Sometimes it is hard to communicate what is in your head. You have an idea and yet when you try to apply it you end up with something that is far from what you wanted! That is where I come in. If you want a stunning interior or some simple advice on you current scheme please get in touch. I can help!
There are so many styles out there it can be hard to get across what you want. Please read on and absorb the information I have provided on various interior styles, past and present.
Please note, these are just to give an idea of colour, texture in various settings, there maybe a particular material or texture that stands out to you. My interior design style can be seen on the portfolio page.
The Neoclassical Interior
Welcome to the mid 18th century and the Neoclassical interior.
If you wish to introduce some
classical elements into your
home, try some antique tables
or a damask, silk
cushion or two.
Neoclassical interiors and architecture are inspired by the classical buildings of Greece and Rome. Interiors are ordered and symmetrical with silk damasks, intricate plasterwork and colour palettes ranging from duck egg blues through to deep red and golds found in the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
The Neoclassical interior is crammed with symbolism. Everything has a meaning. Plasterwork is like a finely iced cake!
In the British Neoclassical interior, doors are strong, polished mahogany. The French paint theirs to blend in with the wall colour.
Unless you have a period property this is not a look you will be able to create easily. It has the potential to look a little
cheap when incorporated into the wrong setting.
It is often thought that Interior design is about choosing co-ordinating cushions or about choosing the right colour for the walls to match the rug... It is much more than that. We are trained in construction, fire safety and have some knowledge of building regulations. We can be known as interior architects.
We are fully trained to read and
produce professional technical drawings such
as floor plans along with plumbing and electrics, elevations and section drawings.
We are fully qualified to understand wall construction and where and when they should
or can be removed.
We are trained to understand interior structures, materials and how, where and when to apply
I combine technical ability, spatial
awareness and creative flair to
create the perfect interior
There is nothing wrong with mix and match! Don't be afraid to be eclectic!
A successful interior is one that works for you and your lifestyle and not what the latest trends demand it
The Regency was the defining style of the last third of the 18th century and the early 19th. Named after the period of the Prince Regent (later George IV) this style is known for it's classical accuracy. The bones of the interior remain the same. Symmetry is still the order of the day, but colours become accurate matching those found in the ancient Roman interiors of Pompeii. Deep yellows, golds and reds all feature. Rope back chairs, urns and swagged curtains make up this interior.
Striped wallpaper is a major feature in the Regency
interior and colours range from deep reds to lighter shades. Papers can be mixed with damask patterns which makes it a rich choice. Best avoid unless you have a period home!
Again this is style which suits a period property. You need height and space to pull it off. However you can add elements to your home. Eastern cultures influence this period such as Chinese pattern and Indian motif. Ancient Egyptian style is also seen here.
Try a Chinese vase or some brass finishes against a dark surface!
1837 and Victoria is on the throne. As we go through this reign society begins to change. We no longer have a society divided by the super rich and the poor. We have a middle class who want an interior to be proud of.
The Victorian interior is a sharp contrast to the elegant styles of the Georgian period.
Victorian society rejects Roman and Greek ideals. The Victorian wants a home to show off.
Instead of the ordered classical schemes of the 18th century we now have a cluttered, busy look.
The interior is crammed full of rich fabrics and decoration. There is less flow then is seen previously. Colours do not have to be dark but the interior takes on a bohemian look.
A major element in the Victorian interior are plants. They are a very important part of a scheme. They greet guests, add an airy feel and hide a multitude of sins! The Victorians used them to hide a stained fireplace when not in use.
Want the look?
Try heavy velvets, balloon back chairs, gallery walls and plenty of accessories!
Oh dear. Somebody isn't happy! Since the introduction of the middle class. There is a need for affordable furniture. Up until that point furniture was custom made for the rich.
William Morris is fed up. He craves a time when furniture is unique and finely crafted.
The beginning of the 20th century brings us the Arts and Crafts movement. Homes are still full of decoration, however it is ordered and stripped back. Quality furniture, hand blocked wallpapers and one of pieces are given pride of place.
The home is not a place to fill with stuff. It is a place to celebrate quality, not quantity.
This a highly decorative look. It is a style that has re-surfaced in recent years with many shops stocking William Morris wallpapers and accessories. It is not the cheapest since wallpapers are hand block printed. But if you do love it, try a cushion or two or a framed piece.
