Book Review : 1000 Ideas for Colour Schemes

Book Review 1000 Ideas for Colour Schemes

The latest book to arrive at Design Sheppard HQ for review is a great little read called 1000 ideas for colour schemes by Jennifer Ott, an interior designer and architectural colour specialist based in San Francisco. Now I say it’s a great little read, but to be honest there isn’t really much reading to be done. It’s more of a picture book, jam packed full of beautiful and inspirational images. Imagine Pinterest in the form of a book and you’re getting close. The idea behind the book is to help you choose great colour schemes in all aspects of your life, from your interior decor and clothes, through to beauty, weddings and even cake decorating. It aims to inspire you to think beyond the typical colour combinations.

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Roald Dahl Curtains & Cushions from

roald dahl matilda curtains from

2016 marks 100 years since the birth of much-loved children’s author Roald Dahl and to mark the centenary of the occasion, online retailer has launched a collection of curtains and cushions that feature illustrations from the books that have been entertaining children the world over for decades now. Roald Dahl was born on September 13th, which has been designated as the official Roald Dahl day so it seems very fitting that should launch this new collection at this time of year. I have such fond memories of reading Roald Dahl’s books as a child and so many of my summer holidays were spent with my nose in his books. I think this was probably my first experience of reading a book that I could not put down until the final page had been turned. I would have loved to have been able to decorate my childhood bedroom with items inspired by the books, especially if they featured the beautiful illustrations of Quentin Blake. And now as an adult, with a family of my own, I can’t wait to start reading Roald Dahl books to my children. My daughter Matylda already has a box set and unsurprisingly her favourite book is Matilda. When she’s old enough to actually read the stories, I’m sure she’ll enjoy them just as much as I did. And maybe she’d like to decorate her room with Roald Dahl curtains and cushions. Read More…

Nature-Inspired Ironing Boards from Brabantia

Brabantia Raspberry, Barley and Botanical Ironing Boards

I’m sure you guys all know by now what a big fan I am of Brabantia. I have a number of their bins (this one, this one, and this one) dotted around my home and I also have quite a few pieces from their laundry collection (this and these) as well as a beautiful ironing board (this one). I think it’s safe to assume that I really rate their products. So today I wanted to share with you a really pretty collection of nature-inspired ironing boards that they brought out earlier this year. There are three versions: The Raspberry, Barley, and Botanical and they are all really lovely. Each board has a 100% cotton cover with a foam layer beneath. They also feature a cord-fastener and have a patented ‘no-buckling’ design which makes the cover easy to fix and keeps it nice and taut. They have an extra large surface (135 x 45cm), which is tapered and makes it easier to iron shirts and trousers. Having one of these ironing boards myself, I can safely say that they are great quality. They have a really sturdy frame, which is adjustable from 61 to 102 cm, so you can do your ironing sitting down or standing up. Amazingly, it remembers your favourite frame height too, which is a nice touch. It also has a transport and child safety lock so you know that your crawling child who seems to like playing underneath it, or your mischievious toddler won’t pull it down on top of themselves. And finally it has protective non-slip caps on the feet which help to keep it stable and prevent damage to your floor. Read More…

Naturalmat Organic Mattresses and Bedding

The Naturalmat Showroom in Topsham in Devon showcasing a selection of organic mattresses and bedding and a variety of beds

As you all know by now, I live in Devon and I really enjoy showcasing companies that are local to me. Back in July, I was invited to Topsham, just outside Exeter, to visit a company called Naturalmat that manufactures organic mattresses and bedding. It wasn’t the first time that I had heard about the company as I have previously written an article about them for Devon Home magazine (you can read it here). But it has been a few years since I’d heard from them and I was keen to find out what had been going on since we last spoke. What was really exciting though was the fact that I was invited not only to see the showroom, but also to have a tour of the factory where I could see the organic mattresses actually being made. This is something I love. I mean it’s one thing to see and experience a product, but I don’t think you can truly appreciate it until you understand how it’s made, especially if it is something that is made by hand. So needless to say I didn’t have to do much thinking before I accepted the invitation and headed off to Topsham. The fact that there were pastries being served for breakfast didn’t swing it for me at all, I promise!  Read More…

Hua Trees Collection by Sian Zeng

Sian Zeng Hua Trees Collection of wall murals and fabric wall stickers

The beautiful collection that I’m sharing with you today is by the very talented Sian Zeng. I absolutely adore her work and I’ve featured her a couple of times here already. (You can read about her seasons collection here and her magnetic wallpaper here). Her work is so intricate and detailed and her latest products are just stunning. The Hua Trees Collection reflects Sian’s European and Chinese cultural heritage. It features full-scale mural wallpapers and fabric stickers that can adhere to walls to create an instant focal point. It’s really more like a work of art than a simple wallcovering. Each piece is hand painted at 100% scale using Chinese inks and then scanned to preserve every little detail. The stickers have a beautiful matte finish, are tear-resistant and scratch-resistant and are easy to reposition and remove. They are so feminine and so pretty. Let’s see what you think! Read More…

