At last!!

June 8, 2016

Well it’s a very long time since my last post!! What can I say, it’s been a bit of  a whirlwind of a year, we have been crazy busy for the last 8 or 9 months and haven’t really had chance to come up for breath, hence the lack of posts. It’s a good problem to have but you have to be so much more time efficient . So when  Zoe Clark contacting me to collaborate on one of her interior blog posts I thought this was a good idea, not only because it won’t take me as long to do a blog post (they can be very time consuming) but also to get me back into writing for the blog,so here we go, enjoy!

Here’s a bit about Zoe,

Zoe Clark is a journalist, freelance stylist and blogger. She is a visual storyteller and aesthetician by heart who often writes about decorating and DIY ideas. She loves sparking creativity in people and giving them ideas for their own spaces.

 

The Natural Home Look: Clean, Healthy, and Chicgravityhomeblog-vintage7feat

 

If you are following interior design trends, you probably know that décor styles starring natural elements are in, and highly likely to stick around in the years to come. From energetic African décor and Scandinavian minimalism to time-tested grandeur of vintage interiors and Japanese harmony of indoors and outdoors, Mother Nature seems to have a hand in every sophisticated home nowadays. In addition to their aesthetic value, homes centered on organic materials such as stone, wood, and natural fabrics are also healthier and cleaner energy-wise. Eager to try out the natural formula at home? Here are some elements that will help introduce a fresh, natural feel into your space.

David says: In regards to interiors I don’t tend to follow trends, trends can inspire but in my opinion you should go with what makes you feel happy which will end up being timeless as it’s something you really like rather than what is on trend, But I agree that natural elements are great in interiors and they never really go out

Stone

The most durable natural material, stone can be used instead of tiles in contemporary kitchens and bathrooms, but stone veneer can also be incorporated into walls, fireplaces, and worktops for added personality and surprising décor twist. Depending on the budget and target look, you can rock out your home in marble, limestone, travertine, granite, slate, or sandstone. Stone for indoor use is rated according to porosity, hardness, water absorption, and abrasion and impact resilience, so you should follow recommended maintenance guidelines to ensure lasting charm and maximum longevity of stone surfaces.

David says: Stone is a lovely product but needs to used wisely, too much stone can make a scheme feel cold and uninviting and a little too commercial. As per the pictures above it must be teamed with softer/warmer material like wood.

Wood

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Another natural material that occupies an important place in 21st-century homes, wood is used in flooring and furniture manufacturing, but you can take the timber game up a notch and opt for faux wood wallpapers to achieve a well-rounded natural look. Cost-efficient wood types which can be deployed in a natural décor include oak, maple, poplar, elm, and walnut. If you are aiming for a more exotic ambiance, however, turn to high-end timbers such as mahogany, teak, and cedar, or spice up your home with the help of voguish custom blinds and shades made from bamboo or rattan.

David says: For me wood is a must in every interior design scheme, it can totally warm up a room in an instant, wood is being used far more than just for furniture and flooring, walls are now being clad in wood and if done in the correct way can look fab. Again you must team it with other material as too much wood can be overkill as you don’t want your room looking like a sauna!!

Metal

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Metal is one more organic material found in a modern home, and trending design styles such as vintage and industrial often rely on metallic charisma for added décor character. Copper, brass, wrought iron, and zinc can be mixed or paired with wood, concrete, and stone in contemporary homes to achieve stylistic eclecticism and increase visual interest. Creative blends of metal and other organic materials add textural opulence, variety, and urbane feel to a nature-inspired home. Metal elements can be either polished to high shine or left slightly matte for an intriguing design twist. 

David says: Love love metal, same principle as all the natural materials it must be mixed with softer items, but a touch of gold, copper or bronze can lift an interior and gives that little bit of bling without being footballers wives!!

Organic fiber

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While wood, stone, and metal provide a framework for a natural home, organic fabrics are used to warm up the décor and add a note of comfort. Jute, cotton, linen, canvas, silk, cashmere, and homespun are the most popular natural textiles found in a sleek contemporary home. The color palette of organic fabrics for indoor use ranges from soothing neutrals and pastels to flourishes of bold hues and botanical and animal prints. As a general rule, vivid textiles can be deployed as accents, but excess use of bright colors should be avoided as it can produce a garish effect and shatter visual unity.

