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Happy New Year

Happy new year all!

Back to it last week in a big way, it’s my busiest month since being in business so no time to dwell or be depressed about getting back into the swing of things. Makes January so much easier as I really haven’t got time to think!!

So the a new year and 2014 feels like it’s going to be a good one, I don’t make any specific new years resolutions but one for me is definitely pushing myself out of my comfort zone especially when it comes to decorating, why don’t you go that step further you might surprise yourself.  I think it’s the year of being braver with your interior, out with the old, push the bounderies. For me beige is out and dark colours are in. Simply painting one of my rooms out in a dark hue, including the ceiling, totally changes the look. So I say for 2014 at least paint one room dark and see how it changes the feel.

As this is my first blog into the new year I thought I would start off easy and just get you all to start thinking how you can improve your interior. In these winter months your home is such an important thing to get right as we are spending more time indoors, snuggled up watching films, and a cosy interior helps so much more with this, turn the lights down and you never want to leave the space.

Also I’m predicting that colour will play a big part in interiors this year, especially the bold bright types! and they will be adorning our walls very soon, a brave thing to do and definitely pushing you out of your comfort zone, but hay hoe it’s only paint and can be painted over…right!!
Still adding a pop of colour in a chair or lamps could be a good starting point!

Here’s a few pics to inspire

Happy decorating

 

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To open plan or not to open plan!!

Thought I would talk about open plan living today, personally not a massive fan and this is mainly due to seeing so many open plan spaces that just don’t work. For me you loose the cosyness of a room, it’s almost like the personality of the room has been stripped out!. I was watching Grand Designs the other night which showed a great example of how to not spoil the layout by doing open plan, still individual rooms but sectioning off by creating floor to ceiling book case walls and larger openings without having doors. This is a great way to get a social more open space without going completely open. So much easier to furnish and finish off and create a more homely look.

Down the road from where I live, almost the same layout as my house, they have knocked down all the walls of the ground floor creating that open plan living!! and put up a glass block wall!! thought these were all the rage in the 80’s and 90’s! In the ground floor of my house I have made the opening bigger to the kitchen and family room which are opposite each other, taken the doors off, creating a more open feel but still keeping the individual rooms. Much better solution and not as costly.

A few of my favourite pics below to show you how it can be done.

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Love the sliding doors which creates the open feel but all important walls make the kitchen more intimate and separates it enough from the living space.

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This is the New York home of one of my favourite American designers Nate Berkus, A clever use of gazing separates the kitchen form the living.

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Above looks are not my normal style as not a fan of white walls, but the layout shows what I’m banging on about, creating divides in the room with bookcases or walls without separating the rooms off completely. Genius I say!

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This one is a bit American, but perfect example of not having the space completely open, it’s much more interesting to the eye and has a homely feel, don’t you agree!

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One of my favourite interiors by far, not open plan at all but love the way the kitchen looks into the living, slightly bigger opening with no door. Perfect way to create the wow with the blue wall!

Have a great day and weekend, busy one for me, client meetings in the shop all day tomorrow!

Commercial homeliness

I thought this morning I would talk about commercial projects as I have a few floating around! I have just finished designing a reception for a very corporate office in the centre of Bristol and my biggest challenge is making the space feel homely! It’s a brand spanking new building so lots of hard surfaces making it feel even more corporate and boring. For me adding the right amount of furniture is key, I see so many receptions with small sofa’s, chairs and tables, usually plonked in the corner and in black leather! So my first must have was:

1). Add plenty of furntiture, large sofa’s and upholstered chairs in fabric not leather

2). Add splashes of colour, a printed wallpaper is a great way to add this, almost like art on a wall (but much cheaper) and go for fabric in a daring colour on some items of the furniture.

3). As the floor was already tiled a super large rug was in desperate need!

4). Lighting is another key element, a focal pendant or 2 have been added to create interest but also to break up the big expanse of ceiling.

