new products and hope to go further with this as the company develops.

Where’s your most inspirational place, home or away?
I grew up in the countryside and I always return, you can really experience the seasons there, there’s nothing better than a long walk in bracing winds and a log fire. But the city is an exciting place, you get small ideas from many cultures here, styles, trends change so quickly its hugely influential. And although most don’t, I love the summer in London everyone behaves like they are on vacation.




What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I like to try not plan too much, and relax, reading is new favourite time out. The new wave of ‘pop ups’ in London are thriving at the moment and I like to sample the different cuisines, products and new ideas that they come up with.

What is your favourite space in your home?
We have a wonderful terrace that is hidden from all, which I escape to and decompress with a culpa.

What is your most treasured belonging?
I have a velvet Captains chair that I treasure the most out of all my belongings, its very unusual and a keep for life.



What is your favourite thing about living in the UK?
The opportunities it offers. We are very supportive country and I think that’s something we should be proud of. Also the countryside and wildlife something I am keen to look after, this echoes in our companies philosophy of only manufacturing in the UK and using certified forests for our papers.

What is your top tip for creating a lovely home?
To put your own personality into it, buy things you like, heritage is a big thing for me, I think its lovely to have items given to you by friends and family that conjure up fond memories. And colour! Not everything has to compliment each other, sometimes I think it works when things clash terribly!

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Decorfest: Designer Spotlight with Imogen Heath









Please tell me a bit about your background and why you do what you do. 
I graduated in 2004 with a BA hons in textiles design, and worked as a designer for many years, before deciding the time was right to market myself as an independent designer. It has always been my dream to start up my own design business, but it was the economic down turn that influenced my decision to just go for it. Business funding at the time was hard to come by, but the princes trust came to my rescue, and in 2011 loaned me enough money to put on my first exhibition. I have never looked back, I really love what I do. It is a little scary at times and it’s very hard work, but, the sense of achievement, and freedom to create what I like more than motivates me, and keeps me excited about the future.
Where do you live and work and how do you balance the two? My boyfriend and I recently bought our first home together, and for the time being I have settled nicely into our spare room. I would love to separate work from home, and I have been looking for a suitable studio space for around a year now, but have not found anything that ticks all the boxes just yet. Brighton, where I live, is such a creative place and studio spaces are like gold dust! I am lucky my home has a large loft for storage, so I can just about manage.
What or who inspires you?
So many things inspire me. For me it is important to feel a personal connection to the work that I am creating in order to enjoy the process. My work is more often inspired by the materials I use, from photographs I have taken out and about to a broken stick dipped in ink.
My experimental approach, and curiosity towards materials and subjects is greatly influenced by my upbringing in a creative family and having access to a wide range of materials and an excellent selection of art books. I also think it’s the thirst to have a deeper understanding of a subject, and the motivation to be a better artist! I also spend a lot of time outdoors, which is of course for a textile designer the greatest source of inspiration.



What is your greatest achievement / what are you most proud of?
My greatest achievement is starting and making a success of a business on my own, and with limited means.  I am now a woman with many skills, and not just in design, I never thought I would be able to code a website for instance! I am extremely proud of this, and feel even prouder of the strong relationships I am building with my clients. I have stockists I can be proud of, and some very happy customers. Every-day brings a little reward; nothing beats knowing first-hand the response to the work for instance, or, the feeling of when a repeat order comes in.

Where’s your most inspirational place, home or away?
I keep a little notebook nearby at all times for ideas, However, when I need to get turn those ideas into proper sketches, I feel most inspired when completely free of distraction. Both my computer and my phone have to be turned off, so Sunday is always a good drawing day! Or, whenever I am on holiday.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I like to completely switch off, so a good book, or box set is always good. And of course, spending time with friends and family is top priority.



What is your favourite space in your home?
At the moment it is my garden. I am finding out what its really like to be able to enjoy your own garden, planting as many things as possible and taking a look a couple of times a day to see if anything has popped up!

What is your most treasured belonging?
Just one? Pictures and photographs. I have a couple of paintings by my mother and grandmother which are very dear to me, and boxes of old family photos, including some gems by my grandfather who wasn’t too bad with a camera.

What is your favourite thing about living in the UK?
Being near to Europe.

