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Last week we had the pleasure of seeing Lizzie Ibbotson, our sales rep for Osborne & Little, which meant we had a look at the beautiful Belvoir collection by Matthew Williamson. It’s an absolutely gorgeous array of colour, patterns and excitement and a triumph of both wallpaper and fabrics that are on par with one another. Not only am I smitten with the whole collection, but I now must visit its main source of inspiration, the Gothic Revival style of Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, which is a truly beautiful place.

Exterior Shot of Belvoir Castle from Pinterest via Flickr

The Ballroom at Belvoir Castle

The Folklore fabric from the collection is a patchwork wonder, and inspired by a rug found in the ballroom of Belvoir Castle. Its busy pattern is playful and creative, and has a modern Arts & Crafts sensibility to it; a fantastic way to brighten up a living space in the home.

Folklore fabric on the bed, and Ceramica wallpaper

This photograph also features the ceramica wallpaper in its most vivid colourway; each plate holds a different designs, but all with familiar Matthew Williamson motif’s that he is most known for. A very daring design that isn’t for the faint hearted, but if you’re brave enough, what a statement you’ll make.

At first glance, the Sirius design, available in both fabrics and wallpaper in a multitude of colours, is simple in its design; but it is in fact a very curious design, that’s perhaps one of my favourites. The stars are given an almost three-dimensional effect as their metallic tone glistens as you move it back and forth. Here it’s shown in with a neutral background, but colourways also include some feisty vibrant shades too.

Sirius fabric on the seat cushion, and Sirius wallpaper

Orangery fabric used for the drapery

Orangery is one of the fabric designs, which although it’s a very busy design, still manages to have a calming effect when viewing it. The background is a lace pattern, inspired by a vintage design; and on top of this is a beautiful depiction of birdcages, orchids and butterflies. There are two colourways; one with fuchsia pink and feisty orange and the other with punchy lilac and pastel yellow. Both colourways are sure to make an impact, and have that iconic Matthew Williamson feel to them.

The next pattern is so lovely that I had to include images of both the wallpaper and fabric versions; the Lyrebird design has a beautiful tile effect from far away, and up close the detailing is stunning, with an Arts & Crafts style to it. Both the fabric and wallpaper are paired with Farrow & Ball’s Arsenic, which makes a stunning collaboration.

Lyrebird wallpaper

Lyrebird fabric used for the drapery

The Rosanna Trellis is a very soft, romantic design that sits dreamily in a room. The soft blush pink background against the garden roses had a delicate nature to it; perfect for a feminine, peaceful interior.

Rosanna Trellis wallpaper, Sirius fabric on the seat cushion, Rosanna Trellis and Contour on the scatter cushions

For some of the patterns in this collection, Matthew Williamson has reinvented some of his past fashion collections, just like the Duchess Garden, which has a damask background and some very lovely dahlias in the foreground in some rather lovely colours. There are two colourways with the darker background, and two in neutral shades if you want to create a lighter look.

Duchess Garden on outer cushion, Contour on inner cushion and seat cushion, Duchess Garden used as drapery and wall paneling

 

If you’re into luxurious interiors, especially those with a bit metallic glam, this fanfare design was made for you in mind . The cobalt blue with the silver detailing is a real show-stopper, and looks incredible surrounding this ornate architrave.

Fanfare wallpaper, and Sirius seat cushions

And lastly, this beautiful Waterlily design come in a wallpaper, a fabric and a sheer and is just oh so pretty. Swimming amongst the flowers are carps, that’ll flow effortlessly in the breeze in the sheer form, or float around the room in the wallpaper.

Waterlily Sheer used as the curtain, Duchess Garden and Sirius used as for the cushions

The Belvoir collection from Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little is downright gorgeous, with the utmost care and thoughtfulness taken throughout, with every colour, design, detail and stitch done with precision and beauty.

Back in May 2016, Farrow & Ball released a book called How to Decorate, something of a bible on using paint and wallpaper in your home to create flawless interiors. Written by Joa Studholme, the company’s international colour consultant, and Charlotte Cosby, the Head of Creative at Farrow & Ball, the two are unrivalled in their knowledge of colour and using it in homes. The book itself is filled with examples, tips and suggestions on how to make the most out of your home, alongside are some gorgeous examples that will not only inspire you, but make you a little jealous as well.

