SUMMER LOVING

Summer is very nearly, almost here – Hooray! Okay so its been pretty grim this week with all the rain but we can at least start to get excited for summer right?

Yes of course we can and I’ll tell you where I’ve been getting my summer interior inspiration from lately, the wonderful treasure trove that is Next Home. I do love having a mooch around this store, they always have fresh and stylish homewares and beautiful displays and I admire how their in house designers manage to translate the latest trends into their own brand, creating collections that are so easy to fall for. I often have to stop myself getting carried away and buying the whole series of homewares from some of their collections because I love the look of their style concepts so much! (By the way I don’t get paid to say this by Next Home unfortunately, I just really do like their stuff!)

Anyway on a recent trip to Next Home, I had only been in the store for approximately ten seconds before I got a bit over excited about a beautiful global tribal inspired display, went to pick up a lovely geo weave pom pom cushion and accidently knocked over a whole row of plastic garden gnomes one of which smashed into several pieces…whoops! Luckily the shop assistant was very nice about it but I was still pretty embarrassed!

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Stupid plastic gnomes getting in the way of my excitable browsing!

Basically I was in interior styling heaven and I lost count of the amount of times that I said “ooooooo isn’t that lovely” or “that is soooo nice” (and yes I was shopping on my own and so was talking to myself!). The whole shop had a real summery vibe with bright colours, globally inspired prints, tropical themed accessories and lots of focus on bringing the outside in, it really got me excited for summer and left me feeling inspired.

First up I wandered through the ‘Cuba inspired’ section which was bursting with vivid colours , unique patterns and eye catching textures. Cuban décor is all about eclectic mixes and the use of colour to enrich and engage and Next have certainly managed to encompass this in their range.

“Bring the colourful Cuban climate indoors, with fruity lamps and parrot-dise inspired bed linen. Really hot reds and leafy greens will add a little jungle into your home…” – NEXT HOME

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Bold use of tangerine orange with contrasting tile effect wallpaper gives a very Cuban feel

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Jungle green velvet sofa complimented with jungle plant motif cushions and curtains, fall in line with the Cuban style ethos of using eye-catching and unique patterns

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Graphic and bold patterned bed linen,vivid colours and more jungle inspired prints, creates a warm and vibrant bedroom scheme

The Tropical trend is big news this year with Living etc. citing that “the tropical trend that’s been growing wild of late, evidenced on the Spring/Summer 2017 catwalk which was rumbling in the jungle , with Max Mara’s models covered in exotic plants and animals” in their ‘Catwalk comes home’ article this month. Next home have taken this trend on board with open arms and worked this style into their summer homeware ranges with vast enthusiasm.

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Jungle monkey cushion which could work well as a statement piece on a sofa or chair to promote a tropical botanical room scheme

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I love a reed diffuser and this one is simply gorgeous, the emerald green bottle and artificial palm leaf finished off with gold lettering, is super stylish and bang on trend

As I wandered further around the shop I came across more totally tropical inspired homewares but this time more playful…

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I’ll have one of everything please!

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Pineapples were a hot trend last year and they are still going strong this year it seems..

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..along with flamingos who seem to be cropping up in design trends all over the place

So if you fancy giving your home a touch of summer love, in preparation for the scorching hot summer we are about to come into (here’s hoping!) then get yourself down to Next Home for a browse (I really don’t work for them I promise). Here’s to summer and all things tropical!

ECLECTIC STYLE

I am a huge, huge fan of eclectic styling in interiors. I love to fuse different styles together in my own home and I enjoy the challenge of making a variety of different looks work harmoniously in one space, creating a more unique and quirky style that gives the room more depth and visual interest. Although I can fully appreciate a more cohesive approach to interior design and enjoy creating schemes for my clients that promote a higher level of continuity, with spaces that flow effortlessly and that follow a clear and direct style approach, I personally enjoy using my creativity to mix styles and create looks that think outside the box.

Now as much as I love this approach to design, it isn’t easy to get right. As soon as you embrace this more experimental method of styling, you are in danger of getting yourself in a muddle with what does and doesn’t work. Ultimately regardless of which styles you choose to combine, a careful balance needs to be executed so that the space looks considered as oppose to disordered!

