Archive | Styling ideas RSS feed for this section

How to be a master of the Renaissance trend

7 Mar

Ever since I learned of the concept, I’ve been fascinated by trend forecasting. At first I was a little miffed that the design trends I loved to see emerging each season were set out well in advance and therefore more of a self-fulfilling prophecy than a mystical zeitgeist. Now though, I love the guessing game that follows the trend predictions each season, seeing which will fly and which will fail.

At Home this year I went along to a presentation by Trend Bible, who were introducing their predictions for autumn/winter 2014. I’ll revisit them again nearer the time, but this stunning image from Claire Pettibone‘s couture collection brought my favourite of those trends to the forefront of my mind.

Claire Pettibone couture dress with flowers

{Claire Pettibone}

Trend Bible called it ‘Renaissance’ and I’m going to stick my neck out here and say I predict this trend’s going to be a winner. Let’s take a look at how we can translate the look from fashion to home and get ahead of the pack…

Fashion to Home Renaissance decorating trend Decorator's Notebook

{Abigail Ahern}

You can already see where I’m headed with this, right? The trends that stick are the ones that don’t re-write the rulebook, but instead twist and develop those design ideas that have been popular before.

Thus, Down Pipe-and-Fuchsia becomes Stiffkey-and-Peony. We’re ready for it and when it comes, we’re there with our paintbrushes aloft and our mouse fingers poised to pin the heck out of it.

How to decorate with the renaissance trend Decorator's Notebook

{Julia Hoersch}

So, you like the look of it but Renaissance isn’t the easiest trend to (forgive the pun) “master”. Here’s my simple guide to getting it right.

1 | Don’t be afraid of the dark

This is no time to chicken out and go for the safe mid-tone on your paint chart. The drama of this look comes from the contrast between a sultry backdrop and lively shots of colour. For the walls, opt for a flat matte paint (no wallpaper) and, if you’re especially brave, use the same shade on skirtings, ceilings and cornicing as well. The home of London stylist Jo Atkins Hughes (below) is a great example.

Dark grey living room with coloured accents

{Jo Atkins Hughes}

2| Think like Caravaggio

This trend isn’t called ‘Renaissance’ for nothing; still life oil paintings are a key influence. Head to an art gallery and stand in front of a few old Dutch Masters for while. Take in the dramatic use of light and shade and the vibrancy of the flowers and fruit – usually on the cusp of decay. These are just the kinds of accent colours you should consider to punctuate your scheme… deep figgy purple, ripe pomegranate red, bursting peony pink and acid yellow-greens are all perfect for this look.

Still life of fruit and flowers by Jan Davidsz. de Heem

{Painting: Jan Davidsz. de Heem}

3| Add abstract shapes

At first glace this is a very historical look, but it also requires a hint of the unexpected. Add it in the form of geometric and abstracted shapes and hard materials like brass, wrought iron and copper, to contrast with the natural elements. The good news is there are lots of great accessories around at the moment, so keep your eyes open for interesting pendant lights, prismatic vases and angular furniture as you shop.

Gold geometric light fitting

{Etch lights, Tom Dixon}

4| Create your own arrangements

The easiest way to introduce the colours of flowers and plants to your room is to use real ones! Have fun at the florist with eye-catching colours and showy blooms, then create a casual arrangement in a prominent position. Don’t just stick to vases though… embrace the still-life look and have them spilling out of a bowl or hang dried stems upside down down with a big silk ribbon.

Bouquet with succulents

{Joanna Millington for Love My Dress}

So, what do you think? Is the Renaissance trend one to stay or another flash in the pan? Chip in with your comment below and or tell me what you think on Twitter @DecoratorsNotes.

If you found my post useful, please share it! Buttons below..

The new yellow and grey?

4 Mar

Could it be?

green and grey textiles

{via Skona Hem}

grey and green interior

{via Design Sponge}

green industrial light in grey bedroom

{via The Design Files}

House Tour: New York apartment with natural elements

28 Jan

I love bringing little touches of nature into my home… a dried seedhead here, a pheasant feather there… they help to soften up a minimal room and bring a tiny bit of the outdoors in.

This small New York apartment belongs to prop stylist Rebecca Bartoshesky and I really admire her style. She has just the right amount of artistic clutter and some really nice ideas for using found objects in a decorative yet simple way.

living room with muted colours

Apple crate storage

House plants

Look closely and you’ll see little natural touches in evey single corner of this home. Not so much that it looks like a museum (remember this Victorian collector’s cottage?) but just enough to bring in the subtle earthy tones and rustic textures that only real shells, plants and feathers can add.

linen blind

collection box of feathers

small kitchen with vintage style

kitchen shelf detail

If you like this look, choose natural fibre fabrics as Rebecca has – raw linen or material coloured with vegetable dyes are ideal as their muted tones are just right for adding colour in a way that doesn’t jar. Dyeworks specialises in selling naturally-dyed fabrics, or Sania Pell wrote this lovely post explaining how to make your own fabric dyes from berries, vegetables and spices.

vintage metal bedstead

tie dye bedspread

{Photographs Pippa Drummond / Styling Rebecca Bartoshesky for Sight Unseen}

For those of us that remember 1990s ‘bohemian chic’ the idea of tie dying is a little bit scary, but there’s no denying it’s making a come-back. If proper tie-dye like Rebecca’s bedspread sends you running for cover, dip dying is just as easy and is less likely to make your home look like a hippy hangout. I went to a trend forecasting presentation last week and ombre is going to be sticking around for at least another two seasons, so there’s still time if you haven’t yet succumbed!

This beautiful apartment was origianally featured on the lovely Sight Unseen blog where you’ll find lots more photos and pretty details of Rebecca’s home – find the post here.

