Picture Perfect

The Candy Files

House Candy = Screen Print Siren

I’d love her anyway, but the fact that she’s rare as well as beautiful makes my new Rowan Newton screen print (above) all the more appealing. 

When my husband asked me what I’d like for my special birthday next week I bypassed the usual route of handbags and glad rags and asked (OK, begged) for this. Why? because when the It bag is out and the dress has been spilt on, this lady will still be looking hotter than ever.

She's called Late Nights in Rouge, (which is quite appropriate considering the amount of birthday parties I’ve been to recently) and she is one of only twelve made by London artist Rowan, whose work is inspired by the city scenes and pop culture he grew up with. She’ll be bringing some urban edge to my quaint little corner of Yorkshire anytime soon and I can’t wait to give her wall space.

Fine & Candy = TA-DArt

TA-DArt… y’know... that moment when you place a picture on a wall and realise it was meant to be there all along. You’ve seen me flaunt my flamingos a few times now, but it wasn’t until I moved them out of my lovely loo and into a dark and un-loved hallway that they really made their presence known. This bright pop of colour at the end of the corridor has completely transformed the way I look at it. Once the bane of my life, I now quite like it’s narrowness and the picture hanging at the end gives it an almost gallery-like quality.

Flamingos framed print from www.made.com

Candy Pandy = Off the Hook

Armed with a hammer and a pack of picture hooks I’m downright dangerous. I move pictures around the house on a weekly basis and the redundant picture hook holes have become the pockmarks of my life. They’re also a great excuse to buy more art ;-) Exhibition time darling?

Arty Facts 

Want to join the arty farty party? Great news because you’re just in time. Head to Hamstead Heath between 11 and 14th June for The Affordable Art Fair and bag yourselves the coolest bargains in town.

Can’t make it to London? don’t worry all you super hip Northern crowd, there’s a whole floor of art candy and regular special exhibitions at the one and only Redbrick, Batley. 

Pop along any day of the week to check out the latest arty offerings in the Smart Gallery. I’ve made a date in the diary for 13th September when Katy Jade Dobson will be in store to show off her stunning collection of original art and limited edition prints. I’m going ape for this fella. 

Happy weekend all, I’m off next week to concentrate on getting older. You wouldn’t drop me a comment for my birthday would you? xxx 


Toilet Humour

When my friend sent me this picture of her newly decorated downstairs loo, I knew we were onto something. Also a mother of boys, the pink Cole & Son wallpaper was a brave move. “It’s so camp!” guffawed her teenage son, offering it up to Instagram for lolz. Bog-standard had become banter-some and suddenly there was a queue for the previously un-loved cloakroom. Boom.

A year ago I decided to camp it up in the downstairs loo. It went from pale and un-interesting…


To flaming-orgeous… 


It still causes a stir when new visitors pay a call which, as my friend is now discovering, proves the little boys room is a great place to experiment with colours or patterns you might not necessarily dare to bare elsewhere.  Here’s why:

1) It’s usually the smallest room in the house, which means you can use fancy wallpapers to full effect without breaking the bank.

2) Loo lolz will ALWAYS be a thing.

3) You know I like to add a bit of magic to the mundane and where better to practise the theory than in the most boringly functional room in the house.

So I urge you all to carry on camping like my friend and I. But if pink flamingos are just a bridge too far, here’s a few more ways to help you spend a stylish penny.

                                          Go for gold

              Place ornate gilt mirrors in the room you’d least expect them… the devil is in the detail. 

Admire the view

No window? short on wall space? Make it count with a striking piece of artwork. The downside is visits may take longer.

Hang out with me

Wall hung units and wall mounted taps save on space and always add extra design points. This tall and skinny space is of supermodel proportions and dressed to impress.

Wall to wall WOW

Pile on the glamour by taking the luxe wall to wall. These marble tiles scream style which makes them worth saving up for.


