The Do’s and Dont’s of Accent Walls

Lets break it down.. What is an Accent Wall? 

And Should you have one?

Basically an Accent wall is a feature wall in an interior that is another colour or another texture to the rest.  (It does not necessarily mean colour, and can be neutral)

And YES, if you are wanting to add interest to your interior or highlight something specific in a space, then an accent wall is the most effective way. Top Tip: it is also one of the most cost effective ways to transform an interior and give it a new look!

Just like most things in life, there are Do’s and there are Do-Not’s when it comes to accent walls. Not everything should be accented or made a feature and I will elaborate on this a little further if you keep on reading….

Do’s

First and foremost an accent or feature wall should have a purpose. It is the perfect way to highlight a specific function within a vast open plan room. For example the TV wall in living area.

Using paint or a texture to highlight an Architectural feature will always get a thumbs up. For example  a fireplace or moulding.

At #beachousebystyleast the fireplace wall was accented with Eartchote ‘Pandomo’ paint

An Accent or feature wall especially when patterned ( think wallpaper here) is a fantastic way to add personality in a bedroom. Usually we would do it on the main wall in the bedroom where the headboard would be positioned.  I especially love a fun patterned wallpaper in kids room or nursery.

by Liberty Interiors

An Accent wall in a bathroom ( think different tile or texture) becomes a beautiful feature in a very utilitarian space.  An accent wall in a Guest loo is also always a good idea to do something bold or fun.

This beautiful bathroom by Zephyr & Stone shows how subtle an accent can be. Same colour but different texture

Lastly, you can bring interest to a transition space by painting it a different colour or texure. For example the end wall in a passage or the wall of a stairwell.

This is a snapshot of #parkhomebystyleast. We are planning on accenting the staircase wall in textured paint.

Do Not

Do not accent the wrong wall! For example a wall that has something out of proportion on it, an architectural anamoly, or something you are wanting to hide.

Be careful about what wall you choose to accent as my picking the wrong wall and say, painting it dark, could potentially change the feeling of proportion in the room.  By picking the right wall to accent in a small space tho, is a great idea to fake the idea of space.  Especially In a dark colour as it adds depth to a space. 

Do not choose too many feature walls in a space. Remember it is an accent or feature wall and should be the star of the show .

Lastly I would say, don’t be scared of using a bold colour for your accent wall. As long as you have the right accents to co-ordinate with your new colour or texture or pattern, anything goes.

Some of my favourite finishes to accent a wall are as follows:

Wallpaper. Gosh, Were to start! There are SO many possibilities when it comes to wallpaper. From natural textures to prints and patterns from contemporary to graphic to classical. 

Gorgeous wallpaper by Lemon

Some are textured, others not, there really are ENDLESS options and one of my favourite cost effective ways to change up a space.

Earthcote texture paint. Contact the local Paintsmiths store (043 722 3765)to view their extensive samples or else you can visit their website HERE. Absolute favourites of mine are Pandomo and Granite. 

in #cliffhousebystyleast we accented the curved TV wall with Earthcote Pandomo texture paint

Other materials I am VERY into at the moment ( as you will know If you follow my Instagram feed) is Marble and other patterned stone.

Also vertical slats….Very obsessed with this detail at the moment. We are busy with a design for a commercial project and slatted walls are the accent features in both the reception and boardroom. Cant wait to see it come to life!

If you are wanting to do a quick and cost effective update to a room in your home or commercial space, consider an accent wall. Styleast is a call or click away for advice and a quote.

Create the ultimate Home Office

WFH, ( “Working from home”)  has become a world wide phenomenon as a result of Covid-19. 

We (myself included) have been required to create a work space in the home and ensure that we are as productive as we would have been in the office.

However, few people have dedicated home offices. And many remote employees are now digesting their new work setting, mastering new technologies to enable remote work and meetings , coping with stress of remote work and also juggling everything else that comes with being at home, such as home schooling, entertaining children, cleaning the house and finding ways to maintain physical and mental health. (PHEW!!)

