Category Archives: Make it Yourself

What colour to paint…geometric update!

Not sure if anyone remembers but a while ago a masked a pattern on the wall of a bar…IMG_4580

This week I popped back to take a pic so as promised you can now have a look at the finished piece below! I used a series of cool greys neutrals in order to keep it clean and sophisticated, the varying tones creating a slightly 3D effect…

I’m off to Berlin this weekend – Yipee! – so will have plenty of beautiful images to share on my return!


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What colour to paint…a wall in a bar.


IMG_4579Through one person you meet another and through them you get a free membership to a members only bar in Tottenham Court Road.

You pop in to check it out, get chatting to the owner and suggest a few things he could do to liven the decor.

Next thing you know you have 6 rolls of masking tape round your wrist and a cheap tape measure from the corner shop in your hand.

‘Cool. Do what you want’ he says and goes to a meeting.

You wonder whether he actually meant it whilst thinking I’ll be late for dinner with Jess if I don’t get started…so you get started. Thanks to Mr Pythagoras, a few calculations later you’re up and running masking equilateral triangles (ok, as close as you can get to equilateral triangles) all over the place.


Et voila….. a piece of wall art.

Each section is to be painted but I’d have never made dinner if I’d got involved with that so I’m awaiting an image of the final painted piece sans masking tape…will keep you posted!

The American Banksy equivalent did downstairs so I hope to God it looks hot because if not it will look super bad in comparison!!


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What colour to paint…a stylist’s house – 5 ways to use paint in the home.

I was shooting exteriors this week and one of the locations was the home of a stylist.

I love visiting the homes of stylists because there are (usually) things to look at everywhere and the things to look at are always really interesting. This house was no exception and was full to the brim with the weird and wonderful, displayed with the confident nonchalance only stylists possess.

In just one room I witnessed over five ways to use paint and colour. Check some out below:

IMG_45671. Painting upholstery

This is literally a silk/eggshell finish paint straight onto leather, the cracking and patchy coverage adding to the effect.

IMG_45662. Half painting or ‘Dipping’

Painting (sprayed or brush) just part of the object with a different colour – can work straight on to a natural material or on to another colour as per the image. For stand out the colours need to be very different but for something a little more grown up subtle neutral tones on top of one another look great.
IMG_45713. Weathered and worn

Although the first thing you notice is the hot pink shelf the cupboard has a worn look – this can be achieved quickly through painting the piece in several layers of varying colour paint and then sanding back to reveal the different layers. Alternatively you can leave it for a few decades and this might happen naturally!
IMG_45564. Colour feature wall

Painted in a very crisp but homely white, this room (particularly when bathed in sunlight) makes you believe you are near the sea rather than in north London. Adding pops of colour like this bright turquoise takes the edge off slightly whilst adding lots of personality.

IMG_45725. Painting a feature

Using colour to pick out features – could be a period feature, a fireplace or something as simple as a door frame – as above!

Here are a few other examples of the painted furniture in the house, the colours are fresh and bright and add to the light airy feel the white creates, the owner’s sense of fun comes through clearly and you feel like you should be laughing and relaxing with friends when you’re in this space.






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What colour to paint… a contemporary dado.

I work with paint so every time I see something that has been or could be done with paint I immediately want to try it.

On this particular occasion I noticed how a cafe in Paris had used a striped fabric to create a contemporary dado rail. So upon my return I established which room in my house would be appropriate to experiment with. The dining room. I found a friend to loan me a laser level and got out the masking tape – see below.


As a brief aside; it’s funny how the human eye can be tricked so easily. By masking the line slightly lower than the average dado rail my ceiling now appears higher. The eye is drawn to points of contrast, e.g. where two different colours meet, using this piece of information and the fact you expect a dado to be higher means the eye is drawn to the contrast and then surprised by the amount of extra height because your mind is telling you the dado is higher than it is!


Once masked I filled in the colour, a pale red based grey so as not to battle with the strong navy in the kitchen.



After two coats I gentled peeled off the masking tape to reveal my contemporary dado rail that cost less than £30 and only took half a day to complete! It was SO easy and has transformed my normally messy dining room into a rather respectable destination  to eat!

Note: Images below were post masking tape removal but pre tidying up!DSC_0460DSC_0459

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What colour to paint…a tired foot stool.

IMG_3719I admit it. I’m a messy painter. I’m also impatient and really don’t want to put down dust sheets or wear overalls.

