Thursday, 31 March 2011

Beautiful Dressing Table


I absolutely love my dressing table at home and when I found these I knew they would be an asset to any girls dressing area, they are beautiful. Make an attractive display of your favorite jewellery and accessories by draping them on the vintage-style cake stand!


Antique Glass Pedestal Bowl
http://www.dotcomgiftshop.com/antique-glass-pedestal-bowl

Antique Glass Dressing Table Pot & Antique Tall Swirlglass Trinket Pot
http://www.dotcomgiftshop.com/dressing-table-trinket-pot
http://www.dotcomgiftshop.com/trinket-pot-antique-glass

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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

How to make..... Hanging lanterns


Don't throw away old glass jars, recycle them and make these beautiful hanging lanterns. Taking inspiration from a previous blog, they would be fantastic for hanging in the garden on those long summer evenings.

You will need:
Jars
Knife
Wire
Pliers
Spray

1. Clean the glass jars thoroughly and remove any paper labeling from the outer surface. Hot soapy water cleans the jars and softens the labels for quick removal.

2. Wrap a piece of decorative copper wire around the lip of the jar along the outer edge, making two loops in the wire as you go. The loops should be about a half-inch in diameter and will act as hooks for a top-wire handle. The length of the wire will depend on the size of your jar.

3. Secure the two ends of the copper wire by twisting the opposing edges over each other using needle-nose pliers. The wires should be tight against the lip of the jar with only the loops having any give.

4. Thread a second piece of wire through one of the hoops on the first piece of wire and secure in place. This is one side of the lantern handle and should be firmly pressed into the copper of the loop. Use the pliers to push the wire through the loop several times before pressing firmly into place.

5. Create an arch of your chosen length over the mouth of the jar with the wire. The height of the handle from the top of the jar is a matter of personal preference although being able to place a candle inside the jar and hang the jar is the priority. At least 6 inches works well.

6. Push the free end of the copper wire handle into the second loop, wrap around several times and secure in place. The pliers ensure a firm connection between the two wires, completing the circuit and creating the handle. The jar is now ready for hanging and candles.

Although the candle light creates a magical glow you may want to decorate the jars further. Think about adding decorative beads to the wire which hangs the glass lanterns or spray them different colours, alternatively you can create a template, stick to the glass and then spray with frosting.

And if you want something that is even easier, don't hang them! Simply wash the jars and use a collection of different sizes in the centre of the table. Decorate as above or add ribbon around the rim!

I hope your summer shines!

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Friday, 25 March 2011

Beautiful Shoes


I just had to share my new shoes with you because I think they are absolutely beautiful. Tomorrow cannot come quick enough!I am already planning my outfit so I can wear them immediately!

They also prove that what happens in fashion is quickly followed by design! Notice the beautiful floral ankle ribbon, floral prints being one of this years hot trends.

I guess I will have to continue buying beautiful shoes and clothes...... all in the name of good design and research you understand!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

How to make..... A tablecloth


Making a tablecloth is such a quick and easy task and a great way to bring colour and life into your kitchen, not to mention a very cost effective way to update a room.

I have recently made my own tablecloth and I am so happy with the results - the above picture is mine!! (Trying not to sound like a proud mum!!!)

You will need:
Tape measure
Scissors
Fabric marker
Fabric
Iron (for fabric pressing)
Pins
Thread for sewing machine

1. Measure the table so you know how much fabric you will need.

2. Lay out your fabric and mark with a fabric marker of your choice, the dimensions out. Use a ruler if you want to be precise. Then, with your fabric scissors, cut along your markings.

3. Create a hem. Fold over about half an inch of fabric and with a medium-hot iron press the fold into place. This acts as your guide and from here you can pin the hem you have created into place.

4. Sew the hem into place. If you are using a machine simply use a backstitch. This is the neatest and most secure stitch for the cloth. When you reach a corner, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric to the next unfinished edge.Take as long as you need to with this step. The line needs be as straight as possible to ensure that the end result is professional. Once you have finished the hem, press the fabric and place it on the table.

And there you have it, a personal tablecloth for all the family to enjoy. And if you have seen my blog about summer entertaining 'Hello sunshine' you can make a tablecloth for the garden too!!

I would love to see your creations so please e-mail any photos to: lauraadkin@dreamboxinteriordesign.co.uk

Photograph: http://www.limelightphotographic.co.uk/

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Are you feeling lucky?

