Interior Design School Inspiration Day

Firstly I should begin my explaining my till now unexplained absence for the past couple of weeks, which was down to very nearly loosing my dream house. The good news is that at 4.49pm on Monday 9 February we finally exchanged. I won’t go into all the boring details, or emotional turmoil, other than to say my buyer turned out to be more than a bit of a headache, but needless to say whilst that was going on the last thing I wanted to do was blog.

But now I’m back! We’re scheduled to complete in just under two weeks, on Friday 27 February. I cannot wait to get in and get my hands on the place. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I spent some of my holiday thinking about things I wanted to do. Sewing was one of them, as was learning about interior design. So just like with cushion making, I scoured Google to find a short course on home interior design for beginners. It was actually harder than it looked. There’s a lot of online only classes, but I have always preferred to learn in a classroom, and many of the classroom based ones were more intensive/longer than I was after. But then I found The Interior Design School in Queens Park, London, which offered a one day ‘Inspiration Day’ course. To be honest, unlike with Saturday Sewing Session I didn’t jump right in and book straight away. Firstly, you can’t avoid the fact that its on the pricey side at £145. Secondly, there isn’t a great deal of information about what exactly it is you’ll do on the day. That said, the overall reviews were good, I liked the look of it, and besides I’d just ordered a slightly obscene number of interiors books on Amazon and was feeling a bit trigger happy.

Taught by professional interior designers, this is a stimulating and practical day that introduces the process of creating a design for an interior – whether you’re interested in designing your own home or thinking about a future career as an interior designer.

So off I went up to Queens Park on Saturday 31 January and found tucked away down an 18th century mews, a fabulously light, airy and modern interior design school.

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Fabrics, so many beautiful Indian fabrics

I’ve only been to India once but I forever will be captivated by the colours. My interior design is inspired by many counties, but there’s just not anything else quite like Indian fabrics and silks. I read once that Indian fabrics have been called ‘exquisite poetry in colour’ which seems very apt.

Colour is used in a vivid, kaleidoscopic way.  It takes special meaning in Indian society, from bright pink to celebrate life in the spring festival of Huli, the iridescent rainbow of colours as millions of fireworks explode in Diwali, the festival of lights, through to saffron, the colour of religious asceticism.  The town of Jodhpur in Rajasthan is painted blue to echo the colour of the blue god Krishna – Indian Interiors company

As I said in another post, my mother bought me a little ceramic elephant from Indian a number of years ago and spawned a love for those. She is also one of the reasons that I have such a love for Indian textiles and am building up a little collection! Here’s some that I picked up from Malaysia and that she brought me back from a recent trip to Jaipur. With my new sewing skills, I’m excited to start turning some of these into cushions.

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Saturday Sewing Session – My first cushion

About three years ago I went to John Lewis and bought a sewing machine. It was a gift from my elderly grandmother, who lived in Australia and has sadly since passed away, and at the time I was really keen to try sewing again. Back at secondary school, Design & Technology had been one of my favourite subjects (along with Maths and Ancient Greek, a strange combination I know!), and I had especially loved Textiles. My mum even still has a pair of silk trousers I made for her over 13 years ago. Sadly until this morning despite all kinds of good intentions my lovely sewing machine has sat in its box, stacked away on the shelves in the hallway cupboard.


My first proper cushion with a concealed zip, cut and sewn all by myself (with some expert guidance)

But today, thanks to Saturday Sewing Session, I made a cushion! While I was on holiday over Christmas and planning on the various things I wanted to do in my new home, sewing my own cushions and other furnishings was right at the top of the list.

I toyed with jumping straight in to piped cushions, thinking that maybe I could handle an intermediate course, but thankfully reality hit, and I signed myself up for their Saturday Zip It Up Beginners Comfy Cushions class. Its a 3 hour session where they take you through the basics of setting up, threading and using the machine before teaching you to make a cushion with a concealed zip. At £50 with all fabric, cushion padding and machine if you want included, I thought it looked like a good deal… Continue reading