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Journal Articles (18)

  • How To Choose Your Radiators

    If you don't know by now, you should know that I'm a total sucker for column rads, and I would always recommend considering replacing existing radiators in your home when redecorating to column rads if you can. They fit perfectly into any scheme whether you’re going for modern, traditional, transitional, or any other interior style. You can customise them to be with or without feet, and add a custom colour too. Erghhh just so sexy. With that being said, radiators are heat sources, so you need to make sure that you get the right size radiator to give you the correct amount of heat output for the room it’s going in. You also need to think about energy efficiency! If it’s too big, it will add to your energy bills, if it’s too small, you’ll be cold and have it running on maximum! To make the process a bit easier, I wanted to pull together a step-by-step guide for you because there are a few things you need to do before you order your rads. I've actually been shopping around to find the right radiators for the #asihome, and I've made a decision to go with the Cast Iron Radiator Centre. For what I want, they are able to give me the best price, and I know that they're a really great quality product too. I've also listed a few other places you can find beautiful rads too. Follow these steps when buying your radiators: Step 1: Measurements Measure the room that the radiator(s) is going in. You want to note the width, height, and length. Step 2: Find out your BTU (British Thermal Units) This will determine the BTU output your radiator needs to have. To work it out, you just use a BTU calculator. You can either type ‘BTU calculator’ into Google, or head to Cast Iron Radiator Centre and use their one. I like this one because it asks you a few more questions to get it right, like whether you have double glazing in the room, where the radiator will be placed etc. The more questions, the more chance of getting it right and helping with those energy bills! Step 3: How many do you need? Write down how many rads you need in the room, and note down whether they’re going under a window or if they need to be a particular height. I'd also recommend having a browse on Pinterest for inspiration because you might decide that in some rooms you'd like a short rad, whereas in others the design might lean towards a standard size. My Pinterest has also got loads of inspiration on there. Step 3: Choose your rad My favourite is the four-column traditional radiators, but take a look around and find the right one for you. The more columns you have, the more depth you'll need to allow for. If you've got a particularly skinny hallway, for example, you might want to consider a 2-column rad. Or, if you have a large home and want to build a sense of cosiness, or add a sense of grandeur, then you may want to go for even more columns for example you could go for various heights of a 9-column rad like this one: You'll also need to get an idea of how many sections you want to aim for. You may need to be flexible with the sections though, as you may need to add/decrease these depending on what BTU output it will give you. Also, if your plumbing is already in place and it's not being moved, you'll be restricted to use the existing width. Our plumbing was generally ok and mostly in the right places, but design-wise, I didn't want the new radiators to be as long as the existing 70s radiators. Before altering our plumbing, I checked that we would still maintain the right BTU if the width was reduced - and it wouldn't. So, the plumbing stayed put and I've had to compromise with longer radiators. These are just little things to think about, so that's why it's always best to have your interior designer on board from the beginning if you are using one, and if not, having a strong idea of your design direction is really rather important. What are columns and sections? The columns are what you see from the side profile, so for example these radiators have 4 columns. CAST IRON RADIATOR CENTRE The sections go across the length, so for example, this radiator has 14 sections. Once you’ve got an idea of the height of your radiator