Tag Archives: new home interior

Setting the scene to sell your House

It’s that time of year. The children are back at school and people are again looking to buy and sell homes. A good interior layout and good interior design are key to ensuring that your house comes top of the list in a potential buyers mind. But how do you achieve these things. Here are my top tips.

We all know to keep to a neutral colour scheme and to tidy up – but if you go too neutral you risk making your home bland and forgettable, too colourful and you risk alienating a whole section of potential buyers. Unworkable layouts are annoying, and cluttered spaces scream “too small”. Dirty, tatty kitchens and bathrooms are a big turn-off too, so where do you start.

What can you do to secure that all-important sale and how do you sell an “aspirational” lifestyle? Unfortunately everyone’s taste differs, but when it comes to selling your house put aside your personal preferences and follow these simple rules:

TV presenter Sarah Beeny states this time and time again, but it is still worth repeating. One person’s treasured possessions are another person’s dust collectors. Minimise the number of decorative objects on display as clutter makes a room appear smaller and serves only to camouflage features of the room that you should be promoting.

interior design Lincs, Harlequin_Landscapes_12_LR

Your furniture should be in proportion to the room size. An oversized sofa in a small cottage will dominate the room and make it feel cramped. If you cannot exchange it, covering it with a light coloured textured fabric will go a long way to reduce its impact. If you need to show more seating, small side chairs are preferable to another sofa and give the room a sense of space and practicality.

interior design Stamford

Lighting is an essential element of any room and is often overlooked. If you only have a central light your room can appear cold and uninviting by its single bulb. This is especially true as we go into winter. Table lamps strategically placed on side tables are a great way to create interest and warmth. Remember – fluorescent light bulbs (kitchens for example) give off a cold, uniform light and whilst fine in a workshop, should be replaced inside the house with a more suitable fitting. Dimmers and cream lampshades are the cheapest and quickest way to create instant ambience in any room. If you have down-lighters you may consider using a slightly darker wall colour as these types of lights tend to wash out pale colours. If you’re thinking of redecorating prior to putting your house on the market paint an A4 size piece of white card or an artists’ canvas with your chosen colour and try it next to each light source before you paint a whole room. Never put the paint directly on the wall, you’ll simply look at the difference between the two colours and not at the new colour.

interior design Oundle

The colours of your walls are the single most important factor when presenting your home to potential buyers. In general the average house buyer is not good at visualising the potential of a room. Even a single wall painted a bizarre colour can be a stumbling block to the buyer and mean the difference between selling and not.

For most houses neutral colours are the safest bet, but this is not to say that you should shy away from creating some interest and style, but avoid drama! Try using wall paper with large bold prints but keep it to one wall and do not be tempted to paper the whole room. A complimentary paint colour will help to pull the room together.

It is also essential to consider natural daylight when re-painting walls. Start with which way the room faces – north facing will make colours look greener whilst southern facing rooms will make colours look more yellow. For rooms that run east to west the colour will change as the sun moves throughout the day. This change should be embraced as this makes rooms come alive.

Interior desing Lincolnshire

White – if in doubt keep it simple!

From urban chic to rustic simplicity, white is infinitely versatile. Pure white – its simplest form – is blinding in bright sun but can also take on a variety of hues at different times of the day in less glaring exposures. Adding shades of other colours to the white canvas can subtlety change its personality. White’s capacity to reflect light is an important factor in making rooms appear larger. From off-white to apple-white and a multitude of shades in between, the paint pallet is vast and the range of options infinite!

To make rooms appear larger paint skirting boards and all woodwork the same colour. Remember to use the appropriate paint for each surface. If you have the enviable luxury of large rooms, pulling them together with darker skirting and architraves and lighter walls will make them less cavernous and more homely.

Don’t be afraid that it’s all looking a bit white. Accents of colour can be easily added to your neutral look with paintings and soft furnishings. Scatter cushions and throws are a good way of harmonising a scheme. Your soft furnishings should all be in the same colour palette with different textures to add depth. You can also try adding pattern but sparingly and always in the same hues. If in doubt, leave it out…..

