How to Style a Bedside Table like an Expert

A bedside table is a staple feature in any bedroom, so much so that it is often overlooked in terms of style. However, any piece of furniture plays an important role in the overall design of a room, which is why it’s essential to choose a bedside cabinet that elevates the theme of a bedroom.

If you’re looking for design inspiration or you simply want to know more about how top designers put the finishing touches to their work, read on to find out how the experts style their bedside cabinets and how you can incorporate their processes into your own redesigns:

1. Extend Your Colour Palette

It goes without saying that the bedside cabinets you choose should complement the style and colour palette of the room as a whole, but don’t stop there. The pieces you use to style your bedside table should be an extension of your chosen colour palette.

There’s no doubt that function is important when it comes to styling a bedside table, but versatility and function don’t have to come at the cost of style. If you want to illuminate the area with a bedside lamp, for example, choose one that uses materials that are present in other features of the room. Similarly, choose hues that are represented in other pieces to create a calming, cohesive environment.

2. Use Height

Using varying heights creates a dynamic and interesting design, rather than the somewhat flat and dull appearance that a single height line offers. Take a look above at how Shalini and her team used to inform the design of the master bedroom in the first London edition of Holiday House.

If you don’t have the space to incorporate multiple bedside tables, there are alternative ways you can use varying heights to alter the proportions and maximise the impact of your bedside cabinet. Adding a tall, elegant bedside lamp, alongside a smaller vase and miniature alarm clock or bedside tray incorporates three different heights without overcrowding the space, for example.

shalini misra design holiday house master bedroom bedside table

Image Credit - Shalini Misra

3. Add a Personal Touch

Your bedside cabinet may be the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. As a result, the pieces you choose for your bedside table can promote a restful night’s sleep and help to shape your mood for the day. Adding a personal touch to your bedside décor is one way of ensuring it has a positive impact.

Photographs of loved ones or beloved artwork can be ideal for a mid-size addition to your bedside cabinet, while a valet tray is a perfect place to keep sentimental trinkets or jewellery. Alternatively, position a vase filled with your favourite blooms or a luxury candle with your favourite scent on your bedside cabinet. All of these elements can be enhanced by choosing frames, materials and colours that complement your interior design while adding a unique and personal touch to your bedroom décor.

st johns wood family home living room bedroom side cabinet

Image Credit - Shalini Misra

4. Keep It Simple

When it comes to styling your bedside cabinets, less is definitely more. It can be tempting to over-style a bedside table, particularly if you want to increase its functionality. However, crowding the space can detract from your carefully chosen design.

If you have a habit of filling your bedside table with books, phones, headphones, or other paraphernalia, choose a cabinet that provides extra storage while keeping items hidden out of sight. This ensures you have the space and functionality you need, without detracting from the design. The top of your cabinet can prioritise decorative pieces, while hidden storage provides the extra space you need.

holiday house master bedside table detail

Image Credit - Shalini Misra

5. Use Subtle Symmetry

Styling two cabinets in the same way and placing them on either side of the bed can look spectacular but aiming for perfect symmetry may be unrealistic. Instead, focus on subtle symmetry when you’re styling bedside cabinets. Matching colours or accents achieve cohesive styling, for example, while using the same materials to enhance each cabinet ensures features will complement each other, as well as other pieces in the room. Similarly, using twin lamps or frames can be a great way to create ‘mirror image’ symmetry or can be used as the basis of subtle symmetry styling.

6. Add Depth

A bedside cabinet doesn’t have to be positioned directly against a wall. In fact, moving it away from the wall and using additional features to add depth can have a striking impact. If you’re opting for a bedside table that doesn’t feature extra storage, you can enhance the space by positioning artwork directly behind the table, for example.

An oversized piece that frames the table and its contents does double duty by adding height and depth to your interior design, for example. With complementing colour themes, this can be a spectacular way to achieve a bespoke look that’s understated yet impactful.

