By Kairen x, Aug 30 2017 06:00AM

Summer in The Dales should be in full swing so embrace the rays of sunshine by adding pops of colour and fresh touches to your home. It’s a simple way to reflect this glorious season by having your interior resonate the warm weather mood and ensuring your home makes a stylish statement. So, as part of a two part mid-season invigorating innovation, I’ve put together a few smart, snappy specific ideas that can carry you through to an elongated Indian summer:


Firstly – go for a gilded effect. Gold accents feel fresh and they add an elevated dose of shimmer to any room; a classic case of added glamour. Look around your rooms and consider how you could use this uptown upscale – cushions, sconces, picture frames.


Secondly – pops of pink. Joyful and delightful pink is playful and perky – don’t go too over the top though; you might think of a cushion or painting a tired piece of furniture; positively pleasing!


Thirdly – try neutral gear. A calm, neutral palette keeps your home light and airy during (hopefully) warmer months. Create a feeling of flowing, floating, serene summer by adding a printed rug in neutral hues; it can really invigorate your feel-good space.


So let’s keep it fresh and interesting and enjoy this happy season.


Kairen x

By Kairen x, Jul 28 2017 06:00AM

I love colour and, like a lot of us at this time of year, get the decorating bug. I was musing about the colour of front doors and concluded that, like clothes, interior decor and art, it’s a way of expressing our personality.


It’s the first impression we give to someone who is visiting us so I started to wonder what our front door colour says about our personalities - this is what I found out!


If you choose a bold colour like vibrant orange you’re a social butterfly, have a flair for entertaining and have a mind for a good challenge. A radiant red signifies a hospitable home with a warm welcome. A person with a red door likes a little attention and glories in living life to the full - which again goes hand in hand with entertaining.


Blue door? You are peace loving. You enjoy tranquility and value truth - you are well grounded and true to yourself. Grey they say can hint at indecisiveness - or at least you will look for compromise and take a look at both sides of an argument.


Glorious green suggests that traditional values lay within, but accompanied with simmering ambitions and will to strive for personal betterment. Also good with finances apparently!


Go through a black front door and you are entering into a world of order and control. Simplicity in style, elegant and sophisticated. White is just as it sounds - it creates clean lines and when entering you embark on a journey of clean, organised simplicity.


What colour will your front door be?


By Kairen x, Jun 28 2017 06:00AM

Continuing our theme on a well dressed window – well, it’s such an important part of our home! To recap, we’ve talked curtains, curtain headings and the great benefits of interlining. What else is there?


Well it won’t always be curtains that will be the right choice, so this month we will look at Roman Blinds. As ever, there are various standards and qualities to be aware of. One simple rule is to avoid ones that have been machine stitched from side to side throughout the blind – make it classy with hand stitched. We’ve pushed the boundaries now & then with some pretty huge Roman Blinds but clean, elegant lines are the rewards.


Rather than dominating the room, Roman Blinds can blend in seamlessly, complementing existing décor. Go for quality fittings, an aluminium system with continuous chain operation rather than plastic tracks and messy cords; and of course all fittings have to be compliant with child safety legislation.


So choose your window treatment carefully, styling and colour matching to suit your interior. Roman Blinds can be the best solution for restricted spaces. In bay windows set the blinds in separate segments – stowed at different heights they can create an interesting look. They can also look fabulous together with curtains, so you can really go to town with fabric textures and patterns to provide a breath taking focal point.




So go on, make a stunning statement and think about all the elements of stylish window dressing.

By Kairen x, May 29 2017 06:00AM

Continuing our theme on a well dressed window – well, it’s such an important part of our home! To recap, we’ve talked curtains, curtain headings and the great benefits of interlining. What else is there?


Well it won’t always be curtains that will be the right choice, so this month we will look at Roman Blinds. As ever, there are various standards and qualities to be aware of. One simple rule is to avoid ones that have been machine stitched from side to side throughout the blind – make it classy with hand stitched. We’ve pushed the boundaries now & then with some pretty huge Roman Blinds but clean, elegant lines are the rewards.


Rather than dominating the room, Roman Blinds can blend in seamlessly, complementing existing décor. Go for quality fittings, an aluminium system with continuous chain operation rather than plastic tracks and messy cords; and of course all fittings have to be compliant with child safety legislation.


So choose your window treatment carefully, styling and colour matching to suit your interior. Roman Blinds can be the best solution for restricted spaces. In bay windows set the blinds in separate segments – stowed at different heights they can create an interesting look. They can also look fabulous together with curtains, so you can really go to town with fabric textures and patterns to provide a breath taking focal point.




So go on, make a stunning statement and think about all the elements of stylish window dressing.

By Kairen x, Apr 27 2017 06:00AM

In part one we talked about how curtains can soften the lines of a room and how the different types of curtain headings create style types. Classic soft furnishings can also be made to add a little extra drama, and help with the heating bills! So, in Yorkshire particularly, we need to think about the different types of curtain linings.

I advise most of my clients to get their curtains interlined, either with medium weight domett or the more heavyweight ‘bump’ interlining. In short this helps your curtains have insulating properties – which is good. It will also help if you want to reduce noise coming in through the windows.


