Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Creating patterned Stair Risers with Farrow & Ball

May seems to be the month for home revamps.

Hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve done so far to my son’s bedroom,  my workspace and my newly upholstered sofa.

Today’s post is all about being creative with paint.

It’s all about the creative use of paint beyond walls, and to consider the room as a whole, taking into account the ceilings, floors and trims.

I’ve decided to paint my stairs. My stairs is a Farrow & Ball Cornforth white which has a greyish tone to it.

There are so many ways of how you could add colour to your stairs.  I toyed with the idea of painting the risers in blocks of different pastel shades or a blue ombré effect but in the end, we opted for stencilling.

The thought of stencilling may fill some with dread, especially if you are imagining that 1980s stippling effect with paint.

I was happy with stippling, as long as the end result was not a dot and speck effect. We decided to use a Farrow & Ball wallpaper pattern for the design. I chose the Enigma pattern that I previously featured for Farrow & Ball’s 70th anniversary. Before the work on the stairs got started, I had the hallway painted in a Farrow & Ball All White. creating patterned stair risers with Farrow & Ball Then came the fun part, the selection of colours. My advice here is to get tester pots to test against the background colour. Each of Farrow & Ball paint colours have a complementary white which will subtly balance the scheme for a more considered feel. I picked Dayroom Yellow,  Blue Ground, Nancy’s Blush, Green Blue and Pink Ground to go against the Cornforth White. What do you think of the new look?

Hope this has inspired you to create your own patterned stair risers at home.  The rich colours and surprising finish combinations of Farrow & Ball paints are amazing. You can add colour to the most unexpected of places, creating a striking design statement at home.

I’ve included the video shot in my home, showing the whole process with steps explained.

Finally, wishing you all a wonderful weekend and new start to your week.

( All photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell.  Robin Kitchin  filmed the video and Bryony of Christie Decorating  did the painting and stencils. This post has been sponsored by Farrow & Ball).

A great sofa upholsterer in London.  My collaboration with Sharp & Simpson and Linwood Fabrics.

How have you been? I’ve been so busy redecorating my home these last few weeks.

One of the rooms that needed a revamp, was my workspace on the top floor of my Victorian house.

I have since repainted that room, and acquired a new desk and sofa too.

My workspace reveal will be in different posts, starting with my new sofa and art gallery wall today.

There are two sofas in my study, one of which is this blue vintage sofa (above). It was starting to look a bit tired and worn, so I decided to get it reupholstered. sofa upholsterer Ta-dah! Here it is. what do you think?

I’ve been searching for a good London upholsterer for a while, but haven’t had much luck, until now.

Imagine how happy I was when I stumbled upon Sharp & Simpson’s Instagram account, where I saw the wonderful way in which they transformed old sofas into bespoke new pieces.

I got in touch with Micaela Sharp, one half of Sharp & Simpson, and we decided to collaborate together on my sofa transformation. Sharp & Simpson co-owned by Micaela sharp and Steve Simpson, is an upholstery company servicing all of London and Kent.

Micaela met Steve at the upholstery course where he was teaching. Steve has been an upholsterer for over 35 years and knows all there is to know about the trade.

Micaela offers a fresh new approach to upholstery which has proved popular.  Sharp & Simpson were featured on BBC 1 recently in Flipping Profit, where they shared their passion for saving and up-cycling unwanted furniture. Here’s a little bit of the process:

They stripped down the sofa which revealed a broken frame, but luckily managed to fix it.

They replaced the back strut with new wood, and then stripped and sanded the legs before waxing.

The sofa was finally webbed, covered in hessian, and then new foam was added.   The old cover was used as templates for the new lush blossom pink Tango Velvet cover by Linwood.  Flamingo Pink contrast piping was made, and the cover was sewn together. I also chose the same Flamingo colour for the sofa’s buttons. Tango Velvet is a collection of plush Italian velvets by Linwood, in contemporary colours with the added practicality of a stain resistant finish.

Since discovering Linwood, via Micaela, I’ve been stalking their marvellous creations on Instagram.

