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!!


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.


(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


Room make over

June 13, 2014

Nothing like an early morning spin class to start the day!! And after a pretty hard week I am glad it’s Friday!!

So, I thought I would talk about making over a room today! easy…..no! for some maybe… for others… maybe not! Firstly you don’t have to have oodles of money to make over a room; determination and grit yes but money no!! For me the most transforming thing is PAINT!  It’s relatively cheap and you don’t need to be an expert to use it!!  It’s just being brave enough to push the boundaries and opt for something more daring and not opting for the safe option.  I say go dark as it’s such a game changer and I’m banging on about it on my blog all the time! Crossing over to the dark side has so many benefits, it creates intrigue and totally changes the look of a room in an instant, it also creates a great backdrop to art, it makes it ping and one of the key tips is adding lots of art, don’t be afraid to cover the wall, with a few big pieces or a mish mash of sizes.  I love big frames with small pictures but a large mount around the picture, a great way to break up a dark wall, this creates contrast which is so important in an interior.  So if your thinking “I have no art” that’s going to cost me a bomb to create this look, I often buy art from poster websites, they’re cheap as and they have some very cool vintage style posters large and small, then frame them in simple frames with large mounts!


Now the other element to making over a room is TEXTURE, you can never have enough texture, lots of different types of fabrics is good, soft velvets and textured linens work well and when I say texture this also means wall treatment, there are so many great wallpapers out there, like the one I used in the bedroom scheme below which is a printed grass paper effect, adding the texture creates the much needed warmth to a room and a focal point which takes it to another dimension.

As you can see from the before and after pictures below, except for the new furniture the main change in the rooms are the walls, adding the texture like the large padded headboard or if the budget doesn’t allow for that then just going darker.

Happy decorating, once you go to the dark side there’s no going back!!

Here are some before and after shots, and please note guys, the first picture is the before!! but you know that right!!!!



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Pictures courtesy of Cubex, Finzels Reach

Have a great weekend all, not a great Saturday for me as I will be sat in the passport office waiting for a new passport, but on the plus side Portugal next week for a business trip, Yay!!

Breaking the rules!

May 22, 2014

Feeling a little broken this week as did a 67 mile bike ride last Sunday (my first). Up to 40ish miles I was fine but after that I think my legs had enough, got off and walked away!! Still serves me right for going out with a bunch of cycle enthusiast.

Anyway lets get to it, RULES is such a strict word I find and although people think there are rules within interior design, I don’t! Design is so subjective, what works for one doesn’t work for another. I don’t really have any rules when designing a scheme, although I sort of follow my own but only what helps me put a design scheme together not an industry set of rules. So I say break the RULES (love saying that).

1). Don’t use symmetry, it’s one of the most common things done in interiors, you know when lamps arrive 2 by 2 and park them selves on a console table.

2). Matching! I hate matching it’s definitely one thing I really try not to do, if you use a fabric on curtains or blinds this doesn’t mean you need to use the same fabric on the cushions! Mix it up, it creates intrigue, far more of an interesting look and the same goes for accessories, mix them up and it will look like you have collected them over time.

3). Furniture, this on is a biggy and probably one of the hardest rules to break. In my opinion this has to be mixed, if you look a the best interiors the furniture is always an eclectic mix, modern lines like a simple sofa teamed with an antique or vintage piece.Get this right and BINGO! when guest enter the room they won’t know what to look at first, it confuses the eye when things jar and creates a much better interior! and please don’t push all the furniture up against the walls like its a naughty kid thats been told off!!

4). SCALE! now playing with scale is a little scary I know, as the brain is telling you to put small items with small!! (am I making sense) So using an oversized lamp on a small table for instance seems crazy but can totally change the vibe to a room and again confuses the eye. Please please don’t be afraid to use larger pieces of furniture, trust me it works! Using small furniture especially in small rooms is one of the most common mistakes I see.

5). Last but not least COLOUR. Throw the oddball colour in the mix, works a treat and going darker (I know, I know I’m always going on about this one!) on the walls creates warmth and cosiness, who wants to sit in a white sterile room………….not me!

A few pics to inspire (courtesy of lonny magazine and Remodelista)

David Hutton Interior bristol, eclectic mix

Mixing up the furniture, I would never of thought about using the white chairs with the antique table, it creates the interest, not everyones cup of tea I know but it shows you how it can be done! Loving the colour on the walls.

