Wake up to a happy home: how to design a feelgood house | Interiors


A mirror brightens every room: Emil Humbert, designer

A good place to start is to bring natural light into dark spaces. Mirrors can make a huge difference in a room. Mirrors placed near windows at an angle perpendicular to the window will reflect light more deeply into the room and bring a reflection from the outside in. The mirror can be placed on the opposite wall to create the illusion that there is an additional window. A mixture of styles and tints creates a warm atmosphere. We create our own contemporary designs – often in brass – and place them alongside the many antique mirrors from all different periods we find in the flea markets of Paris.

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Style your drinks

Every decent decorator will tell that a good front room should have a place for your G&T no matter where you may be sitting. You can also invest in side tables such as the one below. Beata Heuman, which doubles as a place for books, bijoux objets d’art, an extra lamp or, better still, a handy spot for your own dedicated, mood-lifting minibar.

‘See what you are drawn to’: Lucinda Chambers, designer

Lucinda Chambers at her home. London. August 2018‘See what you’re drawn to at markets, carboots and secondhand’: Lucinda Chambers at home in London.Photograph: Sophie Green/The Observer

You needn’t conduct a major overhaul, just a tweak, rearrangement or new addition can change your space. With shelves, imagine you’re creating a collection. Start with the most beloved item and work your way up. They needn’t match, but connect through colour, textile or print. I’ve just rearranged my main shelves; they are full of brown and cream midcentury pottery, and lots of white. Don’t be afraid to rummage through the attic to see what might now make a reappearance. I just found my old wooden shoe lasts, which are now on display. Avoid being a snob, things don’t need to be valuable: see what you’re drawn to at markets, carboots, secondhand. Remember that a piece of furniture you have put down does not need to be its final resting place. Pieces are in conversation with each other – move them and the topic will change.

Storage solutions that are more efficient and box-friendly

The satisfaction of good storage makes working life more serene and seamlessly productive – meaning you’re happier in the end, too. Instead of being bland and boring, consider something that has decorative flair. Harris & Jones Collaboration with British designer Cressida BellBox files and storage boxes with striking, bold and exuberant designs


Remodel your bathroom

Flock to it: an inspiring bathroom interior as featured in Wonderland by Summer Thornton.You will love it: a bathroom interior that inspires as shown in Wonderland, Summer Thornton

Think luxury, comfort, and decorative objects. You can find small, glass-fronted cabinets on Facebook Marketplace. You can paint the shelves or use bobbin-detail wood shelves to hang unguents and ornaments. You can complete the look by purchasing a portable light. PookyYou can choose a pretty color so that you can turn off the bright spotlights in your bathroom when you are doing your nightly routine before going to bed.

Sketch has dropped its pink walls

Follow the Parisian queens’ lead and give your living space a lift. India Mahdavi. In 2014, the interior designer transformed the walls of Sketch’sGallery restaurant “millennial pink”It was the most photographed interior of London. Now, she’s reimagined the grand space with a textural, copper-hued de GournayWallpaper and a paint ton she calls “Mandarin au Lait”This cleverly coordinates well with the Yinka ShonibareDutch wax batik patterns that decorate the walls. It’s so warm and delicious-looking it practically glows. You can recreate its milky orange hue at home by copying the hue Mahdavi created in collaboration avec paint specialists Mériguet-Carrère in Paris, then frame and hang some of the silk bandanas Shonibare created for the Tate… et voilà! You’ll have your own personal Sketch at home.

Get stoned

Rock of ages: combine stones with essential oilsCombining essential oils with stones is the rock of ages.

You’ve heard of the healing power of stones and essential oils, but combining the two is the double-dose way to relax. Put an amethyst or soothing sodalite set in your room for a blissful start and finish to your day. Norfolk Natural LivingCrouchers for your nightstand. It’s an eco-conscious brand founded by an aromatherapist, with everything ethically sourced.

Doormats needn’t be dowdy

You can easily refresh your hallway by getting rid of old, stale brush mats. Instead, let your bolder taste shine through with a bright and breezy design. HAYDesign that demonstrates the fashionability and versatility of stripes. For a mood-boosting step over the threshold, you can either match or clash with your existing decor.