Even tho lockdown levels are due to ease up further, many are still going to be working from home for the forsee-able future, thus I thought I would share some tips on how to create a work space in your home. Whether its temporary for the next few months or a designated space in your home to plan for.

  1. Desk or work surface

While your dining room table has had to suffice as a work space, a room or work surface in a room specifically devoted to work can help you focus and create a clear definition between work time and leisure time.

This doesn’t mean you need a whole room to become a study.  Simply having a small desk or table within a bedroom with a nice chair works. I do think multifunctional rooms are going to become more popular going forward- a room that may function as a study-guest bedroom-playroom …..perhaps even gym?

Just another tip, as you envision the type of desk or work surface you need, think about all the functions of the type of work you do.  Paperwork? Computer based work? Drawing work?

Have a look at these options from Knus as well as Weylandts ( who are having a sale!). They are all online retailers so able to deliver.

https://www.weylandts.co.za/shop/furniture/furniture-tables/furniture-tables-desks/?orderby=available_online

https://www.cecilnurse.co.za/product-category/work-from-home/desks-wfh/

Some options from Knus
  1. Storage

Keeping an office organised can be a struggle for many. Especially, if you’re someone who has a tendency to become buried under an untidy desk, so it’s crucial to incorporate plenty of storage solutions into your design, not just for decor purposes but for productivity levels too.

Ideally if you have the space available, cabinets or built-ins are ideal for storing larger items. Open shelving is an easy way to mix functional items and decor elements as well. 

I would really tend to stay clear of standard office supply storage solutions for your desktop or shelving unit,  and look at baskets, soft baskets or interesting containers to store items. 

Knus has some great items available as showcased in their ‘office’ blog which randomly arrived in my inbox this morning! Talk about good timing!

Storage and shelving solutions from Knus
  1. Chair

A comfy chair is key. While that used to mean buying something black with plastic arms and wheels, its no longer the case. The desk chair has upgraded to a variety of styles, colours and finishes. When considering your chair keep in mind ergonomic support and height adjustment. 

https://www.weylandts.co.za/shop/furniture/furniture-chairs/furniture-chairs-office-chairs/?orderby=available_online

  1. Lighting. 

Yes I am going to drum on about lighting again. It is so important to get the lighting right where you work. Natural light is great as it also lifts the mood and promotes productivity. Too bright will come off as clinical and will be sure to make you feel more tired as opposed to proper ambient lighting.  I recommend task lighting ( As in a designated desk lamp) . Again, there are so many options on the market that not only offer appropriate lighting, but inject a bit of personality and style into the space. 

Lots of options at Lighting Warehouse. They are online and delivering!

https://lightingwarehouse.co.za/product-category/indoor/desk-lamps/

  1. Flooring

Having a softer and warm surface underfoot is definitely more desirable. Think rugs, rugs , rugs.  (Altho not a fluffy shaggy that your desk chair could get stuck in!

  1. Plants    

Live plants do more than just decorate a work space, studies have shown that plants can increase productivity and make you overall happier and calmer while you work.

  1. Colour palette

Bold colours are not really advised to use in a home office environment. Yellow for instance can actually induce anxiety. In the midst of Covid-19 I do think paler, earthy tones are becoming more appealing as they promote calm and warmth, all things we want in a time of great uncertainty. They would be very zen and appropriate in a work space.

I don’t think there are any rules you need to follow here tho, as whatever colouring you find appealing to yourself would be a good option!

8. Personalise

Artwork, crystals, a cherished family memento. When it comes to comforting home office ideas, it pays to surround yourself with familiar and cherished items so you can take much needed breaks while admiring your personal items. Just be sure that whatever you do install, keeps you distraction free. A great idea would also be to include a gallery wall ( read all about that HERE)

Some desk top storage solutions from Knus- think unique and interesting

However you see WFH – a challenge or benefit, these tips will help you with current situation and help you plan for a very productive and aesthetically pleasing place in your home going forward.