If you feel you need some expert advice then do get in touch. I undertake consultations in your  home or garden to discuss home décor, paint schemes, window treatments and whole room interior design or garden design projects. Tel: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland, Leicester, Nottingham and Northampton as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

 

Kitchen design

Don’t you just love a kitchen that works. Where you can access the cooker and the work surfaces, fridge, sink and dishwasher without having to duck and dive. Where the bin is handy, and you have space to work and even more space to put things away.

kitchen design Oakham kitchen design Stamford

These are the sort of kitchens we create. Talk to us if you are thinking of revamping your kitchen.

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oundle, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

How to make a small room appealing

Small rooms need a tad more thought on furniture placement and decorating. You need to remember to keep good proportions, lift things off the floor and create interest at several heights. Think about what you position at floor level, at waist level and above your head for a sense of depth. This is critical to ensure the space looks open and light.

interior design Oundle
Here are some of my interior design tips which are easy to follow and won’t break the bank.

  • Keep it tidy! Clearing clutter always helps in seeing the wood for the trees! Make sure everything that is not decorating your room is cleared away in storage. For a bedroom, buy old suitcases and use them as storage! In a living room, ensure your side board or any other furniture has closed door on some of it, this hides the bits and pieces that do not add to your room’s relaxed feel.  If it’s not adding to the decoration and you haven’t used it in a year you probably never will so recycle it.
  • Interior desing Lincolnshire
  • Think tall and think less is more! Ensure curtains go all the way to the floor, this draws the eye from the floor all the way to the ceiling and will make the room taller. Do not use too many small accessories – a few larger pieces (even over scaled pieces) give balance and will make the room look taller and bigger. Use stripes in wallpapers. I love using vertical stripped wallpaper if I want to elongate a room.
  • Light it up! I love central lighting but in smaller rooms it takes too much space – it can be rather harsh and also the light pool makes shadows in the corners. Adding uplighters to create volume on the top part of the room is always a good idea. Add side lamps too which will create mood and drama. Dimmers help in creating a warm atmosphere too as you can choose the exact feel you want.
  • interior decoration Stamford
  • Reflections! Mirrors add visual space and fool the eye into making a room feel light and larger. The lighting tips above will bounce off the mirrors too. Try placing one above a fireplace in a living room, place one behind the side lamps on side tables to reflect across the room. But also use reflective surfaces: glass, acrylic, glossed surfaces. It all helps light bounce around a room.
  • BIG or small furniture? No point buying that very large sofa or King sizebed if they swamp a room. Keep good proportions instead. A good tip is to cut out newspapers in the shape and size of furniture you have or want to buy, move it around and see how it feels. Ensure that not everything is touching the floor- allow for different heights in your furniture, this again keeps it light and off the floor.
  • Interior design Nottingham IMGA1648

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Latest children’s collection from Harlequin

I am currently working with a delightful lady called Zoe who is expecting her second child any day now so understand just how important it is to be prepared for the little ones arrival. All About Me, the latest range from the Harlequin Studio upholds their reputation for designing fun-loving designs and glorious colours. Its light-hearted, decorative fabrics and complementary feature wallpapers are certain to be a hit with children of all ages!

All About Me is a treasure trove of delights: from newly born babies and inquisitive infants, right through to style-conscious teenagers, there’s something to appeal and raise a smile! A visual treat, the designs are happy and cheerful, as well as amusing and engaging, and are presented in a delicious palette of juicy colours. And with fabrics staring at £22 per metre and wall papers at £30 a roll parents will be happy too.

The bold and funky ‘Sum It Up’ is a graphic print that will appeal to infants and juniors alike, while parents will applaud the design’s educational aspect!
interior design stamford - Harlequin

1.interior design Oakham - Harlequin

Which little girl could resist the charmingly embroidered ‘Sweet Hearts’ as seen on the curtains and chair here?  For a teenage bedroom there is a dramatic ‘Funky Flowers’ design which will bring personality and added sparkle to any room with its sophisticated colours (including moody black!) and metallic highlights.interior design Rutland - Harlequin

.

interior design Uppingham - Harlequin

Not forgetting the boys – from tiny tearaway to action-man adolescent – there’s the appliqued aeroplanes of ‘Chocks Away’, a highly original interpretation of a classic theme; the retro-style boats of ‘Sail Away’, a timeless design, perfect for all ages; and the computer-styled character, ‘Reggie Robot’, who combines pops of colour with fun and imagination! The colourful geometric fabrics ‘Kaleidoscope’ and ‘Abacus’ sit perfectly alongside these design stories.

