living room scheme by interior designer Shalini Misra

Ideal Home

Living Room Seating Ideas: 10 Arrangements For Any Size Space

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living room scheme by interior designer Shalini Misra

aparentment rectangle prism shaped marble bookends

Making the Most of Your Mantelpiece with These Decorating Tips

A mantelpiece can be a fantastic focal point in any room, providing you make the most of it with décor and styling. Whether you favour a traditional interior or a modern, contemporary style, inspired decoration can elevate a mantlepiece and make it a core feature. From living areas to bedrooms, find out how to make the most of your mantlepiece with these eight decorating tips:

1. Use Contrasting Colours to Make Your Mantlepiece Pop

If your mantlepiece is constructed from wood, you can repaint it as many times as you like to refresh your décor and uplift your interior design. To make your mantlepiece pop and ensure it’s the main feature in the room, use contrasting colours for the mantlepiece itself and the surrounding hearth or wall. A crisp white mantlepiece can look exquisite against a dark wall, for example, while a dark-hued mantle will stand out against a light or pastel backdrop.

2. Fill the Space Above the Mantlepiece

If there is a large expanse of space between the mantlepiece and ceiling, the mantle can end up looking a little lost, particularly in larger rooms. Filling this space with a mirror, artwork and wall scones can be an effective way to draw the eye to the mantle and complement its features.

Before you do this, however, consider what type of accessories you want to use to style the mantlepiece. If you favour tall vases, candlesticks, or decorative pieces, factor the height of these in when you’re choosing what to hang over the mantlepiece so that the area doesn’t feel crowded.

aparentment rectangle prism shaped marble bookends

Aparentment Rectangle Prism Shaped Marble Bookends

3. Add Different Shapes, Textures, Sizes and Materials

When you’re choosing which pieces to display on your mantlepiece, be sure to add a range of different shapes, textures, sizes, and materials. This will add visual interest to the area, as well as depth. If you add square-shaped, tall vases to either side of the mantlepiece, for example, balance these with a circular decorative plate in a bronze, gold, or silver.

Alternatively, you can complement taller accessories with more compact items, like a small stack of books, the Bamboo Root Flamingo Sculpture by Lotus Arts de Vivre or Marble Bookends by Aparentment.  With a mix of materials, sizes, and shapes, you can create a unique mantlepiece design that will complement your décor and add balance to your interior design.

ach collection saturn painted ceramic canister

ACH Collection Saturn Painted Ceramic Canister

4. Layer Items to Create Depth

When positioning items and accessories on your mantlepiece, don’t make the mistake of placing everything in a uniform line. This limits your creativity and reduces the number of pieces you’re able to showcase. Instead, layer items in front of each other to create depth and visual appeal.

You may want to rest artwork against the wall, with decorative pieces like the Saturn Painted Ceramic Canister by ACH Collection in front of it, for example. Again, using different textures, sizes, shapes, and materials will allow you to layer pieces without overcrowding the mantlepiece and will ensure that the styling elevates the entire feature.

5. Hide Electronics with Bifold Doors

Flatscreen televisions are often hung above fireplaces, but these can detract from the overall visual appeal of your mantlepiece and interrupt its styling. If you’re going to add a flatscreen tv to the wall above a fireplace, use interior design tips and tricks to minimise its visual impact when it’s not in use.

Adding a recess to the wall will enable you to hang the television so that it’s flush with the surface of the wall and prevent electronics from competing for attention with your décor. Similarly, custom bifold doors above the fireplace can be a subtle yet effective way to incorporate electronics into the room while maintaining effortless styling and design.

casarialto kansashi handmade vase

Casarialto Kansashi Handmade Vase

6. Group Items in Odd Numbers

If you want your mantlepiece to attract attention, group decorative pieces or artwork in odd numbers. Three candlesticks will be more impactful than two, for example. What’s more – grouping items in odd numbers gives you more opportunities to incorporate different sizes and shapes.

The Kansashi Handmade Vases by Casarialto are an excellent example of how you can achieve balance, interest and uniformity when styling a mantlepiece in this way. Available in three sizes and three shades, you can add depth and colour to your mantlepiece while retaining a sense of consistency by choosing pieces from the same range.

7. Add Candles to Create a Relaxed Ambience

Candles are a fantastic addition to any mantlepiece, both in terms of function and style. With a wide range of candleholders and sticks, you can achieve any interior design style when you incorporate these into your mantlepiece design. Furthermore, candles always create a relaxed, informal, and cosy atmosphere when they’re lit, which will enhance the way the space looks and feels.

Don’t forget – a calming scent, like lavender, jasmine or bergamot can help to create a casual and tranquil atmosphere, so select lightly fragranced designer candles for your mantlepiece if you want to create a peaceful and serene environment.

8. Display Fresh Flowers for a Burst of Colour

When you want to add colour to your mantlepiece, fresh flowers are the perfect option. Not only do they brighten a room but incorporating greenery into your interior can have a positive impact on your mood and well-being.

For on-trend styling, choose flowers that represent the season and use plants, grasses, and greenery to reflect the outdoors. Bold lilies and vibrant gerberas can be great in the summer, for example, while celosia, asters and Chinese lanterns are ideal for autumn. With new displays every week, you can use fresh flowers to continually refresh your mantlepiece design.

