Posts Tagged ‘bright’

As we prepare to turn back the clocks it’s the perfect time to brighten up your home and beat the winter blues before they even start! Victoria Harrison of Angel + Blume shows you a few simple updates to make sure your home makes the most of every last bit of winter sunshine to remain bright, light and welcoming over the next few months.

(This article first appeared in Cambridge News)

Rather than bemoan the lack of natural sunlight, see it as the perfect excuse to splash out on some new lighting. A cheerful table lamp will create a warm and welcoming glow so dot them around your living room,  bedroom and hallway.

Mirrored furniture like this beautiful chest of drawers  by Graham and Green will catch every last little bit of sunshine, helping to bounce light around the room and instantly brighten up a dull corner.

Rich velvet textures are perfect for the winter months, but you don’t have to pick a dark shade. This bright pink chair combines the cosiness of velvet with a mood lifting colour pop which will beat any hint of winter gloom.

A soft, inviting rug will instantly warm up your living room, but pick a soft cream shade and you will still get a bright and airy feel. Combine it with floor cushions or a luxury beanbag like this one from The White Company for cosy winter lounging.

And finally, The White Company are the master of winter whites, so follow their example and make your bed cosy and inviting by piling it high with layers of soft white and cream throws and cushions to create a light, bright nest.

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Our latest design article is now out in Velvet magazine but don’t worry if you missed it, you can read it here!

The clocks have gone forward, the evenings are lightening up and summer is on the horizon. There’s nothing better than shaking off the winter gloom and getting your house ready for the summer months. Victoria Harrison shares some simple tips to make your home lighter and brighter.

1 The White Company 3 The Contemporary Home

Update curtains to let the sunshine in

This is a simple update which makes a huge difference. Heavy drapes are lovely and cosy in the winter but for summer you need light, airy voiles and sheer fabrics to allow the sunshine to pour in. Update yours to make the most of those long summer evenings; if you need a bit more privacy you can always hang a blind behind the voiles. Invite the sunshine in by ensuring your windows are sparkling clean; scrub the frames inside and out to get rid of winter grime and polish the glass with a water and vinegar solution to make them gleam. Finally, declutter window frames to make sure that nothing is blocking the light; move ornaments, vases and photo frames to a shelf and keep windowsills nice and clear.

4 The Contemporary Home 2 Jan Constantine

Switch things around

In the summer you don’t need extra layers under your feet, so store heavy rugs away until autumn. With endless feet traipsing in and out from the garden it’s much more practical to have simple floorboards which can be swept clean. Banish heavy cushions and throws to a cupboard as well and lighten up for the summer months with soft and silky fabrics. Bright cheerful colours will give your house a lift, so indulge your home with zingy fabrics and cheery patterns. Think about reshuffling the furniture in your room to breathe a bit of life and fresh air into the space. In the winter we tend to group chairs close together and huddle around the fireplace or TV but in the summer months it’s nice to rearrange your furniture so you can sit in your favourite chair and look at the view out of the window rather than the TV screen. It’s the perfect time to declutter your living space too; in the winter we tend to gather our belongings around us, but summer is the perfect time to tidy up, store away unused items and make a fresh start.

5 The Contemporary Home 6 The White Company

Reflect the light

Reflect all that lovely summery light around your room with a large sparkling mirror. If you have recessed walls or dark corners a mirror is a great way to bounce light back into the room. Glass vases and candlesticks are good when it comes to adding extra sparkle too. I love mirrored furniture, but if you just want to update a few accessories rather than buy new furniture then mirrored lamp bases and photo frames are a good way of brightening up a scheme. Bunches of fresh cut flowers are the simplest way of bringing the outdoors in and they are a brilliant and inexpensive decorating staple throughout the summer. Even just a couple of blooms in a small votive will cheer up a room and add a layer of summer scent. Finally, small tea lights in mirrored or glass jars will add a cheerful glow to those lovely long summer evenings.

This article first appeared in Velvet magazine – issue 47 – May 2011.

Image credits: The White Company, The Contemporary Home, Jan Constantine, Dunelm Mill

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We are so often asked to look at the layout and furnishing of extensions to the home and particularly to kitchen and open plan areas which can be areas that suffer from lack of light and space..

This project for a lovely family was great fun to work on and we were so pleased with the end results. These images were taken for a feature in House Beautiful magazine (see our website for more details) and really do capture the open and airy living/dining/kitchen space created by the architect.

We helped with layout, colours, furnishings, lighting and accessories and having been back to see the owners, we can report that the whole project has been a great success!

Image credits: Spike Powell Photography


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Our latest design article is now out in Velvet magazine.

Victoria Harrison of Interior Design Talks shares insider secrets on how to decorate with colour to get the kind of home usually seen only in glossy magazines. Colour can be intimidating but with a bit of expert advice you can add warmth, interest, drama and character to your home.  Follow these simple, easy tips and you can use colour like the experts.

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Start with neutrals
Most colour schemes are based on a palette of colours that you’re instinctively drawn to. Neutrals show up that point well because the colour difference is subtle. The neutrals that you pick out as your favourites will then form the basis of your scheme to which you can then add stronger colours.

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Bold colours
Stronger colours are traditionally used on walls; however you can easily apply them to woodwork, alongside neutral wall colourings. You could also use bolder colours on a feature wall if you have a good reason to; for example, as a backdrop to a collection of framed photographs or art. The best way to introduce strong colours into your colour scheme is by accentuating a fabric or accessory within the room.  Not only are these much easier to change if you tire of them, but this approach allows you to bring the room together.

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Working with light
Light in a room can change dramatically during the day. There is also a huge difference between natural and artificial light, and it can be really hard to predict how the light in a room will impact on the paint colour. For example, you might choose a particular colour in a shop only to find that it looks totally different when you get it home. The solution is to paint your chosen colour onto a large piece of card (minimum A4 size), pin it on the wall and look at it during the day and at night to see how it changes.

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Adding Accessories
Remember that your colour scheme is not just about paint, but includes a layering of different colours and materials. These obviously include fabric and accessories but flooring is also important to consider, and is frequently overlooked. One of my favourite ways of adding colour is to create a fairly light, calm background scheme using neutral tones for walls, floors and major furnishing items. You can then add you main accent colour in rugs, cushions, occasional furniture, accessories and even flowers.

All images credit: Fired Earth. Read the full article in Velvet here.

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