Interior Design

House plants are having a moment….

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House plants Three Interiors










If you scroll through Pinterest and Instagram, you’ll see that house plants are having a definite moment. I’ve always been an advocate of them for a number of reasons:

House plants clean the air in our homes. Plants are notoriously adept at absorbing gases and VOCs through pores on the surface of their leaves. The microorganisms that live in the soil of potted plants also play an instrumental role in neutralizing these VOCs and other pollutants.

They add life and interest to a scheme. Over and above accessories such as mirrors, vases etc, house plants bring a natural element that can’t be replicated by anything man made. They also bring another level of texture, which is always beneficial.

Plants can fill “dead spaces”. A dead space in an interior can be a corner or a space on a wall that needs something. For example, I have used large house plants next to pieces of furniture to “fill” a wall. They also add softness against angular lines or hard finishes, hence why they’re perfect for bathrooms.

House plants Three Interiors


Another benefit of being around house plants is that they’re believed to make people more creative and productive, reduce stress and give us overall higher levels of well-being. I think this is because they remind us of the outdoors, when most of us spend a lot of our time indoors.







“Fake” house plants can still give us the same feeling as real ones. Obviously, they don’t have the same health benefits but if you’re a notorious plant killer (yep, me too) or the room doesn’t have much natural light, then fake can be a good way to go. As with most things, you get what you pay for and it’s best to mix them in with other real plants where you can. Just remember which is which when it comes to watering them! I’ve used a mixture of fake and real plants in my bathroom. Being in the middle of the house means it doesn’t get tons of light, so I had to fake it otherwise I’d just feel like a total plant murderer!!

Three Interiors bathroom House Plants




Three Interiors 100% Design

100% Design

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I can’t actually believe that 100% Design was over 2 weeks ago now, this year is going waaaaay too fast for me. Apart from an absolute debacle with Virgin Trains which saw me missing my train to London and then almost prevented from getting the last one back (ticket issues, nothing to do with me being naughty!!), the day was enjoyable. I especially enjoyed my upgrade to the first class coach on the train home anyway, given to me because the customer service from Virgin was sooooo rubbish.

Anyway, enough of my train rant! Back to what was happening at 100% Design. Well, the new venue is a hit with me. Kensington Olympia is bright and light and just feels so much better than Earls Court did. I did like Earls Court’s proximity to the train station, Olympia is a bit of a pain when you need to get back to Euston but the venue wins hands down. It really suits the 100% Design exhibition and the kind of products that are on show.

So, in no particular order (and I’ve definitely left things out – you’d get bored) here’s a selection of my faves from the show.

North Limited

One of the emerging brands and I see this company going far. They’re a design collective of Icelandic designers. I LOVE these side tables and their general aesthetic. Scandi, simple, clean.

Three Interiors North Ltd  Three Interiors & North Ltd











This furniture brand launched their first collection at 100% Design which was designed for them by the company Bureau de change . The craftsmanship is extraordinary, keeping alive a Greek tradition of rope weaving in their chairs, footstools and screens, with their tables featuring marble slabs atop American walnut. Each piece is created by hand and the quality shows. The dining chairs and tables  are designed to “slot” together, a pleasing little design quirk that makes this collection all the more lust worthy.

It’s suuuuper expensive but I still want something from the collection, even if it’s just a footstool!! J
Three Interiors Efasma Three Interiors Efasma







There were some gorgeous tiles at 100% Design, really large format porcelain ones that looked like concrete, marble etc. were awesome. But I fell in LOVE with most of the tiles from Mambo Unlimited. A Portugese company with these amazing tiles:

Three Interiors Mambo Unlimited Three Interiors Mambo UnlimitedThree Interiors Mambo Unlimited





It was great to meet Kirath Ghundoo, a surface pattern designer. Her graphic, colourful patterns are really “of the moment” and I’d love to collaborate with her at some point in the future. She also does some ready to shop wallpapers, so you can have a bit of Kirath’s style in your home without having to commission a bespoke piece.

