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5 Of The Best Scandinavian Interior Design Ideas To Add Scandinavian Style To Your Home 8月 23, 2020 11:56

The Scandinavian interior design trend brings calm and tranquillity to a room. In this interior design blog, our Co-Founder & Interior Designer Steph Briggs shares her top tips for creating a Nordic utopia in your home.

Calming Colour

Scandinavian themed rooms incorporate nature-inspired colour themes to create a calm and thoughtful space. Choosing a cool grey colour palette or soft White Wash for your walls can immediately upgrade your room into a clean, sleek living space.

 Scandi Grey Interior scheme

My two go-to paint colours for clients looking to emulate this interior trend are the Annie Sloan wall paint in Paris Grey, and Chalk paint in Graphite - stunning!

 

Glass & Light

Scandi Interiors with mirror

Light and glass also feature heavily in this design trend. If your room doesn't boast floor to ceiling glass walls, incorporate glass into your accessories. Glass Vases dotted around the room, Grand Mirrors and Scented Candles can all add ambience in mood and feel as the evening draws in.

String Fairy Lights

I simply love our Silver String LED Lights for added charm and detail on a mantlepiece or as table decor. 

 

Textures Touch

Scandi Interior with textures

Traditional Scandinavian interior design often features minimalist furniture styling and bare wooden floors. Your room can feel naked and cold, so adding texture is the perfect way to create warmth and comfort. During the long cold winter months, you'll be grateful for Sheepskin Rugs on the polished natural wooden floors. Soft Wool Throws draped over sofa arms are ideal for colder evenings and will pull through a colour highlight into the room.

Sheepskin over a chair scandi style

Furniture Fixes

To champion the Scandinavian look, your furniture needs to be minimalist and neutral. However, if you are currently staring dismally at your dark wood furniture, you may be surprised at the results and transformation that painting your furniture can have on a piece.

 Steph Painting Furniture in the workshop

We have all the tools and paint you need for a DIY session, and our Furniture Painting Workshops give you the skills and insider knowledge to do the perfect job. Upcycling furniture is a passion of mine. We also offer a furniture make-over service for clients who have a preloved piece that needs an expert facelift.

Reindeer Skins on a bench scandinavia style 

Bring The Outside In

Those long, dark and cold Scandinavian winters mean that this trend ushers in the outside with lots of green foliage and natural wood. Our Monastery Bench filled with cushions and draped with reindeer skins is a functional and fashionable piece. Big leafy plants dotted around the room always reflect the trend, but if the maintenance of plants doesn't appeal, our collection of realistic faux plants are perfect. Our Faux Monstera Plant In Rattan Basket might not hail from colder climates, but the more significant the leaf, the more impressive! And it's rattan basket is so on trend for this Nordic interior trend!

Faux cheese plant in a rattan basket

Feeling Inspired? You Might Love Reading Our Blog Featuring Our Favourite Design Tips & Tricks.


How to Apply Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Top Tips and Tricks and FAQs 8月 5, 2020 16:17

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is a unique decorative paint for furniture, walls and paint effects. We are Interior Designers and Furniture Painters and have been Annie Sloan Paint stockists for 5 years and been using it for over a decade. Here are our top tips and hacks on how to apply it and get great results. Along with a few frequently asked questions for beginners to furniture painting.

Getting Started

Chalk Paint is super easy to use, there is no need to prime or sand, you can apply to virtually any surface.

Make sure the surface is clean

On a high gloss or shiny surface lightly scuff sand to give the paint something to grip to otherwise paint straight onto the surface. 

Open the tin and give it a good stir.

Dip in your brush and apply.

Two coats is usually enough to get great coverage. The only exception to this is Pure White, see our blog post on "Painting Furniture Pure White - The Best Method"

Old White painted onto pallet wood wall

Chalk Paint Drying Times

Because Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is water based drying times depend on the atmosphere. As a general rule in the UK each coat will take 30-45 minutes to dry. 

Sealing

Chalk Paint should be sealed with either soft wax or lacquer to protect and finish.

Wax

Always use Annie Sloan Soft Wax with Annie Sloan Paint in order to keep the colour pure and not discoloured. We recommend using a wax brush to apply for the best results but you can also use a cloth if you don't have one. The small wax brush is the most versatile but if you have a large piece of furniture to tackle such as a wardrobe or bed frame then the large will save to time. Work the clear wax over the dried paint and wipe away excess with a lint-free cloth (an old tea towel or pillow case work well). We recommend applying two coats to ensure you have the piece of furniture completely covered.

You can leave it as it is for a matt finish or wait 24 hours then buff to a high shine.

Wax will be touch dry within a few hours but will take up to 3 weeks to cure completely. You can use your furniture during this time but be careful with it as it can chip or scratch. 

If you want to apply a dark or black wax (for an aged or industrial look) then apply after the clear wax and make sure you wear gloves as it can stain your hands. See our top tips video on how to apply dark wax.

White wax gives a beautiful soft scandi look, it can be applied directly onto the paint or over clear wax. 

Applying wax with a brush

Lacquer

Lacquer is available in gloss or matt finish and can be applied with a flat brush or a microfibre roller. You will need to apply two coats, make sure the lacquer is very well stirred prior to application to avoid cloudiness. 

If applying lacquer over a dark colour such as Oxford Navy or Graphite leave the pice of furniture to dry for at least 48 hours before application as these darker colours can get a milky look if moisture is trapped in. 

For ultra durability on high use areas such as table tops Annie recommends two coats of gloss lacquer followed by a single coat of matt lacquer.

For outdoor furniture do not use wax, only lacquer. 

Outdoor furniture painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and lacquer

How far will one tin go?

The coverage is very good with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, a one litre tin will cover 13 square metres which is about a 2 cupboard dresser, or two medium sized chest of drawers. A project pot contains 120ml which is enough to give you an idea of the colour, you can usually stretch it out to cover a small bedside table or coffee table as an example. 

Annie Sloan Oxford Navy Chalk Paint Sideboard

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Colours

The Chalk Paint Colour Card is designed to help you decide on which colours to use for your project. There is a great variety from a subtle range of neutrals through to bright colour pops. Because Chalk Paint is pigment based you can also mix your own colours to create the perfect match for your home.

Top Tip: If you're mixing a bespoke colour, always make 20% more than you think you'll need, just in case you need to do an extra coat or touch it up later on. 

Annie Sloan Colour Chart

How to Achieve a Smooth Finish

Make sure that the surface you are painting is smooth to start with, use a sanding pad or sand paper to remove any bumps or dinks. 

You can add a little water to the paint to make it more viscous, this is particularly important if you're using a tin that has been previously opened. 

Paint gently, the lighter the touch the smoother the finish. 

Once the paint is dry you can sand gently to remove any brush marks.

Finish as usual with wax or lacquer. 

Smooth Finish desk in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Provence

Decorative Finishes

There is a beautiful range of finishing touches that can add detail to your furniture such as metallic gilding waxes in copper, warm gold, bright gold, dark silver and bright silver. Pearlescent glaze for a pearly look, craqueleur for an aged effect like crazed china, gilding metals and gold size. Your imagination is your only limit. 

Annie Sloan Gilding on wall with aubusson blue cupboards

Painting Kitchen Cupboards with Chalk Paint

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint can transform old, tired kitchen cabinets. It even works on melamine and laminated cupboards. Make sure the surface is spotlessly clean before applying paint, use sugar soap and rinse well. Build up thin layers of coverage on shiny surfaces and allow time to completely dry between coats. Always protect and finish with wax or lacquer. 

Kitchen cabinets painted in Annie Sloan Antibes Green

Chalk Paint Outdoors

Chalk Paint can also be used outdoors and is perfect for transforming hard surfaces such as brick, stone, terracotta and concrete. See our blog on Terracotta Pot Makeover Projects for a step by step guide. You can also paint Summer Houses, sheds and even fences with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, all garden furniture should be given two coats of lacquer to protect after painting. 

Front Door Painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Amsterdam Green

Chalk Paint on Walls

Chalk Paint is breathable so is therefore ideal if you have an older property and are painting over lime plaster or other surfaces that need to breathe and it gives a beautiful velvet matt finish, there is no need to seal.  For a more durable and wipeable finish seal with lacquer or wax. 

Annie Sloan Chateau Grey Chalk Paint on walls

Chalk Painted Floors

Chalk Paint is a quick and easy way to makeover wooden or concrete floors, even if they've previously been painted or varnished. You can create a white-wash effect on wooden floorboards by diluting the paint and applying and wiping back, once dry seal with lacquer. You can paint concrete floors and create a tiled effect with stencils for maximum impact! Always seal floors with lacquer. 

 Floor Painting in Napoleonic Blue and sealed with gloss lacquer

Washing Brushes

Chalk Paint is water-based so there is no need to use chemicals to clean your brushes and rollers, simply rinse under the tap until the water runs clear and then hang to dry naturally. To clean wax brushes use warm water and a small amount of dish-soap to remove all traces of wax, dry with the handle upwards to ensure that the ferrule of the brush does not rust. Make sure wax brushes are completely dry before using. 

Tools Checklist

  • Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in a colour or colours of your choice
  • A paint brush, we recommend a Small Round Bristle Brush for most projects, you get a good amount of paint on it so you get a better finish. The medium is good for large projects and the large is best for decorative techniques such as ombre or dry brushing. 
  • Either wax or lacquer depending on what look you want to achieve and where the piece of furniture is going to live and what it is used for. 
  • If you're using wax you'll need a wax brush, small is the most versatile for a variety of projects, large is better for big projects like a kitchen or wardrobe. You will also need some lint-free clothes for wiping off the excess, we use old sheets cut up into squares or tea towels. 
  • If you're using lacquer you will need a flat brush and/or a microfibre roller and frame
  • If you have lots of spindles or carved areas on your piece of furniture you might find the Annie Sloan Detail Brush Set good for getting into the fiddly bits
  • Clean Edge Painters tape is great for masking off the sides of drawers and inside cupboards.
  • Sanding paper is good for preparation and in between coats if you want an uber smooth finish.
  • Some sort of floor covering is good, dust sheets can stick to furniture, we like to use Antinox floor protection which is available at most builders merchants or large DIY stores.
  • Baby wipes are great to have on hand to wipe up any splashes and clean your hands with.
  • Remember to use gloves if using dark or black wax as it can stain your hands.

Have Fun! 

The great thing about chalk paint is that you can achieve so many different looks. If you decide after a while that you want to change the colour of a piece of furniture you can simply paint over it. There is no need to remove the wax or lacquer, just get painting. If you're not sure whether to paint something or not then perform a small patch test or grab a project pot and paint a piece of wood to see what the colour will look like in that room. 

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is certified toy safe, it is a highly versatile paint that can be used for many projects. Why not have a go at making your own eco wrapping paper with kraft brown paper and get crafty with potato prints.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Potato Print Christmas Wrapping Paper

If you want to find out more have a look at our Youtube Channel for video demos or to come along to one of our workshops

Happy Painting

Steph & Stu

 

 


Our Favourite Interior Design Tips & Tricks 7月 31, 2020 16:24

Our Co-Founder & Interior Design Guru, Steph Briggs shares her favourite interior design tips and tricks to transform your home.

Passionate About Painting

Paint everything! Never underestimate the impact that a fresh lick of paint can have in transforming old pieces of furniture or drab, tired walls. An interior make-over doesn't need to cost a fortune. Incorporating a vibrant colour pop or neutralising a dark space will instantly change the mood and feel of a room. 

bold Colour makes a statement

Painting is a fast and easy way to create a considerable impact that anyone can complete in a few hours. We stock a range of beautiful shades of paint. My favourite colour hues at the moment are Annie Sloan French Linen, it's the most amazing neutral tone that goes with any other colour beautifully. And Cornish Milk Paint in Samphire, a stunning green with a velvet, matt finish. 

Make A Move

Moving furniture in your home can give a room a fresh feel. Changing the layout of your furniture within a room can give it a different feel and purpose. The beauty of moving your furniture around is that if it doesn't work, you can always change it back. 

Make A Statement

Invest in a statement piece for your room that you will adore and get pleasure from every time you see it. At La Di Da Interiors, I handpick every single item that goes into our gifts and interiors store so you'll find a treasure trove of gems that you won't find on the high-street. 

Peacock Table Lamp

This beautiful Peacock Table Lamp is a perfect example of how you can add functional statement details to your room which will instantly transform that space and add personality.

Larger Than Life

A grand piano or a large antique French dresser might be on your lust list for your home, but you need to be realistic on the size of your home. One of the most common issues I see is where clients have bought a huge sofa which is way too large for their room. 

Always measure and check before committing to large investment purchases such as sofas and sideboards. If in doubt use a roll of masking tape to lay it out on the floor to help "see" it in situ.

A Touch Of Texture

Play with textures and different materials in your home. Humans are naturally tactile creatures and using a variety of textures and elements is a brilliant way to create interest in a room, particularly within neutral colour palettes. Complement a solid oak or stone floor with a jute rug, fabric sofa and linen curtains. Add a beautiful Wool Throw to add colour and comfort. 

Artichoke Tealights

Small details such as textured ceramics are simple additions that can add a feature. Our artichoke tealight holders are perfect for this trend. Adding ornate brushed metal handles to your furniture, such as our beautiful Bee Handles will breathe new life into a chest of drawers or cabinet. Textured walls and paint finishes also add impact and interest.

