My Cumbria Life page from January


I thought I would occasionally post one of my pages from Cumbria life – hope you find them useful. This page on bedrooms was from January this year, I will also try and keep up with my “latest news” blog and write more often. Please click on the link above which will take you to a PDF of the page.

My next blog will be about the fabulous new ranges of Liberty fabrics – I recently met the design director and she was such a dynamic lady. This is Liberty as you have never seen before !!!





Shepherds’ hut

Okay so the challenge we have to squeeze in for next week , as well as our ordinary work, is the interior of this “shepherds hut” Made by Woodstyle Joinery near Carlisle. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for a spare bedroom in the garden or a home office or studio. It is going to have a lovely sedum roof by Lizzie, Phil and their team. Come and see it at the show !


The show is almost here !

What is the show all about ? well take over 60 exhibitors ;

From fireplaces to furniture, plants to ceramics, garden design to wool throws, stencilling to showers, kitchens to carpets, door furniture to alternative energy, fencing to photography – and everything in between.

Add our celebrities and Garden question time in the theatre and a host of experts at our free seminars in the hall and you will have a fantastic day out. Take for instance Helen Morris  of the Stencil Library


helen27I can imagine that your image of stencils and stencilling is the traditional border of a teddy bears type border on the wall of your child’s room, but think again and let Helen show you how to transform whole rooms, floors, furniture or walls.

blue bedroom stencilled furniture 424DSC09156










Tell all your friends and come and have a fun day with us.  Don’t risk disappointment, book your places at the seminars now on the website

Cumbria Life Home and Garden Show.

What an amazing few months – apart from being wonderfully busy in our business, my associate Liz Newport of Buzy Lizzie garden design and I have been working on a fantastic project – a wonderful new Home and Garden show to be held at Rheged on February 28th and March 1st this year.  There is so much to tell you about including our speakers Sophie and Daniel presenters from The Great British Design Challenge and so much more.  To get all the info, the latest Cumbria Life tells you all about it. Including details of over 60 exhibitors.

More to follow but for now please click on the attached poster for a few more details.

150113 Home&GardensPoster

Charity day

First of I want to say a big thank you to everyone who supported our charity day – we made £840 for  Hospice at Home and met many lovely ladies who want us to put on more demonstrations.  I would love to do that – but I am afraid it won’t be until the Spring.

In the meantime I have been working on a wonderful project, initially working with the clients here in England to make selections of colours, fabrics etc then by remote whilst they returned to the USA to pack up their home.  I have such a wonderful team of very talented people now which means we can offer a really unique service.  Everything from new fireplaces and chimneys, paint, curtains and poles beds and sofas, floor stripping, electrical work and plumbing, TV’s and TV systems to new doors and windows.

The focal point of this room was a cupboard, but it needed to be a fireplace of course.  Burning Desires of Preston helped to create something really special with the aid of our joiner John.
























Today was one of the final moments before their furniture arrives – the new front door was hung. It was made locally by G and S Timber of Stainton Penrith, it is hardwood and very heavy but stunning.  The Croft door furniture was supplied by More handles of Carlisle

The before




and after pictures.

photo 2



Special day of ideas and techniques in aid of Hospice at Home

Home ideas in aid of Hospice at Home October 10th – please come and join us and tell your friends !


Alhambra cushions








Myself and my workroom team are planning a day of demonstations on Friday 10 October in aid of Hospice at Home.

We hosted a demonstration evening for Penrith Rural Women’s Network earlier this year and everyone seemed to enjoy the combination of ideas and inspiration with practical hints and techniques. We’ll be organising three different demonstrations through the day on 10 October, refreshments will be provided and all the proceeds will go to Hospice at Home. In addition, there’ll be a selection of gorgeous cushions and luxury furnishing fabric remnants on sale and 50% of the sales from those will also go to the charity.

The three demonstrations will cover cushions, with hints on piping and putting in a zip, at 9.30-11.30am, Roman blinds and achieving a professional look at 1.00-3.00pm and, in the evening, transforming a bedroom with a fabric-covered headboard at 7.00-9.00pm. Each demonstration costs just £15 including refreshments.

We’re having to limit places so that there’s plenty of room for people to browse the showroom and also to see the details of the techniques on a sewing machine or as they’re demonstrated, It should be an excellent day that raises plenty of money as well as being fun and useful.”

