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Quick Fixes

Morning all, it’s been a while. It’s all very hectic here at DHI headquarters, what with the approach to Christmas and 4 projects to complete. it’s a bit stressful.

If you have run out of time to do any major refurbishments before Christmas I thought I would share some quick fixes.

I know I have said this time and time again but paint is one of the most transforming things you can do to a room. Because I bang on about this all the time my friends are finally starting to take note, especially my friends that live in the cotswolds as they have gone the whole hog and painted their lounge out in almost the darkest hue you can , but it’s one of my favourites which is F&B Railings. It’s totally transformed the room and it looks amazing. But my friend Caroline still text me on the morning with second thoughts and saying are you sure it will work!! I said “Go for it, if you hate it you can always paint it over” simply’s!! Now it’s done they love it and said thanks for the push!! And it doesn’t make the room look smaller, thats a myth!!

blakes-brass-island-remodelista-2

The next great thing to do is add lamps and lots of them. This creates not only a focal point but adds a soft light which creates intrigue and depth and instantly changes the look of an interior, you can go glam or mix it up to create an eclectic look.

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(Photo curtesy of Cubex Finzels Reach development)

Change the layout, for me pushing sofa’s up against the wall is a big no no. Try pulling it into the room, mine at home is in the middle of the room and creates two different areas. Even if you have a small room pulling it away from the wall even a bit will help, maybe just enough to get a shelf or console behind, lean up a couple of picture add a lamp and bang you changed the look in a jiffy!!

Accessorising!! probably one of the hardest things to get right but adding vases, plants, flowers (which can be faux by the way) can change a scheme and stop it from being boring, also its a great way to add a splash of colour and interest. If your a women it’s like adding jewellery to an outfit, it makes it!

In every scheme I add cushions, this is where you can be a bit more risky with colour, pattern and texture, go for it and don’t try and go too matchy, mix it up.

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(Photo courtesy of Cubex Finzels Reach development)

Art, I know I here you say ‘Pricey’ but it doesn’t have to be, what I do for the show homes is order lots of posters from poster websites, there are quite a few, allposters is one of my favourites. Some posters I get for £4!! Then I buy simple black frames and frame them myself, if you not confident to do this you can go to a local framers either to frame the whole picture or they will also just cut the mounts which saves a few coins. Picture of my hallway, it totally transforms it in an instant, the trick is filling the whole space and you need some big pictures which anchors the rest, too many small ones would look bitty and way too much.

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There you go that should be enough to keep you busy for a few weeks!

Happy decorating

 

Ps. If you want to see these quick fixes take a visit to Finzels Reach development as I have done all the show apartments on the site and all I talk about has been used somewhere along the line

Smart thinking

Whoops, my promise of getting back to blogging every week hasn’t turned out so well. Been crazy busy of late but I have already written a tips blog for next week so watch this space.

Anyway down to business, this is one of the articles I wrote for Bristol Property Live paper this week on smart interiors, hope you enjoy!

Most of the requests I get for projects I work on is for smart, clean interiors. So I thought I would give some simple tips on smartening up your pad. If you’re having a complete makeover, the one main thing is to simplify the furniture to achieve clean lines and an end result that’s not too ornate.

Restrict the colour palette. This is how you get that cohesive look, I tend to stick to two or three colours, a blend of one hue works best, then add a pop of colour which just lifts the overall interior.

Although I’m not a huge fan of symmetrical design, this is a simple way to instantly get a smarter feel. Try not to overdo it though, shelves or console table with lamps with mirrors either side of chimney breast works well, but keep it at that. A sofa and chairs would then work better rather than two sofas as it slightly breaks the look up without making it too eclectic.

Pull back on the pattern, of course add a little on cushions or chairs but keep it to that. When keeping things more simple, the texture becomes king, add lots of it – linen and velvets work a treat but one of my staple items is textured wallpaper, it’s subtle but adds warmth still keeping the smart look.

Lighting, lighting, lighting. I always add lots of mood lighting with lamps, if you can add a sophisticated lighting scheme with different dimmable circuits then great but if this isn’t possible simply create this effect with lamps. My advice would be to invest in some decent lamps – they make a huge difference, something I have always done as they become such a great feature within the room, especially if you go oversized.

Unless you have massive ceiling which can cater for a show stopper of a chandelier, keep the pendant lights simple and discreet.

