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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

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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.

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In light of Mother’s Day coming up, and any other occasion where you need a thoughtful gift, opting for something from the homeware department can go a lot further than just a scented candle. Buying gifts for the home can be a great way to give something that’s long lasting, sentimental and unique. Whether it’s a house warming present, a birthday or holiday, or just something to show someone you care, a thoughtful home accessory can be the perfect gesture.

There are two ways you can look at it when it comes to gifting home accessories to a close friend or family member; adding to their already existing theme of pieces and ornaments, or giving them something a little outside their comfort zone, something they wouldn’t ever get themselves. When giving homewares there is a chance to get creative, have a little fun and give a touching present.

Typically, when it comes to the big touches in a home, the owner will want to make that call on their own, so when giving homeware as a gift it’s all about the small, but special touches. This sweet blackbird tea towel from Angel & Boho is an ideal gift; the adorable print takes away the functionality aspect of the gift, making it a great addition to a kitchen, to be displayed as a bohemian design feature.

‘Blackbird Tea Towel’ from Angel & Boho

Sticking to the bird theme, a simple way to add some life to a garden is with a bird feeder. This rustic piece from Catesby’s is the perfect way to decorate a garden and entice from real birds as well. The piece is great for adding a little charm to an individual tree or a small garden or balcony area.

‘Hanging Bird Feeder’ from Catesby’s

The great thing about giving or receiving homeware as presents is that it’s an opportunity to get an item that you might not be able to justify getting for yourself. Buying something fun, with perhaps just a hint of kitsch that makes a fabulous finishing touch to a home. I love these pin-up candlestick holders from Ark, ideal for putting a smile on someone’s face and lighting up an area of the home, perhaps a table or dresser, giving the space a bit of humour and life.

‘Show Girl Candlesticks’ from Ark

As with many people my age, I’m just being to start a collection of homeware pieces that I’ll (hopefully) treasure forever, so receiving items that I can add to this assembly of ornaments is a great way to give the collection some diversity and give myself new ideas about what I like. Pieces like these multi-coloured candle holders from Habitat are quite a particular style, but if you have someone you know will love them, or someone you think can take on the challenge then they’re a great, creative gift that goes a step further than the typical candle themed gift.

‘Odela Multi-Coloured Ceramic Candleholder’ from Habitat

My mother has always had a love for flowers and nature, whether it’s in the garden or in the home, so giving her pots and vases has always been a sure-fire way of getting her something she likes (and will use), whilst still being able to get her something with an unexpected design or style. This speckled jug from Catesby’s is a versatile piece that can be used as its primary function, or as a vase. It would make a great accompaniment for some fresh spring Daffodils, with the electric blue and yellow contrasting perfectly.

‘Speckle Ware Jug’ from Catesby’s

For more of a rustic feel, these antique French pots from Baileys would make amazing gifts, for vases, planters or just ornaments. The individual nature of them means that you can give a few in an array of shapes, styles and colours.

‘Old French Poitiers Pottery’ from Baileys

If you have a friend, or maybe a son or daughter who has recently bought their first home, or renting their first grown up flat, they may need a few things to help get them started. Whilst a lot of necessities can be bought from places like Ikea, buying some pieces that can give the home a few special touches can make great presents, especially if it’s for someone who can’t justify getting it for themselves. A simple bowl like this one from French Connection is a great starter piece for those finding their style footing. It’ll look great against some simple chinaware sets and begin to add some character to a home.

‘Green Stone Bowl’ from French Connection

On the contrary, if you know this person has quite an experimental kind of style, and is always keen to try new things and be surprised, an item like this flamboyant tray from Porcupine Rocks is not only a fantastic gift, but also full of flair, making it a real statement piece.

‘Shine Shine Tiger Tray’ from Porcupine Rocks

Finally, if you’re searching for a gift for someone that already has it all, then something frivolous and fun may be just the ticket. This lollipop holder from Jonathan Adler ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for a present with a sense of humour, individuality and a hint of madness. It makes the perfect addition to an already fruitful collection of eclectic ornaments.

