Contemporary rope themed home lighting designs by Pani Jurek

April 1st, 2015

Do you love unusual lighting designs? For contemporary lights with impact, check out these lighting designs by Polish designer, Pani Jurek.

Loop line ceiling lamp

Contemporary lighting design for a modern home

The loop line ceiling lamp is produced in an industrial style. The lamp features a seven metre long rope cable attached to a ceramic socket and ceiling rose. Thanks to the length of the cable, you can hang your light however you wish – it can be stretched, hung, coiled or knotted, for example, and you can change it as often as you like.

The lamp is available in several different cord colours, including orange, yellow or black. It’s ideal if you’re into functional pieces that add to laid back living.

Hook line ceiling lamp

Nautical style rope lamp

On a similar theme but with a shorter cord, the hook line ceiling lamp is a pendant light that comes with a three metre long rope. The rope can be looped or knotted to create your own style and you can use it as either a central light or a side lamp.

Choose from the rope in raspberry red, denim blue, black, grey or beige. We think the rope design of this light could make it work quite well in a nautical or coastal interior design scheme.

Both lamps, and more unusual lights by the same designer, are available to purchase from Lime Lace.


How to find a local tradesperson

March 30th, 2015

Best ways to find tradesmen

Do you need a tradesman to build an addition to your home? Or, do you need an expert in outdoor lawn care? Regardless of which manual trade or labour work you need completed, finding the right tradesman for the job isn’t as difficult as it was in the past. Today, we can find referrals online, and use a variety of sites to help us find the right skilled worker for any job.

Use online sites

Different online sites are one of the easiest way to find the right person, for any job. There are many sites like, which will help you find the right people. Upon registering for the site, all you have to do is input the type of work you need completed. After listing the job and pay rate, you will receive quotes from skilled workers in your area. You can use the online site to compare workers, to read reviews, and to find the best rates. From there, you hire the best person for the job.

Use manual posting boards

You can also post work to different sites online. and are a few sites to consider using. By adding your job post to more than one online board, you can receive various quotes. You can also read online reviews from previous customers, allowing you to hire the best person for the trade.

Ask locally

Word of mouth has always been one of the best methods to find affordable, high quality workers. This is no different. If you know someone who has recently hired a tradesman, or if you inquire with friends and family, this might help you find someone to do the job for you as well.

With various online sites, guides, and review boards available, finding the right tradesman for any job is made relatively simple.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

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How to choose the perfect paint colour

March 27th, 2015

Fresh Design decor ideas

Now the days are longer and brighter, the inside of the house is starting to look a bit shabby. Chipped paintwork, odd marks and faded patches on walls are all becoming more noticeable, so now’s the time to think about revamping your rooms ready for the coming year. With the weather warming up, it’s also more practical to leave doors and windows open while new paint work is drying. If you’re not sure what colour you’re going to go for to renovate your living space, try our tips for inspiration.

Fresh Design decor tips

  1. Which way does your room face, i.e. north, south, east or west? North-facing rooms will generally make colours look a little darker as the light is flatter, so you might need to go for a shade or two lighter of your chosen colour. Good choices for north-facing rooms are colours with red, yellow or orange base tones, while blue and green will create a soothing, calming effect in south-facing rooms.
  2. If you choose colours based on a display in a large shop, be prepared for them to look different when you get them home and see them in a smaller, domestic setting.
  3. If you’re going for a very dark or dramatic colour, this might be best confined to one feature wall. Try painting one wall first to see if you like the effect. If you use two strong colours in the same room, they may interact in unforeseen ways so try it out first before you commit.
  4. Colors look different when the light changes, so get a roll of cheap lining paper (available from DIY shops), and paint it with two coats of your chosen colour. Move this around the room, fixing it to the walls with tape or Blutack, and see how it looks at different times of day and in different places. If necessary, fix white lining paper over the section of wall first so that you can see the new colour in isolation.
  5. Wet paint is a different colour to dry paint, so allow plenty to time for the colour to change before making a decision. Always apply at least two coats, too.
  6. Don’t forget that most big shops now offer a bespoke paint mixing service, so there’s nothing stopping using a favourite dress, a vintage vase, your grandmother’s brooch or even your cat’s coat for inspiration. Having your own paint colour mixed means that you must be sure to buy sufficient paint in advance, though, as subsequent batches may be a subtly different colour. Don’t forget to allow enough for future touch ups, too.
  7. Remember existing elements. If you have furniture, rugs or curtains you want to keep, this will restrict your choice of colour a bit. Take photographs of your existing items and take these with you when you go to choose the paint colour.
  8. Don’t forget to take existing rooms into account, and consider whether you want a colour scheme that’s confined to one room or flows throughout the house.