This year has been an amazing start to 2011 and already I am reaching my goals and dreams, only yesterday I received more extremely exciting news but at the moment I need to keep that one a secret! And, I am almost certain the first thing which pops into your head is ‘pregnant, babies’ but no, I am most definitely not expecting! Since getting married in October people think this is the next logical step and every time I post on Facebook about being happy or excited people instantly ask ‘are you pregnant?’ No, I am excited about life, where I am in my life and about my future. I most definitely want to be a mummy one day but right now I have goals and dreams that I want and need to achieve before I think about that stage in my life, I am still only 24! I have a plan about where my life is heading, don’t get me wrong, I am not naïve enough to think my life will follow my plans to the letter but at least with a plan I am going in the right direction. Anyway, getting back on track, my point is that after receiving this amazing news it led me to ask my husband the question ‘do you ever think we are due some bad luck’ to which he replied no! and here I will explain.

Jamie went on to point out that we were both made redundant months after buying our first home at 20 years old, for the past 3 years we have had a broken boiler with no heating, we have had our fair share of what some might call ‘bad luck’ but my response was to the effect of ‘oh yes, I didn’t really see them as problems’ but when I look at others, their lives seem to be full of negative feelings, a hate for their life and a stream of bad luck. Last night I learnt that life is seen from how we think, for example If you have a problem, the actual problem is that you are looking at it as a problem. It could be something else, such as an opportunity. If you are negative, you look at everything in your life as a negative. Someone else will see those negatives as an opportunity.

I want to show people that a positive attitude creates positive results, I feel like the luckiest person in the world right now, I have an amzing life filled with love and laughter, a fantastic relationship with my husband and family, my business seems to be going in the right direction plus more secret news! and sometimes I feel guilty at my happiness because so many other people seem to be so sad and are struggling but in reality our lives aren’t so different to one anothers, we all live in the same world. I am not lucky, I only look at everything in a positive manor and choose to be happy but if others chose to only see the negatives then that is their choice. Try to start seeing the positives in life and make a shift in your thinking, I am sure you will then see a change in your life.

There is no such thing as bad luck!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Hello Sunshine


Suffolk was absolutely glorious this weekend and I actually managed to spend time in the garden giving it some much needed TLC. The grass is cut, all the boarders trimmed and de-weeded and the washing line up!! Don't you just love the smell of fresh cut grass and washing drying on the line?

Therefore, garden life is the inspiration for this little blog. Get out and enjoy the sunshine early, breathe in all the beautiful smells, flowers, grass, linen, listen to nature and get your garden ready for spring/summer. I don't know about you but we love a big garden party at home with lots of friends and family and suppers into the night.

Below are some great ideas to make your garden perfect for entertaining this year!



Fairy Lights create such a beautiful light when the sun starts to set in the evening, string them around trees and fences for a magical feel.



Bunting! If you haven't guessed yet I am a huge fan of bunting and it looks fantastic hung in the garden. It injects colour and fun, perfect for entertaining. If you want to learn how to make your own then take a look at my "how to make bunting" guide earlier this month!
 http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/bunnylovesevie/product/personalised-photo-party-bunting



Dress your garden table. It is quick and easy with a table cloth. Then accessorize as you wish, with a vase of flowers, candles, colourful glasses!



If you run out of seating don't panic. Throw together cushions and blankets to create a casual, comfy seating area on the grass.



Lanterns hanging from trees create a lovely atmosphere in the evening and you can pick them up in all colours so if you are looking for a burst of colour these are sure to please.



And, if you are feeling creative you can make them yourselves!




















I hope that these have given you some great ideas to make a memorable summer with your loved ones.

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This blog post is part of the mydeco.com ‘Pass It On Garden & Outdoor series’, a collaborative blogging project.

I'm inviting 2 more bloggers to pass it on!!

Friday, 18 March 2011

It's Friday..... Time for a tea break?

For me it has been a long but very productive week and on a Friday morning I find my mind drifting towards the idea of cakes and tea.... however this is not going to happen, mainly because I am trying to be more healthly and I do not want my gym session to be a complete waste of time, although on second thoughts the gym would cancel out the cake and I wouldn't be any worse off than yesterday! But no, I shall stay strong and instead I have found a beautiful cake stand to admire....


With Mothers Day only around the corner, why not arrange a beautiful tea party filled with scones, cakes and tea. This cake stand would make a perfect centre piece! But then again, who needs an excuse, it would be perfect for any Sunday afternoon tea!!