Don’t keep them a secret, let us know your little loo luxuries below. I’m bursting to hear from you xxx


The Walled Garden: My best in show

The sun may not have got the brief, but in true British style The Chelsea Flower Show will carry on regardless.

Rain or shine, this is the show that brings crowds flocking to see the best in outdoor living - where the horticultural heavies flex their muscles and green fingered goddesses show us how to Give Good Garden.

I like a nice plot. I mean, given the time, I’d like to think I’d have a thriving veg patch and a perfectly manicured herbaceous border. There’d be rampant roses framing my door and a picket fence heaving under the strain of pretty white wisteria. 

Sadly, this scene will have to be resigned to an Alan Titchmarsh novel until such a time as a) I have retired and b) quit obsessing about the inside of my home and started obsessing about the outside.

But that seems like a long time to wait to join in the garden party, so allow me if you will to indulge in my own personal flower show… INSIDE the house. Here's VIP access to The Walled Garden, where go-to wallpaper brands are showing off some stunning displays and stylishly bringing the outside, in.

 Newsflash! Interior florals needn’t be girly or granny-ish. Instead they can be mean, moody and seriously sexy if you know how to work them. As the garden designers will tell you, it’s all about choosing the right colours, the best blooms and the right accessories. 

Designer’s Guild is my first stop when it comes to florals. This brand knows how to mix and match to perfection - avoiding chinz and layering on the chic. Colourwise, anything goes; no rules, no restraints and a whole heap of WOW factor. It’s great for mixing up wall coverings and upholstery for a coherent yet never overly matchy-matchy scheme, which in my book equals maximum edge.

There’s something for everyone in this brand’s massive range of floral wallpapers, including these two show stoppers; choices inspired by the Gold and Silver medal winners at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.


This year’s Best Show Garden went to The Chatsworth Garden, inspired by the wilder side of gardening and mimicking the architectural delicacy of the 200 year old Champagne House on the stunning Derbyshire Estate. Now I don’t know about you, but I could happily sip champagne here, enjoying the sensuousness of this Darley Noir paper from www.designersguild.com


The Far East was a major theme in this year’s Silver Gilt medal winner at Chelsea, The Hidden Beauty of Kranji, using flora and fauna native to Singapore. Add to that the Chinese theme at this year’s Met Ball and it seems that The Orient is quite a thing. Give it a fashionable nod at home with this new bamboo lemongrass wallpaper by Designers Guild. Available in 8 chic colourways, but this striking lime version is my favourite.

Bamboo lemongrass wallpaper by Designers Guild

In my own garden, the flowers of choice are oversized, blowzy blooms such as old school Chrysanthemums, English Roses and Peonies. In fact, I may be ready for my blue rinse after all, because I like nothing more than a glass of wine in the evening sunshine when these lovely flowers are out in force. Petal power punctuates an outdoor space with brightness and beauty and I wouldn’t mind a bit of that indoors too. Here’s my pick of blooming lovely wallpaper prints:

Meriedal Cobalt www.designersguild.com

Amrapali Peony www.designersguild.com

Ornamental Garden panel Print www.designersguild.com

Another brand that is nailing fashionable florals is House of Hackney. Picking from the decadent era of 1930s Palm Springs, this Palmeral wallpaper looks insanely cool paired with an eclectic mix of vintage furniture and homewares. 

The brand is brilliant at throwing up unusual colour choices that demand guts but boast unbeatable fashion credentials. This is what you call a garden party.

Pampas wallpaper in nectarine www.houseofhackney.com

So there you have it. All you need to create your own medal winning floral display is a barrow full of 
gorgeous paper from either of these two botanical experts and a bucket full of bravery. 

Can you handle florals? 

Drop me a line and let me know what you think about flowery interiors in the comments section below. I would love to hear from you.


Make it Hoppen - Kelly’s Design Masterclass

If The Beckham’s ask you for help designing their new London mansion, you can safely say you’ve made it. It’s the contract every interior designer on the planet would die for … and likely few could handle.

