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How to: Dine in style for under £10

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Interior Trends: Enduring or Fads?

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Introducing Paula Beades Bespoke

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How to: Revamp an old chair

Tag Archives: colours

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Crown paints: Geo style

On May 12th, 2014 by .

With the interiors world going crazy for Geo patterns, it is no wonder that the main paint houses, including Crown Paints, are keen to show you how to apply this technic to your walls.  It is a fresh and dynamic design style and as you can see from the image below, not just for modern homes. The shot has been created with thought and skill; the muted pastel palette sits well with the luxurious velvet chair, whilst the dark furniture and accessories add contrast and drama.  What do you think?  Is it a look for you?

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To create this look, make sure you plan out your colour scheme and find a way to bring the look together with the rest of your furniture and accessories.  Crown paints have incorporated their colours and pattern with the geo cushion and balanced out the pink tones with some pretty flowers.

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Walls: Classic Duck Egg dead flat emulsion – £24.99, Homebase, 2.5L. Velvet Plum dead flat emulsion – £22.98, 2.5L, B&Q. Flagon dead flat emulsion –  £24.99, Homebase, 2.5L. Wood: Aged White Period Colours Eggshell – £26.98, 2.5L B&Q, Crown Paints.

Trend: Modern florals

On May 16th, 2013 by .

As ever with interiors, we see constant parallels with the world of fashion.  You can guarantee that what you see on the catwalk will ultimately filter down onto the high street, albeit a few seasons behind.  We saw this happen with colour blocking, coastal style and utilitarian design, the list goes and will continue to do so.

I know flowers and design have been around for decades, but ‘modern florals’ have bigger and brighter flowers with a more painterly feel, great for companies  such as Designers Guild, who are one of the best when it comes to pattern.  I have picked out a few images from the catwalk and high street, including Next and House of Fraser, who have both mastered the look, but first, a few hints and tips on how to pull the look together.

The key to any successful scheme is balance, not too much of one thing, if you are going to go crazy with a busy pattern, you will need to calm the look down with plain blocks of colour.  My advice would to pick one large area for your floral pattern, this could be your large furniture pieces such as the sofa or armchair or, it could be your walls.  Then, pick a few colours from the pattern and use these for the rest of the room scheme.  Below is a good example of this rule. You can see that the beautiful vermilion colour (pinky/red) has been used for the chair, the oatmeal background colour from the pattern has been used for the lamp and the pale grey flowers from the design have been matched to the wall panels, thus making the picture perfectly balanced.   If you follow this rule of thumb, no matter how big your room, your scheme should feel confident and pleasing to the eye.  

House_to_homeLinea_collier_campbell_house_of_fraserMoschinoNext_florals.2Clements RibeiroLinea_House_of_fraserHouse_of_fraser_collier_campbellChanelMarks_and_spencer

Image credits: House to Home, Linea collier Campbell, House of Fraser
Moschino, Next, Clements Ribeiro, Linea House of Fraser, Marks and Spencer
Chanel, Marks and Spencer