Wevet on the walls with Strong White on the woodwork

With a multitude of whites in their palette, Farrow & Ball are keen to show that there is a perfect shade for every home, room and style. Keeping a room feeling light and clean by using white, doesn’t mean having to be boring; here the walls are painted in Wevet, which is old Dorset slang for cobwebs, and Strong White on the woodwork. Both whites have a contemporary grey undertone, and are a beautiful backdrop against which to display your furniture.

One of the main problem we face when using colours in the home is what kind of light the room gets; north, south, east and west, the wrong light with the wrong paint can turn a warm and inviting home into a cold and depressing sight. How to Decorate takes you through which colours and undertones suit which light the best, and with this under your belt you can make inroads into creating a gorgeous home. Below, Card Room Green is used in a garden room, helping to connect the inside and out, and by using such a rich colour the northern light is disparaged away and a warm room is left victorious.

Card Room Green on the walls

I love this image below, it uses on of my favourite Farrow & Ball colours Black Blue which gives this hallway a dramatic and regal effect. The touch of the pale underbelly of both the staircase and gallery break up the darkness, giving the room perspective, whilst also getting pops of colour from the accessories to really give the hallway some life. A quick tip from Joa and Charlotte is by having a dark hallway the rooms leading off it will automatically feel larger and lighter by contrast.

Black Blue on the walls

If you have particular style of furniture in your home, it’s important to translate this onto your walls; pieces of contemporary furniture located in a room with a dated or traditional colour will through the whole arrangement off, so finding a complimentary colour scheme for your furniture is vital. A collection of mid-century furniture is displayed beautifully against the Easy Neutral family of greys, Strong White in the first room and through the divine interior window is Purbeck Stone, while the woodwork is given the dramatic look of Pitch Black, the darkest of Farrow & Ball’s blacks.

Pitch Black on the woodwork, Strong White on the walls in the first room and Purbeck Stone on the walls in the second room

When it comes to big colours, there’s often a resistance to paint a whole room with them, and instead many people opt for a feature wall. But in How to Decorate there are hordes of examples that show how different rooms can take on four walls of strong colour. This bedroom is painted in Nancy’s Blushes, named after Joa’s daughter’s rosy cheeks as a little girl, all the way through, even the woodwork, and by doing this is actually makes the very bold colour seem less intense. The pink is cut off at the picture rail, with the white taking over and continuing to the ceiling, giving the room an interesting balance.

Nancy’s Blushes on the walls and woodwork

These days if you want a dramatic look, the easiest solution is to go for a popular dark shade like a deep blue or grey. If you want to create a theatrical look, but still bring a bright colour in to the mix, this book can give you a few solutions. The now archived Straw colour, is a bold, deep yellow, it gives a nod to traditional interiors, and perfectly bounces off the rich tones of the woodwork.

Straw (archived) on the walls

This room below is just a beautiful space, and fills me with the utmost jealousy. The large doors leading to the garden fill the room with light, so Pavilion Gray has been used to increase this, bar the recess above the doors which has been painted in the beautiful Calamine, highlighting the architectural feature and the collection of pottery.

Pavilion Gray on the walls and Calamine in the recess

How to Decorate is a wonderful book full of wonderful advice and photographs to inspire you to get creative with your own home.

How to Decorate is available to buy at www.farrow-ball.com or in the Farrow & Ball Showrooms.

Autumn is arguably my favourite time of year, perhaps a close tie with the first few months of spring, but there’s something about autumn, with its falling leaves and the perfect amount of nip in the air. You can start planning on how to turn your home from the cool summer vibe to a warm and cosy one, using nature as your best inspiration. Deep colours, warm lighting and cosy textures are the best way to make your home feel ready for those colder evenings. I’ve collected a few ideas of some wonderful ways to transform your home.

A beautiful candlelit room by Ralph Lauren Home via Pinterest

In the summer all you want is light, bright rooms that can soak up the sun, but when the nights start to draw in, creating an inviting space with some warm lighting is the perfect way for your home to make you feel protected from the cold. Candles are a must have item in the autumn, but what’s equally as important is finding the right holders to keep them in.

If you love your cool contemporary interiors, but still want to add some warmth to your home, these metallic base candle holders from Graham & Green are a lovely way to incorporate both concepts into an interior. Mix and match the different finishes, or keep a clean look with just one in different sizes.