Bring The Great Outdoors Inside

Balance stark modern contemporary interiors with the vitality of natural elements. Whether you choose a vase of freshly cut flowers in the hallway, an abundance of green foliage or to fill your home with low maintenance, realistic looking, quality Faux Plants, green-fingered or not this is a beautiful way to breathe life into a room.

Artificial Plants 

Choose natural wooden flooring or chunky wooden picture frames to keep your connection with nature. Using a mirror is also a fantastic way to enhance natural light and visually increase the space. All these ideas bring colour, texture and light to a home. 

Make It Personal

Your home should be a reflection of your personality, lifestyle and needs. When I'm working with a client, we always spend time exploring the purpose of the redesign and their vision. I also aim to get to know the client better before the design process, to encapsulate their personality in my designs. 

Make a personal style statement

Whether you work with an Interior Designer or not, adding small elements can give a playful hint or two. For example, our Zebra Vase was popular with a client who loves to go on Safari every year.

Quirky Zebra Vase

And our gold Iguana ornament took centrepiece in a fashion designer client's Azure Blue bathroom with tropical plant foliage.

Gold Iguana Ornament

Believe In Evolution

Just as fashion trends evolve, so do interior trends, personal tastes and desires. Your home should evolve and develop as you do. You don't need to settle on one "look" or style for your lifetime. Be bold in change. 

Group ornaments in odd numbers

As your life unfolds, so should your home be a reflection of positive change. An excellent interior-design tip is to create collections of items using odd numbers. This might apply to candles, vases, books, plants or even flowers arranged in groups of three, five or seven. They look better and add a professional interior designer touch to your home.

Start Designing From The Floor Up

Start designing your theme and colour scheme from the floor up. People are often overwhelmed as to where to start designing a project. Consider how you want the room to feel, put together a Colour Scheme and start planning the more significant areas such as the floor, walls and ceiling

Start from the walls

Consider Getting Professional Interior Design Help

Most people have a preconceived notion that appointing an Interior Designer will cost a fortune, but I work with clients across most budgets. Working with a client can range from personal consultations to give a steer in the right direction and putting together colour scheme and layout, through to our full interior design service. Our Consultancy Interior Design Services are extremely popular with those savvy consumers, unsure of exactly how to translate their vision into a reality and not wanting to waste money on costly mistakes.

 

Feeling Inspired? Then Read Our Alfresco Dining Tips For The Perfect Table Setting.

Al Fresco Dining Top Tips 

 


Interior Design Tips for Using the Colour Green in Your Home 7月 12, 2020 09:25

Interior Designer and Creative Director of La Di Da Interiors Steph Briggs shares her top tips for incorporating the colour green into your home in this short video. 

 

Whether you're planning to use it as an accent colour or you want to make a bold design statement with a fabulous piece of furniture, choosing the right shade of green can makes a huge difference.

The colour green symbolises growth, renewal, harmony and freshness. It is the colour of Spring, when everything comes to life. It is incredibly restful on the eye and therefore calming and positive. 

If you want to create a retreat or relaxing area in your home green is the colour for you, consider natural shades of green similar to the ones found in nature. 

Plants are a simple way of adding a pop of green into your home decor. If you have a dark corner or don't want to have the hassle of maintenance try a faux plant such as this monstera or palm leaves for instant height and texture. 

 If you're considering painting furniture green then we recommend Cornish Milk Mineral Paint in Samphire for a calmed muted look on traditional style furniture.

Cornish Milk Mineral Paint Samphire Green Painted furniture

 Park Bench Painted Chest of Drawers

For a real statement piece with a green colour pop we recommend Fusion Mineral Paint in Park Bench shown on this tallboy chest of drawers with dark wax in the details.

 Refinished Ercol Sideboard painted in Kelp Green

For a modern fresh look we'd recommend Cornish Milk Mineral Paint in Kelp like this Refinished Ercol sideboard. It also works fabulously with natural wood. 

Green coloured accessories

Green makes a great accent colour and you can easily add several shades in at once with accessories. Add extra with different materials for a tactile look using items such as this plant inspired crewel work cushion, or zingy green cotton throw

Green accessories with glass vase

This pressed glass vase by Gisela Graham works well on it's own or filled with flowers or foliage or even with a few led lights. The artichoke tea light holder is a small statement piece adding a stylised natural shape and glossy texture. 

Green is an incredible colour which is very on trend, from using darker shades such as emerald or moss for a dramatic feel to softer tranquil tones for tranquility, there is a shade for every home. 

 

Feeling inspired? Read 11 Of The Best Interior Design Tips To Transform Your Home

 

 


Painting Furniture with Cornish Milk Mineral Paint: A Step by Step Guide 7月 7, 2020 15:38

We've recently become Cornish Milk Mineral Paint stockists and love the beautiful range of colours and super smooth finish it achieves on furniture. 

It's made in the UK and contains 100% natural ingredients and earth pigments, there are no harsh chemicals or toxins so it has minimal VOC's. Cornish Mineral Paint even comes in eco-friendly packaging with a recyclable carton thats easy to reclose.

It's suitable for use indoors or outdoors and can be used on furniture and walls. It is UV resistant too as well as being durable once cured.

Here's our step-by-step guide to painting furniture with Cornish Milk Mineral Paint:

We bought this 1950's Ercol sideboard from a local house clearance company, it is a lovely solid piece of furniture made from Elm wood, it just looked a little dark and tired with it's brown stain. We gave it a good clean inside and out with TSP and then scuff sanded the surface to give a good key for the paint to grip to and to smooth out a few bumps and dinks that it's picked up during it's life. We used 180 grit sanding pads and an electric sander. 

Ercol brown wood sideboard

We sanded the top back to bare wood because it's such a beautiful grain, we started with 40 grit sanding pads and worked our way through the grades and finished with 220 grit for a super smooth finish. 

Sideboard prepped for painting

We removed the door handles and drawers for painting and lightly sanded them too. We then used frog tape (decorators making tape) to tape off the drawers, this gives a perfectly crisp line which you can paint over and remove when dried leaving a nice neat edge. 

We then used Whitson's Superior Adhesion Primer to make sure we got a super smooth finish. You don't need to use a primer with Cornish Milk Mineral Paint but we wanted to make sure that we get a perfectly smooth finish so we usually use this on any piece that has been varnished or has a high gloss finish previously. 

Cornish Milk Mineral Paint in Kelp & Seaglass

Next up is the fun bit, choosing the colour! Kelp (top) and Seaglass (bottom) are both glorious greens from the Cornish range, after painting them in the sketchbook we decided to go for Kelp. 

You can get a super smooth, no-brush stroke finish with Cornish, the brush type has a lot to do with it. We love the Cling on range of brushes and used the S30 & S50 on this cabinet along with a small artists brush from the Annie Sloan Detail Brush kit. 

Because Cornish Milk Mineral Paint has such fabulous coverage from natural pigments we only had to do two coats and only used about half of the 500ml carton. 

Sideboard top finished in Fusion SFO clear

To seal and finish the top of the sideboard we used Fusion Stain and Finishing Oil in Natural (which is clear!) which after two coats gives a lovely sheen. It's easy to apply just wipe on with an applicator sponge or a brush, leave for 15 minutes then wipe off the excess with a clean cloth. Leave for 2-4 hours then apply the second coat. It takes 3 days to fully dry and 10 days to cure. 

Sideboard Hand Painted in Cornish Mineral Paint in Kelp by La Di Da Interiors

We love the fresh green tone which compliments the beautiful wooden top. This piece of furniture is now for sale, ready to find another home for the next 70 years! Nationwide delivery is available. 

The full range of Cornish Milk Mineral Paints is on our website and we deliver straight to your door with DHL or pop into our shop in Bridge Street, Andover.

We regularly upcycle and refinish furniture for sale and for commission, if you've got a piece of furniture that you'd like refinishing do get in touch for a quotation. 

Feeling Inspired? Have a look at our Top Tips on Painting Kitchen Cupboards with Fusion Mineral Paint


Top Tips for Beautiful Al Fresco Dining at Home 7月 2, 2020 12:16

Top Tips for Beautiful Al Fresco Dining

With the sunny weather and lockdown there is no better time to make the most of eating alfresco at home. When we'd normally be sipping a cold glass of wine or beer at a local pub or dining at a restaurant, now is the time to make a fabulous outdoor living experience at home. In this feature, our co-founder & celebrated Interior Designer Steph Briggs, shares her top tips for transforming your garden or outdoor space into a memorably stylish outdoor dining experience, be it sundowners and nibbles, a family BBQ or dinner with your friends.

Make it beautiful

When you make a table more beautiful it is distinctly different and changes the atmosphere. Picking a theme for your table setting will help you set the mood and inspire you with colour and details. I adore the British countryside, so I'm going to share with you my 'English Country Garden' table setting created with Interior Stylist Fi Campos. 

English Country Garden Al Fresco Table Setting

Create An Unforgettable Dining Experience

Choose a theme that inspires and delights you. If you are passionate about the table theme, it will show in your finished table setting. Be inspired by your surroundings. Our Country Garden Alfresco table setting emulates a country cottage garden, this theme can bring a touch of the countryside into the smallest urban courtyard.

If you're stuck for ideas then use your outdoor space for inspiration. If you have an area of the garden bestowed by palms and daylilies, then opt for a tropical theme.

Tropical Table Setting ideas

A majestic Elephant Vase filled with tropical palm leaves & orange Heliconia Tropic Exotic flowers and a Sparkly Parrot to bring a quirky twist to this exotic table setting. 

A pergola clothed in clematis, passionflower or grapevine shrieks Mediterranean elegance, so adorn your table setting with a candelabra wrapped in ivy with candles. Repurpose empty bottles by filling them with LED Lights to set the mood as the sun sets. Plant olive buckets with small Olive trees and place either side of the entrance will welcome your dining guests beautifully.

White star tea light holder

Are you dining under the stars? How about some gold star paper napkins and White Star Tealight Holders to add beautiful moonlit dining table details that are out of this world.

Flowers and candlelight

Al Fresco Dining Table Setting

Mix candles and foliage from the garden. On warm balmy evenings you want to stay outside as long as possible, candles create a wonderfully flattering light and also give instant atmosphere which enable the evening to go on as long as you want it to. By adding in foliage or flowers from the garden it instantly works in harmony with the setting. We used blush pink dinner candles in a candelabra to add height and to echo the pink of the cut flowers. 

 

Colour Me Beautifully

Once you have decided on your theme, it should be easy to choose a colour palette that will flow throughout the table setting. This enables you to bring your alfresco table setting to life! For our English Country Garden, we opted for a blend of lavender, thistle, dusky pinks and greens. Choosing colour combinations which flow smoothly together throughout the setting will draw your guests in as they arrive to dine.

Al Fresco dining majestic table

I adore this idea of using a table from indoors outside. Simple place settings are used and the theatrical decadence of a huge centrepiece floral display. The colours of this echo the flowers in the borders surrounding it making it feel like part of the garden. 

Add a pop of colour. Whether it's with napkins (paper or linen), you could even paint the furniture. I recommend Cornish Milk Mineral paint for a quick and easy paint makeover in a beautiful range of natural tones.

Be Practical

Bee glasses and jug

Use suitable glassware. We love these bee glasses, they're handmade in France, heavyweight so if they get knocked they have more chance of survival and also are dishwasher friendly. The bee detail also works perfectly in a garden setting. 

Make it comfortable! Make outdoor dining as comfortable as indoors. Sumptious seat padding is a must and by adding bench cushions or seat pads you and your guests will feel more at home. Outdoor rugs are bang on trend at present and add a feeling of the indoors outdoors when laid underneath your table. 

Keep a blanket or two to hand. If you are planning to stay out as the sun goes down then a blanket or throw to wrap around the shoulders is comforting. We love Tweedmill 100% wool throws, they are available in a stunning range of colours and make fab picnic blankets too. 

You'll need a tray! Whether you're piling up tea and toast to sit out in the garden for breakfast or restocking the nibbles, using a tray means less trips to the kitchen! 

Add the scent of summer with citronella candles. Once lit the scent of citronella wafts out driving away annoying airborne insects whilst providing a pleasant citrus fragrance. 

Home Bar

Home Bar Essentials

If entertaining for friends and family then it makes life far easier if everyone can help themselves. The bar doesn't need to be huge or permanent, grab an ice bucket (this gold pineapple ice bucket  is one of our favourites!) pop a table out with a cloth or scarf wrapped over it, add beautiful drinks stirrers, a selection of garnishes, a few bottle of great gin and some mixers. Use a large drinks bucket filled with ice to keep drinks cool and large glass jugs to pre-mix cocktails and mocktails.

It's All In The Detail

Pink and grey place setting

Pulling together a beautiful alfresco table setting is easy once you have the colour and the theme worked out. One of my favourite dining table tricks is to layer up placemats, so you pull through two colourways at the same time. If you're not using fabric napkins, dress your cutlery with a swatch of fabric and tie a bundle together on the dress plates. Layer your colour theme and use variations of your colour theme. For example, attempting to match the exact colour throughout is almost impossible, but bringing a range of colours that sit within the spectrum will give you room to play.

Have fun styling your alfresco dining setting and enjoy the great outdoors this summer!

Feeling Inspired? Then Read 11 Of The Best Interior Design Tips To Transform Your Home


Shop Re-Opening! 6月 13, 2020 11:49

Coronavirus Update 12 June 2020: We are delighted to be reopening our shop on Tuesday 16th June, we will be operating limited hours 12-4pm to start with.

Please use card payments only, we will be operating a one in one out policy due to the size of the shop. Hand sanitiser will be available. 

