The Baroque style is having a revival at the moment both in fashion and interiors. It is a strong look taking its inspiration from 18th Century France with gorgeous curves, opulent fabrics and lots of gold.
This lace dress from Miu Miu is a great example of the look as interpreted in fashion at the moment. If you are interested in using the look in your home, there are two ways of approaching it. The first is to embrace it completely, this, however needs careful handling as you don’t want to end up with the total Liberace’s palace experience! A more subtle way would be to choose one or two of the great pieces that are available at the moment to add a touch of glamour and drama to your room.
This wall paper from Cole and Sons Albemarle collection would be a great start, an opulent Baroque pattern reinterpreted in today’s neutral palette.
Another key feature of the Baroque look is gold, which has been a bit unfashionable in interiors over the last few years, but is now gradually making a re-appearance. This fabulous gold ‘GaGa’ table by The French Bedroom Company would certainly make a great statement in hallway as a console table. Keep everything else simple and let the table do the talking!
Or how about this amazing flocked chandelier from Heals over your dining table, it comes in lots of show stopping colours and would make a real conversation piece at your dinner parties.
If you like the Baroque style but aren’t brave enough to make a big splash, why not put this charming memo board from Be Golden up in your kitchen for some everday glamour.
For help bringing the Baroque style, or any other style to your home, contact Jane at Sweet Lime Interior Design www.sweetlimedesign.co.uk
Good lighting can make such a difference to a room’s function and atmosphere, but can be overlooked when planning the decor. Here are some rooms in the home and tips for choosing the right types of lighting for the best ambience:
Hallway: this room needs to be warm and welcoming and table lamps and wall lights work well to provide this kind of light. Consider using a beautiful chandelier in the stair well to add drama and interest.
Living room: layered lighting that can be used at different times of the day is best in here. Think about what tasks are performed in the room and match lighting accordingly. Table lamps are needed for reading and to create a cosy atmosphere. Use directional lighting to emphasise artwork and light up shutters, curtains and blinds to substitute for daylight and prevent blank spots in the room. Don’t forget some lovely scented candles to add an extra layer of atmospheric light.
Kitchens and bathrooms: these rooms need good, practical shadow free lighting to enable you to see clearly, but a decorative element is always good in the kitchen to add wow factor. How about some great pendants over a central island to create interest? In the bathroom a relaxing feeling can be introduced with niche lighting and low level floor lights.
Bedrooms: a combination of wall lights and discreet overhead lighting on a dimmer will give a practical level of light when needed but can be changed to give a more relaxed feel later in the evening. Good bedside lights are essential for reading. And again don’t forget those candles for added relaxation and perhaps a romantic evening.
Contact Jane at Sweet Lime Interior Design for individually designed lighting schemes for your home www.sweetlimedesign.co.uk
Spring is definitely in the air, and I saw my first butterfly of the year today, which is always a sign that summer is on its way. I love using flowers in the home to bring freshness and colour, and I believe they give a positive psychological boost to living spaces. Now is a great time to breathe spring into your home and finally get rid of winter by using all those lovely spring flowers that are available now.
Here are a few hints and tips for using flowers in your home:
- Have a vase of fresh flowers on your hall table, that way the last thing you see as you leave and first thing when you come home is something cheerful and welcoming.
- Placing flowers in the kitchen, on a worktop or table is a lovely way to create an inviting atmosphere where people gather in the home.
- A small bouquet of flowers in a bathroom or bedroom really brightens them up, especially for visitors, but I still think they make a great everday treat too.
- Careful colour choice will enhance a room’s decor, try soothing colours like blues and greens for a tranquility, yellows and peaches for a warming, sunny feel and pinks and lilacs for a bit of romance!
- Be creative with containers – for that very trendy vintage look use old china jugs, teapots, battered metal containers, crystal vases, whatever you can find.
It’s Spring and an interior designer’s thoughts turn to London Design Week, and that’s where I was last Monday. A beautiful day in London and the prospect of exploring all the showrooms for the latest looks in fabrics lay ahead, well I wasn’t disappointed.
My first visit was to Designers Guild in the Kings Road where spring had sprung with a stunning new design called Kimono Blossom, with bluebirds perching in magnolia tree branches and dragonflies drifting around flower strewn backgrounds. This was a great example of a key new look – romantic patterns and bright, sweet colours of lime, lilac, pink and blue – lovely!
