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Great Outdoor Spaces For Summer

With summer now upon us we all spend more and more time in our gardens or outdoor spaces, so it is important for these spaces to look great and be functional. Also, during the summer months we all tend to have guests over and entertain more so it is key to have a great outside space to entertain in. Whether your outside space is small or large, there is always a way to make the most of it and turn it into something amazing.

Your outdoor space should reflect your personal style and your tastes, the rustic style can work great in an outdoor space. Rustic style tables and chairs are a great idea to create the perfect outdoor seating and dining area. Having different seating options creates a great look indoors and out, try using a selection of chairs and benches to make sure your outdoor space looks more interesting. This way you can also move these around to different areas in your garden or courtyard and they won’t look out of place. If you’re lucky enough to have a built-in canopy, or if you can build one in yourself, then make sure you consider your lighting in these areas. If you can, try and wire in lighting and hang some pendant lights or sconces in this space. It is also important to decorate your dining table just as if it were your normal dining table. Opt for some more colourful dining accessories and include vases with some seasonal flowers or greenery in, just to tie the whole look together.

Again, if you’re lucky enough to have a built-in canopy then you should definitely embrace it. Try hanging fairy lights from the top of your canopy so that you can enjoy your outside space during the day and at night. So, when those summer barbeques turn into late nights, you can still enjoy the warm summer evenings. It is also a nice idea to have a range of different seating areas in your outdoor space. Although it is great to have a large outdoor dining area, it is useful to also have a smaller seating area for when there are less people or just as a nice spot to enjoy a coffee on a warm summer morning. If you are working with a tiled or patio space, then try incorporating in some potted plants to give the space some more colour. You can have large pots on the floor and smaller pots on shelves or even hanging up from the wall or a canopy.

Maybe you have a small outdoor area or a courtyard instead of a garden, but you can still create something really special for your outside space. If you have a smaller area then try not to add too much furniture to save on ground space when it comes to entertaining. It is a good idea to have some open doors onto your courtyard so that your guests can spill out onto the outside space. If you do want some seating, then try and include a small table & chairs and/or a small bench tucked away at the side the courtyard. This way, when you’re not entertaining, you have a quiet spot to sit outside and the perfect place to have a sunny breakfast or an evening drink whilst you watch the sun go down. With a smaller space, you may also want to create a look which is a lot more modern; if you have decking or a patio courtyard for instance then this will be really easy to do. With a courtyard, you will need to try and inject some greenery as usually you won’t have a grass area or many plants. You can decorate with potted plants in large, modern pots to tie the whole look together.

If you have a larger space, it is good to have a covered area as an addition to you space. During the summer months, it is ideal to have a covered area in your garden so you have a space to cool down and get some shade on those really hot days. You can also combine styles just like you can indoors, that’s what’s great about interior design. Mixing rustic accessories and natural elements with modern pieces can create a really on-trend outdoor look. Again, overhead lights, soft furnishings, potted plants, tables, chairs and other accessories will bring an outdoor look together and create a really affective outside space. Outdoor rugs or titled flooring can also be a great look in your outdoor space, this will add some different texture and colour too.

If you live in the UK like me, you’ll know that beautiful sunny days can turn into rather chilly nights. Because of this, it is key to have some items on deck to keep you warm when you want to enjoy those summer nights. Comfy cushions and blankets are a great thing to stack up on your outdoor seating for your guests and yourself when it gets a bit nippy at night. Another great element to have in your outdoor space is a fire pit or patio heater. This will again keep you warm when the sun goes down and will even create a central point on your patio. You can even have a built-in fire pit with built-in seating surrounding it, this will give you a great chill out zone for the summer and give your guests a focused area to sit around in the evenings.

Small gardens, courtyards or balconies are much more intimate and can be trickier to know how to decorate. Again, try to limit your furniture so you don’t take up too much space and make your outdoor area too cluttered. There are lots of things you can do in a small space to make it look great without taking up too much room. Try and accommodate seating options for a few people and a table where you can set down drinks and place accessories. If you are worried about not having any shaded space, try a large umbrella or a fabric canopy that you can hang across your courtyard to give you some shaded space. As always, you will want some lighting for your space for evening/night time, so fairy lights and lanterns are a great addition to a small space. These can be hung up on walls or hung over the top of your space and they won’t take up any space on the floor or on top of your tables. Hanging plants is also a great way free up space on your floors, if you don’t have flower beds then always go for potted plants or buy huge plant pots and plant a range of smaller flowers in one pot. This is a great alternative when you don’t have any other space for planting. You can also include accessories such as candles and holders, throw cushions and vases, etc.