We have a brand new "click & collect" option for locals that wish to buy online and collect in store. Please note that the footpath from the Town Mills car-park is once again shut off by the council so please walk around the other way alongside the river. 

We also have a local delivery service which is free for orders over £15. this covers the following postcodes SP9. SP10, SP11. Delivery is undertaken via PHAT Taxi services in Andover. 

We are working hard to continue our brilliant customer service and aim to dispatch online orders the arrive before 12pm on the same day whenever possible

Delivery is via DHL and they are currently taking 1-2 working days to deliver in most areas. No signature is required as they can geo-tag the location for safety.

Thank you for your understanding, patience and support at this time

Stay safe,

Steph & Stu 


Terracotta Plant Pot Makeover Project Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint 6月 7, 2020 15:37

We all love a pop of colour in the garden during the Summer. Here's a fast and economical upcycle project that you anyone can do: Terracotta pot makeover

 Plant pots and garden ornaments painted with chalk paint

These are super fast and fun to do and add a splash of colour to any garden or interior. You won't need a lot of paint so it's an ideal way to use up left-overs from other projects.

Plant pot painting ideas
You can use old plant pots and garden planters that you already have or can buy from a car boot sale or local selling sites but it equally works well with new terracotta pots too. If you want to create a theme on several plant pots to create a display try using one colour and mix with a neutral such as Old White to create a variety of shades. This ties them together and makes them look like a set. 

Step by step guide:
👉🏻 Chose your Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Colour or palette of colours
👉🏻 Mix paint with water, approximately 50:50
👉🏻 Spritz your pot with water
👉🏻 Paint your pot
👉🏻 Leave to dry for 48 hours before exposing to British weather
👉🏻 Plant up and enjoy!

There is no need to seal but if you want to make sure it lasts as long as possible then consider sealing with Annie Sloan Lacquer in matt or gloss as this contains UV protection. If you don’t laqueur it will just weather a little faster.

Garden ornament painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
This technique also works with concrete or plastic planters too! Don't be limited just to plant pots, if you have any old garden ornaments that could do with a makeover they paint up well too.

Painted terracotta plant pot
Be bold! You can add a stripe free-hand or with the help of some masking tape. Allow the paint to dry before removing the tape. Spots and dashes work well too! The Annie Sloan detail brush set work really well for this. 

Don’t these customer projects look fab?! Thank you to Amy, Cerys, Tracey, Hannah & Julia for sharing on our facebook group.

Rainbow outdoor chalk paint garden

You can paint your outdoor furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint too (although we don't recommend painting teak), just make sure that you seal with the water-based UV protective Chalk Paint Lacquer on top of Chalk Paint to protect garden furniture from the elements.

Why not give your front door a new look with chalk paint and lacquer? 

If you have been inspired to do some more painting projects why not have a look at our blog Top Tips on Painting Kitchen Cupboards with Fusion Mineral Paint

 


The Most Perfect Colour Combinations For Bedrooms You'll Ever See 5月 27, 2020 16:51

Creating colour combinations in the bedroom needs to be done with care. Your home should be a reflection of your personality, and the colour is a crucial factor in adding character and individuality. Our Co-Founder & Interior Design Expert, Steph Briggs, shares her tips for adding the perfect colour to your sleep zone.

Perfect Pastels

Pastel Bedroom colour scheme

Opting for pastels doesn't have to mean boring. I love to add a subtle hint of ice-cream pink or sorbet lemon to a room. A beautiful wool herringbone throw on a bed or draped over the arm of a bedroom chair can freshen up a room and add a cosy extra for those winter nights. Keep your interior styling and complementing colour choice simple. I prefer taupe, grey and vanilla in this colour combination.

Going To The Dark Side

Amsterdam Green Dark Bedroom

Contemporary design and modern spaces can often lend themselves to more adventurous colour schemes. Picking a dark, rich colour such as Annie Sloan Wall Paint in Amsterdam Green in a room can add opulence and grandeur, especially in a large modern space. If you are choosing a dark tone for the walls in a smaller room, create 'highlights' to lift. For example, a big piece of art on the wall, natural bed linen and accessories will pull through some light in a dark bedroom theme.

 

Grey Matter

Grey Textured Bedroom

With a vast choice in this colour tone, grey is such a fabulous colour to play with in a bedroom space. From slate to warm grey with pink and mauve undertones, it makes a beautiful shade to work with. Mixing two shades of grey can offer dramatic colour combinations which work in any property, period cottage or industrial studio flat. Grey is one of my client's favourite 'go-to' neutral shades of choice. A slate grey sheepskin rug on an engineered oak wooden floor continues the theme, adding texture and warmth to this cool colour palette.

 

Heavy Metals

Copper metallic wall

Metallics have been a continuing interior design theme for some time, and I love how they bring an industrial feel to a space. From beaten copper wall tiles through to silver and gold highlights in a room, this interior design trend works really well for clients who love an impactful space that reflects their passion for contemporary design.

A Bright Idea

Yellow colour pop in grey bedroom

A bright sunny shade of yellow can really lift a small dark space and beats magnolia for a 'feel-good' factor! However, if the idea of bold & bright colour on your walls feels you with fear, you can still inject some colour through your choice of soft furnishings, bed linen, furniture and accessories. A combination of grey and a bright primary colour keeps a super balance between bright and cheery and relaxed and sophisticated. Choosing a tonal grey counterbalances the bold injection of colour to give the room a more grown-up feel.

 

Feeling Inspired? Then Read 11 Of The Best Interior Design Tips To Transform Your Home


11 Of The Best Interior Design Tips To Transform Your Home 5月 1, 2020 17:22

Our founder & Interior Designer, Steph Briggs, shares some of her top tips for transforming your home with simple accessories and some insider know-how.

Adding colourful highlights won't impact a small space

Texture

Texture can give a feeling of 'luxe' to your home. When I'm reviewing my interior clients' brief notes, one comment that always comes up is the need for the space to feel luxurious yet comfortable. Integrating texture into your home, be it through a textured rug or throws can give an instant feeling of cosiness that can command attention even in the most opulent of spaces. Whether you have a small studio flat or grand country manor, clever use of textures through your soft furnishings and accessories add warmth and home comforts.

Textured Rug on Chair

Lighting

Whether you are looking for bold kitchen island lighting or a statement lamp for the lounge, lighting can create mood and bring different energy to a room, and it's not just the style of fitting or lampshade you choose that impacts the 'tone' of the room. The brightness and colour temperature of the bulbs you opt for will also affect the space, for example bright, cool whites tend to complement a modern and clean looking interior better than warm white bulbs.

Statement Lamp with Peacock

Scents For Sensory

Scents can evoke a feeling of calm within a room. Reed diffusers or scented candles can all create a mood for a room. I absolutely adored creating our new collection of candles, which embody some of my favourite aromas across the seasons.

Happy Space Vegan Diffuser 

Add A Statement Piece

Adding a statement piece of furniture in a room provides both a focal and talking point. Choose a 'wow' piece. The bigger, the better! My tip for a small room is to go for statement ceiling lights if the room allows or a big piece of art on a wall - takes up zero floor space but has the same impact!

Statement piece of furniture

Choose Versatile

Picking a few dual-purpose accessories will save cupboard space and allow you to enjoy them all year round. For example, these gorgeous candle stick holders are elegant additions to your mantlepiece, and at Christmas, they can be bestowed with holly and ivy for a festive make-over.

Contemporary brass candlesticks

 

This statement Champagne Cooler on a table complete with potted plants inside is another example.

Brass Wine Cooler

Colour Combos

Choose colour combinations that work for your space and your personality. If you are a high energy type, you might be better with a soothing calm colour palette for your décor. Lighter colour tones create a feeling of space but adding a single statement wall of bold colour or colourful accessories will allow you to channel your inner designer without drastically reducing the space.

 Fusion Mineral Paint Colour Range Fandeck

Upcycle

Upcycling a piece of furniture gives pre-loved a much loved make-over. We offer a furniture painting service at La Di Da Interiors, but we also run a variety of furniture Make-Over Workshops to help and support customers who want to have a go themselves. 

Furniture Painting Workshops at La Di Da Interiors

Add Unique Touches

Adding a few unique touches to your interiors instantly updates your home and can give a designer feel too. Choose a beautiful vase with fresh flowers on your sideboard or a picture painted by a local artist, beautifully framed photographs mean that happy memories will instantly be with you every time you enter the room. 

Flowers in a vase 

Get Crafty

I've mentioned upcycling pieces of furniture, but paint effects and stencilling details on walls can give a crafty feel to your home. Adding mismatched vintage crockery on a kitchen sideboard or a Bench Cushion with a vintage print for your alfresco dining gives a bohemian feel to space.

 

Mix Old With New

Mixing old pieces of furniture with new accessories can work well for those on a limited budget. A striking statement lamp on a hallway table or a Soft Wool Throw draped on a much-loved but tired sofa can instantly update an area without a complete make-over.

Painted desk

Be Inspired

For more interior inspiration, follow us on Pinterest and Facebook for interior design 'how to's' and don't forget to sign up to our newsletter for updates on new stock and deliveries for designer inspiration for your home and lifestyle.

 

For more top tips you might enjoy reading From Baby to Toddler - 11 Tips for Updating Your Little One's Room on a Budget

 

 


From Baby To Toddler - 11 Tips For Updating Your Little One's Room On A Budget 4月 21, 2020 04:33

Updating your baby's nursery to toddler room

Most parents to be will have some time to prepare their new born's nursery or bedroom with plenty of thought. If it's your first child, then there is the calmness and time to do plenty of research and plan their room without any distractions! Generally, after the first year or two have passed, you will start to look at some ideas to upgrade their nursery into a toddler's room. However, this time around:

1) You've probably got very little precious time.

2) You are more strapped for cash than ever, thanks to childcare fees and less time to earn money.

3) You have more toys than Hamleys.

4) And you need to renovate the room around the little person.

Baby to toddler room design tips

We asked interior designer Steph Briggs for her top ten tips for transforming children's rooms on a tight budget: 

1)    Colour scheme; Neutral calming colours provide an excellent base for adding new colour highlights. By using a particular colour (or a palette of shades) to form the basis for your room colour, it makes shopping for furniture and accessories much simpler and quicker.

2)    Furniture; look at what is needed. Your child will be moving from the cot to the toddler bed, so a good tip is to swap the changing table for a chest of drawers. It's important to always consider the room from a child's height point of view: What does it look like to your little one? Small people love independence, so make sure that any design and refurb are both safe and accessible. Bunk beds might seem like a great idea, but they are best kept for older children.

3)    Safety; Anti-tip furniture straps are easy to source and fit. It is well worth fitting them, even if just for your own peace of mind. Even if your little one isn't climbing or exploring yet, it's worth getting them at the point of installation.

4)    Lighting: Fingers crossed your little one is sleeping through the night now, but if they do wake up, remember that a dark room can be a frightening place. Think about adding a night light or gro-clock to give off some ambient light in the room. When you look to swapping the cot for a bed, it might be a good time to add a small bedside table or a cupboard. Standard sizes can be too over-sized for this, and usually, a small stool or step is a better height for the bed.

5)    Revamp your furniture.  I love the transformation that painting furniture can make to a tired piece of furniture and the opportunity it gives for introducing colour to a bedroom. I always use quality paint such as Fusion Mineral Paint or Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for good results. Update your furniture by changing the knobs for something more upmarket can elevate an old piece of furniture.

6)    Storage boxes; Have you ever noticed the vast number of toys you seem to have collected?! Storage boxes or baskets are a brilliant quick fix, and Ikea has an extensive range of storage solutions and boxes at reasonable prices. Introducing storage solutions now will also help introduce the idea of tidying up to your little ones!

7)    Avoid branded products! Your little one may have a favourite cartoon, but will it be the same one in 3 or 6 months? Avoid having items such as curtains and rugs covered in their current favourite characters as these will be expensive to update.

8)    Floor coverings; Your toddler is likely to spend a considerable amount of time playing on the floor. Choose a brightly coloured rug or runner for them to crawl and play on. It will give a cosy feel and adds some extra padding for when they have those inevitable bumps!

9)    Window dressing; I always use blackout blinds or curtains in bedrooms and even more so for children's bedrooms! Make sure that the curtain design is in a colour/pattern which will still look good and be relevant as your child grows and interior tastes change.

10)    Add a reading area; snuggling up together to read a book is a magical time for parents and children. Adding a small bookshelf with some large scatter cushions and a soft blanket can become a gorgeous, snuggly, magical and cosy place for bedtime reading for both parents and kids!

11) Choose unique and individual touches to your child's bedroom. A vintage piece of furniture, an unusual print in a frame on the wall, can all be inexpensive touches to your child’s bedroom.

From baby nursery to toddler bedroom interior design tips 

Inspired by this blog? You might enjoy reading: Before and After: Top Tips on Painting Kitchen Cupboards with Fusion Mineral Paint


Tips and Tricks for Creating the Perfect Working From Home Space During COVID-19 4月 15, 2020 06:40

If you're struggling to work from home productively, our founder & Interior Designer Steph Briggs shares her stylish tips and tricks for transforming your spare room, corner of the lounge or conservatory into the perfect pop-up functional workspace during COVID19.

Tips and tricks for work from home spaces

Create A Work Zone In The Home

None of us are really sure when we will all be able to return to normal office work post-COVID-19. Creating a functional workspace in your home is going to help you be more productive and organised. Working from your laptop on the sofa can be challenging, especially with children. They will naturally associate the sofa with fun family social time, not you trying to file reports on deadline or taking that important Zoom video call with your boss. Creating a designated space to work from home will allow you to give your children clear boundaries: When you are in your work zone, they will know that you are 'at work'. 