5). Ambient soft lighting was a must, which was added with lots of floor lamps. This is the game changer for me, not only does it create a much warmer cosier light but also makes the space feel more homely and attracts the eye, breaking up dead space.

6). Another way to break up the space is adding screens, this could be fabric panels, I opted for slatted screens which has helped zone the space.

7). Fabric was another thing that the space cried out for, so a simple curtain was added to one section of the glazed wall to add softness and also help with the acoustics.

8). Greenery, large planters with lots of foliage

9). Add something of interest, this could be sculpture, piece of art, on this particular project there was a very dark metal slatted wall,   so we added big backlit letters, welcoming you as soon as you enter the building.

A few pictures but there are not that many around which nail it for me.

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The fabric screens and ambient lighting totally break up this space.

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Have a great day!

Show home • daring to be different!

Sorry all, it’s been a while since my last post, my feet have literally not touched the ground! been so busy in October,mainly working on a show home in Cardiff but back to it now and will get back to my weekly posts I promise.

For this post seeing as I have been working on a show home I thought this could be a good subject. You all should know me by now! banging on about darker walls! it’s a must for me, so the first thing on my to do list for the show home was to paint some rooms (budget permitting) a darker hue. Trust me if I had a bigger budget the whole house would of been painted (it had already been painted your standard beige, a nice beige mind you!). My first feature was to break up the open plan kitchen, I know these days everyone likes open plan living but the space can look a little dead if you don’t create any interest, so a blackboard paint wall it was and adding a slatted screen or 2 did the trick. For me the black wall totally changes the look and is the game changer. Mixing the furniture is also key, a bit of old with a glam piece and a punchy colour works wonders.

The lounge had to be dramatic, the hue on the walls was one of the ways to achieve this (which is the cheapest way)  darker than most would dare and the developer nearly got us to re paint it! but once the furniture and art came out it worked so well and I loved it so i managed to persuade him to stick with my madness! which is hard for some to understand I know!! I also added an interesting wallpaper to an alcove which created that extra bit if intrigue.

A  bug bearer for me in your normal type of show home is how its dressed, almost a false way of living, don’t get me wrong its hard to make a house look lived in when its not but theres nothing wrong with injecting a bit more personality into the space, making it feel more like a home rather than a show piece. For me its all about mixing the styles, don’t matchy match things too much, ie same fabric used on a headboard and curtains and just because you have a console table it doesn’t mean the lamps have to come in two by two, a couple of different lamps, art propped up against the wall, a couple of vases, jugs, vessels with faux flowers is a much better option!

The show home was open a week and half and that unit has sold already, so it proves that being a little bit more daring (developers out there) is a good thing!!

Anyway enough of my rambling, pictures below courtesy of Loosemore Hope you like!

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David Hutton Interiors showhome 7

have a great day

Buying & my favourite interiors

Sorry for lack of posts recently, it’s been a bit crazy here. Installed a London job last week, dressing and supplying furniture for a 3 million pad in Knightsbridge which was for a developer, how the other half live hey!! So the last week has been hectic to say the least and not only that we have work coming out of our ears so lots to get on with!! Not complaining at all by the way!

Couple of weeks ago I went up to the Autumn Fair in Birmingham, I have to say I wasn’t all that impressed. The main reason I went  was to look at a faux flower supplier, which was good and did manage to find a couple of new companies, ordered some amazing fragrance candles and olive & fig was the winning smell for me. So Paris it is for me next year (one of the biggest trade shows for interiors), all my current suppliers exhibit their so that’s going to be more up our street. And hopefully more inspirational, I can’t believe the tat that is still in demand in this country!!