Plants and flowers are a great way to add colour to your garden or outdoor space, but there are other ways to incorporate more unconventional colours too. Tiling works great in a garden space and you can create a great seating area that is different to a conventional patio area. You can then match any colourful tiling with your accessories; thrown cushions, blankets and pots are a great way to do this. It is also a good idea to try and accessorise with items that match your natural colour palette. Try and reflect the greens, browns and neutral colours in these, think wooden tables and wicker baskets. Again, go for large potted plants on a patio/tiled surface to keep the garden look harmonious throughout.

If you are someone who entertains often and likes to entertain in your garden, then it is key to have plenty of seating options. Aside from having a dining space, it’s a great idea to have secondary spaces to sit when you want to relax or have a drink, or for when you have guests over and need extra seating. If you are struggling for seating space for these events, get yourself some fold way deck chairs that can be stored away for when you don’t need then. Then for even more seating space, grab yourself some outdoor blankets or rugs and some large garden cushions for floor seating space for when your guests want to just chill out in the sunshine.

There are so many great things you can do in an outdoor space and many elements in this blog can be merged to create the perfect garden space. I hope this has given you some inspiration for your outdoor spaces to make the most of them this summer.

Until next time!

How to Style- The Perfect Beauty Vanity

A beauty vanity is key in any woman’s home and in any interior design project. Whether it’s in your bedroom or dressing room, it’s key to have a lovely organised space to get ready in the mornings and evenings. You may have an extensive beauty collection or maybe just a few key pieces, either way it is important to have your products organised for you to access easily, why not even use your best items to display as accessories in your space. We take a look at some great beauty vanities and how to make the most out of them.

If your dressing room needs a vanity/dressing table then why not go for something simple and minimal. White will work well in any interior space but find a nice simple dressing table that will match the style of your room. A table with drawers will be perfect as it means you can tuck away all your make up so that your table doesn’t look cluttered when you’re not using it. You can then mount or stand a nice large mirror at the back of the table to do your make up in, team this with a smaller free-standing mirror for those close up needs. Then, depending on the size of your table, select some of your favourite items (maybe lipsticks in a stand) and have these on display just to add a bit of décor to your beauty table.

If you don’t have a dressing room or you’re a bit tight for space there are lots of things that you can try. Interior design is all about making the most of the space you’re working with. Why not set up a shelf with some drawers and a series of smaller shelves going up the wall to give you some more storage space. If you pair this with a small stool that can be tucked away under the shelves then you can be sure you won’t be taking up too much unnecessary space. Mount your mirror on the wall so you don’t take up any of the shelf space and store your favourite and most used items closest to you. This way you can have a beautiful vanity and a great space to get ready without taking up loads of space with a bulky vanity and chair to go with it.

On the other hand, if you do have lots of space, then make the most of it. The more makeup you have the more space you will need, so plan for that when choosing a vanity or makeup table. Go for something with more drawer space if you know you have a lot of items to store away. You can even find an unconventional table or desk to use as a vanity, just mount a mirror on the wall behind it and you’ve got exactly what you need. Then, if you want to make your table a statement piece in your space, try decorating with some trinkets or even a vase with flowers. Or even use the products you have to decorate. Maybe you have some products that came in a beautiful box or that have luxury packaging, these will be ideal when decorating a dressing table.

If the girly, neutral style isn’t for you then why not try something different. Try and choose items that will fit best with your space and your personal style. I love seeing quirky pieces in interiors, I think they are what makes interior design so special. Also, you don’t have to have gold everything to create a luxury space. Team together some unconventional pieces and see what you can come up with. Although you can purchase full vanity sets, it doesn’t mean you should. Find items that you like and that match your style and just team them together to make something that you love. As long as you have all the key elements, then you can create something new and unique that is perfect just for you. Interior design is all about experimenting and finding what is right for your own home.

Then you need to think about how you want to store your makeup. Organised makeup storage is key in a vanity table as it is important to know where all your products are, especially if you have a more extensive collection. It is also important to keep things organised for aesthetic reasons as the more organised your vanity is, the better it will look. There are loads of different make up storage solutions online that will help you organise your products either in drawers or to sit on top of your vanity. This will help you to sort your makeup and organise it just how you want it to be. This then can be used to decorate the top of your vanity too, as you can purchase some really beautiful makeup organisers.

