Whatever your interior design style, there are a few basic tips we can all follow to make the most out of our spaces. I spoke to my great friend and brilliant interior designer, Lisette Voûte, to ask those common questions we all have. You can read the full interview below or watch the video here.
I’d like to decorate my small cottage living room. I’d really like wallpaper but don’t want typical “chintzy” paper
Cottages typically have low ceilings and beams, they already feel quite busy in a small space so I wouldn’t put a busy wallpaper on – avoid big prints and bold patterns. Instead go for something subtle and soft so maybe a textured wallpaper like grasscloth or a silk or a subtle pattern like a marbleised wallpaper to keep it feeling light and airy and simple.
I wondered if you could give me any insight into what will be on trend in 2016 in terms of designs/colour schemes, particularly focused around the living room?
Pantone’s colours of the year are rose quartz and serenity which basically means an antique rose or faded red and a light blue and I think you can use that in lots of different spaces. They work really well together and you can play tonally with that so anything from red and dusty pinks through to burnt oranges and light blues and other kind of blues such as teals and light greens. They work beautifully together and it’s great for all seasons so the warm colours keep it warm in Winter and the blues keep it feeling fresh int he summer and warmer months.
We’re also seeing a continuation of the warm metals such as brasses, coppers and bronzes on door handles, hardwares and accessories such as brass bowls and lamps. It’s a warm colour and a lot cosier for a living space or bedroom than chrome and those colours you see more typically in kitchens and bathrooms.
How can I make a small room feel bigger and brighter?
Don’t be afraid to use bolder and brighter colours in a smaller room as it really brings it alive. Go for just the key pieces of furniture you really need and then if there is space for something else you can add it later – don’t overstuff or overclutter the room as it will make it feel smaller. Also go for as big a rug as you can fit in the room – something that will stretch the room in all dimensions, as a smaller rug will focus your eyes towards the small space. I love dotting lamps around the room – that makes it feel cosier and lighter. If there’s not much space then go for wall lights. Finally, mirrors are great for reflecting light and enlarging a space so hang them over fireplaces or side tables.
How do I decorate a coffee table?
There are a few elements I like to use. I love a stack of coffee table books and I love to use something green and organic to bring some life and freshness to the room so think about plants and flowers. I love artificial ones and OKA are brilliant for this – they look so amazing these days and you can’t tell the difference and then you have it year-roound. I also love candles, they’re brilliant for adding ambience. Finally, think about an ornanment or two on top of the coffee table books or dotted around – they add another texture to the room, so where you usually have wood furniture and upholstery, it adds some ceramics or glass and breaks it up.
I have a very narrow hallway with shoes everywhere! How can I make this tidier with little space?
I recommend using baskets or get a big basket and make it a habit to throw your shoes in it to keep it tidy. You can also tuck them into a narrow console table against a side wall or a narrow bench. Benches are handy as you can throw your handbag on it and slit on it, take your shoes on and off and slip your shoes underneath and similarly with a console table and you can dress it up with a pair of lights over it and maybe a mirror to help reflect the space and make it feel larger and smarten up what’s otherwise a narrow, boring space.