 

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This room appears to be having a personality crisis! Other than the fact that there are way too many decorative items on display, there is a serious mixture of different styles going on here and the result is a room that has very low visual appeal and quite frankly makes me feel a bit nauseous!

 

So how do you get it right? What methods can be used to achieve a successful eclectically styled room, which oozes aesthetic appeal and engages everyone who enters it without being too overpowering?

Here are my top tips on how to implement this style in your own home….

 

Firstly what is eclectic style in relation to interior design?

Well put simply it involves a fusion of contrasting styles to create a look which encompasses more depth and rewards you with a bit more edginess, to name a few – Antique & Contemporary, Industrial & Luxe, Modern & Rustic, Scandi & Mid-Century Modern, Botanical & Glam, Art Deco & Minimalist the list could go on forever….

In essence it’s about finding styles that appeal to you and exploring ways of combining them together successfully to create a design that is filled with textures, colours, patterns and furniture that you love.

BUT this doesn’t mean that you just chuck together every style of furniture, fabric, paint colour, lighting and wallpaper that takes your fancy, into one room….you need to be selective to get it right and combine things that are different yes but that work in harmony with one another and this is the tricky bit!

 

RULE ONE: METHODICAL MIXTURES

A key factor to eclectic styling is contrast, this is the backbone of the aesthetic and what draws the eye around a space. However the room needs to have some common ground, however subtle this is, otherwise you are in danger of creating an eye-sore. A popular example of this is having a collection of mismatched dining chairs. This can look so great when executed well and it really does add depth and quirkiness to a space with very little effort. Here are some examples of how to get this design method spot on…

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same colour + different design

 

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same design + different colour

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same style + different design

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old + new

 

RULE TWO: CONSISTENT COLOUR

Choosing at least one unifying colour will help to bring a scheme together regardless of the contrasting styles. This could be a strong colour such as magenta or a neutral such as dove grey, choose a colour that appeals to you and use that to anchor the look and to promote some structure with consistency.

 

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A Contemporary & Traditional fusion which uses denim blue and white as the unifying colours

 

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This Industrial & Luxe style room uses cobalt blue to bring the scheme together

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This Rustic & Retro Scandi room invites the use of grey and mustard yellow to equalize the look

 

 

RULE THREE: STEADY REPITITION

You don’t need to rely solely on colour to keep the look from losing its identity, using visual echoes in shape, pattern, texture and finish can also help to promote balance and structure.

 

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Pattern repetition in the wallpaper and the bolster cushion reinforces a feeling of continuity in this eclectically decorated room

 

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This bedroom showcases a series of squares in the flooring, the wall décor and the cushions which prevents the space from feeling too disjointed despite the mixture of styles

RULE FOUR: AN UNFUSSY BACKDROP

This rule is simple, quite literally. Keep the backdrop for all of your eclectic treasures simple and plain. This doesn’t mean you have to stick to white walls, just be mindful of keeping the wall treatments not too busy, avoid heavily patterned wallpaper and instead opt for a plainer design or plain painted walls. Perhaps create a feature wall with one of your chosen accent colours if you prefer to be a bit more daring or you could even add some panelling to create a bit more of a dynamic but remember in an eclectic space, when it comes to the wall treatment – less is more. You can always fill the plain walls with some beautiful pieces of art or prints, get a statement floor lamp or a decorative wall mirror, all of which are easy to change as the room evolves over time.

 

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A solid, plain backdrop gives this boho chic bedroom the freedom to showcase all of its beautiful patterns and textures without the room feeling too busy

 

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More plain walls creating a lovely backdrop for this mid-century modern luxe living room

 

RULE FIVE: DON’T OVERPOPULATE INSTEAD ROTATE

The final rule is, don’t get too carried away! I love going to flea markets and homeware shops that are full of trinkets and treasures and I often have to try hard not to buy literally everything that catches my eye. By all means buy new pieces for the room but don’t overfill it with too many pieces. I use this rule in my own house and once I am bored with a piece of wall décor, an ornament, a cushion or even a lamp I rotate it with a new piece. Then when I fancy a change or want to give the room a bit of a facelift I may rotate the same piece with something else. You don’t have to buy something new every time, store things away for a while once you have replaced them, you may find another place in the house that they will fit instead or you may want to reintroduce it when you redecorate. The main thing to remember is don’t try and cram too much in, leave a bit of negative space between things and choose wisely and thoughtfully.

