Langdon Hyde Design

a way of life...

Category: Colour (page 1 of 7)

“D” is for Mirror

M&S 50% off sale

I’m loving these alphabet cushions which are now half price in the Marks & Spencer sale; reduced from £12 to £6.

Alphabet cushion from M&S

Unable to resist a bargain, and imagining how the trio of colours would co-ordinate with my newly stylised room, I decided to buy “D” for Dining. Tenuous, I know, but as I said, “irresistible”!

Newly stylised dining room

Happy with my new purchase I positioned it on the seat of a single chair along with a plain pistachio velvet cushion.

It was only at this time that I realised by turning it through a 90 degree turn the “D” became an arc which beautifully echoed the profile of the mirror.

A little thing, but pleasing none the less.

Green With Envy

I am loving this season’s trend for dark moody greens.

Farrow & Ball introduced nine new colours to their range of paints and Banca featured heavily in their launch.

Described as a “protective olive green” and named after Japanese tea leaves “its sober tone creates rooms that feel calm and serene”.

Nine new colours from F&B

Marks & Spencer have embraced this mood with their range of Meghan floral print bedding which “is perfect for traditionally-designed bedrooms or adding a burst of colour to plain décor”.

Meghan Floral Print bedding

I chose this quilt cover and pillowcase set to add some drama to my own bedroom. It ties in beautifully with the two atmospheric Loch Fyne prints that are above the bed. It also forms a close connection with the monochrome en-suite bathroom.

Bath painted with F&B Railings

This black and white floor has been a favourite of mine ever since it was laid more than 10 years ago but it was only this year that I took a leap of faith and painted the bath in F&B’s Railings eggshell.


Taking a lead from the colours of the flowers on this bed-set I teamed it with these scatter cushions. The cream and blue ones were from Laura Ashley and the acid green velvet cushions were from Cox & Cox.

Autumn Winter trend 2018

Clothing trends have also embraced these seasonal greens with names such as bottle, pine, and evergreen.

Again M&S were right on trend with this ankle skimming skirt, whilst Zara followed suit with these printed tops, and Hush this figure hugging dress.

I also discovered some gorgeous Christmas decorations and costume jewellery in this fabulous shade.

I trust you are now green with envy and will head straight to your High Street to indulge yourself in this AW 2018 trend.

Design Inspiration

Design inspiration can come from the most mundane and unusual sources.

Yellow door

Whilst sitting at my desk this week my attention was drawn to this yellow door which I could see from my office window. The reason  my interest was piqued was due to the fact that it was being painted. Once the renovation was complete the sunshine yellow suddenly jumped out from the red brick building.

Having recently completed the redecoration of my kitchen I had been pondering the problem of table settings; in particular “place mats”. The ones that I had been using, although infinitely practical, no longer looked the part.

Funnily enough, as a temporary measure, I had replaced them with some black rubber mats which looked far more contemporary, and were actually commented on by a friend.

Contemporary place setting.

Unfortunately, they did not make the grade due to the nature of their construction, which, I soon realised, allowed crumbs to seep through onto the wooden surface beneath.

By now I’m sure you’re wondering why I am talking about place mats in the same breath as a door!

The answer is that I have some “sunshine” yellow place mats which I thought might be the answer to my dilemma. Not only will they add a splash of colour to the décor but they will also compliment the Emma Bridgewater tea set that I use on a daily basis. As an added bonus I found some matching napkins.

Reclaimed lighting

To celebrate my lovely new kitchen, which, by the way had been enhanced even further with the installation of these stunning reclaimed pendant lamps, I unwrapped my Bettys Tea Shop birthday gift and enjoyed a splendid cream tea.

Bettys Cream Tea

Note to self:

Keep eyes open at all times, as inspiration is all around, and can be found in the most weird and wonderful places, often when least expected.

Dunsborough Park Annual Tulip Festival 2018

For four days in April, Dunsborough Park, a romantic idyll in the heart of Surrey, opened its gardens to the public for its Annual Tulip Festival. I popped along on Saturday the 28th, as this was the last opportunity to see the flowers in all their glory.

Annual tulip festival

Despite the dreary April weather the colours and varieties couldn’t help but lift my spirits.

With bright yellow blooms, named Big Smile, I couldn’t help but raise a grin.

Bright Smile

In the Cutting Garden bed after bed contained densely coloured groups of plants. All with their own name tag so that they were easy to identify.

World’s Favourite

Looking at this mass of red petals with yellow tips (above) it was easy to see why this particular tulip was called World’s Favourite.

Orange Emperor

Orange Emperors and Purple Flags added a regal air to the whole proceedings.

Purple Flag

My favourite, however, was the delicate creamy pink of Sorbet. They looked good enough to eat.


In the Dutch Garden perfectly manicured lawns and immaculately clipped Box hedges showed even more  blooms off to perfection.

Path leading to the Dutch garden

The grey overcast sky did not appear to deter enthusiasts. Some even wrapped themselves in blankets to enjoy a cup of tea and home made cake. On this occasion the refreshments were provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities

Perfect parterre

Issued on entry, and armed with a printed description of the gardens and a list of all the tulips, visitors were well informed as they meandered through the individual “rooms”.

