Style My Home

Our Must-Have Christmas Styling Tips

There may be a little while till Christmas is here, but with our shops, adverts and even our weather all gearing up for the big day, it seems like there is no better time to start thinking about getting into the festive spirit. Decorating for Christmas can sometimes be a daunting and boring task, so we’ve put together a few creative and simple ways to deck your halls this holiday season!

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Photo from Cox & Cox

Showcase the most festive foods of the season throughout your home by styling in a range of glass vessels. Not only will you and your guests admire their beautiful colours, but the rich festive aromas will be sure to get everyone in the party spirit! They would also make a great gift, wrapped up in either a vintage glass jar or natural bag with a personalised tag.

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Photos found via Pinterest

Live in a rented property, a flat with awkward stairs or just want something unique to style this Christmas? Deborah Bowness’ Tree For Life (Not Just For Christmas) wallpaper is made in England, using hand screen-printed silk with paper, meaning every Christmas tree is unique. Simply paste the wallpaper to a board and decorate with your best and brightest baubles using pins.

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Photos from Deborah Bowness

A big part of the magic at Christmas time is the moody lighting and enchanting twinkly lighting; dark afternoons and evenings spent under the city’s lights searching for gifts for our loved ones, night-time walks under the moonlight and stars, and night-ins snuggled under a blanket with mulled wine and a festive candle. Don’t be afraid of going overboard; lighting is key at Christmas time. Style up a mixture of fairy lights throughout your home; hidden amongst the pines of the Christmas tree, draping across banisters or styled in shapely jars. For a Scandi-inspired look, hang delicately patterned stars over your dining table – team with simple white candles and pared back dinnerware for a simple, yet effective, festive look.

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Photos found via Pinterest

Add hints of Christmas throughout the home in the form of smaller accessories; adding a fun festive cushion or throw, they don’t all have to be in the classic holiday colours of red, green and gold – winter textures like white faux fur create a cosy atmosphere that reflects the season.

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Photos found via Pinterest

Invest in pieces that you know you will cherish year after year; think delicate glass baubles, or beautifully decorated stockings, like Anthropologie’s selection, which will be loved by every family member.

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Photos found via Pinterest

Go green! Fill every room with fresh foliage; it leaves a beautiful smell and creates a natural and relaxing festive vibe that other decorations may not achieve. For a colourful centrepiece on the dining table, place branches of holly inside a vase and decorate with bright and colourful baubles. Decorate presents with sprigs of holly, pine or cinnamon sticks. Suspend a simple wire hoop from the ceiling in front of your windows, and decorate with eucalyptus for a subtle wreath that can work throughout the season. Go for a statement on your front door and double up with two wreaths – we always love seeing Johnny’s Little Sister’s new creations every season.

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Photos found via Pinterest

Get the look

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Star pendant lampshades: IKEA | Ultimate beaded star: The White Company | Joy cushion: Marks & Spencer | Egg nog tin candle: Anthropologie | House Ornament Garland: Amara | Little London glass decorations: Not on the high street | Cire Trudon scented candles: Amara | Small Metal Candlestick: H&M | Autumn Wreath: Johnny’s Little Sister | Cloche LED feature lights: Next | Cocktail glass, champagne flute & shot glasses from Ostravia collection: John Lewis | Mini stars wrapping paper: Cox & Cox

Support local this Christmas! If you’re visiting Tunbridge Wells, make sure you pop into Hattons Lifestyle and Deli located in the Pantiles for a well-earned Cappuccino and peruse of their wide range of handpicked gifts; which include unique Christmas crackers, hampers filled with treats from Hattons themselves, and a range of local tipple.

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If you’re looking for festive flowers with beautiful attention to detail with a hint of vintage-style, take a look at Johnny’s Little Sister, based in Sevenoaks. With a wide range of high-profile clients under her belt, owner Bella creates bouquets, wreaths and garlands which you will definitely want to showcase in your home this winter! We especially love the wide mix of fruits and fragrances on the Mixed Fruit Christmas Wreath.

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Home Staging for Selling

Spring will always be known as being the best time to sell your home; the days are sunnier, houses look brighter and gardens are coming into bloom. Not only is it the perfect time to showcase your home, but with a lack of major holidays to contend with, you could also attract a greater number of potential buyers!

