These couple of posers are my boys. My boys, who due to me and my partner making the right decisions at the right time, have the ‘privilege’ of a safe and secure roof over their heads. They wake up in the morning and know that they will be back in their same bed, in the same bedroom that night to sleep. Privilege, I have the privilege, of being able to provide a roof over my child’s head, they have the privilege of having a roof over their heads, in my mind, in the 21st Century, a child in the UK, a child anywhere in the World should not feel privileged to have a roof over their head, this should be a human right… in my mind.
Each and every day in the UK 150 families face homelessness. That is a minimum of 150 young children every day not knowing where they are going to be living, eating, sleeping. 150 children everyday will be let down by a system clearly not working. A system in crisis, a system heading for disaster. We can go to the pub order a drink and muse about the housing crisis happening around us, we can blame politicians, greedy landlords and exploitative estate agents but it’s us that has the power to fix it.
I came up with a plan, I worked out the money needed, thought about shelving said idea because, come on, who makes £1,000,000 on Crowd Funder? I then looked up, I looked at my boy’s faces and I knew I couldn’t just shelve it, this society we live in needs a little changing, it needs its heart warming up, its needs to be a bit kinder and it needs to see a human as a human as an equal. This is what I want to leave as a legacy for my boys.
My crowdfunder.co.uk project launches tomorrow morning at 8am. Please consider donating and sharing and don’t forget you don’t donate and receive nothing back in return, there are some great rewards on my crowd funder page!
February is upon us and the property market is thankfully picking up, queue sighs of relief from estate agents everywhere, so to make sure your home is one of the first of 2017 to get snapped up and you are one of the lucky movers, what colour should your home be? Yes you did read that right – what colour should your home be? When purchasing a home all factors pale in comparison to the ‘feeling’ a potential buyer first gets when they walk through the doors and there is no better way to create good feeling in a home then using the right colours.
Contrary to developers and landlords continued belief magnolia and cream are no longer the neutrals to use. Grey is still very much in favour with everyone and with so many tones available you will be able to find one that suits your home. Brown is ‘allegedly’ the big neutral of 2017, and is set to replace the oh so popular grey, because of the sense of warmth and comfort it produces. To give a sense of harmony through your home use the same neutral colour through out, remember though you are still able to choose different shades. Accent your rooms using varying colours on walls, wall art and accessories.
When adding colour remember you are selling your home, yes you have to live with it whilst you are selling so don’t choose a colour that you hate or doesn’t feel right but do choose colours that are light, modern and, of course, that will appeal to other people. Green is a versatile colour that promotes harmony and balance, so will automatically put a person at ease – perfect for selling your home. Pantone recently made ‘greenery’ its colour of the year so using this shade of green will show potential buyers you keep your home up to date. Pantone have also, thoughtfully, put up palettes on their website with ‘greenery’ and its various complimentary colours, use these palettes as a guide to help create a good sense of flow through your home.
Having rectified the interior please do not forget the exterior, you do have to get these potential buyers through the front door after all. White has always been a very popular house colour choice it is; crisp, clean, pure and protects against negative thoughts and feelings. So, like the greenery inside, it will make potential buyers feel at ease and positive about the house instantly.
If you would like any further help or information on colour therapy in the home or getting your home market ready please do contact Rachelle at the Popsicle Interiors Studio:
Mob : 07443229644
Email : popsicleinteriors@
Everyone who reads my Blog, follows me on Twitter, likes me on Facebook or even ACTUALLY knows me in real life, knows I love what I do. I have a garage full of vintage furniture, a sketchbook full of interior drawings, a camera full of inspiring images and a brain full of creative ideas.
This is enough to produce the most desired home and commercial interiors, this is enough to please even the most ‘difficult’ of customers, so when was it decided that actually what was needed was to be a computer ‘whizz’ ! I have not seen one advertisement for an in-house interior designer this year that did not require one or all of these computer programmes to be part of your skills base : Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino or AutoCAD, SketchUp, Computer Rendering (3D Studio Max, Artlantis, V-ray, and/or etc). WHY?
If you can pick up a pencil, if you have paper, you can do this… and you can probably do it better then a computer. Don’t get me wrong, as I stated at the beginning of the post, I love my technology, I love social media, I love learning new things, but I do not get the same satisfaction sitting down with my IPad placing computer generated furniture into positions within a computer generated rooms – Give me pencils, pens and paper and I will be in interior design heaven!
I am not saying you shouldn’t have the skills, that you can’t have the skills or that computers can’t be your preference, but I am saying you shouldn’t HAVE to have them! It is my belief companies are missing out on the opportunity to work with some greats artists in the field of interior design because of the HAVE to attitude on knowledge of certain computer programmes.
It is a fact that pencil on paper fashion drawing is making a huge comeback in 2015 let’s do the same for interior design drawing!
It is our first vintage fair on Sunday (as a seller, we have of course been to many of the things spending money!) and we are having a meeting about how to make Popsicle Interiors a success on the day at Lou Lous Vintage Fair. The mind mapping here in the Popsicle Interiors office soon found the answer… the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach!