If you don’t want to purchase make up organisers, or you just want to try some more unconventional storage options then you can always find things at home to use or purchase other items to store your makeup in. Small plant pots, cups or empty candle holders can be perfect for storing brushes or other makeup items especially if you want to use them for décor on your vanity. You can even try putting them into a tray along with your other favourite items to decorate the top of your vanity. This way you can keep these items in one place and easily move it all out the way if you need more space on your table.

I hope this has given you all some inspiration and ideas on how to create or make the most out of your vanities. Dressing tables can be a great way to show off your favourite products and to help you have a beautiful and organised space where you can get ready.

Until next time!

How To Style- Bookcases

When it comes to interior design, bookcases are key. Whether you have them in your living room, study or even your bedroom, it is important to make them look great. I love being able to show off my books (especially those that look great) so whether your collection is huge or is just home to a few treasures, here are a few ways to really make the most of your bookcase and show off all your favourite reads.

It has become a big trend to start decorating bookcases with much more than just books. Artwork, flowers and other accessories are starting to come into our bookcases to give them that little added extra something. Using unconventional items for bookends is a great way to try this out if you don’t have much space to add in new accessories. Small sculptures or even just decorative bookends are a great way to spruce up your bookcases. Using bookcases of different shapes and sizes are a great way to add in a bit of interest also. Try taking out shelves and moving them around if you can, to make the shelf sizes different. You can then add in taller books or photo frames into these larger sections. This will add a bit more interest and character to your bookcases as it makes the shelves appear differently in a way which is more eye catching.

If you don’t have a lot of books and your bookshelf is looking a bit too bare then try using it as an extra space to accessorise your interior. Laying books on their side and topping them with an ornament is a great way to take up a shelf space without needing lots of books. This will also make the most of height of your shelves by stacking items on top of one another. You can also include candles and other ornamental items in the spaces you have left over. It is also a nice idea to split up the shelves so they aren’t just long units and are shorter than usual shelves. This means that you can have books and other accessories on the same level without getting each element confused with the next. This will go a long way to make sure your bookcase looks tidy and formatted.

If you don’t have the wall space to put in a large bookcase then try and utilise the space that you already have. Built in bookcases are a great idea and you can fit them in much easier than a standard size bookcase. This means that you can fit them in wherever you may desire to make sure your books are in the perfect place in your home. You can even build bookcases in around windows or doors and make the most of the height of your rooms for book storage. Fill your books in and accessorise again. If your bookcases are tall then use the top shelves for your accessories and then keep your books lower down so that you can reach them with ease.

There are plenty of ways to accessorise your bookcases by why not take it one step further? By painting the inside of the shelves in your bookcase you can really bring the whole thing to life. You can also use different wallpapers to add colour, pattern and texture to your bookcases. This is a great way to add an interesting backdrop for all your books and accessories. It can also make your bookcase the statement feature in your space. Adding colour and/or pattern will make your bookcases really stand out against the rest of your furniture, just make sure that the colour or print that you choose doesn’t clash with your interior.

Why not take a modern twist on your bookcase and go for something more unconventional? Built-in bookcases don’t have to be ordinary or a standard style. Maybe go for something more architectural or something that works better with your interior, instead of just opting for what you can find in the stores. This will give you something that is much more unique and works perfectly with your space. You can then go ahead and style it however you like. Just by making it more interesting it will surely stand out so load it up with your favourite books and a few accessories and you’re good to go!

Another great idea- build a reading nook into your bookcase! You can’t get much better than a bookcase that gives you a place to read your books can you. Whether it’s tucked away in the corner of your room or spread out along an entire wall, a reading nook is a great idea. And if you keep fighting over who gets to use the nook, make it big enough for two or make sure you have some comfy seating nearby. Then, you can have stacks of books and even magazines in your bookcases and you can enjoy a read with other people too. When you come to style it, again think about height. You might want to stand up your favourite books or stack them up again to avoid them getting lost in amongst all the others, and to show the off in your space. You might want to add in some photo frames and other accessories. Then, jazz up your nook with comfy cushions, soft throws and even some lamps or overhead lighting.

Hoping I’ve given you lots of inspiration on how to make the most of your bookcases. Books are such a wonderful thing and I think it is so important to have a bookcase not only to house them but as a fab home feature!

Until next time.

Clerkenwell 2017- Highlights

Once again Clerkenwell became abuzz with activity as it hosted the annual Clerkenwell Design Week. The area in Central London is known as London’s Creative Heart – hosting more architects and creative businesses per square mile than anywhere else. Each year the event attracts students, designers and manufacturers from all over the UK to its eight exhibition spaces and over a hundred open showrooms scattered across the area. It offers a fantastic opportunity to meet the faces behind the product, and discover the thought process behind creating beautiful pieces of design.