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Getting it wrong: This room feels a bit too cluttered thanks to the excessive amount of wall art, not enough care has been taken here to be selective about the pieces

 

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Getting it right: This room has got a perfect balance and feels much more ordered. The cluster of wall art has plenty of negative space either side, allowing the eye to be drawn to a single focal point and giving the wall space more clarity

 

Are you feeling brave enough now to try and mix some styles? I hope this has given you a little more confidence to be your own curator and enhance some of the spaces in your home, with a touch of eclecticism…

The Beauty of Marble

I used to think of marble as being a superbly affluent material, associating its use with wealthy people and admiring its beauty from afar…

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During the course of 2016 this luxe material started to slowly crop up in interiors everywhere, Pinterest was heaving with it, leading design experts were gushing over it and it featured heavily in Interior Design programmes on the television. Not only limited to flooring and worktops, marble was being presented to us in a number of different forms. From elegant coffee tables to faux marble effect wallpapers, this minimalist material provided us with a chic and stylish design finish in many a design scheme throughout the last year.

 

 

So now that 2017 is in full swing, is this trend still relevant? Well the answer, much to my delight is…..YES! It appears that for now marble is here to stay, with the likes of Vogue forecasting a rise in the use of ‘marble and brass combinations’ in kitchens and bathrooms…

BUT hold on a second, kitchens and bathrooms! Come on Vogue lets be realistic here, I for one don’t want to have to re-mortgage my home in order to fit a new luxurious white marble kitchen, as lovely as that would be….Fear not I am here to share some ways for all for us to indulge in this beautiful design trend without having to renovate any part of our homes…phew!

In a recent trip to my firm favourite supermarket homeware store, yes you’ve guessed it good old Sainsbury’s TU, I came across some beautiful marble and brass combination homewares, that are both affordable and stylish much to my excitement!

 

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This gorgeous marble and brass pedestal mirror is on my wish list – Sainsbury’s TU, £20

 


 “It’s that combination of something very natural and clean, like white marble, and something industrial, hard, and a little bit glamorous with the brass.” – Young Huh

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“Marble, especially in shades of white and light grey, will be one of 2017’s biggest design trends.” – Zillow Digs

 

 

So although marble can be grand, it is not just a look to be indorsed by the rich and the famous and if chosen wisely and used in small doses, this gleaming stone can add a classic and stylish touch to any décor. As far as I can see, this timeless material will remain a firm contender in the hottest trends for 2017 and I for one will be indulging in at least one marble luxe piece for my own home, how about you?

Here is some more affordable inspiration for you my lovelies…

 

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Marble and Brass desk lamp – Next Home, £50

 

 

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Athena Coffee Table, Iron and White Marble – Swoon Editions, £229

 

 

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Marble Coasters – Sass & Belle, £19

 

 

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Marble Chopping Board – Flamingo Gifts, £14

 

 

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Three arm gold and marble base jewellery stand – Oliver Bonas, £29

 

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White Marble Shelf with Brass Brackets – Mia Fleur, £74

Throws, Throws, Throws…

 

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This week I’m going to talk to you about the wonderful concept of styling with throws. I can’t champion this idea enough because it is so simple and so affordable that literally anyone can do it, which is fabulous!

Aside from cushions, I would say that using throws is the easiest and most effective way to dress either a bed, a chair, a sofa or even a table. They offer different colours, textures, styles and detailing and can really bring a scheme together as well as adding more aesthetic depth.

 

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This neutral white chair greets the contrasting colours of the two throws, helping to create a much stronger aesthetic and a more unique style.

 

 

I for one am a bit of a wimp when it comes to buying large upholstered items of furniture for example, a sofa. I wouldn’t be brave enough to go for a bold print or a bright colour, for fear of it being too overbearing or it becoming dated too quickly, which could be an expensive mistake to make. If you are like me and you have opted for a plain or neutral coloured sofa, then throws are for you! You really can give your sofa a new lease of life with an injection of colour or texture, which will help to soften the hard edges and introduce more depth and comfort, without having to fork out a fortune.

