Mixing Up Pattern & Colours


Mixing different patterns and textures is a great way to create an eclectic feel to your room.

When making decisions on furniture have a think about using a fabric that is rich in colour and try different patterned cushions.

Some of the best design projects I have worked on my client loves the idea of using rich colours that make a real impact.

If you don’t feel confident investing in a sofa for example that is in a rich bold colour – you could try using cushions that you wouldn’t normally go for and go for bold!

If you are questioning the heavy patterned wallpaper you love and think it might be too much?  Try a feature wall or you could create large pictures using the wallpaper of your dreams and frame in different sizes from large, medium to small to make an impact!  Try using interesting and unusual frames for impact!

You can have some real fun and by doing things like this it will help build your confidence to go with what your gut originally told you to go for!

This is a concept design for a clients’ living room and it is a range of subtle and bold and mixing things up!

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How To Make My Room Feel Bigger?

How to make my room feel larger?

This is a common question I get from my clients’.  I often see on selling sites “Bargain Coffee Table & Dresser” – Brand new and asking usually about 80% of original price because the furniture is too big for the room!  Problem is that it is still classed as second hand!

This is where you always need to measure!  I have fallen short of this before too!  Many years ago whilst doing up my own home!  – A piece of furniture online can look so much smaller until you click on the specs and see that that cute armchair is actually huge!!!  When I measure up for clients’, I will use objects on the floor from cups to coasters to show how big a piece of furniture will be?  It can often surprise you either way. This is why it is so important to do such a simple thing.  Even worse is when you’re out and the showroom is huge and the furniture looks small in proportion!  This is when you need pen and paper and make sure you have those measurements down for when you return home!

Buying large items to make your room look big is the worst thing you could do! Let alone the cost of having to sell after at second hand price!  

Making your room look larger?

Scale back and first and foremost, I always go on about this but De clutter!  Get rid of everything that has no sentimental value or purpose.  Strip the room back to bare if possible.  Even if you do one room at a time by removing the furniture into another room whilst you do your prep work.  Sign up for my free monthly newsletter on tips on how to decorate the right way and in the right order! Saving you time and money whilst getting your room to look like you have had the Decorater’s in! – Simply visit: http://www.sophielouisainteriors.co.uk – Fill in the quick form and you will receive decorating tips, style tips, advice on designing different rooms, binge or good buy!  Monthly freebies that you will make you love your home forever more! 

Is your room a very light room?  Or is it dark and has little light throughout the day?  Often we tend to think if we paint rooms very light/white the light will bounce off the walls and your room will look larger!  Not necessarily the case!  Colours that are rich and warm will work well in making a room look larger!

Rich colours can actually make your room look larger, warm, creamy yellow can bounce back light.  Rich deep colours can make a smaller room into a room that really says “I’m here!”  In some cases painting the ceiling the same colour can work really well as can painting the ceiling a deeper colour to the walls. 

Using paint to dress your ceilings

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Deep blues, burgendies, yellows, rich greys, oranges, salmon pink greens etc.  Don’t be put off by greens by thinking ‘Bright bold green’. Think warm greens, sage, duck egg blue that can sometimes be more blue or green. 

When going for neutral colours that are warm and rich think; Calico, beiges, titanium grey, french grey, almond, rice, victorian white, cotton white.

Warm and rich colours 

Warm, inviting neautral tones

 Keeping the furniture & soft furnishings a similar colour to the walls! 

Keeping some of the furniture the same colour or curtains can help a room feel larger believe it or not!  The radiator cover in the picture below is a perfect example of this!  You could do the same for lamp shades etc!  Accessories the list is endless but will have the desired outcome!  Another idea is to use nests of tables so they can be brought out if necessary but put back together under one table!  Great for small rooms!


When you can’t make room on the floor – Go up!  Think floating shelves – Built in shelves!

Make your way upwards in your room if it is very small and use shelves, corner shelves, built in shelving!  You can build upwards!  Making the use of the space you have utilising your walls!  Remember that if you are using your shelves for decorative accessories then go for ones in similar colours to the walls!  This will create an optical illusion. 



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How To Get Your Home Ready For Christmas? Christmas Decorations?

Panic!  Where has the year gone again?

How are we going to fit the in-laws in comfortably or your brother or Great Aunty Jean who checks every area for dust?  Don’t worry, there are plenty of ideas and top tips to help you cope with this Xmas phobia!  The feeling of dread looming at the lack of time left and the preparations ahead! 

Firstly and it’s the obvious one!  De-clutter!  Go through all of the rooms, children’s rooms if you have them and go through the drawers and remove clothing that doesn’t fit anymore or pyjama’s that look like ankle bashers!  Be brutal and have a good clear out! Get rid of the lotions etc that you still haven’t used from Great Aunt Jean’s visit last year! 

Simple changes to a room where guests will be sleeping?  Simply paint, update furniture that isn’t overly expensive.  A new rug can change a room significantly and update bedside lamps too!  New pendant light? 