David says: Every interior has to have a soft side, so fabrics is a must to soften the overall look and can be the holding pin in the scheme, you can go to town with the fabrics adding that all important splash of colour or you can tome down the scheme with natural neutral fabrics but be careful this works best with a more dramatic scheme as you don’t want the overall look being too bland. Linen is a favourite of mine and always works well with the natural home look.

Natural details

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Potted plants have by now become a must-have for an elegant home. Foliage used indoors adds both visual interest and keeps the air clean and fresh. Succulents are very on-trend, and they can increase aesthetic value of the décor, especially when combined with pastel hues and light organic fabrics such as jute, cotton, and linen. Other items sourced from Mother Nature that can add a personal touch and break up monotony of sleek modernist design include ivory figurines, potpourri, nature-inspired wall art, seashells, pinecones, and other treasures collected during outdoor adventures.

Nature has sneaked indoors and settled there for good. A good thing it has, too: homes inspired by nature are neater and healthier than those centered on abundant use of synthetic materials. Eager to spice up the vibe in your living area? Then make sure to follow in the natural footsteps for lasting aesthetic appeal.

David says: Adding botanicals to any room gives it an instant lift, I am a massive fan of faux foliage as it everlasting and really can lift the a scheme, when working on a show home this is one thing we add a lot and really finishes off the overall look. Outdoor plants coming inside is going to be a big part of interiors in the coming years.

Image sources: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7

Watch this space, my next blog will be about the all important mood board and how effective this process can be when designing your scheme.

David

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Colour Colour Colour

June 18, 2015

I’m just a little achy this week as for some strange reason I decided to enter the Velothon Wales on Sunday which was a closed road cycle event of 87 miles! I honestly didn’t think I would manage it but I did, and it wasn’t half as bad I thought. Except the 2 really big hills, One was called the Tumble which spans over 3 miles and the other was Caerphilly Mountain which sounds awful in it’s own right! and was tough!! The one thing I remember about the route, were the breath taking views of the welsh rolling hills. Which brings me onto talking about COLOUR, the vibrant blue of the sky and greens of the fields really made me think of getting colour into my interiors.

In my opinion we should always include colour in our room’s schemes, whether it’s winter or summer, but that’s for another blog post!! It’s the one thing that breaks the scheme up from being boring and bland. Getting colour into your rooms is easier than you think and you can in so many ways.

1). Be brave and slap some strong colour on your walls! I have just done this at Finzels Reach latest show apartments  a strong red/purple adorned the walls in the hallway which can bee seen through the double doors when you are in the living area which gives a great backdrop. Try painting a room and when I say room I mean all the walls in a strong deep colour, it will totally change the vibe. I have done this in my lounge and I love it. But please note the key is to break up the walls with lots of pictures and add lots of soft lighting.

2). If you’re not brave enough, go for a darker toned neutral and add colour with picking out a chair in a bright hue, or a rug which is a great way of getting that personality in to a room

3). Try painting the hallway, it’s the perfect room to do, as it’s a place you don’t spend much time in and the perfect place to try it out. It also looks great when looking through one of the rooms and can contrast to a nuetral room perfectly.

Adding colour, which can also be done with strong patterns will add intrigue to a scheme and takes it from drab to fab.

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Finzels Reach Cask show apartment, strong colour in hallway which can be seen from living area.

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Finzels Reach Cask show apartments, darker walls with pops of colour in cushions

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Finzels Reach Cask show apartments, strong colour in hallway with bright colour sofa, you have to be brave but it creates an impact

Below pictures collected on my travels showing how you can get colour into your interiors without necessarily painting your walls. ttT2Yv5GZDJx O_jYvpnh85Dx IMG_0056 cfk-Lm6wAJni5NsxZqzffdmgoiG13_j3M9ZqODVtISkQAPFKegKTaBwzARpLGzXC7rHQ1rLpW6FFczFEFRLOocalRB-GqAVUMFYd8RUTNEzOMI_kgk84zE4JuUTLYjYhE Bedroom+skirted+bedside+table+paired+blue+pWVb-69fOmol

Summer interiors

April 29, 2015

It’s funny how I decided today to blog about summer interiors! In Bristol we have grey skies and it’s been chucking it down with rain.

