lighted candles

Holistic Meditation Spaces in Your Home

Meditation is a fabulous way to promote relaxation and well-being, which is why it’s worth creating your very own holistic meditation space in your home. When you have a dedicated space to meditate, it’s easier to make it part of your daily routine. Furthermore, having a tranquil environment in which to meditate can help to calm your mind and enhance the positive impact that meditation has.

If you want to create a personal sanctuary that you can enjoy at any time, or you’re eager to enhance the relaxing properties of your surroundings, take a look at these top tips for designing serene, holistic meditation spaces in your home:

Identify How Much Space You’ll Need

People like to practice meditation in different ways. Some prefer to sit cross-legged on the floor, whereas others find it more comfortable to use an upright chair or to lay down on the floor. If you’re new to meditating, remember that your preferences might change over time, so make sure you can adapt the space in the future. Once you’ve begun to think about how you would like to practice meditation, you’ll have a clearer idea of how much space you’ll need.

Dedicate a Space

Depending on the size of your home, you may wish to dedicate an entire room to meditation. While turning an empty room into a holistic meditation space is certainly a great use of your environment, you don’t have to devote an entire room to wellness. Instead, you can carve out space in an existing room and create a versatile environment that lends itself to tranquillity and calmness.

Ideally, you’ll want to choose a ‘low traffic’ area, that will allow you to meditate undisturbed. This might be a corner of your bedroom or space in a spare room. You can even turn a quiet part of your living area into a holistic meditation space if you wish.

Embrace Minimalistic Décor

The art of meditation involves clearing your mind and heightening your awareness, and minimalist décor can help you to achieve an innate sense of calmness. When you aren’t distracted by your surroundings, it can enhance your meditation practice and allow you to enter a deeper state of tranquillity.

Your surroundings have a significant impact on your mind, so be sure to clear the area before you begin thinking about what you’ll need in your meditation space. When you start from scratch, you can create a bespoke space that’s perfectly suited to the style of meditation you choose to practice.

Choose Soothing Colours

The colour of a room can evoke certain emotions. Bold reds and yellows are known to be energising, stimulating and motivating, for example. In contrast, blue is a soothing colour that calms the mind and promotes intellectual creativity, while green provides balance and harmony. Of course, neutral colours such as whites, greys and taupe, provide calm reassurance, which can be perfect for a holistic meditation space.

If you’re incorporating your meditation space into an existing room, you may not want to drastically change the décor. However, using decorative screens can be a great way to separate your meditation space from the rest of the environment. By doing so, you can use a distinct yet complementary colour palette that will promote relaxation without impacting on your core room design.

Add Soft Lighting

If you prefer to hear the sound of the great outdoors as you meditate, try and choose a space that’s close to a window. As well as giving you easy access to nature, you can allow the natural light to flow into your meditation space and use it to help clear your mind.

Alternatively, use soft lighting to illuminate the space. Candles work particularly well when you want to relax and unwind.

lighted candles

Prioritise Comfort

If you want to be able to meditate with ease and achieve a greater level of stillness, it’s important to ensure that your meditation space is comfortable. To achieve this, use soft furnishings, such as cushions, blankets and throws, to create a nurturing and reassuring environment. In addition to increasing your comfort, using different textures will awaken your senses and help you to focus on the present as you meditate. Where possible, choose natural materials, like linen, cotton or wool, as these will connect you to nature and help you to achieve a heightened state of awareness.

Incorporate Storage

You may not need much in the way of accessories to meditate effectively but many people use candles, crystals or essential oils to turn their attention inward and personalise their meditation space. Alternatively, you may use speakers to play soft music or the sounds of nature as you begin to meditate. If so, incorporating a small amount of storage into your meditation space can be a good way to minimise clutter and promote stillness.

Simple, stress-free storage options made from natural materials are ideal for a holistic meditation space, so look out for wooden or wicker baskets. Similarly, sea grass or bamboo storage baskets and bags can be a functional and aesthetically pleasing addition to your meditation space.

Be Flexible

There are no rights and wrongs when it comes to meditation, so don’t be too focused on creating a meditation space that ‘looks right’. Instead, be guided by your intuition and let your feelings take the reins. Personalising your meditation space gives you the opportunity to create a bespoke sanctuary that caters to your needs and enhances your awareness, so don’t hesitate to add décor or features that are meaningful to you.

Promoting Calmness and Tranquillity Throughout Your Home

Having a dedicated meditation space can certainly enhance your practice and encourage you to meditate regularly, but you can easily extend the design and style of your meditation space throughout your entire home. By doing so, you’ll create a calming, welcoming and tranquil environment that consistently enhances your well-being and reflects your unique personality.

deep rich charcoal painted bookshelves

How to Style a Run of Bookshelves

Bookshelves don’t just enhance your interior design; they offer functionality and versatility too. When you’re incorporating a run of shelves in a room, however, it takes some savvy styling to prevent the space taking on the appearance of a library or bookshop. Whether you’re redesigning your living space, overhauling your home office or even curating your own home library, take a look at these top tips for styling a run of bookshelves:

1. Think About How Much Space You’ll Need

If you’re going to install new shelving systems, you’ll want to ensure they’re tailored to your needs. After all, an overflowing bookcase is going to detract from your décor and do little to enhance your interior design.