Alternatively, choose pieces that incorporate different textures and finishes to create more depth. A metallic bowl alongside a stone or ceramic lamp creates a fabulous aesthetic while using varying textures to increase the depth and effect of the design.

7. Soften the Space

Many people automatically choose bedside cabinets that are square or rectangular in shape, but these aren’t the only options out there. Choosing a circular bedside table or a cabinet with curved legs adds an interesting dimension and softens the space. Bedroom furniture is often angular, but this is one area where it’s easy to incorporate different shapes and silhouettes.

Add the Finishing Touches to Your Bedroom Design

The right styling can ensure that your bedside cabinets complete your room design but don’t overlook the challenges this area can bring. Often situated in a small space, bedside tables need to combine form and function to effectively fulfil their purpose and enhance your décor.

Due to this, you’ll want to think outside the box and be as creative as possible when styling your bedside cabinets. By doing so, you can ensure that your bedside tables are a central element of the space and add the ultimate finishing touches to your bedroom design.


shalini misra next to bookcase

How to Pick the Right Interior Designer

shalini misra next to bookcase

Whether you’re focusing on one room, your entire home, or a commercial project, it’s vital to pick the right interior designer who can inspire your creativity and bring your ideas to life. The materials, structure, and character of a property might provide a foundation to work with, but it’s the interior of any building that really brings it to life.

Choosing to hire an interior designer gives you the opportunity to truly make the most of your interior space. Unlike other professional services, however, you can’t select an interior designer based solely on their professional qualifications or experience. While these are undoubtedly important, finding the right interior designer requires a more nuanced approach.

To help you make the right choice and to streamline the selection process, take a look at these five important things to consider when choosing which interior designer to work with:

1. What to Expect from an Interior Designer

An interior designer can provide a variety of services. From redesigning your space and creating a new layout to selecting the materials, colours, and themes that will encapsulate each room, there are lots of possibilities to explore. You may want to give your designer a vague brief and free rein to transform the interior of your property, for example. Alternatively, you may prefer to work closely with your interior designer and be involved in every decision.

There’s no right or wrong way to work with a designer, but it’s important to ensure you’re both on the same page when it comes to working methods and expectations. Some designers prefer to work on projects where they can take the lead, while others are happy to bring a client’s vision to life. Being upfront and honest about exactly what you want your designer to deliver will help you to find the right person for the job. Furthermore, clarifying your expectations at the outset will facilitate a good working relationship and enhance the outcome of the project.

2. Previous Interior Design Work

Interior designers are adept at working with a range of styles to deliver an interior that meets the client’s needs and reflects their tastes. However, all designers have their own style too, so taking a look at their previous work can give you an idea of what to expect. If you’re a fan of their earlier projects, for example, it’s a good indication that you’ll be happy with the service they will provide.

Conversely, if you can’t find anything in their portfolio that you love, they’re probably not the right designer for you. Most designers will showcase at least some of their work on their website, so it’s easy to see what styles a designer is most noted for. By taking the time to look through a designer’s work, you can create a shortlist of potential professionals you’d like to work with on your own project.

3. Scale of Projects

Many designers are happy to work on projects of various sizes, from single room redesigns to whole property renovations. Of course, this isn’t the case for every designer, so you’ll want to ensure that your upcoming project matches the scope and scale of the projects they typically work on.

If you’re planning a single room redesign and you can only see whole property transformations on their website, don’t let this put you off. It’s always worth pitching a project to a designer, particularly if you like their previous work and the style of their interiors. The work showcased on their site will only be a fraction of their portfolio, so get in touch to determine whether they would be willing to undertake your project too.

4. Interior Design Budget

Establishing your budget before reaching out to interior designers is always a good idea. If you have a budget of £10,000 but a particular designer usually works on projects with a value of £1 million+, it might not be the right fit. While a meticulous redesign doesn’t necessarily require an unlimited budget, it is important that you and your designer are on the same page when it comes to the financial scope of a project.

