Posts filed under: Colour Schemes

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)

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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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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?

 

A summer update for your home

We are past 1st May, and in my book that means spring has sprung and summer is on its way.  Now is the time to look at giving your home a bit of a makeover, and get ready for the long summer days ahead.  I would start with a good spring clean and de-clutter. Get rid of those inevitable cobwebs, clean underneath the furniture and give the windows a good clean to make sure you are letting all the possible light in.images

You don’t have to have complete refurbishment of your main sitting room, just have a look at what you already  have and see if you can put some of it away for the summer and bring in a lighter fresher feel.  I would suggest putting any woollen or heavy throws away and darker coloured rugs and replacing them with cotton or linen items.  Use fresh green, blue or yellow cushions, whatever works with your existing décor, to give a lighter mood.  Change dark coloured lampshades for white or cream ones.  If you have an open fireplace, they can look rather empty when not in use, so place some fresh flowers or perhaps a vintage fire-screen in front to make it look less exposed.  Use lovely fresh flowers wherever you can in brightly coloured vases, and scented candles in summery scents of lemon, lime and rose to lift your mood.

Metallic and glass accessories are lovely at any time of the year, reflecting firelight in the winter and bouncing lots of imagesXXW8ADPTbright sunlight around the room in the summer.  Group them strategically around the room in three’s and fives, and place them on the window sill to really sparkle.  Make sure you keep them shiny and dust free!

Bedrooms need a bit of a refresh too, using the same principles, put away snuggly blankets and throws, add in some pretty coloured accessories, and invest in some pure cotton or linen bed linen to keep you cool on those long summer nights.

For more help and ideas on giving your home a seasonal makeover, get in touch with Jane at Sweet Lime Interior Design

www.sweetlimedesign.co.uk

Choosing the Right Carpet for Your Home

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Over recent years, carpet has fallen out of fashion a little in the home in favour of wood, stone and ceramic surfaces.  But I still believe it has a valid place in the home as a good hard-wearing, practical flooring solution.  There is nothing like the warmth, comfort and style of a well-chosen, beautiful carpet, and I think it has a place in most rooms of the house apart from probably the kitchen and bathroom!  Another great quality of carpet is its sound absorbing ability, think of all those open plan living spaces you have been in with all those hard surfaces bouncing noise all over the place, not very conducive to peace and relaxation.  I also find hard surfaces do not absorb dirt and can look quite messy and untidy if not kept spotlessly clean; of course you must vacuum your carpet regularly to lift all the dirt, but at least it is not going into the atmosphere.

When choosing a carpet the most important consideration is how much traffic the room will have, this will help to determine the material it is made from, and probably how much you would like to spend.  In the UK there are three main materials to choose from: wool, wool/man-made mixes and man-made fibres.  You can also opt for silk carpets, but of course they are stratospherically expensive and not for everyday usage!

Wool carpets are usually the most expensive, but give that lovely soft luxury feel; they are great for lower traffic areas such as a master bedroom, or a sitting room that is not used as the everyday relaxation space for a large family.  Wool/man-made mixes are the great all-rounder for higher traffic areas such as sitting rooms, hall, stairs and landings and dining rooms.  The added man-made fibre gives durability and some stain resistance, but you still have the luxury of wool.  Choose grades that are suitable for heavy domestic use in high traffic areas.  Man-made fibres have really come on in the luxury stakes over the years, and are best used in rooms that are going to get a lot of wear and tear, particularly where you have pets and young children using the rooms, and need good stain resistance.  They are a lot cheaper than wool carpets and would be also be a good budget saving option in rooms that get little use such as guest bedrooms.

When it comes to choosing the right style and colour it can be mind-blowing as there is so much choice out there.  Carpet is a great way to add texture to a room, and you can look at velvets, twist piles or looped pile.  Velvets give a formal elegant look, but can show footprints and vacuum tracks, twist piles are simple and warm and come in a huge variety of colours, and loop piles are great for adding textural dimension, but beware if you have pets, as the loops can be pulled.

When picking the colour choose shades to match the mood you want to create in the room. For example greens and blues for peace and tranquillity or shades of gold or terracotta for cosiness and warmth.  Lighter colours will make a room look more spacious, but remember they will show dirt more easily!  Neutrals are a very popular choice these days, but consider whether you want the carpet to be the backdrop to the room or the focal point, and only have a neutral if you want the focal point to be elsewhere in the room for example, in the wall colour, fabrics or accessories.  All neutral walls, floors and furnishings can look very flat and uninviting.

Cool-Nature-Inspired-Carpet-Like-Wood-Surface-with-Digital-PrintA patterned carpet can add real drama to a room, and be the main attraction if you are feeling brave. A very fashionable look, using pattern in a more every day way is to have a striped stair carpet or runner, and there are lots of choices out there if you would like to try this look.

My top tips for purchasing carpet:

  1. Get samples, the larger the better, and see how they look in the room with existing items and at different times of day.
  2. Have the room measured and a price quoted by a professional, they will be able to advise you on the best, most economical way to lay the carpet in that room.
  3. Always use a new, good quality underlay, it will save you time and money in the long run, keeping the carpet from premature wear and tear.
  4. Have the carpet fitted by a professional fitter, again this will ensure maximum long term appearance and durability.
  5. Keep the maintenance guide you will be given with the carpet, and always abide by the manufacturers cleaning instructions, wool carpets especially can react badly to the wrong type of cleaning.

