Home Tour!!

 

“Rachel is a self-confessed maximalist….” – Alison Gibb, Stylist (@greatscottishindoors), Homestyle Magazine, September 2017.

Yes that’s me! I am a maximalist and there’s no doubt about it. When it comes to decorating and furnishing a home I am a “more is less” kinda gal!! I have a love for bold colours and I’m not afraid of mixing lots of them together. I like to walk in a room and instantly feel happy and warm and get lost in all of the colourful handmade decor and furnishings that adorns the space.

Last September our first family home, a lovely sunny Victorian upper villa apartment, featured in the fabulous Homestyle magazine. It was a house filled to the brim with quirky furnishings, vibrant prints, handmade homewares and fun wall decor! Our home was always so full of cheer and I really miss it from time to time as it brought us lots of lovely colourful memories. Here’s a little tour around it…

Photos by Douglas Gibb Photography.

 

 

 

DIY Geo Wall Decals

Make a statement in your space with a geometric felt wall design – these triangular decals take no time to make and you can move them around as many times as you like to create lots of fun patterns!

 

What you will need…

Triangle template (download below)

A4 white paper

Marker Pen

Long metal ruler

Pair of scissors

Rotary Cutter

Half a metre of melange wool felt in shades yellow, coral and aqua

8 x A4 sheets of Steam-a-Seam double stick fusible web

Step 1: Place your triangle template (download here) under a sheet of steam a seam and trace around 4 times with a marker pen. Do the same onto all other fusible web sheets and cut out triangles.

Step 2: Peel off one of the paper backings on each triangle and one at a time place them onto your chosen colours of melange wool felt. Turn your iron onto its hottest setting and press each triangle for a few minutes until the sticky backing has attached to the fabric.

Step 3: Cut around each triangle using a rotary cutter and a large metal ruler then peel off all paper backings.

Step 4: Arrange triangular decals onto a plain wall in your home and create a lovely geo style design!

Rachel x x

Decorating Lottie’s Room

I’ve always had an interest in interior Design, as a teenager I would watch back to back episodes of Changing Rooms (how good was that show??!), I remember feeling completely inspired by Linda Barker and Anna Ryder Richardson’s creations and wishing I could have a go! However, it wasn’t until my husband and I bought our first property that I found myself completely falling in love with the challenge of designing and decorating spaces. It’s become such a passion of mine lately and I’m now forever watching interior programmes such as The Great Interior Design Challenge (my fav!) and DIY SOS, scribbling down new ideas for furnishings and colour schemes.

Recently I was faced with what was to be my biggest interior project yet, our new home! In April we moved from our Victorian upper villa flat to a sweet little 70’s bungalow, that used to belong to my late grandma. As lovingly furnished and memory filled as the house was when we moved in, it was in need of modernisation, personalisation and a colour pop or two…or, as I said to my husband “it needs Rachy-fied”.

The darkest room was the single bedroom (my daughter’s room). The reason for this was it had green carpets, green walls, a dark oak window frame and it’s also a very small sized space. This was the room in the house I was most excited about, as it was the most challenging out of all of them, and I do love a challenge!

When I started to design Lottie’s room I knew I wanted to brighten it up as much as possible and open it up so it seemed much bigger. I decided that the only way I could achieve this was by doing a few things. These were as follows: Painting the walls fresh pastel colours; adding fun wall stickers; creating a geometric design on the back wall; painting the oak window frame white; replacing the carpet with white laminate flooring; adding a large rug and laying it vertically; adding a super colourful chest for Lottie’s clothes and books; keeping the furniture to a minimal and accessorising the room with the most colourful of homewares out there from some my favourite brands (including my own :))!

Below is a list of some of the products I have used in Lottie’s room and a link to where you can buy them.