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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Live Laugh Love

I came across this website about a year ago and it is my absolute favourite. I adore shabby chic and if you come to my home you will find shabby chic accessories, hearts, signs etc everywhere, especially in our bedroom - my favourite room!

I wanted to share this website with everyone along with a few of my favourites items, I hope it brings you as much joy as it does me.


From Top left, clockwise:

. Wicker Heart
I brough 8 of these for my wedding day and decorated them with ivy and ribbon for my pew ends, now each of them has a special place in my home.
. Shabby chic shelf
. Porcelain Heart hanging - Laugh often, Love Much, Live well
. Natural Wooden Heart Decoration With Painted Love
. Decorative Glass Bottle with Ribbon-Love
. Inspirational plaque - Dream
. Large metal shabby chic heart with bow and the word Love
My brother in Law gave this to me as a gift for my birthday and it hangs beautifully over our bed.
. Heart Row 4 Hook
Perfect for hanging keys but why not use this to hang and display jewellery in your bedroom?
. Decorative Large Wire Work Heart
Mine is filled with all my favourite photos and cards!

Take a look at the website for more beautiful items www.livelaughlove.co.uk

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

How To Make..... Bunting


I have decided to add a new, fun section to my blog, 'How To Make.....?'

Great fun for family, friends and individuals alike, showing you how to get creative and make something beautiful for your home.

Over the past week we could have been fooled into believing that spring was here, but unfortunately the sun is hiding behind a cloud which is submerged in fog!!! So to lift our spirits and to remind ourselves that Spring is only around the corner, below you will find an easy 'How To Make Bunting' guide.

Bunting is fantastic for hanging around the house to create a beautiful Spring inspired room or country feel or in the garden - Are you thinking of having an Easter garden party??

You will need:
Fabric and thread
13mm-wide bias binding tape
Pinking shears

1. Draw a triangle on some cardboard and cut it out to use as a template.

2. Pin the template to your fabric and cut around it using pinking shears to avoid fraying. Repeat until you have enough flags.

3. Evenly space the flags along the bias binding tape, folding
the shortest edge over, and pin in place.

4. Sew on the flags with a straight stitch, leaving at least 40cm of tape free from flags at each end for hanging.

I would love to see your work, so please e-mail any photos to: lauraadkin@dreamboxinteriordesign.co.uk

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Wallpaper Inspiration

After visiting the Ideal Home Show and sharing my secrets for this years trends it seemed only natural to showcase some of my favourite wallpapers. It is also my opinion, that wallpaper is one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to update a tired room and add some WOW factor, whether you are adding a feature wall or using wallpaper on every wall.

Take a look at the below and I hope you find some inspiration for this years trends.


1. Arthouse, Fleurette - £17.99
2. Graham & Brown, Peony - £15.00


3. Sanderson, Dandelion Clocks - £30.00+
4. Amy Butler, Lacework - £30.00

5. Kelly Hoppen, Vintage Flock - £30.00
6. Kelly Hoppen, Rose - £30.00


7. Graham & Brown, Juliet - £25.00
8. Graham & Brown, Nature - £18.00

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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Competition


I have recently entered a competition with mydeco, the brief was to design a moodboard inspired by 2 Union Jack items, wallpaper and a blind. This could be an array of blue and red products or a moodboard celebrating England. Please help me in my bid to win my 1st competition, all you need to do is follow the below link and vote for Dream Box.

Competition ends, Friday 18th March, please keep voting.

http://mydeco.com/competitions/win-digetex-union-jack-wallpaper-and-roller-blind/?view=entries


Thank you

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Hot Trends 2011

After visiting the Ideal Home Show on Saturday it just reiterated what I already knew about this years hottest trends in interiors...... and I am going to share these secrets with you!!

Bright & Bold
This years hottest trend is all about bold, vibrant colours and patterns. You may not realise but interiors follows the fashion world, so if you are ever unsure about what's hot and what's not, just look to fashion! Start with neutral walls and floors and then introduce one dominant colour and then introduce a standout accent, we are talking red and bright pink, indigo and bright yellow. Bright colours love bold patterns, look out for the hot geometric designs and oversized florals.

Blast from the past!
With everyone concerned with the recession we are all looking back to when the days seemed easier!! Taking inspiration from the 50's with streamlined pieces in teak and rosewood mixed with graphic print textiles you can create a nostalgic feel in your home. Functional and stylish.

