Category: Living Standards

The ‘Florida Room’

florida colours

Popsicle Interiors is well known for it’s use of colour and vintage inspired pieces in its room designs and we are definitely going to be injecting our ‘Florida Room’ with both of these.

Google 1960’s Florida and your screen will be filled with vibrant, fun pictures rich in colour and life, but showing the relaxed attitude of the time. Researching the architecture, postcards, wallpaper and fashion of the time, the magic three colours we are going to use in our Florida room are tones of green, pink and yellow.

Studio Product Shots         dulcinea

We are going to be infusing our room with fun using accessories; cushions, lighting, art and what every room in a hot climate needs – a fan!

fancushion            lamp

 

The furniture chosen to compliment the décor is, a nod to our vintage roots but, entirely modern, classic cane furniture with neutral covers.

cane chair

To bring the room to life we will use plants representative of the Florida greenery, our favourites are cycus palm and cordyline.

cordyline plant           cycus palm tree

 

You can view the Popsicle Interiors ‘Florida Room’ mood board on our pinterest page.

 

Now you have fallen in love with our Florida sitting room, lets go shopping!

Wallpaper – Sanderson

Paint – Valspar

Flamingo Fan – http://www.jossandmain.com

Lamp – Homeworks Design Store

Cushions – Brian Walsh Ebay Store

Cane Furniture – Coast

 

Thank you to Florida Real Estate for the inspiration!

 

 

Think Of Nothing Else!

Popsicle Interiors is coming up to its first birthday and as with any anniversary there is a tendency to reassess and reconsider. So of course the question; “Is Popsicle Interiors something that I should continue with”? and the doubt that comes with this question appears in to my mind.

When I think about what I do, when I consider whether I am in the right ‘business’ and whether I am willing to commit time and energy to ‘this’, what comes in to my head is a quote from Letters To A Young Poet by Reilke, which also happened to be used in Sister Act 2; “When you wake up in the morning and you can think of nothing else but writing then you’re a writer”.

When I wake up in the morning I think of Popsicle Interiors, I think about what I have achieved so far with the brand and what the business is going to evolve in to. I live and breathe interiors and style; I am constantly researching designers and products from the mid-century, looking for companies who salvage, upcycle, recycle, looking for people who share the same ideologies as me.

Then I know that I am an interior designer… just not an average one!

There are alternatives to buying new, to throwing away the old, to waste within the world of interiors. There is an ever increasing amount of designers who use ecologically friendly materials and manufacturing to produce items, there are companies who mass produces ecologically friendly paint and wallpaper, there are salvage yards, second hand shops, vintage fairs where you can find the key pieces to place within a clients’ home/office/commercial space.

Designers are looked up to as leaders; we should be responsible for what we promote to those who ‘follow’ us. The only future we have is a sustainable one so be mindful of this… always.
Popsicle Interiors is evolving past its first anniversary into something I am very proud of, so to my supporters, from the bottom of my heart,

Thank you,
Rachelle at Popsicle Interiors

Vintage Food

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!

 

sherbert fountain

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Judys Affordable Vintage Fair

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!

Vintage Fair sign Brighton

 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.

vintage music stall

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!

vintage scarves brighton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

vintage jelly bags

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!

Open Eco Houses

The Worthing Eco Open Houses trail has become quite the popular event and the 2014 trail was a biggy!

I’ts inspiring to see what normal people have put in to their normal homes to make them eco-efficient. A prime example on thus years trail for me of normal eco-efficient was the home of  Rosa and Molly on Langbury Lane. Mother and daughter have made low cost improvements to their home to bring about huge changes to their energy costs and carbon imprint. Here at Popsicle interiors our favourite of their improvement is the addition of two chickens to their home!

The one building I was absolutely super duper no words to describe it excited to see was the building on Lancing’s Beach Green. This building has been an unfinished eyesore (just being honest!) in the community since 2007 when the original owners took on the huge project to transform a pub, arcade and bungalow in to a restaurant.