‘Mohawk Lollipop Holder’ from Jonathan Adler

Buying gifts for loved ones is a great way to express your appreciation from them, and give them something they’ll love. Deciding to give them homeware means choosing something that they can treasure forever, giving sentiment to their home and help add to the collection of wonderful items. Whether it’s an antique item, something a little outside of their comfort zone, something sweet or an item that encourages them to walk on the wild side of interior design, there is so much fun to be had with picking out gifts, you’ll just have to refrain from keeping them all yourself!

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Whenever Lizzie Ibbotson, our Osborne & Little rep comes in to show us the new collections it’s always a wonderful trip to a world of fantasy and magic. Osborne & Little have completely nailed their latest collection, Enchanted Gardens, with beautiful patterns, designs and some fantastic colourways, it’s a collection to covet. So take a look at some truly enchanting designs.

‘Meadow’

Meadow is a vibrant pattern is a modern take on the typical floral themed fabrics. The array of wild flowers, including some lively poppies, really stand out of against the navy background. It’s a strong look that must be met with some hefty confidence, but it’s a great choice for making an impact in a room.

‘Aviary’

The Aviary pattern gives you a geometric feel, these colourful birds on a structural web are a great way to add some colour and fun to a contemporary room. If typical florals and natural motifs aren’t really your thing, adding a contemporary element can help to eliminate the factors that you’re not so keen on.

‘Woodland Sheer’

When it comes to sheers, you’ll typically find some beautiful white or off-white colours that’ll look elegant whilst giving your room some substance, but at the same time maintaining the light. Osborne & Little have taken this one step further, keeping the cool and sophisticated sheer qualities but adding a dash of colour into the mix with some fun leafy shapes.

One of my favourites from the collection is Rain Forest; it’s the combination of vivid colours, intriguing patterns and the overall striped effect that really create a concise, contemporary and glamorous effect. The only problem you’ll have with this fabric is choosing between the two colourways; the first, a green leafed pattern with almost neon indigo flowers, and the second a beautiful combination of purple and yellow.

‘Rain Forest’

Hanging Gardens is an adorable fabric that’s perfect for a feminine, sweet interior. The pattern consists of all the wonderful planters, baskets and birdcages you might imagine in your dream conservatory. The painterly style gives the whole look a soft and charming feel, giving it some interesting character. It’ll look gorgeous framing a window or doorway to the outside, especially blowing gracefully in the breeze.

‘Hanging Garden’

One of my favourite flowers, the Rhododendron, is captured beautifully in one of the fabric patterns in this collection. The gentle trellis-like formation makes a sophisticated structural look without being too heavy. The pattern is perfect for giving a little life to a conservative setting. The flowers have a charming traditional feel, but the dabbled background gives a little touch of contemporariness to the look, making perfect for adding florals to a period home without it looking dated.

‘Rhodara’

For a chinoiserie style, but with a twist of modern colours, the Japanese Garden pattern is just the ticket. The busy yet delicate design will give a room a new lease of life, and is a design that can be introduced in to a multitude of interior themes; including contemporary, bohemian, retro or traditional. A great feature of a chinoiserie style pattern is that it integrates the old with the new, and the fun with the elegant.

‘Japanese Gardens’

A new lighter touch has been given to an old favourite from the Pasha collection, the Tulipan. The teal, blush pink and faded orange tones of the detailing, gives the intricate pattern a softer feel, making it a more diverse fabric. There is also a certain modern neon-ness to the pattern which gives it an unique, contemporary, floral look.

‘Tulipan’

Lastly, for something full of quirk, fun and just a hint of quaintness, the Curio pattern. From a distance, there’s a grid-like formation but upon closer inspection, you see a whole world of curiosities. Squirrels and owls that have found themselves bouncing around crockery and shells overall making a sweet, joyful pattern. It would make a perfect kitchen or bathroom blind, giving additional warmth.