Three Interiors Kirath Ghundoo









One of the finishes that was a hit at 100% Design was Lustrolite, a high gloss acrylic panel that looks like back coated glass but can be cut with normal power tools and is half the weight. The range of colours was a bit limited but you can custom colour, although the minimum order is 200 sheets! Lustrolite can be used in a few applications such as bath surrounds, shower walls, kitchen splashbacks and it’s easy to clean/hygienic properties make it great for use in these areas.

Three Interiors Lustrolite







Joined + Jointed were a company that had a great stand at 100% Design. A collective of furniture designers who work together to create original and contemporary pieces. I especially liked the desk/dressing table by Lucy Kurrein and the chair by Sean Yoo/Paul Smith.









Well that’s all for now folks, speak soon

Angela xx


Childrens rooms that WORK

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Your child’s space requirements will change as they grow. A question I get asked a lot is “How do you “future proof” your childrens rooms?” Keep in mind a few simple requirements:

Storage. Properly planned storage can keep the chaos at bay, but it needs to work hard. Homework, craft projects, art, reading, gaming or watching TV might all need to be catered for in your childrens room. Collect all the materials together and work out what size storage space will be required. Then think about catering for at least an extra 20-30% of “stuff” and you’ve future proofed. Be creative – for example kitchen fittings can work really well for kid’s storage. Don’t be afraid to upcycle old pieces of furniture either, then you won’t be too upset when the inevitable happens. I remember in particular a chemistry set my sister and I had…!

Three Interiors Kids storage









Technology/electrics. It’s hard to get away from the need for technology – TV’s, tablets and PC’s, games consoles etc. If you plan this into your childrens room early you can ensure that you don’t have cables and wires exposed or trailing and that you have enough sockets in the room to cope with future needs. Look to wall mount a TV or try to hide it in a cupboard with the other technology, then it’s not a distraction when it’s homework time.

Three Interiors TV Storage









Kids like to be creative and display their artwork, so provide space for them to do so – a simple line with cute pegs looks great or why not create a magnetic wall with specialist paint or plasterboard? High shelving for other things you want to display keeps things safe for all ages. I love this idea of framing the creative stuff your kids do. It’s from The Caterpillar Years  and it’s in my fave colour yellow! 🙂

Three Interiors DIY Gallery Wall









Click  here to go to Heather’s blog where she shows you how to make them for your childrens room.

Harder surfaces like wood, cork or vinyl withstand spills and can be cleaned easily. If you’ve already got carpet down, think about covering the main play/traffic area with a rug, to lessen the wear and tear.

Three Interiors Kids Flooring









A dedicated space for quiet homework or reading A desk and a comfortable chair is a must for homework and study, or projects. Make sure everything required is within reaching distance, peg boards and rails with tubs attached are ideal for this.

Three Interiors Kids room desk space









Avoid themes. Your little treasure might love the idea of a themed room (for example, Frozen springs to mind!) but will they love it in a few years’ time? Will you?! You can introduce fun with patterns and colour rather than themes that will date. Get your child involved in a few choices for the room, children love to feel ownership of their space and they’re not afraid of the use of colour.

Three Interiors Bedroom from Poppy Talk









Photo courtesy of Poppytalk 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post on childrens rooms that work, catch you later.

Angela xx


Interior design style – what’s yours?

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If an interior designer tells you that they can/will do any type of scheme and they’re not at all influenced by their own personal style then they’re telling porkies.

I’m sure they don’t mean to fib but if they don’t have an interior design style they tend to work to or they’re doing work they’re not going to feature in their portfolio then they’re just doing it for the money. And that’s no good for you, the client.

Am I influenced by my own personal style? Hell yeah! There are all sorts of interiors that I look at and think Yuuuuucccckkkk, but another person might look at them and think Yuuuuummmmm!! I don’t want to work on schemes that are a million miles away from my interior design style because I believe design is a collaborative process. I can’t collaborate with a client who’s on a completely different wavelength to me, and they’d be much better off finding a designer who shares their vision.

I haven’t and don’t want to work on a blingy/glitzy/crystal studded mansion. I don’t do antiques or really traditional interiors. I don’t do complicated drapes and trimmings on curtains. I’m not a huge fan of large expanses of shiny surfaces. I could go on…!

I work with clients who have realistic budgets and expectations and an appreciation of good design and how it will enhance their lifestyle. I am obviously guided by what my clients want and need, I’d never tell my clients what they should have but we’ll both share a general vision/idea of style so that we get the best out of working with each other.

