Interiors: 24/7 Designer

Chloe Gets Creative, Essex Living, Katy PearsonMum-of-two and secondary school teacher CHLOE SPILLETT launched Chloe Gets Creative last year, breathing new life into tired interiors and putting the fun into nurseries across Essex. Here she chats indoor swings, instant updates and design mistakes.

Q What sparked your interest in interior design?

A Since I can remember, I’ve loved interiors. I come from a very creative/arty family and grew up in a beautiful house – my mum also has a great eye for home styling and I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree! I designed my first interior at 17 (my own bedroom at home) and I still love the way that room looked!

Q How can people/companies book you if they’d like you do work on a project for them?

A Just get in touch! Anyone can send me an email or message via my website (www.chloegetscreative.com)or social media accounts (www.instagram.com/chloegetscreative / www.facebook.com/chloegetscreative.) I’m always looking to take on new projects and collaborations

Q Where do you get your inspiration from?

A Everywhere! I live and breathe interior design. It’s just on my mind 24/7 so everything I see and do gives me ideas for projects big and small. Continue reading

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Interiors: Heart-centred design

#whatkatydidUK, Amy Kirkwood, beach house designLeigh-on-Sea’s Amy Kirkwood is one half of Beech House Property Renovation (www.beechhousedesign.co.uk.) She reveals why it’s important to get to know your home, how to speedily update your living space and reveals what inspires her…

Q How did you get into interior design and property renovation?
A I am first and foremost an artist and designer, with a passion for colour and pattern. But, I have always carried a flame for beautiful interiors, and more so after travelling extensively and owning my own properties that I have renovated as well. It seemed only natural, when the time was right, to revisit my love for interior design and fuse it, now, with my studio practice and our family property renovation business. I also make bespoke lampshades and create abstract paintings for interiors.

Q What’s the biggest project you’ve ever taken on?
A I have project managed a new build home, with Dave building it, where I worked with the client to design and style the interior. We are currently planning, designing and project managing the total overhaul of a Thirties’ bungalow on the coast of Essex into a two-storey beach house. Continue reading

Interiors: Bright ideas in the home

House of Lovely Stuff, Essex LivingFrom renovated sofas to bright colours on your wall, Leigh-based House of Lovely Stuff’s Jo Bolter tells why it pays to be bold when it comes to interior design…

Q How did House of Lovely Stuff come about?

A I grew up in a house sewing, designing, drawing, cooking, making and creating. But like most families I had no idea that normal people did this as a job, so I left school and started working in a local bank. I met my husband who was a graphic designer and art director and we’ve always enjoyed a shared interest in photography, going to the cinema, gigs, galleries and decorating (the designing bit) our home.

House of Lovely Stuff, Essex LivingBut the catalyst came one day when our youngest daughter came in from school moaning about her homework. It was Eighties week and she had to design an Eighties outfit. I happily explained to her that when I was her age (in the Eighties) I spent hours and hours designing clothes and occasionally making them for fun. My husband said, “Really? You designed and made your own clothes? Why did you stop?”

The answer was sad but simple. The school system/syllabus doesn’t value creativity so when it came to choosing my options I could only choose one creative subject. I loved cooking and I loved textiles. I chose home economics and then as I concentrated on passing my exams.

A couple of weeks later my mum decided to buy a new sewing machine. She asked if I wanted her old one, it was a bit tired but could do a job. I made a cushion. It went okay. I made another one. I started to match fabrics together, playing about with angles, prints and textures. I was happiest experimenting and making. Friends started to take notice. Then I was asked if my cushions were for sale. Sure, I said. And before I knew it a few more friends and friends of friends were interested. Continue reading

Lest we forget: What to do with your poppy

Poppy, Remembrance Sunday, what to do with your poppy, #WhatKatyDidUK

Not just for November 11: Putting your poppy on your tree will keep our armed forces in your thoughts over Christmas too

So, Remembrance Sunday has been and gone. Armistice Day commemorations have been marked with a two-minute silence at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

I imagine your poppy is still pinned to your lapel, your coat, or your bag… but as the week closes, what will you do with it? Keep it there, until battered by the elements, it falls off? Will you throw it away? Or stick it in a drawer, forgotten about in the muddle of pens and receipts and long-ago-written notes?

Well, if you’re keen to do something more, here’s a custom I started more than a decade ago, when my poppy fell to the floor of our little cottage.

Continue reading

Lux living style secrets

Farrow and Ball, Essex, #whatkatydidUK

Fabulous: Farrow & Ball

When it comes to interior design, sometimes it can feel a bit like a closed shop. Finding where those elusive but oh-so lovely paints or pottery are stocked can be a bit of a mission.

Here’s where you can find some of those high-end delights – right on your doorstep.

Happy decorating!

Farrow & Ball

Iconic British brand Farrow & Ball began in the Forties as a small firm specializing in paints made in the traditional way with traditional ingredients.

Used by royalty (Prince Harry decorated his living quarters last year with a gray-and-pink color scheme, according to a consultant for the company) it offers a distinctive palette of 132 paint colours and handcrafted wallpapers. Continue reading

I’m loving… MURI candles

MURI candle

Mama’s little indulgence: A MURI candle

Having posh candles, when you have a little one, can be something of an indulgence.

I mean, what with the no sleep, the feeding, the playing, the classes, who has time to go lighting candles? (Safely placed wellllllll out of reach of the oh-so-curious buba of course!)

But I’ve always had a candle or two burning about my house – it just makes it feel more cosy, more hygge you could say – and that hasn’t changed since the arrival of Sonny Jim.

That said, with me being on maternity leave and the boy constantly out growing clothes and starting to eat his body weight in grub, there’s not quite the budget there once was for super expensive candles (so long my Jo Malone lovelies.)

Which is why I do a little dance of joy when I come across fabulous, high quality candles, that don’t cost an absolute fortune! Continue reading

Let’s talk about last night… at Lower Barn Farm

Everhot, Katy Pearson, Lower Barn Farm, launch

A new yearn: The Everhot

An Aga has always been something I’ve sort of unconsciously aspired to having. Y’know, along with a beach-fronted home, cashmere loungewear and hair that just falls right when I wake up.

Agas epitomise cosy kitchens. They conjure up warming night-time chatters, toasty toes and chubby-legged toddlers running across the kitchen floor.

So, at last night’s launch of Lower Barn Farm’s design studio (in London Road, Rayleigh) while there was SO MUCH lovely kitchen stuff to see up close and being used (thanks wonderful chefs!) there was one stand out for me.

The Everhot. It’s basically an Aga for the 21st century. A classic country kitchen look is combined with an energy-efficient heat storage range. Continue reading