Monthly Archives: May 2012

PT 1: Blog Tour The Reunion LONDON

Its two months ago since the   ‘Blog Tour NYC’ trip! How time has really flown by. So it was only natural that a  ‘Blog Tour NYC’ reunion was on the cards. The reunion took place in London and even more perfect that it happened in the Clerkenwell Design week and co insided with the Hasten UK flagship showroom launch.  Not everyone could make the re-union but they were there in spirit or via the virtual world of twitter!

Always a Drama! 

I set off to the train station with my very large back pack and a box of scrubby Crisps for the Blog Tour crew, with the good intentions on making my 9.35am train to Kingscross. When I arrived at the station I could’t find my mobile phone…PANIC… it was like New York all over again with the broken i-phone drama! As a blogger and an avid obsessed photographer how could I possibly go to London without my phone! It turns out I’d left the phone at home and I missed my train! DOH! So had to go back home and get it! What a DRAMA!

Fun on the train to London with Lucy Wood

But all was not lost, I believe it was meant to be as my friend Lucy woods the News Editor of Grimsby Telegraph just so happened to be traveling down on the next train to London – BINGO! we had some laughs 😉

The Back Pack arriving into London

I finally arrived with my large backpack & box of Scrubbys into a very HOT London. I was greeted by my good friend and fellow Blog Tour friend Andrew Dunning – APD Interiors

Arriving into London with Andrew Dunning

I just couldn’t believe how HOT London was, it was just simply gorgeous! A quick clean up then it was straight to Clerkenwell Design week for a very brief visit before meeting up with the  ‘Blog Tour NYC’ at Byrons

I adore the Clerkenwell Design week I missed last years festival but attended the one in 2010 and had so much fun. Boasting over 60 showrooms, a wealth of creative agencies and more architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet, Clerkenwell is truly the UK’s most important design community.

First stop: The Farmiloe building, Andrew Dunning – APD Interiors gave me a tour guide to Clerkenwell which he has also wrote on his blog here  

As soon as I walked into the Farmiloe building I was introduced to Young & Norgate  A Devon-based furniture design company, they offer contemporary furniture that is unique, elegant and made to last. It was great to meet designers and learn a little bit more about the designs. * I will be featuring more about   Young & Norgate  on the Dreamwallstyle blog very soon so watch this space.

Meeting Young & Norgate

Young & Norgate Bedside tables

I loved the exclusive insight into the Jaguar design process, with a clay model display of the C-X16 concept which was on display in the Farmiloe building, which captivated both the public and the media at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

Jaguar at Clerkenwell picture credit New Car

Accompanying the model was a talented modeller on hand at certain times over the three days who explained the importance of this stage of the process and some of the techniques used. In addition, all visitors got the opportunity to see the iconic and unique XJ13, along with two of our current range-topping models, the XKR-S and the XFR.

Jaguar at Clerkenwell 2012

I will be writing more on the Dreamwallstyle blog of my design finds from the festival so watch this space! More highlights from the festival can be seen here Clerkenwell Design week

After a very brief but design packed visit in the Farmiloe building it was then time for Andrew Dunning – APD Interiors and I to meet Tim  Modenus at TOTO for afternoon cream teas and scones with Jam. TOTO’s concept store is in the heart of London’s design district full of exciting products that exemplify new ways of thinking in terms of materials, community, energy and life-style.

Christine and Patrick Goff from Hotel Designs

While relaxing in TOTO it was great to finally meet Patrick and Christine the faces behind Hotel Designs  

TOTO was making available its luxurious washroom facilities to CDW visitors. festival-goers had the experience of the unique Japanese-style, interactive Washlet toilets. Under the banner ‘Spend £1 to Spend a Penny’, all proceeds go to Wherever The Need, a charity that provides essential sanitary facilities in Sierra Leone, Kenya and India (

Coming up next: Get ready to meet the  ‘Blog Tour NYC’ crew for a reunion tea at Byrons then on to Hasten UK flagship showroom launch. 


PT 2: Heart of Gold – Lincolnshire Rapeseed Oil TLC in a Bottle

Lincolnshire Rapeseed Oil

This time of year the Lincolnshire landscape is bright patchwork quilt of the brilliant yellow canola/rape seed. I LOVE IT – while yes its pretty to look at the pollen on the other hand can be a complete nightmare for some!  which now brings me to today’s post that is all about ‘Heart of Gold’ Homegrown cold compressed rapeseed oil.

Getting Stuck into the Rapeseed fields of Lincolnshire

Heart of Gold Rapeseed Oil – TLC in a bottle

Heart of Gold

Heart of Gold is a 100% natural, pure, rapeseed oil grown, produced and bottled by farmer Nick Bradley on his farm overlooking the picturesque Vale of Belvoir, on the Lincolnshire/Leicestershire border. Bursting with flavour and oozing with healthy goodness, it’s a completely sustainable British product, originating from fields in the Heart of England.

Dreamwallstyle having fun in the rapeseed fields

Like many farmers, Nick was aware of a need to diversify, so he spent a considerable amount of time researching where there was a gap in the market which he could fill, using the resources at his disposal. An interest in cooking and healthy eating fuelled him to explore the possibility of converting some of his rape crop into a product that would be both nutritious and delicious. What originally began as a small-scale experiment for personal use quickly burgeoned into something much bigger.

He explains: ‘It soon became apparent that ‘olive oil’ had become shorthand for ‘oil’, simply because consumers were not aware that there were other, equally healthy, tasty and versatile options available. I loved the idea of a home-grown, locally produced oil, which would be high in flavoursome goodness but low on food miles. I’m very proud that Heart of Gold is grown, pressed, filtered and bottled in the same square mile, so it is completely sustainable and traceable.’

Lincolnshire rapeseed oil field

From sowing to harvesting, pressing to bottling, the process is hands-on and meticulously overseen by Nick. The tiny black seeds from the vibrant yellow oilseed rape flowers are harvested, cleaned and slowly crushed to extract the oil. It is then left to settle naturally, before being filtered, not once but three times, for maximum purity, taste and nutritional content. This method of cold pressing, whilst producing less volume, ensures the resulting golden oil is totally pure and unadulterated.

Lincolnshire rapeseed oil fields

For its growing number of fans, rapeseed oil should need no introduction – but for anyone who is new to it, here’s a bit more background…

Rapeseed oil enjoys many health and culinary benefits. It has been proved to contain only half the saturated fat of olive oil and is packed with Vitamin E (a natural antioxidant) and Omegas 3, 6 & 9. In addition, it’s free from preservatives, trans-fats and artificial colourings, all of which make it the ideal choice for lowering cholesterol and promoting a healthy heart.

Lincolnshire Rapeseed field

Not only is Heart of Gold rapeseed oil good for your heart and your general wellbeing, it tastes utterly delectable too. So much so that it was recently selected in a blind tasting of ten different oils by top London Chef, Tristan Welch, who uses only rapeseed oil in his kitchen at Launceston Place. He described Heart of Gold as having ‘a faintly nutty smell’ that ‘develops into a delicate flavour of fresh wild herbs. It tastes like a summer’s day!’

It can be used either cold or hot – where its high flashpoint makes it particularly versatile. Drizzle it on salad, pour it over pasta or swirl it round in a stir-fry! And what many people don’t realise is that rapeseed oil can be used in baking as well – just proving that healthy eating can still be a sensory and culinary delight!

Lincolnshire Rapeseed Oil

Heart of Gold is still a young brand, but Nick’s enthusiasm for the product and for its future growth is plain to see. As well as establishing a growing network of stockists, including selected supermarkets (Waitrose, Tesco, Asda and the Co-op), delicatessens and farm shops (including online supplier, Nick is also working on a range of flavoured oils and dressings to be launched soon.

