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Interior design is usually about the inside of the home, but it’s important to make sure that you don’t neglect your exterior in the process. Although we will spend little time looking at the outside of our home in comparison to the inside, it’s those small moments when we’re walking to our front door, or pulling up into the driveway that a well-crafted exterior will make all the difference. Sometimes it’s just about making a few small changes in order to create a huge difference, so here are some ideas to get you thinking about any exterior changes you could make.

Updating your lighting fixtures is a great way to give the front of your house a touch of your own character. If you want a wall light, this Calvi light from Astro would make a sweet accompaniment to your front door. It has a good blend of traditional and contemporary elements to it, making suitable for both types of houses, it comes in polished nickel but I think that this matt black is rather lovely.

‘Calvi Wall Light in Black’ from Astro

If you have the right structural elements and can hang a pendant lighting in your porch area you can really turn your lighting needs into a beautiful feature. For a little vintage glamour this Menton Lantern from The French House is a charming piece that’ll give your front door area a strong look.

‘Menton Hanging Lantern’ from The French House

To turn your path or driveway into an exciting feature, some well-placed lighting will do just the trick. John Cullen always have fantastic lighting solutions especially for the exterior of homes, these Kew LED Spotlights are great for helping to make a feature out of a plant border and giving some life to your front garden.

‘Kew Exterior LED Spotlights’ from John Cullen Lighting

When it comes to your exterior, sometimes all you may need to do if spruce up your front door which could just mean a lick of paint. If you love a bold, strong colour, a front door is the perfect place really express yourself; this pink door against the crisp white external walls makes a beautifully sweet but modern statement.

‘Pink Front Door’ by Look Linger Love via Pinterest

If you want to create more of a classic look, then a strong timeless colour will keep your front door looking lovely for years to come. Blue Gray by Farrow & Ball or Dock Blue by Little Greene in the examples below are great classic style staples.

‘Blue Gray by Farrow & Ball’ by Tone on Tone Antiques via Pinterest

 

‘Dock Blue’ by Little Greene

A great way to introduce some of your personal style is by finding some house numbers that suit not only your taste but the features of your home. These French enamel numbers from Willow & Stone are a sweet way to add a vintage feel to your front door, and will look especially great on the front of a small cottage style house, against a white wall.

‘Individual Enamel House Numbers’ from Willow & Stone

House numbers can be more than just a way to help out the postman, and you can really get creative with the way you display them. I found this interesting design in Pinterest which would make a great addition to a contemporarily styled exterior. The thin metal numbers are placed on a dark treat block of wood with a succulent feature added as well. It shows how you can turn a necessary part of your front door area into an interesting feature.

‘House Number’ from Interior Barn Doors via Pinterest

Other small ways you can update your front door is with a new post box or letter plate. This is a really great way to give a hint of your style, or to emphasise the house’s period or design. This Art Deco style letter plate from Grace and Glory Home has some interesting features to it, I especially like the curves in the design and the polished brass finish, all great Art Deco motifs.

‘Art Deco Letter Plate with Clapper in Polished Brass’ from Grace and Glory Home

This vintage post box from Melody Maison is full of style, and will give your front door area its own sense of style. The rustic design will look extra beautiful with some ivy growing up and around the post box.

‘Vintage Mounted Metal Post Box’ from Melody Maison

If you have the space, a few large planters can help to create the perfect exterior to your home, and even if you’re lacking in ground surface, a few smaller planters placed on the window sill or steps leading up to the door will still create a beautiful look. For a contemporary feel, keep it clean and simple with these cement style planters from Iota.

‘Fresco Cube Planter’ from Iota

For something unique, antique planters will really give your exterior an individual look. These planters from Violet Grey are mid-century and have a pretty style, one placed either side of your front will really create a warm, welcoming and glamorous look.

‘Mid-century Planters’ from Violet Grey

Dressing up your exterior is a great way for your home to give off an amazing first impression. Whether you want to play up to the home’s period or a particular style you love, or want to create a coherent and smart looking area, there are all kinds of ways to make sure that the outside is just as beautiful as the inside.

Jane Churchill has released a wonderful new collection for spring 2017 called Eden and it’s full of so many beautiful colours and patterns, we just had to share it with you. It’s a lovely mixture of traditional motifs and contemporary colourways, giving the whole collection a fresh and exciting look.

