Manchester based Little Greene Paint company are soon to launch a collection of greens in association with The National trust. The 31 colours, 20 of which have been derived from important national Trust properties such as Beatrix Potters farmhouse and Sir George Bernard Shaws writing hut, have been chosen with the modern home in mind. Each are relevant for todays interiors in different ways. From bright greens and turquoises inspired by retro schemes to soft and delicate greens and dark moody tones suitable for a more period look.

This streamlining of one colour to one paint chart is something they have done before with blue, pink & grey and it’s a really useful tool to have and use, making it easy to navigate as it’s broken down into 5 columns of varying tones of green.

From the sale of each one of these colours, a contribution will be made to The National Trust to help them with their important conservation work.

These beautiful colours shown below demonstrate just how versatile one colour can be, from fresh and uplifting, to soft and relaxing and intense and sophisticated.

 

The shot below is one I styled for a client using Little Green Paint Company’s Citrine and Pale Lime from their main paint colour chart all other images are from Little Green Paint Company blog.

To find out more about the national trust paints and for a full range of Little Greene Paint company’s colours check their website here.

The other day one of my friends sent me a picture of a chair she’d bought for her new office. “Should I add a fringe?” she said

Hell yes! Fringes were everywhere at Milan and are sure to be appearing in any self respecting design addicts abode any time soon.

My only requirement for fringing is that it be fine and silky, none of your twisted cord type fringing if you don’t mind, reminiscent of Auntie June’s bedroom chair from the 1950’s. We’re talking chic deco inspired fringing of the sort seen swinging from silent star, Louise Brooke’s hem line.

I am stunned by the beauty of these boudoir stools by Milan based furniture designer Lorrenzo Bozzoli. I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite so beautiful in a glam rock style way since I first clapped eyes on David Bowie in his Ziggy incarnation!

This fringed mirror is also pretty spectacular by Ben & Aja Blanc but as I’ve not been able to find a UK stockist, I’ve included this fringed mirror by Oliver Bonas which is reduced in the sale, so if you’re quick you might snaffle it?

Apollo mirror ben & Aja Blanc

Nappa large fringed mirror Oliver Bonas

I love the colour and the triple fringing of this sofa which is just unbelievably Hollywood glamour, you can almost imagine Jean Harlow reclining on it?

Fringes sofa Contract Furniture Store

If you want less of a statement piece and something smaller to add to your current furniture collection, this china blue chair is beautiful?

Fringes armchair Munna

If the Lorrenzo Bozzoli stool is too much of a statement piece but you love the fringing idea, how about this more modest version by Bloomingville?

Online British lighting company Beauvamp make beautiful bespoke fringed lighting. Check out their online gallery for pendant and lamp shades in various colours or custom order your own colours and finish.

Oliver Bonas currently sell this pretty coral and brass Nappa table lamp £130

Or of course you can do a DIY version like my friend and add your own fringing to anything?

 

For a long time now we have been decorating our homes with a very subdued colour palette of monochrome and shades of grey, influenced heavily by our fascination with Scandinavian design. While I will always advocate a monochrome scheme for it’s timeless and classic qualities, I am a huge fan of colour and pattern, inspired primarily by my enduring love affair with textiles.

So of course I was delighted and somewhat relieved to read about the riot of colours exhibited at this years Milan design fair and Dulux and Pantones predications for the colours of 2019, which include, amongst others, tones of orange, yellow and green.

One of Pantones colour palette predictions for 2019 “Cravings”

In fact Pantone have named not just one colour for 2019 but two key colour palettes.  First up is “cravings”, a selection of spice tones infused with rich purples, influenced by what we eat and also “Classico” as it says on the tin, a classic palette of camel, deep reds and teal. The good news is anything goes and what could be more joyful than creating a truly individual home, with no rules? I think we’re all a little over seeing the identikit scandi minimalist homes on social media and ready for something new to pique our interest? Although I do like this look a lot, it’s sometimes a little too formulaic and as a designer and a creative, I need to surround myself with items that are meaningful to me. Pieces collected over years, on travels and bought at early morning boot fairs or from little individual shops that I may never find again? Suffuse this with a backdrop of lush colour and carefully layered patterns and for me that is a home.

Whilst doing some research recently for a colour block trend shoot for a client, I found this video by leading Australian design blogger Lucy Feagins, founder and editor of  The Design Files, which perfectly captures the excitement of what Milan showcased and what we can all look forward to in the coming year.

https://www.dulux.com.au/colour/colour-trends/2019.html 

Elle Decoration are calling this return to colour and pattern “Happy Design” and it’s no coincidence that it is being propelled by the general global mood for a need for small moments of happiness. If we can’t achieve world happiness, we can create our own joyful mood at home?