No matter what your budget is, let prospective designers know in advance so that they can determine what services and options are most suited to your needs. This will ensure you can get the professional interior design expertise you require, as well as the best outcome for your property.

5. Deadlines

Top interior designers are in high demand, so there may be a waiting list for their services. If you have a particular timescale in mind, ask potential designers whether they can guarantee their availability in advance. If not, you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to adapt your schedule to match their availability or whether you’d prefer to work with someone else.

However, it isn’t only the designer’s schedule that you’ll need to consider. If you want to take a role in the decision-making process, rather than giving your designer ownership of the project, you will need to confirm your availability too.

If a one-of-a-kind piece becomes available, for example, your designer may need your input swiftly. Similarly, if a bespoke piece is being crafted according to your specifications, you may need to provide feedback partway through the process. Confirming your availability and average response times in advance will help to create a good working relationship with your designer and enable them to manage the project effectively.

Why It’s Worth Holding Out for the Right Designer

The right interior designer can transform your property and help you to create your dream surroundings. With an eye for detail and a talent for redefining interior space, your designer will elevate your home and create an interior that combines form and function.

However, the right designer will achieve this, as well as creating an interior that reflects your personality, tastes, and style. By taking the time to identify and understand your goals, the right interior designer will work with you to unleash your own creativity and use to shape an interior that’s tailormade for you.


kitchen

Smart Homes Using AI to Enhance Our Everyday Life

Transforming your property into a smart home enhances your living environment and gives you complete control over every feature. While homeowners have been embracing smart home technology for some time, things are about to get a whole lot smarter.

The use of artificial intelligence (AI), combined with smart home technology, is set to revolutionise the way we live. From seamless property management to automated comfort settings, incorporating AI into your smart home can significantly enhance your everyday life. To get a glimpse of the features in store, take a look at how you can embrace AI and how it can improve your home:

1. Comfortable Temperatures and Energy Efficiency

Smart home functionality already allows you to control your thermostat from any location, while zoned heating and individual controls ensure you can adjust the temperature in different areas of your property. With artificial intelligence, however, smart home thermostats are able to use historical data to gauge how warm you like your home to be. Based on this, it will automatically adjust the settings, raise or lower the temperature, and turn your heating system on and off.

As well as guaranteeing your comfort, an AI-powered smart home thermostat allows increases the energy-efficiency of your home and minimises fuel consumption. If you want to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle, this is a great way to make your home greener.

2. Remote Food Prep

If the thought of returning home and having to prepare dinner each night doesn’t fill you with enthusiasm, you’ll be first in line to get a truly smart kitchen installed. The Internet of Things (IoT) enables everyday appliances to incorporate internet connectivity and wireless technology, which means every smart kitchen appliance you own could technically be controlled remotely.

As if cooking dinner while you’re still at work or preparing breakfast from your bed isn’t enough, AI is about to take things to the next level. With artificial intelligence, appliances can effectively ‘screen’ the internal temperatures of the food you’re cooking and adjust the cooking temperature accordingly, before turning the power off at the right time.

kitchen

Credit: Shalini Misra

3. Bespoke Lighting Solutions

The right lighting has a major impact on your mood, productivity, and overall well-being, which is why it’s important to use layered lighting in your home. With AI-powered lighting systems, your overhead lights, lamps, and wall lights will automatically adjust based on external and internal factors. As it gets dark outside, your lights will automatically come on, for example. However, it doesn’t stop there. As the evening progresses, AI-lighting can gradually reduce the amount of blue light that’s emitted from screens to ensure you get a good night’s sleep or wake you up gradually with a lightbox on cold winter mornings.

Royal Stranger Marshmallow Floor Lamp

Credit: Royal Stranger Marshmallow Floor Lamp

Make Your Home Smarter

Incorporating AI-powered tech into your home will allow you to make the most of smart home technology and enhance your everyday life. From preparing meals to creating the perfect ambience for relaxed nights in, it’s time to make your home a little smarter.


chic sofa in subtle grey & illuminating yellow cushions

Using the Pantone Colour of The Year 2021 In the Home

living room interior design

When you want to transform a room or give your home a new, fresh feel, the Pantone Colour of the Year is always a good place to start. In 2021, world-renowned colour institute, Pantone have defied convention to name two shades as their Colour of the Year: Illuminating and Ultimate Gray.