‘Curtains in Alex Blue, Ottoman in Ellwood Navy, Chair in Silvan Blue and Sofa in Palma Blue’

This room is filled to the brim with beautiful blue patterns, all perfectly working together. The strong blue of the sofa covered in Palma fabric gives a solid foundation, while the other patterns complement it nicely. The hints of gold in the Alexis blue curtains looks great in its geometric, abstract patterns, while catching the same hint of colour from the ottoman which is covered in the natural Ellwood pattern. The chair is in the Silvan fabric (don’t worry there’s a close up later), the softer blue sits nicely in the room and the small pattern offsets the larger ones, creating a smooth and sophisticated look.

The beautiful Haywood Leaf curtains in green in the photograph below give an alternative, more traditional feel to the palm tree fabric patterns we’re seeing around these days. The leaves are the result of some incredible embroidery, which gives a lovely mix of small detailing and a larger overall look. It’s a great fabric to decorate a fresh, light room.

‘Curtains in Haywood Leaf Green, Chairs from left to right in Palma Bottle Green, Emerald, Lime and Green’

‘Headboard in Odell Gold, Curtains in Emmett Gold and Bedspread in Ginkgo Gold’

This bedroom is beautifully designed with three patterns that work harmoniously together, while still standing out individually to create an elegant and calming space. The headboard is covered in the Odell fabric from the Eden collection, which has a great blend of a geometric pattern in an almost Tuscan style. The faded appearance takes away any harshness of the repeating pattern, giving a modern but stately feel to the overall look. The two other fabrics are embroidered ginkgo leaves on bedspread and palms on the curtains, both of which add a delicate touch to the room and play off each other’s colour palettes wonderfully.

The reed scheme below really shows off the playful nature of each of the fabrics, showing how stripes, zigzags and patterns can work simultaneously together. The Marbury weave used on the sofa matches sweet raspberry tones against a linen background, giving the fabric a vibrant pattern that isn’t tough to look at if you’re feeling a little bleary eyed, unlike some other zigzag patterns. You get a quick peep of the lovely Hopewell Strip in the footstool, which has a great textural feel of velvet stripes on linen; a great way to dress up a tired looking piece of furniture.

‘Curtains in Ellwood Red, Sofa in Marbury Red, Footstool in Hopewell Stripe Red and Chair in Hailey Stone’

The sweet nature of the Silvan fabric used as roman blinds below seems to have chameleon-like qualities, making it equally as suitable for a sophisticated, traditional scheme as well as a sweet contemporary one. I can see this fabric working in bathrooms, children’s room and kitchens along with nooks and crannies all over the house.

‘Roman Blinds in Silvan Aqua and Chair in Felix Turquoise’

Traditional floral curtains with a very modern sofa fabric may not be something you think would especially work well together, however in this brightly coloured room it does. The multi-coloured diamond pattern of the Alexis fabric has a fresh energy and is nicely played off against the solid brights of the cushions and ottoman. The painterly style of the Grace curtains contrasts against the bolder nature of the other fabrics and gives the whole look an alternative finish.

‘Curtains in Grace Multi, Sofa in Alexis Multi, Ottoman in Palma Bottle Green, Cushions in an assortment of Palma colourways’

‘Curtains in Lola Flower Blue, Roman Blinds in Eden Blue and Chair in Brock Blue’

The magnolia flower is one of my favourites, and the Jane Churchill has perfectly captured their beauty with this elegantly designed and delicately embroidered pattern. The magnolia’s lie behind the Brock stripe which is softened by its brushed cotton texture. The whole look has a peaceful atmosphere to it.

The contemporary style of the Hailey pattern gives an updated look to a classic style of chair, and the subtle stone colour allows you to play around with a bolder patterned or coloured cushion.

‘Chair in Hailey Stone and Cushion in Eden Charcoal’

The Eden fabric is a beautiful ombre toile, which brings a contemporary edge to the classic pattern. The red-y pink hues in this colourway also gives the style a playful edge, and the fabric’s versatility is shown off in both upholstery and curtain use.

‘Curtains and Chair in Eden Red’

‘Roman Blind in Yasmin Aqua’

Positioned in a rustically styled bathroom, the Yasmin fabric adds a hints of femininity to the minimal setting. The icy blue background and with the blush pinks in the floral detail gives a beautiful effect.

‘Cushions from top to bottom Rydall Red, Calla Red, Marely Red and Silvan Red’

These cushions show off the fun smaller prints in the Eden collection, each a great fabric for that’ll add accents of colour, patterns and style amongst larger patterns or solid colours. The red piping borders the patterns, giving a fresh and fun look.

