The ultimate sourcebook for interior and garden decoration

The Blog - What's New

New products and services, interesting shops, ideas for your garden, our pick from the design fairs, and other things we like...

Shed Decor

Small space, big ideas: Shed Decor by Sally Coulthard is dedicated to decorating and equipping your shed space for relaxing, working and playing. There are hundreds of ideas for transforming your unpromising potting shed or tired old summerhouse into a rustic hideaway or urban den in ways above and beyond the constraints of your own home.

Shed Decor

This cosy, welcoming sleep space has the ideal blend of a light, bright colour scheme and layers of comfortable duvets, throws and blankets. (photo: Mikkel Vang / taverne agency)

Shed Decor

The exterior of this seaside retreat is kept deliberately stark to match its minimalist interior. One entire end is glazed to make the most of the sea views and flood the interior with natural light. (photo: Ben Anders)

Shed Decor

There was a lot to squeeze into such a small space, but thinking vertically helped to solve the problem. A mezzanine level was built above the tiny kitchen, providing enough floor area for a generous double bed. (photo: Javier Csecs / Styling: Solange Van Dorssen)

Shed Decor

Decorator Richard McGeehan transformed this empty pig barn in Wisconsin into a covetable country retreat (now named ‘Hog House’). A run of large casement windows stretches the entire side of the building, flooding the space with light. (photo: William Waldron /TIA Digital Ltd)

Shed Decor

In this cosy shepherd’s hut the bedroom end can be partitioned off with a simple curtain (photo: Michael Sinclair).

Shed Decor

Shed Decor is an indispensable guide to creating the perfect shed interior. Whether you want a cool contemporary space or the mix-and-match charm of vintage living, this book takes you through all the practical considerations, including wall treatments, flooring options, heating and power, choices for fabrics and furniture, and handy storage ideas.

Shed Decor, How to Decorate and Furnish your Favourite Garden Room, by Sally Coulthard, is published by Jacqui Small (£25.00)


Chelsea Flower Show 2015

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars. Once Britain’s largest flower show (it has now been overtaken by RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show), it is still the most prestigious. It’s always an amazing crowd-puller, with about 157,000 visitors over the five days. Despite this year’s battering by the weather, it’s as inspiring as ever. Here are some of our highlights…

M&G Garden at Chelsea Flower Show

The M&G Garden designed by Jo Thompson is a romantic retreat, with a two-storey oak-framed building inspired by Vita Sackville-West’s writing room at Sissinghurst, a large natural swimming pond edged with water loving plants, a woodland of river birches, acacias and acers, and a garden with tumbling roses and peonies.

A Place in the garden at The Chelsea FLower Show

A Place in the Garden are exhibiting a wide selection of their zinc planters, decorative objects, water features and lighting, including new Coach Lamps. And congratulations to them for winning a 5-star award for their stand!

Haddonstone at The Chelsea Flower Show

Spring and Summer plaques with putti from the Clifton Coade Stone Collection with an Adam Sundial Plinth  and Armillary Sphere, on Haddonstone‘s stand.

Shepherd's hut by Planksbridge

This covetable Riverkeeper’s Hut, one of a range of designs by Plankbridge in Dorset, is based on a Victorian original. Fully insulated, it’s perfect for use as a studio, home office, or even an actual fishing hut. Any variation can be made.

Shepherd's hut by Planksbridge

The micro-kitchen inside the shepherd’s hut above, with a galvanised trough-style sink, ash surfaces and even an electric hob.

Sentebale Garden, Chelsea Flower Show

Inspired by Sentebale’s Mamohato Children’s Centre, an incredible facility due to open in 2015, that helps Lesotho’s vulnerable children, the Sentebale garden will transport visitors to the landscape of Lesotho in Southern Africa. Bright colours dance through the garden linking its hard landscaping elements with Lesotho’s native environmental characteristics. Designed by Matt Keightley.

Plant Belles at Chelsea Flower Show

Plant Belles’ stand, with their wire plant supports and tunnels. The superior garden shed is by Barrel Top Wagons.

Beauty of Islam garden, Chelsea Flower Show

The Beauty of Islam garden is a contemporary take on traditional Islamic garden design. Four walls act as dividers within the garden, creating different rooms and enhancing the garden’s element of discovery with water flowing throughout. The wide variety of plants within the garden, including jasmine, rosemary and papyrus, represents the spread of Islam and Arab culture and the growth of the Arab empire through trade, most notably the Spice Route.

Telegraph Garden at Chelsea Flower Show

The Telegraph Garden, designed by Marcus Barnett and inspired by the De Stijl movement, with geometrical planting blocks contributing colour and texture, whether viewing from within or above the garden.

Alitex at RHS Chelsea

A new use for a conservatory…just the place for a scented soak, of course. This is the Scotney conservatory from the National Trust Range by Alitex, in a collaboration with Clifton Nurseries (and a Tubby bath from Albion Bath Company

For lots more information about the show, and for updates on who won the prestigious awards, see:

And did you know…

* The Great Pavilion is roughly 11,775 square metres or 2.90 acres, enough room to park 500 London buses.

