Top Decorating Tips

Thank you thank you guys for all your suggestions regarding artwork, I am a little overwhelmed with the response its been amazing but I am going through everything you have sent in so thank you again. Please forgive if I don’t personally answer each email there have been hundreds!

The life of an interior designer can be a demanding one, one day you could be working on one of the largest spas in the US the next you are furnishing a minuscule apartment. I’m extremely lucky in that I only (these days) take on projects that I want to do and so consequently have scaled back big time on the interior design side. However I do have some tricks up my sleeve that I implement time and time again.

Mix styles as many as you can – especially vintage for me its pretty fundamental. Firstly no one will then have the same thing and secondly vintage pieces tell a narrative, have a patina and texture that its hard to emulate with new stuff. Plonk an old lamp on an Ikea console and you would be surprised how it elevates it. Everyone thinks the consoles in my house are from B&B Italia – nope-just Ikea but it’s the things that you put on them that then take it to another level.

Don’t go down the time trap. By this I mean thinking you will only be in space the shortest time, before you sell or re rent so it’s not worth doing anything. You won’t truly be able to feel at home unless you paint walls and surround yourself with stuff you love. We’ve decorated apartments before with the owners knowing they are going to move on in a years time – but a year is a year its still a long time. Once when shooting in the Middle East one of the team literally transformed her hotel room (we were there for like 3 weeks) adding candles, changing lampshades, adding throws. I remember thinking that’s a little crazy, but actually why not make a place that you are in for the shortest time feel more like home.

Add sheen – a shiny metallic leather cushion, a glossy side table, a vase it will add another dynamic to the space and help mix up the textures. Interior designers decorate in contrasts (contrasts as I say all the time create friction and the more friction the cooler the space).

Don’t match if you can help it. A couple of chairs fine, the same couple of lamps also fine but stop there. The more you match the more boring the space.

Its strange I know to show you an image of shelves rather than a whole room but it nails what I’ve been saying. Its the home of the designer Shaun Clarkson, and the mix is fabulous. The odd thing in pairs, the odd bit of vintage the odd bit of shiny. Chuck in a few tomato ketchup up bottles and its going to look bonkers right! Nope it looks amazing, check it out!

Photography Graham Atkins Hughes

Photography Graham Atkins Hughes

That is me done, I’ve got a team in shooting the house today so its a quick whiz to the gym and then the 2 M’s and I have to scrub up!


8 thoughts on “Top Decorating Tips

  1. So true about not going down the time trap. I made the same mistake. I was only suppose to live in my house for a year so I didn’t decorate. Bad! The whole time it felt like I was living in someone else’s house.

  2. Hello my name is Hatti. Just thought I would send a couple paintings into you to see what you think. I’m lucky to be able to paint full time and now have just launched into textiles. I live in Edinburgh in Scotland.Anyways LOVE your blog. It’s the truth to say it’s the only one I read. It’s so easy reading and it feels like you are just there chatting and showing us all these beautiful images. Thank you for your daily dose of wonderfullness! attached some pics of paintings and a taster of my new textiles as in cushions, lampshades, fabric. I do Giclee hand finished prints too. My first love is definitely painting though and that has been what has been feeding me!I know you get millions of emails but hope you get a sec to see this. Keep up the fabby work!Hatti

    Studio 10 & 11 | 2nd Floor Beaverhall House, 27 Beaverhall Road, EH7 4JE, Edinburgh | @HATTI_PATTISSON Hatti Pattisson

    Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 05:11:54 +0000 To:

  3. It’s interesting how you encourage contrast which creates friction. In feng shui, it’s recommended to balance out the yin and yang energies. At first it seems contrary to design, however, balance and friction seem to be the same. For example in feng shui covering hardwood floors (yang) with a yin element like an area rug creates harmony or in your term friction. I think you create the feel of a space and naturally you are doing feng shui.

    • Ah feng shui am I allowed to say I hate it. Worked on a magazine called feng shui for modern living as the interiors ed when I first came back to this country having lived in the States and some of the principles drove me potty. Turtles on window sills – beds facing certain directions – I guess there is a cross over but for me all those does and don’ts do me in. Far better I think to do whatever you want but that’s personal. Many people are big fans I realise that

      • You don’t seem like a by the book kinda gal–structure isn’t for everyone. I’m not into turtles on window sills either but the kiddos are into it. Love your courage with design! Happy Nesting.

  4. I love the “tips”! I’m amazed at the way you can put words to the specifics. Since “meeting” you, I am more able to analyze why a room works or DOESN’T work for me – and fortunately I gravitate toward the same things that YOU put into a room or design 🙂

    (The color blue – and shades thereof – really work for me, too! And I agree about feng shui.)

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