Tiya Lanterns from Graham & Green

To really hone in on the feeling of autumn, these Nkuku candle holders are beautifully decorated in charming autumn colours. The antiqued finish will really give you that warm, glistening feeling; a great way to light a small get-to-together or a quite night in.

Morri T Lights from Nkuku

Go one step further in using nature as inspiration with these lovely leaf wall candle holders from Rockett St George. With a hint of Baroque style, but with the right amount of modernity as well, they’ll keep your walls looking interesting and pretty and help to create a fantastical woodland feel to your home.

Leaf Wall Candle Holder from Rockett St George

Filling a room with different textures helps to create an inviting atmosphere in your home, ridding the place of any harsh surfaces and adding in warm, textural pieces will keep those cold thoughts at bay. I love this image below, of a cool contemporary setting that’s subtly been given some winter charm to it by the use of the faux fur throw and the textural tassels of the rug.

A clam textural living space from Nyde via Pinterest

Velvet is a fantastic texture to use in your accessories, but in autumn it’s practically a necessity; just want you need to nestle into on a cold night. These cushions from Zara Home are a divine colour, and will complement the warm oranges of the autumn, plus they have the perfect velvety sheen that’ll give your home that extra bit of luxe.

Velvet Cushions from Zara Home

I hold the biggest soft spot for the use of faux fur in interiors, there’s just something about a good quality item that’s too hard to resist. This furry stool is an amazing buy and the perfect way to top off an autumn style interior. Its sweet little legs give it a Scandinavian touch, plus the fur comes in different shades so you can match it to your existing colour scheme.

Shawn Sheepskin Stool in Taupe from Graham & Green

For an extra touch of texture to your walls, this hanging frame from Anthropologie with the cutest fringing along the bottom is a lovely way to frame a treasured photo or piece of memorabilia.

Fringed Hanging Frame from Anthropologie

For me, autumn colours is the best part about the season, in Cambridge we’re very lucky to have an abundance of trees all around the town, and when autumn comes the roads are full of fallen orange leaves. A beautiful deep orange is a lovely colour to add to your interior; just like this bedroom below which has been given a sumptuous orange throw and shades of orange cushions, all in wonderful velvet fabrics.

Rich orange bedroom from Designlovefest via Pinterest

This rug from Missoni Home is just the perfect colour, completely spot on for autumn. It’ll add depth to a clean and crisp white interior and enhance the romantic feeling of an interior that’s been decorated in dark tones.

Nirsa Rug from Missoni Home

Another lovely orange find is this beautiful, bright glass vase, a perfect place to host some winter twigs.

Wells Bubble Vase in Amber from Graham & Green

And finally, for that extra bit of autumn cheer at your dinner table, these Abigail Ahern plates are superb! The raw edge and rich colour are a lovely way to just your home a luxurious rustic vibe.

Cadiz Plates from Abigail Ahern

As autumn comes in, so do the luscious colours, textures and atmospheric lighting; helping you turn your home into a warm, cosy nest that you’ll never want to leave.

All Fired Up

Fireplaces can be a mistreated part of the home, especially in an old house that’s gone through its fair share of renovations. Gutted, over-embellished, given a heinous mantelpiece, or even boarded up, some fireplaces have been through it all. So if you have a slightly neglected fireplace, or are looking for some new ideas to spruce yours up, here are a few ways you can give yours a bit of life back.

If your fireplace is a little lacklustre, you can turn it into an attractive feature by updating the surround.  You may just have a simple mantelpiece that can be given a new lease of life with a lick of paint, which can completely change its look. I found this image on Pinterest of this traditional mantelpiece that’s been painted in Downpipe by Farrow & Ball; giving it a sophisticated and modern look. It’s an ideal solution if you’ve moved into a period property but want to keep the interiors contemporary.

Traditional Mantelpiece painted in Downpipe from Farrow & Ball from Emma Connolly via Pinterest

Another way you can update a fire surround, is by replacing dated tiles with a newer design. This image of a wooden mantelpiece juxtaposed with white tiles and dark grout creates an interesting look, allowing for a combination of old and new, soft and hard.