By doing this you have made a quick update or simply in the picture on the right you have decluttered and added white chairs instead of cream.  Stained the table so it looks light and airy.  These are really reasonable ways of updating what you have already and utilizing it!

Clean bathrooms and make sure you have easy wipes to hand as there will be high traffic and you’ll find you need to keep on top of the cleanliness!


Storage Ideas

For the items you need to keep and want to out of the way and not look at?  Use trunks or blanket boxes.  The blanket boxes can have a few scatter cushions on them to make them a feature. 


You can use these in all of your rooms from your bedrooms to lounge and office!  They help store items you need but don’t really wish to display. From paperwork to toys!  The list is endless as to what you can use them for.  A coffee table is a great way to use one!  It does two jobs!  You can have your drinks on there and a couple of books or magazines whilst hiding all of that clutter. 

Guest Rooms – Unexpected Guests

They had no intention of staying but somehow its worked out you need to use the guest room or make one up.  Keep calm!  Make sure you have clean sets of spare bedding, duvets and pillows.  If you don’t have a guest room, invest in a blow up bed and pump so you can fit guests in to your home.  Invest in some reasonable duvets and pillows and you can’t go wrong! 


Christmas Decorations 

This is the fun part and if you’ve done the above and decluttered you should follow suit with the decorations!  Sometimes less is more!  You can decorate most of the house using really unusual pieces that add understated wow power! 

Simplistic, gorgeous decorations!  The green pearl cross, Birch light Trees and Star Jute Sack all from: http://www.rocketstgeorge.co.uk 

I love these trees that come in bright or neautral colours that add a touch of fun!   All available from: http://www.rocketstgeorge.co.uk 


The beautiful Eucalyptus and winterberry garland and the white silver birch available from: http://www.thewhitecompany.com 

These are so stunning and understated.  Once you’ve had a good clear out of all of the rooms take a look at your Xmas decs and look to accessorise with them!  Have some fun with using decorations you may not have used before.  You can still keep your scheme traditional without it being garish.  Go shopping for decorations like you are shopping for accessories for your home and you won’t go too wrong!  

Above all – Enjoy planning!  Do it in stages so you don’t feel overwhelmed get a pad and write down what you want to achieve in each room and set about it in stages. 

Enjoy your Chrismas, guests and your home with new decs!  Plenty of good food and wine!  Have a wonderful time! 


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Why Hire An Interior Designer?

What can an interior designer do for me?


A good interior designer will bring a huge amount to the table from; where you need to start. Colours that work and why, furniture suggestions, spatial planning, soft furnishings, window treatments and accessories to name but a few!  Troublesome rooms, inspiration at a time you feel like throwing that interior magazine away that you thought would save the day!  When you feel overwhelmed with what is available and don’t know where to start little own finish!

Listen to your designer!

A good designer will always listen to you and your thoughts about what you wish to achieve.  At the same time it is really important that you listen to your designer when they explain why something will or won’t work!

I will always do my best to bring out of my client who says “I have no idea what I want but if you show me I will”.

Often most clients do have a good idea of what they like and dislike and by asking specific questions, I am able to get a clear idea from the client which way we need to proceed.

Sometimes a client will say “I know what I want but I can’t put it in to action” or sometimes my clients need confirmation that they are on the right path!

A good interior designer will show you how to put these ideas in to practice if you are looking for concept design only.  Or if you’re looking for a designer to run a full project design.  This is where your designer will get as much information from you as possible, measure all of the rooms that you wish to have designed.  They look at spatial planning, what will work and fit the space.  They will show you different finishes from  flooring to paint and soft furnishings.  They will come up with ideas for those tricky windows!

Interior designers are always trying to save their client’s time and money through not making costly mistakes.  They will set a timetable of work and order so nobody who isn’t meant to be there is on site.  They will make sure that the correct order of work is adhered to.  Liase with all of the contractors and will always either have a great team of tradesman or subcontractors that they work with.  They have a vast base of contacts that can make things happen where not thought possible!

Full Project Design

Your designer will work through all the stages of work with you.  If you are making changes that need to be completed at the beginning, for example any structural work to be done, knocking down walls, making the floors level, chasing electrical wires, changing sockets, adding new ones, switches, plastering etc.  Lighting is crucial to address at the beginning and should never be an after thought.  The layout for the lighting should be completed at the beginning of the design.  Then they will discuss the timeline with you for decorating, flooring, ordering goods, lighting, artwork & accessories.

All of the above take time and planning!  TV shows that give the impression the above work can be being carried out in a few days or a week are not realistic and all of the above takes time and planning. Using a designer to keep track of all of the above is a huge weight off of my client’s minds.  They are kept up to date without the stress of making sure which tradesman should be there and when. Items those are faulty and need to be returned and replaced.  I always allow a contingency budget for any project.  Unforeseen problems are dealt with quickly and this leads to the client enjoying the design process and their experience.

