Book Review- IN THE MOOD FOR COLOUR Perfect palettes for creative interiors by Hans Blomquist

We’ve been stuck in a neutral colour rut for so long, how can I resist the lure of this book title In the Mood for Colour by Hans Blomquist, all time favourite interior stylist, art director recounting his story of colour, a major interest for me. To find all this rolled into one generous tome means well established books at the top of my long list have been bumped off in favour of this newbie.

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The book opens with A World Full of Colour, a lush mosaic of mainly polychrome images from around the world, in its format its very familiar to Instagram users. It is then divided into chapters, Dark, Pale, Natural, Soft and Bold. Each chapter is layered with a visual feast of colour images illustrating ways to bring colour into interiors. Running through both text and images the simple message about using colour in interiors is they are all ‘designed by nature’. Grow your confidence with colour by looking at the many ways nature successfully combines them. This is a personal account of his relationship with colour and his response to the different colours is engaging and effervescent particularly when he discusses how his mood responds to different colours.


The eclectic schemes showing ways of using colour are summed up with delightful names like Pistachio, Duck Egg and Faded Denim, hinting at a layered experience that engages all the senses. The double page spread, Rose, Powder, Petal, like a mood board, uses a variety of images, paint, fabrics and flowers, with the main image demonstrating how to layer them up confidently.


With its wealth of eye candy images, still lifes and dreamy compositions, it’s an invaluable tool for anyone wanting to find ways to launch into the colour zone and on their way to creating confident colourful interiors. In the Mood for Colour is now my go to for inspiration. I’ve worked on many rewarding projects where colour has been pivotal. As lead colour expert on an innovative government research project colour was used to show how environment affects childrens learning, further projects have been using colour to develop rooms for teanage cancer care as well as psychotherapists consulting rooms.

IN THE MOOD FOR COLOUR Perfect palettes for creative interiors

Hans Blomquist

Published by Ryland Peters & Small £19.99



My Tiny Indoor Garden by Lia Leendertz

If you have no garden and are thinking you are never going to have enough space to have your own or be able to grow your own salads look no further than My Tiny Indoor Garden. House plants are having a moment just now, we use them for styling so many projects, they are something we can all have and everyone wants to be in on the act. This delightful book by Lia Leendertz with beautiful images by Mark Diacono is packed with space saving indoor gardening ideas and even people living in the most restricted spaces can join in. It includes lots of ways to display flowers and plants as well as a wealth of tried and tested growing tips.


Before I go any further R&B have to declare an interest in this title and tell you team member Amanda Russell was one of the case studies featured. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty more case studies and very doable projects we want to enthusiastically immerse ourselves in.

Image1 - Photo credit to Mark Diacono

There’s lots of detail on plant maintenance and how to keep them in prime condition from the people growing the plants. There is a pretty succulent garden in a porch with a useful demonstration on how to take cuttings to increase your plant collection. Cookery writer Deborah Robertson shows us the secret of reinvigorating mint plants to keep them producing flushes of beautifully scented leaves. And who couldn’t linger over a fabulous multicoloured hyacinth jar collection, attractive with or without blubs in them.

Image2 - Photo credit to Mark Diacono

Full of beautiful images and information this book would have our shelf space for a long time even if Amanda wasn’t in it. It’s a great gift to take out again and again as well as being a reliable and in depth reference book.

My Tiny Indoor Garden

By Lia Leendertz

Published by Pavilion Books

Images Mark Diacono

Chevron Rug


You will need –

  • Painter’s canvas
  • Wide masking tape
  • Stencil brush
  • Black fabric paint, Dylon
  • Set square
  • Ruler
  • Shallow dish
  • Water-erasible pen, Korbond
  1. Start by drawing guide lines down the length of the canvas with water-erasible pen. Be careful that they are straight and are at even intervals.
  2. Stick masking tape at an angle between one parallel line and the next. Add the next piece so a triangular shape is formed. At this point, check that all of the tape is firmly stuck down. Repeat until you have lines of zigzags.
  3. Lightly dip your brush into the fabric paint, then using an up-and-down motion, apply the paint. Do a small amount at a time and build up the colour so you achieve the right density.
  4. Leave to dry overnight before you remove the tape. Iron on the back of the canvas to seal the colour. And finally, either hem around the edge of the canvas for neatness or fold under and secure with hemming tape.


