All Things Bright and Beautiful – Spring 2017 Interior Design Trend update

A particular trend I have spotted this spring 2017 season is bold bright colours and pattern mixes which are a refreshing change from the muted neutrals and greys we have been seeing for several seasons, even years now.  I am loving the fabulous colourful floral designs in the Osborne and Little Enchanted Garden collection. 

James Hare have introduced a lovely new colourful fabric called Mikado, which I think perfectly reflects this trend.

Warwick Fabrics Rue du Mail collection has an eclectic mix of oriental designs in a delicious palette of pinks, greens, blues and yellows.

This look is not for the faint hearted, but you don’t have to go for a room full of exotic blooms, patterns and colours, why not try mixing them in with a more muted scheme, to give a shot of colour and interest and wake up what could be a rather flat room?

Pantone Colour of the Year 2016 – the perfect colour combination?

Pink and blue – the perfect colour combination?

For the first time ever Pantone have named two colours as their colour of the year for 2016, a delicious combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity, basically pastel pink and baby blue.  In the modern world we aspire to harmony and balance in our busy lives, and what better way than blending pink and blue, bringing together masculine and feminine energies ?  See what they say here:

http://www.pantone.com/color-of-the-year-2016

How can we use these colours in interior design, in a new and fresh way?  The obvious choice would be in a bedroom, but it could work in a living room too.  In a bedroom I would use a 50/50 palette, half pink and half blue.  For a living room I would choose an 80/20 palette, with one colour as the main colour, with accents of the other.  For a south facing room, blue would be the perfect main colour to cool down the warmth of the sun, with just a few touches of pink to keep the room bright.  My favourite way would be as a foil for a strong colour such as black, as used to great effect in this beautiful sitting room, notice that touch of pink with the vase of flowers? (Picture: Jessica Walmsley Interiors)

Pink and blue blog

 

Decorating for Autumn

Summer is drawing to a close, and we are entering the mellow days of autumn. It is often a time when thoughts turn to redecorating, particularly as the winter nights are drawing in and we are spending more time at home. We want to feel warm and cosy in our homes and traditional autumn colour palettes of red, orange and yellow are perfect for achieving this ambience.

This sample board is from a project I designed recently for a couple who wanted just that. They had a garden room that they used as their sitting room in the summer and the brief was to design their sitting room and dining room for use on winter evenings to relax in and entertain friends. I used rich colours and plenty of texture to achieve a feeling of warmth and cosiness.

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In a similar vein I was asked to design a sitting room for a client that could be changed between summer and winter, so I opted for a neutral colour scheme of sand and cream, with red as the contrast colour. The roman blinds and cushions could be changed from the warm wool fabrics in the winter to the lighter checked linen fabrics in the summer.

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Autumn is a time of, warm days and increasingly chilly nights and you could opt for a contrasting colour scheme of blue and orange to reflect this, as in this kitchen I designed a few years ago. The kitchen faced south, so blue was chosen as the main colour to cool the room down, and orange was chosen for the north facing breakfast area, off the kitchen to give warmer feel.

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I love this new Renaissance fabric collection from Warwick fabrics for delicious autumn shades of rust and red, but equally you could achieve a sense of winter calm using a palette of greys and blues by using a different colourway from the same collection.

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I used this gorgeous fabric from William Morris in a recent kitchen project made up into roman blinds and a seat cushion. It has a fruity pattern in soft autumnal shades of smoky blue contrasting with rich shades of aubergine, mustard and orange to gladden your heart as the nights draw in.

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Fabulous Summer Florals

Flowers are a massive inspiration for me, and at the weekend I visited beautiful Packwood House, a stunning National Trust property not far from Lapworth in Warwickshire. I have been visiting for a number of years now and have been watching the progress of the Trust restoring the gardens to their former glory. The herbaceous borders have been of particular interest as I love flowers so much, and yesterday they were at their glorious best.