There are some great British carpet manufacturers, have a look at: Cormar, Westex, Brockway, Adams and Brintons for a full range of types and prices.

For more advice and help choosing carpet, please get in touch with me at jane@sweetlimedesign.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Punky Pink – Autumn 2013 interior trend

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I’m not a huge fan of pink, a bit too fluffy and Barbie for me, but flicking through fashion magazines recently, I’ve noticed a lot of pink in evidence, but interestingly represented in strong, bold shapes of other fashion trends such as Gothic and Punk, all of which add a balance to the usual girly fluffiness and make it a little more grown up. This Miu Miu polka dot coat is a great example.

 

 

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I can see this fashion trend catching on in interiors, and if pink is used thoughtfully it can be a great colour to add warmth and a little playfulness and fun to a room, and doesn’t have to be confined to a bedroom.  I particularly like pink with grey or brown neutrals, a combination that works beautifully to create a sophisticated but welcoming sitting room as seen here in this picture.

 

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A deep shade of fuschia pink would add extra drama to a black and white scheme, especially with shiny surfaces and would be a great nod to the punk trend. This scheme is interesting – it doesn’t get much more punk than barbed wire in a bedroom!

 

 

 

How to use Emerald Green – 2013 Pantone Colour of the Year in your home

The Pantone Institute have named their colour of the year for 2013 as Emerald Green.  This is a luscious shade of green, full of glamour and intrigue, and over the past few months has been the favourite evening gown colour choice of many celebrities including Kate Middleton.

The question is how can we use it in our interiors? Some may not want to, and I suspect it may be a love or hate colour for many people.  For me it is a colour of optimism and depth giving a moody opulence to a room.

Here are a few waImageys I would use it:

This Cole and Son Wallpaper would make a wonderful backdrop to a dining room, used on all walls not just as a feature with dark polished dining furniture and lots of antique silverware.

 

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Luxurious silk drapes to frame a window, drawing the eye out to a garden beyond.

 

 

 

Interior-Design-Hues-1A group of emerald green glassware on a window sill catching the light and throwing a lovely green glow across a room or on a shelf mixed with other green colours for a lush display.

 

 

 

For the really brave it can be used with other jewel colours such as sapphire blue to dramatic effect.Emerald-Green-Rooms-8

For help with using Emerald Green and or any other colour you love in your home, contact Jane at Sweet Lime Interior Design www.sweetlimedesign.co.uk

What are the Top Interiors Trends for 2013?

I’ve been gazing into my crystal ball, well looking at fashion and interiors magazines actually and trying to pinpoint this year’s key trends. How will we be decorating our homes in 2013? Well from what I can see we are going to be much more minimal than we have been over the last few years. The vintage, retro, home-made home trend is becoming less important and we are moving to a more streamlined look.

To get that minimal feel, de-clutter and decorate your rooms in gentle greys and deep blues for a feeling of peace and tranquillity. These colours form a lovely backdrop to this year’s simple but strong furniture shapes in mixed materials such as stone, metal and wood. Marble is the stone for this year, whether it’s in your bathroom, in your kitchen or on top of a table. Cork, a very 1970’s material, is set to make a come-back, great for floor or wall tiles where you want a soft, natural look with great sound insulation. Wirework furniture in black or bright colours will also be a key feature with its graphic shape and clean lines.

This could be your year if you love bold pattern, there will be lots of stripes and zig-zags in black and white or tropical floral prints in bright colours. Used strategically in a room, these are a great way to update a neutral scheme by injecting some life and colour. Introducing them as accessories such as cushions, rugs and bed linen would an easy and relatively in-expensive way to get this year’s look.
If you are looking for this year’s perfect interiors colour, then look no further than blue, not in pastel shades but beautiful deep indigo blue.  Use it as a bold block of colour on a wall or choose it for a large piece of furniture such as a sofa to bring a deep sense of calm into a room.

2013 will be the year of strong shapes, natural materials and soothing colours livened with bold pattern – truly modern!

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Going for Gold in Interior Design

After years of being eclipsed by chrome, silver and pewter, gold is making a comeback in interiors, and this trend may be helped in the UK with Team GB’s fantastic success at the London Olympic games this year!

Gold has a classic, rich and timeless appeal and is a great way to enliven a neutral scheme and comes into its own in soft evening candlelight, giving a warm, welcoming glow to a room. It is especially good to use it to create luxurious bedrooms, elegant sitting rooms and glamorous bathrooms that tend to be used more in the evenings than daytime.  Good colour combinations would be white and gold for classic elegance, black and gold for drama and decadence and amethyst and chocolate for opulence and luxury.  Look for design influences in baroque interiors, French Chateau style and Hollywood Regency.

Fabrics, wallpapers, accessories and gilded furniture are all great ways to introduce gold into an interior design scheme.

For ideas on how to bring Olympic Gold into your home contact Jane at www.sweetlimedesign.co.uk