Style My Home

Ideas For An Unused Or Empty Room In Your Home

 

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Have your children left home and no longer use their rooms? Or do you have a room such as a dining room, which you rarely use or do you actually have that proverbial spare room, a room that you have just shut the door on and which, as everyday goes by gathers more and more dust? For whatever reason, you have a room or rooms that basically have no function or purpose and you don’t know what to do with them.

Do you just keep them as they are, as if they were like rooms in a stately home, or do you transform them into useful spaces that you can benefit from and enjoy? Style My Home, a leading Interior Design company based in Tunbridge Wells certainly hopes you think about the latter and see this gained space as an exciting opportunity, which you can totally transform in a practical or completely indulgent way or a bit of both. Here are some of our ideas as to what you can do with your empty or unused rooms.

  • Guest room
  • Dressing room
  • Study or office
  • Hobby room
  • A retreat
  • Gym/spa/exercise studio
  • Sitting room or snug
  • Reading room
  • Music room
  • Multi-functional room
  • Games room

A Comfortable and Relaxing Guest Room

The above options show that the possibilities are endless, and perhaps herein is the problem. You really do have to decide what will work for you. A Guest Room is an obvious choice and the room vacated by a child who has gone to university would work perfectly. It can be transformed into a welcoming and relaxing space and not one that is filled with all your children’s posters and trophies. Crisp bedlinen and simple accessories could create a space you would be happy to welcome guests to stay.

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A Craft or Hobby Room

Perhaps you have a hobby such as sewing or painting or a craft such as jewellery making, which you would like to spend more time doing but you never seem to get round to it because of the inconvenience of having to put out all the necessary equipment on the kitchen or dining room table. Wouldn’t it be nice to have it all set up ready so that you can just go in and start making curtains or continue your landscape painting? Thoughtful, organised storage can make a hobby room a huge success and a place you love to be in.

If the room isn’t very big, you might want to turn it into a dressing room or an office or even a reading room or quiet retreat.

Be Imaginative and Add Colour and Personal Touches

  • Declutter and tidy
  • Think outside the box and be creative
  • Lighten up the space with colour
  • Spruce up a child’s bedroom
  • Add personal touches e.g. artwork, cushions, furniture
  • Introduce plants
  • Lighting – add lamps and mood effects

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An Exercise or Games Room

Other ideas include a gym or a games room. Even if you are a member of a local health club, it’s nice to be able to work out in your own space without all the travel involved. You can fill a games room with a pool table, table tennis table, a dartboard or even an air hockey table. If the space is small, maybe consider a mirrored wall to create space so it makes a great work out place.

Create Practical Multi-Purpose Rooms

Multi-functional rooms could be a home office and library, or a media room, which transforms into a cosy sitting room or snug where you can watch the latest movies as well as listening to your favourite music. Children’s bedrooms can be transformed into stunning guest rooms but when the children come back to stay, they are still available. A craft or hobby room can quickly be transformed into an artist’s studio if you keep furniture to a minimum. All of these combinations allow you to consider storage options as well!

What To Do Next

These are just a few ideas from Style My Home. So if you are lucky enough to have a spare or unused room, don’t let it go to waste and do make the most of optimising your newly found space. If you are struggling to come up with ideas, call Style My Home on 01892 510070 or email enquiries@stylemyhome.com We are delighted that we have enabled many of our clients to realise the full potential of their homes by transforming unused and spare rooms into practical and useful spaces.

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Trend Spotting: Peach & Terracotta

Say “hello” to Peach this 2018 – this ranges from salmon, coral and terracotta to a dusky rose. This burnt orange-inspired tone takes over from last year’s must-have Millennial Pink. It’s soft and powdery shades offer a fresh palette and a mellow new neutral, perfect if you are not able to face yet another grey. Embrace nature and go for apricot, dusky rose and terracotta shades with accents of natural wood. Warmer textures such as brass, natural wood and velvets enhance these peach tones, creating a modern and grown-up alternative to pinks, with a base colour that is really easy to team with anything!

Need some more inspiration? Here’s how we would style the must-have colour of 2018 – Peach!

