Black Ideas

I think the title says it all … black ideas. Over the last 12 to 18 months we have all seen how black has been used as a colour both inside and outside the home with much more frequency. No longer is black seen as a sombre colour to be used sparingly but rather as a colour perfect for adding drama and contrast to a space. Black ideas work in contemporary and more traditional spaces both in the interior and on the exterior of buildings. It can also be a great colour to use in commercial spaces and for branding.

The high street is now well stocked with black homeware products making it much easier to use as little or as much of the colour as you want. It is now easy to go and purchase black bed linen, find a black feature light, use black tiles or design yourself a black kitchen.

Here are a selection of images which I hope inspire you to look into using black as a colour or at least make you think about it! There are a few products included but mainly inspiration images and ideas. I would also check out Rockett St George, Bodie and Fou, Buster + Punch, Bert and May plus my own Pinterest board for a few more black ideas.



White is often the perfect colour to show off texture and materials to their absolute best. I think lots of people associate white with stark minimalist interiors and this is often the case. However, for me a white backdrop can be the perfect way to celebrate natural materials and the simplicity of form.

Sometimes a white background, whether it be for a website, framing artwork or an interior, is the absolute best way to draw the attention to where it is most needed. With a white interior, the slightest injection of another colour or accent material will really stand out. One of my favourite websites at the moment is the Hiut Denim site which seems to have nailed the simple clean look really well.

Below are a selection of images that I love and will hopefully be of interest to you. As usual I have my Pinterest board which includes all the images below plus a few more. I have tried to credit all the images wherever possible and all links can be found via the Pinterest board.

Farrow and Ball Styling

I am a huge fan of the Farrow and Ball styling. For many years, I have enjoyed how they present their new ranges with inspirational images on-line and in print. The styled images not only give you ideas around paint colour and wallpapers, but also provide ideas on presentation, furniture and decoration. When we decided to paint are hallway in a deep rich green, there was only ever going to be one place to find our new colour which ended up being Studio Green from Farrow and Ball.

Below are a selection of some of my favourite images from Farrow and Ball which I hope you like. There are very few companies who mix contemporary and classic styling so well. Hopefully they will inspire you to be bold with wall coverings and paint colours. If you want to see more Farrow and Ball styling then it would be worth following their Instagram and Pinterest feeds which are always full of strong imagery.




This time its all about the colour brown on the blog. I think I am drawn to the colour due to its association with metal, cardboard and wood. It can provide an excellent accent or base colour for an interior scheme. Perhaps, as we start to approach winter, there is also the connection with the brown colours of winter. Whether you are looking to use brown pieces of furniture or work with brown finishes, the choices are huge.

Below you can find some images that I love which hopefully provide lots of brown inspiration. These kind of images usually provide me with the ideas that form the basis of a new scheme. Hopefully they inspire you too! For a more comprehensive collection of images, you can also check out my Pinterest board here.


This time its all about orange. I wanted to post up a piece which showed some inspirational images focussing on orange. We used to have an old BMW 2002 in orange which is still my favourite car of all time, and perhaps this is where this post has come from in my head. I am especially drawn to how well orange works as a colour when used with black, grey and dark brown.

I have collected all the images which I like on to my Pinterest board here and as usual there is a broad mix of images and products for you to look over. Below you can see some images using orange which include a few key products I really like.


The PostLiving blog this time is all about blue. I have always steered away from blue in the past as I think  I associated blue with nautical themes! However, since teal/blue was the colour for 2014, I have had my eyes opened to how stunning it can be when used in interiors. Themed interior schemes have always been a bit of a pet hate of mine but now I can see past this with blue!

As always, it starts with spotting the odd product or photo which sparks a new Pinterest board and it grows from there. On this occasion, I also must give a big mention to the colour guru that is Will Taylor who always brings new colours to my attention. Blue has been a regular colour on his blog and probably sparked something in me too. It is a great colour to use alongside white, black or grey.

There are some great products which can inject blue into a scheme and a few are highlighted below. I was  really pleased to be able to share the cushion from Waffle Design which is now something I have my eye on!


Cork Ideas.

So welcome to the world of cork! I have loved cork for years and it seems to me that more and more products and finishes are now starting to feature cork. I have been collecting ideas for using this material on a Pinterest board and it felt worth sharing these images.

Cork might be the solution if you are looking to buy furniture, small items or select a wall or floor finish. It is such a versatile, environmentally and cost effective material to work with. I have been particularly drawn over the last few weeks to cork lighting and chairs. I recently saw an article in Dezeen which highlighted a new range of products from IKEA designed by Ilse Crawford which looks well worth checking out. Once a giant like IKEA locks onto a material you know that it will be in many forms on the high street very soon!



This post about greens was inspired my recent reworking of the home office. While purchasing some small bits and pieces, I started to notice how many great products there are in a huge range of different greens.

As usual, as soon as I start noticing something like that, I start pinning pictures and products onto my Pinterest boards. I am drawn to the huge varieties of greens and especially love the darker shades of green with a grey influence. There are some amazing food pictures which help in providing a colour pallet to start with.

Most high street and online shops carry a nice selection of green products at the moment and one to especially look out for is Really Well Made. Below are a selection of images and products that tick all the boxes for me when its comes to picking greens to work with.

12 Work Lights.

Here are 12 work lights that I really love. I enjoy selecting lights and applying the correct light to the different functions within a room. These 12 work lights look amazing but also tick the box as far as providing a good functional task light.

