Top 10 wallpapers

I often get asked the same questions over and over again in relation to interior design: Where are the best antique shops?  Can you recommend paint colours? Where can I buy an original lampshade? What floor shall I lay? Can you help me choose tiles?

One of the most frequents questions is about wallpaper. There are millions of wallpapers out there and it can be quite a bold design statement so I think people feel nervous about making the choice. Wallpaper can also be expensive, as well as a job to hang, so you don’t want to get it wrong.

Personally, I have never, ever used wallpaper and I can not wait to experiment with it when we no longer live in a new build flat, where neutral is always best for re-sale purposes (boring!). However, that has not stopped me from making a mental list of my favourite papers that I would like to share with you today (in no particular order)…

Top 10 wallpapers Mini Moderns Whitby wallpaper washed denim

I am in LOVE with everything Mini Moderns and this Whitby wallpaper is definitely near the top of my list. This is also available in a Lido blue.

Top 10 wallpapers Lorna Syson Flock Sunrise

I featured this Lorna Syson print in a previous post when I used the fabric to re-upholster a seat pad. I really like the retro edge of this Flock Sunrise print, especially in wallpaper form.

Josef Frank wallpaper

Oh yes. This 1940 Josef Frank design, Varklockor, is just beautiful.

Top 10 wallpapers Abigail Borg Polka Polka

This has been a firm favourite of mine for quite some time. I’ve got the cushions, and now I would like a whole room in this Polka Polka wallpaper by Abigail Borg. The rich, deep colours and bold print is timeless.

Top 10 wallpapers farrow and Ball Orangerie

Something a bit more classical from Farrow and Ball. The complementary paint sets this off perfectly.

Top 10 wallpapers Graham and Brown Hemingway Do the Stretch

What about this Do the Stretch print from Graham and Brown Hemingway? Combined with mid-century teak furniture – perfect surely?

Top 10 wallpaper Cath Kidston Woodstock Rose

Apparently, this Cath Kidston Woodstock Rose wallpaper was inspired by the fact that it was used to paper a lot of the stores and the customers always asked if they could buy it. I can’t say I am a massive fan of the average Cath Kidston print, but I adore colours and genuine vintage feel of this paper.

Sometimes the classics are the best: William Morris Limestone/Artichoke.

Top 10 wallpapers Rachel Powell Woodstock

I really like the overall effect of this small print and how it changes according to how close you are standing to it. Rachel Powell has many great designs, not only this Woodstock paper.

Top 10 wallpapers Sanderson Wrappings wallpaper

If I could recreate this whole look in my own home I would be ecstatic. I think this has got to be my number one favourite! Sanderson’s collection of 1950’s inspired prints are inspired and this Wrappings paper is the best!

So, there you go, my round up of my current favourite wallpapers – have you discovered any great designs that you’d like to share? Please leave a link in the comments section.

Perhaps I’ll tackle the best vintage/antique shops in London question next! I hope you all have a great weekend x



Vintage make-over

I recently came across the inspiring work of Sarah Moore, when I featured her vintage wallpapered stairs in a previous post. I bought some of the vintage wallpaper Sarah sells on her site and decided to try to transform a little bathroom cabinet that I bought on eBay for £4. Sarah advises to line cupboards with wallpaper and lace edging to give them a vintage feel so that’s exactly what I’m going to do…

Sarah Moore vintage wallpaper cupboard linings

An example of Sarah Moore’s beautiful work.

Sarah Moore Vintage wallpaper collection

You can buy a collection of a dozen A4 sheets from Sarah Moore Vintage for just £12.99.

You will need:

Wallpaper (or you could use pretty wrapping paper)

Lace edging – I bought this from eBay (search for crochet lace edging)

PVA glue


Scissors or craft knife

Ruler and pencil

Drawing pins


How to line a cupboard with vintage wallpaper


How to line a cupboard with vintage wallpaper

1. Measure the areas that you would like to cover and draw these measurements onto the wallpaper and cut out using scissors or a craft knife.

How to line a cupboard with vintage wallpaper

2. Use the paintbrush to apply a thin layer of the glue (make sure the shelves are clean before this step). Place the paper onto the glue and smooth out so there are no air bubbles or creases.

How to line a cupboard with vintage wallpaper

3. Paint on more glue to seal it and leave to dry. Once dry, use a craft knife or scissors to trim any excess pieces of paper from the edges.

How to line a cupboard with vintage wallpaper

4. You can then repeat the entire process on all of the other panels that you wish to decorate.

How to line a cupboard with vintage wallpaper

5. Attach the lace edging with glue. You can fasten it with drawing pins whilst it dries, but the lace I have used is so light I didn’t need to do that.