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Wall Paint: Blush, Little Greene  • Sofa: Scott 3-Seater Sofa in Burnt Orange Cotton Velvet, Made.com – £999.00 • Rug: Watercolour Trellis Wool Shag Rug, West Elm – £499.00 • Mirror: Metal Framed Round Wall Mirror, West Elm – £249.00 • Pendant Light: Elmley Curved Rattan Shade, Habitat – £90.00 • Planter: Standing Brass Planter, Cox & Cox – £120.00 • Footstool: Circus Small Poufe by Normann Copenhagen, Made in Design – £328.00

Or add a more subtle hint of peach with one of our favourite accessories:

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How to light your home this winter

As we say goodbye to the British summertime, we say hello to dark and gloomy mornings and evenings, which is why the right lighting at home is so crucial over the winter months, even if it just helps to improve our mood!

style_my_home_winter_lightingThink about how light is distributed

To create a warm and cozy room take focus away from a key central pendant emitting light in the centre of the room. Introduce small pockets of light across the room at lower levels – think table lamps, draped festoon lighting, candles, lanterns and fairy lights, and use a mixture of pendant, floor and table lights in each room. To prevent shadowing, place floor lights in the corners of the room. As George Clark says “scattering pockets of light more evenly helps to create that warming, seasonal atmosphere” which is perfect for winter.

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Festoon lights provide lowlight perfect for creating a cosy atmosphere – simply drape in a dark corner over beams or from the ceiling, wrap over a mirror or create a feature on a plain wall.

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Experiment with textures

We all long for a cozy and relaxing space with a warm glow in the winter. However, crystal, glass and metal shades and exposed bulbs can give off a harsh light. Experiment with materials – changing the material of a lampshade can have a huge impact on the way light is cast around a room. Opt for a ceramic or fabric lamp shade, or open weave design, to create a softer feel to the room. Think knitted macrame style, bamboo or white ceramic.

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Choose larger lampshades to be suspended from the ceiling to create a wider projection of light and open weave lampshades to create soft indirect light.

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Fabric choices are also key: if a particular lamp is too bright, changing the material of the shade, its colour or shape can also have a massive impact on the way the light is cast around a room – it also means you don’t have to start from scratch and invest in a whole new light, simply replace the shade.

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Lampshades from Janie Knitted Textiles – prices on request

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Graypants cardboard shades are available in natural, grey or white – these statement shades with their interesting weaves and structure will create eye-catching lighting patterns! From £195.00

Use the right light bulbs

The right light bulbs can truly transform the feel of a room; too much yellow light in the winter will only emphasise the stark contrast to the weather outside and will kill any cosy, relaxed atmosphere. Replace old bulbs with LEDs, or invest in bulbs that come in a range of different colour temperatures – go for a warm white light with a touch of cooler light to avoid a strong yellow tinge. If you don’t have dimmer switches, go for a smoked glass or amber glass shade for the same effect.

Don’t forget your porch!

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As we mentioned in our last blog post, lighting our garden is just as important as battling the gloomy nights inside. For a warm welcoming way of returning home, light up the porch. Hang a glass lantern in the central of your entranceway, or have wall lights on a sensor to greet you and guests before they arrive to your door.

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Moore Lantern in Glass, Pooky – £170.00 – with it’s unusual geo shape of glass panels, expect lots of light and interesting shapes.

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Exterior Box Light, Holloways of Ludlow – from £299.00 – A more traditional style for lighting your porch, style one either side of your front door for most light and a stylish look.

 

Embrace winter – create light in your garden!

No doubt about it, winter is upon us – there’s even only a few days till the clocks go back! So for those of us working all week, that means leaving home for work in the dark and coming home in the dark. While we want to cosy up our interiors and light up those dark areas, we should consider what we miss about the outdoors during the dark winter months.

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We are all adding bi fold doors or conservatories to enjoy our gardens, so let’s make sure we enjoy the full potential of our gardens throughout the winter too. Look to install both practical lighting as well as creating lighting in your garden or courtyard, particularly where you have bi folds or large windows.

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Light an attractive wall, especially if it’s whitewashed brick or stone, as this will reflect light into your house and give an interest to those dark evenings at home. Show off your attractive plants, bringing the garden into your house.

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Floodlight projectors can provide practical lighting if placed near paths or buildings but also look effective if positioned in a row of plants or sporadically positioned in trees. If you have a water feature or a sculpture floodlight projectors can be particularly effective.

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Buried up-lighters in flower beds can wash light up to show architectural plants and trees as well as textured walls or external buildings.

There’s nothing worse than arriving at someone’s house and not being able to see the house number or name in the dark, or follow the way in paths and steps. Give your house a facelift with new lighting at the entrance, functional lighting to guide you but also makes the property look more attractive and welcoming. Re-create the entry of your property with the addition of wall lights or a hanging pendant or lantern. Recessed spots in steps, decking and paths can also create good vision as well as look attractive.

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Look out for our next blog where we look to cosy the interior of your the house for winter with task lighting as well as beautiful ideas for lighting.

All photos found on Pinterest

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


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