From a wall of favourite books to a statement rug – it’s the personal details that elevate a house into a home. Read on to find out how to add a touch of panache to your interiors.
We all have collections of vases, pictures and collectibles but it’s how you display them that will separate a cluttered surface from a curated one. Invest in artful-designed shelving, like the Elmari Shelving at Furniture Village or the Hexagon Shelving at Swoon Editions, as a good starting point, and get rid of anything you don’t love.
PIB Home’s ladder bookshelves are a relaxed version of built-in shelving, and the perfect showcase for your favourite things. Thomas d’Estienne d’Orves, director of PIB, says: “The key to styling shelves is to artfully mix things up – gather together sculptures, vessels and favourite pieces – but stick to a colour palette for a coherent theme.”
Books also add character to a home. If you have enough space, create a reading corner, so your favourite tomes are on hand, and add a cosy statement chair and pretty reading light. Bookshelves can be carved out of a number of spaces – such as under the stairs, in alcoves or – if you are lucky – in their own designated library rooms. Think about colour coding the shelves and keep an eye out for larger coffee-table books to add variety and interest. You could even invest in a statement book wallpaper to give a room a ‘bibliotheque’ theme – like the white Library Mural from Graham & Brown.
Curate your shelves
Eve Waldron, who owns an interior and architectural design practice in Cambridge, gives her tips
1. If tight for space, choose multi-functional shelving, and use the bottom shelf as a desk (as shown above).
2. Use shelves of different lengths and stagger them for a pleasing composition, placing larger items on the bottom shelves.
3. Group things in uneven numbers, and use colours to group like items to give cohesion.
Occasional yet vital
Introduce personality and interest with a couple of key pieces of furniture. A bright velvet chair or a chic chest of drawers, for instance, can add a talking point to a room.
Libra’s bone-inlaid drawers are ideal for hallways – they hide the clutter and add a touch of glamour. Cambridgeshire-based Willis and Gambier stock a range of lifestyle furniture – such as industrial-style side tables, while MY Furniture is a one-stop shop for unusual shelving and of-the-moment designs, such as the Alveare hexagon-shaped coffee tables.
Arbol House’s marble and brass table, complete with bird legs, is a stylish and witty addition to a living room, and owner Bartek Ostojski comments: “A brave choice in the form of a characterful piece is often what elevates a room from pleasant to ‘Wow!’. Follow your own taste and don’t let fashion dictate to you, as these probably won’t be the designs that you’ll love forever, find something that speaks to you personally.”
Meanwhile, Delcor – which has showrooms across the country and has been flying the flag for British craftsmenship since 1967 – is the perfect place to source statement items, such as Chesterfield footstools and velvet sofas.
Lucy Mortimer, founder of Galapagos, the Mid-Century furniture makers, gives her advice for home styling
Layer: mix vintage pieces with modern elements.
Zone: Carve out a small corner to create a quiet retreat
Be bookish: books add warmth and colour to a space.
Light bulb moment
Lighting is no longer an after-thought in a home. Statement lighting is often a key focus in a design scheme, with a huge range of styles to choose from across the high street. On trend at the moment are industrial-style materials – such as concrete, copper and brushed metals – mix with bare Edison bulbs and coloured cords to add a textural layer.
Lynda Everett, co-owner of Abode Living, advises homeowner to be adventurous with both scale and materials, and says: “Try eye-catching materials or oversized designs – these work well grouped in the kitchen or dining areas. Geometric lighting is another key trend this year – with spherical, hexagonal and cylindrical designs that create a strong focal point.”
For drama, look to Be & Liv’s new Peony wooden lampshades which are available in black and white. Janne Uusi-Autti, co-owner and designer, says: “The easiest way to add atmosphere to your home with lighting is to choose fittings and lamps that create a beautifully diffused, dappled light. Designs that have intricate perforations will give this.”
It’s the final details and well-chosen accessories that can bring a room to life. If you have wooden floors, search for the ultimate statement rug, like those available from Lisa Todd Designs, which are like works of art for the floor.
“The trend for bare boards continues,” she says. “And the desire to have fun and add personality to our homes is becoming more and more evident. A big, bold and beautiful rug will inject a striking statement into any room.”
Blend cushions and throws in complementary colours. Bronte By Moon is a good source of textiles and home accessories, while Smallable has beautiful rugs, throws and unusual accessories in a modern, muted palette.
“For those who are a little frightened of using pattern consider a calming monochrome wallpaper design that can appear to be more like a soothing texture from a distance and it is only when you are up close that you can see the detail of the design,” she advises.
Finally, Anna Schmidt, founder of Also Home, which supplies simple, Scandi homewares, suggests using tiny luxury touches to bring comfort and warmth to the home: “Add a splash of colour with accessories to bring the wow factor, and my favourite is a large oversized cushion in bed – it is so inviting.”
Kaleidoscope Homes’ Carey Pinder gives her top three style tips
*Choose a statement light to reflect your personality.
*Layer up soft throws and cushions to add cosiness.
*Invest in one stand-out piece of furniture for a nod to luxury.
EDITOR LOVES: My top ten home details
Olympia Hand Lamp, £59, pib-home.co.uk
Monaco Footstool, from £536, delcor.co.uk
Venus Bookends, £94 for two, miafleur.com
White Marble Table by Madam Stoltz, £275, ovohome.com
Marble Print cushion, £25, marksandspencer.com
Content By Conran Elmari Tall Shelving, £499, furniturevillage.co.uk
Encore chair in Electro Maze £1,495, galapagosdesigns.com
Bone Inlay Humbug Chest, £1,872.50, thelibracompany.co.uk
Caingorm Throw, £29, Kaleidoscope.co.uk
Palm Table Light, £365, abodeliving.co.uk