Are Curtains Making a Comeback?

Curtain treatments did seem to go out of favour for a few years. Modern homes preferred no-fuss blinds that were more in keeping with contemporary furniture and which were easier to install and keep clean. But we’re noticing a comeback in the soft furnishings department. And with good reason. Curtains really do add a touch of luxury to a room. They add an opulence that blinds just can’t replicate. They are great insulators, good for privacy, and a fab excuse for using some of the stunning fabrics on the market. What more reasons do you need?

All fabrics are from the new Orchard Collection from Vanessa Arbuthnott.

Apples and Pears.

Apples and Pears.

Apples and Pears: available in six colourways, this versatile retro print depicts the eponymous fruit in a mid-century hand. Rose’s original drawing was a bold depiction of both whole and cross sections of apples and pears; this was then formatted by Vanessa to make it abstract enough to ‘go beyond the kitchen’.

Blinds: Apples and Pears. Curtains: Pretty Maids from the Swedish Collection.

Blinds: Apples and Pears. Curtains: Pretty Maids from the Swedish Collection.

Curtains: Sepals and Petals.

Curtains: Sepals and Petals.

Sepals and Petals: a disarmingly simple yet powerful multi-directional motif in six colourways, Sepals and Petals was taken from an original potato print of Flora’s. From a distance it looks like a vertical stripe but appears as a horizontal motif on closer inspection. Contemporary and versatile, it could be railroaded for upholstery.

Curtains: Sepals and Petals.

Curtains: Sepals and Petals.

Curtains: Espalier Stripe.

Curtains: Espalier Stripe.

Espalier Stripe: a striking motif in three colourways, inspired by a length of African mud-resist, indigo-dyed fabric found by Vanessa on her travels in Africa.

Images courtesy of Vanessa Arbuthnott.

Taking Window Film to a Whole New Art Deco Level

We’re big fans of decorative window film. It’s not just pretty to look at, it also has a lot of practical uses too. It’s perfect for creating privacy without sacrificing light in a bathroom or when a window is overlooked. It can add pattern and colour to a decorative scheme. Or re-install the illusion of period detail in rooms that have been stripped of all character. Some window films even offer solar protection to furniture and art without the need of installing heavy curtains or blinds. So when we saw these new designs at Purlfrost we thought they were worth sharing.

Spinel Design

Spinel Design

These stunning Art Deco seamless stained glass window film patterns were created using photographs of real period stained glass which gives the print added vibrancy and detail. The pattern measures 60 cm wide and is repeated vertically and horizontally to match your window size. This design can be ordered printed on clear film for added colour vibrancy, or frosted film for added privacy (duller colours).

Lazuli Design

Lazuli Design

What’s more you don’t need any diy skills to apply the film to your own windows. They are very easy to apply in minutes with a bit of soapy water and the application tool provided with your order. I can actually vouch for this having added window film to my front door at home.

Ruby Design

Ruby Design

Prices start at £19.00 for a 50 cm x 50 cm film from Purlfrost where there are other designs too.

Annie Sloane on Living Coral - Pantone's Colour of the Year 2019

Annie Sloane gives us her take on Pantone’s colour of the year 2019.

“Living coral is a vibrant, almost neon coral, rare throughout the history of colour, because a shade this strong would have been expensive to make. To me, it conjures up the flavours of India and Morocco, of spices and sunsets.”

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“Create you own coral by mixing two chalk paints together. Three parts of Tilton, a mustard yellow, with one part Emperor’s Silk, a pure bright red, reflects that energy you can see in Pantone’s colour.

Pack a punch by playing with blocks of colour, Josef Albers-style. A sunset-inspired palette of Annie Sloan chalk paint in Antoinette, Barcelona Orange, Emperor’s Silk and an Antoinette and Barcelona Orange mix will create a lively look that’s perfect for summer schemes.”

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“Once the walls are saturated with juicy colour, move onto floors, radiators, side tables, trays - because of it’s unique formulation chalk paint can be applied to any surface without prepping, sanding or priming, while a coat of wax or lacquer will keep your furniture looking fresh into Autumn and beyond.”

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Border in Living Coral mix as above. Radiator in Antoinette. Daybed covered in Antoinette Linen Union and panels in chalk paint. Colours as listed above. Table top and floorboards in Scandinavian Pink. Table legs in Honfleur. All from Annie Sloan.

Embrace The January Blues

As the decorations come down, revealing the bare bones of our homes once more, it sparks a desire to re-instate a sense of calm in our surroundings. We’re all for that! And instead of running from the January blues this New Year we’re happy to embrace it with dark enveloping blues that still feel cosy but also decadent, smart and sophisticated.

French Linen Upholstered Bed

French Linen Upholstered Bed

Paint

A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to transform a room. Whether it’s on one wall or on all four, this intense shade of blue will look fabulous when paired with crisp white. The white painted floor prevents the room from looking too dark, and the wood bed frame and gold bedside table add just the right amount of warmth. Blue Movie Dead Flat Matt Emulsion Paint, from Dowsing and Reynolds is a good match.

