Christmas table settings


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How to: Dine in style for under £10

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Interior Trends: Enduring or Fads?

How to: Revamp an old chair

On June 24th, 2014 by .

Have you ever revamped an old chair? As trends change, the furniture we once loved can suddenly look ugly, dated and very shabby, which is exactly what happened to my set of dining chairs (image below). My husband was insistent that we took them to the skip, but I had other ideas ;0) Nothing gets skipped in our household until I am sure it can’t be up-cycled, free-cycled or painted!  On this occasion it was an up-cycle procedure.

I had some gorgeous mustard fabric left over from a fashion shoot, and so I thought I would have a go at re-upholstering (similar fabric found here).  I would like to point out at this stage, I have never re-upholstered a chair like this before, but seeing as nearly every household owned one just like this in early 2000, I thought it only right to have a go.  You now have the option of bringing yours into the 21st century…!


You will need

  • A chair
  • Staple gun
  • Scissors
  • Gloves (if you have a lot of chairs to do as it helps to protect nails)
  • Fabric of your choice, it needs to be fairly thick
  1. Cut out a rectangular panel and drape it over the  back rest , leaving about 3 inches all around the edges.
  2. Push fabric ends into the crease, where the seat meets the back of the chair.
  3. Pull the fabric taught at the sides and top to create a smooth appearance. Now staple down the sides and top to fix this panel in place (don’t worry too much about neatness as this will be covered, it’s just important to pull the fabric tight!)
  4. Now cut a seperate piece of fabric to cover the back panel, leaving about 3 inches around the edges.
  5. Start at the top and fold the fabric in on itself, then staple.  Next do the sides, keeping the fabric taught at all times, leave the bottom hanging down.
  6. Pull the bottom panel down tightly and turn the chair upside, then staple it to the underneath of the chair.
  7. Take care to make neat folds at the corners (see image ref).
  8. Cut a square large enough to cover the seat and again, tuck the fabric in to conceal the ends.
  9. Pull the fabric taught at the sides, turn the chair upside down and then tuck the fabric under to make a neat edge.
  10. Staple all around keeping the fabric taught, making sure the staples are nice and neat.



How to: make a small flower arrangement

On June 17th, 2014 by .

This feature is a step-by-step on how to make a small flower arrangement.  I created the following display for Fathers Day, using flowers from our garden, and thought it might be useful to explain the thought process of how I put flowers together.

Things to think about…

– Colour
Don’t be afraid of colour, use the same rules for flower arranging as you would for interiors to a) create a palette that you like and b) one that would work in your home.  For a rule of thumb, opt for one strong colour, a few mid tones and lighter hues for highlighting. For single colour displays, a simple formula is to stick to three types of flower, this avoids an overly busy design.  Even with single colour displays, I would still recommend a splash of green foliage for contrast.

– Height
Keep the flowers to a similar height.  You will need to vary the stem height slightly to create depth, but no more than an inch above the top of the vase.  The only time I would suggest using something higher would be the introduction of a tall feature, such thin grass stems.

– Pruning
Remove the leaves from all stems in the water, what you are aiming for are clean and modern lines, not bushy and dirty stems.  I would also thin out the leaves around the flower head to simplify the display.

– Arranging
Make sure you have an even spread of colour with a good mix of dark, mid and light tones.  The same applies with shape and size; avoid placing the fuller flowers next to one another, instead, group small and large together to create an even balance.

– Choosing your vase
Base your decision on the type of flower and reflect this in your vase; i.e for a small and pretty arrangement, I would choose a delicate tumbler like the one I used below.  For tall simple stems, such as Arum lilies, a tall cylinder vase would work well. Oriental displays look great when wrapped around the inside of a goldfish bowl, and all hydrangeas look fab in enamel or galvanized jugs.  A good place to look for inspiration is Pinterest as they have some beautiful flower images.

To create my display, I used a pretty tumbler from John Lewis, I loved them so much I bought six as they are perfect for little displays such as these. My finished arrangement sat on our white dining table, but I wanted to show you what happens when you move the flowers to a different location; with colour.  The pale grey backdrop compliments the soft pinks and purples whilst the mustard base makes all the colours pop, just something to think about when you are deciding where to place yours.

Top tips for creating the perfect display
- Think about the colour of your flowers and whether the combination works
– Decide on your vase before you begin and make sure it compliments the style of flower
– Leave no more than 1 inch of stalk to sit above the top of the vase
– Know when to stop adding flowers, do not let the stalks get cramped
– Cold water prolongs the life of flowers
– If the flowers are from the market then re-cut the stem at an angle to allow more water in

If you are a designer of any sort then you will enjoy the following video. Ken Marten, Senior flower designer at McQueens, shows us how he interprets a brief for Mulberry.  I find it fascinating to watch a designers journey from concept to a finished product.

Interior Trends: Enduring or Fads?

On May 18th, 2014 by .

Carole King and Arianna Trapani, co-editors of Heart Home magazine, are joined by interior stylist Pippa Jameson and interiors/ lifestyle writer Kate Watson-Smyth to take a look at today’s prevailing trends. From wallpaper and paint to flooring, furniture, lighting and accessories, which styles look set to last and which will disappear before the season is out? – See more