So I’ve compiled a little image gallery of what I do/don’t do. With tongue firmly in cheek, here we go!

Three Interiors
Three Interiors
Three Interiors
Three Interiors
Playhouse before and after Three Interiors

Pimp my playhouse!

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The reason I’ve been off line for a while is Mr B and I have been slaving away in the garden. I seriously wanted to come back to work as I was desperate for a sit down! The main thing we needed to do with our time off was move the pond. I do love it where it is as it’s right next to the sunken part of the garden but it’s also right next to the lawn on the other side. It’s just not safe with a 3 year old and her little friends who love running about the place.

We did dig out the new pond and it’s now full, but apparently you need to wait before you can move plants and fish, it has to be done in stages for the water to stabilise. I did not know that. The new pond is on the top terrace on the side of the stream. I worry it will be too shady but we’ll see…

me-digging-pond  pond-dug-out








The major thing that took up a LOT of our time was a playhouse/slide/swing combo we devised for Cara. Now, I blame our friends for this as they’d bought their daughter a perfectly lovely compact slide with a covered platform and a ladder which was great. However it then went out of stock and the nearest replacement to it was an extra £90. Given our financial status at present – i.e. really not supposed to be spending anything as saving for extension etc, etc I decided we’d do it ourselves. (This is also known as showing Phil a design and fluttering my eyelashes at him) It didn’t work but he was excited enough about the idea of “pimping” a playhouse that he got on board.

So first things first, we needed to make sure we had enough room. I decided we’d get rid of an uninspiring bush and move a Hydrangea, which I hope won’t die on us. This meant we could place the structure right to the back of the garden/top tier of the terrace on the stream side.










In the meantime, we’d bought a playhouse off ebay which was 4ft x 4ft and crying out to be pimped!!








We then went and bought quite a lot of timber and screws and Phil started to put the frame together












After assembling the playhouse and a LOT of painting we then had to get it up on top of the frame. It was at this point I tried to highlight that there might be a slight flaw in the making of the structure, but Mr B was having none of it. So yes, we did push the playhouse up the “ramp” onto the frame. I’m still amazed that we managed it with no serious injuries!

me-painting wendy-house-upon-top-of-ramp









The nights were long, at one point I was painting in the dark. It’s not something I’d recommend. We had a little “topping out” celebration with a few well deserved beers when Mr B put the owl in place 😉










And here’s the finished product in daylight 🙂 and yes, if I could have got a slide in the sage green I would have done!


There’s still loads to do in the garden but now Cara has plenty to keep her occupied whilst we try and get some of the jobs done that we didn’t get round to.

What crazy things have you built in your garden? I’d love to see them!

Love Angela xx

Why industrial style is still so popular

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Utilitarian or Industrial style in interiors was born in the loft apartments carved out of old warehouses in New York in the 1970s. These cavernous spaces made no concession to the comforts of residential living. These were industrial interiors, with steel beams, brick walls, concrete floors, and metal-framed windows. Rather than strip out these elements, the new inhabitants – many of them artists, musicians, writers and designers worked with these features, incorporating them into their new homes. The key elements of utilitarian style are function, edginess and unpretentiousness. Key materials are metal, concrete, wood, iron and brick. Fabrics are natural – cotton, hessian, linen, wool, leather and silk.

bathroom kitchen luxe industrial










So why is it so popular? Well it just suits so many house styles, it can be kept really strictly utilitarian for your loft apartment in Manchester that ‘twas once a mill, or softened to a more Scandinavian feel in the suburbs with the use of more tactile finishes such as cork or wood and the introduction of more “soft” elements like throws and rugs. The look is also low maintenance – floors are wood, tile, concrete or poured resin so they’re easy to keep clean and therefore family friendly.


kitchen 2 lounge









The elements that the trend has brought is the confident use of black- which I’m all in favour of. Black steel window frames are a thing of beauty and black kitchens are now becoming the norm rather than the exception – as long as you’re clever with your other materials it’s a chic not claustrophobic option. Glossy tiles, the use of glazing in upper cupboards or open shelving and lighter woods and surfaces keep the look fresh.