I haven’t blogged for a while as I have been working on the next project for Finzels Reach and just finished 2 show apartments for the new Cask Store apartments. This time I have been involved with choosing all interior items for the scheme so it’s been a little hectic to say the least, but I’m hoping to get back to my normal routine, starting with the blog!

So now we have a glimpse of summer all you lot will start thinking about your interiors in a different way, out go the sheepskin throws.

Most will want to paint out the entire house in white to give it a fresh look, but I say NO to that! You all know I am a lover of dark paint colours and they can still work with summer schemes, trust me!!

My number 1 advice is paint a dark hue but introduce some softer colours in the upholstery and accessories to give that summer vibe. If you’re not brave enough to go dark all over (and when I paint my house the ceiling gets painted the same colour as the walls) try going dark somewhere. What I did in the recent show apartments at Finzles Reach was a dark hue in the hallway – A perfect place to create drama, especially as this is your first impression as you enter the property. We then calmed it down a little in the living area with a neutral tone on the main walls but introduced a dark colour to a feature column. By doing this you create a contrast to the neutral pallet. If you paint everything in the neutral colour the scheme becomes a tad dull and boring and we don’t want to be doing that!

Change your heavy curtains for sheers, I always opt for a soft linen which softens the interior, perfect for the summer and great for not blocking out that all important sun light. I’m still great fan of colour and always get a strong pop of colour into the scheme but mainly with cushions, accessories and art. I am starting to add strong colour to walls, but the much murkier kind, as they give a lot more depth as previously mentioned. I usually do this in hallways and bathrooms as it’s tricky to pull off in large rooms especially if it’s a strong colour. In the hallway at Finzles Reach we opted for a strong purple/red and a deep blue in the en-suite. This instantly gives character and complemented the tiles perfectly. One of my favourite colours for the bathroom is Bowery Blue from the Abigail Ahern paint range. It looks great and it gives that injection of colour, which is often required.

bowery blue on walls

Add lots of lighting which will soften the overall look, you can never have too many accent lights, like lamps. The experts say you should have up to 7 lighting effects in one room. That is quite hard going! I can manage about 6 including the pendant light in one of my rooms. At least try adding more lamps as it will change the look in an instant and can add that little bit of glamour and there are so many quirky lamps on the market which can also double up as a sculpture/art or a touch of tongue in cheek style. I always opt for the oversized lamp. It works a treat and you should always play with scale in a room.

Take a look at some of the interior pictures that have inspired me.

 Splashes of colour interiors

Splashes of summer colours in art and upholstery.

Neutral with pop of colour

pink schemes

Softer colours sitting against a darker hue on the walls, and check out the image on the right the ceilings are painted out the same colour as the walls.

Have a great day!

Look out for a post on my recent show apartments, photographer booked this week to take some pics.

2015 interior trends

January 16, 2015

Just thought I would do a quick blog this morning to say Happy New 2015, the time of year for new things and to try something different especially with your interiors, out with the old and all that jazz!

But saying that, I have never been a big fan of trends in the interior world as when a room/house is done it’s likely to stay put for the foreseeable future so following trends can become a costly mistake. That is not to say I’m against trying something new or being a little more brave with your selection, you just need to choose things you love and not because they are the current trend. To get the most updated look, you can add items or features that can be easily changed at little cost. So paint, cushions accessories are what automatically spring to mind.

One of the trends is metallics and they are going to be really big this year, lots of coppers gold’s will feature in the high street which can be achieved through accessories and a great way to update your interior.

My prediction and what I am going to base my schemes on is murky tones, so deep wall colours, and if going with colour go for sludgy colours so rather than bright orange try burnt orange and rather than bright pink go dusky, this can still be teamed with pops of colour and blues are still going to be big in 2015 and don’t forget the glamour, adding that bit of shine to a scheme instantly moves it up the scale, creates interest and that wow!

