All posts filed under: Just me

Making Space

I’ve uuhmmed and aaahed about whether to write and share this with you today (and I mean my finger has hovered over the the publish button for two days). Today’s post isn’t about interiors at all, it’s about what’s been going on backstage. Please do feel free to click away if you’ve not got the energy for someone else’s life right now (I totally get that) but if you’ve been thinking, “I wonder where Karen is, she’s not posted for 5 weeks” then the next few paragraphs will answer that. Making Spaces has grown to become bigger than I ever could have imagined, and I have to admit, I feel a sense of pressure, duty almost to keep up this illusion of being some kind of “interiors super hero”. But it’s still only little ole 5’3″ me, i’m just a sole-trader. I think sometimes people forget that, in fact I think sometimes I forget that. Whatever illusion i’ve managed to unwittingly create, i’ve always said to anyone that will listen is; it’s all smoke and mirrors. Nobody’s …

Knox Brackets Dowsing Reynolds

The Knox Bracket – A piece of Making Spaces at Dowsing & Reynolds

You can now buy me!! I’m for sale! I’m a bracket! Do you remember this project from 2017? The Industrial Shaker Kitchen – Before Well, part of this kitchen update, I designed some rather special shelving that sat on some rather special shelving brackets. After – Remember? Well these shelves caused quite a stir, so much so, I told Mr Dowsing Reynolds they should manufacture and sell them as part of their hardware range. I’m bossy like that. And guess what? The eponymous Knox Brackets are now for sale on the Dowsing & Reynolds website. You can now add me to your basket, have me delivered and fix me to your wall. It’s very exciting! Knox Shelf Brackets Here’s what it says on the D&R website about my design baby: “Rewind to 2016 when our very own James and Ally Dowsing-Reynolds moved into their new family home. They don’t like to do things by halves, and so it came as no surprise to us to find out that they’d bought a doer-upper… To say the least. …

Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine

Homebuilding & Renovating – Do you need an interior designer?

So, do you? It’s a good question isn’t it? And one i’ve discussed a kabillion times on here before. But I wanted to show you a recent article from Homebuilding & Renovating magazine’s June edition where myself and the “work-wife”, Fiona Duke (from Fiona Duke Interiors) are asked this very question. View this post on Instagram Although we're saying goodbye to that lovely (if brief) weather, we're saying hello to the latest issue of Homebuilding & Renovating! ⁣ We take a look at how you can design a kitchen on a budget, create the perfect wetroom, and drought-proof your garden. ⁣ Find design inspiration with our guide to freestanding vs built-in baths and our gorgeous architectural moodboard for your dream staircase. Plus, we discuss if it is worth hiring an interior designer for your project as well as taking a tour of our readers' beautiful homes — this month includes a stunning oak-frame single storey home, a contemporary self-build in Cambridgeshire and a family home transformed by a barn conversion and extension in Yorkshire! ⁣ …

The Best of 2018 – Your favourite posts on Making Spaces this year

Hello everyone, i’m back for my final post for 2018, my 60th post. It’s been a jam packed year, with as many projects taking place at Making Spaces HQ as there have been client projects. I’m going to run down your 10 favourite posts this year, the ones that got you reading and sharing. Then i’ll end with my favourite post, because, as you well know, this blog is all about me and my opinion. Kidding obv. So counting down from 10 to 1, here are the posts from 2018 as clicked on by you lot: Third Time Lucky? August 2018 This one was a bit of a gut wrencher to write, but you guys were absolute legends, with your most wonderfully kind comments and the number of votes too. You got me shortlisted and on a train to London for the Amara Interior Blog Awards, and whilst I didn’t win, i’ll be forever grateful for your support and well wishes.   Kitchen Facelift -Goodbye White Gloss, May 18 It seems I wasn’t alone in falling …

Nicola Broughton Home

Popping my public speaking cherry #designupnorth

Just a quick one today peeps, i’m still recovering from that last blog post… I hope you read it as it took me an age to write. Anyhoo – just wanted to let you all know that i’m making my very first panel appearance. I know! And you’re invited. Do read on… (I’m one of the friends) If you don’t know my northern insta buddy, Nicola Broughton (aka, The Girl with the Green Sofa) then here’s the low down. It’s going to be fun. For you that is. I will no doubt be shitting myself and hiding behind a large Kentia Palm. I’m more than happy mouthing off on here where I can go back, delete, edit, re-write, but in front of actual, real life people, i’m a bit shy I am. And if I have to speak into a microphone, well then i’ll be mortified as you’ll definitely hear the remains of my childhood lisp and my hybrid north west, Yorkshire accent. Hopefully the next two weeks of elecution lessons will have paid off in time. …

wall lights

Planning a build? When do I get an interior designer on board?

