Think there are maxims you must abide by when it comes to giving rooms an update or starting on a complete interior makeover? Well, there are plenty of old saws out there, so don’t be taken in. What’s more, if you break the rules, the results can be fabulous. Here’s the proof.
The rule: Dining chairs should match
We say Mixing different fabrics on a set of upholstered chairs looks fabulous. Why not select a different motif for the back and the seat as we’ve done on our Louis and Louis carver chairs (above)? Going for painted wooden chairs instead? Try choosing a couple of different paint shades across the set. The result will be co-ordinated but casual dining space.
How to get it right Get samples of your proposed fabrics together before you begin so you can take a look at how they’ll work together. We can send out samples, and we’ll be delighted to advise you, too.
The rule: Always make side table arrangements symmetrical
We say Unless you want a strictly formal look, let yourself go with a display that’s not a mirror image. We’ve opted for an elegant table lamp and shade on one side of our demi lune table (above) and a group of decorative accessories opposite. The overall effect is balanced without being slavish to symmetry.
How to get it right Use the classic stylist’s pyramid to group objects – that’s opting for an arrangement of three at different heights, as shown above.
The rule: Blue and green should never be seen
We say What about hyacinths? And bluebells? Both team blue and green to rather lovely effect, and the pair can be equally appealing in a decorating scheme, like this combination of our spoonback occasional chair and drum stool and lampshade (above).
How to get it right White or neutral walls with upholstery and accessories in blue and green is an easy route to success. If you’re doing it that way, pick either blue or green as the more dominant shade (we chose blue) with the second shade in a smaller proportion.
The rule: Dark walls in small spaces are a no-no
We say Charcoals and greys as well as deep blues and greens make for wonderful wall colours even for small rooms. They’re the ideal backdrop for pale painted furniture, such as our Swedish narrow console table (above) and seating upholstered in light-coloured fabrics – this is our Louis armchair (above) – and choices like these mean your compact room won’t feel closed-in.
How to get it right Stick to a floorcovering in a light-reflective pale shade if you want to make up for walls that will absorb daylight – white-painted floorboards are a possible solution. Make sure your curtains draw tidily to the sides of the window, too, to maximise light.
The rule: Don’t mix patterns
We say: Follow this rule and you’ll miss out. Putting patterns together in a decorating scheme is part of the fun and they’ll add interest and detail wherever they’re used. Even in a small space – such as on this upholstered bench (above) in a hallway – patterned upholstery for furniture with a different pattern for cushions or a lampshade will make the scheme individual.
How to get it right Choose from a fabric ‘family’ and the hard work’s been done for you: the designs have elements that help them sit harmoniously together. All our fabrics are organised to make selecting easy, and we’ll be happy to help you, too.
The rule: Pictures should be hung
We say This is a Marmite issue. Some people hate the idea of leaning artwork or large-scale mirrors (and in some households, it’s just not practical). However, it’s a great way to create a more relaxed mood. The pictures on this New Hampshire modular desk (above), for example, put the emphasis on home rather than office.
How to get it right Try a floorstanding mirror in your bedroom for a relaxed take on contemporary style, and group and prop odd numbers of pictures mixing frame sizes or portrait and landscape versions.