At 9.37pm yesterday I decided it was time to repaint my kitchen, so I grabbed my favourite brush and got going. No one apart from me would know I repainted it because it is nearly the same colour as it was before. I know and that’s all that matters.

The thing is, because I’m a messy painter, I dripped a bit on the floor. When I noticed I wiped it up with my finger but by that point I’d already trodden in it and left several other spots around the room. I sighed and put my hand on my forehead leaving another spot, wiped that off with the other hand…you can see where this is going.

The silver lining to my unintentionally decorated floor and face is that I was reminded of a foot stool I saw in Milan, covered in what appears to be finger prints of a similar colour to my kitchen.

What an easy way to update something plain you have grown bored with!

It is almost impossible to go wrong with a pattern like this as it is completely random and each finger print a different shape so there is no pressure or tiresome measuring to be done!

Bring out your inner child and get finger painting!

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What colour to paint…wedding seating.

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Whilst researching something entirely unrelated today I stumbled upon a selection of ideas for wedding seating.

It was the colour that caught my eye but the ideas themselves are a really clever way of injecting life into an interior. The beauty being the temporary nature of it; with the ideas above and below you can use ribbon or fabric in whatever colour takes your fancy. When you’re bored you can easily remove and use to wrap all your Christmas presents!!

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I love rope so immediately loved this concept by association BUT I would definitely paint those chairs navy to maximize the nautical look – you could even paint the rope too!

This is a wedding in a stable. Yep a stable. The photography and styling are making me jealous of the horses. I like the simple use of the blues and oranges to add warmth and sparkle to an otherwise generally industrious environment.

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Think we all need to visit a haberdashery….

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What colour to paint…pylons.

DSC_0530I love shapes.

These pylons, although generally regarded as an eyesore, look great in silhouette. Their graphic, definite structure is perfectly juxtaposed against the natural quiet strength of the mountain backdrop.

So taken with this photo I decided to recreate in silk screen format. The mountains look just like torn sheets of paper so I used some newspaper to reproduce the shapes and the pylons gave me a chance to get out my much loved rotring pen and ruler! To re-emphasise the structure of the pylons I printed on to a massive sheet of graph paper.


The very slight change in colour with each layer of the landscape is actually a brilliant way to decorate. It works with all colours but currently is especially fashionable with whites. The more you layer them the more depth it gives the overall scheme. Don’t restrict yourself to walls and woodwork; get ceilings, furniture, floors and ornaments involved!


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June 2, 2013 · 9:15 am

What colour to paint…a bistro chair.

chair1After being randomly inundated with bistro chairs I thought it about time to paint one. These particular chairs have seen a revival of late and are popping up all over the place in every colour and finish , so if you don’t want to shell out for the Conran gloss version why not have a go yourself?!

In line with the current trend for all things indigo I’ve gone for a classic matt navy and ever in a rush I decided not to prepare the surface.

For future reference: This was stupid.

Paint needs something to ‘key’ to, so I now (from experience) recommend sanding back to remove varnish, grease and dirt, then priming before adding two coats of wonderful colour.



Boom! Check out my navy makeover………..with patches of missing paint due to my impatience.

Me thinks it might be time to try out a quick version of yarn bombing (see recent posts) to hide my mistake!



And as my grandma used to say… et voila!




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What colour to paint…tree trunks.



Have you ever heard of yarn bombing? If not, the above is a great example of a tree that has be ‘yarn bombed’.

This was on display at Maison et Objet in Paris but it is believed the act of guerrilla knitting public property started in the Netherlands nearly 10 years ago. Using left over wool, artists knit and or crochet around objects – could be anything from a park bench to a tank – and leave for the public to enjoy. The colours and patterns never cease to inspire and are a great way to add a bit of personality to otherwise mundane furniture. The effect can be achieved with paint so non-knitters are not exempt!

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What colour to paint…floor?

The real answer to this question is whatever colour you like but I am going to share two brilliant monochrome examples I saw in Milan.IMG_4122


IMG_4102Both examples are tiles but with some paint, masking tape, a ruler and a bit of imagination you can recreate this for a fraction of the cost on a concrete or wooden floor.

A patterned floor, especially in black and white, gives any room the wow factor. Walls should be kept to one colour so as not to detract and over complicate the space. If you already have parquet flooring in a herringbone format you have a template to create the zig zag pattern above, which means a lot less effort at the measuring stage!

Anyone painted a floor recently?

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