Introducing The Lounge Co

Holly Blue corner sofa from The Lounge CoHolly Chaise End in House Cotton Linen – Peacock Tail

As I have gotten older and become a homeowner I have discovered two things that tell me I am now officially a grown up. And that is that it is worth spending more money on your sofa and your mattress. After all, we spend so many hours sleeping that a good quality mattress is worth its weight in gold. And the same goes for the sofa as it is often the place where we spend a fair amount of our free time relaxing and chilling out with friends and family. At least it is in our house. Having two tiny kids, I have to admit that I don’t have a great deal of time for lounging around, much to my dismay, but when I do find the odd few hours of an evening I expect my sofa to be a place of sanctuary that will help me unwind and enjoy the child free time. But choosing a sofa is never that easy, especially with all the choice that is available today. There’s all the different sizes, hundreds of different styles and thousands of fabrics to choose from. It can become a bit overwhelming. And that is why today I want to introduce you to The Lounge Co., a new player that has just entered the furniture market and that may be able to help make that decision a little easier.

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Giveaway : Win £50 to spend at First Choice Lighting

Chelsea townhouse

So, have you noticed that the evenings aren’t quite as light anymore? You know what that means don’t you? I know, I know, you don’t want me to say it but we can’t avoid it and it’s probably better if we just face up to it and start preparations. Summer is almost over and that means we need to start thinking about how to transition our homes from one season to the next.

One of the hardest things that I find about autumn and winter personally is not so much the cold, wet weather, although it does get a bit tiresome after a while, but actually the change in light, or should I say the lack thereof? It’s extremely difficult to go from bright sunny mornings and long, light evenings to waking in the pitch black (especially if you have kids that wake you up at the crack of dawn) and coming home from work in the dark too. And that is why it is really important to get the lighting in our homes right. Read More…

Dulux Colour of the Year 2017 : Denim Drift

Dulux Colour Futures 17 - Colour of the Year - Denim Drift - Kids Bedroom - Denim Drift, Sash Blue, Cornflower Bunch, Marine Waters

Every year, paint brand Dulux announces its Colour of the Year as part of its Colour Futures trend forecast. This involves a team of global colour and design experts who develop the annual forecast based on emerging trends in interior design, architecture, fashion, and beauty, as well as the social and economic influences that will affect the way that we live in the coming year. The overriding theme of Colour Futures 2017 is inspired by the idea of ‘life in a new light’ and is all about celebrating a new outlook on the simple things that make life special. With this, Dulux has announced that the Colour of the Year 2017 will be Denim Drift.  Read More…

Interview : Mario Joakim of Mushroom Designs

Mushroom Designs Totnes Devon Lighting Showroom

I have been meaning to tell you guys about Mushroom Designs for so long, and now I have finally gotten around to it. I was first introduced to it by a friend who spotted the shop on Totnes highstreet. She told me all about it because she knew I would love it and she wasn’t wrong. When I went to visit the shop myself, I was not disappointed. It is bursting with beautiful, colourful, and elegant lighting designs and accessories, including metallic ceiling roses, hooks and colourful flexes. But it also stocks paint, audio devices and the odd bit of artwork. The shop is owned by Mario Joakim and it is a real treat to visit. So next time you’re in Devon I suggest you pop along and take a look. Or if you’re not venturing down south any time soon you can catch Mario at Top Drawer in London from 11-13th September 2016 on Stand SP120. Don’t forget to tell him I sent you! Now, let’s get on with the interview so you can find out a little bit more about Mario and his beautiful Devon-based business. Read More…

Fun & Games with Team GB in Rio

The Britannia Accent Chair by DFS the official homeware partner for Team GB at Rio 2016


This is probably a really stupid question, but have you guys been watching the Olympics? I know right, Team GB is on fire! After the amazing home games in London four years ago, I really wasn’t expecting Rio 2016 to come anywhere close in terms of the buzz that we saw in 2012. But with all these medals that the team is racking up, the sense of pride that we are feeling as a nation is palpable. Our athletes are really proving their worth, aren’t they? Apparently, these are the most successful games that Team GB has ever had on foreign soil. These amazing sportsmen and women are just so impressive and the sheer grit and determination that they show knows no bounds. They pour their blood, sweat and tears into their punishing training regimes and give their all to their sports, sacrificing so much for a place on the podium. I can’t even begin to comprehend what they put themselves through. I’m more of a sofa sports spectator shall we say, preferring to cosy up at home and cheer on those who have what it takes. But “What do the Olympics have to do with interiors?”, I hear you ask. Well, let me tell you.

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