Florals aren’t for everyone in interiors, but I love to use them when I can, they are so joyful, and there are some lovely designs about for all tastes. They can be used on a feature wall as wallpaper to add a focal point, a few cushions can be scattered across a plain sofa to liven it up, or how about a sumptuous pair of curtains to lift the spirits in an otherwise simple room. Here are some of my favourites.

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I am using beautiful Tulipan from Osborne and Little in a master bedroom and en-suite bathroom project I am working on at the moment.

This RO-GardenSilhouettewallpaper from Anna French’s Seraphina collection has a lovely floral summer motif but in monochrome tones, so provides an elegant and subtle backdrop for a room.

I have recently used fabrics from Prestigious Textiles Printworks collection to brighten up a 006_PRINTWORKS-CAMvery neutral sitting room. The collection has a mix of large scale floral and geometric patterns in a rainbow of colours ranging from bright to natural, digitally printed onto soft linen for a lovely drape.

For a more tra2741ditional look and feel, James Hare supply gorgeous silk embroidered fabrics such as Silwood from their Orchard Silks collection.

 

 

And finally a classic mixture of stripes and florals from Warwick Fabrics St. st%20germainGermain collection.

Sumptuous Edwardian Kitchen

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I have recently completed a kitchen refurbishment project in a lovely Edwardian house in Kenilworth.   The brief was to design a breakfast kitchen which had all the ‘mod cons’ but was still in sympathy with the period style of the house.

We started off with a very dark, cluttered room with very little character and reference to the period that the house was built in. Of course, homes didn’t have fitted kitchens in Edwardian times, and would have had free standing furniture.  I took these ideas and added features such as patterned floor tiles, wooden finishes and Arts and Crafts styling that you would have seen in this period, but with a contemporary twist.  We chose a fabulous black gloss range cooker as the centre piece, backed by Taylor Kitchen July 15 030 stunning turquoise sculpted tiles that look like they have come from an Edwardian London Underground station.

resize4The oak display cupboards and the central island have a look of freestanding furniture, and I used polished brass cupboard handles and drawer pulls to match the fittings on the range cooker, and again to enhance the period feel of the kitchen.

The floor tiles were selected to look like the quarry tiles which would have been used in Edwardian kitchens, together with the subtle white and grey patterned ones which referenced the patterned tiles that were popular back then.

Finishing touches included the antique brass period style lighting and the gorgeous Arts and Crafts William Morris fabric used for the bench seat pad and blind, in lovely contemporary shades of gold, turquoise and Taylor Kitchen July 15 004aubergine.

I now have delighted clients, who can’t wait to come home to spend time in their beautifully renovated kitchen.

 

 

London Design Week 2015 – My Thoughts

London Design Week 2015 – my thoughts

I had a fantastic day yesterday visiting London for Design Week 2015. It was a gorgeous spring day in London, and there were lots of attractive new collections to view. I  had the pleasure of meeting textile designer Sheila Coombes whose work I have long admired, in the Brian Yates showroom and really enjoyed having a good look at her soon to be launched beautiful new collection. I am hoping to be able to offer this wonderful collection through Sweet Lime Interior Design soon. Have a look here for a taste of Sheila’s lovely fabrics

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At the Osborne and Little showroom, their new Pasha collection of fabrics and wallpapers were on show. I have already received the fabric book, and may even be tempted to order the wallpaper book. What a gloriously eclectic and colourful mix, have a look at it here, I can’t wait to use it in a lucky client’s (or my own) home soon.

 

On to Design Centre Chelsea Harbour where I visited the Porta Romana  showroom for the first time and was inspired by their  offering of the most beautiful accessories and furniture, all lovingly crafted in the UK.  I am always on the lookout for made in the UK products ant this company really are showing something new and different. Have a look at this beautiful light fitting, designed for them  by Tord Boontje or this wonderful Mushroom mirror, hand crafted with an exquisite distressed gold leaf finish.

