Blog attack: news is on its way at last

September 26th, 2017

Blog for the love of the news within!

One should probably never admit to being too busy to blog, but as that is now well and truly a thing of the past, well there you have it – It’s been a very busy time and I have missed writing my weekly blurb! Now, having eked out the time for this most pleasurable task of writing, here we are and we have a constant stream of inspiring design related news planned to stream from our doors in the form of exciting appointments, design reports, project show casings, inspirations, trends, exciting announcements and advice… so, well, watch this space and keep tuned in.

Celebrating Planning Permission Approval – our 10 point guide to success

February 6th, 2017

Making plans for your perfect home

We have just obtained planning approval from the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames on behalf of one of our long standing clients. The project is in leafy Grange Avenue, Twickenham and we have achieved a substantial addition to the house in the form of a side and rear extension. We are thrilled with what this will mean for our client’s future home life experience.
Whilst the application process on Grange Ave was pain free, it can sometimes be a long and arduous journey. A surprising amount of work can be achieved through Permitted Development, but if it’s Planning Permission that you need then our 10 point guide could come in handy:
  1. Prepare for an unpredictable journey. This isn’t always the case, but schemes which seem perfectly acceptable, can be rejected. There is less chance of this happening, of course, if you have a specialist planning applications service on board. Because it can sometimes be unpredictable, you should also allow plenty of time for the process. With so much building on at the moment, applications are taking longer than the usual 6 weeks and that’s not including any challenges that may be discovered along the way.
  2. Be clear what ‘precedent’ really means. Just because your neighbour has a sizeable dormer don’t assume that you are in the clear. Policy may have changed since they had their work done or they may simply have undertaken their extension work through Permitted Development. It could be quite possible that their work was never submitted to Planning. If it has been used over a period of time and no objections received by the planning Borough it could be deemed ‘established’.
  3. Understand local policy. If you like reading, you won’t be at a loose end. Alternatively, you could use a professional. Planning departments put a great deal of time, effort and resource into policy writing, so a quick and easy way to rile your case planning officer is to show little regard for their guidelines.
  4. Provide all the information requested. This seems an obvious one, but there may be some rather obscure requests depending on the zoning or type of building you are working with. For example, if you are required to submit a bat report, make sure you have it covered.
  5. Use the Pre-Application Advice System. This is not obligatory, but it can be useful. Sometimes a lengthy process and can cost several hundred pounds, but can in the long run save a great deal of time and money if you have a good planning officer on the case. It is intended to flag policies considered pertinent to the case. Either a written report or a meeting will be granted to give specific feedback.
  6. Play it by the book. If you are thinking that a crafty strategy might yield you the best result, know it’s more likely to infuriate the planners.
  7. Don’t make it personal. If your proposal doesn’t go through it’s unlikely to have anything to do with your planning officer, more likely to do with inappropriate policy to the context of your site. Of course, what you may need to watch out for is an unreasonable interpretation of the policy, and this is where the appeals process comes in.
  8. Remember to talk to your neighbours. The sooner the better. Apart from being good mannered, you will be living next door to them for years to come and there’s no need for me to make manifest here the benefits of good karma. It is worth noting, however, that an objection from a neighbour, if you are within the boundaries of policy, is highly unlikely to be fatal to your application.
  9. Provide a design statement. This should be submitted along with the drawings at application stage. This should be brief, clear and to the point, referring to relevant policy as necessary. This is your opportunity to explain how your design fits, working with local policy and the attributes and location of the site.
  10. Keep an open mind. Don’t be deterred by the terms ‘Conservation Area’ or ‘Listed Building’. Instead, keep a calm head and appoint a specialist to the job who has experience in these areas and knows well and understand the parameters. If you can remain open you may find other ways of achieving what you wanted to in the first place. There is always a way.

An African Affair

February 4th, 2017

Suavity from the NEW Cole and Son Ardmore Collection

I work in a world where there is much to capture the imagination and much more to feed it. However, you cannot imagine my joy when I came across one of my supplier, Cole and Son’s latest collection, Ardmore Farm.

