Stylish Home Ideas : Do It In Style

Keep up with all that’s hot in the design world with these stylish ideas for your home, says Gillian Upton

Moody Blues

Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue is still creating drama on feature walls, bookshelves and living rooms. Take a look at the new green/grey-hued Inchyra Blue and Stiffkey Blue too or Paint The Town Green’s Dark Side of the Moon and Night Swimming. Grey is still ‘in’ – Dark Moss by Little Greene or Bowler Hat by Dulux hit the spot. Paint The Town Green’s owner Phil Robinson says, “Although black is seeing a revival, blue is for many still the preferred choice.”

New Broom

2017 was Tom Cox Lighting’s year but 2018 is Lee Broom’s turn in the spotlight. His classic shapes and period details, such as crystal bulbs and funky decanter pendant lights are gracing trendy homes. “The right light makes things come alive,” says Claire Burrage of Clara Bee, adding that light type and placing is crucial, as is planning early. “Emphasise furniture, art or architectural features.”


Have bifolds had their day? The larger sizes and thinner frames available in sliding doors give a more seamless view between kitchen/diner and garden than bifolds. Says Cedar Bifold’s Dan Harwood: “More glass and less frame is a trend, particularly for those with small gardens who don’t want bifold doors opening out. That gives them room for BBQs and garden chairs.”


Why have chrome when you can add drama in the bathroom with powdercoated matt black taps, shower heads and control panels? “It’s something new and high-end,” says Richard Everett, Director of BPM Bathrooms.


Window Dressing

A tassel or fringe here, a swathe of glorious fabric there; such detail on curtains or blinds can complement a room, continuing a colour scheme or adding a pop of colour. Laragh Bohn of The London Curtain Girls advises to keep window dressing neutral but to big-up on other details. “Add multiple layers of contrasting texture to add interest and create atmosphere,” she says.


Pantone has decreed Ultraviolet its Colour of the Year 2018. A step too far on walls perhaps, but perfect in soft furnishings, for example. “It’s difficult to predict a trend with such a divisive colour as purple. It will be interesting to see what happens. In any event, velvet sofas will continue to be popular,” says Emma Green of Emma Green Design.


The trend for open-plan or brokenplan rooms is set to stay, but making these type of spaces work can be difficult. Mixing materials helps to delineate different zones.

Zoning with materials
Sidestep a uniform look by using a mix and match approach. Metal wraps like Antique Brass or Bronze on kitchen islands with matt painted cabinetry work well together, or unusual book-matched veneers like Smoked Eucalyptus and Riven Smoked Satin Walnut with matt lacquer. Patinated and burnished metallics also work with matt finishes.

What to avoid
Never shoehorn mixed materials into a kitchen. Plan with careful thought to avoid a disjointed look with a hotchpotch of random textures and finishes.

Get the look right
Choose a kitchen design company with a track record of designing beautiful mixed material kitchens, one that has been instrumental in creating discreet yet skilful combinations, helping to foster a trend in the wider kitchen design world.

Source: Roundhouse

Getting into the zone

Broken-plan rooms perfectly divide multi-functional spaces but what to use to screen off the different zones? “In large kitchens, create different zones without losing precious light by breaking up the available space with Crittall glass and metal walls or mobile, double-sided bookcases,” suggests Andrew Hamilton Barr of Espresso Design.


There are no safety issues with a remote-controlled electric fire. They’re sleek-looking and create a focal point in your newly-extended, minimalist-styled kitchen/diner/sitting area. But wood stoves are equally popular. “We are installing a lot of wood burners, and Brad Stoves are our ‘go to’ guys for quality and price,” says Empire Build.

Going up the Wall

You may think feature walls are passé but think again; the striking 3D wallpapers from Mirabillia or the dazzling geometrics from MissPrint and Jam Space give any room a stand-out effect.

Banquette Seating

Cosy window seats and banquettes are back in favour. “We particularly love the way they can break up a long wall,” says Empire Build. They are best upholstered for comfort, with space underneath for useful storage. “Otherwise it’s dead space,” says Kenelm Cornwall-Legh of Run Projects.

A corker of an idea

Cork like you’ve never seen it before. Sustainable, ecological and now fabulous-looking. Amazing laser-cut cork panels are the next generation 3D wall covering. Shame about the dull colour though!



DARK-COLOURED KITCHENS remain popular, with more blue, green and black (yes, black!) appearing. If too much colour is overwhelming, opt for a dark coloured island unit or have base units darker than wall units.

BROKEN PLAN, as opposed to open-plan, living spaces. Separate areas for different uses and storage is key, especially with children! Instead of knocking down walls, use pocket doors.