Then on to Osborne and Little where another key look – stripes were very much in evidence in their new Samoa and Talara ranges. Both ranges contrast bold stripes with strong patterns for a look that’s far from bland. I particularly liked the the Talara range which had a beautiful paisley design and lovely blue, pink and purple colours.
After lunch and a reviving glass of prosecco, it was a ride in one of the courtesy Range Rovers (yes, I was working!) to Chelsea Harbour Design Centre and another key look for Spring and Summer – Global Chic. Also very much in evidence in the fashion world too. Brian Yates had launched a new set of fabrics which included crushed linens that looked like they had travelled the world several times and Kelim inspired fabrics designed by Sheila Coombes.
Interior design styles come and go and today I thought I would look at three key trends that are fashionable at the moment: Minimal City, Shabby Chic and Retro. Which of these design styles are you?
Minimal City – this is all about sleek modern finishes, black and white colour schemes with a few retro touches. Add in lots of chrome and gadgets and this is a great look for a kitchen.
Shabby Chic – this style is all about the lived in look, so even if you are buying new it needs to look a bit battered, bring in those great vintage shop pieces you have found and choose a soft, muted colour palette of warm grey and cream to give the relaxed feel that shabby chic is all aboout.
Retro – this look is about taking retro pieces and updating them with a fresh edge. For a photographic studio I designed recently I used a 70’s inspired wallpaper in bright modern colours and a white chesterfield sofa for a new take on design classics.
As an interior designer, I am often asked where to start when choosing colours for a room. Here are a few simple principles to follow that will guide you in the right direction:
- Firstly think of colours in two categories: warm or cool. Warm colours being reds, pinks, oranges and warm yellows and cool colours being blues and greens.
- Secondly, think about the aspect of the room, which way does it face, north or south? Then use warm colours in a north facing room and cooler colours in south facing rooms. This is not a hard and fast rule when it comes to south facing rooms as warm colours can also be used to great effect in these rooms too.
- What about east and west facing rooms? Well, greens and blues work beautifully with morning sunlight in east facing rooms and deep, mellow colours such as terracotta and aubergine look lovely with afternoon and evening light in westerly rooms.
Use colour to create mood and atmosphere in a room. Warm colours for an intimate, cosy effect and cool ones for a spacious, elegant feel. Applying these simple guidelines will go a long way to helping you choose colours with confidence.
For an interior colour consultation for your home contact Jane at Sweet Lime Interior Design www.sweetlimedesign.co.uk
These days ski chalets aren’t all about yellow pine, elaborate carving and red and green colour schemes, the latest look is all about reclaimed timber, luxurious modern innovations and natural textures. And if you’ve been on a ski-ing holiday recently and would like to introduce this cool new vibe into your home, here are some key design points to help you:
- Walls – Go for rustic, reclaimed wooden panelling on the walls, sand the wood down and stain light grey for that Scandinavian look.
- Floors – should also be wooden and either match the walls or provide a strong contrast. and perhaps have practical stone or tile floors (with underfloor heating of course) in the kitchen.
- Lighting – Warm cosy layers of light can be built up using table lamps and candles, and if you have a real fire all the better!
- Colours – use a palette of soft greys and beiges throughout all the rooms to give a relaxed feel, the palette should be complex and use lots of shades and tones from deep chocolates and charcoal greys through to light, bright whites and creams to avoid it all looking too bland and one dimensional.
- Soft furnishings – Use lots of natural fabrics such as linen, felt and wool for cushions, rugs and throws to snuggle up in and add wamth and texture.
- Accessories -bring in your own character and personality with well chosen artwork, interesting table lamps and collections of natural found objects.
In today’s housing market it is more important than ever to invest in your home to increase its value and potential. Here are my top tips for improving and maintaining your home:
- Re-think your colour schemes – look at the orientation of your rooms and instead of just painting them in neutral shades, try using cool colours such as greens and blues in south facing rooms and warm colours such as terracottas, reds and golds in north facing rooms to add warmth and character.
- Update your kitchen – no other room in the house is as important for enhancing your home’s value than the kitchen. You could have a full re-fit or just try updating the taps, worktops and cupboard doors.