I’ve always hated the job title, interior designer, most people still don’t really know what we actually do, but as i’ve mentioned before, paint colours and cushions really are about 0.6%. Cushions in the Upper Brook Street Project I’ve noticed more interior designers referring to themselves as ‘interior architects’. I can’t class myself as that by any means, i’m certainly no architect, but I do make decisions around spatial planning, flow, lighting plans, first fix wiring and plumbing… Here’s what Google has to say about Interior Architecture V’s Interior Design: Interior architecture is the balancing of the art and science of designing an interior space taking into account all elements of the build.  Interior design is a broad ranging profession taking into account all aspects of planning and designing interior spaces in the built environment. I kind of see myself as being somewhere in between the two. One of the things I get BIG kicks from is solving layout problems. It might be as simple repositioning a dining table so it runs lengthways instead of horizontally, …

Third time lucky?

Disclaimer – If this is your first time reading my blog, then i’ll warn you that this isn’t probably the best one to start on. I mean, you’re free to read n’ all, you’re in charge. But this post is less about interiors and more about life stuff. I write these kind of posts a couple of times a year, so if you’re not in the mood to read the ramblings of a stranger, then I really won’t be offended. Otherwise, please… I’ve been nominated for an award at this year’s Amara Interior Blog Awards. I wasn’t sure whether to accept the nomination or not as I have mixed feelings about these kind of things really. I’ve had to quash my ludicrous levels of cynicism and put down my safety blanket in order to accept the nomination and take part this year. The Drawing Room This will be the last time I throw my hat into the ring, so I felt the need to write a post about what the Amaras actually are and why …

No House Rules with Kate Watson Smyth

Mad About the House comes to Leeds – #designupnorth with No House Rules

I went out one night last week. Didn’t get to sleep until well after midnight… and i’m still paying for it now (god, i’m so old). I don’t get out much, mainly because i’m a natural introvert, i’m normally in bed for 8.30pm and I find pyjamas just oh so comfortable. But for this recent No House Rules event, I made an exception. The No House Rules ladies, Katie and Amy (aka. @comedowntothewoods and @thisstyle_rocks) in partnership with Rose & Grey had arranged for Kate Watson-Smyth of Mad About the House fame to come to that there Leeds. I’ve been a huge fan of Kate and her work for several years now. It was one of the first blogs I latched on to. Her words, insight and general take on design certainly resonated with me. And a lot of other people too…. I remember when she followed me back on Twitter a few years ago, I was mega excited. Proper fan-girl style. Spring forward a few and our paths have crossed virtually a fair few …

Interior Design Collective - Design Surgery Workshop

IDC Design Surgery #designupnorth

It’s just a quickie today peeps! I’ve been writing up another (third on the bounce) final reveal post, for the Copper Bedroom (like busses they are), but i’ve had to interrupt that public service broadcast with some very exciting news: The very first IDC Design Surgery has now been confirmed!! We’re sooo excited. And true to my word, I have fought hard to host the very first of these IDC workshops up north, here in my beloved Yorkshire. These consultation style workshops are the first of their kind, as the content is planned around you and your own home projects. You tell us what you want to learn and we deliver. And when I say we, I mean me and my partner in crime and other half of the IDC dream team, Fiona Duke. There are only 10 places per workshop, we capped it at 10 as we want to be able to talk to each and every one of you and work through your home design dilemmas, so you leave feeling armed to deal …

Vintage styling

From left to right

You know every so often, I get an idea in my head, analyse and mull it over for weeks and then post it here as a long rambling blog? Well today is one of those days…. For a while i’ve been musing the concept of Left to Right and its use in Interior Design. What’s that then? Firstly, it’s the way that we write, as in we start at the left side of the page and scrawl across horizontally to the right. A lot of languages are written this way admittedly, but in this country we also drive on the left hand side. So it’s pretty hard wired into our lives to look left and keep left. Here’s my hypothesis: Because of our propensity towards the left, our eyes naturally scan from left to right (in this country anyway). Apparently, when us Brits go into a store, we subconsciously wander over to the left too… Weird! So what’s this got to do with anything? Well, i’ve noticed that when I layout a space or style …