3 DESIGN GAME CHANGERS

Charles Eames, the iconic modern furniture designer (of the Eames chair) and architect famously said “The Details are not details, they make the Design”.  And it couldn’t be more true….  When it comes down to it, it’s a few tiny little bits and pieces that add up to make an overall space.

 Today I wanted to talk about a few of those design details that shouldn’t be overlooked. And honestly, if you do nothing else, you’d be surprised at how making the following small changes can instantly transform your space.  Game changers they are. 

CURTAINS HUNG PROPERLY

This is probably one of the biggest tips I could ever share: curtains should be hung as high, and as wide, as your room allows. It is the quickest way to make your space, and windows, feel bigger and brighter, and is an absolute game changer the moment they’re hung. 

GREAT LIGHTING

I’ve mentioned my love for really good lighting a number of times over the years, (read HERE) but this time I’m talking more about your quality of light (as in bulbs) and less about your fixtures. Lighting is one of those things that should never be overlooked, and nothing ruins a space more than overly yellow, or harsh white lighting.   I think it is also important to remember what the function of the room when looking at lighting as there is nothing worse than a sterile living space when a warm glow would be preferred or moodier lighting in a bathroom when practically brighter lighting is needed

AREA RUGS

I’ve been in the Interior Design industry for a good few years now and have been involved in my fair share of furniture installs than I can count. Each and every time, without question, the moment a rug goes down is the very instant that a house feels like a home.  Not only does it help ground and define each space (so important in open plan spaces) but that layer adds an element of cozy and comfortability that isn’t easily achieved in any other way. Like I said before, game changers they are.

The Bathroom Report

It might not be the heart of the home like the kitchen, or the hangout spot like the family room, but the bathroom is pretty important. For a room that you are inclined to visit multiple times a day, not to mention unwind in after a long day, it definitely needs to feel special!  

Now that we have spent a good 42 days in our homes, you have probably considered doing a little bathroom revamp down the line so here are some design features I am loving:

  1. Skylights

I have been binge watching last season of The Block Australia (please don’t tell me who wins!) and I am in love with the use of skylights in those bathrooms.  A skylight placed above a shower creates THE most beautiful lighting. We are doing a skylight above the shower in the main ensuite in one of my design projects currently on site. (#riverhousebystyleast) Cant wait to get back to it and see it come to life!

I mean, how beautiful!

2. Interesting lighting

This would probably be the biggest tip I could give you. Try use different types of lighting in a bathroom other than standard down lights. Perhaps a stand out pendant fitting over a bath? Or my personal favourite, incorporating wall lights. Other types of lighting to consider is LED strip lighting under cabinetry or in recesses.

Other tip with lighting is to consider the colour of the lighting, sometimes a cool white can look to sterile in a room dominated by hard finishes so consider a warm white LED.

3. The Subway Tile reinvented 

I once read somewhere that subway tiles were like a good pair of jeans, a classic staple. 

Fast forward to 2020 and there are so many variations available which I am loving, specifically the handmade variety that have a bit more texture and an organic look to them , a charming break from the uniformity of the porcelain styles.

And then of course there is the format in which you can lay them. Horizontal, brick-bond, vertical, herringbone or basket weave. Its a really versatile tile.

If you are in East London Cape Tiles has a diverse range of subways.

4. Brass tap ware

If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed that I do like a bit of gold in an interior ;)

Brass tap ware is not that readily available in South Africa (so still quite pricey) but hoping it becomes more readily available soon as it’s a really classy elegant look when paired against white or grey.

Check out Lavo Bathroom Concepts for brass hardware as well as The Best Tile Company.

5. Textures

Another look that I love in a bathroom is forgoing tiles for a textured wall finish. Paintsmiths supply some Earthcote textured paints that can be used in bathroom with a waterproof overlay, making them a substitute for tiles. A favourite of mine has to be Pandomo which has a beautiful plastered look.

To see the physical samples or get a quote contact the local Paintsmiths branch in East London on 043 722 3765, or check out their website.

