Lighting for the Exterior

Lighting for the Exterior

Not strictly speaking (or actually in any way at all) interior design…however, I get asked a lot of questions about lighting for exteriors / gardens – particularly where the inside space opens out on to the garden. Clients are often looking for a flow and don’t want their newly refurbished interior to be spoilt by the exterior. I am not a garden designer – and I can definitely not advise on planting – but I do believe that you if you are looking to create an additional room or space in the exterior then you can apply similar rules as to lighting your interior. I stand by ready to be corrected by all the garden designers out there… One very important difference is, of course, that all lights need to be fit for purpose – so make sure they are specifically for exterior use (check their IP rating or ask your electrician). Secondly, there are (potentially) more trip hazards outside so make sure that if you are using lighting on steps or the edge of patios that you are lighting the way – as opposed to blinding the person trying to navigate the area – just think about the direction that the light is facing and how bright it is (avoid lights that point up straight into your eyes)! In terms of similarities to interior lighting I would always advise on different layers of lighting. Firstly, task lighting i.e. to guide your way down a path or up stairs, or perhaps security lighting to come on if any movement is detected. You may wish to have a light on...
Entrance Hall Design

Entrance Hall Design

First impressions count. The front door and entrance hall beyond set the tone for your home – but it is also a chance to be bold with pattern and colour. The entrance hall is where you welcome visitors into your house – but it should also be a clear signal to you that you are HOME…and able to relax! This space provides a great opportunity to be a bit braver with colour and pattern as an entrance hall is a transition space. You don’t tend to ‘hang out’ in the hallway but rather move through it – this means that you CAN be bolder with pattern as you will not be sitting and staring at it (as you would say in the living room). Of course my partying days are long past so it might be that parties do still involve people hanging out on the stairs – but then a bit of bold pattern and colour at a party is no bad thing. An entrance hall needs to work quite hard too. No matter what its size – entrance hall design is key. Think about how you will use the space and what will keep it as welcoming as possible – but also functional for you and your family. Functional means storage – for shoes, coats, work & school bags. If storage can allow ‘stuff’ to be hidden away so you don’t see all the clutter then this is ideal – it makes for a much more relaxing return home (rather than picking your way through the debris of dumped school bags and shoes with stress levels rising)....
Decorating with colour & paint effects

Decorating with colour & paint effects

A recent article by Kate @ madaboutthehouse.com gave some great advice on getting started with decorating. I agree with pretty much everything she says in this article, especially that if you have curtains they HAVE to be floor length – it’s the law. Dormer windows may be the exception – depends on the shape & angles you are working with – but pretty much it’s the LAW. The point in the article that caught my attention and gave me reason to pause was her advice re paint – on woodwork, walls, ceilings. I love paint and I love colour. Using paint creatively is a core part of what I teach in the colour courses I deliver at the Dulux Academy @ AkzoNobel in Slough. Using the fifth wall (the ceiling) and shaping the way a room looks and feels with colour is just so impactful! In my own home I use lots of paint effects. If you look at the portfolio section of my website you’ll see I use A LOT OF COLOUR in my commercial projects – lots of colour, lots of paint effects – lots of fun! From painting window recesses, feature walls, bubbles, stripes, zoning with colour, using camouflage techniques, to playing with a rooms’ dimensions by playing with colour & paint in all sorts of creative ways! However, I think I might have been a bit lazy with my residential clients… or rather a little nervous of making suggestions that might seem unusual to them. Whilst my clients come to me for advice and guidance, I am always wary of pushing them too far out of...
2016 Year in Review

2016 Year in Review

2016 has been a busy year for Honey Interior Design. With a mixture of domestic and commercial work – we’ve tackled schools, pubs, office spaces, a dentisit surgery and an opticians – as well as bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens and lounges! In addition, we moved into the new Honey HQ in Folkestone in October. It’s been a great year – and as we continue to go from strength to strength we are thankful for everything we have achieved and looking forward to the year ahead. One of the quickest, and cheapest, ways to update a space is through colour and we’ve transformed dozens of spaces through colour and design consultancy. A coat of paint (or two!) can really make a difference to how a room looks and feels. I love the colour training that I continue to deliver in conjunction with Dulux – changing the way people understand and use colour in their homes and businesses! It really is more than just a tin of paint. I’m really excited about the new Dulux Heritage range and the Dulux 2017 colour of the year Denim Drift. You can read more about the predicted trends for 2017 here  https://www.dulux.co.uk/en/articles/colour-futures-2017 Everyone loves a before & after – so I also include two of my favourites from the year – where the transformation has been amazing – I hope you’ll agree. As for what 2017 holds for Honey Interior Design? More colour and more design. We are looking forward to working in several schools in Kent – creating spaces that support learning and inspire creativity for pupils and teachers alike! There are also some...
Interior Styling: Top Tips part 2

Interior Styling: Top Tips part 2

Honey Interior Design recently worked with the Dulux Design Service & Potton Homes. I was asked to speak at a workshop to provide self-builders with some key areas for consideration on the internal styling of their new homes. Here are the second set of 3 tips to helping achieve the interior you want – and some lovely pictures of the Potton Show homes at St Neots. Although I presented to Self-builders – these tips can apply to the refurbishment of your existing home too! 4. Existing Vs New. Your home should be a reflection of those that live within. Consideration should always be given to how much you bring with you from  your existing home to your new home. If you are simply refurbishing an existing space – how much should you keep? I personally believe your home should tell a story of who you are – your history and life. This doesn’t mean keeping everything and having a cluttered interior – but a newly decorated space should not be devoid of character and identity. 5. Style & colour. Keep a scrapbook – physically or on-line. This will give you a real sense of what you like / don’t like. Even if you are considering using an interior designer to help you design and style your home – any back ground work that you have done to help identify your style will be of great help to any professional – and give them a great springboard to pull together an interior scheme you’ll love. Inspiration pictures don’t have to be of interiors – it could be an item of clothing, piece of art, or...
Interior Styling: Top Tips part 1

Interior Styling: Top Tips part 1

Honey Interior Design recently worked with the Dulux Design Service & Potton Homes. I was asked to speak at a workshop to provide self-builders with some key areas for consideration on the internal styling of their new homes. If you have ever been involved in a self-build you will know that it is no small task – there are a multitude of decisions to be made – and it can be overwhelming. The internet is both a blessing and a curse – with so much information and choice available it can be difficult to focus and make decisions. Here are 3 tips to helping achieve the interior you want – and some lovely pictures of the Potton Show homes at St Neots. Although I presented to Self-builders – these tips can apply to the refurbishment of your existing home too! 1. Budget – a lot of your money will go into the foundations & frame of the building (literally) but try and set aside a budget for furniture, soft furnishings and window dressings – the bits that will bring your building to life and give you the home that looks and feels the way you want it to. 2. Materials / Environment – consider the style of your building and to what extent you want the interior to be sympathetic – you can of course add a contemporary twist! Bear in mind that what works in a cosy cottage may not be so easy to pull of in a regency style home or contemporary new build. What materials do you plan to use and in what combination – are these in keeping with...