Panoramic view of the Dutch Garden

The Dutch Garden “has a spectacular display of tulips in the Spring and is planted with annuals after the tulip bulbs have been removed, though some beds are reserved for peonies.”

Plant Sales

Inspired by the stunning grounds and magnificent display of around seventy different varieties of tulips I stopped on my way home and bought this lovely bunch from Waitrose.

Soft pastel shades of tulips and apple blossom

Coupled with apple blossom, gathered from my own garden, I decorated our dining table with these soft pastel shades to chase away the grey skies.

Dunsborough Park Gardens will open again on specific dates during the summer months.

For more information visit www.

Dash Of Orange

Step into spring with a flamboyant dash of orange.

My recent venture into town really demonstrated a massive head on collision between fashion and interiors.

This was particularly noticeable in Anthropologie where their footware and furnishings sat side by side.

Unable to resist a bright and cheerful colour I was seduced into trying on this wonderful selection of  tops and sweaters in Mint Velvet.

London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour didn’t miss a trick either as many of the showrooms were brought to life with this lovely colour in lively prints.

Even the horticulture followed the theme.

A more mystical Morrocan theme was on show in this particular window with its gorgeous bronze coloured wallpaper and lighting.

Loaf, in the newly opened Tunsgate Quarter in Guildford, had its fair share of paprika coloured cushions and couches.

Meanwhile this Clarins advert used the colour of the season to great effect to promote its bronze-lidded peach-coloured jars of exotic face creams.

Neptune also adopted a subtle tone in their range of home accessories. 

Candles, throws and artwork incorporated a pinky hue which worked beautifully with these light and dark greys.

A similar matching was found in this rug in

And if grey isn’t to your liking then navy is a very smart alternative. The combination seen here at demonstrates how they have worked this season’s trend by teaming a navy sofa with orange scatter cushions and footstool.

Another collision between fashion and interiors was evident in Jigsaw where orange and navy clothes, shoes and bags, were displayed together in perfect harmony.

So whether your preference is for bright or subtle, home or fashion, there appears to be something for everyone in this season’s colour.

The Perfect Knob

The perfect knob can elevate an ordinary piece of furniture to the extraordinary!

Painted and waxed bedside cabinets

My recent experimentation with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ was to transform two bedside cabinets. Using two completely different techniques I managed to obtain two quite different looks.

Ikea unit prior to painting

The first cabinet I set about transforming was a small Ikea unit which I had been given some time ago. I had been using it in my studio to store a collection of magazines which I never seemed to have time to read. Inspired by a project in the Annie Sloan Quick and Easy Paint Transformations book I decided it was time to recycle the unread journals and give the cabinet a new lease of life.

Masked a painted with first coat of Giverny blue

The first obstacle I encountered was that the colour used in the book, Monet Blue, was no longer available. Not to be deterred I chose to substitute it with Giverny Blue, a bright, cheery, clean, cool blue, which I would later tone down with the application of dark wax.

Second coat of Giverny blue applied thickly

To achieve the desired finish it was necessary to apply two thick, unevenly applied coats. I was hoping that one small 100ml pot would suffice, but as the paint has to provide a textured surface for the wax to stay in, I quickly realised that it would be necessary to buy a second 100ml pot. Once applied, I left the second coat to dry thoroughly overnight.

The next morning I applied the dark wax with a brush and wiped off the surplus. Any areas where the wax was too dark I removed it with an application of clear wax before it dried.

Dark wax applied and new knobs added

The final transformation to this cute little cupboard was the addition of these colourful knobs. I had picked them up in a closing down sale and had kept them in stock awaiting the perfect opportunity to make use of them.

Graphite paint and black wax

The second cabinet was a small pine cabinet which was being used to store stationery in my study. It looked perfectly at home with the other pine furniture but, once again, I decided it was time for a complete transformation.

Using Annie Sloan Graphite Chalk Paint™ I applied it in a way that would create a smooth finish. This time one coat did suffice, but I was careful not to apply it too thickly, and to brush out the brush strokes to get as smooth a finish as possible.

Once the paint was completely dry I applied a coat of black wax. This had the effect of darkening the graphite to a lovely rich black and to provide a protective sheen.

Once I put it back in the study it inspired me to upcycle the other pieces of pine furniture in a similar style. Time allowing, I hope to have these pieces finished during the course of the summer months. Wish me luck with that!

Blue Sky Thinking

Walled garden at the Medicine Garden Cobham

I think I have Spring fever! This recent spell of unseasonably warm weather coupled with being outside in the garden led me to believe that spring, and possibly summer, were on the way. Inspired by the blue skies I wanted to spread the good vibes by sharing some of my favourite “blues”.

Spring bulbs

These lovely vintage flour pots planted with narcissi and muscari remind me of my mother’s garden where the grape hyacinths overflowed onto the pathways as the weather became warmer. I didn’t know then that they were called Muscari, but always remember being fascinated by these little blue flowers that resembled miniature bunches of blue grapes.