The final photograph offers up the luxurious combination of orangey gold and hot pinks. The button-backed chair is gloriously covered in the pink Palma fabric with a cushion in the umber colourway, the two colours give a punchy, fruity look. Next to the block colours is the Haywood Leaf with gold embroidery which has a beautiful understated glamour to it. The combination of the pink and the gold leaf gives a sharp contemporary look.

‘Curtains in Haywood Leaf Gold, Chair in Palma Pink and Cushion in Palma Umber’

The Eden collection is full of smart and glamorous fabrics, which offer up both romance and playfulness in one collection. Fun, vibrant colours are mixed with traditional styles, giving the whole collection a unique and interesting feel.

Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning a beautiful garden for the season. From large pieces of furniture to the smaller details, creating a lovely outdoor area means you’re prepared for those rare sunny days and the warm evenings that follow. Whether you want to entertain a crowd or just make a cosy setup for yourself, there are plenty of ways to step up your outdoor game with some wonderful pieces.

‘Somerton Outdoor Dining Set’ from Cox & Cox

Add a little glamour to your alfresco dining by finding a suitable, but stylish table. This Somerton table and benches from Cox & Cox will give both contemporary and rustic elements to your outdoor area. The modern grey is a versatile colour and the long benches mean you can squeeze a few extra people around the table when you have guests over, making it a great table for spontaneous dinner parties. If you don’t need as much space, you can opt for something a little smaller like this Bistro table from Houseology, it’s more modern then your typical Bistro set, meaning you can adapt it to different types of settings.

‘Houseology Collection Grigio Bistro Set in Grey’ from Houseology

To stay out of the shade, and for the ultimate way to show off some style, a parasol is an outdoor must-have. If you’re looking for something really jaw-dropping, Sunbeam Jackie have a beautiful collection of ready-made parasols as well as doing bespoke versions if you really want to tailor it perfectly to your style. This Sunflowers in Blue piece is a gorgeous way to keep cool in the sun.

‘Sunflowers in Blue Parasol’ from Sunbeam Jackie

Another beautiful garden parasol comes from Rockett St George, this beaded piece will transform your back garden into an exotic paradise. It’s a great buy for making a style statement, adding fun and sophistication to your overall look.

‘Boho Beaded Cotton Garden Umbrella’ from Rockett St George

When the evenings get a little cold, gather round a gorgeous fire pit to keep yourself warm. This square aged brazier from Cox & Cox is a wonderful contemporary piece that’ll steal the show in your garden. The unusual shape and style will have people thinking you commissioned it yourself.

‘Square Rusty Brazier’ from Cox & Cox

To make sure you keep the light, a few garden accessories from The White Company are sure to do the trick. These crooks and lanterns will look amazing leading down a pathway or placed on the edge of a patio to give a party the perfect ambient lighting.

‘Metal Crooks and Torch Lanterns’ from The White Company

If you ever need a quick and inexpensive way to create a romantic and dreamy garden setting, fairy lights will never go amiss. This extra-long set from The White Company will allow you to cover your whole garden. Neatly decorate a bush or tree, or give some structural work a little make over like in the picture below; a rustic beam covered in fairy lights and a few branches turn something ordinary into a beautiful decorative charm.

‘Extra Long Fairy Lights’ from The White Company

Create the ideal hangout spot with this sweet crochet hammock from Graham and Green. It’s a great bohemian style and all you need to do is find some cushions to add into the mix and place your hammock in a hidden part of your garden, making it the perfect spot when you want to get away from the world.

‘Crochet Double Hammock’ from Graham & Green

If your garden is lacking a bit of space, you can always create the illusion of more with the use of mirrors; place on the garden wall where it’ll reflect the lawn or a collection of plants and it’ll make your space feel a little bigger. This mirror with some rustic shutters from Cox & Cox will add a bit of old, vintage charm to your garden, giving it its own character.

‘Outdoor Shutter Mirror’ from Cox & Cox

In order to keep your drink close by you on a hot day, you’ll need a few side tables to accompany your outdoor chairs. This bistro style table from Garden Trading is a charming little number that will go with most styles and a great way to finish off a seating area.

‘Rive Droite Bistro Tray Table in Charcoal’ from Garden Trading

For a touch of decorative flair on your outdoor side or coffee table, a few hurricane lanterns will really complete the look. These candle holders from West Elm are the perfect way to dress an outdoor table; the various heights and colours gives depth and range to the collection, making them both stylish and a great way to keep the garden feeling cosy late into the evening.

