CHRISTMAS IS COMING……

 

Whether you like it or not ” holiday’s are comin’, holiday’s are comin’ ” (sung in the annual coca cola advert tune) I know that it only felt like the other day I was letting you know about Autumn trends, and now Christmas – yes I said it, is here.

However rather then dive in head first and start talking about trees, decorations and presents, instead have a look at some of the top table decorating trends for this Winter. As most of you know by now I am in the middle of renovating our house, and therefore we currently have no dining table or dining room! But where on earth do you eat?! I hear you cry…. well our laps have been serving us well for the last few months and will continue to do so until the breakfast bar is in place (what I like to call phase 2) Its a little frustrating trying to hoard mounds of spaghetti into ones mouth like some kind of deranged hibernating hamster without spilling anything but its what we have for the moment

So when wanting to write a post about table decorating I am doing one of two things, letting you know about all the fabulous different ways to ensure your Christmas table is the talk of the town for the festive period and cater to your theme (*I will go this this part later). Whilst also imagining that one of these is in fact my Christmas table to help me come to terms with the fact I don’t have one and probably won’t have one for a while, but the researching part is just as fun

If hosting a dinner party, lunch, picky bits with fizz soiree – whatever you are choosing to do during December then having a well prepared table is always a game changer. If you burn the nibbles or undercook the veg then fear not as people will be so utterly distracted by your beautiful table they won’t actually notice (I would add that constant topping up of alcoholic beverages does assist as well, but you didn’t hear it from me)

The table you will need to firstly match your theme of decorating that you have gone for throughout – as a miss match will not create the balanced winter cave extravaganza I know you are looking to achieve

Rustic

This look has definitely become what I would call the norm for most people, it is incredibly simple and effective. Think woodland, natural, simple and cosy. It has almost a Nordic feel to it which I love – a real engagement with the senses, the smell of pine cones, cinnamon, mulled wine all to the back drop of a cosy fire or candles.

Key elements to creating his look are all about being simple and using nature, lots colour palettes are a no no unless of course its white or something very subtle. We are looking to bring out the elements around you instead, if you have a wooden table – let it be seen, use foliage as your centre piece surrounded by candles

Whilst it can look so confusing and like there is a lot going on, their really isn’t at all and a bit of making it yourself goes a long way with this rustic look. Who would have thought a bit of twig and some string could have so many endless possibilities

The New Blue

The biggest colour trend we have seen expand over the last few years has now hit Christmas (yes its still a trend I just painted the little man’s nursery in Hague Blue and it still look fabulous!)

The dark and mysterious shades of dark blue with a hint of gold are all very 3 Kings (someone pass me the frankincense) The look oozes luxury and elegance, and thankfully the high street shops are now packed with a massive range of items in these colours, including peacock, teal and purples.

 

Mix it with a touch of gold and you’re there, the key is to not be afraid with this one, it might all seem just to dark but honestly go for it (I do appreciate for those that know me I do love dark interiors so am slightly biased) But if you lay the table and set up like you normally would do, but do it with all dark shades – yes that’s right all of it, a half attempt won’t work it will look stunning. This one is all about the commitment!

Elegant

Some may say this has a touch of the wedding feel to it, as this is really about a classic look stripped back to a soft white (instead of the unsightly red and green look from the 1990’s) but it is a definite Christmas trend look. You can incorporate a few of the rustic charms to sit alongside it which is where the Christmas element comes in for example using pine cones and festive candles.

What is so great about this look is you can usually achieve it very quickly and at a low cost using what you already have and just adding one or two things to give it that Christmas feel. It is for me a look that works better in the evening time, as the glow from the candles against a white backdrop will give it that snowy glistening feel, in the day it can look a little stark. So I suggest a hint of red/cranberry will give it the depth it needs for a daytime soiree

Metallic

The thing that is great about using a metallic theme for your table is that you can make it your own. It can be as glitzy or contemporary as you want it to be and it will still look festive. The rise of all things rose gold and copper has enabled us to really have such a great variety to choose from. To get this finish its just about flipping a few key items as you can see, such as cutlery, plates and a few accessories. Backdrop should always be white or a natural finish such as marble to allow the metallic items to shine (excuse the pun mwah ha ha) through

The items you choose to flip are what will make it your style and I don’t think this is the last of this trend we will see. It is something I think will develop and grow for the next few years so stock up whilst you can

Industrial

This is my favourite look for Christmas table decorations, but is one I will probably have to head out and buy everything for (sorry husband!) This gentle shift has only recently occurred as a Christmas table setting option, it is more suited to a Polpo restaurant or Shoreditch House Bar however is now very much in our homes. Think cool greys and black, with a hint of silver birch plant floating somewhere in the background. It is an odd name I appreciate for Christmas (how is industrial a festive thing I hear you shout at me) well it is more about the surge in industrial trend and how this has become a more current look becoming more familiar and being part of Christmas now too.

