Home tones: blending multiple colours

Paint colour charts

No matter where you live, it’s crucial to make sure that your home feels comfortable and welcoming. Whether you’re living in a cosy little place that’s short on space but big in personality, or you’re trying to make it work with a one-bedroomed apartment, there are plenty of ways to add something special to your home with some careful interior decorating.

When it comes to home decorating, we often approach our projects from a range of different angles, choosing colours and objects that appeal to our personal tastes or create specific emotions. However, the way that you blend multiple colours throughout a home can have a huge impact on your interior atmosphere. Here, we’re going to give you some tips on how you can blend colours effectively to have the best interior design results.

Bright yellow armchair in a wood panelled room

Use bright colours to create space

Many people assume that the best way to create space in a small room is by using a lot of white – but this might not be the answer. Whether you’re making the most out of a tiny bathroom or living room, consider using vibrant colours such as yellows and blues to add space to your home. Just try to make sure that the hues you choose aren’t too dark. The idea should be to stick with bright, pastel-based colours instead.

Rose pink & grey sofa and cushions

Add depth to a room with complex colours

If you want an interior design that has plenty of depth and meaning, then make sure that you use a range of colours that deliver a deeper atmosphere. Rather than going for bright primary colours or simple hues, consider eggshell whites and dusty pinks – the kind of colours that evoke emotions and bring certain situations to mind. You can even use colours from your past in certain rooms to remind you of fond memories. For instance, if you had yellow in your kitchen as a child, you might choose to decorate your new kitchen with yellow accents.

Colourful folding shutters in shades of blue & green

Provide splashes of colour with shutters

Most people add colour to otherwise bland rooms with paintings, throws and rugs, but it’s important to remember that you can have an equally powerful effect by installing coloured full-height shutters. Not only will these shutters help you to control the amount of light and noise that enters your home, but you’ll also be able to add bright splashes of your favourite hues without worrying about a pattern becoming too overwhelming.

Yellow upholstered desk chair

Use relaxing colours to help you unwind

Though it can sometimes be tempting to use dark and seductive colours in the bedroom, such as red and purple, it’s important to remember that these colours can generate appetites and raise your blood pressure. Instead, you should be opting for colours that prompt relaxation. In bathrooms and bedrooms, stick to cooler colours such as blues and soft greens to help provide a calming atmosphere at the time when you need it most. Remember, the darker the shade you choose, the more significant the impact will be. To avoid going too far with colour, it may be helpful to choose one feature wall and keep the rest in soft shades.

Green bathroom wall

Choose flattering colours in the bathroom

If you know a colour that suits you particularly well, then that’s usually the one that you should choose for your bathroom decoration. The bathroom is where a lot of people go to check themselves out, do their make-up, or sort out their hair for a big night, so you want to make sure that your bathroom makes you feel as confident as possible. Try mixing numerous colours that blend well together, such as soft greens and darker forest colours.

Green and yellow patterned cushions

Encourage optimism with yellows and oranges

Finally, if you struggle to find your optimism from time to time, why not introduce some brighter colours around the home that could help to keep you smiling? Yellow and orange can promote optimism, and they’re perfect for use in a sun room or an enclosed front porch. When used towards the entrance of the home, yellow and bright-coloured paints can help to give you an extra dose of optimism before you tackle the day ahead.

Bedroom/study with bright orange wall

Choosing colour for decoration

When it comes to decorating, we frequently find ourselves choosing favourite colours and hues without thinking about the impact that these shades might have on our emotions. Thinking carefully about the way that you blend colours throughout your house could not only add extra depth to your decorating efforts but also ensure that you have better control over your day-to-day emotions.

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How to achieve an industrial style in your home

Tripod search light beside a cast iron spiral staircaseAvailable at Lampandlight.co.uk

Industrial style is a genre that we love! It draws its inspiration from factory and work spaces. It’s is a look with striking accents without the fuss. Features to be found in this type of interior include factory furniture, large lamps, enamel light shades, sturdy iron staircases, practical metal cabinets and bare brick walls.