Lincolnshire Rapeseed Oil

PT 1 Heart of Gold: North East Lincolnshire

I can’t stress enough how blooming lucky I am to live where I do. Sometimes we just ‘DON’T’ appreciate where we live and what we have on our own doorsteps!

Grimsby ‘Heart of Gold’ North East Lincolnshire

Boy Bike

Last week I had an injury which resulted in not being able to run for a few weeks! A complete nightmare for an avid runner like myself, but ‘Hey Ho’ that doesn’t stop me! Ooo I can still cross train – HOO-RAH!  So out comes my trusty old friend ‘The Boy Bike’!

Out and about on the Bike

Out on my Bike

It’s great as I can actually venture out a little further than normal, but still be close at home. Its been fun exploring my local surroundings and being completely absorbed in its pure beauty! I love my homeland so much I just want to share it with the world!

North East Lincolnshire my home and I’m proud!

Lincolnshire ‘Heart of Gold’

The set of pictures shown below have all been taken while out and about on my bike ride adventures over this past week. They show beautiful colourful rural scenery from my local North East Lincolnshire – I hope you enjoy!

Beautiful North East Lincolnshire Waithe lane

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

North East Lincolnshire

And there you have my lovely set of photographs all taken in and around my homeland North East Lincolnshire, while out on my bike this week! PT 2 Heart of Gold its all about the Oilseed-rape

Losing Nemo

Today’s post is not the usual about the latest design and wallcovering, its a personal post about the loss of a pet cat called ‘Nemo’ who was tragically killed by a car this past weekend.


If I’m honest right now as I’m typing this blog post, I’m still devastated over this past weekend’s tragic events. I’m hoping that writing this post I may feel some what better! Life really can be a bitch! OK to some its just a pet cat, but it still doesn’t help that I’m still actually heartbroken over it!


Two years ago, I tragically lost two of my cats in a space of a week, that in itself was tragic, but this feels a whole lot worse. Maybe because of the terrible circumstances on how Nemo was suddenly killed, I don’t know. But all I do know is that I feel numb and empty its very weird I’m still trying to get my head around it all, it just came as a terrible shock!


I had a love hate relationship with ‘Nemo’ whom was actually my boyfriends cat. When I first met ‘Nemo’ he physically attacked me, he was so territorial over my boyfriend, he actually scratched the initial ‘N’ into my hand! But from that moment on I had utter respect for him, he was ferrel and could not be tamed. Everything was on his terms, but I grew to adore his spunky independent ‘F*ck You” ways!


He was one on his own thats for sure, I can remember having dinner with my boyfriend one evening and ‘Nemo’ jumped up on to the side unit stuck his bum on my boyfriend’s back and peed on him, it was like he was marking his territory. There are so many quirky funny stories to tell of this ‘One of his kind cat’. You could never pick him up, he just was not that sort of cat, but always wanted to be with you and that in itself was so endearing.


He adored Tuna but it had to be in brine or he just wouldn’t touch the stuff, my boyfriend spoilt him rotten and even adopted the nickname ‘Princess’. I’ve never known a cat who adored drinking straws, it was a nightmare if you ever had a straw in your drink, he would stalk up and steal it! Nemo had a terrible habit of drinking from your cup too, he really was a little menace! But I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.


Even though he was my boyfriend’s ‘Princess’ Nemo became a big part in my life too, I grew fond of him and my daughter loved him too. This past weekend was so unfair, but I guess ‘Nemo’ being ‘Nemo’ really did think he could take on the world, but this time the car won over the cat! it really was horrendous as you can imagine. It really hasn’t been the easiest of days thats for sure, its amazing how you can have a bond with an animal and how they really do become part of your life. Nemo will certainly be missed that’s for sure, and I’m sure right now he is in cat heaven causing havoc in typical ‘Nemo’ style. RIP Nemo you are deeply missed mate xXx


Housing the Illustration

An over whelming wave of nostalgia passes over me every-time I see sketched illustrations of buildings. I was raised on sketched illustrations of buildings, my father a designer of historical model buildings and my mother an artist.

