The World Of Coco Design

Don't you just love it when you stumble across something new? This week I've discovered Oxfordshire / Stratford based company Coco Design

With over 10 years in the interior design industry they decided to hang up their hard hats and create a home collection inspired by urban and rural settings. Their chosen colour palette means their collection will be at home almost anywhere. 

Spring Chickens


Their collection is painstakingly created through a 3-stage process of sketches, hand cut stencils and finally hand painted with recycled emulsions. Nothing goes to waste. One of the many things I like about this company! Although this is a relatively precise process, each piece is unique with visible brush strokes an additional and intentional feature 

Do you own any handcrafted, unique artwork?


Upcycle Furniture With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I've wanted to try Annie Sloan chalk paint for ages. If you haven't heard about this miracle paint here's a brief description from their website. 

1. Chalk Paint® is the BEST paint for painting furniture by a long way 
2. No need to prime or prepare 
3. Extremely low VOC so it is good for the environment 
4. You can use it on any surface, indoors and out (the outside of our shop was painted in it -- perfect!) 
5. You can use the paint by diluting it with water to make a wash to show the wood grain 
6. The colours are mixed intelligently and the website shows how you can adapt your colours for your use 
7. It's a girls' paint, but boys can use it too 
8. It's flexible so you can be creative and change your mind 
9. It allows your walls to breathe so it is perfect for cottage walls 
10. You can use it as an impasto (thickly) - leave the lid off to thicken 
11. We've been making it since 1990 so it's tried and tested 

The deciding point for me had to be No.2. No need to prime or prepare? Hmmm I was a little sceptical about that statement but with so many people raving about this product I was willing to put my doubts aside. For those of you who have ever painted furniture you'll know how much time goes into preparing and priming! It's a lot of effort to say the least! 

I already had a project in mind. This 6 drawer chest of drawers which I'd picked up recently from a second hand shop. Although I quite liked the wood stain it was scratched and the colour didn't really go with the grey and purple tones in our bedroom.


After carefully removing the handles I set to work using a soft brush. The paint goes on thickly but a little really goes a long way. Handy considering the £18 price tag for a 1 litre tin. As recommended by the stockist we watered down the second coat before applying, which makes it a lot smoother to apply. 

There are lots of finishes you can go for. Shabby chic, two tone, rustic, crackle effect, etc but in all honesty I prefer a smooth block colour finish to my furniture. After allowing the paint to dry I rubbed in some clear wax. This protects the paintwork and adds a slight sheen to the overall finish - Note - the paintwork was touch dry in around 30 minutes but I waited until the following day before rubbing clear wax into the drawers.

Annie Sloan - Paloma - Clear wax

I love these original handles

My overall thoughts?

I have to say, I'm really pleased with the effect and although the paint was expensive I've still got well over 3/4 left in the tin! Not bad considering there are endless uses with this paint. With that in mind I decided to give a cheap terracotta plastic pot a coat.

However, if you are looking for the exact colour in the tin I would recommend giving your furniture a quick once over with a primer or some white-ish paint.  It goes without saying that the colour underneath is bound to change the overall shade you end up with.  If the shade isn't quite right don't worry, you can easily mix it with any other Annie Sloan paint to achieve the right shade.

Would I use this paint again?
Most definitely! I love how versatile this paint is. You can water it down, mix it and literally paint any surface with it.  It dries so quickly without any stickiness and hardly smells compared to other paints.  The only problem I have with this paint is deciding which colour to get next!

Have you tried Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? Have you got a project in mind you're about to work on? I'd love to see what you're working on.  You can tweet a photo of your project to me at @agirliknow


Contemporary Lamp Giveaway

It's giveaway time!  Everyone knows lighting is key to any room. There's nothing that can ruin the tone of your room more than a stark ceiling light; or worse, lighting so dim you feel as if you've reverted back to candlelight! To overcome this I'm a big fan of lamps.  There's an abundance of them in our home.  In fact, come to think of it there's four in our living room and I'm contemplating a fifth! You see great lighting can complete your room and set the scene or as some would say, 'um-bi-uhnce'.

