Sunday, 17 September 2017

Interior design series: No more boring walls! Ten stylish and unusual ways to use wall hooks


You know that feeling when you walk into a beautifully styled shop or cafe and you get an instant wow. Sometimes it's a wow of relaxation and a kind of peace comes over you and sometimes it's inspirational and you start taking note of the design, thinking I could do that. I could totally have a giant hot air balloon in the hallway, a vertigo inducing floor in the kitchen or I could actually keep an all white space clean!! Note - I absolutely could not keep anything clean enough!

But, I do pay attention to that feeling and try to recreate this in my own home, on a smaller live-able scale. I'm a homebody by nature and usually feel that sense of peace when I get in, but I also want to create a bit more wow!

In order to achieve this, I make wall hooks, which are simple and elegant, and which are designed to enhance displays - not to distract from them. Tactile and subtle to show off whatever it is you want to display.

Here are a few images of how I use them in my own nursery...




I bought a grand total of one item of clothing for my baby while pregnant that wasn't practical white stuff. This top was it. I didn't know if I was having a boy or a girl, but I'm a girl and love to wear blue so I picked a baby blue top with gold lettering which says hello world. I love it. But my baby turned out to be rather fast growing and so I decided to display it with a dreamcatcher I made when I did know he was a he. The navy blue wrapped around the circle was the colour of his eyes when he was about a month old. Yes I did take him to a wool shop to colour match!

And then, life took over. I had a tiny baby and was shattered, and I didn't find the time to make displays or share any other images of the hooks I made. I'd like to rectify this here.

Let me share ten different ideas I have for displaying lovely items on my wall hooks. You can use any, but I would prefer you bought mine. They're £8 including p&p for one and £15 including p&p for three in the UK and I do have a few different colour options available. Purchase them here in my Etsy shop destabled.etsy.com

Idea Number One:

Fabrics - fabric quilt/ pieces. I have a tendency to hoard fabrics. I just love them. I have beautiful pieces and lots of them but despite taking a dressmaking course, I have to admit my sewing skills are just not good enough to make the things I can see in my head. Thankfully, my woodworking and crochet skills are, so I get to fulfill my making needs in other ways. I am going to have to destash fabrics and have a big clear out. Has anyone done that? I'm not sure the best way to go about it.

However, I am lucky to have very talented friends and family and my lovely Sister-in-Law has the skills and the patience and painstakingly made this stunning hand stitched quilt for my baby boy. It's so beautiful and too nice to let him get dirty at the moment, so I wanted to hang it on the wall. Heirloom pieces like this can make a real statement.



Idea Number Two:

Somewhere to hang your dog lead or leads. If you're anything like me, you are always looking around for this when taking the dog out. Having a dedicated place is so important, especially if you have an impatient dog who gets totally overexcited when you put your shoes on and then just generally is a bit annoying while you look for the lead.

Idea Number Three:

Handbags - one, two, many! It's kind of the same as above. You are already to go out and just need to grab your going out bag, rather than the luggage sized one with all your work stuff/ kids stuff / general detritus. Having them in one location makes it so much smoother to leave the house and keeps your make up looking fresh rather than ending up all sweaty and flushed before you even shut the door and get outside.



Idea Number Four:

It's very very fashionable right now to have lots of lovely plants in your house and a hanging plant is the best. It looks amazing, makes your home feel better and you get major style points, and something beautiful to instagram. I've been on the plant bandwagon for a while but this year it's started to get out of hand. Nevermind - there are worse obsessions to have.

Here is my lovely hanging plant in it's vintage holder. These plants do look amazing hanging from the ceiling but if you don't fancy drilling lots and lots of holes in your ceiling to locate a joist, then using one of my hooks makes them a sturdy holder - and can be placed where you want them and where the light is right.



Idea Number Five:

Why not use fairy lights, either at Christmas (there I said the C word), or all year round. I absolutely adore the ambience that these lights give and although I did start using these in my student days, I don't think there is anything wrong with using them forever and in every room!

Idea Number Six:

Bunting. Is there anything more cheerful than lovely bunting? Bright or pastel, triangular or semi-circle, fabric or paper, handmade or bought, vintage or new. Whichever your style or preference, this is instant make you smile decor.

