Thursday, 31 January 2013

Anyone fancy sitting on my husband's love seat?

Now that's a headline to beat all headlines. And for me it was even more poignant when I read the latest issue of Sew magazine (Feb 2013, Issue 44) which features my husband in the headline below:

'Cuddle up with someone special on James Tickner's love seat'...

It's not every day that you see your husband's name and love seat in the same sentence and certainly not taking up a double page spread in a magazine. Well, not the kind of magazines I usually subscribe to!

The feature is actually a great step-by-step upholstery project. Please see the picture below:

So, if you fancy getting romantic this Valentine's day and want to create some cosy seating, why not grab a copy of the magazine and see how you can use traditional craftsmanship methods to create the perfect place to curl up.

As for sitting on my husband's loveseat... Enough said. I'm off for a quickie....

Monday, 28 January 2013

English Manor House Style...

I say Squire, do you think we've successfully cracked the English Manor House style with our collection below?

Read this great article from the For Dummies team and see what you think...

Here goes:

  • Combine colours and patterns. Check.
  • Use soft fabrics with traditional pieces. Check.
  • Use floral bouquet fabrics. Check.
  • Mix and match different pieces. Check.
  • Large wood pieces with decorative carved details. Check.
  • Choose jewel-tone colours - brilliant reds, greens, purples. Check.  


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Snap, Blip, Share....

Call it what you like; we’re all at it. With so many digital devices and picture sharing services available, we’re all busy generating our own images of people and places. I tend to store my collection of memories on my tablet or Blackberry. I also create albums and share images with my friends via Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram amongst other social networks. But have you ever considered customising your finest digital pictures specifically for your own home?

Many doting parents enjoy their kids’ exhuberance by turning their little darlings into a canvas or a mug for Grandma at Christmas. But why not make one of your masterpieces a real feature of a new room?

Computer-generated art is high on the agenda of many interior designers this season, so the time is ripe to get creative and add something personal and fabulous, that is not available on the High Street.

You could create wallpaper, cushions, curtains or even commission an upholsterer to create your very own accent chair or sofa that will be the envy of your friends..

Mr Perswall will print any image onto wallpaper and help you to create sensational wall murals. Here are some examples from the inspirational portolio of ready to roll wall options:

Copyright. This picture was taken from

Copyright. This picture was taken from

Copyright. This picture was taken from

If you’re looking to transfer your images onto fabric, there are a number of suppliers out there. HTS Print and Design offer digital, rotary and flat bed screen printing on cottons, polyesters and silks. Again, you can buy something off the peg or you can commission something totally unique. For more ideas, see here:

For a truly unique cushion, you could either take one of your photos or perhaps consider transferring painted artworks to printed fabric. I love these painted cushions and I particularly like the way in which the signature of the artist is added for that extra special personal touch. See link below:

Needless to say, if you fancy a bespoke chair or sofa using your very own fabric, we’re bursting with ideas and always happy to help. Give us a call on 02392 354235 to find out more...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Interior Trends for 2013: The Living Room

Interior Trends for 2013: The Living Room

Do you fancy adding some glamour and sophistication to your home?
Create a sense of space, light and depth by fusing a mix of dusky greys with warm amber and cream tones to create a soft, natural glow.

I’m keen to blend my love of France and Africa to create something dramatic yet functional with my young family. A traditional sofa or chaise in any shade of grey, upholstered in fine French linen will set the tone for my room and will look great against an embossed vinyl wallcovering of shimmering silver or bronze.

I intend to add some classic brass picture frames mixed with some jet black high gloss items of furniture. I’ll weave in some safari or exotic flower themed accessories and scatter cushions to reflect a tropical mood. To add a touch of elegance, I plan to add some delicate lace and embroidery.

I’ll finish off the look with a stunning accent chair in vivid orange, mustard or emerald green alongside a lavish ottoman in a contrasting shade of perhaps deep orchard plum or fushia pink to add some real indulgence.

Top 10 Living Room Ideas for the Season:
1.      A classic plain sofa in any tone of grey, preferably upholstered in a quality linen, equisite cut velvet, woven fabrics or heavy weight cotton. I like the contemporary twist to the classic chaise longue below which we created by using military style buttons in pewter.

2.      The must-have accent chair to add the ultimate wow factor. Eager to leave the Winter chill behind and migrate to Spring, I’ll use warm tones such as zingy orange, fushia pink, classic cream or fresh emerald green in either a lavish cut velvet, fine wool or heavy weight cotton.

