Monthly Archives: May 2010

Website Wishlist – Cologne and Cotton……….

Dear Designers’ Sunday afternoon surf brings you her five absolute favourite things from Cologne and Cotton.

Saturday Share – 29.5……….

Dear Designer’s favourite images this week from all those lovely blogs out there……….

Click on the picture for the full post.

A Passion for Beautiful Things

Urban Flea

Shannon Fricke

An Indian Summer

The Brass Petal

A Room Somewhere

Ada and Darcy

I Spy – Skinflint Designs……….

Not just a lighting website.  Skinflint Design specialise in restoring period lighting to its former glory with  a particular emphasis on the industrial.

The lights are sourced from a diverse range, from chapels and old hospitals to defunct factories worldwide.

Based in Cornwall, the team restore the lighting to retain its original character, including the scratches, and update them to current environmental specifications.

They also produce complete schemes, as in this Primrose Hill project…

SkinFlint Designs

Really makes you want to throw out the chintz, doesn’t it?

Modern Sitting Room – Question and Answer……….

Dear Designer had an email recently from Rita, who needed some help planning her sitting room in her new home…

She has already decided on a black leather corner sofa and recliner chair, the carpet is light cream and the room benefits from large french windows, a second window, but no other outstanding features.  She favours a modern look but wants it to be homely and she needs ideas for a colour scheme and other items of furniture.  She also says she has considered wallpaper on one wall.

I think the first place to start, is by creating a focal point to the room.  These days it does tend to be the TV.  So, why not paper the wall behind the TV and place a long low sideboard along it?   The TV can either go on the sideboard or on the wall above it.

Suggested Floor Plan

The obvious position in your room is the wall opposite the door.  The corner sofa can go on the adjacent wall (no need to push this into a corner) and the recliner in the corner between the french doors and the smaller window.  Have you considered having the recliner from the same range but in a different colour, say white?  I would then add a coffee table,  a couple of side tables and a couple of pouffs for extra seating.  An area rug would anchor the whole scheme together and add more colour and pattern.

Sideboard: Denelli Living


Wallpaper: Ankoro from Romo

Coffee Table: Dwell

Side Table: Habitat

Rug: Galleria from The Big Rug Store

Table: Artisanti

For the windows, floor length curtains would be my choice.  I don’t know the dimensions of the smaller window but you might consider having a blind here instead in the same fabric as the main curtains.  Take the curtain pole above the french windows beyond the windows, so that when the curtains are pulled back, they obstruct as little light as possible.  I would keep them neutral in colour.  The pattern of the wallpaper and the rug will be enough.

Curtain pole: John Lewis.  Curtains: Marks and Spencer

The secret to making the room homely, is in the accessories.  Add texture with cushions and throws, interest with art, and mirrors on the walls, and atmosphere with lamps (both table and floor).

Cushion: Cargo.  Faux fur throw: Heals

Mirror: Artisanti

Cushions: RawXclusive

Floor Lamp: Dwell

Table Lamp: Mydeco

I’ve kept the colour scheme to a muted palette of beige, grey, cream, black and silver which should make it easy to co-ordinate with your other rooms .  I really hope you like it…


If you would like design advice from Dear Designer, email  sending photographs if possible, room dimensions and details of what you have, what you need to keep and what you desire.

Inspiration – From Rugs……….

Interior Designers use everything around them for inspiration.  Nature, films, photography, travel, museums, art galleries, trade fairs, exhibitions, magazines, blogs…. the list goes on… 

Sometimes we are inspired by a gorgeous fabric, or a piece of amazing art…   Some of us collect images that we love, or that convey the atmosphere that we would like to create, and the resulting moodboards become the basis of a colour scheme and can often decide the textures that we will use….

Sometimes, it is something as simple as a rug.  And it’s as easy as painting by numbers…

Take one rug.  1. Paint the walls in one colour but not the main colour. 2. Re-upholster the couch in another of the colours. 3. Echo the subject matter with a carefully curated wall of art.

Take one rug. 1. Choose two or three of the rug colours as accent colours for cushions. 2 Keep the rest of the colour scheme neutral so as not to distract from the beauty of the rug. 3. Choose one piece of artwork in quieter shades of the rug, again so that it does not compete.

Take one rug. 1. Paint the walls in one of the colours in the rug. 2. Use one of the other colours for an accent colour, say, on a chair.

Take one rug. 1. Choose one of the main colours for the upholstery. 2. Keep the rest of the colour scheme neutral but definitely co-ordinate the flowers. 3. Add one item that clashes like this red lampshade.

Take one rug. 1. Choose just one of the shades in the rug for the artwork. 2 Keep the rest of the scheme neutral. 3. Echo the shapes of the rug in the accessories.

Take one rug. 1. Add cushions in the same shade.  2. Keep the rest of the scheme white. 3. Add a large artwork that is also yellow and white but that also includes other colours of equal depth.

Take one rug. 1. Use all of the bright colours in a drop dead gorgeous chandelier. 2. Use one of the darker colours for the curtains, to add gravity to the scheme.

 All images: The Rug Company

Guestpost – Urban Style Vibes……….

Dear Designer is guestposting over at Urban Style Vibes today.

The lovely Lise is on holiday in Japan – lucky girl!  So I get to pontificate on one of my favourite design inspirations – Global Influences – you can see the whole post here.

Stuart McIntyre

Please pop over and while you’re there have a look at her other guestposts on Swedish and Australian design. Fab!!

I Spy – Cake Stand Heaven……….

True ‘shabby chic’.

These exquisite cake stands are created from pieces of vintage china collected at antiques fairs and attic sales…

Each plate is chosen with an eye to clever pattern matching and colour co-ordination…

 From retro china to the prettiest art deco…

 And not only that…

Recycling granny’s beloved tea sets is good for the environment too…

Have you ever seen anything as pretty?

Available from Not of the High Street.

Anyone for tea?