 

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

The event oozes with style and inspiration – and of course Gracious Luxury were there!

Each of the eight exhibition spaces hosted collections of varying themes and focuses – including Design Fields for International contemporary design, Platform for up-and-coming design talent, Additions for small design pieces and accessories, Project for contract furniture, British Collection for home grown talent and finally Detail for luxury design.

The selection this year was as strong as ever, and the exhibitions had a real emphasis on user activity – displays were tactile, installations encouraged participation and the feel was dynamic and energised.

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

Amongst all of this activity, there were some shining stars of the show. Here are my top picks of Clerkenwell 2017:

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

Emma J Shipley

Possibly one of the most visually striking displays (located in Additions) was that of Emma J Shipley – a graphic artist based in London. Emma’s work harnesses the beauty of handcrafted design and each illustration is drawn by hand. The designs are whimsical – from mythological creatures, sea creatures, astrological imagery to special collaborations with Disney. The illustrations are printed onto luxury silk cushions, scarves, prints and accessories.

https://emmajshipley.com/

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

Lozi

Lozi, a London based company creates bespoke, modern furniture. Hosted in British Collection, the elegant woodwork is simple and clean in style. The smooth and beautifully crafted pieces utilise a neutral pallet; with oaks, beech, pine and white. The clean lines focus on wood grain and complex joins, which give texture and detail to every piece. We particularly enjoyed the bespoke kitchen collection and the soft, warm glow cast by the pine-veneered sunset lamp.

https://www.lozidesigns.com/

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

MannMade London

MannMade London is yet another fantastic British company, specialising in handcrafted, made to order pieces inspired by the urban surroundings of its home in Battersea, London. Their exhibition at the British Collection focused on the launch of their new Battersea Collection, featuring their Edna mirrors in silver or a stunning rose gold, the Rozel dressing table and the Northcote shelving unit. Each piece is made from steel, dyed Valchromat and solid Walnut or Ash. The dark colour pallet coupled with crisp lines create a minimal, functional and moody feel with a touch of glamour.

http://www.mannmadelondon.com/

Photos: Mitch Phillip Turner Photography

Graypants

One of the more unusual objects we saw at Clerkenwell was the flagship piece by Graypants – the Scraplight, at Icon House of Culture. The unusual light shade is full of texture in an earthy tone, and as you get closer to the piece you realise it is made up of laser-cut, recycled corrugated cardboard. Environmentally friendly, the light fittings make a statement and would suit spaces in both bold and neutral colour pallets.

https://www.graypants.com/ 

Photo: Bang & Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen sponsored Icon House of Culture this year, and took full advantage of the atmospheric space with light installations, leading to their BeoSound Shape speaker system. The wall-mounted speakers offer an attractive acoustic solution to any space, and the modular system allows for you to choose exactly how you want it arranged. The wool fabric coated panels are tactile and eye catching, giving you the opportunity to create a focal point in any room – both practical and stylish, with incredible sound.

https://www.bang-olufsen.com/en

Clerkenwell 2017 was a yet again a massive hit and fantastic experience for designers, creatives and those who appreciate the art of interior design. If you were unable to visit this year, I hope you were inspired by our selection of highlights. Don’t forget – Clerkenwell 2018 will soon be around the corner, don’t miss it!

BA Interior Design (Hons)- University of South Wales

https://samueljones.myportfolio.com

Neutrals Don’t Have to be Boring

A lot of people are under the impression that neutral colours are boring. From clothing to furniture, a lot of us shy away from those neutrals because of a fear of looking too dull. But neutrals don’t have to be boring and they can actually be a great way to decorate your home easily be able to change with the seasons and trends.

Texture is a very important thing when it comes to decorating with neutral shades. Using a range of different textures adds a lot of interest where you may be lacking in colour. Easy tricks like adding in rugs, throws and textured cushions are a simple way of adding instant texture to any space. Wicker baskets and smaller accessories are also a quick and easy way to add in texture and bring the whole look of the space together.

Now if you’re not big on colour but still feel like you need a little added something in your space, pastels are a great solution. They can add in more interest without totally standing out against the neutral tones of your colour scheme. They blend in nicely and there are lots of ways to showcase pastel colours. From bedsheets and cushions to art work, there are some really great choices in the pastel colour palette to give you the perfect accent in your neutral rooms.

