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Fiona Barratt interiors was founded in 2006 and designs high-end, international residential and commercial interiors.

Fiona Barratt 1

Her philosophy behind creating fluid and elegant spaces is that they are born of understanding the aspirations of the client, the relevance of the location and maximising the potential of the existing elements of the space.  Then add in imagination and vision and the result is an interior that tells a story in relation to its location, the consideration of the four walls in which it exists, and most importantly reflects in essence the client’s individuality…

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A successful interior should enhance, not dictate the way you live“.

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 And as if these beautiful interiors don’t keep her busy enough, Fiona is opening her first retail store in London in June on the Pimlico Road called FBC London.

I think it’s time to take a fresh look at laminate flooring.

It’s major advantages of course are that it’s quick and fairly easy to install (anyone with moderate DIY skills can do it) and it’s inexpensive.  It’s also hard-wearing and if installed correctly, it can look almost as good as the real thing.

Topps Tiles Laminate Flooring 1

And while you’re at it have a look at the laminate flooring at Topps Tiles.

I’m rather partial to the darker tones as seen above.  In fact I have similar flooring at home.  I think it adds a real warmth to the room and looks great with neutral and paler colour schemes.  Looks even more stunning with white!

Topps Tiles Laminate Flooring 4

And I love the sawn effect oak above.  Notice the deep skirting boards and remember to always lay the skirting boards on top of the flooring for a really professional look.

Topps Tiles Laminate Flooring 3

And don’t we all dream of white-painted boards on the floor?  How many of us have boards in good enough condition and the patience to continually re-paint.  Laminate floors could be the answer?

Topps Tiles Laminate Flooring 2

They don’t have to be wood effect either.  These slate effect boards are just perfect for a kitchen or bathroom.

For tips and instructions on how to lay laminate flooring visit DIY Network.

Do you ever wish you could wave your magic wand and a team of elves would descend and turn your home into your dream home?

Well, they may not be elves but the team at Increation can certainly take care of the designing, the planning, the project management, the building, the plumbing and especially the cabinet making. From visualising the big picture, to finessing the small details; you hand over your home to them and they hand it back to you; finished.

Established a little over ten years ago by Vincent Cullane, an experienced and dedicated cabinetmaker and furniture designer, they now offer bespoke kitchens and bathrooms as well as the full interior designer service and don’t the pictures just speak for themselves?

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*Sigh*

Dutch by Design

January 18th, 2013 | Posted by deardesigner in Celebrity Snoop | Interior Design - (2 Comments)

Do you ever wonder what the homes of the big names in design look like?

Well, this is a glimpse of the home of Casper Vissers and his wife Suzy.  Casper is the co-founder of Dutch company Moooi and the house is in Breda, the Netherlands.

Casper Vissers co founder of Moooi via Elle Decoration 1

I love the quality of light and the view from the dining room window is to die for.  I’m quite partial to some clipped hedges.

Casper Vissers co founder of Moooi via Elle Decoration 3

The house has some wonderful period features and the addition of the more contemporary Moooi designs just seems to highlight the mouldings and the ceiling roses.

Casper Vissers co founder of Moooi via Elle Decoration

Its also a good lesson in the use of a restained colour scheme.

Casper Vissers co founder of Moooi via Elle Decoration 4

The full story can be found on Elle Decoration.

 

Styled by Tatjana Quax; Photography by Inga Powilleit

 

As I look out of the windows at another grey miserable day I feel blessed that I have a room in my house where plants will flourish.  Building a conservatory on the back of the house was one of my better decisions, and it is always filled with light even if it’s only for a few short hours at this time of the year.

Just take a look at these lovely images from Finnish website Ullamaija Hanninen and then try to imagine them without the green.  They would still be undeniably handsome but it’s the living, breathing plants that really make the rooms so inviting.

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I can’t promise you that plants will look this good in every room in every house.  They do need lots of light to look this green and healthy but just try to add one or two to a window ledge and see how they brighten up your day.

I have just fallen in love with the Californian home of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith!

Designed by Architect Stephen Samuelson, it is full of intimate spaces, organic forms and handcrafted details.

I think it’s the views that really grab you.  Every room seems to be designed to take in those glorious vistas.  From waking up to sundown there is a little nook for drinking in all of that fresh air.

For more photographs and details of the house head over to Architectural Digest.

Photographs by Roger Davies.

Make an Entrance

October 4th, 2012 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (5 Comments)

I played around yesterday with a few concepts for the Barn entrance hall.  I think this is my favourite concept.  The room is not enormous; it has a flagstone floor and quite a lot of wood;  wood beams, a solid oak door and a rather handsome chunky wood staircase.  I wanted to avoid the obvious oak country furnishings and instead create something altogether more glamorous.