Linwood are indeed designers of beautiful fabrics and wallpapers, from classic to contemporary. They really do combine beauty, quality and practicality in all their designs. upholsterer in London for sofas I was initially going to paint a colourful backdrop, but decided last minute to keep it white.

I’ve added a gallery wall held up with Command wall strips, to provide some contrast to the sofa. The strips are great because it means my prints can be hung without the need for nails in the walls.

Talking about artwork, I have two new art prints on my wall.

I do love a good slogan print. The pink ‘Te Amo’ and ‘real Queens fix each other’s crowns’ prints are by the wonderfully talented Emily of Doodle Moo. Did you spot that sparkly droplet garland below the art prints?

It was a special gift to me by Coral Atkinson, the lovely owner of Velveteen Babies. Isn’t it just the cutest? I’ve styled my sofa with a variety of cushions, including one made by Sharp & Simpson in the same Flamingo velvet and blossom pink Linwood Tango fabric.

I am so grateful to Sharp & Simpson and Linwood Fabrics for rescuing my sofa and breathing new life back into it.

The whole designing process and delivery of the final product was so effortless and perfect. I am so happy with how everything has turned out.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post.  I will be back soon to reveal other parts of this room. Can’t wait to show you. Have a gorgeous week all.

( All photography and styling are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. )

child's reading corner How to decorate a child’s reading corner without holes in the wall.

I’ve always wanted to create a child’s reading corner, so I thought I’d style one up using some of my son’s old furniture from storage.

Here is my transformed kid’s corner. What do you think?

I’ve used a variety of Command products to help me with my wall styling. Child's reading cornerI love it that I don’t need a hammer or nails to put up the art prints, and even better, there will never be any unsightly holes left on the wall.

Command products can be used on painted walls, wood, glass, laminate or melamine furniture and more. All Command brand products have a similar adhesive method and are removed in the same way too. Here’s the step by step guide on how to use the Command strips to put up the gallery wall:

Image 1+2 :  Separate the strips. You could either stick the first set of the strips to the backs of the frame by removing the green liners ( I have used a combination of medium and narrow strips here) then press a new set of strips on top of those strips already stuck on the frame. As you press, make sure the strips ‘click’ together.

Or you could start by pressing two strips together till they click and then sticking one side of the pair to the back of the picture frame.

Either of those ways work well.

Image 3 : Remove the remaining green liners and press the frame onto the wall. Press each side of the frame firmly against the wall for at least 30 seconds.

Image 4 : To ensure the adhesive will hold, remove the frame by grabbing the bottom corners and peeling the frame up and away from the wall. Do not pull straight off. Now, press the entire strips that have remained on the wall for at least another 30 seconds.

The most important point to note is that the strips need to be left on the wall for at least 1 hour before reattaching the frame.

Image 5+6 : All about removal of the strips. After removing the frame ( remember to remove by grabbing the bottom corners and peeling the frame up and away from the wall rather than pulling straight off), you can then remove the strips.

Never pull the strips towards you or peel from the wall.

Always pull the strip straight down, keeping your hand against the wall as you go.

Keep stretching up to 15 inches and the strip will just naturally pop off. The last image shows you what is happening behind the strip. I was also excited to learn that Command now has a new product on the market called the Broom Gripper. Broom gripper for wall I’ve used the Broom Gripper to hold up a toy hobby horse in my child’s reading corner.

The Command Broom Gripper is a great idea for keeping the kitchen and utility room tidy. There’ll be no more of tripping over brooms on floors. To add a punch of colour to the reading corner, I’ve decided to drape a string of colourful lantern ball lights around the book shelf.

To stop the string lights from sliding, I’ve used Command Clear Decorating Clips to hold them in place. However, Command aren’t just for walls. I’ve also used a Medium Clear Hook to hold up a mini rucksack at the back of this wooden chair.

These hooks are great for hanging up coats behind doors.So there you have it, my kid’s reading nook. How do you like it? My cute Gumball sweets art print is by James Taylor Photo Art. I love how easy it is to style and put things up without damaging the walls with holes.

I will be back with another styling in this very same corner, using more Command products soon. Can’t wait to show you. Have a lovely week.

( All photography and styling are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. this is a sponsored collaboration with Command).

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