Here are two colour block shots I created and styled for a commercial client showing how, by just changing the colour in a room, you can create a completely different mood? The orange shot above was created using three different orange tones from Farrow & Ball. D’Egypte, blazer & Charlottes locks.

The shot below was created using Missprint Muscat wallpaper and Sudbury Yellow paint by Farrow & Ball.

Some of the interior and product designers I admire the most, are constantly experimenting with clever use of colour and if I’m ever feeling a little apprehensive about my choice of colours, I’ll look at their work for added inspiration. Some of my favourites are Maria Speake of reclamation company Retrovious who uses a warm retro colour palette within her designs to sit along side the thoughfully sourced furniture they find for their clients.

Ben Pentreath known for his classic English country house style is no stranger to colour which he uses like the skilful artist he is.

The designers for Soho House showcase a master class of pattern and colour at one of their London hotels, The Ned

Studio pepe  are skillful interpreters of modern day Ettore Sottsass exciting and experimental style.

India Mahdavi architect led the way with an exciting colour palette in 2016 with her design for Red valentino in London.

If you’re considering experimenting with colour but would like some encouragement, I would recommend any of these books.

I recently realised flicking through some old photos, that my style hasn’t really changed since I was about 18. I have a photo of me standing outside Fiorucci in Italy on my first foreign holiday with a boyfriend, who was swiftly edited after said holiday, wearing a pair of white cropped culottes, a bardo neckline 3/4 sleeve t-shirt and white plimsoles, not that dissimilar to what I’m wearing today as I type this? Topshop denim culottes, striped elbow length Whistles t-shirt, Bensimon plimsolls? I obviously knew as a teenager that classic casual style, such as the clothes i’d observed, worn by Diane Keaton in Annie hall, Lauren Hutton and Ali McGraw, was the way I wanted to present myself to the world and little has changed. I’ve always loved tomboy style.

Dressing with the same mindset but an older curvier body, just simply means being more selective in quality, fabrics and cuts but this doesn’t necessarily mean spending more? My High Street go toos are Cos, Topshop Boutique and Zara who all offer good quality fashion conscious choices and I mix this up with a dash of more individual designs from the smaller independents retailers. I’m lucky living in Manchester that we have a few great stores selling hand produced garments in natural fibres such as linen and organic cotton. Object Style & Beaumont Organic   both have a gorgeous selection of ethically sourced garments and i can always guarantee a beautiful selection of jewellery and bags from Moth.

A linen jacket from Object Style A/W 17 Look Book which I styled

I have this jacket and I wear it with everything, the soft sage green is such a versatile colour

Beaumont organic Manchester

As I get older, I don’t follow trends as much but I’m still fashion obsessed and continue to subscribe to Vogue as I have done for 35 years, read brilliant fashion blogs, which include favourites That’s not my Age by Alyson Walsh, Style Memos and a newly discovered Goodbye Crop Top, but I’m true to my style and know what I like. No tight structured clothes or heels for me, trainers with almost everything, lots of stripes & in recent years, lots of jumpsuits and dungarees.

Age is a number that’s slowly starting to mean nothing when it comes to the way we dress and amen to that. No more elastic waists when you reach a certain age, although those Topshop denim culottes I’m wearing are actually elasticated and that’s the best thing about them 🙂

I really applaud the minimal wardrobe advocates who can restrict their choices to 10 outfits seasonally and I admire their ethical values enormously. Two of my favourite bloggers who manage to do this effortlessly and stylishly are Jessica Rose Williams and Rachael from Seth Style. I have to say though, although my style is definitely bordering on minimalist, I am still drawn to clothes like a moth to a flame. The changing colours and silhouettes of fashion will, I hope, forever enthrall me and whilst I am no oponent to the ethos of the minimalist wardrobe, which of course makes dressing for everyday so much easier by cutting our choices, I still love nothing more than when the new seasons offerings arrive in store or I manage to purchase a fabulous end of sale bargain.

Here are some of the High Street and online items that have caught my eye this summer, some of which have made their way into my wardrobe. I can’t guarantee they’ll all be available at the time of posting this but some may be reduced in the sale by now if you’re lucky?

