From time to time something grabs my attention and kick starts my grey matter into thinking.
Whether yours is like a chaotic parisian roundabout or a sparkly hypnotic katherine wheel, your kitchen is the centre of your home. After a delightful morning of chat about sustainable design in interiors, Bella (a new found comrade) offered to write a blog for me. Having spent all of our time chatting in my kitchen, it seems very natural for this space to be the focus of her blog. I’m sure you have memories as a kid, whizzing in from school but on the way out to play, whilst raiding the fridge enroute. But kitchens have changed since that ‘era’. Here we look at how and why these spaces have changed and surmise that maybe, maybe, they’re going full circle. With sustainability becoming an ever increasing part of our daily lives, how will this shape our kitchens for the future.
There was so much energy at the Student Strike for Climate Change today it was amazing to feel. But as future or young consumers, I wondered if the young people there realised their ability to use their" “Choice Voice” as well as their “Activist Voice” Under 18 and unable to vote you maybe, but as future consumers you have power to vote with your feet and your dollars.
You would of had to have been under a rock not to have seen or heard about the Marie Kondo Netflix show thats sweeping the nation. I was going to write a blog about it. Then I decided I wouldn’t because others had said what I thought. But then I had one of those moments. This one was outside an opp shop with a teary volunteer. At breaking point I couldn’t ignore her or the mountain of mess she had to sort threw. I thought about bacon and eggs and sang about bacon and eggs and it all came flooding out. So what has the “Marie Kondo effect” got to do with “bacon and eggs”. Well you’re just going to have to read the blog. It’s tenuous I give you that. But it made me smile, when what I really felt like doing was, joining my opp shop volunteer, and cry.
Home is where the heart is. But when it comes to buying our homes, other organs play a role too. The gut and the head. In recent years it’s become increasingly common for a house to be purchased and leveled within several months, with out giving it a budding chance to prove itself worthy of being a new home. Begs the questions why buy it if theres so much wrong with it? In this blog, the second of a series about selling and buying houses, I explore what is it that makes a person want to buy a house and how many imperfections can there be before the deal is off? But in today’s age of rampant DIY, the deal isn’t often “off”. When in fact, in terms of sustainability, it should be.
First of two, this blog looks at what happens when you need to sell and move out of your nest. Seeing a local cafe being renovatd for the umpteenth time made me question the house selling cycle and the escalating preparations we subject our homes to. With pressure to showcase your home like a display home, everything needs to be clean, fixed, neutralised and styled. Granted. But increasingly, some go further, installing new fixtures and fittings and even creating new spaces. As the new owners are likely to want to make your home their home, it begs the question how far you should go when preparing your house for sale and recognising when enough is enough.
We had a light bulb moment in our home this week and its changed how I feel about my parenting guilt as an environmentalist. Your home, and how you run your life within it, plays a big role in passing on knowledge, skills, and equipping your kids for their life. But you need to be consistent, so taking these beliefs into the outside world is a must if you want to really make a difference in practicing and normalising behaviour. Especially when it comes to sustainable choices. This often involves saying no. And as I’ve learnt, that’s OK. If kids are a mirror, then you need to be the best reflection you can be.
When it comes to tiles and dating, it really is a major issue for many. And it should be. Choosing tiles creates all sorts of reactions. The expectation of what a tile should deliver in terms of design durability set against the desire for something new and exciting, can mean we want the best of both worlds. This blog discusses, although this might not be totally achievable, you can certainly choose tiles with legs built for a marathon rather than a 100 metre dash.
When it comes to interiors, size really is everything. It's also the biggest issue I find my clients struggle with. Taking the digits and visualising the object in the space is hard for many. But when you break it down and understand the issues at play, it makes the confusion slip away. This is becoming increasingly important as internet shopping is becoming the norm, even for the major purchases. Help is at hand...
Over the last few years, my tourist experiences has made me question how buying souvenirs can create an unique home when there is so many mass produced, poor quality souvenirs around? How can you bring treasures back into your home that are of a good quality, are meaningful, thoughtful and ethical. In this blog I share a few experiences, but more importantly offer you some alternative options, away from the tourist traps.
When a friend recently commented that "Nobody pops in anymore!" I remembered my bus station style of a family home. Then in my recent TV binge session watching Offspring, I saw it. All the time. All the characters popping in. But with this pre-arranged approach to mingling and interacting with friends and family being so prevalent in real life, it raised one big question: Are we too orchestrated to offspring? And if so, is it possible for us to revert back to popping in? It's a great time to give it a go.
Arh. The smell of Christmas is all around. Pine and plastic christmas trees and tinsel. Such a great smell. But what happens when there is a bad smell in your home? Nasty odours might not be actually bad for you, but they're hard to live with. So how do you get rid of them? This blog firstly provides a few natural solutions but then goes to the next level and introduces scent architecture.
What does your house smell like? Does it have a smell? Is it a good one? Often the forgotten sense when designing, smell is the sense that is most strongly linked to our memory, our mood and emotions. It therefore has the strongest connection with, and contributes to, home appeal. This blog is the first in a two part series on our often forgotten fifth sense. Here we discuss how some good smells aren't necessarily so.
Come on, admit it. You're uncomfortable talking about the 'B' word. I used to be. So let me help you loose your inhibitions and embrace your next 'B' conversation. It's essential that you do.
In a recent conversation with a fellow school mum who'd had a great design experience, I learn't how she, like many others, didn't actually understand what service a interior decorator could provide. Conversely, people generally get very nervous about recruiting professionals to give them advice, especially when it is subjective based like design. This blogs touches on what the process should be like, why recruiting an interior decorator is something not just for the rich and famous and why you should do it. There's even an outline of costs. Transparency at its finest.
The end of our renovation was a point in time when the builder stopped letting himself in and returned the keys. Since then word 'reveal' has been bantered around frequently. Where has this reveal phenomenon come from? What constitutes a reveal? Does anyone notice if you don't do one? We fling our doors open to Sustainable Home Day. But will those who attend receive a reveal or a progress report?
Laundry. Yes that old chesnut. On tackling my bugbears with my own laundry, I started to question the role of the laundry space. Could it do more? And if it can, how much are we prepared to change our routines and our homes to accommodate this. And there's a mention of a chicken in there. Hence the picture. Confused? Read on...
Words come and go. But they also move along. A recent discussion with a client made me realise how interiors are full of them. We have our own set of acronyms and jargon, our own set of 'verbs' and 'nouns' and word associations. But as acronyms become words and words become names it gets very confusing, and it effects how we communicate. When communicating about what you want or need in a space, it's really essential to say what you mean.
Have you ever seen something you've absolutely loved? Then walk away. I've been applying the 'yearn' principle for many years, and it seems others do too. What is interesting though, is that I struggle to remember what some of these items were months later. What felt like a case of life and death purchase, has now completely slipped me by. I've learnt I'm part of a No to FOMO movement. Who knew? Are you?
Before the turn of the 20th century many didn't have a bathroom. Many didn't even have an indoor toilet. Since then the modern bathroom has evolved from being an innovation for the elite into a universal domestic fixture. What's interesting is how the location of the toilet has evolved. What was once all alone down the garden has moved and multiplied. The key question is, where will they go next?
Whilst designing my own brand new kitchen I stumbled up on a design quandry. When to stop. This kitchen isn't my first ever kitchen. I've moved into rentals and owned two other homes, all having ready to use kitchens. Ones that I hadn't designed or planned. Yet I don't remember anything bad about these kitchens. It made me question just how much detail do you really need to consider when you're designing from scratch. What is, or when is it, enough?