Saturday, 10 January 2015

DIY textured wall hanging

Easing myself back into the groove of things, with this, my first DIY of 2015, easy textured wall hanging!
It is basically a more refined version of This textured wall hanging that I made for our Loft space back in August...But by using a copper craft hoop instead of wooden dowel, I'm capturing two big trends in one with this make: Metallics and textured wall hangings.

I've mentioned metallics as a trend a number of times before, and in my last post it came up as one of the must have elements of the Abigail Ahern Design-ometer 
...And variation of  texture was another element that Abigail Ahern recommends that any room design should have....
And with interior stylist using everything from rugs (as seen at Ferm living) to painted canvas backdrops (spotted in Hans Blomquist's "in detail"), macrame and weavings all over Etsy and Pinterest the trend for adding texture to your walls seems to be here to stay...

And I adore it!!
It is one of those things I've always wanted to do more of, working with textiles and fibres....and when I did my Ombre macrame wall hanging last year, I loved it...So this year I am hoping to do more work like this!
 But I'm starting cautiously with this easy make:

I used various colours of wool, a 9" copper craft hoop and scissors...

Cut long lengths of wool, fold it over to double then "tie" it to the craft hoop as shown above...

Keep going, repeating the step above... Change colour when you feel like it...

Until you have created a pattern of strings of wool that looks right to you...

...and you've covered the lower part of the hoop!

Hang it on your wall to check that the strings all hang nicely down!

Using your finger, or a wide-tooth comb, make sure the strings of wool is not tangled , then cut the ends how you'd like it....

That's it! Such an easy way to add some texture to your walls...

The great thing about making your own home decor like this, is that you can choose your own colour combinations to fit with your interios....

And of course the satisfaction of thinking: I made that!!

Next week I'll be looking more thoroughly in to the trends that are emerging for 2015 and I'll be sharing some tips on how to find the time to make and DIY things for your home.... of course there will be another little DIY!!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Abigail Ahern's Design-Ometer...

Easy to follow design rules for creating a well balanced room!

So, with so much going on in my personal life at the moment, I have been struggling to find my way back to my design brain after Christmas. So it's been a bit of a slow start, blogging wise, to 2015!

 Like I said before: Who cares what your house looks like when it no longer feels like a home?

....I DO! That's who!! 
Because I truly believe that our surroundings have a big impact on our moods and emotional life! And I'll be damned if I don't try everything in my powers to lift me out of this ebb!!

And then I found Abigail Ahern's Design-ometer!
Abigail Ahern is one of my favorite interior designers, even though her style is very different from mine....She has impeccable taste and styling , always keep her finger on the pulse of anything to do with design and is generally super inspiring to me....
And her recently posted DESIGN-OMETER was just the inspiration I needed to find my groove again!
Set out like a score system, it basically covers what most interior designers like to think of as staples of any successful room design....And if Abigail Ahern says these are the elements a visually good room should have, then I'm not one to argue...
Abigail's checklist covers 7 elements that will work in ANY room and WHATEVER your design style:

1.Statement feature

" need your eye to move around the room and if you only have one statement piece you can read the room in a second. Too many, and it can get a little crazy so aim for about 3."*
The Design-ometer will reward you 1 point for each statement feature in your room, up to a maximum of 3 points.
       "The interior design rule of thumb is to have at least 8 lamps of light                  sources in a room."*             
 If your room is very small, this can seem a bit excessive, I agree, but Abigail insists that this really does make the biggest difference!
Count up your light sources, and reward yourself half a point for each, up to a maximum of 4 points!              
 "NO points if the room only has recessed overhead lighting."*
3.Metallic accents
               "...shine and sparkle really does bring a room alive."*             It could be a copper tray, a metallic pendant light shade, silver cushions or "a cluster of gold vases"*  ...or all of the above!! Metallic's, are according to Abigail a MUST HAVE in any interiors...and currently the trend is to mix them up, which is great news , as there are loads of great accessories available on the high street!
"1 point if you’ve got a hint of bling somewhere in the room"*

  "You need the juxtaposition of different textures"* Abigail states " so metal against slubby textiles and sheepskins, leather and concrete up against velvet and so on. If you have wooden or concrete floors, rugs are a great way to inject instant texture"*
This is NOT about how many different materials you have in your room: If it's shiny it's one texture, if it's rough it's one etc....think about how things feel to the touch: The tactile nature of each texture will add to the visual impact of any room!
1 point for each different texture in the space, up to a maximum of 3 points.
5.Flowers or plants
"This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to update a drab corner, so no makeover is complete without them. Even a single flower will perk up your space and make it seem so much happier and more inviting, I swear"*
Not to mention the health benefits of keeping plants in your home! I'm getting better now, but for someone who is notorious for their black thumbs, I am pleased to tell you that Fake flours or plants are OK here (Unless they are very cheap and faded!!)
1 point if you have any flowers, plants or greenery in your space, real or faux!


