It Won’t Cost the Earth.

I firmly believe that making a stylish home does not mean rushing out and buying new, in-fact that very idea is on my design crime list. A home should be where you have the the things you love, the original one off pieces, that you find that make you happy every time you look at them, the things customised to your style. There has never been a time when being sustainable in the choices you make for your home is more important. Britons throw away more than 300,000 tonnes of reusable furniture every year and thats an alarming statistic and one that I think we could easily reduce with a bit of education on shopping secondhand.

So what is this buzz word sustainability that every body seems to be suddenly mentioning and claiming to be? I teach children to Upcycle and to be Warriors on Waste in school clubs and holiday camps and in its simplest form it is ‘living today and making choices always thinking about the planet and what effect we are having on it for the future’ or if you’re above 8 years old you may understand this version ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs and avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.’

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How can we translate ‘SUSTAINABILITY’ to Interior Design in our homes?

Upcycling, recycling, shopping second hand and using sustainable materials wherever possible is the answer and we know all this but how, where ,what do we buy ,what do we not buy it can all be very confusing. I have tried to help and offer some ideas and solutions for you on my It won’t cost the earth page on my Warriors on Waste website but I have recently been doing some work with the British Heart Foundation and their furniture shops and you know me, I like to pass on the good information.

Often as I am driving past skips I see them full of furniture that someone has discarded, this is all heading for landfill ,I have already mentioned that we bin about 300,000 tonnes of furniture each year( well worth reiterating) It amazes me when I am doing interior design jobs and a client says to me – I want a cabinet that’s painted really dark and they go on to describe the style of it, as my eyes scan the room I point out that they are describing the cabinet they already have ,the only difference being that their one is orange pine. Seeing things with fresh eyes and updating them or upcycling as us Wombles like to call it, is all that is needed. Often what we want to buy new is right under out noses, its just a case of pimping your pine! As us Wombles say it’s all about turning trash in to treasure and making good use of the things that we find. This is also true of shopping second hand, at first glance it may not be the grand vision you had in mind but what about with a paint or sanded down, or limed?

The British Heart foundation is leading the way in a sustainable circular economy option,  normally large bulky waste such as furniture provides a different challenge for waste managers as it is too big to be disposed of in rubbish bins. With the collection services such as councils also unable to enter residents homes the furniture is either left outside and exposed to weather, or cut up into pieces so it can be transported to landfill. Both of these scenarios stop the potential of a circular economy in the furniture industry , but hold that thought the British Heart Foundation are solving this. The British Heart Foundation offer free collection of your unwanted things making it easy to get rid of them and pop them back into the system ready to be bought and used again by someone else - no landfill, no waste.

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Not only are they providing a fantastic sustainable option for your home but each year, British Heart Foundation (BHF) shops raise around £30 million to help the BHF fund life-saving research into all heart diseases, stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes its a total win win.

The BHF has around 738 shops across England, Scotland and Wales including 550 Standard shops and over 180 Home stores, selling up to 85,000 items every day. The BHF is the biggest reuse retailer in the UK, providing a huge impact on the environment through waste reduction. Here is the really good bit- get ready to air punch….

Last year, 78,000 tonnes of goods that may have otherwise been disposed were collected, sorted and resold by their shops.

Click here to go to my Warriors on Waste website to find your nearest store and information on the eBay shop. Then get your skates on and grab a bargain.

Statistics show that half of the UK population say they don't have time to donate their unwanted clothes and household goods to charity. I know people always have good intentions but often drive around for weeks with a bag of stuff ready to donate in the boot of the car. At the BHF they offer a free collections service for both clothes and furniture and they can also deliver anything you buy in store straight to your house for a really small fee- I pay £15,00 which is fantastic.

Being a Warrior on Waste, Whats my mission?

If I can inspire people to think differently and question the need to buy new, we can help reduce the landfill situation and help preserve the earths natural resources then that will make me a happy gal. I love the creativity that comes when people choose second hand. Upcycling is the practice of reinventing unwanted materials and transforming them into useful products. Armed with a few upcyling skills - and you really don’t need to be an expert you can create truly unique pieces for your home by buying secondhand and IT WONT COST THE EARTH.

My tips for Upcyling are:

Be sympathetic to the piece.

—Chalk paint – Annie Sloan. PIMP YOUR PINE !!!

—Re-waxing or liming

—Decoupage

Repurposing things- ladders into shelves, crates to bookcases

—Don’t be scared to try- you didn’t love it as it was you have nothing to loose.

Every time you choose to buy second hand it reduces the need for production, using new or raw materials-which means a reduction in air pollution, water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and often a conservation of global resources. We cant continue to just send things to landfill as if disposing of things is someone else's problem, the British Heart foundation are leading the way in offering a sustainable solution to this and at the same time supporting research to beat the heartbreak from heart and circulatory diseases

My job is to arm people with the tools, knowledge, expertise and passion to become upcylers and warriors on waste. When people ask me what interiors trends I am predicting over the next year I simply say CARING. That means extending the love you have for your home and family to the planet through the choices you make. We now want to ensure that what we put in our homes does not have a detrimental effect on future generations.