and how many columns and sections you want, choose the style of radiator you want (I like the traditional ones), and then select the closest height to what you're looking for. Then, open up the list of options and look for your desired width and BTU. If you’re having more than one rad per room, you can split your BTU between the radiators so it covers the room. Sometimes the option for the rad you want is right there, sometimes you need to compromise on adding/removing sections or changing the height to get it right. (Just like I did for our living room. I didn't want more than 14 sections design-wise, but I've had to keep them at around 16 sections each because otherwise I'd of been under by about 2000 BTUs and they wouldn't heat the room effectively). Step 4: Pick your valves I personally love an antique brass valve with a wooden twist top. We are going for thermostatic valves so that we have more control over our heating. Here's a few that I love. Step 5: Decide if you want feet Yes, I did say feet. Some radiators attach to the wall, and some sit on radiator feet and attach to the wall with wall stays. Rads with feet and wall stays are personally my favourite. Rads with feet make me feel grounded, ones without feet don’t give me the same satisfaction. You can also add decorative feet if your rad doesn't have them already. Here's an example of rads with feet: And here's one without feet: Step 6: Pick your wall stays: I think wall stays add such a classy touch to your radiators, isn’t it satisfying when functionality and form intersect with absolute beauty? I like to match these with the hardware in your valves, so go for a gold/brass mix or stay with chrome/nickel. Step 7: Pick your finish! Don’t forget to think about the colour and finish. The colour of your rad has everything to do with the overall vibe and feeling in your home so don’t overlook this decision. It’s one that has held me off purchasing ours yet because I need to make a final decision on the colour schemes in the house. You can also pick between a satin finish, matte finish etc. Most companies will give you a standard set of finishes and colours plus some additional custom colours like bronze for example which can be realllllly sexy. Some companies also give you the option to customise with a specific paint colour so you could choose from a RAL or Farrow and Ball colour for example. Some additional tips 1. Budget for delivery costs It usually makes sense to purchase all your rads for your home in one go as the delivery fees can be extremely high. Just check, double-check, and triple-check it before you hit purchase, and make sure you’ve got yourself covered with refund terms and conditions in case you do mix up some of the measurements and you can easily replace it. 2. Don't risk it, know your end goal This is one of those things that can make renovating and redecorating a challenge. Knowing what your overall design is going to look like before you get started on your project is so important. Not having this can affect more things than are often realised, and without a design direction, your progress can come to an abrupt halt. Don't risk it and get any old radiator and hope for the best. My advice is to have at least nailed your design direction before you invest in new rads, especially if you're going for custom colours. 3. Be prepared for your plumber Your plumber will need to know the placement and width of your chosen radiators before they get started. Especially if you're planning on moving the location of your rads, this is helpful for them to know so they can give you an accurate quote. If you haven't got this nailed before they come - it could be a very short meeting. Shop for your rads A quick Google Search and here's some places you can have a look at. I haven't purchased from them so make sure you do your research first - read the reviews etc! I'll be going with Cast Iron Radiator Center. Cast Iron Radiator Centre Cast Iron Radiators Ltd Cast Rads UK The Traditional Radiator Company Cast Iron Radiators 4 U Just Radiators Period House Store The Radiator Company Best Heating UK Radiators Victoria Plumbing There you have it. All the advice I can give you! Happy shopping, and let me know if you found it helpful.