For some more bathroom tips read this blog I did 2 years ago HERE. It also has some lovely design details that I like to use in a bathroom to really up the ante in the design stakes.

This and That

Real life is not as perfectly curated according to trends as Instagram or Pinterest would make us believe, and most spaces that people live in combine elements from multiple periods, styles, places and influences. 

As time goes on our taste also evolves, new pieces are purchased according to the latest trend (Kinsfolk anyone?!) or inherited, and most often this becomes all a bit overwhelming on how to combine all these elements and bring it all together.

So here are a few tips on navigating mixing old and new furniture and decor pieces for your home.

  1. Limit your colour palette

The easiest way to ensure your space will look coherent, even if it features a variety of styles, is to limit the colour palette.

This image shows how the rose gold/ pink hue is repeated from the flooring to server to chair and how the interior looks cohesive even tho the items are completely contrasting.
  1. Add contemporary art

Or vice versa. One of the easiest ways to start is to add contemporary art where classical furniture prevails, or a traditional artwork in a mostly contemporary space. This clash between 2 styles is easy to achieve and it always makes a striking statement.

period detailing with very contemporary art completely contrast
a mainly contemporary interior with a very traditional art piece creating total drama! love it!
  1. The power of repetition

Repetition works wonders in design. Even if your interior has a mix of different styles, it will always look more polished if similar patterns, textures or items are repeated.  

This interior shows a mix of styles – Boho, natural and mid-century yet the plants repeated 3 times create unity within the interior. Note the colour brown is also repeated which also creates cohesiveness.

4. Chose a stand out feature.  

It always helps to build  a space around a key feature, for example a wow light fitting. Take direction from that key item or element and build the rest of the space around it. Whether it is using similar materials or colour or shapes.

The room is decorated around the light fitting. round shapes are repeated in the table, the rug and ceiling rose, and even tho these are all elements from different design eras it works.

5. Do your research

Lastly educate yourself. Its easy to throw bits and pieces of furniture together but the space really does become curated and thoughtful when you know the style of the item and time in design history. ie. using an art deco styled table with a velvet sofa. Knowing how the items co-exist in terms of design history will help tie in other elements and colours and textures. Google will be your friend :)

In this image the wallpaper is very deco, and the mirror is gold – a colour associated with deco. That creates unity despite the mix and match of other styles and elements

At the moment there is a huge trend towards “mid-century modern style” with light fittings particulary nodding to this period. This style dates back to the 1950’s and yet it is complementing contemporary minimalist interiors of today. 

Don’t be afraid or overwhelmed of mixing styles, it definitely tells a story and makes a home unique and unequivocally yours.

Gallery Wall DIY

Now this is fab DIY for lockdown to really transform an interior with using what you have at home. Transform a bare wall into a gallery wall by showing off a curated collection of paintings, prints or photographs in stylish frames.

Gallery walls do so much for an interior – they infuse some pattern and colour into a space as well as being one of the best ways to personalise an interior.

Here are a few tips to turn your wall decor dreams into reality:

  1. Curate your collection

There are no cardinal rules when it comes to gallery walls, choose what you like.  If you are not sure where to start, choose something you like to look at. There is really no wrong way to choose art.

Some people build up a collection over time and add to it as they go on, this a wonderful idea in adding items from travels or memories as the years go on.

An approach that I would suggest for lockdown is to use art, photographs or prints that you already have in your home in different areas or rooms in your house, and ‘rehome’ them to create a new gallery wall collection thus transforming a space with a new look.

  1. Do a trial run 

Before hanging the gallery wall, do a trial run.  The easiest way is to arrange the pieces on the floor before making any holes.  Move them around until you find the right flow. I have done a step by step gallery wall myself before, read here for more tips and photos of each step. 

read my other blog post for step by step photos

3. Balance

Always start in the centre and work out from there. To maintain balance, try adhering to the following ratio: follow every extra large piece with two large, two medium and three small ones to fill in the gaps.

some template examples.

