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Interior Design Classes

We have a whole new format for our classes this year with sessions on Friday and Saturday mornings. We have five to choose from (not including the Christmas special at the end of November!) and if you are able to attend one or all, we would love to see you.

We are covering a range of topics that people have asked us for in the past and areas of interior design that we know are tricky. Things like planning your new bathroom or kitchen, sorting out your lighting, selecting your colours and thinking about how you want your home to look and work.

The classes are being held in our studio at 17 Emmanuel Road and we are only minutes from masses of restaurants and shops so you can make a day of your visit to central Cambridge!

In all areas, we hope to simply, inform and to have fun. So whether you are planning a minor update, a major project or you are just interested, there are lots to choose from. More information, dates and times on the website.

We look forward to seeing you!

Happy New Year

A very Happy New Year to you all. I hope you had a good Christmas break and are settling back well into old and new routines. At Angel and Blume we are all marveling at how clean and fresh everything looks now the Christmas decorations are coming down and with that in mind, I have been starting to think about freshening up our website.

We were very busy at the end of last year photographing a few of the projects we have been working on recently. One of the first to go up on our website is this beautiful central Cambridge home and you can see more images on the portfolio section of our website.

This spacious kitchen dining room has a wonderful view of the newly re-modeled garden and a stylish and practical table and chairs from Joined and Jointed looks great in this space.

The glorious sitting room window is not only a lovely place to sit but is also a huge sash window that pulls up to allow access to the garden – a discovery we were rather thrilled to make!


The clients had some lovely photographs taken by a member of the family and these worked beautifully in the study room along with a statement sofa and rug.


We love designing children’s rooms and this was no exception. Animals were a bit of a theme here including a rather fabulous Love Frankie Leopard Walk lampshade.

Watch this space for more projects to follow as the year unfolds!

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a very happy and restful festive season and a good year to follow, from everyone at Angel + Blume.

KingsRowChristmas-1KingsRowChristmas-3.jpg

Images taken at one of the homes at King’s Row, Ely, a development by Palace Green Homes. Interior design and show home by Angel + Blume. Photography by Peter Bennett.

Article by Cate Burren, of Angel + Blume, for Velvet Magazine (August 2018)

Cate looks at the thorny question of whether big is beautiful when it comes to the house you choose to live in.

Velvet Magazine (August 2018)

When choosing a house to live in, it is tempting to default to the premise that bigger is better. Those forays into the estate agents windows when on holiday or a sneaky glance at Rightmove when you have no intention of buying, tend to end up at a castle with its own fishing rights, or an extensive double fronted Georgian townhouse, imaging how idyllic life would be if one where the master or mistress of such a property. But I think it doesn’t take much of a reality check to imagine the headache of assuming responsibility for such an undertaking. Some years ago, Channel 4 followed Sarah Beeny as she wrestled with owning the crumbling 97 room stately home Rise Hall. The series started with the dream of paying £435k for an (admittedly crumbling) palatial estate where children and friends frolicked in the extensive grounds but quickly moved into revealing just some of the headaches of restoring and maintaining such a home. Beeny was brutally honest and managed to achieve an astonishing restoration, although the property is now used as a wedding venue in order to make it viable. The compulsivity of the viewing was about putting yourself in her shoes, with faint jealousy turning quickly to admiration then private horror at what was entailed, which included time away from family, legal battles, relentless hard graff and the requirement for a bottomless pit of money. This is obviously an extreme case but owning a large (even moderately large) home comes with cost consideration, and not all of them are monetary.

Christ Pieces from Cambridge Council via Pinterest

At the other end of the scale smaller homes and apartments, which make up so much of city centre housing, requires a different approach to living. You don’t have nearly so much maintenance, repairs, cleaning, general outgoings and responsibility for a property. You do however, rely on good public facilities which are vital if you are live in a compact space. A well maintained park nearby can become a fantastic alternative to a small or non-existent garden. My experience of close proximity to Christ’s Pieces is that it is better than any garden I have ever owned, or will ever own, but I had no idea of the investment required by local government to keep it that way. The Lido is a brilliant alternative to having your own outdoor swimming pool – admittedly you would never have to queue to get into your own pool but at the same time, you also don’t have to maintain it throughout the year. The same can be said for going to the cinema versus that fabulous media room you are just dying to build in the basement – and so on.

Jesus Green Lido from Pinterest

There is no right or wrong to how much space you want (I am not talking about the space we need which is an entirely different debate) but I think the ‘bigger is better’ assumption can be naïve and could lead you to a home that is too big and therefore not what you really want at all. So how do you decide how much space you do want to live in?