What is your top tip for creating a lovely home?
Colour and simplicity! Fill your home with beautiful colours and only have things around you that you love. That doesn’t mean I don’t like a bit of clutter, I love it… but I have recently discovered having moved many times lately what it’s like to de-junk and I feel so much better.

See Imogen along with 65 talented exhibitors at Decorfest in Wimbledon this weekend!


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Monday, 17 March 2014

Decorfest: The Countdown Begins!


The countdown is now on to the first ever Decorfest, which takes place this Sunday from 10am to 4pm in Wimbledon. I have already featured a few of the exhibitors on the blog and I have a couple more to squeeze in before the the big day on Sunday!

Today I would like to introduce you to the lovely Laura Felicity, who designs wallpaper and a whole range of other stunning interior accessories. 

Please tell me a bit about your background and why you do what you do.
I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 2009 with First Class Hons in BA Applied Arts. This is where I found my passion for print and surface design, gaining experience in both textile and paper screen printing. The excitement, passion and enthusiasm I graduated with for both wallpaper and textiles carried on throughout 2009, where I took on internships with other designers, carried on with screen printing and started my own product range.  This led me set up Laura Felicity one year after graduating in April 2010. 

Where do you live and work and how do you balance the two?
I live and work in North London.  I have a studio based at home in my converted garage, which is where everything bar the large screen print projects happen.  For the screen printing side I hire out both the textiles and paper screen print areas at the University of Hertfordshire, where I am also a Visiting Lecturer. Being based at home can be difficult to balance a living and working environment.  I am very lucky to have a boyfriend who is very supportive and reminds me from time to time to take a break from work (I can be a bit of a workaholic!).  As well as having a great networking community around me, enabling me to get away from home and break up the days working alone in the studio.



What or who inspires you?
It can sound cliché, but anything and everything can inspire me. Visually I find social media such as Instagram and Pinterest very inspiring for imagery, i.e. for new pattern designs, visions for bespoke wallpaper commissions I am working on, or general motivation. Being out and about is also visually stimulating.  This can be out walking the dogs, or socially.  This happened to me the other day; I was out at a restaurant with friends, and the wallpaper they had created a stimulus to the current bespoke wallpaper commission I am working on.  This has fed through to the inspiration of the final pattern design. The women I network and surround myself with are also inspiring.  These ladies come from all different types of businesses, not necessarily design led, and create an amazing energy when we are all together, motivating you in the right way and in the right direction.

What is your greatest achievement / what are you most proud of?
I think my greatest achievement so far is being able to set up a business in the middle of a
recession, and four years later (in April) I am still working hard to grow and put the business
on the map. My proudest moment so far is my first bespoke wallpaper commission. 

Where’s your most inspirational place, home or away?
I feel most inspired when I am away from home.  Here my mind is free to let all types of creative thoughts and ideas enter my head, without the thought of the business side.


What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working you can find me walking my two dogs, as well as spending time with family, friends and boyfriend.

What’s your favourite space in your home?
My favourite place at home is my bedroom.  It’s a relaxing environment that I can go to when I’m feeling like I need to unwind.

What is your most treasured belonging?
For my graduation my parents bought me an antique white gold diamond ring.  This is a constant reminder for me of how far I have come since graduating, and the support I have behind me for the choices I make in life.


What is your favourite thing about living in the UK?
The seasons.  We are so fortunate to experience all four seasons and with each live to see
the beauty of nature at each stage. 

What is your top tip for creating a lovely home?

Creating a home that is warm, cosy and inviting is something I think everyone wants to achieve.  My top tip for this is to collect and surround yourself with items that you love and make you smile.

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Saturday, 8 March 2014

My Work: Work Begins On Our New Project


I think the house is somewhere in there...

It's a lovely sunny Saturday in March and I can't believe that this is the first time in 2014 that I have managed to grab a moment to write and update you on all the Little Miss Homes news! Towards the end of last year things started to get a little out of control - we were putting the finishing touches to our Battersea project, sorting legals and planning permissions for our next project, as well as trying to complete the loft extension and refurbishment of our own house in just seven weeks...in the run up to Christmas!

We just about managed all of the above, then took a lovely couple of weeks off to explore California (more of that later), before arriving back at the end of January and starting work on our latest project, a 1930s semi-detached property in South West London. The house has been vacant for more than two years and, as you can see from the photos, is a little unloved to say the least.