The Versailles Sacre Bleu Armchair

The Versailles Sacre Bleu Armchair

Add an Accent

If painting the walls is just too much of a change you can always add an accent colour in blue. This lovely sapphire blue velvet chair provides a punchy statement in a bedroom or a corner of the sitting room. The combination of blue and gold is not only regal, but it is highly en vogue; sapphire blue is a big upcoming trend, and when combined with gold it really 'sings'.

Girl With A Pearl Bubble Canvas

Girl With A Pearl Bubble Canvas

Accessorise

Sometimes just a touch is just enough and this prestigious wall art canvas adds a twist to a Vermeer Classic too. Ant Fox's subversive epigrams combine the humorous with the traditional, executed in a distinctive style drawn from the Dutch Golden Age of painting. And a vibrant dose of blue!

All items are from The French Bedroom Co who offer traditional French designs with a hint of contemporary styling, paired with quirky, eye-catching accessories.

The True Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring

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Installing new flooring in a home is a major investment. Not only does it have to meet with a long list of practical considerations, ie. hard-wearing, easy to keep clean, warm underfoot etc, it also has to look pretty darned good. The flooring in a room sets the scene, and nothing beats the look of wood for creating a warm and inviting interior scheme. So should you choose real wood? Or would engineered wood suit your needs better? Here’s a few benefits that might help you make that all-important decision.

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What is Engineered Wood?

As opposed to solid wood, engineered wooden planks are made up of several layers of plywood that are glued together to form a stable and sturdy floor. The top and visible layer is in fact hardwood which makes it look and feel like solid wood. These floors are perfect when you want the rustic warmth of authentic wood floors without the hassles. The planks are resistant to fluctuations in temperature and humidity and don’t dent or bulge easily, so are highly durable floors and are compatible with under-floor heating too.

Is Engineered Wood Flooring Less Expensive?

The short answer is yes. It's a lot cheaper than hardwood floors without compromising on quality due to the multi-layer construction ensures that the planks are extremely solid, sturdy and durable. What’s more it will last for years without requiring a refinish.

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Is Engineered Wood Flooring as Hard-Wearing as Solid Wood?

Yes again. It’s made of the highest grade raw materials, meaning that these floors can easily absorb daily wear and tear. In fact, the best brands offer a lifetime warranty on their floors for residential use, so look out for this when you purchase.

Is Engineered Wood Easy to Install?

Installing is quick and easy. Engineered wood floors are either laid using the floating method, or are glued down. You can install these floors easily even if you have minimal knowledge of carpentry.

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How Does Engineered Wood Rate on the Good-Looks Scale?

With these floors, you can enjoy the traditional warmth and good looks of authentic wood flooring. The planks are available in a diverse range of wood species and shades to suit every décor. Furthermore, the surface is embellished with knots, grains and patterns that ensure stunning similarity to natural timber.

Certain ranges also feature exclusive surface finishes such as distressed, lacquered, burnt, aged, hand-brushed or oiled that makes these floors hardly distinguishable from solid hardwood flooring.

This post was written in collaboration with Lifestyle Flooring, the UK's favourite destination for high quality flooring with unbeatably low prices that will ensure you get the best value for your money.

Clarissa Hulse Introduces Her New Dill Collection

Just what we need for the New Year. A colourful reminder of summer and the countryside from one of our favourite designers, Clarissa Hulse.

Her new Dill collection features silhouettes of flowering dill in contrasting colours with firework shaped clusters evocative of British summertime. The colours graduate from deepest teal to pale aqua.

Dill Double Duvet, £55, Oxford Pillowcase, £15, Cushion £40.

Dill Double Duvet, £55, Oxford Pillowcase, £15, Cushion £40.

When the bed linen is turned down, the reverse is patterned by what appears to be rows of flowers but is in fact looped shapes created by stamens. The coordinating oxford pillowcases are edged with a peacock blue flat piped trim and an embroidered velvet cushion and knit throw (featuring an undulating wave pattern) complete the look.

Dill Curtains, From £75, Cushion, £40.

Dill Curtains, From £75, Cushion, £40.

Meanwhile perfect spheres of the ornamental allium are printed onto the new peacock blue Dill curtains. The silhouettes show the clustered heads towards the end of their life cycle, as they turn from blossoming flowers to dried seed heads.

The curtains are available in 6 sizes, fully lined with matte silver eyelet headings.

Dill Double Duvet, £55, Oxford Pillowcase, £15, Cushion £40.

Dill Double Duvet, £55, Oxford Pillowcase, £15, Cushion £40.

Renovating Your House Without Breaking the Bank

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Renovations are an expensive business, especially when you factor in all the delays, last-minute changes of plan and unexpected costs. What you need is a clear, easy roadmap from start to finish, so a thorough budget is essential here. If you’re looking for help with budgeting, then head here.

Whatever your budget is, however reasonable it is, there’s nothing wrong with looking for ways to come in under it, so here are some great ideas to help you do that.