Dip Dyed Plates

With some plain white china, emulsion and masking tape you can create designer plates for next to nothing. Please note these are purely decorative and cannot be used for eating from or put in a dishwasher.

You will need some white China we used Ikea 365 costs £2 for a large plate and £1 for a small one, Crown paints match pot s£1.49 for 40ml we used the following colours: Blue Planet, Scrumptious,Orange Squash, Up beat, Shocking pink, Hot mustard.

Masking tape and a car sponge.

Stick the masking tape across the paint to make a line of where you want the colour to finish. Dip the sponge into the emulsion, and using an up and down motion, cover the area where you want to add colour. Build up in layers and leave to dry before removing the masking tape.

Tip If you get smudges when you remove the tape, use a scalpel blade to remove the excess paint.




No-sew Blind

You will need :

– Fabric, width of window +3cm, by height of window +4.5cm

-Iron-on hemming tape

– Iron and ironing board

– Dowelling, 1cm thick by the finished width of the blind


-Staple gun

-Strips of wood


blind composition

1. Cut the fabric to size. With the wrong side facing up, fold up 1.5cm on the long sides and the bottom edge and secure with iron-on tape.

2. Still with the wrong side facing you, turn the bottom edge up again by 3cm to create a channel for the dowelling. Iron in place with tape.

3. Measure 10cm in from each long edge at the top of the blind; this is where the ribbon will sit. Secure one long length to each of these points with staples, ensuring that half hangs over the front and half over the back.

4. Staple the top of the blind to a strip of wood, then attach hooks for hanging. To pull up the blind simply roll the fabric to the top and tie in place.

blind ribbon detail




Decoupaged Hand Plates


Who’d of thought charity shop find vintage plates could so easily be transformed into such elegant wall art. A really simple project, you will need an inkjet printer to make the transfer images. We found these gorgeous copyright free eighteenth century wood engraving designs for teaching hand language.

You will need

Charity shop plates

Inkjet Water slide decal pack clear


Acrylic spray

Copy right free images


Instructions –

  1. Select the images you want to use. Print them out in a variety of sizes, cut out using scissors then try them for size on the plates.

2. Follow the manufacturer instructions print the images onto decal paper, then spray with acrylic varnish. Apply a couple of coats covering the printing completely to seal, so it doesn’t break up in the water.

3. When the images are completely dry, cut out with scissors keeping close to the edge of the design. To help the images slide onto the plates sponge on a thin layer of water. Put the paper backed image into a bowl of warm water, leave for about 30 secs. Lift the edge of the image off one corner of the paper. Hold the image over the plate, gently curl the backing paper away and slide the image onto the plate. Use the sponge to pat out any bubbles or wrinkles in the image.

4. Leave til dry then mount in place on the wall using Command strips


Inkjet Water Slide Decal Pack clear: Specialist crafts LTD

Command Strip http:


Covered Chair

Learn to re cover your own chair this Autumn. We love this gorgeous leafy print, perfect for the new season.

You will need:


Chair fabric, we used fabric from vintage curtains

Pins, needles and thread

Safety pins

Cotton tape

Water-soluble pen

  1. When we spotted this down at heel cocktail chair in a charity shop, we knew we were onto a winner. The worn out, dowdy chair was transformed into an up to the moment statement chair with a new loose cover made from on trend vintage leaf print fabric. The hook and loop tape opening on the side seam makes fitting easy.

2. To make the pattern for each section of the chair cut a piece of calico, cut them large so there’s enough spare fabric for fitting, the lower edge of the chair will need more than you think necessary to allow for making a tape casing, so be generous.

3. Sew the calico cover together, leave one of the side seams half open. Fit the cover onto the chair, pin the side seam closed and adjust the fitting, taking it in to give a closer fit. Remove the calico cover from the chair, mark the sewn seams with felt pen as well as the centre line of each panel. Unpick the calico cover and pin onto your chair fabric. If you have a design on your fabric use the centre lines to position the pattern pieces on the design. Cut out the fabric, then mark centre lines and seams with a water-soluble pen. Sew the cover together, leaving one of the side seams half open.