Adding that all important bit of bling is important but remember not to overdo it, a crystal chandelier is usually enough but if this isn’t possible, add mirrors which will create the same twinkle effect.

Don’t forget, going that little bit darker on the walls is always my thing, it creates a much cosier feel, but adds contrast and can pull a scheme together – in my opinion it’s what’s missing in most interiors.

david hutton interiors, smart interiors

david hutton interiors, smart interiors

david hutton interiors, smart interiors david hutton interiors, smart interiors

Adding the that wow to a room!

Firstly a big sorry for the lack of posts, haven’t blogged for 2 months which is the longest time since starting the blog over a year ago. It’s almost like I decided to take the summer off!! but it’s because I have been so incredible busy and it’s so easy to get out of the habit of doing things! So from now I’m back and will be blogging every week. Feel free to tell me off if I don’t.

So lets talk about adding the wow to a room as trying to change a room can be a daunting process. Knowing where to start and making decisions isn’t always that easy for the best of us.
You may have a big budget which initially makes it easier but believe you me you can still make costly mistakes.

If you have a small budget it can even be more challenging but you have to be a wee bit more creative to pull it off. One of my more recent projects I was set the task of creating a wow factor but on a tight budget. This was for a show home for a developer in Cardiff but the same rules can be applied to a room make over at home. Although we had a budget to furnish all the rooms it didn’t stretch that far to go all guns blazing so we had to think of some clever decorating ideas to create the wow factor.

So if you are planning a room makeover start by really thinking about what you use the room for, for instance if it’s a space that gets lots of use you will need to think about adding ample of storage which is assessable and easy to use, or it may be a smart lounge which is just for evening use which instantly narrows it down to not having to be so practical therefore darker colours can be used to create a more cosy feel.

For me the No.1 game changer is PAINT, paint a room in a darker hue and it changes the feel instantly. I have recently painted my family lounge at home (including the ceiling) in dark inky blue, if I suggested this to a client they would almost in an instant say NO, but it is amazing the response I have had, friends that came for dinner recently were balled over and loved it but said they wouldn’t of thought of using darker colours on the walls let alone the ceiling. And it doesn’t make a room look smaller, that’s a myth, light it well and break the walls up with mirrors and art, it adds such a great depth to the room. Now I have just touched on art this is also a great way to add interest to a room and it doesn’t have to cost the earth, framing vintage posters is a great cost effective solution.

The one thing I have done with my room in the show home was to bring furniture into the room, a big NO NO for me is pushing furniture up against the wall like it’s been naughty and it’s not allowed to play. A must is adding larger pieces, like a chair, coffee table or oversized lamp, (don’t forget lighting is key). Playing with scale will trick the eye and make the space look bigger than it really is! If your going to move over to the dark side, adding a bit a glamour Hollywood style works a treat, sometimes a bit of shiny will break up the look. We added a crystal chandelier to the show home lounge which stopped the room looking too contrived, but puts a little fun into the scheme. But be aware! Adding too much bling can make a room look cheap so keep it to a minimum.
As you can see from the picture, adding the black wall to the kitchen takes this from a bland kitchen to a wow kitchen, and getting a pop of colour is always a nice way of stopping the room looking boring, adding a chair in a bright hue is a great way of achieving this.

david hutton interiors, bristol

david hutton interiors, bristol

Adding the black paint on the one wall livens up the room and takes it from being a bit bland to cool and chic. Such an easy and cheap thing to do.

david hutton interiors, bristol

 

Push the boat out and go darker, especially when decorating a room that’s used for chilling out in the evening, adding a bit of bling can create that wow you after.

david hutton interiors, bristol

Another great way of creating drama is adding splashes of colour which catches the eye.

Happy decorating, have a great weekend.

Room make over

Nothing like an early morning spin class to start the day!! And after a pretty hard week I am glad it’s Friday!!

