Christmas ideas - My top 3 tips to styling your home

I had the pleasure a few weeks ago to offer advice and contribute towards a lovely feature on Christmas which I thought I would share with you…..

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The Tree

The only time less is more is not appropriate. More is more. I have learnt over the years that there is a trick and personally I think it is no tinsel and extra lights. The top tip is to choose your baubles to compliment your interiors. As you can see from the images on the right the tree accessories tie in with the room. By doing this you create a theme.

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Lighting

Lighting is such an important feature to design and it can transform any space. Christmas is all about feeling warm and cosy when in your home. Pulling out the festive cushions, the faux fur throw and dimming down the lights. Mood lighting is key. Normally I would use table lamps and floor lamps to create a cosy feeling but at Christmas I use festive candles and novelty lights like pictured right.

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The Table

It is all about the table on Christmas Day!!! At the end of the day you are probably still sat there with a glass of wine so why not make the most of it. Designing and creating a beautiful centrepiece, decorating wreaths, adding little treats for the eye that are dotted around. For this I have chosen my favourite image from Pintrest to show you for inspiration. The blue and gold theme adds a touch of luxury, a real festive treat and yet so simple to re create yourself.

October already......Trends for 2019

Anyone else suddenly realised that 2018 is nearly over! Seeing Christmas decorations in the shops already has got me looking forward to 2019 and what the interiors trends are going to be. Thanks to Living etc they have summarised all the trends in a fantastic article but I thought I would share a few of my favourites.

Dark Kitchens

Dark Kitchens

From black, to dark blue. Kitchens are going even darker. We are loving this dark kitchen with the added dimension of the luminescence splash-back reflecting light in to the space. It looks so luxurious and inviting. Definitely a WOW factor!!

Brass Taps

Brass Taps

Brass is the new copper. This image shows the new brushed brass finish from Samuel Heath. It just screams luxury and we love it!

Fringing

Fringing

A revival!! Somehow it now seems feminine not ‘grannies attic’. Munna Designs have added extra chic and elegance into this fabulous armchair. Also have a look at the fringing on the footstools. Teamed with another trend of scalloped furniture it feels like we are back in the 80’s!!

Nude is the new Grey

Nude is the new GREY

We are all a bit 50 shades done now so this trend excites me. Nudes. Simple, calming and can be teamed with anything to create any look. The beautiful Raw Silk wall-covering from Zoffany is the perfect accompaniment to any home. Adding texture, depth and a slight sheen to a space.

Crittall Doors

Crittall Doors

If like me your Pinterest feed is filled with images like this. Whether it is bi-folds, room partitions, window frames or shower screens they are everywhere. Cant wait to implement some in some up and coming projects.

How do you create that look?!!

As you scroll through your Instagram feeds and see all those amazing interiors pics and perfectly designed spaces (they don’t always look like that) everyone always asks how do they do it.

I managed to create my own at the weekend which I thought I would share with you.

I have been trying to find an artist that could just paint what was in my head for a while and then I discovered the AMAZING Toni Thornton Art (Instagram - @t_thornton_art). Artwork not only brings in colour, ties together a whole scheme but it can also reflect the layout and make it symmetrical which is a key element to design. As you can see from the images below the artwork mirrors the cushions and flows up from the back of the sofa. They were measured perfectly to fit the space and were painted by Toni to tie in all the colours in the room making them truly bespoke and designed just for me. I am so happy with them and couldn’t recommend Toni enough. I can’t wait to use her skills for some of my lovely clients. Hope you can see why in the images below.

How would I design my own home?!!!

As a designer I always showcase images of how I design other peoples homes. But, I hear you all saying - how would you design your own?!! I have been working on this blog for what seems like forever using the amazing tool that is Houzz (life, work and presentations got in the way of blogging and social media) so I am finally glad I can share it with you. Please do bare in mind that this is all hypothetical. I would have designed the house from scratch to suit my layout and flow of the property and of course there is no budget. Sometimes it is nice to dream and just look at pretty pictures for inspiration (we all do it)!

I love textures in design, depth is vital and my favourite element has to be light. I never mind if it is natural light or created with layers of false light. Lighting can transform a space and as you look through the images you will see all 3 of these elements.

Enjoy xx

Link to Houzz - https://www.houzz.co.uk/pro/inspiriinteriors/inspiri-interiors

The importance of a Mood Board

Those that know me know I L O V E a good mood board!  The scheme on paper, before it is implemented, perfect in the designers mind where as in reality it is just the starting point.  Why.....I hear you all saying!  What is it that is so important about a Mood Board?