There are so many so-called neutral shades that it can be hard to know which one to choose. So why not go with a variety? No room sticks to one single shade so experiment with neutral tones in your space. Start with a white canvas and play with shades of grey mixed with tan tones to achieve a more well rounded look. These colours can really complement each other well if you get them just right, so try them out and see what you can create.

Metallic gold accessories can really top off a neutral interior space. It brings with it a little added extra luxury and, combined with luxurious fabrics, can really inject a touch a glamour into your home. Look for lamps and side tables to try out this look, or even smaller items such as vases, trinkets and trays can work really well to add a subtle touch of gold. If you really like the metallic look, maybe even splash out on some beaded cushions to add to your sofas or beds!

Wood accessories are a great way to wrap up a neutral colour palette. Go for a brown wood that is on the same spectrum as your neutral colours and you’re onto a winner with this one. It gives the illusion of adding colour without actually straying away from your initial colour palette. Even using different shades of wood can add depth and dimension without adding in any actual colour. Grab yourself a wooden side table and a fabulous potted plant and you’ve instantly added a little extra something to your otherwise conventional interior space.

Black and white is an age-old trend, and using it in an interior works just as well to create a beautiful monochrome space. Done well, it can create a wonderful, minimalistic, scandi style interior. Starting with a bright base is important as it keeps the room open and ready to contrast any black/dark accessories. Just because you are using black, doesn’t mean the space has to be dark and moody. Opt for light rugs, soft furnishings and accessories to place on or next to your black surfaces to bring the whole look together. When looking for black furniture, go minimal. Tables with thin legs, narrow framed mirrors and picture frames and shelving that isn’t too heavy. This will again create this look without making it far too dark!

And that’s it; how to make sure that your neutral spaces aren’t boring. There are so many small changes that really make all the difference and bring your space into a whole new look.

Until next time.

Interior Design Trends for 2017- Part 2

Last week we brought you the first part of ‘Interior Design Trends for 2017’ and now, we bring you even more great trends for this year. There’s definitely something for everyone so if you didn’t fancy any of the trends in the last blog, you’re sure to find some in this one!

Deconstructed Luxe

The clue is in the name for this one. Using natural materials to create an amazing, on-trend look. This includes the increasing popular exposed brick look along with plaster and concrete finishes on walls and floors, metals, cork, woods and clay. Combining a few of these raw materials can create a great rustic/industrial look which is very popular right now. A lot of restaurants and bars have started to incorporate these trends into their interiors but these looks are starting to show up in homes also which I think is great.

Marvellous Marble

Marble has been seen all over the place for many years. But, now it is becoming increasing popular. From the classic marble floor tile, to marble faux wall finishes, it has become a very diverse material for interiors. Explore marble wall murals, colourful marble and, if you search it on Pinterest, marble pretty much everything! I’m definitely a lover of marble and if you don’t fancy tiling your entire kitchen in marble, why not try out some accessories? Every market seems to be untouched by the trend right now, you can even get marble look carpets! Maybe you fancy that maybe you don’t, all I know is that we’ll be seeing lots of this trend in 2017.

Multi-Functional Furniture

Now if you’re tight for space, or you like furniture to tuck out of the way when you’re not using it, then you’ll love this one. Multi-functional furniture is becoming increasingly popular and with more and more new innovative ideas coming out all the time, I can see why. Fold-out tables that turn into mirror or picture frames, sofas that turn into chairs and then back again, the classic extendable table and even height adjustable tables are just a few great examples of this up and coming trend. Whether you want a piece which works as more than one thing, or something that folds away completely (like the classic old Murphy Bed) you’re guaranteed to find something to suit your needs.

Blue Hues

Blue is for sure my absolute favourite colour, so this trend really excites me. This year navy is the new black and French blue is making an appearance too. The great thing about blue is that it can be very versatile, it goes well with most colour schemes so it’s easy to add a hit of blue into any space. And why not go big and rework the whole colour scheme to match your new bold, blue walls! As mentioned in part 1 of this blog, velvet is a big trend for this year and blue is a colour which looks amazing in velvet. Try blue accessories and furniture or even blue artwork to try out this trend if you’re not keen on the idea of painting your walls with such a bold colour. Also blue is great as it lends to a space without making it feels small!