So, I thought I would talk about making over a room today! easy…..no! for some maybe… for others… maybe not! Firstly you don’t have to have oodles of money to make over a room; determination and grit yes but money no!! For me the most transforming thing is PAINT!It’s relatively cheap and you don’t need to be an expert to use it!! It’s just being brave enough to push the boundaries and opt for something more daring and not opting for the safe option. I say go dark as it’s such a game changer and I’m banging on about it on my blog all the time! Crossing over to the dark side has so many benefits, it creates intrigue and totally changes the look of a room in an instant, it also creates a great backdrop to art, it makes it ping and one of the key tips is adding lots of art, don’t be afraid to cover the wall, with a few big pieces or a mish mash of sizes.  I love big frames with small pictures but a large mount around the picture, a great way to break up a dark wall, this creates contrast which is so important in an interior.  So if your thinking I have no art that’s going to cost me a bomb to create this look, I often buy art from poster websites, they’re cheap as and they have some very cool vintage style posters large and small, then frame them in simple frames with large mounts!

 

Now the other element to making over a room is TEXTURE, you can never have enough texture, lots of different types of fabrics is good, soft velvets and textured linens work well and when I say texture this also means wall treatment, there are so many great wallpapers out there, like the one I used in the bedroom scheme below which is a printed grass paper effect, adding the texture creates the much needed warmth to a room and a focal point which takes it to another dimension.

As you can see from the before and after pictures below, except for the new furniture the main change in the rooms are the walls, adding the texture like the large padded headboard or if the budget doesn’t allow for that then just going darker.

Happy decorating, once you go to the dark side there’s no going back!!

Here are some before and after shots, and please note guys, the first picture is the before!! but you know that right!!!!

 

 

David Hutton interiors blog pic1

David hutton interior blog pic 3

David hutton interior blog pic 2

Pictures courtesy of Cubex, Finzels Reach

Have a great weekend all, not a great Saturday for me as I will be sat in the passport office waiting for a new passport, but on the plus side Portugal next week for a business trip, Yay!!

Breaking the rules!

Feeling a little broken this week as did a 67 mile bike ride last Sunday (my first). Up to 40ish miles I was fine but after that I think my legs had enough, got off and walked away!! Still serves me right for going out with a bunch of cycle enthusiasts.

Anyway lets get to it, RULES is such a strict word I find and although people think there are rules within interior design, I don’t! Design is so subjective, what works for one doesn’t work for another. I don’t really have any rules when designing a scheme, although I sort of follow my own but only what helps me put a design scheme together not an industry set of rules. So I say break the RULES (love saying that).

1). Don’t use symmetry, it’s one of the most common things done in interiors, you know when lamps arrive 2 by 2 and park them selves on a console table.

2). Matching! I hate matching it’s definitely one thing I really try not to do, if you use a fabric on curtains or blinds this doesn’t mean you need to use the same fabric on the cushions! Mix it up, it creates intrigue, far more of an interesting look and the same goes for accessories, mix them up and it will look like you have collected them over time.

3). Furniture, this on is a biggy and probably one of the hardest rules to break. In my opinion this has to be mixed, if you look a the best interiors the furniture is always an eclectic mix, modern lines like a simple sofa teamed with an antique or vintage piece.Get this right and BINGO! when guest enter the room they won’t know what to look at first, it confuses the eye when things jar and creates a much better interior! and please don’t push all the furniture up against the walls like its a naughty kid thats been told off!!

4). SCALE! now playing with scale is a little scary I know, as the brain is telling you to put small items with small!! (am I making sense) So using an oversized lamp on a small table for instance seems crazy but can totally change the vibe to a room and again confuses the eye. Please please don’t be afraid to use larger pieces of furniture, trust me it works! Using small furniture especially in small rooms is one of the most common mistakes I see.

5). Last but not least COLOUR. Throw the oddball colour in the mix, works a treat and going darker (I know, I know I’m always going on about this one!) on the walls creates warmth and cosiness, who wants to sit in a white sterile room………….not me!

A few pics to inspire (courtesy of lonny magazine and Remodelista)

David Hutton Interior bristol, eclectic mix

Mixing up the furniture, I would never of thought about using the white chairs with the antique table, it creates the interest, not everyones cup of tea I know but it shows you how it can be done! Loving the colour on the walls.

David Hutton Interior bristol, mix of fabrics

Perfect example of how to use different patterns of fabric, no matchy matchy going on here. And a great use of colour.

David Hutton Interior bristol, scale

And here you have scale! the large mirror works so well but for me the small table in front with the oversized vase and eucalyptus is what sets it off!

Have a great day!

 

Recent projects

Back seems better! Hurray, but god damn the strong inflammatory tablets I’ve been taking have made me feel sick!! arghhh!! Still managed a trip to the velodrome on wednesday night with the fox cycling spin buddies, what a buzz and a great night, even if your not into cycling still worth doing I would say!!