Identifiable as Pantone shades 13-0647 and 17-5104 respectively, zingy, Illuminating and the natural, reliable hues of Ultimate Gray provide the perfect base of your design choices in 2021. If you’re eager to incorporate these outstanding Colours of the Year into your home, take a look at these top tips now:

1. Home Office

Remote working has taken off in a big way over the last few months and it’s a trend that’s set to continue for the foreseeable future. In response, millions of people are creating bespoke home offices, which means the release of Pantone’s Colours of the Year comes at the perfect time.

If you’re looking for a motivating shade that will boost your productivity and optimism, look no further than Illuminating, a lovely warm egg-yolk yellow. When combined with the dependable elements of Ultimate Gray, it creates the perfect backdrop for any home office or study area.

2. Kitchen

Traditionally, homeowners have favoured bright colours in kitchens because they add light and vibrancy to typically small areas. However, the trend towards open-plan kitchen-diners and larger kitchens has encouraged people to think outside the box when it comes to kitchen design.

Fortunately, Pantone’s Colours of the Year work perfectly together to meld these two design themes. Ultimate Gray is the ideal shade to give walls, cupboards, and islands an enviable solid, matt finish, while the bold hue Illuminating adds a little sunshine.

3. Furnishings and Fabrics

With the right furnishings and fabrics, you can incorporate Pantone’s Colours of the Year into any – or every – room in your home. A chic sofa in subtle grey is a great addition to any living space while accompanying throws and cushions in Illuminating yellow will lift the shade and add a pop of colour to the space.

Similarly, you’ll see a wide range of wallpapers that incorporate both greys and yellows this year, so why not make the most of them? Bolder prints make the perfect statement wall, while more subtle hues can work well throughout the room.

chic sofa in subtle grey & illuminating yellow cushions

4. Bedroom

Your bedroom should be a zone of relaxation and tranquillity, but it also needs to uplift and motivate you every morning. To achieve these seemingly contrasting goals, use Ultimate Gray and Illuminating yellow to create a relaxing and reassuring haven that brightens your mood and boosts your energy. The reliability and dependability of Ultimate Gray is exactly what we need in these unusual times, while the power and energy of Illuminating yellow revitalises and re-energises.

Embrace Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow Today

No matter how you choose to incorporate Pantone’s Colours of the Year into your home, you’ll be glad you did. Selected to represent clarity, energy, and hope, they’re the perfect shades to embody your home in 2021.


work colleagues

How to Entice Your Staff Back to Work

work colleagues

The COVID-19 pandemic has been an extremely stressful, worrying, and unpredictable time. With vaccinations being rolled out, life will slowly start returning to normal. However, many employers are worried that their staff won’t want to come back to the office. Some fear for their safety, while others are enjoying life at home. This has made returning to work a harder time than you may have originally thought. If you are unsure on ways to entice your staff back to work, then here is some useful advice that you should consider.

 

Invest in Air Purifiers for Your Office

Air purifiers are highly effective at removing ultra-fine particles from an indoor environment. This includes dust, mould, pollen, dander, and other common allergens. Evidence suggests that the right air purifiers may have the ability to capture viruses. Investing in air purifiers will reduce the risk of people catching and spreading COIVD-19 throughout the office, by reducing coughing and sneezing, and capturing the virus itself.

Accommodate for Social Distancing

Whether you run an office or a store, making an effort to accommodate for social distancing is crucial. The simplest way to do so is to rearrange the workspace and create clear routes and spacing throughout the store or office. If you can’t rearrange the workspace, then you should consider installing different screens between employees and customers. You should also provide everyone with the correct PPE and thoroughly clean the workspace regularly.

