Author: Ems Penniston

Five Sophisticated Halloween Pumpkin Ideas!

WOOOOH… It’s that eerie time of year – Halloween! The shops are full of plump Pumpkins to carve into those scary lanterns for the children. But why not buy a couple more and make them into beautiful grown up decorations. Here are five simple ideas to inspire your creativity… Paint your hollowed pumpkins in pretty pastels and create a flower arrangement using an oasis floral foam bowl that fits. These would make a great centrepiece for a grown up dinner party or you can display in the windows around your house for a more refined Halloween. Use inexpensive upholstery studs to create a design by simply sticking them into the pumpkin. You could also add self-adhesive crystals or bits of mirror for that added opulence. It will create that WOW factor. Create a decorative ‘Chinoiserie’ inspired pumpkin, by a simple bit of decoupage using printed paper napkins and PVA glue. Make use of Grandma’s old lace doilies! Add different sizes to create a layered look using a self-adhesive aerosol spray and/or PVA glue. For that extra bit …

Step Inside Dulwich: Decorating Ideas for a Teenager’s Bedroom

There comes a time in every growing family when a sibling utters the request: “I want a room of my own”, their shorthand for: “I want to create a space that reflects my own personality and values, unrestrained by those of my parents”. When this happens the daunting question is do you give them free rein to do as they wish or negotiate a reasonable compromise that retains some degree of decorum? Remember your own adolescence. It’s likely your parents consented to certain freedoms where they no longer governed your decisions. Allowing teenagers the freedom to create their own space can encourage them to develop independent thought, express their emerging attitudes, interests, hobbies and habits to express their individuality and accept responsibility for taking care of themselves. My advice is to encourage their involvement in the designing of the room, ask them to create their own mood board of what they would like, a visual statement of their individuality and values – To help them suggest they use these basic elements to structure their thoughts …

Step Inside Dulwich: The Front Door, the External Focal Point of the Home…

Have you noticed that some houses’ simply have much more curb appeal than other properties? This is not only assessed on the grandeur or splendor of the building, more often than not on the character or style the property presents to the outside world. Attractive landscaping and planting, good fencing and gates, structural features, exterior lighting, all contribute to creating that special curb appeal. But the front door is often underrated in its importance. It is the focal point of the house, the welcoming face and entry portal into the family home. The front door suffers more wear and tear than any interior door in the house, it has to perform multiple functions; keeping out hostile weather conditions, providing security, informing location, the access for postal and delivery services, the calling system for visitors and the primary entry and exit point for our furniture and belongings. The front door can create that first good impression, with regular maintenance it can last for decades but with wear and tear it can become damaged or decayed and …

Step Inside Dulwich: Making the most of your small outdoor space

Summer is nearly here, so it’s time to look at your outdoor space and make it ready to enjoy those long sunny days and balmy evenings with a barbeque and glass of bubbly. Imagine yourself sitting in the perfect small, outdoor space, describe what it would look like and take that as your inspiration. Think of the space as an external room rather than an empty space and decide the primary function it will serve; a space for socializing, a children’s play area, a quiet, secluded retreat where you can escape the world. Here are a few simple ideas that won’t cost a fortune, but help you create that idyllic small outdoor space. Vertical Wall Gardens Where space is limited think vertical. Use walls in a small outdoor garden when space is limited; instead of taking up precious floor space think vertical. Optimise available walls, fencing panels, arbours or arches or simply create your own vertical garden wall. Living walls can look fantastic in small town gardens or even on flat balconies. Many different types …

Step Inside Dulwich: Splash the Colour this Spring

At long last the first signs of spring have arrived, the dormant flora and fauna is bursting into new life bringing a splash of colour back into our lives. The Dulwich area has suddenly transformed itself into a vibrant, idyllic residential Arcadia. One can almost feel the anticipation in the air, creating the opportunity to cast off the heavy claddings of winter for the lighter more radiant colour’s of spring and summer. Springtime signals the chance for new beginnings: for cleaning, refreshing and rejuvenating home and garden; to cast-off the drab, dull and boring replacing it with the new and exciting. Where better to start than redecorating a favourite room, entrance hall or stairway? The latest colour trend predictions released from the world’s leading authority, Pantone® suggest that a colour palette of muted, earthy tones will be finding their way into our homes and will include these top ten colour hues for the Spring and Summer of 2017. Just imagine the refreshing effect of transforming your room from the ubiquitous Magnolia – covered walls with a splash of colour on a feature wall …