‘Pure Glass Hurricanes’ from West Elm

While there is always a slim chance that we might not get a sun-filled summer, you can still guarantee a beautiful one with some amazing pieces of outdoor furniture and some charming accessories.

Like any sane person, I love my bed, and if you don’t love your own bed, there’s a good chance it’s because you haven’t been treating it right. A good bed consists of more than just a nice frame and quality mattress, and though these are essential to getting a good night’s sleep, your bed and its surrounding area shouldn’t just be a matter of function. Kitting your bed area out in the perfect accessories that suit you down to a T will help to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you walk into your room and see your bed. From throws, cushions, headboards, linens and even the surrounding furniture, everything plays an integral part of making the space feel like your own and turning it into an area that you can’t wait to get into at night and leaves you feeling happy when you wake up in the morning. Making cosmetic improvements to your bed is a great way to give your room your stamp of personality, while also creating an inviting and relaxing space. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what you could change and how you could change it, with both high and low budget pieces, so you can treat yourself without upsetting your wallet.

‘Crushed Linen Duvet Set’ from Volga Linen’

That feeling of getting into bed when you have fresh sheets on is lovely, but what’s even better is having a brand new set altogether. It’s a quick and easy way to give your bed a boost in comfort and style. As a personal preference, I like to keep my covers simple to make way for more decorative pieces later, a pastel or white can be the perfect way to lay some foundations when it comes to covering your bed. For high quality, Volga Linen has some wonderful sets in some amazing colours. For linens that still look beautiful, but are a fraction of the cost, H&M Home have some wonderful designs up their sleeve. For the same simple look, the washed linen set are a must-have, and are a good price so it means you can invest in a few sets, in different colours.

‘Washed Linen Duvet Cover Set’ from H&M Home

Adding a headboard to your bed is a great way to give your space a sense of glamour and elegance, turning your bed into to a distinctive feature in your bedroom. Last year we combined a headboard from The Dormy House and fabric from Pierre Frey to create a gorgeous headboard for the master bedroom for one of our clients; the outcome turned an average looking bed to one of my favourite features in the house.

‘Regal Shaped Headboard with Stud Piping’ from The Dormy House with ‘Watom Juane Fabric’ from Pierre Frey

For something that has the same effect as a headboard, but is a lot cheaper, there are some easy ways to create a dramatic look for your bed without the dramatic price tag. With a little DIY you can create a beautiful head for your bed with a pole and a pair of curtains. An example of this is taken from Pinterest, which shows how a simple piece of sheer cloth can add a huge amount of glamour and style to a bed.

Taken from ‘MyDesignerMom’ via Pinterest

Above the designer has used a plain white fabric, but if you want to add in a bit of colour or a pattern, making sure that the fabric is light will mean that the overall look doesn’t get too heavy. These curtain panels from Anthropologie could be a great design to use in this way.

‘Adalet Curtain’ from Anthropologie

Creating a collection of cushions and a throw is a great way to tailor your bed to your own taste; whether that is piles of colourful cushions, or just a few understated ones. If you don’t want to break the bank when you comes to filling out your bed with cushions, many high street home stores have a great range in some interesting designs. I like these pastel, kilim style cushions from Urban Outfitters, they have a contemporary bohemian feel about them and will keep your bedroom looking light and relaxed.

‘Andanda Kilim Cushion’ from Urban Outfitters

To go the full nine yards when it comes to cushions, getting some custom made from some designer fabric will give you bed a luxurious feeling and a personal touch. By choosing this option you can also make sure that you have the exact design you want. There are an abundance of designers out there to choose from, for fun and colourful designs head over to Osborne & Little, they’re fabric patterns are perfect for making a few elaborate and eye-catching cushions; I love these styles from their new Masque collection, the Pageant, Carnival and Jester patterns are great for adding some vibrancy to your bedspread.

From Left to Right: ‘Carnival, Pageant and Jester fabric cushions’ from Osborne & Little

For that extra warmth in the winter and that extra style all year round, the addition of a throw will make your bed look and feel complete. It’s worth investing in a throw that will actually keep you warm as well as looking good on your bed, which needn’t mean spending the earth. Wool, Mohair and Cashmere are the best materials to use, and you can find good quality versions of these for reasonable prices. These Mohair Wool throws from Trouva have wonderful oversized fringing and look super cosy.

‘Cozy Living Forest Green Melange Mohair Wool Throw’ from Trouva

For super high quality and luxuriously soft throws, Biggest Blanket have got a beautiful selection. This Stafford throw has some rich, romantic colours and is perfect for curling up in when winter rears its ugly head again.