Ardmore Farm is one of South Africa, Kwa Zulu Natal’s loveliest success stories. I have long been an ardent admirer of their work on many levels. For decades now, this community has produced show-stopping ceramic artworks for a global audience, providing much needed income for the local population.  Colourful, vibrant and quirky, Ardmore ceramics celebrate Africa’s birds, big cats, elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, mischievous monkeys and exotic flowers; as well as the beautiful patterns of Zulu bead work and woven basket ware.

I salute Cole and Son for taking this bold step to launch this iconic range of wallpapers. It is characterful, joyful, imaginative, exotic, tasteful and a little bit out there. It is for the bold and daring. It’s for those who celebrate life every day and I wish Cole and Son many years of success with it.

This is what Ardmore founder, Fée Halsted, had to say about the collection: ‘For 31 years the Ardmore artists and I have toiled away in KwaZulu-Natal creating fanciful ceramics that have provided an income to feed many a family. The fact that Cole & Son discovered and chose our South African designs and artistry to place on their new collection is an honour and we pride ourselves on being the first African designers to have achieved such a prestigious accolade! Working with Cole & Son’s Creative Director Shauna Dennison, has been such fun and for me that is what it is all about.’

Acclaimed as “modern day collectibles” by the auction house, Christie’s, the work of Ardmore’s artists has won them numerous awards.

Their work features in leading galleries and collections in South Africa and abroad, including the Museum of Art & Design in New York, the Museum of Cultures in Basel, Switzerland, the Ford Foundation, New York and the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts, Florida.

Khulu Vases

Zambezi

Safari Dance

A spot of New Year’s Inspiration

December 31st, 2016

Wouldn’t that be nice? And what do you think would happen were you to kiss under a dream catcher?

As we start to think of the new year that lies ahead we are spoilt for choice with what might be the perfect inspiration to see us on our way.

I came across this poem a few years ago at this time of the year and it was just the right thing at the right time. I learned subsequently that it was written as a requiem for the poet’s beloved Cambridge friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who died suddenly of a cerebral haemorrhage in Vienna in 1833. Don’t let that date or the morbidity of the situation put you off; there is great hope in this message.

From all at LRI we wish you every happiness in the year ahead. May your 2017 be filled with love, grace and the time you need to steer your ship on the right course.

 

In Memorium

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,

With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes

But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Lord Alfred Tennyson

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

December 24th, 2016
A very Merry Christmas to you my Dear

Is it that time of year again, my dear deer?

From all at LRI we would like to wish you and your families the most wonderful of Christmas days. If you should find a quiet moment, to come up for breath, in amongst the sea of wrapping paper, then this might be a welcome little dalliance…

‘To live content with small means,
to seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable;
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, and frankly… to listen to stars and buds,
to babes and sages , with open heart;
await occasions, hurry never … this is my symphony.’

William Henry Channing

I wonder, ‘Is a dear deer more rare than a rare-bit, or is a rare-bit more dear than a deer?’

Wishing you love, happiness, health and prosperity on this day and always.

Christmas Wishes – a quick fix winter warmer

December 23rd, 2016

Home is nothing without the food that brings us all together, and as you no doubt have your Christmas meal all planned out by this stage,  here’s a recipe that will see you through the following winter months with it’s warm and generous spirit. It’s forgiving too in that you can add any apples, pears or oranges that may have been better eaten yesterday! Our last tip is to make sure you only add the ginger in the last two minutes of cooking. This way it will be nicely rounded, with a little bit of punch. Just the way we like most things!

Butternut and Ginger Soup

A knob (honestly, who came up with that?) of butter
2 Large butternuts
4 sticks celery
2 carrots
4 shallots
1 l great quality chicken stock
1 finger length fresh ginger
250 ml crème fraiche
Seasoning and if you don’t have apples, pears and oranges a dash of honey will do.