  • Your Renovation Survival Guide

    The unorthodox version. Many will question your sanity when you tell them you're taking on a renovation. Some impressed. Others, not so much. Yet there are many of us who have been through it, are going through it, and are YET to go through it. Opinions are usually unsolicited (lol - you know what I mean.. 'why are you doing that when you should be doing this', 'that's not going to work', 'you're going to regret that decision', you know the score). But where are the people who stand with you, and have an armful of knowledge, heads ups', and positive encouragement? Well friends, I'm here. And I come with a BUCKET load of motivation, positivity, and my survival guides I've put together for you from a little further along the tunnel. I'm not talking budget planners and spreadsheets here, I'm talking about the stuff that's going to help you remain sain throughout the process! I speak from experience. Some of these things I wish I had sooner, others I am so grateful I've had from the beginning. You're probably looking at this thinking, what on earth do these have to to with renovations? Hold tight for a quick breakdown. Dust doors: because there will be dust, and you might end up with an inhaler like I did. Cheers dust + crap Covid immune system. A water filter system: because chances are your water situ isn't great and you're not going to be wanting that 'straight from the tap' stuff. We've used ours religiously, hard water is grosssss. Enormous oversized bottle: the water bottle I've actually used for 12 weeks. Straight from the filter into this bottle, and zero chance of a dusty drink.. Extra long charger leads: I mean probably just a survival product for anyone living in 2023. I swear we lose chargers everywhere!? But, our 80s house has got switches and sockets in all the wrong places, + there's barely any of them. Now I can be a lazy woman in 2023 who can charge her phone on the other side of the room whilst sitting on the sofa.. A decent hoodie: renovations get cold. Especially in England. We've spent the winter with only two working radiators. You'll sense a theme, but it's been f******g freezing. Sleep masks: I know, I know, but along with our lack of radiators, we've had a lack of curtains and blinds. Those 80s curtains with decades of built up dust and God know's what else, they HAD to go. Silicone phone case: we've got concrete and hard floors everywhere. My silicone case means the chances of me having to spend money on replacing a broken phone due to my sheer clumsiness is avoided - now you can spend it on that USB plug socket you wanted... Electric blanket: did I already mention that renovations get cold, because they do, get really cold, and at 5ft 3, curling up in a ball just to retain body heat, well you can imagine. There's not a lot of heat there... Wine: does this really need an explanation? Probably not, but either way, wine helps. Faux flowers: flowers just really cheer me up, but you're renovating. Buying fresh flowers every week is a hard one to justify when every penny you have get's put into the house. And the ground - anyone else watched thousands and thousands of ££ just get poured in to the ground? *cries*. You lose the enjoyment of styling in a renovation, because it's just not the same, but there's nothing a bunch of beautiful styled flowers can't fix. Hand cream: because you're hands will end up looking like shrivelled up shrews. Hello winter dermatitis. Long hot water bottle: notice this isn't your standard hot water bottle. I've kind of become kind of co-dependent on mine. It's perfect for warming up your bed and then wrapping yourself up around it like a koala hugs a tree. Yeah, the cold nights don't bite as much with this gem. Diffuser: our house currently smells like wet plaster, dust, and building site. The diffuser does just want it says it will. Diffuses those smells and replaces it with something more, palatable. Diffuser scents: if you read number 13, this one's pretty self explanatory.. Noise reducing ear pods: I've been working from home throughout a lot of our drilling etc. Having noise reducing ear pods helps you to stay focussed and drown out the noise. Let's hope your neighbours have got some too.. (17 + 18) Hard/soft slipper shoes: unless you want me to add heel balm to the list, get yourself a pair of comfy shoes to wear around the house. George bought me a pair of crocs because he was sick of watching me walk around on a renovation floor. The sentiment was sweet, but I cannot stand crocs. However, my GOD have they come in useful. I'm more grateful than I am ashamed, so the Crocs get the win. Get in there first and add a nice pair of Birkinstocks or Uggs to your birthday list before you literally join the Croc club.. If you're in the renovation club, drop a comment below with what you'd add to the list for our fellow renovation friends. Or as always, drop into my DMs on Instagram and let's get the conversation going! *SOME AFFILIATE LINKS ARE USED IN THIS POST*.

  • 12 Ways To Design Your Dining Area This Spring

    Once you've got a base for your design, you can have fun switching out decor pieces to make the design reflect those nuances of your personality. I wanted to show you an example of how you can do this, so I've designed a very sexy base, and pulled in different lighting, textiles and artwork to transform each design to give you an idea of how you can make a design work for you. The changes are subtle, but I think this is a good way to show you that design really is subjective, and just by making a few changes, you can make a design feel like it's telling your story. Option 1 This is the original design that I based the additional variations from below. It's all about that muted design palette, bringing in rustic tones and mixing it with modern pieces to achieve the feel of laid-back living. Here are the things I want you to notice in the design details, and the things that I'm switching around to achieve a nuanced look in each design: Mixing metals in the lighting Mixing traditional details with modern details Bringing in faux plants to soften and add depth with natural colour Switching out the artwork, and picture lights - some art is minimal with hand sketches, whereas some is retro. The frames change depending on how you're mixing the metals too. Table decor: there's two-three options total, but you can add to a tablescape, or keep it super simple. I love mixing a vase, seasonal flowers (or all-year greenery), and a rustic bowl. Textiles - two similar cushion designs have been interchanged to create softer tones and dynamic tones. The dark stripe matches the cabinet detailing, and dark metals, but the soft nude stripe gives the design a soft texture. The two designs could be within the same room area - if you have the space, consider adding additional furniture like wall cabinets to add depth and interest. You'll see how once you get the foundation right (for example wall colours, flooring, dining table and chairs) you can dare to play around with other details like lighting fixtures, textiles, and art work options until you find what feels like your perfect fit. Option 2 Option 3 Option 4 Option 5 Option 6 Option 7 Option 8 Option 9 Option 10 Option 11 Option 12 What one's your favourite? Product links are below. If I've missed anything, just drop me a DM on Instagram and I'll send you the link. I've used some affiliate links where I can. FYI, this post contains affiliate links to some of the products. Thank you for shopping through my links, it means a lot to me. Even though it's only pennies, any commission I earn goes back into ASI and funds things like keeping my website running. I only share pieces I truly love and think you will too, so I appreciate your support more than you'll ever know.