 

 

Spring may have just sprung and you may be thinking, isn’t the point of having a throw on the sofa so you can snuggle up on those chilly winter evenings…but turn that idea on its head and you will soon realise that this concept is in fact transeasonal and not restricted to practicality alone but can also play a part in the styling and visual impact of a room.

Do you have a recurring colour which features in a room, for example in cushions, a lampshade or even a vase? Why not introduce a throw in the same colour to promote continuity and enhance the definition. Does the room have lots of colour but lack any depth? Why not introduce a throw which features some texture or detailing such as pom poms or tassels to lift the scheme and broaden the overall aesthetic. The same rule applies with a recurring pattern or texture as well…

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Colour Coordinating with Emerald Green

 

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Pattern continuity in the cushions and throw

 

 

Use throws with bolder patterns or textures to add vibrancy and a livelier aesthetic or plainer throws to compliment the colours or textures in your existing scheme. I love this idea so much because once you are bored of using one throw, you can simply change it for a new one. I have a collection at home and I often just change them around and store the others away, maybe get out your light, pastel coloured throws for Spring and your darker more sumptuous throws for Winter. You will be amazed at how different your bed or sofa will look just by using this trick, honest!

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This throw has it all, bright colour, striking pattern and textured giant pom poms, it works well to liven up this neutral chair

 

TEXTURE is set be a big trend this year, with the likes of global trend ambassador, Patti Carpenter, forecasting that “designers will be engaging their clients and customers on a textural level this year. It’s part of a larger macrotrend of comfort and having a place to rest in all the chaos and information we’re constantly having coming at us.” So why not try out this trend yourself with some beautifully textured throws..

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Chunky knit throws are all about the texture

 

 

There are a vast array of throws to choose from, any colour, texture, style and detailing that you can imagine, so why not cleverly update a piece of furniture or breathe some life into a plain looking bed. Have fun with it and enjoy my lovelies.

RAW WHITE IS A BIT OF ALRIGHT

 

 

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The subject of today’s blog looks at another trend forecast for 2017 and one that has got me particularly excited – “raw white”.

In amongst the more prominent of design predictions, raw white is rumoured to be a hot trend this year, much to my delight because…it’s my absolute favourite!

Now I know that some of you may be thinking but white is just white but I am here to tell you that in fact there are too many shades of white to even name (yes really!). I’m not going to give you all a lesson in the different shades of white, rather give you an introduction to the dreamiest whites of them all…

 

 

                                                          BONE WHITE                 CHALK WHITE                          

 

These perfectly imperfect whites are both naturally and organically inspired and pared back, as opposed to slick and polished and although this colourless shade is almost certainly neutral beyond comparison, ‘raw whites’ which reflect a chalky or bone like quality offer the prospect of a more earthy and homemade vibe to the home.

But why is this set to be such a hot trend for this year, why is raw white so relevant now? Well I’ll give you a clue, I’m staring at one right now…

In truth most of us spend a large proportion of our day staring at a screen of some sort, be it a computer, a mobile phone or a television and many design experts believe that we are becoming more and more desensitised to textures, more specifically natural textures.

 

 

We are all in need of some more tactile texture and these types of white, with their wholesome and raw properties look simply stunning when used in the form of textured surfaces and finishes, as opposed to the all too familiar flat, glossy white which feels so much more sterile and has fast become the generic face of one of our modern neutrals over the years.

 

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I upcycled a wooden vintage desk that I bought around a year ago from an antique dealer, using Annie Sloane Chalk Paint and the results were beautiful. I love the chalky, unfinished look that the desk now has, it feels new but hasn’t lost any of its character and its chalky surface is calming and natural.

 

 

With nature inspired trends such as modern boho and scandi still dominant in the world of interior design, home décor and paints which offer these raw white shades and organic textures are easy to source and I am looking forward to adding a bit more texture to my own home to cancel out some of the flat screens which seem almost impossible to avoid.

Here are some examples to inspire you my lovelies…

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GREEN IS FOR GO!