So if you have a junior in mind who would like to decorate their room in style give me a call to arrange a consultation or order a free sample. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Turning over a Spring leaf

I’m a little late I know but It’s at this time of year that I like to take my curtains down, my rugs up and have a proper Spring clean.  I know it’s a luxury but I also like to change the furnishings in my favorite rooms so they better reflect the way I live in the summer. Gone are the heavy curtains and in their place come out finer, sheer curtains which reflect the light. If you have a neutral scheme you can change a room overnight with a few accessories, cushions and lighting.

interior design Lincs, Scion_WabiSabi_04_LR

New from Harlequin’s Wabi Sabi collection

Here’s some ideas which might inspire some changes for you and your home.

 

Interior Design Oakham, Momentum_SS_01_LR

.
interior design Uppingham, Momentum_SS_05_LR

.
interior design Northampton, paint image 10 varbuthnott

.

Lift furniture off the floor to make rooms appear larger

Lift furniture off the floor to make rooms appear larger

I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

New interior launch from Scion

Scion_WabiSabi_17_LRAs the weather warms up we all start to think about brightening up our interiors and what better way than with one of the new Spring collections. Young brand Scion has a fantastic new collection launching in March and here’s a sneak preview.  Wabi Sabi, is a striking and eclectic collection of prints, weaves and wallcoverings, which adheres to the Scion principles of cutting-edge, individual and affordable fabrics and wallcoverings.

Scion_WabiSabi_03

The collection name ‘Wabi Sabi’ originates from a Japanese philosophy, which embraces two separate concepts: ‘Wabi’ – humble and simple, and ‘Sabi’ – aged and weathered. Together they represent the most honest, modest and simple form of beauty with calmness, confidence and respect: a beauty, which transcends perfection and celebrates the loveliness inherent in the less-than-perfect.

Scion’s Wabi Sabi collection celebrates the beauty of imperfection, encapsulating the spirit of age-old hand crafted techniques. The 13 fabrics and 10 non-woven wallpaper designs are inspired by traditional methods such as block-printing, shibori, batik and ikat. They appear naive, natural, casual and uncontrived, perhaps even timeworn and weathered, but at the same time they are refreshing and uplifting, in a stunning array of mood-enhancing shades.

The motifs are a beguiling blend of abstract, geometric, organic and floral, which make a powerful statement individually and mixed together. Painterly brushstrokes, stripes, chevrons, ikats, batiks, tie-dyes, ink spots, ombrés and floral motifs all fuse effortlessly to create an understated, sometimes mis-matched yet always harmonious, interior.

Scion_WabiSabi_08

The colour palette enhances the designs and reflects their inherent charm and simplicity – and with names like this who could resist? – midnight, indigo and ink; chalk, stone and hay; charcoal, ebony, slate and smoke; apple, grass, moss and obsidian; vermilion, baked earth, umber and oxide; viridian, seaglass and teal; raspberry, amethyst and clover.

Wabi Sabi’s printed fabrics and wallcoverings are manufactured in the UK, by factories that have clear commitments and initiatives towards the care of the environment and to sustainability.

Wabi Sabi upholds Scion’s accessible pricing policy: printed fabrics start at £26.00/mtr and wallcoverings are £32.00/roll. The collection will be available nationally and internationally from March 2013. If you would like samples of any of the fabrics or wallpapers please give me a ring. Tel: 01572 747318

Scion_WabiSabi_04_LR

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle and Northamptonshire as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

 

New Year, New Tidy Home

January usually brings lots of New Year’s resolutions, we’ve been making them for over 4,000 years. Many of us will have pledged to get fitter or to de-clutter. But how many of them are still intact?  I can’t really help with the getting fitter part but here’s some simple solutions to get a wardrobe, a room or your entire home in order.