‘Curio’

If you love adding a touch or romance, character, fantasy and charm into your interior, this collection is your new best friend. From contemporary to traditional, there’s something to suit everyone, and all sorts of ways to have fun and get creative with the Enchanted Gardens collection.

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As with all colours, there are hundreds of shades in the yellow family, and sometimes the thought of using the bolder, brighter shades can be intimidating due to their strong look. But if you’re looking for an alternative to the neutral, or darker palettes that are around these days, yellow may be the perfect colour for you, especially if you want to show off a strong, confident style in your interiors. Though the colour has always been popular in the design world, in recent years yellow interiors, furniture and accessories have been making quite an impact, especially in those brighter shades. There are lots of exciting ways to incorporate yellow into your home, that can really showcase a particular style; whether it’s contemporary, glamorous, bohemian, traditional, or a combination. Adding a dash of yellow could be the way to bring a refreshing, exciting look to your home.

Using a bright yellow on the walls of your home may be a touch overwhelming if you’re a yellow novice, but if you’re already a fan, it’s a fantastic way to create a statement. The trick is finding your perfect shade to suit your home, and choosing the right complementary accents to create a well-rounded, flawless look. To keep your wall looking fresh opt for a rich shade that won’t shy away into the background. For a contemporary look, I love the dramatic but playful nature of Farrow & Ball’s Babouche shade.

‘Babouche’ from Farrow & Ball

And if you’re in need of a more traditional shade, the Sudbury Yellow has an elegant and regal nature that will give a room a strong sense of character, without overshadowing any other wonderful features you may want to put in there.

‘Sudbury Yellow’ from Farrow & Ball

Another way to add yellow into the core foundations of the home’s design scheme is with some creative tiling. Fired Earth always have a strong collection of interesting colours and patterns, and some of their yellow tiles are to die for. For a bold, exciting look, these vibrant mustard coloured tiles are the perfect background against a crisp, white bathroom set. There’s a combination of luxuriousness and quirkiness about the colour that creates an overall refreshing look.

‘Carnival Oro’ from Fired Earth

If a solid block colour is a little too much for your taste, or your home, going for something a little sweeter and more minimal might do the trick. This Atlas design by Neisha Crosland for Fired Earth has a rustic, farmhouse vibe, but with a little exotic twist to keep things interesting. It’s an ideal design if you want to have a traditional looking kitchen, but with a touch artistic individuality to it.

‘Atlas by Neisha Crosland’ from Fired Earth

To make an interesting statement in your home, you don’t just have to save yellow for the larger features, in fact adding small accents of the colour to a room can give it some vitality, or reinvent an interior without changing too much. Contemporary interiors are often neutral walls with the inclusion of furniture pieces in modern wood types, and adding a dash of yellow into the mix can create an up-to-date look without taking away the original essence of the room. Margaret Howell created some fantastic designs for Anglepoise, and though I’d happily have any of the three colours in my home, the Yellow Ochre edition is stunning.

‘Type 75 Desk Lamp by Margret Howell in Yellow Ochre’ from Anglepoise

This chair with a yellow seat from Gubi is rather special, it’s an ultra-contemporary design that’ll look gracious and cool in a modern home. The design also comes with a white seat, so you could mix-match the two colours around the dining table, or save the yellow for the head of the table to give the whole look a pop of colour.

‘Mategot Nagasaki Chair’ from Gubi

A striking yellow rug can really transform a room in one fell swoop, to keep things feeling light and not making the room look too dense, a patterned rug is a great way to add some yellow without swamping the room. The Sellarsbrook design created by Suzanna Sharp for The Rug Company, has a sophisticated geometric pattern that adds a timeless depth to the rug.

‘Sellarsbrook in Yellow by Suzanne Sharp’ from The Rug Company

This rich, crisp yellow velvet sofa really packs a punch, that’ll give your living room some vivacious character. The chesterfield design is given an alternative look, creating a piece that can be mixed into both contemporary and traditional interiors.

