Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Extra! Extra! Distressed and decoupage!

At a networking event in Lewes a few weeks ago I met Laura Diez a bright, bubbly young lady who is extremely passionate about what she does. Over a glass of wine Laura ends up telling me her story.

And that is what I want to share with you; the story of a talented young lady who I think will definitely be one to watch.

Working as a school secretary a few years back Laura began to feel there should be more to life than spending a large chunk of her life doing something that didn't make her happy (I for one couldn't agree more).

From an early age her life revolved around  interior decoration and fashion; at the age of 14 she re-decorated her mum's house and Laura realised that's when she was the happiest. After her mum's house she moved on to decorating friends' houses until it became apparent that a life in interiors beckoned and she should follow her dream.

In 2009 Laura decided to study Interior Design at the National Design Academy where she graduated top of her class. As Laura says "Making things look pretty and working on a budget have always been my strong points", so using her interior skills to re-vamp vintage and un-loved furniture, soon turned into a business - Lollipop and Pepper was born!

Laura began trading at craft fairs during he school holidays and frantically sourcing, painting, distressing furniture after school and at weekends. In July 2010 the website went live and so Laura began to think that getting a premise to showcase and sell her furniture was probably the next step. December of that year Laura opened a shop in the Needlemakers in Lewes where she sells her furniture and a selection of vintage interior accessories.
Laura now does what she enjoys everyday, and loves the fact that in a small way she is helping the environment by recycling (or up-cycle as it's become known) old furniture, and encourage others to do the same by offering her Furniture Make-Over Service.

"What comes next is still an exciting avenue that I am looking forward to walking down" says Laura.

So if you want a piece for your house or a client I'd recommend you get in touch.

I find her passion and dedication a breath of fresh air; have no doubt that she will succeed and hope to use her pieces in a future project.

Picures via

Monday, 20 June 2011

Come dine with me !

If like me you enjoy entertaining and having friends around then you need to set up the right space for it. Here I will be giving you some ideas to achieve the right look. 

Nowadays either by choice or not, most households don’t have a separate dining room; it's either part kitchen, part office or part living room. If this is your case then you want to make sure to have lots of practical storage.

If you want to either splash out, create a dramatic feel or even a modern country feel there is something out there for you.

-Feature wall

Why not liven up a plain dining room with an eye-catching focal point. Think wallpaper, paint, wall art, wall stickers, quirky shelving or even a great mirror – Remember to keep your design to a single wall for maximum impact.


о   Wide horizontal stripes - makes a shorter wall seem longer.

о   Paint walls in a bold shade - dress your table with a dinner service, glassware and napkins in complementary hues for a coordinated look.  Red is a great colour for stimulating conversation and appetite. 

-Dining tables

If you have a large family or a lot of visitors then a table with a built-in extension leaf is your best option. It will also double as a work area or a place for kids to do homework. 


о   Glass/Perspex - Perspex or glass dining room tables instantly create a light and spacious effect although attracts dust constantly.

о   Wood - Ages beautifully and looks great in both casual and formal dining room. Wood furniture is heavy and difficult to move and store. Depending on the quality and type of wood used they can be expensive.

о   Veneer - Less expensive then wood and great for their impermeability. Less durability than wood and prone to chip at edges.

о   Marble - Extremely durable and sturdy, but it does require regular maintenance, including regular resealing.

There are a plethora of materials and as you see they all have their pros and cons so you will have to decide which will work best for you and what type of mood you are trying to achieve.


о   Round - Round tables are conducive to conversation providing a cosier and more intimate setting; albeit a round table is not ideal for large gatherings because although you can see others, you may have to shout across the table in order to be heard. 

о   Oval  - Oval tables are classic and often come with removable leaves which makes them practical as the size can change depending on the number of people you need to seat.

о   Square - Square tables provide intimacy and are a great solution to seating a small number of people. Group two square tables to create a larger rectangular seating arrangement for additional guests. 

о   Rectangular - Rectangular dining tables are probably the most common and are possibly the best shape since most dining rooms are also rectangular. It also allows you to seat a greater number of people.

 -Mix and match

The days of matching dining room sets have long gone, and a much more relaxed style is now coming through. For an eclectic look mix the decor up and go for chairs that don't match or even go for a set of mix and match dinner service. It will certainly make a statement!


о   Wood flooring - Natural wood is a stylish and practical flooring option for an eating space. It blends in well with both traditional and contemporary dining room designs and definitely a great choice due to hygienic reasons.