Today I thought I would talk about general interiors and why I love it. For me having a nice home is the most important thing, I don’t get it when people spend all there money on other things? as the home is where u spend most of your time and I always use this quote “A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience” (Sydney Smith) so many people spend money on cars and gadgets but walk into there home and they have magnolia walls and 20 year old sofa, but the latest high tech tv is pride of place in the middle of the wall!! Huh don’t get it, much prefer to sit in a room that you feel you don’t want to leave and instantly relax,  and have a tiny tv instead! You don’t have to have oodles of money just a bit of imagination and bravery to try things out if from the norm, u can Instantly transform a room with paint and the darker u go the better!!

So here’s a few if my favourites interiors.

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This explains my point exactly, small TV, money spent on art instead which makes for an intriguing interior! Totally love the collection of art and using every bit of space possible!

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Both above pics, are a Hotel in Miami but I love the look which could work in a home perfectly, the lounge makes me want to pop my self down, sip gin and tonics and read a book all day! Mind you the view of the sea helps!!

All images are from Martin Brudnizki Design Studio in London, one of my favourite designers.

Thats it for me today as got to get on with a million and one things to do!

Have a great day!

Bold colour

Early start for me this morning, 6 o’clock rise to get a run in and after not running for a few weeks it was like starting all over again and the legs felt like lead weights! not good. After the run  wrote the blog then off to framers to talk about framing some wonderful art by Jo de Pear (http://www.modernartbuyer.com/artwork.php?id=289) for a client, although the art is delicate the use of colour is amazing which brings me on to talking about colour, I’m starting to see interiors with the use of block colours! Now by block colours I mean very rich hues used on large areas. In my opinion it’s one of the hardest things to pull off! But get it right and it looks amazing. So if u want a bit of colour in your life why not try it out with paint, the easiest way to transform a room and the cheapest! And guess what if you don’t like it just paint over it! Simple right!!

If you are brave enough I say do the whole room in a deep  hue, look at the pic below, the room looks amazing and has a great use of colour.ImagePhotographer: Trevor Tondro

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Love the above wall colours, especially the green.

The other way is to paint 1 wall, now I know feature walls are a thing of the past but I say if it works why not, I agree that the B&Q wallpaper feature walls have been done to death. I say try painting the room a darker hue with a wall in a block colour or you could try small areas like the back of shelves, in pic below I think it totally transforms the space and stops the simple shelves looking dull dull dull and showcases the items on the shelves so much better don’t you agree!

Image Photographer: Trevor Tondro

Now the other way is block colour on furniture, in the shop we have a small chest of drawers fairly traditional in style but painted out in a deep hue which makes it look more up to date and far less stuffy, sort of puts the fun into it! Now try adding an item of furniture in a bright colours but remember to restrict the colour pallet, u don’t want lots of colours fighting to be the star, pick one bright colour then others more paired down and ones that fit in with star colour, maybe add one other contrasting one! U can also block colour armchairs which is a great way, at the moment I love this orange fabric by mark Alexander, it’s also got a great texture, it’s going to feature in the shop soon and make its way into my new casual lounge! When I get chance to do it, still haven’t started the bedroom!! Whoops..

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If this all seems a little scary try ping this in a small room, ensuite or cloakroom or a strip behind a desk would work well and is perfect starting point.Image

( Images from Rue, Real Living & Lonny Magazine)

Have a great day!

Curtains

Sorry guys a bit slack on getting the post out this week, just managed to finish it so here you go.

Thought I would talk about curtains. It’s one of those items a lot of people will spend money on but get it wrong and you will have to live with a costly mistake! So I thought I would give you a few tips.

Tip 1, If you want to live with them for a while go for simply, I always blend the curtains in with the walls, for me it’s more about texture than pattern.

Tip 2, Simple heading, I always always opt for cartridge pleat heading as it looks really simply and elegant when drawn, almost like it’s just neatly looped back.

Tip 3, If budget allows go for interlining the curtains which is like sewing in a blanket inbetween the fabric and lining, it makes them look so luxurious

Tip 4, If you don’t want them too plain go for a simple pattern, we have a small patterned fabric in the shop, we get so many compliments about them.