To book a place for any of the demonstrations, please contact us on 01768 863895 or email as soon as possible.



Cumbria Life features

I am not sure if many of you subscribe to Cumbria Life, but it is a really wonderful magazine and I am totally thrilled that I get to write their interiors page.  Apart from anything else, in my researching as well as just reading the magazine, I am getting to meet so many small businesses and artisans, making incredibly beautiful products. I like to use a mix of locally sourced ideas together with more widely known companies.  My lovely editor has allowed me to use PDF’s of my page onto my weblog so I hope you enjoy it.  Here are the first three months which were simple columns, then we progressed to a whole page !  My thanks to Sally Seed of Stoneleigh Communications who helps with the words and also for the companies who allow me to use their photography.

Please click on the links below to see the copy.

Foxton House feature

Apr 2014

Mar 2014

Feb 2014



Stunning kitchen

Last year we were asked to be involved in a wonderful kitchen extension here in Penrith, and this is the end result. A stunning light and airy kitchen wrapped around the original house making a real family area of kitchen/dining and living spaces.  Almost the whole of one side opens out into the garden.

For those wanting more detail, the builders were Inca Construction, the kitchen was designed and fitted by Town and Country interiors of Carlisle and they also provided and fitted the natural stone floor.

Kitchen Siddle  (19)


Our part was to help pull the whole scheme together, help with all the decision making, and provide the furniture and the bar stools .  The stools are a really comfortable style and we can make them with a natural oiled finish which looks stunning as the frames are solid oak – or they can be stained/painted or lacquered to any colour.


We also provided the dining table which was made in France in a mixture of of painted and varnished oak, the dining chairs upholstered in a coordinating fabric and the sideboard to be used as storage beneath the television.  We even had the dining chair legs lacquered to the colour of the table.









Blinds for a purpose

Sometimes being an interior designer is about knowing when to leave windows alone, letting the room and the view speak for themselves.  Modern, light airy rooms such as this kitchen can have problems with too much light and may need blinds for heat and light control and in some cases to help prevent fading. Silent Gliss have the perfect solution with their range of roller blinds.  Each of the fabrics they use have accurate figures for visible light and solar transmission as well as solar reflectance and solar absorption coefficients.  In other words they are tried and tested and if you need to cut out the glare, provide privacy or reduce the temperature they have the right fabric for you.


These large kitchen windows are beautiful in their own right and did not need to be covered for much of the time. We used Silent Gliss roller blinds, which are super slim, together with Colourama 2 alu fabric to give shade and heat/fading  protection. It has an aluminium backing which helps to reflect the heat but doesn’t cut out all of the light. We fitted them just below the wooden beams and colour matched them to the woodwork so when they are not required they are barely visible. The fabric range is huge and suitable for all applications so if you want to know more call in and see us or visit their website













Colour all around

Every client visiting us recently has been greeted by the wonderful sight of our wisteria in full bloom.  Planted about 10 years ago I did wonder if my ambition for the one plant to grow in both directions along the front of our office and workrooms was just a little unrealistic.  Now I am wondering where I can train it to grow next!






In the meantime we have fitted the headboard and curtains in the fabrics by Manuel Canovas  we showed you in the last posting. As the window is quite large and low, in proportion to the size of the room, we added a roller blind in a semi sheer fabric for privacy – fitted  beneath the Roman blind.  We used a New house Textile fabric by Te-bo.

The roller blind was fitted directly onto the window frame and we top fixed the Roman blind, setting it further forward in the recess to give space for the roller blind to operate.  A perfect combination of function, colour, design and the wow factor. The paint colour on the walls is by the Little Greene paint company and is a perfect match.   Many of my customer’s are very cautious about using a deep colour in small rooms but it can add character and warmth especially in rooms like this which face North and never benefit from the sun pouring through the window.

We are working with the customer at the moment to design some really stunning cushions, then we can add accessories, pictures etc. We had the mirror made to size in a slightly limed oak with a painted edge to match our scheme.

Did you know we also offer bespoke lampshade making. The cerise pink shades in this room  show just what we can do in almost any suitable fabric and in a whole host of sizes and shapes. I love lampshades that are part of the scheme and have a sense of fun about them. Call into the showroom if you would like to see some of the shades we have in stock – in lots of different colours.