I don’t know about you, but I find that having non-themed rooms in my home is essential to the ever-changing needs of family life. What’s more, themed rooms spells hotel. And do we want to live in a soulless hotel? Thought not. Ask yourself, as children grow out of their beds, share with a sibling or move rooms, could their ‘old’ room be adapted as a snug, study or dining room? The littlies’ needs change so much and so quickly in those first few years, it really makes sense to go for a scheme that is multi-purpose but, most importantly, timeless. Turn convention on its head and experiment. This Farrow & Ball wide stripe is supposed to be hung vertically but I couldn’t resist flipping it ninety degrees. For furniture, see what you can find in flea markets and slap a coat of paint over it, or rummage around in local auction houses. Brown furniture is still well-priced and besides, it is so much more fun for a child to be grabbing their clothes out of an old chest of drawers that has a story to tell, than an identikit piece, hot off the production lines from China. Although they will only appreciate it (there’s always hope) when they move out, taking their ‘old friend’ with them. The overall effect is much more personal and full of character, which is what makes a home your home.
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Colourful crate style storage can act as a fun bookcase or toy store in a kids’ room, just ensure you affix them securely to the wall. Oh, and while we’re on the wall, the clever handpainted brick paint is pretty cool too.
When Rita arrived, she immediately found the interior plan verging on stark. The owner had warned her that she did not want pattern, but Rita thought this was negotiable. To soften up this bedroom, with its grey faux panelling, she upholstered the bed in a delicate two-tone Italian fabric by Idarica Gazzoni. The pattern is then repeated on a sheer window blind.
If you’re anything like us, you get your design inspiration from anywhere and everywhere – including hotels. Dormy House in the Cotswolds is a contemporary meets country chic weekend retreat attracting smart city dwellers. It also happens to be designed by Emily Todhunter from Todhunter Earle, a name regular readers will recognise. Todhunter Earle are behind many homes we’ve featured and Emily spoke recently at our reader event on hotel design. Inspiring, no?
Despite her classical aesthetic, Gytha has incorporated more modern touches in the flat. She opted against cornicing in favour of a cleaner finish and enhanced the New York loft effect by painting all the window frames dark brown.
A twin attic bedroom has cosy bedding in Emma Burns’ former stables that she has converted into a weekend retreat. She has put into practice the principles that now guide her professional work as a designer at Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler.
WALLS ‘Messel’, £42 for 2.5 litres matt emulsion, from Mylands. FURNITURE ‘French Modernist’ steel daybed, by Raphaël, £11,000, from Rose Uniacke. ‘Trio’ brass and walnut side table, by Neri & Hu for De La Espada, £1,104, from Heal’s. ACCESSORIES Mattress cover in ‘Grandvilliers’ (olive), by Nicole Fabre Designs, cotton/linen, £69 a metre, from Tissus d’Hélène. ‘Ticking Stripe’ cotton pillowcase (ecru/light grey), £19, from Toast. Bolster in ‘Iznik Vine’ (brown/black), by Martyn Lawrence Bullard, linen, £226 a metre, from Tissus d’Hélène. Eiderdowns in, from top: ‘Coral’ (chestnut), cotton, £58 a metre, from Soane; ‘Paola’ (gold), by Brigitte Singh, cotton, £58 a metre, from Aleta. Porcelain ‘Water Jug’ used as vase (steel), £106, from Mud Australia.
A dramatic use of pattern teamed with modern furniture creates a playful yet sophisticated effect in this Notting Hill town house by Suzy Hoodless. The mixologist designer is known for her mild eclecticism and smart monochrome backgrounds. ‘My aim,’ she says, ‘is that when I hand over a house, it an extension of its owners’ personalities, and with this project we achieved that.’
Henri Fitzwilliam-Lay, the owner of this Victorian country house in Shropshire, has enhanced the interiors of this grand property with her signature mid-century aesthetic without compromising original features.
Hey Ashley! That is super exciting! Try searching recycled crafts on our site for some ideas. Also, remember that you can paint or spray paint pretty much anything to make it match your color scheme. Hope that helps a little!
The owner of this London flat, a prolific collector of art and antiquities, has turned it into a veritable chamber of wonders, while ensuring that it also functions as a supremely comfortable home. The bed hangings are made from the reverse side of a Fortuny material and topped with antique, wood and gilt corona found in a Cotswold antique shop. On the wall is a famous portrait of Anne Hyde, Duchess of York, by Sir Peter Lely.