Sunday, 14 August 2016

A little bit of Norfolk transported to the countryside..

We've just returned from our latest jaunt to the North Norfolk coast.

What an amazing time we had.

I'm choosing to forget the arguments over Lego, food choices, poor choice of birthday cake (6 turned 7 whilst we were away..) and am choosing only to remember the fabulous warm and sunny days, the walks along the beach and the general family harmony that existed for at least some part of every day we were there! Norfolk delivered yet again.

Whilst I wasn't able to bring back the warm sunshine, at least for today and the beautiful beaches, I was able to bring back the perfect reminder of this trip.

Tucked away down a street just off the main stretch in Burnham Market you will find 'Fish and Ships Coastal Art', the studio/home of artist, Andrew Ruffhead.

Andrew has quite a CV having studied Painting and Printmaking at Brighton Polytechnic before going on to Central School of Art and Design. He has worked as a textile designer producing fashion, furnishings and wallpapers for companies such as Osborne and Little and Calvin Klein.

Should you be in Norfolk then I would urge you to pop by Fish and Ships and take a look. Andrew is so welcoming and more than happy to allow you to browse whilst chatting about how and where he finds the inspiration and materials for his pieces. 

On this visit, we bought a couple of prints which I absolutely love! I love the cheery, coastal colours and the style. I love the fact that they are a small reminder of the coast for us living in the countryside. Have I said 'love' enough?

The children were thrilled that the prints were personally signed and that the artist was more than happy to do so. My daughter is still (some years on) reeling from an unfortunate encounter when meeting her then favourite (very well known) author only to be disappointed when she gently approached him for a photograph and to sign her book (which he was there promoting!) only for him to huff and look irritated by the request as if she had asked him to chop off his leg! She now refuses to read his books.

We will definitely be popping by again on our next visit.

Whilst out on an altogether different jaunt, my daughter spotted this navy and white whale laundry bin/storage bin in TK Maxx today and convinced me to buy it. To be honest, it was £12.99 so I was going to buy it is quite lovely, large, pleasing to the eye and fits well in the bathroom.....but thought I would let her sell it to me with her KSPs being that if we had it she would be more motivated to not drop her dirty washing on her bedroom floor....that she would make sure it was always put into the laundry bin and that she was convinced her brother would do the same, honest!

Yeah. Right. Let's see how long this lasts.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Saying goodbye to mustard!

It's been ages.

I've had to have some time away from all of this.

Blogging's a funny thing. I have a love/hate relationship with all that is social media/blogging type stuff.

Sometimes I read what I've written, days or months after the event, and think to myself 'did I really write that?' Cringe. Fortunately I have a husband who fires me a warning shot if I write something that sounds self centred. I don't mean to. He's great at doing that. He can't stand social media. He doesn't see its point other than as a vehicle for people to show off. I'm not sure that's true in all cases, but it does often portray a distorted view of life. My intention is to share ideas, whether mine or those of others, not to make it about me.

Therein lies my dilemma with social media. Life is not the perfect picture that one always reads/sees. We are drawn to looking in to other people's worlds but only from the perspective that is portrayed through a picture or words of their choice. This can be very misleading.

What's my point? I'm not sure. I'm just arguing with myself as I always do on this subject. In reality, I love a good nosy in to other people's worlds whether fact or fiction. As I sit reading my flashy interiors magazines I snarl as I read that the homeowner is yet another PR Agency MD or City Financier or Corporate Lawyer, yet at the same time I love just a small glimpse into the world they inhabit, choosing to forget that they still have to go to the loo, just like me! They are all shiny and irritatingly good looking, dripping in designer chic and just too darn tidy to be true! The 'Get the Look' section always features Poliform, Eames originals, Kartell etc. etc. Just the antidote to my normal, less than perfect, untidy make do and mend world.

I sneer at the Sunday papers, reading the property supplements with the 'affordable' places to live in the UK, the cheapest rarely less than half a million! Affordable for whom? I still read them though, secretly imagining purchasing that Primrose Hill designer pad once owned by a famous actress.

Where are the 'normal' people? (I'm not suggesting any of the demographic above does not include some very normal people...)

Maybe, like me, these people have a good old google for discount codes and any offer going. Perhaps behind the sleek lines and designer label fronts are houses full of Ikea and TK Maxx, dust and un-ironed washing piles!