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Foregoing an architect

Some projects don’t actually need an architect, especially smaller ones that don’t involve too much internal remodelling. You can draw up the plans yourself if you really need to save money; just make sure they have all the necessary information and conform to your planning department’s format.

It’s also possible to use a draughtsperson, as long as they have the right indemnity insurance; some building contractors can also draw up the plans as part of the service.

Be flexible about suppliers

There are so many glossy brochures and websites out there that you can easily be seduced into buying all your fittings from the big boys. This isn’t necessarily the cheapest or the best move, so concentrate on your designs and not about who actually brings them to fruition.

Become PM

That’s project manager, you’ll be relieved to know! Being PM means you select the contractors and suppliers. You can also decide which tasks, like painting, you can do yourself if you want to; this definitely saves money, but you’ll be surprised by how much time it’ll take up.

Use several suppliers

Getting all your supplies from one source saves time, but it often pays off if you spend a bit of time shopping around for sales, deals or by going halves on some supplies with a friend who’s also renovating.

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Get at least three quotes

It’s surprising how much quotes can vary – sometimes by hundreds of pounds. The cheapest isn’t always the best, though, so take into account reviews and recommendations from family and friends.

Recycle as much as you can

If you’re pulling out old woodwork and fancy bricks or digging up flagstones, can you use them elsewhere in your home? Not only does this save money, but it’s a nice nostalgic touch, especially if your renovations are quite sweeping.

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Mix up cheap, mid-range and high-end

A classic example of this is when people buy mid-range cupboard bodies and finish them off with more expensive fronts and handles.

Get ready for bargain bolts from the blue

How many times have you driven or walked past a reclamation yard or a showroom that’s selling its ex-display stock and spied something amazing? You see the bathtub, or the Victorian fireplace and you stop by, only to remember that you’ll have nowhere to put them until you need them. Make sure you have space in your shed, or maybe even hire a storage unit in advance so you can grab those items before someone else does.

How to Fully Embrace the Hygge Trend This Winter

Hygge - A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture) - Oxford English Dictionary.

And what could be nicer during the winter months than comfortable conviviality? Even better when it’s so easy to achieve.

Dine at Home

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Much more cosy than making all that effort to go out for a meal. Babysitters, cabs, and overpriced food, is all but forgotten when you invite friends over for dinner or better still, a long lingering Sunday lunch.

Have an Early Night

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It’s the simple pleasures that are the best. A bed piled high with pillows. A good book, a reading light and a cup of cocoa. Heaven.

Run a Bath

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Draw the curtains, run a hot bath, light the candles and turn on some music. It’s said that a bath before bed and a hot drink, is the best way to unwind at the end of the day and get a good nights sleep.

Layer Up

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Layer up everywhere with extra cushions and throws. Put on a box-set and hibernate until Spring.

That’s what we will be doing.

All images show the Homestead Range from Dunelm. (affiliate links)

Six Hotels with Show-Stopping Décor and Cutting-Edge Design

By their very nature, all Design Hotels™ members present interiors intended to inspire and awe. So, whether it be an urban retreat or a countryside escape, every one of the unique 324 properties in the portfolio offers thoroughly original décor that will inspire guests long after their stay is complete. With cutting-edge design and architecture combining as a vehicle for audio-visual storytelling, each of the following hotels display interiors that are show-stopping and authentic in equal doses.  

At The Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar, a 16-room Munich-based bolthole, each accommodation is individually decorated by a series of local creatives and personalities, while a broad range of styles come together in the hotel’s public spaces. The result is a property that truly reflects the eclecticism of its shell — a 1970s former post office.

In Warsaw’s Autor Rooms, a Berlin Modernist-style building home to just four rooms, craftsmanship shaped by the city’s artists, architects, designers, curators reigns supreme. Here, inspired guests are offered the rare and welcome chance to take home their own little piece of the hotel, with the hosts open to connecting visitors with the creators of the many pieces that pepper the various rooms.

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At Le Collatéral in Arles, stunning interiors serve as a complementary backdrop to the installations, digital art, photos, and drawings on display in public areas. Striking the right balance of art and design, each area is carefully curated to provoke thought, without reneging on comfort.

The same can be said for Stamba Hotel in Georgia’s resurgent capital of Tbilisi, where an industrial former publishing house offers surprising levels of luxury and warmth, thanks to a combination of plush furnishings, carefully sourced fixtures, and harmonious palettes. Paired with salvaged fittings and restored materials, these components come together to shape a network of spaces that feel more like the home of a (very) cool friend, and are ideal for entertaining.

Behind its historical façade, the recently opened Hotel Pacai in Vilnius offers a unique duality of hard and soft, old and new. Roughly hewn walls and uncovered frescoes meet sleek marble and chic furnishings for a mood that exudes palatial glamour and offers plenty of ideas, both small and large, to take home.