You don’t need to keep buying new and following the latest fad trend, you just need to be creative with what's already out there and lucky for us the British Heart Foundation is there to help.

Thanks for caring and happy secondhand shopping.
Lynne xx





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Paint it black

When I was asked to design a Garden at this year’s Ideal home show with the theme ‘Grow your own’ and was told in the brief to incorporate a bar I knew exactly the kind of look I wanted to go for. I talked last summer about the trend for going to the ‘darkside’ with our garden spaces  and how much I loved the contrast of black sheds and fences in the garden because I think it makes the plants set against them look amazing. The greens really pop, they contrast well with the darkness and if anywhere can handle a dark mass of colour it’s a sunny garden. It clearly is a look you all love to as I seem to have been asked so many times what paint I used so I thought I would pop this little blog together for you.

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 Within the design of my garden one of the key focal points  was going to be a black bar shed and we also designed a raised bed bench made from sustainable wood that we wanted to paint black too. Its sounds silly but getting the right shade of black was key to my design but it also had to be outdoor paint that would withstand the elements. Ronseal has a great range of paints and stains for outdoor use and their Garden Paint in Blackbird was the one I chose. It’s versatile and can be used to paint wood, brick, terracotta and metal. Available in 24 colours, the paint both looks good and will waterproof and protect your wood too, infact it is rainproof in just one hour after painting and the paint lasts up to 5 years.


 

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The coverage was great, it only took two coats of the paint to cover the new wood raised bed which means that transforming something does not cost a fortune just the price of a few cans of paint and a bit of time. Set aside a sunny day and get going, this time of year is the perfect time to tackle jobs like this and give your garden a new lease of life.

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I also wanted to upcyle an old chest of drawers to use as a clever planter, my garden was all about showcasing that you can grow your own vegetables and fruits on just about anything and the fact that this paint makes things weather proof opened up so many possibilities of things I could upcycle to use. I even found an old table from a local hair dressing salon that had a broken top and popped an old drawer on to the legs to make a raised bed and painted that with the blackbird Garden Paint too.

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My advice this year for styling a great  outdoor area is to be bold and reach for a can of the blackbird garden paint.  I used lots of plants with a lime green feel to add a real contrast euphorbia, and hellibores are great for this and both are very easy to grow.

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Lovely green of hellibores.



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I hope this inspires you all to be brave and adventurous  and reach for the black paint, it’s a classy timeless look that adds a touch of sophistication to your outdoor area. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed  for a summer like last year so we can enjoy a few Gin and Tonics in the wonderful spaces we all create.



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 Happy Painting everyone. Lynne x






 

Outdoor dining area project- An easy weekend job!

Well this is a project that in the summer I seemed to have timed to perfection, just as the UK reached temperatures that rivaled Palm Springs, I decided to create an outdoor dining area. I wanted to be creative and upcycle some old furniture making it look great but also protecting it from the elements.and to create an area in the garden that would not only look amazing but wouldn’t cost a fortune. My master plan was to create a space in the garden that acted as an additional room, a really social space, somewhere that would have my neighbours making excuses to pop over and join you for a drink at the drop of a hat.

I had an old farmhouse dining table that I wanted to use, I painted it a few years ago but it was very much in need of smartening up and weather proofing. You can buy old tables on second hand sites such as www.Preloved.co.uk  very reasonably and with good quality outdoor paint like I used any table can be transformed to be weather resistant.

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There are so many paints on the market at the moment that claim to be ‘outdoor paint’ but I have always trusted Ronseal for my outdoor projects.This time it was no different, Ronseal have a colour called Midnight Blue which I just knew would add a touch of sophistication to the garden. I wanted a colour that would have a real impact not the usual pastel garden colours that everyone expects, I think using dark colours in your garden looks great as its a real contrast with the colours of nature, against a darker backdrop the plants in your garden really stand out, this is also why I love the look of black sheds and summerhouses buts thats’ another blog and I digress. I had also salvaged a very old fireplace and wanted to paint that in the same colour. I love the idea of outdoor fireplaces  in the garden creating a focal point and really adding to that feeling of an additional room. They are also great places to display plants, lanterns and candles helping you add some style to the area.



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Before I started painting both the fireplace and the table I made sure I gave them a good clean and sanded off any old paint.Don’t rush in to the job,good preparation always ensures a great finish, you don’t want to be painting on top of old flaky paint. If you have an electric sander this is the time to dig it out and plug it in, it can save your arm muscles and speed the job up.

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Once the wood was prepared it was time to paint. A quick stir of the paint and a good quality brush and I was good to go. Ronseal outdoor paint was easy to use and gave great coverage, don’t worry that the first coat looks a little patchy thats normal as you form a base layer, the second coat will even it all out. One of the biggest mistakes people make then they paint is they look for complete coverage on the first coat and apply it far too thickly. Thin even layers are what you need.Please note it was a coincidence that my nail varnish matched the midnight blue colour of the paint not even I would go to that level of styling attention to detail !!