A tulipiere blooms marvellously


Flowers are a great way to spread joy. The Dutch upper classes of 18th-century Holland were inspired by the design book. Host HomeThe classic tulipiere vases have been updated by modern designers. The tulipiere is a traditional way to display rare fauna and flora. It can be placed on a sideboard or window sill, or even on a shelf at your desk. It will instantly elevate your mood and last a long time.

Night sky: Bring it in

It is a national obsession that sleep is a priority so it makes sense to have bed linen that looks like the night sky. You will love these dreamy sheets TeklaComforters in midnight colors from velvety comforters CaravaneWe are here to help you enter nocturnal bliss.
teklafabrics.com; caravane.co.uk

Martin Brudnizki (interior architect) Frame to Enhance

Good art can communicate a lot more than all the curtains, lamps and chairs you have spent months choosing. It tells us a story, reminding of where we bought it and the people who shared it with us. When it comes to framing, treat the frame as you would fabric on a chair – it should enhance the work of art. Handmade pieces with natural finishes look better than glossy, plastic-looking blacks or whites. Also, subtle curves and shapes in the moulding can elevate a piece. The mount is equally important. The mount is equally important. You can add more details with linen or gilded overlays.

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‘Choose upbeat colours’: Joa Studholme (curator, Farrow & Ball)

Trend alert: new colours for 2022 from Farrow & Ball.Trend Alert: Farrow & Ball has new colours for 2022Photograph by James Merrell

We should be embracing spring and introducing brighter colors to our interiors. However, this isn’t just painting walls – think outside the box. The bright yellow Babouche colour will instantly make a statement and reflect light to create a sunny hue. If you paint interior doors that lead to the outside, in bright colours like Breakfast Room Green, it will look great and invite you into your garden. You can also paint a chequerboard flooring in Stone Blue or School House White for something familiar and comfortable. It can’t help but make you smile.

Make an entry and go 1970s

Following a stint with Gucci, the London-based artist/homeware designer Gergei Erdei brilliantly conjures ancient Rome and Greece by way of the 1970s – a decade whose decadent styles are currently making a massive comeback in interiors. You can add a splash of colour to your entranceway by incorporating one of his whimsical art prints that recall 70s travel posters.

‘Reflect how you want to feel’Rachel Vosper, candle-chandler and scent expert

Up in smoke: Rachel Vosper hand pours a beeswax candle.Up in smoke: Rachel Vosper makes a beeswax candle.Photograph by Alun Callender/The Observer

Personalization is key because smell is closely tied to emotions. You should choose the right scent for each room to reflect your mood. For the kitchen, light and fresh scents like Eechinacea, Llemongrass, and Ssage are good. Bedrooms are best served with hints or sandalwood, patchouli, amber, or sandalwood. These scents are mysterious and sexy, and can be combined with jasmine and rose to create a sensual atmosphere. For making guests feel welcomed, orange blossom and bergamot make the perfect scents. This year, uplifting and healing scents, such as sage, are highly sought-after.

Feel the rainbow

Designer towels may seem like something that you should have on your wedding list, or something that your parents might have saved for guests. But, since the bathroom is where most Americans start and end their day, it is a great place to indulge in a luxurious set of towels for everyday use.

Gabrielle Omar, an architect designer, makes storage a display feature

There’s no reason why storage can’t be incorporated into your interior design. You don’t want to lose something you love. Go for brightly coloured bookshelves to match upholstery and freestanding box shelves – rather than placed against a wall – that help divide areas in a room. You can also recycle your old furniture into storage solutions. Turn that old, rustic closet into a secret library full of books. Wall hooks can be used to display scarves and towels as well as give them a home. Pegboard walls can be used to store anything from kitchenware and clothes, and can be reconfigured when your needs change.

Marie Kondo, author.

Make time for tidying up in your own time. Do it in one go, not slowly. Intermittent decluttering – donating old clothes every once in a while, or cleaning out storage bins before a move – may provide brief moments of relief, but the clutter will always come back. After you’re done tidying, find a home for each item. Then get back to the routine of putting them in their proper places. This will make it easy to maintain a tidy space and prevent you from falling back.

