KEEP IT SIMPLE, MAKE IT INTERESTING – Don’t clutter. Mix traditional and modern; for example, a modern piece of art looks great in a classical setting. Don’t be afraid of bold colour and bold texture.
SIZE MATTERS – Say goodbye to lots of little bits of furniture and hello to a couple of larger scale choice pieces.
ACCESSORISE – The one accessory I couldn’t live without is white flowers – they bring life to a space. If in doubt, add white orchids – it never fails. I also love using groups of objects of different sizes as it creates interest.
WALLS AND CEILINGS – Art is a must for creating interest and glamour. I like single large pieces but I also love the use of sets or collages. I always use a mix of framed and unframed, prints and oils. And remember, ceilings don’t have to be white.
TEXTURE CONTRAST – I use texture everywhere. I often line my drapes in a contrasting fabric and use scatter cushions to transform a sofa armchair or a bed. I love wallpaper too because it adds warmth and interest. I just did a reception room where the main walls were a white textured paper and the chimney breast was a dark chocolate brown crocodile textured paper – the contrast looked sensational. Don’t forget the floor: if you have hard floors you have got to have amazing rugs. I mix super silky rugs with cheaper textured ones to make a visual impact.
STORAGE, RETHINK IT – I like to transform a space to make it both decorative and useful; I recently turned a pair of alcoves into fabulous dark wood wine storage units. Try making a shelf into a feature too: a big criss-cross book shelf in a room can transform the room and become the centrepiece.
MANTLE SHELVING – I love using these and extending them where possible. They are great areas for display and creating visual balance.
MIRRORS – The simplest of all design solutions. I use them everywhere in every way: reflecting light, showing colours and small spaces in an interesting way. They are one of the least expensive ways of making magic and I couldn’t live without them.
FIRE AND FIREPLACE – Add a fire where you can. Many fireplace companies are now making portable ones and you can use them as space dividers. They give a focal point to a room and a lovely glow on a winter’s day.
FABULOUS LIGHTING – Whether it’s a chandelier or a super big shade, don’t skimp on it. Use a combination of floor lamps, table lamps, focal point ceiling and wall lights. And don’t forget candles.