Curtains and blind

This pair of bedroom curtains and coordinating hand-tied rolled blind made from Laura Ashley cotton mix fabrics are perfect for bringing the colours of spring flowers indoors. Sadly, I no longer have them as they were sold with the house but I kept the matching Regatta cushions which are now in my guest bedroom.

Blue gingham

This blue gingham tablecloth, blue Ikea bowls, and delphiniums fresh from the garden, provide a casual country setting for an early summer al fresco lunch.

I love this collection of vintage milk jugs which were on display at an Arthur Swallow antique fair at Loseley Park.

Blue and white jugs

And last, but not least, are these wonderful photographs taken at Su Gologone in Sardinia. During our stay, in the latter half of May, we enjoyed the laid back atmosphere of this wonderful experience hotel. Whether we were relaxing by the spring-water pool , sipping cocktails in the Magico Tablao bar, or star gazing from the Terrace of Dreams, it was truly captivating and the perfect venue for an early summer escape.

Bar Tablao


Shabby chic entrance

Joules Inspired Cabinet

Inspired by the colours on a Joules carrier bag I decided to revamp a rather sad bathroom cabinet to something a little more jaunty. With the Annie Sloan chalk paint™ sample pots that I had in stock I decided to mix the colours myself. The pink was a combination of Emperor’s Silk, Antoinette, and Old White, whilst the turquoise blue was a mixture of Florence, Provence, and again, Old White.

At the outset I painted the whole cabinet Old White to cover the original paint colour. Having decided on a design I painted the drawer fronts pink. The next step was to mask the parts of the cabinet that I wanted to remain white before applying the turquoise.My pièce de résistance was to be the door front which I thought might look rather appealing in a beach hut type stripe. Once again I applied masking tape to the areas that I wished to keep white and then applied the blue mixture to the remaining areas.Allowing an overnight drying time I was very excited about peeling off the tape the following morning. I shouldn’t have worried as the end result was as I had hoped.I rubbed some of the edges with a fine sandpaper to reveal the colour beneath before applying a coat of clear wax to protect the finished  paintwork. The addition of a pink ribbon tied to the key brought the whole scheme together. Lastly, as a nod to the pattern that inspired this design in the first instance I lined each of the drawers with a flower cut out from the Joules bag. I love taking inspiration from the simple things around me and often the High Street leads the way.

New Year Treats

I’m sure, like many of you, I am constantly emailed with news updates from my favourite on-line shops. Sometimes this can be a real nuisance but occasionally something of interest comes up. As January progressed I noticed that sale discounts were increasing and my interest piqued when Bluebell Gray announced a 50% price reduction on a cushion that I had been coveting. The linen-mix Kirkcaldy cushion featuring a locally woven stripe with a natural earthy brown base and pops of colour in pink, duck egg blue, yellow, green and purple was the perfect item to pull together the colours in my sitting room. Without hesitation I placed an order and within a couple of days it arrived. Not only was it as fabulous as it looked on the website but it was beautifully presented. Tied with a duck egg blue Bluebell Gray ribbon and a personalised message on branded stationery it was a real new year treat.Although not a sale purchase my next treat was purchased on-line from Cox and Cox. For a while I had been looking for a plain grey rug for my dining room. In this instance, size definitely did matter, as did the particular shade and texture of the rug, and of course, the price . With that in mind I was really pleased when I received an email from Cox and Cox promoting their new range of hand woven rugs and offering a 20% discount. Again, without a second thought I placed an order and, just by coincidence, the rug arrived the same day as the cushion. Two new year treats in one day!

I noticed today that the Bluebell Gray sale is still running and on Monday January 30th has 30% off for 30 minutes starting at 1pm. On the other hand the discount code I had been offered from Cox and Cox is no longer current. That said it is certainly worth subscribing to their website to be eligible for future offers. Happy shopping. x

French Kisses

One of the things I love about the Annie Sloan range of Chalk Paint™ is the reference to France, and the French, in their names. Provence, Antibes, Versailles, all conjure up warm sunny climes in foreign lands. Louis, and Napoleonic Blue, Antoinette, and Chateau Grey, speak volumes of the country’s history, whilst Burgundy and Olive remind of fabulous French feasts enjoyed in a vineyard on a summer’s evening.

Inspired by a country style coat hook distressed by using a crackle-paint finish I chose Antoinette, the palest of feminine pinks, to distress this Ikea vanity mirror. 

In this instance it was extremely easy to remove the glass which saved having to protect it during the painting process. As I only had a small pot of paint I decided to use a different ageing method to the one shown in the book as the crackle finish required a second coat of paint, which needed to be put on very thickly, and then dried to a crackle using a hot hairdryer.

Instead I chose to paint the whole frame with two coats of Antoinette and then scraped off some of the paint whilst still wet and rubbed with sandpaper when dry. Once this stage was complete I applied a thin layer of clear wax to protect the paint colour before applying a layer of dark wax. 

I wiped off the excess dark wax leaving it to highlight the imperfections in the paintwork. I then returned the glass to the frame and quickly applied one layer of clear wax and a light layer of dark wax to the back of the mirror so that it blended in with the overall look and feel.

Voila! The end result is a really pretty vanity mirror which would add character and charm to any bedroom or bathroom.

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