4. Cut a 3cm bias strip from calico to bind the curved raw edges around the chair legs. Pin, and sew, turn the raw edge under by 0.5cm then turn the binding and sew in place. Sew hook and loop tape to both sides of the seam opening.

5. To make the tape casing, turn lower edges of the chair cover in by 4cm turn in the raw edge by 1cm then sew down close to the edge. Measure up for the tape, thread through the casings with a safety pin.



Wine Crate Side Table

It is hard to believe this side table is made from 4 wooden wine boxes, screwed together. We liked the designs so much we decided to give the boxes a wash of watered down emulsion so that the original design shows through.


You will need:

4 Wooden wine boxes

Some off cuts of wood

Set of 4 castors £7.14

White emulsion






Tape measure


Step by Step Instructions

  1.  Fit boxes together to make sure they are the same size and make a size you like, either low and wide for a coffee table or high and narrow for a side table.
  2. Add glue to the sides of the boxes that are going to be touching and stick them in place.
  3. Drill holes and screw the boxes together.
  4. Measure the depth of the crate and cut 2 batons from your wood off cuts to this size.
  5. Screw the two batons onto the base of the crate, this is to hold the castors.
  6. Screw the castors onto the ends of the batons at the bottom of the crate.
  7. Water down the white emulsion and paint the inside and outside of all the boxes.

Rug supplied by Flair Rugs –


Glamorous Bedside Table

We found this small cupboard in a junk shop and although there was nothing basically wrong with it, it was dull. So we decided to give it a glam makeover. We even designed our own paper to cover it with.

You will need:

Azure fusion or any turquoise blue/green emulsion 2 or 3 match Dulux

Furniture from charity shop

Copy right free images of flowers and birds from the internet.

Use of a colour photocopier and scanner

Red and orange acrylic paint. Rose shaped knobs from

Sand paper

PVA glue




1.Sand your furniture so that the paint will adhere to it.

  1. Paint it with emulsion paint and leave to dry.
  2. Paint using the same or similar emulsion you used on the cupboard, onto a piece of A4 paper and leave to dry.
  3. Choose copy right free images on the internet and cut them out and arrange on the blue paper. Stick them down.
  4. Photocopy your design a few times and then stick the paper onto the drawer fronts and the sides of the cupboard.

6.To prevent seeing where there are any joins. Cut out individual flowers and stick them over any joins to create a new and fluid design.

  1. Water down some PVA glue and go over the paper you have stuck down to make it more robust and less likely to stretch and bubble.
  2. Paint individual flowers in red and orange. Leave to dry.
  3. Get copyright free images of birds from the internet and cut them out and arrange and stick them over the design.

10 Add the decorative knobs. We chose roses from Zara Home.


Funky Deck Chair

Deck chairs with damaged seats are easy to source and replacing the fabric is straightforward. Make your own unique statement piece by putting together a new seat using scrap fabric.


You Will Need

·      Deckchair

·      Fabric and lace scraps

·      Firm fabric for reverse of seat

·      Dylon Dye

·      Trimming scraps

·      Scissors

Total price
£8.00 homestyle_maymakes1_8_N_052.tif

Step-by-step Instructions

1.    Erect the deckchair and mark the original seat fabric with the position of the top and bottom bar. Remove the fabric from the deckchair to use as a pattern for the backing fabric.

2.    Measure the length between the top and bottom bar markings on the fabric, add 3 cm for a 1.5cm seam allowance at each end. Measure the fabric width and add 3cm giving a seam allowance of 1.5 cm on both sides. Use the original fabric as a pattern for the backing fabric.

3.    Rub down the deckchair frame lightly using sand paper, then paint and varnish when dry.

4.    Round up all you scraps of velvet fabric and trim. Decide which fabrics and trim need dying, then dye in the washing machine following the manufacturers instructions. When the fabric is dry cut into strips and sew together to form the fabric for the seat, embellish with lengths of trim and lace.

5.    Right sides together sew the new seat fabric to the backing fabric. Turn right sides out, turn in the seam allowance at both ends, machine down. Sew channels on backing fabric, then position on chair using the doweling rods to secure.


·      Remove the strut supports from the frame before painting so they don’t get paint on them, when dry screw back in position