Interview : Professional Organiser & Declutterer Jasmine Sleigh

Declutter your home

Do you ever get the feeling that you are drowning in a sea of stuff? That your possessions are getting out of control and you just have nowhere left to store anything? Especially after Christmas when you have all those new items that you’ve been given as gifts but that may not actually be needed or wanted. I definitely feel this way at the moment. I consider myself extremely lucky because our flat actually has a rather spacious loft where we can store all our belongings that we don’t want in our living space. However, I’ve recently started to realise that the loft is just a magnet for garbage. We put things up there when really what we should be doing is getting rid of a lot of it. Sometimes though the thought of having a proper clear out is just too daunting. You know it will take ages to sort through everything and then you have to convince yourself to let go of your belongings and that isn’t always easy. Don’t you just wish that there was somebody you could call who could come and help you get organised and throw out all your clutter? Well, I have some fantastic news for you. There is! There are actually people out there working as professional organisers and declutterers whose mission it is to help us live a clutter-free life. I have been lucky enough to interview one of them so we can all find out more about the profession and how it can benefit us. Read More…

Tips & Tricks for Designing a Small Bathroom

As I have mentioned here many times before, I am a relatively new home owner having taken our first step onto the property ladder in October 2013. As first-time buyers, we obviously had to start off rather modestly and our little flat is far from the dream home that we long for. It needs a lot of work, mostly cosmetic, to bring it up to my exacting standards but I am pretty sure that in the next few years, as and when we have the budget, we will be able to transform it into a lovely little home for the next set of first-time buyers once we move on. The only problem is that we are very limited in what we can do as it is quite a small flat so there isn’t really any scope for drastic changes in layout. Nevertheless, working with what we have shouldn’t be too difficult, we just need to be particularly clever with the space that we do have.

One of the most challenging projects I will have to take on is the refurbishment of our bathroom. Now apparently the average size of a bathroom is the UK is 6ft by 8ft so whilst I thought I had a ridiculously small bathroom it would appear that it is in fact pretty average. However, we do have an unnecessarily large window on one wall which does restrict what we can do with the space, but I’m considering taking this out and replacing it with a smaller one. I ‘m also hoping to switch the position of the basin and the toilet as the basin is currently below the window meaning that we cannot have a mirror there, which is really quite annoying. Storage is also non existent in the bathroom as it is at the moment so I’m toying with the idea of replacing the bath with a much smaller one which will free up some much needed space that we can use to create some built-in storage. At the moment, I’m busy pinning all sorts of small bathroom ideas on Pinterest and I’ve created an Idea Book especially for this on Houzz. Both are great resources for keeping your inspiration all together in one handy place.

I’m not an interior designer myself and sadly I can’t afford to pay an interior designer to redesign my home. But thanks to my work I sure do have access to some of the best experts in the industry and luckily they are willing to share some of their knowledge with me. So whilst I’m busy trying to work out what to do with my own home I will be sure to pass on any advice and tips that I receive with you, as I am sure that many of you are in a similar situation. For my small bathroom dilemma I have enlisted the help of one of the UK’s leading bathroom retailers. Ripples has been creating award-winning, top-quality bathrooms for 25 years and employs over 20 highly talented bathroom designers each individually hand drawing their bathroom designs. David Smith is a Senior Designer at Ripples and he has agreed to offer his top tips and advice for designing a small bathroom and hopefully he will be able to will open our eyes to the hidden potential of small bathrooms. Read More…

Giveaway : Win £500 worth of Wallpaper from Mr Perswall

Cast Concrete Wallpaper by Mr Perswall

Today my lovlies I have a fantastic giveaway for you as I have teamed up with the Swedish wallpaper manufacturer Mr Perswall who has kindly offered to give one lucky Design Sheppard reader £500 worth of wallpaper. How fantastic! And what a wonderful way to start 2015 that would be. Although it would be a very hard decision to make as the Mr Perswall collection is rather extensive and features some really standout papers. Whether you are looking for wallpaper that features photographs of Paris (one of my favourite cities), action shots of extreme sports, fashion-inspired imagery or wallpaper that imitates the texture and appearance of other materials, Mr Perswall has it all. My personal favourites are the Captured Reality and Daily Details collections as both of these explore the beauty that can be found in the most mundane of details. I am particularly fond of the papers that depict some of my favourite materials such as concrete and marble. Thanks to the latest photographic technology these papers can be printed in extraordinarily high resolution meaning that even from a short distance it is almost impossible to tell that this is in fact wallpaper and not a wall of tin tiles for example. However, if none of these float your boat you always have the option of creating your own personal wall mural by uploading your own digital image. If I had even the slightest bit of talent when it comes to graphic design, I would have without doubt designed my own wallpaper by now. Read More…

Designer Playhouses for Kids from Lullabuy

Kyoto Maxi Smart Playhouse from Lullabuy

Happy Monday everyone! For today’s post I want to introduce you guys to some really cool designer playhouses for kids. I stumbled across these as I was looking for dolls houses for Matylda. I had no idea that something quite so cool was on the market for children and I have to say that it is one lucky kid that can call one of these their playhouse. I would love to be able to afford one of these for my daughter but sadly they are way out of my budget and my husband would think I’d gone insane if I even suggested we spend so much money on a playhouse (he just doesn’t get it!!).  Read More…