At Style My Home, we offer a personal and bespoke Home Staging service, tailored to your needs and style, whether you’re staging for selling or renting, updating for a fresh new look or just looking for some final touches, to ensure that your home is presented at it’s very best. Our Home Staging for Selling service has been a huge success, not only by selling properties faster but also in many cases selling for a greater price, therefore not only covering your costs from staging, but surpassing them! Get in touch if you would like to find out more, and take a look at our top tips below:

1. First impressions are SO important – When it comes to selling your home, firstimpressions are always paramount; most buyers form an opinion of a house within seconds of walking through the door. Make sure that the first things they see are a de-weeded front garden with fresh flowers, trimmed bushes, a swept path and a freshly painted front door with a sparkling clean window

2. Make sure to de-clutter – Clutter makes rooms look disorganised and appear smaller than they really are, which is never good when you’re trying to showcase the best of your property to a potential buyer. Make sure you remove unnecessary coats or shoes from a hallway, as it is the first indoor space your potential buyer will be seeing. Take time to remove as much clutter as possible, or invest in clever and simple storage solutions

3. Clean, clean, clean – Like tidiness, cleanliness should never be underestimated. In high impact spaces, such as the kitchen and bathroom, ensure that all surfaces are cleaned and shiny, and don’t forget the floors, which instantly life the room when sparkling. Add fresh flowers for a natural, appealing scent, and try to maximise on natural light. Faux flowers can also be effective

4. Stay neutral – If you do decide to add a fresh new look to your property, stay neutral with your colour choices; try to avoid bright colours and bold patterns. It allows buyers to envisage the property as their own, with their own furniture and stamp on it, without being bombarded with your own style first

5. Finally fix it – Something broken that’s been playing on your mind for a while, like a broken tile, missing grout or dripping tap? Finally get it fixed before putting your house on the market – it will only send a wrong message to viewers and potential buyers

We understand that updating your home can seem like an unnecessary evil with our modern and very busy lives, but we can offer a detailed consultation and written report, with priorities and clear, practical advice, Alternatively we can arrange clutter busters, painters,carpet fitters, and rent furniture and accessories. We can manage the project from start to finish; ready for your Estate Agents’ photographs

No project is too big or too small! You can find our range of interior design services on our website, but we always tailor them to suit your needs and wishes – just get in contact to seehow we could help: www.stylemyhome.com or phone us on 01892 510070 Make sure to check out our Houzz page to see some of our recent home staging projects

Spotlight on London Design Week 2016

During March, London becomes the international capital of design, when it welcomes London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour’s Design Centre. Whether you’re a designer and looking for specific products for a client, re-designing your own home or just passionate about interiors, you will be sure to find something special at Chelsea Design Centre, with over 500 of leading brands in the interiors sphere. Style My Home visited London Design Week during one of the first days to explore some of the highly anticipated new collections, here are some we think are definitely worth noting:

When it comes to lighting, there was one clear winner for us at London Design Week. Porta Romana’s new Elemental collection includes a variety of shapes, patterns and colours taking inspiration from natural elements, with aspects resembling honeycomb, insect cocoons, crystals and burnt wood, and colours clearly representing cool clear blues of air and water matched with the hot rust tones of earth and fire. Decorative, luxurious pieces, the pendant lighting from Porta Romana’s Elemental collection will be sure to create a statement!

After visiting London Design Week, it seems like orange is definitely the colour for 2016! Although it’s already a statement colour, teaming it with bright blues and teal creates a beautiful statement look. Style with neutral furniture and accessories with simple geometric prints, like we spotted in Fox Linton/Jim Thompson, for an interior that’s both modern and rich.

As we’ve already said, orange and bright blues seem to be enjoying a moment, as we found them showcased in fabrics across the Design Centre. 2016 also seems to be the year for rich and fun patterns, both modern and traditional, Osborne and Little’s new collection demonstrates a retro/mid-century vibe with geometric shapes and pastel tones mixed with bold brights, whilst Colefax & Fowler’s new collection includes rich, luxurious velvets with traditional and oriental designs.

When it comes to wallcoverings, 2016 is all about creating a feature, with both texture and patterns taking centre stand. Brian Yates’ new Vinyl collection of non-woven wallpapers include a denim-inspired design, with muted colours that create the perfect piece to showcase on one statement wall or across the room with either muted furniture and fabrics or statement oranges and blues, the ‘must-have’ colours for this season. With Cole & Son’s new collection, we see more inspiration from nature; with shimmery mineral surfaces, woodgrain textures and coral inspired patterns. When it comes to tiling, there’s only one brand to aspire to at the Design Centre; Ann Sacks’ collection are so beautifully simple that they speak for themselves.

