With spring in full swing you might be considering updating your interiors for a refreshed summery vibe. And heading into summer means more time spent in the garden, more opportunities to have friends over for barbeques and lots of dinner parties! But revamping your home is a big undertaking, so where do you start? We thought it best to get some expert advice first-hand from an interior designer, so we spoke to Charlotte Cann Interiors for some insider info.
A. Before you do anything spend some time researching in magazines or on Pinterest for design inspiration. Typically you would want to start with fabrics when designing a room. You can get lots of options for colour schemes, patterns or even moods from fabrics, so find the fabric you want to use for curtains, upholstery or rugs before you begin – Kilim rugs are very fashionable at the moment. If you have a significant piece of furniture or a painting for example, you can use this to set your colour scheme. One client of mine had an antique vase and wanted a scheme to compliment the beautiful green of the vase, so I kept the design neutral and used accents of green.
Image of Anatolian Kilim rug from londonhouserugs.co.uk.
As a general rule, interior design follows fashion, meaning whatever colours are currently in season will influence what appears in interiors.
Mid-Century Modern furniture from Swooneditions.com.
A. In your living room and bedroom you want soft lighting. Use lots of lamps - standard lamps, wall lights or table lamps create a really cosy feel. Avoid harsh lighting such as strip lighting or overhead lighting, and definitely avoid too much clutter! Clutter instantly creates a sense of chaos in your room, which is not want you want when you’re trying to relax or drift off to sleep. That can mean mess or even too much furniture.
As for the colour scheme, greens and blues create a sense of calm - especially more muted tones such as pastel shades, duck egg blue and ‘eau de nil’.
The position of seating is very important in a living area. Some designers would say the layout of the room should be balanced and symmetrical, but I don’t mind it being a little different. Generally you need to have a good flow. Having a focal point in the living room can help to direct the layout of the furniture. For example, the focal point in my living room is the fireplace, and to draw attention to it I’ve placed an attractive mirror over the top.
To create that really cosy and comfortable feeling you can add a nice rug under the coffee table, with lots of cushions. Bookshelves with all of your favourite books and some family photographs will accentuate that nest-like feeling. The same applies to the bedroom. You should avoid bare floors in the bedroom as you’ll want something soft under your feet when you get out of bed.
Unusual headboards are very popular at the moment, particularly using screens as headboards which gives your bedroom a really unique feel.
A. I’m not a fan of using black and red together, but there’s no hard & fast rule as to what colours shouldn’t go together. For example, sorbet colours are currently quite fashionable like pink, mango, lemon and lime – they’re all slightly clashing but they work! If you use them with more neutral tones as your base such as soft greys and white, it can look fantastic, particularly if you use the sorbet colours in cushions or fabrics as accent colours. I would say to avoid using something that’s potentially a bit tacky i.e. beads on furniture.
A. If you’re having people over in the evening soft lighting is a great way to set the tone and make your guests feel comfortable. For your table setting you should bring your accent colours into features such as flowers, tablemats and napkins. Try to use bright colours to create a lively atmosphere and even coloured glasses. You could use a brightly coloured vase as your centrepiece that coordinates with the flowers. Add lots of comfy chairs around the table, and move furniture around to open up the room. And finally, light some candles! Scented candles are perfect for creating ambience. Try the 'Uplift and Revive' grapefruit, bergamot and rosemary candle or 'Joy and Abundance' neroli and patchouli candle to energise your guests!
A. With warmer summer months on the horizon, you’ll want to spend more time in the garden, so definitely invest in some attractive garden furniture – the Oka Biarritz range is very chic. Unusual features such as a fire pits are very fashionable right now and are great for when it gets cooler in the evenings.
Open up your garden by using mirrors on walls or trees to add depth, or just for something a bit different.
As a general rule you should dress your garden like you would your interior. Use items that you can paint and tailor to the colour scheme in your house like old flowerpots or old wooden benches. Bring your interior into your exterior. And to create a light and breezy atmosphere into your house for summer, do the opposite! Bring flowers from the garden into your home.Charlotte is currently a freelance interior designer working for Claude Hooper Interiors.