But in Kelly Hoppen’s case, I don’t imagine for one minute a sweaty-palmed, Dragon’s Den style sales pitch:  Kelly frantically flicking through her portfolio at the Beckham breakfast bar; VB giving it the power-pout and David stroking his salt and pepper stubble as they contemplate her credentials.

 The fact is, stars queue up to have this lady style their home. When it comes to celebrity homemaking, Kelly Hoppen is the Don.

So it’s really rather good of her to let the likes of us in on her interior style secrets. Better than that, we’re allowed to emulate that signature star quality, simply by following a few golden rules as highlighted in her latest book, Design Masterclass. 

Here we learn, step by step, that creating a dream home is not rocket science … but neither is it about having an A-list bank balance and a professional stylist on speed dial. Kelly learned her craft the hard way and her advice, along with the ethos of her homewares label, is about creating comforting spaces that help you relax and enjoy the important things in life.  A Kelly Hoppen home has soul.

So, far from the fire breathing dragon you might expect as head of a global business enterprise, here is a lady who loves nothing more than chilling out at home, surrounded by nature, friends and family. Meet Kelly Hoppen MBE; Mother, Business lady, Expert in all things House Candy. 

Kelly Talks House Candy: The Interview

Kelly at home: 

You travel the world for work and pleasure, what home comforts do you miss the most?
It is the small things like the comfort of your own bed, which I still miss from many of the lovely hotels I have stayed at. If it is a business trip, I miss my family and friends dearly.

Summer is on the way, what tricks do you use to transition your home into a new season?
Firstly, I store away all of my warming winter layers such as throws and cosy rugs and then switch heavier fabrics to lighter ones. For example, I replace velvet lined curtains to airy linen ones. I also find that lighter shades such as whites, and neutrals on walls help give a home that bright summery feel.

Your interiors help to create a sense of calm and contentment. How do you achieve this in your own lifestyle?
By making sure I have that balance between work, rest and play. I love what I do but I also make sure I plan my years, months and days and set goals that I can celebrate when they’re achieved.

Kelly at work:

Design Masterclass is a lesson in interior style - what common design disasters do you think deserve detention?
Not properly laying out an interior space before starting design work can result in design disaster. If you don’t have the right measurements of the room you are working on you could end up with oversized furniture which leaves your space looking cramped and could cost a fortune to rectify. An easy tip is to measure up, then mark out where you are placing different pieces with masking tape.

70s designs are back in fashion, what period in history inspires you the most? 
There are so many eras that inspire me in history, from the classic and traditional Victorians to the chic glamour of the 1950s and 60s – such pivotal moments in history, for women especially.

You've got designers block, where do you go for inspiration?
Traveling is one of my favourite ways to get inspired. My design philosophy is based on East Asian principles and there is so much culture to soak up in China so this would definitely be a top pick. A nice, refreshing country walk near my home in the Cotswolds would be another go to place.

You have worked with some of the world's most stylish people, whose house style do you most admire and why?
I really love my own home because  it is the only project that I have been able to design one hundred percent according to my personal vision. With client projects, even though I design using my signature style, there is still external input and specifications to meet.

Kelly’s crushes:

Who would you invite to the perfect dinner party?
My design icon Sir Terrence Conran, fashion icon Coco Chanel, beauty icon Marylin Monroe and the Dalai Lama.

Each week on My House Candy, I share my current interior cravings, what's at the top of your 2015 wish list?
I can’t really think of anything as I luckily have everything I want and If there is something I do want that is not on the market, I can design. I am however always on the look out for stunning artwork; I see art as an investment.

Do you have an all time favourite piece of House Candy?
There are so many that come to mind from my Kelly Hoppen homeware collection. I’m passionate about each and every design but the Luna Vase is one of my favourites. The shape and lines of the design are classic and could fit in any home. The vase is one of the first pieces I designed for kellyhoppen.com, so it holds a very special place in my heart. I also love my new cubes that are in my collection, very unique and different.

