How to pick the right sofa?

Years ago, you would walk around a sofa store and try out the sofas that you are drawn to, sit on it to see if it is comfortable, look at the colour and pattern and order your preferred sofa and wait about six weeks for delivery.

I have worked with clients who, one of the first things I need to do is look for a new sofa even though the existing one is only a year old! Why? Well, the sofa did not look that big in that giant store! Said sofa arrives and is huge and does not work in the front room/ lounge!

Or the bright lighting made it look a different shade and when it arrived it did not work with the colour scheme. Pained to redecorate the sofa can go!

These might seem like obvious things, you would be amazed at how may people forget to take measurements of where the sofa will need to placed. This can lead to costly mistakes and disappointment.

Now there are sofa stores online, large department stores, bespoke options the list goes on….

Here are my top tips to put on your checklist when purchasing a new sofa:

1) Make sure you have taken measurements, width and depth

2) Allow for doors that open into living room

3) Order swatches of the fabric

4) Look at different options and styles

5) Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone of what you are used to

6) Colour is important – do you want the sofa to make a statement?

7) Pattern and texture of fabric give these careful thought

8) If you are buying online make sure to check out the specifications

9) Durability – easy clean and scotch guard to save your fabric from stains

10) If you can try drawing a scale plan to see how the sofas will work out:

https://www.smartdraw.com

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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! 

 

Want free tips and advice?  Sign up for our free monthly newsletter @www.sophielouisainteriors.co.uk – We’d love to hear from you! 

 

 

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.

 

For my free monthly newsletter & awesome freebie giveaways visit me: http://www.sophielouisainteriors.co.uk  & hit the sign me up button using your name & email!  If you would like to inquire about my services simply fill in the contact form.  Look forward to hearing from you! 

 

 

#7 Top Tips For Designing Your Bathroom

Bathrooms can be a tricky room to get right and yet everyone uses the bathroom! We all use them everyday from the people that live there to the guests that visit! Here are my top tips to help get it right and make the best out of your bathroom!

#1 Storage is key add as much hidden storage as possible to your bathroom and stack floating shelves to display everyday essentials that you use! Baskets under cabinets are a great idea. Also think about the types of material you use for your shelving; for example glass is reflective adding light and space to the bathroom.

wicker-bathroom-storage-bins-ideas-solutions-bathrooms

#2 Using colour in a bathroom should be well thought out. If you are unsure where to use it don’t commit and add colourful accessories with towels, bath mats, shower curtains etc. Subtle colours/ patterns work well in bathrooms especially if you are looking to sell down the line. Remember not everyone may like orange in the same way you do! But those bright orange accessories will lift that neutral scheme!

colourful bathroom blog

#3 Whatever the size of your bathroom go for mirrors! As large as your bathroom can take! You will make the space feel much larger and spacious, if you can get away with a full length as well as a mirror above the sink… Go for it!

bathroom mirror blog july

#4 Texture is another element that can create depth to your bathroom from wave tiles and gloss is light reflective. Mosaics create subtle interest in any bathroom and you can choose metallic or matt finishes.

bathroom blog tiles

#5 Artwork is often underplayed in bathrooms but adds great character! You can really personalise this space using artwork or cluster pictures!

bathroom blog artwork

#6 When choosing accessories make sure they are aesthetically pleasing and completely functional! They will finish your bathroom off and be on show so take time thinking what will work and look good! Think of them as bathroom jewellery!

bathroom accessories blog july

#7 Lighting is extremely important and shouldn’t be an after thought! Think about the style of lighting and position of the lighting at the beginning of the project! Dimmer switches are great in the bathroom and make sure if you would like to use a dimmer that the lighting you choose is dimmer compatible. If you have a contemporary bathroom have a think about LED mirror lights above the sink. Using spotlights give careful consideration to where you want them placed and how many! How bright the bulbs will be too! This is where that dimmer switch comes in to play!

cool bathroom lighting blog

Black & Gold

Black & Gold

Chain lighting
horchow.com

Faux fur rug
lampsplus.com

White table
kathykuohome.com

Ribbon Tile
cottageandbungalow.com

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Texture & Colour

Texture & Colour

Kain lighting
$57 – habitat.co.uk

Restoration Hardware wall art
restorationhardware.com

Bird home decor
$42 – oliverbonas.com

Linea flower arrangement
$41 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Home Interiors

Home Interiors

Flamant white chandelier lighting
$1,835 – flamantshop.com

Designers Guild flowered rug
$1,950 – occa-home.co.uk

H M beige throw pillow
$21 – hm.com

French clock
$64 – multiyork.co.uk

OKA white bouquet
$26 – okadirect.com

Motif furniture
kathykuohome.com

Home Interiors

Home Interiors

Flamant white chandelier lighting
$1,835 – flamantshop.com

Designers Guild flowered rug
$1,950 – occa-home.co.uk

H M beige throw pillow
$21 – hm.com

French clock
$64 – multiyork.co.uk

OKA white bouquet
$26 – okadirect.com

Motif furniture
kathykuohome.com