4. Spacing

Hang the frames at eye level ( approx 160cm from the floor finish) or 10—15cm above furniture. The optimal distance between frames is about about 5 cms. Your frames can be different materials or designs ( I definitely encourage this) but by keeping the spacing between the frames constant, it creates continuity and even the most eclectic collection will come together.  

5. Styling

If you have a more contemporary or minimalist interior, try a linear or grid arrangement for a more sophisticated look. 

For a more relaxed look, an eclectric arrangement is the way to go, try mixing and matching frame shapes. ( rectangular, oval, circular)

Top Tip : To achieve a very cohesive and put together look I would suggest a common colour or central concept to tie all the elements together. 

If you are needing to add a piece to your gallery wall take a look at online store Knus, They have some great options ( only available after lockdown) but perhaps you can accommodate for it anyway. Also a lovely time to incorporate all your kids artwork that you have been doing during quarantine.

Makeover your Coffee Table

In a perfect world, we would all have immaculately styled coffee tables. In reality they usually are scattered with a selection of remotes, children’s toys and last months magazines!

Whilst you are on lockdown and wondering what you can do to switch up your living area, why not give your coffee table a makeover?

Before you start styling, the first tip would be to consider how you use your coffee table. Do you use it as a surface for your cup of tea while watching Netflix? Do you love to play board games?  Do you spend a lot of time reading magazines and books in your living room?  The best coffee tables may look beautiful, but they are not functional if they do not serve the purpose for who is using it.

  • Start with a plant. This can be a plant or a sculptural succulent or small aloe. A larger arrangement can really create a bit of drama. Branches are also great ( Think orchid, eucalyptus) Dried flowers are definitely having their moment and would look amazing too.
  • Organise with trays. Use trays or boxes to keep your essentials organised. This could include remotes, matches for your scented candle, coasters, or any other small items.
  • Stack your books. You have definitely seen this all over Instagram and Pinterest! Keep it simple and minimalist and display only a collection of your favourite coffee table books.
  • Layer layer layer.  Display items that are different heights ( ie vases, candle holder) and stack items on top of others. ie. a scented candle on top of a stack of books. This allows for a much more dynamic arrangement.
  • Interesting items. While we tend to save mementos or souvenirs for console tables or bookshelves, the interesting objects have more of an impact where people congregate so don’t be afraid of mixing in some special items that have a story to tell.
  • Repetition is key. Repetition is a known trick of the trade. (read more about it HERE) Use this to your advantage and display a collection or grouping of similar items. eg. 3 round bowls.
  • Play with scale. A mistake that a lot of people make is too much of items that are similar in size. Breaking up a coffee table surface with something larger can do wonders for the overall feel of the room.

With regard to the different shaped coffee tables out there, the same tips would apply. Just take note tho that with a round coffee table too many square or rectangular objects tend to look off so always compliment it with rounder shaped items.

Good luck with your coffee table makeover and tag #lockdownhometips and Styleast if you do decide to do a little transformation.

The Most Inexpensive Way to Transform an Interior

Scatter cushions will never go out of style. They add softness and layers to space, and are an affordable way to inject a bit of pattern and texture in a room.   If you are wanting to transform a room, the most affordable way is to change your scatters.

You can’t run out to the shops to buy some new cushions or order some beautiful fabrics to update your look right now, but what I can give you is a bit of advice on how to style your scatters,  which perhaps you can play around with at home with what you have, and of course some inspiration of fabrics and scatters I am crushing on for your post lockdown ‘wishlist’

1.First things first, use feather inserts. They might be a bit pricier than a standard fill insert, but they add an ultra-luxe look that you can’t beat. The scatters will sit better, are more comfortable and are easy to plump up, whereas standard fill scatters will deflate over time and lose their appeal.

Image by Wunders

2. Layer textures. Don’t be afraid to combine multiple textures from velvet to silk, linen to a chunky knit. Combining heavier textures with lighter ones will create visual interest and add to the visual appeal of a space.

  Top tip: Even if the colour of the scatters is all the same, make sure you mix it up with textures. 