 

1.First of all, as with designing the functionality of any interior space, the question of what you are going to use the space for is crucial. Many of us have, for example, built wonderful extensions to our property only to find that parts of the old space become somewhat redundant as we gravitate towards the wonderful new parts of the building.

 

2. We all like to think we love the people we live with but how much time you want to spend with each other in the same room is worth considering. My experience is that we all live very differently – some people love being in close proximity at home and others much less so. It’s a personal choice but needs to be recognised.

 

3. How much space are you going to use for storage? Being honest about what ‘stuff’ you have, and want, in life is vital. The honest truth is that if you are a bit of a hoarder, you are going to need more storage and therefore more space.

 

4. I am always interested in how spaces can be used flexibly because I think we often end up with too many rooms (not necessarily too much space which is different) because we assume that rooms can’t be used for different things or by different members of the household. For example, you may well have lots of guests to stay sometimes but you don’t need to have endless guest rooms that are unused when a guest isn’t in residence. If planned well, a guest room can double up well as dressing room, a study, an additional sitting room/TV room and so on.

 

5. What public facilities are nearby and the quality of them makes a huge difference. This is not just true of urban spaces. Recently some friends of mine moved into a similarly sized house to the one they were leaving but with a much smaller garden. They are now in the middle of the countryside rather than the town which they enjoy and use regularly the surrounding rural space rather than a garden they would have to maintain.

A Guest Room/ Study Combo from Terry’s Fabrics via Pinterest

Owning any property takes some level of time, money and headspace, however small. If you are the homeowner, you can’t ring a landlord when something goes wrong. And it is a sliding scale – bigger may or may not be better, but there will certainly be more for you to do. You may well want the responsibility that comes with owning a huge house but it is worth taking the decision that it is what you want before committing to giving up the level of resource required for the ownership of a property without realising what is really involved.

Colour is a great asset to use in any home, whether you’re pulling in bold accents into a room, pairing two colours to make an unusual combination, or even going for a daring monochromatic look. A monochromatic scheme can create a strong, bold look in a room, really giving it some presence. Here’s a few beautiful monochrome rooms to give you some inspiration.

Blue Monochromatic Room from Domino via Pinterest

This dark blue room is a feast for the eyes; everything is soft, deep and dramatic whilst the blue makes it feel sophisticated and contemporary. The key with monochromatic rooms is to make sure you have enough texture in the space to give it depth, like the velvet sofa and of hint of purple from the plant. For a beautiful navy paint colour, Fired Earth’s Carbon Blue is a lovely true blue and would have a dramatic impact on the walls. For a sumptuous navy velvet, take a peek at Osborne & Little’s Mikado Velvet collection, they have a whole range of shades but a perfect one for this look is number 6990-08.

Pink is a great colour to use in a monochromatic look and creating the perfect sophisticated setting is all about finding the right shades of pink. Heavily playing on light and dark tones will help add a contemporary element to the space, too much of one pink and it might become a little marshmallow-y. Below they’ve used a dusky pink for the wall and a maroon-pink for the ceiling and for the furniture which really holds the space together.

Pink Monochromatic Room from Domino via Pinterst

There is a huge range of pink or pink-toned paints around at the moment, just make sure you stick to the same type of pink, for example finding a dark and light blush pink. A beautiful pink is Tuscan Pink from Zoffany, with lovely earthy tones to it. To add a spark of interest to the pink scheme, this Atlas fabric from Zimmer + Rohde has beautiful pink tones as well as an abstract landscape-style pattern that would make a stunning pair of curtains in an all pink look.

Atlas Fabric from Zimmer + Rohde

This beautiful green room creates its depth with the use of white to add structure to the space; the sharp white picture frames pop against the green wall, and the off-white rug has different green embroidery to give floor a strong sense of personality. Green makes a great monochromatic room colour choice as it can be naturally given texture and depth with the use of plants, like below different cacti have been added for points of interest and richer impact.

Green Monochromatic Room from Domino via Pinterest

I love De le Cuona and all their pieces, but they have some beautiful fabrics that would really work with a mossy green monochromatic room, take a look at Mistral in Drizzle and Primitive Linen in Fennel. For a similar green grey paint colour, Farrow & Ball’s Blue Gray and Cromarty would complete the look.

Grey seems to be a never-ending popular colour, so if you love it take it one step further by using deep dark hues in a room, from the paint to the furniture and adding in interesting juxtapositions of light hues against the dark.

Dark Grey Monochromatic Room from Apartment Therapy via Pinterest

When using such a dark colour for a monochromatic space, make sure to select materials that’ll allow light to bounce of them, therefore avoiding a black hole effect. This Cascade wallpaper from Zoffany has an amazing ribbon effect, which will not only add a strong design element but pick up the light as well.