‘Stafford Wool and Mohair Throw’ from Biggest Blanket

Placing a rug underneath your bed will help to create a defining area, it can give your bed more of an impact in a room, plus it’ll be a nice treat for your feet in the mornings. Size is key when it comes to rugs, it’s important to make sure that it isn’t too small or it won’t sit right within the room. For high quality and beautifully designed rugs, The Rug Company never fails to impress, I love this Spider design by Neisha Crosland; the pattern has a careful balance between simplicity in colour and intricacy in design so that it will remain a staple and stylish piece in your home.

‘Spider by Neisha Crosland’ from The Rug Company

Unfortunately the bigger the rug, the bigger the cost, and if you don’t want to spend a huge amount of money you’ll need to find a company that can offer you a good sized rug at a reasonable rate. Swoon Editions have some lovely rugs in their collection in decent sizes that can help make the perfect bed area. This Kankare rug has a small pattern in a faded denim colour that can work a few different schemes to create a foundation in the bed area.

‘Kankare Rug in Indigo’ from Swoon Editions

A pair of beautiful bedside tables can frame a bed, adding structure and style to your bedroom. For a mid-century treat, a new addition to Chelsea Textiles furniture collection is this gorgeous piece; it’s elegantly designed with a timeless style that’ll last you for years.

‘Bedside Table Two Drawer, Wicker Handle, Brass Trim & Legs’ from Chelsea Textiles

If you want to save a bit of money, but still maintain some style, there are loads of less expensive options to choose from; this Ikea piece in a bright yellow will make a sweet touch to a bedroom, adding a splash of fun colour.

‘Hemnes Bedside Table in Yellow’ from Ikea

Finally, the way to finishing off your dream bed area, is with some lighting. The bedside lighting needs to be suitably chosen, having to accommodate functional needs like reading, but also creating a relaxing atmosphere as you get ready for bed. Keep things simple with this modern looking lamp from Habitat.

‘Dylan Table Lamp in Natural’ from Habitat

If you like things a little more flamboyant, this playful lamp from Graham & Green could be just the thing needed to complete a fun and bohemian styled bedroom. The birds are a wacky edition that will proudly show off your style.

‘Volieres Bird Cage Lamp’ from Graham & Green

When it comes to decorating your bed and its neighbouring areas, you have the luxury of getting to be a little selfish. It’s a place that’s just for you, or you and your partner. Many other spaces in the room have to accommodate guests, other family members, or be styled in a way that suits everyday life, but as for your bed, you can turn this area into a space that’s your perfect hideaway, just the way you want it.

Inviting to look at and still room to sit comfortably. Chair, cushion and delectable fabrics all from Vanessa Arbuthnott.

There is a battle raging in our households and it concerns the quite intense emotions elicited by the humble cushion. Many sane, sensible and fair minded couples that I visit in my capacity as their interior designer can quickly lapse into not only passionate opinions but also surprisingly petty bickering when the subject of cushions is mentioned. I am going to horribly generalise now so please forgive me if you don’t fit into my unsubstantiated gender stereotyping, but seems to me that it tends to be us girls that love cushions and it’s the boys who really don’t.

My investigations into anti-cushion behaviour have found some recurrent themes. The first and most virulent relates mainly to cushions on the bed. “Where do they go at night?” the boys cry “we have to throw them on the floor”. Ok, I understand, they need a place to go when they are taken off the bed and the floor is not it. A simple solution would be a chair, window seat or ottoman at the end of the bed that they could reside on over-night.

The second complaint is normally about the number of cushions on the sofa. “We can’t even sit down without taking some of them off and throwing them on the floor” (are you seeing the ‘throwing them on the floor’ pattern emerging?). It’s a valid point, you need to be able to sit on your sofa, but this very rarely means you can’t have any cushions on it at all. Really, have you felt the comfort a cushion offers?!

Even I have to admit (and on a personal level you may have guessed that I am an extreme cushion lover) that the purpose of cushions in adornment. Some comfort for sure but primarily adornment and is there anything wrong with that? The key really, as with all things interior related, is the balance of style and functionality. A contemporary muted minimalist space will be spoilt by brightly coloured highly patterned cushions but will be enhanced by a limited number of plain cushions adding a layer of texture and comfort. Similarly a room that is verging on the bland can be hugely improved with a burst of colour, pattern, texture and a visual hit of inviting comfort.