So to entice the crowds in to our stall we have on our possibility list of offerings for the day : The classic McVities Digestive, Custard Creams, Bourbons, Jammy Dodgers, Fig Rolls and last but no means least The Wagon Wheel. We also have a sweet list (yes we do take these things seriously!) : Aniseed Balls and Twists, BonBons, Catherine Wheels, Chewing Nuts, DipDap, Rhubarb and Custards, Pear Drops, Jelly Beans and Sherbet Fountains. In regards to the Sherbet Fountains though, all we have been able to find in the shops recently are the plastic wrapped ones and what we really want are the kind made of paper that dissolve and go soggy before you get to eat all the sherbet; the plastics one just too clean and not enough fun!
Please do join us on Sunday 2nd November at the Corn Exchange in Brighton and there may be some sweets left for you, there may not be of course, but there will definitely have some fine vintage furniture for you anyway!
On a boiling hot Sunday in September I visited the new style ‘Open Market’ on Brightons’ London Road. The sign at the door suggested that today the market may have a few more exciting finds then the usual inside!
Judys Vintage Fair were visiting and how did I not know this! I have been a fan of this travelling vintage fair for a few years now and am no stranger to having to go to great lengths to visit it! For those of you who are not educated on all things vintage, Judy’s is in its 9th year now and as far as my eye can see it is going from strength to strength and literally popping up everywhere! And all this from one woman’s frustration of having ‘nothing to wear’… Her words not ours!
The swinging tones of ‘The Wind Ups’ were also in attendance with Judy’s. They had prime spot at the entrance to the market, enabling their swinging tunes to be heard and enjoyed across the whole event.
What’s that you say? Vintage scarves at a bargain price. Don’t mind if I do… I shall have 10, maybe another 10, maybe I should leave before I am spent!
Another favourite stall of mine was the jelly bag stall. The stall took me right back to my childhood, one of my first memories is of my neighbour who was a few years older then me so ‘cool’ by age, who stored her wool in a light blue one! So I had, I repeat HAD, to pick up a few!
If you like your bargains vintage, I would definitely recommend this fair. The only negative point about the whole event was the size… I always want my vintage fairs to be bigger!
This post is a personal one, having rented in Brighton and Hove for over 12 years I have definitely experienced the bad side of renting in the city and have been out priced of buying in the city, currently having to reside in the suburbs.
The Argus reported today that Brighton and Hove is one of the UK’s least affordable places to live. Lloyds bank has it ranked as 5th, placed only behind Oxford (1st), Winchester (2nd), Truro (3rd) and Bath (4th).
The current house prices within Brighton and Hove are 8 times the national average wage and housing affordability has worsened over the past year as a result of employee wages failing to keep up with the rate of inflation and house prices soaring.
I can use myself as an example of this unaffordability of buying a home in the city. I currently own a four bedroom house with two reception rooms and a good sized back garden just a 15 minute drive or 10 minute train journey away from Brighton and Hove. This home I own is priced the same as a 1 bedroom flat with no outside space in the city.
If you think renting might be the answer to living in the city you would be wrong!
The average rent paid for a home in Brighton and Hove is £1340 per month compared to £953 in Bristol and a meagre £549 in Liverpool.
Brighton and Hove has the 6th largest private rented sector in the UK and has 7 times the number of converted flats. Converted flats, although usually situated in charming period buildings, on the interior often mean a reduction in living space and communal facilities such as the bathroom or the kitchen.
According to the Home Sweet Home campaign many of the renters in the city are actually living in poor conditions experiencing problems such as ‘damp and mould, cold, overcrowding, noise, equipment in a dire state of repair, unfeasibly high fees and arguments over deposits and inventories, and terrible service from letting agents’.
As a response to these figures and the personal ‘horror’ stories from the rented sector in the city the Home Sweet Home campaign (http://southeast.movementforchange.org.uk/home_sweet_home) was set up in July 2013 by a mix of families, renters and landlords all of whom are united by bad renting experience in Brighton and Hove.
The aim of the Home Sweet Home campaign, as set out by its members, is ‘to improve the Private Rented Sector within the city of Brighton and Hove. The campaign began as a way to bring people from across the three constituencies of Pavilion, Kemptown and Hove to improve the quality of Private Rented Sector housing and conduct of criminal landlords and letting agents in the city’.
As stated previously I have been one of the many renters within the city and have experienced exactly what the campaign is setting out to improve. I have lived in 6 different rented properties from 4 different letting agents and never have I received the full deposit back. When considering my last property this was the least of the problems I experienced. In this property I lived with a broken window which was stuck to open and no heating for over a month in winter, these issues were in fact never fixed my tenancy just came to an end.
So why do people put up with high prices, a lack of good honest landlords and letting agents and why am I still saving money to move back?
If you can’t answer this question, you haven’t been to the city of Brighton and Hove and experienced and felt its unique, almost magical, atmosphere!
