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Posts Tagged ‘Secrets of a Stylish Home’

After moving into a new house recently, it’s become apparent to me more so than ever that filling a house with just the ‘big stuff’, like sofas, chairs and tables, can only get your so far, and even though your house might be full there’s still something missing. For me, in order for a house to truly feel like a home, smaller items, the accessories, must play a prominent part to turning a blank space into one filled with life, soul and character. I’ve pulled together some thoughts to give you (and me!) an idea of how best to give your home that stamp of personality.

Small decorative items and ornaments are great way to show of your style, as well as your memories and souvenirs, and although some people may start to get that hoarder’s grimace on their face, the idea of small items equalling clutter can be avoided as long as you find a good place to store and display them.

Old Printers Tray from Flickr via Pinterest

I love this way of displaying small trinkets and treasures collected over the years. We have a lovely one in my family home, full of pebbles, stones, feathers, things we collected as children which my mother kept. Left to their own devices they might look rather like a mess, but placed together in this museum display case sort of way, they begin to tell a story, making them all rather sweet.

Though the actual objects are something you’ll need to find on your own, there are plenty of printer trays available from places like Etsy, ready to house your collection.

‘French Printers Tray’ from Vintage Foggy on Etsy

I love the idea of displaying items in irregular places, especially if something can be hung on the wall instead of occupying that ever valuable surface space; this is also a great way to not only create a feature in a room, but to avoid a sense of clutter! This decorative weave baskets and plates are a lovely bohemian style, whether you’ve picked them up in a foreign land, or seen one you loved in a store, they’re beautiful and handy!

Decorative Weave Baskets and Plates from Simply Chi on Etsy via Pinterest

I love this simple design from Porcupine Rocks, it’ll look great with some smaller more colourful ones surrounding it.

Block Weave Large Platter in Black from Porcupine Rocks

Both real and artificial flowers and plants are a must-have in a home for me. A bunch of brightly coloured sunflowers will instantly give a room a bit of life, and some elegant hydrangeas can be the perfect accessory for a sideboard or end table. Adding plants or flowers to a room will make the room feel bright, and can create an interesting feature, or an accent of colour in the room.

Floral Arrangement from Cate Burren’s book ‘Secrets of a Stylish Home’

For some of the best faux flowers around, Funky Bunch has a beautiful selection of florals so that you can make your own beautiful arrangement.

Delphiniums in Blue from Funky Bunch

Cushions are one of the easiest way to add some detailing to a room. Whether you want to insert colour or texture, or both, cushions can instantly add some fun to a room. These brightly coloured cushion dress up a formal sofa, drawing attention to the space, and at the same time picking up on the surrounding area’s colours.

A Vibrant Sitting Room from Pinterest

For an interesting addition to a sofa or armchair this quirky design from Graham & Green will really spice things up.

Angel Pom Pom Cushion from Graham & Green

An interesting and stylish lampshade will help bring some intrigue to a room, as with all lighting, you can use lampshades to get creative and think outside the box. I really like how these wire lampshades take a traditional shade and turn it into something rather contemporary; a fun way to create a feature in a bedroom.

Wire Lampshades from La Maison d’Anna G. via Pinterest

You can change a room’s whole theme with a quick swap of the pendant shade. This wire number from Trouva is full of colour and fun; a lovely way to spruce up a playroom or kitchen.

Multi-coloured Wire Lampshade from Trouva

Coasters aren’t just a useful way to protect a beloved table, but they’re also a nice way to add accents of colour or a hint of pattern to a room without going over the top. These wooden coasters give off a lovely rustic feeling, and with each one sporting a different flower they have their own personalities.

Rustic Coasters with Flower Detailing from Country Living via Pinterest

If you like the idea of a wooden coaster but want to add a hint of glamour into the mix, these petrified wood coasters from Curiosity Home are stunning.

Polished Petrified Wood Coaster from Curiosity Home

While large mirrors are obviously useful to have in the home, and can be oh so pretty too, smaller mirrors are great for grouping together and making a beautiful feature wall. Compiling a whole range of styles and shapes are really create an enchanted feeling. I love how this bathroom has a sweet ornate large mirror in the centre, which is then decorated by an array of smaller, intricate mirrors as well.

Collection of Antique Mirrors in Bathroom from Design Sponge via Pinterest

There are really so many styles you can opt for when it comes to collecting a range of small mirrors for a display, I love the idea of using a convex mirror as well, like this little one from Rockett St George.

Little Aged Black Convex Mirror from Rockett St George

From little projects, to treasured memories and adorable buys, finding the small things that make your house feel complete are the items that you’ll end up loving the most, as though they may be little, they’ll have the biggest impact.

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If you want to make immediate improvements to your home, accessories are your most powerful tool! Discover just how much you can transform your home with accessories during our six week evening course starting in October. Find out where to place things, what you need, where to buy and what to get rid of. And the great news is that you can start to make changes as soon as you get home. Click here to go to the website for more details. www.angelandblume.com/courses.php

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Our summer term classes are on Interior Designing your own Home and are starting on May 5th. Held at our office in Emmanuel Road, they will cover how to find your own style, how to get the best layout for your home, lighting, using colour, how to pull your schemes together and finally how to manage your project to get the best results. If you are updating your home there will be vital information about how to achieve the results you want , and hopefully some fun in the process. Get more information on our website www.angelandblume.com.

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Panelling is a wonderful and practical way to add character to a room and can transform a plain wall into a beautiful backdrop for your furnishings.

Some homes have the great advantage of still having their original panelling but if you haven’t inherited any with the house, there is no reason that it can’t be added. If you choose the right style of panelling for your home and get the colour and the execution right, it will look as if it has always been there.

