Friday, 24 February 2012

How to pick the right interior designer.

If you can get your hands on the Feb 2012 copy of The English Home magazine, check out the article on choosing an interior designer...

It talks about the importance of tailor-made services becoming increasingly popular as we lead busier and busier lives.
In the U.S. it's common to hire an interior designer but we Brits are still a little hesitant apparently.
Maybe it's the fear of spending a lot of money on someone we percieve will just pick out a few paint colours and re-arrange the furniture for us...?

The article accepts that we can't all be skilled stylists and that putting a room together successfully can be a difficult task and suggests taking time to find a designer that suits your needs, just like you would a builder, plumber, etc.
It suggests 'interviewing' a selection of candidates through an initial consultation so that you can get to know each other without commiting to anything....many designers offer this part of their service for free.
Looking at a selection of their previous jobs to establish how they may fit your own needs.
Seeking recommendations from family and friends.
Checking if they are members of recognised professional bodies and whether they have the right insurance in place to protect you and your property.

Check how each designer charges for their work...some work on hourly rates, some on a fixed fee basis, some on a combination of fees.
Be ready to discuss what it is you want and how much you are willing to spend.

Some simple and straightforward advice for anyone contemplating the services of an interior designer.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

London Fashion Week highlights.

OK, so it's not about kid's rooms directly, but i'm sure we'll see some of the trends from the last few days creeping into the Autumn/Winter interior collections later this year...

Here at Dreams and Wishes we're looking out for metalic sheens on wallpapers, fabrics and soft furnishings, lace and lots of sumptuous fabrics...cashmeres, velvets, rich neutrals.


Remember the colour of 2012 we show-cased in an earlier blog...Tangerine Tango...looks like it's going to be big well into next year....

jonathan saunders



antonio berardi

Got to give a special mention to the Alexander McQueen collection...full of 1950's vintage glamour!

alexander mcqueen

...And all the shoes....could do a whole blog on shoes alone...but that would be pushing the 'interiors' link a little too much.

jasper conran
Just a moment of self-indulgence then...!

All images from newsobserver

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Furniture re-vamps

We love the idea of updating second-hand furniture here at Dreams and Wishes.
Not only is it good for the environment but you'll end up with a 'one-off' piece to wow your friends with.

It's an ideal way to furnish a kid's room as you won't be fretting over damage to a costly piece of furniture.


It's an easy process to get your flea-market find looking as good as these examples....

Step one...Preparation.
Remove drawer and door knobs, locks, etc. Wash down the surfaces with a suitable cleaner. Repair any dinks or small holes with a wood filler. Sand the surface to remove the original finish.

Step two...Paint.
Use a paint suitable for wood surfaces. Lightly sand between coats for a smooth finish. Two coats is usually enough.

Step three...Protect.
Once paint is fully dry, protect the surface with a varnish or wax. Once dry, replace or re-new handles etc.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Half-term help for stressed parents...


If you're facing the prospect of seven long days with the kids...and nothing planned to keep them amused, help is at hand...
Banish the moans of 'I'm bored' with ideas from these kid's activity websites....

Family Fun...A Disney site full of crafts and easy recipes.

Activity Village...Age related puzzles, games, crafts and recipes.

Creative Kids at Home...Crafts and science ideas based on themes like nature and space.

Funology...magic tricks, science and 'boredom busters' including recycling and nature crafts.

Games Kids Play...Traditional activity games...with 44 ball game ideas alone!!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

How to create a Retro interior style...

What is it...?
Good point! It seems to have become a 'catch-all' for an eclectic range of interior styles...but in it's simplist form, relates to designs of the 50's, 60's and 70's.
Originally a chance to be bold with colours, new materials and outlook after the bleak war years, it seems like a good time to inject a little 'Retro' into our lives again...!

Now...I'm not suggesting you go '1970's disco' immediately...

The effects can be toned down for a more sophisticated look.

However, it is a bold style and works well when applied with confidence...
Follow these tips from Dreams and Wishes for incorporating Retro into your home.
  • Research with books, magazines, websites and dedicated blogs to find a style that suits you and your home. The RetroToGo blog is a particular favourite of ours.
  • Think bold colours and patterns. Turquoise, mint green, mustard yellow and, don't forget, the classic orange and brown combo...were all popular in this era.

  • Accessorise a plain room with funky, bright objects salvaged at flea markets, car boot sales and online auction sites...prices have risen considerably over recent years but it's still possible to grab a bargain or two.

furniture and home
  • Have fun with lighting. Look beyond the obvious Lava lamp for more classic styles.

  • Be sympathetic to the materials of the era. This was a time when new materials were making a big impact in design...look for chrome, plastic, leather and laquered finishes.

The real beauty of this style is that there are very few rules to follow...bearing in mind that you're 'borrowing' design ideas from a thirty year time-frame.
You can spend a fortune on original furniture and accessories for a truly authentic look, or pick up reproductions and second-hand finds to create your own unique take...maybe that's why it's remainded such a popular theme over these recent austere years.
Have fun...!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Mezzanine floors in kid's rooms.

A recent survey suggests that a third of families in the UK are struggling for extra space at home...and it's going to take a bit more than clearing unwanted clutter to put it right apparently...!

What about a mezzanine floor to accomodate more space without moving or taking on expensive extensions?
OK, so it's not without cost...but considerably cheaper than most other solutions...and I'm sure you could be persuaded with these great ideas....

 holiday rental