Dining room in Farrow & Ball blue gray no. 91

This dining room, in Farrow & Ball blue gray No. 91 (estate eggshell), from £38, has been given a contemporary edge with shocking pink upholstered chairs.

Eaton Square paint No 232 from Mylands

Strong colours, such as Eaton Square No 232 from Mylands Paint, from £20, are great for picking out features but may be too dark and dramatic for walls.

Striking modern paintwork using B&Q Colours

For a feature wall, don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild. This striking geometric pattern was created with three colours from the Colours range at B&Q – Pumpkin, Mai Tai and Ladybug. Prices start at £19.84.

By Sara Walker


Bright budget buys for a colourful home

March 25th, 2015

Bright bargain buys for your home

Add some spring colour and cheer into your home, with some of these bright homeware buys from Oliver Bonas. Not only are they great for adding colour, but they’re also all reduced in price, so even better buys for your budget!

1. Let this butterfly cushion flutter into your home and take a pew on your sofa – now £19 (was £28)

2. Use this flexible green dove door stopper to ensure doors don’t bang shut on breezy days – now £9 (was £13)

3. Get creative with hanging this rainbow pom pom garland - now £12 (was £17.50)

4. Use this neon blue wire candle holder to liven up your living room – now £9 (was £14)

5. Have your morning cuppa in this bright and cheery cappuccino silk mug - now £4.50 (was £7)

6. Serve up supper in a colour pop matt bamboo bowl - now £9 (was £14) (other colours available)

7. Dine in style, with the colour block cutlery set - now £18 (was £24)

8. Serve milk from a cheery rosalie milk jug - now £5 (was £8.50)

10 Easter buys for a contemporary home

March 24th, 2015

The Easter season is all about new beginnings, so breathe some new life into your home decor with our pick of the top ten Easter-themed home accessories.

1. Kitchen roll holder, Alessi

Alessi kitchen roll holder

We couldn’t resist this bunny and carrot kitchen roll holder by iconic design brand Alessi. It’ll add just the right note of quirkiness to a modern kitchen, and it’s practical to – the bunny rotates to keep the end of the roll in place when not in use. Made from thermoplastic resin, it’s available in green, pink and blue and costs £31 from Red Candy.

2. Fossil rug, Kelaty

Estella fossil oval design rug

This Fossil rug from the Estella range gives a note to traditional Easter eggs with its unusual curved shape made from overlapping ovals. It has a modern colour palate that would add an unusual focal point to any modern decor. £269, available from Kelaty.

3. Rabbit lamp, Front for Moooi

Rabbit lampshade by Front for Moooi

Light up your home in more than one way with this rabbit lamp. The rabbit is lifesize, and looks so real you think he’s on the point of twitching his nose. This would make a lovely addition to a children’s room, or a great talking point in a sitting room. £338, available from Rume.

4. Aki runner rug, Pappelina

This rug from Pappelina is made from woven plastic

Pappelina is a Swedish company that designs and manufactures unique, modern rugs and a wide range of other soft furnishings. These unusual yet practical  rugs are made from soft Swedish plastic and hand-woven in Sweden using old traditional weaving looms, so they’re hard wearing and waterproof. The bright colours and simple design, reminiscent of flowers or butterflies, are ideal for spring. Prices start at £85, available from Cloudberry Living.