It does combine elements of the other trends: gold/metallic, dark colours, natural fabrics and simple colour palettes but it has a cooler and less fussed approach to all.

To complete this finish combine modern items such as the black plates and mix in with traditional classic items like cut glass wear mix it all with some festive foliage and gold and you’re all done. This is a great newer look for tables and one you can personalise to suite your festive colour throughout

 

Whatever route you choose, happy styling

L

 

 

A/W TRENDS 2017

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September is a bit of a mad month for me, not only is there always so many social events (birthdays, weddings etc) but it is the month when literally the whole interior design world comes together for all the various shows around London – of which my aim is to attend all of them

Having a 4 month old baby however and not a vast amount of childcare available I could only make it Decorex this year, but with only the one show I managed to get so much inspiration that going to anything else I think would have been an unnecessary overload (which I gather may seem weird to hear when I am obsessed with interior design)

The show held in Syon Park albeit the grey skies still was so bright, regal and charming that I couldn’t wait to get in

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The entrance alone already set the scene for how great the event was going to be with a collaboration from the fashion, floristry and interior design worlds, including the above from Larry Walshe

Whilst the array of fabulous exhibitor stands stood before me, temptations to have a nose were quickly oppressed due to me having to get to the seminar space ready for the next session. Which was with the wonderful Martin Hulbert from Martin Hulbert Designs and his Director Jay Grierson both interviewed by Carole Annett from Country & Town House

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It was a great seminar and really interesting to listen to the different projects they have completed for both commercial and residential, which are both very close to my heart. Listening to how different elements come together from both locally sourced items to large pre designed sculptures for a project was a real eye opener and refreshing to hear that not everything has to be super expensive and bespoke – but can be random and incorporate local inspiration too

After the seminar I was off to have a look around the exhibitors stands and this is where I could start to see what are the big trends for this A/W 2017:

  1. SOFT FURNITURE

By far the biggest swing for me is towards soft furnishings, namely armchairs and sofa’s, they have already been massive this year and last year but now we are really starting to see a solidified look transcend throughout what we now would associate as the standard sofa. IMG_9685

Sofa & More Exhibit

For me, designs from Amode and Sofa & More at the show really summed up the basic and comprehensive design of our soft furnishings. A nod to 1930’s hotel luxury and 1970’s boudoir is where I would pin point the overall design. Yes I appreciate that is a hell of a mix  – but now they provide us with a much more versatile and well rounded finish that it really can be transported into any home.

Our single soft chairs are lower and more cosy now but still incorporate great overall design. It is the small details that really make these chairs and sofas look like they belong in a super cool and chic hotel bar we can see now, that I really love and think will continue into 2018

 

2. COLOUR OF SOFT FURNISHING

A-ha I hear you cry! Are you basically ripping off point 1……? Technically no, it is more of a follow on from point 1, this is about colour and how it really has got a hold of us for A/W soft furnishings. We have shifted from the bright jewelled colours to more muted tones that Amy Somerville greeted us with at the start of the exhibit

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I think using these more dampened down versions of what we have previously seen is a lot of accessible for the home, it allows us to engage in a trend quickly without having to redecorate everything – as these tones can simply slot in

 

3. LIGHTING

Sadly I am a little biased when it comes to this point as like some kind of deranged magpie I am always instantly drawn to lighting. But it is the best way to change a space, style and feel of anywhere! Trends for the rest of the year continue with the juxtaposition of old and new combined

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We are shifting from 2016’s industrial style lighting back into something a little more traditional yet glam and I couldn’t be happier about it!!