Eve Mattress : A Revolution in Mattress Design

Eve Mattress Special Edition typographic design

Today we have a very special post for you guys as we would like to introduce you to a new brand that sells really cool mattresses. I know, I know, that sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it? How on earth can mattresses be cool? Typically they are one of the most boring home interior items that exist and they don’t look interesting at all do they? And what does it matter because we just cover them in up with bedding anyway and we don’t tend to think about them again. At least not until they become uncomfortable and we decide to buy a new one. And then we are faced with the arduous task of trying to decide which mattress from the many, many on offer will be most suited to our needs. A memory foam mattress or a latex mattress? Do we need one that offers sanitized protection against dust-mites, funghi and bacteria or perhaps one that contains real, cleansing silver fibres? Or just maybe we need one that contains real Aloe Vera extract. No wait, what about a double-sided mattress with firm and soft sides just in case you and your partner like different degrees of softness. Oh crikey it really is a minefield with so many options. And at the end of the day all we want is a decent mattress that offers us the best night’s sleep at a price that won’t break the bank. Enter Eve Mattress.   Read More…

Lust List : Cosy Beds for Long Lazy Lie-Ins

The Design Sheppard is hooked on the Smoke bed by Loaf

Hello dear readers! I’m back and would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year!!! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas break and are feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready to face whatever 2015 chooses to throw at us. I personally really enjoyed taking time out over the holidays to spend some real quality time with my family and I was also able to catch up on some much needed sleep. Although I’m starting to worry that this may not have been such a good idea as I believe this has simply alerted my body to the fact that I have spent the past year completely and utterly sleep deprived. This taste of what it is like to get extra sleep has prompted my body to demand even more sleep and I feel more tired than ever now. I guess that is why I have been seeking out these cosy beds that I think would be perfect for long, lazy lie-ins if that were possible. I love the way that this selection of beds has a common theme too. You’ll notice that they all have wrap around headboards that create the most wonderful cocooned feeling keeping you safe from the outside world in your sleepy dream bubble until you decide that you’re ready to face the day ahead. Oh what I wouldn’t give to spend a long luxurious morning snuggled up in one of these bad boys. What about you guys? Do these beds make you want to snuggle down and sleep in too? Read More…

Merry Christmas from The Design Sheppard

The Design Sheppard Christmas Break

So guys it’s Christmas Eve. I hope you’re all ready for the festivities and have everything you need? I am actually done already so no last minute shopping for me, which is very unusual! This is just a quick post to let you know that Ruth and I are taking a well earned blog break over the Christmas and New Year period so don’t expect to see any posts from us. Not that you’ll have time to stop by anyway as I’m sure you’ll all be super busy partying and spending time with friends and family. Whilst we will be taking a bit of time off, we’ll still be working on some great content that we will be sharing with you in 2015. We have some exciting posts planned so be sure to check back in early January. In the meantime, wishing you all a fabulously festive Christmas and a great start to the new year. I hope you all get bags of wonderful designer presents for your homes. Enjoy all the food and have a tipple for me! Thanks for all your support this year and see you on the other side! Merry Christmas!

Take a Peek Inside Ruth’s Home

Ruth Adams The Design Sheppard Livingroom

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Direct Blinds who asked me to take part in their new blog feature ‘Inside my Home’ where their readers are able to take a peek inside the homes of various interiors experts. Well anyone with tiny kids will know that it is almost impossible to keep your home from looking like a toy bomb has exploded and covered it in playful debris. About the only time when my home looks presentable is after 9pm once Matylda is safely tucked up in bed and all the toys are once again neatly stored in the toy box. Add to that the insane amount of baby proofing that is needed once babies become mobile, and that fact that my bedroom is midway through a makeover and only half painted, then it is obvious that my home is not particularly ready to be photographed and published. Thankfully though Ruth’s home is the exact opposite. It is beautifully decorated in her signature style and makes me want to up sticks and move in with her! It’s impressive how much she has achieved in the three short months since she bought her flat and she has some really exciting projects in the pipeline which she might share with us if we’re lucky! But for now why not hop on over to the Direct Blinds blog to read all about how Ruth has decided to decorate her home and to find out what her favourite interior trends are. Read More…

Christmas Dining in Style


Can you believe that it’s just over a week until Christmas? Where on earth has December gone already? I’m not really ready for Christmas and still have a few last minute presents to buy and cards to hand out. But when it comes to the big day at least I don’t really have to worry about hosting the Christmas meal as we’ll be staying with my parents over the festive period. I see myself as quite lucky in the fact that I have managed to avoid ever playing host over Christmas and I’m hoping that I can avoid it for many years to come. All that pre-celebration preparation and cooking must be so stressful, even if it is just for the family.On the other hand, there is something so lovely about getting the table ready for that special meal. It’s the one time of year where you make that special effort to ensure that everything looks ready for a celebration. The best china comes out and the rarely used table linen is freshly ironed ready to bedeck the table. Candles and a bit of festive foliage decorate the centre of the table and the posh glasses are ready to be filled with bubbly so that the family can toast to happiness and good health. But as neither Ruth nor myself will be responsible for decorating the Christmas table this year, we thought it would be fun to do a little pre-Christmas dining styling project of our own. We’d both previously fallen for the indigo dining range by Sainsbury’s when I wrote about it back in August and we thought it would be so much fun if we were able to do our own Christmas preparations without all the stress and hassle of actually having to feed our families. So we contacted Sainsbury’s to ask if they would be interested in helping us with our project and thankfully they agreed to send us the indigo dining range so we could style up our own Christmas tablescape. Read More…

Christmas Gift Ideas for Under £250

This week on my Christmas series I’m featuring a fabulous selection of products that would make great Christmas gifts for the design lover in your life if your budget can stretch up to £250. There are only a few weeks left to get your gifts so you’d better hurry!

To see a selection of Christmas gift ideas for under £100 click here
To see a selection of Christmas gift ideas for under £50 click here
To see a selection of Christmas gift ideas for under £30 click here
To see a selection of Christmas gift ideas for under £20 click here

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