Wooden mantelpiece and contemporary tile from Apartment Therapy via Pinterest

For a similar look, I love this tile from Bert & May, the small hexagonal pattern in a light grey would look great next to a painted mantelpiece, in either a dark or bright colour.

Glazed Grey Daroca Tile from Bert & May

Traditional Fender around a stone fireplace by Acres Farm via Houzz

Having a fender around your fireplace has more than just a functional aspect, it can also look rather stylish and give the area a touch of glamour. The fender above made by Acres Farm has a traditional look, perfect for this large stone fireplace place.

If you’re going for an uber-glam and sophisticated looking in your living area, a pair of well-crafted dogs will look gorgeous, almost as gorgeous as a real dog lying in front of your fireplace showing his belly to the world.  These leaf style fire dogs from Chesneys are beautiful, working perfectly with the dark walls, modern art and crisp-marble mantelpiece.

Leaf Fire dogs from Chesneys from Dear Designers via Pinterest

Fire dogs can be a great way to introduce some avant-garde design to your fireplace, I love this abstract dog-like design from Jamb. They’ll keep your fireplace looking good even when it isn’t lit.

Large Linton Fire dogs from Jamb

Adding some extra fireplace accessories can give yours its own spark of personality, whether you want to add some contemporary coolness or a bit of extra glamour. A fire guard can really show off some character; it doesn’t have to be in the same style as the rest of the fireplace, if you have a period fireplace in your home, inserting something like this clear glass guard from Graham & Green can keep it feeling relevant.

Clear Glass Fireguard from Graham & Green

Keeping your logs safe and dry is a must for a successful fire, and what is a must for someone with a stylish home is that they are kept safe and dry in a fashionable manner. This steel open-basket style holder will look great next to a fire with the flames reflecting against the metal.

Burnished Steel Log Holder from Cox & Cox

If you’re style is more suited to the classic wicker log basket, this Holkham log basket from Grace and Glory has a simple but lovely design to it.

Holkham Log Baskets from Grace & Glory

A hearth is a great place to add some decoration to as well, if not you don’t need the roaring fire on, but still want the ambience, using candles can give the same effect whilst looking cosy and dramatic. I love this image of a collection of candles and trays, to equally protect the hearth and look fabulous, it gives the fireplace a playful edge.

Candles and Trays from Muus on Tumblr via Pinterest

Metal Tray from H&M home

H&M Home has a great selection of trays to choose from so you can experiment with difference looks without breaking the bank. And finally, I had to throw in this adorable fireside accessory from Graham & Green, these matches in a glass bottles are the perfect way to finish off your fireplace look.

Glass Jar Dark Green Matches from Graham & Green

Glass Jar with Dark Green Matches from Graham & Green

From big changes to little ones, there are loads of ways to get creative with your fireplace, you don’t just have to settle for what you’ve been given. It’s a great canvas to really show off your style with, and an interesting place to play around with colour, shape, style and decoration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our 6 week evening class covering all the elements you need to design and plan your own home starts next week, and there are just a few places still available.

Interior designer, Cate Burren, will show you week by week how she approaches interior design projects and will reveal the insider tricks of the trade.

For more information and to sign up visit our courses page on our website – here.

Just Kidding

As the kids go back to school this month, it got me thinking about how they need somewhere in the house to do all that homework they’re about to receive! Having a dedicated space which is relaxing and interesting means that it may make homework time just that little bit easier. In the same way you’d want to fix up your own home-office space to feel like a stylish part of your home, it can also be done for your kid’s workspace too! Whether it’s a whole room dedicated to the cause, or a smaller space in their bedroom, there are loads of different ways to create the right space, for little ones and for teenagers.

A playroom in the home is a great space for children to have fun in, but as they get older they may need to use the room to study in as well, so finding the right balance between the two is key. I love the look of this room below; it’s a lively, open space that’s full of colour. The interesting shelving units keep the toys at bay whilst homework takes place, and the large table and bean bags instead of chairs gives off a more relaxed vibe, making it suitable for switching in between homework and fun; a good idea for younger kids who don’t need such a regimented work space.

A playroom-homework space combination from Lonny Magazine via Pinterest

I love the idea of using bean bags as a form of seating for your child’s space; making it feel like it’s strictly for kids. However, there are some rather stylish bean bags that, as an adult, I still kind of want. This arrow design from Not on the High Street is lovely, it’s fun enough for little ones, but also has a grown up style that’ll continue to be cool as they get older.

