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Better Red Than Dead

Red – the colour of the vamp, the badge of royalty, the signal for danger. How many different moods and atmospheres can one colour provide? An almost endless variation of shade means that this colour can be used anywhere and everywhere whether in wallpaper, fabrics or paint. But there is a caveat. For most homes, …

African Sun

On a grey November day it is heartening to look at fabrics and furniture that reflect the heat of the Savannah or the red dust of the desert on the African continent. The obvious colours to fit these reflections on a hot clime are the yellows of the sun, the orchres of Turkish pottery baking …

Tweed Indeed

For most people the idea of tweed is linked with the inimitable Miss Marple’s country crime solving attire or crusty old men out on the moors with their handle bar moustaches and gun dogs. Actually it is a brilliant flexible fabric design so varied and versatile and suitable for almost any interior design project. In …

Lincrusta

Plain painted walls are wonderful but what do you do when the room will just look flat or overwhelmed by acres of colour? A good solution is to break up a solid colour by introducing texture to the walls. The Victorians used Lincrusta (a linseed based thick wallpaper) to cover their walls. I think you …

Terracotta

The bright warm tones of the Mediterranean can be seen in the strong earth tones of terracotta and ochre. These colours have not been used in recent years but they do form a useful function in today’s designs. Looking afresh at terracotta, there are many ways of introducing this strong colour and using it to …

Into The Woods

As we approach autumn we think of making our homes cosy and welcoming using warm and sympathetic materials. Try thinking of bringing the outside into the home by using the themes of rural life, the natural products from the trees and animals around us as inspiration to decorate your home. In this way wood provides …

Velvet the queen of fabrics

This sumptuous fabric has been a long term favourite in traditional homes. Its lustre and glamour can transform the humblest piece of furniture into a eye-catching piece. It can be used in both a modern and historic setting as it comes in such a range of textures and colours. It is difficult to go wrong …

Mustard

The sharp, stingy taste of mustard on a ham sandwich brings the blandness of the humble offering alive adding a lively piquancy. In the same way a dash of mustard in a design scheme can draw the eye, thus perking up the less intrusive tones around it. It was in fact a favourite colour in …

Weather Forecast

The world of meteorology can be an inspiring place for a designer. Starting with the sun. The bold motif of the bright gold summer symbol can add lustre and warmth to a room. The sunny hues of Lancaster yellow by Farrow and Ball bring to mind the light of an English June day. If you …

Decorating With Teal

Teal is a strong colour that is never too overwhelming but adds a lot of modernity to any space. It is a sophisticated shade that lifts a room from the dull to the exciting. Unlike blues, this petrol tone will be cosy and suit any room. The paint shade to use on a wall would …

Introducing Floral

In spring and summer we like to move to put floral prints in our homes. Depending on the type of print, a floral pattern can add a homely and inviting atmosphere or with a dark modern print you can add drama and moodiness to the space. A small ditzy pattern is associated with the vintage …

The Fireplace

The fireplace is often the heart of a traditional home. It can add elegance, history and charm to a living area.The fireside is a place where family will gather in the winter to share special events and the glowing hearth gives warmth and an ambient light to the room. As well as a decorative hearth …

Ginger Spice

Orange has always been a bit of a difficult colour to add into home design. This was mainly because the choices of fabrics and decorative items tended to be too bald and flat. With the revival of a sixties vibe, paint manufacturers and fabric houses have created a vast number of new variations on the …

Lace

Lace is a romantic and glamorous fabric usually associated with clothing design. However the intricate nature of the woven floral pattern has been used to great effect in interior design both in wallpaper and curtain making. Mathew Williamson’s Orangery wallpaper from the Belvoir collection combines the tracery of the lace with a contemporary sensibility. He …

Paisley

Paisley is a classic Bohemian print. Used in shawls, its distinctive tear drop shape originated from Persia and was adopted by the Hippie era, the Beatles in shirts, ties and scarves as well as the fashion houses of today such as Etro and Gucci. Starting life in the silk routes and by way of the …

Gold Lighting

The most dramatic and rich colour in the metallic spectrum is gold. It has been valued for its glitter and durability throughout the ages. This is an element which works best as an accessory or a contrasting feature within a decorative plan. When used in lighting design, it gives a textural contrast to the fabric …

Rugs

Rugs are an easy way to bring design and texture into your room. The trend to use wooden floors has meant that rugs have become a necessary item to add to your scheme to give that sense or warmth and colour into an otherwise bland setting, perfect to make a focal point and enhance any …

Antique and modern

The look that Louise Swarbrick Design is known for regarding interior decor is that of mixing the modern with the historic. Working in many period houses, we have been able to enhance the architectural features and provide a light airy feel that we associate with today’s every day living. Owning an older property can bring …

Wicker don’t snicker

The love affair with wicker furniture is generally thought to date from the Victorian era when conservatories came into fashion and the relationship with Indian colonial life influenced the interior design of the day. Subsequently it has faded in and out of consciousness. It had an iconic moment in the film Emmauel when the popularity …

Green

Green has never been a colour that has gone out of fashion. But in the last two years it has become a favourite amongst both the trend setters and the traditionalists. We are particularly taken with the range of dark green tones available both as paint and wallpaper as well as deep green velvets in …

Gingham

The enduring appeal of gingham means that using this simple design will forever be on trend. Traditionally to be seen in kitchens gingham has been upgraded and moved into the sitting room and bedroom. In a children’s bedroom this cheery fabric comes in lots of pastel shades to add interest in both curtains and blinds …

Navy Blue

One of the key trends for 2018 was the use of dark blue as a neutral tone. This was particularly commonly seen in kitchens and proved to bring a sense of crisp naval chic to this area. Dark blue cabinets were used in our project here in Cambridge where we designed a funky kitchen for …

How To Create a Muted Tribal Interior

The trend of taking African motifs into the home has been around for a while. In the past this style has been associated with strong earth colours such as browns, oranges and tans. This combination suggests the heat and vibrancy of the African continent. This look is beautifully set off against dramatic African sculpture and …

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