RICH COLOURS throughout the home this year. Purple will see a revival due largely to Pantone naming it the colour of the year. Burnt orange and peacock blue will be a favourite colour combination.

GREENERY. The centuries-old tradition of real and fake plants and botanical prints strengthens as they become more oversized and colourful. Achieve this with wallpapers, curtains, cushions or the real thing.

CONCRETE ACCENTS replace the ubiquitous marble in the form of interesting features and furniture.

Source: Emma Green Design

Apples & Pears

When you’ve refurbished everything else, turn your humble staircase into a head-turning feature as soon as you open the front door. “Add glazing above to flood the stairwell with light,” says Ronnie Beacon of Bygga. “A staircase affects every floor so renew it when you’re moving out for a major refurb.”

These boots are made for walking

But not inside the house! Creating a boot room so all the mess from dirty wellies and muddy dogs stays there is the latest room craze. Combine it with a utility area or a ‘dirty’ kitchen. “Open plan/ broken plan living has made us rethink layouts,” says Qualitas. “Dividing the rear reception to create a boot room, with well-designed joinery, ensures that daily items are accessible but out of sight.”



Who’d have thought you could make stunning light fittings from recycling bicycle tyres? John Osborn Design has done just that, choosing varying tread designs, sprockets, cable ties and bolts for a striking effect, and spray painting them any colour, including chrome, gold, gunmetal, copper and even red.

Little and Large

It may be the smallest room in the house but the ground floor loo is where otherwise conservative homeowners go wild, with a big explosion of dark colour, pattern and glossy finishes. “The funky loo has replaced the feature wall as a way of wowing your guests,” says Empire Build. Some of their recent clients have commisioned the jungle WC, the nightclub WC and the bold Dragon’s blood WC. “The downstairs loo is where it’s at.” Arte wallcoverings epitomise the trend.


Hand-made monochrome and brightly-coloured artisan cement tiles create beautiful terrazzo floors. Get the look from Bert & May, Terrazzo Tiles or Ateliers Zelij. But interior designer Jolanta Harradine of Eclectic Interiors advises to use them in smaller rather than larger spaces, “otherwise it looks too busy,” she says. “Use them in a relatively enclosed space, like a kitchen or cloakroom, or mix them with a wooden floor.”

Letting off Steam

Austrian appliance company Bora has cornered the market in the super-duper down-draught kitchen extraction systems built into your hob. “They pull off the vapours and fat at the point of cooking that would normally go on your clothes and kitchen surfaces,” explains Andrew Hamilton Barr, Director of Espresso Design. “The fan speed is really fast so all the steam goes into the machine.” Get saving; they start from £2,500.

Pots and pans may break my bones

Why carry heavy water-filled pots across a kitchen when you don’t have to? A pot filler is the answer. “A wall-mounted articulated arm allows you to fill pots and pans right on the stove top without having to carry them across the room,” explains Roundhouse. This model from Waterworks at £1,466 + VAT.

Now you see it, now you don’t

Cleverly-designed free-standing pantry in lacquered timber hides kitchen clutter on one side and showcases glassware and wine on the other.


Appliance brands vary dramatically, from performance to reliability and ease of use. Think about what you need. Online is a good source of information, though purchasing blind from the internet is risky. Seeing an appliance in the flesh will help with decision-making, and recommendations are good too, so quiz friends!

Neff/Bosch/Siemens – Mid-market with a full range of products from entry-level dishwashers up to multitemperature integrated wine coolers. A full appliance pack can start from £3,000.

Miele – Mid- to high-end, known for producing high-quality products at a reasonable price. Market leaders with their washing machines and pioneers of certain technologies with ovens. A full appliance pack can start from £7,500.

Gaggenau – Top-end, with an uncompromising product across their range and at the forefront of cooking innovations. The ‘400 series’ is of commercial cooking standards. A full appliance pack can start from £15,000.

Source: Hub Kitchens


Open-plan designs continue to be the first choice and with good reason. They are still the best way to maximise available space and create stunning, light-filled, multifunctional
rooms for busy homes.

For those who want to maximise light but prefer more delineation in their kitchens, broken-plan design mixes materials and incorporates transitional pieces, such as glass and metal walls, mobile bookcases, plants and banquette seating to create different zones within room boundaries.

Free-standing kitchens have also been making a comeback with the launch of ground-breaking new ranges from manufacturers like Cesar. These feature classically beautiful furniture that can stand alone as individual pieces whilst still housing all the contemporary technology and hardware you would expect from a modern kitchen.

Source: Espresso Design

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