Children’s Monochrome Bean Bag with Arrows by Tillyanna from Not on the High Street

If you have a large, beautiful table that’s perfect for the kid’s but you don’t want it forever ruined with pen marks and spillages, investing in a plastic table cover is a good way to go. While I’ve seen some pretty ghastly plastic table covers in my time, they’re not all bad. This clear plastic cover with polka dots from Table Protect Direct is the best of both worlds; sophisticated enough to fit in with your existing design scheme, but fun enough for a kid’s space.

Crystal Clear White Spot Vinyl Table Cloth from Table Protect Direct

Giving your children a stylish place to work in their bedroom means that not only will you get your own space back, but they’ll be more inclined to work there if it feels grown up and personal. It’s also a good idea if you need the work space to be in a bedroom, that you make the space its own individual area so that you can separate work from the rest of the room. I love the look of this work space created for a child; white furniture with pastel accents creates an inviting and fun area which can easily be incorporated into an existing bedroom scheme.

A white and pastel work space for a child from Claire Archibald via Pinterest

A good desk for a kid’s bedroom must be both durable and stylish enough to last for years. A simple design that can be adapted with accessories over time is a good investment, and it’ll help turn a work area into a place where the kid’s want to be. This desk from La Redoute is a great buy; the white lacquered top and interestingly shaped wooden legs gives it a sophisticated but playful feel; with just a hint of mid-century to it.

Jimi’s Child Desk from La Redoute

While it’s important to let your child have their own style, sometimes you’ll find that they might want to copy yours (at least for a few years!) So finding miniature versions your own style for your kid’s workspace is a great way to encourage them to work and feel more grown up, especially if you too are at your own desk working. I really like this child’s version of the clear plastic chair design by Kartell that’s been making the rounds for a while now, all it needs is the addition of a seat cushion, something fun like a faux fur sheepskin, to give some extra comfort and style.

Loulou Ghost Children’s Chair in Light Blue by Kartell from Amara

If you’re limited on space in your child’s bedroom, using some wall-mounted shelves instead of free-standing ones can save you a whole bunch of room. These wooden shelving boxes from Maison du Monde are a good buy, they’ll be able to hold a lot of stuff, plus they’re a fun, colourful way to be organised.

Multi-coloured Wooden Shelves from Maison du Monde

As your kids turn into teenagers, giving them their own homework space is even more important. This beautifully designed space is a perfect, mature room; there aren’t any childish items that’ll annoy the brooding teenager, instead they’re presented with somewhere stylish, making them feel more like an adult.

Grown up work space from Interior Blog Awards via Pinterest

A large desk, which is stylish and has space for written and computer work doesn’t have to cost a fortune; Ikea have a rather elegant design to hand. The Alex desk is a simple style that’ll appease all teenage tastes; and will look good in any interior scheme.

Alex Desk from Ikea

Giving your teenager some interesting prints to put up on the wall of their homework area will also help to make it feel more mature. Desenio do some cheap but stylish prints, like this banana leaf print of artsy world map, both of which would feel at home in a teenage work spot.

Banana Leaf Print from Desino

World Map Print from Desenio

Creating a space for your kids to work in doesn’t mean having to skip out on style. You can make high functioning areas that can still look good and feel fun; making the mission to get all the homework complete just a touch more interesting for both you and your child.

I usually align myself more with the contemporary side of interior styles, but sometimes I can’t help but fall in love with something a little more rustic, a little more country. Be it a beautiful table, or an old fashioned cabinet, there are loads of great pieces of furniture out there in the country or farmhouse style which shouldn’t be kept just there anymore. I love a good juxtaposition in interiors, when different styles are put together, so the idea of country meeting city is up there on my list of great combinations. I’ve found some gorgeous country ideas, and their beautiful modern counterparts.

Traditional Farmhouse Style Table from And All Shall Be Well via Pinterest

A traditional farmhouse table like this is a simple being, no frills or over the top design, it’s sturdy, reliable and beautiful in its own right. The planks of wood that make up the top are a subtle feature that adds character, as well as the legs which have been painted a modern grey, allowing the table to fit comfortably into a contemporary setting. Painting the legs of an old table is one way you can update its look; another way to do so is by pairing the traditional table with a set of modern chairs.