After Darkness
Deep and rich...... this is not for the weak among us.
Coating walls in indigo & dark blue, mixing furnishings and flooring in the same shade with luxurious metallic accessories. Keep window treatments simple to let the light flood in and use mirrors to reflect this light. This look is sure to create an impact, cosy and sumptuous.

Vintage Glamour
Our most sophisticated trend and the very same as my own bedroom!
Pale, warm tones of buttermilk, caramel and blush with plenty of textured accessories and mirrors. Added luxury in the way of silk and satin upholstery and throws...... Vintage, romantic, glamourous, timeless elegance!

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Sunday, 13 March 2011

Ideal Home Show


Today I visited the Ideal Home Show with Jamie and I cannot speak for both of us but I had a great time. My goal for today was to source new furniture suppliers, make new contacts and to find new inspiration, I was successful.

I got to meet a whole host of furniture suppliers to add to my list when designing homes and the highlight of my day was meeting one company in particular and that was Milners! As soon as we arrived this stand just shouted to me, not only was it bang on trend for 2011 with bold & beautiful furniture and furnishings but the staff were great and they are exactly the type of company I want to work with. They are not a large chain company so I know there will be excellent service and above all, unique interiors to make your homes exactly what you want, not just another home the same as every other! I loved it so much, I went back for a 2nd time and got photos!! Here are a couple of my favourites.



I also found a fabulous wallpaper company, I was in love and had to touch every one!!! But I will not give to much away as I am going to devote another blog to my top wallpapers from today. Keep an eye out!

So, I won't bore you with every details, I was there for 6 hours and could go all night, lets just say all in all we had a great day, I got to spend some time with my husband, seeing great interiors, eating good food…… Not a bad Saturday!

I am now off to eat a feast of camembert stuffed with rosemary and garlic, ciabatta and italian cured meats…… maybe a glass of white!

Happy Saturday Night!

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Friday, 11 March 2011

Japan



When I woke this morning and turned on the BBC, I was faced with the braking news of the horror in Japan. An 8.9 megaquake causing a 33ft tsunami, killing at least 19 people.

When a tragedy such as the above occurs it always puts things in perspective, we all take the little things in life for granted and if the worst we have to worry about is that our jobs are not fulfilling, we do not have enough money or we have put on weight, then we should think ourselves extremely lucky that we have a job, we have money and can buy enough food to gain weight! And share a thought for all those suffering in Japan today, losing homes, families and even their livelihood, for those surrounded by poverty, living in overcrowded slums, for those who cannot afford to eat and truly "live hand to mouth".

My husband was right – housework, as important as it is for me to have clean clothes and dishes is not at all important in the grand scale of things!

Today my heart goes to everyone suffering. May the world all learn a lesson from all this devastation! May some good come out of a truly heartbreaking catastrophe.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Leap and the net will appear!

As part of my blog I wanted to tell the world about starting my own business, in the hope that I can inspire even a few young people to chase their dream and to start their own business.

The initial start up so far has been very smooth and problem free with very little investment to date. I created my business name while working away and alone at dinner, all the best ideas seem to involve dinner! I must have written 50 different words and the very last one was Dream Box, when my husband saw the name on my pad the next night, he said that was it! My business was born. Immediately we checked the name on the web and bought dreamboxinteriordesign.co.uk and I started setting up my business pages on Facebook and Twitter, social media is most definitely in my opinion, the future, I am amazed at what you can achieve and how many people you can reach and connect with. My business cards were then designed and ordered and a family member studied web design at Uni so he is designing my website – I am very excited and cannot wait until it is ready to go.

The next step was to start designing & a family member requested my help with their living room, which was great as I need to build up my portfolio. They are a family with 2 small children and the brief was for a relaxing space for the parents with a study area. Initially they requested red for the colour scheme but due to colour psychology I explained this may not give them the relaxing environment they wanted and instead suggested a calm and serene blue. I created 2 mood boards, one red and one blue to give them the option and they choose to go ahead with the blue design. I have created a coloured furniture plan and sourced all the new furniture and soft furnishings for them, along with a detailed budget, all that is left is to decorate and they are hoping to complete later this month. Below you can see some of my work and when the room is completed I will be sure to upload some before and after photos. Since designing this room, they have asked me to design the conservatory and I have another job set up!
