The basis for any industrial style starts with simplicity; think cool, natural colours such as black, white, grey, army green and brown. Materials such as concrete and stone fit perfectly in an industrial-styled interior and create a more functional, utilitarian space.

Collection of industrial style hexagonal table lampsAvailable at Lampandlight.co.uk

Anything considered natural or rustic  can complement an industrial-style space. Cast iron, leather, brick and wood would all be suitable. Juxtapose the different elements – a stainless steel dining table against a rough brick wall, a reclaimed wooden kitchen worktop with a concrete splash back or stone flooring with a large, worn leather armchair. Bringing these colours and materials together delivers an exciting and stylish place.

When it comes to pulling this style together, aim for a more Spartan  look. You really can’t go wrong with this, it’s simple and minimal.

Bare brick walls, exposed pipes or wooden beams are the starting point of an industrial space. Not every house can boast rough-hewn brick walls; fake it with textured wallpapers that can imitate the appearance you desire.

Eye-catching, statement pieces of furniture bring together the overall effect. Perhaps a large well-worn Chesterfield leather sofa or a dining table constructed from used scaffolding boards. Remember, the furniture shouldn’t look pristine; the more weathered, battered and patinated the better!

Industrial style copper cage pendant light fittingAvailable at Lampandlight.co.uk

Complete the transformation with industrial lighting. Picture large, robust lights such as factory lamps hanging from the ceiling – these are instant statement makers. Enamel or brushed metal lamps suspended with chain or thick rope cables are perfect within an industrial-styled interior.

Complement and contrast with the lamps using beautiful and decorative LED filament bulbs, these bulbs are not only energy efficient but they also have a longer life span… and are really on trend at the moment.

Hard surfaces and clean lines will dominate, so perhaps soften spaces with rugs and textiles – or introduce a bit of natural life with indoor plants or fresh flowers.

With all of these tips you can’t go wrong when it comes to creating an industrial style and décor! Once again remember, less is more – and be daring and bold.

5 ways to dress awkward windows

Unusual exterior windows on a housecredit

Whether it’s their size, shape or location – some windows can be awkward to dress. Here are a few tips to solve the potential difficulties.

VELUX blackout blinds

Dormer windows and roof lights

Windows in attic rooms and loft conversions are often difficult to dress. Windows that slope at an angle are best served by roller blinds. If the room at the top of the house is being used as a bedroom, stopping the bright sunlight from waking you up each morning can be something of a challenge. Luckily, VELUX Blinds are available in blackout options to remedy this problem.

Large bedroom bay windowcredit

Bay windows

Roman or Venetian blinds are often the best solution here. The latter can require lots of dusting but you can get a special tool to make light work of this. And if it’s curtains you want, bay window kits are available to buy that contain curved curtain poles or tracks.

Sitting room with white bottom up blindscredit

Overlooked windows

If you live on a busy main road or there are other people’s windows facing yours at the same height, bottom up blinds are a great solution. This is especially the case if you have a lovely view out of the top of the window but people can peer in at the bottom. Fitting bottom up blinds in our front lounge has been on our ‘to do’ list for quite a while – we could easily block out the view of passing traffic to leave a far more attractive view of the trees and church steeple beyond. We must get that done soon!

Bathroom with patterned opaque film on windowscredit

Bathroom windows

Again, roller blinds are a common solution. Or perhaps try an opaque adhesive film which restricts people’s view into this private space, but still allows light to pour in. It also avoids the need for fabrics which can get wet and attract mould.

Half moon windows with custom made shutterscredit

Arched or angled windows

Custom-made shutters might be the best answer here as they really enhance unusual shapes. Cobbling something together will probably look messy – and just installing a plain rectangular ‘off the shelf’ solution won’t maximise the potential of an interesting house feature.