Choose Colour For Productive Work Flow

If you have the luxury of a spare room, this could be your opportunity to redecorate to generate a positive and energetic mood with the right colour choices. Your new home office gives you ample opportunity to create the right atmosphere. My favourite 'go-to' colours for home offices and study spaces are Annie Sloan Wall Paint Old Ochre and Annie Sloan Wall Paint Versailles. These paints have a warmth and lightness to their tone, without being harsh and stark like white paint or sickly like magnolia. The psychology of colour is well known to have an impact on our mood and energy. Don't go for intense colours such as poppy red or emerald green. Red is known to increase anxiety, probably due to our association with it regarding danger or warnings. Emerald green is a vibrant colour and a good energy colour, but it might feel overwhelming in a small office space. 

If you want to add colour to the walls, you could incorporate a stunning feature wall with Annie Sloan Wall Paint Provence. Blue stimulates the mind, so it could be great for those of you working on more repetitive tasks that require focus.

Annie Sloan Wall Paint Versailles

Tables Turned

Homeworking requires a lot of discipline and focus. Having an office desk is going to be an essential element for successful WFH. If you're looking for a versatile table that is perfect for working at home, yet has all the design aesthetics of a beautiful piece of furniture, our Work From Home Desk And Bench is ideal. Handmade in the UK from reclaimed wood this industrial-inspired piece of quality furniture comes as a desk and bench duo, which can sit compactly in the corner of any room. Look for a work desk that is sleek and has enough space to accommodate your laptop or computer and files.  

Reclaimed Wood Work from Home Desk and Bench

Declutter Your Desk

Having a 'Zen' workspace is essential. If you are struggling for space, our Wire Shelf Unit is a three-tiered shelf that can be easily attached to your wall to store all your work desk accessories out of reach from curious, small hands. This versatile shelf system can also be used anywhere in the home after COVID-19. Fill this sturdy rack with everything from herbs and spices for go-to ingredients rack for the kitchen or tidy up your teenager's make-up stash in their bedroom.

Wire Shelf Unit

Keep Hydrated 

When you are trying to juggle work with family life during the lockdown, it can be easy to forget about your own health and well-being. Drinking water throughout the day is imperative for energy levels and brain function. However, for your morning cuppa, our collection of quality ceramic mugs will bring a smile to your day. All our mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe and range from snappy slogans through to beautiful embossed animals and wildlife illustrations that celebrate our love of nature and the countryside.

Dog loves me best Mug

Let There Be Light

Having a workspace with good natural light is perfect, but if you don't have that luxury, make sure you use a good quality light to avoid eye strain. You could go for the plastic white desk lamp, but I prefer something more pleasing to look at! Our Tweed And Chrome Light is an elegant alternative. Think about where you can position your working from home desk. A window view might be beautiful on an overcast day, but if you don't have blinds, you'll be squinting to see your screen and the saying 'sitting at the hot desk' will ring true in a month or two as temperatures rise!

Tweed and Chrome lamp

Time To Be Productive

I love clocks, which is why we carry so many online. They make a beautiful or fun focal feature for any wall or room. I absolutely adore our Large Square table clock, but for something more fun, our Dog Clock complete with a wagging tail will also remind you when it's time to take a break and take the dog out for his daily walk. 

Square table clock

Home Comforts

Being comfortable is critical, and whether you prefer a traditional office high backed chair or a bench, our gorgeous Floral Rose Bench And Seat Cushion Pads are perfect for parking your derrière! These magnificent cushion pads, complete with their blousy rose bloom print, offer comfort and class to home working. Perfect for alfresco dining too, adding a touch of charm to your garden furniture! Add a sheepskin for ultimate luxury and comfort. 

Sheepskin rug on a seat

Flower Power

I simply adore freshly cut flowers in any room. A handful of garden flowers add welcome cheer and colour. These Short Wave Glass Vases are the perfect vessel for a handful of cowslip from a hedgerow or some daffs from the garden. 

Wave Glass Vase

Stay home and stay safe.

Steph x

 

*All the items featured in this blog are available for home delivery without compromising our staff's safety or well-being. For details on our COVID-19 Policy, click HERE.

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How We Are Keeping Our Team Safe During COVID-19 3月 30, 2020 14:46

We have closed our shop and now are an internet only service. We cannot guarantee 24 hour postage option and have therefore temporarily removed this from the site. We cannot click and collect either, we are offering a courier delivery service only.

Our team members health and safety is paramount and they are working remotely. As a family run business, only Steph & Stu (husband and wife!) who live together are processing orders for delivery. 
What Else Are We Doing to Safeguard:
We are working behind locked doors in the shop, we sanitise the door handles and letterbox on arrival followed by hand washing with soap. We then parcel your orders and stack the boxes by the door. When Mark, our Parcelforce driver comes to collect we open the door for him so he doesn't need to touch it and both being socially distant, we stand back so that he can load his van and off he goes. The packing area is then sanitised ready for the next day. We use hand sanitiser when getting back into our van, and then thoroughly wash our hands as soon as we get home. We hope by explaining our process this puts your mind at rest that the safety of our people and those around us is our top priority. 
Social Distancing for Your Delivery:
On delivery of your parcel a signature is normally required however at this time Parcelforce have changed their policy: 

"In order to protect both our people and customers, as much as possible, we will not be handing over our hand-held devices to customers to capture electronic signatures.  Our drivers will instead log the first and last name of the person accepting the item, then put 'XP1' in the signature field, and we will record the geolocation of the delivery.  This will apply to all deliveries that normally require a signature."

Thank you for your understanding and support at this time

Stay safe,

Steph & Stu  

Thank you COVID-19 chalkboard


Coronavirus Update 23 March 2020 3月 24, 2020 11:04

We have closed our bricks and mortar shop and now are an internet only service. We cannot guarantee 24 hour postage option and have therefore temporarily removed this from the site. We cannot click and collect either, it is courier delivery service only.

Thank you for your understanding and support at this time

Stay safe,

Steph & Stu  


Coronavirus Precautions and Free Delivery 3月 13, 2020 17:08

Free delivery on all orders over £50

In light of recent developments we can't help but worry about the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) and we know you probably are too we'd like to share the steps we are taking to ensure continuity of service at La Di Da Interiors.

We are working hard to keep surfaces, the card machine and door handles clean and safe and sanitised. We are washing our hands and singing Happy Birthday many, many times. We are awaiting delivery of hand sanitiser gel - we cannot buy any locally as it's all sold out. This is for customers to use as they wish when arriving and leaving. We are following government guidelines to ensure that both our customers and our team stay healthy.

One of the things that we think could help us to keep the risk to a minimum is to avoid handling cash as much as possible. So if you are visiting us in store we would be really grateful if our customers could pay using debit cards, credit cards, contactless or Applepay over the coming days and weeks.

We understand that some customers might feel uncomfortable venturing out shopping so we are happy to take orders over the phone 01264366200 and arrange delivery to you if online shopping is not for you.

After dealing with Brexit, weeks of rain and storms, the last 5 weeks of having our shop front blocked by gas works we are now on the rollercoaster of the pandemic of c-19. But we are holding on tight and really trying to make the most of the ups as well as the downs. Small business owners like us all over the UK are trying hard to keep going.

So, to encourage you to shop small, with immediate effect please use code FREEDELIVERY on all orders over £50 to get it posted to you free of charge. Or if you wish to click and collect in store then use code LOCAL to remove postage. This includes all gifts, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Gifts & even furniture. 

As always if there is anything that you've seen in the shop that isn't online then please do drop us a message or give us a ring 01264366200

Understandably workshop bookings have dropped off but if you are coming already or looking to book please don't worry. IF we are forced to cancel any because advice changes then you won't lose out and we will reschedule at a date in the future.

We will also be putting together a series of webinars and furniture painting demos online so you can get skilled up and confident in furniture painting, which could be the perfect antidote to boredom for those who are self-isolating. So, tell us in the comments below what you fancy mastering?

If you’ve got a friend or relatives birthday coming up or need a gift for Mother’s Day we also supply online Gift Cards that can be used anywhere in the world. They’re sent via email and make it super easy for the person to shop with us.

If you are worried about the covid-19 outbreak please refer to the World Health Organisation website for the latest updates. 

We really hope you understand and we really are grateful for your ongoing support. Enjoy the free delivery. We have lots of bars of luxurious French triple-milled soaps in stock if anyone fancies panic buying! 

Stay healthy 

Steph & Stu


Where is the best place to eat and stay in Andover, Hampshire? 3月 10, 2020 16:14 1 Comment

It's a question we get asked regularly. Every month we run furniture painting workshops at La Di Da Interiors based in Andover, Hampshire. We have students visiting from all over the UK and Europe and we often get asked where is the best place to stay in Andover? Or where is a really nice place to go for dinner in or near Andover? So, we thought we’d share our recommendations for the top places to eat and stay near Andover according to us!

If you want accommodation:

The Bourne Valley Inn

For a luxurious night away in fabulous Hampshire Countryside with some of the best food and hospitality available we recommend the Bourne Valley Inn in the small village of St Mary Bourne. It’s a little off the beaten track but the food is outstanding, the nine rooms are cosy but contemporary. It’s friendly and they have a great selection of gins behind the bar.

Bourne Valley Inn, St Mary Bourne, Hampshire

Make sure you make reservations for dinner as they are often fully booked, they serve modern British food. The rooms and bar are dog friendly too if you are bringing your four-legged friend with you. They have biscuits and Snuffle doggie beer too! 

Click here for their website or call 01264738361 

 

The George & Dragon

If you’re a foodie-type person we suggest The George & Dragon in Hurstbourne Tarrant. They offer delicious seasonal fresh food sourced locally, even their ale is made in the same village! It’s super-stylish décor and cosy rooms above the pub over look the river and Bourne Valley. The food is outstanding. It’s one of the best in Hampshire. They only have 8 en-suite rooms so book in advance! They also offer family rooms and are also dog friendly. They are also amazing at breakfast and open at 8am every day so if you want to do breakfast on the way to attend one of our courses this is the place we'd recommend. It's about a 20 minute drive from our shop but it's worth it, they bake their own bread, it's worth going for the smell alone! 

George and dragon food

Click here for their website or call 01264 736277

 

The Hawk Inn

In a gorgeous chocolate-box Hampshire village just off the A303 is the Hawk Inn at Amport. The food is gatro-pub style and the rooms are comfortable and clean with a variety of options including suite, family room, or superior room. They also allow one dog or cat to stay per room. It has a lovely terrace which is perfect for Summer drinks. 

The Hawk Inn, Amport

Click here to see their website or call 01264 710371

Budget Options

If you’re looking for a basic head down for the night type place then there is a Premier Inn on the outskirts of Andover along with a Travel Lodge, due to being in close proximity to British Army Headquarters these do tend to get booked up so it’s worth booking as far ahead as possible. Or try an Air bnb.

Highclere Castle Estate

Highclere Castle, also known as Downton Abbey

Fancy blowing the budget? We can’t say we’ve ever done it, but you can stay at Highclere Castle (also known as Downton Abbey) or at least on the Estate. You can rent Grotto Lodge (from £1200 for two nights sleeps 4) or London Lodge (£850 for two nights sleeps 2). It looks amazing on their website! 

You can contact them via email: EstateOffice@highclerecastle.co.uk

Lainston House Hotel

Lainston House Hotel Suite near Winchester

If you're looking to combine a romantic break or just fancy a little luxury after your painting workshop then Lainston House near Winchester is the place to go. It is about a 30 minute drive from La Di Da Interiors but it is worth it! A 17th century luxury hotel with award-winning dining and beautifully designed rooms, all set in 63 acres of stunning grounds. Their afternoon teas are heavenly and the service is second to none. They also have a cookery school and offer falconry experiences too. Book direct for the best prices, click here to visit their website. 

 

Dinner Options:

All of the pubs mentioned above offer fabulous gastro-pub style food. Here are a few more options for something a little different:

Thai

The Fox Inn offers outstanding Thai food. It’s a traditional English Country pub but with specialist Thai chefs. The landlord Matt is a friendly Aussie and they make a small but fabulous cocktail menu too as well as carefully selected local beers and great wines.

The Fox Inn at Tangley, Hampshire

We personally highly recommend the chicken penang and the sizzling platters are amazing. If you have any room for desserts their ginger and coconut ice-creams are heavenly!

Click here to visit their website or call 01264730276

 

British

The Lion at Clanville is a beautiful family-run Country pub, serving outstanding food and friendly service. They also have vegan and vegetarian options as well as gluten-free. As a personal recommendation the Scotch Egg starters are divine! Their garden is massive and is in a lovely spot for outdoor dining in the Summer. 

The Lion at Clanville, Hampshire pub

Click here to visit their website or call 01264771007

 

Indian

Having gone to University in Birmingham Steph loves a good Indian curry. The Pink Olive Indian Restaurant on the Weyhill Road is out of town but a 2 minute drive from the A303. Contemporary styling with fabulous food, this is our favourite Indian restaurant. The Garlic Chilli Chicken is divine! 

Pink Olive Indian Restaurant, Weyhill, near Andover, Hampshire

Click here to visit their website or call 01264772356

Nepalese

If you don’t fancy getting in your car after the workshop within walking distance of La Di Da Interiors is Tama Chulo Gurka Kitchen and Bar. It’s right in the centre of town in Shaws Walk, just off the High Street and is a Nepalese restaurant run by a local Gurka Nepalease family. The restaurant serves traditional dishes Thali sets, Sukuti, momos and Nepalese curries. They also offer a fabulous lunchtime specials.