I cannot believe how well everything is going and the fantastic response from everyone. I am also under no illusion that from now it is going to be extremely hard work but I will not give up. I am determined and dedicated, I know what I am working for and that always helps, a clear goal in mind! If you have an idea, do it. "Leap and the net will appear" and if you never try, you never know!!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Bathroom Designing

I am currently re-designing our bathroom at home. After living in our Victorian terrace for 4 years and the fact that the toilet is now removing itself from the wall (after some terrible DIY from the previous owners) I decided to invest some time in my own home. I cannot begin to tell you how much this pleases me, I am very excited. Although, my husband recently stated that he wishes it was someone else’s room and not our own! Our bathroom is extremely small, which means I have to follow my head and not my heart, it’s proving very difficult, I am emotionally involved with this project! To begin with I wanted the impossible, don’t get me wrong, I know I cannot have what my heart wants but I tried every angle to get it to work! I have now given in and am taking the practical route but that is not to say my bathroom cannot be inspired by my original dream and be as beautiful. That is the wonder with interior design, I can still have what I want, just in a more practical way.

This got me thinking, there must be a lot of homes out there with a similar problem so here are some hints and tips on how to make the most of a small space with the same luxury as a larger bathroom!

Floating sinks and toilets – These will give the illusion of a larger space in your room, but can also provide invaluable storage underneath with some pretty boxes or baskets! Perhaps you can mount the sink into a unit with storage below?




Mirrors – Mirrors will bounce light around the room making it feel bigger. Such a cheap tip but extremely effective! Or, a mirror on the front of units or cabinets provides you with extra storage space!

Colour – Keep colours light, this will keep it bright and airy, dark colours will only make the walls & room feel smaller! If you feel it is too dull, introduce a splash of colour in your towels and accessories!









Wasted Space – Try and make the most of wasted space with built in units or shelves for storage.
We have a small alcove about 70mm wide which currently houses the toilet, we are going to create a false wall about 40mm forward with a hidden cistern behind and the toilet bowl will be fitted to the back of the false wall (see above left image) I am then going to create recessed shelving which will provide me with enough space for all our towels and toiletries plus luxurious candles and the like!

Once we are in action, I will post all of the before and after shots so you can see how easy it is to create a haven with little space!!

Happy designing!

This blog post is part of the mydeco.com ‘Pass It On Bathroom series’, a collaborative blogging project.

I'm inviting 2 more people to pass it on!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Dreams


If you can dream it, you can do it - Walt Disney


I am a dreamer! Although this has not always been the case. I met my now husband, Jamie while we were at school, we are the very definition of high school sweethearts and before he came into my life I did not have a clue what direction I was taking, possibly university to study criminology! As it turns out, I did not leave home, convincing myself that I could at a later stage take an open university course, if this is truly what I wanted. Instead I applied for a job working in a factory and it was Jamie who pushed me to try for more, so I interviewed as a receptionist in a hair & beauty salon in my town and got the job! After this and spending more time with Jamie my hunger for success grew.

I've changed job roles a couple of times, always going for higher, bigger & better and 4 years ago I settled in an office with some fantastic people but in my heart I always knew there was more, I wanted something different, I wanted to own my own business……. and I loved design!

With Jamie's gentle push I studied a beginners Interior Design course at Hills Road, Cambridge and my obsession with all things interiors evolved! I loved it. I am obsessed. How many girls do you know that buy hairspray to fix drawings? And I love shoes but my god I enjoy shopping for fabric and furnishings, dare I say it, even more than clothes - you would understand if you had my bum!!

Last year I enrolled on a professional Interior Design course with the National Design Academy. At the same time I was working full time and planning our wedding, I was absolutely determined I was going to complete the course before the wedding and I would not settle for anything less than the highest grade, to be honest I was hell to live with.  But I had a dream and I was not going to fail. I completed my course in 6 months while most take anything up to 2 years. I knew what I wanted to do, I knew I had to own my own business in interior design…… And guess what, that dream is coming true.

This year is going to be massive, and who would have thought it could get any better than the last! I am so excited, I should probably be in bed right now, getting some much needed beauty sleep for work tomorrow (and I should also be in the gym before work) but I am buzzing, and again had to write my first blog, I could not wait.

So my blog will cover my life, it will be my diary. I am working full time, playing wife to an amazing & inspirational husband, starting up my own interior design business, starting a degree and now blogging! I also need to maintain some sort of social life…… Sometimes I feel like superwomen but that is all women in general, we are all super, we just need to find the fire inside, that thing that drives us forwards towards our dreams, because believe me, they do come true!