  1. Walls – Dulux Matt Wall Paint, Pretty Pink and Lemon Tropics (www.dulux.co.uk)
  2. Flooring – Balterio Laminate Off White Oak (www.balterio.com)
  3. Triangle Wall Stickers – The Lovely Wall Co (www.the-lovely-wall-company.shopify.com)
  4. Cat Cushion – Jane Foster (www.janefoster.co.uk)
  5. Ceramic Bunny – Camila Prada (www.camilaprada.com)
  6. Yoko Print – Rachel Powell (www.racheljpowell.com)
  7. Pink Polka Dot Rug – Aldi (www.aldi.co.uk)
  8. Chest – Maisons Du Monde (www.masionsdumonde.com)
  9. Deer Plush Wall Mount – Kelsey Davis Design (www.kelseydavisdesign.com)
  10. Personalised Print (www.notonthehighstreet.com)
  11. Free Stitched Cloud – My own!
  12. Wall Letters – Next Home (www.next.co.uk)

Rachel x x

(P.s. keep your eyed peeled for a feature on our previous home in September’s Homestyle Magazine, out next month!)

 

Add some pops of colour to your favourite shopper!

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for TASSELS!!! I used to make loads of these fun woolly decorations with kids at my craft classes, in all different brightly coloured yarns, threads, trims and ribbons! They are the perfect addition to accessories such as shoppers, totes or belly baskets. I’ve used my tassels to decorate my favourite  pink kitschy Sun Jellie’s bag –  if you haven’t yet come across this fantastic colourful brand go check them out  www.sunjellies.com.

This DIY project was a real treat to work on – if you would like to give it a go simply follow my steps below (you will love it, I promise!).

What you will need:

Oddments of wool (four different summery shades!)

1 x metre of cotton twine

A pair of scissors

A large darning needle

A small rectangular piece of cardboard

To make your tassel template cut out a piece of cardboard measuring 12cm x 8cm. Measure 3.5cm down from the top and cut out a section measuring 6cm x 1cm.

Step 1: Wrap your chosen wool around the tassel template working vertically, carrying the yarn up and over the back side and then down the front side. Tie in a knot at bottom edge to secure.

Step 2: Continuously wrap yarn around tassel template working from left to right to form large woolly loops, create a few layers. For chunky yarns wrap 10-15 times, for thinner yarns wrap 20-25 times.

Step 3: Thread a 10cm length of yarn onto your large darning needle. Working from the back to the front push darning needle through at the left side of the cut out section. Now wrap the yarn across the top part of your tassel and through the gap. Repeat a second time.

Step 4: Turn over tassel template. Pull the end pieces of yarn tightly and tie with a double knot to secure. Trim off yarn ends.

Step 5: Cut all bottom loops and remove your template. Now give your tassel a little haircut so the bottom edge looks lovely and neat!

Step 6: Repeat steps 2 – 5 and make three more tassels. Thread a long piece of twine onto your darning needle and pull through top loops of all tassels.

Step 7: I have attached my tassels to my Sun Jelly bag by tying the end pieces of twine around the small holes which sit below the handles and securing with a double knot. For regular shoppers, bags and belly baskets simply tie onto the ends of your handles!

Rachel x x

DIY Wool Wall Hanging

I love love love the macrame revival that’s happening right now. I am a sucker for anything boho and I am constantly trying to inject some bohemian/urban living style into our home. This has been one of my favourite projects I have worked on so far. I adore all of the 70’s wall hangings around at the moment so I decided to make my own version. The first best thing about this DIY is that there is no real craft technique involved, no complicated knotting, twisting or stitching, just some simple tassel making! The second best thing about this project is that you can use up wool from your yarn stash and recycle a pair of old wooden needles (if you are a knitter and crocheter like me) so it won’t break the bank to make it!

