My Kitchen Makeover in Progress

The Design Sheppard kitchen makeover 5

I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to write this post. This kitchen makeover has been in progress for a year…aha, you read that right…a year!! Why, you might ask. Well it’s a long story. We started last April by replacing the hob, sink and worktop and we removed all the kitchen tiles. Then we had an issue with the worktop so couldn’t go ahead with tiling. It took forever to sort the worktop issue and then, as always, life got in the way. We’d got used to living with no tiles and time passed. Realising it had been a year gave me the kick up the bum I needed to get going again. So while we were in Poland on holiday over Easter, we had workmen in to crack on and finish the project, all overseen by my amazing dad. I can’t thank him enough. With dad being our project manager for this kitchen makeover, it meant that we didn’t have to live in the chaos while the work was being done and we got to come home to a kitchen that was very nearly finished. I nearly cried when I saw how different it was. It was like a completely different room in someone else’s home. But for the purpose of this post, let’s go back in time to how the kitchen looked when we moved in.  Read More…

Trend : Bright & Bold Velvet Sofas

Green chesterfield velvet sofas by Darlings of Chelsea

Today, I’m talking a little bit about predicting trends. Interior trends, like the trends we see in fashion, come and go. They are cyclical in nature but they are not always easy to predict. Now I think I’m pretty good at predicting upcoming trends. Some trends, known as macro trends, really explode onto the scene in a big way and create large-scale, sustained shifts in consumer interest. Other trends, known as micro trends, remain quite small and tend to change the behaviour in the short-term. Then, of course, there are fads which come fast but tend to fade away quickly too. When you are immersed in an industry as much as I am, it tends to be quite easy to spot patterns arising.

Suddenly you see lots of plants featuring in interior shoots, then you see lots of botanical artwork popping up, then fabric, then wallcoverings, then you spot ceramics that are covered in cactus prints or shaped like cacti, then candles appear that look like succulents and then before you know it you’re in the middle of a full blown botanical trend that is absolutely everywhere and hard to avoid. Trends take quite a while to go mainstream though. They often start at a really high-end level and then slowly filter down to the highstreet and this can take months or even years. So if you’re in the know, trends are easy to spot. But sometimes, they can appear out of nowhere and totally take you by surprise. And that is exactly what happened to me with velvet!

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Ironing Boards with extras from Brabantia

3 Brabantia Ironing Boards leaning against a wall

It’s been a while since I last posted about Brabantia. The brand has been at the forefront of my mind recently as we have been working on the makeover of our kitchen. They are one of my go to brands when it comes to quality, well-designed, long-lasting homewares. I’m currently eyeing up a new bread bin and perhaps some new food storage jars. It was while browsing the site that I came across the latest additions to the laundry collection. The new range of ironing boards is designed to help you de-stress and get some ‘me time’.  Read More…

Interview : Textile Designer Niki Jones

Contemporary Scandinavian bedroom with dark walls and geometric grey bedding by designer Niki JonesHi everyone! How are you all today? I hope you’ve enjoyed the long Bank Holiday weekend if you live in the UK. Traditionally, this is a time when lots of us take part in DIY and try to get our homes ready for the greatly anticipated summer season. I’m happy to say that I actually haven’t been doing any DIY at all this weekend. That’s because my kitchen makeover, which has been in progress for a year, is finally finished. I can’t tell you what a relief that is. So this weekend we have been mostly enjoying our new space. I will be sharing a progress post with you guys shortly and then the final reveal will follow once I’ve had the time (and good light) to photograph it. So that’s all very exciting!

Something else exciting however, is that I am hosting a fantastic giveaway today, which I am sure you’ll love. A few weeks ago, I received an email from Niki Jones, a fantastic designer who wanted to introduce me to her work. I have no idea how I hadn’t come across her before if I’m honest and that’s why I really love it when people reach out to me. Once I had checked out Niki’s website, I knew she would be a perfect candidate to feature on The Design Sheppard so I immediately responded and asked if I could interview her so I could give you guys a more in-depth insight into her work. Luckily, she agreed to make time for us. So here it is: Read More…

How to Make the Most of Stunning Views

Kingswear South Devon

As you’re probably aware by now, I am based in Dartmouth in South Devon and I count myself lucky every day to be able to live in such a beautifully stunning location. I have grown up here and spent most of my life living here, except for a brief period of study when I moved away for my degree and a couple of years spent living in Bristol. When I was younger I never appreciated living here and couldn’t wait to move away, convinced that city living had more to offer. It was only when I did move away that I realised how much I love this little town and all its quirks. Before long I was back living here and I saw my home town through new eyes.