Finishing Touches

Once all of the above is implemented then the furniture items can be put in place, lighting and accessories to finish off the scheme. This is when the whole process comes together and you will see the scheme that you have dreamed of!  Sit back and enjoy your beautiful home!  This is what makes designers happy!  The tangible feeling that their client loves their new scheme/home.


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How To Design A Bathroom?

When designing your new bathroom it is very important to give a great deal of thought  to the type of bathroom you install as these rooms will have high usage.  They will withstand a huge amount of traffic and are looked upon to give us the get up and go in the morning we need as well as providing a place of relaxation!

There are a vast ranges of bathroom suites and products on the market.  We have mirrors that are designed to plug our phones into and play our favorite playlists with USB ports. You can watch TV if you should wish to?  It can feel overwhelming with the wide choice we have available to us!

william morris

This famous quote couldn’t be better applied when designing your bathroom!

We will all have different needs whether you are designing a family bathroom which, needs to be easy clean, durable.  An en-suite for a couple with twin sinks or you may like to incorporate a shower and a bath in your en-suite so when guests stay you can take that relaxing bath without visiting the main bathroom.









You may love the idea of a free standing bath but you can’t get it to work with the shower you know you need to make that quick start for work.  You might want a very deep twin sink unit but can’t fit this alongside the shower and toilet.  There are ways to get around these things.  Sometimes you may have to compromise and once you have a good idea of what you like you can start looking for products that are smaller, have less depth and you still get your twin sink!  You may have to have to have the free standing bath in the main bathroom and have a bath with a shower screen so you can escape in your en-suite.

When choosing a shower screen I would suggest you go for a clear or glass reflective screen.  This will make your bathroom feel bigger and if you are having to compromise down to space you will be very glad to maximize the larger feel to your bathroom.


The shower above has a glass reflective screen and you can see the impact this would have on making your bathroom or en-suite feel bigger.

Bathroom Accessories, Texture & Colour

Your bathroom should be a place of tranquility, you can use texture & form to create a wonderful visual interest whilst keeping it a relaxing environment.

You can use pattern and different types of tiles to achieve this. Tiles that have a wave running through them.  From a bathroom mirror to bathroom light fixtures these can provide unique and unusual lifts to your scheme.

Bathroom heating which, has come a long way can bring not only a practical but aesthetically can be a wonderful bathroom feature.

Think about what you don’t need and make a decision that it has no place in your bathroom!  Make sure you install heated towel rails in a place you can reach them after you get out of the bath or shower.  The shampoo and shower gel holder is in the best place to reach it.

Soft, warm and rich colours should be used to make your bathroom a place of relaxation.

Do you need to think about a rail for anyone using your new bathroom to hold on to?  There are a range of safety rails that look amazing and also cutting edge anti slip tiles for shower enclosures or wet rooms.

If you would like help or advice on creating the perfect bathroom get in touch through my website: http://www.sophielouisainteriors.co.uk

Also, a big thank you to Abode Bathrooms of Exmouth, Devon for all of the photos used in my blog.

Website: http://www.abode-bathrooms.co.uk




How To Pick The Best Grey Paints?

Grey doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast!  In fact I can see us still in love with it for many years to come.

Picking the best grey all depends on where you want to use it?  I used a warm grey recently in a North facing room and painted the ceiling the same colour.

The picture here is of a beautiful large size room but we don’t all have these large rooms and I’d love you to try changing a small box room into something quite different!  I dare you to paint the ceiling in a warm light grey the same colour as the walls.

It will give that box room an impact!  Accessorise in reds or yellows or if you want to keep it subtle use layers of dark greys and whites.

grey image

Take a look at the clever use of colour using a dark grey & breaking it up with white!  fun grey

I love this small bathroom using grey with splashes of red!  Red and grey make a bold statement and work really well together in small spaces that you want to make an impact on but are not sure how?  Keep it simple and it makes a killer statement!

grey and red

When deciding on what shade of grey to go for and believe me there are 50!  Think about what you want from this room?  Bold a little daring or do you want to use soft, subtle shades?  Are you looking for a relaxing place or a bold or vibrant feel? As you can see here the dark grey against the red looks fab in a small room.  Can a large space take such a dark colour?  Yes if it is broken up properly, white will always work well in doing this.

One of my favourite ways of using greys is with mink and copper or rose gold! This is what I would call a relaxing trendy yet warm scheme. Rose gold is very big this season and you can see why!  Copper hasn’t disappeared and is still being used!  It works well with lots of shades of grey but maybe not 50!

wordpress grey

When you go to the paint shop where they love to use those fluorescent  bright lights!  Take your sample towards natural light.  Better still select a few of your favourites and paint large swatches on a thick card if you don’t wish to have a stripey wall before you decorate!  Look at the colour in natural and artificial light at night.

Team up the colours with some fabric swatches if you have them, if not maybe it’s time to order some in. Start building a collage together and you should be able to pick out from there what you feel will work the best for the scheme you are trying to achieve.

50 shades

There are more than fifty!  I can promise you!!!   Have fun!

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