Use Standard Temperature Guns

Temperature guns can be an effective way to put people’s minds at ease. The demand for these tools has increased dramatically and they are used by many businesses. They can be used to detect a fever, which is one of the main signs of COVID-19. This will reduce the number of symptomless people entering the workspace. However, it is important to remember that this does not measure a person’s core body temperature because they are limited to the skin.

Keep Embracing Remote Working

If your company has managed to do so, you should continue to embrace remote working. This allows employees to remain productive in an environment that they feel comfortable and safe in. This is especially important for workers who are vulnerable or live with vulnerable people. You should also consider altering your sick day policy. Encouraging a schedule and office meetings can help ease your staff back into their work environment.

Show Your Staff that You Care

Showing your employees that you care about them and that you want to protect them will motivate them to come back to work. This is because it will make them feel safe and more secure in their work environment. Many people are worried for their future, safety and health, so you should use the principles to lead your staff back into a normal life and routine. This will rely on you doing your own research and alterations in the workplace.

Enticing your staff back into work is a tough task. Some people will be more concerned than others and will require more support and reassurance. However, with the right research and communication, you will be able to put their minds at ease.


sofa and floor lamp

9 Interior Design Trend Predictions for 2021

As we enter a new year, it’s the perfect time to upgrade your home and embrace the latest interior design trends for 2021.

If you’ve spent a lot more time than usual in your home this year, like so many others, then there’s a good chance you’ve been looking around and making a mental list of all the interior décor changes you’d love to make. Style trends come and go when it comes to interior design and can leave your home looking outdated and not exactly fresh. Whether you’re living in a detached family property, a chic apartment, or a luxurious bungalow, incorporating new styles into your living environment will give your home a whole new feel.

Once you’re ready to make some big or small design changes in your home, you may be curious to know what the trends will be for 2021. So, before you get started, here are some predictions on what home décor will focus on next year.

1. Creating A Space Where Relaxing is the Key Function

During these unpredictable times, we recommend designing a spot in your home where relaxing is the only key function. You can move a comfortable chair or sofa to an area that gets natural light or has a view you love. This puts a barrier between you and distractions and foot traffic.

You don’t need to set aside an entire room, just select a spot that’s out of the main flow of relaxing activity, whether that’s reading, listening to music, or meditating.

sofa and floor lamp

2. Lighter Tone Wood Will be All the Rage

For many years now, dark rich coloured wood has been what’s considered stylish, but 2021 is looking to shake things up. There is a real departure from these dark heavy looking pieces to lighter brighter options in the form of light-toned wood.

When shopping for pieces, look for the terms light oak and blonde to perfectly capture the trendy vibe. Not only will the room look modern and stylish, but the light wood can also make a space feel more open and bigger.

3. It's All About Traditional and Comfortable Pieces

Here's a design trend that homeowners will be thrilled to embrace as there will be a real focus on traditional and comfortable pieces. Think about all those items that were popular in the 1990s where furniture was concerned and look for them to make a huge comeback. Anything formal will be out of style; instead, you want soft curves, overstuffed furniture, and items that offer support and comfort.

4. Opt for a Rich Bold Colour Palette

When it comes to paint colours, it's all about rich bold colours that may seem a bit intimidating at first but then really grow on you. As far as any particular colour palettes to play with, think bold as in dark charcoal grey, black, rich green or navy, or even a deep dark burgundy. It’s all about making a statement on your walls.

Don’t worry about the room feeling too dark and heavy, as you can use your furniture and décor to bright light back into the space.

golden orb sculpture by anish kapoor

Golden Orb Sculpture by Anish Kapoor

5. Create a Sense of Nature with Plants

Another big decor trend for 2021 is to create a sense of the outdoors and nature inside your home, which can be done with house plants. You want to choose a variety of sizes, shapes, and types so that you create something really interesting looking. Where this trend gets really fun is that you can find some spectacular pots to put them in that will act like décor pieces all on their own.