Check out a few of my Pinterest boards where the industrial trend features..

Love Angela xx

Bathroom makeover on a budget?

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Well I hoped to have been totally finished on the bathroom at least a week or so ago, but life kind of took over, I got busy with work and then had people staying so it just wasn’t going to work having the bathroom out of action. However it’s finished now and I’m really pleased with the result. I think to have done this bathroom makeover on a budget of less that £300 is pretty good going.

As you can see I’ve gone completely monochrome – which gives me plenty of scope for styling with different colours at a later date. I’ve gone for a plant to provide a bit of “life” but that could easily be changed out for some bold coloured flowers in a vase, for example. I’ve also styled it with a print we had and that also works well. However, to do a bathroom makeover on a budget you need to ensure you’re covering off enough storage and other essentials before you even think about the styling. It’s just that the styling part’s the most fun usually 🙂


Budget bathroom makeover









I did quite a lot of painting in the end and have up-cycled a few things which I’m sure you could do too. Everything else was from the High Street or an internet buy, so you can totally do this in your own home!! I haven’t used any secret “trade only” companies on this bathroom makeover.

In terms of labour, I’m good at decorating but I would not say I was an expert at laying flooring so that probably took me waaay longer than a professional. However, still fairly painless, the tiles you didn’t need to cut went down easily.


I still managed to get all the labour done within 3 days with help from Mr B for putting up shelves and hanging the blind and mirror. So this is feasibly a long weekend project.

Budget bathroom makeover









So, a breakdown of the budget:

Flooring 4 x packs of tiles. B&Q I could have got away with 3 packs but I played it safe and laid them so I had to do as little cutting as possible! Total £57.12. Still a total bargain 🙂









Paint I used a variety of paint as I sprayed a few things and painted tiles and the walls and ceiling. So the total for that was £29.59. I did already have matt white for the walls and white satinwood, so you’d have to add these to your budget if you’ve not got any knocking around. Budget approx £33.

painting-tiles painting-boards







Blind I ummed and aahed over this one. Originally I was going to go with black but decided for longevity white would work better. I’m not sure I would have ordered from Wooden Blinds Direct  if I’d have read the reviews first but the blind arrived quickly and is lovely. Apart from totally cheap and nasty looking cleats which were binned, and absolutely no fitting instructions, it was fine! Total inc. delivery £66.96 which is waaay cheaper than even trade price from some suppliers. I’m not sure it’s quite as good quality but we’re trying to do a bathroom makeover on a budget so we’ll see how it fairs.. I always add tapes to the front of Venetians, I think it makes them look “finished”.


Shelves These are a used scaffold board cut to size and painted. The brackets are from Ikea (Ekby Valter). I decided on scaffold boards for a few reasons – they gave me the chunkiness I wanted, they also have good texture and they’re waaaay cheaper than most shelving, even from Ikea. I knew once they were painted they would still retain a matt look, which was also desired. I just used one coat of Satinwood with no primer. You could probably use black emulsion and this would also give a good matt finish. Now, I’ll be honest – these shelves aren’t going to be the type you’d dust! They’re too rough for that, but a vacuum over will be fine or a wet dishcloth. If you use a yellow duster they’ll just be covered in yellow fluff!!








As luck would have it, Mr B reminded me we had a scaffold board in the garage, brilliant. I’d been looking on Ebay though, and you can pick up used boards up for less than £5. The brackets From Ikea were £8 for four.

Storage I never wanted a cupboard in the room. Don’t ask me why because it would have made life a lot easier – but I wanted shelves so that they could be styled differently when I got bored 🙂 So I’ve utilised a bit of space in the doors of the airing cupboard with Bekvam spice racks and Byholma rattan baskets on the shelves- both Ikea. I painted the spice racks and sprayed the rattan- this is the best way to paint as it gets into the little gaps in the rattan better. I also had some other fabric storage boxes which I’m utilising in the airing cupboard too. Total cost for 2 spice racks and 3 baskets £24

baskets rack










Accessories Now the fun part. I bought a selection of things as I was out and about (having to accessorise the bathroom gave me brilliant excuse to “just pop in” to places)! When I saw the candle holder and glass candles in M&S I knew they’d look great. These were £19.50 and £15.60 respectively.candle-holder     candles









I bought a fern which I hope I won’t kill. It’s a blue star fern and supposed to be ideal for bathrooms and low maintenance so fingers crossed.. I also bought a macramé hanger for the fern. Now, my Mum had these when I was a child so they make me happy as they evoke nice memories. I’m glad they’re back in fashion again! The fern was £15.99 from our local garden centre and the hanger was £13.63 from Etsy.