Start with a small area – maybe an area that really bothers you.  If you start with an area that is very visible or that you use often, you will feel wonderful once it’s done and be motivated to carry on.

Focus on one area at a time – don’t get distracted and pulled into other areas. Concentrate on doing just one area and then celebrate your success.

To stay motivated you need to make it a habit.  So, for example, try to sort through your mail as soon as you get home. Try to touch each piece of paper just once and then make the decision right then and there: what you need to keep, bin or action later.

Set a realistic time limit – maybe you have an hour, so tackle the boots and shoes in the hall cupboard and then the next day you can do the coats.

With a large area or room – have five different boxes or bags.  Label them – TO KEEP IN ROOM – STORE SOMEWHERE ELSE – CHARITY – BIN and REPAIR.  Once they are filled, take care of them quickly.  I load the charity items in to the car and next time I’m out I drop them off.  You won’t miss them, and someone else will be thankful for your generosity. Or try using Freecycle, there are groups across the country and you will be doing someone else a good turn.

Move items to the place where you use them the most, for example, rain coat by the front door.

Try to be ruthless with regards to your clothing. The familiar rule of “if you haven’t worn it in a year then you aren’t going to wear it”, holds true with one exception – formal wear.  I make four different piles for my clothes – TO KEEP, TO REPAIR OR ALTER, TO GIVE AWAY and TO BIN.  Again action the items quickly so there is no second guessing.

If you have an untidy teenager in the house too, try to get them to pick 5 things up off their floor every time they enter their bedroom. Even if they only go in and out to the loo a few times a day they will soon be able to see the carpet!

If you are still feeling overwhelmed maybe it’s time to ask a well organized friend for help or hire a professional organiser or decorator.  You won’t regret it. I believe that every space can be comfortable, relaxed and beautiful without you feeling pressured to be perfect.  I would love to help you achieve your beautiful home. If I can help with a home or garden project please give me a call. Alison: 01572 747318 or 07973843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

How do I add warmth to my home?

 

It’s that time of year: the sky is filled with beautiful low light and frosts and cobwebs mist the air. It makes me feel I have to change my interior to reflect the weather outside and I don’t mean getting out drab colours. We all need to inject some light and life into our interiors at this time of year.

If you are thinking of redecorating in time for Christmas, you need to get your skates on. If you want to order new furniture, a sofa or bed for instance, then you only have a short window before the major retailers will close their books to orders. No one likes to let a customer down at this time of year so they have a cut off point for orders to prevent disappointment. Independent retails can often be more flexible than the major high street names so do check when their last order dates are.

To create a feeling of warmth you need to layer textures and fabrics in your interior. If you have a leather sofa then add cushions in different fabrics, wool and chenille etc to create movement. A throw placed over the arm of a chair can create a comforting look and can inject a new colour to the room. Use this as a starting point for injecting colour into an otherwise bland interior. Pick up on the colour within accessories and perhaps lighting too. It’s quite fashionable to have coloured shades on lamps at the moment and I think these look best if you choose drum shades – the ones with the perfectly straight sides, just like a drum. These now come with alternative metallic colours on the inside which adds light.

A room can also be altered dramatically by smell, temperature and lighting. It is amazing how easily you can alter the ambience of a room by introducing minor details like scented candles, repositioning lamps or adding a mirror to reflect lamp light back in to the room. And the addition of a dimmer switch to your main lighting can have a huge transformation.

I have a love of mixing contemporary styles and furnishings with antiques. For me this style of decorating allows the interior to reflect the age of the property while bringing it up to date with modern life. I don’t believe there is a secret to blending different styles within an interior, but you have to do it with confidence. There is no doubting that some of us are better at it than others but if you buy what you like you will invariably find somewhere to put it that works.