Click here to visit their website or call 01264351175

Turkish

Captain’s Mezze & Fish is down the road from La Di Da Interiors on Bridge Street. Casual dining Turkish style, they offer lunch and dinner options, great service and tasty Turkish food.

Telephone 01264358111

Italian

We have Zintino's Italian which is a 5 minute walk from the shop, Lower Guildhall in the High Street, SP10 1LP telephone 01264350441 or Pizza Express is also within a 5 minute walk from us underneath the Star & Garter Hotel on the High Street SP10 1NX telephone 01264334333, ideal if you’re wanting to have a quick bite to eat before driving home.

Local Attractions:

Andover is conveniently located between the M3 and M4 and close to many fantastic visitor attractions in Hampshire and surrounding counties such as Wiltshire and Berkshire. It is close to Stonehenge, The River Test (famous for trout fishing) Bombay Sapphire Distillery (they do a great Gin tasting and cocktail making course), Cottonworth Vineyard (the tour is informative and fun and you get to do some tasting!) Stockbridge, Winchester, Marwell Zoo, Finkley Down FarmThe Museum of Army Flying, The Hawk Conservancy, Salisbury, Highclere Castle (also known as Downton Abbey) and Thruxton Race Circuit. There is lots to do in Hampshire so why not make a weekend of it?!

Our top recommended place to visit for adults is the Bombay Sapphire Distillery Tour

Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Enjoy a beautifully British day out with a world famous gin. Go behind-the-scenes of Britain’s favourite spirit and discover the secret craft surrounding the making of one of the world’s finest gins, Bombay Sapphire.

Just 10 miles from La Di Da Interiors, the Bombay Sapphire Distillery at Laverstock Mill offers a fun and informative day out that is a must for any cocktail lover or gin connoisseur. Here you can learn about the intriguing heritage of this fine British gin, wander the stunning botanical greenhouses and even try your hand at mastering the craft of gin making for yourself with a gin masterclasses or workshop.

With tickets from £15 including a complimentary drink in the Mill Bar, it’s a delicious sensory experience. For more information about the Bombay Sapphire distillery and its tours and experiences, visit their website

Our top recommended place to visit with children is Finkley Down Farm

Finkley Down Farm map of things to do Andover

One of the original Farm Parks in the UK, open all year round, with a massive indoor play barn with different areas for different age ranges. There’s lots of outdoor play as well, including the Little Farmers Driving School with mini Land Rovers and some fab slides and climbing equipment. Throughout the day there are animal handling sessions and feeding activities for children to get involved in. The Meerkat Mansion is the latest addition to the farm making a brilliant day out! Their cafe is good with quality coffee and the sausage baps are yummy. For more information about Finkley Down Farm and for advanced bookings with discounted tickets visit their website. Don't forget your wellies for outdoors and socks for soft play.  

We hope you’ve found this guide of where to stay and eat near Andover useful and look forward to welcoming you on a La Di Da Interiors Furniture Painting workshop soon.

Best wishes

Steph & Stu


Forget Me Not Gin for the Perfect Valentine's Day Cocktail 2月 9, 2020 14:13

We love a good gin cocktail and what better way to celebrate with your loved one on Valentine's Day than to make a Forget Me Not Fizz! 

Based on the gorgeous Forget Me Not Gin by Pickering's of Edinburgh which is perfect for gifting this Valentine's day. This decadent citrus gin has subtle floral notes and an unmistakable Pickering’s Gin finish.

The blueish pink Forget Me Not flowers are traditionally given as a gift by a loved one in the hope that the recipient will not forget the giver. Can be both an expression of love to a spouse or a family member.

YOU WILL NEED

METHOD

  1. Pour gin into a coupe or champagne flute
  2. Add honey and stir until honey dissolves
  3. Top up with Prosecco
  4. Garnish with lemon twist and edible flowers
  5. If you fancy it a little sweeter – add 15ml honey
  6. For a citrus kick - add 15ml fresh lemon juice
  7. Enjoy with your loved one! 

Watch the video of us taste testing Forget Me Not Gin and Making a Forget Me Not Fizz cocktail

 

Remember to order your gin and glasses by 12pm Tuesday 11th Feb to get delivery on Thursday 13th!  


Fabulous Valentine's Gift Ideas 2月 1, 2020 15:21

Celebrate love this Valentines Day with the perfect gift. Our Valentines gift guide has something for every type of relationship whether you just want to woo that someone special, or you're celebrating your first Valentine's Day together or have been married a zillion years here's a few ideas to make 14th February stress-free and fun.  

Valentines Gifts for Her

Pheasant necklace

Jewellery is always well received, go wild with our beautiful pheasant necklace £58 or get her a puppy (in silver £65!)  

Terrier puppy necklace

Heart scarf

Our soft and snuggly and bang on trend heart scarves come in navy or grey with multicoloured hearts all over. These sold out at Christmas so don't hang around if you think this is the perfect Valentines gift for her. £25

Grey star poncho

Is your lady a star? This grey star poncho is reversible and beautifully soft. Perfect for layering up this Spring with jeans and jumpers or snuggling on the sofa. £30

Pink heart mug

Does your other half love coffee as much as you? These cute heart mugs are perfect for lungo coffee, in either grey or pink these hand painted hearts are really pretty and serve as a reminder of your love with every coffee! £10 each

La Di Da Candles, diffuser, bath salt selection

Does she need some pampering? Our Dead Sea Salt Bath Soak is available in either Calming or Spa Recovery scents just £10 a jar. Made with natural salts and essential oils these go perfectly with one of our home scent gift sets (£20) as a lovely relaxing gift. 

Valentines Gifts for Him

Beard can be a prickly subject, soften the hair up and make it smell amazing with our new rage of beard oils. Is your man a Viking (orange and sandalwood) or a Roman Gladiator (Black pepper and bergamot)? £10 each

I am special zebra bamboo coffee cup

Is he always on the go? This eco friendly "I am special" bamboo travel cup will be his perfect cup of tea. £14

Get naked sign

Get Naked sign, ideal for bathrooms and bedrooms. Handmade in aluminium therefore light and easy to display. A great gift £28

Great Valentines Gifts

Valentines Gin

Gin Lover? Locally made, limited edition in a heart shaped glass bottle, pink and fabulous its Valentine's Gin infused with hibiscus and elderberry £32

Recycled gin glass

To make a real gift set why not add two of our recycled Gin Balloon glasses, they make the perfect G&T and look great too! £11 each

Sensual massage candle

Massage is a gift for both you and your partner. Our sensual massage candle jugs are the perfect little gift for both of you containing soybean waxes, ylang ylang, sweet orange, patchouli and jojoba oil. £10

Cocktail fan? A perfect little bottle of gorgeous Forget Me Not Gin makes a great gift. Grab a flute, blend a spoonful of honey with a shot of Forget Me Not gin, a squeeze of lemon juice and top up with Prosecco for a fabulous "Forget Me Not Fizz" or just add tonic for a tasty G&T £14.95

No Valentine's dinner would be complete without candlelight so stock up on our gorgeous pink dinner candles £5 for 4. 

 

 


Gift of the Year 2020 2月 1, 2020 12:11

I was recently invited by The Giftware Association (the UK trade association serving the gift and home industry) to be a judge for the 2020 Gift of Year. It's a unique competition to showcase new and innovative products whilst raising the profile of forward thinking companies and an honour to be part of the judging panel. 

Gift of the Year Judge

I was in esteemed company with buyers from John Lewis, and business owners from Paper Tiger, Posh Totty Designs, Hall & Co, Mooch Gifts & Home to name a few. 

Amy from Hall & Co, Alice Cripps from Posh Totty Designs & Steph Briggs from La Di Da Interiors

Amy Hall from Hall & Co, Alice Cripps from Posh Totty Designs and Steph Briggs from La Di Da Interiors. 

Categories were vast and varied: Beauty, Spa & Spa, Branded Gift, Cards & Wrap, Children's Gift, Commemorative & Collectable, Contemporary Gift, Design & Craft, Ethical Gift, Fashion Accessory, Fashion Jewellery, Festive & Occasion, Food & Drink, Garden & Outdoor, Home Accessory, Home Fragrance, Kitchen and Dining, Novelty Gift, Pet, Stationary & Under £10

Judges Clipboard for Gift of the Year

We had over 300 products to look, see, touch, feel and try in one day, it was busy! I can't tell you any more as the overall winner is announced at the Spring Fair at the NEC in February but there were lots of gorgeous, innovative and fun products, some of which you may be seeing appearing at La Di Da over the next few months! 


La Di Da Interiors wins Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award 2020 1月 22, 2020 16:26

Gold Trusted Service Award from Feefo

La Di Da Interior has won the Feefo Gold Trusted Service award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers.

Created by Feefo, Trusted Service is awarded only to businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine reviews and insights. Businesses such as La Di Da Interiors meeting the high standard, based on the number of reviews they have collected and their average rating, receive the award. A highly-valued badge of approval, this accreditation remains unique, as it is based purely on the interactions with real customers. As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of a business’s commitment to outstanding service.

Feefo have given Gold Trusted Service awards to businesses who have collected at least 50 reviews between January 1st 2019 and December 31st 2019, with a Feefo service rating of between 4.5 and 4.9

Steph Briggs from La Di Da Interiors commented: “We’re very excited to receive this award from Feefo because it’s based on the feedback of real customers, who are the most important judges of all. It recognises how hard we work to give all our customers the best possible experience. Everyone at La Di Da Interiors is fully committed to the highest quality of service, so it’s important for us to listen, understand and respond to all our customers. The beauty of Feefo is that it enables us to consistently improve, so we’re looking forward to another successful year.”

Congratulating La Di Da Interiors on winning this year’s award, Steph Heasman, Director of Customer Success at Feefo, commented: “The Trusted Service award has always been about recognising companies that go way beyond the norm in customer experience and generate great feedback from happy customers."

Feefo is a reviews and customer insights technology company that provides businesses with the tools to collect real, purchase-verified reviews and insights. Working with over 3,500 clients, Feefo ensures that all feedback is authentic, by matching it to a legitimate transaction, in order to increase consumer confidence and enable businesses to make smarter business decisions.

La Di Da Interiors is an award-winning family run, bricks and clicks interiors and gifts boutique based in Andover, Hampshire. 

Gold Trusted Service Award for La Di Da Interiors


Defence Discount Service & Blue Light Card 1月 15, 2020 13:09

Defence Discount Service Card for Army, Navy & Airforce

La Di Da Interiors Luxuries & Gifts are delighted to be part of both the Defence Discount Service which is the official MoD discount service for the Armed Forces, Veterans and Armed Forces Community.

As well as the Blue Light Card the discount service for the Emergency Services, NHS and Armed Forces. They provide discounts online and on the high street through a physical Blue Light Card. If you are in the UK's Emergency Services, NHS or Armed Forces, sign up on their website

Blue light card discount scheme

To redeem your military discount or emergency services discount simply show your Defence Privilege Card or Blue Light Card in store for 10% off all purchases over £10 or pop over to the Defence Discount website or Blue Light website to access the discount code online. 

We are grateful for all that you do.

Best wishes

Steph signature


Paper Bag Charge 1月 12, 2020 20:02

PAPER BAGS: 20p charge from 1st Feb 2020

We have used paper bags in our shop for years in an effort to be as eco friendly as possible. Paper bags may seem like a fantastic replacement for plastic, however its not quite that simple...

• Paper bags need to be reused at least 3 times to make the production and energy used worthwhile
• Paper bags weigh more than plastic bags meaning transportation requires more energy
• They take four times more energy to produce

Single use paper bags are not a long term solution to plastic bags unfortunately

Due to this we will be charging 20p per paper bag to reward those existing customers that bring their own bag and to cut down on waste. Save your old bags and re-use any paper bags that you have 🙂 We do also sell reuseable recycled shopping bags made from plastic bottles which are available for £4.

La Di Da Paper Shopping Bag


Christmas Opening Hours and Last Posting Dates 12月 19, 2019 20:19

Last posting dates: Friday 20th (48 hour post)

Last orders taken midnight on Sunday 22nd, need to be posted next day postage for delivery prior to Christmas. 

We are open in store on the following dates:

Friday 20th 10am - 5pm

Saturday 21 10am-5pm

Sunday 22 11am-3pm

Monday 23 10am - 5pm

Xmas Eve 9am - 2pm

We will then be shut until Saturday 28th 10am-5pm

Then reopening as usual on Friday 3rd January 2020


The Ultimate Quick Christmas Gift Guide 2019 12月 14, 2019 17:52

The last minute guide to Christmas shopping, we share with you our top selling gifts for 2019 including gifts for her, gifts for him, gifts for the person that has everything as well as a few party essentials. 

Shop the gift guide in our easy to buy collection, click here

We also have free delivery for all orders over £100 (excluding furniture) but hurry offer ends on Thursday 19th December 2019. Just use code MERRYXMAS

Seasons Greetings! 

Steph x


Styling Your Staircase at Christmas 12月 11, 2019 17:05

Steph was recently asked her expert opinion as an interior designer on styling your staircase at Christmas by Jackson's Woodturners. Read the full article here


Black Friday & Cyber Monday Offers 11月 28, 2019 00:41

We have some amazing offers for you this cyber weekend...

