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