Heart Home Magazine New Designer 2014
UK Trade & Industry Delegate, British Embassy, Paris. April 2014

Thursday, 5 November 2015

My hillside

The hillside opposite our house is just perfect.  It's the most perfect hillside you could ever imagine, and the best part of all is that I see it every day, lots of times.  I see it from the landing window, the kitchen, dining room bedroom, and I am so lucky that I see it from my studio windows.  I cannot stop taking pictures of it either.  Over the past 7 years of living where we are, here are some of my favourites (nb none of them have been enhanced I promise!).

You can see the woods down there where we walk in the distance, collecting leaves, sticks and capturing photos of trees and mushrooms.

Autumn time is truly spectacular! Just before the leaves turned red - 3 weeks ago
winter arrives
winter time

winter sunset
when it snows, it's bad!

stormy times ahead...

sometimes we see one or two of of these too
I just love it, and never tire of it.  It's almost as good as watching the ocean, almost...

Guest blogger Amy Goldsmith...

I was approached recently by Amy Goldsmith, an Australian blogger who writes about interiors, wondering if I ever published any guest blogs on my pages.  Well I thought it was a great idea - you get a fresh perspective on design ideas and something different from my work too.  This is what Amy has written for my blog...hope you enjoy it!  Claire 

Contemporary Foyer Design Ideas

Image credit - rolleusa.com

Though we may be reluctant to admit it, we often judge people by the looks of their living areas. This is a reason why you should dress up your home to be both functional and eye-catching from the doorstep and beyond – however glamorous your living room, boudoir or kitchen may be, it is inevitably the foyer that will make the first impression on your visitors. As the guests make their way into your private retreat, their interest should grow with each step they take, starting with the lobby. With these simple additions, your hallway will quickly become not just the spot where you drop your keys and kick off your shoes after a long day, but also an extension of your personality and the starting point of comfort, elegance and pleasure.

1. Wall décor: Quotes and memorable pictures


As you retreat to the privacy of your home, you should leave all other worries aside and focus on the things that really make life worthwhile. Creative  wall art in the foyer can help turn the focus from the world you are leaving outside to the pleasantries awaiting inside your own safety bubble. Print out inspirational quotes and pictures of your loved ones to put up on a panel in the lobby. You can also use postcards, your kids’ drawings and love notes: such mementoes will remind you of all the affection you are surrounded by on a daily basis.

2. A fashionable rug: The perfect print


Once you have kicked off your boots, you know you are finally home and it is time to rest and have fun. To avoid encounters of the chilly kind the moment you put your bare feet down on the foyer floor, use soft rugs with a fashionable design such as florals, animal prints or arabesque forms. While animal-inspired designs will blend in perfectly with a contemporary home decor, florals and arabesques are more stylistically versatile and can be combined with a variety of looks. Monochromatic rugs are one more option, but they lack character and should be used only if you truly cannot find a floor cover that matches the rest of your home décor.

3. The hangout spot: Shelf and coat rack

The foyer is a place of impressions and expressions, but it should also be organized to  serve its primary purpose, that is accommodating the necessities for a trip to the outdoors such as jackets, coats and shoes. Add a wooden shelf-and-coat rack to the lobby to hang your parka, mackinaw or tuxedo and organize your keys, wallets, portable player, sunglasses, headphones and other bits and ends you need on the go.

4. May lights guide your way: Illuminate staircase

Coming home at small hours can be potentially dangerous, especially if your foyer extends to a staircase. If you have had one too many drinks or are just too tired from a long day at the office, an illuminated staircase may save you a lot of hassle. Attach LED light to the side of the steps or under the stair tread nosing and have lights guide your way from the front door to the sleeping area. You can also  use LED downlights to brighten up the staircase area. A lovely idea for nighthawks, isn’t it?
Depending on the size of the foyer, you can throw in add other elegant accessories such as shoe racks, wooden cabinets or side tables, for as long as you do not overcrowd the entrance hall with pieces of little functional value. Remember: a fabulous contemporary hallway is clean, graceful and functional and it should represent your home in the best of lights, so keep it clutter-free and well-organized for best visual effects.

About the Author

Amy Mia Goldsmith is a literature graduate with a lot of different interests in life. She and her husband love DIY projects and design. She blogs at Smooth Decorator and you can also contact her at her  Facebook page or Twitter account.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

It was a Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair!

I have been in a whirl since packing up my stand at the 2015 Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, that took place at the Old Granada Studios earlier this month in Manchester.  As usual I met some lovely creative folks there -  I am always struck by the fact that these shows have the most positive and supportive vibes, and everyone is always so happy to see other designer's skills and craftsmanship.  It's such a tonic!

I've included images of my favourite stands, and in particular, ceramicist Jill Shaddock, who was one of our ex-students.  It was very good to see her there, exhibiting such high quality work.  Wishing her the very best with her future career (though she is well on her way already!).

Close-up of my stand

My new fabrics! 

Knit Me A Stitch ceramics

Anthony Wong - Liverpool based jewellery (these lovely people were next to me)

Hand-carved pendulum clocks - these were amazing!  I could have watched them tick all day!

White Light Ceramics - so delicate!

Richard Kennedy - beautiful hand turned wooden objects, based in Argyll

Sarah Waterhouse - beautiful hand screen printed textiles

Jill Shaddock

Kuku Big Bag

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Tea anyone?

I was thrilled to be asked to submit my designs for a quite prestigious competition recently, to design a tea service.  Suffice to say that although I wasn't successful (a tad disappointed but hey ho), I LOVED doing the designs and it's got me thinking about future products.  Anyway, here are some pics of what I got up to.  Hope you like them!