Take a look at your current collection of books and estimate how much space you’re really going to need. To get an accurate idea, it can be helpful to measure a selection of books and multiply it based on how many books you own.

Remember – if you’re an avid reader or a collector, you’re likely to acquire more books in the future, so factor this into your plans. Furthermore, you’ll want to include a range of other pieces within your shelving system, so be sure to take this into account when you’re planning the space.

2. Reassess Your Interior

Once you know how much space you’re likely to need, you can begin deciding where to situate your bookshelves. You may already have a dedicated space, such as alcove shelving, or a blank wall you need to fill. If not, identify areas in your home that lend themselves to extra features.

Bookshelves can work well in home offices, living areas and even bedrooms, providing you’ve got the space and the room won’t feel cluttered. If you have a large number of books, don’t be afraid to split your collection and feature a run of bookshelves in different areas of your home. By doing so, you can maintain a cohesive design throughout the property, without overcrowding one room.

3. Choose the Right Material

Bookshelves come in an endless range of materials, which means they can be incorporated into any interior. What’s more – it’s easy to repurpose vintage pieces and use them as bespoke shelving units. Whether you’re creating a traditional, cottage-core feel or a contemporary, uber-modern living environment, choosing the right materials for your bookshelves will ensure that they fit seamlessly into your décor. From natural and reclaimed wood to metal, acrylic and glass, there are a wide variety of options to explore.

4. Complement Your Colour Palette

deep rich charcoal painted bookshelves

Credit: Shalini Misra - Deep rich charcoal paint on built in cabinetry adds both drama and depth to this home office in one of our recent completed projects.

Depending on the material you choose for your bookshelves, you may be able to modify the colour or finish yourself. This can be a great way to enhance existing shelving units or to upcycle vintage pieces that you want to use for display purposes.

The colour you choose for your bookshelves is going to have a major impact on how conspicuous they are, so think about whether you want them to be a feature in the room or if you want them to blend seamlessly into the background. By painting bookshelves in the same shade as the wall, for example, you can create an unobtrusive feature that doesn’t detract from your décor. Alternatively, a bold or vibrant colour turns your run of bookshelves into an aesthetic focal point.

When you’re selecting the colour of your bookshelves, bear in mind that the books and decorative pieces they’re going to hold will need to complement the shelves themselves. This may mean that choosing a neutral or minimalist shade is the best option. This gives you the flexibility to adorn your shelves with anything you choose, without having to worry about hues competing with one another.

Moody, dramatic shades can create a sense of intrigue and luxe sophistication and are the perfect foil for accent pieces in jewel shades and metallic finishes. Adding smoky and dramatic hues to a bookshelf or library unit bring an understated yet powerful aesthetic to the space.

5. Segment Your Books

For book lovers, segmenting your collection can be the trickiest part of styling a run of bookshelves, but it’s well worth the effort. Some people prefer to segment their books according to the colour of the covers, as this allows you to style your bookcases more easily. Alternatively, you may prefer to segment your books based on their size, so that books of a similar size can be grouped together. This helps to create clean lines once they’re placed on the shelves and enhances their aesthetic appeal.

6. Vary the Placement of Books

shalini misra next to bookcase

Credit: Shalini Misra

When you begin placing your books on shelves, don’t place them all in the same way. Instead, lay larger books horizontally, stand some books up and leave others leaning against them as a makeshift bookend. This allows you to add creativity into the styling of your bookshelves and prevents them from appearing bland in terms of their design.

7. Leave Blank Spaces

If you’re installing a run of bookshelves in a room, you won’t want to fill each shelf up with books. This can make the area seem too full and even cluttered. Instead, leave some space bare, so that each shelf looks well-styled and carefully thought-out, rather than simply being a storage area for books.

If you want to add an interesting focal point, use artwork in a blank space to complement the décor. You can either hang art behind the shelves and let it be visible or, if the shelves have backing, you can place it directly on the shelf or affix it to the backing.

8. Use Your Favourite Decorative Pieces

As well as using a run of bookshelves to store your favourite literary works, be sure to include your favourite decorative pieces too. Adding a vase, candle, vanity tray or sculpture helps to break up a run of books and adds new elements to your interior design.

Use Shelving to Enhance Your Interior Design

Shelving may serve a functional purpose in any home, but it can also be a key element of your design. When you take a creative approach to styling, a run of bookshelves can be the perfect addition to any room.

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 table 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 to put on 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.


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.


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.