In 2011 the Hole family bought the building and changed the plan for the building. The family have a commercial history in solar panels so for them the natural way forward with the building was to make it an eco building, the architect behind this green vision and exciting development is Bill Dunster from ZEDfactory. What the building is to become has also changed from the original restaurant plan, instead the building will now house 3 apartments on the first floor and on the ground floor will be a cafe and a water sports centre.

As a Lancing resident there is but one word to describe the plans for this eyesore…. Great!

The Future

The Future

Home Sweet Home in Brighton and Hove

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!

Recycled Interiors

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.

chubby chair

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.

Brick Work

Ever since I can remember I have loved Lego. Building parts of a gigantic city made out of brightly coloured bricks has been a part of my life since I was 4 years old.

Last night the BBC aired The Culture Show: The Building Block of Architecture, hosted by Tom Dyckhoff, from the Great Interior Design Challenge. The programme was insightful and without it I don’t know how long it would have taken me to realise the connection between real world architecture and the toy I grew up with.

Featured in the programme is Bjarke Ingels ; a Lego inspired architect who uses Lego as “a 3D sketch tool”. Ingels is a well-respected architect and has worked on many high profile projects.

His project Zira Island, Azerbaijan is a carbon neutral resort and residential development.  The development uses solar panels, photovoltaic cells (technology that converts light directly in to electricity), waste water and rainwater. The design of the development is based upon the landscape of the area; it has what looks like mountain peaks to mimic the mountain range of the region.

Ingels has also had the privilege of designing the “Lego House” in Billund, Denmark the building, shaped like a stack of Lego bricks, is to incorporate exhibition areas, a café and retails areas. The plans were unveiled in 2013 and is planned to be built this year and is expected to attract 250,000 visitors per year.

Closer to home the programme depicted No.1 Poultry in Cheapside, London as a Lego inspired building. The architect James Stirling took on the project in 1988 and the building was constructed in 1997. The building is an amalgam of geometry and materials; most notable are the bands of pink and yellow limestone which run around the whole building.

Today there are 9000 types of different bricks available in varying different colours, shapes and sizes. The Lego Company has made the link between architecture and their product base now reflects this. Available to buy now because of this realisation is the ‘Architecture’ series of Lego sets for well-known buildings like Big Ben, The Empire State Building and Brandenburg Gate and the Architecture Studio which is a set compromising 1200 Lego bricks and an inspiration book for budding architects.

The programme reported that in 2019 there will be more Lego mini-figures on the Earth then human people. What an exciting prospect!

 

Lego House, Billund

Lego House, Billund

 

 

 

 

 

Flat Pack Home

2014 is being reported as the year of the flat pack home!  The UK already has the smallest new build homes in Western Europe.  In fact since the 1960s our kitchen size here in the UK has shrunk by a third. The small space is gaining popularity following on from the huge success of George Clarkes Amazing Spaces programme and Kevin McClouds Man Made Home. As well as more affordable these small spaces are also, generally, more ecologically friendly.

Featured in the news recently are two small space home ideas which are essentially purchased by the consumer as a flat pack kit.

The first is Mark Burtons ‘Tiny House Kit’. This kit costs around £6500 to buy from the tiny house website and comes complete with all normal domestic appliances, but not glass for the windows! But when the glass is fitted they are very warm benefitting from full insulation.

The second of the small homes was designed by Dr Mike Page, a lecturer from the University of Hertfordshire. His QB2 or ‘cube house’ kits costs around £10,000 to purchase and it four hours to construct. The 3m x 4m box is split into four areas; a lounge, kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom. It even comes complete with a spiral staircase!

The flat pack home is by no means a new concept though; 140 years ago a flat pack 9 bedroom mansion was shipped from Norway to North Tawton, Devon. Fondly known in the local community as ‘Old Norse Lodge’ the Grade II listed home is worth an estimated £500,000 and features hand painted art nouveau decoration, fretted ceiling roses and cornices and a sweeping staircase.

I think it is time I marked out a patch in the garden for my Amazing Small Space!

The Earthship

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.

earthship brighton

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!