Cushions do have an advantage that they are easier and cheaper to purchase than larger items such as a sofa or carpet. However, this does not mean that you should not take the time and effort in choosing your cushions, or that you should opt for cheap if you are not sure. A ‘make-do’ cushion is a waste of money as it is highly likely that you will want to replace it almost as soon as you get it home. If you buy a cushion you really love you may well have it for life so it represents much better value for money whatever it costs.

Contemporary cushions from Andrew Martin bring colour and comfort to a grey scheme.

Fortunately, there is now a very good selection of ready-made cushions available on the market. One tip I would give you when looking for off the shelf cushions is to find a fabric or accessories company that you really like and see what cushions they have on offer. I find that high street store cushions are often incredibly middle of the road and quite depressing because of it, whereas a company that isn’t trying to offer all styles to all people can be a lot more inventive. For example, Chelsea Textiles (www.chelseatextiles.com) have a wonderful range of cushions for those of a more traditional bent and Andrew Martin (www.andrewmartin.co.uk) have lush designs on offer for those of a more contemporary sensitivity.

If you do go down the route of having cushions made (and I warn you now, it is an additive business), you have a world of opportunity at your fingertips. Key decisions include size and shape, fabric obviously but you might want to use a couple of different fabrics, say one on the back and a different one on the front, or a different fabric as a side or decorative panel, and then of course there are trimmings. Trimmings are the interior addicts’ sweeties and are a joyful business to pick and often are what makes the cushion special. The key with having cushions made (and actually any bespoke item) is to find the right craftsperson and make good friends with them. As with many needlework tasks, cushion making sounds very simple but to get it right is always more complicated that you think. You need to find a soft furnishings maker who knows what they are doing, will listen to what you want and has a good level of patience. Thinking through the design before starting is vital and no detail should be overlooked, as cushion disappointment is not pretty.

As I write, I suspect that those amongst us who have yet to realise the true worth of the cushion may be feeling slightly light-headed, if not enraged, by my encouragement for spending hard earned cash on the decorative end of the soft furnishings palette. I would say sorry but I wouldn’t mean it so what I will do is to send a grovelling apology to any man who really does appreciate a cushion. That said, I do believe it is thanks to the female of the species that the cushion thrives. Without us the boys would all be sitting slightly uncomfortably on their sofas wondering why their rooms look just a tiny bit bland.

This article first appeared in Cambridge Magazine, April 2017

Lighting is an integral part of any design scheme, it’s not only about getting the right form of lighting for a room (ambient, task, accent) but also choosing a fitting that will work perfectly with the look and style of your chosen scheme. There are so many options available when it comes to light fittings, from small and minimal to big and dramatic, that it can all seem a little overwhelming at times. But you don’t have to settle for the ordinary or the expected, instead choose to make your lighting the talking point of your home, no matter what your style. I’ve pulled together some ideas in six different styles to inspire you and your lighting needs.

‘Brompton Size 3 Anthracite Glass Pendant’ from Original BTC

If you have a minimal scheme running through your house, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to interrupt this look by adding in some flamboyant lighting pieces. Going for simple pendants doesn’t mean you need to settle for plain. This pendant like from Original BTC is just stunning, it’s a simple design but the use of the black instead of a typical glass pendant gives it an edge over other similar pieces. Featured against a crisp white wall will create a strong, but low-key statement in your home.

‘Atto Pendant’ from Benchmark

These pendants from Benchmark have a modern Scandinavian feel about them. The slits in the shade give the wooden structure a light feel, making it ideal for a minimally dressed room, and depending on the colour scheme, you can use the natural, white or black finish. They’ll make a great addition to a light, airy, modern space.

The industrial trend has been a popular choice in the interior design world over the past few years, with the style showing up in furniture, accessories and lighting. It’s a strong look and with the right building and attitude, can be pulled off to perfection, but it’s important to make sure the trend doesn’t engulf you. To add hints of the style into your lighting, opting for designs that are less obviously industrial will make any future transitions easier to accommodate, you can also apply subtle industrial features to a scheme without completely changing it. I really like this Anglepoise original lamp that’s been given a cosmetic lift with some industrial style additions. The brass accents and the black shade gives the contemporary lamp an industrial undertone.

‘Original 1227 Brass Desk Lamp’ from Anglepoise

For an industrial style pendant that will stay in style for years to come, blending it with some contemporary elements is a failsafe option. This Edison bulb is caged by some modern wiring and along with the addition of some coppery tones, it gives the pendant a well-rounded contemporary look, which would give an industrial scheme a breath of fresh air and a contemporary scheme a hint of that vintage vibe.