Create a Focal Point with Mantlepiece Styling

To truly make the most of your mantlepiece, be bold when you’re deciding what to showcase and what style to go for. It’s easy to update your mantlepiece design, so be as creative as you like when you experiment with new ideas. By doing so, you’ll create a unique mantlepiece that becomes a core component of your interior design.

london craft week may 2022

Commissioning Craft for the Home

london craft week may 2022

With London Craft Week starting this week, now is the perfect time to consider enhancing your décor with bespoke additions to your home. Commissioning a custom piece gives you the freedom to work with a designer or artisan of your choice and ensures you’ll have input and approval over the design and materials.

What’s more – incorporating bespoke decorative accessories, furniture or artwork into your interior design makes your décor more personal and means you’ll have a newfound attachment to your environment. To start planning your next interior design project, take a look at these top tips for commissioning craft for the home:

1. Be Inspired

Unless you already have an established idea of what you want to create for your home, take the time to explore all the options and seek out inspiration from a variety of sources. London Craft Week is a great opportunity to explore British and international creativity, with more than 250 designers, brands, artisans, and craftspeople coming together to celebrate the industry.

By attending events in person and scouring the internet for inspiration, you’ll be able to draw on existing ideas and styles to come up with your own vision. In addition to this, you may discover a designer or craftsperson who can collaborate with you to bring your ideas to life.

scarlet splendour wolk coffee table gloss brass
Wolk Coffee Table Gloss Brass by Scarlet Splendour

2. Meet with the Designer

Before you commission craft for your home, be sure to meet with the designer or artist. Ideally, you’ll be able to meet face to face and experience their work in person but, if not, video calls are the next best thing.

One advantage of commissioning a bespoke piece is that your individual personality and style can be incorporated into the work. To facilitate this, the artist or designer will want to engage with you, understand your goals and learn more about the project. The more time you can spend with them before they begin the creative process, the better they will be able to design a piece that embodies your vision.

3. Consider Your Budget

As you might expect, commissioning craft is typically more expensive than purchasing from an existing line. However, you don’t have to blow your budget in order to add outstanding custom pieces to your home. In fact, you might be surprised at how much variation there is when it comes to the cost of commissioning unique décor for the home.

Many people feel apprehensive about discussing their budget with a designer or artist, but this is an important conversation to have at the outset of your collaboration. By establishing your budget from the outset, you can find an artisan who can deliver stunning work without exceeding your financial expectations.

4. Be Willing to Learn

Teaming up with an artisan or designer gives you the opportunity to learn from their experience and talent. If you want to use a particular material, for example, your appointed craftsman or woman will be able to tell you whether it’s possible to achieve your concept or whether another material is best suited to your preferred design.

While you should certainly feel free to have some creative input, the best results are often achieved when you allow the designer to have a level of freedom over the piece. This allows them to combine their talent and experience with your ideas to deliver spectacular pieces that will enhance your home for years to come.

5. Establish a Method of Communication

How you communicate with your appointed designer will have a significant impact on the finished piece, so be sure to establish how you’ll work together. Some artists create mock-ups and prototypes, for example, while others rely on drawings or verbal explanations. Similarly, some craftspeople might like you to visit their studio while the piece is being created, whereas others may be happy to share their progress via images or video.

As every artist works differently, it’s important to find someone who you can collaborate with effectively. If you want to meet with your designer multiple times throughout the creation process, for example, discuss this with them in advance to ensure your working styles are well-matched.

6. Be Prepared to Wait

Once you’ve decided to commission craft for your home, you might be eager to get the process underway so you can begin enjoying your new interior design. However, finding the right craftsperson can take time and, even then, you might have to wait a while before the piece is completed.

It can take months for an artist to complete a project, which highlights just how much effort and passion goes into each piece. Before you commission any craft, query the designer’s timescale in advance so that you have an idea of what to expect. Then, you can begin collaborating with a clear idea of when your new piece will be ready to add to your home.

7. Enjoy the Process

Having a bespoke item created for your home should be a fun and exciting process, so be sure to make the most of it. Whether you’re commissioning artwork, furniture, sculptures, or ceramics, having something created just for you is a privilege and something to enjoy.

With the right designer or artist, you can have as much creative input as you choose and build a working relationship that complements both of your styles, which is why it’s worth doing some research before you embark on a project. With a little exploration and expert advice, locating the best designer for your project becomes a much easier task.

james mirror entrance hall by jaskasas
James Mirror by Laskasas

Finding the Right Artist for Bespoke Craft

No matter what type of craft you want to commission, finding the right artist is critical to a successful outcome. Fortunately, we have an extensive network of outstanding artisans, designers, and creators at Shalini Misra and we’re always happy to help clients find the right partner to collaborate with. By understanding your interior design preferences and artistic visions, we’ll help you to find an artist who can share your creative goals and design spectacular, one-off pieces for your home.

Interior designer Shalini Misra - screen dream: a zoned room with sliding doors

The Telegraph

Have you got a book nook? The hottest home trends for 2022

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Interior designer Shalini Misra - screen dream: a zoned room with sliding doors