Some of us aren't fortunate to have floods of natural light within our home which is where clever and decorative lighting comes to the rescue.  Choosing the right lamp will complete your overall design scheme, just like the right pair of shoes would complete your outfit.

I've teamed up with Out There Interiors and giving away this large, white, contemporary table lamp to one lucky reader of A Girl I Know.  This bold lamp will certainly make a statement in any hallway or lounge.  In fact I'm a little bit jealous that I can't enter the giveaway myself!

If you haven't heard of Out There Interiors I would definitely recommend you take a look.  Known for their quirky and quality assured designs, I love how they describe themselves as 'furniture people - not arrogant people'  In fact I'm slightly obsessed with this Fuschia Pink French Chest of Drawers. Which would make a great feature in any room!

Anyway, back to the giveaway in question! To be in with a chance of winning this oversized lamp worth £140 just enter via the rafflecopter form below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Favourite Finds At The Ideal Home Show

For the first time in 106 years (!) the iconic Ideal Home Show exhibited at Manchester's Eventcity.  If you've visited the event at London's Earls Court, you'll know it's a pretty grand affair and a chance for many designers to exhibit new gadgets and concepts. Although the Manchester event wasn't perhaps as grand a scale as its London counterpart I didn't come away disappointed or drained!  These shows can turn into an all day event and with so much to take in and with a lot of ground to cover, you can feel pretty tired from it all.

I managed to cover most of the show, although with eight dedicated sections I skipped the insanely long queue for the Ikea goody bag, which I'm a little bit gutted about!  The main sections which interested me were the Interiors, Home Improvement and Show Home sections.  With over 10 years in the property development industry and with a few show homes under my belt I was interested to see which design trends we'll be seeing more of.

Here are my Top  Five Favourite Finds...


Although mural wallpaper isn't actually new this stand was crawling with visitors!  I suspect the price has something to do with it as most of their wall murals were priced at £25.  The one which really caught my eye was this comic book inspired wallpaper.  It measures 1.58m x 2.32m however I would guess you can cut this down to size or buy more sheets for a larger area. This would be perfect in my sons room and see him well into his teenage years.

If comic books aren't your thing then other designs are available such as stunning cityscapes or brick effects.  If you're looking for a feature point in your room or perhaps a subtle backdrop then I would highly recommend checking these guys out.  Here's an added incentive with a discount code, GD2014.

Img: 1wall
Img: 1wall
Img: 1wall


It does exactly what is says on the tin, it's a magnetic paint.  The great thing about this company is that you can combine their paint with their sketch paint, thus creating a magnetic whiteboard anywhere you want!  Home or office this ingenious paint is perfect for busy homes, children's rooms or to help you stay organised at work.  I had a quick go on their board and I can tell you the magnetic strength is quite strong and more than capable of holding your paperwork etc to the wall.  Check out their site for more technical details and range of products.

Jam Jar Lights

These handmade, custom lights certainly caught my eye.  They're not the kind of thing you'd find on the high street which is exactly how the designers of these quirky lamps want it.  Their lighting is an eclectic mix of iconic Kilner jar lights to fabric cables and hanging pendants.  If you're looking for something unique and handmade these lovely folk are perfect for you.

 Img: Jam Jar Lights

Img: Jam Jar Lights

John Lewis 150 Years

For those of you who live in a cave, John Lewis are currently celebrating 150 years in the business.  I love the colour palette they're currently using to mark their anniversary.  This room set, appropriately named The Anniversary Room, has been inspired by their heritage and uses a combination of retro prints and modern day living  They've come a long way since 1864!

George Clarke

Of course I had to include the swoonworthy George Clarke in all this! Lovely bloke, incredibly tall and I managed to form at least one sentence without drooling. Winner!

So there you have it. My top 5 picks from the show. Did you manage to get to the Ideal Home Show this year?

* Just so you know although I had courtesy tickets to the show all thoughts and favourite finds are my own!


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