Rome’s Elizabeth Unique Hotel — a centrally located restored 17th-century palazzo—is a riot of arched walls, lacquered wooden panels, reproduced antique wallpaper prints and canopy beds. With couture fabrics and carefully curated artwork setting the stage for this finely appointed, art-filled bolthole, the visitors run the risk of not setting foot outside to explore the wonders of the city.

Our list of swoon-worthy interiors is rounded up by Nobis Hotel Copenhagen, a cool merger of Danish classicism and Swedish sensibility set in a former music conservatory. This gorgeous combo produces a cutting-edge contemporary luxury hotel where star architect Gert Wingårdh’s attention to the smallest of details has resulted in a property that oozes both classic grandeur and Scandi minimalism.  

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The New Croft Collection from John Lewis for a Cosy Autumnal Feel

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The new John Lewis Croft Collection embodies a stylish yet classic aesthetic for Autumn and Winter. It combines a darker, moodier palette with tactile materials to create a warm and cosy feel. What’s more, the entire collection is a celebration of authenticity, provenance and quality craftsmanship using natural materials, understated textiles, and artisanal techniques for a lovely handcrafted feel.

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John Lewis Croft Collection (follow the link to the website) Harp Chair, Harp Footrest, Gabro Rug, Ansel Floor Lamp, Lyle Cushion.

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John Lewis Croft Collection (follow the link to the website) Lorn 6 Seater Dining Table, Lorn 4 Seater Dining Bench, Easdale Dresser Top, Easdale Sideboard.

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John Lewis Croft Collection (follow link to website) Frome Loveseat, Jute Round Rug, Porthole Round Mirror, Ash Welly Boot Holder, Wicker Log Basket.

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John Lewis Croft Collection (follow the link to the website) Recycled Bath Towels, Blakeney Bathroom Stool.

New London Flagship Store for Darlings of Chelsea

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Designer sofa specialists, Darlings of Chelsea are proud to announce the official launch of their new London flagship store in Parsons Green.

Officially opening on Wednesday 2nd January, the 5500 sq. ft showroom will showcase their latest designs before any of their four other stores, (like the Rocco sofa pictured above, which was photographed in their stunning new space). 

The Rocco sofa range has a chic, modern look with sleek square frame legs and a fabulous cubic design. The clean lines, gorgeous Italian leather and shiny metal legs gives it a stunning contemporary style, whilst the deep seat and manually liftable headrests makes this sofa incredibly comfortable for snuggling down and slouching right into your seat. There is also a recliner option is you want to make it even more relaxing! For a modern sofa that combines geometric stylings with high levels of comfort, the Rocco is ideal.

The Rocco sofa range has a chic, modern look with sleek square frame legs and a fabulous cubic design. The clean lines, gorgeous Italian leather and shiny metal legs gives it a stunning contemporary style, whilst the deep seat and manually liftable headrests makes this sofa incredibly comfortable for snuggling down and slouching right into your seat. There is also a recliner option is you want to make it even more relaxing! For a modern sofa that combines geometric stylings with high levels of comfort, the Rocco is ideal.

It will also display their best-sellers, along with their designer collections from Duresta, Content by Terrence Conran and Scandinavian designer, Andreas Engesvik.

This gorgeous new showroom will be the fifth store they have opened in their 14 year history. Talking about the new Parsons Green showroom, owner John Darling said, “Renovating the showroom from its previous life as a Porsche garage has been a mammoth task, but we are really pleased with the transformation. We’ve even installed a geometric-style bar, so customers can have a coffee or a cocktail whilst they browse.”

The Norton Corner Sofa is an extremely squishy, cozy and comfortable medium sized corner sofa perfect for curling up and spending hours in. Boasting high quality feather and fiber filled seat cushions for the ultimate 'sink-in' experience and supported by a base of zig-zag springs wrapped in foam you will feel as if you are floating on air. Choose from a wonderful range of fabrics and customize your inclusive scatter cushions in complimentary fabrics if you wish to make this chair truly your own.

The Norton Corner Sofa is an extremely squishy, cozy and comfortable medium sized corner sofa perfect for curling up and spending hours in. Boasting high quality feather and fiber filled seat cushions for the ultimate 'sink-in' experience and supported by a base of zig-zag springs wrapped in foam you will feel as if you are floating on air. Choose from a wonderful range of fabrics and customize your inclusive scatter cushions in complimentary fabrics if you wish to make this chair truly your own.

Conveniently situated opposite Parsons Green tube station, visiting by public transport has never been easier. But if you prefer to travel by car, there is free parking available too.

Darlings of Chelsea have also added a new range of smaller sofas to fit urban spaces: “Drawing on feedback from our customers, we’ve diversified our range to offer a variety of sofas that fit different living spaces, from the studio flat to the penthouse apartment or country manor.

For those looking to purchase a sofa in the New Year, there will be a 35% off sale promotion to coincide with the launch of the new showroom.  

The Parsons green flagship store joins their four other stores, which are excellently located in Birmingham, Fulham, St Albans and Ash Vale in Surrey.

