Bathrooms are often the smallest room within a home yet we require them to do so much. They have to withstand daily washing for numerous occupants and contain a toilet, basin, bath or shower at the very least. This is a tall order but, as I discovered, it is possible to turn a functional bathroom into a sanctuary style space with a bit of careful planning and research.

We recently moved into a house with a small bathroom. The freestanding slipper bath that looked lovely turned out to be a small sit up bath, not long enough for either my…

In this guide to parquet flooring we find out why it’s a perennial favourite and take a look at some beautiful new colours and designs which are suited to both traditional and modern homes.

What is Parquet?

Today’s house tour takes us to a unique ‘House of Books’ in Hampstead. The former home of Labour grandee Michael Foot, it’s been transformed into a modern design and bibliophile’s paradise by SHH Architects. Behind a traditional facade, the interior is a marvel of clean lines, stunning attention to detail and imaginative use of space.

The name ‘House of Books’, though grounded in some kind of abstract and perhaps architectural reality, can be seen as flirting more with pure fantasy. The name inspires images of make-belief rooms, magically walled by a patchwork of browns, burgundies, blues and emerald greens -the…

Children grow up so quickly and within the blink of an eye they’re swapping teddies for transformers. Here’s how we tackled a makeover for my nine year old son, whose bedroom was overdue for an update to reflect his needs and interests.


We approached the makeover as a joint venture creating a board on Pinterest for him to pin anything he liked the look of. This was the equivalent of a mood board as a starting point to see his preferred colours and styles.


Orange and grey were consistent colours within his board so we chose orange as the accent…

Venice is known as La Serenissima (from her official title of the Serene Republic of Venice) for good reason. Even while sinking, the northern Italy city of legend has been a cool capital of art and design for centuries. Dramatic location (built on and around 450 bridges and 120 islands) and romantic ambiance aside, many flock to Venice for its art, architecture and design attractions, especially every second year when the Venice Biennale gathers contemporary artists and their fans from all over the world. …

Bilbao is known throughout the world for its stunning architecture and Basque culture. Bilbao doesn’t knock you out with its physical beauty, but it slowly wins you over with its two small mountain ranges, its riverfront landscapes, quirky architecture, and of course, it’s gleaming and otherworldly modern landmark, the Guggenheim Bilbao Art Museum.

Fans of picnicking rejoice — National Picnic Week takes place across the UK this June. Time to fine tune your sandwich making skills, stock up on bubbly and summery savouries and create a picnic kit to ensure maximum al fresco comfort and enjoyment for you and your guests. No need to sacrifice style. We’ve sourced some great coordinated looks to kick your picnic design game up a notch.

Mixing and matching the freshest colours is always a great way to coordinate a coherent picnic look. Pick a palette — straw/rattan/wicker, pastels, bright tropical prints and solids, a single bold colour…

Black in the bathroom may seem counter-intuitive. The contemporary design and decor trend is towards all things light and bright, with a hygienic spa-type vibe prevailing. That’s all very nice and relaxing, but we’ve been thinking about the challenges and potential triumphs of anchoring bathroom spaces with … black. Yes, negative, dark, sultry and suggestive black.

We’re not sure about going the whole hog and having a black bath tub, although we love this one, but bathroom hardware aside, there are many imaginative ways to incorporate black into a sophisticated, elegant, or even playful decor scheme for your bathroom. …

Savour the best moments of summer by moving life outside any time that the weather permits. That includes cooking — because barbecue season is finally upon us. Turn the smallest corner of your garden patio or terrace into an al fresco kitchen, whip up a pitcher of sangria and invite your friends. There’s no more festive way to celebrate summer.

We’ve found some gorgeous essentials for outdoor grilling and decorating. Here are nine barbecue ideas.

Mint Condition

First things first. You’ll need a great grill. This 3-burner gas barbecue for Everdure by Heston Blumenthal can handle multiple independent cooking tasks and looks…

New flooring can make a huge difference to the look of any room, but with so much choice about, it’s hard to know where to start. Here at The Idealist, we love a beautiful carpet, but like many of our readers we also love the style and clean look of wooden floors. Again, like many of you, we have young families to think about, so here’s our guide to the best choice of flooring for the family home.

Am I doing it right?

As a parent, there’s a lot to think about, not just the usual “am I doing this right?” kind of thing.. no…

Spencer Thorpe

A design enthusiast from London, UK. I love spending time with family, friends, and traveling.

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