Techie Furniture

In the past few years, and this year especially, we have been seeing LOADS of new technology cropping up all over the place. Personally, I’m not massively into gadgets and tech accessories but some of what I have seen in the past few months has been pretty impressive. One great new product are the new voice-activated home assistants, like Google Home. These are great and not only are they super helpful, but they look great too and come in a whole range of different colours. Another popular trend is tech that is integrated into furniture. This can range from phone chargers built into bedside tables or light stands, to upholstered speakers like the classic Linn speaker upholstered in Timorous Beasties fabric (shown above). This trend is very exciting and I’m certain we will be seeing a lot more of this over the next few years.

Bring the Outdoors in

If you read my blog ‘How to Decorate with Florals’ then you’ll know that I love having fresh flowers in my home. But it doesn’t stop there. Indoor plants are another great way to bring the outdoors in and bring a little life into your home. You might opt for a huge potted plant if you’re feeling adventurous or maybe you go for a tiny terrarium, either way it’s sure to add some more character into your space. With green being all the range this year this is a great way to incorporate two trends in one and explore natures colour palette. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with beautiful surrounding views you can even put in a large window to incorporate the outside colours into your space. I suppose if you don’t feel like doing major construction work on your property you could always just grab yourself a cute little cactus and stick it on your desk instead.

I hope this has inspired you all and helped you explore the interior design trend for this year. As always, please feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think or if you’ve tried any of these trends out yourselves tell us how they worked for you!

Until next time!

Interior Design Trends for 2017- Part 1

With 2017 now fully underway, we are starting to see more trends appear and those trends that were forecast for the year are starting to crop up in the design world. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you all what’s hot right now and how to make your interiors on-trend for this year.

Plush Textiles

Velvet has been a trend emerging for the past few years and has spread to everything, from fashion to interior design. But, we are now seeing more natural/organic fabrics such as linen being introduced and ethereal fabrics being used for bedding or drapes. These fabrics are also being folded, pleated, gathered and manipulated in different ways to introduce added texture to upholstered furniture, soft furnishings and textile pieces.

Brass is the New Copper

Copper was a big hit last year, unavoidable wherever you looked it seemed. No more is the high shine, pink tinted metal. Instead, now, brass is making an appearance and what a welcome reception it has received. Whether or not it is because we are all fed up of seeing copper EVERYTHING, I don’t know. But I’m certainly pleased about the change. Swap out your copper accessories with brass or gold ones and why not even go bigger than that and include a larger piece. Brass showers or exposed pipes are a great way to incorporate this into a space. Team this with tapestry tilling (also very on-trend this year) for the perfect shower space.

Upholstered Headboards

Upholstered headboards are also becoming more popular this year. If you want to add a little bit of drama and an added ‘wow’ factor to your bedrooms, this is the way to go. From big to small and from square to spectacular, there is something for everyone with this new trend. Some are very high and others are extremely wide. But, whichever style you may opt for these headboards are sure to add texture, colour and charm to your space.

Barely There

This trend is definitely one of my favourites and a very clever one also. By choosing furniture pieces which are either clear acrylic or completely mirrored, you can create the illusion of more space. Transparent acrylic furniture and accessories can appear to be almost invisible and this allows you to take a piece which may be too bulky or unpleasing to the eye and swap it with something that is barely there. On the other hand, mirrored furniture will reflect the space around it (just as a normal mirror would) and this makes the room look larger and again the piece almost disappears into its surroundings.

Art Deco Makes a Comeback

Now for probably my favourite of them all. Art Deco is such a classic and recognised trend worldwide that the thought of putting a modern twist on it and injecting it into our homes really gets me excited. Expect loads of and lots of bling! Look out for bold geometric wall coverings and tiles (also big trends for this year) and amazing statement lighting. A brilliant way to try out this look is with small upholstered furniture. Try a velvet chair or ottoman in a blush pink or mint green to add in a small glimpse of Art Deco style in your interiors. Team these elements with gold/mirrored furniture and you’re onto an Art Deco winner!

Go Bold or Go Home

Now, this trend certainly won’t be for everyone. But, if you like to be adventurous or you’re feeling brave then this is a great trend to try out. Statement walls have definitely been an in and out trend for the past few years, but now they are back with a vengeance and bolder than ever. Think neon colours, geometrics, tropical prints and botanicals. Splash these across your walls and team them with simple, wooden furniture and you can achieve this look brilliantly. And if you don’t feel like going so big and bold, try wall hangings or art work to achieve this style without changing the whole look of your interior.

Jewel Tones

More colour inspiration for this year. We all know that Greenery was the colour of the year from Pantone and has been a massive hit so far. But, there are also lots of jewel toned colours appearing and looking to be popular for this year. From vibrant greens and teals to purples and ruby reds, there is certainly a beautiful array of colours to choose from. Combine these into upholstered furnishings or soft furnishings and accessories to explore this trend. Or even take it a step further and try a dark, moody colour on your walls and combine with others of this year’s trends to create the ultimate look for 2017!