The Brighton sofa range is an exceptionally attractive, distinctively modern, 60’s inspired American design. Featuring compact proportions and sleek design on raised legs, the Brighton sofa is ideal for small spaces or a beach side home. This model is available with an optional headrest that is removable as and when you need it for added support. Choose from a fantastic range of fabrics and leg colours to make the Brighton your own.

The Brighton sofa range is an exceptionally attractive, distinctively modern, 60’s inspired American design. Featuring compact proportions and sleek design on raised legs, the Brighton sofa is ideal for small spaces or a beach side home. This model is available with an optional headrest that is removable as and when you need it for added support. Choose from a fantastic range of fabrics and leg colours to make the Brighton your own.

Darlings of Chelsea, Parsons Green Depot, 33 Parsons Green Lane, London, SW6 4HH, T: 020 8965 7100.

Trends Straight From Pinterest into Your Home!

If you’re anything like us you can spend an inordinate amount of time on Pinterest. It’s a great source of inspiration for the home, but sometimes it’s almost like there’s too much inspiration! So many different trends, and so little time…

So here are 4 of the most popular trends from Pinterest which you can easily recreate in your own interior, using patterned wallpapers, wall murals, stickers, prints, and posters.

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The Terrazzo Trend
 
Stones and minerals have been very popular in interior design trends for several seasons. This time, the trendy terrazzo, fashionable in the 1970’s and 1980’s is back, which in a modern, refreshed form takes on a unique charm and futuristic character.
 
The new terrazzo is refined, and elegant, but at the same time unpretentious and light. Interior decorators suggest moving a stone motif from the floor to the surface of walls, accessories and even furniture.

Wallpaper and wall murals resembling terrazzo is a great idea for decorating the walls in the dining room, kitchen, hall and living room, and in a colorful edition also in a kid’s room.

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The Trend for Sage
 
In times when the 24-hour day is too short, and life is quick, like never before, we are looking for peace and solace. No wonder that now a delicate, greenish color with a soothing name and properties has become a hit.
 
The color inspired by the herb with healing properties and culinary qualities is a combination of green and blue, through which gray and purples break through. We can find several shades of sage in the Pantone collection: light Desert Sage, silvery Silver Sage, olive Sage Green and deeply saturated Sagebrush Green.

Sage in its delicacy and restraint can be the leading color that will not dominate the space, nor overwhelm even in a small interior. A room with wallpaper in the color of sage will become fresh and more cozy.
 
If greenery does not satisfy our appetite for color, we can combine it with beige and browns, creating calmness and naturalness. Sage also goes well with an appetizing peach, pastel lavender and sunny yellow.

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The Trend for Decorative tiles

Mosaics and ornaments straight from One Thousand and One Nights decorate kitchens and bathrooms all over the world today, and their popularity is not diminishing. Patchwork tiles, each one of them is a way to express a pronounced and stylish interior for people who are not afraid to experiment with color.
 
A mish mash of colors and patterns on the wall is a ready arrangement, which does not require thoughtful treatments and sophisticated accessories. It's the ornaments that play the main role and it's going well.

People who dream about colorful tiles no longer have to worry about the difficult renovation and replacement of ceramic tiles. Modern tiles stickers will work on kitchen and bathroom tiles, and if we get bored we can simply remove and replace them, or return to the original interior design.

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Big wall art 

Wall galleries are growing right before our eyes! Stylists suggest prints and posters in large format - the bigger, the better. Effective, eye-catching decorations can hang on the wall, and if there is no space for them, we can put them on the floor, desk or dresser.

Large prints and posters will work in every style. All painting techniques and styles are allowed: abstraction, classicism, modernism, photo-realism. Size and exposure are important in a place where everyone can see them.

For more inspiration visit pixers.us.

A Scandi-Blush Scheme for a Bedroom

Scandinavian design continues to be an ever-popular trend for interiors and is perfect for a bedroom scheme. But for the coming season, add a touch of femininity and warmth by accessorising with subtle blush-pink hues.

ercol Teramo Bedstead, £829; ercol Teramo Bedside Cabinet, £251; Raine Table Lamp, £149; Amos One Light Pendant, £59.

ercol Teramo Bedstead, £829; ercol Teramo Bedside Cabinet, £251; Raine Table Lamp, £149; Amos One Light Pendant, £59.

To prevent the colour scheme from becoming too girly, add equal measures of grey, and a couple of darker tones as accent colours. Here, the reverse of the bed cover reveals a darker terracotta shade and the dark grey cushion adds texture and colour.

ercol Teramo Bedstead, £829; ercol Teramo Bedside Cabinet, £251; Raine Table Lamp, £149; Scatterbox Velour Cushion, £29; Mongolian Cushion, £49.

ercol Teramo Bedstead, £829; ercol Teramo Bedside Cabinet, £251; Raine Table Lamp, £149; Scatterbox Velour Cushion, £29; Mongolian Cushion, £49.

