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. )

bohemian style at home Bohemian look at home.

I am so excited to reveal my new look workspace. Something a little bit different to my usual style.

I’ve decided to challenge myself to style a tribal bohemian look. What do you think?how to style a bohemian look at homeWhen I found out that Homesense and TK Maxx were receiving their annual delivery of woven baskets from the Rwenzori trading company, I knew I had to go buy some quickly whilst they are still in store and online this month. These vibrantly coloured handmade baskets are in limited supply.  Once sold, they won’t be replenished until the next year. The whole bohemian tribal look is so on trend at the moment.  I’ve always wanted a gallery wall of woven African baskets, but couldn’t find any with such beautiful colours and patterns until now. I’ve also used some of the deeper baskets to hold my indoor plants, which I have styled on my desk, to compliment the gallery wall. Isn’t this tray just so gorgeous? That pop of pink is simply stunning. These baskets are so pretty and you can use them in so many other ways. Here’s one with a potted plant.  I’ve also used one to store my wrapping paper supply. There is a wonderful story behind all these beautiful Ugandan baskets too.

The partnership between Homesense and TK Maxx with the Rwenzori trading company has been going on since 2011. 

Homesense ( part of the TKMaxx family ) and TK Maxx have supported and taught the Ugandan community how to craft these beautiful hand woven baskets using locally sourced materials.

The partnership has also supported the community through sales of coffee, cocoa and cotton. Did you know that the sale of 2 baskets help a Ugandan child go to school for a whole term? 

Since the start of this partnership, there has been a 40% increase in children completing their primary school education in Uganda. 

It’s amazing to see the tangible benefits of this collaboration on families in Uganda.

Each basket that I bought was only £9.99 ( though prices start at £2.99 ), and I was so happy to spend more by buying a huge collection as I knew I was supporting a great cause.

Each basket is unique, not just because they were individually handmade, but because they all come with a signed card from the artisan, making them all the more personable.If I were you, I’d go to your local home sense or TK Maxx now to snap up these beautiful works of art. You can also browse the collection online at (UK).

As they are so distinctive, they will be very popular, so will fly off the shelves quickly. You will be supporting the families in Uganda too.

I’ve recently written about how Homesense offer big brands and unique finds at great prices. There are over 50 stores in the U.K and you can find the ones closest to you here.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this new workspace revamp. I’ll be back soon with some new colourful interiors reveals that I’ve been working on at home.

Have a great week ahead.

( All styling and photography are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little Big Bell. This bohemian look for the home post is a sponsored collaboration with Homesense but all opinions are my own)

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