‘Juba Caged Pendant Light’ from Clippings

When opting for a contemporary style of lighting, it’s your chance to get a bit creative and turn traditional ideas on their head. A chandelier for example might be considered a traditional style, but today there are many modern designs that adopt its look. This cluster chandelier from Fritz Fryer gives the term a whole new meaning, the translucent shades and the bright red cables name together wonderfully to create a sharp, sophisticated look. It’s a design that would look amazing in a high-ceilinged hallway, making a strong feature to any house.

‘Upton Ceramic Multi Pendant Cluster Chandelier’ from Fritz Fryer

’90° Home’ from Artemide

A floor lamp is not only a great way to light up a dark corner, but can also make its own style statement. It contemporary piece from Artemide oozes with confidence, with a futuristic element to finish off the look. The streamline design could be paired with a sharp, masculine interior to really show it off.

Lighting in a traditionally styled space can be utilised to give the area a clean, fresh and punchy impact. Table lamps in a traditional setting can be the perfect way to add some detailing to a room, the patterned vase from the Abbeywood design from Vaughan has a lovely traditional feel to it, and it kept fresh with a crisp white shade. The elegant piece would look great as a pair on two end tables in a living room.

‘Abbeywood Vase Table Lamp’ from Vaughan

If you have a period property, or want to add some traditional glamour, a dramatic ceiling light can add character and really cement a room’s style. This chandelier from Bella Figura has a classic style and refined nature to it, giving a room a sense of understated grandness. A hallway could be an ideal spot for this piece, making sure you have something eye-catching when you first walk in to the house.

‘Leonardo Ball Chandelier’ from Bella Figura

With a bohemian, eclectic style there is always the challenge of making sure a room isn’t so overloaded with patterns, styles and things that it loses its stylish essence. Incorporating a vibrant lamp into the mix can be a good way to incorporate colour and pattern in a small way instead of large pieces everywhere. Pooky is a fantastic lighting company that has some lovely, bohemian style lamps to hand. They’re the perfect colourful finishing touches to really make a room pop. I love this hand-blown Iris base with a fun shade to go with it, creating a great blend of sophisticated colours in a playful nature.

‘Iris Table Lamp in Turquoise’ from Pooky

‘Decofabulous Pedant Shade’ from Rockett St George

A tasselled lampshade might have once been something you found in your grandma’s house, the shade an unsightly floral pattern and the tassels old and frayed. But these pendants are reinventing the style and giving something fun and wacky back. The luxurious gold tassels contrasted against the abstract shade design gives you a perfect Boho chic shade to add into your home.

When done well, a glamorous style home can look breath-taking, but it’s a theme that needs the right confidence to pull off. Lighting is a great way to add in some beautiful finishing touches for a glamorous setting. A glamorous interior usually consists of dark hues and metallics, so add in a hint of luxurious colours with something like this Amelia table lamp from Heathfield. The wonderful glass base is framed with gold accents giving it a rich, elegant feel.

‘Amelia Table Lamp’ from Heathfield

‘Manor Wall Sconce’ from Graham & Green

I love this beaded wall sconce from Graham & Green, it’s a really original way to use wall lights as a strong design feature, making a smart, elegant and glamorous light fixtures for your scheme.

Finding the right lighting that suits your home, style and yourself can not only create a beautiful atmosphere in your home, but give your style a little lift, making everything just that little bit brighter.

The downstairs loo is often the smallest room in any given house; tucked away by the front door or under the stairs, it’s all too often a space that goes a little neglected. Due to the general size of downstairs bathrooms, there is sometimes a hesitancy when it comes to decorating, with people believing that a small space cannot take on a heavy design scheme. However, I believe that the downstairs loo is the perfect place get a little creative when decorating it. Since you don’t tend to spend an excessive amount of time in the area, it can afford to be designed in a dramatic and exciting way. Once you have your basics, a toilet and sink, you can really begin to play around with the scheme, creating your own little paradise that you get to visit a few times a day.

To make a big statement in a small space you must first be decisive about which direction you want to take. Big features can look amazing but include too many and the space may become a little claustrophobic; here are a few ideas to get your thinking about how you could best design your downstairs loo.

When you have guests over for an evening, often the cloakroom will be the only bathroom they see, so creating a show stopping space will really make a strong design statement. Adding a patterned wallpaper to your loo can be a great way to give the space its own sense of character. On a recent project we decorated a client’s downstairs bathroom with this fun Manuel Canovas wallpaper, L’envol, which really gave a bland space a bit of impact.