The past few weeks have seen the town basked in brilliant sunshine and there has been a distinct holiday vibe as thousands of tourists flock here to sample the lifestyle that I am lucky enough to live and breathe every day. The unique location of Dartmouth means that we are surrounded by stunning views at every turn. Situated on the banks of the River Dart, right beside the sea and in the middle of the countryside, Dartmouth is a real gem. But Shhhhhh….don’t tell too many people as I don’t want my little town overrun with even more tourists. It’s hard enough to park as it is!

As you can see from these photos that I’ve taken of Dartmouth and of Kingswear across the other side of the river, the people who live here on the river banks benefit from the most stunning views. It’s easy to take it for granted when you live here and it’s obviously the reason why coastal towns like Dartmouth, Kingswear, Stoke Fleming, Strete, Kingsbridge and Salcombe prove to be such popular holiday destinations.
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National Tile Week 2017

National Tile Week 2017

April is a pretty big month for anyone who is embarking on any home upgrade projects. The entire month of April is Home Improvement Month so it’s the perfect time to set yourself the challenge of updating at least one room in your home. We will finally be finishing off our kitchen makeover that we started last April. It was put on hold for various reasons but we are finally in a position to get that finished. Perfect timing too as it is also National Tile Week in April. Let me tell you more about it. Read More…

Trend : Nautical Interiors

Nautical interiors is definitely not a new trend, but it is a timeless trend. You will always find people decorating their homes with a nautical theme and it really doesn’t date. Living right on the coast here in Devon, I am surrounded by seaside themed…well …everything really. So it is no surprise that as summer approaches and outdoor living becomes more of a possibility, I always get drawn to nautical interiors. There is just something so classy about them, don’t you think? Is it the blue and white colour scheme maybe? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that nautical interiors never go out of favour with me. So today I’ve picked out a selection of products that can be used to create a classical nautical inspired room.

Nautical Interiors trend inspiration

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Marble Wallpaper from Murals Wallpaper

Deep Blue Clouded Marble Wallpaper by Murals Wallpaper

Morning everyone, how was your weekend? Over too quick, right? Well, there’s nothing we can do about that, but thought I’d pop by this morning to brighten your day a little with this fantastic marble wallpaper I’ve discovered from Murals Wallpaper (the same company that makes these gorgeous Terrazzo wall murals I featured a few weeks ago). Marble has been a big trend in interiors over the last few years. It started out with Carrara marble being a highly covetable material but as the trend matured we saw more colourful marbles taking centre stage. I wasn’t a fan if I’m honest, but now I’ve seen this stunning marble wallpaper I’m totally converted. Isn’t it just beautiful? What an amazing statement wall this would be. I’m particularly drawn to the pinky ones and blush pink is a big trend at the moment too so this would tie in nicely. By using these faux marble wallpaper prints you can add the class and elegance of marble to your home without the expense and hassle of sourcing real marble. Take a look and let me know what you think, okay? Read More…

Disguise Your TV with the Samsung Frame

Disguise your TV with a Samsung Frame TV

Have you ever wished that you could disguise that ugly black box in the corner of your livingroom? You know the one I mean. That massive TV that takes up valuable space in your room and looks like a right eyesore. You’ve noticed how no photographs of home interiors in magazines ever feature a TV, right? Well that’s because the stylists always remove them because they look bloody awful and their mere presence is incompatible with the aspirational lifestyle that the magazine is trying to sell you.

For years, I have pondered how I can disguise my TV. Ideally I’d like to get rid of it altogether but then I wouldn’t be able to put CBeebies on when I need a moment of peace, so that’s not happening. I’ve considered putting it in a cabinet, but I’ve never found a cabinet I like. I’ve considered mounting it on the wall, but I fear that will draw even more attention to it. I’ve even considered getting one of those mirror TVs, but they look pretty hideous and are really expensive. I couldn’t find a satisfactory solution so I basically gave up and accepted the fact that the TV dominates the livingroom. But I have great news! Thanks to Samsung there is now a fantastic solution that absolutely ticks all the boxes and will allow you to disguise your TV with ease and class. Read More…

How I Overcome the Winter Blues

Blooming Artificial Faux Plants Innolux SAD Light

The past few days have felt decidedly warmer down here in Devon. We even had to turn the central heating down one evening as we were feeling a little balmy. To me, that is a sure sign that Spring is edging ever closer and I can’t wait. It’s hard trying to get through the winter months as those dark and dreary days seem endless. I really miss the warmer, sunny days that Spring and Summer bring and I find that this tends to affect my mood somewhat. My husband is definitely affected. He can be a real grump in winter and tends to suffer from a distinct lack of motivation. I’m convinced that he suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but he assures me he doesn’t. After years of difficult winters, I decided that it was time we sought a solution that would help us cope better through the winter months and shake off those pesky winter blues. Read More…

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