This extra layer of fabric is placed between the main fabric and the lining, so if you haven’t heard of it put it at the top of your curtain making requirements. It can transform the overall look as many beautiful fabrics can seem quite thin and lifeless on their own. In some situations it isn’t necessary, for example a very small window, or when the fabric is already weighty.


By adding the magic of interlining the change can be dramatic, oozing a sumptuous quality. So make your soft furnishing investment work for you, keep out those drafts and make your home more energy efficient.


One final word of ‘lining advice’; blackout lining for bedrooms is pure karma for a blissful night’s sleep .. zzzzz .. hope you find this useful.



Kx

By Kairen x, Mar 24 2017 07:00AM

The windows in our world can be a bewildering mix of what, when and why!? So firstly, let’s think why – why invest in window dressings?


Well, ready made solutions can be quick and convenient, custom made can be an expensive proposition, so think hard about your house – is it temporary or is it my “forever home”? If it’s the first, then think about the return you might get on your property and budget accordingly. If, however, your feelings run deep with your home then bespoke pays off big time.


Nothing can enrich, polish & finish a room more than custom, tailored window styling. Curtains add lots of lovely softness to a room and work particularly wonderfully if there are no radiators in the way (if there is a radiator then always choose the floor length option to enhance the sense of presence, both when the curtains are drawn and when they are open).


Consider how the curtain pole or rail is going to be placed, and how far it extends. Generally extend it beyond the window so that the curtains fall mostly in front of the walls and frame the window. This method will preserve the most natural light coming into your room.


Consider what type of curtain heading:

* Pencil Pleat – traditional yet informal

* Pinch Pleat – go for hand sewn for a luxurious, tailored look

* Goblet – again, a tailored & luxurious look

* Eyelet – more of a modern look



…and many more – take an inspirational look on Pinterest or just take a little more notice of headings when you’re out and about.

Kairen x

By Kairen x, Feb 26 2017 07:00AM

We all love an occasional chair and it’s one item we pick that might be slightly “out of kilter” with the harmonious balance of our interior, whether it’s the style of the piece or a quirky favourite fabric.


For the most part occasional chairs and sofas available in the UK are imported from Eastern Europe, China and the Far East which, particularly if we are price driven, is the route many of us would go. However, if you’re looking for longer lasting comfort and sustainable design ask yourself a serious question…


Do you want it to last? If yes, then you need to find out what the frame is made from. Look for hardwood frames such as beech, birch and maple, rather than a chipboard frame that has been stapled together. So make more of an investment.


Accent chairs can be fun and functional; the jewel of the boudoir; a serious note in a study. Or they can be purely for comfort and leisure, bringing colour and style to your space.


Todays smart designers and home decorators believe that each piece should stand on its own merit. I quite agree and we are lucky enough to have a host of talent in our area to guide us such as Dalesbred in The Courtyard, Settle – oozing quality.


Kairen x

By Kairen x, Jan 25 2017 07:00AM

At first I thought I would need pictures, lots of pictures, to inspire you with fabulous arty ideas, but that wouldn’t be a small article in our best-loved glossy; it would turn out to be epic volumes of books!


So we’ll start with how to start thinking about your space … and if you’re not staging your home to sell or let, then it’s very personal. There are many routes to go down, the best being to follow your gut feeling. Art has to please you and you alone.


However, it’s good to explore options, become more aware of what’s out there and develop your creative thoughts – enjoy the process! Memories of person, place or time could be held within a picture, but sometimes we can’t explain why we love a piece of art – we just do.


We all instantly recognise a canvas that is beautiful. Acting on impulse can be scary, but missing the moment can be worse. A piece of art you love is one of the most wonderful ways to invigorate a standard (boring even?) room. But always keep an open mind

* • Modern abstract wall art is often more at home in a contemporary setting, usually on a plain, neutral, painted wall

* • Metal wall art – there are some beautiful designs trending

* • If you are lucky enough to have a large gallery wall then treat it to a large piece of art

* •

So showcase your individuality, whether it be conventional or the unexpected!

Kairen x

By Kairen x, Dec 11 2016 10:00AM

Yes the dark evenings are with us for a while yet, but they can create oodles of shimmery, simmering cosy nights. Your lighting can be seductive, stunning, atmospheric – and be part of your own personal look, oozing with personality, so don’t think about it as just practical.


Go on a fact finding mission online and in mags; discover you options and add some unexpected style change to your home. You can look for new places to lighten up – imagine a chandelier over a kitchen island for the wow factor!


Take a look at Pinterest to see some exciting up-cycling ideas, plus some wacky ideas such as watering cans transformed into ceiling lamps, or birdcage table lamps. But seriously, there are some ingenious ideas out there, so take time to scroll through and have a look.


More simple, however, but still transformational is to change the shade of a drum style lamp – you can give an old item a really modern twist. Drum shade kits are easy to buy online or in craft stores and with a fabric offcut you can introduce a new colour, a pattern or a gorgeous rich texture – and you can say you made it yourself!


Once you’ve decided on your room style – antique, modern, industrial,… take time out to plan your perfect mix of lighting. Top tips to consider:

* • Layer your lighting – high, mid, low

* • Consider subtle, ambient lighting

* • Mood lighting schemes

* • Lighting for regular tasks

* • Don’t miss out the dimmer switch, and something I’ve just read in another smart Glossy…

* • Go candle crazy!

So brighten up your interior – there is something for everyone.


Kairen x

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