Poetry, Rabbits & Mothers Day- A Special Mural for a South London Family Home

There are many things I get excited about when beavering away in the studio but creating something unique for my clients that will be appreciated and treasured is probably the most fulfilling of them all. In the spirit of Mother's Day here's a short story about an 11 year old girl called Bea and her mother.

Back in October last year I began a new project for a bohemian family home in South London. My first brief was to create a magical bedroom for a bright as a button girl called Bea who loves books and animals in equal measure.

When I asked Bea's favourite book her mother gave me a copy of Flora & Ulysses, a tale of a girl and a wise, poetic squirrel. Bea had run downstairs to her mother after reading a verse within it proclaiming "I've found a poem and it's all about you!"

I knew I wished to incorporate this special poem into the room and got in touch with the talented artist Diane Hill to collaborate together to produce a mural for Bea's bedroom. As well as Ulysses the squirrel, Diane painted 'Peanut' Bea's adorable miniature lion head rabbit.

As Diane beautifully put it, "Reading the words 'nothing would be easier without you' is such a great story of love. It meant so much to me that this small mural will mean so much to the family. When asking Bea if she was happy with the mural, she said "yes but there's one thing - what do we do when Peanut dies? Oh actually I'd have a lovely Peanut reminder on my wall forever" 😍"

 

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How To Decorate Your Home With Colour

With a rainbow of possibilities it seems a shame not to embrace more than a sliver of the kaleidoscope. The use of colour can seem a mysterious alchemy and there is certainly a lot of science behind colour theory, from the way light interacts with different textures and finishes, to the psychology of colour. But colour, like most things is instinctive above all else. We are drawn to certain palettes, and whether it's rich saturated colours, that make us feel at home or delicate, soft tones, there is every reason not to shy away from colour.

 

There are many things I'm not good at, running, cooking savoury food, not creating spontaneity sapping itineraries for holidays, to name but a few, however, one gift I have is a fine tuning to colour and confidence using it. The latter is as much important as the former when it comes to sticking to your gut and going for it.

Confidence is something that grows and a little experimentation is often the best way to start pushing your creative boundaries to get a good feel for what you like. To encourage others to dabble with colour I've jotted down a few of my top tips...

LOOK AT YOUR WARDROBE

It may sound daft but often, though not always, we are attracted to the same kinds of colours for our homes as our clothes and looking through your wardrobes can be a brilliant place to identify what colours you relate to. My own wardrobe is full of black, white, turquoise, coral, blue and red, so it was no surprise that when it came to decorating at home these colours were prominent ones.

BROWSE INTERIORS MAGAZINES

Seeing that something daring can be done with panache can prompt even the most reluctant colourists to give experimentation a go and interiors magazines are one of the best places to draw inspiration from, especially as there has been such a boost in popularity for colourful homes after a decade of grey.

One of the most exuberant examples I've seen recently is a sitting room by Beata Heuman in House & Garden where strong pink walls provide the backdrop to midnight blue velvet armchairs. A slightly unusual combination but a very beguiling one!

CHOOSE COLOURFUL UPHOLSTERY

If painting your walls in colour seems daunting, picking a neutral paint and using colourful upholstery to add oomph can be a wonderful way to add colour and emphasise the curve of a  headboard or shape of a sofa.

EMBRACE COLOURFUL TEXTILES & ACCESSORIES

In our recently completed 'HIGH RISE GLAMOUR' project our client asked for the studio to create an elegant and serene apartment that would provide the perfect sanctuary to their busy City life. They were keen to keep things soft and pared back, preferring metallics and champagne tones, but with a little bit of gentle coaxing they plumped for carefully chosen colourful touches, such as, hand glazed celadon ceramics and vibrant Ottoman silks that provide just the right amount of drama.

PAINT WOODWORK & KITCHEN CABINETS

Another effective and joyous way to add colour is to paint woodwork and joinery, including kitchen cabinets, in interesting and unexpected colours. Whilst white kitchens are classic, there are a lot of them and by going for something unusual such a glorious mossy green you can create something that instantly feels bespoke. This gorgeous kitchen by Middleton brings leads the eye to the lush garden and despite the bold colour has a restrained simplicity when read against the whole walls and simple shaker style that has forgone wall units for a streamlined space.