20% off Annie Sloan Chalk Paint & all accessories

20% off all Christmas Tree Decorations

20% off all furniture

No code required, the discount is automatically applied at checkout. While stocks last. Ends Monday 2nd December 

Enjoy! 


The Gold Edit for Interiors - Party Season Glamour 11月 24, 2019 20:39

As we head towards the festive season we are party planning for Christmas and New Year celebrations. This season metallics are on trend for luxe interiors and here's our guide to adding a little bling to your party....

Metallic Paper Straws £3.40

These paper straws are perfect for parties, in a mixed pack of silver and gold they're perfect for cocktails and kids drinks alike. 

Pineapple Metal Drinks Stirrers £12.50

This set of 4 cocktail stirrers feature a beautiful gold pineapple. Presented in a box they make a great gift for the party hostess - with pineapples symbolising friendship, hospitality and warmth. 

Gold Paper Doilies £3.75

These are a little retro and rather fabulous. Paper doilies are perfect for adding a little glamour to your everyday plates. In white, plain gold and a delicate gold floral design these are perfect for cocktails nibbles, afternoon tea or party food. 

Star Paper Napkins £3.50 - £3.75

Starry gold and white dinner napkins and sophisticated navy and gold cocktail napkins make a great set together. Ideal for serving drinks or for informal dinners. 

Gold Glass Hurricane Lamp £15

Candles always help to create a lovely ambience. These gorgeous gold hurricane lanterns are made of glass and are silver inside and gold outside so reflect the candlelight beautifully. They're ideal on a dining table, side table or mantlepiece.

Gold Pear & Pomegranate Tree Decorations £5 each

These gorgeous fruity Christmas tree decorations are in a soft antique style gold colour with a brown velvet ribbon by Gisela Graham. Large enough to replicate real fruit they're perfect for the tree as well as adding to table decorations or wreaths. 

Gold Pear Christmas Tree Decoration

Gold Acorn Bunch £2.50

These glittery golden acorns are ready wired for you to add some sparkle throughout the house. They look fabulous let in the bunch and popped into the Christmas tree, they add glitz to napkins when dressing the table, look good on parcels or adding to table decorations and wreaths. Really versatile. 

Glitter Gold Acorns

Gold Wooden Star £25

These gorgeous painted stars are made of wood, measuring 60cm diameter the make a sparkling style statement. Great as a wall decoration, alternative door wreath, or kitchen ornament. A star isn't just for Christmas! 

Gold Wooden Star

Bottle Lights £8.95

Repurpose any beautiful bottle with these stylish LED bottle lights in warm white. Featuring 20 lights on a 1 metre long string these have an aluminium stopper which also houses the battery and on/off switch. They make a gorgeous display when gathered together or a great stocking filler gift. 

Queenie the Cocktail Cabinet £495

For the ultimate party a gin cabinet or bar is required! This one-off piece of painted furniture has been given the luxe-cycling refinishing treatment by Steph. In sophisticated gold and black, this is a real statement piece to be admired for years to come. 

 

 


The Great Gin Gift Guide 11月 15, 2019 13:26

Welcome to the ultimate gift guide for Gin lovers. Discover the perfect gift for the gin-lover in your life - from coasters and aprons to small batch, hand crafted bottles of gin with limited edition flavours perfect for Christmas cocktails, we've got it covered. 

1) Gin & Tonic Lip Balm

Gin and tonic lip balm 

Perfect for Gin lovers, this gorgeous Gin and Tonic scented lip balm has been designed to chase away chapped lips, moisture rich it is made from shea butter and cocoa butter balm with coconut oil, sweet almond oil and vitamin E. 

In a gorgeous aluminium tin and packaged in a metallic silver box it is a little luxury for everyday. A lovely stocking filler or secret santa gift.

2) Advent Gin

Advent Gin Calendar by Wessex Spirits 

The perfect advent calendar for any gin lover! This fabulous small batch bottle of Winter Solstice Gin helps you to count down to Christmas. We have limited stock of these advent bottles. 50cl bottle 37.5% £32

3) Test Valley Gin

 Test Valley Gin by Wessex Spirits locally made

Handcrafted, herb-infused small batch gin, here we have our locally produced gin (less than a mile from our shop in Andover) by Wessex Spirits. This was their first ever gin, inspired by the Test Valley in Hampshire it is a hand crafted delicious herb infused London Dry Gin made with home grown fresh herbs, no flavourings or essences. 

Smooth and sweet, Test Valley Gin contains botanicals including juniper and Hampshire sourced herbs including thyme. Best served over ice with good quality tonic and a sprig of thyme. If you like buying delicious, local produce then this is your gin! 70cl bottle 37.5% £34.95

4) Pickering's Gin Christmas Tree Baubles

 Pickerings Christmas Gin Baubles

A guaranteed firm festive favourite for the gin lover in your life, Pickering's Gin baubles are the ultimate tree decoration upgrade.

In vintage style packaging each pack contains 6 different coloured plastic baubles. Filled with Pickering’s gin, the six baubles come in pink, blue, purple, yellow, red and green with a rose gold screw cap lid to avoid spills and hung from a silk red ribbon.

Perfect for table decorations, secret Santa, or to decorate your tree! 
ABV: 42% Bauble Size: 50ml x6 £29.95

5) Life Happens, Gin Helps Sign

Life Happens Gin Helps Sign

These British handmade embossed aluminium signs are great for indoors or outdoor useage. With their vintage style enamel colours and they make a fabulous retro style statement, navy blue with silver aluminium lettering £32. 

6) Drink More Gin Apron

When Life gets tough drink more gin apron

This apron makes a humourous statement “When Life Gets Tough Drink More Gin” printed in the UK on natural calico the neck strap is adjustable making it suitable for tall and petite people. 

Makes the perfect gift for gin drinkers and is ideal for cooking Christmas Dinner in! £16.50

7) First of Many Bottle Opener

First of Many Oak Bottle Opener

This is the perfect accessory for any bar or busy kitchen. Hand made in English Oak and engraved with "First of Many" ideal for wall mounting in the kitchen, man cave, by the BBQ or bar £14.50

8) Gin Board Game

The ultimate board game for any gin lover! It’s a game of chance and twists that will test your gin knowledge. Work your way around the board by answering History cards, Mixology cards, Gin-ius cards and more. Perfect for Christmas games once the kids have gone to bed. 

9) Shake for Gin Snow Globe

A gin glitter snow globe - perfect for those who love Gin and Tonic more than most, it's time to celebrate this boozy beverage with this stunning snow globe! 12cm in height this globe is a fabulous gift. It states “shake for gin” a fun gift £20

10) Cocktail drink stirrers 

These pineapple drinks stirrers are perfect for making cocktails. In metal they feature a fabulous gold pineapple at the top, symbolising friendship. This pack of four come boxed making them the perfect party accessory or gift for the hostess who loves to entertain in style. £12.50

11) Figgy Pudding Gin

Figgy Pudding Gin by Pickering's

This limited edition Figgy Pudding flavoured gin is a fabulous Christmas creation by Pickering’s of Edinburgh. Distilled in copper pot stills in small batches. This would be perfect for serving in between courses for Christmas Dinner or as a gift. 
These 20cl bottles £12.50

12) Christmas Clementine Gin

 

Zesty and sweet this gorgeous limited edition Christmas gin is a fabulous Festive creation by Pickering’s of Edinburgh. Distilled in copper pot stills in small batches. 
These 20cl bottles make the perfect secret Santa gift, stocking filler or table present. 37.5% vol. £12.50

13) Brussel Sprout Gin

Brussel Sprout Christmas Gin

Nothing quite says Christmas like Brussel Sprouts! This limited edition Brussel sprout flavoured gin is a fabulous Christmas creation by Pickering’s of Edinburgh. Distilled in copper pot stills in small batches. 

14) Gin & Tonic Hand cream

Gin and Tonic Hand Cream

These 50ml luxury hand creams are in a handy pump dispenser and are the perfect size for popping in your bag for moisturising on the go.

Created to care for your hands, nails and cuticles throughout the day with a light Gin and Tonic fragrance they’re 98% natural ingredients with no SLS or parabens. Made in the UK. £10

15) Winter Solstice Gin

Winter Solstice Gin by Wessex Spirits, Andover, Hampshire

Handcrafted, spiced apple infused small batch gin, here we have our locally produced gin (less than a mile from our shop in Andover) by Wessex Spirits. This is their limited edition Winter Solstice Gin, it is a hand crafted delicious apple infused London Dry Gin made with home grown real fresh apples, no artificial flavourings or essences. 

Best served over ice with good quality tonic, we like ours with a little nutmeg and cinnamon. It also makes a fabulous toddy with warmed apple juice. If you like buying delicious, local produce then this is your gin! 

50cl bottle 37.5% £24.95

 


Best Secret Santa Gift Guide: funny, silly and really good gift ideas for under £15 11月 10, 2019 15:51

Best Secret Santa Gift Guide Brilliant Christmas presents for under £15

Buying the best secret Santa gift is never easy, do you get something funny? Unusual? A gift they will really appreciate? It's even more difficult when it's someone you hardly know like Jane from Accounts, who you've only spoken to twice this year so barely know her. Or someone that you know who has everything! But you still want to get them something fabulous. We've picked out our top ten best ideas to suit all personalities, all of which are under £15 because it's rare that anyone sticks to the £10 budget anyway! Here is our handy guide for the best secret Santa present ideas...

1) Christmas Socks £5.50

Christmas Bamboo Socks

Available in sizes 4-6 & 7-11 you will find out range of luxury bamboo socks have designs for everyone. From Christmas Sprouts and puddings, cats, dogs, stripes, penguins, pugs and bicycles. There is something for everyone.

2) Luxury Soap on a Rope £6.50

Lemon French triple milled Soap on a Rope

The perfect gift for someone who is environmentally conscious or just wants to reduce their plastic usage. This French triple-milled luxury soap comes in a variety of scents and is suitable for both men and women. Choose from Argan Oil (our most popular for men), ultra luxuriously moisturising Donkey Milk, Lemon which is exfoliating, Lavender scented with essential oils or our personal favourite Cotton Flower 

3) Brussel Sprout Gin £12.50

Nothing quite says Christmas like Brussel Sprouts! This limited edition Brussel sprout flavoured gin is a fabulous Christmas creation by Pickering’s of Edinburgh. Distilled in copper pot stills in small batches. 
These 20cl bottles make the perfect secret Santa gift, stocking filler or table present. 
Also available is Figgy Pudding Gin if you're feeling a little kinder. 

Watch Steph & Stu's gin tasting of Brussel Sprout & Figgy pudding Gin here! 

4) Oak Bottle Opener £14.50

Oak bottle opener First of Many

This is the perfect small gift for any beer drinker. Hand made in English Oak and engraved with "First of Many" ideal for wall mounting in the kitchen, man cave, by the BBQ or bar.

5) Artichoke Tealight Holder £10

Artichoke Tealight holder by Gisela Graham

These stunning ceramic tea light holders by Gisela Graham have been inspired by the symmetry and beauty of the artichoke. Available in white, grey or green and include a tea light. Ideal for the person that loves interior styling and is bang on trend. 

6) Gisela Graham Festive boxed candle £12.

This beautifully boxed candle by Gisela Graham is scented with Coco & Gingerbread, the box is decorated with a partridge in a pear tree and the glass candle holder is luxurious gold. Also available in honey, Christmas pudding and White Ginger (with a leopard print design). 

7) Wild Flower Seed Beebomb £8

Beebombs wild flower seeds

Beebombs use only sustainable packaging. No 'one use plastics’ These make fabulous gifts for environmentally conscious people. A mix of 18 native wildflower species, native to Britain and confirmed by the RHS as “perfect for pollinators” to help encourage bees. They don’t need to be planted or tended. Just throw your Beebomb onto cleared ground and await your wildflowers. 

8) Hand Salve £12

Norse Hand Salve Moisturising Hand Treatment

Suitable for both men and women with hard working hands this rich and nourishing hand salve by Norse is designed to moisturise and repair hard working hands. Made in the UK from 100% natural ingredients this salve will repair dry and damaged skin, moisturise and protect skin throughout the day and for those care it will treat your cuticles.

9) Velvet Star Pouch Purse £12

These luxurious velvet pouch purses are decorated with metallic vintage gold stars and finished with a tassel on the zip. Perfect for party season these also make a lovely gift. Available in teal, grey or cerise pink.

10) Christmas Photo booth kit £10

Christmas Photo booth prop kit

This photobooth kit contains 20 festive props and disguises, and a large festive family house scene setter for hanging up as a backdrop. Perfect for an integral addict or for any fun filled party! 


Plastic Free Christmas Stocking Gift Guide 11月 3, 2019 15:20

One of our major achievements in 2019 is being recognised as Andover's first Plastic Free Business Champion, (see our blog about it here) and a lot of our customers are focussing on reducing single use plastics from their lives so here's our guide to Christmas Stockings without the plastic....

Soap reduces the need for plastic bottles in the shower. Our French made triple milled soaps come in 125g bar format (£3.95) or 240g soap on a rope (£6.50) if you're going for a bar why not add a cotton bag for travel (£1.35), a bamboo scrubby bag (£2.50) for extra suds and exfoliation and a wooden soap dish (£4.00) which allows the soap to dry out between uses and makes it last longer! 

French Triple Milled Soap

Bamboo socks are beautifully soft, naturally anti-bacterial - our festive collection includes size 3-6 and size 7-11 designed in Cornwall you can choose from robins, Xmas puds, polar bears, penguins, Scandi Santas, or brussel sprouts! We do also have cats, pugs, stripes and various patterns. 