The day was of course finished up in the beautifully designed Champagne Bar by Shalini Misra where it would have been rude not to have a cheeky glass and read some of the free design magazines such as Elle Decoration,  Country & Town House and English Home. Perfection

L

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BACK TO BLACK

We have just returned from a fabulous 2 weeks away in Portugal on our first family vay-caaaaayyy; flights were survived by both myself and husband (wine helped courtesy of BA – does that make us bad parents….?) and we enjoyed spending time eating out, exploring and vegging poolside

But despite this I still was keen to get back home towards the end, embarrassingly due to the fact we had just finished the bathroom before we left and I wanted to spend some time in there – doing I don’t know what, but simply enjoying the newest and nicest room of the house due to the current refurbishment nightmare

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The room we changed to the bathroom was originally a bedroom, as the current (avocado 1970’s inspired) bathroom didn’t have a loo and was very small. So we updated the smallest bedroom by squaring it off and changing the entrance door location.

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The tiles we chose for the room were a daring black, when I told friends and family a look of bewilderment suddenly crept up behind their eyes (to be honest I think husband didn’t quite get it either but knew not to argue) Alongside this a black split face tile for all the alcove areas. The tiles were from Porcelanosa, again another confused look at the till from the husband when paying for them #eek but I explained that once the bathroom was complete he would understand why they were chosen

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We included 4 alcove spaces, 1 in the shower and 3 by the bath for storage, even though I wish they could be just for displaying, family life doesn’t allow for much of this I hate admitting. We added in spotlights above to brighten up the split face and show of their great texture. Alongside this a fake ceiling was created so a strip light above the bath could be installed. Their is nothing worse then laying in a bath with a bright light over you head – totally unnecessary. Instead this “hidden” light created a softer mood and a focal point for the centre of the room when walking in

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You can see how amazing the tiles look, this is taken before the glass shower went in and the toilet. We opted for a larger shower with the base sitting flush with the flooring tiles to create a seamless look

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Here is the lighting above the bath including the spolights we had installed just at front  space of the bathroom and a pimped up central speaker system connected to Sonas (obviously not my idea but a good one courtesy of the hubby!)

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The sanitary wear we went for was cubic style, including the modern cubed edged taps and the beautiful sink vanity from Bauhaus in a grey wooden effect which we hope provides a more sultry finish

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The last thing to complete was the windows – the dated diamonds had to go and then the dressing of the space. I was keen to add a bit of natural colour against the black so green from lots of plants, preferably spikey ones, helped bring the bathroom to life (I am all for black but don’t want to feel as though I have been summoned to the grave just yet)

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plant

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A few of the more detailed areas of the bathroom

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I would love to hear what you think of the Bathroom or if you want to ask anything or share any of your images too. We are really pleased with our little haven, considering the rest of the house is like a bad 1980’s version of Hogwarts this room is a great first on the renovation list

L

KITCHEN REFRUB PROJECT

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I wanted my first blog post to be about an actual project I had completed, which happens to be my previous house renovation. Why not start with something that not only do I know the most about but blood, sweat, tears went into creating .

My favourite room in the house was the kitchen open planned living space ( I refer to the past tense as we moved 6 months ago into our new project, which is a slow process so a positive first post was the preferred route!) Anyway, I digress, the extension we completed allowed us to increase the kitchen size and include a breakfast bar, dining space and living room area. Which when doing a house up to sell it is a key space people are looking for

The slight L shape allowed for us to create a small lounge/den style area, part of this I wanted to pay homage to the location of the original fire place. We created a fake stud wall and matched the splash back tile to the exterior to tie both spaces together.

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The house is a typical 1930’s build and it was important for me to not steer to far from this character build. I went for a shaker style cupboard in the kitchen from Howdens and solid thick oak work top; however pulling the design into the modern with a textured tile splash back and modern feature lighting from Habitat

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*(apologies to those whoa rent Chelsea FC fans, my husband insisted on having something in the house, and this vintage road sign is all I would allow!!)

The finishing touches had to be simple here, and I enjoy mixing the old and new. I kept all pictures and frames modern with clean white lines. Then added country style shabby accessories to keep it looking cosy and rustic

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As you can see I am a massive flower and candle fan!

Final touches included this beautiful lamp from Laura Ashley and again more modern white pictures (featuring our wedding picture)

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This room definitely has the wow factor and is perfect for entertaining – whether that be a family dinner or friends over for a party. The space is so well utilized and really was the heart of our home

Hopefully the next kitchen will have the same warmth…….

L