Even if they are the same colour, play with texture

3. Vary cushion size. The scatters you chose don’t all have to be the same size. I am a big fan of a much larger scatter ( at least 650x650mm)  for a sofa or on a bed, and then bring in a smaller sized or shaped one to contrast.  A favourite scatter arrangement is known as the 2-2-1. Basically it comprises of the following : two solid colour large scatters, complimented two smaller textural or patterned scatters, positioned in front of the larger ones. This is finished of with a rectangular one with similar tones as the larger solid ones. 

the 2-2-1 principle applied
Image by Liberty Interiors

4. Shape up. A bed is the perfect place to mix around with cushion shapes. Rectangular, square, round or other shapes ( think kids rooms) all add interest, and using them in different sizes looks better too.  A layout for scatters on a bed that I really like is 2 squares with a longer rectangular in front.

image by Liberty Interiors

5. How many it too many? Work in odd numbers. Groups of three or five cushions are much more visually appealing than if they are grouped in even numbers. Also try grouping the cushions to one side of the sofa instead of arranging them symmetrically. 

Top tip : For a 3 seater sofa I would use 5 scatters.

Also just to note, for a very minimalist interior less is definitely more, so I wouldn’t do large amounts of scatters. Keep it simple but striking.

6. Play with pattern. Pattern on pattern is very on-trend.  If you are worried about mixing patterns be a bit brave as it will really pay off. When working with patterns and plains, one of the most aesthetically pleasing arrangements is to alternate them. Start with 2 fabrics which compliment each other (say a plain and patterned one in similar colours ways) Beginning at both ends of the sofa, layer one on top of the other towards the middle, alternating as you go between the 2 styles. Obviously you can add your own spin to this and introduce a third texture or pattern for some added flair. 

Image by HausbyHertex

A good look for a contemporary interior is to colour block. On a neutral sofa, introduce scatters in plain bold colours with no pattern. The interest here lies in different coloured scatters as opposed to the pattern. 

There really are no cast iron rules, except: do not place a cushion on the diagonal. Like Ever!

Some scatters and fabrics I am currently loving:

Scene collection by Villa Nova, Bokeh colour Tuscan is a personal fav of mine. 

Bokeh on the Scatters, Scene on the Sofa.
Image by Villa Nova

Terra Nova by St Leger and Viney. The textures are exquisite! I am using some of these in #cognachousebystyleast which is due for installation a few weeks after lockdown.

Epsilon design by Scion Fabrics. Gorgeous for a bedroom…

The Strangers in Paradise collection by Hertex Fabrics ( it was released towards the end of last year, so it’s not brand new, but some of the prints I still really love). They have recently released an Outdoor Velvet range which is full of dreamy colours perfect for scatters in outdoor living rooms.

Konodo by Hertex Fabrics
Image by Hertex Fabrics

My list could go on – there are just  so many gorgeous fabrics available and new ranges always been released so options are endless and we are spoilt for choice!

Hope the above tips have helped. Don’t underestimate the power of the humble scatter and how it can refresh an old sofa, change up your style and completely transform a space, very inexpensively. And if you do decide to move around your scatters at home for a new look, please tag me on Instagram , I would love to see!

Tips on How to turn your home into a haven

What a world we are currently living in, quarantined by law to our homes by a global pandemic. All this time in our houses really highlights the meaning of ‘home’ . Whether you live in a studio apartment or a 4-bedroomed house, home should be a place of refuge, a shelter from stress and chaos – now more than ever. Today I will be kicking off my #lockdownhometips blog series with some tips on how to turn your home into a haven – your sanctuary.  

‘Hygge’ (pronounced ‘hue-gah’ in case you were wondering) is a Danish and Norwegian name for a mood of coziness, the idea of warmth.  Adding cosy touches to your home so that you feel more serene in your environment is ‘hygge’. And below are just a few ideas I want to share with you on how to achieve the feeling of ‘hygge’ or tranquility in the home.