How to line a cupboard with vintage wallpaper


This is such an easy and inexpensive way of personalising a piece – I might have to try this in my wardrobe next.

What have you been up to whilst I’ve been on holiday (which was bliss, by the way)? Any good home projects? I’d love to hear about or see anything you’ve made x


How to paint furniture

I’m off on my hols today, so this will be my last post until September (no Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest either…eek!). Me, my mum and my two sisters are going to stay in a villa in Portugal, so hopefully I will return bronzed, relaxed and ready for the start of a new school year.

I’ll leave you, for now, with a handy tutorial that will hopefully keep you going until I return….

I’m constantly scavenging around whenever I see a skip or a pile of stuff left outside a house. You never know what you might find. Recently I came across this small chest of drawers in a skip. The front is white, the back is black and there are no handles on the drawers. The paint is chipping off and it’s been very badly painted, with ordinary matt wall paint, I would assume. However, it is solid wood and there’s no sign of damp so there’s no reason why, with a lick of paint and some new handles, it can’t be as good as new.

Upcycling a skip find

BEFORE: Sorry about the bad photo – I forgot to take a proper one. This shows the back, which is black. The front and sides is chipped, matt white with no handles.

You will need:

Small foam roller, small paint brush and paint tray

Masking tape

Paint – water based eggshell or oil based eggshell (I never use oil based paint as I find it very difficult to use and messy). I used Farrow and Ball’s Estate Eggshell Teresa’s Green.

Primer (optional)

Water-based polyurethane varnish (optional)

Fine sand paper and block (orbital sander if you are working on a wood veneer or varnished piece)

Wood glue

Wood filler and spatula

Dust sheet


I only paint solid wood or wood veneer pieces that can be sanded. If you try to paint laminate furniture you will end up having to use so many coats of paint (as the paint slides off it) and it chips very easily. Don’t be put off by varnished wooden furniture – just needs a sand.

1. Remove any hardware (knobs, handles etc) which can usually be unscrewed easily. If, for any reason you can’t remove them, cover with tin foil so you do not get paint on them.

2. Use the glue to stabilise any dodgy joints but only if necessary.

3. Use wood filler to fill any holes, gaps, dents. If you want to change the hardware and place the new handles in a different place, fill in the original holes. It’s easy to buy the squeezy tubes of wood filler that you squeeze into any holes or dents and smooth over with a spatula.

4. Sand all your filled areas and add more filler if necessary. Repeat this step as many times as is necessary to get a smooth finish.

5. If you are painting onto a piece that has previously been painted give it a light sand all over to give the surface a bit of grip to take on the new paint. You can do this with a piece of light sand paper that you can attach to a sanding block. If, however, you are painting a wooden veneer surface or varnished wood you will need an electrical orbital sander. Sand until the wooden surface no longer has a shine to it.

6. Use your hoover to get any dust off the piece and use a damp cloth to clean it all over and allow to dry.

7. Use the masking tape to tape off all areas that you do not want to get paint on. Tape off the sides of the drawers so that when you open the drawers you see a clean line (too late for my piece – it’s obviously been painted many times!). Tape off the inside of the piece to keep all runners free of paint.

How to paint wooden furniture

Hardware has been removed (the screw that held the handle in was still in the drawers when I salvaged it but I need to take this out too when I begin to paint.) My drawers have obviously been painted before and you can see that there is a messy paint line so when you pull the drawer out it looks scruffy. I have marked with taped where I need to paint to in order to create a clean line.

How to paint wooden furniture

Mark with tape where you will paint to along the runner of the drawers. Make sure you let this part dry thoroughly before replacing the drawers so they don’t stick.

8. Lots of people would now prime the piece of furniture but I think you can get away with not doing this as long as you paint your chosen colour with at least three coats.

9. Pour your choice of paint in the tray and get your paintbrush full of paint. Use your brush to cut in all areas of the piece that the roller cannot reach and then use your foam roller for the larger surface areas. You should work on one section at a time to make sure that you have covered the piece well and there are no drips. Paint the back of the piece as well as you never know where you will use it in future. If you prefer to use a brush for the whole piece, use long strokes painting in the direction of the grain. Always apply thin coats of paint, instead of one thick coat, as this will make the finish more even and solid.

10. Apply 2-3 light coats, giving it a very light sand between each coat, and then let it dry overnight. Replace the hardware only when the piece is completely dry. You can varnish the piece once the paint is completely dry, but this is optional and dependent on the finish you want. I didn’t varnish my piece.