Sauté shallots for 2 minutes.
Add chopped celery, carrot and diced butternut.
Stir and leave for 2 minutes with lid on.
Add stock and cook till butternut is soft. (Be sure not to over cook.) Add finely chopped ginger and crème fraiche. At this point turn off the heat and just leave it to stand.
Liquidise and heat before serving.
Happy days!

Go on, give it a bash and think of us at your table when you serve it up … please.

Want to get colour right? Try our Colour Workshopping Service

December 5th, 2016
The colour of energy, passion and action, but what is your personal response to it?

The colour of energy, passion and action, but what is your personal response to it?

Colour is a powerful tool for telling a most beautiful story through your home, so why not invest a little time to get it right?

A born colourist I absolutely adore the artists palette and the myriad of nuanced colour achievable within. For us it’s paramount that the colour combinations we recommend are on character. Furthermore, it’s important that our clients love, for a very long time, the colour combinations that we install. The right combination can make you sing, and why not?

Colour is a most versatile medium and can be used to describe every mood under the sun. On one end it can be used to subtle effect and on the other end of the spectrum, dramatic result. It has the power to evoke a certain character of mood, it has the ability to calm and sooth.  So, why not choose to tell an interesting story with colour in your home? Whilst you are at it make it personal, don’t just follow something that you have found on Pinterest that you like or feel you have an affinity with. Certainly, that is a very good start, but is it the whole story and how does it match up with your partner or other members of the family?

We specialise in just that – finding the middle ground. I have lost count now of how many times I have heard a client say of their partner, ‘We just can’t agree on colour.’ With experience, I know that there is always a middle ground that both parties will be happy with. Finding that middle ground is where our colour workshopping comes in. It’s a process that works. What’s more, according to our clients, it’s enjoyable. Sue and Chris were one of these couples, and this is what Sue had to say of our colour workshopping service:

‘My partner and I had such very different style sensibilities yet Lindi managed to balance those and present options that we were both excited about. The finished result is a home that I feel proud of; it looks great and works better too, because the spaces have been carefully considered for functional and aesthetic living.’ Sue Nicholl

Obviously the nature of this consultative service means that it is a bespoke offering, so If you think that we could help you please call Lindi directly on 07940572554 to discuss your requirements and we will scope out the perfect workshop session to produce the ideal colour palette for your home.

Know how to achieve a gorgeous home environment with our Interiors Home Plan

November 29th, 2016
Which way now?

Which way now?

Want to get more from your home? Not sure it’s serving you as well as it should or that you are making the most of the space it offers? How about colour – have you got that wrapped up? Looking to expand, but not sure how to make the most of that opportunity? Whatever your quandary we have a good track record with helping clients envision the way forward. 

So, how does it work? Well, depending on the size of the house or the nature of the challenge ahead, we can usually wrap it all up in 4 hours. I meet with you in your home for a two hour consultation to discuss the issues that you want to address. In this time we look at the house as a whole, and I will put forward recommendations for discussion, all the time getting a good feel for what will work for you as an individual, a couple or a family. I then follow this up with a report documenting the recommendations. You can  choose to take this forward on your own steam, and many clients prefer to do it this way, making the changes when time and budget become available. Alternatively if you don’t have the time for this, we are always delighted to deliver the finished solution. We have a wonderful and carefully selected supplier base, all of whom are outstanding specialists in their chosen professions. They are also very nice to have around, and that’s of key importance to us if we are sending people into your home.

But don’t just take it from us, here’s what our latest client had to say about our 4 hour road map service;

‘After my consultation with Lindi I felt much more confident in my ideas and more secure about making my budget work. She had so many clever ways of making things interesting and getting the flow of the house right. From the positioning of lights to the opening of doors, Lindi’s ideas and experience really came into play and I was so glad to have her on my side. With a two hour slot we didn’t discuss fabrics or colours in depth, but after I received Lindi’s follow up plan, I had a focused route to go forward with. She also helped save us a significant amount of money by alerting us to a damp issue. We managed to negotiate the remedial work of this off the sale price. Now that was an unexpected and most pleasant benefit.
 Diana Gilbert, Twickenham

How long will an Interior Design Project take?