As an added bonus, indoor plants are excellent for improving the air quality in the home.

house plant in pot

6. Cottagecore

Sometimes known as countrycore, this delightful interior design encompasses natural living and allows you to make the most of your surroundings. Perfect for homes in urban or inner-city areas, cottagecore incorporates the best of rural living and brings it right to your doorstep.

If you want to feature cottagecore in your home, think greenery, vintage crockery, and rustic furniture and you’re already halfway there. As many people enjoy a simpler life amid lockdowns, this trend is sure to be one of the most popular in 2021 and you can get ahead of the game by embracing it now.

7. Herringbone Flooring

Characterised by rectangular boards sitting diagonally against one another, herringbone flooring is instantly recognisable and you’re about to see a whole lot more of it. Available in an array of materials, you can choose shades and styles of herringbone flooring to suit any home. From golden, vintage, and natural oak to light grey or white for a more modern feel, there are plenty of designs to consider.

A major advantage of herringbone flooring is its versatility and durability. The placement of the boards ensures it works well in smaller areas, such as hallways, while its diagonal design also looks fabulous in larger areas, like kitchens and living areas. East to maintain and spectacular to look at, a herringbone floor is a must-have design feature in stylish homes.

8. Vintage Bathrooms

Contemporary and modern bathrooms have been en vogue for years, so it’s not surprising that vintage bathrooms are about to make a comeback. Of course, you won’t have to eschew all mod cons in order to incorporate a vintage feel, so don’t panic just yet!

The trend for vintage bathrooms is more focused on luxury than bare essentials, so look out for antique mirrors, traditional bathroom furniture, and timeless accessories. With freestanding contemporary fixtures and vintage décor, you can combine trends effortlessly and create a stunning addition to your home.

9. Outdoor Living

In 2021, we’re going to see an emphasis on outdoor living, so make the most of balconies, terraces, patios, and gardens. Create a more permanent outdoor space by installing furniture and even cooking facilities, if you really want to maximise the space you have available. Perfect for socially distanced entertaining, start planning your summer events now by embracing outdoor living and enhancing with verandas, pagodas, and sleek awnings.

Staying up to date with the latest interior design trends gives you an ideal way to keep your home feeling fresh and new. At a time when we’re spending more time indoors than ever before, updating your surroundings and incorporating the newest trends into your designs will mean you can enjoy a more luxurious home. If your home is in desperate need of some décor updates, these trends are the ones that will be big in 2021 and can act as the perfect jumping-off point or inspiration that you need.


mel bochner blah blah artwork

How Using Artwork Brings Colour and Playfulness to the Home

art for home south audley street interior design

Credit: Shalini Misra

How many times have you flipped through a home décor magazine only to spot a room or a design that you absolutely love, yet aren’t exactly sure how to accomplish in your own home? Or maybe it’s the fact you visit someone’s house, and you find yourself looking around at how well everything is put together and how unique the space feels? Here’s the thing, it’s usually the little touches that make all the difference in the world, and that’s little touches like artwork.

Artwork for your home brings a sense of playfulness and colour to the space where it is currently lacking. Of course, the artwork you choose still has to be thought out and picked with purpose.

Let’s look at some tips that will help you to take full advantage of using beautiful artwork throughout your home.

No Need to Go Bold When You Paint a Room

For many homeowners, the mere thought of painting a room a bright bold shade is intimidating and can feel like too big of a step to make. Putting that colour up on the walls involves commitment and a sense of confidence that not everyone has. Does that mean you can’t have colour in the space? Not at all, as artwork can replace the need for bright paint colours.

If you’ve got a neutral room or space, rather than changing up the furniture and getting out the paintbrushes, try experimenting with different types of artwork to play off the other tones in the room.

This is also a great tip for people who have a problem making a decision that they feel confident about, as you won't be stuck with a colour on the walls that you don't like.

