Monthly Archives:October 2014

Urban design in your home

30 Oct 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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Graffiti isn’t just about tagging and scribbles on the bike shed anymore – the best street art is colourful, inspiring and embodies the spirit of its geographical location. You can commission a brilliant, unique piece that will transform a humdrum space.

From the streets to the home

Big cities like Bristol and Leeds have real street art scenes – whole districts where graffiti is arguably an art form rather than a nuisance. We’d never recommend painting anywhere illegal, but it must be said that the form has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. Using bricks and mortar as a canvas gives a whole new sense of scale and the impact can be astonishing.

Commissioning urban design in your home

If you’re worried that this will involve trying to approach an artist down a back alley, don’t fret – we can help you find an artist to give you just what you’re after. Maybe you have a dull backyard with an ugly breezeblock wall, or a converted warehouse apartment that would benefit from a huge mural. There is no better way to stamp your mark on your home.

How to choose a design

The options are endless – you could create a portrait of a loved one, produce a modern interpretation of a much-loved landscape or go for something more abstract or muted. The look works best when the rest of the space is fairly muted, for example with plain brick or whitewashed walls. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ll be there to help you through each step of the journey, picking the surface, artist, design and accessories to help you pull off the look with aplomb.

Getting started with spraypaint

Curious about how this could work? Check out some examples – Urban Art have a gallery of great spaces; Houzz has some impressive ideas for graffiti interiors; Apartment Therapy shows off some knock-out ideas for daring decor. Just give us a call on 01706 813777 to discuss how it could work in your home or workplace.



Victorian kitchens

14 Oct 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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Clean, warm and full of shining utensils: a modern take on the Victorian kitchen gives you all the pleasure with none of the toil. We can help you build a period kitchen with style, class and comfort.

If you have a Victorian home and want to make the kitchen the heart of the household, we can help you to create the perfect Victorian kitchen.

Heart and Hearth

If you have the space and the budget, you might want to think about having a traditional range: they keep toasty all night long and provide a real focus for the space. However, for many of us a range is simply not practical. Fear not – they come in gas and electric models too! Take a look at the options from Rangemaster to get you started. If a range is not for you, we can help you to choose a different focal point for your kitchen such as a window or particular area.

A Trusty Table

What’s a kitchen without a kitchen table? There is something exquisitely beautiful about a well-worn table that has seen generations of breakfasts and teatimes. We recommend something solid, in light wood such as oak or pine. Whether you want a vintage bashed-about look or something brand new, the table is an investment that will really transform the space. We could even make you one from reclaimed wood if you want a really rustic look. Victorian Pine has some excellent tables to get you thinking.

Shiny and homely

The secret of combining Victorian kitchens with modern convenience is to go for ornamentation that creates atmosphere, while discretely introducing modern gadgets. Hide dishwashers, washing machines and gadgets behind solid wooden cupboards and draw the eye to classic cooking implements like the copper spoons in the picture. Against a white tiled background, copper is light-catching and gorgeous. Pudding basins and jelly moulds, retro tools and vintage posters will all give your kitchen an authentic feel. This Elle article gives a window into the world of weird and wonderful Victorian kitchen utensils.

Call us today to discuss your kitchen needs!

External cladding: Larch and lime

10 Oct 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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Now the straw walls of our eco-classroom at Castle Hill School have had their first coat of lime render, it’s time for the cladding.

We’re using Scottish-grown larch boards – a durable hardwood which will naturally mature over time to an attractive silvery grey.

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A ‘truth window’, created so that users of and visitors to the building can see the material behind the cladding.

Other parts of the building have been simply rendered using traditional lime, a material often used on straw buildings. Lime is a carbon neutral building material, created by burning limestone. When lime is applied to any surface, the carbon dioxide released during the burning process is re-absorbed as the render dries.

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Cosy cob reading nooks

09 Oct 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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One lovely feature of our straw bale eco classroom is the creation of two cosy reading nooks.

They’re made from cob, a mixture of clay, straw and aggregate (more on cob here) and are specially designed so that children can curl up inside with a good book.

They’re not yet finished, but these photos show the raw state – a simple wooden platform and cob casing.

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Arthur, our plasterer, tries it out for size.

Cool lighting to transform a space

02 Oct 14
Michelle Gaffaney
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The nights are drawing in and you’re going to be reaching for that light switch earlier and earlier. Make your home a source of inspiration with cool lighting in bright colours and distinctive shapes.

I’m a total sucker for a beautiful light fitting. The right choice can make you feel playful or reflective, glowy or professional. There’s no excuse for having dull lighting that does nothing for your home or your mood – check out these ideas for cool lighting that will brighten up your life.

Pendant lamps

I love, love, love pendant lamps. Think big shiny bulbs on old-school trailing wires arranged over a kitchen table: modern, bright and so easy to do. Mix it up a bit by using primary-coloured wires against a white ceiling for a simple, modern look.

Example: E27 pendant lamp by Skandium.

Standard lamps

Forget that dusty eyesore your granny used to have. Standard lamps are functional and cool, whether you want an ironic take on tradition with some garish patterns, or something more contemporary. Free-standing lamps add character and colour to a room without being too bright .

Example: Navy tripod floor lamp from

Comic lighting

Give your home a sense of humour with novelty lighting. Too many novelty lights can definitely kill a mood, but one carefully-chosen piece can give your home a cheeky bit of character. This is a good one to experiment with – we’d be happy to make something bespoke for you to reflect your personality!

Example: The Charles Bowler Hat Light by Mr J Designs

Air Design

If you’re holding a party and you want to be bold and colourful, there is no cooler lighting choice than Todmorden’s own Space Cadets. Any shape you can imagine can be created for you as a bright, glowing inflatable.

Example: Space Cadets Air Design

Home Lightboxes

Simple but effective, lightboxes are translucent boxes fitted with neons or bulbs. They are incredibly versatile: your favourite photos or artwork can be mounted on the front, or a bespoke cut-out panel crafted to give a middle eastern effect.

Example: Houzz’s gorgeous example of a forest scene lightbox

We’d love to help you find an unusual, fun and cool lighting solution for your home. We can help you find the perfect piece to make your home light and lovely. Just give us a call to discuss your needs on 01706 813 777 or email today.