Open Cube £535

Meet Kelly Hoppen for her exclusive book signing event and enjoy an introduction to her luxury homewares brand, this FRIDAY 15h May, between 4pm and 7pm at the Kelly Hoppen concession store, Redbrick Batley, West Yorkshire.

I’m so excited, I’ve got Kelly belly! 

Image Map


The Candy Files: Book Club

House Candy = Coffee Table Treats

This week, the House Candy coffee table will be giving this beautiful page flicker pride of place. Design Masterclass is a tantalising resource book full of simple tips and clever tricks to help you
nail the signature style that has made design supremo Kelly Hoppen a household name.

Head down to West Yorkshire design Mecca Redbrick on Friday 15th May between 4pm and 7pm and who knows, you might even get a selfie with the author, designer and bonafide business mogul Kelly Hoppen herself! (pause for sharp intake of breath)

IT’S TRUE! - Kelly-off-the-telly, style advisor to the stars…  this insanely well connected lady has swapped Belgravia for Batley and is hanging out at her newly opened concession store, her first in the North of England. It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up a signed copy of Design Masterclass for you - or a seriously cool gift for a friend.

In fact get the weekend off to a flier and finish up with fizz at Redbrick’s Cafe Casbah to celebrate your coffee table coup.

In the meantime, stay tuned for an exclusive Kelly Hoppen meets House Candy interview right here on the blog :-)

Fine & Candy = Book shelf wallpaper
The space saving, dust free alternative to appearing well read. It’s cheaper than a shelf full of first editions but it won’t buy you an invite to book club. My favourites are these:

Candy Pandy = Bad Book Manners

Turned corners, notes on recipe pages, tea cup stains on the cover - this would be bad enough…  but there’s also a pile of borrowed books the size of a sawmill stuffed under my bed that I have: 
a) not read and 
b) long since forgotten who lent them to me. 

Sorry friends. In future just tell me to buy my own. I understand, promise.

Hope to see you at Redbrick? Please drop me a line if you can make it!!


Open the phwoar!

We all know the importance of kerb appeal; that first impressions count; that a new buyer decides on a property within the first 5 minutes of arrival… blah blah and blah.

Well I hate to bore you, but IT’S TRUE!

Having an interior to die for and a shabby front door is like wearing a designer dress to a party and leaving your pack-a-mac on all night. So here begins my campaign for a front phwoar…

A door worthy of a grand entrance…

"One has arrived”

 A door with serious status

“If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in.”

Door Decorum

Think of your front door as the vital organ of your home - the thing that lets life in and sees life out. 
When you put it like that, doesn’t it deserve a bit of attention? 

At all of the most impressive properties I have been to, the WOW factor starts and finishes at the door. It should be something you are pleased to come home to and proud to leave. Yet sadly for a lot of us, that peeling paint and broken doorbell makes it yet another job on the to-do list. 

But there is a door crime worse than neglect and it is this: choosing the same front door as everyone else on the street. Welcome to Dullsville, please drive extremely uneventfully (yawn).  

Come on, we can do better than this! After all, you never know when your five minutes of fame might strike.

So what’s new in the world of Door Candy? Well…as it turns out not that much, actually. 

Really it's up to you, the homeowner, to use your imagination and create an entrance that speaks volumes about your individual style.

"Little Miss sunshine lives here"

"I am a member of the pistachio party"

Fashion wise, greys are (still) in and experts may point you in the direction of swanky sounding hues such as Downpipe or French Grey from posh paint pot favourite www.farrow-ball.com 

Teamed with shiny silver hardware, grey is stylish and modern, without being too formal. A matt finish gives it extra edge.