Help to Carry a Colour Palette through the Home

Another thing that homeowners can struggle with is how to carry a colour palette throughout the entire home, make it feel cohesive, and yet not boring with the same old stuff in each room. Artwork is able to bridge that gap between the various spaces and act as that one constant throughout. Maybe you want to stick with a few main pops of colour, or even a theme.

mel bochner blah blah artwork

Credit: Mel Brochner Artwork

It’s Hard to Make a Room Feel Unique without Artwork

Then there is the uniqueness that artwork brings to a space. It can be rather hard to make each room in your house feel customised and suited to your particular tastes. Because furniture acts as more than just décor – it has a functional purpose – it’s not always going to pop.

Artwork is something that is truly personal, as each person finds beauty in different pieces. We love how Mel Bochner’s cool artwork brings playfulness to a room. No one else is going to have the exact same pieces as you, displayed in the exact same ways, so you can instantly customise the space and make it feel more luxe.

A Space Simply Isn’t Complete without Artwork

At the end of the day, a room and a home just isn’t complete without the final touches – which is artwork.

 


scented candle at christmas

Celebrating Christmas With These Simple Designs

Christmas is an exciting celebration that allows you to spend time with the people you love. If it is your turn to accommodate this year’s Christmas festivities, or you enjoy being the host, finding ways to celebrate Christmas using these simple design ideas will make the celebrations memorable for the right reasons. The key to successful results is to dedicate time and research into the design process. This can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have knowledge in this area. If you are wondering where to start, then here are some general rules to follow when designing a Christmas entertaining space.

scented candle at christmas

Get the Lighting Right at Christmas

Lights are a huge part of Christmas. When designing a Christmas entertaining space, you should evaluate the area and find innovative ways to improve the lighting system. As well as using Christmas decorations, this can be done by using different coloured bulbs in your original lighting, which can make the room feel more Christmassy. Scented candles can create the perfect mood, as they feel cosy and influence the aroma.

Create Plenty of Space

Having enough space to accommodate for all of your friends and family this Christmas is essential for keeping everyone happy and comfortable in your home. If you have enough seating, but it isn’t in one room, then rearranging your furniture to fit all of your guests into your entertaining space is highly recommended. Decluttering your shelves and investing in multifunctional furniture is also a smart and cheap way to create space in your home.

Use What You Have

There is a high chance that your home already has various opportunities that could be leveraged for Christmas decorations without you realising. When you use your imagination and allow yourself to be really creative, you will be able to do loads with your pre-existing decorations and furniture. This can include your fireplace, seating, lighting and even your wallpaper. This way, you don’t have to make any long-term commitments.

christmas table decorations

Try Some New Ideas with Christmas Decorations

Using this opportunity to experiment with your Christmas decorations and design ideas is highly recommended. You will have the chance to try some great ideas that you may have thought about in the past, but didn’t feel brave enough to carry out at the time. Break out of the red and green mould and try using the warm toasty shades of spices and gingerbread to get into the festive spirit. Most of these changes can be temporary, but you could also use this time to throw in some extra non-Christmas ideas that you want to iterate on.

Decorate Your Christmas Tree

Your Christmas tree will be the main feature in your home during the festive season. This means you should make it highly visible to your guests by placing one in the entrance and/or the main room that they will spend time in. You should let your creativity run wild and make sure that your home is decorated to meet the theme of your Christmas tree. An impressive tree and matching decorations in the home will amaze everyone.

Designing an attractive Christmas entertaining space requires time and creativity, but the results will make it worthwhile. When done correctly, you will be able to host Christmas and impress your guests with ease.

Happy Christmas from everyone at Shalini Misra.


fireplace audley street mayfair london

How to Design a Listed Building

Most listed buildings have some kind of architectural importance. Historic England decides whether or not a building meets the criteria to be classed as listed. In the UK, there are currently over 500,000 listed buildings.

Most architects love the idea of working on listed buildings. But while these projects are often more interesting, they do need to be handled more sensitively. The key to achieving a successful result is investing plenty of time in the design process and understanding the building itself.