‘Balmoral 2 Seater Sofa in Varese Velvet Alchemilla fabric’ from Heal’s

For a sweet touch to a traditional bedroom, these rustic, French style bedside tables in a dusty yellow could be a great way to frame a bed in a similar style. The piece from Out There Interiors has some fetching ironwork detailing, which will give a room some extra style in a simple way.

‘Two Drawer Beside in Yellow’ from Out There Interiors

These lemony plates and dishes from Habitat are a refreshing way to give your dining table an updated look, the ombre effect means that they aren’t too outlandish, and will gently show off the zesty colour. Place them on a blue tablecloth or next to some coloured glassware for a really stylish look.

‘Atkinson 12 Piece Yellow Dinnerware Set’ from Habitat

Lastly, this gorgeous glass pendant from Rockett St George is an absolute beauty! The moody yellow shade combined with the irregular shape gives the whole look an understated, glamourous feel. This pendant would be the perfect addition to a dark, moody room, giving it that hint of colour it needs to keep it from looking drab and dingy.

‘Hand Blown Glass Pendant Lighting in Yellow Ochre by Curiousa & Curiousa’ from Rockett St George

Though it can be quite a daring and brave decision to add a bold shade of yellow into your interior (and may take a little more persuading for some), it’s a decision that will result in some fabulous and sophisticated homes! Whether you’re already in love with colour, or prefer your interiors more neutral, you’ll see how diverse a colour like yellow can be and how easily it will suit all kinds of styles.

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Since today is Valentine’s Day, whether you’re celebrating or not, it always gets you just thinking about romance, and if you’re an interior designer, romantic interiors. I tend to have quite a soft spot for romantic interiors, there’s just something about them that is warm and welcoming, and since there are so many ways to incorporate the theme of romance into a room, it doesn’t just have to be your typical stuff. Alternative romantic interiors can offer you a liveable style, one with underlying tones of romance, one that serenades you in a softer tone, instead of outspoken and outlandish stylings. I’ve pulled together some ideas that will enable you to get the ball rolling if you want to turn your home into a laidback, romantic dreamland.

When it comes to decorating your walls in a romantic style, as with any style theme there are different directions you can choose to take. You may want to keep your walls neutral, to make way for other eye-catching pieces in the room, but if you’re feeling the more is more vibe for your romantic interior, a wallpaper with a pattern may be the way to go. A new collection from Harlequin, Standing Ovation, has some wonderful floral and nature designs that are perfect for creating your alternative romantic interior. The painterly style of the Floreale design and its overgrown and slightly wild floral pattern that gives it a little individuality against some other floral wallpapers out there. The bold colourways and the mixture of peonies foxgloves will give your walls a lease of life.

‘Floreale wallpaper’ from Harlequin

If your room can’t quite handle a print this big, or you’re drawn to a pattern that’s more subtle, the Persico design from the same collection is a rather sweet option. The sporadic arrangement of the British birds gives the design a distinctive character that avoids repetitive nature of patterned wallpaper. This is the perfect style to choose if you want something to transition comfortably between a neutral and a pattern, it’ll look graceful on your walls and allow for other big character items in the room.

‘Persico wallpaper’ from Harlequin

There’s no piece of furniture that fits better for a romantic interior than a big, comfy loveseat, I mean it’s even in the name! Loaf have some amazing loveseats in their collection at the moment, all in different styles to suit your taste, a particular favourite of mine is the Butterbump design. Its structure is fairly traditional, with its deep buttoned back and overall style, but you can still confidently put it into a contemporary setting by choosing a modern colour to upholster it in, like this Winter Sky in a soft velvet. It’ll keep the loveseat looking fresh and allow it to complement a magnitude of accent colours.