Cascade Wallpaper from Zoffany

For a really luxurious looking monochrome room, you can’t go wrong with an all Teal room. The peacock colour makes a strong statement, and if you love glamorous interiors, it’s perfect for you. Below they used gold accessories to draw out the richness of the teal; with such a strong colour like teal, just using at as feature wall in an attempt to ‘tone it down’ can sometimes have the reserve effect, and actually making the bold move and painting the entire space in the colour will create a simpler, sophisticated look. For a triumphant teal, Farrow & Ball’s Vardo has the impact you’re looking for, and for a beautiful fabric to go alongside, the teal version of Anthology’s Vivid fabric will make the perfect pair.

Teal Monochromatic Room from Apartment Therapy

A monochromatic room can be an amazing, stylish and unexpected way to decorate a room; so you want to create an impactful space, have a think about trying out a monochromatic room using your favourite shade.

 

 

Article by Cate Burren, of Angel + Blume, for Velvet Magazine (June 2018)

This article first appear in Velvet magazine in it’s June 2018 issue

What colours do you like? It should be such a simple question really, shouldn’t it? But when it comes to decorating, even the biggest brained of the population can feel some considerable distance outside of their comfort zones when faced with a paint chart. Of course I know that it is not the most vexatious of situations in the world, but there is a very certain disappointment in discovering that you hate the colour scheme of your freshly decorated room.

My firm belief with most aspects of creating a beautiful interior space is that no one element should be dominant – the overall effect should be what you and others see, with components revealing themselves as the eye examines what it is in front of it. Paint colours may or may not be noticed as part of what makes a space work, but if they shout louder than anything else, they are probably wrong, and certainly the room is out of balance. Therefore the paint selection must be made with the main elements such as flooring, furnishings, fabrics, artwork and so on, in mind.

The quantity of colour that you want is also something to be aware of. Some of us love colour and lust after layers and depths of colour that others couldn’t live with. Some of us want very little at all and there is nothing wrong with either but once you know what you want, it is important to keep an eye on the amount of colour in a scheme and therefore the combinations and contrasts of colour that you feel happy with.

So how on earth do you create the right paint scheme for you? Well, there are some easy tricks that I would strongly recommend as a basis for getting started.

  1. Firstly, forget trends. It’s good design advice generally – why be dictated to by those who don’t know your personal taste? If you don’t like grey but you do like yellow right at the moment, good for you – yellow isn’t currently fashionable but it is used to perfection in some of the smartest houses I know and it is my firm belief that all colours can look current if used properly.
  2. Use decent paint. There is a reason that some paints are twice the price of others and it is to do with the quality of the ingredients and the time and effort that has gone into producing a beautiful range of colours. Finding a range of paints that you like will save you time in selecting your preferred colours and will also help you to find hues that work well together. Don’t even consider having a colour of paint mixed up in a cheaper range – the cost saving that you make (which is small because most of the cost involved in decorating is labour – either paying someone or doing it yourself which is time you could have spent in other ways) is small compared to having to redecorate when you realise that the mix is just wrong enough to not work.
  3. Invest in sample pots. The colour of paint on a chart is deceptively different to what the actual paint will look like in your room as colours next to each other alter what you see, so don’t ever decide on a paint colour until you have purchased a small sample pot and viewed the actual paint on the actual surface it is intended for. I would start with putting the paint on a piece of paper as lots of splodges of paint on the wall will not only be annoying to paint over but the colours will also affect each other as they do on the colour chart. Only paint on the intended surface when you are pretty sure you have got the right colour.
  4. Consider the light. Both changes to the light during the day and the difference between daylight and artificial light will have an impact on the colour of the paint. If you have put your sample of paint on very sunny wall, you may find you feel differently about it when you see it on a poorly lit wall or at night. An added benefit of starting off with your sample paint on a piece of paper is that you can move it around the room to see how it alters.
  5. It’s not just about the walls. A wall colour will look very different depending on what colour you put on the woodwork (skirting boards, door frame etc.) and the ceiling. So for example, if you choose a darker wall colour and you have a darker wooden floor, a white skirting board will create a strong stripe effect between the two that you may not want. Do not simply assume that ceilings and woodwork will be in white. That approach can work but often a blend of colours works better. The eye tends to go to where colours change so if you want to draw attention to say, a beautiful cornicing at the top of the wall, you may well want to put it in a contrasting colour. If a ceiling feels low in a room, painting it in an obviously contrasting colour will draw attention to this where a blend or even painting the walls and ceiling the same colour would help to disguise this. Remember also that there may be a host of other areas in the room that you might want to consider paint colours for – the outside of bath, the inside of a cupboard, a fireplace, furniture – all the colours will make an impact on each other and are best considered as a whole.