David Hutton Interior bristol, mix of fabrics

Perfect example of how to use different patterns of fabric, no matchy matchy going on here. And a great use of colour.

David Hutton Interior bristol, scale

And here you have scale! the large mirror works so well but for me the small table in front with the oversized vase and eucalyptus is what sets it off!

Have a great day!


The sky’s are foggy in Bristol……great, whats going on with the weather!!   I’m just about getting back in to the land of the living! my back has been playing up, waking up every hour when you move doesn’t help and constant back ache can cloud the mind! I resisted (being a male and not good at excepting) and went to the doctors yesterday, so some very strong inflamentary tablets should do the trick!

Anyway onwards and upwards!

Don’t think I have chatted about Kitchens for a while so thought this would be a good topic today. They keep popping up in my head as I have seen some pretty amazing ones recently whilst searching for inspirational pictures. Most of them are in celebrity homes so some pretty cool kitchens I have to say and bucket loads of money spent on them but you can still take the principals of what makes it good. For me I am getting so bored of the what I call NORMAL kitchen, they all sort of take the same vibe and you see them time and time again, we really need to try and think a bit more creatively! So my biggest tip is treat it as a room your are going to spend lots of time in, a kitchen is not just for cooking. For instance in mine I have a textured wallpaper that looks like silk, its a commercial one so it’s actually very practical and can be heavily wiped.  I would usually use this type of paper in a lounge so it’s an instant mood creator. My biggest thing about creating a moody warm kitchen is not going for the clinical look so white is out, go for a darker colour for the doors and I always get wood into a scheme as it creates warmth and add’s texture. If you don’t want wood featured within the kitchen. ie doors or worktop try adding it to the floor, pick and engineered plank which is yay ok for kitchens!

Now I think going forward the next big things for kitchen is adding that bit of glam, something shiny. The back splash is the perfect place, again in my kitchen I added chrome round mosaic tiles which was a few years ago now so at the time seemed a bit crazy, and was more expensive that normal tiles but so worth is as I still love them, although if I was doing my kitchen today I would opt for gold, which is almost as glam as you can get and adds instant wow. If you got a big budget a metal back splash in copper or bronze would be amazing but another good and cheaper idea is smoked mirror! Adding all these elements creates the drama that you need. Get these things right and the actual kitchen (as in cupboards) can be pretty simply, and lining up the cabinets is a must for me, no different sized wall cupboards all over the place.

Now the finishing touches are things like adding pictures, vases with flowers and anything quirky that gives it that little va va voom and again treat as any other room! When planning a kitchen I always add some open shelves, somewhere to add some interest and break up the space. It doesn’t have to be majorly that practical but if you want it to, make sure you invest in some nice glasses, cups and crockery so you can show it off in style and I always pop a framed picture and vase to break it up.

Take a look at the pictures below, I know they have had a load of cash spent on them but they will inspire the mind when planning your kitchen.

David hutton interiors hammered gold kitchens

Love the hammered metal doors but they come with a price tag, the hammered metal pendants on the right hand side picture add the same type of glamour but for far less!

David hutton interiors gold splashbacks kitchens

Adding the gold back splash to grey colour scheme totally adds interest, love it! if your not brave enough add gold accessories like the kettle against a grey background is a good compromise.

David hutton interiors open shelves kitchens

This is where open shelves look great with stylish crockery nicely placed!!

David hutton interiors dark walls kitchens

The drama of the dark hue’s work so well.

Also one of the other things to say, if your planning an extension and thinking of creating that big kitchen, as you can see from the above pics some of the best kitchens are more compact, I say go smaller in the kitchen and create a much more useable space, and if you are going open plan try and have some sort of divide so it feels like the kitchen has it’s own space, like the picture below, still has the feel of open plan but isn’t!!

David hutton interiors kitchens

Have a great day

Out with the old

March 14, 2014

Its the time of year when we all start thinking about updating our interior or some of us do! and I think it’s mainly because we can all see that spring is around the corner. Well it’s extremely foggy in Bristol and can’t see around the corner at all!! but we know it’s hiding out there somewhere!!