Here’s a few pics to get you in the mood and inspire.

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Although this bedroom is a fairly neutral scheme, I love the painted ceiling, it adds interest and a great way to get some colour into a room without it going on the walls, definitely something I will be doing.

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Above is a great example of adding a pop of colour, like on the chairs and in the cloakroom unit. And the gold pieces finish it off with that all important glamour.

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Love the use of colour in the above pictures, this is what I mean by going a bit more murky, both rooms are still very colourful but just that bit more dusky which creates a stronger mood, and painting the ceiling out in the same colour is a game changer, I’ve done it at home and it totally changes the look of the room without much expense.

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Although the above picture isn’t my favourite it shows how to use darker tones with pops of colour.

Have a great weekend.

Christmas Tips

December 19, 2014

My last post this year so I thought a few Christmas decorating tips might be handy, most of you have probably put up your decorations but here’s a few things you may want to consider or take on for next year.

For me making your home Christmassy isn’t about putting up every decoration you possess.

I know this can be a tricky task to make your decorations look classy and effortless, but hopefully a few key pointers it will steer you in the right direction.

Keep it simple! And with this in mind narrowing your choice of colour scheme down to a minimum of 3 colours or tones.

If you want to follow trends the look for 2014 has got to be GOLD!! Really bright shiny gold teamed with an off white or taupe which will tame the gold and stop it from looking too tacky.

One of my favourite things to do is get bare branches, if you get one big one plant it in a pot and hang tree decorations off the branches, some smaller ones make great table pieces or wall decorations. Although you now see this styled a lot in magazines, my aunty did this years ago and still does it now so it’s a timeless thing to do and always looks great. And still something you can do now to add to your table or a console in the hallway is a perfect place.

I’m also a fan of faux plants and flowers, you can get some great green faux greenery, eucalyptus is one of them, I drape this across the middle of the table with glass tea light holders dotted within, simple but it creates a very effective centre piece. This can also be done with real foilage, most Florist will have greenery this time of year, especially my favourite florist in Portishead www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Tynan-Flowers/430437143715912 

I also like to drape faux greenery down the banister. Teamed with berries as they are one of my favourite things to use at Christmas but you can also include tree decorations within the garland, just don’t overdo it and remember keep it classy.

Another thing which looks great is clear vases and lots of different sized ones, you can pick up cheap vases everywhere these days, fill them with branches, berries and greenery and the odd smaller one looks great with just baubles in -keeps the Christmas look without having to pin decorations on everything.

Now to finish the look off I collect small vases, glass candle holders even jars can work, buy lots of carnations, spray with hair spray and sprinkle glitter on them (I get my kids to do this) and just put a couple of buds in the small vases and dot them all over the house, teamed with tea lights and candles this will finish off the look, they last for ages so a week before Christmas will be the perfect timing for this.

The very last thing I do is, is add more lamps, floor lamps, table lamps, a dimmer lighting scheme at Christmas looks so much more welcoming, even placed in the kitchen if possible makes a much more cosy feel, and little sheep skin rugs draped over chairs and on sofas creates the warming cabin feel – perfect for a chic Christmas at home.

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My christmas shop window

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Have a great time at Christmas guys!

Quick fixes

November 19, 2014

Morning all, it’s been a while. It’s all very hectic here at DHI headquarters, what with the approach to Christmas and 4 projects to complete. it’s a bit stressful.

If you have run out of time to do any major refurbishments before Christmas I thought I would share some quick fixes.

I know I have said this time and time again but paint is one of the most transforming things you can do to a room. Because I bang on about this all the time my friends are finally starting to take note, especially my friends that live in the cotswolds as they have gone the whole hog and painted their lounge out in almost the darkest hue you can , but it’s one of my favourites which is F&B Railings. It’s totally transformed the room and it looks amazing. But my friend Caroline still text me on the morning with second thoughts and saying are you sure it will work!! I said “Go for it, if you hate it you can always paint it over” simply’s!! Now it’s done they love it and said thanks for the push!! And it doesn’t make the room look smaller, thats a myth!!