Anyway lets get down to business. I thought I would talk about some of my recent projects, I don’t do this often but I’m rather proud of this one. A couple of months ago I posted about some show homes I did for Finzels Reach. This project is for the same development by Cubex and we were asked to also do the Marketing suite which is to be home for Savills Estate Agent and the office reception for Bridgewater House which is one of the prestigious office developments in Bristol. This has been such a great project to work on and I had a blast. Thanks to all the Cubex team for involving me on this project.

Finzels Reach Marketing SuiteFinzels Reach Marketing SuitFinzels Reach Marketing SuiteFinzels Reach Bridgewater House receptionFinzels Reach Bridgewater House reception

Photo’s courtesy of Cubex

Hope you all like, have a great weekend.

A kitchen is not just for cooking!

The sky’s are foggy in Bristol……great, whats going on with the weather!!  I’m just about getting back in to the land of the living! my back has been playing up, waking up every hour when you move doesn’t help and constant back ache can cloud the mind! I resisted (being a male and not good at excepting) and went to the doctors yesterday, so some very strong inflamentary tablets should do the trick!

Anyway onwards and upwards!

Don’t think I have chatted about Kitchens for a while so thought this would be a good topic today. They keep popping up in my head as I have seen some pretty amazing ones recently whilst searching for inspirational pictures. Most of them are in celebrity homes so some pretty cool kitchens I have to say and bucket loads of money spent on them but you can still take the principals of what makes it good. For me I am getting so bored of the what I call NORMAL kitchen, they all sort of take the same vibe and you see them time and time again, we really need to try and think a bit more creatively! So my biggest tip is treat it as a room your are going to spend lots of time in, a kitchen is not just for cooking. For instance in mine I have a textured wallpaper that looks like silk, its a commercial one so it’s actually very practical and can be heavily wiped.  I would usually use this type of paper in a lounge so it’s an instant mood creator. My biggest thing about creating a moody warm kitchen is not going for the clinical look so white is out, go for a darker colour for the doors and I always get wood into a scheme as it creates warmth and add’s texture. If you don’t want wood featured within the kitchen. ie doors or worktop try adding it to the floor, pick and engineered plank which is yay ok for kitchens!

Now I think going forward the next big things for kitchen is adding that bit of glam, something shiny. The back splash is the perfect place, again in my kitchen I added chrome round mosaic tiles which was a few years ago now so at the time seemed a bit crazy, and was more expensive that normal tiles but so worth is as I still love them, although if I was doing my kitchen today I would opt for gold, which is almost as glam as you can get and adds instant wow. If you got a big budget a metal back splash in copper or bronze would be amazing but another good and cheaper idea is smoked mirror! Adding all these elements creates the drama that you need. Get these things right and the actual kitchen (as in cupboards) can be pretty simply, and lining up the cabinets is a must for me, no different sized wall cupboards all over the place.

Now the finishing touches are things like adding pictures, vases with flowers and anything quirky that gives it that little va va voom and again treat as any other room! When planning a kitchen I always add some open shelves, somewhere to add some interest and break up the space. It doesn’t have to be majorly that practical but if you want it to, make sure you invest in some nice glasses, cups and crockery so you can show it off in style and I always pop a framed picture and vase to break it up.

Take a look at the pictures below, I know they have had a load of cash spent on them but they will inspire the mind when planning your kitchen.

David hutton interiors hammered gold kitchens

Love the hammered metal doors but they come with a price tag, the hammered metal pendants on the right hand side picture add the same type of glamour but for far less!

David hutton interiors gold splashbacks kitchens

Adding the gold back splash to grey colour scheme totally adds interest, love it! if your not brave enough add gold accessories like the kettle against a grey background is a good compromise.

David hutton interiors open shelves kitchens

This is where open shelves look great with stylish crockery nicely placed!!

David hutton interiors dark walls kitchens

The drama of the dark hue’s work so well.

Also one of the other things to say, if your planning an extension and thinking of creating that big kitchen, as you can see from the above pics some of the best kitchens are more compact, I say go smaller in the kitchen and create a much more useable space, and if you are going open plan try and have some sort of divide so it feels like the kitchen has it’s own space, like the picture below, still has the feel of open plan but isn’t!!