‘Butterbump Loveseat in Winter Sky clever velvet’ from Loaf

While some people might dream of a big diamond ring on Valentine’s Day, I’d be rather satisfied with a few of these cushions from Lime Lace. The diamond print is an alternative way to add some glamour to an interior and can also be used to toughen up a feminine sofa, or bring a sense of modernity to a more traditional piece. They are also a prime example of how a romantic interior needn’t follow the bohemian or traditional guidelines and if you love a modern, contemporary interior there are all sorts of way to add a little romantic and fun to the scheme.

‘Manhattan Chase Cushions by Camine Lake’ from Lime Lace

Another charming find from Lime Lace is this rather innovative pendant light. A chandelier instinctively feels romantic, but whether you don’t have the space (or the budget) to accommodate one, or it’s not really your style there’s always an alternative option, like this fab pendant, which features a little chandelier on the inside. They will make a great addition to an interior if you’re looking for that individual boost, or fun talking point, and perfectly incorporate the old with the new. A group arranged at slightly varying heights to create a central lighting piece will look fantastic, possibly better than having an actual chandelier!

‘King Edison Chandelier Pendant by Young and Battagalia’ from Lime Lace

Hanging things from your ceiling, not only frees up some floor space, but also gives the illusion of a lofty, dreamy area with floating accessories that draw your eye to different levels in the room, creating a fuller, more bountiful interior. These birdcage plant holders from Angel & Boho are wonderful. Make it the home for a viney, flowing plant and you’ll create your own little tropical rainforest in the corner of your room as your plants become romantically overgrown and intertwined with the bars of the cage.

‘Hanging Birdcage Plant Holders’ from Angel & Boho

For some lighter, smaller touches to your room to give it a romantic atmosphere, adding some trusted home accessories will always do the trick. A romantic interior will only ever be enhanced by the addition of candles and candleholders. These ombre candle from Lime Lace in an assortment of colours will stand out against the typical white candles, they add a sense of modernity to the traditional romantic interior and can either be used to tone down or up their holders. Below they are paired with some antiqued holders, and the contrasting blend creates an interesting effect.

‘Set of 4 Dip Dyed Candles’ from Lime Lace

Using metallic materials in your interior can help to make a romantic atmosphere, light will bounce off the surfaces giving a room a warm and inviting feeling. Having an arrangement of vases and pots for flowers, real or faux, will also make for a romantic setup in your home. I really like the combination of these gold and copper vases from The Estate Yard, their coarse geometric patterns give them a modern edge, while their metallic colours lets them settle into the romantic scheme.

‘Mixture of Copper and Gold Vases’ from The Estate Yard

If you’re keen for something a little darker and moodier, these black forest vases from Abigail Ahern will bring all the romantic drama you need. Pair them with rich golds and bronzes for a glamourous, romantic effect and with a pop of green from a few plants to really finish off the look.

‘Black Forest Vases’ from Abigail Ahern

There’s something about romantic interiors, be it traditional, feminine, contemporary, bohemian or a beautiful combination, which always seems to grab my attention. A romantic interior allows you to create your very own dreamland, a place to escape the ordinary and the mundane, making it your perfect Valentine’s Day location.

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Over the past few years velvet has featured heavily in the interior design world, and we love it! A great way to give a house, room, sofa, bed or anything a new spring of life is with the addition of something velvety. What’s more there are some great ways to get creative with the material, so if you think you might have a little soft spot for velvet here are some great ways to dress up your house in the stuff!

For some, velvet can be initially a little overwhelming, by its very nature it’s quite a dramatic fabric, especially compared to a linen or cotton. But this drama can either be played up or down depending on your preference, and mixing the fabric with a variety of designs or colours means you can integrate the texture with other factors in a room scheme easily and smoothly. If you want to start off slowly, you can never go wrong with a few velvet cushions to brighten up a sofa, armchair or bed. For a little bit of subtly, opt for a neutral colour, like these mink coloured cushions from Cox & Cox, play around with the different sizes and eventually add in some more complementary colours to go with them.