In fact the cosy Mongolian sheepskin cushions and tactile, relaxed crushed linens prevent the space from appearing stark and cold, while a statement gold pendant light injects the all-important hint of luxury.

ercol Teramo Bedstead, £829

ercol Teramo Bedstead, £829

Tip: When planning a new colour scheme for a bedroom or indeed any other room of the house, it pays to start with a moodboard. Play around with the composition before you make any major purchase or start putting paint to the walls.

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All priced products available from Furniture Village

A Calm & Neutral Kitchen With British Standard

With a calming, neutral colour scheme and fresh white cupboards, this idyllic country kitchen combines cosy and rustic, with practical and simple work spaces.

Contrasting wooden surfaces, exposed brick and original cladding, bring charm and a traditional cottage feel, with plentiful storage and open shelving to store and display.

With off-white worktops and plenty of natural light, this lovely kitchen blends together tranquillity and style, with organised and spacious work spaces.  This practical space includes generous storage, plenty of cupboard’s and larder. Scrubbed pine floors match the warm wooden worktops, with a rustic ceramic sink and vintage brass taps, to create a homely kitchen in London.

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The client really wanted wood panelling on the walls, but couldn’t find any ‘off the shelf’. They searched high and low and in the end fell in love with some wood panelling that they found at Audley End stables. They took measurements and cut it themselves with a router out of 9mm ply.  Cupboards and wall panels painted in Farrow and Ball strong White. 

The lighting is an industrial machinist lamp from one of their favourite antique shops Otto antiques. The final design really fits in with the period of the house and the kitchen. Although it’s all new, the kitchen has a lived in look and feel which family members and visitors seem to love and have commented on.

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All cupboards: British Standard Cupboards Individual cupboards start from £465 per unit. An average sized British Standard kitchen costs In the region of £8,000.

A Seating Collection With Hygge Firmly in Mind

Does the idea of curling up in a cosy armchair with a book sounds perfect to you? If so, you’re going to love this new collection designed by British designer Elnaz Namaki.

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The Luuna collection was born with the Danish principle of hygge (the heart of Danish culture, describing those that crave cosiness and comfort) firmly in mind. This inspiration led Elnaz to use shearling as a core material in her pieces which connects us to nature, as well as evoking warmth and comfort.

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The collection presents mid-century inspired ergonomic and sculptural shapes, which are striking and original, yet simultaneously reflecting timeless luxury. All pieces are hand-made in England by highly-skilled English craftsmen.

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Shearling was carefully chosen for its organic, natural and allergen free qualities. It offers an amazingly soft texture - when the organic wool fibres connect to the skin, the user feels warmly connected to nature. Curly and straight-haired merino and aviator shearling is contrasted against suede, leather, wood and metal. The choice of mid-century pop art colours (the colour palette for the initial range is pink, grey, black and white) creates strikingly bold yet classic pieces, which bring soul, depth and originality to every interior.

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As the American poet and novelist May Sarton accurately said “A house that does not have one warm, comfy chair in it is soulless”.

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Elnaz Namaki Studio is a London-based interior design and creative direction studio. The company began designing prestigious residential properties in some of the most desirable areas of London in 2012, and offers a fully bespoke service to their clients.

Something for the Weekend - Get Dotty for Polka Dots

Polka dots are synonymous with fun. And with polka dots appearing on the runways by just about every notable fashion designer, it’s time to bring couture into your interior scheme by using geometric paint patterns to mimic the design.

Contemporary yet deliciously retro, the polka dot pattern works throughout the home with contrasting or complementary shades

On the walls - Pashmina, Matt Emulsion. For the dots - Copper, Metallic Emulsion. On the woodwork - Jet Black, Non Drip Gloss.

On the walls - Pashmina, Matt Emulsion. For the dots - Copper, Metallic Emulsion. On the woodwork - Jet Black, Non Drip Gloss.

Alternatively, adopt the playful nature of the design, and create imperfect alternatives to the traditional pattern by painting freehand spots. Using metallic shades to create these shapes will add an additional layer of fun.

On the walls - Hare, Matt Emulsion. For the dots - City Break, Matt Emulsion.

On the walls - Hare, Matt Emulsion. For the dots - City Break, Matt Emulsion.

“One great way to add character to a space is with a textured or metallic emulsion. Rather than paint an entire wall, why not stencil metallic or textured paint in circles on to a monochromatic base to add areas of drama and interest.” Judy Smith, Crown Colour Consultant

All paints shown are from Crown Paints.

Left to right:

  • City Break, Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l.

  • Millionaire, Metallic Emulsion, from £19 for 1.25l.

  • Pashmina, Matt Emulsion, from £14 for 2.5l.

  • Striking, Metallic Emulsion, from £19 for 1.25l.

Artist Emma Lindström Launches Aura - a New Wallpaper Collection for Photowall

We’re very excited about this exclusive new design collaboration between the Swedish artist Emma Lindström and Photowall. As we’re always on a quest to find fresh new designs for making our homes just a bit more different, this couldn’t be more up our street. The wallpaper collection Aura, includes 12 acrylic paintings with abstract and vibrant colour compositions. With harmonious and organic expressions, each wallpaper design invites you to experience visual relaxation and serenity.  