A round mirror from Ikea (Langesund) It’s white. Mr B thinks I should paint it black but I’ve kind of had enough of painting for now so I’m going to live with it for a while first! That was £19. I also got some new hooks for the back of the door, not very exciting ones but much more usable than the one piddly one that was there before! They were £7.44 for 3 from B&Q, I then painted the door handle black. I’d love a new door but there’s absolutely no point at present as we’ll be changing them throughout the whole house. I also got a toilet roll holder as there wasn’t one previously – this was an Hjalmaren from Ikea at £5.50. It was brown/black so it just needed a little sand down and a coat of black Satinwood.


mirror troll-holder









Up-cycling I had a few things already that I’m re-using in the bathroom. Cara’s little step stool for one. The paint had bubbled and was coming away in places on the steps  tsk tsk JoJo Maman Bebe! So I gave it a smart new look by sanding the paint down to provide a key and painting the steps black. Two half flooring tiles complete the look. Cara was very pleased with the result!


stool-before ps

cara's-stool after ps








The toothbrush holder and soap dish have been sprayed black as they were light grey. The white vases I already had and they don’t need a coat of paint 🙂 Thank goodness. I feel like I’ve painted everything else! I also had the little birds, which I like as they’re so dainty against the chunky shelves.

birdstoothbrush holdervases








So the grand total for everything I paid for came to £282.33  which I think is great considering what’s gone into the room – a total bathroom makeover providing storage, a mirror, flooring and window treatment for under £300- pretty good!

Here’s the before and after shots of the bathroom makeover. I hope you think the one on the right is better! And yes, I have cheated slightly as I borrowed a friend’s wide angled lens for the after shot 🙂

bathroom-before pic monkey  Monochrome-1








What do you think? I hope my bathroom makeover has inspired you to give yours a bit of a makeover, even if you can’t/don’t want to spend lots of money. With a bit of hard work and quite a lot of painting you can transform a bathroom in a long weekend – I promise!

Love Angela x






The Bathroom of Doom…

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Well, it’s not that bad really I just thought I’d start with a dramatic title!

I did think that the first room to tackle in the new house would be Cara’s room, however that needs a bit more planning as it currently has a mahoosive sofa bed in there which we don’t have any other space for at present. She loves it because she’ll be having us sleeping over in her bedroom when we have guests, however I need to sort out the logistics of moving this somewhere at some point! If anyone would like the loan of a sofa bed for a while, get in touch!

Anyway, the bathroom now has come under scrutiny (well I’ve got to have at least one room I can tinker with!). The suite was relatively new and we’ve agreed that we have to live with it for the foreseeable. We have an en-suite and a downstairs wet room (possibly) to spend money on first.

Let’s have a look at it:

interior designer cheshire bathroom before Firstly, no storage. Unless you count the airing cupboard which once it has some towels in it, is pretty much full. The tiling is yuck. The colours through the grey bathroom tiles are quite nice but it’s so 90’s! And the faux slate effect floor tiles are pretty naff too.

And the roller blind. There are no words.





interior designer cheshire Three Interiors bathroom beforeThe rather misleading huge airing cupboard in the bathroom. It looks like it provides lots of storage, it doesn’t. There’s a huge water tank in the cupboard at the top and below there’s a cylinder. (Ancient heating system that will come out of the bathroom at some point) It just about fits all of our towels in and Cara’s bath toys are hooked up in a net bag in there. One positive- it’s quite good the cupboard is warm because her bath toys dry out properly!






interior designer cheshire Three Interiors bathroom before Opposite the airing cupboard is a very small towel rail, this doesn’t heat the room as it’s not big enough, there’s also no heating underfoot so Cara keeps complaining her feet are cold on the tiled floor (we had heating under our tiles in the last house, so she’s used to the floor being warm!)