I've recently got rid of the mustard that had started to dominate our house. The beginning of the end of this beautiful yet brief fling began when I caught a little snippet of Eastenders, having ditched the soap some time ago, and noticed a mustard wall at the Queen Vic or Phil's house or somewhere. Not Primrose Hill. Walford, somewhere near the Arches!

After a short lived (about 4 hours to be exact!) dalliance with a light grey (too much grey with grey kitchen units) wall replacing the mustard wall in the kitchen, I have gone for brilliant white. Excuse the poor photo quality. My camera is on the blink. The story may not end here. I'm forever on the hunt for the next suitable colour to try out.

As for discounts, I used a discount code to purchase two new light shades from Graham and Green  as seen above the table and below. This offered and extra 15% discount. I featured these shades some time back in a blog.

I also grabbed £10 discount at by signing up for their email updates. I usually avoid this unless there's a promise of money off!

Just as an aside, I'm on the hunt for some storage solutions for the ten tons of lego that have escaped the hoover bag! In the true spirit of the summer holidays, and after a minor rant about the amount of lego that is broken in to a million pieces after hours of careful construction and the relative monetary value of said lego now in a million pieces, I tasked my 6 year old with the job of sorting the lego by colour today, with my help. As a family with more than a slight collective hint of OCD (I kid you not) this task was actually quite satisfying. All that now remains is to find a suitable method of storage, an alternative to the hoover bag!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Contemporary artwork....Shepard Fairey

Frank Shepard Fairey is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, illustrator and founder of OBEY who emerged from the skateboarding scene.
His work often reflects his support of promoting awareness of social issues and for this he has been criticised as well as acclaimed.
Fairey is not without his critics.  A number of his fans were critical of the fact that he copyrights his work and profits from his work as an artist. As result there's a feeling he had lost his 'cult' status.
On the other hand, Fairey is well known as a promoter through his messages for political and social change and he donates heavily to many non profit making causes. He also argues that he relies on commercial profit in order to keep a staff of assistant artists in employment.
From a design point of view, I am a big fan. I like the graffiti, street art edge to the design. His prints can be purchased for anything from a few pounds to thousands of pounds.
I found these two and am on the hunt for more.

 More Fairey designs.


Saturday, 9 January 2016

A plea for everyone's help.

You haven't heard from Lottie's Interiors for a couple of months but I'm back!

I'm not back with the latest style trends or interior styling pointers though with this post.

You know when life presents you with those timely reminders that there really are truly more important things to think about than what your front room looks like, or what you're wearing today, or what you look like... those sort of trivial details that can clog up our lives. Do these things really matter in the grand scheme of things? Do they heck!

Today's post is about one thing and that is helping someone in real need of our help.

I'm going to say no more but just point you in the direction of Hayley Kalinins.

Please read her story and let's do whatever we can to get her the help and hope that she and her lovely, young family need.

Thank you in anticipation. Please click on the link below and go to Hayley's page and donate then share, share, share!

Lottie xxxx

Please let's help Hayley and her young family.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Gorilla Glue UK

I'm always happy to use Lottie's Interiors to look at different products.....if it's something I would use myself.

Today's post is one such product. I particularly like the broken pot solution as I for one am a tad lazy when it comes to bringing pots in to prevent frost damage. More often than not, my favourite pots end up in pieces.

I'm just wondering if it's strong enough to mend my daughter's broken heart on realising after taking her to One Direction's final tour concert on Sunday that Harry and Co would be going their separate ways very soon! Such a shame. Love them or loathe really was a fantastic show.

Here's a possible solution! I'll hand over to Gorilla Glue to explain..

See UK Gorilla Glue for more info and stockists in your area.
Guest Post – Repair Not Replace and save money! – by Gorilla Glue UK.

A broken plant pot will find its way into everyone’s garden at some point and is something that we often can’t control due to the uncertainly of the elements! We are fast becoming a society that finds it all too easy to go out and spend money buying another item rather than using DIY skills to repair like the generations before would have done.

Here is a simple solution for fixing your broken plant pots. We’ve chosen to use Gorilla Glue as once it has cured it can stand up to intense heat or extreme cold and is also 100% waterproof, so ideal for fixing items that find themselves at home outdoors.

Step One: Damp It

In order to activate Gorilla Glue, damp the surface of one half of the broken pot first with a little bit of water. A spray bottle would work well as the glue is cured with the help of moisture. However do not add water to the bottle.