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  • Allie Stephens Interiors: Essex and Suffolk Interior Design Studio

    Where your days unwind and your life unfolds As a trained interior designer, I provide interior design services that perfectly marry that laid-back English living style with an understated and unfussy functionality. If you're thinking about making changes to your home, I would love to help. Take a look at my virtual design services , or consider something more hands-on with a bespoke service. " It's the thoughtful, intricate moments in a design which make your home truly timeless and a reflection of your best self. For me, it's all about the details , like a perfectly placed artwork which frames a cosy reading nook." ABOUT At the very heart of my design process is you. Key to my values are communication and transparency. Designing your new home should be fun! So whilst I handle the details, you can relax and enjoy the process! ASI's designs are made to be enjoyed for years to come, so getting to know both you and your vision is essential in being able to design a home which will reflect your personality and lifestyle, and stand the test of time. FULL DESIGN PROCESS The Design Process + Shop my faves Shop my favourite interior pieces from accessories, to lighting and all the special details that make your home truly timeless. The Journal A little bit of everything Allie Stephens Interiors, The Journal holds my pre-designed shoppable rooms, behind the scenes, updates on the #asihome renovation, and my favourite picks in The Shop. + INTERIORS + LIFE + #ASIHOME RENOVATION + ALL ARTICLES + VISIT THE SHOP Thoughtful interiors for laid back English living IN THE PRESS MY FIRST DOUBLE -PAGE FEATURE IN A PUBLICATION The September 2022 issue is here, and ASI's first ever magazine feature is officially out on shelves and secured firmly in the digital world. Did I really just say that? I need to take a minute to compose myself. I'll meet you BTS. BEHIND THE SCENES Free DOWNLOAD Is your home lacking character? Are you struggling to know where to begin? My free-guide '12 tips from an interiors designer on how to add character to your home' will help you find ideas to transform your home and be confident in taking your next steps. DOWNLOAD NOW Are you ready to work together? If you're interested in working together, please fill in my enquiry form . The more detail you can share with me, the better. If you'd like some more information on my services, or how I can help, please fill in any additional details and I'll aim to get back to you within 48 hours. GET IN TOUCH Thank you hey I'm Allie, the very proud owner of Allie Stephens Interiors Also called by Al, Alex, or Alexandra (because one name just isn't enough ). I like to keep things real, i'm an open-book. I've aways been a glass half full kinda' girl whose friends and family are everything to her. Add to that list my love of good food (something Asian or Lebanese is my fave), a great wine (with ice almost always), and a growing wanderlust. Allie Stephens Interiors is a culmination of everything I love - interior design, writing, shopping, and talking about all things entrepreneurship. WHERE IT STARTED

