A guide to mixing vintage with contemporary

Mixing vintage and contemporary style in our top-floor bedroom | H is for Home

The love for a vintage article – what’s the story behind the item? Where has it come from? Who loved it before you? What made them cherish it to the point that it’s survived the years of a throwaway society? There’s something comforting about vintage pieces whether it be a recognition of it from the films & TV we adore, or just a respect for its manufacture and survival.

Vintage industrial metal cabinet with antique rustic chair | H is for Home

With a little thoughtfulness and planning these relics from the past can be incorporated into our modern, busy lives and homes. The trick to getting vintage right is getting the balance between vintage and contemporary. There are no hard and fast rules, but it’s essential to get the balance right: too much vintage industrial and your living space can feel like a factory, too much rustic or shabby chic and the space can feel twee and staged. To develop cohesiveness, you need a combination of both vintage and modern, and a select few transitional pieces to bridge the gap between styles and eras.

Antique armchair with bright cushion and trio of vintage West German fat lava floor vases | H is for Home

Balance can be achieved by cleverly using colour, pattern and texture; proportion is key to all of these elements. You don’t want to overdo one aspect of your style preferences. Complementing accents of colour can be used in textiles and accessories to both unite and subtly support your vintage piece in its surroundings, turning it into an eye-catching focal point.

Vintage industrial trolley being used as a coffee table with contemporary metal drawers | H is for Home

Balance is critical when combining two very different styles; however, don’t be scared to contrast. Contrast adds interest to your design, and to have foolproof success, consider the largest piece of furniture and accessorize with contrasting items. Install a modern crystal chandelier over a vintage velvet chesterfield, or dress it with cushions of modern fabrics; place an antique lamp on an ultra-modern table. The options to contrast are limitless, and care needs to be taken not to create a haphazard, chaotic space. You want it to feel that the items in the room have been curated organically and not ordered straight from the page of a magazine. Choose one or two contrasting finishes to avoid visual chaos: sometimes less is more!

Pair of antique leather club chairs - one with a contemporary cushion from MADE.com - in front of a wood-burning stove | H is for Home

The age of everything being matched with theme-y precision is long gone. The most inspiring and attractive rooms are those that combine furniture, colours, textures and patterns that are both old and new, in a way that feels unique and effortless but breath-taking. Mixing vintage and contemporary styles allows you to be bold and reflect your personality and individuality.

Red contemporary floor lamp with antique stool and vintage West German fat lava vases | H is for Home

If you still feel something is interrupting the flow of your room, take some time out before looking at it again. If something still niggles, remove one of the objects and take another look. Sometimes a specific item can throw the room out and affect the overall look; you just need to resist the urge to add more to the room! Grouping together too many accessories of opposing design style can easily turn the look of your lounge into a garage sale.

Contemporary 'Rain rain go away' framed poster with collection of vintage gardening books | H is for Home

When you’ve finished decorating and styling the room, take a step back and survey it. Is it working? If it’s not quite right, it might feel like the obvious solution is to add more to the space; more colour, more furniture, more accessories. Instead, you should do the opposite. Remove items one by one to see if it’s a specific item (or items) affecting the overall look. In the words of Coco Chanel, “Less is always more”.

[disclosure*]

Save

Flooring trends for 2017

Flooring trends for 2017

As we’re 4 months into the year (scary, we know!) we’ve had enough time to analyse the trends of last year and see what will continue to flourish in 2017!

Now, people often overlook flooring and the effect that it can have on a room. Well, it’s time to put a stop to this! So rip up that old lino in the kitchen, pull up the carpet in the hallway and allow us to take you through the top flooring trends for the year.

Hell hath no fury like a woman (or man) making a change – at least we think that’s how it goes! In line with the feel-good factor, it’s time to make a statement in your home, get rid of the bland, be bold and own it – literally.

Open-plan room with dark floor

Leading the way with statements, let’s start with one of the flooring trends that really took off in 2016, dark coloured floors. This type of flooring really caught on last year and it works particularly well in line with another trend, contrasting white/grey furnishings. Although it’s commonly said that dark floors make a room appear smaller, the counter argument is that they help to create a lovely amount of warmth and comfort within a room and as mentioned above, are easy to pair with both modern and classic furnishings.

Distressed floorboards

We’ve also seen a huge rise in distressed, engineered wood flooring. This helps to create a real rustic look, aligned with the current shabby chic trend (that still seems to be going strong!), it gives you much more freedom to accessorise and add your own personal touch. Due to the way that it’s constructed, this flooring is incredibly durable and can handle heavy amounts of foot traffic, making it ideal if you have a busy home!

Room with parquet flooring

Keeping aligned with the classic vibe is another old favourite that still seems to be popular, our old friend; parquet. This type of flooring has a wonderfully rich history, originating from 16th century France and used throughout the Victorian era in Britain it has proven to stand the test of time. The flooring is usually installed at a 90-degree angle, which creates a zigzag effect and adds a real elegant feel to any room. It’s also worth mentioning that parquet has multiple shades and finishes available, which makes it a really versatile choice for your home.

Cream and purple kitchen with grey gloss floor

Keep an eye out for the ‘fad’ that is grey flooring which, may we add, is still going strong. A couple of years ago, grey was described as ‘cold’ and ‘dull’ but we know that currently grey is actually one of the most popular colours when it comes to interior design, and that’s set to continue. Pale and light grey floors ooze class and sophistication but they also enhance natural light, which helps to keep your room bright, airy and appear more spacious.

So there you have it, our thoughts on what’s in and what’s out for 2017. It shouldn’t prove too difficult to keep up with the times though! There are plenty of styles to choose from, but what matters most is that it suits your home and your lifestyle.

Guest post by Megan at Luxury Flooring & Furnishings

[disclosure*]

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.

[disclosure*]

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.

[disclosure*]

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.

[disclosure*]