- Renovate your bathroom – introduce better lighting, add texture and colour with new tiling and think about replacing sanitaryware. A heated towel rail adds a luxury touch as do power showers. Consider converting your bathroom to a wet room as these have become sought after additions to the home.
- De-cluttering – remove unwanted, unused and worn out things from your home, re-cyle them, donate them to charity and then invest in some great storage to put away and display the things you really love and are precious to you.
- Focus on the floor – replace worn and dated floor coverings with desirable wood and stone finishes, adding rugs to introduce further texture and colour.
- Use your outside space – outdoor seating/living/cooking areas are easy to install with the amazing outdoor all-weather furniture and outdoor lighting that is now available, and this can add extra living space and some decadence to your home .
We keep hearing gloom and doom stories from the media and winter seems to be dragging on, maybe it’s time to add a bit of colour and interest to your home, so you can shut the door on the world, relax and feel comforted.
There are some simple things you can do to personalise your home and make it feel more ‘homely’
- Stash your stuff – have a go at editing what you’ve got in the house, or if this seems too daunting just have a go in one room, perhaps the family sitting room where you spend most of your time. Invest in some attractve new storage and store away your bits and pieces. Throw things away that are worn out or don’t give you enjoyment any more. Or perhaps think of ways they could be re-used elsewhere or by someone else.
- Colour your world – think about updating your interior colour palette. Have you been using the same colours for years? Bored with magnolia?There are so many great colours out there, it seems a shame not to use them, pick a colour you love, be inspired by nature, and if doesn’t work out you can always paint over it. How about using one of the amazing wallpapers that are now available on the market to create a feature?
- Texture, texture, texture – Do you enjoy collecting natural objects such as stone, shell, feathers or driftwood or perhaps you have some fabulous glassware hidden in a cupboard? These can all be used to add interest and texture to your rooms, giving them the personal touch. Add different textured throws and cushions to your sofa in contrasting colours to bring comfort and fun.
Sweet Lime Interior Design
Christmas Interior Decoration Tips
How we decorate our homes at Christmas is a very personal choice. We may just love to decorate however the mood takes us, but sometimes we may need a bit of guidance or inspiration and using interior design principles can help us to make pleasing choices and follow a more co-ordinated path.
When first considering decorating for Christmas it helps to look the design style your home already follows. Is it cool and minimal, warm and cosy, classical, eclectic. cottagey, or do you follow Scandinavian design? To achieve a co-ordinated look it is probably best to stick to your design style and continue this into your Christmas decorating. Cool and minimal would probably not mix too well with a traditional Victorian style theme.
Colour choice also plays an important part in choosing a Christmas design style and again interior design principles can be applied here. Let’s look at the interior design colour wheel for our inspiration.
A monochromatic scheme which uses one colour and all its tints and tones gives a beautifully co-ordinated look and is easy to match into your current décor.
A harmonious scheme that uses three or four adjacent colours on the wheel again gives a wonderfully complex and rich colour scheme and lends itself well to jewel colours which are particularly lovely at Christmas.
Complementary and triadic schemes are the Christmas classic, this is where complementary colours from the opposite sides of the colour wheel are used to great effect, think of red and green holly leaves and berries. This type of scheme can also inject fresh ideas into Christmas decorating using more unusual colour combinations to truly reflect your own home’s current décor. You could pick an accent colour to decorate in to complement the colours already used in your home.
As well as colour, try to add texture and interest in other ways. Use throws, rugs, cushions, fresh flowers, foliage and fruit, pinecones and berries and metallic accents to really bring your scheme to life.
Colour schemes to inspire:
Traditional red and green
Stylish red and white
Contemporary brights – purple, blue and green
Deep and mysterious – Burgundy and brown with pewter accents
Opulent jewels colours – amethyst and turquoise
Soft pastels – pinks and lilacs with silver
You may love a particular interior design style and want to carry this through for example minimalist, Scandinavian style, opulent, rustic, vintage chic. So look out for products that reflect this style and build up your collection year on year.
Trends in Christmas interior decoration 2012
You may like to follow current fashions and decorate according to this year’s style. Trends to watch this year are:
Green and white – frosted green branches
Folk – hand made and craft led
Metallic – pewter and bronze
Rustic charm – simple homespun style.