In my professional practise as a designer I wouldn’t say that I religiously implement the latest design trends into all of my work. Design trends primarily occur on an annual basis but do alter slightly every season, much like the fashion on the catwalks. Each client has different needs and preferences and sometimes the current trends just don’t suit the individual design brief. Equally in my own home I don’t necessarily style each room based around the latest design crazes, I am a huge fan of mixing styles and injecting unique and quirky elements into a space, so I often go against the grain but I do fall for certain trends from time to time (like I had and still do have a bit of a mad obsession with all things geometric, a trend that was big in 2016 but is slowly becoming a little less relevant this year).

However having said that, I do take a great interest in the arrival of new design trends and styling techniques and almost constantly have my head in the latest copy of Living etc or scrolling through the latest blogs on Elle décor, absorbing the forecasts for future trends and taking some level of inspiration from the latest crazes. After all, as important as it is to have your own style, it would be foolish of me to completely ignore any of the latest trends, right!

Which leads me onto the subject of this post, the biggest colour trend of 2017…

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Now for those of you who are wondering, Pantone is a corporation headquartered in New Jersey, USA and basically they are the leading experts when it comes to predicting colour trends, they are the ‘colour trend oracle’ if you like. All interior designers and stylists wait in anticipation for their annual ‘colour of the year’ forecast, which is usually announced in December every year and reflects the global view point on the movement on colour across current and future trends for the new year ahead.

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“A refreshing and revitalising shade, greenery is symbolic of new beginnings” – Pantone

 

Now it has to said that 2016 wasn’t exactly the best of years and lets be honest, most of the world is feeling a bit downtrodden as we have landed into 2017. The reason that this particular shade of green is relevant to this is largely to do with what it symbolises. It has been described as a fresh, optimistic colour which signifies Spring and new beginnings and which in turn encourages us to embrace this new year with a more positive outlook. With the current unsettlement of the world’s political and social environment, quite honestly aren’t we all craving a bit of positivity now?

Forbes magazine have summed up a description of this colour beautifully concluding that – “Greenery calls to mind the ‘re’ words REFRESH, REVIVE, RESTORE, RENEW, REPLENISH, REGENERATE, REJUVINATE, REINVIGORATE, RE-OXYGENATE”

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Now I’m not suggesting that you go out and buy a load of green paint for your walls and buy every bit of green homeware and décor that you can get your hands on…

But why not have a go at embracing this new colour trend in your own way, whether it be with a bold statement or a subtler approach, perhaps our much loved modern neutral ‘grey’ could do with a bit of livening up this year. If you are feeling up to the challenge, why not have a go at incorporating some of this luscious green colour into your home and here’s to a much happier and greener 2017.

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Do you dare to go bold with a statement piece of furniture like this 1958 two seater sofa by Oliver Bonas

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Or perhaps you would prefer to revitalise your décor with a more subtle statement like this Mosaic Wool Throw from Ville & Champagne

SCALE AWAY…

 

I’ve recently started a new design project in THE most beautiful maisonette in Hackney, East London. It’s part of a huge Victorian building that has been converted into several different living quarters and it has given me some major house envy, with its amazingly high ceilings and huge bay windows, it’s so dreamy..

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Beautiful, oversized bay windows – an original Victorian feature in the flat

Anyway, the design brief calls for some help with the interior styling of the living room as my client feels that it doesn’t have any real structure and wants to achieve a more grounded and harmonious scheme and most importantly wants to ensure that the beautiful, Victorian features of the room are enhanced to their fullest potential. Now all interior designers know how integral both scale and proportion are to a successful design scheme and getting the right balance is key to achieving spatial harmony within a room. This is a challenge in a room of any size be it a room with dramatically high ceilings or on the other end of the spectrum, one that may resemble a cupboard. So here is my take on scale and how to use it and use it well.

 

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SCALE = The size of things

PROPORTION = The relationship between them

Examples of a perfect balance between

                   Scale & Proportion

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Examples of unbalanced scale & proportion

 

 

 

 

 

I have always had a bit of an OCD about where things are placed and how things are positioned, from cushions on a sofa to photo frames on a window sill, if something doesn’t look quite right I literally can’t bear it and I have to keep moving things around until everything is arranged in a way that I deem to be aesthetically perfect. I can remember doing this from a young age, always making sure my bedroom looked just right, meticulously arranging trinkets and photo frames on my windowsill and carefully balancing the layout of the posters on my wall.