If you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for, then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973 843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham, Rutland, Oundle, Market Harborough and Northamptonshire  as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Creating an open plan kitchen

It has been said many time before but open plan living is now very much in vogue. Many clients are extending existing kitchen to accommodate dining areas and TVs and comfortable seating areas. Or they are removing a wall to create a large kitchen and dining room where they used to have a kitchen and separate dining room or play room.

It’s great to have extra space but this type of room brings its own challenges – for a start where does everything go?

I find that Zoning, or separating the room by tasks, is often the answer. Create a strong working area and then frame this with a dining and entertaining area.

Add a comfortable seating area with soft sofas and you can easily add colour and  texture and colour to a room. Pick up on these colours in the working area of the kitchen too and you will pull the whole scheme together.

If you add the right sort of storage this can be used as a part of the zoning process too.

 

If you have a kitchen project which you need some inspiration on then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973 843020.

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 

Creating a mid-century modern look

I have always loved mid-century modern furniture, way beyond the time when it was fashionable. One of my first pieces of furniture was a G Plan dining table which the receptionist at Britvic Soft Drinks, where I was working in PR at the time, was throwing out. A small donation to a local charity and the security man and I had it in the back of the car – I seem to remember I had a Ford Tigra at the time, so how I got it in is a complete mystery, but I did.

Wallpaper (l-r): Striped Petal, Multi Stem, Scribble , Linear Stem, Striped Petal, Giant Rhododendron l

Some years later and a complete change in career, first to garden design and now incorporating interior, garden and landscape design in my business, I still look out for mid-century modern pieces. Today they are far easier to come by and the look has been translated into home wares and fashion too. That’s why I was so excited when Internationally-renowned Irish designer Orla Kiely joined forces with Harlequin, one of the UK’s foremost interiors companies, to create a striking collection of bold and beautiful wallpapers. The signature collection was launched at Decorex in September: here are some of my favourites.

Wallpaper: Giant Stem

 

Founded in 1995, the Orla Kiely brand has become a byword for inspirational design, quality and visual innovation which is driven by Orla’s love of pattern, colour and texture. Her distinctive graphic and stylised motifs, in clean repeat constructions, achieve a very modern style, while her love for all things mid-century adds a nostalgic quality.

Wallpaper: Giant Rhododendron

What started with a small bag and accessories collection has now grown spectacularly to include Ready to Wear and fashion accessories, homeware, furniture, travel accessories, stationery, fragrance and now wallpapers.

Wallpaper: Multi Stem

The Orla Kiely collection is a testament to her flair and highly individual hand-writing. It comprises fourteen existing and immediately recognisable designs, several of which have been reinterpreted or rescaled. Coloured with wallpaper in mind, they retain the distinctive Orla style. They include evocatively named shades such as Bird’s Egg, Hibiscus, Nettle, Warm Calico and Bay Leaf, which sit comfortably alongside Olive, Midnight Blue and Classic Red to form an eclectic palette of vibrant brights and pared back neutrals.

Wallpaper: Giant Abacus Flower

Orla Kiely elaborates further: “One of my greatest passions in life is pattern and colour so the idea of creating a book of wallpapers was an exciting one. To me, the home is where we can truly express our style and personality, where we can be playful. Working with Harlequin was a great pleasure; combining our design aesthetic with their experience and knowledge to develop a book that I am very proud of.”

Wallpaper: Acorn Spot

If you have an interior project where you would like to use one of Orla Kiely’s wallpapers then why not get in touch. Or if you have a building project, interior or garden and landscaping project which you need help with or ideas for, then please give me a ring: Alison 01572 747318 or 07973 843020.

Wallpaper: Giant Abacus Flower

I work on interior design and garden design projects in Stamford, Lincolnshire, Oakham, Uppingham and Rutland, Oundle and Northampton as well as further afield. I will design a garden to complement the architecture of your home and choose the right landscaping materials to complement it. If you are frustrated with endless searching for the right fabric or wallpaper and paint colours and overwhelmed with the enormous choice, then allow me to make a handpicked selection for you. I will complement the style of your existing rooms and provide a few choice pieces which will bring the whole look together.

 

 Wallpaper: Rhododendron

 Wallpaper: Striped Petal