I love this Toaster table from Loaf, it’s an easy-going piece that’s perfect for a big family or big dining space, and the stark white wood contrasted with the darkness of the legs look great together. To keep it feeling modern, I’d add something like these brightly coloured chairs designed by Vitra and available from Heal’s, they’re just right to off-set the old with the new.

Toaster Extendable Kitchen Table from Loaf

All Plastic Chair by Vitra from Heal’s

A good console table for a hallway is one that can accommodate your needs as you go to and from your house. A table that’s too frail isn’t going to able to hold down the weight of your never-ending pile of post or keys and still manage to look good. Instead, a piece that’s a little more structurally sound is good for the job; and if there’s one thing about farmhouse style furniture, is that it’s and designed to look and be strong. This rustic console table has beautiful detailing and has a large enough surface to house both decorative items and that endless ‘sorting out’ pile. To counteract the rustic nature of the console, try adding more contemporary style accessories, or a mirror; so that you can still maintain a fresh look.

Rustic Console Table from Ideal Home via Pinterest

Neptune do a great selection of furniture that fits between the contemporary and the traditional look, so they’re a great company to take a peek at for some ideas as to what might work for your house. Their painted console table is a great design that can be painted in a range of colours, and so will fit into whatever scheme you’re creating. You could either pair the simple design with an outlandish style mirror for even more of a contrast, or opt for something equally simple but in a modern style, like this Pero mirror from Swoon Editions.

Suffolk Painted Console Table from Neptune

 

Pero Mirror from Swoon Editions

Your kitchen is a lovely little spot to add some country charm to; after all, it’s meant to be a warm and inviting place, which is one of the main attributes of that rustic, farmhouse feel. I love the look of this kitchen I found whilst sprawling through Pinterest. The crisp metro tiles against the weather wooden cabinets is a gorgeous combination.

Country Style Kitchen from Blog Lovin’ via Pinterest

You can start to add in some rustic allure to your kitchen with some larger, portable pieces of furniture, that’ll help introduce a farmhouse style, and by pairing them with a contemporary kitchen, it can really give an interesting and individual look to your kitchen area. Providence are a local Cambridgeshire company that specialise in handcrafted Shaker style pieces of furniture. Their kitchen dressers would make a great addition to a contemporary kitchen if you want to give it a little bit of warmth and personality.

Shaker Style Kitchen Dresser in Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon from Providence

To keep the dresser feeling current, keep some modern accessories on it, to help draw the connection between the dresser and its contemporary setting. This glass jar, a somewhat traditional accessory has been given a modern facelift with a gold lid, a few in different sizes scattering around the dresser will keep up the individuality you’re looking to inject into your kitchen.

Gold and Metal Glass Jar from Maison du Monde

While you’re making traditional furniture feel more modern with contemporary accessories, you can also do the exact opposite and tone down contemporary pieces with some county-style decoration. This can help add warmth and texture to a setting, helping to create an inviting, and liveable home. If I were to think of a (slightly romanticised) farmhouse setting, I would picture a big, cosy fire and endless amounts of sheepskin rugs and textural wool accessories to keep the place looking and feeling warm. These are the perfect accessory to use in a contemporary setting, as they lend themselves to both parties.

Rustic Setting from The Future Kept via Pinterest

This bench from Maison du Monde is a wonderful way to add some farmhouse style to seating area. The rustic legs and white faux fur are a perfect combination.

Refuge Bench from Maison du Monde

It could be paired nicely with this natural hemp rug from Nkuku, which could also be used to soften a harder looking seating area, or tone down a stronger colour that features in the room.

Ndaka Hemp Rug in Natural from Nkuku

Finally, for an extra bit of soft, country-style texture, I had to throw in these gorgeous cushions from Baileys, which would make a stunning addition to an aged leather armchair or mid-century sofa.

Hand Woven Cushion from Baileys

If you have a favourite style that you love, then you’re blessed with having a clear cut vision of how you’d like your home to look. But if you’re like me, and can’t seem to settle on just one, then building up a repertoire of balanced looking juxtapositions where you can play off old and new pieces, or simple and loud ideas together in a one harmonious setting, is a skill worth having so that you can keep your interiors full of life and individuality, without having to compromise.