Whilst I am a fan of using vintage, second hand and upcycled pieces in your home not only because they look good but also because it is a far ‘greener’ way to furnish your home. The style though is not for everyone, but this does not mean your home interior cannot go ‘green’.
Sustainably designed products use renewable resources, have a reduced carbon footprint and are manufactured in an environmentally conscious way. The intention of sustainable design is to make sure there are no negative impacts on the environment by using sensitive, skilful design. This means not using any non-renewable resources, impacting on the environment minimally, and connecting people with the natural environment.
A key example of a sustainably designed home product is the Dirk Vander Kooij’s Chubby Chair. The chubby chair is made from recycled refrigerators and e-waste and created by a repurposed and reprogrammed industrial robot producing precise 3D models whilst generating very little waste.
Some examples of household products not only made sustainably, but also for the purpose of creating a ‘greener’ home are:
The ‘Nest’ learning thermostat. Simply this thermostat learns your households’ behaviour and adjusts all temperature settings to your usage pattern.
‘Replenish’ cleaning product. The bottle is reused and you just by filling up with water and a ‘pod’ of concentrate is replaced on the bottom of the bottle. This keeps billions of pounds worth of waste out of the environment.
The ‘Luci’ light was designed by MPowered to tackle what they perceive as “light poverty”. The light is a solar-powered and rechargeable LED lantern, which is inflated like a balloon to use and folded into a handkerchief when not needed. If the lights solar cells are exposed to the suns’ rays for 8 hours it powers the light for 12 and unlike its kerosene counterparts produces no harmful emissions.
Although not technically a household product ‘Levis’ have launched type 511; a cycle commuter range of jeans. I like the 511 a lot and believe we can get away with including them in this list because of the encouragement it gives to commuters to travel in a ‘greener’ way from HOME to office! Features of the range include a strap for the cycle lock, a nano sphere protective coating that repels water and dirt, interior cuffs and reflective strips.
Whatever your thoughts on recycled design or sustainable design the belief held by many, including me is that the future has to be sustainable if there is to be any future at all.
The show currently being aired on BBC2 is proving to be compulsive viewing in my house. I am an addict! The host Tom Dyckhoff (architectural historian) astounds the viewing audience with his architectural knowledge and presents the rooms to be made over to the contestants then the glamorous judges; Sophie Robinson (interior design journalist) and Daniel Hopwood (interior designer) judge the made over rooms.
Imagine the excitement in my house when the show opened and the backdrop to Tom Dyckhoff’s opening is Regency Square!
The contestants for Brighton week were; Jordon a 30 year old café owner from South London, Alice a 37 year old mum from Lewes and a 44 year old business woman Jenny from Cornwall. The rooms that these contestants had to make over were huge living areas in Regency Square properties.
Personally, I think Jordon had the easiest room, an already blank canvas of a living room. Alice had the hardest room, it was the largest of the three large rooms and situated within a rented property so she was restricted by the landlord to use muted colours on the wall and not replace some fixtures and fittings, this partnered with the room needing to be split and used for a few different purposes I believe was unfairly tricky. Jenny had it far from easy too, having to update a kitchen as well as the attached living room with the meagre £1000 budget.
However you cannot take anything away from Jordon’s winning room (Spoiler Alert!). His ideas were unique, immaculately executed and as the judges stated he totally understood the brief the client gave him and RAN with it! The mural, the paint effects and oh the colours! His room totally had the X-Factor!
Brighton is home to the only Green Party MP in the UK, Caroline Lucas and the Brighton and Hove city council is run by the Green Party. In May this year the city also became the first world’s first designated ‘One Planet City’, due to its commitment to sustainability. The New England Quarter within Brighton is the first ‘One Planet Community’. Work started on the development in 2004 and was built to specification using the 10 One Planet principles: Zero Carbon, Zero Waste, Sustainable Transport, Sustainable Materials, Local and Sustainable Food, Sustainable Water, Natural Habitats and Wildlife, Culture and Heritage, Equity and Fair Trade and Health and Happiness.
It should come as no surprise then that Brighton is home to an Earthship; “A cutting edge ‘green’ building, constructed using waste car tyres and other recycled materials. They use the planets natural systems to provide all utilities-using the sun’s energy and rain to provide heat, power and water”. It was built to the following five core ‘green’ credentials: Use of low impact materials in construction, passive solar design, renewable energy, rainwater harvesting and using plants to treat waste water. If in fact the Earthship structure was deconstructed you would find 1000 used car tyres, 1500 cardboard boxes, 2 tonnes of cans and bottles and 90 reclaimed granite blocks.
The Earthship is set in the glorious surroundings of Stanmer Park and delivers on being a community base and an education centre. Tours and courses are held on a regular basis at the Earthship and it is home to many community groups. The building and its ethos is a true credit to Brighton as a forward thinking ‘green’ city.
Visit the website today to book your place on the next Earthships tour – I will be!