5. Wall tree sticker, RoomMates

Tree wall sticker from RoomMates

Bring the outside in with this wall tree sticker. Although it’s intended for children’s bedrooms or nurseries, we think it would also cheer up a garden room or even the inside of a posh shed. The leaves, birds and butterflies will add a touch of spring. £25, available from Becky and Lolo.

6. Egg cups, Sagaform

Cylindrical egg cups from Sagaform

These just might be the coolest egg cups we’ve ever seen. Four cylindrical stoneware egg cups by Swedish design company Sagaform are stacked on a light bamboo stand when not in use. £23, available from The Scandinavian Shop.

7. Rabbit and cabbage tea towel, Thornback & Peel

Cotton rabbits and cabbages tea towel

This cream cotton tea towel is made in Britain and hand printed with brown rabbits and green cabbages, mixing fresh, contemporary colour with traditional imagery. £12.95, available from Annabel James.

8. Country meadow Easter wreath, Gisela Graham

Country meadow Easter wreath by Gisela Graham

Wreaths aren’t just for Christmas – we think this lovely faux wreath with speckled eggs, blossom, buds and twisted willow would add a little spring charm to any front door or wall. £30, available from The Contemporary Home.

9. Metal jugs, Gisela Graham

Vintage metal jugs by Gisela Graham

In beautiful fresh springtime colours, these  vintage style metal jugs are ideal for holding spring flowers, kitchen utensils, straws or a host of other things, and will be sure to brighten up your home. Available in pink, yellow, blue and green, £7 each, from The Contemporary Home.

Henry Hen mug, Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely hen mug

A band of stylised hens in yellow and black against a cream background decorate this retro style bone china mug, perfect for the contemporary kitchen. £9, available from One Brown Cow.

By Sara Walker

Make your walls shine with stunning metallic wallpaper

March 23rd, 2015

Add an extra touch to your wall decor by using wallpaper with a metallic sheen. Metallic paper can add a more luxurious finish to your interior and it shines when the light catches it. Whatever your style or taste, there are plenty of metallic wallpapers available. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

The luxury metallic wallpaper

Metallic silver tulip botanical wallpaper

This stunning Tulipa botanica design brings together old and new in a very effective way. The design is inspired by mid 17th and 18th century Dutch still life paintings. The white and grey on a silver foil background bring the design to life and make it work for a modern home. It’s by Carlucci di Chivasso and is available from Wallpaper Direct. At £127.40 per roll, this is one of the luxury options.

The nature themed metallic wallpaper

Natural tree design wallpaper

Bring nature into your home, with this metallic shimmer tree design wallpaper. It’s available in several colourways, but the taupe and gold has a nice warm feel to it. It’s £14 a roll from I Love Wallpaper.

The animal print metallic wallpaper

Animal magic zebra print wall decor

Unleash your inner animal, with a striking zebra print wallpaper. In silver grey and with metallic glitter highlights, it will transform your walls in an instant. At only £15 a roll from Graham and Brown, it’s affordable too.

The colourful metallic wallpaper

Petrol blue teal wallpaper wall decor

Combining dramatic colour and opulent metallic glitter highlights, the Vintage Ravelle wallpaper, from Arthouse’s Twilight collection, is perfect for decorating your living or dining room.

The designer metallic wallpaper

Dramatic opening doors wallpaper by Sophie Conran

Loads of designers have metallic wallpapers as part of their collections, but we’re rather taken by this one by Sophie Conran. The Opening Doors wallpaper from her Reflections collection features a repeat pattern of ornate doors on a metallic background. The antique gold colourway is very striking and dramatic. It’s £99 per roll from John Lewis.

The budget metallic wallpaper

Bargain affordable metallic silver wallpaper

For an elegant budget metallic wallpaper, you can’t get much better than the Silken Stria silver mist. It shimmers beautifully and has a timeless appeal to it. It’s only £9.99 a roll from Taskers.

The kid’s metallic paper

Star space children's room decor

And finally, don’t forget your kids! For young fans of stars or space, Graham and Brown’s midnight stardust wallpaper features a myriad of stars embellished with a foil effect.

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