What you will need:

1 x pair of wooden/bamboo knitting needles

2 x 100g balls of super chunky mustard/yellow yarn A sharp pair of scissors

A ruler

A glue gun

A 70cm piece of cotton twine

Step 1: Position knitting needles so that the ends are facing each other and attach using a hot glue gun. Step 2: Cut 5 x 150cm lengths of yarn and fold over all pieces to form long woolly loops. Step 3: Place tops of loops over needle and under. Step 4: Lift all end pieces of yarn and pull through all loops. Step 5: Repeat steps 2 –  4 until you have 19 tassels in total (the amount may vary depending of the length of your needles), the middle tassel should sit on top of the needle join, where the two ends meet. Step 6: Cut a 70cm piece of cotton twine and tie two knots to secure, one next to the first tassel and the other after the last tassel. Step 7: Place wool wall hanging over the edge of a chair and roughly trim wool to form a ‘V’ shape at bottom edge.  The best way to do this is to measure down 45cm on 1st  tassel using a ruler and start cutting diagonally downwards to the 10th tassel. Do the same for the other side. Step 8: Hang wool hanging using a picture hook or drawing pin and give it a little trim again so that the bottom edge sits nice and straight. And there you have it, a simple and colourful bohemian style project for your home! Stay tuned for my next blog post on my top 10 craft materials, coming soon! Rachel x x

DIY Festive Cacti Decorations

There is so much love for cactuses right now – I don’t know about you but my home is filled to the brim with them. My husband says our house is beginning to look like a tropical rainforest (oops!). They are a fabulous addition to a kitchen shelve or coffee table. But did you know….they also look great hanging from a Christmas tree?!!! Below is a little tutorial on how to create your very own cacti tree decorations made from shrink plastic, one of my favourite techniques. You can create so many wonderful designs using shrinkies, it’s such a fun craft and the results are instant making it the perfect activity for those who are new to crafting, it’s also a fab thing to do with the kids!

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You will need:

Cactus template (you can download my one below)

A4 shrink plastic transparent sheets (I always purchase packs of 6 or 10 on ebay)

Permanent marker pen

Embossing stamp ink pad (clear) and gold embossing powers (you can purchase these from most craft stores such as hobbycraft and Fred Aldous)

Scissors

Heat tool (you can also use a hairdryer at its hottest setting)

Hole punch

Tin foil

A4 piece of paper

1 x meter of red and white twine (you could also use Christmas ribbon)

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Step 1: Preheat your oven to 190°C (fan 170°C, gas mark 5). Place the sheet of shrink plastic onto your template (download here), draw around using a permanent marker pen and cut out your cactus shape.

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Step 2: Punch a hole at the top of your plastic shape and place it onto a sheet of tin foil. Put inside your oven for around 1-3 minutes until the shape has shrunk. Don’t be alarmed when you see your shape curling up at the edges, it will start off this way but will eventually uncurl and flatten (I promise!). Your design should now be 7 x smaller! Leave to cool down for approx 5 minutes on a drying rack.

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Step 3: Press the shrunken shape down firmly onto your ink pad until you have completely covered all of the surface.  Place your plastic design onto a piece of A4 paper and sprinkle some embossing powders over it. Tap off excess powders onto your paper.

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Step 4: Apply heat to your design – hold your heat gun around 50mm from the plastic and keep moving it to ensure you don’t burn the design. Continue to do so until your embossing powders have completely melted. Your shrink plastic shape should now look all glossy and sparkly! Repeat process for the other side.

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Step 5: String a 20cm piece of twine through the the hole at the top of your shrunken shape to form a loop for hanging and tie a knot to secure. Now all you need to do is pop it onto your tree!

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Caboodle Love!

If you haven’t yet treated yourself to a copy of Caboodle then you must go grab one! If you’re anything like me and enjoy creating contemporary and colourful projects, reading about independent makers & inspiring businesses and seeing what’s “new” in the handmade world then you will absolutely love this mag. It’s by far one of the best ones out there at the moment so when Creative Director Kayti Peschke asked me to submit some ideas for their Autumn issue I jumped at the chance to be part of it. What I love most about this fantastic publication is that there is so much content that you can keep coming back to it again and again and each time you will see something new! It offers a wide range of craft tutorials covering lots of different techniques so there is something for everyone and also features some of the best handmade products around at the moment with full details of where to purchase them. The overall design is so stylish and the vibrant photography will inspire you with ideas whilst you are reading.  Oh, and did you know, there is even a section packed full of delicious recipes for those who have a passion for sweet treats – I am so going to try making the cactus cake!!