Make sure to take a look at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour’s website to see some of the iconic new collections from international leading interior brands!

5 Ways to Style a Beautiful Botanical Interior

2016 is the year to celebrate an abundance of nature in our homes. Botanical prints arrived onto the interiors scene last year to a very welcome response, in the form of both natural scientific style patterns and exaggerated forms and colours.

H&M Home 2016 Tropical Collection

This year we can expect to see 2015’s highly coveted fun tropical and cactus style prints going back to nature, with both botanic and aquatic themes playing a major role – think designs inspired by Victorian scientific drawings and natural elements such as lakes, oceans and lush landscapes, teamed with a range of textures from velvet to wicker. Botanical can be a hard trend to style well, so we’ve put together our top tips:

1. Go bold with statement wallpaper featured across a room, or through the fabric dressing your windows.

Take a look at some of our favourite wallpapers:

Fern Gallery by Sanderson | Fastasque by Osborne & Little

Avoid overpowering a small space by taking one key piece, or by creating a singular feature wall. We love Surface View’s new collection with New York Botanical Garden and Bouquet by Photowall. Or why not create a gallery wall with classic Victorian style prints, or you could create your own with plant cuttings and vintage style glass wall-hanging frames.

Photowall | Surface View

For a lighter take on the trend, try introducing plants, not flowers, into your home – look for large leaves in rich greens, like Monstera Deliciosa and Banana Leaf. For a more feminine touch, India Jane have a range of faux-herbs, plants and flowers that come ready in a vintage style planter or vase.

Found on Pinterest

To create a look that is both on-trend and not overwhelming, showcase botanic patterns sparingly, and team with natural inspired colours – think olive, citrus and khaki greens, brown tones, dark blues and coral. If you’re looking to introduce a botanical theme into your home, we would recommend looking out for the following colours as accompaniment: Greens in lime, jade, lagoon, olive. Pale pink, coral and orange. Vivid and pale brown.

Found on Pinterest




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Valentine’s Day with Style My Home

For most of us, it would be a very bold move to paint a whole wall, never mind a whole room, red. Although traditionally considered to be a very fierce and daunting colour to work with in interiors, it shouldn’t have to be; the styling of the room can go a long way, and that red can turn a room into a warm and welcoming space. If you do go for a bold colour on the walls, break it up with wall features; create a gallery wall, use a miss-match of frames and pictures to draw attention, or hang statement lighting to draw the eye’s attention elsewhere.

Red is not so commonly used in homes, due to it being quite a daunting choice for many. Instead of using it as the dominating colour, showcase it through feature pieces; we love a statement sofa or chair that can be used to determine the rest of the room’s interior.

Pink may be a stereotypically candy-like colour, but it gives character and adds a bit of fun. Style it with striking furniture, especially more industrial pieces and materials such as steel, concrete and metals, to give it a cool and on-trend edge. If you would love to include red but are scared of creating an overtly feminine interior, Farrow & Ball’s Eating Room is more masculine, and traditional as featured in many period properties.

Feeling inspired and ready to implement some Valentine’s inspired accessories that could last all year round? Take a look at some of our favourite picks below:

1. Fornasetti Bacio Scented Candle, Selfridges | 2. Catania Kilim Rug by Gandia Blasco, Heal’s | 3. Heart Cone Chair Red, The Conran Shop | 4. Osaka Armchair, Inside Out | 5. Maison de Jeu in Groseille, Designers Guild | 6. Twin Tone Lampshade Bright Red & Stone, Lane | 7. Samana Cushion by Matthew Williamson, Osborne & Little | 8. Diptyque Rosaviola Candle, John Lewis


Mood Boards

Landscaping for Interiors

 

Bring the garden inside your living or work space with a moss wall for interiors- a living wall of plants!

Yes, this really is a wall of living plants which are designed to thrive indoors with little or no maintenance required.  The moss and bark is real and treated but the foliage panels and walls are fake! There are some designed for outdoor and some for indoor.

At Style My Home, our London clients really like this new trend in interior design. We predict the trend for moss walls in Kent will ‘blossom’ in the next few months. We are a nation of gardening enthusiasts with a keen interest in all things botanical and nature-inspired for the home. Having a real wall of plants is just one step on from a beautiful botanical wall print!

