Do It In Style

Be guided by what’s cool and striking when refreshing your home, says Gillian Upton

50 shades of green
Clara Bee has noted “a huge trend for all things green: wallpaper, fabric and paint. From mint green to dramatic dark green there is a shade for all looks,” says the company’s Claire Burrage. Try
Graham & Brown’s dramatic Jewel in the Crown, Farrow & Ball’s Duck Green or Sap Green, or any one of Little Greene’s 31 green paint shades created in collaboration with the National Trust.

No refurb is complete without adorning walls with your most treasured photos and artworks. “Over the last year we’ve seen more people framing their family photographs, and asking us to hang large spreads around their homes,” observes Adam Tudor of On The Wall. “Maybe they’ve had time to go through their digital folders and want to do something with them!”

It’s still uber fashionable to upcycle and reduce our carbon footprint and one company, The Wood Furniture Store, creates furniture from reclaimed wood of up to 150 years old collected from southern India. Closer to home, try it yourself, advises Green Sheen. “When renovating your property, keep the original floorboards to later convert into furniture; it can become a great conversation starter.”

Beyond the kitchen sink
When is a kitchen not a kitchen? When it becomes a multi-functional room that has to keep the whole family happy, whatever they’re doing. “This room is the answer to our new way of life,” says Anna Sadej of Kitchen Connections, who advises that function, storage space, aesthetics and ergonomics are the key factors when planning. “The colours and textures in the kitchen are very important as the environment should be pleasant enough to enjoy cooking and working.”

First impressions
Front doors can set the tone of a property if you’re trying to clinch a sale. It’s the first thing you see and can create real impact. Robert Ditcham, MD at Ayrton Bespoke, should know and he reveals that, “Clients are going bolder with their front door paint colour and door furniture choices, choosing striking colours and unique door knockers that make their property stand out from their neighbours.”

Living foliage softens those sharp corners, cool colour palettes, stripped-down styling, and as a bonus, often scents the room so it’s not surprising that garden centres are doing brisk business in plants. Our very own Neal’s Nurseries has witnessed, “a significant rise in demand for houseplants due to their popularity on Facebook and Instagram,” says Matt Kyte. “As a result, we have increased our range to offer plants of all shapes and sizes to cater for all tastes.”

Space Invaders
Over the last year finding more space at home has often been a challenge and a loft conversion is one solution. “It’s an easy way to create a dedicated and productive workspace in your home,” says Sebastian Grayson of SimplyEasy Refurbs. “It gives you the freedom to work without interruptions and offers multi-purpose living space and convenience, it’s suitable for homes of all sizes, saves money and adds value to your home.” What’s not to like?

Who needs carpets in bedrooms when you can lay solid wood floors with underfloor heating? Warm wood underfoot is just as cosy as carpet. “It’s a European trend,” says Viki Lander of Ensoul.

Look out for Paint The Town Green’s brand new website, which flags up their move to a decorating-only business with environmentally-friendly principles.
“We’ll coax people into using sustainable paints but won’t be purist about it,” says owner Phil Robinson. “We hope people will make the right choices although they still choose the colour first.” He recommends looking out for Edward Bulmer and COAT as two of the planet friendly paints available.

As nature intended
Ever thought of decorating your walls with moss art? It’s preserved moss so requires no watering or sunlight and generally very little maintenance. Mounted on panels, the company that produces them, Innerspace of Cheshire, will produce any size and best of all, says Viki Lander of Ensoul, “it’s a great acoustic absorber”

Farrow & Ball paint adorns most of the walls in Nappy Valley homes, and now we can go one step further with tempting metallic wallpapers punctuated with shimmering silvers, burnished coppers and lustrous golds. They are 100% recyclable and naturally, there is a paint colour to complement each one.

The sound of crackling wood and a 3D image of a real log fire has been cleverly projected on to a contemporary electric fire by Netherlands-based DRU Fires so you can imagine you’re curled up in front of the real thing. Clever those Dutch!

Feel the heat
We all know that heating our homes in zero-carbon Britain will mean a seismic shift away from the gas central heating we’ve been using for the last 50 years, to clean heating or heat pumps. In the meantime, ensure your boiler is in tip top condition to keep your home running cost effectively. “If your boiler is 12 years or older you may be unable to repair it so replace it before any unfixable breakdowns occur,” advises Northcote Plumbing & Electrical.

First there were concrete floors and now polished concrete is the next big thing in garden furniture. “It’s the future,” says Jo Alexander. It’s one of her company’s best-selling ranges. Why? “Because it’s versatile and focuses on luxury, comfort and longevity,” she says.

Make a real design statement with these rugs designed by the combo of Italian rugmaker Loloey and world-renowned interior designer Kelly Hoppen. Hand-tufted and textured, the 20 designs continue her East meets West style and passion for neutrals

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