Scale and proportion are integral to a successful design scheme but how can you get them just right?

So there is this theory known as the ‘Golden Ratio’ which some designers swear by. Now to put it simply and without boring you all to death, the Golden Ratio is a mathematical ratio that is commonly found in nature, and when used in design, is believed to foster organic and natural looking compositions that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This ratio – 1:1.61, to be exact –  has been found to account for everything from the structure of musical sequences, architectural designs dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans and even the proportions of the human face.

 

 

I am not going to bore you with any more details of this because, although I’m sure that this theory is scientifically proven and blah, blah, blah…. I don’t think that it is an accessible way to implement design and I chose not to bother with it myself because

a) I HATE MATHS and I am terrible at it and I’m sure that most creative people are

b) The most important thing about designing a room is how it makes you feel

 

As a designer I think that one of the most important things is how a room makes you feel and that in itself makes interior design so much more accessible to everybody – Hooray!

Different rooms serve different purposes both in terms of practicality and in the feelings that they evoke and when it comes to designing and styling a room I think that this is a completely personal thing based on your individual personality.

So my advice is to trust your instinct and not to sit down and study the golden ratio until your brain hurts!

But having said that scale and proportion are still important and certainly not a factor that should be overlooked so here are a couple of key tips that can be used in all rooms great and small…

 

CoMBiNe DiFFeReNT HeiGhTS

This is especially important in a room that has high ceilings. All that vast wall space can feel a bit overwhelming but you don’t need to plaster every inch of the walls with artwork and pictures. Think about using differing heights in all aspects of the room. For example with a high ceiling have a statement piece of lighting that hangs just above eye level and creates a focal point in the room and combine tall pieces of furniture with a few shorter pieces so that the eye is drawn both up and down, this not only works to promote the visual appeal of the space but it also tackles the height of the ceiling without making the room feel too cluttered. Same rule applies to a room with a lower ceiling but obviously on a smaller scale (by this I mean you won’t get away with using a huge pendant light in a room with a lower ceiling of course). Just trust your instinct, really look at room and use varying heights to create more depth, just remember to keep it balanced and think about the room as a whole from floor to ceiling, it really is that simple!

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This room demonstrates a variety of different heights from lighting to furniture to accessories

 

 

Focal Points are the answer

Every room no matter how small should have a focal point. This can be anything from a fireplace, to a window with a picturesque view, a bold statement sofa or even a television (although this is not the most aesthetically pleasing but probably one of the most common!), it is quite simply an element that your eyes are drawn to when you enter a room. So why are focal points relevant to the use of scale in a room? Well the focal point is what will ground the design and layout of a room and everything should radiate out from this point. It doesn’t have to be something particularly large or grand but the focal point will aid you in getting the scale and proportion of a room just right. For example if the fireplace is the focal point, you will likely have a piece of art or a large mirror hanging above it on the chimney breast to create more of a feature on this wall. On the mantelpiece you would then perhaps have some small decorative items to balance out the scale in this area of the room and add a level of contrast to the proportion. From here other elements of the room will radiate out, like the sofa would perhaps face the fireplace with maybe a floor lamp next to it which would be smaller but taller so would add height but is again a contrast in proportion to the sofa. The sofa may have cushions on it, perhaps that are slightly different sizes or shapes to add more visual interest and also to break up the size of the sofa.

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This room has two focal points, the mirror and the coffee table. The large mirror is flanked by two smaller wall lights and the coffee table is decorated with smaller items such as the tray and the vase. The armchairs radiate out from the coffee table as it is a focal point.

 

Last of all…

In a small room, don’t be afraid to have anything too large. It is a common misconception that you can’t have, for example a large sofa in a small room because it would be counterintuitive. This is only ever true if said sofa is so large that it is causing an obstruction or making it difficult to move around easily in any way. Just remember that a boldly sized piece of furniture, lighting or décor will help to ground the room and give it some weight. What you should avoid doing in a small room, is having too many small items, such as lots of small pictures on the wall because this will simply reinforce the feeling of small.

 

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This small living room uses the oversized rug and sofa to ground the space and smaller accents such as the floor lamp and the coffee table to define the balance between scale and proportion.