How to paint wooden furniture

I’ve had to buy new knobs that I bought from John Lewis. I went for something really simple and plain as sometimes if you go overboard when painting a piece of furniture and you finish it off with ornate knobs or handles, it can end up looking a bit tacky.

TIP: Line your drawers with vintage wallpaper or pretty wrapping paper to make it extra special! Measure the area you want to cover and then use scissors or a craft knife to cut your wallpaper pieces. Then stick it down with some double-sided tape.

Sarah Moore vintage wallpaper drawer linings

I bought this vintage wallpaper from Sarah Moore Vintage. I will be transforming a bathroom cabinet with it in a couple of weeks!

And the finished transformation…

Transforming a skip-find

What do you think? See you when I get back from Portugal x


Painting furniture

Paint is like magic. It can completely transform a piece of furniture quickly and easily. I have used it for years to disguise or enhance furniture, especially when trying to save money.  If you do have a collection of basic furniture that you need to use in one space, but together they make your room look and feel like a junk shop, painting them can be the answer. Paint can create a cohesive and fresh look from the most higgledy piggledy collection of furniture. Some people like to paint beautiful pieces of furniture and use different techniques to age it; this isn’t for me. I only really use paint if the furniture that I’ve got is very basic and I don’t actually like it the way it is.

At the end of the week I will show you how to paint a piece of furniture properly as I found a chest of drawers in a skip recently, which I will use to demonstrate. Today, I would like to show you how paint can be used in different ways and on different pieces to change the whole look of a room…

Painted furniture

In this room the furniture has been painted the same type of chalk paint as the walls, ceiling and doors. This creates a soft, unified look. If the table was orange pine and the stool and chair a dark wood the room would be confused and heavy.

Painted dressing table in vintage bedroom

In this pretty, vintage bedroom painted furniture fits right in with the wall colour, style and painted floorboards.

Painted furniture green cupboard

Here, they have used a bright green to make this bespoke MDF unit a design statement.

Painted furniture bedside table solution

I always come across cheap chests of drawers in antique shops and I have found two in skips. They can be a very bulky and large so it can be a good idea to paint them to tie in with the room and the wall colour so they are not too dominant.

Painted dresser

This dresser has been painted a pale pink to ensure that the light, airy feel of this room is not ruined by dark, heavy wood.

Painted dining chairs

These dining chairs have been painted to add interest to this room.

Painted kitchen shelves

This shelf unit ties in perfectly with this kitchen.

Painted dining table

The colour of this dining table makes an instant impact, which otherwise could have been quite drab.

Painted wall cupboard

Ordinary wall cupboards can be intrusive and bulky. It can be a good idea to paint them the same colour as the walls so they do not become too dominant.

Painted furniture

The cupboard, drawers and two chairs have all been painted to create a cohesive, yet eclectic look in this room. By adding one yellow chair, the mix of blues and whites is not bland.

If you do have some furniture that you think would benefit from being painted, or it would make your room feel more cohesive, check out my tutorial later on this week.


Design classics – yes please!

An interiors magazine did a photo shoot for a feature about my flat this week. I had to make a list of where I have sourced my furniture from and I realised that there are only about five pieces that I have bought from new. Also, the things I have bought second-hand are all very cheap. Surely, this means I can buy some new furniture with no guilt…

Ercol loveseat

I have wanted this Ercol loveseat for sooooo long. Wouldn’t it be perfect in a hallway? Or in a kitchen? Heal’s is currently selling new editions but you can also get them from eBay a lot cheaper.

Vintage enamel topped kitchen table

I love anything that is enamelled, especially enamel topped tables. Could be used in the kitchen or even as a dressing table in a bedroom. Buy at bargain prices on eBay.

Vintage chapel chairs

These chapel chairs (called this as they originally held bibles and prayer books in churches) make such sweet dining chairs. Want! Again, buy cheaply on eBay.

Anthropologie tufted filigree rug

A pretty rug I have my eye on for our bedroom – add to floorboards with an iron bedstead and vintage quilt. This rug is being sold in Anthropologie.

G-Plan Danish retro teak coffee table

I’ve been thinking about a new coffee table and I’ve always liked this G-Plan one. Again, buy on eBay for a good price.

Vintage stripy deck chair

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pair of proper vintage stripy deck chairs? Yes, please.

1940's enamel bread bin

Labour and Wait is one of my favourite shops and I like this 1940’s steel bread bin very much. You can also get an original from the brilliant A Rum Fellow.

Japanese enamel tea pot

This is also from Labour and Wait. Oh yes.

It is my birthday soon so you never know x