  1. Islay cotton gauze T-shirts – A Woodland Gathering
  2. Khaki jumpsuit – Olive clothing
  3. SPF30 (wished I’d used this when I was 18!- Madara
  4. Ticking stripe dress – Olive Clothing
  5. linen skirt – Muji
  6. One piece – Boden
  7. Swedish wooden sandals – Toast
  8. Striped dungarees – Pull & Bear (A recent High Street convert thanks to my daughter)
  9. Those elasticated waist cropped denim culottes (available in other colours) – Topshop
  10. Bensimon plimsoles – Anthropologie
  11. Straw lined washbag used as clutch – Baileys Home

 

We all know that familiar saying if  you’re self employed “Its either feast or famine” and no where more so it seems than in the creative industries. Certainly as a photographic interiors stylist, when budgets are tight and clients are reusing old photography things can be lean but then there are times when you just have too many jobs at once and it all feels a little over whelming?

I’m totally aware of that feeling of drowning at the moment, both with my own work load and through my daughters work load. She’s currently sitting her GCSE’s and I thought that some of the advice I’ve given her, I should heed myself. So after a particularly stressful start to the week, I’ve given myself some of my own advice and I feel so much calmer and my shallow breathing has finally returned to normal. I know a lot of you who read my blog are also self employed creatives, whose work load ebbs and flows and so I thought I’d share some of my strategies for dealing with stress in the hope that they might help a little? Sharing is caring right?

Shot styled for Denby Pottery

1)Firstly although it’s difficult to say no to a job sometimes when you’re trying to earn a living, if it doesn’t feel right from the start or you don’t particularly have a desire to work with that brand, it’s ok to say no. Go with your gut instinct. As one door closes another will open and something else will always come along. Quite often when you instinctively know a job will be a nightmare, you are often right. Our gut serves us well?

2)When you are meeting with clients for the first time and they don’t know you, don’t over share how you feel if you are stressed about the job or any others you have going on. Show up as though it’s your dream job and you can’t wait to get started and be part of the team. You play a vital and positive part of creating the vision that they are looking for so they don’t want some flaky person being part of their team. If you’re feeling flaky save it for your partner or friends later?

3) Remind yourself of how lucky you are to be doing the job that you love even if it doesn’t feel like it at this time? If you’re not feeling the joy then thats ok too, but sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of being exactly where you wanted to be in stressful moments ?

4) Don’t be afraid to delegate & ask for help. Let people who are more expert than you in certain areas help you and give them that role. Work as a team and collaborate as much as you can with other creatives. A true example being that Yesterday in a presentation the team were trying to work out how we could incorporate a brand into a floral display and I had to remind them that the florist would work that part out, all we had to do was send them the branding with our idea and they would know how to make that work? Which of course they did? As my husband always says, David Bowie was a genius, we all know that, but he couldn’t do it all on his own?He surrounded himself with the best people to achieve his vision, so he worked with the best musicians, the best producers, the best costume designers, the best stage designers etc etc. The moral being even David Bowie couldn’t do it all!

Shot from my recent visit to Swallows and Damsons

5)You can help to control your workload. See below to expand

6)write a list and prioritise it in number order. Not everything is a priority. As soon as you number your tasks you will see that some of them can be shelved for another day, week, time. Not everything has to be done today?

7)When you think of something that has to be done today, try & do it there and then and then it’s off the list. That floral branding I mentioned from yesterdays meeting is now off my list and with the florist who will be working behind the scenes to get that done for me?

8)Look at your emails once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. You don’t need to keep checking them all day. If somebody wants your attention immediately, they will call you.

9)Turn off notifications on your social platforms and turn your phone screen over on your desk so that you can’t constantly see messages flashing up from instagram or facebook. It’s as distracting as taking your child or pet into the office with you, which of course you wouldn’t do on a regular basis?

10)Remember to take a break during the day for something to eat, a walk, 1/2 an hour with a book or magazine unrelated to your work. It helps to recalibrate your brain and is essential.

Shot styled for Denby Pottery

11) Go somewhere at least once during a busy week where you can’t be contactable for a couple of hours, so that you have no choice but to switch off. Take a yoga class, get your nails done, get your hair cut. Something where you can’t answer your emails or your phone & just breath, sink into the chair or mat and enjoy the escape!

12)Listen to inspirational podcasts to reinforce that you are human for feeling out of control and that you’re not a failure. You’re not alone to have feelings of imposter syndrome, you’re normal, most of us have those feelings and just knowing that makes you feel instantly better. Then find ways to combat those feelings. I listen to podcasts by Jen Carrington and Sas petherick on the way to important meetings or presentations and they immediately bolster my confidence and quell my feelings of insecurity. These women are very wise and hugely empathetic and make me personally feel as though I’m owning my space in this creative world after one off their pep talks.

How do you cope with stress and those feelings of drowning under your work load?

I’d love to hear from you, you can never have too many strategies?