What should we know about the building before we start taking on this huge challenge, and where do we start? Here are some general rules you should follow if you want to make the most out of designing your listed property:

Assess the Building Before Designing

living room with period features

Before designing a listed building, you need to assess the original structure. You need to think about the key features of the property and find out whether it has already been extended in the past. You will also need to think about producing a plan that highlights the different ages of the house. Most conservation officers will want you to avoid knocking down historic walls, but you may be able to make a few small changes if you have a good reason.

fireplace audley street mayfair london

It’s important to pay close attention to the features of a listed building. These features will need to be incorporated into your design. Retaining existing features such as windows and fireplaces is important unless you have good reason to replace them e.g. they’re unsafe. If the current features of the property don’t fit with your design idea, then it might be an idea to cover them up instead of removing them.

Expose Period Features

The original features in most listed buildings are hidden behind previous renovations or wallpaper. If you're planning on re-designing a property, then it’s a good idea to expose these features before you finalise your design. This may need you to have to remove internal fittings. The best design ideas accentuate the period features of a property. You can accentuate the period features of a property by using lights.

Maximise Space

The majority of listed buildings in the UK are small in size. If you’re looking to increase the amount of space in your listed property, then why not consider opening up the previously hidden roof voids. Doing this will not only make your property feel more spacious but it will also add character too.

The Interior Layout

If you want to make the most out of your property, remove internal walls to extend smaller darker rooms into bigger open-plan spaces. While doing this, consider whether it’s worth changing the layout of the property. Remember, living and kitchen spaces are used more regularly than other rooms, so these spaces should benefit from the best views.

Anyone can successfully design a listed building as long as they embrace and understand the building’s character. Just think, when the building work is complete, not only will you have a beautiful home to be proud of, but you’ll also ensure its historic contribution and longevity for years to come.


flower wall in a home

Keeping Flower Walls in the Home

Lots of people want to add a bit of colour and personality to their homes. One way you can do this is by adding a flower wall. Over the last few years, the popularity of flower walls has increased tremendously. This DIY project is a brilliant addition to your home and is super simple to create. If you want to know more about flower walls and how to take care of one, then keep reading below:

Preparation is Key When Building Your Flower Wall

Before building your flower wall you need to decide where it will be located in your home. You will also need to work out whether you want it to be large or small. Once you’ve done this you can start searching for the best flowers. You will need to find out information about the flowers you choose e.g. how to care for them properly, how much space they require, and whether or not they like sunlight. This will help you to take care of your flower wall.

flower wall in a home

Choose Healthy Plants For Your Flower Wall

If you want your flower wall to look amazing, make sure you purchase healthy plants. When choosing your flowers, it’s a good idea to check to make sure that the plants and flowers are in good condition and have been well looked after.

Remember to Water Your Plants

It’s important to remember to water your plants as soon as you get them. If you’re not going to use them straight away, store them in a safe area at the right temperature. Remember, not all flowers have the same care requirements, so it’s important to do some research into the best ways to care for a particular plant.

Top Tips for Keeping a Plant Wall

Here are some of our top tips for keeping a plant wall in the home:

  • Living plant walls should be watered every 2-3 days depending on the climate. Remember, plants need more water in summer. Dry compost indicates the plants need water; wet compost means they are fine.
  • Attach a waterproof membrane to the wall – this will help prevent damp issues on the wall
  • Plant care – if you purchase flowering plants, you’ll need to remember to remove dead blooms. This will help encourage new flowers later in the season. If you're thinking of adding some foliage plants to your flower wall, then you'll need to remember to snip off dead leaves and tidy them up when needed. If you want to include annual plants in your flower wall, then it’s a good idea to give them some liquid feed every few weeks in summer.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen flower walls becoming one of the hottest trends around, and this is unlikely to change in the near future. But how do you go about keeping flower walls at home? If you’re interested in keeping a flower wall in your home, then follow some of our advice above. Don’t forget, you can create an attractive focal point using artificial flowers too!