I hope this blog has given you some inspiration for your interiors this year and has inspired you to incorporate these trends into your homes. Part 2 will be coming soon also so watch out for that one.

Until next time!

How to Style- Statement Furniture

Recently, I’ve been seeing lots of interiors which are neutral toned and very ‘safe’ in terms of design. I think it’s a shame that people aren’t more adventurous with their interiors. If you like it, then buy it! Don’t shy away from bold, exciting pieces- use them in your spaces and embrace them. So, here are a few ideas of how to incorporate statement pieces into your interior spaces.

Luxury furniture and fabrics.

Clan Milano- Cortes

Why not start off small? Go for a small side table or a stool just to add a small accent to your space. Go for something bright, in a luxurious fabric, and even experiment with a bold pattern. These stools and side tables from Clan Milano are a perfect idea if you want to add a little injection of interest to your space. The side tables may be a small addition but with their shiny brass components and coloured marble tops, they certainly do stand out.

Boca do Lobo- Venice Mirror

If you don’t fancy splashing out on statement furniture, why not opt for a simpler option like a mirror. Mirrors make a great addition to any room and are perfect for reflecting other elements in your rooms. I think the bigger the better when it comes to mirrors. Go for something that stands out; mirrors with detailing or interesting borders are great for any space. The Venice Mirror from Boca do Lobo is a great example of this. It’s big and bold, but is entirely made from glass so it is a great way to make a statement without messing with the colour scheme.

Cappellini- Embryo Chair

I have always been a lover of bright colours. So, when it comes to choosing furniture, colourful, quirky pieces like these really excite me. I love the thought of having a piece in my home that has that real ‘wow’ factor when people see it. That’s what statement furniture means to me- pieces that people ask you about when they see them, things that are interesting to the eye and those elements that really bag a great response. These chairs from Cappellini are no exception. The perfect way to add some interest to your living area and have your visitors saying ‘wow’.

Splinter Works- Hammock Bath

No need to leave the bathroom out; take your statement pieces to any room you want to. This Hammock Bath is the perfect way to change things up in your bathroom and add a bit of glamour. Instead of having a clinical looking bathroom, bring in some excitement with interesting tilling and lighting as well. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, Splinter Works also make the Hammock Bath gilded in 24 Carat Gold! Now that’s what I call making a statement.

Jimmie Martin- Never Sleep Alone

Maybe you don’t feel like going bold in your shared spaces, but that shouldn’t stop you transforming your bedroom. Try an interesting head board for your bed or some bright furniture choices to really bring your bedroom alive. Brighten up the space with bold, bright colours to contrast an otherwise neutral room. A piece like the one pictured above is a great example of this, it is harmonious with the look of the room but definitely draws the eye. I am all for adding a key piece of interest to a space and this is a brilliant, quirky way to do it for sure.

Serip- CT3368/70

If you’re feeling adventurous, then you can go really big. Lighting is a fabulous way to create interest. Halls and entryways are a brilliant place to really showcase some amazing lighting solutions. These spaces are the first thing people will see when they enter your home so why not make a great first impression. A chandelier is a great way to add a bit of glitz and glamour to any space. Why not try and extended chandelier or pendant light hanging through a spiral staircase. Not only does it provide lighting for your hallway and upstairs landing, but it creates a beautiful, eye-catching feature when using your stairs. This one from Serip is truly spectacular and really plays on the traditional chandelier to create something completely different. The perfect lighting statement.

Verner Panton- Living Tower

Now, the design world comes out with some pretty fantastic things and it certainly doesn’t stop when it comes to furniture. With so many fun, quirky and downright mad things on the market these days, why would you want to go for something plain? From bright colours you wouldn’t think of displaying in your home, to pieces that you can’t even believe are meant to be furniture, there is so much out there. The Living Tower by Verner Panton showcases exactly this. An ideal statement that not only serves as a piece of furniture but as a piece of art in itself also.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to add fantastic statement pieces in your homes and add a little more interest. After all, we all want that ‘wow’ moment when people come to visit us don’t we?

Until next time!

Creating The Perfect Mood Board

Being a creative thinker/processor, I thought the topic of the blog today might be visually yummy & a guide for you budding Interior designers on the purpose of a mood board: which are used in a variety of design disciplines and how it can help you confidently create a space that works in terms of colour & styles.