 I know that it all sounds like very hard work and it is, at the outset, but a well decorated room makes such a huge difference that I think all the initial effort pays off, and will hopefully avoid having to repaint anything, which is a depressing job at the best of times.

A strong paint colour on the wall blends with the rich furnishing fabrics and dark wood floor and provides a strong contrast with the crisp white woodwork of the door and frame. The wall colour is Teal and the woodwork is Glacier Grey. Both by Zoffany.

 

Summer has finally arrived in the UK, perhaps a little too much, and it’s hot hot hot! Which means of course it’s the perfect opportunity for some al fresco dining, and to enjoy those summer evenings. You’re may already have a table and chairs, and perhaps a seating area to relax in, but as with all rooms in the house it’s those little details and additions of accessories that make all the difference. Here are some lovely accessories and ideas that you could think about adding into your outdoor areas to create a charming and comfortable space.

Cotton Seat Cushion from H&M Home

Give your garden chairs a little bit of a spruce, style and comfort with a seat cushion. It’ll allow you and any guests to stay outside into the evening without getting uncomfortable as well as making more of a feature out of the furniture. These ones from H&M Home are fun and season appropriate and will help give the seats a little extra personality.

To create the perfect outdoor space, its about making it feel like a room in the house, and adding accessories is the best way to do that; you wouldn’t buy a sofa for you living room and leave it bare without a throw or cushions, so do the same for your outdoor area too! If you’re worried about weather damage, get yourself a little trunk or chest that can live near the back door to store your soft furnishings in. Give you seating area more substance with some playful cushions; this braided cushion from H&M Home has the perfect summer vibe for your backyard, and can be blended into different colour schemes.

Braided Cushion from H&M Home

Add some more botanical glamour to the seating area with this design from Designers Guild, its sophisticated and fun, and would work nicely with the H&M cushion above for a fresh contemporary look.

Palme Botanique Emerald Outdoor Cushion from Designers Guild

As well as being comfortable, being able to stay in your garden late into the evening also requires some good light sources. Creating the right atmosphere is an important part of any dinner party or special occasion, and lighting is a main factor. I love this outdoor chandelier found on Pinterest, it adds a romantic touch to an outdoor dining area, and it’s not your usual outdoor lighting, so gives your space some uniqueness.

Garden Chandelier from Sheer Luxe via Pinterest

For a different look, a few of these lanterns dotted amongst tree that hangs over a seating area, or along a pergola would look lovely. Make a statement look with them by hanging a few at different levels, or a sleek row of them.

Batur Hanging Lantern from Oka

If you want to add some eccentric style in your garden area, why not add a few of these flamboyant candlesticks from Angel & Boho. Their ornate design will give the space a little over the top charm, giving the area a fun and whimsical feel.

Petit Oiseaux Bird Candlestick from Angel & Boho

A seating area with a coffee table can be given a party makeover with a lighting addition like this one; a metal tray with tea lights floating in water will transform your day-to-day outdoor area into a dream land.

Candles Floating in Tray from Pinterest

Making sure you add the extra pieces to your outdoor area will make the space seem extra vibrant and full of style. Dining, coffee and side tables can be filled with extra home accessories to really put your own stamp on the space. Something like this mirrored tray from Angel & Boho is not only lovely and glamorous, but great for transporting drinks and nibbles, or sporting some candles when the sun goes down.

Gilt Mirror Tray from Angel & Boho

The idea might seem a little odd considering that your garden in probably surrounded with plants, flowers and wildlife, but having a vase at your table filled with a cutting of your favourite flower form your garden or just one you love, could be a really special touch; especially if it’s in a patio or decking area. A glass design to keep the space filled with light is a good option, this asymmetrical vase from H&M Home has a pretty look for an outdoor space.

Asymmetrical Vase from H&M Home

Of course you’ll need a beautiful set of dinnerware when dining outside, if you’re thinking about upgrading yours, this Naya set from Made is a lovely, contemporary design. The muted palette is perfect for showing off a meal of colourful foods.

Naya 12 Piece Dinner Set from Made

Finally, just as a little extra touch these candle holders from Garden Trading are just a really sweet addition to any outdoor table; especially with a little bit of sand placed in the bottom.

Wells Windlight from Garden Trading

It’s easy to not associate your garden as an extra room in your home, but when the weather is as good as it is now, it becomes the most important part of the home; so make sure that your space is comfy, stylish and suits your personality perfect so that you can enjoy as much time in your garden as possible.