So we are halfway through the fifth season of The Great Indoors already and we would like to say a huge thanks to John Lewis & Partners for sponsoring us, our producer Kate Taylor and of course, you, our lovely listeners!
On with today’s show…and if you haven’t done so already, you can catch the episode here) On our winter hibernating special we discuss ways to cope with the changes that come about with the new season and we review some of the latest interiors books. We both agree that there is nothing better than hunkering down with a good book, and while Kate enjoys a juicy read, I love to flick through the pretty pictures and so our book review round up has something for everyone. But first of all….
Possibly my favourite pastime, I love to sleep and yet the nation is apparently in a sleep crisis! Kate was in her element with a notebook full of stats! In 1942 we had an average of 7.9 hrs sleep a night, by 2013 gone down to 6.9 hrs , and in 2016 the Centre of disease control and prevention weighted in to say a third of adults don’t get the minimum 7 hours required for health and wellbeing. So what can we do to make sure we get the best nights sleep possible?
A recent American study showed that those of us who have a blue bedroom has the best night’s sleep (that’s me!) then the next most soothing colour for the bedroom is moss green, then pale yellow (not sure I agree with that one) and then silver – which is weird but I think a pale grey would be restful! Then red is known to be bad for your heart rate and blood pressure so not ideal for the bedroom – however, my son’s bedroom has red walls and he has absolutely no problem sleeping. He’s a zonker like his mother.
As you may know by now I use colour psychology as a framework for many of my schemes and commissions and we often hear that the soft, cool, muted tones like pale blue, green and lilac, for instance, are relaxing and lower the rate. However, for me, I think they will have the opposite effect just look at my bedroom, not a soft, pale tone in sight. So as usual these are guidelines and not rules. Colour is a personal thing and take the time to work out what makes you feel happy and relaxed.
After Kate’s family ‘fun’ day out at the John Lewis & Partners bed department she was told that firm isn’t always the way to go – there are many things to consider and with everyone at different weights and have very different sleeping habits – it definitely isn’t a one size fits all scenario. So, when lying on your side your spine should be straight and if a mattress is too firm it will push your hip and shoulder up which can, in turn, cause misalignment. You also need a bed big enough for the both of you. I am lucky enough to have an Emperor (6ft) bed – but it had to be done as my husband is a very light sleeper!
As well as getting the slow cooker out, lighting the fire, snuggling up with a nice warm jumper and slippers and not forgetting my Himalayan salted cacao hot chocolate there are some practical things to consider too. We’re trying to watch how much energy we use and the underfloor heating we installed downstairs last year seems to be very efficient and we are super pleased with it, you can read about the installation here. Upstairs, however, we still have the traditional radiators, so, I’m now thinking that electric blankets are the way forward – teamed with a big fluffy duvet.
Don’t forget about the lighting – we’ve all been guilty of going for style over substance, and we do need a little extra at this time of year so think about where you need that extra light.
As we are doing a winter special, who doesn’t love curling up with a good book on a winters evening! We have three great new book launches to share with you, kicking off with Faded Glamour by Pearl Lowe who we interviewed back in season 3 of the podcast and you can see my notes from the show here. I love this book, not only for the fabulous photography and the whole aesthetic but for the fact that I feel like I can totally lose myself in it and fantasise about being in a huge country pile stacked full of gorgeous vintage loot. It’s a sneak peek into a very glamorous world although as the title suggests they are a little rough around the edges, filled with vintage and pre-loved pieces. Be warned though it will give you the urge to visit the odd vintage fair or car boot sale as it certainly did for me!
Known for their dark and moody style and online homewares, it was quite a (pleasant) surprise to see this colourful book by Rockett St George. Extraordinary Interiors in Colour came about as founders Lucy and Jane launched a paint collection of 18 colours last year, made by Craig & Rose, and they had to do a lot of research into colour, so were instantly hooked. The book is not just a great flicker as it does go into detail. For example, it takes a look at the history of colour, the technical, scientific and applied theory and some easy to implement tips on how to put schemes together. It’s also stacked full of fab fashionable interiors to boot. Our favourite subject was the way they had put together the trends through the decades, including what music we were listening to, what we were watching on TV and the looks and trends of the era.
Lastly, hot off the press from America, architect and founder of an award-winning consultancy for the workplace, Donald Rattner introduces My Creative Space, which looks at the scientific study on the impact our surroundings have on our creativity. Whilst Kate and I work in the creative field and work at home this book is a fascinating read if you work at home or have a creative hobby. In summary, Rattner says that many books feature ideas on the where the home is the object of creativity i.e decorating and creating schemes and creative activities within the home, cooking for example, but this book shows how to use the home to motivate and encourage creativity. In addition to the somewhat expected advice, use natural light, bring nature in etc etc, he goes into the scientific explanations, why they work, and how you can do it. It’s a great book and an essential addition to any interior designers bookshelf.
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