‘Velvet and Linen Cushions in Mink’ from Cox & Cox

Next add in this delicious creation from Timorous Beasties via Houseology, the bee motif is an iconic Timorous Beasties design and gold contrasted against its dark velvet background offers a dramatic spin on a comfy cushion. It’ll look wonderful popping out against a crisp white sofa, or enhance a romantic atmosphere mixed in with some dark and moody colours.

‘Napoleon Bee Cushion by Timorous Beasties’ from Houseology

If you’re looking for the perfect snuggly material for the remaining winter months, and probably the-not-so-warm spring ones, a velvet throw will turn an average bed into one fit for royalty. This pin-tucked throw from Cox & Cox is gorgeous and comes in this dreamy, timeless sage colour.

‘Velvet and Linen Pin-Tucked Quilt in Sage’ from Cox & Cox

Velvet is a great fabric to add to a traditional style interior, and the glamour can help a room look a hundred times more sophisticated. This button quilted Enya chair from Graham & Green is all about old school Hollywood style, and can transform a room, giving it that lift it’s been in need of, the velvet will catch the light in a wonderful way, giving it extra vibrancy, especially against more muted tones and fabrics.

‘Enya Relaxing Chair’ from Graham & Green

Velvet doesn’t just go with traditional style rooms and furniture, in fact incorporating a modern design with velvet is a great way to balance out the fabric’s dramatic nature. This velvet dining chair has a distinct Nordic style it and the combination of the plush velvet with the modern legs gives an interesting vibe that would give your dining room an individual look.

‘Velvet Button Dining Chair in Blue’ from Out There Interiors

The same goes for these fantastic revived Mid-Century designs distributed by Rose & Grey, and made by 366 Concepts. This rocking chair design takes its inspiration from Jozef Chierowski’s original Easy Chair, with the modern edition of the rocking feature. The Mid-Century wooden frame mixed together with the velvet upholstery creates an exciting, dynamic look.

‘Jozef Chierowski 366 Rocking Chair Velvet’ from Rose & Grey

Another wonderful design from the Rose & Grey and 366 Concept is this occasional chair originally designed by Teofil Halas in 1963. The smoky grey colour gleams in the sunlight and pairs perfectly with the tones of the wood frame. It brings about a balance between low-key elegance and distinctive design can will really set your interiors apart from the rest.

‘Velvet Halas Dining Chair’ from Rose & Grey

Heals have a wonderful sofa bed in stock at the moment, which reinvents the concept of a Chesterfield sofa. The Chesterfield is a classic design that can be worked into all sorts of interior schemes, the gorgeous sofa bed offers the same style in a contemporary way, it’s available in leather but I think the velvet version is the way to go. Shown below, its styled perfectly with some vibrant yellows and some extra velvet cushions if you just can’t get enough.

’40 Winks Sofa Bed’ from Heal’s

Speaking of yellow, I think I may have fallen in love with the colour of this super footstool from Swoon Editions. The velvet looks divine in its honey mustard colour, and would make a bold statement against some more neutral, contemporary surroundings, or even add a little spice mixed into a traditional setting. If you like the idea of velvet furnishing, but aren’t ready to invest in one of the larger pieces just yet, getting something smaller like a footstool is a great way to test the velvet waters.

‘Tivoli Footstool in Honey’ from Swoon Editions

A velvet effect rug will not only look luxurious but feel it too, a real treat for your eyes and your feet! This rug from Designers Guild is utterly beautiful. The interlocking patterns create an amazing textural effect giving depth and tone to the look of the rug. It’s the ideal solution when you want a simple rug that isn’t flat in appearance.

‘Roxburgh Rug in Moleskin’ from Designers Guild

For a little Art Nouveau touch to your velvet and your interiors, this golden flamingo lamp with a royal blue velvet shade will add a pinch of over the top frippery that all rooms need a little sprinkling of from time to time.

‘Metal Flamingo Table Lamp’ from Rockett St George

From beds to sofas to floors, adding a touch of velvet to an interior will give a scheme some wholehearted dramatic flair, which will not only make your home look fabulous but feel soft, plush and beautiful!

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