The drying time of the paint was superfast, helped by the fact that it was a sunny day and  which made the job quick and easy. Always let each coat dry properly before painting the next one so that you can get a smooth finish. I always find that ‘drying time’ is the perfect excuse for a cuppa.

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 The fireplace was transformed and I loved the blue colour, the paint adds a slight sheen but is not a gloss and really brought the wood back to life. The fireplace looked new by the time I had finished. I wanted to keep the top of the table plain wood, if it had all been blue then it could have looked a bit too much. By leaving the table top wood it gave a good contrast of colour to the legs and fireplace and added interest and texture to the area. The natural wood of the table top would ( no pun interned ) need protecting from the elements and any spillages that may happen and lucky for me Ronseal do a great outdoor varnish. This varnish is perfect as it is non yellowing and also does not add an orange colour to the wood, it allows the wood to keep its natural look but just with a bullet proof layer of protection. The varnish is white when you paint it so you can see if you have any large drips etc. but it dries totally clear which is exactly what I wanted.

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Once the painting was done it was time to think about styling the space to add the wow factor. Outdoor mirrors are a great way of adding a touch of class to the space and if angled correctly can reflect the lovely green areas of the garden to your seating area almost like a piece of living art work. I found mine on a second hand website and just knew it would look perfect above the fireplace.

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Once the mirror and been hung all that was needed to make this the perfect setting for a late night glass of summer Rose was some solar lighting. I found some perfect large solar vintage looking light bulbs in Robert Dyas and suspended them on thin rope from the balcony above the seating area. They really completed the look and added a real feature to the space.

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Finally all that was needed was a few plants to accessorise the space, I chose succulents as they are easy to grow and don’t require too much watering. The hanging planters were from Ikea and I planted them with herbs so that there was a lovely fresh aroma where we sit. I have to say the space has been transformed and it was so easy to do. One can of paint had given the old furniture a new lease of life, using this type of vintage furniture and painting it with the Ronseal paint adds a real individual feel to the garden, so much more exiting than a plain boring teak set of table an chairs. I promise you as you sit there, glass of wine in hand on a summers day with your friends it will be worth all the effort.

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I know the weather at the moment hardly makes you think about sitting out in your garden but its the perfect time to get searching for those second hand pieces of furniture that you can paint up all ready for the summer. Stop something heading to landfill and get creative, keep your eyes pealed for the perfect pieces and good luck.

Chat soon.

Lynne x

Top styling Tips for your shelves and Consoles.

Hello fellow interiors addicts, one of the hardest things I think for anyone to pull off well in their home is great displays. Its easy to buy great cushions or copy the latest trend wallpaper as seen on Instagram but actually curating and creating displays requires a bit of skill and creative flair. To make it a bit easier, I have written my top tips for you so you can have confidence in yourselves and the things that you love and go get styling.

1) Firstly collate everything that is in a similar colour palate. Go through all your bits and pieces and pop them on the floor, this will make it easy to edit and see what you have. Once you can see it all infront of you, you can then go through it and decide what works an looks good together.

2) Edit and get rid of things. Keep only what you love or has great sentimental value to you,  we all collect so many bits and pieces all the time but only a fraction of them should make it on to display, if not we run the risk of having cluttered shelves that hide the really lovely important pieces.

3)Mix it up, add textures styles and various tones of your accent colour, an array of books in the various tones of your accent colour look great. Vases of shells look fantastic as do  just  filling old jars with some battery powered fairy lights. If you look around your home with fresh eyes you can come up with some creative ideas and new ways to display your treasured things and these ideas will only cost pennies.

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 4) Make sure you add interest to your shelves by having things going in different directions otherwise it can look too contrived. Adding something horizontal like a small stack of books ( carefully chosen for their colour spines of course!) a decorative box, or even a stack of your favorite magazines will give you the horizontal line that you are looking for. Now add something vertical, this should be the easier part since most of what we would naturally put on a shelf is vertical. So vases work well or framed photos , candles or artwork leaning against the back of the shelf,  ornaments or cacti basically anything taller than it is wide.

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5 ) Add something organic to the mix by this I mean a plant or two or a vase of dried flowers. I love to use alliums as they have such a visual impact.

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Plants are a great addition to any shelf or console table as they bring things alive adding colour and texture, don’t worry though if you don’t have green fingers there are so many amazing faux plants that you can buy ( I was in Debenhams last week and their selection was great), there is nothing worse than a half dead plant to lets your styling mojo down. I don’t think you can ever have too many plants, current fashion is very plant heavy and if gives your interiors that fresh and healthy appeal.

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6) Including a shelf unit or console table in your interior design is a perfect way to personalise your space and add your own touch a great way to show case your style. Of course they are great for storage items too but we all need an area in the home to showcase our creativity and display the things we love. So off you go, have you got cluttered shelves hiding the things you love, it may be time for a clear out and a trip to the charity shop so you can bring out your inner #SHELFIE !!

Follow me:  Lynnelambourne on Instagram for daily tips on how you can personalise your space and make your house a home.

Happy Styling folks.

Chat soon 

Lynne x