Hovels: My mothers house illustrations from 1980's

Part of Hougoumont model designed & painted by my father Hovels Established 1985

Hovels: My mothers Illustrations from the 1980's

Hovels: My mothers Illustrations from the 1980's

Back in the 1980’s My parents set up a business called ‘Hovels’ instead of using photographs to showcase my fathers model building designs, my mother would sketch them to be used in the ‘Hovels’ illustrated catalogue.

Hougoumont model Designed and Painted by my father for Hovels

Sketched Illustrations of buildings, have certainly made a way into the interior design world mainly through wall-coverings. Today’s Dreamwallstyle blog post is inspired by my nostalgic love of my mothers original sketches and my fathers model buildings, so I’ve put together a collection of some of my favourite sketched Illustration of buildings that you can now bring into your homes….housing the Illustration!

Mini Moderns: Do you Live in a Town

I’m a massive fan of Minimoderns launched in 2006 by London based designers Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire. Minimoderns design influences range from mid-century British textiles to vintage toys, from literature to childhood memories. ‘Do You live in a Town Wallpaper’ (Snow) is a colour me wallpaper its fun for a kids bedroom or nostalgic adults who just want hours of fun colouring the houses….. what a great idea!

MiniModern ‘Do you live in a Town?’ wallpaper is printed in the UK with waterbased inks on paper from sustained forests 52cm repeat-straight match £40 per roll.

MiniModerns: Do You live in a Town Wallpaper? in Milk chocolate

Mini Moderns - Town Cushion

Also available in Milk chocolate… so do you fancy a mug of tea? ‘Do you live in a Town? Bone china mug …OK its not a wall-covering but I love it!

Little Greene Hampstead c.1949 From the hand-printed ‘Apsley Collection’ by John Line & Sons, this relaxed interpretation of an urban Hampstead scene is attibuted to designer Els Calvetti.

Hampstead Wallpaper - Little Greene

Hampstead by Little Greene (INK)

All the line detail is retained and even the original colour-ways of grey and blue have been accurately recreated for the 21st Century interior. Hampstead price £47.25 per roll

Little Greene - Hampstead (James Blue)

Little Greene wallpapers are a beautiful complement to the company’s paint palette. Each highly individual collection employs specialist printing methods on the finest grade papers, which gives the wallpapers their sophisticated textures, elegant appearance, durability and longevity.

Harlequin - Brighton - Strawberry, cornflower and Neutrals

Harlequin  Has a wonderful hand drawn interpretation of Brighton’s regency townhouses, available in six colour-ways, so very versatile in how it could be used in a property, from a children’s fun bedroom, to a perfect feature wall used in a dining room. £40,00 per roll.

Harlequin: Brighton Wallpaper

Erica Wakerly is an award winning print design company, Erica Wakerly established the design label in 2006, specialising in designing and producing wallpapers and interior textiles, that are modern and delicate. Distinct, but not overpowering. Houses £59.00 per roll

Erica Wakerly - Houses wallpaper in Salmon

Erica Wakerly - Houses wallpaper - Black/Grey

Erica Wakerly Houses Cushions

Graham and Brown  For a bit of fun I adore the commemorative 2012 designs from Britain’s wall decoration Kings.

Jubilee - Graham and Brown

The elegant fashions of the 1950s feature alongside iconic London landmarks in Graham & Brown’s new wallpaper design, ‘Jubilee’. Launched to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the new design has been created by surface design & textiles student, Sophie Minal. £25.00 per roll

Graham and Brown - Londinium

Bring the eternal city into your home with this new graphic wallpaper design. Capturing the excitement of 2012, Graham & Brown launches this illustrative cityscape, featuring London’s best known buildings and attractions. £25.00 per roll.

Graham and Brown - Londinium