It simply means ' New Art'. This style occurs around the same time as the previous style and Arts and Crafts does influence it to a certain degree. Both styles share a passion for well made, unique furniture. This style is lavish, over the top but certainly unique with it's mixture of flowing decorative forms and geometric pattern. This style was short lived due to the cost and it's outlandish nature.
Arts and Crafts
There are not many who can live with such a theatrical style. Limit this to cushions and the odd decorative accessory.
The Art deco period followed the first world war and takes influence from Cubism. Interiors are all about glamour and have a certain contradictory nature to them. Some interior display a wealth of outlandish colour and pattern yet some display a wonderful simplicity. The general look is mirrors, geometric patterns and symmetry along with a simple colour palette.
Art Deco continues to inspire today's interiors. Hotel styles are heavily influenced by geometric pattern and dark polished woods.
to the 1980s
Retro styles generally start from the 1950s and now includes the 1980s. It is usually trends which have come to be fashionable again and have a sense of nostalgia.
1950s. A post war style that takes on a positive attitude. Out with the old and in with the new! We're talking new everything. From buildings to state of the art materials, you name it the 50s has it.
Mustard Yellows and browns work with red and checkered floors. Plastic, formica and the Eames chair...
This room recreated from a V&A exhibition. Image belongs to blinklondon.com.
There are many fabrics and furniture styles that take their influence from the 50's. Love it or loath it, it is certainly an iconic style that will pop up time and time again.
We tend to think of
American diners and polka dot fabric when we think of the 50s. Whilst
this is a genuine look. It certainly doesn't represent the
British 50s interior.
Unless you are running an interior design museum or are completely obsessed with the 60s, it might be best to avoid the whole look and use some elements to bring a little colour into your life.
I love lava lamps and I think they cheer up any interior. They are a 60s icon and mixed with a bright armchair or some bold art prints, can make a striking scheme.
1 9 6 0 s.
The 1960s interior is similar to the 50s in many ways. However this decade sees a burst of colour unseen before. We're talking pinks, oranges, yellows and any other colour that comes to mind! Swirls and geometric forms mixed with the rainbow create a psychedelic effect.
The space age has begun and this influences the 60s interior. White plastic chairs and resin floors become popular choices.
What can I say... It's an interesting time. The 1970s are full of colour. When I say colour I mean yellow. And more yellow and of course some gorgeous shades of brown. We're talking brown carpets, brown walls and brown furniture.
Again this decade is very similar to it's predecessor. It has bold colour, crazy wallpapers and plastic is a key feature here too.
This decade is an acquired taste. Although it does have a following. 70s inspired papers are big business and plastic furniture is here to stay.
If you want to have this look then please, no brown carpets! Use wooden flooring. If you must have a shaggy rug then go for a subtle shade.
This wallpaper from
Orla Kiely is 70s
inspired and certainly
represents 70s style with the mustard yellows and olive greens.
Time to look at today's interior styles.
There are so many interior styles out there. Our design styles are forever changing and with so much choice out there it can be difficult to know what you really want!
Yes.. The 1980s was an extremely interesting time for everything. But interior design was on another level.
These images are not your typical household interiors but I have selected them as they incorporate many elements of the 80s style.
Colours were bold, not necessarily matching.Geometric patterns were
big and randomly placed. Glass bricks became very popular.
Neon lights and bright pinks were the order of the day!
Post modern design played it's part. Tubular steel furniture was a must
for a trendy interior.
Oh good grief. The swag. Windows were covered in these! Curtains and Austrian blinds were dressed like a theatre stage.
Chintz fabrics and garish colours were a must!
A more recent style. Hotel Chic is based on the idea of a luxury hotel chain. With a heavy use of beige and grey, textured wallpapers and drum lighting, this style is all about comfort and glamorous living.
Bedding is simple but excellent quality. Cushions are plump and sumptuous with silk and velvet finishes. Note the size of the bedside lamps; they are always over sized.
Reflective and mirrored surfaces make this look. Crystals and soft lighting are key. Heavily influenced by the glamour of the Art Deco period and often referred to as the Boutique Hotel Look. However this is incorrect. A boutique hotel can be decorated in anyway as long as it is unique and of a high standard. The design can incorporate any colour, style or design.
usually big and dominate the space.
Upholstered in expensive fabrics with nailhead detail.
Coastal interiors are timeless. Classic blue and white usually makes this scheme, however there is no set colours.
Panelling without beading, dark wood and hints of brass for an authentic captains feel or light/weathered wood for a beach look!
Lanterns, twine and natural, striped fabrics and papers
are must for this look!
