Lockdown decorating, lighting tips and mood boards, Podcast show notes S7 Ep2
Welcome to the second episode of Great Indoors podcast, bought to you I’ll admit under extreme circumstances. My wifi is as dependable as Southern Rail and I have to sit crossed-legged on a child’s bed under a king size duvet while Kate and I squint at each other on tiny screens. It’s weird and we are in no hurry to get used to it! But we absolutely love our podcast and so we are happy to overlook the hardship, buoyed up with your enthusiasm and lovely comments. Keep those rates and reviews coming in and continue to share the word on your social media. It keeps us going!
As always you can listen to the episode in full here, and below you will find my show notes to support everything we discuss on this episode.
But before we dive in a huge thank you to our new series sponsors, Geberit who has been pioneering modern bathroom design for 150 years. Founder Caspar Melchior Gebert invented the now-popular wall-hung loo back in 1905 and they have not stopped innovating since. Head on over to geberit.co.uk and see for yourself!
Today we’re discussing decorating ideas during this period of lockdown, we chat with lighting expert Sally Storey, and discuss how to create a mood board to keep your interior design aspirations ticking along.
I’ve noticed that on the Facebook group you have all been going for it with the lockdown decorating! But Kate and I certainly haven’t, although we have been thinking about it! Living solely indoors during these difficult times has made us take stock and think about how we can update our homes, but with little or
Annie Sloan Kids bedroom, Chalk Paint mural by Lucy Tiffney crafting station in Antibes Lifestyle.
no access to the usual items on our DIY shopping lists, it’s time to get ingenious.
One of my favourite ways to pop the colour is furniture upcycling – Annie Sloan is still delivering her clever chalk paint which is perfect for any old bits of furniture that need a bit of love. I adore how easy this paint is to use. It has low toxicity which means you can get the kids involved too, (if you dare) and you can easily create your own unique statement piece. You can even use it on the walls too as shown here by the talented Lucy Tiffney.
Moving on to one of my favourite quick and easy updates – lampshades and the easiest one to start with is a simple drum shade. Do keep the basic shade intact as it diffuses the light and of course is fire retardant, you can check out a quick tutorial I did a while back on my old YouTube channel here.
Another project that can be done relatively easily with modest skills is to make your own cushion covers with fabric remnants you may have knocking about, or you may be able to order some from fabric companies or on eBay. The best part is if you don’t have large enough pieces you can make them reversible by using two different patterns/colours. I’ve even used old dress material from clothes I’ve loved but no longer wear. I found a good tutorial on YouTube showing how to make an envelope back cushion here.
Kate flagged up her concern that lockdown was going to start making us take more daring decorating decisions, on the basis that colour is a great mood enhancer, but what happens when everything turns to normal. We may later regret our decisions. Case in point *News Flash* Kate Watson-Smyth who has always often declared her total aversion to anything yellow has announced a new found love for this sunny hue – okay, so she calls it saffron or ochre, but it’s yellow none the less! She’s imagining it in her kitchen which I think would look amazing! I found this image of a kitchen designed by Rita Kong for Plain English that wouldn’t look out of place in Kate’s home. What do you think?
Kitchen island and cabinets are Plain English showing Rita Konig new paint collection. Central bath dresser in ‘Nicotine’ Cupboard in ‘burnt toast’ and cabinets in ‘mouldy plum’.
One of the things Kate and I get asked to talk about a lot is lighting and it’s such a huge topic! So we were thrilled to pin down international lighting expert Sally Storey the design director for John Cullen Lighting, who is responsible for designing lighting schemes for anything from yachts to the prestigious Claridge’s hotel. her company also designed the lighting for my Mums annexe, so you know….only the best clients!
Lighting ideas without the aid of an electrician
Sally advises not to be afraid of moving lights around. As more of us are working from home these days try moving a lamp from the living room to the kitchen table – if that’s where you’ve set up your home office, and then move it back in the evening.
If you need a more direct light and don’t have a task light while working try removing the shade and then replace it in the evening for a softer mood.
Lighting a whole room
Don’t have a large pendant or chandelier (which are coming back by the way) as your only light source. And ideally, make sure it is on a dimmable switch. It is key to layer your lighting, almost like layering a room scheme with textures. This means adding different light sources at different points around the room to add visual interest.
Create pockets of light to highlight certain areas. The non-lit areas are almost as important. Avoid the blanket light effect that highlights every inch and corner of the room as it will look flat.
Think about a focus. You could have lights highlighting pictures, built-in shelf lights which highlight objects, and low-level lighting like table lamps which highlight items on display.
Play around with different lighting, turning some off and others on and see how it changes the mood of the room.
Pockets of light by John Cullen
If starting from scratch..
Avoid spotlights in a grid formation. Did you hear that? I’ll say it again. Avoid spotlights in a grid formation. Builders/developers will often stick to a symmetrical layout on the plan as it looks good on paper but doesn’t work for the room. Instead, think what the light will highlight rather than where it sits in the ceiling. Think about where the sofa/ dining table/kitchen island/ bath will actually be and then highlight above.
Floor sockets are very handy, especially for sofas that are in the middle of an open place space, as it allows you to have lamps in the middle of the room.
Plan all the lighting, including lamps on a ring circuit which allows you to turn all the lights off at once.
In a kitchen layout use spotlights around 30cm away from the wall so the middle of your worktop will be nicely lit.
John Cullen Lighting is renowned for its lighting masterclasses usually held in the London showroom, are now temporarily replaced by webinars, you can find out more here. I’ve attended one in the past and it was simply brilliant! John Cullen lighting also offer a service to design your project. It’s pricey but if you have the budget, again I recommend.
Creating a mood board
With the shops closed and our ability to redecorate our homes with what’s available, it has become a challenge to keep our creativity up. However, it’s a great opportunity to go back to the drawing board and reflect on how you want you home to truly look and feel. Producing a scrapbook of ideas, gathering images to your Pinterest board is all well and good but calling in the actual swatches and samples that you want to put into a room scheme is vital if it’s all going to come together successfully. This is one of my swatch boxes which shoes you the type of things I put into them.
A huge thanks to Sally Storey for joining us, Gebrit for supporting the series, our producer Kate Taylor and you, our gorgeous listeners. And keep inspired in between shows by joining us on the Great Indoors Facebook group.