I find when designing a scheme that clients are better at saying no to something in a design even more so after thinking about it after a few days.  Pin pointing what they like is the tricky bit!  As a professional we are qualified to know how to design and how to put a scheme together.  By doing this on a mood board the client has something to take home.  Look at in the space.  See it in all times of the day.  Show friends, family, children.  Obtain the full approval!  That way they are completely part of the process.  I know the "turn-key" approach is the current in thing but how can you do that with someones home?  How can a client love it without any input?!  A mood board starts off the journey.  I listen, research and plan the space.  I then put together ideas of how I visualise the space and let the clients take it home.  Then the fun stuff starts when we go back to the drawing board and put together final designs.  It's a good job I love mood boards (you will see over the months how neat they have to be - I am a neat freak) as I can sometimes do three for just one room.

A mood board starts with colours, textures, fabrics (me diving head first in to a massive box of samples) and then follows with furniture, paintings, accessories.  The first part is always with actual samples, then I move on to the computer and the final board is a mixture of everything.  Below are a few images of how they start.  You will have to wait for MOOD BOARD MONDAY to see the finished article!

Should you wish to transform a room in your home and receive your own personal Mood Board then please give us a ring and see how we can help you.

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Putting fabrics, colours and textures together.

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Looking at just the soft elements to the scheme.

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Designing the layout of the mood board using Illustrator.  The blank boxes will be where the actual samples will be mounted.

Dales Life

We are back with a bang!!  Apologies for the lack of contact but I had a few weeks off with my other half.  Sometimes you just need to switch off a little and spend some time together in the sunshine.

Just before we went away I had been working on a new advert with Dales Life, OUT NOW!!  They have also written a fabulous feature all about me and Inspiri Interiors.  Thank you so much!  You can pick up your free copy pretty much anywhere or follow the link below to see the online issue.

I thought it was about time

It is easy to hide behind your computer or phone these days.  I have always been of the opinion that Interior Design is all about trust.  As designers we are qualified to deliver, create that perfect scheme tailor made for you and design your dream but I think it is all about trust.  To allow someone you don't know into your home to design something so personal.  If you don't trust your designer then there is no hope.  But no one has met me or even knows what I look like.  I'll be honest.  I have wanted to do this for a while now but as a typical female my headshot has taken forever!!  I just don't like any but this one is in a way the best of a bad bunch (ha ha)!!

I am a very open, honest and approachable person.  Having initially attended University in Newcastle I then worked as PA to a Financial Adviser while I completed my qualifications to advise.  Something was always lurking in the background and it certainly wasn't finance.  After an evening course in Interior Design I enrolled to complete a BA(hons) degree in Interior Architecture where I gained a 1st class honours.  Since then I have worked for a number of designers, learning, training, and growing and working on Villas in the Algarve to stately homes in Yorkshire.

I love my job.  I love helping people.  Creating beautiful designs for their homes is so rewarding.  Especially when you see your clients face when the project has completed.  That is what it is all for.

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Inspirational Interiors - A feature in Living North

Fabulous feature from Living North about Inspiri Interiors.  Have a read below or follow the link to their page to see the ful article.

After working around the world on interior design projects, Lucy Dufton decided to take charge and start her own company — Inspiri

Lucy Dufton has worked on projects around the world, from large villas to homes in Yorkshire. Now, she has founded her own interior design company, Inspiri, with a vision to offer clients an affordable service whether it’s a small project or a drastic transformation. We spoke to Lucy to find out more about Inspiri. 

How did you get into interior design?

It seems a lifetime ago now but I decided on a career change: I was originally working for an IFA, training to be a Financial Adviser but I had a sudden change of heart. I started with an evening course in Interior Design to ‘test the water’ and then the following year I had signed up to study Interior Architecture through Leeds Met. I’ve worked for a few different designers, ranging from villas in Europe to traditional homes in Yorkshire, getting brilliant experience. 

Why did you decide to start Inspiri?

It was just the right time. I have always had the ambition and vision to set up on my own and recent paths led me to taking the steps now. I was lucky enough to learn straight out of university from an award-winning designer who trained me with the idea I’d eventually go self-employed.

What is your approach to interior design?

I always approach a new project in the same way: listen and research. It’s always helpful for clients to have a visual of something that they like, whether it’s a picture from a magazine or online — it gives me a visual idea of where to start. You have to listen to the client, their needs and the purpose of the space. I don’t believe that interior design has to cost the earth, it can be kept affordable. My approach is that the client dictates what they like, as long as I get the right outcome and the client is happy, that’s all that matters. I then turn to the property and the styles the client likes. Once I start researching there will be a moment of clarity where you find something that is just perfect and then the rest just falls into place. I always think a design evolves over time. A mood board is a starting point where I’ll have everything from curtain fabrics to colour schemes, and then changes are made following meetings, new ideas or even new collections becoming available.

What is the process you go through with clients/where do you start?