For the best in coastal design,
check out The Hamptons in
An easy look to pull off. Ticking fabrics and heavy textures such as basket weaves and jute rugs will help.
Unpolished woods work well. Exposed brick
work is key. If you can't do that then there are plenty of brick effect wallpapers which will help you to achieve the look.
Fitted carpets don't work here.
If you have wooden floor boards, expose them. A sand down and polish would do wonders.
A simple style from the French countryside. Faded fabrics, simple furnishings and imperfect walls are essential!
Shabby chic as it has come to be known is the interior design style of Rachel Ashwell. It is a design stylish which is filled with light and simplicity. To me it is closer to rustic.
Shabby Chic is now recognised by the use of pretty floral fabrics, distressed painted finishes, French furniture and provincial touches.
If you want to achieve this look, keep your curtains and other soft furnishings simple. Take a trip to the auction and pick up some unique furniture that you can customise.
Keep silks and shiny fabrics away.
Natural fibres only.
To me rustic and shabby chic are nearly the same. To achieve the above, simply remove the florals and sugary shades!
Images from House & Garden.
I personally love this look. I think it takes patience to create an interior like
this. Auctions are great places for period furniture without the huge price tag.
You would be forgiven for thinking these interiors are Victorian or Georgian. However they're not dressed in a set period style. A traditional home appreciates the styles of the past and uses elements from different ages to create a period feel with being specific to a particular era.
It may have a Georgian sideboard sitting next to an Edwardian easy chair. Or a Chesterfield sofa with a tudor style footstool. It's elegant, comfortable and theres always something to discover!
This room is a particular favourite of mine. The colours, patterns and cultural touches create an extremely pleasing, comfortable interior.
It is a style that should evolve over time. You should always be adding to it with items that you genuinely love.
Eclectic interiors throw the rules out the window. (Or at least some of them.) That isn't to say that an eclectic interior isn't stylish or smart. Quite the reverse; they are the best kind. They are interesting, colourful and display a wealth of pattern and detail. Eclectic schemes are timeless and that's what I love about them.
Image from House & Garden
Gallery walls without being contrived.
Objects from around the world.
A mixture of period styles.
Comfortable and inviting.
During the 17th century trade to the Far East introduced porcelain and a new design style known as Chinoiserie to the Western world. Delicate, heavily detailed and extremely beautiful wallpapers, fabrics and china patterns were produced to satisfy the British market.
The style is as popular as ever with Chinese vases to suit all budgets. Wall treatments from hand painted panels to more affordable printed wallpapers continue to flood the market.
Furniture is lacquered with brass touches. Birds, butterflies and delicate foliage are hand painted on to any surface from trunks to interior walls.
If you want to see Chinoiserie at it's best then visit the Brighton Pavilion. It's a triumph of design.
I love Chinese vases. I think they work beautifully in any scheme, no matter what your taste. Teamed with some large faux flowers or leaves will have a stunning impact in any interior.
If you do love Chinoiserie as I do, then visit the V&A museum. Their Eastern galleries are fantastic. You will find a wealth of Oriental treasures!
Chinoiserie is a some what romantic idea of the Asian cultures. Chinoiserie as we know it was created especially for the British market. The general interiors of the Far East were not known to feature heavily decorated furnishings.
It is however a beautiful style and is a testament to the skill, craftsmanship and creativity of the Asian cultures.
Hmm. What a difference eh? Say goodbye to pretty. This is a straight forward, no nonsense design movement.
Industrial interior design is influenced by the bones of a building structure. Brick walls, timber and metal are heavy features of this look. Warm colours and textures make it stylish yet extremely comfortable. Image source: SHED Architecture & Design
Imperfections are celebrated here. Raw materials and functional furniture create quite a masculine look. If you want to soften it slightly, a deep pile rug or some brass finishes will help.
Image via fresh home
As the name suggests, this style originates from the Scandinavian countries. Naturally low on sunlight, these countries strive to create as much light indoors as possible.
Colour schemes can vary, yet white will always play a major part. Whether it is used at floor level or to cover the walls, it will help to bounce light around a room.
A Scandi room will function well and mixes it will comfort. Overall it is a fresh, stylish design with an effortless air.
Using an affordable design service doesn't mean your interior won't be amazing.
I will never copy another designers work. Not only is this unethical, it is completely unnecessary. I am fully qualified and I have my own classical and elegant interior style, to give you a timeless interior you'll love and can live with for many years to come!
I combine texture, colour and classical elements to produce my interiors. Please always refer to my portfolio for my unique style.