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Another year, another Christmas that’s crept up upon us, or at least me. I love writing an annual Christmas decoration blog, as it gives me the chance to have a good look at what’s new. This year I decided to move away from the glitz and glam ornaments and have a little look at the more rustic decorations; which can be a really interesting and low key way to dress up your home this season. If you enjoy a more laid-back, farmhouse or minimal style take a look at some of these Christmas treats.

For a little Nordic style, this wooden Christmas tree from Amara is perfect for a relaxed Scandinavian interior. It’ll sit nicely as a special addition on the other side of a fireplace, opposite a log basket. Or a small Christmas reminder in your bedroom.

Wooden Christmas Tree Ornament from Amara

A smaller rustic Christmas tree can be found at Rockett St George. This set of six look great as a collection, or could be spread out amongst other decorations. They’ll keep the festive charm, but the neutral colours will stop things from going over the top.

Set of 6 Neutral Christmas Trees from Rockett St George

I love a good star decoration, it’s great for the festive season, and can also be used permanently as well. This wooden star from Amara has a gorgeous rustic charm; use all year round lying flat on a coffee table, and lean against a wall with some small fairy lights wrapped around for Christmas.

Wooden Star Decoration from Amara

These distressed iron stars from Rockett St George are a lovely design too, they’ll make a great wall display or could be hung from the ceiling in the hallway.

Distressed Hanging Iron Stars from Rockett St George

For a few irregular guests to the Christmas party, these owls from Abigail Ahern and these flying pigs from Baileys will add a little humour and character to your Christmas décor.

Orla Owl Sculpture from Abigail Ahern

Flying Pigs Decoration from Baileys

If you like a minimal style, there’s no need to compromise at Christmas, you can still get into the spirit and keep your look. These baubles from Anthropologie are made from chipboard, they’re relaxed and cool with a little hint of retro style.

Merry and Bright Ornaments from Anthropologie

Sara Candle in Ash from Heals

Add a few off these Sara candles from Heals in a few different sizes around a table or sitting area to create a minimal, romantic Christmas environment. If you’re not into the traditional style of wreath, or want to try something new this year, this minimal wreath from Trouva is a stylish alternative.

Walter and co Boxwood Wreath from Trouva

Add a touch of nature to your fairy lights with these pinecone and star ensemble from The White Company. They’ll look pretty draped around a mirror or door frame.

Pinecone Fairy Lights from The White Company

A festive Christmas doesn’t mean having to be a big, bright one, create your own little haven this season with some sensational rustic Christmas charm.

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The Rug Company has teamed up with Farrow & Ball to launch a collection of twelve fantastic rugs. If you know Farrow & Ball you’ll already be aware that they have grouped some their neutrals into six families, and so The Rug Company has designed two rugs to go with each family; a complementary neutral and an accent, with each colour available in three finishes, Plain Wool, Cut and Loop Stripe and Wool with a Silk Border. With two such wonderful companies, the collection is undoubtedly fabulous, so we had to share it with you.

The Lots Blue rug with Old White on the wall

The Traditional Neutrals family were some of the first colours created at Farrow & Ball, all with a gorgeous classic green-grey undertone; they’re timeless and effortless. The rug Lots Blue is the perfect accent piece to pair with the traditional family, with hints of sea greens and sky blues. Holland Stone was also made with the Traditional Neutrals in mind, but they’re not limited to just the families; here the warmth of the Holland Stone is contrasted with the deep classic look of Railings, making a sophisticated industrial style scheme.

The Holland rug with Railings on the wall

The Yellow-Based Neutrals are another set of traditional colours, perfect for a period property and pairing with antiques. There’s a relaxed regal nature to them, and the warm yellows are drawn out when paired with a red, like the Keepers Red rug from the collection. It’s a warm, welcoming deep crimson red, and has that classic cosy, sitting by the fire, countryside feel to it.

The Keeper’s Red rug with String on the wall

The neutral rug colour to pair with the yellow-based family is the Clarendon rug; a warm and relaxing tone that’ll comfort you in cold lights. The Clarendon and the yellow-based neutral make the ideal backdrop for some exciting pieces of furniture, particularly in darker woods.

The Clarendon rug with White Tie on the walls

The warm red undertones of Joa’s White, Dimity, Pointing and Oxford Stone are a match made in heaven for a traditional interior. The accent colour for the Red-Based Neutral family of course has to be a green, and Kent Green has a lovely dusty, sage tone to it.

The Kent Green rug with Dimity and Joa’s White oon the wall

Moving on to the more modern family colours, the neutral rug hues are lovely pinks and greys; on-trend and perfect for modern life and style. The Sam’s Stone rug is a contemporary tone with a natural and warm base; making it ideal if you want to keep a fresh interior feeling inviting as well. It’s created for the Contemporary Neutrals, keeping clean white spaces feeling livable like in the image below, or if you want a soft bedroom colour scheme, pair Elephant’s Breath and Sam’s Stone for a peaceful setting.

The Sam’s Stone rug with All White on the walls

The accent rug in this collection is the sweetest, blush Portland Pink. Blush pink and green is a personal favourite combination of mine, and here the Portland Pink rug is paired with Card Room Green, an absolutely divine smoky green from Farrow & Ball.