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Updating your home style for the winter months

Winter exterior

A new season is upon us and with it comes the challenge of transforming the home. For a season with a reputation for being boring, winter is often viewed as a tricky month to bring into the home. The blues & greys usually associated with winter are cold and uninviting, but it is possible to emulate the warmth and cosiness and sparkle and glamour of winter. Here are two easy to do themes that are guaranteed to bring a touch of winter beauty and character into your home this Christmas without leaving you shivering.

Living room mantlepiece decorated for wintercredit

Winter wonderland

This winter theme is for those looking to inject a touch of class, sophistication and glamour into your home. It’s all about silver colours and sparkle, emulating the sparkle of the frost and the snow and capturing the sparkling beauty of the frosty winter months (not the cold, though!).

  1. The living room

Turn your living room into a winter wonderland by swapping your centre light for a beautiful chandelier. Get some gorgeous sparkly candle holders, light some scented candles and watch the light dance off the crystals. Silver scatter cushions with plenty of sparkles are great for creating a cosy, winter-themed sofa. Instead of bright lights this winter, use candles and lamps to create warmth.

  1. The bedroom

Snuggle into your very own winter wonderland. Swap drab boring furniture for beautiful mirrored furniture. There’s plenty of different styles to choose from – plain glass, or smoky coloured, depending on your style. Swap your bedspread for something glittering and beautiful. You don’t have to stick silvers and greys either; rich purples and royal reds also ooze winter sophistication. There are plenty of places to find bedspreads, including JD Williams.

Winter log cabin

Rustic log cabin

If you’d prefer a more home-made, cosy winter feel, the log-cabin theme is the one for you. It’s all about rustic colours, mismatched furniture, dim lights and rustic fashion.

  1. The living room

Swap heavy lights for lamps and candles to create a cosy, warm, rustic hue this winter. Snuggle up on a sofa that’s covered in comfy scatter cushions. There are plenty available this season in reds, greens and oranges – all with beautiful patchwork patterns or reindeer images. Nature themes are great for this time of year. The more handmade, the better. Drape a patchwork blanket over the sofa, ready to grab and snuggle underneath on those cold nights. Drape some multi-coloured lights across door frames and windowsills to capture the festivities of the season and add some much-needed colour and warmth to what would otherwise be a drab and cold winter.

  1. The bedroom

Carry on the theme of mismatched and rustic style into the bedroom by investing in a patchwork quilt, knitted throw and heavy curtains to block out the cold air. The best colours for the bedroom to instil warmth this season are reds and oranges. Candles and lamps create a beautifully warm and inviting glow. Christmas decorations are usually reserved for downstairs, but a couple of carefully draped strings of fairy lights will set off any bedroom. Swap modern furniture for antique pine to really create the feeling of a log cabin.

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How to introduce a taste of the exotic to your home

Eclectic bedroomcredit

Who doesn’t love travelling, seeing the world and learning about other cultures and customs? When you’ve arrived back home you may want to incorporate your exotic experiences into your home décor. Here are a few of our tips for doing just that.

Have faraway dreams

You may have returned home, back to your everyday lives, but you can always go to sleep and dream about your past adventures. Envelop yourself in beautiful, bohemian bedding like this duvet set pictured below from Vaulia.

Exotic duvet set available from Vaulia

Turn your bathroom into a tropical rainforest

The bathroom is where you go to wash away the stresses of the day and recharge your batteries. Fill the space with lush, architectural plants. Many exotic, tropical plants will thrive in a warm, damp bathroom environment – even where there’s little sunlight. Try growing ferns, orchids and small bamboos to create your own tropical rainforest.

Roll-top bath surrounded by tropical plantscredit

Wall to wall paradise

Wallpaper is a great way of updating the feel of a room. Bold, bright, sumptuous prints incorporating exotic birds, flowers, plants – and in this case – palm trees introduce an equatorial ambiance.

Palm tree print wallpapercredit

Map the world

We all have a wish list of places we’d like to visit before we die. Hang a large world map on your wall and stick pins into the countries & cities where you want to holiday. You could also attach snaps, postcards, ticket stubs and the like to the places you’ve already been as a reminder of past good times. We love the idea of this DIY project below where a string of fairy lights has been used to illuminate spots on a map where the maker has been.