David hutton interiors kitchens

Have a great day

Newsy stuff!

Thought I would do a quick blog about a few things we are doing. For me it’s been a bit of a funny week, having a few days off over Easter has made it harder to get back into working this week. Would of quite liked the whole week off really!!

We have had our first article published for the Bristol Property Live paper http://www.bristolpropertylive.co.uk/ I’m talking about ‘adding colour to your interior’ Hope you enjoy! We are very chuffed here at DHI as it’s going to be regular monthly feature in the paper.

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Also we are very excited to have received our sample pots of Abigail Ahern new paint range that we will be stocking in the store and soon we will be painting out the walls in the store! Now we need to make our minds up of which colours to use!!

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Abigailahernpaints

Have a great weekend, more tips on interiors next week!

 

Sprucing things up!

A spin class first thing always sets you up for the day!! That’s what I’m telling myself anyway!! In need of a coffee hit, off to my regular coffee shop after posting this.

This week I thought I would talk about sprucing things up. I’ve been holding off on doing my bathroom because I’m thinking I will replace the whole suite, a free standing bath, vanity unit with marble top!! That’s on the wish list but comes with a high price tag. So after years of deliberating  I recently decided I’m just going to spruce it up and this is what I did:

1) Painted the walls a dark hue, charcoal grey with a hint of blue

2) Box in bath with a new bath panel and creating a ledge around the front and side

3) Re tiled the floor which was one thing that definitely needed doing, dark grey wood tiles

4) Added a large framed picture above the bath, very dramatic, colours almost the same colour of the walls

5) Added 2 ikea lack shelves to house all cosmetics and stacks of towels

6) Replaced the very boring typical bathroom mirror which I’ve had for donkey’s years with a very chunky black frame mirror, (actually it was light grey but I painted it black

7) New Chinese style unit added in a bright green colour

8) Final piece is a small stool and voila, it’s totally transformed without spending wads of cash!

Only got a couple of snaps from my phone so not great pics but I have found some that show you the type if thing I’m talking about and how you can change the look mainly by the colour you apply on the walls!

David hutton interiors Sprucing things up

David hutton interiors Sprucing things up

A great before and after shot, see what you can do by just changing the walls…. simple!

David hutton interiors bathroom wall colours

Loving the teal blue on the walls, I opted for the dark version like the picture on the left.

Did I mention that now the Bathroom has been spruced up, it’s now the kids favourite room!

Have a great day.

D

Out with the old

Its the time of year when we all start thinking about updating our interior or some of us do! and I think it’s mainly because we can all see that spring is around the corner. Well it’s extremely foggy in Bristol and can’t see around the corner at all!! but we know it’s hiding out there somewhere!!

For me I want to add colour and freshen my interior up a notch, this could be simply changing your cushions on your sofa to adding some spring blooms, the more the better I say and definitely Faux’s as they can stay there until winter time!!, this is such a good way to add that all important splash of colour, a bit like the pic below, take the flowers away and it’s a bit snoring!

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So if your feeling more daring you can add colour by painting, ok ok I know painting a strong colour on the walls is scary for so many of you but it is the most transforming thing you can do to your interior and if you don’t have the budget to add or change furniture it’s the simplest and most cost effective way and is a game changer trust me. If you don’t like it paint over it, no big deal right!! I don’t do what everyone does and paint the wall and think NO i don’t like it, you have to finish the room. The transformation doesn’t take place until the furniture goes back in place and art and pictures are up! If you are going for a bold or stronger tone, don’t forget that big pictures with white mounts break up the wall perfectly and if you are going for a bold colour please please go for more of an inky murky tone, it creates a much more sophisticated look and mood. Watch this space, we are looking at adding a dark, inky, moody paint collection in the shop. Message me if your interested in receiving info on this.

Here’s a few pics to inspire, if you don’t feel brave enough to paint the whole room why not try painting the back of some shelves in a bolder colour or a recess! I love the silk wallpaper behind the bed in one of the picture, transforms the room and add’s life.

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splash of colour

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bold colour

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bold colour walls

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dark colour walls

Absolutely loving the wall colour above, it’s my favourite colour of the moment and although a dark hue it still has an uplifting feeling to it. And this is what I mean about if you go for a bold colour go that little bit murky as it works!

Have a great weekend all!