Moss walls for interior design are guaranteed to stay evergreen and are proving popular in commercial settings where they have a stunning impact in a reception room or waiting area. You can have whole walls of plants or just textured green panels and feature pieces. Even furniture and table tops can be given the ‘green thumb’ treatment. Graffiti walls of moss are a growing trend in the USA also.

The smallest darker area in a reception area could be brought alive with a small natural green panel , contrasted against a flat painted wall. This creates an interesting statement that will be very impressive for a small financial outlay, giving many years of pleasure.

Not to mention the use of this in small courtyards or roof terraces where green can give another dimension to a small outdoor area.

The watering process is an integral feature of the design. Some of the plants chosen are ‘air plants’ which extract the moisture from the air to survive. Others are mosses, nature’s evolutionary success story which seem to survive on fresh air!

No more apologetic pot plants in the corners of reception rooms. Browning leaves and watering are a thing of the past!

This attractive moss wall in a London office is quite a talking point. It even offsets the company’s carbon footprint! 

 

Moss has been around 350 million years – it is a very simple plant, and also very adaptable. For this reason we have been finding a lot more ways to grow and enjoy the beauty of moss inside the home.

Choosing the Right Spot for your Moss Wall

Areas exposed to the sun throughout the day are not great for your moss wall. Yes, they need some light but not much. Walls without sun will be fine as you can use one or more light bulbs to simulate sunlight.

 

This indoor garden goes not require natural light, in fact it does not like direct sunlight, does not need watering, fertilising or pruning, and is ready to install on any surface. 

 

 Photos courtesy of Bright Green

Inspiration for Hallways, Stairs and Landings

Sprucing up your hallway, stairs and landing can be a challenge for many homeowners this spring. Making do with a lick of paint won’t really solve the problem long term will it? You need to address the lack of storage, clear space and get light into your entrance hall. Make that area a lovely welcoming place to walk into after a hard day’s work or opening your door to friends, knowing you are looking good.

As this is literally the heart of the home, where you throw off your soggy raincoat and boots after walking the dog, clever storage and expanding walls could be on your wish list!

When you open your front door, first impressions really do count, so let’s get to work to really let spring into your home.

Practically this is usually the last part of the home to be decorated and because it is a thoroughfare it is often overlooked as a room.

Often, lack of light can be a problem and if that is the case take care in selecting colours. Stay neutral, or at least light, and maybe introduce more glass to the front door or use mirrors or reflective wall coverings to optimise what light there is.

Maybe your hallway is festooned with windows and sunshine plays a chasing pattern across your marble stone floor? Then your interior design issues may be different, and perhaps you need to concentrate on historic original features of your period property.

We have some inspirational solutions to put the colour back into your home and make hallways, stairs and landings places you will want to linger – not just pass through.

Design Week took place recently with the many home furnishing specialists opening their doors to the world of interiors, featuring some wonderful wallpapers just crying out to take up home in your hallways. Magazine editors and interior designers rubbed shoulders to celebrate the newest and freshest palettes and swatches which are hot to trot into your home.

The good news is if you would like to know what’s in and what’s out in the interior design world we bring the ideas and mood boards to your front door.

If it’s stone or solid wood floors you crave, or just a hardwearing carpet to withstand children, dogs and everyday life, we can point you in the right direction.

Unless you live in a bungalow your staircase is one of the most important features of your hallway. The grand staircase is an important statement for a larger or period property. Classic wallpapers can  work well to recreate that period and maximise the feature stairs, but there are some fantastic colouful carpets if your stairs are straight and simple and in need of some attention.

If you have an interiors challenge you would like Style My Home to undertake for you just give us a call. Our little black book of design houses and professional trade people are keen to unveil their expertise to make your home an even more wonderful place to live.

Your entrance hall may become a place in your home you want to linger in and enjoy.

 

Waiting Rooms – Love them or Hate them?

design your commercial waiting room for a more professional look

design your commercial waiting room for a more professional look

 

 

 

 

 

   

A trip to a professional advisor, a dentist, medical specialist, an accountant or lawyer should be a positive and very professional experience. 

If you are working in a professional capacity why not treat your clients to the same level of service before their appointment as well as during? After spending years to get qualified in your chosen career, does your reception area reflect that to your clients?