Also a solitary door hook – you kinda need more when you’re a family, even if there’s only 3 of you!





interior designer cheshire Three Interiors bathroom before

The bathroom hasn’t been planned in terms of space well at all. This irks me as I definitely can’t change this. Why oh why would you have a curved bath and the curve of a sink meeting to make a bathroom narrower?! Cara likes the curved bit at the end of the bath as it makes a bigger space for playing in. Bless her, unlike me she’s easily pleased 🙂







Oh and the decorating that has been done in the bathroom is quite rubbish so I would have had to do some painting at least anyway. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)







Overall, this needs to be a really cost effective make over. We can’t warrant spending money on a bathroom that a) is certainly not hideous and b) will at some point get a substantial make over (just not yet!) So I trawled around B&Q and Ikea with a couple of ideas in mind as to the look I was going for. (See my bathroom Pinterest board here)

If I was doing a more substantial make over I’d plot it out on CAD and probably do a real life mood board, and certainly when I’m working with a client I’d always do that. However as this is a quick makeover – the bathroom can’t be out of service for long,  I’m working it out as I go.

So what does the bathroom need, that I can do on a budget without ripping out the suite?

1. Storage 2. Decorating  3. Adding warmth through texture and light 4. A bit of up to date styling

So a couple of flooring options. This will probably be the most expensive part of the make over and I do NOT want to have to rip up those floor tiles. (a few others had been discounted as they would have made the step into the bathroom way too high)

1. This is the one Mr B prefers:


image3I do like it too, but it’s a bit “safe” for me. The flooring is stick on vinyl! Super cost effective, splash resistant and should be a bit warmer underfoot. The colour has soft and warm grey tones, so does look lovely with the rattan storage boxes from Ikea which have the same tones. This ties in nicely with the overall “background” colours of grey black and white that I want to use in the house too.

With this option, I’d see what colours I could get in tile paint and possibly paint out the grey striped border in a complementary shade, or go with white and paint the walls a nice soft grey or blue. Use white shelving for the storage boxes and a white wooden Venetian blind. A few accessories and et voila, job done. I’ll come back to you on the costs, but I’m hoping under £150.

2. This is the one I want to go for, what do you think?

black-and-whiteVinyl tiles again- I know! They look good for the price- £14.28 a box but I think we can splash out. Splash out, bathroom, see what I did there?!

With this option I’d paint out the grey striped bathroom tiles in white and spray the rattan boxes black. White shelves and black Venetian with newly painted white walls. Accessories that somehow feature my favourite colour yellow and I’m done.

This black and white option gives me the Scandi/Industrial type look I’m going for and also the ability to change accessory colours in the future if I get bored.



Sold. I’ll show you the finished bathroom as soon as poss, but I’m away in Colonsay next week visiting family, fingers crossed the weather is kind!

Love Angela xx


















Upcycling rocks!

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My walks with Mylo are usually a lot more productive for him than me, some of the things he’s managed to find include umpteen tennis/golf balls, plastic bottles, shoes and on one occasion a used carton of cream. This one was particularly memorable because he would not leave it until he’d licked every last rancid drop of cream and was then violently sick later. Delightful!

The walk today yielded something for me, well Cara really as they’ll be going in her room. Yes, that’s right- logs!!

mylo-logs    logs






Good choice for a woodland theme really! I got home and showed Phil the photos I’d taken and asked him if he’d help me bring one back. Once he’d stopped looking at me like I was mad, he agreed. So off we went to get as near as we could park to the felled tree. Once we got there I decided I wanted three (obviously!)








Well, just one would be lonely wouldn’t it?! Poor Phil- they were quite heavy but we were prepared with a little trolley and bungee ropes, so I don’t think it was too bad. It did take us quite a bit longer to get back to the car though….!

I also couldn’t decide there and then exactly what I was going to do with them. I may use them as stools – I’ve got some other tree trunks saved from when we took down our Eucalyptus trees that I could use as table legs for this rather boring circular table top from Ikea that’s been languishing in the back of a wardrobe for a few years now.

eucalyptus-logs   table






It might be too big in terms of diameter though, so I may use the logs as steps up to a loft bed (I’ve decided to go with this, even though I had my doubts!) It would be a little bit similar to this cute one apart from NOT as pink and the bed will be higher – you get my drift! I’ll show the finished version as soon as poss anyway! It will be an Ikea Hack of a Kura bed I think.








