More balls, less boing

The Candy Files: What’s hot, what’s not and what’s what at my place.

This week:

House Candy = Ballsy

I need to grow some balls.

Following a stint at the Abigail Ahern design school on Saturday, this is my overall conclusion.

For those of you unfamiliar with the kind of interiors this lady specialises in, here’s what I mean:
I need my house to pack a punch. To sock my senses full on in the face. To man up.

Interior wise, I want to refine my style and develop it tenfold so that it becomes ultimately memorable.

How am I going to do this? I’m going to focus on what Abigail calls the game changers; the ideas that are so bad, they are good. Because the biggest lesson I took away from this one day crash course in hip interior design is this: Break the rules and your rooms take on a new level of magic.

My mind was blown when I returned from the capital of cool to my little corner of Yorkshire and tried to figure out where to start ripping up the rule book. It took at least two bottles of wine and a well earned hangover before I could compile my to-do list. Aside from the obvious impact of colour that is apparent in everything Abigail Ahern does, these are the top three ways I’m going to teach my home a lesson in attitude:

1) Lights.


The mediocre light fittings need to go and in their place I want to invest in chandeliers that are way too big for the space they’re intended for. This one would seriously kick some ass in my sitting room:

Lazzarro chandelier £1,280

2) Flowers

I buy a huge amount of flowers. I love big and blowsy displays in grand vessels and I also love a sweet little posy in a vintage pot. I’d have a house full of flowers if I could afford them and I’d have them everywhere from the downstairs loo to the attic bedroom.

Abigail’s faux flowers are her biggest sellers and now I get why. The Islington shop is bursting with her signature fauxs in trademark dusky hues and in their masses they look amazing. I need to start collecting some badass blooms, like NOW.

Delphinium stem, £18

3) Scent


Abigail Ahern’s home is a riot for the visual senses, but you know what is even more annoyingly beautiful about it? The fact that you close your eyes and still know that you are somewhere cool. It simply smells cool. Know what I mean?

People tell me my house smells of washing powder. I take this as a compliment because with two boys and a hairy hound, it could be a lot worse. But honestly? I think I can do better. 

Smelling like a laundrette is not how I’d like my home to be remembered. I’d like to be at least a bit more rock and roll. That’s why I’m immediately drowning out the pong of Bold 3in1 with the more exotic aromas of amber and patchouli. Abigail burns incense sticks, natch. It’s intense, it’s hippy, it’s in-yer-face fragrancing and it goes with my ballsy new approach a treat. These cheap as chips incense sticks whiff of Glastonbury. That’s got to be a good place to practise smelling like a rock star, right?


Fine and Candy = Bouncy

Hurray for mirrors. Mirrors are another chink in Abigail Ahern’s decorating armour and I’m happy to say I got this bit right, because I have mirrors everywhere. Not because I love looking at myself, but because they are the best thing in the world for bouncing light about the place. I thought I was bordering on the obsessive with my mirror collection, but now I know that no amount of shiny, reflective glass is enough.

I love vintage mirrors most and find some beauties at markets and car boots. I have been known to put old 50s dressing table mirrors on top of fireplaces before and I’ve even dabbled with my own take on original art by covering them in marker pen quotes or painting pictures on them. Flowers look great placed in front of old mirrors. I’ve told you about my love of orchids before and placing them in front of the mirror allows their reflection to double up on their beauty.

Abigail likes round mirrors to counteract the squareness of a room and this classy Hollywood number is way up on my shopping list.

The Hollywood £475


Candy Pandy = Boing

I’m here and there. I’m de-cluttering the attic one minute and re-organising the kitchen the next. In truth I’m all over the place like a demented runaway ping pong ball. It’s partly to do with the surge of inspiration that has consumed my being since the design school and it’s partly because I'm a lot like a demented runaway ping pong ball in terms of my organisation skills. 

I know that if I focus on one project at a time, I will be a whole lot more productive and my interior style will be so much more defined. More balls, less boing is my new mantra and in the infinitely cooler words of Abigail Ahern, I know this will be the biggest game changer of all.

Buy the books, go on the course, shop the look and move over to the dark-side here:  But know this. This is not a trend to dabble in. You’ve got to go for it. And then some.

Have you got balls? I’d love to hear about your braver decorating decisions to help me on my way. Please drop me a line in the comments section. Game changers? We’ve got this xx