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The next great thing to do is add lamps and lots of them. This creates not only a focal point but adds a soft light which creates intrigue and depth and instantly changes the look of an interior, you can go glam or mix it up to create an eclectic look.

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(Photo curtesy of Cubex Finzels Reach development)

Change the layout, for me pushing sofa’s up against the wall is a big no no. Try pulling it into the room, mine at home is in the middle of the room and creates two different areas. Even if you have a small room pulling it away from the wall even a bit will help, maybe just enough to get a shelf or console behind, lean up a couple of picture add a lamp and bang you changed the look in a jiffy!!

Accessorising!! probably one of the hardest things to get right but adding vases, plants, flowers (which can be faux by the way) can change a scheme and stop it from being boring, also its a great way to add a splash of colour and interest. If your a women it’s like adding jewellery to an outfit, it makes it!

In every scheme I add cushions, this is where you can be a bit more risky with colour, pattern and texture, go for it and don’t try and go too matchy, mix it up.

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(Photo curtesy of Cubex Finzels Reach development)

Art, I know I here you say ‘Pricey’ but it doesn’t have to be, what I do for the show homes is order lots of posters from poster websites, there are quite a few, allposters is one of my favourites. Some posters I get for £4!! Then I buy simple black frames and frame them myself, if you not confident to do this you can go to a local framers either to frame the whole picture or they will also just cut the mounts which saves a few coins. Picture of my hallway, it totally transforms it in an instant, the trick is filling the whole space and you need some big pictures which anchors the rest, too many small ones would look bitty and way too much.

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There you go that should be enough to keep you busy for a few weeks!

Happy decorating

 

Ps. If you want to see these quick fixes take a visit to Finzels Reach development as I have done all the show apartments on the site and all I talk about has been used somewhere along the line

Firstly a big sorry for the lack of posts, haven’t blogged for 2 months which is the longest time since starting the blog over a year ago. It’s almost like I decided to take the summer off!! but it’s because I have been so incredible busy and it’s so easy to get out of the habit of doing things! So from now I’m back and will be blogging every week. Feel free to tell me off if I don’t.

So lets talk about adding the wow to a room as trying to change a room can be a daunting process. Knowing where to start and making decisions isn’t always that easy for the best of us.
You may have a big budget which initially makes it easier but believe you me you can still make costly mistakes.

If you have a small budget it can even be more challenging but you have to be a wee bit more creative to pull it off. One of my more recent projects I was set the task of creating a wow factor but on a tight budget. This was for a show home for a developer in Cardiff but the same rules can be applied to a room make over at home. Although we had a budget to furnish all the rooms it didn’t stretch that far to go all guns blazing so we had to think of some clever decorating ideas to create the wow factor.

So if you are planning a room makeover start by really thinking about what you use the room for, for instance if it’s a space that gets lots of use you will need to think about adding ample of storage which is assessable and easy to use, or it may be a smart lounge which is just for evening use which instantly narrows it down to not having to be so practical therefore darker colours can be used to create a more cosy feel.

For me the No1 game changer is PAINT, paint a room in a darker hue and it changes the feel instantly. I have recently painted my family lounge at home (including the ceiling) in dark inky blue, if I suggested this to a client they would almost in an instant say NO, but it is amazing the response I have had, friends that came for dinner recently were balled over and loved it but said they wouldn’t of thought of using darker colours on the walls let alone the ceiling. And it doesn’t make a room look smaller, that’s a myth, light it well and break the walls up with mirrors and art, it adds such a great depth to the room. Now I have just touched on art this is also a great way to add interest to a room and it doesn’t have to cost the earth, framing vintage posters is a great cost effective solution.