A mood board is a collection of images which reflect the style, feel and look of an interior. This is the first stage of the design process, defining our ideas about the space, and later working as a guide for design development. Below are a collection of mood boards which represent various kinds of styles:

An analogous palette of colours that harmonize and sit beautifully together in any interior.

A feminine palette creating a visual language which translates vintage peach with a monochromatic and natural base.

    Gorgeous naturals and textures sit beautifully together.

Fun and pops of colour work fabulous together as all have the same tone of white added to the pure hue.

Vintage pastels which tonally compliment as illustrated in this vintage board.

A masculine palette, illustrating the smoky and woody tones for a space.

The elements that can be explored in the mood board include inspirational images, colour palettes, furniture, textures, and the overall look and feel of the interior.

A mood board is extremely useful for establishing the aesthetic feel before going into more detail with material sourcing or even furniture sourcing, as we don’t want to waste valuable time putting finishes and furniture together when the aesthetics are disjointed. It’s a fun stage yet crucial to ‘get it right’ as the elements put on the board do show how the space will feel once you get to that stage.

 My advice is, research thoroughly and enjoy yourself as this will shine through in your interior space.

Searching For Inspiration- The Herbert Art Gallery

Last week a group of us paid a visit to The Herbert Art Gallery in search of inspiration for some exciting projects we have coming up. Where better to source design inspiration from than an art gallery right? Well, I found the trip very inspirational so I wanted to share with you all my favourite parts from our visit.

Not only does the gallery contain some beautiful pieces, but the building itself is also a work of art. The roof of the building over the main entrance showcases a wonderful geometric pattern which can be seen from the inside and outside of the building. The roof also curves over the top and looks beautiful when it is lit up at night. The roof is one of the things I love most about this building, the clean, bold lines and industrial look are certainly a favourite of mine when it comes to architecture. Along the outside as you walk towards the entrance there are some wonderful, interesting features including more angular wooden beams and metal rectangular fixtures with letters carved into them.

 

One of the first things that really caught my eye was this painting. The wonderful combination of colours was the first thing that drew me in but the longer I looked, the more I could see. I’m a great believer in injecting colour into an interior to give it some added character so this painting is certainly a piece that makes the imagination run wild when relating it to interior design. I also think that hanging art work in a space is really important and keeping it colourful is a great way to go!

This chair designed by Spencer Jenkins is made from steel and woven willow and is said to be a sculpture with a functional purpose. The piece looks at how humans are changing nature to suit their needs. This chair is possibly my favourite piece from our trip. I love how the bright pink contrasts the willow and how the shape of the frame is so interesting with it disappearing into the willow weave. If only we could buy them and put them in our homes.

Now I can be a bit of a magpie at times, so when it comes to anything shiny or sparkly I seem to be instantly drawn to it. That, along with the Gracious Luxury logo being black and gold, drew my attention instantly to this particular installation. As we work with luxury fabrics, finishes and furniture on a daily basis these gorgeous beads are definitely a source of inspiration for us. Shapes, colours and textures are all very important in interior design and mixing them up with luxury finishes are just what we like to see.

These lovely little ceramic pots are another thing that caught my attention on our visit. Beautiful harmonious colours and each one has a completely different, interesting top to it. Each one the same, but with its own unique addition. This principle along with the colour scheme is definitely inspiration in itself. And why not even try showcasing functional ceramics in your home and keep them on display.

Now this installation was another favourite of mine. The fabric bright and colourful, printed with a pattern and then stitched and embroidered to manipulate the shape it appears as. It then appears that the outer shell is broken to uncover the beauty inside. Many of these were installed in a circle, each one completely different from the next. The contrast between the neutral and the bright pop of colour is definitely something we can take from when it comes to interior design.

The final thing that I really loved from the gallery were these gorgeous little lamp shades. I find it unusual to see these shades handing from the ceiling as opposed to being in place on top of standing lamps.  The light also seeps out of the tiny holes made when each segment of the shades were attached which adds a lot of interest to the piece. I love how each of the lamps is unique and different and has different pattern and embellishment from the next. I also really enjoy the way these lights are hung for the installation. They hang at a range of different heights and reflect light off one another, which is definitely something to consider when considering lighting solutions for interior design.

The Herbert Art Gallery has been a great source of inspiration for us with the projects that we have coming up. I personally think that art galleries and installations, right down to street art are wonderful things to look at to be inspired for all forms of design. So I hope that these pieces will inspire you, just as they have inspired me.

Until next time!