Shake it up and move the thing: Laura Jackson, co-founder of Glassette and broadcaster

Throw down a rug: Moussem Moroccan Azilal design, £549Throw down a rug: Moussem Moroccan Azilal design, £549

Simple changes to furniture and fittings can transform spaces without spending a lot of money. As a schoolgirl, I’d move my bedroom furniture around regularly. As powerful as major purchases, moving furniture around can be as effective as changing its position. A rug can make a big difference. Weaver Green rugs are made from recycled bottles and look beautiful – and they’re well priced, too. I avoid trendy or unusual pieces as they will age quickly. If you’re into a trend, such as chequerboard, start with a coaster, cushion cover or lamp shade rather than retiling the entire house.

Benvenuto Italia

Right now, Italian ceramics are to soft furnishings what pasta has long been to the kitchen – an import that is hot. Bettina Ceramica is one of a group of young brands – see also Hot Pottery Masseria Potenti – responsible for their current popularity and its Pupa lamp base is a statement way to bring the dolce vita to your bedroom.

It’s your turn

Inspire positive energy into your bath time or shower. Christopher Kane’s More Joy mat. The celebrated Scottish designer’s foray into homewares has been a roaring success for bringing a little joy into unexpected places – see also his jute doormats, wall clocks and hot-water bottles.

Get the hang of wallpaper

Yes, wallpaper is back in a big way and even though it might be spenny for a whole room, it’s affordable in small spaces. There are many beautiful patterns and prints to choose. Fee Greening’s new Heraldic fabric paper and Kate Hawkins’s Lucky Leaf design at Common Room.
feegreening.co.uk; commonroom.co

You can roll up your napkins

No matter how high-octane you prefer your dinner table, the details are what make it special. For an instant boost, consider napkin rings. You can choose from a set with tortoiseshell effect from Global Explorer, or a cherry design from Global Explorer. Maison MargauxBoth ends of the spectrum will be taken care of and even kitchen rolls will look more refined.
amara.com; maisonmargauxltd.com

Design books to inspire

Pearl Lowe brings her laid-back style to coastal living with her book Faded Glamour by the Sea (Cico Books, £25) in a celebration of nostalgic splendour that Lowe describes as “a mix of the gloriously decadent yet well-lived in”.

Laura de Barra takes us on a room-by-room tour of the home to understand the function of each space in Décor Galore, The Essential Guide to Styling Your Home (Transworld, £14.59). It’s a great style guide, with tips on how to fold a napkin or fix the shower.

Summer Thornton’s Wonderland: Adventures in Decorating (Rizzoli International, £32.50) is bursting with ideas that demonstrate her flair for the sumptuous and whimsical.

If you want to know the five timeless rules for transforming your home, take a look at A Modern Way to Live by Matt Gibberd (Penguin Life, £16.99). Gibberd is also co-founder of website The Modern HouseSince 1995, he has been exploring pimped and pioneering new homes.

DIY On a Budget by Toni Trevillion (Transworld, £16.99) is crammed full of decor hacks, tips and tricks to make small tweaks or big changes to your home.


Daisy tiles, £135 psqm at ottotiles.comDaisy tiles, £135 psqm at ottotiles.com

There’s a reason the hashtag #ihave thisthingwithtilesTrends are regular: The interiors industry has gone crazy for them. From the vertiginous-lined streets of Lisbon to the floors of hazy Mediterranean homes, handpainted and retro-infused tiles are where it’s at right now and no wonder: who wouldn’t want to wake up feeling as if they’re on holiday? Otto Tiles’s selection strikes exactly the right chord.

A deep spring clean can bring joy: Lynseycrombie, Queen Of Clean

In spring-clean mode, always work from the top: start with dry dust and cobwebs on the ceiling and work downwards, or else you’re wasting time. Don’t pressure yourself into a full day of housework – who can be bothered? You can simply set yourself a few tasks that you will complete over time. Make a playlist with 10 tracks that you can dance to. It’s time to call it quits when the music stops. Keep the windows open. If it’s cold, you’ll work hard and fast. Interior cleaning can make a big difference. Deep cleaning furniture will bring out a new colour, while clearing a lightbulb with the lint roll will change its tones. Why buy a sofa when you can scrub the chocolate stain off?

Additional interviews with Michael Segalov

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