This is my door, painted in exclusive “Grey-ish” from… well…  from mixing a bog standard tin of black and white gloss actually, but don’t tell anyone will you?

Brilliant black is always going to be a winner and not because we all secretly dream of being Prime Minister. It’s the neutral that goes with everything. And like shiny shoes, it makes the entrance look instantly smarter. 
Brass letter boxes, numbers and door knockers can be expensive, but how many are you likely to buy in a lifetime? Personally I think it’s worth investing in some quality door furniture. Like wearing a cheap necklace, you can spoil the whole look by scrimping on the accessories. Try this website for some brass with class: www.willowandstone.co.uk 

Now is it just me, or does red instantly make you expect Fireman Sam to answer the door? Surely it’s sexier than that? A red door is bright and sassy and in-yer-face and I like that approach to decorating (even if does remind me of a certain flame haired fireman).

Then again this combination of bright red and charcoal slate is enough to set off my style siren…

For those of you who can’t commit to the upkeep involved with a painted timber door, walk this way.
Composite doors are made to look like solid wood, but have all the durability and energy efficiency of UPVC, which (sigh) explains their HUGE popularity. The good news is they are super secure and the style choice is immense so you can still be different, even if you err on the side of sensible.
A great option for lovers of contemporary design, composite doors come in a huge range of colours, but remember, unlike paint, this is permanent - no one season wonders here please. Let's keep things classy.

This contemporary door from  www.everest.co.uk looks chic against white rendered walls and offset with lush green shrubs.

All double glazing firms will offer you advice and guidance as well as a full installation and guarantee package on a huge range of GRP or composite doors. Look them up and you’ll have a salesman calling quicker than you can say knock knock.

Name and number

House names look posh. Fact. 
Be your own Toad of Toad Hall and splash your house’s name about for some extra postcode envy. 

Only a number? Pah! there’s no such thing. Do the style maths and spell it out. Your postman will thank you for it.

Door Laws:

So the rules are there are no rules, only choices. But I’ve been lucky enough to hold the keys to a few front doors in my time, and experience tells me this: 

1) Match your windows to your doors. Collars and cuffs right?

2) Invest. This is the entrance to your world. Do the best you can do people.

3) Blend. Consider what frames the door: the bricks, the stone work; even the car if its always parked next to it. The more coherent the scheme, the more expensive the overall look.

4) Make it personal. I don’t mean a red and white striped door with a cannon shaped letterbox (sorry darling). I mean spending time to make sure your door matches your sense of style, so that a first time visitor would arrive and think - “ahhhh, it must be this one".

5) Don’t do comedy doorbells. Just don’t.

And most importantly… 

6) Create your own front door moments. Take photos on the step, just like the royals and the politicians to mark the headlines of your life; The day you moved in, The day you were carried over the threshold; The first day of each new school year. In years to come you will look back lovingly and marvel at how you've changed and yet the door has mostly stayed the same!

I hope it’s a door where happiness keeps on knocking.

Oh come on it’s polling day, let’s have some fun. Share your #boredoor or #phwoardoor moments here. I’ll get the kettle on ;-)


Take a seat for Royal Baby Watch

News Flash… It’s pink...

Earlier in the waiting room...

The paparazzi are fully assembled... Baby Cambridge #2 is on the way.

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, the Arne Jacobsen Series 7 Chair is now available in a whole new range of colours including, fittingly, rose pink and baby blue (above).

The most sold stackable chair in design history, THIS is my tip for one stylish and practical baby/house-warming gift for the Duke and Duchess... well just think of all those visitors!

Available from skandinavian design superstore Skandium, you can now choose your iconic Series 7 chair in a whopping 19 colours or these gorgeous limited edition 60th anniversary specials.

Priced at £329 for the coloured Ash version, £456 for the lacquered finish, or £523 for the limited edition colours,  I’m saving up all my pennies for the ultimate Royal Baby souvenir purchase. Shop the full range here: www.skandium.com Image Map