A good desk light should provide flexible directional light and also give ambient light to backlight any screen that may be in use. I guess it’s fairly predictable that one of my choices would be the classic Anglepoise light with a design dating back to the 1930’s. When I look at my other choices its also clear that this iconic design has influenced many of my other selections too. There also seems to be a move towards mixing materials more and I am really drawn to wood as a material for lights. Lighting can also be a great opportunity to add an item with age and character which helps bring more personality to a room.

It feels to me that many stores now stock strong ranges of very affordable lights so I have tried to look outside the usual shops where possible for this selection to hopefully highlight something new for you.


5 questions to 4 designers.

So the idea is simple, ask 5 questions to 4 designers and see what happens. This idea is something that I have had for a while but also a bit of a new departure for me and my style blog. Usually I work with images more than words on PostLiving but I have been fascinated for a long time about how design and style varies so much between different people. How can style, taste and inspiration differ  so much?

So, at the beginning of this year I decided to ask 3 designers who I admire to answers the same basic questions about design. I also decided to answers the same questions myself and then see what answers came in and publish them on the blog.

I decided to ask Andrew Dunning of APD Interiors, Oliver Heath and Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar. All 3 of these amazing designers have totally different approaches to their craft and were also kind enough to say yes to my idea without hesitation.


So here we go, 5 questions to 4 designers, well 3 designers and little old me! …..


1. Where does your design inspiration come from?


My design inspiration is most often inspired by nature and natural systems. As a society and due to our urban lifestyles we are drifting away from our connection to nature and the many benefits that come from incorporating it – both physiologically and psychologically. A connection with nature is intrinsic to our health and wellbeing and there are many ways that we can bring its influence into our lives to improve the spaces we inhabit.


Travel. Immersing myself in a new culture and set of rituals and localised routines helps me to see things from a fresh perspective. A colour combination I hadn’t considered before; a texture or material used in an unexpected way; admiring the way different cultures actually live in their homes – these are all things that inspire me from travel.


Inspiration for me comes from living a very full diverse life. Every day in London I’m inspired by the changing urban landscape, new building excite me, the street vibe makes me happy. I also find inspiration during weekends by the coast, the crashing of the sea, the colours of the sand. Everyone should really open their eyes more – inspiration is everywhere!


My design inspiration comes from so many different places but probably the most common is the coast where we live. I have a true passion for the traditional English seaside and everything that goes with it. The coastline looks amazing whether on the coldest day in winter or the hottest day in the summer.


2. How would you describe your own style?


My style is Biophilic design – using humans innate attraction to nature and natural systems as design principles to creating happier and healthier spaces to live and work in. It’s all about maximising natural light, creating views onto nature, using natural materials textures, patterns and colours, but also creating safe spaces to retreat back into.


Eclectic, comfortable and gently colourful with an air of Scandinavian whimsy.


My style for designing interiors is very contemporary in look but as we work for residential clients it also has to be functional and liveable. Many of the interiors I create will be used for many years so we keep trendy touches to a minimum to ensure longevity. I also draw lots of inspiration in my style from Scandinavian interiors, their cool calm look is totally the look I love.


A complete mix of style. I like mixing honest simple materials with strong colours whilst bringing old and new together in the same space. I have never been a fan of just one style of design.


3. What’s your biggest pet hate related to design?


My biggest pet hate is the use of stereotyped historical pastiche – an extrinsic design approach focused solely on impressing others. Good design should be about improving the environments that we live in and the wider environment beyond those boundaries.


Snobbery, both ways. I find it equally annoying when someone looks down on affordable design, such as IKEA, as I do when others dismiss people who invest in high end design as a ‘waste’ of money. Personally, I like to mix high and low in my own home; how much people choose to spend on furnishing their homes is personal and not something worthy of judgement.


Using any poorly designed product just upset me. William Morris said ‘have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ – I’m inclined to revise that to just beautiful full stop. If I had to name one product I dislike it is any ‘recliner’ chair with integrated handles – absolute design hell in my books.


Elitism. Design should be open to everybody and truly accessible to anybody interested. Good design should be able to influence and improve the lives of the greatest number of people possible.


4. Which is your favourite material to work with?


My favourite material is timber, it’s the grain, its visual warmth, it’s acoustic qualities and the way it brings a human sense of scale to a space. I love to experiment with it on my TV shows and have had fun sanding, staining and even scorching it with a blow torch to create different effects.


Linen. I love the tactile, soft, floaty and relaxed feel it brings to a space. Of course, it allows me to play with colour and pattern, too!


I love working with natural products in our projects. We recently used the most beautiful grey limestone for a kitchen project. You can sense the history and age of the stone when you start to look at the veining. Although natural products do often come with a maintenance overhead they beat manufactured materials every time for me.


I love working with Formica. It is available in so many colours and finishes.


5. If you could recommend 1 shop to visit, which would it be and why?


My favourite shops aren’t design shops per se, but more utilitarian stores that offer fixtures, fittings, and tools. Hardware shops and in particular yacht chandlers are always a source of enormous excitement for me……. But then I did used to be a windsurfing instructor so perhaps that’s not so surprising.


Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Fine Little Day. Her scandinavian aesthetic is so beautiful – I always try to have some of her pieces in each new apartment I move into.


Given my love of Scandinavian interiors I would have to say Folklore on Upper Street in Islington. The products are careful selected by the owners who understand the Scandi style so well. From lighting to homeware via furniture I’d have every product in my own home if I could.


I struggle to get passed IKEA for this answer. The range of style is huge and the price point means that everybody can usually find something they like. For me, a good interiors shop has a great selection of products at prices which don’t exclude anybody. If I was allowed another choice, then Untothislast on Brick Lane, London, would be it!