Posts tagged upcycling
Meet Bristol's Very Own Upcycling Queen
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Forever associated with the creative, unconventional and anarchic, Stokes Croft is home to one very distinctive Bristol furniture upcycler, Marcie Kobernus. With a lot of leopard print, graffiti words and bold gold leaf, Marcie’s hand painted style is maximalist, punk and rebellious. Refined it is not. Fabulously ballsy it definitely is.   

After a lifetime of making things from scratch and running her own clothing business, Marcie delights in rescuing and revamping vintage brown wood pieces with paint, decoupage and upholstery treatments. Working from her studio, The Chicken Shed (which literally was once a chicken shed), and often using chalk based paints, but never in a Shabby Chic way, Marcie has developed her distinctive style and created numerous statement pieces, growing an impressively sized following on instagram along the way. 

She has become the resident upcycling columnist for Reclaim magazine and each month shares a tutorial for keen DIY-ers to follow or adapt at home, whether its turning a table into a clock, a divan into a coffee table, or trimming a chair with tassels. 

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This year Marcie was invited to design a room set to inspire visitors to Grand Designs Live at the London ExCel. Hand painting leopard spots all over the walls she filled it with screens painted with cranes and other items daubed in her signature style. 

Selling both online and at the pop up Vintage Market on Stokes Croft in central Bristol, if you are looking to give your home an irreverent, unique touch then Marcie might just be your girl. 

If you fancy having a go yourself keep your eyes peeled as Marcie will be opening the doors to her Chicken Shed studio soon to run playful pattern painting workshops with an emphasis on the wellbeing that only hands on, mindful, analogue and tactile working can provide.

Pop into the Stokes Croft Vintage Market for a browse, follow her instagram for a scroll or find her online here

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Decorate with blue, without getting the blues
Zoe Hewett Interiors Blue Room

Although blue is the people’s choice when it comes to favourite colours, it is a lesser spotted tone around the home. With its watery associations, blue tends to be confined to bathrooms and then usually only in polite, pale portions. Blue isn’t a common candidate for sitting rooms or bedrooms, as we tend to equate it with cool, cold or even sadness. 

Yet, navy and denim blues have already been trending for a while among the early adopters of the interiors world, so here are my pointers for trying out blue without getting the blues.

Go as dark as you dare! Smaller spaces that don’t receive much natural light are perfect for bolder colour choices. As counter-intuitive as that may sound, the convention of usingwhite or light shades to make a room seem larger is a popular misnomer. Pale hues caneasily look insipid and lifeless where deeper tones add drama and interest instead. So turn up the saturation and increase the energy in the space.

Choose a warm blue - they do exist! If you are worried about it all seeming cool, particularly at this chilly time of year, a slight hint of purple will read as warmer than a green-blue. 

Mix and match different shades. Powder blue can look juvenile, whereas navy is sophisticated, but with so many beautiful blues to choose from there is no reason why you can’t shake things up by using more than one to create something new.

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Ignore gender stereotypes about colour. In the 1920s blue was considered the most appropriate colour for baby girls to wear, not blue as is the convention today. It is true though that darker walls tend to be thought of as masculine, so to make it more gender neutral, balance things out with pretty or vintage touches. Dainty china and the vintage postcards of birds decoupaged onto the chair are unexpected, feminine and happy companions to the dark wall behind.

Bring pattern in to the scheme somewhere, be it on a rug, cushion, throw or art print to break up large expanses of blue, add interest and homeliness. Keeping to the same blue palette will give it a cohesive look and allow you to use more than one patterned surface without it becoming too chaotic. Accessorise with neutrally coloured elements (such as vases, lamps, cushions etc) to temper all the colour. Use creams and stones for warmth, or whites for crispness.

Flowers and plants always add life to any room, and many designers will say no space is complete without at least a little foliage. Yellow is blue’s complimentary colour, so pops of it will really sing in a flower arrangement, depending on the season and what is available.  Orange and pink would also be jolly, but avoid red as it tends to ‘fight’ with blue. 

Above all, if you’re going to go blue, be bold.

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Images (c) Zoe Hewett Interiors