For me I want to add colour and freshen my interior up a notch, this could be simply changing your cushions on your sofa to adding some spring blooms, the more the better I say and definitely Faux’s as they can stay there until winter time!!, this is such a good way to add that all important splash of colour, a bit like the pic below, take the flowers away and it’s a bit snoring!


So if your feeling more daring you can add colour by painting, ok ok I know painting a strong colour on the walls is scary for so many of you but it is the most transforming thing you can do to your interior and if you don’t have the budget to add or change furniture it’s the simplest and most cost effective way and is a game changer trust me. If you don’t like it paint over it, no big deal right!! I don’t do what everyone does and paint the wall and think NO i don’t like it, you have to finish the room. The transformation doesn’t take place until the furniture goes back in place and art and pictures are up! If you are going for a bold or stronger tone, don’t forget that big pictures with white mounts break up the wall perfectly and if you are going for a bold colour please please go for more of an inky murky tone, it creates a much more sophisticated look and mood. Watch this space, we are looking at adding a dark, inky, moody paint collection in the shop. Message me if your interested in receiving info on this.

Here’s a few pics to inspire, if you don’t feel brave enough to paint the whole room why not try painting the back of some shelves in a bolder colour or a recess! I love the silk wallpaper behind the bed in one of the picture, transforms the room and add’s life.


splash of colour


bold colour


bold colour walls


dark colour walls

Absolutely loving the wall colour above, it’s my favourite colour of the moment and although a dark hue it still has an uplifting feeling to it. And this is what I mean about if you go for a bold colour go that little bit murky as it works!

Have a great weekend all!

It’s been a while!! Must try and get back to my normal routine of blogging every week. I have been a tad busy at late! And haven’t had the chance to fit this in to my schedule believe it or not. Been having to get up early to get through the pile of work that needs sorting. Mind you I’m not complaining as I much prefer to be busy and believe it or not your more creative this way as you simply haven’t got the time to ponder!! Love it

So what’s been going on in the world of David hutton interiors, Finzel Reach which is a re launch of a residential and office development in Bristol by Cubex. DHI was commissioned to design 3 show apartments, marketing suit and office reception. It’s been a great job and one where I have used the tips and what I have been going on about in my blogs ove the last year, take a look at some of the pics courtesy of Cubex.

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So let’s get down to business and talk interiors.
I’m going to bang on about it again! DARK WALL COLOURS, it’s definitely a bit of a taboo subject but in my opinion a myth that dark colours make a room look smaller and the Finzel show flats prove this. everyone that saw the old show flat (that was white washed)  all said the new show flat with the dark colours seemed to be much bigger space than before. Take a look a the before and after shots.

No there are a few key points to making a small space seem larger:

1)  Zone areas even if you think the space is too small, it can still be achieved and it might be as simple as painted the areas different colours.


2). Scale, don’t be afraid to add in large pieces of furniture. The most common mistake I see all the time is small furniture in small rooms, it’s does the opposite! And whatever you do don’t push all the items against the wall, pull the sofa in or try separating the room with a piece of furniture say like a chair, it will add intrigue to the room

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3). Create vignettes, when I say vignettes this is blending so the eye moves along or down, it’s about creating layers so it confuses the eye which thinks there is more space than there really is. So overlapping pictures on a console is a great to achieve this, especially if your have a dark hue on the walls (sorry I couldn’t resist) this will show it off a zillion times more!


4). Lighting, don’t light the place like a runway! More concentrated lighting is key. Lamps in corners, spot lights diverted on the walls, pendants over a table. This all adds depth and stops the eye from thinking the room is small.


Above picture is a shot form a coffee shop but it shows you what a concentrated lighting scheme does to the space!

It’s all about trickery guys!! but get a few of the keys pointers correct and you will nail your interiors! trust me

Have a great weekend and speak to you next week!

Quick fixes!

August 1, 2013

Right really got to get my act together with sorting out the house, got friends staying in a few weeks and the downstairs room that used to be the office needs transforming back to a casual lounge but have a stag do and a trip to Cornwall in between so not much time to do it, will give it a go at least!!

With this in Mind I thought I would talk about quick fixes but on a budget! So guys the most transforming thing to do in a room is painting the walls but op for a more striking look, just dare to go that bit darker it will transform the space in an instant, I’m going really dark almost charcoal grey!! I’m going add lots of pictures which breaks the space up and will give the walls depth.

