Holiday Heaven

I had been wondering what to do for my 50th ever since I was 49, and, if I am honest, have been slightly worrying about it… Should I have a big party? Go away somewhere? With my family? Friends? Husband? I just couldn’t decide…


Our daughter Eva suggested a painting holiday, wonderful idea! We looked into it and saw some lovely possibilities. I got a bit anxious though, because my birthday is in summer and I wanted to go abroad, but I felt it might be too hot to paint. So we considered a family holiday in Majorca – random I know, but I have never been there and understand it is really beautiful. However, it was not popular with our teenage children, our son was going away with friends and needed to get a job and our daughter was going on a french exchange, so it was back to just me and Doug.

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Laminate your home

Get creative next time you are doing a makeover in your home and make life a little bit easier, by using a laminate. Modern designs include some really fun and convincing effects and are much easier to wield than some of the real, but rather heavy duty materials that they replicate. I understand that Carrara marble is very on trend (I think it has been for a few thousand years by now.) A deeply beautiful material, but it is kind of hard to come by. If you are fitting a new bathroom or revamping your hallway, why not consider the laminate version?


A lighter way to achieve a dazzlingly chic effect, both on your pocket and on your joiner. I know my joiner, Robert, could fit a laminate floor in seconds…. I am not sure how long it would take him to lay a marble one though, there is the boat journey from Italy for a start…

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Style Tips

Very flatteringly, I am often asked for advice – Maybe I am more qualified than I realise after all these years. So here goes…

monochrome living room

My No1 tip and I truly believe this, is to decide on a style and stick to it.

Deborah Gordon, owner of the above living room is a master of this approach!

All too often I see homes where the owner has NOT committed… the result being a sort of terrible uncertainty… The furniture all ends up very bland with practical, beige surfaces fighting for attention.

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What wood you lay?

One of the biggest decisions in any renovation is the flooring. A considerable expense in a large area and the basis of the whole look and atmosphere of your home.

wooden floor

Laying wood throughout gives you the perfect neutral starting point from which you can go in any direction, whether you want your home to be traditional, to show off period features to their best or contemporary and edgy, wood will work for either.

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Jessica Buckley

In the latest issue of 25 Beautiful Homes you will find a gorgeous Edinburgh apartment, belonging to a fantastically talented interior designer, Jessica Buckley.


After a few years of globetrotting, working in property investments in exotic destinations, she finally trained as an interior designer at the Sydney School of Design. The sunshine she has garnered from her travels and experience just pours in to her Edinburgh apartment.

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