Sawston Hall, Angel + Blume

The wonderful wooden panelling at Sawston Hall would have originally been installed to help insulate rooms from the cold stone walls. It also adds a lovely depth of colour to the rooms.

Farrow and Ball, panelled room

Painted panelling makes a room lighter which can be easier to live with. It also offers endless colour options so you aren’t restricted by a backdrop of wood. This lovely room is painted in Farrow and Ball French Grey and the colour has been applied to the walls, cornicing, skirting boards, door and door frame – everywhere other than floor and ceiling – which creates a calm, unified look.

Secrets of a Stylish Home, by Cate Burren

This beautiful hallway in a Victorian country house was given some detail with simple panelling framing the wall areas below the picture rails, which were painted in with the colour of the walls.

Secrets of a Stylish Home, by Cate Burren

Bathrooms can benefit hugely from panelling and is especially useful when incorporating a roll top bath as a simple ledge can be created on the top of the panelling for your soap dish, shampoo and cup of tea.

The Painted Wall PanellingCompany

The style that you choose for your panelling is really important and will alter the feeling of the room. This lovely panelling from the Painted Wall Panelling Company has a distinct Arts and Crafts feel to it and creates a wonderful ledge to display accessories.

Farrow and Ball panelling colours

Farrow and Ball panelling colours

You can make a really bold statement if you choose contrasting colours above and below your panelling. Your eye is naturally drawn to where the colour changes so the height of your panelling needs to be considered carefully. If you choose a dark colour for your panelling, make sure your skirting boards are in the same colour as the panelling or you will end up with a white stripe at the base of your panels.

The English Panelling Company

It is fine to panel around your windows if they fall below the height of the panelling that you choose. This delightful bathroom makes a feature out of a pretty window by painting it the same colour as the panelling. Panelling by The English Panelling Company.

The Wall Panelling Company

Finally artwork looks great on panelling and if your pictures are larger than the panels , it can still work to hang them across the panels. These pictures work really well against the panelling as they have been centred across the panels. Panelling by The Wall Panelling Company.

All the rooms featured here have a traditional feel. However, panelling can look just as wonderful in contemporary settings – we will be bringing you a feature on this soon, watch this space!

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Cate was recently interviewed by Cambridge Magazine and she was asked for five top tips to creating great interiors. Here are some of her tricks of the trade.

Be bold with your style

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Statement chairs in a contemporary home

This is advice that I give in my classes and that I always try to apply to my design work and what I mean is to know your own personal taste and be confident in it. If your interior style is say neutral, calm, quiet, shabby chic, then don’t be afraid to boldly execute this in your design work. We can sometimes get confused by thinking that there are things we must or must not do in our homes, or that there is good or bad taste in interior design, and when we deviate from our personal style, this is when blandness can set in. Trust your own taste and try to apply it to all elements of your home.

 

Accessories change everything

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Flowers, lamps, books and pictures all help to personalise your space

 

Whether you are undertaking a full renovation project or simply freshening up your home, good accessorising makes a huge difference to the final result. Try to bear your own personal style in mind when selecting your finishing touches as it is easy to make a mistake when the purchase is not expensive, and make sure you think about what accessories you need before you shop. If in doubt, add your accessories slowly and see what looks good and the old saying of ‘only have what you know to be beautiful or useful’ is just as true with accessories as with other areas of the home.

 

 

Don’t forget your lighting

Concealed lighting adds glamour to this display

You can create a beautiful interior space but without good lighting, it will never shine. Plan your lighting with the uses of the space in mind – activities like working, reading, putting on make-up need task lighting whilst artwork, favourite spaces and beautiful pieces of furniture need feature lighting and so on. Having some contrasts with lighting will make your home seem larger and more interesting and using separate switching for different lighting types will enable you to change the feel of your home depending on whether you are entertaining, watching TV, working or even cleaning!          

 

Colour is king

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Warm blue and cream makes a lovely space of this boot room

 

Colour is an interior designer’s best friend. A coat of paint can add character and personalise a space, create light and dark contrasts, highlight features and create a warm or cool, calm or stimulating, comforting or inspiring impression depending on what you want to achieve. Although the paint on our walls makes up a large part of the colour palette of a room, the flooring, fabrics, furnishings and accessories of a room all play their part in creating a look so consider your colour choices as a whole before selecting your paint or wallpaper colours.        

 

 

Think differently

We are bombarded in the media by images of what the modern home should look like, and we can sometimes lose our own imagination. If you go back to basics and think about how you want to use your home and what you want it to look like, you will start to create a picture of how your home can work for you. Only then will you start to select images, products and ideas from outside sources that will work for you. By using this approach you will be able to create a unique home that truly reflects your personality.

 

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A collection of sporting trophies creates a lovely personal feel

 Let us know what you think?

Did you see the article, or do you have some design tips of your own? We’d love to hear from you!

 

 

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It is a year since our book ‘Secrets of a Stylish Home’ was published and we are delighted that the sales of the books have been better than we ever expected. It was incredibly exciting to see our work and words in print, not least because the team at Merrell Publishers did such a great job with their beautiful design and layout. There is a germ of an idea forming for another book which we hope to start work on early next year but until then, thank you to all who have purchased the book and have let us know that you like it. To the rest of you, it is still available to buy!

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The delightful Alice Ryan from Cambridge Magazine paid a visit recently for what seemed to me to be a chat and a cup of tea, so I was highly impressed when she said she had enough information for the article she was planning about my home above the Angel and Blume office. The magazine is now out and I have to say that she has got the measure of me – albeit the better side of me – so thank you Alice, it was lovely to meet you!

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