 

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Whereas this small living room feels somewhat cluttered and lacking in space as there are too many small pieces of wall décor spread around the room with only the sofa offering a bit of weight to the space, the balance is off as the contrast in scale is too harsh.

 

 

In a larger room the main thing to remember is that the larger the space, the more focal points you will need. This is the key way to create spacial harmony in this type of environment.

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In this room the focal points are the statement ceiling light, the television wall and the huge windows. There is a good balance of proportion in this space.

 

 

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In this room the fireplace and artwork make up one strong focal point within the space with the oversized house plant acting as another. The proportion of the rest of the furniture has been carefully scaled to compliment the focal points, resulting in a harmonious scheme.

 

In my opinion a well balanced room will make you feel happy and content and that is what I strongly believe your home should always do for you. A large piece of art will add drama and give a room a more opulent feel, while a decorative table lamp will add a feeling of warmth and cosiness. When designing a room think about how you want that room to make you feel, find or create a focal point and then work on varying the scale and proportion until you find the right balance. Don’t doubt yourself and be bold with your decisions – you can do it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ETHEREAL MAGIC

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ethereal

adj

1. extremely delicate and light in a way that seems not to be of this world.

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It has to be said that January is my least favourite month of the year. With all of the merriment of Christmas and the positivity that the New Year seems to induce in every one of us (until around the 8th January when we all give up on our overambitious resolutions and begin to question why on earth we thought that ‘dry January’ was a good idea), is well and truly over, all this miserable month has to offer now is freezing cold weather, grey skies and sad looking bank balances. Needless to say I am SO over winter now and long for some signs of lovely, fresh (and warm) Spring.

Which leads me to tell you all about a little moment of joy I experienced whilst having a  wander around the TU home section in Sainsbury’s recently. Now I have always had a soft spot for TU, their in house designers always seem to get it right when it comes to implementing the current seasonal trends into their homeware ranges and I will always champion any high street shop that can offer you a range that is both stylish and affordable. So as I wandered around the shop I came across a brand new range ‘Ethereal’ and let me tell you it really is!

So the design concept behind the range “mixes Scandinavian inspiration and mid-century style” which is genius in itself as these two trends are seriously hot right now. Modern Scandi was huge in 2016 and is still standing its ground thanks to the latest craze of HYGGE (which in case you wondered is pronounced hoo-gah) a Danish interior design trend which identifies with cosy contentment and taking measures to transform your living space into a Nordic, minimalist sanctuary. Mid-century design consists of clean, simple lines and unfussy finishes and so compliments all things Scandinavian beautifully.

I was instantly drawn towards the beautiful crockery they have in this range with a magnetic type force and immediately picked up a couple of mugs that I instantly adored. Now they may look like they are nothing special but I’ll tell you why I love them. The nature inspired design and soft colour palette immediately made me think of Spring (yay!). A cute Scandi style flower motif on one and moreish texture in a earthy green shade on the other, is simple yes but so stylish and beautiful. I can’t quite put my finger on it but there was something about these mugs that made me feel both inspired and happy, so much so that I thought it was about time that I started writing a blog!

Design giants, Elle décor have recently forecast a new trend for 2017 ‘Artisanal’ which is set to replace the Pinterest DIY craze which has dominated for many years now, with a rise in demand for homeware that has been hand crafted by a skilled professional with the use of high quality materials. Now I’m not saying that these mugs are artisan by any means but the green mug, part of the Ethereal crockery range which TU have called ‘raw base’, is made using fine china which gives it a slightly opulent feel and the almost stoneware appearance and detail of the texture does have hints of a somewhat artisanal style quality. Perhaps this is an ambiguous way of TU subtlety hinting at this new trend, minus the craftsman’s studio.

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Of course this range isn’t just limited to cups, this was just my starting point and what first grabbed my attention. I was soon indulging in a look around the rest of the range, which features many more items of homeware all based around the same design concept and also features some warmer pops of colour such as sunshine yellow and turquoise blue, which reinforce that lovely Spring feeling even more so. Unfortunately my January bank balance restricted me from buying any other things from there that day but I will almost certainly be back for another look around soon. If Spring isn’t quite ready to arrive just yet then my motto for now will just have to be “bring Spring in”.

Here is some more of the range to inspire you, feast your eyes my lovelies…

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