DIY illuminated mapcredit

Art

This massive mural of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s ‘Lady from the Orient’ creates a striking, eastern vibe. Such a stunning addition needs plenty of space around it in order to appreciate it to full effect. Keep furnishings in muted colours and accessories to a minimum.

Wayne Hemingway in front of a huge mural of Tretchikoff's Lady from the Orientcredit

Display souvenirs from your travels

When you’ve visited exciting and far-flung destinations, a way of of keeping the memories of your trip alive is to bring back souvenirs. Anything from vernacular furniture items to unique trinkets & handicrafts, beach-combed finds to pieces of locally-made jewellery. Blow up, print, frame and display your favourite holiday photos. Having them in out plain sight feeds your wanderlust – you’ll be planning that next journey in no time!

Ethnic furniture finds with blown up photograph of an African girl in traditional dresscredit

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3 Ways to make your home look more spacious

Open plan kitchen dinercredit

It’s incredibly easy and affordable to make smaller rooms in your home appear more spacious. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. By following these 3 steps, you can easily add length, depth and height to any space.

Bedside vignette in neutral tonescredit

Use low-contrasting, cool colours

Lighter colours reflect light. Darker colours absorb it. In the world of decorating, there are several ways to manipulate colour to make a space feel larger:

  • Lower the contrast among the colours in a room. Stick with neutral tones in adjacent shades throughout your design.
  • Paint trim and moulding a shade or two lighter than the walls. This helps to make walls appear as if they’re receding.
  • Use colours that are cool, as opposed to warm – icy blues, greys, mint greens – these are all colours that give the illusion of spaciousness. Carry them over from your wall colours to your designer curtain fabrics, wall art and throw pillows.
  • Consider your art work. If you’re decorating a small room, covering the walls with multiple large canvases or frames can often make the space feel more overcrowded. If you’re wanting to make an artistic statement in your room, try installing wall murals instead.

Dwelle prefabricated homecredit

Create room flow

Avoid interrupting the flow of your space as much as possible. Rooms that are cut up into sections by furniture, rugs or other elements feel smaller than rooms with plenty of open space. There are a few simple methods of optimising the flow in your home.

  • Consider installing seamless flooring, such as hardwood or tile, that flows uninterrupted from room to room. Choose larger flooring units, as opposed to smaller ones. For instance, 18-inch tiles make a room appear more spacious than 12-inch tiles because there are fewer grout lines that intersect, making the overall pattern appear less busy.
  • Purchase furniture that serves a dual purpose, such as an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table or an armoire that stores your television and electronics. This will help you streamline your furnishings and eliminate extra pieces that take up needless space. You also want to make sure the furniture pieces you’re displaying are proportional to the size of your room. While oversized couches, cabinets, dressers and beds look dramatic; they take up much more space than needed.
  • De-clutter and organise. Go for a minimalist approach to help your space look larger. Make good use of vertical space in the form of bookshelves and wall-mounted ledges. This will help to get articles such as books and collectibles off tables and stands that take up precious floor space.

Buttoned chair & footstool in front of a fireplace filled with logs with large mirror abovecredit

Reflect soft, natural light around the room

The way in which a room is lit goes a long way toward creating a mood, whether it’s small and cosy or spacious and relaxing. There are many creative ways to bring openness to a space using light:

  • Introduce natural light. Cut daylight-blocking shrubbery away from the windows of your home, and clean and polish the glass on both sides. The addition of natural light to a space gives it an airy and open appeal.
  • Where natural light is not an option, use lamps. Try to create soft shadows as opposed to stark contrast between dark corners and bright white walls.
  • Use mirrors – mirrored doors, back splashes or decorative mirrors mounted as art. Mirrors help reflect light around a room, giving it depth and fullness.

These simple design tips will easily and instantly make a small space seem much more spacious.

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