The IKEA Catalogue….a sign of the times.

The IKEA catalogue arrived over the weekend through my letterbox and its always something that I look forward to seeing along with a great deal of other people. I must confess that the layout and style direction of the front cover of the IKEA catalogue is always my first thought before flicking through the whole catalogue. I tend to keep back issues of each year as they provide a great snap shot of that years style direction. I can remember from years and years ago being so excited to see how the new Habitat catalogue would feel and look. This got me thinking about the last few years and had me searching through the office and on-line for the previous few years of IKEA front pages.

Its quite amazing how each year has such a different feel and direction but also how dated covers from 4 or 5 years can look, while others have stayed much more current. The use of colour, layout and products always grabs my attention and gets me thinking but I always am drawn more to the covers that give the strongest Swedish feel.

For me, the IKEA catalogue is a sign of the times

OSB Board.

OSB board or orientated strand board is just a fantastic material to know about and use. It is an engineered wood particle board formed by adding adhesives and then compressing layers of wood strands (flakes) in specific orientations. Not only does it look great, its low cost, durable and can be used both inside and out. It is also a timber board that is available to everyone really easily and can be left untreated, varnished, stained or painted. A quick trip down to B&Q is all you need to do to start the process of how to use OSB boards off.

I have used OSB board in my own projects more recently and have seen it used to great effect in both commercial and residential settings. The Stealth Barn shows OSB used to its best in my opinion.

It can be used as a wall, floor or ceiling finish, as a kitchen or bathroom material, or to make bespoke furniture. The uses for OSB board seem to be only limited by your own imagination. I used OSB in our family beach hut and it has proved to be cost effective, robust and easy on the eye.

Below you will find a few ideas for uses that have caught my eye and will hopefully help you. It is maybe also worth checking my Pinterest board or searching Houzz for the never ending uses of OSB.



Stools and Benches

My obsession with all things seating continues hence Stools and Benches today on the blog.
I have always loved chairs and could easily have a house full of chairs but now I also find myself looking at different stools and benches. You don’t have to spend huge amounts of money to get something that looks fantastic. My selection here range from £60 to over £600.
I am drawn to a variety of designs, materials and finishes plus the idea that benches and stools are usually a good space saving idea, value for money and can serve as side tables too. There is a vast choice in either the vintage or new markets for both indoors and outdoors.

If you are looking for retailers to check out then maybe consider UntothislastIkeaReally Well MadeBoConceptJennifer Newman or Retrouvius. More pictures are available on my Pinterest page.

Here are a few stools and benches that have caught my eye.



Black Kitchen Please.

This post is all about what I want in the future but hopefully not too far in the future!
Some while ago somebody told me that it would be wrong to have a black on black kitchen and this stuck in my mind for some strange reason. I then returned to this in my head while doing some kitchen research and started pulling up ideas to prove them wrong! Once somebody tells me something is wrong or can’t be done then it makes me want to do it!
It became apparent very quickly that an all black kitchen is very much possible and something that we would love in our own home.  As with most projects, it comes down to a careful selection of materials and finishes.

I have found plenty of ideas saved for when our kitchen finally gets done again and wanted to share them. A quick bit of research showed that the usual outlets such as Ikea, Howdens and Wren all sell very affordable black kitchens, its just a case of being brave.

Please check my Pinterest, 4Homes or Houzz  for more inspiration if you like what you see….


Some Flooring Ideas.

The choices that are available when you come to select flooring for a project are huge and varied which can lead to some amazing finishes. The use of different materials, both new and reclaimed, mean that so many things are possible today making flooring more exciting than ever.

I can remember using rubber flooring from Dalsouple many years ago and being so excited at the possibility of picking any colour I wanted. Now there are so many options when it comes to paint, cork, concrete, leather, wood, rubber, carpet etc that the choice can seem overwhelming. By doing a quick bit of research about flooring I quickly came up with some ideas that might be useful to you. For example, you can see how far the humble carpet has come through sites like Dash and Albert .

Today its possible to have stunning flooring that considers the environment and budget. Remember to check out your local reclamation yard too and although we may not all live close to Lassco’s you might find some hidden gems in your local yard!

As usual you can find more ideas on my Pinterest page.


My Love of Coffee Shops.

My love of coffee shops has been going a long time now! My perfect weekend usually involves drinking coffee with my family in surroundings that are well designed. For quite sometime, my ideal design job has been to work on a coffee shop interior and hopefully this will happen sometime soon. Creating an environment that is warm and welcoming but also full of personality and style seems to be the key. It also seems the perfect opportunity to work with some recycled materials and up-cycle existing pieces. We have our favourite spots to go to locally and it always has to be a combination of great coffee, cake and an inspiring interior. We always look for places where every member of the family feels happy to visit and is warmly welcomed through the door. If you are ever in the Dorset area then let me know and I can let you know where we like to go as there are some amazing local places like South Coast Roast and Coast to check out. Here are a few interiors that I think look stunning and perhaps give you some idea of how my own fictional coffee shop might look.You can also check out my coffee shop pins.



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While doing some research for work, I have found that I am more and more drawn to ways of re-using existing materials where possible. There is the obvious benefits of trying to reduce waste and keep costs down but there is also another side to consider.

By injecting objects, furniture and finishes with a history into a space, an extra layer is added. The mix of  brand new alongside something up-cycled or recycled can create something really great with much more personality and conscience. Whether it’s a reclaimed floor, vintage wood, industrial lighting or a clever use of an old material, I  have found loads of ideas that I want to use and hope that you find interesting. Here are a few of the images I have saved and that give me inspiration for future spaces.