Tip 5, Add a texture to a plain fabric like a soft velvet band across the bottom, main fabric in say a linen, a great way to have plain curtains but adding interest without going for a bold pattern, this could also be a good way to add a plash of colour

Tip 6, My favourite thing to do is add tape trimmings, adds interest without over doing it.

Tip 7, If you have’t got big budget go for sheer fabric curtains as they are so much chepaer to make and you only need to buy the sheer fabric as no need for lining etc. This will still soften the room but won’t totally block light out so there may be need for blinds or use in a room that you don’t want to  close off from the rest of the world

Tip8, If you are brave, go for a bright jewel colour, get this right and this can look amazing! much harder look to pull off and you really need to have the rest of the room nailed with the furniture etc as you don’t just want to walk in a room with the curtains being the only feature, this will make the rest of the room look dull as dish water.

Take a look at these pic, Loving the green curtains, thinking I need to do this somewhere at home. But where is the question!!

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This is a pic from my shop (excuse the poor photo taken on my iphone) and explains tip 1, 2, 3 & 4

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Above pics show curtains (tip 5) with  bands added on the bottom and the right hand side photo shows adding a contrast leading edge, just a adding a little ping of colour stops the curtains looking to plain!

 

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Add pattern  tape to edge of curtains, totally transforms them and a cheap way to add a bit of interest, Tip 6

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Tip 7 which is great for budget option, sheer curtains, pick the correct hue and they can look great!

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And if you are brave go for a bright colour, love the curtains in the pic above still simple but very effective. Note you either have to have an amazing room or great furniture to pull this off to it’s full advantage. The grey walls work perfectly!

Have a great weekend guys!

 

Entertaining in style!

Sorry for lack of post last week, went on a mini break to cornwall for 3 days and it rained solidly for 2 of them!! Think we picked the worst weekend of weather we have had for weeks!! typical!!

Seeing as it seems to be the season to entertain I thought I would talk about styling your dinner table! And seeing as we have had hotter weather we are entertaining more outside!

you’ve got to think slightly outside the box, you don’t have to have a wad of cash to make a table look more inviting  it’s the simply things that can make it look intriguing. My most favourite thing is adding flowers, it could be as simple as adding a row of jam jars filled with blooms down the centre of the table. I also use candle holders as they are like mini vases! the next thing is adding a runner or table cloth, I always use an off cut of fabric or simply buy a couple of metres of fabric as the choice is so much better than trying to find a tablecloth. I then just fold it usually like a runner and go for something dramatic, especially if you have white simple crockery, this will make the table far more interesting. I love the bold stripe one in the pic below or even just a bold colour looks great.

When adding flowers I would use this opportunity to add that all important splash of colour. Another great little thing to do is adding tea lights dotted around, I almost like a tea light per guest. If u get the table cloth and flowers right I like to keep the crockery simple, I personally think too much crockery on a table can make it look cluttered. Once the table is clear you still want it too look great so it’s important to get the look correct without the crockery! One of the key things is contrast, contrast between the crockery and the cloth! I love the black plate in one of the picture and gold is making a massive comeback and looks great within the table setting.

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Above is one of my favourite American designers Kelly Wearstler who is a master at setting a table and uses objects and sculptures to dress the table.

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Right that’s  it from me! I have included a few pics of a dInner party we hosted earlier this year which was featured in the crumbs food magazine! luckily one of my friends is a private chef which obviously helped! don’t do what I did and decide to paint one of the walls the night before!! Crazy!!

http://www.crumbsmag.com/journal/253_the-supper-club-table-talk

Have great day!

Quick fixes!

Right really got to get my act together with sorting out the house, got friends staying in a few weeks and the downstairs room that used to be the office needs transforming back to a casual lounge but have a stag do and a trip to Cornwall in between so not much time to do it, will give it a go at least!!