Our recycled cashmere hand warmers are a winter essential. They are available in a variety of colours and one size fits all and cost £25 per pair. They have no "fingers" for are ideal for dog walkers, parents who need to wipe noses, mobile phone users and those that generally have cold hands. As they are long in length they cover your wrists which in turn helps keep your fingers warm even if they're not covered. The also work incredibly well with our sheepskin mittens.

Sheepskin mittens are a great way to keep your hands toasty in the coldest of weathers. Natural sheepskin is toasty warm and ideal for people with sensitive skin. At £28 per pair they're a great gift or stocking filler. 

Sheepskin Mittens

Norse hand salve is a great product for both men and women. Made in the UK, it contains 100% natural ingredients the salve will repair dry and damaged skin, moisturise and protect skin throughout the day and for those care it will treat your cuticles. It is thicker than a cream and a little goes a long way. Packaged in an aluminium tin it's good for the environment too. £12.

Norse Hand Salve for dry hands

For men we also have Norse luxury shaving soap in either sandalwood or bergamot scent £12. Or for the bearded chap or those that like a little stubble at the weekend there is also a citrus beard oil packed full of carefully selected essential oils will tame and soften the beard leaving it itch free and smelling great. £16.

Norse Beard Oil

Our recycled shopping bags aren't plastic free but are made from 100% recycled plastic - each bag is made from four plastic bottles, in four classic Emma Bridgewater patterns £4.00 each.

Recycled Shopper Bag made from Plastic Bottles Emma Bridgewater

Our gorgeous ceramic Scandi Santa bowls by Gisela Graham are £6.50 each and make a great little festive gift! Perfect for serving nibbles or dips or a handy trinket dish. 

Santa Ceramic Dishes by Gisela Graham Christmas

We have wooden signs for all ages and personalities. Gin Club President, You're Amazing Remember That, No Riff Raff, Robins Appear When Loved Ones Are Near, I love You to the Moon and Back, and many more. All made in the UK. 

Robins Appear When Loved Ones are near wooden sign

One of our best-selling products all year around are our Wild Flower Beebombs, These make fabulous gifts - no gardening, tilling or digging required. Beebombs don’t need to be planted or tended. Just throw your Beebomb onto cleared ground and await your wildflowers and bring the bees back! £8 each for 5 for £30. 

Wild Flower Beebombs eco gift

High Street Christmas Stockings are usually made from acrylic but ours are made from 100% wool. In festive red with either Dalmations or Dacshund they make a beautiful display by the fireplace or at the end of the bed ready for Christmas morning! 

Wool Felt Dog Christmas Stocking

We also have a selection of beautiful wooden champagne boxes and gin crates in a variety of sizes which are perfect for use as Christmas Eve boxes as well as stylish storage the rest of the year. 

Bollinger Champagne Wooden Boxes

We hope this has been useful in helping you to make 2019 a stress free and enjoyable festive season. 

Best wishes

Steph & Stu x

 


Decorating your home for Christmas - top trends for 2019 10月 25, 2019 12:25

Decorating your home for Christmas is a fabulously fun thing to do. Here are our top tips for festive decor trends for 2019 to make your house beautiful and Christmas magical.  

First Impressions:

The front door, hall and stairs are the first area of your home that people see when visiting and you never get a second chance to make that first impression.

Re-painting the front door may be the last thing on your mind in Winter but for a really simple way to add a pop of colour a quick coat of paint is really economical. Fusion Mineral Paint (£21.99) in a colour such as Fort York really makes a festive statement.

Fort York Red Fusion Mineral Paint

We'd also recommend adding some beautiful lit decorations; our all year round favourites which are solar powered too are our beautiful dandelion lights (from £25.50). Alternatively our handmade lit wooden stars (£26) are battery powered and made from tantalised wood so they can go indoors or out and are great for hanging in the garden, on fences or in a porch. 

Dandelion Solar Lights on a path to front door

Decorating stair cases for Christmas can be so much fun and looks uber luxurious. My top tip is to book yourself onto a local wreath making course to decorate the front door and then use the skills learned to translate that into swags for the bannisters and handrails. Look for workshops that are run by florists for the best tuition. Fresh foliage can be damp and dries out in central heating so use faux for longevity. Look on local selling sites for old faux Christmas trees that you can easily repurpose and upcycle into fabulous foliage without the cost to your pocket or the planet. Add fir cones dry-brushed with a little Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to give a classic look and use lengths of velvet ribbon to add colour and texture. Add a few sprigs of larger decorations such as these velvety faux poinsettia picks (£2.75) or vintage silver flowers (£2.50) for a luxe look.

Faux Poinsettia pick for decorating

Smells like Christmas

Adding the scent of Christmas is a great way to create instant ambience, our Orange and Cinnamon candles are one of our best sellers, this year we have added a reed diffuser to the collection too. These are a great way of making even the smallest room in the house seem festive. By varying the scents in each room it will keep them noticeable so mix it up a little. 

Orange and Cinnamon Christmas Smelling Candle

Pick a theme

With a few key accessories and a little imagination you can really bring together a theme. Have a look at what decorations you already have and start from there. Here's a few ideas to get you started:

Scandi, red and white: White painted fir cones, little red houses and red and white felt figures such as our cute Gisela Graham mice. Remember you can always revive and alter your existing decorations with a little paint. 

Botanical Jungle: Botanical interiors have been on trend for the last few years. The trendiest Christmas decorations for 2019 are exotic and completely over the top. From life-size glittering parrots, jewelled tigers, elephants and giraffes we have a zoo in the shop at present! 

Woodland Inspired: Oozing rustic charm a woodland themed theme is magical and uber low budget for high impact. Forage for branches and make your own tree with a terracotta pot and some white paint and a set of white fairy lights. Have a go at making your own paper stars - look for instructions on youtube and visit charity shops for old maps and books to upcycle. Woodland animals such as foxes, rabbits, squirrels and mice all work well with this theme. 

Snowscape: Think snowy white and icy. Go for an all white theme, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint sticks to almost any surface. Old white gives great coverage so is perfect for this theme, add a layer of gloss lacquer for a shiny finish. Using a simple white wire star you can add foliage and silver decorations for a contemporary take on a wreath. 

Keep it simple: Less is more with an understated theme, use dinner candles and a few selected baubles along with tea lights in simple glass jars (old jam jars work beautifully) for a cosy and relaxed display. Use a vintage glass vase to pile up baubles in for a splash of colour. A simple lit star is very effective hung on the wall or propped on a shelf or sideboard

Vintage: Most people have a box (or three in my case) of old Christmas decorations in the loft. Go for broke with a decedent tree full of treasures memories. Use lengths of velvet ribbon to make a cluster of decorations to hang off the mantlepiece or over mirrors, this works particularly well with glass ornaments, get nostalgic and celebrate the clashes of colour, texture and shapes. Quirky ornaments such as these glass hand painted toucans work well 

Metallics: I do love a bit of bling and you really can't have too much of it at Christmas. Bright golds, glittery silver, vintage foxed glass, they all work together particularly with white or pale interiors. Our lit Reindeers Ronnie & Reggie work well with this theme as well as lots of warm white fairy lights. 

Felt-Tastic: The first Christmas we had a small person with us as a family was a shocker, my husband banned our beautiful glass ornaments. So we chose felt instead, we now have dogs, mice, squirrels, foxes and even a dinosaur on our tree. It's fun and festive and safe for children's little hands to help with the decorations too. 

Felt Dinosaur Christmas Decoration

Wrapping the Presents:

Wrapping paper is notoriously un-recycleable and over-priced for what it is. Take the eco-standpoint this year and use brown parcel paper to wrap gifts. You can get creative with the kids (or without!) and have a stamping session with simple potato cut stars and a little paint to make your own unique paper. If you haven't got time to print your own then use gorgeous ribbons to add a classic bow or simple string for a retro look. If wrapping isn't your thing or for transporting presents these jute present sacks (£7.95) come in handy. 

I hope this helps to make your Christmas 2019 happy and stress-free

Best wishes

Steph x

 

 


Before and After: Top Tips on Painting Kitchen Cupboards with Fusion Mineral Paint 10月 9, 2019 17:39

This utility room was looking a little dated and tired, there is nothing structurally wrong with the existing kitchen cupboards but it needed a new look. The most economical and least disruptive way is to paint the doors and handles. 

Here's how we did it:

Firstly remove the cupboard doors from the cabinets, leaving the hinges attached to the cabinet carcass.

Number all the doors so that it's easy to refit the same door to the same cupboard later on. We always number them in the hole where the hinge sits so that it doesn't get covered with paint. 

Number kitchen cupboard doors for ease of refitting

Remove the handles, these are thoroughly cleaned and then we spray painted them with Rustoleum Metallic Gold Spray paint, we did three light coats and left to cure for 48 hours. 

Rutoleum Metallic Gold Spray paint handles

Clean and de-grease. No matter how clean your kitchen is there will always be a little grease on the cupboard doors. We used Fusion TSP, a water-based biodegradable degreaser which thoroughly cleans surfaces prior to painting. Highly efficient, it removes oil, grease, fingerprints, stains and other contaminants, which will improve the adhesion and the look of subsequent coatings. It is safe to use on all surfaces (wood, paint, gypsum, melamine, plastics, metals and glass). Fusion™ TSP is environmentally friendly and contains no phosphates. We diluted it into a spray bottle and a cloth to throughly wipe over and air dried. 

Scuff: The doors are laminated MDF so we lightly sanded and de-glossed the surface and edges using 120 grit sandpaper and dusted off with a large dry paint brush.

Applying Ultra Grip with a flat brush

Prep: With a Synthetic Flat Brush we applied a thin layer of Fusion Ultra Grip making sure we didn't leave any lines in it, we started on the back of the doors and edges and left to dry overnight. The next day we turned the doors over and applied the same on the fronts.

One of the doors had some writing in permanent marker that didn't come off completely during cleaning and sanding, so we covered this using a coat of Zinsser BIN stain blocker.

Zinsser BIN stain blocker tin

These cupboards are in a small utility room with limited natural light, so we decided to paint the top cupboards in a light colour to bounce as much light around as possible. We used Fusion Champlain which is a lovely soft, warm white.

Fusion Mineral Paint in Champlain

The client has dogs and wanted something darker on the bottom cupboards so that they wouldn't show any paw prints or flecks of mud, so we used Fusion Mineral Paint in Bayberry, a luscious and classical green. 

Fusion Mineral Paint in Bayberry Green

Paint: We started on the back of the doors again and made sure we painted the edges and top and bottom of each door too. We applied two coats and left overnight to dry throughly before turning them over to apply two coats to the fronts of the doors. We used a Cling On Brush and made sure that all the brush strokes went in the same direction for the smoothest finish possible.

We painted the kick board in Bayberry to match the bottom cupboards in situ as it has been screwed in place by the original kitchen fitter. We followed the same process as above and protected the floor with frog tape. 

We left the doors to cure for two days before rehanging in the room and reattaching the new look handles. 

Completed utility room cupboard makeover

Fusion Mineral Paint takes three weeks to completely cure although it dries really quickly. What does this mean? It's touch dry within an hour or two (depending on humidity) you can still use your piece gently, however the paint will be at it’s strongest to resist any marks the longer it has had time to cure. 

Tool kit used: 

Total cost: £111.41 however we have enough of all the consumable items left to do the same project four times over or more, 500ml of Fusion Mineral Paint covers approximately 7m². Obviously the brushes can be reused too. 

Why use Fusion Mineral Paint?

  • It's a top quality paint for DIYers and professional furniture painters alike.
  • It's really easy to apply, the preparation is minimal, it has great coverage and a built in top coat (no waxing required).
  • It's water based so washing your brushes up afterwards is really easy, no chemicals needed. 
  • It comes in a beautiful range of over 50 colours and has a modern matt finish.
  • It is made of acrylic resin so is water resistant, durable and low VOC. 

See the full range of Fusion Mineral Paints here

We hope you've found this useful, we offer a painting service in the Andover, Hampshire area, if you'd like a quote for your kitchen makeover please do get in touch. 

Steph & Stu at La Di Da Interiors 

Kitchen Makeover Completed with Fusion mineral paint and La Di Da Interiors

Fusion Stockists, Andover, Hampshire UK

 


Reducing environmental impact in a small business 8月 17, 2019 16:58

We recently met with Sheriese Bacon from Community Group, Andover Plastic Freeto talk about what we do at La Di Da Interiorsto reduce our impact on the environment as a business.  

Recycling old items rather than buying new ones helps preserve raw materials, whilst simultaneously saving money and reducing waste. 22 million pieces of furniture are thrown out in the UK every year; that’s about 1.6 million tons headed for landfill or incinerators.

We upcycle furniture: older furniture is often well made and solid wood but aesthetically displeasing to modern colour palettes. We find beautiful pieces of solid furniture which we transform to make it beautiful again for people to use and enjoy for years to come. We also paint furniture to commission for customers who don’t have the time or confidence to paint it themselves. We sell Annie Sloan Chalk Paintand Fusion Mineral Paint so you can do it yourself and also run workshops to teach you the tips and tricks of the trade too!

Our bricks and mortar store would not be commercially viable without our website, we post items all over the UK. We re-use as much as we can of our suppliers package. Our parcels may not be the best looking, colour co-ordinated or branded but it’s what’s inside that counts! The huge boxes that we can’t re-use we send for recycling with a local cardboard specialist. The packaging peanuts (or wotsits as we call them) that we use are made of maize so when you add water they disintegrate. As part of our agreement with our courier we have to place the paint in sealed plastic bags when posting in case of leakage, we purchase 100% recycled plastic bags to do this. We use the smallest address labels possible too. The parcel tape we use is still plastic based but we are looking into alternatives.