Step Two: Glue It

Apply a thin layer of glue to the other surface but use it sparingly. A USP of Gorilla Glue is that it expands up to three times its size during curing which helps to form an unbreakable bond with almost any material including wood, ceramic, stone and metal.
Once the glue is set, if there is a bit of expansion resulting in foam simply cut away the excess with a pocket knife.
Step Three: Grip it

Grip the pieces that you have stuck together for 1 – 2 hours, you can use a piece of stone, or a heavy book or even a bit of Gorilla Tape. That way the bond line improves with better gripping resulting in a finer finish. Leave for 24 hours for an incredibly strong bond!

And there you have it! A fixed pot brightening up your garden again proving that you don’t need to spend money in replacing the item – just use a bit of trusty DIY!


Wednesday, 2 September 2015

A design challenge for £20.

The summer hols are drawing to an end. Perhaps they have ended for you already? 
I am perhaps one of the few people who actually look forward to the arrival of Autumn and Winter....not because I don't enjoy Summer. As one who suffers from Reynaud's phenomenon, I can tell you, warmth is my best friend!
What I do look forward to are winter big, comforting the wood burner for the first time, something my husband won't allow me to do until October, even though there have been odd occasions where I could have easily lit it in June or July!
I also quite like to introduce the odd Autumn/Winter colour in to the house by way of wall colour, furniture updates or cushions. These are things that can be fairly easily changed and do not have to cost the earth.
The ideal opportunity presented itself when I was contacted by Room 4 Interiors and asked if I would like to take part in their Blogger Desk Challenge set by themselves and Qwerkity.
For £20 I had to update/transform my desk area. As you can see below, my desk was fairly uninspiring. Fairly functional. 
Before the makeover
Post makeover

Papered desk top
To begin with I painted the whole desk in Farrow and Ball Railings. I already had this paint as we used it on our stairway so no cost there. I think by now most people who know me now know I am a big fan of all things F&B!

I then gave the top of the desk a bit of life by covering it with Lotus BP 2047, a Farrow and Ball wallpaper. This was an off cut, so again, no cost! There are some gorgeous papers out there to suit all tastes and directions and off cuts can be a great way of adding something extra whether that be decorating furniture or covering note books.

With the £20 I added a clear glass vase from TK Maxx for £6, a pin board from Tesco for my interiors magazine cuttings and samples  (I painted the surround in Railings to match) costing £4, my favourite Oriental Lilies for £7 and a candle for £ just a penny shy of £20 in total.

I hope you like what I've done. If you do, please retweet my post...I could be in with a shot of winning a £15 voucher to spend at Chroma Stationery, a fab Dog and Pen paperweight from Qwerkity and an invaluable Weekly Desk Planner so that there will be some chance I will be able to organise my thoughts in to plans now the children have returned to school!!

Thursday, 30 July 2015

A bit of upcycling and new coat hooks

School hols always provide a great opportunity to get the kids working! Tidying and sorting which, oddly, children appear to quite enjoy. Mine do, at least.

There's something really therapeutic about having a really good sort and throw away. We seem to gather lots of small 'bits'....tiny bits of paper, endless mini notepads, bits of string (?!) and other oddments. My two are slowly growing out of the habit of insisting on keeping all of these oddments. Where previously they would protest that they do 'play with them' and that small pieces of paper do 'have a job', nowadays they are easier to convince of the need to get rid.

When it comes to furniture, it's always good as and when you are bored of something or want to purchase something new to consider what you have and whether you can upcycle or buy pre-loved.....sounds so much nicer than second hand!

Last week I drove to beautiful Chipping Campden to collect an old school style bench that had been used in a village hall. I had wanted something fairly simple, utilitarian, as seating in our entrance hall. I paid £20 plus the cost of half a tank of petrol and it's exactly what I wanted. Just needs a bit of sanding and the legs painting.

With upcycling in mind, I was contacted recently by Grace and Glory Home, an online boutique selling beautiful architectural hardware and home accessories. They were doing a piece on how to reinvent your furniture and asked for a few tips. It's a really good article and I'm including the link here.

And whilst on Grace and Glory, I have been searching recently for coat hooks for our hallway. I had my eye on the iconic Eames coat hooks below but at a couple of hundred pounds I just couldn't justify the cost. Too big for the space as well, which is probably a good thing!

So in the absence of funds and space for an Eames original, I spotted these hooks by Danish Designers 'House Doctor' below on the Grace and Glory website. At £16 for 5 hooks of varying colours (the additional 2 are purple and green and yellow and red) I thought these were a great alternative. I might actually prefer them and they the perfect size and really sturdy.

Right. Off to attack the next room!