I tend to start with an in depth consultation. We talk through the project and what the clients require, I find that clients are better at saying no to things than saying yes, so it’s best to present the client with ideas to get a feel for what they like and don’t like. Having the privilege to design someone’s home is all about trust. I try not to have a specific way of working so that I can be adaptable to accommodate the client’s needs and make the whole process truly bespoke. At the end of the day everyone is different and as long as you reach the final outcome of the perfect space designed for the client I don’t think it matters how you get there.

Do you have any rooms in particular that you like to design?

I don’t have any specific favourites. I do always like a drastic transformation on any room, a good renovation that you can really get your teeth into. I have recently completed a few projects with AR Jolly Kitchens in Brompton-on-Swale and the finished result from a team effort is very rewarding. Plus the heart of the home is always a kitchen!

A year on

So, a year on from what?!!  On the 12th April 2017 we embarked on our own renovation.  Just a little project!  We picked up the keys and the 1930's semi detached in serious need of updating was ours.  It had been a very well loved and cared for family home but needed bringing in to the current century!!  We bounced in to this project with so much enthusiasm but like anyone who has embarked on this journey it is not the easiest.  So I thought we would take a break from looking at the principals of design and tell you about the hard work and reality behind a renovation.

To see the project from start to finish please visit our Houzz page.

Both with full time jobs but with the invaluable help of family members the project began.  Within the first week the exterior ground floor walls were demolished, the floors were ripped up (houses of this era usually have hallow floors which needed filling up for the layers for underfloor heating), the old garage had been taken down, the garden levelled, everything inside ripped out and all by 2 and a half (me been the half) eager people.  We were flying!!  I was in charge of wallpaper stripping!!  Not the greatest of jobs but not much demolition for girls!  Weather was good, everything was on track, we even managed to have a little holiday.  Then the rain came.  What should have taken 3 weeks to build the extension took 6 and then the ripple effect started!!  The roofers weren't available, the plasterer was fully booked and we were a man down in labour!  We tried to stay positive but like any build the costs were going up and we were wondering if we were going to spend more than what the house was worth!!

As an Interior Designer I was always focusing on the end product, the Interiors, but "my pot" was quickly depleting!  I was so worried that we would run out and not be able to finish the house to the standard I was hoping for.

Finish dates kept passing us by (4 in total) and tensions were starting to show.  Everyone was absolutely exhausted.  As much as we knew this would happen I thought we were prepared (we watch a lot of Grand Designs) but eventually the house was in a "fit state" for us to move in.

Now a year on what are my thoughts?!!  Would I do it again, yes.  Would I change anything, yes.  Was it worth is, yes.  It may not be the forever home (would love to build a house from scratch and be on Grand Designs) but for now, what we have achieved in such a short space of time is phenomenal and we love it!  Yes it was hard work but we wanted to live in somewhere completely original.  Ours!  We had chosen it, designed it and built it.

A few tips to daring folk wishing to tackle a renovation.  Research, research, and research!!  Look at options, costs, lists, prepare and plan everything and then add on a bit more time and money and you should be fine!  See part of our journey below.

Another principal......Rhythm

I feel the second most important principal behind Interior Design is Rhythm.  This also includes Repetition.  This could include the same finishes featured through out a space and also repeating the same pendants over a kitchen island.  The sense of rhythm can help connect a space which when designing open plan living is vitally important.  As you can see in the image below from Houzz UK by Concept Interiors, similar tones in the textures, colours and fabrics are used throughout.  Splashes of yellow in each space tie all the areas together.  The same wood in the kitchen is then featured on the flooring in the living area all allowing the rooms to flow.

By following some of these simple principals when designing your space really can provide the wow factor.

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The method behind the madness

There are elements of my training that I could not do my job without and one of them is the 7 principals of designs.  I won't bore you with all of them but I will use my blog over the next few weeks to explain with an image why it works and how to put it in to practice.

I feel that the main two are balance and symmetry.  The image I have chosen below to show this is a favourite of mine.  I certainly cant take credit for the photography or even the designs but the style of this room is perfect.  The balance of the accessories on the coffee table, the symmetry of the table lamps, the cushions on the sofa mirrored with the artwork on the wall all contribute to why it works.  The colours and the items in the image may not be to everyones tastes but to understand the principal of the design can make it easier for you to adapt it in to your own home.  Try it and test it and see what you think.

Good luck!! x

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A new start.....

So....!!!  I never thought I would be a blogger but I have come to realise the benefits of what a blog can have.  Interior Design is such a visual industry that the person and the story behind an image is forgotten.  I intend to change that for myself and my business.  Not only do I want to inspire people to create that beautiful space in their home, I also want to try and show everyone how to do it themselves.  The "tricks of the trade"!

Interior design is all about trust and how can you trust someone you don't know.  I hope my blog will teach you, inspire you and introduce you to me.  My style is very different and through images, posts and updates you will start to see what Inspiri Interiors is all about.

Happy reading :) x