Have you seen our brand new homeware inspiration guide? Style Your Home is the place to discover beautiful soft furnishings, chic tableware, cosy throws and so much more. Browse by room, discover brand new ranges and prepare to be inspired by the products we have on offer.
To celebrate all this interiors excitement, we caught up with four ladies that really know their stuff when it comes to creating a stylish home. Read on for their expert advice…
The kitchen – Clare Edwards, Smeg guest
Which appliances should take precedence on a kitchen worktop?
The small appliances become the handbags and shoes to the outfit, they finish off your beautiful kitchen. The kettle and toaster are an essential pair. You’ll use these every day and, apart from beautifully styling your kitchen, they offer amazing quality and functionality. You can make yourself a comforting cup of tea whilst toasting a doorstop of bread and crumpets, or use the specialised toaster functions and accessories for delicious bagels and gooey sandwiches.
Do all appliances have to be the same colour?
Smeg small appliances come in a large range of colours to either complement or contrast with your kitchen furniture. You can choose to follow one colour theme throughout the kitchen or opt for a combination of colours to add style and fun. A selection of black and chrome provides a chic, modern look, while the pastel pink, blue and cream options create a soft candy cotton feel.
What’s your favourite ‘hidden treasure’ appliance?
The Smeg citrus juicer looks amazingly cool and packs a huge punch! Fresh fruit juice is the best way to start the morning, but when it comes to making cocktails, baking, cooking and sorbets, its versatility comes into its own. Sitting neatly on the worktop, it offers juicing in a simple and quick way, with minimal effort. There’s no need to spend a fortune on large juicers, or juicers that work your arm muscles. The Smeg citrus juicer is cool and compact, and should definitely be considered as part of your kitchen set.
The living/dining room – Julie Bates, Peony founder
Do certain flowers work better in different rooms in the home?
My preference is lilies in the entrance hall, as they are so effortless and welcoming. I always have a big bowl of blousey white, real-touch hydrangeas in my living room on my low coffee table. I love styling the arrangement on a stack of old books next to my favourite candle, for a really classic look.
What kind of arrangements work best as a housewarming gift?
I love gifting a large, full bouquet as a house-warming present, wrapped in cellophane and tissue paper for maximum impact. I adore using big, real-touch avalanche roses in soft shades of cream and pink with a mixture of foliage, including eucalyptus and finishing with astrantia. Just stunning!
Any tips on keeping flowers or foliage looking fresh and clean?
Having faux flowers is a great way to have the fresh look without any of the maintenance and short life span. Every now and again I lightly go over my arrangements with my hair dryer on a cool setting and it works perfectly. Also, wiping over glass vases with glass cleaner removes any dust – practically effortless!
The bedroom – Kelly Hoppen, interior designer
When redecorating a bedroom, where should you start?
The first thing I consider when redecorating, is the bed. It’s the natural focal point of the room and should be placed as centrally as possible. It’s the first thing you see when you walk in. Find a way of dressing it that will make your heart lift whenever you walk in, and splash out on the best bed linen too – you will never regret the extra cost.
It’s also really important to design your bedroom based around your priorities for the space. If you love to read in bed, make space for a good bedside lamp, or if you like to watch TV, think about where this might fit and whether you want it to be concealed or on display. Audio-visual systems need to be planned from the very beginning.
Do you believe in sticking to one colour theme for a more relaxing atmosphere, or do you prefer an eclectic look?
In a space dedicated to calm and relaxation, it makes sense to keep colours calm and neutral. That said, the bedroom is a private space that is all about you, so the décor can be different from the rest of your home.
While a guest bedroom should generally echo the design and decoration of the rest of the house, the master bedroom can be an exception – it is a place where you can express your personality entirely, so the colours you choose should be pleasing to you.
How do you strike the right balance between relaxing and homely?
The two aren’t mutually exclusive, if a room feels homely and inviting it will automatically instill a sense of calm. Homely doesn’t have to necessarily mean cluttered, it can just be personal touches that make a space feel familiar. In your bedroom, you should surround yourself with items that are personal to you and make you happy. Add flowers, candles, and room fragrance that are very much ‘you’.
The garden and beyond – Amanda Holden, BundleBerry creator
Why do you love the concept of indoor/outdoor?
Owning pieces that function inside and outside is really cost-effective and brilliantly versatile, especially given the British weather! Water-resistant cushions and rugs are great, so if there is a spring shower you don’t have to keep taking things in and out. It’s a way of expanding your home, so your garden becomes another living room.
How do you like to spend your time outdoors?
I love to relax with the children and eat breakfast outdoors in the summer, tray tables are perfect for this and we all like to pile into comfortable chairs or on rugs in the garden. We love it in the spring, and with the lighter evenings it’s perfect for entertaining. At home we have bi-folding doors so the garden always feels like an extra room for us.
How can indoor/outdoor pieces save space in smaller homes?
My tray tables stack inside each other or on top, so they’re a very efficient use of space. They’re also perfect if you have a balcony at home, or rooms that serve many functions.
That’s all we’ve got time for but make sure to check out our Style Your Home guide, online right now!