Another idea I saw for the Eucalyptus trunks was this one on the left, not the best image, sorry! I took it at Copenhagen airport. It gives an example, however I’d use different lights and have them intertwining with the trunks more,or hidden to form a glow behind. This other image on the right gives an idea of what I’m thinking…

trunks-and-lights       twig-light-ps





Clearly I don’t want the room to just be full of old bits of tree, in case you were wondering! I also don’t want it “themed to the max”, so I need to look at the pieces I like and make sure that in the overall scheme it’s not going to be overkill.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re going to need to be really creative and upcycle as much as possible as most of our budget is going to be spent on the actual building. Extending and renovating does not come cheap! The other thing to bear in mind with kids rooms is that they need to be flexible to suit them as they grow. Unless you have very deep pockets, you’re not going to want to spend lots of money on things they’re going to grow out of.

Feel free to have a look at my Pinterest boards for some inspiration and let me know about your upcycling successes!

Love Angela xx
















6 things you HAVE to ask an interior designer!

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6 things you have to ask your interior designer






1. What experience does the interior designer have in your particular project? It’s all very well hiring an interior designer because you like the look of the living room projects they’ve completed, but if your project is a bathroom or kitchen can they deliver? These are much more technical spaces to design and can involve many more trades, so you want a designer who has worked on these type of projects preferably.

2. What is the general aesthetic the interior designer works to? As an interior designer, my job is to bring a client’s ideas to life with input in the form of some of my own ideas, guidance on technical aspects and the knowledge of what will work for them in terms of budget and lifestyle. However I tend to have a particular style. I wouldn’t take on work that required a lot of antiques and heavy window dressings for example. It’s just not my bag as I tend to be commissioned for, and prefer, more contemporary work. A designer with experience and a portfolio of this type of work is obviously going to be much more suitable.

3. How extensive is the interior designer’s portfolio? Would you entrust your home to a designer who has no evidence of a portfolio detailing similar projects to yours? Now I’m not saying that new designers shouldn’t get a break, we were all there once. However, you and the designer need to go into the project with eyes wide open if that’s the case. Like any industry the longer you’ve been in it, chances are the better the result. This just naturally comes from knowledge and experience.

4. Do you like the designer? This might sound petty, and you may ask yourself if it’s really that important. If you’re thinking of a large renovation project for example, you are going to be working very closely with your designer over a fairly long time period. If you don’t like them, it could end up being a painful process! You need to be “on the same page” as your interior designer and trust that they’ll be instrumental in bringing your ideas to life, whilst enjoying the process too. Interior design is exciting and fun if you’re working with the right team.

5. What budgets does the interior designer work to? Be honest, you cringed at this point didn’t you? No one really likes talking money but there is absolutely no point in engaging a designer if you haven’t had an honest conversation about budget. A reputable interior designer will bring it up quite early on in your conversations, because it’s important. An experienced designer knows whether your budget is realistic or not. They know that if you want a kitchen make over with Gaggenau appliances and marble worktops, you’ll struggle on a small budget! So an interior designer has two choices, to steer you towards what you can afford or if you’re set on your dream kitchen, to educate you as to how much that is probably going to cost.

6. How does the designer charge? Another cringe fest as we’re talking about money again. Aaargh! However there are numerous ways an interior designer can charge, and this will vary from designer to designer. Be upfront about asking the question and expect transparency in the answer you get. Every client and every job is different, but that doesn’t mean that a designer can make it up as they go along! Your designer should have a pricing structure and be happy to provide a detailed written quotation for your particular project before any work commences.

Hope this helps!

Love Angela xx

Three Interiors

Using Pinterest does not a designer make..

By | Interior Design, Uncategorised | No Comments

Ever since the advent of the web, it has gotten easier and easier to create “a look” online. You only need to view Pinterest to see hundreds of thousands of boards that public and professionals alike have pulled together.