I think the silver tones are a good antidote to the brown, and the oversized mirror creates quite a statement as well as being practical.  I chose this console table because it echos both the curvy French furniture of the master bedroom and the metal touches in the lounge.  The coat hooks are a bit ‘hunting lodge’ and the skulls (yes, again!) are just a bit of fun.

It’s good to have something unexpected in an interior scheme, don’t you think?

Sources here.

Steven Gambrel established his New York-based design firm, in 1995, only three years after earning an architecture degree at the University of Virginia. He has a passion for timeless, comfortable houses that improve with age and it clearly shows in his portfolio.
All of his projects share a classical sensibility with an individual mix of modern and traditional furnishings, which he often designs himself, from custom sofas and chairs to rugs and accessories.

Steven Gambrel

Never was the saying ‘first impressions count’ more true than in the hallways of our homes.  It’s the first room that visitors see and it should reflect our tastes and be an introduction to the things to come.  And yet, it’s often a neglected space.  Cluttered and forgotten and the last room on the list of importance when it comes to decorating.

It is possible to create a practical hallway that’s also beautiful, so here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

Make sure the hall table has practical storage space too.  Deep drawers to hold all the things you need just as you head out the door and to drop things into as you come home.  It can be beautiful too and should reflect your taste and needn’t be expensive. 

A place to put keys.  They don’t have to be on show.  A pretty box will hide them nicely and make them just as accessible as dropping them on the table.

Somewhere to hide the coats.  I’m not really a lover of coat stands or hooks no matter how decorative they are.  In my mind coats should be stowed in a cupboard so if there’s no room in the hall for this then sorry they should go elsewhere.

Make sure there is a handy mirror.  Choose one as large and as gorgeous as possible.  It will reflect light and be in just the right place to make last minute touches to the hair and makeup.

Choose a practical floor but soften it with rugs to add colour and pattern.  Nothing adds personality like a beautiful rug.

Use the walls.  If there is one thing that there is enough of in a hall its wall space.  Create a gallery of favourite pictures and mementoes.  It will give visitors something to talk about too.

If you have the room a chair is handy.  Somewhere to perch while you pull on the boots.

Don’t forget the lighting.  A practical overhead light is great for the times when you need lots of light but I also think the soft glow of a table lamp is softer and more relaxing.  I hardly ever turn mine off.

 Create a welcoming feel with flowers and scent.  Just a couple of blooms in a pretty vase will make all the difference and a diffuser is the most practical way of creating a subtle scent to greet you and your guests on arrival.

And don’t forget that the hall is a transitional space so if you fancy a strong colour or a loud pattern you will only have to see them for short bursts of time.  So go ahead.  Add some personality and wow your guests.  You only have one chance to create that all important first impression.

Image sources: Decorpad, Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, Russell Smith, Houzz

You may remember that last year I stayed with the wonderful Maryam from My Marrakesh fame at her beautiful guest house Peacock Pavilions just outside of Marrekesh.

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At the time I couldn’t post about the interior of Maryam’s amazing home because it was soon to be photographed for Elle Decor.  But the issue is out and so now I can!  So drink in all this gorgeousness and believe me when I say that the photographs, beautiful as they are, still don’t do it justice.

This is just a small corner of the main sitting room, looking through to the dining room.   The centre of the room has a large indoor fountain that is filled with roses.  This is where we sat as Maryam revealed the secrets of Moroccan design and shared the provenence of her collections. 

The terrace is where we had breakfast each day.  A feast of fruit, yoghurt and homemade tarts and bread.  A huge olive tree that was in situ before the house was built offers welcome shade.

Every single corner of the house is filled with treasures and objects of interest.  Every story is incredible and awe inspiring.

I like to dress the pieces (furniture) up with throws and belts and beads and sometimes a combination of everything,” she says. “I have a very fashiony approach to design.”

Isn’t this corridor striking?  It looks out onto the pool.

And this is Maryam’s bedroom, which we didn’t actually get to see but looks exactly as I would have imagined it.

And if you do decide to visit Peacock Pavilions, which I cannot recommend highly enough, you may get to sleep in the guestroom above.  If you don’t, worry not,  every guest room is equally stunning.

You can read the full story of how Maryam and Chris created this beautiful retreat over on Elle Decor and if you are craving more tips on Moroccan design Maryam has a book out coming out called  (Marrakesh by Design, published by Artisan Books, available mid-May).

Personally, I can’t wait to go back!

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