Idea Number Seven:

The hooks I make are not just for the more girly items. They would also work very well to display a collection of scarves or ties or cravats. Gorgeous items that don't need to be hidden away; collections should be celebrated if you have the space.

Idea Number Eight:

Statement necklaces. I've always envied people who wear jewellery and who take the time to build up impressive selections of statement necklaces and then actually wear them. I'm not really a jewellery person but I do love the look of displaying your accessories and am sure it would help wear more of them.

Idea Number Nine:

Towels while you get in the shower. I hate leaving them on the floor and I don't think I'm alone in that, so it's great to have a place to hang them while you shower. The large round design of my hooks helps to hold larger and heavier items like towels too.

Idea Number Ten:

Tomorrows outfit - why yes I am going to a ball tomorrow! Haha. In all serious-ness though, I do try and pick out tomorrows outfit the night before, especially when I have a busy morning. It helps to start the day more relaxed.


This is very helpful for little ones too, especially if you may not get them dressed every day. For example my husband always wants me to do this if he is getting the little one dressed as one time he took the baby out in pyjamas. It didn't matter at all - he's  a baby and can totally get away with wearing pyjamas anywhere and everywhere but hubby won't choose anymore as his confidence in clothes wasn't high to begin with. I just want to add, I was super chilled about this, I'm quite laid back about outfits!



I couldn't resist sharing these baby dungarees. Aren't they the cutest little outfit you ever did see!

Do you like these ideas? What would you pick? I'd love to know how you would use my hooks. Don't forget you can buy hooks through my Etsy shop at destabled.etsy.com




Monday, 11 September 2017

Painting techniques; Three simple tips to make your wall painting as good as the professionals

I paint things, I paint things all the time. Chests of drawers, cupboards, wardrobes, plant pots, walls, ceilings, walls, did I mention walls? I run my own business making shelves which are usually at least half painted.

I paint a lot of things. I've practiced a lot. I'm a painting person. I'm hoping this answers the question why I'm telling you how to paint!

This experience has shown me the best way to paint. I've taught myself over the years and the old adage 'practice makes perfect' is true. I'm proud to say that often when I have painted something people ask me if I've done that myself or paid a professional. Because of that I consider myself an almost-expert painter. Today I'd like to share my tips.





In case you haven't watched the video, here are my three tips.

1. Not too much on your brush

Only the top centimetre of your brush should have paint on it. Don't dip it too far. It runs down your hand, it runs on the wall and causes drips and you end up with a messy - not perfect finish.


2. Start a brush width away and work back

This is how I avoid over-painting lines. It helps to automatically make you blend the paint together and achieve a better finish.


3. Go over with feather light long strokes

This does not look perfect when wet but does dry in a perfect way. It's the absolute best way to get a even finish.


In the video I do talk about my favourite materials. They make a difference but in reality you can get a great finish with rubbish materials or a brilliant finish with rubbishy materials if your technique is correct . However, once you have mastered your technique - good paint and a good brush will make a huge difference and are worth investing in - in my honest opinion. You absolutely can get a fantastic finish with cheap paint and cheap brushes but it may take you two or three times as long and if you value your time, it's not always worth the money saved.

My favourite brush is a Purdy, I also like the Harris No Loss. I occasionally use artist brushes, but I never use anything else.

I love Farrow & Ball, Fired Earth and Little Greene paints. My all time favourite is Dulux Trade. It's very thick and gives great coverage. Plus, they'll mix any colour for you which is great. I always use water based paints if possible. This is because they are much easier to clean up and that way I can use my good brushes. I tend to use eggshell paint on my furniture as it gives a lovely end result, where you can see the shape of the grain in the wood.

On a side note though. I still haven't found a white paint which takes less than three coats! Four if I'm being picky. Please let me know if you have found a brilliant one. The best I found so far is Farrow and Ball All White for wood, and Polycell 3in1 Base Coat for walls. I use this all the time in my house as it's great coverage and a really clean matt white.

Lastly, but not leastly, here is the finished wall I was painting in the tutorial. I love the finish, I love the colour and I really love how it enhances my white half-painted furniture.