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My next tip is add a graphic rug, you can get some real bargains out there try urban outfitters and ikea, I’m going for a black and white version which will be dramatic, always need a bit if drama I say!!

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Tip 3, add shelves as this really breaks the Space up, the floating ones from ikea are as cheap as! I’ve put 2 together wall to wall so they look like they have been made to fit, I had to cut them down a bit so u may need a saw or someone handy but worth it as they look so much better. Also another tip is paint them out the same colour as the walls. Now this is we’re u add your personality, so layer the shelves with books pictures lent up overlapping each other, the odd ball ornament will finish it off!!

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Now adding the furniture is the hard part mainly as its the biggest ticket priced item so if budget allows for new pieces great if not (like us) I’m just adding a new coffee table I’m going for a reclaimed one which breaks up the look as everything else has cleaner lines, always good to mix it you don’t want matching furniture it will look boring! I’m still going for some simple modern cabinets from ikea for the tv unit again cheap and the same trick as the shelves add some together to fit within a space makes it looked built in, which didn’t cost much but looks like it cost a buck! If budget can’t stretch to new sofa or chairs u can hunt for some second hand ones but in my opinion this can take an age to find the right look and a bargain, to juzz up an old sofa u can add throws and lots of mix match cushions, try jewel block colours for this as its on trend and if budget could stretch to new chairs do these in a block bright colours it will throw the whole scheme off balance, which us a good thing. Remember to limit the colour palette you don’t want too many colours as it will then feel wrong. Don’t forget, get the rug right and this could be the winning piece that will help with using existing furniture as it will distract the eye away.

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Happy decorating!

Getting In to my spinning now, new spin studio opened which is down the road from me, so a super hard spin class on Monday and maybe one today?, might be able to get 4 exercise sessions in this week. God it’s hard trying not to put weight on!  Been exercising regularly for over a year and still not at my ideal weight!! Too much food and wine springs to mind!! Ha ha

Anyway down to business! Designing interiors with intrigue. If u don’t add an element of surprise you end up with a snoring interior, aren’t we all bored of the beige tone interiors out there!!! To make it more interesting add a little intrigue! Now this could be simply by adding an unusual object! Or just doing something which throws it of course!! So if u already have a neutral scheme and don’t want to paint try adding a large scale graphic rug or a mixture of art which could be vintage posters, cheap as chips!! One of the coolest ways is a large scale lamp and even cooler try an Abigail Ahern dog lamp that will totally through the scheme off a little. Pics below show some great interiors, I know not everyone’s cup of tea but break it down and it starts with quite a classic look, use this style of furniture! Then start adding the objects and this creates the interest a bit like adding accessories to an outfit (if your a lady). Get the basics right then it’s up to you how far you want to push the boundaries, this look has no rules so push as much as you want, even if you add a few objects of intrigue it will change the overall look, budget depending of course!! A cheap way is to paint the walls, u can be brave and go a full on colour, harder to pull off or just go that bit darker and this will show off the objects to another dimension!!

ImagePics above are similar in regards to items but wall colours are totally different and shows you that having some interesting objects can work in both settings, the colour on the walls totally changes the look and is more individual to the person living there. I think both work well, strip out the interesting objects and the furniture is quite classic…. no!!

ImageLove this one, I know not everyones taste but I think the use of colour is great, and the zebra rug is what throws it of course as is has a traditional rug underneath!

ImageOne of my favourite American designers Kelly Wearstler is a maestro at adding intrigue to interiors, love her objects, especially the gold hands in the table setting!

ImageMy favourite British designer Abigail Ahern and her famous  dog lamps! Might get some of these in the shop!!


And even if it’s a small item like this elephant book holder, it still does the job perfectly, much better with a dark background!!

Sorry guys lots of pictures today! Pics courtesy of lonny Mag and Abigail Ahern Pinterest!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Art on a budget!!