(if you want to read more on Hygge, check out http://hyggehouse.com/hygge – there are lots of actions one can do to achieve this feeling.

  1. De-clutter

We are 14 days into our lockdown, so I am sure you have already watched Marie Kondo on Netflix and have had a good clean out. First things first is to de-clutter your space, as when your home is overflowing with stuff, it feels more like a storage unit than sanctuary. An ordered home always seems relaxing, and even a space filled with the most on-trend pieces won’t feel like a refuge if it’s cluttered and messy.

2. Move your furniture around

When I was a little girl I loved nothing more than changing my bedroom layout around; (space planning started young!) waking up with my bed in a new place was like a fresh start. 

I know not everyone is a big fan of change, but if you are open to it, changing the furniture layout in a room really switches things up and creates a brand new experience of the space. Sure, some rooms are pretty locked in to their ‘ideal’  floor plans ( like a kitchen and dining room) but for bedrooms, living rooms, outdoor rooms and family rooms the options are endless and so transformative.   Set aside an hour or so and move some items around, I guarantee not only a change in obviously how your room looks or potentially functions but mostly how uplifting and fresh it feels.

3. Bring plants indoors

Some well-placed greenery can not only brighten a space but also purify the air and they’re also helpful in creating a more relaxing, restful ambiance in any room. We know that spending time in nature is linked to reduced stress level and tension relief. Whats more, in 2008, Dutch researchers found that hospital patients with indoor plants in their rooms reported lower stress levels than patients without them.   I know a trip to the local nursery is not a possibility right now, but if you have a garden, see what plants you can pot and move indoors? Fill vases with fresh flowers and foliage.

ADD PLANTS – POTTED OR IN VASES

4. Conceal Work

Some of us are working from home, and for some that means your dining room table.  As someone who has worked on and off  from home for the last 5 years whilst raising my little girls, I really understand the difficulties that comes with working from home and will do a whole blog post in the next few weeks on creating home work spaces. But the best tip I could give you if your desk is part of a large open plan room, is to be sure to hide your computer at the end of the day to give yourself a mental rest. The same goes for any paperwork you haven’t addressed yet. When working hours are over, put it away so your home switches to being a calming haven instead.

5. Introduce Some Scent

Turning your home into a space that soothes and nurtures can be as much about how it smells as how it looks. Scent can help us unwind and may carry associations of places we love and bring back fond memories. My absolute fav is to burn scented candles ( Jo Malone obsessed!) and essential oil. My favourite essential oil has to be the Weylandts Classic Blend. Cant get enough of it and highly recommend you pre-order it so you can get some when lockdown is over.

SCENTED CANDLES, HOME FRAGRANCES AND ESSENTIAL OILS ARE MY GO-TO

6. Get the Lighting Right

Good lighting can lift the mood of a room and help it function better. Get it right, and any space can feel like a welcoming oasis. ( I am so passionate about good lighting, read more about it here) Add floor lamps and table lamps (a mix of sources) for a layered effect and be sure to add plenty of soft mood lighting like candles and fairy lights. It will soften your mood and help you feel more relaxed.

DIFFERENT SOURCES OF LIGHTING IS KEY

7. Comfort Is key

As we transition into Autumn and the evenings are chillier, now is the perfect time to bring out all your blankets and throws.  Blankets and throws can’t help but appear inviting. They transform a sofa from somewhere to sit into a wonderful place to snuggle. Invite children, dogs or your partner under your blanket too, then forget about everything else as you cozy up together.   Lots of scatters adds to the coziness.   I will be sharing more more about how to style your cushions and give them a bit of an update later this week so stay tuned!

Please follow the hashtag on Instagram (find us at Styleast_01) or keep checking back here on my blog for new posts. It has been a good 2 years since I last wrote a blog post, (feeling a bit rusty!) but I really hope to share some valuable advice and transformative ideas while we are all sitting in our homes wondering what we can do to them with all this time on our hands.

Please also comment on this post of DM me any topics you would love to read more about.

Spilt milk

My house is starting to take a beating….