We will be breathing love and life back into it as well as doing a large rear extension on the ground floor to create a lovely open plan kitchen, dining and sitting area and a loft extension to create a gorgeous master suite. As you can see from the pictures, the garden also needs a lot of work, which will be a big challenge but something I'm really looking forward to. As those who read the blog regularly know that I'm a bit of sucker for pretty flowers!

We hope to be finished by the end of May and I will keep you posted on our progress throughout.

As you scroll down the pictures you will head inside the house - these shots were taken just before us stripping it back to its bare bones *warning* they have a distinctly 1970s feel!

You can look forward to some much prettier images being posted on the blog later this week - I have some gorgeous homes away from home to share as well as another Decorfest blog post and some fab interiors inspiration and ideas.

LMH
x

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The front garden...which needs some landscaping before we can create parking for two cars...


The back garden was growing into the house but now the builders have started to cut it back...no small job!

A few less brambles...












Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Your Home: Art Deco Inspired Prints From Tapet Cafe


Whilst the house remains chaos and Christmas now two weeks away, I am helping to calm myself by picturing what the house will look like, once the builders have finished...apparently this will be happening at the end of this week, but I will believe that when I see it! These stunning images from Danish design house Tapet Cafe are really helping to lift my spirits. The art deco inspired wallpaper and fabric designs are stunning. Elegant and utterly unique I have my heart set on the above as the look of my bedroom wall and bedside table. There is something delightfully decadent about the simplicity of the dark wood against the patterned backdrop, with only scented candles and perfume to decorate the table.

LMH
x

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{Images via Tapet Cafe}

Friday, 15 November 2013

Decorfest: Floral Fabric From Textile Designer Ruth Moser










Following on from my first decorfest post a couple of weeks ago, I am thrilled to be introducing you to another incredibly talented exhibitor, who will be at the Home and Garden Festival next March in South-West London.

The event is being hosted by the decorcafe and aims to inspire people to create a more personal home and garden...this is a lady who really knows about that! Ruth Moser runs a textile business from her beautiful home in Bath and specialises in creating unique and fabulous floral fabrics for the home. I was lucky enough to be able to ask Ruth a few questions about her work and home...

Please tell me a bit about your background and why you do what you do. 
I was born and brought up in Basel in Switzerland though my mother is British and father Swiss, so in a sense I grew up with both cultures.  My British grandmother who I frequently stayed with was very creative, making clothes, painting and was also an amazing cook. One day she bought me some oil paints and I never looked back.  This sparked off my passion for creating patterns, moods and atmospheres. After completing 3 years of business studies in Switzerland, I went on to study fine Art at West Surrey College of Art and Design, now the University of the Creative Arts, Farnham.

Where do you live and work and how do you balance the two?
I am lucky to live in the beautiful city of Bath, where I have a wonderful studio in our garden.  At the moment we are also renovating our home, which is exciting, as I am able to plan the interiors alongside my design work.  No doubt this is a challenge as I also have a family.


What or who inspires you?
I am very influenced by the moods of the natural world, particularly the seasons.  This combined with my love for colour, pattern and light is what informs my designs to produce fresh and atmospheric fabrics. My inspiration is wide and varied; Japanese textile design, the great colourist painters such as Howard Hodgkin, music of all kinds and autumn with its vibrant colours.

What is your greatest achievement / what are you most proud of?
My staying power to pursue my creative goals has served me well.  It is an endless pursuit to make a piece of work, which I am totally proud of.

Where’s your most inspirational place, home or away?
Inspiration comes from both home and away.  Certain moods and places from my memory are vital to me and feed into my work.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
When not in my studio, I enjoy creating a beautiful home, reading, the cinema and walking, particularly along the Welsh coast line.



What is your favourite space in your home?
It is our conservatory, which leads directly into our new kitchen.  It is a wonderful space and just above it is a lovely birch tree, which I love to sit and watch at different times of day.

What is your most treasured belonging?
My home and garden.

What is your favourite thing about living in the UK?
As I originally come for a land-locked country, I would have to say the British coastline and sea, which also produces a very specific quality of light.  I am also very drawn to the culture and vibrancy of London.

What is your top tip for creating a lovely home?
I feel that a lot of interiors I have seen are too considered where the owner’s personality has been taken over by trend and fashion.  A good way to inject your own personality into it is to combine old and new. 

Meet Ruth and see more examples of her wonderful work at decorfest on 23rd March 2014!

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