Our bags are made of paper, we hand stamp them with an ink pad rather than getting them commercially printed. We do also sell re-useable shopping bags made of recycled plastic bottles.

Our A boards outside the shop are made of wood and painted and we use chalk boards to write on them instead of plastic printed advertising boards.

 La Di Da Scented Candle

Our own brand La Di Da home scents range comprises of candles, diffusers and bath soaks are vegan friendly. They are packaged in recycled card board boxes, the glass is recycled and the candles are plant based, the scents are natural.

 

We stock a host of eco-conscious products from triple milled soap bars to reduce the bottles in the shower to beeswax wrapsto help you ditch the cling film. Beebombshave been one of the best-selling products of the summer. Made in Dorset with no-plastic they’re native wildflower seeds specifically selected to be attractive to bees.

Beebombs bring the bees back with wild flowers

One of our newest suppliers produces candles for us in repurposed bottles, we have gin and tonic candlesin gin bottles, honeysuckle scented in prosecco bottles. They’re made in Hampshire and wrapped in biodegradable cellophane.

Bamboo cup

Last Winter we started stocking Bamboo reusable cupsfor hot drinks in an effort to encourage people to use less disposable cups. Our new Autumn stock this year includes bamboo straws.

Test Valley Local Gin

We love using local suppliers and we are stockists of Test Valley Gin which is made less than half a mile from the shop. We are also the recycling point for Wessex Spirits, so if you bring back any of their bottles to us you get £1 off the purchase of their products.

We are a small business but wherever possible we try to minimise our eco-footprint by reduce, reuse and recycle, shop local and support community so we are happy to support the Andover Plastic Free Campaign.


Styling up an English Country Garden Al Fresco Dinner Party 7月 11, 2019 14:39

Styling a casual English Country Dining table

We do love a good creative collaboration, particularly when it involves fellow interiors people like Fi Campos, a talented interiors stylist. We combined gorgeous products from La Di Da Interiors with a few vintage prices, some foraged florals and styled up casual country al fresco dining table, perfect for a gin afternoon tea! We wanted to keep it low budget and duplicatable so that you can replicate this at home too if you want. 

Steph Briggs & Fi Campos

Fi and I had been wanting to work together for a while, as we realised that we had complementary skills within interiors and styling. Whilst the weather has been so lovely, we thought we’d have our first go at a styled table scene outside; think elegant, country rustic styling, inspired by lavender fields and lots of fun!

Summer Casual Dining Styled Table

We wanted to get a real sense of English country garden living for this table scene, so inspired by the wild flowers that surround us in our lovely Hampshire countryside, Fi created a harmonious colour scheme of lavender, thistle, dusky pinks and greens. Fi said "I adore dusky pinks and greens together; they complement one another so beautifully. I also added in pops of yellow as a highlight colour, to just add a little more depth. Quite often, adding small hints of a highlight colour just adds that extra dimension and surprise to styling and can add that spark of wow factor."

"Pulling the ideas together is really fun, and involves research and testing. - I had been taking a look through the lovely La Di Interiors" product collections, and it was here that I noticed that they stocked Test Valley Gin, and also had a wonderful array of tableware that would look gorgeous styled together. – This was where the idea of an al fresco summer gin party was born."

"Before the shoot, I used Pinterest to gather and curate any inspiration for the shoot. So some of the pins were about colour, others texture or overall look & feel.  I then also added in pins of products photos from La Di Da Interiors. This ensured that the products I wanted to include would all work well in the scheme together. Once I’d pinned everything that I thought could work, I edited down the pins until I had the final collection. Pinterest is a great way of quickly checking how a whole scheme or collection is going to look, and I often use it as an initial process for my shoots. Then, if time allows, I will also create a tangible mood board with samples and sketches."

Next came the fun bit; buying and making the props.

We’re so lucky in Andover to have some fantastic businesses right on our doorstep, and we both really enjoy working with local businesses wherever possible.

The lovely Janet from Janet Mary Floral Designs supplied us with some of her gorgeous dried blooms, which worked really well alongside the wild flowers from our gardens.

Dried flowers by Janet Mary Flowers in Andover

 

Wessex Spirits supplied us with gorgeous empty gin bottles for our posies, as well as a few full bottles, available to purchase from La Di Da Interiors.

Fi's Top Tip: "Reusing bottles for flowers is one of my favourite types of recycling, and really helps give a dining table that relaxed, informal feel. It was important to keep the labels all within the colour palette, which helped create a harmonious scheme."

La Di Da Interiors supplied a wonderful array of products, such as the serving platter, recycled glass gin balloons, candelabra, pink candles and zinc pitcher, as well as many others.

Pink and purple dinner plate setting

"It was then down to me to fill in the gaps. – Texture and layering are both key components, and involve ensuring a base colour ‘grounded’ the table set up. I used alternating colours for layering up placemats (round mats are always so photogenic) and plates, and ended with a ‘bundle’ of cutlery on top. For this, I cut up an old tea towel which had a print that pulled all of the colours together, and then wrapped it around the cutlery and secured with a knot. This gave it a relaxed feel and is a great way of pulling a scheme together. Any fabric can be used for this, including napkins if you want to use them after. We added green foliage paper napkins to pull the greenery from the ‘vases’ through to the table settings. The candelabra with dusky pink candles drew height towards the centre of the table, whilst seasonal fruit added more depth of colour and reality. Vintage glassware added a classic yet colourful feel, and prevented the overall effect from looking too modern and polished."

French style candelabra

The main thing to remember when styling your summer dining table, is to layer it up, and ensure that the same colours appear throughout the table. This way, it will feel coordinated and ‘meant’, yet relaxed. Don’t worry about getting the exact hues the same; you can ‘cheat’ colours by adding in extra layers (runners/plates/place mats, etc) in order to make them appear multiple times on the table. Beautiful blooms are also really handy to tie in specific colours.

Whilst I loved it all, and genuinely wanted to sit down with a G&T in hand, my absolute favourite piece from the shoot just had to be those wonderful gin glasses. – They look simply fabulous on an al fresco dining table, and even better filled with Test Valley Gin!"

Recycled Gin Glass

We created a little show and tell video of the finished table:

Love the look? Shop here for the items featured by La Di Da Interiors 

Bio:

Fi Campos is a prop and interior stylist. She has worked for 12 years in the retail, manufacturing, and events industries, providing styling services for various homeware, furniture and beauty brands. Driven by originality, creativity and conscious design, Fi currently provides Art Direction, Production and Styling services for commercial businesses who want to create high performing campaigns for their product collections.

 https://www.linkedin.com/in/ficamposstylist/


Using Fusion Mineral Paint for the First Time - Top Tips 7月 4, 2019 15:53

Using Fusion for the first time top tips

I recently used Fusion Mineral Paint for the first time, I like it so much that I've decided to become a stockist! Here's a my experience and few top tips on using Fusion to paint furniture.

Table base before applying Fusion Mineral Paint

I was working on this farmhouse style dining table, it had been previously painted in Farrow & Ball eggshell, it was tired and had chipped in places where it had been knocked and worn. I started by giving it a light sand with my trusty Black and Decker Mouse sander, I used 100 grit pads as I wanted to "degloss" rather than remove all of the previous paint. Over the chipped areas I made sure that the edges were well sanded down so they didn't show through when painted. I always wear a mask when sanding and would recommend that you do too, you don't want to breathe in particles of paint or dust. 

Always wear a dust mask when sanding

Once the sanding was done I wiped it down with a damp cloth and Fusion TSP (degreaser and no-rinse cleaner) to get rid of any dust and grime.

Fusion Mineral Paint Ash with Border Terrier Dog

I used Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash, which is a fabulous dark grey, slightly Scandinvian in look. As you can see I had some help from Peri the Border Terrier who was admiring my work! I used a flat Fusion paint brush to apply (which is unusual for me a I usually prefer to work with an oval bristle brush when using Chalk Paints) but this one was recommended and I have to say it was brilliant. The paint goes an incredibly long way and the coverage is great. I applied the first coat, left it a couple of hours to dry then applied a second. This table is going into our shop as our new main display table so I wanted to make sure the paint job will last well and look smart. 

Being water based the brushes washed well in plain cold water but came up like new with the Fusion Brush wash. Being acrylic based I wouldn't want to let them dry out before washing. I found the brush wash soap good for cleaning my hands afterwards too. 

With Fusion there is no need to seal the paint, once it's applied and dried its done. I am delighted with the results, a smooth, smart and crisp finish. 

Table base painted in Ash Fusion Mineral Paint

My top tips:

  • It's all in the preparation: sanding is definitely required with Fusion Mineral Paint particularly when working over previous paint work
  • A little goes a long, long way. I hardly used any of the 500ml pot on the table base
  • Don't get too much paint on your brush, less is more! If you want a nice smooth finish it's better to do two thin coats of paint than one thick one. You're also less likely to get runs or pooling areas of paint.
  • There's no need to prime raw wood, Fusion Mineral Paint is self priming so I didn't need to worry about the expose bits of wood on the table base.
  • Once you've finished your first layer of paint make sure you have a good look over the piece to make sure there are no runs as these can't be sanded out like they can with chalk paint
  • Make sure your first coat is completely dry before applying the second. The official Fusion dry time is dry to touch 2 hours and can accept a re-coat after 4 hours.
  • Fusion Mineral paint has no VOC's (toxic chemicals that are released into the air as paint dries) 
  • No topcoat is needed as it is built in the paint. Fusion Mineral Paint is durable and scrubbable. Tough Coat is a non-yellowing wipe on Poly Varnish designed for use when you know that a piece of furniture is going to have a tough life and extra protection is needed, for example a kitchen table top where lots of kids arts and crafts are going to be done or cutlery is likely to be dinked on it. 
  • Wash your brushes ASAP after use, I did find that the Brush Wash helped to get them uber clean after my second use. 

If you want to find out more about Fusion Mineral Paint projects have a look at some of my other blogs.

Want to get going with a project? You can shop for Fusion Mineral Paint, Tough Coat, Brushes, Beeswax, Metallic Paints and other Fusion products on our website, see our collection here. We post through the UK including the Channel Islands and Scottish Highlands, postage starts from £4.95.

You can pop into our little shop in Bridge Street in Andover, Hampshire where we have lots of examples of painted furniture, colours and finishes. We also have fabulous interior items, homewares and gifts. 

Happy Painting! 

Steph signature


Just how far will a sample pot of Fusion Mineral Paint go? 7月 4, 2019 14:19

37ml sample pot of Fusion Mineral Paint in Azure

I've painted furniture for years and I dislike buying sample or tester pots; generally there is never quite enough in them to do anything of any size, they're expensive (in comparison for full size tins of paint) and by the time I've washed my brush I usually feel that I've wasted as much as I've used. So when I was sent a 37ml (yes that's right its tiny) sample pot of Fusion Mineral Paint (sometimes referred to as FMP) I was a little skeptical other than colour choice how much use was this really going to be to me?

I was assured by the savvy lady that sent this to me that it would go further than I thought. Now being a professional furniture painter and interior designer I am used to using paint and guestimating how far it will stretch. However on this occasion I was wrong, so wrong.

Wooden stool

I had a random old wooden stool tucked away at the back of my furniture project stash, so decided that I could at least paint a leg with it to try this Fusion Mineral paint out. Being an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint fan I'm not used to doing any real prep other than cleaning so having to give the stool a light sand did seem a bit of a ball-ache but in reality it didn't take long. I used 240 grit sand paper as the stool was quite worn anyway. I then wiped it over with a wet cloth to give it a clean and get rid of the dust. 

Sanding in preparation for paint

I used the little Fusion flat brush that I was sent with the paint which again is another first for me as I am a fan of using big round bristle brushes with chalk paint. I used "Azure" which is a beautifully bright and summery sea blue colour.

Fusion Mineral paint in Azure with brush

The paint went on smoothly and quickly, the coverage is amazing and the paint is evidently highly pigmented. I was astounded at how far it went, one tiny 37ml pot covered the stool entirely and I still had about half of the pot left! I left it overnight to dry and went back the next day to see what it looked like.

First coat painted in fusion mineral paint

I was amazed at the results, I did a second coat as recommended by the manufacturer because being a stool it will get beaten about a bit, by the time I had done I have about one third of the pot left. Truly economical, so although millilitre for millilitre it's a little more expensive that your average furniture paint, it really does go a long long way.

The beautiful thing about Fusion is there is no need for a top coat, so no lacquer or waxing required which is fabulous. To finish off my stool I added a funky stencil detail using Fusion Mineral Paint in "Champlain" which is one of their best-selling colours, it's a lovely soft creamy off-white. I used a sponge roller to apply the paint over the stencil and it worked brilliantly. 

Stencilled stool using Fusion Mineral Paint

Negatives:

  • Preparation is key, sanding is essential unless going straight onto clean bare wood
  • It is more expensive than other furniture paint (but worth it)
  • 12 hour cure time

Positives:

  • A little goes a long, long, long way
  • No top coat or sealant required
  • Easy to open jars which seal well so you don't waste any
  • Beautiful bright range of colours
  • An über smooth finish is easy to achieve

A tester pot is £4.75 and the flat brush I used is £3.99 so this proved to be a quick, easy and economical facelift for this stool. I love the products so much that La Di Da Interiors have become stockists and we look forward to working with Fusion Mineral Paint.