I’m not going to deny that I use Pinterest, it’s brilliant for collating a number of ideas and it’s really useful for clients too, they can show their ideas all in one place, pretty much unheard of until Pinterest came along.

Now, don’t get me wrong a lot of Pinterest shots are beguiling. Shot by professional photographers, with amazing lighting and “staged” for that particular shoot, they are of course aspirational. I mean they could make a pig pen look amazing! In fact, a lot of interior shots littered throughout Pinterest, Twitter etc. were intended for the pages of magazines where clever graphics people and Photoshop reign supreme!

These pics here, courtesy of Thrifty & Chic help me to make my point. Okay, okay she’s using these images to talk about “how to fake a clean house” (great post by the way) but you can see the difference in lighting and the obvious staging, slightly different positioning etc. she’s done in the after image compared to before. This is (I’m pretty sure) without the use of Photoshop.

After-ps Before-ps

These bright and shiny social media images do put the pressure on your own portfolio! I know when I look at the photos of my work compared to Pinterest images, they look well, a bit crap if I’m honest. Mostly shot by me and making use of natural light where possible, they just don’t have that “almost hurt your eyes brightness” that the social photos do.

However, that’s how you can tell when a designer has used “stock” images to create their look. Buyer beware, these same shiny images seem to be suspiciously popping up on designer’s own websites.

When I created my website, I obviously wanted it to look the best and to showcase my work. After bemoaning the fact that my images didn’t look as good as others out there, a marketing friend of mine suggested I pull my portfolio and use a few stock images through my site. I obviously baulked at this. I reasoned that although my work was now starting to be a little dated (that’s a few years of career break for you) that it was at least MY work and once I started to finish more projects they would supersede the older ones. I’ve also decided that calling in a professional or at least investing in some photographic lighting equipment might be an idea going forward. Everyone (including me) is now used to seeing these beautifully lit, professional images. Anything else is bound to look a bit rubbish in comparison!

So, to make my original point using social media does not a designer make. If you see a website that looks like it’s just fallen off the pages of Pinterest, chances are you might be right! Always call and speak to an interior designer and have a checklist of things to ask. Most reputable designers will be more than happy to speak to you on the phone and come and see you for an initial consultation if you feel the call went well. This is usually free of charge (I’m happy to chat over the phone and never charge for an initial face to face consultation)

I’ve put together a checklist here you might find useful when considering a designer. This isn’t exhaustive by any means, but hopefully it will get you started.

Best of luck

Angela x

Three Interiors

Home is where the heart is…

By | Interior Design, Social Comment | No Comments

I stumbled across an article by Alain de Botton the other day.  I can’t decide if I like him or not (I know The Guardian certainly don’t!) but I did like what he was saying in the article.

Alain starts his article by saying that “there are few more powerful things in the world than a need for home. As soon as people have even a little spare money, from the shanty towns of Brazil to accommodation blocks in British universities they look to convert their shelter, that basic unit of protection, into a home, a place that brings comfort to the soul as much as to the body.”

favela-painting-photoshop The painting of favelas in Brazil proves Alain’s theory

A strong statement but when you think about it, so true. There are lots of powerful feelings we have as humans for or against certain spaces, it’s what makes us unique and what makes my job as an interior designer so interesting and rewarding. It seems that he old saying “home is where the heart is” rings true across the world. People are looking to create an embodiment of themselves in the spaces where they live.

Alain goes on to say “There is no necessary connection between the concepts of home and of prettiness. One can feel at home in a place which is very unhomely. But what does unite all our different ideas of home is that vast and vague word, beauty. What we all want is that our homes be beautiful. What is beauty? When we call a chair or a house beautiful, really what we’re saying is we like the way of life it’s suggesting to us. It has an attitude we’re attracted to: if it was magically turned into a person, we’d like who it was.”

House-1-pho glass_house_side-phot Chocolate_Box_cottage,_phot Each different house will be attractive to different people

I think he’s hit the nail on the head there, what a great description of those feelings we get when we see something that “speaks” to us. Of course, that will be different for every one of us but my job as a designer would be a bit boring if we all wanted the same thing!! What I love is to be able to create schemes that answer client’s needs and feelings for their home, to show them how their space can reflect them and the way that they want to live.

 Love Angela xx

Three Interiors