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I was so excited when Kayti told me that the theme for my project was Retro American Diner. When I was on my Honeymoon in New York we dined in an American Diner and it was amazing!! I’m such a fan of this style anyway so this was right up my street.  I came up with a few ideas and in the end decided to create little free stitched designs that look like the labels on Heinz product packaging. One of my favourite techniques at the moment is free stitching. You can have crazy amounts of fun illustrating and drawing with a darning foot. If you are familiar with a sewing machine it’s such a simple process and you can achieve a design in a matter  of seconds!

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Caboodle is packed full of lots more fun projects and the features are a must read. I particularly enjoyed the piece on Jenna Greenwood of Pilfered (pg 17)  and her collection of super colourful gems – her Yorkshire home is an absolute delight. I also loved reading the story on Sherri of Forever Yours Betty (pg 150), a Glaswegian gal who runs her own fashion and lifestyle blog and has the most amazing dress sense!

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I’ll leave you with the Caboodle mantra by Creative Director Amy Buxton (I love this!)…

Rach x x

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Hiya!

So, I have decided for my first blog post to show you around our colourful little home! We bought our Victorian upper villa three years ago. As soon as I entered it I knew it was the one for us. It oozed character and charm, from lovely white painted alcoves and a beautiful wooden fireplace to large bay windows and a traditional Victorian tiled hallway. The first thing we purchased was some Oral Kiely wallpaper to brighten up our living room. I am pretty obsessed with all things Orla Kiely and now own quite a few of her homewares. Her prints are so cheery and they add lots of life to a room. Another one of my favourite designers is Nikki McWilliams, I have five of her fun and colourful biscuity wares – my favourite is the yellow ‘Nice’ cushion, as it matches our yellow painted wall!

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I absolutely love the colour yellow, I can’t get enough of it. It’s perfect for adding a bit of sunshine to a room! We’ve bought loads of  quirky yellow homewares and furniture since moving in, including a mustard retro telephone, a large scandi style lampshade and dining chair and most recently a cute little pineapple prop from my favourite store Tiger!

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I love looking at ways other people furnish and display things in their home. About six months after my husband and I moved into our house we got married and for our honeymoon we spent two weeks in an Air B&B apartment in New York owned by a fashion designer. Her apartment was so quirky and stylish, I particularly liked the way she had organised all of her fashion books into cute little piles. So when I got home I set up my own little book display on an old up-cycled TV unit.

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One of my favourite things right now are wall decals, they are so cool right?! We have a really odd yet quirky entrance to our kitchen and I thought this would be the perfect decoration for this space. We bought this sticker from the lovely wall co. It’s such a great phrase, simplistic and fun and brings a bit of positivity to our kitchen. When I’m having an off day I often look at this to cheer me up!!

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When I was pregnant with Lottie I made loads of my own homewares including flower posies, knitted bunting and handmade cacti and plants. I love covering old milk bottles with crocheted cosies and turning them into vases and making floral textiles and putting them in small IKEA box frames. I also made a lot for Lottie’s nursery including a super woolly and fuzzy felt pom-pom mobile which is available to buy on my Folksy shop.

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Our bedroom was the most recent space in our home to be decorated. It’s is a lovely large room that overlooks our garden and in the morning the sun streams in. The first project for this room was our headboard (it used to be black and I refuse to have anything black in our home!). I wanted to upholster it with a fabric that matched our floral stag print but couldn’t find anything so in the end I covered it with a gorgeous duvet cover I bought last year in the M&S sale. I’m in the process of making a macramé wall hanging to hang above our bed with lots of pompoms and brightly coloured yarns and my husband is going to paint the back wall a pretty mint blue shade to match the blue in the stag print!

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Our home is also where I work as a textile designer and maker. I have a cute work station with a lovely large alcove where I store all of my books, buttons, trims, threads, crochet hooks and knitting needles. The area is really bright and sunny, a perfect spot for stitching, making and planning my creative ventures!

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Rachel x x