November 7th, 2016

how-long-is-a-piece-of-string

No project is the same and not all projects are blessed with the right resources or the same level of commitment from the stake holders, so it’s an impossible question to answer unless a few parameters and guidelines are set in place.

As a client you will have an idea of a time frame that you would like to complete within. A good Interior Designer should be able to tell you if this is possible, and will go on to tell you exactly how it would be achievable. ]

If it is an aggressive time frame and you have a capable and willing party eager to deliver on your part, you will be half way there. So what is the other half of the equation? The good news is at this is in your good hands. Two simple, yet critical aspects to healthy project flow lie with you, the client. The first is decisive decision making. If you can do this you will cut the time spent on two and fro. When in doubt, ‘Know thyself’ and revisit the findings delivered at the front end of the project in the Analysis and Emersion stage. The second is to take great care with your feedback at the end of each stage, making sure that you have made yourself understood, and that all stakeholders are on the same page. These two elements seem straightforward, and they are, but sometimes I wonder if they fall into that category of being a little too obvious to notice.

Encouragingly, however, there is a sequence of project stages that are common to all successful projects. The first stage, if taken seriously, will save you time and money. 1.  Analysis or Emersion 2. Design Concepts 3. Design Developments 4. Technical 5. Procurement 6. Project Co-ordination.

My best piece of advice, on this rather flavourless topic, is make sure you are in capable hands and this rather dry and uninteresting process will transform to a rewarding and enjoyable journey.

Decorex Report Back on Future Heritage

October 18th, 2016
Sarah Stafford, bespoke metalwork arts feature

Sarah Stafford, bespoke metalwork arts feature

This will be my last blog on Decorex till this time next year. I have loved focusing on the theme of ‘Playfulness’ but I think it would be remiss of me not to take some time to mention a most noteworthy Decorex contribution to the industry.

Future Heritage is a Decorex initiative which supports contemporary crafts men and women to push the boundaries of what they can achieve with their chosen materials creatively. This last Decorex saw the third year of this wonderful initiative. Curated by design and applied arts critic, Corinne Julius.

How it works is that a select group of makers are chosen to present their pioneering work at Decorex under the Future Heritage umbrella. The idea being that their work can be commissioned by interior designers and architects for use in their projects. Areas covered are lighting, flooring, sound absorption and fire resistant materials; to name a few.

This is a fabulous showcase for the industry of what is new and possible in the realm of design. Quite naturally the bar is set high with designers and makers being selected for their innovation and mastery within their skills area.  It’s through schemes like this that boundaries are challenged, but also, and of key significance, these talented makers are given an opportunity to present themselves to the industry. Take a look at the Future Heritage Makers 2016 list to see the definitive guide to the most important design makers. These are the names to collect in British craft. I think you will agree that it will be hard not to be wowed!

This is what Sarah Stafford, a designer & maker of fine, bespoke jewellery and architectural metalwork, had to say about her Decorex experience:

‘There are hundreds of incredibly talented makers out there who simply can’t afford to do an exhibition such as Decorex, or, for that matter, take the risk; I certainly couldn’t, so the support of Corinne Julius and Future Heritage has been vital to driving my venture forward. You get a sense of how well regarded the stand is by the industry by the overwhelmingly positive comments that you hear from virtually everyone who walks by. Corinne has a ridiculous amount of enthusiasm for the work that she selects, and her boundless energy gets the conversations going and contributes enormously to everyone’s successes. I would certainly love to do Decorex again – with my own stand next time – I don’t think you get invited to do Future Heritage twice!’

As a result of Decorex Sarah has an exhibition in London to work towards, an installation at an architects firm which she is currently designing, a long list of leads to follow up on and and she’s off to Dubai with the Crafts Council in March. All of these are attributable to Decorex.

We at Lindi Reynolds Interiors would like to wish all Heritage Makers 2016 the best of luck!

sarah-stafford-blue-on-white