‘Manuel Canovas L’envol Wallpaper’

There are so many styles you can opt for when it comes to choosing a wallpaper with flare for your loo. I’m head over heels for this flamingo print from 17 Patterns in pink. It’s a fantastically designed pattern that will look amazing in a downstairs loo, really giving the space a strong, bold look without being overbearing.

‘Flamingo in Pink Wallpaper’ from 17 Patterns

If you’re general aesthetic is more traditional, but still vibrant and colourful, a charming design like this Secret Garden pattern from Juliet Travers in midnight blue will help create a sweet but dramatic effect in the small space. The enchanting pattern teamed with the perfect lighting will create a fairy-tale like space.

‘Secret Garden Wallpaper’ from Juliet Travers

If you have the advantage of additional floor space on your side, a few plants strategically placed will really transform the place. If you have a few different surface heights, for example the floor a countertop and maybe some shelving, building your own small jungle of plants in different varieties and sizes will give a depth to your space, making a strong statement. When it comes to plants, of course it depends on your preference, but I believe more is more, and an overflow of bohemian style succulents, cacti’s and tropical pieces will really create an impact as opposed to one, lonely plant. If you’re short on sunlight, a quality faux plant can look just a good as the real thing, plus if you’re opting for a plant of the spikey variety there’s no chance of a painful accident! Abigail Ahern does some of the best artificial plants and flowers around, I love this array of cactus; they’ll really help to build up your plant portfolio.

‘Artificial Plant Selection’ from Abigail Ahern

A lack of floor or surface space shouldn’t deter you from adding some foliage to your bathroom. This wall garden from Rockett St George is a great example of how you can really get creative with plants in your home, and in your loo. Vertical gardens are a fantastic and innovative way of using your space selectively but still keeping a fresh and current aesthetic. You can buy a readymade one, real or faux, or if you want a project, creating you own one is the perfect way to include everything you want to and design with you own vision.

‘Faux Vertical Garden’ from Rockett St George

Sometime the downstairs loos is fitted into a rather tight space in the home, which might make you think that there is only room for the bare necessities, but you can always create more space with the use of carefully planned shelving. The trick is, in a small space making sure you put up your shelves somewhere where you won’t be knocking into. Once you have this figured out you can pick a shelf that matches your style and begin to fill it with a mix of ornamental and usual items, creating the perfect design balance. These industrial style shelves from Cox & Cox are sweet; their light design means that they won’t feel like they take up more room than they actually do, and the open nature of them makes them ideal for carrying objects of various heights and sizes.

‘Industrial Wood and Metal Shelves’ from Cox & Cox

Another shelving design I love is from Anthropologie, although these are slightly less functional then your conventional pieces, they are so pretty they’d make the perfect design feature. Often you find downstairs loos located under the stairs, these shelves would look lovely ascending in size order up a sloping wall.

‘Bloomland Shelving’ from Anthropologie

Whenever I think about inspirational bathrooms, I always think back to the beautiful image of the bathroom in Malpalquet House in East London, which I wrote a blog on some time ago. The bathroom wall was covered in pictures, frames and crucifixes, which overall created a beautiful effect.

‘Bathroom in Malpalquet House’

While you may not be able to squeeze all of this into you downstairs loo, you can certainly create something that’ll make an impact. If you have a generous amount of clear wall space, you can start to make you own mural of photo frames, prints, painting, mirrors and anything else you can think of. You may want to go down the nostalgia route and use family photos, or pick out arty prints, or even just create a miscellaneous haven. I love these Kiko frames from Nkuku, they come in a range of sizes so you can mix and match and find the perfect fit for your chosen display pieces. Unlike conventional frames, you can change what you want to go in the Kiko frame with ease and swap out or add in items as you find them. A downstairs loo wall covered in the frames will make a beautiful, comforting statement.

‘Kiko Frame’ from Nkuku

Using mirrors, in varying sizes and styles is also a good way to create an impact, and also provide a functional aspect to your bathroom. These hanging portrait mirrors from Nkuku are great to add to a collection of mirrors; with some being flatter, some more elaborate and some smaller or larger. A wall covered in mirrors or frames will automatically create an eye-catching feature in a small space.

‘Vintage Portrait Mirror’ from Nkuku

The downstairs loo is often a forgotten about space, or somewhere thought as only a functional room, but there are so many ways to great creative in a small space. It’s an area that you can confidently show off your style and really begin to design an area that’s a fun space.