Mini makeover: bedroom nook

25 Nov

Since leaving London in the Summer and moving back to Somerset to launch the shop, I’ve been working at this thrown-together deskspace in the corner of my bedroom.

workspace makeover before

Now, the thing I didn’t realise for a while is that having your desk in your bedroom actually sends you a bit… well… nutty. This ugly corner of technology and wires is the first thing I see when I wake up, what I look at all day and the last thing I see when I go to bed. For the first couple of months I clung determindly onto my lovely vintage chapel chair, but finally all those work station posture assessments from my office days came back to haunt me and I was forced to buy this hulking swivelling monstrosity to save my back.

Something had to change.

So this weekend saw the first stage of operation ‘bedroom reclaim’. I finally rehomed my desk to the guest room and set about making this corner into somewhere pretty to sit and relax again.

2 Bedroom makeover AFTER

What a difference a day makes!

I set myself the task of working only with things I already had, with the single addition of my lovely new Milly chair, courtesy of Swoon Editions.

The French grammar poster was a find from La Braderie a few years ago and I ran up the envelope cushion using a scrap of Laura Ashley fabric I had left over from making a tablecloth for my old flat. The enamel pitcher was a car boot bargain, while the green glass bottle vase and dipped terracotta mug are from our shop. The textured recycled denim rug is one we’re thinking of stocking after Christmas (let me know if you like it) and the pine trunks were being used as bedside tables in the guest room.

Finally, I hung up a string of Joe’s photos which he put together for our tutorial showing how you can print any photo as a polaroid – they’re simply fixed with a piece of washi tape to the ribbon on the back.

How to print a photo as a polaroid at home

bedroom makeover details

3 bedroom makeover close up

{all Decorator’s Notebook}

What do you think? I’m feel so much more relaxed already now my workspace is separate and my whole bedroom looks so much nicer. Now I just need to tackle my new desk area… any ideas for how I might be able to improve the look of that awful black chair?

Storage idea: pretty-up your clothes rail with beads

29 Oct

Here’s a simple idea for hanging your clothes more stylishly from Mira Schröder, who lives in a small open-plan apartment in Berlin.

stylish clothes storage ideas Freunde von Freunden

clothes storage for open plan apartment Freunde von Freunden

clothes hanging on strings of beads Freunde von Freunden

{all Marlen Mueller / Freunde von Freunden}

Mira has created a clothes rail-come-room divider using strings of wooden beads hanging from the ceiling and hooked plain coat hangers through the ends. I don’t know whether she upcycled one of those 1970s wooden bead curtains or started from scratch with new strings of beads, but either would work as long as the hole in the middle of the beads was large enough to put the wire of the coat hanger through.

I’m a sucker for simple but stylish storage solutions so you’ll find lots more storage and organising ideas on this Pinterest board.

3 best upcyled lighting ideas

20 Aug

upcycled colander wall lights

upcycled bowler hat wall lights

upcycled metal bucket ceiling light{all Decorator’s Notebook}

All spotted during my recent trip to Yeo Valley Farm with the lovely crew from This is Your Kingdom.

More plywood kitchen love…

1 Aug

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… plywood kitchens are cool.

plywood kitchen cupboards

plywood kitchen{both Studio Oink via The Style Files}

See more of this dinky German apartment (including plywood bedroom) on The Style Files.

How to add warmth and softness to a monochrome bedroom

25 Feb

I’m not big on bright colours – so much in my life is super hectic that when I come home I want to close the door and feel I’ve entered a calming sanctuary. The problem with black, white and grey rooms though is that they can feel a bit hard or cold. I spotted this bedroom and thought I’d share it to show my fellow monochrome fans it doesn’t need to be that way!

grey and white bedroom with natural details{Carina Olander via 79 Ideas}

When you look closely, there’s subtle texture in almost every area of this room. The wood panelled ceiling, raised wallpaper, rough headboard and embroidered textiles all work together to take the hard edge off the white and grey colour scheme.

Then there are all the wooden elements – painted, waxed and raw which add warmth too. If you chose vintage furniture then that’s even better – like a good wine, wood mellows with age and by adding antique bits and pieces the mellowing effect will transfer to your room too.

Lastly, it helps to have a few different lighting options in every room, especially a bedroom where you want strong natural light for doing your make-up, a directional light for reading and something a bit more romantic too. Although this photo was taken in bright daylight (with no curtains!) you can easily imagine how warm and cosy it would look at night time as well.

Have you got any other good tips for adding softness and warmth to a room?

Cheap and stylish kitchen design? It’s as easy as ply!

13 Feb

Sorry guys, but there’s nothing like a terrible pun to get Wednesday off to a cracking start in my eyes!

In all seriousness though, I’ve long planned for my next kitchen to have basic IKEA carcasses with Little Greene painted MDF doors, but these bare plywood cabinets and shelves take that design idea one step further. And I have to admit, I really, really love it…

plywood kitchen cabinet doors

plywood open kitchen shelves{Jason Busch / Megan Morton via Tribe Studio / The Design Files}

As a girl with tastes above my station, finding a simple and stylish design idea that would be cheap to do is a rare occurrence. But knock me down with a feather, this one really is both. I’m sold.

If you found my post useful, please share it! Buttons below…

Denim decor: yee-haa or yee-ouch?

11 Feb

The Scandinavians seem to be going mad for the double denim trend, making everything from cushions to rag rugs from the blue stuff. But I can’t make up my mind about whether it’s likely to take off over here…

Denim home interior trend{Bloomingville / HK Living}

So, denim decor: yee-haa or yee-ouch? Cast your vote in the comments, cowgirl…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,553 other followers

%d bloggers like this: