CHUCK OUT THAT PAPER LAMPSHADE!
We've been looking at lighting - a lot of lighting. Not being the easiest part of the room to get right, as it should never be just the big light on (as Peter Kaye would say). Lighting should be layered, there can be more than one light source in a room and know that dim-able and even subtle coloured light can transform the ambience without it being seedy and it needn't be extortionate.
Use groups of lights together, light through coloured glass, show off your vintage bulb, chic up your desktop. Stick them on the floor in the corner of your living room for a classy uplight, add lamps to tables, fireplaces and walls and play with the combinations of light (including the big light but on a dimmer please). Treat yourself; buy an investment and conversation piece or buy two or three budget pieces which together will give a more considered and expensive look to your scheme.
Movable, delicate, glowing, sit down on-able, childlike and classic, here are our top shops which you might not have heard of before, for relevant and stylish pieces many of which you can plug in today.
And if you now need an extension lead this company will build one for you. Here's one I made earlier
Japan, the coolest place on Earth? Well their architecture and interiors are super-cool. After watching the fantastic documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things on Netflix and always being asked by clients for clever small space solutions, I knew that The Japanese House punches above it's weight on both of these topics. So here's a little on what we saw at the current Barbican show. We thoroughly recommend that you get yourself down there. You will literally get lost in this fantastic exhibition. Open until 25th June.
..... then head to Bonfire BBQ for a Coke Float
Are you a fan of those Grand Designs and £100K Houses with their minimal Plywood surfaces and furniture? Us too. Hot of the Press - we've just stumbled upon Plykea (launched this month) who can give you a cool, architect designed looking kitchen using IKEA cupboard frames.
This lovely company can make bespoke, hand finished doors, cover panels and worktops for your IKEA’s Metod base cabinets to re-vamp your out-of-date kitchen and get a the Scandi (Hygge) vibe on. I'm sure Piers Taylor would approve.
Do you find yourself staring blankly at paint charts, loving the bright yellow or charcoal grey but returning to beige and white in fear of having a custard coloured kitchen or dingy master bedroom? Part 3 of this guide walks you through how to work a paint chart and get experimental.
Paint Charts - Let's turn these little booklets of confusion into pro-decorating tools.
Easy as I, II, III
First, there are the easy to use tonal charts some of the best being Dulux, Little Greene, Paint and Paper Library and Bert and May. All of these group shades together making it easy to confidently choose several shades in seconds. From this you can allocate a different shade to different areas and items in the room - easy! If you then want a stronger shade just dip into the darker colours on the chart. For example, Paint and Paper's Plaster I-V would go brilliantly with a shock of Rhubarb and Little Greene's French Grey shades would sit perfectly with anything from Green Verditer to Atomic Red.
Cut it Up
Now cut up your paint chart making sure to keep the colour name with the paint chip. This is preferable to wrestling with a paint chart trying to get two colours to meet up. Then have fun placing the colour chips in pleasing groups on a white piece of card or paper which'll help you see their true colours. You'd be surprised how dark an off-white can look against pure white. To make life even easier take the chips that match your inspiration image (see blog Parts 1 & 2) and assemble them. Now you're getting somewhere. Don't be afraid to use several paint charts to find the colours you need, just make sure that you keep tabs on which charts the chips came from.
If you can get the paint stores in question, then you'll be able to play with their larger showroom samples. Upsizing your paint chips and seeing the colour as a larger expanse really helps you to decide on your colours. Most of the boutique paint shops offer this option and have well trained staff to help you in the decision making process. I do this all the time, so you should too.
I wasn't planning on it but think I'll do a Part 4 - Sample Pots watch out for it.....
Take a look at what we found when we visited the fantastic London Welsh Centre for 'The Welsh Emporium''. Welsh interior design once meant itchy brown woollen blankets and novelty daffodil lamps but no more! You'll still find rustic materials, traditional prints and Welsh charm but the next generation of savvy crafters and shopkeepers are making sure that it'll fit into your modern home.
Discover more Welsh Wonders here
One of London's Best Interiors Bloggers (Ideal Home magazine), The Open Plan Interior Design, London produces contemporary interiors for homes and business' and this very useful home interiors blog