Time for a glass of champagne at the Colefax and Fowler showroom (someone has to do it) and a look at Jane Churchill’s new collection Atmosphere II – stunning; I also liked Romo’s new Saphira Prints collection for their soft and pretty colour palette and flower inspired designs.

Altogether an inspiring day out, and I hope you have enjoyed my brief overview, there was lots more on show, and I would recommend a visit to the Design Centre next time you are in London. It is open to the public, year round. If you would ever like me to accompany you on a visit to show you round and help you select fabrics, accessories etc. please do get in touch. We may even squeeze in a glass of champagne…

Six Serious Interiors Trends for 2015

We are now well into 2015, and I thought I would share with you some trends I see emerging this year and going into next.  I think there is a real technology versus comfort thing going on in interiors; by this I mean that as we are increasingly drawn into having all the electronic gadgets at our disposal, we are looking for a softer feel  to our homes, where we can feel cocooned from the outside world. We are looking to be cosseted by comfortable seating, natural colours and finishes and a return to good old fashioned books.  Here are some of the key trends we will be seeing:1

Large comfortable seating – that can be shared by all the family to chill out together on, particularly corner groups in family spaces. We can watch TV together, chat and dare I say it catch up on all our social media together!

DSCN1715Deepest blue – gorgeous deep shades of blue on walls and beautiful indigoes in fabrics such as these from the Osborne and Little’s latest collection, Pasha. Textural, exotic, and very different from everyday life.  Blue is the colour of summer skies, tranquil spaces, heaven. It is perfect for grounding us in nature, far away from all our gadgets.

Geometrics – if all this blue isn’t for you, and you are looking for something mDSCN1705ore contemporary and urban, how about following the geometrics trend, as these fabulous fabrics from Prestigious Textiles and Ashley Wilde demonstrate. Still up there with the grey and neutral look that is so popular at the moment, but with the added bonus of structure.

DSC_4923Driftwood finishes – a little while ago, I had a project where the client’s family room was criss -crossed with pine wood beams, they had yellowed with age and were not looking their best. I suggested that we paint them in a soft wash of white, to give them a drift-wood finish, as you can see in this picture, and now this is a trend for 2015.

Statement lighting – this draws the eye up, making a new focal point to the room.  There is so much choice available, and well-chosen lighting not only gives the practicalities of light, but also DSC_2803adds to the decorative scheme, adding another layer of texture and interest. I used this beautiful bone china cascade fitting in the same project as the driftwood beams to give the wow factor

Libraries – yes, we are going back to books, and a real trend will be surrounding ourselves with our favourite volumes to get a sense of perspective in a fast changing world. I can see this being really useful in this day and age of open plan living. What better way to retreat from all the hustle and bustle of family life, than in a beautifully planned library with relaxed seating and familiar objects around us?  I also see this as a way to use a redundant dining room, why not turn it into a library with comfortable dining chairs for reading and relaxing, and an extendable dining table for when you would like to entertain more formally?

 

Christmas Decoration Inspiration 2014

I love Christmas, particularly the opportunity to decorate my home, and give it some extra special sparkle to welcome family and friends over the festive period. It’s great to let your creativity run a bit wild, and have some fun, after all it’s only temporary and can all be packed away ’til next year without leaving any permanent signs.

There are lots of different design styles to choose from this year, some that have been around for a while, so you can update and add to what you already have, or you could have a complete makeover of your decorations and go for something new and different.  You can however, get a bit attached to decorations, they often have sentimental value and happy memories associated with them from Christmas’s past, so I like to mix and match and add new ones, putting some away, and perhaps re-using them again next year.

43954_1[1]This year I will be re-hanging some lovely paper snow-flakes I had last year, to create a magical display in my dining room, tapping into the vintage trend that is still with us, but I will be having a red and gold theme in my conservatory, inspired by a lovely Chinese lantern I bought earlier in the year for an amateur dramatics production I was involved in.  Not sure what trend this is though, but of course you don’t have to follow any trend, just go with what you love, and what works best in your home.