There is a smear of chocolate cake batter on my linen curtains,  Some butternut-blueberry-concoction stamped into my dining room rug, and just last week a box of All Bran Flakes was scattered all over my lounge rug and tipped into my brass vessels on my coffee table (the last ones standing as all the others have been put away!)  Guess that is life with a 10 month old and nearly 3 year old ;)

As a childless Interior Designer I will be honest and say that I was more focused on the aesthetics of finishes and fabrics, but since becoming a mom, and having had ALL kinds of things to clean up, it has made me much more aware of  durability and ease to clean.    So I thought I would share some practical advice and a few tips with you on how to look after some of your home décor items.

 

Rug cleaning:

Rugs are a deal breaker in an interior as far as I am concerned. I  have written a lot about rugs since I started this blog (read here ), and I really feel that they are essential to an interior.  Rugs obviously take a bit of a beating as they receive the most foot traffic in an interior, and are most susceptible to spills and stains.  (Don’t I know!)

When good times go bad!
When good times go bad!

There are so many different types of rugs out there – from more traditional Persians, to Kelims, Moroccan Beni Ourains, Natural fibre rugs and then machine-made Viscose or Polypropylene rugs. Each type has a recommended cleaning process  (Almost always professional) so always take note of this, but here are a few general rug care tips:

  1. For solid messes (food items):Take a spoon or butter knife and remove as much of the spilled item from the carpet, being careful to move in the direction of the carpet’s pile.
  2. For liquids:Take some kitchen towel or tissues, and dab softly in the area of the spill. Continue this process to the point where you can see that all the moisture has been absorbed.
  3. Cleaning a spot:If you need to clean a particular spot, then spot clean using water and a clean white cloth. Do not use cloths with colours in them, as the dyes may transfer to the carpeting when you are trying to absorb the staining material. Always work from the outside of the stained area towards the middle of the stain. This will ensure that you do not spread the staining material any further.
  4. NEVER rub a carpet or rug to try and clean it. This often results in more damage being done. Rather always dab. Once dry, fluff the carpet by hand to remove any flattening of the fibres.
  5. Do not brush the fringes of your carpet/rug.
  6. When vacuuming your rug, do not use the brush attachment

Upholstery cleaning and protecting

If you have kids or pets, it is always a good idea to Scotch Guard your upholstered furniture.   It just offers a level of protection against spills and stains.  I also always recommend scotch guarding with lighter coloured fabrics.

If you are working with a designer or decorator, ask them for a list of maintenance for the fabrics specified in the interior.  Some fabrics can be washed in a washing machine whilst others need to be professionally cleaned.    Some fabrics are a lot more delicate than others and might need special care.  If you are buying from a retailer, always check the recommended cleaning method for the fabric and guarantee.

If you are looking for a fabric to be used in an outdoor area or area receiving direct sunlight, then you need to make sure to use a fabric that is UV treated.   There are also fabrics that are water repellent, anti- fungal, anti-mildew and stain resistant. They are a bit pricier but definitely worth it as they hold up against the elements and have better longevity.  Mavromac and Hertex Fabrics have some great designs in their outdoor ranges.  (see here and here)

An outdoor collection from Hertex Fabrics

An outdoor collection from Hertex Fabrics

Home  Fabrics carries a brand of fabrics called FibreGuard. These fabrics have a built in FibreGuard Stain Free technology so household stains can be very easily removed without damaging your fabric.  Again , you may pay a little more for this kind of fabric but if you want your furniture to stay fresh for longer, it is totally worth it! (check out the website here)

An example of some of the Fibreguard fabrics
An example of some of the Fibreguard fabrics by Home Fabrics

If you have leather, it is recommended to purchase a leather conditioner and apply it every 6 months or so.

 

For those that are based in East London, I can highly recommend Chemdry for professional carpet cleaning and scotch guarding.  Carly is extremely knowledgeable on carpet cleaning, and the service is excellent

Contact:

Carly 080 243 6379

https://www.facebook.com/chemdryeastlondon/