With this in Mind I thought I would talk about quick fixes but on a budget! So guys the most transforming thing to do in a room is painting the walls but op for a more striking look, just dare to go that bit darker it will transform the space in an instant, I’m going really dark almost charcoal grey!! I’m going add lots of pictures which breaks the space up and will give the walls depth.

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My next tip is add a graphic rug, you can get some real bargains out there try urban outfitters and ikea, I’m going for a black and white version which will be dramatic, always need a bit if drama I say!!

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Tip 3, add shelves as this really breaks the Space up, the floating ones from ikea are as cheap as! I’ve put 2 together wall to wall so they look like they have been made to fit, I had to cut them down a bit so u may need a saw or someone handy but worth it as they look so much better. Also another tip is paint them out the same colour as the walls. Now this is we’re u add your personality, so layer the shelves with books pictures lent up overlapping each other, the odd ball ornament will finish it off!!

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Now adding the furniture is the hard part mainly as its the biggest ticket priced item so if budget allows for new pieces great if not (like us) I’m just adding a new coffee table I’m going for a reclaimed one which breaks up the look as everything else has cleaner lines, always good to mix it you don’t want matching furniture it will look boring! I’m still going for some simple modern cabinets from ikea for the tv unit again cheap and the same trick as the shelves add some together to fit within a space makes it looked built in, which didn’t cost much but looks like it cost a buck! If budget can’t stretch to new sofa or chairs u can hunt for some second hand ones but in my opinion this can take an age to find the right look and a bargain, to juzz up an old sofa u can add throws and lots of mix match cushions, try jewel block colours for this as its on trend and if budget could stretch to new chairs do these in a block bright colours it will throw the whole scheme off balance, which us a good thing. Remember to limit the colour palette you don’t want too many colours as it will then feel wrong. Don’t forget, get the rug right and this could be the winning piece that will help with using existing furniture as it will distract the eye away.

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Happy decorating!

Small spaces!

Thought I would chat about small spaces and in my opinion the easiest spaces to design as it’s more restrictive so not so many options to look at!! I sort of usually nail it in one hit but for most people they struggle with knowing what to do. This is down to the main focus being to make the space look bigger……wrong! Design it like any other space, firstly what is the room used for and then fill it, yes fill it with what is required. Don’t be afraid to use normal size furniture, one of the biggest mistakes is using teeny weeny pieces of furniture, it ends up making the space look wrong. A key elements is storage, if the budget allows a clever use of built in storage is great, lets say shelving unit going up to the ceiling for instance and wall to wall! A cheaper alternative is joining shelving units from ikea!

Almost everyone I talk to paints the walls pale, for me it’s a myth that pale colours make the room look bigger, it’s what you do with the space itself that counts!! so painting the walls darker will for sure give it a cosier feel but it won’t make the space look smaller, it will be far more interesting than boring pale walls. It’s then how you dress the walls, say one wall of storage then fill the other walls with pictures, a trick is to hang the pictures (lots of them) from floor to ceiling and add mirrors as the reflection is so much more important to make a space look bigger than going for pale walls. Another trick that I have done many times is hanging blinds from the ceiling hiding the wall above the window, this elongates the window and gives the illusion that ceiling height is bigger. Painting the ceilings the same colour of the walls also does the same thing but I know this is a scary move as many are afraid of bringing the ceiling down! but it does the opposite as it stops you from looking at the ceiling and doesn’t bring your attention to it. If this is too big a step, try jumping down a shade lighter for the ceiling.

And the last thing is using larger items, not all the pieces but at least one, my favourite is an oversized lamp, it will enlighten the eye and make you think this belongs to the space almost tricking the brain into thinking the space is bigger than it really is.

Some pics below, all mainly of New York pads as there ares o many bijoux apartments but the interiors are very cleverly designed.

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Personally I would rather live in a home like this than a massive open plan room with little furniture and no atmosphere.

Right time to sell up and find a small pad! sorry kids!!