* Of the firms that exhibited at the first Show in 1913, three can still be seen at the Show today: McBean’s Orchids, Blackmore & Langdon and Kelways Plants.

And see more of our snaps on our Instagram and Pinterest pages!

Flock’s new wool & plant fibre rugs

Flock is launching a new collection of rugs made in a combination of high quality wool and renewable plant fibres. The range features seven original designs where wool and plant fibre has been interwoven to create subtle and elegant patterns and detailing. The colour palette ranges from earthy neutrals to soft, muted shades, and each design uses plant fibres to creative effect. The designs include heritage-inspired tweed patterns, bold stripes, wave textures and striated textures using ombré effect wool. All the rugs are handmade and have a wonderfully rich, chunky texture whilst being soft underfoot.

Bonita wool & plant fibre rug from Flock

‘Bonita’ is a luxurious wool pile with wavy plant fibre design detailing in five elegant colours – oat, silver, jade (shown here), liquorice and alabaster.

Read more…

Orange bathroom inspiration

Orange is the colour of the season!  It’s vibrant, but playful and optimistic, and it’s already made its way from the fashion catwalks into our homes.  Leading bathroom retailer Ripples has put together this stylish selection of orange bathroom fittings and accessories inspired by the 1960s and 1970s.

Kartell-by-Laufen at Ripples

The new Kartell range by Laufen combines iconic furniture design using plastics with high-­quality
ceramic bathroom pieces. The washbasins are crafted from SaphirKeramik, a lightweight material
that is unique to the Swiss manufacturer.
All Saints Mirror, £206.40
Washbasin Bowl, £420.00
Drawer element (for under washtops), £1,051.20
Max Beam Stool in Tangerine orange, £180.00
Freestanding Bath, £6,958.80

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Karen Knorr’s India Song

‘India Song’, a new book by acclaimed photographer Karen Knorr (sister-in-law of Cheryl Knorr of The House Directory!) presents some extraordinary images of animals in stunning architectural sites in India. Karen Knorr began her ‘India Song’ series in 2008, after a life-changing trip through Rajasthan. She takes inspiration from the Indian tradition of personifying animals in literature and art, depicting scenarios that are at once otherworldly and surreal. Knorr’s work explores Rajput and Mughal cultural heritage and its contemporary relationship to questions of feminine subjectivity and animality.

Karen Knorr Flight-to-Freedom

The Flight to Freedom, Durbar Hall, Juna Mahal, Dungarpur

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Anglepoise® – new collections, new look…

The quintessentially British brand Anglepoise® first developed its iconic task lamp with its pioneering perfect balance mechanism in the 1930s and now produces a wide range of designs. There are still  practical, energy-efficient task lamps, but also whole room solutions, including a new brass collection which has a softer, more domestic aesthetic, and is ideally suited for both domestic and commercial interiors.

Maxi Pendant by Anglepoise

Heritage-inspired colours, woven cable and authentic brass details create a new aesthetic for the iconic Anglepoise® Original 1227™ design, whilst desk, wall and pendant options introduce greater versatility.

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BADA Art & Antiques Fair 2015

The glamorous BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair has just opened, and runs until 24 March at Duke of York’s Square, London SW3.   It’s a dazzling display – from 16th century furniture to contemporary paintings, all vetted for quality and authenticity.  There is something for everyone, from the first time buyer to the seasoned collector, with prices ranging from £100 to six figure sums. Here are some exhibits that caught our eye…

BADA fair 15 Aristotle

A carved stone bust of Aristotle, English, first half of 18th century, at Harris Lindsay Works of Art.

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Adam Bray’s new fabrics

Interior designer Adam Bray has joined the Redloh House co-operative with his unique textile collection. There are sumptuous mohair velvets and sheepskins, luxury leathers, sublime hand-dyed linens and the extremely chic Fela ticking stripe. New to the range are 100% wool Melton fabrics in authentic military colours, new Gauffrage (embossed velvet) colours and patterns and a collection of upholstery-weight denims.

Adam Bray linens

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Imperfect Home by Mark & Sally Bailey

Mark and Sally Bailey of destination homeware store Baileys Home & Garden were early forerunners of ‘undecorating’, and their latest book Imperfect Home sees the beauty in homes that are rough around the edges, with peeling paint and vintage fabrics. It’s also a look in which old meets new, and modern pieces are mixed in to bring vitality and colour.

Imperfect Home by Mark & Sally Bailey

Antiques dealer Katharine Pole’s workroom-cum-showroom, home to an 18th century French four-poster bed with a silk canopy ravaged by age.

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OKA’s Battersea Power Station apartment

After lying derelict for thirty years, the landmark 42 acre site of Battersea Power Station is being brought back to life with architecture from Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners, and landscape architecture from James Corner. Furniture and accessories company OKA were given the opportunity to create a design scheme for the first apartment at the brand new development. Director Sue Jones rose to the challenge and in just three days created an inviting scheme which combines different periods and influences and which she felt would be more soothing (and immune to the passage of time) than a top-to-toe modern look. Open-plan homes often pose the design challenge of how to create distinct living, dining and sleeping areas, but the chosen decor demarcates the space perfectly.

Battersea Power Station redevelopment

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