Here are a few themes and ideas to inspire you:

Glorious Metallics – this trend has been around for a while, mainly base on gold and silver decorations, but during 2014twelve_shiny_copper_baubles_x-shinybaub_2_[2] copper has seen a big revival in interiors, particularly for lighting, and I have noticed that there are some copper coloured decorations in the shops this year.  These could be incorporated beautifully with existing silver and gold decorations you may already have, giving a contemporary and stylish look to your room. These lovely baubles from Cox and Cox could be just what you need to update your tree this year.

WGHPG_XS14_24_EEL[1]Tranquility – This is a new trend, based on shades and textures of white contrasted with deep evergreens, evoking silent snow filled pine forests. A lovely way to introduce this would be to decorate a mantle piece with simple white candles and winter evergreens such as pine,  holly and bay leaves, carrying the theme onto your Christmas day dinner table, keeping it all very simple and elegant.

Jewel Colours – gorgeous shades of purple, emerald green, ruby and the very trendy turquoise are always lovely at Christmas, I love to see a tree decorated in this way, with sparkling lights bouncing off the baubles, givin233486847alt9[1]g a richness and opulence that is lovely to see at this time of year.  You could combine two trends with these baubles from John Lewis, jewel colours in vintage shapes.

scandi-branch-christmas-tree-33120-p[ekm]233x349[ekm][1]Natural Textures – Layer textures of natural fibres, outdoor finds such as twigs, pine cones for a gentle more rustic look. I love this twig Christmas tree from Rockett st. George, minimal, scandi and rustic, three current trends all in one object!  That keeps your Christmas decorating nice and fuss free if that’s what you prefer.

Fun Stuff – this is a great new trend if you want to inject a bit of young-at-heart into your KGUAX_XS14_50_F[1]Christmas decorating, or you have little ones to please.  There are lots of knitted or felt animals, birds  and novelty shapes out there, together with jolly Father Christmas’s and snowmen, and of course penguins, which are huge this Christmas.  I think these sweet mitten garlands from White Company are a great example of this trend.

Happy decorating!

 

 

I love my job!

A Sweet Lime from Sweet Lime DesignIt’s always good to know you have done a great job for your clients, and lovely to get positive feed-back.  Here are some of my latest testimonials.  :

We are absolutely thrilled with or new curtains and cushions. Jane has walked the treacherous path pleasing an exuberant extrovert and a conservative, financially prudent introvert with skill and diplomacy. We now have a lovely lounge curtains, beautifully made and skilfully hung, that embody a happy union of sophistication, attitude and calm. Jane has some-thing of the halcyon days when your word was your bond, what got committed to got done and customer led service was integral. Many thanks Jane to you and your team

Catherine and John W, Leamington Spa

 

We asked Jane to help us revamp our lounge.  There is such a vast range of colours, fabrics and furniture on the market that we did not know where to start.

We had an initial meeting with Jane, to take a look at our current room scheme and discuss our preferences for colours etc.  Jane then came back to us with some paint and fabric samples and suggestions which she thought we would like.  We arrived at a colour pallet of blue, yellow and cream, not colours we would have considered if we had done it ourselves.

Jane project managed the making of curtains and the re upholstery of one of the sofas as well as obtaining curtain poles.  She also suggested the lighting which we liked and bought.  We also needed side tables, coffee table and television stand, and Jane recommended a company in Lincoln to us.  The furniture is of excellent quality, so thank you Jane for pointing us in the right direction!

We are very pleased with the final result and thank Jane for her patience (when we were undecided), and vision of what the room would look like on completion – she was certainly right.  We now have a cool, comfortable living space which is a pleasure to relax in.

Pat & Peter G, Leamington Spa

 

We are absolutely delighted with our new curtains, they look fantastic in the context of our colour scheme and taste within our living room. Even more importantly all the ladies of the house love them. We are thinking of another curtain project in the house later this year and I will certainly come back to you with a brief when we are ready.

Mike V, Warwick