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Emma Lindström is an established Swedish artist with several successful exhibitions in the USA and Europe. Her artistic work process has been a long journey with many years of experimenting with different techniques, colours and materials – something that is constantly varying and developing. At the same time, it is Emma’s mood, feeling and pure chance that guide the visual expression.

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The work always starts with selecting a specific colour scheme. Either based on a specified customer order or Emma’s current mood. “When I start creating, I enter into a meditative-like state. I allow intuition to speak and process to lead the way. The first stages of the process include pouring and splashing with acrylic colours and various media. After that, I get on to the detailed work with lines and smoothing out techniques that shapes the final artwork,” says Emma.

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AURA is sold exclusively at Photowall. The collection includes 12 motifs and can be ordered as made-to-measure wall murals costing £30 per square metre.

3 Style Tips for Mindfulness in Your Home

Mindfulness and the wellness trend is growing, and it’s definitely here to stay. So it’s no wonder that creating a serene, happy space has become a huge interior trend to explore. It’s all about combining the best of Scandi comfort and health-focused influences - think aromatherapy, colour psychology, and lots of plants and greenery.

Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture Choice shares with us her 3 tips on how to create a relaxing space that can also boost wellness.

Bergamo Oak Bed

Bergamo Oak Bed

1. Introduce small, meaningful accessories

When it comes to embracing a happier and productive space, a little goes a long way. “The trick is to decorate smart,” says Rebecca. “Go with decor elements that will easily switch up the ambiance of the room, like scented candles and aroma diffusers for an instant pick-me-up.”
 
Sarah Duncan, Reiki therapist and founder of Soul Candles, discusses the benefits of these stylish and practical accessories, and the importance of turning the home into a sanctuary. “I’m a big believer in the effects and benefits of using aromatherapy oils in the home, and the two easiest ways of going about it are with candles and diffusers.
 
“While candles can really set the mood, you can get the same effects - and do away with potential fire risks - by opting for a diffuser, and then selecting the right oils for the right space. For example, our Relax range is ideal for the bedroom and winding down after a long day - notes like lavender, geranium and ylang ylang will lift your mood and improve cognitive function. For livelier spaces, such as the living or dining room, go with our Uplift range to awaken the senses.

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2. Decorate with natural materials and plenty of Greenery

It’s no secret that natural homeware and decor are big this year, with rattan pieces and the tropical aesthetic shaping up to be hot summer favourites.
 
“Woven rugs, wooden furniture and rattan baskets are ideal picks for this look,” Rebecca says. “They lend a handcrafted appeal that complements the understated, calm tones of the space.”
 
“This is also a perfect opportunity to exercise creativity and incorporate some DIY decor. So whether it’s customised shelving or macrame wall art, the end result is a personalised creation that scores big on style without breaking the bank.”
 
Another mood lifter to consider: indoor plants. “Greenery can be key when it comes to promoting productivity and a healthier wellbeing,” says Rebecca.  “Succulents and cacti are easy to care for, but for a statement-worthy investment, a terrarium would make for a stunning feature piece.”

Milton White Dining Table and Kendal Dining Chair

Milton White Dining Table and Kendal Dining Chair

3. Build a calm, energised setting with colours and textures

Taking visual cues from the Hygge craze last year, neutrals can set the mood for a relaxing space. “Taupe, ivory and trendy sage lend a sophisticated look that’ll work beautifully for a calm interior,” Rebecca advises. “These hues are a great foundation to work with, matching easily with other colours, and can be kept pared back or dressed up depending on your preferences.”

"Neutral tones are also perfect as a background for more dramatic accent colours. Sunny shades like yellow provide a cheerful burst of creativity, while giving your space charm and personality.”
 
“And when it comes to dialling up the comfort, layer in different textures. Think elements like a plush sofa, soft throws and even a fluffy faux fur rug for a huge boost in cosiness.”

Cassie Corner Sofa

Cassie Corner Sofa

Founded in 2005, FurnitureChoice.co.uk is an independent furniture retailer. The company combines a deep knowledge of contemporary furniture manufacturing with first-class e-commerce expertise.




How To Stencil Wooden or Concrete Floors in 4 Steps

If your floors are looking tired, dated, dull or damaged, why not bring them back to life, and back on-trend with a stencil and some chalky finish floor paint. It’s a quick, easy and cost effective option if you're prepared to try some light DIY, and once applied it will provide a timeless, hardwearing finish that looks amazing.

Chalk paint can be applied to wooden floorboards or concrete flooring and can be applied directly over old paint and varnish. 

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What You Will Need:

  • Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Floor Paint (two colours)

  • Small foam roller and tray

  • Large roller and tray 

  • Paint brush 

  • Sander 

  • Stencil 

  • Cloth 

  • Masking tape 

  • Paint stirrer

  • Can opener

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Directions:

STEP ONE  Chalky Finish Floor Paint can be applied to concrete floors, bare wooden floorboards and floorboards with old paint and varnish, once the surface is prepared properly.