3.      Add something patterned with a symmetrical or zig-zag design in either the cushions, curtains or rugs. I’m keen to add a peppering of Aztec influence somewhere in my room together with some tropical birds or exotic flowers using some of my own photos. Computer-generated art is very hot this season. I love these cushions from Zara:
4.      Use good quality paints in neutral shades mixed with elegant wallpapers. Check out the new collection by Mary McDonald at Schumacher:
I also love the vintage collection of hand-printed wallpapers by Osborne & Little. Eight of Osborne & Little's most sensational designs have been re-introduced in new, contemporary colourings. See for yourself at:
5.      Create simple touches to add feminity to your room. Think embellished and embroidered and how you may be able to throw some delicate lace into the mix. I adore lace metal lanterns like these which we have in our showroom at The Packhouse in Farnham.

Lighting can also add sheer elegance to a room. To tie in the amber mood, why not try something timeless like this Evelyn chandelier from John Lewis?

For table lamps, take a look at some of the new floral lampshades available on the High Street, many of which reflect the computer-generated art trend.

6.      Rummage around your attic or visit car boot sales for a few brass accessories. Seriously, brass is back! I’ve dusted down a beautiful pair of plain brass candle holders and a pre-loved clock which will help to finish the look.

7.      If you’re looking to update your curtains, you’ll always have a richer choice if you choose your own fabric and have them made. However, if you’re looking to save money on your renovation room project, there are some great ready-made options out there. Laura Ashley have a collection of around 30 different prints available in three different sizes. I quite like Millwood Eyelet Ready Made Curtains. It has a subtle leaf and flower print in camomile pale shades that will tie in to the palette scheme for my room.

8.      Be functional. Storage is an issue in my house so I’m going to look for a stylish ottoman in a rich texture that will enhance the overall look whilst also provide the perfect storage solution for the kids’ toys... (here’s hoping!)
9.      Always have fresh flowers. It’s one of my personal vices, along with the odd glass of rioja glugged down with a slab of chocolate! For special occasions or visits from my other designer friends I usually treat myself to some tropical cut flowers such as Heliconia splash, but for everyday you can’t beat a bouquet of white lilies or a simple orchid which are always available in the supermarket and make the home feel fresh and welcoming.

10.  Remember, your home is a reflection of your personality. I’ll definitely create a zone to showcase some framed photos of friends and family using a mix of chunky and ornate white and lacquered black frames. I also have a passion for reading so there will be an inevitable pile of books on the coffee table. I might look to enhance the literary theme further by adding a book related feature wall. Here are a couple of innovative wallpaper designs that have caught my eye recently...                                                                                                                                                     I particularly like this simple wallpaper in sepia by Mineheart:

I also like Young & Battaglia’s bookshelf wallpaper which is available from Rockett St George.

For more inspiration on creating an on-trend look, please see the Liberty Rose Interiors boards on Pinterest. Ideas for 2013 lounge looks are here:

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Unleash your entrepreneurial spirit with something pre-loved...

For many, January is a time to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and consider ways to turn a hobby into a business opportunity or crack the work/life balance. I've lost count of how many friends are up-cycling or working their magic on some tatty, second-hand piece of furniture in a quest to turn it into something truly marvellous. In reality, people tend to buy something cheap of poor quality, give it a half-hearted rub down, slap on some eco-paint (usually in an earthy, heritage shade) and convince themselves that once they've worked their magic on a few pieces they might develop some kind of portfolio and might just be the next Sir Terence Conran.

Yeah right. I don’t mind having a go, but I am realistic about my DIY capability! I know my limits and I'm happy to admit that whilst I enjoy great interior design and beautiful furniture, my skills very much lie in the buying arena! I’m a self-confessed shopaholic who once believed that 'Screw Fix' was a shop for deprived housewives! The idea of rummaging around an antique centre or trying my luck at an auction is a real turn on, but in reality, whilst I can see the potential in a pre-loved chaise longue, I wouldn't know where to begin with any kind of make-over project.

My other half, Jim, gets his kicks from a serious sofa transformation project. Take the William IV mahogany scroll end sofa below which we bought at an auction recently. It was filthy, wobbly and certainly needed some serious stripping and stuffing! He took it back to the frame, re-upholstered it using a lavish Designers Guild fabric (Asolo Berry) and created a pair of contrasting bolsters in Genova Ebony fabric. This bespoke hand-finished piece stands on turned legs and features the original brass casters.
Jim is at a distinct advantage with over 20 years’ traditional upholstery experience, but I am still heavily involved in choosing fabrics, immersing myself in trends and meeting new suppliers. Come on, how could I resist creating a role that combines shopping and talking?

I’m fascinated by the various stages of a renovation project and these fabulous ‘before’ and ‘after’ images below show how much work is involved in creating something stunning for a fine home or boutique hotel. Here's how this particular project was tranformed:
You can see more sofa transformations at:

Why not give something old a new lease of life? But a word of warning: the term ‘second-hand’ is old hat; everything is ‘pre-loved’ or ‘up-cycled’ these days! And there’s nothing wrong with lashings of retail research along the way!