  • The Journal: Shoppable Rooms

    Shop this living room - edition one If you're considering re-vamping your living room but not sure where to start, I've got you covered. Shop this bedroom - edition one Once you get started, bedrooms can be extremely fun to design and can have a huge impact on how you feel. Waking up every day in a room... Shoppable Rooms The Journal Each month I put together a room design where you can shop every piece. Whether you're looking for some inspiration or are redecorating an entire room, you can use these shoppable rooms to get inspired. How To Choose Your Radiators Follow this step-by-step guide before buying Cast Iron Radiators for your home. Your Renovation Survival Guide The unorthodox version. Many will question your sanity when you tell them you're taking on a renovation. Some impressed. Others, not so... 12 Ways To Design Your Dining Area This Spring Once you've got a base for your design, you can have fun switching out decor pieces to make the design reflect those nuances of your... Featured articles: How To Choose Your Radiators Follow this step-by-step guide before buying Cast Iron Radiators for your home. Your Renovation Survival Guide The unorthodox version. Many will question your sanity when you tell them you're taking on a renovation. Some impressed. Others, not so... 12 Ways To Design Your Dining Area This Spring Once you've got a base for your design, you can have fun switching out decor pieces to make the design reflect those nuances of your... Design Concept: Dining Room I was recently inspired by Shea McGee's gorgeous dining area in her home, which isn't a surprise as I often feel drawn to everything Shea... Planning My Office The renovation has officially kicked off so it's time to start finalising design plans. First up, the home office. Have you heard of everystory? They're a ceramic lovers ecstasy. Clark Kent's weakness might be red kryptonite, but mine? Ceramics. Meet everystory, the business that's got me weak at the knees. What's been added to The Shop this month: Lighting As many of you know, I'm in the process of renovating my second home and something that's been on my mind a lot lately is lighting. I'm... The October Journal: A New Chapter I've always loved writing, and as a child I loved reading and making up my own fairytale stories. A true millennial, I had the luxury of... Change things up for Autumn/Winter and get inspired by these interior pieces. One of my favourite things to do when the seasons change, or we're kicking off with a new year is switch up my interiors (and my... Autumn/Winter must haves for countryside living (or weekend-ing!) Updating my country capsule wardrobe for autumn. Here's a look at some pieces I've got open in tabs. Podcasts changed my life, so i'm introducing a new Journal series. Let's roll back to 2021, it's the second year of COVID and we're all so over it. My mental health was over it. I considered myself to be... Home office inspiration: What's on my private design boards? See what's inspiring me for the new #asihome office renovation 1/2 All articles BACK TO THE JOURNAL INTERIORS LIFE BUSINESS INTERIORS ALL GET STARTED Designing homes which tell your unique story, and are made wholeheartedly for ultimate laid-back living Free DOWNLOAD Is your home lacking character? Are you struggling to know where to begin? My free-guide '12 tips from an interiors designer on how to add character to your home' will help you find ideas to transform your home and be confident in taking your next steps. DOWNLOAD NOW Are you ready to work together? If you're interested in working together, please fill in my enquiry form . The more detail you can share with me, the better. If you'd like some more information on my services, or how I can help, please fill in any additional details and I'll aim to get back to you within 48 hours. GET IN TOUCH Thank you Goodbye overwhelm! + THE 'VISUALISER' PACKAGE + THE 'WHOLE LOT' PACKAGE + THE 'SOMETHING MORE' OPTION GET IN TOUCH SERVICES The packages Whether you're lost for time, stuck with moving forwards, or a little bit of both, virtual e-design is your ideal solution. Shoppable rooms The Journal Each month I put together a room design where you can shop every piece. Whether you're looking for some inspiration or are redecorating an entire room, you can use these shoppable rooms to get inspired. Category: Shoppable rooms LIFE BUSINESS INTERIORS ALL MENU

  • Useful links: Allie Stephens Interiors

    Links 1. VISIT MY BRAND NEW WEBSITE! 2. GET YOUR E-DESIGN BEFORE XMAS 3. E-DESIGN PACKAGES 4. SHOP MY FAVOURITE PIECES 5. INTERIOR DESIGN TIPS 6. HOW I GOT INTO INTERIORS 7. PERUSE THE JOURNAL 8. READ MY FIRST MAGAZINE FEATURE! The goal? Designing a forever home where you can relax as your days unwind and your life unfolds E-DESIGN PACKAGES INTERIORS How To Choose Your Radiators Follow this step-by-step guide before buying Cast Iron Radiators for your home. #ASIHOMERENOVATION Your Renovation Survival Guide The unorthodox version. Many will question your sanity when you tell them you're taking on a renovation. Some impressed. Others, not so... INTERIORS 12 Ways To Design Your Dining Area This Spring Once you've got a base for your design, you can have fun switching out decor pieces to make the design reflect those nuances of your... The Journal: E-DESIGN SLOTS HAVE OFFICIALLY RE-OPENED! LIMITED REMAINING SLOTS FOR 2022. GUARANTEED DESIGNS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Are you ready to work together? If you're interested in working together, please fill in my enquiry form. The more detail you can share with me, the better. If you'd like some more information on my services, or how I can help, please fill in any additional details and I'll aim to get back to you within 48 hours. GET IN TOUCH Categories: LIFE INTERIORS BUSINESS SHOPPABLE ROOMS ALL

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