Wooden floors should be lightly sanded, vacuumed, and wiped completely clean before painting. Concrete floors should be vacuumed, wiped clean and allowed to fully dry before painting.    

STEP TWO Take your Chalky Finish Floor Paint base colour (we used Chalk White) and paint around the edges of the room, cutting in a couple of inches.

Next take your large roller and get to work on the main area of the floor. Start at the furthest corner and move backwards towards the door, leaving yourself an escape route. 

You will need at least two coats – check on the tin for drying times between coats. The thinner the coat, the more hardwearing it will be, as it will dry harder.

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STEP THREE Measure the floor to locate its centre. Using masking tape, position the stencil at the centre so that it does not move while you are painting.

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STEP FOUR  Take your second Chalky Finish Floor Paint colour (we used Anthracite) and apply a small, even amount paint to small foam roller. 

Apply the paint to the stencil. To avoid bleeding, make sure that there is only a small amount of paint on the roller at all times.

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Remove the stencil and reposition it. Depending on your stencil, you may need to wait for your design to touch dry to avoid smudging the previous stencil. Repeat until the whole floor is covered.

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For stockist information and more inspiration  please visit www.makeityours.co.uk

What Do Your Colour Choices Say About Your Personality?

Collaborative Post

Julian Charles have been supplying beautifully made home furnishings since 1947. So they know a thing or two about transforming the look and feel of your rooms, by adding comfort, texture and style throughout your entire home. They recently asked a few bloggers to reveal what colour choices they made at home, with the object of revealing what that says about their personality.

I have to say, when I moved into my current house I wanted to be a bit more consistent room by room, and tried to stick to a more restrained and restricted colour palette. So, this little project is quite easy for me.

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Black and White

Apparently, using black and white suggests that you like the simple things in life. You enjoy sitting down with a good book, or just having dinner with loved ones. It doesn’t take much to please you. You might be a bit more cautious with your interiors too. Perhaps you’re scared of colour, but regardless, your home is still beautiful and stylish with simple monochrome colours.

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Green

Green is a very calming colour, so if you have this in your home, it demonstrates that you’re a very patient, collected person. You’re a loyal friend and a very faithful partner. Other people always come first, making you completely selfless. You’re the friend everyone comes to when they need a shoulder to cry on, or someone to talk to, because you’re compassionate. You don’t stick to house trends, but are happy to buy what you like when you see it. This means your house is full of wonderful knick knacks, and mis-matching furniture.

Pretty spot on!

If you’re interested in what other colours say about you. Read On.

Grey

Grey is a reliable colour; you can’t go too wrong with it. It’s the same for you as a person. You’re reliable, but sometimes a bit scared of being the centre of attention. You’d much rather fade into the background. Grey is also the colour of compromise. It shows that you can be indecisive, and would rather sit on the fence than make any big decisions. You’re mostly a calm person who likes to be in control of a situation. Sometimes you can be a little bit too serious, but your fun side comes out when you’re with your best friends.

Yellow

If yellow is your go-to home colour, it shows you’re creative, but also a bit of a perfectionist. You’re always the person giving advice out to friends and family, and are definitely a glass-half-full sort of person. You see the positive in everyone and everything, although not necessarily in yourself. You often dress to impress and are extremely houseproud. You love having people over so you can show off your incredible abode. It’s always immaculate and everything has its own place.

Purple

If purple is the colour you use most often in your home, it can demonstrate you’re organised, and everything at home has a place where it belongs. You like to have structure, which means that routine is important to you if you want to keep stress levels low. You’re a person with a creative mind, and your home is an inspiration to other people. They’re always asking where you got that lamp from, or that rug. You’re extremely house proud.

Pink

Pink isn’t always for women. If often means you’re in touch with your feminine side, whether you’re a woman or a man. You’re a warm, friendly and approachable person, and the same goes for your home which feels inviting. Your love of pink also shows that you have a warm and maternal side. You’re the person everyone comes to when they have a problem. You always see the good in other people, but not necessarily yourself. You can be reserved and shy.

Blue

Blue, like green, is one of the most calming colours. You’re a bit of a free spirit but prefer tranquility and peace over hustle and bustle. You hate discord or conflict, and can never hold a grudge for very long. This means you can be a bit of a people pleaser, but this isn’t always a bad thing. You prefer to have a close circle of friends anyway, over a large group of friends or acquaintances. This means when it comes to socialising in your home, you’d rather have your mates over for a few drinks than a full on house party.

Orange

Most people see orange as a fiery colour, like red. However, you’re actually a friendly, good-natured person. If you use lots of orange in your home, it shows that you enjoy socialising and partying. You’re always having social gatherings and house parties because you love entertaining in your own space. You can also be a bit of an adventurer. You prefer to be outside camping, climbing, walking, than stuck at home by yourself. You’re a people person, and love to make new friends.