The Portland Pink rug with Card room Green on the wall

Punchy and vibrant yellows are having quite a moment currently, and this Melrose Yellow rug has just the right amount of acid and sunny tones. The Easy Neutrals family, Wevet, Ammonite, Cornforth White and Purbeck Stone, are so named the easy family because they can be paired with almost any colour; and they look fantastic with some bold yellows.

The Melrose Yellow rug with Wevet on the wall and Lamp Room Gray on the floor and skirting

The Order Grey rug is a cool, steel-like colour, a great foundation for a room if you want to get a little playful with the paintwork, like this image below where the lovely combination of Calamine and Black Blue has been used, with the Order Grey rug used to balance out the look.

The Order Grey Rug with Calamine on the walls and Black Blue on the door

The last family from Farrow & Ball is the Architectural Neutrals, made up of Blackened, Dimpse, Pavilion Gray and Manor House Gray; all greys with hints of blue undertones for that fresh, modern, and as the name suggests, architectural feeling. Both the rugs for this family follow the same blue-grey aesthetic, with Wizlet and Wooster being the ultimate pieces for a cool, contemporary, minimalist setting.

The Wooster rug with Pavilion Gray on the wall

The Wizlet rug with Pavilion Gray on the walls

 The Farrow & Ball collection at The Rug Company, is a thoughtful and well-crafted assembly of colours and finishes, and a lovely way to help with the design of your home. The range of colours for both traditional and modern interiors means that this is a timeless collection, that’s here to stay.

For a closer look at the collection, head to www.therugcompany.com

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Iconic pieces of furniture are the staple of interior design, with many pieces still continuing to be a part of modern interiors today. If you’re a fan of interior design, there’s a good chance you’ll have your favourite famous pieces, and dream of having them in your home. But when you have such famous pieces there’s always a battle of how to style them without making them seem too ostentatious or cliché. For me, I think the best way to include famous pieces of furniture in your interior is not to make them stand out and demand all the attention, but instead to immerge them into a scheme that shows off the iconic piece perfectly but subtly. I’ve pulled out some famous furniture and included some fun ways to accessorise them, to get you thinking how you might style your favourite famous piece.

The Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen at The Conran Shop

The Egg Chair is one of the most recognisable pieces of furniture from the mid-century era, and is a fantastic piece to have if you love smooth, sleek and contemporary interiors. If you want to use the chair but not go fully in with the mid-century style, you can tone down the chair with some alternative accessories. This glamorous side table with look good next to the Egg Chair and create some diversity between the curves of the chair and the angular table.

Pearl Side Table from Swoon Editions

To complete the look I would add some faux fur cushion to the chair to create the right balance between modern and mid-century glam. These caramel coloured cushions from Nordic House are perfect for the job.

Sheepskin Cushions in Caramel from Nordic House

It was Eero Saarinen’s mission to try and rid the world of the ugliness of the four legged chair, which resulted in the Tulip Chair, and the Tulip Table to follow. Both designs have a futuristic look that still holds its own today and is as popular as ever; the table is available to buy from Skandium, in a range of colours and sizes.

The Tulip Table by Eero Saarenin from Amara via Pinterest

The Tulip Table is made from fibreglass, and so is very modern in its appearance, to juxtapose this, I’d contrast the table with something like these painted wooden Ercol chairs from Heal’s. The fun orange colour will look good against the crisp white of the table and create a playful but elegant dining area to entertain at.

Originals Stacking Chairs by Erol at Heal’s

Finish off the look with some decorative pieces in the centre of the table, I like the idea of putting some vibrantly coloured flowers, or pieces like these metallic bowls from Tom Dixon available at Amara.

Gold Hex Bowls by Tom Dixon at Amara

The Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe always reminds me of the sleek interiors of Mad Men. The strong, masculine lines give this piece of furniture a bold look, making it a striking piece to have in the home if you love ultra-contemporary style. You can buy the Barcelona Chair from Chaplins, which has a great collection of iconic furniture.

The Barcelona Chair by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe from the Urbnite via Pinterest

Unless you like your interiors very contemporary and minimal, you may want to soften up the chair with some interesting accessories. The chair is a daring look and so needs equally exciting pieces to go with it; this cowhide print is rather Avant Garde and would make an exciting combination paired with the chair.

Renaissance Cowhide Rug from Rockett St George

This Bow lamp from Made had a cool copper finish that’ll go with the look well, having a little of old and new style to go with both the chair and the rug.

Bow Lamp from Made

The Eames Plastic Chair is a design that has been all over interiors for the past few years; and can be found at Heal’s. They’re a great design that have been put into a whole range of schemes. I love how they’ve been paired with this farmhouse table below, mixing traditional and contemporary design.

Eames Plastic Chair from Coaster Furniture via Pinterest

If you want to keep the look feeling contemporary, combining the chairs with this table from Heal’s will look great, especially putting the blue table top and the orange finish of the chair together.

Fawn Tink Blue Table from Heal’s

For a final touch of glamour to this contemporary table area, some luxe gold cutlery adds the perfect amount of drama.

Gold Cutlery from Bloomingville

Famous pieces of furniture are a great way to show off your style in your interiors, and a fun challenge to give an iconic piece of furniture your own stamp of personality; whether it’s adding contrasting accessories or placing the piece in a alternatively styled room, or completing the look by sticking to one era, you can be sure that an iconic piece will bring style, fun and intrigue to your home.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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