                                "Never skip scent!"*                                      A good interior design should be a sensory treat....not just visually, but it should make you feel happy and comfortable......Scent adds another dimension to your interiors...after all why leave something out if it's going to add to the feelgood factor of a room??
Use an "oil burner, incense sticks, amazing pot pourri or a scented candle, or you can even kill two birds with one stone by using fragrant herbs or flowers"* Abigail even recommends using Lavender essence when mopping the floors!
1 point if you have something beautiful to fragrance your room

    I, like Abigail, think Artwork is an essential part of good interior design!     I often use a piece of art as my starting point when I plan the decoration of a room in my home: From the colour scheme to the style and era of your art, it should go hand in hand with your interiors....even if it is in an eclectic way!!
"A maximum of 2 points up for grabs here. 2 points if you’ve got a full-on gallery, or some incredible statement pieces, or sculptures and photos. 1 point if you’ve got some art that you love, but feel that the room is still looking a bit bare. Nil point if you haven’t got any art at all!"*
So those are the 7 elements that any room design should have, according to Interior Goddess Abigail Ahern......and I would have to say that I concur!!

Here's those Maximum scores again:

Statement features3 points
Lighting4 points
Metallic accents1 point
Textures3 points
Flowers or plants1 point
Scent1 point
Artwork2 points
TOTAL = /15

Abigai Ahern is known to be the queen of dark interiors, and in her words :"In my personal checklist there would also be dark walls (obviously!), mirrors, styled vignettes, rugs, and a couple of pieces of animal décor thrown in to lighten the mood as well"* 
So her style is nothing like mine: I like bright and airy Scandinavian style interiors with a crafty flavor to it, 
so I decided to put the DESIGN-OMETER to the test in my favorite room : The living room: This is the room in the house where I feel good and think I've hit the mark: And yes!!! I scored 14 out of 15 points....Missing 1 point for not having as many as 8 light sources!! NOT BAD, hey??
In fact this post is illustrated  with pictures of the different elements listed in the AA Design-ometer, already in place in my living room!

But Abigail's Design-ometer is more importantly an excellent tool when you are planning to do up a room in your house: Use the grading system to see what elements your room already has and what you will need to bring in to make the interior more balanced!
In fact, as I am now in the process of scheduling my projects for the next couple of months, I have decided to use the Design-ometer  as look out for DIY's for the home that covers all the different Design elements listed above.... starting with an easy textured make at beginning of next week!!
Ps! All quotes marked * is by Abigail Ahern from her Blog, which, if you're not already, well worth following!!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

100 happy days


You know those moments in life, when everything feels great, a moment that is perfect in time and you jokingly think to yourself: " This is a Kodac moment" , well 100happydays is a bit like that, only that you are challenging yourself to find those moments in your every day....every day!
The 100happydays challenge is to take a daily snap of something that makes you feel happy for 100 days.

The idea is that by actively searching for something that makes you happy for your daily snap, you will start noticing the little joys of everyday and realize what makes you happy, laying the foundation for a good day and a better mood with a more positive outlook on life!

"It can be anything from a meet-up with a friend to a very tasty cake in the nearby coffee place, from a feeling of being at home after a hard day to a favor you did to a stranger."*

 *Extract from the 100 happy days website

#100happyday challenge is for you - not for anyone else. 
It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures - you lose without even starting.

In this day and age, we have no excuse to miss those Kodac moments, with near enough everyone owning a camera phone....So if this sounds like something you'd like to try...get snapping and then register for the challenge here!

  • Share your picture via facebook, twitter or instagram with public hashtag #100happydays;
  • Come up with your own hashtag to share your pictures with to limit publicity. (Don't forget to tell us how to find your pictures though ;) )
  • Or if you don't fancy going public with your happy moments, simply send your pictures to to avoid any publicity.

  • When I did this last year I chose to share my happy moments on instagram, and I think I will this year as well, as it is so easy to further share your snaps on both facebook and twitter 

    from the instagram app....but also because I took so much joy from seeing what other people was sharing using the tag #100happydays.

     As much as I understand that public sharing may not be for everyone, do not underestimate the power of feeling part of a community. A sense of being part of something bigger:  Picture by picture, spreading happiness and contributing to the society: fostering happiness in the world!

     And since founder Dmitry Golubnichy unwittingly started the "movement" in 2013 (Read more about it here) more than 20 000 000 happy moments have been created by people practicing gratitude and cherishing small moments that make them happy from all over the world!

    And one of the best part of the 100happy days challenge,  is of course the sense of achievement you get if you manage to complete 100 daily happy snaps, knowing that 71% of people taking part failed to find the time to capture a happy moment in their daily life for a full 100 days!!
    And even when the challenge is over, the collected 100 happy moments you've captured can continue to remind you about the beauty of your life, as well as enrich other's:
    By donating to the 100happy days foundation you can receive a little 100 page book with your 100happy days snaps as a keepsake, at the same time as supporting the foundations work to develop and empower disabled people in local communities through future projects and craft, making them feel useful in the community

    Find more information on the 100happydays website