о   Hard flooring - Granite, marble, slate, travertine, limestone, sandstone, terrazzo, concrete, metal, glass and tiles. Impervious to water and spills so becoming good material for floors. However one of its disadvantages is that it is hard and unforgivable, so anything dropped will most definitely break.  

о   Soft flooring - Vinyl, rubber, linoleum and leather is smooth, resilient, hard-wearing, warm and requires low maintenance so if treated well it can last for a decade or more. Then you have carpets and rugs which offer a great choice in colour, pattern, and texture. Natural-fibres flooring such as coir, sisal, jute and you will find this in a range of natural colours and textured weaves that will complement any type of décor. 


-Pendant lights over the table

Pendant fixtures will establish a design statement through their clear visibility. Lamps suspended above dining room tables cast a soft pool of light, creating a cosy and intimate atmosphere. In a modern dining room, a cluster of brightly coloured lights adds a sense of fun but if you have a long table then a row of sleek suspended will create a contemporary look.   


If you are lucky enough to have a separate dining room then by hanging floor-length curtains you will significantly soften the space by adding texture and colour. It will also feel luxurious and add drama. 


-Space-saving furniture

If you're short on space then look for clever solutions, i.e. stools that tuck under the table, coffee table that converts into a dining table, foldaway furniture, or even stackable chairs. 



Chairs can play their part decoratively; choose yours to add a splash of colour to an otherwise understated room. 


If you're going to have a dining table in your kitchen, you need to allow an ideal space of 1.25m between the table and units - this will allow you to open doors of units comfortably.

Be Imaginative, you have no excuse for not having a dining area; remember that even the smallest of spaces can make room for mealtimes. So go and be creative.

Pictures via,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Friday, 10 June 2011

Cushions: My Top Must-haves in Home Accessories - (part2)

There are virtually no limits to the variety of colours fabrics, shapes and sizes that can be used to create cushions. So don't be afraid to mix and match different coloured cushions or pick a single colour and vary the cushions design.

Colours are an individual taste and make a statement so many people avoid the bold and opt for the bland. They don’t need to (if you want more on this subject go to Colours break down into warm such as red, yellow and orange, or cool such as blue, grey and green. Warm colours are inviting and stimulating while cool colours tend to be more soothing and quieting.

Red - Red cushions are striking, needless to say I have them and they go beautifully with my lovely Chinese red cabinets. Use a single one or a collection of red cushions to add colour and spice up your room. Red cushions will certainly add a touch of bold and wow factor to your home.

Yellow -Add a fresh stylish look to your room. Vibrant, saturated colours distinguish this cushion as a bold, spirited choice for your rooms.

Orange -Choosing bold, vibrant orange cushions will add a statement to your room. You can add a single orange cushion with whites or add to other bold coloured cushions. What a venturesome choice for your room.


Pink – Pink cushions are fun, fresh and they are not as girly as you might think. Create a mix and match set with different shades and patterns to give a more contemporary look. A vibrant fuchsia will add energy to your living room while pink in a bedroom will add romance and glamour.


Purple - Add a colourful look to your home with bold purple cushions. It will certainly add character to your room while giving it a luxurious feel.


Green - Lime green cushions will add a fresh splash of colour to your room. For a contemporary look choose dark green and olive green cushions.

Blue - Blue cushions are eye catching! Aqua blue cushions will add a fresh splash of colour to any room. While blue cushions will provide a contemporary look.


Brown - Brown cushions will add an element of urban style to your room while accentuating your furniture.

Black - Black cushions are bold, stylish and sophisticated. Use a single black cushion or collection of black cushions to add elegance to any room.


White -Use a single white cushion with colours or decorate with a collection of white cushions to add a stylish and dramatic look to any room.


Metallic -Stunning silks are an exquisite, sensual and soft fabric. Metallic cushions in contemporary designs will make an eye-catching statement piece and will give a vivid feeling of drama in any room.

Grey- Grey cushions are refined and elegant. If you are looking for a relaxing ambience then these are perfect.


With so many designs available in the market, it is very easy to find a cushion that appeal to your personal style and taste.

You will find that cushions are a very economic way of adding impact into your room. So if you buy them either in a chain store, online or even go for a designer cushion, it is really up to you how much you spend.
After all, a cushion is not a huge investment and if you tire of it, you can always replace it. So go on and have fun decorating with cushions!

Pictures via,,,,,,,,,,,, homesand,,,,,,,,, and