Manoir de la Foulquetiere is open for chambres d’hote.


The renovations at Manoir de la Foulquetiere in the Loire Valley in France, which Ingrid and I photographed, are finally complete so I hope some of you will book to go and stay. It has been a real labour of love and is a magical place to stay. The swimming pool and gardens are lovely in summer and through autumn and winter you can cosy up by a roaring fire and enjoy Rosemary’s hospitality and a few glasses of the local vino after visiting local chateaux. What’s not to love? If you would like to book to stay at the Manoir you can do so here Manoir de la Foulquetiere. The bed and breakfast isn’t being advertised yet, but if you contact the Manoir they can book you in. It’s heavenly, believe me!

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My visit to France last week


Last week I was in France, checking out the progress on a project that has been in the planning for over a year now. It was really exciting to see everyone’s hopes and dreams becoming a reality and it should be finished by the end of the month! The project involves the renovation of a beautiful French manor house, dating in parts from the 13th century. There will be five en-suite bedrooms all decorated with every modern comfort you could hope for, but with plenty of stunning French antiques to reflect the house’s history.

My little boy Alfie was on site as a budding assistant, hard hat and all! Luckily he had free reign of a paddling pool and ride-on tractor to keep him busy most of the time. Stay tuned for photographs of the finished project, which will be a luxury chambres d’hotes so you can all go and stay this autumn!

My latest project: Unit, London


My latest interior design project was for Unit, a post production company based in the heart of Soho in London. I worked with budding interior designer Grace Hyde-Smith to complete the project in under eight weeks from start to finish. The project included a bar and reception area, nine editing suites, three finishing suites, a grading room, audio suites and a board room. Quite an undertaking in such a short time! Needless to say, it was all hands on deck but the we completed the project on time and on budget.

The brief was to create spaces that felt homely and comfortable while still being stylish and suitable for the company’s high end media clients. We also worked with the client’s amazing collection of over 200 original set and costume sketches from the world of film and television, which we had reprinted and reframed to be used as artwork throughout the communal spaces and in the finishing suites. The fabulous painting in the bar area was commissioned especially for the project.

All images are copyright to Ingrid Rasmussen.


New Year, New Project


Happy New Year! Without a moment’s hesitation or pause for breath, I find myself working on an exciting new interior design project to get 2011 off to a flying start. I’ll be overseeing the interior design and decoration of 10,000 square feet of studio and office space in London’s Soho for a film and television post production company. It’s sure to keep me busy, but please check back to see photographs of the finished project in a couple of months. What’s more, the building is on the same street as Liberty, my favourite shop in the world, so wild horses will not be able to keep me out of the Liberty furniture and textiles departments! How exciting.

How to make a headboard


A headboard will instantly transform a simple bed base into a style statement that creates a focal point for a bedroom. You can keep it as simple as you like or really embellish it with buttons, pleating or a bold fabric to create a bit of drama. The great thing about making your own is that it is really easy and you can make it exactly to your own specifications. If you fancy having a go, here’s how to do it…

You will need:

12mm MDF board cut to the right size (see below for how to work this out)

A piece of 5cm firm upholstery foam cut to the shape of your board

A piece of fabric (preferably suitable for upholstery/soft furnishings) the size of your board plus 15cm on each side

A staple gun and staples

Spray glue

Brackets to fix the headboard to the wall

Method:

1. First you need to work out the size you want your headboard to be. You need to measure the height from the top of the skirting board behind the bed and then add at least 80-100cm above the bed’s height. The best way to get the right height is to sit on your bed and imagine leaning back against your headboard so that you make sure it is high enough to be comfortable. Mark the height on the wall with a small piece of blue tack or a pencil mark and then step back to see if it is the right height aesthetically too. Measure the width of your bed and then add at least 10-15cm on each side to this measurement to get the width of the head board.

2. Get a hardware store to cut you a piece of MDF board to the measurements that you have taken. If you want a curved headboard or more complex shape, you will need to draw it out on paper to take along. If it is going to be rectangular then just take along your dimensions. If you want to make a button tufted headboard you will need to ask for holes to be drilled at regular intervals so make sure you take measurements for these too.

3. Buy a piece of upholstery foam to exactly fit your MDF board. Using the spray glue, fix your foam to your board and leave to dry.

4. Iron your fabric so it is nice and smooth and lay it out on a large surface or the floor face side down. Lower your headboard onto it so that the foam is between the fabric and the board. Staple neatly around the back of the headboard, checking that the fabric is taught. Staple at the centre of each side first to ensure the fabric is smooth and evenly spread. Make hospital corners at each corner and staple.

5. If you are making a button tufted headboard you will need to cover your buttons in your chosen fabric and then pull them through the drilled holes with upholstery thread. Staple the threads at the back of the board to secure.

6. Place your headboard behind your bed and fix to the wall with the brackets. Enjoy!

Current project – French gite


At the moment we are working on another gite in France, set in 20 hectares of beautiful countryside and woodland. The gite, which dates from the 15th century and is within the grounds of a fabulous Manoir, will be available for holiday lets at the end of this month. It is decorated in the French style with a contemporary twist and we have furnished it with plenty of wonderful French antique and vintage pieces.  The house has three fabulous bedrooms, each with their own unique character but all decorated in a style that reflects the soul of the building.  The master bedroom is not finished yet so watch this space! It’s going to be amazing!

There is also a second gite that we have completed that sleeps just two people. You couldn’t really get a more romantic hideaway!

If you would like to come for a holiday to this beautiful place, have a look at the web site www.manoirfoulquetiere.com. Although it is still under construction, the web site contains all the contact details and information you need.

First pics of our latest project


The first rooms in our latest project are on their way to completion – a very exciting time! It’s a huge project to renovate and decorate a French manor house, which dates from the 13th-16th centuries, and includes the main house and three gites. Each space will be decorated to sit harmoniously with the soul of the buildings and will be furnished with a combination of French antiques and contemporary furnishings. The gites will be available to rent as holiday homes from September 2010 and you can visit http://www.manoirfoulquetiere.com if you fancy visiting. Watch this space for more photographs as the project progresses…