The one thing I have done with my room in the show home was to bring furniture into the room, a big NO NO for me is pushing furniture up against the wall like it’s been naughty and it’s not allowed to play. A must is adding larger pieces, like a chair, coffee table or oversized lamp, (don’t forget lighting is key). Playing with scale will trick the eye and make the space look bigger than it really is! If your going to move over to the dark side, adding a bit a glamour Hollywood style works a treat, sometimes a bit of shiny will break up the look. We added a crystal chandelier to the show home lounge which stopped the room looking too contrived, but put’s a little fun into the scheme. But be aware! Adding too much bling can make a room look cheap so keep it to a minimum.
As you can see from the picture, adding the black wall to the kitchen takes this from a bland kitchen to a wow kitchen, and getting a pop of colour is always a nice way of stopping the room looking boring, adding a chair in a bright hue is a great way of achieving this.

david hutton interiors, bristol

david hutton interiors, bristol

Adding the black paint on the one wall livens up the room and takes it from being a bit bland to cool and chic. Such an easy and cheap thing to do.

david hutton interiors, bristol

 

Push the boat out and go darker, especially when decorating a room that’s used for chilling out in the evening, adding a bit of bling can create that wow you after.

david hutton interiors, bristol

Another great way of creating drama is adding splashes of colour which catches the eye.

Happy decorating, have a great weekend

Recent projects

May 9, 2014

Back seems better! Hurray, but god damn the strong inflammatory tablets I’ve been taking have made me feel sick!! arghhh!! Still managed a trip to the velodrome on wednesday night with the fox cycling spin buddies, what a buzz and a great night, even if your not into cycling still worth doing I would say!!

Anyway lets get down to business. I thought I would talk about some of my recent projects, I don’t do this often but I’m rather proud of this one. A couple of months ago I posted about some show homes I did for Finzels Reach. This project is for the same development by Cubex and we were asked to also do the Marketing suite which is to be home for Savills Estate Agent and the office reception for Bridgewater House which is one of the prestigious office developments in Bristol. This has been such a great project to work on and I had a blast. Thanks to all the Cubex team for involving me on this project.

Finzels Reach Marketing SuiteFinzels Reach Marketing SuitFinzels Reach Marketing SuiteFinzels Reach Bridgewater House receptionFinzels Reach Bridgewater House reception

Photo’s courtesy of Cubex

Hope you all like, have a great weekend.

The art of display!

March 14, 2013

Morning! Still crazy here, actually probably more crazy than last week as been making lots of decisions for the shop. So sofa and chair supplier sorted, accessories confirmed and ordered, a few more to add as keep finding great suppliers! Lighting, textiles and pictures to do! I’ll probably think of a million more things that still need sourcing, but that’s all my head can cope with for the moment. I’m so tired I could literally crawl under my desk and have a little nap!! It’s hard to switch off at night as I have so many things swimming around in my head …. Another little idea for the shop, we have found some really nice small chest of drawers which are made out of pine! (Yuk I hear you say!) but we are going to get our regular paint sprayer to spray in a solid colour and offer this to our customers, so they can pretty much choose which ever colour takes there fancy! Good hay! It’s all so exciting!!

Anyway must chat a little about interiors and after last week, where my head was in the commercial interiors ie, coffee shop design.  This week my head is totally in residential as I have been doing so much buying for the shop! So I thought I would talk about ‘The art of display’. When you look at uber cool interiors which take your breath away, break this down and you realise it’s all in how it’s displayed, it’s not always about the items (although obviously this can help if you have the most amazing antiques) for example you could have an old piece of furniture you’ve had for years, chest of drawers is usually the obvious one or a rickety old chair! These items left on there own against a lonely wall would look pretty dull but start plonking some items with it, on top of it, a super large lamp for instance (I know, I know I keep going on about this all the time, but trust me it really does work!) A few pictures lent up against it, overlapping on a pile of books a few little ornaments collected along the way or simple a small vase of flowers and voilá you have your own little art of artdisplay!! Use this rule even when placing furniture, think of how it displays with other pieces, mix and match items and layer layer layer! Take a look at the picture below, this apartment in New York has nailed it, (although white walls are a no no for me)

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ImageSee! there you have it ‘The art of display’ Go try this at home, it will instantly transform a gloomy area or a corner of a room, and please please, I know what you are thinking “it’s harder to dust”, I would much rather spend a bit longer dusting and have an inspiring home versus uninspiring and dull!!

Now for the art of, getting on with work!!

Have a great Thursday