June 26, 2013

Well my bedroom designs/decorating is coming on slowly, I still slightly undecided on which colour to paint the walls but have managed to sort out the furniture from pinching a table and lamp from the lounge which has already transformed the space and have pretty much decided about curtains and fabrics etc. I also had 2 frames with very old sketches in, which were a little dated and looking a bit too traditional for my taste, so I have decided to paint the frames an off white (because I’m going dark on the wall I’m thinking light frames to contrast and break up the colour) and I simply and very quickly drew a geometric pattern in shades of grey on the computer and replaced the existing print,  it’s completely changed the look and cost me nothing (already had a tester pot of paint I used) and just a little but if time! easy…no!

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So I guess this brings me on to art, it’s one of the hardest things to pull off but it’s also one of the things that totally transforms a place. I say mix it, modern art, photography, oil painting…..anything goes. Try limited the colours as otherwise it could look like a miss match, 3 main colours within the collection will work best. If you have a load of cash this obviously makes it easier but believe you me it’s still hard to get it right. Sometimes art on a budget works better! as your more up for taking risks! Some tips on getting art on your walls without it costing a fortune is look at poster sites, (try http://www.allposters.co.uk) you can get some pretty dam cool posters for under a tenner, then frame it simply. I love the vintage travel posters! Another one if you have time is going to car boot sales and flea markets, not an option for me as I just don’t have the spare time so printing off a picture I can find on the internet is a much quicker options! Or create simple geometric patterns as per my revamped pic below, or greeting cards and postcards are a great inspiration, I have scanned many in and had them printed at the local copy shop and framed them. And another great idea is framing wallpaper and fabric (which is like art these days).

When hanging these on the walls,  mix a few photos in, I say casual family snaps. I  took a photo of a cathedral in Reims which was a great architectural picture but by the doorway was the wife and kids, you could hardly see them but it gives the photo so much more meaning. I printed it off A2 size framed it and you wouldn’t believe the comments I get about it!

Take a look at some of the pictures below which should explain what I’m going on about.

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A mixture here, some sketches a photo and modern art

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All photography in this one but play with the scale and it totally works!


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All sorts of art here, an old magazine cover but in some great frames, and in my opinion the pictures on the dark background rock!

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So cool! the surfer dude’s pad!!

Hopefully by the next post I will be a bit further on with the bedroom and will show you a snippet of the colours and fabrics chosen.

Happy Thursday!

Putting it off!

June 19, 2013

I have nearly fully recovered from the man flu! so back to a normal this week. Got to get into a regular exercise regime otherwise I’m going to turn into a fat blob. When you do get into exercise it’s funny how you miss a week and almost feel guilty, never thought I would say that!! almost feel off my chair thinking it!!

I’m still thinking DIY this week, I have so much to do on my own house, I have sort of been putting it off thinking I will wait until I can buy that amazing piece of furniture etc, which I guess most of us do but I could be waiting a long time with the money that gone into the shop there is no budget for the house!. So it’s going to be designing on a shoe string and I’m thinking of basing some of my posts on the rooms I need to do.

First up is the Master bedroom, It’s going to have a paint job, so all walls and skirting’s are being painted out in a dark hue. We do have a sort of headboard which is wallpapered in a textured copper finish. If the budget could stretch I would re do this but it’s going to have to stay! The next main thing and something I have wanted to do for ages is painting the wardrobe doors, at the moment they are a light birch colour, yuk! They are melamine so this will be a quick fix as in time the paint will chip, they will get replaced when the wallet can cope! . A couple of simple side tables will also get painted. I’m sort of hoping the wall paint will be the main transformation of the room, as we are going dark we will need to break up the walls and space which I will do with large pictures, mirrors, and a wall of curtains which is going to be my biggest cost and something that is at the top of the list as it will make the room feel more cosy. It’s a newish house so no real features, If you have amazing windows sometimes leaving it simple works better! Then the final touches will be adding the interesting objects, nice lamps, will probably splash out on at least one nice lamp as this can totally change the overall feel, especially if you go super sized! Add a few vases with some greenery, books piled up, that sort of thing. You want to make the room feel like it’s lived in without looking messy. So a great little tip is plonking all your daily items like cosmetics etc on a little tray, it sort of keeps it interesting but tidy! And finally I will be hunting for a small rug to break up the carpet which is a bit bland, I’m thinking zig zag!!

Heres what I’m thinking for the wall colour, a bit risky hey!!


And a pic to show you what I mean about a tidy mess!

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Have a great Wednesday!