Our surroundings affect our mood and sense of well-being. We want to feel we are in good hands when we visit the dentist, doctor, accountant or lawyer.

Peeling paint, stained carpets and tatty furnishings do not bode well when we are seeking professional treatment or advice.

Whether as a dentist, doctor, counsellor, tax advisor you deserve to work in pleasant, modern surroundings. A well-lit, well-designed practice could be a joy to spend your days.

First impressions count and the reception desk needs to be practical but welcoming. Choose light interiors and clean spaces that work well with the flow of people entering the building.

View of reception desk at a dentist surgery

Furnishings can reflect personality so go for colour and design that suit your profession and occasion. Depending on the number of clients arriving at any one time will dictate the size of waiting area you require or the space you can make available. You can arrange these in small groups or have a more open plan approach. Fabrics need to be hard wearing and easy to clean. Tables need to be stocked with quality up to date magazines and fresh flowers give a nice touch.

Walls and ceilings are generally best left a neutral colour but warm tones work well and are more welcoming. No one feels comfortable in a stark, white and sterile room, so use lighting and colour to add ambience.

Background music may be appropriate in businesses that require a calming atmosphere. Classical music is generally a safe plan. Think about speakers and where to position the music centre where it can be easily controlled at the front desk.  Sonos make some excellent equipment which streams music from the internet and allows you to create playlists to reflect your customers’ ideal choice of music tracks.

A professional interior designer will make the transition from old to new a breeze for you and allow you to run your practice or business.

Here are some Top Tips for Refreshing your Commercial premises.

  1. Find an interior designer who understands your needs. Perhaps they have a portfolio to show of other commercial projects  already completed?
  2. Review the interior design plan and agree a plan of works. This should be managed and co-ordinated by your interior designer.
  3. Review and consider ‘mood boards’ showing the interior designer’s suggestion for paint colours, furnishings, lighting and fabric textures.
  4. Agree budget and time schedule.
  5. Get the entire team on board to look forward to the transformation that will benefit their wellbeing in the long run.
  6. Prepare to be complimented by your clients and staff on your stylish new interior. People may turn up early for their appointment now you have created such a comfortable pleasing environment. Staff will have the “feel good” factor and a spring in their step which may  have been lacking before.

We are interested in your comments about the establishments  you find yourself waiting in. Let us know if it could do with a spruce up! We are on a mission to make waiting areas much more welcoming and stylish all over Kent!

 

 

Planning an Interior Decoration Project?

Style My Home in Tunbridge Wells

This time of year is perfect for planning home improvement and interior decoration projects. The new paint colours, wall coverings and fabric designs are fresh out of the design studios and there are specialist trades people available to undertake the work.

Planning your projects for the year means you can plan your holidays around home projects. You may be able to book work to be completed while you are away if you find the right home interior designer to manage it.

The first step is to prioritise your rooms and decide what purpose each has. If you have a living room which is cluttered with children’s toys, you may wish to think about creating a play room. You may prefer a ‘grown up’ contemporary designed living room which creates space for entertaining and relaxing in and a separate family room with corner sofas and television and Play Station. You start with what you and your family needs in terms of space, light, study and living and develop the spaces to suit your needs.

Style My Home has been undertaking large period homes renovation and interior projects for homes and commercial premises for 25 years. Some of our work has been featured on BBC TV and on Channel  4’s Grand Designs TV Programme. These credentials have been hard earned by Caroline Pickering, who has a BA Honours degree in Furniture/Interiors and a design studio in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

When contemplating significant projects which require walls to be moved or doors and windows to be replaced it is essential to engage the specialists who will make the plans a reality. With our creative approach and good links with structural experts in this field we can lead the way on this project. If you have the time to do all this yourself you are likely to be in the trade and used to co-ordinating site meetings. If not, you need Style My Home which can oversee the entire project and keep you updated along the way.

If you are busy at work or have a family to care for, having a major renovation project going on in your house could take the enjoyment out of the process.

These are Style My Home’s steps for staying sane when contemplating an interiors renovation project.

  1. Prioritise your rooms and your budget
  2. Do your homework. Find a local company with credentials you can trust. Take up references. Get estimates.
  3. Brief them and agree the staged work schedule
  4. Agree the timescale and budget.
  5. Carry on with your life and make a decision to employ  Style My Home to handle the project for you.
  6. Enjoy your beautiful new home transformation.

Visit our website: www.stylemyhome.com

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